* ''Amadis of Gaul'' is the most important knight-errant ChivalricRomance of all time, but today it seems dated, to the point that it has been all but forgotten and replaced in importance by its extremely angry {{Deconstruction}}, ''Literature/DonQuixote''. Note, however, that ''Amadis of Gaul'' is saved from the fire for its merits in the chapter where the library of Don Quixote is being burned, indicating thatCervantes himself was aware of this trope to some degree.
-->''The first that Master Nicholas put into his hand was "The four books of Amadis of Gaul." "This seems a mysterious thing," said the curate, "for, as I have heard say, [[UrExample this was the first book of chivalry printed in Spain]],'' [[FollowTheLeader and from this all the others derive their birth and origin;]] [[MisBlamed so it seems to me that we ought inexorably to condemn it to the flames as the founder of so vile a sect.]]"
-->''"Nay, sir," said the barber, "I too, have heard say that [[TropeMakers this is the best of all the books of this kind that have been written, and so, as something singular in its line]], it ought to be pardoned."''
-->''"True," said the curate; "and for that reason let its life be spared for the present. Let us see that other which is next to it."''
* ''Literature/AreYouThereGodItsMeMargaret'' is seen as a pretty tame book by today's standards, but its frank discussion of puberty and religious issues were controversial in the 70s when it was written and resulted in it being banned from many schools.
* ''Literature/BallFour'', a 1970 book by Major League Baseball pitcher Jim Bouton, was so controversial that MLB commissioner Bowie Kuhn called the book "detrimental to baseball" and tried unsuccessfully to make Bouton sign a statement saying the book was fictional. Today, its revelations about the behind-the-scenes activities of major league players, which made Bouton extremely unpopular among many in the baseball community for violating the "sanctity of the clubhouse", don't seem nearly as shocking. One particular example is the book's revelation of widespread amphetamine use by major league players, which seems quaint compared to the steroid scandals of recent years.
* ''The Beauty Myth'' by Naomi Wolf, published in 1991, is about how society expects women to conform to strict beauty ideals at all costs and punishes women who don't. While many of its points were novel back in the early 1990s, nowadays most feminist books point out beauty norms as a matter of course and move on to different topics. The book also is aimed more at upper-middle-class heterosexual white American women, whereas nowadays feminism typically attempts to include gay people, as well as other races and countries.
* Creator/JDSalinger's ''Literature/TheCatcherInTheRye'' started an {{Angst}} revolution in literature that it's never come out of. Angst has been a part of literature ever since ''Literature/WutheringHeights'', ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'', and even ''Literature/TheIliad'' ([[AchillesInHisTent Achilles sitting in his tent sulking]], anyone?), but there it was presented in such eloquent language that it seemed more legitimately emotional. As a result, those who've read similar-style books before reading Salinger's book often write ''Catcher'' off as okay at best, and a poor man's Creator/ChuckPalahniuk at worst.\\
\\
The use of a casual, first-person writing style also contributes heavily to making it dated. The use of slang and turns of phrase that are alien to newcomers makes it strange to a modern reader. On top of that, almost everybody admonishes Holden not to swear when the worst thing he says is... [[GoshDangItToHeck "goddamn"]]. This leads to modern readers, who hear words like [[ClusterFBomb "fuck"]] and [[PrecisionFStrike "shit"]] on a daily basis, seeing Holden as more of a RuleAbidingRebel when he was, for his time, quite a potty-mouth.
** This is parodied in the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode [[http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s14e02-the-tale-of-scrotie-mcboogerballs "The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs"]], where the kids are required to read ''The Catcher in the Rye'' for school and are disappointed by how tame they find it to be after hearing so much about how controversial it was. Cartman even says that the book was a conspiracy to get kids to read by making it seem a lot edgier than it was.
** You could argue that not only was Salinger groundbreaking, he was also way, ''way'' ahead of his time. The sarcastic first-person narrator he pioneered has become so popular in fictional media involving teenagers that people tend to forget it only really took off as recently as TheNineties. Creator/JohnHughes could use it in ''FerrisBuellersDayOff'' three-and-a-half decades after ''Catcher in the Rye'' was published and still make it seem original; even ''Film/{{Clueless}}'', which was nearly a decade after ''that'', seemed fresh at the time.
* ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'' nowadays seems ''just'' like a lot of other books you've probably read several times by now. Kids discovering a mysterious pathway to another world, finding their arrival to this strange new world to be predicted in prophecy, some of the residents are pleased to find them while others want them all dead, and soon everyone embarks on a large adventure to save the world... Yeah, it doesn't sound too original today. It almost sounds kind of like some children's stories, shounen manga series, a few video games, and a typical FanFic plot. Oh, and as for biblical references? ''* Yawn* ''. Name something today that ''doesn't'' [[FauxSymbolism draw from]] Literature/TheBible heavily.
* Creator/DashiellHammett and Creator/RaymondChandler. Their hard-boiled detective fiction certainly qualifies.
** The same goes for the inventors of "classic" detective fiction, Creator/ArthurConanDoyle and Creator/AgathaChristie in particular. Many of the stories and novels by both are stuffed with clichés and twists that a modern-day reader has seen a bit too often - but they invented them.
** While the works of Conan Doyle may seem a bit dated today, many of the mystery authors that succeeded him, and were hugely successful at the time, are almost unreadable today - their mysteries may have seemed innovative at the time, but have been imitated and done better so many times that they've lost their attraction. And, unlike the authors whoe remain popular today, such as Creator/AgathaChristie, their writing wasn't good enough to survive when their plots ceased to be novelties.
** Creator/IsaacAsimov, when he set out to write some mysteries of his own, soon reached the conclusion that Christie had already used up nearly every twist in existence.
* The ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel ''Discworld/EqualRites'' was originally a subversion of the "witches = bad, wizards = good" trends in fantasy. However, the conventions used have since become so commonplace that today the book just sounds preachy.
** Creator/TerryPratchett was amused to be told he was "following in the grand tradition of Creator/JKRowling", given that he's been writing and published for two decades longer.
* Creator/DrSeuss. When he started producing books for children featuring nonsensical word usage and surreal art, he was considered both genius and highly controversial, which tends to go right over the heads of modern readers.
* ''Literature/{{Dracula}}'' being the ultimate vampire TropeMaker, has been so thoroughly ripped off, parodied, retooled and revamped that even many {{Goth}}s are sick of him.
** To a lesser extent, this happened to Dracula's precursor, ''Literature/VarneyTheVampire'', which invented the idea of a vampire with fangs, puncture marks on the throat, and [[AntiVillain the sympathetic vampire]]. However, despite its influence it was never a particularly good book to begin with.
** Dracula is an interesting case, in that he has become so LostInImitation, those who read the original novel are generally shocked by his inhuman appearance, total amorality (Stoker's Dracula never showed any signs of guilt or love), and clever schemes, rather than the endless tales of tragic beauty and VampireVords that he is incorrectly remembered for.
* ''Literature/DragonridersOfPern'' started the DragonRider trend in the 1960s, and you would be hard-pressed to find current fantasy writers who ''don't'' make dragons a BondCreature in some way.
** Also, those books were first serialized as ''Weyr Search'' and ''Dragonflight'' in ''Analog'', a pro science fiction magazine, whose primary readership was adult men. The nonstandard sexual mores of the dragonriders were considered adult themes. Today, the dragon books are associated with pre-teen girls and the hardbitten Lessa is considered a MarySue.
* The ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' books. People new to it (and in particular the TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms novels) and who scoff at [[Literature/TheLegendOfDrizzt Drizzt]] being the emo badass rebel from an evil society don't realize just what hot shit those books were in the early '90s--and that they inspired a lot of the clichés they deride the books for using. Author R. A. Salvatore has even had readers come up to him at conventions to say "A good dual-wielding Drow ranger? How cliche!"
** ''Literature/DragonLance'' suffers from this trope as well, alas. Reviews exist of the original Chronicles that tear them apart on the premise that it's such a cheesy/overdone/cliched setting and cast of characters.
* Creator/ErnestHemingway. Read any other novel or watch a movie on wartime experiences before reading ''Literature/AFarewellToArms''. It'll end up looking like just another run-of-the-mill war story.
* [[Creator/HPLovecraft Howard P. Lovecraft]]. Compared to some of the tropes they've arguably spawned, certain stories of his can come across as charmingly old-fashioned and not necessarily all that horrifying to the modern reader. Or, in the case of his obvious racism, not-so-charming.
* Creator/JaneAusten and to a lesser extent the Brontë sisters suffer from this. Their novels have had a massive influence on romance novels to the point that they may appear hopelessly clichéd and even a bit low brow because of the countless imitators.
* ''The Joy of Sex'' and ''Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex* * but Were Afraid to Ask'' weren't trite when they were published.
* ''Literature/{{Lensman}}''. Creator/EEDocSmith's classic saga can seem like a ClicheStorm of SpaceOpera tropes, but, of course, it ''started'' most of them.
* ''Literature/LostSouls''. While Creator/PoppyZBrite's novel probably didn't originate of a lot of vampire clichés -- bisexual, seductive vampires, New Orleans, Goths, HoYay -- these tropes were a lot fresher when she and Creator/AnneRice wrote their books.
* Creator/AnneRice's ''Literature/TheVampireChronicles'' suffer from this even harder, if only because she was more prolific than Brite and she's much more well-known in the mainstream. Lestat in particular is the poster child for this. The "sexy Eurotrash rebel-without-a-cause in literal leather pants" character is so cliche in modern vampire fiction that people groan when they see it. Somewhat hilariously, it was a major criticism of the ''Film/QueenOfTheDamned'' movie.
* Creator/JRRTolkien's ''Literature/LordOfTheRings'': This book popularized most of the cliches found in fantasy today, but modern readers may well find it unspeakably boring, purely because everything in it has since been subverted, inverted, parodied, and otherwise done to death. Aside from that though, it also has lots of UnbuiltTrope which are actually not like what non-readers think the book contains.
** He gave the first definitions of the stock races as mostly used today. Elves existed in many different forms in different mythologies, from little wingy [[{{Disney}} tinkerbells]] to modern fantasy '''dwarves'''; now, everyone thinks "pointy ears", archery, and intelligent beauty. Orcs were a new name, and possibly didn't exist in that form in folklore except in general as ''orcneas'', ogres. The elf-dwarf hostilities began in Tolkien. Dwarfs as bearded miners, while that did exist before, was codified. "Dwarves" was also a Tolkienism.
* Creator/MichaelMoorcock. A good bit of his work falls into this, especially ''Literature/TheElricSaga''. Like ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', he created or expanded upon many fantasy tropes that are commonplace now. Hell, even one of the introductions to the new paperback collections of Elric's tale states this. Also all that crazy-ass, sexually deviant, creature-of-their-time, lone wolf super spy stuff (different from the way Film/JamesBond does it, mind you)? Well, that's [[Literature/TheCorneliusChornicles Jerry Cornelius]], possibly Moorcock's second most famous creation.
* Literature/NancyDrew can suffer from this a little bit. Post-feminism, it's kind of hard to realize how influential she was (almost every prominent female politician cites her as an inspiration.) She precedes Ellen Ripley and Wonder Woman and has been called one of the first feminists in American Fiction. Not to mention she was headstrong and adventurous, something that wasn't encouraged in children's literature (same goes for ''Literature/TheHardyBoys''.) Nowadays, YouMeddlingKids is a cliché in itself, and the books are seen as nostalgic at best and a little hokey at worst, while her utter perfection would have her written off as a MarySue if she was to appear for the first time today.
* ''Literature/{{Neuromancer}}'' by William Gibson was hailed as a radical departure that overturned science fiction with its noir mood, gritty realism, and dystopian outlook. Now CyberPunk looks old-fashioned and passe to some, and ShinyLookingSpaceships are back in vogue as unironic extensions of modern consumer products.
* ''Literature/TheNeverendingStory''. Similar to ''TheChroniclesOfNarnia'', it can seem an awful lot like a rather standard read, albeit a [[DoorStopper long one]] for children. A child finds a mysterious book that appears to be a gateway to another world. He appears to have found himself written into the story of this mysterious new world, and finds himself embarking on all sorts of adventures in a realm of fantasy powered by human imagination, becoming part of it all along the way, then finally departing home at the end after almost losing himself to his own fantasy and defeating the BigBad. Even if the entire story wasn't replicated ''too'' too much (''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance'' comes close, however), a lot of the book's themes seem a bit... well, cliché. The plot itself doesn't seem to be anything new either.
* ''Paul Clifford''. Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton's fifth novel, was an immense commercial success when first published. Today, it is remembered only as the origin of the notorious "ItWasADarkAndStormyNight".
* Literature/SherlockHolmes. Some argue that he qualifies as a "stock character", arguing that even though he was the ''origin'' of various clichés, to a modern reader they are just clichés.
** There was a Holmes story in which Holmes is sure that he got the right guy, but the guy has an alibi. What could possibly be going on? Can you figure it out? Turns out [[spoiler:the guy had an identical twin]]. Bet you never saw that one coming, did you?
** Holmes is a fleshed-out version of Creator/EdgarAllanPoe's C. Auguste Dupin. Dupin can extrapolate from tiny clues, scoffs at the clueless police and has a narrator friend who worships him. There's actually a LampshadeHanging on this in the very first Holmes story.
** Also, in the Holmes short stories Arthur Conan Doyle basically invented the concept of having a series of episodes starring the same {{regular character}}s in self-contained plots. (Before Holmes, magazines usually published serialized novels that required readers to have been following from the beginning). You know, as in the format that was appropriated by [[IndexOfTheWeek just about every single TV show ever]].
* Creator/EdgarAllanPoe was one of the very first writers of horror and suspense fiction, and he helped to create many of the conventions of the genre. Said conventions are now so common that it's hard for a modern reader to find his work as compelling as his audience did. Poe's pioneering use of the UnreliableNarrator doesn't seem like a big deal anymore now that suspense and horror readers have come to ''expect'' their narrators to be unreliable.
* The ''SnowCrash'' physical manifestation of the internet can come off as either a brilliant, eerie prediction of the future or a "I know this already" unsurprising setting depending on whether you read it before or after ''SecondLife'' proved ''everything.''
* "Literature/ASoundOfThunder", a short story by Creator/RayBradbury, was about time travelers who went back to prehistoric times, killed a butterfly, and accidently caused a fascist candidate to win the presidential elections. Which was a really original plot, when it was written. However, those story elements are so trite now that when the movie loosely based on the story was made, it was criticized for using old, tired cliches.
* Creator/StephenKing's books have fallen into this due to so many modern horror writers copying his style. When he first published ''Literature/SalemsLot'' and ''Literature/{{Carrie}}'', the idea of bringing horror out of gothic castles and into [[EverytownAmerica average New England towns]] revitalized the genre. Now, between King and the rediscovery of Creator/HPLovecraft, merely [[LovecraftCountry setting a piece of horror fiction in New England]] is seen as a cliche.
* ''Literature/StrangerInAStrangeLand'' by Creator/RobertAHeinlein features a Jesus-like human from Mars who can perform telekinesis, telepathy, and miraculous healing simply by meditating. He spends most of the novel trying to "understand earth behavior" and ends up bringing his followers sexual liberation. Most people nowadays tend to forget that Heinlein wrote the novel in ''the '50s'' but that it was only deemed publishable in 1961, when the hippie movement was just getting started. It ended up having a huge influence on the counterculture mentality of the '60s and '70s, predating ''Jonathan Livingston Seagull'' by over a decade. Many attitudes in modern New Age philosophy are taken directly from Heinlein's work, often disguised as ancient Eastern wisdom.
** A lot of Heinlein's works have ended up as this simply due to the sheer amount of influence he had on science fiction at the time. ''Literature/StarshipTroopers'' and ''Literature/ThePuppetMasters'' are two especially good examples.
* ''Literature/UncleTomsCabin'': The characters seem incredibly stereotyped to modern eyes because the popularity of the book -- and the minstrel shows inspired by or at least [[InNameOnly named for]] it -- ''established'' those very stereotypes.
* ''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy1'': This book heavily influenced geek humor during the 1980s, but by more or less codifying the genre, doomed itself to this category. It also suffers from a degree of [[DiscreditedMeme Python syndrome]].
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* The ''Literature/{{Shannara}}'' franchise, particularly ''Literature/TheSwordOfShannara''. People today tend to look at it and see a blatant rip-off of ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''. At the time, people wouldn't have, due to Brooks' other innovations, including Elves that were human and known to be fallible, a {{Mentor}} who was a whopping example of GoodIsNotNice, the aversion of AlwaysChaoticEvil, the AfterTheEnd setting and of course, the twist ending ([[spoiler:The Sword convinces TheBigBad of his DeadAllAlong status]]). The series had the first high fantasy novel (''Sword'') not written for children to be a commercial success in its own time (that's right; ''The Lord of the Rings'' was not a commercial success until many years after it was published), and ''Elfstones'' and ''Wishsong'' were numbers two and three, respectively; all three spent weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. This was largely what convinced publishers that fantasy could be a commercially viable genre separate from sci-fi, causing an explosion in the publication of fantasy. Nowadays this is forgotten and the novel's innovations are so common that modern readers tend only to notice the flaws and the similarities to ''Lord of the Rings'', instead of the differences.
** When ''Shannara'' first appeared in '77, fantasy fans ''did'' see it as a LOTR ripoff. It came in for a lot of derision by the SF&F crowd. Its success came from younger and more casual readers, disappointed because ''The Silmarillion'' (also published in '77) wasn't like the earlier Middle-earth books. These readers picked up on ''Shannara'' because at the time there wasn't much else in the genre.[[note]]The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballantine_Adult_Fantasy_series Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series]] reprinted classic works of high fantasy (see note on William Morris, below) but most were complex narratives in old-style English, which may have been too difficult for casual readers.[[/note]]
* ''Literature/AnnieOnMyMind''. The villains are one-dimensional, the romance develops in a short time (a month or so), and the heroes, {{Woobie}}s or not, make some stupid decisions. These tend to turn people off the to the book. They forget that this was ''the'' first book to portray lesbians in a positive light, without having them [[CureYourGays turn straight]] or [[BuryYourGays die]].
* Science fiction in general. Technologies that used to be completely fantastic tend to become TruthInTelevision decades later. See also TechnologyMarchesOn.
* ''Literature/AConnecticutYankeeInKingArthursCourt'' (1889) has fallen victim to it. It was one of the earliest TimeTravel novels, and the protagonist's efforts to introduce "modern" technology and values in TheMiddleAges was groundbreaking on its own. However this idea was followed in (among others) ''Lest Darkness Fall'' (1941), which was itself influential in the AlternateHistory genre, ''The Cross Time Engineer'' series, the ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'' series, and ''Literature/{{Timeline}}''. While The Man Who Came Early (1956) by PoulAnderson served as an influential {{Deconstruction}} of the concept, nowadays its hard to realize what was unique in the original novel.
* Creator/WilliamMorris (1834-1896) attempted to revive the ChivalricRomance genre with novels ''The Wood Beyond the World'' (1894) and ''The Well at the World's End'' (1896), creating "an entirely invented fantasy world" as their setting. These works and his earlier HistoricalFantasy novels influenced writers such as Creator/LordDunsany, Eric Rücker Eddison, James Branch Cabell, Creator/JRRTolkien, and Creator/CSLewis. Problem is that they are among the founding works of MedievalEuropeanFantasy. They had a noticeable influence in the development of HeroicFantasy, HighFantasy, and even the CthulhuMythos. There is now nothing innovative about creating an invented world, and his works were considered dated by TheSeventies.
** His books and those of the other authors mentioned here were among those reprinted by the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballantine_Adult_Fantasy_series Ballantine Adult Fantasy series]] starting in the mid-70s, founded by Lin Carter partly as an attempt to prove that Tolkien did not singlehandedly invent fantasy literature or WorldBuilding or even the StandardFantasySetting.
* ''Literature/TheGreatGodPan'' (1894) was a prototype CosmicHorrorStory, notable for "the cumulative suspense and ultimate horror with which every paragraph abounds". It was cited as a major influence by Creator/HPLovecraft, and (more recently) Creator/StephenKing. But part of the suspense is killed for the modern reader, who knows what to expect from the genre.
* ''Literature/TheTaleOfGenji''. It's considered one of the first modern novels, if not ''the'' first. Nowadays, it can be ''quite'' hard to get into.
* Drizzt Do'Urden, the subversion of AlwaysChaoticEvil, was pretty groundbreaking in fantasy when released. However, Drizzt was the font from which the "Wangsty Exiled Drow" flowed, and is now held up as a shining example of everything that is wrong about the D&D fandom.
* ''Literature/JohnCarterOfMars'' launched the PlanetaryRomance genre, and has been hugely influential on creators of fantasy/science fiction media, including the minds behind ''Franchise/StarWars'' and ''Film/{{Avatar}}''. This influence created problems for ''Film/JohnCarter'', in that while it was faithfully adapting the original novels, for those not familiar with the source works, it came across as a massive ClicheStorm.
* Many novels and stories by H.G. Wells contain what seem like very unambitious and dull uses of sci-fi devices. For example, in ''The Time Machine'', the time traveller simply goes to the future, has a look at what it's like... and then comes back home again. However, Wells was practically the first sci-fi writer of any kind (to the extent that the term 'science fiction' did not exist - Wells himself invented the term 'scientific romance' to describe his works). This can be applies equally to many other early sci-fi works.
* Literature/TheBible is widely considered by many as the go-to example of ValuesDissonance that keeps mysteriously proliferating itself, a fantasy novel masquerading as a self-help book or vice-versa. Never mind the fact that between the dated verses is moral philosophy that was well ahead of its time, some of which is taken for granted having now become the status quo, and some of which can still be considered "progressive" today.
** What many people nowadays can't seem to understand is that, even in the early days of the Torah, the Bible was never intended to be ''exclusively'' a "guide to life" as such. Not everything in even the Old Testament is supposed to teach a moral lesson; there is much that is pure history or even poetry.
* ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice'' is one-half this and one-half ValuesDissonance. By the standards of today, it's a generic ClicheStorm that doesn't have any tropes the reader hasn't seen before, because it was the first TropeCodifier for the RomanticComedy. In addition, Mr. Darcy is almost a cliché in his own right for being TroubledButCute... because he was the first major example of the TroubledButCute DeadpanSnarker as a male lead.
* ''Literature/DonQuixote'' is this to... western literature. The first part of the novel had a RandomEventsPlot, a RomanticPlotTumor and other errors, but the EvenBetterSequel had almost none of the tropes under the BadWritingIndex. Imagine a world where everyone ignores [[LitClassTropes literary techniques]]. If it looks like nothing special today, that is because everything after it followed the techniques that made it successful.
* [[Creator/JackLondon Jack London's]] ''Literature/TheIronHeel'' is arguably the first Futuristic Dystopia novel ever written. The central premise of the story - an evil MegaCorp takes over the government, takes control of the media, violently oppresses all free speech and thought, etc. - was novel and topical (and quite scarily plausible) at the time London was writing, but it has since been done to death and back so many times over that the original seems tame and dry by comparison (YMMV on the continued topicality).
* When ''Literature/TheBelgariad'' first came out, Ce'Nedra, the "spoiled brat" who becomes "a little tiger when the chips are down" (to quote the author himself) served as a Spiritual the high fantasy genre. In more recent years, with the advent of high-fantasy works like ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', which offer a variety of major female characters in various roles, Ce'Nedra's distance from the kind of damsel characters she was intended to parody has shrunk.
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