Trope Maker

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

    A Trope Maker is the first unambiguous example of a particular trope. Though there may have been similar things in the past, these are the works that defined their respective tropes.

    See also Trope Codifier, which is the example of a trope that defines all other uses. If a Trope Codifier is very different in outlook than the Trope Maker, then the Trope Maker worked on an Unbuilt Trope.

    And, of course, don't confuse with Ur Example—the earliest example that has the essence of the trope, but may not have the actual connotations and may be missing details. However, it's the Trope Maker which starts the consistent enough pattern to be called a trope.

    To provide a concrete example of all three, the Detective Story's Trope Maker is Edgar Allan Poe's Dupin stories, and Sherlock Holmes is the Trope Codifier; but the Ur Example may well be "The Tale Of the Three Apples" in 1001 Nights (The Arabian Nights).

    Related: Trope Namer.

    If you make an entry here, expect some heavy challenges.

    Examples of Trope Maker include:

    Anime and Manga

    Comic Books



    • Various legends and folktales from the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries about Countess Elizabeth Bathory provide the origins the Blood Bath myth for rejuvenating beauty and youth.


    Live Action TV


    • Bill Monroe created bluegrass.
    • Ougenweide created Medieval Rock/Metal music by combining medieval texts and melodies with modern Rock and Hard Rock.
    • The Beatles, with almost every subgenre of rock music after them. Musicologically speaking, in this day and age, to say a certain rock band is "Beatles-like" is redundant.
      • With Richard Lester, they made the first music videos with the films A Hard Day's Night and Help! and with their promos for Rain and Paperback Writer. MTV credited Dick Lester as the father of music videos. His response was asking for a blood test.
    • The Who directly created Punk Rock, and also innovated in hard rock. Along with Led Zeppelin, made heavier rock and metal as we know it.
      • Despite there being one before it (by the same group, no less), Tommy by The Who is the first—is the rock opera. (Well, okay, The Who had done two other things before which you might call rock operas--"A Quick One, While He's Away", "Rael"—but the former was a track long and the latter two tracks so neither counts.)
      • Additionally, The Who+The Beatles=Power Pop.
    • The Yardbirds are practically a who's-who of blues-rock guitarists (at different times, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page numbered amongst their members). They popularized riff-driven songs and pioneered the use of fuzz, distortion, feedback and innovative recording techniques. And evolved into...
    • ...Led Zeppelin, who created heavy metal, along with Heavy Mithril, and Viking Metal.
    • Credit Prog Rock to King Crimson, Yes, Procol Harum and The Moody Blues.
    • Kraftwerk, the first band to really experiment with electronic music.
    • Black Sabbath, the first band to use detuned guitar in a metal context, although they are more of the trope codifiers, because they took disparate elements (dark lyrical themes, riff and guitar-driven music, heavy distortion, drug abuse, and tough attitude) and put them together to create what's known today as "heavy metal".
    • Iron Maiden and Judas Priest first blended hard rock with heavy metal.
    • Pink Floyd established progressive rock as psychedelic.
    • X Japan is arguably the creator of Visual Kei (or at least, the first band to collect all of its elements into one band concept and name it "Visual Kei")
    • By extension, Yoshiki Hayashi, by being the first person to name it as such, is the Trope Maker and Trope Namer of Visual Kei.
    • "The Four Seasons", by Vivaldi, was the world's first symphony, defining classical music forever.
    • Beethoven was the world's first Romantic composer. And Debussy defines the Modern movement that followed the Romantic.
    • While the biggest influences on Stoner Metal had been around for a while before the genre itself formed, Kyuss and Sleep were the first bands to actually make music in that style.
    • Even though there were some innovative music videos before they came along, Russell Mulcahy and the directing team of Godley and Creme (former bandmates in 10cc) were the Trope Makers as far as creative, groundbreaking music videos go. Back when even Michael Jackson was just doing in-studio "performance" videos, Mulcahy was shooting filmic videos on location and Godley and Creme were using innovative visual effects and creating whole stories for their videos that put the focus away from straightforward performance videos.
    • Iggy Pop & The Stooges are the Trope Makers when it comes to punk rock. While there may have been other artists before who laid the groundwork for punk, they were among the first to put all the pieces together and perform what could reliably be considered punk rock.
    • REM essentially created the Alternative Rock genre with their debut single, the original "Radio Free Europe." As noted in one biography, the single "...marked the point in time where post-punk turned into alternative rock."
    • On a more limited level The Velvet Underground more or less invented the Obligatory Bondage Song with "Venus in Furs" (on their debut album The Velvet Underground & Nico).
    • Yellow Magic Orchestra was the first Synth Pop band. While Kraftwerk was the first to do live performances of electronic music, YMO was the first to do it without playing up the instruments' novelty.
    • Lïkë Ümläüts? Thänk Blue Oyster Cult.
    • Dream Theater and Queensrÿche are generally considered the first two Progressive Metal bands.
    • My Bloody Valentine. Shoegazing. Nuff said.
    • Skream popularized dubstep with what is believed to be the first proper dubstep song called midnight request line
    • Metallica's "Kill 'em All" (specifically "Hit the Lights" the first recorded song from the album, released for the compilation album "Metal Massacre" in 1982) is usually cited as Thrash Metal's Trope Maker, but some give that honor to Venom's "Welcome to Hell," and dub Metallica the Trope Codifier.

    Newspaper Comics

    Tabletop Games

    • Kriegspiel was the first war game, created by a German nobleman to train his generals in military strategy. The name means "wargame."
    • Dungeons & Dragons—In fact, many video game ideas ultimately came from here, as Ultima and Rogue drew heavily from D&D and went on to influence every computer/video RPG that came later.
    • Call of Cthulhu (tabletop game) was the first major horror RPG, and is the acknowledged Trope Maker of the Sanity Meter, a variation of which can be found in almost all horror RPGs that followed it (e.g. Humanity in Vampire: The Masquerade, the Madness Meters of Unknown Armies, etc, etc). As with Dungeons & Dragons, this aspect is often copied in video games as well as tabletops.
    • It's a rare collectible card game that owes nothing at all to Magic: The Gathering. It could be argued that there's no such thing, since Richard Garfield essentially invented the idea of a game with collectible pieces.


    Video Games

    Web Comics

    Web Original

    Western Animation

    1. Added point-n-click interface, as well as the real-time action
    2. Added unit production, ability to capture or destroy buildings and resources management
    3. From sci-fi to the historical setting, as well as deeper abilitites to manipulate the resources