25 Movie Clichés

1.       All members of alien species wear the same outfits, including clothing, hairstyles, and jewellery. This makes them readily identifiable. This may, in fact, be a consequence of the fact that aliens all have single, monolithic cultures: one language, one religion, one outfit, per planet.

2.       A cup of black coffee/splash of cold water in face is enough to render the most inebriated person stone cold sober in a split second.

3.       People never cough, sneeze, blow their noses, or show any other symptoms of being in less than perfect health. Only exception to the above is when they’re dying. A cough is a symptom of terminal illness. Menstruation is an unknown phenomenon in movies. Female movie characters are all immune from it.

4.       There are always people carrying around large sheets of glass on the street during a car chase. Chases will always stop to throw obstacles (trash cans, lumber, chairs) in their pursuers’ way. No matter that they take three times as long to dump the obstacles as it takes the chasers to simply jump over them.

5.       In situations like the Vietnam War, and violent inner city neighbourhoods, the person with the most plans, prospects, and hopes will die.

6.       A dying person’s last words will always be coherent and significant. When your sidekick, lover, or similar acquaintance is on the verge of dying, don’t call an ambulance; instead hold her warmly and whisper words of comfort, or kiss her passionately. Theoretically she may not be much into it under the circumstances, but hey, it may be your last chance! Then, when she relaxes or slumps over visibly, you can say your tearful good-bye to her, because this means she is dead.

7.       All movie mothers will prepare a breakfast, usually consisting of scrambled eggs, bacon, etc. Dad and the kids will invariably arrive at the table 30 seconds before Dad has to leave for the office and the kids have to catch the school bus. Each will have time only for a sip of coffee/juice and/or one bite of toast. There must be enough food left over in these homes to feed an emerging nation!

8.       The hero’s best friend/partner will usually be killed by the bad guys three days before retirement. The hero’s new wife will be mowed down by 80 machine guns right after the wedding or during the honeymoon.

9.       Eight to ten-year-old kids are the best computer hackers on earth and can break into any system.

10.   Any lock can be picked with a credit card or a paper clip.

11.   Medieval peasants always have filthy faces, tangled hair, ragged clothing – and perfect, gleaming white teeth.

12.   Minorities such as Native Americans or Asians will always have some sort of mystical knowledge or innate fighting skill. For example, the Native American always knows the course of events to come from some sign in nature, and Asians are all born with Martial Arts skills they can use to battle the bad guys.

13.   Police Captains/lieutenants are always angry at their star detective and yell at him, threatening suspension if he doesn’t drop the case. Corollary: it is only after the detective has been suspended that he can properly crack the case.

14.   Most homicide detectives are brooding, near-crazed loners, most likely divorced or widowed, borderline alcoholics. Of course, there are more respectable-looking detectives, but they are inept and not nearly as tough as their mentally troubled colleagues.

15.   Whenever a woman announces to her husband/boyfriend that she’s pregnant, it comes as a complete surprise to him, whether pleasantly or otherwise.

16.   Most babies are born clean, with perfectly shaped heads and dry hair. All movie babies are born huge, usually the size of the average two month old.

17.   In jail, there must be a brutal guard and an evil scheming warden.

18.   All women moan during sex, but none sweat.

19.   The walls of a teenager’s bedroom or a twentyish adult’s apartment are always highly decorated, beyond anything sane, with every available inch of space covered with something cool.

20.   The bad guy is the foreigner. Corollary: the foreigner is the guy who speaks English with an English accent

21.   No matter how dead you think you’ve killed a bad guy, he can still get up at least 3 more times. Therefore, always make sure to leave his gun in or near his hand after you’ve killed him and you turn away to comfort the girl.

22.   The bad guy, instead of simply offing the captured good guy on the spot, will devise some sort of drawn-out, fiendishly clever method of execution that will take enough time to allow the good guy to figure out his escape.

23.   You can always tell which nationality the United States and the popular media are currently most unhappy with because that nation sends all their villains to star in Hollywood movies during those times (e.g. Germans in the late 40’s and 50’s, Asians in the 60’s and 70’s, Soviets in the 70’s and 80’s and Middle Easterners in the 90’s).

24.   Every army platoon has at least one, usually black, member who can play the harmonica.

25.   Two total strangers, upon falling into bed together, will always reach an incredibly intense, mutual, and simultaneous orgasm on the first try.




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