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.
Sprite's 'Sun Fizz' ad, in which a stereotypical juice ad plays out with mother and children getting excited over Sun Fizz. A cartoon Sun Fizz mascot jumps out of the carton and rattles off his part of the spiel... prompting the entire family to run screaming in terror from the cartoon sun that should not be. Who gives chase.
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.
For that matter, the rank-and-file thugs of the series attempting to take on Special Forces-quality groups like Hotel Russia or Gray Fox usually ends badly for them. Even when Roberta, who has been seen effortlessly wiping out huge groups of Roanapur's criminal element, takes on the Gray Fox unit, she manages to kill most of them but very nearly dies in the process, losing an eye and a couple of limbs.
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 did not think that Falling into the Cockpit of a huge, dangerous war machine was a bad idea. Needless to say, it was. He trashed half the city because he kept punching random buttons while he tried to figure out how to make it work. Said trashing included playing baseball with cars -with the driver inside-, and smashing a school to pieces. When Sayaka showed up, Kouji began to cry out of relief.
The anime has Kouji come out a bit better, but not much. He nearly gets his head cut off by the cockpit glass shield, blew up his grandfather's manor and remodeled part of the landscape, and almost stomped his little brother Shiro flat. And this was after Shiro had warned Kouji not to try anything.
No Endor Holocaust gets deconstructed several times. It turns out that, when two Humongous Mecha duel in a city, there's a lot of damage. Buildings crumble down and catch fire, lots of people die, and the survivors blame the heroes for most of the destruction.
Kouji and Sayaka were a Battle Couple whose Belligerent Sexual Tension made them 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 fight alongside him.
In episode 48 of the anime, Boss cajoles/threatens Professor Yumi's assistants into building him a giant robot made with a box of scraps. He wanted a mecha that 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, takes ages to stand up if it falls over, and lacks anything remotely useful for a weapon. The scene includes Boss asking for all Mazinger's weapons, one after another, and Morimori explaining every time that they would not work and Mazinger can only get away with it because it is powered by Phlebotinum and Made of Indestructium (that Boss' robot is not). When he asks for a Rocket Punch, Morimori explains that anything like what Boss wants would shatter on impact. Because, you know, it's a missile.
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 along with the protagonist by nearby police officers, who are already on high alert because there's a killer on the loose.
One of the main reasons Minato Namikaze was so deadly; 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 in the middle of a battle. Tobi doesn't even let her finish her sentence.
A relatively subtle example shows up with Sakura and Naruto's contrasting shortcomings early on. Sakura gets good grades in class, and is the only one able to actually answer the seemingly impossible questions in the first stage of the Chunin Exam, and ends up looking down on Naruto, last in his grade. But in the Forest of Death, Sakura's lesser combat ability proves a problem when Naruto and Sasuke are incapacitated. Similarly, while Naruto's very good at fighting despite being Book Dumb, some of the things he failed to learn in the academy come back to haunt him in his training; he regrets not paying more attention in class when trying to learn how to focus his chakra for his Rasengan training.
Early in the series, Naruto is poisoned in battle. The poison is spreading slowly from his hand and Sakura surmises that the best course to take would be to use a surgical incision to drain the poisoned blood. Since the team would have to go back to the village and abandon their mission to do that properly Naruto violently stabshishand with a kunai to quickly drain the blood (and also as a dramtic gesture in a vow to never again be paralyzed with fear like he was during the fight)... and than goes into a panic attack when Kakashi points out that he's probably gonna bleed to death from a wound like that. Fortunately the tailed beast within him easily healed the wound.
Post-Pain Arc, Naruto has been running himself ragged with him unable to talk to his adopted "grandmother" Tsunade due to her coma in the ensuing invasion. He learns Sasuke has become a criminal and attacked a fellow Jinchuriki for Akatsuki. Then when he's told there will be War on top of everything... he can't take it anymore and passes out. A realistic depiction of a Determinator when pushed to the limit.
What killed (or crippled him for the rest of his life) the legendary Madara Uchiha during his battle with Hashirama? An epic ninjutsu clash? Nope... a stab through the back.
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 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.
It 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) ends 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.
The Demon World Tournament subverts the usual formula. The main characters and villains aren't placed on opposite sides of the bracket (in stark contrast to this happening with Yusuke and Rando in Genkai's tournament, and Team Urameshi and Team Toguro in the Dark Tournament) and end up facing each other in the quarter finals. The main villain defeats the main character, but expends so much energy doing so that he loses to some no-name in the next round, allowing a minor character to come from behind to take the win.
In a minor part of the Dark Tournament arc, 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.
In the first episode, Kenshin dodges Kaoru's attack and lands on some wooden crates that break apart when he lands because crates aren't built to hold a person jumping on them.
Kaoru fights Gohei, who's several times her size and using a katana, with a bokken. She's quickly disarmed and nearly killed. Kenshin lampshades this.
Kenshin: It's rather reckless to use a wooden sword against a real one.
Sanosuke's Zanboto is so ridiculously big and heavy that Sanosuke can only swing it in two, easy to predict ways. Its size also makes it impossible to maintain its edge, so it has become dull.
In an early arc, a group of elite warriors are done in by a gatling gun.
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 and potentially deadly consequence of anhidrosis.
Kenshin's smaller build means that, once he learns the Hiten Mitsurugi 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.
In Loveless, the Zeroes are a series of Artificial Humanswithout pain receptors with the idea that this would make them unstoppable in a fight. Soubi figures out how to exploit this by lowering the temperature of the area they're fighting in until the two develop dangerous hypothermia with no way for their bodies to counteract it.
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.
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.
Toward the end, once Mashiro and Azuki's relationship comes to light, very few people are happy to hear it, there is a large In-UniverseInternet Backdraft, and this makes it more difficult for Azuki to get the lead role, since people think Mashiro might be favoring her.
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.
An 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.
Mobile Suit 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.
The show 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 title mecha with Ganymede, the biggest 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 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) 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.
Eren is a huge smack in the face for the standard Shonen hero tropes. Full of Hot-Blooded rhetoric and a passion for vengeance, he rushes headlong into action without any consideration for the abilities of himself, his allies or his enemies, and constantly puts himself and others at risk.
Just because mankind is facing extinction doesn't mean it will magically forget all its interpersonal and political issues and become fearless heroes. Lampshaded by Eren, of all people, who remarks that before the Titans appeared humans wrote a lot of stories about uniting in the face of a greater enemy, and he found them ridiculous.
Sailor Moon: A note to Usagi Tsukino: when you're sentenced to Standing in the Hall as much as you're implied to have been, your grades will suffer. Didn't Haruna Sakurada point that out to you that time you got a 30 on your test?
Cardcaptor Sakura: Meiling is strong enough to smash some park penguins with her fists, but it left her hands terribly injured doing so.
The first episode of Servant × Service ends with Lucy chasing Hasebe around the office after getting tired of his inappropriate remarks. The Stinger then shows them being lectured by a supervisor about how violence in the workplace will not be tolerated.
In Bokurano, similar to other deconstructions of Humongous Mecha above, the heroes cause a large amount of collateral damage in their fights (thousands of people die almost every time), and end up getting blamed for it, to the point at which some people try to kill them, and essentially succeed on Machi in the manga. It's also shown as a less than good idea to give a giant mecha that is more powerful than any Earth military technology to twelve year olds, some of whom are unstable or have ulterior motives, especially when they know they're going to die after they pilot. To make matters worse, according to Koyemshi in the manga, the main characters' group actually turned out relatively well compared to the one he and Kokopelli were in.
Two recurring villains in the final arc of The Daughter of Twenty Faces are a pair of Creepy TwinSuper Soldiers who Feel No Pain. During the penultimate episode, Kozomi and Ken manage to defeat them by tricking them into repeatedly pummeling steel support structures, which eventually causes severe joint and muscle damage. Nozomi notes that the inability to feel pain meant the twins were unable to realize they were destroying their bodies until it was too late.
In an early episode of Code Geass, Lelouch calls for the support of a group of terrorists/freedom fighters to fight back against Britannia. His first time trying that, against an inept commander, it worked well. The second time was against an enemy that actually knew what they were doing. Sure enough, Lelouch's untrained and undisciplined allies lost their heads and tried to surrender at the first sign of trouble.
In one memorable chapter of Tokyo ESP, because Rinka never hid her true identity her house gets burned down by a criminal and several terrorists invade her school and give her a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to the point that she actually died for a few minutes.
This trope could be called "The Kick-Ass Principle". 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.
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.
In the same issue it even deconstructs the concept of a Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits by showing how badly a group of people, inexperienced at superheroing, with the exception of one, performs during their first outing as superheroes.
Early, 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.
Similarly, the villain in Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers event. Time-travelling jellyfish-totem Gothic Queen versus runaway car. And it rocked.
During Warren Ellis' Ultimate Fantastic Four run, the team traveled to Denmark to capture Doctor Doom and turn him over to the U.S. military. The story ended with the Danish military not only protecting Doom, but then forcibly ejecting both the Fantastic Four and the American soldiers from their country. Turns out foreign governments aren't too keen on Americans stomping around their borders and assaulting their citizens without any real legal basis.
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.
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.
Also in Back in Black storyline, once Peter learns that the Kingpin was the one who hired the assassin that shot his aunt, he goes straight to the prision where the Kingpin was, but the Kingpin already expected that and is prepared to challenge Spider-Man in combat. While the Kingpin has faced Spider-Man before and often battled him to a draw, the problem is that Spidey always hold back in fear of killing him, but this time, hedoesn't! The result: Kingpin is quicklyand badly beaten. As it turned out, no matter how skilled hand-to-hand combatant or how strong Kingpin is, challenging someone who is superhumanly strong and agile, has experience in fighting far stronger opponents and is reallymad at you can't possibly end well.
Spider-Man was built on a deconstruction of superhero tropes. Because of his superhero activity, Peter Parker has a hard time keeping a regular job or staying current at school, and constantly is hurting for money as a result. Even sales of his photos to the Daily Bugle are subject to the needs of the paper. Peter also has to deal with the emotional stress of being the Un Favorite in his everyday life and (thanks to J. Jonah Jameson'ssmear campaign against Spider-Man) as a superhero, as well as caring for his elderly Aunt May (who is vulnerable both because she is old and sickly, and because she is Peter's—and therefore Spider-Man's—closest emotional tie).
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.
The Ax-Crazytitle 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.
When he reveals his Secret Identity to his Love Interest, instead of being awestruck by his awesomeness she's freaked out that he deceived her like that and wants nothing more to do with him.
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.
The first Nite Owl was in fact a police officer during his day job, so he at least was properly trained and had official authority if he chose to use it. He's also the Only Sane Man among either generation of superheroes.
In the latter's autobiography, he casually mentions that once the "costumed hero" phase hit its peak, most costumed villains simply gave up entirely or became regular criminals because honestly what's the point?
Similarly, 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.
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.
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. (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 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.
During the Batman: Hush storyline, at the start of the story Batman's rope for his grappling gun is cut causing him to fall towards the ground. He manages to grab onto a nearby statue... except that just causes his arm to snap like a twig due to the inertia of the fall. Than the old, worn-out statue breaks under Batman's added weight and Batman plummets down into the alley below. He breaks his fall somewhat but still ends up fracturing or breaking half the bones in his body. His injuries from a fall that people regularly walk away from in comics result in him nearly dying.
In an issue of Superboy from the New 52, Superboy offers to fly a woman home. Shown from Superboy's perspective, it seems to be a normal trip, but when they arrive, the woman throws up and is extremely upset. Superboy then realizes that he flew at super speed without any thought to the fact that people aren't invulnerable or used to such things.
The final run of PunisherMAX shows us exactly what kind of a toll a 30+ year war on the criminal underworld can have on your mind and body. It makes you old, slow, arthritic, unable to shrug off injuries that would barely phase you years before, and that much more prone to slipping up. And the more you slip up, the less intimidating you are to the criminal underworld you hunt.
In an earlier arc, The Slavers, The Punisher decides to attack a group of Former Bosnian soldiers-turned sex-slaver. A huge deal is made in earlier stories about how Castle's success rate owes mainly to his opponents being street hoods and armed thugs who're only good at intimidating people...but not this time. Castle quickly realizes his mistake when the men he's firing on quickly and methodically get under cover and start firing back, and is quickly forced to flee for his life. Turns out it doesn't matter how much of a badass you are: when you're facing combat-hardened soldiers, twenty to one are really, really bad odds.
In Forever Evil issue 1, Ultraman pushes the moon into the sun to create a solar eclipse. In Black Manta's Villain's Month issue, Ultraman's act causes tides to go wild; flooding coastal areas. This includes demolishing the graveyard where Black Manta's father is buried and he's not happy about that.
The Superior Foes Of Spider-Man shows that if you're The Load, the group or organization you work with simply isn't going to keep you around, no matter how much they like you. Poor Boomerang learns this the hard way from the rest of the Sinister Six when they kick him out of the group despite him being the team founder.
Superman by his very nature avoids most of these tropes, but his official authority is often an open question. The Man of Steel averts this by having the mayor of Metropolis (as fallout from a challenge to his authority by Lex Luthor) commission Superman directly as a 'special deputy' which at least gives Superman jurisdiction within Metropolis city limits.
In Spider-Man's "Death of Jean De Wolff" story, Spider-Man gives the Sin-Eater a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. The next time the Sin-Eater appears, he's a stuttering, limping wreck as a result of the severe injuries he received.
One 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 AURaised 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."
The Joker seemed satisfied, "NOW!" he clapped his hands together. "Where's ole little Griphook?" The tiny goblin stepped forward reluctantly, not pleased at all that "Harry" had remembered him.
The Boy Who Died shows the consequences of making little Harry Potter a famous figure, icon of the Light, and the enemy of dark wizards everywhere before he even knows how to talk let alone protect himself.
You're on my side? shows the logical conclusion of leaving little Harry Potter with so-called guardians who hate him and don't care if he lives or dies.
If Thems The Rules shows regardless of Harry raising Tom Riddle in better circumstances and giving him an ideal childhood, Tom Riddle is still a sociopath.
In Lord of Caer Azkaban Harry sends in his elite team of soldiers to take out Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Harry doesn't participate in the battle himself because he knows that, as an untrained student, he'll just get in their way.
In Harry Potter: Junior Inquisitor, when Amelia Bones finds one of her aurors (Tonks) sneaking into a restricted area on Dumbledore's orders, she fires Tonks on the spot. "Leader of the Light" or not, aurors aren't allowed to take orders from anyone outside the chain of command.
From the same story, Harry later learns that his Firebolt was destroyed beyond repair while being checked for curses and the professors covered it up by buying a new one with his money. It's noted by Susan and Amelia Bones that it'd take longer for the manufacturer to repair it or build a new one than the amount of time the teacher's allegedly took to fully strip it down, check it for curses, and rebuild it.
Wish Carefully illustrates the logical consequences of the Death Eaters winning the war: it turns that the Light lost to them on purpose, because they exiled all Light supporters and muggleborn they have no economy or people to lord over and Dark wizards tend to be the very bottom or very top of society. Their society is slowly dying off due to frequent inbreeding and social mores preventing large families.
A Necessary Gift shows that even if you defeat the Big Bad that doesn't mean everything gets magically better or his followers (and the prejudiced ideology he espoused that allowed him to gain power in the first place) will go away. In fact things get worse because the only one who could control the psychos is no longer around...
In Changes Dumbeldore's excuse of "I know what's best" doesn't cut it in a court of law and when his history of child neglect comes to light he is stripped from his position as a school headmaster.
Many Harry Potter stories have Hermione and/or Harry realize they're stuck in the magical world when they graduate Hogwarts unless they get several years of tutoring. Learning magic is great and all, but they have no muggle education past primary school.
In 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 ridiculous.
As demonstrated in Spira Mirabilis Light's desk trap involving an electric current that would ignite a plastic bag of gasoline is not a good idea and the way he has it set up it would blow up even quicker in real life. (By quicker we mean immediately. Gasoline melts plastic).
In Ragnarok when L sends Mello and Matt to spy on Light. Since they are in the middle of Tokyo, Light notices the blonde kid spying on him almost immediately.
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.
Love Hina: Like It Could Have Been loves this trope. When the girls angrily declare that they'd never let a man be their manager, Keitaro leaves, having compromised with his parents (and thus not being forced to live at the Hinata Sou). Later Kitsune is told to either pay her rent by the end of the month or find a new place to live, and both Motoko and Naru are smart enough to rein in their hatred of men so carpenters can fix the damage Su's inventions have caused.
Kaolla Su in For His Own Sake decides to "cheer up" the guests at an inn by chasing them with exploding Mecha-tamas. Dozens are injured, the inn is nearly destroyed, and Kaolla is arrested as a terrorist.
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.
The Equestrian Civil Service Series is all about this. In a realm of gods, monsters, heroes, epic adventures (and Royal Brats), there still needs to be somepony to run things behind the scenes, leaving the eternally Beleaguered Bureaucrats to deal with everything from imminent disaster to the fallout of a visiting celebrity to a castle covered in custard.
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.
After years of dealing with Sakura (who'd 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 tells him "No. Sakura just had issues. We are not going to beat you for something as stupid that."
In The Scorned Son, the Wave mission is a failure because teamwork or not, three ninja barely out of the academy don't really have a chance against a Jounin that's trying to kill them for real. The end result: Kakashi is dead and Kiba nearly kills himself keeping Sakura and Naruto alive long enough to find help.
Naruto:Asunder shows that Offscreen Inertia is fully in play when Naruto and Hinata leave the village for training. They come back a week later and Konoha is in ruins courtesy of the Akatsuki.
Tsunade snaps at Jiraiya saying that since Naruto came back (from the 3 year training trip), he's been in fights with S-class nin after S-class nin. Jiraiya says it will make him stronger. Tsunade says he's more likely to die. Guess who was right.
In Like No One Ever Was, one of Pikachu's Thunderbolts ends up getting Ash hospitalized and possibly permanently ending his trainer career with Ash suffering from major internal damage and brain injuries. Apparently even before that faithful Thunderbolt, Pikachu's friendly shocking of Ash has slowly deteriorated his muscles, meaning his journey would have been coming to an end anyways. Pikachu is horrified when he learns of this.
In 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 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 a threat against benders.
In Perfection Is Overrated, a handgun is significantly less powerful than most of the Himes' Elements or Childs, but it still has enough power to kill someone. Shizune, whose special ability made those of the Himes useless finds this out the hard way.
In 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. Thankfully, she's also a Reasonable Authority Figure, and decides on a punishment that forces Shizuru to humble herself and approach Natsuki as herself, rather than her persona as top Coral.
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.
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 Here be Dragons the protagonist's mostly civilian crew tries to play Big Damn Heroes against an enemy powerful enough to capture two Jedi... and swiftly get their arses kicked, needing The Cavalry to save them in turn.
No Chance For Fate is built on this trope. Reality ensues hard on the common tropes of the Fuku Fic as well as on the source material of both series. Too many to list here. However, despite or maybe because of this, the story reads well.
In Renegade ReinterpretationsHumans do NOT magically Advance Swiftly. As such, when the Batarians come visiting, they get Curb Stomped over and over again and only Zerg Rushing enables them to desperately throw lives for time in the hope of being able to turn the tide someday. After they do so, the cultural scars of the generations-long war means that mankind does not magically become receptive to further alien contact.
Boys und Senshado has "simunitions" for the tanks in tankery, as the author believes tankery is otherwise dangerous enough. Despite this, Miho ends up being seriously hurt when she accidentally gets hit in the chest by a shell, and would have lost her legs if the tank had accidentally rolled over her.
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.
The second act of Imperfect Metamorphosis begins with (almost all of) the most powerful residents of Gensokyo meeting in order to fight a powerful new threat together, a common Fandom Specific Plot for Touhou fics. Turns out that a bunch of distrustful, violent megalomaniacs don't make the best alliances, and a combination of differing priorities, politics, and centuries-old grudges cause the union to fall apart before it began, the various factions and sub-factions either leaving or starting their own schemes.
Yukari assembles a dysfunctionalRagtag Bunch of Misfits, uniting them against a powerful enemy with massive odds stacked against them. They lose, horribly. Turns out going against a freaking Outer God was not her wisest course of action.
River faces 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 Nineteen Eighty Three 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.
In the Teen Titans fic Consequence of Misunderstandings, Starfire attacks Raven (who left the team five years prior) while the latter is on a date. Afterwards, not only does the Titans' reputation take a major blow, but the entire situation becomes an interstellar incident since Starfire is Empress of Tamaran. Batman lectures them after hearing "all the details about that debacle from various media sources. And from the Department of Justice. And the State Department, the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, and the leaders of the Armed Forces." Furthermore, the fact Starfire ordered three battlecruisers into Sol's heliosphere without informing the Justice League or the Armed Forces is treated as an act of war. She's given twenty-four hours to get them out of the system or they'll be destroyed and she'll be deported from the planet and barred from ever returning.
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.
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.
Early on, when Carl hits the man who knocked over his mailbox in the head with his cane, the man is seriously injured and bleeding, and Carl gets into legal trouble.
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.
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.
Merida the skilled archer shoots at the bear Mor'du and hits him... to little or no effect. Annoying Arrows is a reality when the bow is light enough to be drawn by an average-sized teenage girl, however strong she may be, and the target is an unbelievably massive bear.
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.
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.
Quasimodo's attraction to Esmeralda 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 than attractive physical features the sad fact of the matter is that most people 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.
Frollo's death. Turns out standing on a very narrow perch while swinging a sword around does not do wonders for one's physical health, especially when you have already chipped that perch with a sword.
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.
In Monsters University, Mike and Sulley are both expelled from the school. But then they perform a feat the likes of which the school has never seen. The result? They still get expelled.
At first, Sulley impresses all the teachers with his natural scaring ability. But because he didn't spend any time studying, when he is properly evaluated, he finds that a single great roar can't account for every child.
In Looney Tunes: Back in Action, as the spy car is falling with our heroes inside, the car freezes just inches from the ground because it ran out of gas. Just as the scene starts to fade out, Kate mentions it doesn't work like that and the car suddenly smashes against the ground.
In Superman vs. the Elite, Manchester Black issued a referendum to all superheroes on Earth that, after he and his team kill Superman, they'll not hesitate to kill anyone who tries to bring them to "justice." Reality ensues when Black and the Elite are seemingly massacred by a morally-unrestrained Superman, who is effectively elevated to the status of a Physical God when he isn't devoting just as much effort to protecting the lives of others while trying to nonlethally neutralize his enemies.
In Justice League The Flashpoint Paradox — and the original Comic Book version, perhaps — Barry Allen's attempt to replicate the accident that turning him into The Flash on purpose instead ends up leaving him with third-degree burns across his entire body. Zigzagged in that the second time, it works.
A heartbreaking example in The Land Before Time: The Great Long-Neck Migration; No, Mr. Littlefoot's long lost father, your son is not going to instantly accept you and have a happy, loving reunion with you upon learning that you're his father. He's going to be hurt and upset that you were never there for him his entire life and that he never knew where you were or if you were even alive. Fortunately, this one is remedied pretty quickly.
This happens to poor Thorin. 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.
The point of Last Action Hero. The action hero character 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.
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.
The hero gets shot, and it's fatal enough that he could risk dying from it without proper medical attention. Then he goes back into his own reality, where gunshots that aren't instantly lethal are Only a Flesh Wound.
The first 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.
In the interim, it seems that the Royal Navy doesn't like it when you sacrifice your top-of-the-line warship to catch one pirate by recklessly pursuing him through a hurricane. And, when you resign your commission as a Commodore, unless you got some money stashed somewhere, you might have to hire your self out as a deck-hand, since no one's going to just give you a job right out.
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 it's 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...
This is in contrast to the Richie Rich comics where his mansion indeed has vaults stuffed with cash and valuables.
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 Attorney General (IE, the head guy at the top of all Law Enforcement in the country) had just let Swagger go since the Rifle used to frame him turned out to not be the rifle used, and as a result, he was a free man. The only people who even knew of the atrocities in Africa were all in the room, or with the Senator that had been orchestrating the whole mess. And yet, every one of them believed that Swagger would just return to his home and live out the rest of his life. WRONG. Swagger, a Marine Sniper, trained to gather intelligence and track people down, located them all when they were in one place, killed all of them and their guards effortlessly, blew the place to pieces, and made a forensically "clean" getaway. Clearly, none of them thought out the repercussions of shooting Swaggers dog. That said, the Attorney's "sadly we live in an imperfect world" speech to Swagger after he's forced to let the villains go to save Swagger is a little ambiguous, and can easily be read as a very heavy hint that the AG would actually quite like it if Swagger dished out some vigilante justice.
Also, the secrecy that protected them from prosecution also prevented them, implicitly, from nailing him for the dozens of mooks he killed. And it may mean that by the time anyone actually finds their little bungalow, the bodies will have been there long enough to make determining exact time of death impossible. Which would make it nigh-impossible to prosecute Swagger.
Indy's Establishing Character Moment in Raiders of the Lost Ark. A swordsman makes the crowd around himself and Indy part, displaying some impressive sword skills. Indy, not impressed, simply pulls out his gun and shoots the swordsman dead. (Bonus Real Life points for why Indy does this: Harrison Ford was supposed to fight the swordsman in an epic battle; however, Ford was sick and talked Spielberg into having him just shoot the swordsman instead. Ford's look of disdain reflects in-character as well as ending the frustration of setting up the original take.)
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 L.A. 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.
In The Godfather, there are no big gunfights, no epic Last Stands. A man caught unprepared by armed and ready ambushers indeed has no chance. For example, in Sonny Corleone's death, there is no Heroic Second Wind where he gets up and takes some of his attackers with him, no final speech, just getting shot and shot again until he's dead. Similarly, Authority Equals Asskicking is not in action; the four other Dons don't get any final speeches, any epic fight scenes, just simple assassinations. This even holds true in the video game adaptation; all except one, who barely has time to gasp, "I knew it would be you," before you blow him away.
Physically confronting a domestic abuser does not end the abuse, even if you're a Mafia don with the ability to make your sister's abuser truly suffer. Unless you order a hit on the guy at the end of the movie.
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...
In a scene that attracted the ire of some Moral Guardians from the same film, Rambo at one point gets his hands on a .50 caliber machine gun mounted on a jeep. He points it towards a man who is less than a foot in front of the barrel. Being that this is a machine gun capable of tearing apart concrete and unarmored cars, Ludicrous Gibs ensue, as opposed to the more typical but less realistic depiction of a couple of squibs and an exaggerated agony pose.
In First Blood, Rambo does not "go Rambo" with an M60 until the last few scenes of the film. For most of the film, he uses stealth and his surroundings to avoid or outmaneuver and neutralize the small town police officers, never going after them head-on. Later in the film, when Rambo is being pursued by the National Guard, he's still leagues above them in terms of experience, training and skill but they put him on the run through sheer numbers and superior firepower. He barely manages to avoid getting killed by the National Guard for those reasons, even though they are barely better trained or motivated than the policemen who were chasing him.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 on both occasions). He wanted to prepare her for the reality of being shot, but he used low impact rounds.
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 L.A. 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 Die Hard 2 - 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 Dirty Harry films were practically built with this trope. Harry is a Cowboy Cop who happens to be a total arsehole with almost no friends; he's legendary but pretty much a Broken Pedestal. One of the first film's most famous scenes involved him tracking down a man who managed to avoid getting sent to prison and belting the shit out of him. Not only was Harry promptly the subject of justifiable rage by his captain, but the criminal expressed a desire to sue.
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.
Just because 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.
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 it's 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 firepower 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 Stinger for the movie also shows something that we rarely get to see in anything superhero-y: the exhausted Avengers sitting around the ruins of a schwarma joint, wolfing down food in weary silence.
In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Falcon's costume has been redesigned to include a pair of goggles. Given the fact that he travels at incredible speeds while extremely high up in the air, he'd need some form of protection to avoid eye injuries or visual impairment.
Tony openly challenges the Mandarin on live TV with the actual address of his Malibu home. He actually forgets that he gave out his real address on TV and is caught off-guard when mercenaries show up to kill him when he has guests over.
The entire movie is basically Tony coping with the Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder he suffered at the end of The Avengers. Tony is the only member of the team who is both of rational mind and not a trained soldier (even Thor has regular combat experience and the Hulk was in a blind rage) and the very real thought of dying from either his life support failing in space and the subsequent thousand-foot drop from the portal mentally taxed him severely. It shows that the average, undisciplined civilian probably won't come out of a life-or-death situation completely unscathed.
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 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 elsewhere: 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. 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.
Matt trashes a 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.
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.
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".
When Bruce actually gains God's powers temporarily, the trope is played straight as part of delivering the film's aesop: pulling the Moon closer to Earth to make a more romantic scene results in widespread flooding and other natural disasters, and granting everyone's prayers to win the state lottery results in thousands of winners receiving less than ten dollars each, causing a riot over accusations that the lottery is rigged.
Despite being a parody of a Zombie Apocalypse, Shaun of the Dead shows how easily it can 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.
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 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 beings 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, 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.
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.
In the film adaptation of Rurouni Kenshin, Sanosuke's BFS falls squarely into Awesome but Impractical territory. It certainly looks cool enough, but the damn thing is so big and cumbersome that Kenshin easily evades each of Sanosuke's strokes with little effort.
The climatic battle in the Star Trek parody In the Pirkinning opens with the leader of the enemy fleet making an overly long, very melodramatic battle speech. The other officers (on both sides) ignore him and start the fight without him.
Turns out that when you're a cocky, inexperienced captain of a starship who keeps breaking the rules like Kirk, you eventually get removed from command.
The Enterprise ends up facing a warship, a fast battleship to be exact, that severely outclasses her. She doesn't defeat the Vengeance in combat, gets shot up pretty bad and is only saved because both Scotty and Spock pull a fast one on Marcus and Harrison.
During the space jump between the Enterprise and the Vengeance, Kirk's face mask takes multiple hits from tiny chunks of debris, cracking and nearly killing him.
Though Clark still uses his powers for good, those powers isolate him from other people until he becomes Superman. His neighbors don't assuage this.
Jonathan Kent knows Clark's potential to change the world for the better, but believes the world isn't ready for Clark to reveal himself just yet. (Unlike, say, versions where he has no qualms with the young Clark being Superboy.)
The US government treats Superman as a potential threat, but trust him enough to stop shooting at him after he proves himself an ally against the other Kryptonians.
When Clark first develops super hearing and heat vision, it's painful. Similarly, Zod and his henchmen don't have the luxury of years of experience adjusting to the enchanced senses offered by Earth's yellow sun that Superman has. Faora-Ul has to withdraw from her fight with Superman when one of his heavier hits tears a hole in her helmet and painfully exposes her to all her newfound super-senses at once.
When superhumans are about to fight, people don't cheer but duck for cover.
Quite a few fans and critics noted the excessive amount of Collateral Damage, which according to the writer, was completely intentional.
David S. Goyer: This is something that hadn’t been depicted in comic book films, is what it would be like if these powerful figures did clash. If the Hulk and Thor fought, people would probably die.
Lois, being a good reporter, fairly easily manages to track Clark down, and is never ignorant of his secret identity.
Bullets still bounce off Kryptonians, but heavier weapons stun them if they connect.
Superman enters into a no-win situation where he more-or-less has to break his no-killing code in order to save an innocent family.
Superman has to learn to leap before he can fly, and it's not the perfect flight present in most prior Superman adaptations.
Perry White is not immediately pleased when Lois Lane first brings him a story about Superman, saying that it could ruin her credibility as a Pulitzer-winning writer and could cause panic in the world. He is also less than pleased when Lois sells the story to a conspiracy theory blogger in order to get it out, and garnishes her wages in response.
It isn't elaborated too much upon, but Jonathan Kent expresses a few times that his existence will challenge religious beliefs. Clark at one point even asks if God was responsible for his powers.
X-Ray vision, far from being a source of cheap jokes about seeing through women's clothes or a simple mechanism, is practically nightmarish as the Kryptonians see people's internal organs operating and see their skull when looking at their faces.
The only time the name Superman is said, the soldier saying it gets a look as though it is an utterly ridiculous name to call someone.
A brief shot in the prologue shows heavy equipment in Manila dealing with a previously unrecognized hazard of giant monster attacks: a hill-sized mound of giant monster shit.
Hannibal Chau's business is built on the ensuing reality of having large Kaiju corpses to get rid of. The aforementioned dung goes for large amounts of money because it's high in phosphorus.
There are multiple shots of people using the bones as structural support for buildings, including a temple with a skull for the entrance.
Society has been changed by the Kaiju's arrival. A religion has formed claiming the Kaiju are the gods' way of showing their wrath towards humanity, and Word of God says that there are fringe animal rights fanatics who claim killing the Kaiju is cruelty to animals.
No matter how good the pilots or advanced a Jaeger is, two-to-one are extremely bad odds for anyone unless they're really lucky or pull a kamikaze move.
Logan's injuries take their toll after temporarily losing his Healing Factor. For one, He's much more susceptible to concussions now, since his Healing Factor negated this.
Building a huge mountain fortress and buying enough Adamantium to build a 10-foot cyborgsuit with giant thermal-charged katanas can put even a major corporation in serious financial debt.
Several of the thugs fighting Logan in their various encounters learn it's not a smart move to punch a guy in the face when he has a metal skeleton.
After the long Mind Screw that made up most of Sucker Punch, this trope takes firm hold at the very end. As it turns out, the crazed orderly who screams about how he's in control of the asylum is, in fact, simply a crazy orderly who only has power over a few of the mentally ill patients. Even the other orderlies express willingness to desert him, at the end. And when he tries to use his "ultimate authority" to escape arrest, the police completely ignore him and instead listen to Doctor Gorsky (who really is an authority figure) and make sure Babydoll is alright (because they saw him trying to rape her).
The main characters of 21 Jump Street are tasked with going undercover in a local high school in order to bust a drug ring being run by the students and faculty, their youthful look being the reason why they are chosen. They try their best to behave the way they did when they were in high school years prior, but on the first day, they're met with a student culture which has evolved and radically changed since they left: students no longer act in social cliques, and are unimpressed with their environmentally unfriendly and fuel inefficient car. Jenko's attempts to assert dominance by punching a guy arguing with him only shock and disgust the other students, and his further attempts to mock him by accusing him of being gay only further buries him when it turns out he is actually gay.
In the After the End classic The Road Warrior has Mad Max use his iconic double barreled sawn-off sparingly. The reason being that because industrial society is no longer around, not only is fuel rare, but shotgun shells are too. By the time of the next film, Max has all but given up its use and the use of firearms in combat is pretty much extinct, because nobody can make the bullets or maintain the guns anymore.
The progressive deterioration of society—and of Max personally—is seen in vivid detail throughout the franchise. At the start of the first movie, Max is a member of one of the last organized police forces on Earth (or at least Australia) and is doing his best to take care of his wife and child. At the start of the second movie, Max is wearing the remains of his police uniform, driving a battered pursuit cruiser for which he must salvage fuel, and is just barely hanging on. By the third movie, Max has been forced to trade in the car for a wagon pulled by a team of camels—and promptly loses even that in his first encounter with an organized enemy.
Daniel Lugo finds that taking another guy's money isn't as easy as making him sign over everything he owns over a phone. He later finds out he needs a notary to transfer the entire assets of a guy like Victor Kernshaw's entire financial estate. The scheme very nearly falls apart there, until he finds out a friend of his is a notary public and gets him to do it for him.
While Victor Kernshaw is found beaten and nearly run over, he tells the police that he was kidnapped and the police don't believe him. When the cops find him, he's drunk (though made forcibly so by the Syn Gym Gang), he's ranting about how his kidnappers were bodybuilder ninjas, there are burnt sex toys found at the scene and he's Colombian. The cops assume that this was either a drug-related incident gone south or a kinky sex-act gone wrong. Kernshaw's abrasive attitude (and the fact that he's SUCH a Jerkass that he wasn't even reported missing) doesn't win him any points either (though one can hardly blame him at this point).
One of the Sun Gym Gang's victims is accidentally killed thanks to a tranquilizer overdose. Two direct injections of a sedative intended for veterinary use with horses tends to do that.
Scream begins with the death of a teenager as per the hundreds of slasher movies that have come before it. Scary, but hardly harrowing. Then the girl's parents come home. Their panic over the state of the house and realization that something terrible has happened to their child suddenly makes the whole thing horribly real.
Snake Eyes ends with the Corrupt Cop hero being praised by the media as a hero for stopping the assassination of a political whisleblower. Only for the extra attention generated by the media to bring his shady past to the forefront, leading to him getting fired, divorced, and facing prison time. Turns out that it doesn't matter if you're considered a hero, the police take allegations of corruption very seriously.
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.
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.
In the original novel, the Anti-Villain Sela The Vixen comes to sell intelligence to the Redwallers outside the castle walls. She is, however, not greeted 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.
In Mattimeo 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. 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.
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 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 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.
This is why Necropolis is a Bittersweet Ending. The heroes technically win and successfuly defend Vervunhive, but the city is so horribly damaged by the fighting that it's no longer livable, forcing the survivors to either become refugees to the planet's other cities or join up with the Imperial Guard.
Traitor General demonstrates why Helmets Are Hardly Heroic is a bad idea. You may be a Super Soldier with systems able to resist even the horribly deadly poison that coats the arrows being fired against you, but that doesn't work when dozens of those arrows are fired into your unarmoured face.
In 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 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.
Gutting the ship's regular weaponry to accommodate the experimental weapon leaves it undergunned when it is forced to confront an enemy vessel and although our heroes win the encounter, it's not without very serious casualties and the ship is so badly damaged it must be scrapped.
A major B-plot in Honor Among Enemies has a New Meat technician bullied by a crooked crewmember, beaten up and intimidated. Scared to testify, he instead accepts an offer to train with the shipboard marine company, ultimately standing up to the bully, bringing him down in a fair fight and exposing all his evil schemes. The seriousness of these schemes earn him some leniency three pages later when he's being busted for fighting on duty.
The Solarian League, having been at peace for centuries, butts in on the Manticore-Haven conflict, whose participants have been in a sustained Lensman Arms Race. The asskicking that follows is unsurprising to no one but the interlopers.
Losing large numbers of crewmen in a battle will result in a board of inquiry and will make the rest of the navy reluctant to serve with you, no matter how charismatic you are or how often you get results. Political connections become meaningless once you become a liability to your patrons.
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.
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 resentment 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.
What happens when a boy king who is steadfast and forthright and honorable in all things makes war against a seasoned commander decades his senior, who has armies that outnumber his own and sees honor as a polite suggestion? He loses. Of course he does. Honor does not win nearly as many allies as carrot-and-stick realpolitik.
Like Father, Like Son. What happens when a man with a reputation for honor and incorruptability takes a position of leadership in a corrupt royal court? He fails spectacularly. It turns out that being the paragon of simple straightforward virtue does not equip you with the skills necessary to survive in a Deadly Decadent Court. Or, for that matter, does it help you determine who you can really trust and who won't just sell you down the river to save their own necks.
In the War of the Five Kings, the Stark/Tully alliance who are easily the most just and honorable houses in the Seven Kingdoms must command universal respect, right? Wrong. Their levies don't have any stake in their lord's quarrels and like to rape and plunder as much as the next army; the smallfolk hate them just as much as the Lannisters.
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.
In Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish's backstory as he tells it to one of his associates, he challenged Brandon Stark to a duel for the hand of Catelyn Tully. Despite being small and having little training, Baelish thought he was like the plucky little heroes of the stories who triumphs over the evil knight and wins the maiden fair (paraphrased). Instead, Brandon, a master swordsman and seasoned soldier kicks his ass, nearly killing him and leaving him with a scar from his navel to his collar bone.
Dany goes and liberates the slaves in Astapor. A solid move for a compassionate queen, right? Nah- it screws up the economy of the Free Cities. Yunkai mounts an attack on Dany, half the slaves she liberated starve to death living in the ghost town, and the combination of the two helps a plague spread.
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. When a number of fans complained about these things, author K.A. Applegate wrote a letter 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.
In the fourth Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, Greg finds a bike some neighbors left out with the trash and decides to use it as his new way of getting around. However, his plans come to ruin when it falls apart in four days. Turns out a bike left out with the garbage where anybody can take it probably isn't a very good one.
Out of the Dark: Though mankind fights tenaciously and wins small victories, it ultimately has no way of defending itself from an enemy that controls the orbitals. It's a Hopeless War for man. Until the Twist Ending at any rate.
Harry Turtledove's Vilcabamba: When aliens far tougher and more powerful than anything humanity can field attack, no amount of skill or will can usefully close the gap, and mankind's governments exist only at their pleasure, which can be and is withdrawn for reasons we can't fathom. Something of a Spiritual Antithesis to his own Worldwar books, where mankind does successfully resist Insufficiently Advanced Alien .
In Petty Pewter Gods, two minor Shayir with the power to transform into owls set out to track Garrett's movements through the city from above. They soon discover that, while they can make themselves invisible to humans, it's the city's crows they should've been hiding from: spotting the "owls" flying around in daylight, TunFaire's urban crow population gathers in huge flocks to mob and harass them, driving them back to the ground.
The Wild Cards series attempted to portray superpowers realistically, dependent on real-world physics. Many Aces have stock superpowers with realistic downsides:
Golden Boy has Super Strength. His first attempt to stop a speeding car winds up with him knocked on his ass. Super-strong he may be, but he's still an average-sized person being hit by a much-heavier object moving at speed.
Envoy has a Compelling Voice that can make anyone who hears him do what he wants them to do. But the effect wears off when he leaves the general area. When he tries to do something important with his power, like change foreign or domestic policy, not only does it not accomplish anything lasting, but it ends up making things worse, because the people he used his power on know that he did something to them, and now they're angry and distrustful of him.
Kid Dinosaur can Shape Shift into any dinosaur he wants to be, but he can't change his overall body mass. So he can be a T-Rex, but the T-Rex can only be about four feet tall.
Water Lily develops a secondary power where she can cure Jokers through sex. She promptly has to go into hiding, out of fear of being gang-raped by desperate mutants.
The Sleeper has an abnormal mutation which causes him to hybernate for weeks or months at a time, then awaken with a brand new form and new superpowers. After waking up he binge-eats to replace stored calories. And by the end of his waking cycle, fear of going to sleep and waking up a hideous monster (which does happen) turns him into a paranoid amphetamine addict.
A minor Ace with electricity-based powers has terrible personal hygene; he's not immune to his own powers, so he can't bathe himself without risking electrocution.
Several Aces are giants. They're also crippled; their huge bodies can't support their own weight.
The Land of Stories: After spending 100 asleep, the Sleeping Kingdom is mostly dead and the inhabitants still prefer to sleep all day. Sleeping Beauty is still trying to make things right.
A bunch of college students who think they're in a typical Romero style zombie movie consider it inevitable that the Army & government forces will fail go into town to take matters into their own hands. After showing startling incompetence with their guns, the only thing they manage to do is kill a bunch of innocent people trying to escape being wrongfully quarantined before the actual monsters easily wipe them out.
Local people (who are filled with the full range of normal human stupidity and prejudices) form militias and kill anyone that they can't verify as being free from infection except the end of the book reveals that at most somewhere around 70 total people were infected, so the hundreds of people slaughtered by these militias are mostly innocent. As the book repeatedly points out, the paranoia that anybody could be infected and you couldn't tell that from looking at them was a much greater danger than the actual parasites.
Lastly, when David sees an Army barricade around town he realizes that the idea of the US Army getting overrun by zombies, whether slow or fast, is really pretty silly. The Army has plenty of Dakka and Tanks, not a single soldier is exposed to be bitten, the ground in front of them is covered with razor wire that will result in anything walking in being helplessly entangled and becoming an easy target, etc. Strategy is, after all, what the Army does and it would require them to grab an Idiot Ball bigger than the actual planet for them to be overrun from a small outbreak when they've had time to prepare themselves.
Live Action TV
Happens with an attempted Race for Your Love on Happy Endings-in "Boys II Menorah" Dave and Jane rush to the airport because Alex is there due to buying into a false airport ticket which was actually an invitation to a set-up Grand Romantic Gesture dinner. When they get there, they're parked illegally, as often happens with this trope. Security tells them to move Dave's truck, and Dave, in classic romantic lead coolness tosses him the keys, saying 'Keep it.' The guard quickly tosses him back the keys despite Dave saying its for love. He and Jane try to rush past security anyway and get tackled and tazed, respectively.
Similarly, on ER, Doug races to Carol's engagement party to tell her that he loves her, only to have her scream at him to leave her alone and for her fiance to punch him. Two years later, Mark dashes to the train station to plead his love to the departing Susan, only to have her leave anyway. Not just because she doesn't reciprocate, but also because it's literally at the last minute before she leaves.
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 could defeat him. He is blown apart in one shot by an anti-tank missile. Guess the standards of "weapon forged" has improved in the past six hundred years.
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.
From the same episode, when the Big Badstops to gloat during the final fight, on a construction site, Xander manages to send her through a wall with a wrecking ball.
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.
Season 3 finale: The Mayor completes his plan to ascend and become a full demon (almost every demon seen on the show is actually some flavor of low-powered half-demon or another). This also removes the immortality that he had benefited from previously, which leads to the Reality: [[spoiler: The heroes, knowing how big and strong he will become, bait him into a trap where they have laid a considerable amount of high explosives to blow him to giblets.
Season 6, "Flooded". Being a superhero does not make Buffy any less vulnerable to typical homeowner problems, such as a pipe bursting in the basement. Nor does being a superhero provide her with any viable income to pay for home repairs, and having a construction foreman for a friend (Xander) doesn't entirely resolve the issue of costs.
In one episode of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon is called to a small claims traffic court for running a red light. He concocts an elaborate defense based around the fact that he can't confront his accuser- a camera. Naturally the judge refuses to allow his Courtroom Antics (being a main character doesn't get you a huge trial for a trivial case in the real world), and he is locked up in contempt for insulting the judge to his face.
One time Sheldon once insulted his boss with his smug attitude, and he gets fired for it.
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.
Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger has the rangers fight monsters in their shared delusions. When the villains begin to escape into reality, however, the Akibarangers lose their powers when they get see their real selves flailing about where they stood before morphing.
The first episode of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers has the team fighting against a group of Putties. They get the asses kicked because, even though at least three of them are trained in martial arts, none of them have actual fighting experience.
In "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.
"Midnight", which savages the Doctor's usual blustering Bavarian Fire Drill approach to a crisis. 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.
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.
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, anti-tank weapons are not included in the standard team loadout, and thus it goes exactly the way of every other police versus Terminator fight in the universe. For added horror, we don't even see the fight, just the brutalized bodies of the HRT as they're thrown into the apartment swimming pool after their conventional weapons apparently fail to deter something with no vital organs.
At the end of the first season of Arrow, Detective Lance reveals to his superiors that he has been working with the title vigilante and assures them the hero can be trusted. He's promptly suspended and relieved of his badge and gun.
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.
"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.
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.
Sarah impersonates her clone Beth, including doing her job as a Toronto police detective. She initially manages to fake her way through it thanks to everyone believing Beth is traumatized by a recent civilian shooting, but the deeper she gets the more the facade starts to crack, to the point where she has to have 'Beth' quit her job.
Sarah's daughter Kira isn't fooled by her clone Alison's impersonation of Sarah for even a moment. Alison has to tell her the truth.
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.
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.
This is also invoked in fist-fights. In an early episode, he's drinking at a bar and picks a fight with a couple of local jerks. He refused to back down, despite being drunk and outnumbered, and proceeds to get beaten to a pulp until the bartender comes out and breaks it up. He later admits he was asking for a beating.
"When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong" skits are all about this.
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 invoking 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.
In "Mac Day" Mac's Crazy Awesome badass cousin, "Country Mac", is established throughout the episode to be a seriously tough guy. Which makes it quite a surprise when he gets anticlimactically killed by crashing his motorcycle. It turns out that even if you are really tough, it's still a bad idea to drive a motor vehicle unsafely while not wearing any sort of protection.
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. Eddie also uses a cane a year after surviving a shot to the gut in extremis and it is clear that it is still very painful. A punch to the gut by other character makes him vomit his entire stomach content at once.
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.
Being an Axe Crazy crime boss can be seen as an asset in the gangland crime world but it also means that your allies will turn on you as soon as they get a better offer and a are no longer afraid of you.
Despite common fan belief, Richard Harrow does not make one kill per bullet fired when he takes on Rosetti's gang in "Margate Sands". Being a determined war veteran, he is still ridiculously good compared to the drunk and demoralized untrained thugs he takes on by surprise, but there are several cases where he only manages to injure a mook and the same guy comes back to fight him later.
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 (unless one specifically sets them up to), police can't just be ignored and being a spy leaves you with a lot of very angry enemies.
In all the gruesome details, beheading a man on the block with a single stroke of huge sword is shown to be not that simple - because the executioner is weak, hesitant and inexperienced, it takes him several hits, and he has to snap the still holding head free with his foot.
A Lannister soldier spears Ned Stark in the leg during his duel with Jaime Lannister. Rather than being treated as "just a flesh wound," Ned wakes up an indeterminate amount of time later, feverish and unable to move, later requiring a cane to get around.
The Following: Sociopathic 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. However, because it's composed almost entirely of murderous sociopaths, the cult collapses on itself very quickly. Only a handful of Carrollists have enough sanity to hold everyone together, let alone direct them toward any kind of focused activity. 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 them fall apart.
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.
Both House and Scrubs had episodes where one of the cast members informs a patient that they had earlier misdiagnosed them with terminal cancer and won't die after all, with said cast members expecting the patients to be thrilled and more appreciative of life. Instead, they are furious since they took rash actions that they now have to live with (such as quitting their jobs or getting into heavy debt) and sue their respective doctors for malpractice.
In the Scrubs example, the doctor predicted her cancer patient would have 9 months left to live and he was still alive 9 months later.
Another Scrubs example: Two episodes dealt with JD finding a patient he really liked being diagnosed with cancer and hoping the tests were wrong. At first, this seemed to be the case, but it turned out he was just imagining it and the diagnosis was correct.
The opening of FlashForward (2009) has everyone in the world simultaneously losing consciousness for 2 minutes and 17 seconds. This results in 20 million deaths and far more injuries due to people blacking out while performing surgeries, skydiving, or simply driving their car.
Grey's Anatomy: After Meredith was found out to be tampering with her husband Derek's clinical trial that she was assisting with, Derek is blacklisted by the FDA and none of the attending surgeons want Meredith to work under them (including Derek) so she has trouble finding another specialty and Derek doubts her abilities as a parent because he's convinced she can't tell right from wrong. The only reason she is able to get her job back is because Richard takes the blame, so no one is able to prove otherwise.
In Gekisou Sentai Carranger Dappu appears before the crew of the garage and ask them to become Carrangers, there response run and hide from the weird alien thing.
In a 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.
Another comic has an inexperienced race driver enter a 24-hour race in an old piece of junk of a car. Everyone laughs at him, but the plucky underdog takes chances none of the other drivers dare, pushes his car to the limit, wins the crowd over with his death-defying driving... and finishes dead last, because his car is a piece of junk.
This trope is bread and water for song parodies.
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). Pippi Longstocking is in jail for assaulting a police officer, illegally possessing a wild animal and recieving stolen property. Rasmus is a homeless alcoholic, Ronja is screaming her head off in a mental hospital, and Kato from Mio My Mioruns a mindless commercial TV channel.
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 (Alternate link for German users, since Youtube blocks these video in Germany >:() 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.
Occurs in "Big Bad John" by Jimmy Dean. While John is a very strong man, strong enough to hold up a timber to save his fellow miners, he can't hold it up long enough for them to come back and save him.
Aaron Carter's "Aaron's Party" is about...well take a guess. At the end, his parents come home and he gets grounded.
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 Games D6 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.
An 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.
Dark Eldar Wyches are dressed Stripperiffically... and have exactly the kind of piss-poor armour save you'd expect in reality.
The setting makes full use of taking place over an entire galaxy, which is a bloody huge place. Massive wars fought over decades and dozens of systems and cost billions of lives, like the Sabbat Worlds crusade, are ultimately minor affairs that have little to no effect on the galaxy as a whole. Even ten thousand years later huge swaths of the galaxy are still unexplored or barely understood, with new civilizations discovered (and exterminated) on a regular basis. It takes months or years to travel any significant distance even with (almost) reliable FTL travel. And while the Imperium is most certainly dying, it's so big that it will take thousands of years to be destroyed completely.
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. However this only applies for Act II. Act I is frequently used for school productions, as it's a fairly straightforward mash-up of recognisable fairy-tales that ends with a musical number celebrating how all the heroes have had their dreams come true and now they're going to live Happily Ever After... and then Act II opens, and everyone is faced with the fallout of their decisions.
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 Police Quest series is all about this. As police lieutenant Sonny Bonds, you have to follow police procedure by the book to avoid the myriad of ways you can get a game over. While some decisions are obvious (such as not shooting someone who has a gun drawn at you), some are not. Shoot someone who only might be reaching for a gun in his glove box? Turns out he was an unarmed FBI agent, and you're fired. Forget to frisk the raving lunatic? He'll draw a knife and kill you. Need to open a door with a battering ram? You have to get permission from a judge to use it first.
There are also non-fatal ways this shows up, too. In the third Police Quest, you can miss points if you fail to follow proper procedure when writing someone up for a ticket. You can question witnesses, some of whom lie or are uncooperative. Sonny's wife is also getting improper care in the hospital, but Sonny brings it to the attention of a trained doctor instead of fiddling with the machines himself.
The SWAT series is a realistic shooter, as well. You play a member of a SWAT team, who realistically must break down doors with specialized ammo, not fire on civilians, and must secure a scene before moving on. The game is even set in the same universe as Police Quest, with Sonny Bonds being a SWAT captain now. (That said, the game does go a little too far in its portrayal of what SWAT officers are expected to do; for instance, you can't fire on anyone, even if they're criminals trying to gun you down.)
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 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.
Dawn of War has several occasions when important characters get swiftly killed with little fanfare. Bale is easily killed by Angelos after the former's backup deserts him. In Winter Assault Sturnn is killed by Gorgutz in seconds by beating him into bloody pulp, because Gorgutz is a hulking green monstrosity and Sturnn is a normal human. Retribution has Merrick go up against a Tyranid Hive Tyrant, and get killed even faster.
Metal Gear Solid 4, even though one of the game's "features" was an expanded arsenal of firearms and associated controls, only on Liquid Easy (lowest difficulty) can Snake 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 shut down 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. Kat is 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. 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.
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 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' 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.
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. 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.
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 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 took to locking them up for their own safety.
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.
At the beginning of the game, Ambassador Udina attempts to expose Sarin's operations and crimes to the council. However the only evidence to his argument is Sheperd's "vision". This goes about as well as you'd expect. Sarin even points out the audacity of such a claim, since even if s/he was their top spec-ops soldier, no civilized court can accept a dream as hard evidence.
And goes right back to Rule of Drama when the evidence that sinks Saren is an unverified, unexamined audio recording provided by a random Quarian, which Shepard happened to conveniently turn up a few hours, at most, after the earlier rejection. Admittedly, they may have been accompanied by a cop, depending on squad selection, but there's no evidence the Council had any experts verify the data, especially since extracting anything from a Geth memory core, as Tali claimed, is generally considered impossible, or at least extremely difficult.
You can ignore the loyalty sidequests, but what do you think will happen when you take a team of people who aren't properly motivated to fight millennia-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?
Ashley and Kaidan show what happens when a close ally is left in the dark when there are people who want them out of the picture. After two years of mourning, they are not even remotely happy when everything available to them says that Shepard faked his/her death to join a known terrorist group and they're not inclined to believe that Shepard was the first proven resurrection in recorded history or that Cerberus really wouldn't do anything to alter Shepard even if it was true.
In the 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 Heroic Resolve, 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 galactic 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?
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.
In Resident Evil 6, laser-sightings on guns are unsteady, 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.
Minecraft. 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. However, gold is also used in conjunction 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 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.
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, one 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.
The mechanics behind that most insidious of threats, the Catsplosion note an event where cats breed out of control in a fortress. Dwarves are quick to adopt them as pets, which causes them to become depressed if someone kills them. Eventually, the depression escalates into a "Depression Spiral" that could cause the whole fortress to fall to madness seems pretty ridiculous. But think about it for a second; how would you feel if someone killed your pet, even for "the greater good"?
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 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.
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.
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.
You could say that reality ensues every time you exit bullet time in the middle of a jump in 3 and land with an audible thud. Or when you don't consider your trajectory properly and, thanks to Euphoria, collapse over an inconvenient couch or slam roughly into a wall and drop straight out of bullet time, struggling to stand up while continuing to take pot shots. Max's experience in this game is much more tactile than the previous games.
At one point, a character suicide bombs some mooks. Rather than leave a few burnt corpses, it results in the victims going from mooks to messes.
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 when he fights mooks with high-powered sniper rifles.
It turns out that the formula that turns men into giant monsters developed in a prison by a bunch of lunatics and a corrupt doctor with nothing even vaguely resembling proper testing had unforeseen long term side effects.
The game's approach to super-villains. Yes, they are dangerous but the problem lies in finding them or dealing with their gimmicks. Once that's all done, things go how you'd expect when Batman, an Olympic level athlete/expert combatant in full body armor and specialized weapons, fights people who aren't all this.
While for the most part the games have no true time limits, there is one point in Arkham Asylum where Zsasz takes a hostage, knowing full well that he has no hope in a fight against Batman. However, Zsasz is also a compulsive, insane murderer with a penchant for killing women and his hostage is someone who has made his life hell for a long time. Players who linger for a while or let themselves be seen by him results in him killing the hostage instantly. It's Lampshaded by Joker. It's particularly jarring for experienced players, who usually assume that there is no time limit and want to listen to all of Zsasz's dialogue.
When you call him in City, he says he has three hostages. When you get to him, he has two hostages and a there's a corpse elsewhere. And he said Batman would regret pissing him off.
Batman can Offhand Backhandindividual mooks easily. But when faced with multiple mooks, he has to pull his punches so he can be sure he won't kill them. As his combos get longer, he starts leaping across entire rooms to strike foes, since they're hesitating - and giving him breathing room to think - after seeing him smash their pals into the pavement.
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.
UFO Defense has 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, 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.
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 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.
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.
Dishonored's Corvo may have avastarrayof powers, but when it comes down to it, he's still physically an ordinary human, getting in a scrap with guards and getting shot, or falling a long distance without breaking it via blink will do substantial if not fatal damage to you. The same applies to every normal human too, any fight you get in tends to be dangerous because of the numbers, a single target will die quickly regardless of if you cut him with your sword or just shoot him dead.
Drive around like a maniac like you do in that other open-world crime game while playing Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven and the police will chase after you. They won't just blow your head off for a traffic violation, though. Pull over and pay for a ticket and you can go on your merry way. Don't, and they'll start chasing you to arrest you. Pull out a gun or act too violent on the road, and they will use lethal force, just like cops in real life.
Iji is all about this trope. Going One Woman Army and slaughtering everyone in your path, then asking the enemy leaders to leave peacefully goes about as well as expected, and does serious psychological damage to Iji. Even in a Pacifist Run the Tasen aren't just about to leave because they're running for their lives, and the Komato aren't going to leave because they're Just Following Orders. And despite Iji's efforts she's still one person in a war, most people dying no matter what she does.
Saints Row IV: The Boss may have beaten countless numbers of gangsters, policemen, even a State Sec with futuristic weapons, but nothing prepares them for a massive alien overlord with superpowers. The Boss tries, oh do they put up a fight, but once Zinyak decides to stop playing around and use his powers the first fight quickly becomes a Curb-Stomp Battle in the villain's favour.
Kerbal Space Program: It's recommended you don't try building your favorite Sci-fi show's iconic spaceships at first. Disappointment, and plenty of explodiness, will probably ensue.
There's plenty of examples of this, as KSP is an extremely accurate simulation of space flight. In another example, parachutes are realistically portrayed. They aren't foolproof. Parachutes won't deploy properly if you are traveling too fast (i.e: still firing off a rocket), aren't oriented properly and for reasons that should be obvious, don't work in a zero-atmosphere environment like space.
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 find the gold and instead of showing a series of mystery/fantasy scenes we are instead shown 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 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.
In this strip, a Hydra is attacking by having its heads cut off. This normally wold be an idiotic tactic, as the Hydra grows two heads for every one cut off, but the incessant chopping proves too much for the beast. Why? The Hydra grows so many heads that it can't give enough blood to them all and passes out.
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.
In Atticus's first Gym Battle in Mokepon, he sends out a Pikachu to fight an Onyx. Sending a cute yellow rat against a fifty-foot rock snake ends about as well as you'd expect. This also plays into the Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors; 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.
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.
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.
Doctor 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.
Played for Laughs with one of 1d4chan's home brewed Space Marine chapters, The Reasonable Marines. They act like normal soldiers focusing on stealth and efficiency, trying to avoid combat unless needed, and actually trying to be diplomatic with aliens instead of shooting them on sight. The joke is they are the only sane group in a universe filled with nothing but Rule of Cool and Crazy Awesome lunatics.
In the What If? entry "Spent Fuel Pool" Randall Munroe explores the physics-based answer to how safe it is to swim in a nuclear reactor's spent fuel pool. Because water is a good insulator against radioactivity it's pretty safe if you stay away from the casks. He then poses the question to a friend who works at a research reactor.
Randall's friend: In our reactor? You’d die pretty quickly, before reaching the water, from gunshot wounds.
ASDF Movie: In the second episode, a bear named Desmond is briefly seen, wondering how he got on the moon. In the seventh episode, we see him again. He's dead. No air on the moon, you know.
In the fourth episode, aliens attack. A onlooker heroically yells, "Throw! The! CHEESE!" He throws a ton of cheese... and it all just bounces off the spaceship.
Done with incredible effect and enormous Mood Whiplash in the original Æon 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.
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:
In one episode they watch a deconstruction of Looney Tunes, where Elmer Fudd approaches Bugs Bunny. Its starts off with the basic, "What's up, doc?" but then Fudd shoots Bugs repeatedly with his gun and Bugs dies a slow and painful death before Elmer Fudd casually snaps his neck and carries away the corpse.
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.
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. This 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.
G.I. 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.
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 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.
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.
A magnificent example occurs during Tombstone and Spidey's first tête-à-tête confrontation. The crime boss offers Spider-Man a chance to work for him. Spider-Man refuses and calls him out to "finish this". "Very well," sighs Tombstone... and then calls the cops and accuses Spidey of invading his personal space, attacking his guards and threatening him. Spider-Man probably suffered cognitive dissonance at that point from the fact that the villain was legitimately siccing cops on him, the hero!
His fight against Sandman and Rhino, where Spidey uses Rhino's weight against him rather than fighting him directly.
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 he gets shot down immediately. With Azula, transformation isNOTa free action.
The episode with the Sun Warriors subverts Durable Deathtrap by revealing that the Sun Warrior civilization is, in fact, still extant, and they were maintaining and resetting the traps.
In "Sokka's Master", Aang tries on a ridiculously oversized suit of Scary Impractical Armor. He can't even move in it, falling over after a single step.
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 damage she caused.
The first episodes of season 2 basically show that The Hero would not be happy if The Mentor hid important things from them "for their own good", would likely develop serious trust issues, and would probably get pretty annoyed about being constantly bossed around and told that they are The Chosen One.
A rather jarring example when, 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:
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 kinda attacked a lot of people especially the girls.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In "Bart Vs. Australia" 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 on an island, he imitates 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.
When Cheryl's brother Cecil asks the ISIS crew about how his sister has been doing lately, they start reminiscing about times in which Cheryl acted completely crazy with amusement (such as an incident in which she spent a month believing she was a werewolf). Cecil however is utterly horrified at the fact that his sister's mental state has degenerated so much. It later transpires that he's been secretly recording their statements to get evidence to get Cheryl committed: not just to get access to her half of the fortune (which he needs since his charitable ventures have bankrupted him) but because Cheryl is a legitimate danger to herself and others... and the ISIS crew agrees, to the point that Lana flat out says that he could have just talked to them instead of resorting to subterfuge (though it turns out there was another reason for it...).
The series usually averts Bottomless Magazines, usually with a heavy dose of lampshading. One of the notable times is when Ron and Archer are on the run from a bunch of crazy fetishists (it makes sense in context) Archer threatens them with his handgun, but Ron dares Archer to actually shoot them. Archer then points out that he had emptied his only clip shooting at the goons that were chasing them a while back and was bluffing. While the two resumes running Ron wonders how he could be out of bullets so fast, to which Archer points out that a handgun not only holds a finite number of bullets, but also a very small amount because of it's relative size.
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.
The very premise of Young Justice involves the JLA sending their sidekicks on missions that would otherwise get the League into serious trouble (such as infiltrating sovereign nations), given the realistic political climate.
All the League's bad publicity in season two is because of actual secrets they kept being exposed to the public, and the public not being happy that they have things like a space station.
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 status quo is at the center of a number of plots in the first part of the series.
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.
This 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.
In one sketch, a woman wants her husband to ravish her like Captain 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.
The Ice King 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.
In the episode "Davey", Jake tries to make Finn quit being Davey by dressing like a robber and robbing someone. Instead of breaking character and being a hero, he calls the police and Jake gets arrested.
Several episodes show that Finn's Precocious Crush on Bubblegum is immensely painful to him. Unrequited love hurts even if you're still friends with that person, and despite starting a relationship with Flame Princess his feelings don't magically go away and still linger despite his best efforts to move on.
In three words, the end of "Lady and Peebles" shows a common consequence of long term relationships that most children's shows rarely mention: "I am pregnant!"
The Venture Bros., in keeping with the show's Deconstruction of Jet-Age Boy Adventurer stories.
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. 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.
One of the show's repeated themes is how the horrifically traumatizing the Boy Adventurer lifestyle is. Rusty is a prime example of this, having become a pill popping Jerkass failure in his adulthood. The episode "Self-Medication" takes this even further with Rusty attending a therapy group for former boy adventurers (including grown up expies of Jonny Quest and The Hardy Boys) and coming to the conclusion that he was the most well adjusted of the group.
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.
In one episode Stroker solves the whole "Which is the real one" cliché just like you would expect someone to in Real Life: he just incapacitates both people so that the good guys can figure out which is which at their leisure, without having to worry about making a mistake (and still screwed it up).
In the first season finale 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 the royal zoo turn out to have no experience dealing with outsiders, even one as non-offensive as Fluttershy, which turns her Love Hungry.
Pinkie Pie: When I was a little filly and the sun was going down, Twilight Sparkle:Tell me she's not. Pinkie Pie: The darkness and the shadows they would always make me frown, Rarity:She is.
Pinkie Pie has a habit of teleporting everywhere and appearing in places too small to hide. Usually this is ignored by the other characters, except for Rainbow Dash in "Party of One" and Cranky Doodle in "A Friend in Deed", who are predictably terrified of this loud pink thing chasing them all over Ponyville, appearing from nowhere and nothing no matter where they hide.
Given how The Power of Friendship seems to solve everything, "Hurricane Fluttershy" is much more this trope than the usual formulas. No, someone can't just "get over" long-term childhood bullying and it will often leave big emotional scars, but they can still work against it and it doesn't have to rule their life. No, a Training Montage won't suddenly make someone an expert at what they failed before and they will only improve slightly, but it's still an improvement and still something to be proud of. No, pushing you and your team harder won't let you break the record you wanted when a chunk of your team is missing, but you still have people depending on you and that's more important than some record.
In "Over A Barrel", Pinkie Pie's song-and-dance performance solves absolutely nothing. It doesn't make the Appaloosa's ponies and the Bison stop hating each other, nor does it solve the land dispute. In fact, at one point, it actually makes things worse.
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.
South Park gleefully demonstrates how neither shiving a person in the neck nor shooting oneself is either easy, quick or painless.
Spongebob Squarepants is a show that typically plays fast and loose with logic and realism, so it can be particularly jarring when it suddenly decides to follow the rules it so often disregards. Case in point: in one episode, Sandy Cheeks is dared to eat a Krabby Patty in one bite. She takes the patty, opens her mouth wide... and splatters it all over her diving helmet.
Plankton turns Krabs into a baby, but still needs Spongebob's help to get the door to the Krusty Krab open. While Spongebob reaches for the door with the key, Plankton gloats about his plan in a close-up, then the camera pulls back to show that Spongebob heard the whole thing, on account of him being about a foot away, and the yellow fry cook promptly yells for the police.
In an episode of Ben 10, Grandpa Max and Enoch are both seeking an ancient superweapon. When Enoch gets the MacGuffin and grabs it, it comes apart in his hands. As it turns out, ancient artifacts aren't always in the best condition.
A common plot in the late 90s animation was a run-in with the Department of Child Disservices where a set of coincidences convinces the social worker that the family's children are being abused. King of the Hill uses this plot for its pilot, then subverts it by having the social worker get chewed out by his boss and Reassigned to Antarctica for jumping to conclusions, and nearly having Bobby taken away from a very obviously loving family.