Reality Ensues / Animated Films

  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks
    • Sunset Shimmer, despite her reforming at the end of the previous film, is still hated by the rest of Canterlot High School for years of being an Alpha Bitch, and for trying to brainwash the student body. And even though the human five willingly hang out with her, try to give her another chance, and are sympathetic to her plight, they're mostly doing it because Princess Twilight asked them to and they don't fully trust the former bully. It takes nearly the entire film for Sunset to even start to earn approval from CHS, and that's only after she'd gone through constant verbal abuse and became one of the key factors in saving everybody from becoming a Siren Hate Plague feast.
    • When Twilight arrives, she and the Humane Five attempt to stop the Dazzlings by clasping hands and shouting "Friendship is magic!" Nothing happens.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games
    • All of Human Twilight's observations about magic don't prepare her for actually encountering it. While her intentions are pure, Human Twilight toying with forces she doesn't understand gives her no idea about how to stop them once they go out of control. It even puts students of both Canterlot High and Crystal Prep in danger during the motocross event.
    • When magic starts popping up at random, Sunset Shimmer writes in her magic diary to Princess Twilight for advice. Sunset never gets an answer. Applejack and Rarity point out that Twilight, as one of the leaders of Equestria, is probably extremely busy with a lot of her own problems, so they can't expect her to drop everything and come to the Human World at the drop of a hat whenever some random emergency pops up. This means that they have to figure things out on their own, which they do eventually.
    • Several students at Canterlot High and Principal Celestia mistake Human Twilight for her pony counterpart from another world, referring to her by name the first time she visits the school. Human Twilight is understandably freaked out, especially when she finds out that the Humane 5 and Sunset know that her dog's name is Spike.
    • While Human Twilight excels in the academic portion of the Friendship Games, she's a complete liability in the athletic portion. It's only through the good-hearted help of Applejack that Twilight manages to hit the target in archery; had Applejack not helped her, Canterlot High would have won the event completely uncontested.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Legend of Everfree:
    • Human Twilight is still traumatized by the events of Friendship Games and has recurring nightmares about them.
    • Flash Sentry sees Human Twilight as a Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest for Princess Twilight, who has not contacted him since Rainbow Rocks. However, while Human Twilight looks and sounds like Princess Twilight, she's a different person with different experiences and interests. All of his attempts to interact with her the same way he did with Princess Twilight don't work, repeatedly helping her doesn't make her attracted to him, and she becomes attracted to Timber Spruce, who seems to have more in common with her.
  • Kung Fu Panda
    • During the bridge fight scene, the first thing the Furious Five does is cut the bridge while Tai Lung is on it. Unfortunately, it doesn't work.
    • Tai Lung's best attack is a nerve strike, which Po is totally immune to thanks to his body fat.
    • When Po learns Tai Lung has escaped, he immediately runs away. He tells Shifu that even though he loves kung fu, he knows he is outmatched against such a dangerous opponent. Indeed, his eventual victory against Tai Lung comes almost entirely from switching his focus on something else while he pummeled his head. And even then, the few seconds an already weakened Tai Lung fully focused on him were the seconds Tai Lung nearly killed him.
  • Kung Fu Panda 2
    • Po thinks he can use kung fu to make his ordinary straw hat into a "disc of destruction" to cut the chains holding the Furious Five from half a mile away. He ends up looking like an idiot.
    • Po tries to heroically tell Lord Shen about how he's going to rescue the Furious Five and stop him, only to show that Shen can't hear a word of it thanks to Po being so far away.
    • The heroes believe that Shen only has one cannon, but he has a whole fleet's worth.
    • Master Thundering Rhino's "horn defense" is said to be impervious to any technique. Unfortunately, a cannonball propelled by an explosion is not a kung-fu technique.
  • Kung Fu Panda 3
    • Calling Your Attacks does not actually make them more powerful, as Mantis finds out the hard way.
    • The Big Bad is a powerful and infamous warrior who was locked away hundreds of years ago. Which means everyone's forgotten who he was.
    • Defeating the Big Bad doesn't just magically fix the destroyed Jade Palace.
  • Up
    • 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.
  • Played for Laughs in The LEGO Movie. When President Business' forces attack Cloud Cuckoo Land, Shaq tries to fight off the flying armoured vehicles with a basketball launched from a trebuchet.
    Shaq: Y'all ready for this? (basketball bounces harmlessly off the attacking ship) Oh no, they were ready for that!
  • The Incredibles
    • Invoked when Helen explains to her children that the mercenaries on Nomanisan Island are the kind who won't care what age their targets are.
    • "NO CAPES!": At one point Mr Incredible is talking with Edna Mode, a superhero costume designer about getting a new costume. Edna responds with the above when he asks for a cape, citing 5 different incidents when supers were killed when their capes snagged on, or got caught in, something or other. And at the end of the movie, this fate befalls Syndrome.
    • 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. (This one is Hollywood Law though, in real life, Good Samaritan Laws exist that specifically prevent such suits.)
    • Mr. Incredible's interrupting Syndrome's We Will Meet Again by taking a pot-shot at him with a thrown car, which sends him into a Turbine Blender.
    • Syndrome trying to be a superhero when in reality he's merely a shady inventor who specializes in constructing fancy gadgets. It goes horribly wrong because while he does know how to use the weapons he has, his nerves get the better of him the moment something doesn't go according to plan, namely his robot "opponent" recognizes him as a genuine threat and takes out the failsafe shutdown.
    • Syndrome programs a combat robot with learning capabilities that can locate and target specific threats, and also crafts a remote for him to control it, all specifically to be a Paper Tiger he can "fight" against. The Omnidroid recognizes the remote he uses—complete with the off switch—as a threat and moves to take Syndrome out.
    • When Dash fights one of the villain's Mooks, he hits the guy with a flurry of punches...that do almost nothing, since super-speed or not, he's a ten-year-old hitting a full-grown man.
  • Brave
    • Merida abuses a loophole so that she can get out of an arranged marriage. Not only does this cause a massive argument with Queen Elinor (leading to Merida's bow getting burnt and her running away), the humiliation of sons of the various clan lords royally pisses the clan lords off, and almost causes a war. In short, the Loophole Abuse made everything worse.
    • 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.
  • In the animated film Wizards, good wizard Avatar confronts his Evil Twin Blackwolf. At first everything seems to set up for a Wizard's Duel. Then Avatar, who up to this point has been a pacifist, suddenly pulls a gun and shoots Blackwolf dead, adding "I'm glad you changed your name, you son of a bitch!"
  • Ratatouille
    • After everything seems set for a Happily Ever After, it gets derailed into more of a Bittersweet Ending. Despite everyone's efforts to revive Gusteau's, it's shut down for good when the Health Inspector is entirely unmoved by the fact that the rats cooking the food in the kitchen are perfectly sanitary. Remy, Linguini, and Colette do bounce back and open up another restaurant (with a strong hint that it's financed by food critic Anton Ego), 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.
    • Linguini and Colette's Falling in Love Montage is rudely interrupted when Remy falls off Linguini's head, and is abruptly faced with the very real danger of being a rat in the middle of the street.
  • 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 addition, Megamind expects giving Metroman's powers to Hal will lead to him becoming equally selfless and heroic... not so. Because not everyone can be trusted with that kind of power especially if they're lacking in any kind of maturity.
    • Years of acting as The Cape with no time to define himself as anything else has left Metroman feeling unfulfilled, and years of doing the same thing over and over again with Megamind have left him feeling incredibly bored with life. Essentially he suffers the superhero equivalent of a mid-life crisis.
  • In Monsters University, Mike and Sulley are both expelled from Monsters University. But then, they perform a feat of scaring wizardry the likes of which the school has never seen. They still get expelled. The most they get for all their trouble is a pat on the back and a "good luck" from the dean.
    • 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.
    Prof. Knight: One scary face does not a scarer make, Mr. Sullivan.
    • Also, Mike clearly has passion and knowledge for Scaring, but he lacked natural talent and physical ability, meaning that he is incapable of being scary by himself since children find him too cute-looking.
    • A more lighthearted version in the end of the movie as well: The pair do get to work at Monsters Inc...as janitors, because they don't have the qualifications to immediately be scarers. However, as the years go by, they work their way up to becoming the top team in the company through hard work and determination like many people do.
  • 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.
    • During the final confrontation, Superman performs a mini-lobotomy on Black with his Eye Beams, removing his Psychic Powers. Supes then calmly walks over and bitch-slaps him a few times, with Black collapsing to his knees afterwards. It turns out that Black is useless without his powers.
  • In Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox — and the original Comic Book version, perhaps — Barry Allen's attempt to replicate the accident that turned 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, Bron, 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. What's more, Bron ends up having to seriously explain himself in order for Littlefoot to forgive him.
  • Chicken Run. Sorry Fowler, the RAF doesn't allow chickens to pilot aircraft. Amusingly he had thought this too obvious to mention, and the confusion comes from other characters not spotting it.
  • Starship Troopers: Invasion: Hand-to-hand combat with the bugs is a very stupid idea. Even if you somehow manage to beat down that one, there's still hundreds of them right behind it.
  • The Fox and the Hound: Although The Power of Friendship initially seems to be the main theme of the film, the two main characters (a hound dog and a fox) still end up as enemies and almost kill each other, if it weren't for an epic moment at the end.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    • 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, he is not the one she loves romantically.
    • When Quasimodo's face is revealed as Not a Mask, it seems like all is good anyway... until inevitably, someone a bit less accepting of physical deformity comes along and decides to play the bully.
    • 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.
  • Lilo & Stitch: Dr. Jumba partially destroys Lilo and Nani's house while hunting Stitch during a scene that is 100% comedy. The ramifications, however, are the farthest thing from funny: seeing her house burning, the social services agent Bubbles decides Nani is an unfit guardian and takes Lilo away, to be placed in a foster home. It gets subverted in the end, as the Grand Councilwoman declares that Lilo's family cannot be separated, which Bubbles had to comply to, though that puts his job and reputation as a social worker at stake.
    • Before that, we also see Nani losing her job as having serious consequences. Bubbles was willing to overlook the antics that went on with his previous visit, but if Nani wants to keep custody of Lilo, she can not be without a source of income.
  • The Princess and the Frog has a rare Played for Laughs example; when the trumpet-playing alligator Louis remembers jumping on a ship trying to join the Jazz band playing on its deck: All humans panicked and open fire. It didn't go well.
    • At the beginning of the movie, Tiana works hard and scrapes together every penny she has until she has enough for the building for her restaurant...only to learn someone else outbid her. And the men who she intended to buy it from are insultingly dismissive of her when they give her the news, because she's an African American woman in a time period when neither were thought suited for moving up in the world. Some fans theorize that they were straight up lying to her, because they never expected to actually get the money.
    • Tiana's hard working determination to make the money she needs resulted in her spending the rest of her life working, and having no time for socialization. Thus when Naveen tries to dance with her, she reveals she never learned how to dance.
  • In Frozen:
    • Agdar and Idun kept Elsa and Anna shut up in the castle, in a misguided (albeit well-meant) effort to protect the girls. Elsa ends up being emotionally withdrawn, while Anna is so desperate for affection that she throws herself headfirst into a relationship with a guy she just met, agreeing to marry him a few hours at the most after they start talking. Everyone points out how unsafe a thing that is for her to do, and sure enough it turns out that Hans is a master manipulator. Hans could be seen as a deconstruction of the usual "sing-a-song-fall-in-love" plot that Disney often has; turns out, falling in love and deciding to get married the minute you meet someone is a really stupid decision and not as romantic as it sounds.
    • In the ice palace, Anna tries to win Elsa's support just like a Princess Classic would, by singing an inspiring song about The Power of Friendship and how they can fix everything together. All it achieves is making Elsa even more confused and frightened, resulting in her accidentally wounding Anna. Elsa actually lampshades this.
    Elsa: Anna, please, you'll only make it worse!
  • Beauty and the Beast deconstructs the fairy tale's plot point of Belle falling in love with the Beast after he forces her father to hand her over. Instead, Belle deeply resents the Beast for forcing herself and her father in such a position, and refuses to interact with him. She doesn't warm up to him until he shows genuine kindness to her.
    • It's further deconstructed in the sense of showing how isolation can mess with someone's mental stability. In so many fairy tales, the member of royalty (usually a princess) locked away from everyone else still has perfect social skills. The Beast actually likes Belle from the very beginning, but has forgotten how to act like a normal person.
    • Unlike most Disney films, all the animals act like real animals and do not understand Belle's words, though it doesn't stop her from trying to talk to them. Her horse also abandons her father when they get attacked by wolves.
  • The Lion King
    • Simba finds out the hard way what happens when he ignores his father's warnings and enters territory belonging to hyenas, who both have no qualms about killing a lion cub and have nothing to lose and everything to gain from seeing the heir to the throne of their enemy's kingdom dead. Would Hurt a Child is a reality when the hyenas have everything to gain from seeing said child killed.
    • Also, being king means you have to take care of certain responsibilities. If you don't, you're going to run into all kinds of trouble. Scar gets despised by both the lions and the hyenas for neglecting those responsibilities, letting the Pridelands become a wasteland. As Mufasa tells Simba, "There's more to being King than getting your way all the time."
    • One of the main reasons that Scar ends up in such trouble is allowing the hyenas to run wild, both to solidify their loyalty and to prevent any of the lions rising up against him. This only lasts as long as there's food, though. By the time Simba returns, everyone is on the brink of starvation, the hyenas are openly discussing revolt, and the remaining lions treat Scar with contempt. Scar's final attempt to blame the hyenas for everything proves to be the last straw, getting Scar torn to pieces by a hyena mob.
  • An example that is Played for Laughs in The Book of Life. Joaquin asks why Chakal doesn't pick on someone his own size.
    Citizen: 'Cause no one's that big, man!
  • Big Hero 6:
    • What happens (in the teaser) when Hiro tries to shove the squishy, pear-shaped Baymax (who is essentially a hugging robot) into a suit of armor. After a few seconds of looking heroic in it, all the armor promptly pops off.
    • When the team faced Yokai for the first time, they were completely unprepared due to the fact they had no actual combat experience and only had minimal practice time to adjust to their Powered Armor. They ended up causing more harm to their own teammates than to the villain.
    • The video clip of Tadashi shows that it took dozens of attempts just to get Baymax to start up right, with him having to repeatedly work out the various kinks that kept popping up each time. Almost any engineering student can attest to how much Truth in Television that is.
  • Minions: At his coronation, Bob gives a long speech in Minionese and expects the crowd to congratulate him. However, nobody in- or out-of-universe has any clue what he's saying.
  • Zootopia:
    • Judy Hopps finally realizes her dream of becoming a police officer on the Zootopia PD through hard work and a never-give-up attitude. She starts off at the very bottom of the force as a meter maid, because she is A) a tiny rabbit on a police force made up of predators and megafauna, and B) brand new to the force.
    • Later bored with being a meter maid, Judy leaps at the opportunity to catch a criminal and prove she has what it takes to be a real cop. While she does catch him and bring him in, Judy nearly gets fired from the force because she abandoned her post, endangered several lives in Little Rodentia, and recklessly threw herself in pursuit with no weapon, no backup, and no plan.
    • While she tries her best to stay open-minded and treat others fairly, Judy has a fair amount of anti-fox prejudice, partially because of her rural and conservative upbringing in a rabbit family that feared predators (especially foxes), and partially because she was the victim of a brutal beating at the paws of a fox bully when she was a kid. She's forced to partner up with Nick Wilde, a fox conman through the course of the case, and they end up forming a pretty good friendship, especially since they discover that both of them struggle with prejudice due to what species they are and both were victims of racial-based bullying during their childhoods. Yet, at the press conference to discuss the case, she still subconsciously spouts the same anti-predator biases she had at the start. Just because you learn how to make friends with someone of a different group doesn't mean your prejudices against that group automatically go away. It took a lot more Character Development and a Heel Realization in order for Judy to make progress in actually moving past her biases.
    • At the end of the second act, Mayor Lionheart gets framed as the villain and is arrested. At the end of the movie, everybody acknowledges that he had nothing to do with the Big Bad's plot. However, he still goes to jail for falsely imprisoning the first fifteen Night Howler victims and withholding vital information from the police.
  • Ratchet & Clank: At the end of the movie Qwark attempts to arrest Dr Nefarious... before handing authority over to Ratchet. Seeing as he's betrayed the Galactic Rangers to join Chairman Drek, he is in no position of authority to arrest suspects.
    • After they escaped from the Deplanetizer as it begins to crash into orbit there's a heartwarming scene as Ratchet convinces Qwark to try and atone for his betrayal... until Clank interrupts with a very important statement. Because of how they escaped, they should've suffered from severe motion sickness from the change in inertia of teleporting from a space station crashing into a planet to a space ship. Ratchet and Qwark begin to blow him off... before immediately spewing onto the ground.
    • In a cross-media example, Captain Qwark is not Easily Forgiven due to his Face–Heel Turn, and while the ending of the movie shows that he was slapped with a demotion to Private and had to personally apologize on a tour to the entire galaxy the tie-in game opens with Qwark in prison.
  • In The Little Mermaid, the instant Ariel first becomes human, she's struggling to breathe underwater and would've been in real danger of drowning had Ursula not been quick to seal her in an airtight bubble, and Sebastian and Flounder have to help her reach the surface as quickly as they can.
  • In Kubo and the Two Strings, Kubo's mother suffers a blow to the head at the start of the movie, hard enough to draw blood. Flash forward to the present, and this has caused serious medical problems, as she now spends most of every day catatonic. Even when she's conscious, she suffers from tremors, and has large holes in her memory.
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