The other day I talked about sitcom tropes which could never happen in real life. Now, as many pointed out I should mention that is a little misleading. Those tropes could happen but it seems like in sitcoms they come so naturally, when in real life those kind of situations are more rare.

 

Anyway, here are five more examples I came up with :

 

#5.Fake Baby Cry
This one may just be me, but if you watch as many sitcoms as I have you notice a few things that happen. There will be a baby who cries when it’s convenient to the story. Worst than that there may be an episode where the crying is based on nothing! The characters will state it has been hours and the baby is still crying. Does that really happen if the baby is healthy? But worst, these shows use that fake baby cry which sounds like a seagull got something stuck in its throat. I am so sick of hearing that awful and totally fake sound! I can sure understand why you don’t want a real kid crying, but is it so hard to get a recording of a real baby??
#4.Whole Family involved with project

 

This one is a little far fetched, and The Brady Bunch owned it! One of the kids will have a play or something, and everyone has something to do! Mike is bulding sets while the other kids are rehearsing lines. You get the idea. What should be a little play for one kid becomes a family project! You almost have to wonder, is anyone else in the school working on this? We see many versions of this in sitcoms where no matter what happens it always involves our main characters. Heck, even Star Trek does this! Why does the entire bride crew leave the Bridge to beam down to a planet? Who’s running the ship??

#3.Friend/Relative with a celebrity

 

Whenever a show wants to shoehorn a celebrity we will learn that one of the characters has a relative who is famous. On Full House, Michelle’s friend Denise just happened to be the neice of Little Richard. On Just Shoot Me the weird mail carrier Kevin just happened to be the cousin of Ray Liotta.The Brady Bunch and The Cosby Show had several famous guest stars who happend to be friends of Mike and Carol or Cliff and Clair respectively. How do these people keep making these famous friends? The extension of this is having a celebrity as a client for a character. For instance, Who’ s The Boss? had Ray Charles in an episode and his appearance really makes no sense. Or how about The Nanny, Because Maxwell was famous many celebrities appeared from Sherry Lewis to Liz Taylor herself!
#2.Office where NO WORK is done!
Watch NewsRadio for a perfect example of this. It is even mentioned in the show. We have a show set in an office, and while I can understand that it would be real boring to show people sitting at their cubes all day isn’t it a little hard to believe when the characters never do ANY work? This is a tough one to balance, and some shows do a better job than other. Night Court did a great job of showing the characters at work, and The Office did a great job of it do. Pam was always at her desk and I believed Jim did do more during the day than play jokes. But those other shows, like Just Shoot Me for instance. Once in awhile we saw Designing Women design something, but half the time they just hung out. The flipside of this is when we have a series with an adult who apparently never actually goes to work. They are always home and yet earn a paycheck! This goes all the way back to Ozzie Nelson! Many shows will try to show the character or characters working, but give up as the series develops.
#1.Kids can talk/roam in the halls in schools whenever they want
This is the kid version of the workplace one. These shows where we see the characters at school. They talk in the hallways, or in the classrooms, wand seem to be able to do whatever they want. Saved By The Bell was huge for this one! Zack and Screech seemed to have free access to anything, from the girls locker room to the boiler room! But I have seen this in other shows to. Full House, Growing Pains, and of course Head of the Class where it seemed the bell ringing could never get in the way of that week’s dilemma. I mean, how many times did we see Mr.Moore have a heart to heart to talk with a kid between classes and not one student enters! Or worst, stop the class cold to talk to one of the kids in the hallways. This would never happen in real life, but it became part of Head of the Class.And I am sure Welcome Back, Kotter was also guilty of this. Heck even on Boy Meets World, Mr.Feeney got very close to Cory and his friends compared to the other kids he was supposed to teach. It was unrealistic, so much so that it got brought up in the very show itself that Mr.Feeney “only talked to them”.
I am taking some time off from the site but figured I would get these little articles out. Hope you got a kick out of them my friends.

By richb

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