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List of common movie cliches/tropes that are impossible and nonsensical

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Winston
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List of common movie cliches/tropes that are impossible and nonsensical

Post by Winston » August 13th, 2014, 11:34 am

Here is a list of stupid annoying cliches that you commonly see in movies, but that are logically impossible and would not work or happen in real life. They have been done by Hollywood so often that they've become annoying and predictable, yet they defy basic logic and basic science. Every time I see these cliches, they insult my intelligence. Here are some examples. Feel free to add more examples.

1. Cars flip and explode so easily in the movies. Have you ever seen a car explode in real life? Probably not. That's because cars don't explode after a crash. If they did, you'd see them exploding all the time. Explosions require chemicals and ignition. It takes a lot of planning and set up to make them happen. Cars with gas tanks don't just explode because they crash or roll down a hill. That's stupid Hollywood.

2. Shooting a gas barrel with a gun causes a huge explosion. Not true. Explosions require chemicals and ignition devices. Shooting a gas barrel or even a big rig gas truck is not going to create a giant fireball explosion. Very stupid.

3. Knocking someone unconscious by hitting them behind the neck. TV Series in the 60's and 70's were notorious for this. You could knock someone out, like a security guard, just by doing a light karate chop to the back of their neck to get them out of the way. No way. People aren't that easy to knock out in real life. It makes no sense.

4. Locking doors from the outside. Why is it that every building in a movie, including a residential house, lets you lock someone inside by locking the outside of the door? I've never seen a building, besides a prison, where you could lock someone in from the outside. Doors are not made to lock someone in. They are made to lock someone out. Yet in the movies, every door can be locked from outside, in order to imprison people inside. Even doors in residential homes can be locked from outside. That's so unrealistic and stupid. In real life, only prison doors can be locked from outside.

5. Suffocating someone to death with a pillow. Has anyone ever tried suffocating someone to death with a pillow? That's so stupid. Yet Hollywood shows so many murders committed that way. No way. Try covering your face with a pillow and you will see that you still have plenty of breathing space. A pillow cannot completely stop air from going into your mouth or nose. You can't murder someone with a pillow. Again, stupid Hollywood is out of touch with reality.

6. Pointing a gun at someone while standing close to them. When you see this, it means that the person being pointed at will take the gun away from the holder. It's become too predictable. Yet this is illogical. If you were pointing a gun at someone, you would not stand close to that person to allow that person to grab it. Anyone pointing a gun at someone would stand farther away, out of reach, so they would have plenty of time to react if their captive tried to do something. Duh. Hollywood sucks when it comes to basic logic.

7. Biting someone who has pinned you down to free yourself. This is stupid. Human teeth are mostly flat and do not hurt that much. Therefore, human bites would not hurt much either. If a strong fighter has you pinned down, you aren't going to release his grip on you by biting his hand or arm. Especially if the person is strong and a good fighter. Yet Hollywood makes the human bite method work every time. Whenever someone bites in a movie, the other person lets go, no matter how strong or tough he is. So stupid. It wouldn't work in real life though. This happened even in the Bruce Lee movie "Chinese Connection". When Bruce Lee was pinned down in a grapple by the Russian fighter, he bit his arm and made him let go. Yeah right. So cheesy and cheap.

8. Picking up the phone during sex. This one is really annoying since it ruins a lot of good sex scenes or lovemaking scenes. For some reason, in the movies, answering the phone is ALWAYS more important than sex, even sex with a beautiful woman. It's as if the phone gives more pleasure than sex. Stupid. In real life, most people do not answer regular phone calls when they're having sex, unless they are not enjoying it. But if they are engaged in passionate lovemaking, then no way.

Moreover, when they answer the phone during sex, the one that answered always has to go somewhere, even if the guy is with a hot woman he may never get to sleep with again. Yeah right. Going to work is always more important and more interesting than sex. And not only that, but the guy who has to go can't even continue making love for 5 or 10 more minutes. He always has to go immediately. Yeah right. I would never rush to work if I had a beautiful woman in bed. Most guys would not either. Stupid Hollywood. This cliche has ruined a lot of good sex scenes too.

9. Rather than just shooting the hero, he is put into a contraption that allows him to escape. This happens all the time in the Batman series, in James Bond movies, and many others. When the villain is pointing a gun at the protagonist or hero, and can just shoot him and finish him off, he never does. Instead, he prefers to put him into some type of contraption where he will be given time to try to escape. And he does. The villains never learn that it's easier to just shoot them, rather than to put them in stupid contraptions where they will always escape. And they repeat the same mistake in every episode or movie.

10. Briefcases with a million dollars in cash easily fly open. Yeah right. In real life, if a million dollars were put into a briefcase or box, it would be tightly and securely sealed. It would not casually fly open and let the million dollars blow away like that. Yet in movies like "Rush Hour 3" with Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, that's what happens at the end when the bad guys get their money. Yeah right. That'd never happen in real life.

11. In martial arts movies, the protagonist is always at full power and full strength, no matter how many hits he takes or damages he incurs. This happens in nearly every Kung Fu movie. There is always a climactic fight scene at the end where the protagonist, or good guy/hero, gets hit a lot at the beginning. Sometimes he is even near death and should be totally incapacitated from his injuries. Yet he always comes back with a rage at full power to defeat his enemies with just a few blows. In contrast, the bad guys always get weaker with every hit. This is inconsistent and illogical.

For example, in the Bruce Lee movie "Return of the Dragon, at the end fight scene with Chuck Norris, this happens. At the start of the fight, Bruce Lee receives three series of hits from Chuck Norris, enough to considerably weaken him. Yet he keeps getting up at full power. Then, when Chuck Norris starts getting hit after Bruce Lee does his cat-like moves, with every hit Norris gets weaker and weaker, until he's defeated. Yet Bruce Lee always remains at full power no matter what. Almost every Kung Fu movie is like this. It makes no sense and is illogical and inconsistent.

This even happens in Rocky movies. For example, in "Rocky IV", Rocky gets hit a lot by Drago's super power punches, which should have immediately knocked him out or incapacitated him with a few blows, as it did with his friend Apollo Creed. Yet Rocky is always at full power. Then when he starts hitting Drago, Drago gets weaker and less powerful. Again, inconsistent and illogical.

12. In horror slash movies (e.g. Friday the 13th, Halloween, etc.) when the girl at the end (it's always a girl who is the last survivor) is running from the killer, she always falls down as she's running for her life. Then she takes forever to get back up, giving the killer plenty of time to get to her, while keeping you in suspense. This is stupid. If you were running for your life, and you fell or tripped, you'd get back up in a split second. It wouldn't take you forever, especially if someone trying to kill you was approaching. Come on now. That's stupid. This sometimes happens at the beginning of the film too, when the characters are killed off one by one. They can never just run away, and if they do, they always trip and fall and can't get back up, so that they are finished off as they are meant to be.

13. Starting a car without keys. It's stupid how people in TV and movies can just get into any random parked car, start it and drive away. Even if you were to hotwire a car, it would take time, not be instantaneous. Moreover, the parked cars they get into are never locked. So anyone can just open the door and start them without keys. Yeah right. This even happens in newer movies too, such as "Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)" when the father of Caesar's friend gets into a neighbors car and starts it without any keys. Totally illogical.

Anyway, I'm sure there's more. But that's all I can think of right now. Feel free to add any more that come to mind.
Last edited by Winston on August 14th, 2014, 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Johnny1975 » August 13th, 2014, 2:53 pm

In all fairness Winston, the pillow thing does work.

Trust me.

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Post by Jester » August 13th, 2014, 4:50 pm

I think biting would work if you got a lower forearm above the wrist, or finger. Someplace you could get down to the bone.
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Post by Jester » August 13th, 2014, 4:53 pm

3 things bother me:

--Recovery after surgery (Desperado and Repo Men) that is so complete that you want to have sex right away

--Bad guys catch the good guy who has been wasting them all, and then instead of shooting, just point the gun and say"hold it"

--Guys get angry and cock their guns. I mean who goes into action without chambering a round first?
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Re: List of stupid movie cliches that would never happen

Post by Cornfed » August 13th, 2014, 8:46 pm

Winston wrote:4. Locking doors from the outside. Why is it that every building in a movie, including a residential house, lets you lock someone inside by locking the outside of the door? I've never seen a building, besides a prison, where you could lock someone in from the outside. Doors are not made to lock someone in. They are made to lock someone out. Yet in the movies, every door can be locked from outside, in order to imprison people inside. Even doors in residential homes can be locked from outside. That's so unrealistic and stupid. In real life, only prison doors can be locked from outside.
It is called a deadlock and is relatively common.
7. Biting someone who has pinned you down to free yourself. This is stupid. Human teeth are mostly flat and do not hurt that much. Therefore, human bites would not hurt much either. If a strong fighter has you pinned down, you aren't going to release his grip on you by biting his hand or arm. Especially if the person is strong and a good fighter.
People do seem to have a strong reaction to being bitten, which could allow you to escape.

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Post by Winston » August 14th, 2014, 9:30 am

Another one I added:

13. Starting a car without keys. It's stupid how people in TV and movies can just get into any random parked car, start it and drive away. Even if you were to hotwire a car, it would take time, not be instantaneous. Moreover, the parked cars they get into are never locked. So anyone can just open the door and start them without keys. Yeah right. This even happens in newer movies too, such as "Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)" when the father of Caesar's friend gets into a neighbors car and starts it without any keys. Totally illogical.
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Post by Winston » August 14th, 2014, 9:57 am

Johnny1975 wrote:In all fairness Winston, the pillow thing does work.

Trust me.
Well then I don't trust you. You are out of touch with reality. How would you know? Have you tried to kill someone with a pillow?

Try this: Press a pillow over your face as tight as possible. Then try to breathe. You will find that you can still breathe because the pillow cannot completely obstruct air. Get real man. Try it.
Jester wrote: I think biting would work if you got a lower forearm above the wrist, or finger. Someplace you could get down to the bone.
No it wouldn't. I've challenged people to bite my arm and make it let go. No one can bite hard enough. It doesn't hurt much. You wanna try biting my arm? Try biting your own and you will see.

Do you guys have any common sense? Sheesh.
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Re: List of stupid movie cliches that would never happen

Post by Winston » August 14th, 2014, 10:06 am

Cornfed wrote:
Winston wrote:4. Locking doors from the outside. Why is it that every building in a movie, including a residential house, lets you lock someone inside by locking the outside of the door? I've never seen a building, besides a prison, where you could lock someone in from the outside. Doors are not made to lock someone in. They are made to lock someone out. Yet in the movies, every door can be locked from outside, in order to imprison people inside. Even doors in residential homes can be locked from outside. That's so unrealistic and stupid. In real life, only prison doors can be locked from outside.
It is called a deadlock and is relatively common.
7. Biting someone who has pinned you down to free yourself. This is stupid. Human teeth are mostly flat and do not hurt that much. Therefore, human bites would not hurt much either. If a strong fighter has you pinned down, you aren't going to release his grip on you by biting his hand or arm. Especially if the person is strong and a good fighter.
People do seem to have a strong reaction to being bitten, which could allow you to escape.
Well I've never seen a front door that couldn't be unlocked from the inside by turning the lock. But even so, so what? I was talking about locking people into rooms, including bedrooms. Happens in many TV shows and movies.

About the bite, you wanna bet? Try biting my arm. It won't do anything. Human teeth don't hurt. I've challenged people to bite my arm. I'm sensitive to pain yet even I can tolerate it without letting go.
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Re: List of stupid movie cliches that would never happen

Post by Cornfed » August 14th, 2014, 11:16 am

Winston wrote:Well I've never seen a front door that couldn't be unlocked from the inside by turning the lock.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_bolt
About the bite, you wanna bet? Try biting my arm. It won't do anything. Human teeth don't hurt. I've challenged people to bite my arm. I'm sensitive to pain yet even I can tolerate it without letting go.
You don't get it. A human bite that breaks the skin is more likely to result in death by poisoning than a snake bite on average. People are naturally afraid of it. As to your challenge, my front teeth are incomplete due to traumatic damage (as I'm sure will come to a surprise to everyone) but I bet I could rip your parts away with what is left of my teeth, and thus escape any grip.

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Re: List of stupid movie cliches that would never happen

Post by Winston » August 14th, 2014, 11:29 am

Cornfed wrote:
Winston wrote:Well I've never seen a front door that couldn't be unlocked from the inside by turning the lock.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_bolt
About the bite, you wanna bet? Try biting my arm. It won't do anything. Human teeth don't hurt. I've challenged people to bite my arm. I'm sensitive to pain yet even I can tolerate it without letting go.
You don't get it. A human bite that breaks the skin is more likely to result in death by poisoning than a snake bite on average. People are naturally afraid of it. As to your challenge, my front teeth are incomplete due to traumatic damage (as I'm sure will come to a surprise to everyone) but I bet I could rip your parts away with what is left of my teeth, and thus escape any grip.
Those dead bolts are only abroad. I've never seen them in the states, at least not in modern American homes. But the point is, people on TV are able to lock others in any random ROOM. I'm talking about ROOMS, not front doors. You miss my point. Stop playing devil's advocate. I'm sure you know what I mean. In movies and TV shows, they lock people in rooms and trap them in there. But I've never seen any room in an American home where you can lock someone inside.

Sorry but your theory doesn't equal reality. I've challenged people to bite my arm and no one could bite hard enough to make it hurt. I'm sensitive to pain, yet even I can tolerate bites on the arm by humans. It doesn't hurt. You wanna try biting my arm? Try biting your own arm. Your theories do not match reality.

So if I can take it, then a professional fighter could definitely take it. But in the movies, the bite method works 100 percent of the time, even on the strongest fighters. Not true.
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Post by Winston » August 14th, 2014, 11:32 am

Check out this site called TV Tropes that has a list of unrealistic movie cliches like the kind I'm talking about.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HomePage

We are also discussing my list of movie cliches on IMDB in the General Film board:

http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000007/flat/233366977?p=1
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Post by Cornfed » August 14th, 2014, 11:48 am

I've challenged people to bite my arm and no one could bite hard enough to make it hurt.
My comment on that would be to say that you are an idiot and advise you to stop doing it. It is like other idiots who invite people to punch them in the face. The reason they get away with that for a while is that the people they invite to do it are pansies or are doing them a favor. In fact, human bites can be very nasty.

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Post by Jester » August 14th, 2014, 6:03 pm

Cornfed wrote:
My comment on that would be to say that you are an idiot and advise you to stop doing it.
Yeah but considering how much p4p Winston has done, the one who's REALLY stupid is anyone who would bite his arm and taste his blood.
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Post by droid » August 15th, 2014, 6:09 am

The pillow thing does work. One time my brother smothered me with one and I really couldn't breath, I really had to tap out for real. I guess it depends on the density of the pillow and if someone puts most of their weight on you.
Also I think some of those Mossad douchebags suffocated this arab dude in dubai with a pillow, if I remember well. At least according to the documentary I saw.

I have some more cliches:

-Whenever someone is watching TV on a scene, they always turn it off before the scene is over. How predictable.

-On any car chase or racing scene, the protagonist suddenly 'decides' to press the gas pedal and then he catches up to or beats the antagonist. Stupid, why didn't he floor it from the beginning? lol.

-A 110 pounder chick that kicks the ass of 250 pound douchebags and sends them flying across the room (feminist BS). Talk about suspension of disbelief.

Having said this, Hollywood is an insult to one's intelligence of course. I only see movies now for the artistic visuals, which are actually great.

Of all movies, I think the most imbecile is 007, perhaps only outdone by Charlie's Angels.
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Re: List of stupid movie cliches that never happen in realit

Post by Winston » August 12th, 2016, 8:11 am

If anyone is interested, I tried suffocating myself with a pillow by pressing it hard against my face. As I predicted, it DOESN'T WORK. I could still breathe with the pillow pressed on my face. I tried different pillows too.

Sorry Droid. You are wrong. Try doing it yourself and you will see. You seem to lack common sense reality. Or are you jiving us? Show us one documented example from real life of someone being murdered by suffocation with a pillow.

Even if it could work, it takes longer than 5 seconds to suffocate someone. In the movies, they use pillows to suffocate someone to death in 5 seconds. That's not realistic. People can last a lot longer than that without air. So this is a very stupid and unrealistic cliche. Obviously, they don't want to have a long scene, so they get it over with in a few seconds.

In the movie "The Prestige" from 2006 with Christian Bale and Scarlett Johansson, a girl suffocates to death in a water filled glass cage, in just 10 or 15 seconds. That's baloney. You can hold your breath for a few minutes and experienced swimmers can hold their breathe for 5 minutes or more. Also, it took Michael Caine 10 strikes from a hammer to break the glass cage. That's stupid. A hammer can break glass in one or two strikes. No need for ten strikes. Is Michael Caine really that weak? Stupid. I hate it when movies have several flaws in one scene.
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