40 Accurate Insights To “What’s A Movie Trope You Absolutely Hate?”
Few things ruin a movie as badly as a cliché. It can break our suspension of disbelief in just a second and completely undermine all the good work everyone on the project has done.
From painful exposition in dialogue to lazy plot conveniences, continue scrolling and check out some of the most upvoted answers.
Turning on the TV at the exact moment a relevant news report starts.
"You have to trust me" or "there's no time to explain". In 9 out of 10 cases, there's definitely time to explain, and the explanation would take less time thay trying to convince the other party to blindly trust you.
Domestic violence against men = Comedy
The sexy teacher trope.
I spent two years teaching high school as a young woman fresh out of college. I had many very uncomfortable interactions with male students, who thought it was funny.
TV makes it seem like it's okay for teenagers to be lusting after their teachers if they're young and reasonably attractive. It's a joke, it's funny. The TV dads hit on their kids teacher, make comments about their dress or their body. It transfers to the real world.
It is never, ever okay to sexually harass someone at their occupation. This include teachers, wait staff, flight stewards....anything.
Girl: Does something athletic.
Guys: Confused and surprised.
Girl: I have four brothers/my parents wanted a boy.
Overworked dad who rushes through the kitchen and only grabs a triangle of toast even though his wife prepared a goddamn IHOP-worthy breakfast complete with meat and pancakes and orange juice and coffee.
When the LGBTQ+ character comes out and suddenly being LGBTQ+ is their entire personality and story arch.
if any woman between the ages of 16 and 50 vomit, it means they're pregnant
A fat girl wants to go out with the attractive man, let's make her either sexually aggressive or a laughingstock!
A male or female character love bombing/stalking their love interest into a date or relationship. Like their attention and affection will just wear down the other person until they capitulate.
That stuff isn’t cute or sweet, it is definitely not attractive, and does not make for good cinema.
I’d like to see a movie where the would-be love interest runs the heck away and gets the police involved.
Prosecutor introduces a "surprise" witness or evidence in a middle of a trial.
You would get disbarred for pulling something like that.
Not exactly a trope, but nobody has a problem finding a parking spot in a movie.
Hey let's take a popular movie and remake it with a black cast
I want to see black stories, not rehashed white ones.
I hate this:
A self-destruct timer gets started by the bad guy with a 5 minute countdown. Half an hour of action later, the good guy shuts off the timer with 1 second left on it. F***ers should have died 25 minutes earlier.
If your plot can only be maintained by your characters not having a simple conversation to resolve things, you're a bad writer and I don't like you.
Everyone's home is spotless & well decorated.
CPR. I'm an EMT and I get it, you can't actually have someone do chest compressions coz you'll cause serious damage to the actors. But trust me, when your heart stops, one or two pushes and 'CMON MAN, BREATHE!' don't do it. Same with shocking a flatline and they jump up with a gasp. You actually can't shock a flatline, it literally will not work, and ain't no one jumping up fine after they were DEAD A MINUTE AGO. Even medical programs get this stupid trope sometimes.
Character 1: *Explains something in technical language*
Character 2: "Uuuhh, in English?"
Painfully unfunny and overdone.
First kiss leads to hot steamy sex leds to the woman covering her chest with sheets and then running to the bathroom wrapped in said sheets. It's been what, 60? 70 years? even more?... that we get to see sex scenes in movies. If you can't imagine a creative and realistic way to not show a woman's breasts or private parts, don't shoot a sex scene.
Damn I hate the funny fat best friend or the quirky black guy on the side or the smart Asian kid that has a cameo, like damn marginalised people can be the main characters in stories that aren't just about their trauma!
Jumping/being thrown through a window and emerging without any cuts.
Teenagers being ripped beyond belief looking like they’re 26.
Taking off your glasses and dressing smart is supposed to make you go from a 5 to a 10
oh gee you were hot all along!
When two characters walk into a house or apartment, having just went to a restaurant.
“Wow, that was a great dinner!” “Yeah, I am really stuffed!”
Did they not talk at all in the car???
Characters about to kiss for the first time -- get interrupted. Every damn time.
Female characters only written to display how they’re a strong feminist female. It’s f***ing cringe. If you want an actual strong female character, then show that through her actions as a person without drawing back to meta s**t. Not everything has to be “wow and she is a FEMALE doing this.” It’s counterintuitive and only disvalues her character.
Getting shot in the shoulder is practically a lucky break. You can continue fighting!
Having sex and then hopping out of bed and just throwing your clothes on and running to work...
Sex is messy. Clean that sh*t up first.
I hate it how people who were shown to be of relatively limited means are somehow always able to buy last minute plane tickets across the globe when it furthers the plot.
IRL, hacking isn't "pounding on four keyboards at once while random green bytes flash by on the screen." It's generally more along the lines of "intermittently types for a couple hours, then takes a break and comes back in a day or two to see what the other target's cybersecurity has done in response"
Looking away from the road to have a full conversation while driving. It's almost satisfying when there is a crash.
Romance for the sake of romance. Man? Woman? LOVE! Nooooo. For f***s sake. Now is not the bleeding time.
As an aside lots of these romances are just downright s**t because there is absolutley NO time put into the relationship, it's not like movies DON'T put time into relationships, friendship/buddy stories are VERY fleshed out. But because it's a straight romance, and it's just expected that they fall in love, no bloody effort goes into it. Leading to hundreds upon hundreds of boring, non fleshed out romance plots that are not organic in the slightest and come out of absolutley nowhere.
Frankly it's a trope used to hide lazy writing imho.
Post-apocalyptic settings in which everyone looks clean-shaven and showered. Ancient warfare depicted as chaos instead of ancient military formations and tactics.
•"We're not so different, you and I" or any variation of that
•Person is fighting another person, falls to the ground, reaches with their hand and magically there's something there that ends the fight
•Two people get in a fight -- the guy who is obviously winning just throws the other person from place to place (nobody fights like that) in between basically taking breaks to state long-winded monologues
•WHhhhaattt??/!!! She's a LeSbIaN! And oh wow she can toss around guys who are 100 pounds heavier than her and she don't take no shit?! Never saw THAT coming. I bet she can drink shots like all the boys and never get drunk and has promiscuous sex after grab-assing at the bar. Because that's what guys are like, right? But she's a GIRL so it's like really progressive!
•Main character randomly saved by some other character we haven't seen for the last 20 minutes who just sneaks up from behind and shoots / hits the villain over the head. And literaly NOBODY heard them coming. Even if it's wide open in a field -- this magical person just pops up out of nowhere and saves the day.
•Guns that have no recoil.
Those are some of the ones that make me roll my eyes the hardest.
•Everyone having perfect social skills, unless it's a huge part of their personality.
•The main protagonist having an easy time finding a partner. Just once I'd like to see a protagonist who is single by choice, or even someone who struggles finding a date
•Mental illnesses/trauma in general are really misrepresented in movies.
Something is falling towards them. DON'T F***ING RUN THE SAME WAY IT'S FALLING ! JUST RUN TO THE LEFT FOR 5 SECONDS TO DODGE IT INSTEAD OF RUNNING 2 MINUTES FORWARD !
I love prometheus, the alien movie
Teen comes down to a full breakfast, blinds open, sun is out and bright. Everybody’s at the table, mom, dad, siblings.
Then they’re like “Nah i’ll just grab this apple”
Everything about those scenes are completely wrong. Who has time to make a sunday breakfast on a random school day before they go to work? And damn I went to school in the dark. I go to work in the dark. The sun just doesn’t come out that early.
When a date is made, and they just conclude by "Ok, see you tonight at 8!". Like, where are we meeting? What are we going to do? Do I have to have dinner before? Will it include drinking, so do I leave my car at home? What do I wear?
I've always hated ridiculously over the top action scenes and fights. Like you're really gonna take a baseball bat to the face and jump right back up and whip someone's a**. No, you're gonna lay there and bleed and hope you can find a good plastic surgeon.
The guy and girl hate each other at first sight but end up falling in love later on.
The "evil guy sacrifices himself in the end so he is good right!" Trope. Like wtf, because he died doesn't erase the soon time of abuse/murder/terror/terrible acts that they already committed. They don't get done lovely pass for being a "good guy in the end". Duck no and it's absolutely not healthy way to portray people in real life either, that because someone dies for a good reason that they didn't do terrible bad sh*t and that they weren't terrible people
Female action heroes who have long hair and high heels.
Women who "aren't like other women."
Nobody ever just has a cough.
My all time hated version of this trope is when it is followed by a shot of a tiny drop of blood on a handkerchief that the person quickly shoves into a pocket. lazy film shorthand for yeaah, don't get too attached.
This is too specific, but it bugs me:
-Latina, and attractive? she has a child and she is a single mother.
-Latina, and has a strong personality? she is a lesbian.
"Legend says, a chosen one will defeat Big Bad Guy and lead our people to freedom."
THANKS FOR SPOILING IT, YOU OLD BAT
The space scientist takes their helmet off, right before trying to pet the new organism they've found.
Not a movie trope per se, but why is the dad in nearly every sitcom a dumb f***ing dimwit?
A pregnant woman always has to go into labor at the most cosmically inconvenient time possible.
Guys getting kicked in the balls.
It is apparently the funniest form of sexual assault.
Everything about being "knocked out".
In real life, if your head is hit hard enough to render you unconscious, it's called a "concussion". It's not something you can just wake up from.
The perfectly diverse friend group. Every age, sex, ethnicity and orientation is represented in their group of six.
"It was all just a dream". Thanks, now the entire movie was pointless. It's sometimes followed with "...or was it a dream?" which somehow makes it even more annoying ending.
When a character saves the day by sacrificing themselves and then reappears safe a few second later.
That's why I love reading A Game of Thrones, if someone does something or gets in a situation where they should die... they die. Keeps the tension and you actually worry about the characters. Rest in peace Robb Stark.
Bad guys who have kidnapped their target whom they want dead, and have the opportunity to kill them. So do they do that? No, instead they give a big long monologue detailing their evil genius plans which gives the victim enough time to be rescued or to escape.
My favourite movie villains are usually the ones who actually make genuine attempts to kill without too much wasting time or messing around unnecessarily.
I hate when "Badass" Character walks into a scientist's laboratory demanding they work faster and then breaks a test tube or something as a threat.
It's like "hey A-hole, if you'd stay the f**k out of my lab, we'd be done by now." That equipment is expensive. He just set them back weeks, if not months.
After the MC is done murdering a hundred people he won't kill the main guy because he would just be like him if he does that/the bad guy would win somehow/he isn't a murderer
A character, having never shot a bow or used a sword, suddenly picks is up and is able to defend themselves. NO. Speaking from experience, it takes years of practice to get proficient at using a bow or a sword.
Making it look like someone is gonna die unless the bullet is removed asap. And then they are all better when it is out. This is ridiculous and false. Most of the time we don't even care about the bullet itself.
Love triangles, 95% of them are all the same and usually go like this.
“Hello my name is generic rom com protagonist, I am an average person just like you and I have a problem, I’m in love with 2 boys/girls.”
“Hello I am generic love interest number 1, I am likely the childhood friend who wishes the best for my best friend, I have been yearning for their love and have been patient for their affection, alternatively I may be the rich person as well who promises a life of luxury and stability who will do anything for my one true love.”
“Hey, The name’s generic love interest number 2, unlike the bore that is generic love interest 1, I have a more wild and Exotic personality, I may be the bad boy, the manic pixie dream girl or whatever my role is, I may be poor but I will give generic rom com protagonist excitement as routine is so lame and I will probably win anyways and if I don’t, I’m sure the fanbase will make fanfictions where I am the winner anyways.”
“Oh no whatever shall I do, I’m only at the mercy of the writers who has to pad this conflict out for 90 minutes and I am sure that there will be no needless dramas or misunderstandings.”
TL:DR love triangles are always the same plot line over and over again
No movies having any concept of how guns actually work. Eg. Unlimited ammo, bullets not penetrating things the would go straight through like car doors, No recoil silencers making the gun too quiet etc.
All men are perverts/evil.
Seeing it a lot more lately because lazy/bad writers can't write strong women as strong women so they default to making all dudes awful instead.
When going through a database of criminals, the screen flips through mug shot by mug shot. No software works that way.
Fight scene where the giant and more powerful bad character picks up the hero and throws them a few times, normally over a table or through whatever. It's a tool to show the audience how much stronger they are and thereby raise tension/ humour even, but it's SO unrealistic it just irritates me.
If you were physically capable of literally tossing someone across a room so they go fully airbourne, surely the most efficient way of winning the fight would be to just grip their windpipe and destroy it or just straightforward pulverise their face and head into oblivion with forearms and knees in 3 seconds. But no. Pick them up and throw them a few times, because LoOk, StRoNk!
All bartenders are capable of remembering every customer they have had in last six months in full detail if you give them enough 100 dollar bills.
•People never, NEVER saying goodbye on phones.
•The weird clapping thing (I know it is to not make sound to have raw sound from the actors, but come on..)
•Drivers not paying attention to the road when talking to their passengers
If a person ever tells you, "Trust no one," just go ahead and shoot that person.
This is a minor one, but in movies if anyone went to the store for groceries, they came back with one paper grocery bag, which ALWAYS has a baguette sticking out the top. On some occasions they may be carrying two at the same time but this usually results in them either comically unable to use their hands, or they end up dropping them everywhere.
No one ever has plastic grocery bags that they bring in multiple trips or, as is more realistic, grab all of them at once for one trip.
people just park anywhere.
running into city hall or the courthouse or the police station or an airport or whatever the f**k? no worries...just park here literally right in front of the front door.
not only is that illegal, it's not even physically possible in most cities/towns.
they never show our heroes schlepping it from a parking garage 2 blocks away.
When main characters kiss first when they are literally near death or out of time to save themselves. They have 12 seconds left to live but they talk their feelings first and kiss or do something dramatic like isn’t that already more than 12 seconds? How are you still alive? Lol I hate watching these scenes they take too much time in the middle of a near death scene.
Another is a female character who is mean or bitchy for literally no reason at all, they are just mean. You know those female teenagers who hates school and practically everyone and everything. And at the end of the movie or series they get kind to the main character and everyone she was mean to. I know it’s character development but characters like this are overused. Applies for mean boys too (although I mostly know mean female characters).
See-through monitors in futuristic movies. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I want to see what's displayed on the monitor, not what's behind it, and I think future humans will feel the same. That sort of defeats the purpose.
Yet every single damned one of them does this.
The sassy black girlfriend. I may be snarky at times, but I don't adhere to what they think it means or look like on a black woman. She often is so cliched/stereotyped that she doesn't have any character development of her own. Also, it's a sad ploy to make the vanilla protagonist look cooler than she is.
When two people wake up and don't remember that they got married the night before because it's Vegas and they were drunk. It doesn't work like that, dammit!
The guy that bullies the gay kid ends up being gay. Even worse when they end up with the kid they bullied.
Short guys ALWAYS being dorky pathetic losers who get bullied or otherwise picked on.
No one can be short in a movie without an issue being made of their height. They can’t just exist as a short person.
*I guess how controversial this comment is speaks to why this is such a popular trope. It's apparently very important to some people that short guys are portrayed this way. What does that say about them?
Dorky female lead gets a makeover and saves the day. Eye roll.
Just as the villain is about to deliver the death blow, they take a moment to threaten the hero’s SO. This gives the hero the resolve to keep going and defeat the villain. Dude, don’t gloat. Just keep your mouth shut and pull the trigger.
This one often appears in anime. Where the (main) character stumbles and falls head/hands first between the chest of a girl/woman
How do we know the main male character is a tortured genius? Because he writes on the windows/walls and stares at his work pensively, and is a jerk to everyone around him while he processes this (or any) information. Genius does not necessarily equal jerkitude.
When a character suddenly becomes incredibly well-spoken so they can deliver a powerful speech.
The dumb dumb whose email password was “boobies” earlier in the movie will say some s**t like “You know, maybe I’ve just been projecting my own subconscious insecurity about my career advancement onto you, Lance. It’s not fair to you, and in the future I’ll endeavor to rectify my past grievances.”
Car chase/shoot outs.
Car takes thousands of rounds and works fine, and the driver doesn’t have a scratch.
Closing of dead characters eyes by waving a hand passed them, grinds my gears
A kid saving the day in an adult situation...perfect examples: the last Predator movie..the kid figured out alien technology in 10 minutes.....the first jurrassic park movie..the girl solves the computer system in a minute.
I realize why directors do this is because it makes kids watching feel like they can relate to the kids on screen...or they need a kid hero for the kids watching.....whatever it is, its dumb and removes me from the movie.
When a character has no simplistic ability to help themselves out of a situation and need to be rescued. All of a sudden they become these useless twats. This is seen with the type of characters using university level language and they have full out stem educational backgrounds but all of a sudden forgotten all about their masters degrees, and all the tools they have at their disposal... Because the lights went out.....
Anything having to do with any aspect of medicine. The worst though is that arm slings cure everything
There are no police unless they serve the narrative.
People get into fistfights, they shoot at one another, they start fires, they break windows, but the cops never come... unless they serve the narrative.
Also, — technically this isn’t a trope but the absence of something, — where are the toilets on the Enterprise? Babylon 5 has toilets. Battlestar Galactica has toilets. Why doesn’t the Enterprise? Yes, the recreation at the Hilton (or wherever) has one, but it never appears in the TV show or movies. I feel this should be part of a sci-fi Bechdel Test.
"As you know"
"As you know, I conducted a raid on the Great Library which many people said didn't even exist."
I hate it when movie characters say this because it is the worst way of explaining exposition to the audience.
the idiot plot. basically the main problem in a movie stems from the fact that the protagonists are really completely f***ing stupid and fail to do things any regular person would do.
As in, "oh hey, I wonder if it's raining", well then, the only way we can find out is if we get naked, go outside and if you feel water falling on your body, then it's raining
Character either gets mad or they’re “looking out for themselves” and leaves the group only to come back and help in the final battle anyway. It worked with Han Solo and its been predictable ever since.
Dumb kids in movies, like they have to put everyone at risk to get there stuffed teddy bear or get lost at some point in a disaster movie
Fake jump scares. Building all that tension and suspense, then an incredibly loud music sting for a cat jumping in front of someone.
Not limited to movies but the master manipulator whose overly elaborate plan requires them to be not so much intelligent insomuch as be basically clairvoyant so that nearly everything falls into place exactly as they need for the plan to work.
Random chance and bad luck are non-factors, because if they were the plan might end up falling apart in stage one.
People hanging their phone mid conversation People leaving their house/car doors open People knocking other people out with a casual punch, like “yeah go to sleep”
Someone running, in a panic going "nononononononono!!!!" It seems like it's been a thing since the first Transformers movie where Shia LeBeuf did it all the time. I hate it so much! Also when something purposely hits the camera lens. It was a thing done effectively in Children of Men, as the scene was immersive (the refugee camp scene) but it happens a lot now, and it immediately takes me out of a movie or TV show.