May 8, 2014

Things we don't need to see in any more movies

Last month I posted a list of weird situations that are common in movies

Continuing the fun, I now present a list of really, REALLY overdone things that are in a LOT of movies. Most of these are visual tropes, but some are just plain old cliches.

Got any more?

I've seen enough to last me forever of:

  • Runaway Ferris wheels rolling through city streets
  • Fruit carts being crashed into by cars
  • Random St Patricks Day or Chinese New Year parades 
  • Unhinged scientists
  • People/vehicles bumping into ladders and causing workmen to fall off them 
  • Men jumping off things into rivers before other things crash into them
  • Vehicles mounting footpaths during chases
  • Cars driving the wrong way down freeways
  • Dogs stealing strings of sausages from butchers
  • That really insanely heavy rain
  • Really mean high school football coaches 
  • Drill sergeants
  • Women screaming (or crying hysterically)
  • Men not screaming (or crying hysterically)
  • Overly literal, unimaginative scientists proven wrong by mystic/wonderous events
  • Any character living in a houseboat, for any reason
  • Young boys who are smarter/calmer than their grown women carers
  • Mysterious strangers at funerals
  • People running through airports being chased by security
  • Female villains wearing dark lipstick
  • Pies cooling on windowsills
  • Old guys in denim overalls sitting on porches
  • Dogs chasing cats through other people's houses
  • People caught kissing via their shadows behind a lit curtain/screen
  • Mechanics spitting on the ground
  • Bus passengers in third world countries traveling with cages of chickens 
  • Ululating women in black abayas 
  • People escaping being run over by lying down under trains/trucks
  • Cute children's drawings or painted signs that were obviously created by an art department
  • Creaking wooden screen doors banging while a wind chime twirls ominously 
  • Cork boards with papers tacked all over them to help the hero think
  • White boards with crime figure head-shots tacked to them and arrows joining them up
  • People hiding in bedroom cupboards with slatted doors
  • POV shots through camera lenses (complete with freeze-frame and clicking for photos taken) 
  • Partners who refuse to take the hero/ine's claims seriously despite mounting evidence
  • Children's school concerts that descend into chaos
  • Assistants saying "You can't go in there!" and then "I'm sorry sir, s/he just barged in" 

I feel like I could go on, but I will pass it on to you.

What other scenes and visual tropes are totally overdone in movies?

Stuart Miles /


  1. But then there would be no movies!

    How about kids at the door of a spooky house, "It sure looks spooky" but entering anyway!

  2. Mind you, someone with talent could make a thoroughly entertaining movie by simply blending all of these cliches together. Cutting a scene if it ISNT an overdone cliche.

    1. OMG how good an idea is that?! I would DEFINITELY watch that movie!

  3. Jackie, What about going to the cinema? Is it a waste of time?. Definitely after reading your wonderful post.

    1. Well unless someone makes EC's movie of course!

  4. Hi Jackie,

    I agree with some items in your list but disagree with others (I LOVE a good unhinged scientist!).

    What I really hate are people who can "hack" computers in less than ten seconds by typing random nonsense on keyboards - and save the world as a result. That's because I am an IT geek and I know that is impossible.

    If you ever watch Jurassic Park again, look out for the scene when the young girl sits down in front of the computer and says "This is Unix - I know this!" and then saves the day. I almost leapt up onto my soapbox about that one.

    In fact, it annoyed me so much I have looked it up for you on YouTube,

    Watch and cringe:

    And then ask me why I hate it so much.




    P.S. I still love the film though :-)

    1. Yes! that clip is funny. You reminded me of another one: when someone tries to guess a password and the screen flashes big red letters ACCESS DENIED. Luckily of course, they always guess the correct password on the third attempt.
      I love Jurassic Park too - great movie!

  5. Pie in the face food fights. I really, really hate those.

    "Mechanics spitting on the ground"...uummm, ANYBODY spitting on the gorund, ditto in real life.

    1. Ha yes good point!
      Oh yeah those dumb "pies" which don't even look like pies...

  6. gorund??? that should be ground!



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