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"Man, it sure would be nice if things worked out the way they do in cartoons..."

It can be quite surprising when Reality Ensues in a medium like this...


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    Adventure Time 
  • The songs and/or musical notes Finn and the others start with tend to sound horrible and have lyrics that don't make any sense whatsoever, like how someone who was trying to make up a song on the spot would actually sound that's more likely to occur, as opposed to songs that conveniently sound great and have meaningful lyrics.
  • In "Storytelling", when the wizard realizes Finn has actually improved the forest animals' lives by disrupting the natural order:
    Finn: So does this mean I get to go free?
    Wizard: Your cage is made of sticks, Brother. Just kick it apart.
  • The Ice King is under a curse that acts as a thinly veiled Alzheimer's metaphor. Despite the show being exactly the kind of setting where The Power of Love and The Power of Friendship should prevail in that situation and recover his mind... it doesn't. Just like with real Alzheimer's patients, no amount of reminders or familial caring can make him recognize his loved ones or remember the person he was, and it only ever ends with the loved ones in tears and onlookers either baffled or starting to cry themselves.
  • In "Up a Tree", Finn explains to a porcupine that getting pricked with needles doesn't actually lead to jumping really high.
  • In the episode "Davey", Jake tries to make Finn quit being Davey by dressing like a robber and robbing someone. Instead of breaking character and being a hero, he calls the police and Jake gets arrested.
  • Several episodes show that Finn's Precocious Crush on Bubblegum is immensely painful to him. Unrequited love hurts even if you're still friends with that person, and despite starting a relationship with Flame Princess, his feelings don't magically go away. They still linger despite his best efforts to move on.
  • In three words, the end of 'Lady & Peebles' shows a common consequence of long term relationships that most children's shows rarely mention: "I am pregnant!"
  • "Candy Streets":
    • When Finn and Jake ask Anne if she's seen any suspicious characters coming into her pharmacy, she points out to them that there are so many people who come in and out on a daily basis that the odds of her picking out a specific one as suspicious and remembering them are very low. Subverted when she does exactly that anyway.
    • When Finn and Jake chase a suspect into a train station, they get arrested for trying to board without a ticket.
  • In "Lemonhope", the titular character repeatedly refuses to rescue his siblings from the tyrannical Lemongrab despite the urging of Princess Bubblegum. Eventually, the guilt causes him repeated nightmares, so he finally fulfills his destiny, defeats Lemongrab and is apparently set to become Castle Lemongrab's new Earl... only for him to leave again, since he only did it to get rid of the nightmares. Doing something to soothe your conscience doesn't turn you into a hero.
    • The episode also works on showing what a supposed Kid Hero would do when given that kind of heavy responsibility. In reality, not every kid is going to be like Finn, who is all for helping people no matter what. Instead, some are going to be like Lemonhope, who hated his supposed destiny and only wanted the freedom to live like the kid he is. The sole reason he fulfills it in the end is not because he felt it was the right thing to do, but because he didn't want to deal with the weighing guilt any longer. He just wanted his carefree life back.
  • "Frost & Fire" shows that Finn being the Last of His Kind is problematic when he has... weird dreams that not even Jake can explain.

    American Dad! 
  • When Francine discovers that the fireman who supposedly sacrificed his life to rescue her from a well when she was a child was still alive, she tries to readjust him to normal civilization after rescuing him, but he just can't handle it and dives back into the well, having been down there for many years. The narrator then explains that Francine was completely unaware that he died on impact due to diving headfirst into the well.
  • After Roy Family locked up the Smiths and hundreds of others inside Familyland Theme Park, the people were divided into factions based on the part of the park that they enjoyed the most, with Stan, Steve, Roger, and Hayley being the leaders of those factions. War and chaos broke out among all of them, with many people being slaughtered and killed left and right. People were even killed just from the initial lockdown. When Francine was finally able to set the people free, they sued the crap out of the park and turned it into a memorial for the dead.
  • One episode had Terry's homophobic father disown him after learning of his marriage and surrogate child to Greg. Stan, who was homophobic but grew past it after meeting the couple, ran the gamut of finding out why he's homophobic, ranging from Freudian Excuse to Armored Closet Gay to simply not understanding how someone could be gay. At the end of the episode, nothing happens. Terry's father is straight, manly, completely understands homosexuality is not a choice and is just a bigot because he's just a bigot, and refuses to change his ways or take back his disowning of Terry despite the explanations Stan and Greg give him. The most closure Terry gets is realizing that he doesn't need an abusive sack of crap of a father like that who can't accept him for who he is, which echoes a lot of similar sentiments people in real life share after coming out to homophobic parents who won't change their viewpoint.
  • In another episode, Stan crashes his car while rubbernecking, since he doesn't want to admit it to Francine he claims that he swerved to miss a cat, which he also puts on his insurance claim. However, the insurance agent investigates and finds evidence that Stan was girl-watching and he's arrested for insurance fraud. At his trial, Stan manages to convince everyone that rubbernecking is normal and win back Francine. And then the judge sentences him to six years in prison, since Stan not only failed to defend himself for insurance fraud, he also tacitly admitted to it while apologizing to his wife. Of course, everything's back to normal by the next episode.
  • Similar to the Archer example, the Tap on the Head doesn't work in one episode. In fact, not only were the victims not knocked unconscious, but they were also clearly injured and needed to be sent to the hospital. Strangely, this trope has been played straight in other episodes.
  • In one episode, Francine fakes a kidnapping of Roger to prove that Stan really cares for him. Stan knew the whole time since he has Caller ID, and Francine called from her cell phone.
  • In another episode, Greg and Terry decide to have a baby, using Francine as a surrogate. Stan fears what will happen to the baby if raised by a gay couple so he kidnaps her to take her to Nebraska where gay couples don't have parenting rights. He ends up having a Heel Realization after meeting a couple of kids raised by a lesbian couple who are perfectly normal, so he returns the baby and apologizes. Instead of being Easily Forgiven, Greg and Terry both angrily punch him and then put a restraining order on him.
  • In the episode "Four Little Words," Stan and Francine set Stan's boss, Bullock, up on a blind date with Francine's friend Melinda, only for Bullock to accidentally kill her; Stan is so determined not to hear Francine say "I told you so," since she knew said blind date would end badly from the start, that he tricks Francine into thinking that she killed Melinda during an argument. Francine is so torn up by the guilt that she leaves home and goes to India to help out refugees. After a month of this, however, Stan realizes that he can circumvent this by simply admitting his guilt before Francine has a chance to say it, and does so. Like the above example with Greg and Terry, instead of being Easily Forgiven, Francine is absolutely furious with him for tricking her into thinking she killed her friend for such a stupid reason, especially considering all the misery she suffered in India:
    Francine: Do you know what super-diarrhea is, Stan?! Do you have any idea how much you've SCREWED UP MY LIFE?!
  • In "The Life Aquatic With Steve Smith" Steve joins the water polo team and becomes a star player with Klaus' help. But, Klaus stops helping him after Steve takes too much credit, which leads to Steve nearly drowning when he tries to do it on his own, due to exhaustion and a lack of buoyancy. He's also kicked off the team for nearly exposing himself, when, in reality, he was trying to give Klaus credit by showing him to the audience.
  • In an episode where the house is carried away by a flood, Klaus tries to swim away, what with him being a goldfish and all. Unfortunately, goldfish are freshwater, and the floodwaters are mostly sea water. He jumps back into his bowl as quickly as he jumped out, screaming about how much it burns.
  • The B-plot of "Mom Sauce" has Stan, Roger, and Jeff becoming male models and starving themselves. The ending shows them as having become unhealthily thin and collapsing from malnourishment shortly after getting on the runway.
  • The B plot of "Man in the Moonbounce" has Hayley give Klaus a haircut to help him with his depression. However, since Hayley isn't a qualified barber and was using more than one picture as inspiration, she ends up botching the haircut and disappointing Klaus.
  • In "There Will Be Bad Blood", Stan deludes himself into believing he deserves his half-brother's luxurious life and decides to take Rusty's life for himself by having his entire family transplanted into the Smith house and disguise it to look like their own home. Even if Stan hadn't made such an incredibly bad attempt at the con, he was trying to make his half-brother think an upper-middle-class two-story house in the middle of a Virginia suburb was his enormous mansion in the Arizona desert. It only takes Rusty a few hours to get back home and have his security force kick his half-brother out of his house.
  • In "The Devil Wears a Lapel Pin", Roger gets a Discovery Card which he plans to use to go on a crazy spending spree. However, he finds that no store in the regular mall will take it. When he does find a secret underground mall that accepts the card and goes on that spree, he finds out when he gets the bill that the card has a terrible APR and he owes the company an absolute fortune. Places of business generally have a good reason for not accepting certain forms of payment.
  • In "Stan & Francine & Connie & Ted", Steve introduces his parents to Barry's parents and suddenly realises that Barry's parents (Connie and Ted) are swingers. Fearing for his parents' marriage, Steve goes to great lengths to ensure they don't have sex and invades a nudist resort to stop them. However, Stan and Francine tell him off for this and tell Steve they already know about Connie and Ted being swingers. Both of them have made it clear to Connie and Ted that they don't want to get involved in swinging and both Connie and Ted respect their boundaries. Even when Barry tries to make them horny by trapping them in an erotic sauna, they still don't have sex because both parties understand and respect consent.
  • In the B plot of "Merlot Down Dirty Shame", Hayley and Klaus prank Steve by leading him to believe that he's having a lucid dream. It ends with him going to school in his underwear, telling his classmate Amy to be his lab partner, and jumping out the window with her, thinking they can fly, only for both of them to get injured in the fall. Amy gets hurt worse, as she ends up impaled on a fence post; though she apparently lived, the end credits have a very pissed-off Steve telling Hayley and Klaus that her family might prosecute him for attempted murder.
  • In "Persona Assistant", Stan, after his half-hearted attempts to keep up the ailing Roger's personas results in the whole town falling into chaos, is convinced to use Roger's most evil persona, Ricky Spanish, to restore order. He succeeds, but ends up being overwhelmed by the inherent evil of the Ricky persona. The recovered Roger steps in, confronting "Ricky" with the only persona that can match him: Jeannie Gold, wedding planner. The two opponents charge at each other, seemingly on the verge of an epic confrontation... only for the bigger, stronger Stan to knock Roger down with a single punch.
  • In "The Full Cognitive Redaction of Avery Bullock by the Coward Stan Smith", Stan is ordered to erase Bullock's memories when he starts developing dementia, but Stan decides to protect Bullock instead. When Stan decides to kill Bullock so he won't spend the rest of his life in a vegetative state; Bullock survives because Stan unknowingly shot a chip that effected Bullock's behaviour. Rather than be grateful to Stan for saving him from the CIA, Bullock furiously demotes him and fires him as his protégé. Bullock reminds Stan that his job requires him to be dogmatically loyal to the country and he should have been resolute in following CIA protocol. Bullock is also furious to discover that Stan allowed him to steal an armed nuclear submarine, which could have led to catastrophic consequences if either of them actually used the weapons on-board.

    Archer 
Archer often plays the various injuries encountered in Spy Fiction (more) realistically:
  • Whenever a character is exposed to explosions or gunfire, they suffer temporary deafness, sometimes accompanied by a loud ringing noise. It's happened to Archer so many times, he mentions that he thinks he's developing tinnitus.
  • When Ray gets knocked out via a Tap on the Head, he has to see a neurologist.
  • Barry had his leg broken so many times by Archer that his femur is held together by metal pins. Until he gets rebuilt as a cyborg.
  • Traintop battles are noted to be noisy, filled with 100 mph winds, and *spit* bugs getting in your mouth constantly. Archer doesn't know why people like them so much.
  • Ray, fresh from having his legs roboticized, tries to lift a jeep in order to get it out of a ditch, believing that his cyborg Super Strength will get it out. He winds up critically injuring himself because while his legs are augmented, his spine isn't.
    Archer: Are you shitting me?! Bionic legs, and you lift with your back!?
  • While Cheryl's insanity is usually played for laughs, in "Sea Tunt, Part 1", her brother Cecil is horrified at her behavior and is secretly recording the ISIS crew's statements about Cheryl to get her committed: not just to get access to her half of the fortune (which he needs since his charitable ventures have bankrupted him) but also because he sincerely believes Cheryl has become a legitimate danger to herself and others. When the others find out, they agree, to the point that Lana flat out says that he could have just talked to them instead of resorting to subterfuge (though it turns out there was another reason for it...).
  • Archer develops cancer as a result of frequent exposure to radiation from nuclear devices and materials owned by the bad guys he fights. He does eventually beat it, but his recovery is shown rather realistically, including surgery and a course of chemotherapy, with all the attendant side effects.
  • In a wide number of episodes, Archer points out how stupid it is that everyone he runs into seems to think the Bottomless Magazines trope will play straight, and mocks the cast's tendency to not pay close attention to how many shots they have left. One of these times Ron and Archer are on the run from a bunch of crazy fetishists (It Makes Sense in Context) and Archer threatens them with his handgun, but Ron dares Archer to actually shoot them. Archer then points out that he had emptied his only clip shooting at the goons that were chasing them a while back and was bluffing. While the two resume running Ron wonders how he could be out of bullets so fast, to which Archer points out that a handgun not only holds a finite number of bullets, but also a very small amount because of its relative size. In another episode, Mallory (who taught her son his secret agent skills), when preparing to go up against her son for dating a defected Russian agent, beats his ability to count shots by leaving one in the chamber.
  • Similarly, "Spray 'n Pray" Lana goes the opposite direction. Usually, she empties her guns within seconds of a fight, not entirely helped by the fact that she prefers automatic weapons and tends to not aim. One of her former classmates even notes that she's also not good at reloading either and successfully predicts how long he can stand out in the open without getting shot by her.
  • In "M For Mother", Archer, being influenced by a chip in his brain, goes to Mallory's house with the intent of murdering her with a knife. When he pulls the knife, Mallory immediately shoots him in the chest.
  • In "White Elephant" we see what happens when you try to run a privately owned freelance spy agency: the FBI storms the place and arrests everyone for a laundry list of charges, including treason. Then it's revealed it was a CIA operation all along.
  • In "Heart of Archness Part I", Archer leaves a seaplane on autopilot, then finds out autopilot only maintains course and altitude. It doesn't find the only refueling strip in the area and land before the plane runs out of fuel.
  • In "The Figgis Agency", Archer winds up blowing the team's cover during a burglary when the owner of the home finds the trail of blood he's been leaving from an earlier injury and immediately calls the guards. As the team makes their escape off a cliff-side, Lana chastises Archer by noting how they're all going to get shot, only for Archer to point out that since the guards are using silenced weapons note , they can't really hit them since they've moved out of their effective range.
    • In the same episode, the team subdue the guard dogs of the condo by feeding them tranquilizer-laced doggie treats. The following episode reveals that the dogs had a bad reaction to the tranquilizers and had to be taken to the vet for treatment.
  • In "Auflösung", Krieger tries to convince his cyborg creation Dutch Dillon (Dream!Barry) that he can be an instrument of good instead of using his new powers for evil and vengeance. Dutch points out how ridiculous that expectation is, because not only was he unwillingly turned into a cyborg on the orders of his mobster boss, he was a murdering psychopath before being turned half-machine, and the transformation hasn't exactly made him less of one.
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    Avatar: The Last Airbender 
  • Aang introduces the siblings to Appa and claims he can fly. Because their raft was destroyed (and because Sokka would rather not freeze to death waiting for help), they climb aboard the bison.
    Aang: First time fliers, hold on tight.
    (Appa jumps into the air...and crashes into the water.)
    • Turns out, when you're trapped in an iceberg for a long time (not to mention having previously been caught up in a wild storm before being placed into an iceberg), you can become exhausted pretty fast. It takes at least a day of resting before Appa can successfully fly again.
  • "The Firebending Masters" subverts Durable Deathtrap by revealing that the Sun Warrior civilization still exists, and that they were maintaining and resetting the traps.
  • "Sokka's Master":
    • Aang tries on a ridiculously oversized suit of Scary Impractical Armor. He can't even move in it, falling over after a single step.
    • Sokka confesses to his sword-master Piandao that he is from the Water Tribe, to which the latter admits he figured out that tidbit the moment Sokka used his actual name instead of playing it smart like Zuko and using a common name instead.
      Piandao: You're gonna need a better Fire Nation cover name. Try Lee. There's a million Lees.
  • In "Bitter Work", Aang is having trouble learning Earthbending, and Toph is being incredibly hard on him. Meanwhile, Sokka gets trapped in a hole and is waiting to be rescued. After Aang finally passes the test and earns Toph's respect, he finds Sokka in the hole. With his newfound Earthbending skills, he steps up to plate... and Toph stops him, saying that if he tried, he'd probably break Sokka's neck by accident. She then gets him out. Just because you passed the test doesn't mean that you're an Instant Expert.
  • After two episodes of turmoil, Aang finally unleashes his Avatar State. The assaulted army stops, watching in awe as the Avatar prepares to unleash his spiritual wrath upon them—and then he gets shot down immediately. With Azula, transformation is NOT a free action.
  • In "The Siege of the North", Chief Arnook comes up with a plan to infiltrate the Fire Navy by using old Fire Navy uniforms... and Sokka points out that the Fire Navy has updated its wardrobe in the 85 years since the Water Tribe got the uniforms. Sure enough, the soldier that tries to assault Zhao gets found out immediately.
  • "Zuko Alone": Zuko is traveling by himself in order to get a good grasp on who he is. He comes across a village and makes friends with a boy there. But when Zuko is forced to use his firebending to stop a group of thuggish Earth Kingdom soldiers abusing their authority over the town, it naturally outs him a person from the Fire Nation, and worse yet, Zuko proudly proclaims his true identity as the prince of the Fire Nation and son of the country's bloodthirsty ruler. Despite saving the village, they immediately turn on him, (the boy he befriended included) and Zuko has no choice but to leave without a word. One good deed doesn't make up for the fact that Zuko's nation launched an unprovoked war against the rest of the world, and has spent a century trying to conquer the world while using tactics that are often incredibly brutal. Being proud of your heritage as the son and grandson and great grandson of brutal dictators isn't going to win you any points with the people who have been oppressed by your family either.
  • "City of Walls and Secrets":
    • Jet saw Iroh firebending his tea, and is determined to find proof that he and Zuko are actually criminals. After stealing Iroh's fire stones, he expects Iroh to heat it with firebending. Instead, Iroh remembers what Zuko said about not blowing their cover and borrows extra stones from their neighbor. He may have a weakness for tea but Iroh is not stupid.
    • Later, Jet storms into the tea shop, threatening Iroh and Zuko at swordpoint to out themselves. Thing is, he walks in accusing them with no evidence, in the presence of two guards who point out a teamaker would be heating tea. He gets into a fight with Zuko, who is a master fencer and remains on the defensive side until the Dai Li come. The shopowner rightly points out that Jet assaulted his employees and destroyed his shop, with the guards corroborating these stories. Jet promptly gets arrested on these charges as he's shouting that Iroh and Zuko are firebenders.
  • "The Earth King": The Gaang, by this point utterly fed up with trying to navigate the conspiracies and lies in the city of Ba Sing Se, decide to go directly to the Earth King to explain what's going on. Except that in order to get to him, they have to launch an all out attack on the palace, fight numerous guards, and their enemy Long Feng already got there before them. Understandably, the Earth King isn't inclined to hear them out at first: "You invade my palace, lay waste to all my guards, break down my fancy door — and you expect me to trust you!?" And when he's calmed down, he wants proof before he believes their (apparently) wild claims.
    • Following on from that, when the Gaang take him to see Lake Laogai (where various unethical things have been going on) they find the entrance has been destroyed and likely the rest of the facility has suffered the same fate. Obviously Long Feng and the Dai Li weren't going to leave incriminating evidence around. However, they're unable to do the same with the Fire Nation's drill that nearly breached the city walls in a previous episode, as it's out in plain sight and far too many people know about it already.
  • "The Beach": Azula Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training, but that bit her in the butt when we see that without balancing both out, she can't socialize normally, leading her to have real difficulty in talking to people. Also, it shows that when you dedicate yourself to a single way of life (in her case, the commander), it's not easy to try a new way of life that you aren't used to.
  • "Imprisoned" The Gaang come across a settlement that is under Fire Nation rule, and they meet an Earthbender named Haru who's trying to keep himself under their radar. They come across an old man who's trapped under rocks and Haru uses his power to free him. Surely the old man will be grateful for saving him, right? Er, well, yeah, but doesn't stop him from reporting Haru to the Fire Nation. No Good Deed Goes Unpunished indeed.
    • From the same episode, Katara finds out what has happened and gets herself sent to the prison he was taken to, which turns out to be a ship made of metal which (at the time) the Earthbenders couldn't bend. However, for said ship to be powered, it still needed coal, which is a form of Earth. After Katara managed to get the coal to the prisoners along with some inspiring words, the Earthbenders use it to stage a prison riot. The issue was that the prisoners had their morale broken; they never thought to use the coal because they were all so battered and depressed.
  • In the finale of Book 1, Zuko finally has seemingly captured Aang (who has left his physical body behind to visit the Spirit World) and made a successful escape. Only he does so by running through a blizzard, and, being fatigued from fighting Katara, wet from his infiltration as well as said fight, he almost dies from hypothermia. He only survives thanks to the others who find him. Later in Book 2, Iroh even brings this up as an example of his And Then What? flaw.
  • The Fire Nation is a volcanic archipelago which means they have metal deposits and fertile soil which is they are the most technologically advanced and stable (politically) nation. In real life, the Industrial Revolution didn’t start until people began finding metal deposits. It allows them to have built metal ships before everyone else to trade their food. The metal ships also give them a military advantage.
  • "The Headband": Aang saw firsthand that the Airbenders were annihilated in a Curb-Stomp Battle, thanks to the skeletons he saw in the Southern Air Temple and their generally pacifist nature. In a Fire Nation school, however, it turns out the teachers believe the Airbenders had an army and were able to fight back, with Aang's teacher chiding him for questioning that. Thanks to Written by the Winners, it would be like the Fire Nation to cover up that Sozin committed a heinous misdeed and murdered a group of peaceful benders.
  • "The Runaway": During a training exercise, Sokka rushes at Aang from behind while screaming "SNEAK ATTACK!!!" Aang clobbers him with a pillar without even looking.
  • "The Western Air Temple": Zuko thinks the best strategy to win over Team Avatar is to display humility and apologize to them for all of his misdeeds. There is just one problem; he already did that back in season 2 with Katara willing to trust him. Katara, as a result, is thinking this is another trick of his and smacks him with a water whip, reminding him of what he did before. And when you admit to your List of Transgressions involves trying to kill the people you're trying to join, it doesn't help your case. Not to mention that it was his fault that Ba Sing Se fell, so knowing he's the reason the Big Bad won the war doesn't endear Zuko to the Gaang.
  • "The Southern Air Raiders"
    • Zuko tries to tell Katara he has changed and thus she should trust him. She reminds him that they went through that in Ba Sing Se, and he chose to betray her and let Azula take over the city after a bonding moment. He visibly has no argument against that, especially since that basically won the war for the Fire Nation. Not to mention Katara was traumatized when Aang died for a few minutes and it was only with her Spirit Water that she was able to revive him.
    • Yon Rha was the man who killed Katara's mother when she claimed to be the last Waterbender in the Southern Tribe. Katara rightly calls him a monster for breaking into a helpless woman's home and leaving her body for her husband and children to find. It turns out, however, that his life was ruined after that; he retired and is spending his existence with his abusive mother. By the time Katara and Zuko track him down, Katara takes him down in a Curb-Stomp Battle but finds him too pathetic to kill. Even monsters can be broken and ruined by the choices they make, and the crimes they commit.
  • "Sozin's Comet, Part One": Zuko yells at the Gaang for just waiting on Sozin's Comet to pass instead of doing something about it. They reveal that, despite Aang being a Child Prodigy, that he's not ready to face Ozai on a regular day, let alone on the one day that all firebenders are superpowered. He's only been bending water for a year, earth for a few months, and fire for a few weeks. Ozai, in contrast, has been firebending for decades. Not even a Child Prodigy stands a chance against a trained Big Bad. Since the Day of the Black Sun was their last hope at securing a victory, the team planned to wait until Aang was older and strong enough to beat Ozai. Zuko then becomes apologetic because he realizes that he's asking Aang to fight as a Curb Stomp Cushion against his murderous father but says there isn't a choice if they want to save the Earth Kingdom from Ozai.
  • Aang knew he'd have to face the Fire Lord to bring peace to the world. It never occurred to him that he'd might have to actually take the man's life in cold blood; something that not only goes against everything he learned as an Air Nomad, but as an act no 12 year old boy should ever have to burden upon himself. His friends, including said man's own son, are yelling at him to do the deed, either unaware or uncaring that the burden of the deed falls on Aang rather than directly on any of them.
  • In part two of the finale when Aang goes missing, Zuko suggests that Iroh battle Ozai for the position of Fire Lord and use the power to end the war. Iroh tells Zuko that even if he did defeat Ozai in a duel, which isn't a guarantee, it wouldn't end the war. Everyone would see it as Iroh making a power grab and it would create political instability within the Fire Nation. Aang, being the appointed peacekeeper and protector for all four nations, is the only one who can defeat Ozai and ensure peace.
  • Despite being stronger than Zuko, Azula is unable to defeat him during the finale of the series until she cheats and shoots Lightning at Katara, which Zuko is only just able to redirect at the cost of it damaging him. Zuko might be weaker, but his calm and focused mental state allows him to counter Azula, who is suffering a mental breakdown during this period. This is shown during their fight especially; Zuko primarily plays defensively, blocking or countering Azula, while Azula attempts to overpower him through raw power. As a result, Zuko is able to block her attacks and even counter because Azula is basically just throwing her attacks at him, while Zuko counters or avoids it. In most cases, the fighter with the calmest mental state will win because they can plan and strategize over their enemy.
    • Likewise, the Agni Kai is meant to show who wins in terms of firebending skills and prowess, as well as who is calm in the face of serious injuries. Azula at first "wins" by ensuring Zuko gets struck by lightning, but she forfeits by default when chasing Katara around the arena with an intent to kill. It's clear to any eyewitnesses and Fire Nation priests that she is unfit for rule if trying to murder an Innocent Bystander, especially when said bystander has to restrain her with chains to end the fight.
  • "The Avatar State": General Fong tries helping Aang achieve the Avatar State by offering Aang chi-enhancing tea, rather than achieve the avatar state, the caffeine instead makes Aang too hyperactive to focus.

    Avatar: The Legend of Korra 
  • One of the overall themes is to show that the original Team Avatar didn't live happily ever after. They went on to live very realistic lives, complete with personal and family issues. These issues ultimately affect the lives of their children and grandchildren; Bumi and Kya are resentful towards Tenzin due to Aang's favoritism of his only airbending child, Lin not knowing her father makes her angry at her mother, her and Suyin growing up without parental supervision messed up their ability to form relationships, etc.
    • Aang is revealed to have died sometime in his 60s, despite the Avatar generally stated to live really long lives, with Kyoshi managing to get to her second century. The century spent stuck in an iceberg ended up having severe health issues for him later on, leading to his early death.
  • At the end of Season 1, Korra is granted the use of the Avatar State by her past lives despite being a neophyte airbender and still lacking in maturity (usually an Avatar masters all four elements and the discipline from doing so is how they become fully-realized, per the previous series.) Come Season 2 Korra is using the Avatar State to cheat at racing Tenzin's children and refusing to continue her airbending training now that she's "fully-realized." Except she's not, as an encounter with a Dark Spirit shows she's not the Instant Expert she thinks she is as any skill takes time and practice to perfect, especially if it requires a mental state entirely different from your usual self. It takes some character building with Iroh in the Spirit World before she's able to become the full Avatar. If someone is just handed something without earning it, nine of ten times they're not going to respect it.
  • The first episode has the title character stopping some thugs from getting tribute money, destroying a lot of the street while doing so. When the police show up, they almost immediately attempt to arrest her for property damage.
    • Earlier in the same episode, she tries to get food for Naga, but having been locked in a compound for the majority of her life, she didn't know she needed to carry money around and spend it in exchange for things.
    • Trying to catch fish from a pond in a public park likewise draws the attention of the police, since that pond is the city's property.
  • As early as the third episode of season 1, Amon gets Korra on the back foot and tacitly explains that while it's well within his power at this moment, depowering the Avatar - generally seen as the Big Good to the world at large - would turn her into a Martyr and make his still-growing Equalist faction into terrorists. So with a simple threat that she'll be last, he leaves her be, and doesn't attempt to go after her again until he's drummed up enough public support and dissatisfaction even Korra is grouped in with the "Us vs. Them" mentality the Equalist movement made. This incident also leaves Korra huddled up as a crying mess; she had never been so thoroughly defeated, helpless and threated and only remained the Avatar because the villain was a pragmatist.
  • The Korra/Mako/Asami Love Triangle in season 1 is a typical "plucky teen heroine wins boy away from girlfriend who doesn't deserve him" plotline. In season 2, the constant lies necessary to uphold it leads to a lot of lingering strain between them, Korra and Mako face difficulties in actually maintaining a relationship, Mako and Asami still have remaining feelings for each other which creates problems, and Korra and Mako eventually break up entirely, as a Belligerent Sexual Tension romance is not usually a good basis for a successful relationship. In season 3 everyone finally stops lying and talks it out, allowing them to deal with and move past the problems, and although Mako needs some space all three remain friends despite the fiasco.
  • The first episodes of season 2 show that The Hero would not be happy if The Mentor hid important things from them "for their own good", would likely develop serious trust issues, and would probably get pretty annoyed about being constantly bossed around and told that they are The Chosen One.
  • In Season 3, Korra and Tenzin are so excited that Harmonic Convergence made several people airbenders that until they try to recruit those people to rebuild the Air Nomads, they don't realize that, new powers or not, people aren't too keen on leaving behind their lives, homes, and families in order to adopt an entirely new culture. In fact, on the trip to Ba Sing Se, the only successful recruit is Kai, a Street Urchin thief who sees his new airbending abilities as a way to earn redemption for the wrongs he committed in the past. And while several of the new airbenders do willingly join the Air Nomads later in the series, several of them still choose to keep living their current lives.
    • One of the issues created by the new airbenders who refuse to accept the monks' lifestyle is that they're not trained to hold back for the sake of only fighting in self-defense. This shows how absurdly dangerous control over the air itself can be when one goes entirely on the offensive, as a group of untrained airbenders working together can easily create a tornado, or tell the air not to enter someone's lungs and asphyxiate them (as the Earth Queen finds out the hard way when Zaheer assassinated her this way).
  • The second season ends on an uplifting note with Korra's speech about looking towards a new future. The third season quickly reveals that a lot of people are mad at the changes that have come about as a result of spirits living in the material world and all. This leads to another Aesop that part of making decisions is making peace with them, no matter how difficult.
  • Then Season 4 begins with a newsreel showing that the area the spirits took over is now a major tourist attraction, intercut with scenes of people and spirits getting along peacefully. People can pretty much get used to anything.
  • Korra learns a Be Yourself Aesop at the end of Book 2, but over a decade of identifying mainly as the Avatar isn't brushed away so easily.
  • In "Long Live The Queen", Bolin and Mako are imprisoned in the Earth Queen's dungeons. Mako tells Bolin to metalbend the doors, gives him a speech about how this is his time and gets the whole cell block to cheer him on. Bolin digs deep, focuses... and achieves absolutely nothing. You don't instantly gain a very difficult and specialist skill because people believe in you.
  • This is an Exploited Trope by Zaheer:
    • In the same episode, Zaheer points out that trying to hold Korra prisoner would bring unwanted international attention upon the Earth Kingdom.
    • If an authority maintains order over the masses through iron rule which is heavily disapproved of, things will get ugly when that authority is bumped off. This is exactly what Zaheer and his team wanted.
  • The Arc Villain Zaheer is an Instant Expert at airbending but has only had his powers for at most a few months (and seems to use moves based off firebending he probably picked up from P'li), and when he faced Tenzin (who's been an airbending master nearly all his life) he got creamed until his teammates arrived to Zerg Rush Tenzin. Similarly in the third season finale, Bolin's new Magma Man abilities do take away a good portion of Ghazan's advantage, but the older lavabender still has the upper hand from experience until Mako joins in.
  • Zaheer’s legitimately a very good airbender for someone who’s had the powers for such a short amount of time but he’s also got the fact that very few people (probably a dozen at most) on earth have ever actually been around airbenders on his side. No one knows how to fight him. Kya, who grew up with an airbender dad and brother and presumably trained with them, gives him a much harder time than anyone else. Lin and Su, who also grew up around Aang and Tenzin, are similarly able to get the better of him a few episodes later.
  • The Earth Queen was a terrible tyrant, no doubt about it, but killing her just creates more problems. The ensuing chaos creates a power vacuum that gives rise to another tyrant, Kuvira. This happened in real life in both China and Russia around the time show is based on.
  • The Avatar State doesn't cure poison, so Korra's battle ends up being short-lived once the poison gets the better of her determination. It's definitely not something one can bounce right back from, as by the beginning of season 4 she still hasn't recovered mentally. Her physical recovery also took three years and a lot of willpower.
  • When Korra loses a fight in an underground Earthbending ring, she is smacked around in possibly the most brutal curb stompings in the show, which depicts her injuries fairly realistically and demonstrates just how painful being on the receiving end of what is essentially a beating with flying rocks would be in Real Life.
  • The duel between Korra and Kuvira in "Battle of Zaofu" has a double example. Korra may have just cured herself of mercury poisoning, but she's spent most of the last three years recovering from it and hasn't had much chance to practice fighting during this time. As a result, Kuvira — who's spent the last three years fighting to stabilize the Earth Kingdom — easily kicks her ass. Unfortunately for Kuvira, reality then ensues in the opposite direction. Flippantly goad a Physical God to invoke her Super Mode during a duel, and she may end up doing just that, blasting you halfway across the field before crushing your prone form with a massive boulder.
  • In her final battle Ming-Hua (an armless waterbender who fights by creating temporary prosthetics) lures Mako into a pool of water, giving her a decisive advantage. Or at least, she thinks. She dies seconds later when Mako puts himself on dry land and just zaps the pool with lightning.
  • Toph explains to Korra the futility of her job. Even if she stops one bad guy, there will always be others waiting to take his place. Tenzin admits she has a point but offers a less cynical view of it. Of course, Toph lightens up later on in this matter, realizing that while evil never gives up, neither should the forces of good.
  • In "Enemy at the Gates", Varrick's Beleaguered Assistant Zhi Li turns against him and Bolin when the three of them get captured trying to defect from Kuvira's army because she's sick and tired of Varrick treating her like crap in order to keep herself from being imprisoned along with them. In "Operation Beifong", it turns out that Zhu Li only pretended to switch sides in order to hurt Kuvira's spirit vine cannon experiments and gather intel on when Kuvira will attack Republic City because she truly does love Varrick and wanted to protect him. However, the next episode proves that being pushed around by an ungrateful boss would grate anybody's nerves and Zhu Li more-or-less meant everything she said during "the betrayal". When Varrick finds out the truth and attempts to get her to become his assistant again, she flat-out refuses and demands to be treated like an equal if he really does wants her around. This makes Varrick have a Heel Realization, and he begins to treat her better as a result, culminating in the two of them becoming Happily Married in the Grand Finale.
  • Opal isn't Easily Forgiving towards Bolin when he and Varrick return to Republic City to warn President Raiko about Kuvira's new spirit vine weapons. While she's glad that he's alive and that he immediately deserted Kuvira once he realized that he was fighting on the wrong side, she's still understandably upset with him and he needs to work to regain her trust again, which he does by helping Opal and Lin free the remaining Beifong family members from Kuvira's captivity. On the other hand, his friends forgive him easily, because they're like his family, and have known him far longer than Opal has.
  • Zaheer's anarchist revolution is brutally crushed by a well organized military push, and Kuvira has shown herself to be even worse than Hou-Ting ever was, which Korra calls him out on. All Zaheer's ideals about freedom though chaos were just that, ideals. This was actually foreshadowed when Asami and Bolin were playing Pai Sho in Book Three while staking Aiwei out. Bolin, who was playing fast-paced Pai Sho, lost pretty much every time to the strategic and calculating Asami (he nearly won once, but Pabu scattered the pieces). While chaos may be effective in the short term, order tends to win out in the long term, especially when safety is threatened.
  • Despite the huge technological strides made between The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra, large swathes of the Earth Kingdom are shown to look pretty much the same as they did seventy years ago. This is a fairly realistic look at how economic and technological development would spread through a country as huge as the Earth Kingdom- the rest of the world is relatively much smaller and could introduce new technology faster and easier, but the sheer scale of the Earth Kingdom would make that a logistical nightmare. Add to that the devastation of the war and the comet, and the general ineptness and selfishness of the Earth Queen, and it makes sense that there would be huge areas of the Earth Kingdom set away from the railroads which would be just as isolated and underdeveloped as they were decades ago even if the nation as a whole is wealthier and more modern. There are many historical examples of this such as the USA from around the time of the Civil War to World War II, late Tsarist Russia/early Soviet Union, and modern-day China.
  • At the end of "Operation Beifong" Toph saves her family but announces she's going back to her home in the swamp. When questioned, she points out that while she is powerful, she's pushing ninety and can't perform the same large-scale heroics she could when she was younger, and also notes that this is why Katara stayed out of the Water Tribe Civil War in Season 2. Unlike the White Lotus grandmasters who fought in their oldest years, not everybody will age gracefully; and Old Age can affect everyone differently.
    • Toph finally reveals the long-awaited identity of Lin's father. Turns out it was just some guy named Kanto, a name that has absolutely no importance to anyone, including the audience. Missing parents are not automatically indicative of a special lineage, and just because the audience know the two characters doesn't mean they'll hook up together.
  • Toph's Brutal Honesty and flippant nature was cute when she was a kid. It's not so cute when she directs those same brusque words and carelessness towards her own daughters; Suyin explicitly says that she wished Toph had been a parent instead of an absent authority figure which is partly why she rebelled as a teen and became a getaway driver. Lin for her part always believed that Toph cared more about her own ego and reputation than actually answering her questions about her father or putting in the minimal effort of parenting, eventually severing ties with her for several decades. Toph only gets a Jerkass Realization about this when Lin says they're only allying to save an imprisoned Suyin and after that, they're going their separate ways.
    • To a lesser extent, Toph invoked this when Lin was forced to arrest Suyin for serving as a getaway driver, resisting arrest, and assaulting an officer. She said if Suyin was in jail then it'd ruin her as police chief and burns the warrant, choosing to exile her daughter to her strict grandparents in the Earth Kingdom. A bandaged Lin turns it around on her by pointing out she's saying what Suyin did was okay and she can get away with it. What's more, Lin establishes that Toph by covering up what Suyin did means they are no longer on speaking terms and refuses to consider them as family.
  • The two-part Grand Finale features The Colossus. While the airbenders give it a lot of trouble and are able to dodge the beam itself they are still blown away by the shockwave it produces. It's mostly hollow, save for the framework, and its spirit vine power core is the size of a house, which makes sense when you consider that something that big must need a lot of power to function. And even though they managed to take it down, it and the opening of the new spirit portal still did immense damage to the city.
    • Also, the Earth Empire only managed to make one. The Colossus was untested technology that required a lot of time and effort to create. In fact, it took so much platinum, so many workers and so much time to create that there's no way a second one will ever be rebuilt. Besides, since the Earth Empire ultimately fails to take Republic City, it's not like anyone's going to let them try.
  • Though Kuvira surrenders and apologizes to Su, she doesn't get Easily Forgiven by the older woman.
  • Though the plan to take Republic City ultimately fails, the Earth Empire doesn't just automatically all disappear because their leader was captured. However, reality ensues on them when, due to the aforementioned resources needed to make the Colossus all being gone, they're completely unprepared to deal with the counterattack, and get taken down pretty swiftly.
  • In the opening of Season 4, Korra is severely mentally damaged after the mercury poisoning effectively taking away her status as the Avatar. Being raised your entire life to believe you are the chosen one had serious mental repercussions and self-esteem issues inflicted upon her as now she has no self-worth.

    Ben 10 
  • Ben 10 (Original Series):
    • Grandpa Max and Enoch are both seeking an ancient sword that is said to be extremely powerful. Enoch gets the sword first... and it disintegrates in his hands. Turns out that ancient artifacts aren't always in the best condition, as Max jokingly points out.
    • Another episode has Azmuth chew out Ben over his Transformation Sequence, namely him always slamming the Omnitrix's plunger when he's choosing an alien. Of course it's going to spit out the wrong alien from time to time — it's a piece of machinery and it's very sensitive.
  • Alien Force:
    • In the first 2 seasons the Highbreed are basically depicted as alien Nazis: a Master Race who see themselves as pure, consider every single other species in the Universe as impure and are obsessed with preserving their purity. In the finale, it's revealed that the multiple generations of inbreeding brought about by this way of thinking ended up making them progressively weaker, more vulnerable to sickness and eventually sterile.
    • In the episode "Alone Together", Ben is forced into an Enemy Mine with a Highbreed named Reinrassic III when they both get trapped on a hostile planet together. True to the spirit of the trope, working together to survive eventually turns them into willing allies, and then friends over the course of their time on the planet. When the two of them reach the portal which will transport them off-world, Reinrassic III refuses to go with them, stating that his developing morality and kindness means that he has become corrupted by Ben's human influence, and as such, he is no longer worthy of returning to the Highbreed. Just because you become Fire-Forged Friends with an enemy doesn't mean they're going to cast aside the entire values system of the culture they were raised in overnight. A bigot will not immediately let go of the bigotry that's been drummed into them from birth just because one of the lesser beings was nice to them in a situation where they had no other options. Another dose of reality comes at the end of the arc when Reinrassic III re-appears, having thought long and hard about his experiences before deciding to return — just in time to talk the rest of the Highbreed out of committing a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum after Ben scrambled random aliens into their genetic code to fix their sterility issues. He and Ben part on good terms, and his ability to be a "radical" thinker gets him assigned as the Highbreed's new leader.
    • When Ben's parents find out about his heroics and try to stop it by grounding him, he does so without complaint. However, when the current threat becomes too much for him to ignore, he turns into Humungousaur and leaves the house over his parents' protests. They might be his parents, but Ben is in control of the most powerful device in the universe, and if he doesn't want to listen to them, they don't have the power to stop him.
  • Ultimate Alien:
    • Ben had spent so long running around in semi-public places turning into aliens and fending off invasions and large-scale attacks that someone would eventually notice and not be able to be hushed by the US government. After a video of Ben transforming hits social media and the general weirdness that hits Ben's hometown of Bellwood around the time of Alien Force becomes a major talking point, the governments of the world realize the jig is up and come clean about what they'd been keeping secret for so long instead of continuing to lie in the face of direct evidence. Humanity takes to the news surprisingly well, since humans are adaptive, and living in a world with aliens eventually just becomes another facet of life, and Ben ends up becoming the face of both the Plumbers and this new alien-friendly world.
    • Also, as a result, Ben's entire name was known by most of his enemies, he never possessed a secret identity and most of his recurring nemesis know where he lives, some down to his street address. Once the masquerade is dropped, there are several points where Ben's non-badass family or friends are kidnapped and used as leverage. Ben had to make a very harsh point that if anyone threatened his family to get to him, he'd use more than proper force on them in retaliation. On the same topic, when Zombozo kidnaps Gwen's loved ones to try to get to Ben as a Revenge by Proxy, Gwen became so furious that she turned into her Anodite form and gave Zombozo such a terrifyingly punctuated death threat he never reappeared for the rest of the series.
    • Ben, while fighting Antonio as Ultimate Humungousaur, eventually takes the fight onto a soccer field being sprinkled and uproots an unpowered light pole, challenging Antonio to a fencing match. Antonio pulls up a nearby light pole... which is A) wet and B) unlike Ben's, switched on. One electric shock later, he's out of it.
  • Omniverse:
    • The Nemetrix was made specifically to counter the Omnitrix, containing the DNA of the natural predators to the Omnitrix's aliens. However, the Nemetrix didn't have nearly as much time in development as the Omnitrix and with how vast the universe in the series is, there's not a counter to every single alien in the Omnitrix, if not because of how many aliens in the series there are, then simply because some of them don't even have a natural predator to begin with.
    • If the latest Omnitrix is supposed to be the true, final version, then why does it still have the glitch of giving Ben the wrong aliens? It doesn't. The reason Ben keeps getting the wrong aliens as Azmuth flatly tells him is because he keeps dramatically slamming his hand down as hard as he can on it to transform and causing the timer to accidently set to random. It might be the fully functional final version of the most powerful device in the universe but it's still a piece of technology, and if you don't use technology properly then it won't 'work' properly no matter how advanced it is.
    • In "Clyde Five", Vera Tennyson starts to make well-meaning but ultimately foolish changes around Plumber Headquarters in an attempt to make the place more cozy even though she, as a civilian, doesn't have the authority to do so. When these changes go too far and Vera accidentally endangers Magister Patelliday's life, Grandpa Max (who's been putting up with her for the entire episode) finally snaps and orders for her to be confined to quarters for interfering with the operations of a Plumber Base.
  • Ben 10 (2016):
    • The Plumbers organization either doesn't exist or Ben and his family simply have no ties and thus no contact with it. So once Ben manages to capture Vilgax, what the hell is he supposed to do next? Put the superpowered alien warlord into a regular human prison as if Vilgax wouldn't be able to destroy it in three seconds flat? Lug around his cage and be his personal jailer 24/7? Let him walk free, so he could plot his next attack? Try to kill him when even a swim in an active volcano didn't? There are just no good options.
    • Zombozo treats the circus freak trio like blindly loyal henchmen who will gladly put up with any amount of abuse from him out of fear and respect of their boss. However, the trio are not blind followers. They work for him despite the abuse they suffer because they want to get paid. When it becomes clear that Zombozo will never pay them anything, they abandon their leader without a second thought.
    • When Ben tries to bite into a burger covered in rock candy, he ends up hurting his teeth.
    • In Breaker One-Nine's first appearance, Ben uses his new Omni-Kix power up to destroy L.I.Z.A., Breaker One-Nine's Transforming Mecha. In his next appearance, Breaker One-Nine offhandedly mentions that rebuilding L.I.Z.A. put him into debt.

    Daria 
Due to being a Deconstruction of High School drama TV shows, Daria naturally has a lot of this trope:
  • Daria and Tom get into college at schools in two different towns, and after she tells him that they won't be going to the same college, she adds that she thinks they should break up. Tom objects, saying that their colleges aren't that far away so they can still see each other, but Daria points out that their relationship is already stressful for both of them since they're from two different worlds and have virtually nothing in common; being so far apart and only seeing each other occasionally will just make the strain worse. Tom concedes the point and they part on friendly terms.
  • In "Jane's Addition", Jane meets Tom and starts dating him. Daria reacts badly to this because Jane's the only real friend she's ever had and she dislikes how she and Jane suddenly aren't spending as much time together and how Tom occasionally ends up intruding on what time they do have. It takes a while for her to warm up to him- a full season, in fact- and because Tom also warms up to her, Jane concludes that they're interested in each other and things just get worse. The resulting fight nearly destroys their friendship, and not only is it not resolved by the end of the episode, it's only fixed at the end of the 4th season finale Is It Fall Yet?
  • In "Prize Fighters" Daria ends up being a Top 100 scholarship finalist, and must be interviewed for the scholarship board to make its final decision. However, she learns that the company offering the prize has a rather sexist and racist history, so she's rather reluctant to deal with its people. Furthermore, she considers it dishonest to attempt to behave differently from her usual manner; which is to say, to act as if she were friendly, attentive, and interesting. At her actual interview, therefore, she generally behaves the same as ever: brutally honest, sarcastic, and clipped. She even wears her regular clothing for the interview. The interviewer finds her crass behavior rude and insulting, so she doesn't get the scholarship. Interviews exist because even if an applicant looks good on paper, they may not be able to live up to the hype in person; it turns out that the interviewer actually had decided Daria was qualified for the scholarship during the initial application process, but seeing her anti-social personality made him change his mind and decide she wasn't worthy of it. If Daria did act social and friendly during the interview, even if she was faking it, she would have gotten the scholarship no problem.
    • The company also turns down the scholarship to Upchuck and Jodie, the other two Lawndale High School students who became finalists, for valid reasons. Upchuck is an intelligent but obnoxious butt-kisser who kept trying to butter up the interviewer, and Jodie just sprouted out stock answers to the interviewer's questions without personalizing them.
  • Kevin's incompetence throughout the series has proven quite remarkable. He can't solve basic math problems, and as a high school senior, flunked a social studies test that was intended for first graders (all he had to do was list the colors of the American flag. He wrote down "yellow"). It's mentioned that the only reason he had gotten so far in school was due to the fact that he was an incredible football player, and teachers would simply pass him so he could stay off academic probation and play on the team. The series finale reveals that even that won't always save him, and he ends up flunking his senior year while everyone else graduates.
  • In the episode "Lucky Strike", a substitute teacher very transparently and creepily hits on Tiffany—even going as far as to touch her hair—in front of the whole class. When word of the incident reaches Daria's mom, she naturally freaks out and makes a furious phone call to the school, who immediately fires the substitute.
  • In "Arts and Crass," Principal Angela Li forces Daria to enter her picture, that was altered to remove its political themes, into a contest against her will. Daria, in protest, vandalizes it, so Li makes a complaint to Helen. Instead of being angry with Daria, Helen spells out to Li that she violated Daria's civil rights in the process, and will be headed for a lawsuit.
  • Jake's high stress and rage issues tend to be Played for Laughs throughout the series, but in season 3, it appears to have taken a toll on his health as he ends up having a heart attack. Granted it was a very mild one, but it was enough to give his family (even Daria) quite a scare.
  • In Is It Fall Yet?, Quinn spends the summer seeing a math tutor and grows smitten with him. When she finally asks him out, he gently turns her down. Quinn may be beautiful, but personality- and interest-wise, she is just not his type. As she's used to boys fawning over her, she doesn't know how to deal with rejection and suffers a Heroic BSoD.
  • In Is It College Yet?, when Quinn gets a hostessing job to pay off $700 credit card bill, she befriends a fellow hostess named Lindy, but soon discovers Lindy had a bit of a drinking problem. Lindy ends up getting fired when their manager finds a drink at their post after she came in hungover and messed up on the job. Quinn later tries to confront Lindy about her drinking, but most people usually aren't willing to admit when they have an addiction and can get very upset if called out on it. It's also later revealed that her mother also has a drinking problem, so she probably doesn't want to be compared to that. Lindy takes it as a personal attack and kicks her out of her apartment. Lindy later comes over and apologizes, still wanting to be friends, but still won't admit to having a problem.
  • Daria's crush on Jane's brother, Trent, in the first three seasons never goes beyond a crush (much to the disappointment of shippers). Besides the obvious fact that Daria is still a minor and Trent is in his early twenties, she ultimately gets over her crush as she realizes that he is just too irresponsible and unreliable for her tastes.

    Ed, Edd, N Eddy 
  • The beginning of The Big Picture Show deconstructs when their scams go awry, with nearly every kid in the Cul-De-Sac out for their blood. Near the end of the film, it turns out that living with a bully of a brother influenced Eddy to be who he is.
    • Eddy's feelings towards his constant failed scams and his failed attempts of fitting in with the kids is also portrayed realistically; Eddy has crippling low self-esteem behind his bluster, which is also combined with the feelings of being abused by his brother for years.
  • In the aliens attack special, all the kids settled their differences aside to prepare themselves for the invasion. But Ed, despite being a B-Movie fan and comics geek is still just a Jr High student, is scared out of his wits when he thought the invasion was real, and panicked at the last moment. Speaking of just a kid, the kids themselves are woefully unprepared for the invasion and preparing for the last minute with Bamboo Technology without testing and training, made it a complete disaster.
  • In "Virt Ed Go", The Eds build a tree house with the prospect of charging kids to enter it as part of a club, only to find The Kanker Sisters occupying it while they were gone. Of course The Eds aren't happy about this since they were the ones who built it, but since the tree house wasn't built in anyone's backyard (nor had any type of custom locks for the door), it's essentially free use to any kid passing by regardless of the builder.
  • Played with in "One Plus One Equals Ed". The Eds venture to uncover the mysteries of the world, resulting in an unraveled world where gravity has no continuity, mouths and outlines can be ripped off, and holes in the ground can be picked up like paper. Upon coming to their senses again, Ed tries to rip off Sarah's mouth and pick up an open hole on the ground like before. It goes as well as you would expect.
  • In "Little Ed Blue", Ed is in a horrible mood because a pebble was in his shoe, and he is completely out of character in this episode. Throughout the series, Ed has taken a lot of crap from his sister, Sarah (due to reasons, though). Sarah (as usual) gets angry at Ed and screams at him. Ed would normally let this slide when he's in a good mood. Due to him being in a horrible mood, however, he uncharacteristically yells back at her without any hesitation. Sarah then gets understandably scared of Ed and hesitantly backs away. This is due to Sarah never seeing Ed that angry before and Sarah just realizing that Ed is stronger than her when he gets angry.
    • In the same episode, Eddy and Edd try to cheer up Ed by surrounding him with everything he likes. But since they don't know the cause of his grumpiness, their actions proceed to make Ed's mood even worse until Eddy gives up and yells at him to cheer up. This leads to Ed having a tantrum and destroying the entire playground in the process. As anyone who has been in this situation can tell you, trying to help or scold someone over their attitude without knowing the cause of it will only make it worse.
  • In "They Call Him Mr. Ed", Eddy decides to start a corporation called "Ed Co." which is based around "going up" and convinces most of the kids in the Cul-de-Sac to join the company as it seems to be having success. However it all comes crashing down when Eddy realizes he has no way of paying the kids since Ed Co. is a non-profit organization. Not helping matters was that the company was clearly failing to make any profits to begin with since Eddy didn't have a real goal outside of "going up" in mind.
  • In "Knock Knock Who's Ed?", The trio go door to door in the Cul-De-Sac to try and watch a monster movie after being thrown out of Ed's house by Sarah. They try to get Kevin to let them in by staging a plane crash on his lawn and claiming Ed needs to heal in his living room. But instead of letting them in, Kevin tells them to get lost since he's well acquainted with the Eds' usual shtick and is clearly unhappy about the damage they did to his lawn.
  • Several examples in "One Size Fits Ed:"
    • The sport of sumo-wrestling is really only revered in Japanese culture, and the only way Jimmy could become professional in it is by going to Japan (the only country where the sport itself is practiced on a professional level).
    • When the Eds try simply mailing Jimmy to Japan, his now-immense proportions bust the mailbox (which Double D says was bound to happen), and Double D adds that postage to Japan alone would easily cost up to $200.
    • When Jimmy, Ed and Eddy try to slingshot themselves to Japan, Jimmy falls off halfway through and crushes Ed and Eddy under his immense weight (but thankfully they're okay).
    • Due to their failure to send Jimmy to Japan for the latter to be famous, Jimmy resorts to going on a weight loss regime to lose all the weight he gained with Sarah as his personal trainer.
  • Point blank: just because you have a sibling, it won't guarantee a good relationship for any number of reasons. Ed and Sarah and Eddy and his brother are good examples of this.
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    The Fairly OddParents! 
  • In the pilot episode, Timmy throws a Magic 8 ball against his wall. Cosmo & Wanda introduce themselves as his fairy godparents. Timmy's first reaction?
    Timmy: I'm calling the cops.
  • The episode "The Big Problem" is basically this trope mixed with comedy. Timmy wishes to be an adult because he feels as though he is missing out on all the good aspects of adulthood. When Timmy is magically aged into an adult, he realizes the downsides of adulthood:
    • When Adult Timmy drives, he experiences time-consuming traffic.
    • When Adult Timmy attempts to help an old lady cross the street, the old lady is creeped out by his offer, pepper sprays him, and throws the empty pepper spray can at him. Even Cosmo & Wanda lampshade the repercussions of this.
    • Timmy also attempts to shave his skin, but he hilariously gets himself injured in the process.
    • When Timmy goes to a restaurant to eat, he orders a lot of food. He ends up getting a Shockingly Expensive Bill. Due to Adult Timmy not having the money to cover the bill, he ends up having to Work Off the Debt (with Cosmo & Wanda refusing to help him and saying that adults should do things on their own).
    • When Adult Timmy attempts to return to his house as a middle-aged man, Vicky attacks him and throws him out of his own house. This is due to Vicky seeing him as a creep and not recognizing Timmy.
    • Finally, Adult Timmy witnesses Francis picking on his friends, Chester & AJ. When Timmy attempts to stand up to Francis by plucking him, Francis wails when police officers are conveniently walking by him. The police officers witness Francis crying, then they arrest Timmy and throw him in jail. As satisfying as it was to see Francis get some comeuppance for his bullying, Adult Timmy still gets in legal trouble because the latter is a grown, middle-aged man while Francis is a minor, and any sort of aggression, no manner how light it is, is considered assault. This is the last straw for Timmy, as he desperately wishes to be a kid again. Thankfully, he gets his wish at the end and learns his lesson.
  • In "Dream Goat!":
    • Although Timmy came clean and told the truth about him being the goat-napper, the citizens still get angry with him and chase after him. This is because he still lied to the whole town and he was the goat-napper. Thankfully, this becomes subverted when Chompy and his family arrive and Timmy is deemed a hero again.
    • Timmy's parents still ground him for five months for lying, despite his lie making things better.
  • In the Halloween Special, Timmy, his friends, and the rest of the kids indulge in lots of candy at the near end of the episode. Cut to the next scene, and they are all going to the dentist to fill up the massive amount of cavities they got as a result of eating all that candy.
  • Played for Laughs in the "When Nerds Collide" special. Normally viewers of the show aren't weirded out by Timmy talking to inanimate objects due to them being Cosmo and Wanda in disguise. It is, however, portrayed realistically when Timmy is caught talking to Cosmo and Wanda when they are disguised as janitorial objects by three female classmates of his.
    Red-haired girl: Oh, my gosh, It's that boy who talks to inanimate objects! Just smile and back away slowly... [Her and the other two girls back away].
  • In "The Boss of Me", Timmy wishes for an everlasting pencil his dad (who works at a pencil company) can show to his boss. The company hires Timmy to mass-produce the infinitive pencils. However, because selling one everlasting pencil to each customer eliminates the demand for more pencils, the company quickly goes bankrupt.
  • In "Just Desserts," Timmy wishes that everyone had access to sugary food (and sugary food only). After a few days later, everybody in Dimmsdale gets hyperactive. After twenty-eight days, almost everybody gets obese due to not having access to healthy food and always eating sugary treats.
  • In the infamous "Just the Two of Us," Timmy wishes for everyone in the world to be gone except for him and Trixie. Wanda warns him about the consequences of this, but Timmy doesn't listen. Due to being isolated by everyone for a long period of time (and not being used to not having many guys adore her), Trixie goes NUTS from being isolated for way too long to the point that Timmy fears for his life and has to unwish the wish (he also wishes for Trixie's memories of the whole thing to be wiped as well).
  • In the episode "Squirrely Puffs", Timmy and his classmates are on a camping trip for his Squirrely Scout club led by his dad, while his mom is off leading the female recurring characters' Creampuff troupe. At first the episode plays out like a typical Macho Disaster Expedition with everything blowing up in the boys' faces while the girls befriend singing woodland creatures who make their camp for them and braid their hair. About halfway through, though, reality kicks the girls hard when a storm blows in and destroys their camp, the animals won't stop singing and are getting gradually louder and the berries they braided the girls' hair with were poisonous, and due to treating the trip as a vacation resort and having not learned any of what was actually in their handbook, they're left helpless. Meanwhile, the Squirrely Scouts manage to ride out the storm with their actual, practical camping and wilderness survival training, managing to reach the girls' camp, drive off the animals, make reliable shelter, and get salve for the rashes the poisonous berries left on them. Turns out that being prepared and actually learning survival training trumps just treating it like a nice day in the park when things go south.
  • In "Ruled Out", Timmy gets fed up with his parents shoving their rules down his throat after they refuse to let him watch a violent TV show. Cosmo and Wanda rightly point out that it's only because they care about him and love him, but Timmy feels like they're suffocating him and wishes he had parents who could "care less." At first, Timmy thinks it's the best wish he's ever made, since they let him watch whatever he wants and eat candy whenever he wants, but after two weeks, Timmy has stomach aches from eating nothing but sweets and terrible body odor from not bathing, which makes all the kids at school avoid him. His parents also stop taking care of the house and themselves (with Dad's teeth even rotten and falling out), their constant playing of loud music distracts Timmy and keeps him from studying for a test, and their power eventually goes out since they stopped paying bills.
  • In "Beddy Bye", Timmy wishes that people didn't need to sleep anymore, that way he can stay up late. Initially, it's pretty cool, but after only a few days things start to collapse. Removing the ability to sleep didn't remove the side effects of needing to sleep, resulting in people being exhausted and cranky, and people in general being too tired to really do much.
  • In "A Mile In My Shoes", Timmy wishes to be a fairy, thinking he'll get to just float around and have fun all day. As it turns out, he hasn't had any of the training Cosmo and Wanda had, and can barely do anything with his magic.

    Mega Man 
  • Guts Man throws a monorail train at Roll, who Mega Man pushes out of the way and is promptly crushed. One used to super hero robot cartoon shows will probably think that Mega Man is damaged, but back on his feet within minutes. Nope. He is not only badly damaged, but his injures are so critical that he has to be rush back to Dr. Light who isn't even sure if Mega Man will make it. From the time lapse, it took an entire day to repair him. Even with super fighting robots, the train still wins.
  • In the episode "Bot Transfer" Mega Man has a "Freaky Friday" Flip with Snake Man. For almost the rest of the episode, Mega Man has a major freakout and can barely think straight. He actually tries to run to the police for help, forgetting that he is in the body of one of Wily's Robot Masters.
    • The episode does this with an element from the games: teleportation. While only used for rapid transit in the games, the series shows how easily this could be abused, with Wily developing chambers to abduct scientists for ransom, as well as doing the "Freaky Friday" Flip.
  • The episode "The Day the Moon Fell" gives a realistic look of what would happen to the world if the moon was moved closer to Earth's orbit. The results are not pretty.
  • Could be a meta example, but Mega Man seems to run out of energy a lot, especially since no other Robot Master runs into this problem, not even his brother Proto Man. Although, considering all the fighting he does (he is often fighting five to seven Robot Masters at once), it would make sense he would drain his energy fairly fast.
  • Some episodes have addressed the fact that Dr. Wily doesn't have Offscreen Villain Dark Matter and needs money to fund his operations.
  • The robots are programmed to think and act like humans, having unique personalities. Some episodes have shown that this ability and the resultant personalities, such as Proto Man's ego, have ruined Wily's plans.
    • In the episode "Mega-Pinocchio" Mega secretly undergoes an operation from the scientist Dr. Petto that will make him fully sapient; it's actually a scheme by Dr. Wily to influence Megaman's mind. While Dr. Light is quick to console Mega when said influence results in a building collapsing, he later finds Dr. Light watching the video of his rebuild, musing that he shouldn't have programmed Mega to have self-determination. Even the Big Good has his limits.
  • Mega Man has to touch other Robot Masters to absorb their powers. Whereas most of them simply stand there looking shocked when Mega Man does so, Pharaoh Man infamously responds by punching Mega in the face.

    Metalocalypse 
  • In "Skwisklok", Toki gets an endorsement deal with a candy company and spends the entire episode eating nothing but candy. By the end, he's suffering from mood swings, his teeth are implied to be falling out, and he's diagnosed with diabetes after he slips into a diabetic coma. That last one comes back in a big way in "Dethcamp", where Toki almost dies after a bully force-feeds him a piece of cake.
  • "Dethkids" is a complete subversion of the Littlest Cancer Patient trope: Toki learns of a little girl with a terminal disease, whose last wish is to meet him. But in protest of his Friend to All Children image, Toki refuses her request and adopts a brutal, psychotic attitude, rampaging around Mordhaus. When Offdensen gives him a DVD of the girl singing a song about how brutal and metal life is, Toki changes his mind and finally agrees to meet her... But she's already died, and the episode ends with Toki suffering a mental breakdown and fierce hallucinations of her maggot-ridden body accusing him of killing her.
  • In "Dethwedding", Pickles makes his brother Seth the head of Dethklok's fan club in Sydney, Australia as an apology for beating him up at his reception. Since Seth is apparently as frivolous with his money as the band and Dethklok is an N.G.O. Superpower, he diverts all the city's resources to keeping himself, his wife, and their newborn child safe from the Revengencers while the city descends into chaos.
  • In "Dethfashion", the band is fat shamed by a world-famous clothing designer when the outfits he makes for them don't fitnote , so they go on their idea of a diet, where they eat one gigantic meal a day. They all end up gaining twenty pounds because their so-called "diet" destroys their metabolism, and the enamel on Murderface's teeth is dissolving since he's been throwing up so much. When their doctor points out that he would have lost weight, Murderface just comments that throwing up made him hungry again, all of which implies he became bulimic.

    Samurai Jack 
The fifth season of Samurai Jack goes out of its way into delve into this trope as deeply as possible.
  • After 50 long years of failing to get back to the past, Jack is a broken, borderline mad shell of a man by Season 5. And Aku is a paranoid wreck because he's effectively waiting for Jack to come and kill him like he tried to do constantly for 50 years, not knowing that Jack has lost his sword. Jack even loses hope and contemplates suicide. Thankfully, he doesn't go through with it.
  • During the mausoleum scene where Jack fights the Daughters of Aku, he grabs the Battle Axe of the King/Warlord/General at the center of the crypt. In another story, a legendary blade would be a hero's salvation during their Darkest Hour. Unfortunately, legendary also means old, and it breaks after a few hits.
  • While phenomenally trained, the Daughters are literally decades behind Jack in terms of skill and experience. Their initial success is largely due to shock and surprise. Once Jack recovers and stops holding back, he swiftly kills them with little to no injury.
    • Also, the Daughters of Aku were taught that needing help was weakness. While they're fantastic at attacking as one, this means they won't cover each other when they're on the ropes. The fact that their mother is a batshit insane fangirl with no real sense of warfare strategics or aesthetics doesn't help matters. This leads to Jack slaughtering them. Also, because of this, they won't mourn each other for dying, which means Ashi (after a Heel–Face Turn) comes to the objective realization that Jack was just defending himself and thus not to blame for the deaths of her sisters.
    • While it was sad and horrifying to watch Jack kill the Daughters of Aku (except Ashi) after the abuse they went through as little girls, this is pretty justified. Tragic past or not, they still attempted to murder Jack, and it would have be foolish for Jack to risk his own life and not defend himself against them.
      • Despite Jack Gaining the Will to Kill, the next episode shows that he's still shaken up with remorse. Because, self-defense or not, the Daughters are still sentient living beings.
      • While Jack is disappointed he can't follow Thou Shalt Not Kill, he was raised as a samurai in feudal Japan. The burden is to be respected, but it is not soul-destroying.
    • The Daughters of Aku spent their entire lives in a cult that would regularly abuse them and instill Social Darwinism into them. This episode shows how living in an abusive environment can result in a lack of empathy toward one another and not understanding love.
      • Apparently, a slanted tree can't withstand the weight of an epic duel.
    • Ashi isn't much of a threat without her sisters and effect of surprise since without it she is roughly a young adult with a black belt in karate against monsters and a seasoned warrior.
    • Ashi has been brainwashed from birth to hate and kill Jack, and just because he saves her life more than a few times and verbally counters every argument she can raise against him doesn't make her any less inclined to hate him. In the end, she still intends to kill him until he happens to commit an act of goodness that not only contradicts everything Ashi has been taught, but happens to harken back to one of her personal childhood traumas. And even then, she only relents at killing him for the time being as far as is shown.
  • After being subjected to a Humiliation Conga by Jack, Da Samurai forever hung up his sword to be a humble bartender full of regrets rather than continue to train to be a better, more honourable warrior. Da Samurai was undoubtedly an obnoxious jerk in need of being brought down a peg, but did the Break the Haughty work too well?
  • The Scotsman was Jack's equal in combat... 50 years ago. While he might have been able to survive a confrontation with Aku back then (as Jack has without his sword), he's not The Ageless like Jack and thus time did take its toll on him, leaving him wheelchair bound.
  • While the Scotsman's forces are considerable, they don't have anything that can hurt Aku, and are swiftly trounced by him. The Scotsman realizes this and calls a retreat rather quickly.
    • The Scotsman decides to hold Aku off while his daughters escape. Being elderly and wheelchair-bound, however, he can do little but hurl scathing insults before Aku vaporizes him.
    • On a far less important note, The Scotsman scolds all the girls for wearing such Stripperiffic outfits to a battle.
  • The High Priestess is slain by Ashi, because of her single-minded drive to kill Jack without confirming Ashi's death first. Just like the Daughters were slain by Jack because they were trained in combat, but not in strategy.
  • Jack already had Past!Aku's number in their original fight. As a result, the Final Battle between a 50 years stronger and more experienced Jack and an already badly beaten Past!Aku is a Curb-Stomp Battle in Jack's favor.
  • As shown with the reactions of Scaramouche and Ashi, constantly talking to yourself (albeit Jack was hallucinating) can be interpreted as strange or crazy at worst. Just ask Jack.
  • Kissing with dried-up Alien Blood in your mouth is icky, no matter how much you love each other.
  • The Guardian may have been tough, but there's no way he could have defeated Aku, especially because nothing short of Jack's sword could've done that.

    We Bare Bears 
  • During the basketball game in "Our Stuff", Ice Bear distracts the opposing player with fancy dribbling skills ala The Harlem Globetrotters; the opposing player simply steals the ball away.
  • In "Food Truck", Ice Bear builds a food truck so the bears can sell his calzones, but by the end of the episode, the park ranger gives the bears a ticket for selling food without a permit and driving an unregistered truck (not to mention feeding the other animals at the park).
  • In "Burrito", Grizz spends several days with a giant burrito without eating it, which results in it going bad and smelling awful.
  • "Primal" is kicked off by Grizzly taking Panda and Ice Bear into the woods, deliberately getting themselves lost to "be one with nature". This results in the bears getting attacked by ants, and Panda and Ice Bear nearly starving because Grizz can't pull up any fish in a polluted lake.
  • "Nom Nom" shows the drawbacks of being The Quiet One. After falling into a Pit Trap dug by Nom Nom, Ice Bear fails to get someone's attention because he used his calm voice to call for help rather than yelling.
  • In "Chloe" the teacher scolds Chloe about the bears' awful presentation and it nearly drives her to tears. Chloe may be smart enough to get into college, but she's still just a little girl.
  • In the short "Panda's Dream", Panda is waiting in line at the video game store when the guy in front of him lets his friend cut in line in front of Panda. After several Imagine Spots of confronting the line cutter, Panda ultimately does nothing. Making a big deal out of something as small as someone cutting in line may just cause more trouble for you, so it is not worth making a fuss over.
  • When the bears visit the doctor in "Bear Cleanse", their physical exam had shown their health is in poor condition as a result of eating only human foods throughout the series. The doctor has to put them on a diet of what their species naturally eat in order to improve their health. Also, Ice Bear has the most difficult time trying to follow his diet, because seal meat is hard to come by, so he steals a live seal from the zoo. After he spends about half of the episode preparing to eat it, he ends up growing attached to the seal (he never even tries to kill the poor thingnote ), but by then the seal is dying of dehydration and Ice Bear is forced to return it to the sea. Conversely, Grizz has the easiest time with his new diet. Grizzly bears are omnivores, and his diet of fish and fruit is easily accessible and not as drastic a change.
  • A heartbreaking example occurs in "Yuri and the Bear", where baby Ice Bear is living with the eponymous character in the Arctic. Yuri himself is a bitter and jaded hermit who is grieving over the loss of his family and takes it very personally when someone goes through his mementos in his treasure chest, including his family photo. It is clear that he hid them away just to forget the pain of his loss and firmly tells Ice Bear to never open it after allowing him to stay. So when it seems that they had genuinely bonded throughout the episode, Ice Bear discovers the mementos and innocently carves his new parent a gift that his late daughter once owned and reveals that he opened the chest by showing him the family photo. How does Yuri respond? With anger, because no matter how close he and Ice Bear had become, he simply cannot face the past and he instead lashes out at him for opening the chest and chases him out of his tent leading to a chain of events that causes them to never see each other again. Furthermore, while the depressing events had inspired Yuri to get better by coming to terms with the past and he keeps the gift Ice Bear made for him to remember their relationship out of remorse, Ice Bear never contemplated in reuniting and reconciling with him, possibly out of fear that he might hurt him once again and believes he can never forgive him for what he'd done.
  • In "The Perfect Tree", Grizzly throws the Christmas lights onto the Parks' house expecting them to somehow elaborately decorate the whole house like in cartoons. The lights just end up hanging on the roof of the front door.
  • In "Bro Brawl", during the cooking competition, the judge says that Ice Bear and Issac's dishes are both amazing and was about to declare a tie until he found a strand of Ice Bear's fur in his food, so he declares Issac's dish the winner. No one wants to see hair in their food, let alone hair from an animal. It doesn't help that Ice Bear is completely covered in fur and he didn't wear anything to prevent any fur from falling in the food.
  • "Googs" has the bears winning a competition and a tour of the titular company, where they are shown a presentation on virtual reality headsets upon entering. Afterwards, they are told not to touch anything, but Grizzly and Ice Bear do so anyway, and the two eventually cause so much trouble that they're asked to leave. Then the company's owner, Ari Curd, shows up and tells Panda of her plan to send people into space - starting with him. He disagrees with it and tries to leave, only for her to force him onto the ship and launch it, where he sees that Grizz and Ice Bear are also there. They panic and try to steer the ship back to Earth, but accidentally turn it towards the sun instead. The escape pod only has room for two of them, so Panda stays behind and goes into the sun. Then they are asked to take off their virtual reality headsets, revealing that it was just a shared simulation that the real Ari innocently claims was for "research purposes". Instead of being relieved that it wasn't real, the bears are not amused by this at all, having found the experience to be traumatic. They angrily call her out on this, which she fails to understand, and decide not to continue with the tour. A later episode reveals that Googs apologized by giving them one of their inventions for free.
  • In "Fire" the firemen that Grizz becomes a mascot for don't wear shirts and rely on their sense of smell to track down fires. When he accidentally causes a restaurant to catch fire, the firemen don't show up in time because they've caught colds due to not wearing enough protective clothing, leaving him to have to save everyone himself.

    Misc 
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron:
    • In "The Retroville 9", tired of their less-than-skilled baseball team being mocked by Butch, Jimmy secretly invents a set of advanced bats and gloves imbued with the talents of some of the best athletes out there. The equipment essentially does all the work for them and they go on to qualify for the Junior World Baseball Championships in Nagoya, Japan. After hearing Tremendous Jackson's (a parody of Bo Jackson) opening speech congratulating them on their hard work and not relying on tricks, Jimmy's conscience gets the better of him and he reveals to his friends that he modified their equipment. While everyone is nervous to play against their far more talented opponents, Jimmy encourages them to instead play fair and square and with genuine teamwork... and they get their asses handed to them, not even scoring a single point.
    • In the episode "The N-Men," Jimmy, Carl, Sheen, Cindy, and Libby gain superpowers. Since the group decided to fight crime without practicing, their powers cause more harm than good. This results in the military having them all (except for Jimmy) locked inside an inescapable Area-86.
    • In the episode "Jimmy For President", Jimmy runs for School President against Sheen and Libby. When it comes down to Carl to break-up the tie, the pressure becomes too much for him and he confesses to Ms. Fowl that Cindy bribed him to vote for Libby, Sheen blackmailed him with an Embarrassing Old Photo, and Jimmy played the "Best Friend" card on him. Ms. Fowl ends up disqualifying the three of them for bribery, blackmail, and piloting a zeppelin on school grounds, respectively, and Bolbi ends up winning by default.
  • Æon Flux:
    • Done with enormous Mood Whiplash in the original pilot. It starts off with Aeon running around shooting faceless goons, making daring escapes, and infiltrating a base to heroic music... then switches to said faceless goons dying in pools of blood and corpses as Aeon runs by shooting at random. Faceless goons proceed to gain faces and tragic deaths, and we're left realizing that we assumed Aeon was the hero for no other reason than the tropes and the music.
    • There are quite a few instances where Aeon tries to do something typically action-packed and awesome, only to slip up/do something stupid and get herself killed.
    • In one of the original shorts, Aeon is having a shootout with a bunch of mooks, and dispatches all but one of them, who manages to get the drop on her and has her dead-to-rights. Aeon then spreads her legs and licks her lips seductively. The mook realizes what anyone with half a brain would do realistically, that she's seducing him just to make an opening to kill him, and promptly blows her brains out. Not Distracted by the Sexy, indeed.
  • When the Chipettes make their debut on Alvin and the Chipmunks, they had booked a gig at a hotel under the name "The Chipmunks", confusing Dave and the boys, but they decide to go along with it. When everyone realizes what happened, the boys end up in a competition with the girls to see who gets to perform the gig and keep the Chipmunk name. The girls end up winning (even though both sides cheated), but in the end, that didn't matter. The audience was expecting to see Alvin, Simon, and Theodore, and the girls nearly got booed off the stage before they could even start singing, causing the boys to rush in and save their show. Dave had even called his lawyer and found out that the Chipmunk name was, in fact, legally theirs. The girls end up taking the name the Chipettes.
  • All Grown Up!: In the episode "Susie Sings the Blues", Susie gets a deal with a record producer after she pays her $1000 so she can be a singing sensation. However, Susie's older sister Alisa warns her about it and feels that it's too good to be true. Susie finds out the hard way as the so-called "producer" turns out to be a con-woman who leaves her out in the slums.
  • The Animaniacs short "Little Old Slappy from Pasadena" had Slappy Squirrel race her car through town at an enormous speed, causing indirect inconvenience to some of the passersby. At the end of the short, Slappy ends up surrounded by a bunch of cops ready to arrest her for exceeding the speed limit and being a public nuisance.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force:
    • The episode "Super Hero" parodied the superhero genre, and had Master Shake expose himself to radioactive waste in order to give himself superpowers. The plan fails, and instead, he just gets radiation poisoning. Throughout the episode, you can see his condition gradually worsening.
    • In "Super Bowl", after Meatwad wins tickets to the Super Bowl in a bag of chips, Shake tries and fails to convince him to bring him along, so Shake eats more chips in the hopes of getting more tickets. It's implied that he ate quite a few, as all that happens is that he ends up obese, covered in boils, and struck with diabetes and cancer, and he has no tickets to show for it because the first pair was a one in a million chance of finding.
  • As Told by Ginger:
    • In "Driven to Extremes" after dealing with a sadist substitute teacher, Ginger gets fed up and verbally stands up to her. This just results in Ginger being sent to detention, thus making the episode a Downer Ending. This is due to Ginger's actions to the teacher being viewed as insubordination and disrespect to the authority (whether the student is right or wrong). Also, the substitute teacher receives no comeuppance for her actions.
    • In "The Right Stuff," two high school girls from Macie and Courtney's French class try embarrassing Courtney by removing her bikini top at a pool party that Macie's throwing (albeit very reluctantly). They succeed, but now everyone hates them for not only ruining the party but also for pulling such a mean prank on a middle school student. Also, Macie and her friends, Ginger and Dodie, manage to save Courtney before anyone can see anything.
  • The Backyardigans:
    • In "Pirate Treasure", Pablo's peg leg affects his ability to walk.
    • In "Blazing Paddles", Pablo steals everyone else's Ping-Pong paddles so that they cannot play Ping-Pong. He soon realizes that he cannot play either as he needs an opponent.
  • Megatron in Beast Wars is a Combat Pragmatist, and he'll do anything if it means his goals are met.
    • When his plan to simply kill off the proto-humans fails and he later finds the Decepticon battleship Nemesis, the first thing he does with it is try to blow all proto-humans off the face of the Earth. Even when Dinobot II tries to tell him that it's an overkill to use giant ship-to-ship lasers to kill a primitive tribe of organics, Megatron pretends to consider it for a second, and then pushes the button anyway.
    • Reality ensues again when after spending half the episode shooting anything that moves, Megatron loses everything when he doesn't have the energy for a shot when he actually needs it.
    • A scene seemingly parodying the one from Raiders of the Lost Ark: Optimus is going all over the place showing off his sword moves, and Megatron just shoots him.
  • Bob's Burgers
    • In the episode "Art Crawl", Bob defaces Edith's paintings because he thinks that she painted pink panties over Aunt Gayle's paintings of animal anuses. He tells Linda that it was the greatest thing that he's ever done in his life... and the scene cuts to Bob getting arrested. As one of the police officers point out, he had "anally defaced her property", so he has to either go to jail or pay a fine. Even worse is that Edith never ruined the paintings in the first place (it was Linda), which means that Bob did all of that for nothing.
    • In "The Unbearable Like-Likeness Of Gene", Linda's friend Gretchen loses several pounds from eating nothing but the peels and skins from fruits and vegetables. However, by her next appearance, she's back to her old self, as weight that is lost from crash diets is hard to maintain.
    • In "The Kids Run Away", Louise tries to get a hotel room using a fake ID and by claiming that she's a Vietnam War veteran. Her schemes usually work on other kids (and her siblings), but the adult desk clerk can obviously see that the ID is fake.
    • In "My Big Fat Greek Bob", Bob assists a college fraternity by the name of Beta Upsilon Pi in getting revenge on the Alphas for pranking them (it was really Dr. Yap, the Belchers' dentist) by pranking them back. The Betas eventually get a warning from the college dean that if they don't stop with their pranks, then they will be put on academic probation.
    • In "Friends with Burger-fits", Teddy signs himself (and Bob) up for boot camp to help him lose weight and one of the exercise routines involves jumping through a fake window. Near the end of the episode, Bob gets into a fight with a restaurant owner trying to serve Teddy a Mega Meal Challenge and he gets thrown out the window... and Bob is seriously injured afterwards. Turns out jumping through fake windows doesn't prepare you for getting thrown through a real window.
    • At the end of "Like Gene for Chocolate", Gene manages to convince the company that makes his favorite candy, Chunky Blast-Offs, to go back to using the original recipe... only for them not to go through with it due to how much money it would cost them to do so.
    • In "The Wolf of Wharf Street", Bob handcuffs Teddy to the coffee table and tries to swallow the key, only to realize how difficult it really is and wonders how people in movies do it.
    • In "Just One of the Boyz 4 Now for Now", a fan of Boyz 4 Now tried to sneak through the air vents to one of the auditions. Unfortunately, she ended up getting stuck and needed to be rescued by Emergency Services, which is exactly why you shouldn't do this in real life.
      Security Guard on TV: Not safe, girls. Don't do it.
  • Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars: One episode ends with Bucky's crew being able to track down the creators of the Big Bad AI KOMPLEX, (who had been cryogenically frozen and sent into deep space to prevent them from hindering KOMPLEX from seizing power) and asks them about the key to dismantling KOMPLEX. The creators explain, in their best are-you-shitting-me-voice, that if there was a quick-and-dirty way to deactivate KOMPLEX, they would have used it long before KOMPLEX was in a position to send them into deep space.
  • Camp Lazlo: The Grand Finale involves Scoutmaster Lumpus convincing the entire town to start wearing painted-on clothes instead of real clothes to save on laundry. However, a sudden rainstorm quickly shows a major flaw in this plan.
  • In Central Park, Season 1 "Garbage Ballet", Cole pretends to be sick so he can stay home and stop his mom from killing any rats. But because Paige is actually sick, his exposure around her causes him to catch her cold and get sick for real since he didn't taking any precautionary steps to keep himself healthy.
  • Clarence: In the episode "Straight Illin'", the titular character is dared to eat 500 deviled eggs by Belson. Clarence completes the dare, but appears to have gotten sick not just because of how much he ate, but most likely because the deviled eggs were sitting out in the sun for too long. When he comes into school the next day, his condition has noticeably worsenednote . Clarence eventually infects all of the students and the Principal cancels school until further notice.
  • The Cleveland Show: A Running Gag in Family Guy involves Cleveland having a hole blown in the side of his house while he's trying to take a bath due to Peter's shenanigans, which causes the bath to slide out of the house, fall from the second story, and break. In "Gone with the Wind" of this show, it's revealed that the same thing happened to Loretta after Cleveland moved out, and the fall broke her neck.
  • On Clone High, Skunkie-Poo's acts of violence against Scudworth using such cartoon staples as dynamite and an anvil, while non-fatal, cause otherwise serious and extremely painful injuries.
  • In one episode of Chowder Mung Daal is forced to confront his fear of Meaches, giant ravenous fruit that attack anything that gets too close and will maul anyone who eats a pie made with their queen all day, every day for decades. Chowder eventually gets Mung to face it... only to realize that his fear of them is entirely justified.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door:
    • A lighthearted example happens in Operation P.I.R.A.T.E. when Stickybeard captures Numbuh 5 and has his cabin boys tie her to the mast with licorice ropes. She just eats through them when he's not looking and attempts to escape.
    • Lizzie Devine, Numbuh One's girlfriend, spent almost the entire show trying to have Nigel notice her every once in a while. However, he's Married to the Job and focuses more on helping other kids than her. Operation G.I.R.L.F.R.I.E.N.D. expands on this, having him skip out on Lizzie's cousin's wedding due to a mission he had to finish. Eventually, after having to witness Nigel going with Numbuh 362 (for a mission), and the treehouse coming to life and chasing her and Nigel down the neighboorhood, she finally decides that she's had enough and breaks up with him, realizing that he will always remain loyal to the Kids Next Door.
    • Operation I.T reveals that being the Supreme Leader Of the Kids Next Door is not a fun or easy job. Not only do you not get to go on the fun and wild missions anymore, but you are also stuck doing the boring work and trying to keep thousands of kids under control, much like real higher up positions. In addition, the current Supreme Leader Numbuh 362, hates the job for those reasons.
  • In Dan Vs. "The Parents", Dan engages in an epic fight with the hippies to save the kid he bonded with from being adopted by them. Then the adoption agency lady arrives with a cop and tells him that his background check disqualifies him from adopting the kid. Dan lets the kid go back to the hippies, but not before making him promise to steal from them at every possible opportunity.
  • In Detentionaire, every time a character tries to do a Paper-Thin Disguise, they always try their best to turn peoples' attention away from it by telling typical lies, such as "This person is my cousin" and the like. The result? Everyone around them sees through the horrible disguise in mere seconds, and the plan backfires as a result. Notably, obvious disguises never work out in the show and it's only when a character actually puts a lot of effort into changing appearances and voice do they get away with it. But even then, it doesn't fool everyone for long once they slip up.
  • Dexter's Laboratory:
    • In the episode "Tuber Time" Dexter discovers that potatoes can generate electricity and plans to power up his lab, but discovers that a single potato can only generate a small amount of electricity. So he buys potatoes from grocery stores and fast food places just to name a few by the truckloads. The large amounts of spuds did power up his lab... for about a day, as the potatoes go rancid and rotten over time, and Dexter's lab was left with a pile of spoiled mush. Instead of giving up on the idea, though, he just creates a giant super potato in space so that it would stay frozen and not spoil.
    • In another episode, "Morning Stretch", Dexter invents a machine that slows time around him down (from 30 seconds to 30 minutes) to give him more time in the morning to go about his routines. He rather quickly finds out that while he's sped up, nothing else is. The water from the shower is traveling at a snail's pace, the toast ejected from the toaster is hanging hopelessly out of his reach in mid-air, the microwave set on a three-minute timer takes a full minute to count down a single second, and he can't finish his homework because moving at such high speeds causes extreme friction burn that sets the paper on fire.
    • Another episode, “Figure Not Included”, has Dexter creating Major Glory action figures with high-tech features and abilities for a group of Glory-loving kids so he can join their gang. Eventually, after a fight, the action figures overload and explode. When the kids prepare to pound him for his defective action figures, the actual Major Glory flies in and saves Dexter in the nick of time. Dexter mention’s that he’s learned a lesson about trying to buy friends with toys. Glory appreciates his moral, but clarifies that he’s taking Dexter to see his attorney, since Dexter committed copyright infringement by making the action figures without Glory’s permission.
    • One season 3 episode "Copping an Aptitude" is about Dexter being invited to attend a college. Being the child genius that he is, it makes sense that some schools would be interested in having him join. Dexter of course spends all his time doing nothing but studying and working. His roommate warns him that he will burn himself out, and that’s exactly what happens. Without his family around Dexter gets no social interaction, and without Dee Dee interrupting him occasionally he works so much that he snaps. Interestingly, this kind of thing happened to him before way back in an early pilot episode.
  • In the Christmas episode of Dora the Explorer, Dora and friends end up traveling a few years into the future. Dora and Boots only look slightly older, but Swiper, being a fox, ages more rapidly than humans and monkeys, and is now elderly.
  • This is the premise of the show Dragons: Riders of Berk, Sequel Series to the film How to Train Your Dragon, as the Vikings learn how to live with big, fire-breathing creatures with no sense of the boundaries they should respect. Dealing with problems caused by the new status quo is at the center of a number of plots in the first part of the series.
  • Drawn Together: Toot Braunstein is known for subverting Acrofatic, demonstrating how pathetic a grotesquely out-of-shape person really would be. In "Mexican't Buy Me Love", she attempts Wheel of Feet, even uttering a Road Runner-like "BEEP-BEEP!" — and collapses on the road one second later, completely out of breath. She also performs some lunges and squats while wearing her tight dress — and we hear the sound of said dress quietly ripping. On the other hand, Toot's weight problem is also often exaggerated for humor, such as when she is literally depicted as Jabba the Hutt.
  • El Tigre
    • "Fool's Goal": Manny's local soccer team usually comes in dead last because Manny's father tries to play fair and square, even though all the other teams obviously don't. When his Grandpapi takes over coaching and encourages cheating, the team makes it into the finals with the opposing team being headed by one of their villains. However, Manny's father eventually finds out and Manny is guilted into trying to make the winning goal normally... which he utterly fails at and loses the game for the team. The crowd chases Manny and his Dad out of the stadium for the loss. When Rodolfo asks Manny if it felt good to play fair, Manny promptly states that if this was the result, it wasn't worth it. It's not exactly cheating if the other team does it, moral high ground or not.
  • The Freakazoid! shorts focusing on Lord Bravery were all about this trope in regards to being a superhero. In one short, Lord Bravery is sued by a bakery because they have the same name, and is unable to convince the owner to change it to something else, forcing him to go by "Lord Smoked Meats and Fishes" for a while.
    • Another superhero called the Huntsman, proves to be very effective at what he does. So effective, that crime in the city ends up reaching an all-time low, and the Huntsman is ultimately left bored with nothing to do.
    • A Running Gag with the Huntsman shorts is that, since the Huntsman lives in the woods and has to hurry into the city when he's called in to catch a criminal, by the time he arrives to get debriefed, the issue's already been resolved without him.
  • In Frisky Dingo, Killface and Xander run against each other for presidency for most of the second season before it's pointed out that neither of them are eligible, as Killface wasn't born in the US and Xander is under 35.
  • Futurama
    • In "The Deep South", Bender finds several bottles of rum on board a sunken pirate ship. He tries to drink from one of them, but since he's still underwater, the rum just floats about.
      Bender: Arr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress.
    • In "The Problem With Popplers", a group of animal rights activists are protesting the consumption of animals. Leela accurately points out to them that animals eat other animals, but one of the protesters tries to counter that, saying they taught a lion to eat tofu. The camera then pans over to reveal a very sickly looking lion.
    • In "Zapp Dingbat", Leela's parents fall out and separate, so her father decides to pursue his youthful dream of surfing the world's greatest sewers. Leela gets Bender and Fry, a man with a one-thousand year old immune system, to accompany him. Later in the episode, Fry is seen getting endless shots from a pile of syringes to combat the huge array of diseases he caught in the sewers.
    • In "The Birdbot of Ice-Catraz", the animal rights activists form a human chain around the Planet Express spaceship to try and prevent it from leaving with its cargo of dark matter. The ship just flies right over the protesters.
      Leela: When you were planning this peace ring, didn't you realize spaceships can move in three dimensions?
      Free Waterfall Sr.: No, I did not.
    • In "Bender's Big Score", Fry returns to the year 2000, and asks his old boss for a slice of pizza. Mr. Panucci agrees, provided he pays for it. Unfortunately, all the money in Fry's wallet is from 1000 years in the future and wouldn't be of any use to him.
    • Occasionally, it'll be mentioned that since Leela only has one eye, she lacks depth perception. It's always Played for Laughs.
    • "The Sting" explores what might happen if the main characters—supposedly the latest in a long line of expendable delivery crews who died horrible deaths—were stripped of their Plot Armor. Fry, Leela and Bender face the same threat that killed Farnsworth's previous crew, and Fry brutally bites the dust. Then it turns out to be a dream had by Leela while in a coma after she, not Fry, accidentally took the hit.
    • The crew has encountered so many Planets of Hats that Fry's occasional confusion is somewhat understandable:
      Fry: Well, you guys may be losers, but I just made out with that radiator woman from the radiator planet!
      Leela: ...Fry, that's a radiator.
    • From the Scooby-Doo spoof in "Saturday Morning Fun Pit":
      Hermes: Of course!
      George Takei: No, that's not why I did it.
      Fry: Then like, why did you do it?
      George Takei: I'm mentally ill.
  • In an episode of Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Hal and Kilowog try to pose as a pair of Atrocitus' guards. The problem is, once they knock out some guards and steal their uniforms, they realize that the armor was meant for average humanoids, not the super-burly Kilowog. Another group of Atrocitus' men happen by and catch Kilowog struggling in vain to cram himself into the armor.
  • In Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, the jury in each of Harvey's cases always consists of the same jurors. This is ignored until the penultimate episode, when Mentok the Mindtaker finally notices and has all of Harvey's cases overturned as a result.
  • Hey Arnold!:
    • When Arnold and Gerald go to a baseball game, they only have enough money for the tickets, until they buy some tickets half-price from a scalper. They buy the cheap tickets, overload on merchandise... and when they get to their seats, they're an obstructed view, and in the worst part of the park.
    • In "Curly Snaps", Curly has been looking forward for weeks to be the new ball monitor, and snaps when he finds out that Sid has been chosen instead of him. He takes all the dodgeballs and takes over Principal Wartz's office, refusing to come out unless his demands are met, and pelting anyone who tries to stop him with dodgeballs. At the end of the episode, Mr. Simmons finds out that Curly was the true ball monitor after all, and Curly agrees to let Sid be the ball monitor for the rest of the week. However, Principal Wartz still gives Curly detention for his reprehensible behavior.
    • In Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie, Big Bob's Beepers goes out of business due to the rise of cellphones and Big Bob's utter refusal to switch to selling them, causing the Pataki family to move into the building it's sold at. This is Truth in Television for anyone who's owned a business.
  • The Hollow: Sometimes, just because a boy and a girl spend a lot of time together, it doesn't mean that both of them are romantically interested in each other. Adam turns down Mira, whom Kai had a crush on before he fell for Vanessa. Season 2 adds the information that one of them might not even be interested in the opposite gender. When the characters get their memories back, Mira remembers that Adam is gay and profusely apologizes to him for kissing him.
  • Inspector Gadget: As shown in his backstory, the title character found out the hard way that slipping on a Banana Peel is extremely dangerous, and in his case, the injuries were so severe he had to be transformed into a cyborg afterwards.
  • Invader Zim:
    • The episode "Walk of Doom" just deals with Zim getting lost in the city and being unable to deal with the Earth's customs. First, he stares deeply into the sun and temporarily becomes blind. Moments before that, he tried to ride the bus without paying, only to get kicked out and called a weirdo.
    • "FBI Warning Of Doom" has the villain of the week try to kill ZIM with zombies. Except that the zombies just sort of wander about uselessly and run into things. As it turns out, a mindless corpse that just sort of shambles towards people trying to bite them isn't exactly a huge threat.
  • Iron Man: Armored Adventures: In "Heavy Mettle", Iron Man and War Machine face off against Titanium Man, whose suit's titanium-vibranium alloy makes it practically indestructible. The two heroes wait until their enemy is in the air, then hit him with their most powerful weapons at the same time. While Titanium Man's suit is structurally undamaged, the sheer force of the explosion sends him flying for miles, with the villain unable to stop himself, due to the suit's inner workings being locked up as a result of the massive explosive force it was hit with. No matter how tough an object is, it is still affected by the laws of physics, and a strong outer shell can only protect the innards so much.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures:
    • Early on in the second season, the bad guys are distributing the Talismans among each other. Finn gets both the talisman that bestows Immortality and the one that gives its user a Healing Factor. Feeling that healing is redundant to an immortal, he trades it to one of his fellows for a different talisman. In the ensuing Traintop Battle, Finn ends up getting slammed into a mountainside at top speed. Being immortal, he survives the blow... and is completely sidelined for the rest of the fight and is unable to do anything other than pathetically whimper that "immortality hurts."
    • Also, the story arc of the third season involved the talismans being destroyed, and their powers being transferred to the noblest animals across the world. At the end, Jade learns that the plan is not to keep them, but to remove their powers and return them to where they were found. As Jackie notes, several of the animals do have owners (or at the very least, natural habitats).
    • The rest of Section 13 not believing Captain Black about magic being real is usually played for laughs, but in "The Chan Who Knew Too Much", it prevents him from helping with the magical threat of the episode because, as he explains to Jackie, since everyone thinks he's cracked, he's in serious danger of losing his job.
  • One episode of Jem involves Jerrica as a candidate for winning an Oscar. She's the protagonist so she has to win, right? Nope. The award goes to an older, more experienced actress instead. Jerrica has no formal training in acting; she's a singer and businesswoman before anything else.
    • The episode "The Fan" has an obsessive fan desperate to find out Jem's real identity teaming up with the Misfits and leads to Jem going through a harrowing experience where she nearly loses her mind, getting mildly injured and the fan himself being double-crossed by the band due to never learning the truth. Upon being rescued by her and the Holograms, in spite of Jem's kind and generous nature, the guy's regret at his indirect role of her troubles and giving her a sincere apology, she admits that she doesn't forgive him and even his ignorance of what the rival band was planning to do doesn't diminish his responsibility (although he is still invited to their concert).
    • Clash is a good example of this trope. In spite of all of the trickery and sabotage that she does for the Misfits and occasionally hanging out with them, doesn't mean that they want her in the band of are even friends with her (which is kind of justified because unlike her rival/cousin Video, who's a successful director who works on many Jem and the Holograms projects, she can't sing or play an instrumentnote  and is little more than a desperate groupie).
    • In "Father's Day", Pizzazz is upset that her father will be away on business instead of spending father's day with her. On the day itself, Kimber, still grieving for her own deceased father, ends up bonding with Mr. Gabor and he flies her and the rest of the Holograms on his own private jet to their concert. The sight on this infuriates Pizzazz and causes her to lash out at the both of them. During the performance of the Holograms' song dedicated to fathers, while Mr. Gabor is hopeful for a happy reunion with his daughter, she just storms off in seething anger.
  • Johnny Test:
    • In the episode "Johnny vs. Smash Badger 3", Johnny gets a new video game, only to be stuck on the first boss, prompting him to look up some cheat codes online. A quick web search reveals... nothing. As Dukey notes, the game has only been out for such a short amount of time, so no one's had a chance to play through it and post any cheats yet.
    • In the episode "King Johnny", Johnny's Mad Scientist sisters bring his chess pieces to life in order to make the game more interesting. Upon being made "king" of the chess army, Johnny gets the King's Madness and becomes Drunk On Power, eventually declaring that he's going to take over Europe with his new army. Both Dukey and Johnny's sisters immediately lampshade the sheer impossibility of that goal. After all, if Napoleon—a military genius with one of the greatest armies in history—failed, then what chance does a delusional eleven-year-old with a few dozen cosplayers have? Indeed, when "King" Johnny sets out on his conquest, the most he ever does is briefly take over a few European and Chinese-themed restaurants. Additionally, the Test sisters' main concern isn't Johnny's chess army, it's the police and SWAT teams who are eventually called in to take him down.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes: One episode has Jimmy attempt to win an annual dancing competition despite being incapable of dancing. His teacher makes him dance by placing a lobster down his pants, which he loses on the night in what appears to be a setup for a Magic Feather plot. However, even though Jimmy does manage to dance, he loses the competition to Lucius. Lucius is the absolute dictator of Miseryville and has an ego the size of a planet, so naturally the judges always let him win because they're afraid to find out what will happen if he doesn't. And besides, Jimmy danced like he had a lobster down his pants.
  • Jonny Quest: In "Werewolf of the Timberlands", a gold-smuggler dressed as a werewolf prepares a surprise attack on Dr. Quest and Race, only to be suddenly thwarted by White Feather's Noble Wolf companion Grey One who mauls him and then drives him off a cliff. However, rather than acknowledging Grey One to be a hero, Dr. Quest and Race view him as an extremely dangerous animal that must be put down, since all they saw was a wolf seemingly attacking a man unprovoked. They decide not to shoot him only when Jonny and Hadji arrive and explain everything. Similarly, White Feather tells the boys to run to their campsite as fast as possible right after sending Grey One there, having anticipated that the men would see Grey One as a threat.
  • In Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, the Badass Normal or low-powered heroes like Batman or Black Canary are shown struggling against the super-powered villains. On the flip side, the Flash easily takes down Black Canary's evil counterpart with one hit.
  • Justice League Unlimited:
    • In the episode "The Great Brain Robbery", Lex Luthor and The Flash end up switching bodies. While stuck in the Flash's body, Luthor takes the opportunity to find out his secret identity. He goes to the bathroom, stands in front of a mirror, takes off his mask... and has no idea who he's looking at since he's never met or heard of Wally West, a simple CSI scientist in Central City. Even the DVD Commentary lampshades this, with the creators saying that they wanted to do this joke for a while since not even criminal super geniuses like Luthor would know everyone in the world. And not every superhero's civilian identity is going to be famous like Bruce Wayne or Clark Kent.
    • When Batman confronts Amanda Waller for Project Cadmus' clandestine nature and ethically questionable methods, he tells her that they are watching them. This threat is turned on its head when Waller tells Batman that the reason Cadmus exists is because of the Justice League. The government had every reason to fear the Justice League: from the giant orbiting death laser capable of destroying any target on Earth, to the massive army of super powered heroes, and the fact that in one universe the Justice League assassinated the democratically elected president while the government couldn't do a damn thing. It's nice and dandy to trust the Justice League but if on some flip of a coin the Justice League went rogue, the government calculated that their chance of defeating the League was zero. While Cadmus does incredibly questionable things, historically speaking the Government has a track record of doing such things if it means that they have a chance at defeating an enemy that presents a real threat. Just because the superhero setting of the show exists does not mean that the government will simply sit on the sidelines while men who can easily annihilate regular humans with ease roam free. This argument leaves even the Batman stunned and deeply affects his mentality about the purpose of the Justice League, and it's not just a one episode thing either. The rest of the season is peppered with Batman's doubts on the function of the League, and even later agrees with Waller's assessment that human governments have every right to be afraid of the Justice League.
    • This also ended up working both ways. While Cadmus's stated mission isn't wrong, they're run by two supervillains, a Mad Scientist, a paranoid Anti-Villain, and a General Ripper. Most of their allies and lackeys are sociopaths that don't care at all about the people they're supposedly protecting. Meanwhile, the Justice League was founded and run by a group of heroes that honestly care about people, and a good chunk of their membership don't even have powers. Wade Eiling turned himself into a superpowered monster and beat around a bunch of Leaguers with no powers, and the ordinary citizens saved them and shamed him so badly he fled. Lex Luthor only joined the organization to piss off Superman, Tala doesn't care about anyone but herself, and Hamilton is a Dirty Coward that's only in this to save his own skin. As a result, all of their schemes for "saving the world" created new monsters or supervillains that the actual heroes in the setting had to save the world from. Not being afraid to make the "tough decisions" or wanting a defense against the Justice League is great in theory, but all Amanda Waller's paranoia did was enable Luthor to play her like a fiddle. Every one of Cadmus's "protections" backfired or caused a new threat that the actual heroes had to save the world from. Doomsday caused more damage than the JL, the nuclear weapons plan backfired, and worst of all, they helped Brainiac come back to life.
      • In the episode Patriot Act (the episode involving Eiling's aforementioned transformation), it's implied that after everything was said and done, Cadmus ended up facing more than a few consequences for their vast amount of fuster clucks, such as Eiling being reassigned to desk duty. Lampshaded by Waller (who seemingly came out mostly unscathed via a few connections), who notes that by all rights, the two of them should be in jail.
    • Throughout Season 2, Superman becomes increasingly paranoid as a seemingly reformed Lex Luthor's presidential campaign gains steam. Superman might be The Cape, but he isn't going to forgive and trust someone who spent years and millions of dollars trying to kill him, and watching that man get closer to the White House is going to be stressful to say the least. His conflict with the more idealistic Captain Marvel over the matter eventually results in them coming to blows, and the two Flying Bricks lay waste to an entire city block between them. Also, the fight is pretty even until Superman manages to push Captain Marvel into the path of his own lightning bolt, reverting him to Billy Batson, Billy shouts "Shaza-", only for Superman to simply cover his mouth and say "Fight's over son".
    • Shayera isn't exactly Easily Forgiven about being a mole for the Thanagarians. Sure, she had no idea they had planned to destroy Earth, and alerted the rest of the League upon finding out, but after the battle, everyone was left to wonder if she could ever be trusted again. It was ultimately put to a vote whether or not she could stay in the League, and while she was welcomed back, it wasn't a popular decision. Many people saw her as a traitor. Batman noted of quite a few "I Hate Hawkgirl" websites all over the internet. Even in the League itself, there were a few people who still didn't trust her, notably Wonder Woman, who especially felt betrayed and held a grudge against her for some time. While the two of them did finally learn to overcome it and work together without being at odds, they never fully became friends again.
    • Luthor carries an unshielded chunk of Kryptonite in his pocket for years. Not surprisingly, carrying a mildly radioactive object on his person eventually gives him cancer. Contrast Batman, who in most continuities stores any Kryptonite on his person in a lead-lined container on his utility belt because A.) it's still a radioactive mineral and B.) he knows that anything that could affect a Physical God like Superman will eventually affect a normal human being as well. "World's Finest" even pointed out that every owner of the Kryptonite Dragon Statue that Joker stole had died suddenly under seemingly mysterious circumstances.
    • In the episode "This Little Piggy", Circe tries to pull a Who Dares? moment after Zatanna smacks her with a table. She keeps getting interrupted as more items ram into her, leading her to just scream out "QUIT IT!"... and is greeted with a piano soon after.
    • The end goal of Gorilla Grodd's master plan for the group of villains he assembled is eventually revealed to be: turning everyone on Earth into gorillas. Naturally, all the villains are infuriated that they've spent all this time working on such a ridiculous plan and none of them object when Luthor usurps control from Grodd—though they later make it clear to Lex that they're keeping an eye on him just to ensure his plan isn't something stupid like that.
    • Official Couple is given this treatment during the finale of season one of Unlimited. While in the future, Warhawk reveals to John Stewart that he and Shayera Hol are his parents, despite their relationship sinking after the finale of the original Justice League. This means that in the timeline of the series, they eventually get back together, something when John realizes, he spends several episodes conflicted on. Instead of this mending the relationship and making them get back together as one might think, John refuses to get back together with her, citing that while it might be the future, he has the right to decide what he wants to do, and that the future doesn't automatically make things Easily Forgiven. Even when he tells Shayera about it, its clear that he still isn't willing to get with her simply because the future said so. The series even ends with him still not back with Shayera to hammer this point in.
    • Black Canary rarely uses her Canary Cry in this show, and the few times she attempts a sustained Cry, it leaves her exhausted and out of breath. Screaming puts a lot of stress on a person's lungs and vocal cords. It is for this reason that Canary Fights Like a Normal, instead.
  • King of the Hill is notable for eschewing the more outlandish, fantastical plots seen in other animated sitcoms like The Simpsons and Family Guy in favor of more down-to-earth stories grounded in realism, which often results in this:
    • A common plot in the late 90s animation was a run-in with the Department of Child Disservices where a set of coincidences convinces the social worker that the family's children are being abused. The show uses this plot for its pilot, then subverts it by having the social worker get chewed out by his boss and Reassigned to Antarctica for jumping to conclusions, and nearly having Bobby taken away from a very obviously loving family. It turns out all of the "evidence" the social worker had was circumstantial anyway, and could have cleared up everything if he had just talked to Bobby's Little League coach.
    • In the episode "Keeping Up With Our Joneses", after catching Bobby smoking a cigarette, Hank disciplines him with the old punishment of making him smoke an entire carton. Not only does this get Bobby horribly addicted (as well as causing Hank and Peggy to relapse into their old smoking habits), but when Hank admits to what he'd done at a support group, the rest of the group is completely aghast and they throw him out.
    • In the same episode, Hank and Peggy decide to visit a restaurant-cum-jazz club they frequented when they were regular smokers. They arrive to find that the original proprietor has died what is strongly implied by the hostess to be a slow, horrible death from invasive cancer, and the smoking patrons of the restaurant (all in poor health and hacking their lungs up) are now relegated to a small, dingy room in the back.
    • "Hank's Unmentionable Problem" has Hank developing a serious case of constipation as a result of his high-meat, low-fiber diet. Similar dietary consequences happen to Bobby and Bill in later episodes, such as "Love Hurts and So Does Art" (where Bobby develops gout as a result of eating high amounts of processed meat at a deli) and "Dia-BILL-ic Shock" (where Bill's frequent junk food consumption results in him developing diabetes).
    • The end of "Cops and Roberts" has Hank finally get Barry Rollins to calm down so he can explain that he mistakenly took the guy's wallet and the whole thing was just a simple misunderstanding, which he apologizes for. Of course, that doesn't mean Hank is cool with him and his friends being chased down and attacked with a baseball bat.
      Officer Brown: Sir, will you be pressing charges?
      Hank: Well, hell yeah!
    • One episode had Peggy, who was "on a roll" (aka butting into everyone else's business to show how smart she was), barge onto a active crime scene, introducing herself to the cops as if she were a private detective. The scene immediately cuts to the police escorting Peggy back to her car over her protests.
    • "Hank's Cowboy Movie" sees Hank and his friends putting together a video to convince the Dallas Cowboys to move their training camp to Arlen. At the end of the episode, Hank actually gets a response from the Cowboys....in the form of a letter very politely declining the offer and a plastic toy football.
    • "Ceci N'est Pas Une King of the Hill" has a subplot where Dale buys a suit of armor, rendering him invulnerable to any harm and terrorizing the neighborhood. Bill defeats him by simply shoving him over.
  • The Looney Tunes Show:
    • Yosemite Sam can't carry his pistols anymore due to gun control laws, which is explored in "The Stud, The Nerd, The Average Joe, and The Saint" where he was trying to get signatures to prove he can use them properly. And at the end of the episode, he is taken to court for going wild with a starter's pistol.
    • In "Jailbird and Jailbunny", Daffy attempts to engage in your typical Courtroom Antics after being brought before a judge who orders him to pay a littering fine. All that accomplishes is angering the judge, who promptly jails Daffy (and Bugs) for contempt of court.
    • In "Off-Duty Cop", Daffy impersonates a cop from an old show he likes, not understanding that he's a fictional character. At the end of the episode, he gets arrested for impersonating a cop and handcuffing people.
    • In "Semper Lie", when Bugs tries to hurry Speedy to make Porky's pizza faster, Speedy angrily tells Bugs that just because he can move fast doesn't mean that his pizza oven is fast.
  • In a MAD sketch titled "Pinocchio 2: Boy oh Boy, Real Life is Hard!", Pinocchio realizes that being a real boy isn't as good as he thought it would be. He hurts himself when he trips over a rock and complains that skin bruises easily, he has to use the bathroom at least a couple of times a day since he is now a living being ("For what, a month?"), and is dismayed to find out that he has to go to school every day (where he is shown getting his face smashed in by a dodgeball in P.E. class). By the end of the sketch, poor Pinocchio is covered in bandages and he wishes that he was a wooden puppet again.
  • Mighty Max: In one episode, a barbarian has recently rampaged through a village, killing everyone. Norman goes into a house and prevents, nay explicitly forbids Max from going inside the house. Max claims that he's seen the stuff in video games and movies all the time; but Virgil replies that "real violence has real consequences." meaning that Max really shouldn't see an actual bloody murder like whatever was in that house.
  • Mike Tyson Mysteries:
    • "Is Magic Real?", when a professional gambler needs one million dollars to participate in a poker game, Mike Tyson, despite being a famous retired boxer, doesn't have that type of money and he even points out that him going to far places to solve mysteries for free is not profitable to him.
    • In "Ty-Stunned" a deranged murderer tries to attack Mike with a chainsaw in a similar manner to Leatherface when Mike Tyson Mystery Team breaks in to stop him from murdering a woman he kidnapped. Mike just tases the guy in the face, knocking him out instantly.
    • "Your Old Man" has Pigeon realize that since pigeons live 3-5 years at most, he's probably going to die soon. It also turns out that Pigeon fathered a child, Yung, which was likely to happen considering how many people Pigeon has had sex with.
  • Miraculous Ladybug:
    • Hawk Moth is a fully developed adult with his own Miraculous to even the playing field. The few times he bothers to fight Ladybug and Chat Noir directly, he can usually fight them to a standstill single-handedly.
    • Even though Lila lied about being Ladybug's friend and that her grandmother was also a superhero in the episode "Volpina", she's still hurt that Ladybug would reveal this in front of her crush Adrien all the while chastising her for it — something that Adrien even calls her out on. (Made worse since Marinette mostly did it to keep Lila from dating him.) Later, when Ladybug tries to apologize over the incident, Lila refuses to accept it and runs off.
    • In "Simon Says", Marinette is grounded by her parents over her numerous absences from school due to her superhero alter ego.
    • Though Police Are Useless is used a lot in the series, most of the time it's not due to deliberate incompetence, but rather the fact that the non-powered police have no real way of going against the ever-changing assortment of superpowered villains that Hawk Moth sends out.
  • Moral Orel:
    • The episode "Alone" shows what kind of psychological damage the town bicycle might have after years upon years of being used and abused sexually. And this was after her earlier characterization as a Hospital Hottie.
      Nurse Bendy: We all need people who aren't mean to me, or that act like they only care about doing... dirty, awful things to you. We need family because they care that I'm a real person who has thoughts of sadness, sometimes, along with happy thoughts or... scared, or aloneness thoughts.
    • One of the major themes that develop as the show starts to veer into Cerebus Syndrome is that no town is so saccharine and perfect. The citizens forcing themselves to be Stepford Smilers and give off the appearance of a Stepford Suburbia has made nearly every single person in the town incredibly screwed up in various ways.
    • Clay and Bloberta both hate each other with a burning passion but refuse to get a divorce out of the embarrassment it would cause, since the whole town is very religious. But their constant arguing and obvious denial makes it hard for the whole town to ignore it.
  • My Life as a Teenage Robot: The episode "The Return of Raggedy Android" deals with Fantastic Racism when Jenny isn't allowed in a restaurant Brad got a job at because she's a robot and the owner doesn't like them. To combat this, Jenny gets a human suit to disguise her real features so she can hang out at the restaurant. Unfortunately, she's not able to fight the robots that keep breaking into the restaurant because the other half of the outfit pressures Jenny into acting like a regular human girl. Jenny eventually gets fed up with the other half, so she destroys the outfit and ends up saving the restaurant. Despite this, the owner of the restaurant still can't stand robots and acts like an Ungrateful Bastard towards Jenny. This disgusts the other teenagers, who were actually grateful Jenny saved them. The moral: no matter how nice you are to racist people and no matter what you do for them, the racism won't go away in a blink of an eye.
    • Likewise, if you act like an Ungrateful Bastard to a bona fide hero (who just risked life and limb to save your sorry ass), your popularity tends to hit rock bottom, as the owner learned the hard way when Brad quits and all his customers leave in disgust.
    • A few scenes before that, a human sees Jenny (disguised as a human) drinking oil and is appropriately weirded out.
  • The Oblongs:
    • Living in a waste-filled area will, of course, lead to a lot of birth defects and mutations as most of the residents of the Valley usually suffer from. The titular family has Bob (no arms or legs), Pickles (lost her hair and now wears a wig), Milo (super ADD among other things), Beth (growth on her head) and Chip and Biff (conjoined twins).
    • The pilot episode starts when Bob's boss, George, takes away Bob's medical insurance due to too many claims. As such, they can't afford for Milo to go to a special school and allow Milo to go to a normal school.
    • "Heroine Addict": Pickles wins a shopping spree, but to do so has to smoke a lot of cigarettes to find the winning filter. On the day of the spree, she barely makes it past the starting line before getting winded and can't recover in time before time runs out.
    • "My Name Is Robbie": Bob goes to an amusement park with the family but because he has no arms or legs, he's denied being allowed on any of the rides due to being too short. He ultimately manages to sneak on a twirl-a-whirl but no sooner then it starts up, it ends up flinging him right off it and halfway across the park.
      • From the same ep, Bob enlists as a lifeguard and joins a swimming competition, but because he's using a device that amounts to a mini-mech to overcome his lack of limbs, he quickly sinks as soon as he's in the water.
  • Pinky and the Brain:
    • In one episode, Brain's plan was to become the most beloved children's television character in the world, then freeze himself and Pinky until his fanbase had become adults and were in positions of power. Once they are, Pinky and the Brain (or "Big Ears" and "Noodle Noggin" as they had dubbed themselves) would have their fans help them take over the world. At the height of their popularity, Brain announced that they were leaving the show, shocking all their fans. They then freeze themselves until the appointed time as planned, go to a broadcasting station, and summon their now-adult fans to come to them. Their fans come to them alright... and they're mad at them for leaving when they did, as it seems that doing so traumatized their fans and caused them to develop some deep emotional scars that have affected them into adulthood. Their fan base demand that Pinky and the Brain pay for all of their therapy bills, then proceed to chase them.
    • In another episode, Brain planned to become the Arts and Crafts counselor at "Camp Davey", a summer camp for the world leaders' children. He plans to have the world leaders' children make pencil holders embedded with mind control devices that he can use to manipulate the world leaders into making him ruler of the world. When they get there, Brain finds he's stuck at the bottom of the chain of command since he just showed up. Brain decides to eliminate all the counselors ranked above him one by one. However, by the time he's ready to become the Arts and Crafts counselor, it's time for the world leaders' children to go home. Brain leaves the camp with Pinky, disappointed that he couldn't implement his plan. On his way out, however, he runs into all the former counselors he eliminated, who proceed to chase after him and Pinky.
    • In yet another episode, Brain decides to increase the masses' intelligence so that they realize that having him rule the world is best for everyone. This leads to the restaurant patrons he tested his machine on to realize Brain is a mouse and call the exterminator.
    • In another episode, Brain hatches an elaborate plan to break into Fort Knox and steal the gold located there. While they do manage to get in, gold is very heavy and they're both mice. They can't pick up a single gold bar.
  • Popeye:
    • Just about every episode, Popeye eats his spinach to defeat Bluto. In at least one cartoon, Bluto cuts Popeye off from spinach and proceeds to utterly kick Popeye's ass just as you'd expect given the size difference between the two.
    • In one cartoon Popeye gets into a fight soon after donating blood. He loses the fight because of the handicap.
    • In "Kickin' the Conga Round", taking place while Popeye and Bluto were in the navy during World War II, and are on shore leave, so they go out to a dance club, but soon get into a fight over Olive. By the end of the cartoon, the fight starts to get out of hand between the two, causing Olive to head for the hills, and Popeye and Bluto both end up getting apprehended by the SPs.
  • Ready Jet Go!:
    • In "Kid-Kart Derby", Mitchell installs an ion drive in his kid kart to win the derby. It does not work. Jet lampshades this by saying that ion drives only work in the vacuum of space.
      • In the same episode, Mitchell is delighted at winning for the third year in a row, and tries to invoke a Groupie Brigade, but everyone is distracted by Jet, who is humble about not winning, and most likely risked his own life to save Mitchell's dog Cody from being hit by his kid-kart.
    • In "Sean's Year in Space", Sean tries to stay in the treehouse for a year all by himself (probably with no food, as Sunspot ate all of his peanut butter sandwiches), but then comes down after being tempted by food.
    • In "Holidays in Boxwood Terrace", the kids are so tightly involved in their own clique that they genuinely don't realize Mitchell's loneliness until the end of the episode, where he explains his issue to them and they accept him.
    • In general, it is shown that Carrot is not just a 100% Bumbling Dad who is just there for comic relief. He is just as smart as his wife and is competent at surviving in remote locations and cooking. He only acts like that because he's Bortronian.
      • Dr. Bergs is silly compared to Dr. Rafferty, and Lillian is The Ditz, but those aren't their defining character traits and they are shown to be kind-hearted and talented in several areas, whether it be science (for the former) or gymnastics (for the latter), and they always have good intentions. This shows that no one is completely an idiot in real life and everyone is smart in some way.
    • This trope is why Mitchell still acts like a Jerkass, even after befriending the other kids in the Christmas Episode. Healing inner wounds is not an easy or quick process. Besides, if you put on a mask for so long, chances are you are going to become that mask.
    • While the entire town seems to have Weirdness Censor permanently turned on, Mitchell notices the Propulsions' strange behavior and thinks that they are aliens. This shows that if you act weird and then try to cover it up with suspiciously specific denials, people are going to notice.
    • In "Sydney 2", Sydney is convinced that building a robot in her own vision as a great friend will be an easy task. Then she realizes that robots don't have feelings and that programming a robot is truly difficult.
    • In "Racing on Sunshine", Mitchell is convinced that since he won 3 years in a row, he is sure to win the derby this year. This overconfidence causes him to forget to install a battery in his kid-kart, and he ends up coming in at third place.
      • In the same episode, he tries to impress Mindy, Sean, and two unnamed background kids (one of which was one of his fans that went "Whoa, it's Mitchell!" in "Kid-Kart Derby") by boasting about how he was ready to retire, but then Cody encouraged him to race again. This does not amuse ANY of them, and they all have deadpan looks on their faces.
  • Rick and Morty, to quote Pan-Pizza from RebelTaxi:
    "The style of humor in this show is getting a cliché or something cartoony and giving it real-world consequences. Example: A freeze ray anywhere else would stop a person in place; in Rick and Morty, if someone tips a frozen person over, they're dead.
  • Surprisingly happens in Rocky and Bullwinkle during the first episode of Peabody's Improbable History. Mr. Peabody invents the WABAC machine, and uses it to take him and Sherman to ancient Rome, but when they get there, everyone is speaking in Latin and Sherman can't understand what anyone is saying. Peabody can, but rather than having to go through excessive translating he goes back and tampers with the WABAC machine a bit until it's able to translate everything into English.
  • Rugrats:
    • In "Hiccups", when Tommy gets the hiccups, Angelica tells him the only way to cure him is to scare him, which she intended to do (in reality, she just wanted to give Tommy a bad scare). After some failed attempts, however, Angelica decides to use something called the "Scare Machine". She proceeds to put it together using various items she finds around the house. However, since she's a three-year-old with no experience building machines, and the Scare Machine was cobbled together by random debris, as soon as Angelica turns it on, it falls apart on top of her. Though Tommy seems to have been cured of his hiccups, which he reasons that when the Scare Machine fell on Angelica, Tommy got scared she might be hurt.
    • In "In the Naval", when Angelica's Cynthia doll is swallowed up by a giant fish, Tommy and Chuckie decide to drop her toy boat into the water. Their reasoning is that, when the fish sees the boat, he'll realize that the "Wavy Seals" (Navy Seals) have come, get scared, and spit Cynthia up. The fish just eats the toy boat.
    • In "Princess Angelica", Angelica decides she's a princess, and puts herself through several tests to prove this. The last one was a recreation of The Princess and the Pea, wherein Angelica stacked several pillows on top of each other. When she tried to climb to the top, she pulled all the pillows down on herself.
    • In "Chuckie Gets Skunked", Chuckie gets sprayed by a skunk. Chaz, Chuckie's father, mentions that he tried using tomato juice and tomato paste to get rid of the smell, but it didn't work and it just ruined the bathtub. Despite what fiction tells you, tomato juice/paste doesn't get rid of the smell of skunk spray; it only masks the skunk smell.
    • In "The Big House", Tommy and a few other toddlers try to break out of Golden Apple, a daycare center that looks and feels like a prison. When they try to unlock the front door with a key made out of Play-doh, the key is too soft and bends out of shape.
  • Scooby-Doo:
    • Original series:
      • "A Clue For Scooby-Doo"; the gang (in skin-diving apparatus) is underwater looking for the ghost of Captain Cutler. He chases Shaggy and Scooby aboard a sunken ship where Shaggy tries to light a cannon to use against the ghost. Then he remembers that matches don't light underwater.
      • "Never Ape an Ape Man": There is a scene where Scooby (normally a cowardly character) actually gets the Ape Man to back off, just by snarling at him after mustering up courage. The Ape Man may be intimidating, but he is as per usual just a guy in a suit (a stuntman, specifically), and the undisguised human, if they did threaten the team, would never win a verbal argument against Scooby-Doo, who is a large Great Dane who could take down a decent-sized man with ease. Cowardly Lion, indeed!
    • Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island:
      • The gang splits up after getting tired of fighting criminals in masks. Turns out that no matter how well you get along with your teammates, after doing the same song and dance over and over again the gang will eventually split when one of them wants something different. Given that Daphne was the one who split first, it quickly led to the other gang members parting ways (although reluctantly). Sometime after splitting up, the gang is shown as dissatisfied with their current positions or their quirks (such as Shaggy and Scooby's Big Eater habits) bringing negative consequences for them since others wouldn't be so tolerant of them as their teammates would be (Shaggy and Scooby getting fired from airport security for eating contraband).
      • Simone and Lena were able to kill large amounts of people for several centuries in large part due to the fact that the area they lived in was remote, the time period usually had people die from disease, ships sinking, and war anyway, and if it wasn't that, they were usually fugitives who no one would care about. Once it becomes obvious that more modern tourists are starting to disappear on the island, it doesn't take long for the cops to launch an investigation. Given Beau was The Mole for them working as a gardener, it quickly becomes obvious they were considered prime suspects in spite of whatever alibi they have.
      • Why are most of the zombies in the area of the swamp or near them? Simone, Lena, and Jacques quite realized very quickly that while pirates and colonists, along with soldiers could be washed away, large amounts of people from the modern era could not, so they threw the bodies in the swamp for several reasons. Number one, the alligators are a massive deterrent. The quicksand, while the zombies seem to be smart enough to move around it, force lengthy detours that are long enough to delay anyone from getting to the chamber. But thirdly, in the event the cops suspected them of murder or launched an investigation, they threw them into the swamp to ensure that it wouldn't be an area close enough to the house to portray them as potential murderers.
      • The movie itself could be this when it comes to showing what happens when a bunch of civilians, whose shtick is dealing with criminal hoaxes run into actual, dangerous, supernatural creatures. The cheerful gang we know who were never in such peril end up running for their lives from a horde of undead monsters. Never before had the gang looked so terrified, being blatantly out of their depth and barely surviving only by luck, not really by working as a team. The gang punching way above their weight class debatably even appears in the end after the supernatural threat is dealt with, when Daphne laments at the end they can't reveal what happened on the island due to quicksand swallowing up the camera.
      • As Simon and Lena learn the hard way, just because two of their targets are Cowardly Lions, that doesn't mean they can't be a liability. It was due to writing off Scooby and Shaggy as not worth using their voodoo dolls on them and thinking their third, Jacques, can take care of them that ultimately ended up being their downfall.
    • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated:
      • Shaggy and Velma's relationship ends up being rather rocky, due to Shaggy's insisting they keep it a secret from Scooby. When Scooby does find out, he doesn't take it well, and Shaggy is forced to choose between his Scoob and Velma. He ends up choosing Scooby, leaving Velma crushed that she's been dumped for a dog. Later, Shaggy wants to get back together, but Velma, while still having feelings for him, doesn't want to risk getting hurt again and turns him away, squelching the Will They or Won't They? plot often depicted in various shows, and they never end up getting back together, although they do end up becoming friends again.
      • Shaggy gets sent to military school at the end of the first season. When he returns in season two, he now has a crew-cut. It takes several episodes for his hair to grow back.
  • 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.
    • When Spider-Man decides to make a picture of himself being heroic to sell to Daily Bugle, it turns out shooting fast-paced action with an amateur camera is very hard, especially when the photographer is a part of the action. Peter blows through a lot of utterly unwatchable pics before he can produce some half-decent ones. Even then, the editor admonishes Peter for the sub-par quality and advises him to invest in a better camera.
    • Eddie Brock tries to frame Spider-Man by committing crimes while dressed like him. However, when he goes to the police with the footage, Captain Stacey immediately recognizes the man as an impostor. While he may not know who either version of Spidey is, the difference in body language is enough to tell Brock is a fake.
  • Static Shock:
    • All over the place in the Very Special Episode "Jimmy."
      • When Jimmy's bully apologizes when he sees Jimmy with a gun, Jimmy rightfully rejects the apology, considering how it's heavily implied the bully was only sorry because Jimmy was about to murder him at the moment.
      • Even though no one dies and Jimmy shooting Richie was an accident, Jimmy still has to spend a few months in juvie and has to receive counseling for bringing a gun to school.
      • Every student who was at the shooting is also sent to counseling as the school wants to make sure nobody is suffering PTSD from the incident; the framing device of the episode is Virgil telling his side of the story to his school counselor.
      • Speaking of Richie, the bullet only hit him in the leg, but he's writhing and screaming in pain even as the paramedics load him into the ambulance. The doctors also make it clear that Richie is lucky that's he's going to make a full recovery as the gunshot could have cost him his leg or could have created permanent nerve and/or muscle damage. Richie also has to spend some time afterwards on crutches.
      • Jimmy's bullies get suspended and have to do community service for everything that they did to Jimmy (as Jimmy probably wouldn't have stolen his father's gun in the first place if they hadn't pushed him around) and for tackling him with the gun which indirectly led to Richie getting shot.
      • While the shooting incident has made both the students and the teachers more aware of how serious bullying can get, there is still bullying in the school despite what happened.
  • Stroker and Hoop:
    • One time, the heroes hide from the suspect on the slanted ceiling, he walks in, sits at his desk, and calls for security to get them out of his office.
    • A Bad Boss keeps killing his ninja mooks for random failures, only to find that he killed all of them by the time the heroes showed up.
    • Hoop and his ninja girlfriend fight, jumping high like the wire-work in Wuxia films, and fighting on the vertical face of a building, right up until Stroker just shoots her in the back from the ground.
    • In one episode Stroker solves the whole "Which is the real one" cliché just like you would expect someone to in Real Life: he just incapacitates both people so that the good guys can figure out which is which at their leisure, without having to worry about making a mistake (and still screwed it up).
    • In one episode, Stroker is attempting to sneak into a facility. He knocks out the guards outside the building, and proceeds to sneak past the security guard who watches the security monitors. The security guard asks who he is, so Stroker disguises his voice in hopes of fooling him. However, the security guard reveals he was messing with Stroker, and watched him knock out the guys on the security monitors. Stroker was apparently counting on him to be asleep on the job. The security guard responds by saying he just really likes his job.
    • One episode has Stroker and Hoop mug two camera men for a disguise, with Stroker breaking a bottle on one guy's head, with the other freaking out, when the first man no longer moves. He convinces them not to knock him out (and possibly give him a concussion), by pretending to be unconscious. The two proceed to waste a lot of time getting the guys out of their clothes (with the conscious guy having to loosen his belt), and Hoop insisting on putting on one's underwear. The guy they're supposed to spy on gets mad when his "Camera Crew" turn up almost an hour late.
    • In the episode "Just Voodoo It (a.k.a. For Whom The Bear Tolls)", before going into a fight against zombies, Double-Wide wires C.A.R.R.'s AI to a shotgun mounted on a helmet that Double-Wide wears to the fight. As soon as C.A.R.R. starts shooting, Double-Wide realizes the drawback. Namely, the kickback from the shotgun causes Double-Wide's head to snap back hard, injuring his neck. Near the end of the episode, Double-Wide is seen in a neck-brace.
  • Summer Camp Island:
    • "Monster Babies" revolves around a witch character turning creatures "cuter" because she prefers cute things. She ends up transforming adult monsters into cute babies. Most other series would use this plot to have wacky gags while trying to turn them back to normal. However, Oscar is horrified by the lack of consent in the transformations and it gets Played for Drama.
    • In "It's My Party", no matter how amazing Susie's birthday party is, it will not be a enough to get everyone to change their opinion of her, and it definitely doesn't help that she acted like her usual Jerkass self throughout the party.
      Hedgehog: 'Cause at the end of the day, people just don't like Susie. You can't change people's mind with a unicorn petting zoo.
    • In "Ice Cream Headache", when the Sun reveals that she's upset because nobody noticed her haircut, Oscar points out that it's not like they can look directly at the Sun anyway. This just upsets her even more.
  • Superbook (2011) has quite a number of examples across different episodes, mostly in regard to the modern-day plots. Just for a few examples:
    • "A Giant Adventure": As Chris finds out to his dismay, no matter how skilled you are as a musician, it means jack-all if you suffer stage fright in front of your audience.
    • "John the Baptist": Chris's video-gaming partner reveals that he's illegally downloaded the latest games before they're available for sale to the general public. While Chris contemplates playing the games with his friend, Joy sternly informs him that, even if he didn't download them himself, using them in this way still counts as stealing. This leads into another dose of reality at the end of the episode, as while Chris does the right thing and tells his buddy that what he did was wrong, unlike previous instances of talk-therapy working with other characters, in this case it doesn't work—the other boy is still determined to keep the pirated games. Basically, just because you've had a moral epiphany doesn't mean other wrongdoers will join you in making the same choice.
    • "David and Saul": Two bullies assault Chris at the subway station, rob him of his guitar and then break it in front of him. Following the requisite Superbook adventure, he decides to forgive the two instead of taking revenge like he'd initially intended...but they themselves aren't at all sorry for what they've done. After all, just because you choose to forgive someone who's wronged you, that doesn't mean they'll automatically have an attack of conscience. And on a different note, they don't get away with their crimes either—the subway station's security cameras caught their antics, and the cops show up to arrest them.
    • "King Solomon": When the two women claiming to be the mother of a baby come for Solomon to rule on which of them is telling the truth, Gizmo suggests that a simple DNA analysis will determine which of the women is the true mother. So he covertly gets hair samples from each woman and a spit sample from the baby, and then tells Chris and Joy that all he needs to do now...is send the items to a lab...with results in six to eight weeks. Yes, the approximate least amount of time that crime-scene lab work actually takes in real life, as opposed to what we usually see in hour-long police procedurals such as CSI. The kids are not amused. (Mind you, though, if Gizmo could have conducted an instant forensic test right there and then, the Bible's account of the Judgment of Solomon couldn't take place.)
  • Superman: The Animated Series: In the crossover episode with Batman: The Animated Series "Worlds Finest", during an argument, Batman takes Superman unawares and judo throws him across an alley. Superman responds by getting up and punching Batman several feet into the air, quipping "I knew you were crazy, I didn't think you were stupid". Rather than break out some specialist gadget or use some arcane martial arts technique, Batman holds Superman at bay with some Kryptonite and flee, since he is smart enough to realise that he cannot fight a superstrong man who he cannot even hit without breaking his hand.
  • Sym-Bionic Titan fights the first Monster of the Week in the city and causes major damage. For the rest of the series, the city is shown being rebuilt, while the team tries to draw away future monsters out to the country where they're less likely to do harm.
  • The Teen Titans Very Special Episode "Troq" is surprisingly realistic about the nature of racism. Alien superhero Val-Yor befriends everyone on the team except Starfire, since he's horribly racist against Tamaranians, and calls her "troq" when he acknowledges her at all. Despite his disrespect, she saves his life in the episode's climax. In other cartoons, this would be where the former bigot learns the error of his ways and does a complete Heel–Face Turn. Instead, Val-Yor says she's "one of the good ones". She and the other Titans quickly call him out on his backhanded compliment, and when he remains unrepentant, Robin tells him to leave. The episode ends with Starfire explaining that most bigots aren't going to just change overnight, and that she'd rather value her friends' kindness than hope to be validated by some racist jackass.
  • ThunderCats (2011) shows what happens when a civilization in Medieval Stasis armed with swords, shields, arrows and the occasional sorcery goes up against a Higher-Tech Species armed with laser weapons, tanks, and rockets. Thundera gets absolutely slaughtered in one night.
    • A later episode has Lion-O trying to purchase supplies with Thunderian currency, only for the owner to turn him away. As he points out, without a kingdom to back them up, those coins are worthless.
  • In the Tiny Toon Adventures short "Sticky Fingers Duck" (contained in the episode "Best O' Plucky Duck Day"), Plucky and Hampton shop-lift an ACME Super-Duper Munch & Crunch candy bar (with almonds) from a convenience store (having blown their funds on arcade games). However, guilt gets the better of them and they quickly return the candy bar to the store. Upon returning the candy bar, the clerk present applauds Plucky and Hampton for their honesty, causing Plucky to wonder if the employee will let them keep the candy bar as a reward for being honest. Not so; ultimately, the clerk threatens to call the police on the boys if they show up to pull something like that again.
  • In the Toad Patrol episode "The Castle of the Ancients", Mistle Toad is trapped in a pillar of ice. Everyone works to slide him over a steam vent in order to melt said ice. It's not until several minutes of melting later that Elf Cup, of all characters, realizes that this would lead to Mistle Toad falling into the steam vent...
  • Tom and Jerry:
  • Total Drama:
    • Sadistic reality show host Chris McLean pulls off a lot of insanely dangerous stunts with no repercussions, since nobody is ever permanently harmed (well, maybe a few). He takes it to a new level in Revenge of the Island, though, dumping tons of biohazardous waste on the island, and bragging about it—on live TV, remember. At the end of the season, authorities wait until the contestants are safe, then arrest him for creating a hazardous environment.
    • During the All-Stars season, Duncan, in a bid to regain his bad boy rep, blows up Chris' opulent "cottage". He's not only eliminated, but also arrested. Duncan assumes he's going back to Juvenile Hall, but for what amounts to an act of terrorism, Chris has him sent to "Big Boy Jail".
    • Throughout the series, Duncan and Courtney share a volatile romance that repeatedly swings back and forth between passionate love and burning hatred. No matter how much they fight, they always come back together...but even The Power of Love (or hormones) can't hold together a relationship where two partners feel almost no affection for each other because they're always fighting. Tellingly, Duncan leaves Courtney when he begins to develop affection for Gwen, a kind-hearted, emotionally stable and less violent girl who shares his interest in horror movies.
    • In the Total DramaRama episode "Germ Factory", the kids try to get sick so they can stay home like Leshawna did that day. They succeed only to quickly experience diarrhea and vomiting, which Leshawna tried to warn them of before they hung up on her, so she's the only one at the daycare the following day.
  • Totally Spies!: In one episode, Mandy is allowed to be a spy for WHOOP. But since Jerry just allowed her to be a spy without any type of training (while the main trio had already been trained), Mandy just ended up being a hindrance to the girls and the mission. Mandy even ends up being scared and begged to be released from WHOOP (she also gets her memories about the experienced wiped as well). Then again, Mandy was a bit useful in stopping the Big Bad in this particular episode.
  • In the first episode of Transformers Animated, Starscream manages to seemingly kill Megatron and declares himself to be the Decepticons' new leader. Much to Starscream's surprise, the other Decepticons refuse to recognize him as their leader and jump ship the moment he turns his back on them. Killing your boss doesn't automatically result in a Klingon Promotion, especially if you're unpopular amongst your peers.
    • Unlike most versions, Starscream is not Easily Forgiven by Megatron for attempting to overthrow him. Megatron's first act upon returning is to immediately kill him.
    • In the Season 2 finale, Starscream attacks Megatron with an army of clones. Despite curb-stomping Starscream in previous battles, Megatron gets completely overwhelmed due to their sheer numbers. Had it not been for Professor Sumdac's attempted Deus ex Machina, Starscream would have succeeded in killing Megatron.
  • The Venture Bros., in keeping with the show's Deconstruction of Jet-Age Boy Adventurer stories.
    • In the episode "Ice Station Impossible," where Doctor Impossible flies Doctor Venture out onto the tundra to kill him. Impossible is actually gloating and telling Venture exactly what he's planning to do along the way, but since they're in an Expy of the Fantasticar, complete with open cockpits, Rusty literally can't hear a damn thing, due to the ambient wind noise.
    • In "Tag Sale, You're It!", one of the devices Rusty is selling in the titular sale is a prototype Laser Blade. As he explains, he canned the project because the Army has no use for melee weapons and toy companies aren't interested in something that costs over two million in parts alone. It's also completely useless as an actual weapon. The blade is a beam of light, so it doesn't behave like a solid object, as #24 discovers when he attempts to fight Brock Sampson with it.
    • One of the show's repeated themes is how horrifically traumatizing the boy adventurer lifestyle is. Rusty is a prime example of this, having become a pill-popping Jerkass failure in his adulthood. The episode "Self-Medication" takes this even further with Rusty attending a therapy group for former boy adventurers (including grown-up expies of Jonny Quest and The Hardy Boys) and coming to the conclusion that he was the most well-adjusted of the group.
    • In one of the flashbacks, a clone of Hank dresses up like Batman, jumps off the roof of the Venture Compound using an umbrella and falls to his death.
    • In "Handsome Ransom", Captain Sunshine dumps The Monarch in jail, Silver Age style. The Monarch is allowed to simply walk out, since there is no legal basis to hold him there.
      The Monarch: He threw me in jail. Literally. Threw me right into the yard at the state prison. Then he shouts up to the warden, "Looks like this one won't be causing any more trouble!" And he flies off with a gallant salute.
      Dr. Mrs. The Monarch: Oh my God.
      The Monarch: Apparently nobody ever told him what due process was.
    • The first thing Rusty does after taking over Ven-Tech is to immediately fire all the employees. As a result, Ven-Tech's stocks end up plummeting in the next episode, leaving Rusty struggling to fix it.
    • In "The High Cost of Loathing", at a board meeting to discuss Ven-Tech's financial situation, Rusty jumps through a window to demonstrate his new hover-belt. As cool as it looks, he gets a large shard of glass in his leg that severs his femoral artery and the other shards cut up his face, causing him to pass out from the ensuing blood loss shortly after and end up hospitalized.
    • While in the Monarch's father's secret Blue Morpho lair, which is like the 60's Bat-Lair if it was used by the Green Hornet, Monarch asks Gary why he's using his laptop to go over the plan to kill Wide Wale's sub-arches instead of the massive crime computer he's resting his laptop on. Gary tells him that it's because, despite it's size, the machine is decades old. It has less computing power than a Speak-n-Spell and has no internet connection.
    • One of the running plot points throughout the last part of the second season is the struggle between OSI and the Guild of Calamitous Intent over an ancient orb that is believed to be a superweapon of some kind and has quite the history. Come the season finale it is activated during their climactic fight... and the thing falls apart. Turns out that a gadget several millennia old has a high chance of averting Ragnarök Proofing and the mishandling it suffered throughout the arc didn't really helped any. Word of God is that it was supposed to be a Take That! to other MacGuffin-driven shows in general and some airing on Cartoon Network at the time in specific.
    • At the end of the first season, Brock encounters a gravely injured Race Bannon who ends up dying. The whole thing seems very dramatic... until Race craps his pants.
    • When the Guild of Calamitous Intent starts antagonising J.J., he treats them as actual villains by dropping the theatrics and genuinely planning to kill the Monarch for being a threat to him. Both Brock Samson and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch have to point out to him that the Guild is far more powerful than they let on and that they are deliberately weakening themselves as part of the rules; if J.J. breaks the rules, then they can legally skip those pretences and go full force against him.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender:
    • In "The Belly of the Weblum", Coran has Hunk and Keith watch a video he made about Weblums, their dangers, and how best to harvest scaulrite from them. However, the video is over 10,000 years old, and has corroded in that frame of time. As a result, it cuts out at random intervals, leaving them with little knowledge on what to do.
  • In The Wild Thornberrys:
    • Eliza spends an entire episode wanting to meet and talk to a Komodo dragon, and when she finally slips away from camp and finds one, it tries to eat her. She spends the entirety of another episode trying to get a cheetah cub back to its mother during a drought, and when she finally does get them back together, they both try to eat her out of hungry desperation.
    • This is actually a common problem with Eliza in general. She has a tendency to think that because she can talk to animals, she knows more about the animal in question than actual experts. However, regardless of whether or not she can understand them, at the end of the day, they're still wild animals, who behave (for the most part) exactly as wild animals behave in real life.
    • Depending on the animal, Eliza knew never to mess with them. Wolves were fine because they don't normally prey on humans, so she could be around them long enough to speak with them and get them on her side. Crocodiles were always one of the animals Eliza never even bothered sharing words with, since she knows they're opportunistic predators and would eat her words or no words. Even bears and big cats she'd generally avoid unless she pulled an Androcles' Lion or was helping their family.
    • Likewise, Herbivores Are Friendly doesn't always apply in real life; some like hippos and buffalos are perfectly willing to kill Eliza and co. whether she talks to them or not.
  • In a short of Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, the coyote dresses in a Super-Costume and then jumps off a cliff expecting to fly like Superman, only to plummet to the ground.
  • Willy The Sparrow has a couple of examples during the final act.
    • When Red tries to take two of Willy's feathers as punishment for his allegedly screwing up the flock's trip to the barn, Willy, protesting his innocence, refuses to part with any of his feathers, and so Red duels him. However, Willy, having once been a human and having been in fights with other humans before, has the physical advantage over Red and thrashes him soundly and fairly easily, becoming the flock's new alpha in the process.
    • Unfortunately, Willy's fighting skills are nowhere near enough to save him from Blackie; after all, Willy is a sparrow at the moment, Blackie is a cat, and cats eat birds, not to mention that cats are bigger than birds, and Blackie is a hell of a lot tougher than Willy, to boot. All Cipur's Big Damn Heroes moment is able to do is buy him enough time for Sparina, the Sparrow Guardian, to show up with a more effective Big Damn Heroes moment of her own, thrashing Blackie soundly enough to ensure he'll never bother the sparrows again.
  • In Xiaolin Showdown
    • Right after Jack and the monks work together to take down a common foe, the idealistic Omi is delighted to think they're now allies. Jack bluntly tells them that's not the case.
    • While the monks easily forgive Raimundo for betraying them and defecting to Wuya in the first season finale, the season two episode "Pandatown" shows that the other monks still don't fully trust him because of it.
  • In the Sick Episode of The X's, the family goes on a mission to the arctic and they get sick after they dress improperly, with the exception of Tuesday, who was the only one who bothered to wear her snowsuit.
  • The very premise of Young Justice involves the JLA sending their sidekicks on missions that would otherwise get the League into serious trouble (such as infiltrating sovereign nations), given the realistic political climate.
    • In one episode, Cheshire replaces a female server at an Asian tea ceremony by stealing the woman's dress. Aqualad sees through the disguise immediately.
    • Kid Flash breaks his arm during the battle with the Injustice League, and subsequently spends the next few episodes wearing a cast.
    • It's established that since Kid Flash's Super Speed burns an inordinate amount of calories, he requires a constant stream of nourishment in order to function. He's almost always shown snacking on something when out of costume, and usually takes protein bars with him on missions.
    • All the League's bad publicity in season two is because of actual secrets they kept being exposed to the public, and the public not being happy that they have things like a space station.
    • The show would go in detail just how dangerous getting into battle with super villains are. They have no moral code against killing and heroes have died while fighting The Light and their fight with them is as close to a full scale war as you'd get.
    • The series doesn't take light on Megan abusing her psychic powers. For instance it caused a huge strain on her relationship with Superboy because he can't trust Megan around him without trying to peek into his mind.
      • When you put a group of kids involved in a war with super villains whom have no qualms over hurting or killing them then expect long term psychological trauma each group would suffer as a result. They had to go as far as to seek therapy due to the trauma they suffered over a practice mission gone wrong. The League even began to question if they went too far in putting The Team in dangerous missions as Diana flat out pointed that they're being treated as Child Soldiers.
    • Having someone work as a double agent can have serious consequences as the Team found out the hard way. Aqualad was working as a mole to try and uncover Black Manta's plans, and made his supposed betrayal to the Team seem all the more realistic by faking Artemis' murder. Unfortunately, the only other ones who knew the truth were Nightwing, and Kid Flash, leaving everyone else out of the loop. Megan, later on encountered Aqualad and was still furious with him due to thinking he had killed her friend, and fried his brain as a result, compromising the mission. When Superboy found out the truth, he ripped into Nightwing for not telling anyone and for the consequences it caused.


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