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This page is a collaborative wick check for Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped.

The Problem: The page is misused as a gushing magnet. Its definition is supposed to be "a story works better because it has an extremely blatant aesop", but many of the examples are instead "this work that I like has An Aesop that I agree with".

Wick Count: 56, 10 potentially valid. (52% Misuse, 9% Correct, 18% potentially Correct)


    Correct usage (5) 
  1. YMMV.Parting Words: Chapter Three of the fic calls out the mentality of "standing up for yourself in any way makes you just as bad as the bullies" as being toxic, morally confusing, and only making things worse for genuine victims of bullying, especially if the adults that are supposed to prevent this consistently ignore it or fail to do anything even when it's happening in front of them. Edit back and forth over if this or Anvilicious decided as it was written in response to an RL child be Driven to Suicide made it important enough to be SANTBD. Otherwise misuse as fails to explain how it improves the story and subject to Broken Base as some think it does not.
  2. YMMV.Star Trek VI The Undiscovered Country:
    • This film addresses the fears many people had about the imminent collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.
    • Admiral Cartwright, played by Brock Peters, is a stark and uncomfortable reminder that racism can come in any form. Especially considering that Cartwright was a Reasonable Authority Figure in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. 1st valid due to RL events at the time. 2nd seems misuse unless it connects to the 1st.
  3. YMMV.Fern Gully The Last Rainforest: Okay, so the movie was a little poorly conceived on the whole... but Batty and his rap are generally considered to be a legitimately good message because, in the decade prior to the film's release, a lot of things portrayed in the rap was done to animals in testing. (Look up the Mary Kay Corporation's history of animal testing sometime - or don't, if you have a weak stomach).
    • The rap was censored in the theatrical cut because some of it was just too gruesome for a G rating, and it still squicked people out. In the uncensored song you can clearly hear the fairies gasping in horror as Batty tells them what humans have done to him, and his own screams in the background, most likely as memories.
    • FernGully tends to get some credit for inspiring some of the animal rights legislation later in the decade (having the bat voiced by Robin Williams undoubtedly helped). Valid because of RL circumstances and influence.
  4. Series.Star Trek Voyager: Author Tract: An In-Universe application of this trope occurs in the episode "Author, Author", in which the Doctor writes a holo-novel which is essentially a screed against the oppression of intelligent holograms, with thinly-disguised versions of the crew as the villains. However, the end of the episode implies that maybe the novel is in fact necessary, and that holographic rights is the next step in Federation civil law. Valid as In Universe Example. More about RL relevance than works handling.
  5. YMMV.Joker 2019:
    • The ugly truth is that there are some criminals and nihilists that do what they do when they are pushed to the breaking point by the wrong side of society. The movie makes it clear that while Arthur was an oddity due to his mental illness, he was ultimately made into the monster clown he's known as now by the toxicity of others around him. Arthur's slow descent into madness and cruelty is very much Truth in Television. The only way to prevent such things from happening is to treat everyone with kindness, even people who are seen as weird. The film is extremely heavy-handed on this front, given how relentlessly terrible Arthur's treatment from others is until he becomes the Joker, but the relentlessness of it matches the depth of his villainy later on and makes him sympathetic in a way that couldn't have been achieved otherwise.
    • Mocking a two-bit or beginner for a failure on national television is a really crappy thing to do. Arthur's first stand-up routine fails miserably, which is really common for newbies (in fact, it's seen as a rite of passage for comedians to bomb a couple of times before they gain any fame). Mocking Arthur's obviously nervous, amateur performance on national television is shown as being overly harsh. When they invite him on the show, it gives Arthur all the wrong signals, so his hesitance to appear on the show is quite understandable. This mirrors real-life talk show hosts who bring people on stage to mock them (like Stephen Colbert). In fact, there is a meme going around with an image of Phoenix giving the same kind of Joker line: "You just invited me on to mock me" to Jimmy Fallon (note that Jimmy Fallon didn't actually make fun of him, but because Phoenix was on his show it was easy pickings). 1st entry valid as states how it's heavy handed and how it improves it, plus potential RL connections. 2nd is misuse however as not central Aesop and failing to explain how it's unsubtle or how it improves the message.

    Possibly correct but not as written (3) 
  1. YMMV.Mobile Suit Gundam 0080 War In The Pocket: War In The Pocket holds no punches for its message on "War is not something to be glorified," especially since Al was the one who had to witness Bernie's demise at the hands of Chris and suffer Break the Cutie as a result. Could have been valid if it explained how this offset the Do Not Do This Cool Thing that plagues the franchise. As is, misuse for failing to explain how the unsubtlety improves.
  2. YMMV.Wolfenstein The New Order: This is one of the few pieces of Nazi-killing media that reminds us that Nazis are bad specifically because they're racist and genocidal, meanwhile most ignore the racist part in favor of Nazis just being a cool, totalitarian force. Could have been valid if it explained how it made them more satisfying to kill. Then again maybe misuse as it's not the unsubtlety of the message, but having one other works allegedly don't.
  3. YMMV.Gargoyles S 1 Deadly Force: Guns are deadly weapons and the consequences of handling them carelessly will be disastrous. Just restates Aesop. Properly explained under "SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped.Western Animation: The episode "Deadly Force" is anything but subtle about its message, but is generally considered one of the best episodes of the series for treating its subject matter with respect, and instead of using the easy Aesop, "Guns will kill you if you even so much as think about them," they opt for the more mature and reasonable, "Guns are only dangerous if you don't know how to handle them." Might still be misuse as well revived in part for nuance the opposite of unsubtlety. Might be better as Hard Truth Aesop

    Misuse (29) 
  1. My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games: One major thing the movie has going for it is its portrayal of Principal Cinch - and how she abuses her power as an educator. She's not using magic or typical cartoon villain tricks; she's regularly abusing her students by putting ridiculous pressure on them to excel at everything, and creating a toxic environment. The movie shows the negative effect this overemphasis on education can have on young people, evidenced by Human Twilight's Friendless Background and the other Shadowbolts' 'everyone for themselves' mentality. The students are put through extremes solely so Cinch can boost her own reputation. Not presented as the/a Aesop in the work. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves.
  2. YMMV.Bitter Tears An Anon A Miss Fic:
    • The fic does a much better job at portraying the effects of cyber-bullying than the original canon counterpart did; even when the culprits are caught, everybody still has to live with the consequences and stigma associated with what has happened, and it's made clear that none of this stuff will go away anytime soon.
    • Easily Forgiven is extremely rare in real life, especially when it comes to acts of betrayal. If you do something that seriously hurts somebody, it doesn't matter if it was intentional or not; you have to accept that the one you wronged has to take time to forgive you, no matter how remorseful you are. You also have to accept that in some cases, they may NEVER be able to forgive you.
    • Bottling up your emotions and ignoring a problem will not make it go away. In fact, it's far more likely to make everything worse. You need to be honest with yourself and others about your feelings and accept that there is a problem before you can fix it.
    • Being angry at people for cyber-bullying is understandable, but you'll be punished if you physically assault them, because that is not acceptable, no matter what they had done. Merely restating Aesops. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves.
  3. YMMV.Star Wars Resistance: Tam's arc shows that views on good, evil, and safety are subjective. A person's views on who the villains are cannot be changed even if their friends know better and trust their guts, even if someone is Older and Wiser, even if a person was a victim of the aforementioned bad guys' treatment, and even if history doesn't support their beliefs. They have to comes to terms with the on their own, and it's their decision if they want to agree with the truth or not. Tam doesn't agree that the First Order are oppressive and believes that curtailing freedoms is a necessary sacrifice against genuine threats. Kel and Eila are victims of First Order atrocities, and when Tam thinks the First Order had a reason for what they did to their parents and home, they call her out for trusting the First Order over her own friends. Yeager is a Rebel Alliance veteran who knows the First Order for what they truly are because of their origins from the Galactic Empire and aren't any different, but is unable to convince Tam that she's not choosing the right side. Venisa on the other hand decides that Tam is just confused and needs to figure things out on her own. Merely restating Aesops. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves. Sounds closer to Hard Truth Aesop.
  4. YMMV.Superman Vs The Elite: Like the story it's based on, the film seemingly hand-waved the ideal that killing is wrong regardless of how justified within the first half, but later on when Superman pretends to adopt the take-no-prisoners approach, everyone's initial reaction was "This isn't right". The true anvil was that society does not always know what's best for it and that they need guidance, not the threat of punishment to progress. Merely restating Aesops. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves.
  5. YMMV.Sonic Boom: "I Can Sea Sonic's Fear From Here" is the usual face your fear episode until the end, where Sonic admits he's even more scared of water than before. Sometimes trying to get someone to face their fear is just going to cause more harm than good and will never be done in one day. Merely restating Aesops. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves. Sounds closer to Hard Truth Aesop.
  6. The Great Alicorn Hunt: Writer on Board:
  7. YMMV.The Simpsons S 2 E 1 Bart Gets An F: It would have been easy for Bart to get an "A" after all that hard work, but The Simpsons at the time was all about playing the Deconstructor Fleet whenever possible, so letting Bart fail despite his efforts (then getting a "D-" so as to not make the ending too depressing) breathes new life into a worn-out premise. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves. Sounds closer to Hard Truth Aesop.
  8. YMMV.The Sith Resurgence: Aliana sums up the failure of the Jedi as being one that would be very easy for them to come back from were they not so stubborn. To simply stop being afraid of the Dark Side, as that fear results in them being unable to fight it due to their refusal to learn about it. How can you fight an enemy you know nothing about? Merely restating Aesops. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves.
  9. YMMV.Wolfenstein II The New Colossus
    • This game does not shy away from showing how Nazi ideology corrupts everything and everyone who believes in it, and how collaborating with it is a product of selfishness and racism.
    • The game has a surprising amount of Pet the Dog and Cry for the Devil moments as depicted in various letters from Nazis to their families. Oddly enough, this doesn't go against the former theme - the intended message is most likely "Yes, these people have family and others they care about. But they've been corrupted by Nazism, and they're terrible people who believe in a murderous ideology that destroys everything around them, so screw 'em."
    • The game also makes a point with Sigrun that calling and accusing someone of being a Nazi when they aren't, or lashing out at allies who only want to help, can be just as cruel and damaging as any other kind of label or prejudice.
    • When a woman named Adler flirts with a German officer, he returns her affections and praises her zeal for agreeing with Nazi ideals, until she makes a misguided remark about 'impure Austrians'. At which moment, he immediately turns on her. The lesson in this is twofold: Firstly, trying to cozy up to racists will make you a jackass. Secondly, trying to cozy up to racists will backfire when they inevitably turn on you for your inevitable misstep.
    • You don't have to follow up your parents' steps if they are in the wrong, as both B.J. (with his father Rip) and Sigrun (with her mother Engel) display across the game.
    • In addition to the bit above regarding BJ's father, Rip's racism and the complacent attitude of many Americans to the Nazi occupation bring up the important fact that 20th century America still had grave problems of its own regarding bigotry even when it fought the Third Reich. This leads to the aesop of never being apathetic in times of injustice, especially when Grace points out that marginalized folk have and still fight for their rights on a daily basis. Oppression doesn't need jackbooted Nazis to be any less real. Merely restating Aesops. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves.
  10. Ymmv.South Park S 3 E 1 Rainforest Schmainforest:
    • While the episode has the Spoof Aesop of anti-environmentalism, it also showed the dangers of joining an organization without knowing the consequences of what it stands for, and how most "environmentalists" are people who feel guilty about their overconsumption, but do little or nothing about it.
    • Regardless of how important the rainforest is, it's still a very dangerous place for outsiders and it should be left alone. Merely restating Aesops. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves.
  11. YMMV.Transformers Robots In Disguise 2015: Cyberwarp's speech on why she saved Bee and his team and turned against the other Deception council members.
    Cyberwarp: We share a planet. There has to be a better way, to settle our differences...than destroying one another. Merely restating Aesops. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves.
  12. YMMV.Family Guy S 8 E 14 Peter Assment: Despite the episode's rather shaky portrayal of the scenario, it does show that men can be sexually harassed, women can be as sexually predatory as men, if not more, and sexual harassment is sexual harassment, regardless of gender, and needs to be taken seriously. Merely restating Aesops. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves.
  13. YMMV.Far Cry 5: Regarding the ending: Leaders of nations and countries have duties of utmost responsibility and importance to their people and their safety at all times. Failure to do so, doubly so when egos get in the way, can lead to massive destruction and death. Merely restating Aesops. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves.
  14. YMMV.Game Of Thrones S 8 E 6 The Iron Throne: ABSOLUTE. POWER. IS. BAD. The pursuit of power corrupts those with noble intentions (see: Daenerys) and makes bad people worse (see: Cersei). In Westeros, it has led to the desolation of King's Landing and misery for generations. Work lacks An Aesop entry. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves.
  15. YMMV.Bojack Horseman S 1 E 02 Bojack Hates The Troops:
    • BoJack really says it best.
    "Most people are jerks already, and it's not like giving a jerk a gun and telling him it's okay to kill people suddenly turns that jerk into a hero."
    • Also, don't buy into sensationalized moral debates. They will always force you to pick a side rather than reach a conclusion about the issue itself. Merely restating Aesops. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves.
  16. YMMV.Bojack Horseman S 6 E 10 Good Damage: A person's inner pain and struggles do not make them a better writer (or any form of artist). It doesn't give a person any deeper insight, and can potentially be a triggering event. Diane tries to write about her past and finds it difficult, then tries to write without taking her antidepressants and ends up suffering a breakdown and withdrawal symptoms. Writing Ivy Tran comes easier to her because it's fun and puts some distance between herself and the character and she's in a far better place while on her medication. Merely restating Aesops. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves.
  17. YMMV.Bio Shock 2:
    • Morality shouldn't be treated as a black and white concept, as that kind of mentality can be used to manipulate people and justify atrocities. Individuality and liberty should not be sacrificed for what someone else believes is the common good.
    • Even with the best intention of unity and moral pureness, any form of leadership can turn into a fascistic dictatorship. Merely restating Aesops. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves.
  18. YMMV.Berserk: Despite its length in time, Berserk seldom drops any anvil. However, when it does, it's rather upfront and direct about it. Aesops that the story conveys include:
    • There could be a huge difference between what God is and what people want or believe Him to be.
    • Everything you do has an effect on you or your surroundings. Everything.
    • Fighting destiny is all well and good, but even a Determinator isn't assured to win in the end. It can go either way. Fate isn't always victorious but neither is willpower, no matter how strong.
    • Sexual violence is absolutely horrifying, and while it doesn't render you Defiled Forever, the scars from being a victim will follow you for the rest of your life and become a part of who you are.
    • There is no external reward for good actions. The only reason to do the right thing is because you choose to. Do not expect the universe to give you a pat on the head, or even refrain from kicking your ass. Likewise, there is no external punishment for wrong actions. The only reason not to screw your neighbor in the most horrific way possible is because you choose not to. (Interestingly, The Bible expressed much the same sentiment in Matthew, often quoted as "the sun shines on the righteous and unrighteous alike.")
    • Humanity is responsible for its own suffering. Merely restating Aesops. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves. Some seem to better fit Hard Truth Aesop.
  19. YMMV.Ed Edd N Eddys Big Picture Show: The characters each learn an important lesson along the way and they’re well-executed.
    • Ed: Even if you may not know it, you’re much smarter than you or others believe yourself to be. All you have to do is put your mind to it.
    • Double D: Standing up for yourself is important and if you don’t, you won’t be true to yourself.
    • Eddy: If you do something really bad to your friend (in Eddy’s case, tricking Double D into thinking he and Ed drowned to death), you could lose them permanently and the hurt probably won’t go away.
    • All of the Ed Boys: You don’t have to live up to any expectations or legacies for people to like you. Accept yourself for who you truly are.
    • The kids: If revenge is all you think about, it will make you no better than the person who wronged you.
    • No matter how many times a person has wronged you, maybe all they really need is a friend.
    • Sometimes, your biological family is just plain awful and you’re better off without them, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have one. Ed’s parents don’t seem to care much about him and give Sarah everything and Edd’s parents barely pay attention to him or consult him. However, Eddy’s brother is supposedly much better than his parents, but it turns out he’s a cruel and absuive jackass who made Eddy the way that he was. In the end, Eddy admits to all his faults and begins to see that his friends are his real family. Merely restating Aesops. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves.
  20. YMMV.Avatar The Last Airbender North And South: Book 3's conversation between Sokka and Katara about Southern Water Tribe traditions, with the former suggesting that the latter's opinions on what the South "was supposed to be" might be more or less Nostalgia Filter, as anyone older than Gran Gran isn't alive to tell them of the truth. This is also emphasized by the story's conflict between progress and past, with the latter represented by a group of Knight Templar Southerners who wish to restore the "ideal past" by driving out the foreigners, even if it means attacking their friends and families. Merely restating Aesops. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves.
  21. Avatar: The Last Airbender "The Day of Black Sun, Part 2":
    • Zuko's speech to his father is about how starting wars only makes a country hated.
    • Just because someone is your family does not mean you have to love and obey them when they abuse you or make it clear they don't care about you. True family are the people who look after you, love you unconditionally despite your faults, and are willing to die for you. Merely restating Aesops. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves.
  22. YMMV.Pokemon The Abridged Series: As an addressing to impatient PTAS viewers, Ash, Misty, and Brock gang up on Damien in episode 10 after overhearing him recall when he insulted abridgers who tried to calmly explain their Schedule Slip. Merely restating Aesop. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves.
  23. YMMV.Ralph Breaks The Internet: A minor one, but the fact that the internet can bring out the worst in people, and to not take it personally that you can't please everyone, as shown when Ralph is exposed to hate comments about his meme status and Yesss reassures him that he shouldn't let it get to him. Minor = not the central message or heavy handed about it = misuse.
  24. YMMV.Rebuild Of Evangelion: 3.33 really drives home the point that you cannot change the past. Any attempt to do so will only cause you more unneeded pain. Work lacks An Aesop entry suggesting unintentional. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves.'
  25. YMMV.Rainbow Magic: The Green/Earth Fairies series teaches about the environment and shows that it's up to humans; while the fairies can help in-story, it's up to humans to truly fix things. Rachel and Kirsty are discouraged at first because it's such a big job for two girls, but by telling others, who then tell others, they feel encouraged that the planet can be saved. It also shows the sad, scary consequences of hurting the environment, such as polluted beaches and rivers, smog, climate change, and the threat of rainforests and coral reefs disappearing. Merely restating Aesop. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves.
  26. YMMV.RWBY:
    • The White Fang are a clear example of how extremist groups, no matter what they claim to be fighting for, are trouble through and through not only for the people they fight against, but the people they claim to be on the side of. Especially the people they claim to be on the side of: sooner or later, they will turn on even the moderates for not being as extreme as they are, and they'll show just as little mercy.
    • Celebrate diversity and find strength in unity. Eighty years ago, a world war happened that tried to destroy people's general and artistic individuality. In remembrance of that war, people name their children after colors and are encouraged to find their own individual, personal expression. The four great Huntsmen Academies, set up by the Big Good, train their students to function in teams of four. They eat, sleep and train together, their final grades depend on how well they can work together. The protagonist team, Team RWBY, are at their strongest when they fight together, such as taking down their first giant monster or fighting the villain, Roman Torchwick, when he's fighting with a Mini-Mecha, but at their weakest when they're keeping secrets from each other that divide them: such as Blake hiding her Faunus heritage and White Fang links, and Weiss bottling up her resentment at the Faunus for the ongoing war between her father's company and the White Fang until things explode between them. The Big Bad, by contrast, seeks to turn humanity and Faunus against each themselves and each other, to divide and conquer to achieve her mysterious end goal. She openly admits that the Big Good is right to believe that humanity is capable of greatness through unity, which is why her primary tool is to use divide and conquer tactics to defeat him.
    • Don't let negative emotions control or consume you. The world is populated by monsters that are attracted to, and empowered by, the negative emotions of people. The villains can even manipulate these Creatures of Grimm to attack fortified strongholds en masse by instigating attacks that leave entire populations traumatized. When bandits raid villages, Grimm attacks inevitably follow because of the pain and suffering the survivors feels as a result of the bandits' actions. The Big Good is implied to be a person who is eternally optimistic that humanity can rise above its perils to survive and thrive. The Big Bad's entire strategy consists of divide and conquer, forcing people to confront the worst sides of human nature and give in to despair; it is implied that she feels she cannot achieve her mysterious end-goal until the Big Good's eternal optimism is broken. The key to breaking him is further implied to lie with the show's titular heroine, who is optimistic to a fault, always spinning something bad into a positive action people can take to recover or help others: if Salem can break Ruby, Ozpin himself will break, and victory will be hers. The most extreme anvil occurs when Ruby is arguing with petty thief Roman Torchwick about the difference between the heroes and villains while a mass of Grimm are flying around them: as he tries to beat her to a pulp with his cane, he rants that optimism is a trait that will get a person killed in this world while she rejects his negativity and vows to stop him. During their fight, the Grimm increasingly avoid her while coming increasingly closer to him until, at the climax of his negative rant, the Grimm attack and kill him. Merely restating Aesop. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves.
  27. YMMV.Josh Scorcher: A recurring moral in his fails countdowns: Mistreating those who work for and support you will destroy your reputation, and lead those who once looked up to you to view you with scorn and resentment. Josh notably has more resentment for companies known for taking advantage of and abusing their employees than those with respectable working conditions that otherwise make dumb decisions. Merely restating Aesop. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves.
  28. YMMV.Heroes In Crisis: Tom King has been vocal about using the book to address post-traumatic stress disorder, and why it's important to provide a space for healing. Whether the series he wrote actually succeeds at that, though, is another issue.
    • The final issue makes a very good point about mental health that often gets overlooked or disregarded in other stories. Namely that while it is important to receive help for recovering from traumatic events the process will not be instant and you need to be open to said help even if you feel it's not working right away. There is no magically overcoming trauma even when you are getting help for it and it can take time and effort to do so, even if the effect isn't instantly apparent. Merely restating Aesop. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves. Backlash against the work and its Broken Aesop entry argues against it.
  29. YMMV.Hey Arnold S 3 E 46 Arnold Betrays Iggy Helga And The Nanny: As much as disliked "Arnold Betrays Iggy" is, it does show that some people will never forgive you no matter how apologetic you are. Merely restating Aesop. Fails to explain how unsubtlety improves. Backlash against the work argues against it.

    Zero context (3) 
  1. OvershadowedByControversy.Real Life: A famous advertisement by Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo tells of the feats of an art-loving man who helped rebuild his war-ravaged country before revealing it's Hitler, followed by "You can tell a lot of lies by only saying the truth". Pothole.
  2. Bambi: * The film deliberately sacrifices a piece of the novel's accuracy for the purpose of making Bambi's mother more empathetic and to make her death all that more devastating. Unlike the novel, which shows her actively weaning Bambi and leaving him to fend for himself when he's only a few months old (which is accurate to how real life does raise buck fawns), and real does who, after several weeks, allow their fawns to choose their own bedding site some distance from them, she keeps Bambi with her all the way from spring (the film implies it's as early as April) to late winter, far longer than any real life doe would raise a buck before forcing them to become independent. This has had devastating consequences on how people see deer in real life, as it has indirectly caused hundreds of uninformed people each year to believe a lone, resting or hiding fawn has been abandoned by its mom, even though this is perfectly natural behavior for deer,note  and it often results in them being illegally fawnnapped from the does and, in worst cases, a scenario where a stolen fawn cannot be returned to its mother in time. This is often because the people don't bother delivering the fawns to a rehab, and try to raise them themselves and are either ill-equipped to do sonote  or rear them in a way that makes them lose their wild instincts note  and thus harder or even impossible for them to safely return to the wild—which is something the original novel strongly advocated against with the tragic story of Faline's brother Gobo. Pothole. Lacks context to say if Anvilicious or SANTBD.
  3. 100% Completion: As part of its anvil Aesop, Braid 'rewards' players that achieve this by making the already sobering Gainax Ending even worse. You do have to have 100% completion of the first five worlds (in terms of the 60-ish puzzle pieces, not of the various secret stars) to open the sixth, though. Unnecessary pothole. Misuse as YMMV on non-YMMV page.

    Interchangeably/alongside Anvilicious (5) 
  1. YMMV.Kingdom Hearts: Anvilicious: About all of its moral messages.
    • The Power of Friendship. The game beats the message of the positive influence of friends over a player's head like a hammer to an anvil, but it's all the better for it.
    • No man is an island. Sora exemplifies this by being The Unchosen One; a nobody surrounded by people way more influential and powerful than him. And yet, it's through these connections that Sora manages to overcome every obstacle thrown in front of him. Beyond just The Power of Friendship, the message of "you can't do everything alone" is beaten into the story's message just as hard. And it wouldn't be even half as good if it were subtle. Pothole. Being used interchangeably with Anvilicious despite being opposite tropes.
  2. YMMV.Dragon Age Inquisition: Anvilicious:
  3. YMMV.Batwoman 2019 S 1 E 10 How Queer Everything Is Today:
    • Anvilicious: The episode's gay acceptance Aesop, while a positive message, was rather heavy-handed. Parker appropriately compares it in-universe to a PSA.
    • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: While the whole plot might come off as a a bit too self-congratulatory, its themes revolving around keeping parts of your identity (your sexuality in this case) secret from those around you did add to the on-going plotlines of Sophie's relationships with her husband and Kate, as well as Kate's struggle with the life of a vigilante, and probably wouldn't have had the same impact without being so up-front about it. Anvilicious and SANTBD being used together despite being opposite tropes.
  4. YMMV.Back To The Future: The "Don't let your pride get the best of you" aesop they drill into your head in Parts II and III. It's Anvilicious, but it is surprising how many people actually do put themselves into situations just to prove themselves to others. Otherwise valid as explains unsubtlety and RL importance.
  5. YMMV.His Dark Materials: Anvilicious: In The Amber Spyglass, the series' commentary on the evils of mindlessly deferring to authority, God included, becomes impossible to ignore. This obviously pushed away certain readers, while others argue that Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped. Both Anvilicious and SANTBD misused as about the subject not heavy handedness

    Other/unclear (11) 
  1. DarknessInducedAudienceApathy.Video Games: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain does not shy away from the atrocities of war, including torture, rape, brainwashing, blood diamonds, betrayal, Child Soldiers and killing of youths. Many of these acts are at the very least portrayed to be committed by the protagonists, leading some to see the game as too heavy in its content and feel that, yes, Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped—but not that hard. Entry is arguing against the unsubtlety improving the work.
  2. Fanfic.Mass Effect Human Revolution: Wretched Hive: Almost all of Caleston, quite intentionally. To quote Word of God:
    I thought about rewriting the Caleston (sic) to be less Grimdark, but then I realized something:
    Caleston is a vision of what might happen to a Cyberpunk world when the issues of corporate oppression and angry transhuman children get out of control, one that our heroes need to see: Gangs kill and take whatever they want. The corporations lose their power to religious extremists. Idealistic hackers get murdered in their homes. Hedonism goes out of control, and the workers simply refuse to work for shit pay to feed ungrateful children. Deep beneath that same world are the remains of a wondrous civilization, its people having learned to become demi-gods in their own right, and cast down by sentient machines infused with the dark purpose of their creator... In the middle of that ruin lies the knowledge of the one that stood against the darkness, a beacon sent to the distant, dark future to light the way. Author intent. Might be valid but misuse as YMMV on non-YMMV page.
  3. DethroningMoment.Yu Gi Oh: Demetrios: While I admittedly enjoyed the unpopular DOMA/Atlantis arc of Yu-Gi-Oh!, there was one part I wouldn't blame my fellow fans fans for not liking. When Mai was corrupted by the Orichalcos and Joey was understandably heartbroken about it, Tristan basically told Joey to, pardon my French, go fuck himself. Well, actually, he didn't quite say it that way, but he seemed to be trying to convince Joey as if Mai was pure evil and thus not worth saving. Note that under the circumstances, that isn't quite the same as telling your friend something important without sugarcoating it. That's just nasty and mean-spirited. I know people weren't too keen on Tea's friendship speeches, but isn't that going a little too far? Pothole. Hard Truth Aesop better fit.
  4. Film: This article emphasizes how the movie does a very good job of deconstructing the aftermath of the classic American Mafia during the last half-hour of the film, particularly from Mafia movies like GoodFellas where the aftermath of said lifestyle in modern times is never shown. The result of such deconstruction is an incredibly depressing epilogue to the genre. In many ways, the film undermines what came before, and the central characters don't come out in a blaze of glory. Instead, they march towards a lonely and desiccated retirement where everything they have worked for means nothing for modern times. The movie invokeddrives home relentlessly how men like Frank, Russell, Jimmy and other wiseguys are nothing but a pitiful shadow of what they once were. In other words, they are just people who belong to the past. All these attributes make this film one of the biggest deconstructions ever made of the Mafia genre, which is especially remarkable considering that Scorsese's own GoodFellas was already a deconstruction of its own film genre, yet this film takes things to a new level of deconstruction, especially in the downfall of the classic American Mafia. Pothole. Might be valid but misuse as YMMV on non-YMMV page.
  5. YMMV.Batman The Animated Series E 6 The Underdwellers: Batman chastises Frog for Reckless Gun Usage, noting that children and guns don’t mix, and that while the gun wasn’t loaded, it could have been. Many children have died after finding and playing with their parents’ guns, and one of the most basic rules for firearm safety is to “treat every weapon as if it is loaded.” Only a small part, throwaway part of the episode so not heavy handed about it. Valid for stated RL reasons otherwise.
  6. Live-Action TV: Surprisingly, probably the biggest factor in the creation of The Twilight Zone. Rod Serling was fed up with not being able to tackle contemporary issues (such as race relations) on television, but found out that the censors and networks would let it air if it was fantasy or sci-fi oriented. Pothole. Might be valid but misuse as YMMV on non-YMMV page.
  7. Take That, Critics!: Family Guy: "Boys Do Cry" closed with Peter responding to criticism of the content of the show by saying the following:
    Peter: (talking with Lois; the camera slowly zooms in during) Like, for instance, if you're watching a TV show and you decide to take your values from that, you're an idiot. Maybe you should take responsibility for what values your kids are getting. Maybe you shouldn't be letting your kids watch certain shows in the first place if you have such a big problem with them, instead of blaming the shows themselves. (blatantly looks at the viewer) Yeah. Pothole. Misuse as YMMV on non-YMMV page.
  8. Virginity Makes You Stupid: The 40-Year-Old Virgin plays with this trope; Andy is definitely a bit of a naive Manchild, and the plot of the story revolves around his quest to get rid of his virginity, but the story gradually makes clear that he's actually a lot more well-adjusted, mature and sensible than many of the more 'experienced' men and women around him. ...and the moral is... Pothole. Misuse as YMMV on non-YMMV page. Sounds more like Subversion or Deconstruction.
  9. Luke Cage 2016 S 2 E 3 Wig Out: Domestic Abuse: The argument between Luke and Claire reaches its peak when he loses his temper and pounds a hole in the wall. This is treated exactly as seriously as it should be. Claire is visibly terrified and declares she needs to leave. Luke, who probably witnessed his father doling out violence as a child is visibly deeply ashamed. Likely valid pothole but misuse as YMMV on non-YMMV page.
  10. ShownTheirWork.Live Action Films: * The makers of the film Gojira did a lot of hard work to make the aftermath of Godzilla's attack on Tokyo look eerily similar to what Hiroshima and Nagasaki looked like after they were hit by the atomic bomb. Considering the original film is an allegory about the horrors of atomic warfare, yeah... Likely valid pothole but misuse as YMMV on non-YMMV page.
  11. YMMV.Jurassic Park III: * Narm: Alan's line about how "Some of the worst things imaginable have been done with the best intentions" is intended as a Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped moment, but in practice, comes across as an over-wrought statement of the blindingly obvious. Author intent, but single moment argues against heavy handedness.


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