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Reality Ensues / Robot Chicken

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Nearly every Robot Chicken episode has at least one instance of a cartoon's characters coming face to face with a problem that would be faced by ordinary people, and having no idea of what to do.

  • One sketch is about is about Mario and Luigi heading to Vice City (due to a closed bridge) and getting a pimped-out ride. They do several SMB things that don't work out the way you see them: Mario hits his head on the blocks trying to get coins from a supposed question block; Luigi stomps kid's pet turtle to death thinking it's a koopa, so a cop tries to arrest them; Mario and Luigi pick up some random woman (implied to be a hooker) thinking she's "Princess [Peach]", so some guy (implied to be a pimp) fires at Mario; when Luigi inquires about mushrooms to heal Mario, the "princess" takes them to a shady drug-dealer who gives Mario a different kind of mushroom, which makes Mario run over several people since he's now seeing humans as coins.
    • Another Mario sketch has a twofer. Mario and Luigi collect so many coins that they are able to buy a mansion, and are able to use the coins to bribe Birdo and even bribe Bowser out of Peach. Eventually the coins run out, the mansion is foreclosed, and Mario, Luigi, and Peach are reduced to poverty.
  • G.I. Joe is recruited by the US government to train forces in Afghanistan in counter-terrorism tactics. It turns out that their cartoonish anti-Cobra tactics (intentionally using A-Team Firing, only for a suicide bomber to be completely undeterred and blow them up, and attempts to pull Dressing as the Enemy gets them slaughtered by their own side) are completely useless in real-world combat and all of the Joes are quickly massacred. On the other hand, a group of SEALs, using their real-world training, is successfully able to defeat Cobra with just just bullets.
  • In one sketch, a woman wants her husband to ravish her like Captain Jack Sparrow. She asks him to be realistic... and he proceeds to (in his smarmiest Jack Sparrow voice) romantically talk about the disgustingly bad hygiene practices that pirates in the time of the Black Pearl would commit. Needless to say, the wife finds herself extremely turned off soon after.
    "Captain Jack": I've been brushing my teeth with rum and brine for close to 20 years my little siren. Pay it no mind.
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  • In a Revenge of the Nerds sketch, the Nerds get hit with this trope TWICE. First, they're sent to prison for their antics, which include spying on the Pi Delta Pis with hidden cameras (illegal surveillance and invasion of privacy), pouring liquid heat in the Alpha Betas' jock straps (apparently assault), and Lewis stealing Stan's costume to have sex with Betty (identity theft and rape). Then Gilbert reaches out to some of the other inmates and teaches them that learning is fun... but that turns out to be a fantasy and the Nerds all get their asses kicked anyway since they're in a prison filled with dozens of other, more violent criminals, with one inmate tearing Lewis's head off with his bare hands.
  • A skit parodying Back at the Barnyard lampshades the oddities of the farm animals (i.e. Bessie pointing out that male cows don't have udders and Otis telling Abby that cows don't have blonde hair). When Otis points out that a cow cannot walk on two legs because of the weight, all of the cows' legs break and they cry out in pain.
    Otis: Fantasy looks pretty good now, huh, you judgmental bitches?!
  • In one episode, the nerd has a dream and starts entering various shows on The CW. When he's on Arrow, he attempts to non-fatally wound a couple of mooks. He accidentally kills the first two by shooting them in the eye while trying to shoot them in the leg because he's never used a bow and arrow before, and finally succeeds in hitting the third in the leg... and severs the guy's femoral artery, causing him to go into shock and die from blood loss very quickly. Turns out that in real life arrows don't have pinpoint accuracy, and that Only a Flesh Wound is usually a load of crap. The trope is also lampshaded and called out in the conversation he has with Green Arrow before trying to shoot the mooks.
    Green Arrow: We need to take out those guards if we're going to rescue Felicity!
    Nerd: Cool! So is this season 1 where you kill every motherf***cker with a pulse, or season 2 or 3 where you just give people crippling injuries that will make every day of the rest of their lives a Hell on Earth?
    • Another segment of the same sketch also has the nerd take the place of The Flash in the 2014 series, where he responds to a robbery in progress at a bank. He ends up taking a wrong turn, then only getting there after the robbers have killed everyone and left, since even though he has super speed, he has no idea how to navigate through the fictional Central City.
  • One episode subverts Joker Immunity by having the trope namer, The Joker, actually get executed for his numerous murders.
  • Similar to a sketch on MAD, one sketch shows the aftermath of Pinocchio becoming a real boy: he's bullied at school, then hospitalized after finding he now has a peanut allergy, which closes off his urethra and requires him to get a catheter. Since he's been alive for only a day and has yet to develop an immune system, the catheter gives him a staph infection and he goes into shock and dies despite the doctors' attempts to save him.
  • Double Subverted and overlaps with Bait-and-Switch in Robot Chicken/DC Comics 3: Magical Friendship: during a parody of Crisis on Infinite Earths, the 60s version of Batman battles the Arkham series versions of The Joker, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc and The Penguin. Despite the Darker and Edgier Arkham villains being much more dangerous than the villains from the 60s series, Batman defeats the first three as easily as he does the villains on his own show, but then Penguin just kills him by spraying him with anthrax.
  • One short has Gargamel put on trial for attempted genocide.
  • In a Sailor Moon sketch, the Monster of the Week gets a Raging Stiffie after Serena transforms into her Fanservice-y outfit. He's embarrassed when he notices and tells Serena he doesn't feel like fighting anymore before retreating.
  • One Speed Racer sketch shows what would really happen to Spritle and Chim Chim as a result of stowing away in the Mach 5: when the trunk is opened, it's shown that they were turned to mush after another racer repeatedly rammed the back of the Mach 5.
  • In The A-Team parody "The B Team", The B Team is locked in a garage and attempt an A-Team Montage with power tools to construct a vehicle to escape. They all die of carbon monoxide poisoning due to the confined space.
  • In a Dexter's Laboratory skit "Dexter Goes to College", Dexter tries to apply to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology but is denied due to having no extracurricular activities. Turns out, it isn't just about grades for college; if you don't have any extracurricular courses, you cannot apply, since they also want to see how social you are.
    • The trope also comes into play when after being rejected, Dexter takes revenge on MIT by shrinking the campus and putting it into a bottle. It is not a good idea to piss off an actual supergenius.
    • Ironically, the original series touched on this too with his father trying to get him to take sports for this exact reason.
  • One sketch features Vic Mackey accidentally swapping universes with The Thing. When Vic and the rest of the Fantastic Four head out to fight Dr. Doom, Mr. Fantastic apprehends the latter and Vic just shoots Doom in the head while he's monologuing because he was resisting arrest. We also have a realistic approach to Invisible Woman's namesake power: much like Sandy Cheeks as Miss Appear, she's hit by a car immediately upon turning invisible and presumably dies from the collision, only for the driver to unknowingly drag her invisible corpse when he pulls out.
  • Similar to one Family Guy example, one Home Alone sketch depicts Kevin McCallister's traps backfiring on him: he accidentally causes a house fire with the heated wire he put on a doorknob, is knocked down the stairs by a bucket on a rope and gets shards of broken glass in his face when he lands, melts his hands to his face in his iconic expression from the first movie when he touches the superheated doorknob, stabs his foot on a spike he put on the basement stairs, and is ultimately done in by a clothing iron that he hid in the ceiling falling on his head.
    • The reason Kevin's traps backfired is that he thought he was safe and went to sleep after setting them up, waking up in a panic from the fire alarm. Definitely a more realistic take on an eight-year-old's judgment than the movie.
  • In an Alvin and the Chipmunks sketch, Alvin seemingly collapses and dies on stage, only to be fine for the next show. Turns out Dave has several boxes worth of spare chipmunks in the back of his truck. When confronted about this during a press conference, Dave points out that they're chipmunks meaning they have extremely short life spans compared to humans.
  • A CatDog sketch has a veterinarian declaring that Dog must be put down after developing arthritis. When Cat objects, the vet states that Cat should have expected this since dogs have shorter lifespans than cats.
  • A sketch for Up has Carl lift off in his house, only for the house's weight to cause the balloon strings to break and fall back to earth.
  • The "Cheese League" skit has an intro for a super spy team of mice apparently at war with a faction of evil mice, GI Joe style, only for the whole team to be promptly massacred by a small (and entirely mundane) cat.
  • In one sketch, Garfield is revealed to have Type 2 diabetes from years of eating large amounts of Italian food. Liz even calls Jon out for being so incredibly irresponsible as to enable Garfield's eating habits, and when she says they have to amputate all of Garfield's feet, Jon refuses to pay the exorbitant cost for the procedure, saying that's almost as much as a used car and that he isn't going to spend that much money on a cat as old as Garfield. So Jon has Garfield put to sleep. There's also the implication that Jon might have lost his mind, since he buys another cat, names it Garfield 2, and after giving it a choice between plain cat food or spaghetti, he gives the cat the spaghetti even when after it starts obviously eyeing the regular cat food.
  • The A Bug's Life sketch is about Flik's sleep being interrupted by the life of a mayfly and his wife. 'Three hours. After both mayflies die, Flik has a sigh of relief until a mayfly egg hatches.
  • In a Dora the Explorer sketch, Papi points out that monkeys are cute, they become a huge problem when they become big, which is why Boots had to be killed for what he did to Abuela.
  • The Clifford the Big Red Dog sketch has Clifford destroy a house and power lines and kill people due to its huge size.
  • In the Cheerios sketch, the BuzzBee accidentally stinging the boy results in his death, similar to how a real-life honeybee will die if it stings something.
  • After president Bush wakes up from a dream about being a Jedi he uses force persuasion to get an aide to get him a taco, which the aide does. Bush isn't actually a Jedi, but when the president of the United States of America orders you to go get him a taco, you get the man a taco.
  • The Bob the Builder sketch shows that Bob's methods of sentient equipment are not something a union would like.
  • The Handy Manny sketch, where Handy Manny is caught to be deported, shows that "Yes we can" is not the only answer to Bob the Builder's "Can we fix it?" shtick, especially when it comes to a political issue.
  • The Muppet Babies sketch has Kermit fall into a glass table and bleed to death in a game of King Kong. Being a small kid will make you more likely to die of injuries an adult is more likely to survive.
  • The last line in the Dinosaur Train sketch sums it up: "Maybe dinos built a railroad across this land, but there's no way they could steer with those tiny hands!"
  • A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sketch has Shredder's face burn from a pizza launched at him and he suffers a quick death because metal (which his armor and mask are made of) is a heat and electricity conductor.
    • In another TMNT sketch, Splinter dismisses the Turtles' dibs on April's "cloaca".
    Splinter: You are turtles! April is human! Your genitalia are not compatible!
  • One sketch involves a couple kids playing a video game. One says he's thirsty, so the other shouts "Hey! Kool-Aid!"
    Kid 1: ...Give it a second.
    Kid 2: Yeah... Your imagination is a piss-poor solution to my thirst, and the kitchen is literally ten feet away. So... [gets up and goes to the kitchen]
    Kid 1: You're just like my dad, Kool-Aid! You're never there for me!
  • The DC Comics Specials enjoy invoking this:
    • In one of the first special's sketches, a quartet of ice-based villains each make a Dynamic Entry by breaking through the walls of the museum they seek to rob. After the fourth one pulls this off, the entire museum collapses, since there are no longer any load-bearing walls intact.
    • Lex Luthor brags about the "flawless design" of his Powered Armor... only to get hit in his completely unprotected head multiple times.note 
    • The second special shows just how inconvenient it is for the Legion of Doom to have their headquarters located in a swamp. The commute is terrible, and they are forced to trudge through mud and water, not to mention be wary of gator attacks. When Luthor reveals that the headquarters is actually mobile, they are all deeply irritated that it didn't have to be located in a swamp (especially Scarecrow, whose mostly-burlap costume makes going through the swamp especially uncomfortable).
    • During the battle against Starro, Penguin utilizes a flamethrower umbrella against the gigantic starfish alien. Seconds later, a strong breeze pushes the open umbrella in the opposite direction, incinerating Penguin's own teammates.

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