a lampshaded idea that Jake is Ian/Henry's son, and
a comparison between therapy and cheating.
Tess: Did you do exercises?
Henry: (beat) No.
Henry: We were just doing research, and the next thing I knew... it just happened! I'm sorry.
That 70's Show does this many times, but one particularly noteworthy example is in "Hyde Quits the Circle." In said episode, the eponymous Hyde stops smoking weed and becomes an energetic health nut. It culminates in an intervention (in which the characters aredead serious) including such lines as, "You have a problem with drugs," and "I see now that I've been using sobriety as a crutch."
Robbie doing a solo mate dance and dancing uncontrollably around a girl he likes = erections and masturbation
Charlene's growing tail = Breasts
The "Nut to War" episode = The Gulf War
Robbie using theroids = Steroids
Vegetarianism = a family dealing with someone who's either a drug addict, a homosexual, or is part of a fringe religious or political group that goes against what the family raised the child to believe.
Blue-skinned mammals = black people
Potato-ism = Religion
iCarly: Carly meeting Nevel for the first time is oddly reminiscent of meeting an Internet pedophile. Obviously it's toned down for kids.
In "iQuit iCarly", the scene with the three main characters at school after Carly announces the show's cancellation resembles a conversation between a kid and his divorced parents.
In "iBeat The Heat" Freddie tries to lift Carly onto the kitchen bench. He fails, and ends up making it look like he's having (clothed, obviously) sex with her.
Mrs. Benson interrupting their webshow holding a bag which looks identical to a bag of weed and asking Freddie what it was. It turns out to be the asparagus that Freddie didn't eat for dinner, but it's obvious what it was meant to resemble.
When Carly stopped dating the Guy Of The Week in "iQ", Sam gives Carly the huge fork which she took from the Shays at the beginning of the episode. When Carly asks Sam why is she giving up her beloved fork, Sam pulls out a huge fork. Carly replies " That is comically big". Which reminds some of us of what one woman might give her now-lonely girl friend to compensate for not having a boyfriend any more.
After many of his jokes on The Late Late Show, Craig Ferguson will say "Remind you of anyone?"
After Spike finds himself incapable of biting Willow due to the recently implanted chip in his head, there follows a very funny conversation between the two which could almost word-for-word be about impotence. Until right at the end, when Willow mentions that they could "wait half an hour and try again," does a take that needs no words to express, "What the hell did I just say?", and brains him with a lamp.
Joyce reacts to Buffy's revelation that she's the Slayer in the same way a parent might react to a child's coming out of the closet: "Have you triednot being a Slayer?", "Honey are you sure you are a Vampire Slayer?" and "It's because you didn't have a strong father figure isn't it?". In a later episode, she mentions how supportive she's been about the supernatural side of Buffy's life, saying, "I've tried to march in the Slayer Pride parade."
When Buffy does a meditative ritual to try to find out what's wrong with Joyce, it looks very much like she's getting high (she won't let Dawn into her room, burns incense and tries to cover it up by sticking a towel under the door, and afterward we see through her eyes and her sight is wonky).
When Dawn finds out that she's the Key, it's played as though she found out that she was adopted. (Which is true after a fashion, since she was literally retconned into the family via magic.)
In the episode "Hush", with the characters unable to speak, Buffy mimes hand gestures that are supposed to represent staking the monster of the week, but that instead resemble masturbation. The rest of the Scoobies look at Buffy as though she's gone mad, and she hastily repeats the gesture with a stake actually in her hand.
"Magic = sex" is one of the longer running themes. Some examples:
There's this conversation between Willow and Tara, before they started their relationship:
Willow: I had so much fun the other night, with the spells... Tara: Yeah, that was nice. Willow: I hope you don't think I just come over for the spells and everything, I mean, I really like just talking and hanging out with you and stuff. Tara: I know that. But you wanna do a spell, right? Willow: Yeah, but... Tara: Oh, you don't have to explain. I've been thinking about that last spell we did all day.
Willow and Tara are seen doing a spell together, with Willow lying back against a pillow, panting and sweaty, with the shot showing her only from the waist up. The spell is aptly called "the passage to the netherrealm".
Appropriately mocked by Xander during Willow's dream in "Restless":
"Sometimes I think about two women doing a spell. And then I do a spell by myself."
And in Dawn's diary/internal monologue in "Real Me":
"Willow's the awesomest person. She's the only one I know who likes school as much as me. Even her friends are cool! Like Tara. She and Willow are both witches. They do spells and stuff, which is so much cooler than slaying. I told Mom one time I wish they'd teach me some of the things they do together. (beat) A-and then she got really quiet and made me go upstairs. Huh. I guess her generation isn't cool with witchcraft."
Vampires biting people is often treated as sex. When Angel bites Buffy in season 3, we see her crushing a helmet with one hand, as well as hearing her panting. Vampire attacks on women look a lot like rape. During the Season 5 premiere, Dracula shapeshifts himself into Buffy's room by turning into mist that floats in through her window (like a secret lover sneaking in), remarking on Buffy's scar from where Angel bit her, and then biting her on the other side, after which he tells her to take a taste of him. The next day, she really doesn't want anyone, especially Riley, to see her scar, like it's evidence of a shameful one-night stand.
In the season six episode "Wrecked" Willow get addicted to visiting an extremely powerful wizard by the name of Rack. He's referred to as "dealing" and Willow's experiences are more than a little trippy. The people in the lobby are all strung-out and when Willow leaves with Dawn, her eyes are dark and she's a little "off." To make matters worse, Willow treats the demon as a hallucination. Combining the "awakening lesbianism = magic" and "drugs = magic" metaphors makes for some Unfortunate Implications.
This one also got a lot of criticism for there being no subtlety to the analogy; it literally just comes off like a story about drugs with "magic" search-and-replaced onto it.
Demonic Possession stands in for drugs in a story from Giles' past as Ripper. His friends would pass around the demon, and when it possessed them, they would get a kind of high.
Willow to Buffy: "You could do that thing with your mouth, that guys like so much."
In "A New Man" Buffy and Riley discuss how many Demons and Vampires they have both slain. Buffy of course has a lot more than Riley and the whole conversation could really also be about previous sexual partners.
When Buffy is let into the Initiative's base for the first time it's first played as if Riley and she are going to have sex.
Buffy: "You said it was big. You told me, but you never said it was huge."
Riley: "I don't like to brag."
Willow and Tara's break up is treated like a divorce with Dawn as their child. When Tara and Dawn go for a movie and shakes an episode or two later, Tara assures Dawn that "I will always be there for you" and that her moving out had nothing to do with Dawn.
Spike's Enemy Mine alliance with Buffy is treated like infidelity. Their Foe Yay became much more apparent later on in the series and Drusilla broke up with Spike because even she could see it.
Spike: I told her [Drusilla] it didn't mean anything, I was thinking of her the whole time, but she didn't care.
After Buffy has sex with Angel, he changes (into his Super-Powered Evil Side, Angelus), acting like a completely different person. It's treated like he's some Jerk Ass who stopped pretending to be nice to a girl once he used her for sex, and when her mother finds out about it, that's exactly what she believes happened.
In "Anne" when Buffy tells Lily her boyfriend Rickie is dead, she mentions that it seemed like something "sucked the life out of him", that it was probably something in his blood, and that something like that could happen to anyone, even "good" people. The scene right before this shows an HIV poster.
Dawn believing she's a Potential = pregnancy.
Riley letting vampires feed on him = prostitution.
Or drugs, considering the dingy houses they're in, the rush, that he was bit on the forearm...
Towards the end, D'Hoffryn was portrayed less as Anya's boss and more as her pimp.
How about Caleb, The Dragon-come-lately of Season 7? A tall, charming man decked out in priestly duds, who turns out to be a sadistic, misogynistic, Ax-Crazy Old Testament-spouting Serial Killer? Seriously, all he was missing was the Love/Hate Knuckle Tattoos.
Season 8 has an In-Universe example: On the run Faith first hides in a bunker waiting for the end then escapes by train. Both are in Berlin, and she is disturbed at the implications.
Glory looks like she's having an orgasm whenever she brain-sucks someone.
Angel 2x06 has this exchange (note that Wesley is explaining a plot involving a women named Virginia, with whom he recently had sex, but Angel thinks he's referring to the state):
Angel: When were you in Virginia? Wesley: That's not the point.
In "2x17", "Disharmony", Harmony tries to explain to Cordelia that she's a vampire. Instead it sounds like she's coming out as a lesbian and expressing a crush on Cordelia.
In the episode "The Vision-Thing" Wesley mentions a Chinese herbal shop called Wang Ho Dong, getting a long look from Gunn.
In The Vampire Diaries While Alaric is training Elena on how to kill a vampire after she is attacked and almost killed by a compelled Stefan, he mentions that her reason for this is because "Stefan hurt you, and you don't ever want that to happen again". This as well as a few other mentions of vampires "taking what they want without regard to anyone else" and "finding a reason to get out of bed in the morning" seems to compare his actions more to rape than a bite.
Alex: There you go, there's the fight I was looking for! (pause) Now you feel better? (she hugs him) Justin:(annoyed) Hm... Fine. (he tightens the hug) Alex: Ow... Justin... You're hurting me. Justin: Hmmm... Yeah... (he releases her)I do feel better now, thank you.
And she smiles after that.
Alex's painting that resembled the symbol of anarchism in "Paint by Committee", Justin playing with his wand under the sheets in The Movie, Alex asking Justin to give her his wand and many more.
In one episode, Jerry's relationship with Keith Hernandez resembles a romantic relationship, in which helping him move is treated as "going all the way."
In another episode, Jerry makes a snide remark about dentists which gets him labeled an "anti-dentite". ("Next thing you know you're saying they should have their own schools!" "They do have their own schools!")
Later subverted in the same episode, When Jerry jokes with the Girl of the Week about dentists only to discover her non-metaphorical prejudice:
GotW: Hey, what do you call a doctor who fails out of med school? Jerry: What? GotW: A dentist. (they laugh) Jerry: That's a good one. Dentists. GotW: Yeah, who needs 'em? Not to mention the Blacks and the Jews.
Jerry leaving his barber for his more talented relative is portrayed as an infidelity of operatic proportions, complete with several music cues from The Barber of Seville.
Another episode had portrayed Kramer and Jerry as a married couple, when Kramer got a job, specifically portraying Kramer as the workaholic husband and Jerry as the neglected wife.
Even in one of the first series, a scene in which Jerry tried to stop seeing an annoying friend is played like a relationship break-up, with Jerry resorting to saying 'it's not you, it's me'
An episode where Kramer's shower breaks forces him to not bathe for days. His constant scratching and his desperate need for a new shower head makes him look and sound like a junkie. His dilemma makes Elaine's situation at work (she is mistaken for a drug dealer) a lot worse.
And, of course, the episode in which the facial/speech aftereffects of dental surgery result in Kramer being mistaken for a mentally-challenged person.
In an episode where Elaine happened to be involved with a man who had pro-life views, Kramer had the following discussion with Poppie, the owner of a pizzeria:
Kramer: A pizza isn't a pizza until it comes out of the oven!
Poppie: No, a pizza is a pizza the moment you stick your hands in the dough!!!
In Just Shoot Me!, Dennis replaces Ally as Jack's bridge partner; the plot is played out as an infidelity.
An episode strangely did one where an ice skater revealing to his wife Phoebe that he was straight had almost the same dialogue as it would if he were revealing he was gay ("Have you told your parents?" "No, but they're pretty cool. My brother's straight"); it was a Citizenship Marriage and she had known him to be gay. Friends also did this a lot with Joey and Chandler acting like a married couple including arguments about Chandler's ex-roommate Kip and buying furniture together....
And an episode where Rachel discovers Monica has been shopping with Ross's new girlfriend, and it's treated like infidelity.
Let's not forget an episode fairly early on where Phoebe and her current boyfriend were infected with chicken pox. They couldn't resist scratching themselves, so they had oven mitts duct-taped on to their arms. Eventually, the itching became too severe for them to resist, Phoebe started saying how good it would feel to give in and her boyfriend was saying "We can't, we'd regret it!", and eventually he succumbed to temptation along with her in a clear parallel to a highly turned-on couple trying to resist the urge to...get it on.
And when they finally do, they end up rubbing their backs against each other, complete with groaning, until Ross and Rachel walk in and gasp in horror, with Ross saying "I expected this from you Phoebe, but you're a military man!" to the boyfriend.
Let's face it, Friends uses this trope about every second episode.
One episode has Ross and Joey accidentally taking a nap together. It's treated like a night of drunken experimentation.
The Class: Nicole and Yonk go on a diet with no red meats. Duncan brings steak sandwiches to Nicole while Yonk is out for dinner, but Yonk comes home early while they're eating them together, at which point Duncan hurries out while they make excuses to Yonk. Particularly funny because Nicole and Duncan have actually cheated together before.
An episode of Lizzie McGuire has Gordo falling into the "forbidden world" of roleplaying games. Which are, as they often are, treated like drugs. (At least it's a step up from being portrayed as demonic or satanic.)
Boston Legal has played with the relationship between Alan Shore (James Spader) and Denny Crane (William Shatner), making them seem like lovers even though both are heterosexual skirt-chasers. They end each episode on a balcony, discussing life. In one episode, Alan brought an old friend out to the balcony to hold a conversation, but when Denny saw them there, he left in a huff, and later accused Alan of infidelity; they even discussed the fact that fidelity isn't restricted to romantic relationships alone. Alan said he didn't want to lose Denny, and promised never to let anyone else get in the way of their friendship. And called Denny high-maintenance.
They even have "sleepovers" on a regular basis. In one episode Denny was experiencing erectile problems and had an alarm on his crotch whenever he would get an erection...and when Alan proposed one of these "sleepovers" said alarm went off.
The finale has made the relationship canon. Seriously, they got married.
Which really doesn't mean anything, since while they use gay marriage as argument in support of their own, they're not gay, they love each other in a platonic sense and Alan wants to make sure he can always be there for Denny.
In Motor Skills Roz got a puppy and Martin offered to give her some of Eddies old toys, and it took about forty seconds before the whole thing disintegrates into an extended metaphor of a mother and a daughter disagreeing on how to raise the grand-child.
Damn it Martin! Just because I am not raising him your way doesn't mean that I am raising him the wrong way.
In the finale of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the normally reserved butler Geoffrey is retiring from his position as the Banks family butler, and he seems just a little too excited about his employer's announcement that he's "officially off duty." Am I the only one who is reminded of the freeing of a household slave?
This may be a legitimate interpretation given that Geoffrey was always portrayed as resenting everything the family makes him put up with, and, more generally, American culture has always tended to feel that using a household servant comes uncomfortably close to using a slave.
Also consider that Geoffrey is working for his citizenship, which Will and Carlton hid and denied him, the show alludes to not only slavery but indentured servants, who often worked for the right to live in the United States (one way to raise the funds needed for your passage was to agree to a period of indentured servitude in exchange).
In The Tick episode "Arthur, Interrupted", coming out as a superhero is described the same way as homosexuality, and later as a drug addiction. They even stage an intervention.
One episode treated Dick's obsession with collecting a brand of plush animals curiously similar to Beanie Babies as a drinking addiction, culminating with an "intervention" from the other characters. Subverted at the end of the episode where Dick explains that he's given up on the collecting and taken up drinking instead.
In another episode, Harry's insurance agent refuses to return his calls. Sally gives him some tips on how to "make a man call you". Eventually, he gets another agent, which plays out as Operation Jealousy.
In another episode, Sally encourages Harry to join her in playing with the time-space portal, saying "c'mon, let's do it — you know you want to". They accidentally beam in another alien from the Home Planet and are forced to take care of him. Dick berates them, remarking "thirty seconds of pleasure and a whole lifetime of responsibility". The rest of this storyline involves Sally and Harry "parenting" the new alien, who quickly starts acting like a bratty child.
Then there's the time when Dick, while rifling through Tommy's sock drawer, discovers plastic bags full of dried green plants and learns, to his shame and disgrace, that Tommy knows how to cook.
Tommy: No, it's pot, I swear! I ... smoke it with my friends.
Dharma and Greg had an episode where the title characters decided that they needed "couple friends", i.e. other married couples to hang out with. They then went to the bookstore and tried to "pick up" other couples. After befriending a couple, Dharma found that couple with another couple and accused them of "cheating" on her and Greg.
A 30 Rock episode had Liz stressing out over a co-op board failing to call her. This is played out as though it's about a date ignoring her. Eventually, she tells them "You know what, I've moved on. I bought a whole bunch of apartments! I bought a black apartment."
The opening of Dexter shows Dexter's morning routine. Or is it his murder routine? Wait, what are you planning on doing with that dental floss?
It's his morning routine. The hilarious opening scene for the fourth season shows him do it while completely exhausted, and thus screwing it up, because he's a daddy now, and babies cause lack of sleep. The end of the second season also shows him doing his morning routine.
Dexter's serial killing has also been compared to cheating on his girlfriend, drug addiction and being a closeted gay man. The last one is Hilarious in Hindsight if you've seen Six Feet Under.
On Keeping Up Appearances, Daisy and Onslow recall their wedding night, when she finally told him she was a Liverpool supporter. It's set up as if she had revealed something far more scandalous: Onslow had to go for a walk to sort things out, and, he says, she's lucky he didn't divorce her.
Nick Knight's vampiric dependency on blood is treated like alcoholism in Forever Knight. It's said that he could even become human again like he wanted if he could just kick the habit. At one point, he even tries a 12-step program.
Ellen's relationship with her auditor in the 3rd season of Slings and Arrows is deliberately reminiscent of a therapist-client relationship. Up to:
Ellen: I think we're making real progress here. Maybe we could move to an hour-and-a-half session?
Later in the season, we see Anna on the phone with someone. "What do you mean you have to play with it?... Well, when will you be able to get it up again?... Is there anything I can do to help?" She's talking to tech support about the theatre festival's local area network.
In Black Books, Bernard and Manny have a falling out, and Manny goes to work at the bookshop next door. This is treated by both parties as if it were the break-up of a romantic relationship, with Bernard in particular reacting as if Manny had been unfaithful to him ("Go to him! Go to your fancy man! I don't need you anymore!"). Then again, there's more than a little Ho Yay between Bernard and Manny.
There was also a first season episode where Manny gets fed up with Bernard's abuse and moves out. Fran and Bernard react like parents to a child running away from home, each blaming the other—Bernard accusing Fran of spoiling him and Fran accusing Bernard of driving him away by being mean to him. Then they go to the police to report him missing, who assume he's their son—right up until they start describing his appearance and they mention his goatee:
Police Officer: Just how old is your son?
On a slightly more serious note, Farscape's treatment of wormholes, usable as both a rapid long-distance travel method... and a weapon of horrific destruction. The obvious allegory is probably made most blatant in the second half of season 3's two-part episode "Into The Lion's Den"/"Wolf In Sheep's Clothing".
Kokura: To stabilize a wormhole — to tame it, to tame its power — would have been the greatest scientific discovery anyone could imagine! Crichton: It is not! Just! Science! It is never just science! It's a weapon! It kills!
On a more humorous note, the large amount of torture, leather and sex... where you get lines like this:
Bad Guy for the week (season 4): I like interrogations... long, hard interrogations.
Pretty much any scene with Scorpius when he's being tortured. The torturer always looks like they're having way too much fun, and Scorpius is continuously pleading with them to keep doing it.
The episode in season 3 where Talyn is... er... let's just say 'leaking' an leviathan adrenaline-filled gas, which enhances certain aspects of humanoid physiology. In essence, Crais starts threatening to shoot people if they don't give him a gun (and he doesn't seem to understand what's wrong with that request), Stark goes... more crazy (if that were even possible), and John and Aeryn get very turned on by the mist:
Aeryn: Bad, bad mist...
John: Naughty mist...
One episode of Malcolm in the Middle concerned Hal feeling out-of-place in a poker game because he was the only non-professional person there, and all the professional people were banding together and discriminating against him with their unique slang and culture. (They were also all black.)
In a follow-up episode, Hal tried to get one of the other players to be more open and caring with his wife; this quickly turned into what looked like an argument between a married couple.
Two torture sessions with a water theme or metaphor. A tiny nation invaded by a vast empire for uncertain reasons fights back with suicide bombers. And oh yeah, a surprise attack on an unsuspecting country that changes their entire political and cultural outlook. Watch Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined) long enough and it will remind you of something in contemporary American politics.
The HBO series True Blood contains so much subtext about vampire rights that some might find the not-so-subtle parallels a bit tiresome. "God Hates Fangs"? Even vampire puns are still bad puns. Besides, everyone knows that werewolvesare actually gay, while our favorite bloodsuckers prefer beautiful women.
Not to mention every feeding being a very obvious allusion to sex, culminating in one very particular episode. Both Bill and Eric were burned and needed healing. Follow, a frame of Sookie sitting between them, with a very meaningful expression on her face, while each vampire is sucking at a different wrist of hers. Fans had a lot to think about that night.
Very much dramatic rather than comedic, in season 3 of HeroesSylar breaks into Claire's house and succeeds in stealing her power, but does it without killing her unlike his previous victims. The experience visibly shakes Claire and she describes Sylar as "taking something that was hers". She then wants to learn how to fight so she can "help people", but after her biological mother Meredith puts her through Training from Hell, Claire finally breaks and admits she doesn't want to fight so she can help people, but to find Sylar and "hurt him for hurting me!". The whole thing plays out to the point that "stealing a woman's power" took on a whole new meaning.
In Volume 4 (the second half of Season 3), the Gitmo imagery strays close to the line between this and a Take That directed at the Bush administration.
One episode of Scrubs has Jordan telling Dr. Cox they're not going to fight anymore now that they have a baby. Dr. Cox ends up going a little crazy because Jordan won't fight with him anymore and it plays like as if she won't have sex with him anymore. This especially shows when he tells Carla about it.
Carla: What's going on with you? Dr. Cox: Let's see, Jordan and I aren't, uh... we're not fighting anymore. Carla: Oh, no. How long has this been going on? Dr. Cox: Since the baby came along we've been fighting less and less. Carla: Why don't you get a hotel room? Pour some nice champagne, get in a tub, and rip each other new ones. You know, make it special.
And then Dr Cox tries to pick a fight with Carla and she says, "Hey, I'm getting married!"
In The Mighty Boosh, Howard and Vince, who already posses huge amounts of Ho Yay (not helped by the fact everyone calls Vince "Howard's wife/girlfriend"), run into Vince's evil twin Lance Dior. Lance offers Howard the chance to become his... sidekick, and when Vince finds out he treats it as if Howard has been cheating on him.
The Spirit of Jazz has huge amounts of this trope when talking about how he plans to possess Howard. Repeatedly growling about how he's going to "Get inside him" and "Wear him like a glove". Howard even lampshades it by telling him to stop using terms which are such huge innuendos. The Spirit of Jazz has no idea what he means, of course.
Add to this the fact that when the Spirit of Jazz is trying to get inside Howard, the Spirit of Jazz is trapped in a hoover bag and is pointing the (rather phallic) nozzle at Howard's bottom.
One episode ends with a breakup between Leonard and a physicist he was dating. They had already begun discussing having kids and everything, only it turns out that the breaking point was that one of them believes in String Theory and the other in Loop Quantum Gravity, both different theories that attempt to solve the major modern problems in physics. To him, it doesn't seem like such a big deal, but to her, it was "How would we raise the children?!" The entire scene was played as of a strong religious disjoint between the couple that could not be reconciled. This parodies many real physicists' attitudes regarding String Theory — which makes absolutely no testable predictions and is so mathematically complex and diverse that it takes decades to be able to contribute — and any competitors.
One episode involves an "intervention", staged to convince Sheldon that he needs to learn to drive. His not driving causes him major problems and it's treated as addiction or lack of struggle.
In most episodes where Leonard and Penny fight, Sheldon is often portrayed like the child of a dysfunctional family, with the previous two fulfilling the roles of argumentative parents.
Many interactions between Raj and Howard, and especially fights, are portrayed as typical ones found between couples. And Raj and Stuart's interactions are starting to take on similar tones, although Stuart seems more aware of it than Howard has in the past.
When Leslie Winkle tried to seduce Leonard for the first time, she pulled on him invokedElegant Classical Musician, blatantly asking whether clutching the strings does not remind him of anything.
When Sheldon briefly gives up on string theory to pursue other areas of physics, the whole scenario is treated like a romantic break-up and subsequent rebound. After a drunken night, he wakes up naked and ashamed, cradling a geology textbook.
Leonard: I heard you reading pretty loudly last night.
The gang outs Barney's gay black brother as "monogamous" and rightly suspects that it will upset him.
Barney refuses to support that his gay, black brother is going to marry a white guy. Not because of the gay marriage thing, or inter-racial marriage thing, but because it is a marriage. He tells everyone how it is going to destroy singles everywhere, and he ends up telling his nephew that "Just because you are being raised by married people doesn't mean that you got to choose that lifestyle."
In 4x19, Barney's argument with the owner of the laser tag arena is like him quitting the police force.
In "Arrivederci, Fiero", the car breaks down and it is treated like it's dying. The car is even personified and referred to by personal pronouns, although there is a disagreement on the gender and whether Fiero is he or she.
Lily and Robin spill Thai food in Marshall's car and have to clean it up. Marshall has a very strong rules about no food or drinks in the car, and it's portrayed like they're trying to erase evidence of a murder. It is a Shout-Out to a scene in Pulp Fiction.
In one episode, they find out Lily's fellow teacher Gillian is an Ambiguously Jewish "Woo!" girl.
When Marshall got Barney to wear a night shirt. The way he tells Barney how great married life is is like a dad tucking in his son with a bedtime story.
When Marshall and Lily found a new couple to hang out with after Barney and Robin dumped them, it's played as if it was cheating or finding a new love interest way too quickly. It even has a Redemption in the Rain scene.
When Ted finds out that his girlfriend Stella hasn't had sex in five years, he freaks out and thinks that her expectations might be raised too high. He cooks her a meal for dinner and invokes the trope by describing the meal as something she might have enjoyed before, but she then stopped having it, and once she decides to eat it again, she might anticipate too much. Stella of course catches his meaning and laughs it off, genuinely amused.
There's an episode where Barney and Robin are finding it really difficult to make friends with other couples. They then proceed to do every "single person" cliche out there... as a couple.
In an episode of The King of Queens, Spence's wish to see The Film of the Book of one of his favorite fantasy novels is portrayed as similar to a drug addiction or alcoholism or some other social vice, something to be avoided. Either that or Doug and Deacon are just really big Fan Haters.
Yep, they're Fan Haters all right, because Men Are Uncultured. And let's not forget the number of argusations Spence and Danny had that made them sound like a married couple. It seemed like the writers were addicted to this idea.
Chuck vs. The Fat Lady. Chuck accidentally gets stuck trying to go through an air vent. During this part, his iPhone accidentally turns on... and speed dials his ex. To her, it sounds more like Chuck is doing... that.
It doesn't help that Chuck and Sarah are undercover as a business man and a hooker getting it on in a hotel, so the first thing the ex hears is something along the lines of "So long do you think it'll take for us to have sex?" "I don't know, maybe an hour or so." Followed by a bunch of stuff like "Move your hips forward" and "Bend the other way" when he gets stuck in the vents.
"Chuck vs. Phase 3" begins with him dreaming about Sarah getting turned off because he can't flash. Lester even lampshades it.
You know, they make pills for what you have.
In a Season 1 episode of Supernatural, "Something Wicked", the Monster of the Week — a shtriga, a witch from Albanian folklore that feeds off of human "life forces", especially those of children — is presented like a pedophile. The kids fall into comas and no one can explain why, and the shtriga is disguised as a male doctor that is supposed to be treating the children, which is similar to how many pedophiles try to position themselves so that the children's parents trust them. It should also be noted that the shtriga works its way through families, either from oldest child to youngest or vice versa.
In a Season 3 episode, "Fresh Blood", a lonely male vampire who wants to build a new nest of vamps lurks around nightclubs and picks out pretty blondes and tries to interest them in a new (thick, red, liquid) recreational drug (in Supernaturaleither digestion or direct blood contact turns a person into a vampire). They wake up back in his basement lair and have no idea where they are or what happened to them, not unlike rape victims who were given "roofies" like rohypnol, which cause blackouts.
Speaking of rape subtext in Supernatural, Michael in the Season 5 episode "The Song Remains the Same" attempts to justify his possession of John and his intent to possess Dean as if he were a date-rapist, including claiming that his intention to avoid causing unnecessary damage while inside Dean and John makes him morally superior to Raphael who left his victim catatonic.
Hell, pretty much all of Lucifer's dialogue with Sam in season 5 screams "rape."
Lucifer: I will find you. And when I do, you will let me in. I'm sure of it.
Sam: You'll need my consent.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg...
The following conversation from the Season 1 episode "Shadow" is actually about Monster Hunting, but sound like they're about something very different outside of context:
Dean: You and me. I want us to be together again. To be a family again. Sam: Dean, we are a family. I'd do anything for you... but things will never be the way they were before. Dean: They could be. Sam: I don't want them to be. I'm not going to live this life forever. Dean, when this is all over, you're going to have to let me go my own way.
Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads? features a man about to get married. His Heterosexual Life Partner then returns, feeling betrayed by his old friend, and very out-of-the-loop. His attitude towards his best friend's fiancée varies between amusement and outright resentment, and she also resents him, seeing him as a threat. The first series ends with the two men sleeping together on the wedding night.
Seacht has had Pete and Decko describing a guitar in terms more suited for a beautiful woman.
Doctor Who has plenty of examples of this over the decades. One of the most obvious comes from "Turn Left", in which the UK government collapses and puts on the Reich, including the internment of foreign nationals. When one of Donna's housemates and friends is interned, Donna is oblivious to the parallel. Wilfred isn't, and he's absolutely horrified by it.
Nearly every single scene involving the Doctor and the Master in the new series has undertones, overtones, and sidetones of BDSM. From their conversations ("Use my name." "Master."), to the Master keeping the Doctor in a kennel for a year, to the Doctor intending to return the favour ("What, you're gonna just... keep me?"), to the confrontation in the junkyard that is right out of a Hurt/Comfort Fic, to the frakking bondage chair... that the writer of these episodesopenly ships them comes as no surprise to anyone.
The Doctor's jaw drops when he sees the Master with a wife. And later refers to her as his beard.
While far less blatant, the Master is no stranger to BDSM in the original series either. HADRON web, anyone?
The use of "dances" in "The Doctor Dances" is strange because it's used literally and as an Unusual Euphemism, and sometimes both at the same time.
Before Gallifrey was destroyed, the Time Lords had a secret organization operating outside their own non-interventionist laws to pursue their political ends. It was named the Celestial Intervention Agency.
When the fake Prime Minister tries to persuade the UN to give him nuclear launch codes, he fibs about aliens poised to invade Earth, who have massive weapons of destruction capable of being launched within forty-five seconds...
The X-Files. Agent Dana Scully getting a tattoo in "Never Again" is definitely played this way, from the expectant, hungry look of the man with her, to the gasps and expressions Scully makes. They then go back to his apartment and have sex for real. Or do they? We never see them in the action and she wakes up on his couch in her dress...
Natalie walking on Sharona wiping Monk's face clean elicited the same lines from Monk as you'd expect him to say if he was having an affair.
In the Stargate SG-1 episode "Menace", the team encounters an android in the form of a teenaged girl, who thinks she's human. When Daniel decides to explain to her that she's a robot, it ends up coming out very much like the cliched birds-and-the-bees conversation. ("You're not like me. On the inside, I mean.")
The long-running subplot of Earth businessmen pulling the strings of rogue NID operatives for profit appears to be an allegory for the military-industrial complex.
Spaced: "What now?" "I think we should descale the teapot." "You filthy bitch." "You love it."
An episode of The Nanny has Fran and Maxwell play a rather, spirited, game of table tennis.
In Criminal Minds, the knife scene between The Reaper and Hotch. It might actually have extended to out-and-out rape. Either way, the dialogue is highly sexualized. The Reaper strips off his shirt, goes up very close to Hotch on top of him, and slowly cuts him with a knife. Eventually, he tells Hotch that he's horribly wrong about how Serial Killers who use knives are impotent, and is going to change the way Hotch profiles. Cue The Reaper slowly moving his hand further down on Hotch's body, and Hotch moaning in pain. At the very least, it was pseudo-rape.
Even if actual out-and-out rape didn't happen, it was just said that killers that stab victims are doing so as a replacement for actual sex; so in other words, no matter what he did technically rape him, by the simple fact he stabbed him with his knife. Still doesn't mean that he didn't do it the usual way as well though, though the Reaper is a sadistic psychopath.
Being Human has another less than comedic example, wherein Tully's interactions with George near the end of Series 1, Episode 2 has the feel of a rape scene. The fact that Tully had sexually assaulted Annie earlier that episode did not help.
An episode of The IT Crowd revolves around Jen taking up smoking and being forced to smoke outside, where the smoking area keeps getting moved further and further away from the office, eventually forcing the smokers to walk across a motorway and bleak, wind-swept terrain. The whole thing gets treated like the smokers are a bunch of Soviet dissidents being forced into a Stalinist gulag in Siberia.
The Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Metamorphosis" features Zefram Cochrane being looked after by a powerful energy being. When he realises that the energy being wants a physical relationship with him, he's repulsed, but Kirk, Spock and McCoy don't see what the problem is. Given Cochrane's actual words, the episode can be read as a metaphor against homophobia, or, given the time period and a strange handwave about it being a female energy being, possibly against opposition to interracial relationships.
Cochrane: Is this what the future holds? Men who have no notion of decency or morality? Maybe I'm a hundred and fifty years out of style, but I'm not going to be fodder for any inhuman monster. (He leaves in disgust.)
Spock: Fascinating. A totally parochial attitude.
It is worth noting that being a Half-Human Hybrid himself, Spock has particular reason to view this attitude as "illogical". Especially since such hybrids are very common in the Federation.
The Dominion also qualifies. Like the Nazis, the Changeling Founders consider themselves racially superior to "solids" and have no moral qualms about genocide.
The Section 31 virus which afflicts the Changeling race is reminiscent of the HIV epidemic. First, the virus is spread by the physically intimate act of linking, the closest Changeling analog to sex. Like HIV, the virus is lethal, at least until a cure is discovered in season 7. Finally, the virus is deliberately developed by Section 31, a shadow organization under the Federation government, as a means of bringing about a Changeling genocide. This strategy is reminiscent of early conspiracy theories surrounding the origins of HIV.
Linking, dear God. The linking scenes between Odo and the Female Changeling have the feel of love scenes.
In the ad episode of The Office, Michael says Andy's jogging scene is the pivotal moment. And if they don't nail it, they "will lose the whole triumph of the moment; the triumph of the will."
Abby: (to Gibbs, who has just walked in) McGee is rewiring my hotbox.
McGee: That’s er, er, a nickname for a bundle of receptors in the firewall. That regulates the flow of energy throughout the system. See when stimulated correctly it sends waves and waves of rhythmic pulses (Gibbs can't even look at McGee at this point) waves, waves that er that hypercrank the er transfer speed, er, that digitised infor- Abby?
Glee: Kurt's subsequent reactions to Karofsky "taking" his first kiss strongly evoke the feel of a rape victim.
On Smallville, Clark and other Kryptonians emit fire beams from their eyes when aroused. He first discovered this in "Heat".
During Season 8, Davis Bloom would blackout and turn into a monster (specifically Doomsday) at random, but found a way to stop it by killing people, leading him to becoming a serial killer to avoid turning into the monster. For those who don't know the psychology behind compulsive serial killers, when a serial killer doesn't kill for a certain amount of time, they feel psychologically compelled to kill, sort of like they're being taken over by a metaphorical monster. In Davis' case, he was being taken over by a physical monster.
Red Kryptonite is often used as a stand in for drug use; when Clark comes into contact with it, he looses his inhibitions, and as he's fully aware of what's responsible for such, he will refuse to let go of the Red Kryptonite, almost like a drug user refusing to give up drugs. After being unintentionally exposed to it a few times, when Clark was dealing with feeling depressed after causing his mother to lose her unborn baby, he began using it to deal with the pain of guilt. Also, he starts mistreating his friends. There's more drug-related comparisons, but they'd take forever to write out.
And similar to this, there was the time Olly developed a serum that would heal any injury, no matter how life threatening, making him a better hero (as Olly's a Badass Normal in a world where anyone can gain temporary or permanent abilities by finding radioactive Green Rocks), but at the cost of making him agressive and violent, causing him, as Green Arrow, to accidentally hurt Lois. The whole thing is treated like he's taking steroids, with what happened to Lois especially being all but compared to 'roid rage-induced domestic abuse. Hell, they explain away the incident to then-uninformed Lois as Olly doing drugs.
During the Invasion storyline, Alliance member Torrie Wilson began dating WWF (and Japanese) wrestler Tajiri. Announcer Paul Heyman regularly mentioned how he didn't approve of such "interpromotional relationships".
The suntan lotion incident within the first five seconds of this promo for Bucket and Skinner's Epic Adventures.
In one episode of Boy Meets World, Eric discovering his mentor Mr. Feeny tutoring another student is played like Mr. Feeny is cheating on him:
Eric: He's a professional tutor! You mean nothing to him!
The Xena: Warrior Princess season 5 episode "Kindred Spirits" plays up the Ho Yay by portraying Xena and Gabrielle as if they're a couple whose marriage is on the rocks because of family vs. career. Gabrielle says that "they've" never had their own home and one of the Amazons mistakenly believe they've broken up. Xena even planned to leave Gabrielle and take Eve with her.
Happens in universe in an episode of The George Lopez Show. Carmen and Jason are on the debate team and debating about the use of gas-guzzling cars. Carmen is still mad at Jason for cheating at him and talks about how (paraphrased) "America has betrayed some people's trust by going and tapping a foreign oil source that other guys have already tapped". Jason responds with the fact that he's sorry he satisfied his need for resources elsewhere.
One episode of Will and Grace where they were arguing who should the homeless Karen stay with. They start acting like parents arguing in front of their kid.
Grace: We're not supposed to argue of the D-R-U-N-K!
Karen: May I have a martini now?
"The Tale Of The Renegade Virus" on Are You Afraid of the Dark? features a virus with a serial port connector for a hand that tries to plug it into Simon's serial port in his hand. He's laughing all the while and Simons is screaming Big "NO!". The scene is uncomfortably reminiscent of Attempted Rape.
In Once Upon a Time's "The Return," Sidney - the former editor of Storybrooke's newspaper The Storybrooke Daily Mirror - is exposed as a liar and as the one who wiretapped Emma's office. Two words: Piers. Morgan.
Hurricane Sandy also reminds Wendy Rieger of her sex life.
Person of Interest: At the end of "Identity Crisis", Reese refuses to take advantage of a drugged and uncharacteristically friendly Finch's brazen (and certainly quite tempting) offer, "Don't you want to talk? Ask me anything!" He even says that Finch would regret it in the morning.
In the Eureka episode "If You Build It..." Fargo and his smart car Tabitha are Like an Old Married Couple. When Fargo sells her and gets a cool new car, it's treated as a horrible break up.
Air Crash Investigation: Auburn Calloway and the Air France hijackers both ultimately wanted to kamikaze their planes into buildings; Calloway targeted Fed-Ex's headquarters in Memphis while the Air France hijackers planned to gun for the Eiffel Tower. The parallels to a certain terrorist attack are not ignored.
General Hospital's mid-90's storyline that had Mary Sue Karen Wexler being seduced into working as a stripper for local mobster Sonny Corinthos and him plying her with drugs to keep her dependent on him as well as threatening to kill her when she finally worked up the nerve to walk away was basically a watered-down version of him being a pimp and her being a prostitute.