A cliche, also named as cliche, is a structured expression that is repeated on different occasions. This is what is known as common place: a sentence or trivial idea, often used in analogous cases.
The cliches are obvious or stereotypes that, due to their repetition, lose their capacity for impact or surprise. It can be an oral expression, but also another type of speech: a movie scene, a photograph, etc.
A example cliché is the memory loss by the protagonist of a soap opera. On numerous occasions throughout history, the authors chose this resource to generate a conflict in the plot. The heroine of the soap opera can suffer a blow to the head that causes amnesia and thus stops recognizing her loved one, to name one possibility. The gallant, faced with this situation, strives for his wife to recover, hoping that this way he can regain his love. The cliché often includes a miraculous or emotional recovery.
As can be assumed from the above example, considering something to be cliché depends on the time and context. At first, the resource of making the protagonist lose her memory it could be shocking. In turn, if that same device is used now in a horror movie, it may not be so obvious or predictable.
This characteristic of the cliché, which makes it so little tangible and so dependent on context social and historical causes that many times incorrect interpretations are generated. Just as the time and the observer affect the meaning of a cliché, or even the mere consideration of a situation as such, by taking it out of its geographical location it can happen that the cultural resources to analyze it are insufficient.
In this sense we can say that clichés are similar to jokes: the same story it can seem offensive at one time and funny at another, and it can likewise be interpreted only in certain parts of the world, where the necessary symbols and concepts exist.
The history Of someone who cheats on their partner and is discovered in a compromising situation can be a cliché in many Western countries, and even cause grace to the interlocutors, while in other parts of the world it can be an unacceptable behavior and punishable by death.
Keep in mind that clichés can be useful to establish a Connection or generate complicity with the interlocutor or the viewer / listener since they provide a framework of predictability and comfort that can be irresistible.
Precisely, given that the interlocutor has the tools to predict a cliché, this resource is sometimes sought to bring him closer to the plot, get him to relax and lower his guard and then “attack” him with some event unpredictable. Returning to the case of horror stories, this dynamic is also common today and has the purpose of making the individual think that the protagonists are safe, that the danger has already passed, and then surprise them with a new unexpected threat.
In everyday life you can also speak of a cliché to describe a situation that we consider absurdly predictable. For example, if two people are chatting about a problem with a third and their situation is considered typical, one of them may say that it is a cliché. Just as it occurs in the art world, in this case the use of this term indicates a certain contempt for the condition of the protagonist.