While listening to an episode of Scriptnotes from December, an interesting topic came to the forefront. The topic was about “Clams” and why no one should use them. Clams are described as “Jokes that aren’t funny anymore and therefore need to die.”. This list of clams come from a tweeted photo about phrases that have become banned in the writers room of the show Workaholics. These phrases include ones such as: “Can you not?”, “Check please!”, and “Awesome sauce”; just to name a few. John and Craig discussed how typically these phrases were genius and funny the first time they were said, but over time and after repetition they make dialogue and the characters who utter these phrases seem stale and unoriginal, reminding the audience that they’re watching something. They suggest finding better and more creative ways to get the exact same point across, just without using one of these “clams”. Also, in an attempt to provide advice, John and Craig suggest that when writing comedy, many screenwriters think that the comedy comes phrases such as these clams. However, this is not the case. The comedy comes instead from the reaction to whatever the joke or situation was, not necessarily a line of dialogue. On a personal lever, I’m going to hold this list side-by-side with any script I write (or at least attempt to) as I honestly find myself saying some of these phrases in real life, and therefore, they’re liable to be translated into dialogue I write.

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