my favorite & least favorite romantic tropes

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Hello, fellow bloggers! And Happy Brazilian Valentine’s Day!

In Brazil, we actually celebrate Valentine’s Day in June 12th! It’s the eve for Saint Anthony’s Day. My country is very catholic, and therefore we celebrate a lot of saints during this time of the year. But the reason why we associate Valentine’s Day with Saint Anthony is because he’s considered the saint of marriage, as he’s reconciled a lot of couples in legends.

In honor of the fact that we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day here today, I want to share my five favorite & least-favorite romantic tropes in fiction.

Let’s get started!

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STAR CROSSED LOVERS

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I live for a good and old Romeo & Juliet trope. This is my type of angst, really. I love the idea of two people loving each other but having the world work against them; stopping them from being together. It honestly sets the best romantic storylines, but most importantly, the most beautiful dialogues.

“These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triump die, like fire and powder
Which, as they kiss, consume”

I do understand not everyone is into this trope. It’s kind of overdramatic, but what is to love about fiction if it’s not overdramatic? This is not the type of love you’ll see anywhere but in a novel or a big screen, and I find it entertaining AF.


FAKE-DATING

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The Proposal is the best rom-com with the fake-dating trope. That’s it.

Ohhh, the good and old fake-dating. “Let’s pretend we’re boyfriend and girlfriend” and then also pretend that we’re not clearly falling in love with each other for real.

Peter Kavinsky & Lara Jean, from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, is the #1 bookish example for this trope. And probably my only one too! I have read The Wedding Date, by Jasmine Guillory, but the fake-dating didn’t last for long enough to satisfy my *needs*. I really want to read as many books with this trope as I can. For me, it never gets old.


FRIENDS TO LOVERS

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Friends to lovers is soooooo superior to enemies to lovers. Don’t @ me.

Growing up, I’ve always dreamt about these types of relationships. (Granted, growing up, I also didn’t know much about what it was like *being* in a relationship). Nonetheless, I always thought that relationships that start as friendships are always so much more comfortable. You already know the other person so well.

Ari & Dante are my babies for this trope. They grow up together, and slowly find their way back to each other.


“IT’S JUST CASUAL”

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Fun fact about me: my favorite fictional couple of all times, the one with the true crown, is the one from the gif above – Mickey & Ian, from Shameless US. I’ve never even watched the show in its entirety, only *their* scenes for about 5 years, which I think shows my commitment.

ANYWAY. I love their banter, because they like to pretend they’re just casual sex buddies. They have nothing more than that. Needless to say, they’re absolutely in love with each other.

I think this is sort of a friends-with-benefits trope, but it’s so hard to find good ones these days? I think most are either way too sex-centered or just don’t give me any feels at all (hello, No Strings Attached). Nonetheless, I still like to believe I can find more from this trope that will finally get in Gallavich’s level for me.


POOR GUY/RICH GIRL

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This is a very specific trope, but boy, if it doesn’t work for me every time.

When I first found Korean Dramas, I’d mostly find poor girl/rich guy narratives. And I really, really don’t vibe with those. There’s something about my feminist side that just can’t stand how the girl has to be constantly inferior, even in her financial situation, which kinda makes the guy this hero that will save her from all her worries. Uh, no, thanks.

The poor guy/rich girl, though, gives me just my type of favorite dynamic. The guy is typically full of pride, and doesn’t want to take the girl’s help. They have a lot of angst. It’s glorious, truly.

Kestrel and Arin, from The Winner’s Trilogy along with Aspen and America, from The Selection series are some of my favorites from this trope. (Adam/anyone in the Raven Cycle is also pretty much this trope in a nutshell and it’s amazing).

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YOU BELONG WITH ME

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I don’t know what else to call this trope. It’s basically centered around the one nerdy-weird character, that “wears sneakers” and “sits on the bleachers”, dreaming about the day when their love interest will wake up and find that what they’ve been looking for has been here this whole time.

It also typically involves the “cheerleader” with “high heels” that just “doesn’t get your humor like I do”.

Now, as you can *clearly* tell: I freaking love You Belong With Me. My biggest dream is to sing this song off the top of my lungs to a whole crowd. It’s my karaoke go-to. But when it’s taken seriously in a book or show, it makes me want to pierce my eyes with a fork.

Stiles and Lydia, from Teen Wolf, are the best example of it. Probably one of the many reasons why I can’t stand them.


HATE TO LOVE

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Even though I’m not a fan of this trope – at all -, I do recognize some couples that work well with it. But my problem with hate to love or enemies to lovers or whatever you want to call it is that it exhausts me by page 2.

I know that typically people adore this type of banter. It’s the “will they, won’t they” that makes the story entertaining. But it’s also with this trope that comes a lot of toxic behavior, unrealistic attraction, etc.

Ron & Hermione weren’t exactly enemies when they met, but they certainly weren’t the best of friends either. And I just really can’t stand the idea that if a guy treats you poorly, he’s actually in love with you. Or that you can’t really hate a person, otherwise it means you’re secretly falling for them. Ew.


ALL OVER EACH OTHER

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As much as I enjoy reading romance, I just can’t stand when that is everything the characters live for. They need to have a personality and a life before they have a love interest.

I also hate when the relationship takes up pretty much everything that these characters live for. The friendships they used to have, the things they used to do, it pretty much vanishes as soon as they find their significant others. Like? How?

It’s so beyond unrealistic and quite unhealthy as well. There’s more to life than romantic relationships, friends. Just stop.

Jason and Piper, from the Heroes of Olympus series, were that annoying couple that people consider a unit because they never let go of each other and can not shut up about how the other looks good or how much they like them. It was unbearable going through their POVs when reading this series.


IRRESPONSIBLE LOVERS

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This trope is the reason as to why I hate teenagers. I don’t even care that I’m technically one of them.

The things teenagers do believing that “they’re in love” is frankly ridiculous. I feel like there’s a very important line and I’m so bothered when it’s crossed. Like, your health is definitely more important than a guy in a cute hairstyle, but you know, go off.

I also hate when the main couple decides to do something reckless together and then, when it backfires, take no responsibility for it. That’s probably why I hated Isla and the Happily Ever After, by Stephanie Perkins so much. The characters just make the dumbest decisions ever but do not owe up to them. My eyes hurt from rolling so much.


INSTA-LOVE

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I’m really sorry, all your Notting Hill fans out there.

I don’t even feel like I need to explain much about this trope, because we all find it annoying. It takes all the fun out of the book.

My favorite thing when reading or watching a romance is to see how the characters will fall in love. To follow how they get to know more about each other, to feel the sexual tension as they’re getting closer and closer, but still not quite there. It’s the magic behind a romance after all.

But if by chapter 10, they’re already kissing; and by chapter 15, they’re already saying ‘I love you’, then this was all fun and no play and I can’t accept that.

I Have Lost My Way, by Gayle Forman, sadly gave me all the insta-love & insta-friendship vibes and I was not happy about that at all.

Friends! Now it’s your turn to let me know: which are your favorite & least-favorite tropes? Do you agree with my choices? Have you got any recommendations for me? And, most importantly, what’s your favorite rom-com? Let’s chat in the comments!

31 comentários sobre “my favorite & least favorite romantic tropes

  1. Xandra @ Starry Sky Books 12 de junho de 2019 / 13:56

    YES to Ari & Dante ❤️

    I agree with all of your least favorite tropes! Those tropes are the reasons why I don’t really like reading romance novels, even if it is just YA. There are way too many irresponsible lovers (like in Everything, Everything!) and I just don’t like it.

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    • Lais @ The Bookish Skies 20 de junho de 2019 / 19:12

      YESSSSS. I feel like YA especially just takes the irresponsible lovers trope way too far. I don’t like the idea that just because they’re teenagers, they’re more likely to be reckless and risk everything for each other? Like, they’re only sixteen, calm down, lol.
      Thank you so much for stopping by, Xandra! ❤️

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  2. bookbeachbunny 12 de junho de 2019 / 16:45

    We’re pretty much in agreement here. I don’t mind enemies to lovers so much it’s just my mind always gets in the way and I’m thinking yeah, that’s not going to last. Hate is not a good thing to build a relationship on!

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    • Lais @ The Bookish Skies 20 de junho de 2019 / 19:13

      Exactly! Even if these couples have great chemistry, it is definitely not enough to build a long lasting relationship. Probably why I can’t think of any real life couple that started out this way, lol.
      Thank you so much for the comment! 😊

      Curtir

  3. Marta 12 de junho de 2019 / 19:23

    aah yes, Saints season just around the corner! I can’t deal watching any more couples getting married on the news! 😣
    I absolutely love fake dating (I’m complete trash for it tbh) and I do enjoy some hate to love relationships 😍 Insta-love is a big no for me! Loved reading your preferences 😊

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    • Lais @ The Bookish Skies 20 de junho de 2019 / 19:14

      SO ready for Saints season, even if I’m not catholic, because it means a lot of Saint parties are happening around here and it’s the best time of the year, hahah.
      Fake-dating is The Best! I definitely need more books with this trope.
      Thank you so much for stopping by, Marta! 💞

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  4. bella 12 de junho de 2019 / 20:05

    Agreed! Your use of gifs here is spot on😂 the 13 going on 30 gif oh man I used to watch that film HARD back in the day, such a good film!

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    • Lais @ The Bookish Skies 20 de junho de 2019 / 19:15

      I was SO excited to use all of these gifs and search for the best couples to fit each trope, hahah. I’m thankful that you noticed! 13 Going on 30 is one of my favorite romance movies of all times! It’s hilarious and so heart-warming. Definitely one for multiple rewatches!
      Thank you so much for stopping by, Bella! 😌

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  5. Caitlin @ Caitlin Althea 13 de junho de 2019 / 10:33

    What I really love about romance is when you combine all of these amazing tropes to make the ultimate ship it’s just the best! Honestly we need more fake dating in books. It’s one of the greatest tropes out there but the only book i’ve read that does it is To All the Boys. I’m currently reading Lair of Dreams though and it has this trope and it’s just *chef’s kiss* Omg I feel like insta-love and irresponsible teenagers go hand in hand. like two teens fall in love instantly with almost no chemistry at all and then they’re suddenly willing to sacrifice their whole lives for each other and it’s just ughhh

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    • Lais @ The Bookish Skies 20 de junho de 2019 / 19:11

      We DO need more fake dating! It’s the best trope ever and we definitely don’t have enough of it. I’ll make sure to check out Lair of Dreams now that you’ve mentioned it!
      That’s truuuue! Now that I think about it, most couples I could pick for irresponsible lovers were also insta-love stories. The worst two tropes, that’s for sure!
      Thank you so much for stopping by, Caitlin!

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  6. Lois 14 de junho de 2019 / 18:45

    Friends to lovers romance are my weakness. I love how natural those relationships feel in their development and you get to follow that journey alongside them. There’s so much depth to those relationships that make me weak in the knees.
    I cannot stand those all over each other romances. Nothing infuriates me more than when a character’s identity is revolved entirely around their significant other. They lose all sense of individuality.

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    • Lais @ The Bookish Skies 21 de junho de 2019 / 12:47

      Saaaaame! I feel like some of the most realistic relationships come from this trope too and it’s amazing to see.
      Exactly! I feel like this has been less present on YA lately, but it’s still something I can find sometimes, and it is truly infuriating. Characters need to be more than their love interest!
      Thank you so much for stopping by, Lois! 😌

      Curtir

  7. tiffany @ readbytiffany 14 de junho de 2019 / 19:07

    I definitely agree and don’t enjoy insta-love and irresponsible. It’s so unbelievable for me to read, and I get really frustrated at the characters 😅 I really love the friends to lovers trope though!! It’s so nice to see two people who are best friends start to develop feelings for each other!

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    • Lais @ The Bookish Skies 21 de junho de 2019 / 12:48

      Especially in YA, I feel like the irresponsible lovers just annoy me because it seems like it’s “what a teenager would do”. And being a teenager myself, I like to think most of us can think better than that. How much adults can underestimate us is surprising – in a very bad way.
      Thank you so much for stopping by, Tiffany! ❣️

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  8. Olivia @ Purely Olivia 15 de junho de 2019 / 17:15

    This is such an amazing post! <3

    Eek, I love fake dating. I read this book forever ago so I can't remember how much I actually liked it, but another fake dating book was Catch A Falling Star, by Kim Culbertson! It's just so cute to have the constant "wait do I actually like that" and "is this still fake??" Wow, my heart.😍

    Friends to lovers, yes! I agree with you so much. I know you mentioned Ron and Hermione as an example for something else, but I always think of them when I think of this trope, haha. (I just realized James and Lily were kinda enemies to lovers?? Which I don't like that much but I love Jily??)

    Another thing I don't like is love triangles. That romantic trope is just…a no. I agree about insta love too!! I love a good slow burn.

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    • Lais @ The Bookish Skies 21 de junho de 2019 / 12:52

      Thank you so much, Olivia!
      I’ll make sure to check this book out! I feel like everyone does enjoy the fake dating trope and yet we don’t get to see it in books that often, which is a shame.
      Same here! I love James and Lily a lot, even if they started out as one of my least-favorite tropes. I guess there are still some that can make it work!
      Love triangles it’s definitely a tricky one. I am not the biggest fan either, especially because I tend to like the one character the girl never ends up with and it’s so frustrating, hahah. I also feel like most of the time they’re just used as a plot device to make the story interesting, which is always a no for me.
      Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Olivia! 💛

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  9. Sophie @ Me and Ink 17 de junho de 2019 / 14:17

    I agree star crossed lovers is so entertaining to watch/read– I think it makes the love seem grander due to the dramatic setting and I do love to see it!!
    And fake dating is fun– you get a lot of tension in funny scenes so I love it too!! All characters should be required to fake date for a while 😂 (only joking)!!
    I have only watched shameless UK but I heard about the US one and how good Mickey and Ian were. But I am so with you for casual dating– I like watching them be afraid of their feelings in a way so not explicitly showing it but you see it is such small ways which I adore!!! And the characters can spend a lot of time together so they are comfortable around each other which is also great!! 😊 but yes no strings attached was terrible 😂
    I do like enemies to lovers but I can find myself disappointed with stories including them as it can demonstrate toxic behaviour and unhealthy relationships but I think it my head I have an image of what it could be so I am always excited by this trope and I wonder if that sways my opinion when reading them!!
    I agree that the all over each other couples can be really annoying– I like relationships where the individuals have their own interests and do things seperate from being in a couple.
    Yes I’m not a fan of insta-love either– I live for the slow burn!! 😂 I find it captures so many things which insta-love misses out on.
    I loved this post so much (sorry for the long comment 😂) and my favourite rom-com is probably 27 dresses!! 💕

    Curtir

  10. Aditi 24 de julho de 2019 / 14:16

    I agree about everything except the hate to love. If it’s done well and definitely not toxic, I think it can be super powerful, like Leo and Calypso, but I agree that Ron and Hermione weren’t a great couple. Also, I think it’s different from toxic relationships because it shows character development and the ‘bad’ character changes. I mean, is they don’t change, I’m not reading it 😂
    Awesome post! I totally agree about Insta-love UGH and ahhh friends to lovers is ah-dorable!!! AKA me shouting about my OTP, Percabeth, again 😂. Also, yeah, Jason and Piper aren’t the best couple, but I like Piper on her own. I don’t agree that Jason is just a Roman Percy – I actually liked him since there ARE people like him who often go unnoticed in books or labeled as “too perfect”. Have you read the latest Trials of Apollo book? I don’t want to spoil anything 😂

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    • Lais @ The Bookish Skies 24 de julho de 2019 / 18:12

      I totally get that! I can definitely say I have my fair share of hate to love relationships I swoon over and Leo and Calypso are definitely one. It’s just definitely not my favorite trope and I don’t seek for books with it often.
      I really love Percabeth, but Jason and Piper just never worked for me. I feel like they had a lot of potential, since Jason doesn’t really have memories of her, so it would be like falling in love twice for the same person, but he just felt like a really underdeveloped character in my opinion. I have not read the Trials of Apollo book, but I do know what happens, hahah. I feel like it’s pretty impossible not to be spoiled for Rick Riordan books, because I follow so many people who read & love them. I have yet to read this one, so I don’t know the details and perhaps I’ll feel differently about his character after reading about it!
      Thank you so so soooo much for stopping by and for the lovely comment! 😊

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      • Aditi 24 de julho de 2019 / 21:28

        Definitely! If you don’t mind me asking, is there a reason why you don’t like hate to love relationships if you said that you love a lot of them? YESS CALEOOO. ❤💜❤
        Ah of course, Percabeth, but I agree about Jasper- if given time, it could become more meaningful, however. Jason focuses too much on her looks, in my opinion.
        Ah okayyy I don’t want to spoil anything 😂. Yup, there’s always that friend who spoils it all…
        No problem!

        Curtir

      • Lais @ The Bookish Skies 27 de julho de 2019 / 14:46

        i just get tired of the banter really quickly, hahah. if the characters keep pretending to hate each other even though it’s clear they’re in love for more than 5 pages, i’m already mad and frustrated, hahah.

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      • Aditi 27 de julho de 2019 / 15:03

        Oh yeahhh, I get what you mean. Which is why is has to be an actual slowwwburrrnnnnn 😘

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  11. Charlotte 22 de outubro de 2019 / 14:30

    Ooh I like the rich girl/poor guy one, I’d love to read that more. And star crossed lovers is always wonderfully dramatic. I am a fan of enemies to lovers though; I just always fall for it for some reason.

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    • Lais @ The Bookish Skies 29 de outubro de 2019 / 12:13

      I really wish there were more of this trope out there! I can get a lot of rich guy/poor girl, but not the other way around, sadly.
      Thank you so much for reading!

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      • Charlotte 29 de outubro de 2019 / 19:29

        Yes I think it would be wonderful too. And it immediately makes me think of Titanic which makes me want it even more 😅

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