Sprite did a series of commercials based around subverting Cereal Induced Superpowers by invoking this trope. One features a kid spotting NBA player Grant Hill drinking Sprite, and thinking Sprite will make him a basketball player — which he quickly disproves by drinking Sprite and then attempting a slam dunk, failing, and falling on his ass.
Announcer: If you want to make it to the NBA... practice. If you want a refreshing drink, obey your thirst. Sprite.
Similarly, a bunch of young guys drive around in a convertible in slow motion, bouncing the car on its wheels to look cool. The car stops, one guy leaps out out of the car and goes to dramatically chug back his Sprite. When he turns the cap, the bottle explodes and covers him in soft-drink - because all that bouncing shook it up. He does not look cool while shrieking and dripping wet.
Black Lagoon. So, it turns out that taking on a heavily-armed unit of former Russian Commandos armed only with an ax isn't that good of an idea and Infant Immortality doesn't exist. I'm looking at you, Hansel.
While Blitz Stanford, an enormous neo-Nazi is extolling the virtues of his enormous Luger, Revy takes the time to reload before promptly shooting him.
In one arc Revy sees a group of kids playing cops and robbers. Revy sees one of the kids then has one of the kids use a toy gun on her just so she can show them just what really happens to a person when they die after being shot. Not as overly dramatic as they pretend it to be.
Revy and Roberta's fist fight isn't glorious nor intended for fanservice. It was as brutal as you'd expect from two trained killers.
In Black Cat, Train is falling off a building and Rinslet jumps off to catch him, ending when Rinslet comes to a sudden stop at the end of the rope - and actually does tendon damage to her arm. Turns out inertia matters after all...
In the first chapter/episode, Kouji Kabuto did not thought that Falling into the Cockpit of a huge, dangerous and powerful war machine that he has absolutely no idea of how handling was a bad idea. Needless to say, it was a bad idea. He trashed half city because he kept punching random buttons in order to figure out how driving the damned thing (bonus points for playing baseball with cars -with the driver inside- and smashing down a school), and when Sayaka showed up he almost cried because someone had come to save him. In the anime it was not SO bad, but he still: nearly got his head cut off by the cockpit glass shield; blew up his grandfather's manor and remodelated part of the landscape; and almost stomped Shiro -his little brother, who had warned him it was not a good idea- flat.
It turns out that, when two Humongous Mecha duel in a city, No Endor Holocaust does not happens. Actually, buildings crumble down and cacht fire, and people dies. And the survivors tend to blame to whoever they can get their hands on. Including the heroes.
Kouji and Sayaka were a Battle Couple whose Belligerent Sexual Tension made they were highly ineffectual in battle. The Dragon Baron Ashura exploited this in an episode where Kouji got badly injured because he got a serious fight with Sayaka and she refused to sortie.
In episode 48 Boss cajoles Prof. Yumi assistants in building him a giant robot with scraps. He wanted a mecha was more powerful than Mazinger-Z itself. What he got instead was a Deconstruction of the Humongous Mecha: Boss Borot is goofy-looking, slow, clumsy, heavy, breaks easily, if it falls over it takes ages to stand up again, it lacks awesome weapons (Boss asked if it would have a Rocket Punch and Prof. Moremori's reply was along the lines of "Are you out of your mind? It is too fragile. The fist would shatter upon impact."), and it is largely useless to anything other than cannon fodder.
In the Persona video games, the underage protagonists often use various armaments (including firearms) to battle their enemies. Persona 4 the Animation pokes fun at this recurring trope by featuring a scene where Yosuke brandishes a Samurai sword in public, only to be quickly arrested by nearby police officers.
This also happens in the video game, while the anime decides to have the characters rely on their personae for combat instead of the video game solution: smuggling weapons (including large swords and shields) under their clothes.
One of the main reasons Minato Namikaze was so deadly from Naruto. Due to his speed he made speech NOT a free action.
Konan prepares to give a rant on how Naruto is the bridge of peace, Obito doesn't even let her finish her sentence.
In One Piece, Zoro suffers grave injuries that put his life in danger- as usual. But, unlike the other times where he has an Unexplained Recovery and the injuries are usually never mentioned again, one arc later Zoro tries fighting and his wounds cause him to be temporarily paralyzed. And then two arcs later, even after resting and being treated (by Perona, believe it or not), his wounds actually re-open when he tries to fight and move, resulting in him getting his ass kicked by Apes. He muscles through them some (small) time later - after they copied his skills and called out the toughest one of them.
Characters having to fight through grievous injuries is also brought up in the Arlong arc, where Zoro is at a disadvantage in his fight against Hachi due to a massive chest wound inflicted on him by Mihawk that was very amateurishly patched up. Through he does eventually win the fight, Hachi attempts to attack Sanji later on and almost succeeds in taking him out, only for his wounds to open up again at the last second, taking him out of the fight before he can do anything.
Luffy himself once tried fighting a man who could produce and attack with deadly corrosive poison. Seeing as how only Mooks had been poisoned by Magellan (the man in question) at this point, the audience and Luffy himself thought he stood a chance from the moment Luffy launches a Jet Bazooka that actually DROPS the hulking Magellan... but no. Touching him with that attack and many more poisons launched at him nearly kills Luffy within just 2 measly episodes of starting the fight.
Checkmate from Ultimate Muscle has a similar problem. While injuries that don't affect his body mechanically don't slow him down, he has an unfortunate tendency to collapse from his wounds at the worst possible moment because he never knows when he's too hurt to keep fighting.
Neon Genesis Evangelion shows the consequences of having young children with no military background piloting Humongous Mecha. By the end of the show, two of the young pilots suffer severe psychological breakdowns, one ends up crippled, and another is violently killed while pulling a Heroic Sacrifice.
The aftermath of repeated battles within city limits is that, by the end of the show, Tokyo-3 has to be evacuated due to the sheer amount of property damage.
The Fight with Ramiel (A gigantic Crystal Angel) ended with them blowing a hole in it, and leaving its corpse on the city. For the next three episodes, cranes and other crews can be seen disassembling the corpse.
Even before Evangelion, Zambot3 shows how kids being pilots of a Humongous Mecha can actually be psychologically straining, and how immaturity can lead to deaths. Kill 'em All indeed. Also, cities do not get magically repaired after getting smashed down during a battle between giant robots, and often the cast has to fight on the ruins of a city destroyed in an earlier battle.
Also happens in a minor part of the Dark Tournament arc of YuYu Hakusho; the giant robot that can't feel pain can't tell that it was actually damaged...until it's under the opponent's control already.
Also used in Rurouni Kenshin, where Gein's super Iwanbo gets destroyed because he couldn't tell it was damaged.
Sanosuke's ultimate technique, which involves putting so much force into a punch that it tends to fracture the bones in his own hand. His doctor is not amused.
Kyoto Arc's Big Bad Shishio Makoto immolated himself because he couldn't sweat and he overheated. While the actual Man on Fire part is an exaggeration, the overheating is a very real consequence of anhidrosis.
And Kenshin's smaller stature means that, once he learns the Hiten Mitsu Ryu ultimate technique, he accumulates minor muscle damage. By the end of the series he's told that he won't even be able to wield a sword in five or so years.
Early in Outlaw Star, the crew blast their way out of a spaceport to evade space pirates, presumably causing hundreds of thousands of wongs in damage. Towards the end of the series, the crew returns and Gene is immediately arrested and thrown in jail for property damage and other laws he broke, and only gets out at all because the traffic controller had been found to be taking bribes.
In The World God Only Knows, Keima notices that unlike in a game, when an idol confesses their love to you, other people are generally not happy. In fact, they're pissed.
Any hentai where the girl gets pregnant after unprotected sex when it's not explicitly (heh) their "safe period".
Freezing features beautiful girls who attack each other with sharp weapons. When their clothes get ripped apart, so do their bodies.
Subverted in Bakuman。. After Kosugi does a Get A Hold Of Yourself Man punch to Nanamine when he essentially gives up on manga following losing to the main characters, Nanamine threatens to report Kosugi for assault and cause him to lose his job. Nanamine doesn't go through with it, though, thinking it would make him more of a laughingstock than he already is.
Played straight earlier on, when after dramatically ripping up their drafts of Money and Intelligence and throwing them into a river, Mashiro and Takagi run away lest they be caught for littering.
Also played straight earlier on in which after Takagi punches Ishizawa for insulting Mashiro, he gets suspended.
In Azumanga Daioh, Osaka, of all people, pulls this when she wonders what Chiyo would do if she was kidnapped. Chiyo suggests that Tadakichi-san could come to her rescue, and Osaka mimes shooting him. This leads to this exchange:
Chiyo: So what should I do?
Osaka: If this was a TV show, you'd use your genius brain to think up somethin'...and fight back against incredible odds...
Osaka: ...and get killed.
In episode in Soul Eater where Death the Kid first starts attending the DWMA, Black Star climbs up near the top of the academy building to deliver a Badass Boast to Kid...who's standing near the front entrance and can't hear a word he's saying because he's so far away.
Iono the Fanatics has a mention that Queen Iono's thousands-strong-and-counting harem is ruining her nation's economy.
Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket has a boy and his friends get excited about the Federation/Zeon war and treat it as a game. Then the boy befriends a Zeon mobile suit pilot and experiences it first-hand.
Getter Robo plays with this trope from time to time, when less badass pilots find themselves unable to pilot even the prototypes of the Getters due to the stresses of the G-forces.
Getter Robo Armageddon has a moment where the heroes are in the titular mecha with Ganymede, one of Jupiter's moons looming front of them. They unleash the mech's most powerful attack: Stoner Sunshine, on it. The attack does absolutely nothing to it.
Gunslinger Girl: After all the fighting, the dying, and the drama, the terrorist organization is eventually brought down by diplomatic means, the Social Welfare Agency is closed down by the government since they need a convenient scapegoat, a political shitstorm is raised over their use of little girls in their experiments, and Elizabeta/Petrushka does, in fact, die from cancer (replacing her limbs only allowed her to fight, it didn't cure her, after all).
The Excel Saga manga likes to delve into this often, compared to its far wackier anime counterpart (the tagline for the manga is even "What would happen if you tried to act like an anime character in real life?") One major example is Ropponmatsu I, a Do-Anything Robot stuffed so full of gadgets that her body is extremely heavy. When her creator is asked if he could create a body with the versatility of Ropponmatsu I and the weight of Ropponmatsu II (who weighs about as much as a normal human but lacks all the gadgets,) he blows off the idea as ridiculous.
20th Century Boys has a scene where a skilled roboticist is brought before the Friends to build a doomsday robot. The Friends start talking about how all the classic Humongous Mecha tropes they want the robot to follow, only for the roboticist to explain in detail how something like that is impossible to replicate in real life (including citing the Square/Cube Law and explaining that there'd be so much movement just from walking that trying to pilot it from inside would cause motion sickness.) In the end, the robot that gets made is really just two robot legs on tank treads attached to a giant balloon.
Dragon Ball Z, of all things, plays with this at one point. Videl, fresh from learning how to harness her chi and fly, is forced to sit a mission out when she's unable to see while flying due to traveling at high speeds without any form of eye protection.
Fullmetal Alchemist has three major ones with Ed's automail. 1) Pretty much anytime it gets significantly damaged, he has to go back to Winry because he doesn't know how to fix it, especially if it's his other arm. 2) A version that was 80% lighter was also far more fragile. 3) When he traveled up north to Briggs, he nearly dies of frostbite because his two metal limbs aren't designed for extreme cold.
In Girls Und Panzer, the last team to join the Oarai tank crew is composed of three girls who have experience playing a tank game online. They learn the hard way that the tank doesn't operate as simply as the ones they're used to controlling in the game do, and end up accidentally reversing into the path of a shot that would have struck their team's flag tank.
The Hentai game turned Anime, School Days, deconstructs the Harem Anime genre by showing what could realistically happen when a male gains the attention of many females. It also shows what can realistically happen during a serious love triangle as well. None of it is good.
Attack On Titan basically smacks Eren in the face with this. Amazingly confident that he and his team will be the ones to finally beat the Titan's, he learns the hard way why humanity has been fighting a losing war for hundreds of years, when his team is slaughtered, and he loses An Arm and a Leg on their first fight against them.
This trope could be called "The Kick-Ass Principle", too. Seriously, read the whole damn thing. It subverts almost every and all superhero trends, and replaces it all with how it would work being a hero in real life. It's painful to watch it.
Until an 11 year old girl starts tearing apart the mob singlehandedly. But even then, reality finally catches back up with her when she fights the boss, who has trained in martial arts. Also, the Batman of the movie uses guns and armor instead of impossible crimefighting skills.
The second issue of Mark Millar's Superior has a kid testing out the superpowers of his favorite Superman Expy. He attempts to use his "super-breath" to put out a house fire, only to demolish the house and spread the fire over a much larger area.
Hence why Garth Ennis was perfect to write Midnighter, since this trope is Midnighter's weapon of choice.
Early on in Hitman, there's a wannabe superhero/anti-hero who is introduced kicking some people's asses, and then a few issues later he is simply shot to death by some mafia guys like he was a joke.
There's a similar scene in one of the first issues, where a group of supervillains are hired to confront Tommy. During the leader's dramatic introduction speech, Tommy gets bored and simply guns them all down before they have a chance to attack.
Every time Wonder Woman and Batman go up against each other. You expect Batman to pull out one of his special contingency plans or gadgets to take her down, because that's what Batman does right? He's after a criminal under her protection! Here they go, this will be good, talking has failed! Epic hero vs hero will ensure. Oh she just blocked his batarangs and punched him off the roof. Wonder Woman is taking down all the members of the Justice League to save them from a prophecy, and Batman has caught on to her! He figures out she is doing this because of a prophecy (by analyzing a hair or something, it's Batman) from an ancient Greek Oracle. Batman does not believe in pre-destined fates, Wonder Woman thinks this is the only way. Batman tries to get her to make a mistake by insulting her, he escapes from her unbreakable lasso! Oh she just threw a rock at his head and punched him out. Huh. That's what you get when a normal person goes up against a Super with no Kryptonite Factor.
It might also have to do with the fact that Batman and Wonder Woman have a similar tactical mindset, and with Wonder Woman's superior abilities, she has the advantage.
They have similar fighting skills. Only the Manhunter is in Batman's league as a tactician. But its still enough.
One Spidey issue had the Vulture try to rob the Daily Bugle. However, he finds that their safe is full of paychecks, and the actual money is in the bank.
In Common Grounds, Let's You and Him Fight situations between people with superpowers end up with at least one corpse, along with a subsequent trial and lengthy prison term. You do not get a free pass because you were a hero, you do not escape prison every other week to wreak your vengeance or operate as an outlaw vigilante, you do spend several years behind bars and, once released, have to scrounge in the trash for food because an ex-con fresh out of jail for murder has plenty of trouble finding gainful employment. However, on the upside, the death in that fight will inspire the foundation of an international chain of coffee shops where Heroes and Villains can chat amicably over donuts.
In Irredeemable, the Ax Crazytitular character, experiences a truly horrible example in a flashback from his early teens. From two miles away he hears his foster mother is about to commit suicide, and gets there in a fraction of a second, intending to stop her. But sound takes almost ten seconds to travel two miles. She had already been dead when he heard her.
Amusingly one of the first times Empowered comes across as actually being badass. She points out, quite effectively, that driving an SUV at 75 miles an hour into a villain's back is much more effective than hitting him with a thrown one at about 5 miles an hour. This allows her to defeat a villain that the entire superhero squad she's a Butt Monkey for was defeated by. Unfortunately, the car is totaled, leaving her tied up and unable to brag, and her superhero squad walks off, assuming they and the villain knocked each other out. (Forgetting about Empowered in the process.)
This is the central premise of Watchmen: what happens to superheroes when Reality Ensues? What becomes of people who dress up in costumes but 1: They have no proper training or resources, 2: They're all at least a little unbalanced, and 3 (most importantly): are taking the law into their own hands in a world just as full of political and social complexities as the real world? They die. They go insane (presuming they weren't insane already). Or they become monsters.
Similarly to Watchmen, The Boys works on a decidedly more realistic take on Superheroes. They have PR agents and are fighting over defense contracts, among other things. It's shown that The Seven (DC analogues) spend most of their time being faces for the Mega Corp, doing very little, if any, actual hero work, since there are no villains to fight. The one time they actually try to fight evil, The Seven find out very quickly that having superpowers doesn't automatically mean they know how to fight crime. Cue September 11th.
In an issue of Ultimate Avengers, the Nerd Hulk challenges a vampire named Anthony to a fight. Anthony agrees, and right in the middle of his Badass Boast about how easily he's about to waste his opponent, Nerd Hulk decapitates him with one punch.
Played for Laughs in a MAD spoof of Hansel and Gretel: the witch is cackling to herself about how clever her plan is as she builds a gingerbread house to ensnare any little boys and girls who might pass her way. When Hansel and Gretel arrive sometime later...
Hansel: "Egad, Gretel! Have you ever seen so many ants in your life?"
Gretel: "Never! Say, Hansel, do you hear somebody screaming?"
In a contrast between a movie cowboy and a real life one, the movie cowboy is hailed as a hero for defeating his rival in a fistfight, while the real life one is knocked out in one blow, wins by ambushing his rival at a later date, and is lynched for murder.
Ant-Man: Season One tries to portray the realistic dangers behind an untrained person using Size Shifter powers. For instance, on his first outing, Pym is nearly killed and eaten by a spider.
The Transformers: A "virus" of smaller robots is released on earth, which quickly infect the Autobots and Decepticons stationed there. Several expendable Autobot prisoners are sent to earth by the Decepticons to spray acid on the infected. Instead, a cure is discovered, water. The water causes the small bots, Scraplets, to fall of of the transformers. The Scraplets then merge into a larger creature with a Hive Mind. Spraying it with water just makes the creature fall apart, but it easily reassembles itself. So the Autobots just free the Decepticons, who use their weapons to butcher, blast, and set the creature on fire. Miracle cure or not, shooting the damn thing was pretty effective. One of the formerly infected Autobots then grabs the acid and douses the creature with it, killing it for good.
As a result of his high exposure to radioactive Kryptonite, Lex Luthor eventually got cancer. The irony is that it was thought to be without any effect on humans, except that Lex was exposed to more Kryptonite than any human alive.
Basically, Kryptonite only has its immediate weakening effect on Kryptonians. On normal humans, it works like any other piece of ionizing (read: dangerous) radioactive material, taking time to build up enough radiation damage to cause cancer. Exactly how radioactive Kryptonite is has never been precisely revealed, but the fact that a tiny piece of it (small enough to be worn as the stone in an ordinary ring) gave Luthor incurable cancer in less than a year would indicate that it's very dangerously radioactive - which would would also explain why crooks don't carry it everywhere.
Batman has the sense to carry his tiny piece of Kryptonite in a concealed lead-lined box. Lex being an arrogant tool just had to flaunt his Kryptonite on a ring.
The very first issue of the 2012 Hawkeye series opens with this. Clint falls from a great height and manages to catch himself with a grappling arrow...but still suffers some pretty severe injuries and ends up in the hospital for six weeks.
That same story shows the risk of breaking into a room through the window. All of those glass shards lying around hurt.
Dilbert joined a society dedicated to the preservation of an endangered squirrel. The idea was to tranq the last male and mate it with the last female.note Which wouldn't provide sufficient genetic diversity, but just go with it. They get to work, fire the tranq from the rifle from a few feet away, there's a Reaction Shot of their Oh Crap faces, and then one of them points out that, perhaps, they should've used a smaller dart.
In Avatar The Last Airbender The Promise, a sequel to Avatar The Last Airbender, the plot revolves around the fact that there will be a difficult peace process following a century-long war in which many people died and some land changed hands. Even if both sides are headed by well-intentioned individuals, there remains the potential for conflict to reopen.
Word Of God says that he wanted to avert exactly what another fanfic he once read did; having the Germans comply with Nightmare Moon without as much as a question. He said he disliked it exactly because it would have been completely unrealistic.
Another MLP:FIM fanfic titled The Finger Trap, has Twilight Sparkle appear on humanity-occupied earth, and go to the first house she can see to ask for directions. Instead of a person who sympathizes with her and wants to be friends, the main character is the one contacted... who distracts her long enough to call Animal Control.
It's worth pointing out that the most noble and heroic death thus far ( Lieutenant Wallace's Last Stand against the oncoming Nod army) ends up being subverted.
Forward has River facing off against a rival pirate crew's Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy. The battle begins with them sizing each other up, and with the martial artist declaring River as a Worthy Opponent, who might be able to truly test his skills, and he rushes at her with his bo staff. River shoots him twice in the head. Then she demands chocolate.
Later on, River is facing a group of vengeful pirates. She's on the ground, and they're in their ship. She starts running for cover behind some boulders where they can't shoot her, only to get hit by the backwash of their engines and get thrown into said boulders, breaking her legs and back.
Braid of the Limbo Clone Squad. When he was facing his demise he was plucked from his universe by a mischief god and given his choice of powers. His choice: the natural laws of his Earth will always rule him. How does this count as a power? Well, the universe he was thrown into is an anime universe, meaning that the only reason the heroes haven't died is that the universe's laws seem to want to protect them. Which means he can see through the flimsy disguises that most people use and has no problem just killing the fuckers when they're not powered up with a simple sniper shot to the head.
Played with, though also straight, in the 1983:Doomsday Stories, which has Austria hoping against hope that Hungary survived Doomsday. She doesn't. Though it doesn't stop her from looking after him even after death.
Subverted in Mikami Vs. the Cybermen. After eight days straight of writing, he mentions how surprised he is that he hasn't run out of ink. Double Subverted right afterwards, when he dies of thirst.
Mare Genius: Pinkie tries to surprise combat-trained Agatha with a Party Cannon and gets exactly the kind of counterattacking Reflexive Response you would expect from someone seeing what appears to be a weapon pointed at them.
In the Pokémon fanfic "The Sun Soul", a(n insane) bug catcher pulls out a knife that was stabbed into his leg. Blood starts gushing out immediately, since the blade had sliced the femoral artery. The only thing that stopped him from dying from blood loss was the Weedle got to him first.
Aang's sparing of Ozai put Zuko's legitimacy as Fire Lord into question.
In the Death Note fic All You Need Is Love Naomi points out how L's whole setup is not practical for any situation other than the Kira case and overall looks totally ridiculous.
In How I Became Yours, As Azula is regaining her lightning bending powers, Mai takes the opportunity to throw a knife into her chest, which nearly kills her. This averts Talking Is a Free Action and shows that mundane weapons, even ones as seemingly unimpressive as knives, are very much a threat against benders.
In the Mai Otome fanfic Oneesama, Shizuru giving a Skinship Grope to Natsuki is treated as sexual harassment by Miss Maria, who says Shizuru could be expelled if she felt it necessary.
In Marie D Suesse And The Mystery New Pirate Age, the eponymous character ends up in quite a bit of trouble when she lands in the One Piece world, looking exactly like the Queen of the Pirates and lacking any significant combat abilities. This goes to show that being thrust into your favorite fictional world is not everything it's cracked up to be.
In Escape from the Hokage's Hat, the Sasuke retrieval mission was a success although Naruto lost his right arm (worry not, for it grew back). Sasuke, however, is charged with treason and locked up in ANBU prison with his ninja status (his charka network is also shutdown) revoked without any chance to regain it or any parole. Made worse due to attacking Naruto, a fellow Leaf nin, and placing the others on the mission in danger. Naruto himself doesn't dispute the punishment.
Kakashi loses his reputation (and any chance to be a sensei) with the other ninja when it's found out (canon by the way) he only taught Naruto and Sakura how to climb trees with charka, training Sasuke more and then entering them in the Chunin Exams. Many call him out on how Team 7 made it only through luck.
On the other hand, the exercise was motivated as a way of improving Naruto and Sasuke's chakra control, a skill that comes into play with every jutsu they use. Kakashi's decision was motivated by the fact that Sasuke was facing a very powerful opponent who wanted to kill him, and he left Naruto with Ebisu, a Special Jonin who earned his position for his expertise as a tutor. Kakashi also defends his decision to enter Team 7 into the Chunin Exams by saying even a crushing failure could force them to improve themselves (and considering Sakura's realization in the Forest of Death that she's all talk, he's correct). This treatment of him is unfair.
Fitting the trope as this happens IRL when you only have one side the story. The other ninja don't ask for his side of the story (Guy, at least, tries to be neutral. Tries.). Although his justification of "even a crushing failure could force them to improve themselves" for the exams raises eyebrows when it's been said ninja have died during the Chunin Exams and , considering the cluster-molest it became, puts his teaching skills into question. Tenten even says he has a point but argues he should've done more for Naruto and Sakura, like he could've trained all three (and not just one even if said one is the target of a crazy killer) since he is after all their sensei. Tenten provides the Armor-Piercing Question:
Tenten: "The thing you should be asking yourself is not Where did I go wrong with the Uchiha?. It's What would have happened if I made the others stronger?. Would Sakura have been able to stop Sasuke from leaving in the first place? Would Naruto have been nearly killed twice because he couldn't go any farther on his own?"
After years of dealing with Sakura (who'd pretty much commit Domestic Abuse on him at any time or call him an idiot or a perv), 13 year old Naruto has the notion that ALL women will beat him for anything even something out of his control leading to a rather OOC (read: quiet) Naruto on a trip with Tsunade, Shizune and Hinata and a case of accidental Covert Pervert. Tsunade sits him down and basically tells him "No. Sakura just had issues. We are not going to beat you for something as stupid that."
In White Devil Of The Moon, Nanoha realizes that Princess Serenity could have caused a diplomatic incident if she came to harm in any of her trips to Earth, and when she fell in love with Endymimon, he might have turned out to have been an unscrupulous individual seeking the throne.
Certain Naruto fanfics deal with Sasuke's betrayal in a harsh yet rather realistic way. From execution to imprisonment.
As do most fics that have Naruto and Hinata in a relationship. If it isn't clan politics it's the Hyuuga elders or Hiashi himself or the fact he's the Kyuubi's prison that puts major roadblocks in their relationship.
This trope is the entire premise of An Alternate Keitaro Urashima. Keitaro refuses to run the Hinata Inn since, not only are several of the girls violent and don't want him there, he's got his own life to live and can't devote that kinda time to running the dorm. When Granny Hina tries to play the childhoodpromise card, Keitaro points out that you can hardly expect someone to stick by a promise they made when they were five. And finally, Naru's and Motoko's chronic violence comes back to bite them both. Naru is treated as a pariah after several students see her punch out Keitaro while he's talking to Mutsumi. And Motoko is arrested for assault with a deadly weapon when she attacks Keitaro with her katana.
One Harry Potter fanfic shows that having a potions class with no safety instructions and students throwing random ingredients in each other's cauldrons does not a safe enviroment make. As a result, Snape is sent to Azkaban for the scores of health issues his teaching has caused including almost a dozen students being rendered sterile (a VERY large offense in a world that puts a so much emphasis on bloodlines).
As mentioned in an author's note in the Harry PotterAURaised By Darkness concerning why Sirius Black isn't immediately released from Azkaban; because although Minister Fudge has grown a backbone in this fic and "is being nice to Harry and the Dementors he has no evidence to suggest Sirius Black is innocent and he still wouldn't believe Harry who is close friends with the man."
In the Lemon FicWhat is Love? Naruto and Hinata have Sakura and Ino pull Moment Killer on them while in the kitchen (in Naruto's new place) because Naruto forgot to lock his door. When Naruto leaves the room to give the girls some space, Sakura Dope Slaps him calling him a perv. Naruto forgets his embarrassment and angrily points out that she barged into HIS house without knocking so he can charge her for breaking-and-entering.
In The Hope of the Senju Clan, Senju Naruto (yes Tsunade is his mom here) comes back to the village (much to Tsunade's chagrin) to graduate as a genin. From what little is seen of his skill, he's listed as very hypercompetent for his age group. When he is placed on a team with Sakura and Sasuke, the team is called out as unbalanced. Sarutobi agrees and says once Naruto stops hiding his skill so they can see how good he is, the teams will be reorganized. They settle on him rotating through the teams.
In the bridge fight scene in the first movie, the first thing the Furious Five does is cut the bridge while Tai Lung is on it.
The Pixar movie Up has an instance of this. Young Carl, determined to impress Ellie, attempts to walk across a wooden beam to retrieve his balloon. He takes a single step. The beam promptly breaks.
Also, the reason Russell is collecting badges is that he hopes his deadbeat father would finally show up at his final Wilderness Explorer ceremony. His father still never showed up. But we are treated to a heartwarming scene between Russell and Carl, who became a father figure to him.
In The Incredibles, there's an in-universe example of Elasti-girl explaining to her children that the bad guys they're facing are not like the ones on TV, that they Would Hurt a Child if given a chance.
Really, the central premise behind the movie itself is somewhat similar to Watchmen: the real-life consequences of superhero activities. Mr. Incredible saves a suicidal man, who promptly sues him for the injuries he caused. He stops a runaway train, and is sued for damages. Holding superheroes responsible for the collateral damage they inadvertantly cause is the reason they disappear.
Mr. Incredible's interrupting Syndrome's Hannibal Lecture (and stopping his attempted getaway) by taking a pot-shot at him with a thrown car.
In Brave, Merida abuses a loophole so that she can get out of an arranged marriage. Not only does this cause a massive argument with Queen Elinor (leading to Merida's bow getting burnt and her running away), the humiliation of sons of the various clan lords royally pisses the clan lords off, and almost causes a war. In short, the Loophole Abuse made everything worse.
This ends up happening in Ratatouille — after everything seems set for a Happily Ever After, it gets derailed into more of a Bittersweet Ending. Despite everyone's efforts to revive Gusteau's, it's shut down for good when the Health Inspector is entirely unmoved by the fact that the rats in the kitchen are perfectly sanitary and are cooking the food. Remy, Linguini, and Colette do bounce back and open up another restaurant, though, keeping it from falling into a full Downer Ending.
There was also one earlier; Linguini reveals his secret to the kitchen, only to have everyone, even the waiter and his girlfriend, all walk out due to feeling betrayed, with only the latter (the only one he was really emotionally connected to) choosing to come back.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame actually has several moments of this. For one thing, Quasimodo's attraction to Esmeralda. It ends up being unrequited. Because even though she has it in her to accept him as a friend and a good person in spite of his less then attractive physical features the sad fact of the matter is that most women tend to not dig the hunch-back, deformed face look.
Even though Esmeralda is saved from the stake by Quasimodo she does not get off scot-free. In the film she nearly dies from smoke inhalation and in the stage adaptation Der Glockner von Notre Dame, she does die.
The Princess and the Frog has the trumpet playing alligator, Louis, when he remembers jumping on a ship trying to join the Jazz band playing on its deck: All humans panicked and open fire.
In Megamind, Titan/Hal initially thought that his powers would be able to impress Roxanne and that saving her would be enough to make Roxanne fall in love with him. But when he finds out that real women don't work like that, he doesn't take it well.
Film - Live Action
This happens to poor Thorin in the first movie adaptation of The Hobbit. He is surrounded by fire, accompanied by an epic soundtrack, carries the shield that gave him his nickname and charges Azog, who is responsible for the deaths of Thorin's grandfather and possibly his father as well. Azog also happens to be seated on a huge Warg. Cue Thorin being thrown to the ground several times and then actually picked up and nearly crushed between the Warg's jaws. He sustained serious injuries and would have died if it weren't for Bilbo.
The Company is composed of far less capable fighters than the Fellowship before them despite having more people with them. Rather than take on large opponents and overwhelming numbers, they are forced to retreat more than once.
Silencing an orc witness is not as easy as it seems, since Kíli's aim was off and the victim's screams soon alerted the rest of the orc pack where the dwarves were.
Pretty much the entire point of the under-appreciated Last Action Hero. A character played by Arnold Schwarzenegger gets plucked out of his outrageously over-the-top action movie universe and dropped into our plain old real world. He finds out cars don't dramatically explode when you shoot the trunk and breaking a window with your fist actually causes injury to your hand.
Of course, when he meets the mother of the young main character he finds he prefers real-life women who have more depth, intelligence and warmth than the average action flick chick.
Unfortunately, the villain of the movie escapes into our reality as well. After initially being shocked at the young age and haggard appearance of a prostitute, he finds out you can shoot someone in cold blood and the police won't instantly pursue you, even if you shout about doing it in the middle of the street.
Another striking point of Arnold's character, Jack Slater, was that when he got shot then it gets fatal enough that he could risk dying from it without proper medical attention. It wasn't like the world he lived in where he just gets a harmless flesh wound.
The first Pirates of the Caribbean film ends with Will rescuing Jack from being hanged, in dramatic and public fashion. The second film opens with Will being arrested for doing so, albeit some time later.
As is Elizabeth. Being the daughter of a governor does not give you the right to aid and abet a known felon.
The second movie has Jack and Will engaging in an epic fight inside of a turning mill wheel. When the wheel falls over, both men climb out and nearly fall over from dizziness.
The climax of The Music Man has everyone gathered around the marching band that Harold Hill's swindled into existence, everyone excited to see what he's done, maybe with the audience almost expecting something miraculously good and...yeah, the kids sound terrible because they've been taught that they can just "think" about practicing and didn't even rehearse. However, since Hill is a Karma Houdini, he gets away with it AND gets the girl...somehow.
In the Final Battle of the first live action Kekko Kamen film the title character is fighting a very butch mook who is revealed, with much gloating from the Big Bad, to be immune to all of her powers. The heroine then picks up a gun from a fallen mook and uses it.
In the Macaulay Culkin movie Richie Rich, the Big Bad spends the entire movie trying to break into the Rich family vault so he can steal their money. By the time he actually makes it in, however, he finds that is full of nothing but keepsakes and photo albums, leading to this:
Van Dough: But where's the gold... the diamonds... the negotiable bearer bonds? The money! [points his gun at them]Where is the money?!
Richard Rich Sr.: In banks. Where else? And the stock market...real estate...
Shooter is kind of in love with this, with the climax being about four or five stacked up. Do not. Mess. With Bob Lee Swagger.
The Departed runs on this trope- deaths are abrupt and meaningless, there are no last-minute speeches, and it all happens so damn fast for the characters that they have no time to react.
The Infernal Affairs Trilogy (the source inspiration) is even more so in that the one death in the aforementioned remake that actually has meaning to it never happens in the original.
At the end of Ip Man, after beating General Miura, Ip Man stands around and thinks of the cost of war. Then, as promised, he is shot for not throwing the match. He survives, but it's still a very striking moment.
To Live And Die In LA has the protagonist Richard Chance abruptly shot dead in a fight with the Big Bad's henchman, Jack. Like deaths in The Departed, it's very abrupt and there is no last-minute speech. With still ten minutes left to go before the film ends, Chance's partner, John Vukovich chases after the Big Bad and eventually kills him. The film's creators did film another ending where Chance himself lived, but chose the one where he died because it fit the story and the characters better.
American History X: After learning the error of his ways, a former member of a Neo-Nazi gang is shot dead by the black boy he pissed off at the beginning. In real life, Easily Forgiven is very rare, and requires at the very least some attempt to make amends to the people you wronged.
In Ninja Assassin, the ninjas easily kill their way through their many opponents... until they lose the advantages of darkness and surprise and have to fight soldiers with automatic weapons.
In the 4th Rambo film, we meet a group of pacifistic missionaries who travel into Burma hoping to offer aid to the viciously persecuted Karen people. Nearly all of them are dead by the end. Some may count this as Unfortunate Implications by suggesting that pacifism doesn't work, but in Real Life, the Burmese monks who tried passively resisting the S.P.D.C. have been all but wiped out. Kinda proving the point...
At the end of Inglourious Basterds, Zoller makes hostile advances on Shosanna, who shoots him. After a while, it turns out that Zoller is not dead, and Shosanna has second thoughts, so she goes to him - and gets shot dead in return.
Possibly the most delightful moment from 1980s Eddie Murphy vehicle The Golden Child is when the Big Bad Sardo Numspa attempts to have Murphy's character Jarrell arrested, claiming that Jarrell stole a dagger from Numpsa. Numpsa needs the dagger to kill The Messiah, and he believes that either Jarrell will give him the dagger to avoid arrest, or that the police will simply hand it over to him after arresting Jarrell. Jarrell gleefully agrees to be arrested, then takes a moment to explain the rules of evidence handling to Numpsa: Jarrell will be arrested, and the dagger held in police custody as evidence for his trial, which might not happen for months or over a year. Since Numpsa has to kill the child within a specific time frame, this means that he'd have to storm police headquarters to get ahold of the dagger instead of fighting a few lightly armed members of a secret society. Numpsa is forced to publicly back off of his accusations and let Jarrell go free rather than risk it.
Ghostbusters ended with a triumphant victory for the heroes, but the sequel shows the aftermath. The defeat of Gozer calmed the psychic dimension, allowing the ghosts to rest at peace once again and putting the ghostbusting services out of business. On top of that, the amount of property damage, code violations, and other offenses committed throughout the first movie have come back to haunt them in the form of multiple lawsuits suing them into bankruptcy. At the start of the second movie, they're working odd jobs from TV show hosts to children's parties.
In Werner Herzog's remake of Nosferatu, Van Helsing kills Dracula. He is then arrested for murdering a foreign dignitary. End of film.
The generally lighthearted comedy The Men Who Stare at Goats takes a dark turn when it references the real MK-ULTRA experiments: A soldier is driven into psychosis with LSD and disorienting lights. He goes on a rampage and is Driven to Suicide. Later on, it revisits the theme when the protagonists discover a working application of all that "research": sleep deprivation torture via loud nonstop music and strobe lights.
The Matrix ends with Neo running to escape the Agents and make it to a hotel room so he can log out. He opens the door, and Smith is there waiting with his gun out at point-blank. He unceremoniously shoots Neo through the chest many times. Neo comes back, though, to fit with the whole Kung-Fu Jesus theme.
In fact, the whole return from death thing is really the ultimate engagement of reality, since the whole movie is based around the concept that nothing in the Matrix is really occurring. As such, reality kicks in and he simply starts re-writing the world around him.
The Matrix Revolutions features a fight between Neo and Smith-possessed Bane in the Real World. Since virtually all their combat training has been uploaded into their minds and is dependent on the physics of the Matrix, they don't have access to any of it. Their fight is brutal, dirty, and devoid of art. No fancy gravity-defying acrobatics here; just two desperate men beating the crap out of each other with whatever weapons are at hand.
The A-Team: The team clears their name, and the bad guy, a rogue CIA agent, is taken away by his employer to a nonspecific future. Then the team is arrested for breaking out of jail, and because the Government needs someone to blame for all the damage they've done. They should have bought Wrongful Accusation Insurance.
The Empire Strikes Back: When the AT-AT first appears, it looks intimidating, fearsome, unstoppable... right until a rebel snowspeeder demonstrates the drawbacks of long, ungainly legs.
There's also the fact that it's only armed with forward-facing weapons.
To a lesser extent, the AT-ST in Return of the Jedi. It may have two legs and a rotating cockpit, but it can also be tripped.
In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, after Scott manages to knock Gideon away, he stops for a chat with Ramona and Knives. Only for Gideon to stab him through the chest. Lots of gaming tropes are played straight in this setting, but Talking Is a Free Action is apparently not one of them.
An alternate ending that was never filmed would have had it be revealed that Scott and Ramona were arrested for murdering seven very famous people in the entertainment industry. Though it is very likely that the ending itself was discarded due to being too violent for a PG-13 rating.
In Kick-Ass when Dave gets his first try at superheroism and gets stabbed in the gut for the effort, just to be run over by a car mere seconds later.
There's also the other would-be superhero at the start of the film who seems to think he can fly. Gravity doesn't agree with him.
When Big Daddy gets killed.
Hit-Girl spends much of the movie being awesomely lethal. Then in the climatic battle, she finally runs out of ammo and throwing weapons and we remember that she's an eleven year old girl in a somewhat realistic state of panic and the only thing keeping the bad guys from destroying her now is their uncertainty about whether she's still armed. Also in an earlier scene, she tries to engage in hand to hand with the boss only he's a full grown man who also knows martial arts and promptly drops her forcing her to resort to weapons again.
Hit-Girl notes that getting shot in a real confrontation hurts more than when Big Daddy shot her in training. (She was wearing a bullet-proof vest of course, on both occasions). He wanted to prepare her for the reality of being shot, but he couldn't quite bear to see her get hurt, so he used low impact rounds.
He didn't just want her to be prepared, he wanted her to be unafraid of facing armed men. He used low-impact rounds to make her think that getting shot wouldn't be so bad.
In The Awaken Punch, a 1970's Kung Fu movie, the hero tracks down the leader of the gangsters responsible for murdering his family and kidnapping his love interest and kills him after a brutal fight. S.O.P., right? Well, then he gets arrested for nine major offenses, including the deaths of six other gang members. The End!
Escape From LA Snake goads some mooks to see how fast they can shoot, by getting them to put their guns and not fire till his can hits the ground. When he flips it he shoots them all before it hits the ground.
In the film of Wild Wild West, when West is up against a mook, said mook fights with elaborate kicks and punches, saying "I learned that from a Chinaman!" West simply kicks a shovel up into his hand and bashes the mook over the head , stating "I just made that up."
The title character of Lucas is a brainy, eccentric, and very small nerd who tries out for the school football team to impress the girl he loves. He charges onto the field and refuses to be sidelined at the climactic football game... only to get utterly dogpiled by the much bigger jocks who move in to tackle his intercept. They lose the game, Lucas winds up in the hospital, and the girl he loves gives him the "let's be friends" thing and hooks up with the team captain. The whole movie, in a sense, is about reality punching Lucas in the gut over and over again, only deciding to finally take a hike in the last two minutes to give him a happy ending.
With the Dirty Harry films, the fifth one - The Dead Pool - actually shows the corpses of men that Harry shoots to get out of a sticky situation being removed after the incident.
This happens in the second Die Hard movie - corpses are seen being removed after gunfights.
In Gran Torino, Walt's attempts to be a vigilante just get more people he cares about hurt and put at risk.
The Dark Knight has an accountant for Wayne Enterprises discover Bruce's identity as Batman simply by going through files on how Bruce's money is spent and blueprints for the Tumbler (essentially Bruce's Batmobile). Also, Harvey Dent/Two-Face falls a couple of stories but lands wrong and dies of a broken neck.
The Dark Knight Rises explores the idea that a normal human being (no matter how Badass Normal or Crazy-Prepared) couldn't continue indefinitely as Batman due to the physical strain, the psychological breakdown, and the increasing likelihood of incarceration or death.
Also Talia's death from injuries sustained in a two-story drop in a truck, contrary to how it would not normally be fatal to characters in action movies.
Bane's death also counts. Just cause you are a master hand-to-hand combatant with genius tactical skills hopped up on anesthetic gas does not mean you're any less vulnerable to heavy weapons.
Batman and Bane's first fight. Rather than a spectacular, choreographed showdown, its short, brutal and sees Batman, who has been out of practice for eight years and sports a bad leg, easily defeated with his punches having no effect on Bane. Made more realistic by the lack of music.
In The Avengers, despite being a superhero movie the team fighting an full army is treated with a fare amount of realism. The cliche of a dozen enemies landing a single hit is deconstructed when every member slows down from injuries and exhaustion. The most human member Black Widow slows down first and decides to do something else to stop the army, Hawkeye runs out of his trademark Trick Arrows at one point and is nearly killed. He is also shown having to scavenge and collect arrows he's already fired in order to remain useful in the fight, Iron Man runs out of weapons outside his repulsors and gets swarmed, Captain America is injured from fight after fight and its pretty obvious that a couple more minutes of battle and they wouldn't have held out. Hulk himself is being shown overwhelmed by the Chitauri as they focus all their powers on him and he gets less smash happy as it goes on and the hits pile up. The only one who doesn't appear to be affected by all the fighting is Thor, who is a god.
The film version of The Mist shows what would really happen if the monsters that the usual armed with self defence weapons and store supplies Ragtag Bunch of Misfits could survive against and even kill went up against a real military. The army kills the monsters with a combination of heavy equipment, armored support and save any survivors they can. After movie after movie of this not happening, it's pretty striking to see. It also shows exactly why this *doesn't* happen elswhere: the trials and battles of our heroes become meaningless.
At one point in The Whole Ten Yards, one of the hitmen sent against the main characters gets shot in the foot and taken hostage. After some time is spent planning a possible hostage exchange for Oz's wife, they discover that said hitman bled out and died. Oz spends the next 30 seconds wondering how that's even possible.
Death Sentence zig-zags the trope. The film is a revenge tale which, instead of following the Everyman protagonist on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the gang responsible for his son's death, has him kill the gang member who committed the murder and kick off a conflict that puts him, his wife and his other son in danger. However, in the climactic action scene he seems to have developed Improbable Aiming Skills while vastly outnumbered. Reality then ensues again when he's seen back in his house, mortally wounded.
To clarify, while he does manage to take out almost the entire gang singlehandedly, he sustains mortal wounds in the process and the movie ends with him returning home to bleed out.
"Reality ensues" actually shows up a couple of times in Daredevil as it was one of the first Deconstructions of Superhero films. Matt trashes an entire bar full of criminals, then reveals a massive amount of painkillers for his injuries. His super senses let him fight crime but also make it impossible to sleep outside of a sensory deprivation tank.
That said, the film subverts this trope just as often as it plays it straight, due in part to the director having little to no knowledge of the laws of physics.
The film version of A History of Violence does not shy away from realistically portraying the consequences of violence. Deaths are abrupt, bloody, and disturbing. When the teenage Jack snaps and fights back against the school bully, the next scene we see is him at home, suspended, with possible criminal charges hanging over his head.
The film Killing them Softly also does not glamorize assassinations or organized crime. The main character isn't shy about voicing displeasure at his partner and former friend's bad habits, and rather than give him a chance, quickly sets him up to be arrested rather than risking him jeopardizing them all. The hits shown are quick, brutal, and pragmatic. No Sonny Corleone bloodbaths, just fast, violent executions.
Spider-Man did a pretty harsh one for Super fights in the final confrontation in which Peter is beaten to a bloody pulp (shown in graphic detail) by the Green Goblin before turning the tide on him. The film shows exactly how devastating being beaten by a superhuman would be, made more effective by the lack of music and flashy special effects.
In The Terminator, Kyle Reese is all set to take on a bunch of cops before Sarah Connor talks him out of it. Being a Terminator-hunting badass doesn't shield him from reality.
At the end Reese takes on the Terminator with a metal bar. Damaged or not, it's still a near indestructible metal robot and makes him pay for it. When he sticks a bomb on it he jumps down some stairs and it still gets him killed. Turns out being 6 feet from a bomb isn't much better than 2.
Zig-zagged in Bruce Almighty. Bruce kneels down in the middle of the freeway, gets hit by a truck and is instantly killed. The reality of what happens when you do that is lampshaded by God. However, he then wakes up in a hospital and is greeted by a doctor who says "somebody up there must like you".
The Other Guys demonstrates that if you jump off a tall building you will not survive, and an explosion is not something you can casually walk away from even if you're relatively unharmed.
Pretty jaring after the intro if you think about it.
Despite being a parody of a Zombie Apocalypse, Shaun of the Dead shows how it can be easily controlled. By the end of the movie the army comes and guns down all the zombies. With in a few days the city is reclaimed, the few remaining zombies are rounded up, and life goes back to almost normal for the remaining characters.
The same thing happens in Ur ExampleNight of the Living Dead, actually; the outbreak is all but over in 24 hours. Doesn't help the characters, though, who are all dead due to either their own mistakes, personality flaws, or just bad luck.
Also the zombies are easily contained and killed, by a mere handful of people with guns, against a horde of dumb, slow moving corpses.
In 8 Mile, Cheddar Bob generally shows how holding the Idiot Ball in the real world can get you killed (his friends bail him out but repeatedly chastise him for it). Purest example being when Cheddar Bob shows what happens when Artistic License - Gun Safety is applied to real life.
After a few movies of Underworld battling vampires, lycans and hybrids and getting a power boost to stay on top, Selene has to face a 5-meter tall uber-lycan in the fourth film. Despite her skills, weapons and experience the fight's exactly what you would think a round between two being of proportionate strength when one is 3 times the size and has natural weapons. Selene is knocked out in about a second. She does better in the second fight, but is still outmatched. Ultimately, she's forced to make him transform back into a human and attack him then.
Her new human ally has to dodge a car by jumping to the side unto pavement. Unlike most examples he is severely hurt and limps for the rest of the scene.
After The Reveal in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, the Commander and Destro are promptly captured. Despite Ana breaking free of her mind control, she's still under arrest until they can figure out how to get the nanites out.
Also, both times the Joes save a city, they're arrested immediately afterward for freaking out the cops with supertech antics. The French make it clear that they'd rather have lost Paris than been rescued by the Joes. Zartan didn't seem confident enough in his POTUS disguise to pull anything similar, so he pays off Ripcord's Hero Insurance and sends him back to The Pit.
"Don Quixote" did this as well, making it Older Than Steam. Don Quixote has filled his head with the "damnable books of Romance" (what would be called knightly adventure stories in the modern sense) and is convinced that the world works that way. He promptly sets out and attempts to fight monsters, rescue damsels in distress, and so on, and everyone concludes he's dangerous and insane.
There is a having Portugal as the setting of Madame Bovary named Primo Basílionote Cousin Bazilio, written by Eça de Queirós, that has almost the same plot. But the ending is very different: the Madame Bovary's expy, Luísa, is blackmailed by her own servant who threatened to reveal to her husband and is driven to get a stress-induced disease. She deeply regrets having betrayed her husband, has to shave her head, which in an Brazilian TV-adaptation was considered one of the most tearjerking moments of the history of Brazilian TV, and ultimately dies. There is no Power of Love to save her, there is no Black Comedy like the original, only pure Tear Jerker. In the last scene, Basílio, the eponymous adulterer is shown that he didn't care with Luísa and he should have brought "Alphonsine", making him THE biggest JerkassKarma Houdini of the entire Portuguese-language literature.
Happened pleasingly often in the Redwall Series. For instance, in the climax of Martin The Warrior, where the Big Bad slams the LancerChick Rose into a wall when she attempts to jump him. She is immediately dead as it broke her neck. Likewise, when Martin disarms said Big Bad, he wastes no further time on him and kills him while he is still on the ground.
However, the original novel also has it's moments, like when the Anti-Villain Sela The Vixen comes to sell intelligence to the Redwallers outside the castle walls. She is, however, not greeted by the Abbot coming out of the side gate with the required payment, but by his aide-de-camp, Constance The Badger. The transaction is over right and there, with Constance nonchalantly knocking Sela out and taking the papers with her. Have I mentioned that Constance and the Abbot are the good guys (which is subverted quite a few times for reality's sake, especially considering that they caused Sela's death)...
Or in Mattimeo, where a gang of slave traders disguise themselves as entertainers to sneak into Redwall Abbey and abduct the children (for underground mining labour). At an ensuing festival inside the abbey grounds, they manage to spike all of the partygoers' drinks, and get them to drink them at the same time by calling out a toast. All seems to be working according to plan.
Or does it?!
Actually it turns out that the cooks and kitchen aides naturally didn't drink anything, and try to stop the slavers by themselves. The slavers, on the other hand,... simply beat them up/ slaughter them and calmly proceed loading the unconscious on their cart. Two Reality Ensues moments in one. The back cover summary lampshades that traditional heroics will not save the day this time.
In Retribution Falls the heroes find the legendary pirate port Retribution Falls to be exactly what a city built by pirates would be like: a badly built Wretched Hive.
In War of the Dreaming, there is an scene where a Beatrix-Potteresque Mouse shows up to rescue one of the heroes. Then the setting changes back and Mouse promptly gets stepped on.
James Patterson has this as a side effect of the Author Tract in Cross Country, Alex Cross's ex girlfriend gets brutally murdered by an African mercenary. He heads to Africa. The second he gets out of the airport, he's kidnapped. By the police. Then it gets worse. You could cut out several hundred pages from the middle of the book, and all you'd miss would be the Author Tract and Reality Ensuing, over and over again.
In the Warhammer 40000 novel Brothers of the Snake, Apothecary Menon wanders around a village with suspected Chaos cultists with his helmet's faceplate up. For a good reason, mind, as the daemon his squad is hunting is invisible to helmet sensors and can only be seen with the naked eye. Unfortunately, when he gets into a fight with said cultists, he takes a bullet in the face and dies.
Used numerous times in The Dresden Files book Changes, nearly always as yet another way to horribly torture Harry. Example: the Red Court sends in assassins to take him out. Rather than attacking him directly the way that, say, the gruffs did, they pay lesser thugs to try to kill him over and over, then set his house on fire. He barely manages to get his elderly neighbors out... then falls off a ladder and breaks his back, leaving him paralyzed. He has to make a Deal With TheFair Folk to fix it.
In the short story Day Off, Harry goes home to find a group of weak-talented wizard wannabes waiting outside his home. Apparently, Harry dispelled a bad luck curse they'd placed on some lady (which was so weak that Harry was mostly convinced wasn't real, and dispelled it to give her peace of mind). They sneer and threaten him, with the leader demanding that Harry prepare to defend himself, before he and his posse begin gathering their power to attack him. Harry responds by shrugging, drawing his .44 revolver, and pointing it at them. At their shocked disbelief, his response is "I'm a'fixin' to defend myself."
The Archive is incredibly powerful, able to hold her own against any number of opponents. However, in Small Favor, she is subdued because she is also a little girl and can be knocked out by gas even more effectively than an adult.
In the Gaunt's Ghosts novel His Last Command, this is how a scout takes down a stalker, an Implacable Man that can soak up ridiculous amounts of damage and keep coming. Chaos enhanced beastie or no, it's still an animal that can be paralysed by hamstringing and slain by getting shanked in the brain through the base of the neck.
In The Witcher Saga Geralt tells a story about when he was young, he wanted to pose as a knight when dealing with thugs mugging a merchant and his daughter. The downright brutal method he used to dispatch the thug's leader ended in daughter fainting from horror, and merchant running away from him along with the bandits.
In Wearing The Cape, Hope/Astra is given a lesson in momentum and force and why it's a good idea to know how tough something is before you fly yourself into it like a missile. The book is actually full of little reality-checks, like superheroes getting warrants before going after supervillains, villains whose lawyers get the charges dropped, and strangers committing random acts of badness.
At the end of Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn, they kill the Big Bad who betrayed the hero of ages past, stole the power of the Well of Eternity for himself, dislodged the Earth from its proper orbit, brought up volcanoes that constantly choke the air with ash, created a permanent underclass of slaves, and turned HIS OWN FRIENDS into monsters. Good riddance, right? Well, no. The second book then details the political consequences of such a sudden power vacuum, and trying to go from a totalitarian dictatorship directly to a constitutional monarchy (hint: a lot of people die.)
In the Honor Harrington novel On Basilisk Station, the Bronze Age-tech Medusans manage to brutally kill some Manticorans by surprise and swarming them. Then, the Manties bring out the heavy weapons and air support. The aliens die. And die. And die some more.
The Grav Lance is a powerful experimental weapon. That also means it is unreliable.
The Discworld books play this for equal parts comedy and drama. Among other things, characters frequently react realistically to outlandish situations (in Going Postal, after tricking a banshee into getting killed by a malfunctioning sorting machine, the protagonist is too busy being ill to shoot off a Post-Mortem One-Liner), and the narrative often points out that happy endings in "real life" are never as simple as they are in stories (at the end of Monstrous Regiment, the protagonist and her companions end up stopping the war between Borogravia and Zlobenia, but some months later in story-time the ruthless ruler of Zlobenia just tries to start another war). Complicating things is the influence that narrative causality has on the Discworld, making the line between "reality" and "fiction" as blurry as it gets.
In the Harry Potter series, there are a number of points where the protagonists forget basic things as a result of their panic at a situation. A prominent example is in the first book, when Hermione is so freaked out at the sight of Harry and Ron being strangled by the Devil's Snare that she forgets that she can use magic to save them. This is given a callback in the last book, when they are trying to get into the Shrieking Shack via the tunnel by the Whomping Willow. Ron panics because there's apparently no way to freeze the tree, prompting Hermione to remind him that they can use magic.
In the Big Bad's backstory, his mother fell madly in love with a non-wizard, so she subdued his mind with magic and had him run away from home and have a baby with her. Somewhile later she decided that she could stop using magic, for he would certainly remain at her side on his own volition, if not out of love, then for the sake of their child. Turned out that Mind Raping (and then just raping), abducting and subjugating people through occult means tends to build up quite a bit of resentement in them.
At the end of the book Across the Universe, Amy and Elder stop the dumping of drugs into the water, which means that the population of Godspeed is no longer doped up into being compliant. In A Million Suns, we see that this does not lead to an automatic happy ending. Instead, there are riots, strikes, suicides, and panic attacks, as a large number of people suddenly find themselves having to deal with emotions and thoughts that they never experienced before.
In the Black Prism, the main character's friends and love interest run from an attack very early in the book. Arrows fly after them, and the main character's power manifests just in time to redirect the arrow from his love interest...only to have two more arrows pepper her back and kill her.
In the second Artemis Fowl book, a gangster attempts to kill Holly by firing a laser gun from the hip... and ends up missing with every shot.
In A Song of Ice and Fire, Quentyn Martell devises a daring plan to seize control of Danaerys's two remaining dragons. Fiery dragon breath ensues, and Quentyn dies after days of horrible agony, with fourth degree burns over 100% of his body. Poor brave fool.
Animorphs: The Animorphs are a bunch of teenagers who fight alien invaders, and have to make increasingly morally ambiguous choices to win. War Is Hell is in full effect throughout the story. Ultimately, the war ends, but Rachel, Tom, Jara Hamee, James and presumably all of the auxiliary Animorphs are dead. The Blade ship escapes. There is no final all out battle with Visser Three, he merely surrenders when he realizes he's lost. He is then captured but not executed. Jake is left a broken man due to his actions in the war, he and Cassie break up, and Tobias leaves society. Marco does become famous, but it's hollow. There's even the possibility of a new war (with a different enemy) on the horizon. It is in short, exactly what would really happen after a war ends.
A number of fans complained about these things, and author K.A. Applegate wrote a letter basically saying "This is the way it works in real life."
The Nero Wolfe stories can be seen as applying this to many of the classic tropes of detective fiction. Wolfe, like many of the Great Detectives, is a cultured intellectual who, when he isn't solving mysteries, lives a comfortable, even lavish lifestyle despite apparently having no source of income ... except in Wolfe's case, it's established that he can afford to do so primarily because when he does solve mysteries he makes a point of charging what are at times almost extortionate fees for doing so, and both often has to keep ahead of draining his savings accounts through his luxurious lifestyle and has earned a reputation as being something of a mercenary Ambulance Chaser (or at least the Private Detective equivalent thereof). He's also a brilliant Amateur Sleuth who frequently exposes the police as blunderingincompetents ... and naturally, the police resent both his interference in criminal matters and his showing them up.
By the end of On The Jellicoe Road, Taylor's pieced the stories together and figured out what happened to everyone. Her mother, finally clean and sober, returns home for the first time in years, and manages to build an actual relationship with her daughter. And then she dies from her cancer, because love and relationships are not medicine.
This comes to bite Griffin in The Invisible Man. For example, he finds out the hard way that being invisible doesn't protect him from the cold, factors such as the bloodied soles of his feet from walking everywhere unprotected and food digesting in his stomach can compromise his invisibility, rain will make an outline against his body, he still leaves footprints, etc.
Lindsey has a big showdown planned with the eponymous hero, only to be outraged when he's shot and killed by sidekick Lorne. "Goodnight, folks."
When the gang finds out that Knox is responsible for Fred's death. Angel starts a speech to Knox about how they're the good guys and they don't kill, and in the middle of it Wesley shoots Knox dead. He has principles, but they don't extend all the way to showing mercy to the guy who killed the woman he loved.
Midway through season 2, a demon is hyped throughout the two-part episode as being so strong, that no weapon forged by man could defeat him. He is blown apart in one shot by an anti-tank missile. Guess what mankind was capable of has improved in the past six hundred years. Mass production has little to no human involvement.
In the season 3 premiere, the Monster of the Week knocks The Chick down and does a speech about how his realm is inescapable. Then the girl gets up and pushes him off the edge.
With Buffy gone at the start of season 3, the Scoobies manage to slay some vampires, but in the most awkward, realistic way possible. When one runs away, Oz hurls a stake at it...and it bounces off a gravestone and lands pathetically on the ground a few feet away.
Season 5 finale: Buffy approaches The Dragon atop a tower. He gears up for a fight, and she just knocks him off the tower.
Season 6 episode "Seeing Red": The villain's plot is thwarted, the heroes have their denouement with the talking about their feelings, and Tara is shot dead by a stray bullet when the villain comes back with a gun.
Season 4: A meddlesome chaos sorcerer Ethan Ryan is once again thwarted, but gloats that he'll just walk away as usual, since, as a human, he's out of Slayer's jurisdiction. Then Buffy's new boyfriend from a (para-)military organisation calls some MPs and has him arrested.
When Joyce gets ill in season 5, Buffy seeks to prove that there is some supernatural cause behind it. There isn't and it gets worse.
Huge mook: ...and the last thing you see will be my blade!
Mal: Darn. *kicks him into an engine*
In "The Message", Wash tries to lose a pursuing ship by flying into a canyon:
Wash: They're not behind us anymore!
(Looks up and sees that the other ship simply flew over)
Wash: I didn't think of that...
In another episode someone takes a crewmember hostage and starts making demands. Malcolm just shoots him.
In the Doctor Who episode, "Last of the Time Lords", the Doctor talks one minor character out of shooting the villain, then he gives a speech about how there are better ways to do things than kill people. While he's giving the speech, another minor character picks up the gun and shoots the villain anyway. Talking Is Not A Free Action, and not everyone is as pacifist as the Doctor.
And then there's "Midnight", which savages the Doctor's usual bluster and approach to problem-solving. Instead of managing to get the people's trust, they view him with suspicion and think him very arrogant. It's all part of the Monster of the Week's plan.
Played with in "Amy's Choice", when the Dream Lord trapped the Doctor, Amy and Rory in two different and dangerous worlds, claiming that one was a dream and the other was reality. (They were both dreams)
Dream Lord: Now then, the prognosis is this. If you die in the dream, you wake up in reality. Healthy recovery in next to no time. Ask me what happens if you die in reality? Rory: What happens? Dream Lord: You die, stupid. That's why it's called reality.
In Teen Wolf, Stiles always gets up to some serious shenanigans like stealing police property and kidnapping one of his fellow students... which then causes his dad, the town Sheriff, to lose his job. And Scott always misses out on school due to being a werewolf... which causes him to have terrible grades and risk being held back a year.
In Torchwood, Tosh and Ianto find themselves confronted by three hooded, scythe-wielding men who spout fire and brimstone, then ominously start walking towards them as the music swells. They gun them down without a pause.
Ianto: There we are then.
Torchwood: Miracle Day uses this as its premise: Having everlasting life in the real world creates horrific problems.
This happens in Jericho in the episode "Termination for Cause" when Jake and Russell were arguing what to do with Goetz, then Stanley drove up and shot Goetz in the head for killing Bonnie
The pilot for True Blood goes for this one. Girl saves cute vampire boy from crooks, cute vampire boy shows interest, girl is alone in car park... and gets the crap kicked out of her by the crooks, who ambush her.
In The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Cameron does this all the time. She makes it a routine habit to simply and bluntly execute anyone who poses a threat to the Connors, refuses to let loose ends remain untied, and generally acts in what can best be described as the most brutally logical manner possible.
And then there's Derek's death. He gets in a gunfight with a terminator at close range and no advance warning. And just to really drive the point home, the camera then follows the terminator, effectively making it little more than a background incident. Which, in this world, it kind of is.
FBI agent Ellison finally tracks down Cromartie and has more or less concluded that the target is some sort of combat machine. He even goes out of his way to secure an FBI Hostage Rescue Team for the assault. Unfortunately, antitank weapons are not included in the team loadout and thus it goes exactly the way of every other police versus Terminator fight in the universe.
Heroes – Subverted: Near-invulnerable superpowered serial killer Sylar, who's been by far the most powerful character on the show for a whole volume, is dropped mid-monologue by a sudden knife in his weak point from a man he turned his back on...and just gets back up again, because he'd used his new shapeshifting powers to move his weak point.
The pilot episode of Bones has one where Brennan confronts the killer, who is dousing a room with evidence in gasoline. When Brennan says she can't let him destroy evidence, he pulls out a lighter and does the whole "try and stop me and we both burn" thing. Brennan immediately whips out her revolver and shoots him in the leg. And in even more ensuing reality, she is promptly arrested for it. By Booth. And later fails to get a gun-carrying permit, because of this incident.
CSI: Miami:"Guerrillas in the Mist". The bad guy has a weapon that's a Metal Storm with the Serial Numbers Filed Off. In The Teaser, it actually vaporizes three men. Horatio tracks the baddies down at the airport and comes riding in in his Hummer, which the bad guy destroys. Caine gets out of the burning car and takes aim at just outside of point-blank range. A staredown ensues.
Bad Guy: You're on the losing side of this one, Lieutenant. I could fire a thousand rounds before you get a shot o—
In another example, a gang member attempts to attack someone outside of a courthouse with a rocket launcher. He takes up position inside of a modern art piece, which has a small enclosed interior. Its a good position to shoot from...if you did not have to worry about the back-blast. When the CSI team finds him, he's still at his firing position and is now a smoldering corpse.
Blake's 7 gives us a single ship —admittedly the most advanced in the galaxy— crewed by approximately seven people —admittedly very talented— trying to bring down a gigantic evil bureaucracy (The Federation). They manage to survive for four years, then reality catches up.
The series 16 And Pregnant deals heavily with this, as the young mothers-to-be face the reality of their decisions. Turns out that babies doNOT, in fact, make everything better.
In the Miami Vice episode "Glades", The Dragon is holding a shotgun to a little girl's head as Sonny Crockett approaches with this pistol drawn and aimed. The Dragon begins threatening to shoot the girl if he's not let go, saying "If I so much as twitch, she's go—" BLAM Sonny shoots him right between the eyes, with the Post-Mortem One-Liner, "Maybe you won't twitch."
In the first episode of Battlestar Galactica's second season, Starbuck tries to shoot Sharon for being a Cylon, and then Starbuck and Helo have a tense confrontation where Helo convinces her not to shoot Sharon because Sharon is pregnant and different from the other Cylons. Just in time to hear the engine noise as Sharon high-tails it out of there in Starbuck's stolen Raider - because when your baby's life is at stake, you're not going to stand around and wait to see if the crazy lady with the gun changes her mind.
'Justified' is based around this trope. Raylan has been cautioned about killing people after the first episode because he has earned a reputation for it, which doesn't make the police look good, and besides, every time he kills someone it involves more paperwork for him and his boss. As a result there are many situations where he could kill somebody but can't because of his position, so has to find more intelligent ways around it. In a later episode, Loretta really wants to kill Mags, but Raylan (who is behind her), points out that the police are in the room next to her and they will arrest her if she does it (even though the killing is justified by her - and the audience's - standards).
In season 3 Raylan has gotten used to bullying the local criminals for information because none of them want the trouble he can bring on them and it would be utter stupidity to kill a US Marshall. However, he does this one too many times with Limehouse who points out that Raylan is alone in a remote mountain community where everyone is utterly loyal to Limehouse. Raylan could shoot Limehouse but then he will be shot down himself by the dozen armed men surrounding them. They can then make his body disappear without a trace and with all the enemies Raylan has, they probably will not be even the main suspects in his disappearance.
Raylan is usually portrayed as Made of Iron but it takes him weeks to recover from a gunshot wound and when he returns to duty the act of drawing and firing his gun causes him a lot of pain and completely throws his aim off.
The segments featuring what it would be like if movies took place in real life.
The Saturday Night Live "Hero Song" features Andy Samberg as a businessman singing about how he's distressed by crime in the city and donning a superhero cape and mask to clean up the streets. Until he finds a Distressed Damsel played by Amy Adams being menaced by a mook played by Jason Sudeikis. In mid-line, the singing hero takes a punch to the face, at which point the mook proceeds to beat the hero. Brutally.For over a minute.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia uses this trope often for comedic effect. In one episode Mac and Charlie attempt to fake their deaths by blowing up a car. Their attempts to do it by invokeing various action movie tropes result mostly in the duo injuring themselves. Later it turns out that their attempt to fake their demises failed naturally and that no one but Frank thought they were dead.
A short commercial parody (of Snuggle brand fabric softener) on MTV's The State features a woman discussing how her fabric softener has improved the quality of her laundry. Then when she sees a plush bear extolling the virtues of the product, she promptly begins screaming and beats the unnatural thing to death.
In the fourth season of Modern Family, Haley gets arrested for (accidentally) injuring a cop and resisting arrest while fleeing a party following a police raid. She has to appear before a college disciplinary board—and is expelled six weeks into her freshman year, with the proviso that she can reapply next year (conveniently allowing the show to bring her back into the Dunphy house and resume her Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry with Alex.
No matter how rich and well-connected, Chalky White is still a black criminal in 1920s America. So when he kills a white man, it causes a commotion in town and he gets arrested and charged with murder - despite the fact that the "victim" was a Klansman that had just tried to kill Chalky, and that he and his pals had murdered four other black men in the attempt to get at him.
The 77-year old Commodore feels rejuvenated after surviving an illness and misses no opportunity to show off his newfound strength. Not so much later, he suffers a stroke.
In the second season, one main character tries to rob other main character of his position of power and then to murder him. This character later realizes that this was bad and offers to make things right in the finale. In a very divisivesubversion of Plot Armor, the other character murders him in retaliation rather than pardoning him, just like he would have done with any other character.
A character who is not an expert shooter shoots another one in the head with a small caliber gun. The other character survives, forcing his shooter to Mercy Kill him.
Nucky's hand still hurts a year and a half after having been shot through it, and despite the fact that it looks completely healed. Likewise, Clifford Lathrop has to walk with a cane permanently after having been shot in one foot.
A bomb explodes just far enough for Nucky to survive it. Nevertheless, days later he still suffers from the resultant tinnitus and concussion, and the effects only worsen when he refuses to take meds to treat it.
In the penultimate episode of Pushing Daisies, Ned and Chuck hide in the trunk of a car and have a conversation at normal volume as the driver drives along a quiet road with the stereo off. They seem to be getting away with it until the driver pulls over, opens the trunk and tells them it wasn't a good idea.
Criminal Minds does this to Intoxication Ensues. Reid is kidnapped by a man with three personalities. After the first two torture him, the third drugs him to help with the pain.. but said drug is heroin-based, and Reid becomes addicted. He has to struggle to get clean and later episodes mention that he still goes to support meetings.
Similarly to the example above, The Mentalist does this to Mushroom Samba. Jane accidentally ingests some hallucinogenic tea...that is also incredibly poisonous and leaves him in convulsions on the floor, and would have been fatal had he not been immediately rushed to the hospital to get his stomach pumped. He doesn't have "fun" hallucinations either - he sees things like his True Companions betraying him and an aged-up version of his dead daughter, as you would expect from a troubled man.
An episode of Frasier deconstructs one of the famous scenes from parent show Cheers, when Frasier and a female co-worker have a blazing row similar to that between Sam and Diane. Except in this case when Frasier says "Are you as turned on as I am?" he gets a horrified "NO!" and a sexual harassment charge.
Burn Notice does this all the time. Gas tanks don't explode when shot, police can't just be ignored and being a spy leaves you with a lot of very angry enemies.
Game of Thrones shows in all the gruesome details, that beheading a man on the block with a single stroke of huge sword is not that simple - because the executioner is weak, hesitant and inexpirienced, it takes him several hits, and even then he has to snap the still holding head free with his foot.
A Lannister soldier stabbed Ned Stark during his duel with Jaime Lannister.
The Following is a Deconstruction of the concepts of the Religion of Evil and the Dark Messiah. Serial Killer Joe Carroll sets up a cult of similarly-disturbed individuals, with himself as the leader and messianic figure, to hear his teachings and do his bidding. Scary thought, right? Well, there's one flaw in Carroll's plan: the cult consists of a bunch of psychos. Most of them can barely keep themselves together, let alone work as a unit toward some grand apocalyptic vision. Only a handful of Carrollists are sane enough and competent enough to keep the organization running, and even those few are finally starting to fall apart as Ryan Hardy's team slowly chips away at them and gets ever closer to their headquarters. Carroll himself is not immune to this; as his Master Plan unravels he gradually loses his calm and collected demeanor, which in turn causes his Dragon Roderick to doubt him, which may or may not be leading up to an Enemy Civil War. Really, if it weren't for the fact that the cult has Carroll's innocent wife and son as hostages, all the FBI would really need to do to is sit back and watch the cult destroy itself.
How I Met Your Mother: Lily, who works as a public elementary school teacher, buys a lot of expensive clothing, especially when she is upset about something. Because of this, she's maxed out credit cards and is in a ton of debt, which caused trouble for her and Marshall when they want to buy a house because of her bad credit.
Swedish songwriter Lars Winnerbäck tells us what really happened to some of Astrid Lindgren's characters in his "Balladen om Konsekvenser" (The Ballad of Consequences).
The song "Scalp" by Atmosphere features the narrator describing his night. He goes to the bar and meets his friend Sonny, who offers to pay him for retrieving a package from a tattoo parlor. One expects the protagonist to follow through with his task, possibly finding something surprising in the package along the way, but instead he is killed in a car crash immediately after leaving the bar. Which is what happens when you drink $50 worth of alcohol and then drive at night.
In "Women Lose Weight" by Morcheeba, guest rapper Slick Rick tells us he's going to kill wife because she gained weight after he married her (as well as what a shame it is in general that women do this), then actually goes through with it by running her off the road. Reality Ensues in the last verse when he's charged with her murder and realises that while it is important for a woman to remain desirable to her husband, her failure to do so does NOT justify murder.
Skrillex's Bangarangmusic video features three cunning little boys robbing an ice-cream truck of it's stock, complete with fat, cartoonish ice-cream man. The plan goes wrong and they end up seriously injuring the guy to escape. (He was going to use a stick to beat one, but there was no way they could see that.) When they grow up and become professional thieves, the one who accidentally cut off the ice-cream man's hand gives some of his loot to the guy by way of compensation.
This is averted by way of more reality: the reason Batman's enemies don't work together to beat him is because they're a bunch of sociopathic murderers and backstabbers who don't play well with others.
Any tabletop RPG player knows this can happen to the heroes or the villains. It doesn't matter how dramatic the story has made it, one lucky roll from either side can make a climactic showdown very, very brief. The extent to which this happens can tell a lot about the nature of a game and GM.
Games that heavily avert this trope (such as Dungeons & Dragons and Star Wars D20) tend to create a very heroic, action-movie like feel.
Grittier, meaner, more brutal games (The World Of Darkness, Dark Heresy, Call Of Cthulhu, and so on) intentionally invoke this trope to help create the feel of danger, failure, and high stakes. Some games, such as the old West End GamesD6 Star Wars adaptation, have rules written to invoke this trope and then blatantly tell the GM to lie and keep the PC's relatively safe, allowing them to feel like reality may ensue when it probably won't. Some games even shoot to overplay this trope in the name of schadenfreude; for instance, in Paranoia, your character is incompetent, your boss is insane, and your teammates will throw you under the bus at the drop of a hat— so sure enough, you're guaranteed to suck, fail, and die repeatedly for laughs.
The newest edition of Hackmaster averts No Arc in Archery by noting that shots at long enough distances need a high enough ceiling to not get in the way of the arrow's trajectory.
In-universe, this trope is a common lament of The Fair Folk in Exalted - Creation doesn't "play fair" and actually, well, enforces the consequences of their actions. In the Wyld, things work by dramatic rules, and a raksha can murder his friend, fall in love, or be eaten by tigers without actually needing to worry about the long-term effects. As a result, they are likely to be caught flat-footed when they walk into Creation and suddenly die, permanently, when they are killed.
Act one of The Fantasticks ends happily, with the couple together and the "feud" ending. Act two opens up with "This Plum Is Too Ripe", which is all about the characters realizing that everything isn't so great after all.
Into The Woods is all over this trope. Not only does it show the realistic consequences of fairy tales (particularly in regards to Fourth Date Marriage and Parental Abandonment), it also shows just how dangerous some fairy tale characters can be in a more realistic setting. When a giant comes down from the beanstalk, the audience goes "hey, cool!" at first, until she starts actually stepping on people. It's not played for laughs.
This trope is often taken as the reason for Hamlet's ambiguous reluctance to kill Claudius — in reality (and contrary to the Elizabethan revenge dramas that were popular at the time), most people simply wouldn't be able to live up to the command to put a knife in another person's back.
The Final Boss of The Darkness, Uncle Paulie, is built up as the catalyst for all of the misery in Jackie's life, from the death of Jackie's girlfriend to getting blown out of a window by a bomb. Jackie finally makes it to Paulie, and Paulie goes down just as easy as the Mooks Jackie had been slaughtering to reach him. After all, Paulie's a normal human being, and a rather overweight one, at that. Jackie has the personification of all evil living inside of him. If anything, it's more of a Curbstomp BattleCutscene Boss than a final boss fight.
Similar to The Darkness, in The Saboteur the final boss is just an average human that has gone insane due to your actions up to this point. He is left broken, drunk and pretty much just accepting death as even if you don't shoot him, he will just jump to his death on his own.
In Sonic the Hedgehog, with the addition of the Sonic Boost in recent games we see a more realistic take on what happens when an object gets hit by another object moving at the speed of sound.
Most strategy games would make missions where you cause an enemy commander's Final Death to be long base sieges. Dawn of War sees the Imperial Guard's General Sturnn off in the middle of the Disorder campaign, at the start of a mission that gives the player only a standing force and no base to rush him with. There's a longer part of the mission afterwards, and his passing is barely mentioned subsequently. Only in a Crapsack WorldHalf Empty like Warhammer 40000. Then again, it may be Justified; this is, after all, a setting where there are enough ranks above a "mere" General for even them to be open to the Commissars' field executions - in the fluff at least.
It's not even a particularly spectacular fight. Fight can be summed up as Gorgutz picking up Sturnn and beating him into bloody pulp. Then again, what you do expect from fight between beefed up Ork and normal human?
In a similar case is in Dawn of War II: Retribution in the Tyranids campaign Sgt Merrick is faced with the Hive Tyrant, and the Nid just hacks him in less than three seconds.
Metal Gear Solid 4's difficulty settings qualify for the trope: Even though one of the game's "features" was an expanded arsenal of firearms and associated controls, only on Liquid Easy (lowest difficulty) can he take enough damage to get away with anything approaching a stand-up or run-and-gun fight, as he's still one operator against however many enemies, whether human or GEKKO.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance showed that just cause Snake and allies shutdown the Patriots and the system the war economy couldn't stop cold. It just went on to the next leg of the arms race, cybernization.
Metal Gear Solid 2 had Solidus Snake point out that, while the huge Metal Gear/sea craft Arsenal Gear was an impressive weapons platform complete with an army of Metal Gear RAY's and a full complement of high-yield nuclear weapons in addition to it's information control capabilities, without a proper naval and air escort it was completely useless. "A floating coffin", as he put it.
In Halo Reach Most of the deaths of Noble Team count as this. Jorge blows up a Covenant super-carrier, and Carter crashing a dropship into a Scarab. Both of these have little effect on the overall Covenant war machine, they still keep coming. Emile takes down one Elite, and is then quickly killed by one behind him. Noble 6 is finally overwhelmed by the endless Covenant forces, and makes a Last Standtaking as many Covenant with him/her as (s)he can.
Kat however, is a brutal version of this. She's a genius Super Soldier in high-powered armor; but if her shields are down and she's not paying attention to her surroundings, she can be shot in the head and killed like anybody else. It is an immensely anti-climatic and utterly pointless death.
Deus Ex, a minor patron saint of deconstruction, lets reality happen quite a few times. At one point, The Dragon decides that it's much, much smarter to just order his troops to kill you, rather than actually having to go through the complicated business of waiting for the Explosive Leash to kick in. (Notably, he also activates the Explosive Leash- which for newer models like you is a relatively slow and seemingly natural death rather than instant death by explosion.) At another point, you confront an enemy Obstructive Bureaucrat who realizes that trying to shoot the Super Soldier might not be such a good idea, so he waits until you turn around and leave, whereupon he shoots you in the back. At the "Realistic" difficulty level, there's a quite high chance that this will kill the player character in one shot. You can silently pick off the guards before he decides to sick them on you, resulting in a "You win this round, Denton."
In The Missing LinkDLC of Deus Ex Human Revolution, a commander of Belltower mooks makes mention that a number of their people Jensen "peacefully" knocked unconscious by bashing them in the face with a metal fist are in comas. If you do a non-lethal and/or stealth run through the mission then the commander will point out that even though Jensen hasn't killed anyone, all that means is that the character is extremely resourceful and even more dangerous than someone just shooting people, and that the soldiers under his command should be even more vigilant in the event Jensen decides to start taking lethal options.
The agility and tenacity of the Game Breaker QAAMs' from Ace Combat may be what happens when you put a real-world (nigh-)undefeatable heater, a la Python 4/5 or AA-11/R-73 or AIM-9X, against planes that usually encounter missiles sloppy enough to be outflown without needing countermeasures. Also seen when Captain Bartlett in Unsung War draws a missile away from Nagase and the missile stays firmly on him despite his weaving here and there... and it proceeds to splash him. Must have been a QAAM. He gets better.
The Xbox 360 game Over G Fighters is essentially what happens when Reality Ensues on Ace Combat. Did you know that afterburner in the presence of heat-seeking missiles is a BAD thing? On the other hand, unlike Ace Combat, the player (though also enemies) can sometimes break missile locks by turning enough to reduce their plane's radar cross-section.
Shadow Complex: The writers go through the trouble of fleshing out a personality for the evil quasi-Nazi Mad Scientist who has kidnapped your girlfriend...and instead of an epic boss fight or the scientist pulling out ninja moves or something to get away, he is Killed Mid-Sentence in one shot by the hero, right in the middle of saying that the hero "doesn't look like a killer".
The "good" ending of the recent reimagining of The Bard's Tale ends with the Bard saving the world from an ancient and terrifying evil. However, as nobody aside from a small cult who don't really like him know this, he's soon back to hustling inns for free booze and sex.
The various "Chosen Ones" encountered during the game are victims of this. Bright, bold lads setting out to meet their destiny, they're quickly murdered by everything from wolves to trow to zombies. One sheriff even took to locking them up for their own safety.
In the original Mass Effect, Wrex's family armor, instead of being equippable and possibly the best piece of armor for Wrex, is obsolete by the time he retrieves it three centuries after his father's death. It turns out that he only wants it for sentimental reasons. In a setting where new advances in weapons and armor are constantly being developed, old pieces of technology don't hold up very well.
You can ignore the loyalty sidequests in Mass Effect 2, but what do you think will happen when you take a team of people who aren't properly motivated to fight millenia-old Eldritch Abomination servants?
Or if you ignore the upgrades, what do you think will happen when a mere frigate with little in the way of weapons and armor is going to do against a race of aliens that cleaved your ship in half at the beginning of the game? Or, if you're feeling extra stupid, make dumb choices about the roles each of your teammates have during the final mission?
In short, if your decisions are bad enough, everyone, including you, can die during that mission, making it a rather infamous (and fairly hard to get) Bad End.
In Mass Effect 3's Eva Core fight, if you fail to gun her down before she gets to Shepard, you catch a knife through the face and die. No medigel, no barriers biotic or kinetic, nothing will save you.
The Extended Cut adds the Refusal ending, in which Shepard refuses to accept the options that the Catalyst provides. This promptly leads to the armada fighting for the Crucible to be completely wiped out, heralding the fall of galatic civilization once again at the hands of the Reapers. What else would you have expected from rallying the galaxy into devoting their resources into constructing and protecting a superweapon regarded as the last hope against the Reapers…and then deciding not to use it?
Considering every option to use it results in The Bad Guy Wins, and the developers were somehow surprised players didn't enjoy this it's not so much reality as railroading due to author petulance.
While Take Your Time is in full effect for most of the series, there are two notable exceptions in the third game, which drive home the fact that when you receive word that the enemy is besieging a school full of biotic students or searching for a bomb that can destroy much of a planet, you cannot afford to wait around.
Similar to the second game's suicide mission, you should not assume that Ashley or Kaidan will simply take your word that you aren't being controlled by Cerberus, especially not when Cerberus troops are being turned into Husks, or that they will simply accept you cheating on them in the second game. How much effort you put into regaining their trust determines whether they survive the standoff at the Citadel.
The finale of the game brought us the long-awaited confrontation between Shepard and Harbinger. Feeling pumped up and ready to take on the leader of the Reapers? Harbinger utterly massacres the entire assault team with little effort from miles away, Shepard included (though s/he survives, barely). What exactly did you think was going to happen when foot soldiers go up against a 2-km tall Reaper dreadnought?
In Seiken Densetsu 3, Angela's prologue has her trekking through the aptly named Sub Zero Snowfield...in a highly Stripperiffic leotard. She doesn't get ten minutes in before she starts coming down with hypothermia.
Used wonderfully in Rudra No Hihou. A few days after the other protagonists have already received their magical Power Crystal, Surlent is still lacking his. Being a scholar, he finds it inside an ancient artifact he's set out to research. It promptly flies towards him to merge with his body... and the impact kills him. Instantly.
Used amusingly at the beginning of Resident Evil 4. How is the evil Umbrella corporation finally destroyed? Through a daring black-ops raid with soldiers fighting its myriad monsters in one final battle? Nah. The U.S. government freezes its assets in retaliation for the destruction of Raccoon City, and the highly publicized disasters plaguing the company cause its stock prices to drop, sending it into bankruptcy! One statement from the developers in a Nintendo Power article says that there was no way the US government would have allowed Umbrella to continue operating after being responsible for a disaster that forced them to nuke one of their own cities.
And that too gets a dose of Reality Ensues. Simply removing Umbrella from business does not magically evaporate all the data, personnel and equipment. B.O.W.s and viruses are then sold to the highest bidder, the highest level researchers are able to continue their viral weaponry without a traceable line and the BSAA are formed to counteract the outbreaks that follow.
The reality continues with the game play mechanics in Resident Evil 6. The unsteady laser-sightings on guns, which is actually how they work on real guns. However, in most video game shooters, the laser-sights are always steady. The powerful impact of a bullet can knock the player down, which again is based on reality. Even if a person wears a bullet-proof vest, the impact alone can still knock the person down. Unfortunately, this among other examples wasn't accepted well by gamers.
In Minecraft's Survival Mode, you need to gather natural resources to build into weapons (among other things). Swords can be made of (in order of ascending rarity) wood, stone, iron, gold, and diamond. For the most part, the rarer starting materials result in stronger weapons, except golden swords are functional identical to wooden swords. It came as quite a surprise when the players realized the second-rarest material made the weakest weapon, and a lot of people thought it was a bug... until they remembered gold is one of the softest metals in the world. Just like in real-life, gold weapons are only good for decorative purposes.
This was initially true of all items made of gold, but this made gold so worthless that it was changed for balance reasons. Although gold tools still count as wood for purposes of durability and what they can actually do (a Gold Pickaxe can only harvest the same materials as a wood pickaxe), they work incredibly fast — a golden pick or axe can chew through materials in no time flat, outclassing even the diamond tools of the same type.
Gold is also used in conjuction with redstone in a number of craftable items that are considerably more useful, such as powered track. This is because while gold is a terrible material to make armor, weapons or blunt instruments out of it is well known as an integral component in precision electronic devices.
The huge material properties overhaul in the latest release of Dwarf Fortress resulted in a few of these, as a simple damage multiplier for each metal was replaced with actual stats for tensile strength, shear and compressive yields and so forth. Adamantine turned out to be incredibly strong and lightweight, making for excellent edged weapons, but when players forged warhammers and maces from it the results were disappointing.
This can also happen from time to time in the game. You planning on subverting that river into your base for a fresh water supply? Water carries motion still, so without proper planning you might just flood your base. See that awesome battle on a mountaintop, with people fighting and dodging? Well, on combatant just dodged off a cliff, and is now plummeting to his death. Despite the odd, and often fun, physics of the game, sometimes it will start behaving realistically enough to realize that you've just screwed up.
In Utawarerumono, the rabbit-people bring out their ultimate weapon: Humongous Mecha. The best anyone else has amounts to pointy sticks. They slaughter their enemies en masse, and are completely invulnerable to you, the player, fighting spirit be damned. Well, until you become a giant divine monster yourself.
In Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Sam is facing down Shetland on the rooftop, with their guns drawn. Shetland goes on a Motive Rant, ending it by saying that Sam "wouldn't shoot an old friend" and putting his gun away. Sam can, at this point, opt to put his gun away, triggering an I Surrender, Suckers moment where Shetland draws his gun and catches a bad case of knife in the heart for his trouble. The other option is to just shoot him in the face the moment he puts his gun away.
Another example occurs in Conviction. Normally, EMP devices in media are depicted as being rather benign, temporary things. Even a large EMP bomb only takes about a minute or so to recover from. The game even includes a small EMP device that only temporarily disables electronics. But when two of three EMP bombs go off in Washington DC, the results are horrifyingly realistic. The traffic grid immediately breaks down, all the lights go out and in general, anything electronic including cell phones and defibrillators go out and stay out.
For Max Payne, not so much. But reality ensued all over poor Vinnie, a mob lieutenant with more enemies than friends and such an incurable fanboy for a cartoon Kid Hero that he'll cosplay without hesitation. Doing so straps him into explosives, and since that puts him in an Enemy Mine situation with Max, you figure The Hero should be able to save his life. And he did. Temporarily.
In the third game, the favela Gang Bangers can threaten Max because of their numbers and Max's Cutscene Incompetence. They are still an untrained rabble, however, and are utterly dominated by trained, better-equipped paramilitaries or military police special forces.
In Batman Arkham Asylum and Batman Arkham City, Batman can take out dozens of prisoners with delicate uses of flips, jumps, punches, and Batarangs. But try to take on a group of gun wielding goons head on, and Batman will quickly be turned into Bat-paste. Especially true in the sequel, where he fights mooks with high-powered sniper rifles.
Also, it turns out that the formula that turns men into giant monsters developed in a prison by a bunch of lunatics had unforeseen long term side effects.
In the backstory of Portal, Cave Johnson is the Crazy AwesomePointy-Haired Boss of Aperture Science, who has no qualms whatsoever about working with hazardous experimental substances, and wildly misapplies potentially revolutionary scientific breakthroughs because he doesn't realize what they could do. Unfortunately, it's not a cartoon, and these practices have the same result they would in real life, i.e., he dies slowly and agonizingly from exposure to dangerous chemicals while his company collapses into financial ruin.
In Peasant's Quest, the humble peasant hero Rather Dashing goes through a bunch of trials to prepare himself to fight Trogdor the Burninator. When he finally reaches Trogdor's cave he's immediately flash-fried, because he's one ordinary guy trying to fight a giant fire-breathing monster.
In X-COM UFO Defense you command a hopelessly underequipped and out gunned force of humans fighting against endless hordes of alien monstrosities. Most of the soldiers die early. The most likely cause of death even for a battle-hardened Colonel is some random mook with a plasma cannon.
Enemy Unknown also uses this, but in the player's favor, mostly by averting With This Herring: the member nations of the XCOM project know it's their last hope, and supply it accordingly. Good-quality Earth-native equipment is free and standard issue. Your soldiers are also properly trained and very competent with said gear, they're the member nation's best of the best; since they're all that good though, they use XCOM's internal rank and specialization hierarchy.
The entire plot of the second No More Heroes kicks off because Travis killed most of Jasper Batt's relatives. This was something that happened in the first game with almost no fanfare, and neither Travis nor the player expected it to come up again or have any real consequence.
In Dead Rising 2, people are strangely resistant to gunfire. Chuck, while not an invincible steel wall, can take a .50 caliber rifle bullet to the face and negate the effects with a bottle of whiskey. Psychopaths are even more bullet resistant, with some taking it to ridiculous degrees (Antoine, a celebrity chef with presumably no combat experience can take 200 rounds of LMG fire by blocking it with a frying pan). So when Sullivan pulls out his handgun and puts a hole in Rebecca Chang's forehead and kills her, it can be a bit stunning to a player to witness.
In Alice: Madness Returns, any time Alice falls out of wonderland into reality tends to strike a nerve, as Alice is a helpless teenager wandering the streets of London and the game really drives that home, the second time you return, for example, Alice gets slapped unconscious by a pimp for trying to come to her friend's aid. Everyone is also aware Alice isn't entirely right in the head, A fact the Big Bad tries to use to pull a Karma Houdini; who would believe that a highly respected child pyschologist raped and killed someone's sister with only the word of a known mental patient? Alice also admits he's right, then takes it into her own hands.
FTL Faster Than Light has you take command of a ramshackle, obsolete vintage spaceship with poor weaponry, after your Federation fleet has been all but destroyed by the Rebels, you have to go through 8 sectors then face up to the flagship to win. It takes a long time to learn how to play the game long enough to avert this. Before you know how to play it properly, you'll get killed before you hit sector 1 if you try playing on normal, and will likely die several dozen times before you even reach the AI Flagship, and even after that you still need to learn how to play the metagame so your ship has the ability to take down the flagship.
AI War Fleet Command: What happens when you make the AI with far more resources than you ever can have and no compunction against holding back sit up and decide you're a threat? You get flattened, that's what.
Mega Man Battle Network hammers in repeatedly the need for proper computer security, as every almost single incident in the game is caused by black-hat terrorists hacking just about every element of the heavily networked and computerized world.
In Assassin's Creed games, pickpocket victims who realise you're the culprit will try to punch you out. Problem is, Altair/Ezio/Connor is a battle-hardened warrior who goes through trained soldiers like a lawnmower. It doesn't end well for the civilian.
Persona 4 has, as mentioned under Anime, a scene where the player characters gather weapons to defend themselves in the TV-world... and are arrested by mall security.
The robot character PF dies when her batteries run out ( as does Crow).
What happens when you put structure designed with mostly Rule Of Cool in mind under real-world physics? According to Red Faction Guerrilla and its extremely robust destruction engine, they collapse. The game designers had to take a crash course in real-world architecture to create buildings that would stay up long enough for the player to destroy them.
You could say that reality ensues every time you exit bullet time in the middle of a jump in Max Payne 3 and land with an audible thud. Max's experience in this game is much more tactile than the previous games.
Racing game Fatal Inertia has the Time Dilator power-up, that slows time around you while leaving your craft immune, adding up to a few seconds of enemies stuck the wrong side of Bullet Time while you surge ahead at normal speed. However, the way the powerup in-universe means outside observers see everything still moving at normal speed, and the device's user suddenly going at several times their previous velocity. One of these outside observers is physics. So much as glance off a solid obstacle and one suddenly finds out where the title comes from.
A key part of Spec Ops The Line's project as Deconstructor Fleet is its use of this trope. At one point Capt. Martin Walker and his squad use a mortar to kill a large group of soldiers in a base barring Walker's way to an objective. The game cuts to an overhead camera depicting each soldier as a white blob, as the player gleefully rains down death from above upon the helpless foes. Then, you get to walk through the carnage you just caused, seeing and hearing your soon-to-be-dead enemies crawling around on their hands and knees, screaming in agony and begging to be put out of their misery. And that group of stationary enemies huddling in the back of the base? They were civilians.
Monster Hunter 3/Tri/TriG/3U has a quest that pits you against the colossal Elder Dragon Jhen Mohran, chasing it down with a Sandship. Contrary to environmental damage not normally appearing in the game, Jhen actually can and will destroy the Sandship if you don't learn how to use its armaments to hold it off, resulting in a quest failure.
Despite passionate pleas, Masayuki in A Profile is ultimately completely unable to make Miou's parents reconcile. As he says to Miou, it's not like a kid like him can do much to convince adults of anything serious like that. On the other hand, it's not completely without results in that it made her father approve of him, whereas until then he was judging Masayuki as the street punk he used to be.
Rewrite despite being a Key work where everything works out eventually features this. For example in Shizuru's routes Kotarou effectively acts as the millstone for Shizuru who is one of the strongest fighter in Guardian, an organization built to stop salvation from happening. as a result of this salvation ends up taking place more or less annihilating humanity.
Umineko No Naku Koro Ni can be argued to be this. While the conflict between mystery and fantasy is an important aspect of the series, the real conflict is between mystery/fantasy and reality. This can be easily be seen in Ep 2 with the locked chapel where the real trick is the simplest one, namely that Rosa lied (in accordance to Yasu's script) and it was never locked at all. It can also be seen in Ep 7 when the adults finds the gold and instead of showing a series of mystery/fantasy scenes we are instead show what would happen in this type of family in such a situation: a lot of shootings and deaths.
Later on, Dan McNinja has to hunt down the last surviving member of the Belstein family, whose bloodline is the only thing that can defeat a powerful demon. It turns out that the Belsteins had to engage in massive inbreeding to keep the bloodline "pure" so someone could fight the demon... and the last living Belstein is a crippled invalid thanks to that.
A common occurrence on Shortpacked!. Rule of Funny will be enacted, then in the next comic the serious results will hit the characters.
In El Goonish Shive this is most likely what ended Susan's uniform crusade arc. Didn't help she was blatantly ignoring nearly half the school, and misreading almost the entirety.
After Grace's brothers are freed from Damien, they are informed that they will have to take psychological tests to make sure that they're of fit mind to live in society. Grace realizes that she underwent similar tests after living with Tedd, but Tedd's dad was just sneaky enough to be very subtle about it.
In Friendly Hostility, Collin gets a part time job as a funny kids show host. When he's publicly outed as being gay, it's shrugged off as a joke at first, until he realizes it will cost him his job. He becomes severely depressed and ends up breaking off his relationship with Fox, and although they try to work it out with a therapist, later canon shows that they never get back together. End of comic.
In Sinfest, there's a Reality Zone. Inside it, characters are drawn with a much more realistic style, and all the normal rules like Rule of Funny or Rule Of Cool no longer apply, with characters instead being forced to face reality. The Devil and other supernatural characters all avoid the place like the plague, for example, and Squig (an anthropomorphic pig) turns into an ordinary pig when he enters.
Occurs in The Dreadful, for a given value of "reality". A posse shows up at Kit's hideout. Their arrogant leader threatens and insults Kit while flipping his gun around Revolver Ocelot-style. It looks like an epic gunfight is about to ensue, but Kit simply shoots the hammer of his gun mid-flip, causing it to shoot him in the head.
At the end of one Fruit Incest story arc, Sarah gives everyone a True Meaning Of Christmas speech, which later inspires Bernard to leave Simon alone so everyone can enjoy the holidays together. Much later it's revealed that letting a wanted criminal escape doesn't look very good on your resume, Christmastime or not. The Elf Council blames Bernard for all the previous events and unofficially demotes him and his entire group for their negligence.
It should also be noted that this also plays into the Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors of the Pokemon series. Pikachu is an Electric Type with mainly Electric and Normal attacks, while Onix is a Rock and Ground type that resists Normal attacks and is immune to Electric type attacks.
In Fellowship Of Heroes, a would-be Joker-style supervillain decides to make his big debut by robbing a small town bank and rhapsodizing in front of his captives about the sensational slaughter he's about to commit. His choice of location could have been better, as it's the second town in America to pass a mandatory firearms ownership bill... and his mooks didn't think to frisk the hostages for weapons. He dies with an epic look of surprise on his face.
In another example, a criminal escapes from military prison, steals a suit of power loading armor, welds some weaponry to it, and tries to start a crime spree. The protagonist proceeds to lecture him on the (very real) reasons that the armed forces aren't too keen on using big mecha style body armor, even as he rips it off him piece by piece.
The Prolecto series, at Episode Two and later, falls into this, and at first balances hilarity with reality, but moves towards non-humorous reality later on. For instance, at the end of the first one, they decide to start converting everyone! At the beginning of the second one... They're in prison for, amongst other things, public nudity!
The Salvation War runs on this. One of the core themes is that Biblical depictions of the powers of angels and demons, quite simply, are not all that impressive compared to modern weapons. Sure, a demon may be nine feet tall, run thirty KPH without getting tired, regenerate from most injuries in a few hours or days, can rip through human beings like tissue paper, and throw lightning bolts, but all of that is terribly useless when the demon's most advanced weapon is a pitchfork and the humans are sitting twenty kilometers away launching missiles and firing artillery that rips through demonic flesh as easily as it does human.
Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog: Near the beginning of Act II, Dr. Horrible gloats about his unstoppable plan to commit a heist using his Freeze Ray. Cue Gilligan Cut and a bruised Dr. Horrible explaining how he needs to be careful about what he says on his blog because both Captain Hammer and the LAPD watch it.
The entire premise of the Smosh videos, "If X Were Real".
We're Alive: Angel attempts to use a broken zip line to repel down from the roof of the collapsing Tower, barehanded. The result is he tears up his hands, lands next to the remains of a tanker truck filled with burning diesel fuel, and is left barely clinging to life but slowly dying from his injuries. It's made very clear his injuries would have killed him if Scratch hadn't given him a terminal case of lead poisoning first.
Sonny Gets Mad Scienced; a Genre Savvy geek gets kidnapped by a mad scientist for use in horrible experiments that have killed — or worse — every one of his predecessors. He's going to use his trope knowledge to break free and save the day before the experiment, right? ...Right?
In this Dorkly video, Rusty challenges some Team Rocket goons to a fight. Team Rocket just shoots Rusty's pokemon.
Ensues in Worm when a member of the ABB tries to intimidate and fight Skitter, who controls a giant swarm of insects, with a sword.
Done with incredible effect and enormous mood whiplash in the original Aeon Flux pilot. It starts off with Aeon running around shooting faceless goons, making daring escapes, and infiltrating a base to heroic music... then switches to said faceless goons dying in pools of blood and corpses as Aeon runs by shooting at random. Faceless goons proceed to gain faces and tragic deaths, and we're left realizing that we assumed Aeon was the hero for no other reason than the tropes and the music.
And it doesn't stop there, either.
Family Guy loves doing this and it is almost like the writers flip a coin to determine if a specific action will play out according to cartoon logic or will generate realistic effects. It's actually a good way to keep the audience guessing as they can never assume how things will play out based on genre conventions. Examples include:
When Peter "goes to" the Peter-Copter and the Hinden-Peter he promptly crashes them into Joe's house causing substantial damage.
When Joe manages to tackle the robbery suspect and severs his spine in the process Peter jokes about the man's resulting paralysis, but Joe informs him that the man died.
Also, when Joe went after the real guy who crippled him, he kneecaps him in an ironic punishment. After thanking his friends for believing in him, Joe turns around, and realizes the guy bled out, as he apparently shot him in the artery. They quietly push his body downstream.
When pretending to be the The A-Team, Peter and friends expect the workers demolishing the park to flee in panic, crashing their vehicles in the process and then slinking off in shame, defeated. The foreman educates them how even if they weren't killed outright by the reckless shooting or vehicle crash, even a minor fender bender can result in serious neck injury and partial numbness.
Stewie forgets about his babysitter's boyfriend whom he locks in the trunk of Brian's car. When he remembers after 3 weeks it is clear that the person has died.
There's also the clown that Peter has kept in the ceiling somewhere in order to pop up when Lois admitted Peter was right. Unfortunately, this hasn't happened for years. So when it finally does, all Peter gets is a skeleton in a colorful wig.
Which is a throwback to an earlier gag involving Peter having bought Meg a pony in preparation for his screwing up.
Peter: Oh... oh right, ponies like food, don't they?
In one episode, the family wins the lottery, and one of Peter's decisions is to buy a giant room full of gold coins and dive into ita laScrooge McDuck.
(cue the room, Peter dives into the coins, only to bloodily hit them hard)
Peter: Aaahhh!! It's not a liquid! It's a great many pieces of solid matter, that form a hard floor-like surface! Ahhh!!
In a What If? mini-episode, the first Viewer Mail special, the family is exposed to toxic waste, get superpowers, and start oppressing the town. Mayor West decides someone needs to stop them, finds some toxic waste, and rolls around in it. He gets lymphoma. This does, however, make the Griffins realize they're being dicks, and they vow to stop. And West says the doctors told him he'll be fine.
Mighty Max: In one episode, a barbarian has recently rampaged through a village, killing everyone. Max the Kid Hero goes inside a house to check the carnage and immediately hops out, vomiting. He's seen gore all the time on television, but realizes it didn't prepare him for this.
GI Joe Resolute had this, when Storm Shadow asks why his uncle/sensei won't teach him his famed Seventh Step, which is instant death for anyone it hits. His uncle says he is not ready, and Storm Shadow pulls off his mask dramatically, symbolically divesting himself of his attachment to the dojo. It's actually a signal for an assassin to snipe his uncle, so Shadow can take over the dojo. When he sees the assassin, Snake Eyes runs forward, and the assassin shoots him first. The sensei turns around, puzzled, and since he's standing still, it's much easier for the killer to hit him. Oh, and it the miniseries was written by—wait for it—Warren Ellis.
Beast Wars had a scene seemingly parodying the one from Raiders of the Lost Ark: Optimus is going all over the place showing off his sword moves, and Megatron just shoots him.
This Megatron is a Combat Pragmatist. He'll do anything if it means his goals are met. When his plan to simply kill off the proto-humans fails and he later finds the Decepticon battleship Nemesis, the first thing he does with it is try to blow all proto-humans off the face of the Earth.
Even when Dinobot II (who has regained the originals' memories) tries to tell him that it's an overkill to use giant ship-to-ship lasers to kill a primitive tribe of organics, Megatron pretends to consider it for a second, and then pushes the button anyway.
Reality ensues again when after spending half the episode shooting anything that moves, Megatron loses everything when he doesn't have the energy for a shot when he actually needs it.
Played for laughs in Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go when the Sun Riders (who at this point are evil) have taken over the Super Robot and forced the Hyperforce to flee. Chiro suggests that they instead use the Sun Riders' old fighting mecha and they head to where they've been told it's stored... only to find out that it is only 20 feet tall (compared to the Super Robot skyscraper) and is in disrepair, at which point the following exchange takes place:
Chiro: * Slams his fists into the ground* That's IT! I give up!
If you don't understand how this is Reality Ensues, it's because after being faced with all the odds, Chiro, the main protagonist in the show, is actually ready to give up, whereas normally in this sort of show they would immediately start looking for another way.
Either that or the fact that the TV superheroes didn't actually use a Humongous Mecha while on set.
Perhaps even better was his fight against Sandman and Rhino , where Spidey uses Rhino's weight against him rather than fighting him directly (the relevant part is at 1:52). Also a Moment Of Awesomeand a Funny Moment at the same time.
Speaking of the Rhino, Peter attempted to use the old cartoon cliche of knocking over a shelf and tripping him with the contents. Rhino just steps on them.
After two episodes of turmoil, Aang finally unleashes his Avatar State. The assaulted army stops, watching in awe as the Avatar prepares to unleash his spiritual wrath upon them- and then gets shot down immediately. With Azula, transformation isNOTa free action.
The first episode of The Legend of Korra has the title character stopping some thugs from getting tribute money, only to be immediately arrested for property damaged she caused.
A rather jarring example on The Powerpuff Girls: after moving into the gritty, more realistic Citiesville, the girls' attempts to fit in are all met with either laughter or cold dismissal. The final straw was when the mayor of Citiesville called them in after they had stopped some bank robbers - not to congratulate the girls, but for blowing up a bridge to stop their getaway:
Mayor: NO! Do you realize the two crooks that you caught stole approximately four hundred dollars? Do you realize that you did over three MILLION dollars in property damage to that bridge?!IT'S NOT REPLACEABLE!
An even better (worse?) example was when Rainbow the Clown suffered an accident that turned him into the sound-and-color-hating "Mr. Mime." He almost succeeds in turning Townsville into a silent, monochromatic wasteland, but the girls set everything right with The Power of Rock. Rainbow's mind is freed from the evil and he thanks the girls for saving him - at which point they beat the tar out of him and have him carted off to jail, because... well... he broke the law.
Sym-Bionic Titan fights the first Monster of the Week in the city and causes major damage. For the rest of the series, the city is shown being rebuilt, while the team tries to draw away future monsters out to the country where they're less likely to do harm.
In Gargoyles, the eponymous heroes always have to explain to their human allies that they can't actually fly; they can only glide, meaning there are often situations where their wings are of no use, like falling into pits and having to climb out.
On The Simpsons in the episode "The Homer They Fall", Homer Simpson has a condition which renders him largely impervious to the effects of head trauma, which he uses to gain success in amateur boxing by tiring his opponents out. He winds up getting set up in a fight with an expy of Mike Tyson, who pummels him so hard that he forgets where he parked his car.
Another example would be when Lisa befriended a beached whale, and Homer came to the rescue with helicopters to save it...But it turned out that it was just Lisa's Hope Spot, and the whale died like many beached whales do.
And in "Bart Vs. Australia" where Homer tries to get in a kangaroo's pouch only to realize it's not a pocket, and actually full of mucus.
In "The PTA Disbands", a tour guide in Fort Springfield is giving a lecture on a "fully restored and in ready to fire condition" Civil War cannon aimed directly at the base of a manned lookout tower. She mentions that these cannons are "very sensitive and that the "slightest jolt" can set them off as the Springfield Elementary bus starts swerving towards the cannon. The bus hits it and...one of the cannon's wheels falls off.
Tour Guide: Of course for safety reasons, we don't keep the cannon loaded. That's just common sense.
When Homer builds a church in an island, he believed in the Flintstones by using a pelican as a cement mixer, as he gives it a pat, the bird just falls on the ground motionless.
"The Boys of Bummer" has the overused plot of the town mocking and attacking Bart over losing a ball game. The sad twist is that Bart attempts suicide as a result.
Whenever a character is exposed to explosions or gunfire, they suffer temporary deafness, sometimes accompanied by a loud ringing noise. It's happened to Archer so many times he mentions that he thinks he's developing tinnitus.
When Ray gets knocked out via a Tap on the Head, he has to see a neurologist.
Barry had his leg broken so many times by Archer that his femur is held together by metal pins. Until he gets rebuilt as a cyborg.
Traintop battles are noted to be noisy, filled with 100 mph winds, and *spit* bugs getting in your mouth constantly. Archer doesn't know why people like them too much.
Ray, fresh from having his legs roboticized, tries to lift a jeep in order to get it out of a ditch, believing that his cyborg Super Strength will get it out. He winds up critically injuring himself because while his legs are augmented, his spine isn't.
In Frisky Dingo, Killface and Xander run against each other for presidency for most of the second season before it's pointed out that neither of them are eligible, as Killface wasn't born in the US and Xander is under 35.
An episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force parodied the superhero genre, and had Master Shake expose himself to radioactive waste in order to give himself superpowers. The plan fails, and instead he just gets very sick. Throughout the episode, you can see his condition gradually worsening.
In Dan Vs "The Parents", Dan engages in an epic fight with the hippies to save the kid he bonded with from being adopted by them. Then the adoption agency lady arrives with a cop and tells him that his background check disqualifies him from adopting the kid. Dan lets the kid go back to the hippies, but not before making him promise to steal from them at every possible opportunity.
Sadistic reality show host Chris McLean from the Total Drama series pulls off a lot of insanely dangerous stunts with no repercussions, since nobody is ever permanently harmed (well, maybe a few). He takes it to a new level in Revenge of the Island, though, dumping tons of biohazardous waste on the island, and bragging about it—on live TV, remember. At the end of the season, authorities wait until the contestants are safe, then arrest him for creating a hazardous environment.
This is the premise of the show Dragons Riders Of Berk, Sequel Series to the film How to Train Your Dragon, as the vikings learn how to live with big, fire-breathing creatures with no sense of the boundaries they should respect. Dealing with problems caused by the new statu quo is at the center of a number of plots in the first part of the series.
ThisRobot Chicken sketch, when G.I. Joe is deployed to Afghanistan during the War On Terror, and they all get massacred when they use their cartoonish tactics on the Taliban. This leaves Duke wondering aloud who will protect the world from Cobra. After that, Seal Team Six goes to Cobra's command and riddles them full of bullets.
Robot Chicken does this regularly. Every episode has at least one instance of a cartoon's characters coming face to face with a problem that would be faced by ordinary people. And having no idea of what to do.
In one sketch, a woman wants her husband to ravish her likeCaptain Jack Sparrow...and he proceeds to (in his smarmiest Jack Sparrow voice) explain the actual hazards of being a seafaring pirate in the time of the Black Pearl (such as syphilis). Needless to say, the wife finds herself extremely turned off soon after.
Nurse Bendy: We all need people who aren't mean to me, or that act like they only care about doing... dirty, awful things to you. We need family because they care that I'm a real person who has thoughts of sadness, sometimes, along with happy thoughts or... scared, or aloneness thoughts.
Adventure Time has the Ice King, who is under a curse that acts as a thinly veiled Alzheimer's metaphor. Despite the show being exactly the kind of setting where The Power of Love and The Power of Friendship should prevail in that situation, and recover his mind... it doesn't. Just like with real Alzheimer's patients, no amount of reminders or familial caring can make him recognize his loved ones or remember the person he was, and it only ever ends with the loved ones in tears and onlookers either baffled or starting to cry themselves.
Occurs frequently on The Venture Brothers, in keeping with the show's Deconstruction of Jet-Age Boy Adventurer stories. One particular example is in the episode "Ice Station Impossible," where Doctor Impossible flies Doctor Venture out onto the tundra to kill him. Impossible is actually gloating and telling Venture exactly what he's planning to do along the way, but since they're in an Expy of the Fantasticar, complete with open cockpits, Rusty can't hear a damned thing due to the ambient wind noise.
In "Tag Sale, You're It!", one of the devices Rusty is selling in the titular sale is a prototype Laser Blade. As he explains, he canned the project because the Army has no use for melee weapons and toy companies aren't interested in something that costs over 2 million in parts alone. Not to mention that it's completely useless as an actual weapon: the blade is a beam of light. It doesn't behave like a solid object, as #24 discovers when he attempts to fight Brock Sampson with it.
Stroker And Hoop: Many examples. One time, the heroes hide from the suspect on the slanted ceiling, he walks in, sits at his desk, and calls for security to get them out of his office, also Hoop didn't close his phanny pack and his gun just fell on the guy's desk.
A Bad Boss keeps killing his ninja mooks for random failures, only to find that he killed all of them by the time the heroes showed up.
Hoop and his ninja girlfriend fight, jumping high like the wire-work in Wuxia films, and fighting on the vertical face of a building, right up until Stroker just shoots her in the back from the ground.
Odd for a show about magical talking ponies but My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic does this to send its message of the day sometimes. Best shown in the first season finale where a day at the dance in the royal gala goes south for everyone. The gala turns out to be much less easygoing than the hard partying Pinkie thought, the guests are upper crust and unaccustomed to Applejack's food, the celebrities Rainbow Dash and Twilight wanted to hang out with are more busy with everyone else, the royal prince Rarity wanted to impress just looks down on her and everyone else, and the animals at royal zoo turn out to have no experience dealing with outsiders, even one as non-offensive as Fluttershy, which hilariously turns her Love Hungry.
On Clone High, Skunkie-Poo's acts of violence against Scudworth using such cartoon staples as dynamite and an anvil, while non-fatal, cause otherwise serious and extremely painful injuries.
In a short of Wile E Coyote And The Roadrunner, the coyote dresses in a Super-Costume and then jumps off a cliff expecting to fly like Superman, only to plummet to the ground.