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This is a thread for everyone to post their favorite Cliches of anything that they've noticed in anime, video games, books, movies, anything. Discussing why Cliches are considered such and why they're so widely accepted too, or maybe simply trolling on particular ones. I'll start off by listing quite a few of my favorites.

1: "once upon a time" at the beginning of fairy tales.

This one is kind of annoying, why? It sets the tone for a lighthearted story about fantasies and whatnot, but sometimes said story can be dark and even frightening at times. To the point where 'once upon a time' doesn't fit as well as 'long ago in a distant land' or a personal favorite 'in a galaxy far far away' :3


This is a big problem in a lot of stories, there's always a certain 'sacred number of x' in them. In Dragonball/DragonballZ/DragonballGT (not counting kai cause it's just a remake of DBZ) there's seven dragonballs. In Power rangers there's usually seven of them, if not then it usually ends up that way by the end of that series. Sometimes it's not even seven, it can be four, or twelve too, but most of the time it's seven.

3: Swordsmen who monologue about honor

Not really a cliche, but I see it a lot, every time someone questions a swordsman's logic, they always start monologing about why their sense of honor is so important.(Or just their goal in general) Not that this is bad, but sometimes it doesn't make sense other than to show the reader some of the character's history.

4: Shimmering Glasses when someone wearing them is saying something important or mysterious.

It's not seen often, but the show that uses this the most is Tenshi Muyo (or any Tenshi show) when Tenshi's grandfather is about to speak. I guess it's used to draw attention to that character, but why?

10/2/2012 #1
"I've got a bad feeling about this." Depending on the theme and tone of the story, stating the obvious in an otherwise tense situation always amuses me. Lots of cliches I do find a bit annoying, even the above one, but it does depend on the context of the story too.
10/2/2012 #2

So true :3

I mean it's like they're hammering the fact that something bad is gonna happen into your face.

Though I kinda like "It's quiet....too quiet..." in some situations, but again, it only works right when in proper context.

Otherwise it's stating the obvious, and comes off as annoying.

Oh and "ITS A TRAP!" :3

Made into a meme thanks to george lucas ._.

Also, villains shouting "NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" when defeated, and then whining about their plans failing.

Another one is "I'll get you next time dammit" (In other words replace dammit with X hero) made famous by Dr claw :3 and Dr Eggman in AOSTH

10/2/2012 #3

Just to mention -- as I understand it, George Lucas deliberately made sure "I've got a bad feeling about this" was said at least once in each of his six Star Wars films.

This may qualify as a cliche: For many years now, I've been known to poke fun at the sword-and-sorcery fantasy stories in which no matter how far from home the heroes may travel during their quest, and no matter how many national borders they cross, everyone speaks the same language! (That was not the way it worked in medieval Europe . . . to put it mildly!)

Another one is the case of the young hotshot who starts taking fencing lessons for the first time in his life, early in the story . . . and a few chapters and a few weeks later, he's already good enough with a sword to beat people who have a great deal more practice!

10/2/2012 . Edited 10/2/2012 #4

As far as the first one mentioned, "once upon a time" is simply a standard start for Western tradition storytelling. It's used to engage the listener/watcher/reader's attention and let them know a story is beginning. And, for the record, most fairy tales were far from "light hearted". Most of the time they were fairly horrifying morality tales or other means of keeping children from misbehaving. They were corrupted into the more lighthearted versions we have to day.

As to the "why is there always seven", seven is considered a mystical or sacred number in a lot of cultures, hence it's going to show up a lot.

10/2/2012 . Edited 10/2/2012 #5
Corinne Tate

I write romantic fiction, and I hate the cliche's! "You complete me." Love at first sight. Soul mates. Someone for everyone. Magical, mystical, once-in-a-lifetime, must be made for me, love. It all makes me retch.

Real love and relationships take dedication, intention, and work. Sure there are those 'awww' moments, but I wish they would go easy on them.

Then everyone has to be perfect. The men cannot be Joe Average, with a weak chin, an ex-wife, an un-cool car, and an average job with medium income. He cannot have allergies, unless it's a deadly reaction to shellfish. He has to have an arsenal of poetic language, reserved only for his true love.

The women are all young and virginal. They've got great bodies, even though they don't think so. They don't have any bad habits, except maybe biting their nails. I mean these chicks have never been dirty, or hot and sweaty in the backseat of a car. They're easily offended, and love to jump to conclusions. Sunlight always shines in their hair, or sparkles from their eyes.

I could go on, but y'all know the song.

10/2/2012 #6

Well, sure they do, Corinne. That sort of stuff is what sells romantic fiction. It's the formula. Don't forget that fiction is often a form of escapism for most readers and not too many romance fans want to read about the dumpy, balding used car salesman even if he is sweet and thoughtful when they can read about the Fabio look-alike in the mostly open shirt with dramatic wind blowing his hair back as he smirks at the idealized woman and sweeps her off her feet - even if he's a j*** who just wants to screw her and toss her overboard in the end. :p

But that does bring up a cliche: The one where guys tend to be some level of buff no matter what - unless they're the "token fattie" - even if they're a stereotypical shut-in computer genius. "Rippling abs" can only happen so many times before it gets really old. Plus, not everyone has the body to actually have a four/six/eight/wtfever-pack.

10/2/2012 #7
That Way

Perhaps the biggest cliche that grates on me is the whole "You don't understand but I'm not going to explain myself or ask you about it" thing.

It's probably most prevalent in romance where there's always some sort of misunderstanding, or that the characters remain clueless about the feelings of the object of their desire (or even their own desire for said object) despite the fact that it is obscenely obvious to any third-party character AND the reader. Sure, doubt and insecurity can sometimes be factors, but stories where a happy ending is within reach from the premise on IF only the two characters were honest with one-another about how they feel are really overdone and pretty boring at this point.

I know lots of people avoid conflict, but not many people I know are just fine with stewing in uncertainty. If it's important to them, they talk things out and try and get to the bottom of the issue rather than making wild assumptions like "she obviously can never love me because she's with HIM" or "my best friend was really never my friend because if he was he never would've betrayed me like he did EVEN THOUGH his actions were completely ooc which should tell me something else is really going on."

10/2/2012 #8

Most of my male characters aren't that buff lol, they're skinny but usually have -some- muscular build, but they don't even have a two pack. Hell, my martial artist oc (and yes he's in a romance-ish fic, the plot isn't strictly romance though) is almost as scrawny as I am, and you can count the vertebrae on my back! The girl he dates is the stereotypical l female, but she's not snobby etc, in fact she's more blonde than Mishoshi from Tenshi Muyo. (I'm not going to explain it, just google that character) Not to mention the person that created her is a sadist who intended to use her as a 'spare' body.

In all honesty, I think the whole seven is a mystical number thing is used way too often, in mother three they make fun of this when one character states that there were six of a set of tools and explains "Why, cause there's always seven of everything!" as his answer.

Seven is an important number, but what about 13? Seriously....what's so evil about it lol I mean even hotels don't have a 13'th floor, it's always 12 A and then 12B or something.

One of the biggest cliches in anime, a small nitpicky one. More than half of the time most female characters have the same eye/hair color. Seriously ._. why... it makes no sense and doesn't improve the character any.

Here is one thing that I hate, in literally every 'creepy bug scene' it involves a girl in some way. And I swear to god, that they almost always use the same creepy background music for that clip.

Speaking of creepy cliches.... DON'T GO IN THE BASEMENT! XD And it's variant THEY'RE IN THE CLOSET


10/2/2012 #9
Corinne Tate

I know that romance is supposed to be escapist, but does it absolutely need to suspend reality? I really want to write about Joe Average, and Nancy Normal. I think it can be an escape, to read the wonder in the ordinary.

Maybe that balding insurance salesman has a nice smile. He offers to drive his divorced neighbor in his Toyota, to buy her ice cream, after she's had a really bad day cleaning other people's houses. They sit outside at an umbrella table, and he tells her about his son's little league game. He says he wishes his wife had lived long enough to see their boy grow up. She reaches across the table and takes his hand. To me, that's romantic!

Ten points for That Way for those horrible uncommunicative plot devices! Real people talk. Or they text, facebook, call, or write. They delve into what matters, and find out that the hot blond he had lunch with, was his sister. They don't fly to the south of France and get engaged to someone else for spite.

Now for real cliche's, I look to anime and manga. Rainbow colors for hair, girls in sailor outfits, the "what is it?" pet, the wise old master who looks like a prune, but kicks everyone's behind. Tons of posturing in fight scenes: "I will defeat you, with my sub-atomic, disintegrating, world crushing, anti-matter, device!" (while posing with finger pointed, feet apart, hair flying, and all those hash marks that are intended to show movement.) There's the men who look like they're boys, the women who look like they're Barbie (with bigger b*** and longer legs) and those little kids with the gigantic eyes. And ninja's who can do ANYTHING.

10/2/2012 #10
One of the biggest cliches in anime, a small nitpicky one. More than half of the time most female characters have the same eye/hair color. Seriously ._. why... it makes no sense and doesn't improve the character any.

Well, given that not all anime has the "fantastical hair colors" trope and in real life more than half of the time most female - and male! - characters have the same eye/hair color, I don't think it's really a big enough thing to call a cliche. Unless you're trying to say that all the blondes have golden eyes, the brunettes, brown, etc. Which is... a little odd? And probably just convenience on the part of the colorists.

Seven is an important number, but what about 13? Seriously....what's so evil about it lol I mean even hotels don't have a 13'th floor, it's always 12 A and then 12B or something.

Well, it takes 13 turns to make a proper hangman's noose or the neck will not snap and the victim will die slowly. There were 13 people at the Last Supper, of which Judas is sometimes considered the 13th. It was a Friday the 13th when the Knights Templar were ordered arrested. In the Persian tradition, it's considered a sign of the age of chaos, the thirteenth era, and people will leave the cities and camp in the desert to avoid bad luck on the 13th day of the Persian new year. In divination it is the number of important cycles of fortune and misfortune. In the Norse tradition, there were 13 (caused by Loki's arrival) at the banquet when Baldur was slain by the mistletoe arrow - heralding the onset of the Twilight of the Gods, Ragnarök. There are 13 circles in Metatron's Cube. The Gunpowder Plot originally had 13 conspirators. Apollo 13 was the only unsuccessful mission to the moon. 12 is considered the number of completeness, therefore 13 is a disruption of that. A "witches coven" (not Wiccan) was said to be made of 12 witches with the Devil making the 13th member. Having 13 letters in your name is said to be a sign of "devil's luck" (and a trait shared with some serial killers).

It's just superstition for the most part, tbh. :p

Speaking of creepy cliches.... DON'T GO IN THE BASEMENT! XD And it's variant THEY'RE IN THE CLOSET

Ha! Horror movie cliches! "If you have sex, you'll die first." "If there's a serial killer around, break off in to ones and twos and go off on your own." "Omg, I'm being chased by an axe murderer! Run upstairs!" They're awful. (Which is why bad horror films are such an amazing guilty pleasure.) But consider the horror story as a violent commentary on society in a way and you might see them different. Zombies as the mob. The young being cut down by not behaving according to society's accepted norms (promiscuity, drinking/drug use, arrogance, etc). Whereas the one who survive tends to be the one who most exemplifies society's ideal - virginal, hard working, doesn't indulge in temptation... It's why I loved Cabin in the Woods for taking all the cliches and turning them on their head.

I know that romance is supposed to be escapist, but does it absolutely need to suspend reality? I really want to write about Joe Average, and Nancy Normal. I think it can be an escape, to read the wonder in the ordinary.

Maybe that balding insurance salesman has a nice smile. He offers to drive his divorced neighbor in his Toyota, to buy her ice cream, after she's had a really bad day cleaning other people's houses. They sit outside at an umbrella table, and he tells her about his son's little league game. He says he wishes his wife had lived long enough to see their boy grow up. She reaches across the table and takes his hand. To me, that's romantic!

Of course it's romantic and no it doesn't need to suspend reality. It's just the stories that follow the fantasy of someone who's living in that ordinary world and wants to imagine being swept off to tropical islands by some beefcake sell better. Not that the writing's any better or the cliched plot is to be preferred. Just that you're going to find a million of the cliched plots before you find a story about Suzie Singlemom who's pushing forty with bags under her eyes and greying hair and looking a lot saggier in various places than she used to with three kids and two jobs being courted by genial but a bit homely John Widower who's last sporting event was a rousing game of checkers in the park or cheering at his nephew's little league game. They can be far more romantic than Betty SuperModel and James StudyJackass, but unfortunately, too many people want to imagine being on the receiving end of super physically attractive people's attention.

10/2/2012 . Edited 10/2/2012 #11

On the subject of an alleged anime cliche which I don't understand at all . . .

It was only a few years ago that I saw a reference, somewhere, to the idea that anime-style shows supposedly often find excuses to have a beautiful girl writhing helplessly within the grasp of someone's or something's tentacles. This was supposed to be erotically exciting for many of the male viewers in the target audience.

I had not been consciously aware of that cliche before. Whatever it was that I read about it came as a complete surprise!

I blinked and asked myself why anyone would get pleasantly excited over tentacles taking liberties with a human being's body -- as opposed to being creeped out by the entire idea, for instance.

I'm reasonably certain I've never fantasized about having a fair maiden trapped within the clutches of my very own tentacles. Nor do I recall getting a guilty thrill out of any such scenes which I may actually have seen over the years in Hollywood movies or TV shows or whatever -- not necessarily in anime; I don't watch a lot of that.

(Just in case you were wondering . . . I don't even have any tentacles in the first place, and I've never wanted to acquire any! You believe me, don't you?)

10/2/2012 #12

I'm not sure that's a cliche so much as a... type of anime p*rn, Lorendiac. I think it may have grown out of the multiple penetration kink, but I really don't want to think about it too much. Kinks are as weird and varied as people after all and if someone gets titillated by someone being molested by a otherworldly tentacled beast welllll... I'm just gonna blink and try not to think about it too much. However, I'll point out it's not just anime. La Blue Girl (which I know of from a 30 sec clip which was entirely bad enough to my 16 yo (at the time) mind and being in the anime scene starting in the mid 90s) for example has live action versions too according to Wikipedia. Just... weird.

10/2/2012 #13
Corinne Tate

Nope. If you had tentacles, I would absolutely expect you to lie. (grin)

10/2/2012 #14
aBlue Gillespian

Oh I can think of a few pet cliches of mine.

One is from some of the aforementioned in this topic horror movies. I've noticed that in most of the horror movies, the blonde dies firsts, and she is almost always running, screaming and breaking her ankles. Now I'm a blonde and that's an insult...:D I mean, I would never die first...I'll push the person next to me and then run...:)

Also the protagonists always have to go right into the place where they shouldn't.

The hero vs villain type of movies have another pet cliché of mine. The supposedly evil genius always being defied by a bit average clever hero. Not to mention that the villain is almost always not pleasant-looking, have a black cat and sits in high leather chair, cackling like an idiot. And that's why I like Doctor Who, the Master (villain there) is drop dead gorgeous, doesn't have pets unless they are humans and doesn't shout Noooo or 'I'll get you the next time.' He just leaves the Doctor to sort out the mess with a grin and a 'See ya...'

Oh another one is. X villain saying to the y hero 'We meet again(insert hero name)'

10/2/2012 #15

Theta'sWorstNightmare -- I think Joss Whedon has specifically said that this cliche about the cute blond girl being the first to die at the hands of the big scary monster was exactly what he wanted to turn on its head with "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" by having it turn out that the cute blond cheerleader was the most dangerous person in the scene, and if the monster had any sense, it would have run away from her! :) (Or words to that effect.)

10/2/2012 . Edited 10/3/2012 #16
aBlue Gillespian

Haha, sounds good as a reason to create "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", although I'm not much of a fan of Vampire stories I've watched a couple of episodes purely because James Marsters was in them...(Yeah, kinda addicted to the guy)

10/2/2012 . Edited 10/2/2012 #17

I have a good one from anime that make a lot of girls cringe.

B*** Sizes XD

Seriously, it's either that or the shape ._.

And don't get me started on bouncing...some animes are realistic, but lots of the time...yeah...fantasy time :3

10/2/2012 #18
aBlue Gillespian

Naru- I think b*** sizes are cliche not only in animes, but also in series like Beachwactch.

10/2/2012 #19

Yeah, it's more noticable in animes though ._.

Another anime cliche that I HATE


Or it does something amazingly awesomely cool and then the enemy still survives....

DBZ is really bad with this one, not so much for the other two of the big four (Naruto, Bleach, OP, DBZ)

10/2/2012 #20

My fandom, The Dukes of Hazzard, can usually be described as one big cliché-fest. I'd say 80% of the stories posted fit into one cliché or another. I actually was talking about this same thing to a reader that PM'd me earlier and they raved about another writer's work that they found "Talented" though to be honest, anyone with a writing level higher than a fourth grader could probably do better. I was trying to be nice so I said that I tended to find that her works were too cliché for my tastes. Then she asked what I meant by clichés. The most common clichés in the Dukes include:

Someone gets sick and the whole family is worried for the family member from the very first chapter.

One of the fellas or more are in a car accident and end up an a coma.

A girl shows up out of no where and one or more of the guys fall madly and instantly in love with her for no apparent reason at all. (No character development before they are in "Love").

If the story involves Coy, Vance, Luke and Bo; a lot of writers like to make it where they are at odds with one another despite there is nothing in the show that would point to that.

In a lot of stories Bo is written to have asthma even though it was never mentioned in the show simply because John Schneider had it as a child. He also admits that he was a chunky kid but no one ever writes Bo as being overweight.

And then of course there are the Enos/Daisy stories that always end up with the same results.

Personally, it has gotten to the point that if there is even a HINT of the story following down one of the above paths I won't even open them up anymore. At times I'd like to just shout, "Show some originality people!"

10/3/2012 . Edited 10/3/2012 #21

Jaded, I almost choked on my diet Sierra Mist from your post. Before you finish writing for Dukes, you should write a parody fic that has all of those elements!

My top fandom is Disney's Beauty and the Beast. I have been part of it for nearly a year and these are the cliches that keep coming up-

1. Belle wants to get, um, passionate with the Beast when he is in Beast form. Whatever floats your boat, ladies.

2. Belle and the Prince have a little girl, usually named Princess Rose, or if her name isn't Rose, the title of the fic is "Precious Rose" or something along those lines. When the daughter grows older, she sometimes is paired with Chip, the former teapot boy. (Although sometimes I have liked stories of this type.)

3. Gaston becomes a somewhat romantic, decent guy, and Belle falls for him. Now, the reason for this is that the most popular author in the entire fandom, who is my respected friend now and got the fandom going long ago, was the one who first wrote this, and ever after there have been copycat fics of her popular stories. I found one later version that was good, it was a cute Christmas fic, but the others have been meh. Sometimes an OC instead of Belle falls for the sweetened up Gaston.

4. High school! The whole story is redone in a modern high school setting. And is there a Beast? Sure, but it is a kid disfigured in a fire with burn scars! And he is called Beast by bullies and in the title. A pretty, smart Belle-type girl sees beyond the scars. Nice and respectful to real burn victims, yeah.

5. Gaston survives the long fall from the castle tower. How? Because he is Disney's Chuck Norris.

6. R*** stories. Poor Belle gets r*** by Gaston, or Beast. When it is Beast, the term "Stockholm Syndrome" is always brought up.

7. Gaston's dopey little sidekick, Lefou, becomes a "Mad Bad*** Out for Revenge!" In one story, he literally set the whole castle on fire. Now, a few of these I did find amusing. One of them is on my fave list. But honestly, this guy doesn't strike me as a mad avenger, he's supposed to be a meek sycophant.

8. Fairytale retellings with all the Disney names taken out, basically an original fic. I think some of them were written well, but they belong on FictionPress and not in a particular movie fandom.

10/3/2012 #22

civilwarrose; The problem with writing that kind of parody would be that most reading in the fandom would actually think that it was a GREAT story! Not because it was a parody but because they'd mistakenly think that I'd finally decided to jump on the lame cliche train and turned to the dark-side so to speak. LOL!! Very few would get that I'd be making fun of the general Duke Fic. ;)

Fics that include these elements are the ones that get ten people a chapter (Good for the fandom for those that havent jumped over there in a while) to all write a one line saying that the writer is awesome and the story was great! In fact I had someone just last night suggesting that I should write more like a writer over there that is, in their words, "Quite talented" whom I consider to be barely legible. She has lots of "Fans" since she writes the same plots all the time and they usually involve a pair of Dukes that don't have a lot of stories about them. Write like that? I try for quality but it seems that in that small fandom especially that quality is not desired. :(

10/3/2012 #23

One question, Jaded -- about those "Dukes of Hazzard" fanfic cliches. You said:

If the story involves Coy, Vance, Luke and Bo; a lot of writers like to make it where they are at odds with one another despite there is nothing in the show that would point to that.

I just want to check something: Do you mean the tight-knit Coy/Vance duo is consistently quarreling with the tight-knit Luke/Bo duo? I ask because at first glance I thought you meant each of the four Duke boys was somehow yelling at, or fiercely competing with, each of the other three boys, simultaneously!

10/3/2012 #24

Yes, when all four fellas are written in together usually the story has Coy and Vance teaming up against Bo and Luke. Or Vance fights against Luke while Coy and Bo are the "Peace Makers". In either case, the ONE show they were together there were no ill feelings shown. Folks like to use the fact that the ACTORS Tom Wopat and John Schneider were out on strike so Byron Cherry and Chip Mayer were brought in while they were gone. The writers confuse the off screen troubles with the characters. Even though Byron and John were friends and both admit that when John walked out he recommended Byron for the job.

10/3/2012 . Edited 10/3/2012 #25
aBlue Gillespian

Oh, if we are going on our fandoms there are so many clichés into my fandoms and not only in fanfictions but also in canon the biggest clichés in canon Doctor Who are.

1. In the '70 the girls were always helpless stupid girls who need the hero to rescue them. Always screaming and running in terror. I think the authors now are compensating for this and the most of the women are steadfastly, determined Marry Sues who even outsmart the Doctor, which turned in another cliché.

2. The Daleks (the main antagonists to the Doctor) always come back. No matter how many times someone wipe them from existence or time they always come back so the Doctor can be all angsty.

3. The Doctor always lands the TARDIS in the wrong time or place, they always start with having a good time anyway, then something turns out wrong, then there are hostile people and then they run for their lives or end up in jail and escape.

4. The Doctor always safes the day, although there most likely are whole armies with weapons and he never carries anything but sonic screwdriver.

5. No matter if the Doctor dies, or something happens to the universe, because they are just going to reset time, or the paradox that just blew a hole in time and space was always meant to happen. So no problem easy peasy. Just restart and the time line is fixed.

In Torchwood, Jack always dies horribly, or if not he is all full of angst. If he dies despite the other knowing that he is immortal they are trying to protect him,or die for or with him. I mean the guy can't die, or rather can but doesn't stay dead, just let him get the blast, why do you need to die?

In fanfiction there are even more clichés. In Torchwood for example.

1. Jack and Ianto finally confess to each other that they are not just a casual shag and are in love. Then Jack moves in to live with Ianto and they even marry in a lot of the stories, despite the fact that in canon Jack couldn't tell Ianto 'I love you' even while Ianto was dying.

2. Gwen always tries to break up Jack and Ianto despite her being married to Rhys.

3. Jack is always ready for sex with Ianto and carries the required items for it in his pockets all the time.

4. Ianto died, but let that not stop fanfic writers find various ways to bring him back. The most cliché ways are: a) Ianto is a secret Time Lord and instead of the alien virus killing him completely he regenerates and turns out to either be the next Doctor or just for some reason the regeneration energy is enough to heal the body but not change it.

b) Jack's immortality is sexually transmitted and now Ianto is immortal as well.

c) Jack finds a way to breathe life in Ianto by kissing him and now Ianto is immune to the virus.

d) The Doctor comes and takes Ianto's body without anyone noticing and brings him back by going back in time, crossing his own time line giving Ianto cure for the virus. The cure turns out to work only if the body appears dead so everyone thinks Ianto is dead while he is just in deep coma. And voila Ianto isn't dead.

In Doctor who fanfictions there are even more clichés.

1) Jack always flirts with everything that moves until he finds Rose and the Doctor then he has eyes only for them.

2) There is always this mysterious girl who turns out to be a surviving Time Lord but she is disguised as human and doesn't know it. Usually she ends up to be either the Doctor's daughter, wife or something or the Master's daughter, wife or something. If the mysterious girl isn't a Time Lord she is usually the Doctor and Rose's daughter.

3) Rose always finds a way back to the Doctor from the parallel world when no one expects it. And I can go on and on but I think this became too long of a list.

10/3/2012 #26
That Way

Oh are we doing specific fandoms now? God I probably shouldn't since there's too many to count in Harry Potter, but I can't resist:

1) Dumbledore is actually an evil genius manipulating everyone and everything for his own purposes and is the true ENEMY.

2) Dumbledore actually didn't die!

3) Harry suddenly develops super!magic and becomes the most powerful wizard in history at the age of 17 while his closest competition took decades of work, effort and study just to come close. He is also a sex god.

4) A child of one of the main pairings goes back in time to help his/her parents' generation with making sure something 'terrible' in his/her timeline never happened. Especially grating when the author established the limitations of time travel as being unable to 'change' the past as well as hinting that it would be catastrophic if anyone found out he/she was time traveling.

5) Whenever one character has romantic feelings for another, they HAVE to deny it for a minimum of 6months to a year, while it is SO obvious to every other character. Of course the love interest must be just as oblivious.

6) Ron is a pig with no table manners whose only purpose is to look like an idiot and drool over pretty girls. Oh and he must be seen stuffing his face at least once per chapter.

7) Snape is well-versed in classical Muggle literature even though he spent half his life despising Muggles and seems to be a bit too busy to spend his time reading Jane Austen. Also he is a sex god.

8) Every Slytherin is evil.

9) Alternatively, everyone EXCEPT Slytherins are evil and have mistreated and bullied them to the point that they have no choice but to fight back and are simply misunderstood.

10) Somebody is an empath. Most of the time it's a girl and usually she's also a 'healer.'

11) American foreign exchange students and/or the Hogwarts crowd spends a year in America.

12) Hermione is flawless. She poops gold and vomits up magical textbooks.

13) Ron is a drunk, abusive, cheating husband. Also see Hermione is a s*** and has sex with every single character.

14) If you are cool, you own or are friends with a phoenix. Or you can turn into a phoenix.

15) In the 'war', teenagers become 'soldiers' and the wizarding world is basically split into two armies. Of course, nonmagical people never notice that a full scale war is going on right down the street no matter how many things blow up or how high the body count climbs.

16) Draco Malfoy is actually a very nice, polite, charming young man who happens to be a genius with a difficult upbringing. Also Draco is a sex god and may or may not be wearing leather pants.

17) Ron and Ginny have actually been feeding Harry and Hermione love potions to get them to like them even though once again this is in complete contradiction to the author's explanations of how love potions work. And of course as soon as they figure it out, Harry and Hermione fall in love with each other.

18) Every character in a romance fic must be in stunning physical condition (sex pack, bulging muscles, dancer's body, etc.) even though considering the numerous usages of magic and the fact that every meal is practically a feast you'd probably expect wizards to be fatter than the average normal person.

19) In r*** fics, there is always a spell that makes the victim enjoy the experience against their will. Halfway through they're actually begging to be r*** and by the end they're half in love with the assailant.

20) Harry (and usually either Hermione or Ginny depending on which is his love interest) becomes an animagus (can turn into animals). The type of animal depends on how much the author cares about actually making sense and fitting it into canon.

21) Sirius is secretly alive/brought back to life. Also he is a sex god.

22) Harry has a secret sister/brother/cousin.

23) Characters using swords/knives/guns/weapons. I mean c'mon! They're freaking wizards with magic wands that can make a hundred swords out of thin air!

24) Character X is actually a vampire. Or a veela (impossibly beautiful creature whose mere presence is irresistable to the opposite sex). The latter is particularly grating when it's a male character as veela are exclusively female. For that matter, why is this a plot device at all in pwp stories since that would suggest veela reproduce asexually?

25) Someone creates/finds an immeasurably powerful wand even though making a wand takes decades of study (and that's a normal wand) and only one wand in the series was deemed 'exceptional' in power.

26) Head boy and girl share their own room (completely contradicted in canon). Usually used for the hilarity/hotness of having the characters walk in on each other changing. Most often used to force Draco and Hermione together, but also applies to Ron/Hermione and Harry/Hermione.

27) Using the common prefects bath for sex. Same goes for the Room of Requirement.

28) Awful use of nicknames/codenames/pet names for every character (except Gred, Forge and Mollywobbles since those are canon).

29) Dragonhide shirt/jacket/armor/etc. that makes a character invincible. If that were true, I'd think dragons would be on the endangered species list.

30) Harry Potter breaks bad/goes evil. Usually in dark!Harry or independent!Harry fics. Can also be applied to Ron (though more often to the character's detriment).

31) Wandless magic. If it was easy, why's everyone else carrying around a tree branch?

32) Stories where the wizarding world is suddenly re-imagined with a medieval-like morals, laws, and class system. Usually Harry is made into Lord Black and half the population is expected to bow to his every whim because he's wizarding royalty (despite the explicit mention in canon that there is NO wizarding royalty).

33) Marriage law fics. If you don't know what I'm talking about, count yourself lucky.

34) Harem!Harry fics. Actually any story where sex!magic is some sort of plot device.

35) The whole gang spends a summer at Hermione's house (her parents are ALWAYS out of town and let 4 teenagers have run of the house without any supervision for weeks) and get up to normal teenage hijinks and forget an evil, mass-murdering wizard is on the loose.

36) Characters all get drunk and/or play truth or dare.

37) Love triangles with Harry/Ron/Hermione, Harry/Draco/Ginny, Harry/Draco/Ron, Harry/Ginny/Hermione, Ron/Hermione/Draco, etc. At least find an original zany three-some so it's a little different.

38) Harry was physically abused as a child and/or Hermione had a p*** for a relative who abused her as a kid.

39) Hermione is sorted in Ravenclaw instead of Gryffindor. Same for Harry/Ron sorted into Slytherin.

40) Hermione is actually a pureblood witch instead of muggle-born. Usually she's a descendant/child of someone incredibly important/powerful (Voldemort, Dumbledore, Snape, Merlin, McGonagall, etc.).

41) AU fics where the characters immediately fall in love at the age of eleven, start having sex at twelve, are married by thirteen and popping out babies at fourteen. Ick.

41) Relatedly, any "Hermione accidentally got pregnant while still in school." See also: Hermione is pregnant and doesn't know who the father is.

42) Hunger Games crossovers where some plot devices suddenly requires all the characters fight each other to the death.

Ha. Didn't plan to type out that many but they just kept coming to me.

10/3/2012 #27
Aspiring Hobby

Now making Draco and harry as twin brothers through some kind of magic trick is also very on trend. There is also one I think where Draco and Harry suddenly become friends through no reason or logic. The one where Draco and Harry are just made for each other, suffer the agony (as a way to describe canon) as they fight off but actually want to be the other's friend and ally. I think I have read fare share of them and the next one would be way too soon.

10/3/2012 #28

Good ones, That Way! I have quite a few of those in the HP section.

I'd also add:

43. Marauder era stories with a cute Mary Sue girl going to Hogwarts who invariably pairs up with Sirius.

44. Snarry. Oh, heavens, the Snarry. Usually with BDSM, and no, I never click on them but the summaries make it clear.

10/3/2012 #29
That Way

Alice the Noble: Huh I haven't been reading many new fics so I think I've missed out on Draco/Harry as brothers. Have seen them as bff's in fics where the author doesn't like Ron and/or Hermione or when Harry is sorted into Slytherin. Actually same goes for Ron/Draco in stories where Ron's in Slytherin too. And Draco and Hermione as bff's in any story where Draco is made flamboyantly gay.

Actually Hermione and/or Ginny having a gay best friend is pretty cliched all by itself.

civilwarrose: Oh man I didn't even go into marauder's era fics. That's like a whole new set of cliches to play with. Probably the same for founders era but I don't think I've ever read one of those, but that one's probably really high on the list. I'd add that Miss Mary Sue also almost always is already/becomes best friends with Lily as well.

Some more I can't believe I forgot:

45) Hermione runs away to another country/America, either because she thinks Ron/Harry didn't love her or she is pregnant with one of their babies and for some reason needs to keep it a secret/safe.

46) The trio's friendship ends after school but they must come together years later to save the world once again.

47) Rose/Hugo are actually Harry's/Draco's kids and Hermione uses glammer charms to disguise them.

48) Rose/Scorpius are always paired together. I mean a lot of those fics are really good and all, but they don't ALWAYS have to be paired together in next-gen fics.

49) Harry WASN'T the Chosen One.

50) Polyjuice being used for couples to 'role play' during sex. See also: Hermione has sex with herself and/or others using the Time Turner.

51) Harry Potter=Harriet Potter.

52) Character(s) X lost their memory/had them modified.

I guess I should note that there are stories that use some of these cliches and turn out brilliantly. I know my own writing is guilty of some of them. Cliches don't automatically make a story bad (okay some of them do :). They're just very tired/overdone.

10/3/2012 . Edited 10/3/2012 #30
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