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August 29, 2015

Top 25 things that only happen on TV (and in movies)

by Isabelle Carreau, posted Feb 4th 2008 11:20AM
NetworkEveryone at one point or another watched a TV show (or a movie) and said: "That can only happen on TV!" We even have a saying in French to explain that something is so far-fetched that it can't be real. It roughly translates as "This is set up by the movie guy." The Have Happy Fun Time blog came up with the "Top 25 Things that Only Happen in Movies." But, as you'll see, that list also works for TV series.

Here are some of my favorites from the list:
  • It is always possible to find a parking spot directly outside or opposite the building you are visiting.
  • All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red digital displays so you know exactly when they are going to explode.
  • The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window of any building in Paris.
  • Cars never need fuel (unless they're involved in a pursuit).
  • If being chased through a city, you can usually take cover in a passing St. Patrick's Day parade - at any time of the year.
  • The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place. Nobody will ever think of looking for you in there and you can travel to other parts of the building undetected.
Another item on the list is that when characters are paying for a taxi ride, they don't look at their wallet as they take out a note, yet, it'll magically be the exact fare. Then again, when do we see people on TV pay their cab fare? Most of the time, they exit the taxi so fast that it's impossible they had time to pay the driver!

When I watch TV series that feature cop chases, I'm always amazed at how people on the streets do not react (or rarely react) to what is happening. Also, characters can go days, if not months, without going to the bathroom! If you have other fun items to add to the list, comment below to share the fun!

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john blocker

No matter how wet the streets are a cars tires always makes a screeching noise when turning a corner or coming to a quick stop

February 08 2008 at 1:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

On the subject of ventilation systems, why is the inside every single one of them sparkling clean like they have a team of air shaft gnomes scrubbing them everyday? What the heck kind of filters are they using that manages to trap every speck of dust coming in, even in the run-down prison from My Name is Earl?

February 05 2008 at 4:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Luis D.

So what's the French saying?

February 05 2008 at 9:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Luis D.'s comment
Isabelle Carreau

"C'est arrangé avec le gars des vues." I don't know if they use it in France but we say it in French Canada.

February 10 2008 at 9:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

On TV and in movies when people make a date with each other they just say "So Friday it is" and walk away! They psychically know the time and place and everything!

February 04 2008 at 5:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Women on TV almost always wake up with their hair & makeup perfect!

February 04 2008 at 5:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

On 24 cell phones never need to be charged. Jack Bauer can go 24 hours without peeing. And terrorists can break into CTU, a major government facility whenever the hell they want.

February 04 2008 at 3:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

(a) The dog never dies.

(b) In bedroom scenes, men have sheets that reach their waist, but women have L-shaped sheets that come up to their chests.

February 04 2008 at 3:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Suetu's comment

I love the sheet trick--and all the couple who go to bed in their underwear.

My husband notes that people on tv make dates for "later" without ever specifying the logistics. I suppose the ESP works for that, too, like it does for people hanging up the phone with no goodbyes. Out here in viewerland, we have to go through the "by the west door at 8" "or would 8:30 be better for you?" routine.

February 04 2008 at 5:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Let's see... where to begin? First of all, the reason we don't see characters go to the bathroom - unless it's a key story point - is because it's NOT a key story point. If we saw every character go to the bathroom, the the show would be way longer than time allows. Same thing goes for getting fuel, and paying for cabs. We usually see characters exit the cab from the street anyway. Could it be possible that they paid while still in the car, yet we just did not see it? There's also another reason these things happen only in TV and movies - it's because it's more interesting than real life. It's not supposed to be real, just entertaining. No one wants to see people paying for cabs, taking bathroom breaks, and getting fuel unless it's important to the story being told. I mean, if I'm telling a story to someone, I never mention these things. And we see the Eiffel Tower so the viewers know the setting is Paris. And as far as that spaceship thing goes, that wouldn't happen anyway - why even put that on the list? In fact, why even have a list at all? This was dumb.

February 04 2008 at 2:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to annacsmith08's comment

Why do we never see Jack go to the bathroom on 24?

Because nothing escapes Jack Bauer.

February 04 2008 at 3:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Whoa, calm down! Yes, we all realize why TV works this way. This list points these things out blatantly for humorous effect!

February 04 2008 at 4:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

People on TV never change their clothes or remove shoes when entering homes. Does everyone sit on their bed in knee-high boots?

February 04 2008 at 2:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Horse N. Buggy

Two comments:
1. Stargate Atlantis recently did a nice twist on the bomb thing. When the station went haywire, the self-destruct mechanism was triggered but the crew had no idea how long the countdown was set for. That would have been a great tension-adding device if we didn't already know that TPTB would NEVER blow up Atlantis with all the crew in the city. (I guess their cred is kinda ruined, though, because one of the scientists, a small guy, climbed through the ventilation tubes to get to the power core to turn it off.)

2. There is a scene in the second Bridget Jones were Mark Darcy tells her that he's going to the loo and then he's coming back for them to have a conversation. I thought that was a really weird scene. It kinda took me out of the story. I thought, "Why is he announcing that he's going to the bathroom and *then* they're going to have a serious talk?" It turned out to be a plot device. While he's in the loo, another woman calls and leaves a message on his answering machine which Brig overhears. That call becomes a point of contention between the two characters. So, I guess characters only go to the bathroom when it advances the plot.

3. Most characters, no matter how poor, don't bother to get change from anyone - cabbies, hot dog vendors, at the coffee shop, etc. They almost always say, "Keep the change." All TV vendors/cabbies should make sure their total prices are 1 cent over the dollar to maximize their profits from these generous suckers.

February 04 2008 at 2:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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