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"I'm aware it's a clicheThis is just something that I gotta do..."
I am aware I'm being stupid, I'm aware of that but hey
—"Action Movie Hero Boy," Lemon Demon
Generally, there's a standard progression as a trope ages. First, it is born. Once it's become established enough, parodies and subversions start to crop up. Through overuse, it ends up eventually becoming a Discredited Trope, and subversions might be common enough to be straight examples of new tropes, making it a Dead Horse Trope. Or it could just be forgotten completely.
Sometimes, however, tropes just don't want to die, and the progression skips a step. Subversions are common enough to be their own tropes, yet the original trope, even if it's the Oldest One In The Book, is still in active use and isn't even (universally -- opinions vary) seen as cliched or corny. It would be a Dead Horse Trope, except it isn't actually dead. It's Undead.
Some tropes that reach this state eventually ascend into Omnipresent Tropes, ones that are more like the building blocks of a story which would severely limit writers' options if they were taken off the market. The majority remain necessities for genre and narrative reasons for which non-cliched explanations have yet to be able to provide a suitable alternative.
- Agony Beam: Necessary to show PG suffering.
- All Just a Dream: Keeps popping up in cheap direct-to-DVD horror movies even in this century, despite that it's sure to induce a Head Desk from many viewers. Its sister trope, Or Was It a Dream?, keeps happening too.
- And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Revived in Police Stop in 1994, and Police Camera Action from 2007 onwards, it's now pretty much used in crime/police documentaries, but not for parody, and it avoids being Anvilicious in its usage.
- Auto-Tune: Mocked all the time, yet a standard for all pop music since the late 90's.
- Be Yourself: Keeps popping up in kids' shows even though older viewers might find it trite.
- Big No: The parodies of this have been around for quite a while, even so it is still being played straight
- Bond Gun Barrel: Parodied so many times that it became a stock parody, but still being played straight by the James Bond franchise, either on movies or video games.
- Broken Heel: Along with its countless variations.
- Bumbling Dad: Not only is the predominance of this trope harmful to the treatment and self-image of fathers (and males in general), but thanks to society perceiving Positive Discrimination as "equality" and insisting on stark overreaction to traditional gender norms, it will be a long time before this horse is given more than a mere poke.
- Chainmail Bikini: By now, everyone who's not too busy drooling groans. It's mercilessly parodied again and again for about twenty years... but it still goes on.
- Courtly Love: Undead for about five hundred years now. Famous subversions appear as far back as Romeo and Juliet and The Canterbury Tales.
- Crate Expectations: Crates in video games have been mocked to death, but won't be going away any time soon. Otherwise, how will we get our randomly generated items?
- Crowd Song: Almost required for a musical.
- Death by Childbirth: Even though puerperal fever is rare in developed countries, the Hand Wave that "Hey, it can still happen!" makes it a great Freudian Excuse. And there are still period pieces where it shouldn't be rare at all. Additionally, even today there are some areas where childbirth is extremely dangerous, and not just in third world countries. In some American states women might not live within 60 miles of a maternity ward. Labor doesn't exactly wait for your convenience and complications can be deadly.
- Digital Piracy Is Evil: Plenty of parodies of this exist, but it will most likely continue to get straight use in mainstream media for years to come.
- Distressed Damsel: Has been parodied plenty, but being The Artifact for a lot of long running series (The Mario series itself mocks it every time it is used, though Princess Zelda's capturing is more straightlaced), and how it functions well enough for its cheapness, keeps it alive.
- Dumb Blond: Not much excuse for this one but it is certainly still around.
- Evil Laugh: Indispensible? Hardly. Too much fun to give up? By far. (It's about standards.)
- Exact Eavesdropping: Subversions predate Shakespeare, but TV shows continue to play it straight when it'll move the plot along.
- Exploding Barrels: Like Crate Expectations, it's been done to death and made fun of but sticks around anyway. Explosions are cool after all.
- Game Over and Game Over Man: The game over screen is almost unheard of in newer first person shooters but still a part of some nintendo classics.
- Joisey: The stereotypical view of New Jersey was never completely true or an exaggeration, as pretty much anybody who is actually from or has actually been to New Jersey will tell you. This trope was used with less and less frequency, until something horrific happened, causing the trope to rise from the dead.
- Joke Character: The first Lethal Joke Character probably came around five seconds after the first Joke Character, and both are in wide use.
- Knight in Shining Armor: In a very strange case of this trope, this started out as a Dead Unicorn Trope since subversions/deconstructions were the norm. But a combination of Tabletop RPGs, Anime, Disney, Video Games, and plain old Reconstruction have vastly increased the number of straight examples, though the non-ironic uses are a lot more recent. Still, parodies are still very common, keeping it in Undead Horse Trope territory rather than Cyclic Trope. In other words, Knight in Shining Armor is a reversal of the usual trope life cycle since subversions were consumed by straight examples.
- Laugh Track: Parodied and mocked as often as played straight.
- Literal Genie: Or sometimes the Monkeys Paw genie or wishes. Wishes are seldom what you intend them to be, simply because a person could end a story very quickly with the right wish.
- Motivational Posters: Ubiquitous in schools and offices; mercilessly mocked everywhere else.
- No Animals Were Harmed: Played straight only when needed. Otherwise, a parody of it is a trope of its own.
- Our Vampires Are Different: It seems like every other movie coming out right now is about vampires... but ones that sparkle.
- Pop Goes the Human: Largely discredited, as it was pretty much born from an Urban Legend that if you eat too much, you will explode. However, works that don't take themselves seriously, and/or are not going for uber-realism will still use it.
- Power of Friendship and Power of Love: Old and cliched? Yes. Does that stop people from using them today? Definitely no. Not only that, but both of them are still two good morals to teach to people (as long as you're not anvilicious about them).
- Real Is Brown: Still used quite a bit in this HD era, but lots of games like Uncharted and Super Smash Bros Brawl have started to mock this concept.
- Santa Claus: He remains omnipresent in most Christmas-related episodes simply by the power of inertia. Unlikely to go away anytime soon, since he is so firmly rooted in the public consciousness and pop culture
- Silly Love Songs: If you get rid of this, the entire popular music industry is doomed.
- Slow Clap: The reason why it's still around is that this is a real phenomenon called "mob psychology".
- Stuffed Into the Fridge: While often subverted with a Fake Kill Scare or other means, writers will still play it straight when they need the hero to be more angsty or go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
- Subverted Suspicion Aesop: While there's a a reason why Subverted is in the title, aside from the fact that it can be a literal subversion, it still manages to be played straight.
- Taking the Bullet: Despite the obvious comedic value of someone doing a Diving Save in front of something harmless (or better still, being just a bit off in the timing), this form of Heroic Sacrifice is still profound when played straight.
- Tempting Fate: No one is ever surprised anymore whenever something bad happens after this trope is invoked, yet it's unlikely that writers will ever stop using it nonironically.
- Training Montage: The version of this trope used in movies during the The Eighties, usually set to the song "Gonna Fly Now", has been frequent parody fodder for a long time now. Training montages are still in use, but, unless it's in a comedy, they won't be set to triumphant power ballads anymore.
- You All Meet in An Inn: Still prevalent in Tabletop RPGs.
- Zombie Apocalypse: Similar to vampires. However, it is more of a Cyclic Trope, due to the concept being kept in vogue by the extremely broad array of ways it is portrayed.