10 Romance Tropes in Hallmark Movies

with Examples from Hallmark Movies & Romance Novels

As a fan of Hallmark Movies, you may have noticed a common thread among these movies – the use of romance tropes. Romance tropes are common plot elements used in romantic stories. They are essentially storylines and themes that are used repeatedly in different movies and books. In the case of Hallmark movies, these tropes are used to create a sense of familiarity and comfort for viewers.


What is a Trope? A trope is a commonly used element within a genre that has become a convention. It can be a plot, theme, device, or character.

Romance Tropes in Hallmark Movies

Why Do Rom Coms have Popular Romance Tropes?

The power of a romance trope is its ability to make characters and their relationships compelling and interesting. By creating a push and pull dynamic between the two people at the center of the story, the writer is able to build tension and heighten the stakes.

Of course, the most important element of this trope is how it allows for the writer to explore the romantic relationship between the two characters. By introducing obstacles, secrets, and misunderstandings, the writer can allow the two characters to grow and learn from each other, creating a strong bond and connection that readers can relate to.

Why Do Romance Tropes Matter To Romance Readers?

We all love a good love story. From Romeo and Juliet to Cinderella, these tales have been captivating audiences for centuries.

In the modern world, Hallmark movies are one of the most popular ways to enjoy romantic stories with romance tropes. These movies have gained so much popularity over the years that they’ve become a staple for many people, especially during the holiday season. The appeal of Hallmark movies is their ability to transport viewers to a world where all the problems are solved in the most romantic way possible. Perhaps the biggest reason why Hallmark movies are so popular is because of the romantic tropes they use. These romance tropes, such as the “meet-cute” or the “happily ever after” ending, are predictable, but they are also incredibly satisfying to watch. We as viewers can easily get lost in the stories and become invested in the characters, rooting for them every step of the way.

The best romance stories and romance tropes bring two lovers together, push them apart, and then bring them back together again.

Hallmark Movies & Book Examples that showcase 10 Romance Tropes

This post is a curated rundown of the top 10 most beloved romance tropes frequently featured in Hallmark films and adjacent romance novels that have received HallmarkJenny’s seal of approval. Fans of the romance genre are sure to love these recommendations!

10 Hallmark Movie Romance Tropes

Enemies to Lovers

At first glance, it might seem like an unlikely pairing – two people who seem to hate each other at first sight. But often, what lies beneath the surface is something far more complex. Maybe there’s a spark of mutual attraction, or a shared history that draws them together despite their initial dislike. Whatever the reason, these stories often culminate in a passionate romance.

With this romance trope, you will find these stories of former foes falling in love. Watch as these two characters put aside their differences and gradually discover the depth of their connection. See how they overcome obstacles, such as social pressures or family disapproval, in order to find true love.

It’s a story arc that never fails to inspire, and one that Hallmark Movies has perfected over the years.

Hallmark Movies with "Enemies to Lovers" Romance Trope

Book Examples with "Enemies to Lovers" Romance Trope

Fake Dating

Simply put, two characters who aren’t in a romantic relationship pretend to be.

When two characters pretend to be in love, they must maintain the illusion or risk exposing themselves to others. This can create a sense of urgency and drama that keeps us in the audience on the edge of their seats.

The Fake Relationship trope can also be used to explore themes such as trust and vulnerability. When two characters pretend to be in love, they must rely on each other to keep up the charade. This can lead to them opening up and revealing their true selves, creating a deeper connection between the characters.

Hallmark Movies with "Fake Dating" Romance Trope

Book Examples with "Fake Dating" Romance Trope

Friends to Lovers /Just Friends

Two characters start off as friends, but over time they realize that they have a deeper connection and begin to have romantic feelings for one another.

The friends-to-lovers trope usually starts off with a relaxed friendliness between the two characters. They often share a lot of inside jokes and even have a deep understanding of each other. As they start to realize that they have more than just a friendly dynamic, things start to get a bit awkward between them. They start to see each other in a different light and their feelings for each other start to grow.

The best part about this romance trope is that it allows for plenty of backstory between the two characters. Both characters are given a chance to show how their relationship has developed over time and how it has changed from a friendship to something more romantic. It also allows for a deeper understanding of each character, as they both come to realize that they know each other better than anyone else.

Hallmark Movies with "Friends to Lovers" Romance Trope

Book Examples with "Friends to Lovers" Romance Trope

Second Chance Romance

The second-choice romance trope is the reunion of two main characters who once dated but had fallen apart and find love back in their relationship.

What makes this romance trope so popular? For starters, it’s an easy way to draw in the audience. We all want to believe that love can last forever, and that even if two people have gone their separate ways, they can still find their way back to each other. It’s a reassuring idea, and it’s one that can tug at our heartstrings.

Plus, the second-choice romance trope offers a lot of potential for growth. It’s not just about two people reuniting and immediately falling back in love. It’s about them taking the time to get to know one another again and discovering new things about each other. It’s about them learning to forgive each other for the mistakes of their past and starting anew. This can make for an incredibly satisfying story arc, and it’s one that can keep the audience engaged.

Hallmark Movies with "Second Chance Romance" Romance Trope

Book Examples with "Second Chance Romance" Romance Trope

Destined to Be Together

With this romance trope, destiny and magic become intertwined, and everything happens for a reason.

When it comes to love stories, destiny often plays a pivotal role in bringing two people together who are meant to be together. The power of destiny and magic, intertwined, leads them to each other and in the end, they find true love and a happily ever after.

Destiny and magic have a way of making things happen, even when it seems impossible. The two people who are meant to be together, are eventually brought together through a series of events that only destiny could have orchestrated. It’s almost as if fate has a special plan for these two people and brings them to each other in a magical, seemingly impossible way.

Hallmark Movies with "Destiny" Romance Trope

Book Examples with "Destiny" Romance Trope


Fairy tales and romantic novels have stories of commoners falling in love with royalty. There is

Fairy tales and romantic novels have stories of commoners falling in love with royalty. There is something magical and intriguing about the idea of a prince or princess falling for an ordinary person.

Once upon a time, there is a character who is either secretly or overtly royalty. They have everything in the world – money, fame, a castle, an estate – but they are missing one thing: someone who loves them for who they were, not for their title or possessions. Enter the protagonist, a female or male character who is on assignment for the royalty somehow. The protagonist found themselves drawn to the royal in a way they never expected.

Hallmark Movies with "Royalty" Romance Trope

Book Examples with "Royalty" Romance Trope


In many Hallmark movies, there is a character who has dedicated their entire life to their work. The protagonist is often portrayed as someone who has devoted their entire life to their career. They have no time for socializing or hobbies, and their relationships with family and friends are strained. They may even have lost touch with their hometown and the things that once brought them joy.

But as the story unfolds, the character is forced to step away from their work and reevaluate their priorities. This is usually due to a new love interest who reminds them of what they’ve been missing out on. They introduce the character to a slower pace of life, encourage them to pursue their passions, and show them the true meaning of love and happiness.

Hallmark Movies remind us of the importance of finding balance in our lives and pursuing the things that bring us joy.

Hallmark Movies with "Workaholic" Romance Trope

Book Examples with "Workaholic" Romance Trope

Single Parent

This romance trope portrays single parents who have to balance their love life with the responsibilities of parenthood. These romance tropes have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. The single parent trope is one that has been used in romance novels for a long time. It’s a theme that resonates with many readers, as it portrays the struggles of raising a child alone, while also trying to find love. These stories often revolve around the challenges that the single parent faces, such as finding time for themselves, dealing with the emotional impact of divorce or loss, and navigating the dating world while also being there for their children.

One of the most appealing aspects of the single parent trope is the vulnerability of the main character. Readers are drawn to characters who are flawed and facing challenges, as it makes them more relatable and human. By portraying a single parent as a strong, independent person who is doing their best to raise their child, while also looking for love, romance writers are able to create a truly compelling and heartwarming story.

Hallmark Movies with "Single Parent" Romance Trope

Book Examples with "Single Parent" Romance Trope

Forced Proximity

“Forced Proximity” involves two characters who are stuck together in a situation, such as being snowed in or stranded at an airport, and end up falling in love.

The forced proximity trope allows for a quick and easy way to establish a romantic connection between characters. When two people are thrown together in a high-stress situation, they have to rely on each other and work together to overcome the obstacle. This can create a sense of intimacy and trust that might take much longer to develop in a more traditional romance.

This trope can provide a sense of escapism for viewers, especially during the holiday season. Watching two characters fall in love in a cozy cabin or a festive small town can be a comforting and uplifting experience. It allows viewers to imagine a world where love is simple and easy, and where happy endings are guaranteed.

Hallmark Movies with "Forced Proximity" Romance Trope

Book Examples with "Forced Proximity" Romance Trope

Love Triangle

Caught between two people, both of whom tug at the main character’s heartstrings in different ways. One is the reliable, stable partner; the other is the one from our past or someone new who is fun and adventurous. To make matters even more complicated, the reader usually knows who the right choice is, leaving us with a dilemma that generates tension and encourages us to play matchmaker.

The reader usually has an idea of which partner is the right choice for the character. We may know the right choice, but it’s up to the character to make the ultimate decision and learn more about themselves in the process.  

Hallmark Movies with "Love Triangle" Romance Trope

Book Examples with "Love Triangle" Romance Trope

In conclusion, Hallmark movies have become a beloved tradition for many viewers, in part due to the consistent use of romance tropes. These familiar themes and storylines help create a sense of comfort and nostalgia for viewers. Whether you’re a diehard fan or a casual viewer, there’s no denying the enduring popularity of Hallmark movies and the role that romance tropes play in their success.

Write Your Own Hallmark Movie or Book!

Are you a hopeless romantic that loves nothing more than spending your evenings watching Hallmark movies and reading romance novels? Do you ever find yourself daydreaming about crafting your own perfect love story? Well, you’re in luck! There are plenty of resources available to help you develop your own Hallmark movie or romance novel.

Firstly, there are countless books on the market that can provide guidance and inspiration for aspiring romance writers. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out, there are books available that cater to all skill levels.


Of course, writing a romance novel or screenplay is no easy feat. It takes dedication, hard work, and a lot of practice to master the art of storytelling. But with the help of these resources, you can gain the skills and knowledge you need to craft your own Hallmark movie or romance novel. Who knows, your love story could be the next big hit!

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