Trope

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Synonyms: plot device
See also: Tropes in Fanworks, Story Tropes By Fandom, Slash Tropes, TV Tropes, Genre, The Same Old Story
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In fandom, the word trope is often used to describe common plot devices, such as Aliens Made Them Do It, Fuck or Die, sex pollen, etc.

After the first fanwork is created in any fandom, traditional themes quickly follow. It takes no time at all for any fandom to develop its favorite tropes (often the same tropes, no matter what the fandom).

Here is a definition from TV Tropes:

Tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members' minds and expectations. On the whole, tropes are not clichés. The word clichéd means "stereotyped and trite." In other words, dull and uninteresting. We are not looking for dull and uninteresting entries. We are here to recognize tropes and play with them, not to make fun of them.

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