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Films — Animation
- The film Shrek begins with the eponymous ogre reading a traditional fairy tale and saying "Like that's ever going to happen." Despite the fact that the film is a parody of fairy tales, that plot is roughly the one used in the film.
- The LEGO Movie has an in-universe example, as the entire plot of the film was a metaphor for Finn's playtime in his dad's study. But it's notably ambiguous just how much the movie conforms to this trope.
Films — Live-Action
- In Jackie Chan's The Forbidden Kingdom, a teenager obsessed with kung fu movies is transported to ancient China, where he must return the Ruyi Jingu Bang to the Monkey King.
- The 1995 adaptation of A Little Princess threads in bits of the Ramayana by making it Sara Crewe's favorite book. The strong implication is that King Rama's story mirrors Captain Crewe's—the two characters are even played by the same actor.
- In Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, the fairy tales that pepper the text usually mirror Jeanette's life in some fashion.
- In Someone Else's War, Matteo compares himself, at one point, to the East African folk story of Shing'weng'we, a monster who devoured everyone in the world until a brave young boy he forgot to swallow slits open his belly and frees everyone. Someone Else's War is about an escaped child soldier trying to free fellow child soldiers from the Lord's Resistance Army.
Live Action TV
- Wishbone runs on this, as the titular dog compares events in his life to stories like Romeo and Juliet and Cyrano de Bergerac.
- In the 2001 miniseries The Lost Empire, a Chinese-literature expert joins forces with with the Monkey King, Friar Sand, and Monk Pig to save the kidnapped Wu Chen'en (author of Journey to the West).
- Distortion Nuzlocke has an in-universe example. Everyone Johnny encounters is imagined as part of the Pokemon world, and each of his Pokemon represent something about him.