One Steve LimitBreaking The Fourth WallMoral Event HorizonNoodle IncidentThey Changed It Now It Sucks
Nice HatDowner EndingEstrogen Brigade BaitComplete MonsterCloudcuckoolander
Interspecies RomanceCatch PhraseRunning GagRule Of CoolOne Scene Wonder
Punny NameShown Their WorkSpell My Name With An SDeadpan SnarkerActor Allusion
Jerk AssBad Ass NormalTsundereTitle DropVerbal Tic
One Steve Limit
In nearly all TV shows, webcomics, etc. no two characters share the same first name. Simple as that. Sometimes this rule goes further - two characters will not share similar-sounding names. (If there's a Laura, there will not be a Linda.) There are good reasons for this, of course. It is generally considered unwise to have your viewer/reader keep wondering, 'Okay, which Steve is this?' In additi ...
Breaking The Fourth Wall
Hey! How're you doing out there? It sure is nice to be the Breaking The Fourth Wall page on TV Tropes. Sure, I don't get as much attention as some of the other pages, but I try my hardest. Anyways, the status quo in a work of fiction is that the characters are unaware of their fictional nature and of their audience. This is the Fourth Wall. Right now, this wall would be the screen you're looking a ...
Moral Event Horizon
The Moral Event Horizon is the point of no return. Once a character crosses it of their own free will, they cease to be cool or admirable. It is a single act which, while not necessarily objectively worse than anything else the villain has previously committed, affects the audience and the story on a far deeper level. Whether the person has truly become irredeemable may be a question that can neve ...
Noodle Incident
The Noodle Incident is something from the past that is sometimes referred to but never explained, with the implication that it's just too ludicrous for words, and the reality that any explanation would fall short of audience expectations. Questions about it are often met with 'You Don't Want To Know...' Commonly introduced to the audience through a Wiki Walk. Named for an (unexplained, of course) ...
They Changed It Now It Sucks
In cases where as long as it's still the same basic story and keeps all the best bits and characters intact, then it doesn't matter too much that Bob's bald, Alice doesn't die, the football game ended with a different score, and they cut the watermelon scene, right? It's a bit of a shame they screwed that bit up, but really, it's not as if the entire work is Ruined FOREVER, right? Wrong! ...or so ...
Nice Hat
Clearly not a hat to be trifled with. To show that you mean business, it's important to have style. Enter: the nice hat. It may actually have utility — even conveying special powers — but more often than not it just looks cool, or even sexy. A discerning hero/villain just can't be seen without their Nice Hat! Harming the nice hat may be akin to kicking the dog, with disastrous results. Fedoras ...
Downer Ending
1. A finale to a movie, a TV series, a video game, or some other form of media that ends things on a low note, or in some other way that isn't quite happy. These tend to be rare, as there is overwhelming pressure to tie loose ends up in a 'happy' way. Sometimes done as a way to assure that the show, once canceled, cannot be revived later (similar to the Grand Finale), but sometimes leaves the sho ...
Estrogen Brigade Bait
Exhibit A: Peter Petrelli WANTED Hot male character to provide maximum female-oriented Fanservice to satisfy the Estrogen Brigade demographic. QUALIFICATIONS Dark And Troubled Past to gain sympathy, manifested in emotional and physical scars; Troubled But Cute demeanor because All Girls Want Bad Boys; Sexy voice; Willing to tolerate an Unwanted Harem in your own universe; Comfortable with doi ...
Complete Monster
Sometimes a villain is not more 'fun' to watch than the heroes. Sometimes a villain isn't entertaining at all. These are villains whose horrific actions earn our rightful disgust, anger and hatred. These evil characters frequently believe life is all about them, lack any understanding of empathy or morality, and even more often simply do it for fun. This is it. The end of the line for evil and evi ...
Cloudcuckoolander
A character with their head in the clouds. They aren't quite stupid, and they aren't quite insane, but they lapse into non sequitur a lot and are strangely oblivious to things that everyone else takes for granted, such as whether it is okay to turn their suitemate's room into a landfill and board it up. They are still, somehow, able to function day to day. See the Quotes Wiki for more extensive ex ...
Interspecies Romance
A fandom trope that causes many 'AAARGH! My childhood!' moments: The constant desire of fantasy/scifi authors and readers to have sex with things that are not quite human - elves, aliens, robots, sentient animals, demons, vampires, etc. It's portrayed in the vast majority of Furry entertainment. May include a moral about the Fantastic Racism version of inter-racial romances. Also may be Starcros ...
Catch Phrase
An expression used by a character in numerous episodes of a show. Merely uttering this phrase in the office will key others in to the character you're referring to. For a line to be a Catch Phrase, it should be always the same, and not just catchy. Two like-minded characters can form a Catch Phrase Spouting Duo, creating an entire lexicon of catch phrases with astonishing efficiency. In The Name O ...
Running Gag
Run! Feel the burn! Push the evelope! A joke that is only mildly funny the first time, Gotta keep running! Faster! but becomes funnier each time it is repeated. Must be repeated at least three times Never stop! Keep going! Run faster! -but repeat it too many times and- Keep going! Onward! Keep it up! it becomes an Overly Long Gag. A variant is a joke or scene that occurs- Run! Run like the wind! ...
Rule Of Cool
The limit of the Willing Suspension Of Disbelief for a given element is directly proportional to its degree of coolness. Stated another way, all but the most pedantic of viewers will forgive liberties with reality as long as the result is wicked sweet or awesome. This applies to the audience in general; there will naturally be a different threshold for each individual in the group. The Rule Of Coo ...
One Scene Wonder
A character that has limited screen time, and usually not much in the way of plot relevance, but is still one of the most memorable things in the movie. They may even be given top billing, or at least an 'And Starring' credit, along with the more obvious stars. This is not the same principle as Ensemble Darkhorse, because the character is often played by an established actor, nor is it the same as ...
Punny Name
Sometimes, a name isn't exactly meaningful or hiding something, but there's still something about it that is weird. And then you read it really fast, and go, 'Oh!' and have your chuckle over the pun. Pun names are just that: Names that make puns. Some are semi-meaningful in that they sometimes describe an activity germane to the character's profession, such as a baseball player named Homer (of ...
Shown Their Work
Although many talents in fictional media show they Did Not Do The Research, some actually did. In fact, sometimes they learned so much and worked so hard to learn it that it would hardly seem fitting to just not show it off. The Shown Their Work trope comes in when the creators tweak their stories to show the viewer/reader what they have learned. The trick is to do it so this advances the story in ...
Spell My Name With An S
This trope describes characters whose names are almost never spelled consistently, usually because of transliteration issues. This tends to happen in Anime and Japanese video games that haven't been officially translated into English, although it also crops up in other languages that don't use the Latin alphabet. Situations include anything from drama between vowel additions to unique-cipher dropp ...
Deadpan Snarker
A character given to gnomic, sarcastic, sometimes bitter, occasionally whimsical asides. The Deadpan Snarker exists to deflate pomposity, point out the unlikelihood of certain plans, and deliver funny lines. Typically a Deadpan Snarker is the most cynical supporting character. In most cases, it is implied that the snarker would make a good leader, strategist, or consultant given their ability to i ...
Actor Allusion
An Actor Allusion is a joke or reference which is specific to one of the actors in a television show. It can be a little blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, such as Mary Albright (Jane Curtin) spotting some people in Conehead costumes at a sci-fi convention in Third Rock From The Sun, or it can be bigger and more blatant, such as when John Lithgow repeated his entire anti-music rant from Footloose in ...
Jerk Ass
A Jerkass is a character who is so offensively obnoxious that it is unbelievable anyone would willingly interact with him; let's face it, much of the character's charm is a sort of schadenfreude. What makes him or her entertaining is the fact that you don't have to deal with them yourself in real life. Usually, the Rule Of Funny enables the people around the person to be able to live under the sam ...
Bad Ass Normal
In a world with supernatural dealings or superpowers, this character is the one who is able to keep being useful through intellect, martial arts abilities, general ruthlessness, or just being Crazy Prepared. They notably have none of the fantastic enhancements, magic or special powers that others do. It might even be a sore point for them, but that just makes us encourage them more. Female version ...
Tsundere
A character (usually female) who runs 'hot and cold', flipping between◊ aggressive and confrontational (tsuntsun, meaning 'aloof' or 'cranky' in Japanese) and affectionate and sentimental (deredere, meaning 'lovestruck'). The distinct moods usually aren't subtle, especially with the latter ranging from 'simple teasing' to 'lovestruck kindergartener who pushes you into the sandbox'. The reasons b ...
Title Drop
If a line of dialogue is the title of the episode, movie, or book, it obviously must have some great significance. If it sounds completely random, that just means the true meaning of the title has yet to be revealed. So when a character is heard using the title in dialogue, the audience sits up and takes notice, because the scriptwriter has just planted a neon sign that flashes THIS CONVERSATION I ...
Verbal Tic
An exceptionally odd Catch Phrase, used to the point it seems more like a bodily emission than speaking. This is often a single nonsense word added at the end of sentences, well past the expected formal variations in speech. Occasionally, it'll be a stretched-out and bizarre play on Japanese grammar. This is rarely, if ever, applied when the series is dubbed into English. Both variants are extreme ...