Bronwyn Green

The Corner of Quirky & Kinky


There are sooooooooooo many tropes I loathe (quite a few I love, too) but it’s all about the ranty loathing today. I’m gonna break it down by genre. Well, that’s a lie. I’m gonna break it down by the genres that I write because otherwise, I’ll literally be here all night.


  • All Women Are Competition – I’m putting this in romance, but honestly, it appears in about every kind of fiction, but it’s huge in romance, erotic romance, and YA, and I am sick to fuck of it.  I really hate when other women exist in stories as tools to show the reader how much better the heroine is than the hero’s ex, or his secretary, or a romantic rival. These other women are usually portrayed as conniving, grasping, hateful bitches who are in competition for the hero’s affection.
  • You’re Not Like Other Girls – This trope also belongs in erotic romance and YA, too. This is meant to show the reader the same thing as All Women Are Competition – just what a special fucking snowflake the heroine is. We get it. She’s your heroine and she’s awesome. We want to like her, too. But there’s something that’s a little disconcerting about a hero evangelizing about the heroine (silently, because he’s an alphahole who doesn’t share his feels) in a way that disses all other women (basically rates them as substandard) in order to reinforce how super-shiny-special the heroine is.
  • Instalove – To be fair, this is another one that could have gone into YA or ER. It’s also pretty self-explanatory. I just don’t buy a Happily Ever After after characters have only known one another for three days.

Erotic Romance

  • It’s Fine for the Heroine to Have All the Sex Ever Because Soon it Will Be Love but Any Other Woman Who Does That is a Slut – Okay, so this one is a bit of a mouthful as far as tropes go, but I fucking hate hypocrisy like this so much! How does that even work? Especially in the erotic romance genre? It’s the sister trope of All Women Are Competition and You’re Not Like Other Girls. But it reinforces that not only is the heroine super special, but the laws of nature (or the laws of the novels where this trope appears) don’t apply to her. And also, she’s winning ALL the competitions that theses other women didn’t even know they were part of.
  • Alphaholes – I’m really not a fan of the darkity-dark-dark-dark hero who’s basically a giant bag of dicks. They’re emotionally unavailable, arrogant, ruthless, cruel, jealous as fuck, creepily controlling, and often stalk the heroine, yet, the heroine can’t help but be attracted to these gems. They can be billionaires or bikers – sometimes even both at the same time.
  • Magic Peen/Magic Vag – Either the hero or heroine is super emotionally fucked up by some past trauma, but by the end of the book, they’ve been made emotionally whole again by the power of the peen (or vag). The sex cured them.  (OMG – random side note: Remember the old He-Man cartoon? He-Man would whip out his little dagger and holler “By the power of Greyskull!” and his dagger would grow into a sword. Now, every time I come across the magic peen trope, I’m gonna be thinking of He-Man. This is not going to end well for me, friends.)
  • Billionaires – So often, the billionaire trope ends up reading more like money porn to me. So far, there’s been one exception to this rule for me, and that’s been Neil Elwood. I’m sure there are probably others, but I’m so turned off by the trope that I’d be unlikely to pick them up without a strong recommendation from someone I trust.
  • Instantaneous Orgasms Over Virtually Nothing – Sexual arousal is a powerful, powerful thing. Also? It’s a pretty good time. It has a lot to recommend it, really. However, when the heroine orgasms over the barest sexual touch, it doesn’t read realistically. Perhaps, there’s a person out there who can come because someone stroked their arm. Perhaps, you’re that person. However, most of the populace isn’t that person. Most of the populace is going to look at the Instaorgasm, roll their eyes and mutter, “For fucking real?!”

Young Adult

  • Magical Girl – In paranormal YAs, the heroine is rarely an average girl who gets caught up in extraordinary events. She’s usually secretly (unbeknownst to her) a witch, a fairy/faery, a vampire, an angel, a demon, a weresomething, a vampire slayer, etc. and the story is all about how she was really special all along.
  • Love Triangles  – Nope. I feel like the main reason this exists is to show the reader that even though the heroine thinks she’s nothing specials/not pretty or popular or whatever enough, she really is because OMGTWOBOYSWANTHER. How about we just, I dunno, explore this character’s worth in ways that don’t rely on whether or not she’s found desirable by boys?

Okay, so, I know there are a ton more, but these are the ones I’m unloading on today, because it’s nearly 9pm and I have a ton of things left to do in my bullet journal for the day. I’m sure we’ll revisit this topic another time, and I’ll have more tropes to bitch about, but in the meanwhile, how about you share some of your most loathed tropes with me. What really gets your undies in a twist?

In the meanwhile, be sure to check out Torrance and Deelylah’s posts, too!

0 thoughts on “Tropes I Hate in Fiction and Why: A.K.A. Bron Unloads (Again)

  1. merlinslaugh says:

    I just thought I’d mention that literally every trope you identify in romance and erotic (all of which I hate too, especially the other woman hate /slut shaming thing which must die in a fire now) are present in 50 Shades. Oh EL James what unmitigated shit you wrote…

    1. Bronwyn says:

      It’s almost like she thought, “What are the absolute worst things I can put together in a book/character?” Then she did all of them.

  2. Neil Elwood is the perfect billionaire. *nods* I totally hate the love triangle in YA too.

    1. Bronwyn says:

      He’s really the only worthwhile one.

  3. I agree with you on pretty much all of these. In a few instances I’ve seen a handful of them done well (I agree that Neil is basically the only billionaire worth reading) but mostly, they’re crap and need to die.

    1. Bronwyn says:

      Every once in a while, I’ll see what looks like one of these tropes, but then the author turns it on its head. I love when that happens.

  4. Alex Kourvo says:

    These are all spot-on! Each of these offenses will cause me to put down a book and never finish it. Or, in the case of the “magical girl,” never pick it up in the first place. (It’s so odd to me that these books see the “magical girl” as a selling point. They always explain it in the jacket copy.)

    One reason I’m eager to see the new Star Wars Rogue One movie is because it looks as if the protagonist is NOT a magical girl. From what I can tell from the trailer, she isn’t the chosen one. She’s a regular person who becomes a hero. Of course, this is just going by the trailer. I could be wrong. But I hope I’m not!

    1. Bronwyn says:

      I thought the same thing about Rogue One! I really, really hope we’re not wrong. I would love for her to just be a girl kicking Empire ass.

  5. Jessi Gage says:

    Love this!
    Reminded me of a DNF I got two chapters into last night. There were two heroes, twins with I KID YOU NOT FIFTEEN INCH PEENS. Not together. EACH. Yes, that’s THIRTY INCHES of vag-n-ass splitting craziness, and it was just too much for me.

    I almost broke my face I rolled my eyes so hard. So yeah. The huge peen should be a no-thanks trope too.

    Fun post!

    1. Bronwyn says:

      Oh, for fuck’s sake. Just…no.

      Side note: One time, I rolled my eyes so hard at a book, I popped out my contact.

  6. Bob Mayer says:

    As a billionaire, Alpha male, with a massive peen, I am greatly offended. I am going off to sulk in my Bat-Cave, before I go back to saving the world.

    1. Bronwyn says:

      And The Comment of the Day Award goes to…Bob. 😀

  7. Pansy Petal says:

    Do I dare say that this post made me laugh? Especially the last two comments. I will read most anything at least once. If it is written well – Neil *sigh* – I will try another. If not, well they will be lucky if I finish the book. But yeah, I can do with out the bullies or mean girls. And instalove – I often wonder about that. Is it really love? OR is it being in love with the idea of love?

    The trope that really bugs me though – the step-brother thing. I mean really? I have seen the real thing. They are still happily married somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 years later. However, the family drama throughout the years! So yeah! This trope bugs me and I don’t read it.

    1. Bronwyn says:

      I can’t do the stepbrother/father/uncle anything. Having actual stepbrothers, it’s just not a trope I’m ever going to be comfortable with.

      I’m glad it made you laugh, though. And those comments were fab. 😀

  8. Dor says:

    Sorry to come on your blogpost and be a knob, but I feel it’s deeply uncool to use a watermarked image as your illustration. Either buy the right to use it or find one with an appropriate license. The amount the creators get paid for these images is slight enough without having their work stolen.

    (And apologies if you have and uploaded the comp version by mistake. And again, sorry to be a knob.)

    1. Bronwyn says:

      Hey Dor,

      No apology necessary. You’re absolutely right. I’d saved some images w/links to buy for use with future posts, and in my hurry to finish up this post and go to bed, I didn’t realize that I’d thrown up the watermarked image. So you’re absolutely right – deeply uncool, and I’m clearly the knob, here – not you. I need to pay more attention to what I’m doing! Thanks for pointing it out! The right one is up there now. 🙂

  9. I should post this on my new writing blog, but I think all of my points would be the same as yours. I’ve never understood the “women hate each other/are in constant competition/I’m not like other girls” trope in fiction/reinforced by the media thing. Maybe you don’t have female friends because you suck, protagonist??

    And yeah, the only billionaire I’ve liked in fiction is Neil.

    1. Bronwyn says:

      You should post it up there. There are a lot of tropes that are just crap. I know there are more that really get my undies in a twist, but I’m sure we’ll revisit the topic. 🙂 Also…got a link to the new blog?

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