Romance Novel Tropes

A Walking Shirtless Scene poses with his redhead woman and her barely hanging grand gown.

Each of the various tropes of the Romance Novel.


  • All Men Are Rapists: In elderly romances; perhaps not so common now. It can be regarded as a mark on Western culture as a whole that women are more comfortable studying about consensual sex than they ever had been. Mature romances, dating back to The ’70s, whined to use rape as a means to give the heroine (and thus the reader) what they wanted while absolving her of the guilt of choosing it.
  • Broken Bird: Women really like to see that the healing energy of love. Most have a negative of Intimate Healing as well, but usually after the hero is a bit less screwed up.
  • But Not Too Australian: Despite the sheikh books mentioned above, not as “genre” romances often have personalities who are one particular (from a US standpoint) quarter: Native American, Japanese, Arab or the like, but very seldom are members of all non-European ethnicities in ancestry and upbringing.
    • Heroines are even less inclined to be more exotic.
  • Does Not Like Women: The special romance-novel version of He-Man Woman Hater, where the male protagonist simply hates women because of the action of a evil woman, also will be treated in the end from the good heroine.
  • Fan Nickname: a lot of abbreviations for common term for lovers, including:
    • H/h – Hero/heroine
    • HFN – Happy For Now
  • Happily Ever After: Explicitly described by several readers and authors as an essential mark of the genre, distinguishing it from other love stories. Abbreviated HEA.
    • Sometimes subverted as a Happy For Now, where the figures are left in a situation that might triumph and may not. Abbreviated HFN.
  • Honorable Marriage Proposal: Common in historical romances. May lead to Marriage Ahead Romance.
  • Ladykiller in Love: The “rake” or womanizing man is a favorite hero personality. He’s almost universally ensured to no longer be interested in anyone but the heroine (a possible exception is, of everything, the ur-example of the personality, Lord Damerel in Georgette Heyer’s Venetia.) There’s often a scene where a willing girl offers herself and he’s very surprised to not wish to take her up on it.
  • Mills and Boon Prose: Ironically despite the Mills and Boon category romances function as Trope Namer, most romance books avoid this trope in favor of less Purple Prose-such as sex scenes.
  • Public Medium Ignorance: Romance novels are filled with Purple Prose, gratuitous sex and are basically thinly veiled porn for women, or “mother porn”. Right?
    • Despite the fact that Mills and Boon Prose is rare in the genre nowadays and the simple fact that most sex scenes in a Romance Novel really are an significant part the emotional connection of the protagonist and heroine, no one seems to understand this. Some people still believe romance novels are filled with rape, even though that became rare at the start of Even the ’80s, thirty years back!
  • Too Dumb to Live: Far too many of the heroines.
  • They Do: Essential for your Happily Ever After
  • Your Cheating Heart: When the girl is now married, her husband can do so if he is your Romantic False Lead. Occasionally if the hero has a pre-established significant other, he can do so, too, even though it’ll be made to be to get a fantastic reason.


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