Cliché-o-matic: “Like something out of…”

It was like something out of a spy novel…The [FIFA] indictment itself reads like something out of an undercover mafia story.
– Declan Hill, National Post, May 28.

The play’s visually stunning set design and costumes are like something out of the Grand Budapest Hotel film.
– Caroline Phillips, Ottawa Citizen, April 19.

He and his team developed the Infrascanner, which feels like something out of science fiction.
– Sean Trembath, Saskatoon Star Phoenix, April 1.

We set off single file into the dunes and, just over a low sandy ridge, spy a family of horses grazing on a small plain of marram grass. Four mares, still shedding shaggy winter coats, munch with their foals, watched by a stallion with sweeping mane and tail like something out of a teenaged girl’s horse fantasy.
– Catherine Bush, Globe and Mail, April 11.

When they cracked open the door to Peter’s bedroom, authorities found that the mummified corpse had attracted rodents. Neighbours reported masses of flies congregating on the outside of the bedroom window, like something out of The Amityville Horror.
– John Semley, Globe and Mail, March 21.

It looks like something out of a semi-futuristic, post-apocalypse movie: a hybrid of traditional weaponry with digital scopes attached and the ability to morph from a rifle into a shotgun into a grenade launcher.
– Ashley Csanady, National Post, Feb. 24.

But two of our soldiers were murdered right here at home, and the Islamic State is like something out of Grand Guignol.
– John Baglow, Toronto Star, Feb. 9.

Prentice, thankfully, is no clownish, uncouth, good old boy with a parochial attitude toward Eastern Canada. He’s a smart, savvy, polished individual who is alien to Klein’s tiresome Martha-and-Henry shtick. That stuff is so corny and outdated; it’s like something out of a skit on Hee Haw.
– Naomi Lakritz, Calgary Herald, Feb. 5.

Gary Comeau grew up on the East Coast, lives on the West Coast and has tried his hand at almost every style of music in between. Like something out of a folk song, Comeau originally came to the West Coast when he and a friend hopped a train across Canada to Vancouver in his late teenage years.
– Dale Boyd, Western Penticton News, Jan. 27.

A robot that can help you with household chores sounds like something out of The Jetsons, but since their introduction in 2002, robotic vacuums have evolved from cool gadgets into time-saving domestic appliances that are increasingly making their way into households.
– Lisa Evans, Ottawa Citizen, Jan. 24.

Mr. Harper is not a man easily rocked by bad news. A mild dip in the currency and a quarter-point interest rate cut probably hold little fear when you’ve previously stared into a dystopian future that looked like something out of Mad Max.
– John Ivision, National Post, Jan. 23.

Winner: National Post (4); MVP: Declan Hill (2)


  1. Wow! These articles of “like something else” are certainly something else.

  2. With respect, “something out of” is not a cliche, any more than “as big as” or “higher than” or “that’s done” are.

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