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Here at TV Tropes we have plenty of different kinds of content. We point out patterns in a work, discuss patterns that may or may not be in that work, share our reactions to fictional happenings and take wild guesses at what happens next - among other things, most of which are not considered tropes. It became clear early on that letting all this content mix together was not the best idea.

For this reason, we came up with different categories of articles, so that for a given work there'd be a separate article for each type of content. Later we implemented namespaces (see that page for a technical explanation) and a top-page banner system, so that it'd be easier to see right away which category an article belongs to.

Seeing as all this can get very confusing for new people, and in some cases even veteran tropers, here's a breakdown of what goes where on the wiki.


Also known as "works" (as in a "work of fiction" or a "creative work"), these are books, games, movies, TV shows, videos, and all other forms of creative content. Works are made by creators, utilize tropes, and may have audience reactions, trivia, and the like. Works fall into a few very broad categories:

  1. Fiction: Any work where the characters, stories, and/or settings are invented, in whole or in part.
    • All trope categories may apply to fictional works.
  2. Non-fiction: Documentaries, biographies, reviews, and similar works where storytelling elements are used to describe real things.
    • Documentary works are limited in what kinds of tropes may be applied. Tropes used in storytelling and production are allowed. Tropes applying to real people, places, or events are not.
  3. Hybrid: Biopics, reality shows, game shows, professional wrestling, and similar works that substantially fictionalize or create narratives around real people.
    • Tropes may only be applied to the fictional or fictionalized elements, as well as production and storytelling.

Articles from this category:

  • Are found on one or more media namespaces (Film, Live-Action TV, etc.).
  • Have no banner at the top.
  • May have trope example lists unless prohibited for specific reasons.
  • May have subpages including character sheets, YMMV, Trivia, and so on.
  • May have an identifying icon depending on namespace.
  • May be linked anywhere within reason.


These are recurring patterns, elements, techniques, and progressions that the creator unquestionably put into the work to add information of some nature or to elicit a particular response or reaction from the audience. In the case of video games and other interactive media, gameplay elements fall in this category as well.

Articles from this category:

  • Are found on the main namespace.
  • Have no banner at the top.
  • Have open-to-editing example lists unless otherwise noted.
  • Are listed on either a work’s main page, or its character sheet if it has one. If there are enough examples for a given objective trope, it might have its own subpage.
  • Are potholed anywhere.
  • Have no identifying icon.


YMMV stands for "Your Mileage May Vary". There have been plenty of attempts to pin down what this class objectively is, but the definition in practice — and the reason the "YMMV" distinction exists in the first place — is simple: it's a YMMV item if it is based on opinion, and cannot be proven true or false. YMMV basically breaks down into 2 subcategories, which are

  1. All Audience Reactions, without exception; and
  2. Items that appear to have the semblance of an objective trope, except in practice they require a significant judgment call to decide whether, how and to what degree they exist in a work.

The crux of subcategory 2 is that it's impossible to say objectively whether something from it is actually present in the work; the author may have objectively intended to use it, but that's neither here nor there. We try not to take a stand on the Death of the Author issue, but even the most ardent intentionalist would concede that the author intending to have some pattern of fiction in their story doesn't mean the attempt worked.

In theory, Your Mileage May Vary on nearly all tropes. Who says that a Happy Ending is happy, for example? In practice, what we mean by a significant judgment call is exactly the duck test outlined above- an item falls under YMMV if people often disagree about it. Either we can figure this out from the definition, or a huge natter infestation wherever the item is mentioned clues us in. Either way, it gets stamped with the "subjective" stamp and relegated to YMMV subpages, where the varying of mileage and resulting natter will not get in the way of the objective tropes.

Articles from this category:

  • Are usually found on the main namespace, but particularly positive or negative ones are found on Sugar Wiki or Darth Wiki, respectively.
  • Have the YMMV banner at the top.
  • Have open-to-editing example lists, though if these turn into wretched hives of Thread Mode, they will likely be subjected to an Example Sectionectomy.
  • Are not listed or potholed in main pages or character sheets, unless they fall under one of the "Exceptions" below. Many have objective counterparts/relatives which can be used instead.
  • Are listed and potholed in YMMV subpages, except those which are:
  • Have the "gasoline pump" identifying icon or one of the specific icons listed above.
  • On work and creator pages or character sheets, they get marked with a blue gas pump, to help people locate and remove them.


Facts that occur during or around the production of a work but are not elements written to tell the story. Casting choices not relevant to the story, who did what to whom on set, Throw It In!, etc.

Articles from this category:

  • Are found on the main namespace.
  • Have the Trivia banner at the top.
  • Have open-to-editing example lists, unless otherwise noted.
  • Are not listed in main pages, character sheets or YMMV subpages — except when used or referred to In-Universe (for example, with Conversational Troping, or in reference to a Show Within a Show), in which case they go on the main page.
  • Are potholed anywhere, as long as you don't use this as a ploy to shoehorn Trivia examples where they don't belong; may be listed and potholed in Trivia subpages.
  • Have the "question mark" identifying icon.
  • On work pages or character sheets, they get marked with a blue question mark, to help people locate and remove them.

Useful Notes

Articles that provide information about real-life topics that are frequently found in media. Intended for creators who want to learn about a topic in order to depict it accurately.

These are not an excuse to become Wikipedia and document everything that exists. A Useful Notes page is only necessary for people, places, things, and topics that get referenced in fiction a lot. They should contrast how fiction depicts the subject with reality, and/or provide advice on writing accurately about the subject.

When a real or fictional person covered by a Useful Notes article appears in a work, the tropes are Historical Domain Character and Public Domain Character, with the article linked in the example text.

Articles from this category:

  • Are found in the UsefulNotes namespace.
  • Have no banner at the top.
  • Have no trope examples themselves.
  • May have lists of tropes frequently found in works depicting the topic.
  • Are not tropes or works and may not be used as examples.
  • May be linked or potholed within descriptions.


Articles related to the operation, administration, and policies of the wiki.

Articles from this category:

  • Are usually found in the administrivia namespace.
  • Have no banner at the top.
  • Usually have no in-article example lists.
  • Should not be used as trope examples.
  • Should only be linked when the context is specifically about the policy in question.

Just for Fun

Pages that basically play by their own rules. We keep them around, because... well they're fun.

Articles from this category:

  • Live mostly in the Just for Fun namespace, although some may be found in Main, Sugar Wiki, Darth Wiki, or their own dedicated namespaces such as Self-Demonstrating.
  • Have the Just For Fun banner at the top.
  • Sometimes have open-to-editing example lists.
  • Are potholed anywhere within the confines of good taste.

Flame Bait

Articles about topics that are too controversial, sensitive, or inappropriate to permit their use as trope examples. Whether something belongs in this category is handled on a case-by-case basis. When it is, it means we've dealt with its problems for too long and it's not worth trying any more.

Articles from this category:

  • May live in the Main namespace, but many have been transplanted to Darth Wiki.
  • If they are in Darth Wiki, may have had their Main redirect permanently locked and deleted.
  • Have the Flame Bait banner at the top.
  • May or may not permit on-page example lists.
  • Should never be used as examples anywhere other than in Darth Wiki.


Articles for Creators (people involved in the writing, production, acting, and other aspects of creating a work) are handled a little differently. Some of these differences are noted above, but will be recaptured here for ease of reference.

Creator articles:

  • Never get YMMV examples, on the main or any subpages. This is because we don't trope real people, ever.
    • The sole exception is when the YMMV example is about a creator's work and we do not have an article for that work. In that specific case, it can go on a YMMV subpage for the creator.
    • Avoid "general" YMMV examples about a creator's entire body of work. Those are hard to distinguish from talking about the creator themselves. See also "Examples Are Not General" on How to Write an Example.
  • Never get Trivia subpages. Trivia examples for creators go on their main article, always.
    • Trivia examples for a creator's work follow the same rules as for YMMV examples.
    • If we do not have a work article for a Trivia example, then it goes on the creator's main page, not a Trivia subpage.

Please note that articles in the Music namespace are treated as work articles, and behave normally. They should not be used to talk about the artist(s) as if they were real people.


Seeing as every self-respecting rule system needs exceptions, here's a few we made up just to confuse you:

  • If YMMV, Trivia, or Flame Bait items happen In-Universe, are invoked, or are part of a Show Within a Show, we treat them like an objective trope. Make sure to explicitly mention the example is "In-Universe" or "invoked". It turns off the YMMV flagger and makes sure it doesn't get moved by mistake. You can also use the [[invoked]] markup, which does the same without appearing in the text at all.
  • We're more lenient with links in image captions. If a YMMV applies to the image somehow, it's usually fine. Just make sure you aren't lapsing into gushing, complaining or Take That! territory. Links and potholes in the descriptions and related tropes sections are also fine for YMMV and objective trope articles, as long as you keep the overall tone neutral. Not so much for descriptions of works.
  • Trivia entries can be listed as examples on pages that describe actors, writers, directors, musicians or other creators in general. These already contain mostly trivia information. There's no sense in splitting them. See also Creator Page Guidelines.
  • Certain YMMV or Trivia items may be split into their own subpage and namespace, if the work contains enough examples of them. These don't get the banners automatically, unlike the non-tropes with dedicated buttons.
  • Finally, certain namespaces that are just for fun also don't need to obey these rules. These include Fridge, Headscratchers, Wild Mass Guessing, Haiku-Wiki, and Analysis. Same goes for the Discussions, Reviews and Live Blogs sections. This does not mean you can do whatever you please there.

Alternative Title(s): What Goes Where