5 Common Tropes In Romance

As February is often a month associated with chocolates, roses and romance, I decided to take a dive into the romance genre of popular culture and compile five common tropes. Whether it is from your favourite films, television shows or books, these tropes may be simutenaously adored and despised by readers of all genres. 

1. Love Triangle

The love triangle is one of the most common tropes found in romance. For a while, it felt as though almost every young adult book, film or show had a love triangle in it. This trope typically centers around the relationships of three characters with two of them loving the same person. This person is often the protagonist, and they are conflicted as to who they love. This trope was most notable in the Twilight and Hunger Games series, or in the television series Jane the Virgin.

2. Fake Relationship

Fake relationships are not uncommon in the media. With tales by the likes of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (TATBILB) and the 2009 film, The Proposal, this trope has two characters who pretend to be in a relationship to achieve a certain goal. Oftentimes, these fake relationships take a turn and become—gasp!—real relationships.

3. Enemies to Lovers

Another popular trope in romance is enemies to lovers. It is exactly as it sounds: two people who initially resent each other slowly warm up and eventually develop feelings for each other. This is often due to the two characters appearing as polar opposites when, in reality, they share more in common than they believe. It makes for great character development, but let’s be honest, we all live for those snarky one-liners. A few examples are Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas and The Hating Game by Sally Thorne.

4. Secret Romance

The secret love trope can be found in classic works like William Shakespeare’s tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet. In this trope, two characters who enter a relationship decide to keep it a secret. But that’s fine, It’s not like they’re going to be found out, right? Wrong! In this trope, the couple will eventually be discovered and will have to face the music. The only question that lingers is: when will that be?

5. Star-Crossed Lovers

Romeo and Juliet is also an example of the star-crossed lovers trope. This is the trope that makes you want to tear your hair out in frustration when your OTP’s relationship is constantly being subjected to turmoil. No matter the situation, it seems like there’s always something keeping the beloved couple apart. You might be inclined to say that the stars are not aligned in their favour.

With this handy-dandy guide to common romance tropes, see which ones jump at you the next time you turn on the television or pick up a novel. You might be surprised which ones are present in your favourite works!

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