Brandywine Books has a comment on how the whole "dragons are really good, just misunderstood" theme has been done to death. Which makes me think that there must be other supposed "twists" that have long since ceased to be twisty and have just become dull. The "spunky-girl-rebelling-against-female-stereotypes" comes to mind. What are your nominees for "twists" that have long passed their sell-by date?
Thanks to the way our brains transfer the difficulty of completing a task to the underlying subject matter, it is just as boosting to one's confidence on taking an exam to think of a few reasons why one will pass, or many, many reasons why one will fail. (After all, if it's hard to come up with so many reasons against it--it must not be so likely after all.) Similarly, spouses have greater marital satisfaction after thinking of a few reasons why they like their spouse, or a whole lot of reasons why they don't. That ought to make for some fun marital counseling sessions. So, to DOB: I'm sure I'd have a hard time coming up with twenty things I didn't like about you.