Would we enjoy watching movies without the clichés? Should movie clichés disappear forever? Here’s a compilation of some of the most obvious and popular movie clichés that don’t happen in real life…
Hollywood wants us to believe that the things we see in movies are in fact based on reality. The elaborate plots and complex characters are depicted in such a manner that they can somehow touch us on a personal level. Even though there are certain movies based on reality and incorporate an original story line, we cannot overlook certain cliches. Every genre has its own set of cliches where the characters follow a familiar pattern in order to keep the plot moving forward. Each year, filmmakers release hundreds of movies, and some ‘themes’ can get replicated.
Of course, the filmmakers integrate cliches strategically and we rarely ponder over them; most often than not, we just accept them as reality and go with the flow. Perhaps it has something to do with our expectations from that particular movie and how the story line should evolve. But when you look at cliches in a broader perspective, its inclusion is necessary as precious seconds/minutes are saved on real-life mundane activities that may prolong the scenes. Keeping this idea in mind, we have compiled a list of most popular movie cliches presented on the big screen.
Real Life Has Many Cliches
There are many movies that adapt similar cliché plots and unrealistic occurrences that filmmakers use from time to time. Here are a few illustrations and instances where the real life never, ever does resemble the reel life.
A villain, hero, or long-lost relative will appear out of nowhere and stand at the bus stop. A bus comes, people get in (while two characters stare at one another), and as the bus leaves the stop, the person standing there would’ve disappeared behind it.
In order to find a way to survive or catch the killer or find help, a group of people will split up rather than sticking together.
Whenever someone is going through any emotional conflict or dilemma and is in search for some inspiration or motivation, the character will be shown sitting at a scenic location. This could be anything from watching sunrise/sunset at the beach, out on the river, or even gazing out of the window.
The hero and heroine are getting chased and attacked by 20-25 men, all firing automatic weapons. Against all odds, they not only get away but there is not one bullet that grazes their legs or arms.
A movie about high school always shows the characters being associated in different cliques. But that’s not all. These cliques are always ethnically diverse (we don’t want to make anyone feel offended now, do we?!).
The character in the movie is going through a serious situation and someone tells him/her to turn on the television. Right at that moment, the news is on and it has the relevant information that will help the plot move forward.
In scary movies, a character is in the bathroom standing in front of the mirror cabinet. He/she opens the cabinet to get something. After closing the cabinet, he/she realizes that there is someone (ghost, zombie, etc.) standing behind him/her.
Two characters are fighting with each other. One of them picks up a beer bottle and hits the other on the head with it. Automatically, that character is knocked unconscious. Plus, once the character wakes up, he/she only has a small headache due to the incident.
At the end of a phone call, no one ever says ‘goodbye’. They just hang up the phone as if telepathically both people on the line know that the conversation is over.
While dining in a restaurant, at a party, or at home, no one seems to finish their meal. They are always interrupted by a disturbing phone call, arguments, or they have to suddenly rush out of the door.
While at the bar, the characters always ask for a beer or are seen sipping on drinks. Nobody is shown paying for the drinks they’ve just ordered or had.
Bond, James Bond. Apart from 007, no one ever introduces themselves in this manner.
The hero and villain are at each other’s throats and one of them has a gun in his/her hand; and the bullet is shot. We don’t know who died (until after what seems like an eternity), the villain (almost always) falls to his/her death.
The villain shoots the hero in the middle of the movie. We all think he’s dead but that’s not the case. The hero almost always returns to eliminate the villain.
Parking is easily available, regardless of the time of the day; let that be a busy street in Manhattan.
A group of men are talking about something serious or work related. As soon as a hot woman walks by, they forget that the world exists and stare at her.
There is a geeky/nerdy girl who wears big glasses, shabby clothes, and ties her hair into a ponytail. But as soon as she removes the glasses, gets a makeover, a new wardrobe, and lets her hair down, she becomes beautiful.
During a shooting sequence, the character runs out of bullets. Instead of reloading the same gun, he/she throws the gun away (like there is no use of that gun anymore).
In order to catch a criminal, the police want to do a DNA test. They get the results in a few minutes or a couple of hours; no backlogs, no waiting.
A hot, successful, and single hero always has a gorgeous bachelor pad that is used as a ‘babe magnet’. The apartment is clean and the interior is mind-blowing.
The villain has just captured the hero. Instead of killing him right then and there, he/she stands there explaining his/her entire plan to destroy or conquer the world.
The victim is trying to get away from the killer. Instead of running out of the front door and getting in the car, the victim hides in the attic, runs upstairs to the bedroom, or looks for shelter in the outdoor shed.
While trying to hide from the killer, the victim will hide somewhere in the house. As the killer is searching the entire house, the victim will either whimper, breathe loud enough to be heard, or accidentally knock something over to disclose the hiding place.
A character is shown in the water (swimming pool, lake, or ocean), drowning. Instead of submerging in the water, the character will be floating above the water, flapping his/her arms violently while calling for help.
The villain puts the hero in a death machine or asks his/her henchmen to finish him off. Instead of staying there and making sure that the hero is killed, he/she leaves the room. Eventually, the hero escapes.
The heroine or innocent character in the movie will die with a single bullet. This leads to the hero avenging that character’s death.
In an action movie, someone either falls or smashes through a glass wall/ceiling and walks away without a scrape or scratch.
Even though the villain has an army of henchmen and has countless guns, he will engage in a one-on-one hand combat, and lose.
Every hero and villain has unforgettable catch phrases that they use in the movie.
In a movie about cops, there’s always one veteran cop who’s about to retire in a couple of days. But there is a crazy villain out to destroy mankind and it’s up to him to save the world.
Throughout the movie, the hero is shown trying to kill the villain. However, just as the villain is dangling from the roof, about to fall to his death, the hero wants to save his life.
A couple, madly in love, has a misunderstanding and breaks up. Throughout the entire movie, there are chances of clearing the air and knowing the truth, but it doesn’t happen. But just before the movie ends, they get back together because nothing matters more than their love.
In order to become a superhero, the character has to go through a sad childhood. This either means he’s an orphan or his parents were killed in front of him.
The good guy will have one friend or acquaintance who will betray him and make life a living hell.
The hero is almost always an American and the villain is either Russian, Middle Eastern, or European. It’s never the other way round.
People can’t judge whether a person is good or bad. It’s always the dogs who can identify them easily and will bark at them too.
The villain is shot 10 times and seems to have died. However, he/she will return one last time to try to kill the hero. Unfortunately, he/she is shot one last time which leads to his death.
An innocent man/woman has just been captured by the villain and is tied to a chair. The first thing he/she asks is, “Why are you doing this to me?”
In horror movies, a group of teenagers/people will go into the woods to camp. Everyone, except the virgins, will be killed.
While trying to kill the villain, the hero/heroine will shoot him/her only once rather than emptying all the bullets in his/her chest/head.
The villain tells his henchman to do some work. If he returns with bad news, the villain shoots him without even looking at him.
A maniac is chasing a beautiful girl, trying to kill her. As she is running away from him/her, the girl will scream at the top of her lungs.
The victim, always a woman, will trip and fall countless times while trying to get away from the psycho killer.
The killer, who is walking slowing towards his/her victim, will eventually catch up even if the victim is running to get away from him/her.
The villain puts a plastic bag over a character’s head in order to kill him/her. Instead of making a hole in the plastic bag, the character will claw the villain’s hands.
In a survivor movie, women are always wearing tight shorts and white tops. Also, their legs, arms, and armpits are perfectly waxed.
Before the movie ends, the hero crashes the wedding so that he can confess his undying love for the bride who’s about to marry some other guy; which would be a huge mistake because the other guy’s a jerk or a womanizer.
The hero is in love with the heroine, or vice versa, but could never tell her the truth in the entire movie. Just as she’s leaving the city for good, he rushes to the airport, stops her from taking off, and declares his love in front of hundreds of strangers.
In a love triangle, which is always two men and one woman, the men will be handsome, trustworthy, and caring, and the heroine will have to make a really tough decision; which she’ll make at the end of the movie.
If the hero/heroine is trying to find his/her love interest, after searching everywhere around town, he/she will know where that person is – the exact place both of them met for the first time.
The villains wish to kill hundreds of thousands of people with a bomb. In order to remove the mystery as to when the bomb will detonate, the bomb has an LED readout so that the hero can diffuse it on time.
The bomb will have multicolored wires that will make it easier for the hero to cut the correct wire and diffuse the bomb at the final second.
In order to get back together with the ex, the hero/heroine finds someone hot he/she can pretend to be with. Throughout the entire movie, the ex is getting jealous while these two are actually falling in love with one another.
A science experiment gone wrong will either result in the good guy transforming into a superhero or the bad guy into a super villain.
Unknown to his/her super powers, the hero/heroine will master the skills in a few hours or a day.
If a superhero is lost or can’t handle his responsibilities, all he requires is a pep talk from a loved one and instantly, he is back to normal.
In the final battle, the villain will always kidnap the superhero’s love interest and use her as a bargaining chip.
No matter how much the characters eat and drink in a movie, they never seem to require restroom breaks.
In movies, all the phone numbers begin with 555.
A pregnant heroine, or any other female character, doesn’t go through hours and hours in labor. Instead, as soon as her water breaks, she’s rushed to the hospital and in an hour or so, she delivers.
In movies, every childbirth is natural. No woman ever requires a C-section.
During childbirth, the woman will scream, yell, use Lamaze, and blame her husband, boyfriend, or fiance for making her pregnant.
If there is an alcoholic in the movie, it will always be a man; never a woman.
During bad weather, thunder and lightning will happen at the same time. Also, the hero/heroine will get stuck somewhere with no cell phone reception.
While communicating with humans, aliens can speak in English and understand everything humans say and mean.
While bringing the grocery bags from the car, the bags don’t feel heavy at all. There is a loaf of French bread sticking out as well.
The surveillance cameras always provide perfect videos and clear shots of victims or killers.
In order to break down a door, the first couple of tries won’t be enough. The door will open wide at the third or fourth try only.
If someone is thrown out of a plane/helicopter without a parachute and another person, who jumps before has one, he will hold on to this person and won’t let go until he/she hits the ground.
Characters who smoke in the movie have the urge to smoke only when there is a romantic or dramatic scene.
If the movie shows an explosion in space, there will be a definite boom.
In action movies, whenever the hero walks into a bar, he will get into a fight with the first person that pisses him off.
If a character hasn’t slept for two days straight, all he/she has to do is splash some cold water on the face and he/she is good to go.
Apart from the characters who are dying or have an illness in the movie, everyone else is shown in perfect health.
If a character is holding a plain pink box, it generally means that there are pastries, cake, or donuts inside.
In a family-oriented movie, the mother will be shown preparing a grand breakfast for everyone. However, no one ever has time to eat it properly.
The villain is chasing a woman and she happens to run towards a staircase. She will always run up the stairs; never go down.
The timing in the movie is always exact. Also, all the characters’ watches are perfectly synchronized.
If a character is shown carrying a full suitcase, it is weightless and easy to maneuver.
Almost all the characters shown on a plane or ship never suffer from motion sickness.
If there are Asian characters in a movie, they are either very smart or know kung fu.
No matter what a hero/heroine does, however many laws he/she breaks, he/she is above the law.
A nerd in the movie will most definitely be a fan of either Star Wars or Star Trek.
The hero will shout ‘GET OUT’ to a group of people and they will never comply at the first request. He has to yell again in order to make people understand the seriousness.
If the hero is shot in the arm, he can still fight off 100 bad guys and not feel a thing.
After a fight, if the hero has been injured badly, he will refuse any help from his family and friends, and won’t feel the need for medical attention.
Regardless of these cliches, our love for the movies will not diminish. Apart from these obvious incidents, which other cliches makes you face palm? Do leave a comment below and let us know what are your thoughts about the unrealistic settings formulated on the big screen.