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· Happily Vaccinated!
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I was watching Superior Donuts (don't judge me, I like Judd Hirsch), and the latest episode was a standard trope (especially during Christmas season) where the "gang" wants to do something nice for a homeless man for the holidays. I've probably seen that trope in dozens of sitcoms over the years.

What other tropes do TV shows use over and over again?
 

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Christmas time is full of them. It's virtually guaranteed that if a show has been on the air at least three seasons, it must have done either an "It's a Wonderful Life" or "A Christmas Carol" episode -- many have done both.

The Mayor had their It's a Wonderful Life episode this week, in its first season.
 

· ...I'm not.
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Two characters who love each other but are afraid to do anything about it so they spend seasons giving them close calls to being together.
Of course there's a very good reason for this one --once the two become a couple, all the sexual tension is lost, and with it most of these shows' appeal. It eventually becomes a sort of damned-if-you/damned-if-you-don't scenario for the writers/producers; either you keep the two apart with increasingly elaborate excuses that strain the viewers' credibility, or else you give the viewers what they "want" and thereby doom the show in the long run.
 

· Save the Moderatоr
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I think about every current ongoing plot and those that've been on in at least the last 2 or 3 years on Hollyoaks have been heavily based upon either a conversation being overheard or a private text being seen. TV writers are pitiful, unimaginative sorts. (a) Don't scream to someone about how your son murdered someone, and (b) lock your phone, and maybe (c) put a surveillance cam in your home and workplace.
 

· Kermie Loves Elmo
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Of course there's a very good reason for this one --once the two become a couple, all the sexual tension is lost, and with it most of these shows' appeal. It eventually becomes a sort of damned-if-you/damned-if-you-don't scenario for the writers/producers; either you keep the two apart with increasingly elaborate excuses that strain the viewers' credibility, or else you give the viewers what they "want" and thereby doom the show in the long run.
But that is only because they don't know how to write for that situation. There are plenty of sitcoms with married couples and their ridiculous antics.
 

· ...I'm not.
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But that is only because they don't know how to write for that situation. There are plenty of sitcoms with married couples and their ridiculous antics.
True, but that's an entirely different dynamic, and it draws in a different audience to some extent. Most established shows can't survive that drastic of a format-shift. And of course for dramas it's that much worse, since there's no "drama" in a happy couple.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
True, but that's an entirely different dynamic, and it draws in a different audience to some extent. Most established shows can't survive that drastic of a format-shift. And of course for dramas it's that much worse, since there's no "drama" in a happy couple.
Most TV sitcom couples are happy (relatively) but have minor conflict. That's how the majority of family sitcoms work. The usual one goes like this:

Spouse 1 wants spouse 2 to do something
Spouse 2 doesn't want to do it
Spouse 1 tricks spouse 2 into doing it without spouse 2 realizing they've been tricked
Spouse 2 realized it in the end and they have a tiff.
All ends well in the end.

That's the plot of about half the family sitcoms out there. They are a happy couple, they just play the sitcom game to have a little conflict.
 

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Police Officer/FBI agent/etc is forced (or choses) to engage with the crook before backup arrives.

Corollary: Bad guy is apparently killed, but no one checks the body and they awake at a later time.

Yes, I am looking at you
Designated Survivor
 
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