Lampshading Tropes For Fun And Profit

The Question

Every genre has its tropes, or cliches. These tropes present a double danger to writers -- refuse to engage them at all, and you run the risk of fans of your chosen genre turning their noses up at your work because it doesn't fit their expectations.

Follow them slavishly, and you'll be seen as unoriginal.

So how do you thread the needle when it comes to tropes? Lampshade them. What does it mean "to lampshade" a trope? It means that you alter it in some way, either subtle or drastic, so that you're going where the reader thinks you're going -- and then take a sharp turn.

In my novel My Blood Runs Cold, I've done this twice so far: first with the "beautiful female client" trope -- which I've lampshaded by making her a veritable giantess.

The second time was with the "bad guys 'take the hero for a ride'," trope -- lampshaded by having the hero take them on their own ride, before they finally get the upper hand.

Let's hear some of your favorite -- meaning best loved or worst groaners -- tropes, and how you would go about hanging the lampshade on them.

The Question

That's more of an example of anachronism than it is of a lampshaded trope.

With Lucille Ball, lampshading a trope would be like having her screw something up, but then not lose her cool and instead master whatever it was she started out fucking up.