31 posts tagged with tropes.
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My, how you've grown!

Can you help me think of examples of this longstanding creepy trope? The trope is when a man saves/helps/knows a girl in her youth, and has a paternal relationship to her if any. Then he leaves (presumably to go on adventures) and he returns to the girl, who is: omg a *woman* now. And they get together and it's not creepy at all (by the movie's standards). [more inside]
posted by Dressed to Kill on Dec 19, 2016 - 86 answers

Aliens and the arts

Can you name some films or stories where aliens become enraptured with humanity's creative arts (music, painting, poetry, etc.) and thereby see their redeeming value? Similar but not exact tropes include "Alien Arts are Appreciated" and "Klingons Love Shakespeare".
posted by roaring beast on Jun 27, 2016 - 22 answers

Characters who incidentally have an illness or disability?

Can anybody give me some examples of characters in film, television, or literature who incidentally have an illness or disability (i.e., their illness or disability does not somehow become a central plot device)? [more inside]
posted by gemutlichkeit on Nov 17, 2015 - 69 answers

Love-Hate Letters to a genre / trope /idea?

Can you recommend shows or books that act as great "love-hate" letters deconstructing and showing off the flaws in a particular idea or genre while also being loving examples of the genre? [more inside]
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory on Nov 27, 2014 - 23 answers

Names of characters that didn't exist, or were hidden in plain sight

I don't really know how to phrase the question, but I'm trying to remember or find examples of names of characters who were either complete fabrications or were presented under the guise of another identity all along (in fiction). Also does this trope have a name? [more inside]
posted by man down under on Nov 14, 2014 - 38 answers

Welcome citizen to a generic science fiction utopia

You how there's always a scene in science fiction movies where a character enters some futuristic utopia and a robotic voice starts talking to them, saying something like "Welcome to Futureville, where all your needs are met" ? Is there a name for this trope? Can you think of some good examples? [more inside]
posted by craniac on Sep 15, 2014 - 36 answers

It was an alien the whole time!

A short story with a surprise ending where the protagonist is an alien, and the spacecraft that crashed in the woods contains a human. This has been done before, right? [more inside]
posted by ronofthedead on Apr 13, 2014 - 13 answers

Bad Guy + Gravity = Swiss Cheese

Watching the video from this FPP got me wondering. There are countless scenes in movie and TV shows that depict somebody shooting somebody else and that person falling to the ground dead from a rooftop, ledge, etc. (and possibly Wilhelm screaming on the way). Are there any examples where the shooter/killer keeps firing at the gravity-stricken victim while they fall?
posted by schleppo on Feb 17, 2014 - 4 answers

Looking for film/lit examples of pre-destined relationships

There's a trope in literature/film where one character is pre-destined to have a particular relationship with another character (e.g., A and B will always fall in love). I'm looking for examples where this happens multiple times with the same characters. [more inside]
posted by eisenkr on Jan 24, 2014 - 41 answers

"A situation where contact with the outside world has been severed..."

TVTropes describes the trope of the closed circle: "A stock plot designed to force the characters or players to stay in a location and get involved in the adventure... and not be able to leave until it's done." Familiar, right? I am looking for examples of novels that employ this trope, but with a twist: the primary crime they're trying to solve took place in the past, before they were enclosed in the circle. [more inside]
posted by pretentious illiterate on Jan 15, 2014 - 18 answers

Stories where heroes travel to the villain's land and bring back a cure?

I'm looking for stories (movies, books, folk tales, whatever) where somebody or something arrives from some rather mysterious realm and proceeds to wreck up our hero's land, and the hero has to travel to the realm of the unwelcome entity and bring back some way to defeat it. (It could be a special weapon, some knowledge of the previously unstoppable villain's weakness, etc.) Anybody got some examples? [more inside]
posted by Ursula Hitler on Nov 19, 2013 - 23 answers

Examples of characters unwittingly aiding their foes?

What are examples in fiction of characters who think they are subverting the bad guys only to learn that they were unwittingly doing what the bad guys wanted all along? SPOILERS follow. [more inside]
posted by mediated self on Jul 24, 2013 - 20 answers

Let me tell you a story about a horse while I diffuse this missile...

I'm trying to find TV shows (or films) that contain a particular trope that I noticed while watching some old 1980's shows lately. Namely shows where the main character provides a sort of running narration throughout. [more inside]
posted by katyggls on May 6, 2013 - 25 answers

'The vision thing .. grandkids .. all that'

Everybody knows Bush Sr said 'the vision thing' -- but wasn't he also quoted as having added 'grandkids'? Google gives me goose eggs.
posted by LonnieK on Apr 5, 2013 - 4 answers

Typical TVCs

What are some TV commercials of the past couple of years that showcase some of the cheesy tropes of American television advertising? [more inside]
posted by dontjumplarry on Jun 18, 2012 - 10 answers

I'm Partial to the Salmon and Shrimp Flake, Myself

Inspired by this post about retirement savings, I'm using my question to ask something I've always wondered about: where did the trope about senior citizens eating cat food come from? [more inside]
posted by sfkiddo on Apr 30, 2012 - 10 answers

Where did this TV/movie trope originate: the one where someone can no longer play a musical instrument because of a painful past incident....

Where did this TV/movie trope originate: the one where someone can no longer play a musical instrument because of a painful past incident.... [more inside]
posted by deern the headlice on Jan 19, 2012 - 9 answers

The Asylum for Specially-Trained Concubines

Schools or asylums that trained young girls in some sort of speciality skill only to later sell them off to rich men: did they really exist? Do they still? [more inside]
posted by divabat on Dec 27, 2011 - 28 answers

What story and cultural references have outlived what they referred to?

Can anyone think of cultural references that have replaced what they are referring to? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 21, 2011 - 51 answers

Comic book heroes killing innocent people?

The hero thinks he killed an innocent -- examples of this trope in comic books or comic book movies? Couldn't find it on tvtropes.org [more inside]
posted by arniec on Oct 18, 2011 - 11 answers


I'm heartbroken, and need some distraction. Ridiculously involved, dorky stories stories and youtube junk preferred. [more inside]
posted by soft and hardcore taters on Oct 6, 2011 - 20 answers

The Ballad of the Trope-Stealers from Outer Space

I'm interested in books that are nominally fantasy, but steal scifi tropes, and vice versa. Suggestions? [more inside]
posted by BungaDunga on Jul 24, 2011 - 34 answers

That box is the Special File in New York

What are the reference points for the final scene of the Office (US) Season 2 Episode 21, "Conflict Resolution?" [more inside]
posted by holdkris99 on Jun 2, 2011 - 9 answers

Give me examples of books where characters use teh googles.

Character googles her paranormal boyfriend. Fake wikipedia article reading ensues. Is there a TVtropes article for this cliché, or, alternatively, what are some examples? [more inside]
posted by PhoBWanKenobi on Aug 9, 2010 - 23 answers

Help me find a video of the classic Dukes of Hazzard cliche

The Dukes of Hazzard was known for its cliffhangers before commercials, where they usually freeze-frame a stunt and narrator/"balladeer" Waylon Jennings says something like, "Them duke boys are sure gonna have a hard time getting out of this one!" Help me find an example of this scene online. [more inside]
posted by waxpancake on Jun 5, 2010 - 7 answers

I hate you! I hate you! Oh, wait.

You know how in movies when the two (heretofore antagonistic) main characters are arguing bitterly, and in the heat of the moment one of the them reaches out and grabs the other in frustration, which leads to an abrupt and pregnant pause, and then all of a sudden they're making out? Yeah. Does that happen in real life? [more inside]
posted by gavagai on Apr 14, 2010 - 21 answers

don't embarrass me in front of my mom you guys!

What is this phenomenon? It isn't synchronicity, baader-meinhoff, or confirmation bias. [more inside]
posted by kidsleepy on Apr 3, 2010 - 18 answers

Identify Two Science Fiction Plots

Please help identifying a couple of science fiction plots. [more inside]
posted by marxchivist on Mar 9, 2010 - 9 answers

Why are writers people that wad ruled paper?

What's the origin of the image of the frustrated writer? You know this character - crumpling his drafts into little balls and throwing them in the wastepaper basket, or staring endlessly at a blank page. What are some really early appearances of this image? [more inside]
posted by voronoi on Dec 16, 2009 - 12 answers

Any other famous works within works?

I remember, and know people who have memorized, the Gunslinger's Creed from the Stephen King books and the Litany Against Fear from the Dune books. They may be more famous than the books themselves. And I was wondering: is there anything else like that? A literary work inside and literary work that is more famous (or as famous) as the work containing it? [more inside]
posted by sarahkeebs on Dec 2, 2009 - 97 answers

How much conflict is there between local police and FBI?

How much conflict is there between local police and FBI? [more inside]
posted by Bugbread on Jun 26, 2009 - 11 answers

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