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Genre Savvy / Western Animation

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  • The Hollow: The trio, once aware that the world is actually a video game, assume that the final realm is going to have a final boss battle. They're right.
  • The title character from Freakazoid! was pretty Genre Savvy himself. Lampshaded quite often, given the series.
    Steph: When will I see you again?
    Freakazoid: Well, if I know my cartoons, and I do, I'll be back later on to rescue you from something really horrible! Buh-Bye!
  • Teen Titans
    • In the episode "Fear Itself", the Titans are investigating strange goings-on in their base after watching a horror movie. Starfire suggests they split up, but Beast Boy vehemently protests this plan:
    Beast Boy: Did you not see the movie?! When you split up, the monster picks you off one by one, starting with the good-looking comic relief... me!
    • And then, sure enough, he is the first one to get captured. As he's pulled back into the darkness, he even shouts out "I told you! Funny guy goes fiiiiirrrrst!"
    • Beast Boy's knowledge of tropes would come in handy again in the Trapped in TV Land episode.
    • When Cyborg is sent to the past in "Cyborg the Barbarian", he makes sure not to touch anything. "Sci-fi rule number one: you start messing with the past, you end up with monkeys ruling the future!"
  • Kim Possible
    • Kim, Ron, Shego, and Senor Senior Jr. are of the most Genre Savvy. This however doesn't prevent them from falling victim to Genre Tropes (or that they fall into the tropes as part of a fourth-wall bending realisation that they have to do so to have a story), but does make for some great Lampshade Hanging afterwards.
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    • Señor Senior Sr plays this totally straight, because he learned how to be a supervillain from books and it's an eccentric hobby for him.
  • Justice League
    • Flash occasionally shows traits of this, as this quote from "The Brave and the Bold" demonstrates:
    Flash: Usually when it's this empty, flesh eating zombies show up.
    Green Lantern: You watch too many horror movies... (interrupted by the sound of a brainwashed mob)
    Flash: Maybe you don't watch enough.
    • After Gorilla Grodd subdues and imprisons the Justice League, Clayface says they should just kill them off now—having acted in enough movies, Clayface knows that saving them for the showy public execution Grodd wants will give them time to escape, no matter how helpless they seem. Hilariously, this is actually J'onn, apparently making sure not to slip up anywhere in his act.
  • Legion of Super Heroes: Bouncing Boy is the 21st Century horror movie aficionado, so he warns them of the rules.
  • The Venture Bros. has # 21 and # 24 . In "The Lepidopterists", they are well aware that they posses the perfect combination of "expendable and invulnerable". They're sent off on a mission with # 1, and say his cool professionalism marks him for death, while their bumbling incompetence will see them through to the end, like it always does. Later, they point out that # 1's lack of a name makes him a Red Shirt, he reveals his name (Scott Hall), and they say it's just a device to make his impending death more emotional. Ultimately, he meets his fate when his impressive escape techniques draw the attention of Brock Sampson. And then somehow survives to show up in another episode. # 21 and # 24 were pretending to be wax sculptures at the time. Ironically, or at least in a cruel twist of fate, in the season 3 finale, 24 stands near the Monarch's car when it suddenly explodes. He's killed in the blast as 21 unintentionally catches his burning head. Why? Because he wore his seat belt and couldn't get away in time.
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  • The Simpsons discuses it in this exchange:
    Lisa: This broom closet is not what it seems. It's a secret surveillance room guarded by a tiny evil robot!
    Homer: Ugh. Is this gonna be like one of those horror movies where we open the door and everything's normal and we think you're crazy, but then there really is a killer robot and the next morning you find me impaled on a weather vane? Is that what this is, Lisa?
  • Total Drama:
  • Played for Laughs in Johnny Test, "When did we land in a bad decade genre medium?" is a running gag, e.g. "When did we land in a bad 70s cop show?"
  • Ren from The Ren & Stimpy Show has shades of this, particularly in the episode "A Yard Too Far". The eponymous duo is starving as they suddenly sense a delicious smell from someone's backyard.
    Ren: Wait a minute! I'm not stupid. I've seen cartoons like this before! If I set foot into this yard, I'll probably get ripped into shreds by some enormous dog!
    • This is parodied shortly after when Stimpy tells Ren there is no dog only for Ren to be attacked by a vicious guard baboon.
  • Roger from American Dad!. In one early episode he joins a car dealership:
    Roger: Oh, it's like a sitcom come true! I'm part of a workplace ensemble! He must be the sarcastic guy. And he's the dumb guy. Oh! He must be the black guy who doesn't talk! *said guy glares at him* Yessss!!
  • Gravity Falls:
    • In "Legend of the Gobblewonker", Dipper brings seventeen disposable cameras along with him to search for the Gobblewonker, since he realizes how often camera problems ruin monster hunts in movies. Also, Soos worries that he might just be a "side character" and get killed off. Ironically for Dipper, all of his cameras get destroyed before the monster shows up...except the one he hid under his hat. It all ends up irrelevant, as the creature he thought he would get to take a photo of turned out to be a robot.
    • In "Scary-Oke" after Dipper accidentally summons a legion of zombies, Soos says he is prepared after seeing basically all zombie movies ever made. Only for him to immediately get bitten, like a side-character would. Luckily for Soos they find a cure for zombism.
  • Rick displays some genre savviness (overlapping with Taught by Experience) in Rick and Morty in the episode "Look Who's Purging Now" when he predicts what "the festival" will be, comparing it to a movie.
    Townsfolk: Sundown is when the festival begins.
    Rick: The festival?
    Townsfolk: Ooh, well, for millennia, our society has been free of crime and war, living in perfect peace.
    Rick: Oh, I know what this is! You've been able to sustain world peace because you have one night a year where you all run around robbing and murdering each other without consequence.
    Townsfolk: That's right.
    Morty: What?!
    Rick: It's like The Purge, Morty. That movie The Purge?
  • Animaniacs: Slappy Squirrel used to star in slapstick cartoons and has Medium Awareness, so she knows all of the classic cartoon tricks and gags. Because of this, any attempts to use these tricks against her tend to fail horribly, as she sees them coming from a mile away and knows how to thwart them.
  • Sarah from The Amazing World of Gumball is this. One episode involves her pointing out the lazy sitcom cliches to Gumball and Darwin.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: In "St. Olga's Reform School for Wayward Princess", Marco uses his knowledge of prison escape movies to help him and Star infiltrate St. Olga's to bust out Pony Head.
  • Hey Arnold!: "The Pig War" has Arnold and his friends participate in a war reenactment where the teams try to capture Arnold's pet pig, Abner. When Abner's captured by the other team, they declare they will roast him at sundown. To get Abner back, the kids construct a giant wooden pig that they hide inside, a la the Trojan Horse, and deliver it to the opposing fort as a gift. The soldier in charge of the gate is well aware of the story and trick and tries to point it out to their leader, Rex Smythe Higgens. Higgens ignores him and orders him to open the gate. Once Arnold and his friends all pop out to fight, the soldier glares at the leader and throws out his hands as if to say "See? I told you so."
  • Kaeloo: In Episode 134, the gang get fired from the show and need to take a job interview with Olaf to get re-hired the whole of which turns out to be a "joke" on Olaf's part. Everyone is stressed except Stumpy, who points out that they are in a comedy show and he's the comic relief, so he'll definitely be re-hired.
  • DuckTales (2017) has the episode "Last Christmas", where Dewey travels back in time to meet his tween-age mother Della and uncle Donald. Towards the end of the episode, when the twins deduce that Dewey is a relative from the future, he immediately attempts to warn them that a reckless adventure will leave Della lost in space and presumed dead. Before he can get a word out, the twins physically shut his mouth and ask him if he's seen any movie about time travel.
  • Connie Maheswaran from Steven Universe is a deconstruction of this trope. Being a huge fantasy geek and avid reader of young adult novels, she's very aware that Steven, not her, is the main character of the story. However, knowing that she's a side character in somebody else's story led her to develop a rather unhealthy inferiority complex and disregard for her own life. Which isn't helped by having Pearl, who has her own inferiority complex, as a teacher whose first lessons explicitly tell her to give her life up for Steven. Fortunately, she does get better in later episodes, after Steven convinces her that she's his equal, not his inferior/subordinate.
  • The Fairly OddParents!: In an episode where he's competing against rival Remy Buxaplenty in a scavenger hunt, Timmy races him to a Central American temple to retrieve a priceless treasure. Unfortunately, Remy beats him there and snatches the gems on the pedestal before Timmy can stop him. However, upon Remy's departure, Timmy notices something strange. In all the adventure and treasure hunt movies he's seen, every time the loot is taken, a bunch of Booby Traps are triggered. As that didn't happen, he deduces the gems Remy took were Red Herrings to keep the real treasure safe. When he removes a cylinder from the pedestal, it descends, which Timmy figures means that he got the actual treasure, to his delight...until he realizes the traps are going off.


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