- Avatar: The Last Airbender takes a few shots at itself in "The Ember Island Players", where the Gaang goes to see play done in tremendous detail about everything that happened to them since Aang's awakening. In an early episode ("The Great Divide"), the group stopped at a canyon and wound up trying to resolve the differences between two feuding clans. Many fans felt it was the worst episode in the series. In the play when the actors playing them spot the canyon they point out its existence... and then decide not to stop and just keep going. Also, during the scene based on "The Drill", much of the audience is visibly bored. The Gaang acts as the Audience Surrogate for both the audience and the Ember Island Players.
- The Legend of Korra: The Season 4 Clip Show "Remembrances" has several jabs at the less than stellar handling of the Love Triangle from Seasons 1 and 2, Mako's relationship issues with Korra and Asami, and Unalaq is treated like The Friend Nobody Likes when compared to Amon, Vaatu, and Zaheer.
- The Simpsons:
- Matt Groening has occasionally taken shots at himself, including having his Life in Hell comics have coffee deflected onto them from a superior comic, showing himself willing to sign anything at a comic convention, and having Homer insult his work being in an art gallery.
- Groening's appearance in The Simpsons Game takes it even further: it is revealed even he doesn't know whether his name is pronounced "Groan-ing" or "Grain-ing"; he introduces himself as "animation's greatest luminary" only for Bart and Homer to blurt out "Seth MacFarlane?", and he is a level boss that Simpsons have to fight. Once he's defeated, the family chide him for milking their franchise.
- In another shot at Groening, they passively encourage fans to hassle him by pretending he enjoys it:Milhouse: Mr. Groaning, will you autograph my Bender doll?
Matt Groening: Sure! I'm happy to give anyone my autograph! Anytime or anywhere! On the street, in a store, or on my private property. But why be happy with just an autograph? What about an original sketch or snippet of my hair? And don't forget to pull my beard. They say it's good luck.
- The Comic Book Guy is also lightly based on Groening; specifically how he believed he would be perceived by fans.
- And at the start of The Simpsons Movie, we have Homer chastising viewers for watching in a cinema something they could watch for free at home.
- In the Meta-episode, "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular", an impromptu interview with Mr. Groening has the camera barge into his office, to find an old, shriveled man with one eye doing tequila shots, who promptly picks up a gun and shoots the cameraman."Groening": GIT OUTTA MAH OFFICE! *BANG* *BANG*
- From the same episode:Troy McClure: Yes, the Simpsons have come a long way since an old alcoholic made humans out of his rabbit characters to pay off his gambling debts.
- "Gump Roast" also has the song "They'll Never Stop the Simpsons" (to the tune of "We Didn't Start the Fire") in which the line "Have no fears, we've got stories for years" is presented as Blatant Lies. A similar joke occurs in "Behind the Laughter", which ends with Homer concluding that the plot of the episode being filmed ("I can't believe we won another contest!" "The Simpsons are going to Delaware!") indicates that this will be the last season. (And yes, they did use that dialogue the following season in "Simpsons Tall Tales".)
- In "Homer Simpson, This is Your Wife", Ricky Gervais takes a swipe at himself, as Homer dismisses his schtick as "You take forever to say nothing!"
- The series frequently makes fun of the fact it's animated overseas in Korea. Once they recruited Banksy to help them.
- Rupert Murdoch, owner of 20th Century Studios/Fox's then parent company News Corporation/21st Century Fox before the company was sold to Disney in 2019 and the current owner of the unrelated Fox Corporation note , appears as himself in "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday" and refers to himself as "the billionaire tyrant." He also sends his goons after Homer and the others for breaking into his sky box, complete with summoning them via a smoke bomb and yelling "SEIZE THEM" like a super-villain.
- "Pranks and Greens" is about Bart trying to help an adult prankster named Andy do something with his life. He's satisfied with getting him a job on Krusty's show, although Lisa still thinks he's a loser for being a comedy show writer.
- In "Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming", Bob laments "My crusade against television has come to an end so formulaic it could have spewed from the power-book of the laziest Hollywood hack!" Also in that episode, Sideshow Bob's rant against TV is interrupted by Rupert Murdoch who's angry because he owns 61% of the network being insulted. He's one of Bob's inmates in prison.
- In "Guess Who's Coming to Criticize Dinner?":Lisa: Wow, my first published article! Although someone else's name is on it...
Homer: Welcome to the humiliating world of professional writing!
- The opening subtitle of "Simpsorama" reads: "A show out of ideas teams up with a show out of episodes."
- Krusty takes a shot at the show's own writers (and all writers by extension) in one episode when his network executives are pressuring him to make his show appeal more to girls. His response?Krusty: If my writers knew how to appeal to girls they wouldn't be writers!
- South Park:
- Each episode opens with a disclaimer that includes "All characters and events in this show--even those based on real people--are entirely fictional. All celebrity voices are impersonated ... poorly."
- "Cartoon Wars", a two episode-long Take That toward Family Guy, takes a couple jabs at itself when a stranger drops Kyle off to save Family Guy, "I know the show is just joke after joke with no structure, but I kinda like that. At least it's not all preachy and up its own ass with messages, you know?" note
- At the start of the episode, Terrance and Phillip complain to the network president about their encounter with Mohammed being censored, in which the president responds with "Your show has become so preachy and full of messages that you've forgotten how to be funny!"
- In "The Passion of the Jew", Stan says "This is just like when we got our money back for BASEketball," a film starring Matt Stone And Trey Parker.
- An in-universe example: Several times Cartman actually helps out with the jokes directed toward him, saying a large structure compared to his ass is nowhere close to rivaling him. That might be due to Cartman Comically Missing the Point combined with his massive ego.
- In "More Crap", Randy is going for the "Biggest Crap" Record. There are a few jabs at Bono they would occasionally flash the words "Emmy Award Winning Series" on the bottom of the screen during the moments where the episode was reaching absurd levels of stupidity or being completely low-brow, like Randy constipated on the toilet grunting and groaning.
- South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut features the kids going to see in-universe TV show Terrence And Philip's own The Movie. At the end they complain about the film's lame animation, and then have an especially badly-animated walk away from the theater.
- The season 16 episode "Raising the Bar" features this dialogue:Kyle: How did shamelessness get to this? Did it start with fat people on scooters or did the bar get lowered way before that? And then I started thinking that maybe it was us. I don't know, but maybe somehow we lowered the bar... a long time ago and now we're just sitting in the stink of it all.
- In "A Very Crappy Christmas", after the boys recreated the 1995 "Spirit of Christmas" and showed it to the town:Mayor: "Kids, that cartoon was fabulous. How would you like to have your own show and make 100 more of them?"
Stan: "Are you kidding? I think we'd rather stab ourselves in the head."
- ''Terrance and Philip" mocks their potty humor and jokes.
- "Super Hard PCness" is a more serious example of this. Much of the episode's plot involves Kyle becoming disillusioned with "Terrance and Phillip", and expressing dismay at how he used to think it was funny. He denounces it as mean-spirited and cynical, saying it thrives on tearing others down, and that it corrupted the morals of his generation. Since "Terrance and Phillip" is generally used as a stand-in for the show itself, it's essentially a meta-commentary.
- "Black Friday":Cartman: You know what pre-ordering means? It means committing to pay for something that some asshole from Colorado hasn't even finished making.
- Codename: Kids Next Door: In "Operation: S.A.F.E.T.Y.", a Senator proposes a law that bans cartoons that make fun of adults. (The whole idea of this cartoon.)
- In an episode of Ultimate Spider-Man, Hawkeye points out how incredibly stupid it is that Spider-Man uses a Spider-Cycle when he can already get anywhere he needs to by using his webs.
- Drawn Together:
- Many episodes in the second and third season contain jokes about how bad the show is.
- One notable example is "Xandir and Tim, Sitting in a Tree", where the gang finds out that their show was given a negative review by Entertainment Weekly. While the episode doubles as a Take That, Critics! by portraying the person who gave the negative review as an unflattering amalgam of every kind of person the show makes fun of, the characters agree that the criticism is well-deserved.
- Another example that stands out is in the two-part episode "Lost in Parking Space", where it is revealed that Hot Topic makes lots of money by allowing their patrons to torture despised cartoon characters and the Drawn Together cast are stated to be extremely reviled, which leads to Foxxy Love and Princess Clara being added to Hot Topic's prisoners against their wills.
- One scene in the direct-to-video movie has the cast listen to the audio commentary in order to find out how to get out of their current problem. They get very impatient in waiting for the creators to reveal how they solve their problem, with Wooldoor Sockbat even asking in an irritated tone who would even bother to listen to the commentary.
- Many episodes in the second and third season contain jokes about how bad the show is.
- Tiny Toon Adventures frequently takes shots at its own writers. In addition to all the examples listed on Who Writes This Crap?!, there are the lyrics for the theme song to the Wonderful Life Christmas special: "Our writers aren't gifted!/The story has been lifted..."
- Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation featured a series of plot threads revolving around the different characters. It also included a Credits Gag suggesting a possible moral of the story as "Feature-length movies should not have 18 different plots".
- Animaniacs is fond of this, and even contains an example in the opening credits:The writers flipped, we have no script
Why bother to rehearse?
- "The Warners' 65th Anniversary Special" pokes fun at the abysmal reception of Buddy's cartoons by portraying Buddy as a villain seeking revenge against the Warners for stealing his fame.
- In the episode "Valuable Lesson", Attila the Hun, pursuing the Warner Siblings with the intent to seriously harm them, at one point storms into Warner Bros. Studios while shouting "Crush Warners!" A guard resembling Don Knotts witnesses this and remarks "Must be from one of our affiliates".
- The debut episode of Freakazoid! did this kind of joke when they do a theme for the show using the Animaniacs melody:It's Freakazoid and friends
It's what your dentist recommends
To patients who chew gum
This show is really dumb
It's Freakazoid and friends
- Family Guy:
- Quagmire is starting to become this, pointing out the flaws and many things disliked by the fans. It reached its peak in a Take That, Scrappy! at Brian.
- In "Brian Does Hollywood", the characters ending up at an adult movie awards ceremony, the category for "Best Music Composition" comes up. One of them is John Williams, who apparently uses a full-fledged orchestra even when scoring a porn flick, and two grungy-looking guys with synthesizers. One of said grungy men with synthesizer is identified as Walter Murphy, composer for the disco hit "A Fifth of Beethoven", as well as long-time composer of Seth MacFarlane's works, including Family Guy and Ted.
- In "Road to the Multiverse", Brian's dog tag on his collar in one of the universesnote has "LIBERAL" on it, making fun of Brian's left-wing viewpoints.
- An episode included a news anchorman whose name was Chevapravatdumrong, but changed it because no one would allow that name on television. This is a dig at Cherry Chevapravatdumrong, one of the show's producers, whose name appears at the beginning of each episode.
- The Return of the Jedi special ends with Lois, Meg, and Chris outright insulting MacFarlane, calling him unoriginal, an asshole, and a one-trick pony ("He watched television in the 1980s. We get it.").
- "Believe It or Not, Joe's Walking on Air" has them complain about Scrubs and the way it often jumped to imagination cuts, in a drawn-out way that makes it very clear that they are also talking about their own tendency to jump-cut to jokes.
- In the 100th episode special, Seth MacFarlane interviews several people about Family Guy (who don't know who he is). They all say that the show is terrible.
- The opening to "Valentine's Day in Quahog", which parodies the theatrical trailer for Valentine's Day, includes a text card saying that the episode is another sign of the show's declining quality.
- In "Road to Germany", Brian goes back in time to Nazi Germany and is disgusted by a piece of Nazi propaganda featuring a horrible caricature of a Jew. The picture of the Jew is identical to Family Guy's recurring Jewish character Mort Goldman.
- In "Forget-Me-Not", an amnesiac Peter finds a jukebox and turns it on. The song "Surfin' Bird" starts playing, but Peter shuts it off after about three seconds and remarks "Boy, that got old real fast". This is, of course, a dig at the Running Gag of Peter's literally fetishisticnote obsession with the song.
- Beck, voicing himself in "Bendin' in the Wind", takes a number of shots at himself:Bender: Why? 'Cause I can make annoying noises?
Beck: Exactly. I use those all the time in my music!
Beck: Come on, move it! We gotta get to the concert and make the audience wait for it at the start.
- "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" has the Star Trek: The Original Series cast performing self-deprecating versions of themselves; with William Shatner playing his reputation for self-importance, as well as his failed attempts at music, to the hilt. Say what you like about the guy's acting, he does have a great sense of self-parody.Melllvar: Here I've been admiring a bunch of actors while you, a crew of genuine space heroes, risked your lives to save them.
- In one episode, Fry is promoted to "Executive Delivery Boy". Hermes then calls it a "Meaningless term, but it helps insecure people feel better about themselves." Cue the Executive Producer credits. Watch this gem here.
- Also, blurring the lines between this and Biting-the-Hand Humor, at one point Bender refers to the people who cancelled the series as idiots...and the people who brought it back as bigger idiots.
- In one episode, Bender says of lifting heavy objects in the moon's lower gravity, "You can work and be lazy at the same time. It's like being a voice actor!"
- Beck, voicing himself in "Bendin' in the Wind", takes a number of shots at himself:
- The creators of Robot Chicken occasionally insert themselves into sketches, usually for jokes at their own expense, and each season finale ends with the show's cancellation (necessitating the renewal of the series in each subsequent season premiere).
- Ed, Edd n Eddy:
- In "Brother, Can You Spare an Ed?", Eddy makes a remark about Ed's "badly-drawn fingers". Later in the episode, Eddy's response to a guilty monologue from Edd is "Who writes this guy's material?"
- In Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Picture Show, the Eds find a glass case in Eddy's brother room marked "In Case of Movie Break Glass"... with nothing in it but a single peanut. Ed quips "Cheap movie!"
- One episode of The Fairly OddParents had Timmy trying to impress Trixie by winning a movie award. When he finally does, she still rejects him. When he asks why, she says:Trixie: Because, anonymous voice from nobody, you won an award for comedy, and everyone knows that comedy is the lowest form of entertainment, next to animation.
- Fanboy and Chum Chum frequently takes jabs at itself for the excessive use of Toilet Humor and puns. An example from "Little Glop of Horrors":Fanboy: Hey Kyle! It's pizza day! Come play pizza monkeys with us!
Kyle: You two are...pizza monkeys? What do you do, throw your poop-aroni?
Fanboy and Chum Chum burst out with laughter
Kyle (sighing): I'm witty day after day - and this is what they laugh at.
- Season 2 of Yogi's Treasure Hunt reveled in self-deprecation, parody and self-parody. Most notably in the episode "Yogi's Heroes," where Dick Dastardly and Muttley capture Snooper and Blabber and torture them by making them watch old Dastardly & Muttley cartoons.Blabber: Our brains will turn to mush!
- Rocky and Bullwinkle loved to poke fun at itself. One episode dealt with Boris and Natasha's attempts to open a giant trunk, and failing everything else, they opt to bring in an A-bomb. Cue the following exchange:Rocky: You know what "A-bomb" means?
Bullwinkle: Certainly! "A bomb" is what some people call our program.
Rocky: I don't think that's so funny!
Bullwinkle: (Aside Glance) Neither do they, apparently.
- Arthur did this quite a few times.
Muffy: Why does he always call for his mother when his little sister bothers him? She's like a slave!
- D.W.'s re-enactment of Arthur on TV in "And Now Let's Talk to Some Kids":D.W.: Here's Arthur on TV: [puts her fingers around her eyes to imitate Arthur's classes] "My name is Arthur and my dog is named Pal. And blah-dee blah-dee blah! Isn't that interesting?" And here's the audience watching Arthur on TV! [she lies down and snores]
- The same episode also features an in-universe version of the live-action "And Now a Word from Us Kids" interstitial. They poked fun at the usually choppy segment, with some of the kids not knowing much about the topic and Arthur's friends saying that they're probably only on their show because their parents work on it.
- "Mei Lin Takes a Stand" opens with Mei Lin stating that she "does not agree with all of the show's views" and complaining about the lack of episodes starring kids under the age of three.
- "The Contest" opens with Arthur and his friends watching Andy and Company, pointing out all the Fridge Logic in the show.
Brain: If they're animals, does their school serve bugs and garbage for lunch?
Francine: I'd like to know how a mouse has a pet dog. Wouldn't the dog eat him?
Arthur: Andy's not a mouse, he's a... something. I forget.
- In "Buster Baxter, Cat Saver", Buster creates a self-aggrandizing cartoon based around his own imaginary adventures. Describing the premise to his friends, Arthur notes that to make things worse, Buster's show is also supposed to be "edutainment," which causes everyone to recoil in disgust.
- D.W.'s re-enactment of Arthur on TV in "And Now Let's Talk to Some Kids":
- The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy:
- In the episode "My Fair Mandy", Grim introduces the kids to an underworld makeover artist. Grim then says that she made him what he is today and once looked like a "total nerd". It then cuts to a picture of creator Maxwell Atoms.
- From the episode where Billy, Mandy, and Grim go to the Sassy Cat Amusement Park:Grim: Cartoons are stupid!
Mandy: I agree.
- There are a few times that Maxwell Atoms' other, far less successful show, Evil Con Carne, is mentioned and mocked. An example from the episode "Fear and Loathing in Endsville", when Billy and Mandy are apparently watching Jeopardy! on the TV.Contestant: I'll take cancelled TV shows for 300, Alex.
Alex Trebek: Okay, this show starred a bear with an evil brain attached...oh come on, surely someone has seen that show!
- The opening credits to Big Boogey Adventure state "Cartoon Network Presents...A Stupid Billy & Mandy Film."
- In the Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi episode "Manga Madness", there's this little exchange:
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has had characters respond negatively to Pinkie Pie's Once an Episode singing a number of times:
- The very first song of the series is sung by Pinkie in the second episode, prompting the following exchange:
- Pinkie Pie's announcement that she's written a song about Zecora in "Bridle Gossip" is immediately preceded by eye-rolling and a weary "Here we go" from Rainbow Dash. After the song finishes, Pinkie is met with an awkward silence and bewildered stares.
- In "Over a Barrel", after watching Pinkie Pie's song about sharing and caring, Chief Thunderhooves announces that he's found something he and Sheriff Silver Star agree on: "That was the worst performance we've ever seen." An ill-timed reprise of the song later on actually angers Thunderhooves into going through with his attack on Appleloosa.
- In "Baby Cakes", Pinkie's attempt to cheer up Pound and Pumpkin Cake with her excessively juvenile "Piggy Dance" song actually makes them stare at each other in disgust and start crying all over again.
- In "A Friend in Deed", Cranky Doodle Donkey is repeatedly annoyed by Pinkie's songs.
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Rainbow Rocks features a scene where Twilight and the human versions of her friends hold hands and declare "Friendship is magic!", and are then quite shocked when this doesn't actually do anything. The commentary confirms this is a deliberate reference to the number of times the show has resorted to essentially doing this same thing as a Deus ex Machina (including the previous movie).
- In "Rarity Takes Manehattan", Rainbow Dash remarks that she's not usually into musicals. "Ponies bursting into song at the drop of a hat? Who does that?" This is immediately followed by Rarity bursting into song.
- In "Slice of Life", the show's 100th episode, DJ Pon-3's mobile DJ booth is shown jumping over a plush shark, implying that the show itself has "jumped the shark."
- The episode also takes a jab at the fandom when it depicts the DJ booth falling after running into the "Twilicane", a gag in the episode "Princess Twilight Sparkle" turned into a meme by the fans. As a fan-pandering episode, it is chock-full of references to other fandoms and to its own fandom's quirks.
- In "Gauntlet Of Fire", when the Dragon Princess Ember ends up befriending Spike, she makes it clear to him that their friendship won't consist of "picking flowers or exchange necklaces or whatever pony friends do", a jab at the shows' own tendency to taste like diabetes. "Triple Threat" also has her Leaning on the Fourth Wall regarding the similarities in both name and design between Twilight Sparkle and Starlight Glimmer.
- "All Bottled Up" features a gag where the Mane Six are attempting to solve a Room Escape Game in record time, and once they (seemingly) solve it, the entire group breaks out into a musical number. Not only did they not actually finish the puzzle (the key had to be turned for the challenge to be completed) the musical number took so long that they fell short of the puzzle record by two seconds. It was even lampshaded by their guide, who told them the song wasn't necessary. The song itself was even a Self-Parody of the typical musical number the show usually does.
- In one episode of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!, the main protagonists are captured by the villains and forced to watch the original live-action film endlessly as torture.
- The Adventure Time episode "A Glitch is a Glitch" opens with Finn doing some crude animation of the Ice King on a computer. He soon becomes impatient with his progress:Finn: Man, I dont have the patience for this animation junk. Whoever does this must have no life whatsoever. *Punches himself in the face* Why did I do that?
- Beavis and Butt-Head:
- The show's first disclaimer said that they are stupid cartoon people completely made up by this Texas guy whom we hardly even know.
- Additionally, in "Animation Sucks", they both agree that animation sucks after seeing the hundreds of dead people that they drew turn into 2 repeatedly dying people. Plus, said dead people looked just like them. Earlier in the same episode, Van Dreissen goes on a lengthy spiel about the wonders of bringing your ideas to life with animation. During the entire speech, we simply see Beavis and Butt-Head just sitting there, doing absolutely nothing.
- The Star Wars: Droid Tales specials take jabs at some of the less than popular elements of the franchise, such as the focus on things like taxation and trade routes in The Phantom Menace, Palpatine being Obviously Evil, every planet having breathable oxygen, and much more.
- Done a few times on Brickleberry:
- In "Trip to Mars", Woody Johnson finds out that all of the progresses NASA made in space travel have been staged and that everyone involved is an actor. He ponders whether he is an actor and is on television right now, but concludes that in the time slot he's in "no one's watching this shit".
- The season 2 finale "A-Park-alypse" has a Native American remark that Brickleberry lasted more seasons than he expected.
- In "High Stakes", Malloy responds to Woody's claim that he made friends with a bigger asshole than himself by asking if he means that he made friends with Daniel Tosh, who happens to be Malloy's voice actor.
- Steven Universe:
- In the episode "Too Far", Peridot notes in a personal audio diary that while she's grown to (begrudgingly) respect Pearl, she can't rationalize her "spontaneous singing, crying, ...singing while crying," a dig at the tendency of the show's main characters to cry or sing whenever things get emotional.
- The Show Within a Show, "Crying Breakfast Friends", is an even bigger example of this, mocking the show's art style and overt emotion, as each episode has highly cartoonish characters cry and hug constantly: Steven is the only one who really likes the show, with almost every other character being confused by it. One of the shorts has him wonder how long he'll have to wait for the next episode, referencing the show's tendency to go for long periods of time without airing a new episode (Though that may be the network's fault more than the creator's).
- The last The Crystal Gems Say be Anti-Racist short, "Be an Ally", has the Crystal Gems address their uncertainty of the PSAs they've been filming truly being effective in solving the issue of racism.
- MAD ran for 100 episodes, then caps it off with a skit where One Direction watches the show and sings a parody of "Best Song Ever" calling it the worst show ever. It only made sense that the show do this a lot given that the source material is famous for it and even provides the image on the main page. For more examples, they had a skit where WALLE attacks their studios for being the "biggest producers of garbage," and one where The Watcher awkwardly avoids answering Captain America's question of whether MAD wins an Emmy in the future.
- Gravity Falls:
- In one episode, Grunkle Stan tells Mabel that animation is made by moving things around one frame at a time, by an anti-social shut-in. Soos says that those people are called "animators".
- At the end of "Dungeons, Dungeons and More Dungeons," the main characters sit down together to watch the finale of In-Universe cartoon Ducktective...which has the exact same plot twist that Gravity Falls did two episodes ago.Mabel: He had a twin brother all along? That's the big twist we were waiting for?
Grenda: What a ripoff!
Soos: I predicted that, like, a year ago.
- In the Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja episode "Debbie Meddle", Debbie and Randy agree that the show's title sounds ridiculous, complete with an Aside Glance.
- Although Teen Titans Go! is notorious for insulting its detractors, it takes potshots at itself just as often. One suspects that the writers are aware of the show's infamous reputation and just enjoy playing it up. note
Narrator: And so, once again, the day is saved, no thanks to the Teen Titans! Seriously, what's wrong with these guys?
- "The Fourth Wall" has Control Freak reveal that he created the show by rebooting the universe of the original series and he informs the Titans that his plan to win praise for creating the show has failed because nobody likes it. He also shows the Titans the original series, with the Titans being just as disappointed as the original show's fans that it got cancelled.
- "Wally T" is filled to the brim with jokes about the show's dismal reception, the most notable one being Robin expressing his skepticism at the idea of the show having a fan. Wally T also non-verbally shows that he prefers the original show and the Titans at one point lose their fan by attempting to pander to his favorite aspects of the show, leaving them with no fans at all.
- "TTG v. PPG", a crossover with The Powerpuff Girls (2016), goes out of its way to show the Titans as incompetent idiots. Mojo Jojo states that heroes don't care about fighting crime in the TTG universe, Cyborg and Beast Boy are shown as complete imbeciles who are easily deceived into helping Mojo Jojo create his monkey army, and Starfire, Raven, and Robin insistently patronize Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup and dismiss them as being "babies". In addition, the Powerpuff Girls prove to be better crime-fighters and they and their narrator waste no time in calling the Titans out on their incompetent and unheroic ways.
- Danger Mouse reveled in this, especially the original series.Narrator: And so we come to the end of another load of...(catches himself) another amazing adventure.
- As a cross between Self Deprecation and Take That!, several segments of the Garbage Pail Kids Cartoon showed parents and Moral Guardians decrying the cartoon (which is something that actually happened in real life). The first episode even begins with a bespectacled woman stating that it's terrible anyone would put a show like it on TV and demands the audience to change the channel.
- The introduction to Madballs: Gross Jokes does this. It states, in the form of a Snicket Warning Label, that watching the cartoon will give the viewer "premature baldness, swelling of the nose, throat, and abdomen, and loss of facial hair" and that watching it is only recommended if you are "seriously considering a rewarding, challenging career as a lawn ornament." Then, when the characters are being introduced, Bash Brain (the host of the show) says "I've never seen anything so awful in my entire life."
- Mr. Cat takes quite a few digs at the show. For example, in one episode, Stumpy proposes that they create a TV show with the same premise as the actual show they are on, and Mr. Cat says nobody would want to watch a show like that.
- The show has a tendency to have zombies randomly become involved in the plot for some reason. In one of the season 3 episodes, Stumpy gets access to a bunch of Portal Doors leading to alternate dimensions and when he finds one where everyone is a zombie, he turns to the audience and remarks:Stumpy: I'm starting to get tired of the zombies, aren't you?
- The tagline for the third season of Rick and Morty is "Only a show this smart can be this stupid."
- Johnny Test:
- The original run had an episode titled "Johnny X... Again?", alluding to the overuse of plots involving Johnny's superhero alter ego (this was roughly the tenth episode using him, and the second-to-last before the show ended).
- The Netflix revival has a scene where an Evil Librarian uses a device to steal Johnny's voice, in the process interrupting his utterance of the show's Share Phrase "Didn't see that coming." Without it, he begins making whipcrack sound effects similar to the ones that the old show was infamous for, and she remarks that people have all had enough of those sounds and uses the same device to steal them, too.
- Sonic Boom has a lot of fun at the expense of itself and its original incarnation.
- "Let's Play Musical Friends".Tails: Try this video game. You run, roll and collect rings as fast as you can.
Cubot: Ah, that sounds terrible!
- In "Alone Again, Unnaturally", Tails claims his new inventions uses "blast-processing technology".Sticks: "Blast processing technology"? Those are just some phony-baloney buzz words to fool the simple-minded!
Knuckles: Blast processing technology?! GIMME GIMME GIMME!
- In "In the Midnight Hour", Sticks (correctly) claims that the villagers are being hypnotized by a villain who goes by the name "Dreamcaster".Tails: That's the worst name I've ever heard.
Sonic: It's not so bad!
Knuckles: Yeah! The "er" at the end is kinda nice.
- In "Mech Suits Me", Amy comments on how studios should stop recycling properties and try making something original. Followed by a very awkward silence.
- In "Mister Eggman", Team Sonic is trying to keep a washer ring away from Eggman. Sonic complains that catching rings is boring.
- "FiendBot" probably tops the list with their comments on Tomatopotamus 2.Tails: That's the best one in the entire series! Tomatopotamus never worked in 3D.
Knuckles: Game companies always ruin their beloved franchises.
Sonic: They never should've changed the color of Tomatopotamus's legs.
- "Let's Play Musical Friends".
- A lot of the humor in Wacky Races (2017) comes from its frequent jabs toward itself, its writing, and the general consensus about reboots. In fact, as season 2 came along, this became one of the things that the show ran on, to the point where it can be a challenge to name an episode that doesn't have this type of humor.
- "40 Yard Dash" is basically an entire episode of this, with everyone calling out the racers for, contrary to the title being Wacky Races, not actually doing a lot of racing. This pretty much drives everyone to the brink of war.
- Near the end of "Peter 2.0", the racers have a conversation about rebooting a classic animated TV show. After some debating, they eventually decide that its just a cheap ploy to make money.
- "Much Ado About Wacky" is an episode where Dick Dastardly tries to make the show more "cultured", citing that the show emphasizes smarmy inside jokes and slapstick comedy.
- In "Wackyland", Brick Crashman states that the titular races are a marginal cult success with several users of the Internet...and not anyone else.
- "Muttleys Are Forever" gives us Dr. Doomsdoctor threatening to show Dastardly & Muttley the first part of the episode again if they dont listen to him, with them reacting in terror.
- Sheep in the Big City did this constantly, mainly by having the narrator complain whenever the episode took an unbelievable or ludicrous turn. The last episode, "Baa-hind the Scenes", even has a scene where Sheep's agent suggests that he become the star of a children's cartoon show, the network executive replying that Sheep doesn't have the look for it.
- DuckTales (2017) does it subtly: this show's Webbigail is an Action Girl with No Social Skills. In her room, she has a doll of her model from the original series (The Chick and a frequent Damsel Scrappy) pinned to the wall with an arrow through the heart.
- The Thomas & Friends episode, "Diesel Do Right" features an Imagine Spot where Devious Diesel and the other diesels spoof the infamous Big World Big Adventures theme song.Diesel: Den, Dart, Sidney, and Norman,
Paxton, and Philip, and Diesel, number one!
Let's go go go on a Big World Adventure,
Let's go go go have fun with Diesel and his friends,
Let's go go go and meet new friendly faces,
The world's just a train ride away!
Big World, Big Big Adventures,
Diesel and Friends: Big World! Big Adventures!
- The New Adventures of Beany and Cecil did this kind of joke in the episode "Framed Freep", where Dishonest John complains about Princess Princess always crying "Help, Beany, help" and asks if that is all she'll say in the episode. The princess answers that it is all she'll say and proves it to Dishonest John by giving him a copy of the show's script. Dishonest John looks at the script and then remarks "What kind of jerk wrote this?"
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold's Grand Finale, "Mitefall", has a few:
- The plot sees Bat-Mite trying to invoke Jumping the Shark and features both Henry Winkler (the actor involved with the very scene that spawned the term) as Ambush Bug, who's trying to stop it, and Ted McGinley (himself being considered the patron saint of the term as well due to joining Happy Days and The Love Boat when they were on their last legs), who's involved an In-Universe case of another frequent example of "Jumping the Shark" (Bat-Mite invokes The Other Darrin by replacing Aquaman's usual voice with McGinley's).
- After Bat-Mite makes various changes, the episode cuts to a father and son watching the show. The father (voiced by Diedrich Bader, the voice actor for the series's version of Bruce Wayne) remarks the show has taken a nosedive this season.
- Various incarnations of Scooby-Doo have taken shots at themselves or previous shows in the series. For example, the Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated episode "The Siren's Song" has Daphne come across a statue of Scrappy-Doo, only for Fred to pull her away, saying that they promised not to speak of him anymore, mocking Scrappy's infamous unpopularity among fans and his disappearance from the series as a result.
Self Deprecation / Western Animation