Tropes and stories you hate


I’m fine with the cliche fantasy hero’s journey coming of age, or the stereotypical bad guy with no real motives other than ‘I’m bad so here I am’, or even the good vs evil fight (actually, I’m a bit of a closet fan of this one).

There’s just one trope I just detest with all my being. The romantic interest character who falls in love with the main character and promptly loses all of her motivations, goals, personality and anything else that made her different from Jane Doe #45. Instantly, every fibre of his/her (usually her) being becomes ‘hmm I wonder what MC would do’ or ‘I wonder if that’ll make MC happy’ or ‘Should I confess to MC?’.

It’s always so sad to see a legitimately interesting character become a hollow pink blob.


Continuing the hero’s journey, there’s the guardian at the threshold… so how do we reverse this? :thinking: Someone at the threshold who doesn’t really care about guarding it and just waves the hero (and the kid) onward “oh, it’s fine, you can go :smile:” or a guardian who actually stops the hero from passing, so the hero just goes back. Or maybe both…

“Hey! Here’s the threshold! You can go on to your adventure now! Have a nice day! :smile:
“Aaaaaaah, it’s a scary guardian! :cold_sweat: Let’s go back home :sob:

And, hey, that way we can get to…

It all fits together! :astonished:

To be fair, there were a lot of good scientific reasons to think that the Earth was at the center of the universe—mainly related to the fact that no parallax had been observed among the distant stars—that is, when the Earth orbits the sun, the angle of the stars should change a little due to the shift in position. Turns out the shift was just too tiny for them to observe at the time, but because of optical effects that they didn’t yet understand, the stars looked closer than the really are. It took a while to get all that data resolved satisfactorily.

I know this because of @ParrotWatcher… he understands it a bit more clearly than me :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Oh, and the woman who is an expert on whatever thing the movie/show is about, until the plucky hero shows up and is naturally better than her, and she falls in love because she’s just so into being shown up in front of her peers. Instead of getting competitive and stepping up her game, she accepts the hero’s status as her superior and… oh, I’ve made myself ill :nauseated_face:


There are only 3 tropes (mainly in movies or games) that I really hate:

  1. When the main villain is having a monologue or doing evil shit and the hero just stands there and watches or just does nothing. I don’t care how thin the reasoning is just make an excuse for the hero to not intervene other than just standing there.
  2. Glass stopping the hero from heroing. Like I want to find this magical glassmaker who can make windows that resist an entire magazine from super space guns or magic or whatever.
  3. When one of the characters hands over the magical mcguffin to the obviously untrustworthy villain trying to get them to not harm other and the villain just takes it and tells the henchmen to kill everyone anyway. This one legitimately annoys me because it’s just such lazy writing…


Child after having their village burned and puppy killed for refusing the call: leave me alone

The call:


To be fair, nothing described as “a million to one chance” is ever really actually a million to one chance. :thinking: Unless it’s like winning the lottery or something. So don’t just have characters randomly winning the lottery for no good reason. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

And it wasn’t until Newton that there was any reason why a larger body (like the Sun) would be the centre of the system. Honestly, Copernicus and Galileo (why do we usually call him by his first name? :thinking:) were basically just lucky. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I hate this too. Star Wars was okay since 40 or so years ago, the trope wasn’t as common, but doing this trope today just oozes lazy writing. I mean Deus Ex Machina should really be a dead thing in 2018.


Sure, but this is “tropes you hate”, not “tropes that can never happen in reality.” :slight_smile:

I noted in my post that my problem with a lot of these tropes is not that they exist at all, but how often they occur, to the point that it becomes really predictable. It would be an incredible subversion for the “gut feeling” non-scientist to actually just be wrong. The trope bothers me as an endemic thing because it’s basically “doesn’t matter how much education and experience you have, the protagonist is always right” which TBH makes me strongly dislike the protagonist! Especially when we are told their “stubbornness” is a flaw, but of course in the end it ends up saving the day. It’s just strongly cliche at this point and makes me want the protag. to be wrong because they overshot - their stubbornness isn’t always vindicated. It’d make the character flaw into a real flaw, not just “I gotta go against mean old authority to be proven right in the end!” again.


I was trying to keep my example basic as to not go into super detail on game lore people may not know about. Also I would consider most things involving death of family/betrayal from that family (especially when it involves the Evil Seed, astral fissures, Azwel or either sword) pretty dark in my opinion. Even Zas having to deal with being reborn and never dying is up there for me. Maxi having his whole pirate crew slaughtered which he thought of as family is too. Same with Kilik with the Evil Seed. Also I was keeping to the post I was responding to and only talking about male characters, but even Tira being raised by killers, abandoned, then being taken in by a good family only for her to murder them all. Sophitia’s whole situation that ends up happening from a good deed she was doing is pretty dark too especially when you involve her children and her own sister having to kill her.

The character I was talking about in the story mode (Libra of Souls specifically) was actually Groh, stereotype or not, that was his whole thing. Childhood friend gets killed by a traitor, Azwel who turned him malfested (evil/zombie-like) so Groh had to kill him then Groh himself was experimented on and made malfested, albeit still able to operate like a normal human for a time after.

My point was you have to travel with him for quite a few chapters and your character is forced to sympathize with him even though he embodies that trope I talked about at the end of my post and by the end of the game I wanted to have the choice to either leave him or take him out with Soul Caliber.


Meh. Both. Characters who say they have a bad feeling about something always end being right about it. No will ever say, “I got a bad feeling about this plan.” And the plan goes off without a hitch. Never.

Also, spiders are just plain deadly. No thanks


dragon/princess trope

I have literally never even once in my entire life seen this trope without it being subverted. Not even once have I ever seen it played straight.


Saint George and the Dragon is basically the template for the Knight/Dragon/Princess trope, but I guess it depends on what you’ve read before…


In some versions of that, St George converts the dragon to Christianity (and presumably a less princess-based diet), so it was being subverted even then. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I’d say Perseus/Andromeda would be a better “original”, even if the monster wasn’t specifically a dragon. :thinking:


Yeah, I literally haven’t seen the Dragon/princess trope played straight since St. George and the Dragon. It’s so rare I honestly don’t even know if I’d call it a cliche. And like ParrotWatcher pointed out, there are some versions of the tale where the dragon isn’t slain at all.

Anyways, as for a semi-rated trope I don’t like…

I personally dislike the trope of the evil religious guy who’s trying to suppress all the completely blameless pagans/gypsies/women/heretics/atheists/ect. I’m a Christian, so I’m sure that plays a role in my distaste for this trope. But I also think it’s just lazy, as the other group is always completely innocent and without any fault whatsoever. While the religious side is usually just demonized and never given a complex portrayal. Which leads to my next point.

I’ve noticed that people who use this trope can neglect to give the villain a characterization beyond “he’s religious” and usually just have him spout scripture at random. Why not give him a backstory beyond strict religious parents that explain how he ended up like this. Or maybe have him be just as zealous in other areas of religion, like charity, to make him feel more human and complex. But hey, that’s just my two cents.


Fair point, maybe calling it a cliche is a bit strong, I probably just have a bit of a fondness for dragons, especially the nicer heroic ones than the types giving their species a bad name. :grin:

As a Christian myself I know people have used Christianity and many other religions as a shield to mask their evil, both in reality and fiction, so I don’t inherently mind that getting called out as long as there’s also a drive to ensure people understand those aren’t true christians and it should really be about love, forgiveness and acceptance of your neighbor. It’s why I love X-Men’s Nightcrawler, a man who looks like a demonic imp but is actually deeply devout as a Catholic, but also calls a Jewish girl (Kitty Pryde) one of his best friends.


I wrote a version of the knight/dragon/princess story in which in turned out that the princess had kidnapped the dragon, and the dragon ended up asking the knight for rescue :thinking:


Frankly, I find the complete trope of “crazy cultists” very tired and unimaginative.
Plus is never actually given any sense or complexity.


I don’t know if I’d call it a trope, but I’ve seen it often enough to hate it.

Enter girl who does not like feminine things.
Present tough girl with some super masculine product or task.
Watch girl proceed to struggle/fail.
Tough girl isn’t so tough, huh?

The one that I see over and over again is the girl who is offered some form of unidentified alcohol, and she immediately chokes on it because alcohol is manly and strong I guess, and poor little girl just can’t take it.

I hate this image so much that when I drink I refuse to visually react to the alcohol because I will not listen to any comments about “handling my liquor” etc.


One specific to games/choice script games. But I have no interest in like “the MC is the badass normal in a supernatural world”

That’s true in books too, if it’s a world with the supernatural, I’m wanting at the very least one of the main side characters to be actively part of whatever that supernatural element is

  • The “Human MC in the supernatural world” trope. I don’t hate this to a full degree but if done incorrectly it make me feel discriminated for being human(or at least for my human mc)

  • The “Your different than my previous lovers…”. I think this obvious to tell, it feels Mary suess.

  • “Main female and Main male mc romance” stories It’s predictable.

  • Asshole/abusive/aggressive bad boy or girl love interest, from what I noticed on here lots of people like them but I simply can’t interested in them. I’m usually critical on stories that have them and I really like the plot or/and other love interests.

  • self inserts

That’s all I really have.