Ok, so this one is huge for me: fake cutesy bullshit. I get that banter is awesome. I fucking love me some good banter, (Gilmore Girls, anyone?) but when every interaction is purely banter, no substance or whatever, it just becomes incredibly grating, especially when an author can’t handle it and their characters start coming across as simply childish, rather than intelligent and sexy. (Banter is supposed to be witty.) I end up hoping that someone will die tragically or get some horrific disease just to make things more interesting.
It’s not cute, it’s not fun, it’s over the fucking top.
Also: playful hitting. Nope, nope, nope. I did that when I was in, like, middle school, so when someone is trying to portray a serious adult relationship that involves “flirtatious” hits, punches, slaps, pinches, whatever, it immediately lessens their credibility to me, and diminishes the relationship. Constantly hitting someone is NOT CUTE. It’s pretty annoying actually. Especially when the author specifically mentions that the person who was hit felt pain! What the hell? Why would anyone think that’s playful or flirty? It’s not.