Tropes That Piss Me Off

A 13-post collection

Tropes That Annoy Me: Pervy Cam

It's in every romcom. It sometimes appears when the Action Gal cleans up for some undercover espionage at some high-ticket gala. It's definitely there when the lead female in any procedural drama has a flashy new outfit.

The camera pans from her shoes, lovingly framing her torso, and cuts away within a few seconds of seeing her expression so the viewers can see the extended look of awe/appreciation on the person viewing her1.

That's just one trick of Pervy Cam. The other, more insidious one, is making certain that boobs, butt, or both wind up in the points of interest whenever a lady is in the frame. This leads to female leads, even initially-unsexy Action Gals not getting "headroom".

"Headroom" is a framing term that means that the character on screen is not at risk of having their head and face drift out of shot. As this tumblr post explains. When men are in frame, the most interesting thing is their face and what they're doing. When women are in frame, the most interesting thing is their bodies.

This post over here begins with an explanation of what the 'sweet spots' are and how they're not used to objectify women in Mad Max. And then this one explains Mad Max de-emphasised nudity.

So it is possible to have a naked woman on the screen and have her NOT be a sexual object. Likewise for fully clothed ones.

People tell me that there was no Pervy Cam in Batman Versus Superman, but I know that they had more than one Pervy Pan, and several butt shots, every time Diana Prince turned up in a slinky outfit.

Pervy Pans on men linger on their expressions so the audience can read their feelings. Pervy Pans on women flick away the instant the breasts move out of the sweet spots. Men get headroom. Women don't.

If the camera objectified men as much as it did women, viewers would find the results unnerving and wouldn't be able to say why. In fact, I challenge directors everywhere to reverse the camera treatment on their male and female leads. See what it does to audiences. See what it does to the movie.

Go on. I double-dog dare you.

  1. This is what I like to refer to as a Pervy Pan.

Tropes That Annoy Me: Incredible Age Gap

Of all the romance tropes that exist, it's the older-guy, twenty-something gal that's the most irritating, and it ties directly to this trope here. Men get old, women get replaced.

It's almost as if all women are worth is how good they look. This is evidenced in all the post-makeover shots where the camera lovingly pans up the beautified girl in question from the tips of her toes... but doesn't always make it all the way to her face.

I call it

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Tropes That Annoy Me: Surprise Sex

We've all seen that movie. Action Guy and Action Gal or Damsel Gal do not get along for the entire firkin movie. Except near the third act when they kiss for no good reason and then suddenly have sex.

Sometimes, they don't even kiss. They just go at each other in a sudden and unexpected display of lust.

It's so far out of left field that it's circumnavigated the globe and come in from the right field.

And it's supremely annoying.


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Tropes That Annoy Me: Black Dude Dies First

For those who haven't realised the predominance of dead Tokens, read here first in which the token black guy [and sometimes black gal] gets a target drawn on them the instant the Big Bad is out to get the good guys.

Running along side Bury Your Gays, the audience is pretty much trained to expect anyone not cis, het, and white to bite the big one when the stakes are raised. They apparently deserve it for not being cishet white people.


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Tropes That Annoy Me: Bury Your Gays

Here's the link to educate yourself, but if you don't want to be bothered with the wiki walk: It begain in the Heteronormative 40's and 50's when people realised that women (a) actually do have sex drives, and (b) those spinsters sharing a house and a bunch of cats were doing way more than knitting and watching television together.

This is around about the time that Tragic Girl Romances began to come out in the pulp zines1 in which the heroine

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Tropes That Annoy Me: Hypergendered Fat

Think about all the overweight people represented in our media. Now think about all the overweight main characters. What do they have in common?

Well, if they're not Jack Black, who can actually get away with the Overweight Antihero, then they are excruciatingly well-dressed. Neat as the proverbial pin.

The ladies (far rarer than the men) are aggressively cute. The stand-out example is Penelope Garcia from Criminal Minds. She is the girliest of girly girls, despite being in a STEM discipline. Every

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Tropes That Annoy Me: I Have Brothers

It's usually a feature of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, but sometimes your Action Gal explains her usually manly feats with "I have brothers". The brothers are almost always older, and numerous, and our female lead has learned to hold her own against them as some form of survival skill.

Sometimes, there are no brothers, the mother is usually out of the picture1, and the father "didn't know how to raise a girl" so did all the boy stuff with her.

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Tropes That Annoy Me: The Fighting Fucktoy

If you want to know all about the Fighting Fuctoy, you won't find much about it on at all. Nope. For that, you have to go to sites written by, and run by exclusively female authors.

Or you could absorb this picture:

[Artistry care of Kate Beaton of Hark, A Vagrant! fame. Link leads to her Strong Female Characters series collation]

Any attempt to put this sort of thing up on tvtropes results in, I presume, a phenomenally unbelievable amount

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Tropes That Annoy Me: The Magical Minority

You know that point in the movie. The hero has hit a wall. Hit a low point. Hit the place where most people would give up, mourn, and try to pick up the pieces. Along comes an inspirational message from the nearest Magical Minority, a trope so large that it has entire sets of sub-tropes. This helps get

It's usually a person of colour, but occasionally a disabled person. For extra points, it's a disabled person of colour. And the reason why

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Tropes That Annoy Me: Born Sexy Yesterday

I have to admit that I've only recently realised that this one was a thing, and it's all because of this video. If you haven't watched this already, take a good look.

It's surprising often this turns up, isn't it. Sexy woman emerges, fully formed, but is also a blank slate for the male lead to impress upon. Everything he finds good, she meekly follows along with and finds good.

Keep in mind that he is in control of all of her

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Tropes That Annoy Me: Loveable Jerk

I know I referred to this earlier as the "Loveable Misogynist", but there's also excusable racism in this particular character type. It's a blend of the Politically Incorrect Hero and the Jerk With a Heart of Gold with some elements of Good Flaws, Bad Flaws mixed in.

And what it winds up making is a surprisingly generic hero for serialised drama television. Sure, he's heroic, but he's also a bit of a jerk and he has some bad habits. Sometimes, he's a

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Tropes That Annoy Me: Manic Pixie Dream Girl

This one's been a long time coming. As John Lennon once said, "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans". But enough of that noise. Onwards with this noise.

The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a trope dating way back beyond the dawn of fiction. You can even find her in The Tempest as Prospero's daughter. But that's sort of blended with Born Sexy Yesterday [which might not have a trope page just yet] which I will cover at a

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Tropes I despise: Fridged Women

I gave y'all a link to the trope, yesterday, but... in case you missed it, the main goal of the trope is to do horrible things to women because their man character needs motivation.

Or because they couldn't write a stable relationship to save their own butts.

Or because they have no clue how to write a woman once she stops being a love interest and starts being a life partner.

Last iteration of this that I encountered was... just before this

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