A list of all Cliches

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  • This is far from complete. I don't have infinite time, you know. Send me any I missed!
  • Starting a book with "It was a dark and stormy night."
  • The hero's family is killed by his enemy. He then goes on a one-man army "no one will stand in my way" vengeance quest.
  • The hero gives a little "Because I am...THE (Insert superhero name here)" speech at the end of a movie.
  • Anonymous henchmen, who can be killed by the hero in a single chop.
  • A protagonist who is being fired at by hundreds of incredible sharpshooters, who manage to kill everyone else, but miss him repeatedly and consistently.
  • "Aw, you'd make such a cute couple."
  • The main "bad guy" is actually on okay guy, but his wife twists him into evil.
  • "I'm high on life!"
  • Fighting monsters with one weakness, which, in finally exploiting it, the entire battle is easily won.
  • Computer-generated armies. This has only been done a few times, and it's already lost it's edge entirely.
  • Bullet-time. See above explanation.
  • Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Boy loses girl. Boy gets girl back. The End.
  • A "supervillain," as an old man with a half-dead cat and a monocle.
  • Teen pop music. (Not pop in general, just that kind)
  • Emo music. (I'm sorry to fans of these 2 genres, but you KNOW they're entirely cliche now, since the lyrics don't really change from song to song (or they have 3 things to choose from, in the case of teen pop). And I've listened to both genres, many times, so I'm not pulling this out of nowhere.)
  • Rap music involving lyrics about "bitches, hos, my homies, bling bling and the hood."
  • Rap metal. (Yes, it's a kind of music, but in reality it's a gimmick that continued being used by hundreds of knock-off bands)
  • Any rock/goth music with angst dripping melodratic lyrics, made for the sole purpose of allowing the writer to take out his/her frustrations and exaggerate them to death. (Not rock or gothic music in general, just that kind)
  • A family reunion, where the grandfather gives a little speech about how much he has to be thankful for and how much he loves everyone.
  • "Your eyes are like (Insert flower, gemstone, famous landmark, or piece of scenery here)(insert comparison to said flower, gemstone, famous landmark, or piece of scenery here)".
  • "Starship log stardate 6038..."
  • Drinking away sorrows over a lost woman.
  • Computer animated movies about fish. Yes Shark Tale, that's you.
  • "There's plenty more fish in the sea"
  • "You'll find someone new, someone better"
  • "She wasn't really meant for you. If she was, she wouldn't have left you."
  • X number of friends, living together in an apartment, who have wacky dating misadventures together.
  • Maniacal laugher.
  • Period romance.
  • People who make titles that tell the entire story of the movie.
  • People who make trailers that tell the entire story of the movie.
  • Epic vocal trance (not all trance, just that kind), with lyrics in the area of: "Our love is like water, flowing through my veins, quenching the thirst of my heart.").
  • Trance songs about angels.
  • Words like "pseudo-wannabe-philosophical"
  • A cop is put on a case. Cop then advances the case in a nonconforming way, but makes his boss angry. He is assigned to an incompetant partner as punishment. He ditches the incompetant partner, and does more useful work. His boss kicks him off the force for his nonconforming techniques. Said cop continues case despite being kicked off the force, because now "It's personal." Cop solves case. As reward for solving case, he is put back on the force. The End.
  • Getting the girl.
  • Russian mafia boss, who owns a club, which he loves to smoke cigars in.
  • One explosion after another.
  • Evil villain sends out powerful henchman who fights the hero to the death with some odd power, comes to the brink of defeting the hero, when the hero pulls a last second maneuver, saving him.
  • Saving the world "in the nick of time."
  • The dumb jocks.
  • The brains.
  • The preppy cheerleaders.
  • The rats.
  • The stoners.
  • That one outcast kid.
  • On that note, having a high school where everyone fits into a stereotypical clique.
  • Actually, just cliques in general (after all, clique contains 4 of the letters needed for cliche...)
  • Horror movies in which the characters are killed off one by one, from the least to the most likable.
  • "We've got to stick together if we're going to get through this!"
  • Fake British accents.
  • Toupees and comb-overs.
  • Making fun of Botox.
  • The coach/artist that says "Showtime!" before the game/show.
  • An "inspiring" speech before a football game. (or a hockey game, etc).
  • "Lights, camera, action!"
  • "You're my Hero!"
  • Saving the "Damsel in Distress".
  • Epic battles that end with the city being saved by another army that makes it to the battle at the last second to save everyone as the final gate falls. (That's NOT including Lord of the Rings, which invented that strategy, after which it was ripped off ad nauseum by every other fantasy writer. That means you Terry Brooks, you turd.)
  • Books with flower and heart covers.
  • Harlequin romances.
  • "I didn't kill my wife!" - O.J. Simpson
  • A man's wife is cheating on him with his best friend.
  • "Love Conquers All!"
  • Bible-thumpers, and their irritating Jesus country-folk-pop music.
  • I want to wait until we're married, so God doesn't smite me.
  • The smelly kid in class (every fictional young children's class seems to have one).
  • Racing movies. Notice how quickly the recent resurgance of them died (The Fast and the Furious - success. 2 Fast 2 Furious - success. Torque, Biker Boyz, Kart Racer - all miserable knockoffs which failed and deserved to fail.).
  • "He's sleeping with the fishes."
  • Italian mafia with Brooklyn accents. (I like this cliche though).
  • "He Bit the Dust."
  • Love Triangles
  • Overusing large words, in the hopes of appearing intelligent.
  • Overusing a thesaurus.
  • "7337"-speak.
  • A rich "elite" upper class with old money inherited from parents, who don a faux-British accent and make comments like: "Oh...I have an excellent joke for you...What happens when 3 poor people walk into a bar?........WHO CARES! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.", or "You are SO below my class. Why don't you stick with your own kind, the kind with NO MONEY! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh, that was good."
  • The "dedicated scientist," who cares about nothing but his work.
  • The comic relief wuss.
  • The token black guy.
  • The ladies man.
  • The wannabe ladies man.
  • "Who's the brains of this operation?"
  • The angry, stoic hero.
  • Wiggers.
  • "Family is the real battle worth fighting for!"
  • "He can do it! He's a (insert last name here)."
  • "YIPPIKIYAY HURRAY HURRAY WE'RE A FAMILY!" movies (ie Thunderbirds, Spy Kids, etc), especially ones that end in a ridiculous speech containing the above 2 quotes.
  • "Kiddified" versions of real movies (ie Kart Racer to The Fast and the Furious, Gotta Kick it up, to Bring it On, Spy Kids to James Bond)
  • Porno movie titles like "James Bondage Double-0 Threesome," or or "The Anahymen Mighty Dicks in: Zamboner" (I just made those 2 up, but you get the idea). (I don't mind this one either)
  • The "doomed to die" crew member(s) that accompany the party of main characters on an exploration of a unfamiliar territory (especially a planet).
  • The overuse of the word "basically".
  • Matrix spoofs.
  • "We're having "girl-talk"
  • "I broke a nail!"
  • The hopelesslessly brittle female character (see above cliche).
  • Music groups who name their album and tour after their hit single.
  • The first song on every CD is always the best, then it's followed by an emotional ballad.
  • Country music with the lyric "My dog just died..."
  • Incestuous girls from the Southern US ("Are you our cousin Billy?" "Do you want me to be?" "Uh-huh!" "Then I am!").
  • Swearing for no reason other than to be "cool", and to make yourself look tough (rather than for any neccessary reason).
  • Lawyers portrayed as slimy little assholes who don't care about anything but money.
  • An antagonist who KNOWS he's/she's evil, and is very vocal about it (Explanation: Besides being overdone, it's pretty much an impossible character. In real life, anyone who says they're truly evil, usually aren't, are instead only selfish and greedy, and often not even that (often they're just goths playing a role, or attention-seeking kids). TRULY evil people don't seem it - they pretend to care, while subtly stabbing you slowly in the back, and directing the blame elsewhere with their pathological lies, incredibly charming personalities, and brutal intelligence. I'm referring to sociopaths - sociopaths NEVER call themselves evil - it's counteractive to their dark goals. Therefore, these characters are pretty much impossible, and even if they exist, they're certainly nowhere near as common as Hollywood makes them.)
  • Guys, as insensitive pricks.
  • Doorman: Where's your invitation? Response: (some sort of violence). There's my invitation.
  • Haunted houses.
  • No one believes the main character in his incredible revelation. He is ridiculed for his theories until they all come true, the entire world is annihilated, and everyone comes running back to him begging to save them.
  • A hook-wielding monster/enemy/villain.
  • Black-meets-white movies
  • East-meets-west movies
  • Extreme advertising (ie "This Cheez Whiz is so HARDCORE it will KICK YOU RIGHT IN THE FACE!!!!!!!! Are you man enough the handle the Cheez Whiz???????)
  • "Musical introduction" scenes in movies, in which someone has somehow never heard of an entire genre of popular music, is introduced to it, and either recoils in pain like it's something dangerous and destructive, or "gets into it" and does a horrendously embarrassing dance causing the entire watching audience to cringe in pain.
  • "There comes a time in every little girl's life..."
  • "Wrongful accusation" movies
  • "What's that sound? OH NO! There's a monster trying to kill me in my house! I think I'll take a shower."
  • Meat Loaf. EVERY ****ING SONG IS EXACTLY THE SAME!!!!!!!
  • Buildup-breakdown-anthem.
  • Chain letters
  • Music builds...builds...builds, then suddenly the camera jumps to an unexpected and dark image as the music releases the tension with a "bang".
  • The above process is used on something totally innocent (rather than an unexpected and dark image) the first time it appears in a horror movie.
  • Censoring anything with a little coverup noise.
  • Censoring using a "bleep"
  • Calling a sequel [Original title] 2.
  • Calling a sequel [Original title] Too.
  • Matrix parodies
  • Bullet-time. Now that it's being used in Lebanese music videos, I think it's safe to say it isn't interesting anymore.
  • Typing in all-caps
  • "Is your fridge running?..."
  • Fan mail that looks something like this:
  • "LOLZ! I lvd Ur stry N Bsh N stff! haha N LOLZ YA @ U 4 mak it I luvinz Bsh dp shtstik. BOO lolz!"
  • Learn the definition of PROOFREAD. That would set you back...what? One minute? If you can't take one minute to proofread your e-mail, I'm not going to take one minute to read it. This is done so much on the internet now, that when we think of fan mail, this is usually exactly what we think of.
  • A group of people grow up to be life-long friends
  • Canadian guys saying "eh" at the end of a sentence
  • Brown guys driving taxis
  • Chinese guys owning restaurants
  • Italian guys in the mafia
  • Russian guys drinking vodka
  • a protagonist who has a legitimate job by day, and fights crime by night
  • "You'll never get away with it you !!!"
  • "You're gonna pay for it!"
  • Remixing the same song 80 times, in the hopes that one of the remixes will make a megahit, then when the megahit comes, remixing it another 80 times in the hopes of making yet ANOTHER megahit. (ie Cafe Del Mar, Age of Love, Born Slippy - excellent songs, but STOP REMIXING THEM!!! They've already been hammered into every imaginable version they could ever be hammered into - I mean honestly, there's a ****ing Russian polka remix of Born Slippy. IT'S TIME TO LET IT DROP!!!)
  • "What is the secret of your success?"
  • "Where do you get your ideas?"
  • Ending a movie with the hero/heroine riding off into the sunset.
  • Pumped up muscular jocks as the 'Hot Guy'
  • Pony Tailed Villans
  • Villans with a physical anomality
  • Monocle-wearing villains
  • Pirates with peg-legs
  • Workers install a large piece of glass in a movie, during a scene involving a car chase, and the glass is hit by the vehicle.
  • The glare from a piece of glass causes a sniper to miss his target.
  • Artists releasing an album named "Greatest Hits."
  • A creaky door in a horror movie.
  • "This time, it's personal."
  • A woman is changing her clothes, and she is spotted by a guest passing by. She doesn't find this creepy or embarrassing in the slightest, but is instead turned on by it.
  • A man walks into a woman's room to see her, to stumble in upon her just exiting a shower. Her reaction is slight embarrassment, but she makes him stay despite his "reluctance", and often ends up handing her a towel.
  • Hooded axe murderers
  • "It's not you, it's me."
  • "The more you put in, the more you'll get out."
  • Lists
Author Comments: 

This is a list of cliches. For those wondering, that means things that are overdone to the point of being boring and trite, and instantly associated with a certain icon (ie action movies have...). Now, that doesn't necessarily make them all bad, but anything constructed entirely out of cliches will always be weaker than more original material (watch "The Punisher," or "Scooby-Doo 2" to see the effects of resting on cliche material.)

How about the coach/artist that says "Showtime!" before the game/show. That one reeeeeally grates.
Great list!

Excellent.

I don't really see all of these as cliches. For example, rap metal is a cliche? I thought it was a genre of music.

And, after TWO movies about computer animated fish, it's already cliche? Dunno about that...

Otherwise, yeah, a lot of these are quite cliche (and about a third of them showed up in Sky Captain, which I just watched).

About the fish thing - I was mostly just making fun of Shark Tale for blatantly ripping off Finding Nemo.

Rap metal is definitely a cliche at this point. It's such a stereotype of "angry teen" culture, that rather than being interesting, it just uses the same formula to complain about the same things. That's more a cliche by opinion, than actual fact though.

The cliches were okay in Sky Captain - it's pretty tongue-in-cheek with them, almost parodying. These are only annoying when a movie takes these things seriously.

Okay, well, I disagree about Sky Captain's cliches.

Well, both sides to the argument are pretty much opinion anyway. I personally enjoyed the movie, not much more to say than that.

oh, indeed.

I just realized my last post could be interpreted the wrong way...

I didn't mean that only my opinion matters, what I meant with my post was that the only argument I could really make on Sky Captain that wasn't entirely debatable was that I personally was entertained by it. It's not really my business to judge other people's opinions on movies, since it's all subjective anyway. Like it or hate it, it's all good with me.

What about love triangles?

Perfect! Thanks!

The unfamiliar "doomed to die" crew member(s) that accompany the leader (star) on an exploration of dangerous territory. Used in early 60's TV shows like Star Trek.

The overuse of the word "basically". AAHHHHH!!!

Nice! Great suggestions!

Galaxy Quest involves a really good parody of the "doomed to die" crewmember, played by Sam Rockwell...

lol - they even refer to it directly, actually.

Hilarious movie, for sure.

I don't mean to pile on, but in the movie Hot Shots! they do a spoof of Top Gun that includes a guy nicknamed "Dead Meat". It's a running gag used to spoof the disposible character cliche used in the original. So considering its been spoofed in two different movies now, does it become a cliche of itself? Good luck putting all that in one sentence ~;^)

No, because it isn't really engrained into the collective consciousness of society yet (as almost all cliches are). Hot Shots isn't really that famous. For example, if you watch a movie that has a disposable character spoof in it, you won't instantly think..."Good God, another one," as is usually the case with overdone spoofs (ie a matrix "bullet-time" joke will make you do that).

Good idea anyway! (that gives me another idea anyway - Matrix spoofs)

I find music groups (pop, rock, rap whatever) that have the exact same album title, hit-single title, smash tour title, etc. to be annoying to the point that I want to vomet. (i.e. "American Idiot" by Green Day)

Also, typically the clean-cut album/ single title is followed up by a more emotional/ ballad-like second single to play, most likely in the encore of the smash tour.

Excellent.

How about the guy who sends his family back to the city while he tries to find out Just What Happened In That Scary New House In The Country they bought at the beginning of the movie?

That's not QUITE cliche (since it commonly doesn't end up that way: often it's in the city, often the family is with him, often they all become trapped inside, often they're all forced out and the "big scary thing" follows them, etc), but I can use the "big scary haunted house" as a cliche.

Thanks!

Lists.

esp. ones about cliches.

haha, i kid.

lol I'm adding that anyway.

Ah, crap, so 'pseudo-bohemian' is cliche already? I didn't get much mileage out of it yet.

I wouldn't say that specifically...

I've never actually heard "pseudo-bohemian" used before.

But many words like it are.

How about some of these:

-a group of people grow up to be life-long friends
-superheros
-Canadian guys saying "eh" at the end of a sentence
-Brown guys driving taxis
-Chinese guys owning restaurants
-Italian guys in the mafia
-Russian guys drinking vodka
(I could go on forever with ethnic cliches)
-a protagonist who has a legit job by day, and fights crime by night
-happy endings in movies

I didn't agree to some of them, for example, happy endings in movies. There are only three possible endings in movies: happy, tragic, and somewhat happy somewhat tragic. It's not cliche, it's just a way for things to turn out. Now, a happy ending where one should not exist at all is cliche...I'll add that instead.
Also, I didn't put superheroes on, because there's still quite a bit to explore in that area, and, while overdone, it's still something that creates fresh and original material (Recently: Spiderman 2, The Incredibles, Sin City)

How about

"You'll never get away with it you !!!>

"You're gonna pay for it."

PSEUDO Teenage Movies. THEY SUCK!!!!STOP MAKING THEM!!!NOONES GONNA SEE THEM (ref. not another teen movie and etc)

Cheap ripped-off war movies like Pearl Harbour and Black Hawk Down (this is a personal opinion though)

Making nothing less than 5 remixes of a huge hit (like Cafe Del Mar and Born Slippy(NUXX) ) and naming them as 's Mix or as vs Mix (I am not against this though.. some of the best music around would fall under this genre :):)..its just that its become too much of a cliche)

Celebrities with fake smile on TV talk shows and wider-smiling talk show hosts who've got their necks up the guests' a** and go like "Aaah...what is the secret of your success" and stuff (again a personal opinion)

Movie plots that go like : Main protagonist poor. Boss dies, inherits wealth or something along these lines that gives him power overnight. Becomes superhero overnight. Out to save the world. Yay. Gets the girl. Bashes the villan. End of movie.

Hero-heroine walking away into the sunset at the end of the movie

Instead of "The End", putting up "The Beginning"

Pumped up muscular jocks as the 'Hot Guy'

Pony Tailed Villans

Villans with some physical anomality like missing eye or lame leg

Many of the above are personal opinions...nevertheless are cliches.

Added most of them, but some are too much personal opinions, others I've never really seen (ie: The beginning).

Actually, I though Not Another Teen Movie was OK, and I know a massive number of people who went to see it.
Anyhoo, on it's cliche status, it's really the only movie that falls under that genre, and therefore not cliche. Besides...it's a movie mocking cliches, isn't it?

Workers installing a large piece of glass during scenes involving...

One: A car chase - the glass is gonna get hit by one of the vechiles or the workers are gonna accidentally drop it after the cars pass by

Two: A sniper - the glass will catch the glare of the sun causing the shot to miss the intended target.

awesome! +adds

Hahahahah! Love that Cheez Whiz thing.

"If the crime don't fit you must acquit." I doubt its a nationwide-phenom but this has become the local catchphrase where I live.

Also if you've been through any of my other posts I really have a dislike of emos, the whole culture is being cloned all over the country(its basically the same people from town to town), much less the world.

Well, emo music is already on the list. Totally agree about it though - it's just such a pathetic subculture...

The first one I've never heard, so I can't really add it - I personally have many cliches known only to my friends and I that just wouldn't fit on a list like this. So, it can't really go here.

How about-
Artists naming cds as (insert artist title) - The Greatest Hits
Having two ppl. from different cultures as co-partners on a case (ref. Rush Hour, Shanghai Noon etc etc.) and then they intentionally goof up stuff
?

The Greatest Hits one is excellent! +adds

I already have the second one: east-meets west movies, and black-meets-white movies.

Thanks :)

How about
Doors creaking sound in horror films (all of em have it... all ) and as the main protagonist enters the room, all of a sudden, he/she is attacked?

+Adds door creaking (not ALL have it, but the vast majority do - and this is a REALLY famous cliche).

I don't know about the second part...it's so central to horror that I just can't see it as cliche. Besides, that isn't the cliche anyway: there are just as many movies that have the protagonist entering the room, wandering around scared for a while while the music builds, THEN showing an attack.

That first one is PERFECT though - can't believe I missed that! Thanks :)

:) No probs! It seems horror films have maximum cliches :)... how about The Hodded Axe Murderer a la Urban Legends, I Know what You Did Last Summer, I still know what you did last summer, Minority Report, towards the end as the boss kills the lady in the lake and maany more ... ?

Extreme advertising (ie "This Cheez Whiz is so HARDCORE it will KICK YOU RIGHT IN THE FACE!!!!!!!! Are you man enough the handle the Cheez Whiz???????)

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, that is so true.

:?)

Scenes involving a woman changing her clothes:

She will always leave her door open and there will always be a mirror which gives her guest a view of her changing.

IF she sees the guest watching her undress:

1) She will see him in the mirror

2) She will never be embarrassed, but instead display a small, turned-on smile.

>sigh< That cliche reminds me of the hugest of all cliches in movies.

How about how right before the villan starts his final huge kill-everyone armageddon thing, the main man and the main woman have hot erotic sex,
on the first date, and the woman turns out to have voluptuous ridiculously huge bosoms(which before appeared to be only avocado sized), and the man has a real buff chest(Even if he has no athletic ability)

There's also cliche morals,
like 'crime doesn't pay'
or 'you'll fall in love one day, and it'll be with that horrible girl who pulls down your pants in public places and throws cottage cheese at you.'

or 'accept peoples differences'
and(I put the 'and' here on purpose.)
'Canadians are weirdoes who do not belong in the u.s.'
(in cartoons, they always seem to be in eps right beside each other!!!!!)

funktastic! +adds

Dude darktremmor you're like the coolest person ever your content is the best ever props to u bro!

awww...thanks :) (*blushes)
But it's not true - there are other listologists here with much better and much more content than I have - such as lbangs, lukeprog, AJDaGreat, AAA, etc etc etc...
Glad to see my work is appreciated though :) :) :)

How about hooded axe murderers a la I Know what you did last summer, Urban Legend etc ?

Yes! Definitely! tis incredible! +adds
Can't believe I missed that one...
Thanks! :)

About: Starting a book with "It was a dark and stormy night." - Do you know about The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest ?

About: The main "bad guy" is actually on okay guy, but his wife twists him into evil. - Of course, we can thank Shakespeare's Macbeth for this one.

About: People who make trailers that tell the entire story of the movie. - That's more a crime than a cliche.

About: Getting the girl. - Come on now! If this is a cliche so is breathing.

About: Toupees and comb-overs. - The funniest comb-over in movies is probably Bill Murray's in Kingpin.

About: An "inspiring" speech before a football game. (or a hockey game, etc). - We have Shakespeare to thank for this one too. The Saint Crispin's Day Speech from Henry V.

I have to go have lunch now.

Ugh, you still breathe? That is so 1998.

To AJDaGreat: *:-O)

To darktremor: You forgot: "It's not you, it's me."

Ah, definitely AJ! Thanks! +adds

Agreed: many cliches do indeed come from Shakespeare (They weren't cliche at the time, or course). As a matter of fact, I was studying Macbeth when I thought of that one.

As for getting the girl, maybe I wasn't specific enough: I mean two things: 1)Describing a big whirlwind success (one after another), and ending it was "and got the girl." (or something to that end), or 2)Getting the girl at the end of a Hollywood movie, even when there's no reason at all for it, simply so the audience can have its uber-happy uplifting joy-joy finish. Think: the big scene at the end of movies in which everyone kisses and "gets the girl," and the most random matches are created simply to add to the uplift. So incredibly overdone.

As for the contest, that's so awesome! Thanks for the link! :)

Notice to everyone:
I won't really be here for a while. Until about early May (2006), I'm pretty much entirely tied down to the rest of my life: I'm going to have almost no time at all to respond or update here. I may make an occasional post, but don't expect anything regular (and don't take offense if I don't answer you for a very very long time).

Sorry to anyone who has posted and I can't respond to: I'm juggling university (a SCIENCE degree, in others words the nightmare of university existence - this is a complete time filler as it is), a (very serious - not in nature, in depth of relationship) girlfriend, two entirely seperate groups of friends, several plays, several clubs, and possibly soon a job. There really isn't time left to handle answering comments...

Goodbye for now everyone! (I'll be back again, eventually). It's been fun.

Cool list, Tom Cruise is the ultimate in this department. To plagarise Rich Hall you can predict the plot of any Tom Cruise.

Cocktail- Starts out a good cocktail waiter, suddenly his confidence is shattered, he meets an attrctive woman and is inspired to be a good cocktail waiter.
Top Gun- Starts out a good pilot,suddenly his confidence is shattered, he meets an attractive woman and is inspired to be a good pilot.
Mission Impossible- He starts out a good secret agent, need i go on

Okay, I'm gonna have to revive this list because of one that really irritates me.

Two people are doing something that can get them in trouble. The one person that can get them in trouble arrives while they are doing it. The one person asks them what they are doing. Both people turn around and look at the one person. One of the two people that got caught thinks up a phony excuse. His partner will say something to the effect of "No we weren't." or something else that will make the guy who thought up the phony excuse false. The guy who thought up the excuse will nudge the other with his elbow and the other guy will always play along. Not only wilol the person that caught them become mysteriouisly blind and deaf during this, they will permit the two to leave, with one always saying "that was a close one!"

Example:

(Fred and Bill are trying to break into a house. A policeman sees them and stops.)

Policeman: What are you to boys doing?
Fred: Uh....we're meter readers.
Bill: No, we aren't, we were trying to break...
Fred: *nudges Bill with his elbow*
Bill: Oh yeah! Yeah, we're meter readers.
Policeman: Oh! Well, you be sure to do a good job!
Fred and Bill: Yessir!
(Policeman leaves)
Bill: That was a close one!

Well, that kind of thing is an exaggeration for the sake of comedy. Believability is stretched for the humor of the moment. So I would forgive the lack of realism, although if you just don't think this is funny anymore, that's a different story.

Wow it took me a while to respond.

Yes, I'm sure it's done for the sake of comedy, but it's just...not...funny. It was when I was, like, eight.

Nice list. Possible cliches:

-"He can't go up there because hes afraid of heights."
-Being claustrophobic.
-Platitudes like "A penny saved is a penny earned."
-"It's just who I am."
-Speaking AIM in real life (lol, brb, ttyl, ect.).
-Main character asks a girl/woman out. If girl says yes then later she gets mad at him because he misses the date or she catches him kissing someone else. If the girl already has a boyfriend, she gets mad at him later on. In both cases it's the "getting the girl" cliche at the end of the movie.

How does being claustrophobic become a cliche?

Personally, I think cancer is a cliche. It's overdone these days.

How about 3d person tone profiles. They are really annoying, if not done the way they're meant to be.

Haha, that description makes me sound way more interesting than I am.

How about ' How did you two meet?'. 'Sigh...Fate brought us together'. If it's already on here, then I guess I missed it.

How about hiphop songs with 'put your hands in tha air' in the lyrics?

1 this is every vince vaughn movie- he finds a girl, falls in love, but they can't be together. at the end, they end up getting married or something
2 owen wilson is the same character(funny screw up) in every movie he's in also there's always a hot girl
3 also like half the books that are made into movies are nothing alike eg eragon
4 all the people who are cops or in the army always carry their gun with them(plus clips) also, they're outnumbered and out gunned but they always win (bruce willis)
5 also, nobody fights without their leader eg 5th element "gundars won't fight without a leader" (bruce willis again)
6 the mild supposedly mild-mannered guy is the hero exaples-superman, true lies
7 when the girl or family dies, the hero always puts his arms to the side, looks at the sky, and bellows-NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! and then they become a vigilante BATMAN

I don't know about most of those being cliches...

I hate to ruin this entire list, but these are not cliches. Cliches are phrases or sayings that are overused. They are not topics, such as "wiggers."

Ah, but a cliche can also be an overused idea, which most of the points above certainly are. However, you're right, there probably are a few that wouldn't qualify as even that.

Note that the point of the list was to make note of overused concepts/points/expressions/phrases to avoid using them when writing.

Talking head experts who use expressions to sound impressive: "the fact is", "at the end of the day", "the bottom line is", "with all due respect", "all things being equal".

Any kind of clothing "fashion" or that new "look" seems cliche to me.

Let's not forget the whole "human girl falls in love with vampire boy who hungers for her blood" cliche.

Here is a wiki database of TV and movie tropes:
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HomePage