I just ate a banana and it crossed my mind that banana peels aren't really as slippery as they're generally portrayed in cartoons and movies. I've stepped on banana peels before and haven't fallen; generally the peel just makes a squishy sound and gets goo on my shoe. What other common, everyday objects are often attributed unreal, vastly exaggerated properties in works of fiction? And I'm not asking about exaggeration based on ignorance -- such as a "hacker" who can break into "CIA mainframes" in 30 seconds -- but rather stereotypical portrayals that everyone knows are absurd. For example, onions that make their cutters bawl.

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