So you've just watched the Best Episode EVER, and simply have to add it on to TV Tropes. So what do you do? Add just the trope name to the series page... but while you're logged in you might as well put in a nice little description. But what about all those other listed tropes with no descriptions? It can't hurt to Entry Pimp it a little... Then there's the tropes listed themselves, perhaps explaining the examples there would help enrich that trope as well? And before you know it, an afternoon is gone. But that's another trope.
This is a Wiki trope, specifically a TV Tropes Wiki trope. This is the level of explanation given to each example in a "this show provides examples of" list. It's independent of the number of tropes listed. At one extreme is just a list of tropes; at the other extreme are paragraph-long descriptions that are dripping with either spoiler tags or dialogue quotes. In between these extremes is a trope listing of who is what - a character type followed by character name, or a plot trope followed by episode name.
It's notable that sometimes an example of a trope gets added to the trope page, sometimes to the show page, and sometimes both. Also interesting is when a show page has a mix of types - some tropes on the list get no description, some get the brief description, some get the long one.
Generally, Trope Overdosed series will tend towards no or light descriptions (but considering the fanbase, that's no guarantee of brevity). Perhaps sadly, little known series with small entries will themselves have little or no trope explanations. Additionally, newer released media, especially blockbuster movies or popular TV series and anime, will tend towards heavy density (as well as Natter and Justifying Edits, but that's another trope altogether) while older media will be lighter either due to a lower number of tropers having seen/read/played/listened to the media or due to fewer being enthusiastic about it.
The Example Explanation Density is usually a result of some of the following considerations, particular to individual tropers.
- A short explanation of how each trope is used or just the name of the character the trope applies to, unless for whatever reason the explanation is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- On the trope page, a detailed enough description that someone unfamiliar with the show can understand why the trope applies. (Note that sometimes - like for most Title Tropes and Naming Conventions - this can be extremely brief.)
- On the series page, enough to jog the memory of someone who is familiar with the show - generally this means just a character or episode name, or maybe a fragment of dialogue.
- Unless the series is really Trope Overdosed, both should exist, to aid in wiki-connectivity.
An interesting experiment for tropers who are sunned is: Charting whether dense descriptions on show pages mean less coverage on the trope page (since it's already covered) or more because of the Entry Pimp factor.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Episode recap pages tend to have paragraphs for every trope listed, with individual scenes serving as examples of several different tropes.
- Homeworld. At least 60% of the trope examples have paragraph(s) long explanation. Also, bonus backchat commentary on the commentary.
- Warhammer 40,000 has by far the longest page for any work on the wiki, as due to its Troperiffic nature and the fact it's so damn fun to write examples for, most of its tropes are paragraph-long explanations - in extreme cases threadmoded into separate examples. Through the efforts of a number of seriously dedicated Entry Pimps, it has around the same number of examples on its page and on individual trope pages.
- Saint Seiya has, through the countless otaku-hours of effort, Walls of Text on the series itself. All that's missing is a comfy seat and some popcorn for readers to actually "see" the show.
- Animorphs is getting to this point. It's kidlit, so we may be trying to justify its awesome to ourselves.
- Mahou Sensei Negima! has a long list of tropes on its page, and many have explanations. Most are only a sentence or so, although some are a bit longer. The series pulls out a ridiculous amount of tropes and Lampshade Hangings, so this probably has to do with connecting a single trope to many others.
- Blade Runner is well linked to other trope pages, and provides a happy medium of brief descriptions for those tropes listed in it.
- Power Rangers is just beginning to get to this stage.
- Monster is 99.9% this.
- Supernatural has just under 50% of its tropes with multiple sentences, and there are many with multiple lines.