History Main / FamilyUnfriendlyAesop

20th Jun '17 6:49:51 PM Az_Tech341
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** "Pyramid Scheme" encourages viewers to commit Ponzi schemes, which carry very serious legal consequences. In fact, the series has, at several points, had morals saying that committing crimes to get what you want is okay and even cool. If this doesn't contribute to a sudden surge in the prison population, nothing else will.

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** "Pyramid Scheme" encourages viewers to commit Ponzi schemes, which carry very serious legal consequences. In fact, the series has, at consequences.
** For
several points, had morals saying that committing episodes, the moral of the story is "committing crimes to get what you want is okay and even cool. If this doesn't contribute to a sudden surge in the prison population, nothing else will.cool".
20th Jun '17 6:05:40 PM BNSF1995
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** "Pyramid Scheme" encourages viewers to commit Ponzi schemes, which carry very serious legal consequences. In fact, the series has, at several points, had morals saying that committing crimes to get what you want is okay and even cool. If this doesn't contribute to a sudden surge in the prison population, nothing else will.
17th Jun '17 9:19:07 PM star3catcher
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** "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000" has a more positive one than normal. Applejack's proud declaration of "I didn't learn anything! I was right all along!" flies in the face of the very concept of the end-of-episode moral lesson, particularly because the Flim-Flam brothers are clearly adults and professionals while the Mane Six are teenagers and role-models for the target audience. Most shows aren't willing to come right out and say "Adults can be wrong, stick to your guns when you know you're right."
16th Jun '17 11:37:14 PM CaptainTedium
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** There is so many to deserve nearly a subpage. See [[YMMV/TeenTitansGo the list]] in the relative section.
16th Jun '17 8:48:36 PM Az_Tech341
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* ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales'' gives us such gems as "Bubba's Big Brainstorm," where the IdiotHero becomes a genius using a special "thinking cap". Unfortunately, Bubba's desire to please his surrogate father Scrooge leads him to become a money-grubbing sociopath and lose his brute strength. To sum the episode, the Aesop is "smart people are monsters."

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* ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales'' gives us such gems as "Bubba's Big Brainstorm," where the IdiotHero becomes a genius using a special "thinking cap". Unfortunately, Bubba's desire to please his surrogate father Scrooge leads him to become a money-grubbing sociopath and lose his brute strength. To sum the episode, the Aesop is "smart people are monsters.monsters, so stay stupid."
16th Jun '17 8:47:04 PM Az_Tech341
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* ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales'' gave us such gems as "Bubba's Big Brainstorm," where the IdiotHero becomes a genius using a special "thinking cap." Unfortunately, Bubba's desire to please his surrogate father Scrooge leads him to become a money-grubbing sociopath and lose his brute strength. The intention was probably "to thine own self be true," but it came out a lot more like "smart people are monsters, so live by instinct."

to:

* ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales'' gave gives us such gems as "Bubba's Big Brainstorm," where the IdiotHero becomes a genius using a special "thinking cap." cap". Unfortunately, Bubba's desire to please his surrogate father Scrooge leads him to become a money-grubbing sociopath and lose his brute strength. The intention was probably "to thine own self be true," but it came out a lot more like To sum the episode, the Aesop is "smart people are monsters, so live by instinct.monsters."
16th Jun '17 8:23:46 PM GoblinCipher
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* ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales'' gave us such gems as "Bubba's Big Brainstorm," where the IdiotHero becomes a genius using a special "thinking cap." Unfortunately, Bubba's desire to please his surrogate father Scrooge leads him to become a money-grubbing sociopath and lose his brute strength. The intention was probably "to thine own self be true," but it came out a lot more like "smart people are monsters, so live by instinct."
15th Jun '17 6:27:08 PM Az_Tech341
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** Or, from Sam's (the pickle seller) perspective: if you're a really nice guy who's genuinely interested in the woman you've been introduced to, be prepared to be dragged though the dirt and feel like a complete schmuck before you can finally end up with her. (Amongst the things Izzy does to him: [[spoiler: invites him out on a date 'just'' to pawn him off on her best friend; when she finally invites him back to her apartment for some time together, letting in the married neighbour who keeps coming round when he falls out with his wife, and with whom Izzy is heavily implied to be sleeping; third, standing him up on a date because the author guy she's been after tries to woo her..]].)

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** Or, from Sam's (the pickle seller) perspective: if you're a really nice guy who's genuinely interested in the woman you've been introduced to, be prepared to be dragged though the dirt and feel like a complete schmuck before you can finally end up with her. (Amongst the things Izzy does to him: [[spoiler: invites him out on a date 'just'' ''just'' to pawn him off on her best friend; when she finally invites him back to her apartment for some time together, letting in the married neighbour who keeps coming round when he falls out with his wife, and with whom Izzy is heavily implied to be sleeping; third, standing him up on a date because the author guy she's been after tries to woo her..]].her]].)
15th Jun '17 6:07:15 PM merotoker
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* The Truth anti-tobacco initiative's [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPS9Op5dhCw "Left Swipe Dat"]] music video tries to get its anti-tobacco message across by having [[WereStillRelevantDammit popular YouTubers and Vine-makers]] sing a song about instantly rejecting people on Tinder if they smoke cigarettes in their profile pics. It's basically two Family-Unfriendly Aesops at once: "If you enjoy a frowned-upon vice, make sure you don't advertise it to potential romantic partners!" and "Don't even consider speaking to someone -- or even learning anything else about them -- if they have a personal habit that you don't approve of!"
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_182kIOPRvo This anti-tobacco ad]] from the Truth campaign mentions that smokers earn less money than non-smokers. Ignoring the accuracy or lack thereof, the ad doesn't portray this as a case of wage discrimination, but instead uses this fact to encourage smokers to quit, as if they deserve lower wages because of their habit.

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* The Truth anti-tobacco initiative's initiatives
**
[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPS9Op5dhCw com/watch?v=ivgb4hUKzS4 "Left Swipe Dat"]] music video tries to get its anti-tobacco message across by having [[WereStillRelevantDammit popular YouTubers and Vine-makers]] sing a song about instantly rejecting people on Tinder if they smoke cigarettes in their profile pics. It's basically two Family-Unfriendly Aesops at once: "If you enjoy a frowned-upon vice, make sure you don't advertise it to potential romantic partners!" and "Don't even consider speaking to someone -- or even learning anything else about them -- if they have a personal habit that you don't approve of!"
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_182kIOPRvo This anti-tobacco ad]] from the Truth campaign mentions that smokers earn less money than non-smokers. Ignoring the accuracy or lack thereof, the ad doesn't portray this as a case of wage discrimination, but instead uses this fact to encourage smokers to quit, as if they deserve lower wages because of their habit.



* At the end of ''Anime/EdenOfTheEast'', Akira (the hero) makes a comment to the effect that Japanese have great potential but need someone to rule them to unlock that potential. In the end, though, it actually subverts this aesop by more or less stating that while it might achieve great results, it would be wrong to do so. Similarly, Akira/the series seems to take the viewpoint that since national tragedies/catastrophes bring a country together, causing one is a great idea so long as you can figure out a way of doing it without killing anyone.
* ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'' had an episode in which the digidestined are trapped in an underwater rig that is slowly running out of air, with only one escape pod: despite knowing that he's afraid of water, the kids coerce Cody into going, creating the AccidentalAesop of "it's okay to force your friends to have contact with their phobias - it'll help them!" (Note that this is dub-induced; the phobia is nonexistent in the original Japanese version.) Upon reaching the surface, he finds out that to get Joe's help, he would have to lie, something Cody is deeply uncomfortable with, to the point that he later feels that he doesn't deserve the digi-egg of Reliability. This leads to the episode's aesop: ''that lying is sometimes perfectly okay, if you have a good reason for doing it.'' While this isn't necessarily a damaging message (as depending on the context, white lies can be beneficial), it is incredibly odd considering that most children's shows would advocate for honesty.

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* At the end of ''Anime/EdenOfTheEast'', Akira (the hero) makes a comment to the effect that Japanese have great potential but need someone to rule them to unlock that potential. In the end, though, it actually subverts this aesop Aesop by more or less stating that while it might achieve great results, it would be wrong to do so. Similarly, Akira/the series seems to take the viewpoint that since national tragedies/catastrophes bring a country together, causing one is a great idea so long as you can figure out a way of doing it without killing anyone.
* ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'' had an episode in which the digidestined are trapped in an underwater rig that is slowly running out of air, with only one escape pod: despite knowing that he's afraid of water, the kids coerce Cody into going, creating the AccidentalAesop of "it's okay to force your friends to have contact with their phobias - it'll help them!" (Note that this is dub-induced; the phobia is nonexistent in the original Japanese version.) Upon reaching the surface, he finds out that to get Joe's help, he would have to lie, something Cody is deeply uncomfortable with, to the point that he later feels that he doesn't deserve the digi-egg of Reliability. This leads to the episode's aesop: Aesop: ''that lying is sometimes perfectly okay, if you have a good reason for doing it.'' While this isn't necessarily a damaging message (as depending on the context, white lies can be beneficial), it is incredibly odd considering that most children's shows would advocate for honesty.



** The aesop here is in fact even worse than that, as characters like Naruto, Hashirama, and Minato are endlessly forgiving of the Uchiha clan ''long'' before this plot twist is revealed or even hinted at and have always viewed them as fallen friends, and in truth, this twist seemed to have been tacked on just to retroactively excuse their misdeeds. It actually ends up being "If you consider someone your friend, you should forgive anything wrong they do based solely on that."

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** The aesop Aesop here is in fact even worse than that, as characters like Naruto, Hashirama, and Minato are endlessly forgiving of the Uchiha clan ''long'' before this plot twist is revealed or even hinted at and have always viewed them as fallen friends, and in truth, this twist seemed to have been tacked on just to retroactively excuse their misdeeds. It actually ends up being "If you consider someone your friend, you should forgive anything wrong they do based solely on that."



* The moral of ''Comicbook/BirdsOfPrey: The Battle Within'', the arc from issues 76 to 85, appears to be the fairly stock aesop of "You should accept your friends for who they are and not try to change them," except that what Oracle was trying to change about ComicBook/{{Huntress}} is her tendency to kill people. In the end, Oracle apologizes to Huntress, and, in the ''Dead of Winter'' story arc (issues 104-108), actually tells Huntress to use deadly force against the ComicBook/SecretSix if she thinks it appropriate, making the moral that sometimes killing people is a good idea.

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* The moral of ''Comicbook/BirdsOfPrey: The Battle Within'', the arc from issues 76 to 85, appears to be the fairly stock aesop Aesop of "You should accept your friends for who they are and not try to change them," except that what Oracle was trying to change about ComicBook/{{Huntress}} is her tendency to kill people. In the end, Oracle apologizes to Huntress, and, in the ''Dead of Winter'' story arc (issues 104-108), actually tells Huntress to use deadly force against the ComicBook/SecretSix if she thinks it appropriate, making the moral that sometimes killing people is a good idea.



* One of the Mass Effect: Foundation comics, had Kaidan's father offer the advice that even the right decision has terrible consequences.
* Lampshaded in the ''X-Men'' graphic novel "God Loves, Man Kills." A policeman incapacitates Rev. Stryker at a rally as Stryker was prepared to shoot and kill Kitty Pryde. Another policeman said "If that's the word of God, then it's been a long time since I've been to church."

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* One of the Mass Effect: Foundation ''Franchise/MassEffect: Foundation'' comics, had Kaidan's father offer the advice that even the right decision has terrible consequences.
* Lampshaded in the ''X-Men'' ''ComicBook/XMen'' graphic novel "God Loves, Man Kills."ComicBook/GodLovesManKills." A policeman incapacitates Rev. Stryker at a rally as Stryker [[WouldHurtAChild was prepared to shoot and kill Kitty Pryde.Pryde]]. Another policeman said "If that's the word of God, then it's been a long time since I've been to church."



To summarize what we learn from this tale: cheating on your wife to rape somebody is fine so long as your victim [[DudeShesLikeInAComa isn't conscious to experience any of it]] and [[ShotgunWedding you marry her to legitimize her children]]; if someone who raped and impregnated you while you were in a coma is rich and powerful, his offer to marry you is a good deal and you should accept it; and if you go seeking revenge on your husband for cheating on you, [[HeWhoFightsMonsters your jealousy will turn you into]] an AxeCrazy shrew who'll let RevengeBeforeReason overtake her.

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To summarize what we learn from this tale: cheating on your wife to rape somebody is fine so long as your victim [[DudeShesLikeInAComa isn't conscious to experience any of it]] and [[ShotgunWedding you marry her to legitimize her children]]; if someone who raped and impregnated you while you were in a coma is rich and powerful, his offer to marry you is a good deal and you should accept it; and if you go seeking revenge on your husband for cheating on you, [[HeWhoFightsMonsters your jealousy will turn you into]] an AxeCrazy AxCrazy shrew who'll let RevengeBeforeReason overtake her.



* ''FanFic/ShatteredReflection'': This ''VideoGames/FireEmblemAwakening'' has a pretty interesting lesson taught to the two main protagonists through experience with the ''other'' protagonists. [[BeingGoodSucks No matter how hard you try to do right by others and support the people you love, there will still be individuals who treat you like shit for completely arbitrary reasons. You should try to do the right thing anyway.]]

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* ''FanFic/ShatteredReflection'': This ''VideoGames/FireEmblemAwakening'' story has a pretty interesting lesson taught to the two main protagonists through experience with the ''other'' protagonists. [[BeingGoodSucks No matter how hard you try to do right by others and support the people you love, there will still be individuals who treat you like shit for completely arbitrary reasons. You should try to do the right thing anyway.]]



* ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon2'': Hiccup learns the surprisingly dark aesop that some people simply cannot be reasoned with and can only be brought down by violence. This drives his entire conflict with his father, as Hiccup believes he can talk sense into the BigBad while TheGoodKing Stoick knows better than to even try.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'' teaches against TallPoppySyndrome and false accomplishments - pretending that everyone is equally special is wrong, because some people really are better at certain things than others, and trying to bring them down to the level of everyone else will ultimately only make everyone worse off. While "be who you are, not who others want you to be" sounds like a fairly family-friendly aesop, the rather cynical implication is that people in general will always tend to envy you for being better than they are unless your superiority is immediately beneficial to them. It also gets [[CluelessAesop a bit muddy]] when the same ArcWords ("When everyone is special, no one is") are used by both the protagonists to complain about artificial praise devaluing praise for the genuinely extraordinary, and the antagonist to describe his plan to democratize superpowers through technology, implicitly equating the two (and framing the latter as villainous).

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* ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon2'': Hiccup learns the surprisingly dark aesop Aesop that some people simply cannot be reasoned with and can only be brought down by violence. This drives his entire conflict with his father, as Hiccup believes he can talk sense into the BigBad while TheGoodKing Stoick knows better than to even try.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'' teaches against TallPoppySyndrome and false accomplishments - pretending that everyone is equally special is wrong, because some people really are better at certain things than others, and trying to bring them down to the level of everyone else will ultimately only make everyone worse off. While "be who you are, not who others want you to be" sounds like a fairly family-friendly aesop, Aesop, the rather cynical implication is that people in general will always tend to envy you for being better than they are unless your superiority is immediately beneficial to them. It also gets [[CluelessAesop a bit muddy]] when the same ArcWords ("When everyone is special, no one is") are used by both the protagonists to complain about artificial praise devaluing praise for the genuinely extraordinary, and the antagonist to describe his plan to democratize superpowers through technology, implicitly equating the two (and framing the latter as villainous).



** A rather broken message in that the Oozma Kappa monsters ''do'' ultimately become successful scarers through a combination of hard work and sheer creativity. Mike is the only member never to do this, sticking with the standard "jump out and say 'rawr' method" and giving up when it fails him miserably. A more accurate, albeit unintentional aesop might go something like "be prepared to revise your approach multiple times."

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** A rather broken message in that the Oozma Kappa monsters ''do'' ultimately become successful scarers through a combination of hard work and sheer creativity. Mike is the only member never to do this, sticking with the standard "jump out and say 'rawr' method" and giving up when it fails him miserably. A more accurate, albeit unintentional aesop Aesop might go something like "be prepared to revise your approach multiple times."



** Or, from Sam's (the pickle seller) perspective: if you're a really nice guy who's genuinely interested in the woman you've been introduced to, be prepared to be dragged though the dirt and feel like a complete schmuck before you can finally end up with her. (Amongst the things Izzy does to him: [[spoiler: invites him out on a date 'just'' to pawn him off on her best friend; when she finally invites him back to her apartment for some time together, letting in the married neighbour who keeps coming round when he falls out with his wife, and with whom Izzy is heavily implied to be sleeping; third, standing him up on a date because the author guy she's been after tries to woo her...]])

to:

** Or, from Sam's (the pickle seller) perspective: if you're a really nice guy who's genuinely interested in the woman you've been introduced to, be prepared to be dragged though the dirt and feel like a complete schmuck before you can finally end up with her. (Amongst the things Izzy does to him: [[spoiler: invites him out on a date 'just'' to pawn him off on her best friend; when she finally invites him back to her apartment for some time together, letting in the married neighbour who keeps coming round when he falls out with his wife, and with whom Izzy is heavily implied to be sleeping; third, standing him up on a date because the author guy she's been after tries to woo her...]])her..]].)



* While the original ''Film/DeathWish'' makes it clear that the main character, Paul Kersey, has become unbalanced due to his trials and vigilante actions, the sequels increasingly support vigilantism as a necessary means to clean up the streets.
** Well, ''some'' people think Paul Kersey is unbalanced, apparently on the theory that it's impossible for a sane person to believe that "Sometimes ViolenceReallyIsTheAnswer." Others see Kersey as having woken up to reality.

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* While the original ''Film/DeathWish'' makes it clear that the main character, Paul Kersey, has become unbalanced due to his trials and vigilante actions, the sequels increasingly support vigilantism as a necessary means to clean up the streets.
**
streets. Well, ''some'' people think Paul Kersey is unbalanced, apparently on the theory that it's impossible for a sane person to believe that "Sometimes ViolenceReallyIsTheAnswer." Others see Kersey as having woken up to reality.



* ''Film/SoulFood'': Ironically, it plays out more like Family-''Friendly''. Career-focused oldest sister Teri is on her second marriage, which is itself in serious trouble and she's such a bitch that when her husband cheats on her, our sympathies are clearly supposed to be with ''him''. Meanwhile, second sister Maxine is a HappilyMarried housewife and mother of three kids. It's not hard to assume the writers are implying that career women are bad while stay-at-home mom's are good.

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* ''Film/SoulFood'': Ironically, it plays out more like Family-''Friendly''. Career-focused oldest sister Teri is on her second marriage, which is itself in serious trouble and she's such a bitch that when her husband cheats on her, our sympathies are clearly supposed to be with ''him''. Meanwhile, second sister Maxine is a HappilyMarried housewife and mother of three kids. It's not hard to assume the writers are implying that career women are bad while stay-at-home mom's moms are good.



* One of the StockAesops is that cowardice doesn't pay. In extreme cases, the brave survives where the coward dies (sometimes DrivenToSuicide), or alternatively they both survive/die, but the coward is marked forever. So it comes as a tragic surprise that in ''Literature/BridgeToTerabithia'', [[spoiler:Leslie, who had no fear from the creek, drowns, whereas Jess, who feared the water (and couldn't swim) survives--and while he does suffer, it's not because of cowardice]].
** Although one could interpret Leslie's behavior not as courage but as recklessness. In the book, there is some indication of weather which is affecting the creek, making conditions more unfavorable for crossing. Moreover, Leslie attempted to swing across the creek despite being alone. Thus, she acted without proper awareness of or respect for her environment and circumstances. The real [[AnAesop Aesop]] could be about having courage but tempering it with caution, as Jesse does by resuming the game, building a sturdy bridge so he can safely cross the creek.

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* One of the StockAesops is that cowardice doesn't pay. In extreme cases, the brave survives where the coward dies (sometimes DrivenToSuicide), or alternatively they both survive/die, but the coward is marked forever. So it comes as a tragic surprise that in ''Literature/BridgeToTerabithia'', [[spoiler:Leslie, who had no fear from the creek, drowns, whereas Jess, who feared the water (and couldn't swim) survives--and while he does suffer, it's not because of cowardice]].
**
cowardice]]. Although one could interpret [[spoiler: Leslie's behavior not as courage but as recklessness. In the book, there is some indication of weather which is affecting the creek, making conditions more unfavorable for crossing. Moreover, Leslie attempted to swing across the creek despite being alone. Thus, she acted without proper awareness of or respect for her environment and circumstances. The real [[AnAesop Aesop]] Aesop could be about having courage but tempering it with caution, as Jesse does by resuming the game, building a sturdy bridge so he can safely cross the creek.creek]].



* Creator/RoaldDahl's ''Esio Trot'' teaches children that it's perfectly acceptable to deceive the people you love in order to get your way. [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans The End Justifies the Means]], [[SarcasmMode after all]].

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* Creator/RoaldDahl's ''Esio Trot'' ''Literature/EsioTrot'' teaches children that it's perfectly acceptable to deceive the people you love in order to get your way. [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans The End Justifies the Means]], [[SarcasmMode after all]].



* ''Literature/ThePrincessBride'' has one in-universe: the narrator notes how horrified as a kid he was, because some events of the story just didn't work out as as they did in traditional fairy tales and adventure stories, and found relief only when he realized that the aesop was "life is not fair".

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* ''Literature/ThePrincessBride'' has one in-universe: the narrator notes how horrified as a kid he was, because some events of the story just didn't work out as as they did in traditional fairy tales and adventure stories, and found relief only when he realized that the aesop Aesop was "life is not fair".



* A character in ''Literature/SlaughterhouseFive'' suggests that Literature/TheBible's aesop is that [[ComicallyMissingThePoint you should make sure someone doesn't have connections before you kill them]].

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* A character in ''Literature/SlaughterhouseFive'' suggests that Literature/TheBible's aesop Aesop is that [[ComicallyMissingThePoint you should make sure someone doesn't have connections before you kill them]].



* In the later ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' novels, the aesops start to draw strongly on Objectivist themes. The anti-communist themes are pulled straight from Ayn Rand. People who try to give charity to others and "spread the wealth" ultimately turn poor people into lazy, greedy assholes and destroy the economy.

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* In the later ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' novels, the aesops Aesops start to draw strongly on Objectivist themes. The anti-communist themes are pulled straight from Ayn Rand. People who try to give charity to others and "spread the wealth" ultimately turn poor people into lazy, greedy assholes and destroy the economy.



* The plot of the ''Series/AmazingStories'' episode: "Gather Ye Acorns". A small elf tells a kid to forget about studying to be a doctor and that hard work is not a virtue. "There's doctors aplenty is this world," he says, "What we could truly do with is a few more dreamers." We switch from 1932 to 1938 and he winds up spending all his hard-earned money on a fancy car. His dad is a little peeved, to say the least, and boots him out of the house. Years go by and the boy is now old, broke, friendless, homeless and trying to beg for enough money to gas up his car to commit suicide with it. But a wealthy lady notices some collector's piece in his collection of junk and offers him $10,000 for it. Cut to him now wealthy from selling all his childhood collectables. It turns out that all his artifacts are worth millions. He's now WealthyEverAfter, but it has cost him most of his life and now has only a short amount of time to enjoy it. This is treated as a happy ending, with the message: Don't work, don't make plans, don't have relationships with friends or family, and most of all: hoard. Money is the most important thing in life, and someday you may become rich when you're extremely old which will make up for the poverty, loneliness and misery you have made for yourself up to that point. Maybe he would have lived a more fulfilling life as a doctor helping people? Or perhaps he could still have worked and maintained relationships and held onto his keepsakes?



*** In "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS34E11DarkWater Dark Water]]", Clara is willing to stab the Doctor in the back, cut him off from the TARDIS forever and possibly condemn both himself and her to death in lava just because the Doctor won't break the laws of time to save her boyfriend, and while this isn't portrayed entirely sympathetically (and Clara breaks down into tears upon realizing what she's doing) the Doctor reveals he was testing her to see how far she would go and tells her "Do you think I care about you so little that your betrayal means anything?" Both sides of this are loaded with unfortunate readings as the aesop seems to be that unconditional love even forgives really bad things -- at least if the beloved is genuinely sorry.

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*** In "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS34E11DarkWater Dark Water]]", Clara is willing to stab the Doctor in the back, cut him off from the TARDIS forever and possibly condemn both himself and her to death in lava just because the Doctor won't break the laws of time to save her boyfriend, and while this isn't portrayed entirely sympathetically (and Clara breaks down into tears upon realizing what she's doing) the Doctor reveals he was testing her to see how far she would go and tells her "Do you think I care about you so little that your betrayal means anything?" Both sides of this are loaded with unfortunate readings as the aesop Aesop seems to be that unconditional love even forgives really bad things -- at least if the beloved is genuinely sorry.



* ''Series/{{Friends}}'': "The One With The Cat" where Phoebe thinks a stray cat is her reincarnated mother. After learning the cat belongs to a little girl, Monica, Rachel, Chandler and Joey all wimp out at telling Phoebe, and Ross alone goes through with it. When Phoebe decides to keep the cat because she has to respect her mother's wish to be with her, her friends all wimp out again, and only Ross insists on putting an end to this. For this, Ross gets chewed out for being a bad friend, because he wasn't supportive of Phoebe, like the others were. The problem with that is that Ross ''was'' supportive of Phoebe, and only stopped humoring her when he found out about the little girl. The only real difference between Ross and the others was that he was unwilling to let Phoebe keep the cat at the little girl's expense. Apparently, being a good friend means you have to support somebody unconditionally, even when they're totally wrong, when they're being selfish, or when their actions would actually hurt an innocent child.
** Years later, it turns out that the reason why the episode turned out this way was because [[CreatorBreakdown one of the writers, co-creator Marta Kauffman, lost her own mother at the time]]. The other writers mentioned in an interview years later that the episode being written to take Phoebe's inane side would NEVER had been green-lit had it not been for the circumstances surrounding it.

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* ''Series/FreaksAndGeeks'' could deliver one on occasion:
** In the episode "I'm With The Band", the underlying message is that sometimes your biggest dream in life is nothing more than a pie in the sky fantasy.
** "Chokin' And Tokin'" has the underlying message that, sometimes, people bully you because they personally feel burned by a nasty thing you might have done to them previously. Granted, Alan's reason for bullying the geeks was pretty petty, but the point still remains.
** The entire Nick/Lindsey arc has the underlying message that, sometimes, simply being "nice" doesn't cut it when you're interested in somebody.
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'': "The One With The Cat" where Phoebe thinks a stray cat is her reincarnated mother. After learning the cat belongs to a little girl, Monica, Rachel, Chandler and Joey all wimp out at telling Phoebe, and Ross alone goes through with it. When Phoebe decides to keep the cat because she has to respect her mother's wish to be with her, her friends all wimp out again, and only Ross insists on putting an end to this. For this, Ross gets chewed out for being a bad friend, because he wasn't supportive of Phoebe, like the others were. The problem with that is that Ross ''was'' supportive of Phoebe, and only stopped humoring her when he found out about the little girl. The only real difference between Ross and the others was that he was unwilling to let Phoebe keep the cat at the little girl's expense. Apparently, being a good friend means you have to support somebody unconditionally, even when they're totally wrong, when they're being selfish, or when their actions would actually hurt an innocent child.
**
child. Years later, it turns out that the reason why the episode turned out this way was because [[CreatorBreakdown one of the writers, co-creator Marta Kauffman, lost her own mother at the time]]. The other writers mentioned in an interview years later that the episode being written to take Phoebe's inane side would NEVER had been green-lit had it not been for the circumstances surrounding it.



* ''Series/FreaksAndGeeks'' could deliver one on occasion:
** In the episode "I'm With The Band", the underlying message is that sometimes your biggest dream in life is nothing more than a pie in the sky fantasy.
** "Chokin' And Tokin'" has the underlying message that, sometimes, people bully you because they personally feel burned by a nasty thing you might have done to them previously. Granted, Alan's reason for bullying the geeks was pretty petty, but the point still remains.
** The entire Nick/Lindsey arc has the underlying message that, sometimes, simply being "nice" doesn't cut it when you're interested in somebody.



* In ''Series/MortalKombatConquest'', Kung Lao is the fated champion of the Earth Realm in the next tournament, and so must survive for our world to have any chance. In one episode, he sets off into an obvious trap to get the antidote his poisoned friends need to survive, despite their telling him not to do it. He succeeds and cures them, leading to the Family-Unfriendly Aesop that your close friends are more important than the entirety of humanity. And then Raiden shows up, in his full godly fury, to tell him quite emphatically that yes, his friends were right, and Kung Lao really is more important than them. Raiden's aesop was that the safety of the entire world is more important than one person's circle of friends.

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* In ''Series/MortalKombatConquest'', Kung Lao is the fated champion of the Earth Realm in the next tournament, and so must survive for our world to have any chance. In one episode, he sets off into an obvious trap to get the antidote his poisoned friends need to survive, despite their telling him not to do it. He succeeds and cures them, leading to the Family-Unfriendly Aesop that your close friends are more important than the entirety of humanity. And then Raiden shows up, in his full godly fury, to tell him quite emphatically that yes, his friends were right, and Kung Lao really is more important than them. Raiden's aesop Aesop was that the safety of the entire world is more important than one person's circle of friends.



** Some -- but not all -- of these aesops are in the process of being reversed now that [[spoiler: Rumplestiltskin has lost nearly everything he had because he refused to change. He and Regina even discuss the "if you're sneaky about it, you can get everything" aesop shortly before Rumples point of view is proven wrong]]. Regina also suffers from a repeated failure to get permanent happiness which is implied to be the work of LaserGuidedKarma.

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** Some -- but not all -- of these aesops Aesops are in the process of being reversed now that [[spoiler: Rumplestiltskin has lost nearly everything he had because he refused to change. He and Regina even discuss the "if you're sneaky about it, you can get everything" aesop Aesop shortly before Rumples point of view is proven wrong]]. Regina also suffers from a repeated failure to get permanent happiness which is implied to be the work of LaserGuidedKarma.



* Creator/PennAndTeller are often prone to opposing mainstream aesops in ''[[Series/PennAndTellerBullshit Bullshit!]]'' Perhaps an especially memorable case is Holier Than Thou, wherein they had some memorably harsh criticisms of such popularly revered figures as Mother Teresa, UsefulNotes/MahatmaGandhi, and the Dalai Lama, but especially Mother Teresa. They've also argued that polyamorous couples can successfully raise children and that teen sex isn't that big a deal.

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* Creator/PennAndTeller are often prone to opposing mainstream aesops Aesops in ''[[Series/PennAndTellerBullshit Bullshit!]]'' Perhaps an especially memorable case is Holier Than Thou, wherein they had some memorably harsh criticisms of such popularly revered figures as Mother Teresa, UsefulNotes/MahatmaGandhi, and the Dalai Lama, but especially Mother Teresa. They've also argued that polyamorous couples can successfully raise children and that teen sex isn't that big a deal.



* The plot of the ''Series/AmazingStories'' episode: "Gather Ye Acorns". A small elf tells a kid to forget about studying to be a doctor and that hard work is not a virtue. "There's doctors aplenty is this world," he says, "What we could truly do with is a few more dreamers." We switch from 1932 to 1938 and he winds up spending all his hard-earned money on a fancy car. His dad is a little peeved, to say the least, and boots him out of the house. Years go by and the boy is now old, broke, friendless, homeless and trying to beg for enough money to gas up his car to commit suicide with it. But a wealthy lady notices some collector's piece in his collection of junk and offers him $10,000 for it. Cut to him now wealthy from selling all his childhood collectables. It turns out that all his artifacts are worth millions. He's now WealthyEverAfter, but it has cost him most of his life and now has only a short amount of time to enjoy it. This is treated as a happy ending, with the message: Don't work, don't make plans, don't have relationships with friends or family, and most of all: hoard. Money is the most important thing in life, and someday you may become rich when you're extremely old which will make up for the poverty, loneliness and misery you have made for yourself up to that point. Maybe he would have lived a more fulfilling life as a doctor helping people? Or perhaps he could still have worked and maintained relationships and held onto his keepsakes?



* "Black Tie White Noise" by Music/DavidBowie has one of these aesops, the result of it being written in the wake of the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles: Racial harmony is possible but don't imagine it's going to be easy to achieve, or that there won't be violence along the way ("There'll be some blood, no doubt about it"). Not a ''comfortable'' Aesop, but if history's taught us anything...

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* "Black Tie White Noise" by Music/DavidBowie has one of these aesops, Aesops, the result of it being written in the wake of the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles: Racial harmony is possible but don't imagine it's going to be easy to achieve, or that there won't be violence along the way ("There'll be some blood, no doubt about it"). Not a ''comfortable'' Aesop, but if history's taught us anything...



* Music/CarrieUnderwood's song "Church Bells" describes a girl marrying a physically abusive partner who repeatedly abused her. That is, until she reaches her breaking point and dishes out some, err, lethal justice. This self-enforced death sentence would prevent him from abusing any other woman and you could possibly call it self-defensive, yes, but she's legally a murderer, a lot worse then anything he did to her. The other message being taught here? Don't trust the police, if you want justice served then best do it yourself and in an unlawful fashion. Depending on the society which the listener is in, this could be quite possibly a painful reality, especially in difficult to prove cases including rape.

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* Music/CarrieUnderwood's Music/CarrieUnderwood
** The
song "Church Bells" describes a girl marrying a physically abusive partner who repeatedly abused her. That is, until she reaches her breaking point and dishes out some, err, lethal justice. This self-enforced death sentence would prevent him from abusing any other woman and you could possibly call it self-defensive, yes, but she's legally a murderer, a lot worse then anything he did to her. The other message being taught here? Don't trust the police, if you want justice served then best do it yourself and in an unlawful fashion. Depending on the society which the listener is in, this could be quite possibly a painful reality, especially in difficult to prove cases including rape.



* ''Theatre/AvenueQ'' contains many such unconventional aesops, though some are tongue-in-cheek. Examples include "TheInternetIsForPorn" and "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist." Another Aesop in the show is "there's nothing wrong with being gay," which on one occasion is humorously expanded to "it's perfectly fine if you're gay, unless you're a Republican." The biggest Aesop in the play can be summed up in Lucy the Slut's line: "Everyone only has one revelation in life: they find out they aren't special."

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* ''Theatre/AvenueQ'' contains many such unconventional aesops, Aesops, though some are tongue-in-cheek. Examples include "TheInternetIsForPorn" and "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist." Another Aesop in the show is "there's nothing wrong with being gay," which on one occasion is humorously expanded to "it's perfectly fine if you're gay, unless you're a Republican." The biggest Aesop in the play can be summed up in Lucy the Slut's line: "Everyone only has one revelation in life: they find out they aren't special."



* Jack Bradley's drama ''Marital AIDS'': Judi works as an adviser on the cases of HIV infected employees dealing with prejudice. One case of hers turns out to be [[ManlyGay Brian]], long time friend of her husband Ryk. Hell breaks loose in their marriage when it turns out that [[BiTheWay Ryk]] had (and still has) a long-term romance with Brian, so Ryk himself and even Judi is threatened with HIV infection. Judi storms out of their home, but a while later we can see them back together, [[BookEnds feeding ducks in the park]]. Ryk never shows repentance for his cheating, and argues that Judi should embrace that as part of the personality she fell in love with, while explaining that he, as a bisexual, feels the need for a male friendship '''and''' her to be fulfilled, and Judi accepts all of these [[EsotericHappyEnding in the end]]. The play therefore has the aesop that we should condone our partners cheating on us because it's part of [[IntolerableTolerance accepting our beloved as they are]], with an underlying message that bisexuals are polyamorous by their very nature and cannot stay in a committed monogamous relationship (not to mention that it's acceptable to expose your partners to potentially deadly infections, and in general, keeping the partner in the dark about aspects greatly concerning their life, and thus trapping them into a deal with terms they couldn't consent).

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* Jack Bradley's drama ''Marital AIDS'': Judi works as an adviser on the cases of HIV infected employees dealing with prejudice. One case of hers turns out to be [[ManlyGay Brian]], long time friend of her husband Ryk. Hell breaks loose in their marriage when it turns out that [[BiTheWay Ryk]] had (and still has) a long-term romance with Brian, so Ryk himself and even Judi is threatened with HIV infection. Judi storms out of their home, but a while later we can see them back together, [[BookEnds feeding ducks in the park]]. Ryk never shows repentance for his cheating, and argues that Judi should embrace that as part of the personality she fell in love with, while explaining that he, as a bisexual, feels the need for a male friendship '''and''' her to be fulfilled, and Judi accepts all of these [[EsotericHappyEnding in the end]]. The play therefore has the aesop Aesop that we should condone our partners cheating on us because it's part of [[IntolerableTolerance accepting our beloved as they are]], with an underlying message that bisexuals are polyamorous by their very nature and cannot stay in a committed monogamous relationship (not to mention that it's acceptable to expose your partners to potentially deadly infections, and in general, keeping the partner in the dark about aspects greatly concerning their life, and thus trapping them into a deal with terms they couldn't consent).



* ''VideoGame/BeyondTwoSouls'' Has a similar one to the ''[[http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/576095 Loneliness]]'' example below where one of the antagonists who's primary motivation is to just see his dead family again shoots himself... and instantly becomes a spirit reunited with his family who happily welcome him despite the years of unwitting torture. The extremely dark aesop being ''off yourself and you'll immediately be reunited with your loved ones with no consequences.''

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* ''VideoGame/BeyondTwoSouls'' Has a similar one to the ''[[http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/576095 Loneliness]]'' example below where one of the antagonists who's primary motivation is to just see his dead family again shoots himself... and instantly becomes a spirit reunited with his family who happily welcome him despite the years of unwitting torture. The extremely dark aesop Aesop being ''off yourself and you'll immediately be reunited with your loved ones with no consequences.''



* One of the major aesops in ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' (besides the obvious [[CaptainObviousAesop "racism is bad"]] one) is about knowing when the quit, and that sticking to your beliefs isn't always a good thing. Lloyd and the BigBad act as basically a {{Deconstruction}} of the {{Determinator}} trope, with Lloyd eventually learning that he needs to change his outlook on the world and becoming a better person as a result, while the BigBad stubbornly refuses to change to the bitter end, even when [[spoiler: his own sister, who he was enacting his schemes for to begin with]] tells him that what he's doing is wrong and he needs to stop.

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* One of the major aesops Aesops in ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' (besides the obvious [[CaptainObviousAesop "racism is bad"]] one) is about knowing when the quit, and that sticking to your beliefs isn't always a good thing. Lloyd and the BigBad act as basically a {{Deconstruction}} of the {{Determinator}} trope, with Lloyd eventually learning that he needs to change his outlook on the world and becoming a better person as a result, while the BigBad stubbornly refuses to change to the bitter end, even when [[spoiler: his own sister, who he was enacting his schemes for to begin with]] tells him that what he's doing is wrong and he needs to stop.



* Junpei's subplot in ''VisualNovel/ZeroTimeDilemma'' basically goes 'Trusting people might fatally backfire on you, but trusting nobody will ''definitely'' kill you'. Even when the group he's in starts to actually work together, they do so not out of trust (or even mutual respect) but because they'll die if they don't and nobody has the time to think up a better plan. Similarly, in [[VisualNovel/VirtuesLastReward the second game]], [[spoiler:Junpei raised [[MoralityPet the orphan Quark]] not because he wanted to be a father but because, post-apocalypse, all human lives are precious. This causes a lot of friction between the two.]]

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* Junpei's subplot in ''VisualNovel/ZeroTimeDilemma'' basically goes 'Trusting people might fatally backfire on you, but trusting nobody will ''definitely'' kill you'. Even when the group he's in starts to actually work together, they do so not out of trust (or even mutual respect) but because they'll die if they don't and nobody has the time to think up a better plan. Similarly, in [[VisualNovel/VirtuesLastReward the second game]], [[spoiler:Junpei raised [[MoralityPet the orphan Quark]] not because he wanted to be a father but because, post-apocalypse, all human lives are precious. This causes a lot of friction between the two.]]
two]].



* Discussed at length in WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic's "Top 11 ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' Episodes", where he names "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS2E1BartGetsAnF Bart Gets an F]]" his favorite episode of the show, in large part, because it's the rare piece of pop culture that's brave enough to teach the Family-Unfriendly Aesop "Failure is an unavoidable part of life--and we all fail sometimes, even when we try our very hardest." He argues that this is one of the most important lessons that anyone can learn, but admits that it's rarely used as AnAesop in pop culture because it's so much more uplifting to show a protagonist succeeding through hard work.
** In the same episode, Critic discusses this trope when naming "Homer's Enemy" one of the 11 best episodes of the show. He sums up the episode's moral as "Sometimes bad things happen to good people for no reason, and sometimes dumb people are rewarded more than smart people", but argues that the episode is brilliant because it faces such a grim message so unapologetically, and [[BlackComedy manages to make it surprisingly funny]].

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* Discussed at length in WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic's "Top 11 ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' Episodes", where he names "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS2E1BartGetsAnF Bart Gets an F]]" his favorite episode of the show, in large part, because it's the rare piece of pop culture that's brave enough to teach the Family-Unfriendly Aesop "Failure is an unavoidable part of life--and we all fail sometimes, even when we try our very hardest." He argues that this is one of the most important lessons that anyone can learn, but admits that it's rarely used as AnAesop in pop culture because it's so much more uplifting to show a protagonist succeeding through hard work.
**
work. In the same episode, Critic discusses this trope when naming "Homer's Enemy" "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS8E23HomersEnemy Homer's Enemy]]" one of the 11 best episodes of the show. He sums up the episode's moral as "Sometimes bad things happen to good people for no reason, and sometimes dumb people are rewarded more than smart people", but argues that the episode is brilliant because it faces such a grim message so unapologetically, and [[BlackComedy manages to make it surprisingly funny]].



** Alternatively, flip perspectives for an equally unfriendly aesop. Don't mock and belittle the beliefs of others or otherwise intentionally try to piss people off even if you don't care about them; societal expectation isn't always enough to prevent violent retaliation.
*** Another alternate aesop that could be applied to this story is: if you fight or otherwise work for the freedom of others, you need to realize and accept that there will always be people who exercise that freedom in a way that you won't necessarily like or agree with, but to lash out at them in an abusive way would be the same as denying them their freedom, and that would be just as wrong.
* The short {{Fallout}} fan video "WebOriginal/{{Friendship}}!" parodies this, by teaching the viewers an important lesson about friendship is the wasteland: It doesn't exist, and those who naively believe in it make excellent {{Human Shield}}s, that have plenty of free money on them.

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** Alternatively, flip perspectives for an equally unfriendly aesop.Aesop. Don't mock and belittle the beliefs of others or otherwise intentionally try to piss people off even if you don't care about them; societal expectation isn't always enough to prevent violent retaliation.
*** Another alternate aesop Aesop that could be applied to this story is: if you fight or otherwise work for the freedom of others, you need to realize and accept that there will always be people who exercise that freedom in a way that you won't necessarily like or agree with, but to lash out at them in an abusive way would be the same as denying them their freedom, and that would be just as wrong.
* The short {{Fallout}} ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' fan video "WebOriginal/{{Friendship}}!" parodies this, by teaching the viewers an important lesson about friendship is the wasteland: It doesn't exist, and those who naively believe in it make excellent {{Human Shield}}s, that have plenty of free money on them.



** Subverted in the case where the series as a whole, but the finale in particular, looked for awhile to be building up to a very family unfriendly aesop: that sometimes ViolenceReallyIsTheAnswer. Aang spoke with all of his past lives and was told by Roku, indirectly, about how many lives they could have saved if they had "acted decisively," and by Kyoshi and Yangchen how they were willing to do "anything" to save the lives of millions of people, and that as Avatar his duty was to put the well-being of the people of the world over his own path to enlightenment. Kuruk was the only one who provided a clear opposition to the idea, advising Aang to "actively shape your own destiny." Ultimately Aang chose to go with Kuruk's advice and was given a way to stop Ozai for good without having to kill him.

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** Subverted in the case where the series as a whole, but the finale in particular, looked for awhile to be building up to a very family unfriendly aesop: Aesop: that sometimes ViolenceReallyIsTheAnswer. Aang spoke with all of his past lives and was told by Roku, indirectly, about how many lives they could have saved if they had "acted decisively," and by Kyoshi and Yangchen how they were willing to do "anything" to save the lives of millions of people, and that as Avatar his duty was to put the well-being of the people of the world over his own path to enlightenment. Kuruk was the only one who provided a clear opposition to the idea, advising Aang to "actively shape your own destiny." Ultimately Aang chose to go with Kuruk's advice and was given a way to stop Ozai for good without having to kill him.



* In ''Disney/EducationForDeath'', the Nazi school teacher uses a story of a fox hunting and eating a rabbit to point out an aesop. When Hans does what a reasonable human being would do and voices sympathy for the "poor rabbit", the teacher is horrified and punishes him, before pointing out the true moral of the story: that the rabbit should be despised for being too weak and stupid to stop the strong, cunning fox from killing him, and that the children should aspire to be like the fox. This is entirely intentional on the part of the film-makers, as Nazi ideology was very big on VirtueIsWeakness and MightMakesRight.

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* In ''Disney/EducationForDeath'', the Nazi school teacher uses a story of a fox hunting and eating a rabbit to point out an aesop.Aesop. When Hans does what a reasonable human being would do and voices sympathy for the "poor rabbit", the teacher is horrified and punishes him, before pointing out the true moral of the story: that the rabbit should be despised for being too weak and stupid to stop the strong, cunning fox from killing him, and that the children should aspire to be like the fox. This is entirely intentional on the part of the film-makers, as Nazi ideology was very big on VirtueIsWeakness and MightMakesRight.



* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' in general isn't exactly the type of show you should look for aesops in:

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* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' in general isn't exactly the type of show you should look for aesops Aesops in:



** The episode ''Brian Goes To College'' has [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Brian going (back) to college]] to get a degree he never had. Long story short, Brian has the option to get a cheat sheet from someone so he can ace the test or take the test without it and likely fail. Brian chooses to not cheat and happily tells the family that he failed! His message is that he stayed true to his morals and, when trying things on his own, "legitimately" failed so he has nothing to be ashamed of... the family says he should've just cheated.

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** The episode ''Brian "Brian Goes To College'' College" has [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Brian going (back) to college]] to get a degree he never had. Long story short, Brian has the option to get a cheat sheet from someone so he can ace the test or take the test without it and likely fail. Brian chooses to not cheat and happily tells the family that he failed! His message is that he stayed true to his morals and, when trying things on his own, "legitimately" failed so he has nothing to be ashamed of... the family says he should've just cheated.



** "[[Recap/FamilyGuyS10E2SeahorseSeashellParty Seahorse Seashell Party]]" ends with the aesop that the definition of maturity is taking physical, verbal, and emotional abuse from everyone around you, no matter what kind of damage it does to you personally, because your abusers can't handle what horrible, horrible people they are. Or, as WebVideo/TheMysteriousMrEnter said: "Abuse victims should stay in abusive relationships for the abuser's benefit".

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** "[[Recap/FamilyGuyS10E2SeahorseSeashellParty Seahorse Seashell Party]]" ends with the aesop Aesop that the definition of maturity is taking physical, verbal, and emotional abuse from everyone around you, no matter what kind of damage it does to you personally, because your abusers can't handle what horrible, horrible people they are. Or, as WebVideo/TheMysteriousMrEnter said: "Abuse victims should stay in abusive relationships for the abuser's benefit".



** In another episode Peter, his friends, (except Joe) and Mort burn down Mort's pharmacy for the insurance money when Mort's having financial troubles. Joe finds out and arrests them. While in jail, they beg him to remember a time when the insurance companies cheated him. He flashes back to when he first became handicapped and the insurance company refused him a treatment that could save him and he lets them out of jail. Even though they'll probably never do something like that again and it was probably just an excuse to return to the status quo, the whole thing comes off more like "It's okay to cheat big insurance companies because they're rich." Having Joe make them promise never to do anything so stupid again before he lets them out of jail would've helped.

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** In another episode Peter, his friends, (except Joe) Quagmire, and Mort burn down Mort's pharmacy for the insurance money when Mort's having financial troubles. Joe finds out and arrests them. While in jail, they beg him to remember a time when the insurance companies cheated him. He flashes back to when he first became handicapped and the insurance company refused him a treatment that could save him and he lets them out of jail. Even though they'll probably never do something like that again and it was probably just an excuse to return to the status quo, the whole thing comes off more like "It's okay to cheat big insurance companies because they're rich." Having Joe make them promise never to do anything so stupid again before he lets them out of jail would've helped.



* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' seemingly semi-spoofs its own Aesop. Hermes loses his job as a professional bureaucrat and later him and the gang are forced to sneak into his old office to find Bender's hard drive. When they are caught, Hermes shows just how much information he can sort as he sings a showtune about how it's what he was born to do. As the jaunty Jamaican-sounding lyrics proclaim "When push comes to shove, you gotta do what you love, even if it's not a good idea!"

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* An ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}''
** One
episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' seemingly semi-spoofs its own Aesop. Hermes loses his job as a professional bureaucrat and later him and the gang are forced to sneak into his old office to find Bender's hard drive. When they are caught, Hermes shows just how much information he can sort as he sings a showtune about how it's what he was born to do. As the jaunty Jamaican-sounding lyrics proclaim "When push comes to shove, you gotta do what you love, even if it's not a good idea!"



** Another episode was about Helga performing a stand-up comedy act in which she made insulting jokes about her friends. This upset them, so she stopped, but then her act wasn't funny. Arnold encouraged her to go back to doing the insult routine, and the audience loved it. The moral: It's OK to insult people if you're funny enough. When going back to the insult routine, she added a bit of SelfDeprecation humor to warm her audience up to the idea and it was something they all expected to see. The moral could therefore be "insults can be funny as long as everyone gets a chance to laugh." ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' had a similar aesop in the episode "Squirrel Jokes."

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** Another episode was about Helga performing a stand-up comedy act in which she made insulting jokes about her friends. This upset them, so she stopped, but then her act wasn't funny. Arnold encouraged her to go back to doing the insult routine, and the audience loved it. The moral: It's OK to insult people if you're funny enough. When going back to the insult routine, she added a bit of SelfDeprecation humor to warm her audience up to the idea and it was something they all expected to see. The moral could therefore be "insults can be funny as long as everyone gets a chance to laugh." ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' had a similar aesop Aesop in the episode "Squirrel Jokes."



* ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow'' episode "Think Positive" gives us "sometimes yelling at people is the best way to solve your problems".
** The episode of ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' where Hank is court-ordered to go to anger management after accidentally cutting off one of his best friend Dale's fingers with a buzzsaw seemingly teaches this exact same lesson at the end.

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* ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow'' episode "Think Positive" gives us "sometimes yelling at people is the best way to solve your problems".
**
problems". The episode of ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' where Hank is court-ordered to go to anger management after accidentally cutting off one of his best friend Dale's fingers with a buzzsaw seemingly teaches this exact same lesson at the end.



* The pilot of ''WesternAnimation/SagwaTheChineseSiameseCat'' teaches that doing the ethically right thing and providing for one's family are sometimes [[GreyAndGreyMorality mutually exclusive]]. Which is true, but not exactly optimistic.
* "Family-unfriendly" aesops on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' are usually just [[SpoofAesop parodical]], and the aesops they actually mean are typically more family-friendly than [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids the show itself]], but over the long span of the show various episodes have had some rather controversial messages. Many of these are connected to the reputed liberal tone of the show, which yields messages that from time to time offend viewers of more conservative persuasions.

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* The pilot of ''WesternAnimation/SagwaTheChineseSiameseCat'' teaches that doing the ethically right thing and providing for one's family are sometimes [[GreyAndGreyMorality [[GreyAndGrayMorality mutually exclusive]]. Which is true, but not exactly optimistic.
* "Family-unfriendly" aesops Aesops on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' are usually just [[SpoofAesop parodical]], and the aesops Aesops they actually mean are typically more family-friendly than [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids the show itself]], but over the long span of the show various episodes have had some rather controversial messages. Many of these are connected to the reputed liberal tone of the show, which yields messages that from time to time offend viewers of more conservative persuasions.



** "Breast Cancer Show Ever": Sometimes, fighting really could be the final solution.
** Some episodes like "Whale Whores" and "Night of the Living Homeless" teaches that the best way to handle your problems is to pass it onto another target.

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** "Breast "[[Recap/SouthParkS12E9BreastCancerShowEver Breast Cancer Show Ever": Ever]]": Sometimes, fighting really could be the final solution.
** Some episodes like "Whale Whores" "[[Recap/SouthParkS13E11WhaleWhores Whale Whores]]" and "Night of the Living Homeless" teaches that the best way to handle your problems is to pass it onto another target.



* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse:

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* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse:''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'':



** From "The Zoo", [[spoiler:even if you make other people unhappy, you have to establish boundaries and consent that makes you comfortable. Greg is completely in the right to reject the rest of the Zoomans for Choosening him, even though they become miserable over it.]]

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** From "The Zoo", [[spoiler:even if you make other people unhappy, you have to establish boundaries and consent that makes you comfortable. Greg is completely in the right to reject the rest of the Zoomans for Choosening him, even though they become miserable over it.]]it]].



* Master Splinter gets off several of these "unPC but true" aesops in the ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012'' series. In the pilot, he makes Leonardo the leader, not because he is the most even tempered, wisest, or skilled fighter in the group (in this series, the latter would go to Raphael), but because he showed the initiative to ask for the position of leader before any of the other turtles. In one episode, he admonishes Leonardo for seeking a fair fight, and demonstrates that he should "seek victory, not fairness". In a later episode, Leonardo asks Splinter if at least getting some gratitude for his efforts as leader is too much to expect. [[NoSympathy Splinter's response]] is to tell him that yes, it is too much to expect, to stop whining, and to get back to work. Leadership is often a thankless job in real life, but it's still jarring to hear on a television show, especially when a character is in need of some sympathy. Splinter also provides this wonderful gem: "The first rule of ninjutsu is do no harm. Unless you mean to do harm. Then do LOTS of harm!"

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* Master Splinter gets off several of these "unPC but true" aesops Aesops in the ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012'' series. In the pilot, he makes Leonardo the leader, not because he is the most even tempered, wisest, or skilled fighter in the group (in this series, the latter would go to Raphael), but because he showed the initiative to ask for the position of leader before any of the other turtles. In one episode, he admonishes Leonardo for seeking a fair fight, and demonstrates that he should "seek victory, not fairness". In a later episode, Leonardo asks Splinter if at least getting some gratitude for his efforts as leader is too much to expect. [[NoSympathy Splinter's response]] is to tell him that yes, it is too much to expect, to stop whining, and to get back to work. Leadership is often a thankless job in real life, but it's still jarring to hear on a television show, especially when a character is in need of some sympathy. Splinter also provides this wonderful gem: "The first rule of ninjutsu is do no harm. Unless you mean to do harm. Then do LOTS of harm!"



* ''WesternAnimation/WowWowWubbzy'' has the occasional moral that is a bit off. For example, the Aesop of ''The Grass is Always Plaider'' is supposed to be something akin to "there's no place like home," but plays out more like "places other than your hometown may seem interesting, but are actually boring once you get there."
** In the episode "A Tale of Tails," the moral appears to be the standard "it's okay to be different" moral, right up until the end, in which the title character uses his "kooky" tail to prove himself ''better'' at all the games the other kids play, at which point they all change their minds and love him. This seems to change the message to "it's okay to be different if that difference gives you an advantage" or "if you're different you have to prove yourself better than everyone else to be accepted." Then the closing song changes the moral ''yet again'', this time implying that if you're not different in some way, you're not cool at all. "Don't conform ever" isn't necessarily a bad aesop, but it is a little unusual.

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* ''WesternAnimation/WowWowWubbzy'' has the occasional moral that is a bit off. For example, the
** The
Aesop of ''The Grass is Always Plaider'' is supposed to be something akin to "there's no place like home," but plays out more like "places other than your hometown may seem interesting, but are actually boring once you get there."
** In the episode "A Tale of Tails," the moral appears to be the standard "it's okay to be different" moral, right up until the end, in which the title character uses his "kooky" tail to prove himself ''better'' at all the games the other kids play, at which point they all change their minds and love him. This seems to change the message to "it's okay to be different if that difference gives you an advantage" or "if you're different you have to prove yourself better than everyone else to be accepted." Then the closing song changes the moral ''yet again'', this time implying that if you're not different in some way, you're not cool at all. "Don't conform ever" isn't necessarily a bad aesop, Aesop, but it is a little unusual.



* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/YogiBear'' Yogi and another bear begin fighting over Cindy, and she tells them that whoever brings her the best present gets to be with her. Yogi and the other bear proceed to steal not only food but TV's and radios, Yogi eventually wins by bringing her a freaking car. Ranger Smith finds out but sees he stole it for Cindy, and decides not to turn him in because "it's spring." So the moral? "Stealing is okay if it could get you laid." Also, material possessions buy love.

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* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/YogiBear'' Yogi and another bear begin fighting over Cindy, and she tells them that whoever brings her the best present gets to be with her. Yogi and the other bear proceed to steal not only food but TV's and radios, radios. Yogi eventually wins by bringing her a freaking car. Ranger Smith finds out but sees he stole it for Cindy, and decides not to turn him in because "it's spring." So the moral? "Stealing is okay if it could get you laid." Also, material possessions buy love.
10th Jun '17 2:27:30 AM Az_Tech341
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Everyone knows the StockAesops: Be yourself, appreciate what you have, people are more important than things, follow your dreams. Sometimes these morals contradict each other, but nobody is surprised to see any of them in a story. However, sometimes a story aims to teach a lesson well outside the pale of accepted wisdom. For example, "NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished", "It's okay to BeAWhoreToGetYourMan," or "Sometimes ViolenceReallyIsTheAnswer".

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Everyone knows the StockAesops: Be yourself, BeYourself; appreciate what you have, have; people are more important than things, things; follow your dreams. Sometimes Sometimes, these morals contradict each other, but nobody is surprised to see any of them in a story. However, sometimes a story aims to teach a lesson well outside the pale of accepted wisdom. For example, "NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished", "It's okay to BeAWhoreToGetYourMan," or "Sometimes ViolenceReallyIsTheAnswer".



When your work promotes a lesson that is seldom taught and/or contradicts general morality, you have a Family-Unfriendly Aesop. Your audience may not be able to argue that you're "wrong," but they'll still walk away feeling a bit uncomfortable.

Note that being "jarring" is not necessarily the same as being pessimistic. Some more optimistic Family-Unfriendly Aesops might be, for instance, "{{peer pressure|MakesYouEvil}} [[InvertedTrope is good for you]] because it convinces you to try new things" (or, conversely, "Rejecting the wisdom of the crowd could end badly") or "[[YouNeedToGetLaid Having sex reduces stress and makes you happier]], so go have some." Note also that how the Aesop is conveyed may be what makes it family-unfriendly: for instance, GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex almost always gets a far friendlier reception from MoralGuardians than YouNeedToGetLaid, though both promote sex as a good thing.

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When your work promotes a lesson that is seldom taught and/or contradicts general morality, you have a Family-Unfriendly Aesop. Your audience may not be able to argue that you're "wrong," "wrong", but they'll still walk away feeling a bit uncomfortable.

Note that being "jarring" is not necessarily the same as being pessimistic. Some more optimistic Family-Unfriendly Aesops might be, for instance, "{{peer pressure|MakesYouEvil}} [[InvertedTrope is good for you]] because it convinces you to try new things" (or, conversely, "Rejecting the wisdom of the crowd could end badly") or badly,") or, "[[YouNeedToGetLaid Having sex reduces stress and makes you happier]], so go have some." Note also that how the Aesop is conveyed may be what makes it family-unfriendly: for instance, GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex almost always gets a far friendlier reception from MoralGuardians than YouNeedToGetLaid, though both promote sex as a good thing.



Due to ValuesDissonance, a moral that is family-unfriendly in one culture may be very family-friendly in another, especially morals about social mores or civil rights. This list is for morals that were family-unfriendly even for the culture that they were written in. A prime target for [[{{Anvilicious}} dropping anvils]].

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Due to ValuesDissonance, a moral that is family-unfriendly in one culture may be very family-friendly in another, especially morals about social mores or civil rights. This list is for morals that were family-unfriendly even for the culture that for which they were written in.written. A prime target for [[{{Anvilicious}} dropping anvils]].
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.FamilyUnfriendlyAesop