Skip To Content

    Dear Hollywood, Please Retire These 44 Movie Tropes In Every Film, Because We're Over It

    "When a character coughs, it always means they're going to die."

    We asked the members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what movie tropes and clichés they hate, and they had A LOT to say. Here are the best submissions:

    Note: Some submissions are from this Reddit thread because they're too good not to include.

    1. "When people have sex, and after the woman covers her chest with sheets and runs to the bathroom wrapped in said sheets. It's been what, 60, 70 years? Even more? If you can't imagine a creative and realistic way to not show a woman's breasts, don't shoot a sex scene."


    a woman clutching sheets to her chest

    2. "When getting shot in the shoulder is portrayed as an injury so minor that all you need to do is hold it for a little while. Then in a day or so, it’s like it never happened."


    3. "When a prosecutor introduces a surprise witness or evidence in the middle of a trial. You would get disbarred for pulling something like that."


    4. "If any woman between the ages of 16 and 50 vomits, it means they're pregnant."


    a pregnant woman sitting on a couch
    Universal Pictures

    5. "When a character says, 'I have to tell you something' to another character and the other character totally ignores them and interrupts with some lame statement or observation. Then the first character doesn't tell them the important thing they need to say."


    6. "When someone is fighting another person, falls to the ground, reaches with their hand, and magically there's something there they can use to end the fight."


    7. "When movies and TV shows proliferate the ridiculous trope that the third date is the sex date. This is not a real thing. People don’t go out with someone three times, then magically drop their pants and hop in the sack."


    a couple on a date at a restaurant
    Warner Bros.

    8. "If your plot can only be maintained by your characters not having a simple conversation to resolve things, you're a bad writer and I don't like you."


    characters from mean girls talking while eating lunch in the cafeteria
    Paramount Pictures

    9. "When teenagers are ripped beyond belief looking like they’re 26."


    a muscular actor

    10. "When they turn on the TV at the exact moment a relevant news report starts."


    a news reporter conducting an interview
    Dimension Films

    11. "I hate the funny fat best friend or the quirky Black guy on the side or the smart Asian kid who has a cameo. Like damn, marginalized people can be the main characters in stories that aren't just about their trauma!"


    12. "The misunderstanding trope where the significant other walks in on their spouse doing something that looks kinda suspicious without context and goes, 'Wait, I can explain!' One to two hours later, their partner goes 'Why didn't you just tell me that you weren't cheating on me?' I think that's why I hate most rom-coms."


    13. "I hate how in horror movies they'll be stuck in the woods and there's a lazy line about there being no service and no one ever checks their phones again. I mean, if I was in danger, I’d be checking my phone for service every five seconds. My main goal would be to get service on that phone."


    characters seemingly lost in the woods
    Warner Bros.

    14. "I hate obvious 'We’re siblings!' exposition like when we meet characters for the first time and one calls the other 'sis.'"


    15. "When people say, 'As you know...' I hate it when movie characters say this because it is the most obvious way of explaining exposition to the audience."


    16. "When characters who are about to kiss for the first time get interrupted. Every damn time. How many fucking times are they going to write that?"


    a woman staring at a man as if about to kiss
    Universal Pictures

    17. "When people just park anywhere. When they're running into city hall or the courthouse or the police station or an airport or wherever, they just park here literally right in front of the front door. Not only is that illegal, it's not even physically possible in most cities/towns. They never show our heroes schlepping it from a parking garage two blocks away."


    18. "When a character explains something in technical language and the other person says, 'Uh, in English?' It's painfully unfunny and overdone."


    19. "Everything about being 'knocked out.' In real life, if your head is hit hard enough to render you unconscious, it's called a concussion. It's not something you can just wake up from."


    a man knocked out on the floor with blood coming out from his head

    20. "When characters say 'You have to trust me' or 'There's no time to explain.' In 9 out of 10 cases, there's definitely time to explain and the explanation would take less time than trying to convince the other party to just trust you."


    21. "I hate 'the evil guy sacrifices himself in the end so they are good!' trope. Like WTF, just because they died doesn't erase the abuse, murder, and terrible acts that they already committed. It's absolutely not a healthy way to portray people in real life either."


    22. "When the main character is randomly saved by some other character we haven't seen for the last 20 minutes who just sneaks up from behind and shoots or hits the villain over the head. And literally NOBODY heard them coming, even if it's wide open in a field."


    a woman standing in front of someone, pointing a gun in the opposite direction toward someone else
    Dimension Films

    23. "I hate when the guy who bullies the gay kid ends up being gay. It's even worse when they end up with the kid they bullied."


    24. "When a date is made, and they just conclude with 'OK, see you tonight at 8!' Like, where are we meeting? What are we going to do? Do I have to have dinner before? Will it include drinking, so do I leave my car at home? What do I wear?"


    characters on a date at a restaurant

    25. "When someone is doing a lecture, their friend or colleague enters the room, and five seconds later the bell rings. The lecturer then gives instructions for the next lecture to the students while they are leaving the room."


    26. "When characters in high school have parties every week. As a high schooler, I can tell you we don’t have that many parties and no one wants to clean up their entire house after that."


    a crowded high school party
    Paramount Pictures

    27. "Looking away from the road to have a full conversation while driving. It's almost satisfying when there is a crash."


    28. "Every time there is a wedding where they have a friend marry them, the friend ALWAYS makes the same joke about how they got ordained on the internet. It’s getting really old."


    29. "When a character coughs, it always means they’re going to die. It’s never just a cough."


    doctors discussing something with a patient
    Paramount Pictures

    30. "I really hate when characters have just had sex and they have to get up, and mysteriously, they have underwear on. Find some other way to get around the issue."


    31. "My pet peeve is when pregnant women are just walking and talking normally and then suddenly the movie has them double over in agony, indicating that they are now in labor. In reality, labor ramps up from short, mild cramps to long, powerful contractions over multiple hours, often days. It's not like a sudden punch in the gut out of nowhere."


    a family interacting with a pregnant woman
    Universal Pictures

    32. "I hate when a man falls on top of a woman with his face in her cleavage. It's not funny. It's never been funny."


    33. "I hate the evil, bad, abusive step parent trope that's supposed to justify the protagonist's own bad behavior or irrational decision."


    a teen yelling at an older man, presumably his step parent
    Open Road Films

    34. "I hate it when a car breaks down on the side of the road and they open the hood and a bunch of steam or smoke comes out. That has never once happened to me or anyone I know."


    35. "I have a huge issue when characters use cellphones and either don't end the call with some kind of goodbye or press the end button when the other person has already hung up. We've been using cellphones for years now. Why don't they know how they work?"


    woman making a phone call outside a clothing store
    Paramout Pictures

    36. "I hate when a character laughs and then goes, 'Oh, you were serious.'"

    Midnight In Avalon

    37. "When the 'unattractive" friend isn't unattractive. They just stick a pair of glasses on them and apparently that makes them look 'unattractive.' As a kid who grew up in the '90s wearing glasses, it perpetually offends me."


    anne hathaway's character pre-makeover in the devil wears prada
    Buena Vista

    38. "When people have a conversation in the middle of the street and a car hits one of them or is about to hit them."


    39. "I hate how in scary movies, the kids, mom, or whoever will tell the dad the house is haunted or possessed and he NEVER believes them. I think you can tell by the hysterics if your child or spouse is being serious."


    40. "I hate how every horror film starts with the characters moving into a new house."


    woman holding a baby in front of an open door to a house
    Dimension Films

    41. "One of the worst is when the heroes or cops knock on a door and it either falls open or it’s unlocked. Then, instead of turning on the lights, they go through the house with flashlights and shine 'em up and down in every room. Who IRL does that?"


    42. "I hate when they leave the front door open in the middle of a make-out session and go at it. Unless they’re exhibitionists, why?"


    someone walking in on characters making out
    Paramount Pictures

    43. "When the parent makes their kids a five-star buffet and the kids just take a piece of toast and leave."


    44. And lastly, "When people can hold down minimum wage jobs like a server and live in huge apartments on their own in big cities where rent would be astronomical."


    What are some other movie tropes and clichés that you hate? Let us know in the comments!