#ExplainAFilmPlotBadly

Racial diversity in a group of hikers

Once in a while there’s a trending topic on Twitter that just grabs everyone’s attention.

Last weekend the #tt was Explain A Film Plot Badly.

“Racially diverse group journeys to a volcano to destroy jewellery”, for example, did a stellar job of badly summing up the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

Imaginations run wild, plots become riddles. The trend goes viral.

Here’s a list of my favourites, in no particular order:

  • Five stereotypes complain about how everyone sees them as stereotypes.
  • Chap goes to prison, does a few tax returns, leaves prison.
  • A weatherman keeps doing a forecast until he gets it right.
  • Can’t tell you anything due to the first rule.
  • Confusing things happen inside a virtual world where spoons do not exist.
  • A magical carnival game helps a 12 year-old boy infiltrate a toy company, so he can bang an ad exec on his bunk bed.
  • Lots of drug stuff but not much about trains or spotting.
  • Two black guys go undercover as white women and goooooooo shopping!
  • A smart janitor bangs Minnie Driver & gets advice from Mork.
  • Man is murdered. More die because Sharon Stone forgets her knickers.
  • Researcher is convinced by long time girlfriend that having kids wouldn’t be so bad. Also Dinosaurs.
  • An old man builds a dinosaur zoo in an elaborate attempt to kill his lawyer.
  • Dinosaurs attempt to live a cage-free life. Destroy cafeteria.
  • God creates man. Man destroys god. Man creates teleporter. Man becomes fly.
  • People mistake a very naughty boy for the Messiah. He gets killed. Everyone sings.
  • Good humoured European man frees slave & travels to various plantations.
  • A white guy does stuff black guys do, but better.
  • Woman floats alone in space.
  • Man mangled by zipper woos woman who’s confused about hair gel.
  • Two men try out multiple kinds of transportation to get home for the holidays.
  • Girl trades her virginity for free dance lessons.
  • A lady wants to skin puppies and make them into coats. This is a children’s movie.
  • Man with no memory forgets why he took Polaroids before they develop.
  • German businessman realises the true financial value of Jews.
  • Dude named Oskar has a list. Wishes it could be longer. Cries at end.
  • Bloke with scissors for hands does well with bushes but not Winona’s.
  • Cross-dressing hotelier loves his mother. A lot.
  • A massive asteroid saves the world from Bruce Willis.
  • 300 men show off their abs and are subsequently murdered.
  • Man makes mountain out of mashed potato and half of his face gets sunburned.
  • Man invents popular website; earns money.
  • Tom Hanks gets stranded on a deserted island and establishes a long term relationship with one of his balls.
  • A teenage girl’s father, with a special set of skills, picks her up in Europe then takes her to meet a pop star.
  • 100 year old man goes to high school. Seduces emotionless teenage girl.
  • Surprisingly it was not a game where people compete for food.
  • Austrian Navy deserter runs off with a nun, five underage girls, and two boys in lederhosen.
  • Baby dies of old age.
  • Group of men have identity crisis once dog joins their Antarctic research facility.
  • Uptight hippie from another planet loses hammer, gets it back.
  • Billionaire orphan dresses up like flying mammal to beat up an asthmatic bodybuilder.
  • Things go awry when man stuck in traffic jam decides to continue his journey home on foot.
  • After she fakes an orgasm, a man and a woman worrying about sex ruining their relationship turn out to be right.
  • A cop nearly dies, after surgery ends up living off baby food.
  • Car is sentient, kills everyone. (Not to be confused with sentient Beetle that doesn’t kill anyone.)
  • James Franco gets caught between a rock and a hard place.
  • Hot model in barely-there designer erm outfit is the key to saving the universe.
  • King learns how to speak. Then he declares war on Germany.
  • Robin Williams is hounded out his job for wanting to give good, personalised, customer service.
  • A man finds out that his entire life has been a TV show. The show gets cancelled.
  • 7 cowboys reenact classic Japanese Samurai film.
  • A guy takes his friend’s DeLorean for a drive and visits his parents.
  • NJ authorities fail to close down holiday camp near Crystal Lake for 12 movies despite staggering death toll.
  • Mom is murdered, son gets kidnapped, father becomes friends with mentally ill woman to find son.
  • Jack Nicholson finds juggling the responsibility of hotel management and being a novelist difficult.
  • There’s a rat in the kitchen.
  • A lady has her favorite writer stay at her house during a snowstorm.
  • Arms Dealer stops selling missiles so he can design the ultimate weapon to use for his own personal agenda.
  • A couple films themselves sleeping every night to overcome trust issues that have been haunting their relationship.
  • Charlton Heston upset by the lack of upkeep of the Statue of Liberty.
  • Young people f—-ng apple pies, flutes and cougars.
  • High ranking German officials killed in a theater fire while watching a terrible film about a woman laughing.
  • Time traveller goes back in time to make sure there are monkeys in the zoo.
  • Immobile man pretends to be blue to gain buried treasure. Dies, stays blue.
  • A guy smashes 4 androids so he can date 1.
  • Selfish parents enjoy holiday despite absence of young child.
  • A potter mistakes her dead white young husband for a middle aged black woman.
  • Woman denies lesbian affair with Whoopi Goldberg by claiming it’s her dead husband.
  • Depressed ex husband resorts to cross dressing. Fails to win back ex wife.
  • Some miners pick up a hitchhiker and they all die except a woman and her cat. Oh and it’s in space.
  • Boat load of people take Ice Bucket Challenge. Ends badly. Girl floats away.
  • Burn victim inexplicably gains the ability to kill teenagers in their dreams.
  • Kid sees dead people. Talks with dead therapist about his problems.
  • Guy screws up with his gf, him and his mate always end up in the same pub. Gets red on him.
  • Frustrated voyeur stuck in apartment for weeks with Grace Kelly has itch he can’t scratch.
  • Old man pretends to teach teenage boy karate to make him do chores.
  • Poor guy is just trying to eat his tasty burger when he is shot by a black man reciting a passage from the bible.
  • He’s tired of TPS reports. She’s tired of flair. Another just wants his red Swingline stapler back.
  • A father cuts off his son’s hand because he doesn’t want to be a part of the family business.
  • A boy befriends a bearded hermit and two gay robots, goes into space, snogs his sister and kills his dad.
  • American competes with Germans to see who can strip Middle East of antiquities the fastest.
  • A family hides an alien until it gets sick, then they send it home.
  • A man lures children into his factory and disposes of them using the last of an enslaved race.
  • Teenager discovers that he can shoot sticky white substances around the room. Wears a spandex suit.
  • A guy feeds people to his plant and everybody sings about it.
  • Waitress shoots drunk guy in parking lot. Kills herself and best friend in Nevada.
  • A starving shark is mercilessly hunted by poachers in a boat that’s too small.
  • Man makes discovery alien technology is Windows compatible. US Air Force tests thesis.
  • Awkward girl ruins the prom for everyone else, kills own mother.
  • Brad Pitt receives a package from his wife.

So, how many of these movies did you recognise?

As silly as it was also smart, the trend showed not only which movies were popular with the Twitterati — but which movies’ plots (or lack thereof) left a lasting impression.

While “Guardians of the Galaxy” came up several times, none of its purposely poor synopses were particularly smart. However, the following could easily be regarded as cultural phenomena on account of their numerous appearances and varied descriptions: Star Wars, the Wizard of Oz, Jurassic Park, Batman, the Sixth Sense, Up, Titanic, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Back to the Future, Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Inception, Jaws, Frozen, Fight Club, the Twilight saga — and just about every Marvel Studios movie.

I haven’t LOL’d this much in ages!

Oh well, that was fun. The trend’s over. Back to serious stuff.

Images indirectly via Twitter and @ShakeNTell

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