I remember reading an interview with Richard Herring about how he and Stewart Lee came up with their sketches for the show Fist Of Fun.
I can't find the source material so you'll just have to take my word for it.
They made a list of all of the themes, jokes, ideas, etc, that were commonplace in sketch comedy at the time, and decided to proactively avoid using any of them. It became their what-not-to-do list.
It forced them to push themselves creatively, to come up with new ideas, to discover untried material.
This is the untapped ground, where clichés are yet to be made.
I created my own what-not-to-do list.
Here's a snapshot:
- People In Baths, underwater, looking upwards.
- Old people with dementia being sad and pulling on heart strings.
- Vampires, Zombies, Werewolf's, Mummies, etc.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girls
- People sat in their cars looking moody
I'm going to keep working on mine. I'll add to it every time I see something tired and old and downright hackneyed.
If you want to create something new and unique then a what-not-to-do list could help you do that.