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Genre Savvy: Live-Action TV

  • The 10th Kingdom: For a miniseries which purports to deconstruct fairytales, surprisingly few characters seem to be Genre Savvy. Street smart Virginia certainly isn't, other than when she realizes that "everyone in this place is crazy!" Wolf only gets a few moments now and then, one of the most memorable being his knowledge of fairy tale endings: "We either live happily ever after or we get killed by horrible curses." (Another would be his explanation, after Prince gets turned to gold, that "things have a way of bouncing back here"... only to admit, when confronted by Tony, that he was "just saying that" and proceeding to tempt Prince with a stick with delicious snark.) The most truly Genre Savvy moment in the entire miniseries, surprisingly, comes from Tony, after the Blind Woodsman explains how they can obtain his magic axe... by guessing his name — except if they fail, he chops off Wolf's head:
    Tony: What is it with you people? What kind of twisted upbringing did you have? Why can't you just say, "Oh, that'll be a hundred gold coins"? Why is it always "Not unless you lay a magic egg, or count the hairs on that giant's ass"?
    • Of course this is immediately subverted when Tony, believing he knows which fairy tale he's in, agrees to the deal and guesses the Woodsman is named Rumpelstiltskin. Wrong! Good thing that magic bird came along when it did.
    • And another great Tony moment, when he's told by a talking frog that one door leads to the castle, while the other leads to certain death. The frog says they can ask him any question, but he always lies. Tony flips out, has a similar rant to the one with the woodsman, only a little longer, picks up the protesting frog, opens one of the doors and throws him in, closing the door. Moments later, an explosion is heard from the other side of the door.
    Wolf: I guess it's the other door.
  • The Amazing Race: Having already been through two seasons of Survivor each, Rob & Amber were smart enough to prepare before appearing on this show (Something none of the other Survivor or Big Brother teams seem to have done). They studied the top teams from the first 5 seasons (Season 6 had not aired yet) and copied their tactics. This is common now, at least if you want to be successful, but back then they were the first team to prepare so thoroughly.
    • The teams on the Season 14 finale spent their final plane ride reviewing the previous legs to prepare for the Final Exam Boss puzzle that had been used in the previous two seasons. From that point on, taking notes on every leg became a common strategy.
    • Jordan played a textbook perfect final leg on Season 16, using strategies and knowledge he got from watching the previous seasons, to upset the much stronger Jet & Cord.
    • On leg 5 of Season 19, when given a clue to disassemble a spirit house and take it with them, five of the eight teams took notes on the positioning of the pieces of the house in case they have to put it back together later, and the other three had team members who at least suggested it (unfortunately, in one of those cases, the team just decided to take mental notes, and in the other two the team member making the suggestion was rebuffed, and all three doing the Road Block had to go back and look at another spirit house).
  • Angel: Spike is even more Genre Savvy. See episode 4: "Is this the part where I say 'Who's there?' and something creepy happens?"
  • Ashes to Ashes: Given a half-twist. Alex, having been Sam Tyler's psychologist in 2006, is very quickly convinced that she's hallucinating during a near-death experience, that she knows exactly what the rules of her imaginary world are, and that there will inevitably be some sequence of events that will allow her to wake up; rather than gradually assimilating into 1981, as Sam did to 1973, she seems almost to be trying to game her way out of it. Unfortunately, her assumptions tend to be less than infallible since she's working on the rules from Life On Mars, only some of which carried over to Ashes to Ashes. Much to the sadistic glee of Zippy and George, apparently.
  • As the World Turns: Doctor Reid Oliver is this trope.
  • The Avengers: In one episode, one character points out that although it seems that they are all trapped in a thriller, the eyes in a painting aren't moving.
  • Babylon 5: In the episode, where they are trying to steal Babylon 4, Ivanova and Marcus go off on their own mission. Suddenly, Marcus disappears and Ivanova is surrounded by the B4 security team. Marcus then pops up and knocks them unconscious. Ivanova asks him how he knew to do that and Marcus replies, "I just thought 'What would be the worst time station security could find us?' and figured this would be it."
  • Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined):
    • The Hybrids (the semi-humanoid computers of the Basestars) seem to be aware that they're on a TV show ("Throughout history, the nexus between man and machine has spawned some of the most dramatic, compelling, and entertaining fiction"). Also, Admiral Adama says in the episode "Revelations" that if they give the alliance with the rebel cylons any more time it will just fall apart again, and gives the order to jump with the Rebel Basestar to their mutual destination instead of sending a scouting party first.
    • Another example is Sam Ander's admission to Starbuck that his resistance team really just lifts tactics out of movies. Which, apparently, Cylons have no real interest in reviewing.
  • Boy Meets World: In "And Then There Was Shawn," while the kids are in detention, and things begin looking terrifying, we learn that Shawn is very Genre Savvy when it comes to Horror movies, quickly pointing out the dangers of splitting up and the fact that virgins never die.
    Cory: (looks at Topanga, his recent ex) Hey, Thanks for saving my life!
    Eric: I'm dead.
    Jack: I'm dead.
    Shawn: I'm going to get as sick as you can possibly get without actually dying...
    Moments later when they realize that Mr. Feeney has died, Eric and Jack begin doing a little dance and singing "Go Feeney, Go Feeney"
  • Parodied in Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger with Nobuo Akagi: For how aware he is of all the rules of the Tv show he's in and Super Sentai in general, you would think he would have figured out he was in a Tv show It's because of this he does eventually figure it out.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The main characters are almost all Genre Savvy. Special mention goes to Buffy, who, as appropriate for The Protagonist of the show that gave birth to this very wiki, can easily spot tropes.
    • Spike to Buffy in "Blood Ties": "You'll find her, just in the nick of time. That's what you hero types do."
    • Also when Spike kidnapped Xander and Willow, Buffy immediately concludes that he hid them at the abandoned factory. Spike says, "You think I'm an idiot?" They are, of course, at the abandoned factory.
    • Also note Buffy's staking of Dracula after he attempts to regenerate — "You think I don't watch your movies? You always come back."
    • Their genre savvy is justified because they don't start acting so genre savvy until several seasons in. During the early seasons they aren't nearly as genre savvy.
    • There was also that one vampire from The Teaser who held off on attacking Buffy and Willow when he noticed all the stakes scattered around them.
    • Dawn has become this in Season 8.
  • Castle: Richard Castle is amazingly genre savvy, being a mystery novelist in a Police Procedural, and uses this to help the actual police. His partner pokes fun at this, but it works.
    • When the team are exploring a graveyard at night, Ryan and Esposito invoke this.
    Ryan:'You know, if this was a horror movie, we'd be the first to die.'
    Esposito:'Please, we're trained police with rifles.'
    Ryan:'Cocky black guy. You definitely die first.'
    • Although when Castle tries the same on Beckett...
      Castle:'You know, if this was a horror movie...'
      Beckett:'Shut up, Castle.
    • Castle's mom, Martha, is an experienced actress, who's played in many roles, including soap operas. This trope comes into play during a conversation in the episode based around a soap opera.
    Beckett: How long were you on the show?
    Martha: Three Weeks.
  • Charmed: The sisters hovered between Genre Savvy and pathetically, if not redundantly, Genre Blind.
  • Chuck: Morgan becomes Genre Savvy when he realizes he's a supporting character in a spy series. He even recognized the choreographic fight sequence Shaw engaged in and realized the failure to find Shaw's body meant he wasn't dead. He shifts to Wrong Genre Savvy when he gets the Intersect and believes he's now the main character.
  • Community: Abed is Genre Savvy beyond all reason. The other characters typically ignore him when he points out various tropes and it won't be too surprising when a WMG goes up saying that Abed knows he's fictional. It's even better than that. There's a WMG that he's a troper.
    • In one episode, Abed is so genre savvy he has the ability to predict the future.
    • In the episode 'Horror Fiction in Seven Deadly Steps,' Abed is bored by a cliche horror story and then revises the story to make the characters more genre savvy. His and Britta's characters in the story hear a noise outside and discuss what to do:
    Britta: Should we go check it out?
    Abed: No. We should call 911 on my fully-charged cell phone, lock the doors, and then stand back-to-back in the middle of the room holding knives.
    • This example is also a Deconstruction, since Abed's Genre Savvy means that he's more fixated on sealing up potential plot holes, providing lengthy explanations and backstories for why the characters are doing what they're doing and engaging in lengthy meandering scenarios which, while more 'real', detract from the narrative rather than just telling the story. This works only to irritate everyone he's telling the story to and almost entirely rob his story of any drama, tension or action whatsoever. The point being made is clearly that just because someone's Genre Savvy doesn't mean they know how to tell a good story and that just because a story's Genre Savvy doesn't mean it's a good story.
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: In the "Grave Danger" episode, Nick briefly regains consciousness in the kidnapper's van and prepares to fight when the back door is opened. Unfortunately for him, the villain has seen this movie before; he reaches around the seat and just drugs Nick from behind.
  • Doctor Who:
    Ida: We've come this far, there's no turning back.
    Doctor: Oh, did you have to? "No turning back"? That's almost as bad as "Nothing could possibly go wrong" or "This is gonna be the best Christmas Walford's ever had."
    • The Master is Genre Savvy enough to state that he's not going to hang around telling the hero all his plans, though not enough so to just kill the heroes rather than keeping them around to gloat. The Doctor was also able to accurately predict that the Master would have to have a ticking clock as part of his plan.
    • Amy Pond often has moments of Genre Savvy:
    Amy: Were you being extra charming and clever?
    Doctor: Yeah, how did you know?
    Amy: Lucky guess.
    • Rory Williams - from the way he worked out from his own research why the TARDIS is bigger on the inside, to the fact that he's perfectly aware that "We come in peace!" never stops the mooks from trying to kill you, Rory has always been fairly savvy about both science and sci-fi.
    • River's knowledge of the Doctor's future makes her pretty genre savvy regarding the Doctor, when they're trapped by the Weeping Angels, she says, "No pressure, but this is usually when you have a really good idea."
    • The Ninth Doctor displays this in Boom Town, when an alien murderess he is dining with gets him to turn his back on a spurious excuse. Naturally, she uses the opportunity to spice up his drink... and when he turns back, he switches their glasses immediately.
    • In The Shakespeare Code, William Shakespeare is also pretty savvy, rather unsurprisingly. He even figures out on his own that the Doctor is a time traveller.
    • And in Voyage of the Damned, the entire population of London turns Genre Savvy — after two straight years of horrible disasters and alien invasions on Christmas, they evacuate the city en masse on December 25, certain that some cruel god is going to have it in for them again. Not surprisingly, they're right.
    • Also, in The Pandorica Opens:
    Doctor: How do you think? A good wizard trapped it.
    River: I hate good wizards in fairy tales, they always turn out to be him.
    Rory: Every time the Doctor gets pally with someone I have this overwhelming urge to notify their next-of-kin.
    • In Closing Time, the Doctor drops in on Craig as a social call.
    The Doctor: Just popped in to say hello.
    Craig: You don't do that. I checked the upstairs when we moved in. It's real. And next door, both sides. They're humans. Is it the fridge? Are there aliens in my fridge?
    • THE DALEKS even get Genre Savvy in Asylum of the Daleks. They're too scared to go find out what's gotten into the titular asylum themselves, so they go pick up the Doctor, Amy, and Rory to do it for them. When the Doctor asks why they kidnapped Amy and Rory, the Daleks reply that it is well known that the Doctor requires companions. They are, as usual, instrumental in helping him succeed.
    • Rory's Genre Savviness reaches epic proportions in The Angels Take Manhattan, in which he is able to create a paradox that will defeat the titular Angels by committing suicide...in the desperate certainty that he'll survive the attempt, because 'Don't I always?'
    • Nightmare in Silver has another example from the Doctor. It's not enough to stop the kid from getting himself in trouble, but points for trying.
    Doctor: Don't wander off! I mean it! Otherwise you'll wander off, and the next thing you know, somebody's gonna have to start rescuing somebody. ...sweet dreams.
    • Time Heist:

      When the TARDIS phone gets a call, Clara insists the Doctor not answer, because "a thing" always happens. He does, and they wake up holding memory worms to their heads in a strange room with strange people.

      When discussing what's next in their plan the Doctor tells Saibra he doesn't know, but he assumes "a thing" will happens fairly soon. Then Psi and Clara find the next suitcase.
  • Eureka:
    • Sheriff Andy was apparently programmed for Genre Savvy. Faced with a situation where only a main character could succeed he refused to go (because he was programmed to follow the town charter, which says the sheriff cannot take unreasonable risks). Once Carter went in Andy was able to follow and help because he knew that Carter being there increased the odds of success dramatically.
    • All the main characters are Genre Savvy enough that when someone observes that S.A.R.A.H.'s AI started its life as a war-game simulator, and she immediately responds by asking "Shall we play a game?", the answer is an emphatic and unanimous "NO!"
  • Farscape: In the episode "Twice Shy", Crichton and D'Argo take it for granted that the Damsel in Distress they've rescued will turn out to be a villain, and resolve to dump her on the first habitable planet they come to. However this turns out to be not so easy as she's actually a giant shapeshifting spider that feeds on emotions.
    • This is pretty standard for Crichton, as part of his Pop Cultured Bad Ass status. Eventually, it starts rubbing off on his alien shipmates.
  • Firefly:
    • Instead of lecturing a henchman who has promised to hunt Mal down and kill him, Mal simply shrugs, takes him at his word, and kicks the guy into an engine intake.
    • When Mal and Saffron get interrupted trying to steal the Lassiter, Saffron starts talking fast and Mal plays along. Much to their relief, Haymer appears grateful and leaves to get Mal a reward. When he returns, however, he informs them that he had alerted security the second he saw them and now armed Alliance guards are coming to take them in.
      • Likewise, the crew knew that, no matter what Saffron said, she was going to betray them at the most opportune moment. Thus, they arranged for Inara to intercept the Lassiter before Saffron could get there and locked her in the dumpster to take the fall for the theft.
  • Frasier: By season 11, Niles is not only able to point out Frasier's habit of nitpicking his women, but he also tailors his advice into a mantra, which he knows Frasier is fond of.
    Niles: Commit to commitment.
    Frasier: Commit to commitment... It's a bit glib, but nonetheless inspiring. Thank you, Niles.
  • Friends: Joey is too genre savvy when he tells Monica who would win in a fight, she or Phoebe:
    Joey: Definitely Phoebe. She has lived on the street, she can be really mean when she's angry, and ... she is not standing right behind me, is she?
  • Game of Thrones: Lord Renly Baratheon is very good at reading people and has an excellent grasp of politics. After King Robert Baratheon is fatally wounded, Renly knows that the only way to prevent Joffrey from taking the throne and keep Ned Stark as Protector of the Realm is to immediately capture Joffrey as a hostage. Renly's wisdom in this matter sharply contrasts Ned's Genre Blindness, as everything the younger man says does come to pass. Renly is also smart to flee King's Landing when Ned refuses to carry out his plan.
    Renly: Strike! Tonight, while the castle sleeps! We must get Joffrey away from his mother and into our custody. Protector of the Realm or no, he who holds the king holds the kingdom. Every moment you delay gives Cersei another moment to prepare. By the time Robert dies, it will be too late for the both of us.
  • The Glades: Shown by a suspect. When the suspect immediately confesses after Jim announces they have the killer's DNA and just have to get his to compare, Jim immediately believes it was too easy and that the man was protecting his son, the man realizing that while a DNA comparison would clear him, it would indicate that a male relative was the killer. Jim lampshades the genre-savviness by pointing out that thanks to TV, more people know about what DNA comparisons can show.
  • The Golden Girls: From the episode, "That Old Feeling," which focused on Blanche's feelings upon reuniting with the brother of her late husband:
    Rose: Dorothy Zbornak, you might show a little compassion!
    Dorothy: Catch me on a day when the story's about me.
  • Grimm: Monroe seems to be the most genre-savvy.
    Monroe: This is so the part of the horror movie where the sidekick gets it.
  • Hannah Montana: Found in, believe it or not, where about midway through season 1 Lilly begins to develop a dangerous understanding of how Miley's Zany Schemes usually work, sees them coming a good minute and a half before they actually happen, and why she can't say no, even though she knows she should. In later episodes, Miley gained more savviness about Robbie Ray's Once per Episode heart-to-heart talks, always beating him to the punch when he advises her to "listen to (her) heart", or asking him not to tell her "I Told You So" when a plan backfires, etc.
  • Hawaii Five-0: P. Diddy guest starred in one episode, playing a cop who Five-0 had to stop from taking revenge against a mobster he believes had his wife killed. McGarrett knows Diddy has a police radio, so he announces a sighting of a suspect in the murder in order to set him up. Diddy knows it's probably a set up, but still gets caught because McGarrett was even more Genre Savvy than him. He knew he'd know, so he had Chin and Kono go to the spot that presented the best vantage point from which to observe what was happening in case the call was genuine.
  • Heroes:
    • Hiro Nakamura. "You're telling us your plan? What kind of overconfident nemesis are you?" Though not Genre Savvy enough to just listen to the plan.
    • Ando, too. Hiro travels to the future and sees Ando attacking him. He tells Ando, and Ando suggests that it could be a robot or a shapeshifter.
  • House: Characters occasionally realize where they are in the script. Thus, Wilson sometimes points out that he's just provided House with his routine epiphany, while, in one episode, House complains that the epiphany went to somebody else.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: This show is a humorous Inverted Trope. Throughout the series the characters seem to constantly try and be Genre Savvy and invoke tropes intentionally for their benefits, apparently believing that everything will work out like a movie or tv show. However it rarely ever works out for them as Reality Ensues. For example in one episode, Mac and Charlie try to fake their deaths by blowing up a car. They make numerous attempts to make the car blow up like in an action movie by crashing it, shooting the gas tank, and even throwing a grenade inside. The most they end up succeeding in is injuring themselves.
  • JAG: Last season addition Lieutenant Catherine Graves is a fan of crime and mystery novels. Even though she is not a lawyer, being savvy of those genres turns out to be quite useful on several occasions.
  • Jeeves and Wooster: When amateur dictator Roderick Spode threatens Bertie, he uses the first Dark Secret word about Spode, Eulalie. Spode is frightened stiff, and has to do the bidding of whoever mentions the word. Bertie does not know the significance of the word, until later in the series. Jeeves would never tell him, since it is a secret of the club of valets for which he works. He supplies another word, Celia, which works at that time, but again, kept Bertie in the dark about it. Spode was initially threatened, then questioned Bertie what he knows, and found he knows nothing, reducing Bertie's threat to zero.
  • LA 7 also known as S Club 7 in LA: The first episode, entitled "Into the Unknown", has them lost in a forest in which group of film-makers disappeared, which sounded awfully familiar to them.
  • Legend of the Seeker: By the last few episodes, Darken Rahl has grown genre savvy about the hero, Richard, and, as the world's nearing an end, is content to sit back in a hot-tub and relax, comfortable in the certainty that Richard will solve everything in short order.
  • Lets Make A Deal: A Game Show example: In the original show with Monty Hall, when it came time for The Reveal of the endgame, Monty would always save the door with the Big Deal of the Day to be revealed last, opening the other two first. Contestants quickly figured this out, and would start Squeeing and jumping for joy as soon as the door they had picked was the last one left unrevealed, or would become disappointed as soon as the door they had picked was opened without being saved for last.
  • Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman: Everything Tempus says in his appearances flaunts his extreme genre savvy. From saying "I'm the bad guy, we always have a plan" to "The heroine creates her hero, a mythically moving moment." In the episode, "Tempus, Anyone?" he greets Lois Lane by lampshading her previous inability to figure out that her fiance is the originator of Clark Kenting.
    Tempus: Remember me? (Lois stares on confused so he removes his glasses) How about now? (He laughs when she doesn't get his glasses/no glasses reference to Clark) Private joke.
  • LOST: Some (but not all) of the characters are Genre Savvy. Boone suspects he is a Red Shirt. Hurley and Charlie often question the wisdom of traipsing into a monster-inhabited jungle.
    • On an episode, as Hurley and Charlie bury Ethan, Hurley says that he sees the situation ending badly, with Ethan becoming a zombie and chasing him and Charlie.
    • In season 5, after (most of) the Oceanic Six end up back on the Island in 1977, Hurley hilariously attempts genre-savviness concerning time travel. However, it seems that the entirety of his knowledge on the subject comes from Back to the Future, and he has, let's say, a lot of trouble grasping the show's more realistic implications, much to Miles' exasperation.
    • In season 6, he manages to describe things easily to Jack saying Jacob's appearing to him like Obi Wan Kenobi
  • Maddigan's Quest: The Nennog: "It's said that the talisman, once matured, will end my reign. Of course the science of prophecy is not well tested, but who wants to take a risk?"
  • Married... with Children: There was an episode where Jefferson, Al and Griff entered a military program so they could have some days off from their jobs. During a mission, Griff refused to obey his superior's orders because he believed that, as his group's African American, he'd be the one to die while the white guy returns to his family. Al replied that it meant the both of them would lose.
  • The Mentalist: In one episode, Cho and Rigsby stumble upon some marijuana in the woods:
    Rigsby: There's a pot plant here. Actually, there's a whole bunch of pot plants here.
    Cho: It looks like a farm.
    Rigsby: Oh, yeah. Which means there's probably some bad guys with guns.
    (Cue gunfire.)
  • Merlin: Lancelot is a rare Played for Drama example. He knows full well that if he continues his romance with Guinevere when Arthur has feelings for her, the resulting Love Triangle will hurt all three of him, and he can't bear doing that to her. Due to the abrupt nature of his departure, she is initially hurt but gets over it, and by the time he gets back she has no feelings for him at all. Too bad that in the end it's not enough to avert her famous betrayal.
    • Not so dramatic, but definitely noteworthy: Lancelot is literally the only character to have figured out that Merlin has magic.
    • Merlin has his moments. When they decide to go find the Cup of Life and put it in Camelot's vaults, (which are broken into practically every four episodes), and Arthur and Merlin are going through the forest, Merlin has this to say to Arthur.
    Arthur: Maybe just this once we won't have trouble *gets tranquilized*
    Merlin: If past experience is anything to go by. *gets tranquilized*
    • And this from "Gwaine".
    Merlin: You know when I tell you not to do something and you do it?
    Arthur: Yes?
    Merlin: And then I turn out to be right? note 
    • Mordred gets some points here for being pretty much the only character on the show who takes "Merlin acting strangely" seriously. It's even lampshaded in this (roughly paraphrased) conversation from "With All My Heart".
    Arthur: How'd you guess something was up?
    Mordred: Merlin was acting strangely
    • Guinevere herself gets it during the final episode of the series, where she puts two and two together about Merlin.
  • The Middleman: The Middleman himself and his Side Kick Wendy are both Genre Savvy, as is potential Love Interest Tyler. Wendy and the Middleman have a tendency to make plans along the lines of "You go get the villain to start monologuing, while I sneak around behind him to disable his dimensional portal." This eventually backfires when the villain doesn't show the slightest intention to give his monologue, demonstrating that he, as well, is Genre Savvy.
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Master Vile. Apart from anything else, he was genre savvy enough to cut his losses and decide to try his hand at conquering everything outside of the galaxy holding that Insignificant Little Blue Planet, since, as he puts it, the good guys tend to win around here for some weird reason.
    • The Rangers themselves have their genre savvy moments. One example in season 2 would be Goldar ransoming some captives for the Rangers' Power Coins. He, of course, doesn't hold up his end. However, the Rangers had been in this spot before last season, in "Return of an Old Friend". Goldar cheated them then, too. So this time, instead of giving him the actual Power Coins, they gave him chocolate coins in Power Coin wrappers.
    • Goldar in the movie once he sees the Zord he knows they're screwed and flees.
    • Power Rangers Samurai: In "Clash of the Red Rangers", Jaden immediately realizes something's off when the fight against General Gut's Mega Monster size is apparently a Single-Stroke Battle. And sure enough, what the finisher actually did was break the join in Gut's body casing, revealing his true form.
  • Misfits: Simon is a good example of this and it's scarily useful when it comes to the hiding of dead bodies, when it has to do with anything else no one tends to listen to him.
    Nathan: Now, I'm not saying we have but what would happen if hypothetically speaking if it came to light that we may have killed one or two people——probation workers and such, no one important.
    PR Woman/Super Manager: I would say that these people you may or may not have killed were evil, you were protecting society——you're not murders; you're heroes, superheroes, rich, famous superheroes. And if that doesn't work we banish the bodies and pay off the relatives.
    Nathan: Good answer.
    Curtis: Sign us up.
    PR Woman/Super Manager: Good.
    Simon: You're making a mistake.
    Alisha: We should all stick together.
    Kelly: Just do it with us.
    Of course, it all goes horribly wrong.
  • Monk:
    • "Mr. Monk and the Missing Granny": The cops need a kidnapper to stay on the line for 45 seconds in order to trace the call. The kidnappers are aware of this trope and hang up, realizing that the person who answered is simply stalling in an attempt to trace the call.
    • "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion:" Monk being aware that Kyle Brooks is up to no good based on the way he behaves around Monk and Natalie and seems to be manipulating them.
  • Moonlighting: The whole reason for Maddy and David not to continue their relationship was because they knew they were in a TV show that depended on the Unresolved Sexual Tension of the two leads.
  • NCIS:
    Ziva: "Tony, your dying words would be 'I've seen this film.'"
    • The episode "Missing" gives us this gem:
    Bomb instructor: "Way to go, MacGyver! If that bomb were real, we'd be washing you off the streets of Baghdad right now! Never assume that a bomb timer is accurate! Bad guys watch movies, too."
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • Being in a town full of amnesiac storybook characters, and armed with a book of fairy tales allows Henry to augment his already considerable Guile Hero skills. Between this and the Living Lie Detector ability he inherited from his mother, his Genre Savvy borders on superhuman.
    • Henry, who at one point tells Emma that she can't eat the apple turnover that Regina (The Evil Queen) gave her because apples=poison. Mr. Gold (Rumplestiltskin) seems to have at least a bit of this, in stark contrast to Regina's Genre Blindness. (For example, while she is certain that giving the apple to Emma will both get rid of her and strengthen the Curse, Gold is clearly doubtful. He was right.)
    • In the midseason finale of the third season, Gold/Rumplestiltskin says in response to his father's pleads for him to remove the dagger so they can have a happy ending, "Ah, but I'm a villain, and villains don't get happy endings."
      • Regina repeats this at the end of the episode. For the time being, it appears they were both right.
  • One Tree Hill: Being a resident of Tree Hill, by Season 8, Skills has become Genre Savvy about wedding days in Tree Hill & proceeds to prepare for every possibility that could go wrong, and actually already had at some point, even threatening the congregation when the priest tells everyone present to Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace.
  • Orphan Black: Streetwise con-artist clone Sarah Manning has a Genre Savvy moment when she first meets corporate "Pro Clone" Rachel Duncan and quips "Is this the part when 20 more of you robot bitches walk in for effect?"
  • Psych: In one episode, the characters realize they're surrounded by slasher movie cliches but then even more Genre Savvy Shawn figures out all the cliches are a set up, but then people do start dying.
  • Revolution: Due to being the number two man in the Monroe Republic for years, Miles Matheson knows the score better than anyone else. However, he still makes some mistakes.
  • Scrubs: Dr. Cox was shown to be this in "My Best Moment":
    Dr. Cox: I mean, think about it: It's the holidays, there's a sweet little kid involved. Can't you just feel it?
  • Sliders: Fails in one episode, when the group slides into a world stuck in the 19th century, and the whole thing turns into a western. Then they find out that the local town villain is an enemy of theirs and a Kromagg (humanoids evolved from different apes) to boot. Mr. K uses his species' Psychic Powers to frame Quinn and Rembrandt for murder. Quinn suggests using their knowledge of western films to set a trap for the jail guards and escape. Quinn climbs and hides above the jail cell door, and Rembrandt yells that Quinn's escaped. Unfortunately for them, Mr. K walks in and the first thing he does is look up. He laughs off their attempts and notes that Kromaggs have their own version of westerns where exact same tricks are employed.
  • Smallville: Subverted Trope in one episode. (A subversion, but not Wrong Genre Savvy. The character was right about what was going to happen, but still didn't realize just how dangerous it was.) A meteor crashes near two kids playing basketball. One of them goes to look in the miniature crater, but his friend warns him not to. "Hey man, don't you watch any movies?" The guy who looked in the crater gets possessed by the alien inside it and casually kills his friend. By the end of the episode, he's free of the alien's control and back to normal, but his friend is still dead. Apparently being Genre Savvy isn't enough sometimes.
    • The main characters seemed to have gained a healthy dose over the years as well, as when Earth-2 Clark Luthor switches places with Earth-1 Clark and tries to pose as him, Tess and Lois figure out that he's the wrong Clark almost immediately.
  • Space Cases: Commander Goddard, perhaps because he's the one with the most experience and has learned the rules of sci-fi tropes, i.e. "Which one is which? This always happens with Evil Twins!"
  • Stargate Atlantis: Not just limited to the Milky Way Galaxy: when trapped in a room with a pregnant woman, Sheppard informs her that she's probably going to go into labor because that's what always happens in movies. (Fortunately, it ends up not happening, though when later trapped on a ship in the next season it does.)
    • Similarly, Dr. (Meredith) Rodney McKay is a Star Trek fan to the point of Genre Savviness. He even says that Dr. Beckett is their Dr. McCoy, due to his views on Stargate travel (hint: it's McCoy's view on transporters). After an alien woman falls in love with Lt. Col. Sheppard, he exclaims "Oh God, he is Kirk!"
  • Stargate SG-1: This seems to be a racial trait unique to Tau'ri (Earthlings), while all of the aliens are hilariously Genre Blind (except when they've been exposed to enough of Earth's pop-culture):
    • In one episode, the plan to attack the Big Bad's superweapon involves attacking in many small ships to hit the single, small target that is its only weak spot. Jack O'Neill points out that it's a stupid plan with ridiculously low odds of success and gets everyone who agrees with him to raise their hands, which most in the briefing eventually do... including Carter, who came up with it. And when a similar plan goes into effect in a later episode, Jack expresses disappointment that his call sign for the mission isn't "Red Leader".
      • Which must mean General Hammond or whoever was picking call signs was even more genre savvy than him! After all, Red Leader was shot down after his torpedoes failed to hit the target.
    • O'Neill and Teal'c have to get to the command center of Thor's ship, get prepared to fight off the Replicators to do it, only to find on opening the door that the room is literally crawling with them. For The Hero normally this is the point where they rush in, guns blazing, against incredible odds only to be forced out after a massive firefight. Jack's response is to mutter "Forget that", close the door and go off to get a new plan.
    • In another episode, Jaffa Master Bra'tac details the massive defenses between the team and the ship's Phlebotinum, which they will have to fight their way to... at the bottom of a large shaft that they are standing next to. O'Neill shrugs and drops several grenades down the shaft.
      • Then switched around when O'Niell disparages at the guards preventing their escape and Bra'tac shows him a "real" grenade.
    • During a briefing where Carter explains that an asteroid is heading towards Earth and will surely destroy it, O'Neill says in a stage whisper, "I've seen this movie. It hits Paris."
    • Daniel Jackson is quite genre savvy in "The Tomb", one of SG-1's (thankfully) few attempts at horror. On seeing the redshirt — er, Russian military officer walk down the hall to confront the monster, he waxes sarcastic: "Yes, you go down the dark hallway alone and I'll wait here in the dark room alone."
    • At one point, a character remarks, "we might as well be wearing red shirts!"
    • The episode "200" was full of genre-savviness. Among other things.
    • In another episode, O'Neill and Teal'c are trapped in a "Groundhog Day" Loop, and eventually take advantage of it for Hilarity Ensues. When they finally confront the person responsible, O'Neill asks him if his plan is to become "the king of Groundhog Day".
    • Jack was rather disappointed when his suggestion of a name for Earth's first starship was rejected. He thought Enterprise was appropriate.
      • Fridge Brilliance: They wouldn't be able to use that name because another ship currently serving has that name: A US Navy aircraft carrier.
    • Lieutenant Colonel Cameron Mitchell also displays genre savviness through memorized mission reports and old sayings (usually attributed to his Grandma). It seems to be a prerequisite for the series male leads to have quick wits and knowledge of tropes.
      • Great example from his introductory episode, "Avalon":
        Mitchell: Any minute now, I bet Dr. Jackson discovers some key piece of information that sets us off on a great adventure.
        (Jackson immediately discovers a key piece of information that kicks off the plot)
    • Most villains are Genre Blind, but Ba'al sometimes manages to be Dangerously Genre Savvy; he's the only system lord who doesn't believe his own A God Am I propaganda, and is quite willing to manipulate SG1 into helping him take out his rivals. Even so, there are moments when he's clearly holding the Villain Ball (or is it Villain Ba'al?).
    • Also Vala, at least some of the time. Like when she shoots an apparently dead monster, and when she repeatedly points out that Nerous the Goa'uld will betray them. "What a surprise!"
    • Even minor one-off Earth villains can be Genre Savvy: one villain angrily berates his team for capturing Daniel Jackson, pointing out that, as a member of SG-1, the US Government is going to deploy some major resources to get him back, and all they've done is attract unwanted attention.
  • Stargate Universe: Everyman Geek Genius Eli Wallace seems to share this trait, in large part due to his enthusiasm for science fiction. A promo had him comparing an ice planet to Hoth, and in Air, Part 3 has him warning the expedition party that splitting up is a verrrrry bad idea. Three guesses as to if he's right or not. He is, though nothing too dramatic happens. Basically half of the team goes through the stargate to an unexplored planet where they have a heavily implied Offscreen Death.
  • Star Trek: Surprisingly enough, this even showed up in one series (Deep Space Nine). Sisko, chasing the traitor Eddington, realizes that Eddington sees himself as a noble hero straight out of fiction. Sisko then arranges things, by intentionally playing the bad guy, so that Eddington's only option is to sacrifice his freedom in order to save innocent people.
    • Sisko isn't the only one either; Dax (or at least Jadzia) occasionally has flashes of this, but usually only enough to get a good line in. Garak on the other hand seems to know he's trapped in a fictional world, usually using his savvy to poke fun at Dr. Bashir's chronic Genre Blindness. Which is even funnier because Bashir's main hobby for much of the later seasons is playing holographic recreations of not-quite-Bond novels, about which he is extremely Genre Savvy and Garak knows nothing... there's extra bonus irony from Garak being an actual former intelligence officer who sardonically observes that all of Bashir's crazy antics in saving the day according to the rules of the fictional spy plot they're enacting is much rosier than the real thing which is exactly why Bashir can solve the programme and Garak can't (Garak thinks like a "real" intelligence agent, Bashir thinks like a "fictional" (re: romanticised) one. At least Garak appreciates the fancy tuxedos that he and Bashir get to wear as part of the game. (Garak also being a tailor and all.)
    Garak: "I'm beginning to think I joined the wrong intelligence agency!"
    • Of course the magic really happens when Garak and Sisko finally team up to bring the Romulans into the war with the Dominion. They set up an elaborate scheme to create false holographic evidence that the Dominion will invade Romulus. The evidence is of course discovered by a Romulan senator to be fake, and Garak knowing beforehand that this was a risk that was too big to take in a Crapsack World where things rarely turn out well, already arranged in advance to have the senator blown up with the remnants of the evidence salvaged by the empire and assumed to be genuine.. Best. Episode. Ever.
    • No one in Trek is more Genre Savvy than Weyoun, one of the most impressive diplomats to ever grace television. (Of course, it helps that his race is genetically engineered specifically for it.) One of him (he's a series of clones) correctly predicts that any serious resistance or uprising against Dominion control if/when they conquer the Alpha Quadrant would come from Earth. As such, he plans to wipe out the whole planet as soon as the war is won.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Also the episode "A Fistful of Datas". Deanna Troi has read enough Westerns to know that the villain will try double-crossing Worf during the prisoner exchange.
    • The episode "Elementary, My Dear Data" has its major conflict come up because of Data, in the role of Sherlock Holmes in a holodeck story, veering past Genre Savvy straight into cutting straight to the ending by telling the first policeman he sees who the villain is and the crime because he already knew the story without doing any sleuthing; the resultant discussion over how Data could "enjoy" the exercise leads to the self-inflicted, ship-endangering mishap of the week.
  • Supernatural: In the Season 1 episode, "Asylum," Sam and Dean investigate a haunted, abandoned mental hospital. They find a teenage couple wandering around inside, just for kicks. Dean gives the girl, Kat, this piece of advice:
    Dean: You watch a lot of horror movies, right?
    Kat: Yeah, so?
    Dean: So next time you hear a place is haunted, don't go in.
  • Survivor: Some of the players from later seasons have watched the previous seasons, and know how certain returning characters will play or what strategies will or will not be used at what stage of the competition. The Fans Vs. Favorites season would have been this, had said Genre Savvy fans not been picked off because they spent too much time fawning over the Favorites. On Redemption Island, Russell was voted out second from his own tribe because they had seen his previous seasons (Samoa and Heroes Vs. Villains) and knew that he would try to pull the same trick of forming an all-girl alliance and dominating the game again.
  • Teen Wolf: Stiles is much more aware than Scott of the 'rules' governing werewolves and chides him for not recognizing wolfsbane. He also is more focused on the werewolf plot than Scott much of the time - Scott is often a little distracted.
    • He also, noticing that Scott is showing signs of being a werewolf, proceeds to read what seems to be every book in the library and EVERY POSSIBLE WEB PAGE on werewolves.
      • Derek parodies this when he talks to Scott in the second episode.
    Derek: "Do you think your little buddy, Stiles, can just look up werewolves and now you've got all the answers?"
    • In the sixth episode, Stiles tries to do experiments with Scott's heart-rate by throwing Lacrosse balls at him.
    • In the season finale:
    Scott: "Don't say it was too easy. Whenever someone says it was too easy bad things happen."
  • Ultraman: One episode of Ultraman Tiga had the leader of the human military grumbling about the fact that he realizes that no matter how much artillery they throw at any given attacking monster, it's always Tiga who ends up saving the day (normally, military leaders in Kaiju shows, and Ultraman in particular, just don't acknowledge this kind of thing). But, by the end of the episode, he's reconciled himself to it, and is happy to have Tiga around.
  • The Vampire Diaries: In one episode, Matt develops this when he realizes that anybody who shows up in Mystic Falls knowing anything about the supernatural is usually some sort of threat.
    • Stefan. Seems to be one of the most aware characters.
    • Alaric could classify as well.
  • The Walking Dead: Happens several times. In the first season, the survivors are generally savvy enough to avoid most zombie-related cliches - they go for headshots whenever an opportunity arises, they make sure any walker that's still moving is permanently put down for good, they use stealth whenever possible, and anyone who has been infected is immediately outed by other survivors and dealt with. In "Guts", the group of survivors that arrives to save Rick and Glenn is wearing hockey pads and helmets while they beat on the walkers with baseball bats.
  • Wheel of Fortune. The puzzle rounds during a theme week are likely to have a puzzle that is related to a cultural or holiday event which contestants and home viewers who are savvy enough will solve sooner than usual. On top of that, the Prize Puzzle round is usually themed to a vacation in some way.
    • After a fan forum discovered that B, G, H, and O are strategically the best letters to pick in the Bonus Round, an increasing number of contestants have chosen that combination, and have benefited more often than not.
  • The Worst Witch TV series: Miss Crotchet gains this toward the end of the third season. She says in the penultimate (aired) episode that even though she has only been at the school for a year, she knows how arguments go between the teachers. Miss Hardbroom will argue for a change in the treatment of the pupils, Miss Drill will argue in favour of the pupils, she will say something and get ignored, then Miss Cackle will enter the argument and everything will revert to status quo. However, things don't pan out like that in that episode.

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