You are watching something like Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation and it strikes you that you have heard every single line of this somewhere else. Every trope is presented without irony or acknowledgment. All the situations and setups are clipped out of another story and pasted in as-is.
You are in a Cliché Storm. Do not worry. The pain will soon pass. A bug will soon scrag the inept Lieutenant. Security will soon come to the perimeter. The line will soon be held. It will be over, soon.
Remember, this is not always a bad thing; many a Cliché Storm is also a guilty pleasure, or even, dare we say it, exactly what the audience wants in the first place. You can see from some examples that people often intentionally create as big a Cliché storm as possible... and then start having fun with all of the Clichés. Oftentimes, they may not start around deconstructing or playing with the cliches as so much play it for laughs. It's very common in an Affectionate Parody - most of the times, they start poking fun at these Cliches. Very often, something may be intended as an homage, and it may be wise to look at them as such.
See also A Space Marine Is You, a specific form of a Cliché Storm; see also Deconstructor Fleet, for works that take all the cliches and play them realistically. Compare Strictly Formula, Reconstruction. Compare and contrast Troperiffic, which is a more fun version of this trope, although the lines between the two are blurry and kind of subjective.
An important thing to note is that, as we enter the 21st century, the sheer number of works created makes it nearly impossible to write something "original". Also, our ability to securely store books and films in libraries makes it easy to access old works. That can make the newer material appear to be cliché storms, simply because we could see the similarity to countless older stories. With all that, Cliché Storm is about to become one of the most heard of tropes in the near-future. This is why we warn you that TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life.
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Anime & Manga
Bakemonogatari. The franchise itself relies heavily on pandering, and every character is an Otaku's wet dream. It has three lolis - all of different classes - but the clichés don't end there. Like most harems, every female character is one that you've likely seen before. Tropes Are Not Bad, however, and some characters do receive development that shy them away from the cliché, or at least give them a Freudian Excuse.
Bleach, which has a very formulaic pattern of fighting, a very predictable power progression for the major characters, and has been guilty of about every shonen cliche you can name. Sadly, the earlier episodes were a bit more diverse.
Dai No Dai Bouken is a shonen manga series done as though it were a Dragon Quest game. Thus it does not just use cliches, it beats them down, makes friends with them, and then watches in amazement as they come out of nowhere and tell it to go on without them. It's part of its charm.
Every character, visual element, and plot device in Elemental Gelade feels lifted from some better series.
Ghost Stories demonstrates quite a few cliches from horror works.
The Guardian Hearts OVA series manages to cram in each and every cliché of anime Fanservice and the Unwanted Harem. To the seasoned viewer, viewing it for the first time feels like seeing it the second time.
Naruto is often accused of being one, especially in it's early days. In particular, the characters of Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura were sometimes summed up as "The Hero, The Rival and The Love Interest". As the series went on it began taking certain cliches in directions a lot of readers found interesting, though problems unrelated to the cliches began to develop as well.
The manga Otomen is an intentional example of this. Being an overall parody of shojo manga and a satire of Japanese gender roles, the author has pretty much stated that she goes out of her way to do every shojo manga cliche in the book.
The Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel comics, which continue the story after both series end, reuse a good number of the best one-liners and comebacks from the TV episodes. They're meant to invoke familiarity, but the problem is that they end up doing them way too often. After the nth Meaningful Echo, you start to wonder if the writers can come up with any new witty dialogue.
Well Spoken Sonic Lightning Flash from Super Young Team briefly notes that "they thought of everything! No cliche left unturned!" when he sees his team's new headquarters in Final Crisis Aftermath: DANCE. The series itself doesn't exemplify the trope, however, nor does the team.
I'm guessing that later in the story, Harry will be framed and sent to Azkaban, allowing his hitherto unknown twin who's the actual Boy Who Lived to take his place, get adopted by Snape and become Head Boy, upon which he hooks up with Hermione (who turns out to be really a pureblood) at the annual Yule Ball and they have lots of rampant sex in the Head Boy and Girl's private quarters, and meanwhile Draco discovers that he's part-Veela and hooks up with an American exchange student who's a newly discovered species of super-witch with an anachronistic taste in clothes and music, and they go off and fight the resurrected Salazar Slytherin together.note None of this actually does happen, but it wouldn't have been a surprise.
drconichero's Soul Chess is full of them. What's worse is that it's intentional (the only time it isn't is the character design for the expy of Jeremiah "Motherfucking Loyalty" Gottwald).
Parodied in the Harry Potter fic When in Doubt, Obliviate when Snape took exception to several standard cliches during a teacher's meeting.
Snape: "I'm not going to start off irrationally hating Potter because of his parents even if he did make a pained face and cover his eyes the minute he saw me." Dumbledore: "That's certainly big of you, Severus. I feel inspired already." Snape: "After that doesn't happen, I'm not going to be forced to spend time with him in my classes and as the head of his house and start to see a new side of him. Particularly as I'm not going to find out that he was abused or neglected or had some other tragic problem growing up other than his mother's death..." Dumbledore: "...What won't happen then?" Snape: "I'm certainly not going to see a side of him that I hadn't before and see some of myself or any random relatives of his that aren't his father in him. I'm not going to be drawn to his modesty, intelligence, kindness, or any other virtue you can think of." Dumbledore: "Well, now I think you're just limiting yourself. Would it really be so bad if that did happen?" Snape: "It doesn't really matter if it would or would not be since it won't. And finally, I will most certainly not become his favorite teacher and or his mentor. I simply will not do it and this will not become an inspirational story. It will not."
Films — Animated
Alpha and Omega. Entire movie in a nutshell: Male falls in love with female. Male realizes he can't be with female because their love is forbidden due to them being different. Male and female get captured, wake up in a new location, and have to find their way home. Then throw in a bunch of kiddie humor during their adventure. Male and female finally arrive home, but the female dies. Oh wait, she didn't actually die. Male and female, despite their differences, fall in love, and live Happily Ever After. The end. AND there's a direct-to-video sequel where they have 3 children.
Barbies and the Three Musketeers manages to fall prey to this and attempt to make them role models for girls. Unfortunately, it flops (even more) when they replace the swords (and muskets) with batons and fluffy, uniformed kittens.
Delgo. In an incredibly bad way. Considering how it has gone down in history with the worst opening weekend for a wide-release movie in history...
"There's a protagonist grieving over her mother's recent death, and a brilliant but scatterbrainedfather who loves his child but isn't the strong parental figure she desperately needs. There's a hidden world akin to Alice's Wonderland that the inquisitive heroine explores. There are beleaguered good guys that she joins in a war against bad guys that represent chaos and decay; their leader is a funny despot with a European accent. There's a mythology that will be fulfilled when good guys take a fragile pod on a journey toward a prophesied end. There's a young warrior with whom the heroine forms a flirtatious friendship. There's a tough older warrior who mentors the younger warrior. There are comic sidekicks, and a beautiful forest queen who utters platitudes about the cycles of life and then dies."
Brave is often regarded as this, considering it stars a rebellious princess (all too common in Disney films) and struggled a bit to distinguish itself from previous movies such as Tangled and How to Train Your Dragon. To its credit, though, it did take a more subversive take on the worn formula it operated on.
Cars is considered to be the first of these. It's easy to imagine a little counter in the corner dinging whenever you see a Pixar cliché. Stranger in a community or group? Check. Brooding moment from a side character? Check. Wacky sidekick who forms a comedic duo with the main character? Check. Said group full of wacky members with their own quirks? Check. All of the development threatens to go downhill when something happens to separate or alienate the stranger? Check. They all decide they like this new stranger and want him back in the group? Check. The stranger decides that s/he really is a member of the group? Check.
One of the major complaints about the sequel is the fact that the Cliché Storm element is taken to nigh painful extremes. The clichés were even more evident in Cars 2 because they were using action-movie clichés too, more notable than simple Pixar clichés.
The Spin-OffPlanes, which is not made by Pixar, is just the typical "underdog overcomes the odds and wins in the end" story, except the characters are planes and cars.
The infamous Titanic: The Legend Goes On has an insane list of clichés found in kids' movies (especially Disney ones). Talking animal characters, a bad character with incompetent henchmen, a girl with an evil stepfamily, Love at First Sight, Disneyfication gone mad, and more clichés are there to show its notoriety. Go to the article to see the full list of clichés.
Every Disney Animated Canon sequel that ever went straight to DVD. Although, some have thought that Cinderella III was somewhat deconstructive, and it also lampshaded several tropes played in the original fairy tale (e.g., the king asking why the prince is so in love with someone over their choice in footwear, characters seemingly being very suspicious about choice of love).
Films — Live-Action
Self-aware in A Few Good Men, where Tom Cruise's character has a throwaway conversation with the local newsstand vendor involving each of them trying to wryly out-cliche the other.
Battle: Los Angeles: A group of Marines, one about to get married, one trying to gain citizenship, one two days from retirement, one with a baby on the way, one a fresh faced rookie, one struggling to cope, and one who lost his brother, use the power of teamwork and More Dakka to defend the United States from an Alien Invasion.
Dantes Peak. Protagonist lost his spouse in the same disaster many years ago and is still hung up about it? Check. Jaded superior who insists that they need proof only for him to be, of course, wrong, and subsequently die a Karmic Death? Check. Most annoying character who refused to come down from the mountain and thus endangered the lives of the others dies? Check. Dog survives? Check. Big final blow-you-out-of-your-seat special effects sequence? Check. Token Romance? Check... And yet, for all that, it still manages to be good.
In a So Bad, It's Good way, both Darktown Strutters and Order of the Black Eagle. These movies aren't related at all, they just fit together when run matinee style due to using exactly half of all available tropes ever created prior to the 80s. The combination effect induces what can only be described as an effect similar to a caffeine rush without the coffee.
Deathlands: A cocktail of every sci-fi movie you've ever seen, thrown together on a budget equal to the price of a bus ticket.
Cheap Sylvester Stallone vehicle D-TOX. Stallone plays a cop who, after punching a Cymbal-Banging Monkey, finds out his wife has been killed by his nemesis. He develops a drink problem and is sent to a remote, snowy rehab place. People get killed off one by one. And who's doing the killing? Why, the Evil Brit! As you'd expect from a film populated by alcoholics, you get an Anvilicious message:
"Booze may be a slow-burner, but it's still suicide."
In fact, it hits up more tropes than expected, particularly during the middle section, which unfortunately bores the Genre Savvy person who knows exactly what the main character's going to decide to do, and just wants him to Get On With It Already.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is chock-full of every action movie cliche most people have ever seen. If you want an explanation, look no further than Christopher Orr's review of the movie, in which he decides to just let it speak for itself by providing 40 of the lines that sum up the entire plot and all of the typical one-liners and plot points it has. It's really a shame though, considering it had some great actors who did the best they could with the material they were given. Then again, for fans of the movie, this could be exactly what they liked about it.
Ryuhei Kitamura isn't a terrifically subtle director, to say the least. He is, however, terrifically entertaining, which might explain why he was picked to direct Godzilla Final Wars.
A common remark—for good or ill—seems to be that Oblivion (2013) is made up out of other SF movies in general.
A notorious sci-fi cliche was aliens coming to Earth to steal our water. Though at least the alien is turning it into energy instead.
Pacific Rim once again shows us that Tropes Are Tools. The film manages to work with an absolute Cliché Storm of a plot that almost anyone who has seen a Kaiju movie can see coming from a mile away... but manages to make it work because Guillermo del Toro intended it as a Homage.
MST3K-featured fantasy film Quest of the Delta Knights has the Big Bad saying things like: "I grow weary of your antics, beggar man!" Ironically, and with no explanation whatever, both the Big Bad and the old man were played by David Warner.
The movie was a thinly-veiled attempt to do Star Wars in a fantasy setting long before Eragon made it cool, and that's how they linked the Darth Vader and Obi-Wan characters. It's not much of an explanation, but it does seem slightly less random when you realize that.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse contains so many cliches from every zombie, sci-fi and buddy action film in the past ten years before release that it is near impossible to find something original in the film.
Discussed in Serenity as the setup for an action punchline:
Within the Movie considered on its own, The Alliance is an evil empire, Mal is the plucky (anti-)hero, and the rest of the movie goes as you would expect, albeit with enough emotional twists and turns to engage the audience. But, as Joss Whedon has pointed out, the Operative is kind of right. While the Alliance is antagonistic to the main characters, said characters are thieves, mercenaries, and smugglers. The Alliance is largely beneficial and benevolent—yes, they have done some truly despicable things, but then so have all governments ever. How much of this comes across in the film itself is debatable, since time for these subtleties is somewhat limited. As for Mal as 'the plucky hero'—even in the series, Mal is far from the hero archetype, and for the film Whedon pushed him even further towards the darker, non-heroic side so he could undergo some sort of arc of development during the film. Mal may not lack for pluck, but—for example—he shoots three unarmed men during the course of the film, one of whom appears to be surrendering.
The Operative is Genre Savvy to wear full body armor. He is not a moron.
Sleepover. It is a preteen chick flick comedy, but this is ridiculous. It doesn't help that most of the actresses are fresh out of Barbizon and don't even realize how many Dead Horse Tropes they're playing straight.
Small Soldiers: Everything Hazard says is made of this, from the "roll call" when he activates his troops to his combat banter. The best bit is when he gives a hilariously cliché-ridden speech to his "soldiers", in which he actually contradicts himself by the end.
"Soldiers, no poor sap ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by being all that he can be. Damn the torpedoes, or give me death! Eternal vigilance is the price of duty. And, to the victors go the spoils. So remember: you are the best of the best of the few and the proud. So ask not what your country can do for you, only regret that you have but one life to live!"
Limit of Love: Umizaru. Up until the last 10 minutes, you can easily predict not only every single "unexpected twist" but every single line the characters are about to say. Even if we count that last moment where the ship sinks with the protagonist still on board, the ending is still the same. Just goes to prove it, you can only make so many movies about a sinking ship.
When Time Ran Out. Most of the Cliches used in that movie were the ones Irwin Allen himself have been credited with creating. (It's eerily similar to the 1972 film adaptation of The Poseidon Adventure, complete with an elderly woman fleeing for an escape dying of a heart attack and the majority of the people who stayed behind dying.)
Sommers in particular lampshades this. In his commentary for The Mummy Returns, he notes that if you have a jungle full of ruins, you have to have shrunken heads.
He also claims that movie rules require a pointed gun to make sufficient rattling noises - about the level created by a large garbage bag full of cans is a good starting point.
MAD's Dirty Dancing parody spoofed not just the movie, put pointed out the cliche used in the scene they were spoofing in each panel; a display of Lampshading that would have done TV Tropes proud.
Referenced in Casino Royale (1967) where retired spy/country gentleman Sir James Bond (David Niven) turns down the entreaties of the secret service heads of the superpowers, telling them "If I may interrupt this flow of cliche, it is now that time of day that I set apart for [playing] Debussy."
Grahame Coats of Anansi Boys is a walking Cliché Storm; to converse with him is to be buffeted by lines you've heard so often that they're not even language anymore, just meaningless noises. For his own part, Coats revels in cliches, finding them far more valuable and expressive than original thinking ever could be; this fits somewhat with the "corporate executive" to Coats' Corrupt Corporate Executive, because in conversation as in business, he'd rather go with the tried-and-true than take a real risk.
Played with in George R R Martin's story The Hedge Knight. It begins with every possible cliched circumstance around a knight joining a tournament. Then every single element of the story is revealed to actually be something else.
The Belgariad, intentionally, as it was an experiment in making something grand out of the most shopworn fantasy elements. Most David Eddings works have a certain familiarity about them.
Lampshaded in The Caves of Steel. Elijah Baley notes that popular culture on Earth includes many stories that follow the same basic template, none of which even vaguely accord to the reality Earthpeople face in the Robot Novels.
The popular book-film romances, to be sure, had their stock Outer World characters: the visiting tycoon, choleric and eccentric; the beautiful heiress, invariably smitten by the Earthman’s charms and drowning disdain in love; the arrogant Spacer rival, wicked and forever beaten.
Defied by Codex Alera. Yes, it is a story about a Farm Boy who becomes a sword-wielding badass, learns the magic system, gets a hot girlfriend, saves the world from an Always Chaotic Evil nonhuman menace, and is secretly the incredibly magically powerful heir to the throne. But it isn't. Perhaps this is due to the Cool vs. Awesome. Or the unique magic system. Or the fact that all the races have been replaced by completely different and awesome things. Or that the main character is the Defied Trope of the Marty Stu. Or maybe because it was written by Jim Butcher.
The Fionavar Tapestry reads like a deliberate attempt on the part of Guy Gavriel Kay to see how many high fantasy clichés can possibly be strung together in 1,000 pages of text. Considering his motive for writing it was because he'd just been helping Christopher Tolkien edit The Silmarillion and he needed to get Middle-Earth out of his system, this was probably very deliberate.
One of main reasons the movie was worse was that it took anything vaguely original from the book and replaced it with Narmful clichés. For example, in the movie, Saphira goes from being a small dragon hatchling to a fully-grown dragon in a matter of moments. How? She flies up into some stormy clouds. The book actually has her physically growing, over the course of a few months, without the use of magic clouds.
Jim Springman and the Realm of Glory has a book within a book that purports to be about 'A unique fantasy world of hope and fear, good and evil, beauty and barbarity', where 'A teenager armed only with a magic sword and a stout heart takes up this impossible quest'. The (fictional) book is filled with cliches.
From the evil twin and the stereotyped characters to the boy drama, I think it's fair to apply this term to the Maximum Ride series.
The Sword of Truth series. Everything from a common man of mysterious lineage, to a wise old wizard with robes and white hair, to a character that was turned into a small, fanatical creature when deprived of the artifact that was precious to him.
Nicely lampshaded and then subverted in the Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms series by Mercedes Lackey. Here, the "cliché storm" is almost literal: a metaphysical force called The Tradition which gathers around significant events and people, directing magical energy to flow in archetypal directions and following certain tropes that have been set down through folklore and that consequently reinforce themselves by inspiring even more folklore! Characters throughout the series find themselves guided by, opposed by, and sometimes rebelling against The Tradition — a witty metaphor for the writing process itself!
Twilight: Awkward, clumsy girl moves to new school and is instantly adored by all? Check. New girl falling in love with the hottest (cough) guy in school? Check. Hot boy falls in love with new girl? Check. Girl is so in love she will do anything for her true love? Check. And that's just the beginning...
Warrior Cats is a long running book series, so some entries in the franchise end up as these.
The Original Series is a pretty standard example of the hero's journey. Mentor discovers chosen one, teaches them, then dies. Chosen one becomes king and defeats the great evil that threatens the world after uniting the warring factions.
The fourth and final installment of the Prequel Super Editions, Tallstar's Revenge. The concept: Back when one of the most peaceful leaders in the history of the Clans was a young warrior, he left his Clan to seek revenge for the death of his father. The author also mentioned that he had a touching bromance. If you've been reading TV Tropes for any amount of time, you can probably guess exactly what happens, because you've seen it all before. Tallstar leaves his Clan and is rescued by a friendly tom named Jake that helps him on his quest. They bond over their journey, and Jake eventually becomes like a conscience to him, telling him that vengeance is not the answer. Then Tallstar finds out the real reason his father died, and understands that friendship, not revenge is what he truly seeks. And then he returns and proves his loyalty to his Clan.This is not a bad thing.
The A-Team is an example of an effectively fun Cliché Storm. You know the show's basic formula after an episode or two, but the characters make the plots entertaining.
The Charmed episode "Chick Flick" parodies all the typical slasher movie cliches when a demon releases psycho killers from horror movies and sends them after the sisters. Since their powers don't work on the killers, the sisters have to follow the typical cliches. And there's a nice little shout out to Psycho.
Piper: "I'm being stalked by psycho killers and I hide in the shower?"
Gilmore Girls has an episode when Rory is moving into her college dorm and another student has lost a bet between him and his girlfriend and must only speak in cliches. A cliché storm follows.
Alton Brown's commentary in Iron Chef America have been this from the start. The Chairman's conversations with the challenger have turned into this.
Perfect Disaster. A short Mockumentary-styledDocumentary series that focuses on horrible natural disasters — ice storm, fire storm, but the most notable is the cliché storm. While the narrator and various experts explain the science behind the phenomenons (sometimes in cut-away scenes), each episode tells a fictional story about how the citizens and the local government of a given town/city would react to them. The set-up of these stories borrows everything from clichéd disaster movies — mediocre (but decent enough for a TV series) effects, overused character archetypes and interactions, even the camera angles can be guessed if you are savvy enough. While this may undermine the intended realism for some viewers, others enjoy it.
Prison Break — Okay, maybe it's not quite a storm, but just too many of the characters are overly familiar — the ominous, shade-wearing government guys, the oblivious warden, the brutish guard captain, the aged Mafia guy with an Italian name, the sweet-yet-daring female leads...doesn't have to mean it's a bad show.
Star Trek developed its own array of cliches which could be reliably trotted out whenever they were short an interesting script. Holodeck malfunctions, transporter malfunctions, The Main Characters Do Everything, Planet of Hats aliens, attack scenes where the camera is shaken around while consoles explode, and usually at least one character who is trying to sort out their relationship with humanity. Of note is the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Our Man Bashir", which is mostly an Affectionate Parody of early James Bond movies, which manages both a holodeck malfunction and a transporter malfunction, which can only be sorted out by main character Julian Bashir entering the holodeck to save the rest of the crew!
The characters on Stargate SG-1, as the quote below from "Urgo" indicates, would occasionally indulge in volleys of cliches. O'Neill in particular had a tendency to refer to the Goa'uld as having "very clichéd" behavior, and the last scene in the series is of the characters reciting various proverbs and cliches.
"The probe indicates a sustainable atmosphere. Temperature 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Barometric pressure is normal." "No obvious signs of civilization." "P4X-884 looks like an untouched paradise, sir." "Appearances may be deceiving." "One man's ceiling is another man's floor." "A fool's paradise is a wise man's hell." "Never run with... scissors?"
In the very last episode of Stargate SG-1, at the end, the team use a large amount of cliches to describe what they've learned from their experiences. "Beggars can't be choosers. Better late than never. Look before you leap." "The best things in life are free."
Vala: Let me guess, beauty is only skin deep?
Daniel: Silence is golden.
Cam: Jack of all trades, master of none.
Sam: Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Then Vala says "Life is too short", a statement repeated throughout the episode (and Daniel and Vala's time-erased relationship) but supposedly forgotten when the Reset Button was hit. Suggesting, interestingly, that somehow Vala remembers what happened.
TJ Hooker is very guilty of being this for cop shows. Every storyline, you've seen before. All of the character types and stereotypes are here. The villains tend to have no characterization, largely being inhumane monsters. The show is such a Cliché Storm, that you might think you're watching a parody of cop shows rather than the real deal.
On The West Wing, when Bartlet debated his Strawman Political opponent Robert Ritchie, we hear a snippet of one of Ritchie's responses that goes like this:
...and the partisan bickering. Now, I want people to work together in this great country. And that's what I did in Florida, I brought people together, and that's what I'll do as your president: end the logjam, end the gridlock, and bring Republicans together with Democrats, 'cause Americans are tired of partisan politics. (Applause)
Scully: Mulder, this is a needle in a haystack. These poor souls have been dead for 50 years. Let them rest in peace. Let sleeping dogs lie.
Mulder: Well, I won't sit idly by as you hurl cliches at me. Preparation is the father of inspiration.
Scully: Necessity is the mother of invention.
Mulder: The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.
Scully: Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we may die.
Mulder: I scream, you scream, we all scream for non-fat tofutti rice dreamsicles. (grabs Scully's dreamsicle and eats it)
The Post-Modern Prometheus in The X-Files is one giant, spiral-sliced, and deliciously smoked ham.
Every single Mexican and Brazilian soap opera is this in spades. You always have the poor girl, who gets beloved with the rich guy, who also falls in love but has a scheduled marriage with another woman (which usually is only interested in his money only), the Corrupt Corporate Executive who is the good guy's rival and wants to get his fortune (and sometimes teams up with the evil woman to do so) and so on and so on.
The Beatles' song "I Will". Still a pretty song, though.
Brad Paisley's "Then". Could there be a more cliché chorus line than "And now you're my whole life / Now you're my whole world / And I just can't believe the way I feel about you, girl"?
Carrie Underwood's "See You Again" is four minutes of "you're dead, but I'm not sad" clichés that have been done a million times. It also sounds like all the "sad" songs you always hear on movie soundtracks (it was written for one of the Chronicles of Narnia films).
Every line of Cascada's "Every Time We Touch."
Céline Dion's albums are a veritable clichefest. Her first seven albums (not counting her Christmas Album) feature no fewer than 27 songs with the word love in the title. That's about 1/5th of the songs she recorded. She outdid herself on "The Colour of My Love" where half of the songs (and the title of the album) feature the word love.
Toto are pretty similar; about half their songs follow the formula of 'I love you very much <insert female name as title of song>.' It got so bad, they named one song (admittedly a good one) 99. On their second album.
Nearly anything written by Diane Warren, including Céline Dion's "Because You Loved Me". Count how many times she used the phrase "in this moment" in Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing".
The charity single "Just Stand Up!" Justified in that the song was written so that sales could go to the cause (Just Stand Up For Cancer) and for inspirational purposes, and therefore wasn't intended to be original.
His last large-scale video, "You Rock My World", is a rehash of elements from his Bad/Dangerous-era videos: 1930s/'40s gangster motif ("Smooth Criminal"), Jackson having to prove he's tough ("Bad" — the phrase "You ain't nothin'" appears in both), celebrity appearances ("Liberian Girl", "Remember the Time", etc.), and Jackson pursuing a sexy girl ("The Way You Make Me Feel").
It has a tearjerker reputation, but "Gone Too Soon" is really just a list of tired similes ("Like a perfect flower/That is just beyond your reach/Gone too soon").
Thompson Square's "If I Didn't Have You" is stuffed with clichés: "Sometimes, sunshine gets lost in the rain", "I couldn't live without you, baby, I wouldn't want to", "You are my heart, every breath I breathe…" etc. Even worse, they already used "every breath I breathe" only two singles prior on "I Got You".
The careers of many pop-punk bands — most notably Screeching Weasel, The Riverdales, that sort of thing — could be called this, due to their fanboyish emulation of The Ramones. This doesn't mean it's not still awesome. In some cases, pop punk bands do get really generic and cliched in a bad way.
In the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta Iolanthe, the song "If You Go In You're Sure To Win" is made up of clichés. The first verse and chorus go
Lord Mountarat: If you go in You're sure to win—
Yours will be the charming maidie:
Be your law The ancient saw, "Faint heart never won fair lady!"
All: Never, never, never, Faint heart never won fair lady!
Every journey has an end—
When at the worst affairs will mend—
Dark the dawn when day is nigh—
Hustle your horse and don't say die!
Official Dungeons & Dragons publications intentionally play to every fantasy cliche imaginable with the understanding that if a DM doesn't like the standard way of doing things, s/he can always change it for his/her campaign.
Dead Space, which played everything so very straight that it actually included the line "As You Know" without irony or Lampshade Hanging. The designers admitted that Isaac's suit was inspired by the Power Loader, to which one imagines the world replied "Yeah, we know."
Dragon Age: Origins. Granted, the game does have quite a few original things, but when one looks at the setting...with few exceptions...it's practically every Tolkienian-inspired Medieval Fantasy plus a few things, minus a few things. Forest-dwelling elves who are big on Archery and hunting? Check. Subterranean Mountain-dwelling dwarves with a fondness for alcohol and crafting? Check. Mage towers? Check. Humans who speak with British accents? Check. Obvious influence from the British Isles or Western Europe? Check. Mages wound up destroying the world and creating Darkspawn? Check. Dwarven warriors? Check. Fantastic Racism? ...eh, mark it but not fully played out. Green and brown-stained landscapes? Check. Evil dragons that are just giant animals in terms of intelligence? Check. Last in the line of kings? Check.
The game's even self-aware! The human origin story is loaded with Cliches...yet during the story, when you kill giant rats, your other party member says "Giant rats? That's like the start of every bad adventure tale my grandfather used to tell!"
Enchanted Arms plays every trope, every cliche, and every stock phrase so straight, you could lock it in a temperature-regulated room in France as the International Standard for Straightness. Okay, it does have the Pizza Golem. With pepperoni, bacon and sausage. That's fairly original.
Eternal Sonata seems to teeter between this and Troperiffic, with varying opinions as to which side it leans more heavily towards. It has many elements of the traditional JRPG, but it's intentional.
The Fire Emblem series is split between Cliché Storm games and games which avert it: games one, two, three, six, eight, eleven and twelve fall under this (one and six being identical in how they do it!), whereas four, five, seven, nine and ten don't. (Worth noting that eleven and twelve are remakes). To be fair, Archanea wasn't as cliche in their day as they seem now - consider Archanea helped establish the genre it's a part of; compare Sword of Seals and The Sacred Stones, which were about a decade and a half after Archanea.
Path of Radiance was, backstory and setting aside, this to Fire Emblem games. However, about halfway through the game, they start playing with the Fire Emblem tropes, such as having the princess (instead of being a plot figure) don armor and become full out playable. Radiant Dawn meanwhile goes into full-on Deconstructor Fleet.
Fire Emblem Awakening, while it plays character tropes uniquely, falls into this with the main conflict which is mostly Black and White Morality, Light is Good, and Dark Is Evil. This in itself was looked at unfavorably by some, as according to Word of God, Shouzou Kaga, the man who created the series, wanted to, at some point, tell a story that sheds a more sympathetic (or at least complex) light on the antagonistic Earth Dragons from the Akaneia series (which Awakening is a distant sequel to). Given that he had left Intelligent Systems after the release of Thracia 776, such a story probably won't be coming anytime soon.
The plot of Champion Mode in Fight Night Champion is essentially an amalgamation of every single boxing movie cliché in existence: brutish undefeated rival? Check. Crooked Don King-esque promoter? Check. Friendly rival brother that turns bitter only for the two to eventually reconcile? Check. Satellite Love Interest? Check...
Guild Wars is particularly guilty of this, though it doesn't get much attention. The storyline in all four campaigns is pretty cliched itself, but if you listen to the dialog you'd think you were listening to a dictionary of cliche things to say. From the motivational speeches you quite often get ("We are the light that will shatter the coming darkness"), to the supposedly dramatic twists in the storyline ("But something tells me if they see for themselves what the White Mantle really do with the Chosen, they'll have a change of heart about their masters"). Although there are some subversions. (Varesh Ossa is actually The Dragon rather than a pawn of Abaddon, despite being Chosen, it's heavily implied any of the Chosen could have done what the player character does, the player character unintentionally screw over Elona in time for Guild Wars 2) Nightfall in particular has the most Cliché Storm story out of all of them...despite the subversions.
Halo: half the speeches by either the Master Chief or the Sergeant fall into this category. That being said, many of the Sergeant's little speeches are also played up to have humorous lines.
Just Cause 2 falls into the category, most likely as a stylistic choice. Having the good guys really wrestle between helping the average Panauan and serving the Agency? Resolving the "plot" with something more sensible than the vile oppressive evil slimy toad of a dictator pulling a nuclear threat along an international struggle over a huge oil field that was there all along? Come on now, it'd just distract you from the ridiculous car chases and the 80's stylegasoline explosions.
The Legend of Dragoon. When it first came out, many fans couldn't stop comparing it to Final Fantasy VII. There is a good reason for this. It didn't help that the few "original" elements were downplayed. One of the "big revelations" (one of the members of your group has been mass murdering anybody that comes in contact with The ReincarnatedChosen One for hundreds of years) was just flat out ignored immediately afterwards without even so much as a chiding.
The game actually played around with the usual fantasy game cliches, deliberately invoking them before throwing in a twist that would turn them on their head.
Live A Live is like this for most of the game, with chapters made up of incredibly cliched characters and plots. Then you unlock another chapter that starts like this but turns into a deconstruction.
There's also a summary (on this very wiki no doubt) of this series that points out that each of the Mass Effect games correspond to one time period in sci-fi writing- 1 is the 1980s', 2 is the 1990's, and 3 is the 2000's. This can't be anything but intentional.
It's worth pointing out that most every aspect of the game that wasn't' cliche was lifted from Planescape Torment and rearranged with no regard as to why it originally worked - the Big Bad leads an army of shadows, the tiefling thief that crushes on the hero, the githyanki/githzeri feud underpinning the whole thing, the githzeri party member and the magic sword powered by will (despite will being a measurable value in Third Edition), the not-so-nice party member betraying right before the end, etc
Try this Quake IV drinking game. Take a shot for any Space Marines cliche lifted from Aliens, Warhammer 40000, Vietnam War movies like Apocalypse Now, and previous Id Software shooters. Only those Made of Iron will still be conscious by the beginning of the third level. Seriously, the trope page for A Space Marine Is You reads like the design document for the game.
Sands of Destruction. The first 50 minutes of the game are pretty unique — the female lead doesn't want to save the world as most RPG heroes want, but rather destroy it. By the next town she's already saving people and leaning towards the cliche-ism. More clichéd characters appear and more clichéd events happened, culminating in a finale that has more or less every finale cliché in the book, including Luke, I Am Your Father, Power of Friendship, Power of Love, Evil Cannot Comprehend Good so on so forth.
Zap Dramatic's Sir Basil Pike Public School contains quite a few elements of the standard school drama (the Big Game, the school dance, disguising yourself as another person to humiliate someone, etc.).
Grandia, may well have beaten Skies of Arcadia to the decision to stop trailing after Final Fantasy VII... though really, in Grandia's case it feels more like the writer just wanted to have fun rather than having a specific intention of being different. The hero's a mischievous young lad, who runs away from home chasing the legacy of his dead father to become an adventurer, carrying his Orphan's Plot Trinket (the Spirit Stone), fights the evil empire... and it is awesome in very much the same way as Skies of Arcadia's lack of fear for the use of cliché lead it to be.
Also the whole point of the aptly-named Nostalgia.
The first 10 hours or so of nearly every single Tales game. Then it hits you that the game is supposed to end now butyou're still on Disc 1. Cue Wham Episode. And therein lies why they have a fanbase. The Tales Series series are great at deconstruction and subversion, so, for fans of the series, part of the fun is waiting to see just how many cliches they are going to utterly demolish by turning them on their heads, or exposing the downright nasty sides of them. (Sadly, most people only seem to play the first two hours and then say "The plot is a Cliché Storm." The entire series is built on a big Cliché Storm.)
It's hard to take any of the Time Crisis stories seriously.
And likewise, Total Overdose: A Gunslinger's Tale in Mexico did this for the Mexican action movies.
Likewise, True Crime: Streets of L.A. intentionally reproduced the 1980s action flick in video game form.
Unearthed: Trail on Ibn Battuta is already The Mockbuster to the Video Game/Uncharted series, but it's also an hilariously bad cliche storm in just about every other sense too. You've got a guy who acts suspiciously like a mixture of Nathan Drake, Indiana Jones and Lara Croft. A Temple of Doom in an ominous middle eastern desert location that's never named, complete with boulders to dodge, swinging blades crossing the room in predictable patterns and a bunch of collectathon gameplay of the simplest order. There's a generic bald tough guy acting as the villain with a horde of identical henchman mercenaries, a driving sequence in town involving dodging the police and awful controls, a level set on the rooftops, a 'To Be Continued' screen and even an extra mode involving your characters fighting off a zombie horde like something out of Left 4 Dead or Nazi Zombies. It's literally as standard as an action game gets, to the point even the characters lampshade some of the similarities and cliches.
The Wonderful 101 takes this trope and runs with it, using and exaggerating the majority of tropes found in a Saturday Morning Cartoon, being unapologetically ridiculous and silly the entire time. Despite this, the story does manage to pull off legitimate twists here and there.
Mitadake Saga, like the original game, glorifies itself on Anime tropes quite often.
Catch a Mad in Narbonic not spouting off every Mad Scientist cliche ever and you will find a Mad letting the side down. If you can't rant for at least an hour about THOSE FOOLS THAT CALLED ME MAD!, then you are sane and don't belong.
Done in-story in The Noob with the MMORPG ClicheQuest
An in-universe example was done by Real Life Comics during a dimension-hopping adventure where they wound up in a world where "everything is a Sliders cliche!". Naturally, this involved their dimension-traveling device fizzling out, a doomsday scenario, joining and fighting a rag-tag resistance group led by a double of someone they knew, getting involved with and solving the world's problems and a last second escape. Well, almost all their problems.
Alt Dave: That's great, but what about the huge freaking asteroid about to hit the planet?!
Detention - however, the characters are memorable enough that it's worth checking out.
Whether intentional or not, The Fairly OddParents feels like an example of this right from the start. There are scenes after scenes and jokes after jokes that one can almost guess the outcome, or ask oneself, "Why have I heard of this before?" At the worst one will emit an inner groan at the overused joke, but also at times one can find it charming.
A lot of what aired on Fox Family before it's buyout by Disney fell under this trope, especially Angela Anaconda and The Kids from Room 402, the former of which was already overshadowed by the far superior Pepper Ann while the later was obscure even while it originally aired.
The LEGOHero Factory mini-series, also called "Rise of the Rookies". A great cast with some big names and CGI models with over-detailed textures a good story do not make. It relied so much on recycled formulas and rolled so well on clichés, that it neglected to explain the very driving force behind its plot: Just what did Von Nebula want revenge for? Nobody has done anything to him. The first episode included a scene during which the characters tell us just how awesome the main hero is, and that he will end up saving the day. Just in case you feared that the series would have something interesting and unexpected in store for him (and surprise, surprise, his whole character development was also wrapped up in the same episode).
The fourth installment of Bunny Kill is chock full of various anime clichés, including over the top violence, super modes, ninja jutsu, and the Disposable Woman. Word of God states this was intentional.
Nearly every cliche known to man has shown up at one point or another in Dino Attack RPG, which probably explains why it is so Troperiffic.
Cirque du Soleil's KA, their only show to put its Excuse Plot front and center, is a conventional heroic journey: royal twins are separated when their kingdom is attacked and their parents killed by evil forces; they and their sidekicks (some wacky, some serious) go through a variety of adventures to be reunited and help defeat the army. Each finds romance along the way, the Twin Brother with a villain's daughter and the Twin Sister with a Tarzan-like forest hero. The pleasure of the show is watching it unfold without intelligible dialogue and with oodles of Scenery Porn and acrobatics.
Subverted so much in online text-based RP games that it's almost starting to come full-circle. Everyone seems so terrified of making their character a Mary Sue that they're going to ridiculous heights to make their characters/plots blandly average... even in genres and settings where everyone having some measure of the fantastic is not only forgivable, but preferred. These often end up producing Anti Sues that still dominate the spotlight unfairly in spite of the total lack of anything noteworthy of them.
This is especially prevalent mostly due to the misuse of the Mary Sue accusation — it has evolved from something that was reserved for genuinely annoying characters to simply complaining about characters you don't like, with several "Mary Sue tests" including stuff that really isn't Sueish... just stuff the author of the test dislikes and wants to get rid of by calling it one of the Common Mary Sue Traits.