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Deconstructed Trope / Western Animation

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  • 6teen deconstructs Working with the Ex. Wyatt's inability to get over Serena as Spin This leads to conflict at the work place from him snapping at customers, messing up the shelves, and playing heavy metal music loudly through the speakers. It eventually leads to Serena firing him.
  • Adventure Time deconstructs several Tropes:
    • deconstructs Trapped in TV Land. In video game form in the episode "Guardians of Sunshine". When Finn and Jake transport themselves into a video game through Beemo (Who told them not to), they realize that things are not what they seem. For one thing, they lampshaded the fact that if they lose all of their lives, it would be similar to dying in real life. Also, they can only carry just a few coins in their hands and the pain they feel in the game is real as the pain they feel in real life. The enemies in the game pose a bigger threat than expected. When Finn tries to activate the special weapon Bomba, he realizes that he can't do it without his controller. When Jake tries to pull Bomba from the screen, it causes an error that takes them to their world, along with the enemies they encountered (Note: The coin Jake kept turns into a penny, meaning the game currency is not worth much in the real world). The enemies were hostile towards Beemo for imprisoning them in the video game because they long for the sunshine.
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    • deconstructs Cloud Cuckoo Lander. The Ice King's seemingly harmlessly insane behavior actually stems from having been mentally warped by an Artifact of Doom. He used to be a normal, dignified, human antiquarian named Simon Petrikov, before being exposed to an enchanted crown. The ensuing change was slow and painful, and he was aware (and terrified) of the degradation the entire time. His insanity destroyed his relationships with his fiancee and surrogate daughter, and much of his strange actions are actually an attempt to replace them. In addition to that, it's implied that the only reason he is a largely harmless eccentric is that the mental remnants of his old self are restraining him - when this control occasionally slips, he is much more disturbing.
    • deconstructs Kid Hero. Finn has been fighting and killing monsters and supernatural beings since at least the age of twelve (his age when the series begins). Even though he's quite cheerful and upbeat most of the time, psychologically he's really messed up. In fact the reason he manages to stay upbeat despite the horrors he's seen is because he's very good at suppressing traumatic memories (he refers to the process as "putting them in the vault"; the fact that he does it so often that he has a term for it is a bad sign). Because he's spent so much of his life fighting and adventuring, he doesn't know much about making personal connections. His emotional immaturity and Blood Knight nature drove his girlfriend away, and his tendencies toward white knighting are steadily getting creepier as he gets older. All he really knows how to do is punch things; life situations that require a more complex solution are beyond his ability to navigate.
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    • deconstructs Implied Love Interest. Finn and Princess Bubblegum. Sure, Finn has a Precocious Crush on PB and he frequently rescues her, but she only thinks of him as a close friend at most. They come very close to confirming their ship when she is de-aged, but it's thoroughly nixed when she returns to her original age. One episode involved him singing a song about how confusing it was ("What am I to you? Am I a joke, your knight, or your brother?") that also includes his sentiment that it doesn't really matter as long as they are at least friends and get to hang out. He eventually gets over the romantic aspects when he meets Flame Princess, although he makes a few attempts to re-kindle something with PB after that relationship ends.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball deconstructs several tropes:
    • deconstructs Chuck Cunningham Syndrome. "The Void" reveals that Molly and Rob disappeared because the Void thought they were mistakes, explaining why they stopped appearing.
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    • deconstructs In Another Man's Shoes. In "The Worst," the Wattersons all trade places for a day to see who has the worst life; Nicole as a man, Gumball and Darwin as women, Richard as a child, and Anais as an adult. Inexplicably, not only does everyone else goes along with them, so does reality itself—to the point of Richard developing acne and Anais getting horrible back pain. While it gives them all some appreciation for the others' problems, the shortcoming of such an experience is pointed out: Gumball hastily declares that everyone has things equally bad, which Nicole points out is a terrible conclusion to reach.
    • deconstructs The Nondescript. "The Nobody" has Rob escape from the Void after being deemed a mistake by it (probably for being so generic), with a loss of identity in the process.
    • deconstructs Status Quo Is God. "The Finale" has the people of Elmore get revenge on the Wattersons, for them managing to get away with all the damage and chaos they bring to the town.
  • An episode of American Dragon: Jake Long not only takes a hammer to Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World, but also gives a rare deconstruction of What the Hell, Hero?. After finding out that Jake had his Dragon Chi confiscated on purpose (to enjoy his middle school graduation in peace), Lao Shi rants at him for being irresponsible and not flawlessly rising to the job. The Annoying Younger Sibling, who took on Jake's job for a few days and has experienced firsthand that It Sucks to Be the Chosen One, angrily calls out Lao Shi's lack of sympathy.
    Hey! When's the last time either of you were the American Dragon? Well, as the little troll girl currently filling the position, let me tell you it's stinkin' hard! I can't imagine doing it two more days, let alone two more years. And to think about everything Jake's gone through; he's had to save magical creatures on a daily basis, lie to his own dad about who he is, say good-bye to the girl he loved, all to protect a mystical world that nobody knows about. He may be the American Dragon, but he’s also a 14-year-old kid who just wanted a couple days off. If that makes him immature, fine, but self-serving? With all due respect to both of you, STEP OFF!
  • The title character of Archer gives us a twofer. On one hand, he deconstructs the Tuxedo and Martini trope by showing us the kind of person that it would take to make a living out of killing people while cracking one-liners, bedding a different woman every week and obsessing over finding the perfect wardrobe in Real Life - namely, a self-centered, spoiled, borderline sociopathic Manchild...and the ultimate Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist. Then the show turns around and deconstructs the Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist trope by going in-depth in showing us the kind of screwed-up childhood that it would take to make someone as much of an asshole as Archer.
  • As Told by Ginger deconstructs Alternate Character Interpretation and Reality Subtext. Ginger writes a poem titled "And She Was Gone" about a girl who is lonely and is implied to commit suicide. Her teachers immediately assume it's a cry for help and force Ginger to see the school psychologist. Her friends and classmates also have similar reactions, which frustrates Ginger because it was just a story and had nothing to do with her life at all. It's pointed out that it's very easy to interpret someone's actions when we know very little about them but that it's almost impossible to know what someone else is truly thinking. Further emphasised by having Lois recognise it as just a good story - who knows Ginger better than her mother afterall?
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Avatar: The Last Airbender deconstructed how a group of kids are able to travel around the world because, with a few exceptions, their parents are either dead or busy fighting a war. Many episodes discuss and show the toll this takes on them.
    • Sequel Series The Legend of Korra eventually deconstructed Love at First Sight. Korra, Bolin, Asami and Mako all fall in love with other Team Avatar members at first sight...and none of those relationships worked out. Bolin's infatuation with Korra was one-sided, Mako and Asami's relationship imploded due to Mako's poor decision-making and lack of social skills, and Mako and Korra ultimately broke up due to their conflicting loyalties and personality clashes, with all of them ultimately being Better as Friends. The relationships that last till the end of the series are the ones that grew naturally from a pre-existing, long-time friendship, like Asami and Korra, or featuring people actively working to maintain and strengthen the relationship, like Bolin and Opal.
  • Batman Beyond episode "Payback" deconstructs Bully Hunter. The episode features a masked Vigilante Man who specifically targets adults (parents/teachers/bosses) that bully various teenagers in Gotham City. It is clear that he is going overboard, as his attacks on them are rather violent and almost lethal against those who've slighted others. It is revealed that Payback is the son of a doctor at a local youth counseling center, who was depressed that his father was spending too much time counseling other teenagers and neglecting him.
    • The Kid Hero trope is deconstructed in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. Being a youngster who fights evil won't spare you from the torture and brainwashing Mind Rape you'll receive once you end up in the claws of a sadistic, murderous, amoral psychopath. If you do survive it, you'll completely lose your sanity, it will take years of therapy to cure you, and you have to live with PTSD through the rest of your life. Though Tim was actually not regretful of it until the Joker began influencing him in his attempt to take over.
    Timothy Drake (as an adult): Fun and games. Boy wonder playing hero. Fighting the bad guys and no one ever gets... Oh god. I killed him. I didn't mean to. I tried so hard to forget. But I still hear the shot. Still see the dead smile. Every night the dreams get stronger... He's there when I sleep. Whispering! Laughing! Telling me that I'm as bad as he is! We're both the same! note 
    • The Joker points out that for all the fear he invokes being The Cowl, Batman is not more than a pathetic Manchild crying out for mommy and daddy after all those years.
    The Joker: I must admit, it's sadly anti-climactic. Behind all the sturm and bat-o-rangs, you're just a little boy in a playsuit, crying for mommy and daddy! It'd be funny if it weren't so pathetic.
    Tim: We gave our best, but in the end that wasn't good enough for the old man. When I was younger, part of me thought I would go on and on, and someday...ah, capes, costumes, playing hero - it was kid's stuff! Bruce probably did me a favor. In the end, I was so sick of it I never wanted to see that stupid Robin suit again...!
    • However, it's been noted that his hatred for being Robin was a result of the Joker's influence on him and he was actually pretty okay.
    • The new Batman (Terry McGinnis) admits that The Joker is a successful supervillain, but a pathetic comedian: he never made Batman laugh, nor corrupt or break him. He never was Affably Evil, just Faux Affably Evil. And maybe the clearer proof that The Joker is a mediocre comic is that he cannot deal with the natural enemy of a comedian: The Heckler.
    Terry McGinnis: The real reason you kept coming back was you never got a laugh out of the old man.
    The Joker: I'm not hearing this...
    Terry McGinnis: Get a clue, clowny! He's got no sense of humor! He wouldn't know a good joke if it bit him in the cape... not that you ever had a good joke.
    Terry McGinnis: I mean, joy-buzzers, squirting flowers, lame! Where's the "A" material? Make a face, drop your pants, something!
    Batgirl: How could you help Joker do it, Harley?
    Harley Quinn: Okay, so he roughed the kid up a little. But I'll make it right.
    Batgirl: Yeah, you're Mother of the Stinkin' Year!
    Batman (McGinnis) [after his interview with Drake]: Were all of you that bitter when you left?
    Barbara Gordon: Comes with the territory, McGinnis. Look up Nightwing someday, has he got stories.
  • CatDog
    • deconstructs Carnivore Confusion. In one episode, Dog tries to answer the question of where meat comes from. He explains how there's a guy who plants meat plants — meanwhile, Cat just explains slaughter. Dog goes crazy at the idea of eating sapient beings, who he thinks are friends, and turns vegan. Then, Dog starts to become delusional as he imagines that vegetables are his friends. After all that, Dog then tries to eat Cat, because he's not his ''friend'' but his ''brother''. Fortunately, the guy who plants meat plants appears and solves the problem. To make things more horrifying, Cat and Dog share bodies. So if Dog eats Cat, he eats his own body. Although they only feel pain in their half, so they have their own bodies, but they meet in the middle. So Dog would have only eaten Cat, which just leaves Dog and his half of the body.
    • deconstructs Nostalgia Filter. In the episode "Back to School", Cat is looking forward to attending his high school reunion and dancing with his old crush Sally. He describes himself as popular and having a great time in high school. Even in the beginning of the episode something is fishy, with all of the memorabilia and rewards he claimed were his really belonging to Dog, and their diploma having Dog's name but not Cat's. He tells Dog that they need to correct it by visiting their old high school. The brothers visit Rancid the school principal about the diploma, and it is revealed Cat never attended the last day of school so for him to have the diploma and be able to attend the reunion dance, he must go back to school for one day. Cat is happy to relive his glory days, but wonders why he can't remember his last day at school. But throughout the day things just keep going wrong with him while Dog is popular - three of Cat's new classmates are the relatives of the Greasers who make him miserable, his crush Sally is indifferent to him, and after class when he asks her to dance with him at the reunion, she coldly tells him that she has a boyfriend and makes it clear that she does not like him. At lunch both the cool kids and nerds refuse to let Cat sit with them, and then a food fight break out and Cat gets blamed for it. Finally at gym he is humiliated by Cliff, who is the teacher and Sally's boyfriend, who brings Sally there to watch his humiliation. As the kids laugh at Cat and call him a loser, his repressed memories come back and he realize the truth - Cat was an outcast and all of his positive memories of school were Dog's, and at the last day of school he was humiliated at gym by Cliff's father Coach Feltbottom, the gym teacher at the time, where he and all the other kids call him a loser, which made Cat run away and block out his memory of the day. And because Cat blocked out his memory of that day and chose to remember things differently, he set himself up for more humiliation in this episode.
  • Danny Phantom
    • deconstructs Freudian Excuse. Vlad Masters starts out with a rather sympathetic backstory and an almost understandable motivation for his villainy: Jack, through sheer idiocy, caused an accident that sent Vlad to the hospital for years, costing Vlad his chance at Maddie, who ended up marrying Jack. However, throughout the series his excuse is torn apart and he ends up becoming less sympathetic as a result.
      • His attempt to kill Jack and take Danny and Maddie for himself are never treated as sympathetic or right. While Jack did cause the accident that hospitalized Vlad for years, he did feel bad about what happened, and wants to be friends again. Not to mention, Jack still sees him as his best friend and holds him in very high regard, unaware of how much Vlad resents him deep down.
      • Vlad used the powers he gained from that same accident to rob banks and intimidate people into selling their businesses to him, thus creating his vast fortune and becoming one of the richest men in the world.
      • Maddie was okay with Vlad until he reveals that he always had a thing for her and hates Jack for "stealing" her. When he asked her to dump Jack and marry him, Maddie rejects him and has treated him with disdain ever since.
      • Heck, Vlad's so called "love" for Maddie is actually rather shallow and twisted, as it's been proven several times that he's more in love with the idea of having her rather than Maddie herself, and doesn't truly care about her feelings unless they suit him.
      • The episode "Masters of All Time" is probably the best example and proof of it all and destroys his Freudian excuse. In an alternate timeline where he didn't get the powers but married Maddie, Vlad still grew up to become the same controlling and domineering sociopath seen in the present timeline and that he treated Maddie like a possession, not a person. While at first it seemed like they were Happily Married, it's soon showed that Vlad was very controlling and possessive of Maddie, forbidding her from pursuing ghost hunting and forcing her to act as a simple housewife, not to mention, he flat out lied about Jack (who ended up getting caught in the accident in this timeline) blaming her for the accident and wanting nothing to do with her and it's heavily implied he was emotionally/psychologically abusive towards her and Maddie had to ghost hunt in secret and resented him for it.
      • Heck, a flashback to the accident shows that Vlad was already was jealous of Maddie's feelings for Jack and her being completely oblivious to his interest in her and being either interested in Jack or dating him. It shows he knew that Maddie already preferred Jack and still wanted her for himself.
      • This whole thing shows in the end that Vlad's love for Maddie is truly shallow and one sided and he is just a selfish man who lashes out for not getting what he wants.
    • deconstructs In Love with Love. Vlad is obsessed with the idea of being with Maddie more than Maddie herself, to the point of not seeming to care that she doesn't want anything to do with him or that killing Jack would make her hate him. He goes as far as to have a stuffed doll of her and bases his holograms on her.
    • deconstructs Rescue Romance. In the alternate timeline created during "Masters of All Time", Vlad saved Maddie from the malfunctioning portal, earning her affection, eventually marrying. However, Vlad is overly controlling and possessive of Maddie, even having forbidden her from pursuing ghost hunting, and had lied to her, saying that Jack (who had suffered the ecto-acne accident in this timeline), didn't want anything to do with her. Maddie, unwilling to give up her life's work, resorted to ghost-hunting behind his back, clearly resenting him for it. Whether she felt obligated to marry him out of gratitude or simply overestimated his character based on that one seemingly-noble act, rescue was clearly not good enough grounds for a lasting romance.
  • The Ed Edd N Eddy finale movie deconstructs Amusing Injuries in a hard way, in which Eddy receives a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from his older brother. It's deconstructed here because Eddy reacts as if he's seriously hurt and the kids (even Kevin and Sarah) react with fear. Not to mention the reveal that this is how his brother always treated him.
    • Cartoon Physics were also deconstructed in the infamous Bizarro Episode "One + One = Ed", featuring the Eds discovering all sorts of weird things, such as paper-thin trees, eating the sun, messing with their outlines, etc.
  • Family Guy deconstructs Subbing for Santa. How? Well, Stewie and Brian are the ones doing the subbing, and their first and only job becomes a home invasion.
    • That same episode also features a truly heart-wrenching deconstruction of How Can Santa Deliver All Those Toys?: trying to keep up with the increasing demands of a constantly growing and increasingly greedy world population has turned Santa's workshop into an ecosystem-killing Nightmarish Factory staffed with horribly inbred elves, the reindeer have mutated into vicious carnivores and Santa himself... well,"failing health" doesn't even begin to describe his condition.
    • "Screams of Silence: The Story of Brenda Q." is a Very Special Episode that deconstructs Domestic Abuse in a way very different from the usually comedic way the show handles it. Here, Quagmire's sister gets abused by her boyfriend and she's depicted as having Stockholm Syndrome, making up flimsy excuses for staying with him. Quagmire also fears for her condition, even considering the boyfriend a threat to her life.
    • Meg is a deconstruction of the Butt-Monkey/The Chew Toy, as all the abuse she's forced to put up with has made her a complete and utter psychological wreck.
    • Quagmire could be seen as a deconstruction of At Least I Admit It. He considers himself better than Brian because he actually admits to his vices, but not only does he commit far worse offenses than Brian has, he also lacks any of the emotional baggage that affects Brian, often doing such things out of sheer callousness. Rather than giving himself a moral high ground through his honesty about his actions, he comes across as above judgement because of it. To add to it, he truthfully doesn't as he is later revealed to blame all his shortcomings on his mother, something Brian is quite willing to throw back at him.
  • Final Space: deconstructions Disproportionate Retribution. Clarence Polkawitz made a holiday for people to lavish praise upon him, and breaks down when his adoptive children praise the other members of Team Squad before him. Because of that he decides to betray Team Squad by stealing the dimensional keys for Sheryl to win her over, betraying everyone he knew just because he felt he was not being given enough attention. However, Sheryl ends up coldly rejecting him even after he helps her, and when Gary, Little Cato and Nightfall catch up to Clarence and he tells them where Sheryl went, they leave him behind. So, because Clarence overreacted to feeling like he wasn't being given enough attention, he loses his ship, his membership with the team and his adoptive children, leaving him with nothing and nobody.
  • An episode of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends deconstructs something that your typical Vacation Episode usually doesn't even touch on: The whole "packing up and getting to the airport" part. Try telling that, however, to those who were expecting a regular Vacation Episode.
  • Generator Rex does this with Dating Catwoman by showing how shitty it can be when the girl you're in love with works for the Big Bad. Even when she decides to quit working for said Big Bad, Rex still doesn't win her in the end.
  • Harley Quinn (2019)
    • deconstructs All Girls Want Bad Boys. Harley Quinn's initially attracted to the Joker because of his dangerous and unique aesthetic, but she eventually finds out that his violent and uncaring nature extends to her as well.
    • deconstructs But for Me, It Was Tuesday. The Penguin kills employees so often that when a transformed Clayface replaces the real waiter, he instantly believes the story that he killed Jeffery despite knowing the guy by name and Clayface's nervous hesitation. His casual dismissal that it " Does sound like [me]" shows how he can't fact check something that should be important.
    • deconstructs Card-Carrying Villain. Queen of Fables (Tsaritsa) uses being a bad guy as an excuse to do horrible actions and, thanks to her "villains don't give a fuck" mentality, feels absolutely no remorse for any of it. What's worse, she seems to feel that this level of extremism is the only way to make it as a villain.
    • deconstructs Chaotic Stupid. Having taken down the Joker and Gotham being left in ruins, Harley Quinn has the perfect chance to rise up as the top villain and completely take control of the city. Instead, she chooses to indulge in the Apocalypse Anarchy and outright refuses to bring back organized crime because she loathes any form of order. The result is that the Injustice League traps her in ice when she refuses to share rulership over Gotham with them and Harley ends up regretting not taking the city for herself sooner. It's also part of the reasoning why Ivy rejects Harley's advances; she loves being friends with Harley, but Harley's too wild and short-sighted for a long term relationship.
  • Hey Arnold!
    • It deconstructs the Purity Sue trope with Olga Pataki, Helga's sister. In order to keep your "pretty, intelligent, sweet, absolutely beloved young girl" image, you're likely to end up as a perfectionist, weepy, perpetually smily, dangerously out-of-reality mess who will break down to melodramatic levels the very moment something doesn't seem to fit in such a bubble of perfection, while being almost completely unable to connect with people far more "flawed" than yourself.
    • The show also deconstructs the Parental Favoritism trope with Olga. It shows the bad effects it can have on children who are favored a lot in their families. Because Olga's parents dote on her too much, they have set a lot of unrealistic expectations for Olga, causing her to become the neurotic perfectionist she is. Olga outright said that she wished that she was The Un-Favourite out of the two. She and her sister see each other as getting the "better deal". This shows that being the "favorite" child isn't all that cracked up to be and that parents should favor their children equally.
    • It also gives us Helga Pataki herself as a deconstruction of the Tsundere trope. She's got a relationship with Arnold that looks on the surface like the typical foundations of a Slap-Slap-Kiss romance, but as we delve a bit farther into her family life we see that, along with her traumatized Purity Sue sister, she has an abusive Jerkass dad and a Lady Drunk mother, neither of which can provide much support in her daily life - if she's lucky. Looking at the show with slightly more jaded eyes, her volatile relationship with Arnold and her few friends become an increasingly obvious cry for help and an awkwardness with dealing with people nonviolently.
      • It even went so far that a psychologist was sent to deal with Helga's anger problems. A clear aversion of There Are No Therapists.
    • In the deceptively named episode “Deconstructing Arnold”, they seem to deconstruct All-Loving Hero: When Helga points out that Arnold is always giving unsolicited advice to other kids, spoiling their fun, every other kid (included best friend Gerald) agrees. Arnold decides to stop helping others as a result. Then we discover… that Arnold is still the same good, happy kid. He’s not a Broken Messiah from it. However, as expected, the kids' plans backfire and they need help in resolving them, only for Arnold to remind them that they didn't want his advice. They then go to Helga, whom she initially doesn't see the big deal and decides to give them advice. Helga being a Jerkass Woobie only manages to make things worse for everybody, including herself, because everyone blames her for her ill advice. We discover that the kids' problems would be relatively easy to solve… if they had the character to be able to do the right thing, instead of the doing the easy thing. Arnold wasn't All-Loving Hero because he gave advice, he gave advice because he was an All-Loving Hero, truly loving and caring for others and encouraging the kids to do the obvious, right thing no matter how painful, while Helga solutions were not the best (most involved shifting the blame while one was just poorly thought out and that never solves any problem. The tropes Humans Are Flawed and All-Loving Hero was deconstructed and reconstructed. It results with Helga asking Arnold to be an All-Loving Hero again. She even Lampsahdes that she's no good at giving advice and that they need him. The episode concludes with Arnold telling his friends the true advice they needed while Helga looked from afar, happy things we back to normal.
  • The Hollow: deconstructions Video Game Cruelty Potential. Vanessa knowing that it was all a game made her nasty, manipulative and backstabbing towards the other team because she knew they wouldn't suffer physical injuries for real. Hurting Kai was the worst part of it since he saved her from being a permanent block of ice. Unfortunately, you're more likely to get an edge in the edge if you're kind; Adam gets healed by the mutant spider when Kai repairs the king's legs, and the Benjamin brothers help Kai discover his powers when they stay to have fun rather than rushing through the theme park. It's implied that the real Adam, Mira and Kai are scarred from the experience and Vanessa's duplicate regrets her past behavior when she realizes her cheating created digital clones of the teams.
  • Justice League Unlimited: The final season deconstructs Hidden Agenda Villain with Gorilla Grodd, who assembles the supervillains of the DCAU into an effective coalition and gathers resources for his Evil Plan, which is to turn all people on Earth into gorillas. Lex Luthor points out the silliness in such plan, and no one in the Secret Society bats an eyelash when Lex shoots Grodd in the face and usurps leadership.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has a habit of deconstructing tropes in the process of teaching its aesops:
    • "Party Of One" did the same to Pinkie Pie with her role as the Genki Girl. When people start making up excuses to avoid a party, and discovers them trying to do something without her, she extrapolates that everyone has gotten tired of her and gets clinically depressed as a result.
    • "Lesson Zero" deconstructs the Once an Episode formula a lot of shows, including this one, use. Twilight freaks out because she doesn't have a letter to send to the Princess, as there wasn't much conflict in anyone's life lately. She goes crazy and tries to create a problem for her to solve, but things get horribly out of hand.
    • "Luna Eclipsed" deconstructs multiple scenery-chewing tropes, particularly Large Ham, Milking the Giant Cow, and No Indoor Voice; Princess Luna has undergone a Heel–Face Turn and is trying to improve her public image, but she keeps scaring everyone away with her "Traditional Royal Canterlot Voice," which she (and presumably her sister) used back when she ruled before her Face–Heel Turn, and practically required her to be a Large Ham.
    • "Applebuck Season" deconstructs The Reliable One, when Applejack tries to harvest all the apples in Sweet Apple Acres by herself, because Big Macintosh injured himself, and be there for her friends at the same time. She ends up with severe sleep deprivation, and creates several issues such as flinging Rainbow Dash into Twilight's balcony, and practically poisoning plenty of ponies. The trope is deconstructed again in "The Last Roundup". Everypony expects Applejack to win enough prize money to pay for the city hall's repairs. When she only places second or lower (but still high enough to have LOTS of ribbons) in all of the events, she is so ashamed of letting down Ponyville that she decides not to return until she's earned enough money to pay for the repairs by working on a farm in Dodge Junction.
    • "Power Ponies" deconstructs The Load and Butt-Monkey tropes that were otherwise Played for Laughs in previous seasons, by showing that Spike has very low self-esteem due to always feeling like he's only there for comic relief.
    • "The Cutie Remark Parts 1 and 2" deconstructs Dude, Where's My Respect? heavily: Starlight Glimmer thinks the Mane Six is nothing more than a bunch of ponies who were brought together thanks to one Sonic Rainboom. When Twilight drags Starlight into one of the many changed timelines, she's shown that, without that Rainboom, they weren't brought together and bad shit happened. Starlight just can't get it wrapped around her head that the Mane Six are essentially the only thing standing between peaceful Equestria and a barren wasteland that she suffers a Villainous Breakdown.
    • "No Second Prances" ends up deconstructing Designated Villain - Twilight is more than willing to give Starlight Glimmer the benefit of the doubt and help her reform, but she is less than willing to accept The Great and Powerful Trixie as Starlight's first friend. Twilight tails and pretty much antagonizes Trixie, finally getting her to admit that she was Starlight's friend because she wanted to one up Twilight, but by that time, Trixie had genuinely came to accept Starlight as her friend and Twilight's demeanor nearly broke that friendship up.
    • “School Raze” actually ends up deconstructing The Power of Friendship, of all things. Specifically, it deconstructs it being a tangible thing that can be weaponized. The Arc Villain Cozy Glow acknowledges that The Power of Friendship is a very powerful force and doesn’t underestimate it; however, her sociopathy leads her to interpret it as “make as many friends as possible in order to gain ultimate power”, meaning that she makes friends simply for her own personal benefit. This eventually leads her to drain the magic out of her fellow ponies so she’s the only magical being in Equestria left, and maintain her “friendships” with the ones she had fooled.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: The episode "Town and Out" deconstructs Destructive Savior; the girls move to a more realistic city than Townsville in that episode, and end up getting a tongue-lashing from the Mayor of that city after they stop two bank robbers by blowing up a bridge:
    Mayor: Let me tell you some words. At what point did it seem like a good idea to blow up the Citiesville Bridge?
    Blossom: Uh...
    Mayor: NO! Do you realize the two crooks that you caught stole approximately four hundred dollars? Do you realize that you did OVER THREE MILLION DOLLARS IN PROPERTY DAMAGE TO THAT BRIDGE?! IT'S NOT REPLACEABLE!
  • Recess has an episode of a new boy in their school who turns out to be a Mary Sue. He's a nice kid but the others want to challenge him so he ends up doing his best but that leads to the others seeing how he's better at everything they can do. They end up hating him for it and he's sad to have to deal with the fact that to be himself he can't have friends. He tells them this, which makes them more understanding, and leaves the school.
  • Rick and Morty
    • deconstructed Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other. Throughout the first two seasons, Beth and Jerry show moments where they care for each other despite their toxic, dysfunction marriage. But those moments, unfortunately, are just moments that don't last, and their toxic dysfunction remains an ongoing problem that they don't work to resolve. In Season 3, when Jerry put his foot down and made Beth choose between him and Rick, she chose Rick.
    • deconstructed Comedic Sociopathy. Rick certainly comes across as one, but it's implied to be a defense mechanism fostered over decades — if he ever stopped to empathize with those he's wronged over the years or consider the full consequences of his actions, he just might go completely insane.
    • deconstructed Dumbass No More. Morty constant adventures and near-death situations turned him from naive, slow in the mind kid to one of the more competent and self-aware characters of the show, they also took a serious toll on him, resulting in his constant sense of disillusionment and insecurity.
    • "Rick Potion #9" deconstructs Love Potion. Morty requests one from Rick to give to Jessica so she will go to a school dance with him. Unfortunately Jessica has the flu so the effect piggybacks on the virus and soon all of humanity barring Morty's immediate family is infected. Rick's incompetent attempts to cure the effect result in the entire human race being turned into "Cronenbergs" and Rick and Morty end up abandoning it to live in another universe where they died. Naturally when things go wrong, they start arguing and Rick tears into Morty and points out how the potion is little different from a date rape drug, and he's right.
  • Samurai Jack's fifth season tears apart the notion of Status Quo Is God that dominated the previous seasons. After 50 long years, both the hero and the villain have grown sick of their never-ending conflict; with Jack becoming a Shell-Shocked Veteran and Aku falling into depression, after years of mutual failure to kill one another.
    • Aku in general is a deconstruction of Made of Evil: He's completely incapable of doing anything good, even when it would benefit him. There's multiple times in the series where he probably would have succeeded in killing Jack if he didn't have Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
    • Attack! Attack! Attack! and Training from Hell are deconstructed with the Daughters of Aku. Trained since birth to be remorseless assassins, they are skilled and relentless combatants. Despite their training however they are still decades behind Jack in terms of skill and experience, and were taught only to attack. Never trying protect or aid one another, which they see as weakness. Once Jack recovers from their initial ambush and stops holding back, they are swiftly killed.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated pretty much thrives on deconstructing every one of the Scooby-Doo franchise's most iconic tropes.
  • An episode of The Simpsons deconstructed Scare 'Em Straight. Marge was away and Bart & Homer weren't doing their chores, so Lisa made them think they had leprosy to scare them into cleaning up their filth. Instead, Flanders shipped them off to a Hawaiian leper colony.
    • The episode where a graveyard was built next the Simpson home deconstructed Wise Beyond Their Years. Lisa is scared out of her mind because she never learned to handle her childish fears.
    • Older Than They Look is deconstructed in that episode where people find out Ned Flanders is a senior citizen. His wholesome living made him look younger than he really is but it also made him boring and predictable.
    • The infamous episode "The Boys of Bummer" is a deconstruction of Disproportionate Retribution. The stock plot is about everyone in Springfield getting angry at Bart over something very minor, which has happened before on "Bart's Girlfriend," "The Telltale Head," and "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace" - all of which were played straight and for laughs. This time around, Bart loses a simple softball game and is bullied and harassed for it so much and so badly that he attempts suicide. He lives, but the townspeople still rag on him for losing until Marge steps in to yell at them. It's about as dark and depressing as you'd imagine and the reason why this episode is disliked among the few people who still watch modern-day Simpsons episodes or the former fan who foolishly decided to rewatch the show after years of ignoring it.
    • Then there's "At Long Last Leave" which shows that everyone in Springfield has had enough of the Simpsons. The town is bankrupt by Homer and Bart's destructive antics, and are annoyed with Lisa shoving her ideas into everyone's faces, not even Marge or Ned's preaching could change their minds and they boot them out of town.
  • South Park: "Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy" deconstructs Teacher/Student Romance (especially examples with younger children) by portraying the teacher in the relationship as incredibly delusional and manipulative.
    • "Conjoined Fetus Lady" deconstructs Inspirationally Disadvantaged as all the special treatment the titular lady gets just makes her feel like even more of a freak.
    • "A Very Crappy Christmas" deconstructs True Meaning of Christmas by having the town view Christmas as what most cartoons teach Christmas is all about (family, love, and kindness to others) which causes the townspeople to stop buying Christmas presents altogether and as a result the town's economy plummets.
  • Static Shock: deconstructs Because You Were Nice to Me. Eddie Felson met Daisy Watkins at science summer camp. He developed a crush on her because she was the only person at the camp that was kind to him. However his crush on her become an unhealthy obsession, with him stalking her and stealing luxury items to give to her. What made it worse was it was implied from Daisy's reaction to seeing him again and from the way she talked about him is that she did not like him even as a friend and whatever kindness she ever showed him was out of pity.
  • Steven Universe
    • Similar to the Korra example above, Love at First Sight is taken apart, with the possibility of Loving a Shadow brought up. As shown in "We Need To Talk", Greg and Rose hooking up within hours of meeting at the end of "Story For Steven" causes some problems due to the speed of the relationship, which isn't helped by the fact that it's an Interspecies Romance and the fact that humans and Gems have different understandings of relationships. In "Love Letters", not only does Garnet shoot down Jamie's one sided crush on her (which also shows that a crush is under no obligation to reciprocate feelings) she explicitly says that love at first sight doesn't exist. Even Steven and Connie's burgeoning relationship, with them developing a mutual crush quickly, is taking its time to get to a full Relationship Upgrade as they become closer gradually.
    • "Sworn to the Sword" deconstructs Pearl's Undying Loyalty to Rose Quartz, which led to Pearl jumping into battle to protect Rose without any concern for her safety, and despite her Gem regeneration meaning she could heal from that, she was implied to have frequently argued with Rose about doing so, especially when there was no reason to. She then tries to instill this way of thinking into Connie, who cannot regenerate like she can, even telling her that she doesn't matter as long as Steven is safe. Steven himself has a opposition to this similar to what Rose was implied to have, and in the end the two are able to find a balance by protecting each other.
    • Lapis Lazuli's situation deconstructs Sentient Phlebotinum pretty harshly, having spent millenia in an And I Must Scream type fate, only interacting with others when they want something, which has left her a Broken Bird.
  • Tales of Arcadia
    • Trollhunters
      • deconstructs Always Chaotic Evil. Changelings were created by the Greater-Scope Villain Morgana to serve the Big Bad Gunmar on his genocidal mission to conquer both the troll and human worlds, so trolls aligned against them possess a knee-jerk reaction towards them, "impure" being a common slur for changelings. Because the closest thing they have to gaining acceptance is from the Gumm-gumms (and even then they don't have much respect for them either), they don't really have much choice but to serve them. Their code of ethics promote Pragmatic Villainy and various members of the Janus Order seem to possess a certain distaste towards humans, but everything they do is done not out of a drive to do evil or reverence towards the Underlord and their creator, but rather a need to survive. Because of this, various changelings like Strickler, Nomura and NotEnrique end up switching sides either because develop alternative loyalties through emotional attachment (Strickler to Barbara, NotEnrique to Claire) or abuse from their masters (Gunmar taking out his rage over Bular's death on Nomura).
      • deconstructs Casanova Wannabe. While trying to get a date to the Spring Fling, Toby Domzalski attempts to be a smooth flirt to any girl he comes across. All of them say "no", including Darci, who wanted to be asked out by him but was put off when she heard he asked out every girl in their school.
      • deconstructs Doting Grandparent. Nana Domzalski is quite doting towards Toby, but this often embarrasses him.
      • deconstructs Living a Double Life. Being the newly chosened Trollhunter (and the first human one at that) has proven to be incredibly stressful for Jim Lake. And because of his new and dangerous responsibilities, his academics are in dire straits and his relationship with his mother is strained at times.
  • Total Drama: deconstructs Poor Communication Kills. Part of the reason things between Sky and Dave get so bad is the fact that Dave won't listen to what Sky is trying to tell him, and Sky does not directly tell him the reasons she does not want to date him. Sky and Dave both genuinely like each other, the problem is that Dave is coming on to her a little strong; while Sky does like Dave, she has a boyfriend at home she plans to break up with, and she wants to focus on the game and feels dating Dave would distract her. Their lack of communication therefore causes their relationship to deteriorate. To Sky's credit, when she and Dave were talking, she tried to explain that she does like him, but Dave interrupts her, saying they should just see where things go, and before Sky can tell Dave she has a boyfriend, Chris announce the challenge. The next few episodes, Sky foolishly thinks that Dave knows that she does not want to date someone while they're in the game, while Dave tries to do different things to get closer to her and impress her. Another problem is that Sky is receptive to Dave's advances, but still tries to turn him down, unintentionally sending Dave mixed messages. In episode "Hurl And Go Seek", angry that she lost the challenge and Dave is trying to impress her by beating her in the game and bragging to her, Sky tells Dave he has no chance of beating her or dating her, breaking Dave's heart. Later in the challenge, Sky calls him out on not listening to her, but without explaining that she has a boyfriend or that she wants to focus on the game. Both glare at each other, but calm down, and then Dave asks to be her boyfriend, and Sky angrily tells him no, leading to Dave voting himself off. This comes to a head in the final episode, where Dave is brought back in the final challenge as a helper for Sky. Sky kisses Dave to motivate him, telling him that she does really like him, and she just wants to focus on the challenges, because it's hard to team up with someone she wants to date. At first that works, and Dave is determined to win the challenge for her, but then Chris shows a clip from home that reveals Sky has a boyfriend named Keith. Sky, heartbroken, reveals in the confessional she plans to break up with Keith and she really likes Dave, admitting she messed up. But before she can tell him this, Dave refuse to listen to her, their relationship destroyed and Dave becoming bitter to her and determined to do anything to make Sky lose.
  • A whole episode of the X-Men series is dedicated to deconstruct Super Strength. The puny guy who steals Juggernaut's powers... promptly ruins his own life by becoming an unintentionally-destructive human demolition crew. He doesn't get better until losing said powers and having them restored to their owner... who, by the way, needs these powers to actually survive.
  • Young Justice deconstructs the Kid Hero into Child Soldiers by showing just how brutal trying to fight the same battles that the big league heroes could be. In one episode the team was left so traumatized that they had to get counseling just to deal with the ordeal they have went through during a botched training simulation. Then come the timeskip we see the majority of the group being reduced to nothing more than shell shocked veterans and unlike the comics death is played very straight as several members of the team actually die in field missions. Greg sends the message loud and clear that saving the world and fighting bad guys isn't all fun and games.
  • Wander over Yonder:
    • The episode "The Nice Guy" deconstructs Wander's role as a Nice Guy giving him an inability to experience apathy that affects him being able to accomplish certain basic tasks.
    • "The Helper" shows that not only is Wander incapable of finishing a task of his own before helping someone else, his Chronic Hero Syndrome is so bad that a day where there isn't any problem he can help with drives him bonkers.


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