"Trope [the word] refers to a conventional literary device or figure of speech in which elements within a story plot, setting, characterization, or 'behind the scenes' of a fanwork (or canon source material) are a common concept that audiences are already familiar with and can easily recognize. Tropes are related to the concept of clichés but are not actually the same thing, especially in that they are not necessarily overused to the point of being distracting. Rather tropes are significant or recurrent themes whose universality makes them a convenient conduit for familiar concepts." - Fanfiction Terminology
No matter how small a fandom might be, one can always count on finding at least one trope fic, if not dozens, hundreds, or even thousands more. The fact of the matter is, that trope writing is an inescapable aspect of fanfiction. One would be hard pressed to find a seasoned, or even moderate, fanfiction author that hasn't at the very least written one trope fic. Which is why, when exploring the world of fanfiction, one ought to become familiar with the most basic of tropes. The following review will not only list five of the most popular fanfiction tropes - but five of the oldest as well.
However, before moving on to the review itself, the reader should be made aware of the following terms prior to proceeding with the article.
Cannon: "refers to elements established by the original source material (TV show, book, movie, etc...) itself for either plot, setting, or character developments." - Fanfiction Terminology
Fandom: "refers to the fan-based community dedicated to a particular TV show or other cult-inducing medium, including movies, books, music, comics, and any other canon source material. The term "fandom" can be used to represent either the fans and the multitude of ways in which they follow and enjoy the original source material, or as a generic way of referring to the original source material that supports a fan-based community itself. Fandom includes both the internet presence and real-life existence, and is expressed in many ways including websites, mailing lists, archives, fanart, fanfic, Cons, etc..." - Fanfiction Terminology