Cover art for podcast To Trope or Not to Trope

To Trope or Not to Trope

47 EpisodesProduced by To Trope Or Not To TropeWebsite

...that is the question. Three opinionated writers argue over whether ’tis nobler to take up arms against a sea of overused tropes or give in and write them anyway. Tune in for a different trope every episode as we cover the good, the bad, and inescapably tropey.

47 Episodes | 2021 - 2023

Witty Sagittariuses

November 28th, 2023


It’s Sagittarius season, and the sass is strong with this episode. Well, sort of. Join us as we discuss the differences between sass, snark, sarcasm, and wit, and talk about how to write witty characters (and what sorts …

Nurturing Cancers

November 14th, 2023


It’s nowhere near Cancer season, but we’re talking about it anyway because we’ll be on hiatus in July. Join us this episode as we talk about …

So You Vant to Talk About Vampires?

October 31st, 2023


Happy Halloveen from your favorite podcasting writers! We’re here this week with an episode all about those blood-sucking demons of the night: VAMPIRES. From your sexy paranormal romance heroes to your evil overlords, …

Mysterious Scorpios

October 17th, 2023


With spooky season upon us, we’re here with an episode all about that Mysterious Scorpio Energy. From the Phantom of the Opera to April Ludgate, from faerie princes to not-so-surprising plot twists, this episode covers …

Heel-Face / Face-Heel Turns

October 3rd, 2023


We love a good corruption arc, almost as much as we love a good redemption arc. Whether your good guys are joining the villains or your bad guys are teaming up with the heroes (or your morally gray characters can’t …

Indecisive Libras

September 19th, 2023


Libra season is almost upon us, so we’ve got an episode for you all about that indecisive Libra energy and how it may or may not manifest in …

Analytical Virgos

September 5th, 2023


It’s Virgo season and we’re back with an episode all about that analytical Virgo energy and how it manifests in characters. From social manipulators …

Faking the Dead

May 30th, 2023


It’s…ALIVE! Sometimes dead characters are still necessary to the plot, and sometimes they’re just too beloved to stay off-screen for long. Whether …

There Was Only One Bed

May 16th, 2023


Accidental cuddling? Blanket hogging? Deep, dark secret sharing? Pick your favorite forced proximity ending in this episode on There Was Only One …

Shadow Archetype

May 2nd, 2023


Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow Archetype does, because if you do it right, it’s literally that darkness personified. Sort of. Sometimes. Join us this episode as we try to pick apart what a …

Body Swap

April 18th, 2023


We’re getting freaky this week with the Freaky Friday Body Swap trope. Join us as we dive into the philosophical and ethical implications of mind vs …

Trickster Archetype

April 4th, 2023


He’s witty, he’s unhinged, and he’s here to give your Hero a hard time. From comic relief sidekicks to actual trickster gods, the Trickster Archetype is a meta character that keeps your protagonist guessing (and …

Strong Female Characters

March 21st, 2023


Breaking News! According to recent studies, women are, in fact, people. Who knew! Tune in this episode to learn how to write female characters that don’t suck. It’s not that hard, and yet somehow we had to make an …

Shapeshifter Archetype

March 7th, 2023


Werewolves and werebears and Norse gods, oh my! The Shapeshifter Archetype encompasses so much more than just your typical shifters, and in this …

Love Triangles (Part 2)

February 21st, 2023


Offed mistresses and sexy pool boys take the stage in this episode continuing our conversation about Love Triangles. This week we dive into the …

Love Triangles (Part 1)

February 7th, 2023


Sometimes you celebrate Valentine’s Day with flowers and chocolates and a romantic dinner. Other times you celebrate Valentine’s Day trying to choose …

Threshold Guardian Archetype

January 25th, 2023


From your classic bridge trolls to your very effective brick walls, Threshold Guardians are here to cause minor problems for your hero and maybe …

Evil Is Sexy

January 10th, 2023


Sometimes the temptation to the dark side is just too much… especially when the dark side is so much sexier than the boringly attractive good guys. With their sharp angles and slicked back hair and suave, competent …

Herald Archetype

December 27th, 2022


Hear ye! Hear ye! Join us this episode as we discuss the character archetype of the Herald and why we don’t really think it should be a character …

Snowed In

December 13th, 2022


It’s the holiday season and we’re here with a fun wintry episode all about making characters fall in love, revealing murderers, worldbuilding …

Ally Archetype

November 29th, 2022


Cowboys and eye candy and gardeners, oh my! Allies come in all shapes and sizes, and this episode we’re covering all of them. Join us as we talk all things BFFs and sidekicks, take a brief foray into how feminism …

Evil Overlord

November 15th, 2022


He’s big, he’s bad, and he’s got a plan to take over the world that would have worked, too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids! The Evil Overlord is …

Mentor Archetype

November 1st, 2022


Where there’s a Hero, there’s someone to tell that Hero he’s an idiot. Enter the Mentor. Join us in the second installation of our Archetype series …

Witches, Witches Everywhere

October 18th, 2022


It’s spooky season! So we’re here with an episode all about witches. From alewives and the Spanish Inquisition to Harry Potter, Frozen, and mass produced romances, we’ve got witchlore coming at you from every which way. …

Hero Archetype

October 4th, 2022


He’s here to save the world! Or slowly devolve in a downward spiral of madness and obsession. Y’know, whichever works. Welcome to our Archetype mini …

Gentleman Thief

September 20th, 2022


He’s suave, he’s hot, he’s here to steal your heart…and maybe your grandmother’s jewels while he’s at it. Join us this episode as we discuss all things Gentleman Thief, that villain we all love to love. We talk ethics, …

Star-Crossed Lovers

September 6th, 2022


Sometimes true love is written in the stars. Other times the stars are just petty and cruel. Join us this episode as we talk all things Star-Crossed …

Enneagram Nine

May 31st, 2022


Get in, losers, we’ve got a totally fetch season finale for you. Cady Heron isn’t like regular Nines, she’s a cool Nine. Join us this week as we talk …

To Retell or Not to Retell

May 17th, 2022


This week we stray from strict tropes into the land of retellings and adaptations, discussing when you should, when you shouldn’t, and what makes us …

Enneagram Eight

May 3rd, 2022


“Fight me.” –Lizzie Bennet, probably. No matter the challenge, Eights will rise to it. Join us this episode as we talk about megalomaniacal dictators and strong independent women and every Eight in between. This week, …

Stuffed in the Fridge

April 19th, 2022


Sir, that’s my emotional support dead woman in a refrigerator! If you’ve ever considered killing off a character in your writing, listen to this episode. We discuss in depth when it’s okay to kill off characters and …

Enneagram Seven

April 6th, 2022


To live is an awfully big adventure, and Sevens are all about that adventurous life. Join us as we discuss the many iterations of Peter Pan and more …

Enemies to Lovers

March 22nd, 2022


I hate you. I love you. I hate that I love you. Join us this episode as we talk all things Enemies to Lovers and offer some very unhelpful advice on …

Enneagram Six

March 8th, 2022


Me? An Enneagram Six? Shut. Up. From loyal faith in preexisting systems to skepticism of literally anything outside their comfort zones, Sixes show up in fiction in a variety of ways. Join us this episode as we talk …

Magic Numbers

February 22nd, 2022


It’s twosday! We’re coming at you on 2/22/2022 with an episode all about magical numbers, numerology, and symbolism. Head back to middle school …

Enneagram Five

February 8th, 2022


It’s elementary, dear listeners. At least, that’s what a Five would have you believe. Join us as we discuss Sherlock Holmes and other Enneagram Fives …

Moody Broody Sad Boy

January 25th, 2022


He’s here, he’s hot, and he’s got a chip on his shoulder the size of Texas. He’s got a lot of feelings and he’s not afraid to use them. He’s also …

Enneagram Four

January 11th, 2022


But you just don’t understand! From tortured artists to empaths, from serial killers to characters who have so many feelings they just can’t help but sing about it, Fours just want to be special. Join us this episode as …

The Great Elf Showdown

December 28th, 2021


When someone says “elf,” what do you think of? If you didn’t answer, “a toymaker bearing the white hand of Saruman” or “an orc in jingly shoes,” you need this episode in your life. Join us as we discuss such hard …

Enneagram Three

December 14th, 2021


Anything you can do, Threes can do better. It’s just a fact. (If you ask them, anyway.) Join us this episode as we discuss Tony Stark and his stereotypical Enneagram Three selfish selflessness, and disagree over whether …

Found Family

November 30th, 2021


Is it incest if you’re not technically related? Do evil scientists who specialize in human experiments actually create found families? If you’re all legally declared dead, can you still go through the adoption process? …

Enneagram Two

November 17th, 2021


Do you want to build a… type Two character? Join us in our second Enneagram episode as we discuss Anna, Princess of Arendelle, and how we think she …

Manic Pixie Dream Girl

November 2nd, 2021


Sad boys here! Come and get your sad boys! Join us this episode as we discuss the real questions, like can a manic pixie dream girl exist without the dreamer? do sad boys really need more stories written about them? and …

Enneagram One

October 19th, 2021


From the benevolent rule of Mary Poppin’s cheerful dictatorship to Thanos’s perfectly balanced soufflé, join us as we discuss how to make an …

The Mad Scientist

October 5th, 2021


It’s spooky season! Join us as we discuss the limits of science vs fantasy and the separation between mad science and just, well, science. Byron …

Friends to Lovers

September 22nd, 2021


Two people are attracted to each other. One of them has a boyfriend. Plot complications ensue. Join us this episode as we ask the serious questions, like is there a difference between friend chemistry and romantic …

The Chosen One

September 7th, 2021


Have you or someone you love been inexplicably chosen by mysterious forces to drive the plot forward? If so, you may be entitled to hundreds of pages of questionable decisions and unaccountable triumphs! Tune in today …

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