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This trope describes when a particular element of a story or setting has been expanded to the point that there's a version to suit every viewer's preference. Another way to describe it might be "a taste for every appetite".

Sometimes this happens gradually, over the course of a series/setting - usually in response to fan demand or just because it's good marketing. In some cases it grows into a Plot Tumor proper.

A codifying example would be the Elf as portrayed in the Dungeons and Dragons tabletop roleplaying game, where the basic "Elf" player race found in the Player's Handbook quickly branches into Dark Elves and Wood Elves in the Monster Manual/Dungeon Master's Guide, and in other official sourcebooks includes Gold, Grey, Sun, Moon, Wild, Sea, High, infernal and celestial variants, Half-Elves and Avariel, just to name a few. Third-party books include countless further versions.

This trope is tied to most "Our x are different" Tropes, but isn't quite the same; this trope denotes the explosion of "difference" in a single series or setting, rather than just the varied interpretations of an idea between settings. The Cast Full of Pretty Boys and Improbably-Female Cast can also be examples of this trope, since they generally exist to provide a large cast catering to a number of niche archetypes and fetishes/paraphilias.

The vast selection of deities in most polytheistic religions is a real-life Ur Example of this trope.

Romance Games do this all the time. For Otome Games and Boys Love Games, there's a standard cast: The rich guy, the energetic, straightforward guy, the cool, aloof guy with glasses, the athletic guy, the guy who is pretty as a girl, the "cool older brother" type, and the suspiciously young-looking guy.

In a case where the setting Tastes The Rainbow on a cosmological level, it's probably a Fantasy Kitchen Sink where All Myths Are True.

The title comes from the advertising slogan for Skittles candy.

Examples of Taste the Rainbow include:

Anime and Manga


  • Polytheism is parodied in the Discworld, where there is a god for just about every niche you can imagine (Anoia, the Goddess of Things That Get Stuck in Drawers, is probably the most commonly-seen example).
  • The list for The Dresden Files isn't quite as numerous as some of the other examples, but Harry has faced off against three highly varied species of vampires, with another species mentioned offhand (thankfully, none of them sparkle). There's also just about any variation of faerie you can imagine (along with more than a few you'd rather not).
    • Werewolves, too. Most of a chapter of the second book is devoted to explaining the differences between the various types.


  • Fighting robots in Real Steel show a tremendous amount of variation apart from their humanoid shape.

Live Action TV

  • Power Rangers - ignoring the multicolored spandex jokes - has a team for just about anything that falls under the Rule of Cool: dinosaur Rangers, ninja Rangers, car Rangers, beast Rangers, wizard Rangers, and so on and so on...
    • Depending on how things will turn out, we may get pirate Rangers in a near future.

Tabletop Games

  • As above, the Dungeons and Dragons RPG illustrates this trope beautifully with elves, and occasionally dwarves (though the dwarves tend to have very little actual variety).
  • If elves are the best D&D example, dragons are certainly second. Chromatic (evil-aligned) and metallic (good-aligned) groups reside in the core books, along with not-quite-dragons like pseudodragons, drakes and fairy dragons, while later expansions introduce the various gem (psionic/neutral-aligned) varieties, shadow, fang, force, prismatic, sand, pyroclastic, stygian, and various oriental versions (once again, just to name a few). Of course, dragons also seem to breed with anything that moves, meaning there are also countless "draconic" versions of other critters as well. There truly is a dragon for every season.
    • That is, every season on every planet in the multiverse, not just 4.
  • It was a joke for a while among the Exalted developers that the only perversion that didn't exist in Creation was Pyrohomonecropedobestiality: "Having sex with a dead underaged animal of the same gender that's on fire".
  • Clans and Bloodlines in Vampire: The Masquerade eventually became this.
  • In Warhammer 40000, there's a space marine faction for whatever particular flavour you like. The same is true of Imperial Guard, where every guard faction is an expy of a real-world military stereotype, complete with a faction who define themselves by surrendering.
  • Japanese Romance Games do this all the time. Now imagine if every single beautiful woman from every single Eroges duke it out in a card game. That would be the general feeling of Lycee TCG. Characters that share archetype also share "colors" and Standard abilities, but each character has her (or his[1]) unique Character ability.

Video Games

  • Touhou. It's doing it's best to include an Improbably-Female Cast version of just about everything from Japanese folklore. The earlier games include some western creatures as well.
  • The Harvest Moon series is playing into this more and more each generation with their bachelors and bachelorettes. There's almost always a Girl Next Door, a Strange Girl, a Tsundere, et cetera, et cetera.
  • The Idolmaster uses this as premise for including in the cast every possible Moe archetype.

Western Animation


  1. There are also Bishounen characters