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Hi there! Nice of you to drop by our own page! You didn't know we have a page? Well, we always had one!

Regular visitors here won't need to read the introduction. You know what to do.

If you're not a regular here, TV Tropes is a wiki documenting, in a fairly informal manner, the various conventions of fiction. Our full history can be found on our Timeline page.

Of course, like any sizable work, we've collected our own fair share of tropes. And remember, Trope-tan is watching you, tropers!

Now let's get editing!

TV Tropes Tropes:

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    Tropes A – B 
  • Accentuate the Negative:
  • Ad Dissonance: Ad of Win and Ad of Lose document the vast spectrum of the quality of ads on this wiki.
  • Alice and Bob: They are often used to demonstrate a trope. To list all the tropes that involve them would be too long; see their trope page for details.
  • Alien Geometries: The Inverted Trope example on PlayingWith.Mile Long Ship. How exactly do you get a ship whose length is a negative number?
  • Alliterative Name: TV Tropes.
  • Alt Text: This wiki does have Alt Text capabilities, in the form of the Pot Hole.
  • Ambiguous Syntax:
    • The wiki itself has a few, many of which are chronicled in "I Thought It Meant..." For example, a Serial-Killer Killer: A killer of serial killers, or a serial killer of killers? (Both, more often than not.)
    • An example rightly documented in Funny.TV Tropes:
      From the Peanuts Headscratchers page:
      Jesus, Lucy, Violet, and Patty are CRUEL to poor Charlie Brown! They expect him to get an over-commercialized tree, made of pink aluminum? Charlie brings back a tree that looks like one that would be next to the humble manger, and they all laugh at him! Even damned SNOOPY! Although it sets up a Crowning Moment Of Awesome with the "That's what Christmas is all about" speech, I just want to wring those three bitches' neck!!
      Is it bad that I read the start of this entry as a list of 4 names, rather than an expletive and 3 names?
      Jesus is laughing at Charlie Brown for having a great Christmas spirit! The irony!
      Nope. I did it, too. As did my parents, Ayn Rand and God.
      Your parents are Ayn Rand and God?
  • And That's Terrible:
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Trope-tan is the personification of TV Tropes itself.
  • Appeal to Obscurity:
    • From the Genghis Khan page: After a long list of conquered nations, it reads, "Khwarezm? You've never heard of that country? Exactly."
    • Similarly Trivia.X's Vaporware entry consists of, "What Xbox port of X3: Reunion? Exactly."
  • Archive Trawl:
    • The random button can have this effect.
    • Arguably, the reason that this wiki is so addictive. One page will only get you for half an hour, but the 50 pages that are linked that you opened...
    • Think back (or look at your history, whichever is easier). Odds are your coming to this page was a result of this trope.
  • Arc Words: Technically, the entire wiki is made up of them. But among the most notable ones are "There Is no Such Thing as Notability", "Tropes Are Tools", and of course "a".
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: You'll find some of this occasionally across this wiki, many of which are Potholed to the main page, including the name of the trope.
  • The Artifact:
    • The "deadpan" in Deadpan Snarker. Due to Trope Decay, a deadpan delivery is no longer part of the trope.
    • Back in its early days, TV Tropes used to run on PmWiki, but over the years the website's code was modified such that no PmWiki code remains, and all that is left is the word "pmwiki" in TV Tropes URLs.
  • Artifact Title:
    • It started with TV (Buffy the Vampire Slayer in particular). Nowadays it encompasses all media.
    • The Permanent Red Link Club was called that because all links that were listed there were doomed to be permanently red. Now that links show up as blue as long as an article of a given title exists in any namespace, several PRLC members, most commonly subpages and former Main namespace redirects, are actually blue.
  • Ascended Glitch: Secondary tropes for video examples. Originally, you were expected to upload multiple copies of a video if it fit multiple tropes, but some tropers noticed that there was nothing stopping them from adding tropes to the media sources section of a video, which would make it appear on multiple trope pages. This was initially frowned upon, and such videos had the extra tropes removed, but it was later changed so tropes (or any page in the Main namespace) are listed separately from media sources, and is now allowed.
  • Author Appeal: The whole point of this wiki. Tropers write about whatever they happen to be interested in.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: This wiki has a search toolbar for Firefox. While initially it seems like it would ruin your life even further and be great to edit articles, it's much faster to just use the search bar at the top of the page or just Google "TVTropes" rather than use the dropdown menu and enter it.
  • Beige Prose: The Laconic Wiki uses as few words as possible; in particular, the Laconic entries on Beige Prose and the Laconic Wiki itself.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • On most pages warning of unmarked spoilers, the majority of the spoilers are marked anyway.
    • This trope is most definitely not a popular pothole target for lies.
  • Bold Inflation: Repeatedly Used On This Very Wiki, especially in emotionally charged subpages like Awesome Moments or Nightmare Fuel. Articles that use Bold Inflation:
  • Bowdlerise: After The Second Google Incident, commands from the advertising that keeps the site afloat mandates that this wiki either eliminate trope pages for more sexually explicit works or find new (much less family friendly) sources of funding. A number of works the sexual explicitness of which is debatable (most prominently Lolita, which has since been restored, and It, which does feature underage copulation in one scene but otherwise contains little explicit sexual content) have been caught in the mass deletions. Many of the Sexual Harassment and Rape Tropes also presented problems, which resulted in less problematic trope names and a major cleanup effort.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: There's an example in the description of this trope on this wiki.
    "[K]nights have declined in popularity, but the Knight Errant is still around in full force — instead of knights, they are now often cowboys, samurai, or Samurai Cowboys."
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick:
    • One would be a line that goes rather abruptly and disturbingly like this (fictional example): "Japan is well known for anime, J drama, J music, hard working people and so on. But this wasn't always so. It used to be a common act to disembowel people, eat dead babies and such." Go on, say you haven't seen an example like this before!
    • Alternately, on the above links: Main Entry, Quotes, Sugar Wiki, Wild Mass Guessing, invokedNightmare Fuel...
    • Also, from page to page, article-article-article-Caught with Your Pants Down-Cold-Blooded Torture...
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
  • British Accents: This trope falls victim to itself, as many non-Brits confuse "British" with "English". Mention of the other three nationalities (Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Irish) prevents it from being a complete facepalm. Not to mention actually mistaking a Scotsman, Welshman, or Irishman for "English" can lead to... unpleasantness.
  • Butt-Monkey: Did you ever add an example to this very wiki that was already there? Nothing to be ashamed of, this can happen to the best (especially if it was filed under a different namespace than you would have defaulted it to). Did you shamefully revert the edit on the spot? Great, you saved the mods some work. (Beat) Did the Edit Protip say to check if the example is already there?

    Tropes C – D 
  • Cannot Convey Sarcasm: Absolutely. One can never, ever, ever tell when a troper is being sarcastic or snarky. Such is the monumentally difficult task of communicating sarcasm through text alone.
  • Captain Obvious:
    • Tropers will pothole a word, phrase, etc. that is considered to be... well... completely obvious, to the Captain Obvious page.
    • "Five hats means that five tropers think it is ready to publish." At least partially obvious.
    • Also, the Captain Obvious page is about a trope which highlights easily discovered events that are pointed out to the audience, as if they had no clue what was going on. This trope is called "Captain Obvious" and it's on the website you're currently on called TVTropes (the url address is On a side note, TV Tropes is a webpage which features articles about multiple tropes seen throughout many forms of media, such as literature, live-action T.V. shows, anime/manga, video games, comic books, and in several cases, even real life!
    • Any disambiguation page that says it's a disambiguation page
  • Cluster F-Bomb:
    • The fucking Cluster F-Bomb page. The "so much you can't take them seriously" variant was used in a previous version of that page's introduction, but most of it was removed for the sake of clarity. Readers curious as to how bad it was can always check the page history.
    • Amusingly, there are enough fucking example on the Precision F-Strike page that it's turned into a Cluster F-Bomb. Even the haiku page has over five people who just wrote fuck seventeen fucking times.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: In the current version, the normal wiki has a blue header, WMG has a yellow one, Sugar Wiki has brown, and Darth Wiki has black.
    • In previous versions, the normal wiki had a white background with a blue header, YMMV and WMG had a blue one, Sugar Wiki had pink and Darth Wiki had black.
  • Color Contrast: Blue Links and Red Links, to signify links that leads somewhere, and links that don't.
  • Colorblind Mode: The "Highlight Links" toggle in the Display Options under your profile gives linked text a distinct yellow background and an underline, as opposed to just being colored differently from non-linked text.
  • Congestion Speak: The "unabridged version" gag from Laconic.Working Through The Cold reads "Do you thick a bere *cough* illdess is goig to *sniff* stop be frob visitig the udabridged versiod?! ACHOO!".
  • Cool Shades: Sign up for the forums and you can post a Cool Shades smiley!
  • Cosmetic Award: Made of Win. Unless someone tries to collect those free hugs, anyway.
  • Creator Provincialism: At times.
    • Uses of phrases like "our part of the world" and so on, especially when used to contrast with other cultures and nations, reveal the assumptions of the troper responsible. Usually involves Creator's Culture Carryover or other Western perspective and neglects the existence of non-Western audiences or tropers.
    • The seasonal sub-indexes of Anime and Manga of the 2010s assume the Northern Hemisphere's seasons are used.
    • Go count how many times 9/11 is mentioned under Harsher in Hindsight.
  • The Crime Job: Train Job
  • Cross-Referenced Titles:
  • Crunchtastic:
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!:
    • The forums: Most forums use BBCode, while the TV Tropes forum uses wiki markup.
    • See those buttons at the top of the page? Sometimes, during a site update, they get rearranged. Then you find yourself sending a private message when you want to see a trope's history page.
    • Sometimes an announcement comes up as a banner at the top of the page, but it only appears some of the time. Most of the time it's not a big problem but if you're wandering the site with the random page button, and the banner is there and suddenly it goes away, shifting the rest of the site up, you'll end up suddenly hitting a dead-end at your profile page and having to go back. Different parts of the site have different buttons anyway.
    • All of us wiki addicts know the frustration of going to a non-wiki site and finding an incorrect bit of info, or grammar error, or something that could have been phrased better and realizing that there is no "edit" feature on the site.
  • Dark World: Darth Wiki is where all the negative opinions go to. And a couple of other dark stuff.
  • Deadly Hug: The picture for the trope Mercy Kill features a very emotional version of a deadly hug.

    Tropes E – G 
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • This very wiki used to list normal, YMMV, Flame Bait and Trivia examples all together on work pages until mid-2010. After that there was a period of a few weeks where both YMMV and Flame Bait examples were completely banned from work pages and could only be listed on trope pages, but it quickly became obvious that this wasn't going to work out and resulted in the current format of separate YMMV (and later Trivia) pages, with Flame Bait examples staying restricted to the trope pages (and sometimes not even being allowed there either). We used to have Troper Tales on this site too, but we prefer not to talk about that.
    • There are a number of troper practices and memes that were once very common, but have since become rarer or even outright banned due to tightening standards. For instance, many trope pages would point out an example from a particularly old work, noting that it "makes this one of The Oldest Ones in the Book". This phrasing was once so common that later uses of it would simply Pot Hole the phrase "makes this..." (or similar) to The Oldest Ones in the Book, on the assumption that everyone would be familiar with what that "made this". Eventually the problem was solved by turning the page into an index of various time periods where tropes originated; with more pages to link to, it became less of a meme to link to them in general.
    • This Very Wiki's standards for what is a trope and what isn't have changed considerably from when the wiki was founded. Since the late 2010s, quite a lot of tropes have been disambiguated or otherwise declared to not be a trope after all, including "character has a specific sexuality or gender identity", "character uses a certain weapon", and the appearance of specific animals in works (usually under the "Everything Is Better With..." style of naming). To give you an idea of how different things used to be, in 2009, there were individual trope pages for specific eye colours (not even rare cases such as Supernatural Gold Eyes, but common eye colours).
    • Some early versions of TV Tropes pages had a lot more zero-context examples than they do now. One example of this is the page on The Simpsons; the old version of the page had several examples with zero context or only barely any context at all, while the current version of the page describes the trope examples with more depth.
    • Meanwhile, because of the sheer size of TVT as it goes further into the 21st century, it's possible and perhaps even not uncommon to find pages dedicated to older and less prominent works that still contain examples of several of the above issues - out of place YMMV tropes are uncommon due to an internal flagging system that indicates their presence, but are still not completely unknown; wild trivia tropes are somewhat more common, and contextless example entries can still pop up quite often on pages concerning media prior to 2010.
  • Epigraph: This wiki, far too many times.
  • Episode Finishes the Title: The So You Want To namespace.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Some of our trope titles.
  • Exact Words: On the page for Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing, the description of the game says that it "features never-before-seen freedom", which it does indeed — there is no collision detection (in other words, you can go through any object except the ground), no angle detection (allowing you to drive vertically), and drive straight off the map.
  • Face Palm:
    • Some editors in this wiki tend to use this at times as a reaction... and Pothole it to the Face Palm page.
    • Previously in the wiki's history, if a certain show/video game/comic/etc. had its own Wall Banger or DMOS page, odds were an image of one of the characters facepalming would be the page image. Due to the Wall Banger pages being cut and the images on the DMOS pages being removed due to lack of informativity, this is no longer present.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Anything listed on the Permanent Red Link Club is basically this. If a trope or page gets so misused, become a magnet for racial slurs and personal attacks, and the like; and the page cannot be fixed, the entire page (and in some occasions, the entire trope) will be deleted and is never to be used again. Forever.
  • False Reassurance: On the Wretched Hive page:
    Limerick has often been named Stab City. Though in recent years the number of stabbings has decreased, as gun crime has gone through the roof.
  • Forced Meme:
    • Occasionally someone tries to sneak his or her idea for a meme on to a page, sometimes going so far as to interfere with other entries to force them into the limelight.
    • Also occurs in the naming of tropes. It's a very real debate in the forums, from time to time, whether the purpose of this wiki includes promoting specific fan-speak terms so as to become recognized across all fandoms.
    • Following the same principle, occasionally it happens that the creator of some fan-work writes a trope page for their work themselves. This isn't bad on its own, but in some cases it is incredibly obvious that the page would not have been written if not for the creator's own ego.
  • For Your People, By Your People: By fans, for fans.
    • The TV Tropes webseries Echo Chamber states in its credit roll that it is "Created for Tropers, by Tropers."
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Some page descriptions, such as Demonic Possession.
  • Funetik Aksent: Some tropes on this wiki are this, such as Vampire Vords and The Ahnold.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
  • Fun with Autocensors:
  • Fun with Palindromes:
    • Trope Report.
    • invokedIt's also noted on the Technology Marches On page that the lack of home stereo systems these days makes the ever popular palindrome "If I had a hi-fi" a somewhat dated palindrome.
  • Furry Reminder: The Just for Fun page for the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Show Within a Show Daring Do, from the PoV of hypothetical online ponies. Furry Reminders abound; for example, vegetation in the wilderness is filed under Food Porn.
  • Gaslighting: This can happen non-maliciously (or perhaps maliciously) when editing this wiki. You could write the outline of a paragraph at the top of the page, work on a different part of the document, and then come back to find the paragraph fleshed out by someone else, or even deleted without a trace.
  • Going Mobile: This wiki has mobile apps for the iPhone and the Android.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: This wiki itself is one of tropes and archetypes from both fiction and nonfictional sources, whose success will have an unknown significant meaning for the universe!
  • Grammar Nazi: Yes, if someone makes edits with egregiously bad grammar, it may be grounds for a suspension. That's fair, though, since the alternative is a wiki with sloppy English.
  • Gratuitous Animal Sidekick: Tropey the Wonder Dog.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: On the Trope Epitaph page, the "Here lies [X]" part is translated into non-English concepts' respective languages. For example, "Här ligger Stockholm Shnozzing", "Hic iacet Parvum Opus", and "Twinkle Toes Samurai ga koko ni nemuru".
  • Gratuitous Japanese: A lot less than previously, given a conscious effort since the site began to make trope names more accessible and obvious, however a number of tropes (e.g. Yandere) are still principally referred to by Japanese words for anime character stereotypes that simply don't make sense unless one is already immersed in the culture - either through lack of desire to change them, or simply because there's no better consensus term that's been agreed upon.
  • Gratuitous Latin: Can there be any reason besides this trope that the main page has a Latin version?
  • Great Big Book of Everything: This wiki strives to be one. Compared to The Other Wiki, it is still in its infant stages, but, as There Is no Such Thing as Notability, it's definitely catching up.
  • Guide Dang It!: It’s not uncommon for beginner tropers to think of a trope idea that probably exists but have no idea what it’s called. The fact that many trope names don’t hint at the general concept adds to the confusion.

    Tropes H – M 

    Tropes N – P 
  • Name McAdjective: Awesome Mc Cool Name.
  • Nature Tinkling:
  • Network Decay:
    • Despite the name, this site no longer focuses on television. It's added movies, books, board games and video games to its lineup. Lately, it's even been moving away from tropes, adding Useful Notes, Audience Reactions, Trivial Facts, writer's tools, humor pages, and with a few exceptions, Real Life examples and material. This wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. What's happened here is more expansion than decay; since we're not dealing with a finite number of time slots, we didn't have to remove any of the original material to make room for the new stuff. Given that most TV tropes originated in literature, mythology, and theater, such expansion makes sense. It gives perspective on the tropes.
    • Troper Tales and Fetish Fuel were big examples within the site itself. They were originally intended to be examples of tropes in real life, and the ultimate reason for their removal was because they became more of an anonymous blog and discussion forum. See also our own section of invokedWhy Fandom Can't Have Nice Things.
  • Never Trust a Title: If it's listed in This Index Is Not an Example, you shouldn't take a page title at face value. If it gets so far out of hand that it only confuses tropers and readers however, this often leads to a rename. Also, it features a lot of tropes found in other media than television...
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • This wiki has a Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment meant to prevent any Flame Wars (read that page for more). Unfortunately in some situations, some tropers completely ignore this rule, leading to the mods locking the page most likely for good... which means nobody gets to add and edit future tropes.

      In extreme cases, there's the Permanent Red Link Club, in which the tropes are so misused, become a magnet for racial slurs and personal attacks, and the like that not only the page is locked, the page (and in some occasions, the entire trope) gets deleted, never to be used again. Forever.

      And in less extreme but still unfortunate cases, Real Life examples can be cut and prohibited from a page if things get controversial enough. On that note, there's also the Example Sectionectomy, which examples are either cut entirely or relegated to a separate area such as Darth Wiki or the Discussion tab if things get nasty.

      And if the examples had previously been divided into multiple pages, then the deleted Real Life examples won't even appear in the page history for you to browse.
    • This is the reason why invokedFetish Fuel and Troper Tales no longer exist. Some people couldn’t resist putting controversial and creepy content in invokedFetish Fuel and Troper Tales, which lead to these sections being sent off to separate off-site wikis.
    • Troper Tales existing in the first place. Troper Tales was only created to keep tropers from writing their own tales on the main wiki. Troper Tales ruined the reputation of TV Tropes and made the website a laughingstock of half the Internet. It was also known for attracting people who wrote stories that sounded creepy, filled with bile; psychotic, racist, sexist material; and ego-stroking. The admins could have either warned the tropers or banned them for writing personal tales instead of creating troper tales, since Troper Tales only reinforced the habit.
    • The wiki used to have a "strike format", but it was eventually disabled as people were using it simply to sneak in Take Thats and such. Texts that were previously striked are now hidden texts. However, the strike format is still usable in the forums.
    • Earlier there were "super secret spoilers", which was the equivalent of making the text white. This was also removed in part due to people actually using it for relevant information that reader couldn't see without highlighting the whole page.
    • Headscratchers used to be called "It Just Bugs Me", but was renamed because people kept misinterpreting it as "Why does <insert anything here> suck so much?".
  • No Ending: No matter how many links you click on, no matter how many pages you find, there is no end to your search.
  • No Fourth Wall: See for example, its Real Life sections and articles.
  • Noir Episode: This wiki has a whole page written Film Noir-style here (it also happens to be a guide to writing In the Style of Film Noir).

    Tropes R – S 

    Tropes T – W 
  • Un-person: Tropers who get banned usually have all of their edits reverted and TLP entries deleted.
  • "Untitled" Title: The No Title article, which is about untitled works.
  • Unusual Euphemism: After someone used it in the Doctor Who invokedFetish Fuel page, the phrase "squiggly feelings" became popular on this very wiki, and, after the Fetish Fuel pages were moved, invokedFetish Fuel Wiki.
  • Verbal Tic: This very wiki, natch.
  • Viewers Are Morons:
    • Prevalent with troper-created puns, which will be pointed out with a Pun or Incredibly Lame Pun Sinkhole (the latter also being incorrect usage), no matter how obvious they are.
    • Examples on trope pages will often link to the very same page the examples are already on. Or, a perfectly fine example will have a second bullet point explaining everything that has already been explained a second time.
    • Tropes will be renamed and page images removed if so much as one person does not understand its relevance to the trope's description, sometimes with accusations of Fan Myopia thrown about no matter if that's actually the case.
    • The wiki has done this occasionally, such as when it changed some invokedUnfortunate Implications titles. Abuse Is Okay If It's Female On Male, for example, was changed because they were afraid people would take it literally (this change was enforced by Google, on threat of pulling all ad revenue), yet some I Thought It Meant titles, such as Men Are the Expendable Gender, are still in play.
  • Visual Pun: Some of the images for our trope articles are this.
  • The Voiceless: Troll Post.
  • Waxing Lyrical: In addition to trope names, tropers will often disguise quotes from the song or show they're discussing as banter-like natter.
  • We Will Use WikiWords in the Future: This very wiki is having this effect, with more readers and editors of the site casually referencing trope names InCamelCase, which in literary (pop culture) discussions are incredibly more recognized as TV Tropes terms. TV Tropes variations of trope names are also becoming more recognizable: After reading a lot of TV Tropes, what sounds more natural — the traditional literary term Bathos, or Narm?
  • What Were You Thinking?: Some editors tend to use this at times as a reaction... and Pothole it to the What Were You Thinking? page.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer…: Let's face it, not everything on this site really lends itself to a wiki format, but you have to give the admins credit for making it happen.
  • Wiki Walk: It's a wiki, what else would you expect? Let's face it, you're probably in the middle of one right now. And that is why TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life. (Tabbed Browsing is the bane of everyone with ADHD.)
  • Word, Schmord!:
  • Worldbuilding: This wiki has a couple of tips on how to help.
  • You Keep Using That Word:
    • Egregious has been used so egregiously on this wiki that it has its own page.
    • Similarly Your Mileage Will Vary is used as a way of referring to Your Mileage May Vary taken up a notch on especially controversial issues that reach a point where there is no middle ground. Your Mileage May Vary comes from car commercials that say consumers might get a different amount of mileage than is advertised, and on this wiki, means that viewers might not agree with the statement. Using "Your Mileage Will vary" implies unanimous disagreement rather than inevitable controversy.
    • The word Trope does not come from TV Tropes, and like "subversion" its meaning in the real world is different than on this site. In reality, "trope" does not mean "storytelling device" but "the use of a word to have a meaning different than the usual one."

Alternative Title(s): This Very Wiki, TV Tropes Wiki, Television Tropes And Idioms