As an example the Mother role in stories. The role itself is open and ambiguous enough to encompass any personality or characteristics, so on and so forth.
The Characteristics are the real identity of the trope; it is the personality, situations that occur, similar dialogue (when we are talking about the same trope in a different work), and similar relations. When I wrote “Mother Trope,” for instance, you probably thought of: an overly strict and protective mother, who really just wants the best for her child, but actually doesn’t understand. Perhaps some other archetypal personality and set of circumstances associated with mother characters.