What is a cliché in storytelling and why you shouldn't use it

Clichés are standard, hackneyed and hackneyed elements that are often used in movie stories and TV series. Their use can make a story predictable and boring, so many authors avoid clichés or try to use them rarely or not at all.

Clichés in texts are phrases, ideas, images or constructions that have become so common and hackneyed that they lose their originality and become empty and meaningless. The use of clichés is not considered a good characteristic of the text, so there is an opinion that they should be avoided as much as possible.

Clichés in movies and TV shows

An example of a classic cliché in storytelling is the use of the savior hero. This hero often appears in fantasy and science fiction genres and is usually a man who saves a beautiful girl and the world from evil. This kind of hero image has been used many times in movies and literature, and can be boring and predictable if not applied with an original approach.
Another example of a cliché is the death of the hero at the end of the story. This can be effective if done in an original and skillful way, but it is often the case that the hero dies to create emotional load, for no real reason. This can make the story predictable and simple.

Also, another cliché is the use of stereotypical characters, such as the evil genius or the sweet and kind hero.

What about the pregnancy? A girl who vomits at the most "unpredictable" moment, and by doing so, the creators hint to us that she is pregnant. That's for sure, a very "thick" hint!

Probably one of the most "cliched" and stereotypical TV series is the Turkish "Knock on my door", where if the obstacle is an evil grandmother, if the kiss is on a skating rink under snowflakes, if the girlfriends are four.

Examples of clichés in texts

  • "Next Level."
    This phrase is used frequently in a variety of fields ranging from business to video games. It implies that what you have achieved is good enough, but you can and should strive for something higher.
  • "Critical Thinking."
    Description of the ability to analyze and evaluate information
  • "Best Practices."
    This cliché is used to describe the optimal or best ways to solve a problem or achieve success. It is found in business contexts, in training and in other areas.
  • "At first glance."
    "Show the best version of yourself."
    "One picture says more than a thousand words."
    "Tighten the screws."
  • "Improving Efficiency."
    A description of the process for optimizing performance or improving results.
  • "Not all that glitters is gold."
    And other proverbs and sayings, the use of which may seem trivial.

Cliche introductory words

One of the most unpleasant examples of clichés are introductory words. It is they that make your text plastic and official, devoid of soul and wit.

Therefore, you should not use the following constructions:

"As you know"
"In our time"
"As a result"
"In general."
"Everyone knows."
"It should be noted."
"As a rule."
"From year to year."
"As we know."
"As already mentioned"

and many others.