Skills on Screen and Tips from TV

Skills on Screen and Tips from TV

We all know there’s a LOT of rubbish on screen these days, endless hours of dross that can slowly sap the viewer’s brain juices dry.


Unfortunately, if you can’t live without your Netflix and spend a large part of your week enjoying the gogglebox, chances are at some point in life someone has passed negative judgement on how you spend your free time. ‘They’, these harbingers of TV related doom, will tell all who listen that too much screen time will destroy brain cells, filling those left with useless drivel.

But is it truly useless? Can films and TV teach you anything of note?

Well, of course they can but I’m not talking about the wonderful array of documentaries, natural history series and those dedicated to education in general. I mean life lessons gleaned from entertainment – tips and tricks you draw on in real life, thanks to blockbuster movies and your TV heroes!

There are many quotes and catchphrases that can happily be pulled out from entertainment, in relation to a particular scenario – Forrest Gump’s ‘Life’s not a box of chocolates‘ is always helpful and thanks to the Ghostbusters, knowing that you ‘don’t cross the streams‘ has… well a myriad of uses!


My list, however, contains some personal tips I use to get through life that I wouldn’t have learned had it not been for seeing them on screen. (Okay, there’s one on the list that I was intelligent enough to work out by myself, honestly…)

Oh, and I’ve scored them, because…well I wanted to. So I give you, my entertaining education!


Michael Bay may not be the director that springs to mind when it comes to anti-stress, seeing as his films are generally a fast-paced, extravaganza of explosions and fighting! However, in 1995, a certain Bad Boy had many of us reaching for our ear-lobes, uttering the the words, ‘Woosaaah’ in an attempt to calm our nerves.


And it works! Ear reflexology is totally a thing and, especially in children, is a sure fire way to soothe away your grumbles. I think the breathing associated with woosah-ing must also be a factor but whatever the reason, give it a try next time you feel like everything is getting on your nerves!

Life Skill Effectiveness: 3/5


There’s clearly something about being a heroic, law enforcer and needing to let off steam. Or your shoes…

Yes, I am of course talking about Bruce Willis and his fabulous portrayal of John McClane in Die Hard. Upon reaching the Nakatomi Plaza, one of the first things he does is kick off his shoes and socks, sinking his bare feet into the deep pile carpet.

Making fists with his feet relaxed him after his flight and made him seem so much more badass when he was running around barefoot, stopping Alan Rickman (RIP) from blowing the place up!

It works, although not as well as the ear lobes. But it feels lovely, and is a rite of passage when a new carpet is laid. And if you’re wearing a vest at the same time, you can pretend to save the world…

Life Skill Effectiveness: 2/5


Not being a camper, or an arsonist, I’ve never had to light my own fire and therefore knowing how to ‘read’ the flames is not something I’d be familiar with.

However, thanks to the undead, specifically The Walking Dead, I now know whether a fire is in full burn or on its way to fizzling out. According to Carol, black smoke = still burning, white smoke = fire’s dying out.


Now, I know what you outdoor folk are going to say. I’ve looked into the scientific accuracy of this and it seems it’s not 100% true because the material burning can effect the colour of smoke. But, from a basic knowledge point of view, it works for me… for all those times I need to know the life expectancy of a fire…

Life Skill Effectiveness: 3/5

Another, probably better, fire-related skill I learned from film was to being aware of backdrafts, from…erm…Backdraft!


Despite training at school and visits from our local fire department, the lessons served by De Niro, Kurt Russell and William Baldwin, about checking the backs of doors with your hand to see how hot it was, have stuck with me far more.

Life Skill Effectiveness: 4/5


Sitting in a caravan, looking out at some grazing cows, a young priest makes a surprising discovery. Or so he thinks…

Cue Father Ted and his lesson to teach Dougal about visual perspective!

Okay, so this one I worked out by myself – I’m fully aware of the difference in size of a toy and a real world equivalent! But I have used it several times as a means to explain the idea to children and how the eye perceives things.

So, for ongoing use as a teaching tool…

Life Skill Effectiveness: 4/5


I learned my manners from a very early age. I knew how and when I should speak in different situations and developed a ‘telephone voice’ around the age of 5, being quite capable of taking and passing on messages for the family.

Similarly, I knew how to behave in public and how to dress appropriately for the occasion. However, one thing I never learned, was which cutlery went where. Not beyond the basic fork, knife and spoon. In fact for years, I found it very odd when I saw someone eat cake…with a fork!

In my defence, I had no need to know beyond the basic implements as a child: it wasn’t until years later I would eat in restaurants that offered a selection of silverware.

Thank goodness then, for Pretty Woman!

(Geeky side note…how did we ever watch anything in standard def?!)

Julia Roberts’ etiquette training as Vivian has come in quite useful for me over the years and is my number one skill learned from the screen. Although I don’t count the number of prongs on a fork before selecting the correct one, I do, still, mentally remind myself to work ‘from the outside, in’ so as not to make a faux pas!


Somebody perhaps needs to tell me not to tuck my napkin into my collar though…

Life Skill Effectiveness: 5/5!

So what skills have you learned from TV or film? Are there subjects you were never sure about / dare not broach, only to have your prayers answered by on-screen stars?

Let me know in the comments and as always, thanks for reading! 🙂

Image Credits: YouTube,, Huffington Post,, and memegenerator.

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24 thoughts on “Skills on Screen and Tips from TV

  1. Some great tips there and bonus points for including Father Ted (A personal fave)

    Probably the most useful tip I’ve found to date is from the movie Predator – if you find yourself being hunted by an advanced alien species that has heat detecting vision, simply cover yourself from head to toe in lots of cold mud. Works a treat.. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, similar to ‘spread yourself with zombie guts to make your way, undetected, through a horde’!
      I’m hoping neither skill is ever used but it’s good to have a zombie/alien apocalypse escape plan! Thanks for stopping by and commenting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly! I think it’s important that people are ready for every eventuality and schools just don’t prepare you for alien or zombie attack scenarios. I blame the Tories..

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Defintely Backdraft.

    Also, when stealing a relic, having a bag of sand of approximately the same weight to take its place is not always going to work. In fact, it is probably never going to work. And don’t trust anyone. [Raiders of the Lost Ark, obviously]

    Just because you thought your parents were too busy and didn’t care about you doesn’t mean that’s how they really felt. And just because you have an awesome small red convertible doesn’t mean you can’t take a giant model of the city home with you. [Iron Man 2]


    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so funny and yet very true at the same time! I remember as a kid after watching backdraft thinking that if I ever heard the smoke alarm go off if I was in the house alone I have to check all of the doors for heat first lol Pretty Woman did teach me that you work from the outside in as far as posh dinning goes but even when I’ve been somewhere posh they just give you new cutlery with each serving anyway?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh they do replace the cutlery, don’t they? Always seems a waste, I know I’ve hung on to mine before, usually so I still have something to butter the bread with after they’ve removed the starters! Thanks for commenting and following 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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