The smooth, fast-talking Hades in Disney's Hercules, especially apparent within the syndicated series. Unfortunately, he is surrounded by Genre Blind, idiotic minions. After Hercules makes a deal that only appears to benefit Hades, Hades briefly stops to think that it could be too good to be true. Unfortunately for him, greed and impatience win out over intelligence.
Hades: "The son of my hated rival trapped forever in a river of death... Hmmm, is there a downside to this?"
The Incredibles. A former fan who was rejected as a sidekick by Mr. Incredible, Syndrome, used his Genre Savvy to master exotic new technologies with which he built a fortune as a weapon designer... and then decimated the ranks of the surviving superheroes. He even cuts himself off in the middle of "monologuing" when Mr. Incredible nearly gets the drop on him. His one moment of Genre Blindness is when he fails to realize the ultra-sophisticated robot he built is smart enough to wonder why it has to take orders. Also, at the very end, his non-breakaway cape. Seeing how many in-universe examples Edna could reel off, Syndrome should have known better. This may be less an example of genre blindness than an example of death by genre savviness, considering that supers rarely die by jet-intake in their comics or television series. Mainly because capes are usually very detachable and get torn, ripped off, etc. He also falls prey to Bond Villain Stupidity when he traps the family in the same escape-proof room so they can experience his moment of triumph via satellite TV after they've been captured. He even leaves a fully-fuelled rocket in his base so they can follow him in it. He seems to lose his Genre Savvyness as the movie progresses.
Jiminy Cricket, as it turns out, is incredibly genre savvy. In an appearance on House of Mouse he went onstage to talk about how you should always let your conscience be your guide. What starts as a standard do the right thing speech quickly turns into him sarcastically pointing out all the things every character should and should not do in a Disney movie. These include:
Kuzco: ...Bring it on.(they go down the fall) BOOYAAAAHAHAHAHA!
In Disney's Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent is remarkably genre savvy when she tells Philip about how she plans to imprison him until he is an extremely old man, then allow him to go kiss Aurora awake. She is actually plotting to destroy the story itself.
Wreck-It Ralph: While Big Bad King Candy/Turbo shows some Dangerously Genre Savvy, his minion Sour Bill also has a moment of this: after Ralph causes major problems in Sugar Rush, Felix shows up asking whether Sour Bill has seen him. Sour Bill's response is to immediately pull the lever on a trap door sending Felix down to the dungeon, because he "wasn't making that mistake" again, in case Felix's presence would cause even more problems, which it undoubtedly would have.
In Monsters University, when Oozma Kappa is invited to the Roar Omega Roar party after surprising everyone by making it to the second round of the Scare Games, everyone but Sulley wants to go, who points out it's probably not a good idea and is suspicious throughout the party. He is proven right when everyone there proceeds to humiliate Oozma Kappa after letting them feel appreciated.
In Frozen, Hans explains to Anna that he planned to marry into the throne and off Elsa. Elsa would have been an obvious choice to marry, but he chose Anna because she was naive and "foolish" enough to fall head-over-heels for him and accept his marriage proposal.
Hans: Did you really think it was that easy?
Film - Live Action
The entirety of the Scream franchise is based on the characters being Genre Savvy, to the point that they make comments like "I know what happens to the black dude, and I'm getting out of here." Randy Meeks was a veritable fountain of knowledge about how to survive a horror movie until he found a giant Idiot Ball and turned his back to a dangerous area. In fact, most characters who die are the ones who make stupid mistakes. The characters know this, and discuss mistakes that should never be made, such as going off on your own.
Joel is possibly one of the savviest characters in movie history. He leaves the movie until after the Ghostface killer has been stopped, then promptly comes back.
There's Nothing Out There, which had the premise of a single genre-savvy character surrounded by genre-blind people in a horror film and trying to convince them of what's happening.
The ninth film Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday opens with a great moment of genre savviness. As the movie starts, a woman is being chased through the woods by Jason Voorhees, as usual. Once she reaches a small clearing, though, she jumps to safety and it's revealed that she's a part of an FBI operation and this is a trap. Cue gunfire. Now, Jason is usually Immune to Bullets, so that wouldn't help anything. Except then, a small army of agents armed with every caliber and variety of firearm imaginable suddenly pops out of hiding, opens fire in a hailstorm of bullets, and doesn't stop firing for more than a minute, until the last agent's out of ammo and Jason's body has pretty much been torn to shreds. Due to an egregious display of New Powers as the Plot Demands, this doesn't actually kill him for good, but it does show that law enforcement really did their homework this time around.
In the Halloween series, Dr. Loomis is able to anticipate most of Michael Myer's actions. Sadly for him, he isn't savvy enough to stop any of the killings though.
In The Faculty, several of the students (being sci-fi fans), realise that the strange goings-on at the school resemble the Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Though they correctly work out that the 'infected' are actually part of a greater 'queen' organism (and what happens should they find and kill it), they fail to realise that the queen is actually The New Girl and not one of the more obvious suspects. The 'queen' even asserts that they should stop resisting her, since this plot ended in them winning even in fiction (the pod people in the aforementioned Body Snatchers).
Though Genre Savvy, Casey comes up with a quite amazing conspiracy theory regarding aliens: he asks whether sci-fi itself is a tool for the authorities to inure the public to the existence of aliens, just so nobody would believe it if it really happened. Stokely is unsurprisingly not convinced in the slightest, but thinks it's a cool idea.
Hot Fuzz plays off one of the characters' detailed knowledge of action cop films.
The Jean Claude Van Damme movie Double Impact has a hilarious moment when a Mook is genre savvy enough to look in the opposite direction of the noise the main character makes, however said character even anticipates his genre-savviness and knocks him out.
Played for endless laughs within the Austin Powers trilogy, particularly any scene with Dr. Evil and his son. Austin's father Nigel also has a lot of fun with this, such as when he's being escorted at gunpoint
Nigel: "Oh, put the guns down. Is this the first day on the job or something? Look, this is how it goes, you attack me one at a time, and I knock you out with a single punch. Okay? Go." (henchmen attack one at a time, he knocks them out with one hit each)
Dr. Evil: "Oh he's good!" (another henchman approaches Nigel)
Nigel: "Do you know who I am?" (henchman nods) "Do you have any idea how many anonymous henchmen I've killed over the years?" (nods) "And look at you, you don't even have a name tag, you've got no chance! Why don't you just fall down?" (henchmen drops his weapon and slowly lies down)
Subverted in the Mortal Kombat film, in which Liu Kang refuses to bow to a "mere beggar" whom his grandfather identifies as the god Raiden. Liu's grandfather begs Raiden's forgiveness and explains that America and too much television has made him crass — yet, not two minutes later, Raiden asks Liu to attack him and Liu promptly gets trounced. Apparently Liu has, in fact, not been watching enough television.
Goes double for just about everyone in Not Another Teen Movie. Several scenes featured characters taking a moment to stand around describing the quirks and aspects of their character portrayal with great detail.
Ricky Lipman: I am not going to let you hurt Janey again. Okay? Besides, I love her. Jake: Well, so do I. Ricky Lipman:(slight pause) Yes, but I'm the best friend, and I have been in front of her face the whole time, and she just... hasn't really realized it yet, but she will. Jake: Well, I'm the reformed cool guy, who's learned the error of his ways. She's gonna forgive me for my mistakes, and realize that I really love her. Ricky Lipman:(pause) Dammit, that's true.
In possibly one of the most well-done moments of villain genre savviness ever, once shown the "historical documents", Sarris is the only nonhuman character who realizes that he is dealing with actors who have been mistaken for real explorers. This implies that unlike the Thermians, his own race produces entertainment.
Sarris: How adorable. The actors are going to play war with me!
The plot of Lady in the Water revolves around the characters realizing that they've stumbled into a Fairy Tale. This gets subverted when things go horribly awry because they're acting out the wrong roles in the story.
Harry Farber: This is precisely the moment where the mutation or beast will attempt to kill an unlikable side character. But, in stories where there has been no prior cursing, violence, nudity or death, such as in a family film, the unlikable character will escape his encounter, and be referenced later in the story, having learned valuable lessons. He may even be given a humorous moment to allow the audience to feel good about him. This is where I turn to run. You will leap for me, I will shut the door, and you will land a fraction of a second too late. (He turns to run and immediately gets killed.)
One of the many good things about Independence Day was a scene during the initial attack on the alien ships. As soon as Will Smith's character sees their missiles exploding at some distance from ship with a special effect he immediately yells "They have shields!" and everyone knows what he's talking about.
In Mystery Men, Mr. Furious insists — correctly — that Lance Hunt is actually superhero Captain Amazing, and that it's only by wearing or removing a pair of glasses that he is able to switch his identity. Unfortunately, his colleagues are not quite so savvy, and this leads to many frustrating arguments in which they insist that Hunt can't be Amazing because "he wouldn't be able to see!"
Peter Venkman in the Ghostbusters movies and cartoons, in addition to being the most street-smart (if Book Dumb) Ghostbuster, also tends to display some genre savviness. In the second movie in particular, he's savvy enough to realize that ranting and raving about a demonic painting attempting to possess a baby at midnight on New Year's Eve is only going to make them look crazy to the psychiatrists at the asylum where they have been sent, and so goes along with events in a calm and rational manner until someone wises up to let them go and deal with it. It's a matter of some frustration to him that his colleagues don't seem to have realized this.
Preacher in Deep Blue Sea at one point exclaims, "Ooh, I'm done! Brothers never make it out of situations like this! Not ever!" Ironically, perhaps, he's one of only two survivors at the end of the movie. Interesting to note, originally he died and Saffron Burrows' character lived, but test audiences disliked her character so much (reportedly screaming "DIE BITCH!" at the screen) and liked his, so they re-shot the ending.
In Last Action Hero, Danny Madigan, the kid from the real world, having seen so many action movies, knows all the clichés and plot devices when he winds up inside one. Jack Slater, the fictional Hollywood action hero who lives in the movie, refuses to believe him, suffering from Genre Blindness. However, Slater does have flashes of Savvy apparently learned from experience, such as always shooting his closet when he gets home to kill the inevitable assassin hiding in it. Several of the tropes that Danny points out are set up by Slater to make him look good.
Michael Jordan becomes this at the very end of Space Jam to save the day when he stretches his arm like a cartoon to make the final dunk in the basket. Justified: He knew it was possible for the cartoons to do weird things, he just didn't know he could until it was pointed out to him, during the last ''ten seconds'' of the game.
Batman Begins:Scarecrow. When told that Batman had infiltrated Arkham, he told his men to do "what anyone does when a prowler's around. Call the police." His plan was to lure Batman outside, where the cops would take care of him, reasoning that his own operation had gotten far enough that there was no way it could be stopped. It didn't work, but it was a much more intelligent decision than most villains tend to make.
The Dark Knight: Detective Stephens, the cop in charge of watching the captured Joker. He refuses to play along with Joker's Hannibal Lecture, telling him: "I know the difference between punks who need to be taught a little lesson in manners, and the freaks like you who would just enjoy it." When he ends up falling for it anyway (because the Joker's that good), he says to the other officers: "It's my own damn fault, just shoot!"
Batman gets his own Genre Savvy moment at the same point in the movie: he warned the officer not to let the Joker piss him off, as he'd just be playing into the Joker's hands.
Bane as well. When one of his henchmen stated he killed Gordon, his first question was where's the body?
John McClane in 2007's Live Free or Die Hard turns out to be pretty Genre Savvy: for example, at one point he asks whether there's some sort of "Henchmen 'R' Us" where the Big Bad gets all of his Mooks from. But then, he has been through roughly the same plot three times before, with only the details changed, so you'd be a bit worried if he hadn't spotted a pattern. As brilliantly parodied by Ben Stiller on The Ben Stiller Show with Die Hard in a Supermarket:
Stiller (as McClane): How can the same thing happen to the same guy so many times?
The first movie has Hans show the slightest bit of Genre Savvy as well. When Holly comes to him with requests, one of them starts with, "We've got a pregnant woman out there..." and Hans immediately rolls his eyes, as if to say, "Oh lord, she's going to go into labor, isn't she?" until Holly clarifies she's not due for weeks.
Hans virtually accuses McClane to his face of being Wrong Genre Savvy, for expecting to ride off triumphantly into the sunset like a Western hero!
Nick Cannon's character in the Day of the Deadremake. Could also be considered Death By Genre Savvy, as someone dies moments after he says this (but it's a teaser, so that's up for debate)
Genre savviness abounds in the 1985 film Rustlers Rhapsody, a parody of The Western that spoofs everything from its stock characters to clean-cut "singing cowboys" like Gene Autry to gritty "spaghetti westerns". The singing cowboy hero has gone through the same western formula so many times that he's able to see exactly what's coming. However, this time, the villains get Dangerously Genre Savvy themselves. Realizing that good guys always defeat bad guys, the villains hire another good cowboy to fight the hero. It turns out that the other good cowboy is also a lawyer, so he's not good enough to defeat the hero.
The Operative in Serenity shows an awareness of genre conventions while fighting Mal.
"Nothing here is what it seems. He is not the plucky hero, the Alliance is not some evil empire, and this isn't the grand arena."
"I am of course wearing full body armor. I am not a moron!"
One person in Diary of the Dead was Genre Savvy enough to suggest that people could survive the Zombie Apocalypse from watching how he and his party had survived. The characters were making a horror movie using some classic tropes and then lampshading them when they happened for real.
Subverted in The Return Of The Living Dead in which Night of the Living Dead was loosely based on a true event. Frank, the medical supply warehouse manager, later tells his boss, Burt, how to dispose of a zombie, based on what was done in the movie; unfortunately, it turns out "the movie lied!"
Eddie Valiant, in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, had a special kind of Genre Savvy. His past dealings with Toons gave him insight on how they worked, and allowed him to manipulate multiple situations to his advantage, such as using the Duck Season, Rabbit Season trick to get Roger to take a drink and ripping a road marker to trick Mina Hyena into running into a brick wall. Judge Doom had similar abilities, allowing him to capture Roger at one point, by tapping "Shave and a Haircut" in a bar Roger is hiding in, knowing that Roger's old-school humor style wouldn't let him not finish the line.
Of course, Doom's in-depth knowledge of Toons comes from the fact that he is one himself.
In Jeepers Creepers, the heroine runs down the Creeper with her car and skids to a halt a short distance away. When her passenger asks if it's dead, she says, "They never are." Then proceeds to throw it into reverse and run the creature over several more times. Unfortunately, it still doesn't work.
Also as Darry is climbing down the drain pipe looking for a dead body, Trish tells him, "You know the part in scary movies when somebody does something really stupid, and everybody hates them for it? This is it!"
Gibbs, being a superstitious old salt, knows how to stay alive.
One of the Spaniard's men's first reaction to seeing a tree suddenly bending is "The prisoner is escaping."
Pintel and Ragetti also show traits of this trope.
When Jack is brought to the palace in On Stranger Tides, George II and his guards consider it perfectly safe to unchain him, since there's no way he could possibly escape. When Barbossa - who knows Jack rather better - arrives, he immediately asks why Jack isn't in chains, only to have his objection dismissed. Naturally, Jack pulls off a characteristically implausible escape moments later.
Many of the recurring characters in Kevin Smith's films seem to be genre-savvy. One glaring example is Azrael from the film Dogma, who, as his Evil Plan for the destruction of all reality comes together, is asked how he did it and what he needs to do by the imprisoned good guys. Azrael's response:
Smith in The Matrix Revolutions, specifically near the end of his climactic brawl with Neo. Even though Smith — thanks to the Eyes of the Oracle — can see how the fight will end, he still thinks Neo might be tricking him into defeat when The Protagonist gets up to offer himself as the sacrificial lamb one final time.
Jentee of Magical Legend of the Leprechauns is perfectly aware that the circumstances around him are a romantic tragedy waiting to happen — to the degree that when the protagonists in love come to him for help, he suggests that committing suicide might persuade their warring families to resolve their differences. Turns out he's right.
In Time Bandits, Kevin, at least, knows what's up when they meet Robin Hood. He even tries to explain to the dwarves afterwards that of course Robin is going to hand out the treasure they stole to the poor.
By Army of Darkness, Ash knows that, just because a Deadite is down, doesn't mean it's dead. This is largely due to experience, though, as he gets caught by the same trick in the first film.
Ash: It's a trick. Get an axe.
In Road To Morocco, Hope and Crosby try the old "pat-a-cake" routine (used to great success in the series' earlier films) on the villain's henchmen, only to get clobbered:
Bing: Yessir, Junior, that thing sure got around. Bob: Yeah, and back to us!
Jim in 28 Days Later candidly points out why driving into a dark tunnel after a zombie outbreak is a stupid idea, even if the driver isn't in the mood to listen to him:
Jim: No, no, no... see, this is a really shit idea. You know why? Because it's obviously a shit idea! You drive into a tunnel full of fucking smashed cars and broken glass, and it is really fucking obviously a shit idea-
Frank: HOLD ON!
(Frank's car rockets up the pile of wrecked cars, and travels across its flattest point for about ten seconds before landing back on the road with a shredded front tyre.)
Selina: [To Jim] What d'you think's going to happen? We find a cure, save the world or just fall in love and fuck? Staying alive is as good as it gets.
She ends up being partly Wrong Genre Savvy, however in that she ends up falling in love with Jim.
Pretty much the entire point and struggle of Stranger Than Fiction revolves around the lead character (who hears a voice narrating his life) trying to figure out what kind of story he's in. If it's a comedy, he'll live; if it's a tragedy, he'll die. For help he visits a professor of Literature, who asks him bizarre questions like "Are you the King of anything?" and "Do you have magical powers?" His negative responses eliminate fantasy, mythology, historical fiction and other genres in order to find out the type of story he's in.
Nero in Star Trek, thanks in large part to the research he did about the Enterprise and Kirk in his own timeline. Granted, once he destroyed Vulcan and completely altered the timeline, all bets were off.
Of course, he already messed up the timeline on arrival...
Admiral: (watching Bond wage a one-man assault on a massive arms sale to prevent a nuclear incident) What does he think he's doing?
M: His job.
Q and Bond in Skyfall play with this, with Q saying things like:
Q (when Bond questions him being the quartermaster): Why, 'cause I'm not wearing a labcoat?
And later when Bond seems disappointed over his gadgets:
Q: What did you expect, an exploding pen?
In GoldenEye, the villain Janus is veryGenre Savvy, though this is justified as he's a former MI 6 agent. He lampshades this throughout the film, such as when Bond asks him where Natalya is, and he replies, "Ah, yes. Your fatal weakness."
He's also savvy enough to have Bond hand over his watch after capturing him, and asks, "So how is old Q? Still up to his usual tricks? Still press here do I?" before using the watch to deactivate the explosives Bond has placed.
However, he isn't savvy enough to take away Bond's pen grenade... or to just kill Bond when he has the chance.
The two cab drivers in the diner in The Hudsucker Proxy, who are smart enough to provide a running commentary on Amy's (staged) attempts to meet Norville.
Penelope and Stephen Bloom in The Brothers Bloom, a rather Genre Savvy movie altogether.
Bloom: This isn't an adventure story.
Penelope: It totally is!
Ned from, of all things, 17 Again. Particularly strong when he tries figuring out what triggered Mike's transformation.
Ned: Are you now, or have you ever been, a Norse god, vampire, or time-traveling cyborg?
Mike: You've know me since, what, first grade? Maybe I would have told you—
Tallahassee, Columbus, Witchita and Little Rock's survival in Zombieland is entirely attributed to Genre Savvy. Say them with me now — Rule # 1: Cardio, Rule # 2: Double-tap, Rule # 3...
Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, in addition to being a textbook genre buster, is also a study in genre savviness. Its main heroes undergo something of an education in this trope as the movie progresses: Jules' character arc starts with cheap burger commercials and ends with an Aesopian and lofty shift from gangster to drifter. Vince's tragic end, while primarily connected to the Idiot Ball, also can be seen as either Genre Blindness or perhaps Death by Genre Savviness, or perhaps both. The most interesting example the movie gives of this trope however, is Butch, who after escaping from Zed's basement, is savvy enough to know that he will never survive a proper gangster film if he runs off like a coward. He therefore decides to go Genre Shopping, starting with various violent genres, (Crime Thriller, Gangster, Horror) until he ends up with Samurai. He chooses wisely, not necessarily for survival purposes (Toshiro Mifune dies in his movies as often as not), but because, live or die, Butch is now destined to Take a Level in Badass.
Paris (Orlando Bloom) in Troy has a flash of this near the end. The Greek fleet has disappeared, leaving a giant wooden horse behind. Paris tells his father to burn it. He doesn't listen.
Earlier, Achilles refuses to fight Hector, because you can't have the two greatest heroes fight each other on the first day. This fight has to wait for a more climactic point of time.
Both the main characters in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang use their knowledge of the plots of mystery novels to foresee the events which will occur in the movie. At one point there is a false end where the female lead says something along the lines of, "this isn't how it ends, this can't be how it ends. Usually at this point there's a big action sequence where the hero kills a bunch of people for no good reason." Shortly thereafter the hero becomes engaged in a big action scene where he kills a bunch of people.
In Dead Snow, a Norwegian film, the characters are hiking into the snowy mountains (without cell phone reception, of course) when one of them remarks "How many movies start with teenagers going on a trip without cell phone reception?" This does not actually deter them, which is unfortunate considering they all wind up slaughtered by Nazi zombies. In a Crowning Moment of Funny, another character says "Friday the 13th (1980)" only to have a third say, "Yeah, because they didn't have cell phones."
The Genre Savvy character actually causes some problems for the other characters, as he tells everyone not to get bitten when he realizes that they're under attack by zombies. One character later saws his own arm off with a chainsaw after being bitten because of this, even though it's never been established that being bitten by a zombie leads to zombification.
You're going to have sex? Don't! Every time someone has sex in a horror story they get murdered!
Carl in Van Helsing, with one of the film's best lines: "If there's one thing I've learned, it's never be the first to stick your hand into a viscous material." This turns out to be very good advice.
O'Connell in The Mummy Returns. Upon learning about the Scorpion King and the army of Anubis hidden in a lost oasis, he immediately concludes (correctly) that none of the expeditions send there have ever returned, and that if awakened they will wipe out the world. He later has to point out that mummies don't use doors.
The soldier mummies anyway. From the climax of the first movie, the ones leaping around and scaling walls like Spider-Man. The shambling slave mummies? Sure, locking the doors would work for a while.
By the third film of Universal's series beginning with The Mummy's Hand, The Mummy's Ghost, Kharis the mummy has come to realize the films essentially repeat themselves, and that it never ends well for him (which the actor manages to bring across without dialogue and using only his eyes). So when his summoner begins to go on about becoming immortal and claiming the MacGuffin Girl for himself, Kharis kills him.
The Fallen himself from Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen. He believes (or at least knows) that he could be defeated by a Prime, so he refused to go to Earth until Optimus was taken care of. And when the Matrix of Leadership revives Optimus, he immediately attacks Optimus and rips the Matrix from his chest and teleports away, leaving Optimus critically injured.
Sam in Transformers: Dark of the Moon displays these moments throughout the film. The moment he realizes the Decepticons are active, he immediately goes to warn Optimus and the Autobots. He sees through NEST's attempts at hiding in plain sight and when he is dismissed purely because he's a civilan, he contacts Simmons and finds out why the Russians stopped trying to get to the moon. He was the one who figured out that the Decepticons were going after Sentinel and the remaining pillars.
Likely the reason Sentinel survived his encounter with Optimus, when others didn't, is because he used a shield.
The Autobots realized that Sentinel and the Decepticons won't live up to their end of the bargain and likely try to destroy their spaceship to kill them all in one shot. So they sent up their ship empty and sure enough, Starscream obilerates it, declaring them dead. Which would allow the Autobots to pull their Big Damn Heroes moment later without anyone seeing it coming.
Lake Placid 3. Susan is trying to turn on a chainsaw to cut down the massive croc that's trying to break into her husband's car when her son tells her she has to press the red button.
Susan: How did you know that?
Connor: It's always the red button!
Darth Vader shows a good bit of genre savviness in Star Wars: A New Hope. Having formerly been a hero prior to his Face-Heel Turn, he knows the lengths to which the heroes will go to in their attempts to thwart the Empire. As a result he correctly predicts that Leia would never reveal the location of the Rebel base, and he knows that Obi-Wan would risk his life to help his teammates escape. And during the final battle he also knows that the heroic freedom fighter types have what it takes to stop an evil planet-killing juggernaut, so he flies out in his own starfighter to deal with them personally.
In A New Hope, one of the admirals discussing the stolen death star plans warns that despite how unlikely it would be, the rebels could conceivably find an exploitable weakness in the death star.
Inside Out: Erotic Tales of the Unexpected has a segment called, The Traveling Salesman, in which a traveling salesman's car breaks down near an old farm. As his car breaks down, the salesman remarks that this is just like all the jokes. When the farmer offers to let the salesman sleep in his barn for the night, the salesman remarks that he knows that he'd better not mess with the farmer's daughter or he'll have to face a preacher and a shotgun. The farmer replies, "Nope, just a shotgun."
Marty in Back To The Future Part III. He's seen enough Westerns to know how to survive in the Wild West for real despite having no prowess with gunfighting whatsoever.
Discussed by comedian Daniel Tosh of Tosh.0 when reviewing The Human Centipede, stating that anyone who had ever seen a horror movie would've taken one look at Dr. Heiter and just walked away.
Insidious. To paraphrase Something Awful, "this is one of the few haunted house movies where the protagonists try moving."
In the 1974 film Death Wish, Inspector Ochoa notes that he suspects the vigilante to have served in the Vietnam War. This serves as a genre savvy moment, considering the various vigilante novels and films featuring Vietnam veterans acting as vigilantes. note Gordon's War, the Executioner by Don Pendleton, Hitman/Dirk Spencer, Kill Squad, The Exterminator, etc..
Murphy: That's stupid. Name one thing you gonna need a rope for.
Connor: You don't fuckin' know what you're gonna need it for. They just always need it.
Murphy: What's this 'they' shit? This isn't a movie.
Connor: Connor: Oh, right.
Subverted in the second Home Alone movie. Just before Harry and Marv decide to chase Kevin up the stairs, they remember that one of the booby traps they encountered in their last showdown involved getting bashed on the head with swinging paint cans. After fooling Kevin into dropping the cans, the duo proceed to rush up the stairs... only to get hit by a large pipe.
In Labyrinth, once they've made it to the Castle Beyond the Goblin City Sarah explains to her newfound friends that she'll have to confront Jareth alone "Because that's the way it's done." As it turns out, Jareth may have a touch of this too, when he notes in his climactic Circling Monologue that he's "exhausted from living up to [Sarah's] expectations" of his behavior throughout the story (which took off, after all, from a Fairy Tale play she likes).
In G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, before his operation that will transform him into a duplicate of the U.S. President, Zartan checks the machine for any nanomites that will be used to control him, not putting it past McCullen and Cobra Commander/Rex to do so. Sure enough, he finds one and crushes it in front of them, stating that he'd "like to keep to control of [his] own mind."
In The Amazing Spider-Man, when Peter tries to break up with Gwen and refuses to tell her why, Gwen immediately figures out that her father had asked him to as a dying request.
When the NYPD finds the Lizard, they immediately surround it and fill it with hundreds of bullets. Unfortunately...
In Sleuth both characters try to use their knowledge of detective stories to their advantage.
Dodger General Manager Branch Rickey (played by Harrison Ford) in 42 is Genre Savvy to the point of almost being a Mary Sue, as he clearly anticipates the numerous racial tensions and social backlash that will occur when he adds an African-American player into Major League Baseball.
Marcus knows exactly how charismatic Khan could be, hence his "shit, you talked to him" reaction to when he found out Kirk knew Harrison was really Khan.
Spock has the sense to ask Spock Prime about Khan, which gives Spock the information needed to defeat him.
Kirk knew that Khan helping them was more than likely them helping Khan.
Chekov is notably uneasy when asked to don a Red Shirt by Kirk (even the music gives a danger cue). And then, a few scenes later, the joke is reversed: two actual red shirts are told by Kirk to take off their red shirts because they need to go undercover. The two extras look visibly relieved (and, sure enough, they both survive).
not in the novelization, they don't.
After Khan slams the Vengeance into Starfleet HQ, Spock quickly rebuffs a comment of No One Could Survive That. Especially after Khan leaps out of the bridge and down 30 meters to the ground.
Marty of The Cabin in the Woods is so Genre Savvy that he manages to figure out not only how to survive, but also that their entire fate is being manipulated. It is revealed, however, that the only reason the rest of the cast is particularly Genre Blind is because said manipulators are basically drugging them.
In  during the final battle, Godzilla figures out where SpaceGodzilla is gaining his power and immediately attempts to destroy it.
In Godzilla (2014), while the military has its share of dumb moments, they seem to realize pretty quickly who the good guy is, using all their ordinance on the M.U.T.O.s and only firing on Godzilla once (which was justified: the ship firing at first had just been jostled by the big guy and was likely just reacting, with the rest seemingly doing the same). Once it has been established that Godzilla isn't interested in harming humans, the Navy is actually seen providing an escort fleet.
Unusually for a 'natural disaster befalls American nuclear family' movie, when the shit starts to go down, the parents get their kid out of the city ASAP, though given the evacuation route, it's hard to say whether this put Sam in more or less danger.
In X-Men: The Last Stand, when the army learns Magneto is on the warpath again, a sequence shows them trading in their metal equipment and weapons for plastic variants, so he can't exert his influence on them. A scene in the final battle has him discovering this and muttering "Plastic...they've learned."