Alternate History Clichés
Commonly abbreviated to AH Cliches (no accent on the e because we're a bunch of lazy francophobes), these describe certain concepts, technologies, events and scenarios that tend to crop up in a large number of timelines, particularly those written by those unfamiliar with the wider AH community. What follows is an alphabetical list of the most notorious clichés. As you can no doubt see, most of the clichés on the list have their own separate pages (which contain more info, with frequently tongue-in-cheek descriptions - just a precaution to keep you impatient readers interested ).
Important note: Not all of the concepts or plots listed here are total clichés themselves ! While most are, many are just good ideas (e. g. a surviving independent British space/aviation industry), marred by the same old unresearched assumptions of AH authors. Others are tolerable (e. g. alternate Israels, the greater proliferation or survival of airships/battleships than in our history, etc.), but can easily be written badly or be overdone to the point of irrelevance… Or worse - making the reader bored.
A List of the Most Common AH Cliches
The Deutsches Reich Imperial European Union
: In a world where the Central Powers have won WWI
, it's nigh impossible to not have a German-led Zollverein in Europe, that will - of course - exclude Britain and France.
Everybody loves eugenics
: An easy, lazy way to paint an scenario as dystopic if one keeps butterflying
real historical genocides and massacres away.
Exiled royals go to the colonies: Wherein the home country in Europe is invaded, possibly by the French, and the royals have to go to the Colonies and continue from then on; inspired by the exile of the Braganzas to Brazil between 1808 and 1822 after the Napoleonic invasion of Portugal in 1808.
Pan-anything: While movements such as Pan-Arabism, Pan-Germanism and Pan-Slavism existed in OTL, that doesn't mean other, sometimes ridiculous varieties would have existed in ATL.
: The idea that if a country/religion/ideology etc loses territory it has in OTL
, it has to gain territory elsewhere to compensate.
Random Axis South America: When a random South American nation joins the Axis, or goes Fascist during the 1930s. Related to the already mentioned “Argentina becomes an instant refuge for vengeful Nazis, who set up a Third Reich in exile” cliché.
AH.com discussions on alternate history clichés