|Type of site||Wiki|
|Registration||Required to edit|
|Available language(s)||English, German (translation occurring slowly in French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Norwegian, Finnish, Danish, Swedish, Italian, Esperanto, and Quenya, among others)|
TV Tropes, also known as Television Tropes and Idioms, is a wiki that collects and expands on various conventions and devices (tropes) found within creative works. Since its establishment in 2004, the site has gone from covering only television and film tropes to also covering those in a number of other media such as literature, comics, video games, and even things such as advertisements and toys. It is known for approaching topics in a casual and humorous tone—cyberpunk author Bruce Sterling once described its style as a "wry fanfic analysis."
TV Tropes initially focused on the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and has since increased its scope to include thousands of other series, films, novels, plays, professional wrestling, video games, anime, manga, comic strips and books, fan fiction, and other subjects, including Internet works such as Wikipedia, which is referred to in-wiki as "The Other Wiki". It has also used its informal style to describe topics such as science, philosophy, politics, and history under its Useful Notes section. TV Tropes does not have notability standards for the vast majority of its content, as it declares on the Main Page.
The site includes entries on various series and tropes. An article on a work includes a brief summary of the work in question along with a list of associated tropes. In addition to the tropes, most articles about a work also have a "Your Mileage May Vary" (YMMV) page with items that are deemed to be subjective. These items are not usually storytelling tropes, but audience reactions which have been defined and titled. For example, the page of the well known trope "Jumping the shark", the moment at which a series experiences a sharp decline in quality as in the notorious story point in Happy Days, only contains a list of works that reference the phrase. This is an important distinction. TV Tropes does not apply the term to a show, that being a subjective opinion about the show, but cites uses of the phrase by the show.
Trope pages are the inverse of articles on works: after describing the trope itself, it lists the trope's appearance in various works of media. For example, the page for the antihero trope contains a list of works containing varying types of antiheroes. In this way the wiki is fully interconnected through the various connections made between works and their tropes.
Trope pages are generally created through a standardized launching system, known as "You know that thing where ... ", YKTTW, in which other site members, who are referred to as "tropers", have the option of providing examples or suggesting refinements before launch. While going through YKTTW is not necessary to launch a trope, it is very strongly recommended in order to strengthen the trope as much as possible.
Considerable redesign of some aspects of content organization occurred in 2008, such as the introduction of namespaces, while 2009 saw the arrival of other languages, of which German is the most developed. In 2011, TV Tropes branched out into video production, and launched Echo Chamber, a web series about a TV Tropes vlogger explaining and demonstrating tropes.
Economist Robin Hanson, inspired by an analysis of Victorian literature by Kruger et. al., suggests TV Tropes offers a veritable treasure trove of information about fiction - a prime opportunity for research into its nature.
The site has even created its own self-referencing meta-trope, known as "TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life". It warns some readers may become jaded and cynical as an unanticipated side effect of reading TV Tropes, "[replacing] surprise almost entirely with recognition," referring to the inability to read books, watch films, etc. without identifying each trope as it occurs.
- Cagle, Kurt (April 1, 2009). "From Mary Sue to Magnificent Bastards: TV Tropes and Spontaneous Linked Data". Semantic Universe. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved 2009-05-22.
- "The Current - TVTropes.org: Harnessing the might of the people to analyze fiction". Thecurrentonline.com. Retrieved 2010-05-18.
- Pincus-Roth, Zachary (28 February 2010). "TV Tropes identifies where you've seen it all before". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
- Newitz, Annalee (2010-02-24). "Behind The Wiki: Meet TV Tropes Cofounder Fast Eddie". io9. Retrieved 2010-02-25.
- Sterling, Bruce, TV Tropes, the all-devouring pop-culture wiki, Beyond the Beyond, Wired, January 21, 2009.
- "Wikipedia - Television Tropes & Idioms". Tvtropes.org. Retrieved 2010-08-08.
- "There Is No Such Thing As Notability - Television Tropes & Idioms". Tvtropes.org. Retrieved 2010-05-18.
- "Your Mileage May Vary - Television Tropes & Idioms". Tvtropes.org. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
- "YKTTW Guidelines". Retrieved 7 September 2012.
- "Echo Chamber".
- Kruger, Daniel et. al. (2006). Hierarchy in the Library: Egalitarian Dynamics in Victorian Novels. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology. Retrieved on 2013-01-11.
- Hanson, Robin (2009-05-09). Overcoming Bias: Tropes Are Treasures. Overcoming Bias. Future of Humanity Institute. Retrieved on 2009-05-22.
- "TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life". Retrieved 15 Jan 2012.