Saturday, April 26, 2014

Huh?  I looked around on the site and still don't completely understand what tropes are, and the articles I found seem almost completely nonsensical or talking about absolutely nothing.  Am I missing something here?


  1. It's supposed to be funny, the idea being that these tropes are so over-used that they can be generalized sarcastically. So, for example, starting with "Applied Plebotinum," I laugh uncontrollably at how true it is that plots use a substance that is basically Plot Glue. I am curious what they mean by Unobtainium, so I click the link. I make the connection between Unobtainium and the Dilithium Crystals in Star Trek, or Dark Matter in Agents of Shield, or some other really hard to get but makes EVERYTHING go substance (lightning in Stardust!), and I find another term that I don't understand and click on it. Thus begins the rabbit hole of not coming out till tomorrow-ness.

    I would find my favorites, but I really need to get papers written and can't really afford that rabbit hole today, so I just used stuff I could find from the home page. If you keep going long enough, though you'll find something you think is funny (there's something for everyone!)

    1. Oooh I found a good one! "The Pungeon Master," reading through the examples:
      "In the 60's Batman show, most villains spouted puns based on his or her 'theme'. (Cat-astrophic, etc...)
      Egghead might be the worst. Seriously, do a shot every time he substitutes something with the word egg. You'll probably die of alcohol poisoning in a few minutes."

  2. Basically, a trope is a pattern that some aspect of storytelling (plot, character, conflict, etc) falls into. You can't write stories without them. The ones that get super overused become cliches. So, Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a trope. So is a Mary Sue.

    So, if you're looking for romance tropes, think of the kinds of love stories you like to read. Best friends to lovers? That's a trope. Arch enemies turned lovers? That's a trope, too. I'm going to link you to the Love Tropes page ( because I think that's a good place to ease your way in. Clicking on one of the listed examples will give you a more in-depth explanation and clicking on the categories at the bottom of the page will give you examples of that trope in all sorts of media.

    Hope that helps!