Why did I discover TV Tropes just before finals? It's a mostly-comprehensive cliche archive for all kinds of media. Many are cliches I already recognized - I think many of you have heard me talk about The Rashomon - but there are a few I never really thought about until I saw them here. For instance: "If you see a dog on the cover, and that little shiny Newbery medal, you know that that dog's going down."
I'd add The Courtroom Race Rule. White judge, black baliff. Black judge, white baliff.