Most of us skeptics by nature blame films, *cough cough* romance movies, for being far-fetched and nothing like real life. However, the scriptwriters are not to blame for why you don't get flowers sent to your office. Yet, they are to blame for the expectations they raise. Either way, it's widely accepted that certain things that work in movies simply don't work in real life. These are the so-called film tropes — a set of cliches overused in movies.

One of which is when a leading actor (ref Tom Hanks in The Terminal (2004)) hops in a random taxi they caught on the street and asks the driver to take them home. Just home, no address or anything. As if the cab driver knows where each of his passengers' homes is. Funnily, this movie trope was "exposed" in How To Be Single (2016) with a snarky comeback from a taxi driver. Yet, this is just one of the many movie tropes that have been used, recycled and used again in filmmaking.

Horror movie tropes arguably rank second (if not first) in frequency. A cabin in the woods is probably the most prevalent theme in teen screams. However, tropes in movies go beyond the romance and horror genres. When a user on AskReddit asked, "What happens in movies or TV that seems to be normal and you think to yourself 'that is not what people in real life do'?", thousands of trope-hunters revealed the most common movie tropes recurring on the silver screen.

Below, we've assembled this movie tropes list from the many answers people left in the thread, revealing the most frequently recurring cliches/tropes in films. Make sure to give the cliches you see way too often an upvote and write down any more movie tropes or 'things that don't happen in real life yet do in films' missing from the list in the comments!

#1

"A Woman Rejects A Man And He Keeps Pestering Her With Gifts And Attention Until She Changes Her Mind. In Real Life, That’s Called Stalking And She Won’t Appreciate It"

"A Woman Rejects A Man And He Keeps Pestering Her With Gifts And Attention Until She Changes Her Mind. In Real Life, That’s Called Stalking And She Won’t Appreciate It"

squirrels33 Report

Stardust she/her
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

80% of Bollywood in a nutshell. The worst thing about it is that boys look up to the “heroes” of the movies and do the same to their crushes. It’s happened to me before

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#2

"Women Can Be In The Jungle For Weeks, And They Don't Have Hair Growing Anywhere. Men Immediately Begin To Grow A Beard"

"Women Can Be In The Jungle For Weeks, And They Don't Have Hair Growing Anywhere. Men Immediately Begin To Grow A Beard"

Dream_babe Report

fair_weather_rose
Community Member
3 weeks ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Also, somehow womens makeup never gets smudged when traversing through rough terrain and getting coated in dirt, sweat, and mosquito bites, but the second they have an "emotional moment" their mascara runs down their cheeks in an entirely unrealistic way.

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#3

"Getting Eaten By Dinosaur. Rarely Happens In Real Life"

"Getting Eaten By Dinosaur. Rarely Happens In Real Life"

logicalmaniak Report

#4

"Being A Young, Aspiring Artist Living Alone In A Nice, Spacious Apartment In A Prime Area Of A Big City Like New York Or LA"

"Being A Young, Aspiring Artist Living Alone In A Nice, Spacious Apartment In A Prime Area Of A Big City Like New York Or LA"

SDFDuck Report

#5

"Women Running Around In Heels With Perfect Hair And Makeup, And The Dirt And Sweat Making Their Hair And Makeup Look Even Better"

"Women Running Around In Heels With Perfect Hair And Makeup, And The Dirt And Sweat Making Their Hair And Makeup Look Even Better"

ISeeMusicInColor Report

Amy Taylor
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

LOL I'm a film and TV makeup artist and any time I question the realism of how it should be applied, the response I always get from the director is "it's not a documentary!" lol

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#6

"School Buses Honking And Waiting For Kids Who Are Still In The House. If I Wasn’t At The Bus Stop When The Bus Arrived, It Would Drive On By. It Didn’t Stop. It Didn’t Honk"

"School Buses Honking And Waiting For Kids Who Are Still In The House. If I Wasn’t At The Bus Stop When The Bus Arrived, It Would Drive On By. It Didn’t Stop. It Didn’t Honk"

DannyC990 Report

#7

"No One Using A Computer Ever Uses A Mouse. It’s Just Constant, Frantic Typing"

"No One Using A Computer Ever Uses A Mouse. It’s Just Constant, Frantic Typing"

Santos_L_Halper_II Report

RamiRudolph
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Just as annoying as seeing people using a laptop without a charging cable. And then not switching it off overnight.

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#8

"Having Highly Confidential Conversations About 4 Foot Away From The People They Are Talking About, And Not Being Overheard"

"Having Highly Confidential Conversations About 4 Foot Away From The People They Are Talking About, And Not Being Overheard"

Goose-rider3000 Report

Lil Potato
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"I just need to talk to my daughter" *steps two feet away*

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#9

"Everyone Has One Paper Bag For Groceries, And It Has A Celery Stalk And Loaf Of French Bread Sticking Out The Top"

"Everyone Has One Paper Bag For Groceries, And It Has A Celery Stalk And Loaf Of French Bread Sticking Out The Top"

ArachnidBeneficial61 Report

V 2000
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

i thought they gave those away in U.S. supermarkets

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#10

"Running Upstairs In Horror Movies. If There Was Something Chasing You, Wouldn’t Head For The Door To Get Outside?"

"Running Upstairs In Horror Movies. If There Was Something Chasing You, Wouldn’t Head For The Door To Get Outside?"

Horrorwriterme Report

#11

"Guessing The Passwords Of Other People Correctly"

"Guessing The Passwords Of Other People Correctly"

Transitionals Report

#12

Girl Vomiting Means Pregnant, Hiccups Means Drunk, Coughing Means Seriously Ill

Girl Vomiting Means Pregnant, Hiccups Means Drunk, Coughing Means Seriously Ill

MrSpotgold Report

#13

"If A Simple Miscommunication Happens, No One Stops And Clarifies With The Other Person. Like If One 10 Sec Conversation Can Derail An Entire Plot Thread I'm Not Interested"

"If A Simple Miscommunication Happens, No One Stops And Clarifies With The Other Person. Like If One 10 Sec Conversation Can Derail An Entire Plot Thread I'm Not Interested"

bleedsdaylight121 Report

#14

"Ordering A Beer Without Specifying What Brand Of Beer They Want"

"Ordering A Beer Without Specifying What Brand Of Beer They Want"

ShermanKrebbs Report

Rachel Cobb
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

True. Living in /somewhat/ of a beer state; you HAVE to specify, and then again. "I want "version", of 'brand'."

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#15

"People Splashing Cold Water In Their Faces And Looking In The Mirror To Indicate A Character Is Upset"

"People Splashing Cold Water In Their Faces And Looking In The Mirror To Indicate A Character Is Upset"

Robot-XL-5 Report

#16

"Young Singles Living In Million Dollar Condos That Overlook The City"

"Young Singles Living In Million Dollar Condos That Overlook The City"

kwinner7 Report

timothythefrog (he/they)
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

ok but the example here is iron man,, like, his whole thing is that he's a billionare . this trope is better shown in movies where their only job is a waiter and they have a huge apartment?

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#17

"On The Phone Making Plans: 'Ok, Meet Me At 5?' 'Sure.' And That’s The Whole Plan. Where Are You Meeting?"

"On The Phone Making Plans: 'Ok, Meet Me At 5?' 'Sure.' And That’s The Whole Plan. Where Are You Meeting?"

bees_knees5628 Report

#18

"Wearing Shoes On Their Beds. Like Who Actually Does That?"

"Wearing Shoes On Their Beds. Like Who Actually Does That?"

Cain_Soren Report

Donkey boi
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Wearing shoes in the house!!! I made the police take their shoes off before they came in my house!

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#19

"Crying Without Face Getting Puffy And Red And Ugly"

"Crying Without Face Getting Puffy And Red And Ugly"

JammyJacketPotato Report

Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Or being pregnant but only having the belly. Sorry, but pregnancy isn’t just the bump. Your body changes pretty much all over the place, and you don’t give birth and hop out of the stirrups with your skinny pre-pregnancy body back, especially if you’re not a teenager or someone blessed with a hyper fast metabolism.

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#20

"Doctors Performing Surgery Without Safety Glasses"

"Doctors Performing Surgery Without Safety Glasses"

Money4Nothing2000 Report

#21

"Absolutely Everything Related To Pregnancy And Especially Childbirth. You Don't Just Instantly Rush To The Hospital"

"Absolutely Everything Related To Pregnancy And Especially Childbirth. You Don't Just Instantly Rush To The Hospital"

Roupert2 Report

Amy Taylor
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

LOL I worked on the series "Private Practice" and every single birth scene they had us makeup artists spray them with tons of water until they were soaking wet and the actress would scream bloody murder. We used to joke that epidurals were banned at that hospital, lol

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#22

"Hitting Someone On The Head With A Whiskey Bottle To Knock Them Out. Pretty High Risk Of Killing Them"

"Hitting Someone On The Head With A Whiskey Bottle To Knock Them Out. Pretty High Risk Of Killing Them"

reddit.com Report

Nathaniel
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Back in the A-Team days, B.A. wearing heavy rings. If he punched someone wearing them he would rip the persons face off.

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#23

"Knocking On The Door And Someone Opening It Within Two Seconds"

"Knocking On The Door And Someone Opening It Within Two Seconds"

iwtoblv Report

Nathaniel
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

No one answers within two seconds, the police/whoever break in. Like, seriously? I am busy parking my lunch, give me time to finish and wipe!

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#24

"Throwing An Unspecified Amount Of Money On The Bar And Walking Out"

"Throwing An Unspecified Amount Of Money On The Bar And Walking Out"

ZedsDeadBabyyyyyy Report

Stephanie A. Miller
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I’m glad I’m not the only one bothered by that. I always wonder, is that the correct amount?

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#25

"Going To A Friend's Place, Staying There For All Of 30 Seconds To Talk About Something Plot-Relevant, Then Just Leaving Right Away"

"Going To A Friend's Place, Staying There For All Of 30 Seconds To Talk About Something Plot-Relevant, Then Just Leaving Right Away"

fd1760 Report

Lil mish
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My friends would play games drink all my juices before they say what they are here for then drink watch TV

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#26

"When A Couple Wakes Up In Bed Together (With No Wild Bed-Head Hair, Mind You) And Just Start Making Out"

"When A Couple Wakes Up In Bed Together (With No Wild Bed-Head Hair, Mind You) And Just Start Making Out"

VictorBlimpmuscle Report

#27

"Scenes Where Someone Is Painting Something, Like A Wall Or A Chair, Wearing Nice Clothing, With No Tape, Coverings, Or Paint Splatter Anywhere"

"Scenes Where Someone Is Painting Something, Like A Wall Or A Chair, Wearing Nice Clothing, With No Tape, Coverings, Or Paint Splatter Anywhere"

Money4Nothing2000 Report

Paulo Freitas
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Ah..... You clearly never seen " all about Hanna " lmao.....

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#28

"Taking Turns Talking. Like In Cop Shows When One Cop Begins An Explanation, Then The Next One Picks Up The Story At A Seamlessly Convenient Spot"

"Taking Turns Talking. Like In Cop Shows When One Cop Begins An Explanation, Then The Next One Picks Up The Story At A Seamlessly Convenient Spot"

madcats323 Report

HipHop
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yelling FBI while flashing a badge gets you immediate access to anything. No questions asked

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#29

"Every Time Anyone Sneezes People Assume They're Sick, Like Don't They Ever Get Random Sneezes"

"Every Time Anyone Sneezes People Assume They're Sick, Like Don't They Ever Get Random Sneezes"

jatinvj-sumba-d-else Report

Nathaniel
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

For a good ten years, after getting up I would sneeze twice, for no reason.

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#30

"Furiously Making Out While Coming Through A Front Door"

"Furiously Making Out While Coming Through A Front Door"

PalpableMoon Report

Katie Lutesinger
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My ex actually tried that one on, thinking it was "hot" and "romantic" (we were both young idiots). It ended with me bashing my elbow on the wall and yelling "will you STOP THAT!"

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#31

"The Stupid Slow Motion Kiss Or Hug As The World Is Falling Apart"

"The Stupid Slow Motion Kiss Or Hug As The World Is Falling Apart"

puckmonky Report

Thegoodboi
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

*cinematic orchestra music at 200 decibels in the background*

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#32

"Getting Fired From An Office Job And Walking Out With A Box That Has A 3-Foot Tall Plant Sticking Out"

"Getting Fired From An Office Job And Walking Out With A Box That Has A 3-Foot Tall Plant Sticking Out"

EstebanSays Report

PattyK
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And just one box, one small enough and light-weight enough that the star can carry it easily.

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#33

"Car Gets Hit, Scratched, Rolled, Goes Off A Cliff, In A Car Accident... It Blows Up"

"Car Gets Hit, Scratched, Rolled, Goes Off A Cliff, In A Car Accident... It Blows Up"

Moln0014 Report

Kathryn Baylis
Community Member
3 weeks ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That’s because, way back in the days before safety testing of automobiles (thank you Ralph Nader!), cars could catch fire or blow up on impact, as for some reason the fuel tanks were generally just put where they fit, even if that was the absolute worst place. So, the trope was created back in the early days of filmmaking when cars were so much more dangerous, by their safety-ignoring design, than they are now. You’d think someone would’ve updated the trope by now, but of course why would they do that if they can make a scene more dramatic by using it? They forget that audiences are a bit more sophisticated now, and aren’t as willing to suspend their disbelief as they used to (unless of course the story isn’t trying to be realistic, like a movie based on a fairytale or sci-fi or something). Any movie that’s trying to go for today’s realism had better rely on more updated versions of well known tropes. Cars don’t blow up on impact. Women don’t fall in love with their stalkers. The bad guys’ guns won’t always miss the hero, and the hero’s gun won’t kill all the bad guys surrounding them.

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#34

"Suppressors On Firearms Making Them Whisper Quiet"

"Suppressors On Firearms Making Them Whisper Quiet"

Samura1_I3 Report

Thegoodboi
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Everyone walking around not seeing a bunch of dudes running around with guns that have "longer" barrels now lol. Silencers and suppressors don't make the guns invisible plus why are you guys running? Should I run too??

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#35

"Just Asked A Random Girl: "Hey Wanna Get Dinner Tomorrow? I'll Pick Up At 5". You Dont Have Her Adress Or Her Phone Number"

"Just Asked A Random Girl: "Hey Wanna Get Dinner Tomorrow? I'll Pick Up At 5". You Dont Have Her Adress Or Her Phone Number"

reddit.com Report

Thegoodboi
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

They go home, have sex, instant love, dude breaks her heart, dude says he's sorry, have sex again. Rinse and repeat :).

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#36

"Turning On A Shower And Jumping Right In Without Checking The Water Temperature With Their Hand First"

"Turning On A Shower And Jumping Right In Without Checking The Water Temperature With Their Hand First"

Money4Nothing2000 Report

Paulo Freitas
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Há joke's on you, i Never check the water temperature with my fist. I use my foot.....

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#37

"Find A Parking Spot Right In Front Of Their Building"

"Find A Parking Spot Right In Front Of Their Building"

reddit.com Report

Cintapxl
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

but don't you love it when it happens? I'm on a high for the rest of the day!

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#38

"Wake Up At 6am No Matter What Time Of Year And It Is Bright And Sunny"

"Wake Up At 6am No Matter What Time Of Year And It Is Bright And Sunny"

peoplecallmeamy Report

Stardust she/her
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I live below the tropic of cancer and I can confirm that where I live, the sun begins rising at 6:30 minimum

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#40

"Highschool Bullies In Movies"

"Highschool Bullies In Movies"

oiquake Report

sofacushionfort
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

IMHE, bullying involves the entire student body singling out one victim, rather than one bully and a few toadies picking on a victim. More like a flock of chickens than lions and wildebeests.

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#41

"Instantly Drying, Even Though They Just Jumped Into Water Fully Clothed"

"Instantly Drying, Even Though They Just Jumped Into Water Fully Clothed"

l4i2n0ks Report

Deborah Harris2
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Those clothes look wet to me..let me check more closely ;)

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#42

"Dreaming Of Kissing A Beautiful Woman, But Actually You're Just Being Licked By An Animal"

"Dreaming Of Kissing A Beautiful Woman, But Actually You're Just Being Licked By An Animal"

level 1 I_Am_Terry Report

#43

"Waving 'Full' Coffee Cups Around"

"Waving 'Full' Coffee Cups Around"

JustABoyAndHisBlob Report

Kensi
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh, this one was constantly annoying me in Friends and Gilmore girls

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#44

"Putting Baby In A Playpen When Your Friend Visits And Said Baby Doesn’t Scream"

"Putting Baby In A Playpen When Your Friend Visits And Said Baby Doesn’t Scream"

dudettte Report

#45

"Soldiers Running Towards The Enemy Instead Of Hanging Back And Setting Up Suppressing Fire"

"Soldiers Running Towards The Enemy Instead Of Hanging Back And Setting Up Suppressing Fire"

HECUMARINE45 Report

Paulo Freitas
Community Member
3 weeks ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yea... I was gonna make a snarky joke, but then i realizei this dude is right....

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#46

"Computers Doing A Soft Priiiiiip Every Time A Line Of Text Appears On Screen"

"Computers Doing A Soft Priiiiiip Every Time A Line Of Text Appears On Screen"

V02D Report

#47

"Walking Into Friends' Houses Without Knocking"

"Walking Into Friends' Houses Without Knocking"

ninjoid Report

fair_weather_rose
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yes! I never understand how everyone in movies leaves their doors unlocked 24/7

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#48

"People Opening The Oven Only To Be Surprised And "Oh No" To A Completely Black Roast/Turkey/Meat Of Some Kind. And Then Have Smoke Just Billowing Out Of The Oven"

"People Opening The Oven Only To Be Surprised And "Oh No" To A Completely Black Roast/Turkey/Meat Of Some Kind. And Then Have Smoke Just Billowing Out Of The Oven"

HeliumIsotope Report

fair_weather_rose
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Like, do you have no sense of smell? Did you lose it to covid?

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#49

"The Amount Of Ultimatums In "Romantic" Movies Is Appalling"

"The Amount Of Ultimatums In "Romantic" Movies Is Appalling"

TemptCiderFan Report

Illicit
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Pretty sure the amount is actually pretty close to IRL.

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#50

"Make The School Dance A Big Deal"

"Make The School Dance A Big Deal"

Salty-Tortoise Report

simfan all day every day
Community Member
3 weeks ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

But it's the school dance it's A BIG DEAL be there for your kid you absent parent

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