These days it seems like everything is a trope. And I don’t have anything against tropes for the most part. They make it easier to understand a character or story in less time or explanation. Authors have also gotten better at mashing tropes together to create a new one or making it seem like they’re going for one trope and then surprising you with something else. But some tropes are just…bad. They are out-dated or annoying or just plain dangerous. So follow me on this rant as I go through some tropes that should have gone a long time ago.
CPR as a sexual experience
This one is becoming less common, but it’s still around. This one drives me insane because it takes an essential and life-saving procedure and turns it into a weirdly sexually tense event that always means more than it should. It has many faces: a boy pretends to drown so he can kiss the lifeguard, the “ugly one” in the group needs it and no one wants to kiss the “ugly” one, someone’s crush needs it and their so nervous for their first kiss with them. Basically, it’s always seen as really a kiss and not a medical procedure! It’s also used to illustrate how un-kissable the fat character is, which is just old and tired as a concept.
The girl with all the brothers
*female character does amazing gravity-defying hand-to-hand combat scene with acrobatics* *male character watching in awe* Female character: “This is nothing, I grew up with 6 brothers.” Fin.
WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING? Unless all your brothers were professional fighters, soldiers, or martial arts teachers, that is irrelevant information. Why can’t a female character just be good at fighting or survival skills without having to come from a family of males? I want to hear “I grew up on a military base” or “I spent my childhood at survival camp.” And this is only talking about when the female character does the athletics unexpectantly. It infuriates me, even more, when the girl is already some sort of fighter or hero, and the male character is still shocked by her abilities. She went to the same military/ninja/superhero/astronaut school you did, idiot!
A parent hits their kid, but they’re still a good parent!
This one boils my blood like few others. It happens so much in movies that focus on family relationships. The teenager doesn’t get along with their parents and they argue a lot. This is also a trope, but it’s also very common in real life. The problem comes in when, during the climax of the story, the kid and parent are having an epic fight when suddenly, the kid says something that goes too far! They get a clean slap to the face from their loving guardian. Everyone is upset at first, the kid usually runs away to some extent, but by the end of the story, the parent is always redeemed. They apologize for arguing and move on. Usually, they don’t even take responsibility for, you know, the PHYSICAL ABUSE OF THEIR CHILD. They just apologize for their attitude or something generic. It’s honestly just lazy writing that the only way you can build conflict is with violence and normalizes domestic abuse.
Girl, don’t settle, you deserve more!
This trope is the sitcom’s bread and butter. A hot, funny, responsible woman is married to a fat, lazy, thinks-he’s-funny man. Honestly, you’ve probably already thought about an example, haven’t you? It’s all over prime time television. And it isn’t the physical aspect that bothers me that much. Modern ideas of beauty and thinness are boring and overrated. But the problem for me is that the wife is always more interested in actually raising their children, taking the blame for their actions, and generally making better decisions. The husband is always obnoxious and eccentric, wasting the family’s money and time. The show often frames this as the husband having fun and the wife being the annoying, boring one. It’s similar to the trope I wrote about in 5 Guys Who Did Not Deserve the Girl in The End. Yawns for gender roles.
- when the main female character takes off her glasses and everyone realizes she’s hot (even though she was hot before too)
- children being the medium for demons in horror movies. IT HAS BEEN DONE.
- someone comes out as gay and their friends/family all tell them it was obvious and they already knew
- any type of competition for the affection of a woman (although bonus points if the competition happens, and the female character tells them they’re stupid and walks away from both)
- when people need the police and don’t call the police. See all drama shows, horror movies, etc.
- when the entire conflict of the story about a couple is a very simple miscommunication that could be solved if they would just speak to each other like adults
- the existence of some foreign, probably cannibalistic tribals