16 Weird Things People Say In Movies But Never IRL

Movies are not real life. You know this. I know this. We all, in some way or another, know this to be true.

But movies, which are not real life, can sometimes have a way of seeming more real than they actually are. If movies are live-action, for example, and have strong acting and a strong script, you may find that they echo a few experiences you have had in your life, or just seem like experiences you may one day have.

Still, even in the most convincing, well-executed, and lifelike movies, there are almost certainly going to be some discrepancies between the movie and real life. This is true with certain characters that have become stock types in lots of movies, like bizarrely precocious children, and it is particularly true in terms of what the characters say. See, there are some phrases and ways of saying things that, as far as I know, have never actually been said by a real, human person while in conversation with another real, human person, but must be customary to put in scripts because they seem to get said in almost every movie ever.

So, check out these weird things that people say all the time in movies and TV but pretty much never say in real life:

1. “I can explain.”


This is usually said when a character is caught red-handed in some sort of illegal or nefarious activity, like snooping through someone’s personal belongings or kissing someone who isn’t their partner.

“I can explain” immediately makes everything seem more suspicious, while actually explaining something right away–which most people at least attempt to do when they’re caught doing something illicit–makes it easier to temper the situation.


2. “It’s not what it looks like.”


The natural (movie) companion to “I can explain,” which, again, is a line that people say in movies. Not real life.


3. “It’s what you do best.”


If a character messes up in a movie, it’s pretty typical for another character to look at them with disgust and say something like, “Yeah, go ahead and crash that car. It’s what you do best.” This is so mean and unnecessary!


4. “Is that all you’ve got?”


This is a big one for sports or music movies–the main character will try out for a big team, or audition for a musical or something, and the person running the tryout will be massively unimpressed by whatever feat they just performed. It’s not the being unimpressed is something that never happens–I myself am unimpressed almost every day–it’s just that most people mask it better.


5. “We can do this the easy way, or the hard way.”


There is no easy or hard way in real life! Everything, for the most part, is hard.


6. “I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you.”


This is usually said as a joke (that’s masking a real threat) but, in any case, it’s pretty rude.


7. “I have to do this alone.”


Rejecting help from your friends who love and cherish you unconditionally? Total movie move.


8. “Everything rides on this.”


In a movie with an intense car chase scene at the end, chances are good that most things do ride on it (literally). But in real life? Not so much.


9. “Are they staring at me?”


This is not so much a line trope as it is an overused storytelling device because, when a character says it, chances are good that there is someone staring at them. (And it’s, like, their estranged father’s arch-nemesis or something.

In real life, however, no one is ever staring at you, because most people only care about themselves.


10. “_____ is my middle name.”


“Danger” is usually the supposed middle name here, but pretty much any adjective can be filled in, too. “Sass.” “Craziness.” “Zest for life.” I don’t know. Just don’t say it IRL! I mean, you can (especially if you’re Wendy Williams, apparently), but you’ll get some weird looks, probably.


11. “You’ve giving up your dream.”


Which is almost always followed by, “No, Dad–I’m giving up your dream.” No one says this!


12. “I was born ready.”


In a movie, when a plucky protagonist is heading out to fight the many forces of evil or something, this line can make sense. In real life? Not so much.


13. “Don’t even go there.”


This is a line that isn’t used so much as a warning of a physical boundary, but rather a personal one that someone is specifically warned not to bring up around a certain person–you know, a divorce, an arch-nemesis, a rival company. (And, of course, they almost always end up bringing up later. It’s called exposition!)



14. “Just shut up and kiss me.”




15. “Never seen one of these before, have you?”


This is usually said when someone is showing another, more quotidian person their fancy car or a piece of art. It is, like most things said in movies, slightly rude and very abrasive and absolutely would not play in real life.


16. “Not on my watch!”


Okay. Calm down, please.

Have you noticed any of these? Did I forget any good ones? Let us know in the comments!

You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.

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  • Technically, I’ve heard some people say these phrases in real life…. It just depends on the context….