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You have before you three series. The first, Series A, was the first known use of a trope, but it may or may not have been intentional. The second, Series B, was the first intentional use of the trope. The third, Series C, does not claim originality, and may in fact have ripped off series B, but is the template that all later uses of this trope follow.
Series A is the Ur Example.
Series B is the Trope Maker.
Series C is the Trope Codifier.
The Trope Maker is frequently also the Trope Codifier, but not always. In particular, when the Trope Maker is a work of outstanding quality, the Trope Codifier will be the story that shows how lesser authors can do a good imitation. Conversely, a great writer may gather up many old tropes and polish them to a shine, codifying them for later generations.
The Trope Codifier may be the first theme park version or Pragmatic Adaptation. If the trope is Older Than They Think, the Codifier is usually mistaken for the Trope Maker. Really old tropes may have been codified every couple of centuries for millennia, as successive codifiers show how to adapt the age-old trope to their times. With the advent of television, a trope related to television may be codified by a new show every decade or two after the associations with previous codifiers have died out.
Examples should be of Trope Codifiers that aren't Trope Makers themselves.
Also see Most Triumphant Example.
Anime & Manga
- Tetsujin 28 (listed under the English title Gigantor) was the first giant robot anime made, but the one everyone copied and still references today is Mazinger Z.
- Of course, this depends on whether you consider the genre in question to be "giant robots" or "giant robots piloted by humans". The former is only slightly larger.
- Similarly, Sayaka Yumi was the prototipical Tsundere.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion is notable for reusing elements from several previous anime and manga that was influential to the creators while they were younger, including Go Nagai Devilman and Tomino's Space Runaway Ideon and just all Super Robot shows under the sun.
- Sailor Moon is frequently cited as the first user of the Magical Girl Warrior subset of Magical Girl shows. Cutey Honey used some of the tropes, but was usually seen as a straight-up Superhero, especially since at the time "Magical Girl" meant Cute Witch.
- Ranma Saotome and Akane Tendo aren't even Rumiko Takahashi's first couple with Belligerent Sexual Tension. But they're the standard by which all others are measured.
- Ranma is also the most likely codifier for Martial Arts and Crafts unless someone who knows their kung-fu flicks can dethrone it - it's probably harder to think of a pursuit they didn't use in the series than one they did.
- Love Hina essentially defined the current style of Unwanted Harems, though it was far from the first anime to use the setup.
- Fullmetal Alchemist popularized the concept of Equivalent Exchange and Magic A Is Magic A, at least for anime and manga.
- If Fist of the North Star is the Trope Maker for the shonen Fighting Series, then Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z are the codifiers.
- While there had been examples and uses of Cyberpunk tropes in other series such as Appleseed, Ghost in the Shell is seen as codifying Cyberpunk themes into anime such as cyborgs, The Metaverse, and other such themes.
- Akira was the TC for anime as a whole in the US and UK - a 'cartoon' that was dark, grim, violent, bloody, beautiful and not a little mind screwy. As a consequence, it burrowed into the collective subconscious and created a new image that took years more to shake off.
- Gundam Wing jump-started the trend of Humongous Mecha series having Bishonen protagonists to give it a Periphery Demographic of young females.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, out of all things, is most certainly the Trope Codifier for This Is a Drill.
- Azumanga Daioh is the eternal Trope Codifier of the Schoolgirl Series and associated tropes, including Wacky Homeroom and Sensei-chan.
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, at least in anime, probably codified secretly unstable characters, Groundhog Day Loop, and of course, I'm Taking Her Home with Me.
- One Piece is the codifier for Inelegant Blubbering (which the author delivers with gusto) and, quite possibly, for Rubber Man
- Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns are co-codifiers of Darker and Edgier.
- Superman is the Trope Codifier of the Flying Brick, and arguably the Trope Codifier of superheroes in general.
- Batman is the Trope Codifier of the Badass Normal superheroes.
- The Joker is, of course, the Trope Codifier for Monster Clowns
- Spider-Man is often credited as being the Trope Codifier for both the non sidekick Kid Hero and Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World.
- Jay Garrick, the first Flash is the Trope Codifier for the specialized single super power superhero.
- Robin is the codifier for Kid Sidekick.
- Halloween was the Trope Maker for the Slasher genre, but Friday the 13 th was the Trope Codifier. In particular, Friday the 13 th was the actual Trope Maker for Death by Sex rather than Death By Not Paying Attention (Including Having Sex) for all the imitators that followed.
- Star Wars is the Trope Codifier for Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey (as well as a heck of a lot of other ideas). Campbell described the pattern based on a range of heroic myths, but today, any good story that follows the Hero's Journey pattern is accused of ripping off Star Wars -- and any bad story that follows the Hero's Journey pattern actually does.
- Batman was not the first Superhero Movie, but it was the one that showed that superheroes were very profitable. It also altered the archetype of the Summer Blockbuster: changed it "huge mass-marketing machines that were as much made to sell merchandise as they were to sell tickets" to "huge mass-marketing machines that were as much made to sell merchandise as they were to sell tickets, and are based on an existing property that the audience already has an attachment to".
- The 1931 movie version of Dracula codified most modern Vampire Tropes.
- The 1940 film The Wolf Man codified the tropes for werewolves, as well as being the Ur Example of several tropes such as silver bullets, the famous poem about the curse, and the contagious nature of werewolf bites - before the film, weakness to silver and contagion were vampiric traits.
- Birth of a Nation pulled together all of the little camera tricks and editing techniques that were tried in the early years of film into a coherent set of storytelling tools. It was also horrendously racist. The gymnastics film history classes have to go through because of this are quite amusing.
- Triumph of the Will was this for documentaries. It was another source of mental gymnastics for film history and also a codifier of certain cinemtographic techniques.
- This Is Spinal Tap: The Codifier for the feature film Mockumentary genre. The Trope Maker is probably Zelig Woody Allen, released just one year before (1983). The older example, The Rutles' All You Need Is Cash being a television film (1978).
- The Blair Witch Project is the trope codifier for the found footage mockumentary horror films '00s. The trope maker is Cannibal Holocaust.
- 1972's The Poseidon Adventure pretty much established the template for future disaster movies, despite sharing many elements with earlier entries of the genre like A Night to Remember.
- Time travel; Ur Example: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" by Mark Twain. Trope Maker: The Time Machine by H. G. Wells. Trope Codifier: Back to The Future.
- The Creature from the Black Lagoon wasn't the first Fish Person, but he's certainly the best-known and most influential example.
- There were car chases on film before, but the one in Bullitt became the most famous one which all films after tried to emulate.
- The Standard Fantasy Setting's Trope Maker was The Lord of the Rings; the Trope Codifier was Dungeons and Dragons.
- Except for Vancian Magic, which was made by Dying Earth and codified by D&D.
- Another Trope Codifier was Terry Books's novel The Sword of Shannara, which showed that Doorstopper fantasy novels that weren't written by Tolkien could also go on to sell zillions of copies.
- Sherlock Holmes is the Trope Codifier for many detective tropes; Edgar Allan Poe's Dupin stories were the Trope Maker, including such tropes as the less astute Watson figure as narrator and the far-reaching deductions based on attention to seemingly trivial details.
- Medea is the Trope Codifier for the Woman Scorned, although Ishtar from The Epic of Gilgamesh is the oldest known example.
- Raymond Chandler is considered the Trope Codifier of hard-boiled crime fiction, following Carroll John Daly with the Ur-example (his "Knights Of the Open Palm" was published several months before Hammett's first 'Continental Op' story) and Dashiell Hammett (the Trope Maker).
- The earliest use of Ancient Astronauts is Edison's Conquest of Mars from 1898, but the first popular story to use the concept was At the Mountains of Madness from 1931.
- The Red Badge of Courage did this for War Is Hell.
- While Dracula was the first modern codifier for vampiric tropes, The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice was a subversion that served to codify the current template used by everyone from White Wolf to Twilight and Underworld. Both kinds of vampire are in active use, of course.
- Contrary to what some fans believe, Harry Potter didn't originate the Wizarding School trope -- but it is such a prominent codifying example that everything that comes after (and some things that came before) will have to either Follow the Leader or strenuously differentiate itself from Hogwarts.
- Snow Crash is widely recognized as the codifier for The Metaverse and the Digital Avatar but William Gibson did them first.
- Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal is regarded as the codifier of the Stealth Parody.
- Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian codified the Barbarian Hero -- and many other Sword and Sorcery tropes, at least among those he wasn't the Trope Maker for it.
- Twilight was the codifier of the Paranormal Romance genre.
Live Action TV
- In Reverse Whodunnits, the Trope Codifier is Columbo, Trope Maker being R. Austin Freeman's Dr. Thorndyke.
- Despite the name, Dawson Casting was neither made nor codified by Dawson's Creek; Beverly Hills, 90210 does the codifying honors there. Possible Trope Makers include Bye Bye Birdie, in which 21-year-old Ann-Margaret played the 16-year-old-lead, and the many 1960s beach movies in which Annette Funicello, in her late thirties by the time the last ones were made, played ostensibly fresh-faced debutantes.
- 90210 is also the Trope Codifier for a Teen Drama; it borrowed heavily from Degrassi Junior High and, besides adding the too-old "kids" moved the setting from a nondescript part of Toronto to one of the shiniest places the writers could think of. Two things most teen dramas since have kept in the mix.
- Star Trek did not invent modern science-fiction television; but it made many science-fiction tropes commonplace on television, so much so that it is its own franchise and has influenced almost every subsequent speculative fiction series since, up to and including Heroes.
- Mork from Mork and Mindy is the most prominent example of an Amusing Alien.
- Iron Chef is the Trope Codifier for the Cooking Duel trope.
- Eastenders is definitely the trope codifer for a miserable Soapland Christmas.
- Malcolm in the Middle is the trope codifier for the single camera, on-location, Laugh Track-free sitcom that became popular on United States broadcast television during the 2000's. There were a handful of pre-Malcolm shows that featured such setups, but these (namely The Adventures of Pete and Pete and The Larry Sanders Show, both of which qualify as the Trope Maker of such setups) aired on either pay or niche cable channels as opposed to the then-more popular broadcast television netowrks.
- A year before Malcolm premiered, Spaced did the same thing for British sitcoms.
- Everybody Loves Raymond was hugely influential to later sitcoms and is a codifier for All Women Are Prudes in sitcoms (the notoriously anti-sex Debra)
- It was also a reinforcer of the feminist wife who was always right, even if she argued that the sky was kelly green, initially codified by Home Improvement, where wife Jill was a self-admitted feminist and Tim was the one who screwed up 99.5% of the time.
- Saved by the Bell is the Trope Codifier for the Six-Student Clique.
- The Real World is the Trope Codifier for Reality Shows.
- V is the Trope Codifier for Ominous Floating Spaceship.
- Lionel Luthor from Smallville is the Trope Codifier for Magnificent Bastard. The phrase itself comes from the 1970 movie Patton, and was used extensively by Television Without Pity's recaps of Smallville, to describe Lionel and the prodigious wheeling and dealing he engaged in throughout the course of the series.
- Kamen Rider Ryuki is the trope codifier for Battle Royale-esque fiction in Japanese media.
- Cheers and Belligerent Sexual Tension. Sam and Diane provided the template for sitcoms to follow.
- The 2007 reboot of Bionic Woman was the beginning of a trend of adorning hot Badass Action Girls in leather jackets, even when such attire would be so uncomfortable it'd be a hindrance (such as in summer heat), but it became a new standard for both Rule of Cool and Rule of Sexy. Regardless, after this, we see the leather jacket begin to lose its 20th century image as a macho coat worn by a Badass like Fonzie and become seen as a feminine piece of attire that just screams Action Girl with the leather jacket on badass males slowly becoming The Artifact except on villains. Notable examples of this trend are Erica Evans in V, Carrie Wells in Unforgettable, Renee Walker from 24 (and even one of the main female villains), and especially Olivia and Peter's future daughter Etta, who looks 17 but is really 25 in 2036 who is from Fringe.
- By the time of Michael Jackson, music videos were evolving beyond just shots of the band, but he set the standard for everything that came after him.
- If Led Zeppelin was the Ur Example of Heavy Metal, and Black Sabbath was the Trope Maker, Judas Priest is certainly the Trope Codifier. They started the standard image of leather, spikes, studs, and denim, removed much of the blues elements that were very apparent in earlier examples of metal (Led Zeppelin was called blues-rock, after all), and made metal cool again in the late 70s. Motorhead also helped in the codifying of metal. They took influence from Punk Rock and from Heavy Metal to create the most brutal music yet known in the world, and inspired much of Thrash Metal.
- W.A.S.P. was the Trope Codifier of heavy metal's image in the 1980s, combining the Judas Priest facade above with KISS and Alice Cooper-style shock rock antics turned up to eleven, unsubtle Satanic imagery, songs about sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, big hair, pointy guitars and spandex.
- Pierre Schaeffer's 1948 opus Cinq Études de Bruits was not the world's first musique concrète. John Cage's Imaginary Landscape and perhaps other such works predate it. But it was the first music to have that label (coined by Schaeffer), and codified the genre.
- Richard Wagner coined the term "leitmotif" in an 1851 essay and codified the concept in his famous cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen, which he had been working on at the time. But the trope was invented two decades earlier by Hector Bérlioz, who called it "idée fixe" in his own writings.
- Using Auto-Tune for a robotic effect didn't become prominent until the arrival of T-Pain in 2005. Unlike other artists that relegated it to subtle uses or genres aiming for a digitalized sound (such as electronica or techno), T-Pain used it obviously and flagrantly on nearly all of his releases. His huge success led to a slew of imitators within pop, R&B, and hip hop.
- If this trope is possible on one network, then Hilary Duff is the trope codifier for the current batch of teenage Idol Singers on Disney Channel. Before her, Disney Channel stars didn't really do much outside of the show. After her, Disney practically required all of their actresses to sing regardless of talent.
- Despite Buck Tick and X Japan being prominent early examples, Kuro Yume set the template for nearly every Visual Kei band that followed, including better known (at least in the West) examples such as Dir En Grey and Luna Sea.
- While Todd Edwards certainly didn't invent sampling, he made it into an art form. What he does is he takes sometimes up to 100 samples from different songs and creates new melodies with them. This type of sampling is often referred to as "microsampling."
- It's unclear whether or not Dungeons and Dragons was the first to present an alignment alignment system beyond good/neutral/evil, but it was definitely the most prominent, and its nine-point alignment system comprises all of the Character Alignment tropes today. Ironically, the most recent version of the game has done away with the alignment system, for the most part.
- The Zerg of Starcraft may have been the namers for Zerg Rush, but the Tyranids, of Warhammer 40000, were infamous for the tactic long before the Swarm came around. Of course, both being based on the Bugs from Starship Troopers the similarities are unavoidable, the Result being an odd case where the Trope Namer came after the Codifier.
- Also The book also broke all the Bugs into casts of Worker and Warrior bugs, all directed by a special hierarchy of subterranean Brain Bugs.
- GURPS quite literally defined the Weirdness Magnet trope.
- Although there were Trading Card Games older than Magic: The Gathering (mostly using baseball cards), most of the tropes associated with modern TCGs started with Magic.
- Shakespeare is another example; he used almost entirely unoriginal plots (with his fame coming from executing them brilliantly), so anybody harkening back to Shakespeare for a basic plot is going to the Trope Codifier, rather than the Trope Maker.
- "Laurey Makes Up Her Mind" from Oklahoma was the Trope Codifier for Dream Ballets in musicals.
- Oklahoma can also be considered the Trope Codifier for integrated musicals in general. Prior "musicals" were generally either plays interrupted by occasional songs or flimsy plots that were just an excuse to move between song and dance numbers. Show Boat is usually considered the first musical to integrate song, dance, and story, but it was hard for others to imitate. Oklahoma provided a template that other musicals used pretty much until Andrew Lloyd Webber showed up.
- Quick Melee has existed in some form in shooters, but the Halo series is what started the trend in modern shooters, and the Modern Warfare series and Call of Duty Black Ops are what made the "press a button to pull out your knife and stab with it in one motion" almost standard in recent shooters.
- Wolfenstein 3D and Doom by Id Software weren't the first First Person Shooters (or even id's first First Person Shooter), but the two games popularized the genre and each inspired dozens of imitators. For awhile, first person shooters were often called "Doom clones." While these games are very primitive by today's standards--you can't jump or even look up--Doom remains to this day a partial trope codifier, popularizing Death matches, FPS games with built in support for Game Mods, telefragging your friends, etc.
- Quake is the codifier for the 'mouselook' control scheme, where instead of only using a keyboard to control an FPS character, you control the view with a mouse as well. Bungie's Marathon is the Ur Example, Terminator Future Shock is the Trope Maker, but due to Marathon being on the Apple platform, and Terminator Future Shock just not being popular, it took until Quake and its innovative online multiplayer before the mouselook feature became codified.
- Even though Doom was the Ur Example of the Space Marine trope in videogames, Halo became the poster boy for the trope.
- Super Mario Brothers was the Codifier for Platform Games (see The Other Wiki's article on platform games).
- And Super Mario 64 was definitely not the Trope Maker for 3D Platformers (see The Other Wiki's article on platform games), but was definitely what all later games imitated.
- Not to mention Super Mario World having the Codifier (and former Trope Namer) for Powerup Mount.
- And then we have the romhacks... Kaizo Mario World codified Platform Hell (and, of course, Kaizo Trap.)
- Also worth noting is Mario Party, codifier for the party game genre. Chances are, the trope maker would be its obscure, Japan-only Spiritual Predecessor Getter Love!! (assuming nothing came before that one).
- Ever Quest is the Trope Codifier for just about every single MMO trope of today. While it wasn't the first of its kind (MUDs and Ultima Online get that title), it was the first to establish the model that other MMOs would follow, up to and including World of Warcraft.
- World of Warcraft later became a second Trope Codifier for the MMO genre.
- The Metal Gear series and the Thief series are jointly the Codifier of the stealth genre. Metal Gear Solid and Thief came out at about the same time, but had different approaches. MGS had a bunch of action sequences, while Thief was pure stealth. In fact, when it came out, most critics had difficulty pidgeonholing what category to put Thief into.
- When it comes to Match Three Games: Columns is the Trope Maker, Bejeweled is the codifier.
- Pong is usually considered the first Video Game by the general public. The actual first Video Game is a bit debatable depending on how you define Video Game, ranging from an unnamed game of Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device in 1947 to the 1972-released Magnavox Odyssey game console (the strongest contender turning out to lie smack in the middle, 1962's Space War), but the consensus is that Pong is the Trope Codifier rather than the true Trope Maker.
- WarCraft II, while not the first Real Time Strategy game, was the first one to formalize the RPG aspects, including clearly visible hit point counters and Hero Units.
- Although there were definitely 3D beat'em ups/hack-and-slashers in the PS 1/Sega Saturn/Nintendo 64 era, the first Devil May Cry gave the genre new popularity and credence and is widely seen as the key inspiration for similar "Stylish Action" games like God of War. Many subsequent titles in the genre either directly take inspiration for it or, via aping direct so-to-speak offspring like aforementioned God of War, indirectly draw from it.
- Street Fighter II for Fighting Games.
- Resident Evil for the Survival Horror despite not being the first of its kind.
- Resident Evil 4 for the over-the-shoulder third person shooter.
- For the 3D Fighting Game, Tekken is the most likely codifier, bringing together concepts introduced in preceding 3D fighters like Virtua Fighter and Battle Arena Toshinden.
- Broadly speaking, nothing in any Blizzard game is new or original. They just introduce and tweak the successful elements of previous games to make ones that are quite good. One thing they did create was units giving ever more amusing responses if you won't leave them alone.
- Worms codified the turn-based artillery gameplay of games like Gorillas and Artillery.
- While Recca probably was the Ur Example and Batsugun was definitely the Trope Maker, Do Don Pachi codified very much of Bullet Hell. And it continues to redefine and codify the meaning of it as the True Final Boss Hibachi has progressively gotten harder and harder beyond belief.
- Final Fantasy codifies the JRPG-Genre, but the Trope Maker and Ur Example is Dragon Quest
- Grand Theft Auto, particularly Grand Theft Auto III, codified the Wide Open Sandbox genre.
- Pokémon is the codifier for the monster-capturing game genre, though it is predated by the Darker and Edgier Shin Megami Tensei series.
- Tower Defense games were one of the major categories of user-made maps in Starcraft, but the relatively primitive map editing tool and limited selection of combat-capable buildings meant that there was a far greater emphasis on mobile units. Warcraft III brought a more sophisticated editor which could be used to make custom buildings, and maps for that game codified the variety of towers, upgrade options, and lack of mobile attackers that are common in the genre today.
- Also on mods/user-made maps, Defense of the Ancients is not the Maker for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. The concept was Made by Aeon of Strife from the Starcraft days. However, DotA is the best-known example of the type and it's no great stretch to claim that dedicated games like League of Legends or Demigod would not exist without it.
- The original Halo didn't actually pioneer any of the revolutions in gameplay it featured (all of them, from limited inventory, to regenerating health, to melee attacks, to seperate buttons for firearms and grenades, had been done before in previous games), but it is unquestionably the game which popularized them all to the point that most modern First Person Shooters now use them by default.
- Unreal is the codifier for Secondary Fire, as every weapon in the game has an alternative firing option. This persisted through the entire Unreal series, including Tournament games, and is now considered virtually mandatory in any FPS game.
- Gears of War took the idea of Take Cover as an integral part of the gameplay system - as opposed to an organic "hide behind stuff so you stop getting shot" - from earlier games, but the concept's current popularity would most likely not exist without it.
- Metroid was the first Metroidvania-game, and Super Metroid is the Trope Codifier.
- The Legend Of Zelda codified the Action Adventure genre, boasting innovations such as a battery save feature and open-ended gameplay, while eliminating irrelevant tropes such as Scoring Points. However, it was predated by Adventure for the Atari 2600.
- While most certainly not the first Survival Horror game, Silent Hill introduced, or at least popularized atmosphere with limited visibility that maximizes Nothing Is Scarier.
- While the Action RPG genre had already seen some entries, Kingdom Hearts made it mainstream; virtually every Action RPG since Kingdom Hearts owes at least a partial debt to its formula.
- While Dune is the most likely candidate for the very first Real Time Strategy, Command and Conquer pioneers many of the features that are present in the genre.
- While Modern Warfare wasn't the first game to use an RPG-esque leveling-up system for its multiplayer, you'd be hard pressed to find another online FPS today that doesn't use a system almost exactly like it. It's fairly easy to implement and can keep the player invested for another fifteen to twenty hours that they normally wouldn't have bothered with.
- Twisted Metal wasn't the first competitive Vehicular Combat game (Both Battlesport and Cybersled predates it), but it certainly did popularize the genres and some features, such as tournament-based storylines, quirky characters and more differentiated vehicles.
- The Roguelike genre has two important codifiers: Nethack introduced many features that have since become commonplace in the genre and Angband created a whole, thriving sub-genre of its own.
- Tex Avery, particularly in his short Red Hot Riding Hood, codified the Wild Take.
- An American Tail codified the Award Bait Song, which even spread into live action works.
- Popeye's spinach is the codifier for Power-Up Food.
- The Ren and Stimpy Show codified the Gross Up Close-Up and the Gross-Out Show.
- Wallace and Gromit codified Silent Snarker. Seriously.
- Digital Devil Story codified the Mega Ten metaseries, providing the original source material that eventually set the rules for all Mons.
- An earlier work by William Gibson coined the term "Cyberspace". Both Neuromancer and Tron set the standards for what we think of it.
- Acorn Computers' Arthur OS had the Ur-Example. NEXTSTEP had the original and the user-interface trope namer. But if you've got a dock in your operating system, the OS you're inevitably accused of copying is Apple's Mac OSX. So of course it's also Older Than They Think.
- For graphical interface conventions in general (mice, menus, windows, etc.), the Ur-Example was Xerox PARC's groundbreaking research of the '60s and '70s, which never turned into commercial products on their part, but was Xeroxed by Apple (the Trope Maker) as the basis for its Macintosh interface, and then ripped off (and made even more popular and mainstream) by Microsoft in Windows, the Trope Codifier.
- Fortune teller characters nowadays will likely take some influence from Miss Cleo. This results in Romanians with Jamaican accents.
- While not the first Video Review Show, The Angry Video Game Nerd popularized the format.
- Clarence Darrow's defense of Leopold and Loeb was the codifier for Society Is to Blame
- James Watt didn't invent the first stationary steam engine, and George and Robert Stephenson didn't invent the first steam locomotive. But their versions were so much more efficient than previous ones that they are often credited as the inventors.