Popular Tropes We Love to Love and Love Even More to Hate


Image via Screen Rant

Remi McKim, Journalist

A trope is a situation that happens often in stories, becoming almost akin to a stereotype. Whilst some work well, thus why it shows up so often, others drag on to the point where a random and sudden character death would be preferred. I will be rating some of the most popular tropes.


Miscommunication: The most aggravating, yet genuine problem to face people and characters. I applaud the author for using such an easy thing and giving a real life example of problems. However, if done multiple times in a row…my motivation to read sinks faster than the Titanic. It earns a solid 7/10 from me. 


Enemies to Lovers: I think I can confidently speak for most people when I say that this trope is one that I could reread over and over and not tire of, when done well. The witty banter between two characters that have a difference in beliefs who grow to an understanding is excellence boxed in a little package with a bow on top. While I can understand that it has become more popular recently and therefore is becoming a standard in certain fiction books, it is a personal favorite and I rate it a solid 8/10.


Popular Girl Enemies: Overused. Typically not fun to read or write. -1/10.


Magic School: Since Harry Potter was first created in 1997, the troupe of magic schools has taken off. Truly, I am not too sure where I sit on this one. If done well, it adds splendidly to the overall world building and creates a more realistic universe. However, if it is done poorly and added as an afterthought, then please just do not try this trope. To average out the good and bad, I rate it a 4/10.


Insta Love: There is nothing worse than insta love. It is not realistic to fall in love with someone at first sight and, to be quite frank, it’s not very fun to read. The most famous example of this is Disney’s Snow White, animated in the 1940s. This trope doesn’t allow you to root for the characters since the only reasoning behind the attraction is looks. The only thing I want from this trope is for it to disappear or at least be twisted into an interesting, new perspective. The good thing is that it has begun to die out as of more recently. It seems to have been written out of convenience for being unable to think of an actual relationship with characters that an audience would cheer for. 0/10.


Not-like-other-girls: A main character who is proud to not-be-like other girls. She doesn’t dress up, she doesn’t know how to do makeup, she constantly puts down other girls, but apparently that is attractive  since many people want to date her. This trope often goes along with a love triangle. It’s really annoying to read and therefore earns a rating of -3/10.


Manic Pixie Dream Girl: For those unaware, a manic pixie dream girl is a love interest with unusual interests or colored hair that the usually boring male main character falls for. I think most people write it to make up for the main character whose personality is as fun as a flat, dry cracker so the author introduces a cupcake to distract from it. These characters also end up deserving better, therefore I rate this trope 3/10.


Unlikely Friendship: Two characters that have been made out to be enemies becoming friends can be such a delight to read. Depending on which character is chosen to be the unlikely friend, it can be easy to see coming or entertaining if it is a well-planned twist. 6/10.


Love Triangle: Hunger Games, Twilight, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Throne of Glass, Gilmore Girls, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Pride and Prejudice…need I say more? It is overused and boring at this point. To think that one girl has two guys on stand-by that she yanks around until she makes her final decision is incredibly impractical. Also, she always chooses the first guy instead of the nicer, more suitable second guy which is endlessly frustrating. A good trope for masochists. My rating is 1/10. 


Token Diversity: This one is awful. To use stereotypes of real communities to represent that community for the entirety of a book or book series is incredibly frustrating and harmful towards the perception of the community depending on the reader. -1000/10.


Found Family: Hands down one of the best tropes. It can be overused yet I fall for it everything. There is something so sincere about making a family for yourself with people that you cherish and love, vice versa. The interactions are always fun, as the characters are normally seen with a joking attitude. 10/10.


Chosen One: While this trope can be redundant, it is also very nice to follow one main character as they grapple with their journey as a hero. To watch them make the initial decision that sets them apart to the climatic end, this trope is comforting. Solid 6/10. 


Trope can be a slippery slope. While these frequently appear in the media for a small portion of time, the way they are done can contribute to how we like it overall. Some tropes should be left in the past and others should continue on into the future. Next time you watch a movie or read a book, see if you can find a trope that you like or dislike. It is much easier to find than you think.