If you know me, you are aware of my over-the-top love for Hallmark Channel movies. Perhaps it was a love born out of only having basic cable for most of my life or perhaps I’m a glutton for ridiculously cheesy, sub-par romantic plot lines. Whatever the case may be, here’s fifteen things that you most likely will find in every Hallmark Channel movie… ever.
For those of you that follow this blog due to the book review content, pardon the interruption…
Update, 2022: If you’re looking for some Hallmark Channel Christmas movie recommendations, feel free to check out my Definitive Ranking of the Top 15 Hallmark Christmas movies post.
1. Cheesy title that gives entire movie’s premise away in 5 words or less
Recipe for Love? Two cooks fall in love. Undercover Bridesmaid? An undercover bridesmaid. A Grandpa for Christmas? A family literally gets a grandfather for Christmas. Elevator Girl? A girl finds her love interest in an elevator. Flower Girl? A girl works at a flower shop. A Family Thanksgiving? A FAMILY HAS THANKSGIVING. This really isn’t that hard, folks.
2. Quirky love interests
If people were more akin to characters in Hallmark movies, everyone would be quirky as all-get-out. Lots of fun banter and sass and cute one-liners.
It’s not realistic, but you didn’t tune into the Hallmark Channel for reality. I see you, okay?
3. Person of color as supporting character/antagonist
If we’re being honest here, Hallmark Channel movies aren’t even close to being racially diverse. Main characters are always white and Hallmark tries to hide its total whitewashing with a POC supporting character/antagonist. Seriously, Hallmark. Let’s get some diversity in there. It’s almost 2017.
Hallmark tryin’ to be cultured:
4. Lots of tears
Pretty sure the first question the Hallmark Channel casting directors ask auditioning actors is, “Can you cry? A whole damn lot?” Hallmark movies are full of happy crying and sad crying and every type of crying in between. These actors are incredibly skilled at crying on cue.
This is one of the multitude of reasons I feel like I would be a great candidate for future Hallmark movie stardom. I’m great at crying. Pick me!
5. Protagonist’s mad dash to the airport before his love interest leaves the state/country or some other declaration of love that is pathetic and lovely
It isn’t love if you haven’t done something ridiculous to declare your love. Do you really love your significant other if you haven’t utilized planes, trains, and automobiles to reach them before they board a plane headed to the other side of the country? Is it really love if you haven’t ridden bareback on a white horse through a crowded New York street to confess your love? The latter really was an ending to a HCM and it was fantastic.
The answer to these questions is no. If you haven’t been this bold and embarrassing in public, your love is a sham. This article is an intervention. Drop ’em and watch Hallmark instead.
6. Awkward moments
Cringe-worthy moments are always more pleasant when you’re not experiencing them first-hand. I recently watched a Christmas Hallmark movie about a woman going home with a stranger she thought was her fiancé’s brother and finding out that this was not the case. Awkward? You bet. Entertaining? Highly. Pop me some more popcorn. I’m in this for the long haul.
7. Wise grandpas/grandmas/moms/dads
While the two leads are completely missing the point that they’re meant to be together, the g’pa/g’ma/mom/dad/etc. is an omniscient, wise grasshopper. There’s typically a turning point where one of the leads is confronted by one of these intelligent, God-like characters and suddenly they realize how stupid they’ve been. This leads to that crazy dash to the airport that I mentioned earlier.
8. Ridiculously sassy best friend(s)
This is a Hallmark staple. Who else is going to dish out sarcasm and overused punchlines at inopportune moments?
As much as we love to hate the sassy best friend(s), we know that a Hallmark movie would be nothing without them. They beef up the story line and add some comedy to the plot. Thank ’em.
9. Fake engagements
OH MY. THIS IS MY FAVORITE ONE! And, based on how many movies have this exact same plot, this is one of Hallmark’s favorite cliché storylines as well.
I swear, for some reason or another, one of the protagonists needs a fake girlfriend/boyfriend for the holidays and finds them on the internet/runs into them while shopping/knows them through a mutual friend. As they get to know each other, they fall madly, deeply, truly in love. Oops. Awkward.
10. Family galore
The Hallmark Channel is all about family. Family. Family. And more family. I know you didn’t think it was possible, but Hallmark piles “family” on their movies like that weird uncle of yours piles ketchup on his pizza. It’s often a bit too much, but you also marvel at it.
11. Enemies turned lovers
They abhor each other at the beginning of the movie. By the end of the movie, they’re getting married. There is no middle ground, folks. And, puhlease, admit it. Hallmark knows that you want to know how they got from Point A to Point B in 90 minutes. This ain’t their first rodeo.
12. Misconceptions and miscommunication
I yell at my TV. Honestly, you probably have too if you’ve ever watched a Hallmark movie. At first, you’re just innocently watching five minutes of some “ridiculous movie” because nothing else is on TV and then you inevitably become sucked into the cheesy script and bad acting. It happens. No shame. Hallmark movies are full of miscommunication. Someone pretends to be someone they’re not. Someone overhears a conversation and misreads it. And the list goes on…
Hallmark channel characters never clarify. That’s WAY too easy. Better to spend an hour believing the wrong things and then finally clarifying everything in the last five minutes of the movie (after the mad dash to the airport) before the final smooch.
13. Santa Claus
I’m going to throw out an unreliable statistic that has no actual research to back it up, but I’m pretty sure that it’s fairly accurate: At least 33% of HC Christmas movies have some kind of Santa Claus sub-plot. Santa Claus just pops up everywhere. He’s not fiction in the HCM universe, he’s fact.
14. Gretchen Wieners
I’m sorry, but I had to put this one in here. Lacey Chabert is in almost every single Hallmark Channel movie. Occasionally, I hear people saying, “Where did Gretchen Wieners go after Mean Girls?” She went to the Hallmark Channel. Naturally.
You think I’m kidding? I’m not kidding.
15. An uncomfortable kiss
You’ve been waiting the whole movie for the two main characters to get together and… they finally do… and then there’s the most awkward kiss that has ever been televised in the history of television. Wedding Bells, I’m mainly looking at you.
Regardless of how cheesy and predictable these Hallmark Channel movies are, I will always be a fan.
Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments.
3 thoughts on “Top 15 Things You’ll Find in a Hallmark Channel movie”
Wow do those gifs make this run slow on mobile. But hey, a Jontron gif.
Anyway, #11 applies to every single one of these Hallmark/Lifetime movies my mother subjigated me to over the holidays. The only time I likedit was in His & Her Circumstances, only to find that it became uninteresting the moment they started getting along with eachother.
#3 Now I hate forced diversity, but I don’t think I’ve seen more than 2 non-casians in any of these movies if that. Personally, I would prefer the male lead to be east asian, native american, or clean-shaven middle eastern.
I noticed that half the time, the male lead was european wiyh a string & extremely fake accent.
#2 Rather than quirky, I find the leading lady to be insufferable, flaky, & rude. I don’t want to be her & I don’t want to be her friend.
Another trend I’ve noticed is the business angle. The leading lady will usually own failing shop, the male lead will usually be a business rival.