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Reality Ensues / Disney Animated Films

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  • In Aladdin: Aladdin becomes extremely worried when he's told that he will become the next sultan because he's never actually had any royal training and would have no idea what to do and he's afraid of what would happen if anyone learns he's not a real prince. The only reason he's gotten this far is because of a wish.
  • In Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Rourke, a fit muscular man, punches the King, an extremely old man, in the gut. Hard. The King dies of internal bleeding a short time later.
    • There's also Milo's fight with Rourke. One's a scholar with a Geek Physique, the other's a trained soldier with plenty of muscle. Suffice to say, Milo finds himself on the business end of a Curb-Stomp Battle, until he's able to cut Rourke with a shard of crystal energy-infused glass.
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  • In the beginning of DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, Uncle Scrooge finds an ancient temple filled with gold and jewels. To the kid's surprise, he reveals that he's not going to keep them, he's going to donate them to museums, ("That doesn't sound like our Unca Scrooge.") because the tax break for doing so is more valuable to him than simply hoarding artifacts in his money bin. ("That does!")
  • The Fox and the Hound: Although The Power of Friendship initially seems to be the main theme of the film, the two main characters (a hound dog and a fox) still end up as enemies and would've killed each other if it weren't for an epic moment at the end.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame:
    • Quasimodo's attraction to Esmeralda ends up being unrequited. Even though she has it in her to accept him as a friend and a good person in spite of his less than attractive physical features, he is not the one she loves romantically.
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    • When Quasimodo's face is revealed as Not a Mask, it seems like all is going to be fine... until, inevitably, a guard who is less accepting of his physical deformity comes along and decides to play the bully, after which the crowd mercilessly tortures and humiliates him. Considering how the movie takes place in a time where mockery of deformities was very common, this was pretty much bound to happen.
    • Even though Esmeralda is saved from the stake by Quasimodo she doesn't get off scot-free. In the film she nearly dies from smoke inhalation and in the stage adaptations, she does.
    • Frollo's death. Turns out standing on a very narrow perch while swinging a sword around does not do wonders for one's physical health, especially when you have already chipped that perch with said sword.
  • The Little Mermaid
    • The instant Ariel first becomes human, she's struggling to breathe underwater and would've been in real danger of drowning had Ursula not been quick to seal her in an airtight bubble, and Sebastian and Flounder have to help her reach the surface as quickly as they can.
      • Moments after that when Ariel is on land, she wobbles while taking her first steps simply because she isn’t used to having human legs and it’s the first time she ever walks with them.
  • The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea has a few:
    • Speaking to animals can be interpreted as strange. Just ask Melody.
    • Melody doesn't remember the locket even after seeing her name on it, since she was only an infant the last time she saw the locket.
    • Ariel making the choice of keeping Melody ignorant of her heritage resulted in catastrophic consequences. Since Melody was never made aware that Morgana's a threat, Morgana easily manipulates Melody into helping her. When Melody confronts her mother about what she's learned, Ariel's refusal to tell Melody the truth causes Melody to distrust her, which only makes the situation worse.
  • Lilo & Stitch:
    • Dr. Jumba partially destroys Lilo and Nani's house while hunting Stitch during a scene that is 100% comedy. The ramifications, however, are the farthest thing from funny: seeing her house burning, Bubbles, the social services agent, decides Nani is an unfit guardian and takes Lilo away to be placed in a foster home. It gets subverted in the end, though, as the Grand Councilwoman declares that Lilo's family cannot be separated, which Bubbles has to comply to, though he says that that puts his job and reputation as a social worker at stake.
    • Before that, we also see Nani losing her job as having serious consequences. Bubbles was willing to overlook the antics that went on with his previous visit, as he's sympathetic to the sisters' plight and knows that Nani is trying to be a good guardian for her little sister. However, as he points out, if Nani wants to keep custody of Lilo, she cannot be without a source of income.
    • Stitch has amazing Super Strength packed into that little body of his. The downside? A complete inability to swim due to how dense his muscle fibers are.
  • The Princess and the Frog:
    • A rare Played for Laughs example occurs when the trumpet-playing alligator Louis remembers jumping on a ship trying to join the Jazz band playing on its deck: All humans panicked and opened fire.
    • At the beginning of the movie, Tiana works hard and scrapes together every penny she has until she has enough for the building for her restaurant...only to learn someone else outbid her. The men who she intended to buy it from are insultingly dismissive of her when they give her the news because she's an African American woman in a time period when neither her race or gender were considered to be suited for moving up in the world. Some fans theorize that they were straight up lying to her because they never expected her to actually get the money.
    • Tiana's hard working determination to make the money she needs resulted in her spending the rest of her life working with no time for socialization. Thus, when Naveen tries to dance with her, she reveals she never learned how to dance.
  • In Frozen:
    • Kristoff lampshades this trope when he finds out that Anna got engaged to a man she just met, pointing out how spending time with him could lead to her realizing that her fiance has bad habits she hates, like eating his own boogers (which he claims all men donote ).
    • Kristoff is also quick to doubt that the idea of simply talking to a person will resolve all of their issues with instant success, i.e.: Anna's plan. In the ice palace, Anna tries to win Elsa's support just like a Princess Classic would, by singing an inspiring song about The Power of Friendship and how they can fix everything together. All it does is make Elsa confused and frightened, resulting in her accidentally wounding Anna. Elsa even lampshades this.
      Elsa: Anna, please, you'll only make it worse!
    • When Elsa reveals her powers, the Duke of Weselton (Arendelle's closest trade partner) calls her a "monster" and later sends his underlings to try and kill her. After everything has been restored to normal, the Duke is forced to leave Arendelle and receives word that the kingdom will no longer do any kind of business with Weselton (with Elsa not being willing to give him the news in person). Regardless of the situation, calling a monarch a "monster" and then trying to assassinate said monarch doesn't come without consequences (in fact, the Duke actually got off pretty lightly for his misdeeds).
    • Hans and Anna quickly agree to a Fourth Date Marriage. This raises many eyebrows, as others question and point out to Anna why this is not a good idea, and Elsa even intervenes. It's only at The Reveal does Anna realize this the hard way: Hans turned out to be a Manipulative Bastard who faked his romance with her just so he can get closer to the Arendellian throne.
    • Speaking of Prince Hans; trying to assassinate another kingdom's ruler as part of a plot to manipulate one's way into the throne doesn't turn out well for him after he's foiled. While he's "only" sentenced to hard labor scooping manure out of the royal stables, the book retelling of the movie, A Frozen Heart, ends with him being deported back to his homeland - and he makes it very clear as he's being dragged onto the boat he's not looking forward to what's waiting for him back home, especially since his father is apparently an Evil Overlord that he came to Arendelle to get away from.
    • The king and queen thought it would be "best" if Elsa and Anna (because of the former's ice powers) were isolated from the outside world. What do they have to show for it after 13 years? Their elder daughter is roiling in anxiety and agoraphobia and has no more control over her powers than she did at age 8. And their younger daughter, aside from believing her sister has cut her out of her life, is such a ball of naivety that she immediately accepts a marriage proposal from Prince Hans, the first eligible bachelor she runs into. If you isolate your children, chances are they will have developmental issues ranging from too much fear of the world to too little fear of the world.
      • Additionally, instead of teaching her to control her powers, Elsa's parents only taught her to repress it and fear it, despite Grand Pabbie's warning that fear would be her enemy. Small wonder she kept experiencing Power Incontinence throughout the story.
  • Beauty and the Beast deconstructs the original fairy tale's plot point of Belle falling in love with the Beast after he forces her father to hand her over. Instead, Belle deeply resents the Beast for forcing herself and her father in such a position, and refuses to interact with him. She doesn't warm up to him until he shows genuine kindness to her.
    • It's further deconstructed in the sense of showing how isolation can mess with someone's mental stability. In many fairy tales, the member of royalty (usually a princess) locked away from everyone else still has near perfect social skills. The Beast actually likes Belle from the very beginning, but has forgotten how to act like a normal person.
    Beast: I wanna do something for her! (Beat) ...but what?
    • Unlike most Disney films, all the animals act like real animals and do not understand Belle's words, though it doesn't stop her from trying to talk to her horse. Said-horse also abandons her father when its attacked by wolves, out of self-preservation.
  • The Lion King:
    • Simba finds out the hard way what happens when he ignores his father's warnings and enters territory belonging to hyenas, who both have no qualms about killing a lion cub and have nothing to lose and everything to gain from seeing the heir to the throne of their enemy's kingdom dead. Would Hurt a Child is a reality when the assailant(s) will benefit from seeing said child killed.
    • Also, being king means you have to take care of certain responsibilities. If you don't, you're going to run into all kinds of trouble. Scar gets despised by both the lions and the hyenas for neglecting those responsibilities, letting the Pride Lands become a wasteland. As Mufasa tells Simba, "There's more to being King than getting your way all the time."
    • Simba keeps enthusing that he he just can't wait to be king. Well, to be king, his father has to die first. (Pity his Uncle Scar got that idea first).
    • One of the main reasons that Scar ends up in such trouble is that he allows the hyenas to run wild, both to solidify their loyalty and to prevent any of the lions rising up against him. However, this only lasts as long as there's food available. By the time Simba returns, everyone is on the brink of starvation, the hyenas are openly discussing revolt, and the remaining lions treat Scar with contempt. Scar's final attempt to blame the hyenas for everything proves to be the last straw, getting Scar torn to pieces by a hyena mob.
  • The Lion King II: Simba's Pride:
    • Simba's conflict with Kiara and his emotional instability is exactly what happens when a kid watches his father die and thinks he is responsible and runs away, as the emotional and mental trauma persists well into adulthood, if not for life.
    • Kovu being mistrusted is a natural response when a defector from a known enemy tries to get into the pride by saving a royal family member. Nobody thinks it's a coincidence. And even if this wasn't an Outsider scheme, a stranger does not get the red carpet treatment until it can be proven the stranger is being genuine.
    • The plot goes disastrously wrong when Zira chooses Kovu to be an assassin. Kovu is obviously against the plot, does not want to be king, already has an emotional attachment to Kiara, and has no effective way to ensure he would stay loyal. In just a few hours, Kovu completely abandons the mission, tries to confess to Kiara on multiple opportunities about the plot, and causes Vitani to start to turn on Zira.
    • When Zira congratulates Kovu during a surprise Outsider attack, Simba immediately thinks this was a planned ambush. Just because Kovu knew this wasn't his fault doesn't mean that Simba won't.
    • Kovu getting banished makes sense from Simba's point of view, since he doesn't know what the audience does. While Simba's voice does suggest he's being vindictive, attempted assassination of a king should have gotten Kovu the death penalty, and it was already known that Kovu came from an enemy pride. If anything, Simba banishing Kovu was being merciful.
    • After Zira threatens the recently-reformed Vitani, the other lionesses on her side immediately side with Simba after hearing her threat. Some followers can be loyal to a leader, but only if said leader treats their family with respect.
  • Big Hero 6:
    • What happens (in the teaser) when Hiro tries to shove the squishy, pear-shaped Baymax (who is essentially a hugging robot) into a suit of armor. After a few seconds of looking heroic in it, all the armor pops off.
    • Precocious as he is, Hiro still has the psyche of a boy of his age. When he manages to disarm Yokai and finds out he's Callahan, who not only stole his invention but callously dismissed Tadashi's death as his own mistake he gets a Heroic BSoD from sheer anger and wastes no time trying to brutally kill him by sending Baymax berserk and siccing it on him, disregarding that he's been rendered pretty much harmless by then.
    • When the team faced Yokai for the first time, they were completely unprepared due to the fact they had no actual combat experience and minimal practice time to adjust to their Powered Armor. They ended up causing more harm to their own teammates than to the villain.
    • The video clip of Tadashi shows that it took dozens of attempts to get Baymax to start up right, with him having to repeatedly work out the various glitches that kept popping up each time. Almost any engineering student can attest to how much Truth in Television that is.
    • Despite the fact that (A) Yokai/Callaghan has a sympathetic background of losing his daughter and (B) he never got a chance to kill Krei like he intended, he still goes to jail on the grounds that he did attempt murder, as well as involuntary manslaughter since Tadashi was not the person he intended to kill, but died as a result.
  • Zootopia:
    • Judy leaps at the opportunity to catch Duke Weaselton and prove she has what it takes to be a real cop. While she catches Duke and brings him in, Judy gets in a lot of trouble with Chief Bogo because she abandoned her post, endangered the citizens of Little Rodentia, and recklessly threw herself in pursuit with no weapon, no backup, and no plan.
    • Judy volunteers to investigate Mr. Otterton's disappearance in front of the victim's wife without seeking Bogo's authorization beforehand. While her intentions were noble, Bogo immediately attempts to fire Judy for insubordination.
    • Judy has some prejudice against foxes due to her upbringing, but she still tries to stay open-minded. While she does learn how to be friends with Nick (a fox conman), she still possesses some predator prejudice. This comes back to bite her when she gives a press conference on the state of her investigation, and says something Innocently Insensitive about predators. In real life, deeply ingrained prejudice doesn't just go away overnight, even if you're actively trying to treat people fairly and if you learn how to become friends with somebody from the group you're prejudiced against.
    • During the subway car fight, Judy sees that they are heading toward an oncoming train but also notices a switch track lever just ahead of them. She insists that Nick speed up and manages to knock off the last sheep onto the lever. This allows them to avoid colliding with the train... which causes the subway car to promptly derail because it was going way too fast over a turn.
    • While it turns out that Mayor Leo Lionheart ultimately has nothing to do with the Big Bad's plot, he still ends up going to jail for kidnapping and imprisoning the affected predators, along with withholding information about a public health threat from the police. Even if he had an understandable reason for what he did, Lionheart still broke the law on a scale that simply couldn't be ignored.
    • On her first day at work, when assigned to parking duty, Judy resolves to prove she can excel at any task by writing 200 parking tickets before noon. To do this task, she becomes extremely strict in parking enforcement, often handing out the ticket the very second that the meter expires. Unsurprisingly, she is hated by everyone after just one day of this.
    • When Judy protests being assigned parking duty by stating that she was the best in her class, Chief Bogo says that he doesn't care about that. Having good grades isn't the same as real-world experience.
    • Judy gets an endless amount of heckling for being a bunny police officer - as one of the smaller species and an herbivore going into public protection of a city that has inhabitants as big as elephants, almost nobody sees her as having the physical capabilities for the job - and they're right to extent. What they don't consider is her speed and cunning letting her work around those issues (and in fact she knew that would happen, though not to the level of cruelty the police initially show her). Once she's actually proven herself, she ends up being just another one of the boys at the station.
  • Moana:
    • The titular princess wants to sail beyond the island she's always known. However, her first attempt to travel beyond the island's barrier reef ends badly as her lack of sailing experience nearly gets her killed, not to mention the boat she took is meant for shallow-water fishing, not open-ocean travel. Part of the film deals with having the demigod Maui give her proper sailing training.
    • Even though Moana shows shades of a Rebellious Princess by wanting to have the freedom to explore the ocean, she acknowledges that as the only child of her parents she will inherit the chiefdom from them and cannot simply abandon her duties for her own personal gain. Instead, she starts sailing only when she knows that it needs to be done to restore the Heart of Te Fiti and save the island from starvation.
    • When Maui successfully reclaims his hook from Tamatoa, Maui discovers that a thousand years without it have caused him to be so out of practice that he's lost control over his shapeshifting. Unfortunately, he discovers this just as he was preparing to fight Tamatoa, who proceeds to mop the wall with him while delivering a Break Them by Talking section in his song "Shiny". This leads to Maui developing a case of Psychosomatic Superpower Outage.
    • Tamatoa ends up being knocked backwards onto his shell by a geyser. Since he’s got a load of heavy treasure on his back, he can’t get back up and is still like that in The Stinger.
  • Mulan: Although Shang did realize how noble Mulan was for battling alongside the army to defeat the Huns and protect her crippled father, he ends up not trusting Mulan after it is revealed that she was really a woman disguised as a man. While Mulan did have good intentions, this doesn’t change the fact that she not only deceived Shang and the army about her true gender and identity since the day they met, but Mulan also brought dishonor to the Chinese Army and violated the law. Lying and deceiving people (even if you had a very good reason to) will cause people to deem you as untrustworthy.
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet:
    • Vanellope meeting the Disney Princesses. As they try to figure out if she really is a princess, they start listing what happened in their own films. Vanellope becomes increasingly worried and concerned about the princesses' sanity and well-being, and even suggests calling the police.
    • As Ralph falls from a skyscraper, J.P. Spamley tries to save him by driving his flying car underneath him so that he can land in it. Due to his weight and the speed of the fall, Ralph just crashes through the car.
  • In Recess: School's Out:
    • The Big Bad is the former principal of Third Street Elementary who unilaterally banned recess in 1968. He was overruled and fired by the superintendent within days of enacting this policy because it vastly overreached his authority to implement, and he'd created a mass outcry among parents. He later became the Secretary of Education, but was fired once again after trying to get rid of recess nation-wide.
    • The same Big Bad's plan is to create eternal winter on the United States by moving the moon so there's no summer vacation at all, causing students to spend more time studying and thus raise their averages, and people will love this so much that he will be made President. The heroes tell him that what would really happen is that 1) vacation periods would be provided to students anyway, regardless of what kind of weather befalls America and 2) that stunt with the moon would bring an apocalyptic ice age, which would probably make studying of any kind useless. The Big Bad thinks it over for a second before saying that he could at least try anyway.
    • TJ and Principal Prickly attempt to invoke Dressing as the Enemy to sneak into the Big Bad's lab. The guards guarding the hallway aren't fooled for a second, instantly realizing that, rather than two of their co-workers, they're a 10 year old kid and middle-aged man, forcing them to run.
  • In Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension, Doofenshmirtz-2 managed to take over his dimension's Tri-State Area because he lost his favorite childhood toy when he was little. Doofenshmirtz-1 gave Doof-2 his since he never lost his, causing him to become a good guy(For the time being, anyways). When he goes back to his dimension in the end, he quickly finds out that he was not Easily Forgiven and is quickly arrested. Having a change of heart does not excuse the fact that he ruled the Tri-State Area with an iron thumb, attempted to do the same to the first Tri-State Area, and almost attacked Phineas, a young boy. Doof-2 himself lampshades this:
    Doof-2: (as he is being arrested) You know, my crimes against humanity totally slipped my mind.
  • Cinderella: Throughout the movie, Cinderella has managed to have a positive attitude despite the toxic environment she lived in. When her stepsisters destroy the dress that the mice made for Cinderella (which belonged to Cinderella’s late mother), Cinderella goes outside and starts crying when she finally loses hope. Just goes to show that even the most optimistic people WILL have their breaking point and will start to lose faith once their last button is pushed.
  • The Jungle Book (1967):
    • In the climax, Mowgli says to Shere Khan that he doesn't scare him and that he won't run from him. When Shere Khan pounces at Mowgli, the man-cub begins to flinch, because he's still a little boy facing down a tiger.
    • In the final battle, Baloo attempts to protect Mowgli from Shere Khan. He ends up getting horribly mauled and nearly killed because he's a fat, out of shape, laid-back bear who has no fighting experience at all.
  • In Pinocchio, when Geppetto discovers that Pinocchio has come to life, he reacts the way anyone who sees an inanimate object suddenly moving on its own would: he completely freaks out.
  • Planes: Fire & Rescue: Despite becoming a world-famous racer, Dusty Crophopper can't escape the fact that he just wasn't built for racing. His engine proves unable to cope with the repeated extreme rigors of his new lifestyle, resulting in his gearbox failing mid-flight.
  • In An Extremely Goofy Movie, Goofy, suffering from Empty Nest Syndrome after Max leaves for college, ends up getting distracted at work, and causes an accident. While up to this point, Goofy's clumsy antics are usually Played for Laughs, this time, he gets fired due to the damage he caused. On top of that, it's revealed that Goofy doesn't have a college degree, which in this day and age, instantly disqualifies many people from quite a few decent paying jobs. Goofy decides to earn his degree, and goes to college along with Max... much to Max's chagrin.

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