12 Unrealistic Things That Happen In Films And TV Shows

Person A's phone rings. Person A replies. Person B tells person A something upsetting over the phone. Person A hangs up and slams the phone down in anger.
This particular setting is extremely common in movies and TV shows. Would you tear your phone apart over some (let's-face-it-not-so-upsetting) news? The phone that has your precious pictures and texts. The phone that probably costed more than half your clothes. No. But it happens on screen all the time.
If you're a film lover like I am, you might have compiled your own "Unrealistic Hollywood Things" list in your mind. Well, you most definitely cringe at them everytime they pop at your cinema/TV/laptop/mobile screen.

Granted, some of them happen to serve the runtime of the film/show but some others are just due to lazy and uninspired filmmaking. Also, they're extremely annoying. I have found myself being so distracted by the amount of hell-no-that-cant-happen things in a movie, than even if the premise of it was somewhat good, I'd end up hating the movie. So, let's start.

  1. You are in your house. You hear noises from the bedroom upstairs or you think you saw someone in your garden but you don't call the police. Not up until your partner gets slaughtered with an axe because that makes perfect sense.

Gets it right: When a Stranger Calls (1979)

  • Apparently you can get into police databases in a matter of seconds if you are a hacker. Also unrealistic typing makes you hack CIA and NSA much faster. If you want to feel the glamour of being a Hollywood hacker, there is a cool site called HackerTyper.
    Gets it right: Mr. Robot (2015)
  • Your friend calls you to tell you that you are wanted on the news. You turn on the TV at the right channel at the right moment when the news reporter announces your name.
    Gets it right: Shaun Of The Dead (2004)
  • You don't ask for change when you buy something in supermarkets, bars, restaurants, gas stations because why would you? You leave $$$ tips like a pro. Oh, by the way, you're supposed to be broke trying to make it happen in LA with a ridiculously low salary.
    Gets it right: Quick Change (1990)
  • You need to quickly arrive at a specific place. You take your car and drive. Naturally when you arrive, there's a parking space right in front. No need to make a round or two or ten.
    Gets it right: American Dad (2005)
  • When you are about to be attacked by a group of people, you panic, because normally the people in that group will attack you simultaneously. However, they attack you one person at a time so you can handle them. And you know, because they're being nice.
    Gets it right: Pineapple Express (2008)
  • You have food in front of you and you barely touch it. You just play around with your fork. Sure, you might not be hungry once but 8 seasons long? Jeez, just chew that thing down guys. Yes, I'm looking at you The Big Bang Theory.
    Gets it right: Every Tarantino movie.
  • You are a police officer whose only job is investigating fascinating crime scenes, chasing bad guys in Bruce Willis style, shooting them down and then hitting the bar and banging the hottie. No official paperwork whatsoever, no issues with Internal Affairs because you're too cool for that.
    Gets it right: The Wire (2002)
  • It's painfully obvious that the cup you hold is empty, yet you still "drink" from it. It's really hard to fake gravity so please, just put something in there to make it realistic. Vitamin water will do.
    Gets it right: Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King (2003)
  • You sleep with your makeup and hairstyle on because you can't bother doing anything about them. The next day, there is no flyaway hair and your mascara hasn't smudged even a bit from your perfectly shaped eyelashes. Great work!
    Gets it right: Bridesmaids (2011)
  • Someone who lives with you always prepares this lavish breakfast that occupies an entire dining table. You just go downstairs and pick whether you want bacon or deli turkey. Namely, the person who makes the breakfast has to wake up one hour prior to the family's waking up time in order to get things ready. Right.
    Gets it right: Big Night (1996)
  • You finally have leverage over your nemesis. You threaten him with your gun and THEN you cock it. What is wrong with you? What were you planning on doing earlier?
    I am obliged to quote "The Caller" from Phone Booth:
  • Now doesn't that just torque your jaws? I love that. You know like in the movies just as the good guy is about to kill the bad guy, he cocks his gun. Now why didn't he have it cocked? Because that sound is scary. It's cool, isn't it?

    Gets it right: Phone Booth (2002)

    I feel like we should make a movie that tackles all these unrealistic things. Imagine watching a guy trying to find a parking space for 15 minutes in the big screen. We could call it The Most Realistic Movie Ever. Or The Most Boring Movie Ever. I don't know. I haven't figured it out yet. You get my point though. Some of the scenarios above are almost always impossible to avoid but most of them can be overcome and become real. In the end of the day, even if we watch movies in order to escape from our reality, we constantly strive to relate to the characters. When we are unable to do so, the film hasn't done its job; To make you feel like a human being.

    Sofia Katsali is a Social Media & Online Community Manager, Co-Founder of the non-profit organization Echelon Donates & a Computer Science final-year student. She has been interviewed by MTV Act for her online charity work and has a great passion for all things digital, entertainment and design. You can find her in Linkedin where she occasionally shares her personal experiences.