An archetype is a universal theme, story or character which is so fundamental that, regardless of how many times it is used (or misused), it never becomes stale, dated or {{Cliche}}. This is the opposite of [[DiscreditedTrope discredited tropes]], which started out as good ideas but were used so often they became cliché. A "pure" archetype is always a partial personality, rather than a rounded character. In fiction or life, an excessively archetypal character is likely to come across as two-dimensional, if not ''one-''dimensional. (And in real life, they may be mentally ill!)

For example, ''Franchise/StarWars'' was purposefully built upon {{Archetypal Character}}s, to which it owes its longevity. The entire story hinges upon TheHerosJourney, which is an archetypical story.
* Luke Skywalker (TheHero, HeroicArchetype)
* Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda (MentorArchetype)
* Han Solo (TheLancer, LovableRogue)

An interesting point is that many tropes could easily be considered archetypes in and of themselves.