Ban These Cliche Lines From Your Screenplay

There’s nothing worse than watching a movie for the first time and knowing what the characters are going to say before they even say it. Well, unless you’re watching a comedy and it’s intentional.

Cliche movie lines are sometimes hard to avoid in screenwriting, but most times it’s just lazy writing.

However, if you’re watching a serious movie and you hear lines like “You just don’t get it, do you?” or “We’ve got to stop meeting like this!” just know it’s a great example of cliche dialogue.

As a screenwriter striving for great dialogue that actors can deliver and make movies memorable such as “May the force be with you” (Star Wars)  and “Here’s looking at you kid” (Casablanca), below is a list of lines you’ll want to avoid.



  •  Listen to me, and listen good, ’cause I’m only gonna say it once.
  • Try me
  • This is your destiny.
  • I was born ready.
  • Are you sitting down?
  •  Is that all you got? – I’m just getting started.
  • Cover me. I’m going in.
  • No. Come in. ____ was just leaving.
  • We’ve got to stop meeting like this.
  • (Greeting) Well, if it isn’t ____.
  • I’m just doing my job.
  • You’ll never get away with this! – Watch me.
  • Now . . . where were we?
  • How hard can it be?
  • You go girl!
  • What part of _____ don’t you understand?
  • Don’t even go there.
  • Is this some kind of sick joke?
  • Oh haha, very funny.
  • Did I just say that out loud?
  • It isn’t a gift. It’s a CURSE!!!
  • I can do this all day…
  • He/she is the only one who can stop it.
  • So let me get this straight…
  • Why are you telling me this?
  • Go! go! go! go!
  • We need to talk.
  • Well, if things go sideways…
  • Feisty, isn’t she?!



  • It’s just a scratch.
  • How is he? – He’ll live.
  •  . . . and there’s nothing you or anyone else can do to stop me!
  • You say that like it’s a bad thing.
  • Note to self . . .
  • What seems to be the problem, Officer?
  • What’s the worst that could happen?/ What have we got to lose?
  • I have a bad feeling about this.
  • Don’t you think I know that!
  • Whatever you do, don’t look down.
  • We’ve got company!
  • Oh that’s not good.
  • Awkward!
  • What just happened?
  • We’ll never make it in time!
  • Stay here. –  No way, I’m coming with you.
  • Okay, here’s what we do . . . [and cut to a different scene]
  • Try to get some sleep.
  • Hi, sis.
  • Wait! I can explain! This isn’t what it looks like.

Write Stronger Story Concepts, Themes & Loglines

Give your story more emotion and meaning. If the characters don't stand for anything, then your story becomes that much easier to forget.

Learn More
  • In English, please.
  • What are you doing here? – I was about to ask you the same thing.
  • This day just keeps getting better and better.
  • Shut up and kiss me.
  • Not on my watch!
  • It’s called ____, you should try it sometime.
  • That went well!
  • Don’t you die on me!
  • We can do this the easy way or the hard way…
  • Get outta there!!!!
  • You look like shit.
  • We’re not so different, you and I…
  • If you touch one hair on her head….
  • Sit down and shut up.
  • Don’t do anything stupid.
  • There’s a storm coming.



  • If I’m not back in __ minutes, get out of here/blow the whole thing up/call the cops.
  • I’m not leaving you.
  • You have to go on without me.
  • Don’t even go there.
  • I’ve always wanted to say that!
  • Listen to me and listen good, cause I’m only gonna say it once.
  • You just don’t get it do you?!
  • Ready when you are!
  • Is this some kind of sick joke?
  • Oh haha, very funny.
  • Did I just say that out loud?
  • Wait. Did you hear something?
  • How is he?
  • He’ll live.
  • I’m . . . so cold . . .
  • Is that clear?
  • Crystal.
  • What if? . . . Nah, it would never work.
  • . . . . and there’s nothing you or anyone else can do to stop me!
  • You say that like it’s a bad thing.
  • Note to self . . .
  • Honey, is that you?
  • What’s the meaning of this?
  • What seems to be the problem, Officer?
  • What’s the worst that could happen?/ What have we got to lose?
  • I have a bad feeling about this.
  • Leave it. They’re already dead.
  • Don’t you think I know that!
  • Whatever you do, don’t look down.
  • Why wont you die?!
  • I eat guys like you for breakfast.
  • Oh now you’re really starting to piss me off!
  • Hang on . . . if you’re here then that means . . . uh oh.
  • Oh that’s not good.
  • Awkward!
  • What just happened?
  • We’ll never make it in time!
  • Stay here.
  • No way, I’m coming with you.
  • This isn’t over!
  • Jesus H. Christ!
  • It’s no use!
  • It’s a trap!
  • She’s gonna blow!
  • Okay, here’s what we do . . . [and cut to a different scene]
  • Fuckin’ A!
  • I’m getting too old for this shit.
  • Wait a minute, are you saying– ?
  • You’ll never take me alive.
  • Okay, let’s call that plan B.
  • I always knew you’d come crawling back.
  • Try to get some sleep.
  • I just threw up in my mouth a little.
  •  Leave this to me. I’ve got a plan.
  • No, that’s what they want us to think.
  • Why are you doing this to me?
  • When I’m through with you (etc.) –
  • Hi, sis.
  • Impossible!
  • Wait! I can explain! This isn’t what it looks like.
  • Showtime!
  • You look like you’ve seen a ghost.
  • If we make it out of this alive . . .
  • That’s it! You’re off the case!
  • How long have we known each other?
  • We go back a long way.
  • Well, well, well . . .
  • Aha! I knew it!
  • Done . . . and done!
  • Leave it. He’s/She’s/They’re not worth it.
  • In English, please.
  • As many of you know (yadda, yadda, yadda).
  • Too much information!
  • Yeah, you better run!
  • . . . . Unless?
  • Unless what?
  • What are you doing here?
  • I was about to ask you the same thing.
  • So, who died? . . . Oh.
  • You’re either very brave . . . or very stupid.
  • Oh, yeah! You and whose army?
  • Now that’s what I’m talking about!
  • Don’t call us, we’ll call you.
  • It’s not you, it’s me.
  • This just getts better and better.
  • This is not happening. This is not happening.
  • Make it stop.
  • Shut up and kiss me.
  • I’ll see you in hell!
  • Lock and load!
  • Oh Hell, no!
  • Not on my watch!
  • You just don’t get it, do you?
  • I have got to get me one of these!
  • It’s called ____, you should try it sometime.
  • That went well!
  • Let’s split up!



  • (dialing on cell phone frantically) I can’t get a signal!
  • (someone says that house is haunted) Let’s go check it out!
  • I just need to get to the car! (drops keys and gets eaten by zombies)
  • You just don’t get it do you?!
  • Never send a boy to do a man’s job,,,
  • I should’ve killed you when I had the chance!
  • Is that all you got?!
  • Yeah…a little TOO quiet.
  • What part of _____ don’t you understand??
  • I’m not leaving you behind!
  • You’ll have to go without me!
  • I told you. I work alone.
  • Sir, you better get down here.
  • This ends NOW!!!!!
  • Welcome to the big leagues.
  • According to my calculations….
  • Get me the president!!!
  • Boss, you’re gonna wanna take this.
  • Looks like we’ve got company!
  • Who’s in charge here?!
  • We can do this the easy way or the hard way!
  • If I wanted you dead you’d be dead.
  • I got a bad feeling about this…
  • It’s a trap!
  • Buckle your seatbelts!

2 Comments

Leave a Reply