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  • A Lampshade Hanging was originally supposed to mean when a trope is pointed out in an attempt to hide or excuse it (i.e., please don't look at this trope). Instead, this has come to mean, "Any trope that is acknowledged or pointed out by one or more characters as it's occurring, in any manner or context whatsoever." That would be Discussed Trope instead. It has gotten to the point that the entire wiki is considered to be nothing but hanging lampshades one after another when it's really Conversational Troping instead. Another misuse is saying that a parody or review of a work "lampshades" an example within that work — lampshading can only be done by the work itself.
  • The distinction between Large Ham, Chewing the Scenery, and No Indoor Voice seems to be blurred.note  In addition, apparently, there is little middle ground between Large Ham and Dull Surprise.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler, formerly titled "You Should Know This Already," is usually still potholed and linked as such to facilitate expressions of Fan Myopia. It's supposed to refer to promotional materials for a franchise which spoil prior plot developments, assuming fans are already familiar with them. However, it's often used by tropers to mean "I just spoiled something, but it's your fault for not having already seen the movie/show, haha!" It's also misused to refer to subsequent installments spoiling the twists in previous works, which isn't an example because people choosing to experience a franchise out of order know what they signed up for in a way that people just seeing an ad do not.
  • Left Hanging is when the story gets a proper ending but leaves major plot threads unresolved, not if the work was Cut Short or otherwise abruptly dropped.
  • A Lethal Joke Character is one that appears to be a Joke Character but has hidden potential that can make them dangerous after all. It's not any character that happens to look, act or generally come across as quirky or weird, but is clearly in line with other characters in terms of gameplay. That's Fighting Clown. One cleaning of the page almost had to cut half of the content.
  • A Lethal Joke Item is an item that is normally a bad in a gameplay sense, but can be made deadly in the right circumstances. Unfortunately, it's misused for weapons that look funny or goofy, but are otherwise just as good as others. That's Nerf Arm.
  • Lethally Stupid is oft misused for a level of characters stupidity confusing it with The Ditz and "Ralph Wiggum" back when it was around. The "Lethally" is literal requiring they actually get others killed or get put in life threatening situations as a result of their stupidity. If their stupidity instead gets themselves or put in life threatening situations that's Too Dumb to Live.
  • Let's Get Dangerous! is supposed to be "a moment in the story when all the quirky, eccentric supporting cast stops being quirky and eccentric and start demonstrating their real skill." For some reason, people keep confusing this with Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass. The fact that the Trope Namer is the show's main character, and a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass himself, probably lends to some of the confusion.
  • Light Is Good is for heroic characters or organizations with light powers, an association with holy powers and are "good" creatures like Angels or Unicorns. It is not any nice character that happens to wear white clothing.
  • Light Is Not Good is supposed to be for villains that use Light powers, holy magic, or are part of traditionally good creatures like Angels and unicorns. Similarly characters called holy or explicitly associated with light can qualify. It is not supposed to be for villains that happen to wear clothes of the color, white, especially when they're also a horrifying evil being like a Scary Skeleton or Ghastly Ghost.
  • Lightmare Fuel is meant to be Nightmare Fuel that is Played for Laughs. It is not just Nightmare Fuel in an otherwise lighthearted work, that would be a Surprisingly Creepy Moment.
  • A Lightning Bruiser is a character that is faster, stronger, and tougher than other characters in a setting. The first two traits alone aren't enough to qualify.
  • Like You Would Really Do It is when the work seemingly or temporality kills a character but the intended dramatic effect is undercut by audiences correctly guessing the work wouldn't actually do it. It does not apply when the work genuinely/permanently kills them, nor for non-death related developments audiences knew wouldn't stick (which would simply be a case of Status Quo Is God).
  • A Limit Break is a type of move a character can use that requires a certain limit to be reached or broken, hence the name. It is not a catch-all term for simply a character's "ultimate attack" despite the large overlap. The difference between a Limit Break and any other Special Attack is that a Limit Break cannot be used with impunity (ie: spammable). It needs to have some sort of limit behind it, like a special rechargeable meter of some kind (Mana Meters don't count), a certain item that is required to trigger it, or other factors that prevent a character from using it from the get-go. If a character's ultimate attack does not have a limit to begin with and can be used at will, it is not a Limit Break, and this also includes characters that become powerful enough to eventually learn how to use these attacks at their own volition.
  • A Lipstick Lesbian is a woman attracted to other women who looks or acts more feminine than most. Just having long hair and wearing dresses/makeup isn't enough for this trope, otherwise any lesbian short of butch would qualify.
  • Literary Agent Hypothesis has spawned two other tropes due to misuse — Direct Line to the Author and A True Story in My Universe. Specifically, the trope is about fan theories about how the work is a fictionalized version of real events (hence Hypothesis). Any examples where the creator is the one claiming the work is a fictionalized version of real events is a Direct Line, and any examples where the characters treat the work as a fictionalized version of past events is In My Universe.
  • Loudness War is about audio engineers using dynamic range compression to make a track sound loud at all times, not just any sort of loud noise.

  • A MacGuffin is an interchangeable Plot Device. The key trait of a MacGuffin is that it can be anything, and whatever qualities it has are irrelevant to the story. Lots of people ignore that specification and include any item that drives the story or even items people happen to fight over when fighting over something has nothing to do with the definition. If the Plot Device could not be replaced with some other item without altering the plot, then it isn't a MacGuffin. This is an especially confusing one, as some tropes with "MacGuffin" in the title do not refer to actual MacGuffins.
  • Made of Iron is when a character is affected by injuries far less than they realistically should be. If a work gives an in-canon reason for the character's resilience, such as wearing armor, having Super-Toughness, or being literally made of iron, it does not count as this trope.
  • Magical Girl Warrior is not an interchangeable term with Henshin Heroine. While this style of Magical Girl does have some overlapping tropes due to being a subsect, the use of magic/magitek doesn't always mean a magical girl is present, as in the case of Sentai or Tokusatsu superheroines, or just plain magic-using Action Girls. Conversely, if there is no magic used, then they can't be a magical girl by definition.
  • Magical Minority Person's sub-tropes (Magical Asian, Magical Negro, Magical Queer, etc.) are defined by how they exist only to support the usually straight and white leads with their Closer to Earth wisdom. Many tropers just can't resist the temptation to describe Asian/black/queer/etc. characters with magical powers as "literal" versions of the tropes, regardless of their personality or role in the story.
  • Magnificent Bastard. Doesn't help that the definition was so vague in the first place; however, efforts to nail down a concrete definition have done little to stem the flood. (It also doesn't help that the Trope Namer, Erwin Rommel, is actually a Worthy Opponent). One of the most common misuses is someone being acknowledged as this when they're actually just The Chessmaster. Misuse has also happened with characters who have irrecoverable Villainous Breakdowns, characters who are far too evil to count, or characters who aren't evil at all. Due to the strict definition, this is one of the only tropes on the wiki where every single example must be approved by a perpetual cleanup thread.
  • Mainstream Obscurity is about works that are praised and referenced to the point that everyone will have heard of them, but not many will have watched them directly. Often misused as "a work I like that should be more well-known" or "only old people like it".
  • Marked to Die is a narrative trope about characters being singled out for death when the plot calls for it. However, over the years, it's been frequently misused to refer to Status Effect-Powered Ability; a gameplay mechanic of players or enemies taking advantage of status effects to deal more damage.
  • Who is invokedMary Sue? For a mainly Fan Fiction trope, she's piled up a great number of dubious Canon examples. See invokedCanon Sue, which is another mess. Both on TV Tropes and across the Internet, the term Mary Sue is often incorrectly used to refer to any OC in fanfiction who has a prominent role, is stereotypically feminine, or exclusively has positive character traits. While many true Mary Sues have these traits, a character only qualifies as a Mary Sue if they greatly overshadow the canon characters with how they're portrayed. Regardless, the trope turned out to be so Flame Bait-y that listing any character as a(n unintentional)invoked Mary Sue is not allowed anywhere on the wiki.
  • May–December Romance was/is frequently misused for any relationship where there is a significent age difference between the participants. In fact, it refers to relationships between young adults (20s-30s) with senior citizens (at least late 50s). May and December, not May and August. Age-Gap Romance is the supertrope for notable differences in age (like a 20-year old and a 40-year old), and Jailbait Taboo applies when the younger party is underage.
  • Megaton Punch is intended to be a punch that sends the recipient flying very far away, often but not necessarily used comedically. It tends to get misconstrued as any particularly powerful-looking or painful-looking punch, even if it doesn't so much as knock the recipient off their feet.
  • Memetic Loser is often misapplied to who or what is shown, portrayed as, or are objectively (such as The Alleged Car) ineffectual or when their intended effectuality is an Informed Attribute. All examples must explain why the loser reputation, intentional or otherwise, is unfairly exaggerated. It also isn't for complaining about characters you don't like.
  • Me's a Crowd is a plot trope about someone trying to clone themselves in order to accomplish a task, usually leading to unexpected consequences that the original has to deal with. It is frequently misused to refer to characters with the power of Self-Duplication.
  • Mind Screw is about works that rely heavily on symbolism, to the point where it can be hard to follow if you don't "get" said symbolism. It's often used for works that are hard to follow in general, even if everything you see can be taken at face value and still make sense.
  • Mini Dress Of Power is about an Action Girl whose outfit is a mini dress. It does not mean "well she does action stuff occasionally", or worse, just a mini dress being worn (as that would be People Sit on Chairs).
  • Mondegreen was In-Universe Examples Only, meaning it involves a character mishearing something In-Universe, not simply viewers mishearing something. Due to excessive misuse, it has been turned into a Definition Only Page and replaced with Mondegreen Gag.
  • Monster of the Week is often misused as "this work has monsters and the main characters fight them". It actually describes a specific kind of plot, detailed in the first sentence on the trope page: "where the characters fight a villain and the whole story is wrapped up at the end, never to be dealt with again." If the "monster" turns out to be relevant to the overall plot later, this trope doesn't apply. The threat must be limited to an episode or short arc that is entirely self-contained.
  • Mooks are evil henchmen that have little to no backstory and exist only so that The Hero can kill hordes of them and look like a badass while doing it. It is not just a generic term for "minion". Yes, this means that if a work sets out to deconstruct What Measure Is a Mook?, it doesn’t actually have Mooks.
  • The Moral Event Horizon is meant to be a point where a character is established as so depraved, monstrous, and evil that there is absolutely no believable way to redeem them. However, it tends to get used as "someone acts like a jerk" and "anything that I think is the worst thing a character did", even if the character gets redeemed in the end. Also, many examples have more than one MEH per character, which is impossible; if a character has already been established as completely irredeemable, they cannot be established as completely irredeemable again. There's also a tendency to mistake it with a character being a Complete Monster, but a character can cross this line without achieving that status. Finally, it's used to complain about poor writing, as "the moment that establishes this character as a Designated Hero and/or Unintentionally Unsympathetic". When it was known as Rape the Dog, this led to people using it as "Kick The Dog, But More So", or listing cases where the villain literally raped someone, or had sex with an animal, which are two completely different tropes (Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil and Bestiality Is Depraved).
  • Moral Myopia is often applied to any moments of hypocrisy. It's only for intentional hypocrisies used to establish a character as unsympathetic or in the wrong.
  • More than Mind Control is often misused as "Mind Control and then some more Mind Control" or "simple Mind Control but more awesome". If anything, it's the opposite of the former; manipulating somebody's heart without having to use mind control.
  • The Movie is "a heavily expanded, one-shot episode of a TV series usually meant for theatrical distribution". However, people commonly mistake it for "any film adaptation" when other tropes like The Film of the Book would in fact apply. If a work's premise prominently features one specific trope, there's also a good chance that The Movie will be used as part (or as the entirety) of that trope's entry, as if "Trope: The Movie" meant "a movie that's all about this trope".
  • Mr. Fanservice and Ms. Fanservice refer to characters who stand out among the cast due to being more overtly sexualized. They wear skimpier clothes, are more muscular or better-endowed, have more Male Gaze or Female Gaze shots of them, and/or are placed in "sexy" situations more often than other characters. Many people abuse this trope to simply list characters they personally find attractive, regardless of how they're treated by the work itself.
  • Murder by Mistake is when a character plots a murder but kills someone other than the intended victim. If the killer had no murderous intent, it's Accidental Murder. The inverse misuse occasionally also happens.
  • A Mythology Gag has to be intentional on the part of the creators. It is not a coincidental similarity between works in the same franchise. Before you succumb to the urge to write "looks like a Mythology Gag", consider whether or not the element in question bears more than a passing similarity to the element in the original work and if the creators would be making that element similar on purpose. In fact, if you don't know it's a Mythology Gag, it's probably best not to mention it.

  • Naked on Arrival is when a character is nude in their first on-screen/on-page appearance. Tropers seem to keep confusing it for when somebody is naked at the end of some sort of journey, which may or may not be a character's first appearance in the story. If the latter is because of the mechanics of some sort of teleporter, see Can't Take Anything with You.
  • Narm is one of the most misused Audience Reactions on the site. It's meant to be for scenes that were intended to be dramatic, but were undercut by things that caused it to be seen as unintentionally funny. Instead, it's often used to complain about bad writing, acting, or directing, regardless of whether the results actually cause a humorous response. It's also sometimes applied to intentionally comedic scenes.
  • Narnia Time is not just when two worlds/dimensions (or more) have different but consistent time axis, such as one day in one world or dimension always equaling one hour or one year in the other (which falls under Year Outside, Hour Inside or Year Inside, Hour Outside depending on the point of view). It's when the scale between the two of them is inconsistent like when children after a few days in the real world return to Narnia either a few hours, days, month, years or centuries later.
  • Near-Rape Experience means that the rapist stopped of their own volition. If they had to be stopped by someone else, that's Attempted Rape.
  • This is why Needs a Better Descrpition and Needs Wiki Magic Love were moved to Administrivia & renamed to Pages Needing A Better Description and Pages Needing Wiki Magic respectively, with the old names being turned into permanent red links; they were constantly being gratuitously used as predefined messages on newly-created work pages that users felt needed help, instead of being treated like indexes for works that needed adjustments.
  • Network Decay is when a channel's content shifts away from its original theme (i.e. a channel based around music showing content unrelated to music). It does not just mean "the channel is bad because of changes made to the network."
  • Never Live It Down is for characters best known for what supposed to be a brief or minor moment but is often used for complaining. Entries must explain why those reputations or moments are unfairly exaggerated. (Ironically, several of these misused entries are so disproportionately harsh against the character that they're unintentionally self-demonstrating of the item's correct definition.) It also only applies to characters or groups, as entire works are not moments. Its original name "Jean Grey Escalation" referred to Jean Grey being exaggerated by fans as constantly dying and coming back to life despite her only doing it once, but was confused with constantly dying and being revived so it was renamed to better fit the intended definition. And in-universe examples, formerly considered valid, now belong on Once Done, Never Forgotten.
  • Never Say "Die" is when the words "die", "kill", "death", or other forms of those words are replaced with euphemisms ("destroy" being one of the most common examples) in a kid-friendly work because of the fear that children might not understand death, or that the idea of death might be too "heavy" for kids. However, not every aversion of those words constitutes an example; for instance, there are a lot of examples listed where the replacement words for death are merely used for dramatic effect (for example, "never made it out alive"). When determining whether an example counts, one should consider if the words used are a direct replacement for "die" or "kill", if the sentence would sound more natural if "die" or "kill" was actually used in its place, and if the replacement is being made for any other reason other than that it might be too intense for children (e.g., for dramatic effect, or for specificity).
  • Nice Guy: Like the Deadpan Snarker before him, the Nice Guy distinguishes himself (or herself) from other characters by having his niceness, politeness, helpfulness, and lack of overt conflict/drama be his defining characteristic. However, much like how every character ever to make a sarcastic quip was soon labeled a Deadpan Snarker, now every character ever shown to have an ounce of kindness is being labeled Nice Guy even though it's far from their primary characteristic. Put simply: If you and/or the characters have to look for the niceness under a cold, harsh, or troubled exterior, then the character is not a Nice Guy. Please don't go slapping that label on every character who is not a complete Jerkass.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain has the word "fixing" for a reason. And no, not being defeated is not what needs fixing. That's Hoist by His Own Petard.
  • Many tropers love adding Nightmare Fuel examples, often to the point of listing everything that's the slightest bit unsettling or twisting relatively harmless events to make them sound scarier than they are, especially in kid-oriented works (case in point: there was a time when every single episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic had a folder on the show's Nightmare Fuel pagenote , usually consisting of things like Slapstick or a character being upset). Some pad a work's Nightmare Fuel subpage to make the work look edgy and mature, but in reality, it only invites mockery from people who aren't part of the site's community. Nightmare Fuel is meant to be for scenes that terrify viewers, often to the point of giving them literal nightmares. It's especially not meant to be used for Fridge Horror (since it's only scary if you really overthink things), but go on any sufficiently long Nightmare Fuel page, and chances are you'll find quite a few such examples — often specifically linking to the Fridge Horror page! It also tends to be used for listing every single violent thing in works where violence is to be expected (e.g. the Nightmare Fuel pages for Injustice: Gods Among Us and Mortal Kombat X, which listed every single Limit Break, stage transition, or Finishing Move in those games), or simply listing descriptions of scenes without any detail on why they were scary (e.g., the Nightmare Fuel page for RWBY, where this was so rampant that it had to be locked).
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant is supposed for be for characters who are scary or creepy without trying to be scary or creepy. Many tropers forget about the latter part, and just add any scary or creepy characters even if they're obviously trying to be scary and creepy on purpose.
  • Nintendo Hard is about games that are incredibly, ridiculously hard. Many tropers like to attach the label to any even remotely challenging or frustrating game, even if it isn't anywhere near as difficult as the insanely difficult NES games that gave the trope its name. Others like to use it to shoehorn examples of That One Level, Boss, etc., on games' main pages; the trope is about games that are uniformly hard, not just one part of a particular game.
  • No Ending refers to a work that has no ending, deliberately not resolving its main plot points. However, it's frequently confused with Left Hanging (which is when a specific plot point that matters to the story is left unresolved), Bolivian Army Ending (a form of Ambiguous Ending which ends with the characters outnumbered and in a seemingly hopeless battle), Gainax Ending (where the ending is nonsensical or a massive Mind Screw), Cliffhanger (where a work temporarily stops at an uncertain or perilous point), Sequel Hook (setting up points for a potential new story), and nearly every other ending trope on the wiki except for Grand Finale.
  • No-Damage Run is a Self-Imposed Challenge. If the game rewards you for completing a task without taking damage, that's Flawless Victory. If the game ends your run after a single hit, that's One-Hit-Point Wonder. No-Damage Run often gets potholed into pages where OHPW or FV would fit better, such as main work pages where YMMV (including Self-Imposed Challenge and all of its subtropes) is not allowed.
  • No Final Boss for You is about video games that have a Final Boss, but for some reason, you can't access it. It's sometimes misused with games that don't have a final boss at all. Additionally, it and True Final Boss tend to be confused with each other; True Final Boss means "you don't have to beat this boss to beat the game, but it's there if you meet conditions above just beating the game", whereas No Final Boss for You means "you have to beat this boss for the standard ending, but you goofed at some point so you don't get to fight it." Admittedly, the line can be a bit blurry, especially if the unlock condition for an endgame boss is simply "beat this arcade-format game up to this point with no continues"; conflicting definitions of "beating"/"clearing" the game kick in at that point. Generally speaking, if a particular end-of-game boss has to be beaten to get a positive ending, then it's NFBFY, and if not you're looking at TFB.
  • No Fourth Wall is about when the characters all know they're fictional and never pretend that they aren't. Breaking the Fourth Wall is when a work that usually has the fourth wall breaks it temporarily. People seem to not realize the difference, to the point where there are more examples of Breaking the Fourth Wall on the No Fourth Wall page than actual examples of No Fourth Wall.
  • Not Helping Your Case is when characters are actually innocent of what they are accused of but act in a way that could make others wrongly assume them guilty. It's often misused for when they say things that make them sound guilty of something of which they genuinely are guilty, which is I Resemble That Remark!.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing is meant to be about works that are completely devoid of any romance. It is frequently misused to refer to characters who are romantically involved but don't show much physical affection onscreen.
  • No Lewdness, No Prudishness tends to get misused in conversations and edit reasons as an excuse for prude behavior against any sort of lewdness on the site in general. However, this ironically ignores the "No Prudishness" part of the page's name. While TV Tropes is no stranger to forbidding works that are straight-up pure porn (see The Content Policy), the site is not against all types of sexual content, just as long as they don't run afoul of NSFW policies. It's also misused the other way around as well, attempting to justify decisions against cutting profanitic content that may prove problematic to site policy. The purpose of NLNP is to discourage both lewd and prude behavior on the spectrum and to keep the site as neutral to both view points as much as possible.
  • "No More Holding Back" Speech was once called ""World of Cardboard" Speech". It was intended to refer to a speech where the hero decides to give it their all and not hold anything back, but was often misused for a speech where the hero states why they are the hero, which is a Heroism Motive Speech. The trope was renamed in order to curb the misuse.
  • "Not So Different" Remark used to be called simply "Not So Different". The trope involves some kind of in-story realization or remarks between the characters, beyond viewer analysis. If the similarities are not pointed out, the work is using them as Foil and usually setting a grayish morality. Too many people were using it for the latter rather than the former, so it had to be renamed for clarity.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist is often confused with Believing Their Own Lies. It's not just that the person has to claim that their cause is for a good outcome, but that there has to be some sign that it could be for a good outcome if it was taken with good intentions and means. If the person simply claims it but does nothing to show they have a good cause, they're an example of someone Believing Their Own Lies. The "not-so-well-intentioned" part refers to the character needing to claim a good outcome in the first place, and not just be a "badly-intentioned extremist", which is just a normal extremist; if there's no such thing present and the outcome is completely self-serving, the character never had good intentions from the beginning.
  • Not Zilla is meant to be used for anything that is an Expy of Godzilla, however it is occasionally used with only the "Not" part in mind for something that is not in any way related to something else, even if there is no connection whatsoever to Godzilla.
  • Nothing Is Scarier is about a horror scenario where there is empty nothingness for a while, until either the monster/villain appears in a Jump Scare, there is no monster to begin with, or it turns out the monster was there the entire time. It often gets potholed in situations that fall under none of these three, instead being used whenever the history, origin, or other detail of the monster is not known, even if it would fall under Fridge Horror instead.
  • Nuke 'em is a trope about using nuclear weapons too eagerly or too much. Lots of examples added there are mostly about "this work has nuclear weapons", which isn't a trope by itself. If the use of nuclear weapons is a reasonable resort given the scope of the situation, see Nuclear Option.

  • Obvious Beta is often used to complain about games that are buggy and/or feel rushed upon release, but while it may be a byproduct of rushing, it is actually about games whose initial release is badly broken, often unplayable, and has nothing to do with the amount of time it spent in development.
  • O.C. Stand-in is often misused as any character used as a blank slate for Fanon characterization/backstory. Which characters fans latch onto such would be an Audience Reaction and thus not belong under the original works tropes. This trope only applies to the fan works using the character as such or when the original work intentionally makes them to be used so (deliberately vague backstories for fans to fill in, Character Customization).
  • Oh, Crap! is an in-universe reaction, but it is commonly potholed to reflect viewer/editor instances of metaphorically crapping their pants.
  • Even so-called Omnipresent Tropes can be averted. While No Trope Is Too Common, no trope occurs in every work.
  • An Omniglot is someone who knows an unlikely number of languages or can learn them unnaturally fast. Being fluent in two or three languages doesn't cut it.
  • One-Way Visor means a visor, not lenses. A visor is like a pair of goggles with temple-arms instead of a strap or the faceplate of a helmet. Doesn't stop people from adding Red Hood and Spider-Man.
  • The "Our Monsters Are Different" category of tropes is often used to note the presence of a certain monster in a story. The tropes are intended to be used to discuss how a story portrays a certain creature compared to how other stories portray them.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy is not just for any work that has ever had a controversy about it, the controversy has to be better known than anything else about the work. It isn't for works that caused divided opinions in the fandom, those are actually cases of Broken Base or Contested Sequel. It definitely isn't for anything that only a Vocal Minority raised a stink about, the controversy has to overshadow the work's other qualities in the mind of the general public. A work being poorly-made, having a large invoked Hatedom, or getting negative reviews doesn't count as a controversy on its own. Some tropers also like to jump the gun and add examples for works that only recently became the subject of controversy, without waiting to see if the controversy will actually end up overshadowing the work or not. This item also is not about works that have gained any sort of recognition for being rare and hard to find. That's Keep Circulating the Tapes and Dancing Bear. Finally, this isn’t for listing every single bad thing a creator has done. If they are mainly known for being controversial and nothing else, it isn’t this item.
  • Overused Running Gag is when a work itself acknowledges or lampshades how often it uses a particular gag. It does not mean "gag that I'm personally sick of" or, worse, "gag I continued after shoehorning in Rule of Three".

  • Parallel Porn Titles are for porn parodies of works where the title is a pun on the name of the original work. It has been misused for any porn parody of a work even if the title is not a pun on the original work's name but instead simply the title of the work with "XXX" or "An XXX Parody" at the end of it.
  • People Sit on Chairs refers to something so basic that it can't even be called a trope. It does not mean "It's all over the place". The core issue is "meaninglessness", not "ubiquitousness."
  • A invokedPeriphery Hatedom is when a work has a specific target audience that enjoys it, but people outside of that group are upset that a work dares not to appeal to them specifically. Many examples simply explain why people dislike a work, which is not something we want on this wiki.
  • Permanent Red Link Club does not refer to every article that was ever cut and locked, as some may come back in the future. It is supposed to be a list of articles that this wiki never wants to come back.
  • Pinball Protagonist often gets slapped on any hero who stumbles on to the plot, gets help from their allies, or doesn't manage to stop the villain's plans from coming to fruition, regardless of how active they are beyond those points.
  • Pink Heroine is not just about any heroine who wears pink. They must also be the protagonist or leader.
  • Platform Hell refers to a specific subgenre of games which are specifically designed to punish and frustrate the player as much as possible. Tropers tend to use the phrase to mean "Nintendo Hard BUT MORE!". Platform Hell games are almost exclusively either ROM hacks or homebrewed games. It used to be extremely rare for an official retail product to truly qualify as one of these.
  • "The core idea of Poe's Law is that a parody of something extreme can be mistaken for the real thing, and if a real thing sounds extreme enough, it can be mistaken for a parody," as the first few lines of that page explain. However, examples have a tendency to be more about works or personalities that are either extreme or at least reviled in general, without the "mistaken for a parody" part. This usually leads to Complaining About Shows You Don't Like while ignoring the trope definition.
  • A Pot Hole is when a link is hidden in the text. Directly displayed links that use {{brackets}} or CamelCase are not potholes.
  • Porting Disaster is a trope for games whose ports to other systems are much worse than they were on the original hardware (hence the “Disaster” part of the trope). It is not for nitpicking every single minor issue that makes a port slightly worse than the original.
  • Many examples of Powers as Programs take the title literally and focus on the fact that a character's powers come from special software installed onto a gadget, while ignoring or downplaying the trope's actual definition - powers that can be activated, deactivated, or transferred to other people. The powers don't have to come from actual programs to qualify.
  • Pragmatic Villainy is meant for an instance when a character refuses to indulge in an evil act not because it's too evil, but because said character knows it's not really to their benefit (wasted resources, PR nightmare, likely to get themselves harmed in the process, not actually possible, etc). It does not necessarily refer to villains who are pragmatic overall (that's closer to No-Nonsense Nemesis), nor is it necessarily referring to villains who fight dirty.
  • A Precision F-Strike is when a swear word is used in a work that otherwise features very little strong language, or by a character who normally doesn't use such words, for the purpose of emphasizing how serious the situation has become or how important a certain line is. It's not just "this sentence only has one instance of 'fuck' in it", but it gets misused in this manner very often, often by putting a gratuitous Pothole over the swear regardless of the sentence's importance.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games is meant specifically for licensed games that are generally regarded as bad. Tropers have a tendency to Pot Hole this to any mention of a licensed game, even if the game's quality is not mentioned. For these cases, the appropriate trope is Licensed Game. Either the Pot Hole is due to Complaining About Licensed Games You Don't Like, the stigma of licensed games seeping into TV Tropes, or tropers simply not knowing that the trope Licensed Game exists.
  • Proper Lady is meant for characters who conform to classic Western ideals of femininity. If the lady in question is East Asian, she falls under Yamato Nadeshiko instead.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality is often used as a catch-all for any protagonist performing and getting away with actions which our modern society perceives as morally wrong when in truth this use is more along the lines of Values Dissonance. This trope is actually more about a Double Standard, wherein the main character and characters they are sympathetic towards are allowed to get away with performing actions that other characters would be condemned for, or alternately characters who are objectively not that bad are presented as irredeemable due to not liking or supporting the protagonist.
  • Put on a Bus means that a character is written off in such a way that they could return (as in, without being killed off). It does not necessarily involve a bus. If the character just suddenly disappears with no explanation at all, that's Chuck Cunningham Syndrome.