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These things in western animation TV shows are 100% real. We promise.


  • The Amazing World of Gumball: The Game Child from "The Console" was an actual rip-off released in the Game Boy's heyday, but it's unknown if the writers knew about it.
  • American Dad!:
    • In one episode, Stan is offered an inhalant called "jenkem" by a homeless man, which is his own waste in a paper bag. One might be surprised to learn that this wasn't just another instance of the show using Toilet Humour. Jenkem is a real thing, and was widely believed to be a real hallucinogen, manufactured by fermenting human feces, though consensus nowadays seems to be that the usage was more scaremongering that anything else, and that any hallucinogenic effects stem from asphyxiation caused by inhaling ludicrous amounts of methane and carbon dioxide.
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    • During one of the Christmas specials, Hayley mentions having all the Charlie Brown specials, "from the one where he learns the true meaning of Christmas to the one in the 80's where he meets the kid with AIDS." What sounds like Black Comedy actually has some basis in reality. While there wasn't an AIDS-related Peanuts special in the 80's, there was one from 1990 that dealt with cancer. It's called Why, Charlie Brown, Why? and it's notable as one of the first (if not the first) children's cartoons to tackle the subject. It's one of the lesser-known specials, and for a long time the only home media release it got was a VHS tape in the mid-90's. It did eventually become available for download and on DVD in 2015, however.
  • Arthur: In "Arthur's Cousin Catastrophe", the Reads host a family reunion with one activity being charades. One of Arthur's uncles tries, and fails, to act out the title On The Bridges of Medieval Paris: A Record of Early Fourteeth-Century Life by Virginia Wylie Eggbert. In the information age, it would be a lot easier for one to discover that this is a real book. Lampshaded when his wife chides him for not picking a more well-known work, to which he replies "Well, all my friends have read it!"
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  • Batman: The Animated Series: Fans of the series are usually surprised to hear the song Harley Quinn sings in "Harlequinade" is an actual song from a 1944 movie called Meet The People, and Harley was singing the actual lyrics. It's really a comedic tune about a man trying to murder his girlfriend, who is ignorant of his disdain and just wants a happy romance.
  • Batman Beyond: One episode features Terry trying to see "Batman: The Musical". At the time, Jim Steinman was working exactly that project for Warner, though it never came to fruition.
  • Beavis and Butt-Head: One of the stranger episodes featured an appearance by "Sterculius, the Roman god of feces". A particularly childish instance of Toilet Humour? Yes, but not just that. Sterculius was actually worshiped by the ancient Romans: he was in charge of making sure the fields were fertilized, so he was more important than you might think. It's pretty astonishing that B&B actually know the name of a Roman god. It proves that they are actually capable of learning stuff, though probably only stuff that's associated with bodily functions or sex.
  • The Boondocks
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    • A hamburger with donuts instead of buns and full of bacon? Surely that was the show's invention! Nope, it's called The Luther Burger, is very, very real, and may or may not have been actually invented by Luther Vandross. Either way, you'll probably die if you try to eat it.
    • In The Red Ball, Ed Wuncler tells the story of how kickball was a game invented in ancient China by monks, which his ancestor discovered on an expedition to the country. The actual game of kickball is an American invention, but the earliest known form of association football (soccer) was invented in ancient China. Its name? Cuju (蹴鞠), which literally means "kick ball".
  • The Trope Namer is A Charlie Brown Christmas, where Lucy requests that Charlie Brown find a large pink aluminum Christmas tree for her stage play. Such trees were real back in 1965 when the special first aired, and were seen as just a common piece of Christmas memorabilia. This would end up causing an inversion of The Red Stapler effect; because of the special's anti-consumerism message, which is critical of the commercialization of Christmas that was common even back when the special first aired, aluminum Christmas trees would be gone from the marketplace by the time 1970 rolled around.
  • Clerks: The Animated Series: In one episode, there's a HUGE fanbase and following for a sitcom called The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer, about a kidnapped African man who became Abraham Lincoln's valet. Many people have thought it was just a fake show, but it turns out it was actually real. The reason you've probably never heard of it is because it only aired four episodes (out of nine produced) before it was pulled due to bad ratings and terrible reviews.
  • The Cleveland Show: Mutton busting, as seen in "Ain't Nothin' But Mutton Bustin'" is real. It's used to introduce children to rodeo sports.
  • Code Monkeys: In the episode "Trouble in the Middle East", a Middle-Eastern king steals all the Impalavision consoles in America in order to drive up demand of them for Christmas and "Jew Christmas", then resell them in discount stores. U.S. intelligence (and Dave, initially) mistakenly believes that he wants to link them together to build a military super computer. This is a reference to a real-world urban legend that Saddam Hussein imported a bunch of Playstation 2s from America to do the same thing, which was why there was a shortage of them. There's really no proof that it happened (even the importing of them to Iraq can't be corroborated), but there WAS a massive shortage of the consoles right after launch...
  • Drawn Together: One episode centers around Xandir coming out to his parents. The other housemates help him prepare for it by staging a scenario. In the scenario, Clara's character of Xandir's old girlfriend is given the surname "Slutsky." To most, it would probably be assumed that it's just a Punny Name. However, "Slutsky" is actually a real surname, of Russian-Jewish origin.note 
  • The Fairly OddParents! In one episode, Adam West does the trope that was named for him by playing a version of himself who thinks he's Catman. One might be surprised to learn he isn't just being a Captain Ersatz of Batman, but is actually modeled after a small time Batman villain of the same name.
  • Family Guy:
    • In the episode "McStroke", Peter claims to be a businessman from Asia looking to invest in Mc Burger Town, as a way to spy on his local franchise. When the restaurant employee tells Peter that he doesn't look Asian, he says "Well, I guess we'll just take our millions of dongs elsewhere". Most people probably thought that this was just Peter being stupid/a penis joke (or perhaps, a reference to Gedde Watanabe's character of the same name in Sixteen Candles), but dongs are a real currency (pronounced "dough-ng"), and in an Asian country to boot: Vietnam. Though at current exchange rates, a million dong is $48 US.
    • The German bedtime story in the episode "Business Guy" was just a play on the stereotype that Germans are aggressive, or perhaps poking fun at the fact that the original versions of various fairy tales were often way more gruesome, right? Wrong. The Story of Little Suck-a-Thumb is pretty much exactly like it's portrayed in the episode, the only difference being that the person who cut off the boy's thumbs was a tailor his mother warned him about, rather than the mother doing it herself. The designs of the characters were even based on the story's illustrations from the book that it originally appeared in.
    • Chico's Monkey Farm (seen in "Peter's Sister") was a real tourist trap in Richmond Hill, Georgia (rather than Rhode Island as in the show's song). Unfortunately for Peter or anyone else dreaming of going, it closed its doors forever in the early 1980s because they couldn't keep attendance up (not for any monkey-related incidents as the show suggests).
    • The writers probably didn't know this, but Samsung really does make cars... sort of. They don't transform from a phone into a car as seen in "Candy Quahog Marshmallow!", nor does Kia have anything to do with it, but there have been Samsung-branded cars built and sold in Korea since 1998. Samsung branched out into the automotive field with a little help from Nissan (all of the early models were rebadged, Korean-built Nissans) just before the 1997 Asian financial crisis, which ultimately resulted in Renault buying a controlling stake of the automotive arm in 2000. Renault changed the name to Renault Samsung, and today sells various, mostly Korean-built Renaults. Samsung still owns nearly 20% of the division. Coincidentally, Renault also owns a controlling stake in Nissan now, so many Renault Samsung models are still powered by Nissan engines.
  • In one episode of Freakazoid!, Freakazoid got trapped in a virtual reality arcade game featuring players running around a checkerboard floor shooting at each other while a low polygon pterodactyl flew around snatching them up at random. Sounds like the sort of nonsensical, out of date representations of video games seen in most media...except it's real. Even the machine is drawn accurately.
  • Futurama:
    • "Three Hundred Big Boys", which features the government paying everyone $300 to spend, was a satire of a genuine government stimulus going on at the time. Of course, the episode was written shortly before the September 11 attacks, so the policy had been overshadowed and forgotten by the time it went to air.
    • In "Jurassic Bark", Fry's fossilized dog and Bender are able to survive submersion in magma because they're partially made of dolomite, a "tough black mineral that won't cop out when there's heat all about". The description is mostly a joke about the film Dolemite, but dolomite is a real mineral with a very high melting point, although it isn't black and is unlikely to be alloyed in any kind of metal.
    • Omicron Persei is a real star system (and yes, it is 1000 light years from Earth) that many people believe was made up by the writers. Currently we do not know how many planets Omicron Persei has so we do not know if Omicron Persei 8 itself exists and, if it does, what it looks like.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy:
    • In the episode where Billy has the ghost of Lord Byron coming out of his mouth, there's a gag about Byron having a clubbed foot, and Billy is mildly disturbed to learn that that was in his mouth. Those unfamiliar with Lord Byron may think this is just an example of the show's humor, but he really did have a clubbed foot and walked with a limp for the majority of his life because of it.
    • One of the best-known episodes is the Halloween special where Grim's scythe is stolen by a villain named Jack O'Lantern, an immortal prankster who'd been beheaded and replaced his head with a pumpkin. This character wasn't invented for the show and is actually based on a relatively obscure mythical figure called Stingy Jack.
  • King of the Hill
    • Some people are surprised when they learn Chuck Mangione is real! Admittedly, the series portrays him as being (or at least looking) much younger than he actually is—the real Mangione was 57 when he made his first appearance in the series, and 63 in his last, while in King of the Hill he looks closer to thirty. Likewise, "Feels So Good" really was the name of his best known song - a Top 5 hit in 1978 to be exact.
    • In one Halloween Episode, Junnie Harper, a religious fanatic, takes Bobby and several other kids through her "hell house" to show what happens when people stray from God's path, such as dying from having premarital sex, and an ape eating its baby grandchild for believing in evolution. Such places do exist and spring up around Halloween, particularly in Southern states, like Texas where the show takes place.
    • A lot of viewers outside Texas are shocked that not only is What-A-Burger real its actually a large chain.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • The zig-zag paintjob on Varrick's battleship, the Zhu Li, may look ridiculous, but it's not so ridiculous to those who've heard of dazzle camouflage, which was used on real-life battleships during World War I and II. The strange patterns made it harder to judge the distance, heading and speed of a ship and thereby throw off the enemy's aim.
    • Some fans have complained that it seems like technology advanced too quickly in the Avatar-verse in the 70 year timeskip between the two series. Actually, looking at the historical Industrial Revolution and the advances of the early twentieth century, technology advanced more swiftly in real life than it did in the show... if anything, The Legend of Korra is lagging behind.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • Many people, especially outside America, believe that the Road Runner is just a species made up for the Road Runner and Coyote cartoons. The truth is, there is an actual ground-dwelling bird named roadrunner living in North America. It doesn't help that the studio took great liberties with the bird's characteristics. (They're actually very small and sand-colored.)
    • Similarly, the Tasmanian Devil is also often believed to be a fictional creature, rather than an actual species of marsupial. Although the only things the Looney Tunes character and the real animal have in common are their loud, grunting vocalization and ravenous appetite.
  • The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack: This series gives us the character known as Doctor Barber. At first glance, his profession might seem completely random on terms of pairing, but as a matter of fact, Barber/Surgeons were a very real profession in Medieval times, for obvious reasons. Even as recently as the 19th century, many barbers (especially in the wild west, where dentists were few and far between) would pull and drill teeth... usually with only a bottle of whiskey to dull the patient's pain. It also wasn't uncommon for blacksmiths or pharmacists to do the yanking on the frontier, or really anyone with a pair of tongs.
  • Martha Speaks: In the episode, "Ronald Is In", Ronald uses a psychology book to screw with Helen and friends and diagnose them with various fake ailments. While "worryitis" & "arrange-o-mania" are fake, one of them "decidophobia", is in fact a legitimate condition that people suffer from (though Alice didn't have it, obviously).
  • Metalocalypse: Pickles' plan to use bleach to pass a drug test in the episode "Dethhealth" and the gang's general acceptance of the idea was just an example of their idiocy, right? Nope. You actually can put bleach in a urine sample to kill traces of many drugs, but you'll end up failing it anyway because doctors and lab technicians can tell if someone has put bleach in it, and it goes without saying that DRINKING IT (like Pickles originally suggested) is a bad idea.
  • Miscellaneous Disney Shorts: In "Would You Eat A Blue Potato?" (one of a series of educational shorts themed around Walt Disney World's EPCOT park, released in the 1980s,), Figment (from Journey into Imagination) serves blue potatoes and other oddly colored foods, and talks about how colors tie into imagination. Blue potatoes actually exist in the real world.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In one episode, a newspaper claims that Fluttershy has tail extensions. Many viewers will be surprised to learn that horse tail and mane extensions are real products. Even better, using them in certain competition formats would actually be a scandal.
    • There is also the popular theme among the fans of depicting the ponies in socks. A lot of the fans think the idea is cute but absolutely ridiculous, and are a little more than shocked to learn that socks for horses are a very real thing.
    • In addition, Daring Do's nemesis, Ahuizotl, is actually a fairly accurate (albeit Lighter and Softer) portrayal of a mythical Aztec creature.
    • Similarly was Fluttershy's taming of Cerberus. Yes, being able to "tame" that Cerberus was actually part of the myth, albeit it involved bribing him with cakes rather than attempting to give the dreaded creature a tummy rub.
    • Fluttershy's house has a Sod roof — which is actually something that Nordic people have had for centuries.
    • Pinkie Pie's sister, Maud, is dull, boring, literal-minded, and obsessed with rocks, up to and including having a pebble for a pet, named Boulder. It's funny because, well, all she talks about is rocks and she has one for a pet, but older viewers probably laughed even harder because they remembered the Pet Rock fad in the mid-1970s.
    • Pinkie Pie's characteristic hopping-on-all-fours gait is actually performed by some real-world ungulates, including ponies, and is called "stotting" or "pronking". They probably don't make "boing" noises while doing it, though.
    • As is Pinkie Pie's "frolicking". Horses do that all the time, albeit to scratch themselves and shake off bugs rather than just having fun.
    • Those feeding bags that the Wonderbolts wear in "Rainbow Falls" are a real horse accessory. (Anyone who's been to a city that has horse-drawn carriages has seen them; this is also why Col. Potter on M*A*S*H sometimes refers to eating as "putting on the feed bag".)
    • Hooficures are performed in real life, on even-toed ungulate livestock as well as equines.
    • Horse-drawn railways like the one in "Over a Barrel" did in fact exist prior to the advent of the steam locomotive, and horses continued to be used for shunting well into the 20th century. They wouldn't be pulling full-length trains, though.
    • Carrot hot dogs are a thing.
    • Fluttershy's imminent fear of Nightmare Night is not just exaggerated for Rule of Funny: Samhainophobia, or the fear of Halloween, is a real phobia, and finds its roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain.
  • Neo Yokio:
  • Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero: Professor Evil Professor says he has a Ph.D in Evilness, turns out that is an actual scientific field of study.
  • Phineas and Ferb
    • Lingonberries are a type of berry that only Buford seems to know about. In real life, that's just another name for wildberries.
    • There are Mexican-Jewish festivals, as Mexico has a decent-sized Jewish population. Granted, these are often local-level events within a Jewish community that has Mexican ties.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: The city in which the girls live is called "Townsville". There are existing cities in real life with that name situated in Australia and North Carolina, as well as a similarly named "Townville" (no "s") in Pennsylvania.
  • Regular Show: In the episode of the same name, Tants are a bizarre gift Pops gives to Mordecai and Rigby, pants that double as a table. Turns out, someone had actually already made a similar product in real life called Pic Nic Pants...and they look even more ridiculous than Tants.
  • Rick and Morty:
    • The episode, "M. Night Shaym-Aliens!" has, at one point, Rick telling Morty to mix "Plutonic Quarks, Cesium, and bottled water," in order to create a substance the Zigerions were trying to get their hands on. It turned out to be a fake simulation, and when the Zigerions tried to replicate it with those ingredients, their whole ship exploded. Sounds like sci-fi babble, right? Well, the Plutonic Quarks is, but the Alkali Metal elements (first column in the periodic table) are highly reactive to water, and Cesium is the most reactive element among them that exists in significant quantities (there is Francium, but that barely exists in nature). So while the explosion was exaggerated, it was an odd example of Shown Their Work for the Rick and Morty writers who usually just throw sci-fi tropes at the wall and see what sticks.
  • The Simpsons:
    • If you saw the episode "Tales From The Public Domain", parodying William Shakespeare's Hamlet, before reading the actual play, you might be surprised to discover that the ear poison was used in the original, and not merely a comedic prop used in the parody. Shakespeare's usage was based on a contemporary urban myth circulating in the day (the murder of that myth was well-known, the method was unverified).
    • The episode "All Singing, All Dancing" opened with the family watching what seemed to be a Western, with The Man With No Name walking into a dusty town and then breaking into song about "painting his wagon" with Lee Marvin, horrifying Bart and Homer who wanted them to kill each other. The portrayal is exaggerated in the episode, which also inserts Lee Van Cleef dressed as Colonel Mortimer, but it surprised a lot of fans who later discovered the film Paint Your Wagon, starring Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin, actually exists. And it was after Clint became famous from the Leone westerns. And, yes, they both sang. Well... okay... but they both tried to. The song and wagon-painting scene aren't part of the musical, though. That was probably because they couldn't afford the rights to either the visuals or the music of the original to make a closer parody and because, let's face it... having Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood gleefully paint a wagon ("Be sure to use oil-based paint, because that wood is pine!") when Homer and Bart are waiting impatiently for them to break out in a fist- or gunfight is pure Rule of Funny.
    • The Corey Hotline that Lisa runs up the phone bill by repeatedly calling in "Brother from the Same Planet" was a real 1-900 number.
    • A surprising number of people outside of Mexico and the southwestern U.S.A. are, like in Homer's quote above, startled to find that roadrunners are real. They're not actually built like an ostrich, they're not purple, and they don't say "Beep beep", but they're real. They're a kind of cuckoo.
      • That said, roadrunners are still large by small bird standards — up to 24" long, half of that being tail, and they stand 18" erect. While they do eat seeds, they also hunt and kill large insects, small mammals, and reptiles, including rattlesnakes. They're badass little birds. A hungry coyote might try to ambush one but wouldn't chase one — not because a coyote can't outrun a roadrunner, but because roadrunners can fly (albeit, only in short spurts or by gliding down from something).
    • In "Sweets and Sour Marge" it is stated that The Duff Book of World Records, an obvious parody of the Guinness Book of World Records, was created to settle bar arguments. This seems like a non-sequitur making fun of the drunks in Springfield but this is the actual origin for the Guinness World Records. Yes, it's that Guinness.
    • Speaking of Duff, using a superhero mascot to sell beer is probably too strange of an idea to ever happen in real life, right? Wrong. Duffman is a parody of Bud Man, a mascot character used by Budweiser from the late 60s to the early 90s. The colors of the costume are similar, and later versions of the character even sported similar sunglasses. He was likely discontinued for the same reason Joe Camel was, over concerns that the product was being marketed towards kids (a point that was actually brought up by Marge about Duffman in the episode "Waiting for Duffman").
    • The episode "Lisa's First Word" flashed back to 1984 and included a running gag about Krusty's burger chain going broke due to an Olympic promotion that didn't anticipate the Communist boycott of those games. As Cracked points out, that actually happened to McDonald's that year.
    • When Gary Coleman is seen working as a security guard for a toy company in the episode "Grift of the Magi", it probably just seemed like a rather strange way to write him into the episode and like they were poking fun at the actor's size, but it was actually a very topical joke. Coleman really did work as a security guard for a while, gaining news attention about a year before the episode aired when he assaulted a fan who was pestering him for an autograph and insulting him while he was on patrol.
    • A number of people thought that Love Is... was something Homer made up in "A Milhouse Divided".
    • Remember Disco Stu's platform shoes with live (well, initially) goldfish in them in "The Twisted World of Marge Simpson"? Real. As you might've guessed, the goldfish typically didn't live through one trip to the disco.
    • When Homer starts hallucinating in "(The Mysterious Voyage of Homer)" after eating too many spicy peppers, that's not just a G-Rated Drug: eating sufficiently spicy food really can cause hallucinations. Now, the Merciless Peppers of Quetzalacatenango that Homer ate, those are fictional. Ridiculously spicy peppers exist though. The currently highest contender is the Carolina Reaper, a crossbreed of a bhut jolokia (or "ghost pepper") and a Red Habanero. For reference, it's described to be about 12 times hotter than habanero.
    • In "Mom and Pop Art", Homer tries to become a modern artist and Lisa suggests that he do something big and extravagant, citing the example of "Christo", who planted hundreds of yellow umbrellas next to a highway—some of which, she worryingly adds next, flew away and killed some children. The cited artist and the incident are real. It happened in Camarillo, California in 1991, and the only thing that contradicts Lisa's account is the fact that the sole victim was an adult woman.
    • In "They Saved Lisa's Brain", where the smartest members of Springfield took political power over the town, Skinner announces that Springfield will convert to metric clocks. This seems like an example of the group's snobbery but metric time was an actual concept. During The French Revolution, there was an active campaign to rid France of any trace of its former regime which included remaking the clock and calendar to fit the metric system meaning 10 seconds in a minute, 100 minutes in an hour, 10 days in a week and so on. Since the common French weren't prepared for the transition, metric time was a complete disaster.
    • In "Treehouse of Horror VI", when Homer is trapped in the Third Dimension, he asks everyone if they saw the movie TRON; no one didnote . This caused many fans to believe that Homer made up the film until the release of Kingdom Hearts II over a decade later, which includes a world based on the film, and then TRON: Legacy in 2010, which caught many Simpsons fans by surprise.
    • In "Homer Badman", Homer gets accused of sexually assaulting a young woman, so he goes on the Show Within a Show "Rock Bottom", a parody of the 90s investigative journalism show Hard Copy, to state his case. Unfortunately for Homer, they deliberately skew his statements to paint him as a crazed sexual predator because it's bringing in high ratings. Many of the tactics they also use, such as setting up camps outside people's homes, were things Hard Copy would do, and are not exaggerated jokes done by the Simpsons writers.
    • In "Days of Wine and D'oh'ses", Homer goes to the Kwik-E-Mart and asks Apu for "those chips that cause diarrhea". Apu then returns with bags of what appear to be ordinary Ruffles. This was based on a real-life product known as Lay's WOW Chips introduced a couple years before the episode aired, which famously contained the chemical olestra, a known stool loosener.
    • "Jaws Wired Shut":
      • Mike Tyson parody Drederick Tatum, at an event about stopping littering, says "Litter is my most treacherous foe. I would like to eat its children." Seems like a bizarre nonsequitir, but it's almost a direct quote from an off-the-cuff speech of Tyson's where he was talking about a rival boxer (who didn't actually have children at that point).
      • Grampa's claim that Sauerkraut used to be known as Liberty Cabbage seems like one of his usual tall-tales about the olden days (perhaps with a hint satire based on the then-recent renaming of French Fries to Freedom Fries). However, Sauerkraut really was marketed as Liberty Cabbage during World War I, due to concerns the American public would reject a product with a German name. A similar mentality lead to calling hamburgers "Salisbury steak", before that was used for a different dish entirely.
    • In "Itchy & Scratchy Land", Bart thought it was ridiculous that the gift shop had no "Bart" vanity license plates, but they did have "Bort" ones. "Bort" is a real name.
    • The "Springfield Poolmobile" in "Bart of Darkness" seems like a kooky way for the city to provide summertime refreshment, but it actually used to be a common way for urban kids to get some well-appreciated pool time, especially before the widespread use of public pools.
    • One episode has Homer hire a prostitute to play air hockey with. It seems like a simple "Homer being Homer" joke, but people hiring prostitutes for things other than sex happens all the time in real life. It's even a trope.
    • The "Lovematic Grampa" section from "The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase" is just an over-the-top mocking of silly high-concept TV shows, right? Nope! It's pretty much lifted straight from short-lived 1960s sitcom My Mother the Car; writing for that show was Simpsons Executive Producer James L Brooks' first gig in Hollywood.
    • Both The Simpsons and John Callahan's Quads! have Homer and Riley become ordained ministers online, and the latter even lampshades it. Yes, you actually can get ordained online.
    • An automaker wouldn't actually offer a trim level on one of their cars explicitly intended for women, right? Wrong. Meet the Dodge La Femme, a rare version of the first generation Dodge Lancer offered only in 1955 and 1956. It may not have come standard with a lipstick applicator where the cigarette lighter normally goes like in the Canyonero F-Series (from "Marge Simpson in Screaming Yellow Honkers"), but it did come with a lipstick case, which could be found inside of an included purse that matched the interior of the car. The purse also contained a compact, a comb, a change purse... as well as a cigarette case and a lighter. It was the 1950s, after all. Unlike the Canyonero F-Series, it's not likely that Homer wouldn't have realized that the La Femme was intended for women: it was only offered in shades of pink, the interiors were pink and rose gold, and there were "La Femme" badges all over the thing. Long after the episode aired, there was also a controversial version of the SEAT Mii designed by Cosmopolitan and the Japan-exclusive Honda Fit She's.
    • In "Bart the Fink", Kent Brockman reports on Krusty being arrested for "tax avoison", despite his crewmembers insisting he say "evasion". "Tax avoison" is a real term, though Kent wasn't using it correctly: It's a portmanteau of "tax avoidance" (lowering your paid taxes legally) and "tax evasion" (lowering them illegally), and refers to methods of tax reduction that are ambiguously legal.
    • "Bart vs. Lisa vs. the Third Grade" features a gag about Springfield's location that suggests the town has a Confederate flag despite being in a Northern state. Confederate flags and monuments deep in Union territory is far more common than one would think, due to the romanticizing of Confederate history in white supremacist groups across far more than just the South. The vast majority of them weren't even built or adopted until long after the war.
    • "Saddlesore Galactica" has Homer and Bart rescuing a race horse from a fair attraction where it is thrown into a water recipient from a great height. This looks like a ridiculous way to introduce a horse into the story, very in line with the infamous surreal twist of the episode (all professional jockeys in Springfield are secretly elves)... but "diving horses" were an actual sideshow attraction in America during the 19th and 20th centuries. The difference is that pressure from animal rights groups discontinued them by The '70s.
    • In "Funeral for a Fiend" Sideshow Bob brings a vial of nitroglycerin into a courtroom, which everybody believes is to blow up the place, but Bob reveals it was actually a treatment just before having a heart attack. Nitroglycerin is actually used in medicine to treat heart conditions (obviously not the liquid stuff.)
  • South Park:
    • In "Trapped in the Closet", a disclaimer noted that Scientologists really do believe that all our problems are caused by nuked alien ghosts, which they really don't tell their minions until they're quite involved. It's hard to believe that all that is necessary.
    • "All About Mormons" has a similar disclaimer about Mormonism.
    • "Casa Bonita" features Cartman tricking Butters that the world is coming to an end just so he can take his place when Kyle and his friends go to Casa Bonita. What some people may not realize is that the place isn't a figment of the creators' imagination, but rather an actual restaurant in the Denver, Colorado area. They have everything featured in the episode, from the more sopapillas flags to professional divers. The Denver location is the last remaining Casa Bonita.
    • The Jonas Brothers spraying foam on preteen girls in season 13 premiere "The Ring"? That's real too. The little girl saying "My giney tickles" was actually based on a daughter of a member of the production staff saying it when she was at one of their concerts.
    • A lot of people would be surprised to learn that South Park, Colorado, itself is in fact a real place (as is Park County). While there is no town in Colorado by the name of "South Park", it is, in fact, a basin adjacent to Middle and North Park.
    • Judging from YouTube comments, many people saw the parody of the Adam Sandler movie Jack and Jill in "You're Getting Old" before they saw the trailer, and didn't think the movie was real.
    • P Diddy's 'Vote or Die' campaign in "Douche and Turd" is real.
    • Quite a few Europeans were more than a bit surprised that Honey Boo Boo is an actual child pageant participant, not being familiar with American television.
    • "Cartman Joins NAMBLA" might be the worst South Park episode ever on first viewing because the NAMBLA concept is too creepy even for Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Unfortunately, it is a real group (the "man-boy love" one, not the "Marlon Brando lookalikes" one), and once you know this, the satire makes sense. Even Trey and Matt said on the DVD Commentary commentary that they couldn't believe an organization like that exists.
    • In fact, thanks to the extremely fast turnaround time for Parker and Stone to make episodes, they can cram in the issue of the week in the very next episode. This leads to many moments when people watching some episodes years after the fact think that Parker and Stone made up some plot points out of whole cloth, if they're not outright Unintentional Period Pieces.
    • Mexico really does have a space program (as seen in "Free Willzyx"), but it's not called MASA and they don't have any spacecraft capable of travel to the moon. They don't even have any satellites or rockets, all they really do is operate some big telescopes. MASA (Mexicano Aeronáutica y Spacial Administración) was just a play on NASA, the actual name of the organization is Agencia Espacial Mexicana (AEM), which translates to Mexican Space Agency.
      • This also counts as a Bilingual Bonus as masa is a type of corn flour used to make many of Mexico's staple foods, such as tortillas.
    • In one episode where the boys become talent agents, their primary client is a New Zealand woman of Hong Kong descent called Wing, who sings covers of American pop tunes in a humorously tone deaf fashion, poor musical timing, and based on her tone, a limited understanding of the English language. It's so unrealistically bad, clips of her singing on YouTube usually have comments from viewers who saw her on the show and are surprised to find out she really exists. Not only does she exists, but she provided all of her singing in the episode.
    • In one episode Cartman looks as though he's going to shoot himself only for him to literally bite the gun's barrel clean off and eat it before revealing that the gun was actually made of chocolate. Believe it or not, chocolate guns actually exist. (A live-action version of a very similar gag can be seen in Adam's Rib.)
    • The season 19 episode, "Sponsored Content", has the PC frat boys getting girls to sign "consent forms" before having sex with them. While it may seem like another example of Political Correctness Gone Mad, which was a constant theme of that season, sexual consent forms are real.
    • While the titular camp of "The Death Camp of Tolerance" is blatantly fictional, the Museum of Tolerance is not something the episode's writers made up.
    • "Cartman Sucks" features a camp that attempts to forcibly convert the mistaken to be homosexual Butters straight, which is depicted as a cruelly depressing prison where suicide is a Running Gag. These places actually exist, and while South Park definitely played up the atmosphere for the sake of satire, let's just say they're illegal in several states of the US and those who go to such places often do suffer depression and suicidal thoughts.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • One of Squidward's favorite foods, canned bread, actually does exist in reality.
    • In one episode, the French narrator says that for SpongeBob, every day is a holiday, even if he has to make one up, and then SpongeBob is shown dressed as a viking for "Leif Erikson Day". Believe it or not, this is actually an observance in America, celebrated on October 9.
    • Goo Lagoon, a beach set on the ocean floor made of denser water that sinks to the bottom, is an actual thing, though among oceanographers, they are known as brine lakes. Brine lakes even have waves, a shoreline, creatures that live in and around it, and objects that can float atop the water.
    • Bubble Bass' Overcomplicated Menu Order from "Pickles" makes use of real Hash House Lingo, although the result (a 24 patty multi-layered burger) is unlikely to ever be actually served outside of its constituent parts; a half-dozen four-patty burgers sandwiched between four pieces of toast each.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Delmarva, where Beach City is said to be located, exists in the real word—though it's not a state as the show depicts it; it's actually a peninsula that contains Delaware and parts of Maryland and Virginia.
    • The outfit Connie starts wearing while sword training in "Sworn to the Sword" is often thought to be a Whole Costume Reference to a similar outfit Gohan wore in Dragon Ball. In fact, it's based on actual clothes worn for the Indian martial art Kalaripayattu (which may have been what Gohan and Piccolo's outfits were based on).
    • In "Last One Out of Beach City", Steven, Amethyst, and Pearl go to a Mike Krol concert. Krol is an actual, if obscure, alternative rock musician who is a friend of one of the show's writers, and the show's first guest star to play himself. The two songs played in the episode ("Like a Star" and "Fifteen Minutes") were from his first album, I Hate Jazz.
  • Sym-Bionic Titan: In one episode, Ilana and Octus organize a food tasting party, one of the foods prepared for it (they're also seen with it before and Lance serves it after the party) is fu-fu... which some fans of the show were surprised to discover was real, although it's anyone's guess why a recent visitor from the place where it is common would feel the need to comment on the apparently high quality of an equivalent to mashed potatoes or a bowl of rice.
  • El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera has Zebra Donkey, the mascot of Manny's school who, as his name suggests, is a mix between a zebra and a donkey. In real life, zebras and donkeys are in fact capable of producing hybrid offspring (usually called "zedonks", though this name is essentially just short for "zebra donkey") which actually don't look all that different from Zebra Donkey himself, although they're usually bigger, even as babies.
  • Titan Maximum: In one episode, Willy picks up Clare's sword and declares it to be made of "aggregated carbon nanorods", a substance harder than diamonds. A disclaimer appears on-screen adding that despite this being a sci-fi show, this is in fact a real substance.
  • Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race
    • There really is a golden mall called "The Gold Souk" in Dubai.
    • Perhaps even more surprising, there really is an ice cream flavor made from gold. It's called Black Diamond, and at $817 US a scoop, is the most expensive in the world.


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