Questions tagged [trope]

For questions about tropes, a common plot, cliché or meme which appears in literature or media.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
-1
votes
0answers
65 views

What is the first instance of an “evil prometheus” giving/teaching magic to the monsters?

An "evil prometheus" in and of itself is probably not too special, as it's basically just the antagonist giving weapons to otherwise less technologically advanced people to fight the ...
3
votes
0answers
122 views

Did Tolkien invent the trope of the “green glint” in the eye? If not, who did? [closed]

In J.R.R. Tolkien's The Two Towers (1954), Sméagol has a transient "green glint" in his eye when his Gollum alter ego surfaces in his consciousness. At the word hungry a greenish light was ...
5
votes
1answer
413 views

Why are the Elves always shown as having thoughts about leaving this world for some utopia rather than reveling in their life on Earth? [closed]

Is this trope there to reinforce the belief that Elves are a superior race, come from somewhere else and they don't have the vigour and childish imagination of the more mundane races to find peace in ...
2
votes
0answers
109 views

Trope where Everyone Believes Something when they Should Know Better [closed]

In the novel Dune we are told that doctors from the Suk school receive Imperial conditioning so that their loyalty is unbreakable, and no doctor from this school will ever act in a way that will harm ...
-4
votes
1answer
232 views

Is the Coraline movie trying to make a point that people should have freedom?

I know it was originally a book and I'm wondering whether the original story was trying to make a point that people should have freedom. In the Coraline movie, the main character Coraline went into ...
10
votes
1answer
295 views

Who was the first to make use of the joke “You mean, when are we?”

There is a very common joke in time-travelling stories. One person asks "Where are we?" and the other responds, "When are we?". What is the earliest instance of this joke being made? I am ...
15
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the origin of the “clerics can create water” trope?

All Dungeons and Dragons edition I'm familiar with have its Cleric character class. Apparently, D&D Cleric is a trope of its own. Many D&D "clerical" spells were still inspired by popular ...
53
votes
10answers
15k views

What is the origin of the “being immortal sucks” trope?

In a lot of science fiction and fantasy, there is the trope of someone becoming immortal, but then being really sad about it, deciding that it is worse than being mortal. What is the oldest work to ...
82
votes
4answers
12k views

Sol Ⅲ = Earth: What is the origin of this planetary naming scheme?

It appears to be a fairly common planetary naming scheme in science fiction: Take the common name (or its bayer designation) of star and append the planetary ordinal in the form of a Roman or Arabic ...
16
votes
1answer
463 views

Where did the concept of single-use spell scrolls originate?

It has been a standard rule in Dungeons & Dragons for as long as I can remember that spell scrolls are single-use items. Once a spell is cast from the scroll (or, sometimes, even if an ...
2
votes
1answer
216 views

Trope identification and earliest examples: Stereotype exists because of banished people

Trope described: Humans live (quite far) away from race/species/distinct group of people called X. There is a lot of negative stereotypes about the X. They are all dishonorable, thieves, murderers, ...
30
votes
3answers
6k views

Does the Disney canon of Star Wars include any multiple-biome planets?

Star Wars is quite famous for fitting the Single Biome Planet trope to a T (warning: TVTropes link). You have the desert worlds of Tatooine and Jakku, the Forest Moon of Endor, the woodland planet of ...
39
votes
1answer
9k views

Origin of genies (from lamps) having a three wish limit?

In the original 1001 Nights (a.k.a. Arabian Nights) story "Aladdin" the titular character gets a lamp that contains a magical being called a "genie" that grants wishes. This is fairly common knowledge ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Is Enfys Nest's name meant to be a pun?

In Solo: A Star Wars Story fans are introduced to a new character named Enfys Nest, a leader of a rebelling pirate group called, the Cloud Riders. Later in the film it is revealed that Enfys I have ...
100
votes
2answers
7k views

Is there a term for the science fiction trope where a character lists two historical things and a future thing?

In Babylon 5, for example, a character lists famous bombings like "Hiroshima, Dresden, San Diego" with the first items in the list being real and the last being fictional. This dialog technique of ...
3
votes
0answers
148 views

The evil, repressive government is trying to stop the heroes! For a very good reason, it turns out [duplicate]

I have a memory of a short story in which a plucky group of scientists and researchers (and maybe students?) invent a machine that allows you to view any place and period in history. It will ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

First non humanoid intelligent alien depiction in television?

Broken out from this related question Given that human looking intelligent aliens are so common as to be a trope, what is the earliest depiction in Television of an intelligent alien life form as ...
3
votes
3answers
314 views

First non humanoid intelligent alien depiction in film?

Broken out for film from this question Given that human looking intelligent aliens are so common as to be a trope, what is the earliest depiction in Film of an intelligent alien life form as being ...
2
votes
5answers
401 views

First non humanoid intelligent alien depiction in literature?

In an unrelated question, I was thinking of the Horta (ST:TOS, Devil in the Dark), which to paraphrase McCoy in one of the books looks like "an ambulatory pepperoni pizza, extra cheese". Given that ...
7
votes
2answers
444 views

When was the fantasy trope of psychological invisibility first used?

In the Enchanters’ End Game, the last book of the Belgariad series, the following exchange between Belgarath the sorcerer and Silk takes place, when they discuss how the Sword has been hidden: “It’...
30
votes
3answers
3k views

Is there special symbolism of evil and undead in the north?

Is there a reason or special symbolism for evil to fester in the northern reaches of a world? Three examples I can remember on the top of my head is Tolkien with Melkors/Morgoths stronghold of ...
11
votes
1answer
3k views

How many Dornishman-jokes do we know?

In Westeros, like our world, stereotypical and/or racist jokes are common. Given the rivalry between Highgarden and Dorne, such jokes about Dornishmen seem to be particularly popular in the Reach1. ...
29
votes
2answers
2k views

What was the first published SF story to use the surprise twist “and these characters were the original Adam and Eve!” at the end?

A very long time ago, I checked out a book from a library. It was 100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories, edited by Isaac Asimov and Martin H. Greenberg. One of those short-shorts is "...
107
votes
7answers
14k views

Were the Smurfs the first to smurf their smurfs?

On Rick and Morty, Squanchy squanches some of his squanches with "squanch". On South Park, we saw the Marklar marklar their marklar with "marklar". Before those two shows, the Smurfs already smurfed ...
2
votes
1answer
265 views

Is super heroes lighting their logos on fire a trope?

Frank Castle did it in the first of the recent Punisher movies: Batman in The Dark Knight Rises: Let's not forget Matt Murdock's tag in Daredevil the movie: Are there more cases of this in film and ...
2
votes
2answers
274 views

Origin / History of the “Small crew & beat up starship” trope

I really like the: "Small crew and beat up starship" trope: The Millennium Falcon (Star Wars) The Bebop (Cowboy Bebop) Serenity (Firefly) Ships that aren't the nicest, but have a hard working team ...
5
votes
4answers
738 views

Is there a precedent for the use of this trope in Star Trek?

I liked most of Star Trek Beyond, but I wasn't thrilled about the climax, when the crew I didn't enjoy it because it's so implausible, but I'd be more comfortable if it was a nod to an event in the ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the significance of Axolotls in Gravity Falls?

Both in- and out-of-universe, Axolotls are a reoccurring element in Gravity Falls. In the first episode and the online game Mystery Shack Mystery, the Mystery Shack tank contains what seems to be an ...
5
votes
0answers
124 views

What's the first appearance of Becoming the Costume on Halloween in literature?

What's the first appearance of Becoming the Costume on Halloween in literature? Something turns people into whatever costume they are wearing.
11
votes
1answer
332 views

Origin of “giveaway eyes for shapeshifters” trope

This use of giveaway eye flashes, changes in colour, or changes to the iris shape seems to be a common trope in several series as a way of informing the viewer when a nearby shapeshifter is listening/...
4
votes
1answer
234 views

When has Superman stunted human progress, and what prevents him from doing so?

Superman takes care of problems the human race appears unable to contend with on their own. Even without evil geniuses and super-powered villains, though, Superman has the capacity to do things that ...
11
votes
8answers
805 views

What is the earliest example of a “Blighted Land” created by human or semi-human activity?

Chernobyl is the ur-example of a real Blighted Land. There is an 18 mile exclusion zone around the melted reactor that is deemed not fit for human habitation (this is of course ignored by animals, ...
15
votes
1answer
810 views

Is there anything to the idea of an “Uncle Ben” trope? [closed]

There seems to be a trend of Uncles Ben who inspire a protagonist and then die (or at least appear to), inspiring them some more: Spider-Man's Uncle Ben Luke Skywalker's "uncle" Ben Kenobi (uncle in ...
32
votes
16answers
11k views

If the ship's self-destruct is such a great idea why don't real Navies do this? [closed]

Background to my question: I watched a recent episode of The Expanse where the ship's captain It got me thinking, in-universe this appears to make no sense! Ships having a self-destruct is a ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is the strongest magic frequently ancient? [closed]

It seems a common trope in universes with magic that the most powerful spells are ancient and no longer in practice either because they were forgotten or forbidden. New wizards learn the basics but ...
5
votes
1answer
928 views

What's the history of the prefix “Age of”?

Context I came to realize that there are two recent films (probably more) which contain Age of in their subtitle: Avengers: Age of Ultron and Tranformers: Age of Extinction The thing about these ...
3
votes
1answer
344 views

Where did wishes come from?

When you look into the wish trope, you tend to get pointed back to Aladdin from The Book of One Thousand and One Nights as the originator. But wishes in Aladdin really didn't work the way modern ...
1
vote
1answer
154 views

What sci fi book series did a Viver appear in?

I read this at local library once, I liked it, but title has always escapes me. It sort of followed the unlikely hero trope. The one thing that I clearly remember were the Viver. These were not aliens,...
31
votes
2answers
2k views

Was the recurring theme of Stark creating his own villains intentional?

Looking across the Iron Man and Avengers films, the theme of Tony creating his own villains comes up quite often. He also arguably creates his own figurative villains in the form of hedonism and ...
3
votes
1answer
413 views

Was Tarzan's dialogue in movies influenced by the Hulk Speak trope?

Today I learnt that Me Tarzan, You Jane is a Me Beam Up, You Scotty. TV Tropes notes that movies from the franchise did have some Hulk Speak. Going through the TV Tropes page for the trope, I couldn'...
7
votes
1answer
955 views

Bringing spare horses when you have to “ride hard?” [closed]

How does this trope make any sense? I've been re-reading the Sword of Truth series, and numerous times they mention that they need "6 horses. We're going to ride hard and need the spares." How does ...
4
votes
1answer
427 views

What's the first appearance of Elves capable of shadow-melding in fantasy?

Everyone who has played either Warcraft III or World of Warcraft knows that Night Elves have the magic ability to melt away into the shadows of the night, a power known as shadowmeld. According to the ...
6
votes
1answer
441 views

The “superhuman speed” special effect in movies and television

What's the earliest example of a character exhibiting "superhuman" speed in either film or television (doesn't have to be Hollywood, if the earliest example is foreign, very interested in hearing of ...
8
votes
2answers
836 views

Was “American Werewolf” the first story to have a werewolf haunted by ghosts?

In the 1981 film "An American Werewolf in London" and its 1997 sequel "An American Werewolf in Paris", the protagonist is haunted by increasingly decayed apparitions of his victims. These "ghosts" ...
10
votes
1answer
773 views

Was Smaug's treasure-hoarding a bug or a feature in-universe? [duplicate]

Smaug (and all other dragons) were created by Morgoth as species as warfighting machines. As such, the desire to amass bling seems to be a somewhat... tangential feature, to put it mildly. If I was ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

First known author to use the concept of “Bigger on the inside”

Who namely known author used the concept of being bigger on the inside first? A holodeck is bigger on the inside, the TARDIS is, on Diskworld the Home of Death and Rincewind's Luggage are, Hermione's ...
5
votes
0answers
115 views

How many times has Superman caught the falling Daily Planet statue?

When and how many times has the Daily Planet's statue (of the eponymous Daily Planet) at the top building fallen and been caught by Superman?
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it possible to call every mobile phone in a particular area at a time? [closed]

I've seen this phenomenon in the movie Eagle Eye, Sherlock Holmes television episodes, and The Lawnmower Man. Every mobile gets a call at a same time from the same guy in a particular area. Is this ...
3
votes
1answer
746 views

When does “extra dimensional space” appear?

I am a bit puzzled because the concept of beings from extra dimensions or from extra dimensional space seems mentioned in comic already in the sixties, at least. That is previous to the use of d=26 ...
1
vote
3answers
812 views

Why is there such a theme of a superheros’ friends becoming their enemy/frenemy?

For example, in Spider-Man (at least the film from 2002), Peter Parker is friends with Green Goblin (or his son?), and in X-Men, Wolverine's "brother" becomes Sabretooth. Why this is so popular?