15 Things That Happen All The Time In Fiction (Except That No, They Don't)

There are tired tropes that never actually happen in real life -- and there are also tired tropes that don't even happen in fiction. Ask anyone about these, and they'll tell you, "oh sure, this always happens" -- and yet they've never seen it themselves, or at least not an awful lot. These are the cryptids of fiction -- many believe in them because other people tell them they're real, but when it comes to finding them, you'll be lucky to come across a hair or a pile of poop. (OK, this metaphor stopped working at some point). What we're getting at is, these are way less common than many people think they are -- when they exist at all.

15

Superman has barely ever changed in a phone booth. While Superman has been known to use a phone booth on occasion, that has only happened a hSource: CBR

14

No silent movie villain has ever tied a woman to the train tracks. Ok, maybe it does happen in some movie no one knows about but similar tropes come nSource: Movies Silently

13

Most Disney films have exactly zero princesses. As of 2020, Disney's animated canon includes 58 movies, but only 12 official princesses- and most of tSources: Disney.com, Walt Disney Animation Studios

12

Good cowboys didn't always wear white hats. Good guys in old-timey westerns wore white hats, and villains wore black hats - sometimes. The opposite waSource: Atlas Obscura

11

Cthulhu shows up in one story by H. P. Lovecraft.
Even though he’s a central figure in Lovecraft’s mythology, the big brute only ever shows his squid Sources: Alepsilon, GradeSaver

10

Zombies don't usually eat brains. George Romero himself, the inventor of zombie movies, was often puzzled when people brought this up to him. Brain-eaSource: Gizmodo

9

Bela Lugosi only played Dracula twice in movies. Being the most iconic Dracula, you'd think Lugosi was in multiple sequels and movie monster team-upsSource: Screen Rant

8

sean Bean doesn't actually die that often. With 23 on-screen deaths, Bean doesn't even make it into the top ten of most killed actors. As he has been Sources: The Independent, Rotten Tomatoes

7

Sherlock Holmes said The game is afoot! only once. It's become a Holmesian catchphrase, almost on par with Elementary, dear Watson (which he neveSource: Supanova

6

Most Scooby-Doo villains never complained about those meddling kids. Bad guys weren't very original, what with all of them coming up with the same iSource: Every "Meddling Kids" comment from Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! (YouTube)

5

Most of the time, the black guy isn't the first to die. A survey of 50 well-known horror movies found that in only 5 of them a black character is the Source: Complex

4

Captain Kirk almost never got laid. In the audience's mind, James T. Kirk has populated the whole galaxy with human-alien hybrids. Fans, howSource: The Kirk/Spock Fanfiction Archive

3

No classic noir movie has a jazz soundtrack. The crime jazz genre fits the seedy, disreputable atmosphere of film noir like a glove- but If you watcSource: All About Jazz

2

No alien has ever seriously said, take me to your leader. The phrase is well-known since at least the 1950s- but there's no sign that anSource: Word Histories

1

The butler never does it. The butler being guilty is the ultimate mystery writing cliche- even though it has only ever happened twice, in Source: The Guardian