Do we know our TV a little too well?

Clayton J. Hester
4 min readJun 14, 2022

It has been said of many a person on the internet: you have too much time on your hands.

Let’s face it, many folks have this accusation coming to them when they commit time to frivolous things.

Scrolling TV Tropes can certainly make you feel this way.

This wiki is keenly aware of what it is.

There are even tropes within the tropes.

There are tropes about research into tropes.

TV Tropes is nothing without its users, who supply it with its snappy trope names and its deep-diving references.

Everything from ancient literature to obscure webcomics to prime time standards are categorized and cross-referenced on this site.

Tropology is the study of tropes. It is the examination of how tropes are used in fiction and how they affect the audience. Tropology can be used to study any type of fiction, from television shows to movies to books.

Tropes are often used to create shorthand between the creators of a work and the audience. They can be used to communicate a lot of information very quickly.

You can conjure up pictures of just where an artist is going on an analytical level when you throw out words like “antihero,” “deconstruction,” and “white hat.”

Tropes are a vital part of fiction and can be used to create all sorts of different stories.

Tropes may, in connotation, sound like cliches, but this isn’t true.

In fact, it can be such a boon to creatives, as well. For instance, I myself was looking up examples of the First Contact Farmer to cross-reference and compare how this trope has been used for a web series I’m writing.

It’s a haven for both savvy viewers and creatives alike.

The meta nature of the internet has made it a standard to analyze and reference our art down to the most minor details.

We are saturated thoroughly in markers that compose our works of art and entertainment.

And awareness about these sorts of things is a large form of meme comedy in this modern world.

But we might consider the history of trope studies.

The Motif-Index of Folk-Literature is a work of reference by American folklorist Stith Thompson. It catalogues and cross-references motifs in works of…

Clayton J. Hester

Country boy. Explorer of the creative process & life, the arts, storytelling, innovation and history of ideas. Omnia in gloriam Dei facite —