I hope I did a decent job of explaining what I mean in the title, but something tells me it needs to be explained a little more.
Here’s an example of what I mean. In Knockaround Guys, Vin Diesel, wanting to beat up the toughest guy in the bar in order to teach everyone a lesson, asks who the toughest guy is. When he finds out, he walks up to the guy, and just says, “five hundred.”
The guy goes, "Five hundred what?"
Then Vin Diesel goes into this very long and deep monologue about how you have to have been in five hundred street fights before you can legitimately consider yourself a tough guy, and about how eventually you get so used to the violence that it becomes second nature, and a lot of other things, and then beats the guy up.
I KNOW I’ve seen this exact same thing used in movies, and I hate it because it NEVER actually happens in real life. I just can’t pin down another specific example. Like, during some deep and high-tension moment in a thriller, say, a face-off with the hero and the villain, the hero will say, out of nowhere, “Darlene,” or something, and the villain will either act somewhat confused or maintain an icy stare, and the hero will continue, “Darlene. That’s the name of the woman you killed.”
Or, someone will randomly say, “25,” and then after a silent pause, go, “it’s been 25 years since I yadda yadda yadda.”
Have I done a good enough job of explaining what I mean? It’s a total movie cliche. I’ve seen it happen a million times.