We consume a lot of media. Some would say too much. But with such an abundance of movies, games and books, there are bound to be a few tropes that you get tired of.
ALAS! This post is not about that. It’s about my FAVOURITE tropes. The ones that, no matter how many times I’m exposed to them (which as a gamer and SFF geek can be pretty often), I never get sick of them. These are tropes that encourage me to read that book or play a game, rather than turn me away. And by nature of my interests, they also happen to feature fairly prominently in the SFF genres.
But they’re still fun and I will always adore them. Here we go!
1. The Motley Crew/Found Family
This is first on my list for a reason – it happens to be my absolute FAVOURITE trope. I am the biggest sucker for it, and I love every version of it, every time. I love seeing characters from different lives, points of view and circumstance, finding common ground and eventually building an almost familial relationship with each other. It gets me every time.
This is probably why I’m such a fan of space opera – there is nothing more fun than a crew of misfits travelling to all sorts of planets and enduring various hardships and growing closer because of it. It features in many of my own novels, and it’s the fastest way to sell me on basically any story. I’m complete trash for it.
2. The Charming Rogue
A character trope I never seem to get tired of. Maybe that’s the point. They just have so much charm and charisma it’s impossible to dislike even if you do get a little burned out on the archetype. Especially when that Charming Rogue™ has a Heart of Gold™. It never feels unwelcome.
A well-known example of this is Flynn Rider from Tangled, but with a fun reversal in that his charm has no effect on the incredibly naive and ignorant heroine. It’s always fun and I will never get sick of it.
3. The Pastoral Hometown
Not sure what it is about the quaint little hometown with those classic hometown problems that is so endearing to me. Maybe it’s the nostalgia when our heroes finally return and all those troubles they left behind are smaller. A reminder of a time when life was so much simpler. It’s the innocence and the simplicity of it that draws us in, and I never get tired of it. This is a very common trope in your fantasy RPGs, but a wonderful example of this is the town of Wall in Stardust by Neil Gaiman.
4. The Sassy AI
I absolutely love artificial intelligence characters. Not surprising when you realize I’m also writing a story about one, but I especially love it when they have strong personalities. Witty, and maybe a little arrogant, they never cease to amuse and delight me. I’ll welcome any robot or AI character, to be honest, but the snark and wit humanizes these characters despite the irony of how inhuman they are. It’s just fun and I will always love it. There are a plethora of characters to choose from but a few notable favs in this category are Edi from the Mass Effect games, Iko from the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and Murderbot from The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells.
5. The Enemy of my Enemy
This is one I see a lot in video games, but I love when a minor villain or antagonist is introduced, and the protagonists have to ally themselves temporarily with the primary antagonist in order to continue forward. Especially if a relationship grows between the two and they find they have common ground or something of that nature.
It can be even more broad – I love when an antagonist, whether through a change of heart or circumstance, allies themselves with the protagonists and eventually joins their group or becomes a friend. Doubly so if it ties in with my favourite trope of all time – the Found Family. A really popular one is Zuko from Avatar the Last Airbender, and Loki from the Avengers. This also happens in The Girl of Fire and Thorns series by Rae Carson, and they ended up being one of my favourite characters. I loved it. I won’t spoil who, in case you haven’t read the books, but I would highly recommend that series.
What are some of your favourite tropes? Are you a fan of any of the ones I mentioned here? Have any book/movie/game recommendations for me? Let me know down below!