Originally, a cliché was a printing term for a semi-permanently assembled piece of type which could easily be inserted into the document being printed (cf.Block printing). It has since come to mean a phrase, expression, or idea that has been overused to the point of losing its intended force or novelty.
Nowadays, "cliché" often applies to almost any situation, subject, characterisation, or object, which has become overly familiar or commonplace. There can be advantages to using clichés. In storytelling, a cliché can help to simplify exposition or description.
While most cliché statements can and should be replaced in writing or speech, many familiar phrases have remained current for centuries. It may be cliché, e.g., to write that "familiarity breeds contempt"; but the statement itself must remain valid or the concept of cliché becomes meaningless.