TLF Travel Alerts is a parody Twitter account for London's public transport system, existing in a bizarre alternate world where buses and trams have Thomas the Tank Engine-like intelligence, and eldrich horrors lurk in subway tubes. And boats. They also have boats.
It can be found here.
Examples of tropes include:
- Alien Abduction: The inevitable result of using the Dockland's Light Railway.
- Bait-and-Switch: Claims is hot enough in the London Underground to literally fry eggs on the escalators. How ever you shouldn't try to do it ... they are on a diet.
- Becoming the Costume: For Halloween 2017 they warned of a student who dressed as a circle line train in 1997 who became an example of this trope and was still running in service. Consider your costumes wisely!
- Berserk Button: Do not step over the yellow safety lines!
- Big Entrance: Apparently the underground trains like to do this, so red velvet curtains have been hung on all stations to help them.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: In this case the list includes the usual flour, milk, lemons, eggs, etc. of a shopping list before heading to: Screams. Confusion. Fear. Denial. Acceptance. Tears. Oh, and Delays.
- Comically Missing the Point: The official travel advice for dealing with the Covid Coronavirus outbreak of 2020; wash your hands, try not to touch other people, respect personal space, means that the virus is a great thing for commuters as it means ideal commuting behaviour.
- Christmas Episode: In a spoof of the early broadcast of Christmas themed commercials, for 2017 they gave us an early release heartwarming advert of a boy befriending an escalator. Which then devolved into a Twisted Christmas tale of ruination and delays.
- Despair Event Horizon: The Central Line started doing this to commuters when South Ruislip station began pumping out abject misery. Delays.
- Dragon Hoard: London buses have had to adopt a cashless payment system because of dragons stealing cash payments for their hoards.
- Everything's Better with Penguins: On a particularly cold morning in London they decided to release the penguins to improve the service. Inevitably this led to delays due to penguins on the line. At least the penguins had fun though.
- Halloween Episode: Subverted, since Halloween is just another day to them.Reports of ghouls, spectres, wraiths and restless spirits across the network. So, all services appear to be operating normally.
- Heat Wave:
- Instant Runes: Came down with a case of these on April 15th 2016 when they spontaneously manifested out of thin air leading to much consternation and trains being held at stations.
- Lightning Can Do Anything: The Circle Line must harvest lightning to continue operating. Unfortunately the harvest only allows for three week's running. Delays.
- Mundane Made Awesome: It's a Twitter account for bus and tram service (and boats), yet it still manages to be funny, surreal, frightening, and even poetic.Use all available doors. Every. Single. One. Hurry! Some may close forever, and you will never know what lay beyond them. Good luck.—Tweet from Feb. 13, 2014
- Mysterious Mist: Delays on the Victoria Line are because of the Creeping Sleep Fog or the Dust Cloud of Malfeasance. Bus connections not available, delays.
- Noodle Incident: Quite a lot of them, actually. Many tweets make it sound like something is going on, but don't give you quite enough information to figure out exactly what.If you're at Lancaster Gate and possess the ability to transmute base metals into gold, please make yourself known to the station manager.—Tweet from Nov. 7, 2013
- Overused Running Gag: That everything causes delays. Highlighted in the June 25 2018 tweet about how the heatwave had broken time itself and thus there could be no more delays.
- Parody: Of the actual Transport for London Twitter page.
- Retgone: There have never been any buses.Please erase all memories of buses. What even is a bus?
- Running Gag:
- The continual mysterious and perplexing appearance of pineapples on the district line.
- Everything causes delays, including more efficient service.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Occasionally they decide just to close lines down because they are in charge and can do what they want. Sucks if you need the Victoria or Bakerloo line. Delays.
- Shout-Out: Many.
Say a normal delay is the size of a Twinkie. The delays on the Jubilee would be a Twinkie 35 feet long weighing approximately 200 pounds.
- This tweet from Feb 24, 2014, referencing Ghostbusters (1984):
The TLF egg hunt will begin at noon. Flamethrowers, motion sensors and body armour will be provided. Good luck, everyone.
- This one celebrates Easter 2016:
- Spider Tank: Created a Spider-Tram. It spun a giant web and devoured commuters. Delays.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Dark winter evenings are not caused by demon wolves, that is just a false rumour.
- Time Crash: On June 25th 2018 a heat wave hit that was so intense that the very concept of time itself melted and destroyed cause and effect itself. Leading to there being no more delays.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
Monday. The coming of the Five Winds stirs the heavens. The sky dances to unheard music. You stare at your phone and do not notice. Monday.
- Invoked occasionally, such as in this tweet from Jan. 20, 2014:
We deal with giant octopuses every day. Every. Day. Suddenly, one turns up above ground and it's 'news'.
- Tlf is puzzled as to why everyone got worked up by an octopus in central London:
- Vigilante Man: The Signals at Earls Court are not going to play by your rules, but they are going to get results! Delays.
- Weird Currency: On trams, in addition to money, you can pay with emotions, or — as of March 2014 — pancakes.