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.

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!

Instead of detectives with awful personal issues, I’d like to have a police character who is happy and well adjusted.

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.

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!

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.

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.

Can you give an example of this one, because I don’t think I’ve ever seen this before.

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.

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. :cool:

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!

“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!”

Wasn’t that essentially the plot of Ex Machina?


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.

::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.”

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.

I don’t know, I never saw it.

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.

Done over a century ago by E. C. Bentley in Trent’s Last Case.

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.