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  • Writer's pictureJessica Nacovsky

59: Tropes I Enjoy

Iron man versus captain america in an oil painting I made
Maybe this fight ends in an embrace. Idk

Howdy! I listed what tropes I can't stand a couple of weeks back. I'm not super loyal to any tropes but here are those I don't see enough and tend to enjoy:

  • Enemies to Lovers: I'm not a big romance reader but when this subplot comes off as believable, it's an interesting turn-around. My favorite example is in the music video for Miike Snow's Genghis Khan.

    • Arch enemies, who've become very close, in a "hello old friend" style scene: There's something sweet about enemies to lovers/besties that's amplified when they've had some time apart, to realize how much they've missed one another. By arch enemies, I do mean the violent sort, not contemporary youths with a history of bickering over low stakes social issues. I literally wrote the first draft of one of my WIPs to include this trope.

    • Arch enemies, who've accidentally bonded, defending one another to their peers: Yes, a sense of ownership over a significant other is a bit outdated but this gesture is a pleasant surprise.

  • Antagonist/Enemy gets to know messy/naive protagonist/'s team and reluctantly takes them under their wing: This is a way to soften a blunt character who's a mid-tier bad, making them less one-dimensional and more sympathetic. In ATLA, with Katara around, this isn't exactly Zuko in season 3, as she's got the gang in control, but it's a similar vibe. I guess the clearest example would be Piccolo in Dragon Ball Z, and his relationship with Goku's family initially, as opposed to later in the series. Thank goodness he took on raising the boys because Goku was always off being dead or training, or being dead and training. As one does. 🤷

  • Religious Villain: The more devout, the better. The big-bad is more believable when their actions are founded in a genuine world-veiw as opposed to mere greed. The Hunchback of Notre Dame handled this well with Frollo. Also, Disney songs peaked with Hellfire. No, I will not be taking any questions.

  • Grown-ass-adults as heros/on adventures/as the protagonist: While it makes sense that a young full time hero, wouldn't have time to invest in their education what with always fighting big-bads (so we can forgive Buffy for being ditzy)...It makes more sense that a wise older person would have better problem solving skills, what with all their life experience, than any teenager, and have more interesting solutions for whatever fresh apocalypse. Life doesn't end at 30. Stories shouldn't either.

  • Young adult is best friends with their single parent: This is a heart warming and a nice break from the rest of the drama in whatever series. Gilmore Girls is a good example, even with Rory's youth. I was not a fan of how this played out in Hulu's The Great, but I think that's because the relationship there was less "we're almost equals in this" and more "I am mother, you are baby. Period."

  • Unreliable Narrator: It's fun, as the audience, to piece out what hasn't been said, and to recognize when the narrator is naive, in denial, or lacks introspectionlike reading a mystery outside of that genre.

  • Funny side character: No matter how serious the story, the audience shouldn't be led to only experience one emotion throughout. A sprinkling of humor is good, even if just as a means of breaking up the high-intensity scenes. Including a comedian makes squeezing in that humor more natural. Plus, the death of the funny guy will not go un-mourned.

Reading this list, I've realized I really don't read sci-fi or fantasy anymore which is absolutely why I'm not seeing the majority of these. Maybe I'll mix things up some. Anyway, I drop a new blog post every Monday. Thanks for stopping by! Toodes!

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