220 voters

The Dumbest Movie Trailer Cliches That We Need To Retire

April 9, 2020 1.6k votes 220 voters 13.9k views13 items

List RulesVote up the overused movie trailer cliches that make you roll your eyes.

Most theater chains show 20 minutes of previews before the main feature, so if you attend frequently, you've probably noticed a bunch of movie trailer cliches that keep popping up. Some of them are so prevalent that it's become irritating. The overuse of these cliches makes the movies being advertised feel identical rather than distinct.

They come in different forms. A couple of them involve the manner in which the trailers are edited. Others pertain to marketing slogans used to generate enthusiasm among audiences. Still others have to do with the way sounds or music are used in the previews. In each case, we'll tell you what the cliche is and provide a few examples of where you might have seen it.

Which of these movie trailer tropes are you tired of seeing? Vote up the ones that should be retired immediately and permanently. 

  • 5

    Assembling Unrelated Scenes

    Video: YouTube

    It's good when trailers want to avoid revealing major plot points that audiences would rather discover for themselves. That said, it's irritating when two completely unrelated scenes are cut together, making it seem like something is going to happen in the movie that doesn't (like the Last Jedi trailer implying that Rey might join forces with Kylo Ren) or giving the impression that two characters share a scene when they don't (as in the Inglourious Basterds trailer that suggests Lt. Aldo Raine will directly encounter Adolf Hitler). This can have the effect of creating false expectations among viewers, who await tantalizing possibilities the film itself has no intention of getting into.

    Appears in:

    • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
    • Inglourious Basterds
    • Avengers: Age of Ultron
    • Suicide Squad
    Should we retire this?
  • 6

    The Last-Second Jump Scare

    Video: YouTube

    Paranormal chillers have been a hot property in the last decade. Regrettably, most of them are sold the exact same way. Their trailers typically end with a jump scare right before cutting to the title of the movie. This is invariably accompanied by an abrupt loud noise on the soundtrack. 

    Appears in:

    • Annabelle Comes Home
    • Lights Out
    • It Chapter One
    • The Nun
    • The Conjuring
    Should we retire this?
  • 7

    Excessive Fading To Black Or Strobing

    Video: YouTube

    People sensitive to strobing effects must be especially frustrated by all the trailers that utilize them. They can come in various forms. Some have very brief images interspersed with blackness, almost as if you're blinking really fast. Others show a couple seconds of footage, fade to black, and repeat. Still others suddenly zap into a flash of white light. Then there are trailers like the one for A Wrinkle in Time that do all three. 

    Appears in:

    • Dreamcatcher
    • Avengers: Age of Ultron
    • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    • Jurassic World
    Should we retire this?
  • 8

    Slow Motion Beat Drop

    Video: YouTube

    This particular trope is most common in comedies. It involves a character or group of characters walking, dancing, or somehow moving in slow motion while a funky beat plays on the soundtrack. It's a shortcut to let the audience know the movie is going to be wacky with a capital W. 

    Appears in:

    • Tammy
    • Daddy's Home 2
    • Booksmart
    • The House
    Should we retire this?