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  • The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 did this often with the magic wands with "The Beauty of Kootie," and "7 Continents for 7 Koopalings," serving as the most blatant examples.
    • Averted in "Recycled Koopa" in which magic didn't really solve anything.
  • Aladdin: The Series hung an enormous lantern in the form of a Parental Bonus: One episode involved the hunt for the "Orb of Machina", a MacGuffin intended to cure Genie's cold.
  • All Hail King Julien has a few examples of vary levels of in-universe justification, but none stick out more than "Election", where Julien loses an election to a mad tyrant who promises his rule will be cruel and unstoppable, and is then abruptly struck down by lightning and killed instantly before he can really do anything.
  • American Dad!:
    • Parodied when just as Stan and his family are about to be stoned to death, George Bush and the army arrive to save them with the line "Democracy has arrived!", throwing an American flag through the judge. Instantly, all of Saudi Arabia becomes some kind of democratic paradise, and Stan gives a line parodying the end of It's a Wonderful Life. However, none of it mattered in the end, as it was All Just a Dream.
    • Though a real one took place in the form of Roger using his "husband"'s (long story) apparent political influence to call the Saudi executioners just in time to call off the stoning and free the Smiths.
  • A few episodes of The Angry Beavers turn out to be this, with special mention for "Moby Dopes". Dagget brings home a killer whale to their pond, thinking it to be as kind as Willy, but is really a carnivorous beast eating everyone and everyTHING in sight. It looks like it's about to be the end of the beavers... until a T-rex comes in and eats it. Norbert even lampshades this.
    Norbert: Where in the name of Deus Ex Machina did that T-REX come from?!
  • Every season finale of Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel, The Legend of Korra has ended with at least two of thesenote :
    • ATLA Book 1: Yue sacrifices herself to restore the Moon Spirit and restore Waterbending. Aang merges with the Ocean Spirit to become "Koizilla" and destroys the Fire Nation fleet.
    • ATLA Book 2: Aang is killed by Azula, and subsequently resurrected by Katara's spirit oasis water. They're only able to escape after Iroh inexplicably escapes his crystal restraints in the other room, and holds off their attackers.
    • ATLA Book 3: Thanks to the events of the Book 2 finale, Aang is unable to access the Avatar State and in the showdown with Fire Lord Ozai, Ozai has him on the ropes. Ozai presses his attack against Aang's desperation rock shield and conveniently smashes Aang into a rock that hits him in the exact right spot to unblock his chakra and activate the Avatar State, flipping the fight into a Curb-Stomp Battle in Aang's favor.
    • TLOK Book 1: Amon manages to take away Korra's Earth, Fire and Waterbending, but unlocks her previously unaccessible Airbending in the process, allowing her to beat him and -expose him as a Bender to Republic City. With Katara unable to heal Amon's damage, she's the Avatar in name only. When Korra travels and sits by an ice cliff to reflect and cry over her loss of identity, she's finally able to communicate with the spirit of Aang (something she's been unable to do the entire season). One flash of Aang's Energybending later, and not only does Korra have all her other bending back, now she's able to access the Avatar State (which she's also been unable to do). She's then able to restore the bending of every one of Amon's victims.
    • TLOK Book 2: Deus-ex-Jinora. Vaatu fuses with Unalaq and reduces Raava (the Avatar Spirit) down to her bare essence. Korra uses the Tree of Time to pull some super spirit mojo and goes after Unavaatu. So far so good. But it turns out she's not up to the task, and just as Unavaatu begins to use Unalaq's spirit-waterbending technique to corrupt her, Jinora's spirit suddenly appears from the spirit aurora over Republic City with an orb of light and showers it on cosmic Korra and Unavaatu, which has the resulting effect of dispelling Unavaatu's spirit-waterbending corruption technique and then jumpstarting/revealing Raava's regrowth inside Vaatu, thus allowing Korra to free Raava and purify Unavaatu.
  • The Backyardigans: Let's just say there is a very good reason why Tyrone's Catch-Phrase is "Well, that certainly is convenient.".
  • The second episode of BattleTech ends with the heroes outnumbered, outgunned, and outarmoured by a Clan invasion force that also has better heat sinks. Just as Adam has to choose between surrender and death, the Galaxy Commander comes along and orders Kristin to cease her unauthorised campaign.
  • The finale of Beast Wars: the Maximals, holed up in the Ark, are getting pummeled by the Decepticon warship Megatron just found. Thanks to a tip from Dinobot II, they find a working shuttle in one of the bays. They take that shuttle, kamikaze it into the enemy ship, and then fly home on it, creating a Stable Time Loop.
    Blackarachnia: The history tracks never mentioned this!
    Rhinox: History's still being made!
  • Camp Lazlo: Lumpus is riding atop his walking lawnchair the elves built him (don't ask). He has Santa, who is armed with naught but a tetherball, down on the ground (don't ask). Slinkman and the kids have failed in rescuing the jolly old elf and are lying in a heap. This looks like the end...'til Lumpus is hit by a meteor. There was mention of a meteor shower at the very beginning, but still. And then another meteor shows up and narrates the ending a la the snowman from an early film version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Just in case you were still wondering what kind of show this was.
  • In a Halloween Episode of The Cleveland Show, Cleveland defeats a Jerk Jock from a neighboring town by setting a polluted river on fire, which wakes up a sea serpent that eats the guy whole. Cleveland himself didn't know it was there.
    • In another episode, Cleveland and the kids are about to go over an Inevitable Waterfall with seemingly no hope of surviving it when a grey screen with "Scene Missing" comes up. When it cuts back to the episode, Cleveland is thanking a talking Walrus with a handlebar moustache and top hat for saving them, then the Walrus jumps into the water, claps, then jumps out and flies off leaving behind a trail of rainbows.
  • Danny Phantom: The Ultimate Enemy: Although Danny's able to defeat his evil future self, he's too late to save his friends and family from dying in an explosion. Right as it goes off, Time Master Clockwork stops time and saves them. Clockwork himself claims Danny earned that victory and that the choice he makes afterwards on his own (coming clean about cheating on a test) is what matters, but the Observants still consider it unfair interference.
    "That's a direct violation of the Protocol of Temporal Displacement! In other words, you cheated!"
  • The final battle of "Ego Trip" in Dexter's Laboratory is resolved by Dee Dee suddenly wandering in through a time portal, proclaiming "Oooh, what does this button do?" and pressing it before promptly walking back through the time portal.
  • Many of Doug's problems were solved in this way. Some examples include being able to wear a mask at the party to cover a pimple because it's a costume party and his video that he doesn't want Patti to see actually going to Mr. Bone.
  • Several Earthworm Jim episodes ended with very blatant examples, all operating under Rule of Funny. An example is when Evil the cat unleashed a cosmic Monster Clown that was unstoppable. Jim calls an Obstructive Bureaucrat, who demands the clown obtains a license to destroy the universe, the stacked-up application form for which extends above the atmosphere. Which must be filled in in triplicate of course. This is discounting the many times where the bad guy is beaten, somehow gets back into power in the last few seconds, then gets hit by the falling cow.
  • The Fairly OddParents! Musical Episode: the loophole in Flappy Bob's contract that defeated the pixies isn't even hinted at until the final act.
  • Family Guy:
    • The ending of the episode "Lois Kills Stewie". No, before we find it out it was a simulation. When Stewie is about to shoot Lois, she is saved when he is shot by Peter... who was last seen on the couch at home.
    • Another Family Guy episode involved Stewie adopting a malevolent turtle. Long story short, things escalate and they end up in a fight to the death. Stewie, for whatever reason, is no match for the small reptile, and is nearly killed... until Super Mario bursts in and kills the turtle.
    • There was also that one time "Democracy took hold" and ended the Iraq War.
  • The 90s Fantastic Four show has "Where Calls Galactus", where Galactus decides to consume Earth after allying with the Four against a common enemy. All seems lost... until Ghost Rider shows up out of nowhere, uses his guilt-inducing power to incapacitate Galactus, and then vanishes into the night. It should be noted that the episode is based on a comic book arc by John Byrne, and it makes much more sense in the original.
  • The Flintstones' Cowboy Episode was resolved when a stone version of the Cartwright family, with no warning whatsoever, charge in out of nowhere to rescue the main characters.
  • Futurama has an in-universe example with Fry creating his own deus ex machina while trying to save the Earth from a Brainspawn invasion. After cornering the Brainspawn leader in a library, it forces Fry, Leela and itself into the nearby books (causing the three to relive events from whatever book they're in,) with the chase scene eventually ending with Fry trapping the Brainspawn leader in a poorly-written book that he wrote on the spot, which ends with the leader killing Fry in the book and then suddenly leaving "for no raisin."
  • In the Gravity Falls Big Finale Stanley manages to scam Bill a trickster god via Heroic Sacrifice causing one of the most effective tear jerkers, in the end he loses all of his memories... until he recovers them. Manages to count as Deus ex Machina cause there's no evidence of a consequence or Bill coming back, an Ass Pull cause he got better by Mabel's scrapbook even though Stanford stated TWICE that it was impossible for him to recover his memories and as a Writer Copout since it happened just a couple minutes afterwards.
  • During an episodes in Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs, Harry is playing a life sized version of snakes and ladders, with the snakes leading you to a tub of "bubbly wubbly" (comfortable green bubbles), required a roll of 2 in order to escape. Just before they're about to win, they land on a snake. Harry somehow leaves the die behind on the board, and therefore has trapped himself and all his dinosaurs. Everyone is worrying about how they're stuck indefinitely and are thinking of a way to escape when Trike, the Triceratops, creates a large racket scratching himself with a playing card that he found out of nowhere (and offscreen too). Harry takes the card, and it very conveniently is a "GET OUT OF THE BUBBLY WUBBLY TUB AND GO TO THE LAST SQUARE" card.
  • Played straight in the cliffhanger episode “Council of Evil” in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002). Skeletor’s Council of Evil has taken nearly all of the Masters hostage; he’s used the Ram-Stone to force open the doors of Greyskull, knocking the Sorceress out in the process. The only thing standing in his way is Adam, who doesn’t even have his Sword of Power (having dropped it earlier). Nonetheless, Adam is determined to fight to the end… Until, as a final sign that the universe hates him, Skeletor’s old henchmen show up, having been sprung from prison by Kobra Khan. The villain simply knocks him into the abyss surrounding Greyskull saying “Good riddance to bad royalty!” and it seems the Darkest Hour is truly upon Eternia. Would a miracle occur? Try three miracles. First off, Orco shows up where Adam lands, having recovered the Sword. Then, from seemingly nowhere, Zodac appears inside the Castle and revives the Sorceress, and they combine their powers to reinforce the barrier. Skeletor attempts to use the Ram-Stone again, only for Adam – now in his heroic form as He-Man – to take him by surprise, grab it, and crush it. He’s still outnumbered, but then comes number three – cue a Big Damn Heroes by the other Masters, who have been rescued by Moss Man (who Skeletor had never even considered, it seems). After this, the villains decide to cut their losses and flee, but it did seem like everything all came out of nowhere. And the stage is set for Season Two.
  • In the House of Mouse Halloween Episode Mickey's House of Villains, various Disney Villains take over the clubhouse at midnight on Halloween in a bid spearheaded by Jafar, turning it into the House of Villains. After all other attempts to get the clubhouse back fail, Mickey resorts to wearing his robe and Yensid's hat from the Fantasia short so he can engage Jafar in a magic duel. Jafar kicks his ass anyway, and things look quite grim... until Aladdin just shows up and tosses the heroes the magic lamp. Plausible, yes, but clearly not set up in prior scenes. Aladdin wasn't even seen at the house prior to this moment, so it's possible he wasn't even there until the final act and couldn't have had any way of knowing the heroes needed him to give them the lamp. It wasn't even Jafar's lamp. It was Genie's.
  • In one of the episodes of The Jetsons, "Astro's Big Moment", George becomes the judge on a dog show. His family expects that he will let their dog, Astro, win, or else his son will be heartbroken; his boss expects that he will let the boss's dog win, or else he'll lose his job; and a local mobster in turn promises that he won't live till evening if he doesn't let the mobster's dog win. George thus finds himself in a desperate situation where choosing any of the three contestants will result in doom. But then, at the last minute, the police arrives to put the mobster in jail, while the boss's dog unexpectedly goes into labor and must be taken out of the show, thus saving George.
  • Megas XLR got most of its humor from the fact that the titular Humongous Mecha was a literal example. In fact, one of the numerous buttons on its control panel was even marked "Save the World" (which was actually missing). More often it was subverted as whatever was supposed to be this of the episode backfired or misfired and the thing that ends saving the day turns out to be a seemingly unimportant plot element from earlier in the episode.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic:
    • "Over A Barrel": There's a conflict between the natives of the land and the newly settlers over the land; during the episode they keep arise the issue of reaching a consensus of relocating the apple orchard so the Buffaloes may complete their time-old tradition, or for Buffaloes to just go around the orchard. But somehow, everything is solved after a "gruesome" battle; by the Buffaloes' appreciation for the settlers' pastries. So now the settlers agreed to a path through the trees (rather than cut down all of them as the Buffaloes originally wanted), and even agreed to share the wealth of the land with the Buffaloes.
    • "Lesson Zero" also includes a Deus Ex Machina, in the form of Celestia showing up and dispelling the Want It, Need It spell from Mr. Smartypants and telling Twilight that no, really, you don't actually have to send a letter every single week (though in the end Celestia manages to turn it into everyone sending her letters sporadically). Justified in-story after the fact as Spike having surreptitiously contacted her off-screen when Twilight was spiralling out of control. Less unacceptable than most examples as the central conflict of the story was Twilight freaking out over nothing rather than the Want It, Need It spell and Celestia talking to Twilight was a logical means of solving the true central conflict.
    • Subverted and played with in "Return of Harmony Part 1" when strange things are happening such as chocolate raining down from clouds made of cotton candy and ears of corn spontaneously popping into popcorn. Twilight Sparkle shows up out of nowhere claiming some new spell she had conveniently just learned should fix everything.
      Twilight: My fail safe spell... FAILED!
    • Equestria Girls: Blatantly. Both the viewer and all the characters fully expected that Demon Sunset Shimmer would kill Twilight Sparkle and friends, but then “the magic of friendship” intervenes, saving them AND giving them the power to quickly, easily, and one-sidedly beat her.
    • The sequel, Rainbow Rocks: The villains have absorbed enough magic and enthralled the students such that Twilight Sparkle and friends Magic Music won’t cut it. Cue Human!DJ Pon-3 showing up in a Cool Car that TRANSFORMS into a sound stage with BASS CANNONS, enabling them to fight back in a climatic showdown. For some reason, this received less criticism then the above.
  • Spoofed in the Christmas Special Olive, the Other Reindeer: Olive gets locked in the van of a mean-spirited mailman who wants to ruin Christmas. Her method of escape is contained within a box addressed "To: Olive From: Deus Ex Machina"
    Olive: D'you know anyone named Deus ex Machina?
    Martini: Denise who?
  • The Powerpuff Girls: The ending of "Mime For A Change". After everyone is turned into lifeless gray statues by Mr. Mimenote , Bubbles apparently brings everyone back to life by The Power of Rock mixed with The Power of Love song, "Love Makes The World Go Round". How music managed to bring anyone from that state is anyone's guess, but they did, so we shouldn't question it.
  • Phineas and Ferb relies on several per episode as running gags to maintain the status quo. It is usually excused with Rule of Funny.
  • Ready Jet Go!:
    • Sunspot often functions as this, figuring out what is going on and what needs to be done and then conveying that information to one or more of the children. He can also easily pull whatever item the kids need out of Hammer Space.
    • Some of these occur in the secret alien identity arc. In "Visit to Mom's Office", Jet openly tells Dr. Rafferty that he is an alien from Bortron 7, but luckily, Dr. Rafferty thinks that Jet is pretending to be an alien due to "feeling" like one. And the residents of Boxwood Terrace don't notice the Propulsion vehicle transforming into a flying saucer.
      • Jet 2 causes an eclipse in the TV movie Back to Bortron 7, which distracts the townspeople from seeing the Propulsion house land back on Earth.
  • Invoked in ReBoot. Mainframe is damaged beyond repair and there's nothing anyone can do to stop the system from crashing and killing everyone. Bob's "last resort" is to backup everyone, let the system crash, and pray for a system restart from the user. Sure enough, the User restarts his computer and saves everyone, including the people already killed before the crash.
    • Before Cerebus Syndrome, an episode about Hexadecimal changing all of Mainframe to stone concluded with Hex deciding she was bored and snapping her fingers to de-petrify everyone. Admittedly, it took a little prompting from Bob. And it is Hexadecimal...
  • In the Rick and Morty episode "Rick Potion #9", a love potion piggybacking off of the flu virus manages to infect the entire planet, making almost everyone violently obsessed with Morty. When Rick's attempts to fix it only make things exponentially worse, the two abandon their world for a parallel universe were they got lucky, fixed everything, then immediately died, and replace their old selves without skipping a beat. Morty's resultant existential crisis plays a major part in his character development from then on.
  • The Simpsons
    • Parodied and lampshaded in the episode "Thank God, It's Doomsday" where Homer is the only person called up to Heaven after the Rapture; when he asks God to put things back the way they were (on the logic that Superman did it in his first movie), God raises His hands skyward and shouts "Deus Ex Machina!", after which everything goes back to normal.
    • "Missionary Impossible" sets up the ending like this is the only way out. Homer and a little girl are trapped on a tiny island in the middle of the lava - on a tiny island in the middle of the ocean - and we're just waiting for the rescue helicopters or something equally incredible to save them. But the show suddenly stops and some commentators laugh and wonder how they're going to get out of this one. And by the way, it's Pledge Drive Week, so phone in now... (The show is intentionally left unresolved.)
    • The Lord of the Flies parody episode "Das Bus" where all the kids are left stuck on the island at the end and James Earl Jones, in a voiceover narration role, says that they were eventually saved by "...oh, let's say, Moe".
    • That infamous episode "The Day The Violence Died" where Bart & Lisa help a homeless man win a lawsuit against Itchy & Scratchy studios. Itchy & Scratchy gets back on its feet thanks to two kids named Lester & Eliza. They also helped Apu after he was arrested for public nudity and helped Krusty get back together with his never-before mentioned estranged wife.
    • Season 27 episode "The Girl Code" where Homer got fired from his job due to a social media post and Lisa creates an app to predict the consequences of social media posts called Conrad.
    Homer: "My fate will be decided in the classic tradition of Greek drama, Deus ex machina."
    *notification sound*
    Lisa: "I just got an email from Conrad! He hacked into the power plant mainframe and found incriminating information! Now he's blackmailing Mr. Burns to get you your job back!"
    Simpsons family: "Opa!"
    *end credits roll*
  • South Park: Mintberry Crunch of the Superhero arc, but a lesser example as it was hinted someone would step up.
  • The end of the SpongeBob episode Hello, Bikini Bottom. Mr. Krabs buys back the Krusty Krab with Gary's collage funds after selling it to a pawn shop in the beginning so he can afford to take SpongeBob and Squidward on tour.
  • Superman: The Animated Series: Mister Mxyzptlk tricks Bizarro (a failed clone of Superman) to fight the Man of Steel. It looks like Superman might lose, suddenly Mxyzptlk's superiors summon the villain back to the fifth dimension and remove his powers. Without the cosmic imp's interference, Superman naturally beats Bizarro.
  • Teen Titans loved doing this.
    • In the Season 3 Finale Cyborg is the only Titan left who can resist Brother Blood's Mind Control. Blood has effortlessly torn Cyborg's leg and arm off, controlled the other Titans, and is ripping Cyborg's circuitry apart, trying to find the component that makes Cyborg immune. Cyborg announces "It's my SPIRIT!" instantly rebuilds a replacement arm and leg, ignores Blood's energy blasts (the ones that blew his arm and leg off 15 seconds ago) and takes Blood out with one punch. They at least lampshade it this time.
      • And they explain the mechanic fine (Blood was trying so hard to use his Psychic Powers to control Cyborg's mind that he accidentally allowed Cyborg to access them). The problem was, they explained this after the fact, with no indication beforehand that something like this was possible or that Blood had anything but complete control over his powers. This is especially jarring precisely because it wouldn't have taken much foreshadowing to establish the mechanic beforehand. Sigh.
    • In the Season 4 Finale Raven embraces The Power of Friendship, reverts to her normal age, and gains complete control of her powers long enough to blast her evil father into oblivion.
  • In Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation, Buster and Babs are saved from a fatal fall by a plot hole (a literal hole in the ground, that magically transports them back home).
  • At the end of the The Transformers episode "A Prime Problem", Megatron throws Spike out of his rocket, but then Powerglide shows up out of nowhere and saves him. It could be assumed that he was there all along and simply hadn't appeared on screen, except for the fact that before this episode, all but two of the Autobots had had land-based altmodes. Later, in Transformers: Super-God Masterforce, The Autobots are revealed to be equipped with non-lethal knockout gas just as Decepticon zombies attack Rome.
  • Transformers Prime has an episode titled Deus Ex Machina. In it the B plot of Miko caught by a security guard is wrapped up by Agent Fowler suddenly showing up to solve the problem. Miko even explains how the trope works just before Fowler shows up to execute it (although he was mentioned earlier, so it's not 100% straight).
  • Winx Club:
    • In the tenth episode of season 2, Bloom discovers her healing powers when she brings Sky back from the dead.
    • In the Season 1 finale, Bloom manifests the ability to teleport the way witches do (without a portal, for which a special form is required in Season 4) just in time to save herself from drowning and *** Icy off enough to waste a ton of magical power trying to shoot her down again, which basically wears her out so much that she passes out; considering that Bloom was useless with magic for most of the first season (and, in fact, had no powers for much of the back half of the season), it's nothing less than miraculous.
  • Yogi Bear and the Magical Flight of the Spruce Goose ends with the titular plane magically flying itself back home while everyone is sleeping.


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