What tropes are you really tired of seeing?

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What tropes are you really tired of seeing?

Mar 11, 2023, 2:35 pm

I was talking with my son and he mentioned wishing that his usual sources for casual reading (manga, mostly) could get away from the current fad for: the protagonist has the advantage of overwhelming superior world knowledge compared to everyone else. (He knows he's in a game, so can take advantage of the system, he's been brought into a low tech from a high tech world, he's effectively traveled back in time and so knows what will happen, etc.)

What about you all? What would you be happy not to see again for a good long time?

Mar 16, 2023, 8:00 am

The couple who love each other and then one gets suspicious that the other is cheating due to a misunderstanding..........It's usually a side story (I don't read romantic books) and it annoys me for some reason....

Mar 16, 2023, 10:55 am

>2 JLCrellin:, as soon as you say that, The Mammoth Hunters sprang to mind. One conversation would resolve the whole plot, but noooooooo ....

Mar 17, 2023, 4:02 pm

>2 JLCrellin:, >3 Cecrow:

I had a friend who called that "a stupid plot" as in, "if the characters weren't being unbelievably stupid the plot wouldn't exist." :)

Myself, I have been getting an overdose of crazy jealous villainesses in my asian dramas. When a female antagonist appears who has some motivation other than "I want him and he wants you therefore I will do increasing criminal and idiotic things in an attempt to get rid of you" I cheer.

Why does it never occur to these characters that getting rid of the heroine will just make the hero hate them worse?

Editado: Mar 18, 2023, 9:10 am

In a somewhat similar vein, I'm super annoyed with any scene in which a character can't simply and straightforwardly state the heart of the issue or cite the critical evidence when he full well knows what it is, causing all kinds of convenient confusion for the other people in the scene so that he can be mistakenly ignored, arrested, etc.

Mar 20, 2023, 6:36 pm

>5 Cecrow: YES! This bothers me too! I recently saw a movie that was actually annoying me because the main protagonist couple kept doing this over and over, especially when the police accused them of wrongdoings. The movie was called Duplex.

Mar 21, 2023, 7:41 am

Evil antagonists. For no reason, not even revenge, they're just evil for the protagonist to fight. Everybody has motivations for the acts they commit, and a gifted author can make those if not sympathetic than at least understandable - that the character believe they're justified in doing whatever.

Mar 21, 2023, 11:42 am

>7 reading_fox:

In some ways, I prefer comically evil antagonists to conscientiously justified ones: like Killmonger in the first Black Panther movie, frex. They seem designed to undermine idealism and extinguish it in consumers.

Mar 21, 2023, 2:04 pm

I'm sick of tropes that are badly written. The tropes exist for people to have something to cling to as a usual expectation of a genre.
Like elves and magic in fantasy.

But if they are poorly written, they grate on the nerves.

Mar 25, 2023, 11:34 am

>6 SDaisy: "I recently saw a movie that was actually annoying me because the main protagonist couple kept doing this over and over, especially when the police accused them of wrongdoings'

I just ran into that yesterday in the asian drama I was watching. "You were late for work on your first day, clearly you have an attitude problem" and the response is "I apologize" not, "My brother was in a traffic accident, and I was donating blood to save his life." Oi!

Mar 25, 2023, 11:45 am

>8 paradoxosalpha: " I prefer comically evil antagonists to conscientiously justified ones"

For me it depends on the level of realism that has been established. If the story is something that is clearly divorced from reality, then the comically-evil antagonist can be fun. If it's something that is painstakingly realistic, then the evil-for-no-reason antagonist gives me trouble. (Especially when they are attempting to destroy the world that they themselves live in.)

I have this issue frequently when watching live action dramas based on anime/manga. The characters are over-the-top because that's what the source material was like, but the world depicted looks too real, and so doesn't match the characters and I have trouble accepting the characters as a result.

Also, I'm tired of people swiping everything off their desk and onto the floor because they are upset. Just saying.

Mar 25, 2023, 11:53 am

>11 LShelby:, good one, re desk swiping. Or trashing the room with a baseball bat, etc. I guess in movies it's a low-budget way of making something visually expressive happen, but you'd have to be scraping the barrel bottom to put it in writing.

Mar 25, 2023, 11:53 am

>9 gilroy: "I'm sick of tropes that are badly written"

I heard someone say the difference between good and bad is between using the tropes on purpose because you want to do something with them, and using them because you don't want to think, so you just grab the "typical stuff" and shove it in.

Does that sound about right to you?


My son recently mentioned a worldbuilding issue as a peeve, that is almost the opposite of what you are complaining about, and yet in some ways seems very similar.

He says he doesn't like worlds where the world seems to have been built for the purpose of presenting some particular story premise, and you can't really believe in that world existing as its own entity.

Editado: Mar 25, 2023, 12:17 pm

It might be too cruel to say "don't want to think". For some authors, those trappings are part of what they love about genre fiction, like decorations on holidays. They are dressing up their novel, as they might dress up their house. Whether that's especially creative might not even occur to them until the reviews start rolling in.

Purposely avoiding the tropes could as easily have a negative effect. When you're doing handsprings to avoid them instead of putting your story first, your writing is only going to suffer. And what about those readers who like the decorating, and roll their eyes at "yet another new contortion for the sake of being different", or find it too predictable that you're going to subvert the trope? You can't please everyone.

Be aware of them, the purpose they serve, use sparingly, substitute when appropriate. Avoid any hard and fast rules.

I'm only conscious of your son's pet peeve when the theme is too in-your-face. Otherwise you could write off every fantasy world to some degree on that basis.

Mar 28, 2023, 10:44 am

>14 Cecrow: "It might be too cruel to say "don't want to think".

Dang, my natural tendency to cynicism must have escaped again. I gotta watch that.

My kids sometimes seem to think that having me as a parent was a bit unfair, because I would ask them questions about how their worlds worked, forcing them to realize that they had no clue how it worked, and also making them realize that the source material that they were getting inspiration from didn't make sense either. Mom the killjoy.

"Otherwise you could write off every fantasy world to some degree on that basis."
Er... I don't think "fantasy" can really be considered a "particular story premise", so I have to disagree with you on that one.

(Most of my worlds were created without having a particular story in mind!)

But I will admit that there is a good chance that the examples that led to my son's complaint were very in-your-face -- he reads a lot of manga. :D

Mar 28, 2023, 11:04 am

Then maybe I misunderstood the sense in which he meant it. But for the first example, take LOTR. If the theme is "we all have our role to play, no matter how small", then it makes sense to have tiny hobbits nobody else respects as significant, positioned far enough away from Mordor to make a good journey out of it, etc. World made to suit. It applies to every invented world in some degree.

Mar 28, 2023, 12:18 pm

I'm personally a bit tired of books with fashionable social / identity issues shoehorned into them. If Twitter is anything to go by, a lot of self-published authors are literally promoting their books with a checklist of 'issues' that they think will meet the desires of their target demographic:
-Neurodiverse main character!
-Successful polyamory!
-Bisexual werewolves!

etc etc.

Mar 28, 2023, 12:39 pm

>17 ThomasNorford:

I'm sure such books exist, but I don't think I've read any of them. But I don't make much of an effort to stay "current" on newly-published books other than in series I'm actively following.

Mar 28, 2023, 2:13 pm

I'm a sucker for Aliens spin off novels and I've found a few of them are like that recently. I've no problems with a book featuring any topic, it's just when they are so obviously tacked on to be appealing or relevant, quite cynically I think.

Abr 10, 2023, 1:40 pm

>16 Cecrow:
"World made to suit. It applies to every invented world in some degree."

If the world was invented first, and then the story, how can it be claimed that the world was invented to suit the story?

Even with your example...

How do you know that Tolkien came up with his theme first, and then the hobbits? Did he say so? (I had somehow gotten the impression that he invented huge chunks of the world and the backstory before he had much of a clue what LotR was going to be about. I seem to recall that he wasn't actually trying to write a book as his primary intention at all -- didn't he say he was trying to create a mythology?)

If you want to say that both the world and the story are build to suit the author's intentions, I'm okay with that. :)

So... I guess the complaint is that my son doesn't like it when the author's intent is so story focused that the world doesn't seem to have its own separate existence? (And the more contrived the premise is, the more it draws attention to that fact?)

If he was similarly story focused, presumably it wouldn't bother him as much?

Abr 10, 2023, 3:58 pm

>19 ThomasNorford:

I don't even read them sometimes, I'm too turned off by the descriptions. I'm not interested in reading about fashionable issues, I just want a fun story!

...I also have this problem on facebook.

Editado: Maio 7, 2023, 12:48 am

>20 LShelby: I read somewhere years ago that Tolkien wanted to invent a language & that was the reason he wrote the LOTR……but I am sure you folks know more about that than I do.

I watch a lot of streamed stuff & noticed we need a lot more teenage girls with a magic weapon, I’m a little tired of that. I myself however occasionally fantasize about having monomolecular blade (Qblade in an sf series?)

Jun 26, 2023, 12:38 am

>11 LShelby:
Yeah I feel like this was my issue with the Cowboy Bebop live action on Netflix. I wanted to like it but there are some things that just didn't translate. I will probably have the same issue with the 2nd live action ATLA but I am hoping I will be wrong.

For me I am tired of the insta-love or the enemies to lovers. Unlike earlier books I feel the characters many times are being lazily thrown together and as I am reading, I am surprised they even want to be around each other for more than 5 minutes let alone have an insatiable attraction.