Characters are in such a remote location that they have no cell phone service and, of course, the landlines are down.
One character, usually an annoying kid you'd like to see die anyway, who is diabetic or asthmatic and always has a fit and can't find his medicine because it's been accidentally lost or a bad person has taken it on purpose.
Lights that won't come on leaving everyone staggering around in the dark or just people wandering without turning the lights on. Who the fuck does that?
The career-driven spouse or love interest is made to feel like shit for missing an important event even though he or she had every intention of making it and missing it was genuinely unavoidable
A huge gust of wind blows the wigs off of everyone in the scene.
[quote]Characters are in such a remote location that they have no cell phone service and, of course, the landlines are down.
Or they do have a phone and they tell the protagonist that they have SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT to say but can't say it over the phone becuase of the danger of someone listening in ... or whatever. So they proceed to give details of where they'll be and how to find them ... to whomever might be listening.
They have cell phones but fail to use them to catch up another character and avoid potential danger or embarrassment scenario or some other complete misunderstanding- choosing to go meet the person instead giving the other person plenty of time to fall into the bad scenario du jour.
It's set in New York City.
... and that person in r1 scenario - doesn't just call to explain that they'll be late or why.
Crazed killer/mad scientist and a bomb that will destroy the world....
The male (or lead) love interest is seen presumably being affectionate with the rival, and the female (or other male) love interest gets all pissy and runs off.
72 year old male lead romancing 19 year old female lead.
The existence of cell phones has fucked the suspension of disbelief.
Some vixen lures the unsuspecting man into a bad deal.
The hero is avenging his dead wife, which explains why he is single but "straight" beyond suspicion.