Last week was fun because Shanah @ Bionic Bookworm Blog set the challenge of 5 tropes I want more of, and I got to ramble and cheer about my favorites. This week, though, it’s going to be fun because I get to drag my least favorites through the mud.
These ones just had it coming.
1. Dead Parents
Honestly, though, this is one of my least favorite tropes, especially in YA. No one ever has any parents around. Or if they do, it’s always Dad’s around (maybe not for long), and Mom died ages and ages ago. It’s the same every time, and I’m tired of it! Give me more parents! I’m not asking for them to be the star of the show. I just want to give some of these poor characters some damn moral support from their parents! They never get any! GAH!
2. I Died Before I Could Tell You the Thing Which Would Prevent Literally the Entire Book From Happening
This one is cheap, folks. Soooooooooooooo cheap. For real, if the only thing stopping a character from learning the truth is their mentor figure/parent kicking the bucket immediately before a critical juncture, then it’s weak, it’s cheap, and there had better be another, much better reason they didn’t tell the character sooner. Enough of this “it was to keep you safe” bullshit and letters that pass into the character’s hands after their secret keeper dies that STILL don’t explain anything in full. DO BETTER. BE MORE INTERESTING.
3. Queer Pain
So, this one is me getting mad for personal reasons, but I have had it up to here (please picture me with my hand as far over my head as I can reach) with authors putting their queer characters through hell, especially when it’s their token queer character. This applies more so to allocishet authors, of course, than queer authors, because there’s an element of individual experience that needs to be taken into account when reading queer stories from queer authors. But if you’re not queer and you’re using your queer characters as a mental or physical punching bag on account of their queerness or on a level that literally no one else experiences, I will be pissed about it, and I will be liable to drop the book and never pick it up again. Do not test me. I’m here, I’m queer, and I tend to be at least a little angry at all times.
4. OMG, He Tried to Kill Her, It’s True Love!
Every time I see this, my eyes roll clear out of my head and I have to take a breather and hope to god it gets better because this is THE WORST. It’s actually the trope that makes me prefer rivals to lovers over enemies to lovers, because most enemies to lovers I see starts with him trying to kill her/someone important to her (gendered language intended, thanks), and then it gets shippy.
I really hate this. It makes my skin crawl, and the only way I’m okay with it is if there’s a major redemption arc involved (which are already hard enough to do well), one that makes him actually deserve her and apologize for the shit he’s tried to do. Especially the whole trying to kill her bit.
(Fun fact: this might be blasphemy in the Witchlands fandom, but this the major reason why I really dislike shipping Aeduan with Iseult; I totally think she could do better. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)
5. If I Retcon Everything, I Can Make it Diverse, Right?
I’ve seen this with TV, with books, with everything, and the answer is NO (also this is less a trope and more just a BIG PET PEEVE). Not only is the retcon usually insensitive (lmao looking at you, JKR), but also? You had your chance to make your work diverse, and if I hear “well, I couldn’t make it fit” one more time, I’m going to scream. If you use your damn words FOR A LIVING, I should better damn well hope you can arrange them in such a way that you can include diversity in your stories. You don’t need a whole tragic plotline about how “othered” and “alone” diverse characters feel. You need to do your research, do it respectfully, and quit copping out.
If I had a dollar for every time I saw this from JKR alone, think I could finish putting myself through school? I’m starting to think so.
WELL, that was some intense complaining from me. Pardon the negativity. I do try to keep this blog light, but sometimes, you just gotta blow off steam and YELL AT THE VERY BAD THINGS. Anyways, what are your least favorite tropes?