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Usually, the Trope Namer for a trope provides the one codifying example to define them all. Sometimes, however, a trope is named after something that isn't itself a good example of the trope — or isn't an instance of the trope at all. Sometimes the quote sounds nice but it is in the wrong context. Oftentimes the trope is a variation on another trope and receives a name based on it.

Be particularly careful when linking to such trope pages, because they might not be what they sound like at first glance. (Obviously, any YMMV entry with a specific Trope Namer could be an example in the eyes of some viewers but not others; and some have actually been renamed because of it.)


Not to be confused with Just for Pun or Snowclone titles, although this is often caused by snowcloning the name of another trope. Also not to be confused with works that seem like the Trope Namer, but aren't really (Fur and Loathing was not named after the CSI episode, nor was Determinator named from one of Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters' Endings).

Then there are the tropes named after lines of dialogue that the Trope Namer never actually said.

Contrast Self-Demonstrating Article and This Trope Name References Itself. Compare Defied Trope and Non-Indicative Name. Also see This Image Is Not an Example. Is similar to Dead Unicorn Trope in the sense that both are about believing a certain trope is more prevalent than it really is, but is distinct in that these tropes have one specific moment that does not follow.


Oh, and don't bother listing this page itself, as then it would no longer belong (due to Russell's paradox).


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    Actual non-example trope namers 


    Renamed off the list 
Tropes that were renamed off this list:

    Partial credit 
Partial Credit (including cases where the trope happens, but not the way the name implies):

    Last two lists combined 
  • Actor/Role Confusion — Originally "Your Secret's Safe With Me, Superman", after a line from The Simpsons episode "Mr. Plow". Barney doesn't simply mistake an actor with a fictional character, but also gets role wrong as he refers to Adam West as "Superman", despite the actor being known from portraying Batman from 1966 tv show.
  • Adaptational Self-Defense — Originally "The Dog Shot First", the Trope Namer (via Memetic Mutation) is the infamous "Han Shot First" controversy from the post-1997 editions of the original Star Wars film (later subtitled A New Hope), where Han Solo's confrontation with Greedo in the Mos Eisley Cantina is edited so that Greedo shoots at Han and misses him at point-blank range, and Han shoots back in self-defense. But while Han may have fired the first shot in the original version, he only did it because Greedo was pointing a gun at him and delivering a speech making it clear that he intended to kill him; Han's life is clearly in danger in both versions, so the edit doesn't make his actions look particularly more justified.
  • Condemned by History: Formerly "Deader Than Disco". Disco has undergone a Popularity Polynomial, being seen more favorably by later generations whom have no memories of its backlash in the early 80s; see here for more information.
  • Cute and Psycho — Originally "Yangire", a term that was coined by fans to describe some unusual behavior of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, though this was ultimately not the case.
  • Damsel Scrappy — originally "The Kimberly", referring to Jack Bauer's wife from 24, who Took a Level in Badass during the season that followed the trope renaming and got Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.
  • Decapitated Army — Formerly "Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead", which refers to the Big Bad's armies dispersing when they are killed or defeated. The first time the song is in The Wizard of Oz, when the Wicked Witch of the East dies, is not an example, as the Munchkins are celebrating the death of an oppressor. The second time, when the Winkies sing it after the death of the Wicked Witch of the West, is a straight example.
  • Driven by Envy — Originally "Salieri Syndrome", after Antonio Salieri in Amadeus. While Salieri is deeply envious of Mozart's talent, none of his schemes to destroy him pays off and his claim that he murdered Mozart turns out to be a lie.
  • Exaggerated Trope — Had "Up to Eleven" fused into it. Spın̈al Tap's amps don't actually exceed normal limits; they're just labeled strangely. But Spın̈al Tap itself—which is described as the world's loudest band, and generally gets into antics well above and beyond any other—fits the spirit of the trope to a T.
  • Head-Turning Beauty — Originally "Hello Nurse". The character from Animaniacs was indeed stunningly beautiful, and got this reaction from Yakko and Wakko, but that reaction wasn't universal, more specific to a few characters.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick — originally "The Radar", referring to a character from M*A*S*H, who was this until Flanderization.
  • Replacement Flat Character — Originally "The Niles", referring to a character from Frasier, who was such until Character Development.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor — Originally "George Lucas Love Story", changed because most romance stories in Lucas films are not poorly written and absorbing most of the film (most of the time), and his famous example was just a Never Live It Down moment.
  • Sprint Shoes — Originally "Bunny Hood". Equipping the Bunny Hood item in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask did increase the player's speed, but many players elected not to use it for that purpose, since rolling is faster. Its incarnation in Super Smash Bros. does increase the player's speed and jump height, however. In honor of being technically correct, just overshadowed, it remains an alternate title.
  • Unique Enemy — Originally "The Red Snifit", referring to the only Red Snifit in Super Mario Bros. 2. However, in later Super Mario games where Snifits appear, red ones are much more common than other colors.
  • You Just Told Me: Formerly "Rumpelstiltskin Ploy", the trope is about tricking someone into revealing a secret via Reflexive Response (usually by pretending you already know). While the fairy tale Rumpelstiltskin's defeat was indeed a result of his speaking aloud his secret, he was not tricked into doing so and in fact thought he was entirely alone at the time.

Alternative Title(s): Trope Namer Is Not An Example