Dead, dying, and evolving cliches.

I was watching an old Bugs Bunny cartoon the other day. During it, bugs put on the cliched characteristics of a crazy person believing that he was Napoleon.

Problem is that that is no longer the popular cliche of a crazy person. Nowadays it would be some homeless guy mumbling about the government.

Or, what about ones that have changed? For much of the century the cliched picture of a scientist was a German man with unkempt hair, now it is often that same German man but in a wheel-chair.

What other formally popular cliches can you think of that no longer really hold true?

More specifically, that the CIA is shooting mind-control rays at him and he has to wear a tin-foil hat to block them out. :smiley:

To be honest, I’m having a tough time separating clichés from stereotypes.

What World Eater said.

If you are talking clieches, though – I love the cliches that don’t change – like describing something as “the greatest thing since sliced bread.” You’d think that would have been updated by now, to “the greatest thing since a '20s-style death ray” or something. :wink:

Copper, you fool, copper! Tin is worthless against their new rays!

:: mumble, mumble ::

I’ve never heard of this one before. When I think scientist, I still get a cartoon picture of Einstein in my head.

The cliched** psychiatrist used to be the Freudian looking, German-accented older male saying “Zo vat you are rrrrrreally saying, ist you zink you are in luf viz your wife, but in rrrrrrrrreality, you arrrre angrrrry viz your moootter for not getting you a pony for your zixth birrrrrrthday.”

I have seen less of this, and more of the hair-pulled-into-a-bun, serious business-suited female psychologist sitting in the chair with fingertips touching together, saying “But how did this make you feel?” ad nauseum after every sentence. And to further the cliche**, she herself is usually sexually repressed and ends up with a complete hysterical breakdown in the session, usually good for a few laughs on a sitcom.

** I am not going to run through all of the Ctrl + <numbers> to find a e with an accent mark and I’d prolly get the accent backwards. So nyahh.

Alt + 0233 = é (I use this one all the time)

Ever notice how the steriotype burglar is the steriotype Frenchman with a domino mask? Both wear stripes and a beret.

Thank you, sweetie. I was bored at work once (did I really say that out loud!) and went through and typed out all of the Alt** + <number> characters. Do you think I could find the paper anywhere? Nooooooooooo.
**I was thinking Alt, but the hands were typing Ctrl. Sheesh.

I haven’t seen the cowering-elephant-that’s-deadly-afraid-of-a-mouse device in ages. Boy, where would the cartoon writers of my youth have been without that set-up?

My father and I were once watching some old silent movie.

At one point someone other than the main characters started throwing bombs off of the roof of a building.

In the movie he was obviously enjoying himself but I couldn’t figure out who he was supposed to be or why he was suddenly throwing bombs in a city.

My father told me he was a stereotypical “Mad Anarchist” (think Leon Czolgosz) which was a reasonably common figure in movies and such in the early part of the 20th century.

I imagine the “Mad Arsonist” might’ve been somewhat inspired by the “Mad Bomber” that terrorized New York 'round the '40s… unless the movie you saw predated that time.

Anyway, I think a “cliche” is more along the lines of something like, “The hero always gets shot but keeps fighting” or “The self-destruct button is always big and red and says ‘Do not Push.’”

This may be stereotype rather than cliche, or perhaps something in between, but anyway, the American Enemy has changed quite a bit over the years. It was the communists, then Japanese businessmen, then the Chinese were looking to be the next Big Bad Guys, now it’s Middle-Eastern terrorists.

I kind of miss saying “What’re you, communist?”* whenever someone criticized something I like. “What’re you, a fundamentalist terrorist?” doesn’t have the same ring.

*I grew up in a military family, amongst military people, and have heard this type of comment made in all sincerity.

Alt + 130 = é

One keystroke less. :stuck_out_tongue:

you can always go to the character map, via programs to accessories to system tools, and there it is! select the font you are using and it gives you all the symbols and silly little squiggles over letters–any character you might need! ;j