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Mugging The Monster / Western Animation

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  • The Avatar universe:
    • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
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    • The Sequel Series The Legend of Korra:
      • A Power Trio of protection racketeers from the Triple Threat Triad attempt to extort a Republic City music store owner, just as a teenaged girl "tourist" from the Southern Water Tribe was walking past. When she calls them out, they try to put her in her place and attack her with their respective Elemental Powers... Only to learn the hard way that she's the current Avatar Korra, already a master of three of the four elements. Cue the inevitable Curb-Stomp Battle, made even more hilarious by Korra taking out each mook with their respective element, complete with grinning gusto.
      • In the third season, Earth Queen Hou-Ting mistakes the Red Lotus, the season's main antagonists, for ordinary bounty hunters. When she tries to have them arrested, they defeat the Dai Li in a matter of seconds, and Zaheer asphyxiates the Earth Queen.
      • A gang of bandits tries to rob a passing train in Season 4. Said train happens to be Kuvira's personal transport, and she proceeds to subdue the entire gang in under half a minute.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
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    • An episode of the 1980s cartoon has Shredder being jumped by a mugger upon being teleported into Central Park after a long imprisonment in Dimension X. It is one of the few occasions on the show where Shredder actually gets to kick someone's ass.
    • Another episode has a mugger try to mug the disguised turtles, which is delt with in a similar way to the Crocodile Dundee example shown above. The mugger demands "Give me your wallet!". Leonardo replies "I've got a better idea *draws huge katana blade* give me your knife!"
  • In one episode of The Powerpuff Girls, a thief — not a supervillain, just a regular, common burglar — actually tries to rob the Girls, because he had somehow never heard of them. Needless to say, it does not go over well, though they couldn't just kick his ass immediately because they didn't want to wake the Professor. At the end of the episode, the thief was heading towards Mojo Jojo's house intending to rob him.
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  • Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo has Robin on the run from the police who wrongfully accused him. He hides in an alleyway and notes that he needs a disguise to escape. Suddenly a thief appears, pulls out a gun, and says "Give me your money." We don't get to see the fight, but we do see a tied up thief in his boxers, and Robin wearing his clothes (and shades).
  • Happens several times in Gargoyles with Elisa Maza. She's an NYPD detective, skilled in hand-to-hand combat, and an expert markswoman. And then there are her very protective friends....
  • Batman Beyond
    • The two-parter "The Call". In an attempt to escape Terry, Inque takes an approaching bystander hostage... who turns out to be Superman. On the whole, not her finest hour.
    • Something similar also happens in the very first episode, when a group of Jokerz (a street gang patterning themselves after the original Joker) decides it would be a good idea to intimidate a certain old man by saying "We're the Jokerz!" Unfortunately, said old man was Bruce Wayne. Cue the Curb-Stomp Battle.
    Jokerz Leader: Don't you know who we are, old man? We're the Jokerz!
    Bruce: Sure you are.
    • A small group of Jokerz harrasses Willy Watt midway through "Golem". They try to put the squeeze on him, but Willy calls out his little friend...
    • And in "Bloodsport", a lone Joker tries to mug Terry when he's being chased by the Stalker — and gets dismissed in an especially pathetic fashion.
    Joker: Your money or a pie!
    Terry: Some other time. (gut-punches him without slowing down)
    • Continuing with the Jokerz in a crossover with Static Shock: the Jokerz lure two teens onto their turf... but one of them is Terry and the other one is Static. Uh oh. (Long story short, the Jokerz really aren't too bright.)
    • Mr. Freeze uses his Freeze Ray against Derek Powers when he thinks that Powers is just a regular Corrupt Corporate Executive. He quickly discovers that his target was really a radioactive Walking Wasteland when Powers melts his way out of the ice and attacks Freeze.
  • In the Spawn Animated Adaptation, when Angela is first introduced, a couple of thugs follow her into an alley to rape her. Naturally, only she leaves the alley.
  • In the Fantastic Four cartoon (the one that took place in the Iron Man Hour), a mugger tries to rob a guy in a trench coat with a young woman. That guy turns out to be the Thing. Alicia points out that with Ben, she feels safe walking in the park at night.
  • Season's Greetings, the cartoon short on which Trick 'r Treat is based, is also about this. A man chases the adorably creepy trick-or-treater Sam into an alleyway, and, for whatever reason, attacks him. Sam is then seen walking out of the alleyway with bag full and a big smile on his mask.
  • Bane of all people once fell prey to this in "Knight Time", a DCAU Superman/Batman crossover in which Superman had to disguise himself as Batman in order to help Robin (Tim Drake) find out where his boss had gone. At one point, Superman also found it necessary to round up Bane, the Mad Hatter, and the Riddler. The Riddler actually managed to get the jump on him and, using one of his gizmos to restrain him, he and Hatter sat back and watched as Bane tossed Bats around for a while... until "Batman" got tired of trying to keep up appearances. Bane wound up getting the CRAP beaten out of him while everyone else (sans Robin) watched in utter disbelief.
    Robin: He's been working out.
    • Subverted in another episode, where Clark notices someone is following him. He turns into a dark alley, and the would-be robber thinks he's got him. But as soon as the person enters the alley, no one is there, and is very confused. Cut to Clark up on the roof of the building next to the alleyway with a slightly annoyed look on his face...
  • G.I. Joe: Renegades features James McCullen attempting to play hardball with Cobra Industries CEO Adam DeCobray, saying he'll save Dr. Mindbender (who he put in danger by luring the Joes to the building) if Cobra gives in to his "proposal". Cue DeCobray revealing his true identity as Cobra Commander and making the arms dealer a "counter-proposal" with a giant, hungry, mutant cobra.
  • Used nonviolently (but very sadly) in a Russian cartoon, Maska. It's Halloween, and a little pretty girl walks down a street, alone. Then two blokes with huge monster masks jump from the corner and attempt to scare the little girl. The girl first watches indifferently, then she has enough, and tears down her face — which turns out to be a mask concealing her real face, scarier than both monster mask combined. The blokes, horrified, drop their masks and run away, leaving the girl weeping — by their scare they reminded her of her own face.
  • An episode of Jimmy Two-Shoes had the Rodeo Clowns kidnap Heloise. The results were obvious.
  • Kim Possible: During "Graduation, Part 2", Ron, unbeknownst to the Lowardians, comes into control of a very great power, making Warhok and Warmonga's messing with his girlfriend a very poor idea. It crosses into Bullying a Dragon when they continue messing with him even after he's taken out all their tripods and thrown Warhok across the landscape.
  • Transformers: Prime has the organization MECH attempt to steal a nuclear device from "an unarmed civilian truck". The Autobots trash the attacking cars, without bothering to transform.
  • An episode of Futurama had Bender constantly harassing a thin robot sitting in front of him at the movies. Eventually the skinny robot has enough and challenges him to "fisticuffs". Bender laughs... until the guy transforms into a much buffer form. Turns out he was the Masked Unit, a professional robot fighter, and only a stroke of sheer luck saved him from being beaten.
    • In another episode, Fry and Leela are nearly mugged by a homeless man and his tiny gun-wielding robot. But Fry is unhurt when the robot shoots him — it turns out he and Leela had recently developed superpowers thanks to a medical cream Zoidberg gave them, which they then use to knock the muggers around.
  • Batman: The Animated Series
    • In the episode "Birds of a Feather" proves that just because Penguin always loses to Batman doesn't mean he is a bad fighter. He is able to hold his own against three muggers before Batman intervenes and defeats all four of them (Batman thought he was with them until it was funnily resolved).
    • Jervis Tech's first appearance in "Mad as a Hatter". He hadn't quite become the Mad Hatter yet, but when escorting his date Alice through the park, two muggers accosted them, and he quickly used his mind control devices on them. After doing so, he ordered them to "go jump in the river". They took it literally, climbing to the top of a bridge to do so.
    • In "Holiday Knights", Poison Ivy gets the idea of using her mind-control lipstick to force some rich guy to finance a shopping spree for her and Harley. Unfortunately for them, they end up grabbing Bruce Wayne, who suits up and goes after them once he snaps out of Ivy's control.
    • Joker ends up begging Batman to save him from some particularly crazy/tricky victims of his crimes in "Beware the Creeper" and "Joker's Favor".
    • "Joker's Favor" starts out with one of these moments. Normal Joe Charlie Collins has had a bad day, and so when a car cuts him off on the freeway, It's The Last Straw and he begins to yell at the other driver- until he gets a close look and sees that the other driver is The Joker.
    Charlie: That was the Joker. I cussed out the Joker!
    • Scene: a traffic light in Gotham. Two young women pull up alongside a car of three guys, who immediately begin catcalling and making disgusting comments. One of the women politely asks the men "Didn't your mommies tell you that's not the nice way to get a lady's attention?" The jerks, not getting the hint, promptly ask if the women are going to spank them for being bad. By this point, you should probably know that the women are Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, two of Gotham's most dangerous supervillains—which the men learn the hard way when Harley promises that they are going to spank them...and proceeds to whip out a massive bazooka and blow their car to smithereens.
  • In Invader Zim, Iggins learns the hard way why it is not a good idea to withhold the Game Slave 2 from Gaz. How? She follows him all the way to his house, writes "the game is mine" on the bathroom mirror, appears in the door, steals all the batteries in the house to keep him from getting to the save point on the game, causes the elevator to malfunction when he's still in it, and finally throws him down said elevator shaft.
  • Humorously in Archer, when the title character attacks an older gentleman in a bar for laughing at him... and gets pinned to the bar by Burt Reynolds, who also happens to be Archer's man-crush.
  • In The Simpsons, blue-haired lawyer and a pair of goons confront principal Skinner about his student fair's use of Disney's copyrighted "Happiest Place On Earth" phrase. Upon informing Skinner that he's made a big mistake, Skinner calmly informs him that so has the blue-haired lawyer, before telling him they got an ex-green beret mad. He promptly hands them all their asses.
  • Young Justice
    • Once invoked with Blue Beetle. Jaime is investigating the disappearance of his friend Tye, when Tye's mother's boyfriend Maurice finds him and throws him onto the ground. Now, Jaime's no pushover...but the one you have to look out for is the Scarab in his spine, who takes the opportunity to whip out his favorite weapon (the Plasma Cannon), and demands that Jaime kill "the Maurice". Jaime, luckily for Maurice, keeps him restrained, averting this trope.
    • One time, Captain Cold decided to target a bank for a heist, completely encasing about half the street in ice. Imagine his shock when one of the ice walls explode to reveal seven super-heroines, who just happened to be having a bridal shower there. He doesn't even attempt to fight.
  • In an episode of The Real Ghostbusters, this happened to the Ghostmaster when he came to New York seeking revenge against the heroes. Seeing as the Ghostmaster ranks a Class 11 (according to Who's Who in the Spirit World, which possibly makes him the most powerful ghost ever to appear on the series) the crooks were lucky to escape with their lives.
  • An episode of The Transformers had the Autobots helping the police catch carjackers by posing as normal cars, waiting to get stolen, then thrashing the hideout on arrival.
  • During Ben 10's run, Cartoon Network would occasionally show this two-minute shorts during commercials. In one of them, a pair of thugs try to steal the Rustbucket. However, they do so while Ben is hanging around. Needless to say, things do not end well for the crooks.
  • In Cyber Six, a trio of students attempt to rough up Adrian (who is actually the titular Cyber in disguise) for rejecting Lori's advances in class. It's actually lucky for them that Lucas spotted them from the window and decided to intervene to help Adrian.
  • In an episode of Family Guy, a bully stole Stewie's tricycle. It did not end well for the bully...
    Stewie: Seven? Well, my, my. You're practically a lady. How ironic your life is in the hands of an infant...NOW TELL ME WHERE MY TRICYCLE IS!!!
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy.
    • In "A Fistful of Ed," Eddy constantly taunts Jimmy by throwing hot-dogs at the latter. Jimmy gets very angry and beats Edd to a bloody pulp. This is understandable, as Jimmy has shown to be wimpy, so it's not surprising that Eddy doesn't know how powerful Jimmy really is when he gets angry.
    • Subverted with Sarah towards Ed. She constantly treats Ed like garbage, knowing he has super strength, but it's simply because Ed won't fight back against her and the fact that they both have super strength. This is played straight in "Little Ed Blue," when Sarah realizes that Ed is even more powerful than her when she gets angry after yelling at him, so she wisely stops provoking him.
  • In the Samurai Jack episode "Jack's Sandals", the shoe store owner does this to the bikers. He verbally berates them for riding their bikes recklessly, and destroying property in the process. When he sees the bikers transform into cyborgs a-la "Transformers" style, you can see the store owner obviously feeling scared.
  • In South Park, Scott Tenorman repeatedly takes advantage of Eric Cartman to con him out of money and humiliate him. Cartman retaliates with a Machiavellian sociopathic Batman Gambit that results in Scott's parents being murdered, ground into chili, and fed to Scott, timed perfectly so as Scott is having a complete breakdown over this his idols Radiohead show up and mock him for crying. The episode ends with Cartman lapping up his tears and commenting on how delicious they are while Stan and Kyle deliver a horror-filled declaration:
    Kyle: Dude, I think it might be best for us to never piss Cartman off again.
    Stan: Good call.
    • In another episode, a psychiatrist decides to test Cartman for anger issues by repeatedly calling him fat. Cartman appears to remain calm the entire time and is texting on a phone. Then the phone rings, the psychiatrist picks it up, and his wife starts yelling at him about his secret criminal record and about an affair he supposedly had with a 14-year-old girl before shooting herself in the head. He looks at Cartman in shock, who puts down the mobile phone and glares at him.
    Cartman: I'm not fat. I'm big boned.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: in one episode, a landlord named Evil J. LandBaron III tricks the naive Dennis Avarius into a deal to steal his entire family fortune, then mocks him for believing in the best in people. Unfortunately for him, Dennis happens to be the little brother and Morality Pet of Ludo, former Big Bad of the show who successfully took over an entire kingdom when at his strongest. The very same night, Ludo breaks into LandBaron's bedroom, takes the deeds away from him and has him devoured by his minions.


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