Here are two great jokes that also set up the fault-lines within each relationship in wickedly concise ways. The first is from Claire and Phil’s interview:
- CLAIRE: If Haley never wakes up on a beach in Florida, half naked... I've done my job.
- PHIL: Our job.
- CLAIRE: Right... I've done our job.
- CAMERON: You can't fight it, so...
- Mitchell clearly wants to criticize this, but he restrains himself. Cam glares at him, waiting for it.
- MITCHELL (defensive): I'm not saying anything!
- CAMERON: You’re saying everything.
The unfortunately consequence is that screenwriters are less likely to write nuanced jokes, for fear that they won’t land with readers. As a result, jokes like those quoted above are far more likely to be created on set. Nevertheless, writers should try to create them on the page, even it means breaking the anti-italics rule.