Sometimes, Genre Savvy characters talk about tropes. There are at least three kinds of such discussions:
- They exploit or invoke the trope directly, either by action ("I'll make my sword more powerful by making it brighter!") or by anticipation ("His sword is glowing, I suppose that means it's very powerful").
- They're just discussing tropes in general, apropos of nothing. This is also called Conversational Troping.
- And then there are the discussions that go something like, "If this were an action movie, talking about your family like that would mean you'd be dead in a few minutes." or "Unlike what you may read in detective stories, the Butler is a somewhat unlikely suspect in any murder investigation of this sort, for reasons X, Y and Z."
This trope covers that third category, where a trope is brought up by the characters, and is directly relevant to the situation at hand, but is not taken necessarily as Truth in Television.
This kind of conversation is used to set up either a justification (Invoked Tropes normally just sort of assume the trope is Truth in Television), a fully noted aversion, some variety of deconstruction or a way of hanging a lampshade. In some cases, it leads to Death by Genre Savviness.
This trope is extremely common when Our Vampires Are Different is invoked in a contemporary setting. Most authors just can't resist having their characters point out how 'real' vampires differ from all those laughably inaccurate Hollywood representations.
Of necessity, almost all criticism involves the twilight realm between Conversational Troping and Discussing the trope; as a rule, TV Tropes errs on the side of calling them "discussed", because the trope is directly relevant to the "plot" at hand, except in the Playing With Wiki note .
Distinct from Conversational Troping in that a Discussed Trope will have some relevance to the situation at hand, and distinct from an Invoked Trope in that an Invoked Trope is always either played straight or expected by at least one character to be played straight.
See also This Is Reality, which this trope generally invokes.
Do not mix up with Disgust Tropes.
- Early on in Naruto other Leaf Gennin remark that Naruto would make for a crappy hero because he's a loudmouth and an idiot. At other times people such as Kiba, who have been beaten by Naruto, remark that he has a lot of Hidden Depths and a talent for attracting allies with his idealistic outlook on life.
- Tropes are often discussed in Lucky Star. This is understandable since one of the main characters is an Otaku Surrogate.
- Haruhi Suzumiya. Since the eponymous character is a Genre Savvy Reality Warper without her knowledge, This Is Reality never occurs. She also discusses tropes while deliberately invoking them, for example while selecting personalities for SOS Brigade, or giving Mikuru a Moe makeover.
- In Fullmetal Alchemist, Colonel Mustang points out to Lt. Hughes that if he was in a war story, talking so much about how much he misses his family, while on the battlefield, would be a surefire way to get killed.
- Especially ironic because Lt. Hughes falls victim to that very same trope. Apparently it's not just on the battlefield.
- Defiled Forever is discussed in Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest, as a consequence of Aoshika (a woman who had already been sexually abused in her past) being kidnapped and gangraped by Haguro and his goons.
- A lot of tropes pertaining to video game mechanics and characters tend to get discussed a lot in Mahou Sensei Negima!, one of the notable ones of Rakan being a Game-Breaker. Naturally, a good chunk of this either comes from Chisame, whoever else is Genre Savvy, or will be mentioned in any extra materials.
- In Full Metal Panic!, Sousuke, Kaname, and Kurz find themselves in a Bolivian Army Ending-type scenario, Kaname and Kurz briefly discuss thetrope-naming movie (without naming names) and compare it to their situation. When Sousuke asks how it ended, Kaname says that you never find out and remarks that she always preferred movies with Happy Endings.
- Shimoneta: During episode 5, Tanukichi and Ayame briefly discuss the matter of Questionable Consent, in regard to Anna's lust for him. Ayame says he should be happy now that he knows Anna wants to have sex with him, but Tanukichi refutes the idea because Anna's sheltered upbringing has left her incapable of properly distinguishing love from lust. Then adds that even if he only wanted Anna for her body, he couldn't enjoy it anyway since she doesn't know anything about how sex works. Her parents never explained it to her and they've passed legislation that forbids even basic Sex Ed from being taught at schools.
- Used brutally in Black Orchid: the title character is captured by a Mook, who discusses Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?. He shoots her in the head, then sets her on fire to make absolutely sure she's Deader Than Dead. Good thing Me's a Crowd.
- Too Much Coffee Man: A character in a bar discusses how he has never seen a barfight happen in real life, and is approached by a man who says he is sitting on his jacket. He gets up from the bar stool to let the man have his jacket, and sits down as the man walks away.
- Issue 7 of Transformers More Than Meets The Eye has an interesting sequence where the Scavengers are resting around their campfire and proceed to discuss and wonder about various tropes and how they apply to the comic's setting. In particular the (rather grim) implications of the Status Quo Is God, Grey-and-Gray Morality, The Good Guys Always Win, Not So Different, and Forever War tropes are brought into light.
- When Storm and Jean Grey catch up in Uncanny X-Men #270, comparing notes about how crazy their lives are, Jean sums up how she spent a few years unconscious when she was thought dead.
Jean: I blacked out in space, I awoke in the Baxter Building, ages later, my whole world turned upside-down, the modern equivalent of Rip Van Winkle.
- In Episode 48 of Dragon Ball Z Abridged, Semi-Perfect Cell approaches the collapsed Tien, who had just used up all his energy preventing him from getting Androids 18 and 16, and lampshades what he believes will be Tien's Famous Last Words. A barely-conscious Tien immediately cracks back with a different set:
Cell: You know, if you want my personal opinion, "Kikōhō" is a pretty sad choice of last words. But to be fair, it's far from the worst decision you've made today!
Tien: Kikō-f*ck yourself !
Cell: Aw, see? That's the spirit.
- All associated tropes would then be averted when Goku teleports in and extracts Tien and Piccolo.
- As a Haruhi/Tvtropes fanfic, this is a mainstay of Kyon: Big Damn Hero. One notable example is when Kyon discusses Those Two Guys with Taniguchi and Kunikuda. Later, Haruhi, Mikuru, and Koizumi discuss Oblivious to Love in front of Kyon. He still doesn't get it.
- Power Games has Hayate and Chikaze discussing the Zombie Apocalypse and most of its associated tropes.
Hayate: First off, the most important thing is to notice that there are zombies. That's really crucial. Underline that.
- Prince Vince and Donny Juice discuss Love Triangles and Triang Relations in Sleeping Beetle. Notably, Vince explains the latter to Donny as being something he learned about while browsing This Very Wiki, although he doesn't reference it by name; he describes it as being "where all manner of storytelling devices are explored and explained."
- Per Volar Su Nata:
Hermione: We're not going to have one of those misunderstandings? You know, when you guys fight each other to the death believing the other guy's a villain or something?
Rachel: She has a point, Robin. How many times have members of the League, or of the Titans for that matter, clashed over a misunderstanding when they first met?
Robin: If that really was the case, Rachel, by that logic I should have been fighting with Harry the moment we walked in the door like a jealous psycho ex-boyfriend.
- Adventures in Dimension Hopping:
Jonathan: When Anya eventually dumps you because you won't stop panting after Buffy, is it okay if I ask her out?
Xander: No, you can't, because I'm not going to let that happen. No panting. It ends here.
Andrew: Probably a wise decision. Fantasizing about a girl with superpowers is probably a lot more fun than the reality. She patted me on the arm and it really hurt. I'm almost afraid to know what might happen if you were, you know.
Jonathan: Yeah. She might pop your wiener right off.
- In the Total Drama fanfic Lunch Date With A Goth An Indie Chick And A Wide Eyed Bubble Boy, Single Woman Seeks Good Man is discussed. Gwen and Zoey tell Cameron that any girl dating him will be lucky, as he's a smart, nice, and overall decent guy.
- In The Ilvermorny Champion Snape sneezes and promptly states that someone somewhere is talking about him. When he sneezes again he proclaims that whoever it is must be saying bad things. The rest of the Hogwarts staff laugh it off.
- Cat-Ra Dirty Coward is discussed. Adora eventually comes to this conclusion about Catra in her own version of the iconic scene from "Promise," believing Catra was never a true friend and always ran when they got in trouble, leaving her to take the rap.
- Collated Accounts of the Infinity Train: A summary Blue-and-Orange Morality is discussed. Lake's interview has her harshly criticize the train's method of helping people, while even Tulip's more favorable view has her admit to being unnerved by it.
You dont get to just kidnap people because you want them to work through their baggage!
- He Never Told You In Spite of a Nail is discussed. Grace wonders if Simon would still be alive if he hadn't gotten on the train. The Cat points out that if Simon hadn't gotten on the train, there's no guarantee he'd have been any better off, due to how stubborn he was.
- Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail: When Chloe decides to run away, she brings up the Free-Range Children trope because 10-year-old kids in the Pokémon world essentially leave home so why shouldn't she?
- Talia brings up the Bumbling Dad trope when it comes to how her husband is, while not that bad of a parent, is probably not "going to get a 'World's Best Dad' mug from Chloe on Father's Day. This comes from the author thinking that Professor Cerise was oblivious to his daughter's insecurities.
- Galaxy Quest does this frequently, mainly using the character of Guy, an actor who never quite got over how he played a Red Shirt in the series:
"I'm not even supposed to be here; I'm just 'Crewman Number Six.' I'm expendable. I'm the guy in the episode who dies to prove how serious the situation is!"
- Beverly Hills Cop features a Played for Laughs discussion of Bolivian Army Ending, during the final shootout with the Big Bad's goons. Of course, the scene doesn't actually end this way, making it a parody as well.
Rosewood: You know what I keep thinking about? You know the end of Butch Cassidy? Redford and Newman are almost out of ammunition, and the whole Bolivian army is out- out in front of this little hut?
Taggart: Billy, I'm gonna make you pay for this.
- The Boondock Saints pull this measure during a shopping scene where one character impedes himself with a large length of rope, because people in the movies always have it and always need it. Lampshaded later on.
- Magnolia has the memorable scene where Phil Parma is on the phone trying to track down the estranged son of his dying patient.
Phil: I know this sounds silly, and I know that I might sound ridiculous...like this is the scene of the movie...where the guy is trying to get a hold of the long-lost son, y'know, but this is that scene. This is that scene. And I think they have those scenes in movies because they're true. Y'know, because they really happen. And you gotta believe me, this is really happening. I mean, I can give you my number and you can go check with whoever you gotta check with and call me back. But do not leave me hanging on this. Please. I'm just — please. See...this is the scene of the movie where you help me out.
- In Nancy Drew, an actor playing a detective on a TV series set in the 1950s (Bruce Willis in a cameo) notes they have police in the show give Miranda warnings, which didn't come about until 1966.
- This is a staple of the Scream franchise.
- In A Brother's Price, Jerin is disappointed by the quarters his family is given in the palace. He would have expected at least a secret passageway, like in the adventure novels. His room, however, is surrounded by windows, and the only door leads to the rooms where his sisters sleep. Later on, Ren shows him a secret passageway. There is one, but it's only in the husband's quarters of the palace, not in the guest rooms. Of course, it would be foolish to put their honoured guest in a room with a secret passageway by which a stranger could enter the room; Jerin saved one of the princesses, and putting him at risk of being abducted by a set of sisters who are desperate for a husband ... would not reflect positively on the royal family.
- In Masques, Aralorn, when trying to convince her friend to take her with him on a dangerous mission, points out that she's not one of those women who get in the way by always needing to be saved.
- The Lord Peter Wimsey stories tends to feature dialogue in which somebody discussing "If this were a mystery story " Particularly common when his Love Interest Harriet Vane is present, as she is a writer of mystery stories.
- Discworld and Discussed Tropes go together like dwarves and gold.
- In Sourcery, an Evil Chancellor actually SAYS of some evil action he is undertaking, "I am the Vizier after all. It is rather expected of me."
- The later City Watch books, like Feet of Clay, will have Sam Vimes waxing on tropes like conveniently-located clues and the Sherlock Scan.
- This is taken to its logical extreme in Dr Hix, Professor of Postmortem Communications, who is contractually obligated to be mildly evil on a day-to-day basis, not to exceed aforementioned contractual standards. Will often loudly insist on this as part of Unseen University discussions.
- In A Hat Full of Sky, the trope of someone getting Three Wishes and having to use the last one to undo the problems caused by the first two is brought up as a plot point in regards to how the Hiver operates.
- The Black Jewels book Tangled Webs by Anne Bishop has a couple of examples, mainly because the villain is a hack author. Two characters who had been making fun of the author's cliché-ridden writing are trapped in a house that's trying to kill them while the author watches from inside the walls and records it all as fodder for his next book. At one point, the characters comment that in a horror story, this is exactly when one of them would be stupid enough to go into the cellar. As they're saying this, the cellar door slams shut of its own accord — if they had gone down the stairs, they would have been trapped. Later in the book, the (gay) male main character remarks to the female main character that this is the point in the story where they're supposed to have sex. They look at each other for a moment, and then the woman says, "So what do you want to do in the five minutes that would have taken?"
- Animorphs used these more than average. Especially common are references to the tropes of Star Trek — things like Rubber-Forehead Aliens (not used in Animorphs), or Frickin' Laser Beams (which is used).
- Robert A. Heinlein was particularly fond of having his characters do this, particularly ones who are established authors in-universe and who proceed to comment on the narrative structure of their own stories. The Cat Who Walks Through Walls is a prime example.
- Otherland, by Tad Williams, contains an elaborately drawn out discussion of the "Shaggy Dog" Story trope throughout the novels, triggered initially by the presence of a Bushman character whose tribal mythology is largely based on the concept, and later getting folded into the main plot by means of the Other's manipulations and the hidden agenda of Mr. Sellars.
- In The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm, Thrall realizes that the Horde is suffering from the What Measure Is a Non-Human? trope, as many of the young warriors started out killing undead in the war against the Scourge, and thus are somewhat desensitized to killing living opponents, making them more keen on going to war with the Alliance.
- Early in The Council of Shadows, Ellen says "I'm supposed to take a level in badassery, right?" in reference to her training for self-defense against Shadowspawn.
- The Lincoln Lawyer discussed the possibility of his client, Louis Roulet, facing a civil suit for the crime he's accused of even if he's not convicted.
- In Wings of Fire, Sunny gives a sentimental speech to the rest of her Five-Man Band right before the story's climax talking about how they love each other no matter what happens. Glory responds by saying that kind of soppy speech means they're probably all going to die.
- Veronica in Eden Green and Io in New Night are self-proclaimed tropers. Veronica refers to their fight against the secret alien needle invasion as The Masquerade, while Io compares one situation to a scene out of Tolkien.
- In Ravelling Wrath, Rinn and Yali discuss whether they count as Star-Crossed Lovers:
Rinn: Haha, yeah, how likely is it that we'd both be chosen? Everyone will think we're the star-crossed lovers for sure.Yali: Actually, I think we might literally be star-crossed lovers.Rinn: What?Yali: 'Star-crossed' means the fates are against us. That definitely fits. Ironically, because Rinn: But, don't you have to, uh, have sex, to count as 'lovers'?Yali: What? The word is 'lovers', we love each other, that should be enough! Besides, we're probably going to eventually, I, I, I Rinn: But by then, we might not be star-crossed anymore! This is very important!
- An episode of Get Smart opens with Max receiving the name of a KAOS spy from a dwarf in an otherwise vacant warehouse. Max immediately tells the informant that he was surprised that he wasn't shot dead right before revealing the name. Because of the surprise, Max forgets the name and asks the informant to repeat it. The informant is then killed by a sniper before repeating the name.
- The titular character of Castle does this CONSTANTLY. He's a big fan of CIA/NSA conspiracies, alien abductions, time travel, and in an episode where a murder victim has a butler, he would dearly love to say "The Butler Did It."
- Host segments on Mystery Science Theater 3000 were frequently dedicated to discussions that would deconstruct themes and tropes found in the movies the main characters were watching. The episode Eegah!, for example, has one relating to the Missing Mom of the film, and how it was a plot setup commonly used in television of the period. The Bots also lampshade the whole thing by pointing out they don't technically have a mom either.
- In a Boy Meets World episode Peer Pressure Makes You Evil is discussion. After Cory steals a bottle of whiskey from his father and gets himself and Shawn drunk and arrested, Cory's father refuses to believe that Cory chose to drink on his own and accuses Shawn of pressuring Cory into it. Shawn attempts to play into this trope and 'admits' to cajoling Cory into drinking, to get Cory out of trouble, but Cory rejects his attempt to take the rap and impresses on his parents that he chose to drink all on his own due to his own personal problems, and they can't always shift the blame onto his friends.
- This episode of Buttersafe, in which a boy without pants struggles to work out if the "Not Wearing Pants" Dream trope is being subverted, Double Subverted or played straight.
- An unusual example in Homestuck, in that the trope in question is only a trope in-universe. Karkat accuses himself of falling into a common pitfall of Rom Com characters, but the trolls' fourfold system of romance makes their tropes somewhat different from ours.
- FCG: DO YOU REALIZE WHAT YOU'VE BECOME? YOU ARE THE SAD JOKE CHARACTER IN THE ROMCOM, YOU KNOW THE GUY I'M TALKING ABOUT.FCG: WHO'S GREEDY AND INDISCRIMINATE ABOUT FILLING EVERY QUADRANT, TOTALLY OBLIVIOUS TO IT, AND IN THE END HAS FUCKALL TO SHOW FOR IT.
- A fairly early strip in Housepets! features a discussion between main character Peanut and three farm horses regarding the Sliding Scale of Animal Communication, with a dash of Carnivore Confusion toward the end:
Action Replay: Hey City Dog, how come you didn't want to come riding with yer cat friend?
Peanut: Uh, that's complicated. I guess I didn't expect domesticated ungulates to be so...expressive?
Action Replay: We get that a lot from city pets
Money for Nothing: They come down and expect all hoofed animals to be blithering idiots, don't know why they lump us horses into that
Made of Win: I blame the media—they keep portraying us as four-legged bicycles.
Peanut: (starts drooling) Well, no offense, but you guys do look delicious.
Action Replay: None taken.
Money For Nothing: We also get that a lot.
Made of Win: Now that I think about it, that's probably why your cat friend was so eager to go riding.
(Smash Cut to Grape sitting on the fence of the cattle enclosure, shouting at a cow)
Grape: Hey... Hey, I'm gonna eat your innards... AT LEAST GET A LITTLE INDIGNANT?
- In Knights of Buena Vista, when Mary and Adriana are discussing the backstory for Elsa and Anna (this is a Campaign Comic covering Frozen (2013)), Mary notes that estranged people who love each other, and have to overcome what separates them, worked in Die Hard.
- In El Goonish Shive, Nanase and Grace discuss Genre Savviness itself:
- The TV Tropes podcast On the Tropes is all about discussing tropes, as is the sister (brother?) show On The Rocks
- In an episode of The Batman, Alfred worries that "This time, the butler may indeed have done it" in relation to a series of robberies from the Wayne household. Funny thing is? He did do it, under hypnosis. This is discovered quickly.
- The Simpsons: In "Bart's Inner Child", Homer gets hammered halfway through an overhang by a trampoline.
- In the Code Lyoko episode "Sabotage", damage to the Supercomputer causes lots of bugs on Lyoko, including one that makes Ulrich's Avatar lose all colors. Playing along, he starts fighting a Tarantula Three Musketeers-style with his katana. (The French version also adds in a Shout-Out to Cyrano de Bergerac.)
- OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: The season 2 premiere opens with the characters coming back from summer vacation to a host of outlandish changes, like everyone getting new outfits, Rad having a ridiculous-looking fake tan, and Enid having taken up mime. K.O., who seems to be the only character who hasn't changed, is skeptical about all these changes, but Rad and Enid explain that a Time Skip is "a hero's rite of passage".
- In any episode of The Venture Bros. with Henchmen 21 and 24, it's a certainty that the Genre Savvy henchmen will discuss at least one trope.
- Ed Grimley: The police refused to search for a man's stolen car in favor of searching for Ed's fish. Ed commented to the man that, if that were not a cartoon, they'd be looking for the car.
- Phineas and Ferb: In "Excaliferb", Carl is telling Major Monogram a story. It cuts to a commercial break as the gang is falling off a cliff. Major Monogram points out that Carl left him hanging with that cliff scene.
- Steven Universe: In "On The Run", Amethyst gets a line in Steven's song that foreshadows her issues in that episode.
Amethyst: I wish that I could say there's no better place than home, but home's a place that I have never known.
- The Hollow:
- In Castlevania (2017), the generals of Dracula's court spend an entire scene discussing Cannot Cross Running Water. Godbrand thinks it's ridiculous, having both bathed and sailed on ships before (although Isaac argues that baths are not running water) while Carmilla thinks it's something to be careful about. While they are later shown to cross a bridge, wether or not they can use river crossings is ambiguous. Rivers of holy water pose a problem for obvious reaons.
- Glitch Techs The Freelance Shame Squad. Miko's older sister Nica is really paranoid about public appearances because every teenager is constantly looking for embarrassing moments from their peers to post on social media.