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Cliches you can't stand

Discussion in 'Fiction Discussion' started by Mithras, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. Mithras

    Mithras Misanthrope

    What cliches drive you up the wall?

    Purity of Heart - The idea that if someone is "pure of heart" that makes them better than someone who is more capable of doing the job. Goku in Dragonball is a particularly bad offender of this trope. Thick as two short planks but due to plot fiat saves the day every time and despite doing morally ambiguous shit like prostituting Vegeta's wife, he's still "pure".

    Super Hellish Training makes you invincible - Exactly what it says on the tin. There was a good batman comic where Scarecrow's fear toxin shows us a more realistic conclusion to Batman's capers - broken, paralysed and delusional.
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  2. Coiler

    Coiler LOVE Bomber F-111

    That any opposition by the authorities to a "Daring, bold" option by a "Maverick" is just because they're stupid.
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  3. Polokun

    Polokun Dragonheart

    Power of Friendship. Yeah its all well and good to have a team of loyal friends behind you that stick by you, but when you actively state outloud how you won is because of this? It just makes me facepalm so damn hard.
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  4. Ursine

    Ursine Concerned Citizen

    Home, Sweet Home
    So Crazy It Has To Work
    Just no, things that are crazy do not work most of the time. They do often get people hurt or killed.

    Super Genius with a Dozen Degrees
    I see this a lot in fiction. In real life, it can take upwards of a decade of study and research, after finishing a doctorate for a scientist to really hit the cutting edge in their field. Someone with a dozen doctorates is someone who knows barely enough about each field to get a doctorate, aka the guy getting coffee for the experienced researchers.

    Incompetent Childlike Husband/Brilliant Motherlike Wife
    I see this on TV almost everywhere lately. Anytime you have a married couple, the man is usually irresponsible, thoughtless and a bit dumb. The wife is always intelligent, classy, and has to stop her husband from doing dumb, irresponsible things. Also, the guy is usually overweight and unattractive, while the wife is at least TV average (in real life, gorgeous), or better (Hollywood hot).

    Genius A$$hole
    I am talking about the complete dick who is somehow so essential that he (and it always seems to be a guy) is never reprimanded or fired. In real life, virtually no one is irreplacable, and most of these guys would get fired becasue no matter how good they are, the group as a whole is more effective when they do not have to deal with the one guy's ego/dickishness.
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  5. Generalissimo

    Generalissimo Generalissimo of SufficientVelocity

    Tropico, Tropico
    Most anything military in Science Fiction is usually in 99.5% onscreen appearances fighting hilariously.
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  6. Mithras

    Mithras Misanthrope

    The problem is, by that logic writing a story where the war is fight with supernova inducing weapons aren't really going to be interesting, the same way any "realistic" military would only have nuclear weapons.
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  7. [Citation needed]
    Did you somehow forget all the military conflicts that were in fact fought during the Cold War?
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  8. Talos

    Talos Completed Quests: 3

    Er, minor point of order, but I don't recall Goku's ''purity of heart'' really being a major thing in DBZ. (Can't comment for dragon ball.) It adds up to a grand total of him being able to ride the nimbus.
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  9. Mithras

    Mithras Misanthrope

    Notice the quote marks around "Realistic" ;)
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  10. I think it's best when both the pure of heart and the more hardened and world-weary are both treated as possessing something valuable.

    If I had to pick a cliche I hate, TVtropes put it ciccinctly as "villains act, heroes react." All too often heroes have no real aim to better the world, they only fight the evils that fall into their lap. Which is still admirable...but they could often do so much more.

    Conversely, villains are the ones actually trying to change things, and if they're written even somewhat sympathetically I tend to start rooting for them under those circumstances. I am tired of the status quo constantly winning, and a lot of villains seem to have good plans that are only evil for somewhat arbitrary reasons. Their plans are far more interesting too.
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  11. Polokun

    Polokun Dragonheart


    Forgive me, but I fail to see the logic in this. How exactly is the villains acting/choosing to change things supposed to be a good thing? It's like saying, yeah the terrorists attacked on 9/11, but they did do stuff! Please elaborate.
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  12. Mithras

    Mithras Misanthrope

    More along the lines of:

    "Don't proactively go after villains! Instead react to their moves."
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  13. Although there are undoubtedly exceptions...

    The Masquerade: Most of the time it feels lazy, forced and contrived as ALL hell.

    Can't catch up: Most of my favorite characters are side-characters, so seeing them getting left by the wayside for the bland hero pisses me off. *Directs Death Glares at most Shonen-particularly Dragonball-and Sailor Moon*
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  14. Of course most villains in stories are deplorable. That's why they're villains.

    All the same, even if I cannot root for them on moral grounds, I still often root for their victory simply because their victory provides interesting possibilities. You have characters like Apocalypse, who sought to bring about a world where everyone alive was a mutant, or Dio Brando, who's ambition made him constantly seek ever-greater accomplishments. Seeing them win would be interesting, because I'd want to see the world that they'd bring about, however terrible it might be.
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  15. In nearly every horror movie, nearly all characters must die or survive with intense trauma. I mean why you don't let them to survive the events without any trauma, and let them to form friendships that will last for a very long time among themselves. And at the sequel, a greater horror visits them, so they take up arms once again to end the nightmare.

    I'm not implying to go for a HFY route, but at least some spots of hope can be left to attach the viewer with the protagonists.
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  16. Triggerhappy

    Triggerhappy Hard Knocks University

    Depends on if the Crazy is just for Crazy's sake or out of desperate neccesity.

    This has worked in real life with the participants knowing it's a long shot, that they would likely die, and that the audacity at best might give them a small chance to succeed. See Operation Chariot.

    It's not a matter of so Crazy It Has To Work. It's whether there is any sane option which is remotely acceptable.

    That said. If the Crazy is noted as a brilliant component of the plan rather than a desperate gamble to make it remotely workable then yes it's stupid as hell.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
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  17. ...because they're pretty much all, you know, traumatic events? In fact, I'd say the problem is the opposite: Moviemakers and book writers don't take traumatizing factors into effect enough, compared with reality.
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  18. Ursine

    Ursine Concerned Citizen

    Home, Sweet Home
    It is that last one that bothers me. Longshots are acceptable if needed, and very exciting. But not having military commanders look for the best possible odds just destroys all SoD.
  19. Not exactly a cliche I can't stand but one that is annoying none the less.
    Tsundere character that physically hits their love interest and can't decide if they want to be a bitch or a broken bird.

    I mean it always comes off as unhealthy and abusive to me...
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  20. What I took into account was the notion that after surviving (and defeating) all the things they faced, they won't face anything worse any longer. Then the sequel kicks in, and they face something worse. A bit of the trauma enters their minds for a while, then they shrug it off in order to face the new threat with a clear focus.
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  21. Doctor Mod

    Doctor Mod PRT Squaddie

    PRT Department ENE
    Villain is "defeated" everyone gathers around to talk and congratulate eachother and let their guard down then BOOM shot in the back by surprise surprise the villain.
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  22. Q99


    Longshot odds always work. "Risk many for the low odds chance that everyone survives" works all the time, meaning *it is not low odds in any meaningful sense!*. Even when characters note it's risky and low odds after the fact or in simulations, it is never reflected in the consequences, going for the 'low odds to save all' is always the right thing to do even if the stated odds being accurate would normally mean throwing lives away for almost nothing... and then these situations happening multiple times in the same thing demonstrating that despite what characters say the odds are really great.

    Now, if something says 'this is low odds, so let's see what we can do to change those odds,' that's ok, but 50/50 odds in life and death situations should be terrifying, let alone the common 10%, one in a hundred, etc odds.

    One issue is that before villains do something the first time, there isn't a reason to arrest them! And/or finding them may be hard til they act.

    That said, I do love it when heroes are shown doing community outreach and similar between fights. Wonder Woman pre reboot does a *lot* outside of talking down villains.

    Luke Cage's Avengers teams normally make good community connections to- though as he points out, his powers don't lend themselves to curing cancer, he views it as his job to protect the doctors and etc. who *will* cure cancer and change the world.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
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  23. foamy

    foamy Lying liar who lies. Executive Director

    "It's practically a certainty, but it might just work!" is not a phrase that lends itself to high drama.
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  24. Q99


    On the flip side, nor does "the odds are almost nil but there's a slim chance!" working twenty times in a row.

    Odds actually being odds, failures happening, *that* is drama. A 9/10 that really fails 1/10 is much more dramatic than spoken odds that mean nothing.
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