Impractical Outfits for Heroines (This one isn't really a plot device, but who cares?)It's not exactly secret that most costumes for female action heroes are designed mainly to look good. The high heels, low necklines, and bared midriffs are evidence of that. If someone actually wore something like that in real life, she'd trip over her own feet and wind up with bad injuries. High time someone wear clothes that would actually work.
Instant SoulmatesThis is the opposite of the argumentative pair above. In fairy tales and romantic comedies, two people will often fall madly in love overnight and then, after dealing with a witch (literal or not), live happily ever after. Because apparently, you can get to immediately know someone without being telepathic. This also happens fairly often in dramas and action movies.
Easy Resurrection/Comic Book DeathOne of the scariest or saddest things that can happen to our hero is death, be it his own or a loved one's. But when you make it easy to resurrect people, death becomes no big deal. That doesn't leave much else huge stuff to hurt your characters with. Not to mention it's pretty selfish to bring back just members of the main cast. People die every day, but only your friends get a second shot. Really.
Will They or Won't They?One thing that has shown up in many, many romantic subplots is tension between two characters that makes us wonder whether or not they'll admit their feelings and be with each other. But I've seen this last long enough to be tiresome or lead to couples that shouldn't be together at all.
Villain Dies at the EndIn countless storylines, the antagonist is among the casualties when it's all said and done. I doubt this will go away anytime soon. Still, when a bad guy I like doesn't make it, I feel kind of sad.
Altar-ing your plansOur favorite couple gets together just as one of them is about to marry someone else. It's so romantic, isn't it? (Rolls eyes.) What about the guy getting jilted? His feelings aren't taken into consideration, as long as our preferred pair is together. Real selfless, guys.
Surprise KillerIn a murder mystery, the culprit is usual someone you (or rather the characters) don't expect. But this has been used so often that you now expect the guy who seemingly has no motive to be the murderer. Time to give this a rest for a while.
"Law enforcement" that breaks the law
Oftentimes, the rules are presented as being an obstacle to catching the bad guy. Disobeying orders is what gets things done. Never mind the fact that doing this is going to cause exactly the kind of protocol problems that you were trying to dodge.
So how about you? What would you like to see less of?
© 2013 by M.R.R.