Have you ever had that deja vu feeling of “I’ve seen that before,” while watching your favorite television show? That’s because you probably have seen that before. Most sitcoms (a.k.a. situation comedies) are all variations of 10 basic plots.
1. The Misunderstanding
In classic “Three’s Company” fashion, while eavesdropping, a misunderstood earful of conversation blossoms into a catastrophe.
2. Bad House Guest
A relative, co-worker or friend comes to dinner or to spend the night and rudely wreaks havoc.
3. A Case of Mistaken Identity
A strange coincidence or twins acts as the catalyst for zany mass confusion.
4. The Big Bet
Who can lose the most weight? Who is the bigger player? Take your pick. The characters will bet on and compete in anything imaginable.
5. Risky Business
Although expressly forbidden to, a character borrows the car or throws a big house party, which results in all hell breaking loose.
6. Two Dates on the same Night
A character has already said yes to one date for the night, when an even better opportunity comes along and the character says yes to another date on the same night.
7. Forgotten Event
A dysfunctional significant other suffers a memory lapse when the big day arrives.
Friends and/or siblings fight over the perfect car, apartment, date or anything possible.
9. The White Lie
A harmless fib snowballs into a larger than life lie.
10. The Guest Star
Barack Obama, Scarlett Johansson or Tom Hanks plays himself or herself. “Prince, I’m your biggest fan.”
And when all else fails, simply put a man in a dress.