Why so many people uses so many times a bold or an italic font (or both), often with many exclamation points at the end, to warn people, that link is pointing to TVTropes? What is so wrong about this site?

It has some kind of original style, but... I never found any real spoilers there, my head never get boiling during reading it etc. For me (newbie, ignorant?) this is a site like many, many others.

Is there really any point (or requirement here?) it doing so loud scream, that given link points to TVTropes ?

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    See also: meme: Warning: TV Tropes Link (I might even argue that this is a dupe.)
    – phantom42
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 18:10
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    "The many memes of scifi.stackexchange" question is a dupe of "What is so wrong about TVTropes"? I need a BIG coffee, because I miss your point sooooo much...
    – trejder
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 18:32
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    Read the answer I linked to. The meme explanation goes over this in detail. Dupes are defined by questions OR answers.
    – phantom42
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 18:44
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    Well, I had a similar situation like this on Stack Exchange Meta and my question was even re-opened after closing as possible dupe. You're right, that both questions and answers counts as for duplicates, but you can't expect someone to read through many answers to question on something completely different, in hope to find six-word explanation somewhere between the lines. Especially, that dupe link always links to a question, not to an answer. I was always told, that duplicate is, when we have quite similar question, not quite similar answer to completely different question. Maybe I'm wrong.
    – trejder
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 20:16
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    We do things a bit differently here. But yes, the linking to the question instead of the answer is often a problem and cause of confusion. A comment can sometimes help, but it never fixes it. I have no intention to VTC, but I would understand anyone who did.
    – phantom42
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 20:19
  • Relevant meta discussion.
    – Möoz
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 20:24
  • possible duplicate of The many memes of scifi.stackexchange
    – Möoz
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 20:25

2 Answers 2


This is a semi-serious complaint rather than a real complaint. The TV Tropes website is clickbait of the first order, encouraging you to follow link after link in an almost pavlovian way, burning up any free hours that you may have.

There's even a page on TV Tropes (Warning - TV Tropes link) that warns that TV Tropes can ruin your life:

Now we warn you about the amount of time you will spend browsing the website in your first few weeks of visiting. Some editors spend 7 hour+ periods just reading through the thousands of pages, going through an extended Wiki Walk

And an xkcd cartoon:

xkcd 609

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    I'm accepting your answer, because it is a good explanation and I like the comic, but neither yours nor SQB's doesn't actually answer the question. Either I can't express myself, or you don't understand me. It is a 100% pure point of view. If you're interested in SF&F, TVTropes can be a clickbait for you. If you're semi-scientist or just a curious man, Wikipedia can be a clickbait for you and you loose hours there as well, clicking and clicking. Actually, any good site can be a clickbait! But no one screams so loudly about them. I still see no point in this "warnings" to TVTropes here.
    – trejder
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 10:31
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    @trejder Of course it is personal. Perhaps Luke's Fishing Shack is your procrastination trap. The point is that a number of people on this stack have (especially in Science Fiction & Fantasy Chat) expressed that TV Tropes is a time sink to them, so on this stack it has become customary to add a (tongue in cheek) warning when linking to it. And the xkcd comic shows that it's not limited to just this stack.
    – SQB
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 10:40
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    @trejder - It's become a meme to complain about TVTropes. As soon as people see a link they go "oh no, a tropes link" and everyone laughs.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 10:47
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    @SQB - "My hobby: answering questions on StackExchange by quoting xkcd." - Hahaha. You are a failure. Hang your head in shame.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 11:02
  • Years ago I would fall deeply into the TV Tropes trap. I had no idea this was a well known thing. It's great to know others share this sort of psychosis. :-D Commented Jan 24, 2015 at 10:33
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    I've often felt this site to be my time-sink. Perhaps we should all post a warning when linking to our own site? Commented Jan 25, 2015 at 14:32
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    @trejder - Yes, it is 100% point of view, but it isn't a SE policy to post warnings before links to TV Tropes. Individual users choose to post the warnings, because in their POV, such warnings are necessary. If you don't feel like posting a warning, no one is forcing you to do so. Like you said, it is all a matter of personal point of view.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Jun 9, 2015 at 2:30

The possible spoilers are not the problem.

The danger of TV Tropes is that it can be a huge time sink, especially to the easily distracted. Everything seems interesting, and each article has at least a dozen equally interesting looking links to other tropes.

Other examples of such sites are Cracked, Buzzfeed, (insert examples here).

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    Meh, none of those other sites pack a tenth of the procrastinatory punch of TVTropes. :) Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 9:27

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