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    S 
  • Savage Setpiece: The Zombie Pigman will even walk right up to you and look at you without attacking. When you attack him, not only does he attack full-on with his sword, but any other Zombie Pigmen in range come in swinging. It's worth noting that they deal some of the most damage per hit out of any monster; on par with wither skeletons and surpassed only by vindicators (aside from creepers). One blow can easily take off a quarter of your maximum health on easy. Wolves behave similarly to protect their own pack, but they can also be tamed, at which point they'll defend you from monsters. Endermen can be considered this as well, but they disarrange the environment and even consider looking directly at them a hostile act.
  • Savage Wolves: Wolves normally mind their own business and can even be tamed and used as guard animals, but if you attack a wolf, it and its whole pack go berserk and try to kill you.
  • Save Scumming: The only way to have incremental savegames - quit the game, alt-tab out, copy save folder, reenter game, reload save.
  • Scare Chord: The "ambience" noises in unlit caves could count as this.
  • Scenery Porn: Minecraft is unique in that despite its famous pixelated blocky graphics, it can still create some truly breathtaking scenery via its map generator. And the nature of the game basically makes it a do-it-yourself scenery porn generator. Just type "minecraft scenery" or "minecraft creations" into a Google Image search and see what you get.
  • Scolded for Not Buying: Villagers announce their displeasure rather loudly when you just flip through their offers.
  • Scoring Points: On death, a score is displayed that is determined by the amount of experience points you accumulated before dying. However, the scores currently do nothing, although the experience points can be spent to enchant equipment. Its only value is in hardcore mode where death causes your world to be deleted.
  • The Scream: The faces embedded in the Soul Sand texture found from The Nether. They don't really look like they're enjoying themselves.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: The promotional image for version 1.8 shows "Alex?", the Distaff Counterpart of "Steve?" introduced in this version, aiming her bow at the camera.
  • See Water: Water isn't too difficult to see through when submerged, the only problems being a translucent overlay and it being really dark underwater.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: Ocelots, silverfish, and various flowers such as bluets, peonies and allium are seen in Minecraft and almost nowhere else. Some of the named subspecies of tropical fish, such as the Dottyback and Red Cichlid qualify, as does mycelium, a type of fungus that grows in soil.
  • Selective Gravity: Only certain types of blocks (sand, gravel; partially, fluid blocks) are affected by gravity. Other block types are not, allowing them to float in midair. Sometimes the blocks that aren't supposed to float might still do so if they were generated that way. Such floating blocks typically fall as soon as you do something affecting them, though.
  • Self-Destructing Security:
    • Desert Temples contain a room with four treasure chests, each containing rare and valuable loot. At the center of the room, however, is a pressure plate linked to nine blocks of TNT hidden beneath the floor. One must tread carefully, because if exploded, the TNT will destroy the chests and everything inside, and probably kill the player as well.
    • TNT traps set to blow up entire bases are also popular on some servers. If invaders are going to steal all of your stuff, might as well give them one last "Screw You" and not let anyone enjoy your equipment, right?
  • Sequence Breaking:
    • Although the game has no preset sequence to break, it does have a tech tree that's fairly linear. Normally, making an obsidian portal to enter the Nether requires a diamond pickaxe with which to break obsidian. However, since obsidian is formed when water flows over a lava source block, it's possible (through clever use of buckets) to make a mold, fill it with lava, and solidify it into a portal with water, no diamonds needed. If you're really bloody-minded, you can even find a natural lava pool and destroy all the lava that's not in the portal shape by replacing it with dirt, then opening a hole to a pond/ocean above and let nature do its work, no iron (for buckets) needed either. Hope your stone tools are good enough to fend off Ghasts and Blazes! Even better, the chests in Blacksmith Buildings in Villages have a chance to contain obsidian, and you can use the "Skyblock" method with the Blacksmith's lava tank to light the portal. note  This method could theoretically allow you to enter the Nether within minutes of starting if you get lucky with Villages, and you could be facing the Nether with no gear on hand whatsoever!
    • To a lesser extent, trading with Villagers will get you offers for all sorts of different types of gear; if you're lucky (or just damn persistent) you can get access to quality equipment you normally shouldn't have at that point in the game, especially if you start near a Village and get your hands on Diamond tools before you even encounter Iron! You can also get other valuable stuff like Enchantments, Saddles, Eyes of Ender, etc. without having to raid a dungeon or enter the Nether for them, though you'll have to grind for resources in order to get the requisite Emeralds. Finally, the Village itself will probably have Carrots and Potatoes to save you the trouble of waiting for a Zombie to drop one, as well as anything else like Chests you feel like stealing from them because you don't have one yourself.
    • This used to be discouraged by the fact that the achievements tree required certain achievements to be unlocked before subsequent ones could be — if you didn't have the achievement for crafting a furnace, you couldn't get the achievement for smelting iron ingots. This had the big problem that it was quite easy to skip achievements even if that wasn't the purpose: one could skip the first achievement, which involved merely opening the inventory — a player could head straight for the nearest tree to get some wood, then open the inventory (thus getting the achievement) to craft the crafting table, thus preventing the player from getting the second achievement (getting wood) until much later. Now, as of snapshot 17w13a, Achievements have been replaced with Advancements which can be unlocked in any order, removing the primary consequence of Sequence Breaking.
  • Serial Escalation:
  • Series Mascot: The Creeper.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Enemies will switch targets if they are hit by another enemy, but will otherwise go for you. Handy if you happen to be chased by more than one enemy. Also, having a Skeleton kill a Creeper is how you get records. Easier said than done, since it won't count if the Creeper detonates or gets killed by anything else. It must be killed by a skeleton's arrow to drop a Music Disc.
  • Share Ware: The game is this now — unpaid users can play "demo mode", where a single map only lets you play for 5 in-game days before asking you to pay. After that, the map is locked until you pay.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Deserts. That "shifting" bit is taken more literally than some cases, as Sand blocks, like Gravel blocks, actually obey gravity (barring those created at world generation, which will float until disturbed).
  • Shoot the Medic First: In the battle against the Ender Dragon in the "end", it's more like Kill The Crystals That Are Healing The Dragon First... which is made harder by their annoying tendency to explode when destroyed. Oh, and did we mention that the dragon is effectively unbeatable unless every crystal is gone? And the fact that they're atop ~40-block-high obsidian towers? And the fact that, as of 1.9, some of them have iron bars surrounding them that you'll have to get rid of to destroy them?
  • Shout-Out: More than enough to justify its own page.
  • Shovel Strike: In a pinch, you can use your shovel as a weapon, though it doesn't do as much damage as a sword, or even other tools like the axe or pick-axe.
  • Shown Their Work: This could be just a graphics bug, but when you look at lava flowing down through water you can see it surrounded by a hazy light-blue glow. This looks very much like steam that should be created by boiling water as lava is flowing through it.
  • Sickening "Crunch!": The 1.0 update replaced the long-standing "OOGH" damage sound with an absolutely spine-chilling set of crunching, cracking, and gibbing sounds. Some of these are even given titles such as "Hurt Flesh.wav". Which also play for burning, drowning, poison, and other forms of damage...
  • Sigil Spam:
    • End Cities tend to be dotted full of Banners whose designs resemble black hourglasses on magenta backdrops.
    • Illagers have banners of their face that they proudly wear in illager patrols and pillager outposts as hats (along with additional banners on the outpost tower for good measure).
    • Taken Up to Eleven with Ocean Monuments: every single formed brick laid within its walls takes the shape of the Guardian's face.
  • Signature Device: Pickaxes and crafting tables, given what the game is all about: mining and crafting.
  • Silliness Switch:
    • Minecraft is available in a wide variety of languages: the default English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Arabic... Elvish, Klingon, Pirate...
    • Since 1.2, there's a one in ten thousand chance the title screen logo will say "Minceraft" instead of "Minecraft."
    • If you use a Name Tag to rename a mob to "Dinnerbone" or "Grumm" case-wise, their model will render upside down. If you rename a sheep to "jeb_", its wool will cycle through all of its possible colours to create a rainbow effect.
    • The options menu had, during 1.7 and 1.8, the option "Super Secret Settings". Clicking it played a random sound effect run through a filter and cycles through several built-in shader effects, such as flipping the screen upside down, applying a CRT television filter, pixelating the screen in a limited palette reminiscent of 8-bit consoles, or making the screen wave while every colour on-screen cycle through the hue range constantly. Sadly, the button was removed in 1.9, although the shaders themselves are still in the game.
  • The Simple Life Is Simple: Farming is much easier than in Real Life — for instance, you can make your crops grow on demand by adding bonemeal, and you can create healthy livestock out of mere two mobs. Somewhat enforced in this as in other video games, since games are intended to be, what was that word again, fun.
  • Simple, yet Awesome:
    • The fishing rod. Obviously used for fishing, but can also be used to yank mobs toward you (or off tall places), knock mobs back, reel in transports like boats and minecarts and (bizarrely) knock pictures off walls.
    • Bone meal, when applied any plant, will grow it to full size after a few tries. This allows you to create full grown trees, harvest them, then re-grow and re-harvest a new tree from the saplings of the tree you just harvested. Wheat farms (to feed livestock) can be fast-tracked for a large surplus (this is the least efficient use of bone meal, however). Melon/pumpkin stalks can be grown to full size instantly, and once grown as such will grow new melons/pumpkins extremely quickly (this part can't be affected by bone meal, though). Grass can be spread quickly to gather wheat seeds and flowers. Finally, you can even grow a single regular mushroom into a huge mushroom that can be harvested for over a dozen more mushrooms. Best of all, skeletons will almost always drop a bone, and one bone is three bone meal, meaning one night of hunting can net you enough bone meal to last a good long while. It was nerfed in 1.5, requiring around two to seven bone meal on tree saplings and around two to three bone meal on crops to do the same job, but this is arguably still worth it for everything except large fields of crops.
    • Torches. They are an absolute must-have when you go mining, and they're very easy to make. Not only does they help you see in the dark, they also decrease the rate at which mobs spawn. Falling sand and gravel can be broken by putting down a torch underneath them, thus preventing you from being suffocated, and therefore averting the Minecraft Safety Rule Number Two completely. Torches also melt nearby snow and ice, making them useful to keep skylights from being snowed over and lakes from freezing in snow biomes (only for a radius of two blocks, though). Placing a torch underwater helps to regain air while underwater, so you do not have to resurface for air and may even save you from drowning (the torch itself is destroyed upon being placed, though).
    • Donkeys and mules are a golden example. Sure, they might not be able to fit that snazzy diamond horse armor you plundered from the dungeon/temple/stronghold/whatever, but they're just as fast and durable as horses and you can easily fit them with chests for extra inventory space. Besides, the only thing you'd really need to protect your mount from is other players in PvP servers - you can easily run past creepers before they even hiss, dodging skeleton arrows and leaving zombies and spiders in the dust.
    • Ladders. Require nothing more than 7 sticks arranged in an H and are used for climbing up and down walls. It may seem faster to just jump and build below you for climbing up, and they're tricky to place climbing down (since you have to make sure you don't fall off the edge before you place it), but using them right can allow you to disregard the first two unwritten rules of Minecraft: Don't dig straight up or down. Digging up? They block sand and gravel, and if you're clinging onto them as you're digging up they may give you a few seconds to block off lava or water, and in both cases you can easily climb back down if things turn sour(if you have to dig away a pillar that could take time you might not have). Digging down? Cling onto the ladder until you can't dig down anymore, drop down if no lava was hit, place more ladders, hold onto them, repeat.
  • Single-Biome Planet: The game normally averts this: there are several biomes available, with varying degrees of probability. If you start in an arctic biome and don't like it, just keeping walking until you find a biome you do like (note: may take a very long walk). However, the 1.13 version adds the Buffet mode, which creates a world where a single biome is generated.
  • Situational Sword: You can end up with a rather specialized armor piece or tool depending on which enchantments you get on it, literally if enchanting a Sword. For instance, a Diamond Sword with Smite and Looting will be exceptionally useful for slaying undead and farming their Gold Nuggets and Wither Skulls, though average against everything else (then again, a Diamond Sword is still a Diamond Sword). A sword with Looting for farming Ender Pearls is better without Fire Aspect, since Endermen will run away as soon as they catch fire, making them more difficult to kill. It's a bit worse with armor, since it's possible to end up with a specific protection that's only encountered some of the time and it's faster to swap out weapons/tools than armor. Fire Protection and Blast Protection can be useful throughout all of the Nether though.
  • Slash Command: The game has these. For single-player, they are enabled by default in creative mode, enabled or disabled at world creation in survival mode, and force-disabled in hardcore. Servers have them enabled for all gamemodes, and server plugins can take them Up to Eleven with commands that remove all entities, spawn things like spheres, or make new worlds.
  • Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness: The game itself is level 6; even with the addition of the Ender Dragon, the player still has a lot of liberty on how to play the game. Most custom Adventure maps tend towards 1 or 2 if they have an actual plot. Wool collection maps are usually 3 or 4. There's a lot Survival Maps made which basically follow the basic rules of Minecraft, but add some theme or twist, like being stranded on an island, or being stuck in the sky, or something along those lines. These maps tend to be anywhere from level 3 to 5.
  • Sliding Scale of Undead Regeneration: The zombies and skeletons are both Type II.
  • Sliding Scale of Video Game World Size and Scale: The game handles this by using individual blocks to make structures and using procedural generation to create a near-infinite world.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: You used to have a chance of this each time you started a new world. Snow fell 24/7 and water froze to ice. Now there are biomes that look like this, with frozen lakes and snow-covered terrain, instead of raining in those biomes it snows, and a special variant of skeletons appears.
  • Slow Electricity: Quite a few contraptions end up working this way, but that's justified because it's difficult not to use a lot of repeaters in the not even electrical but "redstone" circuits as the power gets further away from the input.
  • Smashed Eggs Hatching: Thrown eggs sometimes hatch into a young chicken that is feathered and capable of walking immediately.
  • The Snack Is More Interesting: If combat goes on long enough, it behooves Steve? to eat something to boost his Healing Factor, whether it be a slice of melon, some bread, or an entire cooked chicken.
  • Sniper Duel: One of the achievements is called "Sniper Duel", and is awarded for shooting a skeleton from 50 blocks of distance. It's actually easier than it sounds, since most monsters can't detect players beyond 16 blocks of distance.
  • Snowlems: You can build a golem out of snow with a jack-o-lantern for a head. It'll wander around, spreading snow on the ground. It also throws snowballs at nearby monsters. The snowballs don't deal any damage directly (except for some nether mobs), but they'll knock the monster back and distract it, which you can use to your advantage whether you're trying to fight, flee, or lure it into a trap.
  • Socialization Bonus: There's an achievement gained by tossing a diamond towards another player. Thankfully, this can be done in single-player mode as well, since tossing a diamond at any mob that can hold items also counts.
  • Soft Water:
    • In early versions of the game, you wouldn't receive any damage from falling into a water block. Furthermore, water source blocks (but not flowing water blocks) would slow your fall, so you took less damage if and when you hit the bottom. A pool three blocks deep would be enough to prevent any damage, even at terminal velocity.
    • In more recent versions, an inch-deep puddle will completely negate all falling damage.
  • Some Dexterity Required: Many things require lots of clicks. Thankfully, you can hold a button down to mine.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Threatening Geography: Starts off with the Overworld, then the Underground caves, then the Nether, and finally the aptly titled End.
  • Sound-Coded for Your Convenience: Nearly every enemy makes its own distinct idle sounds. Zombies groan, skeletons clunk, spiders skitter and hiss, witches laugh, ghasts... uh, impersonate the sound designer's cat, and so on. The only exception is creepers, who, as their name suggests, are stealth-based and do not make any sound at all. Flowing water and lava also make sounds indicating that they are near.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The serene piano melodies that grace the game's audio only serve to make the tunnels to hell all the more horrifying. Even worse if your audio on the game happens to glitch horribly and distort.
  • So What Do We Do Now?: The bizarre ending sequence has two entities speaking directly to the player, praising their accomplishments in the game and suggesting that maybe their next adventure will be to do great things in the real world, too.
  • Space Compression: Although the map is theoretically infinite, the biomes are unrealistically small. The Large Biomes worldgen option changes this.
  • Space Jews: The Testificates, now known simply as villagers, are large-nosed merchants protected by Golems, which are just as large-nosed.
  • Spam Attack:
    • Archery used to be this before the Adventure Update changed bows to the "hold to draw back farther" system, requiring players to pause and aim shots more. To compensate, bow durability got buffed.
    • In the 1.9 Combat Update they removed the ability for all tools to do this; if you attempt to do so anyway you'll do extremely reduced damage until you wait for the cooldown bar to recharge.
    • It still has its niche when dealing with the newly (as of 1.11) introduced Vindicators; if you have a sword with the Knockback enchantment, spam clicking can keep the Vindicator too far away to actually be able to attack you.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Infiniminer.
  • Sprint Meter: Done somewhat differently. Your Hunger Meter (which can be refilled by eating) is made of ten muttonchops. If the top two aren't empty, you'll slowly heal. If three or less are full, there's no way to sprint. If it's empty, you take gradual damage which ends differently depending on difficulty—Half health in Easy, one HP in Normal, death by starvation in Hard or Hardcore.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: The game uses billboarded sprites for dropped non-block items. Dropped block items are rotating 3D models of the blocks. Less so after 1.4.6., where all entities are 3D. Some blocks like tall grass and flowers are two sprites crossing over each other, and don't rotate to face the player.
  • Sssssnake Talk: While not a snake, the game has creepers which hiss when about to explode. Although it's more like the sound of a lit bomb fuse.
  • Standard Status Effects: With the introduction of potions, many status effects were put into the game, such as faster speed, slower speed, boosted attack strength, health regeneration, poison, etc.
  • Status Ailment: A Status Buff potion can be converted into one of these instead by adding a fermented spider eye to them during brewing, a few mobs also give you these when they attack you.
    • Poison: Reduces your health until the effect runs out or you become a One-Hit-Point Wonder.
    • Slowness: Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    • Weakness: Damage output is reduced.
    • Wither: Similar to poison except it can kill you.
    • Blindness: Obscures vision in black fog and prevents sprinting.
    • Hunger: Depletes your food bar.
    • Mining Fatigue: Mines blocks and attacks slower.
    • Nausea: Causes Interface Screw by making the camera view wobble.
    • Bad Luck: Reduces chance of getting rare loot.
    • Glowing: Entities affected are visible even through opaque blocks.
    • Levitation: Makes the player float in air.
  • Status Buff: The game has several status buffs that are obtained from potions and using beacons. The stronger the buff, the more potent it is and they can be used on friends and foes alike:
    • Regeneration: Restores health over time.
    • Speed: Walk and run faster.
    • Jump Boost: Jumps higher.
    • Strength: Damage output is boosted.
    • Resistance: Increased defense.
    • Fire Resistance: Immunity to fire and lava.
    • Night Vision: All dark areas are lit up, though they are not actually filled with light, thus monsters can still spawn.
    • Water Breathing: Super Not-Drowning Skills.
    • Invisibility: Exactly What It Says on the Tin, except for items carried and armor pieces worn.
    • Saturation: Replenishes your food bar.
    • Haste: Mines blocks and attacks faster.
    • Health Boost: Temporarily increases your maximum health.
    • Absorption: Same as above, except the extra health can't be regained through regeneration even if the buff is still active.
    • Luck: Increases chance of getting rare loot.
    • Slow Falling: Decreases falling speed and negates fall damage.
    • Conduit Power: Increases underwater visibility and mining speed, and prevents drowning.
    • Dolphin's Grace: Increases swimming speed.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • Creepers have an irritating habit of hiding behind corners, under ledges, and outside doorways to ambush the player.
    • Creepers have a mottled green texture that, at a distance, can cause one to mistake them for cacti or the tops of trees. The word "creeper" can also refer to various plants.
  • Stealthy Mook: Creepers in emit next to no noises other than the infamous hissing sound when they are about to explode (or when they are hurt), allowing them to easily catch the players off-guard, and the fact that they are active at night only makes it worse.
  • Stock Animal Diet:
    • Cats are tamed and bred by feeding them raw fish. And in line with the "cats eat birds" rule, ocelots will go after chickens.
    • You feed cows sheaves of wheat to get them to breed.
    • Dogs are tamed by feeding them bones, although after that, they only eat porkchops and zombie flesh. And tamed or not, they'll gleefully chase after skeletons without waiting for an excuse.
    • The only livestock wolves will go after is sheep. On the other hand, they'll only try to eat humans if you attack them first, and if you stand near them holding a bone or porkchop, they will stare at it hopefully.
    • Bees collect pollen from flowers, which they carry back to their hives and transform into honey. Real bees make honey from flower nectar, though this may be deliberate simplification.
  • Stock Beehive: The naturally generated bee nests look like the usual golden-colored wasp nests seen in fiction.
  • Stock Femur Bone: Skeletons drop the classic femur bones.
  • Stone Wall: What anything under the effects of a Potion of Turtle Power becomes. Obtained by brewing Awkward Potions with a turtle shell, these potions give you Slowness IV(-60% speed) and Resistance IV(-80% damage) for one minute.
  • Stuff Blowing Up:
    • The famous Creeper, an enemy best described as a suicide-bombing leaf monster. On the players' side of things, it also features TNT blocks, which when placed in close proximity with one another (or triggered Creepers) can create chain reactions. Sufficiently large explosions have been known to crash the game and break the current world's save file.
    • Beds violently explode in a fiery ball when used in the two alternate dimensions.
  • Subliminal Seduction: The noises made by calm Endermen consist of "here", "hiya", "what's up?", "this way!", "forever!" and "uh oh!" played backwards, sometimes with the pitch changed.
  • Suicide Attack: The Creepers are a race of hostile green creatures whose main battle tactic is to run up into your face and blow themselves up. Or to run up behind you, silently, and blow themselves up.
  • Summon to Hand: Tridents normally have to be manually retrieved by the player after being thrown. The Loyalty enchantment allows them to fly back to the player's hand after they hit something.
  • Super Drowning Skills: In the 1.4.2 update, slimes could spawn at night in swamp biomes. However, they couldn't swim, so it was quite likely that they would jump in deep water and eventually drown. This has been fixed in the 1.8 update, with slimes now being able to "swim" i.e. floating to the surface of the water.
  • Supernatural Is Purple: Nether portals are made from dark purple volcanic glass and are filled with some sort of purple glowing stuff. They also suck in purple smoke, as do Endermen, whose eyes glow purple. Their dimension is also home to the Enderdragon, whose eyes and mouth glow purple, and floating pink and purple crystals that heal the dragon.
  • Superweapon Surprise: Villagers are incapable of defending themselves. The iron golems that patrol their villages aren't. Attack a villager and have a several ton golem bearing down on you like an enraged bear made of metal defending her cubs.
  • Super Weight:
  • Survival Horror: What Minecraft can be, due to the amount of Nightmare Fuel the game contains. It's especially evident in Hardcore mode, where you only have one shot; if you die, you can't respawn, and the world is deleted.
  • Survival Sandbox: A Trope Maker, introducing the Resources Management Gameplay, destructible environment and Item Crafting elements that would come to define the genre.
  • Swamps Are Evil: Averted until the introduction of witches, which always spawn on the huts located around swamps, and slimes, which now spawn in swamps as well as underground. From 1.13 onwards, drowned can also spawn on swamp waters.
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    T 
  • Tactical Door Use: The game zigzags this one. Wooden doors cannot be locked, while iron ones have one built in because they need power to open or close. Villagers can go through wooden doors at their leisure, sometimes making them Too Dumb to Live. Zombies alone of the hostile mobs can use doors... as in, they'll break down wooden doors given enough time (and only on the highest difficulty at that).
  • Tagline: Tons; the page image's caption is one of a set of many, from which one is randomly pulled every time the game's title screen pops up.
  • Taking You with Me: The creepers, which explode if you get too close. Though experienced players can get around them with bows and arrows, the strength of their explosions drive beginners insane and make miners paranoid.
  • Talk Like a Pirate: The 1.1 Update has an option to change your language. Naturally, Pirate Speak is one of the options.
  • Tastes Like Friendship: You can tame wolves by feeding them bones, and stray cats by feeding them fish.
  • Technicolor Death: While normally mobs simply fall over and vanish in a puff of smoke when killed, the Ender Dragon starts to explode and disintergrate pixel by pixel while shooting out beams of light.
  • Technicolor Toxin: Being poisoned turns your health bar a sickly green, and contracting food poisoning makes your hunger bar green. During both kinds of poisoning you also have green swirls appear around you.
  • Telefrag:
    • A possible method of death comes through Ender Pearl usage. Instead of landing on flat ground, the Pearl hits the side of a block, teleporting you inside the block and suffocating you if you don't dig out quickly enough. Also possible (though mostly restricted to mods or mini-games that spawn in blocks) is blocks spawning where you are standing.
    • Can also happen with the /teleport command. Players tend to give only the X and Z coordinates to teleport, leaving the vertical Y coordinate unaltered. This can result in them either falling from the sky or being buried underground, depending on where they were before.
  • Teleportation: The game lets you create portals to a hellish world (called the Nether) which you use to travel back to the surface again in an alternate-reality way. 1 block in the Nether equals 8 blocks on the earth-like main world and so people are using them to travel large distances. There's a similar type of gate that takes you to "The End," a floating island in a spooky black alternate dimension. These gates can't be built, though; you have to find one in the overworld and activate it with a bunch of rare items.
  • Teleportation Sickness: The player can throw an Enderpearl (dropped by the Teleport Spaming Endermen) in order to be teleported to where it lands - but it does 2 1/2 hearts worth of damage in the process.
  • Teleporters and Transporters:
    • The game lets you create portals to a hellish world (called the Nether) which you use to travel back to the surface again in an alternate-reality way. 1 block in the Nether equals 8 blocks on the earth-like main world and so people are using them to travel large distances.
    • There's a similar type of gate that takes you to "The End," a floating island in a spooky black alternate dimension. These gates can't be built, though; you have to find one in the overworld and activate it with a bunch of rare items.
    • Around the End, there are smaller gates that too small for the player to cross, although it's possible to throw an ender pearl through them, reaching another part of the End.
  • Teleport Spam: Endermen are capable of this, as once they become aggressive, they can continually evade your attacks and jump behind you. The ultimate example comes when it rains; as water damages them, they will run madly around until they either die or happen upon a sheltered location. On the good side, this also renders them harmless as they will not attack.
  • Temple of Doom: Of both desert and jungle varieties.
  • Tennis Boss: You can reflect Ghast fireballs with melee attacks, arrows, fishing rods, or even snowballs. Good thing, too, since they love to float out of range of your conventional weapons. Killing a ghast with its own fireball is the purpose of the achievement "Return to Sender".
  • Terraform: Sort of— planting lots of trees to ensure a healthy wood supply is an important part of the game, and if you're in a desert or a tundra it can come off as turning the wastelands into a forest. However, the weather patterns won't change, and creatures specific to your intended biome still won't spawn.
  • Terrain Sculpting: You can pretty much change everything you can touch, from creating a mountain, destroying it, then rebuilding it in the middle of the ocean. It's almost certain you'll end up flattening large portions of land to hold farms and such.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: One of the achievements, "Overkill", requires doing eight hearts of damage with a sword (actually nine in practice). Subverted in that it's just a name, since eight or nine hearts of damage is not enough to kill Skeletons, Creepers, or Zombies (works on Spiders, though).
  • There Was a Door: Thankfully averted with Creepers, who won't explode if they don't have a direct line of sight to the player, otherwise staying safe at night would be impossible without tons of obsidian.
  • Things That Go "Bump" in the Night: Hostile mobs will spawn outside at night, or in any area which sufficient shade to emulate nighttime light levels. You can mitigate this somewhat by lighting up your surroundings, but the only truly safe place is a well-lit and illuminated safehouse.
  • 30-Day Free Trial: Playing Minecraft on an account that hasn't bought the game yet will limit the player to 100 minutes (5 in-game days) of gameplay on a preset world, after which their only options are to reset the world or buy the game.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman:
    • Snowballs and Snow Golems in the End. Snow Golems, against any mob aside from Blazes, Endermen, and the Enderdragon, do nothing more than provide a distraction. Every mob in the End, however, is hurt by snowballs.
    • Shears are probably the most useless tool, usually being kept in a chest at the player's base until they decide they'd like a will monument or a nice overgrown garden and go out to start harvesting wool/ferns and vines. The only time shears will be remotely useful when spelunking is when you're going into an Abandoned Mineshaft and trying to clear out hundreds of cobwebs without wasting durability from your precious sword.
  • Thriving Ghost Town: A typical village generated in a world generally consists of a few buildings and a dozen NPCs. Not that this stops players from expanding them, or building their own.
  • To Hell and Back: When the player enters the Nether and leaves alive, more so after fighting his way through many Nether mobs.
  • Too Awesome to Use:
    • Enchanted Golden Apples. 9 blocks of gold (81 ingots), while farmable and not all that useful for anything else, is still pretty hard to come by. Moreso as of Update 1.9 (specifically Snapshot 15w44a) in the PC edition, where the crafting recipe for Enchanted Golden Apples was removed, meaning they're no longer renewable and are now only obtainable in chests found in Dungeons (3.1%), Abandoned Mineshafts (1.4%), Desert Temples (2.6%), and Woodland Mansions (3.1%).
    • Diamond tools and armor whenever you strike gold (metaphorically) in Enchanting. As awesome as it is to have a Diamond Pickaxe with max tier Unbreaking, Efficiency, and Fortune on it, it gets less awesome when you realize that repairing using an Anvil costs a stupid amount of experience each time (or even to re-name it). Repairing it will cost higher and higher until it exceeds 40 levels and cannot be repaired anymore, meaning it'll eventually break. Treasure it while it lasts! Can be downplayed with the Mending enchantment, which converts some Exp back into durability whenever you gain Exp, giving it some more longevity (and can essentially make an item infinitely durable if combined with max Unbreaking and an Exp farm), but the Mending enchantment itself, especially when gotten on a book, can also fall under this trope.
    • Until the 1.11.1 update, it was possible for a bow to have both the Infinity and Mending enchantments. With that update, it was no longer possible to combine them, but existing bows with both enchantments continued to exist... but are now irreplaceable, and thus are largely relegated to killing livestock (especially if they also have the Flame enchantment).
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Wolves fall under this once you tame them. A wild wolf has 4 hearts of health and low attack power. When you tame one to your side, its health is boosted to 10 hearts and gains a boost in attack power. It will also attack anyone you attack or attack anyone that strikes you first.
    • Zombies and Skeletons received several upgrades that make them more dangerous to fight directly. Originally, zombies and skeletons had simple AI where they would walk straight at you no matter what pitfalls that stood in their way. A patch upgraded their AI to walk around pitfalls when chasing the player and skeletons will flank the player should the player try to hide behind a wall. Zombies and skeletons also had their AI upgraded where they will seek shade under a tree or jump in a pool of water should they catch fire from sunlight. On top of this, there's also a rare chance that skeletons and zombies will wear armor (from leather to even diamond material and also a chance those will be enchanted) and zombies may spawn in with iron shovels or iron swords to cause extra damage to you. Skeletons may also spawn with their bows enchanted for even more lethal power. These mobs have come a long way from being simple monsters to ones that can cause serious trouble on par with a creeper.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: Well, more like Fortifying the Peaceful Village to prevent the zombie hordes from ravaging the place, as Villagers are completely incapable of defending themselves from anything.
  • Trap Door: The game lets the player construct trapdoors out of either wood or iron; normally the wood versions are just doors that can be placed on floors or ceilings, but when hooked up to a Redstone signal they can function in the more traditional capacity.
  • Trauma Inn: The game averts this trope by allowing sleep (if you want it) to pass time, but it won't heal even a single heart.
  • Treasure Is Bigger in Fiction: Big enough to make a full suit of armor out of 24 diamonds.
  • Trial by Combat: Notch once challenged Bethesda to a 3 vs 3 game of Quake III: Arena to settle a legal dispute (referencing A Song of Ice and Fire). Bethesda chose to ignore this challenge.
  • Trick Arrow: Arrows can be combined with glowstone dust to craft Spectral Arrows that make targets glow, or with lingering potions to craft tipped arrows that inflict status effects to targets.
  • Trophy Room: The addition of item frames allows you to build trophy rooms into your constructions.
  • Turning Back Human: For a given definition of "Human", you can turn Zombie Villagers back to their human selves via dousing them with a Splash Potion of Weakness followed by feeding them a golden apple, before waiting for a good period of time.
  • Tutorial Failure: During its initial beta run, the wildly popular game featured no tutorial and simply dumped your character into a randomized block world with absolutely no gear. It didn't tell you anything of what to do, how to play, or even how to craft, or what the crafting recipes were. For the months before Notch actually developed enough of a tutorial system to help players survive their first day, player advice for newbies was generally "go read the wiki" or "watch paulsoaresjr's videos".
  • 20 Bear Asses: Both boss fights have elements of this. The Ender Dragon can only be reached by looting enough Ender Pearls from slain Endermen to craft into Eyes of Ender with which to locate the Stronghold containing the End Portals (which the Eyes then activate). The Wither is even worse, requiring three Wither Skeleton Heads, which said skeletons only have a 2.5% chance of dropping (4% with maximum looting enchantments), not to mention the fact that you have to enter the Nether to find them and find a Nether Fortress where you also have Blazes and regular skeletons to deal with.
  • 24-Hour Armor: There is no reason to not wear armor if you can. In earlier versions, it was better to sleep with armor on, in case a monster appears in your bedroom that night; however, in 1.0.0, monsters being teleported into your bedroom if they're nearby (called nightmares) has been removed, although there's still no penalty for sleeping with armor.
  • T-Word Euphemism: One splash is "Doesn't use the U-word!" The consensus among fans is that the U-word in question is Unity, a common 3D game engine (Minecraft uses Java). As such, this trope is Played for Laughs here.

    U 
  • Unbreakable Weapons: As of the official release, bows break after 385 uses, but for a long time, bows were indestructible to offset the fact that arrows vanish whenever they do damage.
  • Undead Child: Baby zombies. They are just like regular zombies, except that they are smaller, faster and make higher pitched sounds.
  • Underground Level: Miles upon miles of underground caverns, as well as Abandoned Mineshafts and Dungeons.
  • Underground Monkey: The game has gradually introduced location-specific variants on their basic monsters. Cave spiders, introduced at the tail end of beta, are smaller (able to crawl through a 1×1 hole), bluer spiders that spawn in abandoned mineshafts and can inflict a poison effect on the player. Wither skeletons spawn in Nether fortresses, wield swords instead of bows, and can cause the "wither" effect (which is similar to poison but less severe and also obscures the player's health meter). 1.10 added Husks, zombies that spawn in deserts (where there are no trees to hide under) and don't burn up in the sun, and Strays, skeletons that spawn in icy climates and fire potion-tipped arrows that slow their targets. Finally, 1.13 added Drowned, zombies that spawn in water and can wield tridents.
  • Underwater Ruins:
    • Due to the way Strongholds are created on a map, it's quite possible you'll end up with one or more in the middle of the ocean, buried a few blocks below the sea bed.
    • The new ocean monuments in 1.8 are this. The thing is filled to the brim with water and is protected by Guardians. There's also treasure in the temple: 8 blocks of gold, more than you'll ever need, as well as being the only way to get sponges legitimately.
    • 1.13 adds smaller structures at the bottom of oceans that literally known as "underwater ruins".
  • Undying Loyalty: Weird version with wolves. Your tamed canine friends will never leave your side for long (unless you command them to stay put) and won't even retaliate if you hurt them. However, due to their linear programming to attack anything that attacks you, you can end up mauled to death by your own wolf-pack if you literally shoot yourself in the foot.
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: Want better stats for your horse? Be prepared to have to selectively breed the together the horses that have the most desirable traits. No other animal in Minecraft has genetics like horses do.
  • Unobtainium:
    • Diamonds. You have to go near the bottom of the map, usually near lava, and even then it's terribly rare. They usually only appear in groups of four or so. If you can manage to get a Fortune-enchanted pickaxe, you can get more per block, but it's still not that much.
      • Emeralds are even worse. Emeralds spawn only in Extreme Hills biomes, in around one block per 16x16x16 chunk (if that) and drop exactly one emerald per block (more with the Fortune enchantment, as above). Their only use is as currency when trading with Villagers, but then doing anything else with them would be extremely impractical.
      • Diamonds and Emeralds can both be found as treasure in Temples, making them a little easier to get. Just a little.
    • Glowstone. Just to reach it you have to get enough diamonds to make a diamond pickaxe, then convert lava to obsidian so you can mine it, and finally form that obsidian into a Nether portal. Once you're there, you have to find a Glowstone deposit hanging from the ceiling, build a platform so you can reach it, possibly build another platform to capture the dust if it's over lava (which is everywhere), and then mine it while hoping that some Ghast doesn't show up and blow you up (along with your platform). Furthermore, without a Fortune or Silk Touch enchantment to increase the yield or just take the whole block, you'll only get an average of three blocks for every four mined. There are other ways to acquire it (witches have a chance to drop it, and villagers might sell it), but they're much slower than the aforementioned method.
    • Obsidian, as mentioned above, takes quite some effort to obtain. You need a diamond pickaxe just to start. Obsidian is created when water flows over a lava source block (not to be confused with flowing lava, which creates cobblestone). While the properties of water let you infinitely reuse a single bucket to make as much obsidian as there is lava, lava is finite. Using it on a lava fall creates a single block. If you happen upon a lava lake, you can get a lot more, but lakes are several layers deep and you need to mine carefully to avoid losing the obsidian as you mine it, not to mention being careful not to accidentally kill yourself. You might find a few blocks of obsidian in village chests, but don't get your expectations high.
    • Somewhat ridiculously, melons used to be this. Melons didn't grow naturally, and their seeds were only obtainable from chests in Abandoned Mineshafts (or by buying one from a villager). While this doesn't sound like too big a deal, melon slices are a required component of healing potions. The 1.7 update makes melons grow in Jungle biomes, alleviating this problem (although not much, since jungles are among the rarest biomes).
  • Un Sound Effect: The 2014 April Fools Day joke was to add either these or onomatopeias (in a "durrrrr" tone) to every single action taken. Even ambient noise became repeated ad naseum, with bubbling sound of lava being replaced with "LAVA!" or the sound of stepping on stone being replaced with "STONE!".
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: Skeletons use bows (possibly enchanted) and may wear armor, zombies can occasionally show up wielding swords or a shovel an may also wear armor, zombie pigmen use gold swords, and wither skeletons use stone swords. All of these items can be crafted by the player, but until the 1.2 update there was no chance that the aforementioned baddies would drop their gear for you to take. 1.2 added 'rare drops', making it so mobs would occasionally drop the equipment they use, though it's usually in poor condition (though worth repairing via anvil if it's a decent material with good enchantments).
  • Unusual Chapter Numbers: Alpha and Beta releases had version numbers in the format of 1._____, eventually culminating in 1.9 prerelease 5. The "final" version of Minecraft is simply numbered version 1.0.0.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake:
    • In order to reach The End dimension, you need to activate the end portal, found in Strongholds, which only spawn 3 times per world. Generation bugs can cause the portals to be incomplete, and if all 3 portals are incomplete, you're screwed. At least, this was the case before an update made it so that there are 128 Strongholds, so now it's extremely unlikely you won't find one that is complete.
    • Before the hunger bar was introduced, there's a possibility of getting stuck in a 2 block deep hole in Bedrock. Normally, if you have a supply of blocks this wouldn't be a real problem since you could create a platform under you to escape. However, if you for some reason fell into this hole without any blocks, you better hope there's an enemy mob nearby that can kill you because there's no way you can respawn without death and Bedrock is indestructable.
    • At times, it's possible to start a new world... inside a hill (or, in Minecraft 360's case, underwater). Should this happen on Hardcore...

    V 
  • Vader Breath: Blazes are recognizable by their heavy mechanical breathing.
  • Vague Age: The player. Steve/Alex is clearly an adult, or else they wouldn't be left alone or have a goatee (Pre-Beta Steve only, often thought of as a smile). In fact, it's also hard to estimate both's age range as well, given that everything in the game is pixelated. However, Alex looks fairly young. Steve may be too, but then again, their faces are pixelated, along with the rest of their bodies, meaning they are very hard to tell.
  • Vancian Magic: The game uses a system similar to this with it's potions. All potions must be meticulously crafted to achieve very specific effects, and there is a limit to how many can be carried at once.
  • Vendor Trash:
    • Sugar cane could quickly become this if you had even a modest farm for it. For example, a 17 x 17 farm, using as much growth area as possible, produces nearly 7 full stacks of sugar cane (assuming you leave a one-block layer for regrowth). Once you'd made enough paper to get 15 bookshelves and an enchantment table (a bit more than two stacks), the only other use it had was to make sugar and enchanted books, and you would still have a massive surplus. Excess paper, however, could be traded to an NPC Librarian for a decent sum once you've finished using it to make maps or written books (if you feel so inclined). However, as of 1.11, paper finally has a invaluable use in the long-forgotten firework rockets, which are now used to propel elytras.
    • The only real buyers and sellers are Villagers, who'll buy some materials that you yourself can make practical use of, making this by and large averted, though some of them are abundant enough so that they can be worth more to you traded for Emeralds (wheat being one example). It's also worth noting that no enemy drop is totally useless, no matter what it looks like at first. Bones? Make them into beneficial Bone Meal or tame wolves with them. Spider Eyes? Save them up and you'll thank yourself when you start Brewing. Hell, Rotten Flesh can be fed to dogs safely once you have one and failing that, it could still be eaten in emergencies...
  • Vent Physics: As of 1.13, placing Soul Sand in water gives a makeshift version of this, creating a bubble column that will push players, mobs and items upwards.
  • Verber Creature: The Creeper.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The game "ends" rather aptly, in The End, an Eldritch Location filled with nothing but endless expanses of air, a background that looks like TV static, making it very hard to see, tons of Endermen, massive Obsidian towers, and the Enderdragon. There are lots of floating islands that can be accessed after killing the dragon, but it's still where the final fight takes place.
  • Video Game Caring Potential:
    • Tamed wolves. They'll kill for you. They'll die for you. It's in your best interest to keep their health up, especially since you can heal them with zombie meat (which serves no other purpose and is poisonous to the player).
    • The same goes for cats. They're adorable, and also serve as a handy creeper repellent. You can get quite attached to them, as long as they don't drive you mad by holding sit-ins on your bed and crafting table.
    • Befriending horses will gain you a very useful companion that'll let you traverse the overworld and scale hills and mountains far faster than on foot. Breeding them takes more resources than normal (you need 2 Gold Ingots' worth of nuggets for Golden Carrots just to get them in "love mode") but the resulting offspring can potentially be even better than their parents (i.e. more health, higher top speed, better at jumping, etc.)
    • Horses near a large ravine have a tendency to fall in. While nothing's stopping you from just ignoring them, there's a certain satisfaction in rescuing them, especially if you tame them to do so.
    • You'll feel very good after curing an infected villager. You're practically saving their life. As for villagers in general, you can go out of your way to fortify the place against zombie attacks and build more houses for them so they'll happily reproduce, something can be worth the effort as you get more villagers to trade with. To elaborate on healing a villager: not only does this require a potion of weakness and a golden apple (one of the best sources of healing in the game), it's filled with far more risks than your average zombie encounter, since a zombie in the middle of being cured has boosted attack power, and to make the cure worthwhile, has to be lured away from other zombies. Not to mention the fact that it takes forever for the cure to kick in, and that these items allow the player to cure one zombie apiece. Top it all off with the fact that the cure isn't even hinted at in-game (except inside a hidden room in the rarely found igloos, which don't even always generate), and it's basically ensured that the only players who'll pull off curing a zombified villager will be the ones who really want to. Heck, the reward for doing so outside of warm fuzzies is practically nill (you just end up with a regular villager), so the reasons for doing this are pretty much exclusively Video Game Caring Potential. You have to be a pretty nice guy to want to go through all of that.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • The game has a lot of cruelty potential for the imaginative. Want to run around punching chickens, cows and pigs? You can. It's also very possible to build complicated traps to use against the mobs that come after you with enough time and resources, and once you've got the right materials, it's entirely possible, depending on the environment you're in, to start a forest fire that engulfs an area the size of a large city in flames. Assuming you can bear to destroy your own constructions, there's even more cruel fun to be had creating, and then setting off a self-destructing base.
    • One version introduced the feature that if pigs die due to being on fire, they drop cooked pork. Notch in his twitter acknowledged this was probably bad. 1.8 added for cows and chickens to drop their respective meats and cooked variants if on fire, the full release adds the ability to enchant weapons with fire aspect...
    • Taken Up to Eleven with the advent of auto-generated NPC villages complete with villagers. There's also villages, populated by dopey, passive NPC villagers. The sadistic player can easily slaughter the inhabitants, burn the houses down, and if you're feeling feeling extra dickish, you can even bomb the ruins. Feel like being a jerk? Rob them blind! Set their buildings on fire! Set them on fire! Pack every building with so much TNT that nothing remains but a smouldering crater! They don't care at all. Unfortunately, as mentioned below, their Iron Golem protectors do, provided you attack the villagers directly.
      • There are Iron Golems to defend the villagers, but with enough firepower...
      • You can also confine all the villagers inside a tiny space, then build a special trap within the Iron Golems' spawning radius that kills them and allows you to harvest the iron they leave behind.
    • Using flint and steel to clear leaves can result in massive forest fires. Bad for the wildlife and wastes saplings, but convenient if you want to eliminate hiding places for creepers.
    • Making mobs, enemy or friendly, suffocate to death by making a block of sand or gravel fall on their head and prevent them from breathing. Death by suffocation is treated at the same rate as drowning underwater, i.e. very slowly, but nothing can be more pleasurable than watching a Creeper suffocate to death while being helpless. The player can also suffocate the same way but would generally be smart enough to just get out from under it.
    • Though it's more pragmatic than cruel, one of the most effective ways to get a steady supply of material that can only be taken from farm animals is to herd them into a pen, breed them, slaughter most of them, then repeat. This is especially true of cows, which can be a lot harder to find in the wild and provide vital resources for enchanting in addition to the best cooked meat available.
    • Beta 1.8 added Creative Mode, which allows you to spawn any item you want directly into your inventory, allows you to fly, and makes you invincible... except that hostile mobs can still spawn. Want revenge for all those times you've been killed? Now's your chance.
      • With spawn eggs, the player can spawn hundreds upon hundreds of mobs (or villagers, for extra cruelty) into a small area and kill them in any way they can think of.
    • That's just the tip of the iceberg; you can drop a kitten's parents into the void, then lock said kitten in a cell made entirely out of TNT and blow it to smithereens; you can place a chicken in a minecart, then proceed to push the minecart into a pit of lava; you can use piglets as target practice; anything to do with animals, especially babies, that doesn't fall under caring potential is usually this.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment:
    • Wolves and Zombie Pigmen never attack the player unless they are hurt first.
    • Naturally-spawned Iron Golems will attack you if you harm them or a villager in their presence. This is generally a bad idea, because Iron Golems have tons of HP and do a lot of damage. Unless you make your own iron golems. Those will never attack you.
  • Video Game Flight: In survival the player has access to the Elytra, a powerful though in-the-end limited form of "flight": essentially, it's a hang glider. Creative Mode subverts this and allows the player to fly around freely by double tapping the jump button. Interestingly, vertical movement is mapped to the jump (fly upwards) and sneak (fly downwards) buttons, and touching the ground cancels out the flight.
  • Video Game Time: A full day is 20 minutes. (8 of day, 2 of sundown, 8 of night (seems a lot longer...) and 2 of sunrise.) If you have two of one type of animal together, you can bop them each with a stalk of wheat, they breed and pop out a baby version in half a (in-game) day.
  • Video Game Tools: A central part, although you do make the tools yourself.
  • Violation of Common Sense:
    • Some aspects of Minecraft physics can create some of these moments for newer players. One example is fluid physics: you cannot scoop up lava/water from anywhere on the lava/waterfall, you need to remove a source block (i.e. a whole square of it, not just an incomplete one in flowing motion).
    • Creepers can be forced to explode prematurely by using a Flint and Steel on them. Naturally, you can't get away fast enough to escape the explosion, but forcing a Creeper to explode can be handy to blow holes into the ground/walls without wasting your own explosives or tools.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: The game allows you to dye your leather armor to any color you want, which can result in mismatched armor pieces or just something extremely tacky.
  • Virtuous Bees: Bees can provide the player with honey (which can be eaten or transformed into sugar) and honeycombs (which can be used to craft bee hives for more bees), and when they carry pollen they can pollinate crops and sweet berry bushes to accelerate their growth. They only attack the player if the player attacks them, or harvests from or destroys their hive, but that can be prevented by putting a campfire directly underneath the hive, and bees lose their stinger after attacking once and die within the next minute.
  • The Virus: Villagers attacked by zombies can become infected, if a village is close enough to the player, they may see them milling about with other zombies.
  • Void Between the Worlds: Anywhere above and below the spaces you can place blocks on the map is called The Void. Normally you can't get to the Void below the map because of "unbreakable" bedrock, but if you manage to find a gap in the bedrock, you'll find that the void is rather plain-looking, and that if you jump into it, you'll die within seconds. And once you go in, there's no way to leave.
  • Vulnerable Civilians: Villagers are utterly incapable of self-defense and are as good as dead if zombies come, moreso in Hard mode where they can't even cower behind wooden doors since the zombies will just break those down.

    W 
  • Walk, Don't Swim: Players may choose to do this when crossing shallow water, only coming up to breathe when their air runs out, as a way to save the hunger cost of swimming. Works even better with a Respiration-enchanted helmet. Inverted at the same time with non-aquatic mobs who constantly swim up when in water, even enemies like zombies and creepers that would benefit from sinking to reach a diving player.
  • Wall Master: Silverfish. They hide inside the wall blocks of Strongholds to discourage you from just tunneling through. Silverfish can also naturally spawn within stone blocks in the Extreme Hills biome, but they appear as frequently as Emeralds, i.e. very rarely. They're weak alone, but if you fail to kill one immediately, it may wake up other Silverfish nearby, resulting in a Zerg Rush that can easily kill you if they get a big enough swarm. (Note that it may wake up the other Silverfish. Don't assume you are now safe (oops).) Worse still, Silverfish blocks are visually identical to actual blocks and, as of 1.13, there's no way to tell them apart and mining them will instantly free them. Alternatively, a Silk Touch-enchanted pick can take the block, but not the Silverfish inside.
  • Waterfall into the Abyss: May appear on floating islands and can be intentionally created by the player using a water or lava "source block". However, both water and lava stop flowing when they reach the lowest layer of the created world, therefore it is advisable to build floating islands quite high for the best flowing effect.
  • Water Is Blue: Water used to be uniformly dark blue. An update implemented a biome gradient similar to grass, but outside of murky green water in swamps, other biomes all use shades of blue.
  • Weakened by the Light:
    • Skeletons and zombies are set on fire by direct sunlight, and torches can prevent monsters from spawning underground. Spiders become neutral during the day. Note that this is all determined by light, not time of day, so thunderstorms, even at high noon, will be full of monsters ready to eat your face. To clarify: Spawning depends on light level. Undead burning up, or spiders going peaceful depends on sunlight. Sunlight requires both time of day and exposure to the sky.
    • Averted only for the Creepers and Endermen, who are ready to party at all hours, but only spawn in low light like other monsters. They become more dangerous in the daytime, because the player gets complacent when there's not supposed to be anything roaming around, and Creepers can blend in with the sunlit vegetation (though not as much as they used to; see Real Is Brown above). Thankfully, in the case of Endermen, they are typically neutral unless the player looks at them directly (i.e. with the crosshairs).
  • Weaksauce Weakness:
    • Endermen and water don't mix. Not only does it hurt them but they instantly run away from it and it used to make them forget what they were just doing. This meant that if the player is about to be killed by one, he only needed to dunk a bucket of water on it to make it go away (this doesn't work anymore).
    • Creepers are afraid of cats and phantoms, and skeletons of wolves.
    • Blazes take a large chunk of damage from snowballs. Since you can throw snowballs like a machinegun, killing blazes becomes fantastically easy if you have a pile of snowballs in your inventory at all times.
  • Weapon of X-Slaying: The "Smite", "Bane of Arthropods" and "Impaling" enchantments make weapons more effective against The Undead, Big Creepy-Crawlies and Aquatic Mooks respectively.
  • Weird Moon: In the normal world, it's a square, it always comes up when the sun goes down and vice versa, and prior to Beta 1.9 it was always full. It was round for a short time (during a pre-release update). While moon phases occur, which show round sections of shadow moving across it (the one exception is the new moon, where only the outermost edge is visible - and about half as bright as on a full moon), the Moon is still always on the opposite side of the Sun, rising at sunset and setting at sunrise, behavior typically associated with a full moon.
  • Weird Sun: Also a square.
  • Whale Egg: In creative mode, any and all of the mobs can be spawned with eggs, even pigmen and ghasts and villagers.
  • When It Rains, It Pours: When the rainy weather comes, it rains intensely. Worse, if it rains during the daytime, monsters that would ordinarily die in sunlight don't, and can roam freely. Even worse, if it becomes a thunderstorm, it gets dark enough that monsters will spawn. The two good things about it are that it renders Endermen harmless (if rather amusingnote ), as they will Teleport Spam in an attempt to escape from the rain, and that tridents with the Riptide enchantment will become available. It also makes fish bite more frequently, though either fish in an artificial lake in a safe spot or watch your back if you're fishing out in the open.
  • When Trees Attack: The Creepers are mottled green, have multiple legs but no arms, and according to Word Of God their hide feels like leaves. This makes them strongly resemble mobile, explosive plants.
    • Notch has said that, were they real, their texture would be "crunchy, like dried leaves", basically meaning they're supposed to be concussive walking topiaries.
  • Who Forgot the Lights?: The game does this intentionally. As monsters spawn at lower light levels, the creator (Notch) wanted to encourage players not to simply blindly wander through the night or through dark tunnels, and to place torches as often as possible. A side effect of this is a generally scary atmosphere, especially outside Peaceful mode.
    • Though there are instances where the lighting for various covered blocks fail to take full effect and make the space within at a light level of 0. This can be fixed by placing or removing a block next to the affected area, causing a chunk update.
    • The brightness setting, which was added sometime later, can avert the trope. With the brightness turned up to the max, you can still see in caves with zero light, but it's still dark enough to partially cover up whatever dangers are lurking. You can also avert the trope completely by drinking a Potion of Night Vision, which makes everything bright as if the sun was up.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • Creepers, perhaps the scariest enemies in the game, are afraid of cats, and will run away the moment they see them.
    • A later update made it that skeletons are afraid of wolves, but it's more justified for them than for creepers because wolves can actually attack them.
    • Just like Creepers, Phantoms are absolutely terrified of cats, and will abruptly stop mid-swoop if one hisses at them.
  • Why Isn't It Attacking?: Zombie pigmen. Normal zombies, skeletons, spiders, creepers, just about anything else will attack you for no reason at all, but for some reason zombie pigmen are passive unless provoked. They fight in droves and have powerful attacks, so it's likely done to prevent rage quits.
  • Wicked Witch: The game added witches as a second ranged hostile mob in the Pretty Scary Update (version 1.4). They attack by throwing negative status effect splash potions (slowness, poison, damage, & weakness) at the player and use positive status effect potions (healing, fire resistance, & swiftness) to heal/protect themselves.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: A bit more literal of an example than most, which is half the appeal. Most sandbox games have some kind of goal, like killing monsters or scoring points, which guides the gameplay. For Minecraft, there's merely a handful of suggestions that hint at the different facets of the game. Everything is entirely optional, which means different people can do completely different things, and every style of play is equally valid. You can build huge castles or pixel art tapestries. You can explore near and far, by land or sea. You can grow wheat, melons, pumpkins, sugar cane, cacti, or various trees. You can mine for iron, gold, diamonds, redstone, or lapis lazuli. You can search for dungeons, either for the rare treasure contained therein or a chance to fight an endless stream of monsters. You can build machines with pistons and redstone circuitry. You can construct a sinister portal and invade hell itself, then turn it into your own personal network of roads so you can move quickly between each of your outposts. You can experiment with potions and equipment enchantments to give yourself an edge in battle or just make it easier to gather your favorite resources. There's even a dragon you can slay to get something resembling an ending, but you're free to keep playing afterward, and nothing really changes. You're invited to try your hand at all of it, and settle into whichever sort of gameplay personally appeals to you. And if that isn't enough, you can set up a server and play with your friends, whether you prefer to build cooperatively or wage war. And, of course, you can dig up an entire desert and make a literal sandbox stretching as far as the eye can see.
  • Wild Wilderness: Almost the entire map, the only exception being the NPC Villages.
  • A Winner Is You: For a long time, the game had no ending or sign of progression at all, living up to the true wide open sandbox name. When the game became a full version, players could go on a lengthy quest to gather materials needed to eventually reach The End realm and fight the Enderdragon. Beating the dragon got you 20,000 experience points and the player was left with a really long and pretty slow crolling text with two unseen beings talking about the player, having a very surrealist dialogue on existence and reality, followed by the credits.
  • Witch Species: As of 1.4 witches are now in the game, they are aggressive mobs that most often spawn in witch huts which appear in swamp biomes (although, as of 1.7, they can rarely spawn anywhere) they look similar to villagers but are a completely different mob. They have paler skin, pointed hats, a wart on their nose, and use potions to hurt you and heal themselves. And can be farmed for infinite glowstone, redstone, and other potion ingredients.
  • With This Herring: You're plonked down into the middle of nowhere in a world that's going to be crawling with giant spiders, skeletons, and creepers in ten minutes with nothing but your bare hands and expected to survive. In a rather more literal interpretation of the trope, you can actually chop down trees with fish. It's no harder than chopping a tree down with your bare hands, which is one of the first things you're expected to do when you start playing.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: Starting with Beta 1.8, you have a food meter that gradually drains over time. If your food meter is at least 80% full, you regenerate health. If it drops to 30%, you become unable to sprint. If it reaches 0%, your health meter starts draining instead. With the difficulty set to easy, your maximum health is effectively cut in half. On normal, you become a One-Hit-Point Wonder. On hard, you'll starve to death.
  • Wolfpack Boss: The Illager Raids operate like this, with a wave being marked by a shared health bar. You need to kill every member of the raid to progress, at which point the bar refills to signal the next wave. However, the bar does not equal the same amount of health each wave, as they get progressively larger and more difficult. On easy there are three waves, on normal five waves, and on hard mode there are seven waves.
  • World in the Sky: The End seems to qualify. It's a floating continent made of a type of white stone, with obsidian towers and is the home dimension of the Endermen.
  • World Limited to the Plot: Enforced in a meta sense. While the world is predefined by the seed it's given at the game's start, only those sections of the map that the player has already visited are actively generated and saved.
  • World of Chaos: Endermen, given enough time, will inevitably turn the world into something along these lines with their block moving abilities.
  • World of Weirdness: Common gameplay elements include zombies and skeletons, giant spiders, (sl)endermen, magic, ancient ruins, and interdimensional travel.

    X 
  • X on a Stick: Crafting. A torch is coal on a stick, a redstone torch is a pile of crushed redstone on a stick, an iron sword is two ingots on a stick, and a diamond pickaxe is three diamonds on two sticks. And of course, a fishing rod (two strings on three sticks) can be made into a Carrot-on-a-stick by crafting it with a carrot.
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    Y 
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: In the ending, the two Entities tell the player "Everything you need is already within you. You Are Not Alone You are never alone. You are stronger than you know"
  • You Are Not Alone: Minecraft's ending basically exists to say that the "true creators" are existent, you can see their thoughts, and they tell you that you did well and they love you.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: You can collect an item called Soul Sand, which is made up of screaming faces.
  • You Will Not Evade Me: The Fishing Rod can be used to reel in mobs. It's especially useful against Ghasts, which love to shoot fireballs at you while flying out of your attack range. (The Fishing Rod doesn't hurt mobs, but you can pull them in close and slash them with your sword before running. You can also get creative with them, pulling them into damaging obstacles like cacti or lava.)

    Z 
  • Zerg Rush:
    • Silverfish, if not killed fast enough.
    • If you have any tamed wolves following you, they will rush any mob that you attack or get attacked by. Normally one wolf is enough to make quick work of a Zombie or Skeleton, but against a very strong enemy (like an Enderman or an Iron Golem) they will keep swarming it and suffer some casualties if it doesn't go down fast enough.
    • The basic mechanic of the Illager Raids is this. They overwhelm the player in sheer numbers, murdering villagers and destroying crops as they go along, getting worse with each wave that happens.
  • Zip Mode: The game has railroads, teleporting Ender Pearls, and Nether Portals. It's worth noting however that the Railroads have to be set-up manually, Ender Pearls need to be thrown and have a habit of teleporting you far above your intended destination causing fall damage, and Nether Portals mean you have to navigate through the Nether, a hell-like dimension. This can be utilised by setting two Portals in the real world first, and then trekking through the Nether, which is often more dangerous than just trekking through the regular world. This is also possible through use of command blocks and an attached trigger.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: This happens every night in villages, with zombies being spawned into the game just for this purpose. Luckily for the villagers, they can repopulate and have an iron golem protector to counter this. Zombies are also infectious, and can create "testificate" zombies which are mostly functionally identical to regular ones. Zombie Villagers can be cured, though.
    • Unfortunately, prior to the 1.14 update, village population was determined by the wooden doors on buildings. For every 3 doors, the village supported one villager. This means that most villages had a "target" population level of 2-3, and would probably be wiped out in two or three nights if you didn't properly wall off/fence off the village by then (and, of course, made sure the village was properly lit). If you wanted a quick recovery from a zombie invasion, you needed to build more houses (and/or install more doors in existing structures). Thankfully, the 1.14 update instead made the population count rely on the number of beds at a 1:1 ratio instead of the funky 3:1 ratio of the old door system.
    • The 1.6 update added a wrinkle for Hard difficulty: every time you hit a zombie, there's a chance of another zombie spawning nearby. This chance is higher for armored zombies, who require more hits to kill. Combine this with the zombie's extended eyesight (they can see you long before you see them) and you can get overwhelmed pretty quickly.
    • The 1.7.4 update added chicken jockeys (a baby zombie on a chicken). Although the zombie can despawn (or get killed by suffocation), the chicken can't, as it's a passive mob, so you can sometimes find chickens inside of caves. Chickens that can lay eggs indefinitely. Any zombie that picks up one of those eggs will no longer be able to despawn, what means more and more zombies will progressively fill the area, as new zombies are being spawned and they're prevented from despawning through eggs. This has since been fixed.
    • Since 1.14, a village will occasionally spawn as a Zombie Village; no torches or doors, cobwebs are littered all over the place, and the inhabitants are all zombie villagers (if there are any at all). Presumably, this village type is the aftermath of one of these.
  • Zombie Gait: Zombies show that in action. Skeletons do it too, but it's probably because they carry bows.


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