We've got a pretty good thread running down various tags that should be removed here. However, before I submit a request to SE to have them removed, we need to do some sanity checking. From here:

Start by cleaning up the edges

Bad tags are often harbingers of bad questions. So if you're about to remove a bad tag, start by removing the bad questions it collected: find closed questions and delete them, find downvoted questions and close them (if they warrant it), find poorly-written questions and re-write them (if they deserve it). You get the idea.

When a tag is merely ambiguous, sometimes it makes more sense to just replace it with another tag, or one of a number of other tags. This can be a quick way of turning a bad tag into a good one, or at least accomplishing something other than raw destruction when removing it.

This cleanup is easily the hardest, most time-consuming part of the process. Document your progress here on meta, so that others can see what you're up to and get involved - many hands make light work! And again, if you don't think it's worth doing then just drop it and move on to something else.

There are several tags that there's clear consensus should be removed, but there's no indication that someone's done this cleanup work. To be clear, the tags that need this check are:

  • All gone!

For each of these (excepting maybe ), make a post here documenting the work done to check that it's okay to remove the tag completely. Once each has been checked, we'll have the tag removed.


These tags are gone now:

  • 2
    What was the justification for burninating plot-explanation?
    – AncientSwordRage Mod
    Jan 11, 2016 at 17:33
  • 1
    @AncientSwordRage meta.scifi.stackexchange.com/a/7875/1027
    – user1027
    Jan 11, 2016 at 17:39
  • 1
    Personally, I don't see the motivation for a massive tag cleanup at all. For example, for the decade tags, I don't see what the harm of them is. Jan 15, 2016 at 15:46
  • @ThePopMachine Take it to the relevant discussion. This post is specifically about ensuring the tag purge doesn't leave a mess.
    – user1027
    Jan 15, 2016 at 15:59

6 Answers 6


originally had 140 questions tagged.

Of those:

  • 115 already have a franchise, work, or author tag on them, so superfluous
  • 7 are also tagged [story-identification], so superfluous.
  • 3 closed questions with no more relevant tag:

If you drink nothing but holy water, are your bodily fluids holy?

This is closed as "not constructive" but would probably be on-topic today. What do we usually tag these "first X to show Y" questions with these days?

Ejected into space -- survival tactics

This is not only off-topic, but it's a dupe of another off-topic question. The only relevant tag is , which is not one of my favorites but so far, not on the chopping block. Should we delete this question, or just remove from it?


This question is about a specific work of fiction, but it has no tag and no other questions on the site, and the question itself was speculative and no longer relevant (it asks for speculation about the plot of a book published in 2014.

  • 13 questions need to have a franchise/work/author tag added to them. in progress - 2 fixed

  • 2 questions that were not actually about plot, and have been now been fixed to have proper tags: fixed

Science Fiction plot resource (website)

What is a retcon, or retroactive continuity?


In the cases of the "decade" tags, they are used almost exclusively (with only 2 exceptions) for questions. In those cases, the tag was superfluous in the first place, and just needs to be removed.

: 15 questions, all , all of them where was the suspected publication date of the story. All superfluous.

: 75 74 questions. 73 of them , where was the suspected publication date of the story. 1 where the question happened to be about a show produced in the 1980s. 1 where the question was a broad question about all cartoons from the 80s. 74 superfluous. This question can probably be deleted. All superfluous.

: 45 questions, all; , all of them where was the suspected publication date of the story. All superfluous.

  • 2
    In fact in this case you don't even need SE staff to delete it. A normal site moderator can just merge the tags into story-identification which effectively deletes them, too (after the 1 day of having no questions associated with them, of course don't make them synonyms in the process).
    – TARS
    Jan 12, 2016 at 9:47
  • I don't know how you searched, but I saw some more 80s question without story-identification: 5. A couple needed a work-tag, one was a story ID without that tag.
    – SQB
    Jan 12, 2016 at 20:29
  • I searched by "[80s] -[story-identification]"; right now I get 0 results...
    – KutuluMike
    Jan 12, 2016 at 22:07
  • 1
    The 70s, 80s, and 90s are now distant memories. Jan 14, 2016 at 20:52


This cleanup is done.

is ready to go away. All questions that are about a character named Death have a work-specific tag; all others have a valid work tag, story-id tag, or history-of tag as appropriate.

It'll probably take a bit more than this one post to deal with properly, but I might as well get the ball rolling.

Most of the questions are about the concept of death. To aid the discussion of whether we want a tag for that at all, most of these questions fit one of the following formulas:

  • What can kill X?
  • Can X kill someone?
  • What does X know about death?
  • Why are there so many/few dead people during X?
  • Why did X die? (both in and our of universe)
  • What happens when X dies?
  • Why did this happen after X died?
  • How many times did X die?

My personal opinion is that this would not be a useful tag.

These are all the questions that happen to be about a specific personification of death:


The overwhelming majority of questions already have a franchise, work or author tag. There are only four exceptions:

In other words, this tag is superfluous everywhere and safe to burninate.

  • 2
    3 of those questions have been retagged; the closed one probably can be deleted, but if not, the remaining tags are fine.
    – KutuluMike
    Jan 11, 2016 at 23:54
  • My instinct was to merge plot-inconsistency into time-travel, but I burninated instead. Jan 18, 2016 at 19:13


This cleanup is done.

These questions have now all been retagged with work and/or author tags as appropriate. can go away safely.

Ok, here is a final list of all questions that need to be retagged before we can burninate the tag. In most cases these will need new work/author tags created. We will work through this list during our first Retagging Event.

Please remember when retagging a question:

  • Don't just retag! Fix anything else that's wrong (generic titles, etc.)
  • If you need to create a new tag name, check with the chat room (in case someone else needs the same tag) to coordinate names.
  • If you make a new tag, give it at least a tag excerpt. (A whole wiki would be ideal, but we can get the wikis later).

This is the working list. Please check the chat room before working on these for guidelines and effort coordinating!

  • Just so it's obvious what happened: I removed [plot-explanation] from 574 posts. Jan 18, 2016 at 21:26

[00s]: 0
[10s]: 0
[20s]: 0
[30s]: 0
[40s]: 0
[50s]: 0
[60s]: 0
[70s]: 15
[80s]: 69
[90s]: 45

[70s] [70s] -[story-identification]: 0
[80s] [80s] -[story-identification]: 0
[90s] [90s] -[story-identification]: 0

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