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While most works make use of tropes like Rule of Cool, Rule of Funny, or Rule of Scary, some works rely on them for their very existence.

These are works that heavily attempt to use one or more of the Rule of Index tropes. They just wouldn't work without them.

The exact form of the reliance can vary. Here are some ways to tell such a work fits this trope:

  • Several distinct instances of one of those tropes. We mean half a dozen as the bare minimum.
  • Much of the plot just doesn't make sense unless looked at in the context of attempting these tropes.

Now this is about works deliberately using these tropes. But as Rule of Cool states, "you only get to invoke the Rule of Cool if the end product is, in fact, cool". Thus even though these works attempt to use these rules to stretch Willing Suspension of Disbelief, they don't always work. Generally the older the audience, the less likely Refuge in Cool will work: audiences over 30 do care about cool, but they've been around long enough to recognize what's legitimately cool and what's merely the product of a marketing campaign.

Some works do succeed, and are the stuff of legends for their fans. Some works fail, and are lucky if they end up So Bad It's Good. In short, both highly loved and highly hated works will be on this page.

Compare Artistic License, Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot (combinations that work because they are cool), Refuge in Audacity, Reference Overdosed.

Contrast Magic A Is Magic A (fantastical worlds still try to follow logic). Works that work on this usually take place in either a World of Ham or a World of Badass.

Tropes about works that commonly do this:

Notable Individual Works:

Anime and Manga


Fan Fiction

Film (Animated)

Film (Live-Action)


Tabletop Games


Video Games

Web Original

Web Comics

Western Animation

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