Top 46 Slang For Cliche – Meaning & Usage

Tired of using the same old cliches in your conversations and writing? Look no further! We’ve put together a fun and informative list of the top slang terms for cliches that will freshen up your language game. Say goodbye to overused phrases and hello to a whole new level of expression with our unique compilation. Let’s dive in and shake things up!

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1. Old hat

This phrase refers to something that is no longer new or innovative. It suggests that the idea or concept has become stale or overused.

  • For example, “Wearing bell-bottom pants is so old hat.”
  • In a discussion about fashion trends, someone might say, “That style is old hat now.”
  • A person might dismiss a predictable movie plot by saying, “The twist at the end was old hat.”

2. Been there, done that

This expression is used to convey that someone has already had a similar experience or encountered a similar situation before. It implies a sense of boredom or lack of excitement.

  • For instance, “I don’t need to go on that roller coaster again, been there, done that.”
  • If someone suggests trying a new restaurant, another person might respond, “Nah, been there, done that.”
  • A traveler might comment, “Tourist attractions are often been there, done that for me.”

3. Same old, same old

This phrase is used to describe something that is repetitive or lacks novelty. It suggests that nothing new or exciting is happening.

  • For example, “Every day is just the same old, same old.”
  • In a conversation about a routine job, someone might say, “It’s the same old, same old every day.”
  • A person might express their boredom by saying, “I need something different, tired of the same old, same old.”

4. Hackneyed

This term describes something that has become cliché due to excessive repetition or lack of originality. It suggests that the idea or phrase is no longer fresh or interesting.

  • For instance, “The plot twist was so hackneyed, I saw it coming from a mile away.”
  • In a discussion about writing, someone might criticize a story for its hackneyed dialogue.
  • A person might dismiss a romantic gesture as hackneyed, saying, “That’s such a cliché move.”

5. Run-of-the-mill

This phrase is used to describe something that is common or typical. It suggests that the thing being referred to is unremarkable or lacks uniqueness.

  • For example, “The restaurant served a run-of-the-mill burger.”
  • In a conversation about job interviews, someone might say, “I’m tired of the run-of-the-mill questions.”
  • A person might describe a movie as run-of-the-mill if it follows a predictable storyline.

6. Corny

This term is used to describe something that is overly sentimental or lacking in originality. It often refers to something that is outdated or too predictable.

  • For example, a person might say, “That movie was so corny, I couldn’t stop rolling my eyes.”
  • When discussing romantic gestures, someone might say, “Flowers and chocolates are a bit corny, don’t you think?”
  • A person might describe a joke as corny by saying, “That pun is so corny, it’s not even funny.”

7. Stale

This term is used to describe something that is lacking in freshness or originality. It often refers to something that is no longer interesting or exciting.

  • For instance, a person might say, “That joke is so stale, I’ve heard it a hundred times.”
  • When discussing a popular trend, someone might say, “That dance move is already stale, let’s find something new.”
  • A person might describe a story as stale by saying, “The plot of that book is so stale, it’s just a rehash of previous novels.”

8. Trope

This term is used to describe a recurring theme or motif in literature, film, or other forms of storytelling. It often refers to a common or overused plot device.

  • For example, a person might say, “The ‘chosen one’ trope is so overdone in fantasy novels.”
  • When discussing a movie, someone might say, “That film relies too heavily on romantic comedy tropes.”
  • A person might describe a character as a trope by saying, “The ‘damsel in distress’ trope is outdated and sexist.”

9. Chestnut

This term is used to describe an old or overused joke or story that has become stale or predictable. It often refers to something that was once popular or well-known, but has lost its originality.

  • For instance, a person might say, “That joke is such a chestnut, I’ve heard it a million times.”
  • When discussing a classic novel, someone might say, “That story is a chestnut, but it still resonates with readers.”
  • A person might describe a sitcom episode as a chestnut by saying, “That plotline is a chestnut, it’s been done on every sitcom.”

10. Trite

This term is used to describe something that is lacking in originality or freshness. It often refers to something that is overused or cliche.

  • For example, a person might say, “That quote is so trite, it’s been plastered on motivational posters for years.”
  • When discussing a song, someone might say, “The lyrics are so trite, they don’t offer anything new or interesting.”
  • A person might describe a movie as trite by saying, “The plot is so trite, it follows the same formula as every other romantic comedy.”

11. Banal

This word refers to something that is lacking in originality or interest. It is often used to describe cliched or predictable ideas, statements, or experiences.

  • For example, a movie critic might say, “The plot of this film is banal and offers nothing new.”
  • In a discussion about literature, someone might comment, “The author’s writing style is banal and lacks creativity.”
  • A person describing a mundane task might say, “I have to do another banal chore today.”

12. Platitudinous

This term describes something that is filled with cliches or commonly used phrases that lack originality or depth. It often refers to statements or ideas that are trite and lack meaning.

  • For instance, a motivational speaker might give a platitudinous speech filled with generic advice.
  • In a critique of a self-help book, someone might say, “The author’s advice is platitudinous and lacks practicality.”
  • A person describing a boring conversation might comment, “We just exchanged platitudinous small talk.”

13. Dime a dozen

This phrase is used to describe something that is extremely common or abundant, often to the point of being unremarkable or unimpressive. It suggests that the item or concept is so prevalent that it is not valuable or special.

  • For example, a fashion critic might say, “Those trendy sneakers are a dime a dozen, everyone has them.”
  • In a discussion about job applicants, someone might comment, “Entry-level candidates with no experience are a dime a dozen.”
  • A person describing a generic souvenir might say, “These keychains are a dime a dozen at every tourist shop.”

14. Ho-hum

This expression is used to convey a sense of boredom or lack of enthusiasm. It is often used to describe something that is uninteresting or mundane.

  • For instance, a person might say, “The movie was ho-hum, I fell asleep halfway through.”
  • In a discussion about a dull party, someone might comment, “The event was ho-hum, nothing exciting happened.”
  • A person describing a monotonous task might say, “I have to do another ho-hum assignment at work.”

This term is used to describe something that is unoriginal or generic. It often refers to things that are mass-produced or follow a standard template, lacking individuality or creativity.

  • For example, a critic might say, “The plot of this romantic comedy is cookie-cutter, following the same formula as other films in the genre.”
  • In a discussion about architecture, someone might comment, “The houses in this suburban neighborhood are all cookie-cutter, with no unique design elements.”
  • A person describing a generic pop song might say, “The lyrics and melody are so cookie-cutter, it sounds like every other song on the radio.”

16. Stereotypical

This term refers to something that is predictable or commonly used, often to the point of being unoriginal. It can also describe a character or situation that conforms to a widely held stereotype.

  • For example, in a movie review, one might say, “The plot was filled with stereotypical characters and cliché dialogue.”
  • In a discussion about literature, someone might comment, “The author relied heavily on stereotypical tropes, making the story feel formulaic.”
  • A person critiquing a TV show might note, “The show’s portrayal of certain cultures was overly stereotypical and felt cliché.”

17. Formulaic

This term refers to something that follows a set pattern or formula, often to the point of being repetitive or lacking originality. It can be used to describe a movie, book, or any creative work that feels overly structured or formulaic.

  • For instance, a film critic might say, “The movie’s plot was formulaic, following the same predictable structure as many other romantic comedies.”
  • In a discussion about music, someone might comment, “The song’s structure and chord progression felt formulaic and unoriginal.”
  • A person reviewing a book might note, “The author relied on a formulaic plotline, making the story predictable and lacking surprises.”

18. Shopworn

This term describes something that is worn out or exhausted, often in reference to ideas or phrases that have become stale or overused. It can also refer to something that is old-fashioned or outdated.

  • For example, in a conversation about fashion, someone might say, “That style is so shopworn, it’s time for something new and fresh.”
  • In a discussion about advertising, a person might comment, “The tagline feels shopworn and lacks creativity.”
  • A writer critiquing a screenplay might note, “The dialogue is filled with shopworn phrases and clichés, making the characters sound unoriginal.”

19. Threadbare

This term describes something that is worn thin or frayed, often in reference to ideas or phrases that have been used excessively. It can also describe something that is lacking substance or depth.

  • For instance, in a discussion about comedy, someone might say, “The comedian’s jokes felt threadbare, relying on tired stereotypes.”
  • In a conversation about storytelling, a person might comment, “The plot was threadbare, lacking originality and depth.”
  • A book reviewer might note, “The author’s writing style felt threadbare, with overused metaphors and clichés.”

20. Timeworn

This term describes something that has been around for a long time and has become worn or tired as a result. It can also refer to something that is outdated or no longer relevant.

  • For example, in a discussion about technology, someone might say, “That device is timeworn, it’s time for an upgrade.”
  • In a conversation about fashion, a person might comment, “That trend is timeworn, it’s time for something fresh and new.”
  • A critic reviewing a play might note, “The dialogue felt timeworn, with cliché lines that have been used in countless other productions.”

21. Dull as dishwater

This phrase is used to describe something that lacks excitement or interest. It suggests that something is as dull as the water used to wash dishes.

  • For example, “The movie was as dull as dishwater, I almost fell asleep.”
  • A person might say, “His presentation was dull as dishwater, I couldn’t wait for it to end.”
  • Another might comment, “The party was dull as dishwater, I left early.”

22. Stale as last week’s bread

This expression refers to something that is no longer fresh or new, similar to bread that has become stale after sitting for too long.

  • For instance, “His jokes are as stale as last week’s bread, I’ve heard them all before.”
  • A person might say, “The fashion trend is stale as last week’s bread, it’s time for something new.”
  • Another might comment, “The movie’s plot was stale as last week’s bread, it offered nothing original.”

23. Worn-out

This term is used to describe something that has been used or experienced too much and has lost its effectiveness or appeal.

  • For example, “The catchphrase is worn-out, it’s time for something new.”
  • A person might say, “The song is worn-out, it’s played on the radio too often.”
  • Another might comment, “The idea is worn-out, it’s been used in countless movies.”

24. Predictable

This word describes something that is easy to foresee or expect, lacking surprises or originality.

  • For instance, “The plot of the movie was predictable, I knew what was going to happen.”
  • A person might say, “The outcome of the game was predictable, the stronger team always wins.”
  • Another might comment, “The twist in the story was predictable, I saw it coming from a mile away.”

25. Stalemate

This term refers to a situation in which neither side can make progress or gain an advantage, resulting in a standstill or stalemate.

  • For example, “The negotiations reached a stalemate, neither party was willing to compromise.”
  • A person might say, “The chess game ended in a stalemate, neither player could make a winning move.”
  • Another might comment, “The dispute between the two countries reached a stalemate, neither side was willing to back down.”

26. Time-worn

This term refers to something that has become cliched or worn out due to excessive use or repetition. It implies that the idea or concept has lost its originality or impact.

  • For example, a writer might say, “I wanted to avoid using time-worn phrases in my novel.”
  • In a discussion about movie tropes, someone might comment, “The damsel in distress is such a time-worn cliche.”
  • A critic might review a play and note, “The plot was predictable and filled with time-worn cliches.”

27. Derivative

This term describes something that is not original or unique, but rather imitates or borrows heavily from existing ideas or works. It suggests that the person or thing lacks creativity or originality.

  • For instance, a music critic might say, “The band’s latest album is derivative and lacks any fresh ideas.”
  • In a conversation about art, someone might comment, “That painting is derivative of Van Gogh’s style.”
  • A film reviewer might write, “The movie felt derivative of other superhero films and offered nothing new to the genre.”

28. Cliched

This term describes something that is overly familiar or common, to the point of being unoriginal or predictable. It suggests that the idea or phrase has been used so frequently that it has lost its impact or novelty.

  • For example, a writer might say, “I wanted to avoid using cliched dialogue in my screenplay.”
  • In a discussion about romance novels, someone might comment, “The plot was cliched and followed the same predictable formula.”
  • A reviewer might critique a comedy and note, “The jokes were cliched and lacked originality.”

29. Hack

This term refers to something that is overused or unoriginal, often used to describe a writer or artist who produces work that lacks creativity or freshness. It implies that the person or their work is mediocre or uninspired.

  • For instance, a critic might say, “The author is a hack who churns out formulaic novels.”
  • In a discussion about stand-up comedy, someone might comment, “That comedian’s jokes are hack and rely on tired stereotypes.”
  • A reviewer might write, “The movie was a hackneyed attempt at a romantic comedy, full of predictable cliches.”

30. Stereotype

This term refers to a widely held but oversimplified belief or idea about a particular group or thing. It suggests that the belief or idea is not based on individual differences or nuances, but rather on a broad assumption.

  • For example, a sociologist might say, “Stereotypes perpetuate harmful biases and hinder understanding.”
  • In a conversation about cultural diversity, someone might comment, “It’s important to challenge stereotypes and recognize individual differences.”
  • A journalist might write, “The article relied on stereotypes about millennials without considering their diverse experiences.”

31. Well-worn

This term refers to something that has been used or said so often that it has lost its originality or impact. It can be used to describe cliches, phrases, or ideas that have become stale or predictable.

  • For example, “That joke is well-worn. I’ve heard it a hundred times.”
  • In a discussion about writing, someone might say, “Avoid using well-worn phrases in your work. They make your writing sound unoriginal.”
  • A person might criticize a movie by saying, “The plot was full of well-worn cliches.”

32. Time-honored

This term refers to something that has been respected and valued for a long time. It is often used to describe customs, practices, or ideas that have been passed down through generations and are considered important or worthy of reverence.

  • For instance, “The time-honored tradition of blowing out candles on a birthday cake.”
  • In a discussion about cultural heritage, someone might say, “We must preserve our time-honored traditions for future generations.”
  • A person might appreciate a classic recipe by saying, “This dish is made using time-honored techniques.”

33. Hoary

This term refers to something that is old and worn out, especially in the context of ideas or phrases. It is often used to describe cliches or expressions that have become trite or unoriginal due to overuse.

  • For example, “His speech was filled with hoary old sayings.”
  • In a discussion about literature, someone might criticize a book by saying, “The author relied on hoary cliches instead of original ideas.”
  • A person might mock a cheesy romantic movie by saying, “It’s just another hoary tale of boy meets girl.”

34. Played out

This term refers to something that has been done or used so many times that it is no longer fresh or interesting. It is often used to describe cliches, trends, or ideas that have become tired or unoriginal.

  • For instance, “That fashion trend is played out. Everyone is wearing it.”
  • In a discussion about music, someone might say, “I’m tired of hearing the same played out melodies on the radio.”
  • A person might criticize a movie by saying, “The plot was predictable and played out.”

35. Tired

This term refers to something that has become dull, uninteresting, or lacking in novelty. It is often used to describe cliches, jokes, or ideas that have been used so frequently that they no longer evoke a reaction.

  • For example, “That joke is tired. I’ve heard it a million times.”
  • In a discussion about art, someone might say, “The artist’s work feels tired and lacks originality.”
  • A person might express boredom with a TV show by saying, “The plotlines are tired and recycled.”

36. Warhorse

Warhorse refers to a cliche that has been used so frequently that it has lost its impact or originality. It can also refer to a person or thing that is reliable but unexciting.

  • For example, in a discussion about storytelling, someone might say, “Using a love triangle as a plot device is such a warhorse.”
  • In a critique of a movie, a reviewer might write, “The film relied on tired warhorses instead of original ideas.”
  • A person discussing music might say, “I’m tired of hearing the same warhorses played on the radio.”

37. Same old same old

This phrase is used to describe something that is predictable or lacking in innovation. It suggests that nothing has changed and everything is as it has always been.

  • For instance, a person might say, “I’m tired of going to the same old same old restaurants every weekend.”
  • In a conversation about fashion, someone might comment, “Her style is always the same old same old.”
  • A person discussing their daily routine might say, “I wake up, go to work, come home – it’s just the same old same old.”

38. Tired and true

This phrase is used to describe something that has been tested over time and has consistently shown success or reliability. It suggests that although it may not be exciting or innovative, it is trustworthy.

  • For example, in a discussion about cooking, someone might say, “My grandma’s recipe for chocolate chip cookies is tired and true.”
  • A person talking about a long-standing tradition might say, “We always gather at the park for a tired and true Fourth of July celebration.”
  • In a conversation about parenting, someone might comment, “Bedtime stories are a tired and true way to bond with your child.”

39. Hokey

Hokey is used to describe something that is overly sentimental, exaggerated, or contrived. It suggests that the thing being described is not genuine or lacks originality.

  • For instance, in a critique of a movie, a reviewer might write, “The film’s dialogue was so hokey that it was hard to take the characters seriously.”
  • In a conversation about music, someone might say, “I can’t stand those hokey love songs.”
  • A person discussing a cheesy advertisement might comment, “The commercial’s acting was so hokey, it was cringe-worthy.”

40. Prosaic

Prosaic is used to describe something that is ordinary, commonplace, or lacking in excitement. It suggests that the thing being described is dull or uninteresting.

  • For example, in a discussion about literature, someone might say, “The author’s writing style is too prosaic for my taste.”
  • A person talking about their daily routine might comment, “I need to find ways to break up the prosaic monotony of my life.”
  • In a conversation about art, someone might criticize a painting by saying, “The artist’s use of color is so prosaic – it lacks depth and emotion.”

41. Vanilla

Used to describe something that is common, ordinary, or lacking in excitement or originality.

  • For example, “His taste in music is so vanilla, he only listens to the most popular songs on the radio.”
  • In a discussion about food, someone might say, “I prefer more adventurous flavors, vanilla is too boring for me.”
  • A person describing a movie might say, “The plot was predictable and the characters were vanilla, it didn’t offer anything new or interesting.”

42. Stuck in a rut

Refers to being in a situation where you feel like you’re going nowhere or stuck in a repetitive cycle.

  • For instance, “I’ve been doing the same job for years and I feel like I’m stuck in a rut.”
  • A person talking about their relationship might say, “We’ve been together for a long time and things have become stagnant, we’re stuck in a rut.”
  • Someone discussing their daily routine might say, “I need to make changes in my life, I’m tired of feeling like I’m stuck in a rut.”

43. Deja vu

The sensation of feeling like you have experienced something before, even though it is happening for the first time.

  • For example, “When I walked into the room, I had a strong sense of deja vu, like I had been there before.”
  • A person might say, “I had a dream about this exact situation last night, it’s giving me deja vu.”
  • Someone experiencing deja vu might say, “I feel like I’m reliving a moment from my past, it’s so strange.”

44. Carbon copy

Refers to something that is an exact copy or replica of something else.

  • For instance, “The second edition of the book is a carbon copy of the first, with no changes or updates.”
  • A person might say, “Her outfit is a carbon copy of what I wore yesterday, we have the same style.”
  • When discussing plagiarism, someone might say, “He copied my essay word for word, it’s a carbon copy of my work.”

45. Paint-by-numbers

Used to describe something that is formulaic, with no originality or creative input.

  • For example, “The movie was so paint-by-numbers, it followed the same plot structure as every other romantic comedy.”
  • A person might say, “I prefer art that is more abstract and unique, not the paint-by-numbers style.”
  • When discussing a book, someone might say, “The storyline was predictable and the characters were one-dimensional, it felt like a paint-by-numbers novel.”

46. Stagnant

When something is stagnant, it means that it is not moving or progressing. It can be used to describe a situation or a person’s mindset.

  • For example, “My career has become stagnant. I need to find a new challenge.”
  • In a discussion about relationships, someone might say, “Our relationship has become stagnant. We need to find ways to reignite the spark.”
  • A person talking about their personal growth might say, “I felt stagnant in my life, so I decided to make some big changes.”
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