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Plot Parallel

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Ron: Senor Señor sounds like a certain soccer coach I know.
Kim: Oh, does he have too much Kimness now, too?
Ron: Not exactly. He's just a control freak; you're... Well, yeah, you are like... That's weird.
Kim Possible, "Coach Possible"

Essentially, the A-plot is repeated in miniature in the B-plot. By looking at the results of one, the main character or audience gains a greater understanding of the other. This is a fairly common variation on Two Lines, No Waiting, as it gives the story layers and depth while remaining concise. It allows you to more fully explore each story — they prop one another up.


For example, suppose the A-plot has the heroine trying to get a pair of rare birds to mate. The subplot is the heroine is in denial about being in love with her best friend. By getting the birds together, she realizes she is in love with her friend. Another example: A lawyer defends a client who is accused of incompetence because of his age. The B-plot shows the lawyer worried that he's too old for the job. In defending his client, the lawyer realizes he's not ready to retire yet.

Often results in a Double Aesop, but not always; not all examples have characters learning a lesson. For example, the main plot of King Lear (Lear banishing faithful Cordelia and being betrayed by his other daughters) is mirrored in the Gloucester subplot, where Gloucester disowns faithful Edgar and is betrayed by his illegitimate son Edmund. The two stories are obvious parallels, but nobody learns anything from them (except the audience, who learn to be horribly depressed).


Sometimes this is the plot purpose of the Beta Couple. A Plot Parallel specifically in the form of a Show Within a Show is Crystal-Ball Scheduling.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Exaggerated in Puella Magi Madoka Magica. For the first two episodes, you'll be wondering where Deconstruction comes into play. And then every other episode has some horrifying revelation. Madoka, however, has not become a Magical Girl, and is essentially The Load. However, Madoka became a Magical Girl and saved every other girl from a Fate Worse than Death. Episode 10, however, is something entirely similar: Homura is attempting to save Madoka from a Fate Worse than Death by looping back in time, but she is indirectly causing the deaths of her comrades due to Reset Button diverging from the original. When Episode 9 comes around, everyone except her and Madoka is already dead, and we haven't even seen Walpurgisnacht yet.
  • Pluto: Gesicht kills a human being through hatred to avenge his murdered son. Pluto kills the seven greatest robots on Earth through hatred to avenge his ruined country. Gesicht dies but not before realising how futile hatred is. This inadvertently leads to Pluto to sacrifice himself but not before realising how futile hatred is.

    Comic Books 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In Season 9, Buffy destroying the seed is compared to Theo destroying Tincan.
      Theo: No one's going to understand why I destroyed what I worked so hard to build.
      Buffy: You're right. They won't. You're going to get blamed for being selfish. For doing this to save your own life. To fix the mistakes you made. You're going to lose friends. But at the end of the day, you're doing it for the right reasons.
    • The Season 9 comic "Daddy Issues" is also about this, with Drusilla and Faith dealing with their respective issues with their fathers. Though Drusilla's issues have to do with her sire, Angel.
  • Watchmen is chock full of parallelism, but probably the most obvious example is the fake comic "Tales of the Black Freighter;" the sailor's desperate and violent struggle to save his family from the Black Freighter (which ends in him killing an innocent man and joining the Freighter's crew) is an allusion to Ozymandias, who commits murder and mass murder in his attempt to restore "peace" to the Cold War world.
  • Also by Alan Moore, the plot of The Killing Joke is paralleled by the joke at the end. How the parallel works can be interpreted many ways.

    Fan Works 
  • In Son of the Desert, Trisha's Coming-of-Age Story and courtship of Hohenheim mirrors Edward's Coming-of-Age Story and him falling in love with Roy Mustang. One of the parties have a major secret (Hohenheim's immortality and Edward's Ishvalan heritage), one offering to kill themselves (Trisha snapping from the pressure to marry, Roy trying to make up for killing Edward's maternal family) and a marriage proposal (Trisha proposing to Hohenheim, Roy proposing to Edward.) Although unlike Trisha's story, Edward's ends a lot happier.
  • In Pretender: A knight falls in love with a Broken Ace in love with someone they can't have. Frederick's decision to romantically pursue Robin is paralleled by Stahl's courtship of Cordelia. Although unlike Stahl and Cordelia, Frederick and Robin's relationship falls apart.
  • Burning Bridges, Building Confidence:
    • Adrien/Chat Noir betrays Marinette/Ladybug via inaction in both of his identities. As Adrien, he stands by and allows Lila to slander Marinette's good name, while as Chat Noir, he attempts to Blackmail her into a relationship by refusing his aid unless she agrees to start dating. As the series progresses, his misbehavior escalates until he's openly blaming her for the results of his own poor decisions.
    • Chat and Alya are also shown to be equally deluded and insistent upon having things revolve around THEIR wishes, with their priorities skewed in the same direction. When Alya overhears him trying to force Ladybug's 'confession', she agrees with his ultimatum even while noting that she's in danger of having her Miraculous stolen. Later, he sympathizes with Alya after Nino breaks up with her, taking her side... and both of them complain about Ladybug changing her suit at the same time.
    • The Seisquake Trio are members of a Seismology Club whose university has been cheating them out of funding and support. After purifying them of their akumas, Ladybug and Vixxen advise them to go public, as the threat of potential scandal should get the university to comply. This is much like how Principal Damocles only acts to deal with the blatant bullying in Bustier's class when Marinette and Cole's parents find out what's going on and draw up lawsuits against the school, especially once the law labels Alya's premeditated attack on Cole as an ableist hate crime.
  • The One to Make It Stay:
    • Marinette has struggled with taking too much onto her shoulders; her strong sense of personal responsibility serves her well as Ladybug, but has also led to her trying to please everyone and putting their desires ahead of her own. Master Fu has done much the same thing as the Guardian, focusing on how he Must Make Amends for past mistakes. When Marinette realizes this in The Radio Still Plays, she's encouraged to open up to him more, and grows even more determined to set things right and find a better balance for her life.
    • Adrien's insistent pursuit of Ladybug as Chat Noir parallels Alya's efforts to get Marinette together with Adrien... with both ignoring Ladybug/Marinette repeatedly making clear that she's not interested. Alya also supports LadyNoir, and her decision to edit footage of one of Chat's Love Confessions to support her preference causes considerable problems for all involved.
  • In Leave for Mendeleiev, Chloe's persistent attempts to continue bullying her favorite victim after Marinette transfers to another class parallels Adrien/Chat Noir's romantic pursuit of his partner Ladybug. Both are driven by a sense of personal entitlement — Chloe can't BEAR the thought of Marinette escaping her influence and becoming more confident, while Adrien is convinced that he deserves to know all of Ladybug's secrets and that they're destined to be together, whether she wants that or not.
  • Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail
    • The story Chloe writes while staying in the Library of Flying Books Car features counterparts of Goh and herself as the main characters and Mew as a wish-granting shapeshifter that Goh's counterpart obsesses over.
    • Titus went through his own Adult Fear with the disappearance of his son, Lexi, only to learn that Lexi had been Buried Alive in the same car. While this neglect was in no way intentional, Lexi still lashes out furiously at Titus for failing to notice his pain or actively searching for him.
    • Lexi is filled with resentment towards those who hurt him and wishes to get his revenge in some way, shape, or form. Chloe directly compares it to her own resentment of those who hurt her with their neglect or forcing their ideas of what she should become upon her.
    • Nico being the odd one out amongst the plush penguins and getting teased for his different interests naturally reminds Chloe of her own isolation.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Signs, where the "miraculous" defeat of the aliens helps the protagonist to overcome his crisis of faith.
  • In The Fall, the fairytale that Roy tells Alexandria have many parallels with past and present events in the lives of the two main characters.
  • In Harm's Way is an A, B and C. It follows three couples falling in love: Admiral and Nurse; Ensign and Ensign, and Lieutenant and wife, during World War 2.
  • In the 2003 Korean film The Classic, the love situation that the daughter Ji-hye goes through has several parallels to her mother Joo-hee's situation when she was younger, which is told through flashbacks as the daughter reads her mother's old letters and diary. Both fall in love with a boy (Sang-min/Joo-haa respectively) and end up in a Love Triangle. Joo-haa's friend helped their relationship while Ji-hye had a friend who interfered with their relationship. Whereas Joo-hee's situation eventually ended badly, Ji-hye's situation ended on a much happier note.
  • Revenge of the Sith:
    • Grievous is partly removed from a mechanical suit and set on fire. Anakin is set on fire and put into a mechanical suit.
    • Anakin kills Dooku at Palpatine's behest on the grounds that he's too dangerous to be left alive. Later, Mace Windu tries to do the same thing to Palpatine.
    • The critical scene where Anakin's fall to the Dark Side hinges upon a Sadistic Choice is also a Call-Forward to the finale of Return of the Jedi: here, Anakin agonizes as he watches Windu kill the man he believes can save Padme, and must decide who to help as the victim pleads with him to be saved; in Return of the Jedi, he has to do the same thing when watching the Emperor try to kill his own son.
  • In The Best Offer, the hero's job as an antiques dealer it to tell a forgery from an original. This parallels the main story which is about him failing to see the forgery in Claire's feelings for him.
  • K2: Siren of the Himalayas: The modern climbers are shown interspersed with accounts from an expedition a hundred years before, as they have some of the exact same experiences, up to having to turn back before summiting.
  • Played creepily in A Double Life: the protagonist is an actor performing in Othello, and as production drags on and his sanity degrades, his real life more and more resembles the play’s plot. Complete with murdering his mistress and committing suicide out of guilt.
  • The Cabin in the Woods: while the film explicitly draws attention to the fact that the 5 victims don't naturally fit the archetypes they've been cast into, it is much more subtle about the fact that the 5 staff members of the facility match perfectly:
    • Hadley: constant joking, is the Fool
    • Sitterson: knowledgeable of history, procedures, and even how to hot wires an explosion, is the Scholar
    • Truman: from security and armed to the teeth, is the Athlete
    • The Director: stays out of the control room and so has no blood on her hands (ie purity is intact) is The Virgin
    • Lin: while her lab coat and primness do not convey sexuality, shows awareness of her compromised morality in the face of Truman's disapproval at her betting and drinking. And what word does the Director use to describe the Whore? "Compromised"
    • variation: It's possible that Truman is the Virgin, this being his first time around, and the Director is the Athlete, being the most powerful in terms of authority. This interpretation would make the staff's deaths invert the sacrificial pattern, with Truman the Virgin dying first

  • Look to Windward has a lot of parallelism. Every major event and character is reflected by another. The war that motivates Quinlan? There's another one. Quinlan's desire? Masaq' wants the same thing. Masaq's decision to retire? Two people do that for similar reasons. Kabe's discovery that he's been absorbed by The Culture when he meant to study it? A secondary character is physically absorbed into the hive mind of a creature he studies.
  • This trope meets up with Real Life Writes the Plot in Peter Pays Tribute. The main character is writing a novel that mirrors his own life. Except in a fantasy world where his dad is an omnipotent god.
  • In the novel The English Patient, the love story of Kip and Hana provides several parallels to that of Almasy and Katherine, and points up some of the novel's major themes, particularly that of man-made divisions (geography, racial discrimination) being the source of many of the world's troubles. The movie, by diminishing the Kip/Hana story and altering its resolution, doesn't really embody this trope the way the novel does.
  • In Rodrigo y el libro sin final (Rodrigo and the unfinished book), the titular character, a nine-year-old boy, helps a novelist suffering from writer's block to find an ending for a book he borrowed from the library. In the process, the writer discovers that some events in the book can be put in parallel with his own life: he and the pirate whose adventures he narrated left their girlfriends to live their dreams; both of them are now old men; both of them feel guilty when the past reappears and have to make a decision. The ending is open: we never know whether author and character make the same decision or take different routes.
  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the book begins with the main character waking up to see that his house is being demolished without proper notice. The demolisher then states that he did have proper notice, but it is revealed that there was no way he could have actually known about, or seen the notice. Then, spaceships appear all over the earth and it is revealed that the earth is scheduled for demolition and that they were given "proper notice..." Luckily, the main character survives.
  • Done frequently in the young adult Magic Attic Club series, which involves a group of preteen girls who use a magic mirror in their neighbor's attic to go on adventures. More than a few books follow a formula where one of the girls is having a problem in her life, has an attic adventure that in some way mirrors the real-life conflict (sometimes directly, other times in a loose way like learning to stand up to bullies), and then comes back and uses the skills she learned to resolve whatever the initial problem was.
  • Aldous Huxley lampshades this in Point Counter Point. It's never a straight-up A-Plot parallel, as there is no clear A-Plot, but one of the characters is an aspiring author using elements in his life to create his book. At one point, Huxley goes so far as to step out of the narrative and speak directly to the reader, explaining this and a number of other plot decisions he made, mocking other types of novels in the process.
  • In the Dorothy L. Sayers mystery novel Unnatural Death, a minor sub-plot involves Lord Peter Wimsey pestering his pathologist friend for a Perfect Poison (It's for a Book, actually) then realizing the murderer is using something similar.
  • Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency features this as an important plot point; the ghost of an alien engineer wants to travel back in time and prevent a disaster that killed his people. Richard, a human computer programmer, behaves strangely by climbing through the window of his girlfriend's flat to retrieve a message he left. And a man named Michael desires to take back control of his magazine that he lost through mismanagement. All three wish to go back and undo the mistakes of the past. And all are related; the ghost is attempting to possess the other two in the hopes of finding a compatible mind who is not opposed to taking extreme actions to correct a mistake. Richard comes to his senses and won't go through with it, but the ghost finds an ideal host in Michael who is even willing to kill to get back what he thinks he's entitled to - and if the ghost succeeds all of humanity will be Ret-Gone.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Better Off Ted played this for laughs in the episode "The Lawyer, the Lemur & the Little Listener". Linda is writing a children's book about a lemur who wants to go off and seek his fortune. However, the lemur decides to stay at his tree with all his friends. Ironically, Linda wants to use the profit from her story to leave Veridian Dynamics and abandon her friends.
  • Alexis Castle and her problems normally parallel some aspect of the case her father and Beckett are working, or some aspect of their budding relationship. Leads to many a "Eureka!" Moment.
  • Degrassi did this a lot, especially in the earlier seasons. The English teacher would have them read a story in which the plot was strikingly similarly to the episode's events.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "An Unearthly Child" parallels the leadership struggles between two cavemen — Za, an older established leader in way over his head and willing to resort to brutality to keep his leadership, and Kal, a young outsider trying to sow dissent and usurp Za — with the struggles between the Doctor, an old time traveller in way over his head and willing to resort to brutality to survive, and Ian, a young outsider trying to save Susan and Barbara from the Doctor and take control of the situation.
    • "The Evil of the Daleks" parallels the alchemist Maxtible's obsession with turning lead into gold with the Daleks' obsession with turning Daleks into humanlike beings. (Note that Maxtible is not interested in turning lead into gold for the money — he already has a very lucrative money-making scam involving time travel abuse — but because it would allow him to know the secret of spiritual purification.)
    • "Robot" has an A-plot about an insane, childlike, potentially dangerous but by nature benevolent robot being forced to kill its creator and go against its basic peaceful, humanitarian nature by a rigorous, militaristic unit obsessed with science and reason, which drives it Axe-Crazy and leaves it convinced it needs to kill all of humanity apart from Sarah Jane. The B-plot is about the Doctor, who has recently regenerated into an insane, childlike, potentially dangerous but by nature benevolent personality, who attempts to abandon his friend Sarah in his confusion, and is forced to go against his basic freedom-loving nature by the rigorous, militaristic unit who use him as a scientific advisor. The Doctor happily (if a bit flakily) helps defeat the robot, but in the Script Wank scene at the end he convinces Sarah that he won't, won't, won't behave like the refined and social person UNIT needs him to be and it's time for he and she to run off and explore the universe.
    • 50th anniversary special "The Day of the Doctor" leads up to a thwarted nuclear countdown which would destroy a Zygon infiltration, but at the cost of blowing up London. This is then mirrored by the Doctor, who realises that using the Moment to end the Time War at the cost of destroying Gallifrey was a mistake, so he (they) Tricked Out Time so that Gallifrey's destruction never actually happened. The trope is played with somewhat in that within the episode itself the Zygon plotline actually takes up far more screen time than the Time War plot line, though ultimately the former is rather inconsequential and the latter has huge consequences for the future of the series.
    • "Orphan 55" seems to be one to what "Spyfall" sets up as the main Story Arc of Series 12: The Doctor and company discover that Orphan 55 is actually a devastated future Earth, while the conflict between estranged mother and daughter Kane and Bella is born from Bella's desire to destroy the sins of the past. At the end, the Doctor says that Orphan 55 does not have to be Earth's final fate. All this ties in with the reveals in "Spyfall" that the Master has ravaged Gallifrey because of an Awful Truth he discovered relating to the Time Lords' existence involving the "Timeless Child", as, following that same line of thinking, that doesn't have to be the final fate of Gallifrey if the Doctor does her best.
  • Fringe starts doing this very effectively in the second and third seasons where the case-of-the-week symbolically parallels the developments in the Myth Arc.
  • In Happy!, Mr. Blue presides over a sprawling New York criminal empire that is responsible for countless deaths, and Raspberry and Blue's son turns out to similarly be slowly genociding the city's many abandoned, vulnerable Not So Imaginary Friends.
  • House does this all the time. Pretty much whenever House is shown doing regular clinic check-ups, you can bet that something that happens in the clinic will be co-incidentally be the key to him figuring out how to save that episode's main patient.
  • Huge: The troubled romance/sexual tension between Amber and one of the counselors is paralleled by the Twilight expy Phantasma, which the girls of the camp have been fangirling over. The forbidden love comparison becomes even more apparent when scenes of Amber and the counselor are shown between scenes of the Phantasma movie.
  • iCarly and its five episode Sam/Freddie romance arc ended with one of these. In the A-Plot, Sam and Freddie were trying to become closer. In the B-Plot, Spencer and the girl who used to babysit him when he was 10 years old (she was 15 at the time) entered a relationship that got creepy as she started acting like his babysitter again and bossing him around. Carly ends the B-Plot by telling Spencer and the babysitter that their relationship is creepy and weird, and that they were forcing a romantic connection out of their previous relationship. Sam and Freddie overhear this, and both realize that even though Carly wasn't talking about them, her words matched their dysfunctional relationship. They discuss it, then break up.
  • JAG: In "Into the Breech", the A-plot is some navy cadets are holding a mock trial for a sailor who was badly hazed and involved in a Love Triangle with one of his bullies; the B-plot is the same, except it's between the cadets holding the mock trial.
  • Lost: This happens in almost every episode, with the flashbacks/sideways paralleling what is happening on the island. For instance, in one season six episode focusing on Ben, in the flashsideways Ben has to make a choice between power and Alex. In the main story, he is forced to deal with the consequences of having already made that choice.
  • Once Upon a Time does this nearly every episode, with events taking place in the past mirroring those in the present.
  • Just about every episode of any incarnation of Power Rangers inevitably follows this. The episodes start with a Ranger being faced with a character flaw, a villain specifically based on exploiting that flaw shows up, and the Ranger must learn to deal with their personal problems in order to save the day (almost certainly in a giant robot battle).
  • Scrubs, along with Double Aesop, virtually Once an Episode, and lampshaded about Once a Season.
  • Supernatural: in "Thinman", the two Ghostfacers' damaged relationship and parting of the ways parallels Sam and Dean's brotherly relationship troubles in this season.
  • The West Wing also did it frequently. At the end of one episode where the A-plot is Sam finding out shocking, identity-threatening truths about people he cares about, he tells Donna, "It's just that there are certain things you're sure of, like longitude and latitude." Funny he should put it like that considering one of the B-plots was C.J. and Josh learning about the inaccuracy of common map projections and how the world isn't what they thought it was. (To be fair, Donna does Lampshade this.)
  • Wishbone plots parallel the classic stories the title character reads.
  • Wonderfalls did this every episode. The bird example comes from "Safety Canary": A pair of rare birds refuse to mate (A-plot), and Jaye is having love problems with Eric (B-plot). After spending the episode using the birds to avoid interacting with Eric, Jaye realizes she can't give him up just because she's scared of commitment.

  • This is long established in literary criticism, and most of Shakespeare's plays follow it in one form or another.
    • The aforementioned King Lear
    • The Tempest, the story of Caliban becoming a servant of two sailors mirrors the relationship between Prospero and Ariel.
    • A Midsummer Night's Dream has three plots running side by side with play-within-a-play, the relationship between Titania, Oberon and Bottom as well as the central love quadrangle.
    • The framing device of The Taming of the Shrew mentions a man who doesn't want to go home because he can't control his wife. The main plot of the play...
  • Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus has the A-plot of Faustus selling his soul for power. His servant Wagner uses Faustus's books to learn how to do the same, and then his newly-found servant Robin does the same thing. Taken Up to Eleven when Robin takes on his friend Dick as his own servant...
  • Oklahoma!'s subplot is a comic version of the A-story's Love Triangle, with the Beta Couple having the same issues as the main couple.
  • Leoncavallo's opera Pagliacci: Canio, a Commedia dell'arte actor who plays a cuckolded fool on stage, finds himself cuckolded — but he refuses to be the fool.

    Video Games 
  • In Deus Ex: Invisible War, there's a minor B-Plot about two rival coffee companies, and their desire to wipe each other out. It turns out the two chains are run by the same company. Later on, the player discovers that two factions in the A-Plot are doing the same thing.
  • Compilation of Final Fantasy VII:
    • Final Fantasy VII uses the animal party members to discuss themes that later come back to get main party members:
      • Fairly early in the game, we discover that Red XIII, who previously appeared to be an ancient and mysterious being of alien intelligence, is actually a confused teenage boy putting on an act to impress the others. Later, we discover that he's worried he's a Sephiroth Clone, but it turns out he isn't. Later still, we're told that Cloud is a Sephiroth Clone with none of his own free will, and it turns out he isn't, but instead of being a mysterious ex-military badass, Cloud is a confused young man who acts like he is to cope with trauma and leftover teenage baggage.
      • In the Temple of the Ancients, the party realises they can't get the Black Materia, which Sephiroth needs to summon Meteor, without killing one of the party members. Cait Sith, being 'a toy' controlled remotely by a Shinra spy, agrees to sacrifice himself to keep Sephiroth from getting it, but is sorrowful about his death, asking the party not to forget him. He's immediately replaced by the identical "Cait Sith no. 2", with all memories intact. Later, Aeris disappears and is killed in the City of the Ancients, and she is not replaced, leaving an empty spot in the party. At the end, it's revealed that her sacrifice allows the Planet to repeal Meteor, first by unleashing Aeris's Holy spell and then by unleashing the Lifestream.
    • Very early in the game, AVALANCHE are forced to jump off a train they're on because an automated security lockdown detects a problem with the group. It turns out the problem is Cloud's fake ID card - Jessie, who made it, says she tried to make it 'special' to impress Cloud, but messed up. This is all dealt with very quickly. Much later in the game and much more seriously, the group is forced to abandon its quest because Cloud's identity is falsely special, with the alibi handed to him by a woman who was trying to impress him.
    • In Lateral Biography TURKS: The Kids Are Alright, Evan is a brooding child of a single mother who projects an image of toughness to hide his inner weakness, and Kyrie is a manipulative, flirty girl who grew up in the slums claiming to have magical powers who finds herself in constant trouble with the Turks, like Cloud and Aeris from the original game. Reno and Rude remark to one another that they knew someone who put on a persona like Evan, and that Kyrie reminds them of Aeris. To add to the irony, Kyrie knew Aeris as a child and found her (real) powers creepy, and when Evan meets Cloud he hates him on sight.
  • Metal Gear is so built on this sort of storytelling that virtually nothing happens only once.
  • Persona 3: Yukari's father died before the events of the game to save humanity from the Fall, but from his family's point of view, he died in an accident that left more questions than answers. Yukari's mother fell apart emotionally, and went on to neglect her daughter in favor of other men, causing more issues for Yukari herself. This gets resolved through her Social Link, where Yukari opens up about this to the protagonist, admitting that she now understands why her mother acted the way she did as a Love Confession of sorts. Then, the protagonist dies to stop the Fall the second time it happens, and the Playable Epilogue reveals that from Yukari's point of view, he died just as unexpectedly as her father did, and left her with just as much answers, causing her to fall apart just like her mother did (minus the other men part).
  • Persona 4: An entity arrives in the town of Inaba, and proceeds to try and give the townspeople what it thinks they want while being willfully ignorant of the harm it's causing. For most of the game, the department store Junes is that entity, driving most family owned stores out of business by being the more convenient option. In the endgame, the player discovers Izanami, the Greater-Scope Villain, was trying to discover what humanity wished for, and the events of the game made her conclude that what humans wanted was blissful ignorance. Thus, she spreads a supernatural fog across the town, and eventually the world, nearly turning all of humanity into shadows because she believed that they wanted a convenient lie rather than harsh reality.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • In "The Great Divide", the B-plot is about Sokka and Katara, who are bickering about one being messy while the other is neat. The A-plot is that two tribes are bickering, because one is messy and the other is neat. This leads to a subversion of the Double Aesop, because although Sokka and Katara make up easily, the tribes don't.
    • In "Bitter Work", Aang has a hard time learning Earthbending in the main plot. Meanwhile, in the B-plot, his rival Zuko is learning a difficult Firebending technique, to control lightning. The parallel shows how the two characters deal with frustration, showing their contrasting personalities all while advancing the plot.
    • Most of the show's main storyline could be considered this, chronicling the parallel Coming of Age Stories of both Aang and Zuko.
  • Batman: The Animated Series: "Mean Seasons" is about a former model who was fired because she was too old and avenges herself by kidnapping her former employers; in the B-plot, Bruce is upset at losing an employee because he has hit the mandatory retirement age (Bruce is also feeling a bit sluggish, and starts checking himself for gray hairs). In the end, Bruce does away with mandatory retirement.
  • The Animaniacs segment "Bully For Skippy" has Skippy having to deal with a bully at school, while Slappy has to deal with bullies of her own.
  • Several Kim Possible episodes have such parallels between the "basic average girl" plot and the "here to save the world" plot. For instance, in "Coach Possible", from which the above page quote comes from, observing Señor Senior Senior's overly controlling attitude toward Junior helps Kim realize that she's being overly perfectionistic and demanding in coaching the soccer team.
  • In Disney's Prep and Landing: Naughty vs. Nice, Wayne is shown to be jealous of his younger and more popular brother Noel. The villain, a girl named Grace Goodwin, despises her baby brother for ripping apart her favorite doll. Grace sees the error of her ways when she sees Wayne and Noel make up after a big fight and learns to appreciate her brother more.
  • My Little Pony Friendshipis Magic:
    • In "Bridge Gossip", the Mane Six are distrustful of the mysterious zebra Zecora, especially when it appears that she's cursed them, while Twilight tries to debunk their claims of witchcraft and brushes aside a book titled Supernaturals while searching Zecora's house. It eventually turns out that the "curses" were really the effects of the Poison Joke flower, and that the book, which is actually titled Super Naturals, contained herbal cures for their ailments. Therefore, everypony judged a book by its cover, Twilight literally and the others figuratively.
    • In "Forever Filly", Rarity tries to bond with Sweetie Belle by doing the sisterly things they used to do when they were younger, while the B-plot involves Zipporwhill trying to reconnect with his dog by getting him to play with his old puppy toys; in both cases, the older one learns that their younger charge has outgrown such childish things, but they finally manage to bond through different activities. Arguably, the former situation is one that many an adult can relate to, while the latter presents it in a way that a child in the target audience can understand.


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