History Main / CluelessAesop

19th Feb '17 3:56:12 PM Kadorhal
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* ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'' had a "don't skip school" episode, where Arnold ditches for the day and spends it being constantly hindered in his attempts to enjoy it, and then finds out that the school day was pretty much cancelled for a surprise carnival that he would have been able to attend if he'd gone. A great way to get across "Don't skip school, you never know what you're missing out on", except when in the history of ''any public school'' has there ever been a ''surprise, one-day-only carnival''? They might as well have had PS 118 take an unannounced field trip to the moon. The kicker is that they could have had a decent message if they didn't throw in that anvilicious ending. While skipping school they kept running into people who could recognize them and expose what they were doing, this could make the real life message of "Skipping School isn't as fun as you think because you'll spend the day looking over your shoulder trying not to get in trouble over it." or how they would still be missing class that could have a test or still be responsible for any homework that will take even longer since they'd have to learn the material and do it on top of their regular classes. Nope, we get surprise carnival day. Though, at least it got a bit of a lampshade hung on it.
--> '''Arnold''': I think we both learned a lesson.
--> '''Gerald''': Yes, stay in school and pray for a carnival day.
--> '''Arnold''': That doesn't sound quite right...

to:

* ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'' had a "don't skip school" episode, where Arnold ditches for the day and spends it being constantly hindered in his attempts to enjoy it, and then finds out that the school day was pretty much cancelled for a surprise carnival that he would have been able to attend if he'd gone. A great way to get across "Don't skip school, you never know what you're missing out on", except when in the history of ''any public school'' has there ever been a ''surprise, one-day-only carnival''? They might as well have had PS 118 take an unannounced field trip to the moon. The kicker is that they could have had a decent message if they didn't throw in that anvilicious ending. While skipping school they kept running into people who could recognize them and expose what they were doing, this could make the real life message of "Skipping School school isn't as fun as you think because you'll spend the day looking over your shoulder trying not to get in trouble over it." it," or how they would still be missing class that could have a test or still be responsible for any homework that will take even longer since they'd have to learn the material and do it on top of their regular classes. Nope, we get surprise carnival day. Though, at least it got a bit of a lampshade hung on it.
--> '''Arnold''': -->'''Arnold''': I think we both learned a lesson.
-->
lesson.\\
'''Gerald''': Yes, stay in school and pray for a carnival day.
-->
day.\\
'''Arnold''': That doesn't sound quite right...



** In "Sleeping with the Enemy", Lisa develops an eating disorder and announces at the end of the episode that they are not a CompressedVice that can be solved within 20 minutes & she will have to struggle with it for the rest of her life. However due to the show's NegativeContinuity, Lisa is completely fine in the episodes that follow with absolutely no sign of any eating disorder, meaning that Lisa was completely wrong.
** The episode "Homer's Night Out" has the aesop of "Exotic dancers are people too." Not a bad message, but the ''way'' it's conveyed is a sheer mess. Bart receives a toy spy camera and secretly takes a photo of Homer dancing with a stripper at a work party. The picture gets copied and passed around his friends at school and eventually makes its way into the adults' world (essentially it went viral before social media was a thing). Mr. Burns finds it and scolds Homer, claiming that he's making the power plant a hostile workplace the female employees; Marge also finds it and is ''utterly pissed'' and throws him out of the house. When he begs for her forgiveness, she claims that she's upset at him not for dancing with a stripper, but for letting Bart think it's okay to treat women like objects, forcing Homer to track the girl down to have her tell Bart that she's a person with a real name and real goals and interests. Three problems here: 1. Marge's reaction indicated jealousy rather than anger at Homer's parenting; claiming that he set a bad example came across as just an excuse to guilt-trip him, not the primary offense. 2. At no point was the dancer disrespected at the party. She was hired to perform, and none of the men present ever touched her or verbally demeaned her in any way. 3. ''Homer had no idea Bart was there.'' If anyone had explaining to do, it was ''Bart'' for sneaking into an adult party where he might not understand the context of what was going on, and taking a photo of people in a compromising position without their consent.
** Subverted in the later episode "Bart After Dark", whose apparent purpose was to redeem the show from the previous entry. When Marge finds out Bart was forced to work as a door man at a burlesque club as Homer's way of punishing him for damaging its property, she joins with the local MoralGuardians and works the town into a fury over the club's presence. However, it's clear that Marge is overreacting, and the club's owner--an elegant older woman--actually confronts her; the owner argues that she's been in Springfield for over fifty years and that she and her dancers have every right to be there.

to:

** In "Sleeping with the Enemy", Lisa develops an eating disorder and announces at the end of the episode that they are not a CompressedVice that can be solved within 20 minutes & she will have to struggle with it for the rest of her life. However However, due to the show's NegativeContinuity, Lisa is completely fine in the episodes that follow with absolutely no sign of any eating disorder, meaning that Lisa was completely wrong.
** The episode "Homer's Night Out" has the aesop of "Exotic dancers are people too." Not a bad message, but the ''way'' it's conveyed is a sheer mess. Bart receives a toy spy camera and secretly takes a photo of Homer dancing with a stripper at a work party. The picture gets copied and passed around his friends at school and eventually makes its way into the adults' world (essentially it went viral before social media was a thing). Mr. Burns finds it and scolds Homer, claiming that he's making the power plant a hostile workplace for the female employees; Marge also finds it and is ''utterly pissed'' and throws him out of the house. When he begs for her forgiveness, she claims that she's upset at him not for dancing with a stripper, but for letting Bart think it's okay to treat women like objects, forcing Homer to track the girl down to have her tell Bart that she's a person with a real name and real goals and interests. Three problems here: 1. Marge's reaction indicated jealousy rather than anger at Homer's parenting; claiming that he set a bad example came across as just an excuse to guilt-trip him, not the primary offense. 2. At no point was the dancer disrespected at the party. She was hired to perform, and none of the men present ever touched her or verbally demeaned her in any way. 3. ''Homer had no idea Bart was there.'' If anyone had explaining to do, it was ''Bart'' for sneaking into an adult party where he might not understand the context of what was going on, and taking a photo of people in a compromising position without their consent.
** Subverted in the later episode "Bart After Dark", whose apparent purpose was to redeem the show from the previous entry. When Marge finds out Bart was forced to work as a door man at a burlesque club as Homer's way of punishing him for damaging its property, she joins with the local MoralGuardians and works the town into a fury over the club's presence. However, it's clear that Marge is overreacting, and the club's owner--an owner -- an elegant older woman--actually woman -- actually confronts her; the owner argues that she's been in Springfield for over fifty years and that she and her dancers have every right to be there.



* While most of the Circle Time interstitials that used to air on Playhouse Disney (now Disney Junior) could get simple aesops across to their target audience of preschoolers pretty well, the lesson to be learned from the saga of [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIA0XmnspHo Crying Jack]] doesn't make much sense in relation to the problem at hand in the live-action segment. A youngster is unhappy because she doesn't know what to draw, so the host of the segments tells the story about Crying Jack. The story details a happy-go-lucky boy who, for no stated reason, suddenly decides to cry as much as he can, and ultimately he cries so much that he turns himself into a [[BodyHorror giant walking and crying mouth]]. The fact that Jack just starts crying for literally no reason makes the moral of the story (possibly intended to be a "getting too upset won't solve your problems" type of moral) [[note]] Or "It's bad to ever express any sadness/negativity!" which is ''not'' the kind of aesop you want a vulnerable young audience to see in a time where depressive disorders can stem from hiding negative thoughts out of shame or fear have been brought to light.[[/note]] come off more like "[[SpaceWhaleAesop Never cry or else you run the risk of turning yourself into a giant crying mouth]]". Whichever the case was, neither of the aesops really relate much to the kid's WritersBlock-induced conundrum.
* Deliberately defied in ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' and ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited''. Early on the show was building a discussion about whether superheroes were a good or bad thing, but this idea largely petered out over time. Why? Because the writers realized that while vigilante organizations would be a bad idea in the real world, the lesson doesn't really make sense in a setting where colorful supervillains and alien invasions are thwarted every other week by people with tights and superpowers.

to:

* While most of the Circle Time interstitials that used to air on Playhouse Disney (now Disney Junior) could get simple aesops across to their target audience of preschoolers pretty well, the lesson to be learned from the saga of [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIA0XmnspHo Crying Jack]] doesn't make much sense in relation to the problem at hand in the live-action segment. A youngster is unhappy because she doesn't know what to draw, so the host of the segments tells the story about Crying Jack. The story details a happy-go-lucky boy who, for no stated reason, suddenly decides to cry as much as he can, and ultimately he cries so much that he turns himself into a [[BodyHorror giant walking and crying mouth]]. The fact that Jack just starts crying for literally no reason makes the moral of the story (possibly intended to be a "getting too upset won't solve your problems" type of moral) [[note]] Or "It's bad to ever express any sadness/negativity!" which is ''not'' the kind of aesop you want a vulnerable young audience to see in a time where depressive disorders which can stem from hiding negative thoughts out of shame or fear have been brought to light.[[/note]] come off more like "[[SpaceWhaleAesop Never cry or else you run the risk of turning yourself into a giant crying mouth]]". Whichever the case was, neither of the aesops really relate much to the kid's WritersBlock-induced conundrum.
* Deliberately defied in ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' and ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited''. ''Unlimited''. Early on on, the show was building a discussion about whether superheroes were a good or bad thing, but this idea largely petered out over time. Why? Because the writers realized that while vigilante organizations would be a bad idea in the real world, the lesson doesn't really make sense in a setting where colorful supervillains and alien invasions are thwarted every other week by people with tights and superpowers.
18th Feb '17 5:33:39 PM Kadorhal
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* ''WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers'' as a whole often falls victim to this trope, largely due to the fact that it chooses to depict pollution and other types of environmental destruction as being caused by supervillains who are doing it [[ForTheEvulz just to be dicks]], rather than ordinary people who aren't quite aware of their impact on the environment, or don't care when there's a lot of money being made in the process. For a non-environmental-related cause, there's the infamous episode "[[UsefulNotes/NorthernIreland If It's Doomsday, It Must Be Belfast]]", which was meant to promote world peace. What it managed to do instead was become the single most offensive example of the {{Oireland}} trope, while also making [[UsefulNotes/TheTroubles the struggle between Catholics and Protestants]] look like [[Theatre/WestSideStory The Jets against The Sharks]]. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQJrovKgrTw Highlights can be seen here]]. (And the comments. Dear God, the comments.) This episode was banned in Northern Ireland at the time it aired, and was met with ridicule from Northern Ireland's inhabitants after it was finally shown.

to:

* ''WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers'' as a whole often falls victim to this trope, largely due to the fact that it chooses to depict pollution and other types of environmental destruction as being caused by supervillains who are doing it [[ForTheEvulz just to be dicks]], rather than ordinary people who aren't quite aware of their impact on the environment, or don't care when there's a lot of money being made in the process. For a non-environmental-related cause, case, there's the infamous episode "[[UsefulNotes/NorthernIreland If It's Doomsday, It Must Be Belfast]]", which was meant to promote world peace. What it managed to do instead was become the single most offensive example of the {{Oireland}} trope, while also making [[UsefulNotes/TheTroubles the struggle between Catholics and Protestants]] look like [[Theatre/WestSideStory The Jets against The Sharks]]. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQJrovKgrTw Highlights can be seen here]]. (And the comments. Dear God, the comments.) This episode was banned in Northern Ireland at the time it aired, and was met with ridicule from Northern Ireland's inhabitants after it was finally shown.
17th Feb '17 7:29:17 PM Ferot_Dreadnaught
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* ''WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers'' as a whole often falls victim to this trope, largely due to the fact that it chooses to depict pollution and other types of environmental destruction as being caused by supervillains who are doing it [[ForTheEvulz just to be dicks]], rather than ordinary people who aren't quite aware of their impact on the environment, or don't care when [[MoneyDearBoy there's a lot of money being made in the process]]. For a non-environmental-related cause, there's the infamous episode "[[UsefulNotes/NorthernIreland If It's Doomsday, It Must Be Belfast]]", which was meant to promote world peace. What it managed to do instead was become the single most offensive example of the {{Oireland}} trope, while also making [[UsefulNotes/TheTroubles the struggle between Catholics and Protestants]] look like [[Theatre/WestSideStory The Jets against The Sharks]]. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQJrovKgrTw Highlights can be seen here]]. (And the comments. Dear God, the comments.) This episode was banned in Northern Ireland at the time it aired, and was met with ridicule from Northern Ireland's inhabitants after it was finally shown.

to:

* ''WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers'' as a whole often falls victim to this trope, largely due to the fact that it chooses to depict pollution and other types of environmental destruction as being caused by supervillains who are doing it [[ForTheEvulz just to be dicks]], rather than ordinary people who aren't quite aware of their impact on the environment, or don't care when [[MoneyDearBoy there's a lot of money being made in the process]].process. For a non-environmental-related cause, there's the infamous episode "[[UsefulNotes/NorthernIreland If It's Doomsday, It Must Be Belfast]]", which was meant to promote world peace. What it managed to do instead was become the single most offensive example of the {{Oireland}} trope, while also making [[UsefulNotes/TheTroubles the struggle between Catholics and Protestants]] look like [[Theatre/WestSideStory The Jets against The Sharks]]. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQJrovKgrTw Highlights can be seen here]]. (And the comments. Dear God, the comments.) This episode was banned in Northern Ireland at the time it aired, and was met with ridicule from Northern Ireland's inhabitants after it was finally shown.
17th Feb '17 7:27:23 PM Kadorhal
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* The infamous "[[UsefulNotes/NorthernIreland If It's Doomsday, It Must Be Belfast]]" episode from ''WesternAnimation/{{Captain Planet|AndThePlaneteers}}'', which was meant to promote world peace. What it managed to do instead was become the single most offensive example of both the {{Oireland}} trope and UsefulNotes/TheTroubles trope, making the struggle between Catholics and Protestants look like [[Theatre/WestSideStory The Jets against The Sharks]]. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQJrovKgrTw Highlights can be seen here]]. (And the comments. Dear God, the comments.) This episode was banned in Northern Ireland at the time it aired, and was met with ridicule from Northern Ireland's inhabitants after it was finally shown.
** Actually, ''WesternAnimation/{{Captain Planet|AndThePlaneteers}}'' as a whole often falls victim to this trope, largely due to the fact that it chooses to depict pollution and other types of environmental destruction as being caused by supervillains rather than ordinary people.

to:

* The ''WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers'' as a whole often falls victim to this trope, largely due to the fact that it chooses to depict pollution and other types of environmental destruction as being caused by supervillains who are doing it [[ForTheEvulz just to be dicks]], rather than ordinary people who aren't quite aware of their impact on the environment, or don't care when [[MoneyDearBoy there's a lot of money being made in the process]]. For a non-environmental-related cause, there's the infamous episode "[[UsefulNotes/NorthernIreland If It's Doomsday, It Must Be Belfast]]" episode from ''WesternAnimation/{{Captain Planet|AndThePlaneteers}}'', Belfast]]", which was meant to promote world peace. What it managed to do instead was become the single most offensive example of both the {{Oireland}} trope and UsefulNotes/TheTroubles trope, while also making [[UsefulNotes/TheTroubles the struggle between Catholics and Protestants Protestants]] look like [[Theatre/WestSideStory The Jets against The Sharks]]. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQJrovKgrTw Highlights can be seen here]]. (And the comments. Dear God, the comments.) This episode was banned in Northern Ireland at the time it aired, and was met with ridicule from Northern Ireland's inhabitants after it was finally shown. \n** Actually, ''WesternAnimation/{{Captain Planet|AndThePlaneteers}}'' as a whole often falls victim to this trope, largely due to the fact that it chooses to depict pollution and other types of environmental destruction as being caused by supervillains rather than ordinary people.
26th Jan '17 6:28:09 AM Silverblade2
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* Perhaps the best example: The barely remembered (or perhaps nicely repressed) Creator/DisneyChannel [[VerySpecialEpisode Special Presentation]], ''Franchise/WinnieThePooh: [[http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Too_Smart_for_Strangers Too Smart for Strangers]]''. Seeing the residents of the Hundred Acre Wood dole out advice to the kiddies on how to avoid being kidnapped and molested is stunningly fucked up in itself. If there is a list of characters who should never explain -- nor even be ''aware'' of -- child abuse, Pooh is easily at the top. But apparently, that wasn't bizarre enough for The Disney Channel; instead of using the animated characters, they chose to use the unspeakably terrifying costumed characters from the show ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fYCnZB_X7M Welcome To Pooh Corner]]''. The whole thing seems coldly designed to scar a child's mind.

to:

* Perhaps the best example: The barely remembered (or perhaps nicely repressed) Creator/DisneyChannel [[VerySpecialEpisode Special Presentation]], ''Franchise/WinnieThePooh: [[http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Too_Smart_for_Strangers Too Smart for Strangers]]''. Seeing the residents of the Hundred Acre Wood dole out advice to the kiddies on how to avoid being kidnapped and molested is stunningly fucked up in itself. If there is a list of characters who should never explain -- nor even be ''aware'' of -- child abuse, Pooh is easily at the top. But apparently, that wasn't bizarre enough for The Disney Channel; instead of using the animated characters, they chose to use the unspeakably terrifying costumed characters from the show ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fYCnZB_X7M Welcome To Pooh Corner]]''. The whole thing seems coldly designed to scar a child's mind.
23rd Jan '17 9:06:39 PM Idek618
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* ''Film/TheGarbagePailKidsMovie'' was an attempt to turn a line of trading cards -- which were ''deliberately'' intended to be [[BlackComedy violent]] and [[{{Gorn}} thoroughly disgusting]] -- into an Aesop about [[WhatMeasureIsANonCute appreciating those who look different]]. It worked out about as well as you'd expect throwing AnAesop into a film based on ''Garbage Pail Kids'' would be. Bonus points for its being a BrokenAesop: the titular characters are just as ugly on the inside (some have even [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation interpreted the Kids as being incarnations of the Seven Deadly Sins]]) -- but hey, they sure sang a catchy song about teamwork (while ''robbing a shop''), right?

to:

* ''Film/TheGarbagePailKidsMovie'' was an attempt to turn a line of trading cards -- which were ''deliberately'' intended to be [[BlackComedy violent]] and [[{{Gorn}} thoroughly disgusting]] -- into an Aesop about [[WhatMeasureIsANonCute appreciating those who look different]]. It worked out about as well as you'd expect throwing AnAesop into a film based on ''Garbage Pail Kids'' would be. Bonus points for its it being a BrokenAesop: the titular characters are just as ugly on the inside (some have even [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation interpreted the Kids as being incarnations of the Seven Deadly Sins]]) -- but hey, they sure sang a catchy song about teamwork (while ''robbing a shop''), right?
20th Jan '17 2:00:32 AM Ferot_Dreadnaught
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* ''Film/FernGullyTheLastRainforest'' runs into this if one thinks about it enough. The BigBad isn't the humans who are destroying the rainforest, but Hexxus, an ancient demon of pollution who is freed from his prison in a tree and proceeds to destroy the land around himself. Likewise, it is the fairies' magic, not any environmentalist effort on the part of the humans, that ultimately defeats him As with the X-Men example above, this has the unintentional effect of making film's message seem to be "Pollution is caused by magic demons, and only more magic can stop it."

to:

* ''Film/FernGullyTheLastRainforest'' runs into this if one thinks about it enough. The BigBad isn't the humans who are destroying the rainforest, but Hexxus, an ancient demon of pollution who is freed from his prison in a tree and proceeds to destroy the land around himself. Likewise, it is the fairies' magic, not any environmentalist effort on the part of the humans, that ultimately defeats him As with the X-Men example above, this him. This has the unintentional effect of making film's message seem to be "Pollution is caused by magic demons, and only more magic can stop it."
15th Jan '17 8:13:05 PM ElSquibbonator
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* The anti-drug [=PSAs=] of the '80s and '90s ended up being clueless because, much like the "bad touching" messages, they weren't allowed to actually define drugs as being anything other than "bad things that only stupid people like". A few were bold enough to show things like joints or [[Series/PeeWeesPlayhouse crack]] on screen, but most of them just had kids being pressured by other kids their own age to do... something vague, with stuff that was supposed to be drugs of some kind. To hear them tell it, every fourth grade in the world was populated by clean, well-dressed addicts with TotallyRadical hair, desperate to cram little rolls of twisted-up paper towels down their classmates' throats. This was a recurring bit on ''WesternAnimation/APupNamedScoobyDoo'', as any time a drug-smuggler was nabbed, it'd just be "He was smuggling ''drugs''!", with Scooby going "Drugs!? Yuck!" in response. Given the theories about [[GRatedDrug Scooby-Snax]], this is at least a little ironic.

to:

* The anti-drug [=PSAs=] of the '80s and '90s ended up being clueless because, much like the "bad touching" messages, they weren't allowed to actually define drugs as being anything other than "bad things that only stupid people like". A few were bold enough to show things like joints or [[Series/PeeWeesPlayhouse crack]] on screen, but most of them just had kids being pressured by other kids their own age to do... something vague, with stuff that was supposed to be drugs of some kind. To hear them tell it, every fourth grade in the world was populated by clean, well-dressed addicts with TotallyRadical hair, desperate to cram little rolls of twisted-up paper towels down their classmates' throats. This was a recurring bit on ''WesternAnimation/APupNamedScoobyDoo'', as any time a drug-smuggler was nabbed, it'd just be "He was smuggling ''drugs''!", with Scooby going "Drugs!? Yuck!" in response. Given the theories about [[GRatedDrug Scooby-Snax]], this is at least more than a little ironic.
15th Jan '17 8:05:41 PM ElSquibbonator
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Added DiffLines:

** Actually, ''WesternAnimation/{{Captain Planet|AndThePlaneteers}}'' as a whole often falls victim to this trope, largely due to the fact that it chooses to depict pollution and other types of environmental destruction as being caused by supervillains rather than ordinary people.
15th Jan '17 8:02:48 PM ElSquibbonator
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Added DiffLines:

*''Film/FernGullyTheLastRainforest'' runs into this if one thinks about it enough. The BigBad isn't the humans who are destroying the rainforest, but Hexxus, an ancient demon of pollution who is freed from his prison in a tree and proceeds to destroy the land around himself. Likewise, it is the fairies' magic, not any environmentalist effort on the part of the humans, that ultimately defeats him As with the X-Men example above, this has the unintentional effect of making film's message seem to be "Pollution is caused by magic demons, and only more magic can stop it."
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