Why was every movie about a journalist named Andie?
Early 2000s movies have a certain magic about them. I mean, I genuinely can’t think of a post-2010 movie I’d watch over and over, but I could watch What a Girl Wants every single day and never get bored.
A part of the “secret sauce” that makes these movies feel unlike anything else is that they tended to reuse the same tropes over and over. While some of these tropes deserve a place in the canon of classic cinema, others…well, they deserve to stay in the past.
Here are 21 ’00s movie tropes we should bring back immediately:
The main character’s most important relationship isn’t a romantic one.
The female protagonist is considered strong without losing her love of “girly” things.
The romantic subplot is friends-to-lovers.
The main character finds a magical portal to another world.
The lead character magically becomes older or younger.
Anne Hathaway becomes a princess.
There’s a big musical or dance number.
The love interest is a musician.
The movie is a modern adaptation of a Shakespeare play.
Book series are turned into epic fantasies.
The movie is based on a Broadway musical (that is not Dear Evan Hansen).
Campiness is embraced in a fantasy.
One of the leads is a mythical beast who isn’t supposed to exist.
The main character helps reunite their mom with her lost love.
A magical person needs help getting back home.
Judy Greer plays the main character’s best friend.
The protagonist has to hide a unique secret.
The movie is actually a parody of a popular genre.
Things from a book or story start to come to life.
Taking fate into their own hands, the two love interests find a way to be together when all hope seems lost.
And there’s a scene where the main character wears a beautiful ball gown.
And now, here are 21 ’00s movie tropes that we should definitely leave in the past:
Basically, every main character is thin, white, and straight.
The most popular girl in school is also a huge bully.
The protagonist is named Andie.
The main character’s rival is injured in a serious accident.
Two women compete against each other instead of working together.
The titles are, like, violent.
The lead is involved with Greek life and has to help save their chapter.
The protagonist is a journalist.
The movie is done in creepy claymation.
The story is loosely based on Cinderella.
Every major romantic movie is adapted from a Nicholas Sparks novel.
Every historical drama is set in England.
Someone leaves their fiancé on their wedding day because they’ve fallen in love with someone else.
The main character creates a video to humiliate the bride in an effort to stop the wedding.
A wealthy man is orphaned, then becomes a superhero after being trapped in a cave for a period of time.
The male lead will do whatever it takes to make the woman he’s attracted to go out with him.
A “geeky” girl undergoes a transformation to make her look more conventionally attractive — and only then is she able to find love and happiness.
The main character forces a man to pretend to be her boyfriend.
Beloved children’s characters are turned into chaotic live-action movies.
The lead character is the new kid in school.
And finally, the main villain is a gorilla.
Now it’s your turn! Did I call out one of your favorite tropes, or did I miss one you love? Let me know in the comments!