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Bibliophiles Are Sharing The Most Annoying Book Tropes And I'm 100% On The Same Page As Them

I mean, as much as I love it, fake dating IS pretty farfetched...

I was perusing the r/books subreddit — which I do in my spare time — when I came across this query posed by u/R_J2: What are some common tropes in books that you hate? Naturally, I read the entire thread. Naturally, I took notes of all of the tropes I agreed with. Here are some of the best responses:

1. When the main characters are a set of twins, and there's a "good" one and an "evil" one.

Delacorte Press

Example: Iris trying to steal Ivy's life after she moves in with her dad and estranged twin sister. 

—Suggested by IndytheIntrepid

2. When the "bad guy[s] never gives up. Like ever. Even right before imminent death, there's not a shadow of hesitation."

Warner Bros.

Example: Voldemort tries to kill Harry for seven books before ultimately failing and then dying himself.

—Suggested by that_one_isnt_taken

3. "When the main character is a 'Plain Jane' and dogs herself throughout the entire book until the snarky blonde boy says she's beautiful/like a firecracker/not like other girls/so unique."


Example: America thinking she's "regular"-looking despite being chosen for The Selection, which only chooses the most beautiful women in the kingdom. 

—Suggested by TheSilverCrystal

4. When "the billionaire main character, who lives in a modern and minimalist decorated home — who is also afraid of commitment — somehow falls head over heels for the other main character."

Gallery Books

Example: The inception of Bennett and Chloe's relationship. 

—Suggested by NoeTellusom

5. More specifically, when the "ancient vampire master (or substitute magical creature of the day, but must be old) — who is also super sexy, rich, and powerful — immediately falls for a messy, broke woman in her early twenties with a tragic, mysterious past because she's just so special and different."

William Morrow

Example: The inception of Meena and Lucien Antonescu's relationship. 

—Suggested by BoofulForest

6. Whenever miscommunication between the two main characters "leads to conflict. Especially when the characters point blank refuse to utter a word to each other, even when a simple sentence of explanation could resolve the entire problem."

Hulu / BBC Three

Example: Marianne and Connell's entire relationship. 

—Suggested by MyVeloute

7. When a character breaks up with another character in order "to protect them."

Ginny looking up at someone during the battle of Hogwarts
Warner Bros.

Example: When Harry broke up with Ginny before he went on the hunt for the horcruxes. 

—Suggested by LordDoomAndGloom

8. When two characters of the "opposite sex get partnered together unexpectedly. They are both in the same age bracket and ridiculously attractive. Somehow, despite their successful careers and tight, athletic bodies, they are both single."


Example: When Lina, a wedding planner, is partnered with Max, a marketing executive and her ex-fiancé's brother, to come up with a new pitch to help elevate both of their careers. 

—Suggested by EatMoreCael

9. When "the main character carries a terrible, horrendous, shameful burden that is alluded to constantly...which turns out to be something either something common" or something that isn't actually their fault.


Example: When Alaska finally admits to her friends that her mother died of a brain aneurism and she harbors the guilt because, even though she was a child and didn't understand what was going on, she didn't call 911. 

—Suggested by zeropercentsurprised

10. When "the beautiful, young ingénue (who is incredibly attractive and somehow doesn't realize it) meets an older, emotionally damaged man, and fixes him."

Universal Pictures

Example: When Christian meets Ana and she ~changes~ him. 

—Suggested by magical_elf

11. When the average teenage girl somehow develops superpowers while juggling multiple love interests and is always having to get saved, usually from a mess of her own making.

Summit Entertainment

Example: When Bella meets Edward and he can't read her mind, they fall in love, and then she also develops feelings for her friend Jacob. 

—Suggested by eriebee

12. Or just love triangles in general.


Example: Lara Jean being torn between Peter K. and Josh, and then Peter K. and John Ambrose. 

—Suggested by Ilhja

13. When two characters are forced to fake-date in order to solve a problem.

St. Martin's Griffin

Example:  When Alex and Henry have to fake a relationship in order to keep up diplomatic relations. 

—Suggested by ermyneeandwheezy·

14. When the spy has amnesia and has to use their skills to get their memory back and/or avenge someone that they forgot.

Universal Pictures

Example: When Jason Bourne, who has retrograde amnesia, must use his spy skills to help find out who he used to be. 

—Suggested by blacksad1

15. "When a character is a runner, because they want to be free/get away from where they are."


Example: Sam, quite literally, runs from every problem that she has — which usually results in her running sometimes 10+ miles a day. 

—Suggested by RosaReilly

16. "When a character likes math or science because it's binary right and wrong."


Example: Stella, a woman on the autism spectrum, loves her job as an econometrician because its easier to analyze numbers than people.  

—Suggested by RosaReilly

17. When characters in a fantasy series always get sorted into houses/groups/factions, etc.


Example: Everyone in Tris' society is sorted into five factions: Candor, Abnegation, Amity, Erudite, and Dauntless. 

—Suggested by gizmuo

18. When a character — usually female — has to endure a sexual trauma for either personal growth and/or plot development.


Example: When Claire AND Jamie — and, frankly, a lot of other characters — are raped to move the plot along. 

—Suggested by SkepticDrinker

19. "When the main character takes every possible opportunity to sacrifice themselves."

Universal Pictures

Example: When Tris sacrificed herself to save Four and the rest of their people.

—Suggested by Interesting-Buy-3669

20. When a "celebrity falls in love with someone because she doesn’t recognize him, and that's a change for him."


Example: When Annie is less-than-impressed after meeting Drew Danforth on set. 

—Suggested by teacuperate

21. Last, but not least, when the main character has "auburn hair," or "green/blue eyes" or "ivory skin" — or some combination of all three:


Example: When Matt falls in love with his boss, Kate, whom he notices has red hair and blue eyes. 

—Suggested by user18name

You can read the rest of the thread here.

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.

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