Review Excerpts

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Trope-Tastic Tuesdays: Birds of a Feather

Trope: Birds of a Feather

Description: We're all familiar with the Opposites Attract romance trope. Birds of a Feather is pretty much the opposite of Opposites Attract. (Oh ho ho, see what I did there.) Here, both characters in a relationship have similar personality traits and share common goals and interests. Birds of a Feather can also involve a number of sub tropes (though they're not necessary), such as Friends to Lovers.

Examples: Katniss and Gale from The Hunger Games, Harry and Ginny from Harry Potter, Tris and Four from Divergent, a whole lot of Jane Austen couples, many of the successful relationships on The Office

Pros: Birds of a Feather is probably a bit more realistic than Opposites Attract. After all, nothing but conflict after conflict would get exhausting after a while. People are often drawn to partners who are similar to them, and that can form the basis of a solid relationship.

Cons: In fiction, there has to be some conflict, or else things would get boring quickly. (Though that conflict doesn't have to come from inside the relationship, of course.) And even if the characters are similar, they have to have some distinguishing characteristics, or else the Love Interest just turns into a dull copy of the Main Character.

It's also worth noting in both the examples I mentioned and the full list on TV Tropes, Birds of a Feather is NOT a guarantee of a happy ending. Do with that what you will.

Would/Did I Use It?: Indeed I have! (I've also used Opposites Attract, but I think I lean toward Birds of a Feather more.) Most recently, I have Ro and Reggie from The Fall of the Midnight Scorpions. Soon after meeting, Ro even points out that she thinks they'll get along because he's a lot like her. That doesn't mean everything is sunshine and roses, though; some of the traits they share are darker or have negative connotations.

Probably the next strongest example I have of this trope is Jasmine and Aras from Out of Orbit. Both are strong leaders dedicated to the people they serve...and while this is one similarity that draws them to each other, it also poses a risk of interfering with their future happiness together.