51 Untruths I’ve Learned From Television

When I was younger I loved courtroom dramas on television. I‘d love the suspense, the case-solving discovery by the local policeman, or the surprise witness in the back of the courtroom. It would wrap up neatly in 60 minutes time with the evil party receiving the punishment they deserved. When I got older, I was surprised to discover that real-life courtrooms look very different from Hollywood courtrooms. There are no surprise witnesses called to the stand from the back row of the courtroom or smoking guns found the night before a defendant takes the stand. Hollywood has changed the scene to create better drama and television.

But this is not uncommon for television to shift our view of reality.

Consider these other 51 Untruths That I’ve Learned From Television.

  1. Law enforcement departments hate working together. Someone will always pull rank or jurisdiction.
  2. Dumpsters prove to be amazingly soft landing zones.
  3. Good guys always win in the end.
  4. Everyone in America lives in a 30′ X 30′ bedroom.
  5. It is entirely normal for groups of complete strangers to spontaneously burst into perfectly choreographed but entirely random song and dance.
  6. Bad guys have terrible aim.
  7. The best chefs cook with exact ingredient portions stored in glass bowls.
  8. Most police forces and hospital staffs are full of sexual tension.
  9. Families typically sit on just three sides of the table.
  10. Republicans and Democrats never, ever work together.
  11. Most arguments can be quickly settled by delivering a really big kiss on the mouth.
  12. Chicks fall head-over-heels for guys who use the right deodorant or hair product.
  13. This week’s sporting event is absolutely going to be the biggest game of the Century.
  14. Promiscuous sex has incredibly few negative side affects.
  15. Cars always stay clean, turn sharp, and start on the first try.
  16. Homicides are far more entertaining than you’d think.
  17. Reality TV stars live a far different ‘reality’ than I do.
  18. Ventilation systems prove to be great hiding spots.
  19. A better credit card is the best answer to my personal debt crisis.
  20. Explosions look spectacular, but rarely cause harm to actual persons.
  21. When you’ve gotten the information that you need from a phone conversation, you can just hang up without saying goodbye and nobody seems to mind.
  22. Parties are always better with Coca-Cola, Pepsi, or Dr. Pepper.
  23. Babies are born the size of 5-month old infants.
  24. Heartbroken girlfriends always return to the place you first met.
  25. Kids will play all day long with plastic toys… especially ones modeled after TV characters.
  26. Fast food restaurants are typically full of slender, attractive patrons.
  27. The best way to get work done in the office late at night is to order pizza.
  28. The more blades on my razor, the more often my wife will caress my face in the bathroom.
  29. The newest kitchen gadgets will automatically improve my cooking.
  30. If you aren’t seeing cars fly off cliffs, you’re not looking hard enough…cause there’s apparently a lot of ‘em.
  31. You won’t get in trouble if you are sincere about your intentions.
  32. Any woman running for her life in high heels never thinks to take them off.
  33. Cars and trucks that crash will almost always burst into flames.
  34. Broken families are more comical than tragic.
  35. My friends and I can always meet at the same restaurant and get the exact same table.
  36. The older brother is always unintelligent… just like his dad, while the youngest child is always the cutest.
  37. Television can teach my children the A-B-C’s better than me.
  38. While running for your life, there is always time for a romantic moment.
  39. Lawyers always have a surprise witness up their sleeve that nobody in the courtroom knows about.
  40. It’s apparently not awkward for 1 guy to be dating 25 women living in the same house.
  41. This current bill being debated in Congress will ruin our country forever.
  42. Alcohol only improves life… never ruins it.
  43. Villains love explaining their detailed plans to heroes caught in traps.
  44. Your health problems can be easily cured with new prescription medication.
  45. New cars are totally worth the investment.
  46. During the day, it almost always rains in cemeteries.
  47. Back taxes are apparently pretty easy to get out of… if you just call the right people.
  48. Rich people have more fun.
  49. My teeth would be whiter if I switched toothpaste.
  50. Non-married couples have better sex.
  51. This next purchase will make me happier.

Perhaps courtrooms are not the only examples of television misrepresenting reality… perhaps it has been shifting our view of reality all along… and perhaps these untruths have been affecting our lives far more than we’d like to admit.

Perhaps their greatest success is making us believe it’s just harmless entertainment.

Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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  1. says

    We stopped watching tv many years ago. Occasionally we’ll rent a show, or download something like Downton Abbey, but we cut the cable years ago, and really don’t miss it. Why we did this: advertising and the intrusiveness of its message of consumption; noise; idiocy; aggressive talk shows; news=whatever is spectacular and violent; the very act of watching tv tends to dumb down talk; time: which would we rather be doing, socializing, playing with cats, reading, walking, looking at the night sky, or watching tv?

  2. says

    *Any woman running for her life in high heels never thinks to take them off.* This one is too funny :) very interesting list! And yes, if I owned my own tv, would definitely chuck it out of my apartment window or give it to charity or something. Tv is more of a nuisance than a blessing. Even people who realize the drawbacks of watching too much television have to struggle to try to avoid wasting time in front of it… so I really think it’s better that we remove television all together. Time to get involved in the real world more than what is portrayed on tv!

  3. Kristi says

    I know someone who still seeks truth any chance he gets. Tv and laptop are his best friends. Sadly, I’ve seen it leave his family out of the equation.

  4. Ash says

    People dont get annoyed by being nagged. Not reality. Teds patience in defending his choices in Himym, however, is legend, wait for it, dary.

    Meeting your inlaws will not be awkward if the two of you are a good fit, as Kate Hudson portrays in How to lose a guy. Not reality.

    You can be a jerk and people will forgive you since you are gorgeous, funny, or did one nice thing as we can see fom Claires character in six feet under. Her bf never tires of her insulting sarcastic cooments and thoughtlessness.

  5. Ash says

    If you are uncool, just keep being nice. Eventually one of the cool kids will need your help with a parents drinking problem, you will be secretly hot under that geeky overalls or you will stumble upon a mentornand become a karate legend and suddenly you will be accepted in the popular group. Not reality. But one tree hill, shes all that, and karate kid tell us otherwise.

  6. Ash says

    If your kid spills his apple juice, a good mom wont igh, roll her eyes, or say Ugh, Johnny, again?! Nope. Shell smile, chuckle, and just wipe it off with a paper towel. Oh, and the floor wont be sticky after. Not reality. Good moms are allowed to find mess frustrating!

  7. Ash says

    Scathingly witty Walk and talk banter is common is newsrooms, the white house, and ivy league schools. Reality? If News Radio, West Wing, and Gilmore Girls can vote, then, abolutely, and you should feel dumber for it.

  8. says

    52. No one on television ever, ever has to use the bathroom or wakes up in the morning with morning mouth AND has perfectly applied makeup.upon waking.

    53. No one on television soaps ever has a television in their home or has the time to watch one. This due to all the drama they have going on in their own lives.

  9. Fran says

    Similar to the abrupt ending of phone calls, on TV face-to-face conversations often end with a character just walking away without saying good-bye. My child had a preteen friend who would do just that. That child watched a lot of TV.

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