So THAT's Why TV Characters Never End A Call With 'Goodbye'

We always wondered...

Think about it; when was the last time you heard a TV or movie character end their phone call with “bye”?

It’s not that it never happens ― but it’s definitely less common on the small or big screen than it is IRL.

And that’s not just because telly and movie characters are rude, Michael Jamin ― who’s written on shows like King of the Hill and Beavis and Butthead ― revealed on his TikTok.

So what is the reason?

“In TV, we call lines like that ‘shoe leather,’” Michael revealed.

″‘Shoe leather’ might make a scene feel more realistic ― but it doesn’t necessarily make the scene more entertaining.”

He added that “in TV we also have running times,” which means that the teams behind your favourite shows have to write to exact timeframes ― “they won’t accept” even a 30-second discrepancy, Michael points out.

“Knowing this, we always shoot long ― maybe [three minutes over target], knowing that not every scene is gonna be great. We want to have the liberty to trim... but we don’t know where,” he said in the clip.

“The first two minutes are easy to cut, but that last minute is hard. So you think, ‘if I cut that guy saying ‘goodbye,’ maybe I get to keep my favourite joke.’”

“Eventually, you get to the point where you’re not even writing ‘goodbye’ into the script, knowing from experience that you’re just gonna cut it later,” he added.

People had thoughts in the comments

“I thought it was for dramatic effect[,] like they were too cool to say goodbye,” one commenter replied.

“I’m from Europe and when I was younger I thought that’s the way people from the US end their phone calls,” another wrote (same, TBH).

“But devoting 1/4 of the runtime to canned laughter is just fine...” another said (HMM!).


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