Do we ever need to have another character anguish over his compatriot's prone, bloodied form, "Don't you die on me!"?
How about, after Bloody Guy dies, having Anguished Guy raise his tear-stained face to the heavens and yell, "Noooooooooo!"?
Jane Espenson recently posted on comedy lines that are too shopworn to be funny anymore.
Allen B. Ury had a similar article in Fade In magazine's email newsletter about overdone dramatic motifs, such as the protagonist being dead but not knowing it, and the mentor who turns out to be eee-vil.
These two got me thinking about lines in non-comedies that have been so bled of impact through repetition that they need to be officially retired, if not set out on an ice floe to die.
In particular, the "Big No" is so knackered that it's even stale when satirized, but that doesn't stop filmmakers from going to its dried-out well. I'm looking at you, George Lucas. Vader yelling no at the end of Episode III only made the audience want to scream along with him.
Me, I can't stand "Can you zoom in on this area here?", which commits the double sin of being played-out and technologically wrong. I also think we need to find new ways of saying "What've we got?" when the cop/CSI/psychic detective shows up at a crime scene.
What are your (least) favorite overused dramatic lines? I bet you scriptreader types have a few...