Favorite Tropes in Books and Film

SK Favorites - Tropes in Books and Film

What is a trope?


[ trohp ] 

  1. a recurring theme or motif, as in literature or art:
    the trope of motherhood;
    the heroic trope.
  2. a convention or device that establishes a predictable or stereotypical representation of a character, setting, or scenario in a creative work:
    From her introduction in the movie, the character is nothing but a Damsel in Distress trope.
    The author relies on our knowledge of the Haunted House trope to set the scene.

Is a trope a cliche?

On the whole, tropes are not clichés. The word clichéd means “stereotyped and trite.” In other words, dull and uninteresting. A trope is like a song in a familiar key; you may not know all the words, but you can probably sing along with the chorus. source

Some common tropes include:

The Chosen One

The Chosen One archetype is a trope used in writing where a single character is in charge of saving the world or society they live in. This trope is commonly seen in the Hero’s Journey, but can also be found in other types of stories.

Big Bad

The cause of all bad happenings in a story. A Big Bad could be a character with Evil Plans or it could be an omnipresent situation. There is often a crossover/dual-trope with the Chosen One group for example Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars or Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter Series.

Enemies to Lovers

This is when two characters start off as enemies and, over the course of a book or series, end up in a romantic relationship. These ‘enemies’ have to overcome their differences or misconceptions about each other, and in the process, they fall in love.

You've Got Mail Movie Poster

More Examples: 30 Best Enemies-to-Lovers Movies

Enemies To Lovers List on Goodreads

Friends to Lovers

This is a common romantic trope involving two people in an established friendship becoming romantic partners. It is not uncommon for the relationship to be unexpected, that the characters never intended for there to be anything but friendship, but something happens to make them see the possibility of a romantic relationship.

13 Going on 30 Movie Poster
Whatever it Takes Movie Poster

More Examples: 30 Best Friends-to-Lovers Movies

Found Family

This is a group of (mostly) unrelated people form their own family based on shared experiences and understanding of each other rather than the blood ties that would dictate a biological family.

Ice Age movie poster
Shrek Movie Cover
The Walking Dead poster
SK Book Review - Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom

Found Family List on Goodreads

Classic Story Retold

We love a good retelling—whether it’s a favorite fairy tale, ancient myth, or epic tale, it’s always great to see old things made new. Part of the reason we love these stories is because they’re so malleable; with themes that span the breadth of the human experience, tales of love, revenge, and adventure can find a home in any place and time, with characters that feel both familiar and fresh at the same time.

Quote Source and Other Examples

More Bookish Examples

My favorite tropes are (in order)
Found Family, Classic Story Retold, and Enemies to Lovers.

Which are your favorites?

For Fun: Top 12 Overused Story Tropes in Modern Literature


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