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The River of Clichés: 50 TRUTHS Revealed by Movies and TV Shows

Over the years, dozens of film clichés and patterns have emerged, which we can consider within the framework of cinema as truths revealed.

Lukasz Budnik

24 August 2023

You’ve probably caught yourself while watching a movie or TV show, recognizing a certain scene or situation from somewhere. No wonder! Over the years, dozens of film clichés and patterns have emerged, which we can consider within the framework of cinema as truths revealed. Here’s a selection of fifty of them.

  • The essential equipment for anyone attending a funeral should be an umbrella. It always rains at funerals.
  • The second most common situation for rain to appear is during a dramatic love confession.
  • If it’s not raining, there’s always the option of a “I love you” moment at the airport. Most likely at the last minute and after a long chase.
  • Rising romantic tension between two people should culminate in a kiss, and the perfect opportunity arises? Time for someone else to enter the room just seconds before their lips touch!
  • After sex, everyone has impeccable hair and makeup. Fresh out of bed too.
  • Furthermore, after a passionate night, women automatically hide under the covers up to their necks. Especially when alone with their partner.
  • When two people agree to meet up, they don’t discuss the place or time. Apparently, they rely on telepathy.
  • When a relationship is going perfectly, there’s bound to be a misunderstanding that momentarily ruins everything. Of course, it will be resolved later. Maybe at the airport.
  • When someone turns on the TV, there’s a 99% chance they’ll catch exactly the part of the interview/documentary/TV show that interests them. Often, they’ll hear a very important, even crucial piece of information.
  • The strategy of most criminal gangs attacking an enemy is to go after them one by one, not as a group. This individual approach always results in victory. Very civilized!
  • Cutting a wire connected to a bomb should always be done just seconds before it explodes.
  • Law enforcement keeps a landline telephone on their nightstand. The phone usually rings in the middle of the night, brutally waking up the hero (and another person in bed). After the call, they rarely manage to go back to sleep – more likely, they’ll spend the rest of the night at the crime scene.
  • Regardless of whether it’s the protagonist or antagonist, one shouldn’t look back when something explodes. Cool people don’t. Ever. Also, they’re never affected by the fireball.
  • If someone has a nightmare, they will definitely wake up drenched in sweat and sit up in bed. Screaming.
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  • A dramatic situation requires a dramatically prolonged “no!” delivered with the right amount of emotion.
  • Most likely, everyone is on call 24/7 by the phone. Therefore, when someone dials a number, the person on the other end answers within milliseconds. Moreover, everyone knows their numbers by heart.
  • Bullets in a gun run out at the most critical moment.
  • Of course, earlier, they seemed to never run out.
  • There’s no need to lock a car.
  • High-proof alcohol (usually whisky) is always downed in one gulp at bars and immediately followed by ordering another.
  • If someone borrows someone else’s clothing, it’s always a perfect fit.
  • High heels are the best shoes for running, especially when trying to escape.
  • A car can explode at any moment, but it patiently waits until all passengers are saved.
  • Victims of accidents or gunshot wounds usually take long enough to die to communicate something important.
  • Regardless of how fast someone is moving or their position, their accuracy with a handgun remains consistent every time they shoot.
  • The primary goal of most villains is to take control of the entire world. The more ambitious ones aim for the universe.
  • If someone has a mentor, it’s not advisable to get attached to them. They will probably die.
  • There’s no point in becoming an evil genius if you can’t master the evil genius laugh.
  • There’s no better way to demonstrate your madness than by casually killing a member of your own team in front of everyone.
  • Tense situations in a fight – the villain is literally seconds away from killing the protagonist. Fear not! At the last moment, a Third Party will appear out of nowhere to eliminate the opponent. Occasionally, they’ll throw in a one-liner.

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  • Nosebleeds usually have the consistency of jelly and only flow into the mouth. There’s no need to stem them.
  • In a sword fight, there must be a moment of blade lock and an exchange of words at close range. Could the blade be tilted and used to strike the opponent? Nah, doesn’t matter.
  • A supervillain who has just captured their arch-enemy must: A) eliminate them according to their original plan since they’re now helpless, or B) start a monologue that laboriously explains the intricacies of their plan, giving the opponent time to escape. Of course, the answer is B.
  • Positive heroes, in most cases, will ultimately try to save the antagonist from a fall (although they clearly wanted to kill them earlier). Unfortunately, they never succeed.
  • Security cameras always provide the highest quality image and offer shots that are crucial to the characters.
  • When listening to an audio recording and wanting to rewind it to a specific part, you’ll undoubtedly hit the exact point where that part begins.
  • If someone coughs, they’re probably fatally ill. No one coughs due to a cold.
  • If you have a nightmare, you will eventually wake up drenched in sweat and sit up in bed. Screaming.
  • During chance encounters, people greet each other by saying the other person’s first and last name, usually with a tone of mixed surprise and admiration.

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  • Hacking involves incessantly tapping keys, usually at a typing speed worthy of keyboard masters.
  • The best indicator of someone’s frustration with another’s lack of understanding is the statement, “you just don’t get it, do you?”
  • Typically, you return from shopping with a paper bag, with a baguette sticking out of it.
  • The typical school friend is a nerd or a chubby kid.
  • The school “ugly duckling” is a hidden beauty that will be revealed at a crucial moment, of course, to the surprise of everyone.
  • If a parent (usually the father) promises a child they’ll attend their performance, chances are very slim.
  • If an awkward situation is to arise, it will only happen in an elevator in motion.
  • Elevators, in fact, are wicked devices – they’re usually right on your floor, except when you’re being pursued; then you’ll always have to wait for them.
  • Taxis can be paid with random banknotes, as they often are exited in a hurry. Taxi drivers don’t give change and don’t argue.
  • Teachers never manage to assign homework or announce a test before the bell rings. So they do it just as students are leaving the classroom. Often yelling.
  • There’s always a chance that Owen Wilson will say “wow.”
Łukasz Budnik

Lukasz Budnik

He loves both silent cinema and contemporary blockbusters based on comic books. He looks forward to watching movie with his growing son.

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