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Reality Ensues / Didn't Think This Through

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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.
  • Unusually for the hero of a children's cartoon, Finn actually ages like a normal human. In the Season 1 episode "Tree Trunks", Jake tells Tree Trunks "Finn can handle it. He's twelve". In the S2 finale, Finn says "13? That's how old I am!" And then we have "15 YEARS AGO", "I'm 16!", and so on...
  • 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.

    The Amazing World of Gumball 
Happens fairly often for a show that relies heavily on Toon Physics.
  • In "The Quest", as Tina Rex-an anthropomorphic Tyrannosaurus rex-is chasing the Watterson kids, Gumball tells Darwin and Anais to stand still because she can only see things that move. Tina promptly informs him that that only works in movies.
  • In "The Prank", Richard breaks three ribs doing an Impact Silhouette.
  • In the second season finale ("The Finale") the Wattersons were fined by the city for the millions of dollars worth of damage they caused in previous events, half of the people sued them for their reckless behavior in the past, and Gumball and Darwin were forced to restart school from kindergarten for causing trouble and never doing any work. Larry (who has a different job every episode) was revealed to have so many jobs to pay for all the damage the Wattersons caused that he was blamed for. So how do they try and fix this? They break out of prison and end up destroying the town again, in the hopes that making things worse would make everything would work itself out like it usually does. When this doesn't work, the entire town breaks into their house and tries to kill them, ending the episode (but strangely, not the series).
  • While mostly exaggerated for laughs, the season three episode "The Pizza" has Larry understandably quitting all of his jobs as a result of the lackluster respect he gets (mostly from the Wattersons) and the overall conditions he's forced to work in.
  • In "The Countdown", Darwin and Gumball proceed to fool around with the townsfolk after all time had been stopped except for them. However, the two soon realize that they can no longer use anything that's electric (TV, video games, the internet, etc) since time being at a standstill means they no longer work.
  • In "The Egg", Gumball and Darwin try to make up a song on the spot; it's out of sync, with one starting to sing a verse, then the other makes another one and the other repeats.
  • In "The Check", Anais' fantasy about what she'll do with a check for $5,000 is that she'll use it to obtain all the money in the world, destroy it, and have everyone live peacefully in the wilderness, until it's pointed out that with them becoming non-violent they'll have no way to fend off predators. The sequence ends when an eagle grabs her and flies away.
  • In "The Pest", Gumball and Darwin find out that Anais is being picked on at school and try to help by telling a teacher. However, when they tell Miss Simian, she really doesn't care, and she points out to them that since Billy isn't actually breaking any school rules, she has no obligation to do anything about it.
  • In "The Gift", Anais starts the practice of kissing frogs in hope of one them turning into a prince. This, of course, leads her to being hospitalized with wartsnote  and "frog flu" afterwards.
  • In "The Parasite", Anais assumes that she'll be Easily Forgiven for brainwashing Jodie into being her friend and then trying to take over her body. When she regains her sanity, she suggests to Jodie that if they got to know each other, they could be friends for real. By the time she's finished speaking, Jodie ran away.
  • In "The Slide", Rocky's attempt to win over Brydie with a Grand Romantic Gesture backfires horribly, and Brydie rejects him because she's horrified by the creepy and deranged superficially romantic things Rocky went through to reach her. It also turns out that she thought he was creepy from the moment they met, and the only reason she sent him an invite on Trawlr is that he was using a profile photo that was doctored beyond recognition.
  • In "The Heist", the Wattersons have to find a way to return $2,000,000 to the bank after Richard unwittingly made the employees think he was there to steal it. Anais' plan is to become an intern, work her way up to regional manager and insert a dollar a day into the bank's systems. As Gumball points out, it would take nearly 5,500 years to deposit all of the money at that rate, and the Anais in her fantasy turns into a skeleton and disintegrates.
  • In "The Nuisance", the Wattersons thwart the Donald Trump-esque mayor of Elmore's plan to sell the town by performing various acts of discord to lower the housing values. Nicole believes that the citizens will be thankful, but they don't realize that the Wattersons did what they did to save the town and are more concerned with it now being in shambles, so the episode ends with the Wattersons locked in stocks and pelted with fruit.
  • In "The Cage", Mr. Corneille attempts to defeat a superhumanly strong martial arts master in a fight in order to prove the power of believing in yourself. Unsurprisingly, his physical weakness and complete lack of training lead to him getting knocked out with one hit.
  • In "The Potion", Gumball and Darwin give Hector (a giant) a potion to shrink him and he attempts to do the things he couldn't do before. When he tries to walk he passes out from the effort because he's used to getting anywhere he wanted in two steps, when he tries to ride a bike he realizes that he never learned how to ride one and crashes, when he tries to play football he gets trampled because he's smaller than the other players now, and when he tries to flirt with girls he doesn't consider that they might be intimidated by him and gets beaten up by them and their boyfriends.
  • In "The Founder", Richard is mistaken for the founder of Chanax and uses his newfound position to make changes to the workplace. Naturally, his hedonistic lifestyle leads to his changes being impractical things like replacing the computer chairs with hammocks, which make it impossible to type, and adding a pizza kiln to every cubicle, the intense heat from which makes it difficult for one employee to work.

    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. At the end of the episode, nothing happens. Terry's father is straight, manly, 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, 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–Face Turn 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 waterpolo 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 boyancy. 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 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 flood waters are mostly sea water. He jumps back into his bowl as quickly as he jumped out, screaming about how much it burns.

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.

    Avatar: The Last Airbender 
  • The series premiere starts off with Katara and Sokka finding Aang in an iceberg. Sokka initially distrusts the boy because they know nothing about him and he proves to be an airbender, who were thought to be extinct. Things get worse when Aang and Katara trigger a booby-trap from an old warship later on, and Sokka accuses Aang of contacting the Fire Nation on purpose.
  • 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.
  • "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.
  • "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.
  • 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.

    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 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 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.
    • One of the issues created by said airbenders refusing 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 did it to her).
  • 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.
  • 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 come back to work for him, she flat-out refuses, saying that she is no longer his assistant and demands to be treated like an equal if he 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 in the century or so around the Civil War, 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.
  • 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.

    BoJack Horseman 
  • In the episode "The Shot", while making a movie about his Tragic Hero Secretariat, BoJack is furious that a powerful and dramatic event from the Secretariat's life was cut in favor of some schmaltzy, sentimental, and inaccurate scene. BoJack then convinces the director to film the original scene anyway (even having to resort to breaking and entering to get the proper set) and show it to the producer. After all, once he sees it, he'll realize his mistake and back down in favor of their artistic vision, right? That is incorrect. Even without being aware of the illegal hijinx involved in shooting the scene, the producer has the director fired for the insubordination alone and replaces her with an utter hack of a director who turns the movie into an even bigger schmaltzy Hollywoodized mess.
  • Played for tragedy when BoJack attempts to make peace with his former friend Herb. (Herb was BoJack's best friend and the guy who created/wrote the show that made BoJack a star, but when Herb was outed as gay in a sex scandal, the Moral Guardians worked to get the studio to fire Herb, and the studio execs talked BoJack into cooperating instead of trying to save his friend.) The end of the episode made it clear that Herb will never forgive BoJack, not just for betraying him, but also for cutting him off as a friend afterward and never speaking to Herb again until Herb was about to die from cancer. Which shows that an apology doesn't magically make everything better, and some people will just never forgive you, no matter how genuinely apologetic you are, or how painful rejection of your sincere apology can be.
  • A more humorous example happens when a couple of bird paparazzi photograph BoJack having sex with his former co-star Sarah Lynn and try to blackmail him. After spending multiple episodes trying and failing to contact him, they finally get through to his agent... who proceeds to inform them that blackmail AND taking pictures in private property without authorization of the owner are both illegal, and threatens to press charges unless they hand over the pictures and walk away with nothing.
  • When BoJack, Todd, and Sarah Lynn try to write BoJack's book, they take a bunch of drugs in order to get the energy to crank out a book in just a few days. Except while the drugs might give them energy, it doesn't give them focus, and they all wind up taking far too much and going on major trips instead. What they do manage to get down is a handful of 9/11 conspiracy theories, about 20 pages of Doctor Who erotic fanfic, and the links to a bunch of YouTube videos. Drugs don't magically give you superhuman creativity, focus, or the ability to get past crippling psychological blocks, especially when you have an Addled Addict directing you and getting you to take far too much of them.
  • Despite seventeen being the legal age of consent in New Mexico, no one thinks Penny and Bojack sleeping together is a good idea. Especially not Charlotte, Penny's mother. Once she catches them making out, Charlotte instantly ends her relationship with Bojack right then and there, threatening to kill him if he so much as contacts Penny ever again.
    • Later in the series, when Bojack finds Penny and attempts to say he's sorry, Penny naturally freaks out. For one, Bojack just shows up out of nowhere to apologize without letting Penny know he was coming. For another thing, Penny having had time to reflect on her decision led her to have a lot of regrets about the night she fell to temptation. So, when Bojack shows up, he doesn't even get a chance to say he's sorry before Penny screams at him to leave her alone.
  • Diane attempts to take down Hank Hippopopalus (an Expy of Bill Cosby) after it's been found that Hank has been sexually assaulting women for ages and got away with it due to his fame. As hard as she tries, Diane's attempts to get Hank arrested ultimately go nowhere, since there are too many people that benefit from having Hank around, to the point that the Hollywoo hype machine makes Diane out to be the bad guy, and the accusations eventually fall by the wayside when the public moves on to something else. People in Hollywoo have spent years learning how to cover their butts when something goes wrong; Diane's may be morally in the right, but she's just one woman going up against an entire industry.
    • Not to mention, mere accusations without any evidence whatsoever don't usually garner a lot of sympathy or respect in the public opinion.
  • The series, as a whole, delivers the Aesop that Celebrity Is Overrated by showing multiple Jaded Washouts, and how sad and empty their lives are after their star power fades. It's best exemplified in "That's Too Much, Man!" with Sarah Lynn, one of Bojack's costars on Horsin' Around. After trying to stay sober for a while, the former child star falls back on the wagon after opening up to Bojack about how empty she feels inside, and that she desperately craves any form of affection. The drugs were simply a way to feel something again. Falling back on the wagon leads to a drug overdose, and she ends up dying in Bojack's arms.
  • "It's You" blows a harsh truth in Bojack's face when he's trying to justify to Todd why he slept with his girlfriend Emily by saying that he was drunk. Todd angrily cuts him off and tells him that no matter how much he wants to pin everything he does on his abusive parents, drinking problems, broken relationships, and traumas, ultimately HE is the only one to blame for the bad things he does, and it takes Todd until "Horray! Todd Episode!" to even be on speaking terms with BoJack again because of how betrayed he felt about it. The lesson here is that having shitty things happen to someone does NOT make that person unaccountable, especially when their actions hurt other people.
  • Over the course of four seasons, Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter work hard to make their marriage work, as one is a realist worried that they will never be satisfied with life, and the other is an amazingly chipper optimist who is satisfied with literally everything. They have their ups-and-downs, but through genuine effort and their love for one another, they manage to maintain a supportive, albeit imperfect, relationship. Until the Season 4 finale, wherein Mr. Peanutbutter once again gives Diane a Grand Romantic Gesture (which he knows she doesn't like), leading to a fight where they seem to realize that it truly isn't going to work. It's a sad reality, but some people just aren't good for one another, even if they're in love.
  • In "Brrap Brrap Pew Pew", Diane accidentally uses Sextina Aquafina's Twitter account to say that she's getting an abortion. She and Princess Carolyn are about to prepare a statement explaining what happened to the public, but when they discover that the feedback is overwhelmingly positive, the latter decides to fake Sextina's abortion in order to support the pro-choice movement, and actually arrange for the "procedure" to happen live to educate the public. The celebrity happily plays along, bragging about what she's going to do on talk shows and even going as far as to make a Refuge in Audacity song about abortion. At the end of the episode, Sextina actually gets pregnant for real, and she decides to keep the baby, meaning Diane and Princess Carolyn start gleefully brainstorming how to cover it up from the public. Just because you say you'd do something in a given situation, it doesn't mean you will do it when it actually happens.
  • A humorous example occurs when Diane tries hallucinogenic drugs for the first time. She takes it, the music starts up, and she prepares for the hit...only for the other party goers to inform her that it's going to take a while to kick in.
  • One episode is entitled, and involves around, the Fish out of Water trope. Bojack travels under the sea—which is the Bojack-world equivalent to a foreign country—for a screening of his film. Bojack's experiences reflect those that someone traveling overseas might have: he doesn't understand what anyone is saying, he doesn't have the proper currency to buy things, and while a thumbs-up means approval to him, underwater, it's treated as a middle finger.
    • The episode also shows what traveling to an underwater city would actually be like. Bojack can't eat food without taking off the helmet he needs to breathe. He eventually finds himself cornered on the edge of a building, and the cement crumbles, at which point he realizes he can simply...swim. This is also played for tragedy at the end of the episode, in which Bojack writes a heartfelt apology to Kelsey for getting her fired and cutting her off afterward. He gives it to her, but she doesn't understand, because the water messed the ink up.
    • Once again played for tragedy at the end of the episode. Bojack spends most of his underwater experience taking care of an abandoned seahorse baby and trying to get it back to its father. It's a very heartwarming, silent-slapstick-esque misadventure, and Bojack genuinely cares for the little guy. The second he brings the baby back home, it forgets about Bojack in favor of his father and siblings.
  • Early season 5 shows how difficult the process of divorce can be, and how it can make the parties involved act indifferent, almost concerning ways. Mr. Peanutbutter, a very emotional person and usually the more empathetic of the two, still has lingering feelings for Diane but immediately enters a new relationship regardless. Diane, who struggles with letting her emotions show and asked for the divorce to begin with, has difficulty being on her own and completely breaks down once she realizes that Mr. Peanutbutter and her are truly done.
  • In season 5, Hollyhock, in a fit of traumatized panic, dumps Bojack's painkillers down the drain. Said painkillers were highly addictive opioids, and in their quest to get more, the two can't just ask a doctor for more, as he dismisses them as lying.

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 is formally interviewed as part of her competing for a scholarship. 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 doesn't even dress up for the interview at all. The interviewer finds her crass behavior rude and insulting and the company refuses her 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 application process, but seeing her anti-social personality made him change his mind. 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 refuses the scholarship to the other two Lawndale High School students competing for valid reasons. One is an intelligent but obnoxious butt-kisser who kept trying to butter up the interviewer, and the other is a scripted-response-spouting valedictorian and seemed to presume she was entitled to the prize simply because she's a black female.
  • 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 
  • In "No Speak Da Ed", Eddy's Korean pen pal sends him an envelope full of money, but of course the money is also Korean. When Eddy tries to use it to buy jawbreakers, the store owner kicks him out.
  • 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 failed scams and his failed attempts of fitting in with the kids is also portrayed realistically: Eddy has crippling low self-esteem, 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 gain 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 (for good reasons, tho). 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. Ed and Sarah and Eddy and his brother are good examples of this.

    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 cries Crocodile Tears 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. 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 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 stomachaches 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 its 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 Episode 2, Stumpy falls severely ill and keeps trying to get Kaeloo and Mr. Cat, who are pretend-playing as doctors, to pay attention to him instead of visiting an actual doctor. When they finally do notice that something is wrong, since neither one of them is actually a doctor, they're not sure what to do with him.
  • In Episode 12, the gang try to base the events of the episode on viewer feedback; the viewers seem to enjoy violent episodes a lot more. Kaeloo tries to convince everyone that non-violent things are better, but the viewers continue to react positively to violent behavior onscreen. Mr. Cat tells Kaeloo that she'll never be able to force people to change.
  • In Episode 15, Stumpy tries to meet girls online so he can get himself a girlfriend. He also ends up encountering an online scammer who cheats him out of all of his money.
  • In Episode 16, Kaeloo loses her temper and beats up Mr. Cat for essentially expressing an opinion which was different from hers (and was actually the same opinion the rest of the main four had too); once she calms down, she apologizes, but nobody accepts her apology since her reason for beating him up didn't seem valid to them.
  • In Episode 19, the main four are Playing House with Kaeloo as the mom, Mr. Cat as the dad, and Stumpy and Quack Quack as the kids. As the "mother", Kaeloo forces her "kids" to do whatever she wants them to do (like making Quack Quack wear an ugly bow and forcing Stumpy to do homework instead of letting him watch TV); as a result, the "kids" get fed up and run away from home instead of putting up with it.
  • In Episode 35, Kaeloo gets Mr. Cat to confess to a misdemeanor by emotionally manipulating him, and then punishes him for the misdemeanor in question. While Kaeloo easily laughs the whole thing off, Mr. Cat is angry and disgusted that his own best friend would resort to using his feelings against him.
  • In Episode 38, Kaeloo gives Stumpy and Quack Quack driving lessons for only one day before their driving test, so Stumpy fails to learn anything. Kaeloo tells him that driving a car is just like a video game, and since he spends all his time playing video games, it shouldn't be too hard; since driving a car is actually much more complicated than playing a video game, Stumpy crashes his car and fails the test.
  • In Episode 40, Stumpy has a nightmare with deep psychological implications which he reveals to his jerkass friends in the hopes that they'll help him; since they're jerkasses, they end up using the information to play a cruel prank on him.
  • In Episode 47, Kaeloo and Stumpy challenge Quack Quack to a game of tennis, despite both of them being horrible at it, and they enlist Mr. Cat to train them at tennis. They both practice for only a few hours at best; most of Mr. Cat's exercises are completely unrelated to tennis at all, and then once a ball touches Stumpy's racket, he decides that he's good enough. The next day, at the big game, they get beaten horribly since they're still terrible at tennis.
  • In one episode, Mr. Cat goes on a rigged game show which treats it contestants horribly; instead of brushing it off like a regular cartoon character would, he's legitimately terrified and almost traumatized.
  • Most of the episodes have people making fun of and abusing Stumpy. In Episode 105, he reveals that it actually hurts his feelings a lot when they do things like that to him.
  • In Episode 107, Stumpy and Quack Quack try to rob a bank. Stumpy packs a pair of swim trunks with him for the "alibi". When they inevitably get caught as Quack Quack lowers Stumpy down on a rope, Stumpy pulls out the swim trunks and claims that he left them there earlier and had come back to retrieve them. Nobody believes their story and they get arrested for attempting a bank robbery.
  • In Episode 118, when Pretty reveals embarrassing secrets about the main four to the public on television, they sue her for slandering them.
    • Also in Episode 118, as Pretty keeps doing awful things to them, the main four decide to give up on trying to make her a better person and accept that they'll never be able to change her for the better.
  • In Episode 133, we find out that Kaeloo's quirky behaviors, like Talking to Plants, coupled with her annoying personality, has distanced her from every single one of her friends except Mr. Cat.
  • Quack Quack and Eugly start a relationship in season 2; one of the episodes in season 3 shows that Quack Quack's friendship with his other friends has changed now that he has a girlfriend.

    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.

  • 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.

    Robot Chicken 
Nearly every Robot Chicken episode has at least one instance of a cartoon's characters coming face to face with a problem that would be faced by ordinary people, and having no idea of what to do.
  • In this sketch, when G.I. Joe is deployed to Afghanistan during The War on Terror they fail on every level possible, (specific examples include intentionally using A-Team Firing, only for a suicide bomber to be completely undeterred and blow them up, and attempts to pull Dressing as the Enemy gets them slaughtered by their own side) and get massacred when they use their cartoonish tactics on the Taliban. This leaves Duke wondering aloud who will protect the world from Cobra. After that, Seal Team Six goes to Cobra's command and riddles them full of bullets.
  • In one sketch, a woman wants her husband to ravish her like Captain Jack Sparrow. She asks him to be realistic... and he proceeds to (in his smarmiest Jack Sparrow voice) romantically talk about the disgustingly bad hygiene practices that pirates in the time of the Black Pearl would commit. Needless to say, the wife finds herself extremely turned off soon after.
  • In the "Revenge on the Revenge of the Nerds", the nerds' antics land them in prison since they committed what amounts to illegal surveillance, identity theft and rape, among other things.
  • A skit parodying Back at the Barnyard lampshades the oddities of the farm animals (i.e. Bessie pointing out that male cows don't have udders and Otis telling Abby that cows don't have blonde hair). When Otis points out that a cow cannot walk on two legs because of the weight, all of the cows' legs break and they cry out in pain.
    Otis: Fantasy looks pretty good now, huh, you judgmental bitches?!
  • In one episode, the nerd has a dream and starts entering various shows on The CW. When he's on Arrow, he attempts to non-fatally wound a couple of mooks. He accidentally kills the first two by shooting them in the eye while trying to shoot them in the leg because he's never used a bow and arrow before, and finally succeeds in hitting the third in the leg... and severs the guy's femoral artery, causing him to go into shock and die from blood loss very quickly. Turns out that in real life arrows don't have pinpoint accuracy, and that Only a Flesh Wound is usually a load of crap. Only a Flesh Wound is also lampshaded and called out in the conversation he has with Green Arrow before trying to shoot the mooks.
    Green Arrow: We need to take out those guards if we're going to rescue Felicity!
    Nerd: Cool! So is this season 1 where you kill every motherf***cker with a pulse, or season 2 or 3 where you just give people crippling injuries that will make every day of the rest of their lives a Hell on Earth?
    • Another segment of the same sketch also has the nerd take the place of The Flash in the 2014 series, where he responds to a robbery in progress at a bank. He ends up taking a wrong turn, then getting there after the robbers have killed everyone and left, since even though he has super speed, he has no idea how to navigate through the fictional Central City.
  • One episode subverts Joker Immunity by having the trope namer, The Joker, actually get executed for his numerous murders.
  • Similar to one episode of MAD, one sketch shows the aftermath of Pinocchio becoming a real boy: he's bullied at school, then hospitalized after finding he now has a peanut allergy, which closes off his urethra and requires him to get a catheter. Since he's been alive for only a day and has yet to develop an immune system, the catheter gives him a staph infection and he goes into shock and dies despite the doctors' attempts to save him.
  • Double Subverted in Robot Chicken/DC Comics 3: Magical Friendship: during a parody of Crisis on Infinite Earths, the 60s version of Batman battles the Arkham series versions of The Joker, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc and The Penguin. Despite the Darker and Edgier Arkham villains being much more dangerous than the villains from the 60s series, Batman defeats the first three as easily as he does the villains on his own show, but then Penguin just kills him by spraying him with anthrax.
  • One short has Gargamel put on trial for attempted genocide.
  • In a Sailor Moon sketch, the Monster of the Week gets a Raging Stiffie after Serena transforms into her Fanservice-y outfit. He's embarrassed when he notices and tells Serena he doesn't feel like fighting anymore before retreating.
  • One Speed Racer sketch shows what would really happen to Spritle and Chim Chim as a result of stowing away in the Mach 5: when the trunk is opened, it's shown that the sheer force turned them to mush.
  • In The A-Team parody "The B Team", The B Team is locked in a garage and attempt an A-Team Montage with power tools to construct a vehicle to escape. They all die of carbon monoxide poisoning due to the confined space.
  • In a Dexter's Laboratory skit "Dexter Goes to College", Dexter tries to apply to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology but is denied due to having no extracurricular activities. Turns out, it isn't just about grades for college; if you don't have any extracurricular courses, you cannot apply, since they also want to see how social you are.
    • The trope also comes into play when after being rejected, Dexter takes revenge on MIT by shrinking the campus and putting it into a bottle. It is not a good idea to piss off an actual supergenius.
    • Ironically, the original series touched on this too with his father trying to get him to take sports for this exact reason.
  • One sketch features Vic Mackey accidentally swapping universes with The Thing. When Vic and the rest of the Fantastic Four head out to fight Dr. Doom, Vic just shoots him in the head while he's monologuing because he was resisting arrest.
  • Similar to one Family Guy example, one Home Alone sketch depicts Kevin McCallister's traps backfiring on him: he accidentally causes a house fire with the heated wire he put on a doorknob, is knocked down the stairs by a bucket on a rope and gets shards of broken glass in his face when he lands, melts his hands to his face in his iconic expression from the first movie when he touches the superheated doorknob, stabs his foot on a spike he put on the basement stairs, and is ultimately done in by a clothing iron that he hid in the ceiling falling on his head.
    • The reason Kevin's traps backfired is that he thought he was safe and went to sleep after setting them up, waking up in a panic from the fire alarm. Definitely a more realistic take on a six-year-old's judgment than the movie.
  • In an Alvin and the Chipmunks sketch, Alvin seemingly collapses and dies on stage, only to be fine for the next show. Turns out Dave has several boxes worth of spare chipmunks in the back of his truck. When confronted about this during a press conference, Dave points out that they're chipmunks meaning they have extremely short life spans compared to humans.
  • A CatDog sketch has a veterinarian declaring that Dog must be put down after developing arthritis. When Cat objects, the vet states that Cat should have expected this since dogs have shorter lifespans than cats.

    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, 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. 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.

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) 
  • In "Rise of the Turtles, Part 1", in celebration of their Mutation Day, Michelangelo whips up a cake, and when asked what he used to make it, he tells the others, "you don't wanna know." When you live in a sewer, your variety of ingredients when cooking things, like say cake, is very limited.
  • In the above episode, the Turtles attempt to fight the Kraang and save April, but fail miserably. When all of your fighting experience comes from training in a controlled environment one-on-one, you're likely to both crumple under the pressure of a real street-brawl against an unknown foe and get in each other's way while doing so. Lampshaded later by Splinter, who admits that while he trained the turtles to fight, he never taught them to fight as a team.
  • In "The Gauntlet," the Turtles suffer an epic Break the Haughty during their first fight with the Shredder, who has decades more training and combat experience in martial arts than them. He is also a pragmatic fighter, using his environment to electrify Raph and cutting up a hotel sign to crush Mikey. They barely land a hit on him, and it's through sheer dumb luck that they manage to get away from him alive.
  • April's training as a kunoichi also averts Instant Expert. She struggles to keep up with the far more experienced Turtles in basic warm-ups, and in "Karai's Vendetta," she's curb-stomped by Karai, who's been in training all her life and been in actual fights whereas April has been in training for, at most, a few months and has never been in a serious fight.
  • On multiple occasions, the Turtles get cocky and arrogant, and end up paying for it. While idiotic, they're teenagers and it usually takes a teen a few times to really understand life lessons.
  • In "The Invasion, Part 2," Leo is dunked into freezing cold water during a fight with the Foot. Being cold-blooded, this severely weakens him and drains him of what little strength he has left. Luckily, he has enough fight in him left to fend off the Shredder's henchmen.
  • In "Serpent Hunt," Steranko and Zeck have been holed up in the former's warehouse, and after months of hiding from the Kraang are out of food and supplies. Presumably the situation is the same for all humans who've evaded the Kraang at this point. However, despite the fact that they have been reduced to eating cockroaches and ketchup, they do not appear to be malnourished at all. Steranko is as big as ever, and Zeck is still full of energy. They also put up a decent fight against the turtles and the Foot, something that would be very difficult to do on an empty stomach.
  • "Battle for New York" averts Easy Logistics by explaining why the Kraang invasion has not spread to the rest of the world: their massive invasion of New York that involved mutating millions of people cost them the majority of their mutagen supply.
  • "The Insecta Trifecta": Though he can handle a simple cockroach now, Raph hasn't completely gotten over his fear of insects, especially ones the size of people.
  • In "Darkest Plight," Splinter survives a 1000-foot drop, probably due to his mutant physiology. As revealed near the end of the episode, the Rat King, while being a human possessing great psychic ability over rats, is still human nonetheless and perished upon impact. Or at the very least, was horribly injured by the impact and subsequently died from his wounds.
  • In "Tokka vs. The World," despite Bishop's advice and previous contributions to the American military, General Griffin and the American government still see Tokka as a major potential threat. Also, Splinter and Raph both acknowledge that one day, Chompy will have to return to space due to being destined to grow to be a gigantic monster (though when Mikey brought it up earlier, Raph did downplay it, saying it would probably take "100 space-years."
  • In "Yojimbo," due to Kintaro being pampered all his life due to his status he's become a Spoiled Brat, and the only reason Usagi doesn't lose his temper with him is because he's a child and Usagi is honorbound to protect him. Also, Sumo can easily pick out the Turtles due to their smell due to the fact that he's a bear and they live in a sewer.
  • In "The Crypt of Dracula," Renet dresses the Turtles up in monster hunting attire when they arrive in medieval Transylvania in an attempt to help them blend in; Vulko and Esmeralda still realize almost immediately that they're not human, so Renet passes them off as friendly goblins.
  • In "Wanted: Bebop and Rocksteady," the 80s' Turtles attempt to fight the 2012 versions of Bebop and Rocksteady with the same comical methods they would use to defeat their versions of them, and fail miserably. In particular, when 80's Raphael tries to use his Sai to cut open a fire hydrant, it does nothing. Unlike their world, the 2012 Turtles' dimension doesn't operate on Rule of Funny.

    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.

  • 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!:
    • The series subverts the common cliché in fiction that personalities stay mostly stationary your entire life (Character Development aside). For example, Tommy lost most of the courageous, adventure-loving attitude he had as a baby, after being traumatized from nearly drowning, while the twins Phil and Lil no longer share the same interests as when they were toddlers.
    • 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.
  • An episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force 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.
  • 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.
  • Batman Beyond:
  • In Batman: Gotham Knight, when Batman tries to close the range on Deadshot by charging, Deadshot doesn't suddenly become a graduate of the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy. Deadshot promptly lampshades the stupidity of trying to charge at a gunman.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold, although usually running on Silver Age wackiness, had a few moments of this:
    • In "Battle of the Super-Heroes", Superman, under the influence of Red Kryptonite, becomes a Jerkass, abusing his friends and eventually declaring himself king of the world. Batman shows up to stop him in a suit of Powered Armor resembling the one from the The Dark Knight Returns. However, rather than fighting Superman to a standstill, Batman gets literally thrown around the city until the effects of the Kryptonite wear off. He does manage to land some hits by getting Superman off balance and calling in Krypto the Superdog for backup, but he's clearly outclassed. It's implied that if the fight had gone on any longer, Superman would have killed Batman, and he admits that he didn't even think he could win, he was just trying to keep Superman occupied and stop him doing anything really bad.
    • In "Triumvirate of Terror", Lex Luthor assaults the Batcave. Batman is taken completely by surprise and isn't even initially in costume, while Luthor is wearing Powered Armor and has weapons designed to take on Superman. It's a short fight.
  • 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.
  • In an episode of Ben 10, Grandpa Max and Enoch are both seeking an ancient superweapon. When Enoch gets the MacGuffin and grabs it, it comes apart in his hands. As it turns out, ancient artifacts are not always in the best condition, which Max jokingly lampshades about.
    • Another episode has Azmuth chew out Ben over his Transformation Sequence, namely him always slamming the Omnitrix's plunger when he's choosing a monster. Of course it's going to spit out a different monster than the one you chose from time to time - it's a piece of machinery and its very sensitive.
  • Ben 10: Alien Force: the Highbreed in the first two seasons are depicted as essentially 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 the multiple generations of inbreeding caused by this way of thinking ended up making them progressively weaker, more vulnerable to sickness and eventually sterile.
    • In "Alone Together", Ben is forced into an Enemy Mine situation 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 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. Though another bit of reality comes at the end of the arc when he re-appears, having spent a long and hard time thinking on his experiences and decides to return - right in time to talk down the rest of Highbreed from comitting 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 his assigned as the Highbreed's new leader.
  • In an episode of Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, 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 wet light pole... which, unlike Ben's, is switched on, causing him to get electrocuted and go unconscious.
  • Bob's Burgers
    • In the episode "Art Crawl", Aunt Gayle's paintings of animal anuses get pink underpants painted over them. Bob suspects that Edith, the owner of the art supplies store Reflections, did this because she expressed disgust over the paintings and demanded that they be removed from the restaurant (It's later revealed that it was actually Linda who did this). Bob goes over to Reflections and defaces her paintings by painting "anuses"note  on them. When he tells Linda what he did, he triumphantly claims that it was the best thing he has ever done in his life. Cut to Bob getting handcuffed.
    Officer Julia: (While handcuffing Bob} See, that's how you put on handcuffs.
    Edith: They don't look tight enough to me.
    Bob: Why are these on me?
    Officer Cliffany: Because you anally defaced her property.
    • In "My Fuzzy Valentine", Linda sets up a speed-dating service inside the restaurant. When Sergeant Bosco stops by, she invites him to join her and the rest of the speed-daters. Bosco eventually takes over the session by asking people to share their darkest secrets, which angers Linda, so she steals Bosco's gun. He promptly arrests her on the spot.
    • In "Thelma and Louise Except Thelma is Linda", Louise gets in trouble at school for pantsing one of the O'Brien brothers because they were bullying Pocket-Sized Rudy. Due to the school's strict policy on pantsing, Mr. Frond gives her in-school suspension (And the O'Briens got off scot-free, apparently), which Louise and Linda find to be unfair. Sadly, rules are rules, and if you break them, you will be punished for it, even if you did so just so you could do the right thing.
  • 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 being KOMPLEX was in a position to send them into deep space.
  • Camp Lazlo:
    • One episode has the Bean Scouts and Squirrel Scouts get into a quarrel over playing rights of a mud puddle. By the time they sort out who gets it (via a pine cone-sitting contest-it's that kind of show), they discover that the puddle has already dried up.
    • The series 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...
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • In the past, Sector V has always been in charge of retrieving the Delightful Children From Down The Lane's birthday cakes. Unfortunately, they've never once been able to bring back the cake in one piece (usually due to circumstances in which the cake ends up being destroyed; and in one instance, a flock of baby chicks defecated on it). The string of constant failures comes back to bite them in Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S. when Supreme Leader Numbuh 362/Rachel McKenzie decides to take Sector V off the mission and reassign it to the operative who holds the highest mission success rate. Said operative is her younger brother Harvey/Numbuh 363, leader of Sector W.
  • 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.
  • In the Donkey Kong Country cartoon, anyone with a gun, even if the gun in question is a miniature cannon that you can hold in your hand, is treated as a real and serious threat.
  • 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 Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie, Big Bob's Beepers goes out of business due to the rise of cellphones, 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 the both of them are romantically interested in each other. Adam turns down Mira, whom Kai had a crush on before he fell for Vanessa.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • In the Johnny Test 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.
  • 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. 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 of 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, 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 nad 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.
      • 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 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.
  • 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. King of the Hill 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, with Bobby developing gout as a result of eating high amounts of processed meat at a deli, and Bill's junk food consumption result 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!
  • 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.
  • In Mike Tyson Mysteries, in the episode "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.
  • Moral Orel:
    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 because she's a robot. 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 the human asks (human) Jenny if she's actually drinking oil.
  • 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 to 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.
  • Scooby-Doo:
    • 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). Some time 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 Jaccques 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.
    • Original series episode A Clue For Scooby-Doo, the gang (in skindiving 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.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power:
    • The First Ones might have made some impressive tech, but not all of it has stood up to the test of time very well, like the security system that started tearing the building apart when it went into lockdown.
    • Adora knows that even with her Heel–Face Turn, there will be Rebellion members wary of her and unwilling to trust her, especially at first.
    • During a trip to the Citadel, Adora and Catra go through a Psychological Torment Zone designed to expose the rawest parts of their time together. In any other show, this would be a bonding experience, or possibly the Citadel forcing Catra to look at what she's done will cause her remorse. Nope. Turns out that forcing someone to relive their most traumatic memories just makes them infinitely worse, and by the end any leftover goodness in Catra has been extinguished by jealousy and ambition.
    • Adora may have been chosen by the sword to be the new She-Ra, but just having it doesn't make her an Instant Expert. Not only is she unaware of most of her powers, but she finds that being given administrative control over all First Ones tech is pretty much useless since she doesn't know what any of it does.
    • Catra always had a great deal of potential but felt she couldn't get out from underneath Adora's shadow and thus either took shortcuts or didn't even try to advance through her training before Adora was promoted to Force Captain at the start of the series. Even with Adora's defection and her own promotion Catra's bad habits are not easy for her to break as she skips the orientation that Force Captains are apparently required to attend, leaving her in the dark about important topics like their primary opposition the Princesses and their Runestones that she really should know about without Scorpia having to fill her in. In Season Two her lack of initiative catches up to her again when she doesn't know how to manage the logistics of being Hordak's second in command, ex. a division of troops refuse to attack a target on her orders because they lack armor.
  • A few in Sonic Boom:
    • "I Can Sea Sonic's Fear From Here", Sonic attempts to get over his fear of water, leading to him being forced to scuba dive to help stop Dr. Eggman's plan to flood their village with a wave machine. At the end after they have stopped Eggman's latest evil plan, Tails thinks that Sonic's overcome his fear, but Sonic points out that it's only gotten worse, especially since he almost drowned during the fight.
    • "Three Minutes or Less" has Sonic eat a load of chili dogs in one go after succesfully completing his shift as Meh Burger's delivery man... and suffer from indigestion afterwards despite being depicted in other Sonic universes (such as Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog) as a Big Eater. Meh Burger abandoning their policy of getting meals to their customers in up to 3 minutes (or the meals are free) after Sonic quits arguably counts as this also, since without Sonic's speed they wouldn't be able to maintain it.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987):
    • Episode 1: On their first trip to the surface, a homeless woman is terrified by the sight of the turtles, and pulls a gun on them in self defense. The turtles back up, with April realizing they need disguises, buying trench coats and fedoras.
    • Episode 2: The turtles and Splinter are looking for the Technodrome. Since they had to surface unexpectedly and didn't have their trenches, the turtles pick up new disguises as break dancers (having learned from their mishap in episode 1), which April immediately sees through, because the new outfits are just jackets and sunglasses. Later, in their first battle on the Technodrome, the Turtles find their way into a large room filled with giant robots. They immediately realize they're in trouble, Raphael pointing out that they were trained to fight people, not exotic combat machines. Earlier in the episode, Krang suggests using animals stronger than normal rats and turtles to make more powerful mutants. While Dumb Muscle, Bebop and Rocksteady are a credible threat, to the point that the turtles don't fight the two head-on and rely on out-smarting them.
    • Episode 3: Baxter Stockman is trying to rent his Mouser robots to a pest control business, saying that they could solve Manhattan's rat problem. He's thrown out, the owner pointing out that, by getting rid of all rats, the robots would ruin his business.
    • Episode 4: Michelangelo attacks General Traag, a Stone Warrior, with his nunchaku, only to break the wooden handle. This example might even go further - Michelangelo was able to destroy metal robots in the previous episodes, even the large ones in episode 2, so the weapon breaking here was because it was damaged in an earlier fight.
    • Episode 5: The destruction caused in the previous episodes, which culminated in Manhattan almost being destroyed, has put the turtles in the military's cross-hairs. Raphael even states that April has to reveal them to the world to keep the authorities from interfering in the final battle. Even in the aftermath, April comments in her news broadcast that public opinion is divided.
      • The turtles try and use a car the Neutrinos left behind in the previous episode, which runs out of fuel seconds after take-off. Not even Donatello can figure out what's wrong with the flying machine from another dimension.
    Donatello: Look's like we're out of fuel.
    Michelangelo: Well, what sort of juice does this crate take?
    Donatello: Uh, plutonium, I think.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003):
    • During one fight with the Foot Clan, Donatello attempts to emulate a scene from The Matrix Reloaded by doing a spinning kick around a virtual wall of Foot Ninja using his bo staff as leverage. The only thing that happens is him embarrassingly falling right to the ground.
  • 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". The other Titans quickly call him out on his backhanded compliment, and when he remains unrepentant, they tell 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 throw Megatron through a black hole and assume leadership of the Decepticons. Unsurprisingly, none of the other Decepticons accept his claim to leadership and Starscream winds up floundering in space for decades aboard the remains of The Nemesis.
    • 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 killed Megatron and become the new leader of the Decepticons.
  • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender:
    • In "Voltron Legendary Defenders S 2 E 9 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 Forgives Raimundo for betraying to Wuya in the 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 go on a mission in 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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