I Am About To Ruin Your Life

I'm not going to burn down your house or poison your dog or anything like that. But I am still going to ruin your life.

I work for The Man on the 9-5 grind. I'm parked in front of a computer for almost the entirety of that time. So, while I'm doing my work, I'm also surfing the web.

One website I frequent is called tvtropes.org. 

Hanging a lampshade with TV Tropes

Hanging a lampshade with TV Tropes

TV Tropes will ruin your life in the best possible way.

It's a website dedicated to analyzing works of fiction and cataloging the tools used to tell a story. 

The amount of works they cover is nothing short of extensive. Movies, plays, books, video games, web comics, TV (obviously)- any medium that tells a story is included. 

Any movie or TV show you've ever seen is probably on this site. One of my favorite things to do after finishing a movie/TV/book is to check out its tropes page. 

I get insight on the story that I never would have gotten with a single viewing. They delve deep into the nuances of character and plot. 

Like that other wiki, TV Tropes is patrolled by a bunch of nerds. However, it's written in an extremely casual way, making things accessible for all readers. This accessibility makes it very, very  easy to fall into a hole where the laws of time and space don't apply, where hours fly by like seconds.

It also helps that there are on average a hundred links to click on each page. The majority of these links are tropes. Here are some of my favorites:

Character Tropes

Knight in Sour Armor

Boobs of Steel 

Punch Clock Villain 

Plot Tropes

Chekhov's Volcano

Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking 

Distracted by the Sexy 

Setting Tropes

Crapsack World 

Twenty Minutes In the Future 

Bad-Guy Bar

Obviously, this is an extremely small sample of the hundreds of tropes detailed on this site. They're useful to know and will change your perspective on how a story is told.

If you're a writer or interested in fiction, tvtropes.org is the place to be. 

Check it out if you've got several hours to spare.