This week’s topic is the top five tropes I dislike. And oh, do I dislike them. Obviously this is all just my opinion, and just because I don’t like these tropes, doesn’t mean they can’t be done well, it’s just that I’ve found it very unlikely to be the case.
Apologies in advance for a bit of ranting below.
Let’s talk more tropes.
Top Five Tropes I Dislike
This trope was everywhere for a long time, especially in the YA genre, and it still tends to pop up when you least expect or want it. Meanwhile, the literal end of the world is happening offscreen, but you know, priorities.
And worse, there’s never any real debate about who the hero is going to choose, so why bother setting up this conflict at all? Oh yes, pointless drama.
There’s nothing wrong with this idea by itself, and honestly I have seen it done well. The biggest reason I dislike this trope is because it’s everywhere. It also just leaves me scratching my head more often than not. How could anyone expect someone raised as a commoner to be a good ruler? The court politics would eat them alive – a scenario that sounds far more interesting than what usually happens, honestly.
Why is it that whenever characters get super powers or magical abilities, they tend to whine about wanting to be normal instead? If I had magical powers, I’d constantly be marveling at how awesome my life was. And if I have to defeat a Dark Lord in exchange, so be it! And yet a lot of times, the protagonist just sobs about being different. I have seen this done well, but when it’s not, it can be pretty annoying to read about.
This pick is a bit of a contradiction for me since I do still like dystopias and grimdark stories where a lot of bad things can and do happen. But this trope isn’t just where bad things happen; this is a world where bad things happen constantly. There is no good inside our fellow humans, and not a scrap of hope to be found. Everyone is a monster, including our heroes (sometimes especially our heroes) and everything is depressing and horrifying in the name of ‘realism’… even though realistically there has to be something good in the world.
To be fair I don’t hate this trope, but this is definitely the one used as the most cliché of plot devices over and over again. At best, this trope can come across as lazy, since it’s been used a million times before. It can even rob a story of it’s tension, since we know what’s going to happen in the end. At worst, it can justify your main character doing some absolutely unforgivable things because it’s their “destiny”.
(Actually an evil Chosen One sounds awesome.)
Do you agree with me about these tropes? Are there any you disagree with? Let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading everyone!