“Tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members’ minds and expectations.”
For this so very daunting first post, I think the website tv tropes is a great way to start. It is certainly a daunting website, and I have heard stories of people who stumble on the site, not knowing that it is a bramble bush: a website with the power to draw in and trap viewers for hours. Some claim to have been trapped there for days. It is a website with the ultimate lure: a categorical view of every plot device, and lists of when and where these “tropes” appear in popular television, comics, games, books, and films.