It’s been a while since I’ve done a top ten, so I’m sharing my favorite tropes. I actually had a hard time coming up with ten tropes I love, so some of these are tropes I like more than the average trope but don’t love. Some of these also aren’t technically tropes, but they’re close enough. I have these numbered, but they aren’t in any particular order other than likes being earlier than loves.
Number 1: Fake Dating
This is one I’ve never actually seen in a book (though I’m sure there are plenty of books that have it), but I’ve seen it in several movies. Even though it’s super predictable that the couple who fake dates will end up genuinely liking each other, I like this trope. I just like the irony that they fake date for whatever reason, and then they end up falling for each other. We, the reader/viewer, know it’s going to happen, but the characters are blissfully unaware of what’s in store for them.
Number 2: Only One Bed
This is another one I’ve only seen in movies. What I like about this trope (and I mean like, not love) is that it typically serves as a turning point in the characters’ relationship. By being forced into close proximity, a barrier is usually breached, paving the way for a relationship between the two.
Number 3: Elemental Magic
This one technically isn’t a trope, but I love (we’re transitioning out of the “like” category now) seeing elemental magic in media. There’s something fascinating about being able to control/manipulate/bend earth, air, water, and fire. I personally would love to manipulate water. There’s definitely elemental magic in my own books. It has to be there because I love it so much.
Number 4: Quests
I love a good quest story. The hero has to trek through forests full of dangerous creatures to find a powerful object to defeat the bad guy? The hero has to fight his way across the land to get to the bad guy? Sign me up. Bonus points if the quest involves travelling through a desert or rainforest.
Number 5: Villains Wear Black
Evil villains tend to wear all black, and I’m rather fond of this color scheme, despite its overuse. When I’m in a mood and need more villainy in my life, I wear all black or black and red because bonus points if the accent color is red. Something about that color scheme makes villains seem all the more evil and sinister.
Number 6: Badass Elves
What’s a good fantasy novel without badass elves who have the gracefulness of a cat and impeccable aim with their bows? Bonus points if they can also use swords and daggers. All the bonus points if they also wield magic.
Number 7: Love to Hate
We all know those characters we love to hate. There’s just something special about a fandom coming together and hating the same characters. Sometimes they’re just so bad or evil that we can’t love them, but we don’t truly hate them because they’re so well written. True hate is reserved for characters who are poorly written. Thus, we love to hate these characters.
Number 8: Powerful Artifacts
In tandem with the quest from earlier, I love powerful artifacts. The One Ring, the Deathly Hallows, the Elfstones, the Black Cauldron. You name it, and I most likely love it. Bonus points if it’s dark magic. This also has a place in my own novels. In fantasy novels, it just seems necessary for there to be powerful magical objects.
Number 9: Sympathetic Villains
If you’ve been following my channel for a while, you know I love villains. But the best villains are those I can sympathize with. If I understand their motives well enough that I understand why they’re doing what they’re doing, you will win me over. Why do I like the Star Wars sequels? Because there’s a villain who has goals and motivations, and he carries that whole trilogy on his back because of it. I don’t care how evil the villain is. As long as they’re sympathetic, I will love them. (I’m looking at you, villain from Shadow and Bone.)
Number 10: Corruption Arcs
This is another one that isn’t technically a trope, but I don’t care. Sympathetic villain is my favorite trope, and corruption arc is my favorite non-trope. We see redemption arcs a lot, but I’ve rarely seen corruption arcs, especially ones done well. Why do I like the Star Wars prequels? Because they’re one of the few stories I’ve encountered that has a corruption arc. If you know of any books, movies, and/or TV series with corruption arcs, please, please, please share them in the comments. I’m looking for more, and they’re hard to find. Bonus points if the protagonist goes dark to rule alongside the antagonist. There’s something fascinating about watching someone descend into darkness. Seeing what triggers that descent is really interesting. Going dark is definitely not a good thing and shouldn’t be romanticized, but I love watching it happen.
Those are my ten favorite tropes (with a couple non-tropes). Do you love any of these tropes? Do you hate any of them? Let me know in the comments down below.