This page refers to information specific to TV Tropes and its contents do not necessarily apply to All The Tropes (although some may). It is retained for purely historical purpose.

— The Mgmt.

Hello and welcome! We like having newcomers around here and hope you'll stay around and contribute. To make things easier for you, here are some tips for contributing and ways to make reading the wiki suit your style a little better.

Spoiler Covering, Folder Preference, and Link Highlighting

To choose whether you want to browse the wiki with spoilers on or off, with folders open or closed by default, and with links normal or highlighted, go to your profile page. This is accessible only if you're a known troper. The profile also controls your preferences for our fora.

To view hidden spoilers, highlight the text with your mouse cursor. This is a spoiler.

If you're on a tablet or other mobile device, you may not be able to highlight spoilers. If this is the case, you'll need to Get Known and turn off spoiler font in your profile.

Basic Navigation

The standard TV Tropes layout has a toolbar at the top of each page and an expanding menu on the left side. The toolbar at the top is for most common wiki activities. It changes depending on what kind of page you are viewing and is split according to general and page-specific functions. It has the Google Custom Search, the log in/logout button, the Edit Page button, and the Watchlist.

The toolbar to the left expands when you click on it, and contains the index and links to tools and ongoing discussions.

  • "Troperville" is for discussions and other areas where tropers hang out.
  • "Tools" is the toolbox. Here you can Get Known, look at the master indexes, and upload media.
  • "Toys" has some nifty scripts that generate pitches or story ideas.

Depending on the type of article you're viewing, there may be one or more Namespace icons/tabs below the toolbar. These allow you to navigate to an article's subpages, including articles with the same title but in a different medium (Film, Literature, etc.).

To edit articles, you must be logged in -- see Getting Known, below, for details. See Tips for Editing for help with editing. To chat with tropers, visit our forums.

The Main Toolbar

  • Google Custom Search is at the top. You can search for anything in the wiki by using this feature.
  • "New edits" is a list of recently edited pages. The default is the last 100 edits; you can change this number at the bottom of the list. We move along at a pretty good clip, so if it's been more than about two hours since you've checked Recent Changes it's likely that the list has completely rolled over. A red dot indicates a page that has been edited since you last looked at Recent Changes.
  • "Workshops" takes you to the workshop subsection of our forums. This is where a lot of the behind-the-scenes activity takes place as well as all kinds of conversations on a variety of topics. Stop by and chat!
  • "Reviews" is where you can view or add opinions on any piece of media we have an article for. If you want to tell us if you liked or hated something, this is the place.
  • "YKTTW" is "You Know, That Thing Where ...", where we go to discuss potential new tropes.
  • "Tweets" lets you view the site's Twitter feed.
  • "Random" takes you to a completely random article. It'll help you find pages you might never have looked at otherwise and is a good way to fill time.
  • "To do" lets you add the current page to your personal to-do list. Good if you don't have time to make the change you wanted but don't want to forget, either.
  • "PM" lets you send a private message to another Troper. The Troper must be Known; you can't PM someone who hasn't created a handle. If you have a new PM, you'll see a big green notification bar on most pages you visit. To see your PMs, go to your mailbox. Also, please remember that private messages are private for a reason. Disseminating the contents of a PM without permission from the other party is grounds for loss of PM privileges.
  • "Add watch" lets you add the current page to your watchlist. Any edits to those pages or their discussion pages will appear on your watchlist. Note: If the article you're viewing has multiple subpages, like YMMV, Headscratchers, etc., you have to watch each separately.
  • "Drop watch" removes the current page from your watchlist.
  • "Watchlist" takes you to the aforementioned list of articles you're watching. It's very handy for tracking the articles you have a particular interest in rather than sifting through Recent Changes all day.
  • "Profile" takes you to your wiki/forum profile page.
  • "Source" lets you see the page's wiki code. Helpful for some advanced techniques like moving pages.
  • "Get known"/"Logged in" takes you to the Knower Form to create a handle, log into an existing handle, or log out. You need cookies enabled in your browser to stay logged in. Don't worry, we don't need your name or email address, just a handle so we can identify you on the wiki. You must have a handle to edit pages, create a YKTTW, write a review, or post in the forums.
  • "History" is a list of recent edits for the page you're currently viewing. You can see who made the edits, the reason, and communicate with them via PM if desired.
  • "Edit page" lets you modify the current page's content. You must be logged in to do this. If a page displays a padlock icon, it is locked and can't be edited except by the wiki staff; clicking the icon will take you to Locked Pages so you can see why.
  • If you try to edit a page and get a notification that it is "Checked out", that's because someone else is editing it. Wait for them to save their edit -- if they haven't saved after 20 minutes or so, the lock will be released.
  • "Discuss" links to this page's discussion. This is where you go if you have a question, a suggestion, or a problem with an example or the entry itself. Don't put your objections into the page itself, as that's Conversation in the Main Page which will be axed.
  • "Related to..." runs a search for this page's title. It lets you know how many other pages link to this page.

Getting Known

This wiki requires that you create a login (aka, a Troper handle) to be allowed to edit articles, write a review, create a YKTTW, post in Discussions, or post in the forums. You create a handle by Getting Known. Your login information will be stored in a cookie on your computer. If you don't have cookies enabled, then some site features may not work for you.

Unlike most sites, we don't ask you for a real name, an email address, or anything else personally identifiable. All we store is your profile information and your IP address(es). See our Privacy Policy for more information.

  • Your handle and password may only contain alphanumerics: the letters a-z, A-Z, and the digits 0-9. If you don't follow this rule, you can still log in and post in the forums, but you won't be allowed to edit articles.
  • The first character of your handle should be an uppercase letter (A-Z). If it's not, there could be problems linking to your contributor page. You can customize the display of your handle later.
  • To log out, visit the Get Known page and click the link to the Unknower. This will delete your cookie, so remember your password!
  • To log in on a different computer, enter your handle and password and click the "Already known. Just bake a new cookie" button, not the "Create Knowage" button.
  • To change your password, go here.
  • Multiple handles (also known as Sock Puppets) are technically allowed, but we do restrict accounts to one per IP address for security reasons.
  • If you forget your password, create a new temporary handle and post in this forum thread. A moderator will assist you with recovering your old account.

Editing Articles

See a typo? Want to add an example? Click on the "edit page" button. An edit page will load. The large text box shows the page's current markup. Make your changes there. When you're done, double-check your work for spelling and grammar, markup errors, and organization. The "preview" button shows you what the page should look like, without saving those changes. Click save.

  • You must be logged in to edit articles.
  • After making an edit, it's highly recommended to leave an edit reason in the box provided, as it's helpful for other people looking at the page history. Please see Edit Reasons and Why You Should Use Them for more information.
  • There is a standard way to format examples. Titles of films, shows, and albums are italicized. Use two separate apostrophes around the title: ThePriceIsRight for The Price Is Right. Titles of episodes and songs are in quotes: "Brittle Bullet." See How to Write An Example for details on examples. Really, take a look at it.
  • Links to other pages are easy. If it is two or more words, use Wiki Words. If it is one word, use double curly brackets: {{Jeopardy}}
  • The top of the edit page has a button for handy markup reminders. The full markup is explained in Text Formatting Rules.
  • Don't use Hot Linked images. Go ahead and use the Media Uploader.
  • Clicking the Edit button "checks out" the page to you (specifically, your handle and IP address) for 20 minutes. If you haven't saved an edit by then, someone else could make another one and then your work or theirs may be lost to the Data Vampires. We highly recommend making major edits in chunks so you don't lose your lock. You can only have one page checked out at a time; clicking Edit Page on a new article releases any locks you have open on others.
  • If you come back later to find that an edit you made is changed or gone, it may be that another Troper disagreed. Check the Edit History for the page to see if a reason was left. Do not simply add your example back; doing so is called Edit Warring and is very impolite. If you can't work it out in the article's discussion page, take it to Ask the Tropers or the forums.
  • If you see text in the edit box that starts with %%, those are comments -- they don't show up when the article is viewed. Comments are usually instructions for how to handle certain things on the article. Failure to read and abide by comments is a Bad Thing. Also, never delete comments.

Adding New Media Articles

In other words, series, books, games, actors, producers -- anything that isn't a new index or Trope. All new entries are welcome, as There Is No Such Thing as Notability. However, don't just paste in the Wikipedia entry. We encourage looking up verifiable sources to find more information to add to the page, but write something original.

  • Before beginning, search for an existing article to make sure you aren't duplicating someone else's effort.
  • Before beginning, visit What Goes Where On the Wiki to make sure that what you're adding is going where it belongs. Also see the Media Categories FAQ.
  • All new work articles must go in a Namespace, rather than in "Main". Failure to follow this rule will get your article cut.
  • Create a Wiki Word link to the new article. You can do this in the Wiki Sandbox. See Text Formatting Rules for how to create links.
  • Click the new red link you made and edit the page. The Program Entry Template is a good place to look for formatting tips.
  • Add the title to the relevant index(es); the full list is at Namespace.
  • Set the Page Type via the Tools menu on the left side. Use "a work" for media pages, and "a creator" for authors, singers, producers, networks, etc.
  • Check your work. Proofread it for grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Is it formatted like other similar pages on the wiki? Is it indexed? Does it contain accidental redlinks? The Preview function can be useful for this so you don't look like a Serial Tweaker.
  • A common error is to create a new article but not add examples, counting on Wiki Magic to fill them in later. But if you don't add examples and cross-reference them, how will anyone find your new article? We call these stubs and they frequently get deleted.

Talking About Real People and Things

If we have articles about authors, actors, networks, and game companies, the next next logical step is political figures, current events, and so forth, right? Not so fast. Technically, Tropes only occur in Media. Real Life can inspire tropes; it can inform them; it can have things that are highly analogous to tropes, but there is no narrative or design to which tropes can, by definition, apply.

Our articles on real people should not be used to talk about them as if they are characters in a story. Nor should they be biographical; that's Wikipedia's job. We are interested in them from four perspectives:

  • Useful Notes: Real people who frequently appear in media can get a Useful Notes-style article where common facts about them can be collected for reference.
  • Creators: People who write or produce media may have a list of tropes frequently found in their works and may have a list of wiki articles for their works.
  • Actors: People who act in media may have a list of tropes common to their roles and may have a list of wiki articles for the works they appear in.
  • Public Domain Characters: The use of a particular person (Dracula, Hitler) as a stock character.

For example, calling someone a Reasonable Authority Figure with respect to his job as President would be outside the scope of the wiki. If he frequently appears in published fiction as a Reasonable Authority Figure, that would be something we could mention.

Similarly, current events, countries, and so forth are only subjects for this wiki when they have an impact in media. They would then get a Useful Notes article, which should never be a copy-paste from Wikipedia. Keep it original and to the point. If you can't find something to say about them that's relevant to this wiki's mission, then follow the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement and don't bother.

Above all else, avoid the following in any article dealing with a Real Life subject (these are just the worst offenders, not the entire list):

  • Political soapboxing -- Presenting any side of a political debate is asking for a Flame War. Keep it to the facts as they are relevant to media.
  • Misplaced Nationalism -- This is not the place for nationalistic squabbling.
  • Subjective Tropes -- These are double-plus, super especially never to be applied to real things. It's bad enough when people argue over them with respect to media.
  • Personal Appearance Tropes -- We are not here to discuss how hot people are. Nor do we care whom they resemble. Only in media does this become relevant.

Adding New Tropes

Please don't just write a Trope page. If you have a good trope idea, go to You Know That Thing Where... and pitch it to the community.

  • Before you even consider adding a Trope, go to Lost and Found and inquire if it already exists or is similar to an existing Trope.
  • Before adding your first suggestion, take a look at YKTTW Guidelines. Follow those guidelines and the experience will go a lot smoother for everyone.
  • The check marks indicate new posts. A double check mark indicates a new YKTTW.
  • The pencil button on the upper left corner lets you edit your post. If you edit someone else's post, your name will overwrite theirs, so add the original poster's name into the post if you do this.
  • If bizarre things start happening, don't worry. When you reload the page they usually work themselves out. Be patient and keep trying.
  • If a post has more than one reply, but the replies don't show up, click the "show replies" button until they show up.
  • If you put a link to a picture in your post, it might be rendered. Use small images or text links to the picture.

Setting Custom Titles

If the title of the work or the name of the Trope you've added is more complicated than a simple Wiki Word - that is, it contains punctuation, capitalization that is not CamelCase, odd spacing, etc., then you can't just type it in as a URL. Here's how to handle that:

  • Create the page as a plain Wiki Word, as closely to the actual title as possible. As an example, to make Airplane!, just use {{Airplane}}.
  • Once the page is made, use the Custom Title Request form to submit your proposed actual title. Please note that you must enter the article's name exactly as it appears in the wiki, or your request may fail.
  • A moderator will review and approve/deny the request.
  • Once approved, all wicks (other than Pot Holes) to the article will display the custom title.

Creating Redirects

See Creating New Redirects for complete instructions. Before you begin, stop and think. Most of the pages that end up being cut are unnecessary redirects. These redirect pages get cut most often:

  • Misspelling redirects. "The Beetles" redirecting to "The Beatles" isn't needed. If one of these sticks around and someone misspells it on another page, the link won't show up as being misspelled. We're pretty casual around here but we do want the pages to look professional, so this is problematic.
  • Pluralized redirects. "Fruit Carts" redirecting to "Fruit Cart" is generally frowned upon. Using curly brackets duplicates the functionality and saves space. ({{Fruit Cart}}s will give you a link to Fruit Cart with the "s": Fruit Carts.) The only time a pluralized redirect is acceptable is if the noun is in the middle of the trope's name, and simply adding an "s" to the end makes it grammatically incorrect, i.e. Book of Shadows, or if the spelling changes in the pluralization, as in nouns ending in "y."
  • Acronym and initialism redirects. "ATLA" redirecting to Avatar: The Last Airbender would be cut. Acronyms will never be used in isolation. The full title of the work always gets used first before switching to an acronym; don't assume that everyone else draws the same meaning from an acronym as you.
  • These redirects are needed:
    • International English to American English and vice versa. "Color Coded for Your Convenience" goes to "Colour-Coded for Your Convenience." For the record, the wiki is completely neutral on International English versus American English - we don't have a default; it's first-come, first-serve. Leave the variations alone when you see them, but feel free to write your own additions in whichever version you use.
    • Adaptation title changes. Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu goes to Haruhi Suzumiya.
    • Confusing trope titles. We like clever titles, but to make searching easier, we have a simpler name as a redirect.


  • "Page Type": All pages have a type, set via this button. See What Page Types Mean for more info.
  • "Find recent edits by troper": Exactly what it says; search for recent edits by troper handle.
  • "Send report": Send a request for moderator assistance with the page. This can be anything from flagging it as containing "adult" material to Edit Warring to vandalism. These reports can also be made on Ask the Tropers.
  • "Title Search" uses the internal wiki search engine rather than the Google Custom Search, for page titles only.
  • "Customize Title" lets you request a custom title for any wiki page. See The Ptitle Replacement System for more information on this.
    • Important: If the article in question has a namespace with two words (WesternAnimation/, WebVideo/, WebComic/, VideoGame/, etc.), then be sure to type the namespace in the custom titler as one word (Westernanimation/, Webvideo/, Webcomic/, Videogame/, etc.) If you don't do this, a glitch in the wiki software will prevent the custom title from displaying on other pages.
  • "Cut List" is where pages are proposed to be deleted. Posting a page here does not automatically delete it and you can make a case for keeping a page there.
  • "Trope Repair Shop" is the forum where we discuss major overhauls to wiki articles.
  • "New Edits": Same as on the toolbar.
  • "Edit Reasons" is useful for examining recent edits where reasons were left by the troper in question. It's especially good for finding controversial edits that may need to be examined.
  • "Recently New" is like New Edits, but shows only the most recently added articles.
  • "Launches" shows articles recently launched from YKTTW.
  • "Get Known": Same as on the toolbar.
  • "Your Profile": Same as on the toolbar.
  • "Indexes" is an index of our indexes, which list tropes by category.
  • "Image Uploader" lets you upload images or other media to the wiki for use in articles. You must be logged in to do this. Use it responsibly.
  • "Inbound Links" is a list of other websites that have linked to the wiki recently.
  • "Images List" is a listing of all the images on the server. No duh.
  • "Referral Count for This Page" counts how many other sites have linked to the page you're on.
  • "Crowner Activity" shows action on "crowners", which are TV Tropes' version of polls.
  • "Folderize" converts the markup of a page that does not use folders into one that does. You would then copy the resulting markup into the Edit Page form, and add a closing [/folder] tag. Use with care.
  • "List Page Editors" gives you the handles of everyone who's ever edited the page you're looking at. Good for attribution purposes, since edit history only goes back so far.
  • "Untyped Pages" gives you a list of articles that don't have a page type set. See What Page Types Mean.
  • "Recent Page Type Changes" is for auditing page type changes (an advanced feature).
  • "Content Violation Reports" is a tally of how the P5 has voted on pages which have been reported for possible violations of the wiki's content policy.
  • The remaining items are helpful links for learning about page formatting and other wiki standards.

The Community

  • Our Forums are a good place to shoot the breeze. If you're told to Take It to the Forums, try it out. There are some interesting topics there. Here's the link. Don't forget to read What Goes Where On The Forums so that stuff doesn't end up in the wrong place.
  • TV Tropes Made of Win Archive is where users point out pages, edits, lines, or pictures on the wiki that they find to be totally awesome.
  • Wiki Tech Wish List is a place to suggest upgrades to or report problems with the site or markup. If you have solutions for technical problems, suggest them here.
  • Ask the Tropers is where you ask everyone about the site, or media in general. Again, this is not where you propose new tropes; that's YKTTW.
  • Lost and Found is where you go to ask about what trope an example might fit into.
  • You Know That Show is where you go to find that series, book, film, or obscure comic book that you can't remember the title of.
  • The Wiki Sandbox is your place to test the markup and practice formatting. Feel free to obliterate, modify, add, or scramble the code on the page. Just don't expect your contibution to the page to endure. You can also make new test articles in the Sandbox namespace.
  • If you want, add your details to Where Are You From and What Are the Contributors Real Names. This is purely optional, so if you're uncomfortable giving out personal information about yourself, don't sweat it.
  • Tropes of Legend will give you an idea of the tropes that keep popping up all over the site.

Contributor Pages

To make your own contributor page, you create a new page like any other, but you do it in the Tropers namespace. There are three ways to do this:

  • Go to the Wiki Sandbox and make a Wiki Word from your troper handle using the Tropers namespace, as follows: Tropers/MyHandle or Tropers/{{Handle}} if your handle doesn't have CamelCase letters.
  • Look at your recent edits on your Watchlist - your handle is automatically a link to your troper page.
  • Make a forum post. Your handle on the post is also automatically a link.

Edit your troper page and save; have fun! It indexes automatically; you don't have to do it yourself. Please be aware that it is very impolite to edit another troper's page without permission. Do not make a troper page in Main; it'll get deleted or moved.

If your troper handle contains any non-alphanumeric characters; e.g., punctuation or accented characters, you can't make a troper page this way (nor can you edit, but that's a different issue). You'll have to make a plaintext page instead, and your handle won't link to it. You can give your Wiki Word troper page a custom title, however (see above). Your handle must also start with an uppercase character.

Rules and Policies

  • There are very few concrete rules here. We like to use democratic ways of solving problems. Administrative Policy sums the rules up.
  • Keep it Family Friendly as much as possible. TV Tropes maintains a policy of No Lewdness No Prudishness with regards to page content. In addition, the wiki is not interested in pages on porn or pedophile-pandering works. For more information, see Five P.
  • Don't forget to review What Goes Where On the Wiki, or the content you add may get deleted or moved.
  • Obey the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement. It is our Holy Grail of rules.
  • Check out Spoiler Policy for how to use spoilers.
  • Causing major problems will get you suspended from editing and/or other parts of the wiki.
  • If you use software that censors web pages (around here we call them "nannybots"), any page you edit will get censored and then you'll submit back the censored text to the wiki. Turn off any nannybots before editing or you will lose your editing privileges. If you can't turn it off, save us the trouble and don't try to edit.
  • The readership of this wiki is international. Americans, two-thirds of the people reading what you write live in another country. If you live in a Commonwealth country, two-thirds of your audience will need at least some setup for a joke about, say, the PM of Australia. Despite the fact that an abnormally large percentage of tropers are multi-lingual, we stick to English on all pages but those specifically designated for another language. This is because English is a language that most tropers know.
  • Most of the other tips are just guidelines. There are a few pages that are Just for Fun or very old that violate the guidelines. Don't worry about it.
  • If you get a message when you try to edit a page that "Editing has been turned off for this handle or IP address", it doesn't mean the end of the world. Go here and add a post. A wiki moderator will get back to you with information about what happened and what you can do to correct it. It might even be a mistake on our part. Don't panic.


This wiki is ad-supported. You can donate to turn off ads in the forums, but not in the main wiki. If you have issues with an ad being offensive or containing potential malware, use the Google AdSense reporting tool (click the {i} button on the ad). We don't have any direct control over the ads; they are generated randomly based on page content, your cookies, and the demographics gleaned from your browser and IP address. FYI, Flash-based ads are essential to our revenue stream. We need to keep them.

Unsolicited commercial advertising of third-party sites is strictly forbidden and will be grounds for an immediate and permanent ban.

Wiki Content Guidelines

Occasionally questions arise as to what, exactly, TV Tropes allows in terms of content. As stated on the Home Page, we're primarily about documenting the use of tropes in Media. This goal causes us to classify articles into the following major groups:

  • Tropes: The meat and bread of the wiki. A Trope is a convention or device used in storytelling. It is not "any thing that happens."
  • YMMV and Audience Reactions: We broadly categorize these under tropes, but really they're opinions about a work rather than stuff that's factually present in a work. They get their own subpages to keep the main articles about the tropes.
  • Works: The stuff that produces tropes. There Is No Such Thing as Notability, but keep in mind that if it doesn't have a story -- that is, a narrative or plot of some kind -- it's not really tropable in the sense we use. Works have various subpages that help to organize all the material related to them, such as Quotes, Trivia Trope, YMMV, Headscratchers, Fridge, WMG, Awesome Moments, Character Sheets, Reviews, etc.
  • Creators: Writers, actors, producers, networks, etc. Be careful that you add only tropes that are present in their work. We are not in the business of praising, analyzing, complaining about, or fetishizing real people.
  • Useful Notes: Where Real Life intersects with fiction, it is often handy to have a way to separate the Hollywood version of reality from the genuine thing. Useful Notes serves this purpose. It is not a soapbox, nor it is is an excuse to become Wikipedia and document everything that happens.
  • Miscellaneous: Administrivia, indexes, contributor pages, and the other stuff that keeps the wiki running.

What we don't want

  • Articles created specifically for Gushing or Complaining about works, people, or anything really. That said, you can indulge yourself a bit in Sugar Wiki and Darth Wiki, or write a review.
  • Articles created solely to talk about Real Life things or people. We only care about these as far as they relate to Media. If you want a reference source, go to Wikipedia. That said, if something is such a big deal that it shows up in fiction a lot, it may deserve a Useful Notes article. You may also want to Take It to the Forums.
  • Anecdotes from your life or other people's lives (formerly known as Troper Tales).
  • Explicit and/or creepy sex stuff (except the minimum needed to accurately describe a work), political soapboxing, hate speech, illegal content (including warez and hacks), unsolicited advertising, and general asshattery of any kind.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.