Did You Just Punch Out CthulhuInfant ImmortalityShirtless SceneOne Winged AngelYou Gotta Have Blue Hair
Verbal TicExpyThey Wasted A Perfectly Good PlotBeware The Nice OnesWhat Do You Mean, It's Not Awesome?
Shout OutProduct PlacementThe DragonEstrogen Brigade BaitBad Ass Normal
The Smurfette PrincipleSliding Scale Of Idealism Versus CynicismCreepy ChildAnyone Can DieKarma Houdini
Nightmare FuelFollow The LeaderActor AllusionAffably EvilButt Monkey
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu
So, along comes the Eldritch Abomination: incomprehensible, insanity-inducing gods; alien beings that don't even notice humanity, let alone care; technological beings whose thoughts encompass the universe. You know the type. Eternal, infinite, impossible to even understand, let alone oppose... And then along come a couple of plucky heroes, who didn't get told that the Abomination is impossible to ...
Infant Immortality
It seems to be the cardinal rule in shows that thrive on violence: you are not allowed to kill babies or young children. Or dogs, unless it is a heart-breaking moment that symbolizes the end of innocence. No matter how bad the Big Bad is, he will always stop short of killing a baby. Even natural disasters will avoid killing infants and dogs. Something about a baby makes you stop, think twice, a ...
Shirtless Scene
The most common form of female — and gay male-oriented — fanservice. A hunky male (real or animated) goes shirtless or wears a revealing top that shows off his biceps. Saves the crew a fortune in wardrobe (or ink) for the Estrogen Brigade Bait. A less fleshy version of this is giving the male a button-up shirt with the top buttons undone, totally unbuttoned or the rest of them available for un ...
One Winged Angel
Classic Big Bads have the tendency, when push comes to shove, to turn into big honking monsters. A mad scientist in a fit of urgency might down his own mutagen, or a cyborg turns his body into a living bomb, or a mild-mannered enemy reveals her terrifying true form. Bets are good they'll become way more bloated, ugly, or plain disfigured. Sometimes this is more subtle, and the character will look ...
You Gotta Have Blue Hair
A Sub Trope of Hair Colors. Many Anime characters have totally impossible hair colors like green and purple. This actually started with Manga series that used distinctive colors on the covers to make characters stand out, as they all had either dark or light hair in the actual black and white pictures. Anime just made it part of the shows. In many cases, though, hair which is technically supposed ...
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 ...
Expy
This trope is being considered for a rename/rewrite/merge. Please feel free to join in the discussion in the forum thread. Short for 'Exported Character', an Expy is a character from one series who seems very similar to a character in another, older series (Or even the same). A few minor traits — such as age and name — may change, but there's no doubt that they are almost one and the same. ...
They Wasted A Perfectly Good Plot
You feel like you've been given the first three chapters of a story, a story that you really would have liked to see to its conclusion, but either a) it's on a whole different set of rails now, or b) while you do see it to its conclusion, it ignores the intriguing possibilities you'd hoped to see. Note that this does not include a plot/idea you like not being a well-written story/well-made game/et ...
Beware The Nice Ones
Sometimes, trying to Break The Cutie can have consequences. Sometimes, the nicest person in the story gets pushed to the limit of what they can take and the results... are not pretty. The sweeter, gentler, more polite, and overall nicer a character is, especially if they're female, the worse it will be for the planet when they're subjected to one too many rounds of Break The Cutie, or Dude Wheres ...
What Do You Mean, It's Not Awesome?
So you have yourself a situation that might be important, but it just isn't awesome enough. There's something missing. What could it be...? I know! Let's throw in some gripping orchestral music, lighting changes, different camera angles, something! Don't write like a man, write like an Evil Overlord! Exaggerate your expressions and gestures, speak with excessive intonation, and if all else fails, ...
Shout Out
A shout out is something subtle (a name or line of dialogue) in a show that refers to fans or family members of the cast or crew, or to another source of inspiration. By nature, these can be obscure for casual fans. You can even talk about them in English class if only you call them 'allusions'. See also Homage, Stock Shout Outs, Opening Shout Out, Shout Out Theme Naming. Literary Allusion Title i ...
Product Placement
Otherwise known as a 'plug' or 'writing commercials right into a show'. The practice of prominently displaying or talking about a recognizable product in a program, in exchange for some consideration from the manufacturer, usually monetary. The manufacturer hopes to cause The Red Stapler effect, but it far more often results in snarky comments from the peanut gallery. This trope isn't always invo ...
The Dragon
No, *I* am your trope picture!. In classic Fairy Tales and folklore, the hero must often slay a dragon, or other semi-intelligent monster, before he can confront the intelligent (but weaker) master villain. The Dragon is the Big Bad's top enforcer, and is correspondingly dangerous in combat. Some Dragons are ferocious fighters who leave the heavy thinking to the boss. Others are smart, detail-orie ...
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 ...
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 ...
The Smurfette Principle
For any series not aimed at females, odds are high that only one female will be in the regular cast. The Smurfette Principle is the tendency for works of fiction to have only one female amongst an ensemble of male characters. (This female is the Token Girl.) Unless a show is purposefully aimed at a female viewing audience, the main characters will tend to be disproportionately male. This, even th ...
Sliding Scale Of Idealism Versus Cynicism
In a bid to appeal more to adult audiences, Disneyland replaces 'It's a Small World' with 'It's a Cold and Unforgiving Hell' in 2011. What best defeats evil? A bullet between the eyes, or The Power Of Friendship? The answer depends on where the series falls in the Sliding Scale Of Idealism Versus Cynicism (also known as Romanticism Versus Realism). In a heavily idealistic series, Humans Are Good ...
Creepy Child
They look sweet, innocent, even angelic, but there's something not quite right about them. They're too calm, too knowing. They aren't really children any longer, not at heart. Children should be innocent, in need of adult protection. By inverting this, the trope arouses deep-rooted fears. The Creepy Child might not be physically dangerous, but their profound unnaturalness is just as chilling. Cree ...
Anyone Can Die
A rarer trope used by serious shows to prove that they can retain suspense because any main character (including the hero) can die at any time in the show. Note that while this has to often be Killed Off For Real for the trope to have the desired effect, the writers will try to cheat and bring back the guy later (see Not Quite Dead, Disney Death, and Battle Royale With Cheese). Still, even if all ...
Karma Houdini
He's kicked the hero's dog, abducted his family and held them hostage, abused the most sympathetic of his Woobie minions, killed off the series' most popular Ensemble Darkhorse and invented a Kill Sat that uses babies as its primary fuel, not to mention jaywalking in front of a bus full of nuns. He's done just about every conceivable thing that would make an audience boo, hiss and hate him with th ...
Nightmare Fuel
Fourteen year old kids pilot that thing. No, really. Nightmare Fuel, as we mean it here, are those things that scared the pants off you as a kid, though it wasn't meant to: something that was meant to either amuse, entertain, or be only slightly scary to the audience. In execution, they're so trauma-inducing that they may cause even adults to void themselves in terror. For young children, media ca ...
Follow The Leader
For a town that prides itself on being the place where dreams are made, there doesn't seem to be much original thought in Hollywood; rather, the focus tends to be on imitation rather than innovation, of re-creating success instead of creating it. Specifically, whenever any one movie, television show, etc. enjoys considerable success, expect every studio executive, producer, director and writer in ...
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 ...
Affably Evil
Most of the time, when there is a villain, they're going to have a personality or manner that underscores how evil they are. They may kick puppies for giggles, be particularly insensitive, even during sex, or might just be too unknowable to be anything but evil. And then, there are villains who are Affably Evil. There is absolutely nothing separating them from being normal, polite people except fo ...
Butt Monkey
The character who is always the butt of the demeaning joke or the 'put him through hell' plotline. Nothing ever goes right for this character, he's constantly abused by pretty much everyone he knows, even his so-called friends, and if something bad is going to happen to someone, chances are, it's going to be him. Long story short, it sucks to be the Butt Monkey. The Butt Monkey generally doesn't d ...