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Principal Skinner: Now I finally have time to do what I've always wanted: write the great American novel. Mine is about a futuristic amusement park where dinosaurs are brought to life through advanced cloning techniques! I call it "Billy and the Cloneasaurus!"
Apu: Oh, you have got to be kidding sir! First you think of an idea that has already been done, then you give it a title that nobody could possibly like!
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Sometimes titles just don't work. They're too short, too long, too vague, or just plain wrong. So we are glad those aren't the titles for certain tropes.

But What If?...

Dun dun dadaldadalduun!

...they were?

This is where we think of the worst possible titles for existing tropes.

Compare Laconic Wiki, Renamed Tropes, I Thought It Meant (lousy definitions for trope titles).


Examples are alphabetized by trope name:

To begin...

  • This page is called Lousy Alternate Titles because Goofing Around by Spelling Out the Meanings of the Tropes With Profanity and Bold Inflation is too long.
    • And it's still shorter than What If Encyclopedia Dramatica Wrote Our Trope Titles?.
    • Also, Really, Really Lousy Alternate Titles That Are Way Too Long And Usually Complain About Tropes, Tropers, And Pretty Much Everything is too hypocritical, and Self Demonstrating Trope Titles doesn't actually apply to all of them.
    • Trope Names That We WOULD Have, If Some Tropers Weren't Too Chicken to Request a Rename — Yeah You in the Folding Chair, I'm Talking About You isn't even true.note 
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A

Guy: I want to rename a trope.
We: Which?
Guy: Abduction Is Love.
We: Why?
Guy: Too ambiguous. Does "Is Love" refer to the abductor or the abductee?
We: Hmmm...You have somewhat of a point...well, you could always use Stockholm Syndrome instead...what is your lousy suggestion?

And then he suggested Uncle Fucker.

We: Wat.
Guy: Well, it's kind of the Ur-Example.
We: M...kay...?
Guy: Persephone. Y'know, Hades is her uncle, and so...
We: (fumble for the Big Red Button inscripted "Push in case of Troll")
Guy: AAAAAH!

So, last we heard of the guy is that he's Cerberus' favorite Chew Toy now. We hope you learnt to go the official way to rename a trope. Now if we can only get this dumb South Park tune out of our heads…

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B

C

D

E

F

  • Fair for Its Day is much shorter than This Old Piece Of Media Is Racist, But Everything Else At The Time Was Even More Racist, And This Was Controversial For Being Progressive By Those Standards.
    • It's also shorter and not as judgmental than Did You Know This Racist/Misogynist/Homophobic/Ethnocentric Work Was Actually Criticized In Its Day For Not Being Racist/Misogynist/Homophobic/Ethnocentric Enough?
  • We call it Fandom-Enraging Misconception because Things Fans Get Unnecessarily Butt-hurt About is too aggresive and likely to start a flame war and A Quick and Easy Guide on How to Avoid Getting Flayed Alive by Fans, while funny, is too long.
  • Fan Dumb isn't known as Speer Hoodie Moment, because TV Tropes has decided to contian the brainrot rather than spread it.
  • Fan Hater is a fairly precise, short and to the point name. It serves the purpose much better than I Can't Believe Anyone Actually Likes This Heap Of Shit. It's The Worst Thing In The World, And If You Like It, You're An Absolute Tool Who Has No Taste And You're Not Worth Any Time, Effort, Love, Pity Or Emotion, So Why Don't You Just Go Away And Die?
  • Fear of Thunder is much easier to remember than the actual name of the phobia, Tonitrophobia, and shorter than Thunderbolt and Lightning, Very Very Frightening Me.
  • Fetish Retardant is more understandable than But Nobody Came, which would be a hard-to-understand innuendo that has nothing to do with the quote. We had the trope before Undertale came out, anyway.
  • Fetus Terrible...what can we say, A Fetus Worse Than Death would be YET another snowclone of A Fate Worse Than Death.
  • While Fighter, Mage, Thief isn't as funny as Fighter, Mage, Thief, Jew, the latter would make no sense to anyone who hasn't played South Park: The Stick of Truth. Plus, unlike Cartman, we don't want to offend anyone who might be Jewish.
  • It's named Filling the Silence because Holy Shit, It's Way Too Quiet And The Audience Might Lose Interest, So Quick, Add Some Talking is a little harsh on the imaginations of dubbers.
  • Finger Gun could've been called Finger Bang, until it became a repetitious chorus in a South Park song.
  • If we called Fluffy the Terrible The Fizzlepop, we'd get attacked for spoiling My Little Pony: The Movie (2017), not to mention the trope already existed before the movie was released.
  • It's called Flying Brick because Harder Better Faster Stronger doesn't mention the flying part.
    • Harder Better Faster Stronger Flyer is a better alternate title, but a bit long.
  • It's called Franchise Zombie because I Hate All Of You For Liking This But I Have To Make More Of It! sounds downright insulting.
    • And Oh God, I'm So Tired Of Working On This Show, I Really Want To Move On To Something Else, But I've Still Got Two Years On My Contract, And I Can't Afford To Break It. is simply too long.
    • Only Deserved One Season might seem like a good title, but it might get confused for Second Season Downfall.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum might be unclear to those unfamiliar with the latter half of the name, but Item nobody remembers that it exists or ever existed until the writers say so is far too descriptive.
  • That Trope People Keep Potholing In Nightmare Fuel is a bit too snarky a name for Fridge Horror.
  • Funbag Airbag makes a Sublime Rhyme, unlike Clash On The Big Breasts, which would make anyone familiar with Final Fantasy V groan and everyone else say "I don't get it".
  • Funny Moments is easy to pronounce and it works on everyone's browser. Neither are true of 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂. And those emojis are crying of laughter, but some might think they're crying of sadness.
  • Fur Bikini is short and clear, unlike This'll Put Hair On Your Chest.

G

H

I

  • It's called I Am Not Shazam because that's a somewhat less confrontational title than That's The Name Of The Work, Not The Name Of The Character, You Stupid Idiot.
  • Identical Stranger may be more concise, but it does mean that we lose out on the snowclone potential of Dude Looks Like A Different Dude.
  • Idiot Ball has a ring to it. Characters Acting Like Idiots Because The Writers Could Not Think Of A Plausible Reason To Have The Plot Happen Otherwise doesn't.
  • It's called Innocent Fanservice Girl because That Naked Girl Is Naked Because of Some Vague Excuse In Her Backstory That Technically Justifies It was too long.
    • And accurate as Things Which Don't Ultimately Matter Or Warrant Anger But Which Nerds Get Way Too Hostile About Anyway is, it is potentially offensive or alienating to TV Tropes' readership, an audience consisting largely of said nerds.
  • It's called Incest Subtext because Bro Yay just sounds wrong.
  • Calling it Index of Film Westerns avoids the ambiguity innate to Western Films. A lot of films are made in Hollywood, aren’t they?
  • I'll Be in My Bunk is short and subtle. That Was So Hot That I'm Going Somewhere Private To Jerk Off is more clear, but way too long, and a bit Not Safe for Work.
  • Imaginary Friend is how they are commonly called. Cerebral Pals would leave people either very confused or very offended.
  • Index on the Moon could be called Albedo Girl...if anyone understood so much mythology, physics AND the popcultural shout out. A bit much even for TV Tropes. Still would make a nice Joe Hill title.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain won't ever be called The Doofenshmirtz because anybody who doesn't recognize would be very confused about what the trope means. And shortening this to The Doof makes it sound like a punch sound effect.
  • Insufferable Genius is significantly more clear than So Good It's Bad. Or Smart Ass.
  • Intentional Engrish for Funny is shorter than It Funny To On Purpose Make English As Though Translated In Badly Way From Other Language.
  • I Surrender, Suckers isn't called Geeettttttt Dunked On!! because the trope existed before Undertale and because it's an ambiguous meme that's hard to explain without spoiling one of the game's endings.
  • It's called It Was His Sled because Everyone Knows That Twist, You Don't Need To Mark It As Spoiler Anymore, Dumbass is too mean, too long and too exact. And we still encourage putting It Was His Sled examples in spoiler tags, so there's that. And while Everyone And Their Grandmother Knows That Darth Vader Is Luke Skywalker's Father isn't quite as mean, it's still too long of a title.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey! is shorter than Exploiting The Fact That Men Tend To Think With Their Dicks.

J

  • Jossed isn't the most obvious trope title, but neither is I Fought The Lore And The Lore Won.
  • Jumping the Shark is called that because Oh Shit, The Ruined FOREVER Crowd Was Right is too long, not to mention jumping the shark as a term existed longer than crying ruined FOREVER.
  • Just For Fun is simple and short, unlike Yes, The Site Isn't Meant To Be Serious Business, But This Is Just The Section Where We Cut Loose In Describing Trope And Media In Sillier Ways Than Normal.

K

L

M

N

O

P

Q

  • Quieter Than Silence is shorter than True Silence Is Indistinguishable From The Speakers Not Working.
  • Quicksand Box is shorter than Just Because Players Hate Railroading Doesn't Mean The Opposite Is Any Better. Besides, it's not always a bad thing.
  • Quicksand Sucks is shorter than What If What Was Essentially Muddy Sand Was Like A Man-Eating Monster? That'd Be Pretty Scary, Right?.

R

  • Rage Breaking Point could have been called Good, Let The Hate Flow Through You, but that isn't very indicative of what the trope is about and would seem too similar to The Power of Hate.
  • We ended up going with Rambling Old Man Monologue because its a little bit more concise than the title we wanted to use, which was Stories Old Men Tell To Youngsters Which Don't Really Go Anywhere But For Some Reason Nobody Interrupts. Why I Remember One Of These Stories... Boy It Was A Doozy... It Started When My Uncle Sammy, Or Sambo As We Used To Call Him, But You Can't Call Him That Anymore Because Of Those Damn PC Police... Anyway Sambo Was Riding A Chicken Down To The General Store Because Our Horse Was Laid Up With The Flu...
  • Randomly Generated Levels is much more neutral in tone than Would You Believe Some Level Designers Are So Lazy They Outsource Their Job To Computers?, which is completely untrue (programming a random map generator that outputs a playable and satisfying level is a challenge all by itself).
  • Race Lift and Marathon Elevator do not mean the same thing and the latter is not "more formal".
  • "Rashomon"-Style could be called You and I Remember Budapest Very Differentlyand actually still get the point across pretty well. The only problem is that the quote isn't actually an example of the trope.
  • It’s called Read the Freaking Manual because The Game’s Called “Home Improvement”, Not “Jungle Improvement” is too esoteric a joke. note 
  • Real Song Theme Tune isn't called How They Got People to Watch Guardians of the Galaxy because the movie had plenty of other selling points aside from the 70s soundtrack.
  • Refrain from Assuming is much better, shorter, punnier, and more polite than I Know They Repeat That Phrase A Thousand Times In The Chorus, But For The Last Time, It's Not The Name Of The Fucking Song!
  • Renamed Tropes gets the point across better than What The Hell Were The Tropers Smoking When Naming These Tropes!?. Besides, we don't want to wantonly accuse people of smoking.
  • Most Writers Are Herpetophobes is another unnecessary snowclone whose job is better done by Reptiles Are Abhorrent.
  • While using a snowclone might make it obvious which index Reviews Are the Gospel belongs in, it would ultimately be a bad idea because calling it He Panned It, Now It Sucks! would lead to too much confusion with its diametric opposite.
  • It's called Rhyming with Itself because honestly, Instead Of Using A Word That Rhymes, They Just Repeated The Original Word takes way too much time to type out.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots is less judgemental than Stupid Scientists Who Make Robots Impractical In The Name Of Humanlikeness.
  • Ring of Power was chosen because One Ring To Rule Them All wasn't really accurate, and quoting that entire passage would have been just too long.
  • OK, OK. Rock Me, Asmodeus! is not optimal - who still knows an Austrian singer named Falco? But Dance With The Devil is kinda the wrong music genre. Send your suggestions to TV Tropes, The Internet, general delivery.
  • Rule 34 is a shorter and more recognised name than Are You Kidding Me? People Actually Draw Dirty Pictures Of My Little Pony And Care Bears? Really?
  • I Ran So Far Away honestly could work for The Runaway, if not for being a bit longer and the inevitably baffling question of Why did they go with that reference?
  • Running the Asylum is less rude than Who The Fuck Hired These Fanboys?.

S

T

U

  • Un-Cancelled is a lot more clear than There Is No Episode VII, which could easily be mistaken for Fanon Discontinuity.
  • Unfortunate Implications is a lot less to type than I Can't Fucking Believe They Didn't Realize This Would Offend People. It's also less rude than Idiots Take Offense To Everything.
    • Or, for that matter, And You Really Thought We Weren't Going To Find The Wrong Way Of Looking At This?
  • Undying Loyalty is an alternative to This character will never, ever while they live (and sometimes after they die — ha ha, that's a literal example) stop giving support to this other character.
  • Unintentional Period Piece is an alternative to How Do You Find Out When The Work Was Released? Well, First You Take A Good Looong Look At What The Characters Are Wearing. Fashion Is Fleeting After All And Everyone Has Memorised The History Of Fashion, Right? If That Doesn't Work, Take A Look At Technology They Are Using. Everyone Knows Every Computer Has Only 5 Years Before It Starts Looking Ridiculo-Wait, You Can Just Check Out The Copyright Date? How Come Nobody Told Me?! that someone proposed when they complained they couldn't remember how many O's there are in "looong".
  • If most of our tropes were German, Perryrhodansystem der Elemente would have lumped together Unobtainium, Applied Phlebotinum, and all the other plot chemicals.
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal is way shorter than That's A Guy? Oh, God, It Is A Guy! And I Actually Had A Stiffie! NOOOOOOOOO! My Masculinity Is ruined forever!
    • And Sexual Disorientation would be confused for other tropes.
  • Useful Notes is only partly used as Nitpick Fuel. It's also much shorter than Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Real Life (But Were Afraid To Ask).
  • The Usual Adversaries used to be Goddamned Orks, in spite of that being an objectively terrible name that made literally every example on the page a Zero-Context Example and Forced Meme. It could have been renamed Esau Hates Jacob, but it wasn’t, as that would be confusing to people who aren’t Orthodox Jews.

V

  • Do you really have to ask why Vagina Dentata was not called Kunt Fu?
  • Viewers Are Morons was more concise than Most Writers And Media Executives Think The Collective IQ Of Your Demographic Is Somewhat Lower Than That Of A Retarded Slug, And They Feel That's Being Mean To The Slug.
  • Villain Override isn't called Assuming Direct Control because that's too general and doesn't make sense to people who haven't played Mass Effect 2.
  • Voodoo Shark is called that because Your Plot Point Sucks, Your Explanation For Your Plot Point Sucks, And Your Face Sucks is just mean.
    • It's also shorter than Trying To Fill In A Plot Hole With Another Plot Hole.

W

  • Walking Shirtless Scene could be called The Jacob but we try to avoid using Stock Parodies in our titles. Also, Trope Namer Syndrome.
  • The Walls Are Closing In is a lot more plain and straightforward than One Thing's for Sure, We're All Gonna be a Lot Thinner. Besides, it's already the page quote.
  • Self-demonstrating trope names that work are rare, but few would be worse suited to it than Wall of Text. For Example: The Giant Block of Text that Goes On For Much Too Long and Does Not Stop For a Very Long Time. It Just Keeps Going on and on and on Like There’s Some Grand Point to Make that Can’t be Made in a Simple Sentence but is Very Mistaken on this Sentiment of Absolutely Ludicrous Arrogance. But it Still Goes on Because the Writer is Very Pretentious and Snobby, Thinking They’re So Smart and Justified in Wasting Your Time With All this Text. OMG, Are You Still Reading This?! Just Stop for Your Own Sanity Before You Forget How to Read Good Things like Actually Well Written Stories that Don’t Need to do This Tripe and Engage in a Monumental Waste of Space, Pixels, or Ink in a Book Presser on Top of the Time and Effort to Write Down All This Insufferable Text that Takes the Shape of Walls that have Historically Been Used By People to Keep Other People Out (Unless You’re East Germany, Where They Built The Berlin Wall to Keep People In). Except That This Doesn’t Wrap Around Like a Wall, So it’s More Like the Biblical Tower of Babel, Which is Kind of Like This Name That Just Babbles on Continuously Without Any Rhyme or Reason. Except For This Sentence, Which Suggests We Charge This Trope Name Writer With Treason. This would risk an Overflow Error to the website and also be plain sadistic to anyone who prefers to type out trope names.
  • Wanting Is Better Than Having is shorter than Whining About How Your Long-Sought Goal Wasn't As Awesome As You Thought It Would Be.
  • Watsonian versus Doylist is both shorter, more neutral and not as specific as You Can Explain That Plot Point As Much As You Like But It's Clear You're Just A Hack.
  • Calling The Weird Sisters Nornentities...you really would go Tempting Fates?
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids? is more polite and less presumptuous than Grown Adults try to Justify Watching Children's Shows by Talking about How Totally Super Dark They are, You Guys.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids? is more universal than I'm Twelve Years Old And What Is This?.
  • What Happened to the Mouse? beat Well I Guess I'm The Asshole For Caring About This Plot Point in a runoff.
  • We have Wild Mass Guessing because Off-The-Cuff Predictions And Obsessively Detailed Fanwank puts rather too fine a point on it.
  • We call it Windmill Crusader instead of Windmills Do Not Work That Way since the latter is highly misleading even for people who recognize it as a Futurama reference.
  • It's called Winged Unicorn rather than Horned Pegasus because that could be misread as "Horny Pegasus", and the pony porn is already out of control as is... not to mention there can be other types of horns than a Unicorn one.
  • Wizarding School...If I Had A Dime For Each Time Anybody Cries Harry Potter Plagiarism When This Trope Comes Up, I'd Be Richer Than Mark Zuckerberg Now was actually a quite good idea - until the dude donated half of his wealth to charity.
  • Word Salad Title seemed like a better option than Didactic Protozoon Shoo Continuously Reerupt Blandish or its 9,235,817 variants.
  • Would Hurt a Child is more self-explanatory than Master Skywalker, There Are Too Many Of Them. What Are We Going To Do?
  • It's called Wolverine Publicity and not Iron Man Publicity because we had it way before Iron Man became popular. Meanwhile, it's not called the equally valid at the time of naming Batman Publicity because we just didn't decide to go with that.
  • Writing Around Trademarks is more straightforward than Filthy Acts at a Reasonable Price.
  • Wrong Time-Travel Savvy could have been called "Back to the Future" Is a Bunch of Bullshit, but the trope page existed long before Avengers: Endgame and singling out Back to the Future wouldn't be fair.

X

  • "X" Makes Anything Cool would've been named Everything's Better With X, but we don't need to add to that snowclone family (even though that is a redirect anyway).

Y

  • We say YMMV because These Are Just Individual Tropers' Opinions And Your Mileage May Vary, So Don't Go Making An Assload Of Justifying Edits Just Because You Disagree With A Given Entry is not only way longer, but needlessly accusatory.
  • Some German suggested C-C-C-Combo Breaker! for Yoko Oh No. When we told him a Combo means a music band just in German he was inconsolable.
  • We considered calling You Fool! The Other F-Word, but decided not to make fools of ourselves. Well, not in that particular instance, at any rate.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters is neither named Our Terrorists Are Your Freedom Fighters nor Your Freedom Fighters Are Our Terrorists, both which won't work. What causes the strange breaking of logical symmetry is still under scientific research.

Z

  • The reason Zany Scheme was chosen is that Can't You Think Of Something Easier To Solve Your Problem? is too long, and isn't a noun.

And finally...

  • We call this site TV Tropes instead of A Reader-Maintained Database of Frequently-Seen Elements and Patterns In Many Forms of Communication, Particularly Entertainment Media because, dude, we started out by writing about stuff on TV.

Alternative Title(s): Lousy Alternative Titles

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