Parrot: Squawk! Aye-aye, Cap'n!
Black Jack: Don't you just love clichés?You are watching something 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 a bad thing; originality and greatness aren't necessarily intertwined, and as such, many Cliché Storms are good in quality, as good stories, characters, humor, action, or whatever can produce a high caliber book regardless of originality. You can also see from the examples that people can 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. Related to Speaks in Shout-Outs, when a character's dialogue extensively uses direct quotations from a specific work.
— "Charrrmed!" (actual title)
open/close all folders
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.
- Bakugan: The first episode alone displays rather obvious parallels with Digimon, Beyblade and Yu-Gi-Oh!, among others.
- Black Clover is a highly derivative work that has been accused of this a lot, due to taking so much of other works without adding anything new.
- 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.
- Boku No Hero Academia has a positive version of this. While the basic of the plot and much of the aesthetics of it has been used and reused before, the manga gives a new spin and depth to these clichés, particularly related to the characters and their interactions(such as making The Hero's best quality being a quick thinking strategist, instead of his brute strength and make the stoic ace one of his close friends instead of an Aloof Ally).
- 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.
- GaoGaiGar plays every single trope of the Super Robot genre as straight as an arrow. However, since this series was a deliberate Reconstruction of that genre in response to Neon Genesis Evangelion, it's purely intentional. And awesome.
- See also Gekiganger 3 from Martian Successor Nadesico which is even more of an example. Practically every attack and character is lifted from some famous Super Robot series, mostly Mazinger Z (for robot design and attacks) and Getter Robo (the characters and everything else).
- 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.
- Haiyore! Nyarko-san does this on purpose as part of an Affectionate Parody of Dating Sims in an episode where the cast gets trapped in an old game console and has to play out the game to its completion (Mahiro, cast as the Player Character, has to find a girlfriend by the end of the school year) if they want to get back to the real world. Pretty much every single Dating Sim trope is either used (like Meet Cute) or at least paid lip service (Mahiro's mother warning him that if he doesn't pick a girl soon, his best friend might confess instead).
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is full of clichéd plots — sometimes due to a Reality Warper who loves genre fiction, or Koizumi arranging the clichéd plot before Haruhi's subconscious gets a chance. They go to an uninhabited island and someone is murdered, go skiing and get snowed in, get harassed by a student council that wants to shut the club down, and go on a treasure hunt where they actually find treasure, et cetera.
- The first episode is also a cliché storm, but it's a movie made by the main characters.
- It should be noted that Melancholy actually does Cliché Storm well by playing with it... Which they do mainly by playing it straight... It's complicated.
- The spin-off manga series The Vanishing of Nagato Yuki-chan, based off the Alternate Universe seen in Disappearance, is an incredibly cliche Slice of Life shonen romcom series, to the point where the only reasons to even read it are 1) you are obsessed with everything Haruhi-related or 2) you've never read a single shonen romcom series before, ever.note
- HighschoolDxD is basically a combination of harem, ecchi, and shonen cliches. Though it has its own unique spin on those genres.
- Mobile Suit Gundam AGE showcases every stock element common to the Gundam franchise. It tends to dance on the line between this and Tropes Are Not Bad.
- Naruto is often accused of being one, especially in its 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.
- Nisekoi is one of the most cliche shonen romcom manga series in recent memory. Despite this, it has a pretty big fanbase & an anime adaptation, proving that, at least to some, Tropes Are Not Bad.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann likes breaking the laws of physics and its own setting in increasingly awesome ways. It embraces and revels in its cliches, and you can't help but get swept up in its pure enthusiasm, proving once again that Tropes Are Not Bad.
- To Love-Ru is a pretty cliche fanservice-y shonen romcom series, but that hasn't stopped it from being insanely popular (mostly due to how over-the-top the fanservice can get, going far beyond ecchi and straight into borderline hentai).
- The dream RPG Episode at the start of The Tower of Druaga parodies every Heroic Fantasy trope in 20 deeply confusing minutes.
- The Vision of Escaflowne shows that despite playing nearly every single anime trope to the tee, Cliché storms can really work. It's a very beloved series in the Americas, Korea, and parts of Europe (though Italy hates Hitomi). Despite being seen negatively in Japan, it obviously inspired a lot of people who did like it.
- 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.
- Done deliberately in the final episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion, in which most of the cast acts out a stereotypical High School animenote in a scene apparently taking place in Shinji's mind (or it may be an Alternate Universe).
- Nurarihyon No Mago: The premise is fairly original on paper (boy raised by yokai becomes clan heir and sets out to both prove that Dark is Not Evil and make sure it stays that way) but the execution quickly falls into this between the Stock Character cast and the inevitable segue into Shonen tropes.
- 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.
- Rob Liefeld's infamous Youngblood featured a team whose only non-powered member was also its leader, several Wolverine rip-offs including a Proud Warrior Race Guy, characters layered in pouches and shoulderpads, names like "Darcangel" and "Badrock," gun-toting anti-heroes with religious-sounding names (the hot new character when the book debuted was Marvel's gun-toting antihero Bishop—Youngblood gives us Chapel, Cross, and Prophet), and buxom women in skimpy outfits. And they had "Home" and "Away" teams.
- In-universe in Calvin and Hobbes: The Series: Evil Jack has nary an original bone in his body. Given the Better Than a Bare Bulb nature of the fic, this is lampshaded with no mercy by the heroes.
- Parodied in A Generic Fanfic, which "makes fun of all the generic and cliched plot devices that are often used in Shippy" Pokémon fan fiction. It includes Character Derailment, grammar errors, and Gratuitous Japanese.
- A Perfectly Ordinary Day in Ponyville is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic that sees Twilight Sparkle being largely unfazed by a number of cliched pony fanfiction plots hitting her at once: Twilight turning into an alicorn, a human getting teleported to Equestria, Rainbow Dash getting severely injured and Celestia turning evil. Which is Hilarious in Hindsight, since as of now Rainbow Dash has been seriously injured TWICE now, Princess Celestia has been revealed to be able to use evil magic, and Twilight actually HAS become an alicorn... all in the canon of the show itself!
- In This World and the Next boasts generically!evil!Ron, submissive!damsel!Hermione, "fix the books" time travel, pureblood supremacy as the Ultimate Evil™ and the Ancient and Noble House of Potter complete with marriage law. All in the first two chapters. As one review put it:
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
- My Little Unicorn. Let's see... The villain is an Obviously Evil wizard who lives in a dark castle in the dimension of darkness. His minions are a Terrible Trio consisting of a shallow Vain Sorceress, a schemer, and a brute, none of whom possess any redeeming or positive qualities. On the other hoof, we have a realm of good where the unicorns live happily without any personal conflict between each other, are ruled by a wise king and protected by a group of Super Sentai/Magical Girl-inspired good guys, whose leader has a fairy sidekick, defeats monsters with Sailor Moon-based moves and has to learn to believe in himself.
- 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).
- The Introduction Arc of Soul Eater: Troubled Souls feels like this. It features an Original Character with a preference for working by himself that is the Last of His Kind through genocide and seeks revenge against the killer. His partner is a haughty rich girl with a fangirl crush on Soul. The former’s Character Development revolves around him learning to trust others again through the Power of Friendship. Thankfully, it's just a starting point and doesn't last long.
- 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.
- 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...
- One comment on a Mogulus stream channel chat summed it up thusly: "It's like they got their script from TV Tropes!"
- For those unfamiliar with the film, a beautiful princess falls in love with The Hero, who has to unite their Feuding Families and fight the Evil Chancellor. All that, just gleaned from the trailer.
- It's even worse when you add in the annoying sidekick, who is just so useless until the end when he "saves" the hero, except he gets attacked by some flying frog things as a result...
- Epic: In the words of reviewer Matt Zoller Seitz:
"There's a protagonist grieving over her mother's recent death, and a brilliant but scatterbrained father 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."
- Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within uses many of the tropes from the game series (monsters appearing out of nowhere, romance side-plot, adventure to discover the truth behind supernatural events etc.) and there have been a dozen games. Naturally, this is the result.
- The animated The King and I falls into this trap hard. While its source material was a standard Disneyesque boy-meets-girl Period Piece, the animated version takes this a step further by adding an Evil Chancellor, some Gratuitous Animal Sidekicks, an action-packed climax and an Everybody Lives/Disney Death ending, all set to the highest degrees of Disneyfication. No wonder critics and audiences were turned off by it, and the estates of Rodgers and Hammerstein have barred the creation of any more animations based on their musicals.
- As with The King and I, Quest for Camelot was widely criticized for being essentially a laundry-list of contemporary animated movie cliches. David Kronke of the Los Angeles Times even called it out as such in his review, saying it was "A nearly perfect reflection of troubling trends in animated features.''
- The LEGO Movie has a lot of clichés par the course for your standard action blockbuster, including The Everyman who rises to become The Hero; the Generic Doomsday Villain who wants to destroy the world; the Action Girlfriend with a Jerkass Romantic False Lead who's also Batman; the old Mentor Archetype who's the only one with any faith in The Hero; etc. Of course, this being a self-aware LEGO film, it's relentlessly parodied. In a clever Plot Twist, the third act justifies the clichéd storyline by revealing it's all being played out in the imagination of an eight-year-old boy trying to cope with his Control Freak father who won't let him play with LEGO the way he wants.
- Pixar seems fond of this trope.
- 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. It doesn't help it's a beat-for-beat Recycled Script of Doc Hollywood.
- 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-Off Planes, 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.
- One of the most common criticisms of Pocahontas is that it played out like a laundry list of Disney Renaissance clichés (a Rebellious Princess who wants "something more" out of life, a disapproving parent who wants her to marry someone she doesn't love, Non Human Sidekicks who serve no real purpose to the plot other than to sell toys...) at a time when the Disney formula was starting to feel a bit stale.
- The movie Rio is a compilation of every trope common to kids movies in the 2000s, especially Dreamworks movies. Jesse Eisenberg (whose acting and voice makes him qualify as a sort-of Michael Cera clone) plays an adorkable Last of His Kind Blue Bird who doesn't know how to fly and tries to woo another just-discovered bird of his species, this one a hot blooded action girl played by Anne Hathaway. Rounding out the cast are a vain, egocentric, and Faux Affably Evil villain bird played by a Tim Curry soundalike, a goofy comic relief duo in the form of a cardinal voiced by Will.I.Am and a canary voiced by Jamie Foxx, and a happily married Henpecked Husband Mentor Toucan played by George Lopez. An quirky odd couple type romance followed by learning how to fly just in time (with the help of the power of love) scene are both bound to happen. The sequel takes it a step further, with sequel offspring, Villain Decay, and a plot that's very predictable.
- 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).
- The theatrical films get accused of this too from time to time, especially around the Turn of the Millennium when it was becoming clear that Disney's Animated Musical formula was becoming overused, repetitive, and increasingly copied: sappy "I Want" songs, wisecracking sidekicks, charismatic villains who may or may not suffer a Disney Villain Death, rebellious princesses. Pocahontas tends to get hit with this the most, since it not only exhibited just about every 1990s animated movie cliche, but did so in a movie Based on a Great Big Lie.
Films — Live-Action
- Avatar and Titanic (1997) show that this trope isn't always bad. Avatar is even self-aware of its cliches (calling the Mineral MacGuffin "Unobtanium") and Cameron has said "It's just Dances with Wolves In Space". They became very high-grossing films and were well-liked by critics, even despite how many people only saw it to see the pretty technical aspects and Scenery Porn.
- 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.
- Big Ass Spider: A secret government experiment accidentally creates a really big alien-hybrid spider, which proceeds to go on a rampage in Los Angeles. Fortunately, the film is intentionally humorous.
- One of the biggest criticisms of The Bye Bye Man is that it borrows heavily from other horror films, but fails to do anything particularly original on its own.
- Intentionally invoked in The Cabin in the Woods, which throws in nearly every horror-movie cliche ever. Justified in that the cliches are a requirement of The Ancient Ones who must be placated by the ritual.
- 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."
- Dante's 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."
- 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.
- Dungeons & Dragons, The Movie. It's easy to imagine little "DING!" noises and a counter display ratcheting up as each cliché goes by. The film makes for an impressive drinking game.
- The Expendables, but that's precisely the point.
- 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.
- The Expendables 2 was even worse, which admittedly made it even more enjoyable. The best example was when Billy "The Kid" Timmons, the young guy who's hopelessly in love, showed Barney Ross a picture of his girlfriend, and told him he wanted to quit but would finish the month. Every single person watching knew exactly what his fate was. And the movie delivers, on time and as expected, with just about the most wonderfully over-the-top death scene possible.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Hallmark Channel is famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) for heavily exploiting this, especially with their Christmas specials. The Christmas Special usually consists of a woman who doesn't have someone to spend the holidays, later bumps into a guy that she later falls in love with, they solve the conflict of the story (usually consisting of giving the Christmas spirit to a holiday-hater), and ends with the main cast celebrating Christmas in the protagonist's house. The writing tends to be cheesy, too. Regardless, many a fan consider these specials to be a Guilty Pleasure.
- A word of advice: If your TV's tuned in to Hallmark during Christmastime, do not play a drinking game with the commercials for said long string of movies. You will collapse—especially if it involves the narration: "But she soon discovers...that nothing is so/more X...as/then falling in love." (Almost as frequent: "...as/then family.")
- Subverted in almost every possible way throughout Inglourious Basterds, a film in which almost everything you expect in a World War II action film turns out exactly the opposite of what you'd expect.
- Unlike Saving Private Ryan... aside from the Normandy Beach scene, which broke some serious new ground in that genre.
- Into the Storm (2014): It's a giant-killer-tornado film. A scrappy team of twister-hunters with an Obsessed Jerk Ass Leader, a slab of New Meat, a Hot Single Mom Scientist, a Black Guy and a Cool Car are thrown together with a strict workaholic widower trying to raise two teenaged boys, and a couple of idiotic thrill-seeking yokels. Amazingly, the black guy survives, and the widower apparently doesn't hook up with the hot scientist, even after saving her life.
- Jupiter Ascending. A Rags to Royalty Plucky Girl meets a Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot Super Soldier and falls in love with him, while they team up to fight through each member of a sibling villain trio who want to destroy humanity. In the end, the A God Am I Non-Action Big Bad receives a Disney Villain Death, Everybody Lives, and the two protagonists get a Relationship Upgrade.
- Many Quentin Tarantino movies are like this, but Kill Bill is the poster child. And you will love every last second.
- The Amy Adams flick Leap Year is not so much a film as it is the feeding every Rom Com and Oireland cliche imaginable into a blender and making the audience drink the result.
- Renny Harlin's The Legend of Hercules is a perfect storm of Ancient Grome clichés, including scenes blatantly ripping off 300, Gladiator, and Clash of the Titans.
- Parodied in Loaded Weapon 1 with this exchange:
Gen. Morters: Where's the microfilm, Mike?Mike McCracken: I don't know, I gave it to York. I thought she was one of your men.Gen. Morters: Act in haste, repent in leisure.Mike McCracken: But he who hesitates is lost.Gen. Morters: Never judge a book by its cover.Mike McCracken: What you see is what you get.Gen. Morters: Loose lips, sink ships...[Gen. Morters, cornered, looks to Mr. Jigsaw][Mr. Jigsaw consults Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, shakes his head]Gen. Morters: Sorry Mike, no good.
- The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor has Brendan Fraser delivering cliché one-liners every few seconds.
"I really hate mummies!""Time to go!""Here we go again!"
- It's nearly impossible to find a review of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones that doesn't point out how similar it is to earlier properties. Most commonly cited were Harry Potter, Twilight, and Star Wars.
- National Lampoon's Senior Trip is the bad/lazy version of this as the entire class is just one big checklist of student cliches from the High School Hustler leader to The Stoner sidekick(s) to the Schoolgirl Lesbians with special emphasis on Miosky, who's trying everything in his power to be the next John Belushi, plus "date a blonde Jap." The only saving graces to this film is Matt Frewer as their teacher, Kevin McDonald playing an Ax-Crazy Star Trek fan out to kill them and Carla asking guys if they "want to screw."
- 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.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000-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.
- The Resident Evil movie series contains so many cliches from every zombie, sci-fi and buddy action film in the past twenty years before release that it is near impossible to find something original in them. Easy Amnesia? Expendable Clones? Guns Akimbo? Stuff Blowing Up? Bullet Time? Near shot-for-shot copying of scenes from The Matrix? Sextuple check. The films are one long-lost relative away from hitting every major cliché in the book.
- And as of the alleged final installment, they used that one too. Septuple check!
- Discussed in Serenity as the setup for an action punchline:
The Operative: "Nothing here is what it seems. He's not the plucky hero; the Alliance isn't some evil Empire; this is not the grand arena —"Inara: "— and that's not incense."BOOM!
- The biggest criticism of Shut In is that it relies too much on traditional horror clichés, such as Jump Scares and dream sequences, instead of properly building tension to provide scares. Some reviews even stated that the twist where Stephen is revealed to have been faking paralysis the whole time is easy to predict.
- 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!"
- The three Starship Troopers movies. These movies are all about irony, producers claim. Whether or not that works for you is your call. The first and third movies are intentional satire, the second movie is closer to this, with some heavy-handed satire.
- The portions we hear of the speech the Federation President gives at Khitomer in Star Trek VI are a political/diplomatic speech cliché storm.
- Star Wars was intentionally written as a checklist of High Fantasy clichés given clichéd—although absolutely gorgeous—Space Opera window dressing. In this case, the frisson between the two genres (as well as the Spectacle) is entirely the point.
- Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li has a terribly huge number of action movie clichés, even (perhaps especially) ones which contradict the canon and tone of the Street Fighter series.
- The 2007 hard sci-fi epic Sunshine borrows heavily from both 2001: A Space Odyssey and 2010: The Year We Make Contact, along with a host of other influences in the serious science fiction family of movies. The movie works though, mostly because you don't see its type very often anymore.
- 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.)
- The complete filmography of action movie directors Roland Emmerich, Michael Bay, and Stephen Sommers, but that's not to say they aren't entertaining.
- 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.
- Maid in Manhattan contains pretty much most Romantic Comedy tropes, since it's a Cinderella retelling set in a Manhattan hotel.
- 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.
- 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 the most common criticisms of the early Inheritance Cycle books (if you're feeling generous) or the whole series (if you're not).
- One of main reasons the movie was worse was that it took anything 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. Also, it removed a lot of the intricate details found in the book.
- In the Hall of the Dragon King by Stephen Lawhead fits this to a T. Peasant boy who becomes heir to the throne? Check. Old, wise mentor figure? Check. Supporting Leader? Check. Completely evil, slightly insane villain who wants to take over the world? Check. Evil Prince? Check. Liberal use of both the Idiot Ball and Villain Ball? Check. Despite all that, it's still a rather well written book.
- 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 the Maximum Ride series uses almost every Young Adult fiction cliché known.
- Stained is a novel that attempts to address the serious issues of school bullying and sexual abuse. Unfortunately, in the process of doing so, it creates the unholy amalgamation of three stock cliché YA novel plots, all presented without the merest shred of irony:
- The hideous creature from the Black Lagoon who's picked on by everyone and their mother, especially the popular girls, with only her loving-but-not-entirely-understanding Mom and Dad, her unfaithful popular-wannabe BFF, her outcast guy friend who's secretly in love with her and sees her "true beauty on the inside", and her imaginary superhero alter-ego to eeeeeease her paaaaaaiiiiiiinnnnn.
- The outcast, who despite her less than fortunate circumstances, is an all-loving bastion of morality, taking a stand for her fellow outcasts and instantly forgiving her best friend for not speaking up for her against the popular kids. Note that this is almost entirely an Informed Ability and has little bearing on the plot, as it is only seen during her would-be boyfriend's chapter-long monologues about how wonderful and amazing she really is beneath her ugly exterior.
- The girl who gets kidnapped by a creepy-ass grown man who deludes himself into believing they were meant for each other and they'll be together forever, and eventually escapes with nothing but her wits, a metal bucket and some rusty nails.
- 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.
- Very intentionally so in The Belgariad. It plays the cliches straight, for laughs, and occasionally mildly deconstructs them with the sequel series showing that the characters, having done it before, are very aware of the conventions they're operating under. The characters are a lot snarkier about it the Here We Go Again second time around]].
- 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, explosions, and A-Team Firing 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 in which Rory is moving into her college dorm and another student has lost a bet against his girlfriend and must only speak in cliches. Naturally, a cliché storm follows.
- In How I Met Your Mother episode 3x04 'Little Boys' Robin breaks up with a kid. She realises that he has never been dumped before and she takes advantage of it by using "every cliché in the book":
Robin: We need to talk. I just think, um, we both could use some space right now. It's not you. It's me. Look, I know this hurts, but you deserve someone better. I'm just really trying to focus on my career right now. You know? I just hope we can still be friends.
- Alton Brown's commentary in Iron Chef America has been this from the start. The Chairman's conversations with the challenger have turned into this.
- Legend of the Seeker is a fantasy cliche hurricane. However, many of its fans cite this as why they love the show so much.
- In the season 3 finale of Leverage, the team writes a speech for a politician that is intentionally made up of nothing but political speech clichés. The public eats it up. Granted, it was a small country with a one-party democracy, so the public wasn't yet disillusioned with political cliches, and the team took advantage.
- Col. Blake of M*A*S*H attempted to give a Rousing Speech in "Crisis" but ended up giving the speech version of this trope. Lampshaded by Trapper:
Trapper: Welcome to the Henry Blake Cliche Festival.
- The Musketeers was praised by Barry Shitpeas in Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe for being this:
Barry: Wot I like was, because it had all the things you expect, like a bit where someone hides from a husband, and a bit where a young bloke earns the respect of a slightly older bloke, and a bit where someone's framed for murder because someone's picked up a knife and put a fingerprint on it, and a bit where one of the main characters is going to die, and you're like "oh my god, one of the main characters is going to die!", but then the person who was going to kill them gets shot, and it pulls focus and it's someone surprising who saved them—because it had all of that stuff, you already know. You didn't have to waste time figuring out what it is or what you thought about it, or who these people were. You could just sort of look at it while your mind went into screensaver mode? And that proves it's good drama.
- Perfect Disaster. A short Mockumentary-styled Documentary 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 remaining within the holodeck to save the rest of the crew!
- The Star Trek: The Original Series episode includes a brief all-cliche speech from Kirk:
Maybe we weren't meant for paradise. Maybe we were meant to fight our way through, struggle, claw our way up, scratch for every inch of the way. Maybe we can't stroll to the music of the lute. We must march to the sound of drums.
- Stargate SG-1:
- The characters 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.
- The characters 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 Supernatural episode "Monster Movie". Every classic horror movie cliche you can think of—because the bad guy, a shapeshifter, is deliberately invoking them. The entire episode is an Affectionate Parody of the old Universal monster movies, right down to the way it's shot.
- T.J. 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)
- The X-Files: "The Post-Modern Prometheus" 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.
- Mysteries of Laura is a crime show that hits all the typical crime show clichés. Laura is a divorced single mother of Bratty Half-Pint twins who are out of control and constantly getting into trouble. Her boss is her ex-husband with whom she has large amounts of UST. She's a wise-cracking, tough as nails woman with a heart of gold who does everything despite the presence of other detectives who would be expected to help out. She regularly breaks rules in the course of an investigation, up to and including doing illegal searches and breaking the chain of custody for evidence (and not collecting evidence properly) in a way that would almost certainly get the evidence thrown out of court in any other show. The show doesn't seem to realise how derivative it is or how tired its clichés are, leading to a show that tries to play everything completely straight when it would work much better as a parody instead.
- Red Dwarf: Lampshaded in series XI when a bunch of evil simuloids use Time Travel to conquer the Earth's past, and Lister calls them horribly cliché. This continues later in the episode (paraphrased):
Simuloid: Well, well, We Meet Again!Lister: Smeggin' hell, you boys really are walking cartoons, aren't you?Simuloid: I think we are Not So Different, you and I.
- 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). It's telling that, out of all the "story behind the song" entries in the now-defunct Country Weekly magazine, this song had by far the shortest—it barely took up half a page!
- Also from Underwood is "Something in the Water", which is full of religious redemption clichés about how the narrator is "changed" and "stronger". It even resorts to the ultimate religious cliché—ending with an interpolation of Amazing Freaking Grace.
- 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" ("You were my strength when I was weak / You were my voice when I couldn't speak...") or LeAnn Rimes (or Trisha Yearwood's) "How Do I Live" ("How do I live without you? I want to know / How do I breathe without you if you ever go? / How do I ever, ever survive?). Also, count how many times she used the phrase "in this moment" in Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing".
- "The Radio Is Broken" by Frank Zappa is basically just Frank and Roy Estrada reading a laundry list of 1950's, Sci-Fi, Space Movie clichés, and it is hilarious.
- 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.
- Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)", as Todd in the Shadows points out in his review of the song:
Todd: Let me try and explain. So in case the title didn't give it away, apparently Kelly has been dumped again, but she's okay, because you know what always makes me feel better after a breakup? Cliches. Lots of them.Kelly: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger / Stand a little taller / Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone / Just me, myself and ITodd: When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Nice guys finish last. Knowledge is power. Winners don't use drugs. My God, the pain of being dumped is already fading.
- The reaction many had to Linkin Park's Meteora, mainly because the lyrics are all about the narrator and how everyone else is wrong.
- Michael Jackson could fall into this.
- 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").
- Almost eveything ever released by Ronnie James Dio... although, to be honest, rocking like this when you're around 70 is still pretty damned awesome.
- 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".
- Van Halen's song "Why Can't This Be Love":
Only time will tell/ if we stand the test of time
- 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.
- The story of the Mannheim Steamroller album and TV special The Christmas Angel: A Family Story seems built from a list of Christmas and/or winter fantasy cliches: living toys (a cat, a teddy bear, a snowman, and a toy soldier); a monster who hates the holiday, wrecks the town square and steals the eponymous angel (which represents the spirit of the season) from the top of its Christmas tree to ruin everything; a trip by the heroine and toys to the icy north to confront him; and a happy ending wherein the villain is reformed by the power of goodness.
- The lyrics Cosmos' (and Chaos') themes in Dissidia: Final Fantasy might as well have been a long list of cliched fantasy phrases run through a computer algorithm and edited by a non-native English Speaker. The songs are still catchy, though they owe far more to the kickass score and excellent performance than the written content.
- 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!
- The songs of Rhapsody of Fire are mostly grandiose fantasy stories with every cliché played with emotion and seemingly totally seriously. "Go, mighty warrior! The kings of enchanted lands are awaiting your victory. Ride on the wings of wisdom. Ride beyond the Middle Valleys to defeat the master of Chaos in the name of cosmic justice!"
- Dino Attack RPG, which probably explains why it is so Troperiffic. This is due to being written by dozens of people ranging from preteens to young adults, who are incorporating tons of tropes and references from movies, books, and videogames into their writing over the span of over seven years.
- 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 characters 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.
- 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.
- Magic: The Gathering set Innistrad is this for Gothic horror. Zombies, werewolves, vampires, ghosts, curses, mad scientists and their stitched-together, Frankenstein's-Monster-esque creations, all present and accounted for. Even Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde put in an appearance! (It should be clarified that this is the point; Innistrad was developed top-down as a flavorful horror-themed block)
- 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.
- Most of the Arcana Heart series. The characters include a Love Freak, a catgirl on a water blob, a Rollerblade Good demon girl, a Cute Witch, a stoic Russian ice girl, a female Chinese android with Boobs of Steel, mikos with Boobs of Steel, a Guns Akimbo Ojou, a female Ax-Crazy Woobie, you name it.
- The first Atelier Iris game, and maybe the second one, work on this level as well—yeah, it plays a lot of common RPG adventure tropes completely straight, but they're used so well and the tone of the games is fundamentally so bright and optimistic that the audience ends up loving the product anyway.
- Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean. You have Kalas, a teenage orphaned Anti-Hero out to avenge his family who was killed by The Empire. He meets up with Xelha, a Mysterious Waif who is trying to stop said empire from acquiring the five End Magnus. About a third the game is like that, then it turns out that nothing is as it seems.
- BioWare games in general run somewhat afoul of the fact that they've used the same basic plot elements◊ since Baldur's Gate.
- Most people remember recent BioWare games for the characters, less so than the plots, due to the actual villain being obviously Black and White Morality.
- Black Sigil is every late-80s/early-90s JRPG cliché rolled into one really slow DS game. It also suffers from the "one random fight every three steps" syndrome that plagued a lot RPGs of the era.
- BlazBlue. It invokes so many anime and fighting game clichés (and subverts, inverts or averts just as many), every character is a walking case of Troperifficness.
- Blue Dragon. Word of God says making the game Trope Overdosed with every single JRPG trope was intentional as well.
- Darksiders mainlines on Grimdark tropes: set After the End, featuring a stoic badass on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, fighting against the Legions of Hell, and so on and so forth. General consensus is that it works.
- 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."
- Disaster: Day of Crisis plays every single Disaster Movie-Cliche known to mankind painfully straight. And somehow, it still works.
- 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.note 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! During the human origin 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!"
- Dragoneer's Aria. It's an RPG that consists of chasing a psychopath around the world as he destroys the world's elemental MacGuffins. The battle system is also very stale.
- 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.
- Evil Genius pulls this off intentionally, putting the player in the shoes of a supervillain striving for world domination. A James Bond expy even shows up trying to stop you. Your player avatar choices are a stout Austrian, sexy socialite or ex-triad, and the game takes place in an Elaborate Underground Base of the player's design. And it doesn't stop there.
- 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, its main story is deliberately one giant Cliché Storm for the entire series as a whole, due to the game being a Milestone Celebration. It's divided into three story arcs that, in themselves, are largely based on previous stock FE plots: the Plegia arc is Path of Radiance (up to the Arc Villain Gangrel having the exact same title as Ashnard), the Valm arc is Mystery of the Emblem or the second half of Geneology (Tin Tyrant leading a major millitary power starts trying to conquer the world) and the final arc is the standard "Evil Sorcerer tries to resurrect a dark dragon" plot from the very first game. Whether or not this worked is a heavy matter of debate.
- 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...
- Gone Home is a standard teenage love story, combined with a standard "parents' marriage is falling apart" plot.
- 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 of the Master Chief's quips or Sergeant Johnson's speeches fall into this category. That being said, Johnson's cliche "badass black hardass drill sergeant" tendencies are often Played for Laughs, and he actually gets some pretty clever lines too.
- Hatred unashamedly tries to place the Villain Protagonist under as many grimdark and "edgy" cliches as humanly possible... And succeeds with flying colors.
- 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 style gasoline explosions.
- Last Scenario works sort of like the Tales Series in this respect. A Mysterious Informant shows up to tell the Farm Boy that he is the descendant of a legendary hero and must help fight the Empire to gain strength for the inevitable awakening of the demons. He goes off to fulfill his destiny, overjoyed to be saving the world. By the end of the game, he's found out that a) he isn't related to Alexander, b) the demons aren't, and c) Zawu was an agent for the Kingdom, whose up-and-coming General Castor was Playing Both Sides. Even the intro text scroll was a lie.
- 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 Reincarnated Chosen 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.
- Mass Effect is this in game form, although that's the point—it's like playing a Space Opera to the hilt.
- That and the writers show an awareness to all the cliches and play with them constantly. The writing is also so strong, that it never feels cliche or unoriginal. The game always feels nice and fresh.
- Mass Effect 2 on the other hand, is much darker, deconstructive, and subversive than the first game.
- 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.
- Also in Mass Effect 3, we hear snippets from Blasto VI: Partners In Crime, which is every Buddy Cop movie cliche, complete with a Cowboy Cop with a By-the-Book Cop, an irritable Da Chief, and a Diplomatic Impunity villain. The Cowboy Cop is a Hanar, the By-the-Book Cop is an Elcor, Da Chief is a Volus, and the villain is a Vorcha. It's every bit as stupid and hilarious as it sounds.
- The Metal Gear series, while highly innovative in terms of gameplay, is a long Cliche Storm as far as the writing goes. It thoroughly mixes cliches from Manga/Anime together with established Hollywood cliches, and barely ever lets up for more than a cutscene. Some fans enjoy the series expressly for that reason.
- Neverwinter Nights 2. A somewhat unusual development by the team that brought you the Deconstructor Fleets Planescape: Torment and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, it seems almost like an experiment in how many cliches (from Doomed Hometown to Gotta Catch Them All to Kill 'em All) could be crammed into a fantasy RPG given enough attention to detail, characterization, and dialogue. The expansion pack, Mask of the Betrayer, was much more like their previous games and many reviewers wondered how the two games came from one developer.
- While No More Heroes does not count itself, the protagonist's obsession, Show Within a Show Pure White Lover Bizarre Jelly, seems to be this. From what can be gleaned, it's an obscenely Moe collection of every stereotype about the Magical Girl genre.
- Video Game/Overwatch. The story is full of classic sci-fi and superhero cliches, such as a Robot War, a hyper-intelligent gorilla, a supervillain whose powers are the results of medical procedure gone horribly wrong, two ninja brothers (one of whom is now a cyborg) who oppose each other's ideals, and so on. A lot of this adds to its charm, however, as the familiar tropes make the characters very easy to understand and the story easy to get into. What also helps is that, despite the familiar premises, each character possesses well-written and sympathetic backstories that make them easy to identify with. This even includes the villains, if not more so. The story, despite not being in the game itself, is very detailed and well thought-out and has people wanting more.
- 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.
- Red Dead Redemption is full of this. This is most likely because EVERYTHING that happens in the game is a tribute to old Spaghetti Western movies.
- Red Dead Revolver is even more like this, to the point where it forgets to have a coherent plot in order to recycle as many Spaghetti Western tropes as possible. All the set-pieces are there; blowing up a bridge in a warzone, infiltrating the enemy banditos' camp to take their bounties, but it happens solely for the sake of happening.
- The Saboteur seems to have been made intentionally with every World War II cliche in mind.
- 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.).
- Skies of Arcadia. The game is a fairly standard turn-based JRPG with your typical plucky kid heroes, hammy, one-dimensional Card Carrying Villains, a "race around the world to collect the magic crystals before the bad guys" plot, and a very Black and White Morality set-up. However, coming just in the wake of Final Fantasy VII and a fleet of imitators which mostly tried to emulate Final Fantasy VII by being filled with dark tones and angst, it came across as a breath of fresh air rather than overdone. So much so that it became a Reconstruction of the JRPG form. It is widely regarded today as a Cult Classic.
- 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.
- Sonic Adventure; The entire story is a mashup of many standard fantasy, anime and video game cliches. Band of heroes out searching for magical trinkets to save the world? Check. Evil mad scientist trying to get the trinkets himself to take over the world while putting up with them? Check. Evil monster is also giving them trouble along the way, eventually becoming the main villain and having a One-Winged Angel showdown with the main hero at the end? Check. Hero defeating the villain by literally using The Power of Love? Check, check, and check. Many of the following games in the series would follow a similar story structure and formula.
- Subverted and played straight with Spec Ops: The Line. The plot is a brutally critical Deconstruction of military tactical shooters but a common criticism of the gameplay is it is unapologetically generic and bland (possibly for reasons of Do Not Do This Cool Thing).
- Star Ocean: Till the End of Time should have had a counter that clicked every time they recycled a cliché from Star Trek, Final Fantasy, and every other console RPG. Maria even lampshaded it during one in-town dialogue.
- Bonus points go to the twist that the world of Star Ocean is a video game—even the 4D beings who play it probably thought "This game really is pretty cliche isn't it?"
- Super Robot Wars (especially Super Robot Wars Original Generation) is built on this it's not even funny, starting with a mecha otaku turned giant robot pilot, a German Samurai with his Char Clone Heterosexual Life-Partner as real men who ride each other, The Stoic gambler and his Manic Pixie Dream Girl partner, guy with ridiculous No Sense of Direction with one of the Elemental Powers in tow AND two talking cats, a ridiculously busty android girl... and so on. Really. And it's still awesome.
- The first 10 hours or so of nearly every single Tales game. Then it hits you that the game is supposed to end now but you'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.)
- 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 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.
- The fourth installment of Bunnykill 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.
- Dusk's Dawn. Obviously Evil Generic Doomsday Villain? Check. An Ensemble Cast mirroring the Mane Six? Check. Villain tries to convince the heroes that he's changed, only to be hatching another plot. Check.
- RWBY's first few episodes immediately call into mind familiar anime narrative devices found in the classroom setting and characters. There's a cute, optimistic fifteen-year-old Action Girl who dreams of being a hero. There's a mysterious Ninja, clad in black, who likes to read and initially shies away from the protagonist's attempt at befriending her. There's a wealthy, arrogant Ice Queen who isn't as cruel as she seems. There's a Hot-Blooded Cool Big Sis who enjoys punching evil in the face. It also has a horde of mindless, ugly creatures preying upon humankind, and the main characters are explicitly said to be based off fairy tales or mythological characters. However, the creators revealed they did this intentionally in panels and interviews, so they can use the setup as a jumping-off point to later subvert, flesh out, downplay, or deconstruct those same tropes in later seasons.
- Electric Wonderland has a comic featuring a superhero who was a farmboy, who was nuked into space, hit by cosmic rays, then told by his parents he was an alien, and then woke up with superpowers.
- 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.
- 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?!Tony: Sorry, pal! You're on your own!
- Atomic Betty. Betty, a secret space cadet, balances protecting the galaxy from evil with being a teenager. Together with her goofy sidekicks (a ditzy alien and Deadpan Snarker robot), Betty fights to stop the evil "genius", Maximus I.Q. (a catlike alien) and his two-faced sidekick Minimus P.U. There is absolutely NOTHING original about this show. Aside from her kickass theme song.
- 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.
- The character of the Archmage on Gargoyles was a deliberate Cliché Storm—indeed, his primary weakness is his love affair with villain cliches, which prevents him from utilizing his godlike magical power to the fullest possible extent.
- The LEGO Hero Factory mini-series, also called Rise of the Rookies. A great cast with some big names and CGI models with over-detailed textures do not a good story 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 is also wrapped up in the same episode).
- Its predecessor BIONICLE started out this way, playing all its tropes very, very straight in the first few years, although still managing to be enjoyable. It's only in the later years that it became more subversive and ascended to Troperiffic. Hero Factory, too, branched off a little in later years but was still pretty cliched.
- I Am Weasel had an episode which parodies almost every cartoon cliché as part of its plot of Weasel and Baboon making a new cartoon show.
- The Mega Man animated series specialized in giving its viewers a sense of familiarity, from plots such as "I wanna be a real boy" and "shrunken protagonist" to "hypnotic hard rock."
- Miraculous Ladybug. Aside from the Paris setting and aesthetic, it's a fairly run-of-the-mill teenage superhero series with Magical Girl elements, what with a thematic Monster of the Week every episode, B-plots involving typical school issues, and archetypical characters. The show was originally meant for teenagers and young adults, but took a Lighter and Softer tone and became Merchandise-Driven in the final version because networks weren't interested in the show until it was toned down.
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: A new girl adjusting to school! Bumping into a cute Nice Guy! Who plays guitar! And is the former boyfriend of a popular girl with a snotty attitude! They share a Third-Act Misunderstanding! A school dance! Clique drama! A cheesy pop song (which isn't even in the movie)! All these high school tropes, and more! Subverted by the end, however, when it has a Genre Shift.
- Pepper Ann was this to the Slice of Life genre, though it was written well enough to get away with it. May also count as Seinfeld Is Unfunny, as it was one of the first mainstream cartoons of that genre.
- The 2010 reboot of Pound Puppies. While not a bad one, there's nothing really new about it and the plots are fairly predictable.
- And there are some worse examples. The 1980s version, for instance, gave us The Legend of Big Paw.
- ThunderCats (2011) trots out well-worn clichés by the dozen, but uses the pretext of its planet-wide Fantasy Kitchen Sink and Schizo Tech to play Genre Roulette with those it employs. Stock plots from High Fantasy, Wooden Ships and Iron Men, Space Opera and Western all get their turns at bat, often while mashed up with two to three other genres.
- The point of Total Drama Island is to be a Category-5 Cliché Hurricane, especially for Reality TV tropes. Played for Laughs.
- What's New, Scooby-Doo? was full of this, playing all the usual frequently-pointed out Scooby-Doo tropes straight (such as Let's Split Up, Gang, Scooby-Dooby Doors, You Meddling Kids, etc.) or lampshading them to the point where it's no longer funny.
- Every Scooby-Doo expy Hanna-Barbera made were full of Scooby clichés.
- Braceface. The theme song even sings about this trope.