“I have something to tell you … Never mind”
In one of the more infuriating tropes on the list, the “never mind” bit is the absolute worst. You see it all the time. One character has some catastrophic news to tell another character, and they always start with, “I have something to tell you.” Sometimes they chicken out, other times what the other says scares them off, so they reply with “Never mind.”
When, in the history of spoken word, has this ever been a thing? Imagine this playing out in real life. Anybody with the ability to hear would protest this conversation. If it were me, I’d probably press and needle until the other person gave up their news out of sheer exhaustion from the wearing down they just received.
This is a pretty consistent device on soap operas. Because a storyline has to stretch for days and sometimes weeks, it’s a convenient way to build dramatic irony. It’s also a pretty reliable way to drive the viewers insane because it is so completely implausible. Nobody would ever let this kind of thing slide, even the most passive, uninterested people in the world would at least utter an “Are you sure?”
Even worse is when they have a verbal tug of war about who goes first. I’ll go first, but I’m certainly not going to forget you had something juicy to tell me. I don’t lose interest so fast.
It happens on the best of shows, and has become so common place that we just accept it like it’s a thing that happens to actual humans. It doesn’t, so stop trying to make it happen, TV shows. It’s maddening.
Examples: Younger, Once Upon A Time, Frasier, and Riverdale