The ABCs of Film Cliches

 Aliens: Aliens have just one culture - same language, same religion, 
	 same clothes - whatever planet they come from.

 Animals: Cats are feminine and a sign of trouble.  If a man has a cat 
	 he is either a villain or a pervert.  Dogs know in advance who 
	 the bad guys are and grawl at them menacingly.  Creepy crawlers 
	 will always attack the woman, even if she is surrounded by dozens 
	 of men.

 Artists: Tempramental people.  Writers crumple typewritten sheets in 
	 anger; They don't use word-processors.  Painters stand with bare 
	 torsos, hurling gallons of paint at the canvass.

 Baths: Bubble baths hide everything.  Bubbles never dissipate.

 Bars: Troubled men gulp their drinks at one shot, and ask for another.

 Birth: The trip to the hospital has endless problems and only by the
	 sheerest luck does the woman get to deliver in a place that has 
	 doctors.  Just a couple of hours after giving birth, she looks 
	 as if she'd never been through it.

 Bombs: All timebombs use a red digital display to show the countdown.

 Cars: No one ever bothers to lock their cars when getting out.

 Car chases: If you're trying to get away the car won't start until you
	 give it a few tries. It will inevitably get on the pavement and 
	 hit the vegetables of the Korean greengrocer.  During chases, 
	 police cars will get battered more than the others.

 Clothes: When you steal clothes from a washline, they will be a perfect

 Conversation: In intimate conversation, both people face the camera, so
	 that one is talking to the other's back. Sometimes they both 
	 face the window and talk to the landscape.

 Eating breakfast: Mothers get up before the rest of the household and 
	 cook a hearty meal.  The family sits at the table thirty seconds 
	 before going out on their daily business, and make do with a bit 
	 of toast and half a glass of juice.  The father takes three sips 
	 of coffee, glances at his watch and says he has to leave, puts on 
	 his jacket while managing another sip.

 Eating dinner: If a woman prepares a romantic candlelight dinner, the
	 fellow won't show up.  If they've just got together, they eat 
	 from Chinese take-away boxes, preferably sitting on the bare 

 Engagement: When falling in love you say "I want you to have mother's
	 ring, it's a family heirloom".  When separating you should return 
	 the ring, though in extreme cases you can throw it into the 

 Falling: Women fall when chased. If there's a man around, he'll pick her
	 to her feet and help her run.

 Falling in love: Love has many faces, in film too, but if the parties 
	 are opposites success is assured: him serious, her fickle; her 
	 serious, him wild.  The first meeting involves a mishap, some 
	 confusion, a mistaken identity or perhaps a collision, be it in 
	 a corridor or in a motorcar.

 Fighting: You can neutralize two hoodlums by knocking their heads
	 together.  If you win at the end, you must lose the first round. 
	 No matter what happens, the hero and the villian will have their 
	 final, one-on-one fight.

 Forensics: The most inarticulate detective can ask the lab to perform 
	 the most elaborate tests.  Most lab workers are members of
	 minority/disadvantaged groups: Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, women 
	 and the elderly.

 Glasses: Glasses are a handicap.  Men in glasses are, heaven forbid,
	 "Philosophers", "Scientists", "Teachers", "Intellectuals".  When 
	 a man becomes an active hero, his eyesight becomes 20-20 and he 
	 doesn't need glasses any more.  Women who wear glasses are 
	 sexually repressed.  When they loosen up the glasses disappear. 
	 If they wear contacts, one will fall to the ground and everyone 
	 will drop to the floor to look for it.

 Health: Coughing is a symptom of a terminal disease.

 Hugging: American families like to hug. When hugging, one should say "I
	 love you, son".

 Ice cream: Unhappy people eat it at night, straight from the box.

 Locks: Any lock can be opened with a credit card or hairpin.

 Money: In a restaurant, when the woman leaves after fighting with her
	 man, he will toss a couple of notes on the table without 
	 checking the bill.  Same thing in bars.  There is never a problem 
	 with change.  Same thing in hotels and taxis.

 Panic: When a woman enters her home, and suspects someone is lurking,  
	 she never turns on the light. When in deep panic she screams, 
	 hands on cheeks.

 Phones: People don't introduce therselves, nor do they say "bye" when
	 they're done.  They remember a huge amount of phone numbers by 
	 heart: highschool friends they haven't seen in years, government 
	 offices, every restaurant in town (they also remember the head 
	 waiter's name).  They seldom need a phone book, an address book 
	 or operator assistance.  When the phone wakes you up in the 
	 morning, you grope for it with your hand and drop it on the floor. 
	 If it's an Arabic film, you invariably get a bad line and  have 
	 to shout at the mouthpiece.

 Police: The bosses are always mad at their top detective, threatening to
	 suspend him.  After they do, he manages to solve the crime 
	 single-handed.  Police bosses are under pressure from the mayor, 
	 who threatens them that if they don't get the serial killer.. and 
	 so on ad nauseum.

 Pregnancy: If a woman has dizzy spells that means she is pregnant (and
	 surprised). When she tells her man he is even more surprised.

 Radio/TV: When the hero wants to hear a newscast he opens the set 
	 exactly as the newsreader gets to the point and shuts it down 
	 right afterwards.  If a friend calls you and tells you to watch 
	 for an interesting news item, you open the set and the item 
	 starts right away.

 Recordings: When the hero wants to hear a recording, he rewinds the tape
	 to the exact spot where the recording starts; he manages to do 
	 this time and time again.

 Ropes: Very easy to get out of, using supple fingers or rubbing against 
	 a sharp object.  Still the hero will pretend to be tied up so he 
	 can jump at the appropriate moment.

 Schools: Lessons are very short and the bell cuts the teacher in mid

 Shootouts: Heros are shot in the arm or leg; they improvise a bandage to
	 restrict blood-flow and go on fighting evil.  Women are shot in 
	 the belly.

 Shopping: Put your purchases in a brown paper bag; it will fall apart
	 before you reach the kitchen.  If this happens in the street or 
	 the stairs it is an excellent way to meet someone of the opposite 

 Soldiers: If a soldier shows his friend a photo of his small-town
	 sweetheart, he will die soon.  If he's about to go on a coveted 
	 leave, he will die soon.  If he tells his friend about a dream 
	 he had -- well, you get the idea.

 Tears: Women will cry in the bath or the shower.  When crying in the
	 shower, their back will slide down the wall slowly until they 
	 end up sitting on the floor. Men cry in the battlefield, 
	 especially when it rains.

 Technology: Computer experts are black or wheelchair-bound or both. 
	 From any computer you can - with the help of the wheelchair 
	 expert - infiltrate any large organization and access files on 
	 the laptop computer of any villain.  All computers, even the 
	 simplest, will display a realistic 3D colour picture.  Character 
	 based terminals have all got speech synthesizers.

 Toilets: Only men actually use toilets. Women just use it for their

 Views: From any apartment in Paris you can see the Eiffel tower.  From 
	 any apartment in New York you can see the Brooklyn Bridge/Empire 
	 State building.

 Weather: When the heroine says "I think it's going to rain" it
	 immediately does.

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