Things in fiction that annoy you

It bugs me how in movies where the non English speakers hear their language as English, it never occurs to them they could break the communication barrier by writing. First time I noticed was in Disney’s Tarzan. As a kid I thought, why didn’t the gorillas use the typewriter to communicate with Jane? Although now I realize, just because gorillas hear gorilla noises as English doesn’t necessarily mean they can read and write. It still annoys me in movies about foreign people, though.

Wait–do you think all foreign people write in English?

You just have to write it slowly and in all caps. :wink:

Sweating when nervous. I don’t know anyone in real life who really breaks a sweat just from being nervous.

False equality bothers me. I was annoyed as a kid by a children’s book that said that the speed of an airplane, bicycle, horse and hot-air balloon were all equal and that the participants in a race all finished in a tie - to avoid offending anyone, I guess.

It’s been mentioned before, but I still cringe in a TV police series where a sniper on a roof top with a rifle and sights misses the hero (several hundred feet away.) Our hero draws a pistol and kills the sniper with one shot. :nauseated_face:

Fun fact: in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ original novel, Tarzan DOES communicate with Jane and company by writing. That’s because he knew how to write English, having taught himself from the books his parents left behind. (amazing autodidact, that Tarzan. Just like Frankenstein’s Monster) But there was no one to teach him how to SPEAK English.

The Apes had their own spoken language, of course. The first human language Tarzan learned to speak was French.


Speaking of speed, I find it very annoying when, in a scene involving a person in a car trying to run down a person on foot, it takes them forever to catch up to them. Also, instead of running off the street or behind a tree or other object, the person on foot conveniently runs straight down the street so that the car has no problem catching him.

In the movie, Christine , the car of that name was running down one its enemies in an underpass. All the guy had to do was dart between the support pillars to the other side of the underpass, and Christine would have had to drive all the way through and make a U-turn to come back on the other side to chase him. He could have repeated the process over and over until the machine literally ran out of gas. Nope, he conveniently ran straight down the road and got himself squished! LOL

Yeah, that drives me crazy too. Even more than the ones who keep turning around to see if the baddies are still back there, leading, of course, to a stumble and fall.

I can’t stand the too-frequent plot device of the evil military or the evil government swooping in and doing whatever. Having both served in the military and worked as a federal employee, I found that neither is a monolithic organization with everyone in lockstep. As in any other place, you’ve got the good and the bad, the competent and the less so, the professionals and the slackers. Maybe a small group could pull off some secret plot or launch some nefarious plan… maybe… Of course, reality makes for boring fiction most of the time.

YES! Just run into an alley that’s narrower than the car. Or between two parked cars, up on a porch, behind a light pole, off the paved road into a field, into a pond…

Or related, when they do run straight down the road into an obstacle they can’t get around or over, they stand with their back to it and scream instead of dodging to one side so that the car either plows into it instead or at least the driver has to waste time correcting their course.

Hi. I have to be really worried or scared, but I sweat bullets when I am.

Clones of individual people. I mentioned this in the Star Wars thread. What I don’t like about it is that it seems like when clones of individuals are made, it’s always done to bring someone back that had already died. Usually it’s a villain which the heroes had worked very hard to defeat. Now through some cheap trick they’re back again. Each subsequent clone is even worse. The various Dune sequel books were especially bad on this point.

And the clone somehow knows everything and thinks exactly the same way that the original did. And it’s the same exact age, size, haircut as the original. I guess a civilization that’s advanced enough to create adult clones could create some kind of memory transfer device, but…

It was featured on Mystery Science Theater and it was a terrible movie, but Parts: The Clonus Horror had a really interesting take on clones. The clones were born, raised until young adulthood, and when they reached their peak physical condition were killed and deep frozen to use as spare parts for rich people. They know nothing about the people they were cloned from or the outside world. A better movie that explored the “are they people or a commodity” angle more would make a great horror movie.

And a personal pet peeve that probably won’t surprise anyone-someone in a movie or commercial is “knitting” or doing some other kind of needlework, and obviously have no idea what the heck they’re doing.

This reminds me of an M. Night Shyamalan movie (I forget which) where a group of protagonist were trying, and laughably succeeding, in out running the wind.

I mean, come on man.

I have no problems with clones in general, and that sort of plot would make for some interesting movies. It’s the whole let’s bring back the big baddie for a second (or third, or fourth) go round by saying that there was a clone hidden somewhere, just waiting for the original to die before popping out. That plot device sucks.

Hey, maybe it was a one MPH “wind”. :rofl:

I think I watched that on TV as a kid! I remember because it was my intro to the word and concept ‘clone’. I remember looking up the word in the family dictionary and it wasn’t in there, but the dictionary was very outdated, I’m sure.

Though, it may have been a different ‘growing clones for spare parts’ movie because I remember these clones as being kept alive in suspended animation, floating in some kind of liquid in tanks, not killed and frozen.

I doubt the book said that. What was the title?