Top 10 Most Annoying Cliches of the Superhero Movie Genre

Thought that forced twist endings were bad? Think again

The Top Ten

1 Having excruciatingly pretentious, over-worded and forgettable dialogue

ESPECIALLY in the DC ones (honestly, as much as I love the film itself, V For Vendetta is probably one of the company's most egregious cinematic examples of this cliche by far) - xandermartin98

2 Trying way too hard to be funny, not to mention edgy, and completely failing at it almost every single time

Which DC is unfortunately copying wholesale from Marvel now - xandermartin98

3 In recent years, acting like having things as mundane as black and/or female acting leads makes them the biggest and most revolutionary thing to ever happen to mankind

Catwoman 2004, Wonder Woman 2017, Black Panther 2018, Captain Marvel, Ant-Man And The Wasp, Aquaman, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, Justice League 2017, et cetera

(out of all of those, Spider-Verse is literally the only one that I actually DO consider to be even remotely above average as a movie; in fact, it's an absolutely phenomenal movie and quite honestly beats the living tar out of Infinity War as far as I'm concerned, but STILL) - xandermartin98

Wonder Woman was pretty good but was just a carbon copy of the animated movie of the same name.
Black Panther was also surprising good, but the other movies didn't really add anything new or interesting to the formula, outside of the Spider-Verse movie that did quite a bit to add something new to American animated movies - germshep24

YES! Captain Marvel being a "woman" means we should all stop what we're doing, see the movie, and profess that it's the GREATEST thing ever to happen to society let alone cinema. Damn thing hasn't even been released yet and people are already putting it falling over themselves about how great it is.

Child Please...

Yeah, sorry your late to the party we already have Wonder Woman, your just another Superhero movie with a female lead, should have made her a minority then we're talking - germshep24

4 Taking formerly awesome characters and horribly butchering them

Just to name a few particularly infamous examples:
Howard in Howard The Duck
Steel himself in Steel

Ultron in Avengers: Age Of Ultron
Johnny Blaze in Ghost Rider

The Joker and Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad
Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Magneto in X-Men 3: The Last Stand

Batman and Robin themselves in Batman & Robin
Superman and General Zod in Man Of Steel
Literally everyone in the main cast of The Fantastic Four

Two-Face and the Riddler in Batman Forever
Venom in Venom 2018
The Hulk in Hulk 2003

Catwoman in Catwoman 2004

Mr. Freeze and Bane in Batman & Robin
Spider-Man and Venom in Spider-Man 3

Elektra in Elektra
Blade in Blade Trinity

Cyborg and Flash in Justice League 2017 - xandermartin98

5 Making awful character-casting choices that basically boil down to "this actor/actress is popular and famous, so let's use him/her based on that alone"

Just to name some particularly infamous examples:
Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor in Dawn Of Justice
Jared Leto as the Joker in Suicide Squad
Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy in Batman & Robin

Halle Berry as Catwoman in Catwoman 2004

Nicolas Cage (almost) as Superman in Superman Returns
Will Smith as Deadshot in Suicide Squad
George Clooney as Batman in Batman & Robin

Shaquille O Neal as Steel in Steel
Tommy Lee Jones as Harvey Dent in Batman Forever

Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze in Ghost Rider
Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin
Jim Carrey as the Riddler in Batman Forever - xandermartin98

Yeah the should have made Jim Carey Two-face and tommy lee Jones the Riddler - germshep24

6 Overstuffing many of its movies with characters, usually villains, to the point where the films become unable to give sufficient development to any of them

Infinity War at least manages to decently hold itself together despite this - xandermartin98

Infinity Wars just overstuffed the movie with Superheroes, it really only had one villain, the main perpetrator of this was Spider-Man 3 which had 4 villains in it - germshep24

7 In the 21st century, horrendously over-using CGI in many of its films

As much as I enjoyed Infinity War, the film is literally 95% CGI

Enough said (also, Henry Cavill's upper lip in Justice League 2017) - xandermartin98

This isn't really a Superhero issue but any big budget Hollywood movie, though it is also a problem with the Chinese equivalent of Hollywood and Bollywood movies - germshep24

8 Many of its films being excessively long and having very little plot or meaning to back said lengths up

(cough, Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, cough) - xandermartin98

9 In superhero movie franchises that have more than two movies, having the first two be good and then horribly jumping the shark with the third and fourth ones

Though sometimes the switch it up by screwing up the second one or the first one:
Iron Man 2
Thor 2
Captain America - germshep24

Just to name some particularly infamous examples:
Tim Burton's Batman Quadrilogy
Original Superman Quadrilogy
The Terminator Series

The first four main-series Star Wars films (IV, V, VI and I)

Spider-Man (counting its Amazing spinoff as the fourth one)
The Matrix Trilogy
Blade Trilogy
X-Men (counting its Origins spinoff as the fourth one)
The Dark Knight Trilogy (as good as Rises still is) - xandermartin98

10 In recent years, many of its films being extremely overrated whenever they are made by Marvel and underrated whenever they are made by DC

This is what happens when one company figures out the perfect Superhero movie formula and the other is stuck trying to figure it out.
DC is going to be underrated because their movies are going to be changed from movie to movie to figure out what works, once they figure out what works they'll become overrated as well - germshep24

Because Marvel figured out that perfect superhero movie formula while DC still has not. Marvel makes their movies really good and DC is slow-paced.

That is because Marvel is better than DC. Most DC movies are slow with less action. Aquaman was good though. I heard Wonder Woman and Shazam! were also good DC movies (I want to watch them soon). Marvel has more action and is more fast-paced.

Personally, I blame Rotten Tomatoes and its absolutely MASSIVE Disney fetish - xandermartin98

Yeah, you don't know what your talking about, Marvel has high scores because the make good movies and they understand the formula well, the major problem is that they got too formulaic meaning the movies aren't much different from any of the other movies
DC still hasn't figured out that formula, which means their going to be crapped on even though their usually not that bad just forgettable - germshep24

The Contenders

11 Always having the exact same "good VS evil" plot
12 Featuring absurd amounts of plot armor

Every single character seem to have unbreakable, burnable, destructable, or injurable bodies, regardless of who it is, the only exceptions being in the last five minutes and/or Infinity War

13 Being full of racist/nationalist stereotypes (Suicide Squad, for example)


Deadshot is a black guy that shoots people for money and talks in stereotypical gangster slang; also, him getting brutally beaten by quite probably THE richest white guy in the entire DC universe is an act that is nothing short of HEAVILY glorified by the film as well

El Diablo is a completely prototypical Latino wigger "gangsta"

The woman who leads the Squad is an Angry/Scary Black Woman

Katana is a Japanese woman who is obsessed with swords

Captain Boomerang is an alcoholic Australian who is obsessed with...well, boomerangs (honestly, it's in the name, what did you expect)

Killer Croc is a literally animalistic black man

Harley Quinn is the stereotypical "all beauty, no brains" American blonde - xandermartin98

Nice observation but this is a problem with movies in general - germshep24

14 Dumbing down the original comics way too much
15 Over-sexualizing female characters
16 Prioritizing visuals far too heavily over actual plot and substance
17 Putting characters through un-necessary emo phases
18 It's turning into a giant toy commercial
19 Stereotypically evil villains
20 Last fight scene almost always takes place on a rooftop or something similar
21 Almost never being good whenever they are made in live-action format by DC
22 Second film of a superhero trilogy turning out to be horribly disappointing
23 Having the final battle have a beam of light for no reason
24 Exaggeratedly gravelly and brooding voices for anti-heroes
25 Forced memes
26 Forced twist endings (Avengers: Infinity War, for example)
27 Take place in New York City

They should make a superhero movie set in Las Vegas

BAdd New Item

Related Lists

Top 10 Annoying but Funny Movie Cliches Top Ten Most Annoying Disney Character Cliches Most Annoying Cartoon Cliches Most Annoying Romance Anime Cliches Top 10 Most Annoying T.V. Cliches

List Stats

27 listings
178 days old

Top Remixes

1. Trying way too hard to be funny, not to mention edgy, and completely failing at it almost every single time
2. Having excruciatingly pretentious, over-worded and forgettable dialogue
3. In the 21st century, horrendously over-using CGI in many of its films
1. Taking formerly awesome characters and horribly butchering them
2. In recent years, acting like having things as mundane as black and/or female acting leads makes them the biggest and most revolutionary thing to ever happen to mankind
3. Having excruciatingly pretentious, over-worded and forgettable dialogue


Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.