Top 11 Coolest Cliches
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to.
(Various clips of movies)
NC: (voiceover) If you watch my show, then you know that I often make fun of cliches. They're the annoying little plot points and reoccurring moments that never seem to evolve no matter how many times we use them. But for as much as I bitch about them, there actually are a fair amount of cool cliches. These are the moments you've seen a million times before, but for some reason, you never get tired of. They were awesome when they first appeared and they're still awesome now. And nothing can ever make them deteriorate their... awesomeness.
NC: Whether you laugh at them or take them seriously, they're always a ton of fun to watch. And so, I'm honoring the Top 11 Greatest Cliches that ever existed. Why top 11? Because I have my own cliche that will never die. So, sit back and enjoy the Top 11 Coolest Cliches.
NC: (voiceover) Number 11- Holding the gun sideways. This is also known as "Gangsta Style", and it is completely pointless. There is no reason to hold the gun sideways. It doesn't help your aim, it doesn't make the bullet go any faster, so why the hell do it? Because it looks friggin' awesome, that's why. Though to be honest, I'm not even sure why it looks awesome. Maybe it shows that the killer is just so laid back and cool that he doesn't even need to point the gun up all the way, like, "Fuck you, you're not even worth using the sight on this gun." This method has been used so much that they satirize it everywhere.
(Clip from Superbad)
NC: (voiceover) One of the most memorable is in Superbad.
Fogell (AKA McLovin; played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse): Break yo'self, foo! (shoots car while holding gun sideways)
(Clip of Date Night)
NC: (voiceover) And the more recent satire was in Date Night.
Phil Foster (Steve Carell): God, no! He turned it sideways! Kill shot! That's a kill shot!
(Clips of people point gun sideways)
NC: (voiceover) Whatever reason people do it, it just looks bad-ass. Even if it does make no sense whatsoever.
Phil: Kill shot! That's a kill shot!
NC: (voiceover) #10: The sexy cry.
(Clips of people crying in movies)
NC: (voiceover) Nobody in movies ever has a traditional cry where they start sniffing and snorting and can barely talk. No, no, no. They have the sexy cry. That one single tear that comes down while the rest of their face shows no emotion.
(Clip of the sexy cry. A "Ding" sound effect is heard when the tear comes down)
NC: (As if sexually aroused) Oh, yeah.
NC: (voiceover) There's two recent film series in particular that use this a lot. (Clip of Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith) One was the new Star Wars movies, where Anakin is EVIL AND ANGRY, (Childish sad voice) but sad.
(Cuts to NC pretending to cry, running a finger down from his eye. Another "Ding" sound effect is heard. Clips from Lord of the Ring are shown)
NC: (voiceover) And the other is Lord of the Rings. Good God, everybody cried in this movie, but only two people had the sexy cry. One was Frodo, which was framed so over-the-top, you'd swear it was the cover to a new age album.
(Title reading "Tears of a Hobbit by Frodo Baggins" is superimposed in an image of Frodo as LOTR music plays)
NC: (voiceover) And the other is Arwen, who, I swear to God, her only purpose was to ride horses and cry. And every scene, that's what she's doing. Ride a horse, cry. Ride a horse, cry. Even when it seems like there's no reason to do it, she cries! And every time she does it, it's the sexy cry. She's practically perfected it.
(Clip of Arwen, but she is not crying)
NC: (voiceover) Oh, wait, getting some hesitation.
NC: (voiceover) There we go. Sexy cry. Oh, yeah. I don't know why people don't get snot-nosed and puffy-eyed when they cry in movies, but if they didn't, we wouldn't have this wonderful cliche.
(Clip of A Christmas Story combined with clips of Arwen)
Scut Farkus (Zack Ward): What, are you gonna cry now? Come on, crybaby, come on, cry!
NC: (voiceover) Number 9: The past. Every character has a dark, tormenting past that always follows them into the present. It either involves something the character's done, or the death of a family member. And for some reason, that character is usually the father.
(Clips of characters in film saying, "You killed my father")
NC: (voiceover) Why is it always the father and never the mother? It's like, "Yeah, bitch, all you did is push me out. What the hell do I owe you?" I don't know, but whatever the reason, it's always a touchy subject, which requires our main character to always brood away from the crowd as the one curious onlooker wants to understand.
NC: I always wanted to see a backstory that combined all the backstories, like creating the ultimate past, something like...
(Clip from Blade)
Whistler (Kris Kristofferson): Blade's mother was attacked by a vampire while she was pregnant.
(Clip from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
Obi-Wan Kenobi: He's more machine now than man.
Dolores: A Toon killed his brother.
(Clip from Sin City)
Marv: And along the way, he just happened to become the most powerful man in the state.
NC: Now that would be an awesome movie!
NC: (voiceover) Like they always say, "The dreams of the past create the realities of the future." As well as one of my all time favorite cliches.
(Clip of Star Wars)
Luke Skywalker: How did my father die?
(Clip of Who Framed Roger Rabbit)
Dolores: Dropped a piano on his head.
NC: (voiceover) Number 8: The Dramatic Choir. This is when the composer of a film decides he or she wants the movie to sound more epic, so a full-on choir is brought in to sing straight-up gibberish that sounds like some sort of dead language.
(Clip of the famous duel scene from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, with Duel of the Fates playing in the background)
NC: (voiceover) Sometimes, they use a real language. Like in Hunchback of Notre Dame, they really are singing Latin.
(Clip of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, showing Quasimodo swinging down Notre Dame to rescue Esmeralda as a choir sings Latin)
NC: (voiceover) Hell, in Lord of the Rings, they're actually singing Elvish.
(Clip of Lord of the Rings, where the Black Riders are chasing Arwen and Frodo as a choir sings Elvish)
NC: What's next? A Star Trek choir singing Klingon?
(Image of Star Trek Klingons singing (fake) Klingon to the tune of Ode to Joy)
NC: Never play that again.
NC: (voiceover) But for the most part, it's just made-up words. You can see this a lot in film trailers. In fact, there's actually musicians now who specifically specialize in only writing songs for movie trailers, and you can guarantee if it's an action film, there's almost always going to be a choir.
NC: (voiceover) Sometimes they use straight-up English, but try to make it sound likes it's a foreign language. That's really weird.
(Movie clip. The choir sings, "A hero will rise" in a manner that makes it sound as if they are not singing English. A subtitle appears at the bottom of the clip to show what they are saying)
NC: (voiceover) Sometimes, the most simple ones are the most effective. For example, film composer Danny Elfman uses choirs all the time. But what do they usually say?
(Clips from Edward Scissorhands with Danny Elfman music, one with the choir singing, "Oooooooooo" and the other with them singing, "Ahhhhhhhhhhh")
NC: (voiceover) He literally has the choir do all the "Ooohs" and "Ah's" for you. No need for the audience to participate. The movie is praising itself already! (Clip of Airplane!) My favorite in terms of comedic ones, though, is at the end of Airplane!, when the dramatic choir is literally so dramatic that they can't even make the very last note.
(Choir singing, Choir attempts to sing the last note, but messes up)
NC: (voiceover) What can I say? I'm a sucker for choirs and it looks like most of America is, too.
(Movie clip with choir)
NC (voiceover): Number 7: Mono y Mono (aka Jousting). This is when our hero is going through, like, a bajillion bad guys, which always results in the one-on-one battle with our main villain. For some reason, the main villain always seems to be the longest person to fight, too. How come they didn’t just use that person to begin with? Clearly, that was the strongest opponent! But, oh, well. There’s another cliché that evolves from this, which I like to call “Jousting.” This is when the hero and villain stare at each other down and just…lunge after each other. It’s practically caveman-like. It’s pure emotion building as they run down an often very long pathway. We saw them lunge for each other in “The Count of Monte Cristo”…
(Such a lunge sequence is shown)
NC (voiceover): We saw them leap for each other in the “Planet of the Apes” remake…
(Two apes in the remake jump in the air to lunge at each other)
NC (voiceover): But my favorite, and by far the goofiest, is from “Mission Impossible 2”, when our enemies race after each other on motorcycles and literally propel themselves, crashing into the air. (Such a scene is shown before the two fight each other on the dusty ground) Oh, yeah, five fractured bones later, maybe you can fight like that! I just love how they were both thinking the exact same thing, that they were going to end up in the air crashing into one another, like they both coincidentally said to themselves…
NC: (pretends to grab on a motorcycle’s handlebars) “Motorcycles aren’t enough. Somehow, I’m gonna get myself into the air. I don’t know how; I’m just so filled with rage!”
NC (voiceover): Pure emotion coming out in one solid charge. That’s a cliché that’s worth seeing a few times more.
NC (voiceover): Number 6: Things Blowing in the Wind. This is why so many heroes and villains wear such long clothing, because it looks freaking awesome when it’s blowing in the wind. Hell, the invention of the cape has no real purpose; it’s just there to look cool! In reality, that thing would get in the way if you were ever trying to fight. You’d trip over it all the time! But in movies, it just makes the motion of our hero look all the more flowing; therefore, more cool. But to be fair, it looks pretty intimidating on villains, too. I think I first started to realize how good they look when Nicolas Cage stepped out in Face/Off. All I could say to myself was, “I want that fucking coat and a giant fan to follow me around all the time.” But women aren’t left out of the loop, either. In fact, they can often get away with it a little more. Long hair, long dresses, long scarves, whatever, they’re practically designed to look cool when the wind is blowing. So, how long will it take for this cliché to get so old that we’re sick to death of it?
Background Singer: The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. The answer is blowing in the wind.
NC (voiceover): Number 5: The explosion just a few feet away. If anyone has ever been around a real explosion, you know how powerful it is, as well as how deafening it is. Nobody can just stand around while an explosion goes on; you need to fly up in the air or your ears would explode from the sound of it! Yet we constantly see people run, walk, and even just stand perfectly still while they happen. My favorite are the ones where they don’t even turn around, as if to say, “Yeah, I know it’s there, but I’m just too badass to turn around and look at it. What, you think I don’t see explosions? I do! All the time! They bore me now!” No matter how over-the-top, they try everything, like how about when Keanu Reeves outruns a freaking mushroom cloud in “Chain Reaction”?
(Such a scene is shown)
NC (voiceover): And need we forget the world’s strongest fridge in the last “Indiana Jones” movie?
(A clip of the fridge flying away a great distance and landing in the desert and Indiana Jones climbing out of it is shown)
NC (voiceover): Yeah, your house would be torn apart, but at least your popsicles would stay safe in the icebox. Isn’t that good to know? Explosions are awesome, but they just don’t seem to have as big a threat in movies. We almost ignore them. Even in the new film “The Other Guys,” they satirize how literally blown out of proportion they are.
Allen Gamble (from The Other Guys; played by Will Ferrell): How do you walk away in movies without flinching with explosions behind them?! There’s no way! The movie industry is completely irresponsible for the way they portray explosions!
NC (voiceover): Well, it still looks neat. It makes our heroes look tougher and our villains much more menacing. ‘Cause let’s be honest, anyone looks tough when they can honestly look at a giant ball of fire and smoke and simply utter, “Seen it.”
NC (voiceover): Number 4: The simple shouting of “NO!” (“4. Shouting ‘NO!’” is shown onscreen)
Virgil "Bud" Brigman (from The Abyss; played by Ed Harris): NOOOO!
NC (voiceover): Why do so many people shout this, anyway? It’s so basic, and yet, it conveys so much.
Bishop II (from "Alien 3"): NOOOO!
NC (voiceover): I guess as humans, we just want things to go according to plan. We always want to hear “YES!” so whenever we hear a “No,” we immediately think, “Oh! Something was suggested that resulted in a negative verbal response. That immediately creates drama, and that’s bad. I better watch this.”
Frodo (from “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”): NOOOOOO!
NC (voiceover): It’s like a gut reaction. We hear the word “No” when we instantly associate it with something going wrong.
Lieutenant Data (from “Star Trek: The Next Generation”): Yes!
Obi-Wan Kenobi (from “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace”): NOOOOO!
NC: Aww, bad.
NC (voiceover): There’s a lot of famous “No”’s out there, probably the most notably when Luke Skywalker finds out who his daddy is.
Luke Skywalker (from “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back”): NOOOOO!
NC (voiceover): My absolute favorite, though, is in “Tombstone,” which is already a pretty romanticized film, but it results in one of my all-time favorite scenes where Wyatt Earp just cracks.
Wyatt Earp (from “Tombstone”): No. NO.
Man (from “Tombstone”): Wyatt, what are you doing?
Wyatt Earp (from “Tombstone”): (approaches a cowboy in red in a shallow river) NO!
Cowboy in Red (from “Tombstone”): Son of a bitch!
Wyatt Earp: NOOOOOO! (He raises his shotgun and shoots the cowboy in red)
NC (voiceover): (laughs) How could you not die laughing at that? It’s one of the most over-the-top scenes ever.
Wyatt Earp: NOOOOOO!
NC (voiceover): And he doesn’t even stop there! He just keeps saying it over and over and over!
Wyatt Earp: (randomly fires) No! No!
NC: (as Wyatt Earp) I have a negative impulse to this scenario! (He pretends to shoot with a “gun”) I HAVE A NEGATIVE IMPULSE TO THIS SCENARIO!
Wyatt Earp: (footage slowed down) NOOOOOOOO!
NC (voiceover): And, of course, the ultimate puss-out moment in any “Star Wars” movie, and that’s saying a lot.
Darth Vader (from “Revenge of the Sith”): NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
NC (voiceover): This especially pissed people off because now, Darth Vader has his suit on. He’s badass. He’s the character we all recognize. He wasn’t whiny Anakin anymore. And what’s the first thing he says? (speaks in a high-pitched whiny voice over Darth Vader) “Where’s my girlfriend? I want to see my girlfriend! What? She’s dead? (Even higher-pitched) Noooooooo!”
NC: Hell, Mr. Bill sounded more butch than you!
Mr. Bill: OOOOOOH!!! Oh, why? Ohhhh!
NC (voiceover): So if the art of drama could be reduced down to simply one word, I think we all know what it would be.
Doctor Octopus (from “Spider-Man 2”): NOOOO!
NC: (mocks Doctor Octopus by raising and shaking his fists in the air) NOOOOO!
(Clips of a cop from Austin Powers and Peter Parker shouting “NOOO!” intercuts with NC’s shouting “NOOOO!”)
NC (voiceover): Number 3: The Evil Laugh. Again, half of the time, it almost seems like there’s no reason for it. Something goes right for the bad guy, and they always let out a gush of evil laughter.
(A clip of Captain Hook from “Hook” laughing evilly is shown)
NC (voiceover): I mean, it’s not like if something goes good for someone else, they let out insanely loud laughter.
NC: (pulls out a state ID) Oh, hey, I found my lost state ID. (He laughs evilly with an organ playing a horror music sting)
NC (voiceover): For whatever the reason, it’s always great, and there have been some real fantastic evil laughs, like remember Gary Oldman in the remake of “Dracula”?
(A clip of Dracula from “Dracula” (1992) laughing evilly is shown)
NC (voiceover): How about Jabba the Hutt’s evil chuckle in “Return of the Jedi”?
(A clip of Jabba the Hutt chuckling evilly is shown)
NC (voiceover): The Joker, good God! Every laugh from every variation of the character was just awesome.
(Clips of various Jokers laughing evilly are shown)
NC (voiceover): Even Michael Jackson knew that if you wanted a music video about zombies to end right, you need a Vincent Price cackle.
(A clip of Vincent Price cackling in the background at the end of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video is shown)
NC (voiceover): This, too, has been satirized to death, particularly in the Austin Powers movies, as they ask the question “What does a villain do after they stop laughing?”
(Dr. Evil and his comrades laugh evilly until it all dies down to silence)
NC (voiceover): Yeah, it’s goofy, but when it’s done right, its sweet laughter to our ears, and could pretty much put a smile on anybody’s face.
(Emperor Palpatine from “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” laughs evilly while fighting against Yoda)
NC (voiceover): Number 2: Walking in a Straight Line. This shows that the group is together and are ready to kick some ass. Something about the strength in numbers and organizations just makes this scene look so awesome. I think just about any group can do this and they can look great. Hell, we even did it in “Kickassia,” and we looked pretty cool. (A clip is shown of NC and his team of other reviewers in “Kickassia” approaching Molossia before its leader whips out his gun and the entire group runs away in panic) Well, for the most part. Even a whiner like Anakin suddenly grows some balls when he has a line of soldiers behind him. Look at him here. A little pipsqueak who switches sides in a nanosecond and starts crying over it. “Whaa, whaa, whaa.” But once you put a straight line of people behind him, holy shit! He’s suddenly badass!
NC: I’m actually looking forward to children being slaughtered!
NC (voiceover): The movie that probably exploits this the most, again, was “Tombstone.” They like the straight line so much, that they actually closed out the movie with it. And can you blame ‘em? It’s freaking cool! Even in movies like “X-Men 3,” just standing in a straight line looks pretty hardcore. I gotta admit, I don’t see this all the time, but when I do, it always upgrades the movie’s awesome levels. It looks tough, intimidating, and organized. You know a group means business when they all stand together, and it always makes for one of the coolest—if not THE coolest—moment of the movie.
NC (voiceover): And the Number 1 Coolest Cliché is…Slow Motion. Well, yeah! Pretty basic, isn’t it? Fight scenes, close-ups, whatever, everything seems to look better in slow motion. There have been online videos, comedic sketches, even entire shows just dedicated to how things look in slow-mo. It’s just so much more grand and powerful when you can see the movement of every little part on screen. There’s almost a rhythm to it, like a dance or a ballet. Almost anything can look cool in slow-mo. (A clip of a man flying off the toilet while going #2 is shown) Well, again, almost anything. Now, recently, there’s been sort of a weird twist where some directors slow the movie down and then speed it up. Is it to make up for lost time or something? I never saw the point of it. The slow-mo itself is so freaking sweet that after watching it, regular motion’s already gonna seem like fast motion, so why speed it up? Either way, as long as the slow-mo is there, it’s always gonna look fan-freaking-tastic. It makes everything look more massive, more sweeping, and, of course, more awesome. There’s no telling how long this cliché has been around, but judging how long we’ve been using it, it’s showing no sign of slowing down.
(A clip of Wakko from “Animaniacs” doing a rimshot on a drum set is shown)
(NC seems confused by the rimshot before continuing to speak)
NC (voiceover): Slow motion: the coolest cliché of all time.
NC: And those are my Top 11 Coolest Clichés. I hope you enjoy them, and…well, I was gonna close off showing one of the clichés again, but my guess is I should probably tire of them by now.
Wyatt Earp (from “Tombstone”): NOOOOOOO! (He raises his shotgun and fires)
NC: (dodges away from the gunshot) Hey, calm down!
(Wyatt Earp continues firing randomly with shotguns while shouting “No!” repeatedly and NC reacts in surprise to this)
NC: I’m the Nostalgia Critic! I remember it so you don’t have to! (He quickly gets up to leave) Fucking crazy, Wyatt Earp!
(The sound of Wyatt Earp’s repeated gunshooting plays on before the “The End” title card is shown)
THE END Channel Awesome Tagline—Wyatt Earp: NOOOOOOOO!