What’s Wrong with Romance Tropes?

Rebekah Icenesse

Love. Isn’t it just the greatest thing in the entire world? Feeling loved by someone is a special gift that not all can say they’ve had. But there is a lot of love in the world and many different types of love and relationships that are displayed in our pop culture. So what is it about cliché romance tropes that make them so special? Why are we so dead set on these things that do not show the true side to romances? Let’s take a look at all of the typical and overused romantic ideas that should not be used anymore, shall we?

The first cliché trope of romance that comes to mind is enemies to lovers. This one has been used so many times in novels and movies that it just does not seem appealing anymore. At first, it was an intriguing trope. The two characters who hate each other’s guts and are the ultimate enemies come to realize their true feelings for each other. More often than not, most people who have an enemy do not fall in love with them, let alone have steamy hookups and rendezvous that would destroy everything if they got found out. Nowadays this one is so cliché that I would rather watch paint dry than to see another movie where sworn enemies fall in love.

Another trope that is used too often is the best friends who become lovers. This one is for all of the teen romancers who love the idea of falling in love with your childhood best friend. The best part is when both friends realize their feelings, but don’t tell the other until it’s too late and there’s already another person in the picture. Why don’t they just tell how they feel from the very beginning instead of wasting an hour and a half of screen time trying to get the guts to say how they really feel? It would save everyone time, money, and a headache from watching a boring tale that gives teens false hope and realities.

Some other tropes that need to be stopped are the forbidden lovers, friends with benefits, arranged marriages, fake relationships, one-night stands, and the couple who are stranded and must rely on each other for survival. There are millions of tropes that are used to depict romances, and honestly, most of these never happen in real life. Yes, it is extremely fun to think about what could happen and what could bring two people together, but using these over and over again for the image of romance is not fun anymore.

Coming from a girl who loved to read romance novels all of the time growing up, I now realize just how bland and false these tropes are. They give false ideas to teens, or anyone for that matter, that love has to be one of these things. I know I was either expecting my prince charming to ride up on a golden horse and ask for my hand or our eyes would meet in the hallway at school and it would be love at first sight. Man did I get my hopes and dreams up fast. So if these romance clichés only bring disappointment and untrue realities to us, why do we keep on using them in every movie and novel made?

I guess we keep them because they are so easy to produce and are a simple storyline to tell. Not a whole lot of thought needs to be involved when coming up with these mediocre plots. Why don’t we start coming up with more creative and interesting romance tropes? I would love to see a story about how the popular jock doesn’t get the girl, but the nerdy kid does instead, or the girl who was kidnapped didn’t fall in love with her captor and used her intelligent mind to outsmart him and escape. Or maybe just show the realities of love and how lonely it can be when trying to find love!

There are a lot of different avenues that romance can take and not everything has to be all sunshine, rainbows, and happy endings. I am so damn sick of seeing happy endings and they all lived happily ever after when life doesn’t always turn out that way. Maybe I’m a little bitter from having my hopes up and getting let down by the clichés, or maybe I am ready for the romance field to change into a better genre that does more for someone than show them how to not do romance. Whatever the case may be, these romance tropes do more harm than anything else and need to be recalled. Now, excuse me why I go sulk in my lonely tower and wait for my prince charming to come rescue me… just kidding, I’m rescuing myself from this tower.