Things that are extremely common in TV shows/movies that you've rarely seen in real life

mistaken identity
car chase
gun shot wounds

Nobody ever closes doors behind them in TV and movies.

Exact prices and wages are never mentioned. Normally it’s just written down on a tag or piece of paper, and the character reacts to it. I guess this is supposed to keep the show from looking dated.

I’ve mentioned this before: a man walks into a bar and when asked what he wants, he replies, “Give me a beer.” No one ever seems to say what brand of beer they want.

Which I’ve never really understood. It’s impossible to keep a show from looking dated and to me it actually adds to the show. There’s an episode of All In The Family in which Archie is approached by a blockbuster who needs a foothold in his neighborhood and in order to discourage him he gives him an outrageously exaggerated price for his 2 up/2 down row house in Queens: $35,000. I love that (and it’s unreal that just 38 years later you couldn’t buy the same house for that price anywhere in the nation, yet that was grossly inflated). Archie’s salary as a foreman on a loading dock with about 20 years experience was $5.50 per hour.
*Sanford and Son *had an episode in which Fred was offered $11,000 for his junkyard and everything in it and considered it a fair price. Again- actually adds to rather than detracts from the show to me, and while Watts has never been gentrified I’m pretty sure anything remotely livable would sell for way more than $11k today.

The “I’ll offer you this much” on a piece of paper thing is as phony as calling 555-1200.

I see pink bakery boxes all the time, because the people I work with are always bringing treats or birthday cakes to work. Most of the bakeries in the San Gabriel Valley, where my office is located, tend to use pink boxes, unless they have white custom-printed boxes with the bakery’s name and address.

As for the small cardboard Chinese food containers, I’ve only seen them used for small, individual portions of rice or a la carte items. Most Chinese takeout combo meals are usually put in styrofoam clamshell boxes with dividers so the kung pao chicken won’t spill all over the rice, or whatever.

Oh, yeah, about the presents: Once or twice I’ve taken the trouble of wrapping a box and its lid separately and, once I’ve put the present in the box and closed the lid, tied a ribbon around the wole thing. I did this for gifts I gave to children, just so they could have the experience of just opening the box to see their present, like on TV.

Fistfights - people seem to always be knocking each other out in the movies and on TV…violence in general, really, in real life the large majority of cops never shoot anyone over the course of their carreers.

Paunchy middle-aged guys going out with hot women - think George Costanza on Seinfeld.

And there’s probably one or two well thought out “cover your tracks/frame another person/hide all evidence of involvement between you and the deceased” murder per year in most large cities. Most seem to be spur of the moment “acts of passion”, armed robbery, hired killings, or other less “glamorous” affairs.

A live in maid for a small apartment with 2 people like on the Jeffersons. Florence must have had a lot of free time or else she cleaned everything 2 times a day.

Yeah, the pink bakery boxes are most certainly a “California thing” - you see them everywhere, and considering that is where most of these shows/films are made, probably nobody thinks this might not be normal elsewhere.

I always find it odd to see the housewife taking paper bags full of groceries out of the car - seriously, as nice as it would be for people to use paper, don’t 99.99% of people get those godawful plastic bags these days? Plus, the bag the housewife is holding ALWAYS has a big loaf of bread sticking out, because *of course *every housewife buys loaves of bread like that instead of sliced bread these days.

Police Shootouts.

There’s more gunfire, downed officers and criminals killed by cops in one season of Walker, Texas Ranger than a year of real life in the entire USA. Even then, I defy you to find very many firefights that resemble those on cop shows. Twenty bad guys firing all manner of weapons and almost all of them are killed in the process? Doesn’t happen.

Yup, absolutely everybody is buying French bread so it can stick up out of the bag.

Then the wife goes in the house and chops veggies on the kitchen island, and apparently she does this every time she cooks.

IRL, bread comes in a bag, sliced; and you buy cut up veggies in a bag, possibly a frozen one, and you probably don’t have an island in your kitchen.

They’ll also open the fridge and take out 3/4 of a meatloaf or almost a whole chicken- apparently each member of the family of 5 got 1.2 ounces and the rest is fridged.

This goes back to 1940s-60s films set in Manhattan, but: skylight penthouse apartments tenanted by artsy or bohemian people without obvious money.

I suppose a skylight implied a walkup, and quite a long walk up. In modern NYC, a view like that is worth enough to put in elevators and every other improvement.

Baked goods often come in pink boxes and Chinese food often come in paper containers. Yes, I’m in California too but I find it hard to believe this is a one-state aberration. Seinfeld, just to pick one example, was written and performed largely by New Yorkers, so you’d think one of them would have spoken up about it.

Supermarkets here still have large produce sections. There are even stores that sell nothing but fresh fruit and vegetables, not to mention the thriving farmers’ markets, so there must be a lot of people taking them home and chopping them up.

No, most bags of groceries on TV do not have baguettes sticking out of them. You know why you notice the ones that do? Because they have baguettes sticking out of them! And, if I’m cooking for someone else (as opposed to defrosting), I am more likely to slice up some french bread than to toss a couple pieces of Wonder Bread on the table.

Last time I was shopping for a car, more than one salesmen wrote prices down on paper and handed them to me. Maybe they just watch too much TV, or maybe they wanted to avoid misunderstandings.

I disagree with this. Go out on a Friday night and you can see a lot of fat men with hot women. AND you can see a lot of hot men with fat women.

I go to my gym and I see lots of hot men/ugly women and hot women/ugly men.

So it does exist in real life. I live in Chicago maybe that has something to do with it.

Also I see the pink boxes in bakeries and butcher shops too. But again, I think that is a big city “Eastern” type thing. You may see it in Chicago or NY or Philly but not everywhere.

As for the French bread sticking out of the bag, this happens all the time in my neighborhood in Chicago.

The one thing I can’t recall ever seeing is the correct placement of prime time in shows located in the Midwest or Rocky Mountains. Those shows set in Chicago or Denver, always have 11 O’Clock news. Prime time in the Central and Mountain times is 7pm - 10pm. We have a TEN O’Clock news.

I also agree with the maid/housekeeper thing. On TV it’s nearly impossible to find a man capable of raising kids without some help. You have My Two Dads, Full House (I guess they needed THREE dads :slight_smile: for that mansion they lived in, in one of the most expensive cities in the USA :))

Outside of Hello Larry, I can’t think of a show off hand where the dad raises the kids by himself. Though I will say on Diff’rent Strokes Mr Drummond raised his kids with virutally no help from his housekeepers.


What’s even more odd is when a character is shown cooking something in a two-quart saucepan that’s supposed by dinner for five or six people.

The Cosby Show was especially bad with this. There are times, when it’s known that there are at least eight people in the house, there are two sauce pans on the stove as they’re cooking (not steaming by the way), and no indication there’s at least other stuff coming from the oven.

Even odder is when a character tastes something from the pot and there’s no indication that there’s anything on the spoon, including anything that drips. What are they cooking, water?

What about Mrs. Garrett?

My mother always did that, and my sister has picked up the habit. I do it, too, sometimes. If it’s something like clothing, with a box from the store, I’ll wrap just the lid (since it fits all the way down over the bottom). It’s really not any harder than just wrapping the box as a whole. Obviously, if it something already in a box, like a DVD or a kid’s toy, the whole thing gets wrapped and you have to tear the paper to get it unwrapped.

Except for combo meals, everything else comes in the little white boxes that are easily identifiable as Chinese food. At least around here.