I love to ask the readers in my facebook readers group about stuff. Like their favorite gay romance series, or their best MM romance rom coms. A while ago, I did a “polling Saturday” where I asked them what they loved and hated most in MM romances. One topic they loved was their favorite gay romance tropes.
What is a Trope?
In case you’re not familiar with the term “trope”, let me explain a little. Many dictionaries explain a trope as a cliche or overused plot device, but in romanceland, a trope is simply the core plot distilled to a story line we’re familiar with.
Think bad boy billionaire who seduced the virgin (that would be a popular plot in MF romance). Or the duke who falls in love with a commoner (Regency romance). Settings can be tropes as well, like motor club romances or cowboy romances.
There are many tropes, but of course, I was interested in knowing about gay romance tropes. What plots do readers love to see in their MM romances? Well, my Nookies (that’s what I call the members of Nora’s Nook, my readers group) certainly had favorites!
Favorite Gay Romance Tropes
Here are the most favorite MM romance tropes, according to my readers:
- Friends to Lovers: this is when the main characters already know each other and are good, even best friends before developing more than friendly feelings for each other.
- MMM or ménage: a plot where there are three love interests instead of two.
- May/December: a plot where there’s a big age difference between the two main characters is called a May-December. Usually, we’re talking fifteen years difference or more.
- First Time Gay: this is a classic gay romance plot where at least one of the characters is realizing he is gay (or bi) during the story and has his first experiences with gay love.
- Gay for You: another classic gay trope, where one of the main characters has always identified as straight but develops feelings for another man anyway. Critics say you can’t be straight and fall in love with another man, but that doesn’t stop readers from loving this storyline.
- Enemies to Lovers: this one is pretty self-explanatory, with characters who hate each other first but see that hate transform into love.
- Mpreg: I’ve explained what mpreg (male pregnancy) is in a previous post.
- Nerds: who doesn’t love an awkward nerd as a main character? Fumbling to love is an endearing ride.
- Shifters: where one but usually both characters can shift into some kind of animal form. Wolves are most popular, but there’s anything from rabbits to bears and more.
- Hurt/Comfort: this is a favorite of mine and if you’ve read my No Shame series, you’ll have seen it pop up. This storyline means one of the characters is hurt, emotionally or physically, and the other character(s) takes care of him.
Honorable mentions of gay romance tropes were daddy kink, BDSM, kink in general, and military/cops/firefighters.
Of course, many times these elements can be combined. Noah from No Filter, for instance, is military, but there’s also hurt/comfort in how he takes care of Indy. In No Limits, the second book in the No Shame series, we see have a cop (Connor) and a soldier (Josh), but also BDSM and still some hurt/comfort as well.
I would love to know: is your favorite trope in this list? Which plot lines do you love to read about?