16 Tropes That Readers Are Tired of Seeing in Their Books

Some readers love tropes – that’s why they exist in the first place, after all – and most of us have some we love and some we’d rather not find in the books we pick up.

Are there tropes that are annoying to readers across the board, though? These 16 readers think they’ve found some that no one would ask to see again!

16. You can’t be that insecure.

When the main character is a Plain Jane and dogging herself out throughout the entire book until the snarky blonde boy says she’s beautiful/like a firecracker/not like other girls/so unique.

What pisses me off about this trope, is that they usually just literally take the glasses off and expect her to keep them off, just like that.

She wears those glasses for a reason! I wear glasses and if I take them off, I am blind as a bat. I can take them off but I need contact lenses to get about my day.

15. Just talk to each other!

Miscommunication leading to conflict.

Especially when the characters point blank refuse to utter another word to each other, even when a simple sentence of explanation could resolve the entire problem.

Forced drama like that makes me hate a book.

14. It’s never that big of a deal.

The main character carrying a terrible, horrendous, shameful burden that is alluded to constantly. Turns out to be something very common.

“No one will ever love me when they learn my secret, I’m so ashamed!!”

The secret: he missed a picnic with his great grandmother because he was saving a baby from a burning building, and then his great grandmother died peacefully in her sleep that very night.

13. Ahhh, the fake interruption.

TV’s always worse for that when they could just… keep talking. Like they’re required to wait for the other person to stop, and remain still and silent for five minutes straight before they can open their mouth. If they’re walking away just literally shout “You saw me with my sister, not another girl!” at their back.

I’m willing to suspend my disbelief, but don’t just have characters completely neglect any attempt to fix their situations.

12. Every single time.

“Billionaire player MC1 who lives in a modern minimalist decorated home who is a commitment-phobe but somehow falls head over heels for MC2”

MC2: has common character trait

But…. gasp

MC1 has never met anyone like this before!!!!!

11. When does this happen in real life?

“Two people of opposite sex have to solve this problem together. There is no way in hell that they aren’t going to fall in love, that would just be weird. What are friends or colleagues?”

10. That’s not average.

How about the ” I’m just an average teenage girl…who has superpowers….three love interests….always getting into trouble and then miraculously saved. Blame everyone for my problems and never take responsibility.

And by the final book in my series I will not have learned or grown in any way but I’m still somehow the heroine” trope 😋

I’ve read too many bad YA lol

9. Seems unlikely.

Two opposite sex people get partnered together unexpectedly. They are both in the same age bracket and ridiculously attractive. Somehow, despite their successful careers and tight, athletic bodies – they are both single at age 35.

8. Are we adults or what?

Protagonists who refuse to respect their friends’ ability to make their own decisions in some misguided attempt to “protect” them.

To add on, the breaking off a relationship “to protect them” trope. If the other person (people) understand the danger they’re in, that’s the risk they’re taking of their own volition.

You hurt them more by shutting them out and have us slog on in unnecessary drama that’ll eventually get resolved in some dramatic way. Lame and not good for my heart lol

7. They never just walk away.

Bad guy/group who never gives up. Like ever. Even right before imminent death, not a shadow of hesitation.

Related – good guy always giving bad guy one final choice to walk away or end the fight. Bad guy never does and “earns” his ultimate death/destruction and not just mere defeat.

6. Twin anything.

As a twin myself, pretty much every twin-related trope you can think of.

No, we’re not creepy or psychic, we’re not two halves of the same coin, one of us is not the evil one, and we both don’t want to have sex with you.


5. Just end it, Sir.

Worse is when the good guy keeps giving chances to irredeemable killers.

No, you are not a better person for letting this psycho go you are letting a dangerous person go free for no good reason and there is no magical police force to deal with them.

4. You can’t change people, ladies.

Beautiful young ingénue (who is incredibly attractive and somehow doesn’t realise it) meets older, emotionally damaged man, and fixes him. A la 50 shades of grey.

“Pretty but doesn’t know it,” and, “immediately falls in love with a much older man,” and, “is a literal child,” sure do seem to go hand-in-hand an awful lot.

3. This made me laugh.

I love urban fantasy books, though they often fall into paranormal romance, which I don’t care for quite as much.

I can always tell when it’s going to get romantic and who the protagonist is going to be romantic with because it will always describe the guy’s pants.

2. This is sooo tired.

Hard-drinking, heavy-smoking, emotionally-disconnected, gruff-rough-and-tough, rumpled-trench-coat-wearing, middle-aged, wife-left-me-because-I’m-a-shitty-husband, blues/jazz-loving, I’ll-do-it-my-way, hang-the-consequences, lone-wolf detective that manages to always get-their-man.


1. She’s not SO special.

UF/PNR trope I loathe – ancient vampire master (or substitute magical creature of the day but must be old), super sexy, rich and powerful immediately falls for a messy, broke woman in her early 20s with a tragic, mysterious past because she’s just so special and different.

I love the genre, but I am so very sick of this story…

Ok, I agree with most of these, but not all.

What’s your least favorite trope? Confess in the comments!