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Reality Ensues / Webcomics

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  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja
    • This page, as shown in the main page image. A resident superhero flips over a room full of bad guys shooting at him. The hero ends up dead, riddled with bullets.
    • Later on, Dan McNinja has to hunt down the last surviving member of the Belstein family, whose bloodline is the only thing that can defeat a powerful demon. It turns out that the Belsteins had to engage in massive inbreeding to keep the bloodline "pure" so someone could fight the demon... and the last living Belstein is a crippled invalid thanks to that.
    • An April Fools' Day Omake has a random mook that was encountered during the arc (rather than getting knocked out as it happened on the "real" comic) managing to get the drop on the whole cast and machine-gunning them to death. They are all so far up the Badass Normal level that they start to leave it behind, but none of them are Immune to Bullets.
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  • Bellatrix in Agents Of HEART was an excellent assassin responsible for killing one of the greatest archmages of her time. But that was 1000 years ago. When she resurfaces in modern day, Shining Armor catches her in a few days with the benefit of modern forensics. On the other hand, Bellatrix gained a lot of very dangerous followers since she could offer magical and scientific knowledge that Celestia had censored.
  • Played for laughs in Brawl in the Family when Kirby and King Dedede attempt to reenact the Gourmet Race. Both of them are utterly sick at the end due to the combo of cramming as much food as they can down their mouths while running at top speed. And, as Kirby notes, some of those food combinations do not go well with each other.
    • Another Played for Laughs moment is during the Yet Another Christmas Carol arc, Kirby shows Scrooge!Mario the present. Mario comments on how ugly the people around them are, at which point Kirby reminds him that they're walking around in the present, not ghosting around, which means people can still hear him.
    • The previous page of that arc is less funny. Bowser's plan to take over the Mushroom Kingdom was to stay in hiding for years, until Junior was large and tough enough to essentially pretend to be him. After they took over, Mario and Luigi tried to stop them as usual, only to find that age had caught up with them. Being so old and out of practice, they didn't even get past World 1-3. And so, the Koopa Kingdom wins, leaving the Mario Bros to stew in their failure for decades.
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  • This Buttersafe comic involves a man falling asleep and waking in the future only to realize that he wet his bed three thousand and seventy two times.
  • Darths & Droids demonstrates that people from all over the galaxy will naturally speak different languages, even if they're all the same race. It also shows the fact that a struggling rebellion strapped for cash might not have access to the best-quality resources.
    Mace Windu: I don't know whether to kick you out of the Jedi Order, court-martial you, or just execute every mother-frakking last one of you.
  • In Deprived: A Dark Souls Story. has Ashemma fighting almost completely naked as a result of starting her journey completely deprived of any possession or clothes, only armed with a wooden club and a crudely-made shield. Because she lacks any kind of armor for protection she's completely expose to attacks that leave her naked body badly wounded and, in typical Dark Souls fashion, she gets killed a lot.
  • This trope is frequently Played Straight in Doc Rat. A particularly biting example is when Ben and Danielle got mugged the night he tried to propose to her. When the muggers finished collecting their things, it became clear they weren't satified with just their material belongings. Fortunately for Ben and Danielle, they were both trained taekwondo fighters, so they had little problem taking on half a dozen armed assailants.
    Ben: What happens now?
    Daniella: Well, now they've taken what they want, they'll leave, and no-one gets hurt.
    (the muggers approach Ben and Daniella)
    Ben: That's not what's happening.
  • Dracula: Ruler of the Night
    • Van Helsing's lack of communication is the reason why Dracula gets another vampire bride. Since Helsing never informed Minerva that a vampire was nearby, Minerva only found out after being kidnapped by Dracula's brides on her coach ride back to London, which lead to her being turned by a now-vampiric Lucy. When confronted by an Minerva, newly undead and a newly made Bride of Dracula, she cites Helsing's fault for keeping vital information from her and likewise being unable to prevent her daughter's death and turning as a result.
    • In the climax of the story, Quincy confronts Dracula in the hopes of stalling for time so the others to reach him, thinking that Dracula's brides are away dealing with the others. Quincy's wrong. The brides quickly use their numbers advantage to swarm Quincy, and he dies.
    • Though Dracula and his brides are dealt with, the ones the hunters don't get scatter across the land. It still means the end of Dracula's bid for vampiric world conquest, since Dracula's mind control over his slaves is broken, leaving the vampires leaderless and manageable since they don't have much experience with their powers.
  • Occurs in The Dreadful, for a given value of "reality". A posse shows up at Kit's hideout. Their arrogant leader threatens and insults Kit while flipping his gun around Revolver Ocelot-style. It looks like an epic gunfight is about to ensue, but Kit simply shoots the hammer of his gun mid-flip, causing it to shoot him in the head.
  • In Drowtales, Shala is subjected to a Slashed Throat, but it's not immediately fatal because she's a trained healer and knows what to do, so she and some helpful nurse-demons manage to stem the immediate blood flow and she's carried to safety by her brother and boyfriend. It looks like she's out of the woods as they make their escape... only for it to be revealed that she actually died from heart failure caused by the blood loss and no one noticed as they were carrying her. Just like in real life, it wasn't the damage to her throat that killed her, it was what the blood loss did to the rest of her critical bodily systems.
    • Also, in chapter 47, the logistics of feeding the massive Sarghress army reach a critical point after their plantations and surface colonies are attacked.
  • At the end of Dubious Company, the insane God-Emperor Kreedor is defeated and The Empire is taken over by the noble General Izzor and his lieutenants. In the last few strips it shows them struggling to transition a society that has been engaged in expansionist wars for decades to peace: Izzor notes that because Kreedor funded the military to the exclusion of everything else the country has a bloated military, a crumbling infrastructure and economy in ruins; multiple frontier regions are on the verge of rebellion; when they announce to the soldiers that the war is over and they can go home, the now unemployed troops are furious because now they have no livelihood and don’t know anything else; recently conquered territories are left in chaos when the Empire withdraws leaving no functioning government behind and with some people calling for reparations. It’s lampshaded when someone notes that it doesn’t go like that in the stories.
  • In Dumbing of Age, Amber, in her vigilante identity as Amazi-Girl catches someone vandalising a street sign and orders him to stop. The guy flat out refuses since Amber is not a law enforcement officer and the only way she could stop him would be to physically assault him, which would be a much greater crime than vandalism.
    • Roz, as part of her ongoing campaign to promote "sexual freedom" on campus, makes a video of her and Joe having casual sex and posts it on the internet. The Dean tells her that the University won't tolerate being associated with amateur pornography, and tells her if she does it again she'll be expelled.
  • Erfworld features Parson Gotti, a Combat Pragmatist general imported from Earth to an RPG-Mechanics Verse. He favors outside-the-box tactics that his enemies don't see coming... up-to and including using false surrenders to assassinate enemy leaders and launching massive attacks in the middle of parley, or launching attacks through neutral territory without their consent. While he sees this as just another metagaming technique, the other factions consider these war crimes just as they would be considered in our world. This means that when the situation starts to stabilize nobody trusts him or his faction enough to negotiate a cease-fire, and those few that do negotiate with him hold his side at arm's length. Granted, Parson partially acts the way he does because he believes the parlays will be done in bad faith and that the Magic Kingdom's hostile attitude towards him makes him not have anything to lose.
  • Exterminatus Now gives us a beverage example. You can only drink so much of a given artificially sweetened beverage in one sitting before either you vomit it back up or fall into a diabetic coma. This one is egregious in that, even by this series' standards, this is how you become an ex-lifeform instead of a gestalt psychic entity, and even the characters lampshade that this was never going to work.
  • One strip of Extra Fabulous Comics plays this for Black Comedy, when a firefighter tries to fight fire with fire. It doesn't work.
  • In Friendly Hostility, Collin gets a part time job as a funny kids show host. When he's publicly outed as being gay, it's shrugged off as a joke at first, until he realizes it will cost him his job. He becomes severely depressed and ends up breaking off his relationship with Fox, and although they try to work it out with a therapist, later canon shows that they never get back together. End of comic.
  • At the end of one Fruit Incest story arc, Sarah gives everyone a True Meaning of Christmas speech, which later inspires Bernard to leave Simon alone so everyone can enjoy the holidays together. Much later it's revealed that letting a wanted criminal escape doesn't look very good on your resume, Christmastime or not. The Elf Council blames Bernard for all the previous events and unofficially demotes him and his entire group for their negligence.
  • Girl Genius:
    • Krosp, the uplifted Emperor of All Cats, does indeed command the respect and authority due his title from all ordinary cats. However, this turns out to be a completely useless power, as regular cats just aren't smart or attentive enough to carry out complex plans.
    • It turns out that severed clank limbs need to land somewhere.
    • One of the many products of the rampant Mad Science running around Europa is the technology to resurrect the dead. Since Europa is mostly ruled by monarchs and aristocracies, there are treaties in place heavily restricting this amongst the nobility since the entire hereditary system would fall apart otherwise.
      • The existence of this technology is the reason why Martellus believes the Shoot the Builder ploy has been rendered completely useless.
    • During the Siege of Mechanicsburg, Agatha needs to get across the battle-torn city to the Heterodyne Observation Tower to use her newly-improved electricity-zapping weapon from its top. She cuts loose with a massive blast from the weapon to clear a path, which it does.. and then hits the tower and destroys it.
      Moloch: ...How is it possible this could surprise any of you people?
  • Godslave may be about the protagonist trying to aid an immortal deity by looking for his missing soul parts... but Edith still has to work to pay for her groceries.
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • The comic starts off with the usual Weirdness Censor that is prevalent in works where The Masquerade is in place. Unfortunately, as the comic progresses, it becomes obvious that, despite what the protagonists thought, random civilians who've witnessed supernatural occurrences don't suddenly forget they happened, they just try not to acknowledge that they did. From every time a Monster of the Week appears, to when the protagonists casually show off their superpowers, The Masquerade has been breaking down, and the existence of magic is no longer a secret. Which leads to another Reality Ensues moment— in The Unmasqued World, where anyone can learn to use magic, what stops an amoral sociopath from getting superpowers? And because Personality Powers is in effect, what kind of powers do you think that sociopath will get?
    • In a more minor example, when Sarah is turned into a Cat Girl, she says having claws is inconvenient and asks if Tedd can't alter the transformation to make them retractable. Tedd says he could, but it would make her hands into paws, and she'd lose most of the versatility of her fingers. Claws and human hands just don't mix very well.
    • Adrian Raven is wiping the floor with aberrations left and right with a combination of a magic sword and his wizard powers. So which one comes closest to actually killing him? The one with the gun and unnaturally good aim.
    • Magic has a will of its own, and it changes how it works every time the masquerade breaks down, either completely changing because The World Is Not Ready or making minimal changes in order to prepare for The Unmasqued World. In the event of the former, special wizards known as seers are informed of magic's change and of how to use the new system, so that they can teach it to others and allow magic to still be used. The system has worked so far since seers are very rare, approximately one in seven million according to magic. However, population growth has drastically spiked since then. Even if the odds are one in seven million, there's seven billion people on Earth. It's still only about a thousand people, but information technology would allow just one reckless idiot out of that thousand to share the secrets of magic with the entire world. After a masquerade-breaking event occurs and magic decides to change, the seers involved in determining the severity of the change catch onto this fact and decide that The Masquerade is no longer an option and that magic should make minimal changes and everyone prepares for the worst, as opposed the making severe changes and blowing the entire masquerade wide open with everyone completely unprepared.
    • It turns out that understanding one's gender identity and sexuality can take some time. Sam initially came out as a lesbian because as a teenager she knew she liked girls and was kind of masculine, and that's how lesbians worked, right? It was only later that he came to the realization that he was transgender.
    • Ashley, who is a huge fan of weird transformation stuff in fiction, gets very worried by the idea that this is actually possible, since she thinks a number of her fantasies would qualify as evil if anyone actually did them. (She briefly worries that she might be evil, although she eventually realises that she knows the difference.) In "Untitled Party", she has an Imagine Spot where Evil Sarah shrinks her to the size of a Barbie, while she has a melodramatic "Oh noes!" reaction. When she immediately volunteers to be shrunk for real, she finds it genuinely disturbing in a way her fantasy hadn't prepared her for.
  • Grrl Power: The comic is about the effects of superheroes being real, for both good and ill.
    • Sydney points out that a mutation of a single gene, while a good explanation for a comic, can't really account for everything with superpowers.
    • Superpowers are considered a 2nd Amendment right, so there is no Super Registration Act. On the flipside, having powers doesn't give you the right to be a vigilante, and trying to fight crime without a badge gets you arrested. Related, the vast majority of vigilantes are caught quickly due to modern forensics; the only one who is successfully evading the law is a woman who has the ability to turn herself to stone, which prevents her from leaving any DNA evidence behind. However, she's addicted to social media, so law enforcement is tracking her down by her selfies.
    • A whole new organization under the Department of Defense was created to both employ and utilize supers. They couldn't use any of the existing organizations because posse comitatus and similar acts prevent those organizations from using weapons on American soil.
    • Jiggawat's positron generation (used to counter another Shock and Awe super, Glowbug) makes a lot of gamma radiation when they and the electons annihilate each other. Dabbler has to stop her battle so she can make sure no one dies from radiation poisoning.
    • On the firing range, Sydney begs to try out the minigun, which Peggy allows over Maxima's objections. It's soon revealed why Peggy was so confident.
      Maxima: OK, sometimes I forget stuff has weight.
    • Why would aliens invade planets, especially ones with nuclear civilizations that would put up a fight, for water when undefended comets are a dime a dozen? Subverted when a reason for an alien invasion is provided—Earth has supers but comparatively weak technology, so an unscrupulous alien empire could enslave them. Sciona plans to open a portal to her homeworld for this purpose, only to discover that her entire civilization was destroyed when she wasn't looking. And because they were warmongering assholes, no one is interested in taking in the surviving refugees.
    • Supers with flight powers technically don't have to file a flight plan, since the law was specifically written with an exception for man-sized objects and smaller (it was intended for kites and drones). It is mentioned to be polite to do so anyway, though.
    • While the heroes do have Hero Insurance since they work for the government, it's pointed out that it's still best to avoid causing damage in the first place. Throwing an enemy into the ground (which is owned by the city) instead of throwing a privately-owned car at them is generally cheaper and less likely to make someone mad. When the heroes accidentally throw a villain into a construction site, the next day they do volunteer work to help clean up the site both as an apology and for public relations.
    • Eye Beams are a pain to aim because having a big glowing beam coming out of your eye makes it really hard to see.
    • An alien ship appears and asks for help. All the nations of the world close their borders out of xenophobia... except for one, which allows them in and gets huge boosts in their technology as thanks. All the other nations start kicking themselves for missing the huge opportunity, but there are still significant xenophobic elements everywhere who think it's an alien invasion.
    • Sign in the women's showers: "No, none of the guys have X-Ray Vision... Even if they did, you'd look like this: [actual X-ray image, a vague silhouette around a skeleton]"
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: As Annie eventually finds out, being the protagonist doesn't make you immune to the rules. She's called out more than once for acting like she owns the place and not considering other people's feelings and opinions, and later on in the comic, Anthony Carver reveals that the Court knew for a long time that Annie's been copying Kat's homework and were planning to expel her, and they used this to get him to return.
    • After Annie and Reynardine have a nasty fight which ends up revealing some unpleasant truths, Annie ends up running into Gillitie Forest and is allowed to stay there for a while. Once she gets back to the Court, she finds that Kat was not amused when she found out what happened, and while she understands why Annie left and doesn't really blame her, it still hurt, so she's pretty aloof for most of the chapter.
    • When Coyote confronts the Court and Anthony Carver over Annie's being kept away from the Forest, he gets so angry at Anthony that he knocks over one of the Court's buildings. The heads of the Court are afraid of Coyote's anger and ask Anthony to let Annie go back to the Forest, but Anthony just asks Coyote how Annie could be safe if that's what Coyote does when he gets angry. Coyote then actually tries convincing Anthony instead of threatening him, and it works.
  • Homestuck has Dave, whose entire childhood was basically Training from Hell under the eye of his... eccentric, to say the least... guardian, his Bro. The end result? Dave doesn't think the training made him any stronger, he doesn't want to fight or be a hero, he doesn't want to be around danger, he doesn't want to even see blood, and he's convinced that Bro must have hated him and viewed raising him as a fucked up game.
    • Vriska alternates between abusing and indulging Tavros for much of their lives, trying to forcibly provoke some kind of romantic feelings from him in either black or red fashion. Tavros just ends up terrified of Vriska, seeing her as an unpredictable and dangerous bully.
  • An arc in Housepets! has one of the characters pull a Cowboy Cop to protect one of his friends, and comes before the chief of police with an well-thought out explanation of the crime reminiscent of Sherlock or Phoenix Wright. The chief concedes to his logic...and points out that the investigators had already figured it out and arrested the people responsible using basic police work and investigation. The character is then reprimanded for thinking and acting likes he's the only competent cop in the precinct.
  • Lackadaisy really likes this trope:
    • During the attack on the Pig Farmers' moonshine stills, Rocky learns that burning vehicles are not guided weapons unless you yourself guide them; his first attempt causes the burning car in question to careen into the Farmers' home rather than their still. His second attempt has him driving the burning truck himself, and as a result he gets much better (and more explosive) results.
    • Of course, raiding and destroying the home and means of income of someone is bound to piss them off, and when those people have connections to one of the most powerful bootleggers in the city of St. Louis, there's a good chance you're not getting off scot-free, and you can probably expect them to come a-knocking with Tommy Guns soon.
    • In the ensuing raid, Viktor finds out that, yes, he is The Big Guy and a WWI vet to boot, but age is age, and a lung full of buckshot doesn't do anyone any favors. Between this injury and his already bad knees, he's pretty much out of the fight now for the time being.
    • For Freckle, he gets hit with this hard after he comes out of his Gun Nut berserker rampage: Being only eighteen with no combat experience, the realization that he just slaughtered four people with a Thompson is, to put it lightly, not something that weighs easy on the mind.
    • Rocky, who's known for suffering his fair share of Amusing Injuries but otherwise walking away unharmed, finally gets his dose in "Haymaker" when his forehead makes very close friends with a runaway hearse. Head injuries are nothing to joke around with, and it shows, with Rocky conked out for the next few chapters and when he finally does get back, he's got a nasty stitched-up split on his forehead, a crack in his skull, and appears to be missing a few more marbles than he did before.
  • In The Last Days of FOXHOUND, Liquid stops a hostage situation by drugging everyone with tranquilizers. Everyone passes out within thirty seconds... because he overdosed them. Everyone involved spends the night in the hospital, getting their stomachs pumped.
  • A Magical Roommate has one that's also a deconstruction of many fairy tales: a commoner meets her Prince Charming, they fall in love and get married... and then she immediately has to spend months, if not years learning the proper court etiquette, how to deal with the royalty and nobility of the other nations, and all the other things she needs to know because she'll be ruling the country one day. Then reality ensues again when, due to the stress of ruling, seeing her children being raised by nannies (because she doesn't have time to raise them herself) and seeing them get hit by an epidemic, she winds up snapping under the pressure and effectively quits as the queen, only putting in appearances at necessary functions and spending the rest of her time with her family.
    • X manages to pay her way through the magical school by selling aluminium in the form of aluminium foil she bought in our world... and sells so much she manages to crash the aluminium market and seriously undermine another country's economy.
    • X decides to follow Aylia to the magical school, but is faced with a problem: all human students must be able to pass a proficiency test in a language X doesn't know. X ends up resorting to the exceptionally bad lie that she's actually a fairy who suffered a shapeshifting accident that left her mostly human with fairy wings, but it does work... except that not only do many of the fairy students feel sorry for her and want to help her get the 'accident' fixed, when X says it's irreversible, she then meets a fairy student majoring in shapeshifting who points out that there's no way that the 'accident' couldn't be fixed, and easily guesses from X's reaction that X lied about her species.
    • Since her parents refuse to pay her tuition, Aylia's only way to successfully enroll at the magical school is to get a scholarship as a teaching assistant. At the auditions, she goes in believing that her magical abilities and her unique and diverse life experience will surely get her a position... only to see the positions go to people who were more experienced as TAs, or who knew the teachers, or who had more knowledge of the fields in question, leaving her stuck between a rock and a hard place until a rather whimsical teacher decides to take her on.
  • In one of the early chapters of Magical 12th Graders, the heroine witnesses a Magical Girl Warrior being knocked out by a group of monsters. Rather than try to fight the creatures and rescue the unconscious girl, the heroine tries to flee, arguing that it's not her job to risk her life to save someone she's never even met. While her actions seem cold and even cowardly, chances are most people in real life would act similarly in such a dangerous, terrifying situation.
  • Mahou Josei Chimaka is about a former Magical Girl Warrior struggling with adulthood, and it's mentioned in the first chapter is that she bombed her college entrance exams because fighting evil as a teen left her no time to study.
  • Manly Guys Doing Manly Things
    • Jared the intern once bought and ate five hundred dollars worth of gummy bears. He then had to get his stomach pumped from the overdose of sugar.
    • Commander Badass, when told by his superior all of his siblings are dead, breaks down crying and asks for a therapist. When his superior tells him off for not bottling up his emotions and becoming a dark and brooding avenger, the offended Commander demands to see a lawyer. And it turns out that it was a complete lie anyway; the superior was hoping that Commander Badass would toughen up. Commander's none too happy about that, either.
    • Commander Badass thinks a fight to the death with Gackt will cure his Nomura Syndrome. It doesn't. Canadian Guy more sensibly goes to the doctor for treatment.
    • Jonesy asks the Commander if he intends to fight Tank after he flips, but the Commander points out that even for him, getting into a fistfight with eight hundred pounds of juiced-up, cybernetically enhanced Supersoldier with an "alpha male"-complex and a grudge is an idiotic thing to do, and spends most of his time trying to stay just inside speech-range and talk Tank down.
      • During their altercation, Commander Badass gets away from Tank by walking into the sea, well aware that Tank can't swim because large parts of his body have been replaced with metal, and he just sinks when he tries.
    • In a sense, the entire comic is about what happens when Reality Ensues to Manly Men with Testosterone Poisoning who are perfectly geared to survive environments where Everything Is Trying to Kill You, but don't have the emotional tools to handle the ups and downs of mundane life. The comic takes place at a temp agency because many of them can't find work due to their backgrounds.
  • Megatokyo: Magical Girl Yuki has been jaunting all over town with her simple mortal classmate Kobayashi in tow; turns out it's killing him, as he was injured in all the sudden accelerations.
  • In Atticus's first Gym Battle in Mokepon, he sends out a Pikachu to fight an Onyx. Sending a cute yellow rat against a fifty-foot rock snake ends about as well as you'd expect. They even lampshade how terrible an idea it was to anyone with a passing knowledge of the source material: Pikachu is an Electric Type with mainly Electric and Normal attacks, while Onix is a Rock and Ground type that resists Normal attacks and is immune to Electric attacks. The whole strip is riffing on an episode of the Pokemon anime where Ash tries the exact same thing. The difference is, Ash wasn't living in a deconstruction; Atticus is cripplingly Wrong Genre Savvy.
  • This Naruto fancomic. Sasuke bleeding from his eyes may make him look cool or creepy, but the fancomic points out that realistically he'd end up dying of blood loss.
  • In Nip and Tuck the Show Within the Show Rebel Cry opens with La Résistance getting its head handed to it by The Empire, because it consists of two systems.
  • When Mumen Rider takes on the Deep Sea King in One-Punch Man, Rider has a sudden burst of Heroic Second Wind, complete with a "World of Cardboard" Speech with massive Heroic Resolve, and even a crowd cheering him on. Deep Sea King still flattens Rider with one hit. Saitama does give Rider credit for the speech, though.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Elan's use of bardic music to help Roy bluff an ogre warns the ogre that they are bluffing. Later, he tries to use the same music to help Haley sneak silently. As Haley points out, this one is so blatantly obvious that the rulebook specifically gives it as an example of when bardic music would be counter-productive.
    • In this strip, Belkar is amused by an attacking hydra's ability to regrow two heads for every one chopped off so he just keeps doing it. As idiotic as this seems at first glance, Roy has a moment of realization and lets Belkar continue. Why? The Hydra grows so many heads that it can't pump enough blood to them all and passes out. Then a passing goblin realizes that an immobilized but endlessly renewing source of meat would be very useful and opens a fast food franchise that makes him a millionaire.
    • At one point, it looks like Belkar's been hanged. But it turns out he's still alive, because he weighs too little for the noose to break his neck.
    • During the Fall of Azure City arc, Daimyo Kubota, a card-carrying evil aristocrat, continually schemes to take over Azure City, and still plots to assassinate its lawful ruler even after its entire population has been displaced and their home conquered by an army of goblinoids. Eventually, an overstrained and frustrated Vaarsuvius disintegrates him, rather than waste time on a legal trial that would probably have ended up in his favor anyway, after he is caught in the aftermath of yet another disruptive scheme — in this case, trying to murder two commoner warriors who had been newly elevated to noble status for their valor during the siege of Azure City.
    • Nale decides that he's had enough of Tarquin. First he tells Tarquin and everyone else that he killed Malack, Tarquin's ally and good friend, and when Tarquin demands an explanation, Nale tells him that he wants nothing from Tarquin, be it assistance, protection or pity. Tarquin accepts this... and kills Nale, asking him what he thought the punishment for killing Tarquin's best friend would be. He then says that while Nale scorned Tarquin's protection, that protection was the only thing that allowed him to live as long as he did.
    • And even despite Nale's status as the Order's enemy, Elan does not react well to seeing his father kill his twin in front of him, nor does he accept any of Tarquin's attempts to justify it- and Tarquin constantly talking about how they're in a story and how things have to go to make the story better doesn't endear him to Elan either, since he keeps talking about Nale like he was just a plot device and not a person. Elan ends up refusing to go along with Tarquin's plans, instead letting him fall off the airship and leaving him behind, as he knows the fall won't kill him.
    • When Belkar confronts Malack alone in the temple, he spouts off a line about how the guys who say they have something to fight for always win. Then he attacks... And is promptly incapacitated with a single spell. It turns out right doesn't make might when you're talking about a poorly optimized Ranger/Barbarian with no Will save trying to take on a vampiric Cleric.
      • It's not the first time this has happened either, both Roy and Varsavius have tried to fight Xykon on their own, Roy during the Battle of Azure City, and Varsavius during his time empowered by the Soul Splice. And both of them got their asses handed to them, because while their intent may be noble, and whatever magical advantages they might have had at the time, Xykon is an epic-level sorceror lich, who's had literal decades of experience with his powers, and barely even needs to put in any real effort in fighting either of them.
    • While surrounded by vampires, the Order begin discussing their strategy for the battle ahead. The vampires, who can hear them, are intelligent and have magic users, immediately start putting counter-tactics into action.
    • When the resurrected Durkon is reunited with his mother, who he hadn't seen since his exile years before, everyone assumes she had no idea what happened to her son all this time. She points out that she talked to him as late as the previous week, because Durkon has been using the Sending spell to talk to her ever since he got high enough level to learn it. His exile only meant he wasn't supposed to return to the dwarven lands until he was recalled, but there was nothing forbidding him from magically contacting his mother and tell her what happened to him as soon as he could, so like any sane person, that's exactly what he did.
  • Towards the end of Paranatural Chapter 6, the Activity Club runs into a creature called the Sphinx of Truth, a spirit resembling a kitten with wings who forces everybody near them to tell the truth, who challenges them to a fight. But, again, it's the size of a kitten, whose only power is that it forces people to tell the truth. The next page shows the Sphinx headfirst on the ground, lampshading that their loss was entirely probable.
  • In Questionable Content, Marten and Dora's breakup is fueled by a realistic clash of personality traits which had previously been played for laughs.
    • Another relationship goes down the drain when one partner gets a job which requires moving to another town, and the other can't handle a long-distance relationship as well as they thought they could.
    • Faye's drinking habit gets a lot worse after her breakup with Angus. This gets her a) fired from Coffee of Doom for drinking on the job, and b) alcohol poisoning so severe that Marten calls an ambulance. Despite this, she still has problems with drinking and falls Off the Wagon afterward, just as many addicts of all kinds do, regardless of their moments of clarity during which they realize that their vice is bad for them.
    • Ex-military robot Bubbles has combat-related PTSD as well as severe misanthropy and depression due to the way veterans are regarded by society, combined with real-world concerns about how advancing technology is making warfare more impersonal and accessible (it's debatable whether robots in QC are considered people or machines).
    • Hannelore changing medications for her neuroses and consequently suffering weird side-effects has been played for laughs a few times. Most notably, her her almost completely different personality seen in her first appearance was later attributed to "pretty powerful anti-anxiety meds" that made her "not herself".
    • Despite A.I.s being able to transfer their consciousness to other bodies at will, depending on the AI, they might have a hard time readjusting after the transition. Roko Basilisk has her body destroyed in an accident and is not only traumatized but her adjustment to her new body has heavy shades of dysmorphia.
  • Schlock Mercenary:
    • During the "Big Dumb Objects" arc, the research team has managed to translate an ancient Oafan star chart and pinpoint the current locations of several caches of advanced technology. Nearly all of them are long gone: over the untold eons since they were established, they've either already been picked clean by other races or been destroyed by cosmic events. Of course they were. Someone was bound to find this stuff sooner or later. And no Ragnarök Proofing measures are perfect. If the sun blows up, there's not much anyone can do.
    • Esperrin are half-cybernetic sophonts who are so hyper-evolved that they have natural radios, can hang out in vacuum, can use their wings to absorb sunlight and go without food indefinitely, and their engineering skills are so terrifying that most people recommend atomizing anything they so much as touch. It's mentioned that the main reason they haven't conquered the galaxy is because of some cultural taboos about using technology. But they are also tiny—a meter tall max, usually about half that. When Schlock fires his plasma cannon too close to Neeka, her small mass means she can't handle the radiation and has to go off to purge herself. A dozen human-sized people standing closer than her were perfectly fine.
    • Speaking of small mass, nanites are the most advanced technology in the galaxy, and can be a terrifying weapon. But they're just too small to handle heat well; no matter how advanced a giant swarm of nanites is, an incendiary grenade will kill it.
    • In the CSI parody arc, the Grissom Expy gets chewed out for personally interrogating Schlock since as a crime scene investigator, he has neither the training nor the authority to interrogate suspects.
  • A common occurrence on Shortpacked!. Rule of Funny will be enacted, then in the next comic the serious results will hit the characters.
    • Perhaps the best example of this was when Sydney Yus got herself elected to Congress specifically so she could introduce a bill to shut down the titular store... only to be bluntly informed that she is a federal representative, and that is a state-level matter. "Curses! Trapped in a prison of my own making!"
  • When Quinn and Ellie in Shotgun Shuffle discover they've been put on a voyeur site by Danny, Quinn immediately wants to call the cops. Ellie (whose dad is the chief of police) suggests that they not, since the media coverage would only make things worse and further embarrass them. Instead, they make a deal with Danny's equally outraged partner for compensation.
  • In Sinfest, there's a Reality Zone. Inside it, characters are drawn with a much more realistic style, and all the normal rules like Rule of Funny or Rule of Cool no longer apply, with characters instead being forced to face reality. The Devil and other supernatural characters all avoid the place like the plague, for example, and Squig (an anthropomorphic pig) turns into an ordinary pig when he enters.
    • Fuschia briefly enters the Reality Zone. Demons aren't real. She starts to disintegrate. Later, she's shown testing her endurance at the borders of the Reality Zone, hinting that her Character Development is turning her (back?) into a human.
  • Slightly Damned
    • Rhea dives into an ice-cold lake to save a kid from drowning. She ends up catching a nasty case of pneumonia and is bedridden for an entire week.
    • After The Great War ended in Medius the angels and demons continued to fight each other for the next 300 years and as a result both races now have severely reduced populations, a fact which General Iratu lampshades. It's telling that in the past the demons were able to amass an army strong enough to threaten all of Medius and nearly win the war, while today the "army" that attacks St. Curtis only has a few dozen individuals.
    • The angels Kazai and Sanjulo have both trained from a young age to slay demons but when they go against Tsavo and later Azurai they both lose...badly, with the latter fight costing Sanjulo his life. Several things to point out: 1. Despite their training, the they are still inexperienced and hotheaded teenagers and demons have to fight their entire lives just to stay alive; 2. They're up against Iratu's lieutenants, whereas even standard members like Lazuli, Talus and Haury are a pain in the ass to take down, and 3. Demons will NOT hesitate to use lethal force against Child Soldiers on Heaven's side; you wield deadly weaponry and fight demons with it with the intent to kill, you're an armed combatant in their eyes, and they'll be as quick to kill you as they would an adult soldier.
    • Similarly, Kieri and Lazuli's battle at St. Curtis. Kieri had only just recently become a warrior, and Lazuli, while not an elite soldier, has been actively fighting for years. Kieri only won their fight at the lake because her opponent was holding back immensely to capture her alive; even then, Kieri still struggled. When they fight again in St. Curtis, Lazuli completely overwhelms and defeats her, not holding back or giving her a second to breathe, even biting into her arm the moment she's distracted. Talus was killed, she was humiliated in combat, and she had traveled halfway across Fragaria just to join the other demons in the city - naturally, Lazuli was kinda mad. At that point, she didn't want to capture Kieri, she wanted to KILL her, and had it not been for Azurai growing a brain and being pragmatic for once, she would have.
    • Cliff Sinclair is very strong for a human, being able to curb-stomp a Seraph with his fairy comrade Duster's help. But at the end of the day, he's just that - a human, and no more vulnerable than one. When fighting the wind demon Haury - a mook who isn't even an elite soldier of Iratu's army like Azurai and Tsavo - all it takes is one good attack to connect before Cliff is out for the count. Duster is soon caught in the demon's grasp, unable to assist him; a strength-potion-boosted Miranda has to bail him out.
    • Kazai attempts to invoke rank on several caretaker angels but they quickly point out at his rank means nothing on Medius and his less-than-pleasant personality makes them even less inclined to listen to him.
    • After a night of binge drinking in St. Curtis, Jake and Rhea presumably burned down private property. The next day, several local guards attempt to arrest them for arson and public indecency. Even a few days after the two of them help out and save civilians during a devastating demon attack on the city, the guards haven't suddenly pardoned or forgotten about those crimes, and promptly chase after them when they see them again. Indeed, after disguising themselves to avoid attention, they realize they now have wanted posters of themselves.
  • Spinnerette loves this trope, showcasing how reality can be a harsh mistress in a supehero world.
    • When Heather decides to instantly become a superhero after gaining her powers and fights her first thug, she is quickly beaten up since just because you have powers doesn't mean you're automatically qualified to fight without proper training. Her first fight with Evil Spinnerette has her flailing wildly while her opponent just mocks her and she likely would've been killed if Tiger and Mecha Maid hadn't interfered when they did.
    • Likewise, her roommate is more freaked out then anything upon first seeing her gain six arms and wanted Heather to get checked out for any kind of other weird and potentially fatal mutations. For the most past, she grudgingly agrees to let Heather be but only if any other weird deformities don't present themselves which thankfully they do not.
    • Heather thinks her mutation is like Spider-Man and that the webbing will come from her wrist. However, it's pointed out that only happened in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man Trilogy (the comic came out in 2010) and in the comics, Peter had built his own webbing from chemicals and fired them from a shooter. So when Heather finally does find she can shoot webbing, it comes from the most logical place it would from a spider. note 
    • Heather is forced to work late at night and wants to go hang out with her friends. So she decides to use her powers to get work done faster. Until her roommate points out that there are cameras in the facility and caught her on tape. Following that, both of them head to her workplace with Heather hoping to get the tape showing this while her friend uses her sexual wiles to distract the guard. The whole escapade doesn't work cause 1) The guard isn't stupid and in fact mentions that several others have tried the same trick before and 2) Heather still isn't properly acquainted with her powers by this point, constantly flubs up trying to climb up a wall and ultimately ends up tangling herself before she can even get inside. Luckily for the two, the guard was nice enough to erase the footage and let them leave without incident.
    • After Evil Spinnerette is taken down the first time, she's released on probation and bail because she's both a minor and her parents are rich enough to fight the case despite Spinnerette testifying. Such is the justice system, folks.
    • Tiger is estranged from his family due to the fact he never told his wife he was a superhero. When she found out due to seeing him change costumes, she was livid and ordered him to stop as she didn't him to be killed while crime fighting and leaving his two daughters fatherless (despite the fact the girls were more than happy that he was a superhero). When he refused, she promptly divorced him and took the girls with her.
    • Heather's initial costume was a bunch of Venom costumes she bought and had her friend Sahira cobble together. When she is finally showcased in the newspaper, this gets the attention of Marvel Comics who promptly file a Cease and Desist claim on her, forcing her to re-make her costume.
      • Plus, the costume being 100% spandex is impractical for climbing walls and as noted by Mecha-Maid, does not offer much protection.
    • Heather is late to a sparring session with Mecha-Maid due to attempting to swing like Spider-Man on "Columbus' humble skyline" (Cincinnati would have been a better place to do that). And the way she shoots webs would've made the trip harder.
    • As the Mad Scientist points out to The Remnant from Those Wacky Nazis when they try to hire him to clone Hitler, the clone will be born as a baby.
    • When fighting an evil villain named Colonel Glass, Heather does NOT let him live, citing him too much a dangerous and psychotic monster to continue to do so and goes on to set him on fire after his head is blown off to make sure he doesn't come back. A following issue showcased the action was still affecting her as when she's forced to incapacitate two relatively harmless villains with were-creature abilities by suffocating their familiar, who likewise was the link to their power, by feeding it chocolate. She quickly resuscitates it, not wanting another death on her conscience.
    • One villain came about because she had a terminal disease and had hoped stem cell treatment could cure it. It did for a bit but eventually the symptoms regressed and made her worse off than before. Rather than go back for additional treatment, she blamed the doctor for it and went on a rampage. When pointed out how unreasonable her reasoning is (since again the doctors were just doing their jobs and research is still ongoing, treatments aren't always instantaneous or stable) and that she's putting the lives of others at risk, she promptly ignores it for the sake of her perceived vengeance. Eventually Mecha Maid manages to take out her suit with an EMP blast, but the villain simply shrugs her suit off and tries to go after the doctor with a gun... only for him to knock her out with a cricket bat. No suit + no power = completely vulnerable.
    • One villain Spinnerette faces uses mind-controlling drugs in her pies to take control of a small town. However she herself is not a fighter and has to let her brainwashed lackeys do the fighting for her when Spinnerette threatens to beat her up. What's more she isn't beaten by fisticuffs but because one of the residents was a diabetic and couldn't eat the pies. And since the drugs were susceptible to anyone's voice, the girl was able to get everyone back to normal by pleading with them through the sound system.
  • In this Dorkly comic, Red gets an Eevee and decides not to evolve it, because he loves it the way it is already...and decides to take on the Elite Four with it. Cut to said Eevee getting beaten to a pulp by one of the Elite Four's Dragonite, because The Power of Friendship can't turn an unevolved Pokemon into a One-Man Army, and most Pokemon aren't Ash's Pikachu. Some Pokemon are just naturally stronger than others, usually due to evolution.
  • Treading Ground: When Nate and Steve were teenagers, they decided to hell with school, claiming they were smart enough to make do without it. Fast forward five years later and they're both working cruddy retail jobs. Nate even says that dropping out was a bad idea.
  • This VG Cats parody of Tom and Jerry, where Tom is hospitalized by the injury inflicted upon him by Jerry and Jerry ends up in jail for assaulting Tom.
  • xkcd
  • In Zelfia, Mayy's birth mother leaves her infant daughter on the doorstep of a human florist... who promptly calls Child Protective Services and puts the baby into the foster care system.
  • The comic "Why Your Female TF2 OC Is Dumb" deconstructs common impractical fashion and design choices commonly used for female OCs in the Team Fortress 2 fandom. Long hair would get in a person's eyes while fighting and would probably catch on fire as a result of being around flamethrowers and the like. Long skirts would get tripped over on the battlefield and might result in Panty Shots. Large breasts will pop out of a woman's shirt if she's running around and fighting but not wearing a sports bra or something similar. High heels would break if somebody tried to run and fight in them at the same time. Makeup shouldn't be worn by a female merc because there's no time to fix it on the battlefield and it would get ruined anyway during the fighting. Female mercs lugging around huge, heavy weapons and equipment have to be big and muscular by necessity like their male counterparts; a small, waifish girl would break in half just from trying to pick up something like Heavy's minigun, which is 150 kilograms or 330 pounds. A teenage girl being enough of a Child Prodigy or Teen Genius to be a mercenary is highly unlikely at best. Lastly, it's pointed out that the mercs, being grown men in their 30s, 40s, and 50s, probably wouldn't be romantically attracted to teenage girls and young women and would prefer older women (which is exactly what Spy does in the game, hooking up with Scout's mom).


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