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Kangaroo Court / Western Animation

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  • 101 Dalmatians: The Series: "12 Angry Pups," complete with a public defender who openly states that he believes the defendant to be guilty and a judge who doesn't even try to hide that he's taking bribes.
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius episode "League of Villains" has Jimmy's enemies capturing him and putting him on trial with King Goobot as the judge, who insists that they do this according to "The Big Book of Sham Trials".
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  • The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin: One of the plots of "Uncle Grubby" was Tweeg being taken to M.A.V.O. court to answer for his failures. A rule prohibited the defendant (Tweeg) from speaking.
  • In the American Dad! episode 'Rubberneckers' Stan is arrested for insurance fraud after falsely claiming he swerved to avoid hitting a dog when he actually got distracted looking at a beautiful jogger and lied so Francine wouldn't get mad at him for looking at other women. At the trial the judge claims he will be tried by a jury of his peers, who just so happen to all be married women around Francine's age, all of whom are giving him dirty looks.
  • In an episode of Animaniacs, Slappy is put on trial for "assault with intent to squash" on her nemesis Walter Wolf (basically, hanging him from a tree and hitting him with a big rock). Given that the judge and jury are all wolves, Skippy is understandably afraid that Slappy is gonna get railroaded (the Visual Gag does not help). Slappy tells Skippy not to worry, as she's got "a dynamite case". That is to say, she's wired the jury box with explosives, so she gets off even though her own testimony not only copped to the charge, but also blowing him up afterwards. The only dishonest part about the trial was that Walter had in fact started it.
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  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force somehow manages this with a guilty defendant in "Revenge of the Trees", where Carl and Shake are caught dumping oil in a forest full of sentient trees, who put Shake on trial. During the trial, the trees tear strips of skin off of Carl's back to use for the court transcript, Shake's court-appointed lawyer immediately declares him guilty, and when Frylock produces a book of tree laws that prove Shake's technical innocence, the judge demands that Frylock be seized because the book is made of paper, leading to Frylock just using his Eye Beams to burn down the entire forest.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: "Avatar Day" features Chin Village which has a terrible legal system. The "trial" consists of the plaintiff and defendant giving their version of the events, without any evidence, witnesses, legal counsel or representatives allowed. Then the plaintiff decides who's telling the truth and apparently gets the final say in the matter. Finally the punishment is decided by a gameshow-style "wheel of punishment" that has many brutal executions (and community service). The defendant, incidentally, is being tried for something done in a past life.
    Mayor Tong: That's why we call it justice — Because it's just us.
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  • The "Trial" episode of Batman: The Animated Series centers around this trope, with the inmates of Arkham putting Batman on trial. How "fair" do they intend it to be? They installed The Joker as the presiding Judge. Surprisingly, Batman's attorney gives a brilliant defense, and the jury (Composed of various members of Batman's Rogues Gallery) finds him innocent... at which point Joker decides to give him the chair anyway.
  • Captain Simian and the Space Monkeys had an episode of this where a minor villain trapped the crew on a Kangaroo Court planet.
    Apax: Oh goody! More contempt! Another two.... no, no, no, make that four years! Two for each of your charming personalities.
  • Captain Pugwash: "Gentlemen of the jury, you have heard the case against this notorious pirate, this vile criminal whose very existence is a threat to the safety of respectable, law-abiding citizens such as yourselves. How say you then: is the prisoner guilty, or by some improbable chance not guilty?"
  • Defenders of the Earth has an episode where the Defenders are put on trial by an alien race which claims to detest violence. The evidence against the Defenders comes in the form of "news reports" which appear to show members of the team engaging in acts of violence and terrorism. But Rick, LJ and Jedda manage to escape and discover that the whole thing is a plot by Ming, who is using android duplicates to frame the Defenders.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: In Ed's nightmare at the beginning of "Rock-a-Bye Ed", he's put on trial for shirking his responsibility as an older brother to Sarah with Jonny (as Ed's mom) as the judge. When Jonny tells Ed to make a statement Ed can't say anything because his mouth has been erased, and the jury of Sarahs declares him guilty.
  • In El Tigre as part of a gag regular villain El Oso falls into a court room through the roof, and the first person to speak is the judge, who immediately says guilty. El Oso then says "Well, at least I got a fair trial, man."
  • In Ernest et Célestine, when Ernest and Celestine are finally arrested, they are whisked away to be respectively tried by judges of the opposite races. Their defense counsel is inept at best, the judges are entirely unsympathetic, and they are offered pretty much no chance to defend themselves.
  • The Fairly OddParents:
    • In the episode "Something Fishy", Cosmo is pronounced guilty of sinking Atlantis after Timmy utters a single word in his defense. Of course, Cosmo did sink Atlantis (nine times, by his own admission), but still...
    • In "Escape from Unwish Island", Imaginary Gary gives Timmy a very brief trial, with the word "Guilty!" repeatedly uttered in between sentences. Gary outright stated that the trial was rigged.
  • Futurama:
    • In "Fear of a Bot Planet" the crew finds itself on trial on a distant planet of xenophobic robots where just being non-robotic is a crime. The prosecution opens by declaring they will show with certainty that the defendants (Fry and Leela) are human, glances at them, and declares he rests his case.
    • Zapp Brannigan's could likely have made a case for a biased jury in "Brannigan, Begin Again", seeing as all of them had been injured when he destroyed the space station. (It took them less than a minute of deliberation to deliver a guilty verdict. Of course, he obviously was guilty.)
  • Garfield and Friends: Two mice stole a slice of pie from Garfield and framed Odie, who demanded a trial. Garfield then said Odie would get a fair trial where he'd be convicted. During the trial, Garfield called Nermal to testify despite Nermal having nothing to do with the episode until then and asked questions that had nothing to do with the case. Garfield later asked his teddy bear to say anything if Odie wasn't guilty. Fortunately Nermal found the culprits.
  • The Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law episode "Deadomutt Part 2" has the title character as the defendant in said trial. When the man whose dog he's accused of killing is his defense attorney, it was never going to be a fair trial. It didn't help that the judge overruled the jury's 'not guilty' verdict simply because he had predicted a guilty verdict and he can't be wrong because he's Mentok the Mindtaker (ooo-eee-ooo). An appeal might have given Harvey a fairer trial, but it was denied. Then he found out everything - the 'murder', the trial, the five years he spent in prison - was all a practical joke everyone played for his fortieth birthday. The only thing that actually happened? Harvey's prison marriage to Magilla Gorilla.
  • Given the setting, it's inevitable that this trope come up in Jimmy Two-Shoes. In fact, it happens twice in one episode, first for Cerbee and then for Jimmy and Beezy.
  • In Justice League, Green Lantern John Stewart is under trial on Ajuris 5. They claim to have "solved" the lawyers' problem — trials too long due to lawyers' doing their job, we mean. How? Lawyers share their clients' sentence, so no one will defend a criminal any longer. What an advanced civilisation!
  • The King episode "Terrier of the Ocean" centres around a Kangaroo Court. Auntie gets a Spitesucker stuck to her face when she visits Bob’s Aqua Zoo, forcing Captain Darling to make a deal with Cousin Tess to get it off. Unfortunately once she was freed, Auntie couldn't remember being sucked and was forced to try Darling and Tess for treason.
  • The dream sequences of Little Lulu's Musical Lulu and its fish-themed semi-remake with Little Audrey both involve textbook Kangaroo Courts, with the girls being tried by a courtroom of musical instruments and fish, respectively, and are both pronounced guilty after several unfair testimonies and a very brief deliberation from the jury. Granted, Audrey didn't help her case by being so damn rude about it.
  • The Looney Tunes Show: In "SuperRabbit", the tribunal sitting in judgement on Zod, Faora and Thumpinator pronounce them guilty before Jor-El has finished his opening statement. Jor-El, who is prosecuting, expresses his exasperation that they keep doing this.
  • In the MAD parody "Law and Ogre", Shrek considered Grumpy Bear as the suspect. At his trial, Fiona is the prosecutor, Puss in Boots was the judge, and the jury are football players who tackle him. The one who really did it was Yogi Bear.
  • A rare case of the Kangaroo Court in the protagonists' favor in Metalocalypse: when a few fans sued Dethklok because listening to the Dethwater album caused them to nearly drown because they tried to 'go into the water', Dethklok spent the entire trial roasting the defendants, causing the attendees to laugh, and the judge is later seen playing golf with Dethklok. It also turns out the defendants had no case in the first place anyway: the album clearly stated 'intended for fish only'.
  • In "Kid Court" on PB&J Otter, Peanut, Butter and Jelly Otter appointed Pinch as judge to decide which of them should get to watch their TV show. The proceedings consisted of Munchy claiming guilt despite not being on trial, Peanut attempting to win by bribing Flick to convince Judge Pinch to choose him via the fictitious "Peanut's Law," and Baby Butter repeatedly shouting out the name of her show, Baby Lovey. Judge Pinch rules that Peanut, Butter and Jelly must go to jail because she's tired of listening to their arguing. "Pinch has decided that you must go to jail. ... I can't stand all this arguing! It hurts my ears! So I'm putting you in jail until you can solve your problems by yourselves." "She's starting to sound like Mommy and Daddy."
  • In the Classic Disney Short Pluto's Judgement Day, Pluto dreams that he is being put on trial for crimes against feline kind. The jurors, judge and prosecutor (all cats) make no bones about what the verdict will be, and when the jury convenes for deliberations, they simply go through a revolving door.
  • In the Ready Jet Go! episode "Fact or Fiction?", the kids set up a court in order to determine whether clouds are made of water or cotton candy. Sean says that clouds are made of water, while Lillian says that clouds are made of cotton candy. The judge, Jet, is clearly biased seeing as he believed that clouds were made of cotton candy, so he rules in favor of Lillian, much to Sean's annoyance.
  • In the episode of The Real Ghostbusters "Jailbusters", the four heroes were captured and brought to Ghostworld where they were put on trial for crimes against ghostkind; the trial was clearly a joke. The prosecutor asked them at one point where they were on April 17, 1840 and when they gave the obvious answer (that they weren't even born yet), he dismissed it as an excuse. The jury clearly wasn't paying attention, and most fell asleep during the trial (clearly having made up their mind beforehand) and the judge was not only biased, he was also completely incompetent; he fell asleep too, and while sentencing the Ghostbusters, he accidentally said "I now pronounce you man and wife" and then "I officially declare this bridge open" before getting it right on the third try.
  • In the Season 3 premiere of Rick and Morty, Morty and Summer are brought to a trial at the Council of Ricks for using their Rick's portal gun, radicalizing their universe's Summer, and trying to free their Rick, who was conspiring to take down the Council.
    Morty: How is this a fair trial? Our lawyer is a Morty.
    Council Rick: It's not fair, you have no rights, and he's not a real lawyer. We just keep him around because he's fun.
  • Rocko's Modern Life: Rocko (ironically a wallaby) faces a particularly lopsided case in "Fly Burgers" after being sued by Flecko for hitting him with a spatula. The judge not only refuses to listen to him, but the (all-insect) jury sentences him to become a fly for 30 days.
  • Rugrats had one in "Pickles vs. Pickles", in which Angelica sues her parents for forcing her to eat broccoli, and the court was completely and utterly on Angelica's side. As Drew pointed out "This isn't a courtroom! It's a 3-ring CIRCUS!" Luckily for Drew, it was All Just a Dream. This is how ridiculous it is - Angelica calls her doll, Cynthia, as a witness and the judge allows it.
    • Another sort of trial happens in "Tricycle Thief." When Susie's tricycle goes missing, Angelica is pre-emptively accused of stealing it. An impromptu trial is held with Angelica's doll tied to a mylar balloon, its imminent release as the sentence once Angelica is found guilty in spite of her alibi.
  • In the Clear My Name episode of Sheep in the Big City, Sheep is assured that he'll "be found guilty in a completely fair trial." The judge declares him guilty after his opening statement. In song and dance, no less.
  • In one episode of The Smurfs, Brainy was put in charge of looking after Baby, and then let him wander off, then he blamed Clumsy for doing it. After Papa Smurf tells him that no-one should be blamed, and then leaves to visit Homnibus, Brainy has other ideas, as if framing Clumsy wasn't bad enough, he puts Clumsy on trial, which is completely rigged. He has Greedy act as the judge, and bribes him with pastry so that he'd agree with every motion he made. In a subversion of the trope, Brainy is caught in the act of a bribe and his scheme is uncovered when an understandably angry Papa Smurf comes back. (Probably the worst part of this is, Brainy was so concerned about covering up what he did, that he didn't notice that Baby - who again, he was supposed to look after - wandered off again, and ironically, Clumsy had to rescue him this time.)
  • The Sonic Boom episode "Don't Judge Me" has Eggman faking an injury from a battle with Sonic and using it as a pretense to take him to court. While Sonic thinks the whole trial is a sham (going so far as to hire Knuckles as his lawyer and calling Tails and Sticks as character witnesses). It didn't help that the judge presiding over the case was a creation of Eggman's. The case goes so poorly that it appears he is about to be falsely convicted. He is only saved by dint of Amy showing up at the last moment and slamming her hammer into the ground, jostling Eggman's neck enough to reveal that he'd been faking his injury and subsequently throwing the whole case out.
  • One two-parter in Spider-Man: The Animated Series revolved around Peter Parker being framed for treason and selling national secrets to enemy countries by the Kingpin and his son. The investigation and trial were a joke, with the federal agent in charge of the investigation being in the Kingpin’s pocket and deliberately ignoring evidence that contradicts this, and, in spite of his lawyer Matt Murdock being one of the best attorneys around, the judge was either corrupt or a Hanging Judge biased against Peter who ignored the defense.
  • In the Star vs. the Forces of Evil episode "Butterfly Trap", while some of Eclipsa's answers during her trial don't help her case, it's clear that the Magical High Commission is going to find her guilty no matter what and mark down everything she says as "evil" — even when it's to assert that she doesn't eat babies. However, the whole trial is actually a ruse by Star, Eclipsa, and Queen Moon to get the Commission to admit to their crimes; specifically, what they did to Eclipsa's daughter.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
    • In "Carnage of Krell", Pong Krell initially intends to do this to Fives and Jesse, stating that they will be court-martialed, found guilty, and executed. After Rex protests, Krell changes his mind— because organizing a court-martial would waste time. He then orders Rex to assemble a firing squad and execute them without trial.
    • In the season 5 finale Ahsoka had been framed for sedition, terrorism and murder. After she's been captured, the Jedi Council has brought the verdict of Ahsoka being guilty of the crimes she's been accused of in advance, without even giving her an audience first. Even when they did, they constantly interrupted and further confused her with cross-questions. Anakin even lampshaded that the trial was nothing but an empty formality.
    • The military tribunal was just as bad. Tarkin, the prosecutor, presented indirect evidence and presumptions he made based upon them as if they were unshakable proofs. When Padmé brought attention to a large lapse of logic in them, he simply steered the conversation away to another accusation that was completely irrelevant to the point that had been discussed up until then! Finally Palpatine, the presiding judge, gets to make an argument against the defense before the jury has rendered a verdict.
  • Played with in the Steven Universe episode "The Trial", when Steven is taken to Homeworld to answer for Rose Quartz's assassination of Pink Diamond. It soon becomes clear that Yellow Diamond would much rather have him executed and be done with it, but Blue Diamond pushed for the trial so they can have an actual testimony about how Pink's death happened, in order to find closure. The trial quickly goes Off the Rails when Steven's Zircon defense lawyer realizes a significant hole in the "official" story after Steven tries to explain that he isn't exactly Rose and thus can't recall what actually happened, prompting her to make the accusation that only another Diamond could have possibly committed the deed... immediately leading to an enraged Yellow trying to zap everyone in the room.
  • An episode of Challenge of the Super Friends was titled "Trial of the Super Friends." Four members of the Justice League get captured by the Legion of Doom, and are put on trial. You can probably guess what happens.
  • This was Zig-Zagged with Mr. Mxyzptlk's trial in his second appearance in Superman: The Animated Series, where he was charged with "meddling with an underevolved species", violating interdimensional travel laws, and breaking his word (which is considered a very serious crime in his dimension, apparently). The trial consisted simply of the three judges reading the accusations, scolding him, and finding him guilty (and when his wife Gsptlsnz tried to defend him by arguing "extenuating circumstances", they responded by turning her into a tree - clearly they aren't fond of lawyers). Of course, Mxyzptlk was obviously guilty of these charges, and the sentence he received could be viewed as lenient, considering all the trouble he caused. (Superman compared it to "three months of community service", although it Mxy probably didn't like it very much.)
  • In TaleSpin, this is apparently the preferred "justice" system of the warthog-run Soviet Union expy Thembria. As Colonel Spigot explains to Rebecca Cunningham at one point (when she's just been arrested), the system is very simple and efficient: "First you will be given a fair trial. Then you will be shot."
  • In the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Gang Busters", Buster and Plucky are put on trial for a crime Montana Max framed them for. The jury is made up of clones of Yosemite Sam.
  • Transformers:
    • The Quintessons are fond of simply declaring everybody who they try as "innocent", then dropping them into pits full of Sharkticons anyway. Each Quintesson is both judge and jury, although they have an excuse in this regard, because they're robotic squids that have five faces that flip around. They do permit Hot Rod and Kup to plead for their lives, although the Quintesson admits "It sometimes helps... but not often." (They were saved by the Dinobots and Wheelie anyway.) They were truly vile creatures; in one episode of the ongoing series, the Autobots tried to grab one of them and hold him hostage, only for the others to sentence him to death too and dump them all into the Sharktikon pit.
    • Later in season 3 the Autobots do this to Sky Lynx and the Dinobots, after several world monuments were stolen by the Decepticon base/dinosaur warrior Trypticon. They were suspected for the sole reason that "dinosaur electrons" were found at the scenes of the crimes (raising the question of why Sky Lynx was suspected, since he's a dragon-lynx beast). They couldn't do much to defend themselves from the accusations, since the court was presided over by the Autobot's own base/giant warrior Metroplex. (Metroplex and Trypticon utterly despise each other, and this tended to give Metroplex a bias against anything that even resembled a dinosaur.)
    • The second season two-parter "Megatron's Master Plan" is rather infamous for this. The Autobots are evicted from Earth by the humans based on a 30-second clip purporting to show them stealing energy (it was really Starscream and a bunch of other Decepticons in disguise). No one thinks to carefully look over every second of the footage, and instead convict on very flimsy evidence. This, though, later bites the humans in the ass when the Decepticons, who had been portraying themselves as the true good guys, turn on them and enslave the entire planet.
    • In Beast Wars, Quickstrike is given a "trial" for treason after he tried to kill Megatron while taking part in one of Tarantulas' schemes. Megatron is the judge (complete with powdered wig), Waspinator is the defense, and Rampage and Dinobot II are the jury. After Waspinator's "brilliant" summation, Megatron asks for the verdict. Rampage and Dinobot II immediately point their weapons at Quickstrike.
  • In the Tripping the Rift episode "The Sidewalk Soiler", Chode is put on trial for littering (the penalty for guilty litterbugs being death). Though the judge belongs to the planet's native species, each member of the jury is an actual kangaroo.
  • Xavier: Renegade Angel has a use of this that's about as weird as anything else in the show. Xavier is given a gun to protect the mayor of a town, only for the person who gave him the gun to shoot the mayor and say Xavier did it. He goes to court, where he's actually on trial for being on trial, and that by claiming that he's innocent, it proves that he is on trial. Xavier's then sentenced to three glimpses into his own soul, which is immediately extended to seven when he scoffs at how easy it is.
  • The High Tribunal of Rimbor which tries the Justice League in season 2 of Young Justice. The citizens of Rimbor cannot understand why the League just does not bribe the Tribunal, as this is how all trials are resolved on Rimbor.


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