The cliche - spiders hiding in the webs, you can burn the webs, stuff is wrapped up in the webs.
"A statue with a missing arm ...?"
The cliche - find the arm, put it on, the statue comes to life, and usually is helpful.
"A table with a meal all laid out to eat?"
Ha ha, yeah right, it's a trap.
"So there's this lair of nine rats and 2000..."
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Well, you get the idea. When I used to write poetry, one of the things I taught myself to do was to break cliche. A poem that's made up of turns of phrase that have been said before is, at best, a song lyric. If the first thing that comes to you when describing long hair is a waterfall, then flip that into lava, falling smoke, avalanche, waves of night, anything but the obvious.
Of course, not all the cliche busters work. You have to do something new and have it be meaningful. The hair in the poem can't be a cascade of weasels, nor can you plausibly open a chest and have a horde of butterflies carrying peanuts spring out. I'm just saying that we're coming up on five years of the Old School Refinement and pretty much all the obvious homages have been paid. Time to leave homage and go on the road. An adventure author can now invert, subvert or just ignore cliches.
I was going to have humanoids as the low-level feuding groups in my mega-dungeon but now I have different clans of mutant rats. I tried to give the bandit gang in the caves some more sinister secret than the usual robbing and looting. The race of crow-men that used to inhabit the rest of the caves and left its mark there is pretty different from the usual run.
So, trying to flip the cliches I started with ...
The webs are all there is. It's a web monster. Oh, and it burns ... but its pieces thrash about, fall, flap and float down to you like sticky sheets of napalm. If you're feeling nasty you can put a golden spider up in there - burning reduces it to scrap metal.
The statue doesn't have an arm to complete it. It's a statue of a one-armed adventurer. If it sees another one-armed person enter the room (even someone faking it), it will serve the person if the missing arm is the same arm, and fight him or her if the missing arm is different.
The meal ... well, here is where the subverted cliche itself becomes a cliche, the "gotcha" of the too obvious reversal, like "sympathy" characters who really are in need of help or demon idol gems that really can be looted with no problems. Here is where you might go sideways, with a mixture of good and bad effects. The demon doesn't come after you when you steal its eyes, but there's a subtle curse, starting with the thief's eyes turning the color of the gems ... yes, that really is a crying damsel in distress, but she turns out to be spoiled and annoying and a liability to the party's survival ... the meal is food of the gods, roll d6 on this table.
Any other favorite cliches or cliche-busting encounters out there?