These days, it can feel like just about every story has been told or retold in film or on TV. Sometimes, they're not even told well, because there's definitely no shortage of tropes in the on-screen world that feel a tad overused.
Recently, we asked the members of the BuzzFeed Community to share with us which clichés in film and television they're just absolutely sick of seeing. There were quite a few responses that made me go, "omg same", and so here they are...
1. "I'm tired of stories having witches as villains or 'evil' characters. Women have been demonised enough over the years — do we really still want to keep perpetuating the myth of powerful, actualised women being somehow aligned with evil and darkness? It's literally a trope as old as time."
2. "I can't stand it when there's a boy character, usually a tween, whose story relevance is just flirting with girls and never getting them. It's constant and it's creepy! Like in Modern Family, Luke kept harassing the neighbour's older daughter by stalking her, watching her sunbathe, etc."
3. "For me, the love stories where two people hate each other when they first meet but then form a bond over some shared interest and magically fall in love are so annoying. This is the formula for the vast majority of 'Hallmark Movies' and I can't stand it."
5. "I don't want to see a badass heroine turning into a helpless damsel in distress anymore. Take Darlene Alderson from Mr. Robot for example. Ugh."
6. "The dancing in period drama balls is cliché. They all claim to be authentic yet they're all completely different from what they should be! 'Let's all stand in a row and bow, then hold hands and walk in a circle, then walk the other way in a circle, then bow again. Sometimes we might add a skip just for fun all the while holding a full conversation.'"
7. "I'm so tired of the cliché where characters have a misunderstanding that could easily be resolved with a simple conversation. He was saying how much he misses another woman on the phone? Yeah, it was his mother. Those scenarios drive me nuts. Real people don’t act like that. At least I hope not."
8. "The entire cliché that goes like 'Let's take a camping trip up Dead Teen Mountain, all those rumours about Johnny Kill-Teens can't be true, I'm sure it's just a coincidence that five teens have gone missing in the last month!'"
9. "It's so irritating when characters cook a full breakfast and then no one eats it or even clears the table!"
10. "I'm tired of when there’s a Latine character and they throw in one or two Spanish words in a sentence like 'I love you mija', but never speak Spanish."
11. "This happens all the time and I'm sick of it. Any time a character was simply in the vicinity of another character's death, they always somehow manage to blame themselves entirely for the death. Inevitably, the 'it's not your fault' conversation will take place. And I'm so tired of that conversation."
12. "I don't want to see women written in historical settings have zero body hair and perfectly plucked brows. I'm sick of unrealistic beauty expectations for women in general. It would be nice to see normal people and historical beauty ideals represented on screen."
13. "It's exhausting that therapists on TV are always Black women. It’s actually very difficult for Black people seeking therapy to find a therapist who looks like them. I May Destroy You, Wanderlust, Never Have I Ever, She’s Gotta Have It, Mare of Easttown, White Lotus, Ted Lasso, and more have this trope play out. It places Black women in the role of emotional labour, and also implies that the profession is far more diverse than it currently is."
14. "I hate it how characters never lock their doors. Then they complain about people bursting into their homes unannounced but they never locked the doors in the first place."
15. "I am definitely sick of love triangles. They're just so annoying and I'm so over it."
16. "I'm super sick of TV series' showing us female characters who don't want a child (or another child) for whatever reason and then they suddenly find out they're pregnant and they go around telling people, 'I'm so not ready for this kid' or 'I love kids but this is coming up at such a bad time' etc. Can we normalise abortions in the media already? I feel like finally showing more families going through a miscarriage is great, but can we also have scenes that show us abortion is an option as well?"
17. "I'm tired of seeing characters who are on the autism spectrum being written as being brainy but with no social clues. Many people have high-functioning autism and don’t fit this stereotype.”
18. "I hate it when a movie builds up a big romance and then ends with the couple splitting up to be ‘realistic’. It’s okay to have happy endings! Sometimes people stay together and make a future together, and audiences will like that too. Not every movie has to have a grim ending that leaves the viewer feeling empty inside."
19. "It's annoying when a character is revealed to have a natural talent for something, and suddenly they’re just as good as professionals in that field. Don’t get me wrong, natural talent is important, but you need to train and refine it for years. There’s no way that 'Becky' who impressed people at a karaoke session is gonna be as good as a veteran opera singer."
21. "I hate people throwing up. My last straw was the pilot for Emily in Paris where within a few minutes into it, there's someone throwing up. It's generally an unpleasant scene added for... comedic value? I don't know, because in most cases it does not add anything to the storytelling. You could delete the throwing-up scenes, and nothing would change in most movies/shows."
22. "Excluding movies that revolve around singing as a plot point, I absolutely hate it when films include the characters singing. Unless the whole point of the scene is that they suck at singing and they’re goofing off with each other, I cannot watch it."
23. "I cringe when characters talk while actively hiding from an armed baddie who is always near enough to hear them."
24. "It's such lazy writing to have characters not understand something super obvious that would be so easy to get! It makes me want to just turn the movie off."
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.