OK, folks. Get ready.
I’m going to ask a terrible question: You can only read two tropes for the rest of the year. Which two do you pick?
Yes. Only two.
Amanda: I thought I would agonize over this one, but nope. My two picks came to me immediately without much second guessing, WHICH IS A RARITY.
The first would be enemies to lovers. I love a sense of antagonism in my romances and I definitely feel like it adds to the sexual tension.
The other would be the Morality Chain. I cannot remember the name of the reader who introduced me to this term. She asked for it in an SBTB Instagram Rec Request and I remember having to Google it. Once I did, it was like everything made sense.
(Note to readers, if this was you who requested it, let me know because you have my eternal thanks.)
For those who are unfamiliar (like I was) with a morality chain, it’s when a character is only “good” or “moral” for the sake of their love interest. Yes, it’s fucked up. I love it.
CarrieS: This first one is easy – Family of Choice (also known as Found Family). I’m a huge sucker for this one, and I don’t tire of it because every found family can be found differently and interact in different ways, and the trope extends through every possible genre and medium including but not limited to romance.
The second one is harder! I’m going to go for Deadpan Snarker. It’s a trope that can be found anywhere and that never fails to thrill my heart. Of course if I could add a third it would be Science Hero or Science Heroine – and I’ve noticed that Science people are often masters of the Deadpan Snark and exist best within the support system of Family of Choice.
Sarah: This was my question. I wrote it. This idea sprang from my brain parts. And what happened? I spent sixty-fifteen hours on TVTropes reading alllll the pages. What have I done?!
I love Deadpan Snarkers, and I love Enemies to Lovers. But for my picks, I’ve got two that are so similar, I should probably pick a third.
A number of the movies I re-watch often with my family fit this trope pair. Judy and Nick from Zootopia and Hiccup and Astrid from the How to Train Your Dragon franchise operate a little in both areas, even though TVTropes places Judy and Nick in both Strong/Smart and Savvy/Energetic while Hiccup and Astrid are in Strong/Smart.
This rabbit hole also re-introduced me to a ship I’d long, long forgotten: Encyclopedia Brown and Sally Kimball. I shipped them before I knew what shipping was. And I wonder if they influenced Hiccup and Astrid.
Well, there went another fourteen hours of my free time.
I like these two tropes because they subvert gender expectations on both sides, but still emphasize the need for balance and complementary skills sets when people work together. They also, as TVTropes points out, can work for non-hetero pairings, too:
Many works featuring male x male or female x female romantic relationships will also follow the trope, with one partner being perky and optimistic while the other is savvy and smarter.
I also wonder if there’s a proper name for the plots that rest on one character leaving notes for another, which amount to tiny portions of intimacy that reveal their true selves. It’s like a twist on epistolary novels, and is the basis for some of my favorite stories in romance.
Elyse: This is the hardest question ever, Sarah!
Okay, after much pondering and a few muttered swear words, I think I need to with a Pining Hero. I love a hero who pines. The pinier the better. I think that’s because this guy tends to be in direct opposition from The Boner Led Hero who is objectively The Worst. The Pining Hero has loved the heroine for ages and hasn’t been like “why do I suddenly want to put my wang in her? I don’t understand my feels at all!” No, he’s so much better than that.
For my second I have to go with Friends to Lovers. I think part of this is that you get some level of intimacy already established between the hero and heroine. Plus the best relationships have an element of friendship to them as well.
Now, if I can get Friends to Lovers with a Pining Hero? That’s the best.
Ok, your turn! You can only read two tropes for the rest of 2019. Which two are yours?