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TVTropes is a wiki that documents artistic tropes, which are essentially what this wiki calls "patterns" but applied to media and fiction. The name refers to the fact that it was originally intended for TV shows; it has since expanded its scope to media in general (thus the tagline "the all-devouring pop-culture wiki"). There are two main types of pages - trope pages, which list media that contain an example of the trope, and work pages, which list (some of) the tropes present in said work.

Examples of tropes include "The Power of Friendship", "Million to One Chance", and "Anti-Hero" - though some of them have odder names, such as "Dark Horse Casting" (a mostly unknown actor is cast for a prominent leading role), "Narm" (the TVTropes term for bathos), or "Applied Phlebotinum" (a gadget, material, physics rule, etc. that exists for the sole purpose of furthering the plot).

This results in what could be described as at least partially an Anti PatternLanguage - a way to identify writing pitfalls (see [1]). It can also be used to identify good patterns, but they had to write a "Tropes Are Not Bad" page because people were mistaking it for being solely for AntiPatterns.

It uses a custom WikiEngine that was once PmWiki but has since been extensively modified; their changes are not open-source.

Readers of this wiki may be interested in their Wiki Tropes category, which is not especially extensive but does have a few interesting observations about their internal culture and how wikis are seen in media: [2]




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