The 36 Plots
All dramatic situations are simply retellings of these archetypal stories:
1. A man takes out a home insurance policy without noticing that it doesn't cover snow damage to the roof.
2. A woman's cellphone battery runs out, making the coffeeshop's free wifi nothing but a cruel joke.
3. A Scotsman, a physicist, and a horse walk into a bar.
4. A woman asks her boss to leave an hour early on Friday to pick up her mother from the airport.
5. Two brothers disagree on deck-building strategies for a Magic: the Gathering tournament.
6. A woman asks for a non-fat latte. They only have 2%. She figures it's okay.
7. The bachelor party for a man's father just seems kind of awkward.
8. A woman realizes she forgot her bus tickets, and has to pay the full fare in change.
9. A man asks his friends to help him move. He doesn't tell them he won't get pizza and beer for them.
10. A woman is allergic to mushrooms. She doesn't want them on her pizza, even when she's told she can pick them off.
11. A boy tries to tell his teacher about his Pokémon collection. She is thinking about what she'll have for lunch.
12. A couple's relationship grows tense when they can't agree on the right shade of paint for the bedroom. They come to a compromise.
13. A woman tries to convince her sister-in-law to try a paleo diet.
14. A taxi driver takes a wrong turn with his passenger. He has to circle around the block, costing him part of his tip.
15. A young girl finds an old book in her grandmother's attic. It is a 1952 Sears catalogue.
16. A man tries to decide whether or not to Like one of his ex-girlfriend's Facebook posts.
17. A woman overhears a conversation between two strangers. It may be in German. Or Russian. She doesn't know either language, but the people definitely look foreign.
18. An old man discovers that he's had the pen he was looking for in his shirt pocket all along.
19. A college student begins to suspect that lifehacks are just ways for middle-class people to feel like they're poorer than they are.
20. A middle-aged woman at the airport cannot remember whether or not she cleaned the cat's litter box. She did.
21. A student is angry that someone reverted his changes to the Wikipedia article on "The Secrets of Isis."
22. Two sisters cannot agree on whether Brad Pitt is sexier than Ryan Gosling. One of them is wrong.
23. A man cannot decide how to answer when a cashier says, "Hi, how are you?"
24. A woman offhandedly mentions her gender on the internet. She soon receives pictures of men's penises.
25. A teenager wonders what it would have been like to grow up in the 90s.
26. A teenager must choose which movie to see at the Cineplex. One of them has subtitles.
27. A child finds a quarter, two dimes, and a button behind the couch cushions. He hides them in his room and forgets about them.
28. A girl's knowledge of the Star Wars franchise, including the Expanded Universe novels, both impresses and intimidates a shy boy.
29. A man looks at the takeout menu of a Thai restaurant. He tries to remember the differences between yellow, green, and red curry. He's sure that he wants extra jasmine rice, though.
30. A woman wonders who the strange-looking man is who recently appeared in her office building. He is Todd from the I.T. department.
31. A man reminisces about the time he watched the Expendables 2. He cannot remember whether he watched it alone or with Todd.
32. A woman feels uneasy about a bearded young man wearing a fedora and cargo shorts, but cannot explain why.
33. A man does not feel like himself until he has had his first cup of coffee in the morning.
34. A woman buys her sister-in-law a birthday present. She doesn't tell her that she got airmiles points for it.
35. A baby sneezes. It is alarmed and grows wide-eyed for a few seconds.
36. Cat videos.