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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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    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 (Image Comics) 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.


  • 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.

    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 
  • The 1983-90 Alvin and the Chipmunks cartoon is a whole lot of cliches from the era put together, usually Slice of Life or adventure plots, from a competitive football match and school election to a trip to Australia.
  • Chip Chilla: You have the Bumbling Dad, the intelligent mum, and the three children being dim-witted brats in need of learning a lesson or two.
  • 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.
    • 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 


Sound Waves of the Heart

How well does it match the trope?

3.87 (23 votes)

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Main / ClicheStorm

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