Things I Learned on TV and the Movies
When talking on the phone, you don’t have to say good-bye. When you have all the information you want, just hang up. Even if the other person is your boss and he called you-and he isn’t finished talking-it’s okay, just hang up.
When you’re following someone and don’t want them to see you, you don’t have to hide. Park your car in plain sight about twenty feet from where they are standing, and when they come out they won’t spot you.
If someone is shooting at you with a machine gun or high-powered rifle, you can hide behind a bush or an empty garbage can and the bullets won’t penetrate. Alternatively, you can push someone in front of you (even a dead body) and that person will absorb the bullets, keeping you safe.
While hiding behind the empty garbage can, if four people are shooting at you with machine guns and you only have a pistol, you won’t be hurt. Wait for a lull in the firing, then leap up, close your eyes, and fire four quick shots. You’ll get them all.
A ninety pound woman, if she’s fit, can kick the crap out of a 300 pound bruiser.
The same ninety-pound woman will never get a broken nose or lose any teeth while crap-kicking.
When defusing a bomb or other explosive device, and there are five minutes on the timer, go ahead and have a conversation with someone else. Wait until the timer gets down to 2 or 3 seconds before cutting that last wire.
When typing on a computer keyboard, type as fast as you want and don’t look at the keys, even while talking on the phone. You’ll never make a mistake or have to backspace. This is especially important when time is short and you’re writing a complex hacking program or tying into a security video feed.
When you are stealing data from someone else’s computer, the minute you log on you will see exactly the files you need, conveniently displayed, and the printer will always be ready.
Hardly anyone in the movies uses Windows on their computers. Their screens are much prettier than Windows, but no one in the real world has ever seen them… yet the characters know exactly how they work.
In the movies, everyone in the world uses Apple laptops.
If you are on foot and someone is chasing you in a car, don’t run sideways to get out of their way. Instead, run down the middle of the street or alley to make it easier for them to run you down.
If you’re a cop and your suspect runs into a dark building, follow him inside, but whatever you do, don’t turn on the lights. Turning on the lights might help you see him before he shoots you, and that would never do.
If you are hunting a suspect in a dark room with a gun and a flashlight, be sure to hold the light directly in front of your body to give the suspect a clear target.
It only takes three or four minutes for two women in high heels to dig a six-foot deep grave big enough to hold a casket.
When digging up a casket in a municipal cemetery at night, turn on your car’s headlights so you can see what you’re doing. No one will notice or call the police.
If you hear an intruder in your house and you find a broken window, don’t run outside or call the cops. Instead, proceed cautiously through the house (in the dark) and continually call out, “Is someone there?” (It works even better with a British accent: “Is anyone theah?”)
When you have sex, you have to start outside the house or apartment. First you slam into the door with your back while kissing each other feverishly. Once inside the apartment, make your way to the bedroom, dropping your clothing along the way. Hit the bed ready for sex, but you don’t need to remove your undergarments-it’s apparently possible to copulate while fully dressed below the waist.
If you’re a mature adult and something upsets you, don’t handle it like a grownup. Instead, sweep all the papers off your desk (including computers and other expensive hardware), flip the desk upside down, pull down the book cases, throw chairs through the window, and just throw a temper tantrum like any responsible adult would do. This sets a fine example for children to follow. This is especially appropriate if you are an elected official.
If you need to whistle to get someone’s attention, it’s easy-just stick any two fingers in your mouth and blow. The result will be a sharp, piercing whistle that will wake the dead. Takes no practice, anyone can do it.
If you are ever on the scene of an airliner crash, you don’t need to worry about fire. In spite of the hundreds of tons of aviation fuel that will be spilled, all you have to worry about are the dozen or so little campfires that burn in isolated spots around the crash site. Also, the bodies will all be intact, and you might even run into a survivor here and there, even if the plane crashed from 30,000 feet.
If you are a computer geek and someone hacks your mainframe from the outside, you won’t have any trouble fixing it because you can stare at rapidly scrolling lines of binary and hexadecimal numbers and read them with no trouble. You’ll have the problem fixed in about thirty seconds.
If two or more men commit a rape, they all cackle like hyenas the entire time.
All ancient Romans spoke with British accents.
When a tire suffers a blowout, there is always a flash under the wheel well and a sound like a rifle shot.
If your house catches fire, and the fire department is on the way, remain inside the burning house until they arrive, even if it takes them an hour. It’s much more dramatic when you burst out the door with the flames chasing you, or even if you are on fire yourself, than to just stand on the lawn and wait for help.
In the movies and TV, it’s possible to stand in a gushing rain while the sun reflects off metal surfaces all around you.
When you park your car, you don’t need to lock it. When you return, don’t bother to check the back seat for intruders. If someone with a garrote is waiting there to strangle the life out of you, you probably would rather not know about it.
If the movies are accurate, nobody but me eats dinner before 8 o’clock at night. Usually it’s even later, as movie men pick up their dinner dates at eight and then proceed to a fine restaurant where they have ten o’clock reservations.
If you ever have to remove a bullet from someone’s body, it’s important that, when you retrieve the bullet, you drop it into a metal dish from at least six inches, in order to get that satisfying “clunk” sound.
When you go after that bullet, you won’t have to go very deep. Even if it’s a 20mm round, it will be lodged just under the skin where you can reach it easily.
Even in 2020, people who stay in hotels, when they watch TV, only get to see old 1950s-era westerns filmed in black and white, usually featuring Indians attacking wagon trains.
If you’re a fifty year-old overweight cop wearing cowboy boots, and you find yourself chasing a twenty year-old suspect who’s six feet nine and runs like a deer, be sure to yell “Stop! Police!” He won’t stop right away, but if you keep shouting as he fades into the distance, you just might wear him down.
If you are driving a car with a front-seat passenger, feel free to maintain full eye contact while you carry on a conversation with that person. Doesn’t matter if you’re on a freeway or a crowded city street, you don’t need to keep your eyes on the road. Really, it will be okay, you won’t get into an accident.
When you’re being chased by killers, be sure to run across the roughest ground you can find, then look continuously over your shoulder so you can’t see where you’re going. That way, you’ll be sure to fall on your face several times, just to keep things exciting.
If you own a really hot, really fast sports car, like a Camaro or better, it’s important that you spin your tires every time you leave your driveway or parking space. There’s no particular reason for it, it’s just the right thing to do.
If you are a police officer driving a fast car and chasing a suspect, be sure to fish-tail every time you turn a corner. It may cause you to lose a few seconds while regaining control, but it helps you catch the bad guy a little faster.
If someone kidnaps your child and demands ransom, you will probably call the FBI. They will set up telephone trace equipment in your home to locate the kidnappers. Now, when the kidnappers call to tell you where to take the ransom, don’t answer right away. Let the phone ring fifteen or twenty times before you pick up. The crooks will never suspect that you’re stalling so the Feds can start their trace.
If you are pursuing a killer in a dark alley or warehouse, a stray cat will jump out of the shadows and scare the crap out of you. You will sigh in relief, and that is the exact moment the killer will jump you from behind.
Police cars should always start, stop, and corner with squealing tires. It doesn’t help them catch crooks any faster, but it’s great for Goodyear’s bottom line. Buy stock in tire companies.
Security guards fall into two categories: 1) fat old retired men who always get hit over the head and killed, or 2) police academy rejects who just can’t wait to shoot somebody.
When chasing a suspect into the street, it is possible for a police officer to be hit by a speeding car, flip several times in the air, land on his feet, and continue the chase.
When cars go over a cliff, they will always explode when they hit the bottom, and the explosion will happen inside the car.
If anyone ever puts a bomb in your house or car, it will explode twenty-six times, allowing very cool pictures from twenty-six different directions.
It is now possible to pour gasoline over an entire floor, wait until the room fills with explosive fumes, then light a match to threaten your hostages and the cop that is there to arrest you. When the match burns down to your fingers, you can safely drop it without fear of igniting the gasoline fumes.
Even if you shoot someone with an elephant gun, it will only make a tiny red hole in their forehead.
If you are ever running from the cops, the best way to escape is to drive the wrong way in rush hour traffic at 90 mph. It’s easy, just spin the wheel left and right and the other cars will get out of your way.
When you smoke a cigarette, just take one or two puffs (but don’t inhale) and then stub it out. If that doesn’t satisfy your craving, you can always light another one. After all, they only cost a dollar apiece.
When people in the movies get cancer, they never lose weight. On the day they die, they are still robust and fully-fleshed.
Victims of fires in the movies may have all their skin burned off, but not their hair. They will writhe and scream in agony while perfectly coiffed.
People who live in Boston and New York all have California accents.
If you walk into a room (or a jail cell) and find someone hanging by a rope from the overhead light fixture, you must not (and this is very important) set down the tray you are carrying. Even if the tray contains expensive crystal goblets or highly unstable nitroglycerin, you absolutely MUST drop it and let everything shatter. That is just the way it’s done.
Churchgoers in the Old West only knew two hymns: Amazing Grace and Bringing In the Sheaves.
In the 24th Century, when Starfleet rules the galaxy, everyone in France will speak with Shakespearean accents.
People on television hate being indoors. They constantly need to “get some air”.
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