Some might call these cliches, but I decided to go with a less derisive title. So what are tropes? They’re things that happen over and over again in stories — and yes, sometimes to the point of being cliches that you should avoid. But tropes are tropes for a reason. People like to read certain things, and so those things get repeated in lots of stories. Here’s a list of some of the most common ones in hanfic.

I’ve compiled this list on my own, although I did solicit help from my friends and consulted lists made by others through the years, so I do have to say thanks to those people — namely, Amber, Dot, Elizabeth, Michelle, Renee C and Renee P. I also included some cliches from a list compiled on the old group, as well as these old websites.

The tropes are divided into a couple different categories to make the list easier to read.

For more information on what tropes Hanson fans seem to like best, check out my analysis of the survey I did on just that subject!


  • one word, catchy title
  • story or chapter titles come from song titles/lyrics (usually Hanson songs)
  • includes “Tulsa” or another location



Original Characters

  • main character is best friends with Hanson; their parents are best friends too
  • main character considers one or more Hanson brothers their “enemy”
  • female characters have really crazy, unique names and eccentric personalities
  • main character is in an abusive family/relationship
  • significantly older than the brother she dates
  • isn’t a Hanson fan and is won over by them
  • best friends date the brothers
  • meets a Hanson accidentally (car wreck, literally running into them, etc)
  • talented, usually a singer as well or a writer
  • very rich but ignored by parents or has a tragic past
  • hired as a babysitter, tutor, tour assistant, etc
  • moves to Tulsa because of parents’ job, divorce, etc
  • also homeschooled, often in a program with the brothers
  • shares a name with the author or friends of the author
  • is orphaned or otherwise sent away from family to live with Hanson
  • female characters are usually blonde



  • the boring, fatherly type that is rarely mentioned and usually forgotten
  • acts like an older brother to his brothers’ girlfriends
  • romantic/girl crazy/horny/ladies man
  • Kermit impression and other cheesy jokes mentioned often
  • often interrupts the “action”
  • never has a girlfriend or has been with the same girl for years
  • is horrified by or overlooks what’s happening between his brothers–no inbetween
  • has to escort his brothers everywhere



  • the screwed up heartthrob
  • overly emotional and/or serious diva
  • gets mistaken for a girl
  • red jellybean obsession
  • very “fashionable” or mocked for how he dresses
  • his sexuality is often joked about; often actually is gay
  • the dumb blonde
  • arrogant and self-centered
  • very reluctant to get married at nineteen
  • eats like a horse but never gains any weight
  • has an eating disorder
  • mostly likely to be “tortured” by the author
  • has a female best friend who is either his “hag” or they fall in love



  • insanely hyper and ADD
  • strangely thoughtful and deep for his age
  • his crazy fashion sense is mentioned often (yellow Docs, orange pants, etc)
  • naive and/or religious
  • stoner
  • only in the story as comic relief
  • depressed and unhappy to be in the band
  • eats like a horse
  • think he’s fat/ugly
  • steals Taylor’s girlfriends, often without even trying
  • loudly homophobic, but secretly gay
  • the most jaded about their fame


Other Family Members

  • someone is a long lost relative
  • another sibling born after Zoe
  • one or more wives is portrayed as mean, bitchy, etc
  • overwhelmed mom Diana
  • mom-of-the-year Diana
  • Walker (sometimes Diana) is abusive
  • one of the younger siblings is extremely precocious for their age
  • story focuses on/is narrated by the boys’ children (real or fictional)
  • fictional children are usually girls or multiples
  • Jessica feels left out and ignored, acts out
  • Mac is a miniature Zac in looks and personality
  • one or more of the other siblings also sings, plays an instrument, dances, acts, etc
  • Ellie, rather than Penny, is used as a nickname for Penelope



  • Tulsa, New York, Los Angeles (or some combination of the three)
  • the Hanson house acting as a hotel to all friends/girlfriends
  • Sonic Ranch in El Paso
  • on tour/tour bus
  • some exotic/remote vacation locale
  • the garage
  • basement studio
  • the treehouse
  • public school or college
  • hotels
  • airports/airplanes
  • movie theaters
  • amusement parks
  • fancy restaurants
  • coffee shops
  • bars/clubs
  • raucous parties
  • the pool


Plot Elements

  • girl lives next door to Hanson and falls in love with one of the brothers
  • girl moves into an apartment with Hanson
  • one of the brothers will meet a girl in the audience at one of their shows (sounds familiar…)
  • someone gets pregnant or has a pregnancy scare
  • pregnancy out of wedlock or with someone other than significant other
  • someone fakes a pregnancy or fakes paternity of their child
  • abortion/adoption are considered but the baby is always kept
  • girl(s) will somehow go on tour with the guys either because they work for them or are in another band
  • two of the brothers fall for the same girl, or two girls fall for the same brother
  • one of the brothers will sleep with a random girl after a concert
  • the band breaks up
  • someone has an affair, usually with someone else’s significant other (often girl cheats on Tay with Zac)
  • games of truth or dare
  • Ike is left in charge
  • rollerblading
  • Hanson babysit their siblings
  • Jess & Avery play barbies
  • a couple makes out in a movie theater
  • kidnapping, murder or attempted murder (usually by a stalker or jealous ex)
  • vehicle accidents
  • someone is in a coma
  • drug/alcohol problems
  • mental health issues, sometimes including suicide attempts and hospitalization
  • someone is raped
  • someone has cancer
  • someone runs away from home
  • a parent or significant other dies
  • someone is a virgin
  • envious fan girls that try and break them up or cause drama
  • the band starts their own record label (oddly prophetic, hmm?)
  • one of the guys makes a solo album or joins another band
  • the band was never famous or dropped out of the music business after Middle of Nowhere
  • the band becomes famous later in life (as compared to reality)
  • one of the guys cuts and/or dyes their hair
  • one of the guys gets a piercing and/or tattoo
  • girl randomly bumps into Hanson/a Hanson at a mall
  • a relationship is kept secret from the fans
  • fanfic is mentioned, usually in a joking manner
  • the story centers around pre-fame Hanson
  • Zac and Taylor are in love/lust with each other
  • someone is or gets turned into a vampire


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