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337 voters

Cliches You See In Every Action Movie

2.5k votes 337 voters 14.6k views21 items

List RulesCliches, cliches, cliches. Vote for the ones that you agree are in most action movies.

Nary a soul is immune to the adrenaline pumping joy of a great action movie. Explosion laden escapist fare is so popular that you'd think that's all moviegoers want to see these days. But let's get real (reel?): with so many action movies in existence, there are bound to be some repeated ideas.

Some of these ideas are recalled so often they reach the level of cliché; be it jumping through a plate glass window, a single punch knockout, or gratuitous nudity, this list is full of the best, the worst, and the most often seen action movie cliches. Vote up your favorites or add a few you think were left out.
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  • 1
    144
    16

    Explosions

    No brainer. It's not an action movie without some explosions; the bigger the better!
  • 2
    138
    24

    Too Many Bullets

    Wait... since when can you shoot a revolver 75 times without reloading?
  • 3
    103
    22

    Monologuing

    Instead of killing you, I'm going to take this moment to tell you about all my evil plans. It would be pretty awkward if you escaped somehow...
  • 4
    96
    17

    Last Second Bomb Dismantle

    Cut the green wire... no wait! The red one!
  • 5
    102
    22

    Catchy One-liners

    "I'll be back." "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die." "This is Sparta!" "Yippee Ki Yay mother***er!" "Get off my plane!" "Welcome to Earth." "Dead or alive, you're coming with me." "Say hello to my little friend!" You get the idea...
  • 6
    96
    23

    Jump Through Glass Window

    Plate glass windows can't stop me!
  • 7
    82
    21

    Tragic Backstory

    Backstory, AKA plot exposition that only serves to distract from the explosions.
  • 8
    77
    18

    Single Punch Knockout

    Ever tried knocking someone out in one punch? Me neither, but the movies make it look really easy.
  • 9
    115
    50

    Just a Flesh Wound

    Don't worry! I just barely got hit, I'm still cool to save the day.
  • 10
    60
    25

    Too Old for This Sh*t

    Danny Glover wasn't the only one. Plenty of old-timers are still suiting up for big action movies. I'm looking at you, Schwarzenegger! 
  • 11
    51
    22

    Return from the Dead

    Oops! Maybe we should've confirmed that guy was dead before we went about our business.
  • 12
    53
    26

    Save the Villain

    Finally got the bad guy into a compromising position! On second thought... let's be friends? That definitely won't backfire...
  • 13
    47
    24

    Cliffhanger

    Want to know what happens next? You'll need to shell out another $15 when we release Part Two!
  • 14
    90
    70

    He's Dead... Right?

    No need to put that final bullet in his head; I'm pretty much certain he's dead... right?
  • 15
    63
    46

    Desperately Trying to Warn Someone

    Apparently, it is impossible to warn someone about their impending doom in an action movie... that was bad timing to leave your cell phone in that cab.
  • 16
    78
    65

    Impervious to Bullets

    How many times do we have to shoot this guy? And why can we never manage to hit him in the head? What's going on here??
  • 17
    75
    65

    Gratuitous Nudity

    Yes, I'm sure having all the fight scenes take place in a strip club was a plot driven, artistic choice.
  • 18
    67
    58

    Backstabbing Sidekick

    Double-crossed! I would have never suspected that the person living in my shadow was somehow resentful of all the attention I've been getting!
  • 19
    61
    61

    "He's Mine!"

    My need to settle the score trumps the practicality of killing this guy, so back off!
  • 20
    52
    52

    Plans for the Future

    Just two days until retirement, what could possibly go wrong?
  • 21
    52
    77

    Eurotrash

    Europeans make the best villains, don't they?