Overused Themes in Stories

Themes that we are tired of seeing in stories. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad, just overused. Maybe you could use these themes but give them a twist. Except please, don’t bring characters back from the dead! Anyways here are some overused themes.

Love Triangles


Dun-dun-dun… We all knew it was going to be here, we all know it’s extremely overused and if it’s not done right it can be chaos. Biggest mistakes when it comes to love triangles 1. When it’s obvious who the protagonist is going to end up with and 2. When one of the “options” is just so obviously wrong for the protagonist or super annoying so you can root for the “right one”.

Cliché Heroine


Is she quirky? A dress hater? Men suck! Let me explain something; to be a strong, independent, capable woman you don’t have to hate men or high heels or makeup or just anything girly. This trend is way too annoying and overused.

Tragic Past


Our villain wants to kill everyone because his parents hated him, I’ve heard that before. You can have a horrible past and learn from it not seek revenge. Cough-cough, Voldemort.

Unqualified Hero


We have a hero that can barely walk straight but in the last three or two chapters our hero can defeat an entire army. One of my favorite things about Harry Potter is that he trained for seven books to finally defeat Voldemort, spoiler alert!! But yeah either show us a hero that knows what he’s doing from the beginning or gets trained to defeat whatever evil is terrorizing the world.

Plot Convenience


And all of the sudden the clue we were looking for is right in front of us and the whole plot turns into bleh. Unless the plot convenience is something that has been hinted at or a callback.

Ugly Duckling to Beautiful Swan


You have an already cute girl, usually with glasses and then you buy her a push-up bra and everyone wants her, especially the jacka** who made fun of her at the beginning of the book. (the duck on the picture is so cute though)

Love/Hate at First Sight


It goes like this: boy and girl lock eyes, sparks fly, they can’t look away, he notices her eyes, she notices his smile, everyone rolls their eyes and then either they walk away with hopes of getting married or one of them says something that rubs the other one the wrong way; and this is our love story.

Revibinging a Character


You think he or she is dead, next chapter he or she is alive and well. We are all sad when characters die but we know sometimes it’s necessary or makes the story more realistic or even better and as much as we mourn those deaths we understand them.

These are not to say that these themes are bad, they are just everywhere. In romance, fantasy, dystopian and all. If done right some of this make the best stories. Harry Potter (unqualified hero), Percy Jackson (love triangle: Percy, Annabeth and Rachel & Leo, Hazel and Frank), Lola and the Boy Next Door (quirky girl next door). What are some of your least favorite themes and why? My least favorite is plot convenience and my favorite is hate at first sight.


Leave a Reply

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: