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Arbitrary Skepticism / Western Animation

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Arbitrary Skepticism in western animation TV shows.

  • In one episode of The 7D, Grumpy insists that ogres don't exist simply because he's never seen one himself.
  • Aaahh!!! Real Monsters has the monsters (who have supernatural powers besides looking scary) being very skeptical of ghosts, which don't exist (or do they?)
  • Adventures of the Gummi Bears: In a world where ogres, trolls and dragons are a common occurrence all humans in the setting think that the gummi bears are just "fairy tale characters".note 
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  • American Dragon: Jake Long: In one episode, Jake scoffs at the idea of ghosts haunting his summer camp, despite being a human/dragon shapeshifter who deals with supernatural creatures all the time. He reassures the campers that, sure, unicorns and leprechauns exist, but ghosts? No way. Especially since he has seen the Grim Reaper in a prior episode. His name is Marty. Maybe Jake figures that having met the Grim Reaper, he'd take care of all the ghosts?
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force:
    • Frylock once told a scared Meatwad, "there's no such thing as monsters!" despite encountering them on a daily basis and being living food items themselves.
    • "Right, like there's two talking milkshakes!", Master Shake, the talking milkshake.
  • Archie's Weird Mysteries:
    • There is exactly one mythological entity that Archie doesn't believe in. Santa Claus. He chomps at the bit to believe in vampires, curses, monstrous sentient pudding blobs, literal couch potatoes, but not the big guy himself. Santa even points out the absurdity of Archie's disbelief.
      Archie: You don't expect me to believe you're the real Santa Claus!
      Santa Claus: Archie. You believe in ghosts, werewolves, aliens, and monsters. Why is it so hard to believe the real Santa Claus would come to Riverdale?
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    • Similarly, in Green-Eyed Monster, Archie refuses to believe that the new girl who abruptly and mysteriously appeared at school one day could actually be a monster. Granted he's somewhat cross with Betty and Veronica who are the ones to tell him this, but by now he's already seen killer potatoes, a Captain Ersatz of Christine, clones of Veronica, invisibility, giant Veronica, a ghost, a mummy, a werewolf, aliens, evil virtual creatures, a Captain Ersatz of Mr. Hyde, a literal demon, an evil genie, a gargoyle, ghost pirates, super heroes, a monster aligator, and a previous potential girlfriend who was actually a monster. You'd think he'd at least consider the possibility, especially considering said new girl has green hair.
  • In one episode of Amphibia, when Anne claims to see a creature known as the Moss Man, the others laugh it off and say that it's a myth that only the young or the gullible believe. Anne immediately points out all the crazy stuff she's experienced since coming to this world, only for them to point out in return that they have actual evidence of those things existing and how such things are far more normal than her strange "memory box" (smartphone) and tales of flying machines. This naturally just makes her more upset about not being believed.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Sokka seems to have trouble with this one from time to time. The second season episode "The Swamp" is one good example, in which he refuses to believe that the swamp called forth spirits. When Katara points out that Aang has contacted spirits regularly (and he was once kidnapped by one and stuck in the spirit world), he dismisses it with "That's Avatar stuff; it doesn't count."
    • He later subverts it, though, by thinking up his own insane ideas for what can get in their way (particularly a "giant, exploding Fire Nation spoon" or a city being mysteriously submerged in an ocean of killer shrimp) and admitting "Weird stuff happens to us", just before a drooling and insane-looking man with an ear of corn in his mouth comes by.
    • The Legend of Korra reveals that Sokka eventually gets rid of his Arbitrary Skepticism entirely. As an adult, when presented with evidence of a man bloodbending at times other than the full moon, which is supposedly impossible, he cites all of the "impossible" things that the Gaang saw and did in the first series and decides that just because something hasn't happened before doesn't mean that it can't happen.
  • Avengers, Assemble!:
    • Hawkeye is reluctant to believe vampires are real and even more reluctant about Count Dracula (actually King Dracula) being real despite being part of a team that has a god among them. Thor himself brings it up that the others used to consider him a myth before meeting him.
    • In "The Night has Wings", Black Panther, who knows that Norse and Greek mythology are basically true, is utterly dismissive of his own culture's traditional beliefs. Even once he encounters the monster, he still insists that the fact there was a scientific explanation means it wasn't "really" the creature from folklore, rather than that he now knows the origin of the myths.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!:
  • Batman Beyond: Subverted in the episode "Revenant", when Terry tells Bruce about a so-called "ghost" his classmates believe to be haunting his high school. Terry expects Bruce to reject the notion out of hand because there's no such thing as ghosts. Bruce then turns to Terry and explains he's met ghosts, wizards, witch-boys, zombies, immortals and demons... but he doesn't believe it in this case, because it sounds "too high school". Turns out, he is right. It isn't a ghost, it is Stalker with a Crush, Willie Watt, who has psychic powers.
  • The cynic Kevin 11 of Ben 10: Alien Force has this going for him in regards to magic and Crop Circles, despite being a mutant that battled countless alien species (Ben even lampshades this by saying "It's not like we don't know a bunch of aliens"). He is right with Gwen power's coming from her alien inheritance but the creators have confirmed that the magic exists and can be used by normal humans.
  • Pinning down an in-universe chronology in Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers is perhaps an exercise in futility, but as far as this trope goes, it really doesn't matter: in the first two volumes, they've seen bona fide aliens, genies, ghosts, undead mummies, fortune tellers, leprechauns, banshees, and a weather-predicting tail, and been under the influence of mind-control juice. Yet every time (including some others in which they turn out to be right, and it's all a trick), it seems like someone (or almost everyone) doesn't believe the thing in question exists, and is only willing to check it out when forced to. As a general rule, if only Chip is skeptical, then the ghost/psychic/whatever is for real. If Gadget is skeptical, then it is bound to be a trick. If Dale is skeptical, he'll be proven wrong one second later. And if Monterey Jack is skeptical, well, actually he's never skeptical, so never mind.
  • Danny Phantom:
    • This exchange:
      Frostbite: Your central readings indicate extreme cold, as if your body is self-generating it. I sensed it within you the last time we met.
      Danny: How is that possible?
      Frostbite: You become invisible, pass through solid objects, and emit beams of energy from your hands, and you ask "How is this possible?"
    • There's also Danny's mother, an expert in the field of ghosts, finding Santa Claus to be a scientific impossibility. This actually makes sense because she has a tendency to approach the concept of ghosts from a scientific perspective, and while she accept ghosts exist, she probably does not believe in "magic".
  • Lampshaded in Darkwing Duck "There are no vampire potatoes. Scientists who turn themselves into plants, yes. But vampire potatoes, that's ridiculous." (Ironically, Reginald Bushroot, the "scientist who turned himself into a plant", he was talking about, was the villain responsible for creating the vampire potato.)
  • Dilbert frequently has the eponymous engineeer play Arbitrary Skeptic, only to let Dogbert then point out the "correct" belief and have it confirmed seconds later — and for the rest of the episode.
  • In one episode of Dragon Tales, the characters tell Ord that "monsters aren't real" to keep him from being afraid of the dark. But the thing is, the show takes place in a Magical Land that's full of creatures that could easily be described as monsters—including the titular dragons themselves!
  • Played straight yet averted in DuckTales (1987) episodes "Raiders of the Lost Harp". Scrooge dismisses the idea that the minotaur is magic. Yet later....
    Dewey: You don't believe in magic, do you Uncle Scrooge?
    Scrooge: Oh, I never said that. I've seen too many amazing things that only magic could explain.
  • Elena of Avalor: Armando isn't taken seriously about Orizaba being real in spite of the characters' experiences with magic. In a later episode, nobody other than Private Higgins takes him seriously about the chonopos. The latter are never proven to be either real or a myth but the skeptics never justify their disbelief.
  • Family Guy:
    • The show has included Godly miracles, a visit from Jesus, a visit from Death, and countless events of the just plain ludicrous variety, yet Brian remains a staunch atheist.
    • Subverted in an early episode: "You want an explanation? GOD. IS. PISSED."
    • Lampshaded in season eleven's Christmas special.
      Meg: [holds up an ornament representing Jesus's birth in a manger] This one's my favorite ornament. I can only imagine what it must have been like for them on that very first Christmas.
      Brian: Yeah, it was probably very moving... and fictional.
      Stewie: Jesus lived with us for like a week, what else do you need?
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: Strangely it appears in this work (of all places), in the Christmas episode, "A Lost Claus". It's been long established that the series takes place in a universe where everything children can imagine comes to life. Therefore, you'd think there'd be no question at all that Santa Claus is real in this world. Imaginary Friends who happen to look and act exactly like Santa have a tendency to show up in droves around Christmas time. So the question is, is there one single "real" Santa?
  • Futurama:
    • In the episode "The Deep South", Fry points out how weird it is that despite having a crustacean alien as a co-worker, no one believes that he saw a mermaid. Justified since in the future that Futurama takes place in aliens are commonplace while mermaids are still regarded as mythical.
    • Likewise, the first episode with the sewer mutants has most people regard them as mythical, which is especially weird since later episodes establish that their are laws restricting their legal rights.
    • Also in the movie we have this exchange:
      Professor Farnsworth: Time travel is impossible!
      Fry: But Professor, you time traveled yourself, remember, when we went back to Roswell?
      Professor Farnsworth: That proves nothing!
  • Gargoyles: The eponymous characters are half a dozen creatures with superhuman strength and wings that turn to stone during the day and that only exist in modern New York after being put to sleep for a thousand years, yet their human friend tends to respond with disbelief every time they encounter new weirdness. She does get better as time goes on, though.
  • In one episode of Godzilla: The Series, Nick refuses to believe in the Loch Ness Monster. Elsie points out that "We've seen things in the last few months I never would have believed in before." The eponymous character leaps to mind. Monique mocks this is another episode, reminding the disbeliever they work with a giant lizard that breaths atomic fire.
  • Gravity Falls:
    • In "Bottomless Pit!" Grunkle Stan still states that the stories the twins and Soos tell to pass the time are far-fetched, even though he is falling through a bottomless pit even as he speaks, and even lived through one of the stories. This is later subverted, as the second season reveals that he has always been perfectly been aware of the weirdness of the town. He just pretends to be oblivious to discourage the kids from pursuing it and because of his own general dislike for the supernatural.
    • In the same episode, Dipper is strangely the first one to point out that "bottomless pits can't exist" despite having fought gnomes and ghosts, traveled through time, and meeting 8-and-a-half President of the United States before this point. And even better example comes the following season, when he rejects Soos's claims that the girl in a Japanese dating sim is alive, despite having dealt with a living video game character himself.
    • In "The Last Mabelcorn", Wendy says that she stopped believing in unicorns when she was five and repeatedly expresses her disbelief, despite having encountered plenty of other unbelievable things over the past two months, from ghosts to shapeshifters.
  • In an Inspector Gadget episode with a (fabricated) alien invasion, Gadget doesn't believe in Martians but does believe in Venusians.
  • Invader Zim
    • Dib, who is constantly trying to convince people of the existence of Bigfoot, ghosts, and tiny green aliens bent on world domination, is entirely dismissive of the claims made by "The Delouser", who believes lice originate from a subterranean Lice Queen, going so far as to tell her she's crazy. At least he apologized when it turned out she was right.
    • A sort of weird case is in "Career Day", when Dib disbelieves everything Bill says. Okay, he's impatient and wants to get back to the definitively real alien, but he seems disappointed Bill took him to a crop circle and outright denied that the cow was being controlled by aliens.
    • Professor Membrane, the world's greatest scientist, firmly dismisses the possibility of alien contact and discounts all things paranormal in a world where the supernatural is readily accessible to even the remotely curious, but has an arsenal filled with technology specifically designed to destroy Santa Claus. Note that Santa isn't one of the entities implied to exist in-universe.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures:
    • Whenever they encounter a new supernatural threat and Uncle gives exposition, Jackie's usual reaction is "Are you making this up?" or "You're making this up!" At one point he instead asks "Where are you getting all these rules from?"
    • Captain Black has this viewpoint towards Magic for season 1... until he sees the Dragon Demon Shendu fly away.
    • In one episode, Captain Black gets worried that their group will get attacked by a Yeti. Jackie and Uncle both stare at him like he's a weirdo.
    • In a Christmas episode, Uncle declares, "Tooth Fairy does not exist, but Santa Claus does. Uncle has research to prove it."
    • Played with later in the fourth season, when Uncle scoffs at the idea of the psychic head that's leader of the Shadowkhan being Oni. He justifies this by pointing out that all of the Big Bads they've had to face so far have been of Chinese origin, therefore it can't be Oni because they're from Japanese mythology. Sounds perfectly reasonable, but correlation isn't causation, and this is quickly proven wrong.
  • Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius: Jimmy has traveled to space, where he can breathe perfectly fine, fought aliens, traveled through time, and done many other things you can expect from a child genius. However, he doesn't believe in Santa Claus, due to never getting the dwarf star he asked for as a child. It turns out that Santa did get him that star, but he didn't want to deliver it until it finally cooled.
  • Justice League
    • In an early episode, Green Lantern doesn't believe a story The Flash is telling him about a talking gorilla, before Flash calls him out:
      Flash: We both have a Martian on our speed dial. I think I deserve the benefit of the doubt here.
      • This is even sillier when you account for John actually belonging to two hero teams, the other one being made up of representatives from all over the universe. Little blue men from outer space gave him his powers in the first place.
    • In another episode, Deadman scoffs at the notion of Gorilla City, until Wonder Woman points out that he is a ghost who is possessing an alien (Superman). He concedes "Good point."
    • There was one where Batman dismisses the idea of reincarnation as nonsense. However, in Batman's case this is fair, particularly in the DCAU where dead people stay dead. And, quite frankly, not believing in something keeps you from being tempted to try it.
      • Earlier in that same episode, Batman suggests that Carter Hall might be psychologically unstable, as he believes that Egyptian architecture was built with the aid of aliens. Shayera responds that Batman's right, and Carter must be insane because everyone knows aliens don't exist — especially ones such as herself.
    • This comes up a lot in Justice League. In "Balance", Wonder Woman uses her Lasso of Truth to interrogate a demon. Hawkgirl, not having seen this power demonstrated before, asks her how she got him to talk so easily.
      Wonder Woman: Magic lasso. Who knew?
      Hawkgirl: If you don't want to tell me, then fine.
      • They're interrogating a DEMON. In HADES. Where they've gone to restore the eponymous Hades himself to the throne since he's been ousted by an evil sorcerer. And Hawkgirl JUST SAW Wonder Woman's mother give her an unspecified power upgrade.
    • Minor instance in "Savage Time", set back during World War II. Vandal Savage, who took over Nazi Germany, receives reports of the Justice League aiding the Allies, and initially dismisses the reports as propaganda. This coming from a man that received plans to Take Over the World from his future self via a time machine, and later turns out to have originally been a caveman that gained immortality from a meteorite. Perhaps not so surprisingly, he isn't skeptical for very long.
    • Hawkgirl's case is because in ancient times, her people worshipped Eldritch Abominations that they got rid of with the discovery of Nth-Metal. Her struggle in accepting faith and in higher powers is due to this past, and she does try and understand.
  • Kaeloo: The characters live in a planet that runs on magic and own a time machine, a spaceship, and a bunch of doors to other dimensions, and yet they refuse to believe Stumpy's claims of sheep being aliens.
  • One of the heroes of King Arthur & the Knights of Justice reacts with laughter when a villager comes to Camelot asking for their help to get rid of a fire-breathing dragon menacing his village. Even though a wizard brought him back in time, a magic table gave him the knowledge to be a knight, and he's already seen a dragon jump out of the king's shield and come to life. In the end he's right about the dragon; it's not real. It's an illusion created by a sorceress.
  • In the Looney Tunes movie Bugs Bunny's 1001 Rabbit Tales, Abba Cadabba has no problem with talking cats, but is incredulous to the idea of singing frogs.
  • In the bat-related episode of The Magic School Bus Ralphie is firmly convinced that Ms. Frizzle is a vampire while Keisha continually says that vampires don't exist. However, they're used to continually going around in a magic transforming semi-sentient school bus driven by a mostly sentient chameleon that can turn them into bats at the press of a button. Granted, Keisha is right (at least about Ms. Frizzle) but they've swallowed a lot of impossible things while trying to prove whether vampires exist. She would have been better off pointing out that vampires can't go out in the daylight and they see Ms. Frizzle during the day five days a week.
  • Diana in Martin Mystery refuses to believe that any event The Center investigates is result of paranormal activity, claiming that there would be some logical explanation. Yet she works for an organization that employs aliens and cavemen, and it is a Monster of the Week show, so the fact that she brought this up so often really messes with the Willing Suspension of Disbelief. She has some reason to be skeptical of Martin — although a supernatural explanation always proves to be true, it's rarely the first one he provides. Or the second. Or the third. He always gets it right eventually, but only after numerous downright absurd guesses that have no bearing on what's actually happening. The fact that she doesn't conclude that it's definitely supernatural, but Martin is wrong about how until evidence suggests otherwise is a bit problematic, though.
  • Metalocalypse contains the following exchange:
    "There's no such thing as trolls!"
    "Then how do you explain the dead unicorns?"
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Twilight Sparkle is a unicorn with a natural ability to do magic, but she shows skepticism towards other kinds of magic because she knows so much about how magic is supposed to work. Sometimes it makes sense ("magic" is more or less her college major), sometimes not.
    • In "Bridle Gossip", Twilight dismisses the possibility of curses or hexes as mere superstition, as not real magic. At first, she does this before anyone sees any evidence of them, so that's not this trope, though the others rather act as if. When she and her friends become afflicted with strange magical effects that seem to be a curse, she eventually changes her mind. Turns out she was initially right this time, as they're caused by something else, and there are indeed no curses appearing anywhere. Until "The Crystal Empire" airs and we learn curses are, in fact, a very real thing in the series.
    • In "Feeling Pinkie Keen", it takes the whole episode for Twilight to accept that Pinkie Pie's strange bodily premonitions about the future are real even though they're beyond known types of magic and her understanding. The evidence grows more and more obvious, but she dismisses it most of the way because she can't accept something she can't quantify.
    • In "It's About Time," Twilight says to her future self "You are not scientifically possible," effectively dismissing not only explanations for the phenomenon but the phenomenon itself. Once she actually hears the time travel explanation, she's fine with that. She just didn't think there could be two of her.
    • In "Too Many Pinkie Pies" Rainbow Dash dismissed Pinkie's explanation about how she duplicated herself with an eye-roll, despite being a pegasus, a friend with one of the greatest magicians of their time, and having just saved a magical crystal kingdom. Admittedly, this is probably because she just thought Pinkie was being Pinkie.
    • In "Stranger Than Fan Fiction", Quibble Pants is dissatisfied with most of the Daring Do series because he finds the fantastical and action elements too farfetched, even though he's a talking pony in a High Fantasy setting where magic, monsters, ancient evils and epic adventures are common and easily observable events.
      • The viewers (and Rainbow Dash, whom he is currently talking to) know from "Daring Don't" that the author of the Daring Do books- A.K. Yearling- is, as a matter of fact, secretly Daring Do, and that the books are really just a Stealth Autobiography.
      • In fact, Rainbow Dash herself is a character in one of the books, which would make it weird that Quibble Pants didn't recognize her were it not for the fact that they were at a convention with cosplayers.
    • In "Equestria Girls", a teenager freaks out when he hears Spike talk, despite the entire school having just seen one of their classmates turn herself into a demon and turn the entire student body into zombies, before seeing six other classmates grow magic pony ears, tails, and wings to defeat her using the Power of Friendship. Spike points this out.
  • Children's cartoon Ned's Newt had an example of this in the Halloween episode, when Ned is home alone and Frankenstein's monster suddenly shows up at his doorstep (in reality his uncle who's coming by to check on him. He's on his way to a Halloween party, and can't get off his costume on his own).
    Ned: It looks like Frankenstein! But he doesn't really exist, does he?
    Newton: Hey, you're talking to a six-foot newt that can do this:
    (Newton unhinges his upper jaw, causing a weasel in a harlequin costume to pop out of his lower jaw and juggle)
    Newton: Face it: The reality level here is a mite thin!
  • Amusingly lampshaded in the "Summer Belongs to You" episode of Phineas and Ferb, when Buford insists that it's impossible to travel around the world in order to have 24+ hours of continuous daylight.
    Buford: There's nothing I have ever seen that would make me believe you could pull this off. Except for that time machine thing, oh and the roller coaster. But other than that, nothing! Oh, and the time you played that song and the platypus came back. Aw, man, nature just bends to your will, doesn't it?
    • It's all but directly stated that he doesn't even really disbelieve, and is just pretending to to be a Jerkass and goad them into going through with it.
    • Played straight when Candace refuses to accept the possibility that Phineas and Ferb could make a machine that defies gravity, despite knowing that they've made plenty of other supposedly physically impossible things in the past.
  • In one episode of The Real Ghostbusters, Peter says that he believes in ghosts, spooks, and specters, but he draws the line at believing in the Boogieman, who is, of course the Monster of the Week.
  • In a Robot Chicken skit parodying the climax of The Empire Strikes Back, after Darth Vader tells Luke that he's his father and Luke dismisses it as impossible, he also has difficulty believing Vader when he says that Leia is Luke's sister, the Empire will be defeated by ewoks, and as a child he built C-3PO. He then leaves when Vader explains that the Force is caused by midichlorians.
  • Misery from Ruby Gloom doesn't believe in monsters, despite regularly hanging out with a a talking skeleton, a Cyclops, a two-headed guy, and a talking bird. And she herself may actually be a banshee.
  • The Scooby-Doo cartoons have come to subvert this trope. While the gang will generally dismiss the belief that the Monster of the Week is real, despite most continuities having them encounter everything from ghosts to aliens to even Mesopotamian gods, they do keep the otherworldly/supernatural explanation on the table, in the rare case that no other possibility fits. This franchise is the Trope Namer for the "Scooby-Doo" Hoax, after all.
    • In A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, Daphne still claims that she doesn't believe in ghosts despite the fact that a ghost hired her and her friends to clear his name and prevent him from being destroyed. She was still glad to see that he was safe though.
  • The Simpsons, episode "Lisa the Skeptic", where Lisa is arguing against the authenticity of an angel skeleton and states that one who believes in angels might as well believe in such things as unicorns and leprechauns, to which Kent Brockman replies "Everybody knows leprechauns are extinct!" She even tries to prove scientifically that the angel is a fraud but the tests come back as inconclusive. This episode comes off as downright bizarre given that it was in an era where Lisa still regularly displayed Christian beliefs. Added to that, angels are generally depicted as immortal, supernatural beings, and yet none of the believers in the town slightly doubt that one could die and leave behind a skeleton. She's right in the end. When she asks the scientist why his test didn't prove it was a fake, he admits he never did the test.
    • Other episodes show leprechauns are real and practically every other fantasy creature, albeit they appear briefly as gags.
    • Played with in "The Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie Show", where a nerdy fan asks about an extremely minor continuity mistake in an episode where Itchy played Scratchy's ribcage like a xylophone, but the sounds of his strikes didn't match up with the animation and he produced different sound effects while hitting the same bones. He mocks the idea of Scratchy's ribcage being a "magic xylophone", but never acknowledges the fact that he's trying to find continuity mistakes in a series where the deuteragonist dies in every episode.
  • In Sofia the First: The Floating Palace, nobody believes Sofia when she tells them that she met a mermaid. This can perhaps reasonably be excused for the ship's admiral, who has sailed the seventeen seas and never seen a mermaid in all his years of travel. Less understandable is the total unwilling disbelief of Sofia's entire family in a world where trolls, fairies and sorcery are all well-known to exist. In a later episode, Sofia's family minus James won't believe ghosts are real.
  • South Park
    • Lampshaded in the episode "Cartman's Incredible Gift" where Kyle voices his skepticism of psychic abilities throughout and tries to convince the police to take a more realistic, scientific approach to the murder investigation. At the very end of the episode it is revealed that Kyle may have psychic powers himself. The series as a whole has many episodes with skeptical themes, despite the fact that supernatural characters and phenomena are commonplace. It's somewhat justified, though, as Kyle's belief is as much "psychic powers aren't real" as "these people are very obviously faking it" (which they are).
    • In another episode, Cartman convinces Hollywood and most of the adults in the show his hand is possessed by Jennifer Lopez (or at least someone pretending to be Jennifer Lopez). Kyle strongly believes that Cartman is full of crap. In the end, Kyle's skepticism wavers after Cartman reminds him that they have seen a lot of crazy shit... and then Cartman laughs at him because he really did make the whole thing up.
    • Also, how can anyone in the South Park universe possibly be an atheist, considering the fact that Jesus, God, and Satan — just for starters — have all visited the town countless times? Jesus is a talk show host for crying out loud!
    • There was also the episode "Dead Celebrities" in which Stan and Kyle are skeptical of ghosts existing, despite the fact that they have encountered wizards, gnomes, zombies, dragons, aliens, and demons before. In fact, they've dealt with ghosts before (though given the way Kenny's resurrection-based immortality works, they might have forgotten).
  • Steven Universe: Everyone is very skeptical of Ronaldo's weird theories, such as the existence of ghosts and poltergeists, despite knowing that the kid who lives on the beach can summon magical shields and shape-shift. This is mainly because most of his ideas are overly complicated conspiracies for events which everyone knows can just be described as "the Crystal Gems did it". Most of Ronaldo's Gem-related theories end up correctnote , but only the viewer is usually aware of that fact.
  • In Super 4, Gene adamantly insists that ghosts don't exist in a world already including magic, fairies and dragons. Sure, their first two encounters were "Scooby-Doo" Hoaxes, but there are genuine ghosts too, including one prisoner of a vial in Alex's castle.
  • In The Superhero Squad Show episode "Election of Evil", the Mayor of Superhero City at one point mentions something about a hero who gained powers from being bitten by a radioactive bug. Wolverine retorts that the Mayor is just making stuff up in spite of encountering equally implausible things like evil sorcerers and shape-shifting aliens.
  • The Super Mario Bros Super Show!: Mario knows that vampires don't exist, despite living in a universe with mushroom people, magic flowers, flying carpets, etc.
  • In ThunderCats (2011) most of the magical kingdom of Thundera outright dismisses technology as the stuff of fairy tales, and are likewise skeptical of the existence of the the magical Great Big Book of Everything the Book of Omens and Evil Sorceror Mumm-Ra. Justified in that Thundera is depicted as fairly isolated, and their history has long ago fallen into myth.
  • In a very similar example to the above, one episode of Ultimate Spider-Man had Spidey teaming up with Doctor Strange but not believing that anything that was happening was magic. He even invoked Clark's Third Law as well. This was a bit more of a stretch since an earlier episode had Spider-Man teamed up with Thor and traveling to Asgard to fight Frost Giants and Loki and Thor getting turned into a frog with no skepticism at all on the web-slinger's part.
  • In a Funny Moment on VeggieTales, Laura Carrot and Junior Asparagus are at first suspicious of the talking Rumor Weed, like any schoolkids would be; the Rumor Weed points out, though, that "I'm a talking weed, you're a talking carrot..."
  • The Venture Bros.
    • Brock inquires if his boss's policy of "don't harm women and children" applies to female vampires. No, because they're undead, therefore technically not women, the boss replies. "Also? Fictitious." This is a world where ghosts, magic, and resurrections are downright common, and as a matter of fact, a later character is a Blacula hunter. (Then again, it was specifically female Draculas, which might be another thing...)
    • Dr. Venture is especially prone to this: he says the Chupacabra are "utter crap" and then later exclaims "No way!" when he's attacked by a Chupacabra. He also claims that when you apply the Scientific Method to Catholicism, "an interesting thing occurs."
    • One episode shows Brock (and Doctor Venture) explicitly disbelieving in magic, despite the fact that their next-door-neighbor is a sorcerer who has used magic to save their lives several times. They believe it to be an unknown version of science. At the same time, Doc is currently existing in three different locations, one of them gooey.
    • Another episode puts an odd spin on it; Doc fully accepts the existence of magic... but plainly says that in the big picture it's not any different from science. Essentially he can perform any feat Dr. Orpheus, his sorcerer neighbor, can with gadgets. This doesn't exactly go well with the very theatrical Orpheus.
      Dr. Orpheus: TRICKS?! How dare you! With just a thought I could rise into the air!
      Dr. Venture: Or you could put on these anti-gravity boots.
      Dr. Orpheus: I could incinerate this entire lab, make you believe you are a very special episode of Blossom, and shoot lightning from my hands!
      Dr. Venture: Laser ray. Mind control helmet. Tesla coil. Anything else?
      [Dr. Orpheus summons fire with his bare hands]
      [Dr. Venture lights a match]
    • One episode features a mysterious kidnapper with the powers of flight, superhuman strength, and creating light, claiming to be the god Zeus. General Treister organizes a group to try to figure out who the kidnapper is, and while he considers some suggestions (mass hallucinogenics, jetpacks, holograms, actual flight powers) to be reasonable or at least debatable, the suggestion that it's the actual Zeus gets immediately ruled out. Even ruling out all of the abovementioned evidence of magic, keep in mind that not long after that episode, Treister would fire himself into space in the hopes that alien technology would fix his prostate cancer.
    • One episode features 21 ending a Hypothetical Fight Debate between Champ and Nessie by pointing out that both Champ and Nessie were either fakes or misattributed sightings, and it would be a fight between a rotten log and a toy submarine... and Ogopogo, who is, of course, completely real and a full-sized Mesozoic plesiosaur and could therefore easily defeat two inanimate objects.
  • In the X-Men: Evolution episode "Retreat", some hunters who have never heard of mutants nor the X-Men kidnap Beast after mistaking him for Bigfoot. His friends rescue him, showing off their powers to the hunters guarding him. When the hunters fearfully explain what happened to their returning comrades, they laugh at them, saying while they know Bigfoot is real, kids with superpowers is plain ridiculous.
  • Young Justice: Kid Flash, despite living and working with superheroes that include Robin, Aqualad, Superboy, and Miss Martian; does not believe in magic, despite the fact where this trait comes up is in an episode where he is in the tower of a magician that has been alive for centuries and is constantly being put through magic escapades. More precisely, he does believe in the magician's power; however, he assumes there is a scientific explanation behind it. This is likely because one of the Flash's enemies uses advanced technology and claims it to be magic (and, in a CMOF, on of the enemies spying on him is using the EXACT SAME tech setup he was just talking about!). He grows out of it by the end of the episode. After all, if you put a magic helmet on yourself and wind up inside the helmet talking to a guy who's recently died and a Lord of Order who's currently possessing your body, wouldn't it be kind of stupid to continue to disbelieve magic? He does, however, take a while to admit it, simply because he doesn't want to admit to his teammates that he was wrong. He also has no problem with Zatanna or her father Zatara's magic in later episodes.


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