Genre Savvy / Western Animation

  • Sarah from the animated adaptation of Sam Keith's The Maxx. When she briefly snaps and threatens to shoot herself, she has a fourth-wall breaking, voice-over monologue about how "this is the point in the story where I throw the gun away, and have this cathartic revelation about how suicide is wrong, that life's worth living and everything's okay. Y'know, all that crap." Throughout the episodes she is in, Sarah narrates of her motions through the story with an overtone of Genre Savvy sarcasm.
  • This was the main shtick of Slappy Squirrel on Animaniacs, who, as an old hand at cartoons, was pretty Genre Savvy. Savvy for her generation of cartoons - in the crossover episode, having swapped places with Dot she didn't get what was the point of going "Helloooooo nurse" to a handsome guard, and ended the episode getting fed up with it and going straight to sticking dynamite in the Saddam-expy's pants.
  • The title character from Freakazoid! was pretty Genre Savvy himself. Lampshaded quite often, given the series.
    Steph: When will I see you again?
    Freakazoid: Well, if I know my cartoons, and I do, I'll be back later on to rescue you from something really horrible! Buh-Bye!
  • Teen Titans
    Beast Boy: Did you not see the movie?! When you split up, the monster picks you off one by one, starting with the good-looking comic relief... me!
    • And then, sure enough, he is the first one to get captured. As he's pulled back into the darkness, he even shouts out "I told you! Funny guy goes fiiiiirrrrst!"
    • Beast Boy's knowledge of tropes would come in handy again in the Trapped in TV Land episode.
    • When Cyborg is sent to the past in "Cyborg the Barbarian", he makes sure not to touch anything. "Sci-fi rule number one: you start messing with the past, you end up with monkeys ruling the future!"
  • Due to being TV-holics and the show lacking a fourth wall, multiple characters on Family Guy are Genre Savvy.
  • Kim Possible
    • Kim, Ron, Shego, and Senor Senior Jr. are of the most Genre Savvy. This however doesn't prevent them from falling victim to Genre Tropes (or that they fall into the tropes as part of a fourth wall bending realisation that they have to do so to have a story), but does make for some great Lampshade Hanging afterwards.
    • Bonnie was Genre Savvy when she ends up on missions, asking why Dementor hasn't simply set off his plan instead of gloating, and about how complicated that plan is as well. Both Kim and Dementor tell her to shut up, because, as an outsider to the action-hero/supervillain game, she "doesn't get it."
    • Señor Senior Sr plays this totally straight, because he learned how to be a supervillain from books and it's an eccentric hobby for him.
  • Green Arrow proves to be Genre Savvy in Batman The Brave And The Bold when he tells Speedy never to ask "You and what army?" after it lands them in trouble.
  • Justice League
    • Flash occasionally shows traits of this, as this quote from "The Brave and the Bold" demonstrates:
    Flash: Usually when it's this empty, flesh eating zombies show up.
    Green Lantern: You watch too many horror movies... (interrupted by the sound of a brainwashed mob)
    Flash: Maybe you don't watch enough.
    • After Gorilla Grodd subdues and imprisons the Justice League, Clayface says they should just kill them off now—having acted in enough movies, Clayface knows that saving them for the showy public execution Grodd wants will give them time to escape, no matter how helpless they seem. Hilariously, this is actually J'onn, apparently making sure not to slip up anywhere in his act.
  • In The Boondocks episode "The Story of Catcher Freeman", where Robert is telling his grandsons a tall tale about his alleged ancestor Catcher Freeman, Riley's Genre Savviness ruins the story by pointing out all the bad action movie clichés, and predicting what the climax is going to be.
  • Legion of Super Heroes. Bouncing Boy is the 21st Century horror movie aficionado, so he warns them of the rules. And then, the disappearing of teammates begins, and:
    Bouncing Boy: Here, kitty, kitty... Oh, no... I went back for the cat.
  • Futurama
    • Surprisingly, the otherwise extremely dimwitted Fry, to the point where tropes seem to be all he does understand. It's very heavily implied that this is from his near-constant intake of television, movies, etc.
    • In "When Aliens Attack", Fry's knowledge of tropes also seems to include knowing more about what audiences actually want than his friends do.
      Fry: You see? TV audiences don't want anything original. They want to see the same thing they've seen a thousand times before.
    • Fry eventually turns out to know every single campfire story ever told.
      Leela: Fine, Mr. Know-it-all about something finally, why don't you tell a story?
    • Cubert was originally intended to have a more frequent role in the series, and would constantly point out plot holes and inaccuracies (usually generic tropes of Sci-Fi) during the episode, becoming an intentional Creator's Pet, to the point where even the characters wanted to hurt him badly.
  • Michelangelo in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fast Forward is so Genre Savvy that he was teaching tropes to a number of onlookers, particularly describing horror tropes.
  • The Venture Bros.
    • # 21 and # 24 . In "The Lepidopterists", they are well aware that they posses the perfect combination of "expendable and invulnerable". Upon being sent off on a mission with # 1, they remark that his cool professionalism marks him for death, while their bumbling incompetence will see them through to the end. Later, when they point out that # 1's lack of a name makes him a Red Shirt, he reveals his name, only to have it dismissed as a device to make his impending death more emotional. Ultimately, he meets his fate when his impressive escape techniques draw the attention of Brock Sampson. # 21 and # 24 were pretending to be wax sculptures at the time. Ironically, or at least in a cruel twist of fate, in the season 3 finale, 24 stands near the Monarch's car when it suddenly explodes. He's killed in the blast as 21 unintentionally catches his burning head.
    • Dr. Venture spends half the time making sarcastic genre savvy comments. Brock does it a lot too, especially when they're in danger. Come to think of it, a great deal of the cast are.
    Dr. Venture: This is gonna be one of those things, isn't it?
    Brock: Uh-huh.
    Dr. Venture: I mean, you get a bunch of short-fused, costumed idiots together in one room like this, and what do you think's gonna happen? Any minute now, stuff's gonna start blowing up, guys'll be throwing each other at other guys.
    Brock: Yeah, probably.
    Dr. Venture: You know, when you're not the one in the middle of it all for once, it's actually totally, completely obvious.
    Brock: Welcome to my life.
    • Hank and Dean aren't. They think they are, though, with all their presumed Hardy Boys style mysteries. This occasionally works out for them, one example is in the episode "Fallen Arches" when Triana Orpheus is kidnapped by the super villain Torrid and Dean thinks to run the hot water in the shower so the steam will reveal a message on the mirror.
  • The Simpsons
    • Discussed in this exchange:
    Lisa: This broom closet is not what it seems. It's a secret surveillance room guarded by a tiny evil robot!
    Homer: Ugh. Is this gonna be like one of those horror movies where we open the door and everything's normal and we think you're crazy, but then there really is a killer robot and the next morning you find me impaled on a weather vane? Is that what this is, Lisa?
    • Played straight when there's an episode where Homer becomes an opera star and someone is trying to murder him (long story). To protect him during an opera performance, Chief Wiggum orders the hanging chandelier to be ''pre''-crashed instead of crashed.
    • Lisa manages to apply it to real life in a somewhat rational fashion, as she plans to be a jazz musician who is unappreciated in her time but discovered as a genius decades later. "And I may or may not die young, I haven't decided yet."
    • In ''Treehouse of Horror IX", Bart and Lisa are trapped in Itchy & Scratcy's universe and are inside a car about to be murdered. Bart uses his cartoon knowledge to draw an eject button, press it and escape.
    • Homer applies a bit of genre savviness to help Apu and Manjula get pregnant by setting them up in a scenario with every cliche in the book of the Law of Inverse Fertility.
    Homer: Now, this situation is guaranteed to end in pregnancy.
    Apu: I'm willing to play the high school jock but did you have to cut the roof off my car?
    Homer: Ah bup bup bup bup! That's an Apu question, you're Greg.
    Apu: (reading) Uh, gee Betsy, it's such a nice night. Why don't we go all the way?
    Manjula: (reading) But Greg, my dad will kill me! And you have that scholarship to Ivy League State.
    Apu: Loosen up, baby. Tomorrow I'm shipping off to Vietnam. I— (breaking character) I thought I was going to Ivy League State.
    Homer: My mistake. Stay in the moment.
    Manjula: Just promise not to forget me on your dinosaur bone digging up trip.
    • In "The Twisted World of Marge Simpson," the Mafia and the Yazuka are fighting on the lawn. Marge thinks that they should go inside.
    Homer: But, Marge, that little guy hasn't done anything yet. Look at him. He's going to do something and you know it's going to be good.
    (This leads to an offscreen moment of awesome when Homer and Marge go inside and later hear a loud yell and a body drop.)
    Homer: Aw...
    • In "Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind," Homer accidentally walks in on Marge and Duffman planning a surprise party for him. Feeling guilty, he decides to take Moe's "Forget-Me-Shot" so it will still be a surprise, but before drinking it, Homer realizes that he's bound to retain some memory of walking in and seeing them, which could eventually drive him to despair at the thought of Marge cheating on him, so he tells Lenny to make sure the party has a moon bounce.
  • South Park makes regular use of this trope.
    • In "Pandemic", minor character Craig spends the whole episode complaining about how genre blind the main characters are.
    • Played With in "Butt Out" in which smart-guy Kyle attempts, and fails, to convince the other major characters to not follow the show's formula for once.
    • In "Stanley's Cup" the characters correctly realize that they are in a typical sports movie and thus are bound to win against all odds. They also understand that to achieve that, they need to invite a really good player to their team for their final match, which they also do. This is subverted when they turn out to be Wrong Genre Savvy and are beaten brutally: the opposing team were the real protagonists. Similarly, in "The Losing Edge" the team remarks that at this point of the movie, they should include a new, special player in the team to achieve their goals. Only their goal in to lose and the player is absolutely terrible.
    • In "Canceled", the boys realize they're in a rerun of the very first episode.
    • Lampshaded by Token, whose name fits this trope, as he clearly is the token black guy and token rich guy.
    • For a presentation about the reasons for the American Revolution, Cartman constructs a device that will drop a stone on his head while he is wondering out loudly what the Founding Fathers were thinking back then. His reasoning is that he will pass out and have a wacky flashback episode in which he is present during the declaration of independence.
    • Cartman plays this straight in "Spooky Fish" when Stan and Kyle want to send Cartman to the Mirror Universe where the 'evil' Eric Cartman came from. Cartman tells them to send both him and his twin back, knowing that they would think the real Cartman would never say that. It works, and they send back his 'evil' self instead.
    • Kenny tends to be something of a genre-savvy Straight Man in general: the gag being that the audience can't generally understand what he's saying even though it's a lampshade or something savvy.
  • On The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Mandy has this as part of the show's lack of a Fourth Wall. For example in "Wishbones," a magical talking skull plays Jerkass Genie to practically the whole cast, twisting their wishes in numerous ridiculous (and horrific) ways. When Mandy gets the last wish, she wisely decides to auction it off to the highest bidder.
  • Gwen from Total Drama tries to educate the other campers about the rules of horror movies only to be blatantly ignored... except by fellow horror-buff Duncan, who successfully becomes the Final Guy because of it. Gwen is then subverted into Wrong Genre Savvy when she confronts a real psychotic killer, whom she thinks is an actor pretending to be a psycho killer.
    • When Sierra drops her Obfuscating Stupidity in the confessional, she's revealed to be having this in spades, up to intending to manipulate Heather; all due to her being an Fangirl that watched the show obsessively.
  • In Gargoyles, Xanatos manages to restrain several of the gargoyle heroes, and sets up a deathtrap-like situation where a vat of acid will pour down upon them.
    Xanatos: It's my first real stab at clichéd villainy. How am I doing?".
  • Most of the characters on Titan Maximum know the conventions of the Mecha Show. As well as several other film genres. For instance, the following exchange between Palmer and Willie after they hear banjo music in the distance:
    Willie: What was that?
  • The Fairly OddParents
    • In "Action Packed", Timmy wishes the world was like an action movie. Wanda correctly predicts that everything would go from bad to worse. Wanda's awareness that everything will go wrong on every wish qualifies her for this trope.
  • Played with in an episode of Stroker and Hoop, where Stroker, in an attempt to be genre savvy, assumes that the suspects in the murder investigation must include a corrupt mayor and a corrupt sheriff. The latter, incidentally being Hoop's half-brother (or something), is in the room and Stroker quickly adds "no offense." Turns out he was right.
    Hoop: You clichedly evil bastard!
  • In Storm Hawks, one of the Mooks was Genre Savvy (but not dangerously so) enough to try and promote himself to the main credits, under the belief that he did not have a name until he did something worth earning it. Unfortunately for him, "worth" does not necessarily come in the form of positive gain. When he manages to capture the heroes through sheer luck, he makes a point of NOT discussing his evil plan right in front of them.
  • Played for Laughs in Johnny Test, "When did we land in a bad decade genre medium?" is a running gag, e.g. "When did we land in a bad 70s cop show?"
  • Ren from The Ren & Stimpy Show has shades of this, particularly in the episode "A Yard Too Far". The eponymous duo is starving as they suddenly sense a delicious smell from someone's backyard.
    Ren: Wait a minute! I'm not stupid. I've seen cartoons like this before! If I set foot into this yard, I'll probably get ripped into shreds by some enormous dog!
    • This is parodied shortly after when Stimpy tells Ren there is no dog only for Ren to attacked by a killer, psychotic baboon.
  • Roger from American Dad! is pretty Genre Savvy. In one early episode he joins a car dealership:
    Roger: Oh, it's like a sitcom come true! I'm part of a workplace ensemble! He must be the sarcastic guy. And he's the dumb guy. Oh! He must be the black guy who doesn't talk! *said guy glares at him* Yessss!!
  • In one episode of Chowder, the titular character and Mung go over the formula of the series, Chowder causes a disaster by messing with the shows weird foods, and then proceed to go along with it anyway.
  • Pepper Potts invokes this trope in Iron Man: Armored Adventures when Gene's stepfather, whilst wearing the Mandarin armor, threatens her life if Gene and Tony do not find the fifth Makluan Ring. ("Very original," to quote Pepper.)
  • Used and then subverted in Adventure Time. Finn and Jake immediately realize that an invitation from a creepy skeleton king is a trap and walk away listing all of the cliche things that would have happened if they'd gone into his arena—the exits would all seal themselves and they'd have to fight gladiator ghosts. Immediately subverted when they decide it sounds awesome and run right back into the trap, which plays out exactly the way they expected. Later, Finn's accurate predictions of said skeleton king's goals and power source become critical in tricking and defeating him.
  • Darkwing Duck. The whole show is a genre savvy parody of several pulp heroes, including the Shadow and Batman. Darkwing himself often mocks cartoon physics while being subjected to them. The other characters are also generally savvy.
  • Gravity Falls
    • In "Legend of the Gobblewonker", Dipper brings seventeen disposable cameras along with him to search for the Gobblewonker, since he realizes how often camera problems ruin monster hunts. Also, Soos worries that he might just be a "side character" and get killed off.
    • Ironically for Dipper, all of his cameras get destroyed before the real monster shows up.
    • In "Scary-Oke" after Dipper accidentally summons a legion of zombies, Soos said he is prepared after seeing basically all zombie movies ever made. Only for him to immediately get bitten, like a side-character would. Luckily for Soos they find a cure for zombism.
  • This is parodied in the Tex Avery-directed cartoon Northwest Hounded Police, in which one of the Wolf's escapes from Droopy ends with him on a tiny island large enough for him, a rock and a pebble:
    Wolf: (snarkily. to the camera) Yeah, I know. (points to the rock) He'll probably be right under that rock.
    Droopy: (emerging from beneath the pebble that's smaller than his hat) Nope, under this one.
    Wolf: (has nervous breakdown)
  • This is one of the defining traits of Grandpa Rick on Adult Swim's Rick and Morty:
    Mr. Needful: Tell me, Rick, what do you desire?
    Rick: (disinterested as usual) Eh, I make my own stuff. So what are you, like, the devil?
    Mr. Needful: What? (nervously) Sorry?
    Rick: I don't know, store comes out of nowhere, all the shit's old and creepy... are you the devil? Demon? Leprechaun?
  • The Wander over Yonder episode "The Brainstorm" is an eleven-minute exercise in this. It depicts Lord Hater's chief henchman Commander Peepers pitching various ways to take over the planet Flendar, all of which Hater shoots down by describing the ways that Wander will likely foil said situation as per a typical episode of the show (i.e. removing the batteries from the Death Ray to power his music player, stealing the backup batteries to power Sylvia's music player, stealing the remaining backup batteries to power the music players of all the citizens of Flendar, etc.) When Peepers finally evolves an apparently foolproof plan, taking all his concerns into account, Lord Hater envisions Wander inexplicably defeating it with only the power of his banjo and calls the invasion off. The Genre Blind Peepers rouses him from his misery by reminding him that logically he should be able to best Wander and Sylvia easily, given his powers. Encouraged, Hater calls the plan back on… and cut to the same shot of Hater and his army lying defeated on the ground and Wander raising his banjo triumphantly in the air that was used earlier.