[image credit: Fernando de Sousa]
A cliché in the movies (or TV) is generally a trite line of dialogue, a hackneyed plot point or twist, or a stereotypical character that has been absolutely beaten into the ground by lazy screenplay writers. Screenwriting isn’t easy to be sure, but some originality and unpredictability in the dialogue never hurts.
The dictionary in part defines cliché as “a sentence or phrase, usually expressing a popular or common thought or idea, that has lost its originality, ingenuity, and impact by long overuse.”
It’s far from unusual for movies to be loaded up with clichéd characters or situations, but as far as annoyingly overused and recurring lines of dialogue are concerned, a few come immediately to mind, such as…
- “It’s not what you think”
- “Put the gun down.”
- “You don’t have to do this”
- “Let’s do this!”
- “I was born ready.”
- “I’ll pick you up at 8.”
- “This isn’t over.”
- “Are you sitting down?”
- “That went well!”
- “You had me at [blank].”
- “How’s that working out for you?”
- “You go girl!”
- “We’re not in Kansas anymore.”
- “We’ve got company.”
- “It’s just a flesh wound” or “it’s just a scratch.”
Based on this mashup by Jeff Smith and Josh Eckert of Bottoms Up Productions, however, perhaps the most overused, overworked cliché of them all is “You just don’t get it, do you?” which is represented in this video in 102 different movies.
Do you get it now?
What dialogue clichés that show up over and over in film do you find the most annoying, cheesiest, or ridiculous?