Shout OutThere Is No Kill Like OverkillBreak The CutieHeroic SacrificeDoes This Remind You Of Anything?
Why Did It Have To Be SnakesThey Changed It Now It SucksBody HorrorJerk AssPunny Name
Name That TuneMood WhiplashApocalypse HowBadass NormalNo Name Given
Eldritch AbominationLoads And Loads Of CharactersYou Gotta Have Blue HairOne Steve LimitThe Dragon
The Other DarrinArson Murder And JaywalkingTitle DropProduct PlacementDisney Death
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 ...
There Is No Kill Like Overkill
Sometimes, the act of killing an opponent can be completely overdone. A prime example would be shooting an enemy until they're almost dead, then, to finish them off, completely blowing up their body and everything else in a five mile radius. All in all, it's waste of resources, tactics, and time. ...but it's always, always worth it. Always. Especially if the enemy is just hanging on up until the e ...
Break The Cutie
A series introduces a character as sweet and lovable, more comic relief than anything, who likes nothing more than to pet little puppies. They make you adore them, root for them and love them. Then they proceed to slowly break them in front of your very eyes. They destroy everything important to them, kill everyone they love and make them suffer from horrible accidents, diseases and acts of violen ...
Heroic Sacrifice
A character does something incredibly brave and dies, is maimed, or is otherwise irrevocably harmed doing it. A bad character who was once good (especially corrupt police) can redeem himself in the last act by Taking The Bullet (etc) that was meant for The Hero. Thus expunging all his previous evil, avoiding forcing The Hero to arrest or confront him, and avoiding any real life penalties like disg ...
Does This Remind You Of Anything?
Any situation which is made, for comic effect, to look like another situation — not in the sense that it is mistaken for that other situation by any of the characters, just in the sense that we the audience see the resemblance. The characters do not. This sort of situation can lead to a Three Is Company plot if some other character hears it out of context. Alternatively it can refer to an ersatz ...
Why Did It Have To Be Snakes
A seemingly invulnerable character reveals that they are actually deathly afraid of _____... and whatever the character is afraid of is certainly going to be a recurring obstacle, no matter how unlikely. This trope is named for Indiana Jones who reveals early in Raiders Of The Lost Ark that he hates snakes and later asks the titular question when snakes prove to be an obstacle. A subset of Fatal F ...
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 ...
Body Horror
Someone is about to turn into a monster. Or they have something inside them that is definitely not supposed to be there. Or they wake up to find that they are missing some bits. Or they learn, too late, that they are a character in an MPreg fanfiction... Welcome to the lovely land of Body Horror. Simply put, this is any form of Horror that is based primarily on the body visibly mutating and de ...
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 ...
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 ...
Name That Tune
The arch usage of a show's theme music within an episode. Extremely common in anime, far less so in American animated series, for numerous reasons including not trying to sell an artist and the general lack of American cartoon theme quality; American cartoon themes are usually either a straight instrumental or a song that repeats the show's title constantly. Of course, some people would argue that ...
Mood Whiplash
Fiction often has far extremes. They cover the gamut of emotion, from tragedy to comedy. Sometimes these two will be so close together that they make the viewer's head spin! Done well, the contrast in moods can make each emotion all the more poignant and effective. Done poorly, the contrast can jar the reader/viewer right out of the story. Sometimes Mood Whiplash can extend to entire sequels, wher ...
Apocalypse How
With The End Of The World As We Know It so common in fiction, some guy actually thought it would be a good idea to categorize the degrees to which humanity can be wiped out. Actually, his intention was to categorize hypothetical non-fictional apocalypses, but his list can be adapted very well into a Sliding Scale Of Complete Destruction: Class 0: Regional Catastrophe - A big disaster that takes ...
Badass 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 ...
No Name Given
A major character is referred to only by a first name, last name or nickname. Viewers either never learn the character's full name, or it's saved for a reveal episode. Reasons for this vary, but it often serves the function of making a character seem more mysterious or eccentric. In older (pre-1900 in North America; pre-1970 in the UK) fiction, a narrator may refer to a character (especially an ol ...
Eldritch Abomination
How to describe these unclean mockeries of natural law? There are no words that can encompass such foulness, not in English or any other human tongue. They are other, alien beyond comprehension, their very existence an affront to all rationality. I could speak of ichor-dripping tentacles and yonic voids, painfully dissonant cries and colours of no earthly hue, but those are mere superficialities. ...
Loads And Loads Of Characters
Also known as the Character Clusterfuck, a show that has so many regulars that you can't fit them all into one episode. Therefore, one week some characters will appear, another some different people. You'll rarely get the same combination twice. This is especially common in Long Runners, as characters tend to accumulate over time. Similarly, some video games involve collecting as many distinct, un ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
The Other Darrin
A new actor is brought onto a show to play the same character as an actor who's leaving. Often not explained to the audience at all. Named for arguably the most famous case: the Darrin swap — Dick York to Dick Sargent — on Bewitched. Somewhat easier to get away with when dealing with voice actors or with animals. In daytime soaps, there are several standardized ways this is done: the new act ...
Arson Murder And Jaywalking
When listing off three or more things, apparently the rule is not to finish strong. For example, if Alice is listing off X number of reasons not to date Bob, item X-1 will be something major, like 'he's a philanderer' or something in that vein, whereas item X will be something slight such as 'he leaves the toilet seat up.' If a comedy, the final one is often treated as if it really were the worst ...
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 ...
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 ...
Disney Death
Beloved major character is seemingly killed at the climax of the movie/episode, hearts are wrenched, four-year-olds are traumatized, and then — oh look, they're Not Quite Dead after all. A variant is the Robot Disney Death where a Robot Buddy is seemingly destroyed in a Heroic Sacrifice. While at least one character mourns, the robot reappears fully repaired after an extensive period in Mr Fixit ...