You Watch Too Much X

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"Dude, you're confusing reality with porn again."
Sam Winchester (to his brother), Supernatural

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 demand because he or she watched too much X.

Examples of You Watch Too Much X include:

Anime & Manga

  • Suzumiya Haruhi: There are several instances of this trope. The most obvious is the first Deserted Island Syndrome episode, where Kyon tells Haruhi, "You read too many mystery novels." in the most varied manners 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 My-HiME, after the fight between Natsuki and Mikoto breaks out and everyone else evacuates the ferry:

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.

    • This, of course, turns out to be a terrible lie. It isn't exactly a horror movie, but there are monsters involved.
  • In Lucky Star, Kagami says something like this multiple times over the course of the series. On one such occasion:

Konata: What, are you the kind that can make pots explode when you cook?
Kagami: Gee, thanks... You need to stop thinking like this is all a manga.

  • Lost Universe: After a daring escape scene...

Millie: You read too many comic books.
Kane: Yeah, they're full of great ideas!


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."



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."


  • 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.


Watts: She'll probably do this. (puts her arms around Keith's shoulders)
Keith: How do you know all this?
Watts: (getting annoyed) ... I watch a lot of TV.


Guy: Did you guys ever even watch the show?

  • The Faculty.
  • "You've seen one too many movies." - Sidney to the killer in the original Scream.
  • 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???


  • In a few of the Harry Potter novels, Ron tells Hermione, "You read too much."
    • Of course in this case he was talking about text books, 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 novels." However, even when Don Quixote could be the Ur Example and Trope Maker for this trope, in the novel this is an Unbuilt Trope.[1] 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."


‘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.’


Live Action TV


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 watch too much TV" when asked if the Master is his brother.
  • USANetwork's new series In Plain Sight: "You've been watching too much Law and Order." What's weird is that the show recently had a mini-crossover with Law and Order: Criminal Intent, possibly establishing the latter as a Reality TV show in IPS's universe.
  • 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.


Harry: (after killing a vampire) I always expect them to burst into flames.
"You've seen too many movies."


Giles: Couldn't you just stop Moloch by, by entering some computer virus?
Jenny Calender: You've seen way too many movies.

    • In the unaired pilot, a random vampire pulls this on Buffy herself.

"I don't suppose you'd be sweeties and attack me one at a time?"
"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.
  • 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 pre-emptively 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."


  • 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.


Video Games

  • 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 1, 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.


  • 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.


Web Original

  • Sailor Nothing: After Aki makes a Diving Save and is preparing to die Heroic Sacrifice style (you can picture the Pietà Plagiarism clear as day), Shin slaps her awake, scolds her for watching too many movies, and prepares to bind up her wounds.
  • From 40K Funnies page 20: this Dire Avenger did watch too much 300. "This... Is... ULTHWE!!!"

Western Animation


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.


Jade: This place is like...Chinese Transylvania! Cool!
Jackie: You have seen too many movies, Jade.

  • Green Lantern and Flash in Justice League, although the 'zombies' are just Gorilla Grodd's brainwashed minions:

Flash: Usually when it's this quiet, flesh-eating zombies appear.
Green Lantern: You watch too many horror movi-- (mindless zombies are heard)
Flash: Or maybe you don't watch enough.

  1. The Stock Phrase never appears in the novel, and he is not Genre Savvy but Wrong Genre Savvy: When in some situation Don Quixote comments about how similar situation have happened in the tales he has read in his chivalry books, the people hearing him don’t answer with "You read too much X."