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->''"You can't have an anti-gun message when you clearly used guns to solve your problem! It just doesn't work!"''
-->-- '''[[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]]''' reviewing ''Comicbook/SupermanAtEarthsEnd''

Most children are familiar with the line "Do as I say, not as I do." A Broken Aesop is this in ''aesop form''.

Basically, a Broken Aesop is a story where a 'moral' presented just doesn't match the original moral that the story actually contained. Sometimes the resulting moral feels so tacked on that it comes across as an {{Anvil|icious}} [[DeusExMachina Ex Machina]]. Or just plain {{hypocrisy}}.

Common methods of breaking AnAesop include:
* A CompressedVice, a ResetButton, or a SnapBack: There's a lesson, but because [[StatusQuoIsGod the sequel/next episode/next installment forgets it happened]] or [[CanonDiscontinuity pretends it didn't happen]], there are no consequences.
* A character learns something but [[AesopAmnesia changes back to normal]] because StatusQuoIsGod.
* Having the resolution rely on a DeusExMachina, FantasticAesop, or KarmicTwistEnding.
* Distorting the moral into "[[CantGetAwayWithNuthin It's only wrong]] if [[SelectiveEnforcement someone else does it]]" or "[[ProtagonistCenteredMorality only if the bad guys do it]]."
* Trying to teach BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor by using a {{Literal|Genie}} or JackassGenie who doesn't actually ''give'' you what you wished for.
* Saying anyone can do anything they set their mind to [[HardWorkFallacy by their own resolve]], when the character was born into royalty or privilege, born with some sort of superior genetic power, is just plain talented at what they do, has the PowersThatBe on their side, or otherwise revealed to be from a powerful, significant bloodline or background explaining their greatness.
* Trying to prove that everybody is important but [[HeartIsAnAwesomePower only once they achieve something]]. So still only skilled or famous people are important, they just act in an alternative way. Especially common when facing a WellDoneSonGuy.
* Saying that one should accept those who are different, only to show that the difference [[CursedWithAwesome gives the rejected character an obvious direct advantage]], or the difference makes the character a public menace that society is correct to reject. Or that the different person [[MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch is not a proper representative of their group in a way that makes them more socially acceptable to others]], or [[BeautifulAllAlong isn't accepted until they have been sufficiently altered to "fit in"]].
* Commonly in [=RPGs=] and Westerns, ThouShaltNotKill Aesop is followed by the next major battle having the characters kill something (with the exception of games with NeverSayDie in play).
* Learning that what happened isn't really your fault, when it was, or learning that you should take responsibilities and accept that it was your fault, when it wasn't.
* The BeYourself Aesop in which a character is told that they should accept themselves as they are or "We already like you the way you are" is occasionally ruined when the character in question was actually trying to do something that can lead to obvious self improvement, as opposed to just changing themselves to fit in with or impress others.
* The character learns a lesson about how the thing he desires so much is not worth it, sometimes sacrificing what he wants for the right thing to do, but in the end, [[SweetAndSourGrapes he gets what he wanted anyway]].
* Several of these methods also feed into {{Metaphorgotten}}, particularly when the moral metaphor's breakdown is what makes the Aesop a FantasticAesop. (See category 1 there.) For instance, FantasticRacism as a metaphor for racism in RealLife tends to break a lot of Aesops when the fantastic race in question has dangerous superpowers that it needs to contain and control, or some [[AlwaysChaoticEvil genetic imperative]] to oppress and enslave and commit genocide against other races, or is basically just a slight variant of the humans the moralizer is trying to make out to be [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters the real monsters]].

Not to be confused with a FamilyUnfriendlyAesop, where the lesson is followed, but the {{A|nAesop}}esop itself is strange and/or non-standard, though the two can overlap. Compare AnalogyBackfire, which is when an analogy (which may or may not contain an Aesop) makes a point that is the opposite of what it was supposed to. See also ValuesDissonance. For ''intentional'' Broken Aesops PlayedForLaughs, see SpoofAesop.

''Important Note: as tempting it may be, please do not add meta-fictional examples (while they may be a CluelessAesop, they constitute an AdHominem argument). Only add examples where the aesop is broken within the narrative itself. This means do not add examples such as:''
# ''"How many trees got cut down to produce that {{anvilicious}} book [[GreenAesop warning us about deforestation]]?"''
# ''"How much money did that film with the message against being greedy or about money not being everything or the {{anvilicious}} [[CapitalismIsBad anti-capitalist message]] gross at the box office?"''
# ''"[[CelebCrush How]] [[HollywoodHomely great looking]] were the actors in that work telling us that looks aren't everything or that it's what's on the inside that counts?"''
# ''"Why is a television show/video game giving an aesop about how [[AntiEscapismAesop people need to watch less TV/spend less time playing video games]]?"''
# ''"Why is this movie/TV show/song telling us about how [[HorribleHollywood the entertainment industry]] [[MusicIsPolitics is evil]]?"''
# ''"If this movie/TV show/song/video game is calling me [[YouBastard a bastard]] for enjoying it, then what does that say about the people who are making money off of it?"''
# ''"Why is this movie/TV show/video game telling me that LuddWasRight despite being made using modern technology?"''
# ''"Why are these celebrities telling me that CelebrityIsOverrated?"''

''Another thing to note is that an author cannot directly invoke this trope. The whole point is that it's unintentional. The only way to directly invoke this is through other characters criticizing it via BreakingTheFourthWall or a ShowWithinAShow format.''


* BrokenAesop/AnimeAndManga
* BrokenAesop/ComicBooks
* [[BrokenAesop/AnimatedFilms Films Animated]]
* [[BrokenAesop/LiveActionFilms Films Live-Action]]
* BrokenAesop/{{Literature}}
* BrokenAesop/LiveActionTV
* BrokenAesop/VideoGames
* BrokenAesop/WesternAnimation


* A commercial for [=CougarLife=].com shows one such cougar, walking around a bar asserting the superiority of older women over younger women. She demonstrates how much more mature and confident she is [[{{Hypocrite}} by bullying and assaulting the younger women in the bar, who are already on dates, so she can take their place]]. [[SarcasmMode Nothing says "Confident and Mature!" like condescending to twenty-somethings about their part-time jobs and shoving them out of their chairs.]]
* Dr Pepper made an ad campaign based on individuality and "I gotta be me"... but the commercials had most everyone wearing near-identical red shirts with white text. While all of the text was different, in most crowd scenes everyone looked the same. They [[SubvertedTrope sorta fixed this]] when you could buy your own customized shirt... but then they went around ''[[DoubleSubversion giving people pre-made shirts]]''. I guess I don't gotta be me, I just gotta be my shirt.
* Creator/{{Nintendo}} isn't immune from this either - in 1995 and early 1996, during the early years of the UsefulNotes/PlayStation, Nintendo put out commercials about their "arcade-perfect" ''VideoGame/KillerInstinct'' ports and closed each commercial with "So who needs a new system?" Later in 1996, when the UsefulNotes/{{Nintendo 64}} was released, it aired commercials asking consumers to "Change the System." [[GoneHorriblyRight A lot of said consumers did.]]
* A UsefulNotes/PlayStation3 commercial for the Move tries to say that motion control gaming is not just for children. It then shows a montage of about 6-9 games set to what may or may not be Chariots of Fire, about two of which most parents wouldn't let their child play. Even worse is the fact that a 12-year-old girl is seen playing one of the less child-friendly games. There's also the fact that the UsefulNotes/{{Wii}} made most of its money because motion control ''was'' successful for family gaming, which one who is a little more cynical could say is [[FollowTheLeader the entire reason]] Sony ''made'' the Move.
** "Who says motion control is for kids?" ''You'' did, [[ItWillNeverCatchOn back when the Wii first came out]].
* In the 1970s there was a well-meaning anti-smoking PSA starring WesternAnimation/YogiBear and friends, [[http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-RfAtn8jWTaI/TjH_0nMlfqI/AAAAAAAAwZU/ychwjiTzRhc/s1600/%2524%2528KGrHqR%252C%2521lQE4lQLrciiBOLLtq%2528%25296g%257E%257E0_3.JPG while they had been seen smoking in their cartoons, and sold merchandise featuring smoking]].
* Values.com sponsors the "Pass It On" series of [=PSAs=], one of which is about [[http://www.values.com/inspirational-stories-tv-spots/128-Dishes listening]]. Its last scene shows a woman silently washing the dishes while her husband is on his cell phone. He drops it into the sink and has to fish it out, scrambling to pick his call back up, only to have his wife (still silently) take it out of his hands and smugly drop it ''back into the sink''. [[WomenAreWiser Instead of being pissed that his wife just drowned a hundred dollar smartphone, he smiles contentedly and realizes the error of his ways]], and goes on to focus on listening to her. The moral breaks because the story is about ''listening'', and the wife pulls this stunt ''while her husband was on the phone'' and ''saying nothing out loud herself''. What was he supposed to be listening to, if not the person with whom ''he was already speaking''? Keep in mind as well, that's not the entirety of the commercial - there are other scenes wherein the husband does want to talk and it's the ''wife'' who's not listening - [[DoubleStandard maybe that's okay somehow?]]
* An Australian PSA about staying in school started out with a montage of a group of high school students sneaking out of class to party on a closed-off beach, set to optimistic-sounding music... And ended with a graphic depiction of all but one of them being killed by land mines, as the camera panned out to reveal warning signs about the beach being an explosive testing site. Because the ending is DiabolusExMachina with no direct connection to the students' decision to cut school, the message instead becomes "don't break into fenced-in beaches"... Which is a perfectly valid Aesop, just not the intended one. Note though that this was a hoax made as a joke by a local ad agency.
* During the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, the anti-independence (No) campaign ran a video called ''The Woman Who Made Up Her Mind'', which featured a woman talking to a camera in her kitchen about how this talk of independence was all very well, but did the pro-independence (Yes) campaign really know what they were talking about? Did they really know what would happen? She comes down against independence because she "just doesn't think" it will work out, but the lesson that the Yes campaign hadn't done the research and didn't know what would happen is lost, because although the No side was trying to present itself as the party of common sense, the woman doesn't have any facts to back herself up; her own doubts are entirely based on gut instinct and knee-jerk distrust of politicians. It was widely perceived as sexist and patronising for its portrayal of women as incapable of doing a Google search, and in the wake of it being shown on TV, the Yes campaign briefly overtook the No campaign in the polls.
* Here's a Broken Aesop that doubles as a CluelessAesop: In the early 90's, Creator/{{Nickelodeon}} ran several [=PSA's=] about the need to turn off the television and go outside. Around that exact same time, they ran a network promo depicting a kid being left alone on a baseball field, because all of his friends are ''in the living room watching Nick''.
* The Meth Project Ads are mainly a [[ScareEmStraight horrorshow]] series about how DrugsAreBad. For the most part, they do their job admirably, particularly the ones directed by Darren Aronofsky, who's kind of [[RequiemForADream famous for that]], but a couple of them fall flat. They feature teenagers who wish they had been horribly injured if it diverted them from going to the place they tried meth for the first time. It fits the tone of the ads in general, but the characters are describing a catastrophic traffic accident and physical violence (implied to be a gay bashing) as being preferable to going to a party and trying meth. Meth is a bad idea, but you're a lot more likely to recover from drug addiction than the kind of [[AndIMustScream complete and isolated helplessness due to crippling injury]] being described as the preferable outcome the ad suggests.
* [[Advertising/GotMilk A series of 1990s ads featuring milk]] would have a situation where the character would have had great fortune if they'd just been able to drink a glass of milk and say something. However one of them had a man asked what the name of a new cookie[[note]]an Oreo[[/note]] should be, and mumble "I don't know" through a mouthful of it, leading to his boss choosing the name Oreo and praising him for the idea. So the message is that if we ''don't'' have milk we'll do well at work?

* In his stand-up, Creator/RickyGervais identifies the Broken Aesop inherent in a version of the children's folk tale 'The Lazy Mouse and the Industrious Mouse' that he was told by his headmaster at a school assembly. In the story, the Industrious Mouse labours long and hard to prepare himself for winter, whilst the Lazy Mouse bunks off and has fun. When winter comes, the Lazy Mouse has nothing, so goes to avail himself of the charity of the Industrious Mouse -- who, after beginning a lecture about how the Lazy Mouse should have done his own preparing, suddenly turns around and invites him in to share. Gervais notes with exasperation that the moral is mangled from being "work hard and be prepared for the future" into becoming, in his words, "fuck around, do whatever you want and then scrounge off a do-gooder". He also notes that most of the pupils at that assembly took the latter aesop and "kept it up" for the entirety of their academic careers. He also points out that, thanks to the RuleOfThree, the moral of the tale of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" is not "never tell a lie", but rather "never tell the ''same'' lie twice." And rounds it off by inferring that the moral of "Humpty Dumpty" must be "don't climb walls [[FantasticAesop if you're an egg]]".

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* The ''ComicStrip/DickTracy'' "Crimestopper's Guide" feature that runs with the Sunday strip provides a number of generally helpful crime prevention tips. However, they often are, if not broken, then at least hypocritical in the face of the main action: It reminds that "you cannot spot a criminal by their facial features", while the strip is best known for its [[BeautyEqualsGoodness grotesquely ugly villains]]. It also has exhortations for people to "get involved" when they see a crime committed, while in the strip helpful bystanders tend to quickly end up dead. And so on.
* E.C. Segar's ''Thimble Theater'', where ComicStrip/{{Popeye}} first appeared, sometimes had an AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle segment in which Popeye would teach morals. In one of them Popeye seriously teaches kids [[DoubleStandard not to be lazy with their language and mispronounce words]] ("sumpin' for "something", for instance). It was originally used as an occasional gag, but after Segar's untimely demise other writers sometimes forgot that it was supposed to be ironic.
* ''ComicStrip/TheWizardOfId'' does an annual Veterans Day strip where it pays tribute to the US military, using the Id army as a metaphor for them. However, the rest of the year, Id's military, and especially their commander-in-chef Sir Rodney, are depicted as incompetent, bumbling cowards, so the compliment comes off as backhanded at best.

[[folder:Fairy Tales]]
* ''Literature/BeautyAndTheBeast'' in its various tellings usually ends up having a Broken Aesop (especially in modern versions) that is naturally an inversion of the complaint about ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}''. It's believed that the story was originally told to girls who were in {{arranged marriage}}s to men they didn't care for, so ValuesDissonance may be involved.
** The story is ''supposedly'' saying that Beauty comes to see beyond the Beast's appearance and accept him for who he is... except that they're only able to live HappilyEverAfter when the curse is broken and he reverts to a perfect Handsome Prince (and thus comes off as "only beautiful people can love each other" instead... though this sort of neglects the fact that the transformation is the ''Beast's'' reward, not Belle's). In the versions where he is clearly some sort of animal or mix of animals, this "broken Aesop" cannot be avoided without getting too close to bestiality for most audience members' comfort, so for the writers this is a case of damned if you do, damned if you don't.
** The most well-known versions of this tale by Beaumont and Disney actually cut out the worst of the original Villeneuve story's Broken Aesopness. Villeneuve's backstory for the Prince revealed him to have been cursed by a fairy who's explicitly described as "wicked" and "ugly", whereas the good fairy who helps him break the curse is described as strikingly beautiful. Not only that, but there's a ''second'' Broken Aesop that emerges when the Prince's mother [[ParentalMarriageVeto refuses to let him marry Beauty]] because she's a commoner; the Prince and good fairy both argue that Beauty's virtues should make her worthy of his hand on their own, but then the fairy explains that Beauty is actually the daughter of a fairy princess (it makes sense in context... sort of) and hence of royal birth after all, rendering that moral completely moot.
** There's also the broken aesop that comes from the fact that in a story that is supposed to be about not judging people by their appearances, the most notable aspect of the heroine is her [[MeaningfulName beauty]]. It can make the story seem a bit less about looking beyond appearances and more [[UglyGuyHotWife beautiful women should be willing to settle for ugly men]]. Some variants avoid this by making Beauty's name at least partially ironic, but usually she is presented as [[BeautyEqualsGoodness the epitome of both physical and inner beauty]], while her less attractive sisters are just as ugly on the inside. Not to mention how many variants ''explicitly'' state that the Prince is not just handsome but the handsomest man Beauty has ever seen or even the handsomest one ''in the world''.
** Christian novelist Karen Kingsbury's ''Unlocked'' inadvertently showed up some of the problems with this story by using it as a metaphor for ''autism''. The novel has a beautiful, popular high school senior named Ella (re)befriending a boy, Holden, who has HollywoodAutism and is completely noncommunicative -- a situation triggered when he wants to sit in on rehearsals for a SchoolPlay of the Disney adaptation of this story as he's drawn to the music. She's playing Belle, and Holden is a metaphorical Beast figure in that he's "cursed" with autism. The whole story is about how music, friendship, and God "break" this "curse" and get him out of his shell, suggesting that autistic people cannot be appreciated for their inner qualities and have fulfilling lives unless others help them become more "normal". If the intended Aesop were being followed, the other characters would be happy with him as he is -- after all, it isn't something that he can help or brought upon himself -- if still helping him to have a more-rounded out life. As well, he's as physically attractive as Ella, and while the author tries to couch this as a reflection of his inner beauty, it again suggests that the hero ''has'' to be incredibly handsome to be worthy of the beautiful heroine... and ''especially'' if he's disabled.
* The original story of TheBluebeard by Charles Perrault seemed to be going for an Aesop of if you get too curious you may not like what you find. Here's the problem: Bluebeard's wife may not have liked what she found, but it still probably ''saved her life'' in the end, if what she found is any guide. If she hadn't looked in the forbidden room, she probably would have wound up getting on his bad side when her sister and brothers hadn't been around. The true moral should be ''please'' be curious. Or, "Be curious and not clumsy."
* The fairy tale of ''Literature/DonkeySkin''. It's not enough that the prince loves the beautiful mystery girl who is found hiding as a scullery maid; she has to be outed as a runaway princess before the marriage is acceptable. Even though her hard work, intelligence, and bravery [[note]]and sneakiness[[/note]] show her to be an amazing young woman.
* There are countless legends (as well as other types of works) that feature the story of a young princess who is in love with a commoner but cannot marry him because he is not of noble blood. Different stories end differently, but in the majority of cases, this "commoner" will be revealed to have noble blood by the end of the story. The often spontaneous discovery that the commoner is a prince will [[SuddenlySuitableSuitor suddenly lift all boundaries]], put a satisfied smile on the king's previously-angry face, and be followed by the sound of wedding bells. In other words, while the intended Aesop is usually that "[[ThePowerOfLove true love conquers all]]", it is in fact social status that conquers all, and must be properly matched before true love can do its magic. Now, this may have been fine in the days when most societies on Earth had a strict class structure - even commoners held the misconception that the nobles were somehow innately more elevated than they were, and thus should look after their bloodlines.
* One of Aesop's fables, ''The Satyr and the Peasant'', is about a satyr who meets a poor traveler lost in the woods, and invites him to his home. He notices the peasant first blowing on his hands to warm them, then blowing on a bowl of soup to cool it off. The Satyr immediately kicks his guest out, declaring that "a man who blows hot and cold in the same breath can't be trusted", metaphorically meaning that someone who frequently changes his mind to avoid committing to a conclusion or to align himself with both sides of a conflict. The problem is, obviously, that the man ''isn't'' blowing hot and cold in the same breath, his breath is the same temperature every time! It's just that his breath is warmer than his cold hands and cooler than his hot soup, meaning he was [[TakeAThirdOption actually]] being consistently ''moderate''.
* Another Aesop's fables, ''Literature/TheTortoiseAndTheHare'', is usually quoted with the moral of "slow and steady wins the race". Except, that's not what happened. The Hare only lost the race because he got overconfident and took a nap during the race. The real moral could have been "don't underestimate your opponent and get cocky." From the point of view of the tortoise, it's more that "slow and ''steady'' wins the race if your opponent is fast but ''unsteady'' enough in his progress that you can catch up".
** Or, [[http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=3485 it's a fable about small sample sizes ]]
* Aesop's tale of [[BlowYouAway Boreas]] and [[ThePowerOfTheSun Helios]] is often used to promote the moral that gentleness wins over harshness. Except it doesn't work, because the reasons for Helios' victory and Boreas' loss are inherent to the characters. No matter how gentle wind would blow, you'd still cling on to your cloak, while you wouldn't really have any choice but to take it off if the sun suddenly flared.
* Another fable, "The Cock and the Jewel", is the very short tale of a rooster who goes scratching in the yard to find himself and his hens some food, and turns up a gemstone that someone lost from a piece of jewelry. He says that if its owner had found it, the owner would take it and put it back in its setting because it's obviously a very precious stone, but since he's a rooster and has no use for them, he'd rather have a single piece of corn than all the jewels in the world. The moral is "be content with your own lot", but the rooster clearly understands that a jewel has material worth to others ''and he can talk''. The jewel could have bought him plenty of corn and nothing about his situation would have changed, except he would have succeeded in providing for his family.
[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'': "RIP Calvin", according to WordOfGod, was supposed to teach that [[spoiler:[[WeAllDieSomeday "no one is immortal."]]]] However, [[spoiler:the cast in said episode [[DisneyDeath are revived via time travel]]]].
* Creator/DakariKingMykan wrote ''FanFic/MyBravePonyStarfleetMagic'' to try and prove that you don't need friends to succeed, and that friendship isn't magic, but rather useless. However, in the vast majority of the fights in the series, it's Lightning's friends who figure out how to defeat a monster or do most of the work, with Lightning only blasting the Rainbow Rod or the Uniforce at the end as a finishing blow. The Grand Ruler even says at one point that friendship is an important part of magic, completely contradicting the fic's intention. It gets even more broken with the fact that one of the major inspirations for the story is ''Franchise/PowerRangers'', a franchise that emphasizes teamwork, even ''with'' certain seasons ([[Franchise/SuperSentai and Japanese counterparts]]) having notorious cases of SpotlightStealingSquad.
* Discussed in the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' FanFic ''[[FanFic/PonyPermutationProject Twilight Switch]]''. After witnessing Applejack losing a large harvest of apples, Twilight feels guilty about not being able to help and tries to figure out a spell to fix it. Applejack eventually explains that she'd lost the apples due to her own hard-headedness; if Twilight just magicked up a solution, it'd be like a "get out of stubbornness free" card and she wouldn't have to deal with the consequences of her actions, effectively ruining a hard-learned lesson.
* ''Fanfic/ThePrayerWarriors'' [[{{Anvilicious}} keeps emphasizing]] [[FamilyUnfriendlyAesop that women are weak]] [[StayInTheKitchen and should be subservient to men]]. However, in ''[[Franchise/HarryPotter Battle with the Witches]]'', it's Ebony who does most of the work in gathering the keys to bring down Dumbledore; in ''Threat of Satanic Commonism'', it's Mary who kills "[[Music/TheBeatles John Lennon]]"; and in ''[[Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians Evil Gods Part Two]]'', it's Ebony (again) who is able to capture [[CriticalResearchFailure the Roman God]] {{Creator/Socrates}}. These examples, as well as several other cases of female Prayer Warriors fighting multiple enemies at once, makes one have to wonder just how weak and useless the women are.
* The ''Manga/ElfenLied'' fanfic FanFic/RoboBando goes on and on about how pedophiles are complete scum and need to die yet one of the later main 'heroes' is the Pedobear.
* ''Fanfic/SonicXDarkChaos'' emphasizes with the Angels that Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are bad. [[AndThatsTerrible Really, really bad.]] However, compared with the Demons, they were portrayed as the more honorable and nicer faction overall. The rewrite fixes this somewhat by making the Angels [[BlackAndGrayMorality far more morally gray than the original]], even with some of more sympathetic Angel characters like Jesus. It also makes the Demons more gray too, to emphasize the fact that both sides are flawed and NotSoDifferent.
* Many MarySueHunter stories, most famously ''WebOriginal/ProtectorsOfThePlotContinuum'', present the moral of "{{Mary Sue}}s are wrong, because overpowered characters who have too much focus and exist as vehicles for the author's fantasies rob the original story of its tension and come off as insulting to it." The problem is that, by definition, the "hunter" character has to be even more powerful than the Mary Sue, they're almost invariably the main focus of the story rather than the actual original protagonists and their job is seen as essential and all-important, they're always {{Author Avatar}}s to some degree, their victory is a ForegoneConclusion and their targets are treated as SmugSnake {{Hate Sink}}s who [[CurbStompBattle lose the moment]] they don't have PlotArmor, and their entire existence is based on [[TakeThat taking someone else's character and murdering them.]] Sometimes this gets lampshaded, subverted, or justified, and often HeWhoFightsMonsters is introduced, but just as many introduce a sparkly elven princess with a dumb name who deserves nothing but scorn and disgust, and then treat the dimension-hopping, shapeshifting, universally-ordained hunter dripping in technology who shoots her through the head as without fault.

* [=BarlowGirl=]'s "She Walked Away" begins with a girl leaving her home and makes it sound like she was being abused and finally had the courage to leave after a BreakTheCutie moment (''If there were tears she laughed, it's time to kiss the past goodbye'') but then suddenly has her family singing about how {{God}} should tell her to please come home, making the song's apparent aesop "Home is where the heart is, even if you're being abused." Alternately, she was just a plain ol' runaway. The lyrics are ambiguous.
* The Double Take song "Hot Problems" is about two girls "singing" that even though they're hot, they're still imperfect and have their fair share of struggles. At the very end, they laugh and say, "Just kidding; we're perfect!"
* "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)" ends with the guy rekindling his romance with his wife by answering a personal ad, only to find that she was the one who had placed it. Hurrah! Consider cheating on your spouse and you too can discover that your boring spouse is actually a fascinating person... who desperately wanted to cheat on you with somebody else!
* Parodied by the ''Music/FlightOfTheConchords'' song "Think About It", which takes a swipe at well-meaning but ultimately fatuous protest songs. The song raises moral issues but completely misses the point of them:
-->''They're turning kids into slaves\\
Just to make cheaper sneakers\\
But what's the real cost?\\
'Cause the sneakers don't seem that much cheaper...\\
Why're we still paying so much for sneakers when you've got them made by little slave kids?\\
What is your overhead?''
* Music/KatMcSnatch has "Don't Be a Racist", PlayedForLaughs, which starts with Kat advising about the song title, only for her (and her [[AWildRapperAppears rapping partner]]) to burst into full-blown racism.
* Music/MichaelJackson's "They Don't Care About Us" has an anti-bigotry/injustice message, even name-dropping Martin Luther King, Jr. at one point. But thanks to poor context, the lines "Jew me, sue me" and "Kick me, Kike me", which were supposed to be refer to Jews ''being treated'' badly rather than Jews ''treating others'' badly, were misinterpreted as anti-Semitic ([[GreedyJew the "sue me" rhyme didn't help Jackson's case]]). These two lines were changed for the single release and later pressings of the album as a result.
* Music/OingoBoingo's song "Capitalism": "There's nothing wrong with capitalism / There's nothing wrong with free enterprise / You're just [[BourgeoisBohemian a middle-class socialist brat]] / From a suburban family, and you never really had to work." Then, there ''is'' something wrong with capitalism, because it turns people into "middle-class socialist brats." Which is kind of a simplification (and a cherry-picked quoting of the song). After the "free enterprise" line it goes "There's nothing wrong with wanting to live nice/ I'm so tired of hearing you whine." The song is a TakeThat at college students who spout prepackaged socialism and talk about getting back to "the workers" when they've never done menial labors. Basically, limousine liberals. Danny Elfman himself [[http://www.boingo.org/articles/Encyclopedia.html reflected on this]]:
-->'''Danny Elfman: I'm not a doomist. My attitude is always to be critical of what's around you, but not ever to forget how lucky we are. I've traveled around the world. I left thinking I was a revolutionary. I came back real right-wing patriotic. Since then, I've kind of mellowed in between.
* Music/TaylorSwift's "Mean" falls victim of this: First she states that she won't let the "mean" girl who insults and bullies her draw her into a CycleOfRevenge... and then she spends the rest of the song mocking her for how "pathetic" and "alone in life" she is and how she'll never been anything other than "mean". Worse, the song was reportedly a TakeThat aimed towards a music critic who slammed Swift's singing. The lesson seems less like "Don't bully other people" than "[[ItsAllAboutMe Don't bully Taylor Swift]]."
* Fuck Tha Police by NWA has the gang rapping a story about how they feel they are being unfairly racially profiled as violent thugs by the police because they are young, black and from the ghetto, and they rap about how they want these stereotypes and racial profiling to stop. The solution they offer in the song? To go around shooting dead all police officers who oppose them. Precisely how murdering police officers in cold blood is going to help their case against people racially profiling them as violent thugs is never explained, leading to a strange example of this trope.
* "Ridin'" by Chamillionaire (ft. Krayzie Bone) also has a similar message about being racially profiled, but then makes the same mistake in the second verse, bragging about smoking weed and driving drunk, making it look like the cops are actually justified in wanting to catch them "ridin' dirty".
* Meghan Trainor:
** "All About That Bass" by promotes the {{Aesop}} that you are beautiful and your body is fine the way it is, but then refers to "skinny bitches", which naturally generated a lot of criticism for undermining its message and stereotyping women based on their weight. This generally ignores the second half of the verse, which acknowledges that thin women can also be insecure about their bodies and that they are perfect from the bottom to the top too. Some other lines also imply that beauty is based on others' opinions. It's also worth noting that the heavyset male dancer in the music video is portrayed as effeminate, campy, and humorous, while the actor playing Meghan's boyfriend is slender. Plenty of men/boys have issues with Body Image, and presenting such a Double Standard doesn't help. It becomes HarsherInHindsight after she told ''People'' magazine that she tried to go "anorexic" (she really just tried dieting), which was pretty insensitive towards people who actually have eating disorders. Plus, despite promoting [[YouGoGirl "girl power"]], she claims that she's ''not'' a feminist because she thinks it carries a [[StrawFeminist negative connotation]], which makes most of her songs seem like Broken Aesops.
*** There's a Bowdlerized version of "All About That Bass" which changes the line "boys like a little more booty to hold at night" to "boys like their girls for the beauty they hold inside"... which completely contradicts the intended message about body positivity.
*** The original line there, meanwhile, is perhaps even worse, because what her mother actually says is that you should be happy with your body ''because you are a shape boys find sexy''. Presumably girls without the "little more booty" which would permit them to nocturnally pleasure the boys - or girls who, god forbid, don't especially want to have their asses held by boys at all - are plain out of luck as far as Megan's mother cares. What matters isn't loving your body; it's having a body which is loved by boys.
** Trainor continued this with "Dear Future Husband", ostensibly a song about treating a female partner properly for a good relationship, but the song relies on decades-outdated gender roles, and the tone of the song is much more aggressive and demanding than it lets on, with statements like "you have to ''always'' agree with me or else [[LysistrataGambit you won't get sex]]" and "My family is more important than yours".
* The Finnish song "Albatrossi" ("Albatross") by Juha Vainio tells the story of two childhood friends who went their different ways; the narrator wishes he had been like the other, who took charge of his own life and became a sailor. The central explicit metaphor is that the sailor is like a tireless (and free) albatross, while the narrator has been like a gull, "the man who doesn't finish his work and who builds everything on mere dreams." But the actual story before this was that the sailor ran off to the sea when fifteen, while the narrator stayed behind studying and working as he was expected to do -- and regretted not following his dreams. The sailor may have been more determined to seize the day, but the difference between the characters was hardly that he worked harder instead of building his life on a dream.
** The song is based on one of Juha Vainio's childhood friends, who indeed did become a sailor. But given to the fact Juha Vainio had quite hollow legs, the [[TheDrunkenSailor flip side of the maritime life]] would most likely have proven him disastrous.
* ''The Christmas Shoes'' by [=NewSong=] gets a lot of criticism for the [[UnfortunateImplications less sentimental]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq10bz3PxyY interpretation of its message]] , but the message itself is broken just by the events of the song. The opening lines paint the narrator's obligate gift-buying as being against the spirit of Christmas, but the whole point of the story is that the little boy is spending Christmas Eve trying to buy a material gift for his dying mother so she can look beautiful when she meets Jesus... instead of actually spending time with her.
* Coven's ''One Tin Soldier'' is an illustration of the perils of using a moral ideal to justify mistreating others, sarcastically encouraging the audience to go ahead and be an asshole "in the name of Heaven" because you'll always be able to say you did the right thing (and there won't be anyone to call out the winner if they make sure all the losers are dead). Unfortunately, the actual story being told to the children is a fable about the Valley People sacking the Mountain People's castle to steal their treasure, only to find that the treasure is just the idea of peace. The moral fails because the Valley People demand literal gold, and rather than just saying that there ''isn't any'', the Mountain People offer to share their treasure and just never send anything back. Sure, the Valley People are greedy dicks, but the conflict was a matter of PoorCommunicationKills, not a moral issue.

[[folder:Music Videos]]
* Music/AvrilLavigne's "Girlfriend" depicts an attractive popular girl stealing a mousy nerd-girl's boyfriend. The intended message is that ''doing this is wrong...'' but at no point is the stealer called out on her behavior, the boyfriend is visibly thrilled that he's getting a hotter girl, and the nerd is repeatedly humiliated and injured. DoNotDoThisCoolThing, girls!
* Music/JenniferLopez: Jenny from the Block. She wanted to convey humility and staying true to her roots; the music video clip did the exact opposite.
* The Lemon Demon song "Geeks in Love" has a fairly good (if tired-out) message by itself, that it is better to be unique and spend time with the rare person who shares your own interests than to be hip and hang with the crowd. However, its music video by Albino Black Sheep functions largely as a tribute to every other annoying [[MemeticMutation Internet fad]] in the world, and aligning them with the interests of the eponymous couple. It's not really individualism when you swap one dull set of pop-culture icons out for another just like it.
* Music/MichaelJackson examples:
** ''Film/MichaelJacksonsGhosts'', according to WordOfGod, is a story of how TrueBeautyIsOnTheInside, and how just because a person is "different" from others doesn't make them bad. Unfortunately, the two characters Jackson plays both break the aesop. The bigoted Mayor -- a fat, middle-aged white guy -- is presented as an AcceptableTarget throughout, with no redeeming qualities. The ostensibly good Maestro -- effectively Jackson himself -- magically imprisons the angry mob confronting them and tortures the helpless Mayor, proving he really was the dangerous "freaky boy" the Mayor accused him of being! Even if you ignore the Mayor and the mob of paranoid parents, the Maestro is still a necromancer who regularly summons a bunch of undead to do his bidding. That's a legitimate concern for an otherwise normal suburban neighborhood.
** The music video of "Music/{{Bad}}" has Michael being bullied by gang members for being a pussy because he refused to "rob" people and doesn't hang down with them a lot. Michael confronts them by -- suddenly appearing in a leather outfit and doing an impressive sing-and-dance routine where he boasts about how "bad" he is. In the end the others who doubted him do respect him. So... what was the message exactly? Give in to peer pressure? It's good to be "bad", because you would rather be called that than being called a coward? Being "bad" equals being a good singer and dancer? It seems that Michael was ComicallyMissingThePoint the gang member was trying to make.
** "Black or White" has the "panther dance" near the end of the video, where Michael smashes up a car and windows and then transforms into a black panther. It confused a lot of people, especially because the violence is such a contrast with the rest of the video. And the black panther also brings up associations with the Afro-American Black Panther movement, whose members weren't always that peaceful or tolerant to non-blacks either. In later broadcasts the panther dance was cut from the video, which makes it work a whole lot better on its own. When it was finally reinstated racist messages were digitally added to the things Michael smashes in the video, giving it a more understandable context.
* Notorious B.I.G and Puff Daddy's video for ''Mo' Money, Mo' Problems'' stars Puff as a golf champion who laments over his recent acquisition of wealth in lieu with the song's title. For some reason, that doesn't seem to stop him from rapping for about three minutes about how awesome it is to be rich.
* The music video for Pink's "Stupid Girls" contradicts the song's message by associating stupidity with make-up, fashion and anything pink, and implying that playing football makes you smarter and a better person while playing with dolls makes you stupid.
* Music/{{Queen}}'s song "Radio Ga Ga" is all about how music video is ruining music and we should all just listen to the radio instead. The accompanying music video features lavish sets and costumes, footage from the film ''Film/{{Metropolis}}'' and a montage of clips of music videos from earlier Queen songs.
* The animated music video for Teddyloid's [[Anime/JapanAnimatorExpo ME!ME!ME!]] is pretty intense and is subject to a few varying interpretations, but the message is laid out fairly clearly no matter which one you go with: mass-produced, consumer-driven sexuality is damaging and unsatisfying compared to real relationships. For all the otherwise well-done and disturbingly powerful imagery, it contrasts the mass-produced {{Moe}} sex kittens with the "real" girl by... having the real girl look more or less exactly like them, except she [[MadonnaWhoreComplex dresses modestly and]] [[DamselInDistress is crying helplessly and in danger]]. It's really not helping the message to design your bad-girl villains according to the emotionally-manipulative design tropes of the {{Moe}} type, and then use those exact same emotionally-manipulative design tropes to make your good-girl damsel more sympathetic to the audience.

[[folder:Print Media]]
* An educational magazine called Science World once did a feature called "The State of All There Is vs. Humanity", in which [[GreenAesop the human race is on trial for the death of Mother Nature]], and the punishment if convicted is extinction. What breaks the aesop is the fact that it looks like the defense attorney [[KangarooCourt isn't even trying]].

[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* While Wrestling/{{WWE}}'s heart is in the right place, their anti-bullying campaign, "Be A Star," just doesn't really have any legs to stand on. ProfessionalWrestling glamorizes being as overbearing, cutthroat, and even downright sadistic as possible as being a surefire way to get to the top quickly and effectively. So these same people doing whatever is in their power to make sure everyone else stays underfoot to them are also telling the audience that it's wrong to do this to the people, you know... well, there's some dissonance to be found.
** There's also the fact that the commercial featured Wrestling/BellaTwins, ''who were heels'' when the commercial they were in was being broadcast.
** WWE was called out on this dissonance in 2011 by Wrestling/TheWrestlingObserverNewsletter awards by "winning" the award for "Most Disgusting Promotional Tactic" due to their mistreatment of Wrestling/JimRoss in spite of this campaign.
* A little more understandable but still troublesome is Wrestling/JohnCena's "Rise Above Hate" slogan. Of course, Wrestling/{{Kane}} was ''[[EnforcedTrope deliberately]]'' trying to get Cena to break this Aesop and "Embrace the Hate"... but if you examine the two characters of John Cena and Kane carefully, you'll see that a problem has existed there from the very beginning. After all, Cena is hardly brave for refusing to surrender to feelings of hate when he is world-famous, absurdly successful, fabulously wealthy, and is loved by at least a bare majority of the WWE Universe - and thus, has no reason in the world to experience hate. Conversely, is Kane really such a monster for being so full of hate when [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds he was nearly burned to death as a child, suffered years of psychological trauma that left him unable to speak for a long time, accidentally killed his high school sweetheart in a car crash (and had this revealed on live television, along with the lie that he killed the girl on purpose and then had sexual intercourse with her corpse), lost the unborn child he fathered and was betrayed by his wife, was tricked into causing the death of his father, and in general is loathed and ignored by the better part of the human race]]?
* In late 2000, WWE Commissioner Mick Foley addressed his concern about the growing extreme violence and vicious behavior that Superstars were committing between one another, highlighted by Stone Cold Steve Austin having tried to murder Triple H in a car at Survivor Series. Foley's solution to reign in the violence? Put his six biggest stars all together in a Hell in a Cell Match!

* The GingerbreadHouseInTheForest has Johann chastising Gretel for assuming Nada is a witch just because she [[SinisterSchnoz is ugly]]. Of course, Nada ''is'' a witch.
* Creator/{{Moliere}} often has stories involving young people in love, wanting to marry despite being rich/poor, or noble/commoner, and most time at least one has his parents planning an ArrangedMarriage for him. Stories always end with the poor revealed to be actually rich, the commoner a noble. In ''Les Fourberies de Scapin'', he also makes ''2'' pairs of people revealed to be actually brother and sister. Remember Molière was playing for the king, so the twist endings can be interpreted as a means of GettingCrapPastTheRadar: the whole story is about refusing the parental ArrangedMarriage, then the last five minutes have the parents agree with the true love marriage.
* ''Theatre/{{Rent}}'':
** We are told we should all live our lives to the fullest because we could die tomorrow, and there is no day like today. But if you do happen to die, you can come back to life through ThePowerOfRock.
** The concept of there being "no day but today," which is sung about a lot, is subverted in the second act through the use of passage of time: the first act, in which the mantra occurs extremely frequently, takes place in one day while the second takes place over the course of a year (in which the mantra is shown to be faulty at best).
** ''Rent'' also likes to complain about how hard it is to be an artist, but any kind of artistic job working for someone else would be selling out. One wonders what would happen if Roger actually starts selling [=CDs=]. Or, indeed, if ''Rent'' itself becoming so extremely lucrative means we shouldn't listen to it as it sells itself out...
** For people who spend the whole time talking about love and loving life, the circle of friends seems to have a lot of cheating, poor communication, and emotional sniping at each other - no one is enjoying themselves very much, or following Angel's lauded example. And, for that matter, Collins, who spends his time loving Angel and loving life with Angel ends up pretty much broken because of Angel's death.
* ''Theatre/StarlightExpress'':
** According to the finale, electricity and diesel fuel will eventually run out, but somehow steam power is sustainable. What exactly are we burning to get this magical steam? Also wood/coal burning steam engines are better than environmentally friendly options like solar and nuclear power. This last one may be because it was written in the 1980s.
** In the closing number "Light At The End Of The Tunnel," the characters do briefly consider solar and nuclear energy, but then dismiss them because 1) How is one supposed to make use of solar power at night? and 2) People would get poisoned by nuclear fallout. Legitimate complaints, oversimplified, to be sure - but, then, this ''is'' a children's story.
** Richard Stilgoe, the show's lyricist, knew full well that steam engines polluted the environment; he claimed that it was far easier for audiences to sympathize with a steam locomotive than a diesel or electric one, since steamers had more of a historical precedent. But the finale, according to him, is meant to symbolize the triumph of "old-fashioned craftsmanship" over new technology. Take a moment to consider why a steam locomotive is not a suitable representative of "old-fashioned craftsmanship."
* ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}'':
** Wicked's primary question, 'what makes one wicked?,' and all the messages that go with it, end up mildly broken due to the LighterAndSofter adaptation. For all of Elphaba's problems, in the musical, she is never truly wicked, so the musings seem kind of pointless. Also, the (admittedly depressing) aesop of 'No good deed going unpunished' is broken by [[spoiler:Elphaba getting a happy ending]] in contrast to the extreme DownerEnding of the book.
* ''Theatre/WeWillRockYou'' depicts a future where people have become mindless consumers who all consume the same band fashions, music and lifestyles. Our heroes are the Bohemians, underground rebels who oppose the mainstream and wish to reclaim the old ways. At the end of the show our heroes realize that in order to defeat the villains they have to perform an awesome song, mainly Queen's "We Will Rock You". They decide to also broadcast the performance so that the whole world will see and then become Bohemians too. So, mindlessly following trends was bad when it was [[AcceptableTargets pop music]] and bright colors, but it's okay when the stuff ''you'' like is what is being consumed. Nice.
* The TeamStarKid show {{Firebringer}} had an entire subplot that claims religion is deluded and evil (the tribe shaman's belief in an all-powerul duck that made the world in seven "quacks" feels awfully specific). It feels very awkward, however, when the big message that "there is no God" is delivered by one of the AncientAstronauts from the species that created life on earth.

* ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'''s Vakama was ridiculed by his fellow heroes-in-the-making for his weird dreams and visions. He always misinterpreted them, seemingly leading his friends into danger, which lead to him going emo over his situation, calling himself a "cross-wired freak". Yet in a TearJerker scene, his former hero, the wise Turaga Lhikan persuaded him to have more confidence, both in himself and his visions, and after he followed his feelings, he ended up saving his people. The aesop was somewhat broken when he became so reckless that he almost undid all the good his team had done so far, and then some. However, when the story began following a DoingInTheWizard-path, trying to squeeze in as many "all your beliefs will be turned upside-down" plot-twists as possible, it became permanently broken, since we learned that these visions were nothing more than glitches in his artificial intelligence, and he really ''was'' a cross-wired freak, who "lucked out".
** Also the moral introduced in the first '06 novel: "You don't have to be a Toa to be a hero", meaning that even a small and powerless Matoran is able to do great deeds, something that the earlier and latter storylines had and would show quite well. There are two "set" of Matoran characters who independently make this their mantra. Come the next novel, and what happens? One team is zapped into Toa, because only with their new special powers could they stop that year's villains. The others are meanwhile dumped into the trash by said villains, though in the latter novels they ''do'' successfully help the new Toa out.
* Glasnost The Game is a TabletopGame/{{Risk}} clone that requires you to disarm all your territories to win the game in an anti-war aesop. Of course, you need to first build arms so you can conquer territories.
* The Crash Test Dummies were part of a series of public service announcements to teach kids about seat belt safety and the importance of buckling up. This was popular enough to get a line of toy vehicles and dummy figures where the entire point was ''crashing the cars and watching the dolls fly out of the wreckage'', and the villain wanted to... stop them from crashing so much, because horrific traffic accidents are just the best thing ever. So buckle up, kids! Then drive into a wall and scatter car parts all over the highway! Safety first!
* Chutes and Ladders is a children's board game (with very ancient roots) which purports to teach the consequences of good and evil deeds. But the game is entirely driven by the random spinner, and the players have no opportunity to make any strategic or moral choices at all.
* ''Monopoly'' is an infamous Broken Aesop in a game. In the original version, "The Landlord's Game", the traditional win state where one player owns all the properties was meant to be seen as a ''failure'' -- not of the player, but of the capitalist system that allowed it to happen. The players were then expected to play again with modified rules that would result in a stalemate, which would be a successful state as it represents a stable economy of multiple stakeholders. Of course, players found this extremely boring and far preferred playing to win, leading to the game actually having the cynical FamilyUnfriendlyAesop that "everyone's happy with a dictator in charge as long as it might be them".

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The ''Webcomic/{{Achewood}}'' story arc where Philippe finally gets to live with his mom again ends with the moral that nothing lasts forever and everyone has to grow up sometime. But as readers have emphatically stated, [[NotAllowedToGrowUp Philippe will always be five!]]
* In ''Webcomic/CtrlAltDel'', the comic makes it clear it's wrong to be a "console fanboy," in one strip even having God personally squash one. Fine. We'll buy that; a bit Anvilicious, but an adequate Aesop of its own. However, there are issues with this, since the fanboys are always Gamecube fans, the evil Gamer King in an early strip used a staff with a golden Gamecube controller on top (versus Ethan's Xbox one), Ethan playing a Gamecube is referred to as a "sin against the gaming gods"; he mentions that turning the Gamecube into a robot would result into a girl robot, and doing the same to a Playstation would produce a gay one while the Xbox appears to be perfect and sinless.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'':
** The trolls have different-colored blood ranked on a spectrum; the closer your blood is to purple, the more power you have in society, while the closer it is to red, the less authority you hold, the rationale being that highbloods are superior due to the fact they're viewed as stronger. The author stated that he made the opposite ends of the spectrum so close to show how meaningless the whole thing was, and true to form, the audience is clearly intended to view the practice as wrong and side with the trolls opposed to it... except trolls do ''not'' differ only in blood color; it is shown that highbloods actually are stronger, more psychically resilient, and longer-lived, albeit more violent (which [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy the trolls]] would probably consider a ''good'' thing anyway) but compensate by having less powerful psychic abilities than lowbloods. The metaphor for racism fails because blood color actually ''does'' matter in several ways.\\\
The aesop is broken again when another alien race is introduced that has its blood color as an indicator of their alignment. Green-blooded members of that species are benevolent and red-blooded members are malevolent, and from the four examples of them given[[labelnote:Spoilers]]Calliope, Caliborn, and both of their parents[[/labelnote]] none of them challenge this at all. They do not have a caste system based on blood color, but their blood color still does matter more so than trolls since it either gives or indicates whether they're "good" or "evil".
** After watching the B2 players fall victim to [[SugarApocalypse Trickster Mode]], subsequently using it as a shortcut to progress in their quest, and then dealing with Caliborn demanding they do it again, [[AuthorAvatar Hussie]] tells him that the characters can't just wave a magic lollipop juju around and solve all their problems. He compares it to [[VideoGame/SuperMarioBros Mario]] grabbing a starman and plowing through the level with no challenge, making the argument that it's terrible for his personal development. True enough, the players are worse off afterward, but at least they're still on the road towards their CharacterDevelopment. The aesop falls apart when the biggest WhamEpisode in the comic is simply written out of existence by using another juju to bring [[SpotlightStealingSquad Vriska]] back to life, and have her bully the other characters out of their personal problems and into action, all while simultaneously inflating her own ego. The biggest offense is that Vriska being alive was completely unnecessary, John simply needed to use the juju to keep the ring of life out of Aranea's hands. Fans who were waiting for the other shoe to drop (i.e. the biggest BreakTheHaughty session for Vriska, followed by John and Roxy returning to the old timeline and fixing things there) were disappointed; the comic ends with only John and Roxy completing their character quests, [[KarmaHoudini Vriska avoiding karma]], and the other characters followed throughout the story dead, while alternate versions who had an easier way out finish the story for them.
** The Trickster portion also depicts Trickster Mode, where the characters become colorful, more-superpowered, "happier" versions of themselves with NoSenseOfPersonalSpace caused by juju-magic, as a cheap, artificial, creepy thing that does not solve problems. The problem is that the story breaks this when alternate versions of Rose and Davesprite respectively become Jasprosprite^2 and Davepetasprite^2. Colorful, more-superpowered, "happier" versions of themselves caused by mystical sprite fusion with the former having no sense of personal space. This time, however, readers are just supposed to take these sudden transformations as them being happier and a resolution for their personal issues at face value.
* ''Webcomic/{{Insecticomics}}'' pokes fun at fangirls quite often, while at the same time being a host to some of the [[YaoiFangirl more prominent traits]].
* ''Webcomic/{{Jack|DavidHopkins}}'':
** ''Hell Is That Noise'' is the story of Todd, a soldier who obeys an order to kill children, commits suicide, and ends up in Hell. He argues that [[JustFollowingOrders he had no choice]] and [[YouCannotFightFate Fate had already decided what would happen in his life.]] The story and everyone in it judges Todd for refusing to take responsibility for his actions, but that order came from ''Satan'' disguised as a general, meaning that Todd was a CosmicPlaything after all.
** The non-linear nature of time in Hell tends to screw around wildly with the concept of free will and personal choice; the Devil ''often'' resorts to directly manipulating the circumstances of the past and future in order to compel his victims to act, and then [[NeverMyFault blame them for it all]]. This is most notable with ''Drip'': It's his own fault that his parents are dead because the Devil has him in a StableTimeLoop: he's sent to live with his grandmother after his parents die, his grandmother [[FreudianExcuse abuses him until he becomes a violent rapist]], and when he dies, the Devil trades him a memento of his dead mother for a favor: the murder of his own parents.
** This has the added bonus of making the angels complicit in pretty much everything Drip does, since they only refrain from saving any of his victims because "it has to be his choice". Central is later shown to have murdered Bob and Lisa specifically to prevent them from turning away from their life of sin, meaning that actually, choice doesn't matter at all. The correct course of action is the one that generates [[AuthorAppeal the most rape scenes.]]
** And then there's the part where furries have replaced humanity, but for some reason, are repeating human history exactly, so we still have events like the Vietnam War re-enacted by furries. This means that we still get furry Charles Manson and furry Jeffrey Dahmer, too. And that would be fine, except that God is deliberately enforcing the re-enactment ''and is sending millions of furries to Hell for their part in it''. This means that God not only deprived every living furry of free will, she also had full and absolute knowledge of what she was forcing them into doing to themselves and each other ''and what Satan would do in response'', but did absolutely nothing to stop it. In other words, she condemned countless innocent people to eternal suffering in order to punish them for something she forced them to do. The entire comic is about choice and personal responsibility, but the only character who has unquestionable free will is God herself, and there are no consequences for anything she does, ever, because she's in charge of the entire universe while everyone else can literally just go to Hell.
** The general lesson being taught to all those sent to Hell is to realize their own sin and allow them to atone for it, and that Hell exists to force them to confront their misdeeds in life, but they're too busy being tortured to contemplate the philosophical implications of the torture itself. Even the ones who ''do'' realize their sin and repent never make it out of Hell, and it's impossible for them to successfully do that unless agents of Heaven intercede on their behalf and the agents of Hell don't prevent it.
** One of afterlife options is Purgatory, an idealized Earth that lacks the oneness with the divine that Heaven boasts, also doesn't house the kind of sanctimonious goody-two-shoes types that go to Heaven or the assholes that go to Hell. People who go there are offered a chance at reincarnation, a chance to "try again" at life in the hopes that they'll earn entry into Heaven next time. Like all things in Heaven and Hell, it has to be a matter of personal choice to be meaningful, and so to give the choice meaning, returning to Earth after Purgatory means God will intentionally force a second life to be harder than the first and ban all further entry into Purgatory. This all but guarantees that a reincarnated soul who's been to Purgatory is going to Hell, but the choice is there. And then that moral gets shattered into pieces because God is happy to send angels to Purgatory on a mission to "remind" them what kind of [[GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex awesome sex]] they're missing out on, ''by offering sex and not taking no for an answer''. The comic loves to remind the reader of how important personal choice is, but [[ButThouMust only if the personal choice is the correct one.]]
* A ''Webcomic/PrincessPi'' comic had Princess Pi learn to believe in herself and not let bullies' insults bring her down. The Aesop breaks when she starts believing her most mediocre attempts at fulfillng her royal duties suffice, and doesn't let her subjects' complaints bring her down until they [[TarAndFeathers tar and feather]] her.
* ''WebComic/SabrinaOnline'' had a series of strips in December 2010 which were a reference to the sequence in ''Film/JayAndSilentBobStrikeBack'' where the two heroes go on the road and beat up everyone who ever criticized them on the Internet. It works in the film because it's entirely in-character. In the comic, however, it's a series of TakeThat[=s=] against the strip's critics. One notable strip involves Zig Zag, the viewpoint character for this sequence, beating up a guy who said mean things about her because he thinks he can say anything on the Internet without consequences. This isn't exactly true, but that's not the Broken Aesop. What's broken is the fact that Zig is the owner and star of her own porno company. You know, ''the industry that has historically relied on First Amendment rights to stay in business''? And the "consequences" bit doesn't work either, because legally, Zig Zag committed real-world, premeditated, first-degree assault against a guy who knows her name, her face, and could easily press charges. The implication in the comic is that she'll suffer no repercussions at all. When Sabrina brings this up later, Zig Zag admits that it cost her a small fortune to settle all the legal issues. (But it was "worth it.") Although the incident does get mentioned during [[http://sabrina-online.com/strips/SabOnline678.GIF her trial]] for assaulting Sabrina's mugger. And [[http://sabrina-online.com/strips/SabOnline681.GIF we eventually learn]] that Zig was convicted, paid a fine and entered court-ordered anger management counseling.
* ''Webcomic/{{Shortpacked}}'' constantly complains about fandoms (particularly the ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'' fandom), as do author David Willis' newsposts. Willis is not only a prominent part of said fandom, but also embodies many of the issues he complains about. This is often PlayedForLaughs.
* ''Webcomic/{{Sonichu}}'' is ripe for the picking of Broken Aesops. One of the most well known is when Sonichu and Rosechu preach forgiveness... shortly before Rosechu viciously maims Jason Kendric Howell. ''[[DisproportionateRetribution For throwing a pickle at her]]''.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Coming from WebVideo/TheAngryVideoGameNerd, a character who is synonymous with Rolling Rock Beer, this line paraphrased from Film/AmericanMovie is actually pretty darned funny:
-->''"... but I guess it's better than using drugs or alcohol, because with drugs and alcohol, especially drugs, you always lose, lose, lose."''
* ''Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses'':
** Because of a CreatorBreakdown and RealLifeWritesThePlot, "The Review Must Go On" had Doug's [[WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic past]] consume [[WebVideo/DemoReel what]] was meant to be his masterpiece, the direct opposite of what ''WebVideo/DemoReel'''s EarnYourHappyEnding episode said. ("Don't let your past consume you and be happy for the future".) This seems to be intentional, and the commentary for it says that [[DownerEnding it's not supposed to be a happy ending.]]
** Doug Walker once made a plea in an editorial, "Is Parody Dead?", that parodies should not just be references and that they all need to be a clear understanding of what you are spoofing. A good message, yet in most of his own videos, including ''Nostalgia Critic'', ''Demo Reel'' and his anniversary specials, he makes countless random pop culture references and spoofs that often don't even tie in with the plot of that episode. He and his actors often just dress up as well-known franchise characters, though this is in order to avoid having their content removed by YouTube for using clips from the copywritten source material.
** {{Discussed}} in the Walker Brothers' "Honest Thoughts" review of the ''Franchise/CareBears'' movies: Rob notes that while lots of shows talk about ThePowerOfFriendship, they still end their conflict by defeating the villain [[ViolenceReallyIsTheAnswer with violence]]. He credits the first two movies for ''not'' going that route, but actually befriending the villains and thus prompting a HeelFaceTurn. [[note]]Technically [[VileVillainSaccharineShow the Spirit]] is [[SealedEvilInACan trapped back in her book]], but only because they convinced [[JerkassWoobie Nicholas]] to turn against her.[[/note]]
* Parodied in Act III of ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog''. While DesignatedHero Captain Hammer is notionally singing a [[RousingSpeech rousing, inspirational anthem]] to the homeless in "Everyone's A Hero", every verse manages, through either {{Metaphorgotten}} or just plain dickishness, to insult its audience and demonstrate how Hammer thinks of himself as [[SmugSuper superior]].
-->"It may not feel too classy / Begging just to eat / But you know who does that? Lassie / And she always gets a treat"\\
"Everyone's a hero in their own way / You and you and ''mostly me'' and you"
* Every episode of ''WebVideo/DontHugMeImScared'' has an InUniverse example. The "lessons" taught are misinformed and incorrect, which the puppets begin to pick up on by the fourth episode. Many view this as a criticism of the media, but that's open to interpretation
* In ''20 Socially Unacceptable Things'' by [[WebVideo/MatthewSantoro Matt Santoro]], Matt says that it's bad to pick your nose and flick the booger onto the carpet. At the end, he does this.
* As seen on ''Website/{{Superdickery}}.com'', [[http://www.superdickery.com/buckle-up-kids-then-go-play-in-traffic/ in this PSA]] "The Kool-Aid man tells kids to buckle up, and then proceeds to walk right into the path of a moving car." And here's another one, about the War On Drugs:
-->'''Comicbook/CaptainAmerica:''' Remember, kids! Stay away from drugs, and you can grow up to be a superhero just like me!\\
'''Kids:''' But Cap, didn't you get your powers from [[SuperSerum drugs]]?
* ''[[http://www.deviantart.com/art/The-Quintessential-Mary-Sue-251827667 The Quintessential Mary-Sue]]'' has the message that {{Mary Sue}}s are bad, and turn every story in which they appear into a CrapsackWorld. Unfortunately, there is the slight problem that [[spoiler:the VillainProtagonist Mary Sue's amnesiac good half, once she reclaims her memories]], is just as unrealistically talented, but is a genuine hero whom the audience is rooting for. It's then further broken by the fact that [[spoiler:the Sue is only able to win and create a VillainWorld]] by blatant DiabolusExMachina, breaking the previously established rules of the setting, and somehow [[spoiler:usurping ''God'']], ''even after she was explicitly defeated and killed''. That said, the author does recognize this, and includes a disclaimer at the end of Part 2 suggesting that readers [[FanonDiscontinuity disregard the third part]] if [[SnicketWarningLabel they want the story to have a happy ending]].