1. Having A Baby With An Ex/Friend/Stranger
As far as pilots go, the unexpected pregnancy might be the most overused trope, so much so that an unexpected pregnancy between a couple isn’t interesting anymore. In order for the pilot to grab people, or for a twist to shock viewers in a more established series, a woman needs to have a baby with a stranger. Hello, Jane the Virgin, Ross and Rachel on Friends, Accidentally on Purpose, One Big Happy, The New Normal and almost every other TV pregnancy. But how many artificial inseminations, surrogates and friends with baby pacts have you heard of in real life?
2. Marriage Pacts
Phoebe had one with both Joey and Ross (and actually Chandler too). But how many friends do you keep on the back burner IRL?
3. Father And Child Reunited After Decades
Jess and his dad on Gilmore Girls. Schmidt and his dad New Girl. Barney and his dad on How I Met Your Mother. Whatever is happening in the This Is Us trailer. And, basically a million other fictional reunions. TV makes it seems like fathers and children are reuniting every day after decades of not communicating. There are never any hard feelings or depressing backstories of abuse, neglect or addiction. I am genuinely asking this, do you know any fathers and children that have reunited after decades and picked up as though absolutely nothing happened and proceeded to have a relationship beyond pleasantries with daily contact? Seriously, I want to know.
4. Mother To Adult Children Falls Pregnant
People are clamoring after the infamous apple Instagram post from the Gilmore Girls account that Lorelai could be pregnant. On Parenthood, Lauren Graham’s character toyed with the idea of late in life motherhood while raising teens. And, Christina Braverman did have a baby just as her oldest left for college on the series. *SPOILER* Now, Xo on the Jane the Virgin is facing a positive pregnancy test. But let’s get real here, how many women do you know that have started parenthood basically a second time after raising children to adulthood? Mothers and children usually don’t have kids at the same time. But, hey I guess it can happen …
5. Not Dating Outside Your Friend Group For A Decade
It’s amazing how in a decade on a show friend groups become incestuous. What kind of friend to Ross would Joey be IRL for dating Rachel? The whole Barney, Robin and Ted triangle was weird and gross. And, don’t even get me started on the cast of Gossip Girl.
6. A Couple’s Parents Date
No one seems to notice the light incest or think it is creepy. Luke and Lorelai — ok Jess was a nephew. Lily and Rufus. And, Lily’s dad and Marshall’s mom on HIMYM.
7. Staying Friends — Best Friends — After Breaking Up
Once again, Ross and Rachel (jeez that relationship was unrealistic). How the heck do Nick and Jess live together? And, of course, HIMYM.
8. Resolving Conflicts In 30 Minutes Or Less
We would all save a lot of time if this happened in real life.
9. Creepy Gestures IRL Are Actually Romantic Dates On TV
Standing outside of someone’s window holding a stolen blue French horn is creepy. So is saving egg shells from a first date. And, delivering a thousand yellow daisies to a place of work is just unrealistic.
10. You Can’t Date Someone Because Of A Flimsy Excuse
A new co-worker, an ex shows up or a weird shared glance. Basically the tussle of a butterfly’s wings can keep two TV characters at bay in order to draw out sexual tension. But, at some point this becomes excruciating.
11. Romantic Firsts
First kisses and first times are usually pretty unsexy. Not saying they aren’t enjoyable, just not sexy. On TV, however, firsts are fashionable, well lit, set to romantic music and super sexy.
12. Inability To Get To Important Event
Schmidt couldn’t make it to he and CeCe’s wedding on New Girl. There’s that hilarious Fresh Prince where he is stuck in the basement with his date who keeps removing fake nails, eyelashes, hair, etc. And, Ross almost missed Ben’s birth on Friends. This trope is tired, y’all.
13. Potent (Sometimes Birth Control Defying) Sperm
How do Ross Geller and Christopher Hayden have two illegitimate children each?
14. Never Going To Work Or School
Or have co-worker friends, unless it is a designated workplace comedy.
15. Excruciating Misunderstandings
See: Three’s Company and Frasier. Communicate, people!
16. Affordable Rent
Friends’ apartments, Carrie’s apartment, really any fictional New York apartment.
17. No One Talks To Parents And Siblings/Disappearing Parents And Siblings
Remember how Donna had a sister at one point on That ‘70s Show? And Robin on HIMYM? And, Jess on New Girl had a sister for a short story arc. On buddy shows, it seems friends come first and families come never.
18. Who’s Cleaning That Up?
Remember when Carrie knocked that vase off the table after Berger broke her heart? Who is picking that up later?
19. Who’s Lighting All Of Those Candles
Remember Monica and Chandler’s proposal? At a certain point, it’s more of a fire hazard than a romantic gesture.
20. Why Is Everyone Always So Dressed Up?
Watching TV with your roommate? Just had sex? Eating takeout in your living room? Doesn’t matter how casual the situation, on a situation comedy people always seem to be put together with full hair, makeup, accessories and even shoes.