Someone on a chat channel mentioned this site, and I’ve been browsing it off and on over the last few days.
The site is TVtropes.org, and is a vast collection of ‘tropes’ found not just in television, but in comics, manga, and film.
A trope, according to the home page:
Tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members’ minds and expectations. On the whole, tropes are not clichés. The word clichéd means “stereotyped and trite”. In other words, dull and uninteresting. We are not looking for dull and uninteresting entries. We are here to recognize tropes and play with them, not to make fun of them.
The site has a horrific amount of information on it, in wiki form, though they are careful to state they are NOT wikipedia (“We’re a buttload more informal…”).
Some choice bits.
Regarding the ‘BerserkButton’ trope:
Marty McFly from the Back To The Future films: “Nobody… calls me… chicken!” This is a rare instance in which getting over the Berserk Button is part of the Character Development, or where the Berserk Button is even treated as a bad thing to have.
And, in the ‘BarSlide’ trope:
In Hudson Hawk, when Eddie orders a cappucino, the bartender slides it down the bar to him.
And it goes on and on and on.
I love the internet.