Top Ten TV Show Plot Cliches

Turkeyasylum
T.V. can be a great thing, but sometimes... it gets a bit repetitive. We all love some shows so much, that someone makes a blatant ripoff, and boom. Everybody's making a show like it. Just ask CSI or Survivor. These are the top ten cliches in T.V. show plots. Feel free to change the list as you wish!

The Top Ten

1 Detectives Fighting Crime

UGGH! There's about ten shows that fall into this category on CBS alone. You already have CSI, NCIS, other types of those two, Supernatural (if it counts), Hawaii Five-O, Bones, and only about a million more. I'm waiting for the day that crime shows completely die out because I don't like them. - Turkeyasylum

Two Words: NANCY DREW. - playstationfan66

2 Reality TV Contests

I personally love this genre, and the cliche can be forgotten about because each show has its own plot and there aren't any rip offs except for The Glass House (which is cancelled). Survivor started it, but now there's tons of shows like this, but due to them all being distinctly different, it makes the cliche less blatant. - Turkeyasylum

3 Sherlock Holmes

Don't even get me started. It's another show that fits in to "Detectives Fighting Crime". It's basically some British detective or something, though. It isn't much different and is probably the most overrated character because he has tons of shows about him. - Turkeyasylum

Nancy Drew is way more better than him. - playstationfan66

4 Two Lovers

This makes basically any plot device completely predictable. How many times has a show become popular because of some hot guy and some hot girl? It works as a minor feat of a plot, such as in Brooklyn Nine-nine, which comes up with original and diverse material every episode; but as the full focus of the show, it makes the development stages generalised and tedious. - PositronWildhawk

Lots of shows focus on couples. Let's take a look at a few: Mike and Molly, The Big Bang Theory (not fully, but still), Melissa and Joey, and pretty much any sitcom these days. Shows like this obviously have their own plots and characters making them more unique than detectives fighting crime, so I still think this is the reason it doesn't get much notice. - Turkeyasylum

How to get a popular show:
Get a hot guy who is a jock and a hot girl who is not afraid to be herself, and gets bullied by the less pretty popular crowd, even though she dresses and acts exactly like them, they get together make out, people shun them but they reject that, to end up being friends with them and everyone wins! - ToptenPizza

I agree. Zack (or Cody) loves Maddie. - playstationfan66

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5 The Abused Character

Every single show seems to have one of these. Meg, Squidward, Wendy, Leonard (TBBT), and Harold are a few. The issue is that their entire plot focuses on being abused and we don't get to see much more about them. Sometimes it's for the right reasons (Wendy), other times it's wrong (Meg or Squidward). - Turkeyasylum

6 Fart Humor

Fart humor... make it stop. This is directed to kids shows, such as Sanjay and Craig, and many episodes revolve around farts! It's gross and just makes little kids even more immature than they already are! Luckily, adult shows don't have them, but they do have... - Turkeyasylum

7 Running Gags Everywhere

The Big Bang Theory, 2 Broke Girls, and pretty much any CBS sitcom in a nutshell. They can rely on running gags too much, and new people to the show won't get them and won't get into it. Keep a close eye on this item as I expect it to go up. And keep in mind some running gags are funny (Oh my God, you killed Kenny! ) while others are atrocious (Bazinga, sorry I don't like it). - Turkeyasylum

8 Sex Humor

A sex joke once in a while won't hurt, but what about an entire entourage of them? I know the shows are meant for adults, but kids also watch them. Luckily, the jokes flew over my head for a long time, but now I'm mature enough to get them. Suspects include South Park and Family Guy. Two and a Half Men is also a huge culprit. - Turkeyasylum

I wish sex never existed

9 A Family's Life

The Simpsons focused on this, but it wasn't much of a cliche at the time, Now we have Family Guy, Two and a Half Men, and almost any sitcom. The plots like these get so stale it makes me puke. I prefer a show about 2 families being focused on equally. - Turkeyasylum

10 The One-Dimensional Character

Cartoons, and even some sitcoms have them. Lately Total Drama has fallen victim to this cliche with Shawn and Ella, but other shows have them. Just ask The Big Bang Theory, 2 Broke Girls, or SpongeBob SquarePants. Please, make characters have meaning to them.

Thanks for reading! - Turkeyasylum

The Contenders

11 Dysfunctional Families

How many Nickelodeon sitcoms feature just that? Well, Henry Danger, Nicky Ricky Dicky and Dawn, and The Thundermans are just a few. - naFrovivuS

12 Edgy Characters

I like some edgelords.. - TwilightKitsune

13 Blackmailing
14 Battle of the Sexes

Every show has had at least one episode where girls fight boys and it's getting old. - ToptenPizza

Battles of the sexes and blackmailing episodes need to end. - RalphBob

And if it's Disney Girls Always win.

15 Everyone Gets Married in the Final Episode
16 Gay Humor
17 Cooking Competition Shows

There are some original shows like worst cooks in america(teaching ammeteur cooks) that defeat

18 Teen Sitcoms
19 New Baby

Either because in a family show the youngest child is no longer young and cute, because a couple finally hooked up, or even as an excuse to write out a character. Furthermore, often the baby is a preschooler or ever a grade schooler a mere season or two later, and either way adds little or drags down the show.

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List StatsUpdated 22 Aug 2017

19 listings
2 years, 80 days old

Top Remixes

1. Detectives Fighting Crime
2. Reality TV Contests
3. Sherlock Holmes
Turkeyasylum
1. Detectives Fighting Crime
2. Sherlock Holmes
3. Reality TV Contests
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