Archer: Boo-hoo, show me! Show me where it says that! Take your time. I'm hourly.
Bucky: (Flipping through the pirate rule book) I know it in here somewhere. Damn! Okay, maybe it don't say this exact words, but everybody know —
Archer: Noooop! Fair is — well it wasn't exactly fair, but since it wasn't expressly forbidden, tough titties!
In Jackie Chan Adventures, Jade loves to do this when it comes to following Jackie around, often using Jackie's Exact Words against him. For instance, she is once told by Jackie to stay with Uncle (the character) without thinking that he is also her uncle. Since he never specified which uncle to stay with, she stays with Jackie. Jade also uses this as an excuse to follow Jackie in one episode after being told once again to "stay with Uncle."
Jade: Didn't say which uncle.
Another time, Jackie forbade her from using a jetpack, saying she shouldn't use things if she doesn't know how they work... so she promptly turns around and asks the inventor how it works as soon as Jackie leaves.
Jade: Just when you think you're out, they pull you back in. So can I-
Jackie and Black: No. *drive off to fight the talisman powered Dark Hand*
Jade: Wouldn't even let me ask, and if I didn't ask, how am I supposed to know what they said "no" to?
Jackie: Jade, maybe you should go with Uncle.
Jade: Aw! *walks off*
Uncle: *waves goodbye as his train departs*
Jade: I miss him already.
Jackie: Jade! I told you to go with Uncle, not...stay...with...uncle...
Jade: No wonder I got confused, too many uncles.
In Justice League, Lobo promised Superman that he would leave everyone on Earth alone if the latter rescues him, and he did. Later, he got into a brawl with other Leaguers. In orbit.
In the Woody Woodpecker short Ski For Two, Woody attempts to enter a lodge owned by Wally Walrus, only to be rejected due to the lodge only allowing those with reservations to stay there. So Woody promptly gives him lots of reservations...or rather, reservations Woody has made to other resorts and lodges.
And parodied by a mock movie trailer for "Soccer Mummy". Ain't no rule that says a centuries old Egyptian mummy can't play soccer!
When a secret society Homer is made leader of wants to reform without him in they become the society of "No Homers". When he complains that they already let another guy named Homer in, they respond, "It says 'No Homers.' We're allowed to have one."
But perhaps the funniest example occurred in an early "Treehouse of Horror" Halloween episode, where Lisa dreams that she and her family purchase a magical Moroccan "monkey's paw" that grants four wishes but also finds some way to screw the wisher over while adhering to the wording of the wish. After the second and third wishes result in unmitigated disasters, Homer declares that he has thought of a completely foolproof wish: "I want a turkey sandwich....on rye bread....with mustard - and - and - I don't want any zombie-turkeys, and I don't want to turn into a turkey myself, and I don't want any other weird surprises. Got it?!" Homer's sandwich then appears as requested, and he promptly bites into it....and then throws a tantrum because the turkey is a little dry. See, he said he didn't want any WEIRD surprises.
Invoked by Homer in another "Treehouse of Horror" where he sells his soul for a donut. He eventually figures that if he didn't finish the donut, he wouldn't have to go to Hell. It works...until Homer sleepwalks to the kitchen later that night and eats it.
In the same episode, Homer is on trial for his soul. He's saved when Marge shows a picture of them on the back of which Homer wrote that his soul belongs to Marge. Apparently, this is legally-binding and, thus, supercedes the agreement between Homer and Ned the Devil.
In a flashback episode showing Marge pregnant with Maggie, Marge was afraid of Homer's reaction to the pregnancy so she asked her sisters to promise not to tell him about it and they agreed. Since they promised not to tell Homer about the pregnancy, they told other people so THEY would tell him.
That's how Cletus Spuckler could get so many pretzels (for everyone of his many children) from Marge, who was giving coupons valid for a free sample. She forgot to state that she would accept only one coupon per customer. At least this helped her to know the name of every Cletus' child...
In the episode where the Simpsons are visiting a Bland NamePinkberry Homer is asked to choose his mixed in topping. In a rare moment of brilliance Homer chooses the tip jar(!), which is located right next to the toppings, and the acne teen behind the counter has no choice but to comply.
Jimbo & Ned claim that the wild animals they hunt are "coming right for us!" in order to justify killing them in self-defense. Later that loophole is closed so they use another: they hve to thin out the numbers of the wild animals so they don't overpopulate. "See, we have to kill animals, or else they'll die."
There also ain't no rule that a peewee hockey team can't stand in for the Colorado Avalanche against the Detroit Red Wings.
There's also "Christian Rock Hard," where Cartman makes a bet with Kyle that the first to make an album that sells 1,000,000 copies and goes Platinum has to pay the other money. Cartman forms a Christian Rock band and manages to sell 1,000,000 copies first and it seems like he's won... until he learns that Christian Rock doesn't give out Platinum albums and gives out myrrh instead. Since the bet specified Platinum, Cartman is dejected to learn that he won't be able to win it.
"The Red Badge of Gayness" has Cartman make a bet with Kyle and Stan that in their re-enactment of the Civil War the Confederacy (whose side Cartman is on) can actually beat the Union (whose side Stan and Kyle are on), and the loser has to be the other's slave(s). After a lot of trouble, Stan and Kyle are eventually able to thwart him and make him lose... however, Cartman then reminds them that since the Union won, slavery is abolished, so he can't be Stan and Kyle's slave.
The "Imaginationland" 3-parter is practically made up of this trope when it involves Cartman and Kyle's subplot. Kyle and Cartman make a bet about whether a leprechaun from Imaginationland that they encountered is real or not, and if it is then Kyle has to suck Cartman's balls. Part of the story involves proving to the United States Government whether Imaginary characters are real or not, and if so then Kyle would have to live up to the wager. Ultimately, Cartman creates Imaginary versions of himself and Kyle, who proceeds to happily start sucking the balls of the former. Cartman states that Kyle still had to suck his balls, but Kyle states that he isn't really doing it so it doesn't count. Cartman proceeds to counter that since Kyle won the petition that Imaginary characters are real, their counterparts are just as real as anyone else, so Kyle technically really is sucking his balls.
The Bots Master had a robot playing children's baseball since each team was allowed one robot. (for carrying equipment but the rule didn't specify)
Kim Possible, there is no rule that Ron can't try out for the Cheer Squad...and there really is no such rule. This episode struck a sore spot with many fans since male cheerleaders are not just common, but actually required in many cheer-squads. Apart from providing support for physically taxing performances, many school districts in the United States have rules requiring at least one male cheerleader on the squad for legal and ethical reasons. Anti-discriminations clauses in many state statues stipulate that if a school does not make available gender-segregated options for both genders for each school activity then existing programs must be made available to both genders.
Even worse was that Ron wasn't coming on necessarily as a male cheerleader, but as the mascot. (He initially wanted to be a cheerleader but Kim discouraged him from it) Their issue? They think Ron's routine looks dumb. After Ron shows it off onscreen, one wonders if any of these girls have ever actually seen a high school (or college, for that matter) sports mascot before.
Similar to the above example, in an episode of The Proud Family, Penny wants to try out for the football team. Subverted, when she tells the coach there's no rule saying she can't play, he still refuses due to his "girl's can't play sports" viewpoint, despite the fact she is clearly better than any of the guys on the team. Double subverted when her friend's mother is a lawyer who forces the coach to let her on the team. And shockingly triple subverted when the Couch allows her on the team, but states there was no rule that made him have to let her actually participate in the game.
King of the Hill, Ain't No Rule that says a 45-year-old high school dropout can't come back and play the last game of the season for his old team, just for the sake of tying a record.note In Real Life there is.
You need Haz-Mat certification to drive a Haz-Mat vehicle, but you don't need one to drive a tow truck carrying a Haz-mat vehicle.note In real life, the organization would have their own towing vehicle and other procedures and policies for it.
Dale wants a guard tower built on his property, but always gets rejected by the zoning board. He finds a loophole by building the tower below mimimum zoning standards making it shorter and narrower than the minimum height for zoning takes effect, and does not build a foundation. The inspector notices this and calls Dale a complete imbecile. The tower soon collapses.
The episode "Junkie Business" deals with Strickland Propane taking on a new hire, Leon, who turns out to be an incompetent drug addict - but since he goes into rehab before they fire him, now they legally can't because with him added on the company is big enough to be covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act, which essentially gives Leon free rein over the entire company. The day is saved when Hank eventually quits over this, making the company small enough that the AWDA no longer applies, and as such Strickland is able to fire Leon on the spot and then immediately re-hire Hank.
Animaniacs: Ain't no rule that a chicken can't have whatever job he wants. No matter how well Chicken Boo does, he'll still get run out of town once he's found out.
In an episode of Noddy in Toytown, Noddy is attempting to tow a giant jelly with his car, only for it to become unhitched as he is going up a hill, so it rolls back down it. The jelly rolls into Toytown where Noddy is finally able to stop it. An amused Mr. Plod (the policeman) sees the jelly and consults his rule book, and while there is a section on jelly there is nothing against the law over speeding jellies.
Gargoyles: Puck in his opening episode manages off Loophole Abuse multiple times. Demona just didn't learn. Puck: "Did you say, that human, or that human? Ah, I'll figure it out myself." And then he turns said human into a gargoyle, thus ridding Demona of that human. Later, he twisted another wish and turned all humans in Manhattan into Gargoyles. When Demona wished them to be turned humans, he took advantage of the fact she didn't specify which gargoyles she wanted to be turned into humans and turned Goliath's group into humans, which made Demona angrier until Puck pointed out that, as humans, Goliath's group would be easier to defeat. However, Gargoyle Eliza helped them to defeat Demona. After the Gargoyles released Puck from her grasp, he granted Demona a final wish: no longer turning stone at sunlight. He twisted the wish by turning her human instead of stone, much to her horror.
The Fairly OddParents. Timmy and his friends are stuck in a horrible military school and his godparents are trapped, in a vulnerable state at the end. With missiles pointed at them. They simply go around the last obstacle.
In "Wish Fixers", HP puts shock collars on Cosmo and Wanda which electrifies them if Timmy grants a wish that's not approved and the only wish approved is that he hands control of Fairy World to the pixies. Timmy wishes Cosmo and Wanda were made of rubber, a material which doesn't conduct electricity, and the contract stated that Timmy would be let loose if he broke his bad wish habit, which he technically did by making a very smart wish that directly benefited his fairies.
In the episode where Timmy ran away from home, Cosmo and Wanda took him to a carnival-themed park instead of a circus. Circuses are bound by certain child labor laws carnivals don't have to obey ("they barely obey the laws of physics!") or so Cosmo told Timmy when he explained it was not a circus.
In "Chin-Up", fairies can go to a comic book convention without getting discovered since so many people turn up to them in costume.
When Timmy accidentally wishes the Nega-Chin out of the comic book, the Nega-Chin makes several wishes, including "immunity from being wished back into the book". The solution? Get the Nega-Chin to wish himself back into the book by summoning Crimson Chins from every comic book era to team up and beat the crap out of him until he does so.
Cosmo: Yeah! Loopholes rock!
In School's Out! The Musical, Flappy Bob signs a contract with the Pixies that transforms Earth based on Flappy Bob's definition of "safe and fun" (read: boring, educational and covered in six inches of foam padding). After his Heel-Face Turn, he uses his law experience to point out the obvious loophole: Earth is safe and fun as defined by Flappy Bob. His definition now? "Everything the way it's supposed to be!"
In Xiaolin Showdown, the monks in training are faced with a circular obstacle course that they must complete by taking a small statue off a pedestal at the end. All of them compete for the best time until Clay looks at the obstacle course for a few moments and then turns around and takes the statue, setting an unbreakable record. In Zen (sorta) tradition this is the correct result, and their master confirms this.
Similarly Jack and Omi had a showdown in which they had to get to the end of an obstacle course with a glass of water "Without spilling a single drop". Jack had the Monkey Staff, which gave him perfect balance and a prehensile tail, but Omi was having trouble...until held the water in his mouth for the last leg of the course and ran.
Happens quite frequently in the show, actually. For example, the challenge in which the monks need to steal a small idol from Master Fung. Master Fung then decides to smash the idol, preventing the monks from being physically able to win the challenge.
Hey Arnold! had the thrice held-back student on a 4th-grade against 5th-grade football game. The student is...well, let's just say they had to bring the class picture to prove it. It backfires when he trips and twists his ankle thirty seconds after the game starts.
In a "U.S. Acres" segment of Garfield and Friends, Roy Rooster goes on the Buddy Bears show as "Big Bad Buddy Bird". He becomes the victim of a twisted version of The Complainer Is Always Wrong, getting a sixteen ton safe dropped on his head for having even the slightest disagreement with the group. Getting fed up, he refuses to do anymore acting until the bears promise not to drop a sixteen ton safe on him. They promise, only to drop two sixteen ton safes on him. A later episode has him rejoin them, after having made sure they won't drop any permutation of 16-ton safes on him. Instead they drop other objects, including a much heavier type of safe on him.
In "U.S. Acres" episode "Rooster Revenge", Roy's prank victims decided they should play some prank on him, and Orson decided the worst thing he could do was "absolutely nothing". By not pranking Roy, Orson turned Roy's paranoia against him. In the end, Roy was visited by an inspector who looked like Orson with a fake mustache. By the time Orson appeared, making Roy realize the inspector wasn't him, Roy had already thrown the inspector into a mud waller. Enraged, the inspector threatened to transfer Roy to the South Pole, and the very idea frightened Roy into running away. The inspector was revealed to be Lanolin playing a prank. Just because Orson said he wouldn't do anything, that didn't mean she wouldn't.
Laff-a-Lympics: The Really Rottens were usually penalized for cheating. But in the free-form pole-vaulting event, they were allowed to participate as a several-story-tall human tower. As the Rottens made their run, the announcer reminded us that "This is free-form vaulting. That means anything goes! So, as ridiculous as this looks, it is not considered cheating!" Cue the Rottens' usual villainous cheering.
In another episode, there was a kangaroo race and the Really Rottens used a mechanical kangaroo instead of a real one. However, it wasn't considered cheating because "a kangaroo is a kangaroo". They won but, when Snagglepuss revealed that Dirty and Dastardly Dalton were with Mumbly in the kangaroo, they were disqualified anyway because they couldn't have more than one athlete riding their kangaroo.
In yet another episode, there was a three-legged race and the Really Rottens were running on a treadmill attached to a vehicle driven by Dread Baron, who tried to pass it as a legit strategy because all the rules required was that they ran on three legs over the race course. However, they were disqualified and lost 25 points for it and another 25 points for forging the rule book Dread Baron presented to trick the judges into thinking the trick was legal.
In an episode of Angela Anaconda, Angela is forced into a pogo competition for charity. Despite her lack of skill, she manages to beat Nannette (in fundraising, even though she fails to break her jump record) by using two sticks at once - there was no rule against "double sticking".
In the Stoked episode "Boards of Glory", Reef and Broseph compete in the tandem surf competition after Lo discovers that there is nothing in the rules that specifies that the pair must be male and female.
In the Kids From Room 402 episode "Mrs. McCoy's Baby Boy", Nancy learned that Jordan is wealthy but doesn't want anyone to find out out of fear they'll think she's some kind of Rich Bitch. Nancy promised not to expose Jordan's secret. However, she started bragging to her friends about having a rich friend.
In the Futurama episode "A Head in the Polls", Richard Nixon's head ran for President of the Earth. When a reporter pointed out to him that nobody could run for President more than twice, Nixon revealed that he had a new robotic body. Both the rule and the loophole are are kind of nonsensical anyway, seeing as the 22nd Amendment actually says "no person", and that was the United States Constitution and presumably the Earthican Constitution wouldn't apply.
One episode of The Secret Show featured a clown who ran for the title of "World Leader". His strategy consisted of renaming himself after the ballot's instruction of where to insert the X and count on confused voters. Not only the strategy was declared legal, but it WORKED!
Played with in the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "Broodwich" where Master Shake survived ingesting said demonic sandwich. Though the Broodwich could not be taken apart, Shake pointed out the loophole when he picked off the sun-dried tomatoes after he finished eating it.
In one episode of Rugrats, Angelica's mother told her not to be mean to the other kids or she wouldn't get the new doll accessory she wanted. When she heard about people hiring assistants to do for people things they can't do themselves, she decided to pick a kid to be her assistant and be mean to the others on her behalf because she couldn't be mean herself. Her mother caught her showing her "assistant" how to be mean, and the plan backfired.
Phineas and Ferb are kids, and thus don't have driver's licenses and aren't allowed to drive. Thus, they simply drive vehicles via remote controls.
In episode "Agent Doof", Doofenshmirtz decided to become an agent of O.W.C.A. Because of the time he was raised by ocelots, he technically meets the basic requirement for the job (being an animal).
Candace and Linda once signed an agreement regarding Candace busting her brothers. One of the terms was that Candace couldn't try to bust them more than once per day. Cue to midnight, and Linda was considering adding a new clause to their agreement.
Ed, Edd n Eddy had an example similar to the Xiaolin Showdown example above. Rolf held a no-rules race to see who would get a jawbreaker to solve an argument while carrying an egg. Eddy cheated, as per usual, Double D made a 2X4 go-kart, Ed just hobbled (Eddy had tied his shoes together at the start) to the finish, which was right by the start, and won (Ed's egg broke, but Rolf never said the egg had to make it).
In "Rambling Ed", Rolf tires of the Eds interfering with his work and tells them not to leave his shed. Afterward, they carry the shed from the inside to enter Rolf's house and raid his fridge.
The Disney short The Art of Self Defense has Goofy attempting to exploit the "No hitting below the belt" rule twice in a row against his opponent by hitching his pants up to his armpits (which gets him punched in the face) and eventually up to where only the top of his head is exposed (his opponent merely pounds him there).
In an episode of The Looney Tunes Show, the doctor cuts Bugs off his caffeine. In The Stinger it's revealed that the doctor told him "One cup of coffee a day can't hurt"... so he just bought a really gigantic coffee cup.
Early in the episode, Korra noted to her master she was only banned from watching a match, not listening to one on the radio. Didn't keep Tenzin from getting angry at her.
In the first episode of Johnny Test, the title character is using his dad's new camera as part of a get-rich-quick scheme to uncover a conspiracy of mole people stealing things from underground (it later turns out he was right). Dukey points out that his dad told him, "Touch [the camera] and die," to which Johnny retorts that he's not touching it physically (he was using a stick to operate it).
The Zeta Project: When Zeta and Ro took refuge within a "No-Tech" village, the Agents couldn't go there without a court order. As Bennet went to the nearest town to get one, he told the other Agents to keep watching and not to set foot inside the village. Agent West then took a flying module to enter the village without setting foot inside it. To his misfortune, the villagers had catapults and rocks to defend themselves.
In one of the 1990s Secret Squirrel cartoons, Secret is told to stop a rampaging panda without hurting it, as it was an endangered species. Secret's solution: Become his "bodyguard" and play a game of "Stop Hitting Yourself" with him.
Max uses this a couple times to aid his friend PJ. PJ's father disallowed him from playing with any of the toys in his room so Max, feeling sorry for him, looked for a way to get PJ to be able to play with his toy tank. Unfortunately, basically every ground in existence was expressly forbidden. Max eventually asked about the walls and ceiling, and the two played with the tank there using suction cups. In another episode, PJ's father said he wasn't allowed to move the VCR, but Max noticed he didn't say they couldn't plug into it.
PJ uses it himself when he makes contradictory promises by accident. He doesn't ever actually tell Max that Pete cheated; he just makes it impossible to draw any other conclusion by conspicuously dropping the camera from his hat.
Toonsylvania: In an episode of the "Night of the Living Fred" segment, the principal, during a yearly visit to Fred Deadman's classroom, he figured out Fred is, as his surname suggests, dead and decided to expel him for that. After he was told there's no rule against dead kids attending school, the principal simply established the rule, subverting the trope.
In "Phil's Brain", Dr. Vic ordered Igor to take the garbage out but Igor replied that his union doesn't allow him to do it. (In fact, it's the only thing the union forbids him from doing) Dr. Vic then ordered Igor to make sure Phil takes the garbage out otherwise Igor will be punished.
In another "Night of the Living Fred" episode, Fred took his dead and stuffed dog, Frisky, to a dog show. Frisky was allowed in because there was no rule against dead dogs entering. Frisky won because the last event was a "stay" and the points for it were more than any other dog had got after the other events.
When the Guild banned Monarch from arching Rusty Venture, they went after his brother Jonas Jr. instead. When JJ escalated his attacks into trying to outright kill the Monarch (being baited into doing so by the Monarch), this allowed Monarch to extend his arching to JJ's guild-sanctioned immediate family, including Rusty.
When supervillain/lawyer Monstroso attempted to double-cross the Monarch, taking control of his estate as well as Venture's, Monarch was forbidden by the Guild to do interfere, since they actually encourage the double cross. When he and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch found out that Henchman 21 was acting on his own to stop Monstroso, they didn't stop him, since a renegade henchman wasn't covered by the "no interfering with a double cross" rule since they didn't order him to do it.
When Rusty was captured by a group of supervillains at a Guild night club, they planned to kill him by dropping him into a vat of acid. Monarch and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch were called in and, citing their rights as Venture's primary arches, prevented the other guild members from killing him.
In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Arrgh!", SpongeBob and Patrick are told not to look at Mr. Krabs' treasure map, as "only the captain can lay eyes on the map". Later, when they sneak into his tent, they find the map and start poking it, as there's no rule against touching the map.
In Adventure Time, the Ice King claims that Princess Bubblegum said she'd go out with him if he was the last person in Ooo, and succeeds in removing everything else from existence. After PB points out that this is crazy, and furthermore that she's definite she never actually said that, she finds a loophole.
Princess Bubblegum: You're not the last person in Ooo! Because I'm still here!
She then spends most of the remainder of the episode making out with her own hand.
In The Little Rascals animated episode "Science Fair and Foul", Buckwheat makes the other boys promise not to peek at his science fair project before the fair is held. But since Darla wasn't in on that promise, Spanky decides that they, Alfalfa and Porky can inspect Buckwheat's project on the sly.
Rocket Power: In “Banned on the Run”, when Merv Stimpleton manages to get skateboarding and rolling skating on the boardwalk outlawed, it was only applied to there. His wife, Violet, notices that the kids were using the unused empty pool as an alternative, and she rather quite pleased that Merv was faking his injuries to get his way. This leads to the creation of Madtown Skate Park.
The Powerpuff Girls: In "Bought and Scold", Princess Morbucks manages to bribe the Mayor into letting her be the new Mayor of Townsville, and her first decree is that crime is legal, so that the girls can't stop her or fight crime, leaving them helpless against burglary. Luckily, the girls manage to use this to their advantage by robbing HER, making her reverse the law. On top of that, since they stole while the "crime = legal" law was in effect, they were able to bargain all her (dad's) stuff for giving Townsville back to the Mayor.
The Amazing World of Gumball: While playing a game of Dodj or Daar in "The Game," Nicole cheats Anais out of six spaces ahead by pointing out that the dare she took (wear everything in the house) said to wear everything in the house, not just all of the clothes.