Reality Ensues / Web Comics

  • When Mumen Rider takes on the Deep Sea King in One-Punch Man, Rider has a sudden burst of Heroic Second Wind, complete with a "World of Cardboard" Speech with massive Heroic Resolve, and even a crowd cheering him on. Deep Sea King still flattens Rider with one hit. Saitama does give Rider credit for the speech, though.
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja
    • This page, as shown in the page image. A resident superhero flips over a room full of bad guys shooting at him. The hero ends up dead, riddled with bullets.
    • 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.
    • Perhaps the best example of this was when Sydney Yus got herself elected to Congress specifically so she could introduce a bill to shut down the titular store... only to be bluntly informed that she is a federal representative, and that is a state-level matter. "Curses! Trapped in a prison of my own making!"
  • In Dumbing of Age, Amber, in her vigilante identity as Amazi-Girl catches someone vandalising a street sign and orders him to stop. The guy flat out refuses since Amber is not a law enforcement officer and the only way she could stop him would be to physically assault him, which would be a much greater crime than vandalism.
  • 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.
  • This Buttersafe comic.
  • xkcd had Breakout: Don't Try This at Home.
  • In Nip and Tuck the Show Within The Show Rebel Cry opens with La Résistance getting its head handed to it by The Empire, because it consists of two systems.
  • In The Order of the Stick, Elan's use of bardic music to help Roy bluff an ogre warns the ogre that they are bluffing.
    • 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.
    • At one point, it looks like Belkar's been hanged. But it turns out he's still alive, because he weighs too little for the noose to break his neck.
    • During the Fall of Azure City arc, Daimyo Kubota, a card-carrying evil aristocrat, continually schemes to take over Azure City, and still plots to assassinate its lawful ruler even after its entire population has been displaced and their home conquered by an army of goblinoids. Eventually, an overstrained and frustrated Vaarsuvius disintegrates him, rather than waste time on a legal trial that would probably have ended up in his favor anyway, after he is caught in the aftermath of yet another disruptive scheme — in this case, trying to murder two commoner warriors who had been newly elevated to noble status for their valor during the siege of Azure City.
    • Nale decides that he's had enough of Tarquin. First he tells Tarquin and everyone else that he killed Malack, Tarquin's ally and good friend, and when Tarquin demands an explanation, Nale tells him that he wants nothing from Tarquin, be it assistance, protection or pity. Tarquin accepts this... and kills Nale, asking him what he thought the punishment for killing Tarquin's best friend would be. He then says that while Nale scorned Tarquin's protection, that protection was the only thing that allowed him to live as long as he did.
      • And even despite Nale's status as the Order's enemy, Elan does not react well to seeing his father kill his twin in front of him, nor does he accept any of Tarquin's attempts to justify it- and Tarquin constantly talking about how they're in a story and how things have to go to make the story better doesn't endear him to Elan either, since he keeps talking about Nale like he was just a plot device and not a person. Elan ends up refusing to go along with Tarquin's plans, instead letting him fall off the airship and leaving him behind, as he knows the fall won't kill him.
    • When Belkar confronts Malack alone in the temple, he spouts off a line about how the guys who say they have something to fight for always win. Then he attacks... And is promptly incapacitated with a single spell. It turns out right doesn't make might when you're talking about a poorly optimized Ranger/Barbarian with no Will save trying to take on a Cleric.
  • 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. They even lampshade how terrible an idea it was to anyone with a passing knowledge of the source material: 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 attacks. The whole strip is riffing on an episode of the Pokemon anime where Ash tries the exact same thing. The difference is, Ash wasn't living in a deconstruction; Atticus is cripplingly Wrong Genre Savvy.
  • In Zelfia, Mayy's birth mother leaves her infant daughter on the doorstep of a human florist... who promptly calls Child Protective Services and puts the baby into the foster care system.
  • This VG Cats parody of Tom and Jerry.
  • Darths & Droids demonstrates that people from all over the galaxy will naturally speak different languages, even if they're all the same race. It also shows the fact that a struggling rebellion strapped for cash might not have access to the best-quality resources.
    Mace Windu: I don't know whether to kick you out of the Jedi Order, court-martial you, or just execute every mother-frakking last one of you.
  • This Naruto fancomic.
  • In Girl Genius, it turns out that severed clank limbs need to land somewhere.
  • In Manly Guys Doing Manly Things, Jared the intern bought and ate $500 worth of gummy bears. He then had to get his stomach pumped.
    • Commander Badass, when falsely told by his superior all of his siblings are dead, breaks down crying and asks for a therapist. When his superior tells him off for not bottling up his emotions and becoming a dark and brooding avenger, the offended Commander demands to see a lawyer.
    • Commander Badass thinks a fight to the death with Gackt will cure his Nomura Syndrome. It doesn't. Canadian Guy more sensibly goes to the doctor for treatment.
    • Jonesy asks the Commander if he intends to fight Tank after he flips, but the Commander points out that even for him, getting into a fistfight with an eight hundred pounds, juiced-up Super Soldier with an "alpha male"-complex and a grudge is an idiotic thing to do, and spends most of his time trying to stay just inside speech-range and talk Tank down.
      • During their altercation, Commander Badass gets away from Tank by walking into the sea, well aware that Tank can't swim because large parts of his body have been replaced with metal, and he just sinks when he tries.
    • In a sense, the entire comic is about what happens when Reality Ensues to Manly Men with Testosterone Poisoning who are perfectly geared to survive environments where Everything Is Trying to Kill You, but don't have the emotional tools to handle the ups and downs of mundane life. The comic takes place at a temp agency because many of them can't find work due to their backgrounds.
  • In Drowtales, Shala is subjected to a Slashed Throat, but it's not immediately fatal because she's a trained healer and knows what to do, so she and some helpful nurse-demons manage to stem the immediate blood flow and she's carried to safety by her brother and boyfriend. It looks like she's out of the woods as they make their escape... only for it to be revealed that she actually died from heart failure caused by the blood loss and no one noticed as they were carrying her. Just like in real life, it wasn't the damage to her throat that killed her, it was what the blood loss did to the rest of her critical bodily systems.
    • Also, in chapter 47, the logistics of feeding the massive Sarghress army reach a critical point after their plantations and surface colonies are attacked.
  • Played for laughs in Brawl in the Family when Kirby and King Dedede attempt to reenact the Gourmet Race. Both of them are utterly sick at the end due to the combo of cramming as much food as they can down their mouths while running at top speed. And, as Kirby notes, some of those food combinations do not go well with each other.
  • In one of the early chapters of Magical 12th Graders, the heroine witnesses a Magical Girl Warrior being knocked out by a group of monsters. Rather than try to fight the creatures and rescue the unconscious girl, the heroine tries to flee, arguing that it's not her job to risk her life to save someone she's never even met. While her actions seem cold and even cowardly, chances are most people in real life would act similarly in such a dangerous, terrifying situation.
  • In Questionable Content, Marten and Dora's breakup is fueled by a realistic clash of personality traits which had previously been played for laughs.
    • Another relationship goes down the drain when one partner gets a job which requires moving to another town, and the other can't handle a long-distance relationship as well as they thought they could.
    • Faye's drinking habit gets a lot worse after her breakup with Angus. This gets her a) fired from Coffee of Doom for drinking on the job, and b) alcohol poisoning so severe that Marten calls an ambulance. Despite this, she still has problems with drinking and falls Off the Wagon afterward, just as many addicts of all kinds do, regardless of their moments of clarity during which they realize that their vice is bad for them.
    • Ex-military robot Bubbles has implied combat-related PTSD as well as severe misanthropy and depression due to the way veterans are regarded by society, combined with real-world concerns about how advancing technology is making warfare more impersonal and accessible (it's debatable whether robots in QC are considered people or machines). For comparison, the depressive, abrasive, maybe-recovering-alcoholic Faye is treated as an uplifting and outgoing social influence to Bubbles.
    • Hannelore changing medications for her neuroses and consequently suffering weird side-effects has been played for laughs a few times.
  • A Magical Roommate has one that's also a deconstruction of many fairy tales: a commoner meets her Prince Charming, they fall in love and get married... and then she immediately has to spend months, if not years learning the proper court etiquette, how to deal with the royalty and nobility of the other nations, and all the other things she needs to know because she'll be ruling the country one day. Then reality ensues again when, due to the stress of ruling, seeing her children being raised by nannies (because she doesn't have time to raise them herself) and seeing them get hit by an epidemic, she winds up snapping under the pressure and effectively quits as the queen, only putting in appearances at necessary functions and spending the rest of her time with her family.
    • X manages to pay her way through the magical school by selling aluminium in the form of aluminium foil she bought in our world... and sells so much she manages to crash the aluminium market and seriously undermine another country's economy.
    • X decides to follow Aylia to the magical school, but is faced with a problem: all human students must be able to pass a proficiency test in a language X doesn't know. X ends up resorting to the exceptionally bad lie that she's actually a fairy who suffered a shapeshifting accident that left her mostly human with fairy wings, but it does work... except that not only do many of the fairy students feel sorry for her and want to help her get the 'accident' fixed, when X says it's irreversible, she then meets a fairy student majoring in shapeshifting who points out that there's no way that the 'accident' couldn't be fixed, and easily guesses from X's reaction that X lied about her species.
    • Since her parents refuse to pay her tuition, Aylia's only way to successfully enroll at the magical school is to get a scholarship as a teaching assistant. At the auditions, she goes in believing that her magical abilities and her unique and diverse life experience will surely get her a position... only to see the positions go to people who were more experienced as TAs, or who knew the teachers, or who had more knowledge of the fields in question, leaving her stuck between a rock and a hard place until a rather whimsical teacher decides to take her on.
  • Homestuck has Dave, whose entire childhood was basically Training from Hell under the eye of his... eccentric, to say the least... guardian, his Bro. The end result? Dave doesn't think the training made him any stronger, he doesn't want to fight or be a hero, he doesn't want to be around danger, he doesn't want to even see blood, and he's convinced that Bro must have hated him and viewed raising him as a fucked up game.
  • Erfworld features Parson Gotti, a Combat Pragmatist general imported from Earth to an RPG-Mechanics Verse. He favors outside-the-box tactics that his enemies don't see coming... up-to and including using false surrenders to assassinate enemy leaders and launching massive attacks in the middle of parley, or launching attacks through neutral territory without their consent. While he sees this as just another metagaming technique, the other factions consider these war crimes just as they would be considered in our world. This means that when the situation starts to stabilize nobody trusts him or his faction enough to negotiate a cease-fire, and those few that do negotiate with him hold his side at arm's length. Granted, Parson partially acts the way he does because he believes the parlays will be done in bad faith and that the Magic Kingdom's hostile attitude towards him makes him not have anything to lose.
  • Megatokyo: Magical Girl Yuki has been jaunting all over town with her simple mortal classmate Kobayashi in tow; turns out it's killing him, as he was injured in all the sudden accelerations.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: As Annie eventually finds out, being the protagonist doesn't make you immune to the rules. She's called out more than once for acting like she owns the place and not considering other people's feelings and opinions, and later on in the comic, Anthony Carver reveals that the Court knew for a long time that Annie's been copying Kat's homework and were planning to expel her, and they used this to get him to return.
    • After Annie and Reynardine have a nasty fight which ends up revealing some unpleasant truths, Annie ends up running into Gillitie Forest and is allowed to stay there for a while. Once she gets back to the Court, she finds that Kat was not amused when she found out what happened, and while she understands why Annie left and doesn't really blame her, it still hurt, so she's pretty aloof for most of the chapter.
    • When Coyote confronts the Court and Anthony Carver over Annie's being kept away from the Forest, he gets so angry at Anthony that he knocks over one of the Court's buildings. The heads of the Court are afraid of Coyote's anger and ask Anthony to let Annie go back to the Forest, but Anthony just asks Coyote how Annie could be safe if that's what Coyote does when he gets angry. Coyote then actually tries convincing Anthony instead of threatening him, and it works.
  • Godslave may be about the protagonist trying to aid an immortal deity by looking for his missing soul parts... but Edith still has to work to pay for her groceries.
  • When Quinn and Ellie in Shotgun Shuffle discover they've been put on a voyeur site by Danny, Quinn immediately wants to call the cops. Ellie (whose dad is the chief of police) suggests that they not, since the media coverage would only make things worse and further embarrass them. Instead, they make a deal with Danny's equally outraged partner for compensation.
  • Mahou Josei Chimaka is about a former Magical Girl Warrior struggling with adulthood, and it's mentioned in the first chapter is that she bombed her college entrance exams because fighting evil as a teen left her no time to study.
  • Schlock Mercenary: During the "Big Dumb Objects" arc, the research team has managed to translate an ancient Oafan star chart and pinpoint the current locations of several caches of advanced technology. Nearly all of them are long gone: over the untold eons since they were established, they've either already been picked clean by other races or been destroyed by cosmic events. Of course they were. Someone was bound to find this stuff sooner or later. And no Ragnarok-Proofing measures are perfect. If the sun blows up, there's not much anyone can do.
  • El Goonish Shive starts off with the usual Weirdness Censor that is prevalent in works where The Masquerade is in place. Unfortunately, as the comic progresses, it becomes obvious that, despite what the protagonists thought, random civilians who've witnessed supernatural occurrences don't suddenly forget they happened, they just try not to acknowledge that they did. From every time a Monster of the Week appears, to when the protagonists casually show off their superpowers, The Masquerade has been breaking down, and the existence of magic is no longer a secret. Which leads to another Reality Ensues moment— in The Unmasqued World, where anyone can learn to use magic, what stops an amoral sociopath from getting superpowers? And because Personality Powers is in effect, what kind of powers do you think that sociopath will get?
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/RealityEnsues/Webcomics