We all know that movies can both be a reflection of real-life events and fictional ones. A lot of movies will try to be as realistic as possible while others will forego their attempts at reality because the plot is simply too complicated. In a lot of these instances, you’re required to suspend your disbelief because that’s the only way to enjoy a movie without dwelling on the things that don’t make sense. But sometimes, the things that happen in a movie are just too unrealistic for you to do that. We collected a bunch of answers from people on Reddit explaining what things bother them the most that are just too unrealistic for them. Keep reading to find out what thesy are.
Nobody Has To Wait
Everything in movies seems to be awfully convenient. As u/slightlyspaced points out, “No one has to wait for anything. People phone or e-mail back in time, taxis arrive, the results come back in time to catch the bad guys, even the coffee is ready to go”. To be fair, though, no one wants to be sitting around watching people go about their daily lives waiting for things to happen.
It’s a good thing they skip those parts in movies. Still, it’s extremely frustrating when you’re that person who has to go through all of those things and you watch people get off relatively easily.
It’s no surprise that police officers have tons of paperwork that they need to attend to. They have to write about all manner of things from the people that were arrested to the crimes that were called in. However, u/Derikson81 mentions that “The lack of considerable paperwork from any police-action movie” is both unrealistic and pretty much non-existent. That’s a pretty unfair representation.
This actually can give people a pretty bad representation of what being a police officer is. For better or for worse, this is just something that isn’t realistic in any way.
The explosions used to make a gun fire a bullet is extremely loud. That’s why you always see people wearing giant sound mufflers on their ears at the firing range. However, that isn’t accurately depicted in nearly every movie. As u/MrMilkMan105 pointed out, “Being able to hear after hundreds of gunshots in a small room [is unrealistic]”. If you are anywhere near gunshots, your ears are going to be ringing.
If you’ve ever watched the animated television series “Archer”, you’d definitely know that this is the case. They have a running gag where the characters will exclaim “mwap mwap” until they can hear again.
Speaking of guns, u/salapdcf makes a perfectly valid point: “5 machine guns somehow missing the protagonist in the room”. This is one of those things that forces the audience to suspend their disbelief.
You paid to see some super awesome acting scenes, but in order for that to happen the character is going to have to pull off some wild stunt that just seems to defy all logic.
You may not think about it consciously, but everyone knows that they’re not always going to have a conversation come out as smoothly as they might hope. u/Mountain-Dingo7180 points out that “perfect conversations without any stuttering, poor grammar or poor vocabulary” just never happen. “No one talking over another person either.” We never thought about it ourselves, but when was the last time you saw a movie with the same amount of verbal confusion as real life?
You rarely ever see it. That’s because they aren’t looking for the perfect realism, they’re typically trying to make everything that’s happening clear and understandable. At least, until there’s a chaotic screaming match.
u/Livid_Yam explains that “If a girl is arguing with you in real life, and you kiss her in an attempt to stop her from yelling, she’ll most likely not appreciate it”. We see too many times in movies where the guy will just kiss her because they realize that the girl has/had a crush on him or he simply felt that way himself and he’ll kiss her and they’ll suddenly be madly in love.
Yeah, that’s just not what happens. This kind of behavior is just begging for a slap. Even if they do want to kiss them, the chances that in that moment they’re thinking about it are little to none.
Says u/ron2838, “Never setting a time for things. Want to go out Friday? Yeah. Great see you then. Bye.” How many times have you seen characters in a movie simply tell each other where and when to be somewhere and it just perfectly works out? People do have lives outside of their friend groups and it’s pretty uncommon for someone to be free at all times of the week.
That’s not to say it’s not possible, but then you think about the fact that they haven’t even given much other information, and they just somehow know exactly what they need to do.
u/-EvilPotato- is shocked by the unrealism of “People making eye contact while driving and talking to the co-passenger. They just casually look away from the road for extended periods of time”. They ask, “HOW is that possible?!” We also have the same question. Sure, it’s not impossible to take a quick glance at the person next to you, but these people in movies have their eyes off the road for way too long.
Usually, you’re not even taking your eyes away for more than a second. It’s just the quickest glance to lt them know you’re listening, not a good stare.
u/Sullt8 said this as an unrealistic example: “Someone who has been bedridden for months (like in a coma) gets out of bed and starts walking around or even running. Muscles would be atrophied in real life.” You may not think about how important working out is. If you don’t go to the gym, you’re still exercising your body every day just by walking around and picking things up.
But if you’re not using your body and you’re just lying in bed unconscious for extended periods of time, your muscles won’t stay as strong.
u/baguetteboy7 says, “Villain wastes time instead of killing the protagonist right now.” This is the most common trope in every movie that has some sort of villain. If they would just stop wasting their time explaining things to the protagonist or bragging about their achievements, they might actually get somewhere. But instead, they choose to ignore their common sense and do the exact opposite of what they need to do to win.
Of course, if they didn’t do this then we wouldn’t ever have happy endings. The villain would kill the good guy and that would be it. It still feels a little too convenient, though.
Somehow, characters in movies are able to get away with whatever they want because they know just how to please a crowd. u/MansaMusaGang explains, “When any main character makes a rousing motivational speech or vocalizes a philosophical view, and then suddenly their entire target audience subscribes 100% to their beliefs or motives without question.” It’s as if they don’t have a mind of their own to think about these things.
Then again, if characters weren’t all-powerful in some way they would never get anything done. This is just one of those ways that they are able to progress the story.
u/MeltedSinceMarch21 says, “You can drink a bottle of whiskey/vodka and be stone-cold sober after ONE CUP OF COFFEE”. This is one of the movie superpowers we wish we could have. Somehow the characters are able to be able-minded any time they want just by drinking a magical cure-all drink that doesn’t do anything for us in real life. Why can’t we do that?
The answer is simple: plot convenience. Things wouldn’t be able to go exactly according to the script if movies were much more realistic. Too bad, though. This could be super useful.
Somehow in movies, the characters can go wherever they want, whenever they want, and it doesn’t matter who they are or what their income is. u/Varvatos_Vex explains this as “Everyone can simply up and leave their life for a trip. Magically already having a passport and money to get a red eye flight”. If we had the money to do something like this, we’d probably have already travelled the world.
But no, if we have to go somewhere suddenly or escape our lives, we’re pretty much just stuck here. We can’t just show up and get a ticket and be one our way.
u/Twisty_10 says, “People are up in the morning with enough time to have a home-cooked breakfast, casual family conversation, just relaxing and taking their time. Like on a school day.” We’ve watched so many movies where everyone is up and ready for anything when they have to go to school or work. It’s like they have no issues getting up at 5:30 in the morning to have time for all this.
Also, the parents don’t have to be anywhere earlier than their kids? They’re just sitting around reading a newspaper or cooking food for everyone. Totally unrealistic.
We all know how fragile bananas are. They’re also really fast to ripen and barely stay perfectly yellow without any spots for what seems like no more than an hour. u/Traspen says that, in movies, “Bananas are ALWAYS pristine. Even when walking into the kitchen after being away for a month”. It’s like the people in charge of filming scheduled the shooting time for when they’re bananas would be best.
We wouldn’t be surprised by this either. They probably buy the bananas green and keep them encased in some damageable material until the time is ripe (pun intended).
That’s not the only thing they noticed. u/Traspen also said, “Someone being stabbed, shot, and beaten to within an inch of their life are always 100% within a very short (superhuman) amount of time” is totally unrealistic. There’s just no way that someone can recover so quickly. They’re either going to be in a coma in a hospital bed or in a hospital bed fully conscious and waiting for rehab.
No one can walk away from large injuries without needing some sort of long-term recovery plan. But, then again, we have to chalk this up to plot convenince at its best.
Do you ever notice that in horror movies, people always seem to do the worst thing instead of keeping themselves from getting tangled in the problem? Well, u/RealSuggestion9 certainly does. They say, “In horror movies, people tend to go towards the danger instead of going for help”. Someone hears something weird or notices something dangerous and the first thing they do is go to it instead of calling 911.
If they didn’t do this, we definitely wouldn’t have a horror movie, but rather a movie about real-life scenarios. We can’t help but notice how obvious it is that they’re getting themselves into trouble, but that’s what makes it a horror movie in the end.
Speaking of scary movies, part of what builds the horror is the way that the sound designers play with the music and how it gets edited into the scenes. The music really makes you feel the emotion you need. u/malin65 explains, “Scary music always tells you when scary things are about to happen. Soft music when good things are happening. I really wish that was in real life too, it’d simplify life.”
But would that really simplify life? Maybe it would help you know what’s coming, but we think if you could hear your impending doom then it would be a lot scarier.
Something else that also seems to happen a lot in horror and action movies is the victim’s lack of information for the protagonist, despite being able to leave a clue. u/Rocket_Ball explains it as “Never texting vital information it’s always ‘i have to tell you in person and they’re killed beforehand and there’s no proof or they just leave a voicemail about some vague threat never just sending a text like ‘joe is the killer'”.
This is the thing that gets us the most in these movies. It’s not like they won’t be any less dead if they reveal the villain and if you have the time, why not dial 911?
u/meabh04 says, “In movies when a woman’s water breaks she is rushed to the hospital and immediately starts pushing. In real life there are typically many hours between the water breaking and active pushing, I remember my aunt was in labor for like 30 hours with my cousin!” While it’s true that people have different experiences during childbirth, we can’t help but agree with this one.
The thing is that it’s usually an hour-long event. Movies like to show it as if the person drives the 15-30 minutes to the hospital and they’re already crowning.
u/hypnonewt mentions, “Waiting for someone to finish a sentence before talking, even in an argument”. Have you ever had an argument with someone that went perfectly smoothly with everyone allowing the other to speak at all times? We’re not saying it doesn’t happen, but it’s more likely that someone is going to start listing off their problems and the other person is going to want to take it one step at a time and address some things.
If you’re the type of person who’s always getting into arguments with people, you know what we mean. And if you’re having arguments like they do in movies please tell us your secret.
u/HellFire8605 asks, “Want an ugly man for the plot? No problem, cast an ugly man. Want an ugly woman? Cast a smoking hot woman, just give her baggy clothes and glasses”. We couldn’t agree more with this one. No matter what, without fail, if they are going to hire a woman for a role in the movie, they are always going to make sure she looks somehow presentable.
The unfortunate truth to this is that sex sells and there are a lot of people who will use pretty women to make the movie sell more tickets.
Speaking of looking presentable, u/nodustspeck also noticed that “No matter what tough physical challenges they go through, women always have good makeup and clean hair”. It’s like we said, sex sells. If they want people to come to see their movie, a lot of times the filmmakers will put a woman in all sorts of different scenarios to make them look cool, and they’ll come out of it looking as fresh as they did before.
You can actually notice this with the men, too, especially in action movies. All that sweat that builds up in their hair ends up being the perfect hair gel to make their style look slick.
There is no shortage of scenes in movies depicting any number of vehicles exploding for various reasons. One of the things that u/Stock_Garage_672 find unrealistics is “Cars exploding. Cars can catch fire, it can happen very quickly and they burn very intensely but they don’t explode”. On the contrary, thy can explode, but almost never do. It only happens with specific impacts to the fuel tank.
That being said, the explosions are also much different than they are in movies, which like to present them with black smoke and mushroomy clouds. That’s not how it happens.
We’re not sure exactly where this happens, but it seems that it happens often enough for u/damselinda to mention that “Stalkers/obsessed people end up happily with their target”. While this certainly doesn’t sound like the happiest outcome, we can definitely see it happening. They come up with some excuse as to why what they were doing was okay and then suddenly it’s all okay.
Even if it turned out that they were just a good guy, in the end, it’s still a really inappropriate way to justify the actions of a creep.
u/TheAdminer said, “One I never see mentioned. Whenever people play something back, be it a tape recorder, video recording, or whatever, they can always fast-forward or rewind to EXACTLY the point they want, with perfect accuracy”. We never thought about this, but now that we think about it we can’t help but remember this happening every time. They never fumble with it and say “oh, hold on, this isn’t it” unless it’s part of a joke.
We do understand why they would do this, though. It would be a little awkward for someone to fumble around with a tape recorder for a few seconds when they could just get on with it.
u/Sotomagic says it’s unrealistic when “The guy manages to stop a plane about to take off on the runway because he changed his mind about the girl that’s sitting inside the plane, and he actually does want to marry her”. This definitely seems very specific, but we know that it has happened a few times. You can’t have a romantic movie, after all, unless the guy chases the girl.
They’re somehow able to pull off all of these fantastic feats when they need to chase them, like weaving through heavy traffic or, well, stopping a plane.
uFats33 says, “People taking it in turns to speak and naturally flowing the conversation from the previous person speaking. This happens a lot in crime shows when several people are explaining how they reached a certain point in solving a crime”. Somehow whenever there is a team working together to solve a crime, they always manage to explain it to others perfectly synchronized and as if they rehearsed it (they technically did).
This also happens a lot in medical shows. If you’ve ever watched “House”, for example, the doctors are always able to bounce ideas off one another without breaking the train of thought.
u/Eugeniavictoria thinks that “People who have completely different objectives in life, beliefs, backgrounds and personalities living happily ever after” is completely unrealistic. To be fair, it’s definitely possible to find the right person who’s very different from you and make your lives work. That being said, it’s not the most common thing to see and you’ll typically hear that the phrase “opposites attract” is quite backward itself.
Usually, when people are just so different from each other, it makes it really hard for them to work together as a couple. But when it comes to movies, anything is possible.
What u/TheYankunian think is unrealistic is that “people’s fists don’t look like ground beef after a fistfight. In the next scene, they may have a bandage or taped-up hands, but their hands look fine. Not bruised, swollen and with broken nails.” If you’ve gotten yourself into a fight, it doesn’t matter what the other guy did to you. If you wail on someone hard enough, you could even break your own hand.
That’s why it seems pretty hard to believe that they only need a few bandages afterward. At the very least, they should have a few sores underneath all that gauze.
All too often, we hear about other countries, or even our own, dealing with politicians who get away with all sorts of crimes. What u/SuperMario1981 thinks is unrealistic in movies really puts it into perspective: “Corrupt politicians get punished.” In our world, politicians can literally rule a country and they somehow get to bend the rules to prevent themselves from getting in trouble even if everyone knows what they’re doing.
It doesn’t matter what they’ve done, how long they’ve been doing it, or who they are. They somehow find a way to get out of it or, at the very least, delay their own trial.
To put it simply, “Successful CPR,” says u/PidgeonsAndBagels. The thing is, CPR can work. This isn’t someone saying that it’s a hoax or anything. The unfortunate truth is that the person who can perform CPR either comes too late to the scene or they aren’t being aggressive enough with it. Some people are trained but aren’t really EMTs, so they’re too afraid that they might hurt the person they’re trying to help.
If you’re doing CPR correctly, it’s highly likely that the person will come away with some cracked or broken ribs. But that’s easily a fair trade for your life.
LeeChallenged said, “The ‘good guy’ gets away with torture, abduction, murder, mass destruction as soon as everybody understands his good intentions. In real life, a crime is a crime”. “It’s all a means to an end” you might say when you see the good guy causing all manner of havoc to save the world or something. The thing is, that’s not how it works. The law still exists in real life.
You can’t treat anyone differently under the law. Even if they save the world, they will still be put on trial. They might have their sentences lessened, but they will still be guilty.
u/CylonsInAPolicebox says, “Mom makes a full spread breakfast and everyone just grabs a piece of toast yelling about how there are late and run out the door. Repeat several times. In real life that is not happening multiple times, after the first time the characters are going to run downstairs to find an empty table. Momma ain’t gonna keep making all that for you fuckers to waste.”
This is too true. You can see something similar in “Yours, Mine, and Ours”. If this happened often enough that it was predictable, they wouldn’t be making breakfast anymore.
u/beingpoorisboring finds it unrealistic “When someone needs to buy something but the vendor is nowhere to be seen and they just leave the money on the counter. Irl you have to wait for the vendor to scan your product”. Doing otherwise is called “stealing” or “burglary”. Even if you leave money, they still need to put it into the system. It may have worked differently back in the day, but not so now.
If you were ever caught doing that you would definitely be yelled at, at the very least. More likely, you’ll get the cops called on you.
u/javanator999 noticed that people in movies are “Always finding a parking place right where they need to be”. This is definitely one of the most unrealistic things that happen in movies. In most cities, there are so many people who are probably doing the same thing as you that you can almost guarantee that they will take the spot that you need. But there is a pretty good reason for it.
We give it a hard pass because we don’t want to see someone in a movie looking for parking and then walking all the way where they need to be. This is uicker and less confusing.
Whenever someone needs to be sneaky in a movie, they just slap a silencer onto their gun. Well, u/khanabyss is calling out this mistake. They say, “Gun Silencers. They are way louder than you think.” This is very true. Think about what they are officially referred to as: “suppressors”. They don’t actually silence the gun, they mask the noise so that it is less detectable.
The best use of a silencer is when there is a lot of other noises going on. The noise that comes from the gun will sound a lot more like the ambient noise around.
“The ‘super hero landing’ never happens in real life,” u/XxGameing_BunnyxX says. “The way they land on one knee with a fist on the ground and they look up slowly, you’d break your frick’in legs!” This has been proven in a ton of different studies and experiments. The only reason they are able to do this is, well…they’re superhuman! The pose was really just a way to give them a cool entrance.
Please don’t ever try this at home. It’s an ill-advised way to get yourself hurt and you’ll regret ever trying to look cool like that.
u/12gunner find “Instantly losing someone in a crowd as if they vanished” as being unrealistic. “you’d be surprised at just how much information your brain can obtain and store at just a single glance and how much it can accurately fill in any blanks,” They continue to say. “Even if you only saw their head you could easily sort through the people you see by their hair and find who you’re looking for again
You’ve probably experienced this yourself some time in your life. You might have been following a friend or also chasing after someone, but they don’t just disappear in an instant. It’s more gradual.
“Infinitely high resolution video,” u/fozzy_bear42 says. You’ve seen it before. Anytime someone in the police force is looking for someone on security footage, they ask the person on the cams to zoom in to see their face. “‘Freeze, now zoom in on quadrant 3 and enhance. Great, now zoom in on sector 19 and enhance. There, reflected in the victims eye is the face of our suspect.’ That’s just not how anything works.”
We wonder if there will ever be a time when this is possible. Who knows? Maybe they’re already implementing this on certain security cameras. We know for a fact, though, that any old street camera isn’t going to do this.