1. The existence of good and evil. This trope can be busted by making sure both/all sides of a story have good, bad, and neutral aspects of their personality. This is one that I work really hard at busting.
2. Evil never wins. Have you ever noticed, the villains almost never win, more than temporarily. The protagonist always saves the day, even if s/he has to die to do it. It would be nice to see a story where the side of good puts up a valiant fight and it just isn't enough. The day is not saved.
The only problem with busting that particular trope is, it's damned hard to pull off successfully. People have "good always wins" so deeply ingrained that when the hero dies, they demand he be brought back to life. Even if all the good guys are slaughtered and Dr. Overlord takes over the world, there's always the chance that new rebels will take their place, or Dr. Overlord's minions will get tired of him and depose him. About the only situation totally free of the possibility of evil losing is something where they destroy the world. But if they die doing that, then they also lose. If they escape in a spaceship, some aliens might stop him. If she uses the deaths of 6 billion people to fuel her ascent to godhood, some other gods might punish her.
Crossposted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org