5 Annoying Comedy Character Clichés
Posted on 19. Sep, 2008 by The Gimcracker in Movies, Top Fivers
There’s nothing worse than a cliché. They were obviously invented for a good reason. Sometimes you don’t feel like explaining something the old-fashioned way, such as using logic and meaningful words, so it’s easier to just use a cliché.
The problem is people use clichés much too frequently, causing them to A) lose their poignancy and B) get really annoying. Even the word cliché has become a cliché, which has caused a recursive lapse in the time-space continuum – similar to what would happen if you were to make two mirrors reflect each other. Thank goodness no one has ever tried that.
Even more annoying than clichéd words and phrases are film elements, such as plot lines, endings, actors, and characters. Today we will focus on the latter.
On a side note, the price of movie tickets has gotten really, really, ridiculously out of control. Why are we complaining about gas prices? It costs just as much to take your date to a movie as it does to buy the dang DVD. And popcorn I think is up to about 39¢ a kernel.
Focus. These are the top 5 most annoying character clichés in comedy films.
#5. The Cougar
Watch any teen comedy these days and you’re sure to see a scene with a middle-aged lady desperate for sex. In fact, I will guarantee you right now that the next teen comedy you see will feature a 40-something woman married to a rich guy she doesn’t care about. She’ll drink throughout the entire movie and make at least one pass on the main character, who will undoubtedly be a younger attractive “innocent” guy.
I’m going to use Wedding Crashers as an example a lot since it has most of the clichés on this list. Why did they throw in that scene with Ms. Cleary where she flashes John? It wasn’t funny in any way. John’s reaction wasn’t even funny. I’ll tell you why: the screenwriters obviously have delusions about the sex drives of menopausal women. Or maybe it’s actually like that on the west coast. I guess that’s a possibility. Either way, please stop putting this scene in comedy films. It was already annoying 30 years ago when it was in American Pie.
#4. The Talking Baby/Animal
Women have an obsession with babies. Each time a woman has a baby, other women naturally flock to her, put her on a pedestal as if she’s the first woman that has ever given birth to a child, and then savagely fight over who gets to hold her baby. Some call it “love”. I call it “sick obsession”. Anyway, I guess that’s what the directors have in mind when they include scenes with talking babies. They think just having a baby on screen with no logic behind their decision other than pure eye candy for women is a good idea.
Actually, it is a good idea and it can work (John and Kate Plus Eight). However, I must point out a crucial difference. Making a baby talk by digitally moving its mouth and adding voice-overs effectively ruins any (alleged) cuteness of said baby. Babies are cute because they can’t talk (or so I hear). If you were holding a baby and it started making some smart alec comments to you, it would no longer be cute. Some of you are still thinking that it would. You are probably the same people who think it would be fun to only eat chocolate for a week if only you could get away with it. You obviously haven’t read The Chocolate Touch.
By the way, this also goes for animals. You may not realize it, but animals are cute because they’re dumb and can’t talk. If cats could actually talk, we wouldn’t have LOLcats. If walruses could talk, we wouldn’t have LOLruses. If dogs could talk, we wouldn’t have LOLdogs… actually that one wouldn’t be so bad because LOLdogs are completely unfunny. So stop making things talk in movies that aren’t naturally blessed with the ability. (No, it doesn’t include the Narnia movies. We’re talking comedies here.)
#3. The Gay Uncle/Brother
There doesn’t have to be a gay person in every movie. Only 1-3% of our country’s couples are gay, yet there is at least one gay person in every comedy. And they’re always way too over-the-top and creepy. This is probably offensive to homosexuals because they are stereotyped this way in every movie. It is also offensive to me because I don’t agree with people living homosexual lives.
So if it’s offensive to gay people and straight people, that makes up all people. Which means no people will think it’s funny*.
So why do they keep putting really annoying gay people in movies (and sitcoms)? I’ve thought about this and I’ve come up with an explanation. All comedy movie directors are homophobes. Their way of dealing with something that threatens them is to make fun of it, sort of like a bully. Their defense mechanism is to laugh at it. So, they create a gay character, cast them in a bad light in their movies, and make all of us laugh at them.
Please stop doing this. I’m tired of the gay jokes. I’m not in high school any more.
*This list excludes high school boys.
#2. The Angry Kid
Would you please watch this video and tell me what is so funny? Why is the kid so angry? I… I don’t get it. I feel scared and alone.
First of all, are kids really this mean? The answer is no. Second of all, are kids really this mean to strange adults they just met? Absolutely not. Thirdly, is there any ounce of comedic effect present in this gimmick? Hell no.
The disturbing thing is I just knew this kid was going to be this way as soon as the scene started. I remember not being surprised that he was acting this way. Why? Probably because I’ve seen this in so many other comedies. There are waaaaaay too many scenes with angry, know-it-all kids stomping on adults’ feet or punching them in their “adult” places.
What are the directors thinking?
“Hey Bob, I got an idea.”
“Lay it on me, Jeff.”
“You know how people hate spoiled kids? And you know how no one likes to be kicked in the groin?”
“Does the Pope wear a funny hat?”
“Well, what if we created a scene in our comedy with BOTH elements?”
“You are the smartest man in existence.”
#1. The Hip, Vulgar Grandma
This one’s got everything: unfunny, offensive, unrealistic, and disrespectful. That’s why I had to put it at the top of the list. And yet again, it is present in Wedding Crashers.
My grandmas are real nice ladies. My wife’s grandmas are real nice ladies. My friends grandmas are real nice ladies. In fact, I’ve never, ever, ever, ever met a grandma that behaves inappropriately. People get nicer, mellower, and more boring as they get older. It’s science.
It only follows that every comedy should feature a grandma who curses like a sailor and hates everyone in the world, right? Wrong. Not only is it disrespectful to stereotype old people like that (you’re gonna be one someday) along with being unrealistic, it is also offensive.
But the most important thing to note here is that it’s not funny. A grandma at a dinner table spouting obscenities is not funny. I’ll tell you what it is: shock factor, because the audience doesn’t expect it (because it doesn’t happen in real life). Think about it, what do bad stand-up comedians do? They try to get their laughs by shocking the audience. A good stand-up comedian has originality and lets his jokes stand on their own merit.
Yes there are those few cases of ornery old grandpas that are losing their minds and say ridiculous things. And yes, I’ll admit, sometimes it’s a little funny. But is it really necessary to fill the cracks of comedy movies with them? No, I say more actual funny jokes! Stop the laziness!
The next time you go see a comedy, count the clichés and report back so I know to never see that movie. Of course, Wedding Crashers has 4/5 of my top annoying clichés, and I would watch it again in a heart beat. So, was this article even necessary then? Let me answer your question with a question: are any of the articles I post necessary? If you know what the name of this blog means, you know the answer.
Where is the "funny tacky black guy"?
That almost made the list – probably #6.
A. the latest exit polls had 4% of the population acknowledging they are gay and this figure is considered a low ball because of two factors. 1- some homosexuals will never admit to being gay, no matter the supposed anonymity of the poll 2- gay people are not very political until recently, meaning more gay people stay home on election day than straight.
B. What does "I don't believe in people living homosexual lives" mean exactly?
1. That you want them to be straight? (it's not a choice, REALLY)
2. You want them to be celibate, live & die without knowing intimate love and companionship.
3. You want them to die.
Which is it, bigot?
4. I want them to live the best lives they know how and, when they go into the next live and meet their maker, repent for anything they know that they have done wrong in their lives.
Incidentally that's what I hope for myself, and my sins are no different than anyone else's. I don't want anyone to die, and I don't want anyone to not be who they truly are.
P.S. You obviously don't understand the meaning of the word "bigot". Lay off the caffeine, bub.
Thank you for your well written & compassionate reply. I appreciate it.
I understand your position a little better and don't consider you a bigot, however- you are still mistaken and when you say "you don't believe in people living homosexual lives" without offering further details of how you believe homosexuals should live, it strikes me as disingenuous.
What are your qualifications for making this statement?
Are you a Psychologist or Psychologist?
Have you yourself had homosexual attractions so that you know first hand what you are speaking of?
I am not against homosexual marriages politically. I don't think there should be any favoring towards straight couples versus gay couples. That is nonsense. And I don't regard homosexuals any less than heterosexuals, nor do I treat them differently or even think less of them.
My statement was coming from what I believe in my faith, which is something that I would never force on anyone else and something I'm entitled to believe if I want to. As a Christian, I don't believe homosexuality is the way God designed it. Does God care ultimately about who you have sex with? In my opinion, no. That's not even the point of it and I think it's a deeper matter pertaining to the way we were originally created. Homosexuality is an unnatural thing that spawned out of sin. It doesn't mean homosexuals don't have true genuine feelings just like straight couples, it just means that's not the way it was originally meant to be. Do gay people choose to be gay? No. Do I have a definite answer to the problem of homosexuality? No.
If I had written this post more recently, I would have phrased that sentence differently and/or not even included it in this post. It's confusing without further explanation I think, and irrelevant to my original point in the post.
I see and respectfully won't argue your beliefs.
I would like to point out, however- that homosexuality is natural in that it occurs in nearly every animal species in nature.
You strike me as intelligent , enlightened (to a point) and fair minded, three ideals I hold in high esteem and try to develop myself.
You might be interested in the author John Shore, he has a blog http://johnshore.com/
he is an evangelical christian, very knowledgeable and somewhat funny, as well.
Thank you again for your clarification.
Thanks for the link, that guy's a good writer. I have read some of his stuff and at first glance he appears to have his stuff together. However he does seem like he's trying to convince himself that homosexuality is not a sin, and it's pretty obvious. For instance, take this article: http://johnshore.com/2010/03/04/christians-no-fai…
He is trying to use the fact that Christians don't take into account the "sell all your possessions" as often or extremely as they should as a way of supporting the idea that homosexuality is not wrong. But in my opinion he actually strengthens the case of homosexuality being wrong. (I won't go into why here, but I can if needed).
Another example of an alluring but false argument: http://johnshore.com/2010/10/01/how-is-being-gay-…
He's confusing love with romance. He says Jesus instructs us to love, and that if we say homosexuals should resist their gay temptations we are saying they can't experience love. Yet, Jesus never had physical romance with another human being, but he most assuredly experienced the deepest possible love.
I respect what this guy is doing and I'm not saying all his stuff is bad, but you should always be wary of everything you read, because a lot of times it's shaped into a very alluring package that is meant to confuse you.
P.S. just because homosexuality occurs in other – even all other – animals doesn't mean it's the way we were originally created. Everything in creation was unfortunately and indelibly touched by sin.
A. What exit poll? Do you know how statistically unaccurate and unreliable exit polls are?
B. It's pretty freaking clear. He believes something. In the United States of America, we get to do this. Regardless of what you believe, that is why our country is the best. You can believe what you want. Unfortunately for some (you?) it goes both ways.
By definition – if B is a Bigot, so are you. Bigot.
A. 2008 Obama v McCain
B. Not- relevant.
And no, calling someone a "bigot" who seemingly discriminates against Gay People does not make me a bigot also, unless you mean I am bigoted against people who are bigoted against me…which is simply convoluted and a logical fallacy.
A. Yikes, I 'hope' that's working out for you.
Please remember to read the fine print:
'Leave your sensitivity at the door'
bigot – : a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance
Where was the hatred and intolerance? Did anyone see hatred or intolerance anywhere in this blog post or comment section?
SETTLE DOWN. It's a blog about comedey characters.
I don't consider Brian to be a bigot.
I saw words that seemed unfair and illogical and I reacted by expressing my opinion, however through open dialogue I understand he is a good faith person although we may have some disagreements we don't have to be disagreeable.
But I would like to address your definition of bigot.
You say that hatred & intolerance are necessary in order for their to be bigotry.
That is not actually true.
First the concept of "intolerance"…We only "tolerate" things we don't like, so to ask for someone's "tolerance" is disingenuous, but this is not relevant to your definition.
Intolerance (and Tolerance) is a Noun
Intolerantly is an Adjective describing a Noun.
You have substituted the Adjective for the Noun creating =LOGICAL FALLACY. 0 points
As for Hatred-
White Men who owned Black Slaves in general did not hate them. Some were mistreated, no doubt. Some were probably hated, as that is human nature, but so is liking and loving human nature so I don't believe that all White Slave Owners as a rule Hated their Black Slaves.
But I do think, and I think you will agree, that ALL White Slave Owners Were Bigots.
What do you think?
I think you overanalyze everything in this world.
I don't say anything, I copied the definition from websters dictionary. I responded to you calling the author a bigot. You can submit your objections to Webster's obviously hasty and ill-conceived definition here: http://www.merriam-webster.com/contact/definition…
I'm sure they'd love to talk about logical fallacies, etc. I'm going to go ahead and read the funny articles here. Good luck!
Are these your words or merriam-webster's?
"Where was the hatred and intolerance? Did anyone see hatred or intolerance anywhere in this blog post or comment section?"
That is what I addressed. I have no argument and made no argument with the dictionary's definition.
BTW- You never answered my question. Why is that?
You are the smartest, most insightful blog commenter to ever live. You are also clearly more intelligent and WAY more of an expert on human nature, civil/gay rights, and almost everything else in this world than I am.
Do you feel better about yourself now? You've 'won' against every single other individual in this thread.
Now then; please go away, troll.
BTW- I addressed the issue of "unaccurate statistics"…
Yes yes, things are "unaccurate" and gays are bad. Whatever. All I'm here to say is that I'm a preschool teacher, and yes, kids ARE that big of jerks, even to strangers. That is all.
Ha, so it's true. Something has got to be done about kids these days!
Thanks Katy, but I should clarify your statement.
You see most Gays are Good, but the Bad ones are Better…
To not use login and reason, when given the capability to do so, is definitely a sin. Original Sin can have several meanings. I take the Eastern Orthodox view (that's what I was raised) that we do not bear any guilt whatsoever for the "sins of Adam and Eve." I do think there is evil in this world and it effects us in certain ways. My theology/spirituality differs from yours in that I believe there is an actual evil force (Satan) that is the cause of evil, and he is affecting every facet of the natural world at all times.
And again, you are using the term "love" to describe the love Jesus Christ has for us and the love we should have for each other. This is not necessarily the same use of "love" to describe what two lovers have for each other. The two uses obviously aren't mutually exclusive, but they also are not exactly the same thing.
I still don't know what I believe about homosexuality in and of itself. All I know is that:
A) No Christian has ever been able to convince me that it's a sin, and
B) No homosexual has ever been able to convince me that it's not.
So, the only thing I have to go on is what's in the Bible, and that is that living a homosexual life is wrong. I haven't studied exactly how it says it and why, and that is what i've been doing…slowly… over the past few years. It is a very interesting subject to me.
I get your point and I'm embarrassed because I hate when people do that to me. I have no argument with you, you're all good with me, no homo.