"I can't believe he didn't suspect a trap. See what happens when you don't watch enough television?"
—The Joker, Justice League, "Wild Cards Part 1"
Gwen: "Rule number one of horror movies: never go off alone. Rule number two: if you do go off alone, don't go in the woods. Rule number three: if you do go in the woods, don't make out in the woods! ... Where are Izzy and Owen?"
Duncan: "Breaking rules one through three."
—Total Drama Island, "Hook, Line, and Screamer"
"As a rule, people in movies haven't ever seen a movie. They're not equipped to deal with anything strange. Now, if you or I saw a naked man drop through a hole in reality and walk through fifty bullets to put his fist through our stomach, we'd die knowing that we've made a robot from the future very happy. A guy in a movie, though, he has no idea what happened. He'll use his dying words to argue how robots don't exist, and even if they did, they wouldn't be able to smile!"
"Did you guys ever actually watch the show?!"
— Guy, Galaxy Quest
"This is something that nobody has ever heard about or seen before."
— Ben, Night of the Living Dead (1990 movie)
When it comes to making wise decisions, characters in a movie have a huge disadvantage: they don't know they're in a movie. The good guys wouldn't have been surprised by Darth Vader winning if they'd known from the outset they were in a movie called "The Empire Strikes Back."
"I love how nobody on the wrestling program actually watches the wrestling program."
"Most of us know what we should expect to find in a dragon’s lair, but, as I said before, Eustace had read only the wrong books. They had a lot to say about exports and imports and governments and drains, but they were weak on dragons."
"Right off the top you know who the villain is, because of his scary shiny glasses, and, like all transparent villains, he is contractually dumb. Why one would send a morally inflexible and preternaturally strong man on a mission when one has two perfectly competent officers who are already bent is far beyond me. For reasons of villainy, I guess. And I bet he never even bothered to watch the show."
— Spacey, ''Pity for the Fool", a review of The A-Team: War Stories:B.A.
"Good morning! I'm looking for a job."
"The only one left is in an abandoned hotel built on a graveyard, where a madman slaughtered his family and left their bodies in the bathtub."
— Italian comedian Marco Bazzoni as his character "Baz" note pretty much sums up this trope with a farcical re-enacting of The Shining.
“There’s something wrong with this house,” says the serenely beautiful Rachel Weisz’s yummy mummy, Libby. No shit, Sherlock! Most of us have seen enough creepy movies to pack our bags and race to a motel the minute the youngest child discovers a secret room or sees a scary face at the window. But nobody in the movies ever seems to have seen a movie, so they don’t know how to behave.
"Yes, when it's Hallerwern night and there's an insane paintin' runnin' around, there's no safer place for a pretty young thing like me than in the shower. My good man, would ya please pass the Port Plus?"
— Coach Z, Homestar Runner, "Jibblies 2"
Malcom: This is like the beginning of every horror movie I've ever seen.
Reese: I think we should all split up.
— Malcolm in the Middle, "Carnival"