Unfortunate Implications

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Let's just say Vogue managed to get themselves into trouble.

"Someone wrote this... in 1999... and didn't realize that there would be... implications... Or worse, they did understand."

Y: Ruler of Time, in his review of the manga Alive

The media to which This Very Wiki is devoted generally exhibit greater sensitivity now than in the past, but sometimes something appears that... raises eyebrows. Even when authors are being careful with story elements, it is impossible for one or a couple of creators to really consider every perspective of the audience and just how certain tropes can be construed as troublesome. Especially when you consider just how diverse human beings are and that audiences that were ignored in the past now demand representation and respect.

This is a highly subjective trope, and some tropers may believe concerns about such matters simply relate to political correctness rather than anything substantive. Other tropers may see the entire "political correctness" argument as a plausibly deniable defense of racism and other types of outdated thinking. Still others would point out that if you want to be offended (for whatever reason), then you're certainly going to be able to find an excuse to, no matter how far you have to reach to find something "implied" by a work.

Important Note: Just because a work has Unfortunate Implications does not mean that the author was thinking of it that way. In fact, that's the point of it being unfortunate. So, please, no Justifying Edits about "what the authors really meant." The way an author handles a trope is an important factor here; handling a trope in a clumsy manner can certainly create unintentional impressions for readers. Likewise, if a work intends the offensive message (for example, a piece of Nazi propaganda about Jews), it wouldn't count. Also, for something that may not be offensive to you personally but may offend others in a different culture or time period, see Values Dissonance.

If you came here looking for unfortunate implications of the Nightmare Fuel variety, rather than the hopefully accidental offenses with which this trope concerns itself, see Fridge Horror.

To avoid these pitfalls, please see So You Want To Avoid Unfortunate Implications.

Subjects susceptible to Unfortunate Implications include

  • Hot-button controversial topics such as war, abortion, and politics.
  • Subject matter related to race, ethnicity and class.
  • Most tropes that fit the pattern "All [group of people] are [insert characteristic here]."
  • Stereotypes of any kind.
  • Religious subject matter.
  • Double Standards and sexism.
  • Material relating to sexual orientation or gender identity, especially due to the Values Dissonance many people have regarding homosexuality and transgender people.
  • Parallels between fantasy/science fiction works and the real world, especially with Fantasy Counterpart Cultures.
  • Subject matter related to disabilities and handicapped people.
  • Lifestyle choices such as being childless, single, or married.
  • Any of the Rape Tropes, especially in the hands of a clumsy author.

No real life examples, please; Real Life as a whole does not imply anything. Individual people imply things in their works.

Examples of Unfortunate Implications are listed on these subpages: