Something recurring across a genre or type of literature, such as the ‘mad scientist’ of horror movies or ‘once upon a time’ as an introduction to fairy tales. Similar to archetype and cliché but not necessarily pejorative.

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67 views

What's the first appearance of Becoming the Costume that happens on Halloween?

What's the first appearance of Becoming the Costume that happens on Halloween? Something turns people into whatever costume they are wearing.
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0answers
32 views

When was the first appearance of Born In An Elevator?

When was the first appearance of Born In An Elevator? http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BornInAnElevator
80
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3answers
9k views

Origin of movie trope where impaled character pulls/pushes blade/spear further into body?

Over the years there have been a number of films where the villain (e.g., Artemisia in 300: Rise of an Empire) or the hero (e.g., Arthur in Excalibur) have been impaled with a spear, blade, etc. ...
4
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0answers
89 views

Why does a character talk to the back of another character?

This seems to be commonplace in action TV series in movies: our hero talks to the villain, there is some exposition and instead of facing each other as civilised people tend to do, the villain will ...
2
votes
1answer
113 views

Banana peel trope: where does it come from?

I read on TV Tropes that: The use of a banana peel as an injurious prop is actually alarmingly realistic and a reference to its ubiquity on the streets of American cities in the early part of ...
26
votes
3answers
6k views

Who came up with the “death trap” concept?

The Big Bad has caught the dashing hero. But he's not going to simply shoot him, oh no, he'll place him in some sort of convoluted death-trap (generally unattended) which the hero will no doubt find ...
2
votes
2answers
59 views

Cop chasing thief silent film trope

I'm looking for an example of a trope I know clearly in my mind but can't find a specific example to. I feel like I've seen it in numerous silent films but can't find it anywhere: A woman is being ...
3
votes
1answer
131 views

Why do freight trains never stop after smashing through something on the tracks?

In almost every movie that I can think of that involves a train crossing with someone getting stuck/pushed onto the track the freight train always comes along to great fanfare and smashes through the ...
36
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4answers
5k views

What is the point of the Red Thread/Tape around evidence or newspaper clippings?

I have seen in a lot-lot of movies that the person who searches for a crime or another person creates a web of red tape or wire around the newspapers and evidence he acquires. I never guessed its ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

“Buddy cop show” without two cops?

"Buddy cop show" is a common trope; but so is a partnering of a cop and a civilian, and especially a cop and an extraordinary civilian (a mentalist in The Mentalist, an immortal in Forever, a fallen ...
99
votes
8answers
22k views

Why are films where the bad guy “wins” at the end so rare?

It seems that there is a rarity in films where the bad guy wins at the film's conclusion ("bad guys" being defined by the culture of the movie makers). By "win" I mean the good guy(s) have been ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

Is there a trope where a group of people get splattered with blood?

I'm looking for a trope where there is a group of people and someone kills one person and blood/guts go everywhere and it splatters all over the audience.
2
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1answer
130 views

Why are animals in cartoons shown having spirals for eyes after a camera's flash goes off?

I have seen many cartoon movies, scenes where when the animals are photographed, they get stunned after they see a camera flash which is expressed by spirals over their eyes. Is there a particular ...
3
votes
3answers
190 views

Is it a trope that exposed electric wire in a pool causes electrocution?

We see in Movies and TV Shows that electricity and water don't mix. And when they do, fatal results take place. But I've heard that this is only an exaggeration for the dramatic effect. I've read a ...
11
votes
1answer
839 views

The Simpsons/Futurama: walk in the dark with neon signs

In many episodes of The Simpsons or Futurama, a character (usually drunk or sad) walks in the dark with neon signs moving in the background; where does this come from? A few examples: The Simpsons ...
8
votes
2answers
259 views

From which movies does the stereotypical b/w film noir voice-over introduction originate?

When doing stereotypical film noir style stories they always have the hard boiled black and white detective narrating to himself with smooth jazz playing while it is raining, like in the first minute ...
2
votes
1answer
192 views

What is the first instance of the “Saving humans from themselves” trope

After watching Age of Ultron (in which, ridiculously reduced, Ultron, tasked with saving humanity, decides that to save it, he must destroy it, because it is its own worst threat) I thought of I, ...
4
votes
1answer
766 views

Why is Los Angeles targeted for destruction so often in Hollywood movies?

One of my favourite types of films are ones where some form of cataclysm occurs (morbid I know). But one thing I have noticed in many films is the destruction of the city of Los Angeles (sometimes ...
6
votes
1answer
419 views

What movie or TV show had the first instance of heroes walking in slow motion?

There's a trope of heroes walking towards the camera in slow motion, shoulder-to-shoulder. What was the first movie where this kind of shot was used?
3
votes
1answer
167 views

What is the name of this “character suddenly has expert knowledge” trope?

What is this called? The trope where, in some episode, a character suddenly has advanced, expert knowledge in a field that they have never mentioned, especially something almost out of character for ...
3
votes
1answer
341 views

Why do people never turn off the car headlights when they stop the engine?

In several movies, I keep noticing a trope: whenever someone is in a car at night, with a running engine, and headlights are on, they will keep the lights on, not only after the stop the engine, but ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the purpose of people shouting “Hello” into the phone several times after they've clearly been disconnected?

This is usually done with a landline phone. The character calls someone or someone is calling him, they talk for a while and then for any reason the other person hangs up earlier than the character ...
8
votes
2answers
263 views

What is today's version of the 'cutting the phone line' trope?

I watched Kiss the Girls last night and thought it was funny in the final scene that it all happened because the bad guy pulled the phone line. If you watch any Lifetime movies this might happen ...
7
votes
1answer
620 views

Hair changes in The Book of Life - What's this called?

In The Book of Life, I just noticed a very interesting graphic effect. Manolo's hair swirl physically changes from scene to scene to face the camera. This effect occurs constantly but is never ...
3
votes
1answer
237 views

What's the name of the trope where a character answers the phone expecting someone and it's someone else?

Often used in horror movies, when the female victim answers the phone, jumping straight into conversation assuming it's their girlfriend, and it ends up being the killer.
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vote
1answer
117 views

Grabbing someone's wrist before they strike…?

I'm not usually one for Trope Identification, but after watching the The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies I'm dying to know if this is identified... Is there a name for the shot/sequence wherein the ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a specific “convenient parking” trope?

Is there a name for the trope where the characters in a car always just so happen to get a spot exactly in front of whatever location they're driving to? It's certainly the norm in movies, and I'm ...
4
votes
1answer
574 views

Is there a trope for a pile-on fight?

Is there a trope about one person being tackled and piled on and the hero uses tremendous strength to get up and the multiple opponents go flying? Here is what I am talking about from The Matrix ...
2
votes
2answers
875 views

Origin of the phrase “You're either very brave, or very stupid”

You're either very brave, or very stupid It's a common as dirt line from basically every action or drama movie ever, some examples from the top of my head would be Spooks S05E08- Agenda, Star Trek ...
4
votes
1answer
158 views

Trope for nonlethal force being used in film fight scenes?

Is there a particular trope identifying drawn out fight scenes in film and TV where the Villain resorts to using wrestling moves vs. the Hero: punches, bear hugs, and body throws, rather than more ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do criminals always leave the front door ajar so cops can easily detect something is wrong?

Why does it seem like in every cop based TV drama (CSI, Law and Order, etc.) that whenever something bad has happened that the front door is always left open or slightly ajar? Do criminals not ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

What trope would Indiana never leaving his hat behind fall under?

In the Indiana Jones movies whenever his hat is lost he'll always at least try to get it back. He's risked limbs amongst other things in order to make sure he always has it with him. This isn't ...
6
votes
1answer
249 views

What is the name of this “backup plan of last resort” trope?

You know the old trope of how the person has a "backup plan of last resort" where in case of the person going missing or turning up dead, they have info that will be released. How many scenes have we ...