[[quoteright:350:[[Franchise/SuperMarioBros http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tumblr_n2hq7a8cnc1rrftcdo1_1280_5490.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Mamma mia!! How are we-a gonna explain [[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler this]] [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII one]] to the kiddies?!?]]

->''"The book tries very hard to be serious with a serious topic, but doesn't know how, and tries too hard, and smothers itself."''
-->-- '''Holden Shearer''', [[http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?694175-Holden-Reads-the-Original-World-of-Darkness&p=16975470#post16975470 reviewing]] an early ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'' supplement.

A [[VerySpecialEpisode very serious]] [[AnAesop Aesop]] is undermined because it's presented by a work that just ''cannot'' handle it well.

This is especially common in children's shows. There are many, many cases where a well-meaning show for children tries to explain [[RippedFromTheHeadlines a newsworthy issue]]. Sadly, the characters just usually end up way out of their comfort zone and the message often goes ''way'' over the poor kids' heads, often because it's so different from the normal tone of the show.

Note that this isn't always the fault of the writers. Any attempt to tackle serious subject matter honestly is problematic when the MoralGuardians are watching. This is often because many attempts to deal with such serious subject matter will usually have said Guardians responding with outrage ''at its mere inclusion''! Yes, even if you are explicitly attempting to discourage it.

And so you often end up with children being warned about something dangerous -- but exactly ''why'' that something is dangerous is often never explained (which is why this trope can be a rich well of ParanoiaFuel). It's hard to tell kids "don't play with power tools because you might get killed" when [[NeverSayDie you can't say die]] (so expect to hear something like "very, very badly hurt"). Likewise, gun safety is an improbable issue to address when [[FamilyFriendlyFirearms everyone packs a laser gun or something]]. Most infamously, [[DrugsAreBad drug abuse]] isn't easy to deal with when you can't quantify ''why'' you shouldn't use drugs, or when you can't even acknowledge that drugs exist.

Not to be confused with a BrokenAesop. While there can be some crossover, ''Broken'' Aesops are lessons undermined by the action within the show (e.g., "Be nice to people who are different from you. Now, let's go back to [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman fighting monsters]]!").

Don't confuse this with a FamilyUnfriendlyAesop either, because while again there can be some crossover, Clueless Aesops ''are'' acceptable lessons -- at least, they start out that way. It's just that the lesson is handled in such a compressed time, in a manner that is so laughable (or even offensive), or is presented in such an out-there or age-inappropriate show that it ultimately ends up warped. The typical reaction is DontShootTheMessage.

Also do not confuse with any Aesop delivered by [[Film/{{Clueless}} Cher Horowitz]].

Compare SpaceWhaleAesop, as there is an awful lot of crossover. See also some examples of AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle, VerySpecialEpisode, DoNotDoThisCoolThing, and YouCanPanicNow. DrugsAreBad and TooSmartForStrangers are especially prone to this. Compare LostAesop, which tries to set up an Aesop [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse but forgets about it by the end]].

''Note: This is about works of fiction that fail to get their [[AnAesop intended message]] across. Please don't use this page to [[Administrivia/ComplainingAboutShowsYouDontLike complain about Aesops you don't like]].''



* In the early 1990s, many {{MegaCorp}}s would send, ostensibly out of the goodness of their hearts, free "educational kits" including lesson plans, worksheets, and other materials to elementary school teachers. In truth, they were really [[ProductPlacement unsubtle advertisements for the company's products]]. These were often heartwarmingly/hilariously/heartbreakingly misguided. One of the most infamous such lesson plans doubles as a BrokenAesop: "Let's learn good nutrition with [[UsefulNotes/McDonalds Ronald McDonald]] and friends!" Um...
** WebAnimation/HomestarRunner satirized this with typical aplomb in ''[[http://www.homestarrunner.com/cheatcommandos4.html Commandos In the Classroom]]''.
** This was also parodied by ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' with a math class sponsored by Pepsi. "If you have three Pepsis and drink one, how much more refreshed are you?". The answer "Pepsi?" received partial credit.
* Another example was the D.A.R.E. group in the late 1980s that tried to encourage kids to not do drugs and in their educational kits they included a pencil with the slogan "Too Cool To Do Drugs". Unfortunately, because they set their slogan not to start at the eraser end but at the lead end of the pencil, as it was sharpened the slogan devolved on the pencil from the original message, down to [[DoNotDoThisCoolThing "Cool To Do Drugs"]], to simply "Do Drugs".
** A similar incident happened on a smaller scale for some rubber wristbands for red ribbon week. The slogan on the wristbands: I've got BETTER things to DO than DRUGS. Observant students quickly noticed the message in all caps. Despite the mistakes ([[http://www.thehawkeye.com/Story/Drug_Slogan_102507 and news coverage]]) the exact same design is still in production.
** Another problem is their excessive focus on resisting peer pressure, which can easily come off as [[DoNotDoThisCoolThing "everyone is doing drugs but you."]]
* Then there's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvjFsZJqAPs this]] DigitalPiracyIsEvil ad from Warner Bros. using a scene from ''Film/{{Casablanca}}''. Only trouble is anyone who has seen the movie knows Rick is actually angry at Ilsa for ''resisting the [[ThoseWackyNazis Nazis]]!'' So WB is comparing themselves to... [[GodwinsLaw what]]? While not as uncomfortable in terms of subtext, the one where Film/TheWizardOfOz yells at Dorothy and company for, er, pirating media is pretty terrible too.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfEG15CLTqo "Don't Drown Your Food"]] is a PSA about not overloading your foods with high-calorie condiments, but the message is so vague that it makes it seem as if you shouldn't put any condiments on them at all.
* There's a 2013 Canadian PSA about "social nibbling" as an allegory to social smoking. It shows a man in various social situations, taking food off of other people's plates, nibbling it, and giving back, while he denies that he's hungry. It supposed to be about how you are in denial if you say you only smoke socially, but without being told the Aesop at the end, it could just as easily be about how you should [[AlternateAesopInterpretation buy your own packs]] instead of bumming them, as one could do this and still insist they only smoke socially. There's one about "social farting" that's at least as confusing.
* Here's an example that doubles as a BrokenAesop: In the early 90's, Creator/{{Nickelodeon}} ran several [=PSAs=] about the need to turn off the television and go outside. Around that exact same time, they ran a network promo depicting a kid being left alone on a baseball field, because all of his friends are ''in the living room watching Nick''.
* A notorious PETA PSA showed a girl screaming at seeing her father beat her mother, an old woman scream as a pair of muggers attack her, a boy screaming as bullies mob him... and a fish opening its mouth as it's about to be cut up and cooked. The message was "Not all screams can be heard". Leaving aside the ''ludicrous'' comparison of a fish's suffering to a human's, what restaurant in its right mind would prepare a fish while it's ''still alive?''

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Anime/{{Naruto}}'' the overall moral seems to be that revenge is a bad thing, as it will directly lead to the CycleOfRevenge, and in turn war. But rather than focusing on the reasonable example of warring factions (such as Sasuke seemingly killing Killer Bee, which prompted the Raikage to seek revenge), most of the attention goes to the traditional loner villains like Orochimaru or [[spoiler:Obito]] who have no or next to no relationship ties to make the cycle take place at all. Just about every Akatsuki member is in it for themselves so the death of any one member only means a new position has opened up; despite how close Kabuto is to Orochimaru it's only really oriented professionally, as Orochimaru's death only prompts Kabuto to snatch up some research notes and try to copy and eventually surpass Orochimaru's achievements in MadScience; and even Madara was considered an extremist by the other Uchiha. The moral is most strongly brought up in reference to Sasuke, but the people who care about him the most ''know'' he's a dangerous criminal and aren't ones to go seeking revenge for his death either.
* TheNineties English dub of ''Anime/SailorMoon'' added the [[AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle "Sailor Says"]] portions to the first season to be "educational". [[Creator/DiCEntertainment DiC]] tried to shoehorn an Aesop to the end of every episode whether it fit or not. A favorite was "[[AndThatsTerrible Queen Beryl did a bad thing when she destroyed the Moon Kingdom]] and you will destroy Earth too if you pollute!" DrugsAreBad was a frequent one, even though the plots never had anything to do with that.
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' introduced the character of Paul as Ash's main rival during the seasons set in Sinnoh. Paul and Ash had frequent disagreements, only to have other characters lecture Ash about how they should try to overlook their differences, because everyone is different and has their own ways of doing things which should be respected. Paul, however, was extremely aggressive without provocation and was also particularly cruel to his Pokémon, crueler than most of the clear-cut villains were; were it not for the forced Aesop, Ash would have every right to judge him.

* Parodied in ''[[Comicbook/{{Doom}} The Doom Comic]]'' with a GreenAesop about safe disposal of radioactive waste, only for him to stop halfway through to [[FelonyMisdemeanor notice something worse: his BIG GUN is out of bullets]]! For the record, the story is ''entirely'' about the marine's hunt for his beloved {{BFG}}. [[SoBadItsGood Yeah]].
%%* ''ComicBook/ChickTracts'' are (in)famous for their inability to convey a message.
* Back in the late 1980s when AIDS was still the new pandemic, Franchise/ArchieComics sometimes included a full-page PSA featuring Principal Weatherbee telling the students: "Your best defense against AIDS is ''education''", but didn't say anything else. So, where is this education we're supposed to get?
** Sorry, [[MortonsFork but you'll have to learn how to get educated]]!
* ComicBook/XMen:
** In the 80s there was a one-shot called ''Heroes for Hope'' in which the X-Men take on famine in Africa...which, as everyone knows, is caused by an ancient demon that feeds on human misery. The demon in question was established to be merely a consequence of the misery in the area, which was caused by far more complex causes, but it was very very easy to interpret the story as "Africa's ills are caused by an ancient demon". At least Marvel gave the proceeds of the comic to charity.
** In retrospect, Mikhail Rasputin's quasi-introduction falls into this category by FridgeLogic -- Peter Corbeau compares his death to the real-life Apollo 1 fire... except that it was later revealed that Mikhail hadn't actually died, but had been sent to another dimension, gone insane, and come back as a supervillain. Addressing real-life disasters is hard in a comic that's so big on bringing people BackFromTheDead.
* ''Serenity'' ([[NamesTheSame not]] [[Film/{{Serenity}} that one]]) - it was supposed to be a story of a bad girl finding about the wonders of God's love and becoming a better person in the process. The way it was handled makes most people see it as a depressing story about [[TheWoobie a lonely girl who only wanted to have friends]] getting subjected to emotional harassment and manipulation by a bunch of Christian zealots, until she turns into a brainwashed drone.
* In the ''Century: 2009'' issue of ''Comicbook/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen'', Creator/AlanMoore critiques twenty-first century popular culture and fiction as being decadent, hollow and inferior when compared to the culture and fiction of previous generations. Which is all very well and good, but many reviewers and critics (such as several members of the discussion [[http://mindlessones.com/2012/06/26/league-of-extraordinary-gentlemen-century-2009-thoughts/ here]]) pointed out that it's pretty clear that Alan Moore also has little to no idea or interest in what's actually going on in twenty-first century popular culture and fiction. Moore himself has been vocal about his lack of engagement with a lot of central elements of modern popular culture (such as the internet); accordingly, unlike previous volumes of the series, there are few direct references to contemporary culture and fiction, and many of those that are present are inaccurate, questionable or still somewhat outdated (as in hailing from or being more relevant to the 1990s or early 2000s than the 2010s). This means that for many readers the work is less of the searing indictment of contemporary fiction and culture it was intended to be, and more of Alan Moore coming off as a bit of a GrumpyOldMan [[ComplainingAboutShowsYouDontWatch complaining about things he doesn't really understand or care about.]]
* ''ComicBook/CivilWar''. The event attempted to depict a GreyAndGrayMorality conflict over a SuperRegistrationAct, but did so in [[Franchise/MarvelUniverse a setting]] that had always universally held the opinion that such things were unambiguously ''bad''. Further, Mark Millar and Marvel editorial expected the readers to side with the Pro-Registration side, depicting them as, ultimately, the more reasonable side. Yet they ''also'' had the Pro-Regs doing monstrous things like throwing people into the Negative Zone or threatening heroes into compliance. So we're supposed to root for them as they commit horrible crimes and prove the Anti-Registration's argument about the SHRA being fascist? Compounding this was the fact that many of the writers disagreed about which side was supposed to be right, leading to loads of ArmedWithCanon fights. One book would have Iron Man stopping an extremist Anti-Reg vigilante, only for another to have him casually imprisoning innocent people in the Negative Zone. Mr. Fantastic was given ''three different reasons'' for being on the Pro-Reg side. The overall sense of the moral/plot is that [[WritingByTheSeatOfYourPants nobody really knew how to handle it]].
* Both Creator/MarvelComics and Creator/DCComics have attempted at times to invoke such tropes as the "pro-active superhero teams" (see Creator/RobLiefeld's ''ComicBook/XForce'' and ''ComicBook/JusticeLeagueCryForJustice'') as well as question whether or not the world "needs" superheroes (''ComicBook/KingdomCome''). The problem with "pro-active" heroes is that any supervillain on the loose is either in hiding or too powerful for the heroes to currently handle; "pro-active" heroes would either be doing exactly what heroes do already (fight bad guys who aren't hidden or protected) or [[PreCrimeArrest attacking otherwise innocent people for things they haven't done yet]]. And the problem with asking if the world "needs" superheroes, is that both Marvel and DC '''sell superhero works and products'''. At ''best'', such stories will end with "[[SmugSuper superheroes suck]] but we still need them" because to do otherwise would be admitting '''that their characters and stories are pointless'''.
* The "[[ChristmasEpisode Equestria Girls Holiday Special]]" from ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW'' tackles the subject of cyber-bullying. The attempt to treat this a serious issue with lasting consequences falls apart when everything's EasilyForgiven par for the franchise, [[InformedAttribute with consequences mentioned but otherwise ignored]] in the HappyEnding. Also, the irresponsibility of the students (never questioning that Sunset Shimmer had nothing gain from what she was framed for, [[AdultsAreUseless never taking it up with faculty]], and their asking for more [[PeerPressureMakesYouEvil causing it to go on as long as it did]]) causing much of the misery is never addressed, unlike [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E23PonyvilleConfidential the episode it was based off of]]. [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking It also had little to do with the Holidays.]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Cars}}'':
** The first film: contrary to popular belief, the message about Route 66 "following the land" before the new interstate system cut through it is ''not'' a half-baked environmental message, even though it can easily be read that way. It was about slowing down to appreciate natural beauty instead of rushing through life and missing what's important. It'd be pretty hypocritical to have a film starring anthropomorphic avatars of one of the biggest consumers of fossil fuels on the planet preaching this kind of message. Then again, we have...
** The sequel: So Tow Mater totally embarrasses the snot out of Lightning [=McQueen=] by acting like a dumb hick, and the moral they were trying to deliver is "Accept your friends as they are". The moral that lots of people came away with is "Don't ever bother to try to better yourself, not even temporarily. Don't ever act according to your environment. Dirty and uncultured is the way to go."
* ''Disney/TheLionKing'' has a message that you should confront your past rather than run away from it. Except the past in question was never there in the first place. Simba didn't kill Mufasa, he was framed for it in a way that made him believe he was responsible. Message about confronting your guilt doesn't work well without any guilt to confront. Doubles as BrokenAesop as when he actually tries to confront it, the past wins.
* ''Disney/SongOfTheSouth'' is mostly infamous for its ValuesDissonance, but even outside this the Br'er Rabbit segments have a couple of morals that can come across as extremely weird: The first segment has Br'er Rabbit leaving his home in the briar patch, because the old place has brought him "nothin' but trouble." Then, he is caught and almost eaten by Br'er Fox, but manages to escape and returns home to the briar patch. The moral, of course, is that you can't run away from trouble because there's no such thing as a place where no trouble exists, with a dash of "There's no place like home" -- but the way things are played out, it comes across more like "it's wrong to want a better life for yourself" and "if you go out in the world to seek your fortune or better your life situation, you should give up and run back home at the first sign of trouble."
* ''Film/FernGullyTheLastRainforest'' runs into this if one thinks about it enough. The BigBad isn't the humans who are destroying the rainforest, but Hexxus, an ancient demon of pollution who is freed from his prison in a tree and proceeds to destroy the land around himself. Likewise, it is the fairies' magic, not any environmentalist effort on the part of the humans, that ultimately defeats him. This has the unintentional effect of making film's message seem to be "Pollution is caused by magic demons, and only more magic can stop it."

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/TheGarbagePailKidsMovie'' was an attempt to turn a line of trading cards -- which were ''deliberately'' intended to be [[BlackComedy violent]] and [[{{Gorn}} thoroughly disgusting]] -- into an Aesop about [[WhatMeasureIsANonCute appreciating those who look different]]. It worked out about as well as you'd expect throwing AnAesop into a film based on ''Garbage Pail Kids'' would be. Bonus points for it being a BrokenAesop: the titular characters are just as ugly on the inside (some have even [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation interpreted the Kids as being incarnations of the Seven Deadly Sins]]) -- but hey, they sure sang a catchy song about teamwork (while ''robbing a shop''), right?
%%* ''Film/ReeferMadness'': The moral was (at one point) ''meant'' to be "marijuana is evil", but...
* ''Film/FreeWilly'': The whole notion of freeing an animal who was forcefully taken out of his environment and separated from his family to live a life in captivity doesn't exactly work out too well when one remembers that this film could only have been made possible by using an animal who actually was forcefully taken out of his environment and forced to live a life in captivity. An attempt was made to avert this by actually freeing Keiko, the whale who played Willy, but {{Reality Ensue|s}}d and Keiko kept trying to associate with humans, [[DownerEnding eventually catching pneumonia and beaching himself.]]
* ''Film/{{Crossroads|2002}}'', the 2002 Music/BritneySpears {{vanity project}}, spends most of its time getting the protagonists into situations that a PG-13 pop star vehicle aimed at tweenage girls just could not possibly handle, most of them relating to the consequences of sex, which the plot has to dodge to keep everything audience-appropriate.
* Christian special ''Film/RockItsYourDecision'' is supposed to have "Rock music will lead you down a life of sin if you don't reject it and accept Jesus Christ as your lord and savior" as an aesop. It ''might've'' done an adequate job... if the main character didn't instantly turn into a supreme {{Jerkass}} and a holier-than-thou religious zealot when he finally did, turning on his friends and even his own family (who were trying to steer him away from rock music in the first place) when he starts viewing his mother's soap operas as evil, too, and ending the special raving about the evils of rock music (and homosexuality while he's at it) in front of his church group. When he reviewed it on ''WebVideo/DVDRHell'', Creator/BradJones saw it more as the story of [[TheFundamentalist fundamental Christianity]] destroying a young man's life and alienating him from everyone and everything he loved.
* ''Film/CyberSeductionHisSecretLife'': Because of television content standards, the most the movie can actually show of the teenage main character's [[TheInternetIsForPorn internet pornography addiction]] are pictures of scantily clad women, rather than any form of hardcore pornography featured on websites like Brazzers or Bangbros. This in turn undermines the film's message, since if something that ''mild'' is all it takes for him to spin out of control, it becomes questionable whether the kid either has psychological problems already or if his mother's overreaction had something to do with it.
* A segment in the 1959 film ''The F.B.I. Story'' tries to show why the UsefulNotes/KuKluxKlan are bad and botches it by turning them into very superficial villains. According to the film, [[LawfulNeutral the Klan were bad guys because they broke the law]] (they're lumped in with gangsters and other enemies of American law and order); their racism is never mentioned at all, and their Antisemitism is touched upon as timidly as possible (they're shown ransacking a Jewish household and knocking over a menorah, but the word "Jew" is never uttered and the narrator merely mentions that the Klan had contempt for "ancient rituals"). The Klan's biggest crime in the film - the one for which they end up getting punished - is attempting to murder a white (and presumably Christian) liberal journalist who condemns them in his newspaper editorials. Even kids who watch this movie will understand that the KKK are bad; problem is, they'll think it's because they're a gang of bullying ghosts.
* The infamous remake of ''Film/TheWickerMan'', according to the director, was meant as a feminist treatise told through a PersecutionFlip. His supposed intention was to show what patriarchal values would be like if reversed. The actual result is a bizarre movie about [[StrawFeminist a bunch of insane women]] torturing Creator/NicolasCage. One gets the sense that the director didn't really understand the subject matter. The concept of tackling sexism in a ''Wicker Man'' remake is an odd one in and of itself; the original film was about a ''religious'' cult, not the psychotic misandrists the remake depicts.

* Aesop's fable, "The dog and the wolf" is about a wolf, near-dead with hunger, meeting a dog. The dog says that if the wolf had steady work and steady food like dogs do, he'd be much better off, and the wolf quite agrees, but he's a wolf so no one will take him in. The dog assures him that he can get him a job on his farm, and the wolf accepts, until he finds out that the dog gets chained up by a collar at night, at which points he returns to the woods to die. The moral is "better free and starving than enslaved and fat", but fails when confronted with FridgeLogic: If the dog could wander of to the woods to meet the wolf in the first place then clearly he has all the freedom he wants and could probably wander off whenever he wanted. The wolf doesn't really refuse to throw away freedom for food, he refuses a job where he'd have to be on the right place at certain time and wear collar as a uniform.

* On the surface, ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' is a safe, clean, nonviolent fantasy serving as a cautionary tale about the dangers of premarital sex. Bella is certainly tempted, but Edward does the good Christian thing and pressures her into getting married first. This is all well and good, except it's coming from the same story that portrays [[UnfortunateImplications an emotionally abusive ephebophile stalker]] as romantic. In the [[RealLife real world]], teenage romances do not last forever, and marriage is the last thing that random charming attractive guy will pressure unsuspecting women into. The lesson is outright [[BrokenAesop contradicted]] in the final installment, when the pregnancy nearly proves fatal ([[{{Gorn}} and very, very bloody]]). Marriage does not protect from [=STDs=], nor does it physically or emotionally prepare one for pregnancy. And the first time they actually sleep together after their wedding, it's a violent event that leaves Bella injured and the bed destroyed. The Aesop here seems to be less "Wait until marriage" and more "Don't have sex ever."
** Many readers draw religious parallels and symbolism from the books, particularly when considering that Meyer is a Mormon. Meyer claims that she didn't intend the books to be influenced by her religion or promote her beliefs, but admits that her values do shape her writing. Regardless of intent, many readers feel the result is clueless aesops.
** On a related note to the ''Breaking Dawn'' pregnancy, Twilight is simply not the kind of series that should be having a debate about abortion. Also, the pro-life/pro-choice thing is slightly irrelevant ''when it's clear that the baby is most assuredly killing the mother, and she may or may not survive to give birth'' (in other words, exactly the kind of exception most pro-life advocates are willing to make when it comes to their stance on abortion). The fact that it's a [[CreepyChild Creepy]] HalfHumanHybrid that [[HorrorHunger makes Bella thirst for blood during the pregnancy]] only makes things worse -- Bella may well be giving birth to the AntiChrist (a few characters even think she literally is).
* Another religious book: ''I Kissed Dating Goodbye''. The intended message was: "Christians should not forget their spirituality - including, but not limited to, serving others - no matter how much they wish for romance, marriage, and sex". The message that actually came across to most readers was "Do volunteer work as a substitute for a romantic relationship". Needless to say, many readers were disappointed and angered. It doesn't help that [[ALessonLearnedTooWell the lesson stuck so well]] that churches who pushed this book ended up full of lonely 30-year-old singles with no idea how to court the opposite gender.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The Creator/DisneyChannel [[VerySpecialEpisode Special Presentation]], ''Franchise/WinnieThePooh: [[http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Too_Smart_for_Strangers Too Smart for Strangers]]''. Seeing the residents of the Hundred Acre Wood dole out advice to the kiddies on how to avoid being kidnapped and molested is pretty questionable in itself, because Winnie the Pooh and his friends shouldn't be aware of stuff like that due to the innocence of their world and the fact that their leader is six years old. Even more surreal; instead of using the animated characters, they chose to use the costumed characters from the show ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fYCnZB_X7M Welcome To Pooh Corner]]'', which a few viewers classify as AccidentalNightmareFuel, which makes the whole thing seem generally creepy.
** Not only that, but the lesson this special tries to get across also becomes twisted and warped: Taken at face value, this is 40 minutes of Winnie the Pooh and friends [[ParanoiaFuel telling children to be suspicious and paranoid of everyone they don't know]], to act rudely to strangers, and [[FamilyUnfriendlyAesop to even flat-out lie to adults]]. It's cited as [[ThinkOfTheChildren all being to keep children safe]], but the advice itself was not much worse than most extended anti-stranger [=PSAs=] of [[TheEighties the era]].
** Furthermore, some of the tips can lead to more harm than good. One for example is to go to your neighbor's house if you receive a threatening call. All well and good, but [[OhCrap what if the neighbor is the one who made the call to begin with]]? Most child kidnappings are ''not'' committed by strangers, after all.
*** Creator/BradJones raises this point in his ''WebVideo/DVDRHell'' [[http://www.thecinemasnob.com/dvd-r-hell/dvd-r-hell-too-smart-for-strangers review/riff]] of the special.
** Then there are the tips that are just plain ineffectual, such as [[BigNo shouting "NO!" at one's attacker]] - as if that word alone is going to deter an obsessed sex offender.
** Additionally, Winnie the Pooh is a CloudCuckooLander and even identifies himself as "not having much brain", so it's unlikely he'd be too smart for anything. This makes the proceedings even less reassuring for kids.
* The ''Series/HannahMontana'' episode about Oliver having diabetes is a re-edited version. The original episode portrayed diabetes in a downright dangerous and inaccurate way. Bonus points for ''[[DudeNotFunny jokes]]'' about fainting diabetics! Whee!
* A Canadian children's program once tried to tackle the serious subject of alcoholism and [[BerserkButton Intermittent Explosive Disorder]]. That show was ''Series/TodaysSpecial''... And for maximum childhood destroying effect, the IED-prone alcoholic was played by Gerry Parkes, better known as none other than kindly old Doc from ''Series/FraggleRock''!
* ''Series/KidsIncorporated'' had an anti-drugs episode, an episode about homelessness, an episode about child abuse, and a surprisingly poignant episode about Kid's estranged older brother. Oh, and they each contained [[MoodWhiplash the usual happy covers of popular songs and]] {{Imagine Spot}}s and were each aired in the middle of a week's worth of otherwise completely off-the-wall fantasy episodes with magic robots and such.
* The ''Series/MorkAndMindy'' episode with Mr. Bickley's blind son seems to have multiple Aesops: accept handicapped people, learn to see life in a new way, don't abandon your son... But it's not well-handled because this is a show about a {{cloudcuckoolander}} alien who says the darnedest things. Just to give an example of how poorly executed this episode was, they used the "Does your guide dog get scared when you're skydiving?" joke.
** ''Hold That Mork'''s Aesop was about gender equality. Nothing wrong with that, but it was delivered through the plot of Mork joining The Denver Broncos ''cheerleaders''. Even if the message is good, let's face it, the whole point of the episode was really about providing {{fanservice}} for both the male viewers and, apparently, Creator/RobinWilliams {{fangirl}}s with a cross-dressing fetish.
** The only episode that tops that one in the "{{Fanservice}} with tacked-on Aesop" category is the two-part "Mork vs. The Necrotons". In a nutshell, Mork gets captured by the titular aliens, whose leader is played by [[MsFanservice Raquel Welch]]. Innuendo, both visual and spoken abounds, so much that even Mr. [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar Get-shit-past-the-radar]] himself later on said that it made him uncomfortable. And the message at the end was... ThePowerOfFriendship. Yeah.
* Many {{Public Service Announcement}}s with an anti-drug message were so poorly executed that they practically made a joke of their own message. The point is especially lost because most of them do not seem to portray any ''other'' consequences of doing drugs.
** One of the weirdest ones by far is "[[SpaceWhaleAesop If you take pot, your girlfriend will leave you for a space alien]]".
** Pee-Wee Herman gives a serious (yet somehow hilarious) message about not doing crack. We all know the '''numerous''' things wrong with ''that'' PSA, right?
-->"[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLZptx6UQLk This]]... is ''crack.''"
** The anti-drug PSA where the girl's dog talks to her and asks her to stop smoking pot. Honey, if your dog is talking to you, pot is the least of your problems. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFAN3wdlrJg At least he's trying to help.]]
** An early "Above the Influence" ad showed two teenaged boys smoking pot in the office of the father of one of the boys. One of them noticed a gun on the desk and picked it up absently. When his friend asked "is it loaded?" he said it wasn't and fired, presumably killing his friend. The intended message was probably something like "marijuana will impair your judgement in life threatening ways." But the danger came off as so contrived that message could easily be "[[IdiotBall don't leave a loaded gun with the safety off on top of the desk in your unlocked office when your thirteen-year-old son is in the house.]]" Which, of course, is ''also'' a good lesson.
*** An alternate version was a little more reasonable. A bunch of teenage yahoos get baked and decide to prank a fast food restaurant by repeatedly rolling through the drive-thru and placing ridiculous orders. On the last time through, a little girl is riding her bicycle across the lane just as the driver hits the gas...
** There was another odd set of anti-drug ads where a girl high on weed is shown (through [[UncannyValley icky special effects]]) to have melted into the couch. Doug Benson has a terrific deconstruction of how clueless this ad was in ''Super High Me'': if your reaction to an anti-drug PSA is [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs "Whatever they were smoking, I want some"]], it has failed.
* ''Series/SavedByTheBell''
** The episode about Jessie's caffeine pill addiction, legendary for its {{Narm}}. Indeed, "I'm so excited... I'm so ''scared!''" became a ''huge'' MemeticMutation.
** Also the episode that dealt with the dangers of drinking-and-driving. Now, this subject unfortunately isn't that far removed from real-life high schools (not that Bayside could be considered entirely realistic), but the presentation is questionable. Bottom line, Zack and friends get found out because they keep telling different cover stories and get left with a lot of holes to plug. It's as if the intended lesson was "If you're going to lie, keep your story straight so you don't get caught."
* There was a Public Service Announcement at a local TV station which used its puppet mascot and tried to explain the difference between "good touching" and "bad touching". The trouble is, they used footage from WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes cartoons while they were talking about "good touching"... including WesternAnimation/BugsBunny's cross-dressing smooches on Elmer Fudd, and multiple shots of Pepe Le Pew. Someone clearly wasn't paying enough attention when that PSA was made....
* ''Series/PunkyBrewster'''s anti-drug episode featuring the "Chicklets". The final scenes with P(SA)unky & friends in the middle of an anti-drug protest are {{anvilicious}}ly hilarious. The thing can be seen in all its glory [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcqgHmBXwUk here]].
* ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' had a tendency to identify (and mock) these in TheFifties educational shorts it aired, which had titles like [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THYVh9AhtLk "A Date With Your Family"]]. The lessons in said shorts ran the gamut from Clueless, to looking very Warped thanks to ValuesDissonance, to being straight-up [[FamilyUnfriendlyAesop Warped]] regardless of the time they were made. Hence, such gem-like riffs as "Emotions are for 'ethnic' people", and "Expressing individualism is just plain wrong".
-->"Dad, I had a feeling today."
-->"Well, ''don't'', son."
* ''Podcast/RiffTrax'' has continued ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'''s tradition on that score, like with their commentary on the short "[[http://www.rifftrax.com/ondemand/drugs-are Drugs Are Like That]]", a parade of dubious and contradictory metaphors for drugs. At different points in the short, for example, habitual behavior (such as hair twirling) and spontaneity (represented by making a minor change to a Lego-block machine) both become drug-use analogues.
* The Truth's line of anti-tobacco [=PSAs=] are often well written, but one is an JustForFun/{{egregious}} case of research failure, where they try to prove tobacco companies were aiming their products at kids because cigarettes were shown in ''Film/TheMuppetMovie'' -- because clearly a movie featuring Muppets can only be for kids. ''The Muppet Movie'' was released in 1979, when Creator/JimHenson was out to prove puppets could appeal to ''older'' audiences and a film didn't need an R rating to be made for adults.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'':
** "The Outcast", a well-intentioned episode in which a member of a race of asexual aliens and Riker fall in love. Though the episode was intended as a defense of LGBT people, Riker's love interest was played by a woman. In fact, ''all'' the 'asexual' aliens were played by women, because you know it wouldn't do for Riker's {{Love Interest|s}} to look like a man. (Okay, it ''is'' [[ShownTheirWork scientifically accurate]] because the only vertebrates we know of who can [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthenogenesis reproduce asexually]] are [[OneGenderRace all female]]). This actually annoyed [[Creator/JonathanFrakes Jonathan "Riker" Frakes]] a bit, but the producers didn't have the balls to have the [[strike:hot babe]] androgynous alien played by a guy. As Cracked.com put it: "The episode's message ends up completely garbled. Intended as a condemnation of homophobia, the episode instead comes off as the story of one woman's brave quest for cock in the face of lesbian tyranny." What's worse is that at one point, the {{Love Interest|s}} decides she identifies as female solely based on the fact that she [[UnfortunateImplications finds a male attractive]]...
** "Eye of the Beholder" is a bizarre and curiously awkward attempt at an anti-suicide PSA, but they botch it by trying to have it both ways. The first act treats the suicide of a RedShirt completely seriously, exploring it from all angles, explaining how those that kill themselves often show no obvious signs of distress. It's fairly effective, sort of a forerunner of the subject's similar treatment on an episode of ''Series/HouseMD'' And then they completely botch it by {{handwav|e}}ing the uncharacteristic suicide as being the result of PsychicPowers gone awry, using it as another pit stop in the Worf/Troi ShipTease. One wonders if the writers held the opinion that no one would seriously want to kill themselves in the MarySueTopia that is the 24th Century (given Gene Roddenberry's idealization of it, he at least likely ''did'' think that). This carries some potential UnfortunateImplications when you think about the prevalence of suicide in the present day...
* Due to ExecutiveMeddling, ''Series/TheWeirdAlShow'' ended up as a parade of Clueless Aesops, which annoyed [[Music/WeirdAlYankovic the star]].
* ''Series/DiffrentStrokes'' decided to tackle sexual predators in the two-parter "The Bicycle Man". In the story, Arnold (Gary Coleman) wants a bicycle. After becoming friends with Mr. Horton, the owner of the bicycle shop, over part one, he, and his friend [[LongLostUncleAesop Dudley]] (''Diff'rent Strokes''' recurring VerySpecialEpisode scapegoat), start spending time with Horton in the back room where he lives. After [[{{Squick}} riding on Mr. Horton's back]] and playing "Neptune, God of the Sea," Horton offers them some alcohol (which only makes Arnold worried that he might be caught with it on his breath) and sits them down to watch some cartoons. "That mouse just lost his drawers! [audience laughter]" Yeah, so after enjoying a nice X-rated cartoon, Arnold is uncomfortable enough to leave. Dudley wants to stay, and Arnold goes home. After letting slip what happened, Mr. Drummond calls the police. They arrive right as Horton is about to... uh... begin. Dudley appears on screen drugged with tranquilizers and shirtless. Then they have a couch conversation about how important it is to tell an adult about such things. While this is admittedly far more direct and open than the "bad touch" [=PSas=] of the 90s, there is laughter throughout the episodes right up to when Mr. Drummond calls the police. Yes, even during the set-up to the molestation. That must have been the most awkward studio audience ever.
* Even ''Series/PoliceCameraAction'' is not invulnerable to this trope. In fact, possibly more so than ''Series/HannahMontana''.
** The 1998 episode "Rust Buckets" is a possible [[TropeCodifier example]] of this, and just ''could not'' handle the episode's issue (non-roadworthy vehicles) well. In fact, in Part 2 after the commercial break, it went ''off-topic''!
** The episode "Unfit to Drive" from the 1996 series, "Enough's Enough" from the 1997 series, and (to a slightly lesser extent) the 1997 episode "Don't Look Back In Anger" tend to sometimes forget what the aesop they're dealing with is.
* Parodied by ''Series/TheGoodies'' with their Mary Whitehouse expy-approved sex education film, which avoids any mention of anything related to sex:
-->'''Narrator:''' This is a man. And this isn't.
** Also parodied by ''Series/TheSootyShow'' (even though the episode itself was a straight attempt at trying to get across at least some basic sex education) when Matthew tries inexpertly to give TheTalk to Sweep, hampered by his use of {{Dissimile}} and {{Metaphorgotten}}.
* The children's show ''Series/TheBigComfyCouch'' suffered from clueless Aesops at times... including the downright bizarre lesson "Don't fall down with your hands in your pockets."
* ''Series/WalkerTexasRanger'': "Walker told me I have AIDS."
* There was a brief flare-up of [=PSA=]s that instructed children to go and get an adult if they saw or read anything on the Internet that made them uncomfortable, without quantifying what such things might be. Given [[RuleThirtyFour the]] [[TheInternetIsForPorn number of things]] one can find online that can make ''grown adults'' uncomfortable, and [[GoryDiscretionShot medical images of a graphic nature]], this seems a little ill-thought-out (but at least parent and child can sit and stare at the walls for a while together).
* The pedophilia awareness PSA ''Film/TrickyPeople'' made an admirable attempt to be serious and would have actually been pretty effective... had the creators not decided to include the ridiculously cartoony Barney-esque character of Yello Dyno.
** And if that wasn't enough, they give the evil pedophile a wacky, bumbling sidekick, who provides PluckyComicRelief.
* In ''Series/TheSecretsOfIsis'' TV show, one episode, "Spots of the Leopard," has a girl named Jenny suspecting her father of being a diamond thief. Throughout the episode, despite all the evidence pointing at Jenny's father, both Isis and her alter-ego Andrea keep reassuring Jenny that she should just have faith in her father. Meanwhile, everything he does makes him look like he's the diamond thief, including lying about his whereabouts and double-crossing the police. In the end, Andrea/Isis was right, but she had no way of knowing that until the real criminal confesses.
* ''Series/{{Glee}}'' is frequently accused of this.
** Perhaps the most infamous and obvious example was in the season 3 episode "I Kissed A Girl," which was supposed to be about LGBT acceptance after Santana was outed as a lesbian against her will in the previous episode. For starters, despite the title, there were no girls kissing. Rather than focusing on the actual lesbian character, the episode was made all about the atonement of Finn guy who outed her, which consisted entirely of suggesting the glee club do songs "by girls for girls."
*** This wasn't helped by the girls performing Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl", which, rather than being a lesbian anthem, is a paean to bi-curious experimentation, making it sound like Santana is just going through a phase rather than being an actual lesbian.
** The previous episode where she was outed carried the aesop of "Don't out people against their will," but this too was lacking. First, Santana was an AlphaBitch who had spent the entire episode bullying Finn, so she was hardly the most sympathetic victim. Second, the outing happened after she was once again making fun of him, at which point he responded, "So when are you going to come out? Everybody knows you have feelings for Brittany..." Finn didn't make a scene nor was he spreading this fact to everybody; he had angrily said the one thing he knew would unnerve her after he grew tired of her insults. It was ''someone else'', an unnamed girl looking over her shoulder, who overheard the conversation and told her uncle, who was running for state representative against cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester. He ran a smear ad claiming that Sue was "harboring an open lesbian" (with Santana's picture) on the cheerleading team, and ''that'' was the moment Santana was outed. As you can see, the situation was a little more complicated than "Finn outed Santana," and yet that formed the basis of the next episode. And at no point in ''the entire series'' did Santana ever apologize to anyone for being such a bitch.
** Another example would be 4x18 "Shooting Star" where they had a school shooting... but the gun going off was all accidental and didn't hurt anyone, and a teacher covered for the student at fault. So there were no actual consequences for the student who brought a gun to school and caused gunshots and terrified the entire student body and faculty. Many reviews of the episode claimed the message was lost by the end, or it was a failure, or it could've been much better, etc.
** There's also ''Glee'''s harmful portrayal of eating disorders in season 4. [[http://proud2bme.org/node/510 As Catherine Weingarten says]], "Marley was convinced to become bulimic to avoid becoming like her [morbidly obese] mother. The mean girl Kitty easily convinces Marley that in order to play the part of “Sandy” in Grease she has to look a certain way. Marley does not even seem to understand that Kitty is getting her to experiment with dangerous eating disorder behavior. So Marley becomes fully bulimic and later even passes out during sectionals, which prompts everyone in Glee club to hate her. There is so much misinformation here about how one gets an eating disorder and the seriousness of eating disorders. It is common for people to not fully understand what an eating disorder is and only know about them through sensationalist tabloids or TV shows. Now Glee is adding itself to the list of shows spreading harmful and untrue information about eating disorders. Glee makes eating disorders seem campy and not very serious. We are supposed to be annoyed by Marley and not even care when she passes out at sectionals." There is also Liana Rosenman who wrote, "It is really dangerous [for Glee] not to include a public service announcement of the dangers of eating disorders." and "Marley has an eating disorder for two days and then magically recovers. That is far from the truth. I struggled with anorexia for five years." [[http://http://haveuheard.net/2012/11/glees-eating-disorders-sucks/ Other people have published similar sentiments]]: "One topic Glee has failed horribly at covering is eating disorders. Eating disorders are often life threatening and last night's episode of Glee made it nothing short of a joke."
** Coach Beiste coming out as female-to-male transgender and beginning the transition process was supposed to carry the message that you're never too old to come out and live openly and happily. The show was trying to cash in on growing transgender visibility in the media, but Beiste was ''already'' popular with transgender/genderqueer viewers for being a masculine cisgender straight woman, since she proved that gender expression isn't always cut-and-dry. Making her trans completely backfired since it carried the implication that all tomboyish women secretly want to be men.
* Parodied in ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'' when Gob sings a tone-deaf ([[{{Pun}} in every sense of the word]]) duet with a black puppet named Franklin about racism. Even more HilariousInHindsight if you've heard "Accidental Racist" (see the entry under Music below), a song with a similar concept which doesn't handle the issue much more gracefully but is played entirely straight.
* An episode of ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'' has an episode about beauty pageants being degrading. That may be a common criticism of beauty pageants ''today'', but that criticism comes from beauty pageants being seen as a means for young women to spend excessive amounts of money and effort in competition for vanity prizes like crowns and titles. The pageant ''in the show'' is taking place in an ancient Greco-Roman fantasy setting, and the prize for the winner is ''a winter's supply of food for her village's children''. We're still supposed to root for the contestant who quits in order to preserve her pride and dignity, even though that means damning the children of her poor village to starve for the winter and competing for their sake is already pretty noble.
* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' story "Nightmare on Eden" is a DrugsAreBad story about intergalactic drug smugglers. It started out quite reasonable and relevant (and in a show that had been and later continued to be quite good at dealing with serious political issues in an allegorical format) but all three series lead actors, especially Lalla Ward, were concerned that the script might glamorize drug use to young viewers. The FantasticDrug was renamed from the vaguely fun-sounding 'zip' to the nonsensical 'vrax', and everything about why anyone might want to take the drug was removed, with the result of turning vrax into something instantly addictive and invariably fatal that doesn't even make you very high.
* The ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' episode "Waltz" was written as an attempt at putting a stop to the MisaimedFandom surrounding Gul Dukat, ending with Captain Sisko telling Jadzia that even when you live in [[GreyAndGrayMorality a world full of shades of grey]], true evil (such as Gul Dukat) can still exist. Even so, partially ''because'' of Gul Dukat's persuasive delivery of [[VillainHasAPoint considerable testimony on his own behalf]] in this episode, his fandom was not so easily dissuaded.
* An episode of the 2016 revival of ''Series/TheXFiles'' attempted to tackle racism against Muslims in America and stereotypes. Problem is, not only does the episode resort to obvious {{straw|Character}}[[StrawmanFallacy man]] stereotypes (ignoring the actual, more complex cultural/social reasons racism arises) but all but one of the Muslims featured actually '''are''' terrorists and a Muslim-committed act of terrorism kicks off the plot, making it look like [[StrawmanHasAPoint the racists are completely correct]]. The intention may have been to speak out against [[CycleOfRevenge revenge cycles]] and [[StopBeingStereotypical glorifying stereotypes]], but if so it's conveyed ''very'' poorly.
* Parodied in a series of ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' sketches; a group of high school students try to shed light on important issues through an [[TrueArtIsAngsty angsty]] theater production. There's one problem, though: the students are too preachy, pretentious, and focused on making the performance edgy to ''properly convey the message''. Example: in one of the sketches, the students sing a song about "who ''really'' runs the world". They then proceed to take the chorus of Music/{{Beyonce}}'s "Run the World" and replace every instance of "girls" with "whites". Keenan Thompson then points out what's wrong with this:
--> Why would they sing that when ''they're'' all white? Kinda seems like they're bragging.
* ''Series/ThisMorning'', an ITV programme, [[http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4252680/This-Morning-s-Phillip-Schofield-brought-tears.html attempted to discuss the issue of cyberbullying]], but every time they try and tackle this issue they are accused of [[StopBeingStereotypical relying on stereotypes]], or ignoring the more complex cultural and social reasons that this happens, mixing this with NewMediaAreEvil and ''then'' trying to [[ScareEmStraight scare the audience]] and make people [[YouCanPanicNow overly paranoid about social media]]. [[{{Irony}} Especially as the show]] ''relies'' on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, it overlaps with BrokenAesop too. However, it would be safe to say that this show clearly ''cannot'' handle any aesops relating to this topic, and it's probably one reason viewers see the show as being in SeasonalRot territory for a LongRunner.

* "If Everyone Cared..." is Music/{{Nickelback}}'s spectacularly non-specific, crowd-pleasing, inoffensive protest song. It warrants a mention here because the whole thing is Chad Kroeger whining about how much better the world would be if, like, nobody ever had to be sad and stuff. [[{{Narm}} Yeah]].
** "If everyone loved and nobody lied/If everyone shared and swallowed their pride". He does at least go on to have a call to action. Kinda.
** Considering the same band came up with "Never Again", a ferocious (if over simplistic) diatribe against domestic violence, it's doubly jarring.
* Music/BradPaisley and Music/LLCoolJ's collaboration [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSurzeGvPrQ Accidental Racist]] provoked considerable backlash at the clumsy handling of a complex topic - namely, the lingering effects and divides from America's nasty history of slavery and racial segregation. Both artists seemed hopelessly out of touch with both sides of the table.
* City High's "What Would You Do?" is a charming, upbeat, top 40 pop song... about not judging strippers. Sounds harmless in theory, but like the Nickleback entry above, the bubbly pop beat can't carry the serious message. The male narrator finds out that his childhood friend is a runaway ParentalIncest victim who turned to stripping to feed her baby boy, and [[BrokenAesop cheerfully accuses her]] of just being a lazy party animal who makes excuses for why she doesn't have her life together. Just about any other sane reaction would have utterly ruined the happy pop vibe. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceYjUymR-wo The cover by Bastille]] works a lot better by stripping down (no pun intended) the beat, portraying the male narrator as clearly in the wrong during his rant, and making the message of the song way more sincere.
* Kosovan-Albanian-British pop star Dua Lipa is ''usually'' well-intentioned with her attempts at AnAesop, whether discussing them on television, radio or social media, but her attempt at one in the video for her single "Blow Your Mind (Mwah)", released in August 2016, became this trope. The song itself didn't fall to this, but [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nydxbGhgv8 the video has]]. The original intention of the video was to promote an aesop about tolerance, sometimes of androgynous or LGBT individuals; however, the video forgets about the Aesop and becomes more about a display of MsFanservice and SceneryPorn of The Barbican Estate in The City of London (although LGBT banners and the flag do appear, it only gets a small amount of screentime), that it had some people, pundits, radio presenters and the blogosphere/social media questioning what the actual aesop of the video was meant to be.

* ''Pinball/PopeyeSavesTheEarth'' tries to teach a GreenAesop through the use of {{Pinball}} and ''ComicStrip/{{Popeye}}''. It goes as well as you'd expect.

[[folder:Print Media]]
* British magazine ''Take a Break'', which incidentally, is ''known'' for trying to put AnAesop in where it can, ran a story about a couple with Down's Syndrome who decided to get married. They explained to the couple "If you get married ''you won't be able to have a different boyfriend or girlfriend ever again''". However, did they not explain what divorce was to them? This gives the wrong impression to some parents of disabled adults.
** Taken one step further in a later issue, they went into full-on YouCanPanicNow / NewMediaAreEvil / OldMediaPlayingCatchup mode, which is ''the wrong impression'' for today's Internet generation.

[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* Any children's show where a main character or actor dies either avoids the issue entirely, [[TheOtherDarrin casts someone else to take their place]], or say they "[[CharacterOutlivesActor moved away]]"... except for the most notable [[AvertedTrope aversion]]: The death of Mr. Hooper (Will Lee) on ''Series/SesameStreet''.
** Sesame Street ''did'' have a show about divorce. Then they realized that there was ''no way'' they could present the issue well and scrapped the episode, swallowing the cost.
*** Part of the issue with that episode was that it apparently not only showed the aftermath of the divorce, but the parents going through it as well. Kids were just too upset by it.
*** A good couple decades later, they made another storyline about Abby Cadabby having divorced parents. They showed her as happy and as the divorce happening in the past. While it didn't go on the regular show, it's available as a resource for divorcing parents and has been shown to go over much better with children.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obiDOc2kM5Q The world's creepiest ventriloquist dummy and the world's worst ventriloquist say don't look at dirty pictures.]] Not that they tell the 6-8 year old audience what "dirty pictures" ''are''. To add insult to injury, the ventriloquist was ''arrested'' for [[{{Hypocrite}} not only having child porn in his possession]], but [[http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/30/ronald-brown-child-porn_n_3676727.html also actually conspiring]] to kidnap, rape, murder and [[ImAHumanitarian eat a child.]]

* Averted in an ''Radio/AdventuresInOdyssey'' episode that teaches AnAesop about cursing. Though it would seem impossible to teach such a moral in a Christian children's radio show, where you obviously aren't supposed to use curse words, it manages to pull it off by having some kids ''thinking'' that a certain word is a curse word and using it in such a way. It's a bit odd, but it actually works pretty well.

* The page quote refers to the first ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'' setting book, ''Rage Across New York''. Let's just say that if you're trying to argue against mistreatment of women and children, reducing it to the work of a single AncientConspiracy is probably the wrong way to go about it. To say nothing of the vicious ScienceIsWrong angle that separates "healing" from "evidence-based medicine". (Later books quietly kiboshed the "WE ABUSE CHILDREN FOR FUN" angle for the conspiracy, the Seventh Generation, making them a broader-focused group of Wyrm servants.)

* [[http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/arts/theater/cirque-du-soleil-michael-jackson-immortal-world-tour-review This review]] of ''Theatre/MichaelJacksonTheIMMORTALWorldTour'', the Creator/CirqueDuSoleil tribute to the musician, calls out the "They Don't Care About Us" number for presenting one of these in the below quote (and later, the critic notes that the intended anti-greed message is undermined since the show probably wouldn't exist if there weren't tons of money to be made off of Jackson's memory). Keep in mind that this show features Bubbles the chimp as a character and a production number with a giant sequined glove dancing around, among other things.
--> During [the number] dancing robots appear with LED breastplates that first flash dollar signs amidst videos of urban and international violence, then display hearts as Mother Teresa appears onscreen to feed starving children. The number was originally designed for Jackson's This Is It shows (performances that were preempted by the artist's demise), so Cirque can't entirely be blamed for its unseemly exploitation of human suffering for commercial entertainment. Of course Jackson would have seen himself as raising awareness, and Cirque doubtless think the same thing about the pro-Gaia number ["Earth Song"] that unfolds as 30,000 people sip from souvenir plastic cups.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The ''Franchise/TalesSeries'' in general are chock full of NarmCharm: it ranges from overly-dramatic to flat-out-bizarre, but still manages to be awesome despite that.
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'' has some interesting things to say about justice that get completely lost due to the game's BlackAndWhiteMorality. [[spoiler: [[VigilanteMan Yuri]] murders Ragou and Cumore. Sodia later attempts to kill Yuri because she thinks of him as a criminal. This is supposed to question Yuri's actions and show that justice is sometimes a very subjective thing. Problem is, unlike Ragou and Cumore, Yuri does not fap to the screams of dying children but is a clearly heroic character. So the whole thing just makes Sodia come off as a dangerous psychopath trying to MurderTheHypotenuse. The justice plot is later dropped entirely for a GreenAesop that doesn't make much more sense.]]
*** It's even worse than that. [[spoiler: Ragou was caught red-handed for ''feeding people'' to his pets ForTheEvulz and was punished with a slap on the wrist. Cumore had the authority to keep sending people out to die in the desert because frankly no one cared to stop him. The justice system is obviously, hilariously broken and it's apparent that Yuri's vigilante acts saved a lot more lives than Flynn's LawfulStupid approach to things.]]
* The moral they try to get across in ''VideoGame/IMMeen'' is that [[ReadingIsCoolAesop you should read more]]. What we get is more like "Never ''ever'' touch a book or else that book might suck you into a horrible labyrinth and an evil man will torture you like some kind of sadistic pedophile".
* ''Videogame/{{Yakuza}} 4'' has a sidequest where orphaned kids who were separated from their illegal immigrant parents when said parents were deported are spraying graffiti to express their hate for Japan. Tanimura and Zhao pull them aside for an important lesson: Is it the fault of the clearly flawed process for dealing with illegal immigrants? Nope. Is it the fault of the hostile, zero-tolerance mentality that the Japanese people have towards illegal immigrants? Nope. Is it their parent's fault for thoughtlessly putting themselves at risk for this situation to begin with? Nope. IT'S NO ONE'S FAULT! SO JUST STICK YOUR NOSE TO THE GRINDSTONE AND FORGET ALL ABOUT IT! Never mind the kids who will fall victim to the same situation that you're in someday, and that you, as a casualty, are in the perfect position to be an activist.
* In ''VideoGame/FableIII'', you, the ruler of the kingdom, must choose between "good" decisions (mostly benevolent social programs) that cost the kingdom money, and "evil" decisions (cutting off said programs, poor environmental practices, etc.) that save the kingdom money, all in preparation for a supernatural invasion that will kill off many of your citizens if you don't put enough funding into the defense budget. This is already rife with UnfortunateImplications and DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything, but the intended moral is presumably something about having to make hard decisions about security vs. prosperity / quality of life. Or something. Unfortunately, since it's ridiculously easy to break the economy by investing in real estate and reinvesting the profits until you own every building in the kingdom, after which you can choose all the "good" decisions and fund the defense budget out of your own pocket, the moral comes across as more like, "[[BrokenAesop Autocratic land barons can solve all of society's problems with no negative consequences!]]"
* ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'': [[http://metavideogame.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/the-shadow-line/ The game has been criticized]] for its message of "violence is bad" being subverted by continuing to allow the player to kill enemies with executions and live burial by sand, even after the game tries to hammer the moral home with [[spoiler:Walker mass-murdering civilians.]] The same review also notes that many of the lead developers were behind ''[[VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon F.E.A.R.]]'', a shooter with military trappings, feeling that this only helped break the aesop a bit further. [[http://ludo.mwclarkson.com/2012/07/the-invisible-hands/ Another argument]] is that the developers going out of their way to blame the player [[http://mammonmachine.com/post/38251101609/i-wrote-video-game-morality-play-because-i-was ignores a culture of violence]] that glorifies and perpetrates the cycle of violent video games, and tries to absolve the developers for the game's scenario in the first place. [[http://tinysubversions.com/2012/11/review-killing-is-harmless-by-brendan-keogh/ Another criticism]] is that the game's over-reliance on pop culture makes it a pale imitation of ''Literature/HeartOfDarkness'' and ''Film/ApocalypseNow''.
** Although WordOfGod has stated that the message is less anti war/violence and more deconstructing what it means to play war as videogames. A clearer message to take from it would be "There are no unfallible heroes in real warfare", "You can't always single handedly save the day" or "Nobody would be able to act like a character in a standard war shooter and remain unscathed".
* The message of ''VideoGame/SuperTanookiSkin2D'' is that [[VideoGame/SuperMario3DLand the Tanooki Suit]] promotes skinning real tanuki alive... despite the fact that said suits ''are not made from actual tanuki'', and are supposed to be little more than costumes designed to invoke the ''mythological'' bake-danuki tanuki. This one fact ends up destroying the entire message.
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV'' takes on a lot of different themes and modern issues, but tends to fall flat when it tries to confront issues that [[HypocriticalHumor the game itself is guilty of.]] For example, one can listen to the in-game radio endlessly spoof American society's chauvinism, misogyny, and sexual objectification of women... and then gleefully head off to buy a lapdance or solicit a prostitute. Throughout the series there's also lots of very heavy-handed criticism of violence in America... while the overwhelming majority of violent deaths in the games are caused by your player character.
* ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies'' is [[{{Anvilicious}} rather clear]] in it's message that "The end justifies the means" mindset is wrong. The thing is the phrase is used to justify using questionable means to achieve ''noble'' goals, while the villain who represents this viewpoint is anything but. The "end" that is supposed to justify those means is getting away with murder, which was commited because the villain was taking bribes and wanted to get away with it. What's more the main characters who generally ''do'' have noble goals in mind [[BrokenAesop use questionable means to achieve it many times through the series]].

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Parodied in ''Webcomic/SweetBroAndHellaJeff'', in which The Big Man asks the readers to 'keep it real about '''AIDS''''.
* ''Webcomic/EvilDiva'' did a story about rape. That would be bad enough for [[CerebusSyndrome its own reasons]]. But thanks to the fact that story presents the subject by pandering to a loads of stereotypes and quickly becomes ridiculous - Diva goes to a college party, meets a stranger, who assaults her after few minutes talk ''in front of everyone'' and no one seems to care - the message turns into "college students are evil".
* ''Webcomic/CtrlAltDel'' infamously attempted to do a serious story arc about one of the main characters suffering a miscarriage. In a goofy TwoGamersOnACouch comic that features things like a holiday called "Wintereenmas" and a robot made out of X-Boxes. Needless to say this is not an environment conducive to a serious discussion about the impact of miscarriage on people's lives. The result is "[[{{Narm}} sad]]" scenes such as Ethan showing how excited he was to have a child by revealing that he made a tiny UsefulNotes/PlayStation controller for babies to use.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* This trope was brutally satirized in ''Website/TheOnion'' article "[[http://www.theonion.com/content/node/38286 Talking To Your Child About The WTC Attack]]", which encouraged parents to give a no-holds barred explanation of the world history leading up to the World Trade Tower attacks in order to answer why this bad scary thing happened (serious TearJerker warning). Although given that the material is fairly obscure even among adults who try to keep with the news, the real moral might have been "Try hard to understand world history, and don't believe the simplified explanations we have to tell our kids."
* Poked fun at by Creator/BradJones in his ''WebVideo/DVDRHell'' review of "Rock: It's Your Decision". The reformed, ex-rock-and-roll-fan protagonist preaches to a group of kids about what he saw at a rock concert once: The people listening weren't just sitting quietly and listening to the music! They were ''getting up and dancing!'' The music was ''controlling'' them! Brad snarks, "This is an emotional response, like crying when you're sad. This, too, is sinful, and should be suppressed."
* The ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'' serial ''The Yesterday Quest'' had Toa Chiara react to the sexism displayed by her creators (who believed that females are by default peaceful and gentle) by killing a random animal. What a lot of fans took away from this is that "yes, girls can very well be as violent as guys", or alternatively, "Chiara's crazy." In fact, the author originally didn't even intend to make an Aesop here, he just accidentally mixed up the pronouns for another character (thereby making a male out of someone who belonged to a [[OneGenderRace female race]]), and decided to give an in-story explanation to the typo, leading to the claims of sexism, and then to ''this''.
* ''[[UsefulNotes/BritishNewspapers The Sun]]'', a British newspaper, has a feature called "Sun Justice" which [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin is what it says]], except more of a [[SoapboxSadie campaigning platform]]. They ''do'' get it wrong [[EpicFail a lot]]. Whilst it may be worthy of Shy Keenan to campaign on it, the newspaper itself unfortunately over-sensationalizes the issues; for example, it takes TheNewRockAndRoll and YouCanPanicNow UpToEleven, and [[CriticalResearchFailure confuses trolling with cyber-abuse]]. So the message is... well, it's not clear ''what'' exactly. Well other then the fact that The Sun is a bunch of lying idiots.
* "Mouthpieces", a fad found on some blogging sites, often fall into this. It basically involves drawing an image of character from a cartoon or movie and adding an inspirational message or life advice at the bottom. Some are actually quite nice, but then you get the ones that try to talk about gender equality or gay rights (and many more) that just come off as silly or downright belittling of the very cause they're advocating.
* Ruthlessly parodied, deconstructed, and played for horror in ''WebVideo/DontHugMeImScared''. In it, a trio of ''Sesame Street'' style kids show characters find themselves tormented by increasingly deranged and incompetent "teachers". At best, the lessons end up being ''way'' out of a kid show's comfort zone. At worst they're outright [[CosmicHorrorStory insane and horrifying]].
-->"Now let's all agree to never be creative again!"

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* There was an animated story in ''Series/YoGabbaGabba'' about anthropomorphized drops of water and oil who live in towns across from one another. They are separated by a line in the middle of a road and they are not allowed to mix with one another. Now, the story looks like it's heading towards a GreenAesop when an oil drop runs across the road and collides with a water drop. But the story focuses on how together they make a pretty rainbow. And then all the oil and water drops start playing together. The message was ''supposed'' to be "it's wonderful when people who are different play together", but unfortunately children will probably interpret it as "go ahead and pour oil in the sink/bathtub/etc. to make pretty rainbows". Also, oil and water? Not well-known for mixing together. It (hopefully) should be blatantly obvious that generally oil ''should not be in water''.
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' in general, since its BlackComedy status makes taking any Aesop it offers seriously near-impossible, especially when it comes to religion and gay rights.
** It gets bad when they introduce a character that's every offensive gay stereotype rolled into one, and Creator/{{Seth MacFarlane}} goes on record saying that the gay community is intended to ''identify'' with him.
** The episode with Quagmire's transgender father also counts as this.
** They tried to tackle DomesticAbuse in "[[Recap/FamilyGuyS10E3ScreamsOFSilenceTheStoryOfBrendaQ Screams of Silence]]" and while a commendable effort, at least in theory, keep in mind this is a show where women are routinely beaten and killed by their husbands/boyfriends ''for laughs''. Even worse when you consider that [[Recap/FamilyGuyS10E2SeahorseSeashellParty the previous episode]] portrayed a girl ''choosing to stay with her abusive family'' as "heroic". "Screams of Silence" itself isn't much better, depicting a broad, [[CriticalResearchFailure mostly inaccurate]] (and, often times, vague) portrayal of typical domestic violence and its psychological effects and going so far as to ''blame the victims'' for staying with their abusers.
* ''WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers'' as a whole often falls victim to this trope, largely due to the fact that it chooses to depict pollution and other types of environmental destruction as being caused by supervillains who are doing it [[ForTheEvulz just to be dicks]], rather than ordinary people who aren't quite aware of their impact on the environment, or don't care when there's a lot of money being made in the process. For a non-environmental-related case, there's the infamous episode "[[UsefulNotes/NorthernIreland If It's Doomsday, It Must Be Belfast]]", which was meant to promote world peace. What it managed to do instead was become the single most offensive example of the {{Oireland}} trope, while also making [[UsefulNotes/TheTroubles the struggle between Catholics and Protestants]] look like [[Theatre/WestSideStory The Jets against The Sharks]]. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQJrovKgrTw Highlights can be seen here]]. (And the comments. Dear God, the comments.) This episode was banned in Northern Ireland at the time it aired, and was met with ridicule from Northern Ireland's inhabitants after it was finally shown.
* The infamous Saturday morning special ''WesternAnimation/CartoonAllStarsToTheRescue'' tried to deal with the dangers of marijuana -- by wasting a perfectly good MassiveMultiplayerCrossover and having beloved children's cartoon characters spew quaint little platitudes about how drugs are bad. And marijuana users are apparently angry, semi-violent hoodlums a la ''Film/ReeferMadness''. When that cartoon was broadcast in prime time in Italy, it was preceded by an "insanely long" and "insanely boring" message by the then-Prime Minister. American children were treated to a similarly {{anvilicious}} message from Bush, Sr. And Aussie kids got one from Prime Minister Bob Hawke. Kind of funny in retrospect, as he's the Prime Minister celebrated for downing a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yard_glass yard of ale]] in eleven seconds when he was younger (making it into the Guinness Book of records), so you have to wonder what else he got up to back then. But then, this is Australia, where you're looked upon as weird if you don't like to get smashed at least occasionally.
** Apparently, the special was not advertised as being a VerySpecialEpisode prior to it first airing, fooling kids into thinking that it was going to be a purely fun crossover cartoon super special. Little did they know that they were about to be {{anvilicious}}'d to oblivion.
** Y'know, some of those very cartoon characters being aware of drugs [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs explains WAY too much.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstoneKids'' "Just Say No (to drugs, of course)!" prime time special. It's less infamous than "Cartoon All-Stars", but it could almost be the type specimen of the Clueless Aesop Very Special Episode. It features your trademark crazy inaccurate information, a [[LongLostUncleAesop whole new set of characters]] introduced during the episode, and radical changes made to a main character after hanging out with the aforementioned new characters. The latter two elements were used '''just''' to deliver the Aesop [[SnapBack and none of them were ever acknowledged after this one episode]]. And, oh yeah, there's the bizarre sight of the slapstick-prone Flintstones characters talking about drugs. And to top the whole thing off with a bonus, there's a ''killer'' HilariousInHindsight moment or FunnyAneurysmMoment: Music/{{Michael Jack|son}}[[RockThemeNaming stone]].
** ''Another'' HilariousInHindsight moment: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZvHiiWFbBU "It tastes gooood, like a-- *click click* cigarette shoooould!!"]]
** The special also failed to make drugs look any worse than smoking. Apart from being unable to win a race that he apparently usually wins, the drug dealer kid's biggest problem is that he'll be taken to the police station, after which his parents will come to pick him up and yell at him. Let's repeat that. The kid (named Stoney for extra {{anvilicious}} points) was ''arrested for drug possession'' and they're actually going to allow his parents to stop by and take him home that same day. And his actual punishment will be his parents yelling at him. So if you do drugs, the worst you can expect is that ''your parents will yell at you''.
* ''WesternAnimation/DonaldInMathmagicLand'': The Aesop appears to be Eggheads do math, and should be respected even if you are Donald Duck, but it comes off more like "Practice Magick in secret to unlock the interdimensional gateway."
* Quite a few ''WesternAnimation/DragonTales'' episodes have perfectly good Aesops that wipe out on the shores of MostWritersAreHuman And Do Not Live In Magical Lands, and wind up just looking strange. To wit: [[TokenMinority Lorca]] is a magical dragon who lives in a MagicalLand with Unicorns and wizards and magic everywhere. Oh, and he's in a wheelchair. So the little kids watching this '''fantasy cartoon''' where children have wonderful adventures in a Magical Land can learn that disabled people are just like you and me. Even when they are dragons in wheelchairs. We get the intended message, but it seems a little on the nose to have a mythical creature in a wheelchair. This aesop gets especially weird when you remember that Lorca can fly just fine and lives in a world with wish-granting magic, creating huge amounts of FridgeLogic.
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfSonicTheHedgehog'', "Sonic Sez," "[[TooSmartForStrangers Bad Touching]]." The big problem with this, and other episode tags and [=PSAs=] like it, is that shows in the AnimationAgeGhetto were allowed and encouraged to warn against sexual molestation, but were forbidden to define it. They could tell kids to tell parents or the cops about "bad touching," but they couldn't say what ''sorts'' of touching are bad. Unlike most similar [=PSAs=], however, the Sonic Sez one at least manages to come close to defining it, by explaining that "if someone touches you in a place or in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, that's no good. It's your body; no one has the right to touch you if you don't want them to."
** Even worse is [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYxQgjfeoDU this Sonic Sez]], which attempts to teach a respectable Aesop ("Only dial 9-1-1 in a real emergency"), but thanks to his [[MascotWithAttitude attitude]], Sonic inadvertently tells kids that "If you're being attacked by people who mean you harm, calling 9-1-1 would be a dumb joke."
** There is an even more ridiculous [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBDtu2AmktA Sonic Sez]], that may suggest the writers knew exactly how silly this was. Grounder smashed himself while chasing a rabbit, a container of pills falling out of him in the process. The rabbit goes to take them, only for Sonic to stop him. The pill bottle reads, "For Grounder, Robot Headache Pills, Take One A Day With Oil."
* ''WesternAnimation/DoubleDragon''
** One episode involved a kid obsessed with video games. He was taught that life is [[ThisIsReality not a video game]]... by a pair of magically-super-powered crime-fighters who summon dragons and shoot fire and stuff... in '''a show based off a video game.'''
** The 'drugs are bad' episode... had its moments. A fungus that the sewer-dwelling mutants chew for energy is concentrated into a dangerous drug (RPM) by the Shadow Master, who uses it to enslave people to him. So far, so good. Vortex started taking it to be a stronger fighter and smashed apart a training dummy in a fit of rage when it was suggested it wasn't exactly a good thing. Then the Shadow Master deliberately exposes Billy to RPM after he captures him, and it looks like an interesting setup of addiction vs willpower, and how Billy vs Vortex might recover... and then Dragon Magic cleans the junk out of Vortex and Billy. We never see what happens with the other addicts, above and below, or any consequences, not even for Vortex having drugs around the dojo where ''kids'' come to take martial arts lessons! Also compare the episode where Jimmy gets addicted to The Third Eye of the Dragon. Both eps are less 'drugs are bad' and more 'magic fixes everything'.
* ''WesternAnimation/GIJoeARealAmericanHero'': "The Greatest Evil" teaches that drugs will make you a violent criminal, however, Headman, the violent criminal responsible for the distributing the drug "Spark", overdoses and dies a horrific death, teaching that drugs are not so much recreational as they are highly caustic, volatile chemicals.
* Happens InUniverse in ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', when the school decides they need to teach the kids about safer sex -- without actually talking about sex. So they just tell the kids that boys always need to wear condoms, or else they might get girls pregnant, and leave it at that. HilarityEnsues. At the end of the episode, Chef specifically calls this out, points out that the people teaching the sex ed (Mr. Garrison, Miss Choksondick, and Mr. Mackey) are all [[DepravedBisexual misguided]], [[AllWomenArePrudes misinformed]], or just plain clueless about sex themselves, and says that if the parents want it done right they should do it themselves. Although in a straighter example of this trope in action, Chef himself often had a bad habit of singing songs about sex to the children, which doesn't leave him much room to criticize.
* According to ''[[http://everythingisterrible.blogspot.com/2012/02/drug-avengers.html Drug Avengers]]'', an obscure and [[DerangedAnimation very weird]] educational cartoon exhumed by ''Website/EverythingIsTerrible'', the reason [[SpaceWhaleAesop Earth will not be able to join the Galactic Federation in the future]] is because we do too many drugs. Yup.
* Used in-universe in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', "Over a Barrel". Pinkie Pie decides to sing a song about sharing in order to get the bison and the cowponies to get along and agree. They do agree... on this being the worst performance they'd ever seen. Brought up again when the bison are about to call off the attack, but Pinkie Pie celebrates by singing another verse, enraging them and causing them to attack anyway. In a more meta sense, the episode tries to create a scenario of irreconcilable differences illustrated with the bison (themed after Native Americans) and the ponies (themed after cowboys), but because it's a kids' show that discusses friendship and conflict resolution, there really ''is'' a satisfying compromise for all involved, and that requires the historical basis to be ''heavily'' sanitized to be appropriate for children.
** Lauren Faust has spoken about regretting the way the episode "Feeling Pinkie Keen" was handled. The intended aesop was "you should be open to different ideas and ways of perceiving the world, even if you don't particularly understand them." It unintentionally came off as "Atheists/Scientists/Skeptics are jerks and are demonstrably wrong." This could more or less be a realistic scenario in the sense of how science and logic aren't always the best ways to come up with an answer, but considering it's being applied in a show that regularly uses magic and spells to do a multitude of everyday tasks, it seemed like splitting hairs.
** Many fans also have a dislike of the episode "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" because of how terribly they feel it handles its own Aesop about humility. For context, Rainbow Dash has gone into an ego streak and she gets shot down when a new hero, the eponymous Mare Do Well, arrives and performs some heroics of her own. Our first problem is that Applejack and Twilight seem to be the only ponies around who don't like Dash's ego trip -- the rest of the town ''adores'' Dash. Second, when Dash starts to fail, it's not because of her ego. Finally by the end, it's revealed that [[spoiler:it was Rainbow's own friends who were trying to teach her humility]]. The aesop could look clueless at best and [[BrokenAesop broken]] at worst.
** Probably not entirely clueless, but in the episode "Swarm of the Century," Pinkie's seemingly pointless quest for musical instruments turns out to be the perfect way to get rid of the town's parasprite infestation, and things would have gone a lot smoother if everyone had just helped her rather than wasting time on other methods. The intended lesson was that you should listen to your friends' ideas, even if they may not make complete sense to you. Except that [[PoorCommunicationKills Pinkie hardly makes any attempt to explain what she's doing]]; she mostly just demands everyone help her on a mission that doesn't seem to make sense at all, and expects them to go along with it just because she says so. Plus, one of those other methods almost works until Pinkie herself screws it up ''by not listening to her friends''. So the message becomes [[AccidentalAesop more about the importance of explaining yourself properly]]. Considering all things, however, this could more or less lead to a DoubleAesop, as Pinkie pointing out at the end how she tried to tell them when they wouldn't listen makes it evident that she did learn the importance of explaining herself properly. This borders on BrokenAesop when one remembers Pinkie Pie is actually ''asked'' what she knows about parasprites before setting off to find her first instrument and deliberately ignores the question.
** "One Bad Apple" tried to deal with the serious, complicated subject of bullying. Basically, it taught that you should not stand up to a bully; [[SarcasmMode if you do, you're no better than whoever is picking on you.]] Instead, you should tell an adult, because if you tell an adult about your bullying problem, they will make it stop immediately. Sadly, in RealLife, this is almost never the case. WebVideo/TheMysteriousMrEnter sums it up well in [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXDAzT355Tc his review of the episode]]:
--->'''The Mysterious Mr. Enter:''' In LaymansTerms, the moral is if you’re being bullied, you should just go to an adult and they’ll make everything okay, even though the adult in this situation, Applejack, did absolutely nothing throughout the whole episode. You know like when she probably saw Apple Bloom sleeping on the floor. I wonder how insulting this moral is to victims of bullying whose adults in their life could not or would not do jackshit to stop their bullying problem. And yes, it happens, more often than you think, and more often than episodes like this would have you believe... So what's the one-size-fits-all solution? There is none. No two bullying situations are the same, and pretending that there's one answer that can solve it all really pisses me off. People, children and teens have been driven to suicide because the adults in their life would not or could not do anything about bullying. And suggesting that taking a stand against your bullying makes you a bully as well makes this awful moral even more difficult to stomach. Yes, telling an adult is the first thing you should do, but that's ''never'' where it ends. ''Ever.''
** "Bats!" earns a fair amount of flak for reasons fairly similar to "Swarm of the Century", especially since the Aesop the episode ultimately portrays [[FantasticAesop could only work in a magical world where pest animals can be diplomatically reasoned with]].
** "Newbie Dash" tackles the adult and controversial concept of rookie hazing, embarrassing nicknames and name-calling. It goes about as smoothly as you'd expect in a TV-Y rated show based around friendship.
* The ''WesternAnimation/CareBearsWelcomeToCareALot'' episode "Welcome to Grump-A-Lot" has GrumpyBear lose his temper at his friends, causing a "Grumpy Storm" to break loose and turn everyone except for Grumpy into foul-tempered opposites of their normal selves. The lesson (as spelled out by Tenderheart) is that "While we all get frustrated, we must learn to control our emotions." Which would be fine, except Grumpy only blew up at the others because he was all set to watch TV in peace and everyone showed up at his place without being invited, ate all his food, criticized the way he had laid out the snacks, deliberately stood in front of the TV screen so he couldn't see anything, talked and sang loudly over the announcer, and utterly refused to respect his privacy. So the lesson came across more as "It's wrong to want time for yourself, and if your friends walk all over you and refuse to consider your feelings on the matter, you have no right to get angry at them about it." Bonus points because this was the exact kind of lesson that the Care Bears franchise originally tried to ''avoid'' with Grumpy Bear; the entire point to his character was to teach kids that it's okay to sometimes be grumpy.
* ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'' had a "don't skip school" episode, where Arnold ditches for the day and spends it being constantly hindered in his attempts to enjoy it, and then finds out that the school day was pretty much cancelled for a surprise carnival that he would have been able to attend if he'd gone. A great way to get across "Don't skip school, you never know what you're missing out on", except when in the history of ''any public school'' has there ever been a ''surprise, one-day-only carnival''? They might as well have had PS 118 take an unannounced field trip to the moon. The kicker is that they could have had a decent message if they didn't throw in that anvilicious ending. While skipping school they kept running into people who could recognize them and expose what they were doing, this could make the real life message of "Skipping school isn't as fun as you think because you'll spend the day looking over your shoulder trying not to get in trouble over it," or how they would still be missing class that could have a test or still be responsible for any homework that will take even longer since they'd have to learn the material and do it on top of their regular classes. Nope, we get surprise carnival day. Though, at least it got a bit of a lampshade hung on it.
-->'''Arnold''': I think we both learned a lesson.\\
'''Gerald''': Yes, stay in school and pray for a carnival day.\\
'''Arnold''': That doesn't sound quite right...
* ''WesternAnimation/RocketPower''
** There was a nearly identical episode to the above mentioned, in which Otto and Sam skip school to have their own "Snow Day". The two end up stuck on a roller coaster while Reggie and Twister, who didn't skip, have a blast at the surprise all-day circus-themed assembly.
** It also had a "Girl Power" episode with "Power Girl Surfers", where Reggie starts an all-female surfing group to show the world that girls can excel at extreme sports. She decides to do this after Otto is unexpectedly offered a cover story in his favorite surfing magazine, and she's unable to convince the {{Jerkass}} magazine editor that she deserves her own story more than her brother does; at the end, she and her friends crash Otto's cover shoot to challenge him to a surf-off, humiliating him in front of the people offering him a shot at fame. Because of the way Reggie is written, the Aesop comes off as, "[[GreenEyedMonster Resenting someone else's good fortune]] is perfectly fine, if you can prove that they're not worthy of it."
* The anti-drug [=PSAs=] of the '80s and '90s ended up being clueless because, much like the "bad touching" messages, they weren't allowed to actually define drugs as being anything other than "bad things that only stupid people like". A few were bold enough to show things like joints or [[Series/PeeWeesPlayhouse crack]] on screen, but most of them just had kids being pressured by other kids their own age to do... something vague, with stuff that was supposed to be drugs of some kind. To hear them tell it, every fourth grade in the world was populated by clean, well-dressed addicts with TotallyRadical hair, desperate to cram little rolls of twisted-up paper towels down their classmates' throats. This was a recurring bit on ''WesternAnimation/APupNamedScoobyDoo'', as any time a drug-smuggler was nabbed, it'd just be "He was smuggling ''drugs''!", with Scooby going "Drugs!? Yuck!" in response. Given the theories about [[GRatedDrug Scooby-Snax]], this is more than a little ironic.
* Invoked in the ''{{WesternAnimation/Animaniacs}}'' episode, "A Very Very Very Special Show", where the Warner siblings try to be legitimate role models in a transparent attempt to win a humanitarian award, leading to things like Dot casually mentioning that she left a spotted owl she was taking care of to play with a white Siberian tiger, or a rant against gas usage and public transportation which was set off by Yakko suggesting they take a ride on a bus.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''
** Another reference to such Aesop treatment was in "This Little Wiggy", where Ralph Wiggum was apparently taught to let authorities know when people are touching his "special area." Ralph then thinks this special area is one of his shoulders and becomes very upset if anyone ever comes in contact with it. Don't forget that Ralph's father is Springfield's police chief...
** In "Sleeping with the Enemy", Lisa develops an eating disorder and announces at the end of the episode that they are not a CompressedVice that can be solved within 20 minutes & she will have to struggle with it for the rest of her life. However, due to the show's NegativeContinuity, Lisa is completely fine in the episodes that follow with absolutely no sign of any eating disorder, meaning that Lisa was completely wrong.
** The episode "Homer's Night Out" has the aesop of "Exotic dancers are people too." Not a bad message, but the ''way'' it's conveyed is a sheer mess. Bart receives a toy spy camera and secretly takes a photo of Homer dancing with a stripper at a work party. The picture gets copied and passed around his friends at school and eventually makes its way into the adults' world (essentially [[OlderThanTheyThink it went viral before social media was a thing]]). Mr. Burns finds it and scolds Homer, claiming that he's making the power plant a hostile workplace for the female employees, [[TakeOurWordForIt even though we don't see anything happen to prove his claim]][[note]]on the other hand, [[ForTheEvulz Mr. Burns was probably just looking for an excuse to be a jerk to Homer again]][[/note]]; Marge also finds it and is ''utterly pissed'' and throws him out of the house. When he begs for her forgiveness, she claims that she's upset at him not for dancing with a stripper, but for letting Bart think it's okay to treat women like objects, forcing Homer to track the girl down to have her tell Bart that she's a person with a real name and real goals and interests. Three problems here: 1. Marge's reaction indicated jealousy rather than anger at Homer's parenting; claiming that he set a bad example came across as just an excuse to guilt-trip him, not the primary offense. 2. At no point was the dancer disrespected at the party. She was hired to perform, and none of the men present ever even touched her or verbally demeaned her in any way. 3. ''Homer had no idea Bart was there.'' If anyone had explaining to do, it was ''Bart'' for sneaking into an adult party where he might not understand the context of what was going on, and taking a photo of people in a compromising position without their consent.
** Subverted in the later episode "Bart After Dark", whose apparent purpose was to redeem the show from the previous entry. When Marge finds out Bart was forced to work as a door man at a burlesque club as Homer's way of punishing him for damaging its property, she joins with the local MoralGuardians and works the town into a fury over the club's presence. However, it's clear that Marge is overreacting, and the club's owner -- an elegant older woman -- actually confronts her; the owner argues that she's been in Springfield for over fifty years and that she and her dancers have every right to be there.
* In a way, every [[AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle sendoff message]] on ''WesternAnimation/InspectorGadget'' could qualify. Gadget just spent the entire episode proving himself TooDumbToLive, repeatedly saved by his niece and dog, and we're supposed to accept his safety advice?
* ''[[Characters/{{Popeye}} The All-New Popeye Hour]]'' also usually ended each episode with a sendoff message. One, in particular, was about the dangers of smoking. Naturally, the problem with this message is that Popeye himself regularly smokes a pipe. The PSA tried to HandWave this with his nephews asking, "But what about you and your pipe?" To which Popeye replied, "I just use it to toot!" Ummmmm, yeah...
* While most of the Circle Time interstitials that used to air on Playhouse Disney (now Disney Junior) could get simple aesops across to their target audience of preschoolers pretty well, the lesson to be learned from the saga of [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIA0XmnspHo Crying Jack]] doesn't make much sense in relation to the problem at hand in the live-action segment. A youngster is unhappy because she doesn't know what to draw, so the host of the segments tells the story about Crying Jack. The story details a happy-go-lucky boy who, for no stated reason, suddenly decides to cry as much as he can, and ultimately he cries so much that he turns himself into a [[BodyHorror giant walking and crying mouth]]. The fact that Jack just starts crying for literally no reason makes the moral of the story (possibly intended to be a "getting too upset won't solve your problems" type of moral) [[note]] Or "It's bad to ever express any sadness/negativity!" which is ''not'' the kind of aesop you want a vulnerable young audience to see in a time where depressive disorders which can stem from hiding negative thoughts out of shame or fear have been brought to light.[[/note]] come off more like "[[SpaceWhaleAesop Never cry or else you run the risk of turning yourself into a giant crying mouth]]". Whichever the case was, neither of the aesops really relate much to the kid's WritersBlock-induced conundrum.
* Deliberately defied in ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' and ''Unlimited''. Early on, the show was building a discussion about whether superheroes were a good or bad thing, but this idea largely petered out over time. Why? Because the writers realized that while vigilante organizations would be a bad idea in the real world, the lesson doesn't really make sense in a setting where colorful supervillains and alien invasions are thwarted every other week by people with tights and superpowers.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheRealAdventuresOfJonnyQuest'', a massive graveyard of elephant skeletons is discovered. Part of the plot revolves around elephants being poached for ivory. The kids want to reveal the graveyard's location to the world, since people could harvest the skeletons for their ivory instead of hunting living elephants. Although this would be only a temporary and imperfect solution, it would provide at least some respite for living elephants to bring their numbers back up so they wouldn't be as endangered anymore, and it would be better than doing nothing and just hoping humans stop being greedy. Naturally, the adults dismiss this, insisting that, first, humanity needs to lose its greed for ivory, proving just how naive the show could be.
* InUniverse, {{discussed|Trope}} and ultimately subverted in ''WesternAnimation/BoJackHorseman'', when Sextina Aquafina releases a pop single attempting to bring attention to the right to choose abortion. With a hook of "get dat fetus, kill dat fetus, braap braap pew pew", lyrics like "I'm a baby killer, killing babies makes me horny", and a video featuring twerking nurses and Sextina spreadeagled on a phallic coathanger spaceship shooting at a baby resembling the Star Child from ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'', Diane - despite herself being pro-choice and having an abortion - complains about the tone and says that maybe it's just not appropriate to make a pop song about this sensitive issue. However, Sextina starts receiving comments from fans saying that the (intentionally funny) video helped them get through their own abortion, and Diane backs down, realising it's not about her.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Hammerman}}'' suffered problems similar to those of ''Captain Planet'' in how it took the social problems it tried to comment on and turned them into one-note villains a superhero could defeat inside half an hour, leaving morals that were sometimes muddled or hard to apply to real life. ''WebVideo/TheMysteriousMrEnter'' points out such an instance in his review of the episode "Defeated Graffiti." While the aesop is a fair one ("don't deface other people's property with your art"), he notes it's pointless because the kids ten and under in the show's target audience aren't the people who make the big wallscrawls you think of when you hear "graffiti" and which the show used as examples. The people in their teens and twenties who ''do'' probably not only never saw the show and heard the message, they wouldn't stop what they're doing just because Cartoon Music/MCHammer told them to.