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Aesop Amnesia / Western Animation

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  • 101 Dalmatians: The Series had this for no less a personage than Cruella de Vil. For the Yet Another Christmas Carol episode, we had a tour through her Freudian Excuse, and at the end she's being a genuinely nice person. It lasts until the beginning of the next episode because, well, she's the primary villain and Status Quo Is God.
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius: You know, for someone who's supposed to be a boy genius, it never seems to cross Jimmy's oversized mind that using his own genius for his own good has its share of consequences or exactly how many times his own inventions had backfired on him in the past. His arrogance and lack of common sense only pushes him further towards this trope.
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  • The titular Gumball is practically the poster child of this trope. Despite the many times his schemes had gotten him and Darwin in trouble, he never seems to learn from his past mistakes and continues to implement the same schemes that got him and Darwin in trouble before. Darwin does try to talk some sense into him, but Gumball mostly ignores his warnings.
  • Contrary to what he says in the page quote, in many areas Stan of American Dad! doesn't forget certain Aesops (accepting his gay neighbors, or his ethnic Iranian ones), but like the Peter Griffin example above they have lampshaded his inability to do so in other areas.
    Stan: There's something you should know about me by now, Roger. I don't learn lessons.
    • It took him 2 episodes to really accept his gay neighbors considering he tried to kidnap their baby from them.
    • The episode with the page quote, concerning Stan lying that he came up with Roger's idea, ends with him taking credit for Roger's idea. Even shortly after lampshading his inability to retain lessons, he still forgets the current lesson.
    • Another interesting example and partial Lampshade Hanging comes with Roger. One episode ended with him revealing that he didn't really feel like a part of the Smith family, which is why he got insulted when they threw a comedy roast for his birthday (at his request). The others actually get indignant because not only has this issue been dealt with before, but in that episode and others they had repeatedly gone out of their way to please his ever-insane needs and desires. As Hayley pointed out, if he didn't think they cared about him by that point, it was his problem, not theirs. Roger seems to get it then, though who knows if it will stick this time.
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  • Deconstructed in Archer. The title character never learns his lesson about becoming a better person, which makes him reasonably and intensely disliked by his peers.
  • Sometimes happens on Arthur, but usually it's lampshaded with one character pointing out to the offender early on that they've learned this lesson before, while the offender tries to justify how the situations are different.
  • Ben 10: The sheer number of times Ben has learned lessons about being nicer to Gwen, using the Omnitrix smarter not harder, and respecting other people and promptly discarded them by the next episode is truly staggering.
    • The 2nd Lucky Girl episode has Gwen also guilty of this, as the episode opens with her telling Ben, "You should be grateful for what you've got; I only got to be Lucky Girl for a few hours." And later, while they're talking about a new charm she found, we get a flashback to Gwen destroying the other charms of her own volition, while ignoring why she did this: to Be Herself, and also keep them out of Hex's evil hands. It's an actually positive use of the trope because the original moral was nonsensically saying that having powers was stopping Gwen from 'being herself' in the face of Ben who uses the Omnitrix all the time with no issue. In this case the aesop is forgotten because well... it's worth forgetting.
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    • Ben 10: Alien Force has Kevin Levin. He's constantly looking for a deal, and it's constantly biting him in the rear, usually because he trusts his old partner Argit despite the many times the latter has screwed him over.
    • Ben 10: Omniverse has Ben forgetting that he needs the help of his friends and family to be the hero he is, not to mention avoiding letting his fame go to his head. His new partner Rook calls him out on this, though.
  • Bob's Burgers: Jimmy Pesto always seems to bring out the worst in Bob, and it takes a while for Bob to learn that struggling to one-up him isn't always worth the effort.
  • The 2015 reboot of Bob the Builder sees Scoop suffer this as a result of his regression into a childish idiot.
  • Brandy from Brandy & Mr. Whiskers was probably the epitome of this trope. Several episodes were about her either learning to care about others for a change or just care about Mr. Whiskers.
  • BoJack Horseman: Handled brutally in the season 3 finale. Diane learns she has more potential than writing shallow celebrity tweets... and ends up with a job writing for a feminist clickbait website. Princess Carolyn realizes that her job is making her miserable and quits it to concentrate on her love life... before starting a new career in a basically identical job. Only BoJack recognizes that his starring role in his rebooted sitcom is just him repeating the mistakes he always makes... which is especially sad, because he seemed a lot more sincere about it this time.
    • Season 5 puts a slight backpedal on BoJack's Character Development from the previous 2 seasons. After a stunt accident while filming a crime drama show, BoJack becomes dependent on prescription painkillers to cope with both physical and mental pain. He breaks his promise to Hollyhock over never taking them again, which leads to him confusing fantasy and reality, and ends up choking his co-star when she tries to dispose of the pills. During an argument with Diane, he stubbornly refuses to take responsibility for his mistakes, which contrasts his Heel Realization in the aforementioned season finale.
  • Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers:
    • Every single episode focusing on Zipper has the team dismiss him due to his small size/strength, which makes him leave, only for everyone else to realize what an asset he actually was and fully accept him at the end.
    • The "team ostracizes a character, so they leave, only for everyone else to miss them and want them back" plot point actually happens multiple times to every member of the Rangers except for Chip. In fact it's often Chip who's complaining that Dale's too stupid/Monterey Jack's too hot-headed/Gadget's too scatter-brained/etc. that makes whoever it is leave.
  • Muriel and Eustace in Courage the Cowardly Dog continue to be fooled by the Monsters of the Week (such as Katz and Le Quack) even after said villains had tried to harm them in the past. Not even their old age excuses them since Eustace acts incredibly immature for his age and Muriel doesn't seem to lack any wisdom or awareness whatsoever outside of her eyesight when not wearing her glasses...or does she?
    • Count how many times Muriel has bashed Eustace on the head for mistreating Courage.
    • And let's also count how many times Eustace was warned to not do anything stupid that would inflict some ominous curse on him and/or the rest of the family and stubbornly flouts them by doing it anyway. Lucky for him, the show makes great use for the reset button.
  • How many times did Darkwing Duck learn to put aside his pride and get serious/ask for help/play well with others/etc.? Probably about once an episode.
  • Yet another Disney example - the Disney Junior short series Nina Needs to Go!, which is basically Potty Emergency: The Series, will always end with Nina saying "That will never happen again because now I know - don't wait to go!" But then, it happens again in another scenario.
  • DuckTales (1987)
    • Fenton Crackshell kept learning that it wasn't his mechanized battle suit that truly made him a hero, but his determination, brains, and spirit. He still put that sucker on at the earliest opportunity every episode, though. (Well, wouldn't you if you had one?)
    • Huey, Dewey, and Louie never quite got the message "playing pranks on your [parent equivalent] to get something out of them will only backfire in the worst way, and isn't very nice besides".
    • It was done a bit better with Uncle Scrooge, however. While he remained very cheap throughout the series, he was willing to at least put the safety of his family ahead of money (although not always their comfort). (He did still have a number of episodes in each of which he learned anew not to be so stingy, however.) Partially justified in that Scrooge's primary focus has been making money, finding treasures, and pinching pennies since at least his late teens; it's probably hardwired by now.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy:
    • Eddy lives and breathes this trope. Most of the Eds' failure in their scams are mostly his fault, and no matter how many times Edd warns him of a significant flaw, Eddy always ignores him instantly. It's not just the scams either. Eddy continues to taunt the likes of Sarah and Kevin even after the times each of those two characters, especially the former, have given the Eds a good beating in many occasions. Heck Edd actually lampshades this in two episodes when it came to Sarah. After the kids are horribly injured thanks to another one of Eddy's scams, they attempt to run after the Eds, who attempt to escape to the amusement park to go to Eddy's brother for safety. When the kids finally confront the Eds, they witness the pain Eddy suffers in the hands of his brother and are downright distraught. After Eddy's brother is defeated thanks to Ed, Eddy finally learns that all he had to do was be himself, and the Eds finally gain acceptance from the kids.
    • You would think that after the 50th time the kids were bilked out of their money by the Eds they'd learn not to ever give them a cent and never listen to a word they say. However, since the central premise of most episodes is based around the attempts by the Eds to scam the other kids only to be caught or otherwise fail miserably, the Cul de sac kids have to fall for the Eds' scams over and over and keep giving them their allowances almost every episode for the series to be able to work.
  • In "Ella Borrows Trouble" on Ella the Elephant, Ella "borrows" a number of things from her friends without asking. She gets into trouble for it and learns an important lesson. Yet, in "Tea Party Trouble," she "borrows" her mother's favorite earrings for the tea party without asking, resulting in one being stolen by a seagull.
  • Kuzco on The Emperor's New School has "learned" again and again (and again) that it's not all about him.
    • This show is a particularly absurd example. It's a series based off of the movie, where Kuzco spends the entire time learning that he isn't the center of the universe, and by the end, has become a genuinely nice person who treats other people as equals. Cue the series, where he has apparently forgotten all of the events of the movie and once again has to "learn" that the world doesn't revolve around him. Multiple times.
    • He seems to have gotten better by the sequel movie, Kronk's New Groove, where he mentions he loves being the spotlight in the beginning, but it's time for him to step aside. And then he makes another appearance by the end, where he's actually trying to help Kronk, who was an antagonist for most of the first movie and the series.
    • Slightly justified in that the opening scenes of Emperor's New Groove show Kuzco having been spoiled since he was in diapers. He's literally having to rewrite the habits of years. note 
  • The Fairly OddParents!: Timmy's had to learn not to act like a Jerkass ("A Wish Too Far!", "Power Pals", "Fairy Idol", "The Jerkinators"), his parents' rules are for the best ("Ruled Out", "Channel Chasers") and there are worse alternatives to Vicky ("Totally Spaced Out", "Vicky Gets Fired") several times. If you count episodes with a Fantastic Aesop, add "time travel is bad" ("Father Time", "Twistory") and "make sure magic gadgets only work for you" ("Deja Vu", "Presto Change-O"). Furthermore, most of the episodes' plots wouldn't even be possible if he actually bothered to remember the dozens, if not hundreds, of times he's learned to be careful what he wishes for or to listen to Wanda's warnings of the potential consequences.
    • In one movie, Timmy states that he secretly wished for the entire earth to not age. It took 50 years for them to find out what had happened. Apparently after those 50 years he had gained absolutely nothing of value; no knowledge, no experience. All that time he didn't even bother to wish to find out if and how he would be caught so as to avoid it. He still doesn't bother to add two bits of sense into any wish.
    • "Love Struck" is an example of the writers forgetting their own Aesop. A previous episode, "The Boy who would be Queen", was about challenging gender stereotypes, showing girls can like traditionally boyish things and vice versa. "Love Struck" plays gender stereotypes completely straight, saying all girls like traditionally girlish things. When Timmy wishes for a world without girls, causing men and women to all live in one side of a world, the women form a Utopia while the men side of the world is a disgusting dump. The Mysterious Mr. Enter goes into detail on this.
  • Family Guy once lampshaded its own tendency to end with Peter describing whatever lesson he had learned by ending an episode with this exchange:
    Lois: Well, Peter, I guess you learned a pretty valuable lesson.
    Peter: Nope!
    • There are at least THREE times that Peter Griffin has learned to love and appreciate his daughter and promptly forgotten it by next episode. Twice it happened before the episode was even over.
    • An early episode had Brian coming to terms with his unrequited attraction to Lois, which was handled with a heart-to-heart conversation that was actually quite touching (especially considering this is Family Guy we're talking about). However, several seasons later Brian is outright obsessed with Lois, including trying to forcibly kiss her and convince her to leave Peter in one episode.
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: Bloo swings around between extreme Jerkass and Jerk with a Heart of Gold and virtually every time he finally realizes how life is much more fun if you're not consumed by childish egoism, he is reset back by the beginning of the next episode, or, worse, flanderized into an even greater jerk then before.
  • Parodied in Futurama's Show Within a Show, The Scary Door. A Lazy Bum scientist builds a robot to do all the important things in his life for him, while he relaxes. Years later, he sees that the robot is the one who is given an award for a lifetime of scientific achievement. The next second, his son walks into the room and hugs the robot instead of him. Feeling a case of tragic irony incoming, the scientist tells the robot to experience it for him. The robot falls to its knees in horror, while the scientist cracks open a beer bottle.
  • Goof Troop:
    • In the third episode, "Axed By Addition", Pete realizes that he has been a terrible father to his son, PJ, while he thinks PJ is sick and dying and spends the majority of the episode trying to apologize and ask for forgiveness for his mistreatment... then the doctors call him back, tell him PJ wasn't really sick, and he's right back to his abusive self for the rest of the series.
    • Max Goof has had to learn the lesson, "Your dad is awesome and you are lucky to have him even if he is weird and embarrassing" multiple times, most obviously in both movies.
  • Gravity Falls:
    • Mabel Pines had to learn several times over the course of one summer that she should not always put her wants above the needs of others, and that she should think more selflessly. Even though "Sock Opera" seemed to be written specifically to address this, towards the end of the series she was still willing to make a deal to place the entire town under a temporary bubble where time did not move foreward after having a bad day where she learned the horrors of growing up and was met with the possibility of her brother not being there with her.
    • Invoked and parodied in Society of Blind Eye, where Blind Ivan feels a little bad when the negative repercussion of his amnesia ray are pointed out... only to zap himself with the ray to forget all about it.
  • Kim Possible
    • The Chained Heat episode "Bonding" showed Kim and Bonnie getting handcuffed together and learning more about one another in the process. Kim learns about Bonnie's family life, specifically her two sisters who belittle her at every opportunity. By the end of the episode, the two are getting along somewhat better, though by Bonnie's next appearance, she's just as shallow and mean as ever. This pattern pretty much repeats every time they're forced in a situation where they have to work together, and yet, never learn to get along.
    • Many, many times Ron learned the lesson about being yourself, and then promptly forgot about it. Actually lampshaded one time by Kim in "Ron Millionaire" where she mentions that he has a tendency towards this. It doesn't help.
      • One of the movies lampshades this even further, where Ron attempts to caution his younger self not to learn his lesson from one of these events in particular.
        "OK, look, listen to me. In the future you will change your hair and become a babe magnet. Keep that look!"
      • Well, the problem is at the end of the episode once he learned the lesson about his behavior he didn't need to alter his appearance back to the old style just because the new one had bad associations.
    • Kim learns that her brothers can be helpful and not just nuisances at least twice, and to disregard peer pressure from Bonnie a good few times.
  • King of the Hill runs on this trope.
    • Unless you're an actual calculator, you've probably lost count of the number of times Hank has learned to accept Bobby's athletic limitations and appreciate his other skills. Maybe it's genetic, as Hank has earned the grudging respect of his father, Cotton, on several occasions, and that never sticks, either.
      • Not to mention that no matter how many times Hank learns to loosen up, this still happens a lot:
    Bobby: Hey Dad, guess what! I joined the (insert incredibly effeminate and/or gay and/or non-traditional activity here)!
    Hank: BWAAAHHH!!!
    • Hank also constantly forgets that Bobby is good at some sports, like shooting, football, and wrestling.
    • Can we get a count of how many times Bill's gotten over his depression and found something meaningful in his life, including another woman, only to have it completely forgotten by the next episode?
    • Kahn and Minh quite frequently learn to respect their redneck neighbors and then forget.
    • More quintessential to the trope is perhaps Buck Strickland, who consistently fails to learn that his illegal schemes will always put his business at risk. Strangely, however, Hank for some reason doesn't even get an Aesop that his boss is an amoral bastard and that he'll always get in trouble for trying to clean up after Buck's mess.
      • In Hank's case, a number of episodes imply that Hank is fully aware of how bad Buck is, but sticks around out of a misplaced sense of gratitude and loyalty and/or an equally misplaced hope that Buck might at some point revert back to the hard-working man he was when Hank first met him (which he nearly did in one episode); both are played as Hank's having found a better father in Buck than he had in Cotton.
    • The numerous examples where Peggy should have learned that her perceived abilities and appearance don't match up to reality. At times, she learns to accept her limitations, but goes right back to her old self in the next episode.
    • In Season 4, the Running Gag of Nancy and John Redcorn's affair ends when they finally begin feeling bad about betraying Dale's trust (which is an incredibly rare commodity) and part ways amicably. Then in Season 11, Redcorn attempts to restart the affair, and though Nancy is temptednote , she ultimately stands by her man.
  • Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness has a particular issue with Po never learning humility, passiveness, forethought, basically any aesop that could lead to things being better for him.
  • In The Legend of Korra, this is pretty clear from season 1 to season 2, as the headstrong Korra once again disregards the advice of her patient mentor to work for fast results with a Manipulative Bastard who turns out to be totally amoral. As with her enemies, an elderly Toph even lampshades that an important lesson Korra often lets slip by is that nearly each of them had good ideas, but let them go too far. Toph even goes further to point out that Korra not learning her lesson is why she can't deal with newer enemies.
    • Just in general early on, Korra would often forget that she needs the help of her friends and family to be the hero she is, not to mention avoiding letting her status as the avatar go to her head. In Book 4, she cut herself off of the people she cared about, and Toph even points this out.
    • Actually averted with Tenzin. While the guy remains stiff and humorless throughout the series, he learns very, very quickly that Korra won't respond to rigid and studious teaching and that to be her mentor he has to bend a little. This lesson sticks with him throughout the series, and Korra consistently turns to him for advice when needed. He did attempt being overly-strict in Season 3 when teaching the new Airbenders, but that was because of bad advice.
  • The Loud House's main protagonist, Lincoln, seems to suffer frequently from this as he ends relearning the same lesson again and again. For example, after "No Such Luck", you'd have thought he'd stop telling lies for his own selfish needs, but "What Wood Lincoln Do?" came along and it shows him taking credit for other people's work, which is also cheating. What's the bet he'll forget that lesson again?
  • On Madeline, Pepito's cousins return in "Madeline and the Mummy" and seem to have completely forgotten why they stopped being brats in the last episode.
  • On The Magic School Bus, Janet seems to have relearned to not be such a snotty brat in just about every episode she appeared in.
  • Maryoku Yummy, being a series for preschoolers, tends to fall into this a lot. Every other episode, Hadagi has to learn not be a big jerk, Ooka has to learn to be more responsible, and Shika has to learn that Maryoku is just right and stop fighting it already.
  • In Miss BG every episode usually deals with BG lying/telling tall tales, which in turn causes a massive problem amongst her friends and family, but she never learns her lesson for good.
  • For a show that runs on Aesops, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has quite a few of these.
    • The Cutie Mark Crusaders play with this trope as a Running Gag. The lesson "You can't make your cutie mark appear; you just have to wait for it" comes up in several episodes, but they refuse to learn it or wind up Comically Missing the Point. Done most egregiously in "The Cutie Pox", where Apple Bloom states the Aesop herself, only to declare that she's waited long enough roughly ten seconds later. Ironically, it actually sticks a lot better that time, and by season 3, the "we're going to get our cutie marks in X" plots largely fade into the background.
    • The Mane Six zig-zag this trope. They often learn lessons related to their personalities, and then sometimes fall back into old habits. However, over the course of the series they have also shown signs of positive Character Development. Twilight has come to appreciate friendship more and has demonstrated more patience, calmness, and rational thought (traits which prove useful when she becomes a princess). Rainbow Dash took a level in kindness in Season 2 that has in general persisted, and Fluttershy has demonstrated ever-increasing traits of assertiveness and tough love, as well as more self-confidence in her flight capabilities. Applejack also dialed back on the pride permanently; in "The Super-Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", she has no problem accepting her friends' help, and at the end of the episode, she even explicitly points out that she knew that already. In "Apple Family Reunion", she actually plans for and goes to them for help.
    • Some lessons that stay learned are by the citizens of Ponyville at large, as they have learned to accept Zecora and Princess Luna. Zecora makes a crack about the ponies of Ponyville seeming to forget their lesson and hide from her again in "The Cutie Pox", but they're actually hiding from Apple Bloom.
    • At least once a season, there'll be an episode to teach Spike his place in the group. Considering his status as a Butt-Monkey, this might be needed.
    • In several episodes, the characters forget that Princess Celestia is a kind, nurturing mother figure to her subjects and think she is a stiff who would punish someone for making a simple mistake. Twilight Sparkle goes through this the most.
    • In the Season 1 episode "Griffon the Brush Off," Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie take caution not to prank Fluttershy due to her sensitive nature, and it's a plot point that Gilda doesn't have that kind of restraint and gets Fluttershy upset. In the Season 6 episode "28 Pranks Later," Rainbow Dash not only has to relearn "You don't just prank anyone you see" (and even pranks Spike in an incredibly similar way), but she loses that inhibition in the meantime and pranks Fluttershy during the Cold Open.
    • In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls (2013), an alternate universe version of Twilight's friends all learn to at least take five minutes or so to talk to each other about their problems. They forget this in several other movies and the spin-off comic as well.
    • After her Heel–Face Turn, Starlight Glimmer repeatedly tries to use magic to solve mundane problems instead of talking through them, which usually makes things worse.
    • This was lampshaded in "Fame and Misfortune" where a group of Loony Fans accuse Fluttershy of having to re-learn confidence over and over. Fluttershy responds that someone's personality doesn't just completely change because of one event; they may need to be reminded a few times.
  • Candace of Phineas and Ferb has learned to have fun with life in every episode that's ever focused on her. A possible justification is given in one episode where we see inside her brain; at one point, her Id (which represents her desire to bust her brothers) wipes out sections of her memory; this could be taken to mean that her desire to bust her brothers is so strong that she voluntarily forgets any lessons she learns which would get in the way of it. Plus, even without that her basic sanity is... dubious, at best.
  • The Powerpuff Girls have it pretty bad, but then, they are portrayed as being in kindergarten, so it might be understandable that they don't always remember the lessons they've learned very well.
    • Meanwhile, the villains continue to try to take over the world, rob other citizens, and commit other otherwise illicit deeds even after the girls give them a good beatdown. Mojo Jojo, in particular, especially falls towards this whenever he conceives a diabolical plan to take over Townsville and destroy the Powerpuff Girls, not learning his lesson for the many times he keeps overlooking a flaw in his schemes and not taking the painstaking effort to put them into full detail before he implements them.
  • Parodied in Rick and Morty. Mr. Needful had given Mr. Goldenfold aftershave that made him irresistible to women, but also impotent. Upon confronting Needfull about it, Needful declares that everything has a price and laughs evilly. Goldenfold breaks down, declaring that he deserves what he got for his greed and hubris. Rick shows up, cures Goldenfold's impotency, keeping the aftershave's positive effects, and Goldenfold immediately runs off with several beautiful women, yelling "I haven't learned a thing!"
  • Rocket Power: Otto Rocket. Oh boy! Where do we even get started on this arrogant kid? Well to put it short, of all the times he disobeyed any authority figure's demands and warnings not to do anything that would get him into major trouble (such as snowboarding off the big jump and sneaking into the back bowl that is off limits), it's a wonder why Raymundo didn't revoke his skating privileges for a while.
  • The babies of Rugrats get tricked by Angelica pretty much every episode and yet keep believing almost everything she says. To be fair, they are babies.
  • In Sabrina: The Animated Series instead of solving her problems on her own, she goes to the Spooky Jar (A Cookie Jar that contains a genie-like entity who is actually a Jerkass Genie) to solve her problems, only to create much much worse problems in their places. Despite this, she still uses it every episode.
  • Silly Symphonies that followed up The Three Little Pigs showed that Fiddler and Fiefer still played while Practical worked, and they generally blew off the Big Bad Wolf as a Harmless Villain.
  • The Simpsons
    • As with all Negative Continuity tropes, The Simpsons uses this one a lot. Often they'll just go ahead and lampshade, and at least one episode ends with Lisa concluding there was no moral to learn "Just some things that happened". With the supporting characters, it's even more pronounced; Barney goes from "clean and sober" to "hopeless alcoholic" depending on the mood of the writer, Mr. Burns has learned to love his fellow man dozens of times, and even though he's learned to stand up for himself in every episode he's a featured player in, Principal Skinner never manages to move out of his mother's house.
    • Lampshaded at least once in Mr. Burns's case:
      Burns: For me? Bobo? Smithers, I'm so happy. Something amazing has happened, I'm actually happy. Take a note! From now on, I'm only going to be good and kind to everyone.
      Smithers: I'm sorry sir, I don't have a pencil.
      Burns: Ehh, don't worry, I'm sure I'll remember it.
    • In one episode Mr. Burns describes himself as having "characteristic changes of heart". This leads to him befriending Homer and being a good person for much of the episode, then going right back to being evil at the end. As Homer notes, "I guess some people never change. Or, they quickly change and then quickly change back."
    • Also lampshaded in "Homer Loves Flanders" where Homer came to genuinely like Ned Flanders. At the end of the episode Bart asks Lisa where the expected last-minute Face–Heel Turn event is that would reset the situation back to status quo. Lisa is stumped. Then comes one last scene with "one week later" caption where Homer suddenly loathes Flanders again, and Bart and Lisa give a content "things are back the way they should be" smile.
    • The episode "Bart's Girlfriend", Reverend Lovejoy never really learns to discipline his daughter, and all Jessica learns is that she can manipulate boys into doing what she wants. Bart subverted this, by seemingly being suckered in again by Jessica into doing her chores, only planning to do a bad job to get Jessica in trouble.
    • In "Duffless", he also repeatedly failed to learn the lesson "the cupcake is wired up to electricity, and if you touch it you will get a shock". Thereby proving that yes, he was dumber than a hamster.
    • In "Krusty Gets Kancelled", when Krusty loses his show, he's destitute because he never saved for this kind of situation. After getting his show back, he buys a ruby to use as a clown nose.
  • In a first-season episode of The Spectacular Spider-Man, the Chameleon begins a crime spree dressed as the eponymous hero. J. Jonah Jameson, being who he is, immediately prints a story in the Bugle declaring him a criminal; of course, by the end of the episode, the Chameleon is revealed to be the criminal and Jameson is forced to print a retraction, something he had apparently never had to do before. In the second season, Venom also begins committing crimes and general violence while impersonating Spidey. Jameson soon ends up at the police station, demanding to know why Captain Stacy hasn't begun efforts to arrest Spider-Man yet. While calmly explaining his evidence saying that Spidey was not responsible doesn't work, Stacy simply calls him out on this:
    Captain Stacy: This isn't the first time the Bugle got it wrong when a copycat dressed up as the webslinger. Now do you really want to embarrass yourself and your paper... again?
    • The above version of Jameson nails the comics Jameson perfectly in that regard. In the comics he'll accuse Spider-Man of either being in cahoots with the current villain or BEING the current villain, as well as fall for the copycat Spidey routine time and time again, and he never learns and keeps doing it, even brushing off those who try to remind him what happened last time he did that.
  • South Park:
    • While lessons the boys learn tend to stick ("Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride," for example), the same does not apply to the adults. No matter how many times Randy or Sheila learn lessons about actually listening to their children and respecting their wishes ("Bloody Mary" and The Movie, for example), they're back to publicly humiliating Stan and Kyle by the next episode.
    • This would also apply to Cartman, except he is a sociopath and one of the symptoms of a sociopath is a general inability to learn lessons at all.
    • The boys also frequently "learn lessons" about blaming their behavior on external influences, such as in The Movie. The trope is lampshaded to Hell and back in "Butt Out" (where they blame the tobacco company for making them smoke) by Kyle, who suggests that they come clean instead of letting things spiral out of control. Stan makes two such "I learned something today" speeches in a single episode. In "Chimpokomon", the kids are brainwashed by the Japanese into attacking the US. When the parents figure out how to snap the kids out of it, Kyle decides to go through with the attack. So Stan gives a "learned something" speech about the evils of blindly following the crowd. Kyle agrees and claims that, since all the kids refuse to attack, he still has to do it in order to prove his independence. Stan immediately does a speech saying the exact opposite of the first speech, completely confusing Kyle.
    • They also never seem to realize that whenever they (Cartman in particular) get involved with a Get Rich Quick Scheme (for whatever reason), things end badly such as the "Pandemic" Multi-Part Episode, where they are wrongfully sent to Peru after they start a pan-flute band. Not to mention Craig, who was roped into the scheme gone wrong, spends the entire two-parter lampshading this about the four main boys.
  • Any episode of SpongeBob SquarePants that focuses on Mr. Krabs' incredible greed. One could guess that love (of money in this case) conquers all.
  • The members of the Sushi Pack frequently have to relearn Aesops about being a team. Like every other episode frequently.
  • Teen Titans
    • Beast Boy learned several times not to be such a goof-off. It never quite took, at least completely. Same for Cyborg learning to accept not being human anymore.
    • Oddly enough, the rest of the team seemed pretty good about avoiding Aesop Amnesia. When Raven and Starfire learned to respect one another's differences, it stuck with them through the rest of the series.
    • Even more oddly, the last time the series dealt with Cyborg's humanity this trope was actually inverted. Cyborg goes Machine Worship too hard and has a Superpower Meltdown, requiring him to learn the opposite lesson. Poor guy just can't win.
    • Robin still struggled with not being a Jerkass throughout the series. He was trained by Batman so it isn't surprising he would default to Jerkass. Robin finally ended up throwing away the Jerkass Ball (mostly) for good after the episode "Haunted".
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012):
    • Early on the turtles learn the dangers of becoming overconfident. From then on, they end up becoming cocky again multiple times. However, when this happens Splinter is usually quick to humble them again, or they suffer the consequences of it in battle. This helps to make it feel like a realistic character flaw instead of shoddy writing.
    • Several episodes have repeatedly focused on Raphael attempting to control his anger issues. Something goes wrong because he generally can't control his temper, he realizes how much of a problem it can be, and then another episode puts him back at square one.
  • In Thomas and Friends, after the 5th season, Thomas and Duncan become especially prone to this. In fact, Thomas's character up to the 5th season was built on Aesops from past experiences in the earlier seasons. Suddenly, when season 6 debuted, he was a perfect schoolboy type. With the debut of season 8, he seemingly forgot every lesson he ever learned.note  It's even worse when he forgets the Aesop of patience by the very episode after he learned it. James is quite bad for this too, but it may be justified considering his personality.
  • ThunderCats (2011)
    • In the episode "Song of the Petalars," young Lilliputian Emrick (questing to restore his people to their homeland) impulsively confronts a bird so large he's outmatched and protagonist Lion-O must save him. Lion-O complains of his teenaged stupidity. Later, Lion-O (questing to save his people and their homeland), in his teenaged stupidity, impulsively leads his ThunderCats to confront enemy forces so large he's outmatched and a Deus ex Machina must save them. When Lion-O attempts yet another Leeroy Jenkins in "Old Friends," his new mentor Panthro quickly loses his patience.
    • In "The Pit", Pumyra is distrustful of Lion-O until he nearly gives his life to save her. In "The Curse of Ratilla", Pumyra is distrustful of Lion-O until he nearly gives his life to save her. In "Birth of the Blades", Pumyra is — get this — distrustful of Lion-O until — get this — he nearly gives his life to save her. Of course, knowing what we know now, this may well be justified.
  • No matter how many times Harold from Total Drama Island manages to save the day at the last minute with some special skill that only he has, future episodes will always have the other characters, especially Duncan, proclaiming that he's useless and should not be listened to/trusted to do any sort of task.
    • Astonishingly, the episode where Harold is treated the worst in this regard comes immediately after the one where he single-handedly saves everyone from drowning!
  • On Timothy Goes to School, this is generally averted. When the kids learned a lesson on the show, it tended to stick. For example, in "Fritz in the Mess Fairy," Fritz realized that there was no mess fairy and he needed to clean up after himself. Him being messy was never shown as an issue again in the series, despite the story's Here We Go Again! ending with Fritz having made another mess with the cleaning supplies in the process of cleaning Timothy's seashells. In "Small Change," Nora learns to accept and even like change and she is never shown having an issue with it again. And if Lilly still sometimes forgets things, it can be forgiven, as it's difficult for her, and she does try hard and sometimes succeeds.
  • Totally Spies!:
    • You can practically mark it off on a checklist for every episode. One or more of the girls experiences a personal issue that could be easily solved with a little extra thought. They go on a mission that somehow relates to whatever the personal issue is. They learn from said mission how to overcome the issue. Cue scene in the last thirty seconds of the episode showing they haven't actually grown or learned anything.
    • There are multiple episodes where Britney joins the team and Alex gets jealous and thinks she's trying to take her place.
  • A disproportionate number of episodes in Transformers Animated feature the plot device of Bumblebee being a cocky showoff, going off on his own, and messing the whole thing up in order to learn the value of teamwork and actually telling your leader what's going on. At least once, this has happened two episodes in a row.
    • There were also alot of episodes in the first season that revolved around Sari recklessly using her Allspark key and having to learn that Allspark energy is not a toy. Thankfully, she did get much better about this by the time season 2 rolled around.
    • Sentinel Prime really should remember that yes, other people have valid ideas and plans and that he should stop being an aft to everyone around him and especially to Optimus Prime. If anything he was more of a Jerkass as the show continued, despite a constant barrage of Break the Haughty.
    • This is a fine tradition in Transformers, dating back to the original show where Optimus Prime would actually sum up the Aesop of the story to all the Autobots at the end of the story, just in case it wasn't blatantly clear enough. Amusingly, this probably technically makes the Autobots' Aesop Amnesia disobeying orders.
    • Just like Animated Bumblebee, Miko from Transformers Prime also has to learn (and forget) a lesson every other episode. Which is: rushing headfirst into trouble can, well, lead to trouble. In fact this has been the basis of so many episodes in the first season, some fans tend to chant "Oh, it's one of those episodes again..." when they see her doing something reckless.
  • Xiaolin Showdown had a couple of Stock Aesops, all of which were repeatedly learned and forgotten. A sampling includes "Don't futz around with the Shen Gong Wu for frivolous reasons", "Don't screw over your teammates", "Stop being jerks to each other". And while not really an Aesop, it was still rather glaring how they never learned that yes, even Jack Spicer can come up with a winning plan every so often, so don't just automatically shrug off what he's doing because he's a loser.
  • Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood has a bit of an unusual case. While lessons generally seem to stick from episode-to-episode, they often seem to take a while to sink in within a particular episode. For example, in "You Are Special," O has to hear several times "I like you / I like you / I like you / Just the way you are" before he stops trying to do stuff to be like the other characters to be special.
  • On ToddWorld, the show's prevailing aesop can be summed up as "everyone is different and it's important to understand, respect and celebrate those differences." Yet in many episodes this will be forgotten. Stella is the usual offender, but it can hit just about any of the main characters.
  • Possibly intentional in Season 5 of The Adventures of Puss in Boots, which has several episodes in which Puss and the San Lorenzans learn not to ignore Butt-Monkey Eames, but never seem to remember this, because it's Eames, and he's just that forgettable.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender deconstructs it with Keith. He learns the fact that he can't be a hothead and needs to put the team's best interest before his own and forgets it every time. This comes to a head when he commits the same mistake after learning it in the very same episode, which leads to his team facing a threat without him and almost dying, leading Shiro to get back into Voltron and him to leave Voltron for the Marmora.

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