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

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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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[edit | hide | hide all]

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 [http://www.example.com/] To use alternate text with an external link - which is strongly recommended - put a space between the URL and the text: [http://www.example.com/ 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

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[edit | hide]

TL;DR: Don't.

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 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).

Creating New Pages[edit | hide]

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?[edit | hide]

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

Software[edit | hide]

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.
  • 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, we can find it in the huge MediaWiki community, or code it up ourselves. Feel free to ask on the forums.

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

Less Censorship[edit | hide]

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.

A More Creative Focus[edit | hide]

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.

Happiness is no longer mandatory[edit | hide]

Dissent is okay. Telling the ATT administrators that they're Idiot Ball-carrying Bakas on the wiki is okay. 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 Advertising[edit | hide]

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.)


  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.