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Old 03-16-2021, 11:34 AM   #1
4691mls
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Things that are common in fiction but not in your real life

Thought this might be a fun topic. I'm not talking about things that are actually incorrect, impossible or sci-fi/fantasy, but things that could be real and seem common in general fiction but you never or hardly ever see them in your own day-to-day life.

Some random examples from my own reading:

Why do women in books wear yellow so often, regardless of their own coloring? It's not a color that looks good on just anybody. I don't notice a lot of women wearing yellow IRL.

I don't think I've ever been offered a meal consisting of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich, but people in books seem to eat this combination a lot. Maybe this is regional?

What's up with all the people in books pinching the bridge of their nose when under stress? I've never noticed anyone in real life doing this.
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Old 03-16-2021, 11:42 AM   #2
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I don't think I've ever been offered a meal consisting of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich, but people in books seem to eat this combination a lot. Maybe this is regional?
This strikes me as a typical lunch from the 1950s/early 1960s. It would make sense in that context. I think it would be pretty tasty; the issue is that the soup would probably be canned and the cheese American, on Wonder Bread.

An example that occurs to me is when someone gets angry and throws a plate, cup, glass or sometimes china bric-a-brac against a wall or on the floor. Honestly, you get the sense that people are constantly shuffling through broken crockery.
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Old 03-16-2021, 12:24 PM   #3
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I don't think I've ever been offered a meal consisting of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich, but people in books seem to eat this combination a lot. Maybe this is regional?
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This strikes me as a typical lunch from the 1950s/early 1960s. It would make sense in that context. I think it would be pretty tasty; the issue is that the soup would probably be canned and the cheese American, on Wonder Bread.
I don't know about regional, but I grew up on it. Still probably have it once a week or so. Some times very simple; some times gourmet-ed up a bit. I dunk the toasted cheese in the soup. Some dunk, some don't.
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Old 03-16-2021, 12:52 PM   #4
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This occurs more in film, but I have seen it in books too. The idea that you can hit someone on the head hard enough to knock them out instantly and afterward they always suffer no permanent harm from the concussion. In real life that would be dangerous and often fatal.

(Not quite on topic.)

Last edited by jhowell; 03-16-2021 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 03-16-2021, 01:02 PM   #5
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This occurs more in film, but I have seen it in books too. The idea that you can hit someone on the head hard enough to knock them out instantly and afterward they always suffer no permanent harm from the concussion. In real life that would be dangerous and often fatal.

(Not quite on topic.)
YES!!! I read of a lot of Urban Fantasies, cozy mysteries, and romance and this is such a common thing. I have read books where a character is always ending fights with passing out from injuries or head injuries, it can get so unrealistic.
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Old 03-16-2021, 01:05 PM   #6
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I don't think I've ever been offered a meal consisting of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich, but people in books seem to eat this combination a lot. Maybe this is regional?

What's up with all the people in books pinching the bridge of their nose when under stress? I've never noticed anyone in real life doing this.

The tomato soup comment is funny. We do eat that here and it's one of my favorite comfort meals. I can't think of any time in a book I've seen it, though.

I know what you mean on pinching the nose in stress. That happened with a book I read last night. I've seen it rarely with people in real life, but it's not as common as books act like it is.

An unrealistic romantic trope or urban fantasy trope is the partner always worried the person isn't eating enough and trying to get them to eat when they're worried about them. The book last night had them doing that in front of people, all who were trying to push food at the person. This is a common fiction trope i read, but I've never seen that happen in real life. If you had a health condition, perhaps, but for the most part no one has cared if I haven't eaten enough, especially romantic partners, if I've been busy. They don't seem to think of it or see it as that important.

I'm sure I can think of more, that was the first one I thought of. Fun topic.
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Old 03-16-2021, 04:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jhowell View Post
This occurs more in film, but I have seen it in books too. The idea that you can hit someone on the head hard enough to knock them out instantly and afterward they always suffer no permanent harm from the concussion. In real life that would be dangerous and often fatal.

(Not quite on topic.)
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YES!!! I read of a lot of Urban Fantasies, cozy mysteries, and romance and this is such a common thing. I have read books where a character is always ending fights with passing out from injuries or head injuries, it can get so unrealistic.
This makes me angry when I see it in fiction. I have a brain injury.
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Old 03-16-2021, 05:23 PM   #8
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This occurs more in film, but I have seen it in books too. The idea that you can hit someone on the head hard enough to knock them out instantly and afterward they always suffer no permanent harm from the concussion. In real life that would be dangerous and often fatal.

(Not quite on topic.)
The old TV show Mannix had him getting knocked out 55 times by blows to the head and shot 17 times.
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Old 03-16-2021, 05:56 PM   #9
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Wringing the hands .... I think I've only seen it done once in real life ..
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Old 03-16-2021, 05:56 PM   #10
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I don't think I've ever been offered a meal consisting of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich, but people in books seem to eat this combination a lot. Maybe this is regional?
In my family, when the kids were living at home, this was one of our comfort foods. Whether Campbell tomato soup and cheddar cheese slices or a more gourmet version when time permitted, it hit the table at least once per week.

@DiapDealer: My daughter would agree with you on dipping the sandwich into the soup. But at the age, she also thought that french fries were a device for conveying ketchup into her mouth.
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Old 03-16-2021, 06:01 PM   #11
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Wringing the hands .... I think I've only seen it done once in real life ..
Minus a w it happens all the time in jewelers.
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Old 03-16-2021, 06:37 PM   #12
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Things that are common in fiction but not in your real life
When all things are said and done you end up with the redhead having some fun.
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Old 03-16-2021, 08:44 PM   #13
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Why do women in books wear yellow so often, regardless of their own coloring? It's not a color that looks good on just anybody. I don't notice a lot of women wearing yellow IRL.

Yep agreed, the only time I can recall seeing anybody wear yellow IRL is when it's a sports top or similar.


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I don't think I've ever been offered a meal consisting of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich, but people in books seem to eat this combination a lot. Maybe this is regional?

As others have said, this must be a regional thing, it's one of my favourite meals, grilled cheese made with a strong cheddar and Heinz Tomato Soup, lovely.


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What's up with all the people in books pinching the bridge of their nose when under stress? I've never noticed anyone in real life doing this.

This must also be a regional thing as it's common this side of the pond, I know I do it and so do most of my acquaintances, thinking about it though it does seem to be more people who wear glasses, taking them off and pinching the bridge of the nose to relieve tension.
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Old 03-16-2021, 11:41 PM   #14
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I don't think I've ever been offered a meal consisting of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich, but people in books seem to eat this combination a lot. Maybe this is regional?

What's up with all the people in books pinching the bridge of their nose when under stress? I've never noticed anyone in real life doing this.
Campels Tomato and a grilled cheese were common lunch fare in the 50's in New Jersey (at least in my home)
A number of my older relatives also did the bridge pinch like they had a Sinus Headache
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Old 03-17-2021, 05:20 AM   #15
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I don't think I've ever been offered a meal consisting of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich, but people in books seem to eat this combination a lot. Maybe this is regional?
Must be a regional thing. I remember eating tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwiches fairly often for lunch when I was growing up. Haven't done so in 30 or 40 years now.
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