For many tropes, having Real Life examples can be fun and sometimes even informative. However, these particular tropes should not have any examples from Real Life. Note that a work portraying real life is still a worksuch examples are about how the work portrays real life, not about real life itself. What happened in a certain conflict according to a certain movie or book is usually far less ambiguous than what really happened in that same conflict. Reality TV is similar: the amount of editing makes them separate enough from real life that the participants on the show can be considered characters (do take care to only trope what they actually do in the show itself, and not their offscreen lives).
Let's talk about what we mean when we say Real Life Examples. We mean saying that a person who is living or has lived, or an existing (or historical) institution, organization, political party, nation ... let's shorten that all up and say "real thing or person" ... a real thing or person should not be listed as an example of a trope.
In general, we trust people's common sense and ability to follow the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment. A trope is marked "No Real Life Examples, Please!" when we want to make sure that we are not saying the real person/thing is the example. Someone external to the wiki might be trying to apply the trope as descriptive of the real person, though, and as long as we can cite and link to where they made the attempt (attribute it, that is), then the trope can be listed. With attribution.
For example, let's say a Christian, a Muslim, and a Sikh walk into an internet café.note All three of them start editing TV Tropes, and they all start adding Real Life examples to Scam Religion. The Christian adds Islam and Sikhism, the Muslim adds Christianity and Sikhism, while the Sikh adds Christianity and Islam. Then they suddenly all feel outraged with TV Tropes, for having their own religion listed as being a scam. The big point here is that our three religious people have all presented the other religion as the example. Then a fourth person adds Judaism...
In a Useful Note page about one of the religions, though, Scam Religion might be listed as being attributed to the religion elsewhere, by a source we can attribute. It would also be great if we could also find an attributable statement of an opposing viewpoint and make sure that both statements stay on the page. There is a reason Edit Warring is a banning offense. One person trying to impose their viewpoint as the wiki's viewpoint just can't be tolerated.
Also, there are other types of tropes that we don't want real life examples of: sex tropes that focus on the sexual act or the sexual lives of people (as per The Content Policy), Morality Tropes (we aren't in the business of passing judgement on real people), any gossip or stereotype (TV Tropes is not a tabloid rag, and would like to avoid Stop Being Stereotypical-related flame wars as well), and any trope that is valid in fiction or other media, but is People Sit on Chairs, so common in real life that a section for them is unwieldy or downright impossible in real life.
Keep in mind that just because an example isn't in the Real Life folder, it doesn't mean it's okay. For example, adding "This mindset is common among users of Reddit and Tumblr" to the Web Original folder of a controversial political trope is a no-go, since the users of these sites are still real people. Same goes for non-fiction works: unless the work itself explicitly mentions the trope, you're just shoehorning your opinions into the article. And music examples should be about the music itself, not the musician's personal life (or death)note .
See also In-Universe Examples Only.
On this wiki, the markup [[noreallife]] will appear when editing any of the pages indexed in the pages below.
Pages where Real Life examples are not allowed:
- Morality Tropes
- Sex, Sexuality, and Rape Tropes
- Narrative, Characterization, and Plot Tropes
- Impossible in Real Life
- Too Common
- Too Controversial
- Gossip and Stereotypes