What about old tropes with new names?
How can you find the best but least linked tropes out there?
Worry no more: Trope Report: Holiday Mode is here.
Trope Report is a monthly newsletter that intends to showcase works and tropes from all corners of this website. It also aims to keep the troper hivemind updated with pertinent trope changes and discussions.
Happy Holidays! Christmas, Hanukkah, and other winter festivities are on the horizon. We hope that everyone has a wonderful time with their family and loved ones as we prepare to wrap up the year.
Wiki-related changes that have happened over the course of last month are major TRS decisions that have completely overhauled well-established tropes like Gainaxing, Overprotective Dad, Hot Scientist and Necessary Weasel. More info regarding those changes can be found in our Changelog section.
Not much has happened this past month, but we still hope that you'll find something you'll like in one of our sections.
Happy troping as always!
Tropes and Works
Obscure TropesThis section highlights older tropes that need a boost.
- It's time once again for Santa to travel the world and deliver gifts. This means he may show up in some unusual places. A Surprise Santa Encounter involves Santa, or someone dressed as him, making a sudden appearance in Japanese works before the plot resumes. These unexpected Santa cameos have been tracked since at least 2007, but so far, there's been only 47 off-page appearances to speak of. Why not see if you can catch one of these encounters while watching your favorite shows this year?
- Being a god sounds very appealing on paper... but be warned: Being God Is Hard. With having to rule over all of creation, constantly having to tend to mortal wishes and woes, and lacking any kind of breaks whatsoever, it's clear that the age-old adage "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility" also applies to the divine. While it launched in 2016, it has only 68 wicks, so why not spread the word of the daily hardships of the gods?
- If you don't celebrate Christmas, yet you are in the mood for takeout, your options are limited as everywhere is closed for the holidays, except for that one Chinese restaurant ready to serve some Peking Duck Christmas. The trope has been around for years, yet with only 67 wicks, it could use a good meal in the form of wicks.
- Sometimes you want to wish someone well during a celebration, whether it's for a birthday, anniversary, or holiday... except it turns out you did so on the wrong day. When that happens, you've made a Celebration Miscalculation. Originally called "Not Their Birthday" before TRS expanded the scope beyond birthdays, the trope still has only 51 wicks, and could apply to getting the date of a December holiday wrong in addition to wishing someone a happy birthday or anniversary on the wrong day. (Or if someone in a Historical Fiction work wishes Isaac Newton a happy birthday on the wrong day, they got both a birthday and a holiday wrong.)
New TropesThis section brings attention to recently-launched tropes that could use a little help to really get rolling.
- Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me? Perhaps you're feeling the Fiery Sensuality. Fire is often associated with passion, and this includes the sensual, erotic flavors alongside the Hot-Blooded ones. Thus, certain people associated with fire and heat can be quite flirty, alluring and dare we say it, hot. It's rather short on examples, having been recently launched on October 11, so wouldn't it be nice to light up the fires in the people's hearts in time for the chilly winter?
New Work Page SpotlightThis section covers newer work pages that could use a little help.
- "The Peanut Vendor" is an experimental stop-motion music video from 1933. Created by filmmaker Len Lye, the video depicts a peanut-selling monkey who hawks his wares while dancing and singing along to an English cover of the hit Cuban song "El Manisero". As the page is new, it could benefit from more fleshed-out tropes, an image, and a quote. The short is now public domain and can be viewed here.
- Forgotten Waters is a 2020 Board Game where players take on the roles of pirate crew members, working together to achieve a goal while furthering their own stories. Along the way, they explore their surroundings, fight sea monsters, collect treasure, and try to become the top pirate of the crew. With luck, this page will uncover a treasure chest of tropes to help it sail the high seas.
Older/Obscure Work SpotlightThis section is intended to highlight works that may no longer be in the zeitgeist — but that doesn't mean they're any less tropable.
- It (1927) is a silent romantic comedy that helped launched its starring actress, Clara Bow, into stardom, making her the original "It" girl. The film is a very loose adaptation of an article by Elinor Glyn. The plot is about a shopgirl who falls in love with a handsome, wealthy man and ends up in some sort of a Love Triangle with his dozy friend. The TV Tropes page for the film needs more tropes and wicks and a slightly better formatted description, so who is willing to give it the same love that was given to its renowned actress? Also, please don't confuse the film with a certain child-eating clown.
- Aisle is a 1999 Interactive Fiction title that tells the story of a man at the pasta aisle in the supermarket. The game will end after taking a single action, but it's through these that the player will be able to piece together a larger story. Despite boasting over a hundred endings, our page for it is pretty bare bones, and could use some love. As a freeware title, it can be played here.
Works That Need a PageThis section takes a page from the List of Shows That Need Summary. It is intended to spotlight works that people have been talking about enough to link around the site, but don't have a page yet. If the work page link turns blue after this, then we know we've done our job!
- Save Me The Waltz is a 1932 novel written by the fabled F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife, Zelda. A semi-fictional book based on Zelda's early life and her troubled marriage with F. Scott, it tells of the lives of Alabama Beggs and her alcoholic husband David Knight, who are obvious fictionalized versions of the Fitzgeralds, as they go through the Jazz Age. Despite the novel being a complete financial flop and receiving harsh initial reception, it's still intriguing to see the wife of the man who wrote The Great Gatsby going out of her way to write a novel and show that she's a writer in her own right. Thus, to commemorate that, let's save the novel a TV Tropes page, shall we?
- Despite their status making them very easily available for any prospective tropers, many public domain works don't have pages. For a short and Christmas-y example, take "Schneider Von Groots Christmas Dream", a temperance-era poem where a man's trip to another world gives him the lesson to not drink schnapps. As the poem is only several pages long, it would be perfect for any troper wanting to get their hands into making a work page.
Non-English Work SpotlightThe wiki may be in English, but that doesn't mean non-English media are any less important! This section focuses on works that may have a language barrier to deal with — but are worth it if you do.
- One of the UK's longest-running soap operas is, in fact, a non-English work. Since 1974, Welsh-language Pobol y Cwm ("People of the Valley") has followed the lives of the residents of Cwmderi, a fictional village in southwest Wales. Eschewing much of the sensationalism associated with English soaps, Pobol notably maintains a level of realism in its storylines. Many famous Welsh actors have appeared in it over the years, including Ioan Gruffudd and Iwan Rheon.
- Winter Days is a collaborative anime anthology film. Based on the poem of the same name by Matsuo Bashō, the film is comprised of 36 segments by animators from all around the world. Due to this, it doesn't have a congruent plot or any real dialogue, instead being a showcase for the beautiful visuals. Featuring traditional and 3D animation, stop-motion, puppetry and so much more, it's an experience worth going through at least once.
Creator Page SpotlightWorks would be nothing without the people who make them. This section highlights authors, artists, actors, musicians, and everyone else responsible for trope creation and proliferation.
- Jess Winfield is an American author and TV producer. Originally a member of the Reduced Shakespeare Company, for which he helped write The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), he later became involved in some Disney works such as Teacher's Pet and the Lilo & Stitch franchise as a voice actor and producer.
- Lab316 is a Japanese company that dubs manga and Vyond channels into other languages, including English. Some of their works have no page yet, and some of their pages, such as Revenge Films and Kanon's RomCom Mangas, could use some help.
This issue's featured image comes from (L-R, top-to-bottom) Wakfu, Food Wars!, Kirby: Squeak Squad, Last Window, Gourmet Hound and Hannibal, and illustrates Food Porn.
Whether it is to show a recurring pattern across media (like on Always Identical Twins or Most Common Super Power), or just to show different ways a trope can be played (such as on Weird Sun or Our Werewolves Are Different), collages are a useful tool when visually demonstrating tropes. Not every trope needs one, mind you — sometimes conciseness is best. But when a collage is proposed over at Image Pickin', it's always fun to see tropers recommend different variations from the works they like.
So with Food Porn (no, not that kind of porn) being a trope about food being visually gorgeous, it was bound to win on style, no contest there. Now then, without further ado, what's on the menu?
- Wakfu: Gobball stew, a Gobball steak on rice garnished with bell peppers and mushrooms.
- Food Wars!: "Roast Pork, Just Kidding" — it may look like roast pork on the outside, but it's actually some deliciously prepared mashed potatoes wrapped in bacon.
- Kirby: Squeak Squad: A slice of strawberry shortcake, a berry-topped snack so yummy and fluffy that Kirby went on an intergalactic adventure to get it back after it was stolen.
- Last Window: Roast chicken with fries and salad on the side. Best enjoyed at Christmastime with a glass of bourbon.
- Gourmet Hound: Confit byaldi, a variant of ratatouille made out of heart-shaped slices of eggplant, roma tomato, zucchini and squash, baked in a special sauce and served with vinaigrette.
- Hannibal: Pork loin with red fruit Cumberland sauce, accompanied with green beans. Possibly not human flesh.
Projects and Discussions
- As times change, so do the standards of what kinds of terms are considered acceptable. Words that were once considered okay are no longer considered that, and are now seen as offensive. Unfortunately, some of our trope names still contain such terms, or contain terms that were always considered offensive but were never dealt with. If you see a trope with an unnecessary offensive name, especially if that name is negatively affecting the trope's performance, and you have a better name suggestion or suggestion about the trope itself, you can bring it up in the Trope names with outdated and/or offensive language thread.
- It's the season of gift giving! Whether you got your gifts during Christmas or Hanukkah, you can share information about your new possessions you bought or received in Item Get!. Don't worry if you miss the festive season; you can also discuss any recent possessions anytime.
- Animal Title Index was disambiguated because it was determined that a list of titles with the names of animals in them wasn't useful. TRS thread here.
- Bitz Box was cut due to concerns that it wasn't tropeworthy, plus it wasn't thriving. TRS thread here.
- Black Sheep has been expanded to include outliers in tight-knit groups other than families, rather than only family members. This is due to being misused to refer to outliers who aren't related to other members of the group. TRS thread here.
- The Blog Tropes index was cleaned up, similarly to what was previously done with Fora and Wiki Tropes. TRS thread here.
- Blogosphere, Celebrity Blog, Flog, Link Blog, and Power Law Blogs were merged with Forum Speak because they weren't thriving.
- The last paragraph of Meat Puppet's description was moved to Forum Speak and replaced with a reference to the Forum Speak entry. This was because said paragraph was off-topic; the paragraph concerned an online term for a user who posts on behalf of someone else (usually a banned user), while the trope itself is an unrelated concept related to Mind Control and possession.
- The listing of Trigger was replaced with one for Content Warning due to the the latter being determined to be more fitting than the former.
- Caption Contest was merged with Audience Participation due to the former mostly appearing in works that are not considered tropable. TRS thread here.
- Continuity Editing has been made Definition-Only and renamed Video Editing Terminology, with its subtropes (Linear Edit, Non-Linear Edit, Offline Edit, and Online Edit) being merged into it. This is due to said subtropes lacking wicks, along with having tropeworthiness concerns on their own. TRS thread here.
- Dan Browned will be made Trivia due to the "claims of accuracy by the author" requirement involving information outside the work, and it will be renamed Falsely Advertised Accuracy. TRS thread here.
- Dark-Skinned Blond and Dark-Skinned Redhead have been disambiguated into various Personal Appearance Tropes because dark-skinned blondes and redheads were deemed to not be tropable on their own. TRS thread here.
- Delayed Seasons was cut as it was not thriving. TRS discussion here.
- Determined Homesteader's Children and Determined Homesteader's Wife were merged into Determined Homesteader because the three were determined to not be distinct enough to be separate tropes. TRS thread here.
- Doting Grandparent was redefined to refer to what the phrase "doting grandparent" usually means (i.e., very affectionate grandparents, such as those who spoil their grandchildren), paralleling the definition of Doting Parent, and the original definition of grandparents being friends with their grandchildren was merged with Intergenerational Friendship. In addition, usage of Grandparent Favoritism to refer to grandparents favoring one grandchild over the others was moved to Parental Favoritism, and the original definition of grandparents favoring their grandchildren over their own children (i.e., their grandchildren's parents) remained in place, with the description being slightly modified for the sake of clarity. TRS thread here.
- Dual Tonfas, Fighting with Chucks, and Sai Guy were disambiguated between various weapon-related pages because the use of a weapon is not a trope on its own. TRS thread here.
- Dug in Deeper was merged with Snowball Lie, its supertrope, due to the former's lack of wicks. The name was also determined to be too similar to Digging Yourself Deeper. TRS thread here.
- Gainaxing was turned into a Definition-Only Page with links to relevant tropes due to the prevalence of bad examples, while Misty May was turned into a redirect to it because of a lack of evidence that the latter is a real Fan Speak term, particularly because the page's inbound count was relatively low (especially compared to Gainaxing's inbound count) despite being made before 2007. TRS thread here.
- Horrible Judge of Character has been expanded to be more in line with what the name would mean in everyday usage (people who are too quick to trust other people), removing both the need for the character to grab the Idiot Ball and the requirement for the person being trusted to be villainous. TRS thread here.
- Hot Scientist was turned into a disambiguation page between other tropes because it was determined to not be a real trope. TRS thread here.
- Literary Necrophilia was redirected to Outlived Its Creator due to a lack of wicks, an unclear name, and complaining issues. TRS thread here.
- Man on Fire has been expanded to cover both Played for Horror examples (about a human body being set on fire being portrayed as more primal and visceral than an inanimate object being set on fire) and comedy-focused examples (about the idea of a frantic man running around while on fire being Played for Laughs). This is because the original definition, which referred to human bodies catching on fire more easily than in real life, was determined to be too narrow and possibly too close in definition to Made of Incendium (which is primarily for inanimate objects catching on fire more easily than in real life), as well as it being determined that a person being on fire (regardless of how easily they caught on fire) can have connotations that are tropeworthy in their own right. TRS thread here.
- Necessary Weasel was merged with Acceptable Breaks from Reality due to inconsistent usage that was determined to be redundant with other Trope Tropes. TRS thread here.
- No Pronunciation Guide was disambiguated between Dub Name Change, Adaptation Name Change, The Unpronouncable, Inconsistent Dub, Sudden Name Change, Viewer Pronunciation Confusion, and Alternate Character Reading because the original definition was defined in the negative by being about something that isn't in the work, while tropes are supposed to be about things that are in the work. In addition, there weren't any examples that didn't fit under one of the pages the trope was converted into a disambiguation page for. TRS thread here.
- Overprotective Dad was renamed to Boyfriend-Blocking Dad because the name made the trope sound broader than it actually was, leading to it attracting examples beyond "Dad doesn't want this guy dating his precious daughter". The old name was turned into a disambiguation page. TRS thread here.
- Personal Dictionary, which was previously turned into a Definition-Only Page by Fast Eddie via admin fiat due to complaining issues with real life examples, has been converted into an In-Universe Examples Only trope (with on-page examples being allowed again) after it was determined that in-universe examples don't have any complaining issues and thus could be reinstated while still keeping complaining in check. TRS thread here.
- Pinocchio Syndrome will be merged with Become a Real Boy due to redundancy between the two, with the latter name being used for the combined trope. TRS thread here.
- Playing Gertrude was turned into a disambiguation page for other tropes related to age differences between actors and their characters. This was due to redundancy, tropeworthiness concerns, and misuse. TRS thread here.
- Rare Guns and Rare Vehicles were cut due to concerns over whether they're tropeworthy, particularly due to their status as aversions of Small Reference Pools. TRS thread here.
- Shopkeeper has been disambiguated between various shopkeeper-related tropes like Friendly Shopkeeper and Super-Stoic Shopkeeper after the general concept of shopkeepers was determined to not be a trope. TRS thread here.
- Slapstick Knows no Gender is being merged with Slapstick because it was determined that "slapstick, but directed toward women" is The Same, but More Specific. TRS thread here.
- Sliding Bike Stop was merged with ReferencedBy.Akira and disambiguated due to redundancy with ReferencedBy.Akira and Badass Biker, a ZCE problem, and misuse. TRS thread here.
- The Slug has been cut due to a lack of wicks. TRS thread here.
- Starting From was cut because it wasn't thriving and the few examples it had weren't salvageable. TRS thread here.
- Stripped Drama has been cut due to a lack of wicks. TRS thread here.
- Surprise Creepy is being split into two tropes because the concept of horror moments in non-horror works (to be split off into Surprisingly Creepy Moment) and the concept of horror works disguised as saccharine works (to be split off into Disguised Horror Story) were determined to be distinct enough from each other to merit being classified as separate tropes. TRS thread here.
- They Fight Crime! was redirected to Wunza Plot due to redundancy and the former being a Stock Phrase used as a Pothole Magnet. TRS thread here.
- Trope Co. Trope of the Week is having its definition expanded beyond sports and will be renamed to Product Placement Name. TRS thread here.
- Undisclosed Native was merged with Non-Specifically Foreign due to a lack of wicks and overlap with the latter. TRS thread here.
- Voice Of Dramatic was cut after it was decided that it wasn't tropeworthy. TRS thread here.
- We Suck Less was cut due to a lack of wicks, with only one wick being on a work page. TRS thread here.
- Widget Series has been expanded to cover all unusual works, regardless of cultural differences, and will be renamed to Quirky Work. What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs? has also been merged into it. For Widget Series, this is due to it having an unclear name that led to misuse for what it was expanded to. For What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?, this was due to it being misused for creators actually being on drugs when something was made, along with attracting snark and Zero-Context Examples and being The Same, but More Specific to Widget Series's expanded definition (due to "work audiences think is unusual and blame drugs for it" not being sufficiently different from "work audiences think is unusual"). TRS thread here.
- Happy birthday to children's author and illustrator Mercer Mayer, best known for the Little Critter series. With a career spanning decades that's resulted in over 300 published books, there is much to draw from for adding a quote, an image, tropes, and more works to his page. Most vitally, the page lacks a description due to its original one being plagiarized.
- 8-Bit Christmas is a 2021 Christmas film about a father who tells his daughter a story about how he embarked on a journey to get a gaming console for Christmas when he was a young boy in the 1980s. Our work page on the movie is in need of a better description, crosswicking, and more tropes with context.
- Each New Years Eve, everyone waits for midnight to hit. You may say that we're waiting for "New Years O'Clock". Cue O'Clock is a trope that has been around since 2009, but with a low wick count, strange example sorting, a list of poorly written examples, and a stubby description, it's about time it gets the help it needs.
- Last issue, we welcomed the introduction of the new DerivativeWorks/ namespace, where adaptations of public domain stories were to be listed. However, we still have many pages under the original Franchise/ namespace that need to be moved to the DerivativeWorks/ one. If you would like to help out, come visit the Derivative Works/ Namespace thread.
- Trope subpages can be split off depending on how long they are. Some of the subpages, however, are not long enough. If you would like to clean any subpages that are too short, please bring them to the "Is this subpage too short?" re-merging thread.
- House of the Dragon, a prequel series to Game of Thrones, may have debuted this year, but because the work is part of a controversial franchise, the series' pages have attracted edit wars, complaining, disputable troping, and trope misuse. If you would like to help gain consensus on problematic examples, come visit House of the Dragon cleanup.
- FernandoLemon writes for Work Spotlight and Image of the Month. Same as last year, his Christmas decorations will be put up on December 8, as it's a national holiday in Argentina.
- War Jay 77 contributed to the Trope Spotlight and Pages Needing Help sections this month. She is also the Herald of Projects: Long Term/Perpetual, and spends much of her time refreshing on the forums, ATT and TLP for new things to respond to. She unironically enjoys Christmas music, but is always late when it comes to buying gifts.
- gjjones writes for the Project Spotlight section. He also frequently spends his time working on projects whenever they are necessary, cleaning up wiki entries and participating in the ATT and Trope Repair Shop threads.
- 𝕋𝕒𝕓𝕤 writes for the Changelog section.
- plakythebirb, currently overdosing on schnapps, usually writes for Works That Need a Page.
- Excessive-Menace writes for the New and Obscure Tropes section. They mainly spend their time lurking and editing the wiki, as well as participating in ATT and writing for the Trope Pantheons project. While waiting for his Christmas presents to arrive, she's reminded of writing their first entry for Trope Report last year.
- The Mayor of Simpleton wrote for the Changelog and Forumwatch this edition. He mostly participates in the Project Threads, TRS, Trope and Wiki Talk, sometimes ATT, and occasionally Image Pickin'. He is looking forward to celebrating Christmas with his extended family this year.
- callmeamuffin wishes to stand under the mistletoe during Christmas Day. For Trope Report, he generally writes for the Forumwatch, Project Spotlight, and Work Spotlight sections. Outside of Trope Report, he can be found in the Forum Games, Yack Fest, Trope Repair Shop, and Image Pickin' forums.
- Yindee is a contributor to the Pages Needing Help and Spotlight sections who likes buying Christmas gifts from small and minority-owned businesses.
- MacronNotes contributed to the Changelog section, Pages Needing Help, and the description this month. She spends most of her time on Wiki Talk, TRS, and other parts of the site.
- Berrenta assisted with the Changelog section for this edition, and is a guest contributor for this month's Obscure Tropes. When she and her elves are not dealing with TRS-related efforts, she makes sure your gifts are delivered on time.
- GastonRabbit started contributing this month to keep the Changelog up to date, since he mostly moderates TRS, and decided to start adding changes after giving the go-ahead to make them. He's also a guest contributor for this month's Obscure Tropes and is Dreaming of a White Christmas after not getting one last year.
- SkyCat32 is a guest contributor for this month's sponsor. Sky can be found on multiple project threads, as well as the Trope Launch Pad.
- Cutegirl920fire makes her return to Trope Report and contributed to the Older/Obscure Works Spotlight and Works Needing a Page sections this month! She simps hard for Marie Antoinette, all she wants for Christmas is Scrivener, and she's currently waltzing with flappers.
- Amonimus made the logo for this and last year's issue.
- Twiddler makes sure our grammar is in order.
- mickey96 added the Lab316 entry to Creator Page Spotlight.