Dumb Movie Cliches

WillG

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2003
Messages
6,911
What are some good, really dumb cliches you see in movies all the time. For example...

A guy can tell the main character all the details of the plot/plan with total impunity just because he prefaced it with "Off the record" or "I'll just deny it"

The brakes on the car are cut, but it does not take effect until after the guy has driven for like a half hour.
 

Shawn_KE

Screenwriter
Joined
Nov 25, 2003
Messages
1,295
Action Heroes being able to hotwire anything in seconds.

Action Heroes big leap right before the explosion, and is just far enought not to get hurt.

Cheezy ugly girl that just takes off her glasses and fixes here hair and is suddenly a Victoria's Secret Model.
 

Roger_R

Second Unit
Joined
Nov 6, 2003
Messages
372
People that sit straight up in their beds the second after they've awaken from a nightmare.
 

Garrett Lundy

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2002
Messages
3,763
The hero that can shoot a badguy 500yards away with a snub nosed revolver, and an army of badguys that couldn't hit anything but the ground with their small arsenal of machine-guns.

Cars (boats, motorcycles, wheelbarrows, whatever) that can be shot 50,000 times and are still in perfect driving condition (Matrix Reloaded).

Nobody ever has to pee.

Everybody works-out three hours a day and has six-pack abs.
 

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

Moderator
Premium
Joined
Aug 5, 1999
Messages
6,585
Location
Corpus Christi, TX
Real Name
Wayne
The prostitute is always a sympathetic character.

The cleric, priest or other religious type usually ends up being a buffoon, hypocrite, bigot, etc.

Kick or knee to the groin - always done to a man.

"Men are idiots" dialog. Like to se "women are itiots" dialog just once.

"You can be or do anything if you set your mind to." As if.
 

Rob P S

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2002
Messages
2,003
Real Name
rob
Bars exist in movies only so that fights will break out in them.

The beautiful, intelligent woman who falls in love with Chris Farley/Adam Sandler/Rob Schneider - just as we know she would in real life.

The "false scare", followed by laughter, and then the real killer strikes.

The gunman who taunts the hostage long enough for them to figure out an escape plan.

People only wear glasses in movies for them to be identified as brainiacs.
 

WillG

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2003
Messages
6,911
The cop that is a few days away from retirement put in danger constantly.

The cop who is quitting only to be immediately killed.

The Bad guys's henchman who wants to walk out after the plan has fallen apart only to be shot in the back by the head bad guy.
 

George_W_K

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 13, 2003
Messages
1,989
Location
Ohio
Real Name
George
Bad guy causes some kind of big explosion and stands just out of range of getting hurt, staring pretty much at the camera unfazed.

Soldiers who talk about what they're going to do when they get home, only to be killed shortly afterwards.
 

Kevin Porter

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 10, 2002
Messages
948
Romantic Comedy:

Guy and girl fall in love but are driven apart by conflict (usually a wacky misunderstanding or the work of the evil antagonist) only to be reunited in the end.

And haven't we all seen this one?:

A guy falls in love with a woman that he met at a restaurant who turned out to be the daughter of a kidnapped scientist only to lose her to her childhood lover who she last saw on a deserted island who then turned out fifteen years later to be the leader of the French underground.
 

BretWeaver

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Apr 25, 2004
Messages
73
The first people to engage in sexual/drug/illegal activities in horror movies are always the first to die... that and black people... whats up with that? For once I would love to see the prude/virgin girl get axed first so the other ones can total get it on
 

Brad Porter

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 8, 1999
Messages
1,757
Spontaneous Automobile Combustion

I just finished watching Where Eagles Dare, and it has one of the worst examples of spontaneous automobile combustion that I can recall seeing. Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton push a car off of a cliff - the car isn't even running, mind you - they just roll it off the side of the road. After rolling about 20 yards down the side of the hill, it bursts into a fireball. Ridiculous!

Brad
 

Ricardo C

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2002
Messages
5,059
Real Name
Ricardo C
The long, drawn-out, slow-motion fake death scene, the one the director thinks is keeping the audience on edge, so he does it 50 F****NG TIMES.

Peter Jackson, I'm talking to you
 

Mike Soltis

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jul 23, 2001
Messages
144
Location
SWFL
Real Name
Mike
The "self-repairing" camoflauge in "Die Another Day" for another example.

I really hate the 'infinite resolution' digital cameras in movies...
Zoom in on that. (Zooms in, picture becomes all pixellated)
Can you clean that up? (Computer magically reconstructs perfect picture)

Be sure to check out This listing, this site has been up for a while and is probably the best one out there.
 

Jack Briggs

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 3, 1999
Messages
16,805
Speaking of "spontaneous automobile combustion" (cars almost never explode in a fireball): How 'bout that electric "Johnny Cab" in Total Recall? As California's future governor eludes the bad guys gunning for him in his Johnny Cab, Arnold crashes the vehicle — and it explodes in a conventional Hollywood fireball. Love it: an explosion without the courtesy of gas and an internal-combustion engine.

Also, how about vents in public buildings that always are large enough for humans to squirm into — and their antagonists never think to look inside?
 

George_W_K

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 13, 2003
Messages
1,989
Location
Ohio
Real Name
George
I'll have to watch Total Recall again, but didn't the taxi self destruct because Arnold didn't pay?
 

andrew markworthy

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 30, 1999
Messages
4,762
I think we had this thread a while ago.

The cliches that spring to mind:

The curious L-shaped sheet that keeps a woman's breasts covered up in bed but a man's chest exposed.

The ease with which in a busy city, people can park right outside the building they want to visit - every time.

'It's about more than just us'

'I did it for the money at first, but now I truly love you'.

The piles of empty cardboard boxes in alleyways seemingly put there just for a car to drive through

Ditto fruit carts.

Fist fights in which after several punches, teeth are still intact and noses unbloodied.

The strange belief that if you are shot in the shoulder, this is the equivalent of a slight graze.

The remarkable ability everyone has to speak English, even in foreign countries.

The miraculous ability of women's makeup to stay exactly in place, even the morning after a night of riotous sex (for some reason I most notice this in movies about lesbians :b ).

The curious fact that any woman suddenly divested of her outer garments will be discovered to be wearing sexy lingerie.

The way in which a crowd of people, who have no idea of what has gone before, start cheering when the hero and heroine start kissing in public at the end of a movie.

The way in which in night scenes, it's always just finished raining.

The apparent complete absence of toilets on spaceships.

The seemingly inexhaustible skills of heros who can instantly work out how to hack into a strange computer system, work out the controls on a plane, secret weapon, etc.

Explosions in the distance where you hear the sound at the same time as seeing it (for the non-scientifically minded - the sound should happen later, and the further the distance, the longer the delay).

Ray guns and similar that fire projectiles at the speed of light *but where you can see the ray moving*.

In science fiction films, non-humanoid lifeforms that conveniently always have weapons, controls, etc, that humans can easily learn and use.

The incredible accuracy with which soldiers can shoot so that they just miss the hero. The hallmark of a good cliche soldier is one who can send a series of bullets that raise tiny clouds of dust, plaster or whatever a few inches to one side of the hero as he runs.

The amazing capacity of women in movies wearing very short skirts to run, sit, jump, etc without ever revealing anything. [Before you accuse me of sexism/voyeurism, it was a female friend who first pointed this one out to me].

A saxophone that starts playing when a beautiful woman walks into the room, and the 'wah, wah, wahhhhh' noise on a muted trumpet when a 'comical' situation has occurred.

Insane complex apparatus in the geeky inventor's house that cooks breakfast, feeds the dog, etc.

Zombies - everyone instantly runs from something that could be outpaced by a heavily tranquilised slug. You could finish War and Peace before a zombie 100 yards away got within reach.

Evil supervillains who hatch plots to take over the world and incur the attention of the secret services when they already effectively have the same level of power already.

Upper-class English villains.

'It's getting personal, I'm taking you off the case.'
 

WillG

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2003
Messages
6,911
Red Wire, Blue Wire.

If you are a bad guy who is built a bomb, MAKE ALL WIRES THE SAME COLOR!
 

Adam_ME

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 31, 2002
Messages
930
Lightning striking and thunder being heard at the same time. I swear this happens in 99.9% of movies. Have any of these filmmakers ever observed a real thunderstorm?
 

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
345,174
Messages
4,733,122
Members
141,400
Latest member
monikamruhi