The Trope Tag – A Writing Challenge!

Happy Valentine’s Week, friends! Valentine’s is one of my favorite holidays (for rather unconventional reasons), and therefore I thought it would be fun to celebrate a little… unconventionally. As writers, we all have our favorite and least favorite tropes, many of which seem to involve the romantic entanglement of our smol characters: enemies to lovers, love triangles, fake dating… Others, of course, lean more towards the magical elements of story, such as The Chosen One, The Dark Lord, The Mentor, The Reluctant Hero…

Ah, tropes. There are so many. And today, we are going to express our love for such tropes by pitting them together in a fight to the death!

Er… selecting our favorites for pure enjoyment! Of course, since this post is in honor of Valentine’s Day, we will be including many “romance-centered” tropes for the sake of consistency. However! Feel free to do this tag any time you want–it most certainly does not have to be for Valentine’s Day!

Readers be warned, however. This particular blog tag comes with a smidgen of a twist! So if you choose to participate, make sure you are ready to put your choices to the test! Mwahahahahahaha!



Below I have pitted 12 popular (and not-so-popular!) tropes together in a survival of the fittest war. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to pick one trope per pairing that you consider to be the strongest (ahem. also known as your favorite). Don’t go based on what you think other writers or readers prefer! Simply select your favorite and let us know why you picked it!

Oh! And make sure to keep track of the tropes you’re picking. This is, after all, a challenge. Mwahahahaha!



Starting off strong here with the most basic tropes you can think of–The Chosen One VS. The Mentor. Typically, the Chosen One has a Mentor, and therefore pitting them against one another feels a little counterproductive. But if I had to choose between a story about a Chosen One or a super old Mentor with a beard and a cane and too many years spent walking this earth, you better believe I’m rooting for The Mentor. (especially if that Mentor happens to be one Professor Remus Lupin or Obi Wan Kenobi. man, I love those guys…)

I just can’t get enough of the mentor trope, friends. It’s actually becoming a problem in my own storytelling, especially once you pair it with its sister trope, Death of The Mentor. Aha. But we’re not talking about that, are we…

Moving on…


And here we have our first romantic trope! *insert disgusting gagging sounds as I remember that I never write romance* Okay, okay, okay, I do actually like these tropes… especially a good enemies to lovers. Give me allll of the morally gray villains who eventually turn themselves around for the greater good–and, of course, win the heroine’s heart along the way. It’s such a weird and unusual plot twist.

Meanwhile, Friends To Lovers tends to be a little more awkward and strange, and therefore it’s never been quite a favorite. Combine that with the fact that you can typically see this one coming from a mile away (it’s not the trope’s fault. it’s just the way it is), and my interest wans pretty quickly. Enemies To Lovers, on the other hand, is–when done well–rather unpredictable until it isn’t, and that intrigues me greatly.

For this round, then, we’re going with Enemies To Lovers.

(I mean, who doesn’t like a good Mr. Darcy plot twist?)


Oof. This one is tough. (who’s choosing these pairings? couldn’t be me) On the one hand, I think the idea of Matchmaker Gone Wrong is hilarious. Especially if it ends up going horribly awry and leading them to realize they’re in love with each other all along. On the other hand, I’ve held a beautiful hatred for love potions for as long as I can remember. They legit freak me out. I don’t have a reasonable explanation for this. They just do. But I think that’s the wonderful thing about this particular trope. Love potions are so backhanded and sneaky, and they absolutely should fill a human with mortal dread.

However, at the end of the day, if I had to pick a trope I’d rather read (or write, for that matter) it would have to be Matchmaker Gone Wrong. The potentials with this are endless. (not to mention I really love how matchmakers tend to be ancient busybodies with nothing better to do than throw the younger generation at each other like cards.)


Uh… Both of these sound awful in their own unique ways. (also I didn’t know that either of these were tropes until I was researching tropes for this post, and goodness gracious I want to use BOTH of them now…)

Let’s start with Working With The Ex. I don’t know about you guys, but this one sounds like an absolute nightmare.

(at least with getting trapped on an elevator there’s a chance you’ll physically die ahahahahahahahaha)

ANYWAY. At the library there’s this ancient elevator called Bouncing Betty that I’m fairly certain has a vendetta against me and the other staff, so the chances of me getting stuck on an elevator are–unfortunately–increasing daily. For that alone, we’re gonna go with Trapped In An Elevator, simply because I might actually experience that very soon.

By the by, if I randomly stop posting and you guys never hear from me again, I’m more than likely stuck in Bouncing Betty with no cell service. Please wish me farewell at my funeral, where they were unfortunately unable to recover the body.


(we’re just going to ignore the plot bunny that popped into my head involving a mistaken identity marriage pact annnnnnd–)

These two make me laugh. Mistaken Identity has always been a favorite (shameless plug for Mother Bruce, in which a grumpy old bear accidentally becomes the mother of four stubborn gosling), and I legit can’t even tell you why. I honestly cannot think of a time when I didn’t give an audible “oh no!” upon suspecting a Mistaken Identity trope. Or, for that matter, nervously anticipating some Mistaken Identity and then being sorely disappointed when it never panned out. It’s one of those accidental things where the characters really don’t have any sort of part to play and their idiocy (*cough* love triangles *cough*) can’t get in the way. And when this trope is written well, it’s one of the funniest things in the world.

But then you also have Marriage Pact, which is reminiscent of My Best Friend’s Wedding and… other stories that I can’t quite recall at this particular moment… And while it’s sweet and good and I’m always down for a good pact between friends, it’s not near as hilarious as Mistaken Identity.

Sooo… Yeah. Mistaken Identity wins this round.


Heh. Heheheheheh. HEH.

My sense of humor needs a therapist. My apologies.

ANYWAY. For the sake of clarity, Kidnapped is a trope that I’m using in PROJECT SUNSET, and it’s been… quite hilarious. Especially since I’m using the trope of accidental kidnapping. (because actual kidnapping is entirely too scary and I much prefer accidental abduction where they eventually become friends and go out for ice cream. but I digress) For that reason alone, I’m inclined to pick Kidnapped, simply because I’m currently using it and know how to work it for my malicious needs, butttt

The One That Got Away has so much potential. I’ve never used this trope, personally. It’s a little too much on the mush and gush side of things for me to enjoy writing it. But I have enjoyed stories which use this trope, so clearly I’m not entirely opposed to it. And so, to stretch myself and open my heart to new things (and also not have a bunch of stories in which people are accidentally abducted), we’re gonna go with The One That Got Away for this one. Besides, we are celebrating Valentine’s Week, right? We’ve gotta throw some mush in there somewhere!


Mwahahaha! And now we’ve reached the interesting bit. All right, folks! It’s time to spice things up! Now that we’re at the end of the blog tag, it’s time for us to put our answers to the test and craft a short story using each of the tropes we chose! Obviously, I do not have the time nor the wherewithal to write and include that in today’s post, but you can bet your buttons that next week, there will be a short story involving… all of the chaos I’ve mentioned above. XD

This, of course, is the challenge, and should you choose to accept it, I would be most honored if you sent me a message to let me know! (so that I can read it! and comment! and laugh!) Obviously there is no pressure to participate in the challenge, even if you decide to do the tag, but I do think that both together is quite delightful… (we shall see if I still think this after writing my story later this week…)

Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper tag if I didn’t tag some people! So let’s get the ball started with:

And, of course, if I have not tagged you personally, know that you are more than welcome to don an eyepatch and steal this tag like the quirky little pirate that you are!

talk to me, peasants!

Do you enjoy working story tropes into your stories? Let’s talk about all the best tropes–especially ones I failed to mention in this post!–down below! Perhaps we will have to do another Trope Challenge in the future!

10 thoughts on “The Trope Tag – A Writing Challenge!

Add yours

  1. Oh my goodness, this is such a fun tag idea! Especially with the added challenge! (Do you have to include all the tropes in the short story? Or write one with each trope? Or something else? Any of those would be fun!) Thank you so much for tagging me! I’m really looking forward to doing this. 🙂

    Oh man, I really want to comment on your choices of tropes, but that might give away my tag responses…

    Please be careful in that elevator, though!

    (I am curious–what do you mean by The One That Got Away?)

    I can’t wait to see your short story!

    One of my favorite tropes EVER is Last Minute Rescue (I don’t know if that counts as a trope, but it’s certainly something I love in stories), with bonus points if
    1. It’s by a friend (not a romantic interest), or it’s the mentee rescuing the mentor
    2. It’s the woman rescuing the man
    3. It’s a completely unexpected rescue/the rescuee thinks the rescuer is dead/the rescuer thinks they’re not going to succeed and breaks down crying afterwards.
    I’m curious if that whole thing makes any else’s heart warm. 😅

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think the original idea was to include all of your chosen tropes into the short story (at least, that is what I am doing!), but if you’d like to take each individual trope and make an individual short story for them, by all means GO FOR IT! I get more awesome content to read that way! XD

      The elevator is honestly where I foresee my inevitable doom. I can’t even lie about that. XD I’ve taken to using the stairs. Which, granted, is probably better for my physical health, anyway. XD

      (Ooh yes! Okay so The One Who Got Away trope is typically used when two people fall in love and seem PERFECT for each other. And then–through fate, someone’s choice, an argument, what have you–they fall apart and move away from one another and never see each other again… until that one fateful day, mwahahaha! XD It’s typically used in romance, and angled as being “MC’s first and truest love” that didn’t work out the first time around. [see: literally any Hallmark movie ever, lol! XD])

      OH DUDE THIS TROPE SOUNDS DELIGHTFUL! I must confess I’ve never read many of these, but so help me if I find a story with this in it, I’m gonna snatch that up so fast. XD

      I cannot wait to see you do this tag!!! Definitely let me know once it’s done!


  2. *SQUEALS* I am so very excited to be tagged for this because I was 1000% planning on doing it anyway, tagged or not. *grins* Although I guess this means I won’t be able to pull out my eyepatch and go all pirate… But nevertheless! I LOVE THIS. SO MUCH. Oh my goodness, this is just soooo fun and pure brilliance!

    We seem to be utter twins because I agreed with you on almost every single one. Just so much yes to like EVERYTHING you said about them!

    And ooooooh boy. The challenge of combining them all into a short story?? I love this SO. ABSURDLY. MUCH. This is all just too genius and fun! I cannot wait to do all this! Thank you for sharing your brilliance with us and passing it along. I’m so excited!

    Now as far as my favorite trope… Goodness, there are just so many good ones! But I’ve always been soft for the rags-to-riches one. Cinderella stories get me every single time. But enemies-to-lovers and trapped-in-the-elevator are two of my favorites as well! Even better when they’re BOTH used. *grins*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. DUDE PULL OUT THE EYEPATCH ANYWAY! That’s half the fun!!! BUT EEP I am so so glad you are going to do the tag!! I was hoping you would! I need this Christine brilliance in my life!

      OOH YES! Some of these were incredibly hard to narrow down–a problem which arises from loving too many tropes, I’m afraid. XD And EEP, THANK YOU FOR WANTING TO DO IT!! I’m so excited to write and share my own little short story, and I cannot WAIT to see everyone else’s! It’s gonna be amazing. XD

      OOOOH. Rags to Riches!! How could I have forgotten this one? Cinderella is honestly such a BEAUTIFUL story and I fully support your love of it. And YESSSSSS. Enemies-To-Lovers trapped in an elevator… Aha… Hahahahaha… HAHAHAHAHA. This is gonna be so good. XD


  3. Oh goodness, this looks like a blast! Thanks for tagging me!!! I shall accept thy challenge… but perhaps in a couple of weeks when (maybe) life has calmed down a bit?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I absolutely feel that, friend! Life can be so chaotic at times and it’s incredible how it flies. XD I hope things are going well–if chaotic!!!–for you, and I cannot wait to see what magic you come up with for this tag!!!


  4. I’m still debating which of the tropes I like best in a couple of the pairs. But already I’m a little bit nervous what kind of story I’ll write. Actually I may have just gotten the right idea for it…

    Now my only problem is I want to go for a medieval fantasy vibe, but the elevator…I’m going to need an elevator. This’ll take a bit more brainstorming. xD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OOOOH!! Dude, I cannot wait to see what you come up with!! It’s going to be incredible!

      Dude…what if you switched elevator to catapult, though. Like…essentially same thing, right? Trapped In A Catapult? (why is this giving me an idea for a completely different story altogether, though XD)

      Liked by 1 person

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