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- Nigella Lawson in every one of her cookery programmes manages to make cooking sound like foreplay.
- Wendy Rieger's method of measuring snowfall reminds us of something else in this newscast.
- Hurricane Sandy also reminds Wendy Rieger of her sex life.
- During the Invasion storyline, Alliance member Torrie Wilson began dating WWF (and Japanese) wrestler Tajiri. Announcer Paul Heyman regularly mentioned how he didn't approve of such "interpromotional relationships".
- It looks like this reporter is giving jumper cables.
- 3rd Rock from the Sun:
- One episode treated Dick's obsession with collecting a brand of plush animals curiously similar to Beanie Babies as a drinking addiction, culminating with an "intervention" from the other characters. Subverted at the end of the episode where Dick explains that he's given up on the collecting and taken up drinking instead.
- In another episode, Harry's insurance agent refuses to return his calls. Sally gives him some tips on how to "make a man call you". Eventually, he gets another agent, which plays out as Operation: Jealousy.
- In another episode, Sally encourages Harry to join her in playing with the time-space portal, saying "c'mon, let's do it — you know you want to". They accidentally beam in another alien from the Home Planet and are forced to take care of him. Dick berates them, remarking "thirty seconds of pleasure and a whole lifetime of responsibility". The rest of this storyline involves Sally and Harry "parenting" the new alien, who quickly starts acting like a bratty child.
- Then there's the time when Dick, while rifling through Tommy's sock drawer, discovers plastic bags full of dried green plants and learns, to his shame and disgrace, that Tommy knows how to cook.Tommy: No, it's pot, I swear! I ... smoke it with my friends.
- 30 Rock: One episode had Liz stressing out over a co-op board failing to call her. This is played out as though it's about a date ignoring her. Eventually, she tells them "You know what, I've moved on. I bought a whole bunch of apartments! I bought a black apartment."
- "Guise Will Be Guise" has this exchange (note that Wesley is explaining a plot involving a woman named Virginia, with whom he recently had sex, but Angel thinks he's referring to the state):Angel: When were you in Virginia?
Wesley: That's not the point.
- In "Disharmony", Harmony tries to explain to Cordelia that she's a vampire. Instead it sounds like she's coming out as a lesbian and expressing a crush on Cordelia.
- In "The Trial", Darla desperately trying to become a vampire again plays out like she's trying to lose her virginity, most explicitly when Angel asks her if she really wants to be turned by some loser barfly in a filthy alley, and she yells "I wanted it to be you!".
- In "That Vision Thing" Wesley mentions a Chinese herbal shop called Wang Ho Dong, getting a long look from Gunn.
- In "Spin the Bottle", amnesiac Fred thinks she may have been abducted by aliens, and rambles about how they must have done terrible things to her naked, helpless body. In response Wesley's wrist-blade pops out spontaneously.
- "Guise Will Be Guise" has this exchange (note that Wesley is explaining a plot involving a woman named Virginia, with whom he recently had sex, but Angel thinks he's referring to the state):
- Are You Afraid of the Dark?: "The Tale of the Renegade Virus" features a virus with a serial port connector for a hand that tries to plug it into Simon's serial port in his hand. He's laughing all the while and Simons is screaming Big "NO!". The scene is uncomfortably reminiscent of Attempted Rape.
- Auction Kings: The team is trying to sell a vibrator from the 1920s. The item itself had originally been marketed as a medical device (cultural standards of the 1920s and all). As a result, both the expert and auctioneer poked fun at its "applications".Guerry: It cures what ails you. Ladies?
- Two torture sessions with a water theme or metaphor. A tiny nation invaded by a vast empire for uncertain reasons fights back with suicide bombers. And oh yeah, a surprise attack on an unsuspecting country that changes their entire political and cultural outlook. Watch Battlestar Galactica (2003) long enough and it will remind you of something in contemporary American politics.
- Being Human has another less than comedic example, wherein Tully's interactions with George near the end of Series 1, Episode 2 has the feel of a rape scene. The fact that Tully had sexually assaulted Annie earlier that episode did not help.
- The Big Bang Theory:
- One episode ends with a breakup between Leonard and a physicist he was dating. They had already begun discussing having kids and everything, only it turns out that the breaking point was that one of them believes in String Theory and the other in Loop Quantum Gravity, both different theories that attempt to solve the major modern problems in physics. To him, it doesn't seem like such a big deal, but to her, it was "How would we raise the children?!" The entire scene was played as of a strong religious disjoint between the couple that could not be reconciled. This parodies many real physicists' attitudes regarding String Theory — which makes absolutely no testable predictions and is so mathematically complex and diverse that it takes decades to be able to contribute — and any competitors.
- One episode involves an "intervention", staged to convince Sheldon that he needs to learn to drive. His not driving causes him major problems and it's treated as addiction or lack of struggle.
- In most episodes where Leonard and Penny fight, Sheldon is often portrayed like the child of a dysfunctional family, with the previous two fulfilling the roles of argumentative parents.
- Many interactions between Raj and Howard, and especially fights, are portrayed as typical ones found between couples. And Raj and Stuart's interactions are starting to take on similar tones, although Stuart seems more aware of it than Howard has in the past.
- When Leslie Winkle tried to seduce Leonard for the first time, she pulled on him invoked Elegant Classical Musician, blatantly asking whether clutching the strings does not remind him of anything.
- When Sheldon briefly gives up on string theory to pursue other areas of physics, the whole scenario is treated like a romantic break-up and subsequent rebound. After a drunken night, he wakes up naked and ashamed, cradling a geology textbook.Leonard: I heard you reading pretty loudly last night.
- Subverted in one episode where the Sheldon, Howard and Leonard are attempting to build a quantum guidance system for the military on an impossible deadline which Sheldon arrogantly promised. Sheldon drinks a single energy drink and then begins acting as if he has a drug problem, in a classic "innocuous item/substance humorously treated like narcotics" bit. However, when Leonard confronts him about wasting an entire day freaking out about a non-existent problem, Sheldon admits that he realised he's not smart enough to solve the math in the time they have and was deliberately looking for an excuse to not do the work.
- Black Books:
- Bernard and Manny have a falling out, and Manny goes to work at the bookshop next door. This is treated by both parties as if it were the break-up of a romantic relationship, with Bernard in particular reacting as if Manny had been unfaithful to him ("Go to him! Go to your fancy man! I don't need you anymore!").
- A first season episode where Manny gets fed up with Bernard's abuse and moves out. Fran and Bernard react like parents to a child running away from home, each blaming the other—Bernard accusing Fran of spoiling him and Fran accusing Bernard of driving him away by being mean to him. Then they go to the police to report him missing, who assume he's their son—right up until they start describing his appearance and they mention his goatee:Police Officer: Just how old is your son?
- Black Mirror: It's very easy to see the conflict at the heart of "USS Callister" as an allegory for Domestic Abuse. The episode is basically all about a young woman trying to escape the grasp of a man with a serious abusive streak, and what he'd do to somebody who can't fight back (or what he will do to somebody who tries).
- Boston Legal has played with the relationship between Alan Shore (James Spader) and Denny Crane (William Shatner), making them seem like lovers even though both are heterosexual skirt-chasers. They end each episode on a balcony, discussing life. In one episode, Alan brought an old friend out to the balcony to hold a conversation, but when Denny saw them there, he left in a huff, and later accused Alan of infidelity; they discussed that fidelity isn't restricted to romantic relationships alone. Alan said he didn't want to lose Denny, promised never to let anyone else get in the way of their friendship, and called Denny high-maintenance. They have "sleepovers" on a regular basis. In one episode Denny was experiencing erectile problems and had an alarm on his crotch whenever he would get an erection... and when Alan proposed one of these "sleepovers" said alarm went off. The finale has them get married.
- In one episode of Boy Meets World, Eric discovering his mentor Mr. Feeny tutoring another student is played like Mr. Feeny is cheating on him:Eric: He's a professional tutor! You mean nothing to him!
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- In "The Initiative", after Spike finds himself incapable of biting Willow due to the recently implanted chip in his head, there follows a very funny conversation between the two which could almost word-for-word be about impotence. Until right at the end, when Willow mentions that they could "wait half an hour and try again," does a take that needs no words to express, "What the hell did I just say?", and brains him with a lamp.
- Right before that, Spike preparing to bite Willow is played very much like a rape scene, with her threatening to scream (and then actually doing it) and him turning on the radio to drown out the noise while he pins her down on the bed.
- In "Becoming, Part 2", Joyce reacts to Buffy's revelation that she's the Slayer in the same way a parent might react to a child's coming out of the closet: "Have you tried not being a Slayer?", "Honey, are you sure you are a Vampire Slayer?" and "It's because you didn't have a strong father figure, isn't it?". In "Faith, Hope and Trick", she mentions how supportive she's been about the supernatural side of Buffy's life, saying, "I've tried to march in the Slayer Pride parade."
- When Buffy does a meditative ritual to try to find out what's wrong with Joyce, it looks very much like she's getting high (she won't let Dawn into her room, burns incense and tries to cover it up by sticking a towel under the door, and afterward we see through her eyes and her sight is wonky).
- When Dawn finds out that she's the Key, it's played as though she found out that she was adopted. (Which is true after a fashion, since she was literally retconned into the family via magic.)
- In "Hush", with the characters unable to speak, Buffy mimes hand gestures that are supposed to represent staking the monster of the week, but that instead resemble masturbation. The rest of the Scoobies look at Buffy as though she's gone mad, and she hastily repeats the gesture with a stake actually in her hand.
- "Magic = sex" is one of the longer running themes. Some examples:
- There's this conversation between Willow and Tara, before they started their relationship:Willow: I had so much fun the other night, with the spells...
Tara: Yeah, that was nice.
Willow: I hope you don't think I just come over for the spells and everything, I mean, I really like just talking and hanging out with you and stuff.
Tara: I know that. But you wanna do a spell, right?
Willow: Yeah, but...
Tara: Oh, you don't have to explain. I've been thinking about that last spell we did all day.
- Willow and Tara are seen doing a spell together, with Willow lying back against a pillow, panting and sweaty, with the shot showing her only from the waist up. The spell is aptly called "the passage to the netherrealm".
- THEIR WHOLE SONG. "Spread beneath my willow tree", "You make me come---plete!" Yeah...
- The song doesn't emphasise the word 'complete' like that. This is reaching for something that isn't there - it was a deliberately romantic song in a musical episode. Especially considering Season 6 was the point where Joss Whedon considered the show to have moved a little further than 'use spell as metaphor for sex'. In that same scene, they pretty much SHOW that Tara is...below Willow, so to speak. Even 'spread beneath my Willow tree' is meant in the romantic (rather than base) sense since the scene's visuals wouldn't match if it wasn't.
- Appropriately mocked by Xander during Willow's dream in "Restless":"Sometimes I think about two women doing a spell. And then I do a spell by myself."
- And in Dawn's diary/internal monologue in "Real Me":"Willow's the awesomest person. She's the only one I know who likes school as much as me. Even her friends are cool! Like Tara. She and Willow are both witches. They do spells and stuff, which is so much cooler than slaying. I told Mom one time I wish they'd teach me some of the things they do together. (beat) A-and then she got really quiet and made me go upstairs. Huh. I guess her generation isn't cool with witchcraft."
- Tara's father managed to convince Tara that her witchcraft proved that she was really a demon.
- Before doing a spell with Willow in season seven, Anya has to ask if it's "gonna get all sexy".
- There's this conversation between Willow and Tara, before they started their relationship:
- Vampires biting people is often treated as sex. When Angel bites Buffy in season 3, we see her crushing a helmet with one hand, as well as hearing her panting. Vampire attacks on women look a lot like rape. During the Season 5 premiere, Dracula shapeshifts himself into Buffy's room by turning into mist that floats in through her window (like a secret lover sneaking in), remarking on Buffy's scar from where Angel bit her, and then biting her on the other side, after which he tells her to take a taste of him. The next day, she really doesn't want anyone, especially Riley, to see her scar, like it's evidence of a shameful one-night stand.
- In the season six episode "Wrecked", Willow gets addicted to visiting an extremely powerful wizard by the name of Rack. He's referred to as "dealing" and Willow's experiences are more than a little trippy. The people in the lobby are all strung-out and when Willow leaves with Dawn, her eyes are dark and she's a little "off." To make matters worse, Willow treats the demon as a hallucination. Combining the "awakening lesbianism = magic" and "drugs = magic" metaphors makes for some Unfortunate Implications, and it also got a lot of criticism for there being no subtlety to the analogy; it literally just comes off like a story about drugs with "magic" search-and-replaced onto it.
- Demonic Possession stands in for drugs in a story from Giles' past as Ripper. His friends would pass around the demon, and when it possessed them, they would get a kind of high.
- "Reptile Boy" dealt with a fraternity that was a front for a demon-worshipping cult, who lured naive girls to parties, got them drunk, tied them up in the basement and fed them to their god. Possibly unintentional, but it comes off as an allegory for college rape culture and campus sexual assults.
- Willow to Buffy: "You could do that thing with your mouth, that guys like so much." (She means smiling.)
- In "A New Man" Buffy and Riley discuss how many Demons and Vampires they have both slain. Buffy of course has a lot more than Riley and the whole conversation could really also be about previous sexual partners.
- When Buffy is let into the Initiative's base for the first time it's first played as if Riley and she are going to have sex.Buffy: "You said it was big. You told me, but you never said it was huge."
Riley: "I don't like to brag."
- Willow and Tara's break up is treated like a divorce with Dawn as their child. When Tara and Dawn go for a movie and shakes an episode or two later, Tara assures Dawn that "I will always be there for you" and that her moving out had nothing to do with Dawn.
- Spike's Enemy Mine alliance with Buffy is treated like infidelity. Their Foe Yay became much more apparent later on in the series and Drusilla broke up with Spike because even she could see it.Spike: I told her [Drusilla] it didn't mean anything, I was thinking of her the whole time, but she didn't care.
- Drusilla broke up with Spike because she could sense what he'd done in order to save her. Spike and Buffy's Foe Yay came much, much later and doesn't make sense if you believe the clunky attempted Retcon. It was made very clear that seasons were planned little more than one ahead, so there was no plan in S2/3 to have Spike as a love interest for Buffy in S5/6.
- After Buffy has sex with Angel, he changes (into his Super-Powered Evil Side, Angelus), acting like a completely different person. It's treated like he's some Jerkass who stopped pretending to be nice to a girl once he used her for sex, and when her mother finds out about it, that's exactly what she believes happened.
- In "Anne", when Buffy tells Lily her boyfriend Rickie is dead, she mentions that it seemed like something "sucked the life out of him", that it was probably something in his blood, and that something like that could happen to anyone, even "good" people. The scene right before this shows an HIV poster in the background.
- Dawn believing she's a Potential Slayer = pregnancy.
- Riley letting vampires feed on him is compared to prostitution/cheating. Or drugs, considering the dingy houses they're in, the rush, and that he was bit on the forearm.
- Towards the end, D'Hoffryn was portrayed less as Anya's boss and more as her pimp.
- Season 8 has an In-Universe example: On the run Faith first hides in a bunker waiting for the end then escapes by train. Both are in Berlin, and she is disturbed at the implications.
- Glory looks like she's having an orgasm whenever she brain-sucks someone.
- The First Slayer merging with the shadowy demon that turns her into the Slayer borders on rape.
- In "The Initiative", after Spike finds himself incapable of biting Willow due to the recently implanted chip in his head, there follows a very funny conversation between the two which could almost word-for-word be about impotence. Until right at the end, when Willow mentions that they could "wait half an hour and try again," does a take that needs no words to express, "What the hell did I just say?", and brains him with a lamp.
- Chicago Justice: "Comma" has a character clearly based on Amanda Knox, who here has been acquitted of murdering a fellow student in Spain, not Italy, and returned home afterward. When another student is murdered during a game at her university she and some other students were playing, everyone initially assumes she's responsible too. It turns out that she's entirely innocent, however. Spain wants her extradited for another trial (allowable under Spanish laws when they have some new evidence), much like Knox and her boyfriend faced multiple appeals and retrials before at last being set free for good.
- Chuck vs. The Fat Lady. Chuck accidentally gets stuck trying to go through an air vent. During this part, his iPhone accidentally turns on... and speed dials his ex. To her, it sounds more like Chuck is doing... that. It doesn't help that Chuck and Sarah are undercover as a business man and a hooker getting it on in a hotel, so the first thing the ex hears is something along the lines of "So long do you think it'll take for us to have sex?" "I don't know, maybe an hour or so." Followed by a bunch of stuff like "Move your hips forward" and "Bend the other way" when he gets stuck in the vents.
- "Chuck vs. Phase 3" begins with him dreaming about Sarah getting turned off because he can't flash. Lester lampshades it."You know, they make pills for what you have."
- The Class: Nicole and Yonk go on a diet with no red meats. Duncan brings steak sandwiches to Nicole while Yonk is out for dinner, but Yonk comes home early while they're eating them together, at which point Duncan hurries out while they make excuses to Yonk. Particularly funny because Nicole and Duncan have actually cheated together before.
- In Criminal Minds, the knife scene between The Reaper and Hotch. It might actually have extended to out-and-out rape. Either way, the dialogue is highly sexualized. The Reaper strips off his shirt, goes up very close to Hotch on top of him, and slowly cuts him with a knife. Eventually, he tells Hotch that he's horribly wrong about how serial killers who use knives are impotent, and is going to change the way Hotch profiles. Cue The Reaper slowly moving his hand further down on Hotch's body, and Hotch moaning in pain. At the very least, it was pseudo-rape.
- This clip from The Daily Show, as if there wasn't enough Jon/Stephen Ho Yay already.
- In Deutschland 83, Alexander Edel makes a passionate rant at his father at how he is going to end up destroying Germany, finally calling him a Nazi. His body language, his shouting and the way his hair is makes him look like Adolf Hitler himself.
- Dexter's morning routine. Or is it his murder routine? Wait, what are you planning on doing with that dental floss? The hilarious opening scene for the fourth season shows him do it while completely exhausted, and thus screwing it up, because he's a daddy now, and babies cause lack of sleep. The end of the second season also shows him doing his morning routine.
- Dexter's serial killing has been mistaken for cheating on his girlfriend, drug addiction, and being a closeted gay man. Dexter is usually pretty happy to roll with it. The last one is Hilarious in Hindsight if you've seen Six Feet Under.
- Dharma & Greg had an episode where the title characters decided that they needed "couple friends", i.e. other married couples to hang out with. They then went to the bookstore and tried to "pick up" other couples. After befriending a couple, Dharma found that couple with another couple and accused them of "cheating" on her and Greg.
- The same happens with Helen and Joe in Wings.
- Dinosaurs lives and breathes this trope in the most anvilicious of ways, though some of these allusions went undetected by the most of the fans at the time (kids).
- Robbie doing a solo mate dance and dancing uncontrollably around a girl he likes = erections and masturbation
- Charlene's growing tail = Breasts
- The "Nut to War" episode = The Gulf War
- Robbie using theroids = Steroids
- Vegetarianism = a family dealing with someone who's either a drug addict, a homosexual, or is part of a fringe religious or political group that goes against what the family raised the child to believe.
- Blue-skinned mammals = black people
- Potato-ism = Religion
- The happy plant = Marijuana
- Doctor Who:
- "The Krotons", which was made in the swingingest end of The '60s, is about square authority figures who oppress groovy teenagers by giving them a forced education designed to close off their minds. The Doctor teaches the kids how to make acid to free themselves. Of course, it's the dissolving kind of acid, and the authority figures are literally square...
- "The Ambassadors of Death" has a scene of a probe docking to another probe, with a Suspiciously Similar Song to an instrumental of sexy song "Je T'aime (Moi Non Plus)" playing in the background. (Notably, when the Doctor repeats the motion later in the story, he does it over radiophonic space ambiance.)
- Before Gallifrey was destroyed, the Time Lords had a secret organization operating outside their own non-interventionist laws to pursue their political ends. It was named the Celestial Intervention Agency.
- "Aliens of London"/"World War Three": When the fake Prime Minister tries to persuade the UN to give him nuclear launch codes, he fibs about aliens poised to invade Earth, who have massive weapons of destruction capable of being launched within forty-five seconds...
- "The Long Game" has news media being manipulated to engage in fear-mongering, creating isolation and ignorance.
- The use of "dances" in "The Doctor Dances" is strange because it's used literally and as an Unusual Euphemism, and sometimes both at the same time.
- "Boom Town" has a scene where an English woman is excited that she's pronounced a place name correctly, while a Welsh woman rolls her eyes.
- "Utopia": Jack is pansexual, but it's his immortality that the Doctor has a problem with. Jack is quick to point out what it sounds like, and despite the Time Lord's instinctual rejection of temporal anomalies, the Doctor doesn't deny it.
- Nearly every single scene involving the Doctor and the Master in the new series has undertones, overtones, and sidetones of BDSM. From their conversations ("Use my name." "Master."), to the Master keeping the Doctor in a kennel for a year, to the Doctor intending to return the favor ("What, you're gonna just... keep me?"), to the confrontation in the junkyard that is right out of a Hurt/Comfort Fic, to the frakking bondage chair... that Russell T. Davies, the writer of these episodes openly ships them comes as no surprise to anyone.
- The Doctor's jaw drops when he sees the Master with a wife. And later refers to her as his beard.
- While far less blatant, the Master is no stranger to BDSM in the original series either. HADRON web, anyone?
- One of the most obvious comes from "Turn Left", in which the UK government collapses and puts on the Reich, including the internment of foreign nationals. When one of Donna's housemates and friends is interned, Donna is oblivious to the parallel. Wilfred isn't, and he's absolutely horrified by it.
- The sexual violence imagery in the end of "The Almost People" and throughout "A Good Man Goes to War", used to squeak what is basically a Rape and Revenge plot onto family television. Amy is kidnapped, her legs spread apart, and forced to give painful birth to a child she didn't even realise she was pregnant with. When she attempts to recuperate with her baby, it is revealed to be a ganger (an artificial body) when it explodes, leaving her sobbing in absolutely violated despair in night clothes with white goo on her hands and face.
- In an episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, the Ku Klux Klan is terrorizing Token Minority Couple Grace and Robert E. In one scene, a group of them surround Grace and hold her down while they cut her hair as she sobs hysterically. The scene is very reminiscent of a rape, especially when you remember that black women frequently suffered this ordeal at the hands of white men during this period in time.
- In the coming-out episode of Ellen, the titular character is grappling with her feelings and basically tries to convince herself that she's straight by jumping on the cute guy she's been dating. The scene fades out as they fall onto the bed. But when it fades back in, they're lying there fully clothed, with a despondent Ellen saying, "I'm really sorry, I don't know what went wrong, this has never happened to me before", etc., while the guy interjects with "Is it something I did?, It's okay, it's very common", etc. Basically a Gender Flip of the countless scenes of some guy not being able to perform while his disappointed partner tries to reassure him.
- In the Eureka episode "If You Build It..." Fargo and his smart car Tabitha are Like an Old Married Couple. When Fargo sells her and gets a cool new car, it's treated as a horrible break up.
- Ezel: Kenan's musings on waiting for years to enjoy a fine wine looks and sounds a lot like he's imagining his long-awaited revenge on his former friend Ramiz. The implication is not lost on Eyşan, who grows increasingly uncomfortable throughout his dinnertime "demonstration".Kenan: [Wine] changes through the years. It changes so much, sometimes it's difficult to recognize. You want to drink everything at once, but sometimes you must wait thirty years... When the time comes, you must remove ít's head [pops cork], like a human's head, without holding back. Then like blood it pours, unwavering, into the glass...
- On a slightly more serious note, wormholes, usable as both a rapid long-distance travel method... and a weapon of horrific destruction. The obvious allegory is probably made most blatant in the second half of season 3's two-part episode "Into The Lion's Den"/"Wolf In Sheep's Clothing".Kokura: To stabilize a wormhole — to tame it, to tame its power — would have been the greatest scientific discovery anyone could imagine!
Crichton: It is not! Just! Science! It is never just science! It's a weapon! It kills!
- On a more humorous note, the large amount of torture, leather and sex... where you get lines like this:Bad Guy for the week (season 4): I like interrogations... long, hard interrogations.
- Pretty much any scene with Scorpius when he's being tortured. The torturer always looks like they're having way too much fun, and Scorpius is continuously pleading with them to keep doing it.
- The episode in season 3 where Talyn is... er... let's just say 'leaking' a leviathan adrenaline-filled gas, which enhances certain aspects of humanoid physiology. In essence, Crais starts threatening to shoot people if they don't give him a gun (and he doesn't seem to understand what's wrong with that request), Stark goes... more crazy (if that were even possible), and John and Aeryn get very turned on by the mist:Aeryn: Bad, bad mist...
John: Naughty mist...
- On a slightly more serious note, wormholes, usable as both a rapid long-distance travel method... and a weapon of horrific destruction. The obvious allegory is probably made most blatant in the second half of season 3's two-part episode "Into The Lion's Den"/"Wolf In Sheep's Clothing".
- In The Flash (2014), the Velocity drug is very addicting and Eliza Harmon becomes hooked on it, consistently desperate for another fix.
- Barry is tempted to use Velocity to go faster and it's portrayed as a hard-working athlete who is on the losing end against his competitors who use performance enhancing drugs.
- Flight of the Conchords: In the season 2 finale, Bret and Jemaine are forced to move in with Mel and Doug after getting evicted. And their new found dynamic is similar to that of a family. Mel gives them curfew. Bret and Jemaine sneak out at night for band/musical rehearsal. There's even a conversation about Doug and Mel getting a divorce. Mel even tells Bret and Jemaine it isn't their fault, but Doug adds that it kind of is.
- Nick Knight's vampiric dependency on blood is treated like alcoholism in Forever Knight. It's said that he could even become human again like he wanted if he could just kick the habit. At one point, he even tries a 12-step program.
- Roz becomes a caviar junkie.
- In Motor Skills Roz got a puppy and Martin offered to give her some of Eddies old toys, and it took about forty seconds before the whole thing disintegrates into an extended metaphor of a mother and a daughter disagreeing on how to raise the grand-child.Damn it Martin! Just because I am not raising him your way doesn't mean that I am raising him the wrong way.
- In the finale of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the normally reserved butler Geoffrey is retiring from his position as the Banks family butler, and he seems just a little too excited about his employer's announcement that he's "officially off duty", with parallels to the freeing of a household slave. Geoffrey was always portrayed as resenting everything the family makes him put up with, and, more generally, American culture has always tended to feel that using a household servant comes uncomfortably close to using a slave. Also consider that Geoffrey is working for his citizenship- which Will and Carlton hid and denied him- the show alludes to not only slavery but indentured servants, who often worked for the right to live in the United States (one way to raise the funds needed for your passage was to agree to a period of indentured servitude in exchange).
- Hilariously subverted in the episode where Aunt Janice brings home a very tall white guy as her fiance. The others start talking about how Janice didn't mention that he was...tall, and they have no problem with people who are tall, and somebody's cousin used to date a girl who was tall, and the boys go to a predominently tall school, until...Will: Am I alone in this, or didn't y'all notice he was white?
- Hilariously subverted in the episode where Aunt Janice brings home a very tall white guy as her fiance. The others start talking about how Janice didn't mention that he was...tall, and they have no problem with people who are tall, and somebody's cousin used to date a girl who was tall, and the boys go to a predominently tall school, until...
- An episode strangely did one where an ice skater revealing to his wife Phoebe that he was straight had almost the same dialogue as it would if he were revealing he was gay ("Have you told your parents?" "No, but they're pretty cool. My brother's straight"); it was a Citizenship Marriage and she had known him to be gay. Friends also did this a lot with Joey and Chandler acting like a married couple including arguments about Chandler's ex-roommate Kip and buying furniture together....
- And an episode where Rachel discovers Monica has been shopping with Ross's new girlfriend, and it's treated like infidelity.
- An episode where Phoebe and her current boyfriend were infected with chicken pox. They couldn't resist scratching themselves, so they had oven mitts duct-taped on to their arms. Eventually, the itching became too severe for them to resist, Phoebe started saying how good it would feel to give in and her boyfriend was saying "We can't, we'd regret it!", and eventually he succumbed to temptation along with her in a clear parallel to a highly turned-on couple trying to resist the urge to have sex. And when they finally do, they end up rubbing their backs against each other, complete with groaning, until Ross and Rachel walk in and gasp in horror, with Ross saying "I expected this from you Phoebe, but you're a military man!" to the boyfriend.
- An episode has Ross and Joey accidentally taking a nap together. It's treated like a night of drunken experimentation.Joey: I wanna do it again!
Ross: We can't do it again!
Joey: Why not?!
Ross: Because it's weird!
- Monica redeveloping an addiction to cookies.
- Rachel and Chandler stealing cheesecakes, played off as having to commit multiple cover up murders to cover up their original crime.
- Chandler and Joey arguing about the care of their new "baby" chick.
- Joey's kidney stones needing to be peed out.
- Game of Thrones:
- Littlefinger's monologue in "You Win Or You Die" is straight-up instructions to his whores on the surface, but doubles as a description of his False Friend relationship with Ned.Littlefinger: "They know what you are. They know it's all just an act. Your job is to make them forget what they know, and that takes time. You need to ease into it [...] He knows he's better than other men; he's always known it, deep down inside. Now he has proof. He's so good he's reaching something deep inside of you that no one even knew was there, overcoming your very nature..."
- The Hound's captors "accidentally" smack his head on the wagon they are loading him into.
- A once powerful figure who resents a loss of importance and influence to ambitious upstarts manipulates a mass of zealots into becoming a private army of enforcers. These zealots upend society and throw aside the usual political intrigue in favor of brute force on behalf of their patron, but become increasingly difficult to control. The above could be describing Cersei and the Faith Militant in Season 5 or China in the 1960s.
- As well as the arrest and planned trials of members of the leadership, including the former leader's widow.
- In the Season 6 finale, the Sept of Baelor, a landmark towering over the King's Landing skyline, is destroyed in a deliberately set explosion at great loss of life. The clouds of smoke and fire shroud its former location, visible even several days later when Jaime Lannister returns from his successful resolution of the Riverrun siege. Again, it looks like the aftermath of a certain terrorist attack.
- Littlefinger's monologue in "You Win Or You Die" is straight-up instructions to his whores on the surface, but doubles as a description of his False Friend relationship with Ned.
- General Hospital's mid-90's storyline that had Karen Wexler being seduced into working as a stripper for local mobster Sonny Corinthos and him plying her with drugs to keep her dependent on him as well as threatening to kill her when she finally worked up the nerve to walk away was basically a watered-down version of him being a pimp and her being a prostitute.
- Happens in universe in an episode of The George Lopez Show. Carmen and Jason are on the debate team and debating about the use of gas-guzzling cars. Carmen is still mad at Jason for cheating at him and talks about how (paraphrased) "America has betrayed some people's trust by going and tapping a foreign oil source that other guys have already tapped". Jason responds with the fact that he's sorry he satisfied his need for resources elsewhere.
- The Gifted:
- Parents kicking their kids out for coming out as what they've always been, people who can't get jobs based on how they look, racist lynch mobs, all sounds very familiar. Reminiscent of what goes on in this world even.
- "rX" brings the Mutant Metaphor fully to the forefront. The erosion of peoples' Constitutional rights in the interest of "public safety" not only mirrors the War on Terror era, but the targeted and institutionalized persecution of mutants, (where even accidentally causing damage to property is enough to land a mutant in jail) the overreach and unconstitutional methods of Sentinel Services in attempting to force Reeds' cooperation, and the implication that jailed mutants are "disappeared" or otherwise quietly killed and disposed of strongly evokes the persecution of the Jews and other undesirables by Nazi Germany.
- The Purifiers, a militantly anti-mutant hate group, echo the "You will not replace us" chant used by Neo-Nazis in the US at the 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia rally.
- Benedict Ryan's show strongly echoes that of Bill O'Reilly, with basically the same symbols and colors on the backdrops, though he's more low-key.
- Glee: Kurt's subsequent reactions to Karofsky "taking" his first kiss strongly evoke the feel of a rape victim.
- The Handmaid's Tale:
- The Republic of Gilead strongly resembles Islamist Afghanistan and Iran in a number of features. Most notably in the status of women, but even the method of hanging by crane, plus the bodies being publicly displayed, echoes Iranian practice. There is also the strong resemblance to Puritan forms of dress with the Handmaids, as Atwood was inspired by the theocracy they established. It takes place in Cambridge, MA, with the bodies hanging from the Harvard Wall and a Catholic church at Harvard Square being demolished, appropriately for where the Puritans once ruled (even Harvard University was started by them).
- Atwood has said in numerous interviews that everything in Gilead she took from something a real human society did, and so far the series' additions have been consistent with that. (For example, what happens to Ofglen at the end of episode 3 is basically female genital mutilation (FGM), which is still distressingly common in African countries as a way of keeping girls "pure".)
- In a flashback, the homes and businesses of "gender traitors" in one town have been vandalized by having their windows broken and homophobic graffiti painted on them, reminiscent of Kristallnacht.
- The idea that the Handmaids were first enslaved for "serious" crimes, then less and less serious, until they could be taken for any little thing, echoed the Magdalene Laundries of Ireland, where women who got pregnant out of wedlock were imprisoned and enslaved by the Catholic Church with the permission and assistance of the government. It was begun as punishment for prostitution, but came to include pretty much any woman that was "improper". Their children were sent off to live with "the faithful". And the name of the last Magdalene Laundry, that closed in 1996? Waterford.
- The male "Babies of Gilead" being dressed in lederhosen is no accident◊.
- Despite Gilead being a misogynistic hellhole, women like the Wives and Aunts are complicit in female exploitation and oppression. This mirrors the reports of women willingly flying to Syria in order to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, drawn with promises of status and purpose to their lives even if it boils down to Stay in the Kitchen much like Gilead. They also approve the sexual enslavement of "unbelieving" women like Yazidis and Christians, with one infamous ISIL pamphlet justifying this activity being allegedly written by a jihadi bride similar to Serena Joy's book "A Woman's Place", which served as inspiration to shut out women from any positions of authority or being in control of their lives.
- Hannibal: In "Sakizuke" there's a scene that implies an Attempted Rape scene where Dr. Du Maurier comes to Hannibal's house to tell him she won't be his therapist anymore. The body language and chemistry between the actors is almost unbearably tense, and you have no idea what's going to happen. With every step Hannibal takes, Du Maurier takes one back, her fear clearly showing through her feigned stoicism. He visibly notices the first time this happens, and then keeps doing it anyway. Plus, he openly smirks when she discusses how their backstory would be just as incriminating for her.
- Hannibal shoves a long, thin object down Will's throat to force him to do something against his will, for which he will be blamed afterwards. Will even has a traumatic flashback to it later, which makes it seem extremely similar to a situation of Rape as Drama.
- Will's methods for dealing with Hannibal in the second season are essentially seduction. "You gotta make [a fish not interested in the bait] bite, even though he's not hungry. [...] You have to create a reality where only you and the fish exist. Your lure is the one thing he wants, despite everything he knows." He in turn plays up his vulnerability and his twistedness to appeal to Hannibal and keep him interested.
- "Tome-wan" confirms this: Will and Jack openly discuss capturing Hannibal, and Will reassures Jack that he's "a pretty good fisherman".
- In season 3 Sylar breaks into Claire's house and succeeds in stealing her power, but does it without killing her unlike his previous victims. The experience visibly shakes Claire and she describes Sylar as "taking something that was hers". She then wants to learn how to fight so she can "help people", but after her biological mother Meredith puts her through Training from Hell, Claire finally breaks and admits she doesn't want to fight so she can help people, but to find Sylar and "hurt him for hurting me!". The whole thing plays out to the point that "stealing a woman's power" took on a whole new meaning.
- In Volume 4 (the second half of Season 3), the Gitmo imagery strays close to the line between this and a Take That! directed at the Bush administration.
- Sylar's very creepy shapeshifting into his adoptive mother (aunt by marriage) and having conversations with her, having killed her in Volume 1, disturbingly resembles Hitchcock's film about a mama's boy who impersonates his mother.
- How I Met Your Mother:
- The gang outs Barney's gay black brother as "monogamous" and rightly suspects that it will upset him. Barney then refuses to support that his brother is going to marry a white guy. Not because of the gay marriage thing, or inter-racial marriage thing, but because it is a marriage. He tells everyone how it is going to destroy singles everywhere, and he ends up telling his nephew that "Just because you are being raised by married people doesn't mean that you got to choose that lifestyle."
- In "Murtaugh", Barney's argument with the owner of the laser tag arena is like him quitting the police force.
- In "Arrivederci, Fiero", the car breaks down and it is treated like it's dying. The car is even personified and referred to by personal pronouns, although there is a disagreement on the gender and whether Fiero is he or she.
- Lily and Robin spill Thai food in Marshall's car and have to clean it up. Marshall has a very strong rules about no food or drinks in the car, and it's portrayed like they're trying to erase evidence of a murder. The scene is a Shout-Out to Pulp Fiction.
- Robin's argument with Lily and Marshall sounds like a fight between a rebellious teenager and her parents. Lampshade Hanging:Robin: Is there any version of this conversation where you guys don't sound like my parents?
Lily: I don't know. Is there any version where you don't sound like a 16-year-old?
- In one episode, they find out Lily's fellow teacher Gillian is an Ambiguously Jewish "Woo!" girl.
- When Marshall gets Barney to wear a night shirt. The way he tells Barney how great married life is is like a dad tucking in his son with a bedtime story.
- When Marshall and Lily find a new couple to hang out with after Barney and Robin dump them, it's played as if it was cheating or finding a new love interest way too quickly. Barney and Robin then proceed to do every "single person" cliche out there... as a couple. Eventually, they get back together.
- When Ted finds out that his girlfriend Stella hasn't had sex in five years, he freaks out and thinks that her expectations might be raised too high. He cooks her a meal for dinner and invokes the trope by describing the meal as something she might have enjoyed before, but she then stopped having it, and once she decides to eat it again, she might anticipate too much. Stella of course catches his meaning and laughs it off, genuinely amused.
- One episode had the gang finding out Robin's current boyfriend has a small penis. Marshall treats the guy like he has an incurable disease.
- Lily (with "pregnancy brain") seduces Marshall into buying a house in the suburbs.Marshall: Yes! Yes! I'm coming!... to terms with this life-changing decision.
- When Ted's building plan is rejected:Owner: You're great, and you've done a real special job here, and you're going to make some other restaurant very happy someday.
- In Aldrin Justice, Barney refers to Marshalls law professor as a cougar, a term that becomes increasingly literal. As he prepares to hunt her his way of scoping her out make him sound like hes a safari guide, and at the end of the episode he needs to let her go because she belongs in the wild. The professor, meanwhile, treats his attempts to satisfy her in bed as if its actual schoolwork. She even grades him.Barney: C-? What are you talking about? I pulled an all-nighter!
Professor Lewis: You didn't budget your time well. You glossed over some of the most important points. And your oral presentation was sloppy and inconclusive.
- Carly meeting Nevel for the first time is oddly reminiscent of meeting an Internet pedophile. Obviously it's toned down for kids.
- In "iQuit iCarly", the scene with the three main characters at school after Carly announces the show's cancellation resembles a conversation between a kid and his divorced parents.
- In "iBeat The Heat" Freddie tries to lift Carly onto the kitchen bench. He fails, and ends up making it look like he's having (clothed, obviously) sex with her.
- Mrs. Benson interrupting their webshow holding a bag which looks identical to a bag of weed and asking Freddie what it was. It turns out to be the asparagus that Freddie didn't eat for dinner, but it's obvious what it was meant to resemble.
- When Carly stopped dating the Guy Of The Week in "iQ", Sam gives Carly the huge fork which she took from the Shays at the beginning of the episode. When Carly asks Sam why is she giving up her beloved fork, Sam pulls out a huge fork. Carly replies " That is comically big". Which reminds some of us of what one woman might give her now-lonely girl friend to compensate for not having a boyfriend any more.
- In "iMust have Locker 239", Spencer gets incensed that Carly is taking art classes at the local community center instead of from him, and the situation is treated like someone is an affair.
- An episode of The IT Crowd revolves around Jen taking up smoking and being forced to smoke outside, where the smoking area keeps getting moved further and further away from the office, eventually forcing the smokers to walk across a motorway and bleak, wind-swept terrain. The whole thing gets treated like the smokers are a bunch of Soviet dissidents being forced into a Stalinist gulag in Siberia.
- In Just Shoot Me!, Dennis replaces Ally as Jack's bridge partner; the plot is played out as an infidelity.
- On Keeping Up Appearances, Daisy and Onslow recall their wedding night, when she finally told him she was a Liverpool supporter. It's set up as if she had revealed something far more scandalous: Onslow had to go for a walk to sort things out, and, he says, she's lucky he didn't divorce her.
- In an episode of The King of Queens, Spence's wish to see The Film of the Book of one of his favorite fantasy novels is portrayed as similar to a drug addiction or alcoholism or some other social vice, something to be avoided. Either that or Doug and Deacon are just really big Fan Haters.
- After many of his jokes on The Late Late Show, Craig Ferguson will say "Remind you of anyone?".
- Legends of Tomorrow: Damien Darhk's failure to carry through with torture is played out like a failure to perform sexually.Darkh: I'm sorry, it it's not you. It-it's me. Torture just doesn't bring the same joy anymore!
Nate: This is deep stuff, Damien. Really deep. Let's just keep digging, keep digging. But...put the cattle prod away? I'm gonna die anyway.
Darkh: Sure, safe space, safe space.
- Liv and Maddie:
- Joey and Artie's building of bigger rockets in "Move-A-Rooney".
- When Maddie tells her Dad she no longer wants him as her partner for a tag-team tournament, it sounds like a girl breaking up with her boyfriend. She even says It's Not You, It's Me.
- An episode of Lizzie McGuire has Gordo falling into the "forbidden world" of roleplaying games, which are treated like drugs. In fairness, crack is cheaper. (At least it's a step up from being portrayed as demonic or satanic.
- One episode of Malcolm in the Middle concerned Hal feeling out-of-place in a poker game because he was the only non-professional person there, and all the professional people were banding together and discriminating against him with their unique slang and culture. (They were also all black.) In a follow-up episode, Hal tried to get one of the other players to be more open and caring with his wife; this quickly turned into what looked like an argument between a married couple.
- In another episode, Lois catches Dewey spending time at "another mother's house" getting snacks and having his ears washed. The conversation sounds like that between a couple when one is caught cheating.
- A season six episode sees Malcolm buy a fixer-upper car that takes up all his time and money. He begins acting like an person in an unhappy or even abusive relationship, from buying "gifts" for the car (leather seat covers, a "car bra") to claiming the black eye he got working on the car was his fault ("That was my fault, I wasn't being careful enough!"). The meeting Reese calls to talk about the problem even plays out like an intervention for an alcoholic, complete with a guy from AA(A).
- Mayday: Auburn Calloway and the Air France hijackers both ultimately wanted to kamikaze their planes into buildings; Calloway targeted Fed-Ex's headquarters in Memphis while the Air France hijackers planned to gun for the Eiffel Tower. The parallels to a certain terrorist attack are not ignored.
- The Mighty Boosh:
- Howard and Vince, who already posses huge amounts of Ho Yay (not helped by how everyone calls Vince "Howard's wife/girlfriend"), run into Vince's evil twin Lance Dior. Lance offers Howard the chance to become his... sidekick, and when Vince finds out he treats it as if Howard has been cheating on him.
- The Spirit of Jazz has huge amounts of this trope when talking about how he plans to possess Howard. Repeatedly growling about how he's going to "Get inside him" and "Wear him like a glove". Howard even lampshades it by telling him to stop using terms which are such huge innuendos. The Spirit of Jazz has no idea what he means, of course.
- Add to this the fact that when the Spirit of Jazz is trying to get inside Howard, the Spirit of Jazz is trapped in a hoover bag and is pointing the (rather phallic) nozzle at Howard's bottom.
- Mongrels: Stroking is used as a metaphor for sex as Nelson is a "stroke virgin" tries to get a "circle-stroke" and is eventually put in a petting zoo where animals are forcibly stroked. This later turns into Metaphorgotten that is later Lampshaded.
- Natalie walking on Sharona wiping Monk's face clean elicited the same lines from Monk as you'd expect him to say if he was having an affair.
- Murdoch Mysteries: Murdoch quite frequently solves crimes by using the limited resources of his time to get at a primitive version of a contemporary technology that would be quite familiar to the audience. Other conversations address some of the unforeseen consequences of new technologies. There's even at least one plot that strongly recalls what for the audience is a series of historic events. Some examples include:
- Murdoch and Nikola Tesla collaborate on a portable audio broadcasting unit to record a criminal conversation (in essence, a wireless wiretap) in "Power". In one of their conversations, Tesla suggests moving images could also be sent over the air, and when Murdoch says such a thing would be a "telekinetiscope", Tesla replies that the word is too long and suggests "television" instead.
- Murdoch comes up with a number of portable light sources, including one that shines UV light (helpful for detecting blood evidence) and bicycle lamps powered by the cyclist's pedaling.
- Murdoch explains chemiluminescence to his boss Inspector Brackenreid and concocts an early version of luminol.
- Early efforts to obtain ballistics evidence involve firing guns into a full rain barrel and comparing bullets. Later in the series, Murdoch seems to have learned that the water could deform a bullet, so he fires weapons into soft materials (suspended sandbags backed by hay bales) to obtain bullets for comparison.
- After doing some reading on Mongol warriors and silk, Murdoch designs a bulletproof vest. He later sends Crabtree to his tailor to have one made to fit him, which the constable wears in "Big Murderer on Campus" and "Murdoch on the Corner".
- In one episode, the evidence is underwater in Lake Ontario, so Murdoch essentially invents a rudimentary version of sonar to find it.
- The episode "Murdoch.com" revolves around women being lured to their deaths by a sexual predator... on the telegraph lines.
- Crabtree's line: "Why, it's like a spiderweb!... It could even be world-wide!"
- There is a "digitized" and "faxed" photograph Murdoch and his Surete colleague obtain via telegraph in "Monsieur Murdoch".
- Among the inventions mentioned in the episode "Invention Convention" are an analytical engine (a precursor to modern computers), a machine specifically for sending email (they call it "i-mail"), and sound-activated switches. Crabtree even notes the ease of turning off lights by clapping his hands!
- In "Journey to the Center of Toronto", Murdoch builds and sets up a series of small seismographs to help the men of Station 4 track an underground boring machine used in a series of thefts.
- After some curious metal filings are found on a corpse and at a crime scene, Murdoch hits the books and fabricates a silencer in "The Black Hand". Crabtree hangs the lampshade by suggesting "muffler" and "silencer" as names for the item.
- "Back and to the Left" starts with two government officials in an open-air vehicle when there's gunfire and one of them dies from a gunshot wound to the head. The entire event is photographed and filmed. It soon appears at least one shot came from an upstairs window of a nearby warehouse. A man is identified in the papers as the shooter and is shortly thereafter killed. Murdoch and Dr. Ogden go over the evidence and find the evidence of the bullet trajectory doesn't line up, the phrase "magic bullet" is used, and they conclude there was a second shooter. Sounds rather like the assassination of John F. Kennedy, doesn't it?
- In experiment 703 "Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell" on Mystery Science Theater 3000, a character is shown with snow matted in his beard and a doofy expression on his face. Servo's response? "GUESS WHAT I'VE BEEN DOING!"
- An episode of The Nanny has Fran and Maxwell play a rather, spirited, game of table tennis.
- In this clip on Nashville Now, it sounds like K.T. Oslin's picking up Reba McEntire for a lesbian encounter.
- This bit from NCIS:Abby: (to Gibbs, who has just walked in) McGee is rewiring my hotbox.
McGee: Thats er, er, a nickname for a bundle of receptors in the firewall. That regulates the flow of energy throughout the system. See when stimulated correctly it sends waves and waves of rhythmic pulses (Gibbs can't even look at McGee at this point) waves, waves that, er, that hypercrank the, er, transfer speed, er, that digitized infor- Abby?
Abby: McGee is helping me speed up the search for Lieutenant Jane Does fingerprints in the AFIS database. Ive got to I.D. her fast to keep the hound at bay.
Gibbs: Im more Jack Russel Terrier.
Abby: No, not you, Gibbs. Ducky. Hes barking at my heels like a dog with mange.
Gibbs: Is he still here?
Abby: In autopsy. And hes so crabby hell give you a run for you money.
McGee: If I said that to Gibbs, I would be seeing stars.
Abby: Well thats the advantage of being me. Now get back down there.
- In the ad episode of The Office, Michael says Andy's jogging scene is the pivotal moment. And if they don't nail it, they "will lose the whole triumph of the moment; the triumph of the will."
- In Once Upon a Time's "The Return," Sidney - the former editor of Storybrooke's newspaper The Storybrooke Daily Mirror - is exposed as a liar and as the one who wiretapped Emma's office. Two words: Piers. Morgan.
- The Orville:
- "About A Girl" mirrors the common practice of "correcting" intersexed babies' genitals if they are "ambiguous" (that is, do not align neatly as either male or female). In this case, the baby is not intersexed, but female, and the Moclans enforce an all-male society (female babies are very rare among them). There are also the issues of how much parents should be allowed to determine children's futures, and specifically regarding surgery that isn't medically necessary (circumcision, a real-life issue where this comes up, is one example used). Plus sex reassignment surgery in general of course.
- "Majority Rule" has a society whose punishment of minor social infractions takes real-world online mobbing and demands the perpetrators apologize for them Up to Eleven, as citizens have the right to vote on whether they're forgiven when an apology is deemed sincere enough, or put to death.
- Similarly, in "Deflectors" the Moclan view on opposite-sex attraction mirrors that of extreme homophobia in our world. It ranges from prejudice to hate crimes and draconian legal punishments.
- In "Sanctuary" it's revealed there's a secret network that brings Moclan females to a hidden colony world where they can be safe, reminiscent of the Underground Railroad.
- Person of Interest: At the end of "Identity Crisis", Reese refuses to take advantage of a drugged and uncharacteristically friendly Finch's brazen (and certainly quite tempting) offer, "Don't you want to talk? Ask me anything!" He even says that Finch would regret it in the morning.
- In The Refugees, the way the people from the future are treated is a lot like real life refugees are treated: unwanted, kept in camps, taken advantage of... and some of the present people start to develop fascist-like behavior towards them, such as blaming them for everything that is going wrong or for crimes they are innocent of.
- Return of Ultraman: One episode featured a kindhearted alien who comes to live in Japan peacefully after being unable rendered to return home, but malicious rumours spread amongst local villagers that he's an evil invader like so many before him, so they form an angry mob and attack him, with a cop firing the killing shot. The inspiration for the story? Anti-Korean race riots that occurred after rumours of immigrants engaging in crime sprees after a terrible earthquake.
- Lucas McCain (Chuck Connors) shooting in the intro on The Rifleman has obviously phallic imagery.
- One episode of Scrubs has Jordan telling Dr. Cox they're not going to fight anymore now that they have a baby. Dr. Cox ends up going a little crazy because Jordan won't fight with him anymore and it plays like as if she won't have sex with him anymore. This especially shows when he tells Carla about it.Carla: What's going on with you?
Dr. Cox: Let's see, Jordan and I aren't, uh... we're not fighting anymore.
Carla: Oh, no. How long has this been going on?
Dr. Cox: Since the baby came along we've been fighting less and less.
Carla: Why don't you get a hotel room? Pour some nice champagne, get in a tub, and rip each other new ones. You know, make it special.
- Seacht has had Pete and Decko describing a guitar in terms more suited for a beautiful woman. Which is Truth in Television.
- Jerry's relationship with Keith Hernandez resembles a romantic relationship, in which helping him move is treated as "going all the way."
- In another episode, Jerry makes a snide remark about dentists which gets him labeled an "anti-dentite". ("Next thing you know you're saying they should have their own schools!" "They do have their own schools!")
- Later subverted in the same episode, When Jerry jokes with the Girl of the Week about dentists only to discover her non-metaphorical prejudice:GotW: Hey, what do you call a doctor who fails out of med school?
GotW: A dentist. (they laugh)
Jerry: That's a good one. Dentists.
GotW: Yeah, who needs 'em? Not to mention the Blacks and the Jews.
- Later subverted in the same episode, When Jerry jokes with the Girl of the Week about dentists only to discover her non-metaphorical prejudice:
- Jerry leaving his barber for his more talented relative is portrayed as an infidelity of operatic proportions, complete with several music cues from The Barber of Seville.
- Another episode had portrayed Kramer and Jerry as a married couple, when Kramer got a job, specifically portraying Kramer as the workaholic husband and Jerry as the neglected wife.
- Even in one of the first series, a scene in which Jerry tried to stop seeing an annoying friend is played like a relationship break-up, with Jerry resorting to saying 'it's not you, it's me'
- An episode where Kramer's shower breaks forces him to not bathe for days. His constant scratching and his desperate need for a new shower head makes him look and sound like a junkie. His dilemma makes Elaine's situation at work (she is mistaken for a drug addict) a lot worse.
- And, of course, the episode in which the facial/speech aftereffects of dental surgery result in Kramer being mistaken for a mentally-challenged person.
- One episode has Elaine dating a man she really likes, only to be disappointed when she finds out he has pro-life views. In the same episode, Kramer teams up with Italian restaurant owner Poppy to open a pizzeria where customers make their pizza themselves, and the two have the following argument over pizza toppings:Poppy: No no no, you can't-a put-a cucumbers on a pizza.
Kramer: Well, why not? I like cucumbers.
Poppy: That's-a not a pizza. It'll taste-a terrible.
Kramer: Yeah, but that's the idea. You make your own pie.
Poppy: Yes, but we cannot-a give-a the people the right to choose any topping they want! Now, on this issue there can-a be no debate!
Kramer: What gives you the right to tell me how I would make my pie?!
Poppy: Because it's a pizza!
Kramer: It's not a pizza until it comes out of the oven!
Poppy: It's a pizza the moment you put-a you' fists in the dough!
Kramer: No, it isn't!
Poppy: Yes it is!
- Slings & Arrows:
- Ellen's relationship with her auditor in the 3rd season is deliberately reminiscent of a therapist-client relationship. Up to:Ellen: I think we're making real progress here. Maybe we could move to an hour-and-a-half session?
- Later in the season, we see Anna on the phone with someone. "What do you mean you have to play with it?... Well, when will you be able to get it up again?... Is there anything I can do to help?" She's talking to tech support about the theater festival's local area network.
- Ellen's relationship with her auditor in the 3rd season is deliberately reminiscent of a therapist-client relationship. Up to:
- Clark and other Kryptonians emit fire beams from their eyes when aroused. He first discovered this in "Heat".
- During Season 8, Davis Bloom would blackout and turn into a monster (specifically Doomsday) at random, but found a way to stop it by killing people, leading him to becoming a serial killer to avoid turning into the monster. For those who don't know the psychology behind compulsive serial killers, when a serial killer doesn't kill for a certain amount of time, they feel psychologically compelled to kill, sort of like they're being taken over by a metaphorical monster. In Davis' case, he was being taken over by a physical monster.
- Red Kryptonite is often used as a stand in for drug use; when Clark comes into contact with it, he looses his inhibitions, and as he's fully aware of what's responsible for such, he will refuse to let go of the Red Kryptonite, almost like a drug user refusing to give up drugs. After being unintentionally exposed to it a few times, when Clark was dealing with feeling depressed after causing his mother to lose her unborn baby, he began using it to deal with the pain of guilt. Also, he starts mistreating his friends. There's more drug-related comparisons, but they'd take forever to write out.
- Spaced: "What now?" "I think we should descale the teapot." "You filthy bitch." "You love it."
- Stargate SG-1:
- In "Menace", the team encounters an android in the form of a teenaged girl, who thinks she's human. When Daniel decides to explain to her that she's a robot, it ends up coming out very much like the cliched birds-and-the-bees conversation. ("You're not like me. On the inside, I mean.")
- The long-running subplot of Earth businessmen pulling the strings of rogue NID operatives for profit appears to be an allegory for the military-industrial complex.
- Many episodes have Teal'c distrusted and feared by the people SG-1 encounters for being a Jaffa (who the Goa'uld use for their armies), which is very unfortunate given his actor Christopher Judge is black and all the characters expressing this fear are played by white people. Apparently the writers realised this and inverted it in one episode, where SG-1 assume this is why the people on the Planet of the Week are wary around Teal'c, only to turn out they're Space Nazis and they really do revile Teal'c because he's black.
- The Jaffa themselves - forced to be slaves for generations, slowly gaining their freedom, trying to form some sort of cultural identity after having one forced on them for so long, preserving their traditions as cultural heritage - have many parallels to the trans-atlantic slave trade and the struggles many in the African diaspora experience to this day. This is most apparent in the episodes Judge writes himself, namely "The Warrior", "Birthright", and "Sacrifices".
- Stark Raving Mad:
- In "Therapy", there is a comparison between Ian and Henry's relationship and that of a troubled couple, a lampshaded idea that Jake is Ian/Henry's son, and a comparison between therapy and cheating.Tess: Did you do exercises?
Henry: (beat) No.
- Later...Henry: We were just doing research, and the next thing I knew... it just happened! I'm sorry.
- In "Therapy", there is a comparison between Ian and Henry's relationship and that of a troubled couple, a lampshaded idea that Jake is Ian/Henry's son, and a comparison between therapy and cheating.
- On Sunrise On 7, Edwina Barthowlmew sees the resemblance between men's water polo and gay sex.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
- The Cardassian occupation of Bajor, complete with labor camps and racially-charged rhetoric, is reminiscent of the Nazi regime.
- Like the Nazis, the Changeling Founders consider themselves racially superior to "solids" and have no moral qualms about genocide.
- The Section 31 virus which afflicts the Changeling race is reminiscent of the HIV epidemic. First, the virus is spread by the physically intimate act of linking, the closest Changeling analog to sex. Like HIV, the virus is lethal, at least until a cure is discovered in season 7. Finally, the virus is deliberately developed by Section 31, a shadow organization under the Federation government, as a means of bringing about a Changeling genocide. This strategy is reminiscent of early conspiracy theories surrounding the origins of HIV.
- Linking, dear God. The linking scenes between Odo and the Female Changeling have the feel of love scenes.
- On the subject of changelings, the episode "Chimera" has a lot of parallels to the struggles of gay men and others on the LGBTQ+ spectrum. Laas's being an unabashed shapeshifter in comparison to Odo keeping his changeling nature private is not unlike two gay men, one who is out and another who is closeted. The comparisons become stronger with the station residents' discomfort with Laas's shapeshifting mimicking the discomfort of the average person with an outwardly gay man's mannerisms, as well as Odo and Laas linking on a few occasions (see previous point). Quark hammers the point in further when he cautions Odo against holding a "changeling pride parade" on the station.
- A more humorous version occurs when a baby Changeling is discovered. Odo convinces Sisko to pull some strings to put him in charge of its development, but when he hits a brick wall, the scientist who first experimented on him, Dr Mora, comes to the station to help out. Their interactions come across like a mother and daughter arguing about how to raise the grandchild.
- Star Trek: Discovery: The Klingon House of T'Kuvma is an faction that seeks to reunite the fragmented Klingon Empire under his banner and strike back at the Federation, and they are noted for being particularly fundamentalist in nature and employing martyrdom to advance their goals. This mirrors the goals of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, a real-life terrorist group that rose to prominence in the 2010s that uses similar methods and seeks revive the old days of the Umayyad Caliphate.
- The Star Trek: The Original Series:
- "Metamorphosis" features Zefram Cochrane being looked after by a powerful energy being. When he realizes that the energy being wants a physical relationship with him, he's repulsed, but Kirk, Spock and McCoy don't see what the problem is. Given Cochrane's actual words, the episode can be read as a metaphor against homophobia, or, given the time period and a strange handwave about it being a female energy being, possibly against opposition to interracial relationships.Cochrane: Is this what the future holds? Men who have no notion of decency or morality? Maybe I'm a hundred and fifty years out of style, but I'm not going to be fodder for any inhuman monster. (He leaves in disgust.)
Spock: Fascinating. A totally parochial attitude.
- In "The Conscience of the King", Kodos culled people based on his eugenics theories, and has lived under an assumed name to escape the punishment for his crimes decades later. The comparisons to the Nazis here (especially in the '60s when knowledge of the many fugitives living underground became prominent after the capture of Adolf Eichmann) are probably intended.
- "Metamorphosis" features Zefram Cochrane being looked after by a powerful energy being. When he realizes that the energy being wants a physical relationship with him, he's repulsed, but Kirk, Spock and McCoy don't see what the problem is. Given Cochrane's actual words, the episode can be read as a metaphor against homophobia, or, given the time period and a strange handwave about it being a female energy being, possibly against opposition to interracial relationships.
- In a Season 1 episode "Something Wicked", the Monster of the Week — a shtriga, a witch from Albanian folklore that feeds off of human "life forces", especially those of children — is presented like a pedophile. The kids fall into comas and no one can explain why, and the shtriga is disguised as a male doctor that is supposed to be treating the children, which is similar to how many pedophiles try to position themselves so that the children's parents trust them. It should also be noted that the shtriga works its way through families, either from oldest child to youngest or vice versa.
- In a Season 3 episode, "Fresh Blood", a lonely male vampire who wants to build a new nest of vamps lurks around nightclubs and picks out pretty blondes and tries to interest them in a new (thick, red, liquid) recreational drug (in Supernatural either digestion or direct blood contact turns a person into a vampire). They wake up back in his basement lair and have no idea where they are or what happened to them, not unlike rape victims who were given "roofies" like rohypnol, which cause blackouts.
- Speaking of rape subtext, Michael in the Season 5 episode "The Song Remains the Same" attempts to justify his possession of John and his intent to possess Dean as if he were a date-rapist, including claiming that his intention to avoid causing unnecessary damage while inside Dean and John makes him morally superior to Raphael who left his victim catatonic.
- Pretty much all of Lucifer's dialogue with Sam in season 5 screams "rape"/Lucifer: I will find you. And when I do, you will let me in. I'm sure of it.
Sam: You'll need my consent.
- The following conversation from the Season 1 episode "Shadow" is actually about Monster Hunting, but sound like they're about something very different outside of context:Dean: You and me. I want us to be together again. To be a family again.
Sam: Dean, we are a family. I'd do anything for you... but things will never be the way they were before.
Dean: They could be.
Sam: I don't want them to be. I'm not going to live this life forever. Dean, when this is all over, you're going to have to let me go my own way.
- In the Season 5 episode "Sympathy for the Devil", Dean readily forgives Sam for (inadvertently) freeing Lucifer, but remains righteously angry at Sam because Sam chose his demon lover Ruby over Dean . . . as a hunting partner.
- That '70s Show does this many times, but one particularly noteworthy example is in "Hyde Quits the Circle." In said episode, the eponymous Hyde stops smoking weed and becomes an energetic health nut. It culminates in an intervention (in which the characters are dead serious) including such lines as, "You have a problem with drugs," and "I see now that I've been using sobriety as a crutch."
- In The Tick (2001) episode "Arthur, Interrupted", coming out as a superhero is described the same way as homosexuality, and later as a drug addiction. They even stage an intervention.
- True Blood:
- There's so much subtext about vampire rights that some might find the not-so-subtle parallels a bit tiresome. "God Hates Fangs"? Even vampire puns are still bad puns.
- Every feeding is a very obvious allusion to sex, culminating in one very particular episode. Both Bill and Eric were burned and needed healing. Follow, a frame of Sookie sitting between them, with a very meaningful expression on her face, while each vampire is sucking at a different wrist of hers.
- After accidentally killing Andy's faerie daughters, Jessica spends over ten weeks refusing to eat. Her refusal to eat is akin to anorexia.
- "Envoy of the Nonmalts", in which Dan and Ultra Garrison encounter a race of submarine humanoids named the Nonmalts who state that they are the original inhabitants of Earth, but were driven from their homes by human invaders, and declare war on humans when they begin building underwater settlements. However, UG refuses to believe any of their claims and kill all the Nonmalts. If you're reminded of the Native Americans...well, let's just say other peoples have had similar experiences.
- In "Nightmare of Planet 4", Dan and Soga get stranded on the eponymous Planet 4, a world populated by Human Aliens who are brutally repressed by an android dictatorship that believes machines as the master race and herds their non-robot subjects into dismal apartment grounds where they are occasionally rounded up to be killed on television. Also, the planet's dictator looks like a Japanese mix of Hitler and Stalin, complete with their pettiness and paranoia. Yeah, figure out for yourself what Planet 4 is meant to be.
- In The Vampire Diaries While Alaric is training Elena on how to kill a vampire after she is attacked and almost killed by a compelled Stefan, he mentions that her reason for this is because "Stefan hurt you, and you don't ever want that to happen again". This as well as a few other mentions of vampires "taking what they want without regard to anyone else" and "finding a reason to get out of bed in the morning" seems to compare his actions more to rape than a bite.
- Caroline's father, Bill, attempts to force her into de facto vampire "conversion therapy" in Season 3. Caroline's vampirism is something she didn't choose, can't change, and struggled to accept when she first realized it - almost disturbingly reminiscent of the lived experience of many LGBTQ people. Bill (who, interestingly enough, happens to be gay) is prejudiced against vampires and upon learning his daughter is one, reacts with disgust and shock and tries to "cure" her by holding her hostage and repeatedly burning her with sunlight, in an attempt to make her associate blood and vampirism with physical pain. Swap vampirism for sexual orientation, Bill's vampire hatred for homophobia, blood for gay pornography (or just same-sex attraction itself), and the sun for electric shocks, and you get a textbook case of "gay-away" conversion therapy.
- This water gun fight from Nickelodeon's Victorious is... iffy.
- Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads? features a man about to get married. His Heterosexual Life Partner then returns, feeling betrayed by his old friend, and very out-of-the-loop. His attitude towards his best friend's fiancée varies between amusement and outright resentment, and she also resents him, seeing him as a threat. The first series ends with the two men sleeping together on the wedding night.
- One episode of Will & Grace where they were arguing who should the homeless Karen stay with. They start acting like parents arguing in front of their kid.Grace: We're not supposed to argue of the D-R-U-N-K!
Karen: May I have a martini now?
- Wizards of Waverly Place:
Alex: There you go, there's the fight I was looking for! (pause) Now you feel better? (she hugs him)
- In Dollhouse, Justin and Alex fight again. Then, she suddenly jumps, laughs like a little kid and hugs him tightly. The conversation goes like this:
Justin: (annoyed) Hm... Fine. (he tightens the hug)
Alex: Ow... Justin... You're hurting me.
Justin: Hmmm... Yeah... (he releases her) I do feel better now, thank you.
- And she smiles after that.
- Alex's painting that resembled the symbol of anarchism in "Paint by Committee", Justin playing with his wand under the sheets in The Movie, Alex asking Justin to give her his wand and many more.
- Wonder Woman: The golden lasso, and the proclivity for Wonder Woman to be tied up and chained in general, such as in "Fausta, the Nazi Wonder Woman" and "The Murderous Missile", were supposed to indicate bondage and discipline. This is because the goal of the creator of the character Wonder Woman, Charles Moulton, was to popularize bondage itself.
- In an episode of Workaholics, the guys switch drug dealers, and when their usual dealer Karl finds them smoking weed that isn't his, the conversation plays out like a confession of cheating. "It was just one time. It didn't mean anything."
- The Xena: Warrior Princess episode "Kindred Spirits" plays up the Ho Yay by portraying Xena and Gabrielle as a couple whose marriage is on the rocks because of family vs. career.
- The X-Files. Agent Dana Scully getting a tattoo in "Never Again" is definitely played this way, from the expectant, hungry look of the man with her, to the gasps and expressions Scully makes. They then go back to his apartment and have sex for real. Or do they? We never see them in the action and she wakes up on his couch in her dress...