"Dude, you're confusing reality with porn again."A Fourth Wall-affirming Stock Phrase said to the Genre Savvy after they point out what's about to happen. Advise your comrades against splitting up when the power goes out during a thunderstorm? "You watch too many horror movies." Suggest getting Locked in a Room gives you a great opportunity to resolve your differences? "You watch too much TV." Try to Logic Bomb the evil AI? "You read too many sci-fi novels." X is almost always the genre/medium of the work. Similar to This Is Reality. Compare Not a Game, a Sister Trope expressing more anger. See also Fiction as Cover-Up. Compare I Know Mortal Kombat, when the character does have the skill the circumstance demands because he or she watched too much X.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Haruhi Suzumiya: There are several instances of this trope. One is the first Deserted Island Syndrome episode, where Kyon tells Haruhi, "you read too many mystery novels" in the most varied manner at least once every three minutes, due to her constantly trying to predict a mystery just because they're vacationing on a remote island. Naturally, by the end of the episode, they have a murder mystery on their hands.
- Episode 1 of Mai-HiME, after the fight between Natsuki and Mikoto breaks out and everyone else evacuates the ferry (which turns out to be a terrible lie):
Mai: Hey, what kind of place is Fuuka Academy, anyway? It's not some kind of creepy school or anything, is it?
Yuuichi: You've been watching too many horror movies. It's just your average private school.
- In Lucky Star, Kagami says something like this multiple times over the course of the series. On one such occasion:
- Lost Universe: After a daring escape scene...
Millie: You read too many comic books.
Kane: Yeah, they're full of great ideas!
- The Plucky Comic Relief in Darker Than Black consist of a Wrong Genre Savvy Cosplay Otaku Girl and a Clueless Detective with Scully Syndrome. At one point, a character they encountered got ME'd into forgetting about someone:
Kiko: It was like he had his memories erased or something.
Kurosawa: You watch too much anime.
- In Bakuman。, when Mashiro and Takagi go to the editorial office with the chapters Mashiro illustrated while hospitalized so that they can get Detective Trap reinstated, Mashiro notes his uncle's three qualifications for a mangaka (conceit, effort, and luck), and notes that manga artists need physical stamina, mental fortitude, and, above all else, guts. The editor responds that his uncle read too many sports mangas.
- In The Fantastic Adventures of Unico, Unico's response to Katy's assumptions that a seemingly-abandoned cottage in the woods is a witch's house is "I think you've read too many fairy tales."
- In The World God Only Knows, Elsie's Wild Card Excuse for the weird things Keima does on his secret mission to "capture" girls possessed by the escaped souls is that he plays too many video games.
- Mazinger Z: In the first chapter of the manga, Mazinger ends up going on a destructive rampage during Kouji's first attempt to pilot it. When some concerned citizens try to tell the police about it, their claims of a "giant monster" destroying the city are dismissed with "You watch too much TV."
- Haiyore! Nyarko-san does it a lot, with Mahiro telling Nyarko things like "You sound like a character from a cancelled series" and "Quit acting like this is the final episode of a TV show!"
- It takes a lot to be more exuberant that Judai is in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, but one-shot Society of Light antagonist Kanda, who used a game show-themed deck and seriously overplayed the part, did just that. Judai commented halfway through that he thought the guy watched too much TV.
- In A Certain Scientific Railgun, Shizuri Mugino comments that Mikoto Misaka must have played too many video games because while Mikoto is powerful, she's a little naive about how a real fight works.
- Inverted in Magical Girl Apocalypse where the protagonists are told to watch more anime after they get surprised by the magical girls transforming.
Alex: Maybe being on this planet gives your parents and you these...these powers, but something in your bracelet inhibits those abilities, sorta like Kryptoni—
Chase: You've been watching too many WB shows, bro.
- Many early Fantastic Four comics would feature The Thing telling Reed Richards his latest invention was "straight out of a comic book."
- Inverted in an issue of New X-Men when Kitty implies that Colossus does not watch enough horror movies.
Colossus: Do you want me to take Blackbird Two and rendezvous with Scott and the others?
Kitty Pryde: You mean 'split up'? Some day I've got to sit you down in front of some good horror movies, babe.
- God Slaying Blade Works has Shirou wondering if maybe Ilya is watching too much anime every now and then, usually in response to her comparing the lives of Shirou and Godoh to the protagonists of games and mangas. Even Ilya herself wonders if she should cut back when she inadvertently starts wondering which of the two is the main character during a pitched battle.
- Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness Act III: According to Hokuto, Kiria got the idea for his Evil Plan to use the Chrono Displacement spell to remake history in his image from reading manga, hence why Hokuto was convinced that such a plan was doomed from the start.
Hokuto: I blame all those manga books you kept reading. They must have warped your common sense.
- In Cinema Snob Reviews Frozen (a fan comic where The Cinema Snob reviews Frozen), it seems Snob watches too much porn, because he has trouble looking at parts of Frozen without a dirty context. For one thing, he thought Anna was going to stick the carrot somewhere else on Olaf. Then he outright surmises he watched too much when Elsa in her slinky dress was sexier than many of the naked women he's seen.
- In Hope For The Heartless, the Horned King says this at least once about Avalina and the fairy tales she loves.
- In At Chirei, Yuugi's first appearance has her get Satori to take a break from her work by telling her that the corpses (used to fuel the Hell of Blazing Fires) aren't going anywhere, then correcting herself by thinking they could go somewhere, prompting Satori to tell her she watches too many movies. How they get movies in Gensokyo is not explained.
- Pan's Labyrinth: Every time Ofelia says something about the Faun and her being Princess Moanna, Captain Vidal and Mercedes tell her she reads too many Fairy Tales.
- Sleepless In Seattle: "You don't want to be in love. You want to be in love in a movie."
- Inverted in the Mortal Kombat movie. In a very Genre Blind moment, Liu Kang attacks a "simple beggar" who the monks introduce as the thunder god Raiden. He promptly gets his ass handed to him, and the head monk apologizes by saying Liu Kang has been watching too much television.
- Subverted in Hot Fuzz, after Sgt. Angel tells Skinner what he thinks happened with the "accidents":
Skinner: I think you've been watching too many films.
Danny: [raises his hand] No, actually, he hasn't.
- The Karate Kid (1984): After the eponymous kid expresses his naïve notions of the origins of karate, Mr. Miyagi says, "You, too much TV."
- Inverted in the John Hughes movie Some Kind of Wonderful, during the "kissing practice" scene:
- There's a sort of inversion (You Don't Watch Enough X) in Galaxy Quest:
Guy: Did you guys ever even watch the show?
- "You've seen one too many movies."—Sidney to the killer in the original Scream (1996).
- Natural Born Killers—Mickey and Mallory appear to have the words "Too Much TV" projected onto their shirts while on hallucinogenics.
- Combined with an Aside Glance in Inspector Gadget: "Somebody's been watching too many Saturday morning cartoons!"
- Silver Streak has Gene Wilder in a shoot out with the bad guys. It starts out like a regular movie shoot out, but then the gun he's using runs out of ammo in a realistic amount of time. Richard Pryor yells, "What do you think this is — a western???"
- This exchange in The Star Chamber, when Detectives Wiggan and Mackey are about to pursue Hector Andujar:
Wiggan: You got a hunch, right?
Wiggan: Instinct, right?
Wiggan: You've been watchin' too much television again.
- Inverted in Bruce Almighty, where God tells Bruce to watch the Discovery Channel more often after Bruce fails to identify their location as Mount Everest.
- In a few of the Harry Potter novels, Ron tells Hermione, "You read too much." In this case he was talking about textbooks, so she was usually right.
- In Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Cabin 33 from her Saint-Germain stories, the vampire Saint-Germain says "you have been watching too many Hammer movies" to the other vampire that he confronts.
- Older Than Steam: While he never says it outright, Sancho Panza's general attitude towards Don Quixote is fairly clearly "You read too many Chivalric Romances." However, even when Don Quixote could be the Ur-Example and Trope Maker for this trope, in the novel this is an Unbuilt Trope.note Even so, there are some examples that are very near to this situation, and the fact that Don Quixote read too much and that drove him to believe that he was a knight errant is the core of the novel, and is lampshaded by the narrator since the very beginning (Chapter I Part I):
"In short, he became so absorbed in his books that he spent his nights from sunset to sunrise, and his days from dawn to dark, poring over them; and what with little sleep and much reading his brains got so dry that he lost his wits."
- The Doctor gets accused of watching too much TV (too; see below, under Live-Action TV) in the Eighth Doctor Adventures novel The Taking of Planet Five.
"I'd prefer reptiles: eighty-seventh-century Earth Reptiles with transforming T. rex time machines." His face lit up.[...]
"Someone," Compassion said, "has been watching too much Saturday-morning TV."
The Doctor shrugged. "There was a time when it always seemed to be Saturday when I was on Earth, and the children's programmes were excellent, if my memory doesn't cheat." He made folding motions with his hand and muttered something that sounded to Fitz like "robots in disguise". The Doctor grinned, disarmingly. "My third childhood is showing."
- In Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke, the arrival of the alien Overlords is compared to an SF novel.
- Used a couple of times by Agatha Christie:
- In "The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding", Hercule Poirot tells Annie she watches too many films, or perhaps the television.
- In The Murder of the Links, Poirot replies to Hastings's theory with "I think you should write for the cinema."
- In Tommy and Tuppence's Partners In Crime, Tommy's reaction to his wife's wild ideas about having adventures is "Tuppence, what have you been reading?"
- More thinking than really saying, but in the Left Behind book Desecration, when George Sebastian was captured and interrogated by Global Community agents who end up doing things like blowing smoke in his face to get him to talk, he thinks that his captors have watched too many movies.
- In Northanger Abbey, Henry Tilney quickly deduces that Catherine has been reading the plot of one of her Gothic novels when he finds her snooping around his late mother's rooms, and that she's on the verge of concluding his father is a wicked murderer. As he himself read them, his guess is quite accurate, and he politely chides her for thinking that a family in civilized, modern England would act like the characters in one of those books, and she's quite ashamed.
- Are You Afraid of the Dark?: Some construction workers find a stolen Egyptian coffin in a basement.
Worker: Aren't these things supposed to have curses on them?
Other Worker: You watch too many movies.
- In the Doctor Who episode "The Sound of Drums", the Doctor says "You've been watching too much TV" when Martha asks him if the Master is his brother. Amusingly, in an early script of the Eighth Doctor TV movie, they were indeed brothers.
- In Plain Sight: "You've been watching too much Law & Order." What's weird is that the show had a mini-crossover with Law & Order: Criminal Intent, possibly establishing the latter as a Reality TV show in IPS's universe.
- There's an episode of The Sopranos actually titled "Watching Too Much Television." In it, Adriana comes up with the idea of getting married immediately to Christopher and thus not having to testify against him because of Spousal Privilege, after seeing the trope invoked on an episode of Murder One. However, an actual lawyer eventually explains to her that the law doesn't work in real life like on TV.
- An episode of The Twilight Zone: when the power goes off in a neighborhood, a boy claims that the power could be the result of aliens who are trying to make them stay there. One of the neighbors heckles the boy for "reading too many comic books".
- The Suite Life of Zack and Cody: Cody, normally the sane one, hopes their parents will get back together on Christmas, like the miracle that happens in all those Christmas specials on TV.
Zack: You watch way too much TV.
- The Dresden Files:
Harry: [after killing a vampire] I always expect them to burst into flames.
"You've seen too many movies."
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer :
Giles: Couldn't you just stop Moloch by, by entering some computer virus?
- In the episode "I, Robot—You, Jane":
Jenny Calender: You've seen way too many movies.
"I don't suppose you'd be sweeties and attack me one at a time?"
- In the unaired pilot, a random vampire pulls this on Buffy herself.
"You watch too many movies."
"You can never watch too many movies!"
- On two occasions in the third season of Chuck, Charles Bartowski has told Devon that he watches too many movies: once when he asked if someone was going to assassinate Chuck after he washed out of a training program, and again when he requested to be taken to a secret base. Of course, there actually was a secret base, and Bartowski was at least worried about the possibility of an assassination attempt.
- On the Good Eats episode centered around punch, Alton mentions that one of the five key ingredients of a classic punch (in this case, Long Island iced tea) is spice, causing his assistant to intone "He who controls the Spice controls the universe!". Alton responds by telling him to lay off the sci-fi, to which he replies "The Spice must flow."
- In a variation, several shows have had characters toss out some obscure biological or historical factoid, then either get told they watch too much Discovery Animal Planet/History Channel, or else say, "Yes, I watch ____", as if preemptively defending themselves from such accusations.
- Another variation can be found in one Judge Judy case, in which the Judge admonishes a young defendant who was suing a police officer (who had stopped her for speeding) for emotional distress because she felt he was "disrespectful" to her with, "You've been living in L.A. too long. I think you should probably go live somewhere else."
- In one episode of Friends, Chandler and Joey stumble onto a cable porn channel they aren't paying for, and refuse to turn it off for fear that if they do they'll lose it forever. By the end of the episode, they start to lose their sense of reality and start expecting women to throw themselves at them for no reason, making them finally decide they need to turn off the porn.
- In the Supernatural episode "Heaven and Hell", Dean's mind immediately jumps to a Pizza Boy Special Delivery scenario when Sam uses the word "daddy" in describing a case, and replies with the page quote. A later scene veers even closer to the related trope This Is Reality:
[Sam, Dean, Anna the angel, and Ruby the demon are in the Impala. Dean looks at Anna and Ruby in the backseat, amused]
Dean: Nothing. It's just an angel and a demon, riding in the back seat. [chuckles] It's like the setup to a bad joke. Or a Penthouse Forum letter.
Sam: Dude. Reality... porn.
Dean: You call this reality?
- In the Charmed episode "The Good, The Bad, And The Cursed", Prue and Cole end up in The Wild West. They enter a bar and Prue tries to order moonshine, but the bartender has no idea what that is. Cole says she's watched too many Westerns and orders whiskey for them.
- Dad's Army. Walmington-on-Sea is hosting the first US troops on British soil, so Captain Mainwaring asks Sgt. Wilson how he should greet them. Wilson suggests, "Howdy, partner, put it there" while offering to shake hands. Mainwaring scoffs at this, saying he's been watching too many cowboy movies. This becomes the inevitable Brick Joke when the American captain enters and holds out his hand to Mainwaring. "Howdy partner, put it there!"
- "She Watch Channel Zero" by Public Enemy from their album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.
- "Doris Day" by Doe Maar,a song with the message that people should stop bickering about bad programming on TV and go out to a party and have fun.
- "I'm The Slime" by Frank Zappa from Over-Nite Sensation is an anti-television song.
- In one installment of For Better or for Worse, Elly overhears the sex sounds from the sexually explicit Skinemax movie that Michael's watching and then comes into the living room the change the channel explaining:
Elly: That is not for young children. I'm changing the channel!
Michael: But mom!
Elly: It's garbage Michael! Real relationships aren't like that!
- Subverted on Adventures in Odyssey when some money turns up missing from the register, and Eugene and Connie turn paranoid and take drastic measures:
Whit: Hiding behind the counter with handcuffs...Eugene, you've been reading too many detective stories.
Eugene: I don't read them at all.
Whit: Maybe you should—then you wouldn't come up with such silly ideas.
- During one point in Atelier Rorona, Rorona asks Sterk if knights like him do thinks like saving princess and slaying dragons. He tells her that his job is much more mundane than that, and that she reads too many fantasy books if she thinks that's what knights like him do all the time.
- In Mass Effect, Corporal Richard L. Jenkins and Dr. Chakwas are discussing the Spectres before the start of the mission. Though Jenkins' statements are remarkably prescient, he spends a lot of time talking about how Spectres are above the law and can only be policed by one of their own. Dr. Chakwas says that he is confusing the Spectres with the way they are presented in the media, and accuses him of watching too much spy fiction.
- In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies , after Trucy describes a spy as "somebody who infiltrates a foreign country, carries out dangerous missions, and always gets the girl", Phoenix thinks to himself "Someone's watching way too many late-night movies."
- In The World Ends with You, if you challenge Another Day!Joshua to a game of Tin Pin Slammer, he'll go off on a tangent about how we all perceive the world in our own way, seeing things different from how they are. Neku's reaction? "Kid plays too much video games."
- Samantha of Penny and Aggie, when conspiring with other girls to defeat Penny as the most popular teen in town, can only think of such ideas as cutting breast-holes in her blouses and having a boy pretend-seduce her on hidden camera. An exasperated Meg finally says to her, "Maybe we could rip off a movie plot."
- In Schlock Mercenary, when Andy was first applying for a position in Tagon's Toughs, he showed off his four arms, claiming that they would let him wield four guns at once. Thurl pointed out that since he only had two eyes, both in the front of his head, he would still only be able to hit one target, no matter how many guns he pointed at it, and then invoked this trope:
Andy: ...oh.Thurl: Don't sweat it. I'll put down "very enthusiastic" and "seen too many John Woo movies". You're in.
- Times Like This:
Matt: YAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!Bethany: He's been watching too much CSI: Miami, hasn't he...
- Danny Phantom, in the Incredible Shrinking Man episode:
Dash: This is a mousehole? Where's the matchbox sofa and the coffee table made from a spool of thread?
Danny: You watch way too many cartoons.
- Rugrats: Lil's been gone for most of the episode chasing butterflies, but the others thought she'd been turned into a butterfly, so when she reappears...
Phil: What was it like?
Chuckie: Did it hurt?
Tommy: Did you like being a butterfly?
Lil: You guys have been watching too many cartoons.
- A Teen Titans episode centered on the gang being trapped in the TV world. Once they all make it out by the end, they comment that teammate Beast Boy watches too much TV. Of course, the fact he watched so much TV is basically what got them out of there.
- In the Super Mario World episode "Rock TV", as the Mario Bros. are lining up to buy a TV from the salesman (actually a disguised Bowser), they make this observation:
Luigi: Hey, Mario, how come his lips aren't moving when he talks?
Mario: Maybe he's been watching too many cartoons.
- Jackie Chan Adventures:
Jade: This place is like... Chinese Transylvania! Cool!
- This exchange at the start of the Chinese Vampire episode.
Jackie: You have seen too many movies, Jade.
- Jackie often dismisses his niece's concerns with the same line... And most of the time, Jade's claims are proven right.
- Justice League:
Flash: Usually when it's this quiet, flesh-eating zombies appear.
- Green Lantern and Flash, although the "zombies" are just Gorilla Grodd's brainwashed minions:
Green Lantern: You watch too many horror movi— [mindless zombies are heard]
Flash: Or maybe you don't watch enough.
- Inverted in an episode where The Joker was the villain.
"I can't believe he didn't suspect a trap. See what happens when you don't watch enough television?"
- This tropes is used in "X.A.N.A. Awakens" of Code Lyoko by Odd to show off how dumb Sissi can be. Sissi remarks that Ulrich had took Odd's dog, Kiwi, to do some horrible science experiment—which is close to the truth since Ulrich intended to use the dog as a lab rat for the scanner to Lyoko. Odd remarks that Sissi watches too many horror movies. Sissi makes a reference to a ritual sacrifice—another well known horror movie plot.
- And then there's that episode where XANA make robot duplicates of Kiwi and Yumi had to explain the situation, Jim blames her behavior on too many "Japanese mangoes".
- In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) episode "A Better Mousetrap", while the Turtles are wall-crawling to catch up with the Mouser that Donatello rebuilt, we get this exchange.
Michelangelo: Next time, we should leave the wall-crawling to the dude in red and blue tights.Leonardo: You read way too many comic books.
- In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) episode "Rise Of The Dark Turtle", Donatello suffers an electrocution that causes him to become more aggressive and vicious, soon adopting the Batman-esque moniker of "The Dark Turtle". When Shredder meets Don, he remarks, "You've been watching too much TV."
- From Hey Arnold! as Arnold and Gerald discuss the problem of Gerald's changing voice affecting his singing.
Arnold: It's not insurmountable.
Gerald: "Insurmountable"? Man, you read too much.
- Time Warp Trio parodies the phrase in one episode by imagining its Ancient Mesopotamian predecessor: "You've been reading too much epic poetry!"