There are a lot of tropes that make up fiction. Some we love, and others, not so much. So we decided to make a list of some of the tropes that we hate.
1. Stalker Boy With a Heart of Gold – I mean, I think we can all agree that Edward Cullen got this trope started. You know, the brooding guy who obsesses over a girl and stalks her to the point where it’s truly concerning, but the guy is totally sexy so it’s okay. Yeah, I hate this trope. I recently found it again in The 5th Wave and I was cringing so hard. It was overall unpleasant. Let’s get rid of this trope forever.
2. Pining Over Dead Lover – I’m not sure if this is specific to David Shaun Hutchinson novels, but I’ve seen it in two of his novels. Although, there are probably other stories with this particular trope. This is the one where a character was in love, but that loved one died and now they are forever pining for their loss. This is usually used as a plot device to keep the current couple apart until the one pining realizes it’s time to move on. The reason I don’t like this one is just because I don’t like getting to know a character that died, usually before the story even started. It makes me terribly sad. I’ve lost so many close family members and I don’t like getting attached to the fading memories of a character that won’t ever live within the fictional world I’m reading.
3. Friendship Ends When Rejected – This one is a little too close to home, but I’m adding it anyway. You know that trope where there are two close friends, one falls for the other, but the other friend rejects that friend, so the one who was rejected decides they must end their friendship once and for all, giving no alternative. I get it. When there are feelings and you put yourself out there, it’s hard to stay friends with someone. But it’s also unfair to give the other person a sort of ultimatum: romantic love or nothing. It just seems cruel. And usually, the end result of this is eventually the couple getting together, so it starts to feel like it’s a forced relationship meant only to keep the rejected friend close.
4. Miscommunication to Keep Couple Apart – A lot of these tropes have to do with relationships, but can you blame me? I really hate this one. There’s always that one couple you love to see together but they don’t know how to talk to each other and it’s their own fault they either won’t get together or won’t make up. And it’s frustrating as hell. I experienced this while reading Ignite Me. It was one thing for Warner to come clean at the beginning of the book, but then the entire book was spent with the main characters not talking to each other about the important things, not even about the actual plot of the story (outside the romance, there was actually a plot). So yeah, hate this one.
5. Sad Endings – I’m not sure if this is a trope, but let’s go with it. Look, I hate sad endings. I really do. I love realistic books with realistic life events. Yes, give me all the sad stories in the world. But come on. Don’t make me read a bleak book with a sad endings. What’s the point in that? I’m supposed to stick around to see a set of characters suffer only to see them end worse than they started? I hate that. I’ve read some real sad books with hopeful endings and it works so well. I’m not asking for happy ever after endings wrapped up with a bow. Not at all. I’m talking stories that end on a hopeful note. Something that shows I wasn’t just wasting my time with all the sadness I had to put up with. I just really really hate sad endings. There should be a warning in books for those.
6. Children Who Mess Everything Up – I think kids get a bad rap in general, but this trope makes me really dislike kids in fiction. There are amazing children in books, like Danny in The Shining and kickass Matilda. But then there are the worst type of kids, like the ones in Fablehaven. These kids do the complete opposite of what they’re told to do, even when they’re clearly warned of the consequences. And I get that sometimes characters need to stumble into the plot, but there’s a line between curiosity and stupidity, and these children surpass the stupidity mark. I’ve encountered children plenty of times in fiction that are just there to make things worse, and I hate that.
7. Love Triangles – From The 5th wave to Shatter Me to Twilight to The Hunger Games series, love triangles are everywhere, and they never fail to drive me crazy. In my opinion all it is is padding to keep the true couple apart, and to create some drama to add to the word count. I know people say that its realistic, and that people usually have crushes on different people at once. Which is true, but it’s too bad that that’s not what happens in these books. The love interests are never equal to each other. Most of the time it is painfully obvious who will end up with who, but as the reader you have to suffer along with their angst and their jealousy until the characters figure it out. A lot of times the world is ending around them, and they completely ignore it in favor of their romance. It’s so annoying.
8. One True Love – Semi related to the previous one, but it’s the idea that a character is only able to fall in love once. If a character moves onto a different relationship then they have to discover that they thought they were in love before, but now they realize how mistaken they were. Or if the couple breaks up for some contrived reason than the character’s whole world falls apart because they will never be able to move on, and romance is the only thing good in life.
9. Useless Adults – This encompasses a large array of examples. From Harry Potter where every single adult lets him down at some point to The Series of Unfortunate Events where the adults just don’t listen or are actively out to get them. In Twilight Bella’s dad is simply oblivious as is the parents in Fablehaven. The other adults in Fablehaven are put out of the way for one reason or another so that the kids have to figure out everything for themselves. In The Outliers all the adults either can’t be contacted because it’s dangerous or because they turn out to be out to get them. In any of John Green’s books the parents are mentioned maybe once or twice at the beginning, and then nothing. They don’t care what their kids get up to. If their parents are even alive, because holy orphans Batman there are a lot of those running around fiction, they are negligent or useless. And the other adults around are hardly better. After so many books with such flimsy excuses for not having adults around, it’s simply irritating to read.
10. Girl on girl hate – Girls always have to hate other girls. The main character can maybe have one other friend that’s a girl, but only if she’s not a rival for the love interest. Any other girls? Have to hate them. Love interest’s ex? Evil. The girl who loves to wear makeup and might show a little more skin? Evil. The Cheerleader? Evil. The main girl is never like those other evil girls. She thinks she’s ugly, never puts thought into her outfits, has never had a boyfriend, and loves to read books (but only classics okay those other books like the one you are reading? Evil). Pitting girls against other girls is getting tired, and I wish books didn’t do it so much. If the actual character isn’t making a baseless judgement then the actual book demonizes the pretty girl who loves herself and has ambition because they can never be good people if they are like that. It’s stupid and pointless.
11. The insecure/bland girl gets fixed by the boy – This can come about in two ways. We’ve already talked about how a female character can’t think she’s beautiful or she’s evil, but no one wants an ugly character either. So to get around that a lot of fiction makes her insecure until the love interest can show her how beautiful she is. So then she can be pretty, good, and have the guy, and everything is okay. The other way is that she’s boring. She has no life, no hobbies, no goals until this boy comes in and shakes up her world. My main example for this is in Twilight. Before Bella moves to Forks, she has no friends or hobbies. Once there she mainly thinks about how she hates the friends she made there and the weather, before she gets tangled up with Edward. After that, he’s her life. Edward is all Bella thinks about.
12. The outsider is the savior – I’m not sure if technically this is a trope outside of the white savior trope which I also hate, but I’m still going to talk about it. So many times, mainly in fantasy, it’s the outsider who comes in and has to save their world. Harry Potter and Percy Jackson do this. I do get that it’s easier to set up a world this way so that the reader learns about the world alongside the main character. That way the author doesn’t fall into the trap of the main character growing up in the world, but it feels like their home was under a rock with how out of touch they are. A lot of times it forces the people in the world to be oblivious to their problems in order to put the burden of saving them on the main character. I would like to read more about a person growing up with the world’s problems training up to do something about it. Because it’s their world they are living in, so they should have an invested interest in helping it.