Hello, everybody, and welcome back to Quote, Unquote!
I’m back with yet another blog tag today–a battle of the tropes. This one was created by Kenzie @ Featherwick Press, but I found it on the lovely Christine Smith’s blog. In this tag, all of our favorite tropes are pitted against each other in pairs to determine the Ultimate Winner.
But without further ado…let’s jump right in. And don’t be too horrified at my answers.
the chosen one vs. the mentor
Lots of classic books, mostly fantasy, have “chosen ones”. Think Harry Potter. While I appreciate the occasional necessity of this trope, it’s too often overdone. I’m tired of sixteen-year-old blonde-haired, blue-eyed MackKayLeigh being the only one that can save Dystopian Society #1156.
But the mentor? Yes. As long as they’re not problematic (I’m wondering how I ever liked Dumbledore in the first place), give me a good mentor any day. Old or young, grizzled or beautiful, give me a character to knock the protagonist back to their senses and gift the world with the top liked book quote on Goodreads.
The Mentor wins this round!
enemies to lovers vs. friends to lovers
I always found the enemies to lovers thing slightly…off. Maybe it’s my trust issues, but how do you know that they actually love you and aren’t just using you? I suppose that is one of the challenges most characters in this trope face. That on top of the inevitable betrayal I can see coming from a mile away discourages me from the beginning.
The one caveat to this is academic rivals to lovers, which can be done really well and I enjoy in certain settings. But the normal fantasy enemies to lovers is a no for me.
But friends to lovers. Ohhhh. Friends to lovers, man. Especially childhood friends to lovers? I squeal like a little kid every single time. Even when I know it’s coming, it delights me. Like, when they have inside jokes already but now they’re sappy? And they know everything about each other already? I CANNOT. I will simply CEASE TO EXIST. Every time something cute happens, I have to sit there and make dying pig noises before I can continue reading.
I think that this is the most fangirl-y I’ve ever gotten on this blog. If you didn’t know already, I’m a sucker for romance. Stuff like this makes me so happy.
Friends to Lovers wins this round by a mile!
matchmaker gone wrong vs. love potion
Given the fact that I don’t read much fantasy, I haven’t actually read a book with a love potion in it before. But the idea of manufactured love (or infatuation) is kind of iffy to me. I’m sure it could be done well, but I don’t know how comfortable I am with the idea of that.
I’ve never read a book with a matchmaker gone wrong trope either, but I have watched Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing and oh boy do I have opinions. These two hated each other with a passion at the beginning of the play, but by the end of the play they’re suddenly in love? How does this work? It’s not even real love! Their friends just set them up!
I genuinely can’t decide between these two. I think that they’re both equally bad, but I’m going to say that Matchmaker Gone Wrong wins this round by default, given that it’s the only one that I’ve actually read.
trapped in an elevator vs. working with an ex
Again, I haven’t read either of these in depth, though I understand that they’re both common tropes in fanfiction. I’m going to answer this question from a writer’s perspective rather than a reader’s perspective.
I think that the “trapped in an elevator” trope has a lot of potential, especially as a major plot point like the climax. Or trapped in any small, enclosed space together, really. This trope works so well as a setup for something like a confession (of love, perhaps?). Even if they’re not lovers, the idea of two characters putting aside their differences for the sake of the common good is something I enjoy.
But working with an ex? The drama. The sheer pettiness. If there’s some good banter, I’ll take it every time. This trope doesn’t necessarily have to end in getting back together for it to be good, either (though when it’s done well, I enjoy that too). It could make for some uncomfortable yet hilarious situations. As long as it’s not too uncomfortable–secondhand embarrassment is real, y’all.
It’s a close call, but Working with an Ex wins this round!
mistaken identity vs. marriage pact
The first thing I think of when I hear “mistaken identity” is The Parent Trap. Romance isn’t the only application for this trope. I think it has a lot of potential, but sometimes it’s infuriating. Like, she (or he) is right there in front of you! Open your eyes, you doofus!
Whereas a marriage pact often fits neatly into the friends to lovers trope, and I’ve already squealed about how much I love that one. I read a true story about a marriage pact once, and it was so sweet. I think that when done right and when the characters actually love each other, the marriage pact can be really sweet and good.
So Marriage Pact wins this round!
kidnapped vs. the one that got away
Kidnapping brings to mind…questionable ethics. Sometimes it’s a “good” kidnapping, like stealing someone away in the middle of the night to go on an epic adventure or rescuing a child from an abusive family. But when it’s, like, a potential love interest? Not a fan. I think that for kidnapping, it depends on the situation.
Versus the one that got away. I’m not sure how I feel about this one. I think that it can be a good setup for all kinds of drama and wondering and pining and angst, which can do very well keeping me on the edge of my seat. I’m reminded of They Both Die at the End, except they both got away, so I’m not sure if that counts.
It’s tough, but I think The One That Got Away wins this round!
I want to say one last thank-you to Kenzie for the tag and to Christine for bringing it to my attention! And, of course, to you, my dear readers. Once again, thank you so much for reading.
What did you think about my answers? What would you have answered differently? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Until next Wendesday!