All The Tropes:Example Indentation in Trope Lists

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There has been some confusion about how a list of examples, or anything else, should be indented/bulleted. Here we go with an answer.

The shortest version: If there is only one item at the indentation level, it ain't indented right.

For more detail than that:

On a works page, for example, we have a list of trope names. These get one bullet (*). If there is more than one example of the trope in the work, each of them gets two bullets (**) on their own line. If there is only one example, it goes on the line with the trope title. Like this:

  • Trope Name: In episode "The Episode" (1x1), Alice uses this trope to ...
  • Another Trope:
    • In "Another Episode" (1x2), Alice bangs it out
    • In "Yet Another Episode" (1x3), Bob subverts it

In a situation where the text of a bullet is too long, or needs a paragraph break for some other reason, we don't add the text in with another bullet (** ), we use the \\ markup to force a paragraph. Like this:

  • Yet Another Trope:
    • In "Finale" (1x13), Alice bangs it out at great length.\\
      So much length, we need multiple paragraphs to explain the length.
    • In "Finale" (1x13), Bob subverts it. That's what he does. He's subversive.

Let's say Carol and Susan and Alice and Bob are two shows. Each should have a separate first-bullet point. Like this:

  • Alice and Bob: this trope is used when...
  • Carol and Susan: this trope is used when...

On a trope page, you will sometimes run into a situation where you want to list multiple examples from the same media or series. Don't list one example, and then indent the others under it. Instead, use:

  • Alice and Bob:
    • In episode 2, this trope occurs when...
    • In episode 21, this trope occurs again when...


  • Alice and Bob Trilogy:
    • In Alice Alone, the trope is seen...
    • In Bob Meets Alice, we see the trope again when...

A three-bullet situation (***) usually indicates a comment on the item above it which has two bullets. This is a sign that that the list is heading toward Thread Mode (discussion). That's not a good thing. The trope lists are not discussions. Discussions take place on the discussion pages or in the forums. However, three-bullet situations sometimes are legit. Rarely. If you find yourself needing a third level of indentation, take a look at using a header, instead.

A legitimate three-bullet situation might look something like this:

  • Alice and Bob Franchise:
    • Alice Meets Bob: The trope is in full effect in the opening sequence, when...
    • Alice Vs. Bob: The Reckoning:
      • When Bob is walking up to Alice...
      • In the background of the bar scene, you can see...
    • Alice, Bob, and Carol: In an echo of Alice Meets Bob...


Final Note: This is a widely accepted style standard, folks. Not something we just made up around here because we were bored.