All The Tropes:So You're a TV Tropes Refugee

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

    This is the "advanced tour" for new users of All The Tropes, offered exclusively to members of other troping wikis -- particularly those who are considering migrating over from TV Tropes.

    If you came over from TV Tropes, then you have a pretty good idea what this site is about, natch. We talk about tropes, works, and creators on this site. If you're somehow lost at this point, check out the New User Introduction instead.

    Wiki Introductions

    Editing Quick Start

    For our impatient folks, this will get you started:

    To link to another page in the wiki, use double square brackets around the name, like: [[Page Name]]. If you want to display alternate text in the link, put a pipe character "|" after the name, like so: [[Page Name|my link to a wiki page]]. External links use single brackets, like [] To use alternate text with an external link - which is strongly recommended - put a space between the URL and the text: [ See here.]. External links without alternate text are discouraged on All The Tropes; please add meaningful text in this circumstance. More info: Help:Links

    Lines starting with an asterisk "*" make new bullet points; lines starting with a hash "#" make numbered lists. More info: Help:Lists

    Italics and boldface are handled the same way as TV Tropes -- two single quotes ('') to turn italics on and off, and three single quotes (''') to turn boldface on and off.

    Quotes use the quote template, like this: {{quote|quote text|author or character|work name}} -- but anything after the quote text is optional. So you can put in the full version like {{quote|Now is the winter of our discontent.|Shakespeare|Richard III}},[1] or go with something really short like {{quote| Here's Johnny!}}. More info: Help:Templates

    And finally, if you need to mark an spoiler, put it in a spoiler template, like: At the end of ''[[Citizen Kane]]'', we find out that {{spoiler| Rosebud is the name of his sled}}.[2]

    Those few things will deal with about 80% of the markup on the wiki -- check out Help:Editing for more when you need to know it. Help:Formatting provides the best overview.

    Copying TV Tropes

    TL;DR: Don't.

    Copying text from TV Tropes:

    You can only legally do this if it's your own edits, or the edits of people who have specifically granted you permission to post it here as CC-BY-SA 3.0. TV Tropes uses the incompatible CC-BY-NC-SA license for edits after June 2012, so we can't use those. See All The Tropes:Copyrights for more details.

    What is legal, and kosher here, is copying Wikipedia to get an article started. It's certainly not going to be a good article from our point of view, since we'll need to make it much much tropier. But it's a lot better than staring at a white screen with no words; starting to write is always the hard part. If you do copy from any source, be sure to note it in the edit summary field (or page text).

    Copying how TV Tropes does things:

    Being consistent with TV Tropes is never a consideration for what All The Tropes chooses to do. If we wanted to do things the TV Tropes way, we would have never forked from them in the first place.

    All The Tropes has its own style and its own way of presenting information. We prefer to use page categories, not list pages. We require license information on images (and have a very-long-term project going to put license information on the images that we inherited from TV Tropes at the time of the fork). We allow original works in User sandbox pages, but not in the main article space. And, possibly most importantly, we encourage the creation of Analysis subpages and Mechanics of Writing pages, so that people can actually use all of this data to create new stories.

    Creating New Pages

    In general, you should select a boilerplate for the type of page you're making: work, trope, trope YMMV subpage, etc. It's a little menu just above the edit box; it's also automatically loaded from the "Create New" menu.

    Don't copy paste from the current version of TV Tropes (see the section above). We don't use CamelCase, we do use spaces and proper punctuation (e.g. Mars Attacks!), and names are case-sensitive except for the first letter (e.g. Beauty and the Beast is not the same page as Beauty and The Beast). And if you're making subpages, they do not go in a different namespaces, as in TV Tropes. Instead, they are just normal subpages, like Work Name/Trivia or Work Name/Recap/S1/E1 Episode Name.

    So What's Different About This Site?

    This is probably the biggest question you have now, so let's jump in.


    The biggest difference, obviously, is the wiki software. We're running the current version of MediaWiki, which is the most widely used wiki software in existence. It may not be perfect, but it is significantly more flexible than the closed-source fork of PmWiki that TV Tropes uses. Useful features that you didn't know you've always wanted:

    • Titles with any characters except "#" (and, in a few cases near the beginning of the name, ":") -- and custom titles that don't work can sometimes still be achieved with {{DISPLAYTITLE}} markup.
    • Links can have formatting embedded in the link text -- no coding three or more links just to have an emphasized word in the middle of a pothole.
    • Categories allow you to add a page to an index while you're editing that page -- no need to create a page then make a second edit to add it to the index.
    • Full access to page history, which in turn gives you...
      • Easy reverts of vandalism
    • Simple page moves
    • ... and plenty of bot software to help clean up the links afterwards.

    Even more features are available in your user preferences, like spoilers that are revealed when you move your mouse over them, or automatically refreshing Recent Changes. And if there's any feature you want that we don't have, there's a good chance that we can find it in the huge MediaWiki community, or code it up ourselves. Feel free to ask on the forums. The worst that can happen is we say "sorry, we can't figure out how to do that", and the best that can happen is that you get the feature that you want.

    And of course, we have lots of Help with Editing pages.

    Less Censorship

    No, not "zero censorship". You can't go around insulting everyday users. You can't post porn. But those were covered in the All The Tropes:Terms of Service, which I'm sure you read.

    But what it does mean is that yes, we have all of the Porn Tropes and Lolicon works, because we have All The Tropes. We believe in Academic Freedom: the idea that if you engage in honest Literary Criticism, you shouldn't have to worry that the subject you're talking about is forbidden. You should have confidence that if you want to talk about tropes, works or creators, your work is valued and on-topic.


    Alas, as a result of the Great Miraheze Spam Flood that affected multiple wikis in December 2020, we have instituted moderation of posts. Your edits and image uploads will not appear immediately, the way that they would on TV Tropes. This isn't censorship - we only reject spam and edits that are blatantly in violation of the Terms of Service. It will not be used to prevent edits that a mod disagrees with. (If it is used that way, call us out on it! We're not supposed to do that, and you won't get banned simply for disagreeing with the mods.)

    A small number of people are exempt from this anti-spam measure. This is a privilege given to them for consistently good edits and being a Troper in good standing, not a right - it has to be earned, and it can be removed if the Troper decides to go rogue or starts ignoring the Style Guide or other wiki policies and guidelines. It takes a while to even be considered for this privilege, but, hey, it's something to aim for.

    A More Creative Focus

    This one's hard to explain, but TV Tropes has been drifting more toward being a place where content is classified, rather than a place where content is created. While identifying tropes is great, and a good portion of what we do, we shouldn't let identification of the tropes be a hindrance to creating entertaining new wiki pages.

    One of the consequences of this is that "Natter" is allowed, to an extent. While some of it can be pointless, much of it adds personality to our wiki, in a way you just can't get from Wikipedia. This site is about snarky fan commentary as much as it is about tropes.

    What this doesn't mean is that tropers are allowed to ramble on in pages. Content should be either entertaining or educational[3] -- if it's neither, it's good to cut.

    This does, however, mean that some of the tropes have different names here. Another one of our goals is to help people actually use tropes in their own stories - we have a section all about the mechanics of writing to help writers both new and experienced. Part of our working toward that goal is a ... not an intolerance of, but a preference to avoid Esoteric Trope Names. If you use an esoteric name, sometimes you'll still get where you expect to end up (for example, "Cowboy Bebop at his Computer" redirects to Media Research Failure), but sometimes you won't (for example, "Red Baron" goes to the person, not to Sobriquet). What this means to you is that sometimes you'll need to double-check that a link to an in-joke trope name actually goes where you expect it to go.

    Happiness is no longer mandatory

    Dissent is okay. Telling the ATT administrators that they're Idiot Ball-carrying Bakas on the wiki is okay. Sometimes the administrators will even admit in public that they were wrong. (Going out of your way to insult the administrators - or anybody else - instead of making a point about the topic being discussed is just rude, though.) We want a community where everyone is allowed to express an opinion. If the admins messed up, we want to know about it! More Info: All The Tropes:Policy for Wiki Staff

    No Permabans At the Whim of a Cranky Admin

    We have guidelines for why bans are applied and for how long, and we hold ourselves to them. (Or rather, we hold each other to them.) You will never find your account permanently shut down because you posted something that an admin took offense to. That doesn't mean there are no permanent bans -- but you will never get one for just one post or edit[4], and admins are forbidden from lashing out at users for petty reasons. You have to work at getting a permanent ban here, and go out of your way to justify it to the staff. (Sadly, there have been a few people who made the effort.)

    Also, if you think an admin banned you unfairly, call us out on it! You specifically have the right to tell us when we're not following our own rules. Contact another admin and tell us why we made a mistake. We'll listen, and if you can convince us that the admin who banned you was being cranky, the ban will be shortened or removed. (However, if you did something that puts the entire wiki at risk, such as posting a pornographic image, you probably won't get the ban shortened.)

    And if for some reason you choose to leave the wiki over a disagreement with the staff, we will not lock your account or any other crap like that. We're All The Tropes, we don't do that kind of stuff here.

    No Advertising

    The Situation, The Second Google Incident...

    There are a variety of reasons for leaving the TV Tropes Mothership. It's Popular, Now It Sucks, a desire to see occasional Natter when it was actually interesting, Revenge, curiosity at us crazy folks who decided to Start Our Own wiki. Either way, there's a place for you here. Our founding administrators' own reasons for leaving are detailed on Why Fork TV Tropes, but you don't have to share our values. All you need is a desire to create and improve pages about creative works and the tropes used therein. (At least one administrator never had an account on TV Tropes.)

    Some Tropes have different names

    There are a few tropes on TV Tropes (and here) that have ... let's call them Esoteric Trope Names. In-joke names are fun, but they aren't really useful on a wiki that's (trying to be) a resource for writers and writing. So we've given some of the old tropes new names, and tropes that were created after mid-2012 aren't guaranteed to have the same names as the equivalent tropes on The Other Tropes Wiki.

    Basically, unless the trope name is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, it's best to double-check that where you think you're linking to is where you're really linking to. ("This! Is! Sparta!" Well, no, it isn't - we call that trope Punctuated! For! Emphasis!)

    For some reason, "Red Baron" is a frequent victim of this. Our page Red Baron is about the man called the Red Baron. What TV Tropes calls "Red Baron", we call Sobriquet, which is the real-world name for those nicknames.

    1. You can add links to the Quote markup. For example, {{quote|Now is the winter of our discontent.|[[Shakespeare]]|''[[Richard III]]''}}
    2. This trope is called It Was His Sled, since everyone has known the spoiler ending for like 50 years already.
    3. Ideally, content should be both entertaining and educational, but we know this isn't an ideal world.
    4. Unless it's spam or vandalism, of course.