Movies & TV

7 Infuriating Movie Trailer Clichés We're Tired Of Seeing

Check this checklist.

They're the tropes that pop up in trailer after trailer—over-familiar tricks movie companies use to entice us into the cinema to see their latest blockbuster. One such trope has even been the subject of a movie itself: voiceover artist Don LaFontaine's often-repeated "In a world where…" line became part of the plot for Lake Bell's 2013 comedy In a World.

All right, that one we quite like, but here are seven we wish would be retired and replaced with something a bit more original…

1| Showing the entire movie

Check out the trailers for movies like the sci-fi actioner In Time, Tom Hanks drama Cast Away (we even see him lose Wilson!), this summer's Spider-Man: Homecoming and the upcoming drama The Beguiled and you will see they all have one thing in common—the trailers basically reveal the entire plot.

The worst recent example has to be Terminator: Genisys, which (spoiler alert in case you actually care) revealed the plot twist that John Connor was 1) a cyborg and 2) actually the villain.

So why do movie companies allow it? "If someone's going to pay $20 to go on opening weekend to see this movie, they want to know that they are making a pretty good investment," explains Matt Brubaker, president of trailer-making company Trailer Park.

So that makes it okay, then…

2| Spoofing other trailers

You're sitting in the cinema, holding your breath as the trailer for a new Batman movie starts… Except wait! It's not a trailer for Batman, it's for Scooby Doo! While sometimes this device of copying another style of trailer can be cute—this summer's Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul made lead character Greg out to be a Marvel superhero—it's more than a bit annoying most of the time. Just ask all the fans who thought they were seeing a trailer for The Hobbit and instead got one for Dumb And Dumberer


3| Showing the funniest bits in the trailer

Remember how hilarious the Spider-pig bit of The Simpsons Movie trailer was? Remember going to see the movie and discovering that the rest of the jokes paled in comparison to the one you'd already seen a thousand times (and which was itself therefore no longer funny)?

That's the trouble with showing us the funniest bit first in the trailer—a comedy then has a whole lot to live up to. See also A Million Ways to Die in the West, the Ice Age movies (the Scrat bits from the trailers are better than the films), There's Something About Mary, Hancock, Zoolander 2, Sex Tape...

4| Re-using Hans Zimmer's Inception horns

That ominous horn blast that Hans Zimmer composed for Christopher Nolan's Inception (listed as 'Half Remembered Dream' on the soundtrack) has become the go-to sound for trailer-makers wanting to show us that something bad is about to happen.

After appearing in Inception, the memorable sound has gone on to be used in trailers for World War Z, Star Trek: Into Darkness, and Prometheus to name a few. And if it annoys us, think how Zimmer must feel.

"It's horrible," he told Vulture. "That music became the blueprint for all action movies, really. And if you get too many imitations, even I get confused!"

5| Including scenes that didn't end up in the movie

Trailers—especially the fun teaser ones—are often made while a movie is still in production, so we can see how easy it must be to include clips that don't make the final cut of the film. It's pretty annoying, though, even if we do get to see some otherwise unseen bits from the movie.

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Some of the worst offenders include the trailer for 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man, featuring a clip of Rhys Ifans challenging Andrew Garfield that never made the movie, the trailer for X-Men Origins: Wolverine that gives us a glimpse of Storm as a child (she's absent from the film), a younger Winona Ryder with baby Spock in the 2009 Star Trek trailer, the first Ghostbusters trailer—which bears little resemblance to the final film (thank God)—and the various trailers for Star Wars: Rogue One that feature a whopping 14 scenes amongst them that don't make the movie. See if you can spot some above…

6| Increasing the action by fading to black…again and again and again

Want to make your movie seem fast-paced, tense and action-packed? Make sure the trailer shows lots of quick scenes, interspersed with dramatic fades to black. It's a great way of adding excitement without actually showing that much—but it's getting a bit old now, having been used in numerous action blockbuster trailers from the Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser to Jurassic World and more.

7| The post-credit sting

We're all used to sitting through pages of credits at the end of a Marvel movie, waiting for that expected mid- or end- credits bonus clip. But now producers are saving the best bit until last in the trailers, too, so we get one bonus gag after the movie title at the end of the trailer.

The first few times it was fun, but now it's so standard we've got a little bored—thanks Bridesmaids, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge, the upcoming Justice League


From: Digital Spy

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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