What are some common words, phrases, idioms or slang to describe a story that has an unoriginal, formulaic plot?

E.g. someone's reaction upon seeing such a TV show is: This is totally _____.

  • Cliché? Stereotypical? Commented Oct 4, 2015 at 18:58
  • @VictorBazarov Maybe I am wrong but I have an impression that cliche is mostly used against articles and speeches. Stereotypical looks right but do people actually say it?
    – NS.X.
    Commented Oct 4, 2015 at 19:09
  • 4
    Run-of-the-mill: lacking unusual or special aspects; ordinary.
    – Joe Dark
    Commented Oct 4, 2015 at 19:22
  • Rubberstamped?... Commented Oct 4, 2015 at 19:50
  • 1
    Hackneyed is the most common, cliched critique of common, cliched works, I think.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Oct 4, 2015 at 20:36

1 Answer 1


You could say that it is cliché.

cliché adj.

(in art, literature, drama, etc.) a trite or hackneyed plot, character development, use of colour, musical expression, etc.

You could also use "trite", which basically means "common and overused".

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