Follow TV Tropes


Lampshade Hanging / Western Animation

Go To

Lampshades hung in western animated shows.

Series with their own pages:
  • A hilarious one from The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: in "The Junkman Cometh", as Jimmy, Sheen, and Carl are flying to the Moon, Sheen goes, "Hey Jimmy, there's a question I've always wanted to ask you. How come whenever we're in outer space we don't gotta wear helmets?" and Jimmy responds with "Good question, Sheen! And the answer is quite interesting you see..." and as he explains it, the camera shifts to Carl, singing a song and drowning out Jimmy's explanation. Happens again on the return trip with another question.
  • American Dad!: In the episode "Fantasy Baseball," Roger tries to create a soap opera-style drama. Francine comments that Klaus doesn't behave like a goldfish.
    Francine: These characters aren't believable. I mean, the fish? He talks? How? And apparently, he doesn't even have to be in water. Just like, touching it? That's not how fish work!
  • In American Dragon: Jake Long, in the final episode when Jake finally reveals to his father that he has the power to turn into a Dragon at will. The first his father asks is, "When you transform, where do your clothes go?" And no, we do not ever get an answer.
  • The Animaniacs character Slappy Squirrel kept doing that, as part of her "retired toon actor" personality.
    • "King Yakko"
      Dot: Do you think this plan will work?
      Yakko: It better - we don't have any more commercial breaks.
    • "Goodnight, Everybody!"
  • In an episode of Archer, the following dialog is spoken after Archer pulls out a grenade after a threesome:
    Lana: Where'd you get a grenade?
    Archer: Hangin' from the lampshade!
    Lana: Wait, what?
    • And in an earlier episode:
      Archer: God, I said the cap slips off the poison pen for no reason, didn't I?!
      Cyril: I know, I know, but I just assumed that if anything bad happened it—it would've been—
      Archer: No, do not say the Chekhov gun, Cyril! THAT, sir, is a facile argument!
      Wodehouse: Also woefully esoteric.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • In "The Southern Raiders"
      Katara: I need to borrow Appa.
      Aang: Why? Is it your turn to take a field trip with Zuko?
      Katara: Yes, it is.
      Aang: Oh...
    • In the series finale, Toph hangs her own lampshade on this by wanting to go with Zuko for her Character Development "field trip". And after trying to do so, but having Zuko out-angst her parent-wise, she mutters, "Worst. Field trip. Ever."
    • "The Ember Island Players", to the extent of lampshading the lampshade. When Katara asks if it's really wise to go see a play about themselves, Sokka responds, "Come on, a day at the theater? This is the kind of wacky, time-wasting nonsense I've been missing!"
    • The main characters get invited to a party for the Earth King's bear, and are surprised that it is just a bear and not a bear crossed with another animal.
    • At one point, Sokka uses Hammerspace to pull a water pipe out of nowhere. As he proceeds to blow a few bubbles with it, Katara calls attention to the absurdity of it all.
      Katara: "Where'd you get that?"
    • Toph eventually gets fed up with one of the series' best Running Gags ("It sounds like a piece of paper. I mean, seriously, what's with you people?! I'm BLIND!") They write an apology letter from Toph to Katara, forgetting that Toph can't write. Aang proposes they do it the other way around, with Sokka snarking "I think we're gonna run into a similar problem."
  • After Marty McFly keeps running into various ancestors of Biff Tannen (traveling not only through time but space as well!) in Back to the Future The Animated Series, he exclaims: "Is there a Tannen in every century?"
  • The Backyardigans does this more or less every episode:
    Backyardigan (often Pablo): Oh look! A(n) x!
    Tyrone: Well that's certainly convenient.
  • In the 1968 Filmation The Adventures of Batman series, in the episode called "Will the Real Robin Please Stand Up", a double of Dick Grayson helps Catwoman escape. This prompts the following exchange:
    Robin: Why would Catwoman want a kid working with her?
    Batman: Maybe she's asked the same question about me?
    Robin: Stammers with embarassment
  • In the episode of The Batman called "Q&A", the villain is re-enacting a game show at which he lost years before, with the people who were hosting the game being forced to play it, with death the penalty for losing. Right after he tells them the rules of the game, he says, "At this point in the show we would usually break for a word from our sponsor... don't you wish." Cut to real-life commercial.
  • In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, as Batman's telling Robin about the villain of the week's plans, they pass a building prominently labeled "Exposition Hall".
  • Once on Beavis and Butt-Head, Beavis asked Butthead to change the channel on a video they particularly disliked. Butthead responded, "Why bother? All we seem to get on this TV is bad videos."
  • Ben 10: Alien Force: One episode has Ben and Kevin watching a Contested Sequel to Sumo Slammers where the main character of the franchise teams up with one of his most prominent enemies from the first show called Sumo Slammers: Hero Generation. In case the parallel wasn't obvious enough, the working subtitle for Alien Force was Hero Generation. Kevin's reaction is similar to the audience's.
  • Nanny Plum from Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom uses this a lot.
    "Typical! You wait ages for a magic bus, then three come at once!"
  • Bob's Burgers:
    • In "The Deepening", Bob desperately tries to grab a straw dispenser that's just out of reach so he can throw it at the rampaging mechanical shark, and shouts "I am literally grasping at straws!"
    • In "Glued, Where's My Bob?", Bob's breakdown near the end has him admit that getting glued to the toilet seat and becoming the center of a minor media circus is just the latest in a long string of ridiculous things that have happened to him working at his restaurant.
    • In the Fever Dream Episode "Flu-Ouise", Louise lampshades the heavy-handed imagery in her Opinion-Changing Dream, with living versions of her stuffed animals trying to convince her to forgive her family for accidentally destroying her favorite toy and not just wall herself up in an emotional fortress.
  • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command does this on occasion.
    Buzz: Of course, I should have known... the butler always did it.
  • The Cleveland Show:
    • Season finale. Peter Griffin and Glenn Quagmire are attending the wedding that was the centerpiece for the episode.
      Quagmire: Well, they made it through the whole season. Now can I have my own show, Peter?
      Peter: Quagmire, you're a rapist. (Quagmire grumbles)
    • Cleveland's son starts playing guitar and singing a song in Spanish to his Mexican girlfriend, Cecilia, while Cleveland watches and jealously criticizes the situation under his breath:
      Cleveland: Okay, he is not NOT fluent in Spanish.
      (Junior keeps singing)
      Cleveland: And he's NEVER played guitar. NEVER.
      (Junior keeps singing)
      Cleveland: (through gritted teeth) It is UNREALISTIC for him to suddenly gain these abilities!
  • Danny Phantom:
    • Hanging the lampshade at how things were getting predictable ("...and we all go home having learned a valuable lesson about honesty or some such nonsense.")
    • Dark Danny pointing out how obvious his Paper-Thin Disguise was. Also in the same one where Clockwork points out Dark Danny (in disguise as his younger, non-evil self) and says something like, "See? He's back to his proper time and apparently not evil." David Carradine, you rock.
    • At the end of "Reign Storm", Danny doesn't feel satisfied, given that a lot of things weren't adequately resolved, and this concerns him. Sam only shuts him up by saying he saved the day, and he should relax for now.
  • In an episode of Darkwing Duck titled "Twin Beaks", alien plants are creating clone duplicates of everyone, exactly as in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, only sillier.
    Gosalyn: That plot doesn't sound so cliché when it's happening to you!
  • Dave the Barbarian features this frequently. An example:
    The Narrator: Suddenly, Ned's zipper is hit by a meteor, bitten by radioactive bugs, bombarded with unknown nuclear energies and struck with the power of the Norse Gods!
    Ned: Wow. That almost never happens.
  • Drawn Together is full of these types of jokes, frequently insulting the show itself for comedic effect. An example is in the episode "Little Orphan Hero", where Spanky, Princess Clara, Foxy, Toot, and Ling Ling try to help a suicidal quadriplegic end his miserable life. When said man reveals himself to be an undercover cop intending to arrest them for attempting to 'murder' him and that the entire area is surrounded by similar quadriplegic cops (importantly for the joke, all with horrible pun names, like Bob, who's waiting in the water) intending to arrest them, Spanky sighs and says, "This is so stupid, it's like some retarded 3rd grader wrote this."
  • In the 1953 Droopy cartoon "The Three Little Pups", Droopy and his brothers are watching a TV western when the Big Bad Dogcatcher/Wolf attempts to suck them out of their house with an overly large straw but winds up inhaling and swallowing the television instead. In the next scene, the three are once again watching their program when Droopy turns to the audience and says, "Now don't ask us how we got the television set back."
  • In the Duck Dodgers Green Lantern episode, while Dodgers expresses his delight that the ring gives him the power of flight, a bunch of regular black ducks fly behind him.
  • DuckTales (1987) did this all the time, even in the Five-Episode Pilot. For example, Scrooge jumps into a pile of coins and starts swimming through it like usual, and his nephews try to do the same but just land on top of the pile, then wonder how he does it. In the very first episode, Scrooge tells his nephews to "Give him four".
  • In "The Beagle Birthday Massacre" of DuckTales (2017):
    Webby Lena, this is Huey, Dewey, and Louie.
    Lena: Cute, with the names, and the color-coded outfits. Is that like your thing? You're all exactly the same?
    Huey, Dewey, & Louie: [in unison] Hah! No way! We're all unique snowflakes! [surprised] Well this usually never happens! This is really weird! Okay, stop talking! Antidisestablishmentarianism! Seriously?! Gah!
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy did this a few times, with Edd making a remark about Ed's "badly drawn fingers", and later with Eddy shouting, "Who writes his material?"
  • The Fairly OddParents! occasionally uses this trope.
    • In "A Mile in My Shoes", Cosmo and Wanda (while in goldfish form, inside their bowl) are preparing for a romantic dinner, and Cosmo attempts to light the candles on the dinner table by rubbing two magic wands together. Timmy walks into the room and asks the couple, "What's new?" just as Cosmo succeeds in lighting the candle. Wanda glances at the flame skeptically, then answers, "Um, the laws of physics?" To be fair, he was using magic wands.
    • A later feat is to lampshade the frequent use of the Idiot Ball.
      Wanda: Don't do something stupid. *poof away*
      Timmy: Why would she say that? *looks at Cosmo*
      Cosmo: I don't know. Let's do something stupid.
      Timmy: Ok!
    • When Timmy meets Vicky for the first time.
      Timmy: Did anyone else notice the lightning?
  • This happens many times in Family Guy:
    • In "The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire", Peter shouts "To the Peter-copter!" and later "To the Hinden-Peter!" Both end badly.
      Joe: How can you afford these things?!
    • In "Believe It or Not, Joe's Walking on Air". Peter points out that his doctor's voice sounds an awful lot like his father-in-law's (the two characters share a voice actor). Mr. Pewterschmidt then enters the room from nowhere and proceeds to talk to Dr. Hartman, commenting on how they do have very similar voices, and how no one has ever noticed since they have not had any previous extended interaction.
    • In "A Fish Out of Water", after Peter shoots the talking fish Daggermouth, revealing that it's a robot, the fisherman Salty hops out from behind some stalagmites and explains his devious plot, spreading the Daggermouth legend and then getting rich off the merchandising, ending with:
      Salty: And now I'm going to give you $50,000 to be on your way.
      Peter: But why?
      Salty: To keep your mouth shut! And because the longer we stay here, the more people are gonna question how a fisherman, with no engineering background, managed to build a sophisticated talking fish-robot.
    • In "Road To Rupert", Brian and Stewie have this exchange:
      Brian: Besides, aren't you getting a little old for a teddy bear?
      Stewie: Brian, I'm 1!
      Brian: Still?
      Stewie: What?
    • In Season 6, Stewie brought up this point upon meeting Brian's son, "How can you have a 13 year old son when you yourself are only 7?" Brian immediately lampshades it with, "Well Stewie, if you don't like it, go on the Internet and complain."
    • In the episode where Brian and Stewie join the Army, they set up for a cutaway and never go to it. Stewie even asks if they have a scene for that, guesses not, and they just go on.
    • In fact, when Stewie and Brian are waiting outside Cleveland's ex-wife's front door, they have a whole conversation about who should do the talking; "Well I don't know, I thought only immediate family members could understand you", etc, until finally an 'off-camera' voice shouts "Guys! We're still rolling!"
    • Done several times with Peter's chin. In "Ready, Willing, and Disabled", Peter is rubbing his chin in thought, he becomes surprised and promptly removes his chin and sticks it down his pants. Later in "PTV", the FCC wants to censor it due to it looking like a set of testicles.
    • In "Go, Stewie, Go", Stewie reveals he was pretending to be female through transvestism (to get a female only part) during a live scene of Jolly Farm.
      Brian: (after the scene) Hey, why were they shooting that scene live?
      Stewie: Convenience.
      Brian: Yeah, but why'd they—
      Stewie: (interrupting) Let's not start pulling threads on this one...
    • From "Spies Reminiscent of Us":
      Dan Aykroyd: Are there any local residents whom you've seen acting strangely?
      Stewie: Well, there's a pedophile up the street that nobody seems to be doing anything about, but it's mainly because he's so funny.
    • Peter is watching the news and a story comes on that gives him an idea to solve the problem-of-the-week. Then the news presenter says: "Coming up in the next half-hour: our in-depth look at conveniently placed news reports in television shows. But first, Peter - watch out for that skateboard." Peter then stands up and slips on a skateboard that had no reason to be there and wasn't there earlier.
    • "The Splendid Source":
      Peter: Cleveland? Who knew we would run into you here except everyone cause Fox ruined it in the promos.
    • The immigrant character named Fouad whose whole role is to hang lampshades about the jokes that were just done.
      Co-worker: Can I buy a cup of coffee?
      Fouad: Ohoho! Yes! Is funny because is free! Anyone can have!
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, "Foster's Goes to Europe": The show addresses why Mac should be going to Europe with his imaginary friends instead of his family. Coco gives the explanation, which makes it unintelligible. Wilt responds with, "Oh yeah, what a funny story."
  • Futurama almost takes pride in doing this:
    • In "The Deep South", Zoidberg's house burns to the ground... underwater. Zoidberg wails "How could this have happened?" and Hermes notes, "That's a very good question." Implicitly claiming responsibility, Bender picks his still-lit cigar out of the ruins and puffs on it, eliciting a cry of, "That just raises further questions!"
    • In "Why I Must Be a Crustacean In Love", Leela and Amy harp on Fry and Bender for being lazy, Leela making a point of Fry's beer belly. Amy points out that Bender's "belly" is bloated and his door won't close. She pauses, then adds, "...and that doesn't even make sense."
    • The Professor offers a long, elaborate, technically dubious, and absurd explanation for the appearance of "robot ghosts" in a castle, to which Hermes responds: "Of course! It was SO obvious!"
      "Yes, that sequence of words I said made perfect sense."
    • In Season 1's "Hell is other Robots", the Robot Devil explains the conditions of a "Devil went down to Georgia"-like fiddle contest for Bender's soul.
      Robot Devil: ...also you'll win a solid gold fiddle.
      Fry: Wouldn't a solid gold fiddle weigh hundreds of pounds and sound crummy?
      Robot Devil: Well, it's mostly for show.
    • In "Godfellas", after Bender is lost in space and hurled back to Earth by a god-like entity, he lands, unharmed, directly in front of Fry and Leela, who have been looking for him in the Himalayas. After Bender stands up, Leela announces that it is "by a wide margin the least likely thing that has EVER happened". (In the DVD commentary, the crew makes explicit reference to this being a lampshade hanging. "...And that's how we wrote our way out of THAT.")
    • In fact, there's a Lampshade Hanging in the very 1st episode: when both of Bender's arms fall off and he somehow puts them both back on, Fry simply comments, "I don't know how you did that." Very subtly hand waived in a later episode, when it is revealed that Bender's arms are capable of movement completely independent of the rest of his body, and seem to possess some measure of artificial intelligence.
    • After Bender is kidnapped and asks Fry and Leela for help, Leela is indecisive, saying she wishes they had two or three minutes to think about what to do. Cue commercial break.
    • Professor Farnsworth's cloned "son" remarks that faster than light travel is impossible to which Professor Farnsworth replies that scientists had previously increased the speed of light to circumvent that limitation. The clone's response was a nonchalant, "impossible." Originally, the clone character was intended to constantly lampshade the stranger aspects of the show, but the staff decided that would be annoying and dropped it.
    • After many episodes of mundane and unrelated quests that the crew have been pursuing and chasing throughout the seasons, Hermes remarks "Didn't we used to be a delivery company?" in Season 5.
  • Gargoyles:
    • David Xanatos needs some way to lure the magical Coyote to him. To do this, he puts Goliath, Angela, Elisa, and Bronx in a Death Trap to make the being intervene to save them. Xanatos and his robot lovingly describe the trap to the heroes and Xanatos cannot resist noting, "It's my first stab at clichéd villainy; how am I doing?"
    • Xanatos and Demona creates a new Gargoyle, by putting the remains of three back together, who were destroyed in stone form. When the Gargoyle mixup began to live again, Xanatos shouted with great joy: "IT'S ALIVE!" Followed by: "I Always Wanted to Say That."
  • Gravity Falls:
    • From "The Legend of the Gobblewonker":
      Dipper: What's the number-one problem with most monster hunts?
      Soos: You're a side character and you die in the first five minutes of the movie. Dude, am I a side character? Do you ever think about stuff like that?
    • At the beginning of "Carpet Diem", the twins accidentally break a window with a golf ball and hit Stan in the head. He then screams, "Aah, my head! It hit me right in the head!" When they do the same thing, but in the middle of the night...
      Stan: Aah, my head! Why am I out here at night?
  • Quite popular in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, usually accompanied by "this raises a lot of questions that we don't need to talk about," and "It's best not to think about it."
  • In Jackie Chan Adventures season 2 episode 9, Jade is shown to be a Big Eater, eating 5 hot dogs at a ballpark, and the game wasn't even FINISHED yet! Tohru lampshades this by saying he doesn't know where she puts it all which is saying something considering how much he eats.
  • Johnny Test loves hanging lampshades in regard to stories and their own recurring plotlines. In Johnny Boat Racers after being joined in racing a rowing crew by Mr. Black, Mr. White, his sisters, and Bling Bling Boy, Johnny lampshades the fact that they get joined by at least two more, one of them a talking cat. Moments later Mr. Mittens and Steve McCool. Also, Bling Bling Boy lampshades the fact that he'll never get Susan to kiss him by winning the race, but likes being a part of them anyway because they're always fun.
  • Justice League uses this trope all the time.
    • Wonder Woman blocks a lightning bolt from Weather Wizard with her reflective (metal) wristbands. The Flash is quick to point out: "There are so many reasons why that shouldn't have worked."
      • Immediately afterward, she uses a wristband to reflect a lightning bolt back at Weather Wizard, knocking him over. It's a good thing the lampshade was already hanging.
    • Right before crashing his jet ski into a group of charging soldiers, Aquaman manages to leap off of it and onto the back of a killer whale which coincidentally popped up out of the water at the same moment.
    Green Lantern: I saw it but I still don't believe it.
  • KaBlam! does this a lot with its stars, Henry and June. This includes explaining the "anvil accordion squash", "the bongo run", "cartoons not feeling pain (except Henry)", and so many others that we lost count.
  • Kim Possible constantly lampshades itself during most of its run. In fact it loves this trope so much, you'd almost think it married the trope.
    Ron: Wait a minute?! I wasn't even helping! How did this happen?!
    • Shego, from Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama: "You know, one day, we reeeeally need to take that hair dryer from her."
    • Kim gets her own in "A Sitch in Time" when she corners the villains, but they boast they have a advantage against her, being she's outnumbered (as Drakken sneaks up from behind her). Drakken has his own Lampshade to this too.
      Kim: Oh, and I'm supposed to be surprised that Drakken's behind me?
      Drakken: How does she do that??
    • Another lampshade from the same movie, Kim shows up to stop the villains and...
    Drakken: Kim Possible?!
    Killigan: Why do you always act so surprised?
    Drakken: I don't know.
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: Throughout the first season, usually when Kipo messes something up, Wolf berates her by quoting the Rules of the Surface and prefacing them with increasingly high numbers. In "Beyond the Valley of the Dogs", in reaction to Wolf's latest rule, Kipo asks if the numbers she sticks to them are actually in sequence or if she just selects them randomly.
    'Kipo: Are we up to sixty-eight, or are you just picking numbers at random?
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series, episode "Poxy": Jumba brings the heavily modified dune buggy into his and Pleakley's room to prepare for Lilo and Stitch's journey inside of Pleakley to retrieve the experiment making him sick. While Jumba is explaining the plan, Lilo asks, "Hey, how'd you get the buggy in here?" Jumba responds, "Oh, simple... um, is not important."
  • In a Looney Tunes short, Bugs Bunny, while falling towards water after being blasted into the sky by a non-fatal explosion, says "I hope that's Soft Water down there".
  • The Loud House:
    • In the episode Inst-gran, Lincoln points out the continuity error of Lynn appearing in a ninja costume whereas in a previous scene she was wearing her regular clothes. Her response to Lincoln is, ”what happened to your bowl cut” referencing the fact that in a earlier scene, Lincoln had a bowl cut in a previous scene which had disappeared. See also [1], [2], [3].
  • Masters of the Universe: Revelation
    • The Sorceress and Evil-Lyn explains that the two halves that made up the Sword of Power can be found in Preternia and Subternia (the Land of the Dead). Immediately after, Andra says it sounds like Heaven and Hell.
    • After Evil-Lyn makes some mean remarks, Andra snidely remarks to Teela that she's not sure what she expected from someone with a name like "Evil-Lyn".
    • The third episode opens with Teela recalling to Andra a time she and He-Man fought Skeletor in the Crystal Sea, which ended with He-Man making a quip that Skeletor "is all wet". Andra thinks it's a lame one-liner, and Teela agrees but notes that after learning he was actually a teenager, it made more sense.
  • Megas XLR loves doing this through the use of signs, particularly with buildings about to be destroyed.
    • Several include "Conveniently Empty Building," "This Building is Scheduled for Demolition Anyway," and "Explosions and Shrapnel Factory".
    • Coop's megaweapon button, which always reads something along the lines of: "Super Destructor Mode" or "Being Hit With A Giant Taser? Press Here". In one case the lampshade hanging is enormous: the same thing happens, and then a bit later during the same fight, Coop presses the button again, it reads: "Exactly the same button Coop just used like five minutes ago", but for a different effect.
  • Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series had a scene where after two of the six main characters have been captured by the Villain of the Week and two more have been sucked through the TV into an alternate dimension, one of the remaining characters says, "If we keep losing teammates, this show's gonna be called The Mighty Duck". Nosedive also tends to cross the line into No Fourth Wall territory, as he's been shown to hear flashback music and have enough Genre Savviness to recognize a really friggin' Obvious Trap.
  • In the first episode of the adult animated series Mission Hill, Andy's sometime girlfriend Gwen comments on Andy's old plan for an animated TV series for adults: "Oh God, not another animated series." Double points given, in that Mission Hill was greenlit because the WB (later the CW) wanted their own animated show like many other channels at the time (South Park/Comedy Central, The Simpsons/Fox), but ignored what their demographic was.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In the second episode, Pinkie Pie starts to sing the first of her many songs. The other characters reactions?
      Pinkie: When I was a little filly and the sun was going dooooown...
      Twilight: Tell me she's not...
      Pinkie: The darkness and the shadows, they would always make me frooooown...
      Rarity: She is.
    • In the first season finale, Rarity objects to allowing Spike, a male character, in to the room while the female ponies were getting dressed, to which Applejack responded "Beg pardon, Rarity, but, uh, we don't normally wear clothes." (Sez the pony who normally wears a cowboy hat.)
    • In the episode "Baby Cakes", the Cakes (who are earth ponies) have twins who happen to be a pegasus and a unicorn. When Applejack wonders how this happened, Mr. Cake hastily explains that he has a unicorn ancestor and Mrs. Cake has a pegasus ancestor. He then nervously adds "That makes sense, right?" while glancing around as if he's either trying to convince himself his wife wasn't having an affair or begging the audience to accept it.
    • In the episode "It's About Time," While consulting Madame Pinkie in her tent, Twilight has a flower pot fall on her head. Pinkie immediately lampshades this by asking "Where did that even come from?"
    • In "Rarity Takes Manehattan", right before Rarity's song, Rainbow Dash, who's excited Rarity got everypony tickets to see Hinny of the Hills, quips that she's normally not into musicals: "Ponies just bursting into song in random places at the drop of a hat? Who does that?"
  • Peanuts: In the introduction of What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown is recounting the follow up to events from Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown where the kids and Snoopy go to France as exchange students. When Sally asks, "And your dog? How did he get to go along?" Charlie Brown replies, "Who knows, who knows how he does anything he does?" Snoopy's Walter Mitty complex is well-established, but most of the time it's taken to be his active and fanciful imagination. However, in What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown?, Snoopy's very human activities including driving a car and interacting with adults (when renting said car), which make those activities far less imaginary in the context of the story. No justification or explanation is given for Snoopy's imagination bleeding into reality, which does happen occasionally but rarely in a way noticeable by adults in the world, much less visible adults on screen. Charlie just brushes it aside.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar used this trope in the episode Otter Gone Wild when Marlene gets trapped in a cage that falls out of nowhere:
    King Julien: Uh, where did that cage come from?
    Kowalski: Sorry, that's classified information.
  • Arguably the reason why A Pup Named Scooby-Doo succeeded, despite being at the tail end of the initial wave of the Spinoff Babies craze—the show regularly hung lampshades on every single trope that the Scooby-Doo franchise was famous for.
  • Ready Jet Go!:
    • Bortronian pets are all Mix-and-Match Critters. Uncle Zucchini brings this up in "A Visit from Uncle Zucchini" by saying that Moonbeam looks like a dog-cat-bunny-kangaroo hybrid.
    • Bergs' coffee obsession gets lampshaded in "Comet Fever".
      Sean: You have enough coffee for an army.
      Bergs: An army of one, my friend. An army of one.
    • In the winter episodes "Holidays in Boxwood Terrace" and "Endless Summer", there's not much snow on the ground in Boxwood Terrace. In "Freebird", this is lampshaded when it is revealed that Boxwood Terrace doesn't get much snow, which explains the lack of snow.
  • Both of the titular duo of Rick and Morty do this frequently. Rick is a highly Genre Savvy Deadpan Snarker who has zero compunctions pointing out how dumb or obvious the villains' plans are, and Morty is often the first to point out things that don't make sense (such as when flashbacks/memories contain scenes that the person narrating them wasn't present for) and frequently name-drops various tropes (such as commenting to his father that "you've been handed an ex machina!"). It helps that both of them are Meta Guys in general.
  • In the Musical Episode of Rocko's Modern Life, Rocko wonders how everyone knows the Crowd Song. Heffer explains rehearsals were every Thursday.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle:
    Rocky: (recognizing Boris' voice) That voice. Where have I heard that voice before?
    Bullwinkle: In about 365 other episodes. But I don't know who it is either.
    • Or this one, which features Wassamatta U. playing football against a team of thugs dressed as women:
      Rocky: Aw, what kind of a game can you play with girls?
      Bullwinkle: Boy, this really is a kids' show, isn't it?
    • This classic recurring gag:
      Bullwinkle: Hey, Rocky, watch me Pull a Rabbit out of My Hat.
      Rocky: But that trick never works!
  • Samurai Jack, "Jack versus Aku":
    (Aku appears before Jack)
    Jack: Aku!
    Aku: (droll) Yes, it is I, Samurai Jack. (rolls eyes) How incredibly observant you are.
    (Jack draws sword and runs at Aku, screaming)
    Aku: Oh, put that thing away, Samurai. We all know what's gonna happen.
    (Jack comes to a stop and watches Aku warily, sword still drawn)
    Aku: You'll swing your sword, I'll fly away and probably say something like "I'll be back, Samurai!" And then I'll flutter off over the horizon and we won't see each other for about a week. And then we'll do the same thing all over again.
    Jack: (looks guilty, then gets mad) Your word play will not trick me, villain! (lunges at him)
    Aku: No, wait! (turns into a bird and flutters off into the sky) I'll be back again, Samurai, you'll see! (flies over the horizon, laughing)
    (Jack stares after Aku, then rubs chin in thought)
    Aku: (reappears before Jack) See what I mean?
  • The Simpsons uses this trope quite often, though sometimes in more subtle ways:
    • In the 1st Simpsons Clip show, Bart shakes a beer can in a paint shaker, which explodes (with a mushroom cloud) when Homer opens it, putting him in a coma. Grandpa explains that being in a coma, you relive past moments of your life, a lot like "one of those TV shows where they play clips from previous episodes." Here the authors acknowledge on their own behalf that a clip show is a lazy production with no new material. The episode is actually titled "So It's Come To This: A Simpsons Clip Show".
    • When Moe got plastic surgery and became a soap opera star, his face was crushed by a falling backdrop and reverted back to its original form. Moe began asking why that happened, stated it didn't make any sense, and the episode immediately ended.
    • Bart becomes a "Junior Camper" (a Boy Scout): Lisa, Bart and Homer are watching an episode of Itchy and Scratchy, Bart notes that the scene was unrealistic. Lisa defends the cartoon, reminding Bart that cartoons don't need to be 100% accurate all the time. Though Homer is watching with them in the living room, as Lisa speaks, an intentionally mis-edited Homer is seen clearly walking outdoors past the window. This is an acknowledgment of the many inconsistencies that crop up throughout the show's history, and how the authors don't intend to make the show consistent.
    • In "Homer Loves Flanders", Bart is starting to wonder if Homer's newfound friendship with Ned Flanders will really last.
      Lisa: Don't worry, Bart. It seems like every week something odd happens to the Simpsons. My advice is to ride it out, make the occasional smart-alec quip, and by next week we'll be back to where we started from, ready for another wacky adventure.
      Bart: Ay, caramba!!
      Lisa: That's the spirit.
      By the end, it seems like Ned and Homer will remain friends and Lisa's convinced that their wacky adventures will end. Cut to a scene taking place next week, Homer tells Ned Flanders to get lost. Bart and Lisa let out a sigh of relief.
    • Homer makes a comment about 'lousy Korean animation.' As he's saying it, his mouth disappears and reappears a few inches from his face, hanging in midair. There is a scene where Homer makes a comment about how bad at drawing Matt Groening is. A giant eraser appears and starts to rub him out. He yells that he 'takes it back' and then it is revealed that the eraser is just a sculpture being carried past. There is also an episode where a news report gives Homer an idea about how to solve a problem. He tells Lisa it's a good thing she turned the TV on at that moment. She says she didn't turn it on. They look back to the TV, which is now switched off, and say that neither of them turned it off either. Eerie music plays.
    • "Lemon of Troy" piles on the Shout Outs to Homer's epics of the Trojan War: the name of the show's patriarch being an obvious, but not prominent example. Springfield's and Shelbyville's kids—ultimately, joined by their parents—feud over a disputed lemon tree. The grown-ups sneak Flanders' motor home into Shelbyville's car-impound-lot fortress: by appearing to leave their vehicle abandoned in a hospital zone. As the tow truck drags them toward the forbidden destination, Homer Simpson exults, "No one in history has ever done anything this clever!"
    • A list of all of the Lampshade Hangings done — particularly in later seasons — could probably be a website in and of itself. The Simpsons Archive has a long list of "meta-references."
    • The Simpsons even manage to lampshade themselves on other shows. For example: on David Letterman's last show, this clip about both shows' longevity:
      Homer: (laughing hysterically) He broke the window! Again!
      Marge: Gosh Homie, Dave's been on for thirty-three years! Back then, Bart and Lisa were kids, and Maggie was still a baby! (zoom out to the kids) Huh.
  • Totally Spies! is based entirely on the premise of a middle-aged British bachelor running an espionage organization capable of global surveillance, hiring teenagers exclusively as field agents seemingly without paying them and monitoring them constantly even from birth. If that is too disturbing a premise for a kids' cartoon, there's Clover to remind you that, as much of a "stalkery" creep that Jerry should be viewed as, it's no big deal as long as she acknowledges that fact from time to time, then forgets about it.
    • In episode "Spy vs Spy", as the girls are tangled in a giant spiderweb, Alex says, "Well, this should be easy to get out of. Usually the bad guys leave us in a hopeless predicament." Touché, Alex, touché.
  • Happens several times in South Park:
    • In "Cartman's Mom is Still a Dirty Slut", a doctor mentions that a patient will be just fine as long as the power doesn't go out. Then it immediately does. He remarks "Who didn't see that coming from a mile away?"
    • In "Butt Out" the boys smoke, and Kyle says that they should just confess, otherwise the townsfolk would grab pitchforks and torches and riot. Kyle then goes on to say that they are following a very specific storyline formula.
    • In "Cancelled" the boys are negotiating with Joozian business executive aliens in a restaurant in space over the cancellation of Earth, which was revealed to be one big reality TV show for the rest of the universe. This was the 97th South Park episode.
      Joozian Executive: "Yeah, a show should never go past a hundred episodes, or else it starts to get stale with ridiculously stupid plotlines and settings."
      Joozian Waitress: "Here's your order of gespahtgaplachfenachenblah."
    • In both "Pandemic" and "Pandemic 2" Craig gets mad at the boys for dragging him into a bad situation. Craig says that normal kids don't get arrested by the government, sent to Peru to take out the government and then accidentally wind up in the land of the giants.
    • In "Cartmanland", Cartman gets sued when Kenny gets killed on one of the rides at his amusement part, and protests, "He dies all the time!"
    • Happens when Kenny berates Stan for crying over Kyle's imminent death, saying he dies all the time and no one cares. He is then promptly killed, and Stan doesn't seem to give a damn.
    • In the 1st Christmas episode, Kenny is alive at the end of the episode - the cast stands around silent and wonder aloud that something seems amiss. "THE END" appears, and Kenny jumps for joy.
    • Kenny is afraid of going into a wood shop class, despite the fact that "very few students are severely injured in shop class."
    • In the "Cartoon Wars" episodes the boys repeatedly take a break from making fun of Family Guy to say, "At least it's not all preachy and up its own ass with messages." Poking fun at the newer South Park episodes, which are just that. The lampshade managed to make the withering assessment of Family Guy elsewhere in the episode seem less mean spirited, which is sadly undercut by Matt and Trey's remarks about it in real life, often without the qualifier that they know their show is sometimes nowhere near as deep as they like to think, if it ever was.
    • In the same episode;
      Cartman: (on the topic of cartoons ridiculing religion) How would you feel, Kyle, if there was a cartoon on television that made fun of Jews all the time?
      Kyle: (pointing at audience) Uh...
    • In "Cartman's Incredible Gift", Mrs. Crabtree is killed. The police remark that she was not a popular character and wouldn't be missed by the fans, as she was not in any recent episodes.
    • Done by Sharon in "You're Getting Old". It is not played for laughs.
      Sharon: I'm unhappy too, we both are, obviously. How much longer can we keep doing this? It's like the same shit just happens over and over and then in a week it just resets until it happens again. Every week it's just the same story and it just keeps getting more and more ridiculous!
    • The "Imaginationland" trilogy featured Cartman and Kyle breaking into the Pentagon three times (using a different window to jump through each time), which is followed by the general asking "Why is it so easy for children to break into the Pentagon"?
    • Jared beats a dead horse.
    • Episode 222, A history channel thanksgiving: The key-device to solve main conflict (Natalie Portman) is conveniently present to conveniently lead and guide their Keanu Reeves (the Pilgrim), just when he happens to plummet into the earth. Binding the two together to conveniently wrap the plot.
      Random Scientist: "All over the country, people are reporting a shortage on stuffing...We don't think it's a coincidence."
      Head of the History channel: "You're telling me, that during a stuffing shortage this..Pilgrim drops down from space and got into a truck, driven by Natalie Portman!?"
      Another insignificant Scientist: "Look, if anyone knows something about stuffing, it's Natalie Portman!"
      Stan: "Kyle! What the hell's going on this time?!"
      Kyle: "I have no idea!"
    • The famous "They killed Kenny!" exchange was played with more than once during the show, before it fell into disuse after Kenny was Killed Off for Real. And then came back.
    • "Krazy Kripples" focused on Jimmy and Timmy for the A-story and Christopher Reeve and Gene Hackman for the B-story. Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny become Genre Savvy enough to just walk away from the craziness of both.
    • Kenny's many deaths are acknowledged by the character in "Mysterion Rises".
    • From "200":
    Tom Cruise: "By taking what Muhammad had, we would all be safe from ridicule. Like Tim Burton here. Imagine this, Tim: nobody could rip on you for all the rehashed movies you've made lately. There'd never be a TV show that pointed out you haven't had an original thought since Beetlejuice. And you put Johnny Depp and the same crappy music in every film. And if you're that in love with Johnny Depp you should just have sex with him already. A TV show could never say that!"
    • In "Cartman Joins NAMBLA" (episode #53), when the new baby Kenny shows up:
      Mr. McCormick: "God, this must be the 50th time this has happened."
      Mrs. McCormick: "Fifty-second."
    • In "It Hits the Fan" they mock the controversy that just because someone swears on television doesn't mean it harms society.
    • In "Fourth Grade", the boys gets a couple of Star Trek fans to build a time machine out of Timmy's wheelchair to enable them to travel back a year. After it malfunctions - and as Timmy is unable to get off the chair as it'll explode if he does - they send Kenny on a dolly underneath it in an attempt to disable it. He hits a manhole cover, which causes him to flip face first onto the road with the dolly landing on top of him before he is dragged up the street to his death. His body stops in front of the boys. Stan's reaction? "Well, who didn't see that coming?"
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series, from their take on The Clone Saga:
    • In another episode, when Robbie is framed as a criminal mastermind, the prosecutor mocks his story of being knocked out and waking up with a blaster in his hands. "This isn't some Saturday morning cartoon show!"
    • During the "Six Forgotten Warriors" arc, Kingpin reveals his intention to conquer the world to a captured Spider-Man, who doesn't take him very seriously. "Kingpin, now you're starting to sound like a Saturday morning cartoon villain."
  • In an episode of The Spectacular Spider-Man, Black Cat tries to persuade Spidey to join her in criminal pursuits, and when he's in his Black Costume at their next meeting, she immediately assumes that he's agreed to her proposal and made an Evil Costume Switch.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • "Suction Cup Symphony". SpongeBob annoys Squidward in Squidward's house. Randomly, Patrick just appears in the room. When Squidward asks why Patrick's there, he simply goes, "I'm funny"
    • Patrick and SpongeBob are sitting by a campfire:
      SpongeBob: At least it's warm by the fire.
      Patrick: Hey, if we're underwater, how can there be a — (fire promptly goes out) I'm scared.
    • In "Fools in April", Patrick is wearing SpongeBob's hat (Squidward only sees the hat and thinks it's him). When asked why he's wearing it (as there's no reason to other than to set up the scene), he simply says, "I don't know."
    • SpongeBob is trying to stop Patrick from doing some really nonsensical, dangerous things, and when asked why he's doing them, Patrick responds...
      Patrick: SpongeBob, you can't expect my normal garden-variety brand of stupidity. I like to mix it up, keep you on your toes.
    • When Patchy the Pirate sends a letter to SpongeBob inviting him to a party, the ink is smeared. SpongeBob comments "Whoever sent this letter is obviously unaware of the physical limitations of living underwater!", before throwing it into a fire.
    • Mr. Krabs once called SpongeBob a "loony loofah", possibly intended to lampshade the fact that SpongeBob's a kitchen sponge.
  • In the beginning of the Star Trek: Lower Decks episode, "Envoys", Captain Carol Freeman discusses a possible catchphrase that she can say before they go to warp, likely akin to Picard's "Engage" or Pike's "Hit it" commands before going to warp.
  • In Season 2, Episode 8 of Star Wars Rebels, Kanan and Rex are sent to infiltrate an Imperial starship and rescue other rebels. As Kanan asks how they're supposed to get in, an Imperial shuttle lowers in the background. Kanan deadpans, "How is it the Empire lets us keep stealing these things?"
    • Rex then gives a Hand Wave, thinking it's the one they use before?
  • Happened a couple of times in Static Shock, as both main characters are fairly Genre Savvy.
  • In an episode of Superman: The Animated Series three members of The Legion of Super Heroes follow Brainiac back a thousand years in time to stop him killing a teenaged Clark. Saturn Girl says Clark will need a disguise, to which Clark says "like a pair of glasses would fool anyone". Chameleon Boy a few moments later shapeshifts into Superman to illustrate what they were saying Clark was going to become, to which Clark says "Red underpants? Now I know you are crazy!"
  • Several episodes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles revolved around adding a new mutant to the cast (such as the Frogs), and the main characters, who were notorious for breaking the Fourth Wall, would comment on the seemingly unending stream of mutated characters they seemed to run into.
    • One episode had one of the Turtles hang a lampshade on the fact that the episode's plot had meandered for about 20 minutes without bringing it any closer to a resolution, by telling the rest of the team "We'd better do something soon, or we'll have to show our first two-part episode!"
    • Another episode had a dinosaur causing (accidental) havoc in the city. As it ran away, one of the Turtles stated "We've got to chase after it" and ran off. One of the remaining Turtles asked "How come?" to which another replied: "Because if we didn't, it wouldn't be much of an episode". "...oh right".
    • The turtles mention Shredder stealing energy for the Technodrome, to which Michelangelo would say "Duh, they do that every episode."
    • Near the final seasons (after countless episodes where the Turtles have shut down the Technodrome), the Turtles sigh and say "we know, we know" step-by-step how they'll sneak inside and shut down the Technodrome, the same way they've had so many times before at this point.
    • Shredder mentions they kidnap April O'Neil... "We've done it so many times before."
    • Shredder and Krang were watching the use of a new military robot on the screen in the Technodrome. Krang wanted Shredder to attach a device to the robot that would let him control it. As he handed the device to Shredder, Shredder asked him "so, this is something you JUST HAPPENED to have laying around, huh?" to which Krang replied "We've got to keep the story moving".
    • In an episode, Michaelangelo watches many buildings falling to their ruin to which he reacts with the comment "The animators must have spent the entire season's budget on this single episode!" or something along those lines.
    • From the episode where Usagi is introduced; "He's from ancient Japan in an alternate reality. So naturally, he speaks English."
    • In the movie Turtles Forever, jokes poke fun at Breaking the Fourth Wall. For three times the 87 cartoon Raphael breaks the 4th wall, a villain from the 03 series, Hun, looks at the screen with a look that says "WTF" on his face. The 3rd time he gets mad and grabs Raphael and shouts "Why do you keep doing that? Who are you talking to? There's no one there!" Similarly, as an in-joke as to how the original Mirage turtles narrated certain story arcs, the 87 and 03 turtles actually hear the Mirage Leonardo narrating a fight and ask who he's talking to.
    • Also in Turtles Forever, Karai is inspecting 87's Shredder's Technodrome and berates the robotic foot soldiers for being "Easy breakable, no intelligence and Cartoonish."
  • Tom and Jerry: The Movie, believe it or not, lampshaded Suddenly Speaking by TOM AND JERRY!
    Tom: I'm Tom.
    Jerry: I'm Jerry.
    *Cue closeup on Tom and Jerry*
    Both: YOU TALKED!
  • When Transformers: Animated's resident Team Pet, Sari, discovers that there is no record of her existence, Bulkhead and Bumblebee both offer a range of possible explanations virtually lifted straight from the fan forums (with a few pop-culture references added in), as well as the prophetic "maybe she's really a robot".
  • VeggieTales does this constantly.
    Pa: I have no idea.
  • The Venture Bros. frequently points out the fact that henchmen #21 and #24 never die. For example; in the episode "Lepidopterists", #21 and #24 point out to Henchman #1 that they would never die, unlike the other henchmen. Also, in the same episode, Dr. Girlfriend asks Monarch why he keeps using 21 and 24, he replies "I know it sounds crazy, but they both have that rare blend of 'expendable' and 'invulnerable' that makes for a perfect henchman."
    • Which turns into morbid Foreshadowing when #24 dies in the season finale. Though, the unlikely situation leading to that is lampshaded by #21 asking his friend why he even buckled up when they weren't going anywhere in the car.
    • Early seasons' Hank strongly resembles Fred Jones, which is often noted in-universe.
  • In the Wander over Yonder episode "The Black Cube", Sylvia brings up how Wander's Chronic Hero Syndrome always seems to get them in trouble.
    Wander: C'mon, Syl! It never hurts to help!
    Sylvia: Do you know how many times you say that immediately before we actually get hurt?!
  • In Springtime with Roo, a Winnie the Pooh movie drawing heavily on A Christmas Carol, with Rabbit's control-freakery standing in for Scrooge's miserliness and the story transposed from Christmas to Easter:
    Tigger: What the dickens - (turns to camera) - and I really mean, Dickens - is going on here?
  • In Winx Club, the pixie Digit always thinks logically, but when the pixies are all hit with a homesickness spell, Digit can't come up with a logical explanation for why they have to return home when Lord Darkar needs to follow them back to their village to complete his evil scheme. Tecna (her bonded fairy) addresses this, noting that it's completely illogical for her to be saying this.