Central Theme / Western Animation

Remember, a Central Theme is not the same as An Aesop; a theme is a question, idea, topic or concept that the text explores, while an Aesop is a conclusion the author reaches about the theme or a lesson they wish to impart to the reader. As such, you should avoid phrasing your examples as conclusions.
  • Allen Gregory: Screw the Rules, I Have Money!.
  • American Dad!: Be open-minded, but don't get too overwhelmed by new ideas.
  • Archer: We're all ruled by our vices, and will always make poor decisions because of them.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: War Is Hell, and forgiveness, love, friendship and compassion win out over spite, hatred and fear in the end. A friend may become an enemy, but an enemy may also become a friend. Destiny is choice - and choices must be made, not put off. Also, be open-minded, it might just be the only difference between you and your enemy.
    • The Legend of Korra: Attaining balance, whether it be in an individual, a city, or the world. Recognizing one's own strengths and weaknesses, and by doing so, adapting to your personal environment and situation.
    • When watched side by side, it's clear that Avatar is about a human learning to become a god, whilst Korra is about a god learning to become human.
  • Ben 10: Make the best out of the cards you are dealt.
  • Clarence: It's possible to find fun and excitement in the boring and mundane.
  • The Cleveland Show: The perils and pitfalls of fatherhood.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog: Protecting the people you love, even when it means going up against the things you fear most.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: The refusal to accept failure.
  • DuckTales: The spirit of adventure and the power of family.
  • Ed Eddn Eddy: Children Are Cruel
  • The Fairly Oddparents: Be Careful What You Wish For.
  • Family Guy:
  • Futurama:
    • Loneliness. Difference. Some ideas remain familiar even after the world has changed enough to become unrecognizable. No matter how different and isolated you are, you can always find common ground with people if you look for it.
    • No matter how much time passes or how much our technology and world evolves, humanity is always basically the same, for better or worse.
  • Gargoyles: The evils of bigotry and prejudice, and the importance of acceptance. The value of family, both the family you're born into and the one you choose. If you dedicate your life to vengeance you will bring nothing but pain, both to yourself and to those around you.
  • Gravity Falls:
    • Learning how to deal with the fact that things aren't always what they seem.
    • The ones who love you and you love are people you can trust.
  • Hey Arnold!: People in poor circumstances finding happiness.
  • Invader Zim:
    • Humans Are Morons. Amazing that we have not been invaded.
    • Luckily, the aliens are morons, too. Word of God points out that anyone with the Irkens' miraculous technology and average intelligence could conquer the Earth in no time. Zim, on the other hand, is continuously thwarted by his own ridiculous plans, a complete lack of common sense, and a ten-year-old social outcast; the aliens in "Abducted" are utterly brainless. One could argue that Invader Zim contains a subtler theme that technology makes us stupider because we no longer have to think.
  • Justice League:
  • Disney's The Legend of Tarzan TV series: A young man must balance his responsibilities to his family, his new wife, and the jungle he protects.
  • The Loud House: The ups and downs of living in a large family.
  • Moral Orel: Just because kids are prone to mistakes doesn't mean adults are any better.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Friendship is a powerful force that can connect all of us and lets us accomplish far more then we can achieve on our own.
    • And the second season adds: But that doesn't mean it's easy.
    • For the fourth season, it's maintaining a friendship after life begins to separate you, and growing into a position of responsibility.
  • Over the Garden Wall: Things aren't always what they seem, so you should expect the unexpected.
  • Phineas and Ferb: The productive things you can do in your spare time.
  • Pinky and the Brain: The impracticality of supposed intelligence, the wisdom of supposed stupidity, the subjectivity of intelligence.
  • Recess: Enjoy being a kid while you can. And The Power of Friendship.
  • Regular Show: What aspects of life should and should not be taken seriously.
  • Rick and Morty: Science rules over everything and the universe doesn't care.
  • Rugrats and All Grown Up!: The joys and struggles of youth.
  • Scooby-Doo: No matter how supernatural it may seem, there's always a scientific and logical explanation for everything.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: Living in the shadow of the past, and how The Power of Friendship can help us move forward and undo the mistakes of those who came before us.
  • The Simpsons: Family will always stand by you and accept you for who you are, no matter how much you fight, how different you are, or how crazy you drive each other.
    • For Springfield in general: Everyone in the world is unique and seems a little insane to everyone else. You won't make them change. Get used to it.
    • For Springfield Elementary: The education system is flawed and so are the people in it.
    • The Springfield Nuclear Power Plant and its effect on the town is one big Green Aesop.
  • South Park:
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man: Just like the comics, Everybody makes mistakes. it's important to acknowledge when you did wrong and learn from it. Along wit: With great power comes great responsibility; what it means to have power and to use it in a socially and morally responsible way. This theme can be said to apply, to varying degrees, to almost any superhero story in some shape or form.
    • With Spider-Man, it's being a hero even when there is no reward for being one, it won't get bills paid, it won't help your love life and it won't get you fame and respect.
  • Star Wars Rebels: Fight for the right thing even if it's you against the Galaxy, because the truth is, you're not alone in your struggle, and they'll be there to back you up.
    • If you find that you are hurting, reconcile with your past so that you and the people around you can have a brighter future.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Putting in all your effort in everything you do and making contributions for people, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant it is.
    • Nobody's perfect
  • Teen Titans: The central theme of the whole show is The Power of Friendship. Several of the season arcs are centered around the theme that you may be Not So Different from a villain, be it by blood, abilities, or personality, but you can always choose to be a better person. The Terra arc also has the central theme of taking responsibility for one's actions, and the Raven arc says yes, you can Screw Destiny.
  • ThunderCats (2011): Right Makes Might. Being a proud badass doesn't make you a good leader. Seeing the big picture, having clarity, doing what's right, and showing kindness, selflessness and mercy towards all does make a good leader, and is the best way to combat the evil in the world that would exploit people's hatred and selfishness.
  • Tomand Jerry: The struggles between predator and prey
  • The Venture Bros. is about failure, and failed expectations in particular. The setting is a failed Used Future take on the Space Age ideals, Rusty Venture and Billy Quizboy are failed child geniuses, and almost every episode is about how some experiment crashed and burned.
    • The writers go into amazing detail. One character, Pete White, is a failed super-scientist. He lives in a trailer, the typical home of failures. The trailer itself is on bricks, meaning it can't move like trailers should. Near his home is a billboard informing the viewer that the trailer is the only house of a planned subdivision. The establishing shot takes up only a few seconds, and we know the character is a failure, his home's a failure, and the ground his home is standing on for miles around is a failure.
  • Wakfu: If you have the power to help somebody in need, then you should, that's what makes a hero.
  • We Bare Bears: Outcasts trying to find a place where they belong
  • Wild Kratts: All creatures are amazing and should be living free and in the wild.
  • Young Justice:
    • What does it mean to be a hero?
    • The next generation taking over the responsibilities of their predecessors.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/CentralTheme/WesternAnimation