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Kitten says, Top 10 most annoying character tropes

Journal Entry: Thu May 31, 2012, 6:41 AM


3) The Shallow love interest

What is it? 'The Shallow love interest' is a character that exists solely to be the…well…love interest to the main character. They usually have no development or personality unless they are around the character they are paired up with. They are simply 'the girlfriend' or 'the boyfriend' of the story, and is unable to stand on their own as a character. When interacting with other characters, they are usually very bland and seem to have no personality besides being in love with the protagonist.

Why is it a problem? Where can I start with this one? This one is seen everywhere like a plague, infecting fanfiction and storytelling alike. It is also a very common trope used in chick flicks, when the main character falls in love with someone and that person's personality is very vague and seems to have no backstory (but has gorgeous looks). I assure you, this character is NEVER unattractive since that's the only thing they have going for (therefore they can transform into a sex symbol as well).

In the roleplaying world, this type of character is always looking for a love interest beyond anything and pesters others so their characters can hook up. Usually depending on the mate, the Shallow love interest is 'perfectly designed' to compliment the character even if the sole reason they are together is because the writer said so.

Another thing is that these characters are usually nice and friendly and try get along with everyone they meet. This is extremely and utterly boring and just proves how bland this character is. They only have one layer and that is appealing to the main character and their 'undying' love for them. Ack.

How to fix this: Write them as a CHARACTER first, love interest second. That means that give them a proper backstory. This means that the backstory needs to explain why this character is this way and PLEASE do not make it similar to the love interest; That is unrealistic and just plain lazy.

Next comes the personality, hobbies, and FRIENDS. For the love of God, make them have other people in their social circle other than the love interest (unless they are an obsessed maniac like Nimko). Give the character layers, like how does this character act around characters they don't like? If you say 'bake them cake so they can like insert name here ^0^' then get a reality check. Not everyone is going to like your character and your character is not going to like everyone. That's not how life works, not everyone is compatible as friends.

On that subject, when it comes to the love interest try to make the romance compatible and interesting to read. Do not strive to make 'the perfect couple' but strive to make an interesting story. Relationships and romance sound great in theory but in practice is completely different. They have their ups and down, and people are prone to make mistakes when they are most emotional. This will give the story more meat, and hopefully your character won't fall in this trope.

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:iconfe0mantrollware:
Fe0manTrollware Featured By Owner May 4, 2017
The reason i hate Hinata so much
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:iconbioniclezilla76:
Bioniclezilla76 Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2017
Yeah, I have to agree with this 100%. I'm always incredibly bothered when a character's only purpose is to be a love interest and it feels fan fictiony. I don't get bothered when I see it in fan fiction because fan fiction is usually where new (and thus bad) writers start posting stuff online. It really bothers me how many professional pieces of media do this, though. It feels like something you'd write out by the third draft, honestly. 
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:iconmoonstar2016:
Moonstar2016 Featured By Owner Edited Mar 22, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Also partly people have their own ideas even if people don't like your character so what?? They are not gonna actually care if they are expressing them. 
Lemme tell ya. My oc loves this person more than the universe itself. BUTTTTTTTTTTTTT..... She loves her friends and everyone too. And she bonds with her friends.... BTW i mean by this bond -----> ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°). But she loves everyone around her to support her. If you want to know the person shes in love with PREPARE YOUR ANUS AND CLENCH YOUR BUTTS ITS CHRINGY AF. And yes she is half shallow love interest but not ENTIRELY. Tell meh if you do want to know da person i ship her with

and btw your pikachu picture i find lmao :D

And btw i love your profile pic
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:iconmoonstar2016:
Moonstar2016 Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
oml DUDE I HAVE HALF A SHADOW LOVE INTEREST. I FIND IT FUDGING OFFENSIVE DX ITS NOT BORING ITS LOVE and before you barge right in to yell in my face lemme tell ya what my character is before you start bitching at me. Okay so my OC is half the example you gave yes i agree but my OC does like everyone LITERALLY and she sometimes hates some people. Have you ever experienced love kid?? Lemme tell ya about love. Love is a powerful thing in this universe and love goes from friends to boyfriend or girlfriend to dating to married to uhhh the birds and da bees. If you never experimented this i'd actually SERIOUSLY recommend like LITERALLY recommend that you try it out for once. The old sayin goes. Its never too late or boring to try something out or new. You actually might like it. Just because you never tried it doesn't mean its boring. If you did try this out give meh a comment saying yes. And btw here is a fun fact: Its perfectly ok to disagree or agree with that person. Even if you say "wow that's the most stupidest or unbelievable idea ever." Or that person says "What is she even talking about i know i'm the right person" This is what makes you good friends it shares the connection to stronger bonds even if you don't agree with that person. I understand if you don't agree with me i would gladly like to more info why you don't and more info on this. So this makes a agree and disagree with me
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:icondabair:
DaBair Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
A perfect example of this is Ali Mills from the original Karate Kid. She's basically some rich, preppy, WASPy ingenue who just sits around looking pretty while her blond, blue-eyed "boyfriend" Johnny Lawrence beats up Daniel Larusso. And we see how shallow she is in the sequel for dumping Daniel, a guy with a real personality, for some UCLA football player. Because, according to her, money is more important.
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:iconelaynedacrazypenguin:
ElayneDaCrazyPenguin Featured By Owner May 31, 2012  Student General Artist
THIS. So much. I've noticed this is especially bad in movies with male protagonists. Their love interests are basically less interesting versions of them with boobs (oh, and also they're usually just trophies that the man 'earns', but that's another pet peeve for another day).

This probably would have been MY number one, it makes me wonder what yours is, haha.
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:iconcaramelfrog:
CaramelFrog Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Mwahahahah wait for it ;) And I totally agree with you!
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:iconjellyweasel:
JellyWeasel Featured By Owner May 31, 2012  Student General Artist
Yesss, stories about relationships aren't interesting at all unless there are problems in the relationship.
And I mean problems IN the relationship, not stuff from outside sources like
"Our love is forbidden and I'm moving far away!"
"OH NOEZ! But I still love you!"
"Me too! But don't worry about it too much, because you already know that this story's going to end happily. Because love conquers all and shit."
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:iconcaramelfrog:
CaramelFrog Featured By Owner May 31, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Twilight *COUGH COUGH* xD And yes I agree with you wholeheartedly!
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:iconshadowkyogre:
ShadowKyogre Featured By Owner May 31, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I can't say I've seen a lot of this around, but that's probably because I tend to avoid romantic stuff. I am a bit concerned about two of my characters falling into this trope. Would you mind if I asked here to check?
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:iconcaramelfrog:
CaramelFrog Featured By Owner May 31, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Sure! :3 We're here to help each other out after all.
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:iconshadowkyogre:
ShadowKyogre Featured By Owner May 31, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
On one side of the relationship, there's Sapphira Armageddos. She originally was my persona, but I've decided to let her go her own way (though I'm still very attached to her). I would almost place her under Deus Angst Machina if it weren't for the fact she doesn't babble about her sad childhood to everyone. In fact, she has an almost cavalier attitude towards those not of her kind mostly due to the predatory instincts her species has and her horrid past. Not to mention, she is particularly sadistic to those who happen to cross her at the wrong time. Those who aren't afraid of her despite knowing what she is do fascinate her quite a bit.

On the other side of the relationship, there's Merric Taln, a character that originally was one of my rp partner's, but is now jointly owned. Nowadays, my rp partner says he tends to think of Merric as one of my characters due to the time I've spent on him. He was lucky enough to get Sapphira drunk at a wedding party he was attending (which might I add, he found painfully boring) and the two managed to have a decent conversation once Sapphira was less intoxicated. The naivety that Sapphira kept hidden from most people and her 'exoticness' were two key factors he mentioned to Sapphira when she asked why did he like her. After the party, the two developed a very awkward, but pleasant relationship.

On the bright side of things, he tried getting Sapphira into things that weren't killing people in order to help relieve her stress. Thankfully, that was a success. On the rather weird side of things, he kept trying to hint at rather sexual things while Sapphira was just excited that he was with her (which was much to his frustration). To make things even more awkward, he kept looking away whenever she ate even though he said he'd accept her for who she is. He didn't look away from the last three eating incidents (if my memory serves me right) in order to prove that to her. He couldn't look away from the last incident mentioned in the rp, since he was turned into one of Sapphira's kind out of his own will.

Shortly after he was turned, though, Sapphira was put into a long stasis via a magical poison concocted by one of the deities of Alphe-Terra. During his time alone, he began exploring other women to make up for the 'hole' Sapphira left in his heart and the fact that Sapphira just wasn't interested in sex at the moment. Reality quickly came to him and he had to do away with the other women he was checking out since that was the least of his priorities. Also, he ends up secretly indulging in the very thing that he's been trying to get Sapphira away from. Also, he used to go on adventures with a group. I'm also working on the companions that accompanied him, but I'm kinda lazy to post some of the new character profiles :U.
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:iconcaramelfrog:
CaramelFrog Featured By Owner May 31, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I don't think your character fits this specific trope but kinda reminds me of the trope I'm bringing up tomorrow. I don't know your character enough so I can't really judge but all I'm gonna say if for you to wait for tomorrow :) In that trope I'm also going to talk about how to write 'unhealthy' relationships and such so we can discuss this once I update trope number 2.
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:iconshadowkyogre:
ShadowKyogre Featured By Owner May 31, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
All righty. I'll wait till then :3.
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