Pop-TROPE-ica: Trash Digging

Hey folks, Cobalt here! Man, that introduction is a total trope. 😉

Poptropica is a unique planet, that’s for sure. Every island is unique, as well. But sometimes, the gameplay tends to fall back on tropes. Enter Pop-TROPE-ica: a new PHB series focusing on common and perhaps overused Poptropica gameplay devices, also known as tropes. To start off, we’ll be talking about a common mechanism from several islands: digging through trash! Here we go…


Nose picking, sharing gum, and trash digging here with my best buddy!

Trash digging. Let’s count the islands. 😛

Counterfeit, CryptidsWimpy Boardwalk, ZomberryVirus Hunter, and Mocktropica. Right off the top of my head, that’s it. Wait, let me check the island guides…


Alright folks, I’ve checked the island guides. So far, there have been at least six islands involving rummaging through garbage. Does the statistic surprise you, or is it totally cool?

Whether it’s searching for tunnel tour tickets (Counterfeit), an old bathroom door (Cryptids) an empty popcorn bag (Wimpy Boardwalk), discarded Valley Rain bottle (Zomberry), letter not addressed to us (Virus Hunter – ok, is this ethical?), or an abandoned script (Mocktropica) – our Poptropicans are no strangers to digging through other people’s trash for our gain.

Cobalt there’s like fifty million islands, and you’re complaining that six islands have trash digging moments?

Yes, person that is the result of my schizophrenic episodes. Yes I am.

How is there any excuse for an act such as trash digging to happen more than once? How dare you, Pop devs? Do you care about me, clearly the only one finding this an issue, at all? 😦

Now, I’ve thought of all the possible reasonings behind this, and I’m sorry if you Pop Creators are reading this, because some may come off detrimental.

My first speculation is that due to the number of islands, they kinda just forgot. The second reason is what I’m all about, laziness. They have the structure for the code, why not just grease it up and slide it in? Working on Orb Legend, I can’t blame them for that. Third, the story. Now, I’ll just elaborate a tad bit on that. How would the islands go if they found the said items another way, or didn’t at all? Sometimes, the gameplay just calls for a trash-digging moment.

I want to make it very clear that I love Poptropica – I wouldn’t be working on this blog and be in this community for as long as I have if I didn’t – and I’m not trying to make them look bad in any way, shape, or form. Now, if I were to try to make them look bad in a shape, it would be a circle. (If you get that reference, I love you.) 😀 ❤

This post is just trying to compare similarities within various islands. Now that I’ve cleared the air, I think we can all agree that trash digging is not unusual in the quest for Poptropica adventure.

If you’re curious, we also have a PHB post covering the contents of Mocktropica’s trash bin.

What do you think? Is that a load of rubbish, or do you love getting your hands dirty?

Until next time, Pop-trope-icanos!


49 thoughts on “Pop-TROPE-ica: Trash Digging”

  1. What a load of junk. Just kidding. Great post, Spence. 😀

    While there are definitely enough trash-digging moments in the game to warrant a whole post, 5 islands out of almost 50 isn’t too bad – but perhaps it’s enough for now. Anyway, personally, I don’t believe it’s out of laziness – it would probably be easier to dump an item on the ground for the character to pick up, than to make us dig for it. As for forgetfulness, we can’t say for sure, but it seems unlikely given the similarities and frequencies.

      1. *omega flowey knocks him out of the way but frisk kills omega flowey, the papyrus appears and bonetrousle starts playing*

      2. *editor deletes Heartbreak, and copy and pastes dancing skeletons, and plays Spooky Scary Skeletons Living Tombstone Remix*

  2. It might sound weird, but I actually have always liked the trash digging part of some of the Poptropica islands. But I never realized how many times I have done it. I remember on my old account I played Wimpy Boardwalk 3 times and never thought to myself, Man, this sure is a lot of trash digging. It just seemed to be a small part of all of the islands. I don’t despise trash digging, but it just seems like a way for the Creators to have you find something that has a big use or a big meaning, but it just wasn’t being USED. Maybe they could find a way to have Poptropicans find something like that, but I have to admit that trash digging is a lot more interesting than hopping onto a building and saying, Hey! What is this doing here?

  3. Hmm, never really thought about this. There are definitely quite a few islands where we are forced to trash-dig at some point. Trash-digging is kind of interesting (like, in Mocktropica, a reference to Monster Carnival island is mentioned). Interesting speculation! 😀

  4. It’s really interesting when you dig in the trash in these islands. You might find references for other islands when you dig in a trash can to look for items that are required to use to complete the quest. I also got the reference about this, I agree with you, if something would look bad, it would be like a circle. You really love drawing circles!

  5. Yeah, our Poptropicans do value what they find in the trash. Let’s not forget Shrink Ray Island’s Trash Can Labyrinth, which may not be the same mechanics but it is essentially the same idea – finding a key item (in this case a torn page from CJ’s Diary) within the trash. There was also the swiping of that Steam Batter from the Garbage Bin on Steamworks Island’s Mainstreet, which was far more simple and straightforward compared to all of the above; in fact, the Rubber Mallet inside Sully’s Shop was also in a Trash Bin/crate labeled Various Junk- ” Well, if this is junk then nobody should mind if I take it.” The next thing we know we’ll find our Poptropicans in a Junkyard where the whole island is just a heap of trash xD .

    One’s trash is clearly our Poptropicans’ treasure 😛 . You may not be a counter, but I can count on you to bring some great and comical posts in the future – definitely looking forward to more from this “Pop-trope-ica” series of yours 😀 . Can I throw this comment away now? I bet my Poptropican will pick it up someday 😉 .

  6. it’s time to dig some trash

    *puts on heavy-duty work gloves*

    Uh… yeah. ANYway… you make a good point, Spencer. Sometimes islands do fall back on tropes (the “Pop-TROPE-ica” name is genius name by the way :P) and we find our Poptropican sifting through garbage yet again. Of course, Yujo_Jacy made a good point, in a post 1-2 posts above mine saying that our trash is our Poptropican’s treasure. =)

  7. One man’s trash is another one’s treasure, well, in Poptropica. There are numerous trash-digging moments in Poptropica, and not only did it become a cliché, but it sure leaves a lesson (if you can see it). This trope has become a important part of their respective island, each holding an important item needed for the island.

    Oh yeah, you forgot to put Steamworks!

      1. You also receive the Rubber Mallet from the Trash Bin/crate labeled “Various Junk” inside Sully’s Shop, with our Poptropicans saying “Well, if this is junk then nobody should mind if I take it.”

      2. i don’t think my poptropican cares if she takes things. i’m just still a bit miffed she didn’t just drop Crusoe right off the bat on Monkey Wrench. We woulda won quicker…

    1. That’s sort-of true, although we don’t have to pry through other pieces of trash to get to the item we want in those cases, so it’s not quite the same mechanism. 😛

    2. Well, Slip, tropes aren’t truely clichés. While tropes certainly appear often in all media, most tropes are just storytelling devices. If you don’t have tropes, you basically have no main character, no plot, no setting … nothing. If you don’t have clichés, you simply have a story that’s very original. (Ha, sorry with the overload of info – check out TVTropes.org, I read it a lot, and I think it’ll explain better than I will.) 😉

  8. You also forgot about Cryptids Island, even though that was a dumpster. When looking for the Jersey Devil, you had to rummage through the dumpster outside of the gas station to get part of the directions (on the old bathroom door).

    1. I purposely didn’t add Cryptids, but I totally forgot about Steamworks, lol. Cryptids isn’t really anything like the other layouts and junk, but in other trope posts I guess I’ll add things like that, like worthy mentions or something.

    2. Good point, I’ve added Cryptids to the list. I would count Cryptids because we do sort through the dumpster bin to find an item we want (the bathroom door), but Steamworks isn’t quite the same because you don’t need to dig to take the item out of the trash.

      1. When did we do any trash digging in Steamworks??????????

        BTW, I guess this means Paul would be counting even more circles 😀

      2. We don’t really “dig” through trash in Steamworks, but there’s a part where you pick an item out from the trash rather straightforwardly. Not quite the same as these other examples. 😛

  9. Wow, is it only 8 of 50 islands that have trash digging? (I count with those mentioned in the comments too.) It feels like a lot more. I like the trash digging moments actually, and hope for more islands with this. 🙂

  10. When you think about it,isn’t everything a trope?

    But,for,real,I’m pretty sure that was just a concept they used for a while,then realised how many there were. Then they decided to use it as a bit of an in-joke. That’s my perspective anyway.

    Next time,we’re covering the ‘Seeing’ trope! The sight of vision blinds us all,as it is quite the unnatural phenomenon! Join us next week,when we take a peek and glimpse into the special poptropicans with the power of functioning eyes!

    What am I even writing anymore?… Oh! That reminds me,I’ve got stuff to write! See you soon,and I don’t just mean in the comments section!


    P.S I know I’m a bit late,but welcome to the team,Cobalt Spinner!

    1. Sheesh,there are a lot more sight jokes here than I noticed! I better keep watch! If I don’t blink,maybe I’ll manage to stare another pun right in the eye,if you know what I mean *wink* ; )

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