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#1 Posted by MormonWarrior (2569 posts) -

I'm starting this thread because I realized there is one bad movie trope that irritates me to no end whenever it comes up. It happens all the time and it immediately pulls me out of whats happening and reminds me that I'm viewing fiction. There's a scene in Beyond: Two Souls where cars are being flipped, a motorcyclist falls off a bike as the tire is blown out, and everything is ON FIRE OR EXPLODING for no reason whatsoever. If cars burst into flames every time they ran into something or flipped over, I think the general public would be a bit more hesitant to use these monstrous death vehicles.

Why in the world is everything on fire? It's raining too, by the way.

I remember a similar thing happening in the first season of 24. A car drives off a small cliff and explodes when it hits the ground for no good reason. I think there was a scene in a later season of Prison Break where a car gets t-boned at an intersection and blows up in giant flames, as if there was C4 planted in the car doors for no reason.

It drives me insane and pulls me out of movies/TV shows/games more than almost anything else. I can suspend my disbelief to a certain point, but holy cow it only goes so far. What trope drives you the most insane?

#2 Edited by ZolRoyce (663 posts) -

I remember a similar thing happening in the first season of 24. A car drives off a small cliff and explodes when it hits the ground for no good reason. I think there was a scene in a later season of Prison Break where a car gets t-boned at an intersection and blows up in giant flames, as if there was C4 planted in the car doors for no reason.

That moment was hilarious in 24, especially considering a second after the explosion the whole ordeal was so traumatic to someone nearby they suffer the convenient trope of amnesia! They pulled a two for one out of that moment!

I always hate in movies and t.v. shows when they portray people playing games like twitchy freaking lunatics, throwing their arms all over the place and jumping around and putting the controller above their head and just acting like fools.

In games, and this is very specific to games is telling the player how good they were at doing something, now I'm not talking about scores and high points or pulling off sweet moves but more so in tutorials or a part of a stage of a game where you do something you couldn't possibly mess up but then the game or a character in the game tells you how impressive it was that you just did that thing you were going to do no matter what, I'm not a child watching Dora the Explorer for shits sake.

#3 Posted by Atlas (2436 posts) -

Plot armour.

#4 Posted by MB (12258 posts) -

The one that really bugs me is that all firearms must make various mechanical noises whenever they are pointed at someone. This is even more distracting when it happens with Glocks.

Moderator
#5 Edited by believer258 (11792 posts) -

Remember, tropes are not bad. Yes, I have been on TVTropes a time or two, why do you ask?

Anyway, cars exploding and guns making unnecessary noise and other inaccuracies are done for dramatic effect. Whether it's used well depends on the work, but it's not necessarily bad.

There are some tropes that stick out to me though, like guns and swords making noises they shouldn't.

#6 Posted by rangers517 (167 posts) -

The one that I always roll my eyes at the most is when the bad guy, who has been killing people directly by shooting them or whatever else the whole movie/game/tv show finally captures the protagonist and then puts them in a situation where they have a chance to escape, like setting the place on fire and then walking out, or dropping them off the side of a ship into water, or leaving a stupid henchmen to take care of it,etc. I don't even really know how they would fix this but it always bothers me.

#7 Posted by ShaggE (6416 posts) -

One thing I can't stand, and I see it a ton as a horror fan, is people getting over brutal injuries after a couple minutes. If somebody puts a nail through your hand, you aren't just going to wrap it up with cloth and treat it like an annoying papercut from there on out. That shit is going to HURT, and it's going to hurt for a very long time, not just for a few seconds.

Oh look, you broke your leg in three places, and I think I see bone protruding! Don't worry, though, wrap your shirt around it and you can limp your way to survival!

Oh no, now the killer stabbed you in the kidney! It's just not your day, is it? But you'll be fine! Who needs all that "blood" and "non-destroyed organ" stuff anyway? Just get it looked at tomorrow!

#8 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (5409 posts) -

The thing that probably takes me out of the experience the most is seeing a character survive from something that would've otherwise killed them. It never really bothers me to the point of dragging down the experience, but it's the most noticeable thing in my eyes. For example, in One Piece (an anime about pirates) those characters take ungodly amounts abuse and make it through every encounter no matter how close they should be to death. This trope gets a little ridiculous sometimes, but I will say at some point you just have to sit back and let it go.

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#9 Posted by Sergio (2080 posts) -

A car recently got rear-ended and burst into flames in real life. Tesla had a couple of small accidents where the cars caught on fire. It happens, so I don't know what you mean by "for no reason" other than it doesn't feed into the plot. I'd understand being annoyed if it was about a single bullet hitting a car and making it blow up - less likely to happen.

#10 Edited by Nightriff (4990 posts) -

The Main Characters are never really in danger because they are the main characters. This has really bugged me lately as my wife and I watch various tv shows where these characters are in extremely dangerous conditions and always end up ok. Homeland is the one that bugs me the most and was so glad when finally something bad happened to one of them because it means they something bad like death can happen to them. Dexter is another one where basically everyone is perfectly fine through the entire series. What I appreciate most about Game of Thrones is that death is around every corner and anyone can be gone *snap* just like that. Yes they do have a few characters where something bad probably won't happen (Arya) but they have scenes like the Red Wedding where they take out 3 or 4 main characters to the current story.

Video game wise would be the playable character having a mortal injury that would severely wound them or kill them and they are able to amazing things. Uncharted probably the biggest offender but every game to an extent does it. It is the thing I notice the most but it doesn't bother me too much.

#11 Edited by SARRISS (144 posts) -

@mb: agreed. Can you imagine how loud something like battlefield would be in this case.

#12 Edited by Sinusoidal (1410 posts) -

The Wilhelm Scream is in every fucking movie that's come out in the past 5 years or so. It's just tacky at this point.

#13 Posted by Brodehouse (9859 posts) -

I couldn't pick one because it really depends on the work in question. Something could be completely distracting somewhere but seem kind of nitpicky elsewhere. Not all tropes are bad.

Worst wrestling trope is the distraction based on someone standing on the ramp.

#14 Edited by BabyChooChoo (4391 posts) -

It sorta falls under plot armor, but the whole "born winner," "born lucky," and/or having "the gift" thing has kinda worn out it's welcome for me personally which sucks extra because, as a huge anime fan in particular, I feel like those tropes plague the vast majority of that medium that isn't a straight up slice-of-life these days. Sometimes it can be awesome, but most of the time it's handled in such a excruciatingly average way at best.

#15 Posted by golguin (3874 posts) -

@mb said:

The one that really bugs me is that all firearms must make various mechanical noises whenever they are pointed at someone. This is even more distracting when it happens with Glocks.

I would counter that trope with the much cooler blade sound a sword makes when it's being displayed toward the opponent. It makes noise not only when being unsheathed, but also when the light reflection on the blade shifts. It's a pretty hype effect.

#16 Posted by UitDeToekomst (708 posts) -

Plots that start after an apocalyptic event and not explaining the event or why there are now zombies or zombie-like creatures wandering around killing everyone.

#17 Edited by TheBluthCompany (384 posts) -

@zolroyce: I am so fucking tired of fucking amnesia as a plot in things that... bonks head on wall... Where am I? Who am I? Don't worry though I still remember basic skills like talking and can make pithy pop culture references! Either bonks head or remembers through THE TRUE POWER OF LOVE tm... Oh yeah. Amnesia sucks.

#18 Posted by Teoball (591 posts) -

Whenever someone in a movie uses a computer, even if they're just googling something the computer makes soft beeps and boops. Maybe not the worst trope, but I do notice it every time.

#19 Edited by Random45 (1136 posts) -

@nightriff said:

The Main Characters are never really in danger because they are the main characters. This has really bugged me lately as my wife and I watch various tv shows where these characters are in extremely dangerous conditions and always end up ok. Homeland is the one that bugs me the most and was so glad when finally something bad happened to one of them because it means they something bad like death can happen to them. Dexter is another one where basically everyone is perfectly fine through the entire series. What I appreciate most about Game of Thrones is that death is around every corner and anyone can be gone *snap* just like that. Yes they do have a few characters where something bad probably won't happen (Arya) but they have scenes like the Red Wedding where they take out 3 or 4 main characters to the current story.

Video game wise would be the playable character having a mortal injury that would severely wound them or kill them and they are able to amazing things. Uncharted probably the biggest offender but every game to an extent does it. It is the thing I notice the most but it doesn't bother me too much.

Yeah, Game of Thrones is the only thing I can think of where I actually fear for my favorite characters because I know they can die within a moment's notice, it really makes it a lot more suspenseful knowing that there's no such thing as plot armor in the novels. I think Heavy Rain does this well too, since if the characters die, they're gone for good, no retrying the scene over again to make things better. That made scenes in that game so much more intense the first time around, since you know they're goners if you screw up one to many times.

As for tropes I HATE, I honestly hate a lot of corny romance things. For instance, I hate it when Person A only hears half of what Person B was saying, and Person A runs off crying, only for it to be revealed seconds later that Person B actually really likes Person A and was saying something nice. I hate it when stalking is viewed as romantic. I hate love triangles, unless if they're done very well and are used as a means to advance the main couple's relationship further, and not just for cheap laughs. I also HATE it in TV shows when two people are CLEARLY in love, but they don't have them get together because of the whole 'will they or won't they' thing that drives up ratings, argh.

Edit: someone brought up AMNESIA - yes! I freaking HATE that plot device so much. The only thing I can think of that used it well was Amnesia: The Dark Descent, because it was the whole premise of the game and done very well.

#20 Edited by Disaya (289 posts) -

@teoball said:

Whenever someone in a movie uses a computer, even if they're just googling something the computer makes soft beeps and boops. Maybe not the worst trope, but I do notice it every time.

Going along with the computer thing, I hate the fake typing that they do. Whether it's for hacking, writing an email, or pretending to do research. They always hit like the same five keys then enter and then bam! it's done. That always feels really noticeable and annoying.

#21 Posted by Nightriff (4990 posts) -

@random45 said:

@nightriff said:

The Main Characters are never really in danger because they are the main characters. This has really bugged me lately as my wife and I watch various tv shows where these characters are in extremely dangerous conditions and always end up ok. Homeland is the one that bugs me the most and was so glad when finally something bad happened to one of them because it means they something bad like death can happen to them. Dexter is another one where basically everyone is perfectly fine through the entire series. What I appreciate most about Game of Thrones is that death is around every corner and anyone can be gone *snap* just like that. Yes they do have a few characters where something bad probably won't happen (Arya) but they have scenes like the Red Wedding where they take out 3 or 4 main characters to the current story.

Video game wise would be the playable character having a mortal injury that would severely wound them or kill them and they are able to amazing things. Uncharted probably the biggest offender but every game to an extent does it. It is the thing I notice the most but it doesn't bother me too much.

Yeah, Game of Thrones is the only thing I can think of where I actually fear for my favorite characters because I know they can die within a moment's notice, it really makes it a lot more suspenseful knowing that there's no such thing as plot armor in the novels. I think Heavy Rain does this well too, since if the characters die, they're gone for good, no retrying the scene over again to make things better. That made scenes in that game so much more intense the first time around, since you know they're goners if you screw up one to many times.

As for tropes I HATE, I honestly hate a lot of corny romance things. For instance, I hate it when Person A only hears half of what Person B was saying, and Person A runs off crying, only for it to be revealed seconds later that Person B actually really likes Person A and was saying something nice. I hate it when stalking is viewed as romantic. I hate love triangles, unless if they're done very well and are used as a means to advance the main couple's relationship further, and not just for cheap laughs. I also HATE it in TV shows when two people are CLEARLY in love, but they don't have them get together because of the whole 'will they or won't they' thing that drives up ratings, argh.

Edit: someone brought up AMNESIA - yes! I freaking HATE that plot device so much. The only thing I can think of that used it well was Amnesia: The Dark Descent, because it was the whole premise of the game and done very well.

Yeah that romance trope is extremely annoying and it always seems to happen in every show I've watched recently, of course it will happen in the sitcoms we've watched but even in the well produced shows it still occurs, and regularly.

Amnesia happens a lot as well but I guess I seem to enjoy it, some of my favorite moments in games and films are because of this trope. The reveal of the protagonist is Revan in KotoR is one I remember fondly (even though it is probably pretty terrible now).

#22 Posted by Freshbandito (680 posts) -

@nightriff: I wouldn't say EVERYONE is fine throughout the Dexter series. There's a death or two that seems pretty high profile.

I'm not so sure I'd say it's a trope but I often have trouble suspending disbelief when watching 24. I find myself thinking "At some point the authorities would pick up on X/Y/Z and then the situation would be resolved" or when the 3-4 bad guys repel a 40 man swat team because they have a camera feed showing them entering or some other incredibly negligible advantage.

As far as tropes go though, every computer being a keyboard only interface and people hacking closed circuits through the internet always makes me shake my fist.

#23 Posted by Hunter5024 (5612 posts) -

The Chosen One.

#24 Posted by Nightriff (4990 posts) -

@freshbandito: The core of Dexter is safe. Doakes wasn't much of a surprise in season 2 and LaGuerrta is the one that was a "shocker" but you could see coming. It took 2 years for someone to catch on to Dex and another 5 years after that to put it together, again.

#25 Posted by ILikePopCans (749 posts) -

When the anime guy is so dense he does not relieve the 5 girls sexual advances.

#26 Edited by RecSpec (3803 posts) -

Deus ex machina

#27 Posted by Freshbandito (680 posts) -

@nightriff: I remember thinking Rita's death was a bit of a shocker, I was told she lived in the novels? But yeah I get where you're coming from on the telegraphing especially as they'd normally build towards it over a series and telegraph it pretty heavily.

#28 Posted by Nightriff (4990 posts) -

@freshbandito said:

@nightriff: I remember thinking Rita's death was a bit of a shocker, I was told she lived in the novels? But yeah I get where you're coming from on the telegraphing especially as they'd normally build towards it over a series and telegraph it pretty heavily.

I totally forgot she died....huh. Guess it happened occasionally but the 3 characters that die are pretty minor compared to Dex or Deb. Rita probably the biggest and it was out left field.

#29 Posted by Freshbandito (680 posts) -

@nightriff: I fell off on the series really hard though due to other problems with it, namely that you'd see characters come to terms with something at the end of one season then have all that character development completely undone in the next season just to help keep the plot / sideplots moving along.

#30 Posted by Nightriff (4990 posts) -

@freshbandito: Same problem with Homeland for me, maybe it is just Showtime?

#31 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Remember, tropes are not bad. Yes, I have been on TVTropes a time or two, why do you ask?

Except for characters who never use the emergency brake when their regular brakes have been cut. That trope is bad.

#32 Posted by ajamafalous (11959 posts) -

Worst wrestling trope is the distraction based on someone standing on the ramp.

I need to yell at you because you came out right after I got the advantage in my match and OH NO A ROLLUP!!!!

Anyway, to answer OP's question:

@recspec said:

Deus ex machina

#33 Edited by PimblyCharles (1368 posts) -
#34 Posted by blackichigo (170 posts) -

Amnesia

#35 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (3198 posts) -

In alot of 80's action films where the bad guys have machine guns and are just spraying and can't even hit the good guy.

#36 Posted by Danteveli (1176 posts) -

Meeting new character just to get it killed of in few minutes

#37 Edited by darkvare (765 posts) -

the one i hate the most is the stupid kid connected to the other side having weird visions it instantly reduces my enjoyment of any movie to 0

#38 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3050 posts) -

I hate it when a bad guy has an opportunity to kill someone but stops to tell the person they're going to kill about before they are killed instead. Bad, bad writing.

#39 Edited by ViciousBearMauling (1028 posts) -

Being the hero is so overdone and flat out BORING

Not every main character has to save the world or be the shining example of all things good

#40 Edited by HatKing (5886 posts) -

Remember, tropes are not bad. Yes, I have been on TVTropes a time or two, why do you ask?

Anyway, cars exploding and guns making unnecessary noise and other inaccuracies are done for dramatic effect. Whether it's used well depends on the work, but it's not necessarily bad.

There are some tropes that stick out to me though, like guns and swords making noises they shouldn't.

I'm with you. I think suspension of disbelief is bullshit, and that we should just let ourselves enjoy a work of fiction regardless if it forms to our notion of reality. Choices like these are made consciously for a certain effect. If it doesn't deliver, okay. But if you're just going to dismiss it without paying attention to what's happening, then that's you're fault.

Like that scene in Beyond Two Souls, that was a pretty powerful moment emphasized by the explosions and fire. It is a visual representation of Aiden's anger and will to protect Jodie. But if you need to have every-fucking-thing explained to you, then tell yourself he's a ghost and he magicked that shit on fire. Then look inward and ask yourself why explosions are destroying your sense of reality, but the girl with a ghost chained to her is totally okay.

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#41 Posted by Tyrrael (185 posts) -

Spontaneous, blatant, nonsensical character stupidity. Some people have already touched on this, but it's basically when a character, good or bad, does something completely idiotic, and often contrary to what we know about that character's personality, just for the sake of it being a movie or for the plot's sake. This spans all genres.

Take this classic example: You have a group of people that are being chased by some random maniac, and someone says, "Hey everybody. Let's split up." That's not even the worst part. The worst part is that everybody else, including the one girl in the group that is freaking out the most, just agrees with that dipshit without even flinching. So, they all split up and, you guessed it, die horribly, except for one person of course.

Other people have also touched on this. The bad guy that has the good guy right where he wants him, and then does something so incredibly stupid that the good guy escapes and kills him.

Luck. Basically, it's when, despite all we know about any character's skills, good or bad, they invariably survive by sheer luck. This has also been somewhat touched on. If any of the henchmen in any big bad guys crew ever learn to aim, all good guys would be screwed. This is something that bugs the shit out of me in James Bond movies. I like the movies, but when a dozen bad guys are shooting at Bond and missing with their AK-47s while he's just 20 feet away, it's a little irritating. Another example that also ties into the trope I mentioned first, is in the first Taken movie. When Mills (Neeson) finds his daughter, he just marches out the door without even looking and gets knocked out. He was calm and calculating the entire movie, and this is when he decides the fuck around? In the middle of the big bad guys lair, essentially? Also, he gets super lucky when the bad guy's cronies are told to strangle Mills instead of just using a silenced pistol shot to his head. This, of course, allows him to escape by breaking one of the pipes he's tied to. Holy lucky fucking shit. As skilled as he is, he should have been completely fucked in that situation. I liked the movie, but it's shit like this that forces that suspension of disbelief front and center and starts to ruin my enjoyment of the movie.

#42 Edited by PenguinDust (12491 posts) -

The trope is called "All Animals Are Dogs". Basically, any animal in a movie or TV show are portrayed with dog-like movements and characteristics. Dinosaurs, elephants, horses, bears, etc...bark, play fetch, wag their tails, roll over for a belly scratch, and slobber. Most recently, the reindeer from Disney's Frozen had these traits. This trope bugs the hell out of me these days.

#43 Posted by Tajasaurus (843 posts) -

@i_stay_puft: Yeah. Just enemies in general who can't seem to hit anyone of importance. I don't like it (except for when I do)

#44 Posted by Gatehouse (608 posts) -

The Wilhelm Scream is in every fucking movie that's come out in the past 5 years or so. It's just tacky at this point.

This. I just find it super distracting now and breaks all sense of immersion I have in a film.

#45 Posted by MormonWarrior (2569 posts) -

The Wilhelm Scream is in every fucking movie that's come out in the past 5 years or so. It's just tacky at this point.

Oh yeah, that one drives me nuts. I heard a goblin give the scream in The Hobbit and it felt insanely out of place.

#46 Edited by RonGalaxy (3104 posts) -

@recspec said:

Deus ex machina

yup. Unless it's done cleverly to subvert the trope (I think the film 'Adaptation' has an example of this, but I cant quite recall what it was.

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#47 Edited by Killerfridge (309 posts) -

@recspec said:

Deus ex machina

yup. Unless it's done cleverly to subvert the trope (I think the film 'Adaptation' has an example of this, but I cant quite recall what it was.

Yeah, the last scene is called 'Deus-Ex Machina' on the dvd menu, and one of the characters screams at Nicolas Cage to never, ever use a deus-ex machina. Then there is one at the end. What a brilliant film.

#48 Edited by hermes (1414 posts) -

@i_stay_puft said:

In alot of 80's action films where the bad guys have machine guns and are just spraying and can't even hit the good guy.

That is pretty bad.

A variation of that is when the bad guys can't be killed by anyone that isn't the protagonist, so evil henchman are hyper competent until facing a high profile actor. Apparently incompetence with guns is not limited to the bad guys.

Take White House Down, for example. In it a group of nondescript bad guys (literally, a mashup of tens of ultra right wing rednecks, disenchanted spec ops, psycho marines, anonymous hackers and general extremists) decide to invade the white house. Despite facing one of the most modern and sophisticated security systems in existence, they are able to pull it off and keep even the army at bay without a single one of them getting shot. Seriously, they kill hundreds of people, between soldiers, security guards, secret service officers and black hawks pilots, they clean downtown DC of security staff, and not even one of them gets as much as a punch in the face.

That is until fake-McClane and fake-Obama get into action, at which point, they drop like flies with anything from a 9mm to a pen.

#49 Edited by Pezen (1594 posts) -

HBO's use of "everyone needs to get laid a lot because sex is edgy"-trope.

Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

"I can't stop this car because the breaks are out. Even though I could just not have my foot on the gas and gear down or otherwise let momentum drop and have the car slow down on it's own."

Since you're the player of the game, you have to be the hero that makes no decisions and are praised for your decisions.

Romantic comedies all being built around the same format, often with men being the ones having to do the big gesture of affection before the blissful ending.

Technology that can do things they can't do, even given a little suspension of disbelief.

#50 Posted by 8Bit_Archer (452 posts) -

I'll name one that fits all three categories.........ZOMBIES