5 Things That Only Happen In TV Shows And Movies

1. Chronic misunderstandings

People misunderstanding each other and having a general lack of communication are the bread and butter of TV and film. Someone assumes something or mishears a conversation and all of a sudden we have a conflict that fuels an entire episode or movie. This might’ve been more plausible in the ’60s and ’70s when people communicated mostly via smoke signals but it’s not possible in 2012. With texting, Twitter, and Facebook, there are no misunderstandings. We always know EXACTLY what’s going on. Any confusion can simply be cleared up via text or seeing where someone’s checked in on FourSquare. We no longer have the LUXURY to be misunderstood.

2. The dorky girl getting the hot guy in high school

Listen, I’m a firm believer in thinking that someone is NEVER out of your league. Unless you’re a homeless person trying to bone Brad Pitt, you can pretty much have sex with whoever you want if you put your mind to it. High school, however, is a different story. There are dating rules everyone must abide by, one of them being that the jock will never date the resident art freak. He won’t just develop a conscience overnight and realize that the geeky girl will be a total babe in 2.5 years and is actually a lot cooler than his cheerleading girlfriend. No way, it’s their job to reject people who are less popular and preserve the antiquated social order. So, yeah, I call major BS on something like Samantha Baker and Jake Ryan getting together at the end of Sixteen Candles. First of all, if this were real life, Jake Ryan would’ve been a total dick. In the movie, he’s portrayed as being over the whole popularity thing, secretly sensitive and so misunderstood. Um, no. The real Jake Ryan would’ve been a misogynistic bully that laughed in the face of a girl like Molly Ringwald. Second of all, he wouldn’t have just pawned off his hot blonde girlfriend on Anthony Michael Hall to get with Sam. If this were college, maybe the two would’ve met in their English Literature class and bonded over some dopey author. Sam would think to herself, “This guy is legitimately retarded but after being a social outcast for so long, I deserve to date someone dumb and hot.” And Jake would’ve been down because Sam seems smart and pretty, the kind of girl he should marry or whatever. It would work then but it wouldn’t have worked in high school.

3. People never having money problems

Unless a movie is specifically about the hardships of poverty, money is NEVER factored into a movie or TV show’s plot. Everyone just has a lot of it! They have a great job and a nice apartment. They’re comfortably bohemian bougie. They can afford a dream kitchen with expensive appliances and have a luxurious bed because they make a good salary as someone who, um, does something vague in a chic, well-lit office.

4. People get in terrible accidents and survive unscathed

Maybe this is a sensitive topic for me, seeing as how I was just CLIPPED by a speeding car and almost died, but I’m so tired of Hollywood showing people get hit by buses and cars and surviving only with a scratch and a hilarious neck brace. If this were real life, they would be dead as a doornail! Like dead instantly. No funny brace on their body, just them being featured in a coffin. End scene/life.

5. Your life’s progress can be measured by an inspiring montage

I wonder if my life would seem more exciting if it received the occasional montage. Set to the uplifting song “Perfect Day” by Hoku, it would be a series of shots of me laughing in the park with my friends, hanging out on a stoop, laughing at some joke in a crowded restaurant, getting food out of someone’s teeth and then dry humping them in my bedroom, crying in my living room, attending a kickboxing class and, finally, staring at the Statue Of Liberty. Wouldn’t that make my life seem cool? I typically prefer real life to movies but I wouldn’t turn down the occasional life montage. TC mark

image – Sixteen Candles

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

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  • LP

    people hang up the phone without saying goodbye. WHO DOES THAT?

    • AnnieGirl

      um, see: my dad and my boss. 

      this isn’t that uncommon.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=747626213 Asmaa Faris

         lol what is it with dads and hanging up without saying goodbye. Mine never does haha.

    • Charles

      In Asia, you don’t really say goodbye. It’s only really America where you have the stated goodbye at the end

      • Tin

        Charles, are you serious? I live in Asia and you have to say goodbye!

  • Dayle Pereira

    Soooo true!

  • http://twitter.com/emilcDC Emil Caillaux

    There’s a corollary to No.1 which I like to call The LOST Paradox: people see something insane and they don’t share it with the rest of the (cast)? If I saw a monster in a jungle I’d probably tell everyone within earshot.

  • Tommy D

    I have to disagree with the first one. Texts and social media can clear things up, but they provide plenty more opportunities for people to misunderstand each other.

  • Anonymous

    Fun article Ryan, though I completely disagree with your first point.  I don’t think technology  clears up misunderstandings, if it does, it’s on a very superficial level.  For authentic communication, we will always need face to face and even then time and life experience are required and sometimes that isn’t enough (teenagers).  Technology may show us facts (status updates, dinner locales, etc.) but it does not reveal what dwells within.  

    • lucille

      omg shutup

      • Anonymous

        You’re posting on “Thought” Catalog…is that the best you can do?

  • MP9090909

    HOKU….#dying

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know what high school you went to Ryan, but I was the dorky girl who dated the hot guy. And yes, I had both glasses and braces at the time.

    • Abz

      Well, I don’t know what high school YOU went to.

      • Anonymous

        Apparently to an awesome one :P

    • Tin

      You were either a dork but kind of attractive OR the guy was hot only to you and your peers

  • Tipz04

    It is a luxury indeed to be misunderstood. But as they say, people love creating their own drama!

  • Bridget

    I actually can’t with that last paragraph. It’s just too good 

  • mer

    i was the dorky girl in 2!  it does happen!  anecdotal evidence is the strongest evidence!

    jk the hot guy in my high school wasn’t a total dick so i guess that disqualifies me.

  • Lynne

    Facebook is the ultimate life montage

    • Fira

      not as good

  • Anonymous

    #1 happens when you’re on foreign exchange.

  • Amber

    Uh, you should switch your gender roles for #2, because I’m pretty sure that’s the last time a “dorky” girl ever got a hot guy in a movie or on TV. All I ever see are dorky/nerdy/unattractive/overweight dudes getting ridiculously hot females (hello, every Judd Apatow movie ever?)

  • Star1ight_dancer

    Number 1 and 2: Spot on.

  • Supahhcool

    a haiku for you:
    ryan o’connell
    i love your humor writing
    also your #dark shit

  • Lo

    actually, when i was in high school, popularity had literally no influence on the dating scene. jocks weren’t  popular… in fact, the stoners were the most popular. every hated the cheerleaders. 

  • Tenna

    “With texting, Twitter, and Facebook, there are no misunderstandings. We always know EXACTLY what’s going on.”
    Are you kidding? Of course there are misunderstandings. :)) Ever heard of ‘misinterpretation’? That happens and people fly off the handle quite often.

  • Marla

    I love all of this, except that sometimes, even when technology puts the evidence in front of you (AND CLEARLY), the “misunderstandings” that occur do so because people refuse to believe that it means exactly what it does, tricking themselves into denial. 

  • Tin

    Why are you guys hating on #1? He said CHRONIC misunderstandings that lead to big decisions such as killing the other character. Not just petty misunderstandings IRL that lead to petty fights.

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