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There is one thing that you must keep in mind to retain your sanity here, and that is that tropes are not intended to be good or bad, nor does not featuring one in any form of entertainment make it "ruined." Tropes Are Tools and nothing more, they are neutral by themselves. It is how they are used within a story that defines if they are good or bad. Tropes Are Not Bad covers the bad half of this, but there are good reasons to remember Tropes Are Not Good, too:

All tropes can be written badly. This includes tropes that everyone thinks are good, like Magnificent Bastard or even Crowning Moment of Awesome. A badly written Magnificent Bastard may be done in such a way that everyone else in the story are idiots and generally gives less of an impression of intelligence and more of an impression of cheating or changing the internal rules of the story. A badly done Crowning Moment of Awesome can break the Willing Suspension of Disbelief, so instead of "WOW THAT WAS AWESOME" you get "C'mon. that guy could never do that in real life." Refuge in Audacity has different breaking points for different people.

All tropes can be overused. Too many Xanatos Gambits tend to make the show confusing, no matter how well written they are. And while the Xanatos Roulette and the Thirty Xanatos Pileup are not necessarily bad, they too occur because of the overuse of the Gambit. Too many Crowning Moments Of Awesome take up room where plot could go, or make the audience pay less attention to the relatively boring plot bits, making the story more shallow. The Crowning Moment of Awesome is supposed to be a singular moment for a character and the Rule of Cool can make up for weak points in a story, but rarely does it work as the story.

Just because a trope is realistic doesn't mean it's good. There is a reason why we have an entire category devoted to Acceptable Breaks From Reality. That category only applies to video games, but there are some good non-video game examples as well. For example, The Hero gets shot in the shoulder and dies. The Determinator doesn't come into play, no My Name Is Inigo Montoya, nothing. Realistic, maybe, but that that is not what we want a hero to do. That's right, one of the most fundamental character archetypes is usually unrealistic. The important thing when writing a story is that it's believable, not that it's realistic.

A good show doesn't need "good" tropes A well written show won't be any worse if it doesn't have a Magnificent Bastard. A good show doesn't get worse if the main five characters don't form a Five-Man Band. Heck, a good show doesn't even need basic tropes like The Hero or Big Bad. If they can do it, good for them.

The point of this wiki is that tropes are fun, and that there's no such thing as Serious Business. So think before pounding a square trope into a round hole, take a deep breath, and remember that Tropes Are Not Good, and that it's just a show, you should really just relax.


  1. REDIRECT Tropes Are Tools
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