Downer EndingDisney DeathThere Is No Kill Like OverkillRecycled IN SPACE!Infant Immortality
Game BreakerBreaking The Fourth WallMagnificent BastardBadass NormalLimited Wardrobe
Big Lipped Alligator MomentMeaningful NameLoads And Loads Of CharactersMad ScientistEstrogen Brigade Bait
Punny NameParental AbandonmentParanoia FuelAnti HeroSay My Name
Apocalypse HowBerserk ButtonNames To Run Away From Really FastMood WhiplashChekhov's Gun
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Recycled IN SPACE!
I'm afraid I've got some bad news, boys. You're in space!' Stories are often recycled from other shows, with the setting changed with just enough of a gimmick to make it look different. The characters will have the same character types, sometimes even the same voice actors. Sometimes these will be direct spinoffs, with the same characters with one major time or setting change. Later varieties inc ...
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 ...
Game Breaker
Occasionally known as 'a cheese' or 'cheesing,' a Game Breaker is controversial because of its vague status of 'cheating'. Since it does not involve outright hacking, such as a ram edit, nor exploiting an outright bug which clearly should not occur, Game Breaking utilizes some organic feature of the game in an unintentional way, resulting in Gameplay Derailment. A major reason these occur is due t ...
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 ...
Magnificent Bastard
The Magnificent Bastard is what happens when you combine the Chessmaster, the Trickster, and the Manipulative Bastard (sometimes throwing in a bit of Large Ham). He is bold, charismatic (though not necessarily lovable), independent, and audacious. This character is a villain. He can be at any level of the villainous hierarchy - Big Bad, The Dragon who's a Knight Templar or Puss In Boots, or a wil ...
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 ...
Limited Wardrobe
The character always wears the same outfit, regardless of the setting or season. Winter (or at least a Christmas episode) may sometimes see the addition of a heavy coat, but circumstances will conspire to put the character in a situation where they must shed the coat, at which point it is never seen again. Even characters whose very nature should prevent them from having such a Limited Wardrobe (r ...
Big Lipped Alligator Moment
Sometimes in a work or film, the writers will try to inject a sense of spontaneity into their work by giving the viewer a scene that seems a little out-of-place, but at least still generally ties into the plot of their work without breaking the flow. Some writers forget to tie it to the work entirely, creating a moment of the Ultimate Nonsequitur. From this, a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment is forme ...
Meaningful Name
A name that has a direct, barely-hidden meaning to it. The first, last, or full name says something primal about the character. Often has multiple layers. To hide the meaning a bit, use an alternate spelling or foreign equivalent. Instead of writers having to make up random words or think of real names, they can use mythological names or old words. As an example, it is common to use for heroic cha ...
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 ...
Mad Scientist
They're scientists, they're somewhat scatterbrained, and they are frequently working for the bad guys, often building implausible gadgetry or slightly ridiculous superweapons. They tend to wear lab coats, have wild hair, and speak with put-on Central European accents (based on the many scientists who fled Central Europe from the Nazis and the Soviets). Sometimes they will talk like Peter Lorre, or ...
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 ...
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 ...
Parental Abandonment
A stunningly large number of heroes and their coteries are lacking in the parent department, either through death or in that they just aren't talked about. Even if both parents are alive, they may well be emotionally or physically distant. Everyone is, for the sake of the plot, Conveniently An Orphan, whether they actually are or not. This is a very convenient way for characters to be able to run ...
Paranoia Fuel
When things that should be harmless, or on the children's side, turn nasty, stripping away all sense of safety. THEY CAN SEE YOU. THEY KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE! How can a child sleep easy in their bed, when they've seen how toys can come alive when all is dark and wreak unspeakable vengeance? What trust can they have that anyone will protect them, when they've just seen some cheerful kid's programme w ...
Anti Hero
The questionable shade of gray between good and evil, an anti hero is a rather dark, edgy character who has the opposite of most of the traditional attributes of a hero. He or she may be bewildered, ineffectual, deluded, or merely pathetic. More often an antihero is just an amoral misfit. Lives f-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-r from the ideal end of the Sliding Scale Of Idealism Versus Cynicism. Other common at ...
Say My Name
No matter what range of emotion you're feeling towards another character, the best way to express it is to say their name—preferably in either a hoarse whisper or scenery-chomping cry. Even if no one's around to hear you, just thinking about that character is enough of a prompt. It's all but required if you're in the midst of rescuing your friend/Love Interest currently facing imminent doom, you ...
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 ...
Berserk Button
So you're dealing with a character who seems perfectly normal. He's friendly, sociable, and well-adjusted, saving stray kittens and helping old ladies cross the street on the way to his day job of working at a soup kitchen. But then you make a mistake. You happen to mention in passing what you think is a fairly innocuous observation, maybe pointing out that the character could stand to lose a litt ...
Names To Run Away From Really Fast
People make a big deal out of names, and writers are no exception. Even if they eschew Theme Naming and other Naming Conventions they'll still use names they think are cool and dignified, powerful and appropriate, or sinister and fearsome. Which is why there are inevitably certain Names To Run Away From Really Fast. For much the same reason it's unlikely Steve will turn out to be the outrageously ...
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 ...
Chekhov's Gun
Chekhov's Gun is the literary technique whereby an element is introduced early in the story whose significance does not become clear until later on. For example, a character may find a mysterious necklace that turns out to be the power source to the Doomsday Device, but at the time of finding the object it does not seem to be important. Although many people consider the phrase 'Chekhov's gun' to b ...