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Book/TV/Movie tropes you just can't stand anymore

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  • JoenSoJoenSo Member Posts: 910
    I have a vague memory that he does the same thing with Handling the undead

    mlnevese
  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 10,203
    JoenSo said:

    I have a vague memory that he does the same thing with Handling the undead

    It does...The final processing. I didn't think it was as satisfying as Let Old Dreams Die though..

    JoenSo
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876

    Fantasy dungeons need to be anything but practical



    That video really sums up my dislike of pretty much every dungeon crawl trope out there.

    ThacoBellBalrog99mlneveseSkatan
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,210
    edited December 2018
    Oh man, I missed this thread.

    I hate thw trope that any mentor, or anyone who is close to retirement are automatically doomed. It was darkly ironic the first time you saw it, now its just a big flashing "THIS IS GONNA HAPPEN NEXT" sign above the character's head.

    Balrog99mlneveseSkatanArvia
  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694

    Fear can paralyze people. Same goes with prey animals: if they sense danger, they'll freeze. The idea is that going still will prevent predators from noticing you and also prevent you from making any noises that would muffle the sound of an encroaching predator.

    People in real life also go still when scared or even just surprised. Evolution being a flawed process and humans being very non-optimized (witness our lousy eyesight, pointless appendix, dull sense of smell, non-movable ears, low muscle mass, various mental and physical disorders, etc.), it's entirely possible that the "freeze" response would last longer than it's supposed to, i.e., even when the predator is advancing on you and the "flee" or "fight" response is supposed to take precedence. A deer wouldn't make that mistake, but a human's instincts aren't remotely as keen.

    Human bodies and human instincts are pretty much garbage across the board. Evolution has been selecting for bigger brains and more dexterous fingers at the expense of everything else.

    There is also a certain kind of paralysis that occurs in people just waking from a dream. It used to be thought to be a sign of being attacked by an incubus/succubus. You also feel as if a weight is pressing on your chest, and you are literally unable to move.

    ThacoBell
  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    But the trope I hate the most? If a woman is with a bunch of guys, the woman is going to have to be rescued, sometimes repeatedly, even if she is otherwise just as skilled/buff/whatever as the guys. What, a guy can't have his bacon saved by a woman? it happens in real life, but it just gets old. So old.

    Then, there's the "Woman likes a guy, so she turns into a shrew every time he's around, until they finally lock lips, and then she's normal again. Like it's a disease. :P

    The worst? Woman is normal and can take care of herself, until there is a guy hero around, and then she trips all over herself and turns into a weak, crying woman, for, you know, reasons. Man knows all, better than female, anyway, and she is constantly shown up/humiliated until she gets with the program and lets man lead and do all the action stuff. (Double ugh. :P )

    SkatanmlneveseThacoBellStummvonBordwehr
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 5,343
    LadyRhian said:

    But the trope I hate the most? If a woman is with a bunch of guys, the woman is going to have to be rescued, sometimes repeatedly, even if she is otherwise just as skilled/buff/whatever as the guys. What, a guy can't have his bacon saved by a woman? it happens in real life, but it just gets old. So old.

    Then, there's the "Woman likes a guy, so she turns into a shrew every time he's around, until they finally lock lips, and then she's normal again. Like it's a disease. :P

    The worst? Woman is normal and can take care of herself, until there is a guy hero around, and then she trips all over herself and turns into a weak, crying woman, for, you know, reasons. Man knows all, better than female, anyway, and she is constantly shown up/humiliated until she gets with the program and lets man lead and do all the action stuff. (Double ugh. :P )

    So true. My unscientific thinking is that so many tv-shows and movie scripts are/were written by adolescent men writing what they thought (or wanted) a woman to do/be, and now that trope has been almost solidified to be point that if they would write more realistic interpretations of female behaviour it would be deemed "unrealistic" because the TV/film cliché has become norm! I'm probably completely wrong, but it's just a feeling I have.

    Another trope that may have been mentioned already, but just finished watching the Last Kingdom and the way they portrait the Danes in there, as filthy barbarians with weird black make-up around their eyes would be more fitting for a Conan movie than a TV show that is (at least partially) based on history. Sigh.. the filthy medieval/viking trope is so boring, as also discussed by Shadiversity on his youtube channel. Huge props to the Outlaw/King movie on Netflix which actually managed to be quite good and quite historically correct at the same time!

    mlneveseThacoBell
  • ArdanisArdanis Member Posts: 1,736
    LadyRhian said:


    Then, there's the "Woman likes a guy, so she turns into a shrew every time he's around, until they finally lock lips, and then she's normal again. Like it's a disease. :P

    Can't have enough of tsundere goodness :)

    mlnevese
  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    Or the trope of a woman being attracted to the asshole guy, because "She can redeem him!" Speaking for myself (and an awful lot of women), when we want a romance, we want a romance, not a project to redeem some bunghole into a normal human being. Sorry guys, we're not your craftsperson. We're just another human who wants a romance, not a job.

    semiticgoddessmlneveseThacoBell
  • ArdanisArdanis Member Posts: 1,736
    I've seen an awful lot of NWN2 female fans who's been head over heels for Bishop, though, the epitome of asshole.

    ThacoBell
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    There's a whole lot more which do love the yandere/psychopath stereotype out there. Both males and females at that. Ah, yes... having a personal stalker that weeds out all the bad insects around you is just lovely.

    One might even say it's to die for. :tongue:

    ArdanisBalrog99mlneveseThacoBell
  • QuickbladeQuickblade Member Posts: 959
    Tsunderes are one thing. Yanderes are a big barrel of 'Nope!' from me.

  • semiticgoddesssemiticgoddess Member Posts: 14,833
    An aggressive male who does what he wants without consequences is the mark of a high-status male with the power to avoid consequences. The attractive part of the character isn't being a terrible human being; it's having the status and strength to do what weaker, lower-status people couldn't get away with. A rich asshole can be seen as attractive; a poor asshole doesn't become any more attractive by being an asshole (quite the opposite, really). Christian Grey from Fifty Shades of Grey would be the perfect example.

    The other archetype is a mix of the "good guy" and the "hot jerk." That would be a guy who acts like an asshole on the surface but is actually sensitive and kind when you get to know him. Peter Kavinsky from To All the Boys I've Loved Before is a great example: he acts like a jerk and appears to be a stereotypical jock when he first interacts with protagonist Lara Jean, but when they get together, he proves to be extremely considerate and responsible: he gets along great with Lara Jean's little sister; he'll drive across town to get Lara Jean her favorite treat; he'll defend her when she's accused of promiscuity; and in general, he treats her with great respect and affection. Much hay has been made of a single gesture he made, when he moved a bowl of popcorn before engaging in a pillow fight with her little sister, just to make sure the popcorn didn't spill--a subtle sign of responsibility underneath the playfulness of his character.

    I probably only see this because I'm straight, but Peter as a character is practically designed to look like the ideal boyfriend. Early in the movie, he comments that Lara Jean's boots are "hot" and gives them an interested look before he walks away, which I think is actually the most unrealistic part of the movie. Bear with me here: for a high school girl, getting a compliment on her fashion sense rather than her body is an ideal affirmation of her attractiveness that doesn't contain any intimidating or invasive sexual overtones.

    But from a strictly realistic perspective, essentially no high school boy is going to find boots to be hot, much less give them an extended and meaningful look (the boots were cute, but "hot" is definitely not a straight male response). Looking from the outside, Peter's character feels very much like wish fulfillment for a young female audience--which makes me wonder just how many of my favorite media characters have the same traits. How many wish fulfillment fantasies have I overlooked because they appealed to me specifically? How much of our media is wish fulfillment?

    Some people complain about wish fulfillment in media, but I don't consider it a bad thing, myself. In fact, I view it as an essentially good thing. People like wish fulfillment; it's fun.

    Anyway, I have mixed feelings about the "bad boy" archetype. Christian Grey is mostly just a sex object rather than a romantic ideal; he's hot because he's strong and there's nothing to him beyond that. Peter Kavinsky is actually a decent human being at heart; he just comes off as callous at first, and his stereotypically bitchy girlfriend at the start of the movie lets viewers blame her bad influence for his initial behavior, making him look a little more pure by comparison when their relationship breaks apart.

    Now, the Christian Grey archetype just glamorizes rich assholes (what else is there to say?), but the Peter Kavinsky archetype isn't so bad, in the sense that it portrays inner kindness as attractive. However, it still sends the message that a hot jerk is actually a good guy on the inside if you give him a chance... which honestly isn't realistic, either. There are lots of people who are good on the outside but bad on the inside, but very, very few people who are bad on the outside but good on the inside. @LadyRhian is old and wise enough to realize that these archetypes aren't real, but unrealistic characters in media do exert some influence on younger people.

    But it's hard for me to criticize these things, because they're fantasies. I can't really complain that people find aggressive men attractive any more than I can complain that people find rich men or tall men or muscular men attractive. Nobody teaches women that a guy with a killer jaw and bronze skin is attractive; they already are. Sometimes, the things we find attractive are simply grounded in our DNA. Media portray blonde women as attractive, but I didn't need unrealistic media standards to make me think "warm and cuddly" when I see a white woman with blonde hair.

    So I can't really begrudge people for being attracted to an unrealistic archetype. Part of it is just how we're wired. I think all we can really do is point out that people take lessons strictly from real life experience (both personal and secondhand) when it comes to picking out romantic partners.

    Gawk at hot jerks and Photoshopped babes on the screen all you want, but when it comes to real life, make sure to marry your best friend.

    mlneveseThacoBellStummvonBordwehr
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    Eh... I wouldn't exactly categorize such flawed archetypes as unrealistic. Superficial, perhaps. But unrealistic? Honestly, having one or two dozen screws loose is probably some of the most realistic things a fictional character can have. Looking at real life and all that.

    Which reminds me of another trope I am dead tired from seeing:

    Perfect People

    No mishaps befalls them. They possess no vices. Everyone, including complete strangers, like them. Possessing a perfect family as a matter of fact. And of course excelling in both sports and academical subjects equally peerless. Really... what's so fun about having perfect protagonists in fiction? It feels so incredibly fake. Almost as if watching a Let's Play in Easy Mode. Stories without ups and downs, as if characters cruising on a never ending winning streak... is... boring... the hell... out of me... *yawn*

    mlneveseThacoBell
  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    LadyRhian said:

    Or the trope of a woman being attracted to the asshole guy, because "She can redeem him!" Speaking for myself (and an awful lot of women), when we want a romance, we want a romance, not a project to redeem some bunghole into a normal human being. Sorry guys, we're not your craftsperson. We're just another human who wants a romance, not a job.

    This is probably the biggest problem I had with the Assnomen, excuse me, Anomen romance in BG2. He's a jerk. An arrogant jerk. And he was the ONLY choice for a female PC before EE.

    ThacoBell
  • JoenSoJoenSo Member Posts: 910
    LadyRhian said:

    There is also a certain kind of paralysis that occurs in people just waking from a dream. It used to be thought to be a sign of being attacked by an incubus/succubus. You also feel as if a weight is pressing on your chest, and you are literally unable to move.

    Sleep paralysis for those who are curious. I know several people who have suffered from it and I hope I never have to experience it for myself. Waking up next to a person who was just snapping out of their sleep paralysis is still one of the worst experiences I've had. Imagine being half-awake and then the person next to you suddenly sits up and just screams at the top of their lungs for quite a while.

    I used to roll my eyes at the trope of people almost flying out of bed when they wake up from a nightmare, because that's not really how you wake up. But that is still not close to how sleep paralysis can manifest itself.

    mlnevesesemiticgoddesstypo_tillyThacoBell
  • ArdanisArdanis Member Posts: 1,736


    Perfect People

    No mishaps befalls them. They possess no vices. Everyone, including complete strangers, like them. Possessing a perfect family as a matter of fact. And of course excelling in both sports and academical subjects equally peerless. Really... what's so fun about having perfect protagonists in fiction? It feels so incredibly fake. Almost as if watching a Let's Play in Easy Mode. Stories without ups and downs, as if characters cruising on a never ending winning streak... is... boring... the hell... out of me... *yawn*
    Those make for excellent antagonists, though, especially with a bit of self-righteousness thrown in.

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 7,186
    Ardanis said:


    Perfect People

    No mishaps befalls them. They possess no vices. Everyone, including complete strangers, like them. Possessing a perfect family as a matter of fact. And of course excelling in both sports and academical subjects equally peerless. Really... what's so fun about having perfect protagonists in fiction? It feels so incredibly fake. Almost as if watching a Let's Play in Easy Mode. Stories without ups and downs, as if characters cruising on a never ending winning streak... is... boring... the hell... out of me... *yawn*
    Those make for excellent antagonists, though, especially with a bit of self-righteousness thrown in.

    Paladins!

    ArdanisArtonaKamigoroshi
  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 10,203
    edited May 2019
    Starships are all compatible!

    Any ship part will be fully compatible with technology developed by an alien race they've never seen before! Need a plasma capacitor? Antimatter chamber? Computer part? Just get it from the nearest alien ship!

    And that leads me to another trope. There is always an abandoned alien ship nearby. It may be hard to reach but a ship with a needed part will always be available.

    JoenSoThacoBellBelgarathMTHSkatan
  • JoenSoJoenSo Member Posts: 910
    I actually kind of like that trope in space exploration games like Endless sky and Escape Velocity (even though there was mostly human technology in the latter). And you end up flying this wonderfully weird hodgepodge of a ship with unstable shields bought from some shady smuggler, ion engines from some lost robot civilization and pulse cannons from the squirrel people beyond the wormhole.

    mlneveseSkatan
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    All Elves Are Vegans
    Far from eating meat, they won't even touch diary products with a ten foot pole. But wait, what's that? All of them are inborn bow masters? Bows, you know, the tool to hunt animals for their meat since the Mesolithic? It... it just doesn't make any sense ! ! !

    This trope is especially severe in Japanese fantasy franchises. I probably have to curse Record of Lodoss War for that nonsense... *sigh*

    mlnevesegorgonzolaThacoBell
  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 10,203
    *cough*ediblebookfestival*cough*

    Of course that would be a thing... Humanity is insane I say.

    ThacoBellBalrog99Arvia
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,644
    Ardanis wrote: »
    I've seen an awful lot of NWN2 female fans who's been head over heels for Bishop, though, the epitome of asshole.

    @Ardanis , Just saw this quote from December. It's not just female fans who are attracted to Bishop. ;)

    Ardanismlnevese
  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,820
    edited May 2019
    Although wild magic is supposed to be very random, some writers act as if there are only three kinds of wild surges: polymorphing, teleporting, and fireballs. In Neera's content in BG1, for example, there are at least five references to the use of wild magic to polymorph creatures:
    1. Neera says: "Casting wild magic is like... playing a flute by ear... Also, the flute sometimes turns me into a hamster."
    2. In Adoy's Enclave, there are multiple animals that had been polymorphed by Adoy's wild magic.
    3. Adoy gets polymorphed into a squirrel in the battle with Ekandor.
    4. Adoy's belt helps wild mages control their magic by giving them a bonus to their Save vs. Polymorph (as opposed to, say, giving a small bonus to wild surge rolls, which would also fit the theme).
    5. Neera polymorphs Meklin into an umber hulk if you fight him.

    mlnevese
  • ArviaArvia Member, Moderator Posts: 1,923
    ThacoBell wrote: »
    I hate thw trope that any mentor, or anyone who is close to retirement are automatically doomed. It was darkly ironic the first time you saw it, now its just a big flashing "THIS IS GONNA HAPPEN NEXT" sign above the character's head.

    At least one thing that can't be blamed on imitating Tolkien. Gandalf was the only one of those who came back.

    mlneveseThacoBellDreadKhan
  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 10,203
    edited May 2019
    The death of the mentor and of the officer that is about to retire should be banned from new movies, books and TV series... Find some other reason for the hero to become the hero. Using this trope just makes the story a lot more predictable.

    Post edited by mlnevese on
    Balrog99ThacoBell
  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 10,203
    This one is coming up a lot on the BG III forum. The hero that is conveniently frozen just to wake up in a far future.

    Minsc was petrified, Volo was imprisoned, Buck Rogers was frozen in an accident in space and the list goes on and on. Come on writers let some characters die or find other ways to bring them to a far future!

    ThacoBellSkatanBalrog99
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