We all know this plot. A character accidentally stumbles upstairs, hears a noise, and ends up seeing their parents in bed, mid-coitus. As the camera closes up on our hero's shocked face, we let let out a laugh, imagining how gross he must feel. Later, the other characters will probably make fun of him, reminding him of what he saw and joke about it, saying harsh things like "ha, your parents are still sexually active", or "ha ha, you live in a household of loving people who are still attracted to each other"!
But there's nothing funny about this in real life. In fact, if our character were real, it might cause them serious psychological damage. At first they might find it difficult to keep a regular relationship with their parents. Just looking at them might trigger the memory of what they saw. Later, they could develop hardship to act on their own physical desires- seeing the sight of their parents with every touch by a sexual partner. Lastly, they could end up feeling pressured to be in a long term relationship that maintains a desire even after many years of marriage, which could really hurt their Tinder experience.
How would you like it if I came to your place of work, and expected you to take your clothes off and do a sexy dance? It's a common plot line to mistake someone, mainly a person who works in uniform, for an exotic entertainer. We'll all laugh, and even be a little scared that this misunderstanding might get our characters in trouble. But we never think about the poor person who was basically just sexually harassed. What if this nice young girl spent her entire life trying to prove to everyone she was more than just a common stripper? She went to school, graduated the academy, found a job- and here she is again, mistaken for a stripper. How is she supposed to feel? And all that while knowing that she would have made a lot more money stripping. And her boyfriend probably makes her do it for him once a week too, to get in the mood. And he also made her install a stripper pole in their apartment, so she pretty much feels like a stripper anyway. And now this. For shame on you for laughing at her. For shame.
A popular sitcom problem is having set two dates at the same time, and not wanting to cancel either of them for some legitimate and logical reason that is always explained properly. The hero will schedule both dates at the same restaurant, and spend the majority of their time saying they have to go to the bathroom, but actually switch tables. We, the audience, will laugh at the outrageous excuses they'll come with, and at how they sometimes mix up the conversations they had with each of the dates.
But in real life, there is nothing amusing about going out with two people at the same time. For once, you'll have to pay double the money for dinner. You will have to order full meals with both partners, but not actually eat most of them. Second, trying to juggle two dates will make you miss out on actually enjoying the date. While playing secret agent and switching roles could prove fun by itself, you will be throwing away the opportunity to get to know a very nice person, who you might have a deep connection with. Plus, you're not thinking it through enough! Don't juggle the dates- combine them! This way you could score a threesome maybe. Now that's a good sitcom problem.
Not paying attention, our hero seemed to have found themselves naked in a public area. Trying to avoid people seeing (especially people that they know. who are, for some reason, all around this place), they have to find a way to get to somewhere safe, where they can dress. What could be funnier than the distress our character is in? Well, think again. For this humiliation is not a laughing matter. Nudity is a very personal thing, which is not supposed to be shared without consent. And it could get very cold outside your room, which could give people the wrong impression of you. Again. Just like that time in the locker room after swim lesson. It was winter, for god's sake! Who does swim lessons in winter?!
Probably the most used plot line on sitcoms. Get drunk, do something stupid, and try to remember what it was the next day. We can all laugh about it because we all know the feeling of getting way too drunk and doing something silly. And that's exactly why we shouldn't laugh about it! How many relationships were destroyed because of drunk-texts? How much money spent on weird Amazon items purchased while intoxicated? There's nothing funny about your mom opening the door to find a fed-ex delivery guy standing at the door holding a life sized sex doll of Lena Dunham. Because, what? You couldn't stand to watch but not touch?
And that's only the humiliation. What about the actual things you did that night? It might be funny on a tv show, but what if you really did get married? You'll have to start taking care of divorce papers, or decide to power through and make it work. Which could be hard. Getting to know the other person, making a connection, finding out you both like the last season of "Scrubs" with the interns. Spend the whole night talking. Fall in love, get re-married in a nice church this time, but still get an Elvis priest, just for the memory. Next thing you know you're 93, on your death bed, with your grandchildren by your side, reflecting on what a wonderful life you've led. All because you got drunk one night? Do you find that funny?!