There is no shortage of movie cliches, especially during a time when it appears there is not much original thought or ideas going out (reboots and legacy sequels). After someone polled an online movie forum for the worst film cliches, here are their honest confessions. Do you agree?
1. Rom-Com Miscommunication
Using miscommunication as the main cause of drama in a rom-com before the leads inevitably make up in the third act is a movie cliche that fans and critics have had enough of in cinema.
2. One at a Time Rumbles
As if one guy fighting off ten guys isn’t ridiculous enough, having them stand around and wait their turn for defeat rather than attacking the protagonist all at once is a tired and unrealistic cliche.
3. All Talk and No Boom
How often have you watched someone pull a gun on the protagonist and then talk instead of pulling the trigger? It always allows the good guy to devise a plan to outwit the bad guy with the gun.
4. Intentional Palm Cuts
A film character intentionally cutting their palm when they need blood, then wrapping a bandage around it, and being fine for the rest of the movie is a cliche this forum is sick of seeing. One exclaims: “It would HURT!” — And your hand would be pretty much unusable for weeks while it heals, hopefully not leaving a nasty scar that limits movement for the rest of your life.”
5. Eyes off the Road
How often have you witnessed the driver of a vehicle carry an entire conversation with complete eye contact with their passenger? EYES ON THE ROAD! This cliche is the quickest way to get into an accident.
6. “Just Like Me”
Someone explains their least favorite movie cliche: “Any type of dialogue where the bad guy tells the good guy something along the lines of ‘You may not know this, but we are more similar than you think.'” Another brings up Raimi’s Spider-Man film as an example of this with Green Goblin.
7. The Hollywood Hang Up
Are you familiar with “The Hollywood Hangup?” It’s when a movie character hangs up the phone without saying goodbye or ending the conversation naturally. A film fan admits: “It pulls me out of the movie every time.”
8. Last Mission Deaths
How many times is Hollywood going to use the old protagonist with a last mission or three days until their retirement plot line, where they die dramatically? This film forum is beyond done with this movie cliche.
9. Perfect Holes
I’d never considered this one, but this forum member is right: “When digging a hole to bury a body, the hole always has perfectly vertical sides. Anyone who’s ever dug a hole knows this is impossible.”
10. Never Really Dead
Do you realize how many horror franchises would be limited to one film if the slasher villain actually stayed dead? The killer who keeps coming back is a film cliche that is continuously used.
11. Interrupted Kiss
Another common movie cliche is when two characters are about to kiss, and it becomes apparent that someone will walk in and interrupt them from doing it. Kisses are often interrupted by phone calls, too.
12. Big Breakfast Spreads
How often have you witnessed an elaborate breakfast buffet where a film character grabs a single piece of toast or an apple before running out of the door? A user asks: “Who puts orange juice into a carafe?!”
13. Unrealistic Housing
The number of times Hollywood has tried to make us believe that people in customer service, retail, or food service can afford their New York City apartments is unreal. For those of us working those jobs, it’s laughable.
14. Behind the Door Jump Scares
While this is primarily a horror genre movie cliche, how many times will they use the behind-the-door jump scare? You know, the one where the protagonist opens a door like to a fridge and then once they close it, are met by the killer, monster, or ghost!
15. Air Duct Traveling
We’ve all seen film and television suggesting that characters can climb through air ducts to get from point A to point B, but it’s highly unrealistic. Air ducts feature razor-sharp edges on duct metal, sharp sheet metal screws poking in, and they can’t support the weight of a human being.
16. The Walk of Shame
A filmgoer adds: “You know in teen movies when someone does something a little salacious and they walk down the hallway the next day, and everyone is staring at them and pointing and laughing and covering their mouths? Yeah, that isn’t how teens actually act.”
17. Nerdy Girl Turns Hot
Another popular film cliche that is overplayed is the whole nerdy girl turns hot. It usually involves letting her hair down and taking off her glasses. Numerous women who wear glasses admit to that being insulting.
18. Fiery Grenade Explosions
As a former military member, one admits: “I absolutely cannot stand when someone throws a grenade, and it goes off in a ‘Fiery Explosion.’ Ruins the whole movie for me.”
19. Bulletproof Everything
One user is annoyed: “When someone takes cover behind a car door when shot at with a 50cal, BRO! That’s not how it works: hide behind the engine block!” Another adds, “Or, under a hail of bullets, they flip the flimsy dining room table over to take cover behind.” This drives my husband crazy, too.
20. Romantic Endings
Finally, numerous individuals are sick of the movie cliche, with the male and female lead getting together in the end. The happy fairytale ending is not realistic when it’s in every movie!
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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and spirituality.