Follow TV Tropes

Following

Reality Warper / Western Animation

Go To

Reality Warpers in western animation TV shows.


  • As a general rule, any animated show that makes liberal use of Toon Physics for comedic effect will probably have several or more characters who would qualify as Reality Warpers by the definition of the trope.

  • Adventure Time
    • In the episode "Rainy Day Daydream", everything that Jake imagines becomes real. Finn then has to go through a bunch of obstacles created by Jake to turn off his imagination.
    • Advertisement:
    • In "Finn the Human" and "Jake the Dog", Prismo is a genie who lives in the Time Room and can grant any wish you desire.
  • Belladonna from All Dogs Go to Heaven: The Series is a low level one. She was able to teleport most of the cast into a board game (which became a world of its own) with just a snap of her fingers and this is probably how her Villain Song even makes sense at all (it involved dancing meat). However, it seems she can't directly effect someone's free will, or has that power and won't.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball:
    • Richard Watterson's getting and keeping a job causes the entire fabric of reality to bend and warp.
    • Rob becomes one in "The Disaster" after he obtains a remote capable of controlling reality. He uses these powers to get back at Gumball by completely ruining his life.
    • "The Future" reveals that Banana Barbara's paintings don't merely predict future events, but actively warp the fabric of reality in a way that causes the depicted events to happen.
  • Advertisement:
  • Roger of American Dad! is a bit of a subtle reality warper. Whenever he comes up with a backstory for one of his personas, logic bends to his will to make those backstories true. This includes being the birth mother of two fully grown men, and also being the teenage birth son of a human family, complete with pictures of him growing up! When Roger's alter egos are killed, they really are dead; but that doesn't mean Roger is. One of Roger's alter-egos has been seen handling another of Roger's alter egos' bodily remains.
  • In Barbie and the Secret Door, Alexa's magic and Malucia's magic let them create things out of thin air and change others' appearances, among other things.
  • Beetlejuice in Beetlejuice is essentially this with his claims on being the ghost with the most.
  • Alien X from Ben 10: Alien Force has this as their main ability. It's quite handy... but it only works if Ben and Alien X's two personalities can agree on what to do. This happens very rarely, and worst and most dangerously of all they quite like having Ben as a tiebreaker, and have more than enough power to prevent him from ever changing back.
  • Advertisement:
  • Gaia, from Captain Planet and the Planeteers, will bend reality through time manipulation to solve a problem or to teach characters a lesson. One example is during the episode "If its Doomsday, It Must be Belfast", she fast forwards time 10 years to show the affects of the nuclear fallout to people in three different conflict zones if they set the nukes off after Verminous Skumm gives them the triggers, saying that they will destroy the other side. She then rewinds back time and with their lessons learned, help the Planeteers foil Skumm's plans. Her Evil Counterpart Zarm also can display this power, usually requiring her intervention when the Planeteers face him.
  • Fred from Coconut Fred's Fruit Salad Island.
  • Some ghosts in Danny Phantom. Notably, Desiree, a genie-like ghost who can bend the world around her based on the wishes of anyone nearby. There are two drawbacks to that power, though—the wishes have to be spoken aloud, and she's compelled to grant every wish she hears...meaning that simply saying "I wish you would get in this Ghost Trap!" is enough to defeat her.
    • One of the longer TV specials featured the Reality Gauntlet, which allowed anyone who wore it to change the world however they liked. Like Marvel's Infinity Gauntlet, the piece was powered by three magical gems that could warp individual aspects of reality (for example, one gem could grant life to non-sentient objects); combining the three gave the user ultimate control over all of time and space.
    • The show's Christmas Episode featured a mostly friendly author ghost called the Ghostwriter. When the grumpy, Christmas-hating Danny angered him, the Ghostwriter trapped all of Amity Park in the poem he was writing, giving him complete control over the city and—even worse—making everyone speak in rhyme, although only Danny noticed it as out of the ordinary.
  • Dungeons & Dragons TV series:
    • Varla, the Barrier Maiden.
    • The Dungeon Master himself seemed to be this to an extent. He clearly had limits (since Warduke actually captures him once), both some inherent and some self-imposed, but it wasn't entirely clear what they were. When he gave Eric his powers for one adventure, Eric had a lot of trouble learning to control them, but also seemed to gain some valuable insight from the experience (which is presumably why DM did it). DM also warned him that his actions could have unforeseen consequences; for instance, conjuring water in one place could create a drought elsewhere.
  • Ed from Ed, Edd n Eddy. He can make an elevator made out of a bunch of random shit that goes to the moon. The exit is a microwave, and some of the stuff in the elevator includes a fishbowl, hockey sticks, and anything else you could get your hands on. He can also create a rewind button on Edd's hat, helpful when Ed can't quite understand Edd's Technobabble.
    • He can also defy gravity, lift entire houses, blow up a house with nothing but the static electricity from rubbing his socks on carpet, clone himself to get an I-beam brought up to the top of the aforementioned elevator, jump at least a thousand feet up in the air, can fly by flapping his arms hard enough, is invulnerable to pain, and can exist in cartoons. When you consider all this, it's little wonder that he almost destroyed reality itself in 2+2=Ed.
    • In one episode where the Eds are trying to catch a red balloon floating through the sky, Ed manages to make Eddy's hair spin fast enough for him to fly. He does this by pulling Eddy's wallet chain like the starter cord of a lawnmower, leading to a hilarious reaction from Edd.
      Edd: (with a look of disbelief on his face) Remind me to ask you how you did that, Ed.
    • This is mostly because the show operates with very prominent Toon Physics, Ed just happens to be the one who uses them the most (with the implication that he can do these things so easily because he doesn't understand he isn't supposed to be able to) and is also one of the people most involved in the physical side of the show's comedy.
    • All three of the boys turn into this during the episode where Toon Physics is taken to its logical conclusion. Among other things, they are able to seamlessly shift spacial dimensions, defy spacial perspective, and can even directly alter the art and rendering of the show (they actually removed Jimmy's outline like it was loose threading).
  • The Fairly OddParents!:
    • Fairies have the ability to warp the world around them in response to the wishes of their charge.
    • As has the magical birthday cake.
    • But even fairies are bound by "Da Rules". The Magic Fairy-versary Muffin, granted to any child who lasts one year without revealing the existence of his or her fairy godparents, grants one (almost) rule-free wish per bite of muffin, on one condition: You can't wish for a better-tasting muffin. It tastes horrible. Deal with it.
    • There's also genie magic which is every bit as powerful as fairy magic, but without any rules whatsoever. The only trouble is Norm, the only genie to ever appear, is a real jackass who absolutely revels in screwing over whoever he grants a wish for. He's voiced by Norm MacDonald, so what do you expect?
    • Fairy Babies are not in control of their magic unless trained, so a newborn baby is this combined with Power Incontinence. Generally, Crying will result in something bad happening in the immediate area, while tamper tantrums can result in worse. Laughing, meanwhile, can restore whatever damage done and farting can reverse time.
  • The Great Gazoo from The Flintstones can pretty much do anything he wants; a Trope Namer for similar beings, he was able to create matter out of nothing, including machines as advanced as androids, make them disappear, travel through time (and take others with him), predict the near future, transport anyone and anything, and so on. The truly frightening thing is, he claimed that, due to being banished by his kin, all but his simplest powers were taken from him. Now just let that sink in.
  • Goo from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends frequently lampshades, subverts, and deconstructs this trope. She's a little girl who can create life by accident. (And somehow she manages not to be too creepy.)
    • In this show anyone (at least children) can bring an imaginary friend into being. Goo's the only kid we've met who runs the risk of doing it by accident. If you consider how it takes some imagination and focus to bring an imaginary friend to life (Terrence having to strain himself to create a red block with arms, though that's primarily just because it's Terrence), being able to bring dozens to life in detail within a few seconds makes Goo even more impressive.
    • Creating an army of them with diverse body types, powers, and personalities...while asleep.
    • The surprisingly psychological "Foster's Home" made for TV movie "Destination Imagination" gave us a glimpse of what happens when you cause a nigh-omnipotent-within-his-realm character to suffer from serious abandonment issues...
  • Futurama has Bender at the end of "Obsoletely Fabulous" although it's more of him warping his perception of reality. Bender becomes a true reality warper during a later episode where he is overclocked by the Professor's son, Cubert.
  • Garfield and Friends: Orson of U.S. Acres/Orson's Farm. He does need to be deliberately using his imagination, and a book helps, though. Either way, if it doesn't merely shut him off to the rest of the world, it superimposes his imagination on a fairly large acreage around him. Those affected need not have known he was reading; they can deduce it from the drastic changes in their surroundings. Reading a book about the ocean? Roy and Wade find themselves at the bottom. A coloring book? Whoops, now they're lineart. Reading "A Pictorial History of Trains", or even just the title? They get chased by a locomotive. But once he's done, it goes away. (If they were in the air, they might still have to fall back to the ground, though.) A notable humourous example is he once read a phone book, and Wade got attacked by an area code.
  • Gravity Falls has Bill Cipher, especially when he opens a rift between his Nightmare Realm and the regular world, gaining a physical form in the process.
  • Grim, and various other supernatural beings, in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy.
  • Grojband:
    • The band's music is capable of raising the dead, bulking up old ladies, breaking a cybernetic network, banishing an evil knight... and basically every abnormal thing that occurs in the series.
    • Trina (Corey's older biological sister) is a mild case, whenever she writes lyrics-worthy entries in her journal, her emotions manifest around her, and strange phenomenon happens depending on the emotion.
    • Trina and Nick also appear to exert power of bodily functions, while Trina and Mina Trina and Mina can resist sweating and drooling as "it's for farmers".
      • Nick Mallory is able to will away chicken pox as "Nick Mallory doesn't do spots", is able to keep smelling clean as he "Does not do stink", and he once used his coolness to 'literally cool' the flames that Trina's diary mode created, and he was also able to freeze Trina alive.
    • In "A Knight To Remember" Bonkerton Comet messes with reality when it appears every four years.
    • According to the intro video in the website it's shown that the "Wicked Cool Transition" can teleport characters.
  • The Heckle and Jeckle cartoon "The Power of Thought" deconstructs this trope, as it applies to cartoons, for all it's worth. One of the two Magpies, realizing that they are cartoon characters, causes anything he wants to happen just by thinking of it, and uses the power to bedevil a cop. The cop finally gets the two in jail by "doing some thinking of my own."
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes: According to Word of God, Lucius can remake Miseryville on a whim, which is the reason for all the strange things that occur. The reason he doesn't do it obviously is because his pride would be damaged if he admitted he needed his powers.
  • Justice League:
  • Kaeloo:
    • One episode had Stumpy and Quack Quack become this by using animation software to make their own episode of the show.
    • Another episode had Quack Quack develop a singing voice that could warp reality and control people around him to do whatever he sang. The only problem was, the singing voice only affected kids. Mr. Cat, who is physically still a kid but has the mind of an adult, was not affected and used Quack Quack's powers for his own advantage.
  • Looney Tunes: Apart from Toon Physics, how else can the Coyote's plans so frequently backfire in such mind-bending ways? At one point the road runner defeats the Coyote by defying the law of gravity, which he explains by holding up a sign that says "Roadrunners don't study law!"
  • My Little Pony are bird-spirits with this power. They'd easily be among the Ridiculously Overpowered Warpers if they (or the writers) were a little more imaginative.
    • Pluma and the other Penna in "The Ghost of Paradise Estate" episode of the original My Little Pony 'n Friends series. At first it starts as advanced shapeshifting - able to take on not just the look but the properties of whatever you turn into, she's more than a winner of the Superpower Lottery. Then, just add the Flash Stone. It's best for all involved that for most of the story it's split in half.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Although it was originally only Played for Laughs, Pinkie Pie has become a borderline example now that she's using Toon Physics to actually further the plot. So far she's relentlessly and impossibly chased more than a few characters, passed through solid walls via Offscreen Teleportation, pulled weapons out of Hammer Space during fights, slowed her descent into water in order to avoid making a splash, walked on air, obliterated the fourth wall, possesses a sixth sense that warns her of impending events, and done any number of acts that are supposed to be impossible for earth ponies, and even unicorns, whose magic obeys some rules. Her friends notice, and on more than a few occasions, are shocked out of their minds. A common refrain her friends often say is "Pinkie Pie's just being Pinkie Pie." They don't want to break their brains figuring out exactly how/why Pinkie Sense or her Offscreen Teleportation works (as Twilight tried, and failed to in "Feeling Pinkie Keen").
    • A more malevolent example is Discord, the spirit of chaos and disharmony, who uses his powers to create a World Gone Mad for his own amusement. Unlike Pinkie Pie, his powers are not Played for Laughs (well, not in the same manner). He was based on Q from Star Trek, to the point he's voiced by John de Lancie himself. Fortunately, after befriending Fluttershy, he vows to use his powers for good. Mostly.
    • Unicorn magic in general seems to have the potential to become this. Many unicorns don't appear to do much more than use their telekinesis plus a "theme" spell or two, but the variety of effects that the real wizards among them can spontaneously create with the right spells (which themselves seem more a collection of random effects than they'd follow any actual system or logic that we ever see) is quite dazzling. Alicorn magic is apparently immensely more powerful.
    • Twilight Sparkle has the range of effects but not the raw power of someone like Discord. She was the one who turned an animal into a fruit, and switched around the cutie marks. (In both cases it wasn't quite what she was going for.) Twilight's overpowered-if-she-had-better-control powers are explained as most unicorns having magic related to their special talent, whereas Twilight's special talent is magic itself, giving her an unlimited range of spells (though nowhere near the raw power of the princesses... yet.)
    • King Sombra's influence can turn the Crystal Empire into a Mordor, his curse was able to make it vanish for over a millennium, and his Evil Tower of Ominousness shows that he can even make Pocket Dimensions.
    • "Inspiration Manifestation" is a Spell Book that contains a spell allowing its owner to alter things to match their imagined version of it. Spike gives it to Rarity so she can use it to fix her puppet theater, which the puppeteer she built it for was disappointed in, but she quickly goes mad from the spell's power, planning to alter all of Equestria to match her idea of beauty (which basically means turning everything into a golden, gem-incrusted version of itself).
    • There is also Lord Tirek, who was mentioned by Princess Celestia to be a potential Reality Warper when at full power. Since all aspects of life in Equestria are regulated by ponies, Tirek stealing the magic of every pony would result in him becoming able to single-handedly control all of these aspects himself. Fortunately for everyone, although Tirek's sheer brute magical force can allow him to overwhelm even Discord (above), he is nowhere as skilled with magic as Discord is, so "more magic" usually just equals to "bigger lasers".
  • It's never said, but occasionally hinted that some of Phineas and Ferb's gadgetry borders on this. Particularly the times when it's lampshaded that what they're trying to do is impossible, right before they go and do it anyway.
  • Some early Pink Panther shorts had a bit of reality warping.
  • Popeye is one of the biggest reality warpers of all time, and he does so by punching things. He's punched bulls into freshly cut steaks (with a sign and stand), people into baloney, Indians into nickels, etc, and ripped through the very film he was on, the animators having to stop the cartoon so they could fix it.
  • Hexadecimal in ReBoot temporarily gains this power when she infects the system paint program. She uses it to throw Mainframe into total chaos by disabling communications, melting all transport devices (including the bike Bob just bought), and changing the city's appearance beyond recognition. She even melts Glitch, shrinks Frisket, traps Enzo in a bunch of vidwindows, and cut+ pastes Phong Megabyte into Mainframes sky. Bob manages to fix all of this by getting Mike the TV to distract Hex while Bob finds the Undo Command on the system paint program.
  • When Seth MacFarlane guested on the season 2 premiere of Robot Chicken, he's portrayed as being such by way of the Cutaway Gags his own works popularized.
  • The Simpsons episode "Treehouse of Horror II" featured a parody of The Twilight Zone's "It's a Good Life", titled "It's a Bart Life". Bart is all-powerful and everyone must bend to his every whim or suffer a Fate Worse than Death. The USA is actually "Bonerland" due to his history exam (although that's more out of fear of reprisal than actually altering history.) Homer gets a nice monologue when he tries to KO Bart with a chair and remembers Bart is also a mind reader.
  • South Park:
    • Butters, The Chosen One... as long as he's in Imagination Land, that is. However, everyone could do that, as it was a massive, pseudo-real lucid dream.
    • Kyle also briefly becomes one in the episode "Tooth Fairy Tats 2000", after suffering an existential crisis brought on by finding out the Tooth Fairy isn't real.
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "The Magicks of Megas-Tu". They can bring anything into existence with but a thought. While they were on Earth they were considered to be witches and magicians due to their powers.
  • Dwayne, a Static Shock Bang Baby, was able to turn water into cherry soda and create fictional characters with his mind. When Dwayne's jerk of an older brother learned about his powers, he immediately planned to exploit them for his own gain. Unfortunately for the jerk (and fortunately for Static), there was a limit to Dwayne's ability: he couldn't create perfect copies of objects, just imitations of them. For instance, he wasn't able to conjure $100 bills, and instead made play money.
  • Wyatt from Super Why!. With his "Why Writer", he literally rewrites the reality of the books he is in, replacing words and phrases with options appropriate for the problem at hand.
  • Teen Titans:
    • Nosyarg Kcid, or "Larry", from the episode "Fractured" (an homage to Bat-Mite, mentioned above). And the show goes on to show what happens if a Reality Warper had a Phlebotinum Breakdown (All Robin's fault, Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!).
    • Melvin and her imaginary friend Bobby.
    • Slightly more over the top is when Raven turns Titans Towers into a horror movie as a subconscious manifestation of her own fear. She never uses it again, but she certainly seems to have shade of it. In general, it would be a great deal easier for the heroes if Raven could voluntarily do any of the things that can happen when her emotions and thus her powers run wild.
    • One episode dealt with a Wizard who had magic that seemed to rival TheGenie and Discord though ultimately he was defeated by Raven's magic. Though what she exactly did, and why she waited until the end of the episode to do so, is never explained.
  • Terrytoons' TV star Tom Terrific was able to change into anything, inanimate or otherwise, a situation called for. It was never entailed as to how he acquired this power unless it merely mirrored a child's yearn to be what he/she wanted.
  • The titular character of Uncle Grandpa. Being everyone in the world's uncle and grandpa simultaneously is just the beginning. Reality is pretty much his bitch.
  • Wallykazam: Wally Trollman can do pretty much anything with the magic stick so long as he finds a word with the appropriate sound or letter announced at start. Seen less often, Battle the Witch's broom-based "sweepa sweepa sweepa" spells also appear to have such power.
  • Wandering Wenda: similar to Wally above, her "Wordplay will save the day" can change anything into anything so long as her letter of the day can alter the old spelling into the desired solution. This applies to verbs as well as nouns.
  • Anyone who enters The Void in Wander over Yonder becomes this, but only when they're in the void.
  • Elyon Brown aka Queen Elyon of Meridian, and later Cornelia's little sister Lillian Hale in W.I.T.C.H..
  • In X-Men, Kevin/Proteus and his powers had to be seriously toned down to fit in the kinda Lighter and Softer series... but the powers he did get to keep were pretty frightening. i.e., he was able to use them and subject Wolverine (of all people) to a terrifying mix of Body Horror and Mind Rape.


Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report