Hohoho I have a few, though these are mostly for movies and media that are more visual per say since I haven’t been reading too many books lately (I have to change that). Take note though that I believe most, if not all, tropes have some merit if used well, falling on the laziest of cliches or using one “problematic” trope to denote someone without other positive portrayals of those they are representing without good reason is what I find bad and annoying.
Anyways, heres the list:
Edgy Backstories - Main character is abused by people, lost their parents, then somehow gets kidnapped to be experimented on to become a death machine. By that point I tend to not take your story seriously anymore. Really, why can’t your character be who they are because of one specific tragedy? Not their soap opera level life! Its like the author is trying to garner pity points or something! Overly tragic backstories does NOT equal a sympathetic character! Really the only series that I believe got this to work is One Piece mainly because its world is so fantastical and exagerratted that its extreme goofiness tends to balance out its large doses of tragedy. A great example of this is Nico Robin whose backstory is what follows: She ate what is called a Devil Fruit and gained powers as a child, but because of this people viewed her as some sort of demon. She is neglected by her aunt, bullied as a kid, and her only good living relative, her mother named Nico Olvia, is nowhere to be seen. She would only find solace with the country’s archeologists but even they tried to drive her away in fear of her safety because they were researching something forbidden by the World Government. She did ended up befriending a washed up giant though named Sawl. But then the government figured out about their island’s research and slaugthered everyone, just when she met her mother once again whom chose to stay at the burning islands to save their research. Sawl died too, makig sure she escaped. Even as a child she ended up wanted by the World Government due to her knowledge about covered up history that she learned from the archeologists they slaughtered, so people whom she once seeked refuge with ended up betraying her in the end. This endless cycle pf beig betrayed or betraying people lasted for years until she finally found her true friends with the Straw Hat pirates. As seen there, her backstory is just layers of tragedy but I actually liked it because there are parts that are simply happy. It wasn’t drenched JUST by tragedy, and I believe that is the key to making this trope work.
Bad Boys Love Interests - This can also be applied to any gender but it is mostly prevailant with Guys regardless of orientation (though it is more common in straight guys written in YA Novels). Man this is such an annoying trope! If a character is such an asshole to the main protagonist then why the heck are they the main romantic relationship in the book?! I just absolutely despised the idea of “the more you hate the more you love” as some idiotic teenagers tend to apply that in real life. Oh they are bullying me? THEY MUST HAVE A CRUSH ON ME! Bonus points if there is a perfectly fine childhood friend cbaracter as the unrequited love interest in the forced love triangle cause I’ll pick them anyday! (Maybe its just my demisexuality talking though) Again this can be done well. Sometimes, when a character is just a Tsundere then maybe I can view their relationship as cute and fitting. A friendly rivalry between two love interests are cool too. But really, the thing that it really needs to make sure it works is that they don’t cross the line between likable and a downright asshole. Two stories that I thought handled this well is Toradora and its main love insterests, and Homestuck for the end game relationship of Dave and Karkat, with the latter working because the one always angry dude has been a likable jerk throughout the series and the friendly rivalry trope also works since he ended up being a nice foil to the cool dude Dave .
Very unrealistic villains in a realistic setting - I was bullied in middle school because of my love for animation, granted I was such a Weeb back then, but then I asked them what is it that they don’t like about animation? They say it is not realistic. I now regret not having slapped them by the truth that the soap operas they oh so love are beyond unrealistic as well! Reason being that the villains are all way too cartoonishly evil. I am all for exagerrattedly evil villains and even silly ones at the right setting. Yet, if you are advertising a story that is supposed to be a realistic view on forbidden romance or some crap, then if your villains somehow has the time to blow up every single freaking transportation our heroes are riding on then I’m sorry but I just noped out of your story hours ago (looking at you Half Sisters which is still one of the most horrible Filipino soap operas that I’ve ever seen. Forget that they are somehow TWINS despite being half sisters, cause apperently [TRIGGER WARNING: Rape Mention] being raped while pregnant make you pregnant again? Every 5 episodes or so some oh so dramatic Michael Bay style explosion happens. Their cruise ship explodes! Now their plane explodes! Then their friggin house explodes! Dude where the hell are you getting these bombs?! My undying hatred for the state of mainstream Filipino cinema lives on). Like I said this could work on a right setting or tone. The Joker could be cartoonishly evil if he wants but that’s because he’s a super villain in a superhero genre. Even One Piece could be deemed as another good example because a lot of its villains are very hateable, but at the very least you get to see them get their righteous punishment in the end, AND, the series is, like I said before, very exagerratted in tone, flowing from very silly to very dark without in between.
Avoidable Misunderstandings - How to add out of nowhere dramatic tension in the last third of your film 101: Have an out of nowhere misunderstanding that could have been avoided if both (or more) of the characters are either honest in explaining their situations or willing to at least listen on what the other has to say without judging them so quickly. Easy enough right?! Again, this could work if it makes sense on how the character was characterized without making them out of character for the sake of conflict, OR if this stupid misunderstanding wasn’t just added as a last minute conflict near the end of the story. Romances suffer from this trope GREATLY. Heck, even a decent film like Shrek is slightly brought down by this trope which makes it pretty hard for me to rewatch the very first film of the franchise. There are good examples though at least, like in Fate/Zero where a misunderstanding that happened on one character lead to utterly long lasting tragedy between him and the mother of one main characters for the sequel. Lets just say that it not only lead to his tragic downfall, but it also shaped the sequel to come, which makes the misunderstanding purposeful and not just hacked into the story for some conflict. Another trope similar to this that is more common in other genres besides romance is The Liars Revealed as when they are indeed found out, the story tends to halt as they mope around a bit regretting that they lied for some reason (this also happens in misunderstandings but that is more painful in my opinion as it makes the characters seem like idiots). Sometimes it works, as a very cunning liar as a character could sometimes be fun to read about, it is the sad moping part that is just painful to read for me, cause it is booooooring. This is what kept Rambo from being a classic film for me and what has kept me from watching The Road to El Dorado. For me, just please skip the moping part, please.
Here are some tropes that annoys me a little but I am more ok with so I felt like I didn’t need to rant that much about them
Bland “Placement” Characters - Bland protagonists for the sake of ralatability (CYOA stories suffer from this a lot) and main love interest/Comedic relief/Emo rival character/Bullies added in just because is just lazy writing for me. Forgivable if you give them an original twist or if you only have one pf these tropes (for me at least)
Annoying Accents - It does not have to be racist! Characters with an annoying accent is hard to listen to/read through. It is just painful. I am ok with this however if the character has a very hard accent for understandable reasons (like being illitirate and living on the streets, as seen in a few stories about impoverish people), but not if its a comic relief character (that is just a combination of disaster).
Airport Chase Scenes - This had been made fun of to death that even subverting this trope is a cliche onto itself. Its just a minor annoyance since a few of my fave shows (Here she is!! Web Animation and Friends) used this cliche.
Sent to a generic RPG world stories - Isekai, as anime fans call them, are currently the bane of the community. Though I have a bit of nostalgic fondness to its female counterpart (Inuyasha and Fushigi Yuugi) the male version I just groan at. There are however great subversions to this recently (Re:Zero has a horror like twist to it while Konosuba is a hillarious parody).
Urban Fantasies - YA Novels ruined these for me. Just having vampires and ghosts just doesn’t cut it for me anymore. Maybe sometning with a unique twists, like Shakugan no Shana’s concept of monsters eating people’s existence or D Grey Man’s akumas which are the embodiment of people wanting to revive their loved ones may catch my attention, but otherwise this genre just borez me.
There are also other stuff like Blatant Political Preaching on stories where the political messages shouldn’t make sense (cough Battlefield 5 cough) is something that bothers me a lot in this modern age. But, that is not only going to be a looooooong rant, but it shall be very political which I try to avoid if I can. So, I guess I’ll leave it as this. Man this is long O_O