What are the romance tropes you just can’t stand?I’m not talking about the toxic stuff, just tropes that get under your skin and annoy you. And I’m not showing these John Romita covers as examples of bad tropes, I just think he’s a master of romance comics art.For one example, I’m not very fond of the small-town romance trope that assumes women should never, ever leave the town they grew up with or break up with their high-school boyfriend. What can they possibly gain? More stuff to do in the city, maybe a job that pays five times better, but come on — don’t they remember Judy Garland in Wizard of Oz saying how you should never look for happiness outside their own back yard? Your first love is always your true soulmate!I saw several stories in this vein when working on my time-travel film book, where the female lead who made the mistake of leaving gets thrown back in time to set right what she put wrong. I think the concept is a big pile of heaping bullshit. It’s also much more targeted at women than men. It can sometimes work for me — Nicolas Cage’s Family Man, for instance — but it’s the exception.I have a stronger dislike for stories where we have male/female BFFs and one of them is secretly in love with the other. For years. And never said anything. And now their dream girl/guy is about to ride off into the sunset with someone else — will they find the courage to speak up before it’s too late?I don’t think this is an inherently horrible trope, just one I dislike a lot. Most of my close friends, including my two best friends, are women. I’ve crushed on several, been in love with at least one and been attracted to many of them but even so the relationships have been much more based on friendship than anything else. The subtext I always pick up in these stories (even if it’s not meant) is that of course men and women can’t be friends, not unless they feel something more (I’ve heard the same complaint about close male friendships in fiction). Yes, it can. Get over it.Anybody got a trope they’d like to add?
#SFWApro. All covers from Mikes’s Amazing World.