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both plot and cultural meaning, and in that sense trope refl ects something with richness and complexity. For example, the two-note sound used by the TV franchise Law and Order to transition between scenes has become such a staple of comedy sketches that it now functions largely as a critique of the lazy conven- tionality of American crime drama. At fi rst these references were simply allusions to a specifi c series. But as the references piled up, this sound took on tropic (pronounce that with a long “o,” not a short one!) qualities, thus rein- forcing the