Ext. Times Square, 11:59:58 on Dec. 31

The Swarovski ball makes its final descent as Veronica arrives with only seconds to spare, finally ready to confess her love to Ethan with a midnight kiss that will begin the rest of her life… their life. Without a word, she looks into his eyes and leans in as the confetti falls like a glittering rain, washing away the past and sowing seeds of hope for a new year—a new world.

[Record scratch]

When it comes to New Year’s Eve, movies and TV are liars. Very rarely do you see loneliness in a crowd, drunken fools, or that fact that it’s freaking impossible to get anywhere except for this crappy party you’re really starting to regret attending. Instead, you get perfect midnight kisses and wildly improbable means of declaring one’s love. The deception must stop.

As many a mid-February dieter and sneak-smoker knows, change doesn’t come from a hollow resolutions—it comes from action. And our final act of 2014 will be to debunk just a few of the myths movies and TVs have perpetrated on our fragile spirits. Starting with…

Your best friend/love of your life will come to the party you’re at, reconcile with you, and then deliver a funny monologue about “Auld Lang Syne.”

Because, as When Harry Met Sally told us, “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” If that involves a sprint and speech that end at exactly midnight, even better. —Esther Zuckerman

Your boyfriend will sprint up the stairs to the penthouse, arrive without a drop of sweat on him, and kiss you as the clock strikes 12.

One of The O.C.‘s most iconic moments taught viewers a lot: Not only will your boyfriend realize he was being a jerk in just enough time to make it to your New Year’s party and kiss you at midnight, but he’ll also finally say those three words. Other than that, it taught us that kids from Chino are in really good shape, confetti will fall from the heavens at midnight, and “Dice” will play as you kiss your true love in slow motion. Your move, real life! —Samantha Highfill

You can travel around all five boroughs of New York City in roughly 15 minutes.

As the “star”-studded cast of Garry Marshall’s New Year’s Eve proved, navigating the Big Apple on its busiest, most crowded day is a breeze. Need to get from outermost Queens to the center of Times Square? There will be a cab (or perhaps even a horse and carriage) just a wave away, as well as a smiling rapper-turned-police officer to escort you. Warning: There might also be a very frazzled Hillary Swank. —Lanford Beard

You will meet Zac Efron, and it will be the start of something new.

Also, if you live in the world of High School Musical, you’ll also suddenly nail a two-part harmony without rehearsal. —Marc Snetiker

Eating Chinese food alone on New Year’s Eve is pathetic

In Sex and the City, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) is all bummed out about spending the evening sitting on her couch watching movies and eating delivered Chinese food, but, really, anyone who pretends that hanging out a probably disappointing party is superior to wearing pajamas and eating dumplings is clearly fooling themselves. —Ariana Bacle

If you stand near a TV, the most important person in your life will finally kiss you.

Only The X-Files‘ Mulder and Scully could find romance in the empty hallway of a mental institution, but even they need a little push from the TV in the corner. The ball drops in Times Square, Dick Clark counts down to the year 2000, and—like they’re reading each other’s minds—the partners of seven years turn and share their first kiss. Who needs aliens when you’ve got the magic of television? —Kelly Connolly

You will have a good time. At all.

The worst lie of all—and it’s the one everybody keeps telling. Except good ol’ Louis CK. See you in China, nerds. —Hillary Busis