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  #1  
Old 01-04-2017, 04:41 PM
Malleus, Incus, Stapes! Malleus, Incus, Stapes! is offline
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Cliches you'd like to see subverted

Character A decides to believe Character B: "Either she was a professional actor, or she was telling the truth."

Just once, for a change, when A makes that sort of statement, I'd like B to turn out to be a professional actor.
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  #2  
Old 01-04-2017, 04:52 PM
Grrr! Grrr! is offline
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In sci-fi shows: When main character says "I saw this crazy thing!" the rest of the characters default positions should NOT be: "Oh you're just tired, stressed, or seeing things"

After all the crazy shit you guys have seen in previous episodes, maybe you might want to entertain the idea that said person actually did see said crazy thing!
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Old 01-04-2017, 05:03 PM
Jennshark Jennshark is offline
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Instead of detectives with awful personal issues, I'd like to have a police character who is happy and well adjusted.
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Old 01-04-2017, 05:28 PM
ZPG Zealot ZPG Zealot is offline
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Beautiful successful woman falls for unattractive, unsuccessful guy because he is nice (defined as doesn't commit major felonies and does minimal damage to her life). This cliche needs to die.
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Old 01-04-2017, 05:46 PM
Sefton Sefton is offline
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Originally Posted by Malleus, Incus, Stapes! View Post
Just once, for a change, when A makes that sort of statement, I'd like B to turn out to be a professional actor.
Hey fellas, that lady isn't a Charlize Theron look-alike. That's really Charlize Theron in our police station! No wonder we believed every word she said!
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Old 01-04-2017, 06:01 PM
bibliophage bibliophage is offline
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Just for once, I'd like to see a movie where the big corporation and the people who run it are the good guys. The only examples I can think of off the top of my head are Schindler's List and the made-for-TV movie On Wings of Eagles, both based on true stories.
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Old 01-04-2017, 06:15 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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I'd like to see a murder mystery in which the suspects are a televangelist, a CEO of a giant pharmaceutical company, and a couple of other "go to" villains, plus one guy who just got out of prison after doing 20 years for murder. And the ex-con did it.

Last edited by Dendarii Dame; 01-04-2017 at 06:16 PM.
  #8  
Old 01-04-2017, 06:18 PM
enalzi enalzi is offline
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Originally Posted by Malleus, Incus, Stapes! View Post
Character A decides to believe Character B: "Either she was a professional actor, or she was telling the truth."

Just once, for a change, when A makes that sort of statement, I'd like B to turn out to be a professional actor.
Can you give an example of this one, because I don't think I've ever seen this before.
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Old 01-04-2017, 06:22 PM
Jeff Lichtman Jeff Lichtman is offline
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The lone wolf who sees the truth even though no one believes him should turn out to be completely wrong.

The man and woman who dislike each other at the beginning of the story should hate each other the whole way through.

The martial arts expert who finds himself surrounded by thugs should get the crap beaten out of him.

The motorcycle rider who leads the cops on a long chase should take off his helmet at the end and be revealed to be a man.

When the hero learns the location of the person he is trying to rescue, he should call the police rather than drive at high speeds for miles to get there himself.
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  #10  
Old 01-04-2017, 06:30 PM
alphaboi867 alphaboi867 is offline
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I'd like to see a stay at home mother get knocked on the head and wake in an alternate reality where she's a successful childfree career woman; she decides like's the alternate reality better. Also how about a movie where main character has to return to the small town where they grew, and has a bunch of experiences that only serve to remind them why they moved away from their family to the city in the first place? Or one where a devout Christian goes through a major life or family crisis, and when it's all over realizes there is no God and embraces Atheism.
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Old 01-04-2017, 06:31 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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I want to see a really smart kid from the inner city that also happens to be excellent at sports have to choose a path in life. His parents and teachers convince him to pursue an academic path because that is the road less traveled where he is from. Unfortunately, he gets pushed down the stairs at school by some gang members and suffers a traumatic brain injury that drops his IQ by 40 points. All is not lost though. He is still a great football wide receiver and makes it all the way through college on a football scholarship and then into the NFL. The pro years don't last though and he runs out of money so he moves back to his old neighborhood and starts a gang of his own. Ta-Da!

Last edited by Shagnasty; 01-04-2017 at 06:32 PM.
  #12  
Old 01-04-2017, 06:33 PM
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"Hello, you have called computer expert character. You will notice my thick silly glasses, messy workspace, Sci-Fi desk trinkets, currently-in-motion Newton's Cradle, funny posters and craazy nerd shirt! I'll solve your problem using a backdoor Microsoft Ethernet GUI Linux IP! Give me ten seconds and I will pound the shit out of my keyboard into a DOS window without using a mouse while saying a famous movie line that has no relevance! That's no Moon, that's a Space Station! I'm in!"
  #13  
Old 01-04-2017, 06:39 PM
Quercus alba Quercus alba is offline
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Originally Posted by Malleus, Incus, Stapes! View Post
Character A decides to believe Character B: "Either she was a professional actor, or she was telling the truth."

Just once, for a change, when A makes that sort of statement, I'd like B to turn out to be a professional actor.
SPOILER:
Wasn't that essentially the plot of Ex Machina?
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Old 01-04-2017, 06:40 PM
Leo Krupe Leo Krupe is offline
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Originally Posted by Sefton View Post
Hey fellas, that lady isn't a Charlize Theron look-alike. That's really Charlize Theron in our police station! No wonder we believed every word she said!
Quote:
Ed Exley: Shut up! A hooker cut to look like Lana Turner is still a hooker.

Johnny Stompanato: Hey!

Ed Exley: She just looks like Lana Turner.

Jack Vincennes: She *is* Lana Turner.

Ed Exley: [stunned] What?

Jack Vincennes: She *is* Lana Turner.
  #15  
Old 01-04-2017, 06:48 PM
Patx2 Patx2 is offline
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I would like to see characters not go down the basement or up in the attic when they hear the strange noise during the storm when the power is out.
  #16  
Old 01-04-2017, 06:48 PM
Morbo Morbo is offline
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::jumps in cab:: "Follow that car - he's getting away!"

"That car? That Audi S8 doing an 11 second quarter-mile? There is absolutely no way this cab will possibly catch up to him or even be able to tell which streets he has turned onto by now."

----

"Zoom in and enhance!"

"Zoom in on this low resolution rasterized screenshot from a grainy security camera...and 'enhance' it?"

"Just do it!"

"OK, here you go."
  #17  
Old 01-04-2017, 07:33 PM
Malleus, Incus, Stapes! Malleus, Incus, Stapes! is offline
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Originally Posted by enalzi View Post
Can you give an example of this one, because I don't think I've ever seen this before.
I can't think of any specific examples off the top of my head, but I've seen it a lot (with varying wording). The viewpoint character states that no one can act that well, and this is a signal from the author that B is really on the up-and-up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quercus alba View Post
SPOILER:
Wasn't that essentially the plot of Ex Machina?
I don't know, I never saw it.
  #18  
Old 01-04-2017, 08:02 PM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is online now
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Originally Posted by Malleus, Incus, Stapes! View Post
I can't think of any specific examples off the top of my head, but I've seen it a lot (with varying wording). The viewpoint character states that no one can act that well, and this is a signal from the author that B is really on the up-and-up.
Of course, the only time someone ever says "nobody's that good an actor" on screen, someone is literally being that good an actor -- right then -- just over there.
  #19  
Old 01-04-2017, 08:02 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Originally Posted by Jeff Lichtman View Post
The lone wolf who sees the truth even though no one believes him should turn out to be completely wrong.
Done over a century ago by E. C. Bentley in Trent's Last Case.
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Old 01-04-2017, 08:20 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
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The hero is holding a Mook at gunpoint, but can't have the guy give the alarm. So he hits him on the back of the head to knock him out. And the Mook collapses on the floor...screaming in agony and thrashing like a guy who just got a very painful injury. Later the hero sees the mook in the hospital where he is suffering from severe permanent neurological damage and will spend the rest of his life in an assisted living group home.
  #21  
Old 01-04-2017, 08:40 PM
Dale Sams Dale Sams is offline
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Prime Directive violated, everyone admits it was violated (As opposed to The Apple) and....things turn out for the better instead of the most immediate thing that could go possibly go wrong does.
  #22  
Old 01-04-2017, 10:56 PM
Miller Miller is offline
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Originally Posted by bibliophage View Post
Just for once, I'd like to see a movie where the big corporation and the people who run it are the good guys. The only examples I can think of off the top of my head are Schindler's List and the made-for-TV movie On Wings of Eagles, both based on true stories.
All I've got are Robin Williams' Toys and anything based off the work of Ayn Rand.
  #23  
Old 01-04-2017, 11:50 PM
Terminus Est Terminus Est is offline
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Originally Posted by Jennshark View Post
Instead of detectives with awful personal issues, I'd like to have a police character who is happy and well adjusted.
Peter Burke, the main FBI agent in White Collar, was portrayed as happily married (to Tiffani Thiessen, no less!) and never, ever had any personal drama.
  #24  
Old 01-05-2017, 12:39 AM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is online now
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Hero's sidekick: "[Hero], don't kill [defeated bad guy]! You'll be just as bad as he is!"

Hero goes ahead and kills bad guy, suffers no lasting psychological damage or loss of moral center.
  #25  
Old 01-05-2017, 01:09 AM
AK84 AK84 is online now
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Originally Posted by Lemur866 View Post
The hero is holding a Mook at gunpoint, but can't have the guy give the alarm. So he hits him on the back of the head to knock him out. And the Mook collapses on the floor...screaming in agony and thrashing like a guy who just got a very painful injury. Later the hero sees the mook in the hospital where he is suffering from severe permanent neurological damage and will spend the rest of his life in an assisted living group home.
One of the Austin Powers movies showed the effects of nameless mooks deaths on their families.
  #26  
Old 01-05-2017, 02:34 AM
Biotop Biotop is offline
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Dog is clueless about evil force nearby.
  #27  
Old 01-05-2017, 03:13 AM
JKellyMap JKellyMap is offline
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Hero (usually for this purpose the father, but sometimes the mother) whose wife and/or child DOESN'T complain that he's never home/never spends enough quality time with the spouse and/or child(ren).
  #28  
Old 01-05-2017, 07:48 AM
ftg ftg is offline
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I'd like to see a sitcom that has as a running gag sitcom-trope subversions. E.g.,

Early in the episode the low end worker tells the boss his mom is coming to town and he's been telling her that he's really the boss. Could the boss switch positions with him when his mother visits? The boss agrees.

When the mom shows up the boss says: "You're kid's been lying to you the whole time, he's just the janitor." and walks away.

Throw something like that in every now and then. Hopefully this would force the writers to never, ever, reuse one of these hackneyed old plots for real.

If the show is successful, it would raise audience awareness of this nonsense and other shows would stop reusing this stuff.
  #29  
Old 01-05-2017, 07:58 AM
MrAtoz MrAtoz is offline
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Originally Posted by Morbo View Post
::jumps in cab:: "Follow that car - he's getting away!"

"That car? That Audi S8 doing an 11 second quarter-mile? There is absolutely no way this cab will possibly catch up to him or even be able to tell which streets he has turned onto by now."
I have a vague memory of watching something--I want to say it was a sitcom--where a character is telling his friends about an experience, and says:

"So I jumped into a cab and shouted, 'Follow that car!'" Slight pause. "Turns out, they won't really do that." Big yucks from the audience.

Does this scene sound familiar to anyone? I'd swear that it's real, and not something I made up, but I can't remember what show it might be from.
  #30  
Old 01-05-2017, 07:59 AM
psychonaut psychonaut is offline
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Originally Posted by Grrr! View Post
In sci-fi shows: When main character says "I saw this crazy thing!" the rest of the characters default positions should NOT be: "Oh you're just tired, stressed, or seeing things"

After all the crazy shit you guys have seen in previous episodes, maybe you might want to entertain the idea that said person actually did see said crazy thing!
Already subverted in the fourth-season Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Remember Me". People on the ship start mysteriously disappearing—as in, being completely erased from existence, including from the memories of other crew members—and Dr. Crusher is the only one who notices. She reports the problem to Captain Picard, who, while skeptical, does not outright disbelieve her, and orders an investigation. He continues to support Crusher's theory even though, to all outward appearances, she is delusional.

This cliché subversion was notable enough that it recently got written up in an feminist essay by Mirah Curzer: Star Trek’s Feminist Statement: Believe Women.
  #31  
Old 01-05-2017, 08:04 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is online now
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Originally Posted by ZPG Zealot View Post
Beautiful successful woman falls for unattractive, unsuccessful guy because he is nice (defined as doesn't commit major felonies and does minimal damage to her life). This cliche needs to die.
The Princess and the Tin Box, by James Thurber .
  #32  
Old 01-05-2017, 08:06 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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Originally Posted by Jennshark View Post
Instead of detectives with awful personal issues, I'd like to have a police character who is happy and well adjusted.
I think there have been a few of those...

DI Barnaby in Midsomer Murders seems fairly well-adjusted - maybe a little stressed at times
Chief Superintendent Foyle in Foyle's War - quiet, honest, well-mannered, scrupulous
Columbo (OK, so he was scruffy and a smoker, but he seems likeable enough)
Miss Marple (Not police, but well-mannered in the later stories at least)
  #33  
Old 01-05-2017, 08:16 AM
Bayard Bayard is online now
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Originally Posted by Mangetout View Post
Chief Superintendent Foyle in Foyle's War - quiet, honest, well-mannered, scrupulous
I hope this isn't a hijack, but I loved that show. Foyle was such a great character. I love how Michael Kitchen can do so much with a little change of facial expression. When he just kind of moves the corner of his mouth a little and you know he's already got it all figured out. That is just so cool. Even when Foyle was thoroughly pissed off, he was still completely in control.

Last edited by Bayard; 01-05-2017 at 08:17 AM.
  #34  
Old 01-05-2017, 08:31 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is online now
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Originally Posted by Jennshark View Post
Instead of detectives with awful personal issues, I'd like to have a police character who is happy and well adjusted.
Steve Carella of Ed McBain's 87th Precient mysteries comes to mind.

I'd like to see someone who figures out who the killer is and calls the cops, instead of confronting them alone in a deserted place.
  #35  
Old 01-05-2017, 01:59 PM
zamboniracer zamboniracer is offline
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In a typical action movie foot-chase scene, neither the pursued nor the pursuer is ever even the slighted bit out of breath when it is over. I'd like to see Jason Bourne on his knees puking his guts out after his next big chase.

Similarly, in automobile chase scenes, the ordinary cars crash into each other and walls and barriers and just keep going, like they are all the Batmobile on steroids. I'd like to see some of those cars on Triple-A tow trucks after the carnage is over.
  #36  
Old 01-05-2017, 02:32 PM
Sangahyando Sangahyando is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennshark View Post
Instead of detectives with awful personal issues, I'd like to have a police character who is happy and well adjusted.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangetout View Post
I think there have been a few of those...

DI Barnaby in Midsomer Murders seems fairly well-adjusted - maybe a little stressed at times
Chief Superintendent Foyle in Foyle's War - quiet, honest, well-mannered, scrupulous
Columbo (OK, so he was scruffy and a smoker, but he seems likeable enough)
Miss Marple (Not police, but well-mannered in the later stories at least)
I'd add: Faye Kellerman's Police Lieutenant Peter Decker. His personal history is wildly and crazily complicated -- he's Jewish, but he isn't, but after all he is -- "functionally", though, he seems to have a mostly-happy marriage, and to be a loving husband / father / stepfather.
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Old 01-05-2017, 02:41 PM
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In a typical action movie foot-chase scene, neither the pursued nor the pursuer is ever even the slighted bit out of breath when it is over. I'd like to see Jason Bourne on his knees puking his guts out after his next big chase.
An episode of The Rockford Files ended with a long chase through the Hoover Dam. Two guys in dress shoes and jackets running through concrete tubes. At the end, Rockford and the other guy collapse in exhaustion. Rockford can barely gasp out, "Gotcha" before motioning the other guy to sit down.

Terrible quality video here: https://youtu.be/BdxBfrvx-e4?t=3146
  #38  
Old 01-05-2017, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Quercus alba View Post
SPOILER:
Wasn't that essentially the plot of Ex Machina?
No, it's more like the plot of...
SPOILER:

Wait, you actually clicked on this? Why? You have no idea if the movie I was going to mention was a movie you've actually seen, and I've provided zero clue as to what this spoiler might contain - just like your spoiler box.
  #39  
Old 01-05-2017, 02:46 PM
BrotherCadfael BrotherCadfael is offline
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Police Chief: We've got some kinda monster out there! Four people have been killed, we've got to close the beach!

Mayor: Well, it will really hammer our tourist business and make those developers who are looking to invest nervous, but, you're right. Close the beach.
  #40  
Old 01-05-2017, 03:03 PM
Dallas Jones Dallas Jones is offline
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The bomb detonates with the digital clock still reading time left as 2:43.

And all the wires in the bomb are the same color when the bomb squad opens it up.
  #41  
Old 01-05-2017, 03:23 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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The bomb detonates with the digital clock still reading time left as 2:43.

And all the wires in the bomb are the same color when the bomb squad opens it up.
In the pilot to the 2016 reboot of MacGyver, this happens. He saves the day anyway.

Last edited by Dendarii Dame; 01-05-2017 at 03:23 PM.
  #42  
Old 01-05-2017, 03:27 PM
Steve MB Steve MB is offline
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The bomb detonates with the digital clock still reading time left as 2:43.
Or, better yet, forget the whole "countdown" thing:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim Possible, "Rappin' Drakken"
Dr. Drakken: While Shego keeps you busy, I shall launch my Hypertronic Devastator Drone! (pushes the button)
Kim: Wait, no countdown?
Shego: No, no, he's actually learning.
Dr. Drakken: During the time it takes the computer voice to count backwards from ten, you always manage to defeat me. Not anymore!
Quote:
And all the wires in the bomb are the same color when the bomb squad opens it up.
There was a version of that in Batman: Assault on Arkham -- when Batman opened up the Joker's dirty bomb, it had a note "Cut The Red Wire" and a tangle of all-red wires.
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  #43  
Old 01-05-2017, 03:30 PM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is online now
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A criminal who does not tell the good guy his entire life of crime before he attempts and fails to kill him.
  #44  
Old 01-05-2017, 03:31 PM
mbh mbh is offline
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Originally Posted by Lemur866 View Post
The hero is holding a Mook at gunpoint, but can't have the guy give the alarm. So he hits him on the back of the head to knock him out. And the Mook collapses on the floor...screaming in agony and thrashing like a guy who just got a very painful injury. Later the hero sees the mook in the hospital where he is suffering from severe permanent neurological damage and will spend the rest of his life in an assisted living group home.
In Morons from Outer Space, the aliens are trying to escape from an army base. One of them sneaks up behind a sentry, and conks him on the head with a blunt instrument. The guard drops to his knees . . . and starts screaming, "Ow! What did you do that for?"

Not a good movie, but that scene made me laugh.
  #45  
Old 01-05-2017, 03:49 PM
SciFiSam SciFiSam is offline
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Originally Posted by Terminus Est View Post
Peter Burke, the main FBI agent in White Collar, was portrayed as happily married (to Tiffani Thiessen, no less!) and never, ever had any personal drama.
Not really notable - he's a Watson character. He's the sidekick. Sidekicks are usually normal for the times they live in. I don't know what Jennshark intended, but for me it would be the main character, the person who could not be written out. Otherwise you have a wealth of secondary characters who have nice family lives but could, if it came to it, not be a part of the show.

Marple and Columbo come close but in the former she is not an everywoman and the latter his family are hidden.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psychonaut View Post
Already subverted in the fourth-season Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Remember Me". People on the ship start mysteriously disappearing—as in, being completely erased from existence, including from the memories of other crew members—and Dr. Crusher is the only one who notices. She reports the problem to Captain Picard, who, while skeptical, does not outright disbelieve her, and orders an investigation. He continues to support Crusher's theory even though, to all outward appearances, she is delusional.

This cliché subversion was notable enough that it recently got written up in an feminist essay by Mirah Curzer: Star Trek’s Feminist Statement: Believe Women.
I watched that episode just a couple of weeks ago. I never noticed anything feminist about it - that it was a woman noticing the disappearances and a man believing her - but that's a point in its favour, IMO.
  #46  
Old 01-05-2017, 04:13 PM
Barbarian Barbarian is offline
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Originally Posted by Jeff Lichtman View Post
The motorcycle rider who leads the cops on a long chase should take off his helmet at the end and be revealed to be a man.
A similar scene happened in the short-lived and cancelled mini-series Drive.

It turned to be a senior citizen with a beard under the black helmet with the tinted visor.
  #47  
Old 01-05-2017, 04:20 PM
psychonaut psychonaut is offline
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In Morons from Outer Space, the aliens are trying to escape from an army base. One of them sneaks up behind a sentry, and conks him on the head with a blunt instrument. The guard drops to his knees . . . and starts screaming, "Ow! What did you do that for?"

Not a good movie, but that scene made me laugh.
Was that the only one? I always liked the part where Bernard sneezes in his space suit.

Anyway, that entire movie basically subverts the cliché of superintelligent aliens visiting the Earth. There aren't many stupid aliens in sci-fi—the only other exception that comes to mind is the Pakleds from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Last edited by psychonaut; 01-05-2017 at 04:23 PM.
  #48  
Old 01-05-2017, 04:23 PM
psychonaut psychonaut is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
I watched that episode just a couple of weeks ago. I never noticed anything feminist about it - that it was a woman noticing the disappearances and a man believing her - but that's a point in its favour, IMO.
My thoughts exactly.
  #49  
Old 01-05-2017, 04:33 PM
Malthus Malthus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zamboniracer View Post
In a typical action movie foot-chase scene, neither the pursued nor the pursuer is ever even the slighted bit out of breath when it is over. I'd like to see Jason Bourne on his knees puking his guts out after his next big chase.
This happened in Repo Man. The hero ran as hard as he could (chasing a car on foot); he ends up on his knees, puking.
  #50  
Old 01-05-2017, 04:34 PM
enalzi enalzi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers View Post
Hero's sidekick: "[Hero], don't kill [defeated bad guy]! You'll be just as bad as he is!"

Hero goes ahead and kills bad guy, suffers no lasting psychological damage or loss of moral center.
Deadpool.

Also sort of on Firefly:
Mal: Sure. It would be humiliating. Having to lie there while the better man refuses to spill your blood. Mercy is the mark of a great man.
*stab*
Mal: Guess I'm just a good man.
*stab*
Mal: Well, I'm all right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallas Jones View Post

And all the wires in the bomb are the same color when the bomb squad opens it up.
Did it on Family Guy. I think this might be the most subverted trope.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg View Post
I'd like to see a sitcom that has as a running gag sitcom-trope subversions. E.g.,

Early in the episode the low end worker tells the boss his mom is coming to town and he's been telling her that he's really the boss. Could the boss switch positions with him when his mother visits? The boss agrees.

When the mom shows up the boss says: "You're kid's been lying to you the whole time, he's just the janitor." and walks away.

Throw something like that in every now and then. Hopefully this would force the writers to never, ever, reuse one of these hackneyed old plots for real.

If the show is successful, it would raise audience awareness of this nonsense and other shows would stop reusing this stuff.
This is another one that I can't imagine being a trope. Any examples of this one?
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