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Overused Plots in Movies and TV

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

  1. 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.
  2. JaniceFerSure

    JaniceFerSure Active Member

    Demonic possession for the plot. I have been watching too many movies of this particular plot-line lately.

    I.E.:
    • Devil
    • Orphan
    • Case 39
    • The Last Exorcism
    Just to name a few.

    Conspiracy films surrounding chemical/drugs: Toxic Skies, Max Payne.
  3. beatnikchick300

    beatnikchick300 Well-Known Member

    One thing that I always found annoying growing up was that if a TV show (especially a cartoon) has a character who is a tomboyish young girl, she must be a belligerent borderline schoolyard bully who, of course, loves pro wrestling. I've been a tomboy most of my life (though, since I'm an adult now, I describe myself as a bit of a frat boy in a woman's body), and anyone who knows me knows I wouldn't hurt a fly (unless, of course, said fly said something about my mother) and that I despise pro wrestling (my little brothers are crazy about it, and I'm always badgering them about how it's not a real sport).

    Don't get the wrong idea, I'm all for showing gender nonconformist kids on TV and in cartoons (feminine young boys and masculine young girls), but there should be a happy medium between girlie girl and bully (and for heaven's sake, we do NOT all like pro wrestling!).
  4. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    How about this one:

    One character happens upon a little item he/she believes will bring good luck, whether it's a tradition good luck charm like a four-leaf clover, or a horseshoe, or some other kind of random thing like a marble, coin, or whatever; that character is then plagued with all kinds of bad luck and misfortune for the rest of the episode, so at the end of the episode, the character gets rid of the item, either by just throwing it away, or giving it away to another character. Immediately afterwards, that other character ends up having the good luck, usually by finding something of value like loose money, leaving the first character in a state of aggrivation.

    I know it's old, but for some reason, I never get tired of it... I'm guilty of using it myself.
  5. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    ---------------
    I winced at reading the early entries in this thread and realizing I've been guilty of one of them in a fic. Yeek. I hope and like to think I've improved...

    Slightly off-topic, but I've often found myself depressed because I loved a particular character but was having trouble coming up with a plot idea which WASN'T a cliche...I suppose this doesn't say much for my originality of thought! :o
    ----------------
  6. Sgt Floyd

    Sgt Floyd Well-Known Member

    There is no such thing as originality :p
  7. mo

    mo Well-Known Member

    someone has a loose tooth. she/he loses it.they are scared what the "tooth fairy" will be angry.someone suggests they write a note.It all ends happily...

    GIMME A FRIGGIN BREAK!
  8. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    There are only so many plots you can do. Every single plot has been already used. Not even by Hollywood. Shakespeare wasn't even writing plays when those plots were used.'

    I'm talking about mythology. Every basic story of a hero is based on mythology. Someone has to get something, save someone, become something, discover something... then something happens for dramatic effect and things either end well or end poorly or sometimes in between. That's the history of human storytelling from the ancient storytellers to whoever wrote the Avengers movie.

    We've had the basic skeleton of a story for eons. What makes them different is the details we add to them. You can't go with true originality, but you can put your humor, your voice, your experiences in a story, and it's unique for that reason. It isn't copying unless you directly lift the entire structure and characters and jokes and dramatic angles from something else. There's just no way to tell a story that hasn't been told before.
    newsmanfan likes this.
  9. Dominicboo1

    Dominicboo1 Well-Known Member

    Yeah but that episode was Earl and Fran's lisence had expired.
    How about amnesia with clips of the show? That's really done a lot. Pufnstuf did and Alf did it, or how about while we're on the subject. Someone hitting an amnesia victim on the head to cure them, but another character mistakenly hits them again to make them worse. The Addams Family and Tom and Jerry are only two examples of this being done.
  10. Dominicboo1

    Dominicboo1 Well-Known Member

    Or BAD Santa Claus is real plots. Miracle on 34th Street is awesome, but they mak esome prety bad verisons of them as well. Besides they never think of one vital thing! THe adults don't bgelieve in Santa, but who in the Labyrinth gives the kids thier presents that they didn't buy? (sarcastically)Did the Grandparents sneak in the middle of the night but couldn't stay?!
    mo likes this.
  11. Dominicboo1

    Dominicboo1 Well-Known Member

    I can't wait to see it! I sounds hilarious!
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Not really a plot, but I find ANY movie trailer that starts with a person's name, i.e. "Jared Butthat was an average school kid, until one day..." is not only overused, but should be completely outlawed, punished by being shot out of a canon straight into the sun.
  13. Dominicboo1

    Dominicboo1 Well-Known Member

    How about appreciating someone or something you love after you lose it?
    Like Labyrinth. By the way anyone else consider Elmo in Grouchland to be a Preschool version of Labyrinth. Why?
    Sarah Elmo
    Jareth takes Toby from her Huxley steals his blanket
    Befriends seemingly gruff Hoggle Befriends seemingly gruff Grithy
    Helped by Hoggle who was Jareth's Helped by Jareth's Henchman Bug
    Henchman
  14. ZeppoAndFriends

    ZeppoAndFriends Well-Known Member

    One I just rediscovered a distaste for are those stories where something happens (a crime, a fight, etc.) that involves the whole of the main cast and they take turns relating what happened from their perspective. As they go around, each one turns themself into the embodiment of perfection and the others into usless cowards, total idiots, obnoxious buffoons, pointless rage on legs, or groveling yesmen. When all the tales are told and they're all on the verge of killing each other, an unbiased third party comes out of the woodwork to tell what actually happened and its ego deflations all around!

    I'm not sure what it is, but something about that plot rubs me the wrong way.
  15. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    You ever see that King of the Hill one that used that plot? And Bill had the most unflattering version of himself in his story? That was a nice twist. As was Boomhaur's perspective where EVERYONE talked like him but himself.
  16. ZeppoAndFriends

    ZeppoAndFriends Well-Known Member

    No, not a big fan of King of the Hill, but that does sound like a nice twist.
  17. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I know M*A*S*H did this one during it's first season, but it seems like it's been done many other times before...

    Various personal items of the cast turn up missing, and then everybody finds them hidden in someone's possession (in the aforementioned case, Hawkeye's foot locker), so everybody is quick to conclude that someone was the one responsible, so he/she spends the rest of the episode trying to prove his/her innocence.
  18. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    How many kids shows have done this episode (I know Hey Arnold! and Recess did)?

    One of the kids sees or hears something about how "germs are everywhere", and then they absolutely FREAK, they go to extremes to disinfect everywhere the go, be it their bedroom, their classroom, etc, then they go so overboard to the point they're just plain crazy, then the rational one has to step in and explain how germs are neither bad or good, they're just a part of life, and there's nothing we can do about it.
  19. mr3urious

    mr3urious Well-Known Member

    It was done in Malcolm in the Middle, where Lois (his mom) scares her youngest son Dewey straight to wean him off his old, filthy teddy bear he had since he was a child, leading him to be extremely terrified of germs.
  20. Hubert

    Hubert Well-Known Member

    Also done on Arthur...


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