Those who love reading books know that a good book can bring you all kinds of different feelings: it can make time fly really fast, train your imagination, or teach you something valuable. Bored Panda already made a list of books that everyone should read before turning 30, but there is no wrong time for a good book.
One of the greatest things in following a story is being fully drawn to it by a plot twist, characters, and their unpredictable choices. Have you ever read a book and stopped a minute just to wonder how it was possible for someone to come up with such a story?
There is a saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, and one of the things that fascinate people about reading is that you don’t know where it might take you. And even though there are many great books, sometimes the storyline can become predictable.
Having this in mind, Reddit user u/R_J2 asked others “What are some common tropes in books that you hate?” This question encouraged people online to share and discuss cliches they find used in books too often.
What annoying tropes do you find in books? Share your thoughts in the comments down below!
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Miscommunication leading to conflict.
Especially when the characters point blank refuse to utter another word to each other, even when a simple sentence of explanation could resolve the entire problem.
Forced drama like that makes me hate a book.
Image credits: MyVeloute
“Two people of opposite sex have to solve this problem together. There is no way in hell that they aren’t going to fall in love, that would just be weird. What are friends or colleagues?”
Image credits: MonkeyBeanSalad
I definitely dislike ‘enemies to lovers’ but more so as a librarian myself I cannot stand the ‘mousy, no personality, meek librarian who solves the day’ storyline. Librarians definitely kick butt but we are not all mousy, bland women!
Image credits: lookylouboo
Basically, anything where “No” from a female character means “you haven’t earned my trust yet and I act ~uppity~ due to modern feminism; you must prove yourself by protecting me from the danger I walked into due to my childish refusal to listen to men; only then will my inner woman be unlocked”. *gag*
I hate hate everything about that trope and it needed to have died in the 80’s.
Bonus: she’s got an endearing reason to be super insecure, like a small birthmark, or being held prisoner her whole life. Here, “no” means “I can’t believe anyone will find me beautiful and it’s going to take some persistence to persuade me you do”
F**k everything about these “women don’t really mean it when they refuse you” tropes.
Image credits: baitnnswitch
I feel like oftentimes characters are able to read just a little too much simply by looking into another’s eyes. “She looked into his eyes and saw hope with a tinge of sadness, layered with uncertainty mixed with conviction.”
Obviously that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you see my point.
Image credits: nic0lk
Making a girl obnoxious and extremely confrontational means they’re strong and independent. This is also done purely because the character is a girl.
There are so many better ways to portray this but some authors get really weird when writing women.
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My biggest pet peeve in books is the chosen one trope. It’s okay when you’re a kid but when you’re an adult you just see lazy writing
Another trope I hate is the rough exterior “b****y” woman with a heart of gold who predictably falls for the hero, like we get it fellas, it’s your fantasy to win over women who aren’t interested in you one bit
Lastly the “weird” girl who doesn’t know shes conventionally attractive trope, she doesn’t care about dresses or boys or “girly” things so she never got attention despite being beautiful and approachable for the main character to romance, like please
Image credits: santichrist
It is the « I am the chosen one but I hate it and just want to be normal » trope. It’s super common in books and I feels that it prevent the plot from moving forward and leads to many chapters (sometimes it is the whole book) where the protagonist complains about it every two pages for finally accepting them for the grater good.
Image credits: R_J2
As a woman who married a widower, I really dislike romances where one of them was married before, and even if he or she thought it was a happy relationship, they have to find out how secretly evil and twisted their first love was before they can fall in love with the new love interest. Like… it’s possible to be in love more than once in your life. It doesn’t undervalue your present relationship to say your last one was also good. Especially when the person is dead.
Image credits: Far-Adagio4032
Protagonists who refuse to respect their friends’ ability to make their own decisions in some misguided attempt to “protect” them.
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How about the ” I’m just an average teenage girl…who has superpowers….three love interests….always getting into trouble and then miraculously saved. Blame everyone for my problems and never take responsibility. And by the final book in my series I will not have learned or grown in any way but I’m still somehow the heroine” trope. I’ve read too many bad YA lol
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When the main character is a Plain Jane and dogging herself out throughout the entire book until the snarky blonde boy says she’s beautiful/like a firecracker/not like other girls/Sooooo unique
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People getting „sorted“ in a specific group. After the success of HP every fantasy book I read as a teen had some sort of „you are part of this group thing“ going and damn it was annoying. You can‘t all copy the Hogwarts houses. Get some new ideas
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As a twin myself, pretty much every twin-related trope you can think of. No, we’re not creepy or psychic, we’re not two halves of the same coin, one of us is not the evil one, and we both don’t want to have s*x with you. Thanks.
Edited: I know I worded it in a purposefully funny way, but all of the “oh so you’re the evil twin then” responses are a little exhausting, friends
Image credits: IndytheIntrepid
I hate love triangel.
Edit: just got told that it is a love corner.
Image credits: Ilhja
I love urban fantasy books, though they often fall into paranormal romance, which I don’t care for quite as much. I can always tell when it’s going to get romantic and who the protagonist is going to be romantic with because it will always describe the guy’s pants.
Image credits: gothichomemaker
For some reason I’ve never liked the plot of someone unjustly accused who has to solve the crime & clear their name
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The main character carrying a terrible, horrendous, shameful burden that is alluded to constantly. Turns out to be something very common.
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Hard-drinking, heavy-smoking, emotionally-disconnected, gruff-rough-and-tough, rumpled-trench-coat-wearing, middle-aged, wife-left-me-because-I’m-a-shitty-husband, blues/jazz-loving, I’ll-do-it-my-way, hang-the-consequences, lone-wolf detective that manages to always get-their-man. Yawn.
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The families opposition in a relationship and particularly the excessively rich family who do there best to destroy this relationship…
Come on guys be original. I hate this trope more than my school’s years.
And the fifty shades of Gray’s trope with the rich man and the desperately uninteresting women and their even more uninteresting life in bed. Please no.
Image credits: AaroufGangsta
Fake dating. Is my life just boring because I have never met anyone who has ever participated in fake dating. Seems so stupid and unrealistic to me.
Image credits: ermyneeandwheezy
Beautiful young ingénue (who is incredibly attractive and somehow doesn’t realise it) meets older, emotionally damaged man, and fixes him. A la 50 shades of grey.
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Tragic backstories that are never brought up again after they’re introduced or effect the character. Only ever used for cheap sympathy.
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“Billionaire player MC1 who lives in a modern minimalist decorated home who is a commitment-phobe but somehow falls head over heels for MC2”
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When a character is a runner, because they want to be free/get away from where they are.
When a character likes maths or science, because it’s binary right and wrong.
Just two very tired characterisation tropes.
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Bad guy/group who never gives up. Like ever. Even right before imminent death, not a shadow of hesitation.
Related – good guy always giving bad guy one final choice to walk away or end the fight. Bad guy never does and “earns” his ultimate death/destruction and not just mere defeat.
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The amnesiac spy. Bourne was good. Everyone else sucks.
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I’m actually tired of franchise starters.
I love fantasy and scifi, but I almost never see a oneshot any more.
This is, I believe, due to how shitty writers are paid. They have to build a following, an audience, to generate a somewhat stable income, and pretty much the only way they can do this is by binding readers to their name and brand.
Because they always have one more book in the works you guys.
In movies, this has already become annoying.
But there’s still plenty of “single serving” movies in every genre, so I don’t have to go see Pirates of The Carribean 8, right?
With fantasy and scifi books, all I see is series. Come on! Another series that ends on a cliffhanger, with an author that has taken half a decade to “prepare the ending” while working on other projects and even starting other series?????
Game of Thrones isn’t even over yet. Not really. Because the book ain’t out.
I’m currently stuck on 3 series, man, each with waiting period of YEARS.
Image credits: TheWordShaker
Prophecy. It’s mostly another word for plot armor. As soon as it’s introduced, there isn’t much tension to the conflict anymore.
Now it does work when the prophecy was fake or misinterpreted since that creates a discussion on blind faith or the characters are suddenly in real danger because the higher powers aren’t looking out for them.
Image credits: detective_number_9
Love triangles. Trauma via r**e for “character growth”. And the chosen one which usually means a mary sue.
Image credits: SkepticDrinker