Male stock characters, a type of character in a narrative (e.g. a novel, play, television show, or film) whom audiences recognize across many narratives or as part of a storytelling tradition or convention. There is a wide range of stock characters, covering people of various ages, social classes and demeanors. They are archetypal characters distinguished by their simplification and flatness. As a result, they tend to be easy targets for parody and to be criticized as clichés.