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House Tropes

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Tropes involving houses and homes.

Orphanages don't count for this trope. Orphanage of Fear and Orphanage of Love are the only two we have, it seems.

Castle Tropes are related because they're basically the houses of Royalty and Nobility Tropes.

Home and Garden is our page for the television show genre about landscaping and home improvement.

Related to Home Base, which is a core location of some group or person's occupation, but they don't have to sleep, eat and house their family there.

Creepy Dollhouse doesn't go in here because no one is living in it.

Also not tropes for the television show House, or the film House.


  • The Alleged House: A dilapidated, borderline-unlivable residence.
  • Apartment Complex of Horrors: Apartment buildings that are unpleasant to live in, if not downright dangerous.
  • Arboreal Abode: A house in a tree—not a treehouse, but a house/apartment built directly into a living tree.
  • Big Fancy Castle: Humongous castles that are often hard to navigate and have plenty of show-offy things.
  • Big Fancy House: A very large house owned by a character.
  • Big Labyrinthine Building: A very large building or structure with lots of rooms, which are often difficult to navigate.
  • Cardboard Box Home: A character lives inside a cardboard box and considers it their home.
  • Car Meets House: A car or another vehicle crashes into a building. While the trope is often Played for Laughs, there are also works that portray the consequences seriously.
  • Ceiling Corpse: There's a dead body on the ceiling in a Haunted House.
  • Childhood Home Rediscovery: A character stumbles upon the place they grew up, opening up the floodgates for old memories.
  • The Con: A Con Man finds someone and tells them a story to get them to trust them, then runs away with the victim's cash. In this case, real estate scams are an applicable example of the trope.
  • Cool House: A dwelling with so many interesting/unique features that any "normal" person aware of its full capabilities would be either in awe, concerned about the owner or designer's sanity, or concerned lest the house fall into the wrong hands.
  • Destroy the Abusive Home: An abuse survivor destroys the place they grew up in as a form of catharsis.
  • Dingy Trainside Apartment: A cheap, unstable apartment building next to a railway that shakes whenever a train passes near it.
  • Extremely Dusty Home: A home caked in dust to show signs of age and neglect.
  • Gadgeteer's House: A dwelling owned by a Gadgeteer Genius, Mad Scientist, or Bungling Inventor which is filled with time-saving devices of their own creation.
  • Gingerbread House: A building made of food, most commonly sweets, and a stock location in fairy tales.
  • Haunted House: A house occupied by ghosts.
  • A Homeowner Is You: Video games that let the player buy and/or build personal property.
  • House Amnesia: Telling someone to leave a home while forgetting that it's their home.
  • House-Hunting Montage: A montage showing a character or group trying out different houses.
  • House Inspection: A homeowner tries to make their place of residence look good for an inspector's visit, only for their best efforts to be in vain.
  • House Squatting: A character takes up residence in a house that's not theirs.
  • Horrible Housing: A small, messy, cramped home that emphasizes the poverty of its inhabitants.
  • I Can See My House from Here: A character sees their house from a high place.
  • Let the Past Burn: The story ends with a fire destroying a building, along with all it represents.
  • Landmark Declaration Gambit: A house is declared a landmark and is legally protected from demolition, greedy developers and so on.
  • Living in a Furniture Store: In sitcoms, the characters' houses are always well-organized, clean and tidy, as if they live in a furniture store.
  • Lonely Bachelor Pad: An unmarried person's apartment is minimally-furnished and poorly-kept.
  • Mushroom House: A house shaped like a mushroom or fungus.
  • Non-Residential Residence: A character's place of residence technically doesn't count as a house.
  • Old, Dark House: A spooky old house cut off from the rest of the world, often serving as the setting for murder mysteries.
  • Playing House: A game in which young children take on adult roles, trying on adult roles seen around their homes.
  • Protect This House: A horror/thriller plot about intruders breaking into a home and the occupants having to fight them off.
  • Sapient House: A house is alive and has a mind of its own, and can think and act independently.
  • Secret Squatter: Someone is secretly living in an already-occupied house, unknown to its "official" inhabitants.
  • Sitting on the Roof: A character needs a good place to be alone with their thoughts, so they sit on the top of their house.
  • Sleek High Rise Apartment: A sleek, modern high-rise apartment overlooking a cityscape, usually used to demonstrate its inhabitant's wealth and/or power.
  • Smart House: A fully automated house controlled by a sophisticated computer AI.
  • Standardized Sitcom Housing: A stock house or apartment layout in a Dom Com.
  • Symbolic Glass House: People (almost always rich people) with secrets ironically live in minimalist glass houses, or houses with large glass windows.
  • Trashy Trailer Home: Trailers are exaggeratedly horrible places to live, and are almost always used as shorthand for a miserable life and/or poverty in fiction. While technically not a house, it still acts as a place of residence for characters.
  • Treehouse of Fun: Treehouses are typically portrayed in fiction as fun hangout spots, especially for children.
  • Trespassing Hero: The heroes are allowed access into an area that would normally be restricted to them, commonly a private residence.