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Top Story Clichés
Gathered and Organized by Haidan Dong

The Main Character
1. Is without question an orphan.
2. If main character is a girl, she is clever, pretty and   resourceful.
3. If main character is a boy, he is brave, sensitive and good at solving riddles.
4. May have had their parents divorced or moved recently to a new town.

The Sidekick
1. Either has twice the amount of skills as the main character, or none at all.
2. If first choice, he/she is very annoyed at the main character.
3. If second choice, he/she provides 80% of all the comic relief.
4. Will always be the opposite gender of the main character.

The Trio
1. Great heroes come in trios. Period.
2. If the main character is a guy, the other two will be a girl and a guy.
3. If the main character is a girl, the other two will both be girls as well.
4. The Trio will have someone who is brave (main character), someone who is funny and someone who is annoyed at the other two.

The Person Who Likes/Is Liked By the Main Character
1. If main character is a girl, the guy will be mysterious with blue eyes.
2. If main character is a guy, the girl will be smart and occasionally annoying.
3. He/she will not be in the Trio.
4. If he/she does happen to be in the Trio, their liking of one another will not be emphasized in the story.

The Villain
1. The Ultimate Bad Guy wants to: a) Take over somewhere or b) Destroy a certain place.
2. If male, has either a beard or a goatee.
3. Has magic ten times more powerful than the good dudes have.
4. Has a sidekick as well.
5. They tend to like to wear long flowy things.

The Villain’s Sidekick
1. Appears very pathetic and cowardly until otherwise proven.
2. Is often more evil than the villain.
3. Is alarmingly good at flattery.

The Mentor
1. Is ancient and has a one-meter long beard.
2. If the mentor is not old, then they are the main character’s parents.
3. Often has magical powers that match the villain’s.
4. Also likes to wear long flowy things.

The Traitor
1. Is the villain’s sidekick.
2. Is a good acquaintance of the main character, never the main character’s best friend or worst social life enemy.
3. Is good-looking.
4. Backstabs the main characters and the next time he/she appear is with their master, the villain.
5. Only characters from the good side betray their team. Evil characters hardly ever become good.

Fantasy Stories
1. There will be a young person who can or is trying to work with magic.
2. If there is a slight chance that there might be dragons, there will be.
3. Female magic-users are always smart.
4. Aside from the main character, all guys will use large, heavy weapons and all girls will use small, convenient weapons.
5. The main character uses a sword.

1. The prince is meant to be good-looking. Even after all these years. And the princess always wants to get out of the castle.
2. The chief advisor is ALWAYS evil.
3. Slaves are always on the good side, and if they’re not, they will be by the end of the story.
4. The guards will make a terrifying racket when trying to catch the main character, but they are never successful.

· Red: Courage, honour, the main character
· White: Tranquillity, goody-goodies, mystical people
· Black: Evil, mastery, the villain
· Green: Elves, nature, wilderness
· Blue: Powerful allies, secrecy, mysteriousness
· Gold: Power, justice, awesome sight
· Purple: Royalty, wealth, luxury
· Grey: Sadness, old age, secondary villains
· Pink: Little kiddies, girlishness, romance
· Yellow: Thirsty, frying, warm
· Brown: Toughness, practicality, strength
· Turquoise: Beauty, rarity, mystic components
· Other colours appear very seldom in story clichés

1. If the story has a Trio, it will be either a mystery or adventure story.
2. If it takes place in a setting where the wizards’/ mages’/ other magic-users’ names are unpronounceable with too many accents, it’s going to be a “stereotypical fantasy.” (e.g. dragons, elves…)
3. For love stories, you can predict who the main character is going to end up with the very first time they meet.
4. In every story, there is a time when the main character hits rock bottom and it will be up to either the sidekick or another very close and wise friend to comfort them.
5. The villain will never convert to the good side in the end. They’ll always die or get captured.
Have you ever read a book, seen a movie or encountered a story in any other way where you can already figure out what's going to happen in the end even before the prologue is done? How about a character that has a background you can already guess in the first paragraph? :movingon:

Things like this are far too common nowadays. That's why I have come up with a fascinating list of the Top Story Clichés of the time! There are, of course, stories that do not follow these rules, and not all stories with these rules are bad. :reading:

I must confess that I have used many of these during my short-lived career as a so-called author, but they are quite useful when writers block renders your brain useless. :writersblock:

Enjoy! :bow:
Add a Comment:
random-neko-chan Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2012  Student Writer
So true. though i don't mind if the main character,
if a guy: has a kinda cute awkward side to him, or
if a girl: has some spunk without being annoying about it, or looking like they're trying too hard to be a "Feminist" character.
edvykoi Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2010  Student General Artist
so true the only cliche i dnt mind is the main character weilding a sword only if its a girl
Proudchinese Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2010
edvykoi Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2010  Student General Artist
edvykoi Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2010  Student General Artist
so true the only cliche i dnt mind is the main character weilding a sword only if its a girl
xenoFelidae Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2006
One more thing, the mother-in-law either is very annoying or absolutely hates her son's girlfriend.

I love your list! :D
Proudchinese Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2006
That's very true. And the father-in-law isn't too crazy about the girl's new boyfriend either.
Thank you for both the comment and the :+fav: Those bad-attempted Marlfoxes really aren't worth it. :thanks:
lemonadepink Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2006
Haha, I've always noted these things, too! I've wanted to make one of these lists myself XP. There is a lot of cliche stuff in anime, but I personally think the stories with the most cliche-ness EVER is... those really bad Chinese T.V. series! The good ones are really good, but the bad ones make my brain rot with chliches XD. My mom watches a lot of Chinese T.V. series (I swear she's trying to watch every single one ever made), so I notice. Why doesn't she watch more of the good ones that I like to watch, too?

Ehhh don't mind me, I'm just a random person who wandered in... XD. That was an interesting read! *runs away*
Proudchinese Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2006
Why, thank you.
It was great fun thinking up these cliches.
My mom used to watch those shows too until she realized how many of them were ending up with the same plot over and over again. Then she stopped. :D
lemonadepink Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2006
Why won't my mom stop? No faaaiiir XD.
himeaimiya Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2006
Ahh... this is true.... not particularly for anime, but other things. Normal things... but you forgot the training. The stage in the quest where after the hero has a downfall, they go through mad training to improve and come back with kickass skills to whoop the villain.
Proudchinese Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2006
*Snaps* Yes! How can I forget the training?! *Tries to find time to add it in*

The Training:
-Is either right after the main character gets beaten badly by the villain...
-Or during that part when cool music plays and they go from a wannabe to who they're supposed to be in mere minutes
himeaimiya Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2006
KaiyaKimura Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2006
XDD;; *dies laughing* i believe this is one of the main reasons why i love crabbie so much.. ur humor made my day (tho it's already night..) X3 :+fav:~!
Proudchinese Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2006
Why thank you. I personally enjoyed writing - or rather - typing it as well. :D
Add a Comment:

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Submitted on
March 5, 2006
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