Television Tropes & Idioms (TV Tropes) is a "catalogue of the tricks of the trade for writing fiction" created in 2004 by Gus Raley (known as Fast Eddie on TV Tropes)
The articles on the TV Tropes wiki can be roughly categorized into two areas: trope pages, containing descriptions and examples of common tropes and idioms in television, cinema, literature, comics, etc., and pages that contain brief introductions to specific works of fiction and lists of tropes found in them.
Additionally there is a number of namespaces reserved for quotes, trivia, subjective tropes, character lists, fan theories, etc. Some articles are additionally available in languages other than English.
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On January 12, 2008, the main database of the website malfunctioned, rendering all its contents unusable. Additionally, all backups since October 2007 were discovered to be corrupted, so the entire wiki was "warped" to the state of three months before. By the end of that month, the damage had mostly been cleaned up, as the community had joined forces in recovering the lost content from caches of other websites such as Google. The incident has since become known as "The Great Crash". Since that time the wiki has grown and all the lost pages have been recreated or fixed.
On December 7, 2008, the official wiki logo has been updated, now referencing ("lampshading") the concept of "Lampshade Hanging".
On October 26, 2010, Google AdSense disabled all ad serving on TV Tropes because the wiki was assessed as not compliant with Google's AdSense policies. A number of changes were put in effect by the administration, such as introducing NSFW content warnings and disabling anonymous editing. The Google resumed serving ads on November 9. The incident became known as The Situation.
Around April 2012, Google Adsense received reports of inappropriate links not compliant with their policies, and in response to what was dubbed The Second Google Incident, an official culling of pages about adult works and severe edits to subjects like rape and sexual topics was instituted in order to keep TV Tropes from falling afoul of Google's content policies for a third time.
On June 2012, in response to the site content being copied, the site content license was changed from Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) to Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0). 
In April 2013, in response to several security breaches such as a DDoS attack and repeated trolling/vandalism, TV Tropes changed their log in system to require email confirmation.
On November 30, 2014, tvtropes announces that the site is bought by Drewski for an unknown sum of money and Fast Eddie steps down as the administrator of wiki.
Forks Of TV Tropes
The Wikia fork has but a fraction of the content of TV Tropes, and was formed by those dissatisfied with TV Tropes moderation and site management and direction practices.
The Orain version has a complete version of all content from June 2012, as well as many pages deleted or removed from TV Tropes due to their censorship policies, and it was also formed due to dissatisfaction with the site direction and management practices of TV Tropes.
Both forks share a Creative Commons Share Alike Attribution license under which the content of TV Tropes was available in June 2012, and both use the MediaWiki engine, rather than PmWiki.