2-19-2001

A not comprehensive list of Gundam Wing yaoi fanfiction cliches

Version 0.5

Compiled by fractalforge@hotmail.com

I don't own GW. You don't copy this fic.

Be sure to visit my page, http://www.geocities.com/fractalforge/index.html and check out some assorted writings. This list was not compiled in any authoritative or scientific manner. If you've got a cliche, and want it in the next edition, mail it to me! There are some ones I listed but didn't write, because I'm not sure this project warrants too much attention. Want more? Then respond with comments!

~~~~

"HEERO, I'M BORED" Standard beginning for a 1X2 fic. Duo is bored and wants Heero to do something (go to dinner, etc). Usually Heero tries to ignore Duo for a while, but finally acquiesces. Sexual tension in this sort of plotline is usually high.

EVERYONE'S GAY! Despite the fact that this is highly unlikely in real life, most yaoi fanfics write every last one of the G-boys (and sometimes Zechs and Trieze too) as homosexual or, at least, not attracted to women. You can't have just /one/ unrequited love or couple, nope! Absolutely everyone has to be gay. No one even /considers/ thinking about women in yaoi fanfiction, even supposedly "straight" male characters.

LAW OF CLUELESSNESS Most of the time, when pilots are attracted to each other, they are not aware of the fact that the other one feels exactly the same. Despite the fact that these kids are brilliant and observant, they're often totally clueless about each other's feelings. This situation often leads to a third character, often Duo or Quatre, saying "You didn't know?! He's obviously madly in love with you, etc."

"QUATRE-ALREADY-OWNS-IT" PLOT DEVICE Total cliche. Whenever the story requires a safehouse, mansion, maintenance bay, country estate, wine cellar, or large amount of cash, Quatre already owns it. My conjecture is that these things disappear into the void once the fanfic ends...

PLOT DEVICE STOLEN FROM POPULAR MOVIE/TV SHOW Most common type of fusion. Often you'll see skits or GW fics that are simply the characters dropped into the /plots/ or situations of TV shows. We've all read or seen "Gundam:Survivor" fics of some type...

COMPLETELY INANE SELF-INSERTION When an author is feeling hyper, she or he has a tendency to randomly appear in the fanfiction and cause chaos. Frequently abuses Wufei and demonstrates her power by zapping/screwing with something. Duo and Wufei will demonstrate in a boring skit.

Duo: Who the hell are you?
Author: I'm the author.
Wufei: I refuse to believe that someone's running my life--
Author: I'll show you!
(Author turns Wufei into a piece of fried chicken)
Wufei: Kisama!

APPEARANCE OF A SIXTH GUNDAM/SIXTH PILOT
and
GRATUITOUS ACTION SEQUENCES This stuff happens all the time in straight fiction... But this phenomenon deserves mention here because of its total absence in yaoi. Shounen-ai and the like are usually devoted to character development, not action. There are notable exceptions, tho. (Madamhydra, Katsu no Miko)

VULNERABLE CHR. IS KIDNAPPED Standard plotline. Duo, Quatre, or any other "weak" character is captured by the enemy or in jail, and the G-boys have to find them in time. Tearful reunion at the end, with lots of hugging. A variation occurs on this when Relena gets kidnapped and Duo doesn't really WANT to find her...

INEVITABLE TERMINAL ILLNESS There are SO MANY of these fics. Best example is probably KnM's "In Sickness or In Health". Lots of inferior ones out there. A character, usually one with lots of fan appeal (in other words, never Wufei) is slowly dying. Can be cancer, poison, basically anything that kills slowly. The pilots all react with varying degrees of shock. Usually culminates in a teary hospital-bedside scene, where character dies. Occasionally has epilogue where everybody's moved on with their lives. Sometimes really sad, but often really cheesy.

Duo: Guys, I've got something to say.

Wufei: Spit it out, Maxwell...

Duo: I'm dying...

All: WHAT?! AGAIN?!

Duo: ...Yeah. Its, um, terminal cancer, or something.

(1 year later)

Heero: Let go, Duo... let go...

Duo: I can see the Relevant Object We Discussed Earlier, Heero! (Note: scenes like these are RIPPED FROM STEINBECK!)

Quatre: (sobs inconsolably)

SOMEBODY STARTS CRYING A normally stoic/happy pilot secrets themselves off somewhere and spontaneously starts sobbing. No cause is really required, I've seen, like, /weather/ be a trigger for this. The angst sources can be any of those mentioned below. Pilot's crush has to go and comfort them, cheer them up, and so forth, usually revealing their own love, aww! Classic way for yaoi relationships to start. Happens with nearly every couple you can think of.

BOTCHED OP RESULTS IN G-BOYS ISOLATED TOGETHER The last operation failed, and several pilots are trapped together in an old basement/warehouse/safehouse while they wait for things to cool down. This circumstance often leads to a Blanket Scenario situation. And it can often also lead to a...

REALLY STUPID GAME The G-boys play a traditional game like Spin the Bottle, I've Never, Truth or Dare. Usually Wufei ends up getting really embarassed, two pilots leave to go screw... you know. Happens all the time.

G-BOYS ALL AT THE SAME SCHOOL/SAFEHOUSE FOR NO REASON Even though this never happens on the show, the pilots are all often at the same school. I don't know how this got started. Maybe, back in the days of fansubs only, people had no idea how things really happened and just wrote everybody in the same place because it was easier to do character interaction that way. Ideas, people?

BLANKET SCENARIO Ahh, the classic situation. Two pilots are lost in the snow, trying to find a cabin of some sort, and their body temperatures drop dramatically. Close physical contact/sharing a blanket is required for survival. Often a lemon trigger.

"WAR IS NEVER OVER" ANGST Probably the most obvious type of angst in Gundam Wing. The fighting never stops; pilots have to keep killing people; even when the war ends, people will still fight; it hurts so much yadda yadda. Probably the most realistic angst of all the bunch... cliche simply due to overuse.

"MYSTERIOUS TRAGIC PAST" ANGST Nearly everybody in the show except, like, Quat and Trieze, has a mysterious tragic past. Your characters can worry and feel pain over past events. This usually happens with Duo's Maxwell Church scenario, Heero's Endless Waltz puppy flashback, Wufei's dead wife, Trowa's general hell of a life. Generally, this type of angst can trigger depression and can explain why characters are as screwed up as they are. It's used everywhere, but it's sort of a necessity when writing. You can either use this type of angst fairly effectively...

~~
Duo's eyes narrowed to slits. "So OZ is developing a biological plague, huh? And we gotta stop them?"

Heero nodded.

/Solo... They killed you once, and I'll be damned if I let them kill you again.../

The Deathscythe pilot's mouth twisted into a morbid grin as he slammed a shell into the cartridge of the railgun. "It's time to kick ass."

~~

Or you can use it and make things melodramatic and hokey. Use your discretion. Basically this type of angst is only a cliche when you use a set phrase or idea that's been done a million times before. See if you can spot it in the next passage...

~~

Duo's eyes narrowed to slits. "So OZ is developing a biological plague, huh? And we gotta stop them?"

Heero nodded. "...But..."

"But what?"

/Are you lost?/

/I've been lost since the day I was born.../

The Japanese boy's eyes glowed with cobalt fire. "...But, I don't want to fight anymore! How many more times, Duo?! TELL ME! How many more times will I have to kill that little girl and her puppy?!"

~~
...See?

"HE LOVES ME/LOVES ME NOT" ANGST This is related to the law of cluelessness mentioned above. Fanfiction characters often get depressed because the object of their affection is too stoic/serious/aloof/etc to possibly return their affection. Not a cliche per se, but related to several scene and plot cliches.

RELIGIOUS ANGST/GUILT If you favor a strictly Muslim Quatre (no one does) or a strictly Catholic Duo (AUs mostly) then this is a good tool for motivating them. In most fanfics this angst appears when God is brought up among people with radically different mindsets. Happens in the 1X2 pairing a LOT.

"THERE'S NO JUSTICE!" Wufei is quite an angsty character, but usually his inner torment is restricted to comments of this type. Narrow one-dimensional characterization of Wufei is TOTALLY overdone...

ABSENCE ANGST A character's lover has just disappeared or died, with predictable result: the character gets really depressed. References to things like this are nothing new... entire branches of music are dedicated to concepts like this...

(Episode 26ish)

Quatre: Omigod! I just woke up from the ZERO system's effects, and realized that I probably killed Trowa!

Heero: Shame, shame!

Quatre: Oh, the angst and pain! How can I live with myself bla bla bla...

Duo (in next room): Keep it down, Q-Ball! (Braided baka starts playing "Led Zeppelin: BBC Sessions". My own transcription...)

Quatre: You're right! This is dumb! Time to do it a different way! (grabs a microphone and starts singing) I just... oooohh... I just got your letter baby... too bad you can't come home... Ah, ah, ah swear I'm goin' crazy... sittin' home I'm all alone... SINCE YOU'RE GONE, I GOT... A MESS OF THE BLUES!

(Wufei, despite himself, starts nodding his head to the beat)

Quatre: I ain't slept a week since Sunday... I can't eat a thing all day... Ah-every day, whoa, it's just blue Monday... Since you went away-hee-hay! Since you're gone, I got... A MESS OF THE BLUES!

(Heero enters, grabs some drumsticks, and begins to drum on his own thick-as-gundanium skull... John Bonham would be proud!)

Quatre: Whoops, there goes a teardrop, rolling down my face... If you cry when you're in love... BABY AIN'T NO DISGRACE! I gotta get myself together... before I lose my mind... I'm gonna catch the next train going, and leave my blues behind!

(Duo walks in from the next room, does a double-take, and shrugs. He produces a bass from somewhere...)

Quatre: Since you've gone, I got... a mess of the blues, yeah! SINCE YOU'VE GO~NE, I'VE GOT... A MESS OF THE BLUES!

(In space somewhere, Trowa jams out on the final guitar phrase on air guitar...)

Quatre: Oh baby, since you've gone-one, I've GOT... A MESS OF THE (voice cracks and shifts up to Mariah Carey ranges) BLUE~~S!

"I'M NOT WORTHY!" MOMENT Sometimes, when pilot A "confesses" their affection to pilot B, pilot B goes off somewhere to "be alone". Pilot A then angsts over how no one loves them and how the world is so cold, etc, while pilot B angsts over how totally unworthy they are of Pilot A's love. The two pilots each sink into a pit of despair. It usually takes some sort of motivation to get a pilot to go and talk to the other (motivation coming from a pep-talk by Pilot C, or a flashback.) Of course, the two end up happy and united...

(In a dorm room/safehouse room of some sort)

Duo: Heero...

Heero: Yes Duo?

Duo: I've got something to say...

Heero: Uh-huh?

Duo: I really love the... skillful way... you beat the other girls... to the bride's bouq--

(Wufei bursts in)

Wufei: You idiots! That's not how it goes!

Duo: Oh, yeah. Right. Heero, I love you, do you love me?

Heero: ... (walks out stoically)

Duo: (swoons melodramatically) Oh God... everyone I have ever loved has been taken from me... the world is so futile... there is no use for love in our lives... I've lost faith in humanity...

(elsewhere)

Heero: ...How could Duo ever love someone like ME? I'm not worthy...

(back in the dorm room)

Wufei: (robotically) Maxwell, you need to talk to Yuy and get over your depression. He's obviously just confused, not rejecting you, and worried about what he feels; you need to be there for him, yadda yadda...

Duo: Gee, you're right!

(elsewhere)

Duo: Heero, I, um, just wanted you to know that I care about you.

Heero: (robotically) You mean you really can love someone like me..?

Duo: You idiot! How many times have I told you now? Three?

(A GLOMP occurs. Fade to black.)

"AISHITEIRU." "OH, THAT'S, UM, NICE..." When someone sez "aishiteiru" to an emotionally mute type like Heero, Trowa, or Wufei, that person often doesn't know quite how to react. Talya Firedancer's awesome fic "To Go That Far" capitalized on this tension: Duo was like, "Heero, I love you!" And Heero was all, "Oh." We all, of course, know how the story ends.

"BOYS DON'T CRY" USAGE THe most cliched Duo phrase in existence. This happens so frickin' much, in fanfics of every type.

(safehouse)

Duo Maxwell glanced at his watch impatiently. Heero wasn't late yet, but in a few minutes he would be. It hurt so much when Heero wasn't around; as though a piece of himself had been ripped apart and taken away...

/no... not you... you're different..../

/you're the one they're going to come to when they need comfort.../

/you're above all that. beyond all that./

/you don't cry. you're a boy, of course./

/and everybody knows that--/

"Boys don't cry. Boys don't cry. Boys don't..."

"Duo? What the hell are you doing?!"

The braided boy hadn't noticed his stealthy lover's return to the room. "H, Heero! Gh... gha! W...what do you mean?"

"Baka. Don't you realize that /every time/ you say that in a fanfic, you cry at least once before the fic is over?"

"Really?"

Heero shook his head. "It's true."

Asuka Langley ripped open the fourth wall and walked into the room, and started to whine. "Man, has it taken you that long to realize this simple fact? BAKA-MAXWELL!"

"PERFECT SOLDIER" USAGE This phrase is used so much...

On her private shuttle outbound from MO-II, Relena Darlian Peacecraft shifted with impatience. She seriously considered confronting the moron pilot and demanding an increase in speed, but quickly decided against it. She had more tact and reserve than that.

Still, she had to admit, three hours could pass very, very slowly...

Heero, her one and only, her beloved, had come for her -- and finally saved her -- back on the Libra. Her love had finally opened up to her. She knew that this time, she would be welcome. She knew that this time, his "Perfect Soldier" exterior would finally crack, and she would be able to see the man truly within the shell. The man behind the mask.

She knew that this time, Heero Yuy would not run away from her.

Thirty minutes to go.

She knew that he was "The Perfect Soldier." And as the Perfect Soldier, he did not immediately open up to her. Yes, Perfect Soldiers were not supposed to respond to love. After all, they were Perfect Soldiers. Perfect people to be Soldiers. Soldiers that were Perfect. Perfect Soldiers were they. No, that was wrong -- HE was the Perfect Soldier. The only Perfect Soldier that mattered to her. But she didn't love him because he /was/ the Perfect Soldier. No, rather, The Perfect Soldier was merely a part of him, and she loved the rest of him. And if the Perfect Soldier were to disappear, through love or wearing care or the weight of age, she would continue to love him. Even though, now, he was the Perfect Soldier. Yes, she loved the Perfect Soldier.

Twenty-nine minutes and forty-five seconds to go.

Until she finally found the Perfect Soldier.

Why did people call him that, anyway? For that matter, how did /she/ end up calling him that? She didn't know. It just made sense. He /was/ the Perfect Soldier. No explanations were necessary. Yes, he was perfect at what he did. And a soldier. Yes, that explained it all.

He was the Perfect Soldier...

 

JAPANESE USE FOR NO REAL REASON What the hell...?

"I just realized something, Heero."

The dark-haired boy blinked contemplatively as he slowly stroked Duo's hand. Secure in their post-coital/pre-coital embrace, the braided boy nodded thoughtfully, as if confirming the point to himself."

"Why the hell do we talk in japanese all the time in this sort of fanfic? There's no reason for it! The only time that /anybody/ talks in a language other than the one the show's done in, is like in episode 12 or 13, where Wuffers says "Shie shie' to Trowa. That's Chinese... but on the show, we're never actually depicted as speaking anything but English or Japanese, all the time -- NEVER both!"

"It's because japanese words often carry shades of meaning that others cannot express," Heero said slowly. "For instance, 'aishiteiru' --" here he took a moment to squeeze Duo -- "has no English equivalent. Not only does it mean that I love you... but it means that I will continue to love you forever."

Duo couldn't help but smile widely at the sentiment, but he took a momentary break from nuzzling Heero's chest to shake his head and disagree. "Nuh-uh. I think it's just a bunch of authors who think people will be impressed with their 'superior' language skills. That's why serious fanfics often contain literally PAGES of japanese, without even a translation or a footnote."

"Are you thinking what..."

"Yes."

"Aishiteiru."

"Wakatta, boku no koi."

"Duo... omae wa ore no mono da."

"Saaa... Oi, Heero..."

"Nani ka?"

"Watashi wa... anoo... boku wa... oh, screw it. I'm running out of fan-known nihongo phrases. Ah well, it was fun while it lasted..."

"Nimyuu kanryou."

There was a slight pause and a ruffling sound.

"HEEEY! These'll work.. Do you want to go with... okay."

"...Duo? Kinoo no yoru nani o tabemashita ka...?"

"Eeto, kinoo no yoru desu ka. Sukiyaki o tabemashita."

"Hoka ni wa."

"Eeto... Hoka ni wa... Yakitori o tabemashita."

"Duo-san wa yoku eega ni ikimasu ka?"

"Uun, amari ikimasen ne. Heero-san wa...?"

"Tokidoki ikimasu. Demo, terebi no eega wa yoku mimasu."

"Watashi wa terebi mo amari mimasen."

"Sumimasen. Chiizubaagaa wa arimasu ka?"

"Hai, arimasu."

"Ikura desu ka?"

"330-en desu."

"Jaa, chiizubaagaa to koohii o onegai shimasu."

"Arigato gozaimasu. 480-en desu."

"Basu ga tomaru to mina isoide norimashita."

"Hashi de taberu koto ga dekimasu ka?"

Heero kissed Duo on the lips for a while. "Enough."

"Yeah," Duo said as he leaned into his lover's kiss. When he was released, he tossed the thin book into the corner of the room. "Thank god for phrasebooks. I hope we confused a lot of people."

"Do you know what we just said?"

"You know what, Heero? I don't have a clue. And frankly, I like it that way."

"Hn."

("What did you eat last night?" "Well, last night... I ate sukiyaki." "Anything else?" "Well, anything else... I ate yakitori." "Duo, do you often go to movies?" "Well, I don't go very much. How about you, Heero?" "I go sometimes, but I often watch movies on television." "I don't watch television much, either." "Excuse me, do you have cheeseburgers?" "Yes, we do." "How much do they cost?" "330 yen." "Well, then, please give me a cheeseburger and coffee." "Thank you. That will be 480 yen." "When the bus stopped, we all got on in a hurry." "Are you able to eat with chopsticks?" Phrases ripped straight from Fractalforge's various Japanese textbooks... sweatdrop...)

These are ones I didn't write yet...

DUO ANNOYS WUFEI MOMENT
RELENA-BASHING (physical)
RELENA-BASHING (emotional)
RELENA-FINDS-OUT SCENE
TORTURED WUFEI MOMENT
CUTE/SAPPY ENDING SCENES
RANDOM ANIME REFERENCE SCENE
FAN CULTURE REFERENCE
OBLIGATORY POCKY REFERENCE
COMMON SONGFICS (Boyband, Crash+Burn)
DISCREET CUT BEFORE LEMON SCENE
REALLY FRICKIN' STUPID METAPHOR
NUDGE/HINT TO OTHER YAOI COUPLES (esp 5X13)
OBLIGATORY NUDGE TO ANOTHER OF THE AUTHOR'S FICS MOMENT