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Overused Plots in Movies and TV

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by D'Snowth, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    OH GAAAAAWWWWWD! And you thought I hated that before. Man, if the cliche is so old Dick VanDyke did it, you know you're noth worthy to be a writer. I can't remember all of them, I swore All in the Family (or at least one of the spin offs) did it (shame such a clever show had to steal that plot line), Punky Brewster, and one of the terrible NBC ripoffs of their own Saved by the Bell.

    Yeah... that's the less common "delivering a baby inside a vehicle" bit. It was also done on Taxi (as one of Alex's favorite stories from one episode) and I think Frasier.
  2. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter New Member

    Well, Dick Van Dyke's was a little different. It wasn't so much about Laura being pregnant as it was about the "being held up in a stopped elevator" plot. And introducing Don Rickles character as set up for the next episode: The Alan Brady Show Goes to Prison.
  3. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I think Sanford and Son had a pregnant lady episode, but if I remember correctly, Fred uncharacteristically took the lady to the hospital so she could deliver the baby... but he was mistaken for the father, lol.
  4. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Oh... and they ALWAYS name the baby after whoever helps birth it. Forgot that one.

    Talk about unoriginality. If you're gonna steal plots, steal a GOOD one.
  5. Xerus

    Xerus Well-Known Member

    It seems like these writers use the same old jokes and stories and introduce them to a new generation of kids so it'll seem new to them.
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    "Binky Stole my joke! it was a GOOD King Tut joke!"
    Dominicboo1 likes this.
  7. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Lol, you ought to turn that one into a deviation like you did with "BANANA!" XD
  8. Gelfling Girl

    Gelfling Girl Active Member

    How about the "body-switching" plot? Freaky Friday, American Dragon: Jake Long, a "Pigs in Space" segment, etc.
  9. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    That one was considered racy to a degree back in the old days of TV, referencing an episode of Bewitched in which Darrin and Larry end up switching bodies... and them getting in bed with each other's wives.
  10. Xerus

    Xerus Well-Known Member

    There was also a Muppet Show episode where Dr. Strangepork invented a Dissolvatrion and it ended up switching some of the characters' bodies. Link switched with Piggy, Strangepork switched with Janice, and Kermit switched with the Swedish Chef. I was wondering if this would go on throughout the show where more characters would get switched, but they quickly stopped it when the Pigs in Space sketch ended and everyone went back to normal with no explanation.
  11. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    ...and who could forget Farscape's take on the body switching cliche, "Out of Their Minds"? Usually if Farscape resorts to a cliche, they do something different than usual with it - so not only did people switch twice (before getting back to the right bodies) but also didn't shy away from exploring what would naturally happen when a male suddenly found themselves with female parts (and vice versa) - especially the bodies of their love interests!
  12. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Hahahahahahaha! I remember that one! That was hilarious! :excited:
    It got done in Pokemon as well, one of the later movies, IIRC.

    Speaking of Pokemon, despite how much I love Pokemon 3 ...

    "Children upset because Daddy had to work"

    Are there parents who neglect their children? Yeah. But still ... c'mon, people ... the kid is gonna be eating out of a cardboard box if the parents don't earn a paycheck.
  13. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Sorry for taking the thread back two steps, but I'm reminded of one kind of plot device that I am absolutely sick to death of - the glorification of sex.

    Maybe it's because of the way I was raised and my upbringing, but I hate how sex is glorified in movies and TV, and a lot of the times, it's unrealistic: people go into an intercourse so fast, we clearly see they don't take the time to use protection, and unless either of them had anything done internally, the woman never gets pregnant. Meanwhile, anytime there is a pregnancy as the result of unprotected sex, then it's always teenaged girls who feel their worlds are about to end when they realize how much trouble they're in. Then of course there's occasions like recently on The Office where you've got a couple about to get married, and on the eve of the wedding, the bride-to-be drops the bombshell on everybody, "Oh yeah, by the way, I'm already pregnant".

    I hate this with a passion.

    Again, maybe it's because I've been taught all those golden rules about saving yourself for marriage and such, but seriously, enough with the glorification of sex already.
  14. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    And they did that on one of the Scooby Doo movies and an episode of Family Guy as well. The gag has been done so many times that they even manage to copy jokes about it as well.

    But I'll take body switching and shrink rays over pregnant women in stuck elevators anyday.
  15. PurpleHonker

    PurpleHonker New Member

    There's a girl - a strong female figure - who is incredibly smart, witty, usually good looking, and has had a bad experience with men in the past. Then there's a guy who falls in love with her, has to break down the walls she has built up from being hurt, and in the end she gives in to it realizing she wants the relationship, he's going to be different than what she remembers and they start their happy life together.
    Blechh, yuck. :p

    It's been done a million times. Sometimes it has worked into a heatwarming story, many times it just makes you queasy, but it's always an over-done plot.
  16. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    Two Biggies From the World of Soaps (and other places):

    Baby switching. Not only does it get old, but it's all the more aggravating when writers who decide to do a baby switch storyline have to make both mothers give birth at about the same time even when they didn't conceive at the same time ending up with one of the two giving birth several months early or late. I don't think there's a major character on One Life to Live who either didn't have their baby switched, was switched as a baby themself, or was involved with a switch plot!

    Amnesia. Not only overdone in dramas/soaps, but also comedies and cartoons (the latter of which are always caused...and cured...by a bonk of the head!)
  17. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Actually, Snowth reminded me of something else I really hate. Not so much an overused plot, but an overused device that comes out of necessity.

    I HATE when shows hide the fact that a cast member is pregnant in real life by making the character fat on the TV show. The Fat Daphne episodes of Frasier are the WORST of the bunch, filled with such lame, over used fat jokes. Really, I could go on and on about all those HIDEOUSLY bad Frasier episode where Daphne is "fat," I'm sure another show did it, but all I can think of is those BAD episodes. They're SO bad, and she really wasn't even all that big.
  18. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    Heehee - memories of Moonlighting's attempts to cover Cybil Shephard's pregnancy - have her suffer major depression and film the majority of her scenes lieing down with a pillow over her belly!
    newsmanfan likes this.
  19. PurpleHonker

    PurpleHonker New Member

    That's simliar to Alyson Hannigan in How I Met Your Mother. The always had her wearing ugly puffy shirts and holding something over her belly... when she was even in scenes, that is! She had very limited roles in the episodes when she was really showing.
  20. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Whatever happened to the old days when they shot around a cast member's real-life pregnancy? Doing shots from the chest up, hiding her behind various objects if wider-angle shots are necessary, bringing in a double for certain shots like from behind, etc...

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