My blog poll has been up for a while and it seems like manual labor is the way to go for getting shirts off. This opens up a plethora of other options. What can my male lust-figure be doing? Mowing the lawn, building his little sister a treehouse, chopping wood for a fire...I could probably come up with a hundred things to get my male protag sweaty and bare-chested instead of using the trope of ripping it off to bind a wound.
Speaking of tropes, please tell me you've been to the site tvtropes.org. It's a place where you can find recognizable characters, stories and plot lines used by writers in television and fiction. As the site says, "Tropes are not inherently disruptive to a story; however, when the trope itself becomes intrusive, distracting the viewer rather than serving as shorthand, it has become a cliché."
Last night for girls' movie night we watched Burlesque. The songs, the costumes and the choreography were amazing. The plot was basically one hour and forty minutes of strung together cliches. We were calling out lines before they were spoken and had the plot figured after the first five minutes.
Tropes aren't bad to use, they're tools to help the reader or watcher connect with your story. The key is to piece them together in different ways or have your characters fit one trope and switch to another. I always think of it like writing a song. There are only so many notes, so many chords, and so many ways to piece them together, yet new, original music comes out every day.