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Literature / Dont You Just Hate That

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Don't You Just Hate That? is a novelty book by Scott Cohen published in 2004. The small, square book is presented as a list of 738 everyday annoyances. It is also peppered with sections called "Professionally Annoyed", in which Cohen's acquaintances anonymously list annoying things about their profession.

The lists contain examples of the following tropes:

  • Anti-Hero: You. The book doesn't assume that the annoyances in your life are because you're an angel.
    25. Having to preface the majority of what you say with, "I can't recall if I've mentioned this to you before, but..." because you can't remember what you've told to which of the two people you're dating.
    154. Realizing you left a porno video in your parents' VCR as you stow your carry-on luggage in the overhead compartment.
    192. Wondering, based on his answers, if the person you're copying from knows less than you.
    231. Occasionally feeling guilty because your grandmother allows you to live in your house rent-free and you use her basement to manufacture and sell bootlegged movies on DVD.
    343. Those moments when your life depends on getting $2,500 in cash, any kind of vehicle you can get your hands on, and a fake passport.
    529. Knowing that you succeeded by identifying and exploiting people's weaknesses.
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  • Appeal to Nature
    127. College students who believe that hallucinogenic mushrooms aren't harmful "because they're natural."
  • As You Know
    449. The heavy-handed way movie characters are introduced to the audience (e.g, "Lucy, is that your younger sister, Isabel?").
  • Bland-Name Product
    43. When a Staples opens next door to your new business, 3-Hole Punch.
    267. That the inventor of the spork is a wealthy man, while Eric Schleifer, inventor of the foon, lives in his mother's attic in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick
    18. What the "About the Author" on a book jacket doesn't tell you (e.g., "In addition, Lawrence has not called his grown children in seven years").
    115. When you email a friend and he responds to everything except the question that addresses his deepest insecurity (e.g., How was the party Saturday night? Did Beth show up? Are you still going through with the liposuction?).
    • Some of the items on the light-hearted list get unexpectedly dark, such as:
    55. Enduring a caning from a vicious prep school headmaster in New England in 1925.
    245. When your Caller ID reveals that the terrifying stalker calls you're getting are coming from your own home.
    354. Losing track of time in the diner's restroom and coming out to find everyone huddled under the counter, gagged and bound.
    617. When your car is stranded on an Alaskan highway and the only human within 200 miles is a Cro-Magnon man wearing a torn parka who communicates through a series of bizarre grunts and gesticulations.
    • Inverted in the "Professionally Annoyed" sections; they all have fairly mundane jobs, except for the very first one, who works in a maximum-security prison.
  • Captain Obvious
    721. When you're told that in the first several seconds following the big bang the universe cooled from 1,784,000,000,000 degrees to 1,342,000 degrees, and the most intelligent response you can muster is, "It really cooled a lot."
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  • Embarrassing Nickname
    171. When your mom calls you by your corny childhood nickname in front of your friends (e.g., "Hey, Chipwich!").
  • Faux Symbolism: Invoked
    519. People who attach deep significance to their moronic tattos (e.g, "The fire-breathing gargoyles on my left shoulder represent my disdain for organized religion.").
  • Felony Misdemeanor
    492. The criminal feeling you get while sneaking six shirts into the fitting room because they have a "five-item limit."
  • Have a Gay Old Time
    547. Old novels that use odd expressions (e.g., "I know the answer!" Billy ejaculated from his seat.).
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?
    375. Having constantly to assert your heterosexuality because of your lack of success with the opposite sex.
  • Hi, Mom!
    215. How no one ever says "Hi, Dad" into the camera.
  • Humans Are Bastards
    105. That only when space aliens attack our planet will we stop killing each other (we'll focus on killing the aliens).
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  • Hypocritical Humor
    12. Apartment buildings that don't have a thirteenth floor because of superstitious people. note 
    35. An open parenthesis that is never closed (like this
    601. When the person holding the camera can't locate the right button, forcing you to stand with a fake grin frozen on your face. 602. Typographical errors.
  • In a World...
    348. Any movie trailer that begins, "In a time where darkness reigned supreme and heroes were few..."
  • It's All About Me
    77. When a friend says "I have good news for you!" and it concerns her.
    81. Wedding toasts that end up being more about the person giving the toast than the bride and groom.
    451. People who think the entire restaurant staff is there to serve them.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks!: Invoked
    679. People who can't enjoy a book, movie, song, or travel destination unless it's not popular.
  • Jail Bait
    718. When the groom's poem for the bride rhymes "soulmate" with "jailbait".
  • Kids Are Cruel
    33. That nursery school is just another forum for bullies.
    288. The enormous mental anguish children inflict upon one another.
  • Limited Wardrobe
    371. Realizing you were wearing the same outfit the last time you hung out with this person.
  • Made Myself Sad
    655. When you are trying to annoy a friend and do it too well, then feel guilty.
  • Mondegreen: Invoked
    88. When your dad sings the chorus of "Penny Lane" as "And Elaine is in my ears and in my eyes."
  • Never Live It Down: Invoked
    438. When the only shameful thing you've ever done shows up first under a Google search of your name.
  • N-Word Privileges
    285. How uncomfortable white people feel when black people call each other "nigga."
  • Oireland
    266. Irish films in which every word sounds like "shite".
  • Overly Long Gag: Item 126 presents itself as a corporate mission statement which, despite having much smaller print than the rest of the book, is three pages long.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy
    350. White guys with a Snoop Dogg cell phone ring.
    649. That when a white man raises his elbows above a certain imaginary line while dancing, he automatically looks like a dork.
  • Separated by a Common Language
    110. Never knowing whether to call it "seltzer", "club soda", or "sparkling water."
  • Springtime for Hitler
    117. When all you want is to be fired so you can collect unemployment, and you can't even accomplish that.
  • Statuesque Stunner
    540. Six-foot-tall women who wear high heels to ensure that people of normal height feel inadequate.
  • Surrounded by Idiots
    697. When someone tells you, "I'm surrounded by insane people," and you're the only other person in the room.
  • Take That, Audience!: The final item on the list.
    738. Finishing a book not because you're enjoying it but to prove to yourself that you're not a quitter.
  • There Is No Rule Six
    444. Having to accept 443 for what it is.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: There is no thirteenth entry. See Hypocritical Humor.
  • Typecasting: Invoked as a recurring theme throughout the book:
    139. In this movie Joe Pesci plays a short-tempered short person.
    374. In this movie Tom Cruise plays a feisty, can-do type of guy.
    509. In this romantic comedy, Hugh Grant plays a sensitive Englishman who gets the girl in the end.
    534. In this movie, Michael Douglas plays a well-dressed man caught in a terrifying web of sex and deceit.
    613. In this Academy Award-winning performance, Tom Hanks plays an everyman whose inner strength proves greater than the considerable adversity he faces.
    719. In this sappy movie, Meg Ryan plays an adorable woman who discovers the true meaning of true love.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?
    356. That even animal rights activists couldn't care less what scientists do to rats.
  • With Friends Like These...
    684. Knowing that you chose your abrasive friends.

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