Arghhhhh, don't get me started. What are your least favorite literature tropes and stock characters?

#1

Probably "Teenage girl who spouts that she's very unattractive but then describes her flowing blonde hair and blue eyes while gazing forlornly into a mirror before getting ready for school"

Report

A Head
Community Member
12 months ago

According to "the movies" she just has to take off her glasses, and re-style her hair. Never mind that she was a stunningly beautiful woman to begin with.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#2

I really don't like the stereotypical Strong Female Character. They are not strong, they are two-dimensional and have no personality. Usually all you get is a fight scene or two without any motivations behind their actions. Usually a man is their superior and they're like nO iM tHe SuPeRiOr ToDaY and you're supposed to be like "yeah!" but then you don't like her enough to care. Oh, and they're always like "I don't need a man to be strong!" but then are in a relationship by the end of the movie and can't do anything by themselves anymore.

Report

Broken Angel
Community Member
1 year ago

Okay YES. (Katniss, Tris, we're all looking at you)

View More Replies...
View more comments
#3

Sarcastic bad-boy that has never loved before, has a troubled past, and hates everyone. Why the hell should the loner, unpopular girl (who usually likes to draw or read because i'M NoT LikE OthEr GiRls) be any different? But nope, he teases her, makes her think he hates her, then goes and kisses her after saving her life.

Report

BlockDog02
Community Member
1 year ago

Yes. I see that a lot in high school American romances, and is annoying as heck. Though it does give me a little hope ;-;

View More Replies...
View more comments
#4

1) The Chosen one (I love HP but this is overused)
2) Damsel in Distress (obvi)
3) That one lady whose cattiness and pettiness are over-exaggerated
4) The gay sidekick (why always a sidekick? Why can't we have more gay main characters?)
5) The token ___(insert identity)___ friend
6) The Angry Black Man/Lady (SO many things wrong with this stupid stereotype don't even get me started)
7) White Savior Trope
8) Magical Negro Trope
9) White Woman Syndrome Trope

Report

Gay Llama
Community Member
1 year ago

I am planning on writing a lesbian love story. I am not going to focus on homophobia though I'm mostly just gonna make it a regular love story except lesbians instead of straight. I'm probably never gonna finish it though lol. Like most of my stories.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#5

The main characters best friend who is better than the main character.

Report

Aurelia!
Community Member
1 year ago

I'm looking at you, Samwise Gamgee and Hermione!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#6

Honestly, I love most awful cliché tropes, I'm a sucker for a bad boy, I love a wiseass best friend, and I'm obsessed with a raging badass female lead.
-
But I can't stand the awkward, clumsy, mousy, shy girl who has no self-confidence and no personality and somehow everyone's inexplicably obsessed with her. I like a girl with substance, a Carstairs girl, or someone out of a Marissa Meyer novel. I love a girl that deserves the attention she gets.

Report

BlockDog02
Community Member
1 year ago

Yes, I am that girl and nobody cares xD. Ok, my confidence got better lately, but still.

View more comments
#7

I'm a Strong Female Protagonist! I look down on things like cleaning, cooking and sewing! I live in filth ans if I need to reattach a button I just punch it. I drink straight grain alcohol and eat raw meat! Grrrl Power!

Report

JustABoredwing
Community Member
1 year ago

How come nobody in any apocalypse shows likes sewing? I mean, somebody has to know how to sew if everybody is still walking around in clothes, right?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#8

1) When someone (or often multiple people) is running down a narrow passageway with villains using guns are never hit by the bullets.

2) People who hide behind a stuffed couch or chair are perfectly safe from gun fire.

Report

Susan Widomski
Community Member
1 year ago

Why don't they ever just shoot them in the leg and incapacitate them? Save a lot of boring chases down corridors with always wet pipes and floors and really bad lighting.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#9

Like.... this one unpopular girl, with a lovely personality and beautiful hair and eyes, and the popular mean gal who bullies her. Why are all mean people supposedly popular there? Nobody likes a mean peep

Report

Ozacoter
Community Member
1 year ago

To be fair not all popular kids are mean but most bullies are popuoar and mean.

View more comments
#10

I hate it when physical characteristics replace personality - hooded eyes meaning someone (especially a male character) is sexy and deep; long silky hair in an unusally-used color (raven, chestnut, wheat, etc.), especially on a girl, means she's sexy and smart. I don't care about hair or eyes or anything like that. Forward the plot, please.

Report

Yeah, you heard
Community Member
1 year ago

Yep, and telling me the colour of people's eyes. I haven't noticed the eye colour of most of my best friends, why would I need to know the eye colour of someone in a novel?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#11

A character that is nerdy/smart and therefore knows everything and succeeds in all intellectual pursuits.
"This character has a PhD in astrophysics and chemistry, and will also describe great and lengthy details of animal biology, ancient Mongol customs, supersonic propulsion systems, classical French literature and complex economic systems.....in 8 languages, while playing 3 games of chess."

Dr. House and The Big Bang Theory are rampant abusers of this.

Report

Ozacoter
Community Member
1 year ago

And Bones. I know that its stupid but a big part of ny insecurities as a biology student came from that series. It is impossible to be an expert in all, even inside one subject.

View more comments
#12

When the character that is supposed to be ugly turns beautiful when they realize that beauty is on the inside.

Report

Aurelia!
Community Member
1 year ago

Yes. Why can't we just have an 'ugly' character stay 'ugly' and be happy that way?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#13

Alien species just being a human dude with purple nostrils or something stupid and minor that makes literally no difference between them and a human.

Report

Ozacoter
Community Member
1 year ago

Or the trope of "female aliens all look like lingerie models and prefer to wear revealing clothes if any".

View More Replies...
View more comments
#14

My least favorite, most infuriating literature/film trope is exploiting rape as a superficial or voyeuristic plot point. Enough already!

Report

Aeon Flux
Community Member
1 year ago

Heartily agree. I wince when violence towards women is used as an accessory to the plot.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#15

Well I don't like the token gay friend, there's never just one, in a friendgroup that has a gay friend, its more likely to have a token straight friend. It's not that the gay friend turns everyone gay, it's just that everyone realizes they have been gay.

And I also dont like the girl who takes off her glasses and puts down her hair and puts on a nice outfit and boom all of a sudden she's the most beautiful girl ever and everybody likes her. Like, no, everyones beautiful no matter what, let her wear her glasses, let her wear a ponytail, let her wear leggings and a tshirt, she's beautiful, she doesn't need to change, everyone else needs to change the way they look at her.

Report

I is rainbow
Community Member
1 year ago

I was, more or less, the token straight friend and then I realized ✨I'm Bi✨

View More Replies...
View more comments
#16

Giving characters a sudden new field of expertise based on some tenuous connection. "My uncle's neighbor's dog's trainer's friend's mom was an auto mechanic, so I think I can to rebuild Optimus Prime."

Report

Ozacoter
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

The "my dad was a X so I am an expert in the field".My father is a doctor. Dont ask me to operate on you.

View more comments
#17

Mary/Gary Sue style characters.
Must say One Punch Man is a great satire of this.

Report

Easily Excitable Panda
Community Member
1 year ago

Thank you for the rec, I'll check it out!

View more comments
#18

This has already been said MANY times, but it is REALLY annoying. The gay BFF. Sure, I have a gay bestie, but it's not the friendship itself, is the girlishness of how the person or character acts. Or how someone expects them to act IRL. It's just, really freaking annoying

Report

Ozacoter
Community Member
1 year ago

Indeed. We need to see all people the same regarding sexual preference. My best friend is gay but i dont have "a gay best friend". I have a great friend that coincidentally likes men.

View more comments
#19

When tough cops or something laugh after getting slapped in the face

Report

I is rainbow
Community Member
1 year ago

Or anyone. Its THE most annoying thing in any book.

#20

The absent minded/klutzy smart person.

Report

I is rainbow
Community Member
1 year ago

I don't exist?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#21

The "supposed to be _ but is actually _ whereas friend is supposed to be _ but actually _" or the "I'm different from the other girls".

Report

I is rainbow
Community Member
1 year ago (edited)

What about "I'm different from other blob fish!" *"hair" flip*

View More Replies...
View more comments
#22

Heinlein's women: smart, capable, and sassy, yet, somehow aroused by making their man a sandwich.

Report

California Jones
Community Member
1 year ago

Sandwiches are sexy. Meat and pickles, what's hotter?

View More Replies...
View more comments
#23

gay best friend

Report

i'll sleep when im dead
Community Member
1 year ago

Yes! i would love a book group of friends who are all queer--like the main character is a lesbian, another person is aro/ace, another person is pansexual--and then there's the straight best friend.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#24

In romance teen books, a girl finds a guy, then decides he's too good for her and goes with a nice guy type person instead, but is still drawn towards the first guy, and then at the end of the book returns to him, and finds out he was the one for her all along.

Report

Susan Widomski
Community Member
1 year ago

Perhaps it is just in classical literature where heroes die more often.

View more comments
#25

Love triangles. The absolute jerk male character whose the alpha type (yes the word is used at least once), who's an absolute a-hole to the girl, gets aggressive, always at least 7 times says 'you're not my type, or I won't have sex with you' and then does, still is a d**k, as she falls harder in love with him. Her 'changing' him by the end of the book usually frustrates me the most. Does love change people, sure, do people adapt and compromise in relationships, yeah they should, but you're never gonna fundamentally change someone.

Report

Niall Mac Iomera
Community Member
1 year ago

That's not what a love triangle is

View More Replies...
View more comments
#26

People who act like "The cops can't get involved" And "I can handle it myself" attitude. Like, why do this? Do you have suicidal thoughts? (Looking at you max pane)

Report

#27

a big fight scene in a hallway

Report

Troux
Community Member
1 year ago

So what you're saying is.....you wanna take this outside?

View more comments
#28

The "perfect" girl/boy that has parents that make about a gazillion dollars a day.

Report

Shelp
Community Member
12 months ago

this is convenient to the plot I guess

#29

The stories where a girl has to learn to love herself, and that means ending up dating the Popular Boy, who has never noticed her before. Same as the protagonists who take off their glasses and put a dress and makeup on and end up being the belle of the ball. How can they not have blurry vision with their glasses off??

Report

Dawn Sardella-Ayres
Community Member
12 months ago

The power of love magically fixes their eyesight. (I wish I was kidding, but I've had romance mss rejected because the FMC's disability wasn't fixed/healed by the romantic relationship. Yes, in the 2020s.)

View more comments
#30

I don’t like the “Pick-me” girl type/masculine tomboyish main character. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great to have tomboy characters and stereotypically masculine women, however, I don’t appreciate the idea that a woman has to be masculine to be considered strong. I don’t like that a stereotypically strong woman has to have the traits of a man or be “different from other girls” in order to be taken seriously or recognized as anything other than dumb, pretty, and weak. I think it fuels internalized misogyny and only further pushes the idea that anything feminine is wrong and weak while masculine is tough and strong.

Report

Emilycookie
Community Member
1 year ago

i am super feminine, like 10/10 girly girl, pleated skirts and all. could i roast you to tears or make you really guilty though? probably! have i tromped through mud in sneakers on multiple mile hikes? heck yeah!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#31

Oh also- another trope I’m quite sick of- twins being photo-copies of each other or always having something to do with the other. I know it makes for interesting characters and fuels the plot and there are some twin characters in literature that I admire, but in reality (I don’t know how it’s like for identical twins) having a fraternal twin brother is only like having another sibling. There’s nothing so special about it, we don’t finish each other’s sentences, we’re entirely different people, and our interests and friend groups are full on different. I’ve had people ask if I can feel his pain or read his mind. No! It’s actually quite boring!!

Report

RUBAYY
Community Member
1 year ago

My youngest brothers are identical twins and they dont look the same lol

View More Replies...
View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#32

Group of completely different people end up stuck with each other, go through something tough, and then after three days they are all calling each other their “new family”, despite not knowing anything about them.

Report

Jami Williamson
Community Member
12 months ago

Trauma Bonding

View more comments
#33

Female characters who are competent, powerful, and awesome that inexplicably end up with the mediocre dude main character. Did they discover shared interests or chemistry? Did circumstances forge an unbreakable bond between them? Nah, he wanted her. So now she’s into him. Too much work to justify it, she’s a prize for him stumbling through the plot.

Report

Dawn Sardella-Ayres
Community Member
12 months ago

The flip side of "all nerdy and mediocre guys deserve hot chicks with little effort" trope.

#34

Quirky girl in her thirties. Likes to read and has a cat. Had a bad break up and now doesn’t trust love. Will probably get over it by the next nice man she meets!

Report

Amy Dodds
Community Member
12 months ago

I have 2 cats actually thank you

View More Replies...
View more comments
#35

A computer "expert" who spends 9 seconds rapidly typing on a keyboard before announcing "I'm in!" as he hacks the Pentagon, UN, Alien Mother ship, or a Denny's in Albuquerque. (Its even better when a complete doofus character figures out a password on the second guess by looking at items on the persons desk.)

Report

Lee
Community Member
11 months ago

“*keyboard smash* I’ve hacked the fbi. we have ten seconds before the firewall closes again.” or “we’re gonna need to go into ... the dark web.”

#36

Comic relief characters.

Report

Easily Excitable Panda
Community Member
1 year ago

When they're well done, they're magnificent. When they're badly done (which is most of the time), you wish you'd never bothered to learn to read.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#37

For characters here's my list of cliches:
Femme Fatales
Love Triangles
Unreasonable asshat bully/jock.
Antihero-main (usually male) character's family member/love-intrest/child/pet killed so the plot can progress to vengenance.
Supergenius completely evil arch nemisis/overlord.
Save the world from secret weapon/conspiracy.

Report

#38

The gorgeous, confident, smart heroine who falls for the goodhearted but really homely sidekick of the irresistibly handsome hero, instead of the hero (who, of course, also ends up with a gorgeous woman). I'm still waiting for the handsome hero to find love with the goodhearted but plain and frumpy friend of the gorgeous heroine, but I doubt that will happen anytime soon.

Report

Dawn Sardella-Ayres
Community Member
12 months ago

THANK YOU! I hate that these kinds of tropes are never gender-flipped or queered in any way. Well, unless she has a makeover and becomes a "hot girl."

#39

“A woman arrives at her place of employment; Because reasons, she’s suddenly working with a new Man Employee. Man Employee is actively superior, dismissive, and occasionally starts to mansplain even though she worked there first, because obviously she’s only a woman. Every fiber of her being despises Man Employees, as it should, for he’s an a**h***. Yet something inside her, somehow not a fiber of her being, knows that she will learn to desire this man because that’s how being female works.”

Report

Katie Fink
Community Member
12 months ago

Sigh. Sounds like it was written by a man trope

#40

Autistic characters almost always being white, cisgender males that are savants and have a special interest in trains.

Report

Amy Dodds
Community Member
12 months ago

My god you're right they do love trains!

View more comments
#41

I HATE the 'white girl in high school who has blond hair and blue eyes and perfect skin and wears high heels and really short skirts and is snobby'

Report

Norma
Community Member
12 months ago

That's because you didn't have to deal with her. Every. Single. Day.

See Also on Bored Panda
#42

Not a big fan of the heist/detective tropes, I find it hard to follow the story because most of the times it bores me to death.

Report

Aurelia!
Community Member
1 year ago

Really? I loooooooove detective fiction

View More Replies...
View more comments
#43

1. People "falling in love" in less than 24 hours and/or kissing near-strangers passionately for no apparent reason ("Nerve", I'm looking at you!).
2. Humans engaging in sexual relations with aliens from another planet... uh, hello, b********y? Just no.
3. The romanticizing & glamorizing of vampirism & other spiritually dark themes in teen lit.
4. The way every book or show aimed at kids & teens has to be like a "United Nations of Beneton" ad, and the characters all have to have "relevant issues" & depression & identity crises, etc. What happened to stories about normal, happy kids having adventures?
5. The "hypocritical/repressed Christian" and "narrow-minded/judgmental Christian who's really just ignorant or afraid of what s/he doesn't understand" trope that Hollywood absolutely looooves to throw into movies & tv shows. Usually this is some one-dimensional cartoon-villain character who reflects about a 3rd-grader's understanding of what Christianity actually means, but is supposed to learn an important lesson about tolerance, or whatever. This trope is both incredibly ignorant & incredibly condescending.

Report

#44

Women in peril. There is an entire genre of books (and movies) that rely on women being in danger and needing to be saved, either by themselves or by someone else, but nevertheless, they are in peril. The Girl on the Train, the Good Girl, All the Missing Girls, any Ruth Ware book...I could go on. I used to read them on the beach or buy them at airports but I can't stand them anymore!

Report

#45

The girl meets her boss in the elevator, then scores her boss and a promotion. She "earned" it.

Report

#46

The old good girl + bad boy plotline. Also, the movies and books and tv shows where the character is completely normal and boring, being picked on, maybe being raised in a bad household and wishing things were different, and then BAM BAM BAM it turns out their humanity's only hope to stop evil and save the world!!!!!!!
I mean, don't get me wrong, some people execute this idea pretty flawlessly, but still.

Report

#47

In crime novels: the protagonist does not seek law enforcement assistance for their relatively simple predicament because *insert feeble excuse here*, but by the end of the novel, same protagonist is in a situation that commandeers 17 police officers, 3 crime scene investigators, 2 ambulances (1 for him/her self, another for the dead vilain), a forensic pathologist, doctors and nurses to treat their injuries, a frustrated DA office, an overwhelmed but extremely relieved spouse...

Report

#48

When a male character is in love with a female character who verbally or physically abuses him.

Report

#49

The wise cracking nine-year-old kid who is "old for their years" and calls out the adults in situations they should have no experience with or input on. "We need to move again." "You said this was the last time!" "Yes, but things have changed." "You're a liar. I guess THAT didn't change." Just soooo annoying.

Report

Lee
Community Member
11 months ago

They’re so annoying! No kid cares or talks like that to their parents unless they want their a** beaten! Wtf?! And it’s often above their ‘intelligence level’ not every kid is going to argue the implications of their parents’ actions like that and they literally do not care. at least, I never did.

#50

The dorky, dumpy looking nerdy goof who get's a makeover and ends up wooing the Jerky sex-pot who has the personality of a peach pit

Report

Katie Fink
Community Member
12 months ago

Sex-pot peach-pit Lol!!!

#51

love triangles, cop falling for the criminal, fatal love story that ends in death, etc

Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#52

If the character is a “huge misfit”and “super ugly and shy” but every boy in school has a crush on her

Report

#53

Years ago I stopped reading a author when I saw that in every book the main characters were always described as “ devastating beauty/ rich beyond compare/ immortal “ I will admit, I did enjoy reading the interview with a vampire books when they were first published... but OMG that trope got annoying

Report

Anke Dieken
Community Member
12 months ago

I remember reading books by Joy Fielding. I used to enjoy them, but after a few I realised that it was somehow always the male partner in the women's life who was the bad one (and giving bad vibes).

#54

I’m not sure if this is a literary trope or just a tv trope, but the military officer not agreeing with a superior officer but say “sir” with the most disdain possible. It doesn’t seem like just the word should be respectful but the tone should be as well.

Report

#55

That one dude who the put in the movie just for a weird but funny effect like ernest from slam dunk ernest (except he was funny) but some of the are just very weird and creepy but not funny at all and they basically make every second there on the screen extremely cringe. I HATE those guys oh yeah I also hate Teen Titans Go because The original was a masterpeice and don't act like you never watched it because we all did back in the day so they ruined the legacy of the original damn that show makes me mad because the only thing you can watch on Cartoon Network anymore and It sucks its basically one big fart joke they expect kids to adore but i FREAKING HATE IT and either way the teach bad things to kids because They Acctualy ACKNOWLEDGED THE FACT THAT IT IS TO VIOLENT FOR KIDS AND COVER THE SCREEN SO THEY EVEN KNOW WHAT THERE DOING IS WRONG The original may have had some stuff they had to cut from the show BUT THATS BECAUSE IT WAS MEANT FOR TEENS BUT KIDS STILL WATCHED IT ANY WAY BUT TEEN TITANS GO IS MEANT FOR KIDS AND YET IT IS SELF AWARE OF IT BEING VIOLENT damn i'm never watching that show again PLUS THE COMPLETLY CHANGED THE CHARACTERS BY MAKING THEM DWARFS AND MORE STUPID for example starfire never said "the" In the original but now SHE SAYS IT EVERY GOSH DARN SECOND AND ITS THE SAME THING WITH BB/BEAST BOY I mean he did say dude a lot back then BUT NOW THEY OVERUSE IT X7 ROBIN USED TO BE A FUN GOOD LEADER BUT NOWS HE IS A CREEPY STALKER CYBORG he's pretty cool still ngl but he lost a lot of personality so yeah BUT RAVEN USED TO HAVE A WHOLE BUNCH OF MYSTERY AROUND HER BUT NOW SHE IS A BORING PEICE OF CLOTH NOT TO MENTION THEY REMOVED A BAJILLION VILLIANS INCLUDING THE MAIN ONE AND THE 2nd MAIN ONE FROM THE ORIGINAL SHOW AND THE FEW THEY LEFT IN ARE NOW NOT EVEN VILLIANS THERE JUST PEOPLE WHO LIKE TO FIGHT AND MAKE BAD JOKES THEY EVEN TROLLED THE OLD TEEN TITANS FANS BY SAYING "slade/the main villian from the old teen titans is in this episode"BUT HE WAS NO WHERE TO BE GOSH DARN FOUND I DESPISE OF THIS SHOWS EXISTENCE IT RUINED THE OLD SHOWS LEGACY (sorry that I wrote a whole lot it's just that I hate teen titans go and i'm a 9 year old kid there target age so I needed someone to vent to thank you for being my vent and also comment same if you can relate to my HATRED) good bye! :-)

Report

RUBAYY
Community Member
1 year ago

T double e t I t a ns we're the real heroes taking down the big menace

View more comments