Disability Movie Stereotypes and Cliches

  • The disabled person spends the entire movie whining about how they want to die. (Guzaarish)
  • The disabled person dies immediately after imparting a life lesson, inspiring the able-bodied to live their lives to the fullest.
  • The disabled person offs themselves so they won’t be a burden to others.
  • The disabled person was really faking it all along! (The Ex, The In-Laws)
  • Disability, especially disfigurement, is used to indicate that a character is the villian. (The Girl Who Played With Fire)
  • The disabled person needs able-bodied people to teach them that their life isn’t over.
  • People with disabilities can cure themselves through sheer force of will.
  • If disabled people are included on a team or in a group, it indicates that they’re expected to fail. (The Replacements, As it is in Heaven)
  • Disabled people are filled with a murderous rage. Especially amputees. (Men in Black 3, Hook, The Secret of the Urn, The Oxford Murders, Centurion)
  • If a disabled person shows up on a blind date, the other person will be terrified and attempt to escape.
  • If a disabled person is proposed to, they must turn down the offer of marriage and flee in order to avoid burdening the potential spouse. (Magnificent Obsession)
  • Blind people have superhuman hearing and can use echolocation. (The Book of Eli)
  • Blind people always want to feel everyone’s face.
  • Deaf people can always lipread.
  • Need to make a non-disabled actor look disabled? Give them a bad haircut! (Wildflower, Pumpkin, Heart of Dragon)

Got another cliche for inclusion? Drop it in the comment box!

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