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Old 06-17-2018, 12:13 PM
Lizard Lizard is offline
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Pop Culture tropes that infuriate you.

This thread was inspired by my answer to the other one in this forum about offensive ads. Something I have always found annoying is the Big Dumb Average Guy, who appears in both the sitcoms and ads. This is a very old thing, going all the way back to The Honeymooners, which makes me wonder just how old it really is (perhaps vaudeville?)
Homer Simpson is the current archetype, but it appeared in The King of Queens, According to Jim, Home Improvement, and any number of others I can't think of right now. The corollary to the Big Dumb Average Guy is his Smart Wife, who is always right/always knows best, and is usually more attractive than her husband.

Perhaps I'd be less offended by this if I were not a) a man, and b) bigger than average. But I am.

For tropes that are less personal and not necessarily my gender, I've noticed many shows include some version of The Slut, who is usually talking about with whom/when/where/how often they have sex. If the Slut is a man, a reference to being with prostitutes will usually be made sooner or later. As an adult, I can't seem to find much humor in people who are perpetually disgusting (this would be John Larroquette in Night Court, or the big dude in Wings) or who think his penis/her vagina is a superhighway (Blanche in Golden Girls).
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Old 06-17-2018, 12:34 PM
FairyChatMom FairyChatMom is offline
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I absolutely agree with you about shows (and commercials) which make out men to be overgrown idiot-children who are constantly berated or eye-rolled by their partners.
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Old 06-17-2018, 12:53 PM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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As an adult, I can't seem to find much humor in people who are perpetually disgusting
But, without people who are perpetually disgusting, there would be no comedy!
[/overstatement]
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Old 06-17-2018, 02:02 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Originally Posted by Lizard View Post
This is a very old thing, going all the way back to The Honeymooners, which makes me wonder just how old it really is (perhaps vaudeville?)
I don't know about vaudeville, but it goes back at least to The Life of Riley, which started on radio in 1944 (where Jackie Gleason played Riley first, later replaced by William Bendix) and then moved to TV and movies.
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Old 06-17-2018, 02:12 PM
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There is also the smart bratty kid, who lips off to his or her parents all the time. Kids who are both smart and polite do indeed exist, just not on TV.
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Old 06-17-2018, 02:53 PM
Beckdawrek Beckdawrek is offline
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How about the angry Mother-in-law?

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 06-17-2018 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 06-17-2018, 03:41 PM
Asimovian Asimovian is offline
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Old 06-17-2018, 04:04 PM
Peanuthead Peanuthead is offline
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And then there's the "grouchy old guy" who really has a heart of gold.

The reason I can't watch sitcoms anymore is because every goddamn one is the same. Smartass remarks and sexual innuendos. That's it. How anyone can watch these things time after time is beyond me. And don't get me started on laugh tracks. Grrrrr!
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Old 06-17-2018, 04:13 PM
outlierrn outlierrn is offline
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The helpess, pining, left behind girlfriend/wife to some action movie hero. Particularly egregious in Armageddon where Liv Tyler's character starts out tough as nails and winds up pudding. Vomoji.
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Old 06-17-2018, 04:35 PM
burpo the wonder mutt burpo the wonder mutt is offline
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“Let’s get out of here!”
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Old 06-17-2018, 04:55 PM
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The first step in crime solving is asking a bartender or waitress, who remarkably recalls persons and timing!

How convenient! Ask your friends that work in bars, this doesn’t happen like this.

Even more egregious is the cop show format where the big break in the case involves throwing a guy up against a wall and threatening him. Awesome police work, it solves every case!
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Old 06-17-2018, 05:06 PM
Dropo Dropo is offline
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Adventurers find a lost civilization or temple which ends up getting destroyed, usually by earthquake and/or flooding, for no good reason.
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Old 06-17-2018, 07:54 PM
Lizard Lizard is offline
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"You've got to believe me!"

Oh? Why is that?
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Old 06-17-2018, 08:29 PM
River Hippie River Hippie is offline
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Nothing new to contribute but a hearty seconding of the fat, dopey husband kept from disaster by his unrealistically hotter and smarter wife. Always bugged me.
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Old 06-17-2018, 08:42 PM
DoctorJ DoctorJ is offline
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Originally Posted by elbows View Post
The first step in crime solving is asking a bartender or waitress, who remarkably recalls persons and timing!

How convenient! Ask your friends that work in bars, this doesn’t happen like this.
Oh, the bartender always explains that they're just so busy and he can't be expected to remember faces. Then he looks at the picture and remembers the name, date of birth, address, social security number, and mother's maiden name.
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Old 06-17-2018, 11:12 PM
Asuka Asuka is online now
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Whenever somebody is caught in just their underwear, they act as if they're completely naked and instantly cover themselves up with their hands. Granted you may do that as a reflex initially but a lot of fiction have the characters continue to act like they're completely naked and awkwardly walk around covering themselves up with just their hands.
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Old 06-17-2018, 11:35 PM
Defensive Indifference Defensive Indifference is online now
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I'm always annoyed by the socially inept, badly groomed, haphazardly dressed IT person. There's a huge number of people in the IT profession! We don't all have sticky hair, nor do we all look down on those who don't have a deep understanding of technology. I've been in the field for almost 20 years. I don't have a neckbeard; I have only a passing interest in science fiction; I've seen zero Marvel movies; and my wardrobe consists of smart slacks, solid color longsleeve shirts or polos, and conservative sport coats and ties. Also, while I lean toward the introverted side, I'm generally a pleasant guy who can make my way through most social situations without incident. The "IT geek" character is just lazy.
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Old 06-17-2018, 11:41 PM
planetcory planetcory is offline
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What I enjoyed about King of Queens is that the ‘hot wife’ was also a mess. I think she started out as the attractive, stable voice of wisdom, but, as the show progressed, it was clear how much they deserved each other. She wasn’t out of his league at all.

Last edited by planetcory; 06-17-2018 at 11:42 PM.
  #19  
Old 06-17-2018, 11:52 PM
Rick Kitchen Rick Kitchen is offline
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Originally Posted by elbows View Post
The first step in crime solving is asking a bartender or waitress, who remarkably recalls persons and timing!

How convenient! Ask your friends that work in bars, this doesn’t happen like this.

Even more egregious is the cop show format where the big break in the case involves throwing a guy up against a wall and threatening him. Awesome police work, it solves every case!
Not to mention going into a store where all of their customers' records are kept on hand written cards in a filing cabinet with the customer's name, address, and phone number.
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Old 06-18-2018, 12:04 AM
Lucas Jackson Lucas Jackson is offline
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Pop Culture tropes that infuriate you.

Polls that ask internet denizens what their opinions of mundane meaningless things are.

That, and recreational outrage.



  #21  
Old 06-18-2018, 01:14 AM
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Old 06-18-2018, 01:28 AM
Lamoral Lamoral is offline
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Any action film where endless waves of commandos and helicopters are dispatched like swatting away flies by either the hero or the villain. Do they have any idea how much money and time is invested in training these people and building the equipment they use? Just once it would actually be refreshing to have the action hero throw up his hands and say, "aw, fuck it" when confronted with a bunch of top tier special operators who have been trained to work seamlessly as a team for the past 10 years.

Movies always do tend to idealize the individual over the collective though.
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Old 06-18-2018, 01:42 AM
Asuka Asuka is online now
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Originally Posted by Jacquernagy View Post
Any action film where endless waves of commandos and helicopters are dispatched like swatting away flies by either the hero or the villain. Do they have any idea how much money and time is invested in training these people and building the equipment they use? Just once it would actually be refreshing to have the action hero throw up his hands and say, "aw, fuck it" when confronted with a bunch of top tier special operators who have been trained to work seamlessly as a team for the past 10 years.

Movies always do tend to idealize the individual over the collective though.
Movies also tend to do a very poor job of just how much fire is going downrange when you have a dozen soldiers all firing at once. The entire target area should be covered in impact hits.
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Old 06-18-2018, 02:05 AM
DavidwithanR DavidwithanR is offline
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This may be too obvious because I think it gets complained about fairly frequently, but bad guys who corner the good guy and then stand around talking instead of shooting him in the guts and/or head immediately.
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Old 06-18-2018, 02:28 AM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is offline
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Typing on the computer without using a mouse. I still see that, and by now all actors will have grown up with PCs so know very well how they work. You don't type just by wiggling your fingers either, and it's okay to look down at your hands once in a while.
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Old 06-18-2018, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Jacquernagy View Post
Any action film where endless waves of commandos and helicopters are dispatched like swatting away flies by either the hero or the villain. Do they have any idea how much money and time is invested in training these people and building the equipment they use? Just once it would actually be refreshing to have the action hero throw up his hands and say, "aw, fuck it" when confronted with a bunch of top tier special operators who have been trained to work seamlessly as a team for the past 10 years.
That one bugs me, too. Always reminds me of a video game with the player just blasting away at an endless stream of bad guys. There's usually so much going on that I can't get any sense of space; of who is where, what they're doing, and why. It's not necessary in a movie. I always think they could do better action sequences with just a few antagonists who give the hero a genuine challenge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidwithanR View Post
This may be too obvious because I think it gets complained about fairly frequently, but bad guys who corner the good guy and then stand around talking instead of shooting him in the guts and/or head immediately.
That's one of the things that bugged me about Skyfall. When Silva is escaping through the underground, Bond has him dead to rights. He has his gun trained on him, and even says that he can't miss. There's no reason to be keeping Silva alive. Just shoot him.
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Old 06-18-2018, 02:42 AM
Alessan Alessan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacquernagy View Post
Any action film where endless waves of commandos and helicopters are dispatched like swatting away flies by either the hero or the villain. Do they have any idea how much money and time is invested in training these people and building the equipment they use? Just once it would actually be refreshing to have the action hero throw up his hands and say, "aw, fuck it" when confronted with a bunch of top tier special operators who have been trained to work seamlessly as a team for the past 10 years.

Movies always do tend to idealize the individual over the collective though.
Law of Conservation of Ninjutsu. Wins every time.
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Old 06-18-2018, 04:32 AM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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In rom-coms, where the only chance at reconciliation is some last-minute mad-dash to the airport. Often resulting in a situation would moot the relationship IRL as our hero would likely find themselves arrested by Homeland Security.



Normal, well adjusted adults don't live in New York City. If Hollywood is to be believed, people typically move to NY in their 20s after college and then spend years with their close-knit group of friends drinking excessively and struggling with careers and relationships much longer than they should be. While there is some element of truth to that, it would be nice to not see Manhattan and Brooklyn portrayed as a giant half-way house for young adults going through their quarter life crisis.



Swords and other melee weapons in science fiction. Yes, a lightsaber is a more elegant weapon from a more civilized age. It still has the range of a sword.



The "career vs family" dichotomy dilemma. Usually resulting in "I didn't take that promotion or dream job so I can be with my family". As if raising a family doesn't cost money and they want dad around that much anyway.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacquernagy View Post
Any action film where endless waves of commandos and helicopters are dispatched like swatting away flies by either the hero or the villain. Do they have any idea how much money and time is invested in training these people and building the equipment they use? Just once it would actually be refreshing to have the action hero throw up his hands and say, "aw, fuck it" when confronted with a bunch of top tier special operators who have been trained to work seamlessly as a team for the past 10 years.

Movies always do tend to idealize the individual over the collective though.
Don't these commandos receive the training and have the same selection standards as the hero? Why are they so bad and commandoing?
  #29  
Old 06-18-2018, 04:48 AM
wintertime wintertime is offline
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The Chosen One.
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Old 06-18-2018, 05:34 AM
Ludovic Ludovic is online now
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"You've got to believe me!"

Oh? Why is that?
"There's no time! I'll explain later!"
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Old 06-18-2018, 07:12 AM
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I caught some glimpses of an action movie yesterday while on a airliner. Among the dumbest tropes were:

The hero and heroine jumping through a plate-glass window without so much as getting nicked, just as an "explosion" happens immediately behind them, leaving them unscathed.

Bullets from pistols and submachine guns flying everywhere down a narrow hallway, not hitting their targets but making sparks wherever they impact.

The hero and heroine breaking a plate-glass window with a single shot from a 9mm, and then jumping out to get away from the bad guys without any hesitation, even though they're on the fifteenth or sixteenth floor.

Landing in the swimming pool that "just happens" to be beneath them, without the slightest of complications.
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Old 06-18-2018, 07:12 AM
Blank Slate Blank Slate is offline
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The medical examiner/pathologist type who pokes around inside cadavers in between bites of his tuna sandwich.
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Old 06-18-2018, 08:31 AM
ZonexandScout ZonexandScout is offline
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Mine is the where the detective has successfully solved EVERY SINGLE crime he's been given to investigate, usually showing great skill and imagination, but his supervisor and fellow officers don't believe him THIS time. "So, you think you know better than us, Detective 100-Percent-Clearance? Just because you've been right every week so far doesn't mean you're right this week!"
  #34  
Old 06-18-2018, 08:34 AM
Intergalactic Gladiator Intergalactic Gladiator is offline
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Originally Posted by Ludovic View Post
"There's no time! I'll explain later!"
I came to mention this one. This is, of course, a writer's shortcut to get out of having the character explain the plan again or give the viewer a bit of a mystery before they get to see the plan unfold.

Also related is the "Captain, you better get down to engineering right away!" The captain is busy captaining his ship on the bridge but taking the two minutes or so for the engineer to explain that there's a big alien cyberplant growing out of the main reactor will not build suspense.


Another line that I noticed in sitcoms and now can't unnotice is when the main character says "listen" or "look." Situations are similar to this exchange:


Main Character Girl: I'm worried that Hunky Senior isn't going to ask me to Homecoming.
Goofy Brother: Why don't you go to the zoo, I'm sure you can find a date there.
Canned Laughter: ha ha ha
Main Character Girl: Listen, I'm worried that Hunky Senior is having trouble with Chemistry and might be having a nervous breakdown.

It's a quick way to get the storyline back on track after a character says a funny line but like I said, I noticed it once and now it really sticks out for me. Fortunately, I think that either Hollywood writers are moving away from that or maybe I am not watching the shows that feature it so much.
  #35  
Old 06-18-2018, 08:42 AM
DoctorJ DoctorJ is offline
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"There's no time! I'll explain later!"
My favorite examples of this were on Lost. "Come on! We have to go now! There's no time to explain! Now let's walk across the island for six hours in complete silence."
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  #36  
Old 06-18-2018, 08:55 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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Any show with the nerdy guy and the stupid-but-pretty babe doing the on-again/off-again dance. Big Bang was predicted to be headed for failure with this troupe, but they made the characters believable. The worst offender for this one is Friend's Ross and Rachel.
  #37  
Old 06-18-2018, 09:09 AM
Icarus Icarus is offline
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Rom-com trope where the super hot guy and super hot girl are strangely single and have no friends that they spend time with (and no family either).

Or the hot girl with the perfectly conventional but somewhat boring type boyfriend who she dumps like nothing so she can get with hot guy. Could we try a little harder to make current boyfriend more objectionable and dump-worthy than just "somewhat boring"?
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:13 AM
Shoeless Shoeless is offline
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My favorite examples of this were on Lost. "Come on! We have to go now! There's no time to explain! Now let's walk across the island for six hours in complete silence."
The other one that wore out it's welcome on LOST: "It's complicated."
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:16 AM
Lamoral Lamoral is offline
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Don't these commandos receive the training and have the same selection standards as the hero? Why are they so bad and commandoing?
The heart of military training, whether it's grunt infantry or SEALs, is teamwork. Those faceless commandos being dispatched left and right in the movies, they care more about each other than the guy shooting at them cares about anything in the world.
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:20 AM
Mean Mr. Mustard Mean Mr. Mustard is offline
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I don't think I've ever seen mine mentioned before:

When someone is in a large facility (empty warehouse, sports stadium, etc.) and they toggle the gargantuan switch that turns on the lights.

The part that bugs me is the over-the-top sound effect that always accompanies the switching of the switch: ka-KLUNK.

Whether it's a vacant 7-Eleven store or Shea Stadium, it's always the same exact, ridiculously loud sound.


mmm
  #41  
Old 06-18-2018, 09:21 AM
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Not sure this is a "trope," but movies in which the family (or hero and heroine) are united with each other in the heat and din of combat/aliens/bad guys/dinosaurs/something-to-kill-them and they insist on spending maybe 20 seconds bonding, hugging, kissing, mwuah-mwuah - again, in the heat and din of action, with death potentially killing them any second. You have all the time in the world to do that kiss-kiss/hug-hug stuff later, once you're out of danger and in a place of safety - why don't you first run for your lives now and do all that stuff later?
  #42  
Old 06-18-2018, 09:23 AM
storyteller0910 storyteller0910 is offline
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Mine is the where the detective has successfully solved EVERY SINGLE crime he's been given to investigate, usually showing great skill and imagination, but his supervisor and fellow officers don't believe him THIS time. "So, you think you know better than us, Detective 100-Percent-Clearance? Just because you've been right every week so far doesn't mean you're right this week!"
My single favorite thing about the TV series Monk was how it obliterated this trope. As the series started, everyone was skeptical of the title character because he was a weird dude with a mental illness and an off-putting personality. But once he had solved, like, three straight crimes, everyone started believing him. They didn't always like him, didn't always enjoy his presence, but they acknowledged that he was usually right and acted accordingly. Sometimes they didn't want him to be right - sometimes they fervently hoped he wasn't right. But they didn't waste screen and story time ostentatiously doubting him, which was great.
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:31 AM
Stanislaus Stanislaus is offline
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Rom-com trope where the super hot guy and super hot girl are strangely single and have no friends that they spend time with (and no family either).

Or the hot girl with the perfectly conventional but somewhat boring type boyfriend who she dumps like nothing so she can get with hot guy. Could we try a little harder to make current boyfriend more objectionable and dump-worthy than just "somewhat boring"?
Yeah, but the problem with that is you then swing to the other extreme, where the obstacle boyfriend is such a dick that you start to seriously question the awareness, judgement and self-worth of any woman who would willingly spend time with him. Which would be fine for an actual drama with real characters, but in a fun, lighthearted-as-spun-sugar romcom (where the female lead is typically not just hot but also ostensibly Generally Awesome) it just tends to drag the whole thing down. (See, e.g. the Wedding Crashers and Bradley Cooper's repulsive fiance.)
  #44  
Old 06-18-2018, 09:59 AM
Jophiel Jophiel is offline
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Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
I don't think I've ever seen mine mentioned before:

When someone is in a large facility (empty warehouse, sports stadium, etc.) and they toggle the gargantuan switch that turns on the lights.

The part that bugs me is the over-the-top sound effect that always accompanies the switching of the switch: ka-KLUNK.

Whether it's a vacant 7-Eleven store or Shea Stadium, it's always the same exact, ridiculously loud sound.


mmm
Similar to this is when you have a row of buildings or bank of servers or something and someone kills the power, they always shut down in sequential blocks with a satisfying "Schunk! Schunk! Schunk!" as each section goes dark. Heck, they even do it with street lights. Electricity moves a bit faster than that.
  #45  
Old 06-18-2018, 10:13 AM
Eonwe Eonwe is online now
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Fat people just go crazy when you take their food away! Har har har!

I'm watching Brooklyn 99 right now, and find it pretty funny and clever, but the Scully and Hitchcock "fat guys who fight over food and eat scraps off the floor" shtick was dead on arrival.

It's practically a rule: if a comedy has an overweight character, they will inevitably do crazy and unrealistic things for food, because OMG fat people can't resist the shittiest morsel, amirite!?
  #46  
Old 06-18-2018, 10:55 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is online now
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I just read a couple of hundred (yes, literally) robot stories and comic books and strips from the 30s and 40s. A few tropes get used over and over again.

If there were a horde of robots to deal with, then there would be a central control to turn them all off with one switch. (You'll see this in zillion of movies even today and stopping the bomb with one second left is just a variant.)

Giving a robot feelings was always deadly.

Giant robots were controllable from inside their hollow heads, even if they were designed to be run by remote radio signals. Sometimes the villain would leave an instruction book inside so the hero could use the robot against the villain.

Human-sized robots were also often hollow so that the hero could climb inside them like Iron Man putting on his suit. Where the robots' internal workings were was never explained.

A good robot always proved he was worthy by sacrificing himself for humans. (I don't know of a single example of a female robot doing this.) Today every kids movie about robots and lots of kids books end this way, but since robots aren't people, they are always rebuilt just the way they were for the happy ending.
  #47  
Old 06-18-2018, 11:30 AM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
Giant robots were controllable from inside their hollow heads, even if they were designed to be run by remote radio signals. Sometimes the villain would leave an instruction book inside so the hero could use the robot against the villain.

Human-sized robots were also often hollow so that the hero could climb inside them like Iron Man putting on his suit. Where the robots' internal workings were was never explained.
One that drives me crazy in modern movies is disabling a robot by shooting it in the head. There's no reason to put the CPU or any other critical component in the head, when you could put it in the torso where there is more space and better protection. (It's true that headless robots sometimes still function in a fashion, but they behave like headless chickens.)
  #48  
Old 06-18-2018, 11:55 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
One that drives me crazy in modern movies is disabling a robot by shooting it in the head. There's no reason to put the CPU or any other critical component in the head, when you could put it in the torso where there is more space and better protection. (It's true that headless robots sometimes still function in a fashion, but they behave like headless chickens.)
The only reason for ever making a robot look human is for the audience, not for the robot.
  #49  
Old 06-18-2018, 12:18 PM
Alessan Alessan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
One that drives me crazy in modern movies is disabling a robot by shooting it in the head. There's no reason to put the CPU or any other critical component in the head, when you could put it in the torso where there is more space and better protection. (It's true that headless robots sometimes still function in a fashion, but they behave like headless chickens.)
The CPU may not be in the head, but at least with humanoid robots, the cameras are, and in many cases the microphones are too. Knocking a robot's sensors out is a good way to disable it.
  #50  
Old 06-18-2018, 12:21 PM
Rick Kitchen Rick Kitchen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidwithanR View Post
This may be too obvious because I think it gets complained about fairly frequently, but bad guys who corner the good guy and then stand around talking instead of shooting him in the guts and/or head immediately.
There's a commercial running right now where the bad guy is giving the hero a long Power Point report on his plans, and the hero is bored to tears.
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