Romance Cliches: Recurring Themes You Love/Hate

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Romance Cliches: Recurring Themes You Love/Hate

Postby Iaria on 21 Aug 2011, 20:14

There are always some things that irk me about the romance genre. But other things keep me from letting it go completely.


3 Things I Hate: (i)Couples getting together because of pregnancy. I have always hated this. The pregnancy is treated as a plot device for leads to get together. Other than that the pregnancy isn't really dealt with. And the arguments are always the same: Man demands woman to marry him for the baby's sake, woman says no and that the baby deserves a happy home with parents who love each other, blah, blah, blah.
(ii)The misunderstanding: a contrived way to generate conflict to force the couple apart. In worst cases its based on nothing except on the biased viewpoint of the lead (usu. the male's) and nothing else.
(iii)Comparisons to bodytype and hair colour. Mostly put in to make the female lead feel unattractive because she's not the male's leads usual type.

I have more but this post is too long and I haven't got to the cliches I like yet.
Last edited by Iaria on 22 Aug 2011, 03:27, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Romance Cliches: Recurring Themes You Love/Hate

Postby aerysa on 21 Aug 2011, 23:59

Oh, I notice the pregnancy one a lot! Lol, it was just in the newest harlequin SMS release... And somehow, they figure out that they love each other because the baby is about to be born/is already born... Right...

Mm... I'm sure there's way more, but off the top of my head. I hate it when one person treats the other like trash (usually the male) because it's his "way" of showing his "love". And of course, despite all the demeaning and hurtful things that he does, at the end of the story, he always ends up with the girl. He's just a misunderstood character, but of course the female always (eventually) figures him out...

Along the lines of your misunderstanding one, it's always seems to be a perceived affair. I say that because either the male sees the female alone with another man or the female will see the man alone with another woman. And automatically, he/she jumps to conclusions that they were betrayed... And they don't bother to ask about it, but rather just get all crazy and argue when they next meet. Then they split up... But oh, I still love him/her even if they did something terrible to me (which wasn't even true to begin with).

haha, but just to not be all negative... And say something good :D
I don't know if it's super recurring, but I like it when one nurses the other back to health. For one reason or another. Like one of them got gravely injured from an accident and the other stays at their side all the time hoping that they get better, watching over them. I think it's really sweet and shows that they really care for each other~
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Re: Romance Cliches: Recurring Themes You Love/Hate

Postby Algenon on 22 Aug 2011, 05:22

I wonder about birth control....99% effective unlesss you happened to be main character in a romance novel..then your birth control has about a 50% chance of failing and your chances of failure increase if it was either your first time or a one night stand.

I also hate the "He raped me....at first" themes.
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Re: Romance Cliches: Recurring Themes You Love/Hate

Postby marumarusan on 22 Aug 2011, 05:52

aerysa wrote:Oh, I notice the pregnancy one a lot! Lol, it was just in the newest harlequin SMS release... And somehow, they figure out that they love each other because the baby is about to be born/is already born... Right...


Along the lines of your misunderstanding one, it's always seems to be a perceived affair. I say that because either the male sees the female alone with another man or the female will see the man alone with another woman. And automatically, he/she jumps to conclusions that they were betrayed... And they don't bother to ask about it, but rather just get all crazy and argue when they next meet. Then they split up... But oh, I still love him/her even if they did something terrible to me (which wasn't even true to begin with).


We are also writing something like that aren't we? But coming up with new themes and making them sound real is also very hard... we are struggling hard, aren't we aerysa-san :P?

And I think I should add some points too... Let me see
I like themes with love triangles I guess, but they have to be balanced.

I hate the abusive ones.

I think I have some more but they don't come to my mind...

But overall I think the characters in harlequins don't have strong personalities because we don't get to see their struggles. In a manga you can't draw them all so it's considerable though...
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Re: Romance Cliches: Recurring Themes You Love/Hate

Postby sherlover on 22 Aug 2011, 14:21

i dont think these topics are repeated in romance genre but are commonly seen in josei...cuz if you see a shoujo manga if there is a pregnancy (which is rarely found) will end up with abortion or some other thing....it is in josei that you see aspects like pregnancy and all coz women in middle age take pregnancy as a responsibility..there are many other stories which come under romance genre but dont have these aspects..
i hate it when author uses the cliches you mentioned without any meaning to it and just to prolong the story..if she adds it it should entertain the reader :D :D anyway i respect the opinions of you guys too!!
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Re: Romance Cliches: Recurring Themes You Love/Hate

Postby jeannemiki on 22 Aug 2011, 19:47

well i guess for me it would be the love at first sight thing cause it is used like an everyday like thing and the most male leads treat the female leads like little kids who don't know what the want or know nothing in live :evil: sometimes really frustrating because that's the point were i ask my self what makes them think what a grown women is :?: it is not automatically age i know that it`s the experiences you make (believe me had my share of those to last for 2 lifetimes :lol: ), some are at age lets say 21 still acting like a teen and others mature like a middle aged women then there are middle aged women who also behave like they are 16 but you`ll only know that all if u get to know then not just from a first glance or age sorry for rambling on like this :o :oops:
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Re: Romance Cliches: Recurring Themes You Love/Hate

Postby aerysa on 23 Aug 2011, 01:52

marumarusan wrote:We are also writing something like that aren't we? But coming up with new themes and making them sound real is also very hard... we are struggling hard, aren't we aerysa-san :P?

So true, so true... Looks like we'll have to be extra careful not to make it seem fake and stupid!! 8-)

jeannemiki wrote:well i guess for me it would be the love at first sight thing cause it is used like an everyday like thing and the most male leads treat the female leads like little kids who don't know what the want or know nothing in live :evil:

I notice that more in those shojo mangas and stuff... haha, I used to read a lot of them where the setting was junior high/high school, but being way past that age now, it's like WHAT?!! I hate it when they "LOVE" someone because "OMG! He's HOOOOT!!!!" and I'm like 15... So of COURSE I know what what I want in life in a relationship... :roll:
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Re: Romance Cliches: Recurring Themes You Love/Hate

Postby ruby on 24 Aug 2011, 14:39

The thing I hate the most is when the girl doesn't end up with anyone :cry: especially when the whole story was really great....until you get to the end... :x

Forgot to say which thing I liked...Love for the heroine to end up with the bad guy, can't really answer why and it's not always the best male character either but just love it :oops:
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Re: Romance Cliches: Recurring Themes You Love/Hate

Postby kanonx3 on 26 Aug 2011, 01:00

I didn't notice how much I hated the pregnancy plot until you mentioned it. I dislike how they believe that marriage is the only way to protect the baby. If they think about it, there are multiple solutions to the problem. They just need to exercise that little brain of theirs.

As for the cliche theme I like: Cinderella like plot. I love it when poor girls and hot rich prince get together. It's semi-fairy tale but that's the reason I like it. Give girls out there a dream.
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Re: Romance Cliches: Recurring Themes You Love/Hate

Postby rubenz on 26 Aug 2011, 06:56

1.
Couples getting together because of pregnancy

That's I totally agree, when I browsed the harlequin novel on the bookstore, all the title and the theme almost the same, pregnancy by accident, expecting his mistress baby, expecting his heir,blackmailed pregnancy, expecting his love child, etc etc and then I tried to read it, totally disappointed :| . The story almost the same, just like you said, man demand marriage, woman reject, then end up marrying for the sake of the baby :D That's one of the reason I like older harlequin/MnB series (published around 1960-1990).

2. I hate it when I feel the heroine ends up with the wrong man. Yes, she ends up with the hero but sometimes I like the other guy better.

3. When the heroine is ordinary/ugly even though she is truly kind but the hero won't bother her. Then she transform, the hero immediately chasing her. >.< ! Never like this kind of story, because I feel like the hero only noticing her because of her good looks...

Oh and lastly I hate abusive hero 8-)

Edit: I forgot to put the theme that I like :P

I like mistaken identity theme :D or Beauty and the Beast theme ( the hero is scarred/blind and he shut himself from people but the heroine managed to changed him / vice versa :oops: ).
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