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Sturgeon's Law says 90% of everything is crud. Oddly enough, tropes are largely an exception, at least when it comes to the examples. Most examples are in fact neutral, neither being quite good or bad examples. Or some tropes have a roughly even mixture of good and bad examples. Then some tropes seem to be good or bad by their natures (such as those on the Bad Writing Index).
Then we have these tropes.
Let's make it clear these tropes are not necessarily bad. They often leave plenty of room for adaptation, and a skilled storyteller can play them well. However, they are seldom if ever used to build a good story. Hence they are the tropes most likely to demonstrate Sturgeon's Law; i.e. 90% of the examples are crud.
But like the corollary, the remaining ten percent can be worth dying for.
- Anvilicious: Some stories try to make a moral point, but some of those stories are so unsubtle that they wind up boring people and turning them off of the message.
- Author Filibuster: Making your opinions clear to the audience can be done well, but most of the time winds up offending people who disagree with you and boring those who don't care (or even bores and offends those who agree with you).
- Blue and Orange Morality: Many writers are incapable of effectively portraying a truly alien set of values and morals. Usually, it comes off simply as another variant of evil.
- Bowdlerise: Some good writers have been able to make clean versions about as good as the original material, it's just that most merely substitute something. (cf. Disneyfication)
- Cliché Storm: When viewers read/watch something, they expect a few surprises thrown into the genre of their choice; when they don't get anything new, they are bound to get bored and wind up getting the feeling that they've just wasted their money on something they have already watched.
- Continuity Porn: Fans like acknowledging earlier parts of a work, it's just that it often bogs down the script so that no one but the hardcore fans can understand it.
- Dancing Bear: A solid work can still exist with a gimmick. It's just that most works that fall under this rely too much on the gimmick to substitute for the quality of the work.
- Darker and Edgier: In theory, this process simply Retools a series to make it more cynical and to deal with more mature subjects. In practice, the majority of the time, it simply results in an increase in sex, violence and swearing (not to mention those limit the audience of shows that had broader appeal).
- Deus Angst Machina: Having things happen to a character just to make them angsty could make the audience mad.
- Developing Doomed Characters: Done well, these kind of scenes can add something to a work. It's just that most are boring and annoying.
- Escort Mission: Can sometimes make the level more frantic and urgent, but all too often forces the player to unfairly compensate for their allies suicidal stupidity.
- Executive Meddling: Neutral in itself and can result in good or bad things, and indeed there have been examples where Executive Meddling has prevented a bad idea from being executed, closed loopholes and exploits, or got a work put past production. The more negative examples tend to stand out a little more, are more likely to be mentioned, and are more likely to be included on this wiki.
- Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Unusual morals in a work can sometimes make good points and make its audience rethink their morals, but most of the time, they just confuse and outrage the audience.
- Fan Service: Generally harmless so long as the work in question brings something more to the table, but even when it's used in moderation, audiences tend to complain about it.
- Filler: Usually filler is good only in more lighthearted or Slice of Life shows where having a main plotline is distracting.
- Flanderization: Can be used to rule out unnecessary traits and create an even more memorable character (i.e. Billy Mays, Chuck Jones' portrayal of Daffy Duck), but more often results in a complex character being reduced to a one-dimensional caricature of themselves.
- Follow the Leader: Rarely do the successors live up to the standards of the original, and grasp what made the original so successful in the first place.
- Forgotten Phlebotinum: If your viewers are tearing their hair out screaming "Why don't they just beam them out of there?", they're not enjoying it.
- Franchise Zombie: A few "zombie" continuations are considered to be as good or even superior to the original, the problem is that most attempts end up being of lesser qualities.
- Idiot Plot: It's often portrayed as a bad thing and interpreted negatively...but sometimes, it actually works out so well for comedies and even dramas because the idiocy is what makes it funny or dramatic.
- Invincible Hero: There are only a few cases where the audience never wants a hero to be shown vulnerability.
- Invincible Villain: It could just make a victory at the end really, really rewarding.
- In Name Only: You can still tell a good story that is completely different than the source one, it's just that most end up telling weak stories (often in the misguided belief that the brand name alone can make it successful).
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: This trope can still make sense if it is justified, but often, it is used to deliver an Anvilicious Aesop, without caring about whether it makes sense in-story.
- Leave the Camera Running: Some works need a slow pacing to achieve the best effect. However, most works that fall under this trope don't know how to keep itself interesting as it slows down.
- The Load: See The Millstone.
- The Millstone: When used intentionally (Played for Laughs or Played for Drama), they can add a lot to the work. In most cases though, the character ends up being The Scrappy.
- Only the Author Can Save Them Now: A hero facing impossible odds is a classic source of drama. If the odds get too impossible, though, the audience will become detached because they can see a Deus Ex Machina coming.
- Post Script Season: A few of these can be as good quality as the seasons before it, but mostly they aren't. After all, the main conflict has already been resolved, so where do you go from there?
- Refuge in Vulgarity: It's just that most think the vulgar parts are jokes enough instead of telling jokes that happen to be vulgar.
- Running the Asylum: It's just that most fall into the pitfalls listed in the description.
- The Stations of the Canon: Yes, we are curious how certain key events might happen in an Alternate Universe or Divergence -- it's just that it's taken for granted that they all do happen in the fandoms with this trope, which limits the divergence of the divergences.
- Superior Species: Whilst the implications of a species that is just plain better can be very interesting for a setting, it's all too easy to have them end up landing on the unfortunate side of things. Even if that pitfall is avoided, the writer runs a serious risk of creating an entire species of Mary Sues.
- Writer on Board: You can include your beliefs in a narrative. It's just that most use it to try to force their beliefs or issues into them. Sometimes, this works but other times it can be annoying (and a lot of the time, it depends on the audience).