5 Tropes That Really Aren’t My Cup of Tea

Admit it – you’ve got some tropes, perhaps even a LIST of tropes, that you just cannot stand. As soon as it pops up in a book, you cringe, roll your eyes, or stop reading all together. Now I don’t know how many of these are actually categorized as tropes. Some items may just be opinions or story elements.

Now I know I’m not the only one to discuss tropes in a blog post, but this is the first time I’ve ever done a post like this. I’ve analyzed character arcs before for two Star Trek series, but never explained why I don’t like certain tropes.

Sisters all named after flowers

Cue the eyeroll. And I do mean major, major eyeroll. Some may think this naming thing cute, but I just find it so cliche and overused. Especially in Victorian era novels. I mean, sure. Every generation has its popular names. All one has to do is look up lists based on birth records.

One can say that there wasn’t much originality with some things in the Victorian era, even though it was a time of great invention and innovation. Some names really stayed classic. It’s almost like how a family names all their kids beginning with the same letter (think that embattled TLC Duggar family with all J’s).

Could we please put naming female characters all after flowers to rest? I don’t care if there’s that Language of Flowers book. I swear, if I read one more historical fiction book that references that thing I’m gonna throw my reader across the room.

You just turned 16 or 18? Here’s some super powers just for you.

One of the most common tropes in young adult fiction, this one places an often very young MC at the center of some conflict way bigger than they could ever imagine. I mean, if you drop an adult in the middle of a dragons vs. giants war, what do you think’s gonna happen? While there are some very childish adults out there, and some very mature pre-teens/new adults, I doubt anyone would really be able to handle themselves well. But add in hormones and yeah, sure, add some (sometimes) very adult situations and force them to make decisions when they don’t want to. I know we’re supposed to suspend reality while we’re reading, but this super powers thing is really overdone, in my humble opinion.

A character introduces themself to everyone as a writer.

No, this doesn’t have to be a main character. They can also be a secondary character. I’m a writer who writes. Oh, and I’ve read every classic there is to read by my point in history. Okay. I know writers are readers, but not all readers are writers. Whenever I come across this kind of character it’s endearing for a little while. I guess it also depends on how that character was written. Has there ever been a character who once loved books but due to story circumstances grows to loathe them? Now that would be an interesting turn of events. The bookish character trope is just as old as the “sisters all named after flowers” one.

Violence for the sake of violence

This one is a huge no-go for me. I don’t care if you’re the author and you think it’s hot. I don’t care of the male main character (whom I refuse to call a hero) is the worst, and openly abuses his female captive. On a ship full of pirates. I cannot remember the title of the book now (probably because I was so angry this thing even got published), but I really wish I could call it out for what it is: absolute crap. Seriously. Why would one write a novel where violence is the main plot device? The only thing I remember about it was that the book had a bright red cover. That should’ve been the first clue. This particular section just may be the longest due to my anger and annoyance that people can even consider using domestic violence as a trope.

Just keep running. Just keep running. Just keep running running running…

Okay, so I may have stolen that mantra from Finding Nemo – Dory’s “just keep swimming.” But it’s true. This is one of the tropes that keeps me from reading a lot more young adult novel, because it seems like every angsty teen just wants to run away from anything bad that happens. Or they run when they’re happy. Or they run until they’re starving and still doesn’t want to eat.

And there you have it. The five tropes that really aren’t my cup of tea. Tropes can help carry a novel as long as they’re well represented, well written, and just make sense. But when you can tell an author is trying to squeeze in as many as they can, then I find that book a little harder to swallow. How to you feel about the tropes you refuse to read? Or do you really not care either way? Perhaps my next post will be 5 tropes I love. Happy reading!

1 Comment

  1. Iseult Murphy says:

    Great list! Im not fond of tropes but I suppose there must be one or two I like.

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Budding #historian. Writer of #adventures and #sciencefantasy. Lover of mushrooms and libraries. Fan of #chocolate, #books and Pennsylvania history.

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