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Overused Plots in Movies and TV

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

  1. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    The "locked in the basement" episode.
    The "Disney World" episode.
    The "hiding an animal from the parents" episode.

    TV tropes has a lot of good ones.
    beatnikchick300 likes this.
  2. Hayley B

    Hayley B Active Member

    I forgot about the "Disney World" episodes . It's like everyone on ABC just has to have one. Though that's something that doesn't get old with me. #LovesDisneyWorld and #LovesDisneyland . :D

    Oh and about "hiding an animal from the parents". Three's Company hid an animal from Landlords twice.
  3. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    I remember seeing footage of a John Ritter interview where he said that's when he knew Three's Company had run out of steam, because they were filming an episode in the last season where they had to hide a cat that was a virtual remake of a first season episode where they hid a dog.
  4. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I guess I don't watch enough ABC or Disney Channel sitcoms to know that "Disney World Episode" is a trope... I know it seems like every couple of years or so, AFV will do like a Disneyland episode, where Tom Bergeron will travel to one of the Disneyland locations (California, France, Japan, etc) and do the show from there. The only "Disney World Episode" thing I can think of is that special The Muppets at Walt Disney World.
  5. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    There was a two-part (I think it was a two-parter) Full House episode that did that.
  6. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Here's another one I just thought of: school plays. And those tend to fall into three different categories:

    1. One character is desperate to get a good part, or even as one of the leads, and starts scheming their way into getting it, by any means necessary.
    2. One character is supposed to be the star of the play, and somehow, they get in trouble for something they didn't do, and as such, is removed from the play, so they try to clear their name.
    3. One character is disheartened to learn that they've been assigned to work the crew, instead of being a part of the cast.

    And these school plays almost have a very overly animated and flamboyant drama teacher directing the play. Even Kathy Greenwood played that part once.
  7. FrackleFan2012

    FrackleFan2012 Well-Known Member

    There's two Looney Tunes shorts that used the exact same plot. They are "Porky in Wackyland" and "Dough for the Do-Do".


    See for yourself.
  8. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    Let's not forget the annoying 'battle of the sexes' episodes.
  9. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Ah yes.

    Well, unfortunately, I think those have become both a necessity and a tool, especially for little girls watching, to keep spreading the message that girls can do anything boys can do.
  10. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    Remakes were common back then because film series (like Looney Tunes or the Three Stooges) weren't shown the way TV shows are. Usually, you had to wait a month to a month and half to see a new short. And the shorts were almost never reshown in theaters, other than for the occassional Saturday Matinee. As a result, it was easier to get away with remaking an old short, especially if it was one made decades before.
  11. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    The Three Stooges also had to deal with a declining budget and Shemp's sickness in the early 1950s, which made them do a lot of remakes and re-cuts. They even remade four Shemp shorts after he died with a stand-in, which has to be one of the most tasteless decisions made by a production company ever.
  12. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    Yeah, Harry Cohn liked to save every penny he could. Though those last four Shemp shorts were mainly made because the Stooges (including Shemp) were still obligated to finish four more shorts. Slightly off topic, but one of the Joe Besser shorts ("Triple Crossed") had so much stock footage in it, that it only took a day to shoot the new footage.
  13. Hayley B

    Hayley B Active Member

    Full House did. I think Roseanne might had too. I liked the Roseanne one.
  14. HeyButtahfly

    HeyButtahfly Well-Known Member

    So did Step By Step.
  15. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    And Family Matters and Boy Meets World.
  16. HeyButtahfly

    HeyButtahfly Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah! I remember the BMW episode now that you mention it. I don't think I've ever seen the Family Matters one, though.
  17. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    It also has something to do with updating them for color and in some cases conversion to cinemascope. They have several Tom and Jerry shorts that are the same thing, too.

    And these are a great deal better than the Korean traced and colored versions of black and white silent films. Those are a trainwreck.
  18. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Nowhere nearly as overused as most of the other plot devices we've mentioned in this thread, but here's a plot that has seen it's share of overuse as well over the decades: we learn one or more of the characters has a rather embarrassing middle name, and in most of those cases, if the character is male, the middle name is usually regarded as a feminine name: both Double D from Ed, Edd n Eddy and Frank Burns from M*A*S*H have Marion as their middle names.

    And overused even less is if a character goes by a nickname or their last name, or even a Barkeep name, after a while, we FINALLY learn the character's real name, and it turns out to be just as embarrassing as the middle name plot device (ala Kramer from Seinfeld's first name being Cosmo, Curly from Hey Arnold!'s real name being Thaddeus, or Binky from Arthur's real name being Shelly).

    EDIT: Then there's also the nickname episode, where a character receives a nickname they dislike, but doesn't have the courage to just come out and say, "Dude, dis nick ain't kewl man!"
  19. Hayley B

    Hayley B Active Member

    I remembered that very interview. It was bunny and then cat (they were small animals). I remember the bunny one. Krissy hid the bunny under her shirt. That part was so funny, imo.
  20. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Oh gee, what do you know? Today's new episode of Arthur is about... D.W. being jealous that Emily is the star of the preschool play... wow, I never would have guessed, those Arthur writers sure are always fresh on ideas, aren't they?


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