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Introduction

Getting to 3,000 edits took a little longer than the first or second thousand, partly because I didn’t have Total Drama Island, by Gilbert and Sullivan to ramp up my stats, and partly because I have recently had more competing demands on my time. Whereas I averaged 200-250 edits per month for most of my first year on the wiki, I currently average about half that.

As with the previous milestone edits, I wanted to do something special. For #1000 it was my Featured User acceptance speech and sneak previews of two new stories I had started (one of which has since been completed and went on to win Featured Story honors.) For #2000 it was, among other things, photos of real-life TDI girls from my sports photography.

A lot of users on this wiki are fans of the TV Tropes wiki, so I decided to work up tropes listing for my standalone stories. (My Fake Souls vignettes don’t have listings here. Maybe another time.)

My stories undoubtedly have more tropes than I have currently identified—especially LTDI, which is a work in process—but you work with what you’ve got. Who knows, maybe this will start a fad, like my Writer’s Workshop did about a year ago.

Because some of the trope names are pretty cryptic, I have included links to the relevant pages on the TV Tropes website.

On an unrelated note, for those who missed it (which seems to be just about everybody) I posted another LTDI preview last week.


Tropes Listings

Legacy

Because this is a long-finished story, I am including specific examples of how the various tropes apply. For any of you who haven’t read the story, some of these examples will contain spoilers. For such people, if such be here, I strongly recommend reading the story before reading this listing.


  1. "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: While not actually an epilogue, the reminiscence portion of the story ends this way
  2. Absence Makes The Heart Go Yonder: Most of the couples are no longer together
  3. All There In The Manual: The story includes hyperlinks to supplemental information on ancillary topics and a music video for the basis of Trent's grief song
  4. As You Know: Heather reminds Duncan that Muskoka is a major summer colony
  5. Bittersweet Ending: Heather's gesture of remembrance gives the story this quality
  6. Blue And Orange Morality: Izzy isn't sad & doesn't grieve for Gwen because her brilliant but diseased mind can't comprehend grief or sadness
  7. But We Used A Condom: Lindsay's unexpected pregnancy
  8. Chekhov's Gun: Heather's pregnancy is mentioned early and often, but doesn't become important until near the end
  9. Dark Fic: An emotional tale of violent death, from comedic source material
  10. Dead Guy Junior: Heather plans to name her baby after the late Gwen
  11. Death By Genre Savviness: Gwen is convinced that the killer is just an actor hired for the challenge, so she doesn't try to defend herself
  12. Death Fic: The story is all about the repercussions of Gwen's death
  13. Due To The Dead: The black-draped seat at the bonfire,Trent & Cody's tribute, and the enactment of “Gwen's Law"
  14. Epigraph: The Shakespeare quote at start of chapter 2
  15. Flashback: Chapter 2 and most of chapter 3
  16. For Want Of A Nail: A delay of a few seconds has consequences that reverberate for years
  17. Foreshadowing: The flowers on the table, and the reference to 19 (instead of 20) spectators in the Peanut Gallery
  18. Grief Song: Trent's tribute song
  19. Nested Story: Within the main story is Heather's story of how she came to choose her expected daughter's name
  20. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Chris and his entourage come into the lodge at exactly the wrong moment
  21. Said Bookism: A facet of the story's faintly antiquated style. A mild case in that (a) other common dialogue tags, such as “asked” and “replied”, do appear; and (b) the story doesn't have much dialogue in the first place
  22. Shout Out: Chapter 4 includes references to the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta, Utopia, Limited
  23. Shout Out To Shakespeare: Chapter 2 starts with a quote from Richard II
  24. Slice Of Life: The story begins and ends this way
  25. Stay With Me Until I Die: Inverted - Gwen is unconscious, and so can't ask, but Hatchet stays with her of his own accord
  26. Stunned Silence: The other campers (but not Chris or Hatchet) react this way when Gwen is struck down
  27. The Stations Of The Canon: chapter 3 includes brief descriptions of how the remaining challenges played out after Gwen's death
  28. To Absent Friends: The final chapter has this mood
  29. What If: Gwen's encounter with the chainsaw psycho turns out differently than the canon version
  30. Worthy Opponent: After ten years, Heather is ready to admit that Gwen was this



Courtney and the Violin of Despair

Because this is a long-finished story, I am including specific examples of how the various tropes apply. For any of you who haven’t read the story, some of these examples will contain spoilers. For such people, if such be here, I strongly recommend reading the story before reading this listing.


  1. All There In The Manual: Includes hyperlinks to supplemental information on ancillary topics and music videos for some of the compositions mentioned
  2. Antiquated Linguistics: most notably, the rendering of dates, e.g. "the Year of Our Lord one thousand nine hundred ninety-eight"
  3. Artifact Of Death: The titular violin carries a curse that tends to bring its owners to untimely ends
  4. Book Ends: The first and last chapters of the story proper (I.e. excluding the prologue) are very similar
  5. Break The Cutie: The Violin spirit is trying to do this at first, but decides that’s not enough after Courtney becomes a public figure
  6. Bring My Brown Pants: Courtney's premonition of death on the diving cliff leaves her in danger of soiling herself
  7. Butt Monkey: Courtney becomes this under the influence of the curse
  8. Character Name And The Noun Phrase: A type of story title
  9. Curse: The reason for Courtney's string of misfortunes
  10. Dramatization: Several incidents are based on true stories
  11. Epigraph: The Gilbert & Sullivan verse at start of chapter 1
  12. Here We Go Again: Courtney acquires the Violin of Doom at the end of the story
  13. Kill The Cutie: The Violin spirit eventually tries to serve Courtney thusly. It narrowly fails, thus subverting the trope.
  14. Never Live It Down: in-universe, Brittany Reid won't let Courtney forget her miscue at the school orchestra's concert
  15. Prepositional Phrase Equals Coolness: "a story title trope--in this case, "Violin of Despair"
  16. Revenge fic, aka "bashing fic": subverting this trope is the whole point of the story
  17. Sequel Hook: subverted in that the story’s closing note of uncertainty is actually a nod to the sci-fi classics of the 1950s. These films tended to leave room for a sequel when there were no plans for a sequel.
  18. Shown Their Work: The Notes (aka trivia) section is substantial in relation to the story length
  19. Soul Jar: The titular violin houses the spirit of a former owner
  20. The Woobie: Depicting Courtney in this light subverts the "revenge fic" trope
  21. Trauma Conga Line: Result A
  22. Xanatos Gambit: In the cliff diving challenge, the only two possible outcomes are for Courtney to (a) jump and die; or (b) not jump, and be publicly humiliated. Both outcomes serve the interests of the Violin spirit



Total Drama Island, by Gilbert and Sullivan

Because TDI-G&S effectively remakes the canon TDI story arc into a comic opera, instead of telling an original story, it has few tropes that don’t also appear in the canon TDI. The unique tropes I have identified are:


  1. All There In The Manual: Includes an extensive glossary and many hyperlink to music files and supplemental information on ancillary topics
  2. Alternative Character Interpretation: Cody’s verses, with their emphasis on unrequited love, collectively depict a far more tragic and pitiable character than the canon version
  3. Epigraph: Every episode plot summary starts with a verse or verse fragment that fits the episode's tone or major story arc developments
  4. Fanfic Chop Suey: The whole point of the work is to introduce people familiar with TDI to G&S, and vice versa
  5. Flanderization: Chef Hatchet’s verses focus mainly on his military background, and the verses for Bridgette, Geoff and Tyler focus mainly on their love lives
  6. Public Domain Soundtrack: the Gilbert & Sullivan operettas have been in the public domain since the 1950s
  7. Song Fic: but instead of a single song, a whole series of comic operas
  8. Up To Eleven: how else would you describe a song fic with over 8,000 lines of verse?
  9. X Meets Y: as stated in the work’s premise: ""What if Gilbert & Sullivan had written Total Drama Island?”



The Legend of Total Drama Island

For reasons that I trust are obvious, the following listing does not include tropes that “come with the territory” in competition stories or elimination games generally, nor does it include tropes pertaining to canon characterizations.

Likewise, this listing omits tropes applying to similar incidents in the canon TDI. Canon TDI tropes that appear in different (or additional) incidents in LTDI, however, are fair game. An example of this is the canon Heather’s Traumatic Haircut. I include that trope in this listing because LTDI will have an incident where something of similar nature happens (or seems likely to happen) in a different setting, and not necessarily to Heather.

Note: Because of the spoiler potential, I obviously can’t give you specific examples for most of these tropes. Indeed, in most cases I can’t even tell you which of the following tropes I will play straight and which I will play with via subversion, discussion, lampshading, etc. The tropes in this list that do have examples are generally those pertaining to the story’s structure, the prologue, or scenes that I have previewed.

Because LTDI is a work in process, it is possible that a few of these tropes won’t make it into the finished product, but you can expect the vast majority to be present.


  1. A Friend In Need
  2. A Real Man Is A Killer
  3. A Worldwide Punomenon: the Storyteller occasionally indulges in this
  4. Above The Influence
  5. Absence Makes The Heart Go Yonder
  6. Abuse Is Okay When It Is Female On Male
  7. Action Girl:
  8. Ain't Got Time To Bleed
  9. All For Nothing
  10. All Is Well That Ends Well
  11. All Men Are Perverts
  12. Altum Videtur
  13. And That's Terrible: The main antagonist is described in neutral terms most of the time, but in negative terms when planning/doing something underhanded
  14. Androcles Lion
  15. Animal Wrongs Group
  16. Antiquated Linguistics: a mild form of this is my natural writing style
  17. As The Good Book Says
  18. Attention Deficit… Ooh, Shiny!: Lindsay. Did you really have to ask? Katie/Sadie also get some of this in comic relief scenes
  19. Back For The Dead
  20. Baddie Flattery
  21. Batman Gambit
  22. Beautiful All Along:
  23. Bedmate Reveal: I have previewed a scene featuring this
  24. Berserk Button
  25. Beware The Nice Ones
  26. BFS: actually BFK, but there isn’t a separate trope for that
  27. Bittersweet Ending
  28. Brain Bleach
  29. Bring My Brown Pants
  30. But We Used A Condom
  31. Celebrity Is Overrated
  32. Chainsaw Good
  33. Chariot Race
  34. Chekhov's Gun
  35. Chekhov's Hobby
  36. Chekhov's Skill
  37. Cliffhanger: in every chapter except the last and the epilogue, and includes that rare type of cliffhanger that comes back just to watch the hanger fall
  38. Cry For The Devil
  39. Curb Stomp Battle
  40. Darker and Edgier: as you could probably guess from this listing
  41. Darkest Hour
  42. Dead Guy Junior
  43. Deal With The Devil
  44. Death By Genre Savviness
  45. Denouement Episode: there will be a reunion chapter
  46. Dirty Business
  47. Disney Villain Death
  48. Distracted By The Sexy
  49. Double Entendre
  50. Driven To Suicide
  51. Due To The Dead
  52. Duel To The Death
  53. Exact Words
  54. Exactly What It Says On The Tin: episode names such as “The Tale of the First Challenge”, “The Tale of the Talent Show”, and so on
  55. Executive Meddling
  56. Face Palm
  57. Fake-Out Make-Out
  58. Fanfic Chop Suey
  59. Figure It Out Yourself
  60. Forceful Kiss
  61. Foreshadowing
  62. Framing Device: the Storyteller and her son
  63. Funbag Airbag
  64. Give Him A Normal Life
  65. Give Me A Sword
  66. Gladiator Games
  67. Going Native
  68. Good Girls Avoid Abortion
  69. Green-Eyed Epiphany
  70. Green-Eyed Monster: the power of jealousy is a recurring theme
  71. Grief Song
  72. Hand Wave
  73. He Knows Too Much
  74. Heroic Bystander
  75. Heroic Resolve
  76. Heroic Sacrifice
  77. Homage: LTDI’s structure is based on The 1,001 Nights
  78. Hope Spot
  79. How The Mighty Have Fallen
  80. Humiliation Conga
  81. I Did What I Had To Do
  82. I Gave My Word
  83. I Have This Friend
  84. I Was Never Here
  85. Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Episode titles take the form, “The Tale of _______”. Chapter titles, except for the prologue and epilogue, take the form, “nth Night”, e.g. “Twenty-third Night”
  86. If I Can't Have You
  87. Ignore The Fanservice
  88. Innocent Fanservice Girl
  89. IKEA Erotica
  90. Imaginary Friend
  91. Info Dump: in-universe, Harold does this. (Who else would it be?)
  92. Informed Conversation
  93. Instant Sedation
  94. It's A Long Story
  95. Jaw Drop
  96. Just In Time
  97. Kiss Of Death
  98. Lampshade Hanging
  99. Leave The Two Lovebirds Alone
  100. Like A Fish Takes To Water
  101. Little No
  102. Loud Gulp
  103. Love At First Sight
  104. Love Makes You Evil
  105. Love Redeems
  106. Meaningful Funeral
  107. Memento MacGuffin
  108. Mood Whiplash
  109. Morality Kitchen Sink
  110. More Dakka
  111. More Expendable Than You
  112. Mortal Wound Reveal
  113. Murder The Hypotenuse
  114. My God, What Have I Done?
  115. Nailed To The Wagon
  116. Narrative Profanity Filter
  117. Naughty Tentacles
  118. Nerds Are Sexy
  119. Nested Story: three story levels on at least one occasion
  120. Never Found The Body
  121. Never Live It Down: there is an in-universe example
  122. Never Say Die
  123. No Guy Wants An Amazon
  124. No One Gets Left Behind
  125. No Place For Me There
  126. Not Himself
  127. Not What It Looks Like
  128. Now Or Never Kiss
  129. Nudge
  130. Of Corset Hurts
  131. Offhand Backhand
  132. OOC Is Serious Business
  133. Pair The Spares: The Playa de Losers episode has a little of this
  134. Pet the Dog
  135. Pieta Plagiarism
  136. Pinky Swear
  137. Prepositional Phrase Equals Coolness: a story title trope; in this case, “Legend of”
  138. Pygmalion Plot
  139. Red Shirt: the interns wear red shirts similar to Captain Kirk’s security personnel, and have similar life expectancies
  140. Reference Overdosed: many references to everything from pop culture to classical mythology
  141. Rescue Romance
  142. Revenge Before Reason
  143. Romantic False Lead
  144. Running Gag
  145. Sacrificial Lamb
  146. Sacrificial Lion
  147. Sadistic Choice
  148. Scars Are Forever
  149. Second Hand Storytelling
  150. Second Love
  151. Sequel Hook: the Storyteller’s son is to be a contestant in the revived series
  152. Sexual Karma
  153. She Is Not My Girlfriend
  154. Ship Tease
  155. Shoot The Dog
  156. Shout-Out: to several wikians and/or their works, most notably Sunshine
  157. Shown Their Work: the Notes (aka trivia) section will be extensive
  158. Simple Staff
  159. Smooch of Victory: an incident unrelated to the Rescue Romance
  160. Someone To Remember Him By
  161. Sorry To Interrupt
  162. Standard Bleeding Spots
  163. Standard Female Grab Area
  164. Stealth Insult
  165. Stealth Pun: until one of the characters figures it out. Then it becomes an Incredibly Lame Pun
  166. Stunned Silence
  167. Swallowed Whole
  168. Take Me Instead
  169. Take That Kiss: I previewed a scene featuring one of these
  170. Taking The Bullet
  171. Teen Pregnancy: my latest LTDI preview included a scene alluding to this. The prologue also alludes to it, albeit more subtly
  172. Tell Me About My Father
  173. The Dog Bites Back
  174. The Glomp
  175. The Lady's Favour
  176. The Makeover
  177. The Reveal: several, including the Storyteller’s identity and the identity of Brett’s father
  178. The Storyteller
  179. The Watson: Katie and Lindsay occasionally fill this role in the interior story, as does Brett in the frame story
  180. Think Nothing Of It
  181. This Is For Emphasis, Bitch!
  182. This Is Reality
  183. This! Is! SPARTA!
  184. To Absent Friends
  185. Too Much Information
  186. Took A Level In Badass
  187. Trash Talk
  188. Traumatic Haircut: no, it’s not what you think
  189. Turn Coat
  190. Twofer Token Minority: in addition to being black, LeShawna is the show's token Francophone (i.e. a person whose first language is French)
  191. Unreliable Narrator: the Storyteller may be embellishing certain details, filling in gaps with informed guesswork, and allowing her biases to color the portrayals of some characters. That last may provide clues as to the Storyteller’s identity.
  192. We All Live In America: averted to the best of my ability. For example, the Storyteller uses metric units of measure.
  193. Wham Line
  194. What A Senseless Waste Of Human Life
  195. What Did I Do Last Night?: I previewed a scene involving this
  196. What the Hell, Hero?
  197. What You Are In The Dark
  198. Win One For The Gipper
  199. You Watch Too Much X
  200. Your Approval Fills Me With Shame


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