Nobody wants to hear or see movie spoilers! — this is an unofficial rule now. However, even though we can’t banish people because of spoiling the storyline, it’s not like some movies have many revelations and plot twists left undisclosed anyway! After all, most of us have been saturated with movie cliches to a point that, more often than not, we can already anticipate what the film or series will revolve around — and the traits and personalities of characters who were cast to take on the role.

Movie cliches we know all too well by now:

6 Movie Cliches and Storylines

The Good Guy/Girl Always Wins

Who do you root for in movies about good vs. evil? Of course, it’s almost always the good guy or girl! But, wait — it can’t be an easy win for the protagonist. They always have to carry romantic, financial, physical, and mental baggage. It’s going to be a difficult journey for them, to say the least. But this underdog — you might not be ready for this! — always wins!

Hottie Falls in Love With Nottie

Too bad, we’re not in a movie — because had we been in one, we could’ve easily ended up with the man/woman of our dreams! The secret weapon to that is the hair straightener (if the main character has naturally textured, frizzy, wavy, or curly hair) or contact lenses (as opposed to eyeglasses) — using these items has stereotypically been counted as “makeovers.” Just use those and, voila! Thanks to these innovations, the previously “invisible people” are now instantly attractive in films.

Little Rascals Save the World

“Let’s split up!” — said no rational adult chased by a madman, ever! But, hey, maybe if you’re a kid, it’s easier to traverse the vents, hide in closets, or perfectly fit under the bed. However, it’s still unclear how almost every child in adventure movies just happens to be a treasure-finding, monster-defeating, lockpicking expert. Because in real life, it took 10 years before The Fenn Treasure was discovered!

Orphan Superheroes

As a general rule — try not to get robbed. And please do your best to keep your loved ones from being mugged! We all know — or should know by now — that these criminals are sometimes armed. But plenty of movie characters whose parents got robbed (and subsequently killed) feel as though they’re morally obligated to avenge the deaths or wrongdoings against their parents as a vigilante — but before they get to the actual killers, they have to fight a bunch of other bad guys in the city first!

More Orphans: Princes and Princesses

Nobody likes doing house chores. Unless a person unknowingly (or secretly) descended from a noble bloodline, or they’re somehow chosen to have a fairy godmother then just like the rest of us, they also have to maintain their home. But a story about doing chores won’t scream blockbuster — that’s why protagonists typically have to suffer at the hands of verbally abusive co-inhabitants! It’s practically the only way to meet their Prince or Princess!

The Soon-To-Be-Murdered Victim Doesn’t Know Where the Exit to the House Is

You should probably just get out of the house if there’s someone chasing you and trying to kill you. Call the cops — and move out of that home! But, nope — not for some horror or thriller box office hits. They just have to play cat and mouse until the morning comes — because it’s only then that they decide to call the police.

Stereotypical Movie Characters, How They’d Typically Act, and Other Kinds of Representation Needed

The Hot Quarterback Bully

If you can already spot who the head cheerleader-dating, academically-challenged, classmate-bullying athlete is, then that man is the Hot Quarterback Bully. Depending on the film or series, if they’re the protagonist, they’ll end up having a change of heart — and they might start seeing someone who’s definitely not a cheerleader or someone of the preppy clique. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable in the subject they’re forced to study with? Because that’s a story that’s *never* been considered before.

Why we need other varieties of the “Jock” trope:

Being an athlete is already an achievement — so it’s sometimes unlikely that their good looks were all that it took for the attractive male protagonist to be as successful as they’re foreseen to be. But just like with every single (easily recognizable) character, they became a stereotype for a reason!

However, not all “jocks” are like how they’re pictured to be on screen — many of these high school and college varsities can (and are) friends with people who are not like them. They don’t always bully people! It seems that more characters who are produced to be intimidating can divide people further — this can create an even bigger conflict among children as they might see films that say there should be a gap between them and people who are not like them.

The Sassy and Mean Cheerleader

Regina George, Quinn Fabray, Blair Waldorf — and if you’re a 90s kid, Lizzie McGuire’s Kate Sanders! Their background stories may vary, but most viewers already had an idea as to what these mean cheerleaders would be like as soon as they’re introduced in movies. They’re attractive, wealthy, and they’re total — you know, the B word. And because of that, we tend to love watching a mean girl downfall. Usually, the plot will revolve around a protagonist’s story (one who possesses almost exactly the opposite of the mean cheerleader’s traits), and, most of the time, this antagonist of a meanie just has to be humiliated to be put in her place!

What we’d like to see for a change:

The mean girl (and stereotypically the head cheerleader) storyline is what lots of people find to be predictable now. Their backstory usually involves having to live in a not-so-perfect home where they’re secretly dealing with, say, the divorce of their parents! However, not all Queen Bees are mean girls — and most of them probably also have more substance than wanting to be the “it-girl” of their school.

Though in real life, mean girls do actually exist. Fortunately, these days, we’re now seeing “women empowering other women” even in the younger generations.

The Squad Dummy

You can’t be a cheerleader without your entourage — but cue Jawbreaker, Mean Girls, and The Craft slo-mo school hallway walk — one member is expected to trip or fall. And she is the squad dummy! More often than not, she’s just there for comedic relief; she says questionable things, she doesn’t have much of a backstory, and her movie arc is always going to be her finding her own path that still involves stupidity — but the kind that works for her and favors her!

How being the “dumb friend” can give a false representation:

We can’t dismiss the fact that some people are more intellectually-challenged — even then, the definition of “adequacy” will almost always be subjective to everyone else. Sure, films tend to break the high-strung and emotionally-intense ice for comic relief. Sadly, however, there are oftentimes more serious reasons why some people don’t have the intellectual capacity to take in what’s transpiring in the situation or environment they’re in. Moreover, people like them can become the subject of bullying if being “slow” is made to be mocked in films.

The Busy NYC Fashion Magazine Columnist Who’s Too Busy to Find Love

While New York City is indeed a very busy place, and fashion magazines can be an intense yet rewarding industry, their columnists (who are too busy to date) don’t always accidentally bump into someone hot, spill coffee on the poor person’s jacket, and end up with them! Unless, of course, this is a common occurrence we’re yet to be informed of!

What people in NYC are actually like:

There’s a huge probability that one can find love in New York City — but don’t expect that this will be the case 100% of the time. And if you accidentally bump into someone, you’re more likely to hear another stereotypical line. The “watch where you’re going, you punk!” — instead of being asked out on a date!

Spicy Latina Mom (aka Mamacita)

Back to the house chores topic — if it’s already what many consider to be a dreadful task, how would someone find the strength and fortitude to still dress up in a sexy dress and high heels to do those? Because if you can maintain your home looking like that, then we’re now officially one of your biggest fans!

However, several Latina moms and girlfriends in movies tend to always find it necessary to entertain guests all dolled up! There’s usually not much of a backstory for this kind of character, except that she’s feisty when she questions her husband’s activities and decisions — she’s stereotypically known to use her loud mouth and impressively-maintained figure to get what she wants!

The realities of the Latinx community:

The Latinx community is undeniably hospitable — and it’s pretty much a given that they’re also attractive people. But using these two qualities to conceptualize a single type of character is said to be a misrepresentation of the community and its people. It’s also probably about time that being sassy and sexual (as their core personalities) shouldn’t be associated with Latinas; or anyone, for that matter.

Antisocial Punk Kid or Goth Girl/Guy

In real life, most of us can agree that, to some people, being goth or a punk kid isn’t just a phase. But if you’re a movie character, their roles usually just involve them staring intensely, insulting people with a bubbly personality, and saying weird stuff (bonus points if it’s about spiders, voodoo, or demons!).

How misrepresenting “Goth Kids” can become a problem:

Blood, death, and violence — if that’s what every punk kid or goth person wants, then there’s a chance that many of them would’ve been locked behind bars now! Just like how not all jocks and prom queens are bullies, not all goths and punk kids prefer being monochromatic and lone wolves.

The Quirky and Clumsy Best Friend or Sidekick

“Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.” — some roles are cast on these overly supportive yet kooky characters. There’s not much to say about them. They’re either single (and we don’t always get a backstory as to why) or they’re married with kids — but they’re burnt out from it! These sidekicks are either extremely ditzy or they’re always too questionably outspoken.

Why sidekicks and BFFs shouldn’t solely be background characters:

Almost all of us are someone’s best friend. And we might even take a bullet for our BFFs! — but we can safely say that we have more traits than just being “someone’s best friend.” That said, the “best friend” film character could use slightly more backstories and arcs! Because being a friend shouldn’t be a person’s only redeeming quality.

Everyone’s Flamboyant Gay Friend

The great thing about having a flamboyant gay friend in movies is their role is versatile — but they’re commonly the heterosexual man or woman protagonist’s “other” friend. But the keyword is “flamboyant.” Therefore, these characters are meant to be associated with all things designer brands, sass, and the voice of exaggeration but within reason — and sometimes, too many highfalutin reasons.

Why being gay shouldn’t be a trait — and exclusively be one:

This one’s perhaps the most obvious reason why it needs better film representation — not all queer people are aspiring couturiers. Heck, not even all of them like designer clothes. The LGBTQ community has its own culture — and they’re not just the sassy and flamboyant characters that many movies portray.

The Quiet or “Different” Girl/Guy

If the trials and tribulations of two hot people getting together — or getting it on — doesn’t appeal to you, then you’re probably rooting for the underdog, aka the (big screen-wise) not-so-conventionally attractive protagonist. These characters have always been made to be the original “Mr. or Ms. Steal Your Man/Woman.” They are your average Janes and Joes who just want to get through their lives normally. They might have initially been bullied by the attractive antagonists, but we all know by now that Quiet Guys/Girls will eventually triumph in movies — almost every single time, they eventually end up with their bully’s partner!

Why being different isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be:

Not everyone who doesn’t fit into the stereotype will get into a love triangle situation between two of the hottest people in school, the workplace, or the neighborhood. Most of the time, if a person is different — they’re just different! ‘Cause hey, aren’t we all? Being different may be encouraged and celebrated, but your reward for your uniqueness is unlikely to be the most attractive person most people swoon over.

And Cut! That’s a Wrap!

We all love a good movie to attentively tune in to. But many of what’s left for public consumption are stories and characters we’re already too familiar with. These movie cliches may always have an appeal to us and the masses, but, sometimes, real-life people who fall into these categories call for better representation where they aren’t generalized or placed in cookie-cutter narratives. Come on, Hollywood, do better! (Of course, if you indeed actually enjoy movie cliches — you do you, and don’t let anyone shame you for it!)

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