Questions tagged [trope]

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

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3
votes
1answer
80 views

Who were the first heroes to go on an adventure because their hometown was destroyed during a festival?

In Wheel of Time (2021) S1E1 the heroes embark on their adventure because their hometown is destroyed during a festival. I assume the same happens in The Eye of the World but I don't know for certain. ...
8
votes
1answer
385 views

Why do vampires hiss?

It is a bit of a trope that vampires hiss, typically when exposed to a cross, sunlight, or other weakness. So, my train of thought went a bit like this: Werewolves and Vampires have a "rivalry&...
10
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3answers
1k views

Are clinical trials done in the Star Trek universe?

It's a very common trope in the Star Trek universe for treatments to the disease du jour to be developed and rolled out very rapidly. Many, if not most, of the main characters or even most of an ...
7
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1answer
1k views

Unending Series of Rooms

My instinct is that there is a fantasy trope of the hero/protagonist exploring a (seemingly) unending series of rooms. I feel like I have encountered this trope in multiple books, but the only one I ...
5
votes
1answer
223 views

First story to feature the trope "the nice self-sufficient society that welcomed us are actually cannibals"?

It is not an infrequent trope in sci-fi shows for our protagonists to be struggling in their adventure, only to stumble across a seemingly nice self-sufficient society which they are welcomed into, ...
5
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3answers
762 views

Where did the hypnotic spiral originate from?

A common trope associated with hypnotists in fiction is the use of spinning spirals to hypnotize people. However, when I tried to look up articles about them online (e.g. on Wikipedia, Google Scholar, ...
3
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0answers
151 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
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1answer
485 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
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0answers
117 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
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1answer
252 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
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1answer
327 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
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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 ...
54
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10answers
16k 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 ...
81
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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
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1answer
522 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
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1answer
225 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
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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 ...
41
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1answer
11k 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
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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
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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 ...
4
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0answers
285 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
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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
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3answers
371 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
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5answers
426 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
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2answers
465 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
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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
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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. ...
31
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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 "...
108
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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
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1answer
285 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
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2answers
284 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
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4answers
752 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
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1answer
3k 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
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0answers
125 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
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1answer
456 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
280 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
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8answers
830 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
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1answer
845 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
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16answers
12k 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
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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
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1answer
934 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
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1answer
412 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
172 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
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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
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1answer
419 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
1k 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
438 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 ...
8
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1answer
488 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
940 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
788 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 ...