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Goal: Clear, concise, and witty. Acceptable: Clear.

Naming a trope can be fun or painful, easy or hard. Although a pastime in its own right, trope naming also serves a purpose beyond showing off our cleverness. No really, it's true! Those names go on to (hopefully) actually be used by people. Here are some general guidelines:

  • No lines of dialog. Tropes should have names, not titles. We are naming a thing, not titling an article. A line of dialog is not a name. It's a line of dialog. We've been focusing on selecting names lately because we notice that all of the old items that got dialog-like titles got very little adoption off the wiki. Adoption off the wiki is key. Without it, it is just us talking to us. A circle jerk.
  • Be concise. Shorter trope names are easier to remember, type, and integrate into a sentence.
  • Be descriptive. Trope names are easier to remember if they actually mean something.
  • Be clever. Portmanteau words, alliteration, rhyming, puns and cultural references are not only fun, they can help make a name more memorable.
  • Use redirects. Sometimes the most awesome name isn't the most intuitive. You can have your cake and eat it too, by using the awesome name with a redirect from the intuitive name. It's not unheard of for good redirects to eventually replace the original trope name, but read Creating New Redirects before choosing to create a redirect.
  • Don't imitate existing trope names. All too often, naming tropes after other tropes will only make sense to devoted readers of TV Tropes. See Everything's Worse With Snowclones and Chekhov's Pun.
  • Avoid "Trope Namer Syndrome": Don't name the trope after a fondly-remembered character, work of fiction, or plot device.The wiki, as a whole, tries to appeal to a wide variety of people. Tropes named after specific characters have a tendency of falling flat even to people who are fans of the works which said characters appear in. The vast majority of them end up as rename proposals in the Trope Repair Shop. So, please, save us all some time, and try to come up with something using the preceding tips.
  • Check for pre-established terms. Some tropes have a long history of usage, and somebody else may have coined a name for it already.
  • ...but don't use just any pre-existing term. Some pre-existing terms are admittedly opaque, require knowledge of a certain Trope Namer, have been forgotten by the public consciousness (or just never caught on in the first place). In cases like these, it may be better to just invent the name ourselves.
  • Don't use the word "trope" as a placeholder. Trope is a real word and it has real meaning, and it makes about as much sense to use that as to use the word pie, less sense even, and since most articles are inherently about tropes in the first place, there's even less to help indicate that this is being used as a placeholder.
  • Avoid Verbal Tic bait. The trope name should not be something that could be used as a verbal tic, especially at the end of a sentence. (That's why we don't have a trope named "And How"!)
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