Sub-Trope

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Not every Pimped-Out Dress[1] is a "Happy Holidays" Dress,[2] but every "Happy Holidays" Dress is a Pimped-Out Dress.

Some tropes can be pretty broad. Some can be so broad that even a specific form of them can be tropes by themselves.

Let's say there was a trope for 'Juggling'. You realize that "Scarf Juggling" and "Knife Juggling" are pretty common as well, to the point where you can think of half a dozen examples for both. Those would be Sub-Tropes, while "Juggling" in general is their Super-Trope. In logic terms, "Juggling" is the genus, while the different kinds of juggling are the differentia; they share the same common theme in their definition, but they each have additional features that distinguish one from another.

What makes a sub trope can vary. Perhaps the most common way is that several examples of a trope have a common element not seen in the other examples. That makes them distinct from the larger trope, while still being included. Or, as mentioned above, a trope can have several possible variations built in, and once examples of any of those variations are common enough, they form a sub-trope.

Heck, some tropes can be sub tropes of more than one super trope. This can be a shared aspect of them or actually combining the two tropes.

Compare Sister Trope.


Notable Sub-Tropes