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Cliché Storm

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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 time, 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. In addition, an audience needs to be familiar with a trope before they understand variations of it. As everybody needs a place to start, many works aimed at young children, particularly educational ones, are designed with tropes mostly played straight.

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. And see Taste the Rainbow for when this is done with character types for the purpose of meeting every viewer's taste.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • This is a big reason for the divisive reception of Akame ga Kill!. For the most part, it's a pretty standard fantasy adventure manga, with characters who fit directly into classic archetypes of the genre. Even the settings and concepts have rather unoriginal names (i.e "The Empire", "Danger Beasts"). The only real difference is that Death Is Cheap doesn't apply.
  • 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.

    Comic Books 
  • 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.
  • MAD likes making fun of these kinds of movies.
    • The parody of Dirty Dancing made fun of how many cliches were in the movie, with a caption for every panel describing the cliche in that scene.
    • One series of cliche movie scripts provides snippets of key lines for scripts, from war movies to love stories. From what you can gather of the lines, the stories are rather cliched, from an unknown singer becoming an opera star until she retires to marry the man she loves to a working class young man managing to win over his wealthy girlriend's parents.

    Fan Works 
  • The Bolt Chronicles: invoked Bolt and Mittens trade off a string of hackneyed sayings in-universe at the end of "The Kippies." This descends from the cat's lampshading herself as a midlife crisis cliché.
    Mittens: [shaking her head and smirking] Sheesh — look at me, Bolt. Who’da thunk it? I'm a card-carrying midlife crisis cliché. If I were a bank CEO, I’d have bought myself a shiny new red sports car and dumped you for a studly tomcat half my age.
    Bolt: [chuckling] I guess so. Funny thing about clichés, though — they’re old and moldy, but they're usually true. Y’know, like "A stitch in time saves nine?"
    Mittens: Or, "There’s no use crying over spilled milk."
    Bolt: Uh-huh — and, "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."
  • In-universe in Calvin & 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 The Coolest Evil Dumbledore Ever which mixes together practically every single Fandom-Specific Plot used in Evil!Dumbledore fanfics and takes all of them up a notch – from Dumbledore doing Evil Gloating complete with "Hahaha!" to Harry becoming Headmaster of Hogwarts, Minister of Magic and King of England in the end.
  • In Dragon Ball Z Abridged, Freeza has "heard these heroic speeches so wearily often, [he's] started counting how many times [he's] heard certain phrases."
    Namekian Warrior: Yeah? Well...we're f**k your face!
    Freeza: [laughing] Oh-hohoho! Twelve!
  • 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! And the "human in Equestria" plot? Well, the events of an entire spin-off franchise were kicked off because Twilight and a main character to that franchise did the exact opposite.
  • 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 
  • The Last War also boasts abusive!Ron and damsel!Hermione, with bonus slut!Ginny.
  • My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic. 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 When in Doubt, Obliviate when Snape takes 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.
  • In the first four chapters of The Vanishing Cabinet of Time you find the following: Ron betrays Harry on orders of Dumbledore. Dumbledore maneuvered Hermione Granger into the way of the troll during first year in an attempt to murder the girl. Dumbledore's been dosing both Harry and Hermione with love potions — created by Molly Weasley, of course — to further his control and to make sure that the vast Potter Fortune goes to the Weasleys when Harry is ineveritably killed by Voldemort. Dumbledore's plan is to let Harry get murdered and then swoop in to save the day after the Dark Lord's last horcrux is gone. Harry and Hermione go to Gringotts, where not only are the goblins friendly to Harry, but they get him emancipated, bestow upon him his full fortune, proclaim him a lord, tell him about multiple marriage contracts, list all the ancient families he's related to, and give him a list of homes he now owns. The rest of the story is just as bad.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 911 Nightmare, a 2016 Lifetime Movie of the Week starring Fiona Gubelmann as 911 operator Christine McCullers was in part, a parody of cliched Lifetime movies, although it was definitely dark and edgy, with none of the usual comedic parody elements. It didn't do anything particularly original as a Police Procedural but it was apparently intended as a parody, according to Word of Saint Paul.
  • Two of James Cameron's films, Avatar and Titanic (1997), show that this trope isn't always bad. Avatar is even self-aware of its clichés (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.
  • Critics dismissed Bohemian Rhapsody as this because it hits all of the typical beats of a story about a rock band's climb to the top. While this is technically true, it may have ended up this way because the plot takes place over a period of fifteen years and had to be greatly condensed in order to fit into a two-hour film. In the end, it made its budget back three times over in four days because it turns out that with a Queen biopic, plot probably matters less than an actor's ability to transform into Freddie Mercury (which Rami Malek did exceptionally well), Awesome Music, and Costume Porn.
  • 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.
  • Chicago: "The Press Conference Rag" is an example, albeit one which is not apparent to the modern viewer. Roxie's Back Story, as given by Billy (Country Mouse, rich family, dead parents, raised in a convent, Vague Age, Shotgun Wedding) was the Back Story of every young woman who wanted to get into showbiz in The Roaring '20s. By 1927 (when the play Chicago is based on was written) it was such an obvious sob story that, had the author attempted to sell it as anything other than an Amoral Attorney's attempt to stir up sympathy for his client, the audience would have rolled their eyes and said "And I'm the Queen of Sheba".
  • 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; jaded superior who insists that they need proof only for him to be, of course, wrong, and subsequently die a Karmic Death; most annoying character who refused to come down from the mountain and thus endangered the lives of the others dies while the dog survives; big final blow-you-out-of-your-seat special effects sequence, and even a Token Romance... 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 (2000), 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.
  • 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.
  • Gemini Man is about an elite but aging assassin being chased by his 23-year-old clone. It is often seen as an inferior use of Looper's premise. Many perceive it as prioritizing special effects (and 4K/3D/120fps) over the plot.
  • 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 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...
    Mike McCracken: Life is very short, and there's no time for fussing or fighting, my friend.
    [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 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.
  • The Princess: Good Lord, where do we start? Pretty much every single Plot Device, Plot Twist, Rebellious Princess story, and even certain lines of dialogue, are either very obvious to the watcher, or based on cliche's that have been heard countless times before in countless other action, medieval, and medieval-action movies. To say the films' story is an Excuse Plot to see some choreographed action is something of an understatement.
  • 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 Film 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, and near shot-for-shot copying of scenes from The Matrix. The films were one long-lost relative away from hitting every major cliché in the book... and then the last installment used that one, too.
  • 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."
  • 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:
    • It's somewhat hard to believe nowadays, since the movie itself has been so heavily copied, but the first Star Wars movie, A New Hope, was intentionally written as a checklist of High Fantasy clichés given clichéd—although absolutely gorgeousSpace Opera window dressing. In this case, the frisson between the two genres (as well as the Spectacle) is entirely the point.
    • The Force Awakens reuses many of the most memorable plot devices and tropes of A New Hope (an orphaned protagonist on a desert planet, a Planet Destroyer super-weapon, and a villain who is a blatant Expy of Darth Vader, to name only three). However, the next movie in the new trilogy, The Last Jedi, managed to avoid being a Cliche Storm and created an identity of its own. As for whether that was a good thing...
    • One of the common criticisms of The Rise of Skywalker was how formulaic it is (it's been speculated the creators intentionally played it safe due to the controversy over The Last Jedi). By the end of the first act, it's easy to predict how the film will play out, especially since it's similar to Return of the Jedi. The hero is related to a bad guy who wants them to join the dark side. The mentor dies heroically partway through to raise the stakes. The heroes make a last stand against the bad guys who are equipped with planet-destroying weaponry, a bunch of extras/side characters get whacked, but they prevail at the last minute by blowing up the bad guy's main ship and getting an unexpected cavalry arrival.note  The hero goes to confront the Big Bad alone where they're tempted one last time to join the dark side, and they are saved by the sacrifice of a redeemed villain.
  • 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.
  • Status Update has been criticized for basically being a Disney Channel movie that made it to the big screen, due to the trailer including many tired plot beats: an unpopular guy becomes popular through magical means, a Love Triangle between him, the Alpha Bitch and the Nice Girl ensues, he realizes that the popularity isn't what he wanted and resolves to get his old life back.
  • Universal Soldier: The Return: SETH's speech, which is both bombastic and awesome and hilarious for sounding like every other speech given by an A.I. Is a Crapshoot villain ever. At the end he even basically declares himself God.

  • 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.
  • Bakemonogatari relies heavily on pandering to anime and light novel fans, and every character is an Otaku's wet dream. It has three Token Mini-Moe characters—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.
  • The magazine essayist Gordon Baxter wrote the following after receiving a memo from management deprecating the use of cliches: "I congratulate you on having the courage of a lion to set foot where the hand of man has never trod before in these shark-infested waters."
  • 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 second time around.
  • 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.
  • Cop Craft is a full-blown hurricane of every Buddy Cop Show and Cowboy Cop cliche available, except that the buddy cop in this instance is a cute young Magic Knight from a fantasy world.
  • Taking away the BDSM, the main plot of Fifty Shades of Grey, revolving around Ana and Christian's relationship, is a very common and stereotypical romance plot – naive, virginal everygirl who doesn't realize how pretty she is meets a moody, hot rich guy, who is charmed by her purity and innocence. He provides her with a sexual awakening while she heals him with the Power of Magic Vagina... er, Love. Oh and he's got an evil ex who is far more sexually experienced and aggressive than the heroine and tries to break them up. The ending even features Ana and Christian being married, wealthy and having a son and daughter, which is practically the ultimate romance cliche.
  • 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.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya is full of clichéd plots — sometimes due to Haruhi's reality-warping abilities subconsciously making her love of genre fiction manifest in real life, or due to 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 of the anime adaptation is also a cliché storm, but it's a movie made by the main characters which is meant to be deliberately subpar.
  • 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.
  • High School D×D is basically a combination of the cliches found in the harem, ecchi, and shonen genres. However, the combination actually makes it stand out and indeed, serves as a Reconstruction of the harem genre. It also plays around with some of them- for example, main lead Issei is not a Clueless Chick-Magnet but an open pervert who decides to Marry Them All long before the end of the series, and the girls are okay with this.
  • Matthew Reilly's Hover Car Racer in particular isn't exactly original, in fact it could be well described as Speed Racer in Hover Cars.
  • Besides the plagiarism (which included borrowing a lot from other popular teen-oriented Chick Lit novels), many people who read How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life have noted it comes off as a highly predictable coming-of-age comedy about a nerdy girl who tries get In with the In Crowd and discovers who she really is along the way, with stereotypical characters and cliched scenarios.
  • 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 the 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. Old, wise mentor figure. Supporting Leader. Completely evil, slightly insane villain who wants to take over the world. Evil Prince. Liberal use of both the Idiot Ball and Villain Ball. Despite all that, it's still a rather well written book.
  • The Irregular at Magic High School is full of this when it comes to the characteristics of the main characters. Just remember that the description of Miyuki Shiba on the characters page has almost all the tropes, in one way or another related to the Little Sister Heroine. Even those that contradict each other, yes.
  • 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.
  • The Lightlark Saga: Lightlark is essentially an amalgamation of almost every popular young adult Speculative Fiction and Romance Novel cliché from the past decade before its publication (2022). This includes an angsty, inexplicably-badass heroine who is the only one who can resolve the plot, a forbidden love triangle involving a bad boy and a wholesome boy (both of whom are centuries older than the heroine), a deadly tournament that also involves parties, pageantry and luxury housing, worldbuilding that largely boils down to Planet of Hats, the heroine having a secret dark past she was unaware of and more.
  • The Mister gets this even worse than the author's previous series, Fifty Shades of Grey; while that story was also cliched by romance novel standards, it at least stood out a bit due to its heavy focus on BDSM (albeit badly depicted). The Mister doesn't have this gimmick so we're stuck with an outdated, paint-by-numbers romance book about a playboy aristocrat who finally finds love with the unworldly and hard-done-by heroine, whom he must rescue from numerous bad situations she gets into, up to and including the villain kidnapping her and trying to pull an And Now You Must Marry Me.
  • Record of Lodoss War in a troperrific way. As the novels were based on a D&D campaign the writer played, it's full of typical fantasy-related tropes that are largely played straight.
  • 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 combines three stock YA novel plots into one monster cliché plot:
    • The ugly girl who's not really that ugly (she's normal-looking but has an embarrassing birthmark on her face) but still gets picked on by everyone and their mother, especially the Alpha Bitch and her Girl Posse, 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 is an All-Loving Hero and Purity Sue despite her suffering, taking a stand for her fellow outcasts and instantly forgiving her best friend for not speaking up for her against the popular kids. 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 and raped by a creep 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.
  • Strawberry Panic! has so many Yuri Genre cliches, both in the plot and the characters and their relationships, that it might as well be renamed How To Write A Stereotypical Yuri Series: The Light Novel.
  • Rama II and the Rendezvous with Rama series contains many improbable and kind of laughable events. A robot genius is on a team of cosmonauts, where he is taciturn (yet perfectly likeable when it comes down to it), and eccentric. He builds robots. The other cosmonauts are fine with this habit, like it in fact, and play chess. The female narrator is a life science officer and mystic, and her complete opposite is also present, a materialistic and selfish and pragmatic reporter who nearly kills Nicole and killed another member of the team. There is a gay cosmonaut, and he was 1) involved in politics in school, and 2) had to hide his orientation in order to join the crew. The half black character faces racism from her (Prince of France) husband, and random people, as does Reggie. The lone inventor also has Abusive Parents. In the future, when humans are taken aboard a spaceship, they prove to be their own worst enemies, recreating 70s and 80s 00politics within five seconds of landing on Rama 3. The cosmonaut Nicole who has African heritage knew and was a shaman,and saves herself using her mystical side (which her husband has no access to, being a logical engineer). The family, isolated on the ship, becomes incestuous. Then the husband is kidnapped by aliens, which changes his personality. In the future there will be space HIV, also, and the aliens are biological cliches, in that there is a symbiotic species and one species which is intelligent and like a cephalopod.
  • 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.
  • Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms: 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.
  • Sir Apropos of Nothing gets humor from playing with many knight errant medieval story cliches. The cahracters themseves live up to them fully, from the perfect hero (who lives for heroism) to the protagonist, who is such a dadbeat he was born with teeth, from a rape, in a barn, his mother was a prostitute, he lost his money to a scheme from his first lover, worked in a tavern (where his mother was the prostitute), frequented by unruly knights, had a bum leg, red hair, and true to form once he realised he possessed all loser characteristics disqualifying him from herodom, doesn't care for any one or thing heroic without irony, despite his following the hero around for the time before he became a hero himself. Then other characters, like princess Entipy, are unlike their roles suggest, her being annoying, useless, and prone to tantrums, instead of wholesome, kind, useful or gentle. They even find and try to burn a witch, who gets the better of her attackers by being genre savvy and them not.
  • The Twilight Saga: Awkward, clumsy girl moves to new school and is instantly adored by all. She falls in love with the hottest guy in school, who falls for her in turn. Girl is so in love that she will do anything for her true love. 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. It also fits several xenofiction cliches, such as an orange cat running away from his owners because he's bored of being a pet.
    • 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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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.
  • Pitch (2016) zig-zags this trope. On one hand, it's a Jackie Robinson Story about a female entering a male baseball team (the show has some Artistic License – Sports anyway) and has a lot of sport cliches in, but that doesn't have to mean the show is bad because of 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.
  • Similar to Justirisers up there, Seven Star Fighting God Guyferd (which was also made by Toho) borrows a lot of Henshin Hero cliches, but marries them with a well-rounded cast and great suit designs to make for an entertaining 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 "This Side of Paradise" 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 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 (and most Korean ones that is over 40 episodes long) 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 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 plays this completely straight.
  • 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.
  • Reboot The Guardian Code hits this hard. While the original series would often affectionately parody various cliches about video games and cartoons, this one plays it straight. The heroes are ordinary high school students who find that the video game they like playing together was really meant to Recruit Teenagers with Attitude to stop a Generic Dooms Day Villain who doesn't do anything but menacingly spout threats about his Evil Plan.
  • Emily in Paris: The series has been criticized by reviewers (especially the French) for being this, and not in a good way. Basically, they feel it's portraying every French stereotype including the French Jerk stereotype, and pretty negatively too.

  • 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.
  • Dschinghis Khan: Their music is pretty cliché, but "Moskau" really takes the cake.
  • 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.
  • Practically every line of "Roar" by Katy Perry is a well-worn cliché. Special mention goes to the fact that the chorus ("I've got the eye of the tiger/The fighter, dancing through the fire/'Cause I am a champion/And you're gonna hear me roar") uses lyrical concepts from three other famous songs.
  • 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 I
    Todd: 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.
  • Symphonic metal band Edenbridge's "Place of Higher Power," replete with such turns of phrase as "it's a jungle out there," "beauty's only skin deep," "what a tangled web we weave," and "working like a charm."
  • 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", also overlapping with redundancy:
    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!"
  • Most of the output of Electric Light Orchestra is a cliché festival, but "Tightrope" (from A New World Record) compounds it on the opening line with redundancy:
    They say some days you're gonna win,
    They say some days you're gonna lose,
    I tell you I've got news for you,
    You're losin' all the time you never win, no.
  • Tom Waits's "Step Right Up" is mostly a collection of advertising catchphrases and cliches.
  • Invoked and parodied by Bruce Springsteen with "My Best Was Never Good Enough," where the lyrics, except for the title and "Come'on pretty baby, call my bluff" are nothing but clichés, including a Take That! to Forrest Gump.
    "Now life's like a box of chocolates
    You never know what you're gonna get
    Stupid is as stupid does and all the rest of that shit."
  • Most of the output by the Power Metal group Twilight Force falls into this, deliberately so as it is an Affectionate Parody and a celebration of many classical High Fantasy tropes from things such as Dungeons & Dragons and Heroes of Might and Magic which served as a mayor source of inspiration for the group.
  • Most of Taylor Swift's country-pop output seemed to be nothing but "fairy tale" (with lyrics like "you a prince and me a princess") and "being in a movie" clichés with a bit of outsider-vs.-popular cheerleader thrown in. And how many songs have there been that incorporated Superman in its lyrics?
  • Shania Twain's "I'm Gonna Getcha Good!" is full of estrogen-soaked cowgirl-on-the-prowl cliches with lyrics like "You're a fine piece of real estate and I'm gonna get me some land."
  • Irene Cara's "starring me" platitudes from the themes from Fame and Flashdance are what young showbiz wannabes considered to be their anthems. "I'm gonna live forever/I'm gonna learn how to fly" were just 80s versions of standards like "You Ought to Be in Pictures" only changing second person liberally to first person.
  • Bad Company's "Shooting Star" is an oft-told story (not necessarily musically) about a kid who cuts his musical teeth on the Beatles, gets a guitar, leaves home to seek fame and fortune, becomes a superstar, and at the pinnacle of his stardom is found dead from sleeping pills and alcohol. With "Don't you know" thrown in the refrain many times.


  • In Chapo Trap House, Will, Felix and Bryan all praise Mayans M.C. for this, calling it a "Facebook show" and recommending it to anyone looking for 'fire in the blood', anyone who is sick of shows where you can't guess exactly what will happen, and where there aren't scenes of gun violence set to Mexican rap music.

    Tabletop Games 

  • Cirque du Soleil's , 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.

    Video Games 
  • 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.
  • Body Blows: Naturally, as a series that was created as an Alternate Company Equivalent to Street Fighter (the first Body Blows game following the basic formula of several people from random countries fighting in an international fighting tournament) after the Amiga port of Street Fighter II was panned by many owners of that brand of computers having similarities with that Capcom owned franchise was to be expected. The sequels especially became rife with cliches when it started copying elements of Mortal Kombat (particularly Body Blows Galactic with the whole premise of humans fighting otherworldly fighters, though doing it in a Sci-Fi manner rather than through mystical means), and to some extent SNK's Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting series (Of which the first game already demonstrated this in the form of the brothers Danny and Nik introduced in the first game were plainly based to an extent on the Bogard brothers from the former). You can probably have a drinking game spotting the character archetypes and other elements of this series that were inspired by those other games.
  • Dankira!!! -Boys, be DANCING!- is a typical Gaming and Sports Anime & Manga in video game form, but with dance swapped in for sports. Competitive activity treated as Serious Business? Emphasis on True Companions? Largely one-gender cast? Familiar anime archetypes of cheerful Stock Shōnen Hero, coolheaded sidekick, Token Mini-Moe, Rich Bitch, Mr. Fanservice, etc? You name it, it probably has it. Add to it its gacha mechanic and premise of a Non-Entity General managing a Cast Full of Pretty Boys already set forth by games like Touken Ranbu, I-Chu, Bungo to Alchemist and IDOLiSH7 and you have a cliché tower for the ages.
  • 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."
  • Deltarune appears to be deliberately invoking a ton of Very Special Episode plots in the character of Noelle Holiday, already a Christmas-themed reindeer. To summarize, she's going through a Coming-Out Story while trying not to upset her Workaholic mom and help her hospitalized dad, while her sister is missing, or dead; it's not yet clear.
  • Destroy All Humans! does this deliberately, invoking almost every well-known trope in the alien invasion genre. The locations Crypto visits represent Cliche Storm parodies of various countries.
  • 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, subterranean Mountain-dwelling dwarves with a fondness for alcohol and crafting, mage towers, humans who speak with British accents, obvious influence from the British Isles or Western Europe, mages wound up destroying the world and creating Darkspawn, Dwarven warriors,note  Fantastic Racism, green and brown-stained landscapes, evil dragons that are just giant animals in terms of intelligence, and last in the line of kings. 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.
  • Dual Blades: While the Power Combing System is unique and praiseworthy and what little plot there is is set up in a very different manner to most fighting games, the designs and characterizations of the fighters on the roster is quite it guilty of this. To quote one critic who reviewed this game "These fighters are rather uninspired in their character designs, lacking any real memorable flair. You've got Efe, a robed swordsman; Kanae a Japanese swordswoman; Brandon, a shirtless swordsman...okay, you get the picture. Each of these characters have their own crazy attacks and text after winning a bout, but it's obvious that these fighting guys and gals won't ever get their own fanclub, spinoff, or even a future sequel." Though amusingly enough, a sequel, titled Slashers: The Power Battle, has since been made and the developers of that title have fleshed out at least some of the character backstories.
  • 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, Shadow Dragon and its immediate successors weren't as cliche in their day as they seem now—consider Archanea helped establish the genre it's a part of; compare The Binding Blade 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 Fire Emblem 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 Genealogy of the Holy War (Tin Tyrant leading a major military 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.
    • Two of the four routes of Fire Emblem: Three Houses come off as this to varying extents.
      • The Verdant Wind route, with the occasional bout of Narm Charm, is this. You end up aiding the Alliance to fight against the evil Empire. You fight the Emperor as a Climax Boss, but once they're defeated, they reveal that there is a man behind the man who has been trying to pull the strings and lead the land into war — those who slither in the dark. Despite defeating their boss, a powerful monster from antiquity (Nemesis) appears, with implications that he's with them as his army is made up of The Remnant of Those Who Slither in the Dark. What's more, he's even defeated with a power of friendship speech. If it is your first playthrough, it definitely feels like a rehash of all things Fire Emblem, though this is arguably to the route's strength. Fortunately, when viewed as a whole, plenty of the tropes are played with more than it appears.
      • The plot of Azure Moon is rather typical for a Fire Emblem game, as the plot focuses around a young noble saving his homeland from an invading power hellbent on overthrowing it. However, what sets it apart from other stories in the series is its protagonist, Dimitri, and his rather large character flaws and arc. The Blue Lions are also tied very intimately with the plot, making for a character-driven story that exemplifies why Tropes Are Tools. Due to this, Blue Lions is regarded as the best route in the game by many, though especially by veteran Fire Emblem players.
      • If you play as the Black Eagles, the Silver Snow route arguably comes off as similar to the Verdant Wind route, due to having a mostly identical plot, whereas in the Crimson Flower Route, you side with Edelgard and The Empire to conquer Fodlan, making it the least typical route.
    • Engage cranks the cliche storm up to eleven, moreso than Awakening even. Not only does it rely heavily on stock Fire Emblem plot elements, such as the protagonist's sole parent dying and the heroes fighting against an evil dragon, but also adds common cliches used in Shounen anime to the mix, such as the main theme of The Power of Friendship, summoning other characters through a phrase, and the protagonist getting revived with an 11th-Hour Superpower with the help of spirits. Several fans, especially those of Three Houses don't enjoy the story for this reason, but others do otherwise thanks to how these cliches result in a very Narmy plot.
  • The plot of Champion Mode in Fight Night Champion is essentially an amalgamation of every single boxing movie cliché in existence: brutish undefeated rival, crooked Don King-esque promoter, friendly rival brother that turns bitter only for the two to eventually reconcile, and Satellite Love Interest.
  • Gone Home is a standard lesbian 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.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky is what you'd get if you drew up a list of every Eastern RPG trope in the book, then built a detailed world to explain and justify said tropes. We've got a spunky, outgoing heroine with a staff, a reserved boy who keeps to himself with a mysterious past, a princess that lives a normal life until she's called to take up her family responsibilities, a loner swordsman with a sour disposition who comes to protect a much younger girl who acts as his anchor, and so on. But the scale is downsized from saving the world to traveling the local kingdom, the dialogue is full of incidental chatter about daily lives and the people in towns with their own subplots and personalities, making Liberl feel like a living, breathing place that didn't just spring to life when the protagonists were born to be saved. It also helps that Estelle and Joshua flip the usual roles of who's the viewpoint character. Joshua has all the trademarks of a angsty male lead, but the game's story is largely seen through Estelle's innocent outlook who subverts the idealized image of a heroine. Sure she's a Genki Girl who believes the best in people, but she's also a slob, prefers physical activity and wearing practical clothes but is fully comfortable with girly things from time to time, can be utterly clueless, and isn't aware of the darker implications of her world. Putting all this together creates an experience that grounds cliches so thoroughly that a player can become invested in things they know are bound to happen.
  • 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 where it plays exactly like a Save the Princess RPG plot where the Knight in Shining Armor Oersted goes to rescue his bride Princess Alethea from the Lord of Dark...only for the entire storyline to go dark extremely fast where his jealous best friend Streibough orchestrates a plan at the last moment to steal the glory for himself and results in everyone Oersted cared about being dead and the rest of his kingdom branding him a villain for (accidentally) killing their king. He then decides that he'll be just that and crowns himself the Lord of Dark Odio.
  • 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 some Manga/Anime series 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: The Sith Lords, it seems almost like an experiment in how many cliches (from Doomed Hometown to Gotta Catch Them 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.
  • In Persona 5 Strikers, Ango Natsume's novels are apparently Cliche Storms when they aren't flat-out plagiarizing other works. His Jail, modeled after his novel, features such things as a Quirky Miniboss Squad whose members face the heroes in ascending order of strength, several MacGuffins to collect, and a demon lord from another world who calls the protagonists out on how many enemies they've killed to get to him. Futaba, who's rather familiar with the genre, ends up snarking at Natsume's lack of talent or originality.
  • Punch Club is a storm of 80's martial arts and sports movie cliches: avenge your murdered father, recover a magic medallion, train under an old guy named Mick, re-enact the plot of Rocky IV, win a prison fight ring, become a vigilante and fight mutants and robots, make your own Training Montage, attend a fighting tournament on a private island, and your father is actually alive and a bad guy.
  • 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.
  • Dr. Nefarious from Ratchet & Clank, who's basically a cliche of every Saturday morning cartoon villain out there Played for Laughs. Doesn't mean that he's not a legitimate threat though.
  • Red Dead Revolver is absolutely 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. It actually manages to invert the trend seen in the Tales Series! The first 50 minutes of the game are pretty unique and very promising—the female lead doesn't want to save the world as most RPG heroes want, but rather destroy it. Unfortunately, by the next town she's already saving people and leaning towards the cliche-ism. More clichéd characters appear and more clichéd events happen, 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, and Evil Cannot Comprehend Good. A common complaint towards the game is that They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot.
  • Shining Force II is about The Chosen One going on an adventure to find the Sword of Plot Advancement with which to seal a devil lord, Save the Princess, and wake her from a magical sleep with True Love's Kiss to get the Standard Hero Reward. The game does nothing to change up or play with this formula.
  • 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, in addition to having received universal critical acclaim.
    • 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 (Red Entertainment).
  • 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, versus an evil mad scientist trying to get the trinkets himself to take over the world while putting up with them, and an 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. The hero defeats the villain by literally using The Power of Love. Many of the following games in the series would follow a similar story structure and formula.
    • E-102 Gamma's own story was deliberately left unfinished in favor of a different character in the Archie Comic adaptation of Sonic Adventure, specifically because the writers quipped that his story was "something you've seen a hundred times if you're a devotee to samurai movies".
  • 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. However, given how the entire point is for Do Not Do This Cool Thing, making the gameplay feel tedious and unfufilling was likely an intentional choice to reinforce the point.
  • Some games in the Super Mario Bros. series are this, mostly in regards to the franchise's own cliches.
    • A prime example of which is the New Super Mario Bros. series, where all four (five with Luigi U) games are Super Mario Bros. 3 copies with mostly similar world and level themes (grass, desert, water, forest, ice, mountain, sky and lava), the same bosses (the Koopalings, Boom Boom and Bowser), the same general soundtrack and bosses mostly from Super Mario Bros 3 and Super Mario World. They also tend to have the same final boss concept (giant Bowser), certain recycled level themes (like one with tons of Skewers the player has to carefully avoid), and a secret world with a sky/space theme. Super Mario 3D Land is basically a 3D version of this formula, albeit with less boss variety and a different style of final boss.
  • 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.)
  • It's hard to take any of the Time Crisis stories seriously, since most of them are standard action-movie fare. They usually involve rescuing a hostage, stopping a weapon of mass destruction or recovering a MacGuffin, among other cliches that serve as excuses for large-scale shootouts.
  • And likewise, Total Overdose: A Gunslinger's Tale in Mexico did this for the Mexican action movies.
  • Likewise, True Crime: Streets of LA intentionally reproduced the 1980s action flick in video game form.
  • Unearthed: Trail of 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..
  • Until Dawn was marketed as a campy mix of every B-grade teen horror movie known to man, with a plot revolving around a group of attractive young people spending the weekend at an isolated mountain cabin in the snowbound Rockies and finding themselves stalked by a masked killer. Turns out it's by design, a cruel prank staged by Josh to avenge the deaths of his sisters Hannah and Beth by throwing his friends (who pulled the prank on Hannah that accidentally got her and Beth killed) into a real-life horror movie and scare the living hell out of them, using '80s slashers and modern Torture Porn as his reference points. Unfortunately for everybody involved, Josh's plan goes Off the Rails once the actual, malevolent supernatural forces haunting the mountain make their presence known.
  • 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.
  • Deliberately invoked and played with by Yandere Simulator. The protagonist attends an Elaborate University High filled with cherry blossoms, larger-than-life characters, romantic angst, and 'mythical' creatures who are somehow able to hide in plain sight. About a tenth of its students are all in love with the same boynot that he notices – and more than half have unnaturally colored hair that no one comments on. In all these ways and more, Akademi is a distillation of every anime school that has ever existed.

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony invokes this trope with the culprits who fall for Monokuma's traps.
    • The protagonist, Kaede Akamatsu; although not before the detective, Shuichi Saihara is convicted.
    • Kirumi Tojo, the maid, playing into The Bulter Did It.
    • Korekiyo Shinguji, the serial killer with a trepidatious aura.
    • Gonta Gokuhara, the Nice Guy of the group.
    • Kaito Momota, the astronaut with the Awesome Ego.
    • As it turns out, the first case was a trick. The real culprit was the cosplayer.

    Web Animation 

  • Invoked in 1/0—it's the only way to summon the Running Gag.
  • 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!

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • 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.
    • In many ways, the show is just a faster-paced, more manic, more joke-dense version of standard "middle class suburban grade school kid" animated shows. Many characters, particularly the parents, are almost absurdist caricatures of cliches.
  • Everything in Final Space, from the plots to the characters to the dialogue. Naturally, it's all an Affectionate Parody, or at the very least Tropes Are Tools and/or Narm Charm.
  • 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.
  • LEGO's BIONICLE and Hero Factory both started out playing all their tropes very, very straight in their first few years, although still managing to be enjoyable. The former became more subversive and ascended to Troperiffic in its later years, while the latter 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 point of Total Drama 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.
  • Batman Beyond during its second and third seasons. Clichés common to superheroes, high school, and in general were rampant, with some even being used more than once. Technically the first season had plenty of such clichés too, but they weren't the focus of whole episodes as often as in season 2, after the series basically abandoned its Myth Arc in favor of an episodic format, which resulted in a myriad of filler stories centered on standard plots.
  • Every competitor in Wacky Races was a cliché: the macho hero with a Lantern Jaw of Justice (Peter Perfect); a burly lumberjack (Rufus Ruffcut and wisecracking animal sidekick Sawtooth); A gung-ho Army sergeant and his ineffective private (Sgt. Blast and Meekly); a gang of Damon Runyon-esque mobsters (the Ant Hill Mob); a crackpot inventor (Prof. Pat Pending); a girly girl (Penelope Pitstop); two hirsute cavemen (the Slag Brothers); a pair of monsters, one short, the other hulking (the Gruesome Twosome); a German WWI pilot adorned in red (Red Max); a lazy hillbilly (Luke and his nervous wreck of an animal sidekick Blubber Bear), and a Harmless Villain (Dick Dastardly and his wisecracking animal sidekick Muttley).
  • BoJack Horseman's Show Within a Show, Philbert, is remarked on being this In-Universe, being a generic 'gritty' Detective Drama with pompous Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane and Kudzu Plot elements, a nauseating Rated M for Manly and Darker and Edgier tone, and degrading treatment of women. Despite this, the first season ends up being a hit, due to having the feminist Diane in the script editing room, who is well aware of how bad the show is, and does her best to turn it into a Deconstruction of what it is while adding in Meta Casting elements to Catch the Conscience of BoJack. The cast also end up elevating it, with one reviewer noting that BoJack's performance turns "a generic bad boy detective into a barely scabbed-over wound". The second season nosedives back into generic gibberish due to the absence of Diane, which both BoJack and his costar Gina notice and complain about.

    Real Life 


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