* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation:
** Jace: JerkassWoobie, or just plain {{Jerkass}}?
** Clary: Plucky heroine dealing with being thrown into an unfamiliar world, or {{Jerkass}} MarySue who only defends her best friend when she feels like it?
** Simon: Loyal best friend or ExtremeDoormat?
* BeleagueredAssistant: It could be argued that Alec and Isabelle are this for Jace. While he ''is'' a very talented DemonSlayer, he is also extremely reckless and very frequently ends up as a DistressedDude. Early on it is noted that Alec has never killed a demon, despite being the oldest of their PowerTrio, mostly because his attention is focused on keeping Jace (and to a lesser extent Isabelle) from serious harm. This trope spreads, almost like a disease, when Clary enters the picture, giving her her own set (mostly Simon and Luke, although Isabelle and the others also take turns). Magnus eventually starts feeling like this for the entire group, since [[AWizardDidIt his magic]] is needed by just about everyone.
* CanonSue: Clary has often been accused of being this. The similarity of her name to [[AuthorAvatar the author's]] doesn't help.
* ClicheStorm: It's nearly impossible to find a review of [[TheFilmOfTheBook the film version of]] that ''doesn't'' point out how similar it is to earlier properties. Most commonly cited were ''HarryPotter'', ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'', and ''StarWars''.
* DamselScrappy: Clary mostly. Indeed, [[ExtremeDoormat Simon]] would be leading a happily mundane life were it not for his determination to protect her even though she just [[LoveMartyr sees him as a friend]]. [[DeathSeeker Jace]] could be argued as being a male version of this trope as well, since a great deal of effort on the part of Clary, Alec, Isabelle, Magnus, the Lightwoods, and others centers on saving him from some life-threatening situation that could have been avoided were it not for his nasty independent streak.
* DesignatedHero: The Clave is an entire group of designated heroes. With their FantasticRacism, [[KnightTemplar inventive cruelty]], and [[ItsAllAboutMe massive arrogance]], it's a wonder how we're supposed to root for them in the final battle.
* DieForOurShip: Poor Aline. She [[spoiler: consensually kisses Jace ''once'', while he and Clary are still convinced they're siblings, and promptly decides that he's not her type]], is a fairly kind person overall (albeit one with no brain-to-mouth filter), and [[spoiler: it's implied that she's trying to figure out if she's a lesbian, or possibly even asexual]] - yet she is ''constantly'' turned into a cruel, backstabbing, relationship-smashing harpy who gets between Clary and Jace, especially in AU fanfics.
** The release of ''City of Lost Souls'' helped the problem a little - [[spoiler: it was confirmed that Aline was lesbian,]] and none of the characters felt any hatred to her.
** Kaelie gets this treatment too even though she only appeared twice and doesn't show any interest in Jace at all. Usually in AU's she gets the same treatment as Aline, in series we know that Faeries don't care much for humans.
* DracoInLeatherPants: Sebastian gets this in many fanfics where his actions are at best given a poor FreudianExcuse and he is made a badder bad boy than Jace so they can have a love triangle. He was forced to do it by Valentine and/or was abused crops up a lot as an excuse. Other times writers will have him say he can't control himself or at worse ignore that he killed a child or completely hand-wave it. Some writers go as far as trying to make Jace a RonTheDeathEater by having him be a bigger jerk than usual to make Seb seem nicer.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Clare often expresses her surprise at the fact that many people state Alec as their favorite character as opposed to Jace or Clary.
** Likewise, Simon.
** Also, Magnus.
** Isabelle too, for some.
* FoeYay: In one scene in ''City of Heavenly Fire'' Sebastian leans in and ''kisses Jace's cheek''. It's meant to be a threat and parallel to how Judas kissed Jesus' cheek to identify him, but it comes off a bit like this.
* HarmfulToMinors: Although Shadowhunters, like most of modern society, do not consider children to be adults until they are eighteen (which is the youngest age at which they can even attend Clave meetings), it is apparently acceptable for children much younger than that to participate in DemonSlaying without adult supervision. At the start of ''City of Bones'', Alec is the oldest of the protagonists being only one that is eighteen years old. The movie seems to try to avert this by making all the characters a few years older than they are in the books.
* HoYay - Jace and Simon have a fair amount of {{subtext}}
** Yeah especially if these two quotes have anything to say about it:
--> Jace: "Do you remember back at the hotel when you promised that if we lived, you'd get dressed up in a nurse's outfit and give me a sponge bath."
--> Clary: "It was Simon who promised you the sponge bath."
--> Simon: "As soon as I'm back on my feet, handsome."
--> Jace: "I knew we should have left you a rat."
** And...
--> "Well, I'm not kissing the mundane," said Jace. "I'd rather stay down here and rot."
--> "Forever?" said Simon. "Forever's an awfully long time."
--> Jace raised his eyebrows. "I knew it," he said. "You want to kiss me, don't you?"
** Near the climax of the second book, [[spoiler: Jace allows vampire-ified Simon to drink his blood in order to heal.]] This results in Simon with his arms flung around Jace, clutching him violently, and [[spoiler: biting his neck.]] Furthermore, Jace explicitly ''relaxes and pulls him closer.'' Uh...
*** Jace later admits that it ''was'' rather homoerotic, and that he did in fact like it just a little bit.
** Jace and Jordan have a fair amount as well. . .
* InformedAttribute: The ''parabatai'' bond. Although it supposedly makes two Nephilim "closer than brothers", Alec and Jace usually seem to have little or no ability to read each other. Alec often fails to get when Jace is being sarcastic (despite the fact that Jace is almost ''always'' sarcastic). Jace had no idea that Alec was just pretending to side with the Inquisitor in order to keep her from suspecting that he intended to help Jace. Despite the alleged combat advantages of the bond, they do not really seem any more effective when fighting together than they do with others, such as Isabelle. Cassandra appears to have noticed this problem and plays up the bond considerably in ''City of Heavenly Fire'' as compared to the earlier books.
* MagnificentBastard: Valentine Morgenstern is one of the best.
* NeverLiveItDown: Clare did a lot of plagiarizing in the book, and upon being called out on it, smugly confirmed it.
* RootingForTheEmpire: The designated heroes, the Shadowhunters, are descended from the angel Raziel--and pretty damn proud of it. They see themselves as above the very people they're supposed to protect: Downworlders (your werewolves, faeries, vampires, and such) and humans, otherwise known to Shadowhunters as Mundanes (or Mundies, if you want to get really ugly). Honestly, with this sort of FantasticRacism, you'd probably get more love and respect from a demon disemboweling you and dragging your soul straight to Hell; at least demons are ''supposed'' to be cruel. To be fair, the Shadowhunters are called out on this ''all the time'' by everyone who isn't a Shadowhunter. The moral of the first 3 books is that the Downworlders aren't inherently evil and the Shadowhunters aren't inherently good and that they could save a lot more lives if they got over their differences and helped each other. [[spoiler: Indeed, City of Glass ends with the Downworlders agreeing to help the Shadowhunters defeat [[BigBad Valentine]] in return for the Downworlders getting representation in the Shadowhunter's council.]]
* SoBadItsGood: Common description of TheFilmOfTheBook
* {{Squick}}: The incest subplot(s).
* SuetifulAllAlong: Clary is convinced that she is not attractive, despite repeated assurances that she is attractive and looks like her mother, someone Clary does view as attractive.
** Well, she says she considers herself "cute" rather than beautiful, like her mother. And the only person who has called her beautiful was Jace.
* TheyCopiedItSoItSucks:
** This is a pretty sensitive issue to a lot of people, so we won't go into too much detail. But there's a not-insignificant number of people who accuse Clare of plagiarizing several other works, most notably ''Literature/HarryPotter'' and ''Franchise/StarWars''.
** There's actually some logical basis in this - Clare copied large amounts of texts from other sources without citing them in ''Fanfic/TheDracoTrilogy'': a Harry Potter fan fiction she wrote before City of Bones was published. In fact, the fics were taken down and the trilogy is largely a reworked and renamed version of the fic, plagiarized sections and all. Her fans argue that Clare learned her lesson from that, and that the elements Clare is accused of copying weren't invented by the people she 'copied' them from.
** See ClicheStorm above
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot: The whole [[spoiler: BrotherSisterIncest]] thing could have been tapped for a lot more drama.
* UnfortunateImplications :
** The only half-black character in the series, Maia, is characterized solely by how much violent abuse she's taken in the past at the hands of the men in her life. Averted [[spoiler: in that she eventually defeats a rather large male werewolf to claim leadership of the New York pack]].
** At one point Clary notices there are no unattractive vampires, and concludes that "maybe ugly people don't want to live forever." It turned out that the process of becoming a vampire erases visual flaws, which comes with its own set of problems with the othering of people who are at all visually imperfect.
** Not to mention all of the slut-shaming Isabelle gets.
** The majority of Shadowhunters express incredible racism and prejudice, and are never called out on it.
* WhatAnIdiot
** Simon, especially at a certain point in City of Ashes.
** Clary and Jace get ''several'' moments like these.
** Alec about a certain thing in his and Magnus' relationship.
* WriterCopOut:- Turns out Jace and Clary [[spoiler: [[{{NotBloodSiblings}} never were siblings]]]], so all the drama about incest then magically disappears. To be fair, [[{{WordOfGod}} Clare has stated]] that she didn't think her book [[{{ExecutiveMeddling}} would've been published]] if they were for real.