As a follow-up to my previous article detailing tropes I know are stupid but love anyways, here are some I despise for what I feel are righteous reasons. This article will be filled with the very definition of self-righteousness, and in my fury I will expose three of the worst tropes to ever grace our screens. Some of the most heinous of pop cultural criminals to ever frequent our consciousness are here, so it goes without saying that reader discretion is strongly advised.
1. Just get it out!
“Close friend of mine! There’s something important I need to tell you! It’s”- *interrupted* “NO! You have to listen to me! You can’t do whatever it is you’re planning because-” *another interruption* “You don’t understand! If you do this you’ll- *final interruption, followed by friend leaving* “Damn, I have to find another way to stop this!”
This trope is annoying on a surface level because the whole time you’re just yelling “GET IT OUT YOU MORON!” to the person who doesn’t ever think of just interrupting their obnoxious friend and saying whatever it is they need to say. It’s like they’re bound to silence whenever someone other than them is speaking, which is ridiculous because people usually have the opposite problem; especially when something important is on the line. The worst part of this is how lazy and half-assed it is on a writing level. It’s so much of a pathetic half-measure that it actually offends me. Whenever I see this play out I can just pictures writers sitting around in a room and having an exchange like this:
Writer 1: Dammit, this entire conflict can be resolved with a simple dialogue exchange, what are we gonna do?
Writer 2: Easy! We’ll just have someone try talking to them… but fail… somehow.
Writer 1: Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!
Just, so stupid. If you need to contrive something as impossible as a person actually shutting up during the one time they really shouldn’t, then there is something wrong with the plot on a fundamental level.
2. The Hair-Trigger Black Person
“Hey super reasonable white person! You said something completely acceptable, but I’ve gone to great lengths to interpret it as offensive so now I’m angry! Grah!”
I have a special hatred for this one because I can see exactly why it was made and what it is meant to illicit. I see right through this horrendous straw man and it sickens me that so many writers turn to it (hell, even the usually amazing Rick and Morty did it once). Not only is this joke seriously unfunny, but it comes from a deeply racist and entitled place. It’s the kind of joke that’s meant to say “Hey white people, don’t you hate it when this happens? When these minorities get offended for NO reason?”. It’s super condescending on top of that too. It’s the kind of joke that relates to the type of person that says things like “ugh, black people complain too much these days. I mean, like, slavery is over guys!”, and it got old the first time someone made a character say it. Definitely getting the sense that writers who put these jokes in are lashing out at people who called them out on whatever racist bullshit they were spouting. If you’re white, it really isn’t your place to say what black people should or shouldn’t find offensive. I don’t care how many of your friends are black, that’s just the way it is.
3. The Obvious Liar
“I was going to do what I promised but this… totally… crazy… unbelievable… and… unreLATED THING HAPPENED TO ME! Ya, that’s it!”
This is an annoying sitcom trope, and it’s one that needs to stop more than any other. It’s just so overdone and unbelievable. No one lies like this, and when they do it’s super obvious that they’re lying. Yet this is always met by puzzled looks and “you’re acting weird” comments. No they are NOT acting weird they are LYING to you! How do you not see that? The odd posture, the weird rhythm of speaking, and the stupid excuses they have are dead giveaways. The worst part of this all is that it’s really, really, really unfunny due to how overused it is at this point. The entire joke is “Hah! This person is obviously making this up on the spot! How zany!”, but that’s problematic because A) that’s not a very creative joke, and B) the fact that they’re obviously making it up on the spot makes it unbelievable for whatever character they’re speaking to actually believe them. This trope just needs to die for everyone’s sake, but especially mine because if I see it play out one more time I will go on a rampage.
These have been my “Righteous Displeasure”. I hate these things, and I’m proud of hating them. If you have any of your own, feel free to comment, but remember to explain why because otherwise they’d just be plain old things you don’t like.