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A Edit

  • Aborted Arc:
    • People were really stoked over this "Betamax" thing...
    • The Segway.
    • HD-DVD.
    • Dreamcast.
    • Subverted with Duke Nukem Forever. Sadly not a funny story.
    • Michael Jackson's Comeback tour.
    • The World War Three arc that the Cuban Missile Crisis plotline was meant to set up. Probably for the best they dropped this one, all indications are that it was headed for a Kill'Em All ending.
    • The end of the World War II arc, all signs pointed to the Americans and the Russians launching a massive invasion of Japan and her surrounding islands, carrying on the arc for another year at most. Ending Fatigue eventually dropped this for a Deus Ex Nukina ending.
    • It also has an annoying tendency to kill off characters seemingly at random, sometimes just as their stories are beginning to get interesting.
    • Nicely averted, however, with the "Korean Conflict" arc. Although originally criticized when it seemed to end over fifty seasons ago with no satisfying resolution, the writers still devote an episode or two per season to the lingering tensions in the region, leaving viewers hopeful that it will eventually be resolved properly.
      • On that note, North Korea launching shells at an island belonging to South Korea don't seem to have come to much as of the finale of the 2010 season, but this could just be a Chekhov's Gun.
      • The writers don't seem to know how to deal with this thread. In December 2011, the Big Bad died, only to be immediately replaced with his inexperienced, possibly-bumbling son.
  • The Abridged Series:
  • Absent Aliens: So far...unless the UFO folks are to be believed. Though, given the scale of the Universe, chances are that they do exist somewhere, too far away to be contacted from the Earth servers. Yet.
  • Accentuate the Negative: The reason most people think Real Life sucks.
  • Acceptable Breaks From Reality: Dreams.
  • Action Bomb: Terrorists love this one.
  • Action Girl: Becoming more common. Plus Real Life is one of the few works to avert Stripperific. (Most of the time, anyway...)
  • Aerith and Bob: With this many languages, one culture's Aerith is another culture's Bob. In many locations, characters named "Sakura" and "Antonio" are mixed in with "LeShawna" and "Ali". Tends to be played straighter in large cities, averted in small villages.
    • It's usually justified these days, since few (or at any rate less than previously) players remain in the area where their character spawned for their entire game. Aerith may have moved from India or Scandinavia to New York, where Bob is.
  • After the End: According to a couple sourcebooks, at one point the entire earth was drowned by an angry Game Master who spared only a family of eight and a breeding pair of every animal.
  • Air Vent Passageway: Some players have pulled this escapes off this way. In general, creatures of the smaller animal classes tend to be more successful at it than humans.
  • Alien Abduction: Some players like to claim this happens (or even happened to them), although most others are pretty skeptical.
  • Alien Lunch: A North American on a trip to Cambodia will be appalled to witness the natives chow down on deep-fried tarantula. An Indian will likewise be shocked at an American happily eating cow.
  • Allegedly Free Game: Much is made of the lack of a monthly fee, as noted in the page image. However, good luck getting anywhere without forking out serious amounts of money on basic living costs. However, it's all in-game currency.
  • The Alliance: NATO, a military pact between the North America and Europe levels which opposed their eastern neighbours. There was a long-running arc about the competition between them which had the potential to cause The End of the World as We Know It. It's been theorized that's precisely why they never went through with it.
  • All Deaths Final: When a character dies, they stay dead. There may be some case of exception, but the fans and even the cast can never agree on whether it really happened.
    • Interestingly, a character has two dying states: Dying and Dead. If a character gets medical help imediately, there is a small chance that the Dying character will survive. However, once a character enters the Dead state, they're dead. For good.
      • Occasionally subverted; a character may be pronounced clinically dead, but sometimes under the right conditions with the right efforts, can be brought back to life.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Averted. There are many Happily Married couples, though of course some individuals never find a partner. (And some, of course, just don't want to.)
  • All Planets Are Earthlike: Averted. Many hundreds of planets in other solar systems have been discovered, but only a very few of these (six, as of February 2011) are even possibly Earth-like, in that they roughly match our planet's size, and orbit at the right distances from their stars to potentially support life. Nothing is yet known of these planets' atmospheres or whether any have water on their surface.
    • This newly discovered planet almost plays it straight.
    • In February 2011, NASA's Kepler mission announced the discovery of 1,200 possible (the findings will take time to confirm) extra-solar planets, of which five are about the Earth's size, and orbit at the right distance from their stars to support life. Of course, this represents a survey of only a little, tiny fraction of our galaxy's hundreds of billions of stars.
  • All There in the Manual: The background is quite sophisticated. Thus, it is often hard to understand what's going on. Luckily some fans created a wiki with everything you need to know.
  • All Just a Dream: Suspected by many, especially Buddhists.
  • All Trolls Are Different: Trolls here may eliminate your not savable character, may ruin your character, may also doom your character if they disagree with your views. This is permanent.
  • Alternate Universe: We create an infinite number of these every single instant. Maybe.
  • Always Chaotic Evil/Always Lawful Good: Very much averted by the Free Will attribute.
  • Ambiguously Brown: There are many people of mixed and unmixed descent who end up looking like this.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: Some players think this to an extent that they are shunned by other players, who dismiss them as paranoid. If the conspiracies are true or not has yet to been released by the developers.
  • And Call Him George: Some lower-level players may kill their pet creature by accident. Houseplants are also common victims of this.
  • And I Must Scream: Some religions teach that you get tortured forever, either in total darkness or surrounded by mind-bendingly horrific imagery if you "lose". Also: Swirlies, and a degenerative nerve disease known as ALS.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: According to some religions, this happens when a character dies.
  • Anime Hair: Played straight when a character just wakes up or pulls off a toque, beanie, or other tight-fitting headgear. Most people call this "Bed Head" or "Hat Hair", depending. Often deliberately invoked for style, which may involve heat and petroleum-based compounds applied to the hair.
  • The Antagonist: Due to a Friends and Enemies system implemented in the Languages expansion, you can have anyone you want be an antagonist. Or you can be this as well.
  • Anthropic Principle: Often invoked to Hand Wave implausibilities in the setting.
  • Anticlimax Boss: Osama Bin Laden, the main boss of the ongoing War on Terror arc, was killed in a brief firefight with American troops midway through the arc's 10th season.
  • Anti Poop Socking:
    • Sleep. Your player character can even die without it. Whether the Developer did this on purpose or it came as part of the "death" bug is unknown to players.
    • Characters take massive concentration debuffs after missing a night's sleep, as well as motivation and temper debuffs. Loss of further sleep will result in paranoia, and finally, characters closing in on dying will begin to hallucinate. That said, some characters can resist these debuffs remarkably, the amount of sleep required differs from character to character, and a few characters even get the "hyper" status buff towards the end of the evening.
    • Powerups are available that temporarily remove the need for sleep. Temporarily. One of the most popular and easily acquired ones is caffeine.
    • There is a very rare occurrence, most likely a glitch in the character creation, where a character will not suffer penalties or debuffs from not sleeping. Some players are looking into the benefits of this ability/glitch, though it's so rare that they're still trying to nail down exactly what causes it.
  • Anyone Can Die: Aubrey De Grey has been previewing a series of character upgrade options that will avert this trope. So far though, its still in the design phase, probably ready by 2040.
  • Apocalypse How: Strangely (yet happily) subverted... for the most part (for now). In spite of numerous viruses (some engineered), natural disasters, and the Trope-Codifier, nuclear weapons.
    • Doubly subverted. So far in the game, we've had:
    • In the early stages of the Earth addition, a planet colliding almost caused a Class X. In the distant future, a Class 6 will occur due to the Sun, which may go on to trigger a Class X-2. The Series Finale ends with a Class X-4, though two possible endings will start a new game.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: There is a liquid substance called "oil" which is the energy source of almost every sea, air and ground vehicle and is also required to manufacture various useful chemicals and materials (like plastic). Bloody conflicts over its control ensue. It also turns out to be formed from the bodies of ancient dragons micro-organisms.
    • Electricity.
    • Water. The sheer abundance of water in all players and species has led many players to believe no species can exist without it. Then there's the fact that so little can actually be used, since most is either in the air, or mixed with salt. Wars are also fought over this, primarily for access to it.
    • Photosynthesis. It's a massive handwave (plants can make food out of nothing but water, light, and carbon dioxide? Come on...), but it allows the existence of intelligent life, as well as creating an excuse for lush green Scenery Porn.
  • Arc Number: A lot. 3, 4, 7, 12, 13, 42, 108, and 666 pop up the most often. The most important number of all might be 10, given that most counting systems are based on that one (probably because the handiest counting aid available to humans is their fingers).
  • Arc Words: "Weapons of mass destruction" was the most recent. The 2008 season finale was a "Financial Crisis" miniarc that carried over to the next season, with the next big arc beginning in late 2010, the "Arab Spring".
  • Arch Enemy: The United States of America was the arch-nemesis of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and vice versa during the Cold War arc. Before that, they were arch-enemies with Germany and Japan, but now they're all "best buds". By extension, the Warsaw Pact a.k.a Eastern Bloc and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization were arch-enemies as well. Though these were the most prominent examples, there have been others, including:
    • India and Pakistan, Israel against Palestine, Shia and the Sunni Muslims, Arabs and Persians (Iran)
    • The Republic of Korea (South Korea) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), People's Republic of China (Mainland China), Republic of China (Taiwan) and Japan all have had a rich and vibrant history of hating and invading one another. Only lately have everyone begun to play nice... maybe.
    • From Greece, it was Sparta vs Athens. For all of Greece, it was Persia.
    • Americans once had the British as their biggest enemies.
      • During the Cold War arc, the British were allies and Russia was the enemy, with China a secondary enemy. Now, America owes insane amount of money to China - without any sign of payback.
    • The dominant companies of any duopoly.
    • The French vs. the English, the English vs. the Scots, the Scots vs. the Scots...
  • Artifact of Doom: The Hope Diamond.
    • Tutankhamen's crypt.
  • Artifact Title: There were several points where there wasn't any life at all. As new settings are introduced, however, the chance of this happening again approaches zero.
  • You Fail Law Forever: Played straight often enough to keep the bad lawyers in business and give the good ones a bad name.
  • You Fail Logic Forever: Quantum physics - which proves that the universe needn't comply with human intuition. See also: The McCoy.
  • You Fail Religious Studies Forever: Every time a new religion starts or there's a schism, the practitioners of the old school will cry this trope.
  • Ascended Extra: Most famous and historically significant people spend their childhood (and sometimes early adulthood) in complete obscurity.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: According to some religions, this may be what happens to you (and your character) when you die.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: In servers with low in-universe moderation which are run by groups of PC's from the mercenary, bandit, and soldier classes, the groups best as PvP will become the regional rulers.
  • Atlantis Is Boring: Subverted. You need proper equips to even explore those aquatic levels. However, there are a lot of bizarre Random Encounters in these areas.
  • Attention Deficit Ooh Shiny: Some characters get stuck with this passive trait at character creation. It typically decreases certain skills, most notably Concentration. It also gives bonuses to the Hyperactive skill set, but this isn't always a good thing. Certain items exist that can lessen the debuffs.
  • Author Avatar: A few characters throughout the story supposedly were identified as Author Avatars. Whether or not any of them actually are, or even if there is an author, is the cause of much controversy, Fan Wank, Epileptic Trees, and Internet Backdraft. Several theories even hold that every character is an author avatar (at least to a certain extent).
  • Awesome but Impractical: Exotic supercars, unless you race them. Quite a few military weapons. Extreme wealth. Formal clothes, especially the female versions. Space travel. Parallel parking. Jet packs.
  • Awesome Yet Practical: Fire. Duct tape. Knives. Quite a few military weapons. Indoor plumbing. Electricity, air conditioning, wi-fi...
  • Axe Crazy: Serial killers.


B Edit

  • Badass: You'd be shocked how many characters, and not just the human ones, can fit into this.
  • Badass Army: Pretty much any military force of considerable size can be this in this game, especially if led by the more talented players.
  • Badass Crew: Oh, so many. Motorcycle gangs, SWAT teams, and every single military special operations force ever created. (Otherwise they wouldn't be qualified to be special forces.)
  • Badass Longcoat: Loads of them in the World War I and II story arcs, worn by all sorts of characters. Conservation of Ninjitsu had a great majority of the characters die, though.
    • Emulated by many players in the years since, but the prevailing opinion is that they fail to live up to the originals.
  • Badass Normal: The entire human character class is an example. With nothing but intelligence and opposable thumbs, they have managed to become the masters of the planet, topping beings with natural flight, built-in weapons and super-speed. Need to fly? They made airplanes. Need weapons? They can obliterate entire cities. Need to move fast? They made motorcycles, cars, and planes that can move faster than sound.
    • A power most humans don't cultivate any more is endurance running. They're good at it. Really good at it. In hot enough weather, a fast, fit, trained human can chase a horse until it collapses of heatstroke, and antelope are easier; before the domestication of dogs and the invention of ranged weaponry, this was the most successful hunting method. It's mostly a forgotten ability -- most people actually believe that only being intelligent sophonts sets us apart, and we'd be helpless otherwise. That sort of hunting is still regularly practiced by various tribes in Africa. Though there are some notable differences, such as wearing Nikes and carrying water bottles. This ability being the primary reason that a group of knuckle-dragging almost hairless primates were able to spread across six of the seven major continents in 170,000 years. The Cross-Country and various Marathoner career paths still cultivate this skill, though they tend to do it poorly and in a manner antagonistic to their health. Traceurs and, to a lesser extent, freerunners are a better example. Not only that, but the humans also have better day vision than most other mammals.
    • Most other species in general also count. For example, studies show that rats can predict human movements after watching them for a little while. People say it's close to them being able to read minds.
    • It's pretty safe to say, as Neal Stephenson did in the opening chapters of Cryptonomicon, that every living thing on the face of the planet is a Stupendous Badass, by virtue of the fact that it's the descendant of earlier Stupendous Badasses that survived the Death World-like struggle against every other Stupendous Badass out there long enough to sire the next generation of Stupendous Badasses... Although apparently, some guy with a beard might have written the Ur Example, and Stephenson is just the Trope Codifier.
  • Bag of Spilling: Played straight with reincarnation. Partially averted with inheritance (which is semi-frequently subject to tax).
  • Bait and Switch Boss: The World War II arc built Adolf Hitler up to be the Final Boss. In the end? He shot himself while simultaneously poisoning himself with a cyanide capsule. At least they foreshadowed it.
  • The Beautiful Elite: Far fewer, relatively speaking, than you'd think from reading or watching fiction, but a prestige class of this type of character does exist. Maintaining the requisite levels in Wealth, Comeliness, Publicity, and Charisma is daunting, and it's surprisingly easy to lose the prestige class.
  • Best for Last: Billions are involved with various religions because of this trope.
  • Better Than a Bare Bulb: Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction. Expect Lampshades to be hung.
  • Beware of Vicious Dog: Trope Namer. Many a sign on front-yard gates exists that will bear this warning, although the exact wording varies and is usually simply "Beware of Dog."
  • Beyond the Impossible: Wars were created for this reason. Guns were created for this reason. The Internet (and taxes) may or may not have been created for this reason.
  • BFG: Staple military equipment. Especially tanks and artillery. For those that don't want to look at the link, the largest tank ever proposed used a 800 mm cannon that shot a 7 ton projective up to 23 miles. Normal tanks use something in the range of 100-120 mm cannons.
  • BFS: A popular, though rarely used, weapon class. Notable examples include the Claymore branch of swords.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: Trope Namer
  • Big Good: All arguable, but contemporary popular choices include Winston Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama and God.
    • On the "Britain" and "America" servers. On certain other servers these same characters (except the last one) may be Big Bads.
  • Martin Luther King during the Civil Rights arc.
  • Big Eater: Humans' advanced brain metabolism causes them to require more food than would be expected for an organism of their size. The human brain's 25% consumption of total caloric intake is impressive, and shows why other animals haven't bothered to grow such enormous, hungry brains. But as for Big Eating, try shrews, which eat their own weight in insects daily, or hummingbirds, who can starve after 15 minutes of activity without their sugar water. Or blue whales, which need an estimated 1.5 million calories daily and get it by eating two or three tons of itty-bitty plankton. Per day. Or tiny rodents that die from heat loss if they don't spend 23 hours per day eating.
  • Big Red Button: Lots of these in industrialized countries.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Other characters' communication becomes a lot easier to understand, the more languages you know.
    • Also it can be quite an eyebrow-raiser to hear what certain people will say right in front of you if they don't think you savvy the lingo... and their reactions when you call them on it are priceless.
    • The acquisition of alternative language codices is difficult and takes a long time. The comprehension of the codex is unlikely to ever reach levels on par with the PC's first language codex.
  • Bishonen: Becoming more common for male characters.
  • Bittersweet Ending: This, too, shall pass.
  • Black and White Morality: Sometimes Frequently subverted. A lot of backstory is Black and Gray or even possibly Grey and Gray, but most in-game history documents portray it as Black and White.
  • Blessed with Suck/Cursed with Awesome: There are some things that give hefty bonuses along with hefty disadvantages to your stats.
  • Blob Monster: Amoebas to anything smaller than them, and White Blood Cells to foreign tissue.
  • Body Horror: Averted in most cases, played absolutely straight with a few diseases (like the flesh-eating disease and Ebola) and other unfortunate events, like vehicle crashes, or birth defects.
  • Bonus Dungeon: College may be considered one, the rewards are worth it but not many players meet the requirements to enter one.
  • Booze-Based Buff: Mostly averted, but used in moderation, the Red Wine item mildly increases your CON and Radiation Resistance stats.
    • To many player characters, any kind of booze moderately increases Fear Resistance. When given to the opposite sex, the Beer item raises your CHR stat instead.
  • Bonus Level of Hell: Some say there is an Unwinnable Bonus Level / Nonstandard Game Over unlocked in the afterlife, from which there is no return. As yet, nothing is proven.
  • Bonus Stage: Vacations.
  • Boring but Practical: Schooling and work, which help you get the better classes and earn money, respectively.
    • Most of the time, the practicality of something in Real Life is inversely related to its awesomeness. Some theorise that this is due to the Law of Conservation of Detail.
      • Sometimes though, a stroke of bad luck may make this all for naught. Whenever the game economy got messed-up, many players that went through the Higher Educational levels had trouble finding decent employment in the Adult levels.
      • The ones who dual classed as Student/Workers have had an easier time.
  • Boss Rush: Final Exams,Nuff said
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Subverted. Most awards you earn can be used to level up incredibly fast, gain massive amounts of prestige, and/or win even more awards, and more! There are things that play this straight though.
    • Vocational degrees tend to be very useful. Theoretical ones... not so much.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Many theistic religions revolve around talking to the author(s), many claiming that said author is willing to retcon it or tweak the gameplay on players' requests to grant them heals or buffs. Deists meanwhile say that the author just started the game and is watching it play out For the Lulz without interfering.
    • Tropers who play this game may find themselves and others like them doing this in conversation. This is likely to make non-tropers regard them as strange or disturbed.
    • Invoked in one of Nintendo's slogans "life's a game". Most players claim to disagree, mistakenly assuming games and Serious Business are mutually exclusive.
    • More generally, the vast majority of characters seem to be quite aware that they're involved in Real Life. In fact, a few people have suggested that all the viewers of Real Life are also characters in Real Life.
  • Breather Level: Holidays, including sabbath/days of rest (once per week is a common standard). Not everyone uses these days to pursue leisure activities, though.
  • Breath Weapon: Halitosis. Also, in the camping activity many people use their breath as a firestarting tool. In addition, a far more usual fire breath is available as a feat. Surprisingly, it has little use in combat and serves mostly as a trick for the Performer class.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Often the easy way for those with access to large amounts of cash.
    • Averted in ex-Communist countries where said money probably won't get you past the bread line.
    • Played straight for especially rich people. Any environment where there is heavy bureaucratization and a lack of clear guidelines of how to behave leads to corruption.
  • Broke Episode: The Great Depression and the 2008 Recession arcs.
    • For some people, it's a Broke Series.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Appeared in the Royalty classes in the Ancient Egypt and Ancient Hawaii arcs, due to their Blue Blood complex. Averted in most civilizations due to the Westermarck Effect built into the AI.
  • Buffy-Speak: Most common with the teenager character level, but some adults use it, too.
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: Rare, but not nonexistent. The trick is you have to achieve a very high level of competence in some useful skill if you expect people to tolerate--and indeed, cater to--your eccentricities.
    • Although this depends a lot on the field; software engineers tend to play this one straight.
  • Burger Fool: Unless you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you can probably recall having just such a job.
  • But I Play One on TV: You'd be amazed how common this phenomenon is.
  • But Your Wings Are Beautiful: Played straight, subverted and averted for many people with birth defects and other things that make them special, and some of the body modifications available... though not yet with actual wings.
  • Butt Monkey: More of them than you'll ever be able to shake a stick at.


C Edit

  • Call Back: The Renaissance, a Call Back to the earlier 'Greek' and 'Roman' episodes.
  • Canada: The birthplace of the electric range, electric stove, standard time... and zippers.
  • Canon Dis Continuity: The Flu Epidemic of 1918-19. Since this epidemic occurred just after the end of WWI, the struggles of undergoing it and the gravity of the world's first world war made many fans to strike it from the history books, in an attempt to forgot how painful the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918-19 had been.
  • ~Can't Catch Up~: Don't have experience? Less likely to be hired, and thus less likely to gain experience.
    • Players who have not made certain achievements in romance and reproduction by certain points find it much more difficult to reach those milestones in the first place.
    • The rule is particularly harsh on romantically inexperienced males; females get a free pass.
    • Not really. After about age 30, biological reproduction for females becomes increasingly risky until it becomes impossible. Finding a romantic partner can also become more and more difficult. This varies according to culture, class, and time period; in previous seasons in the United States and elsewhere, a woman who did not marry by age 20 became increasingly unlikely to do so. In some parts of the world that still holds true.
  • Capital City: Several, though the main ones are New York, Moscow, London, Tokyo, Mexico City, Paris, Hong Kong, Washington D.C. and Berlin.
  • Captain Obvious: The most sorely needed of fictional superheroes in Real Life, ten times as sadly MIA as Superman. People make jokes about the Cap'n all the time but it's funny how seldom he actually does show up, given the phenomenal adeptness of humans at missing the obvious.
  • Cast Herd : Due to the 7 billion+ characters, it's not so surprising that they organize themselves. Common headers include gender, age, ethnicity, language, nationality, religion, profession, political affiliation, personality type, hobbies, etc., which makes it much easier to keep track of them.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Heavily averted, maybe once or twice per lifetime.
  • Catgirl: Averted, except in the Comic Convention levels.
  • Celeb Crush: The majority of the cast of the Harry Potter movies have fans with crushes and have since the first film.
  • Celibate Hero: Required for numerous character classes, such as Monk. Not all characters with such classes actually stick to the prerequisites, however.
  • Chaos Architecture: Since the environment is fully interactive and there are so many events that can alter objects, every level can be greatly different between each revisit. Plains levels become flooded after long period of raining. Ghibli Hills reduced to Scenery Gorn after countless players vandalise it. And many more...
  • Character Development
  • Cheat Code: Genetic engineering, although the prevailing attitude seems to be that there is No Transhumanism Allowed.
  • Check Point Starvation: The most Exaggerated Trope example of this trope in history. There are no Check Points or Save Points whatsoever, and all deaths are Final Death.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The moon was seen in the background art of most night time levels for many thousands of years before becoming significant in the moon landing story arc.
    • It was also revealed that the moon affects the tides of the oceans, thus making it a key factor ever since boats were introduced into the story.
  • China Takes Over the World: Trope Namer. China has one of the fastest growing economies in the world and is rapidly increasing its military power as we speak. Also India to a lesser extent. Both were ganked by the British Empire guild/CastHerd. And poor guild leadership and/or defense. They since have gotten better. Except they owe China an insane amount of money, leading back to the above trope. The United States, one of the youngest Cast Herd, has become the leading power after the WWII arc, leading through the Cold War arc, and for a bit after (the Internet Bubble arc as was called by Wall Street.)
  • City of Adventure: London, Paris, New York - really, all of the larger cities seem to be cities of adventure to some extent. Not a day goes by without a dramatic murder mystery to solve, or a new romantic interest cropping up for one of the main characters. Tokyo and New York, however, get most of the spotlight in the stages of Japan and the United States respectively. The Capital City entry above has a link to The Other Wiki that has a better list of examples.
    • Unfortunately, it tends to be subverted for many characters, and life goes as normal for them even in those cities.
  • Class and Level System: The most extensive one ever devised, and more are added whenever an expansion to Science or Commerce occurs.
    • Taken Up to Eleven in the India level.
    • Of course, when some are added, others become nerfed out of existence, particularly those that weren't all that strong in the first place. Not that many people playing the Chimney Sweep class these days, are there?
      • Some levels have tried to avert this; so far, no such luck.
      • Occasionally people do go back to play the older classes, such as Civil War Soldier, but usually this is done with an Alt character between grinding sessions.
  • Clock Tower: Many around the world; the most famous is in the London server. May be going out of style these days, since clocks are so ubiquitous in the Cyberpunk era.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: British and Australian youth.
    • Don't forget many American ones.
    • Also, most rap songs and bouts of extreme annoyance.
    • Try annoying another PC, and you'll get one soon enough, soonest with military, streetwise, or youthful classes.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: Usually only with food. There is a dwindling but still unfortunately large group who believe this to be true in regards to characters' skin. Most people, however, consider this Epileptic Tree to have been thoroughly cut down. In the politics subgame, this is heavily subverted. Red means conservative in the U.S. region, but denotes Communists or other left-wingers everywhere else, black can be worn throughout the game by either fascists or anarchists, soldiers on both sides in any conflict wear either brown and green or light brown...
  • Commie Land: Popular during the Cold War arc; however, writers have kept a few pieces of the old arc alive (like Cuba, China and North Korea) for the sake of nostalgia. Was once supposed to feature big in the Armageddon expansion.
  • Companion Cube: Acceptable among children, less so among adults.
    • Weapons for combat classes.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Computers can accomplish certain goals far more efficiently than humans can.
    • Inverted with Gary Kasparov, who accused the Deep Blue project of cheating by having human intervention involved.
  • Conservation of Ninjitsu: How often do you think you could rely on public opinion?
  • Continuing Is Painful: Progressive income tax. Also, chronic illnesses.
    • Indeed any near death experience from illness or injury can result in permanent stat loss and disabilities.
  • Continuity Lock Out: Newcomers are expected to spend years learning about the basic elements of the setting, as well as the more important plot events.
  • Cool Airship: Well, until they sprang that Hindenburg Wham! Episode on us.
  • Cool Boat: People love to sail in nice boats.
  • Cool Car: More in some places than others.
  • Cool Train: Particularly popular in Europe and Japan, and formerly or sometimes in North America.
  • Cool Plane: So many they get their own page.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: All over the place. An overt and well-known example is the Enron story arc. However, very frequently averted as well.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: Server-ruining events like a black hole moving toward solar system can occur at any moment and none of us can figure out how to avoid it.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Everyone.
  • Crap Saccharine World: In developed countries, in theory, everything is okay, the progress does some wonderful things to us, the law is equal to everyone, people are happy... in practice, not so much.
  • Crapsack World: Definitely in parts of the Middle East and Africa. Also, North Korea.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Often, a prodigy will be encouraged to develop their talents to the detriment of other essential life skills.
  • Crisis Crossover: Several were released in the 20th century age and a few have already happened in the current age too. Notable events include the WW 1 and WW 2 events, which led to the creation of a two alliance system which lasted untill the 1990's when several users quit the communist alliance side. Current events include the War On Terror event and the Arab world riots, although these are not mandatory.
  • Critical Annoyance: Shortness of breath, heart attacks, and other such symptoms of impending death. Wheezing, and allergies, which is your immune system being messed with.
  • Crossover: Augmented Reality
  • Crowded Cast Shot: There used to be this game people played with telephone booths...
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: According to some.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Common enough that things like chivalry and the Geneva Conventions were developed to avert it. They're not always obeyed, of course.
  • Cut and Paste Environments: Played straight with the ancient Romans, who are said to have built the same city (and the same fort, with the same floor plan) hundreds of times. Ditto any chain of restaurants.
    • Hoover housing picked this up again for a while.
    • Communist countries frequently do as well.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: So far averted; the Tech Tree hasn't progressed far enough for neural cybernetics, but stuff like Iron Lungs and Pacemakers, as well as mechanical prostheses, do not affect a character's charisma score. Indeed, prostheses might increase said charisma score.
    • Some think our humanity will become more robust and nuanced with these upgrades.
  • Cyberspace: Known in the previous season as "ARPAnet", nowadays known as "Internet".


D Edit

  • Dark Is Not Evil: Shade is a welcome refuge from the wrath of the dreaded Daystar. People with dark skin/hair/clothes are no more inclined to evil than anyone else. And dark chocolate in moderate quantities is delicious and can improve the Constitution stat. And the creatures of the night or of the oceanic depths are not evil either. Black holes are pretty much Omnicidal Maniacs, though.
  • Deader Than Dead: Fairly common in war and disaster arcs, even though it's not really necessary since in this series, everyone who dies stays dead.
  • Death by Childbirth: Many insects reproduce this way, though it's not birth so much as laying eggs. Was common among humans until the last 100 years or so, and is still common in countries that don't have modern medicine. Note that most vertebrates have few problems with it; humans suck at giving birth because they converted a quadruped skeleton to a bipedal design while concurrently enlarging the skull.
  • Death By Pragmatism: Subverted. Screwing another player over to save your own ass may work out for you in the short run, but it by no means precludes your karma catching up to you later in the game.
    • Averted by the Human and Eusocial Insect player character races. These races have a capacity for altruism and cooperation.
  • Death by Sex:
  • Death of the Author: Friedrich Nietzsche took this approach to interpreting Real Life. Whether this counts as an example of the trope depends very much on whether said author exists.
  • Death Is Dramatic: Normally averted. Most players die quickly, suddenly, and unexpectedly. And most deaths happen in a few ways.
  • Death Takes a Holiday: Averted very, very hard. Death is so busy that if it went AWOL for even one day, people would notice.
    • At the end of the day, that is. People rewarded for their assistance in the processing of corpses might catch on by noon, and their decision to inform others of this fact to other players might result in most everyone knowing not long after that.
    • Longer life expectancies have led to problems like overcrowded hospitals and a large portion of the population in developed countries being dependent on the state for their income.
  • Death Throws: Played straight with depressing frequency in high-speed vehicle crashes. Fairly easy to avert with a safety device known as a seat belt.
  • Death World: Almost all of the Universe, with the exception of a tiny planet, orbiting an insignificant star in an unexceptional galaxy, called Earth. Even on Earth, it used to be played straight, though humans are the most powerful (and dangerous) part of Real Life on Earth these days. Some parts still remain pretty dangerous, though.
  • Deconstructed Trope: Almost every single trope.
  • Demonic Spider: Many are quite infamous because of their ability to transmit poisons and diseases that impair your character for days and (quite possibly) kill them off for real before you even notice them.
  • Deus Angst Machina: To the point where they're just known as "bad days" when they happen.
  • Deus Ex Machina: The World War Two arc was resolved via Superweapon Surprise. This was foreshadowed via dramatic irony when Rutherford made his statement that only fools could think that harnessing atomic power would ever be a possibility. Some of the codenames were somewhat "inspired".
    • Some also claim that literal examples (i.e. divine interventions) have happened.
  • Development Hell: The much-speculated World War III Arc. A rare case of most fans wanting it to be Vaporware, due to rumours of an extremely depressing Kill'Em All ending.
    • Human spaceflight, after an initial foray to the Moon, has been stalled in low Earth orbit for 40 seasons, with returning to the Moon and on to Mars delayed at least another 15-20 seasons. Robotic space exploration, however, has been TV Tropes Made of Win Archive since the beginning.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: No matter what you do, real life has rules for it.
    • Particularly impressive is the way that every single area is uniquely rendered.
    • Sadly a surprising number of things are arbitrarily ruled as impossible. As a result people have created alternate rule sets which are lumped together under the genera of "fiction." Although often what was thought impossible turns out not to be, as Science Marches On.
    • There are a few surrounding the apparent incongruity between Quantum Mechanics and Relativity.
  • Dialogue Tree: A very important aspect. What you say to other players very much influences the way they act towards you - the possibilities are endless! But be wary of the other player's personality, so you don't pick the wrong options. For example, speaking like a baby to another baby might make him/her like you, but if you say that to a particularly grumpy short man, the result will be very different.
  • Did Not Do the Research: Depressingly common, and becoming more troublesome as growing numbers of players seem to think that it's better to Not Do The Research and fear and distrust those who do.
  • Die Laughing: While it's a very rare way for characters to die, there have been some players who did this.
  • Difficult but Awesome: Math-intensive careers, while quite difficult to obtain and perform, pay quite a bit.
    • Learning new languages, particularly Chinese, Japanese, and to many, English.
  • Difficulty by Region: People in more prosperous or peaceful countries like the United States, Canada, and Western Europe tend to have it easier than people in, say, Africa or the Middle East.
  • Difficulty Spike: Trying to level from poor to middle class, as well as from middle class to rich. To further compact this problem, governments tends to increase the percentage of money you pay in taxes as you earn more money. There are many loopholes, of course. Many of which are used by the characters with the Politician class.
  • Disc One Final Dungeon: College. The seeming final-ness goes especially to schools of law, medicine, and pharmacy or universities that have great prestige.
  • Disc One Nuke: Child Prodigies tend to have high intelligence stats that make certain aspects of life a breeze.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Played straight with far too many law codes, typically erring toward either excessive or mild punishments as a whole. Also a common consequence of zero-tolerance policies, which intentionally remove human judgment from their application.
    • The Pakistan region has become infamous for its Blasphemy Law that kills players for speaking against the hypothetical author.
    • Arguably, Japan. They sided with the wrong people, raped every part of Asia they set foot on (most of east and southeast Asia) and ended up getting nuked. Twice. Not to mention the 1995 Hanshin earthquake and the 2011 Sendai earthquake.
    • Players with the Vengeful or Abusive traits frequently invoke this.
  • Doing in the Wizard: Has become incredibly common in the last two hundred seasons, or so, with science retconning various miracles. Debate over the value of these retcons has resulted in a severely Broken Base.
  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: Eras of backstory are often demarcated in terms of wars and conflict. They may be tragic, but also very memorable and interesting (perhaps because most students of the backstory do not spend a great deal of time discussing the suffering of soldiers and war victims).
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: If you disobey safety precautions, you're likely to find out the hard way why they were there in the first place.
  • Doomed Hometown: In any region with an ongoing war, this happens to a lot of people.
  • Doomsday Clock: It stands at 5 minutes to 12 as of 2009, and has done so for several years. This has happened in many previous arcs as well. Seems that the end of the world happens often, and none of the characters notice.
    • As of January 16, 2010, the Doomsday Clock went back a minute, signaling that humans are that much further from destruction, in the opinion of those running the Doomsday Clock.
      • And as of January 25, 2017, the Clock has been set at two and a half minutes to midnight, signaling that humanity is closer to annihilation more so than any time since the height of the Cold War.
  • Door Dumb: Just wait around for a while at a door that can be opened by pushing but not pulling, or vice-versa, and chances are you'll see this trope in action sooner or later.
  • Downer Ending: Happens so often the possibility of it happening to you borders on Nightmare Fuel.
  • Down the Drain: Occasionally subverted by deep sea diving tours. In general it's harder to survive the water levels than the surface levels.
  • Driven to Suicide: It happens. If you're feeling tempted, please log off TV Tropes and call your local emergency help line (911 in Eagleland, 111 in Oz, 999 in Blighty) for a helpful chat.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Played straight, often there are no hints at all that a character is going to be killed off. Indeed, many characters were unexpectedly and anticlimactically killed off, and some accuse this as being gratuitous use of the Reset Button to prevent anyone, especially potential world-conquerors like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union from taking over the world. It's also possible that the Grim Reaper is simply a dick.
  • Dropped a Bridget On Him: Rare, but it can happen, much to the amusement of those not actually involved.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Depends on the drug. Inverted for most users. Subverted for most of the rest - turns out that the problem is the person rather than the drugs. (See also: Must Have Caffeine.)
    • Played straight as often as it's Subverted or Inverted.
    • Granted, Your Mileage May Vary on what you'd count as a drug.
  • Dynamic Loading: Elevators, commercial flights, and public transportation are all examples of this trope.
    • Although hopefully it doesn't get too dynamic, as hostile NPCs will still occasionally spawn in these areas.


E Edit

  • Eagle-Eye Detection: Forensic science.
  • Eagle Land: The United States of America is the Trope Maker.
  • Eagleland Osmosis: Played straight, and subverted by the 'Financial Crisis' arc.
  • Egopolis: See Alexandria, Ho Chi Minh City, Stalingrad, Tenochtitlan, Constantinople, Istanbul... Washington, New York!
  • Easing Into the Adventure: Some species hit the ground running, ready for survival within moments of birth. Humans, on the other hand, take months to acquire physical coordination, years to learn how to walk, more years to reach reproductive age, and even more years to acquire all their survival skills.
    • Some humans skip the later years of the tutorial and go straight to the main game, by choice or necessity. Sometimes higher-level characters forcibly bring them back to the tutorial areas. On the other hand, some prefer the relative safety and comfort of the tutorial levels.
  • Easy Mode Mockery: The stigma that comes with being an adult and still living with your parents in times and places that put a lower emphasis on the extended family, let alone relying on them for money. This applies especially to trust fund kids, many of whom are rich bitches.
    • Making things damn difficult for trust fund kids who don't fit that type.
    • Restaurants that give the smallest portion or drink sizes "kiddie" names. Can especially come off as a bit of an insult to those watching their calories.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Yes, it can happen.
  • Earth Is a Battlefield: As far as we can tell, since before people learned to read.
  • Easy Sex Change: Brutally averted. In fact, it's made much harder than necessary.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Averted, with the help of over 100 different elements and potentially infinite combinations (and everyone has a completely unique, customized chemical Character Sheet!) Ancient Greece arc notwithstanding, water, air and earth are not elements, they are mixtures, and fire is a process, not a substance.
  • Emergency Broadcast: Usually a few every day at some places throughout the world, whether system tests or warnings of actual disasters.
  • Empathic Environment: Inverted for players with Seasonal Affective Disorder.
  • Empathic Weapon: Inverted for players who have the gunny or hoplophile traits.
  • The Empire: There have been quite a few over the course of the show, most notably Assyria, Babylonia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Byzantium,ottoman,Mongolia, Spain, France,Great Britain, Russia, China and Japan. However, Russia's power was severely set back at the end of the Cold War arc. In recent years, the writers seem to have been setting up China (once again) as the new Empire.
    • Seems somewhat of a biased interpretation... all of the empires mentioned except for Mongolia are those that are a precursor to the present ruling one. China has been a major empire before, and so have you omitted Achaemenid Persia, Sassanid Persia, the Abbasids, the Ottomans... but the current rulers don't want you to know about those...
      • And Austria?
      • What about the Incans, Mayans, Aztecs, Egyptians, Mauryans, and Macedonians (and then Alexander's empire)?
      • And Germany, don't forget about about Germany. And/or the 'Holy Roman Empire'. The '1000 year empire' of the Third Reich was a memorable subversion.
  • Empty Cop Threat: If you run afoul of the wrong cops. Or the right ones.
  • Endless Game: It just keeps going and going. Individual characters, however, do not get endless play time.
    • According to most Experts in the physicist and/or religion classes, the game will eventually stop and the servers shut down altogether. However, the game has been going quite a while already, and shows no obvious signs of stopping any time soon.
  • Enemy Mine: Happens all the time in politics.
  • Energy Being: The human race, and in fact all the other lifeforms. The energy is just contained as mass.
  • Epiphanic Prison: According to eastern religions...
  • Equivalent Exchange: Present in the form of the First Law of Thermodynamics, and Newton's Third Law, plus a gaggle of other Conservation laws. All machines and lifeforms, and heck, just about any process in the Real Life 'verse follow the Equivalent Exchange principle.
  • Escort Mission: The (thankfully optional) Parenthood campaign. As well, there is a Babysitting minigame and Childcare class that revolves around this.
  • Eternal Engine: Certain boats, oil platforms, factories, towers, and whatnot can fall under this trope, but certain cities, like the Energy Corridor of Houston Texas, or Pittsburgh before the 1960's also can be considered.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Averted with cars themselves... but played straight with rockets.
  • Everybody Owns a Ford: Subverted.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Played straight very frequently. Calling something by its full official name is frequently reserved for the Scientist class.
  • Everyone Is Bi: Some Psychologist and Philosopher class characters have claimed this. Others disagree.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Unfortunately subject to Dropped a Bridge on Him. Somewhat subverted, as they were highly Awesome but Impractical: the appearance of Player Characters was only possible without them.
    • Fortunately though, their descendants, the birds, are still around today.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: A type of mostly hairless primate rules the Earth.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: There are many penguins in Antartica, which is in the southern hemisphere of the main game world.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: The wheel seems to be the Ur Example here. Thought its introduction occurs in a Lost Episode, believed to be several thousand seasons ago, nearly every episode features one or more of the myriad variations on the basic concept.
    • The subtrope When Things Spin Science Happens has been particularly common in the last few hundred seasons. In fact, the mere presence of a centrifuge is often sufficient to communicate to the viewer that a scene is taking place in a science lab.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: There's a form of protest called "Zombie Walks." Played straight with the Hallow'een in-game event
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Both averted and played straight depending on where and when you live.
  • Evil Debt Collector: Most debt collectors seem this way to players, although they may be more of a Punch Clock Villain in reality.
    • But played straight for players with the "Stockholm Syndrome" or "Bonnie and Clyde Syndrome" flaws.
  • Evolutionary Levels: Shockingly averted. "Evolution" seems to describe the process by which species adjust to outside influences to maximize survival, as opposed to a process by which living beings get bigger, smarter, and more powerful over time that can be measured by "levels". An unheard of concept outside of this setting, one that remains controversial to this day.
  • Expansion Pack World: The uninhabited continent of Antarctica was retconned onto the bottom of the map to allow for a better budgeted, more dramatic remount of the popular "Race to the Pole" Tournament Arc. And the second half of the 20th century saw the addition of the new "Earth Orbit" and "Moon" regions as part of the accessible world. Of course, the much promised "Mars Mission" expansion has proven to be vaporware. Some would argue that everything beyond Europe, Asia, and north Africa is part of the Expansion Pack, with various degrees of justification. The Americas and the whole "people went there before 1492" retcon is particularly jarring. We still haven't finished uncovering all the juicy info about the Pacific Depths (version 3.2 Ocean Floor Patch) or the Amazon, there's still a lot of wildlife to catalogue and several Bestiaries to fill with creature names.
    • Though billions of other Daystars have been seen, thousands visible by just looking away from the planetary surface at night, the present version of Real Life is limited to only one. The "Interstellar Travel" expansion in which they're included is presently quite a few shelves out of reach; the much punier "Mars" expansion is already proving to be a big deal to get. Fortunately, the present Daystar subscription will last for another couple of billion years before it expires.
    • Several grass species were adapted into wheat, rice, and maize. A selection of early primates were polished up, given new appearances and a lot of new powers, and appeared in later editions as humans.
    • Some religions also believe humans are reincarnations of past lives.
    • A common rumor is that the Mars and Intersellar expansions have been put on hold to develop the '2012' event. Although no evidence suggests this has been the case and the admin has refused to comment.
    • Many players speculate we may one day connect with other copies of this game.
  • Explosive Stupidity: When it comes to handling explosive devices and/or volatile substances, there's very little margin for error. Being careless while doing so is a surefire way to get a game over.
  • Expospeak: History, biology, physics classes all show a lot of the world building.
  • Eye Scream: Happens enough to make some players want to wear protective eyewear 24/7.


F Edit

  • Face Heel Turn: Unfortunately common.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Happens all the time, most frequently with small oft-used items such as keys, eyeglasses, and marbles. Many animals have camouflage coloring whose purpose is to invoke the trope deliberately, for catching prey or avoiding predators.
  • Fake Difficulty: You get only 1 life, no save points, and quest items/paths can easily be lost forever. Though, according to some religions, you get multiple lives, taking the form of a different character with each respawn, and in others, you can respawn in another server, depending on the achievements you get, the guilds you join, or even by believing in the server's programmer. In addition, there are countless quest paths/items/what have you, to the point that no one will ever be able to write a full strategy guide (though many partial ones are in the works). Unless you mess up some early story arcs, you can usually have a decent score by the end.
  • Fake Longevity: Considering how Real Life boasts years of play, it's no surprise that almost a quarter of your time is spent either being in school/work or doing work that you've been given to take home from school/work. Also, you spend quite a bit of time doing things such as eating, sleeping (which takes an average of a third of your time), and bathing. And exactly what you're doing at this moment.
  • Fanfic: Fiction based off of real life is a multi-billion dollar industry. Real Life Fan Fiction often has very little to do with the source material, and is popular enough that there exists a wiki dedicated to categorizing common tropes.
  • Fan Service: Porn and strip clubs. Also movie stunts. And summer, which drastically reduces the need for clothes in many regions.
    • Not to mention human reproduction, possibly the best kind of fanservice there is.
  • Fan Disservice: Sexual harassment and assault. Also, attractive family members and relatives.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel: Averted. Big Name Fan says it may never show up, although fans keep hoping.
  • Fatal Flaw: Everyone has at least one, although some have more than others.
  • Fat Camp: This is a special event where some players go to drop weight and increase their base HP stat.
  • Faustian Rebellion: America (the whole continent), Al-Qaeda, Nazi Germany, to name a few. Practically everywhere there has been a revolution.
  • Filler: Be honest. You're reading this at work, aren't you?
    • Or school.
    • Waiting in a doctor's office or airport is definitely filler.
  • Final Boss: Many strategy guides go to great lengths to describe the final boss battle prior to unlocking God Mode and Infinite Bliss Run. Satan is a popular choice for this role, although by most account he'll be an Anticlimax Boss in spite of incredible build-up, defeated by a One-Hit Kill from the Big Good. Others hold that there won't be a Final Boss at all, though there might be an Earthshattering Kaboom instead. Some claim the Final Boss is Satan's Nemesis and Satan is the Big Good, while others maintain that neither Satan or God is the Final Boss, but rather an Ancient Conspiracy behind most of the bad events and assassinations in history that is controlling everything.
  • Final Death: You die, that's it for your character. What happens afterward is unknown, but there are three basic camps[1]:
    • If you were good, you go to Fluffy Cloud Heaven, but if you were bad you go to Fire and Brimstone Hell. Where the dividing line is believed to be varies--some believe that only really evil people go to hell, others believe that only characters with Incorruptible Pure Pureness get heaven. Many ancient religions also had a third level in-between the other two.
    • You start over with a new character. Details vary, but generally depend on your Karma Meter in the life you just finished. Some believe that, eventually, you play a different game entirely.
    • Nothing. You're just dead.
  • First Town: Every town could qualify as this, as there are billions of protagonists throughout the world.
    • But most of the designated spawn points are in larger cities, so some small communities might not be.
  • First-Person Shooter: The "Terrorist", "Soldier", "Shooter" "Hunter", "Militia" "Gang Member", "Mercenary", "Policeman", and "Gunny" classes.
    • Note that certain servers make "Armed Policeman" a prestige class, requiring the player take several levels in "Policeman" first.
    • Just about any character class with thumbs can wield firearms, although Firearm Proficiency is a highly recommended skill to have when dealing with guns.
    • Almost all characters are capable of wielding firearms. The above classes have this as a core requirement. It is very easy to cross class with firearms training, especially in Eagle Land severs.
  • Five Races:
  • Flame War: Both figurative and literal applications.
  • Follow the Leader: So many copycats, it's hard to find a place to start.
  • Forced Level Grinding: School.
    • The entire skill and level system is based upon this. Gaining a level in anything will require large amounts of study and repetitive "practice".
  • Forced to Watch: A lot of the more disturbing parts of the game.
  • Forced Tutorial: School, in places where compulsory education is the law. Some servers have enforced tutorials lasting 12 years or longer. Also, people who have completed their schooling in other countries may have to go through it again when they immigrate if their credentials aren't recognized in the new country. If you are playing in the Great Britain server this is until you are 18!
  • Foreshadowing: If you watch real closely. Alternatively, you may consult a self-styled expert in Divination, but many players believe this is not a real skill. Nostradamus' strategy guide is believed by some to be canon but it can be interpreted in so many ways that proving it requires Epileptic Trees in its own, so others argue otherwise. Global Warming, running out of Fossil Fuels and Overpopulation arcs have been pretty much this for the last few decades. Commonly believed that those will cumulate in a big event to herald the arrival of the Interstellar Space arc where the human race can finally explore the Universe in person.
  • Four Lines, All Waiting: Averted, despite the Loads And Loads And Loads And Loads Of Characters. Due to the bizarre nature in which Real Life is aired, all 7 billion Plot Threads are carried out at the exact same time. There's a reason there are entire in-universe teams devoted to studying the plot.
  • Fourth Wall: Arguably the sturdiest Fourth Wall in existence. But see also dreams or psychoactives for the most reliable challenges to it.
  • Freemium: Most servers will give the player enough in-game currency to prevent them from dying. But if you want to acquire any good items or join any prestige classes, you're going to have to do a lot of level grinding.
  • Friendly Local Chinatown: Many exist throughout the world. There is a famous one in San Francisco.
  • Full Name Ultimatum: One of the first tropes many players encounter.
  • Functional Magic: Rule Magic (the laws of physics) is slowly and laboriously decoded and verified by science and arcane mathematics, and implemented into Device Magic (technology) which anyone can use provided they can afford to buy it. Most players take this for granted. Also, Vancian Magic is the case for some of the particularly restrictive aspects of Real Life's Rule Magic, like thermodynamics and the conservation laws.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Many, many examples, some invoked on purpose. Stars are formed in Evaporating Gaseous Globules.

Notes

  1. These are not the only beliefs, just the three most well-known.

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