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Questions tagged [trope]

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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Is there a term for the "ominous building with goofy front-desk person" trope?

Imagine pin-drop silence in the lobby of a brutalist-style building with a single receptionist. The ceiling is exceedingly high and all the colors are dull. It is a long walk to the desk and the floor ...
Scene's user avatar
  • 137
4 votes
1 answer
415 views

Where does the "hooded hacker" cliché comes from?

Whenever there’s a series/movies/ad/article related to cybersecurity, more often than not, the attacker (inappropriately called a "hacker") will be depicted as a black/dark coloured-sweater ...
breversa's user avatar
  • 159
1 vote
1 answer
137 views

What significance does the use of the crossbow have? Is it a reference to a trope?

In the horror comedy film The Blackening (2022), the killer mainly uses a crossbow to hunt down the main characters. At one point, Dewayne (played by Dewayne Perkins) manages to shoot the killer using ...
galacticninja's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
194 views

Name for "saved one life but then lost many" trope

I am watching Homeland season 4. It seems the authors employ a trope where protagonist makes a decision to save one US citizen life, but that decision then leads to loss of dozens of US citizens and ...
aaaaa says reinstate Monica's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
495 views

Origin of the zillion offers to light one cigarette

In the film All That Jazz, the character Michelle was played by the actress Erzsebet Foldi when she was around 13 years old. In a fantasy sequence late in the film, Michelle performs the song "...
Chaim's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
81 views

Did "When Harry Met Sally" popularise the cliché of a romcom ending with one of the leads listing the other's foibles to show their love?

As the title suggests, I was recently watching a romcom which ended in the now clichéd fashion of the two estranged leads reconciling when one of them lists a series of the other's idiosyncrasies to ...
atbm's user avatar
  • 111
2 votes
2 answers
660 views

What is the earliest appearance of the "pretty ugly girl" trope?

In the "pretty ugly girl" trope, an attractive young woman is cast as "ugly", this being signified typically by (a) baggy clothes, (b) hair in a bun or otherwise held up over the ...
Michael Stern's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
203 views

What's the earliest example of "flipping through various TV channels creating a coherent message"?

I know I've seen it quite a lot on TV and in film, some examples being: The Simpsons - Radioactive Man [1995?] Shaun of the Dead [2004] ...
Praxiom's user avatar
  • 143
2 votes
4 answers
2k views

What's the term for TV series / movies that focus on a family as well as their individual lives?

Related post on Anime SE: What are anime series that focus on a family as well as their individual lives? Not just arbitrary family series or movies like maybe Frozen but something that really ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 1,515
-8 votes
1 answer
222 views

Cases where voice actor reprises role in live-action adaptation [closed]

Aside from anime and the examples listed below, what instances have there been of voice actors reprising their roles in live-action adaptations? (For anime, see this post.) Patton Oswalt voices ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 1,515
7 votes
2 answers
222 views

Who was the first to take Manhattan?

We know that in 1984, the Muppets took Manhattan. In 1989, Jason Voorhees took Manhattan as well. Later, DeGrassi took Manhattan, the Weeping Angels took Manhattan, and countless others have taken ...
TenthJustice's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
173 views

Brits addressing police as 'Detective <surname>' - is there a name for this (trope)?

I first noticed this decades ago in the BBC series Silent Witness, and since then repeatedly, and most recently in The Devil's Hour (Amazon). British characters involved in a police investigation, ...
Michael Harvey's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
822 views

In films, especially horror, Why does the devil interact with random people?

In most supernatural horror movies, especially religious ones, the characters will fight evil spirits and entities, the Devil being one of the most popular ones. However, what confuses me is when he ...
Crafter's user avatar
  • 279
-5 votes
1 answer
292 views

What is the name of the trope where a character intends to do 'one last job' but get killed during this job? [closed]

What is the name of the trope where a character intends to 'get out' after doing 'one last job' but gets killed during this job? I have found the One Last Job on TV Tropes, however it doesn't contain ...
Sebastiaan van den Broek's user avatar
-5 votes
2 answers
418 views

Why do characters with wet hands need to explain that they just washed them? [closed]

The latest instance I can think of would be Spider-Ham from Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse - YouTube link of clip. A character will say something along the lines of "I just washed my hands, ...
Isaac Middlemiss's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
134 views

What is the oldest piece of visual media involving computerized dating services?

TVTropes mentions the history of digital dating services, and then notes that there's media from before the 1990s about it. Using computers as dating services did not start with the rise of the ...
Malady's user avatar
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10 votes
7 answers
776 views

Besides iCarly, has there ever been an (official) adult sequel to a kids' series?

Previously I asked What's the term for some sequel where we see the characters in the original but much older? where an answer is Character Aged with the Actor but in the examples I've mentioned ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 1,515
5 votes
0 answers
168 views

What is magenta shadow in anime and what does it mean?

This question has haunted me for a long time! I was trying to search for anything I could find, but I have not found the answer. In anime, there are moments where the "camera" gets a weird ...
Duckrinium's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
292 views

The women-hanging-clothes opening trope in Firefly and Inglourious Basterds

Episode 12 of Firefly opens with a scene in which two people are hanging clothes up to dry while in the distance they see approaching a group of men who look like they cold be trouble. This reminded ...
pseudosudo's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
478 views

Is there a term for the trope where a character says something they should not know?

Is there a name for the trope where a character betrays himself/herself when they say or do something they shouldn't know? For example, somewhere in the series Homeland, Carrie offers Nicholas some ...
thieupepijn's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
840 views

What was the first movie in which the bad guy(s) are using a sky beam? [closed]

The use of a sky beam has become a trope in the last decade or so. They appear in Star Trek (2009), The Avengers (2012), Big Hero 6 (2014), Independence Day (2016), and many others. Where/when did ...
Michael Stern's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
219 views

Is the "person defending trailerhome with a shotgun" a common scene?

I have a feeling that there is a kind of scene, where you have a person that lives in a motorhome /trailer, and defends it against intruders by pointing a shotgun at the door. I can think of two ...
Jean Hominal's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
489 views

Where did the "ordering someone to kill the dog" trope first come from?

In Dog Soldiers (2002), there is a scene at the beginning where a character is told to shoot and kill a dog to show his allegiance and loyalty to a commanding officer. A similar thing also happened in ...
Krythic's user avatar
  • 421
2 votes
2 answers
540 views

Carson: "It was so X"; Audience: "How X was it?"

Carson: "It was so X"; Audience: "How X was it?" Is there a name for this class of humor or standup routine or trope, or whatever this is called? Are there references specifically ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 2,825
3 votes
2 answers
934 views

What's the term for some sequel where we see the characters in the original but much older?

What's the term for a sequel of a film, film series, or TV series where some of the same characters from the original are in the sequel, but they're older by 5+ years? Usually you get the same cast ...
BCLC's user avatar
  • 1,515
1 vote
0 answers
98 views

Trope name for anti-hero's henchmen doing bad things while anti-hero does something good?

I see this everywhere. Basically, the anti-hero will be doing something good/trivial/civilized, while the scene repeatedly cuts to his henchmen running around doing bad things. A famous example of ...
Jaood's user avatar
  • 415
6 votes
1 answer
211 views

Is total television air time takeover feasible?

We've all seen the trope from films, TV series, books, and so forth about the evil villain (or dark hero in the case of V for Vendetta) who manages to take over all TV network broadcasts (cable/...
MissouriSpartan's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
136 views

Is there any movie scene about helping a rival to their maximum potential before taking them down? [closed]

I want to find a movie scene about helping a rival to their maximum potential before taking them down. The ultimate concept to be illustrated is the "steelman argument" or "Rapoport's ...
Ooker's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
60 views

Does this device used to create suspense have a name?

Sometimes films will create suspense by having the audience along with character not know whether or not another character knows a secret. And if the character does actually know the secret, it would ...
GendoIkari's user avatar
  • 8,663
26 votes
2 answers
8k views

Why do assistant type characters tend to have British accents in movies?

Assistant-type characters like: Alfred in the Batman movies Zazu in The Lion King series C-3PO in the Star Wars series Curator in Ready Player One Jarvis in Iron Man etc. often have British accents. ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
883 views

Trope where one person pretends to be multiple people working different jobs

In S3E3 of Avatar, entitled The Painted Lady, a character named at different times Dock, Xu, or Bushi worked as a ferryman, fishmonger, and river cleaner respectively. The "characters" are ...
whereswalden's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
220 views

Name of the role that is neither primary nor support, similar to the dodging guy in Mummy Returns?

In The Mummy Returns, there is a henchman that gets lucky number of times when he dodges a blade/shot meant for him, just to watch another henchman behind him take the hit. Is there a name for such ...
jimjim's user avatar
  • 709
-2 votes
1 answer
4k views

What is that fight move where one hammers both sides of someone's head? [closed]

There's a fight move in film and TV where one person uses both hands, usually as fists, to strike both sides of their opponent's head simultaneously. This is almost always portrayed as a special move, ...
BatWannaBe's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
6k views

Is there a name for the trope when there is a moments dialogue when someone pauses just before they leave the room?

There is a common trope both in theatre and in film where a scene is about to end. One actor is about to leave a room. They pause at the door and either ask or are asked a final question just as they ...
MiguelH's user avatar
  • 305
20 votes
2 answers
549 views

Has there ever been a drama film with an unreliable death scene confession?

This film is prompted by watching The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. In Venice, the crewman gasps "it was Grey, not Skinner", and dies. Various aspects of screenplay and score suggested ...
Stilez's user avatar
  • 861
22 votes
2 answers
10k views

Why is Skinner so awkward in Hot Fuzz?

In Hot Fuzz, Simon Skinner is one of the core members of Neighborhood Watch Alliance, which have successfully managed to hide numerous murders for years. Why does he talk so awkwardly though? He ...
M.A.R.'s user avatar
  • 1,090
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Origin of "red glowing eyes in the dark" trope?

I can't find/think of any examples off of the top of my head, but it is a common trope (especially in animated films) to show an area covered in shadow and have red eyes appear in the darkness. ...
scohe001's user avatar
  • 393
8 votes
0 answers
2k views

What was the first movie to show a crazy person's wall covered with photos & articles connected by colored yarn?

In movies such as A Beautiful Mind, a crazy / obsessed person will cover a wall with photographs and news articles, and connect them with colored yarn. (This is called link analysis). We've all seen ...
BrettFromLA's user avatar
  • 23.6k
2 votes
1 answer
377 views

Hysterical laughing and crying after traumatizing event

I'm not sure if this is a common trope, but I remember an instance of it from the show According to Jim. Two women (sisters Cheryl and Dana) were talking to each other in a parking lot and were ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
223 views

Is there name or a trope for this kind of scene featured on the latest episode of Outlander?

I was recently watching the latest episode of the Starz TV series, Outlander, episode 4.06 titled, Blood of my Blood. In the episode there are a series of interrelated scenes featuring Because I ...
Darth Locke's user avatar
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3 votes
4 answers
2k views

If a gun has made an appearance, has it ever gone unused? [closed]

There is a trope called Chekhov's Gun that states once someone or something has made an appearance, it must become integral to the story. Another way to think of this is, if a gun makes an appearance,...
Jason P Sallinger's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
234 views

Origins and name of the head-turn / 4th wall breaking shot on TV and film

There's a cliche shot used more often on TV than on film (IMHO) where we see the character first in profile. They then turn to look directly at the camera. Does anyone know if there a name for this ...
MiguelH's user avatar
  • 305
0 votes
1 answer
577 views

Identifying inspiration among Black Mirror episode and Sword Art Online

I just watched 'Black Mirror' episode 4 of season 3 (11 episode of whole) titled 'San Junipero' Lots of concepts were similar to the last quarter of 'Sword Art Online' anime 'Mother Rosario' Using ...
mpasko256's user avatar
  • 119
3 votes
1 answer
387 views

Mobsters throwing person off pier

A while ago I saw a mobster movie where, after some betrayal or whatnot, mobsters/gangsters tie up somebody, take him to a pier late at night, 'take care of him,' and throw him off into the dark, cold ...
IHaveAQuestion's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
731 views

Is there a name for this illogical sequence of events that often shows up in movies?

Here's something that I see over and over again in movies. It seems very illogical and forced to me, and I am wondering if it is a known cliche with a name? Basically, it's where two people have ...
ewfoeo's user avatar
  • 125
-3 votes
1 answer
417 views

Why don't aliens win in most movies? [duplicate]

Most alien/extraterrestrial trope-based movies often depict them as losing despite being far more advanced physically and/or technologically. This is seen in cases like Aliens, Predators, Independence ...
Unmanned Player's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
444 views

TV Trope where the first words spoken of a scene are the exact same as the last words of the previous scene

Is there a TV Trope that describes where the beginning dialogue of a scene is the exact same as the last words spoken in the most previous scene? Often, the beginning dialogue of the second scene ...
Charles's user avatar
  • 14.3k
3 votes
1 answer
304 views

Is there a formal title for Larry's "lying inspection" bit?

When Larry suspects someone of lying, he inches toward them and "inspects" their face while a song plays. This happens all the time throughout Curb Your Enthusiasm. Is there a name for this?
JacobIRR's user avatar
  • 575
8 votes
1 answer
364 views

Name of trope where the character briefly defies laws of nature/physics?

Is there a trope for when a character defies the laws of physics/nature, but doesn't realize it for a moment, and so, because of this, the laws of nature don't take effect immediately, but only until ...
Charles's user avatar
  • 14.3k
3 votes
1 answer
343 views

Name and Reason for Bad-Guy-Gets-Mercy Trope

I'm always (and yesterday evening again) ethically confused by movies and series episodes in which the hero(s) kill(s) dozens of little fish gangsters, shooting everyone in her (their) path towards ...
Blutkoete's user avatar
  • 133