- Even in 2022, it is hard to find movies that don’t rely on one or more movie clichés. These remain famous and overused because they are a part of the film vocabulary for many filmmakers, especially those with less experience. However, when these movie clichés show up in film after film, they don’t work like they once did and many fans, especially those who like to talk movies on Reddit, want to see gone. These tropes happen mostly in genre films, whether it is animated movies, coming-of-age flicks, romantic comedies, or horror movies. Maybe if used less, these movie clichés could end up useful again, but they need to appear much less than they do now.
After a good century’s worth of movies, it’s only natural that certain genres follow similar beats as the trailblazers that came before them. It’d be impossible not to.
However, sometimes a trope is repeated more than it needs to be and often comes off as lazy writing. Either that, or they’re way outdated. Between the relentless ear-piercing gun noises in action movies, cutting the right wire in the nick of time, and villains explaining their plans in detail, Hollywood can sometimes be stuck in its old ways.
UPDATE: 2022/09/28 16:39 EST BY SHAWN S. LEALOS
Even in 2022, it is hard to find movies that don’t rely on one or more movie clichés. These remain famous and overused because they are a part of the film vocabulary for many filmmakers, especially those with less experience. However, when these movie clichés show up in film after film, they don’t work like they once did and many fans, especially those who like to talk movies on Reddit, want to see gone. These tropes happen mostly in genre films, whether it is animated movies, coming-of-age flicks, romantic comedies, or horror movies. Maybe if used less, these movie clichés could end up useful again, but they need to appear much less than they do now.
Dance Party Endings
If there is one thing that Disney Animation has perfected, it is a happy ending. However, one other thing that Disney loves to add to their movies’ conclusions is some kind of party, with a song that kids will be singing for weeks after the movie ends. Redditor mranimal2 wrote that they just want to see the end of “Dance Party Endings at the end of animated movies”
He points out all several animated movies that do this, and it isn’t just DIsney. Shrek ends with a dance party while Smash Mouth sings. The Despicable Me movies end with dance parties, usually with the Minions acting as DJs. Even the critically acclaimed Zootopia ends with a concert scene. Maybe once or twice, this works, but to end with this movie cliché every time just seems lazy.
Disaster Movies Fixing Broken Marriages
One of the big movie tropes in disaster flicks, especially ones that focus on the possible end of the world, is broken families. Somehow, all it takes is an asteroid, natural diaster, or alien invasion to fix a divided marriage and bring two people back together. MovieMike007 wrote on Reddit that they love disaster movies, but are tired of them “fixing broken marriages.”
Sometimes it works, as one commenter said that it worked in Twister, but in that case, it was because the ex was with a bad person. However, one of the guiltiest parties was the movie 2012. In that movie, the ex was remarried, and her new husband was a good guy and a good stepfather. All it took was the disaster to lead the ex-husband back, and once he made peace with his ex’s new husband, the new guy died and the former couple reunited.
Dysfunctional Stepparents And Stepkids
One of the biggest movie clichés in coming-of-age movies is the idea that all stepparents are lousy and all step kids are either misunderstood or overly difficult. It seems a happy second family can’t exist in movies, and BillytheBeaut pointed out the trope of the “YOU’RE NOT MY MOTHER/FATHER!!!” tirades.
These movies often play with the evil stepparent stereotype, or pit the new stepdad or stepmom against the birth parents. At least one commenter said they loved how Ant-Man subverted this. While it seemed Scott was at odds with his daughter’s new stepdad, they were actually just fine with each other, and Cassie had no problems having two men in her life.
Heroes Running From Their Past
There are plenty of ways for heroes to come into their own in an action movie. However, one common theme fans are tired of is the idea that a hero has to stop running from their past. Redditor OldNito simply wrote that they’re tired of the whole “I’m done running from my past” thing.
Sometimes this can work, however it seems lately to be a crutch used to give action heroes a reason why they haven’t been doing what they should have been doing all this time. While retribution stories are nice, it is also interesting to see an action hero already a hero when the movie starts, and not have some convoluted dark past to run from.
People Refusing To Believe The Hero
One of the rules in most stories involving a solo hero is that this person has to be alone. It is important to get rid of the people who can help him win a battle, so he has to reach down and find the strength to win it on his own. However, this can lead to frustrating movie clichés where the hero has to alienate his allies, and the worst is when they just don’t believe anything he says.
On Reddit, dumb_revisionist said “Just once I want to see the person get called out or yelled at for basically ignoring them”. When a movie has a hero separated from his allies, it seems natural. When the hero has friends or allies who refuse to even consider the hero is telling the truth about the danger, these people really don’t seem like friends at all.
Sex In Horror Movies
Horror movies have way more overused tropes than any other genre. And while there are so many horror movie clichés that have disappeared today, there are loads that are still just as prevalent as ever. A deleted user hilariously notes that a “killer on the loose should not be considered foreplay.”
That’s probably why teenagers tried sneaking into R-rated movies so much. Interestingly enough, as Scream is as much of a satire of the genre as much as it is a horror, it does feature two teenagers typically getting it on, but it brilliantly flips the trope on its head. Cabin in the Woods does the same thing too.
The visual aspects of cinema are just one part of the experience. The other part is audio, and the sounds of a movie can be just as magical as what’s on screen, whether it’s a sweeping musical score or the crystal clear sounds of the environment. One of the best and most iconic examples of that is Danny cycling over the floorboards in The Shining. However, NX02GT points out a type of sound that isn’t so magical and now happens all too often.
The Redditor argues that gun sounds “constantly click and make a noise like they are being cocked literally every time they are shown,” and it happens now almost more than ever. No thought goes into the sounds, and they’re clearly from an audio package that’s saved on a memory stick. A similar kind of sound that has become overused is gear shifting when there’s an intense car chase or race.
Defusing A Bomb Within A Second Of It Detonating
Aeolon has a major problem when heroes can stop a bomb from going off within a second of it detonating. The Redditor argues that “it isn’t exciting anymore after seeing it 73737383919 times.” The trope has drifted outside of action movies too, and it can be found in so many films these days.
Even though Batman is a superhero who fights theatrical supervillains, not even the caped crusader can avoid the trope. It happened in the 1966 movie and at the end of The Dark Knight Rises too. But the trope is used in the Mission: Impossible series more frequently than any other action franchise. However, it’s expected in those movies, as it’s a call back to the original TV series, and it’d be disappointing if it didn’t appear in future installments.
Average Looking Men Married To Super Models
Whether it’s Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, or any other comedy actor, whenever their movie characters have wives, they happen to be the most beautiful-looking women in the world. This Redditor takes more issue with it than anyone else.
The Redditor hates seeing an “average looking, slightly overweight man married to a supermodel-looking woman.” The Kevin James movies are the biggest culprits, and what’s interesting is that it’s never the other way around either.
The “It’s Your Destiny” Narrative
There are so many series about “the chosen one,” and the whole idea of a protagonist’s destiny being envisaged is starting to rub some Redditors the wrong way. SpiritualButter complains that “it seems like writers can’t figure out how to get a character to do something so it’s usually been foretold.”
It doesn’t have to be verbatim, as “It’s Your Destiny” is also representative of “You’re a wizard, Harry” and “You’re the one, Neo.” Whether it’s Star Wars, The Matrix, Harry Potter, or a million other movies, though they’re all great franchises, they do follow tired movie tropes.
Women Falling When Running Away
Iamirishpat is the first to note that “a woman running away from the bad guy will always fall down.” Whether it’s an action movie or a horror, this always happens at the worst possible moment.
However, one movie interestingly enough subverts the trope. Though Jurassic World has thinly drawn characters, Claire is somehow impressively able to run like Tom Cruise whilst wearing high heels, which, while obviously unrealistic, was at least a bit of a change up from what audiences would always expect from such a situation.
Villains Detailing Their Elaborate Plan
When villains have their enemies captive in the final act of a film, which happens almost all the time, they can’t help but reveal every tiny detail of their plan. The bad guys even reveal the plans’ pitfalls, letting the hero know exactly what they have to do when they escape.
Though many think this makes no sense, it is understandable why the villain gives the monologue. Villains are often narcissistic and want to show off just how smart they really are. However, as Gxxncxrlo points out, these speeches are still overused to no end. The Redditor hates “villains explaining their elaborate ruse instead of just going straight to kill whoever hero is in their way.”
Obviously, most teenage actors aren’t all that great, and it’s much easier to cast an older actor that still looks young. But sometimes, that age gap can be a bit of a stretch. WhenAllElseFail specifically despises when “all the high school kids look like they’re well into their thirties.”
The best example of this is The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. In an early treatment of the movie, Tokyo Drift focused on Dom, but instead, the film followed high-school students drift racing in the titular city. Lucas Black, the actor who plays 16-year-old Sean in the film, looks closer to 30. And Sung Kang, who plays Han, was 34 at the time of the movie’s release.
No espionage team and no heist team is complete without a hacker. It has been one of the foundations of a group of criminals in movies for the longest time, but it’s also one of the laziest building blocks for a story.
DitDashDashDashDash complains about the hacker who “conveniently knows everything and can break into secure databases by blindly typing at their keyboard.” No effort goes into the writing when it comes to the hacker’s role in the films. The Fast & Furious series is again a prime culprit for these clichés, as Tej randomly bangs on keys and can then get into a CIA system.
Women Written By Men
PnuematicGauntlet is fed up of seeing so many women written by men, but more specifically, they hate the “manic pixie dream girl, and whatever the male version of that might be.” This type of unrealistic character, who always falls for the protagonist, appears in so many movies.
Whether it’s Garden State, Pulp Fiction, or any movie starring Zooey Deschanel, they are all guilty of it. And the male depictions of women go further than just quirky indie girls too.
NEXT: The 8 Worst Tropes In Prequel Movies, According To Reddit