Things get misplaced. They still exist, somewhere, but the trouble is finding them.
It can be something as small as a character losing their car keys for five minutes, or as big as a species losing track of an entire planet for a thousand years. The thing lost could be a simple object, or a person, or the remains of a civilization, or knowledge, or perhaps even an ability. Maybe people are searching desperately for the missing thing, or maybe everyone has forgotten that it even existed.
Whatever its nature, expect that some portion of the plot will be driven by either the search for the misplaced thing, the struggle to adapt to life without it, or the consequences of its rediscovery. Alternatively, if the "misplaced thing" is a person, the plot may be about the consequences of being lost from their perspective.
For the purposes of this index, do not include tropes about things dying, ending, or being permanently destroyed, even if the word "lost" is in the trope name. For example, The Lost Lenore is not included in this index, because the whole point is that the affected characters know the Lenore is dead; they are not searching around as if the Lenore might be hiding somewhere. note
Compare and contrast with This Used to Be an Index.
- Dropped Glasses: A character drops or loses their glasses.
- Easy Amnesia: Characters who have lost their memories usually try to recover them, and frequently succeed.
- Failed a Spot Check: When you've lost something right in front of your nose.
- Follow the Chaos: You've lost track of someone who's The Jinx, but no worries, the next explosion or Bar Brawl or other chaotic incident will pinpoint their location for you.
- Key Confusion: You've lost the key you need among a bunch of incorrect keys.
- Last Place You Look: If someone loses an object, it will always be found in the last place they look.
- Left Your Lifesaver Behind: When you realize you've misplaced a crucial item.
- Long-Lost Relative: I didn't even know I had a great-uncle!
- Lost at Sea: A character or characters finds themselves adrift on the ocean, in trouble because nobody knows where they are.
- Lost Colony: When the mother city/country/planet misplaces some of its settlers.
- Lost Common Knowledge: Too many people forgot about this knowledge for it to be common anymore, so now it's lost.
- Lost Orphaned Royalty: What happened to the prince/princess?
- Lost Roman Legion
- Lost Superweapon
- Lost Technology
- Lost World
- Missing Episode: In cases where a copy literally cannot be found. (Legal issues or lack of distribution don't count.)
- Missing Floor: A numbered floor (often with numbers associated with bad luck) is omitted from public listings, such as on elevators.
- Moses in the Bulrushes: A baby is cast away by their natural parents and is lost for a while before others find and adopt him.
- Name Amnesia: There must be someone out there who knows my real name...
- Rummage Fail: When someone has lost something in a pile of other things, they inevitably pull out the other things instead of what they're after.
- Super-Sargasso Sea: A dimension where lost things go.
- Tropey, Come Home: Lost pets.
- Where's My Gun?: Right when enemies attack and you need your weapon right this instant, you realize you don't have it.