Gay Romance Tropes

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We pulled together a starter list of gay tropes on the QSF site one day. Thanks to Emile at Goodreads and Loose ID for additional tropes.


Accidental Baby

Alpha Heroes

Alpha Male -The “alpha male” sweep-me-off-my-feet archetype

Badass Heroine
Best Friend’s Sibling!

Big Guy with Little Twink

Bodyguard/Guardian Angel

Electric Shock

Enemies to Lovers

Fairy Tales Revisted

Fated Mates

Find Love and Come Out

Forbidden Love

Forgiveness for Past Sins -Bad Guy to Hero, prompted by Love

Friends to Lovers

Fuck Buddies Become Lovers – The experienced guy (AKA Slut) offering to teach the ropes to the virginal dude. Both fall in love in the process.

Gay Button! – Where the reluctant, er, receiver of sex has his prostate stimulated and finds it’s so good that he never wants any other kind of sex again.

Gay for You – I wasn’t gay until I met you then *poof*

Gayness Come With the Uniform – Has anyone else noticed that every cop, fireman, paramedic and soldier is gay and just waiting for the right guy to come along to show them the wonders of gay sex?

Geek and Jock

Healing Power of Sperm – This is a situation in which the character is broken and devastated and what changes everything in a moment is when the as-yet-unrequited relationship with the love interest is finally consummated.

Hero and the Great Quest – political cause, righting an injustice–lawyer, firefighter, cop, Fed Leo

Hurt/Comfort

I Love You But I’m Leaving Forever

I’m No Faggot

Insta-Dad Needs Husband – Usually the romantic hero became an insta-dad after being orphaned and becoming responsible for his younger siblings. Sometimes it is a widower with a child – for bonus points t

Jock + Nerd

Law Enforcement

Lost Heir

Magical Healing Cock – sex cures all ailments

Magical Straight Boy Unicorn – A heteroflexible or bisexual character who suddenly realizes that his sexuality is broader than the heterosexual he thought it was.

Marriage of Convenience

May/December

Millionaire/Billionaire Step-Relation

Mortal Enemies to Lovers;

Most Mindblowing Sex Ever

OK Homo – It may be a historical (or at least a wallpaper historical), it may be a rough area of the city or country, but everyone around the protagonists is just fine with them being gay. The celebration of this is particularly jarring in historicals, but there are modern-day examples, too. Homophobia does not exist in these books.

Pretend boyfriend/husband – Guy needs another guy to pretend to be his boyfriend/husband for some reason, event, etc. Sexual attraction and love ensue.

Redeemed by Love drugs, Alcohol, other Addiction, or just plain assholery

Reunited and it Feels So Good

Revenge becomes Justice changed by Love, similar to the Redeemer

Romance That Ends in Death

Smartass Twinks – The twinks smirk a lot, pull stupid pranks and are in general a pain in the ass, but these are considered to be endearing qualities to the big guys

Star-Crossed Lovers – Romeo and Juliet/Julien w/out the dying

Stolen Heir

Straight for You – it’s the het love that turns someone

Suddenly Magically Gay – Closely related to Gay for You, but a protagonist may perhaps look at more than one guy with a new sort of yearning. I believe this also came from slash fiction.

Suddenly Magically Skills – In which a virgin performs perfectly in every sex act he attempts, including some acts commonly considered to be challenging and take practice.

Trapped Together

Trickster Hero

Uncommunicative Masculinity guys who are having sex and intimacy with guys and then denigrate “gay stuff” or “girly stuff” like discussing feelings and relationships

Underdog Personal Growth Encouraged by Love

Virgins Give the Best Sex

Who Needs Health Insurance when You Have BDSM – AKA BDSM cures it ALL – related to Magical Healing Cock