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Basic Trope: Stay on the path, or bad things will happen to you.

  • Straight: Bob strays from the path through The Lost Woods and gets lost and attacked by a monster.
  • Exaggerated: Bob steps a few steps off the path. Instantly the wood reconfigures itself to hide the road and every monster, beast, or evil thing within the entire woods comes rushing on Bob.
  • Downplayed: Bob can walk alongside the path, but if he gets out of sight of it, there will be trouble.
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  • Justified: The area is explicitly known in-universe to have many dangers. The path has protections against them (given that people use it) but anywhere outside the path, you're unprotected.
  • Inverted: Bob steps onto the path into The Lost Woods and a monster attacks him.
  • Subverted: Bob is warned not to leave the path through the lost woods. He laughs it off and strays from it to pick some inviting nuts. As he does so, he hears rustling in the bushes and...out pops a deer.
  • Double Subverted: But as he's laughing in relief, one of The Fair Folk arrives. On the path, Bob would have been safe, but off it he's in the fae's territory and it's able to whisk him away.
  • Zigzagged: ???
  • Parodied: ???
  • Averted: ???
  • Enforced: ???
  • Lampshaded:
    Alice: Whatever happens, never leave the path! There will be consequences.
  • Invoked: An Aesop Enforcer wanders the lost woods, placing curses on anyone who leaves the path.
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  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: ???
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???

Here's the path back to the main page. Stay on it.
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