TV Tropes

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TV Tropes is a wiki devoted to classifying the tricks and trades of writing fiction, primarily focusing on television shows and characters. It used to contain an entry on Conservapedia, treating the site as a show or book, in which Andrew Schlafly is treated as a character in order to mock his values.

Hanging a Lampshade on Fiction: The Good TV Tropes Does

  • Uses the wiki model
  • Not quite as stuffy or encyclopedic as Wikipedia
  • Lively set of forums to coordinate editing

Problems with TV Tropes


Users of the site have too much time on their hands and are obsessed with television shows, such as the vacuous occult teen drama Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Consequently, they need excuses to make new pages. As a result, most of the entries are over specialized variations of other entries. Effectively every individual scene, character or theme, no matter how specific, can be turned into an article, even if they are not tropes as such. The official policy is that "There Is No Such Thing As Notability", the only qualifying factor for page creation is that the subject must actually exist.


A non-fiction educational wiki has been shoe-horned into TV Tropes as a way for the liberal editors to criticize it.

Inconsistent use of tropes

In certain cases, in particular with YMMV tropes, the criteria used for determining trope applicability have been deemed inconsistent, even when there was a rubric for including them. An infamous example of this is the Complete Monster trope, reserved for the worst of the worst among villains, where some villains get removed for qualifying as "lacking in the heinous standard" even when said villains have been depicted as being truly evil, such as outright enjoying jobs at assassination and having zero qualms with murdering children, or even having another qualifying despite their showing genuinely redeemable traits. One of the excuses for this inconsistency is the claim that different stories have differing moral standards, implying that they engage in Moral relativism. This also ends up contradicted when one character is labeled as a Complete Monster and the other in exactly the same work isn't considered such despite both characters doing exactly the same sort of thing that got one of them labeled as such in the first place and having very similar reactions. In addition, this also results in various other Wikias, such as Villains Wiki, using the Complete Monster trope alongside rigidly enforcing these aspects even when they were incorrect and in explicit violation against Wikia's encyclopedic policies on POV, and also tended to require majority opinion to even qualify (see also Groupthink). In addition, despite qualifying as YMMV, several entries relating to unintentionally sympathetic or unintentionally unsympathetic at times get removed due to the claim that they are insulting to the characters. Although TV Tropes eventually became so mismanaged that All The Tropes (later Tropedia) was created specifically to fix mistakes made on TV Tropes, it has recently started falling into the same problems with the Complete Monster trope as with TV Tropes, including utilizing differing moral standards for villains, with it eventually resulting in the outright removal of the Complete Monster trope from being used as examples on All the Tropes (and the trope itself only being relegated to a single article).

Liberal bias

The site tends to promote several liberal biases. For instance, some of the tropes, in particular YMMV tropes, can make negative statements about President Bush, yet if a negative statement was made regarding Barack Obama, they remove it under the pretense of how it's never good to negatively comment on a President; anything negative about Donald Trump is promoted, while anything positive about him is either removed or edited out of context. They are also pro-evolution and anti-Christian as can be seen on their tropes page for Christian movies like God's Not Dead.[1] On these pages, the "Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment" [2] and their rule against "Complaining About Shows You Don't Like" [3] are disregarded.

Similarly, despite having a rule forbidding listing any real-world examples that are more recent than four decades, the Vote Early, Vote Often trope page's real life examples section explicitly rejects the notion that voter fraud was widespread (as well as citing the fake news site Washington Post as its proof for being rare) during the 2010 decade and falsely implies that Republicans and Conservatives simply were "delusional" for believing it, and even accusing the Republican congressional candidate of North Carolina of doing the same.[4] It also calls "cure your gays" a "discredited" trope despite the fact that ex-homosexuals do exist.[5] During the 2020 election cycle as well as the aftermath, they not only deny there being rampant voter fraud despite sufficient evidence coming in independently of what Trump stated that the election was stolen, but even went as far as to implicitly accuse Donald Trump of telling Republicans to engage in such, while also ignoring Democrats' attempts at voter fraud or downplaying it by claiming they're the victim of it.[6]

The real life section of the trope "Blind Obedience" hints that conservative people never question authority and falsely labels fascism as part of the right-wing, though this does not describe all conservatives; in fact, there are even some liberals and a lot of leftists that display a lot of blind obedience more than what TV Tropes accuses conservatives of being. It also implies that conservative leaders are the ones who have zero tolerance for any dissent, when such a description actually matches left-wing dictatorships and left-wing leaders more (eg, Karl Marx was known to throw out anyone who dared suggest he might even slightly be wrong in his thinking).[7]

The Trope page for "Dan Browned" (meaning one who claims to do research, yet still gets many things wrong) goes hard after Jack Chick and his Chick Tracts, yet fails to acknowledge the many errors of super-liberal Adam Conover in the show "Adam Ruins Everything." [8]


TV Tropes is perhaps most famous for its wiki effect, where an internet browser will become sucked into the pages, clicking from link to link, trope to trope, work to work. This becomes even worse if one decides to become an editor, due to the work involved. [9]


    • In the United States, voter fraud is very rare but has become a major rallying cry for the Republican Party, particularly in The New '10s as justification for strict voter ID laws. Donald Trump has made sweeping accusations against Democrats, from claiming that millions of illegal immigrants voted against him in California in 2016, to claiming people voted multiple times via donning disguises in the 2018 midterm elections. This was widely mocked by people tweeting multiple images purporting to be the disguises they wore to cast more than one ballot. That election also had a high-profile case in North Carolina's ninth district where absentee ballots were meddled with in various ways to favor the Republican candidate.
    • Trump also caused a bit of a stir two months before the 2020 presidential election when he, an ardent detractor of mail-in voting, urged mail-in voters to also cast their ballot at their election office to make sure their vote was properly counted[note his reasoning being that if your mail-in vote was valid, your in-person vote would automatically fail, and if the latter was counted because your mail-in hadn't yet arrived, it would be ignored instead. Despite his attacks, he came off as a hypocrite when he voted via mail.] Though legally sound, detractors criticized Trump's approach as a veiled attempt to get Republican voters to vote twice.
    • In the aftermath of the 2020 election, Trump and several of his allies have claimed that Joe Biden's victory was only due to rampant voter fraud. These claims have been widely deboonked, though that has not stopped Trump from attempting to get himself declared the winner anyway in what critics have on occasion called a coup attempt.
    • Meanwhile, Democrats typically blame their losses on the inverse of this, voter suppression, claiming that they didn't get as many votes as they should have because voters were intimidated, dropped from rolls, or otherwise prevented from voting, for reasons that always seem to boil down to racism.