Clichés in literature
Clichés in film
- All spaceships, enemy bases, etc. have a self-destruct mechanism.
- Time bombs have a large LED readout counting down to detonation, and have colour-coded wire to help the hero defuse it.
- Car chases will pass through a downtown farmers market, and knock over some fruit, and possibly release some chickens.
- This will be followed by driving through an alleyway stacked high with empty cardboard boxes.
- If the chase reaches a motorway, it will always be under construction. At some point a half-finished bridge will have to be leaped.
- The police will be impeded either by workers carrying a pane of glass across the street, by a lorry maneuvering in an alleyway, or by a freight train crossing a road.
- When a sequel is made to a film that turned out to be more successful than first thought, and in the first film a popular character died, there will often be some excuse to justify that they didn't actually die.
- The future in films can either be:
- Giant cities where it's always night
- The laws of physics are bunk. Sound travels in space, and lasers are visible.
- Anybody who has to do "one last mission" before retirement and/or says "what could possibly go wrong?" is deadmeat. So are police officers just days from retirement (if they're not the main character, that is), and soldiers who carry a photo of their special someone around.
- The villain is full of pride - they can't resist revealing their full plan to the hero, giving them time to escape. (Kevin Smith's Dogma has a scene that pokes fun at its use in James Bond films, and Jerry Seinfeld has poked fun at it as well.)
- Sports coaches are usually
- Rueful of how an injury cost him/her a pro career (Rodney Dangerfield pokes fun at it in Ladybugs as he kisses up to his boss to get a soccer coaching job), or
- A has-been athlete, usually drunk
- Underperforming athletes will come up big when it really matters.
- Previously silent significant characters speak up towards film's end. (Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle sees this cliché taken down by force.)
- The bad guys will always be out to take over the world or destroy it.
Clichés in television
...can be found at "The Big Fat List of TV Cliches", along with other TV stereotypes. Not surprisingly, many of them are carry-overs from film, and not surprisingly, they are most employed in sitcoms and animated series. Shows like The Simpsons have been known to break cliche quite often.
Clichés in theater
The Grand List Of Console Role Playing Game Clichés