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Wrong Genre Savvy / Film

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    Animated Films 
  • Discussed Trope in The Incredibles, when Elastigirl warns the kids about the danger of being Wrong Genre Savvy.
    "Remember the bad guys on the shows you used to watch on Saturday mornings? Well, these guys aren't like those guys. They won't exercise restraint because you are children. They will kill you if they get the chance. Do not give them that chance."
  • Big Hero 6: Comic-book lover Fred believes that industrialist Alistair Krei is the villain Yokai; he wanted Hiro's microbots, and in many of Fred's comic books the villains are multi-millionaires who believe their money puts them above the law. After Yokai turns out to be Professor Callaghan, the team discovers video footage proving that his motive was revenge, not gaining more power.
  • Recess: School's Out: TJ thinks that he and Prickly in the same scenario as the old spy thrillers he's seen and that the Dressing as the Enemy plan will work perfectly. Unfortunately for them, the mooks are a lot smarter than the ones in those films and can immediately tell they're not real guards.
  • Isle of Dogs: Tracey Walker isn't wrong about Mayor Kobayashi's sinister plot to wipe out the dogs, but she spends much of the movie proclaiming that he's just turning all the people of Megasaki against dogs just to maintain political power. In actuality, Kobayashi is carrying out his ancestors' genocidal hatred towards dogs and their desire to wipe out all of Japan's dogs entirely.
    Live Action Films 
  • Last Action Hero: Child hero Danny rides his bicycle head-on to play chicken with the main villain's car, reasoning that it has to work because he's the hero in a non-R rated movie where the kid would never die. Then it dawns on him that he's the Plucky Comic Relief instead, and is vulnerable.
  • In Galaxy Quest, the actors of a Star Trek-like Show Within a Show meet a group of aliens who have based their society on the broadcasts of that show, believing them to be historical records. Guy, who played a Red Shirt, goes through the events of the film in a depressed and terrified state, convinced that he's doomed to die to prove the seriousness of the situation. In a pep talk, he's told that maybe in this situation he's actually the Plucky Comic Relief. It works, he lives, and winds up getting a starring role in a revival series.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Elizabeth somehow does it twice:
    • She spends a good deal of the movie expecting and hoping one of the pirates she runs into would be like the romantic, dashing rogues she reads about in her books, or for them to at least adhere to some honor-among-thieves morality. Over the course of the film she's increasingly disillusioned (Barbossa shirks the code whenever it inconveniences him, the Black Pearl crew want to rape her, Jack Sparrow's a horny, opportunistic drunk, Jack's own crew don't bother to rescue their captain once they get their ship...) until the very end. When Will risks his life to do what's right, she sees he's the kind of heroic ne'er-do-well she'd been hoping to see.
    • When she first meets Barbossa she believes they are just normal, mundane pirates that would hold her for ransom if they knew she was the Governor's daughter, so she gives her name as "Elizabeth Turner" and claims to be a maid of the Governor. Unfortunately these pirates couldn't care less about the Governor or ransom and need a Turner to break the curse, effectively guaranteeing she remains a captive aboard their ship.
    Barbossa: You best start believing in ghost stories, Miss Turner... you're in one!
  • An exchange from Detroit Rock City, about whether or not some road-tripping stoners should pick up a hitchhiker:
    Jam: It's a teenage girl walking along the side of the highway. They make scary movies that start out like that!
    Trip: But they make porno movies that start out like that too, man!
  • Stranger Than Fiction is a unique case, where the main character realizes he's in a story after he starts hearing his own narration. He seeks out help to try to become Genre Savvy, and correctly deduces that in the context of his narrator's story, he's in a tragedy, which is ironically Wrong Genre Savvy as the meta-story (the movie about the story about a man who hears his own narrator, i.e., the movie you're watching) is actually a comedy.
  • The hostages in From Dusk Till Dawn, particularly Scott Fuller, have all the Genre Savvy needed to survive in a heist film or hostage-taking film. Scott even lampshades this by telling his father, "I've seen this on TV, Dad!" Pity for them the bar the Gecko Brothers choose to stop at is full of Fricking Vampire Strippers!
  • The Return of the Living Dead: When confronted with a reanimated cadaver, a group of characters put a pick axe through its brain based on what they know about zombies from seeing Night of the Living Dead. It has no effect.
    Burt: I thought you said if we destroyed the brain, it'd die!
    Frank: It worked in the movie!
    Burt: Well, it ain't workin' now, Frank!
    Fred: You mean the movie lied?
  • In the little-known Alien ripoff Creature, someone says they remember seeing an old movie (specifically, The Thing from Another World) where they tried to stop the monster from killing everyone with an electrified forcefield. Not too effective against this monster.
  • Tom in (500) Days of Summer grew up on romantic comedies and confused them with reality (and missed the point of The Graduate, declaring it the perfect love story when it clearly isn't). When he tries the genre-appropriate action of standing up to the guy hitting on his girlfriend and knocking him out with one punch, the guy gets up right away and kicks his ass. Turns out he's in a Deconstruction of a love story.
  • Santa's Slay: Lampshaded when Nicholas tries to shine a light in Santa's face, and all it does is annoy him.
    Santa: I'm Santa Claus, not fucking Dracula!
  • In Fresh, the titular character has a friend named Chucky who he brings into the business of running drugs. Unlike Fresh who is a smart teen, Chucky is a Leeroy Jenkins who's obsessed with the gangster movies, gangsta rap music, and comic books like The Punisher. When the two go on their first delivery job at night, they get jacked by rival drug dealers. Fresh warned Chucky beforehand that if they get jacked to drop the book bags filled with drugs and run. However, Chucky, thinking he's in a gangster film, takes out his gun and starts shooting at the adult dealers - missing with every shot. They kill him and Fresh gets away.