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Some Anvils Need To Be Dropped / Fan Fic

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  • Cross Ange Futatsu Sekai No Border: Norma are humans, too, but they can become "savage monsters" if broken enough. Even after the Light of Mana disappeared, said deranged monsters roam the land massacring civilians, cannibalizing them and consuming their blood. Mana users, on the other hand, can learn to become human by learning how to stand up for themselves. By achieving true independence, they've managed to become far better people.
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  • Star Trek Voyager: Rose and the Yew Tree is a bomb raid of anvils dropped well: Civilized does not mean moral. Tolerance repaid with prejudice breeds resentment. The enemy is no different than you. Principles guide us when we lack data. Live in the now. Stories are important... That and much more. Oh so much more. Anvilicious because it's told. Effective because it's shown. Possibly best fan fiction ever written. Required reading for anyone who can tolerate SF.
  • In the Daria/Legion of Super-Heroes crossover Bird With Black Wings (set in the Crapsack World that is the shared-world series Daylight, set after a civilization-extinction level event caused by massive solar flares), the members of the Legion get into a debate on whether they should revoke their rule on killing. The discussion is turned by Julia Carlyle, who gives a Patrick Stewart Speech on how she, as a military officer, has it in her job description to kill, but how others expect the Legionnaires to hold fast to their standards, even in the toughest of times. She even paraphrases Tom Clancy at the end of her speech:
    Julia Carlyle: “There’s a passage I read in a book long ago. I’m paraphrasing just a bit – but the meaning is something I’ve always remembered. `So we don’t have a choice. You can name any reason you want, but it all comes down to the same thing; we have a debt of honor to the man who brought all of us together, and the people who believe that we stand for something more. If we don’t defend that principle, we don’t defend anything. And nobody will trust us, and nobody will respect us, not even ourselves. If we turn our backs on them by deciding to kill, then we are not the people we say we are, and everything we’ve ever done is a lie.’
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  • Two back-to-back Malcolm in the Middle one-shot fics each drop an anvil that needed to be dropped, both of which blatantly deconstruct the show's general aesop. The first, Gravestone, drops one on Lois to take a look at her life and her character, and ask herself if that's the kind of person she wants people to think of her as at her funeral. The second, Life Is Short!, drops one on Malcolm, asking him if it's really worth trying to please the very people who abused him his whole life, and to financially support such a family that already squanders the money they themselves make. Even though potential is a good thing to strive for, and getting into an Ivy League school is not something everyone has the privilege of, he ought to reconsider his prior decision to go along with his parents' wishes.
  • StarCrossed, a Lucky Star fanfic about the main girls' future lives going to hell, teaches how a lack of morals and self-respect can have one disastrous consequence after another and destroy one's future beyond repair. Don't get mad and burn bridges! Don't cheat your way through life! If you suspect a relationship will eventually turn toxic, put your foot down and say "NO!" to it! Don't leave little kids home unattended! Don't sell your body! Your actions will affect yourself and other people, not least of all your loved ones.
    • And most of all, don't break promises of friendship. If you've got problems, share it with those you can trust, for you don't know what you really have until it's gone.
  • In Total Drama fanfic Change Of Plans: After Sweden; Just because someone does one great action, doesn't mean you have to put up with their jerkass or insane behavior. Applies to Courtney and Cody's relationships with Duncan and Sierra respectively.
  • The comedic My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fic "Twilight Sparkle Discovers Wikipedia" devotes its final lines to a filibuster about the education system. For context, Wikipedia in-story manifests as a Great Big Book of Everything that tempts Twilight with its ease of use. After she writes to Celestia about it, the latter is displeased and sends her back to Magic Kindergarten so she can re-learn the basics of studying. After Luna questions why the book is so dreaded, Celestia remarks:
    “Luna, how many times must I remind you! The Wikipedia is scorned because it's too easy! And we as teachers and mentors dislike more than anything our students researching an assignment the easy way! Everything must be long and tedious. Otherwise, they'll begin to notice how pointless most of the work we give them really is! Is this what you desire, Luna? Young ponies questioning our brilliant education system?"
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fic Burned Bridges drops an anvil several times about how Sugar Blossom has to own up to the fact she left behind her friends with no contact over the past few years, as well as the consequences of doing so. However, at the same time, it shows that even though Sugar Blossom burned her bridges with her friends, true friends won't just abandon her when she tries to make amends, especially since she's genuinely sorry for having hurt them so. It's not very subtle about it either.
  • The Lucky Star fanfic Bonds describes how school massacres take place, and how everyone is at fault for it. Even though they can never be justified, you really can't blame Izumi for losing all hope in life and wanting to just end it on a literal bang. Blame her parents, for demanding perfection from her and imposing their will on her to inherit their company instead of letting her make her own decisions and accepting her for how much she was capable of achieving; the Hunt Club, for the way everyone in it treated her; anyone else who knew what was going on, for not speaking up; the school, for most likely refusing to do anything about it; and the police, for doing nothing to save anyone from her rampage. Honor is a big deal in Japan, and in no situation does it rear its ugly head higher than here, with everybody paying the price for what certain students did to her and her fellow otaku and the lack of action taken by the school faculty.
  • The campfire fanfic Turtles in Distress features the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in an alternate universe with the genetically engineered 'Humanimals' who are created to serve the Humans. It's something of a deconstruction of Cordwainer Smith's stories, mostly the Happiness is Mandatory part, with the Human Citizens being 'conditioned' to not feel sympathy for the slaves. The conditioning is not effective, so in order to compensate, the Lord and Ladies keep on conditioning their citizens until they are unable to feel anything other than hatred. The universe the Turtles are visiting is currently going through a civil war with The Federation who wants to liberate Humanimals, and The Empire who stubbornly clings to the old ways. The big anvil, however, is showing just how ugly and brutally dehumanizing slavery is. The Turtles are put in a situation where they can't fight back; if they try to fight their captors, they're dead, and the fact that they are regarded as an inferior lower caste simply because they are mutated turtles is a pretty big blow for Leo and Raph's pride. They don't save themselves; the Federation Humanimals rescue them and all the other Humanimals in the 'Slave Academy.' The only real fighting any of the Turtles do is when Mikey beats an overseer trying to have his way with an Okapi Girl, and at that point they're all but rescued.
  • Marie D. Suesse and the Mystery New Pirate Age! has the author reference this trope in response to a reviewer.
    Phalanx: "this story is in some ways a modern-day version of a dark fairy tale and it is in keeping with the tone of those kind of stories. They weren't particularly subtle about their aesops. If you're familiar with TV Tropes, there's one that goes 'Some Anvils Need to be Dropped'. I think this fic drops whole hailstorm of them.
  • Parting Words drops a lot of anvils on the handling of the issue of bullying. The Cutie Mark Crusaders point out the many times they had been bullied by Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon and how Applejack never stepped in to help even when it was happening in front of her. Princess Celestia (in disguise) also points out how the "fighting back or standing up for yourself in any way makes you just as bad as the bullies" mentality is a very toxic and downright morally confusing thing to pass on to genuine victims of bullying, and even wonders just where that line of thinking came from.
  • We're Gonna Get There Soon drops a LOT of well-needed anvils: Don't judge people simply by one thing. There's more to a person than just their flaws. Get the whole picture. Different and stupid don't mean the same thing. If your "friends" are being mean to someone you love to the point of laughing at them when they have a near death experience, then they're NOT friends at all, and behavior like that is NOT acceptable.
  • Pony Pov Series drops the message You Are Not Alone like a sledgehammer to the balls (especially during the Nightmare Whisper and Shining Armor Arcs), yet considering the goal of the cast is to rebuild the world after the horrors that Discord has caused, (and in the aforementioned arcs, Fluttershy had gone full Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds and Shining had been hit with one Heroic BSoD after another), it's just what the doctor ordered.
    • Relating to the above Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds moment, a recurring theme is that repressing mental trauma instead of dealing with it in a healthy manner is a really bad idea.
    • Yet another anvil often glossed over in these kinds of stories is that nature can be a cruel thing. In fact, repressing that truth caused Fluttershy's "moment".
      • Though in a Hilarious in Hindsight moment, Fluttershy in canon is shown to be aware of nature being dangerous. Some time after this chapter was when the Pony IDW comics came out and in the first arc, Fluttershy cheerfully pointed out that the two groups of wild animals that were going to attack them were now fighting one another for the right to eat them. While the rest of the Mane 6 is in shock and digust at watching the fight, Fluttershy cherfully comments on nature being fascinating while staring at the fight.
    • Especially in the Shining Armor Arc and the Dark World Arc, there's a big emphasis on how you should avoid falling into He Who Fights Monsters.
    • A major theme of the Wedding Arc is the deconstruction of Always Chaotic Evil with the Changelings, and the dangers of painting an entire race as inherently evil like that.
  • This Avatar: The Last Airbender fan comic. It says everything in one page about how all people, even those at opposite ends of a world war or who live in entirely different places, are Not So Different.
  • In Final Fantasy VII fanfic Off The Line Cloud initially assumes that the sexual harassment he faces is due to his very Stripperiffic attire that he is forced to wear. This assumption is shot to hell when he sees Flowernote  , who's wearing a conservative pretty dress that covers her from neck to toe, being sexually harassed by a bunch of guys who try to coerce her into joining their party. He then realizes that clothing doesn't provoke sexual harassment, people are just assholes who will harass you if they think you are attractive.
  • Shatterheart drops the message that regardless whether your love is destined or was the most important person, you can always move on and find in your heart to love someone else. Syaoran was literally destined for Sakura and the plot of the story started with his dedication to save her. With her being gone for years and the journey to rescue her brought Syaoran nothing but misery until he begins to fall for Kurogane. The decision is painful but Syaoran decide to move from Sakura and to be with Kurogane and is better off for it. Syaoran's father and Sakura herself are both shocked by this but accept it as Syaoran is truly happy.
    • Don't take your loved ones for granted. Fai learns this painfully when his anger and bitterness over Clone!Syaoran's betrayal and Kurogane's Unwanted Rescue nearly drove Real!Syaoran and Kurogane away from him. To make matters worse, his feelings for Kurogane go unrequited as Kurogane falls in love with Real!Syaoran. Fai has to work hard to make amends for what he did but they do forgive him and do not abandon him as he feared, seeing his genuine remorse.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfic Kin of Heart: Xander calls Angel out on his attraction to Buffy because he's an adult while she's still a child. Xander even calls him a pedophile to his face. Angel tries to rationalize it as Xander being a jealous child at first. But he understands Xander's point when he realizes that he sees Xander as a child but doesn't see Buffy as one. Once Angel has some time, he realizes that he was so infatuated with her that he overlooked that she was still a girl.
  • The Conversion Bureau deconstructions drive home the point that destroying a culture is still genocide, even if there were no deaths.
    • Not to mention, many of them also unsubtly hammer home the point that negative emotions are just as important as positive emotions.
  • Poké Wars is extremely unsubtle about how War Is Hell and how starting a war for "righteous" reasons inevitably leads to suffering and death.
  • Most harem anime, Love Hina being an infamous example, love to exploit Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male as a way to get a cheap laugh where a woman usually beats on a male, to different degrees, and it's depicted as funny, not very serious or even a deserving punishment. Love Hina Double Trouble, a fanfic that crosses over said harem anime with Kamen Rider Double, pretty much says stop that shit when a murder victim is found viciously killed near Hinata-Sou. The kicker? The victim is a confirmed pervert, causing the police to immediately arrest Naru and Motoko in spite of their claims of innocence. It's pushed in even more as both of them are formally processed at the police station, as their attacks have made them prime suspects. It's revealed that Granny Hina has been intervening for them for years, which is why they have never been arrested prior- and even then they both have very long rap sheets. They eventually do get proven innocent, but they both learn that beating on "vile males" made them much worse than any pervert and become better all the more for it.
  • Mall Rats, a The Loud House fanfic, drops the anvil of why you should never hesitate to spend time with a sibling when they ask you to. Lincoln dreads going on a trip to the mall with Leni, but not only does he have fun, but he learns that there's a lot more to her than he initially thought.
  • Let the Storm Rage On, a Frozen fanfic, has Hans repeatedly hammer home his belief that With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility when one is in power. And shirking responsibility, or the consequences of poorly used power, is the epitome of poor rulership. He hammers this to Elsa in response to her accidental freezing of Arendelle, and how she hid away from the world while she was growing up. It comes off as a necessary Tough Love bit of advice, rather than being preachy.
  • Her Inner Demons drops a serious message that the meek girl in the corner does have feelings too, and bullying them can turn them vengeful and angry. The Shadowbolts couldn't believe Sci-Twilight could become Midnight Sparkle and are abashed when explains that she was becoming increasingly vindictive well before the Friendship Games due to all the abuse, and that the Shadowbolts only made things worse to the point where she became as power hungry as Sunset was, and thus could be swayed by the dark side of her mind into becoming Midnight Sparkle as the magic was consuming her.
  • Why Am I Crying?:
    • Bullying is an issue that needs to be seriously dealt with, but it's important to remember that bullies themselves aren't automatically soulless, amoral monsters. Some of them might even be ashamed of themselves on how they treat others.
    • Everything and everyone changes overtime, for better or for worse, more than once.
    • If you can't bring yourself to forgive someone for their transgressions, that is completely okay. At the same time, don't become consumed by hatred over them, as it can harm both you and those who care about you. Just move on, for they may not end up mattering in the long run.
  • Bitter Tears: An Anon-A-Miss Fic:
    • The fic does a much better job at potraying the effects of cyberbullying 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.
    • In real life, Easily Forgiven is extremely rare and it CANNOT be applied to acts of betrayal. If you do something that seriously hurt somebody, it doesn't matter if it was intentional or not; you have to accept that they have 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 cyberbullying is understandable, but you will be punished if you physically assault them because that is NOT acceptable no matter what they had done.
  • Getting Back on Your Hooves drops several.
  • I'll Fight 'til the End and all subsequent major arcs in its universe (and possibly the stories that precede it, as this era is Growing the Beard) aren't subtle in delivering their moral messages:
    • War is not a game. If someone dies, that's it. Any "respawn" system found in games involving war are (usually) dubiously canon at best and non-existent at worst (as Borderlands 2 demonstrated) for any number of reasons. Hell, this particular anvil could be applied to many other Garden Warfare fics, as a recurring theme in them is deconstructing the series' main premise.
    • Like the fic above this one states, it's OK to hold contempt towards the people that have wronged you, but fighting them is a terrible choice.
    • Patriotism shouldn't consume your life.
    • Shifting your typical attitude or personality to compensate for the situation is an alright choice, but the line is drawn at when this begins dragging others down.
    • In general, refusing to change or accept the idea of change can hold serious consequences, some of which can turn deadly for yourself and others.
  • In The Loud House fanfic What is a Person Worth?
    • You should not let trivial things like superstition cloud your better judgement, or else it makes things worse for you and the others.
    • Family members make poor choices and have their own Moment of Weakness, that doesn't automatically make them bad people.
    • Asking for Forgiveness is good and all, but it must be earned from your victim's satisfaction, not yours. Furthermore, you must work hard to earn forgiveness and not take things for granted.
    • It's also important to learn why you should forgive, especially if you remembered the good times with that person who wronged you, and see if they really deserve forgiveness.
    • While you have every right to be furious at someone who wronged you, you shouldn't be spiteful enough to stoop to their level.
    • It's one thing to feel remorse, but constantly beating yourself for it won't draw sympathy but instead, make matters worse for yourself and others around you.
    • Adults can be wrong and if they put you or other kids, related or otherwise, in dangerous situations, it is both your right and responsibility to alert the authorities to ensue safety.
    • If you love someone, no matter the type of love, you respect their wishes and treat them in a way that makes them comfortable; this covers both Loving Bully and Big Sister Bully and no amount of Hypocritical Heartwarming will whitewash mistreatment.
  • Conversations with a Cryptid:
    • Never quit the job you love for a man. Inko had a promising and lucrative job as corporate secretary which she gave up to marry Hisashi. When Hisashi ends up leaving her and Izuku, Inko had nothing to distract herself with from the horrible downturns her life took and no way of supporting herself and Izuku without Hisashi's money. Something which deeply scarred both her and her son. It's when she gets a job in which she could support herself and Izuku that she starts to regain some confidence and is able to take a more proactive role.
    • Take care of your goddamn health. Izuku begins to not take care of himself due to the stress of training to be a pro hero, maintaining his grades and investigating All for One. There's continuing discussion between All for One and Izuku about Izuku's neglect of his neglect. All for One attempts to warn Izuku but Izuku doesn't listen. As a result, Izuku gets captured by a villain due to his sleep-deprived inattentiveness and has to be pulled out from school to get proper treatment for his physical ailments. All for One even goes in graphic detail what would happen to Izuku's body had Izuku not allowed himself to get treatment. All for which could have been avoided had Izuku took care of himself better.
    • While working within the system can be tedious and might not always achieve results, it will actually cause things to change more easily than attacking the system from the outside. When Shiragaki attempts to go on his anti-society spiels, Izuku shuts him down by asking if Shiragaki ever voted or tried participating in civil government. Izuku points out how Shiragaki and All for One's methods of terrorism has ultimately achieved little despite 200 years of trying. Despite the League of Villains' attacks on Yuuei, it's Inko Midoriya's lawsuit over Yuuei's criminal neglect and medical malpractice is what brings the titan to its knees. While the newspaper the Heroes' Mirror was ineffective in their attempts to expose Endeavor's crimes and abuses, it was through them that Izuku unintentionally brings down the government and the pro-hero system. Through his completely legal article detailing on the government's 2 centuries of abuse of power revealing that the quirk laws and the pro-hero system are technically illegal, unconstitutional and were not ratified through proper legislative process. In six months Izuku achieved what All for One was attempting for 200 years.
  • Bequeathed from Pale Estates: Your children's happiness matters. Duty, responsibility, and ambition are all important, but shouldn't take complete precedence over what your children want. This is seen several times with many different lords — Rickard Stark forced Brandon and Lyanna into southron marriages, which led to Robert's Rebellion when the two tried to avoid said marriages: Lyanna ran off with Rhaegar and staged it as an "abduction", which Brandon used as an excuse to delay his wedding to Catelyn, riding to the Red Keep to get his sister back. Hoster Tully tricked his younger daughter Lysa into drinking moon tea when she fell pregnant with Petyr Baelish's bastard child, and then forced her to marry the much older Jon Arryn; the subsequent marriage was extremely unhappy due to the age difference and several failed pregnancies, contributing to Lysa's faltering sanity and eventually to her suicide after the deaths of her son and Baelish during The Plague. Then there's Tywin Lannister, who had his daughter marry Robert so she could finally be Queen and he could finally have Lannister blood on the Iron Throne. Cersei instead came to hate Robert so much that she started having an affair with her twin brother Jaime and passed off three of their bastards as Robert's children — a secret that, if were to be revealed, could descend the realm into another war. In contrast to all of them, Ned Stark deliberately seeks to have his children in Perfectly Arranged Marriages, and it has worked out splendidly for him so far: his eldest son and heir Robb is married to the northern Aislinn Forrester, much to the happiness of his bannermen who were discontent with Ned's own wife, the southron Catelyn, while his eldest trueborn daughter Sansa is engaged to Domeric Bolton, the son and heir of his most powerful bannerman, ensuring their loyalty to the Starks. His youngest daughter Arya is in Dorne, and, judging by the sequel, will soon be engaged to Edric Dayne, who is the heir to Starfall and High Hermitage.

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