"If you believe in yourself, eat all your school, get 8 hours of drugs, stay in milk, drink your teeth, and don't do sleep, you can get work!"Stock Aesops are the morals that the writers and producers of TV most often love to explore. They sometimes contradict each other, but it's a clumsy writer indeed who sticks two contradictory aesops into the same script, which tends to create a Broken Aesop. When An Aesop contradicts the typical beliefs of societynote , offends the Moral Guardiansnote , or promotes an "unconventional" belief note , it's a Family-Unfriendly Aesop. Because Society Marches On, some older Aesops tend to be seen as Fair For Their Day or Values Dissonance. Many are Older Than Feudalism. And some, indeed, come straight from the original Aesop's Fables.
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- Aspire To Greater Things, and work hard to achieve them
- Living Is More Than Surviving: A Man's Reach Should Exceed His Grasp.
- Carpe Diem: Seize the day, for you may not live tomorrow.
- It's the Journey That Counts
- Ambition Is Evil: Unfortunately, that also makes you evil.
- It's Lonely at the Top
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Ya just might get it.
- Sweet and Sour Grapes: Learn to appreciate your situation as it is.
On Appearance, Beauty, and Clothing
- Beauty is Bad
- Beauty Equals Goodness
- Clothes Make The Man
- Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover
- Evil Is Sexy
- Evil Makes You Ugly
- Good People Dress Modestly
- True Beauty Is on the Inside
- Uncleanliness Is Next to Ungodliness
- Beware the Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
- Beware a Man of Wealth and Taste
- Take Pride In Your Appearance
- Don't Be Vain
On Authority and Government
- Democracy Is Bad
- Democracy Is Flawed
- Trust Authority
- TV Never Lies: Question Authority
- Disobey This Message: We're Telling You, Think For Yourself
- It's My Country, Right or Wrong
- War crimes are bad, even if you were Just Following Orders.
- Rousseau Was Right: There is good in humanity.
- Hobbes Was Right: Leading through fear is necessary.
- Machiavelli Was Wrong: Leading through fear is bad.
On Caution and planning
On Change, Progress, and Technology
On Conformity and Individuality
- Be Yourself - Accept who you are.
- Pygmalion Snap Back - Accept people for who they are and let others be themselves.
- Conform to Expectations.
- Crying Wolf is a bad idea.
- The Complainer Is Always Wrong: You should always agree with your friends.
- Peer Pressure Makes You Evil: Don't give into peer pressure.
- Trend Aesop: Giving into materialism, peer pressure, and/or the silly/fickle nature of fashion is more trouble than it is worth.
- Blithe Spirit: Convert everyone else to your views.
- Tall Poppy Syndrome: The Nail That Stands Out Gets Hammered Flat.
On Cruelty, Kindness, and Trust
- Power of Trust: Trust makes people stronger
- Betrayal Tropes: Some people should not be trusted
- Children Are Innocent
- Kids Are Cruel
- Androcles' Lion: Kindness is returned in kind.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Cruelty is returned in kind.
- Don't be All Take and No Give, because in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.
- The Farmer and the Viper: Don't be kind to evil.
- Good Is Not Soft: Don't take kindness for weakness.
- Misery Builds Character: A little suffering is good for the soul.
- Enemies Equals Greatness: Having enemies is good for you.
- The Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have done unto you.
- The best REAL magic is being kind and good to others!
- Too Smart for Strangers: Don't trust people you don't know, especially if you're a kid.
On Curiosity and Science
- Curiosity Killed the Cast: Curiosity killed the cat.
- Curiosity saved the cat.
- Curiosity Is a Crapshoot
- Keep an open mind and be willing to try new things (like Green Eggs and Ham) - maybe you'll like them!
- There are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know
- Science Is Bad
- Science Is Good
- Science Makes You Crazy
- Old Media Are Evil
- TV Rots Your Brain
- New Media Are Evil
- Think of the Children!: You are responsible for the kids' well-being, not the media.
- Digital Piracy Is Evil
- Digital Piracy Is Okay
- In Defence Of Story Telling
- "Reading Is Cool" Aesop - Reading can be really fun and useful.
- Anti-Escapism Aesop - Reality is better than fiction.
- Blood is Thicker Than Water: Your Relatives Are Your Best Friends
- Family Is A Hindrance - Show The Other Generation What You're Really Worth
- Forgiveness: You should forgive those who wrong you. Unless you shouldn't.
- Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: ...and even if you did, you should never forget what they've done.
- Turn the Other Cheek: Break The Cycle of Revenge.
- Right Makes Might
- Vengeance Feels Empty: Getting revenge won't give you satisfaction you hoped for.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Getting revenge will make you just as bad as the villain.
- Violence Really Is the Answer
- If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him
- If You Taunt Him, You Will Be Just Like Him
- True strength is not about who can hit hardest.
- The Power of Friendship conquers all.
- Poisonous Friend: Well, maybe they weren't really your friends.
- Loners Are Freaks: If you don't have friends, there's something wrong with you.
- In the End, You Are on Your Own - However, even if you have friends they won't always be there, and there's some things you have to do yourself.
- Loony Friends Improve Your Personality
- Be a Friend to All Living Things
- Somebody Doesn't Love Raymond - Not everyone in the world has to like you, for a friend to all is a friend to none.
- Befriending the Enemy: Making friends with an enemy will cause them to change their ways.
On Intuition and first impressions
- Actions Speak Louder Than Words.
- The Pen is Mightier Than The Sword.
- Cupid Hates Odd Couples: Friendship Is More Important Than Love
- The Power of Love conquers all.
- Wrong Guy First: Be careful who you give your heart to.
- Love at First Sight: You'll just know when your true love shows up, what with the golden lights and floating hearts and all.
- Love at First Punch: You'll hate each other at first, though.
- Love Makes You Crazy
- Love Makes You Dumb: Love can override common sense.
- Love Makes You Evil: Love can bring out the worst in people.
- Love Redeems - Love can bring out the best in people.
On Material Possessions and Wealth
- All Good Things Come To He Who Waits.
- Time and Tide Wait For No Man.
On Positive and Negative attitude
- Anti-Nihilist: Life sucks, but we can make it better.
- Determined Defeatist: You're bound to fail, but still try anyways.
- The Pollyanna: Keep a positive attitude in times of peril.
- Silly Rabbit, Cynicism Is for Losers!: Take off those Jade-Colored Glasses and don't be negative.
- Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Being a Wide-Eyed Idealist is foolish.
- You Have To Be Willing To Compromise
- Stick To Your Guns
- Death by Sex: Just Don't Do It
- But We Used a Condom: "Condoms are effective, not perfect." Though this storyline is used so often, it ends up feeling more like "Condoms don't work at all, so don't even bother with them."
- Sex Equals Love (even when it's rape)
- Love Is Not Sex
- Can't Have Sex, Ever: Love is more important than sex
- Virginity Makes You Stupid, Sex as Rite-of-Passage: You aren't an adult until you've had sex.
- Don't Be Shy
- Don't Get In Over Your Head
- Two heads are better than one. Many hands make light work.
- Too Many Cooks Spoil the Soup
- Have Fun Like You Were Dying
- Work Now To Enjoy A Great Future
The Lessons of History
- Be careful where you get your power, your validation, and the justification for your actions.
- When Life Gives You Lemons, make lemonade!
- Green Aesop: Because pollution is bad.
- Give a Man a Fish... and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
- Junk food is bad.
- ...and the reason for all the contradictions is the Golden Mean: Nothing In Excess. Everything in moderation, including moderation.
For every proverb, there is an equal and opposite proverb.