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Reality Ensues / Spider-Man

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  • In Marvel Team-Up #20, Stegron knocks Spider-Man unconscious and hurls him off an airship. Black Panther catches him by swinging from the Quinjet, but notes that had his timing been off by even a fraction of a second, Spidey's momentum likely would've killed them both.
  • One Spidey issue had the Vulture try to rob the Daily Bugle. However, he finds that their safe is full of paychecks, and the actual money is in the bank.
  • During one story arc in the 60s, Spider-Man had chickened out of a fight between him and the Green Goblin; unbeknownst to everyone, what really happened was that Peter heard a phone call that Aunt May had a heart attack, so he rushed to check on her and proceed to take care of her, as well as limiting his outings as Spider-Man and avoiding fights. This leads Spider-Man to lose the trust of the public and have his already poor reputation get worse. Flash Thompson, the only person still rooting for Spidey, attempts to help Spider-Man look good by stopping some car thieves in a cheap Spider-Man costume. However, Flash is a teenager, a very fit, athletic teenager, but nonetheless weaker than the adults who outnumber him and proceed to beat his ass if not for the intervention of some police officers.
  • Also in "Back in Black" storyline, once Peter learns that The Kingpin is the one who hired the assassin that shot his aunt, he goes straight to the prison where the Kingpin is, but the Kingpin already expected that and is prepared to challenge Spider-Man in combat. While the Kingpin has faced Spider-Man before and often battled him to a draw, the problem is that Spidey always holds back in fear of accidentally killing him, but this time, he doesn't! The result: Kingpin is quickly and badly beaten. As it turns out, no matter how skilled hand-to-hand combatant or how strong Kingpin is, challenging someone who is superhumanly strong and agile, has experience in fighting far stronger opponents and is really mad at you can't possibly end well.
  • Because of his superhero activity, Peter Parker has a hard time keeping a regular job or staying current at school, and constantly is hurting for money as a result. Even sales of his photos to the Daily Bugle are subject to the needs of the paper. Peter also has to deal with the emotional stress of being The Un-Favourite in his everyday life and (thanks to J. Jonah Jameson's smear campaign against Spider-Man) as a superhero, as well as caring for his elderly Aunt May (who is vulnerable both because she is old and sickly, and because she is Peter's—and therefore Spider-Man's—closest emotional tie). A lot of Spider-Man's missteps in his early years (bad publicity, failed attempts at networking with other superheroes) are the result of what happens when a young teenager tries to be a superhero without a mentor or anyone else to help him, while also dealing with other stresses mentioned above.
  • Spidey's enemy Sandman has an adoptive daughter named Keemia, who ended up being taken away from him by CPS because of his criminal activities. Evil may have loved ones, but the authorities don't exactly consider the homes of violent criminals to be suitable living conditions for minors.
  • During Mark Millar's run, the Vulture manages to capture and unmask Spider-Man. He's instantly outraged to discover that Spider-Man is just some random dude with a generic, untraceable face, rather than a recognizable celebrity like Tony Stark or Steve Rogers. He Lampshades this by saying for all he knows, Spider-Man could just be a gas station employee somewhere. This is also brought up in the first arc of New Avengers after Spidey loses his mask during a massive prison riot. None of the bad guys who see him are actually able to ascertain his identity or track him down, which Peter chalks up to his generic-looking face.
  • During one early issue of David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane's run, Spider-Man is visiting Kansas and meets a local man named Wes who has minor super speed powers. While he's used them occasionally to help with minor natural disturbances, Wes has mainly just tried to live a normal, everyday life with his family and not get into any sort of superheroics. Late in the story Spidey's battling a Gadgeteer Genius whose weapons are putting him at a notable disadvantage; he notices Wes in the crowd of onlookers and shouts out for his help. Wes considers it for a moment... but he instead freezes on the spot, terrified at the thought of what could happen, especially if some of the other crowdgoers recognize him, which would ruin any sort of normalcy for him and his family. Even if someone received superpowers, that doesn't automatically mean that they would jump at the call, especially if they have zero experience fighting dangerous supervillains out to kill and have something hi-stakes to lose like their family's safety.
  • In Kurt Busiek's Amazing Fantasy midquel miniseries, we get to see the first time Peter ever engaged a group of criminals. He ends up panicking and quietly begging that he doesn't want to die, the same way any young teenager getting shot at would react.
  • The Daily Bugle has spent years slandering Spidey (and sometimes other heroes), calling him a "menace" despite his heroic deeds, and often accusing him of being responsible for criminal acts (leading to the printing of countless retractions as these claims were ultimately proven wrong). In the 2000s, it was shown that this trend has caused the Bugle's credibility and circulation to suffer greatly, to the point where the paper was in serious financial trouble. This forced Jameson to create The Pulse, a new section dedicated solely to superhero coverage, and later, resulted in the Bugle being bought by one of his business rivals.
  • Famously in #12 of Amazing Spider-Man, Peter attempts to fight Doctor Octopus, but he's been infected with a flu virus and has zero strength, which leads to Otto defeating him easily. Super strength may be a great power, but not even that can prevent someone from catching a common sickness.
  • Spider-Man's web shooters' do run out of fluid, usually at the worst possible time. His spider-sense never warns him about this. He carries spare web cartridges in his utility belt, but taking the empty cartridge out and putting a new one in takes time. He also knows he has to reload the other because it's probably almost empty as well. If he uses up all his spare cartridges, it means no webs and he has to do without until he can whip up more web fluid. This was a plot point in the first Secret Wars mini-series. The heroes were on Battleworld so long he ran completely out of webbing. Part of his excitement over getting the new black costume (actually the Venom symbiote) is that it allowed him to shoot webs again.
  • Speaking of the web fluid, when Peter has access to a proper lab with high quality chemicals and equipment, the web fluid is of high quality as well and more versatile. This was easier when he was a high school/college student or when he was a high school teacher. However, if he's broke or doesn't have access to a lab, he can cobble together web fluid in his kitchen with off-the-shelf ingredients (he's joked about making webbing using shaving cream and toothpaste), but the webbing is of lower quality and less versatile. It was during one of these periods that Daredevil commented that his webbing smelled faintly of peanut butter.
    • Early on in Lee-Ditko Spider-Man, Peter gives Aunt May a blood transfusion. Several issues later, Aunt May ends up in the hospital with radiation sickness from the radioactive particles in Peter's blood.
  • In the "Death of Jean DeWolff" story, Spider-Man gives the Sin-Eater a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. The next time the Sin-Eater appears, he's a stuttering, limping wreck as a result of the severe injuries he suffered. Adding to Spider-Man's guilt even further, the Sin-Eater's Insanity Defense led to successful psychotherapy, so the Sin-Eater is a genuinely remorseful stuttering, limping wreck.
  • The first incarnation of the Sinister Six, consisting of Dr Octopus, Mysterio, Electro, Kraven, Vulture and Sandman, ended up a complete failure because, since every member was an egomaniacal psychopath, they all refused to actually work together as a team to kill Spider-Man because each one wanted the glory of killing him for themselves, even Octopus who formed the team. Instead of fighting him together, they all fought him one on one like a gauntlet, and failed just like they did the first time they fought him. Later versions of the team at least tried to avoid this.
Storylines in the Main 616 Continuity
  • Lee-Ditko Spider-Man: A hallmark of this run is events happening as realistically as they could, from Peter being unable to cash a check due to lacking a bank account in Spider-Man's name to buying a crummy Spider-Man costume from a store, which gradually shrinks in the water and during battles. Peter also had to sew his costume himself, as he couldn't go elsewhere for repairs.
  • The Night Gwen Stacy Died: Perhaps one of the cruelest examples in comic book history. In any normal Spidey story from the past, a quick webline would probably save anyone from a fall. Here? The sudden stop snaps Gwen's neck. Even if it didn't, the water below would have done the job.
  • Untold Tales of Spider-Man: One of Sally Avril's gimmicks when she was trying to be a costumed crime-fighter were capsules filled with chloroform, which she called "ether eggs." If she threw it at someone it would break open and the chloroform was supposed to render them unconscious (How an underage high school student got a supply of chloroform, which is classified as a extremely hazardous substance and therefore highly regulated, is never explained). The first time she tried to use one, the person she threw it at sarcastically told her (correctly) that chloroform evaporates so quickly you have to pour a large quantity on a cloth and hold it over their mouth and nose for several minutes in order for it to cause loss of consciousness. A few panels later, she's getting her ass kicked and Spidey has to save her.
  • The Superior Foes of Spider-Man: This comic is basically the life of C-List supervillains portrayed realistically. They're all complete failures in life and are considered jokes, the group is reduced to robbing convenience stores just to make money, Boomerang gets kicked out of the group the second he starts becoming The Load, and the group is constantly having to tiptoe around the mob.
    • The Dreaded as he may be and putting his military experience to use, The Punisher finds out the hard way that an assault rifle isn't much use next to a guy toting sci-fi weaponry. His 'fight' with Shocker lasts a single panel before Herman blasts him into the horizon in one blast.
    • Being a speedster, Speed Demon runs off from the final fight to get some chicken the moment he can.
  • Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy: The new Electro has all the powers of the original, but no experience. Spider-Man easily overcomes her in their first encounter by dousing her with water.
    Spider-Man: See? This is what's nice about having a new Electro... ...You're not used to all the old tricks.
  • Nick Spencer's run on Amazing Spider-Man beats Peter with the Reality Stone... er, stick so hard that it feels more like a Take That! to the last run.
    • In Superior Spider-Man Otto-in-Peter's-body is able to convince a man that the thesis he wrote for his doctorate is a-okay because Peter is Otto's protege. When Peter is confronted again, he doesn't have that backing him and since revealing that Otto took over his body would reveal his identity as Spider-Man, he can't explain anything and he's instantly accused of plagiarism.
    • Because of this, Peter is fired from Daily Bugle: the Bugle is already suffering from low sales due to the fact that Everything Is Online, they don't need a scandal on top of it.
    • The Life Foundation sank millions of dollars into preparing for a global catastrophe. As a result, they went bankrupt some time ago. Focusing too much on the future and not enough on the present has a habit of backfiring on you.
    • Just because you turn away from one kind of villainy doesn't mean you're always on the side of angels, as Spidey learns the hard way when Black Cat, despite abandoning her "Queenpin" schtick, is still a thief and still willing to steal things.
    • While Jonah is trying to be supportive to Spider-Man ever since Peter revealed his secret identity to him, Jonah is still a man who is a bit wrapped up in himself. When Peter tries to get him to refuse the award Fisk wants to give him and stop saying Peter supports Fisk, Jonah refuses because this is his time to shine. His relationship with Robbie has also soured because Robbie is no longer listening to his advice on matters regarding the Daily Bugle.
    • As well, years and years of accusing Spider-Man of being a menace comes back to haunt Jonah when he's confronted by the son of Frederick "Big Boss" Foswell and tries to get Jonah to murder Spidey when the time comes.
    • Due to the rise of New Media and the lack of sensationalism that J. Jonah Jameson provided coupled with Peter being discredited, the Daily Bugle is falling under hard times.
    • This also bites Jolly Jonah in the ass as his sensationalism towards Spider-Man being removed means he's losing listeners and his spot on the radio show.
    • Constantly stabbing others in the back will eventually get you in serious trouble as Boomerang is being attacked by the Sinister Syndicate led by his former teammate Beetle and Electro who he had recently betrayed to escape getting imprisoned.
    • Teaming up with someone you barely know how to fight with together will result in you most likely losing as Spider-Man & Boomerang are overwhelmed by the Syndicate and one of Boomerang's weapons accidentally puts Spider-Man to sleep allowing the Syndicate to kidnap Boomerang for Kingpin.
Alternate Continuity
  • Spider-Man: Life Story
    • In the comics, Jonah’s involvement with the creation of the Scorpion and Spider-Slayers is ignored and his comeuppance of his involvement with the creation of Scorpion comes up years later in a Hobgoblin story; here Jonah is under investigation by the police. Even if he tried to keep his involvement under wraps during the initial stages of the deal, the police would find out that he was part of the villains’ creations and make him a suspect.
    • Despite his amnesia, Norman is still a threat to Peter’s personal life. Because of that, Peter calls the police as an anonymous tipper so that Norman can go to jail.
    • Due to the Vietnam War being underway, the topic of whether or not the superhero population should go overseas to fight is brought up rather than ignored like many comics did at the time. By the events of issue #2 we see that Captain America has Taken A Third Option and is trying to save both sides while Tony Stark is fielding a camo'ed up version of his Mk-III Armor to hunt Steve.
    • When people with extraordinary abilities get involved in war, it tends to make things worse due to escalation. The Vietnam War is still going strong in 1977 due to Cap, Iron Man, and Giant Man’s involvement. Reed also points out the very real and frightening possibility that Hank Pym could get captured and the Viet Công could reverse engineer the Pym Particles for their soldiers.
    • In the comics, May’s advanced age makes her prone to fainting but is otherwise not commented on in the comics due to the sliding timescale making her not “too” old. Come issue #3 which is set in the 1980’s, May who is still alive is in her 90’s and has a severe case of dementia, a disease that a lot of old people have.
    • In Spider-Girl and Renew Your Vows, Mary Jane and Peter have a healthy relationship despite Peter’s commitment to being Spider-Man and raised Mayday and Annie Parker well thanks to Peter giving up the mask due to his injuries in the early part of their childhood. Without a life-changing disability and a direct commitment to retire to raise his child, Peter’s continued commitment to being Spider-Man leaves Mary Jane alone to raise two babies. This coupled with an aging Aunt May who suffers from a severe case of dementia proves it hard for her to manage, not helped by Peter being openly neglectful. The stress causes MJ and Peter to separate, which they did briefly in 616 when she suffered from PTSD after a stalker kidnapped her, a far cry from comics who ignore the strains of marriage coupled with superheroics.
    • By 1984, a 37-year-old Peter has begun feeling his age and slowing down. He cites this as the primary reason he decided to keep using the Symbiote after discovering it was a living creature.
    • How does the final confrontation between Norman Osborn, who’s well into his seventies or eighties in the 1990s, and Peter Parker end? With a climatic showdown and battle to the death? Nope! It ends when Norman suffers a heart attack from all the strain he puts onto his body with his anger and excitement. Norman isn’t in his prime and can’t be as physical as he was years ago. The most he can do is try and kill Peter with a remote-controlled Goblin Glider which Peter easily dispatches. In the end, Norman Osborn dies from a completely mundane heart attack rather than a dramatic fight with Peter.
    • In a world full of superheroes, what happens when the 9/11 terrorist attacks still succeed? Superhumans are immediately drafted by the government for The War on Terror.
    • When heroes fight against other heroes, the villains tend to take advantage of the opportunity. Issue #6 reveals Doctor Doom did so, managing to take over the world and eliminate many of the divided heroes.
    • If given a choice to steal a superhero's body, a genius supervillain would obviously choose that of a younger and freshly-on-his-prime over that of his aged and worn-up Arch-Enemy.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man has a lot:
    • In the second arc, Peter is knocked out while trying to take out the Kingpin. Rather than tying him up or killing him, Kingpin has his mask removed to see his face, then has him thrown out a window. This bites Kingpin in the ass later, since he has no idea who Peter Parker is, and so seeing Spider-Man without his mask (and not bothering to take a picture) only leaves him with "white, brown-haired teenager" to go on.
    • Kraven the Hunter was featured on a TV show where he hunted and wrestled wild animals with nothing but his wits and bare hands. When arriving in New York, he announces that for the stunning opener of his new season, he intends to enter the urban jungle and murder Spider-Man.... Unfortunately fighting an intelligent human is far different from a wild animal, especially since this version of Kraven has no super-powers. Peter just dodges him for a while before getting fed up and knocking him unconscious with a single punch. Immediately after Kraven is arrested; while he could make threats on his show and possibly protect it under free speech, once he really tried to attack Spidey for utterly no reason it became illegal.
    • When Peter finally tells Aunt May that he's Spider-Man, she's absolutely furious and kicks him out of the house, all while telling him that he's not her son anymore. It's clear she still loves him and the two later reconcile, but her reaction is probably the same one most people would have upon finding out that someone they trusted has been consistently lying to them for a long period of time about something serious and potentially life-threatening to the entire family.
    • After the Ultimate Clone Saga, Mary Jane is left traumatized and begins having panic attacks. When she later finds out that Norman Osborn (the man who kidnapped her and tried to kill her by throwing her off a bridge) has escaped from prison, she begins screaming and starts running until Peter catches up with her and calms her down. Even though Mary Jane is incredibly brave and always willing to support Peter and do what she can to help save the day, she's still a 15-year-old who has been kidnapped, imperiled and nearly murdered on multiple separate occasions.
    • Likewise, Peter's romantic relationships with MJ and Kitty Pryde often confuse and frustrate him, as he has a hard time dealing with the way they say one thing while meaning something else. Anyone who's had a boyfriend or girlfriend at that age probably remembers that same feeling.
    • Speaking of relationships, Black Cat gets the hots for Spider-Man like in the mainstream universe...until Peter unmasks in front of her and tries to kiss her. She is horrified that Peter is just a teenager, throws up and runs away.
    • During the Ultimate Knights arc, Shang-Chi attempts to infiltrate the Kingpin's criminal syndicate by getting hired as his new bodyguard. Already sensing a possible trap, the first thing Fisk asks Shang-Chi to do is kill a random mook who happens to be standing there, reasoning that someone who actually wants to work for a mob boss should be perfectly fine with murder.
    • A major part of Miles Morales' origin story is that he had a chance to intervene in the final battle between Peter Parker and Norman Osborn, but was too scared to do anything, which resulted in Peter's death. Most untrained 13-year-olds with no crime-fighting experience would probably be similarly terrified by the prospect of fighting a massive supervillain like the Green Goblin.
    • During the final battle between Miles and Venom, the police unload a barrage of gunfire in hopes of stopping the monster, and one of the bullets strikes and kills Rio, Miles' mother. When someone fires a large amount of rounds in a crowded area, bystanders often tend to get hit, unfortunately.
    • In the 2016 run (which moved to the mainline Marvel Universe due to the events of Secret Wars (2015)), it is revealed that a bunch of dangerous criminals like Lucia Von Bardas and Bombshell's mother Lori were let out of prison after S.H.I.E.L.D.'s collapse. Lori mentions that S.H.I.E.L.D.'s governmental authority meant that it could keep supervillains imprisoned indefinitely without justification, but once the organization went away, the legal system was forced to acknowledge that many of the criminals were being held on flimsy charges or without much evidence.


Spider-Man Trilogy

  • Spider-Man: The final fight between Spider-Man and the Green Goblin shows exactly how devastating being beaten by a superhuman would be, made more effective by the lack of music and flashy special effects.
  • Spider-Man 2
    • Peter gets dismissed from Joe's Pizza due to tardiness being a ground for workplace termination. Plus his failure to make deliveries within the promised timeframe, which releases customers of their obligation to pay, which, in turn, costs his employer both money and further business. As both have been a recurring issue, his firing is completely justifiable.
    • The reasons why Peter had to retire from the life of a superhero. Due to his secret life, he had skipped classes, had unfinished schoolwork and was nearly expelled because of it. Being a hero is all well and good, but, you still need to think about supporting yourself in the future or actually getting a job.
    • When Doc Ock shows up to take Spider-Man after he stops the train, the passengers tell him he'll have to go through them. He agrees and immediately shoves them all aside with his super strong robotic arms. As this happens, Spidey appears to have gotten a Heroic Second Wind, however, he's far too exhausted and is knocked out by a single hit to the head.
    • Peter after losing his powers runs into a burning building to save a child. However, without his powers, he is nowhere as heroic as he would've been. He is a lot weaker, needs more than one push to break down a door and nearly dies due to suffocation and breathing in soot (The trope gets slightly zigzagged as, the kid helps him get back up when he nearly falls to his death at one point). Once he is out, he is in very bad shape and hooked to an oxygen mask and coughing. One of the firefighters congratulates him for his bravery, only to be then told by another colleague that at least one more person was still trapped in one of the higher floors, who couldn't make it out. Despite Peter's Heroic Willpower, without his actual super powers, he couldn't save everyone.
  • Spider-Man 3
    • While he is under the symbiote's influence, Peter is right to point out that Eddie Brock is a sleaze by fabricating a photo, and J. Jonah Jameson fires Brock on the spot because faking a photograph is considered outright reprehensible in the news media.
    • Despite having advanced technology for his weapons, Harry has far-less experience in combat than Peter. He ultimately gets his ass handed to him every time they fight.

The Amazing Spider-Man Series

  • The Amazing Spider-Man
    • When Uncle Ben is killed, Peter doesn't learn instantly that Great Power Comes Great Responsibility, he just gets pissed and wants revenge. He spends the whole film coming to terms with Uncle Ben's death, but its not until George Stacy points out that vigilantism isn't very responsible that Peter realizes he has to be more than just a guy chasing down criminals.
    • As well as that, the NYPD are not useless. When Peter first brushes with the cops, they nearly take him in for ruining a sting on a car theft ring that cost a lot of time and money to set up, and when the police manage to confront him, he gets taken down by the shooters and is nearly arrested until he manages to Curb-Stomp Battle the ground officers. When he escapes, the shooters manage to land a hit on him and he's left nursing a horrible leg wound for the rest of the climax. And when given the chance, they nearly took down the Lizard without Spider-Man's help until his Healing Factor combined with a second wind allowed him to get the drop on them.
  • The Amazing Spider Man 2: Rise Of Electro
    • When Peter goes to reconcile with Gwen, he slowly walks across the road with soft music playing in the background in a classic romantic scene, while cars suddenly stop to avoid hitting him with brakes screeching and a motorist yelling "Hey moron, get out of the road".
    • Gwen's death, no matter how Badass Normal they are, if an unarmed young woman runs into the middle of a fight between two superhumans, one of them completely insane, in an old and structurally unsound clocktower, they are going to get you killed.

Marvel Cinematic Universe

  • Spider-Man: Homecoming
    • The sheer scale of the Incident, plus the Dark Elves' arrival, Hydra's takeover attempt and Ultron's attacks means that despite the best efforts of governments and heroes to restrict and contain it, alien technology is slowly spreading through society, especially among criminals looking for an edge. This is the films' way of touching on a topic that had already been brought up in Luke Cage (2016) with Diamondback and his Judas bullets crafted from alien metals. Likewise due to their scale, even years later, the cleanup from some of these disasters is still ongoing.
    • When Peter patrols the city looking for crimes to foil, the only thing he can find is a bicycle theft. He also ends up mistaking a car owner for a car thief and giving directions to lost tourists. This is far more realistic for today than in the comics, where Spider-Man (or any superhero, for that matter) tends to run right into a burglary, mugging, etc. every single night since the stories are influenced by the late '60s to early '90s period when New York City was known for having much higher crime rates. Nowadays, aside from Incident-damaged Hell's Kitchen, New York City has been cleaned up and the low-key community aid with some crime-busting mixed in is Reality Ensues for the modern age.
    • Peter leaves a backpack with his civilian clothes in an alley (as he does in the comics and previous adaptations), and by the time he gets back, they're gone. This happened to him five times. (The most recent time, the dumpster he stuck his backpack to was hauled away.) He hasn't figured out that he should leave them someplace high and out of reach, like his predecessors.
    • Since Peter is the rare figure who has a Secret Identity in the MCU, we see the consequences of trying to live with a secret identity, especially for a young kid living with his guardian. His constant lies and excuses, skipping classes, and ignoring his aunt, makes her worried sick and leads to the school putting him in detention, while also earning him scorn among his fellow students since he bails on them during an important competition.
    • Peter goes to a party in the suburbs. Duty calls, and he leaps into action... but he has trouble finding buildings to swing from... because this is Queens, where the only high-rises are near the East River.
    • Getting dragged through the street while holding onto webbing attached to a truck will cause pain. For example, Peter scrapes his butt. Downplayed in that he suffers a lot less damage than he should, on account of his advanced suit (which doesn't rip off at all) and his Super Toughness (he shrugs off being slammed into brick walls...).
    • Peter escapes from The Vulture by activating the parachute that's built into his suit. But since he's not remotely in the proper skydiving position, it tangles him up on the way down, he hits a lake, and nearly drowns. Luckily, Tony built the suit with a tracking device and rescues Peter.
    • During the climax when he has to operate without K.A.R.E.N. or Happy to guide him, Peter has Ned act as Mission Control in the school computer lab by doing things like tracking Peter's phone and looking up information about Flash's car online. Whenever Peter asks for Ned to look something up, Ned does so... and has to wait a few seconds for the internet to load before he can give Peter the answer or move to another computer to complete the task on another screen, much to Peter's annoyance, showing what happens when regular people with real equipment try to act like guys with unlimited resources in spy movies. In the same scene, Peter is driving a car he's unfamiliar with at night, and Ned has to take a break from tracking the phone to find out how to turn the headlights on.
    • Peter can't even drive yet, so it doesn't go well for the car he "borrowed" from Flash, especially as Peter tries to drive at high speed in urban areas.
    • Liz is understandably upset when she finds out that her father is a criminal. Not only that, her mother has also decided that they should move away. She's also upset with Peter for running from the dance, unaware that he was trying to stop the Vulture, so he doesn't get together with her after all.
    • The Captain America PSAs videos show bureaucratic inertia in action. As the coach points out, he's "pretty sure this guy's a war criminal now but... whatever. I have to show these videos, it's required by the state."
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home
    • With all the time that MJ spends spying on Peter, she would notice all the times he disappears without providing a decent explanation as to why, especially since he and Spider-Man are somehow never in the same place at the same time. Adrian Toomes figured it out in the span of one conversation, small wonder that an intelligent girl with a crush on Peter realizes it long before the movie actually begins.
    • A customs inspector opens Peter's suitcase to find both his Spider-Man costume and a banana. As Peter desperately tries stammering out an explanation, the customs inspector completely ignores the outfit and focuses on the restricted produce, instead. Anyone in a similar situation would certainly assume a superhero outfit in a random passenger's belongings to be a fake costume, rather than evidence of the real-life superhero flying commercial.
    • Played for Laughs when Brad accidentally barges in on Peter taking his pants off in the bathroom with a gorgeous Slavic blonde, and then tries telling everyone about it. Instead of taking Brad's side, everyone immediately calls Brad on how creepy and obviously jealous he's being. Although Brad is telling the truth about what he thinks he saw, Mr. Harrington quickly admonishes him by saying that even if he wasn't lying, it's much less creepy for Peter to be doing what teenagers do in their free time than it is for Brad to be spying on him and then trying to gossip about it to a teacher.
    • MJ has no superpowers and is completely unfamiliar with the physics of web-slinging. She's absolutely terrified when Spider-Man swings around the city with her in his arms, and once they're back on the ground, she plainly tells him that she never wants to do that again. Also serves as a Meta Twist, as other adaptations of Spider-Man often have him swinging his current love interest around the city while the girl simply looks around in amazement.
    • Happy tries throwing a medieval shield at one of Mysterio's assault drones. Being a middle-aged heavyset bodyguard with a shield made from heavy iron metal, the results are predictable and the shield doesn't even make it halfway to his target.
      Happy: How does Cap do it?!
    • While Spider-Man tries to hide his presence in Europe by donning a S.H.I.E.L.D. supplied, all-black stealth suit, he still demonstrates the well-known Spider-Man powers like sticking to walls, acrobatic jumping and web swinging. Within seconds of his "stealth" appearance, Betty is wondering if it is Spider-Man attacking the Fire Elemental. Fortunately, Ned manages to dissuade her of the fact by claiming it's a European knock-off named Night Monkey.
    • When half the world's population randomly disappears and is then brought back years later, things will have changed. Aunt May, for instance, apparently had to find a new home after a new family moved in after the Blip, and there's a large charity foundation dedicated to helping people displaced by the Blip to find new places to live, which May apparently works for. The world is also thrown into a decent bit of confusion by people disappearing, then coming back five years later virtually unchanged. Older siblings are now younger siblings, school years for those that were Blipped have to start over so that people can catch up, and various rules have to be set in place because people that should be one age aren't.
    • In the final fight, the guy responsible for Mysterio's dramatic battle dialogue feeds him a clunky and vague Techno Babble explanation on how the Elementals have returned and fused into one. It doesn't fool "Nick Fury" for a moment.
      Fury: Now that is some bullshit.
    • The Big Bad orders all the drones surrounding him to open fire on Spider-Man even though he's warned that he is in the strike zone. Sure enough, as Spider-Man evades and destroys the drones, the Big Bad catches a stray shot in the gut.

  • Venom (2018)
    • Eddie sees Mrs. Chen being forced to pay a protection racketeer under gunpoint, but does nothing because he knows what exactly will happen. Aside from that, whereas some Marvel characters would try to 'play hero' (the whole thing comes across as a Take That! to "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor's Hammer"), Eddie's approach (staying out of it) is more pragmatic.
    • While interviewing Drake, Eddie makes serious accusations against him and won't reveal his source or any other evidence. Eddie ends up being fired and unable to find another job as a journalist, implying that Drake used his money and power to get Eddie blacklisted. Additionally, Eddie already had one strike on his journalistic integrity record (whatever "The Daily Globe Incident" was), so Drake probably didn't have to try too hard to render Eddie unemployable in the media industry. And since his accusations referred to confidential info, it's easy to find out who "leaked" this to Eddie, which gets his fiancée fired, she then calls off their engagement and refuses to get back together with him.
    • Eddie manages to be silent and discreet while in the Life Foundation Labs, but when he sees his friend Maria being one of the captives, he loses it and smashes down the door of her cell, like anyone would would in that situation, especially someone as impulsive and emotional as Eddie.
    • After bonding with the symbiote, Eddie begins ravenously eating any available food in his apartment, including frozen tater tots and rotten chicken straight from the bin. Naturally, he pukes everything out. Just because he became a host to a Big Eater entity doesn't mean he can (and/or wants to) eat or stomach everything.
    • Despite the scene Eddie makes at the restaurant, Dan is more concerned about his condition like any doctor would be and runs some medical tests on him afterwards.
    • After the chaos Venom causes during the chase, he is attacked by the police.
    • When Treece holds Eddie (this time without the symbiote) at gun point, Eddie makes a desperate attempt to grab Treece's gun, only to be quickly overpowered. Just as should happen when a journalist (no matter how fit) tries to fight an overtrained security guy.
    • Bereft of their symbiotes, Drake resorts to a regular fistfight to try and stop Eddie. Drake, the reedy scientist with no established workout or physical training regimen, loses very quickly to Eddie, who has at least fifty pounds on him and weight equipment at home, implying he at least works out regularly.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
    • Miles' habit of not tying his shoelaces comes back to bite him when he trips over them on a roof and falls over the edge.
    • Miles manages to login to a computer with the information he and Peter need, only to find that the files are so disorganized that it would take a long time to find the right one. Miles decides to just steal both the computer and the monitor so they can search through it later. During the ensuing chase scene, Peter points out that they don't need the monitor and tosses it aside.
    • Miles is excited for Peter to teach him how to web-swing out to the Alchemax Lab campus. Peter just laughs and instead they take the bus. As Peter points out, it's wasted effort to web-swing from the city out to the Hudson Valley, when taking the bus is easier and allows them to conserve energy.note 
    • The twisted reality fusion when the Super-Collider is re-fired is incredibly chaotic and dangerous, with cars, trains and buildings flying everywhere. Doc Ock is taken out of the fight when a semi-truck blind-sides her. She may be a clever and capable villain, but without the Spider-Gangs' Spider-Sense, she doesn't last long in the reality storm.
    • After Miles sees Spider-Man die, and the Prowler tries to kill him, he has an acute shock reaction; making him jittery at school, unable to think things through, and withdrawn from his parents.
    • Miles wants to help the older and more experienced Spider-Gang take down the Super-Collider but they quickly realize that he is so new to his powers that he will be a liability in the field and will likely get hurt or killed. Peter B. webs Miles to a chair to keep him from following.
    • First, when Miles tries to emulate Peter's jumps between buildings on a very high skyscraper, he learns that standing on the roof looking down is terrifying and seeks a shorter building. Then, when he fails on a smaller building he discovers that even if he can survive the fall the things he is carrying can't, and the "goober" Peter gave him to shut down the Super-Collider has been destroyed.
    • In a deleted scene for the movie, Tombstone confronts the Spiders trying to get into the Spider-Man themed gala in full costume. When out of earshot, he immediately tells his superiors that they snuck in, noting how stupid it would be to fall for that.
    • Peter B. Parker's breakdown shows the result of an an experienced hero who gets knocked down one too many times and no longer has the strength of will to keep getting back up. After a series of injuries, financial misfortunes and growing marital tension, Peter B is hit hard by two emotional tragedies that knock him to the ground; the death of his Aunt May and his divorce from Mary Jane when she wanted kids. He is unable to get back up from these blows and declines into a jaded mindset, a burnt-out work ethic, and a pizza-fueled potbelly.

    Video Games 
  • Spider-Man (PS4)
    • What happens when you're in Perpetual Poverty and regularly fail to pay your rent on time? You get evicted from your apartment, as Peter learns the hard way.
    • The prologue ends with Spider-Man putting away his longtime Arch-Enemy, mob boss Wilson Fisk. Do things get easier from now on with crimes going down? No, putting away one of the largest crime bosses results in an Evil Power Vacuum with several gangsters and criminals going wild to take his place and/or take whatever Fisk has left. Likewise, putting Fisk away doesn't automatically put a stop to his operations, as several quests involve going after several of his followers trying to continue Fisk's heists and businesses or trying to release him.
    • Miles attempts to sneakily K.O a Demon, only to be quickly disarmed and grounded. Since the Demons are professional terrorists that can take on international mercenaries and Miles is a mere teenager, this is to be expected.
    • If you fail to prevent a street crime from going down, you can't retry it. If you don't even try to stop a crime, Jameson gets a call from the victim or a friend / relative of theirs saying that they now agree that Spider-Man isn't a hero after all.
    • A side mission deals with a copycat Spider-Man, who ends up being a Badass Normal capable of saving lives and defeating thugs with nothing more than his karate skills and bravery. However, when he tries to take on Wilson Fisk's men - hardened criminals armed with machine guns - he's completely out of his depth and would have certainly died if the real Spider-Man hadn't shown up in time to save him.
    • Martin Li, aka Mr. Negative, is a powerful and dangerous supervillain... But he's also never fought another super before, while Spider-Man has spent eight years doing just that, and all previous bosses were longtime archenemies of him who have repeatedly upgraded. As a result, Martin wears himself out constantly from using his powers too much, and Spider-Man doesn't need much more than dodging and punching to ultimately defeat him, as opposed to the previous bosses who required far more strategy or effort to defeat, even though Peter is explicitly holding back to try and get through to Martin. And unlike Kingpin, he fails to even inflict Clothing Damage on Spider-Man.
    • The constant string of accidents and small fires caused by Otto and Peter's experiments reflects poorly on them in the eyes of the grant committee and later Norman Osborn uses it as an excuse to cut off their funding and confiscate their equipment.
    • One of the items found in the backpacks is a Spider-Signal, which Peter says that he never implemented because he couldn't figure out how to make it bright enough without making it too hot to safely handle.
      • Another backpack item is a plushie of Spidey, which was made as a prototype by someone wanting to merchandise ol' Web-Head. Unfortunately, Spidey had to turn him down; there was no way for him to receive the royalties from it without revealing his Secret Identity.
    • Peter's tendency to act the same both in and out of the suit means that while an average Joe likely couldn't make the connection, those who actually know Peter can easily figure it out. Otto did have the benefit of seeing the broken suit, but his intelligence combined with the hints Peter gives him subconsciously without even noticing (Both Peter and Spidey joke in tense situations, for example) allow him to realize their connection. And since Aunt May raised Peter, she would have little issues noticing their similarities. Peter's small social circle is one of the main reasons why his identity isn't more widely known.
    • Norman Osborn oversees a massive public health crisis, which gets thousands killed, cracks down severely on civil rights, and accusations that he has been using his mayoral powers to enrich his corporation and himself seem to find a lot of proof substantiated. By the end of the game, he is forced to resign from the mayor's office, and it is only thanks to a few technical details he isn't arrested and charged with any crimes.
    • Hammerhead is freakishly strong for a normal man, able to easily throw around normal humans, but has never fought a superhuman before unlike Fisk nor is he as strong as he was. His and Spider-Man's first confrontation largely consists of Hammerhead being punched repeatedly in the face until he manages to throw Spidey off and, combined with Yuri opening fire, he's forced to make a speedy retreat. He remedies this by converting himself into a Cyborg.
    • After gaining his powers, Miles is eager for Peter to train him. However Peter is reluctant due to how young Miles is and how dangerous being a superhero is. When Miles brings up that he is the age Peter was when he started, Peter responds that he almost got himself killed a hundred different times when he was starting out.
      • There is also another aspect of this, with Miles wondering why Peter is assigning him physics homework before he's allowed to practice web-swinging. Peter replies by using Miles' knowledge to point out that web-swinging doesn't rely on the Rule of Cool, you have to be able to make micro-calculations in the blink of an eye to pull it off successfully while accounting for variables such as speed and weight.
    • Hammerhead has an explicitly bulletproof plate in his head put in precisely because he got shot in the head before. While it likely prevented him from being permanently killed, he still almost dies when Yuri shoots him point blank in the head with a very high powered weapon. Just because it didn't pierce the plate doesn't mean the pressure wave wouldn't do some serious damage.
    • Screwball is a talented parkour artist and hacker...but she's otherwise a completely normal human without the combat training people like Silver Sable have. As such the moment Spidey actually gets his hands on her, she's off to prison.
    • When Yuri goes full Cowboy Cop and promptly shoots a restrained Hammerhead in the head, does she get congratulated? Certainly not. Although a very large amount of police and the public are not crying about Hammerhead's presumed death, Yuri is promptly suspended and while not stated, it is heavily implied she could have been facing murder charges. Regardless of how bad the perpetrator is, killing someone who is clearly restrained is still murder.
    • Similarly, Yuri's sting operation is already blatantly unlawful, and any arrest would have been dismissed. Yuri is also doing this while under suspension, which is a big no no in law enforcement. Similarly, the cop who Yuri convinced to do this, while not doing anything illegal, could clearly have faced disciplinary actions had he lived. Also, a sting operation, especially in the modern era goes through a lot of hoops to ensure that there is no potential connection. Thanks to the fact this wasn't authorized by anyone, the enforcer easily learns the real identity of the therapist and promptly shoots him. Even if this wasn't found out, Yuri and the other officer commit a slew of illegal acts, such as impersonating a doctor, giving up someone's psychological files in blatant violation of confidential law, and recording a patient's therapy sessions.
    • A rare purely positive variation comes when MJ angrily tells Peter that she broke up with him in the first place because she felt like he treated her more like a Damsel in Distress than an equal. Rather than destroy any chance of the two of them getting back together, airing this legitimate grievance instead of letting it fester allowed Peter to take her feelings into account and actually strengthened their relationship once they got back together.
  • Spider-Man: Miles Morales
    • Peter set up high tech challenges for Miles on rooftops. Unlike most games, people do notice the high tech equipment, and several criminals attempt to steal it.
    • Doubly applied at the end of the game when we learn during the Final Boss fight that even if Phin/The Tinkerer's plan succeeded the way she wanted it to and only destroyed Roxxon Plaza and not all of Harlem, it would be All for Nothing. Simon Krieger points out that the plaza is already insured for damages, and being the victim of a terrorist attack would get them a nice payout. On top of that, Simon isn't even physically present for the final fight, so Phin can't even get her vengeance on him.
      • Unfortunately for Simon, it ends up subverted four weeks later, since the Prowler has close personal knowledge of all the crimes committed along with evidence and admits to everything that Simon did, resulting in him getting arrested.

    Western Animation 
  • The Spectacular Spider Man
    • During Tombstone and Spidey's first tête-à-tête confrontation, the crime boss offers Spider-Man a chance to work for him. Spider-Man refuses and calls him out to "finish this". "Very well," sighs Tombstone... and then calls the cops and accuses Spidey of invading his personal space, attacking his guards and threatening him, all of which was actually done by Spider-Man, though he neglects to mention the motivation.
    • While Rhino's armored skin protects him from harm, it also prevents his skin from perspiring (He can't sweat), turning his armor into a virtual oven. Thus, during his first fight with Spidey, he has to constantly stop for a drink of water. Spidey ultimately defeats him by luring him away from any water and using the sewer's steam pipes to beat him.
    • Peter has a tough time trying to take a photograph of himself as Spider-Man since his low-budget camera cannot capture motion effectively. The few good pictures that he does get are still criticized for their low quality by the Daily Bugle's editor who tells him to invest in a better camera.
    • Captain Stacy easily sees through Eddie Brock's attempts to frame Spidey by committing crimes while dressed as him. Stacy doesn't know who either version of Spidey is under the mask, but the difference in body language is enough for him to tell that Brock isn't the real deal.
    • When Venom tries to expose Peter Parker as Spider-Man, almost nobody believes him. Anyone who knows Peter has trouble imagining someone so mild-mannered is a superhero, an image Peter works hard to maintain. What credibility would a crazed supervillain like Venom have anyway?
    • A similar thing happens in the earlier episode "Persona" where the Chameleon disguises himself as Spidey and goes on a crime spree. When Captain Stacy sees the imposter in person, he immediately notes that he's too tall to be the real Spider-Man.
    • Kraven may be skilled and strong enough to take on wild animals with his bare hands, but he is still only human and thus way out of his league when he tries to "hunt" Spider-Man—at least before he gets his powers.
  • Marvel's Spider-Man
    • This show quickly establishes one of the downsides of attending a special school. Peter may be a genius, but not even he, someone of middle class status, could pay for such high tuition. It takes Max Modell taking him under his wing at the lab that he can afford this.
      • Related to this, there isn't exactly a high tolerance for Peter being late with his projects and commitments due to the school's higher standards, with him being penalized in some way. It's only because Status Quo Is God that Peter's place in Horizon is secure.
    • "A Day In The Life" shows that Peter may have done the project, but it means nothing if it's not brought in on time.
    • In "Symbiotic Relationship," Spider-Man attacks the Vulture after seeing he's been released from prison. The police promptly inform him that they have no legal grounds to arrest Vulture, as he was bailed out legally and hasn't done anything wrong. They then inform Vulture that he actually has the right to press charges, since he was just assaulted by Spider-Man for no reason. Spider-Man was only lucky Vulture decided to let him off.
    • Harry tries to go up against Blizzard with only a thermal sword and an insulating jumpsuit, while the latter is controlling a giant ice golem, and is taken out in one hit.
    • The crook that would become Blizzard stole what appeared to be a large diamond from a jewelry store, which he later uses to amplify a cryonic gauntlet he stole from Peter and Harry. When Peter tries to return it, he's told that it's fake, as the store wouldn't keep a diamond that big in the store window.
    • While Black Widow quickly forgives them due to the circumstances, she cuffs Spider-Man, Spider-Gwen, and Anya because the Vibranium key they took to investigate at Horizon High meant they effectively stole government property (something Spider-Man warned Gwen about doing).
    • While Silver Sable and her Wild Pack are professional mercenaries who studied Spider-Man's moves and used it to take advantage on him, Sable still is a mere Badass Normal, while Peter is superhumanly agile and has Wall Crawling. When the two of them fight on the top of a flying jet, Silver Sable struggles to even keep her balance, while Spidey moves without any trouble and keeps coming back whenever she tries to push him away from the jet, eventually resulting in her defeat.
    • Fighting swarms of villains going after him with little time to rest in the "Bring on the Bad Guys" arc has taken a heavy toll on Spider-Man. In "Brain Drain" and "The Living Brain", Peter has become so exhausted that he can barely stay awake, making it all the easier for Doctor Octopus to steal his body.

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