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Overused Plots in Movies and TV

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

  1. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Gah, you beat me to the Dinosaurs' Sir David Tushingham!

    Anyway, I think my favorite of all time was season 7 Buffy's The Storyteller, where Andrew made up such God-awful "recollections" he kept telling people.
  2. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter New Member

    The Dinosaurs clip shows are pretty funny, some of the only clip shows that are. Very cleverly presented.
  3. Gelfling Girl

    Gelfling Girl Active Member

    Climbing the rope in gym class-At the moment, I can only think of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody doing this and a similar episode of That's So Raven with a rock wall, but I can also remember a few characters of other shows saying something about that as being an embarrassing moment in their past.

    A girl sees her crush with somebody else and thinks they're dating, when the other person turns out to be his sister, cousin, etc. (And in at least one twist on this plot, it was a guy with long hair.)

    The whole Midsummer's Night-ish plots.

    A person falls for somebody who is later revealed to be their best friend.
  4. Gelfling Girl

    Gelfling Girl Active Member

    Duh! How could I forget this one? The one where a character would have a lucky charm, and, in most cases, loses it. And then, in the end, they usually find out that they didn't even need it after all.
  5. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    You don't see that onequite as much, but agreed, that one has been played a bit as well.

    That, and the twist version where the character lends their lucky charm to a friend, and the friend loses it, and spend the rest of the episode either trying to retrieve it, or avoid the character altogether for fear of how they'd react to it.
  6. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Here's a couple more I've thought of...

    1. A kid wins the opportunity to spend the evening with their favorite popstar, and is really excited about it because not only is the popstar really talented, but really dreamy as well... or so they think, then when they spend the evening with said popstar, they learn that they don't even do their own singing/vocals/talent, and that they're pretty much egomaniacs who don't even care about who their guest of the evening is, thus losing a fan in the process.

    2. The age-old (going all the way back to Lucy) one half is sick of the other half's filthy lifestyle, thus prompting the entire residence to have a line taped right down the middle of everything and "There, you stay on your half, and I'll stay on mine", resulting in some minor inconveniences, as some of the things they need are on the other's half, and as a way of gloating, refuse to give the up.
  7. PurpleHonker

    PurpleHonker New Member

    Steming from that is the version where someone gives their pet to a friend to watch for a bit. That pet always gets lost in addition to causing mayhem. The worst part is when they try to "replace" the animal with a bad imposter that somtimes involves painting fur to look the same. The original pet always miraculously shows up in the end so we can all sleep a little easier.
  8. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Here's another frequently used plot device, and two biggest examples I can think of is the old Rocky and Bullwinkle show, and a Donald Duck comic book...

    There's a giant tower clock in a metropolitan town that apparently everyone in town regulate their lives by the time of that clock, and when something goes haywire with the clock, people start trying to readjust their watches, alarm clocks, etc, without even stopping to realize "Hey, maybe the tower clock has gone haywire".
  9. ZeppoAndFriends

    ZeppoAndFriends Well-Known Member

    In case anyone hasn't already said it:

    There's one plotline I've seen in quite a few shows: One of the main characters gets the lead in Romeo and Juilet, playing opposite someone they have a crush on. Then, they spend most of the episode getting worried sick about the big kissing scene and wind up screwing something up because of it.

    Anyone else know what I'm talking about?
  10. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Eh, I'm familiar with a similar scenario from an episode of Hey Arnold!...

    Arnold landed the role of Romeo, and there were like four other girls from class who were in line to play Juliet, and Helga managed to convince them to bow out of the play for one reason or another (like scaring Rhonda with purposely hedious wardrobe, or making another girl sick at the mention of the bloodiness in the play, etc), so that she would end up playing Juliet so she could kiss Arnold.

    That was probably the longest kiss on a children's cartoon show... I remember Mr. Simmons was even checking his watch.
  11. blackaerin

    blackaerin Active Member

    someone getting amnesia and something very popular in korean dramas is a character getting cancer or some other terminal illness.
  12. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    I brought up amnesia awhile ago. Though i must say that sometimes there's a reason for overused stories - the same reason why cliches often tend to have an element of truth - when they are done well, they can be very effective.

    Case in point...i HATE amnesia stories. They're done all too frequently in both comedies and dramas. Whenever i hear one of my fave shows are going the amnesia route, a small part of my soul feels like dying. However One Life to Live is doing an amnesia story right now that oddly enough is one of my favorite stories on the show right now due to a combination of the actress totally nailing it and the writers hitting all the right notes. It's not just an "amnesia just for the sake of it story" but also is rooted in history and allows other stories/complications to arise (both comic and dramatic).

    A 30 year old ends up with the last 13 years of her life wiped out after being given electroshock treatments by her deranged cult leader father who had kidnapped her (she also ended up shot afterwards when a bullet intended for her father hit her). This is a woman who has experienced tragedy after tragedy during her adult life so she's unaware of a lot of the worst stuff (her family and friends are telling her bits and pieces as she can handle them). There's good moments of lightness as she is a lot more naive and adolescent (hanging on to her crush on her high school boyfriend...who had later married her twin sister...and she also was almost married to his older brother - she doesn't know this yet!) and great dramatic moments well played and written such as trying not to upset her young daughter by letting her on that she doesn't remember her or finding out that her grandfather that she was very close to passed away two years ago. She's having to meet a sister she grew up not knowing about, finding out the person she thought was her father really wasn't and that her own father is a dangerous madman...and she still has yet to learn about her battles with insanity/mental institutions and an alternate personality of hers contracting Hepatitis C or the details of how her daughter's husband had died. OLTL really excels at their psychological-based stories and this latest is a real winner so far despite my usual loathing of amnesia plots.
  13. Gelfling Girl

    Gelfling Girl Active Member

    Hmm...seems we had forgotten that. *gets pelted with rotten fruit for such a corny joke*
  14. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Here's one, that you see often, and half of the time, it seems like it takes place in Disney movies...

    A widowed parent finds a new significant other, after the original had died years ago, and the kid doesn't take well to the newbie, and towards the end of the movie, the kid realizes how special the new person is in his or her own unique way, and eventually comes to accept them.
  15. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    On that subject... what about the age old age alteration gag? The one where someone tries to be older or younger slightly and winds up on the extreme end of things... older person turning into a baby, young people turning older... like Dexter says "I am NOT Grampah!"
  16. APRena

    APRena New Member

    In gym classes, everyone has to pratice mouth-to-mouth. The protagonist just so happens to get paired with their CRUSH! :o *squee* They're going to have their first inadvertent, awkward lip-touch, WITH THEIR CRUSH.

    Even though it's shown with middle-school aged kids, (is there a specific age for people to be certified?) and using real people. We're only going to start learning CPR in May, with the plastic dummy. Much less romantic.
  17. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    That's even been done in commercials to a degree...

    I remember several years ago a commercial for either McDonalds or Burger King where a guy pretended to be drowning in a swimming pool, so the hot girl he was lusting after would "save" him, and give him mouth-to-mouth (during every pause, he'd face the camera and smile, before quickly returning to acting unconscious).

    The commercial even ended with her giving him an suspicious look as she shared her burger meal with him.
  18. ZeppoAndFriends

    ZeppoAndFriends Well-Known Member

    Then there's the one where one of the main characters gets into a fight with the school bully by, either intentionally or unintentionally, insulting or humiliating him/her. The he/she spends most of the episode:

    A. Trying to get out of it

    2. Attempting to become a bodybuilder in the course of an hour or two

    3. Being cocky and overconfident and getting the tar beat outta them

    The list goes on and on and on and on, but they've all been overused!
  19. Gelfling Girl

    Gelfling Girl Active Member

    So, we've been taking these online tests in reading class, and they all involve answering questions about an excerpt of a story or article. The first test we took included a story about a boy moving from Texas to California and having trouble finding friends. The second test had the story of a boy who moved from California to Texas and had trouble finding friends. Because that hasn't already been done a million times. :rolleyes:
  20. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I'm actually amused at finding this thread again (unintentionally, actually), because I have just commited a big one myself in my own writing for Steve's upcoming new show.

    This one is done a lot more in children's fair (even though I'm not doing kiddy shows): one of the kids of the show develops a crush on a grown-up of the opposite sex in their life (a teacher, a mentor, someone from the neighborhood, etc), but the kid becomes devastated when he/she sees that the grown-up he/she has a crush on has a boy/girlfriend, or is getting married, etc, then the grown-up gives the kid a lecture on "different kinds of love" and tells that kid that one day he/she will find someone his/her own age, etc.

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