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  • The Prince and the Pauper
    • When the Prince, Edward, switches places with the peasant boy Tom so he can experience freedom from his royal routine, he has to deal with all sorts of unforeseen consequences of being treated like a peasant. For one, Tom's feet are hard from years of walking around barefoot. Edward's soft feet end up bloody and bruised, and force him to find refuge in a seedy pub when he's being chased due to almost collapsing from the pain.
    • Both Edward and Tom immediately realize they've made a mistake by switching places, and try to tell people who they really are. No one believes them, believing Edward to be insane and Tom to be under a large amount of stress from ascending to the throne.
  • Some of the Star Wars Expanded Universe deals with what should be (more) realistic consequences of the Stupid Evil behaviors of the Empire and the Sith. For instance, after destroying Alderaan with the Death Star in Episode IV, many Imperial-aligned planets immediately switched over to the Rebel Alliance's side, as the act demonstrates how Ax-Crazy the Empire's leaders are. Also, naturally, pretty much every single Imperial soldier who hailed from Alderaan defects on the spot rather than support the government that wiped out their home world.
    • Even with this advantage and the loss of the Empire's leaders, the war still stretches into decades. The chaos gives the New Republic time to gain ground, but by the time the sides have roughly even forces and territory the Empire has mostly settled down into being a real organized threat again. The Empire is never truly defeated, the civil war ultimately ends in a peace treaty. Then things start getting complicated...
    • The Thrawn Trilogy has several cases of this happening. Grand Admiral Thrawn has taken control of one of the Empire's remnants and teamed up with a fallen Jedi, C'boath, to both overthrow the New Republic and restore the Empire. C'boath's only motive is the chance to seize Leia's children and mold them, (and through them, the future Jedi Order) in his own image. After several attempts to kidnap Leia's children fail, C'boath uses the Force to take control of everyone on Thrawn's Star Destroyer, (aside from Thrawn himself and a few others who are within range of a Power Nullifier) and announces that he's hijacking the ship and going to Coruscant now to take Leia and the children. It's an awesome display of raw power... at least, until Thrawn icily explains exactly what a terrible idea it is.
      "It's a minimum of five days to Coruscant from here," Thrawn said coldly. "Five days during which you'll have to maintain your control of the Chimaera's thirty-seven thousand crew members. Longer, of course, if you intend for them to actually fight at the end of that voyage. And if you intend for us to arrive with any support craft, that figure of thirty-seven thousand will increase rather steeply... I merely present the problems you and the Force will have to solve if you continue with this course of action. For instance, do you know where the Coruscant sector fleet is based, or the number and types of ships making it up? Have you thought about how you will neutralize Coruscant's orbital battle stations and ground-based systems? Do you know who is in command of the planet's defenses at present, and how he or she is likely to deploy the available forces? Have you considered Coruscant's energy field? Do you know how best to use the strategic and tactical capabilities of an Imperial Star Destroyer?"
  • In Madame Bovary (1856) the eponymous madame reads way too many romance novels, and is convinced the world works that way. Naturally, it doesn't. The love affairs she has ultimately go nowhere, because the men she's seeing aren't the type to drop everything and whisk her away. Her extravagant lifestyle is merely an attempt to distract herself from her unhappiness.. And when she finally can't take it anymore, she takes poison, expecting it will kill her quickly and romantically... and that doesn't go so well either. The whole novel was a Deconstruction of tropes associated with Romanticism that the bourgeois classes loved to read, and ended up paving the way for Realism.
  • Older Than Steam: Don Quixote has filled his head with the "damnable books of Romance" (what would be called knightly adventure stories in the modern sense) and is convinced that the world works that way. He promptly sets out and attempts to fight monsters, rescue damsels in distress, and so on, and everyone concludes he's dangerous and insane.
  • There is a version having Portugal as the setting of Madame Bovary called Primo Basílio note , written by Eça de Queirós, that has almost the same plot. But the ending is very different: the Madame Bovary's expy, Luísa, is blackmailed by her own servant who threatened to reveal to her husband and is driven to get a stress-induced disease. She deeply regrets having betrayed her husband, has to shave her head, which in an Brazilian TV-adaptation was considered one of the most tearjerking moments of the history of Brazilian TV, and ultimately dies. There is no Power of Love to save her, there is no Black Comedy like the original, only pure Tear Jerker. In the last scene, Basílio, the eponymous adulterer is shown saying that he didn't care about Luísa and he should have brought Alphonsine, making him THE biggest Jerkass Karma Houdini of the entire Portuguese-language literature.
  • The C.J. Henderson short story Granny Grumption Solves a Murder shows what would really happen if a little old lady turned amateur detective confronts a suspected killer totally on her own without bothering to tell anyone else what she's figured out: the much younger and healthier killer easily dispatches the old woman with little effort.
  • In Loyal Enemies it's Played for Laughs. When the heroes recover the Staff of Fertility, the elven king proves it's the real one by making a giant spruce grow in the middle of the throne room. It works, everybody cheers... And then they stop when they realize that, well, there's a giant spruce taking up most of the throne room and they'll have to remove it in the conventional way, then fix both the floor and the ceiling.
  • In Retribution Falls the heroes find the legendary pirate port Retribution Falls to be exactly what a city built by pirates would be like: a badly built Wretched Hive.
  • In War of the Dreaming, there is a scene where a Beatrix-Potteresque Mouse shows up to rescue one of the heroes. Then the setting changes back and Mouse promptly gets stepped on.
  • James Patterson has this as a side effect of the Author Tract in Cross Country, Alex Cross's ex girlfriend gets brutally murdered by an African mercenary. He heads to Africa. The second he gets out of the airport, he's kidnapped. By the police. Then it gets worse. You could cut out several hundred pages from the middle of the book, and all you'd miss would be the Author Tract and Reality Ensuing, over and over again.
  • In Brothers of the Snake, Apothecary Menon wanders around a village with suspected Chaos cultists with his helmet's faceplate up. For a good reason, mind, as the daemon his squad is hunting is invisible to helmet sensors and can only be seen with the naked eye. Unfortunately, when he gets into a fight with said cultists, he takes a bullet in the face and dies.
  • A Harvest of War has a few Spoileriffic examples:
    • Wild Rhona, the huge, Lightning Bruiser-type heroine cuts her way through enemies like tissue paper, but when she's too far outnumbered she has to avoid confrontation or run all the same.
      • Doing so while carrying an ally even heavier than her doesn't work, at least not on her old ankles.
    • The other Rhona is the Big Bad and has no shortage of skill and Villainous Valor, but is also Hollywood Thin and not at all stronger than that would suggest: she thinks nothing of engaging big warriors upwards of three times her weight, only to be forced to rely on her mobility and poison. When these fail she's done for.
    • Guinevere, her cousin, has more muscle and more skill. Enough to prevail against much larger opponents who are combat experts in their own right, but not to avoid getting badly dented and definitely not enough to avoid capture when several foes sneak up on her at the same time.
  • Ciaphas Cain:
    • Cain notes that many Sisters of Battle do something similar to the Brothers of the Snake example, fighting with their faces exposed claiming that faith will be their armor. Many of them die horrible deaths thanks to the Tyranids and their face-melting acid as a result.
    • One of the best Running Gags is Cain repeatedly explaining that he tries to be somewhat friendly with the troopers he's assigned to because of what happens to the more stereotypical Commissars. Any Commissar that throws their weight around, handing out discipline like candy and executing troopers for minor infractions will inevitably be hated by the people they're fighting alongside. These Commissars have a tendency to be killed by enemy fire despite the enemy being a suspiciously long way away, with a shocking lack of witnesses to the death.
    • The series is filled with instances of the physics-defying, nightmare-inducing, sanity-blasting horrors of Warhammer 40,000 going up against disciplined, well-trained, well-equipped soldiers, and the soldiers winning 9 times out of 10 through the simple fact that anything will die if you shoot it enough times. The times they lose they tend to be up against powerful warp-craft or hyper-advanced technology they can't do anything against (and the former case is when Jurgen comes in handy), or being overwhelmed by sheer weight of enemy numbers.
    • Cain notes that mixed-sex regiments are rare, not because the Imperium is sexist or even because they're against fraternization (or at least Cain isn't against it, regardless of the genders of the participants), but because the inevitable result of large amounts of men and women in close proximity to each other tends to cause a lot of problems (morale, paperwork, childcare, etc).
    • In the grim darkness of the far future, there is still paperwork. If Cain can't come up with any other justification for not indulging in a field execution, avoiding all those forms is perfectly believable to whoever he's talking to.
  • Mansfield Park: Prince Charming Wannabe Henry Crawford ultimately doesn't love the heroine enough to give up his lady-killing ways and crushes everyone's hopes of their marriage when he runs off with her (married) cousin. What, you were expecting the Handsome Lech to completely change his ways because of the influence of a girl he couldn't control and to deserve the heroine because the more she tried to get rid of him, the more he harassed her? Not in Jane Austen!
  • The Dresden Files:
    • In general, Harry spends a lot of time explaining how magic (his as well as that of supernatural creatures) is still subject to the laws of physics. He even uses this to his advantage sometimes.
    • Used numerous times in Changes, nearly always as yet another way to horribly torture Harry. Example: the Red Court sends in assassins to take him out. Rather than attacking him directly the way that, say, the gruffs did, they pay lesser thugs to try to kill him over and over, then set his house on fire. He barely manages to get his elderly neighbors out... then falls off a ladder and breaks his back, leaving him paralyzed. He has to make a Deal With The Fair Folk to fix it.
    • In the short story Day Off, Harry goes home to find a group of weak-talented wizard wannabes waiting outside his home. Apparently, Harry dispelled a bad luck curse they'd placed on some lady (which was so weak that Harry was mostly convinced wasn't real, and dispelled it to give her peace of mind). They sneer and threaten him, with the leader demanding that Harry prepare to defend himself, before he and his posse begin gathering their power to attack him. Harry responds by shrugging, drawing his .44 revolver, and pointing it at them. At their shocked disbelief, his response is "I'm a'fixin' to defend myself."
    • It also turns out that having a Dark and Troubled Past where an Evil Mentor tries to turn you into a Tyke-Bomb will leave a person pretty screwed up and with major trust issues.
    • The Archive is incredibly powerful, able to hold her own against any number of opponents. However, in Small Favor, she is subdued because she is also a little girl and can be knocked out by gas even more effectively than an adult.
    • Let's talk about Harry's shield.
      • In one book, someone cottons on to the fact that his shield only blocks physical force, and shows up with a flamethrower. His hand is severely burned, and the damage doesn't heal for several books. The bracelet he uses as a focus for the shield is also damaged in the attack. Since at this point in the series, he's Perpetually Broke, the bracelet gives off sparks when he uses it for the next couple books until he's able to fix it.
      • In a later book, he runs into a gunman with a Medium Machine Gun, and notes in his narration that unlike the movies, they're actually precision instruments, and he's fifty feet away down a hallway. Despite his high magical strength, his battery starts to run low in a few seconds.
    • In Aftermath, an angry werewolf storms into the resident mob boss's office, threatening to kill him if he doesn't provide information. The mob boss calmly hits him with a throwing knife.
  • Fate of the Forty Sixth has characters both main and minor getting killed off, shows that wrestling and swordfighting can tire out someone after a while, and shows that you can't strike a sword against something hard without the sword cracking or flat-out breaking.
  • Gaunt's Ghosts:
    • In Ghostmaker a small group of Ghosts and Bluebloods wipe out a much larger Chaos force... and the incident is written off as an illusory battle by tacticians unable to account for it. Granted, the tacticians didn't know they had help.
    • This is why Necropolis is a Bittersweet Ending. The Imperium forces technically win and successfully defend Vervunhive from Chaos invaders, but the cost is far too great: the hive city is so horribly damaged by the long siege that it's no longer livable, almost all of its resources and war material have been expended during the siege, and the hive's remaining population (formerly millions strong) doesn't have enough people to even make repairing the hive worth it. This forces the survivors to either become refugees to the planet's other hive cities or join up with the Imperial Guard.
    • Traitor General demonstrates why Helmets Are Hardly Heroic is a bad idea. You may be a Super Soldier with systems able to resist even the horribly deadly poison that coats the arrows being fired against you, but that doesn't work when dozens of those arrows are fired into your unarmoured face.
    • In His Last Command, this is how a scout takes down a stalker, an Implacable Man that can soak up ridiculous amounts of damage and keep coming. Chaos enhanced beastie or no, it's still an animal that can be paralysed by hamstringing and slain by getting shanked in the brain through the base of the neck.
    • Only In Death: what happens when you take an army specializing in stealth and hit-and-run tactics and send them to guard a decrepit old fortress against a vastly larger force, and with faulty intel to boot? They die in droves, that's what.
  • The Witcher:
    • Geralt tells a story about when he was young, he wanted to pose as a knight when dealing with thugs mugging a merchant and his daughter. The downright brutal method he used to dispatch the thug's leader ended in daughter fainting from horror, and merchant running away from him along with the bandits.
    • The Lesser Evil:
      • Averted Just a Flesh Wound by having Geralt win his final duel by knicking his opponent's unarmored thigh with his sword, causing her to quickly bleed out.
      • The story concludes with Geralt saving the inhabitants of Blaviken by killing a group of mercenaries who intended to massacre them. The townsfolk, not being privy to this, immediately react with terror and disgust and chase Geralt out of town, believing he'd murdered a half dozen men without provocation. Even years later, Geralt's reputation has been tarnished by his actions as 'The Butcher of Blaviken'.
  • In Wearing the Cape, Hope/Astra is given a lesson in momentum and force and why it's a good idea to know how tough something is before you fly yourself into it like a missile. The book is actually full of little reality-checks, like superheroes getting warrants before going after supervillains, villains whose lawyers get the charges dropped, and strangers committing random acts of badness.
  • At the end of Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn, the protagonists kill the Big Bad who betrayed the hero of ages past, stole the power of the Well of Ascension for himself, dislodged the planet from its proper orbit, brought up volcanoes that constantly choke the air with ash, created a permanent underclass of slaves, and turned HIS OWN FRIENDS into monsters. Good riddance, right? Well, no. The second book then details the political consequences of such a sudden power vacuum, and trying to go from a totalitarian dictatorship directly to a constitutional monarchy (hint: a lot of people die.). And then they learn that the Big Bad had a very good reason for betraying the Hero in the first place.
    • In the Final Empire, Allomancy is rare and much of the population is kept deliberately ignorant of it, so many people will never encounter an Allomancer or have experience dealing with or fighting them. Therefore, many Allomancers tend to be Unskilled, but Strong when using their powers, since they have such an edge over a common Skaa. The two most common and combat-oriented kinds of Allomancer in particular suffer from this- "Thugs", who have enhanced physical attributes, tend to just rush their opponent and start beating on them, and "Coinshots", who can push metal away from themselves, just hurl fistfuls of coins at high speed towards the enemy. The protagonists, and Allomancers who make a living as assassins and mercenaries, are more creative in using their powers.
    • Burning pewter using Allomancy increases your physical attributes proportionally, so the majority of "Thugs" are big, muscular men who train to be as strong as possible without using pewter, so they can be stronger with it. Vin, a small and slight teenage girl, is very strong when burning pewter, but comparatively much weaker than the average Thug.
  • Honor Harrington:
    • In On Basilisk Station, the Bronze Age-tech Medusans manage to brutally kill some Manticorans by surprise and swarming them. Then, the Manties bring out the heavy weapons and air support. The aliens die. And die. And die some more.
    • The Grav Lance is a powerful experimental weapon. That also means it is unreliable. Gutting the ship's regular weaponry to accommodate the experimental weapon leaves it undergunned when it is forced to confront an enemy vessel and although our heroes win the encounter, it's not without very serious casualties and the ship is so badly damaged it must be scrapped.
    • A major B-plot in Honor Among Enemies has a New Meat technician bullied by a crooked crewmember, beaten up and intimidated. Scared to testify, he instead accepts an offer to train with the shipboard marine company, ultimately standing up to the bully, bringing him down in a fair fight and exposing all his evil schemes. The seriousness of these schemes earn him some leniency three pages later when he's being busted for fighting on duty.
    • The Solarian League, having been at peace for centuries, butts in on the Manticore-Haven conflict, whose participants have been in a sustained Lensman Arms Race. The asskicking that follows is surprising to no one but the interlopers.
    • Losing large numbers of crewmen in a battle will result in a board of inquiry and will make the rest of the navy reluctant to serve with you, no matter how charismatic you are or how often you get results. Political connections become meaningless once you become a liability to your patrons.
  • In the Hurog duology, reality ensues several times. The protagonist protects himself from his abusive father by Obfuscating Stupidity. When his father is dead it turns out the only reason he wasn't sent to an asylum for insane nobles was because his father didn't want to pay the fees ... and someone else is willing to pay the fees. And then there is the woman who could really use the clothes of the man she just killed ... but they're soiled with more than just blood.
  • The Discworld books play this for equal parts comedy and drama:
    • Among other things, characters frequently react realistically to outlandish situations (in Going Postal, after tricking a banshee into getting killed by a malfunctioning sorting machine, the protagonist is too busy being ill to shoot off a Bond One-Liner), and the narrative often points out that happy endings in "real life" are never as simple as they are in stories (at the end of Monstrous Regiment, the protagonist and her companions end up stopping the war between Borogravia and Zlobenia, but some months later in story-time the ruthless ruler of Zlobenia just tries to start another war). Complicating things is the influence that narrative causality has on the Discworld, making the line between "reality" and "fiction" as blurry as it gets. This line is in fact used as a plot point in Guards! Guards!, where Vimes eventually works out that magic is the only explanation for a massive dragon being capable of flitting around the sky like a bird and breathing fire hot enough to melt stone, which helps him find the person who summoned it to begin with.
    • The Colour of Magic:
      • Rincewind has never used a sword before; when he tries to cut a thief down early in the book, he ends up smacking the thief with the side of the blade and losing his grip on the sword.
      • Later on, Rincewind, Twoflower and Hrun the Barbarian end up riding a dragon. When said dragon flies high up into the sky, Twoflower and Hrun pass out from the lack of oxygen.
      • Later on still, Rincewind and Twoflower find themselves lost at sea. They eventually wash up on an island belonging to the nation of Krull, and learn that they will most likely be enslaved by the Krullians. When Twoflower points out that this would be a bad idea, since he's a citizen of the Agatean Empire, their host asks him how the Emperor would know about whatever happened to them.
    • In Eric, Rincewind encounters an explorer, Ponce of Quirm, who is searching a jungle for the Fountain of Youth. Later on, Rincewind finds Ponce in Hell; while the explorer did at one point find the Fountain, he apparently died from drinking from a spring in an untamed wild without boiling the water first.
    • Monstrous Regiment has this trope in spades:
      • Borogravia is ruled by a mad god who continually outlaws everything from crop rotation to babies, and is always fighting a war. By the time of the book, the entire country is about a month away from starving, and nobody really believes in the god.
      • Sure, the Borogravian army fights valiantly, but they have no allies, no resources and no more recruits. And since they're too proud to surrender, all that means is that they're getting slaughtered for stupid reasons.
      • A whole bunch of girls join the army pretending to be boys. Naturally, they all figure each other out pretty quickly for varied reasons - everything from not having a bulge in their pants to saying 'sugar' instead of actually swearing.
      • And, when the girls disguised as boys inevitably have to disguise themselves as washerwomen, they get 'found out' instantly because the guards aren't stupid and know damn well that a group of newcomers with suspiciously short hair and no identification (and in one case, using socks to imitate breasts) are obviously enemies trying to sneak in. It takes one of the girls flashing the guards to save the disguise.
      • Black Ribboners are vampires who force themselves to crave things other than blood - in this case, coffee. But when the vampire in question's coffee supplies are stolen and thrown away, said vampire is forced to go cold turkey, and they almost have to pull a Mercy Kill.
      • At one point, the squad capture an enemy soldier. While Blouse is all for treating him fairly, Jackrum sets up an excuse to kill him, and later explains to Polly that despite what Blouse said, there was no way they could realistically keep him with them, so the only real option they had was to kill him.
    • The Fifth Elephant: The Scone of Stone is the dwarf equivalent of both a crown and a throne, being the seat on which the true kings sit. It has remained whole and intact for centuries, and is revered. Except that the original Scone crumbled a few centuries after it was baked, because it may be dwarf bread, but it was still bread. All the Scones since then are carefully-made replicas.
  • Harry Potter:
    • There are a number of points where the protagonists forget basic things as a result of their panic at a situation. A prominent example is in the first book, when Hermione is so freaked out at the sight of Harry and Ron being strangled by the Devil's Snare that she forgets that she can use magic to save them. This is given a callback in the last book, when they are trying to get into the Shrieking Shack via the tunnel by the Whomping Willow. Ron panics because there's apparently no way to freeze the tree, prompting Hermione to remind him that they can use magic.
    • During his third year, Harry receives a Firebolt - an international standard racing broom - as a Christmas present from an anonymous donor. Since Harry is supposedly being pursued by Sirius Black during this time, Hermione and McGonagall are immediately suspicious about the broom, fearing that it was sent by Sirius in attempt to get Harry killed, with the latter insisting that she and the other teachers have the broom checked for curses before Harry can use it.
    • Still in his third year, after the events in the Shrieking Shack, Harry and Hermione wake up in the hospital wing and learn that Sirius has been captured and will be given the Dementor's Kiss. They tell Dumbledore that Pettigrew committed the crimes attributed to Sirius, expecting that he will be able to save Sirius. Dumbledore believes them, but unfortunately, he tells them that Snape has already convinced Fudge that Sirius altered their minds (and they would be waved off as unreliable narrators anyway because they're underage), the Ministry won't listen to Lupin because of widespread anti-werewolf prejudice, and that without Pettigrew, they have no hard evidence to convince the Ministry otherwise. This forces Harry to realize that Dumbledore isn't an all-powerful figure who can instantly solve any problem brought to his attention.
    • In the same year, Hermione decides to take more classes than are usual for a third year student, enough that she requires a time-travel device to attend them all. She soon finds herself swamped with an incredible amount of homework, and is incredibly stressed by the sheer amount of studying she has to put in to keep up (and the arguments she has with Ron and Harry surely don't help). She finally decides to drop her extra classes and return to a normal schedule by the beginning of fourth year. Every person has a limit to how hard they can work, no matter how smart and studious they are.
    • After seeing Cedric Diggory get murdered right in front of him near the end of the fourth book, Harry ends up having to deal with PTSD over the next few months.
    • Goblet of Fire has Harry appear in front of the rest of the school, claiming that Lord Voldemort has returned. Aside from his closest friends and confidants, almost no one believes him. Turns out that people won't automatically believe The Hero when they make bold or outlandish claims that they can't prove, even if someone like Albus Dumbledore vouches for them. Particularly when they'd rather not deal with the consequences of such claims being true.
    • In Order of the Phoenix it's revealed that the Dursleys' method of raising Dudley has helped make him a juvenile delinquent.
    • During the climactic battle in the fifth book, Harry's friends get knocked out of the fight one by one. Even though they've been trained by Harry, they're still students without a proper formal education in Defense Against the Dark Arts against experienced Death Eaters, many of whom Would Hurt a Child.
    • At the end of Book 4, Cornelius Fudge was informed of the return of the most dangerous terrorist in Wizarding Britain. The Minister of Magic responded by not only covering it up, but also wasting valuable time and resources for an entire year persecuting and harassing Harry, Dumbledore, and their supporters, the very people trying to warn him in the first place. When Voldemort’s return is finally confirmed beyond any doubt at the end of Book 5, national public outrage of epic proportions ensues. There's no way you can spend an entire year covering up the fact that a sociopathic, Ax-Crazy terrorist has returned — one who is willing to murder anybody up to and including children in order to achieve his goals — and not have it horribly backfire when the truth inevitably comes out. The end result for all this? The entire British Wizarding public turns against Fudge for putting everybody in danger, and politicians who previously supported him sever all ties with him — not only to save themselves from the backlash, but because they have their own families to take care of and protect from the Death Eaters. Less than a fortnight after the public reveal, Fudge is kicked out of office and goes down in history as both a Dirty Coward and the worst Minister of Magic in modern times.
      • A much more serious example; Fudge put the entire world in danger because of his denial. His actions are one of the key factors in the Dark Lord's Near Villain Victory and the large body count in the last two books. This is because wizarding citizens and students weren't prepared to properly defend themselves when the truth suddenly came out as Fudge banned learning actual Defense Against the Dark Arts, and the Death Eaters moles took advantage of Fudge's denial in order to steal resources and prepare for their coup in the seventh book undetected. Had Fudge been honest, attempted to correct the problem earlier, or was skeptical but still took precautions in case Harry and Dumbledore turned out to be right, a lot of innocent people could have been saved.
      • Between the fifth and sixth books, Fudge tries to contact Harry via Dumbledore so that he can get his support, in order to hang on to his position as Minister for Magic. This is despite running a smear campaign against Harry, trying to get him expelled from Hogwarts, and working with Dolores Umbridge to undermine him, Dumbledore, and anybody else who believes and supports them for nearly a whole year. Unsurprisingly, Fudge is not Easily Forgiven; Dumbledore absolutely refuses to help him and doesn't let him get anywhere near Harry. As for Mr. Chosen One himself, he's beyond incredulous when he finds out Fudge actually thought that he could get Harry's support after everything he and his flunkies did.
      • In addition, Rufus Scrimgeour, the new Minister of Magic, learns the hard way that Harry's bitterness over the whole ordeal extends to the Ministry in general as not a whole lot of their workers stood up for him and Dumbledore. After a year of the Ministry either actively persecuting Harry and Dumbledore, or refusing to help them, it's no surprise Harry doesn't trust anyone from the Ministry of Magic anymore.
    • We learn early on in the fifth book that Percy had had a major fallout with the rest of the Weasley family, due to their support of Dumbledore and Harry, to the point that he decided to move out, unable to bear living with them any longer. When Voldemort is shown to have returned, thus proving that his family were right in their choices on who to trust, does Percy attempt to reconcile with them? Nope. He continues to isolate himself from the rest of the Weasleys, now either out of guilt for going against them when they turned out to be right, inability to let go of his pride long enough to apologize, and/or being afraid they would reject him if he tried. It's not until near the climax of the seventh book that he finds the strength to even apologize to his family.
      • On the other side of the coin, some members of his family aren't so willing to forgive him for turning against them in favor of the Ministry. When he reluctantly joins them for Christmas dinner in the sixth book, possibly in an attempt to reconcile, he has a bitter argument with Fred, George, and Ginny and ends up storming out of the house with his glasses covered in mashed parsnip.
    • In Voldemort's backstory, his mother Merope fell madly in love with a Muggle, so she subdued his mind with magic and had him run away from home and have a baby with her. Sometime later, she decided to stop magically brainwashing him, believing that he would remain at her side on his own volition, if not out of love, then for the sake of their child. Turns out that raping, abducting and subjugating people through occult means tends to build up quite a bit of resentment in them, however. The moment she drops the spell, he runs as far away from her as he can, not even bothering to stay for their child's sake.
    • More on Voldemort's maternal family, the Gaunts: They were the pure-blood descendants of Salazar Slytherin, and indeed quite wealthy, but they resorted to marrying their own cousins in order to preserve their pure-blood heritage. Combined with a lack of financial sense, this meant that the Gaunts went from being fabulously wealthy and respected to dirt poor and living in a tiny, filthy shack, rendered physically stunted and mentally deficit by centuries of inbreeding. Turns out, inbreeding within a single family for many years does tend to result in a large number of bad genes piling up. Meanwhile, other "blood traitor" families whose members married half-bloods, Muggle-borns, and Muggles continued to survive and flourish, because—surprise, surprise—their children were born free of inherited genetic defects and wizarding prejudice.
      • This even gets lampshaded in Chamber of Secrets when Ron is explaining the concept of "dirty blood" to Harry. Ron believes the whole thing is ridiculous because human wizards would have died out centuries ago if they didn't marry Muggles and Muggle-borns, and points out that every wizard currently alive has at least some amount of Muggle ancestry.
    • After Voldemort was finally defeated for good, the Ministry of Magic goes though massive reform, not only to rebuild it after being taken over by the Death Eaters, but because it's been failing since the end of the First Wizarding War. Also, many of its corrupt policies were stripped, because everybody realized that they were some of the causes of Voldemort's rise in power.
    • Word of God confirms that while Harry revealed Severus Snape's true loyalty to both Dumbledore and Lily Evans to the wizarding public after his death in order to clear his name, there are still many people debating his character, with one In-Universe book about his life appropriately titled Snape: Scoundrel or Saint?. Sure, Snape might have died heroically and played a major role in ending Voldemort's reign of terror, but he was still a huge Jerkass to pretty much everybody in life, and that still taints his legacy.
    • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the Malfoy family defect from the Death Eaters to save each other. In most other series, this would result in the Malfoys renouncing the ways and beliefs of their former compatriots. However, this is not the case with Lucius Malfoy, as Word of God confirms that he still holds onto his Fantastic Racism against Muggles and non-pureblood wizards about two decades after the war. A large part of this might have to do with how Lucius was, of course, in his forties by the end of the war, and therefore was too old to turn over a new leaf. Not to mention, Lucius has held his Fantastic Racist beliefs since childhood, long before he had ever met Voldemort. No wonder visits from his grandson Scorpius were always awkward. Truth in Television, as many former Confederates and Nazis maintained their beliefs well after the American Civil War and World War II, respectively, ended.
  • At the end of the book Across the Universe, Amy and Elder stop the dumping of drugs into the water, which means that the population of Godspeed is no longer doped up into being compliant. In A Million Suns, we see that this does not lead to an automatic happy ending. Instead, there are riots, strikes, suicides, and panic attacks, as a large number of people suddenly find themselves having to deal with emotions and thoughts that they never experienced before.
  • In the Black Prism, the main character's friends and love interest run from an attack very early in the book. Arrows fly after them, and the main character's power manifests just in time to redirect the arrow from his love interest... only to have two more arrows pepper her back and kill her.
  • In the second Artemis Fowl book, a gangster attempts to kill Holly by firing a laser gun from the hip... and ends up missing with every shot.
    • All attempts to create a Born as an Adult clone of a sapient being resulted in a living body with no mind, resembling someone in a coma. Why? Normal brain development requires years of sensory experience and interaction with the environment. You can't replicate that in a vat.
    • The Arctic Incident shows exactly why it isn't a good idea to depend entirely on one company for all your technology: when the owner of that company turns against the LEP, the LEP lose access to all their technology, including most of their weaponry. And they're dealing with an invading force.
    • In the beginning of the third book, Artemis has a meeting with Jon Spiro, the owner of an electronics company, to show him some revolutionary technology that Artemis came up with. The technology in question is so ahead of its time it could render all other forms of technology obsolete. However, contrary to Spiro's expectations, Artemis didn't come intending to sell him the technology, and all of Artemis' explanations as to why Spiro couldn't make any use of it without Artemis himself there fall on deaf ears. When Artemis then tries to protest that Spiro wouldn't try anything in public, Spiro reveals that he filled the meeting place with assassins working for him- after all, did Artemis really expect that he could just dangle something like that in front of Spiro's nose and Spiro wouldn't take any means possible to acquire it?
      • Butler also tries to challenge Spiro's bodyguard to a one on one fight. At which point the bodyguard refuses, saying that he and his colleagues are just going to shoot Butler and Artemis.
  • The Heather Wells Mysteries
    • Not all information is freely available on the internet, including things like marriage records. Sometimes, Cooper admits to having to bribe a district attorney or... help himself a little through hacking.
    • In Size 12 And Ready To Rock, Cooper explains that facial recognition programs do not work the way they do on TV.
    • And no matter what TV keeps telling Nicole Cartwright, inviting an estranged parent to their child's wedding will not automatically result in a happy reunion; especially when said parent abandoned their child by taking their life savings and running off to Argentina. Janet Wells realizes that she cannot mend her broken relationship with her daughter so easily, probably not at all.
  • Mr. Mercedes
    • Despite being pretty badass for majority of the book, retired Detective Hodges is not as fit as he was, when he was still an active policeman, so the stress from all the events, along with his weight issues and overstraining result in him having (but also surviving) a heart attack and is ultimately prevented from being able to nab Hartfield.
    • And his little off-the-books, and illegal, little campaign leads to Hodges being legally banned from ever acquiring a Private Investigator License.

  • Animorphs:
    • The Animorphs are a bunch of teenagers who fight alien invaders, and have to make increasingly morally ambiguous choices to win. War Is Hell is in full effect throughout the story. Ultimately, the war ends, but Rachel, Tom, Jara Hamee, James and presumably all of the auxiliary Animorphs are dead. The Blade ship escapes. There is no final all out battle with Visser Three, he merely surrenders when he realizes he's lost. He is then captured but not executed. Jake is left a broken man due to his actions in the war, he and Cassie break up, Tobias leaves society, and Rachel.... Marco does become famous, but it's hollow. There's even the possibility of a new war (with a different enemy) on the horizon. It is in short, exactly what would really happen after a war ends. When a number of fans complained about these things, author K.A. Applegate wrote a letter saying "This is the way it works in real life."
    • Visser One suspects that the Animorphs aren't Andalites, but actually humans, much sooner than the other Big Bads did. She does this by noticing that they seem oddly concerned for human lives, while history shows that the Andalite military is unconcerned with alien life at best, and willing to sacrifice them for their greater good at worst. What ends up confirming this for her is Marco making a reference to The Prince of Egypt, something an Andalite would never be caught dead doing.
      Visser One: Andalites don't make jokes, let alone human pop culture references. No, you're a human.
    • According to Jake in the last book, not everyone is okay with aliens visiting Earth, especially ones that can shapeshift.
    • In one book, the kids attempt to capture a flightworthy vessel by sending a distress signal from a Yeerk wreck, relying on Ax's knowledge of Yeerk technology. Except Ax has been on Earth, cut off from alien intel for quite some time now. An entire attack group headed by Visser Three himself descends and captures them. The Visser even scoffs over the "Andalite bandits" being dumb enough to think they never change their distress codes.
  • The Nero Wolfe stories can be seen as applying this to many of the classic tropes of detective fiction. Wolfe, like many of the Great Detectives, is a cultured intellectual who, when he isn't solving mysteries, lives a comfortable, even lavish lifestyle despite apparently having no source of income... except in Wolfe's case, it's established that he can afford to do so primarily because when he does solve mysteries he makes a point of charging what are at times almost extortionate fees for doing so, and both often has to keep ahead of draining his savings accounts through his luxurious lifestyle and has earned a reputation as being something of a mercenary Ambulance Chaser (or at least the Private Detective equivalent thereof). He's also a brilliant Amateur Sleuth who frequently exposes the police as blundering incompetents... and naturally, the police resent both his interference in criminal matters and his showing them up.
  • By the end of On the Jellicoe Road, Taylor's pieced the stories together and figured out what happened to everyone. Her mother, finally clean and sober, returns home for the first time in years, and manages to build an actual relationship with her daughter. And then she dies from her cancer, because love and relationships are not medicine.
  • The Darker and Edgier Alternate Universe Star Trek novel A Less Perfect Union shows the realistic effects of Star Trek's preferred visual tropes, for instance, Explosive Instrumentation results in hideous but not necessarily fatal injuries, such as a man getting third degree burns over half his body, or Chekov being blinded by shards of a panel screen, and the Star Trek Shake sends people flying around the bridge, resulting in one officer cracking the back of her head on a rail and dying instantly.
  • This comes to bite Griffin in The Invisible Man. For example, he finds out the hard way that being invisible doesn't protect him from the cold, factors such as the bloodied soles of his feet from walking everywhere unprotected and food digesting in his stomach can compromise his invisibility, rain will make an outline against his body, he still leaves footprints, etc.
  • Towards the climax of Audrey, Wait!, Audrey overhears something she wasn't supposed to in a bathroom. However, instead of confronting the wrongdoers, she freezes in place and just sits there, unable to do anything. Audrey immediately comments that she found it easier to sympathize with fictional characters who were in a similar situation and didn't do anything about it after that.
  • In Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, Greg finds a bike some neighbors left out with the trash and decides to use it as his new way of getting around. However, his plans come to ruin when it falls apart in four days. Turns out a bike left out with the garbage where anybody can take it probably isn't a very good one.
  • This is the point of Lord of the Flies, where the author reminds us that trapping a bunch of kids alone on a deserted island is more likely to lead to bloodshed and madness than quirky misadventures. In particular, much of their negative behavior from civilization carries over here, such as forming cliques, ostracizing certain individuals they don't like, bickering amongst themselves and shortsightedly losing track of their long-term goals, with the only difference being that the consequences are worse. Even their belief that the adults would make everything better is subtly shattered at the end when their rescuer is a naval ship fighting in World War III.
  • Kamen Rider Dragon Knight novel sequel 2Worlds 1Hearts starts with the Ventaran riders being trapped in their world and Earth facing a sharp rise in monster activity with only two remaining riders at the defenses. The solution to this is to recruit people, who were tricked into fighting in this interdimensional war in the main story (TV series). When asked to drop their normal lives and go back to being soldiers, the answers naturally range from Little "No" to HELL NO.
  • Out of the Dark: Though mankind fights tenaciously and wins small victories, it ultimately has no way of defending itself from an enemy that controls the orbitals. It's a Hopeless War for man. Until the Twist Ending at any rate.
  • In Petty Pewter Gods, two minor Shayir with the power to transform into owls set out to track Garrett's movements through the city from above. They soon discover that, while they can make themselves invisible to humans, it's the city's crows they should've been hiding from: spotting the "owls" flying around in daylight, TunFaire's urban crow population gathers in huge flocks to mob and harass them, driving them back to the ground.
  • In The Land of Stories, after spending 100 years asleep, the Sleeping Kingdom is mostly dead and the inhabitants still prefer to sleep all day. Sleeping Beauty is still trying to make things right.
  • The Zombie Survival Guide, being a book about what to do and what not to do in a Zombie Apocalypse, often points to "obvious" strategies and choices that will in fact get you killed quickly with Boring, but Practical choices being the better bet.
    • The book warns against going to a gun shop to loot weapons. Gun shop owners will probably get to their store a lot quicker than you will, and gun shop owners tend to be very good shots. Do you really want to be standing outside a gun shop arguing with a man who has enough weapons to equip a small army and is probably jittery and paranoid as hell?
      • Going to the police station is a bad idea as well, as it will be swarmed with scared people, some of whom who may even already be Zombie Infectees. The undead will be drawn to the crowds and the police will probably be overwhelmed. Ditto for churches and malls, with the latter likely to be a dangerous hotspot of rioting until the zombies get there.
    • Shotguns, a staple of the fictional zombie survivor's arsenal, are in fact not an optimal choice of weapon in real life. Not only is the weapon (and its ammo) rather bulky and heavy but the effective range is inferior to that of a rifle, the long-arm the book actually recommends. Semi-automatic rifles are even better. It also wouldn't work well on zombies, as the shotgun pellets would not do much to slow down the undead, let alone actually killing them without being at point-blank range.
    • Other staple weapons such as chainsaws and automatics are considered to be Awesome, but Impractical; chainsaws are heavy, loud, require fuel to work, and actually not even all that effective. Lighter and more quiet weapons like the humble crowbar, camping hatchet or machete are the better choice.
  • This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It (the sequel to John Dies at the End) features a hybrid small scale Zombie Outbreak/Invasion of the Body Snatchers style Puppeteer Parasites. Towards the end of the book deconstructions of both of those tropes/genres increasingly come into play. For example:
    • A bunch of college students who think they're in a typical Romero style zombie movie consider it inevitable that the Army & government forces will fail go into town to take matters into their own hands. After showing startling incompetence with their guns, the only thing they manage to do is kill a bunch of innocent people trying to escape being wrongfully quarantined before the actual monsters easily wipe them out.
    • Local people (who are filled with the full range of normal human stupidity and prejudices) form militias and kill anyone that they can't verify as being free from infection except the end of the book reveals that at most somewhere around 70 total people were infected, so the hundreds of people slaughtered by these militias are mostly innocent. As the book repeatedly points out, the paranoia that anybody could be infected and you couldn't tell that from looking at them was a much greater danger than the actual parasites.
    • Lastly, when David sees an Army barricade around town he realizes that the idea of the US Army getting overrun by zombies, whether slow or fast, is really pretty silly. The Army has plenty of Dakka and Tanks, not a single soldier is exposed to be bitten, the ground in front of them is covered with razor wire that will result in anything walking in being helplessly entangled and becoming an easy target, etc. Strategy is, after all, what the Army does and it would require them to grab an Idiot Ball bigger than the actual planet for them to be overrun from a small outbreak when they've had time to prepare themselves.
  • In Swamplandia!, when 13-year old Ava's Bigtree's sister runs off to the underworld, and with the rest of her family away, Ava sets off to retrieve her, taking a mysterious stranger called the Bird Man to be her guide. It turns out that just because a strange adult confirms your claims about a supposed 'underworld' (and claims to have been there before), does not mean that you should go off unaccompanied and alone with them. The whole underworld story was a lie, and Ava ends up getting molested by the so-called 'Bird Man'. Thankfully she manages to escape, but still.
  • The fairy tale Diamonds and Toads has a fairy bless and curse a younger daughter and older daughter, respectively. The kind younger sister has diamonds fall out of her mouth when she speaks, while the rude older sister has snakes, toads, and insects fall out instead. In the original story, the younger sister later marries a prince and the older gets kicked out of the house for being disgusting. But a rewritten version has a different outcome: the prince just wants his bride's free diamonds and the older sister uses her instant vermin creation powers to bully and threaten people.
  • In the backstory of The Elenium it is revealed that the previous war with Zemoch had resulted in a battle that saw tens of thousands killed on each side. When told that the Western kingdoms won, Talen eagerly assumes that they pushed the war on and succeeded in destroying their enemy. He is then informed that conscripting every able-bodied man to fight a war during the planting season has its consequences, and the famine that resulted nealy destroyed the Western kingdoms; leading to an upheaval in society by having the Knights forced to work alongside the peasantry in order to produce enough food to avoid extinction and requiring the Church to repeal the Church Knights' vows of celibacy in order to facilitate repopulation.
  • In The Belgariad, Garion manages to use sorcery to knock over a heavy rock, but since he didn't properly guard himself, the force involved drove him into the ground (as in, he was sticking out like a sapling) and he couldn't get out without help.
    • Afterwards, The Mentor asks him, in a rather exasperated tone, why he thought lifting the rock to knock it over (the method most likely to get him stuck in the ground) was a good idea, when he could have just given the top of the rock a stout smack and let gravity do the rest.
  • In the Friar's Tale from The Canterbury Tales, a corrupt summoner attempts to form a partnership with Satan—who takes the first excuse he can get to double-cross the summoner.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has a neat Happily Ever After ending, with Mr. Wonka and the entire Bucket family traveling back to the titular factory via the Great Glass Elevator. The plot of the Immediate Sequel Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator uses this trope for a Sequel Reset: Since the still-bedridden grandparents were pushed (bed and all) into the elevator despite their anxious protestations, the action starts when their continued, understandable anxiety — and distrust of wacky Mr. Wonka, whom they've only just met — culminates in Grandma Josephine panicking as he prepares to land the elevator by flying it really high. The result of this is that it ends up in orbit. The rest of the book is fanciful business as usual.
  • Warrior Cats:
    • The mighty leader Leopardstar does not die during a great battle or heroic deed, as you might expect. Instead, she loses her life to...disease. A slow, painful disease that no one knows how to cure. What? They're feral cats—sickness is going to hit them like a ton of bricks, even if they do have medicine cats.
    • Brokenstar's kit-warriors, who are three to five months oldnote , are completely ineffective in battle, and such a blatant violation of the Code makes every Clan in the forest (including his own) hate him. Brokenstar is quickly overthrown (partly because of these idiotic tactics) to make way for a more pragmatic villain.
    • In Long Shadows, Ashfur proudly describes his Evil Plan in front of its intended victims, apparently believing that they're too honorable to try and stop him. Guess who turns up mysteriously dead afterwards?
    • As is true with a large number of pure white cats with blue eyes, Snowkit is born deaf. As is also true with disabled animals in the wild, Snowkit does not survive into adulthood. He is carried off by a hawk because he can't hear the other cats calling for him to get to safety.
    • In A Dangerous Path, Brightpaw and Swiftpaw are tired of Bluestar denying them their warrior names, and go off to find a dog pack rumored to be loose in the forest, reasoning that Bluestar can't keep ignoring them if they prove how brave they are. When they actually find the dog pack, they quickly find out that two young cats don't stand a fighting chance against an entire pack of bloodthirsty, full-grown adult dogs. Swiftpaw is killed and Brightpaw is horribly mauled, losing one ear and one eye.
    • Within a small group of feral cats, all descended from an even smaller group of runaway domestic cats, you would expect inbreeding to be a problem... which it is. The word is never used, but for those who know what to look for, the number of stillbirths, the small litters (no cat in the series ever has a litter larger than four, where four would be considered a very small litter for a healthy cat) and the frequency of birth defects all speak a very clear language.
  • Talia, of the Arrows Trilogy, takes years to fully recover from her abusive childhood, and her Collegium teachers have to carefully work around her fear of men. It isn't solved in an instant by magic, or The Power of Love, or the fact that her life is different nownote —it's an emotional, gradual process.
  • In 11/22/63 Jake Epping uses information from the future to place sports bets to fund his trip to the past. The mob doesn't take kindly to people winning lopsided bets, resulting in Jake's house getting firebombed and Jake being beaten nearly to death by enforcers.
  • The Hour of the Dragon has the Big Bad Ensemble resurrect a sorcerer who lived and died thousands of years ago. The result is the same as it would be if said sorcerer had gone there via Time Travel: he's unable to read modern texts unless he has them translated into languages used in his time, and the lay of the land has changed so much since his death that he no longer recognises it.
  • Kill Decision:
    • Linda refuses to take Odin's explanation about his team and their work at face value. Would you believe it if you were abducted by a mysterious bunch who claim they're out to save the world?
    • Odin's team have to evade the authorities several times because as a top secret unit, not only would the police not know about them, but their operating on American soil is illegal.
  • Think Smart, Hazel Green!: Hazel is vehemently upset when she finds out that Mr. Volio is being evicted from his shop, and argues against said eviction on the grounds that it isn't fair. She's then informed by the lawyer in charge of the case that yes, it may well be unfair, but fairness doesn't actually matter because the eviction is completely legal. In the end, stopping the eviction requires her to use methods based on another law, as opposed to just protesting the eviction's unfairness, because said protests don't really accomplish anything and don't change anything either.
    • Hazel also realises that had Mr. Volio been evicted, people would have been sad, sure... but life would go on, and after a while everyone would forget, because that's just what happens.
    • In the first book, the kids of the Moodey Building decide to build a model of the building for the parade, with the model having the same number of floors (over thirty). The Yak, upon finding this out, informs them that a structure that high will fall, and when they ignore him and build it anyway, it only stands for about a minute before the wind knocks it over.
    • In the third book, Hazel's accusations of racism against Mr. Davis go down predictably: nobody believes the upstart troublemaker over the well-respected businessman.
      • The climax of the book has Hazel, Mr. Egozian (the victim of Mr. Davis' racism) and the Yak confronting Mr. Davis in public. Mr. Davis breaks down and admits his racism, but even having won, Mr. Egozian quits his job, feeling that he couldn't remain there.
  • In The Tygrine Cat, a young cat named Mati sees an apparition of his dead mother across the road. He runs towards her and ends up in a coma after being hit by a car. The car's occupants take him to an animal shelter, where the veterinarian makes plans to euthanize him as she is doubtful he will ever wake up.
  • The Diablo III novel Storm of Light takes place right after the game and undoes the happy note it ended on. The Nephalem saving Heaven from the Prime Evil hasn't magically made Angels accept Humans, and the two sides are still no closer to uniting against the demons. The role Humans played in the Prime Evil's creation actually has some Angels blaming them, and given Imperius grounds to reopen the topic of whether or not to destroy them. Theres also the issue of Tyrael being mortal. Not only is it difficult for him to function in Heaven, his actions have caused him to become rather estranged from his own kind.
    • It also shows how hard it is for humans to actually fight demons. Despite their skill and experience the adventurers Tyrael recruits for his mission are nearly overwhelmed by a small band of demons and cultists. Even after he helps them tap into their budding Nephaelem powers they're still nowhere near the physical god the player character is.
  • In a Sweet Valley High book, a girl has vicious rumors spread about her by her rival. Sure enough, she's ostracized and her crush dumps her. While the rumors are eventually proven to be false and the Alpha Bitch punished for her actions, the girl and her crush never reconcile. Aside from being hurt and angry over how he treated her, she realizes how spineless he is and that she can't trust him.
  • Protector of the Small is this to the Tortall Universe. After Alanna became the country's greatest knight by hiding her gender, a decree was passed that allowed women to become knights. Ten years later, Keladry of Mindelan becomes the first girl to openly try for her shield, and is immediately subjected to bullying, hazing, double standards, and people who will stop at nothing to ensure that she fails to prove women can't be knights. Alanna's heroism and a progressive government don't change the misogyny deeply entrenched into Tortall's culture. Kel ultimately succeeds, yes, but only because she's willing to go through hell.
    • Near the end of the last book, Kel finally confronts the mage behind the killing machines that have been one of the most terrifying enemies she's ever faced... and finds that he's not some grand, powerful figure who inspires awe just by being in his presence, he's simply an ordinary man who happened to have a skill that he could capitalise on. And once she foils his attempt to enthrall her, he's basically powerless to defend himself against her and even though she's injured and barely standing, she kills him easily.
    • In Lady Knight, Kel is placed in command of a refugee camp. While it's true that she has the skills and temperament to make it work, placing an eighteen year old girl who is only in her first year as an actual knight as their leader does not inspire confidence in her new charges, and Kel faces a fair bit of opposition from people who don't like her.
      • This also works against Lord Wyldon later in the book: when you specifically institute as commander someone who is guaranteed to really care about her charges, do you really think that when said charges are kidnapped, their commander won't immediately run off to save them?
    • Kel invokes this in First Test: she leads a campaign against hazing, and a lot of her fellow pages protest because they see hazing as a tradition. Kel points out that while sending someone on foolish errands is harmless, Joren and his friends go out of their way to humiliate and hurt people, and not only is this wrong, it's also increasing the chances that as knights, they'll do the same to the people they're supposed to be protecting - after all, it's not as though once they get their shields, they'll just decide to go be paragons of morality.
    • The Joren arc is full of this trope. To start with, Joren and his friends bully Kel and her friends, but in Page, he apologises, claims to have changed and asks to be her friend. It's really unsurprising when it turns out that someone with such ingrained ideas hasn't changed.
      • Kel and Lalasa get caught in a nasty case of this trope: in Page, Vinson attacks Lalasa, but Kel foils his attempt to sexually assault her. She wants to officially report him, but Lalasa begs her not to, pointing out that Vinson is from a powerful and wealthy noble house who can and would bring hell down on Lalasa and her uncle, and they're just poor servants. What's worse for them is that while Kel agrees to not report him, Vinson goes on to attack two more girls and rape a third, leading Kel to think that if she had reported him, he might not have attacked them.
      • The Chamber of the Ordeal is renowned as cruel and relentless, hammering squires down and hitting them where it hurts, but people forget that its primary purpose is to test whether a squire is eligible to become a knight, and there's more to being a knight than just passing the Chamber's test. Even though Joren and Vinson are on paper perfectly eligible to become knights, the Chamber disagrees and takes its own measures, forcing Vinson to confess his crimes, and straight up killing Joren.
      • Sure, squires have failed the Chamber's test before, but two failures in the same year has never happened before. Lord Wyldon takes it as a sign and quits his job, reasoning that it's a wakeup call he can't afford to ignore.
    • In Squire, the alpha male and female of Kel's sparrow flock die- not from disease or in a fight, but from old age, because that's how much time has passed since the beginning of the series.
  • The Salvation War: The forces of Hell go to Earth to defeat the unruly humans who have defied Satan's orders to surrender... and are promptly wiped out, because human technology and warfare have advanced so much that the demons simply can't measure up, especially once the humans find the demons' weaknesses.
  • In Casey at the Bat, it's Down to the Last Play, and Casey stacks the deck against himself to show off. It Was His Sled that he strikes out.
  • The Hunger Games
    • Pretty much what the plot of Mockingjay runs on. Katniss' improvised plan to go behind enemy lines to assassinate President Snow fails spectacularly and destroys her entire squad. And there were some fans who found Finnick's death to be unnecessary and lacking in heroism. But that makes sense in a war.
    • District 13 specializes in all kinds of weaponry, including nuclear missiles. So why don't they use them in the rebellion against the Capitol? Because it would cause untold number of casualties and turn what's left of the available land on Earth into a wasteland, which would cause even more casualties. The world is already screwed up enough and Panem is probably the last civilization on Earth; a nuclear war only increases the possibility of driving humanity to extinction, and by then, there's no one left to reach the goalpost. The Capitol knows this; in fact it's the entire reason why they decide to leave District 13 alone following the first rebellion.
    • White the contrast between Katniss swearing in the first book that she'll never have kids while still living in this Crapsack World and her decision in the epilogue to have two kids after all is heartwarming, it's noteworthy that it takes Peeta 15 years, combined with regular counseling with a psychriatrist, to convince Katniss to finally change her mind. She is still recovering from PTSD, depression, and the horrors of the war, not to mention seeing her beloved sister being blown to bits in front of her. No amount of care is going to change a troubled person in a short time. And even Katniss herself notes in the epilogue that she may never fully recover from her trauma.
  • The Maze Runner
    • Betraying someone in the worst way possible after gaining their utmost trust, then using a "Just Joking" Justification to save face isn't going to work in real-life. Teresa acts as if she's still Thomas' girlfriend after revealing her involvement with WICKED and making out with another guy in front of him, all the while declaring that he's a fool who doesn't know any better than to accept it because it's For The Greater Good. Thomas, meanwhile, opts to stay away from Teresa as far as possible.
    • A certain individual advised the head of the books' Expy of WHO to transmit a virus that would kill off people in some parts of the world to prevent overpopulation, then develop a cure to neutralize it before it could spread further. No matter how fast people developed a neutralizer, the virus always outpaced them, in the meantime undergoing a mutation that enabled it to spread airborne, basically turning from "some parts of the world" to the entire world. Which, by the way, is the prime characteristic of viruses in real life and what makes diseases spread by viruses that much dangerous than those spread by bacteria. One wonders how they got their PhD.
  • In the Drenai saga by David Gemmell, Druss makes friends with a Gothir wrestler he is due to fight at the pseudo-Olympics. Some Gothir locals don't want their champion to lose and attempt to assassinate Druss, only for the Gothir champion to be paralysed. Druss promises to find a mystical gem to cure his friend. At the end of the book Druss returns with the gem only to discover his friend died soon after he left. The doctor gives a lecture about how a spinal injury and sickness will not wait on heroic sentiments.
  • In Gemmell's Stones of Power series, this happens to Jon Shannow—a strong hit to the side of the head with a club can't be overcome by sheer willpower, but puts him out of commission for months and requires a lot of physical therapy to get over.
  • Dragons in Our Midst:
    • Much like Wild Cards, having powers of dragons without the Required Secondary Powers comes with its drawbacks. In the beginning, Billy is not immune to his own fire-breathing power, which he literally has to squelch with large amounts of water and soda, which helps kick-start the plot in action when he has to use the bathroom after consuming too much fluid.
    • Bonnie has large dragon wings. They are very hard to hide and require a large backpack to do so. The book also hints that she is a clumsy flier, often unable to get away by getting off the ground, because wings were simply not designed for humans. Even when she was able to carry Billy up in the air, it was quite a struggle to do so.
    • Even though it is a YA series, it goes out of its way to defy Adults Are Useless and Police Are Useless. For example, in Raising Dragons, on a drive to the airport, it was a cop that helped save Bonnie's life when Devin attacked her. There were first responders, rescuers, and other policemen after the plane crash shortly after. A lot of help through several sticky situations comes from Billy and Walter's parents, as well as Professor Hamilton.
    • In The Candlestone, Billy ends up killing his kidnapper Palin, who was about to kill him. Even though it was in self-defense, and against a monster that tried to kill his family and friends, did he feel great about it? No. After the fight he felt very ill, weeping heavily. After all, he still killed a man, and in a rather grotesque way as well.
      • Billy's battle with Palin himself. Billy used a breath of fire to ignite some gasoline. Palin used a shield to protect himself from the flames, but his exposed legs and arm still got roasted, and soon he collapsed and died from the burns. Turns out a medieval-era shield will NOT protect you from a roaring wall of fire.
  • A central theme of the Stephen King novel From A Buick 8 is the impenetrable ambiguity surrounding the titular Buick. The Police at troop D have been watching over the thing and studying it for well over twenty years, and by the end of it, besides some basic ground rules regarding safety around it (which they know is far from perfect) and some theories surrounding where it's from and the creatures it 'births', they know about as much about it as they did when it first arrived. After all, they're just police officers studying the thing as a glorified hobby in their spare time, and the Buick is something completely alien to them and to this world in nearly every way. Because of this, all the remaining police can offer the boy they're relating their story of the Buick to is scattered anecdotes centering around the Buick, and his unwillingness to accept that there simply isn't a concrete explanation and resolution to its story is a constant source of frustration to them.
  • Happens with regularity in Emilio Salgari's novels. One iconic example is the first battle between Sandokan and the British cruiser in The Tigers of Mompracem: outgunned so much it wasn't even funny, Sandokan realized the only way to win was to board the enemy ship and had his pirates start paddling, but just as they were about to succeed the steam cruiser moved away and resumed fire from a safe distance.
  • In The Dinosaur Lords, the idea of Elite Army composed solely of The Beautiful Elite has a glaring problem: logistics.
    Sadly, he Empire's most elite band of warrior-artist-philosophers of beauty tended to attract precious few candidates with any gift for organizing things.
  • In Dora Wilk Series, there's one werewolf who organizes underground Gladiator Games, moving from city to city every few weeks like an wandering circus. While this may sound evil or glamorous, Grizzly is perpetually skirting the edge of bankrupcy, as constant clandestine movement and armies of guards to look after his prisoners aren't exactly paying for themselves.
  • In CS Lewis's Perelandra, the hero Ransome is terrified at the thought that he, an ordinary middle-aged academic, will have to kill Satan Incarnate with his bare hands. It proves easier than he expected, as Satan was Incarnate in the body of another middle-aged academic who was much less fit than he was.
  • Richard Freeman's horror anthology Hyakumontagari.
    • A recurring theme in the book is that Yokai Need Belief Badly; as Japan becomes more modernised, belief in them has largely faded. This, typically, does not end well for the protagonists, who often end up harming themselves and others due to this.
    • "Brother on The Hill" has the protagonist go into the mountains, alone and unarmed, in order to find a population of potentially dangerous ape-men. End result; he dies.
  • In the gamebooks Lone Wolf, even with powerful psychic powers and wielding an Infinity +1 Sword, a primitive gun is still a serious threat.
  • Skinned: The protagonist is one of a number of androids who are given the personality and memories of dead people in order to serve as Replacement Goldfish. Despite being the closest thing possible to a new Lia, android!Lia is very, very aware that the real Lia is dead- and so is everyone else, especially Lia's family, which makes life incredibly awkward for everyone.
    • The series also points out how hard it is to appear realistically human when you're a robot: they don't eat or breathe or sleep, leading to a lot of awkward family dinners where everyone else is eating and Lia has nothing to do but sit there awkwardly, which only makes the reality more apparent.
  • In The Girl from the Miracles District:
    • The eponymous neighborhood is perpetually locked by magic in year 1936, which, while making for a very picturesque setting, means that people are dying from diseases that could've been cured by either a quick visit to the hospital, which is impossible for District's citizens, or modern medicine, which the District's magic doesn't accept.
    • In the second book, Badass Biker Nikita breaks her arm and is subsequently forced to rent a car with her companion as the driver, as you can't really drive a motorcycle with only one working hand.
    • As the Bears find out, being a Badass Biker is fun when you're twenty, and much less so when you're nearing forty and start to settle down with a family.
  • The primary trope for many of Stanisław Lem's novels, especially Fiasco. Human explorers travel to a distant star system to try to make first contact. Despite their more and more desperate methods, the cultural differences and wrong assumptions make sure they will misunderstand each other horribly.
  • Pride and Prejudice:
    • Mr. and Mrs. Bennet show what can happen if you marry someone purely on the basis of attractiveness. While it's not the worst set up, it's still pretty telling that Mr. Bennet keeps himself closeted away from his wife and his younger daughters as much as possible. Likewise, Lydia and Wickham's affections for each other quickly turn to indifference but due to their own actions, they are forced to stay together.
    • Charlotte marries Mr. Collins who she can't stand as a person but she has such little prospects (she is the ripe age of 27 and only average if not plain in looks and little money) that she quickly accepts his proposal. This is often the plight of real life women in the Regency era who sadly had to sell themselves to the highest bidder to avoid ending up in the streets or worse.
    • Mrs. Bennet's shallow, selfish and socially uncouth behavior discourages potential suitors for her daughters, especially in the case of Jane and Bingley. She also encourages the same behavior with her younger daughters and the way they act in public is something most people find detestable and embarrassing. After all, who would want that kind of family for in-laws?
  • CHERUB Series: In one of the early books, James is forced to shoot and kill someone who is about to kill him. Sure, it's completely justifiable, but he suffers from mental trauma afterwards, and is still dealing with it in the next book.
  • Words of Radiance (second book of The Stormlight Archive):
    • The Parshendi learn how to summon lightning from their hands. It proceeds to act exactly like normal lightning, making it basically impossible to aim.
    • Sadeas remarks to Adolin that he fully intends to poison Dalinar's final victory and undermine the newly refounded Knights Radiant. He and Adolin are alone with no one nearby to witness his admission. So no one is around to witness Adolin stab Sadeas through the eye and dispose of his Shardblade.
  • Wicked is essentially a licensed Dark Fic of the Land of Oz books (with heavy influence from the MGM film) that does this to series. For example, people in Oz are not immortal; they are born and they die just like humans do. Elphaba was not melted by water just because, she's actually allergic to it and her melting was an allergic reaction to the water.
  • One one-scene character in Sharpe's Regiment is a streetwalker by the name of Belle, who's got terminal tuberculosis. In this case, it is tuberculosis, and not Victorian Novel Disease; Belle dies in agony, coughing up her lungs one bloody lump at a time.
  • In Dan Morgan's "Sixth Perception" series, The New Minds, ends with a Redemption Earns Life plot for the villain. After being defeated by the Dobie twins, Victor is forgiven for trying to steal Peter Moray's body and is allowed to survive the death of his original body by being incorporated into the mind of Dr Havenlake. At the time, this seems like the best possible thing for both parties: Havenlake gains access to Victor's psi-powers, thereby becoming the psychic he always secretly wanted to be; meanwhile, Victor gets to share control of a healthy body at long last. However, the next book in the series demonstrates the logical problems of this arrangement: since both possess different perspectives on morality and the use of psychic powers, Victor and Havenlake really don't get along. Plus, Victor isn't so Easily Forgiven for what he did in the last book; in fact, when Havenlake's wife commits suicide, the grieving doctor immediately suspects Victor, and when Victor seizes control of Havenlake's body in a desperate attempt to stop him from committing suicide as well, the incident nearly ends with the two of them killing each other - though the Dobie twins are able to calm both parties down before the worst comes to the worst.
    • Also, just because Victor's been given a chance to redeem himself doesn't automatically make him a better person: though he's learned restraint and some degree of respect for life by the start of the second book, he hasn't lost too much of his unscrupulousness - or his desire for a body of his own; even though he takes over Havenlake's body with good intentions in mind, it's not long before he succumbs to temptation and tries to take it permanently. For good measure, he's the only member of the main cast willing to stop Alec Glover through premeditated murder - which he does. It takes being allowed to begin a new life in the body of an infant to really change Victor for the better - and even in the fourth book of the series, he's still willing to use some very unorthodox tactics.
    • Meanwhile, Victor very nearly dies from this while in Havenlake's body: having enjoyed sampling the memories of swimming from the minds of others, he decides to go for a dip once he's seized control. Unfortunately, Havenlake never learned to swim, and with no knowledge to guide him, Victor sinks like a stone.
  • In The King's Avatar, this often overlaps with Truth in Television:
    • No matter how good an individual professional player is, if they can't come up with good rankings and adequate results overall for their corporate sponsors, like with Ye Xiu, there is a very good chance they will be replaced by a younger talent.
    • It's common that players under contact have to pay a huge amount of termination fees if they wish to leave their team/company. This prevents players from acquiring better benefits from joining a rival organization.
    • Professional teams have access to lavish and comfortable training facilities and dining areas while also being able to live in in-house residences, due to being backed by major corporations who can afford this. In contrast, the Joyful Flourish Internet Cafe has a tiny, cramped room with one bed to accommodate Ye Xiu.
    • Young adolescents who are unable to pursue their dreams at becoming professional are left destitute and with little working skills once their contract is finished, due to many of them dropping out of school or leaving their homes. Ye Xiu himself points out this is why he became an Internet cafe manager despite his talent in Glory; he didn't have any other skills other than gaming.
  • Captain Underpants
    • Just about every moment when the teachers pick on George & Harold and the other students at Jerome Horwitz Elementary. The moral? Teachers can be just as immature as the students and can even have worse attitudes than school bullies.
    • In Book 2, George & Harold deliberately sabotage the kids' inventions for the Invention Convention after Mr. Krupp (albeit rightly) bans the duo from participating due to their prank the previous year. Melvin spots them in the gym, and the duo trusts the latter to keep their intentions a secret from the school authorities. After the Invention Convention ends up a disaster due to the malfunctioning inventions, Melvin breaks his promise and tells Mr. Krupp about witnessing George and Harold sabotaging the inventions. This ends up with the duo getting detention for the rest of the year. Moral of this: children who are known to be snitches can't be trusted to keep secrets by their peers.
    • In Book 6, George and Harold come up with a “Squishies” fad which involved putting ketchup packs on toilet seats & people sitting on them (while the ketchup is still there), causing their clothes to get dirty. Mr. Krupp gets pranked by and. Ribble and the other students (save the 4th graders) get pranked as well. Despite the others telling Krupp that George & Harold are innocent, he doesn’t budge. While George & Harold are in fact innocent this time around and didn’t pull the prank on the teachers and students, Mr. Krupp decides to punish the duo anyway for coming up with the idea of the squishiest prank instead (all thanks to Melvin snitching). This is due to a few factors: 1. his hatred of George & Harold (& then being troublemakers) 2. Krupp can’t punish the duo for pulling pranks that they (for once) didn’t pull and 3. the fact that the other kids wouldn’t have pulled the prank had the duo not come up with the prank in the first place.
    • In book 9, when George an Harold are too exhausted to attend school due to them hardly getting any sleep (they are forced to attend due to complaints from their parents about truancy reports from the school), they plan on taking a quick nap. This resulted in them sleeping until 4pm.
  • The Daughter of the Lioness centers around a power struggle for the throne of the Copper Isles- and as the main characters soon find out, when the throne of a whole country is up for grabs, people will do some very nasty things to secure it, including kidnapping the heir apparent, threatening their friends with death unless said friend's daughter will marry them, killing said friend, having anyone they think is plotting against them locked up or killed without a trial, and most notably, ordering their mages to whip up a storm to wipe out the king, his heir, their friends, and hundreds of people who just happened to be at sea that day.
    • However, as Aly finds out, gods don't play nice: Kyprioth has waited hundreds of years to get back what was taken from him, and when it's made clear that two very young boys- the king and his heir- are in his way, he decides not to wait for anyone else and has them removed by influencing the regents to whip up the storm mentioned above.
    • After the main plot is over, it takes weeks to clean up the wreckage, and a huge number of characters are either dead or maimed, including several main characters.
    • A crow falls in love with a human woman, changes his shape to human and marries her. While it's a love story for the ages, it's also a bumpy one: Nawat spends quite a lot of the second book trying to figure out exactly who he is and what he wants, and he and Aly repeatedly clash over their children, because Nawat is insistent that they be treated like crows, not humans. He's also furious when Aly admits that she was hoping that by that time, he'd behave less like a crow and more like a human. The crows aren't happy either, because they view the crows who stayed human after the rebellion as traitors, and Nawat has to resort to trickery to get them to leave him and his flock alone.
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul has at least a few from their popular Teenage Soul spin-off:
    • One story had a young girl and her classmates engage in a case of relentless bullying of a new classmate (which is also implied to be racist bullying) and even after the girl is set up by her friends to go to the bullied girl's home where she is treated well by both her and her mother and the latter, realizing the real reason she was there, confronts her about it, they don't become friends. Moreso, not only was the girl then pulled out of that school, the students learn that she later suffered a nervous breakdown over what she endured. Years later, when the former classmate was older and truly remorseful for what she did and saw the girl she helped bully in a doctor's office, she wouldn't acknowledge that she remembered her.
    • Another story had two best friends get older and one fell In with the In Crowd while her friend didn't, one of the group's alpha bitches convinced her to tell her best friend a lie about the mean girl dating the friend's crush, which once she did it devastated her. Immediately feeling bad about what she did, she told her the truth and earnestly apologized to her, but the girl told her a simple apology won't fix what she did. Then after a while of trying to win back her friendship, which included leaving her group of "cool" new friends, the other girl eventually forgave her, but the damage was done, as she told her she could never trust her like she did before.
  • Stargirl: It's fine to do nice things for people. But if you don't consider how others might react to your actions, the consequences can be disastrous. Stargirl is a genuinely kind and loving person who devotes herself to making other people happier, but between having been homeschooled her entire life and her Cloudcuckoolander attitude, she doesn't understand how the real world works. And it hits her hard.
    • She sings "Happy Birthday" to every person in the school on their birthdays; several people get embarrassed.
    • A senior girl's grandfather dies and the family holds a funeral for him. Stargirl is not invited because the family doesn't know her, but she shows up anyway to pay tribute to him. The mother angrily tells her to leave.
    Jennifer St. John: You meddle into everybody’s business. You stick your nose in, whether you’re invited or not. Why do you do that?
    • A boy named Danny has a bike accident and has to spend a week in the hospital. When he comes home, a new bike is anonymously donated by Stargirl to the family. Danny's mother refuses to let him keep it because she's afraid of letting him ride a bike again, so the new bike gets thrown in the trash.
    • Perhaps the most damning of all: When Stargirl becomes a cheerleader, she cheers for both her school's basketball team and the other team. As a result, the other cheerleaders and eventually the entire school ostracize her, calling her a traitor. When the team loses a crucial game and its chance to win the championship, the school unanimously blames her, with the team captain stating that seeing her cheer for the other team took the heart out of him.
    • When you do something that makes you universally hated, it's very difficult (if not outright impossible) to get your reputation back. Stargirl tries dressing and acting like a normal girl to fit in with the other students, but they still shun her because it doesn't make them forget what she did. Even winning the championship speaking contest doesn't restore her popularity. After receiving her award, she returns to the school expecting a grand homecoming parade, like the previous year's winner got, but all she finds waiting for her are a few teachers and her only remaining friend carrying a cardboard sign.
    • One of the only people to stick by Stargirl while she's being shunned is her boyfriend, Leo. They are genuinely in love and enjoy their time together. But since Leo is Stargirl's boyfriend, he gets shunned along with her, and it hurts him. Does he decide that she is worth more than all of them combined? Does he resolve to stick by her, no matter what? No. As much as he loves her, he is not willing to continue being ignored and hated by the entire school just to be with her. Even The Power of Love has its limits.
    • Adding onto that, during Valentine's day Stargirl makes her valentine to Leo as a public declaration of her love for him while both of them are being shunned by the entire student body. He's so embarrassed that he refuses to talk to her for the whole day.
  • In Resident Evil: Caliban Cove, the Big Bad has engineered specialized zombies capable of using firearms and following basic orders, and deploying them around the base as guards. At one point he laments over only being able to use them at night, as they are still rotting corpses and if he lets them out in the day the seagulls will do what they do best when rotting meat is left on the beach and peck their eyes out, rendering them worthless.
  • In The Red Vixen Adventures Lady Salli gets considerable flack from her parents over her choice of Ali as the love her life, due to Ali being a convicted pirate and her family recently being promoted to the District countship.
  • In Blue Balliett's "The Calder Game", it turns out that the Fire-Forged Friends events of the previous novel "The Wright 3" only stuck for Calder. Petra and Tommy just had their bonds to him strengthen and tolerate each other for his sake. Once Calder leaves to visit his father in England, their previous issues (Tommy resents Petra for taking his place as Calder's close friend during "Chasing Vermeer" and Petra envies Tommy's long-standing friendship with Calder prior to the first book) come to the surface and they avoid each other. It takes them having to work together when Calder disappears to get to know each other on a personal level without Calder around (since while he acted as a buffer, he also prevented them from finding out some of each other's deeper qualities).
    • And all of Blue's books feature villains who have no issue threatening the protagonists and it's clear that for all their cleverness, the kids getting out relatively unharmed is mostly luck and the first book outright has Calder in the hospital after Petra is forced to leave him behind with the art thieves they had stumbled upon with her in near hysterics about his condition before the adults find him.
  • In Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas and its television adaption, Emmet and his friends enter a talent contest using homemade instruments. They're good musicians, but they lose to kids who can afford to buy instruments and put on a much flashier show.
  • Shows up frequently in The Hundred and One Dalmatians, despite the fairy-tale nature of the story.
    • Perdita joins the family unit to help care for Pongo and Missis' fifteen pups. It turns out that even story dogs can't produce enough milk for fifteen puppies. Missis is also very weak after giving birth, as fifteen puppies is a gargantuan litter.
      • In related events, Mr. Dearly spends a lot of time hand-feeding the puppies before Perdita is found.
    • The dogs try to take every precaution when evacuating Hell Hall, and a lot of time is spent planning. Moving a hundred dogs from Suffolk to London is difficult, especially when the majority are puppies.
      • The Colonel had this figured out, and originally intended for as many of the puppies as possible to get a grounding in fieldcraft from him, and to only move them out when their deaths were imminent. When the Big Bad stepped up her plan, his hand was forced.
    • When the Splendid Veterinary Surgeon is called out to examine the puppies upon their return, his first reaction is... surliness. Dogs back? Great and all, but it's four o'clock in the morning!
    • Towards the end, Mr. Dearly tries to find the owners of the other stolen puppies... only to find out that his puppies were the only ones that were actually stolen. The rest were either unwanted or legitimately purchased, and no owners are forthcoming, leaving him with a hundred dogs to care for.
  • Though Clockpunk succeeds in escaping The Vitalizer and stopping him from getting to the Bull/destroying Cooley, she gets shipped straight to the hospital for all the injuries she's received in the process.
  • Dracula
    • When Johnathan arrives in Transylvania and set to go to Dracula's castle for his business deal. Alot of the residents turn out to be quite fearful upon hearing where he's headed. A few even trying to talk him out from going. Problem is they don't tell him exactly why going to the castle is bad, just give vague hints. So Johnathan just passes it off as superstition.
    • During his stay at the castle, Dracula warns Johnathan not to go any further into the castle past nightfall, largely under the pretense of sentimentality. However after staying for a few days locked in and getting fed up with not being able to go outside. Harker decides to disobey him and end up in a parlor while writing a letter to Mina. Not surprisingly, he ends up right in the dwelling of the Count's brides who nearly bite him. This is likewise a positive example though as, after the encounter, Harker now knows something otherworldly is going on and makes to escape.
    • A lot of media always paint Abraham Van Helsing as this hardcore expert in vampires and knowing how to deal with him. In truth in the novel, while somewhat composed, even he knows he's in a bit over his head since the supernatural isn't something simple medical science will explain or have a concrete solution to. When he sees Lucy, it takes awhile to come to the conclusion that she's being attacked by a vampire and, by then, Dracula has bitten her twice. His counteractions are a just simple wards at best and it doesn't take much for it to be ruined and Dracula to finish feeding on Lucy. He's just as horrified when Lucy starts turning on her deathbed and even more so when having to actually confront her vampire form in the cemetery, just barely preventing Arthur from being bitten by her (twice!). Is likewise just as shaken when he finally confronts Dracula at night and does indeed become scared for Mina during the trip up to Dracula's castle. Heck, the whole encounter with the brides when they attack the camp Mina and he were in was an on-the-fly plan since he wasn't really sure if the makeshift holy circle of wafers he made would really protect the two, which luckily for him, did. The point of this is that, at the end of the day, he wasn't this super vampire hunter. He was just a simple doctor trying hard to keep up with the situation as best he could.
    • Not telling Lucy or her mother what the garlic was for ends up working against the heroes. Because they just assume it's a simple sickness and don't treat it as seriously as they could've. It was because of this that Dracula managed to continue his attacks.
    • When Helsing has to convince the others (Arthur, Quincy and Seward) that Lucy is now a vampire after she first dies, he knows they won't take his word at face value. So he brings Seward with him first, since he's his trusted student, to show proof of what's going on by watching Lucy's crypt that night. Once Seward is convinced, does Helsing proceed do so with the others as he now has someone to back up his claim.
    • Likewise they don't tell Mina about what's really going on either under the impression that she'll become hysterical if she knows the truth. Due to this she ends up bitten by Dracula and forced to drink his blood, cursing her to become a vampire if Dracula isn't soon killed (this is unlike Lucy who needed to be drained for the curse to kick in). The irony to this is, after getting over the initial attack, she actually takes the news rather well and composed, meaning all their secrecy was utterly pointless.
    • In a nice bit of clarity, when the hunters talk about how to deal with Dracula, Van Helsing stated that they need to kill him when he's asleep in his coffin. If they try to do so when he's awake (especially at night) there would be no way to fight him. He has various powers to get around their wards, bullets wouldn't hurt him since he's, well, dead already and it would be like shooting into puddy (they're essentially fighting a walking corpse) and having supernatural strength means he could kill them with ease in a direct confrontation.
  • In Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade, Elsie is despised and bullied by her classmates for her obesity and for stealing their lunch money. When she is laughed at by her entire class and runs to the bathroom in tears, Jennifer, a girl who had previously ostracized her with the rest of the class, has a change of heart and offers to be her friend. Elsie initially pushes her away, because Jennifer had never been kind to her before and she has little reason to believe that Jennifer is being sincere.
    Elsie: As soon as you stop feeling sorry for me, you won't want to be seen with me.
    • Subverted, in that when Jennifer continues trying to befriend her and does not give up, Elsie eventually warms up to her and becomes part of her circle of friends, and becomes well-liked enough that the other girls actively try to save her from being shipped Off to Boarding School.
  • In Speak, Melinda, an unpopular girl, befriends Heather, the new girl at school, but Heather breaks off their friendship as soon as she gets in with the more popular Martha clique, because Melinda's unpopularity makes her "unacceptable" to hang out with. Near the end of the school year, when the Marthas' incredibly high expectations have become too much for Heather to handle and she's stuck with a massive project she can't complete on her own, she tries to suck up to Melinda to get her to help. Melinda isn't interested, especially since Heather doesn't even bother to apologize for having dumped her and now suddenly wants a favor from her when it's convenient. Turns out, if you abandon a friend for selfish reasons, especially at a time when they need you the most, they'll see what kind of person you really are and want nothing to do with you.
  • Dracopedia is a how-to-draw book disguised as a field guide for an Alternate History wherein dragons exist and are a shockingly mundane and normal (but no less magnificent) part of the natural ecosystem. As such, there's a fair share of this, but the treatment of the Dragon Rider trope is the most noteworthy—dragonettes, small, herbivorous flying dragons are depicted as having been popular mounts for soldiers throughout history, including the American Civil War and even World War I. However, over time, the use of dragonettes as mounts in war fell out of practice in favor of aircrafts. As cool and fun as it may be to ride into battle on the back of a flying dragon, the fact remains that said dragon is also a living, breathing animal that requires care and maintenance, can get hungry, thirsty and succumb to fatigue, can sustain life-threatening or permanently crippling injuries in battle and can only carry one soldier at a given time. By contrast, aircrafts are nonliving things that can be refueled quickly, require no sustenance and can't succumb to fatigue, can be mended if they're damaged and are big enough to carry multiple passengers, making them more practical.
  • Crazy Rich Asians:
    • Nick's It Seemed Trivial about his family's wealth and snobbery was the first blow to his and Rachel's relationship because Rachel was not prepared at all to deal with his family.
    • In the sequel China Rich Girlfriend, after their breakup, it takes two years for Rachel and Nick to repair and rekindle their relationship after the events of the first book.
      • On that note, Nick is still not on good terms with most of their family after what happened between them in the first book. Likewise, mentioning Nick's name in front of the family is a sure way to dampen the mood.
    • Despite drinking a poisoned tea, Rachel did not notice anything was amiss until several hours later when she started feeling sick and later passed out.
    • Colette makes a scene in a public area, shouting abuse at Rachel. Of course, Colette being a high-profile fashion icon, this gets quickly videotaped and put on the Internet, resulting in the former losing their sponsors.


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