Tropes, divided by period:
- Older Than Dirt — Predating the Greek alphabet (circa 800 BC).
- Older Than Feudalism — First seen between the invention of the Greek alphabet (c. 800 BC) and the fall of the Western Roman Empire (476 AD).
- Older Than Print — First seen between the end of the Western Roman Empire (476) and the invention of the Gutenberg printing press (1439).
- Older Than Steam — First seen between the invention of the printing press (1439) and the steam engine (1698).
- Older Than Radio — First seen between the invention of the steam engine (1698) and the radio (1890).
- Older Than Television — First seen between the invention of the radio (1890) and the start of mass television (1939).
- Older Than Cable TV — First seen between the rise of broadcast television (1939) and the rise of cable television (1980).
- Older Than the NES — Predating the introduction of the Nintendo Entertainment System in the U.S. (1985). A special cutoff date for video games, since they're even more recent than television.
A historical note: Several of the listed milestones in tropes existed well prior to the appended dates but either had minimal impact or were lost in later years. For example, movable type blocks existed in Greece around 300 BC but did not have the same impact on history as the Gutenberg Press. Older Than Print is simply short-hand for the more accurate trope name as Older Than The Widespread Adoption Of Movable Type To The Point That It Had A Widespread And Irreversible Severance From The World As It Was Before is rather difficult to type.
See also The Oldest Tricks in the Book, Older Than They Think, and Ur-Example. Contrast The Newest Ones in the Book, tropes that have existed for a short period of time (1980 or otherwise). For the oldest ones in the wiki, see the Time Immemorial Index. Compare Household Names, for fictional works so well-known, that it seems everyone knows about them.