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These Tropes Are Fishy

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These are tropes about fish, both real and metaphorical. The hobby of fishing also counts.

Also sharks, eels, and lampreys are included because they are all types of fish. Sister Trope of Aquatic Animal Tropes. For part human, part fish beings, see Mer Tropes.

Unrelated to Infauxmation Desk and Subverted Innocence.


Fishy Tropes

  • Alluring Anglerfish: Anglerfish used in media for surprise value.
  • The Catfish: An individual of a game animal species, usually a large fish, that is a legendarily difficult catch.
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  • Cold-Blooded Whatever: Fish/amphibian/reptile hybrid animals.
  • Exploding Fish Tanks: Aquariums being common victims of collateral damage.
  • Fiendish Fish: Dangerous, sometimes outright evil, fish.
  • Fishing Episode: An episode of a series that involves the protagonists going fishing.
  • Fish Eyes: When a character's eyes face slightly (or even more than slightly) away from each other.
  • Fishing for Sole: Hooking junk such as boots and tin cans while fishing.
  • Fishing Minigame: Fishing minigames within video games.
  • Fish People: Fish-like humanoids.
  • Flying Seafood Special: Flying sea creatures.
  • Instant Fish Kill: Something happens to a water body which immediately kills large amounts of fish.
  • Jumping Fish: The presence of fish indicated by having one or more fish literally "jumping" out of a source of water (lake, river, etc.), especially when the characters suggest looking for food.
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  • Lamprey Mouth: A jawless mouth.
  • Legendary Carp: Carps in media, especially ones that pay homage to Japanese history, having mystical properties.
  • Megalodon: A large, prehistoric shark.
  • No Cartoon Fish: When everything is drawn in a cartoony style except fish.
  • Our Hippocamps Are Different: Horses with mermaid tails or other piscine features.
  • Painful Pointy Pufferfish: Fictional pufferfish seen stabbing things with their spikes.
  • Pike Peril: Pike portrayed as evil or vicious.
  • Piranha Problem: Piranhas portrayed as far more vicious than they are in reality.
  • Psycho Electric Eel: Electric eels portrayed as much more powerful/dangerous than they really are.
  • Seahorses Are Dragons: Seahorses associated with or tied to dragons, often Eastern dragons.
  • Seahorse Steed: Seahorses portrayed as the underwater equivalent of actual horses.
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  • Shamu Fu: Using fish as weapons.
  • Shark Fin of Doom: A shark's dorsal fin sticking above the water as an iconic image.
  • Shark Man: A character who's half-man, half-shark.
  • Shark Pool: A body of water filled with any variety of unpleasant creatures, including but not limited to sharks
  • Shark Tunnel: An underwater tunnel with transparent walls.
  • Slippery as an Eel: Eels depicted as sly, conniving, and untrustworthy creatures.
  • Swordfish Sabre: Fish rostrums used to deal damage to something/one, either by the fish itself or a third party.
  • Tailfin Walking: A fish walking upright on its tailfins.
  • Threatening Shark: Sharks portrayed as evil, vicious man-eaters.

Metaphorically Fishy Tropes

  • Always a Bigger Fish: When a big threat is taken out by a bigger threat.
  • Compliment Fishing: Calling attention to how bad something is in order to receive compliments.
  • Fishing for Mooks: The practice of whittling down a large group of mooks by only activating (“aggroing”) a small portion of their number at a time.
  • Fishing for Sole: Hooking junk such as boots and tin cans while fishing.
  • Fish out of Water: Someone in a place or situation outside of their experience or knowledge.
  • Give a Man a Fish...: Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
  • Gutted Like a Fish: Getting your belly slashed open, so your insides are on the outside now.
  • Heroes Gone Fishing: When the heroes take a break from their mission to enjoy some fun and relaxation.
  • Jumping the Shark: The moment when an established, long-running series changes in a significant manner.
  • Mobile Fishbowl: When an aquatic character brings water with them when traveling out of water.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: When a person who is normal in their home world is powerful in another world because of differences between the two worlds.
  • Red Herring: A misleading and distracting clue.
  • Replacement Goldfish: A replacement for a lost loved one.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: Trying to stop a big threat by introducing an even bigger threat.
  • With This Herring: When heroes embark on epic adventures...while painfully ill-equipped.

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