As a female teenager, a lot of the books I read are romance ones. And I’ve read a lot of them. Therefore, I come across a lot of tropes. Good, bad, toxic, too good to be true. You know the deal. We all have a favorite trope. For some of us, those are cheesy and cliche and we’d never let a soul know them. For others, they’re cute and not too unrealistic and they’re just so cute. And some people, like me, can’t pick just one. So here are my top 10 favorite romance tropes. They’re not in order of favorites, I could never choose.
1. Enemies to Lovers
This one is a definite classic for me. Two people start out hating each other. They would rather end up in the hospital than be around eachother. Or, they would fight to the ends of the earth to get the job promotion, get the better GPA, or get into the better college than the other one. And then, they suddenly start to realize ‘Hey, they’re kind of cute.’ And next thing you know, their screaming match turns into a makeout session. There is a thin line between love and hate. Definitely one of the best tropes.
2. Opposites Attract
Opposites Attract is one of the more popular tropes in the media. The couple are completely opposites. Nerd/Jock, Good Girl/Bad Boy, City Boy, Country Girl. I could go on, and on. Despite their differences, they manage to preserve and fall in love. This usually includes a mean ex girlfriend who tells the female love interest to “stay away from their boyfriend or else” when in fact they are not dating at all, but I don’t claim those books due to the obvious internalized misogyny the writers feels as they turn an already confident, independent, and aspiring woman into a villian. But the romance is cute…
3. Return to Hometown
I usually prefer this one in movies. (Sweet Home Alabama, one of my mother’s personal favorites, is an example of this trope.) But it is quite cute in books. The gist is that one of the love interest returns to their hometown, willingly or unwillingly (but usually unwillingly), for a usually short amount of time. In these cases, either the other love interest is returning too, or they had never left. There’s many ways this could go, but my personal favorite is when they both return to their hometown for a wedding or reunion, have some sort of competition where they try to prove who has the better new life, and inevitably fall in love.
4. Alpha Hero
Now this one is a guilty pleasure. Alpha Hero is a trope where there hero is “Type A” – he’s driven, assertive, and in control of the world around him, and then his love interest comes along. We’ve all read it, swooned over it, and then hoped we’d find a man like him. If you’re going “Nah, that’s so cheesy! I’d never read that!” – you’re a liar and I condemn you.
This trope has a lot of drama. The blackmail trope is when one love interest knows a secret about the other, and seeks a big payday. It doesn’t seem romancey at first, but these usually end in the blackmailer realizing that they love the other love interest and stops blackmailing them, and helps them fix their secret. (But not before they fight about the blackmailing – duh.)
These are fun and anxiety inducing and usually an overall good read. Disguise is a trope where one love interest pretends to be what they are not – royalty, an expert in the workplace, rich – but they fall in love while is disguise and are forced to maintain the ruse. This is a cute trope in both movies and books but they usually end in the other finding out that they were in disguise all along. It has some angst, but in the end they usually get together and live a long happy life.
7. Friends to Lovers
This trope is extremely popular. Kasie West recently wrote a book with this trope. You can find it in almost every TV show and movie you watch, and in a lot of books. Friends to Lovers. Friends to Lovers is a lot like Enemies to Lovers – but they don’t hate each other. Instead, they are actually friends! One love interest secretly pines over the other, not knowing that the other one is doing the same to them. They never admit their feelings until a series of events usually including jealousy, parties, and going to college forcing them to face and admit their feelings to the other. A lot of times it includes the girl admitting her feelings, running off before the other can admit their feelings back, crying, and then lots of kisses. If you’re like me, no matter how many times you’ve read books with this trope, you can’t get enough of it.
8. Fake Relationship
Oh no! Your family is coming to town, including your nosy aunt who constantly nags you about getting a boy/girlfriend! What do you do about it? Deal with it? Ignore her? Of course not – ask your fe/male best friend to pretend to be your boyfriend! This is pretty much the first couple chapters of the Fake Relationship trope. Someone needs to convince other people that they’re in a relationship, so they fake it with a friend. But of course, all that cuddling, fake kissing, and hand holding can really put a burden on ones emotions when their best friend is a total hottie. So they fall in love. They ignore it, and act like its just because of that cuddling, fake kissing, and hand holding. Then the family leaves town. And they find themselves standing there, still wanting to make out with their best friend. So they do, and it all ends happily ever after. It may sound extremely cheesy and basic but I promise you – well it is cheesy and basic. But its also super cute and I love it. I refuse to apologize.
One of the love interests has a reputation for playing the field, seeking out sexual relationships without any emotional attachment – until s/he meets his/her one true love. Like I’ve said about many of the others, this is a big and popular trope. It actually shows up in one of my current favorite TV shows – Lucifer. They don’t see any point in love, and they hop from wo/man to wo/man. But then they meet the other love interest. And then suddenly that hot bartender they would normally hit on just doesn’t seem that appealing. It is quite one of the cutest tropes ever created. It’s so lovable.
10. Secret/Lost Heir
Last, but not least – Secret/Lost Heir. One of the classic tropes. In fact, the Disney movie Rapunzel, has this trope. One of the love interest is the secret or lost heir to a great fortune, kingdom, buisness, enc. They usually don’t discover this until the other love interest is introduced and helps them find their way. A lot in times, more common in books than in Disney Princess films, the love interest gets swept up in all of the riches and glory that they almost forget about the other love interest, which really ticks that love interest off. But of course, they get back together and live happily ever after.
There you go! These were my Top 10 Romance Tropes! Let me know if you liked it! Also make sure to comment your favorite tropes below – I might make a part two!