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Welcome to the Subwiki for Playing with a Trope.

What is 'Playing With' a trope? Showing what the trope would look like under the usual transformations. The usual transformations are listed in detail on the Playing with a Trope page. They are things like subverted, inverted, enforced, exaggerated, and so on.

In this subwiki, examples are generic, rather than specific to any given show or series. For example, for The Power of Love trope:


Valid: Double Subverted: The heroine's love for the hero fails to prevent his death, but as she's led away in despair, she is rescued by a reincarnated hero.
Not Valid: Double Subverted: In The Princess Bride Buttercup's True Love for Westley fails to interrupt the ceremony, but Westley shows up soon afterward and the marriage is denied on a technicality.


Here some are some sort-of rules for playing with tropes

  • Please make sure you've studied and memorized the trope definition and are 100% sure that it is what you think it is. Nothing ruins a Playing With page faster than shoehorning Square Peg, Round Trope examples into places the basic trope doesn't support.
  • When creating a Playing With page for a trope, link to the trope being played with, but not the transformation you are working on. We don't need a zillion links to "Subverted Trope", or the other Trope Tropes.
  • Go ahead and list as many transformations as you can. If you can't think up a good example, go ahead and leave an entry blank. The Wiki Magic will bring examples.
  • If a trope's subversion, inversion (etc.) is distinct enough to be a separate page on its own, just naming and linking to the separate page is fine.
  • A template is conveniently provided at Playing With Subpage, available on the boilerplate dropdown when creating a new page. Using it will make the pages consistently formatted.
  • Start by creating your new page by going to the trope and clicking on "Playing With" under the Create New menu
  • If you are unfamiliar with the various transformations, this page gives a nice short description of the standard expanded set, as does the Playing with a Trope page.

Some common misunderstandings, and things to keep in mind

  • The "Basic Trope" entry provided in the template above should only be a simple one sentence description of the trope. No excessive cleverness needed. Save the cleverness for the actual entries.
  • Make sure you know what each transformation means and don't get them confused with each other:
    • "Conversed" does not mean "Discussed" -- conversed means talking about a trope in another work, and discussed means having a character explicitly discuss the trope in Genre Savvy way in a situation in which it would normally appear.
    • "Exaggerated" and "Parodied" are not the same, despite the overlap. It helps get the point across better if your exaggerated examples are not also parodies, and your parodies are not also exaggerated. Having your parody example be "see Exaggerated" is right out.
      • "Parodied" is when the trope or parts of the trope are directly mocked or spoofed for explicit humour value.
      • "Exaggerated" is an extreme or over-the-top manifestation of the trope, but may still be played straight or taken entirely seriously.
    • "Lampshaded" and "Discussed" are separate things. A Lampshade Hanging is when the trope is used, and the characters point it out. Discussed Trope is when the characters talk about a trope which might apply to their situation, even if it doesn't actually occur.
    • "Invoked" vs. "Exploited": An Exploited Trope is when a Genre Savvy character can predict that the trope will be in effect and adjusts his behavior accordingly. An Invoked Trope is when the character is even more pro-active and deliberately goes out of his way to set up the situation for the trope to occur.
    • "Averted" vs. "Subverted" vs. "Downplayed": Keep in mind to avoid confusion, tropes are Averted when they don't occur at all; the trope is absent from the work completely. Subversions occur only when the audience is made to believe in advance that a trope will happen, but then it doesn't actually happen at all. For a trope to be Downplayed means it does occur, but to less of an extent than usual, regardless of the setup. Aversions and downplayings are not subversions of the trope.
  • "Justified" is specifically defined as IN-UNIVERSE. That means the writers made a reason for the trope to occur in the setting. Not that meta-reasons make it a good choice to make it happen. If the writers do something because of outside influence that's usually "Enforced". Remember that Tropes Are Not Bad, and a Justification isn't necessarily good.

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