I’m always intrigued by the supercuts of specific phrases, like “You just don’t get it, do you.” That one’s perfect, because it’s something movie characters say constantly, and I’m 95% sure I’ve never heard it once in real life. Here, Debbie Saslaw (of the Flash Sazz Wagon Saslaws) of Slacktory has put together a supercut of “It’s a no-brainer.” She writes, “Has anyone ever really said this?”
I would argue “it’s a no-brainer” is a much more commonly-used phrase than “you just don’t get it, do you,” but the 37 movies and shows combined in this supercut seem to suggest that it’s still a lot more common in movies and TV than it is in real life. It seems to perform two basic functions:
1. “It’s a no-brainer.” As in, “this is me convincing you to do something that’s not actually obvious at all because it will propel the plot forward.” Such as, “hey, Chandler, you should get a pet monitor lizard to eat these cockroaches and name it Jake. I mean it’s a no-brainer.”
2. “It’s a no-brainer.” As in, “I just used a character to deliver some blatant plot exposition and he would seem either not-believable or like a total idiot if I didn’t have him at least acknowledge the obviousness of the thing he just said.”
I like that the supercut goes purely literal at the end. It’s a no brainer.