Come one, come all, readers! Let’s chat about tropes and which tropes we love. Specifically, let’s get down and dirty about what romance trope are you, and why you are so absolutely in love with that kind of story.
All stories use tropes and archetypes, and each genre has specific tropes that readers know and love. But before we get too far into romance tropes, let’s talk about what a trope is and why readers need them.
What Is a Trope?
In rhetoric, a trope is figurative language where you use one word to mean something that’s different from its literal meaning. For example, using the phrase “busy bees” to describe workers getting shit done-that’s a trope.
But when writers and readers talk about tropes, that’s not usually what they mean. Instead, we’re usually talking about common patterns or stock characters we’re all familiar with.
Some common character tropes include:
- the dumb blonde
- the chosen one
- the girl nextdoor
- the damsel in distress
- the trusty sidekick
- the manic pixie dream girl
- the antihero
- the dumb jock
- the token minority
- the final girl
These are all characters we’ve seen before, and you can probably think of several examples of each character from movies and books you’ve consumed.
Some common story tropes include:
- the hero’s journey
- good vs. evil
- the hero gets the girl
- the training sequence/montage
- the minority character dies first
- a colorful cast of characters does a heist
- a character has amnesia and must remember their past to save the day
- happily ever after
- a long time ago in a land far, far away
- robots enslave the humans that created them
- a race against the ticking clock
- a boring teen has to save the day while two hot teens are in love with them