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twilitfalchion

What story/character tropes do you dislike or hate?

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Another user posted a thread a while back asking what story tropes you never get tired of, so I thought it would be interesting to create a thread asking the opposite. What story or character tropes do you dislike or hate?

First one that comes to mind for me is the yandere trope. I dislike every yandere character in FE and I can't imagine I'd ever like them in any other entertainment medium. Although I'll give FE15 some props for portraying the trope in a believable way with Faye's character, who didn't act like she was insane per se, but had a moderate obsession with Alm that negatively affected her interactions with both him and his allies.

Another trope I hate is the replacement villain trope, like in Twilight Princess where Zant was hyped up to be the big bad of the game but was switched out with Ganondorf in what felt like a last-minute change that seemed to come out of nowhere. In general I hate the idea of setting up any character as the expected villain of a story, only to reveal someone higher up as the true villain. It seems nonsensical to put so much effort in developing a character only for them to be replaced.

Edited by twilitfalchion

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I typically have very little patience for Tsundere's or characters who ''don't mince words''. Usually they come off as needlessly vindictive and cruel for the self serving reason of masking their personal flaws. It comes across as petty and undignified to me. 

I would never say I hate sympathetic villains because I often really like them. However I do tend to view them with contempt if I think the story is trying to depict them with a sympathy they do not deserve. Someone out to subjugate the world because his not girlfriend died is not ''the coolest dude'', daddy not loving you is not a good reason to wipe out humanity and a racial supremacist who tries to start a world war and ultimately wants to destroy the entire world is not ''a pure soul''. 

Though its all relative. Avoid the pitfalls that make me dislike the trope and I stop disliking it. Takumi is a tsundere and he's one of my favorite characters, and I tend not to hold it against Felix that he doesn't mince his words. 

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2 minutes ago, Etrurian emperor said:

I would never say I hate sympathetic villains because I often really like them. However I do tend to view them with contempt if I think the story is trying to depict them with a sympathy they do not deserve. Someone out to subjugate the world because his not girlfriend died is not ''the coolest dude''

Thank you for missing the entire point of Obito’s character

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One note villains who get way more screen time than they deserve at the expense of other more interesting villains. I don't mind a cartoonishly evil villain here and there like Narcian and Valter, they're nice to have, but only if they're secondary villains at best who are offed at about the half way point of the story and don't overstay their welcome. Villains like Iago and Hans suck ass and last way longer than they should.

I also tend to dislike characters who are creepily devoted to the main character like Tharja, Camilla, Faye, and so on.

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18 minutes ago, Etrurian emperor said:

I typically have very little patience for Tsundere's or characters who ''don't mince words''. Usually they come off as needlessly vindictive and cruel for the self serving reason of masking their personal flaws. It comes across as petty and undignified to me.

Though its all relative. Avoid the pitfalls that make me dislike the trope and I stop disliking it. Takumi is a tsundere and he's one of my favorite characters, and I tend not to hold it against Felix that he doesn't mince his words. 

I especially agree about how certain tropes being mishandled can make me dislike them even if I would like them otherwise. While I like Taiga Aisaka, I feel that her character had too much of the tsun part written in, to the point of being verbally and physically abusive in some scenes. It doesn't matter if a character is cute or not, it doesn't excuse actions like that.

But then characters like Severa or Dolce (RF4) come along and I end up liking them a lot even if they are, at the most basic description of their character, trope-y.

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Any story that ends with the antagonist or the problems of the characters being solved by the power of bonds/friendship is a major turnoff for me.

Edited by Wraith

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In terms of character tropes, I just hate the pretentious asshole characters. I hate characters like this, regardless of whether or not i'm supposed to hate them.

But it is pretty funny when they just get shit on by the story. Bonus points if they are a villain who dies.

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The Chosen One and Prophecies are two tropes that I'm very sceptical about. Things happening "because it is foretold" is a trite way to rationalize a plot. I don't automatically hate it when there's a higher, but hidden power involved in a story (I like how the creater-god is implied to give things a little nudge in LoTR, for example), but I think it's awful when those tropes are used too heavy-handed or with no underlying explaination why someone's chosen or something's foretold.

Case in point: I borrowed from a friend and read the first three Wheel of Time novels a couple months ago and I haven't asked for the next batch. The main character is so ultra-chosen that the people around him become chosen just by association. One supporting character keeps foreseeing things that then happen (or start to unfold) later in the book, including her own infatuation with the main character, which I find is the lamest and least subtle form of foreshadowing. I've spent a good time shaking my head while reading.

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I really dislike love triangles; they're annoying to watch and they're everywhere in every piece of media that has even so much as one teenage/young-adult character. I just can't stand it. 

I'm also sick and tired of seeing will-they won't-they and on-again off-again nonsense. There are more ways to write a romance subplot than just those, and they make it obvious that the writers have no idea what to do with the characters if they do put them together; that or they're not interested in actually developing the subplot and character dynamics and just want to bait shippers. 

I also dislike the clueless chick magnet trope: this occurs when a character (pretty much always male) has multiple characters (pretty much always female) pining for him, and he has no idea. Not only does it make it pretty much guaranteed that the character will never actually pick one until the end of the story, in which case thanks for wasting time on it, but it's always done for characters that are supposed to be relatable or underdogs, yet it's neither relatable nor an underdog trait in the slightest. 

 

6 hours ago, twilitfalchion said:

First one that comes to mind for me is the yandere trope. I dislike every yandere character in FE and I can't imagine I'd ever like them in any other entertainment medium. 

Another trope I hate is the replacement villain trope, like in Twilight Princess where Zant was hyped up to be the big bad of the game but was switched out with Ganondorf in what felt like a last-minute change that seemed to come out of nowhere. In general I hate the idea of setting up any character as the expected villain of a story, only to reveal someone higher up as the true villain. It seems nonsensical to put so much effort in developing a character only for them to be replaced.

Same, I can't stand yandere characters. 

As for "replacement villains", I think there are some examples that are done fairly well (Zagred in Black Clover comes to mind), but I agree that, most of the time, it is a waste. I much would've preferred for Ganondorf and Zant to be clearly working together as a Big Bad Duumvirate (https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BigBadDuumvirate), and I really disliked when Madara and Kaguya appeared in Naruto Shippuden as I much preferred Nagato and Tobi as antagonists. 

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Character surviving when they clearly should have died. Some BS asspull or something saves them. Have the courage to kill off your characters. Even the MC. Shift of POV isn't an entirely foreign concept.

Bit of a shounen gripe. If you want your MC to preach about hard work and all that in your stories then don't give them some kind of unique OP ability/power to render all that worthless. Lee should've the true protagonist of Naruto.

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11 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

I really dislike love triangles; they're annoying to watch and they're everywhere in every piece of media that has even so much as one teenage/young-adult character. I just can't stand it. 

I'm also sick and tired of seeing will-they won't-they and on-again off-again nonsense. There are more ways to write a romance subplot than just those, and they make it obvious that the writers have no idea what to do with the characters if they do put them together; that or they're not interested in actually developing the subplot and character dynamics and just want to bait shippers. 

I also dislike the clueless chick magnet trope: this occurs when a character (pretty much always male) has multiple characters (pretty much always female) pining for him, and he has no idea. Not only does it make it pretty much guaranteed that the character will never actually pick one until the end of the story, in which case thanks for wasting time on it, but it's always done for characters that are supposed to be relatable or underdogs, yet it's neither relatable nor an underdog trait in the slightest. 

Couldn't have said it better myself. 
I agree on all of these.

---

A personal gripe of mine that has surfaced recently is when a character or organization in a story is "mysterious" (the air quotes are there on purpose).
Now, this is more about the execution of it than the trope itself (because it can be great if done well). If you have this in your story, people will expect the mystery to have a big time pay-off, exponentially increasing the longer you keep the mystery just that.
But after a while, I notice that some of these characters and organizations only exist for the sake of being "mysterious" and that they don't have anything else going for them beyond that. They have this "Secret Plan" (tm) that they wave in front of your face as a hook (bonus points if it has a grand name that reaches levels that border on pure pretentiousness), with vague, ill-defined "stages" that they "complete" throughout the story that just make me scratch my head and think "what purpose could this have possibly served right now?". And then, when the pay-off finally does come, it won't be worth it, because their "Secret Plan" (tm) was so vague and ill-defined that you won't be like "Oh, so THAT'S what it was!", but instead you'll just go "... wat?"
Bonus bonus points if you beat them in a battle and they go "lol, stage X of my plan is fulfilled! I win! Hahahaha!" Like, what the hell did you win? I kicked your ass just now!
This makes that character look like a toddler on the playground going "nuh-uh, you can't beat me", which immediately takes me out of the story and makes me not care for the character/organization at all.
Thanks, Trails. Thanks a lot.
Bonus bonus bonus points is when that "mystery" turns out to be "buy the DLC lmao".
Thanks Fates. Thanks a lot.

And if you REALLY look into it, the character/organization will have shot themselves in the foot multiple times over just for the sake of remaining vague and mysterious.
 

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2 hours ago, redlight said:

Bit of a shounen gripe. If you want your MC to preach about hard work and all that in your stories then don't give them some kind of unique OP ability/power to render all that worthless. Lee should've the true protagonist of Naruto.

I completely agree. There's no point giving someone an obstacle to overcome when they're the only one that has the power to make that obstacle easy to move past.

10 minutes ago, DragonFlames said:

A personal gripe of mine that has surfaced recently is when a character or organization in a story is "mysterious" (the air quotes are there on purpose).

Now, this is more about the execution of it than the trope itself (because it can be great if done well). If you have this in your story, people will expect the mystery to have a big time pay-off, exponentially increasing the longer you keep the mystery just that.
But after a while, I notice that some of these characters and organizations only exist for the sake of being "mysterious" and that they don't have anything else going for them beyond that. They have this "Secret Plan" (tm) that they wave in front of your face as a hook (bonus points if it has a grand name that reaches levels that border on pure pretentiousness), with vague, ill-defined "stages" that they "complete" throughout the story that just make me scratch my head and think "what purpose could this have possibly served right now?". And then, when the pay-off finally does come, it won't be worth it, because their "Secret Plan" (tm) was so vague and ill-defined that you won't be like "Oh, so THAT'S what it was!", but instead you'll just go "... wat?"
Bonus bonus points if you beat them in a battle and they go "lol, stage X of my plan is fulfilled! I win! Hahahaha!" Like, what the hell did you win? I kicked your ass just now!
This makes that character look like a toddler on the playground going "nuh-uh, you can't beat me", which immediately takes me out of the story and makes me not care for the character/organization at all.
Thanks, Trails. Thanks a lot.

Bonus bonus bonus points is when that "mystery" turns out to be "buy the DLC lmao".
Thanks Fates. Thanks a lot.

And if you REALLY look into it, the character/organization will have shot themselves in the foot multiple times over just for the sake of remaining vague and mysterious.

I agree with everything said here. There's nothing worse than a villain hyped up to be much worse or more complex than they actually are. Mystery for the sake of it can't replace true narrative substance. It makes for a weak payoff when everything is supposed to come together as the story progresses.

Btw, when you say Trails, are you talking about Cold Steel specifically, or Sky as well? Because depending on where you are in Sky FC, I can see where that issue with storytelling might be noticeable. I mean, I like Sky FC a lot, but its storytelling isn't perfect. Although it being part of a trilogy does make it a bit more understandable as to why certain plot points may be left unfinished.

I hate when seeing the complete story gets put behind a paywall. *glares at BotW*

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This is really specific, but one trope I really, really dislike is when writers kill off characters essentially because they don't want to have to figure out what that character's life would be like after the story concludes. Most frequently this happens with villains who are either recently-redeemed or set onto a redemptive trajectory, as well as "last of their kind" and artificial life-form characters... basically anybody who doesn't have any place in the setting's mainstream society they could comfortably slot back into once the events of the story are over. It just seems really lazy and in some cases even outright cruel to me.

Another that really bothers me is like... this may be a bit involved to describe, but essentially, when a character is given a Designated Love Interest™ whose entire relationship with them pretty much consists solely of being their love interest, and this love interest takes priority over everyone who actually has an interesting and fleshed-out dynamic with that character. This is sort of inherently subjective, since different people have different interest levels in different sorts of character dynamics, and I can't necessarily think of any examples off the top of my head, but this happens pretty frequently and it always just kills my interest in the couples to which it applies. It's extra annoying when a lot of focus is given to developing the relationship between two characters and setting up a really intense arc and some level of emotional intimacy between the two... and then one or both of them get paired off with other characters they have way less compelling or developed relationships with. Like, if you're gonna have romance, I wanna see those first two get together!

On a way simpler note, "Always Chaotic Evil" is a really lazy worldbuilding element with transparently-racist implications and it's boring as all hell, besides. I can say without even a shred of reservation that if you have to rely on it to create conflict in your story, you are a phenomenally lousy and unimaginative writer.

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38 minutes ago, twilitfalchion said:

Btw, when you say Trails, are you talking about Cold Steel specifically, or Sky as well? Because depending on where you are in Sky FC, I can see where that issue with storytelling might be noticeable. I mean, I like Sky FC a lot, but its storytelling isn't perfect. Although it being part of a trilogy does make it a bit more understandable as to why certain plot points may be left unfinished.

I don't know if that group I was referring to pops up in FC, but (oh god, this a spoiler landmine) (I won't say any specifics, but I'll spoiler it just in case)

Spoiler

they play a major role in Cold Steel, and are easily the worst part of the entire series for me.
Do the terms "Enforcer" or "Anguis" ring a bell for you? In that case, you might know them already.

As for where I am in Sky... still in the middle of doing Chapter 1 with the vanished airliner case.

44 minutes ago, twilitfalchion said:

I agree with everything said here. There's nothing worse than a villain hyped up to be much worse or more complex than they actually are. Mystery for the sake of it can't replace true narrative substance. It makes for a weak payoff when everything is supposed to come together as the story progresses.

Exactly! Couldn't have said it better myself.

42 minutes ago, Topaz Light said:

but essentially, when a character is given a Designated Love Interest™ whose entire relationship with them pretty much consists solely of being their love interest, and this love interest takes priority over everyone who actually has an interesting and fleshed-out dynamic with that character.

Rex and Pyra in Xenoblade 2.
Kor and Kohaku in Tales of Hearts.

Those were the first two examples that came to mind when I read this.

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People who make a 180° change in terms of behavior out of the sudden like Luke Fon Fabre from Tales of the Abyss.

Also disliking fictional characters where the spotlight is higher on their appearance than on their personality.

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Well, let's see

  • ''Forgiving/bring back Traitor/Terrorist'' Trope. This easily is my most hated trope in fiction. Someone who betrayed you and lead to the death of alot of people and then going ''let's go back'' makes me hate the story. Villain redemption when well done is ok, but MC going ''Bring back traitor'' with no real reason excpet ''let's return to the old times.'' and ''Traitor must be misunderstood'' are bad. Period.
  • Catria archetype. Don't let the poor girls suffer.
  • Mass revivals. Revival in very rare occurances and with a heavy price is ok. But mass revivals makes death not matter Story wise anymore

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5 hours ago, Julian Teehee said:

People who make a 180° change in terms of behavior out of the sudden like Luke Fon Fabre from Tales of the Abyss.

Also disliking fictional characters where the spotlight is higher on their appearance than on their personality.

It has been a while so do correct me if I'm wrong, however I am pretty sure there was a rather significant Plot Event that mandated that Luke change his ways because, if he didn't, he'd just keep on committing the same social errors that led up to the Plot Event.  I can understand someone not loving Luke as a character, I'm just very certain that it didn't just happen "out of the sudden," to use your words.

Personally, I'm not a fan of villains who just want to kill everyone for the heck of it.  I find it very difficult to really care about a villain whose job could be done just as easily as, say, a tsunami or a meteor smashing into the planet.  I like my baddies to have be able to answer the question of, "And then what?"

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7 hours ago, Topaz Light said:

On a way simpler note, "Always Chaotic Evil" is a really lazy worldbuilding element with transparently-racist implications and it's boring as all hell, besides. I can say without even a shred of reservation that if you have to rely on it to create conflict in your story, you are a phenomenally lousy and unimaginative writer.

I read through the TV tropes article and struggled to find the racist implications. Though, I do agree that it's a lazy trope that's been well overused. 

Personally, I've always had a hate for lovey couples. Characters that are in a relationship and appear to make a point of letting the audience know how much they love their other half very two minutes. Don't get me wrong, relationships in stories are not inherently bad, but when they become the character's only traits it becomes very annoying. Another one that comes to mind is the need that western studios feel to cram in European actors into foreign stories. I'm looking at you Last Samurai (Tom Cruise) and you The Great Wall (Matt Damon). Yeah, if you want to make a story about the European voyages to parts of the world that aren't Europe, go ahead, but let stories about foreign nations be lead by people that represent the nations.

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1 hour ago, Shrimperor said:

Catria archetype. Don't let the poor girls suffer.

This trope is honestly why I hate how Cordelia was handled as a character. Her self-consciousness and perfectionism made her so compelling to me, but the overbearing Chrom crush became the focus way too often to let the other positive or well-written aspects of her character shine through, in my opinion at least.

1 hour ago, Samven said:

Personally, I'm not a fan of villains who just want to kill everyone for the heck of it.  I find it very difficult to really care about a villain whose job could be done just as easily as, say, a tsunami or a meteor smashing into the planet.  I like my baddies to have be able to answer the question of, "And then what?"

I agree. There is no logic behind wanting everything destroyed; if everything is gone, then what is there to rule? Makes no sense to me.

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1 hour ago, Samven said:

It has been a while so do correct me if I'm wrong, however I am pretty sure there was a rather significant Plot Event that mandated that Luke change his ways because, if he didn't, he'd just keep on committing the same social errors that led up to the Plot Event.  I can understand someone not loving Luke as a character, I'm just very certain that it didn't just happen "out of the sudden," to use your words.

I would also add that the better aspects of Luke were always present to some degree. Even as a haughty brat he was more naive and clumsy then malicious and he generally showed an interest to learn from his mistakes. His better half especially came out around Ion who he immediately acted rather nicely towards. The nicer, meeker Luke we see in act 2 is who he'd likely always have been if not so spoiled and manipulated. 

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2 hours ago, Samven said:

Personally, I'm not a fan of villains who just want to kill everyone for the heck of it.  I find it very difficult to really care about a villain whose job could be done just as easily as, say, a tsunami or a meteor smashing into the planet.  I like my baddies to have be able to answer the question of, "And then what?"

Personally I love these kinds of villains at least when they’re done well. They’re extremely simple but can also be extremely effective. They’re evil for evil’s sake. They have no sympathetic qualities or motivations. They just want to watch the world burn and have fun while doing. The thing that makes these kinds of villains so much fun for me is that they’re just fun characters. They know what they’re doing is terrible but they relish in it. They don’t care they just wanna have fun. Why did they blow up the orphanage well they nothing better to do that weekend. Or like they just want to flaunt how strong they are in the most petty way possible like how Shigaraki intercepts an entire police transport ambulance just to taunt Overhaul while he’s down. He didn’t need to do this in fact staying hidden and not showing himself to the police would’ve served him better but he did it anyway. Why? Because he’s a petty bitch and I love him for it

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For me it's conspiracy/ Illuminati plots. In most cases I don't buy that a group is hyper competent falls quickly when the main characters come knocking that the doorsteps. Where all possible outcomes have been accounted for the the grand plan. Always wonder why the groups don't silence the main character if there resources are available.

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5 hours ago, Sir Gerwald of Vallora said:

I read through the TV tropes article and struggled to find the racist implications. Though, I do agree that it's a lazy trope that's been well overused.

It’s less that it’s inherently racist towards any specific group and more that the idea of an entire race of people that’s just intrinsically malignant and often less intelligent by nature lines up with a lot of racist rhetoric.

This is a broader topic, though, that I don’t really feel fully qualified to explain in-depth, and that’s not really the subject of discussion in this thread.

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