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Things I Learned At The Movies

A cigarette case in a shirt pocket always blocks a bullet.

A cough indicates a terminal illness.

A credit card or a paper clip can pick any lock in seconds - unless it's the door to a burning building with a child trapped inside.

A detective can solve a case after he is suspended from duty.

A female lead with feminist leanings will always despise a macho hero - until he rescues her from certain death and then she'll become totally dependent. Soon afterwards, the hero becomes vulnerable and tells her about his tragic loss that explains his attitude.

A gang of highly-trained terrorists will always separate and search for an intruder making it easier to kill them off one-by-one.

A man feels no pain during a ferocious beating but winces when a woman cleans his wounds.

A message in Morse Code starts several seconds before someone interprets it, however, no information is lost as the message actually begins when the interpreter starts to read it.

A movie teenager always has a drainpipe next to his or her window that is specially reinforced to hold their weight.

A person being pursued always stops to throw something at the person chasing them even though it takes three times longer to stop and throw obstacles than it takes the pursuer to jump them.

A single match can brighten any room, no matter the size.

A slight blow to the head is enough to cause amnesia.

Action heroes never face charges for manslaughter or criminal damage despite laying entire cities to waste.

All automatic pistols must be held sideways in order to be fired.

All automatic weapons must be cocked in order to be fired, but bolt-action weapons can fire two or three times without being cocked.

All beds have special L-shaped sheets which reach up to the armpit level on a woman but only to waist level on the man lying beside her.

All bombs come complete with electronic timers with large digital readouts to announce exactly when they will explode.

All computer disks work in all computers, regardless of operating system.

All G.I.s know how to make a still out of a Jeep radiator.

All grocery shopping bags contain at least one loaf of French bread.

All single women have cats.

All spaceships, no matter how small, have internal artificial gravity which keeps working no matter how badly the ship gets pummeled by the evil alien ship, no matter how many external panels get blown away, and no mat-ter how many sparks shoot out of its control panels.

All sub-machine guns sound alike and have the same rate of fire.

All women have shaved legs and armpits, even cavewomen.

All women moan during sex. None sweats.

Although in the 20th century we can fire weapons at objects out of visual range, people of the 23rd century will have lost this technology.

An electric fence powerful enough to kill a dinosaur does no lasting damage to an eight-year-old child.

Any kid or dog can wonder through an artillery barrage without injury while half the outfit gets wiped out.

Any laptop computer is powerful enough to override the communication systems of any invading alien civiliza-tion.

Any machine gun nest can be approached from behind without difficulty, but not until half the unit has been wiped out.

Any person waking from a nightmare will sit bolt upright and pant.

Anyone can land a plane, provided someone in the control tower talks you through it.

As soon as soldiers start to eat/drink/change socks/go to the bathroom, they get orders to "move out immedi-ately!"

Assassins will always wait till the very last moment to assemble their complex sniper pistol that's the size of a rifle.

At least one of a pair of identical twins is born evil.

Bad guy hand grenades make noise and smoke but no real damage, while good guy hand grenades are devastat-ing but selective. They destroy tanks but don't hurt the thrower, even if he drops one on his toe. Bad guy gre-nades used by good guys become good guy grenades, and vice versa.

Bad guys kill their henchman for failing, yet never run out of loyal henchmen.

Bad guys lurk until their presence is revealed by a flash of lightning.

Bags of groceries are never heavy.

Beautiful and intelligent women are either prostitutes or welders.

Beautiful women will always fawn over an action hero, no matter what sexist remarks he makes to them.

Bullets are unable to penetrate water.

Bullets removed from shooting victims and displayed to the camera will not be misshapen in any way from the impact - and will sometimes still have the casing attached.

Bullets, even though they are only pieces of lead sometimes encased in copper, always make little explosions when they strike any kind of inanimate object.

Cannons, howitzers, and main tank guns never recoil, unless it's old documentary footage.

Characters arrive at the airport and get right on the plane, whereas you must get a boarding pass and wait around before boarding, and never mind the airlines' "arrive 15 minutes before departure or lose your seat" clause. Movie airlines never overbook.

Characters shot with guns will fly backward, or upward and backward, through the air, the laws of physics not-withstanding.

Characters use silencers on revolvers... and they work.

Crashing cars always burst into flames.

Creepy music coming from a cemetery must always be investigated more closely.

Deranged killers only escape when a thunderstorm has knocked out all power and telephone lines.

Dinosaurs only eat ugly and/or immoral people.

Dogs always know bad people and will bark incessantly at them.

Dogs are immortal.

During a week-long murder investigation, detectives need not go home to eat, sleep, shave, or change their clothes.

During all police investigations it is necessary to visit a strip club at least once.

During emotional confrontations, instead of facing the person you are speaking to, stand behind them and talk to their back.

Elite units (Special Forces, Rangers, Commandos) are always recruited from convicts and other socially degen-erate segments of society.

Elite units are expendable even though they cost much more to train and maintain.

Even weapons experts freeze when confronted with a weapon that's not in firing condition, i.e., an un-cocked single action revolver or a submachine gun with its breech closed (also un-cocked). The person holding the gun must make several moves to fire the gun, and the adversary could just reach out and take the weapon, but the dropee just freezes even though often it is obvious that the cylinder is devoid of any ammo.

Every army platoon has at least one, usually black, member who plays the harmonica.

Every telephone number begins with 555.

Every unit has a "Scrounge" who can get you anything from an atomic bomb to a date with the general's daugh-ter, for just a bottle of cheap scotch, or vice versa.

Everyone's watches are perfectly synchronized.

Explosions in space make noise.

Exposure to vacuum makes you swell up horribly and explode within seconds.

Foxholes never have overhead protection or grenade pits.

Freelance helicopter pilots are always eager to accept bookings from international terrorist organizations - even though the job will require them to shoot total strangers and will end in certain death as their helicopter explodes in a ball of fire.

Full moons occur several nights in a row.

German soldier always wear grey uniforms and jack-boots, though these uniforms were phased out by mid-1943.

Guns are like disposable razors - if you run out of bullets, just throw it away. You'll find another.

Guns never run out of ammunition unless escape would be otherwise impossible.

Having a job makes fathers forget their sons' birthdays.

Heros and villains can successfully use wood, no matter how thin, as a safe shield against bullets of any caliber.

High schools are always either in the middle of a city or a car ride away from the beach.

High-class strippers with a heart of gold can operate heavy machinery.

High-powered female executives always wear miniskirts and five-inch heels to work

Honest and hard-working policemen are traditionally gunned down with days of their retirement.

Horses are never wounded in horseback gunfights.

If a killer is lurking in your house, it's easy to find him. Just run a bath (even in the middle of the day) and then look in the bathroom mirror. There he is.

If a main character dies, his sweetheart back home will have a nightmare at that exact moment.

If a phone line is broken, the best way to restore communication is to frantically beat the cradle while yelling, "Hello? Hello?"

If a soldier comments about how nice everything looks, too bad there's a war going on, he's going to come back when this is all over, he'll be immediately shot by a sniper.

If a soldier tries to look up an old buddy who was transferred to different unit, the buddy will be dead or will die shortly there after.

If a woman is pregnant, she will deliver before the movie ends.

If an imminent natural disaster or a killer beast threatens a town, the mayor's first concern is always the tourist industry.

If the hero has to cross a street in a slower part of the movie, he can do so immediately, but he jogs across in or-der to miss the one car that drives by just missing him.

If the person you are chasing has just taken the elevator down from the 20th floor, you can get to the street first by taking the stairs.

If the tapping sound or flashing light represents Morse Code, there's always someone around that can interpret the message.

If there is a horse trough present in a Western gunfight scene, at least one shot will splash spectacularly in the water.

If there is traffic, then that means that the movie is at a more intense part (like a chase scene) in which case there are a lot of cars that crash into each other. None of the important characters get hurt, the accident is never heard on the news, and nobody sues anybody important. Very few people even get out of their cars, and yet, no airbags deploy.

If you are a cowboy, aiming your rifle while using your horse as a support will always assure a first round hit.

If you are blonde and pretty, you can be an expert in nuclear fission by age 22.

If you decide to start dancing in the street, everyone you bump into will know all the steps.

If you don't have a parachute, just cling to someone who does and don't let go until you both land safely.

If you lose a hand, the stump of your arm will grow six inches.

If you need to diffuse a bomb, don't worry about which wire to cut. You always choose the right one.

If you need to reload your gun, you will always have more ammunition - even if you weren't carrying any.

If you think there is an intruder in your house, your cat will choose that precise moment to leap at you.

If you're a high school student in a film, you always have one of the preferable eye-level lockers.

If you're a woman who has just finished a steamy love-making session, you will pull the sheets up to your neck.

If you're ever caught up in a misunderstanding that could be quickly cleared up by a simple explanation, keep your mouth shut.

In 50% of action movies made after 1988, some line refers to "Teflon Coated Cop Killer Bullets."

In a duel or in a gunfight between two characters standing in a street, at least one character will be hit during the first exchange of gunfire.

In a spaceship battle scene, for a ship to fire a weapon at another, it must be in visual range. Even though the 20th century saw the advent of weapons that can be fired without visual contact, the people of the future have lost this technology.

In all high school or college classrooms, the teacher or professor will always be interrupted in mid-sentence by the end-of-class bell.

In any movie where "something" has happened and villagers come to look at it, they always decide to "go for help." The most expendable member of the group is left to "keep an eye on it" and supplied with a weapon or signaling device "in case something happens." Said member always responds, "What could happen?" shortly before he dies a gruesome death.

In any type of sports movie, a player on the field can look up into a crowd of 100,000 people and immediately spot his loved one.

In emergencies, anyone can fly a helicopter.

In every school, there is at least one nerd or wimp that will be shoved into a locker big enough to hold him.

In the event of a car chase, two men will carry a large pane of glass through the streets for you to drive through.

Inertial dampers prevent passengers from being plastered against the walls during acceleration to warp speed and yet any explosion sends them reeling across the ship.

Interbreeding is genetically possible with any creature from anywhere else in the universe.

It does not matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts - your enemies will wait pa-tiently to attack you one by one by dancing around in a threatening manner until you have knocked out their predecessors.

It is necessary to move the steering wheel vigorously left and right every few moments even when driving down a perfectly straight road.

It is not necessary to say hello or goodbye when beginning or ending phone conversations.

Kitchens don't have lights. When entering a kitchen at night, just open the fridge and use that light instead.

Large loft-style apartments in New York City are well within the price range of average people - whether they are employed or not.

Laser beams are visible in vacuum.

Long before sunbathing was fashionable, men and women had tan lines and white bottoms.

Machine guns submerged underwater won't jam or misfire when the hero pops up to use them.

Major characters never run out of ammunition, nor need to reload. If they do have to reload, they never carried spare ammo until that scene.

Make-up may be worn to bed without smudging.

Medieval peasants had perfect teeth.

Megalomaniacs intent on world domination can't resist detailing their evil plan to their arch-nemesis.

Most people keep a scrapbook of newspaper clippings, especially if any of their family or friends have died in a strange accident.

Mothers routinely cook eggs, bacon, and waffles for their family every morning even though their husband and children never have time to eat it.

Movie characters never suffer from motion sickness.

Movie characters' suitcases are always weightless.

Movie gunmen never lock and load their weapons when anticipating a life-or-death confrontation. They may have their weapons drawn, but not charged with a round in the chamber. When carrying a pump-action shotgun, they wait until they confront their quarry to slam a round into the chamber with a dramatic "ca-chunk" sound.

Movie Little League baseball teams still use wooden bats even though every real Little League team is forced to use aluminum bats.

Movie timing is always exact. If "it will take two minutes to trace his call," for example, you can be sure that that means 120 seconds. Same for bombs and how long it takes to get somewhere.

Never assume that anyone is dead unless their death was spectacular.

New replacements get killed before you learn their names.

Newborn babies babble, crawl and hold their heads steady.

No debris ever falls from a ceiling after a gun is fired into it.

No gun ever jams or misfires during a quick-draw.

No matter how dead you think you've killed a bad guy, he can still get up three more times. Therefore, leave his gun in his hand while you turn away to comfort the girl.

No movie character ever uses a .22-caliber weapon.

No movie character ever uses, or even refers to, a safety on any firearm.

No one ever needs a Kleenex after sex.

No one ever shoots the hero. Battle come to a standstill while he cries out "it should've been me" when his best friend steps on the land mine/gets blown up/dies charging a machine gun nest/etc. The battle resumes as soon as the hero gets over his grief and gets angry. Within 45 seconds, he will be victorious.

No one involved in a car chase, hijacking, explosion, volcanic eruption, or alien invasion, ever goes into shock.

Once a character flips up the long-range site on his rifle, he always make his next shot.

Once applied, lipstick never rubs off - even when scuba diving.

One man has a better chance of shooting twenty men than twenty men have of shooting one man.

Only the "Japs" and the "VC" use booby traps.

Only the Marines fought the war in the Pacific. No Army personnel were involved.

Photos of loved ones, religious medals, and Bibles can stop bullets better than a bulletproof vest.

Police Departments deliberately assign partners who are total opposites.

Radiation causes interesting mutations - not to your future children, but to you, right then and there.

Rather than wasting bullets, megalomaniacs prefer to kill their arch enemies using complicated machinery in-volving fuses, pulley systems, deadly gases, lasers and man-eating sharks which allow them at least twenty min-utes to escape.

Restaurant bills are always 15% less than the amount you are holding in your hand.

Shots fired at someone hiding around a corner never whiz past, but always strike the edge of the building near his face.

Shots fired at the rear of a vehicle cause gas tanks to explode.

Shots fired at windshields never deflect, but always penetrate and hit the bad guy in the forehead. If the driver is good guy, he'll merely has to duck a little to avoid them.

Shots fired in Westerns that do not hit a character always ricochet loudly.

Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German officer, it is not necessary to speak the language. A German accent will suffice.

Smokers smoke only when there is a romantic or dramatic reason to.

Snipers always know exactly where someone will pop his head out of a trench. Soldiers in trenches never use mirrors or periscopes, like they have in all recent wars.

Soldiers and sailors must have at least on barroom brawl, followed by a scene where they come to each other's mutual aid.

Soldiers ask for keys to military vehicles even though these vehicles don't use keys.

Space is not Newtonian; spacecraft don't coast, but stop dead when they run out of power.

Spaceships always fly perpendicular to the same axis. When two spacecraft encounter each other, they're al-ways aligned on a plane and never approach at odd angles.

Spaceships make noise!

SS soldiers always wear their dress black uniforms.

Television news always features a story that affects you personally, at the precise moment you turn on the TV.

The bad guy always has a sidekick muscleman with a trademark gimmick that he uses to eliminate opponents. To kill or decomission this muscleman, just force his trademarked gimmick to backfire, because if he gets dis-patched by a different method, he is not dead.

The bad guy is the foreigner.

The bad guy, having finally gotten the good guy into his clutches, will usually spend a few meglomaniac min-utes gloating over his victory and his opponent's downfall. This will be just enough time for the good guy to figure a way out of his predicament or for rescuers to arrive.

The battle-hardened vet will always fall on a grenade for the new guy instead of just picking up the grenade and throwing it away or jumping out of the foxhole.

The Chief of Police always suspends his star detective, unless he gives him 48 hours to solve the case.

The Chief of Police is always black.

The cowboy who exchanges a dozen shots with the bad guys without hitting one will nevertheless be able to detonate a stick of dynamite from 150 feet away with a revolver on his first try.

The Eiffel Tower can be seen from every window in Paris.

The first shot or burst of fire from a bad guy always misses and is there merely to announce that a fight has be-gun.

The foreigner is the guy who speaks with a British accent.

The hero's weapon is always different from everyone else's weapon.

The more a man and a woman hate each other, the more likely they are to fall in love.

The most beautiful girl in school can never get a date.

The only courses taught in American high schools are American History and English.

The person you trust most at work is the person trying to kill you.

The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place because no one ever thinks of looking for you there. And, you can travel to any part of any building without difficulty.

The walls of a teenager's bedroom or a twenty-ish adult's apartment are always highly decorated, with every available inch of space covered with something cool.

There are tiny cameras mounted everywhere, on every panel, in every spaceship. No matter what happens any-where in the ship, you can just ask the computer to replay that scene for you later. Unlike blurry convenience store cameras, spaceship cameras capture everyone's actions at eye-level, with perfect lighting.

There is always a back way out, usually through the kitchen.

There's a deep humming in space.

Total strangers, upon falling into bed together, always reach an incredibly intense, mutual, and simultaneous or-gasm on their first try.

Transportation always arrives and leaves on time.

Warp or hyper-drives always fail at critical moments.

Wearing a vest or stripping to the waist makes a man invulnerable to bullets.

Western characters are never shot in the legs while hiding behind wagons.

When a person is knocked unconscious by a blow to the head, they never suffer a concussion or brain damage.

When a villain seems dead, he never is. He will always be allowed one, and sometimes two resurrections. The hero will frequently see him coming, even if his back is turned. If he doesn't, a friend will finish the villain off.

When being chased through town it is best to take cover in a passing parade, any day of the year.

When bringing home bags of groceries in a film, you will spill at least one bag on the kitchen floor.

When confronted by an evil international terrorist, sarcasm and wisecracks are the best weapons.

When crossing a rotting suspension bridge with wooden slats, a slat always breaks when a woman steps on it.

When driving a car, you need not look at the road, but rather at the person sitting beside you.

When in love, burst into song.

When looking through binoculars, you always see things through a figure-eight shape.

When Morse Code is used, the interpreter will call out words as they are being sent, rather than letters. Further-more, a single word is represented by a few "beeps", and all words are sent at the same rate, no matter how long the word is. Example: "beep-beep-be-beep..." "Help..." "beep-beep-be-beep..." "Us..." "beep-beep-be-beep..." "We're..." "beep-beep-be-beep..." "Surrounded..." "beep-beep-be-beep..." "Send..." "beep-beep-be-beep..." "Reinforcements..." "beep-beep-be-beep..." "Hurry..." etc.

When paying for a taxi, just grab any bill at random from your wallet. It will always be the exact fare, plus tip.

When staying in a haunted house, women should investigate strange noises in their most revealing underwear.

When the good guy gets shot, he will fall down and be presumed dead, but will later turn out to have had the foresight to wear his bulletproof vest. No one ever shoots him in the head where he is unprotected. Afterwards, instead of learning from his good fortune, he throws away his protection, confident that the same situation will never recur.

When they are alone, foreigners speak English to each other.

When you turn off the light to go to bed, everything in your bedroom will still be clearly visible, just slightly darker and blurry.

Whenever a large pane of glass is seen, someone will soon be thrown through it.

Whenever anyone is chased to a staircase, s/he will run upstairs rather than down.

Whichever tree branch the hero has perched on, the villain will invariably pause under it.

Women always cover their mouths when terrified.

Women always stand and watch the bad guys who are about to shoot them, even if there's cover nearby.

Women always stand and watch the cars that are about to run them over.

Women are always too hysterical to do what the hero instructs. He has to help her/force her/knock her out.

Women don't need to go to the bathroom when they get up, but do shower frequently.

Women either make love with their underwear on or immediately put them back on.

Women fight other women by pulling hair, falling to the ground together, and rolling over twice.

Women make a noise at the precise moment the villain is close enough to hear.

Women worry about their nails or dresses even while people are trying to kill them.

Word processors never display a cursor, but do always say: "Enter Password Now" in giant letters.

World War II soldiers always give nylons and cigarettes to women, yet never take advantage of the situation by asking for sexual favors.

You can always find a chainsaw when you need one.

You can always park directly outside any building you visit.

You can kill the bad guy by noting which object the camera has lingered on for a long time, like a meat hook or a piece of broken glass. When you fight him, you can become inspired, either by either an insult from the bad guy or a look of faith from your love interest, with strength enough to force the bad guy into/onto/under/in front of the aforementioned object. Within 15 seconds of the bad guy's demise, you will utter your trademark phrase.

You don't need the right software because any computer can open any file.

You know a man is British if he wears a bow tie.

You're likely to survive any battle in any war unless you show someone a picture of your sweetheart back home.