Futuristic Sci-Fi movie stereotypes!

You know what I mean! There you are enjoying something of the sci-fi vein, and the same things pop up all the time!

  1. Lots of silver clothing.
  2. No crime, or lots of crime with psychotic crazed police (and they are always corrupt)
  3. Hi Opal!
  4. Nobody has a southern accent.
  5. Everyone has good teeth and is attractive (or is a hideous mutant in a post-apocalypse world).
  6. No need for money seems somewhat common.
  7. Nobody ever uses the transporters for pranks, pizza delivery, or making the hostess’s undergarments simultaneously jump 2 feet to the left.

Anyone else have any? I suspect some could be fun!

I think that points 4 & 5 are somehow related…

Blessedwolf- But the mutants don’t have a southern accent either!

What does your sig mean? The only word I can make out is cthulu!

Capes. Especially in sf of the 30s to the 50s, capes and leotards were future-garb.

Nobody seems to think of practical or money-grunning uses for their marvelous devices, even though that’s what they end up being used for. Heck, I’d use Replicators to make more replicators, then crank out high-demand items. Use Transporters to sell real estate in previously unsaleable regions. Stuff like that.


(paraphrase, 'cause I don’t have the book in front of me) “In his house in R’lyeh, Cthulu waits dreaming.” From The Call of Cthulu


Also in most SF movies, money is called “credits” and has little or no physical state, it only exists as computer records.

…and computers are semi-sentient AIs that can keep track of every citizen’s daily routine and store Ghod knows how many terabytes of information, yet you tell it there is no Sanctuary, and it promptly explodes in a shower of sparks and you have to leave the domed city. Stupid Windows 2000!

You don’t see it in movies or TV, but try Niven’s Jumpshift stories. In at least one of the stories, the inaccessability of the place except by jump booth was critical to the plot. They also use the devices for desalinization (the idea was suggested by a drunk secretary at an office party) and as a revolutionary tool for roving new reporters (which generated a whole new social crisis–flash crowd riots). Burglary was also common until people figured out that they shouldn’t but the booths inside their houses.

The utter lack of imagination in transporter use in Star Trek always bugged me. Why waste all those red-shirted guys? You know they’re going to die down there. Just use the transporter to make copies of them planetside, and let the copies get killed. That way you don’t have to keep recruiting new personnel. If you don’t want to be so pessimistic, at least keep copies of them “on file” in case they die. Then being part of a landing party is like a game of Diablo II–if you die, you reappear on the ship minus a little experience.

You have ray guns, killer robots, mind control devices & space battleships, but the Hero always beats the Villian in the last scene by winning a sword fight. :wally

Amazingly enough, the popular hairstyles of the future always match closely to the popular hairstyles at the time the movie was made. There’s some sort of strange synchronicity there…

There are always alien species equivalent to the “Vulcans” (the intellectual aliens), and “Klingons” (violent warrior aliens).

Well, I do happen to have the book right in front of me! :smiley:

“In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”

For me, most of the ‘sameness’ in sci-fi revolves around the military aspect.

-the future is violent, because it usually involves the military in battles with aliens.
-wear the same clothing every day.
-prefer logic and science to emotions, music and art.
-not good family values. Very few scenes with spouses or kids.
-the birth rate is very low. Very few pregnancies.
-not many old people in the future either. People are mostly young or middle aged adults.
-everybody speaks English or can be easily be translated to English, even aliens.
-not much eating, going to the bathroom, cloths washing, food shopping.
-not much recreation (sports games, concerts, radio listening, card playing, etc.).
-people usually look athletic, in good shape, but rarely are seen exercising.
-nobody is famous except for military heros and political leaders. ie, no famous entertainers, pop culture icons.
-people don’t have jobs like accountants, journalists, school teachers or lawyers. Instead, everybody is a soldier, engineer, programmer, doctor or nurse.
-there is almost no media (tv, newspaper, magazines).
-nobody wears glasses.
-It must be hard maintaining a sleep/wake cycle on board those space ships for years. Lack of day light must lead to fatigue after a month or so.
-everybody has laser guns.
-nobody goes to church.
-politics is not discussed. Do they have elections in the future?
-there don’t appear to be any businesses, stores, shopping malls, insurance companies, corporations, factories. No capitalism. Everyhing is controlled by the
govt/military. Nobody worries about the stock market or their investments.

Howard Stern joke: Why aren’t there Puerto Ricans on Star Terk? They aren’t doing any work in the future, either!

Architecture is extreme:

Cities are silver/dull gray, tall and slender spire and towers everywhere, and most of the buildings look architecturally unstable (kind of like the landscapes from a Roadrunner cartoon). Ever notice it rains a lot in furturistic cities, too?


Buildings are dirt and adobe communes, especially in the ‘post-nuclear or back to the basics’ settings. Doesn’t rain much here, usually a drought and the crops will die, leaving everyone to starve.

Every planet has a single planet-wide government. And no matter where the visitors land on that planet, that is the central location of running things on that planet.

And anyone who is a passenger on a spacecraft knows all the technical details of that craft so they can make repairs and modifications to shields, weapons and warp drives as needed.

There never seem to be any toilets.

From the sci-fi I’ve seen, it seems that women’s breasts will be larger and less beset by gravity in the future, and the clothing will be quite form-fitting so as to show them off.

So which of these cliches listed in this thread will most likely become true? I think that electronic money is most likely, though I doubt that it will be called credits. More likely it will be called whatever it was called when it was still a physical object, e.g.: dollars, pounds, guilders, and so on. Unless that old one world government comes about.

Well, if it is a metacorp environment destroying little hamlet, yes. It is entirely possible. They did a study recently that showed the corrolation between rain and pollution on the weekends. Pollution from cars builds up and gives water something to cling to. More builds up, until at the end of the week, it pours. Again, entirely possible in a polluting kind of world.

For some reason sound propagates through vacuum in the future.

Also light travels slower in the future, so that beams of light can be dodged.

Of course, there’s also the Imperial Stormtrooper school of Marksmanship. You don’t see much of that in the present.

The Bulletproof Nudity Law is also in effect in the future it seems (ie the less clothes you wear the less you’re likely to get hurt).

People seem content to have given up all-you-can-eat buffets, big ole’ honking boxes of fried chicken, pizza; heck, even a plate full of turkey and dressing. Instead, they take a “food pill” or slurp down some sort of vitamin-filled goo.

Interesting thread. I too am a lover of 1950’s SF. The really weird thing is how prescient some of this stuff was-they did anticipate computer communication (AKA the Internet). However, in terms of clothing styles, we are stuck around 1900! I miss the capes and leotards-although most people don’t look good in spandex!