Test Your Knowledge of Movie Cliches

Answers and scoring at bottom of post.

  1. The hero and his less macho sidekick are about to take an alcoholic drink.  How will the sidekick react?
  2. Twelve men and a woman are walking through a desert.  Who is about to be attacked by a snake?
  3. What do people in the movies almost never do, even though they eat and drink frequently?
  4. If the front door to a restaurant can’t be used due to the appearance of thugs, what is the hero guaranteed to find in the restroom?
  5. What do you see when you look through binoculars in the movies?
  6. A painting of a remote relative of the hero or heroine is hanging on the wall.  Who does the picture resemble?
  7. If there are twins separated at birth in a movie, what’s odd about the long-lost twin?
  8. When a human has sex with an alien from another planet what is almost guaranteed to take place?
  9. What is strange about newborn babies in the movies?
  10. What do female characters in the movies never, ever do?
  11. In the movies, villains always make bombs that have what?
  12. What happens when words appear on a computer screen?
  13. In the movies, what should you always do if something is about to explode?
  14. What is always available in New York, even in the middle of a thunderstorm?
  15. A car has fallen off a cliff.  What will happen before it hits bottom?
  16. If you see two men carrying a large sheet of glass in a movie, what kind of scene is taking place and what is about to happen?
  17. During a chase scene, what kind of truck is inevitably going to appear and what is going to happen as a result.
  18. A movie is taking place in the 1950s.  What’s unusual about all the vintage cars in the scene?
  19. A man and woman are running away from a villain.  What is about to happen?
  20. A woman wearing high heels is running away from a villain.  What will she never do?
  21. Somebody is being chased past a bunch of trashcans.  What is the proper thing to do?
  22. The hero needs a change of clothes so he knocks out somebody to steal their outfit.  What’s peculiar about the result?
  23. What is peculiar about the letters that appear on a computer screen in the movies?
  24. A computer is about to fail.  What will happen when it does?
  25. How long does it take a hacker to break into the most secure computer in the world?
  26. In a war movie, what is going to happen to the guy who shows his buddy a picture of his sweetheart back home?
  27. You are in a hotel in Paris.  What can you see out the window?
  28. You are in a cave in the movies.  What’s unusual about this cave?
  29. If there is a candelabra in a sword fighting scene, what is going to happen?
  30. If there is a stairway in a sword fighting scene, what is going to happen?
  31. During a sword fight, the hero has jumped onto a table.  What is about to happen?
  32. If there is chandelier in a sword fight scene what will happen?
  33. When a house is haunted by ghosts or murders what do the people inside never do?
  34. A character has just become aware that there is an intruder in the house.  What is about to happen?
  35. The hero has just been worked over by a couple of thugs.  What will never happen?
  36. A character has just been shot.  What never happens?
  37. What is odd about movie children relative to their parents?
  38. A girl can’t find a date to the prom.  What’s unusual about the girl?
  39. Medieval peasants in the movies have filthy hair, dirty faces, ragged clothing and perfect what?
  40. A character in a musical has begun playing the guitar.  What’s interesting about the sound?
  41. A phone number is dialed during a movie. What are the first three digits?
  42. The hero has just killed lots of bad guys.  What will the police never do?
  43. What is never needed after sex in a movie?
  44. A couple in the movies has just had sex.  How will the bedsheets be arranged?
  45. Somebody is carrying a bag of groceries.  What can you see out the top?
  46. If a spaceship is pummeled almost to the point of compete destruction, what component never fails?
  47. At a critical moment, what is almost guaranteed to happen to the warp drive or hyper drive?
  48. Two spaceships are battling each other.  What has to be true before they can fire any weapons at one another?
  49. A movie teenager always has what outside his or her window?
  50. The hero has just killed a powerful and scary villain and is now comforting the distraught female.  What is about to happen?
  51. In war movies, what always happens to new replacements before you can get to know their names?
  52. A soldier is looking at a travel brochure of beautiful Europe.  What scene is about to be shown?
  53. In a western characters are hiding behind a wagon while being shot.  What will not happen?
  54. What never happens to gunfighters?
  55. What do cavewomen never have?
  56. The female lead is watching, wide-eyed, hand-to-mouth, as the villain beats up the hero.  What will she never do?
  57. A blind character regains his eyesight.  What will happen before the end of the movie?
  58. If a woman is pregnant, what is almost guaranteed to happen before the end of the movie?

  1. He will cough and have to be patted on the back.
  2. The woman.
  3. Use the toilet.
  4. An open window big enough to squeeze through.
  5. Two joined circles instead of one.
  6. The hero or heroine.
  7. He/she is evil.
  8. The female will become pregnant.
  9. They look like 6 month-old infants.
  10. Menstruate.
  11. Blinking displays saying how long until they explode.
  12. You hear the noise of a 1975 teletype machine.
  13. Run away from it, so that when it explodes, you can be propelled to safety in slow motion.
  14. A cab.
  15. It will explode.
  16. It’s a chase scene and a car is about to go through the glass.
  17. A semi-trailer truck will appear resulting in the death of an expendable character.
  18. They are all in absolutely mint condition.
  19. She will fall; he will go back to help her up and then half-carry her, even though this causes them to go slower than if they both started running again.
  20. Kick off her high heels and run in her bare feet.
  21. Roll the trashcans at the chaser, even though they are easily avoided by leaping over them.
  22. The clothes fit perfectly.
  23. They are generally one inch high.
  24. It will explode into a shower of sparks.
  25. Less than thirty seconds.
  26. He will be killed.
  27. The Eiffel tower.
  28. The floor is flat and there is plenty of light.
  29. The candles will be sliced off in a way that shows the skill of the swordsmen?
  30. The hero will be backed up the stairway and have to leap, or swing, to the floor.
  31. The villain will swipe at his feet, but the hero will easily jump so that the swipe misses.
  32. It will get cut down so that it falls on the villain’s henchmen.
  33. Leave the house.
  34. The character is about to be frightened by the cat.
  35. He will not have to recover from any injuries.
  36. The character never goes into shock.
  37. The children are always smarter.
  38. She’s unbelievably attractive but nobody seems to notice or care.
  39. Teeth.
  40. It eventually sounds like an orchestra.
  41. 555.
  42. Question him.
  43. A Kleenex.
  44. It will cover him to the waist and her to the neck.
  45. French bread or carrot tops.
  46. The artificial gravity.
  47. It will fail.
  48. They need to be in visual range.
  49. A drainpipe that is specially reinforced so that it can be used for exit and entry.
  50. The villain will come back to life.
  51. They get killed.
  52. A blown-up countryside.
  53. They will not get shot in the legs.
  54. Their guns never jam.
  55. Hairy armpits and legs.
  56. Call the police, run for help or hit the villain with something.  She may jump on the villain’s back and get thrown to the floor, though.
  57. The character will become blind again.
  58. She will have the baby.



Score 1 for each correct answer.

  • Less than 35: Where have you been the past 80 years?
  • 36 to 49: You are an experienced cliche-spotter.
  • More than 50:  You are watching too many bad movies.


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