"A little heat might get things cookin'." I heard this in a movie. Is it correct? Shouldn't it be, "A little heat might get things cooked?" What's the difference?
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The reason it isn't used in the past participle is that it's an idiomatic usage. It's not literal. It means, "If we put some energy (interest, romance, teasing, or some other kind of stimulation) into this situation, we might generate some kind of reaction that will stir up some movement (progress, interaction, or plot advancement) that should be interesting to see."
In other words, "Let's prod this thing and see what happens."
It's basically the difference between getting started with something and getting finished with it. So,
A little heat might get things cooking (present participle)
means that heat might start the cooking.
A little heat might get things cooked (past participle)
means that heat might finish the cooking process.