History Main / SpaceWhaleAesop

13th Aug '16 12:14:40 PM maxwellsilver
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Trouble is, the real consequences, while they may be serious, aren't the sort that can easily be made to fit the RuleOfPerception. Maybe they take decades to show up, [[SelectiveEnforcement if they show up at all]]. Maybe they happen so subtly that it's hard to show ''why'' the action should be taken.

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Trouble is, the real consequences, while they may be serious, aren't the sort that can easily be made to fit the RuleOfPerception. Maybe they take decades to show up, [[SelectiveEnforcement if they show up at all]].all. Maybe they happen so subtly that it's hard to show ''why'' the action should be taken.



So the author dreams up some improbable, highly unforeseeable consequence to [[ScareEmStraight scare you into complying.]]

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So the author dreams up some improbable, highly unforeseeable consequence to [[ScareEmStraight scare you into complying.]]
complying.



This trope should not be confused with FantasticAesop. The Fantastic Aesop promotes a course of action which can't even be ''attempted'' in the real world (e.g. "Never use black magic to resurrect the dead") by showing a reasonably plausible set of consequences ("Poor beloved Tropey CameBackWrong".) The Space Whale Aesop promotes a course of action which ''can'' be attempted in RealLife ("don't perform nuclear tests") by showing ''consequences'' that strain credibility ("radiation from the tests will awaken [[{{Franchise/Godzilla}} a giant monster]] that [[TokyoFireball destroys Tokyo]]") instead of a more realistic but not quite as dramatic example ("[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmvbjcmyKGo it can burn whole buildings if someone is careless]]").

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This trope should not be confused with FantasticAesop. The Fantastic Aesop promotes a course of action which can't even be ''attempted'' in the real world (e.g. "Never use black magic to resurrect the dead") by showing a reasonably plausible set of consequences ("Poor beloved Tropey CameBackWrong".) The Space Whale Aesop promotes a course of action which ''can'' be attempted in RealLife ("don't perform nuclear tests") by showing ''consequences'' that strain credibility ("radiation from the tests will awaken [[{{Franchise/Godzilla}} [[Franchise/{{Godzilla}} a giant monster]] that [[TokyoFireball destroys Tokyo]]") Tokyo") instead of a more realistic but not quite as dramatic example ("[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmvbjcmyKGo it can burn whole buildings if someone is careless]]").



[[TropesAreNotBad This is not necessarily an indefensible trope.]] If your purpose is to both teach the audience a highly applicable lesson ''and'' to [[RuleOfFun entertain them with a fantastic scenario]], then a Space Whale Aesop is probably the best way to go. Also, sometimes you just can't fit the realistic consequences of an action into a twenty-three-minute episode or a 120-minute film, so you need to speed things up a bit.

to:

[[TropesAreNotBad This is not necessarily an indefensible trope.]] If your purpose is to both teach the audience a highly applicable lesson ''and'' to [[RuleOfFun entertain them with a fantastic scenario]], scenario, then a Space Whale Aesop is probably the best way to go. Also, sometimes you just can't fit the realistic consequences of an action into a twenty-three-minute episode or a 120-minute film, so you need to speed things up a bit.



* From [[AnimalWrongsGroup PETA]]: [[http://surftweeters.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Peta-Shark-Attack-Ad.jpg Fish eaters may experience turnabout.]] Sharks eat humans, so we should voluntarily stop eating fish? Surely we should eat more fish, [[BrokenAesop especially shark fin soup]]!
* [[Advertising/GetRidOfCable A series of DirecTV Network advertisements]] [[InvokedTrope intentionally invokes]] this trope for comedy with such aesops as:

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* From [[AnimalWrongsGroup PETA]]: [[http://surftweeters.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Peta-Shark-Attack-Ad.jpg Fish eaters may experience turnabout.]] Sharks eat humans, so we should voluntarily stop eating fish? Surely we should eat more fish, [[BrokenAesop especially shark fin soup]]!
soup!
* [[Advertising/GetRidOfCable A series of DirecTV Network advertisements]] [[InvokedTrope intentionally invokes]] invokes this trope for comedy with such aesops as:



** [[InsaneTrollLogic "If you have cable, you'll pound your table in frustration with how terrible it is, which will cause your daughter to copy that behavior and punch the lunch out of her principal's hands when she gets older, which will get her expelled, which will cause her to hang out with street toughs, which will cause her to marry a street tough. 'Don't have a grandson with a dog collar.'"]]

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** [[InsaneTrollLogic "If you have cable, you'll pound your table in frustration with how terrible it is, which will cause your daughter to copy that behavior and punch the lunch out of her principal's hands when she gets older, which will get her expelled, which will cause her to hang out with street toughs, which will cause her to marry a street tough. 'Don't have a grandson with a dog collar.'"]]'"



* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRKUqlpxvSI This ad for Toshiba]] demonstrates the reason why they make their computers so durable. [[ZombieApocalypse Albeit, a bizarre improbable reason]].

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* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRKUqlpxvSI This ad for Toshiba]] demonstrates the reason why they make their computers so durable. [[ZombieApocalypse Albeit, a bizarre improbable reason]].reason.



* Anvilicious "revenge is wrong" moral in ''Anime/{{Naruto}}'' reaches this territory by the end of Pain invasion arc, when Naruto confronts [[spoiler: Nagato]] after the battle. His crimes so far include [[spoiler: killing [[MentorOccupationalHazard Jiraiya and Kakashi]] as well as many Konoha ninjas, almost killing [[LoveInterest Hinata]] and turning entire Konoha into rubble.]] Naruto himself admitts that he would love to kill him but refuses to. After some pep talk [[spoiler: Nagato performs a HeelFaceTurn and uses SacrificialRevivalSpell to bring all dead people in the village back to life.]] Lesson ends up being:[[spoiler: "If you refuse to kill the bad guy all his crimes will be cancelled, and [[CluelessAesop bad guy will die anyway]] "]]

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* Anvilicious "revenge is wrong" moral in ''Anime/{{Naruto}}'' reaches this territory by the end of Pain invasion arc, when Naruto confronts [[spoiler: Nagato]] after the battle. His crimes so far include [[spoiler: killing [[MentorOccupationalHazard Jiraiya and Kakashi]] Kakashi as well as many Konoha ninjas, almost killing [[LoveInterest Hinata]] Hinata and turning entire Konoha into rubble.]] Naruto himself admitts admits that he would love to kill him but refuses to. After some pep talk [[spoiler: Nagato performs a HeelFaceTurn and uses SacrificialRevivalSpell to bring all dead people in the village back to life.]] Lesson ends up being:[[spoiler: "If you refuse to kill the bad guy all his crimes will be cancelled, and [[CluelessAesop bad guy will die anyway]] anyway "]]



* ''ComicBook/ChickTracts'' do this by giving his transgressions explicitly magical consequences, since the real consequences of the behavior he warns against are both intangible and ''heavily'' disputed. For instance, "don't let your kids play ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', or they might become actual witches, or commit suicide because their character died" is probably the most famous example (who knows what he thinks of ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''). Another strip seems to suggest that you shouldn't go to parties because the bartender might actually be Satan, and yet another that believing in Santa and the Easter Bunny will turn children into God-hating, terrorist serial killers. Chick's been keeping pace with the times: more recently, his tracts suggest that reading Literature/HarryPotter will make you into a full-fledged Satan worshiper [[CursedWithAwesome with demon-summoning powers]]. And worse, [[TheFundamentalist the author]] seems to honestly believe these are all perfectly realistic consequences.
* There was a ''ComicBook/{{Wolverine}}'' arc which involved a South American country with a ruler who suffered acute superhero envy backed up by an ex-Nazi cyborg. Either of them sound like an awesome main villain? The final villain was ''evil crack from the dawn of time'' which drove its victims insane and, at one point, absorbed Wolvie into its horrifically bloated gooey true form. The message was DrugsAreBad. It even gave us ''ComicBook/TheKingpin'' [[EvenEvilHasStandards expressing distaste for drug dealing]], making it not just a Space Whale Aesop, but an ''{{Anvilicious}}'' Space Whale Aesop.
* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' comic plays this for laughs when a time-traveling Brooklyn [[BreakingTheFourthWall breaks the fourth wall]] to teach a lesson to the audience:

to:

* ''ComicBook/ChickTracts'' do this by giving his transgressions explicitly magical consequences, since the real consequences of the behavior he warns against are both intangible and ''heavily'' disputed. For instance, "don't let your kids play ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', or they might become actual witches, or commit suicide because their character died" is probably the most famous example (who knows what he thinks of ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''). Another strip seems to suggest that you shouldn't go to parties because the bartender might actually be Satan, and yet another that believing in Santa and the Easter Bunny will turn children into God-hating, terrorist serial killers. Chick's been keeping pace with the times: more recently, his tracts suggest that reading Literature/HarryPotter will make you into a full-fledged Satan worshiper [[CursedWithAwesome with demon-summoning powers]]. powers. And worse, [[TheFundamentalist the author]] author seems to honestly believe these are all perfectly realistic consequences.
* There was a ''ComicBook/{{Wolverine}}'' arc which involved a South American country with a ruler who suffered acute superhero envy backed up by an ex-Nazi cyborg. Either of them sound like an awesome main villain? The final villain was ''evil crack from the dawn of time'' which drove its victims insane and, at one point, absorbed Wolvie into its horrifically bloated gooey true form. The message was DrugsAreBad. It even gave us ''ComicBook/TheKingpin'' [[EvenEvilHasStandards expressing distaste for drug dealing]], dealing, making it not just a Space Whale Aesop, but an ''{{Anvilicious}}'' Space Whale Aesop.
* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' comic plays this for laughs when a time-traveling Brooklyn [[BreakingTheFourthWall breaks the fourth wall]] wall to teach a lesson to the audience:



-->'''Manager''': ''[[WindmillCrusader No trolls]]!''
* ''Comicbook/UncannyAvengers'' gives us "Don't be racist or else giant men from space will appear and blow up the Earth." Odin even gives [[Comicbook/TheMightyThor his son]] an [[AuthorFilibuster extended speech]] about how while the Celestials pulled the trigger, it was ultimately humanity's own inability to stop fighting over petty differences that caused them to deem us a "failed experiment." Though there were a few extenuating circumstances, such as one of those giant men having been murdered by a human mutant was what kicked off the crisis.

to:

-->'''Manager''': ''[[WindmillCrusader No trolls]]!''
''No trolls!''
* ''Comicbook/UncannyAvengers'' gives us "Don't be racist or else giant men from space will appear and blow up the Earth." Odin even gives [[Comicbook/TheMightyThor his son]] an [[AuthorFilibuster extended speech]] speech about how while the Celestials pulled the trigger, it was ultimately humanity's own inability to stop fighting over petty differences that caused them to deem us a "failed experiment." Though there were a few extenuating circumstances, such as one of those giant men having been murdered by a human mutant was what kicked off the crisis.



* ''{{Superman}}'s'' foe [[KillerGorilla Titano's]] post-crisis origin says that animal testing is wrong because it causes the animal unnecessary pain and makes them grow gigantic and wreck the city.
* Perhaps {{Lampshading}} the trope, ''[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendsForeverIssue28 My Little Pony: Friends Forever #28]]'' features a unicorn who's magic talent is a seemingly useless spell that turns flesh and muscle invisible (though leaving their skeletons visible). The talent proves itself useful, and provides the issue's Aesop, when the main characters encounter a flying "Mirrorca", an orca with a mirror-like skin, that can only be defeated by turning its skin invisible and making it vunerable to magic attacks.

to:

* ''{{Superman}}'s'' foe [[KillerGorilla Titano's]] Titano's post-crisis origin says that animal testing is wrong because it causes the animal unnecessary pain and makes them grow gigantic and wreck the city.
* Perhaps {{Lampshading}} the trope, ''[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendsForeverIssue28 My Little Pony: Friends Forever #28]]'' features a unicorn who's magic talent is a seemingly useless spell that turns flesh and muscle invisible (though leaving their skeletons visible). The talent proves itself useful, and provides the issue's Aesop, when the main characters encounter a flying "Mirrorca", an orca with a mirror-like skin, that can only be defeated by turning its skin invisible and making it vunerable vulnerable to magic attacks.



* ''FanFic/TheEndOfEnds'': [[AnAesop You can never truly change who you are, and even if you ''do'' change, you are who you are and that can’t change.]] It had to take an OmnicidalManiac who was destroying the universe to hammer that into Terra's head.
* ''FanFic/SonicXDarkChaos'': Don't believe in Christianity or Islam or Judaism, or else you'll be manipulated by evil aliens into fighting a ForeverWar and/or be eaten by [[TheVirus Shroud parasites]].

to:

* ''FanFic/TheEndOfEnds'': [[AnAesop You can never truly change who you are, and even if you ''do'' change, you are who you are and that can’t change.]] change. It had to take an OmnicidalManiac who was destroying the universe to hammer that into Terra's head.
* ''FanFic/SonicXDarkChaos'': Don't believe in Christianity or Islam or Judaism, or else you'll be manipulated by evil aliens into fighting a ForeverWar and/or be eaten by [[TheVirus Shroud parasites]].parasites.



* ''Film/TheHappening''. Preserve the environment, or else [[spoiler:the plants may get pissed and release a deadly neurotoxin that makes you kill yourself [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment because of the deadly neurotoxin that the plants are releasing into the]] [[strike: [[VideoGame/{{Portal}} Enrichment Center]]]] air.]]

to:

* ''Film/TheHappening''. Preserve the environment, or else [[spoiler:the plants may get pissed and release a deadly neurotoxin that makes you kill yourself [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment because of the deadly neurotoxin that the plants are releasing into the]] the [[strike: [[VideoGame/{{Portal}} Enrichment Center]]]] air.]]



* ''Film/{{Teeth}}'' evokes an old Space Whale Aesop: "Don't rape a girl, or the [[VaginaDentata teeth in her vagina]] will bite off your dick." Also, "...and the audience will cheer her on because [[AssholeVictim you deserve it!]]"

to:

* ''Film/{{Teeth}}'' evokes an old Space Whale Aesop: "Don't rape a girl, or the [[VaginaDentata teeth in her vagina]] vagina will bite off your dick." Also, "...and the audience will cheer her on because [[AssholeVictim you deserve it!]]"it!"



* ''Film/TheDayAfterTomorrow'': [[GreenAesop Cut down on greenhouse-gas emissions]] or the Earth will enter a new ice age and New York City will freeze solid--By the ''end of this week''. And deadly sub-zero frost lines that instantly turn anyone into a HumanPopsicle will ''hunt you down!'' Furthermore, in case that wasn't a tangible enough deterrent, said ice age will also cause wolves to escape from a zoo and come after you and your family. Also (once you've learned your lesson), Earth's entire climate will start being nicer to you again if you'll start being nicer to third world countries.
* ''The Day the Earth Stood Still'': [[Film/TheDayTheEarthStoodStill1951 the original]] called for humanity to abandon its reckless nuclear aspirations if it ever wants to travel into space without getting obliterated by {{Sufficiently Advanced Alien}}s. [[Film/TheDayTheEarthStoodStill2008 The remake]]? Aliens just want to obliterate humanity to "[[GreenAesop help the environment]]". In the original, Klaatu even states that his race didn't care in the slightest what humans did on their own planet…but human affairs officially became their problem when the first space missions were launched with humanity capable of creating nuclear weapons. [[Main/FridgeBrilliance Seems]] the reason for the change might be, that real life humanity [[Main/CompletelyMissingThePoint got the message]] from the original and [[Main/BrokenAesop decided to give up space travel beyond low Earth orbit]].
* ''Film/TheAbyss'' (director's cut): Yet again, but with awesome special effects. Also: If you make up with your estranged wife, then [[ThePowerOfLove you can prevent submarine aliens from killing everyone.]]
* The made-for-television [[ChristmasSpecial holiday film]] "The Night They [[SavingChristmas Saved Christmas]]" is not terrible, but it's based on this kind of Aesop: Don't drill in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge because you might harm Santa's workshop. And then [[spoiler: it goes ahead and [[BrokenAesop breaks its own Space Whale Aesop!]]]]

to:

* ''Film/TheDayAfterTomorrow'': [[GreenAesop Cut down on greenhouse-gas emissions]] emissions or the Earth will enter a new ice age and New York City will freeze solid--By the ''end of this week''. And deadly sub-zero frost lines that instantly turn anyone into a HumanPopsicle will ''hunt you down!'' Furthermore, in case that wasn't a tangible enough deterrent, said ice age will also cause wolves to escape from a zoo and come after you and your family. Also (once you've learned your lesson), Earth's entire climate will start being nicer to you again if you'll start being nicer to third world countries.
* ''The Day the Earth Stood Still'': [[Film/TheDayTheEarthStoodStill1951 the original]] called for humanity to abandon its reckless nuclear aspirations if it ever wants to travel into space without getting obliterated by {{Sufficiently Advanced Alien}}s. [[Film/TheDayTheEarthStoodStill2008 The remake]]? Aliens just want to obliterate humanity to "[[GreenAesop help "help the environment]]".environment". In the original, Klaatu even states that his race didn't care in the slightest what humans did on their own planet…but human affairs officially became their problem when the first space missions were launched with humanity capable of creating nuclear weapons. [[Main/FridgeBrilliance Seems]] Seems the reason for the change might be, that real life humanity [[Main/CompletelyMissingThePoint got the message]] message from the original and [[Main/BrokenAesop decided to give up space travel beyond low Earth orbit]].
orbit.
* ''Film/TheAbyss'' (director's cut): Yet again, but with awesome special effects. Also: If you make up with your estranged wife, then [[ThePowerOfLove you can prevent submarine aliens from killing everyone.]]
everyone.
* The made-for-television [[ChristmasSpecial holiday film]] film "The Night They [[SavingChristmas Saved Christmas]]" Christmas" is not terrible, but it's based on this kind of Aesop: Don't drill in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge because you might harm Santa's workshop. And then [[spoiler: it goes ahead and [[BrokenAesop breaks its own Space Whale Aesop!]]]]Aesop!]]
27th Jul '16 4:59:21 PM Dirtyblue929
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** If you have cable, the massive price of the bill will make you feel powerless. So you'll want to feel empowered, which will lead you to signing up for karate classes, which will lead you to become a superhero known as the "Fist of Justice" which will have you jumping on rooftops. And when you jump on rooftops, you'll crash through a skylight into a dinner party.

to:

** If you have cable, the massive price of the bill will make you feel powerless. So you'll want to feel empowered, which will lead you to signing up for karate classes, which will lead you to become a superhero known as the "Fist of Justice" Goodness" which will have you jumping on rooftops. And when you jump on rooftops, you'll crash through a skylight into a dinner party.
22nd Jul '16 10:52:38 AM NothingUnusualHere
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* ''Music/Voltaire'''s moral at the end of the ''Mechanical Girl''
"Never take away a child from a loving parent, especially not the ones who make children who shoot rockets from their eyes"
14th Jul '16 1:28:10 PM kyrtuck
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Music/Voltaire'''s moral at the end of the ''Mechanical Girl''
"Never take away a child from a loving parent, especially not the ones who make children who shoot rockets from their eyes"
9th Jul '16 1:04:58 PM nombretomado
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* ''{{Franchise/Bionicle}}'' has a message to politicians: if you're governors, then please do your job instead of appointing others to do it for you while you dedicate your life to something else, otherwise those appointed leaders may start a war, and your planet will explode. [[NuclearWeaponsTaboo That actually]] [[ApocalypseHow sounds pretty logical]].

to:

* ''{{Franchise/Bionicle}}'' ''{{Toys/Bionicle}}'' has a message to politicians: if you're governors, then please do your job instead of appointing others to do it for you while you dedicate your life to something else, otherwise those appointed leaders may start a war, and your planet will explode. [[NuclearWeaponsTaboo That actually]] [[ApocalypseHow sounds pretty logical]].
26th Jun '16 8:32:51 PM HotelCalifornia
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* ''Film/{{Harmless}}'' is about a sentient PornStash that harms its owner's family. Say what you will about the moral itself ([[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment elsewhere, please]]), but it breaks down somewhat since real porn stashes, um, aren't sentient.

to:

* ''Film/{{Harmless}}'' is about a sentient PornStash that harms its owner's family. Say what you will about the moral itself ([[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment elsewhere, please]]), itself, but it breaks down somewhat since real porn stashes, um, aren't sentient.
19th Jun '16 7:34:34 AM Masem
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* Perhaps {{Lampshading}} the trope, ''[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendsForeverIssue28 My Little Pony: Friends Forever #28]] features a unicorn who's magic talent is a seemingly useless spell that turns flesh and muscle invisible (though leaving their skeletons visible). The talent proves itself useful, and provides the issue's Aesop, when the main characters encounter a flying "Mirrorca", an orca with a mirror-like skin, that can only be defeated by turning its skin invisible.

to:

* Perhaps {{Lampshading}} the trope, ''[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendsForeverIssue28 My Little Pony: Friends Forever #28]] #28]]'' features a unicorn who's magic talent is a seemingly useless spell that turns flesh and muscle invisible (though leaving their skeletons visible). The talent proves itself useful, and provides the issue's Aesop, when the main characters encounter a flying "Mirrorca", an orca with a mirror-like skin, that can only be defeated by turning its skin invisible.invisible and making it vunerable to magic attacks.
19th Jun '16 7:32:41 AM Masem
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Added DiffLines:

* Perhaps {{Lampshading}} the trope, ''[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendsForeverIssue28 My Little Pony: Friends Forever #28]] features a unicorn who's magic talent is a seemingly useless spell that turns flesh and muscle invisible (though leaving their skeletons visible). The talent proves itself useful, and provides the issue's Aesop, when the main characters encounter a flying "Mirrorca", an orca with a mirror-like skin, that can only be defeated by turning its skin invisible.
14th Jun '16 11:54:49 AM katrinahood
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* ''WesternAnimation/ThreeTwoOnePenguins:

to:

* ''WesternAnimation/ThreeTwoOnePenguins:''WesternAnimation/ThreeTwoOnePenguins'':
14th Jun '16 11:54:20 AM katrinahood
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Added DiffLines:

* ''WesternAnimation/ThreeTwoOnePenguins:
** "Trouble on Planet Wait-Your-Turn": Wanting to go first all the time will only lead to trouble, like your planet slipping out of its orbit and heading towards the sun.
** "The Amazing Carnival of Complaining": If you ever complain, you'll literally turn into a seed of discontent and be used to depopulate a planet.
** "Moon Menace on Planet Tell-a-Lie": It's wrong to lie. Because if you do, the moon will flatten you and your planet.
** "The Green-Eyed Monster": Don't ever feel envious, or else green-eyed monsters will appear and start eating all of your shit.
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