10 Tropes that Are in Literally Every Superhero Movie

Photo by Lily Zhu

By Abby Lass


1) The hero only finds out about their powers when they’re in the bathroom

2) A cameo from other characters or creative people involved in the franchise that only a third of the audience will appreciate

Let’s play “Spot the Stan Lee Cameo”.

3) Millions of dollars worth of collateral damage that no one even tries to explain away

Captain America is surprised that the United Nations is trying to place restrictions on him after his team basically levels a city? I don’t buy it.

4) Excessive amounts of blue or purple light

Fairly sure that stuff is highly radioactive.

5) An overly enthusiastic sidekick places themselves in ridiculous danger because they’re eternally loyal to someone they met less than 36 hours ago.

Because hey, if someone is wearing red, white, and blue, they’re probably not going to murder you (unless of course you’re a nondescript person of color with four lines).

6) A villain hiding behind some ridiculously cliché rhetoric

The world must be cleansed, humanity is doomed, the future is upon us… I think that about sums it up.

7) A secondary character makes you wonder why this movie isn’t entirely about them because they’re clearly more capable than the protagonist

Not saying Black Widow deserves her own movie or anything, but I’m also not saying she wouldn’t accomplish 300% more than anyone else if she got one.

8) An unnecessary love interest

Because what’s the point of winning if you don’t get to kiss someone afterwards?

9) Fighting within the group to make the inevitable conclusion seem slightly less inevitable

Could have saved us a few movies, too.

10) Two words: Superhero landing





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Abby Lass is the managing editor of arts and an avid reader of Percy Jackson. She has a deep passion for overzealous rants, overcommitment, and excessive analysis.