The Trope We Used to Love: The Love Triangle

There are many tropes in entertainment that are overdone, but in particular the love triangle is a trope seen everywhere and simply put: boring. The trope isn’t new at all, Shakespeare and other classic writers used it often, but since the rise of stories like Twilight and the Hunger Games, the trope is seen in dozens of teen fiction novels and movies released every year.

The infamous love triangle between Bella, Edward, and Jacob from the Twilight Saga. Photo from: instylewhatsrightnow.wordpress.com
The infamous love triangle between Bella, Edward, and Jacob from the Twilight Saga. Photo from: instylewhatsrightnow.wordpress.com

The most common formula for a love triangle is that Person A is liked by both Person B and C, but Person A can only choose one of them. Person B and C are in constant competition for the love of Person A, until Person A realizes they are in love with one person over the other.

There are several problems with this because a story with a love triangle in focus tends to drag on for extended periods of time, which is not only boring when a relationship is taking forever to bloom, but considering that we see this formula all the time it becomes too repetitive. Since love triangles are used to bring drama into a romance, they supposedly spice up a relationship and create a stronger bond, however it’s at this point where the audience is practically saying, ‘Yes we get it Bella, you have to choose between two guys, but you obviously like Edward more than Jacob so just choose him!’

When the love triangle is implemented into modern works there tends to be a heroine who is the love interest of two guys, both of similar level attractiveness but different personalities and relationships to the heroine. Both guys continuously fight over the heroine, sometimes even putting her in danger in the heat of their arguments. Either way, she’s caught up in their shenanigans and seems to be treated more as a prize rather than someone they really seem to care about.

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The Hunger Game’s love triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale. Photo from: yzacemukuciz.er-webs.com

The two guys are the focus of the heroine’s romantic life, but that doesn’t prevent minor characters from falling for the heroine. They’re often only added in to bring more drama to the story however, and create the feeling that the heroine is an interesting character who is amazing in some way that they attract many people. It’s a common phenomenon that a protagonist is an extremely desirable and appealing character loved by many, seemingly attracting anyone of the opposite sex. After all, who could dislike someone liked by everyone. But this in itself is annoying too, after all it seems like in reality that one person should not be liked by so many people.

And sure, maybe a love triangle is nice once in awhile, bringing some drama into a romance. However, there are so many franchises nowadays that use the trope that makes it boring and irritating. The love triangle isn’t the most interesting romantic trope when used hundreds of times a year in media aimed at teens.  

Rather than using a love triangle, authors should try to use more uncommon tropes, and not fall into a pit of clichés. This would make readers more captivated with the story and keep it from becoming boring or possibly dragging on for too long.  Now, that’s certainly easier said than done, but I think rather than seeing a girl struggle over two love interests I would rather read a story about a heroine who doesn’t need to find a love interest, or a story with a subtle, but sweet romance. An interesting relationship doesn’t have to rely on a battle between two suitors. 

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About Julia Rash

Hi there, I'm Julia, the editor-in-chief this year at Brahma News. I am in charge of editing news and feature pieces, but I also tend to stick to writing them as well. I have a lot of fun being a part of the Brahma News and I hope you enjoy what we post!

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