Unrealistic Expectations: 21 Things Movies Always Get Wrong About Real Life

While American films and TV shows enjoy worldwide popularity, they don’t always provide the most realistic depiction of life in the United States. An internet survey recently asked, “What things in American movies and shows give the worst portrayal of American daily life?” Here are the top 21 answers.

The Complete Lack of Traffic in Crime Shows

The Complete Lack of Traffic in Crime Shows
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“And they park right in front of wherever they go when investigating. Even cops who can park illegally can’t find a place to park in cities.”

“NCIS when they drive from DC to Norfolk, VA, in an hour or so. Not now, not ever.”

The Frequency of Eccentric and Murderous Families in Rural America

The Frequency of Eccentric and Murderous Families in Rural America
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“Any time a character in a TV sitcom drives into the country, the locals are all dumb hillbilly types in overalls with southern accents.”

“That’s just what the cannibals and inbred Satanists WANT you to think.”

It’s Daylight When Leaving for School

It_s Daylight When Leaving for School
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“And if it’s not dark outside when you leave for school, it’s dark outside when you come home.”

“Perfectly summarized non-existent morning: the breakfast laid out with every food group and OJ in a pitcher, but the kid takes a piece of toast and saunters out the door. Who lives like this?”

We Aren’t All Idle Rich People Plotting Against Each Other

We aren_t all idle rich people plotting against each other
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“Most of us have jobs and better things to do than conspire against family members.”

“As long as you don’t try to tell me that perpetually perfect hair and makeup aren’t like real life.”

Nothing Exists Outside of Florida, California, New York, and Texas

Nothing Exists Outside of Florida, California, New York, and Texas
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“I live in Wisconsin, and it’s wild how we get such little attention that, in the movie The Outsiders, they literally just pass a road sign in the car that says “Milwaukee in xx miles* and all of us flipped out.”

“Don’t forget the only other setting in the US: ‘The Midwest.'”

Average Income Couples Buying Expensive Homes

Average Income Couples Buying Expensive Homes
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“How was the young husband who restores vintage calculators and his wife, who sells toast on Etsy, able to buy an $800,000 house in Carmel, Indiana.”

“They’re obviously from Texas, where real estate is cheap, and the personality is cheaper.”

Students Getting 40 Minutes to Change Classes

Students Getting 40 Minutes to Change Classes
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“When I was in high school, it wasn’t even five minutes. You couldn’t even use the bathroom or visit your locker without being late. Kind of ridiculous.”

“A 40-minute lunch would have been nice in school…”

Catching Cabs is Not Easy

Catching Cabs is Not Easy
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“And no one yells ‘taxi!’ to get a cab.”

“Unless you’re in the tourist area of DC. In which case you barely lift a hand, and the cabs are lining up hoping to take you on the ‘scenic route.'”

All of America Does Not Look Like Southern California

All of America Does Not Look Like Southern California
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“You should see what happens when you recognize old stomping grounds half a mile from your Southern California childhood house being passed off as the Midwest.”

“Little House on The Prairie and Dukes of Hazard were both guilty of this. It really killed the suspension of disbelief for us midwesterners watching.”

Southerners Do Not All Talk Like That

Southerners Do Not All Talk Like That
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“I can’t stand when someone is supposed to be from, say, Tennessee, and they have the Charleston drawl.. like no. Not every Southerner sounds like Foghorn Leghorn.”

“I’m from south Mississippi, and I’ve never said, ‘How ya mama nem doin?’, ‘bless your heart,’ or ‘darlin’ in real conversation.”

We Aren’t That Stylish

We Aren_t That Stylish
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“You’re more likely to see someone running out to a store in pajamas than a pair of slacks and nice shoes.”

“Kids in movies wear super nicely coordinated outfits to school every morning, which some kids did, but plenty of us were in basketball shorts and flip-flops.”

Dorm Rooms are Not Palatial Sized

Dorm Rooms are Not Palatial Sized
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“Nobody ever just goes to a bad college and lives in 1970’s era dormitory while they live off Ramen and struggle to stay sane.”

“In reality, they are super small and cramped, with shared bathrooms and sometimes shared bedrooms.”

Midday TV Having Something You Want to Watch

Midday TV Having Something You Want to Watch
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“Chances are it’s going to be soap operas or infomercials on that channel.”

“By the time you even turned the tv on, they’d be done talking about whatever it was, and it’d be on the weather forecast or something.”

Working Class People Having Free Time

Working Class People Having Free Time
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“Moms and dads get up and go to work, and the kids get themselves off to school. Everyone comes home, and someone gets dinner on the table, and then maybe we watch some TV or do some chores, and then we go to bed.”

“Does your school not have any homework? Do you have zero responsibilities at home? Do you only work two hours per day? What is going on?”

High School Parties Are Not That Fun

High School Parties Are Not That Fun
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“Right! They have hundreds, if not thousands, of kids in a multi-million dollar mansion home with kegs. It’s more likely to be ten kids in some kid’s home when his mom is at work.”

“I wish we could get kegs at my high school party. We were lucky if we could even find alcohol. How do these high schoolers find alcohol so easily? It was always a struggle for us.”

America is Not That Dangerous

America is Not That Dangerous
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“A middle-class American suburb is much safer than large swathes of London, Glasgow, Manchester/Salford, etc.”

“For real, the worst crime I saw in my suburb was someone throwing out their trash and missing the garbage… and not picking it up. The horror.”

High Schoolers in The US Do Have Pimples

High Schoolers in The US Do Have Pimples
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“All those actors playing high schoolers are in their 30s. That’s why they don’t have pimples.”

“We also all don’t have perfect shining teeth or have to wear those headgear braces. Do those even exist? I’ve never seen someone wearing headgear braces in my life.”

Small Towns are Usually Not That Pretty

Small Towns are Usually Not That Pretty
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“Most small towns are pretty gritty and not picturesque at all, and their main streets are normally one long strip mall and lots of gas stations.”

“Our small towns, especially the rural ones, also are usually struggling with one drug crisis or another, unemployment, and obesity, so the fun, quirky, and attractive characters you see in those shows always blow my mind.”

We Don’t Meet The Doctor In Their Office

We Don_t Meet The Doctor In Their Office
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“I have had cancer twice & some other health problems associated with it. I have about ten doctors. I have never once been in their actual office.”

“Do doctors even have offices like in the movies? I always figured they just shuffled around from the exam rooms all day.”

We Don’t Usually Eat Fancy Breakfasts

We Don_t Usually Eat Fancy Breakfasts
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“Most Americans are grabbing a Pop-Tart or wolfing down a bowl of cereal and some OJ before they rush out the door to work or school, not indulging on waffles, pancakes, French toast, omelets, and fruit galore.”

“I never once ate breakfast in all my time living at home. I don’t know how these families have the time to make such elaborate breakfasts in the morning.”

Detectives and Attorneys aren’t that Young or Good Looking

Detectives and Attorneys aren_t that Young or Good Looking
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“Lawyers? Sure, some are normal- or even good-looking. But most are weirdos who are in a slimy profession. They end up looking like the goblins they are.”

“Working as a detective or attorney is so stressful and time-consuming that there’s no way you could ever look that good after a few years on the job.”

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