5 TV Tropes That Should Stop Right Now


5 TV Tropes That Should Stop Right Now


Doesn’t it suck – like, really kick-you-in-the-heart devastating – when your favorite TV show, the one with all the accolades and the usually bang-on writing, pulls out one of those tired-and-true TV clichés? Like the time your beloved character thinks they’re so high on drugs, they start doing really weird and erratic – aka “liberating” – things only to discover they were actually on placebos. Or when a character throws his or her back out and is forced to stay immobilized for the entire episode, and, of course, “hilarious” hijinks ensue.

It’s frustrating, I know.

I also know that you’re so incredibly disappointed at this total disregard for originality that you can’t help but shout at your TV when it happens: “Really? This again? C’mon! Sweet grandmothers don’t always have a potty mouth and edgy girls don’t always have short hair, OK? OK?! UGH!”

I hear ya. I’ve been there. We all have. Unfortunately, no matter how fresh and unique a show might be, it will inevitably recycle the same exhausted tropes because, well, there are a million of them, and writers are on a deadline and sometimes the muse just doesn’t visit, etc.

But, hopefully -- by the grace of the TV gods -- these are the first five that can stop right now.

1. Ugly Guy, Hot Wife

 5 TV Tropes That Should Stop Right Now

First of all: not fair. Secondly – are you kidding me, TV? I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that, but really how sexist can you be? Are you telling me that men are so vain that they would never go for a woman with so-called average looks even if she has a killer personality? On the other hand, do you really think women have absolutely no standards? Is it because you believe women would rather marry anyone at all -- even schlubby Jim Belushi or Kevin James -- just to be married? Hollywood: you gots to figure out your sexism issue, stat.

2. Love in an Elevator

 5 TV Tropes That Should Stop Right Now

This trope was best exemplified in the pilot of ‘The Mindy Project’ when Dr. Mindy Lahiri met her ex-boyfriend in an elevator. The “meet-cute” was clearly set up as a cliché, but unfortunately, was recycled as reality when the two characters started actually dating (which, the character pointed out, is what happens in rom-coms). This trope is also used on ‘The Good Wife’ and ‘Mad Men’ when going up or down always mean down. These sure must be magic elevators because a whole lot of stuff apparently gets done in just a matter of seconds, or maybe they’re just really long.

3. The Strip Club

 5 TV Tropes That Should Stop Right Now

Chances are if you’re a gangster (holla, Tony Soprano!) or, really, just any ordinary creepy guy (see every police procedural, ever), you hang out at and/or own one of these places. Then, there are those wild and crazy episodes where a single (or married) man goes to a strip club to blow off some steam, throwing crumpled bills at a woman, while looking absolutely miserable despite all the female flesh. Of course, things get even crazier when women go to the strip club and get all into it like when the girls on ‘Friends’ did and then ended up convincing a stripper to return to teaching because, you know, you can’t dance nude forever. No, you can’t, TV. And you shouldn’t be using this trope forever, either.

4. The Annoying Laugh

 5 TV Tropes That Should Stop Right Now

According to this TV trope, if you have an annoying laugh, then, obviously, you yourself must be super-duper annoying. Just check out the evidence: Urkel on ‘Family Matters,’ Janice on ‘Friends’ and Kitty on ‘That '70s Show.’ All three had a distinctively obnoxious laugh, all of which made us assume they were as exasperating as their notable chortle, but if you think about it, all three characters weren’t exactly fleshed out. What did Janice do for a living? Where were Urkel’s parents? Did he have a healthy relationship with them? Was Kitty OK with Red’s temper? Who knows?! So, how about we put a moratorium on the maddening laugh, and get back to some good ol’ characterization.

5. The Exotic Animal in an Urban Space

 5 TV Tropes That Should Stop Right Now

Look, I’m the from the city who brought the IKEA monkey into our lives, so I know that seeing exotic animals walk amongst us in the city is really intriguing and highly entertaining (especially if he’s wearing a fashionable coat). But, just like the IKEA monkey, exotic animals in urban spaces are way overplayed and often used when people (meaning, writers) are bored and want to jazz up their (meaning, characters) lives. Marcel the Monkey in ‘Friends’ never worked. Neither did that horse on ‘2 Broke Girls.’ So, I say, let the animals be free (from our TV screens)!

Honorable Mentions

The “I just threw up a little bit in my mouth” joke.

I throw up a lot whenever I hear that overused and never-funny, so-called “joke.”

Talking gibberish just to prove that someone isn’t listening. e.g. “Then I saw this unicorn and he was speaking to me on a plate of spaghetti and then I got hungry, so I ate a meatball and they were made of gold and I can say whatever I damn well want because YOU AREN’T LISTENING!” “Huh? What’s that, dear?”

Just stop. No one does this, ever. Ever. So why do we accept it from our TV characters? Why?!

The psycho ex-girlfriend/boyfriend.

OK, I know we all have that one ex we wished we never dated, but did she really crash her car into your house? Did he really put a goldfish cracker in a fish bowl and acted like it was real? NO.

- amc
- The Mindy Project
- 2 Broke Girls
- The Good Wife
- Modern Family
- Mad Men
- The Sopranos
- The King of Queens
- That '70s Show
- Friends
- Family Matters

Written by: briannehogan
Mar 21st, 2014, 2:20 pm

Images courtesy of ABC, CBS, FOX, HBO


Message Posted On Mar 29th, 2014, 2:38 pm
I'm sorry I thought you were talking about good shows. Show: - The Mindy Project - 2 Broke Girls - The Good Wife - Modern Family - Mad Men - The Sopranos - The King of Queens - That '70s Show - Friends - Family Matters the only one's on your list that come close to good are Family Matters and maybe That '70s Show. And then only once and awhile. Get back to me when you have good show to talk about.

Level 1 (77%)
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Since: 19/Dec/12
Message Posted On Mar 29th, 2014, 5:58 am

I am sorry but I completely disagree with this entire article. I know several couples where if you just look at them you can't figure out how the guy coulg get such a hot wife, then when you get to know them you understand they complete each other perfectly. As for bad guys/Gangsters using Strip Clubs and alike as there base of opperations is a commen sence thing as it is a huge cash business and easier to filter elegal money through. As for Animals in City areas/homes like in "2 Broke Girls" I personaly donth think Horses and Monkeys are exotic animals, but at least they are always, ALWAYS, treated with love from there "on TV" owners. As for the Meet Cute and Anoying Laugh parts of this article, check your sorces again because the questions you asked in there are answered in the shows after all. KITTY takes RED of red meat and increace his greens in an attempt to bring his bloodpressure and stress down (standered medical practice for the 70's) and RED did get calmer untill he started sneeking Burgers again. 

So this complete article in wrong in my oppinion, I like my comedy and just wish they would stop killing of the new shows only after 1 season like "Back In The Game", "Dads", "Sean Saves The World" "Wendell And Vinnie", "Malibu Coubtry" & "The Michael J Fox Show" just to name a few.


Message Posted On Mar 29th, 2014, 1:54 am
dumb dumb dumb!!

Message Posted On Mar 28th, 2014, 8:48 pm
I quite often say nonsensical things to demonstrate that my daughter is not listening to me. On the ugly guy, hot wife, I might agree with the previous poster, if only I had ever seen the ugly woman, hot husband situation at any point.

Level 1 (22%)
Since: 22/Apr/12
Message Posted On Mar 27th, 2014, 2:03 pm

I do that .. I mean mumble when people aren't listening .. bastards


Message Posted On Mar 25th, 2014, 9:32 pm
How about the "a great job offer has come up, but you have to leave the next day/week"? Seriously!? Who has the ability to drop literally everything and relocate overseas/interstate? A drifter perhaps, but c'mon.

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Message Posted On Mar 25th, 2014, 8:08 am

A better question is, which tropes should be kept?


(Crazed Contributor)

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Message Posted On Mar 24th, 2014, 11:40 am

Can I add, "the plot that requires characters to make decisions so staggeringly dumb a five year old child wouldn't make them?"


Message Posted On Mar 23rd, 2014, 11:22 am
Good article. It would be nice to eliminate some of these tropes, but Eddie (goldfish cracker) wasn't a psycho Ex, he was a roommate.

Message Posted On Mar 22nd, 2014, 3:46 am
The irony your article is just pain-behind-the-eyes- STUPID. Is there nothing better to write about? you yourself are a trope to avoid: "So-called writer needs to fill space and generate a bit of controversy so people will click or like or whateve the fuck you trolls arew after these days