I guess great cliche # 2 is to lay down a dictionary definition of the term "Surprise" to put in into context. Most dictionary definitions are boring, so I've come up with my own to serve the purposes of the business of Surprise:
The constant expansion of the boundaries of extreme
Here's the explanation. People remember extremes, they forget the standard. Yet the most important word in my Dic's def is constant, not extreme. The problem with extremes--and perhaps its saving grace as per my hypothesis--is that extremes turn into standards fast.
Really effin' fast!
First time around, it's a surprise. Second time on, it becomes accepted. Expected. A staple.
The moral of the story? The only way to ensure surprise is the constant search for a new extreme.
Tough? You betcha.
But consider the alternative.