"Medieval peasants had perfect teeth."
June 16, 2019 9:54 PM   Subscribe

Television Heaven tweeted 20 Things You Know Because of Television. Writer John Donoghue asked his followers "what else can we add?"
posted by Johnny Wallflower (145 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
 
Heterosexual women care nothing at all about looks.

Dead bodies, regardless of vintage, are odourless until you can see them, at which point the smell instantly becomes overwhelming.

Lawyers don’t specialize in any particular area of law.

Adults in crisis should simply ask the nearest precocious child for advice.
posted by armeowda at 10:38 PM on June 16 [26 favorites]


I've heard that medieval peasants did actually have pretty good teeth, because they had practically no sugar in their diets apart from occasional fruit. Dunno how true that is, though.
posted by rifflesby at 10:41 PM on June 16 [16 favorites]


#NotAllPeasants
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:44 PM on June 16 [17 favorites]


Anyone could be a Cylon.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:08 PM on June 16 [16 favorites]


c'mon, what about the alltime classic: in any conversation between two people where one has to say something extremely urgent, that person will always be interrupted or dismissed before they can say it.
posted by wibari at 11:17 PM on June 16 [14 favorites]


This seems to be just a really super abbreviated form of tvtropes.org.

(WARNING: DO NOT FOLLOW ABOVE LINK LEST YE BE LOST FOREVER)
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:32 PM on June 16 [51 favorites]


Lawyers don’t specialize in any particular area of law.

They flirt by calling each other "Counselor".
posted by thelonius at 2:52 AM on June 17 [11 favorites]


Forensic scientists get to participate in arresting the perp.
posted by Molesome at 3:16 AM on June 17 [12 favorites]


The best way to investigate and search for evidence is to turn off all the lights, bust out your purple flashlight, turn up some Radiohead-esque muzak and go to town.
posted by Fizz at 3:20 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


It's dead easy to hotwire a car. Even faster if you have a foil-wrapped stick of Wrigley's gum.
posted by chavenet at 3:27 AM on June 17 [4 favorites]


All lawyers are model-level attractive
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:34 AM on June 17 [4 favorites]


Has confronting your nemesis left you battered and unconscious? My friend, all this can be fixed if you hallucinate a pep talk from a dead person.
posted by pipeski at 3:43 AM on June 17 [39 favorites]


* Very smart people can predict what others will do and say, often down to the hour or even minute, with enough precision that they can construct elaborate plans around this predictability.

* People in failing relationships can always be spotted because one of them -- in cis-het relationships, always the woman -- is reading in bed instead of having sex or, for older couples, warmly sharing the details of their day, a conversation which cannot be had anytime before going to bed.

* Court cases are always determined by one of three things: a dramatic piece of cross-examination, a powerful closing statement, or the late discovery of key new evidence.

* Similarly, good defense attorneys only represent clients who are actually innocent; any defense attorney representing a client who is actually guilty is either an amoral sleazeball or a hopeless naïf. The only bad prosecutors are those who are openly bigoted to the point that everyone int he courtroom knows it.

* Even if you jut go to the courthouse to get married, you will have an elaborate ceremony -- often a quirky one -- involving lots of friends and/or family.

* Most workplaces allow for a very long lunch, and going to table service establishments is the norm. At workplaces without long lunch breaks, one employee is always allowed extra time to pick up food orders for everyone else in the office.

* Paradoxically, society is full of perfect CCTV cameras, databases with everything ever in them, and DNA records for ever single living person and quite a few dead ones...and yet many people still manage to conceal shocking secrets with ease or even fake their deaths or assume false identities so effectively that it takes years to expose them.

* All happy, successful adults make a big deal out of their birthdays, celebrating with lots of family and friends on the actual anniversary of their birth or crossing something big off of their bucket lists; no one ever waits until the weekend, has a small quiet birthday, or a perfectly ordinary day. However, there is a chance that literally everyone will forget your birthday despite repeated hints, and will later have to make it up with acts of extreme generosity.
posted by kewb at 3:45 AM on June 17 [16 favorites]


Any time someone walks down a dark alley or through a set of bushes, they disturb a cat that yowls angrily.

(Somehow no matter what show it is, the cat will sound exactly the same as ever other cat yowling on every other show, it’s almost as if no sound engineer in the world has ever thought to record a different cat or use an alternate take from the same cat even. That cat yowl takes me right out of the show every time. It’s the Wilhelm scream of cats. Which is funny because a Wilhelm doesn’t break the action for me, but the cat yowl does. Go figure.)
posted by caution live frogs at 4:41 AM on June 17 [30 favorites]


If you have lost something or need a clue, all you need to do is sit down despondently/frustratedly and allow your gaze to meander around until it inevitably falls right on the thing you need to find.

People can talk while on a ventilator.

People wake up from comas instantly and looking and acting like they just had a long nap.

Any horse will always whinny/any dog will always whine or bark/any cat will always meow.

Work hours are extremely flexible.
posted by biscotti at 4:42 AM on June 17 [4 favorites]


Everyone religiously deletes their text threads so every time they send a text it's the only on in the thread
posted by FirstMateKate at 4:47 AM on June 17 [16 favorites]


Forensic scientists get to participate in arresting the perp

This is because Forensic Science takes no time at all, there is no case backlog and the labs are fully, even over-staffed. Otherwise they're just standing around in their gloomy, poorly-lit labs having coffee. I think they just want a bit of sun.
posted by bonehead at 4:51 AM on June 17 [7 favorites]


Stranded after a plane crash? Lost in the desert? Unjustly imprisoned? In a hospital bed? Fear not, your personal grooming will magically maintain itself! Also, in the first two cases: don't worry, no matter how pale your skin, for the time being you're impervious to the rays of the sun.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 4:53 AM on June 17 [15 favorites]


No one says goodbye when ending a phone call, they just hang up as soon as they have the information they sought.

Whatever you need to know, just turn on the TV. It will be tuned to the news, and the next story will be relevant to you.

Any computer system, no matter how alien, can be hacked.

Hacking computers, or defending against attackers, is an activity akin to playing video games, done in real time and takes only a minute or two.
posted by jzb at 4:55 AM on June 17 [11 favorites]


People who are injured or are spattered with blood as a result of killing someone else will make no effort to wipe off the blood and will casually walk around looking like a Jackson Pollock painting.
posted by jzb at 4:58 AM on June 17 [10 favorites]


Stranded after a plane crash? Lost in the desert? Unjustly imprisoned? In a hospital bed? Fear not, your personal grooming will magically maintain itself! Also, in the first two cases: don't worry, no matter how pale your skin, for the time being you're impervious to the rays of the sun.

Indeed, if you can maintain a three-day growth of beard indefinitely without ever being clean shaven or it growing out slightly.

This trope used to bug me until watching Walking Dead where they make a point of characters having greasy, wet-looking nasty hair for entire seasons. FFS, if the zombie apocalypse comes I'm scrounging battery operated clippers or something and just keeping everything completely trimmed. So gross.
posted by jzb at 5:01 AM on June 17 [6 favorites]


Demons who return to earth will inevitably try to destroy the earth, instead of-- idk-- vacationing in Bali.

There are special staff in hospitals who apply makeup expertly when recovering from gunshot or cancer.
posted by frumiousb at 5:04 AM on June 17 [4 favorites]


Everyone arrives home from work or the grocery store through the front door of the house, and not the door to the garage where they parked the car.

Also, anyone coming home from the grocery has exactly one bag of groceries. For a family of four.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:06 AM on June 17 [8 favorites]


Any night scene in a non-urban area must have an owl hooting.
posted by CrowGoat at 5:12 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


"STAY WITH ME!" is a very important first aid utterance.
posted by srboisvert at 5:18 AM on June 17 [15 favorites]


A woman can be injured in the line of duty or as a victim, but the injury will not be permanent, will not disfigure her or mar her beauty in any way, especially if she is a main character.
posted by bunderful at 5:19 AM on June 17 [3 favorites]


All police departments have massive wide screen monitors everywhere...
...With gorgeous, animated interfaces that would put a video game to shame...
...Operated by slightly less-gorgous "techs"...
...Who can pull up any piece of information, about anyone, anywhere. This involves "cross-referencing."
posted by PlusDistance at 5:22 AM on June 17 [4 favorites]


Electric heart paddles in hospitals never work the first or second time, but only after someone says, "You have to call it. He's gone." And then one last, "Clear!" zap! And the patient's heart rhythm is right back to normal.
posted by xingcat at 5:24 AM on June 17 [6 favorites]


Gold bars weighing about 30 lbs each, can be packed in a suitcase and carried by the handle.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:28 AM on June 17 [15 favorites]


In the past, real or fantasy, men look like murder hobos, while women have perfectly on point eyebrows and all hair is groomed to 21st century standards.

(looking at you Black Sails, GoT)
posted by betweenthebars at 5:35 AM on June 17 [26 favorites]


Only applicable for special movies:

Anyone left alone for more than 15 seconds will immediately begin masturbating.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:44 AM on June 17 [5 favorites]


Anytime anyone ever goes to speak into a microphone, there will be a quick blip of feedback.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:49 AM on June 17 [5 favorites]


"STAY WITH ME!" is a very important first aid utterance.

More specifically, it lets the patient know that their death is imminent and unavoidable, and that they should quickly say their last words.
posted by solotoro at 5:55 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Flaming torches will burn vigorously for many hours, giving a powerful light without ever burning down at all.
posted by Segundus at 5:59 AM on June 17 [4 favorites]


Lesbians and queer women generally are very thin, have long hair that is heavily styled in a very feminine manner, wear extremely dressy feminine clothes, never wear anything that suggests queerness in any way and are only ever attracted to other very straight-feminine looking women who are thin, etc. There are no fashions, mannerisms, haircuts, ways of being femme, etc that are particular to queer women, and there are only three recognizably butch women in all of history, unless you count Shane, in which case there are four.
posted by Frowner at 6:02 AM on June 17 [42 favorites]


All spacecraft have artificial gravity, and with very few exceptions (2001, The Martian), never via centrifugal force, but by some unexplained and completely reliable technology.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:20 AM on June 17 [8 favorites]


People above the age of 25 really, really care about Halloween

When you're saying goodbye to someone in a car, make sure to pound on the car's roof a couple times so they know it's okay to drive away

Queer sex always involves a lot of playful wrestling
posted by Automocar at 6:27 AM on June 17 [9 favorites]


It's possible to render absolutely anyone unconscious by hitting them really hard; it doesn't matter where you punch them, or what object you hit them with: they'll wake up half an hour later, wince, and be otherwise unaffected.

Also, if you're engaged in fisticuffs with a group of bad fellows, you'll find that they don't get back up once you've knocked them down. They also vanish entirely from the plot when you leave the scene.
posted by pipeski at 6:32 AM on June 17 [8 favorites]


No one says goodbye when ending a phone call, they just hang up as soon as they have the information they sought

This has always bothered the hell out of me. WTF?? Literally NO ONE does this IRL. No one. Amirite?
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 6:39 AM on June 17 [9 favorites]


There are no fashions, mannerisms, haircuts, ways of being femme, etc that are particular to queer women, and there are only three recognizably butch women in all of history, unless you count Shane, in which case there are four.

Except for now we have Gentleman Jack so...five?
posted by emjaybee at 6:45 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


No matter how bad the apocalypse (Waterworld, The Walking Dead) or disaster (Lost), no matter how medieval the setting (Game of Thrones), women will have perfectly shaved armpits, legs, and pubic areas. The hair on their head may be messy or greasy to show how Serious and Primitive their circumstances are, but their armpits will be smooth and hairless.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 7:01 AM on June 17 [25 favorites]


Just enhance the image.
posted by salt grass at 7:42 AM on June 17 [12 favorites]


I will say that regarding the plane landing thing, MythBusters did an episode on it and it's actually true. They went 2 for 2 getting talked through landing in a full 747 flight sim with no knowledge of how to fly at all, only by talking with an experienced air traffic controller over the radio.
posted by tocts at 7:57 AM on June 17 [20 favorites]


Bad guys are always nicer to the hero than the good guys are to the bad guys, even the main one. The bad guy always stops to talk to the hero, when he captures him the torture is typically pretty light, and then always leaves the lousiest of his henchmen to kill the hero in a dramatic and easily foiled way.

When the hero gets to kill the main baddie, he throws him out a window or some other dramatic death without even a witty quip.
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:58 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


It is possible to wake up in the morning with a full face of makeup without any of it having smudged in the least or gotten onto the pillowcase.
posted by Karmakaze at 7:58 AM on June 17 [6 favorites]


This trope used to bug me until watching Walking Dead where they make a point of characters having greasy, wet-looking nasty hair for entire seasons.

And the clothes rotting off them! They surely must have passed a Wal-Mart or Target or something in all their wanderings. Get a fresh t-shirt or jacket off the racks! It's the apocalypse!


Anyone left alone for more than 15 seconds will immediately begin masturbating.

You don't?

My contribution: two people can type simultaneously on the same keyboard.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 7:59 AM on June 17 [7 favorites]


This seems to be just a really super abbreviated form of tvtropes.org.

(WARNING: DO NOT FOLLOW ABOVE LINK LEST YE BE LOST FOREVER)


Just look through the comments until the first time you see the phrase "this troper". You'll be cured immediately.


If you're using a name brand product you always have the logo clearly in shot, er, facing out from you towards anyone who happens to be looking.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:12 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


At a bar, if you tell the bartender, “I’ll have a beer”, he or she will know exactly which brand and type you want without you ever having to specify anything more specific.

Despite many major professional sports leagues having overlapping seasons, when a man asks another man, “Did you see the Big Game last night?” the other man will always know exactly what he is referring to without needing any further clarification.

People get very embarrassed after they have sex to the point that when they lie in bed afterwards they make sure to adjust the sheets in such a way as to make sure any and all naked parts are completly covered by blankets, despite having just seen each other naked.
posted by The Gooch at 8:16 AM on June 17 [6 favorites]


You can drive for miles in dense urban traffic at fairly high speeds without ever encountering an obstacle, all while looking sideways with great intensity and speaking and gesturing with both hands off the wheel to the attractive person in the passenger seat, who is completely unconcerned about dying in a fireball.

ETA and you’re not in a Tesla
posted by spitbull at 8:19 AM on June 17 [6 favorites]


I came into this thread hoping for dental care tips.
posted by clawsoon at 8:20 AM on June 17 [25 favorites]


Also the roads in major American cities don’t have any potholes and driving on them is a smooth flow at all times.
posted by spitbull at 8:27 AM on June 17 [5 favorites]


It is possible to wake up in the morning with a full face of makeup without any of it having smudged in the least or gotten onto the pillowcase.

One of the things I appreciated about The Marvelous Mrs Maisel is that is shows her specifically engineering this (taking off her makeup only after her husband is asleep, setting things up so she's awake before he is so she can reapply it).

Adding to the list:

If a gunshot does not kill or immediately cripple you, you can shrug off it's effects in under a week. No one ever needs to go to physical therapy for being shot in the shoulder or arm and having to relearn how to use those body parts again.

Accuracy is inversely proportional to the importance of the target. Mooks can't hit the good guy and the good guy's allies can't hit the main bad guy.

The command staff of any military vessel/station, either present or future, will always be among those boarding ships or exploring areas. They will never have designated boarding/exploration teams that they stay well away from.

Everyone has the abilities of a highly trained escape driver, they only need the right circumstances to trigger them.

Stalking is romantic, when she says she isn't interested, you just need to stalk her harder. (Exception: horror movies)
posted by Hactar at 8:31 AM on June 17 [9 favorites]


You can drive from any part of the USA to any other part of the USA in 24 hours or less UNLESS you are on a dedicated Road-trip in which case, getting from any point to any other point will take a least a week.
posted by Faintdreams at 8:33 AM on June 17 [8 favorites]


Jumping through glass windows never results in lacerations/cuts from the glass.
posted by Faintdreams at 8:33 AM on June 17 [5 favorites]


When detectives come to your home or place of work to question you about a serious crime, speak to them casually while you go about doing whatever you were doing before they arrived.
posted by blairsyprofane at 8:39 AM on June 17 [9 favorites]


"#9: During a police investigation, it will always be necessary to visit a strip club" got inverted by (I think) Criminal Minds. In one episode, one agent tells the other "The witness is the bouncer at a strip club" (at which point my eyes began rolling) - but they arrive at the club and interrogate the witness outside on the sidewalk, with one agent actually saying "Hey, thanks for meeting us outside."
posted by Mogur at 8:44 AM on June 17 [18 favorites]


...With gorgeous, animated interfaces that would put a video game to shame...

And each one unique to the film/show that you are watching. (But then again, in today's world a common user-experience no longer happens, every app has become unique...)

Maybe things have gotten better, but IIRC/AFAIK the only movies/shows to have gotten computer os's (and hacking) correct have been; The Matrix, Mr.Robot, Halt and Catch Fire and Silicon Valley (maybe? I haven't started this one yet).
posted by jkaczor at 8:46 AM on June 17


So let's do superhero movies. The "Into the Spiderverse" was really bad and tropey about all of these, and I wanted to like it but it sucked if you thought about it for more than 5 seconds.

The 'magic' than creates the superhero does all the heavy lifting.
The skills needed to be a superhero can be learned in a week - defeating bad guys, stressful situations, killing your brother, whatever.
The emotional impacts are pretty minor. Killing people and fighting is really no big deal.
The previous superheroes (if your universe has them) that were older and more experienced couldn't finish the job that the 13 year old new hero can do.
Everyone automatically knows how to aim and shoot all sorts of weapons and do the 'hacking'.
posted by The_Vegetables at 8:46 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


[In shows with limited/no nudity] Women sleep in their bras.

A woman never sleeps in a t-shirt/pajama bottom combo unless she is in the before-phase of her transformation into conventionally attractive/sexy woman.
posted by acidnova at 8:47 AM on June 17 [6 favorites]


Dead bodies, regardless of vintage, are odourless until you can see them, at which point the smell instantly becomes overwhelming.

Bones was pretty good about this - they were crispy, juicy and stanky... Actually, caught an episode last week - they were entering a house, and the smell was horrible and they were fully expecting to find a body, but ended up finding someone with serious wounds, still alive and essentially rotting... (But, of course the chief forensic bone scientist was rushing into the house with her FBI husband, so...)
posted by jkaczor at 8:48 AM on June 17


The undead will dutifully continue mowing the mostly-abandoned world.

Rats and mice squeak continuously.

Traveling faster than light is possible, often by some kind of magical bending of space.

Teleportation doesn't kill you and send a duplicate to your destination.
posted by sonascope at 8:58 AM on June 17 [8 favorites]


Oh, all professors have huge multi-chambered offices that look like libraries, a dedicated administrative assistant, and a passel of adoring (and exceptionally attractive) students hanging on their every word.

Also if there was a murder, they did it.
posted by spitbull at 9:07 AM on June 17 [6 favorites]


That you can smashed on the head with the butt of a gun and just suffer a few hours of unconsciousness and a headache.
posted by SA456 at 9:11 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Most of the time when women have sex, they take off all of their clothing except for their bra.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:11 AM on June 17 [4 favorites]


No matter what job you have, it will pay for a spacious apartment with multiple bedrooms in a desirable location of a large city.

An apartment inhabited only by one or more men will invariably be clean and decorated. Unless they're the killer, in which case their apartment, invariably located in a large building full of similar apartments, will include a secret room with all the evidence plainly laid out for anyone to see. (What, the management didn't show you any floor plans with secret rooms when you were looking to move?)
posted by Autumnheart at 9:13 AM on June 17 [8 favorites]


The quality of a soldier is inversely proportionate to how much of their uniform and gear they have.

Everyone has a snooze button in their jaw that can be activated with a right hook.

Every old police officer has a surprising amount of savvy about one youth-oriented thing.
posted by Reyturner at 9:14 AM on June 17 [4 favorites]


Songwriting is such a magical process that when the songwriter plays the song for the first time, their band mates can follow along and improvise complementary instrumental parts instantly, with no stop/starts.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:18 AM on June 17 [5 favorites]


I came into this thread hoping for dental care tips.

Eat a lot less sugar.

Just look through the comments until the first time you see the phrase "this troper". You'll be cured immediately.

Websites have comments?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:21 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


They will always find a magical parking spot right in front of any building they need to go into, especially in big cities.
posted by cass at 9:29 AM on June 17 [4 favorites]


Eat a lot less sugar.

We didn't have any sugar in my house growing up, but my teeth weren't great. Then I heard a dentist on the radio one day saying that sticky carb-rich food like oatmeal is really bad for your teeth.

D'oh!
posted by clawsoon at 9:40 AM on June 17


It's possible to render absolutely anyone unconscious by hitting them really hard

Just think of all the neurological issues B.A. Baracus must've suffered later in life from all those conks on the head his comrades would administer to get him to sleep on airplanes.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:41 AM on June 17 [3 favorites]


They will always find a magical parking spot right in front of any building they need to go into, especially in big cities.

With no parking meter.
posted by The Gooch at 9:47 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Get a fresh t-shirt or jacket off the racks! It's the apocalypse!

It's all those fast fashion zombies that are the problem here.
posted by bonehead at 9:52 AM on June 17 [5 favorites]


With no parking meter.

That you pull into nose first and line right up with the curb, never having to reverse.
posted by spitbull at 9:53 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Also people in high powered jobs seem to have tons of spare time.
posted by spitbull at 9:54 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


When the hero gets to kill the main baddie, he throws him out a window or some other dramatic death without even a witty quip.

Not in any Bond or Scwarzenegger film I've seen. In those, no bad guy dies unquipped.


...they make sure to adjust the sheets in such a way as to make sure any and all naked parts are completly covered by blankets...

And they often put on underwear before getting out from under those covers.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:04 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


San Francisco is warm and has ample parking.
posted by corey flood at 10:06 AM on June 17 [10 favorites]


Stranded after a plane crash? Lost in the desert? Unjustly imprisoned? In a hospital bed? Fear not, your personal grooming will magically maintain itself! Also, in the first two cases: don't worry, no matter how pale your skin, for the time being you're impervious to the rays of the sun.

ugh, the Lost scenario: I will die of sunburn while going through abrupt Prozac withdrawal...
posted by supermedusa at 10:10 AM on June 17 [4 favorites]


> Most workplaces allow for a very long lunch, and going to table service establishments is the norm. At workplaces without long lunch breaks, one employee is always allowed extra time to pick up food orders for everyone else in the office.

Yes, this always seems insane to me. Table service adds at least 15 minutes to a lunch; travel time to-and-from a lunch meeting adds about 30 minutes. So that's 45 minutes. If you've taken the time to make this amount of time for a lunch meeting, you're going to want to spend an hour. So that's an hour and 45 minutes already that are not billable hours.

And most busy people tend to have breakfast meetings (7am) anyway. And for half an hour.
posted by JamesBay at 10:11 AM on June 17


Labs are large, clean, uncluttered museums of science with huge interactive hologram displays, back lit shelves for like 3 flasks, and certainly no box labeled potassium chloride but instead has a jar in it that no one has touched since the 80's. No wrinkled, stained post-it notes taped to a piece of equipment, or tubs of glassware soaking in an acid wash solution that you think you made a week ago.
posted by wellifyouinsist at 10:15 AM on June 17 [11 favorites]



Labs are large, clean, uncluttered museums of science with huge interactive hologram displays, back lit shelves for like 3 flasks, and certainly no box labeled potassium chloride but instead has a jar in it that no one has touched since the 80's. No wrinkled, stained post-it notes taped to a piece of equipment, or tubs of glassware soaking in an acid wash solution that you think you made a week ago.


Also, scientists just spend their money on whatever the fuck they want - no one ever runs into problems buying things that aren't on the grant, etc.
posted by Frowner at 10:19 AM on June 17 [4 favorites]


And anyone working with chemicals and biomaterial requiring nitrile gloves don't bother taking them off properly to avoid getting anything on their bare hands.
posted by acidnova at 10:23 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


During all police investigations, it will be necessary to visit a strip club at least once.

This applies to more than just cop shows.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:23 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Shoes-off homes don't exist. And it's totally cool to keep your shoes on even when you prop your feet up on a table or collapse onto a couch or bed after a tough day.

Also nobody has to pick up their dog's poo when out for a walk. They don't even bring a bag along for the purpose because they know it won't be needed.
posted by theory at 10:34 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


That’s because TV dogs don’t poop, to be fair.

Nor do TV people.
posted by spitbull at 10:37 AM on June 17 [4 favorites]


If you need to tell a friend or acquaintance something, even if it is information that will only take a minute or two to impart, it is best to drive to their home or office to tell them in person, rather than call or text, even in 2019.
posted by The Gooch at 10:41 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Also the roads in major American cities don’t have any potholes

This... isn't true?

Another cherished illusion shattered. Dammit, people, I grew up thinking the US was a magical land of comfort and automation where everything was at least twenty years ahead of the UK, and one by one, the scales are falling from my eyes.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 10:43 AM on June 17 [4 favorites]


If you need to tell a friend or acquaintance something, even if it is information that will only take a minute or two to impart, it is best to drive to their home or office to tell them in person, rather than call or text, even in 2019.

Corollary: If a friend or acquaintance seems to be trying to tell you something important or urgent, never let them finish. Nothing's so urgent that it can't wait for you to rush off to do something impetuous without all the available information!
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 10:46 AM on June 17 [7 favorites]


You can be naturally blonde (when that's an important plot point) with jet black eyebrows. (I'm looking at you, Dany.)
posted by maxwelton at 10:56 AM on June 17 [5 favorites]


Police are hardworking heroes who only break the rules when they have to save someone's life.

Any attempt to limit the power of police immediately leads to white women being killed.
posted by iamnotangry at 10:59 AM on June 17 [16 favorites]


Add to that: internal affairs or any kind of civilian oversight of the police only serves to stop the heroic, all-knowing police from bringing justice to the wicked.
posted by tocts at 11:13 AM on June 17 [6 favorites]


Apparently I misinterpreted a great deal of The Wire.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:14 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


> Most workplaces allow for a very long lunch, and going to table service establishments is the norm.

This one is totally real. I mean, you notice there are sit-down restaurant places next to office buildings right, not just fast-food? Some of them do advertise '15 minutes from order to food', but most don't. You think all the people in those places are stay-at-home parents or independently wealthy? And yes, an administrative assistant either calls in and picks up or goes out to pick up food for meetings that are held in the office.

My office building doesn't even have a place to purchase lunch that is not from a vending machine, so the implication is that you either bring food in or you go out to lunch. I did it myself for 10 years, until I got so tired of restaurant lunch I couldn't take it anymore.
posted by The_Vegetables at 11:15 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


That's also how you can tell if you city's downtown sucks - the places downtown are only open for lunch.
posted by The_Vegetables at 11:22 AM on June 17 [9 favorites]


Novelists start typing on the first page and stop typing on the last page and they're ready to publish the thing. (What, no revision? No proofing?)
posted by booth at 11:29 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Another cherished illusion shattered. Dammit, people, I grew up thinking the US was a magical land of comfort and automation where everything was at least twenty years ahead of the UK, and one by one, the scales are falling from my eyes.

Dude, why do you think we're always complaining about road construction? :-) They're fixing the potholes!

It's not that we suck at building roads, it's that extreme temperatures are murder on road surfaces, especially in areas with cold winters, when you basically have to shut down road construction for 1/3 of the year (because the ground is too frozen to dig, and it's too cold for people to work outside). You wind up with a ton of potholes that you then have to spend the whole summer fixing. Areas where you can do construction year-round (which also typically means not experiencing super-cold winters) don't have as much of a problem, because you can fix the small potholes before they become big potholes.
posted by Autumnheart at 11:34 AM on June 17 [3 favorites]


The human body can withstand all manner of ill treatment and stay ambulatory... but the moment a trickle of blood escapes your mouth, you're toast. Mouth Blood indicates a mortal wound.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 11:47 AM on June 17 [16 favorites]


- Asian women never date other Asians, and also the cool ones dye their hair, usually just a lock of it, to show how different and cool they are.
- Bedsheets are always made in an L-shape, and women always sleep on the tall side of the L.
posted by anem0ne at 12:09 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


Architects have tons of free time and casually live in vast, stunning homes filled with large modern paintings and sculpture. They drive either a classic 911 or Bronco, and if they're shown working at all, it's in a powerful montage of inspiration culminating in a fully finished building, which they walk thru with a roll of plans that never gets opened.
posted by a halcyon day at 12:11 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


You can convince any computer to do pretty much anything by the power of furious typing alone. Computer programs can be altered in real time as long as you can type fast enough.

(That might be true. I don't think so, though.)

It's perfectly normal to read letters you've received out loud, even if there's no one else there.
posted by Grangousier at 12:34 PM on June 17


I don't do the Twitter thing, but here would be some of my additions to the thread:

Spies/agents are able to run at a full sprint for miles without taking a break, and don't need to train daily to be able to do this.

If a person is stabbed or shot in the leg, they will walk with a limp for a scene or two, then proceed as though nothing has happened for the rest of the movie.

Being stabbed in the side never results in sepsis or internal injury, unless that injury is immediate death. Stitches heal in a matter of hours, and never reopen, regardless of how many times you are punched in the stomach.

Blood loss is trivial.

Soldiers rarely need to pick up spare magazines from their fallen comrades, bullets are frequently in limitless supply until the plot calls for them to run out.

Stainless steel kitchen shelves are bulletproof, and bullets cannot ricochet underneath the 6-inch gap under the units.

Any fight with a secret agent is even until the bad guy pulls a knife. Then the bad guy suddenly is at a disadvantage for landing another blow.

People choke out in 10-20 seconds, even if they previously demonstrated the ability to swim underwater for 3 minutes without taking a breath in another scene.

I can go on for hours...
posted by Chuffy at 12:34 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Spies/agents are able to run at a full sprint for miles without taking a break, and don't need to train daily to be able to do this.

This is from books (Ian Fleming), not TV: smoking three packs of cigarettes a day will not interfere with this capability.
posted by thelonius at 1:15 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


If your heart stops and you're clinically dead, several minutes of pounding your chest followed by calling your name in an anguished voice will magically bring you back to life with zero ill effects. You can then return to vigorous physical activity moments after being revived.
posted by Autumnheart at 1:23 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


If your heart stops and you're clinically dead...

...and no AED or drugs needed!

Drowning, too...if your lungs are full of water, just pushing on the chest brings you back!
posted by Chuffy at 1:25 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


The movie I watched last night had a plot device where someone was implanted with a deadly chip, and they had to use an AED to short out the chip, and then again to re-start the person's heart. K. Electrocution has all kinds of handy applications!
posted by Autumnheart at 1:32 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


...several minutes of pounding your chest followed by calling your name in an anguished voice will magically bring you back to life with zero ill effects.

Or, the female Love Interest applies Magic Tears, which has the same effect. You never see both chest-pounding and Magic Tears used on the same casualty.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:39 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Yes you will! The Abyss had chest-pounding, anguished name-shouting AND Magic Tears used on the Female Love Interest after she drowned on purpose.
posted by Autumnheart at 1:46 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Oooh, I forgot that one.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:48 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


Which was, in retrospect, child's play compared to diving to the bottom of the Marianas Trench (or wherever they were) and then raised to the surface by undiscovered terrestrial aliens. Because pressurization will squish a submarine into an Altoids box, but not a human body?
posted by Autumnheart at 1:49 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Absolutely no one uses Windows or Office on their work PCs; everyone uses a custom made Linux distribution in dark mode.

Offices don't have desk monitors hardly at all ;they do have giant cinema-like screen I virtually every (equally giant) meeting room.

No one dials into meetings.
posted by smoke at 2:12 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Case by case the judicial process takes about a week.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:16 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


Case by case the judicial process takes about a week.

Unless it's a VERY SPECIAL story arc and the case deeply affects one or more of the main characters.
posted by acidnova at 2:34 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


And anyone working with chemicals and biomaterial requiring nitrile gloves don't bother taking them off properly to avoid getting anything on their bare hands.

Mark of a real bench scientist: they can remove both gloves inside-out, ball one inside the other, and slingshot the pair into a biohazard box, all in one smooth blink-and-you-miss-it motion.
posted by dephlogisticated at 2:40 PM on June 17 [6 favorites]


You can convince any computer to do pretty much anything by the power of furious typing alone.

And everyone hardly ever uses a mouse.
posted by soundguy99 at 2:42 PM on June 17


Like, I'm in the middle of watching Zone Blanche and I was astounded when a scene actually showed a guy looking something up online by one-finger typing a couple of words and them reaching for the mouse after hitting "Enter."
posted by soundguy99 at 2:46 PM on June 17


Lawyers end all conversations by saying a convincing statement then abruptly walking away.
posted by waving at 2:51 PM on June 17 [3 favorites]


Which was, in retrospect, child's play compared to diving to the bottom of the Marianas Trench (or wherever they were) and then raised to the surface by undiscovered terrestrial aliens. Because pressurization will squish a submarine into an Altoids box, but not a human body?

Pressurization was the part of that scenario seemed unlikely?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 3:14 PM on June 17 [5 favorites]




"STAY WITH ME!" is a very important first aid utterance.

It often does not take the first time; if so, then repeat a second time and add “GODDAMMIT.”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:19 PM on June 17 [4 favorites]


If you have 7 minutes to stop Bad Thing from happening, this just so happens to be exactly enough time to perform at least three complicated mini-missions that also involve driving to multiple locations and fighting off bad guys. The day will be saved with only seconds to spare. You will know this because there is always a timer counting down to it.

Grieving a fallen partner, spouse or best friend from childhood will be accomplished in minutes because nobody's got time for that when bad guys are afoot. There will, however, be time for a grave visit at the end of the show, where at least two of the main characters will meet by coincidence and have a wistful conversation about the deceased and the significance of the ordeal they all just went through.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 4:28 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Pressurization was the part of that scenario seemed unlikely?

No, more like it was the first rung on the preposterous ladder. I mean, I enjoyed that movie, and it introduced interesting ideas, but you could drive a truck through the plot holes. (A truck honking the Stereotypical Truck Honk as illustrated above.)
posted by Autumnheart at 4:45 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Spies/agents are able to run at a full sprint for miles without taking a break, and don't need to train daily to be able to do this.

Somewhat similarly, men can live on nothing but booze and cigarettes, take massive amounts of drugs, never consume a fruit or vegetable, and barely sleep, yet they will be in peak physical shape, with huge muscles and insane athletic ability.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 6:29 PM on June 17 [7 favorites]


>> Pressurization was the part of that scenario seemed unlikely?
>
> No, more like it was the first rung on the preposterous ladder.


Fair enough. At least they bothered to lampshade it.

Lindsey Brigman: We should be dead. We didn't decompress.
Alan "Hippy" Carnes: They musta done something to us.
Lindsey Brigman: [smiling] Yeah. Yeah, I think you could say that.

posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:15 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


When being questioned by police detectives on the street, it is acceptable to leave abruptly for any reason.
posted by pangolin party at 7:21 PM on June 17


When being questioned by police detectives on the street, it is acceptable to leave abruptly for any reason.

You do not have to speak to the police if you don't want to.

You should never speak to the police.
posted by iamnotangry at 7:45 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Mark of a real bench scientist: they can remove both gloves inside-out, ball one inside the other, and slingshot the pair into a biohazard box, all in one smooth blink-and-you-miss-it motion.

Absolutely true. I used to be great at that, before I got a desk job... ☹️

Also back to the point, labs are only ever equipped with monocular microscopes and no one wears eye protection, also every single lab always has a flask of red or blue water spinning in the background for some damn reason
posted by caution live frogs at 8:40 PM on June 17


If you're going to get punched in the mouth (even repeatedly) make sure you're the star so that you don't lose any teeth.
posted by unliteral at 10:07 PM on June 17 [2 favorites]


I am a bartender. People actually do just order A Beer.

I hesitate to tell them that they are weak and will not survive the winter, but it slips out sometimes.
posted by hototogisu at 2:08 AM on June 18 [2 favorites]


When being questioned by police detectives on the street, it is acceptable to leave abruptly for any reason.

Just to reiterate what iamnotangry said, attempting to peacefully leave is exactly what everyone should do when questioned by the police.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:01 AM on June 18 [2 favorites]


I hesitate to tell them that they are weak and will not survive the winter, but it slips out sometimes.

Has anyone ever told you to draw one, draw two, draw three four glasses of beer?
posted by thelonius at 5:09 AM on June 18


TV suitcases are full of air. No one involuntarily lurches off balance or grimaces in agony when picking up their huge suitcases. OR, they bring cute little suitcases on holiday and then wear 87 outfits in a week.
posted by honey-barbara at 8:25 AM on June 18



TV suitcases are full of air

Ditto with handbags. No one seems to carry more than a tissue in their purse.
posted by Nosey Mrs. Rat at 9:21 AM on June 18


You can convince any computer to do pretty much anything by the power of furious typing alone. Computer programs can be altered in real time as long as you can type fast enough.


Just pound the keys: hacker typer

(I thought this would have been referenced on MF before. Sure enough, in 2011. classic.)
posted by jjj606 at 9:29 AM on June 18 [2 favorites]


Mark of a real bench scientist: they can remove both gloves inside-out, ball one inside the other, and slingshot the pair into a biohazard box, all in one smooth blink-and-you-miss-it motion.

I can do this too. 20+ years of dyeing my hair bright, artificial colors.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 10:43 AM on June 18 [2 favorites]


Interesting quirky jobs that pay well are freely available for attractive people with zero credentials. You just have a liberal arts BA? No problem. It’s super easy to get into publishing or become a college professor.

I know the jobs pay well because everyone can afford to eat every meal out.
posted by FencingGal at 12:21 PM on June 18


It's dead easy to hotwire a car. Even faster if you have a foil-wrapped stick of Wrigley's gum.

Who ever needs to hotwire a car? Just lower the visor and the keys will fall into your hands.
posted by Chuffy at 3:23 PM on June 18 [8 favorites]


People always carry empty takeout coffee cups around. You can tell from how they wave them around that there's nothing inside.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:11 PM on June 18


Minority exclusion principle: in any group of people, you're more likely to only have one black guy, or only one woman, or a single queer person, or a single asian person. And not, you know, two or three members of a minority group.
posted by sebastienbailard at 8:28 PM on June 18 [3 favorites]


Toothpaste is fake news. People just brush their teeth with water and spit a few times.
posted by like_neon at 6:24 AM on June 19


Australian TV: only white people exist.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:38 AM on June 19


Nobody ever finishes shaving. They always wipe off half of the shaving cream but still manage to have a close shave.
posted by Chuffy at 12:15 PM on June 19 [3 favorites]


Also nobody has to pick up their dog's poo when out for a walk. They don't even bring a bag along for the purpose because they know it won't be needed.

Apparently this is also true of my neighborhood...
posted by biscotti at 2:47 PM on June 19 [2 favorites]


It is legally mandated that all semis driving past the camera must blow the airhorn. Similarly, all trains must, upon being sighted, trigger the horn.
posted by scrump at 7:32 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]


Oh, and another one (I know it's probably gone stale already):

No matter how crowded a bar or nightclub is, there is always room at the bar to order a drink without waiting. Usually, the ratio of women:men at the bar is much higher in movies/TV than in real life.
posted by Chuffy at 11:39 AM on June 27


I know the jobs pay well because everyone can afford to eat every meal out.

And they live in beautiful, spacious apartments or houses. Usually without roommates.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:02 PM on June 27


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