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Spiritual Antithesis / Western Animation

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  • Adventure Time is this to the first 3 seasons of Spongebob Squarepants. It shares a writing team and a few similarities in characters to the original seasons of SpongeBob, but goes in a different direction and focuses on character development and is much deeper than that of SpongeBob, especially in later seasons.
  • Batman Beyond is this to Batman: The Animated Series. While both are set in the same continuity, and made by the same people, while being darker series in the animated field, they diverge from there.
    • The Animated Series stars an wealthy, older, stoic, Experienced Protagonist in the form of Bruce Wayne, the original Batman. It features a retro, art deco-influenced Anachronism Stew influenced by the '30s and '40s, the villains are campy yet still not to be trifled with, the stories are told primarily from an adult perspective, Bruce primarily relies on skills-first, gadgets-second, and he became a hero because his life was forever changed by the world of criminals.
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    • In contrast, Beyond stars a middle-class, younger, joke-cracking, Small Steps Hero in the form of Terry McGinnis, the second Batman. It features a futuristic, anime-inspired Cyberpunk landscape influenced by works like AKIRA and Ghost in the Shell, the villains are played much more seriously and are a product of the era they live in, the stories are told from a younger perspective, Terry has fewer skills and yet has much more advanced tech to make up for it, and he became a hero because in his youth Terry was a criminal himself.
    • The Animated Series draws from various aspects of the long-running Batman mythos and distills them, while Beyond is an entirely original creation that takes just as much from other works, notably Spider-Man.
    • Even their archenemies are in contrast — whereas The Joker is a cackling crime-lord who schemes more than he fights, and has the insanity to compensate for a comparative lack of wealth compared to Bruce, Derek "Blight" Powers is a no-nonsense Corrupt Corporate Executive with vast resources, and actual superpowers, that makes him the overdog to Terry.
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    • Musically, The Animated Series uses fully-orchestrated composition, whereas Beyond uses dirty-sounding industrial.
  • Bob's Burgers is considered this to the sitcom it was originally panned for trying to copy, Family Guy. While both shows focus on families and their bizarre relationship with each other, FG showcases the often unlikable Griffins and their abusive relationship to each other, milking dark comedy for all it's worth and never shying away from somber jokes, Bob's focus on the heartwarming and simple interactions between the Belchers and their quirky antics while making sure the viewer knows this family loves one another, using a lighter brand of humor.
  • Bluey is the exact opposite of Peppa Pig. Both are shows starring Funny Animal families. Bluey emphasizes play and makes sure both of the parents are respectfully portrayed, while Peppa doesn't have play as a central theme and makes Daddy Pig infamously a Bumbling Dad. Bluey is also relatively more grounded and tackles themes not usually seen in preschool shows, such as growing up in "Takeaway", which Peppa does not. Bluey is also more quiet and calm.
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  • Legend of the Three Caballeros is this to DuckTales (2017). While they're both adventurer comedies, Caballeros uses the designs of the classic Disney characters, is also much more zany and cartoony, has Donald be a novice to adventuring, and is about a trio who just met. DuckTales redesigns the characters by taking cue from the comics, is much more down to earth, presents Donald as a seasoned adventurer, and is about triplets who've known each other for life. While DuckTales is a mostly episodic show with overarching plot points, Caballeros is straight up serialized with every episode picking up right after another.
  • The Legend of Korra features Avatar Korra, the exact opposite in temprament to her predecessor, Avatar Aang. Where Aang was pacifistic, Korra is pugnacious. Where Aang had some issues firebending, Korra is most likely to reflexively use it when angry (despite water being her native element). Where Aang was born an Air Nomad, one of the most spiritual of the four nations, Korra just can't get it early on, and still has spiritual issues even after figuring out the Avatar State. Aang only ever loved Katara and while there were occasional one off love interests for Katara, the show mostly avoided love triangles, regardless of the shipping fandom. Korra was in a love quadrangle with all of the main cast, and by the end of the Grand Finale, she's dated all of them. Yes, even Asami. They're still both Avatars, though, and still are almost instinctively driven to do right by the world.
    • In the original series, this was stated to be a recurring event between Avatar lifetimes. For example, the strict Yangchen was replaced by the more relaxed Kuruk. Kuruk himself was then followed by a more proactive Avatar.
    • The series itself is built the same way. While the first series was one long story, the second series is broken up into individual seasons with new villains each time. While the original series has Team Avatar traveling all over the world, the new series has the cast mostly stay in the same general one or two locations over the course of each story arc (one of which is Republic City). Finally, Aang is facing a decidedly external enemy, the Fire Lord, whereas Korra must deal with problems that she helped cause in the first place, faces Arc Villains, and constantly has to worry that her decisions are making the world worse instead of better.
    • TLA is optimistic enough to always have a silver lining in even the Downer Ending episodes, while the much darker Korra ends several of its episodes in utter defeat and despair.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) and Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog aired at the same time on the same channel, but approached the source material in vastly different ways. SatAM was a Darker and Edgier post-apocalyptic tale where Sonic was part of an underground resistance fighting against the tyrannical rule of Doctor Robotnik, who was a truly frightening villain that proved to be a serious threat. Adventures was a wacky and surreal comedy that paid homage to The Golden Age of Animation. Robotnik was an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain who rarely proved to be a serious threat to Sonic. While Sonic in SatAM rarely needed help from Tails and had help from a large supporting cast, Tails was more pro-active in Adventures and Sonic's only recurring companion.
  • The Spectacular Spider Man seems to have one in the form of the Spider-Man cartoon that followed, Ultimate Spider-Man. The former focused solely on Spider-Man himself as the hero, using only supporting characters and villains exclusively from books starring him, used only internal monologue when depicting Peter's thoughts and had a great emphasis on character development, plot development and how Peter's life and friends are affected by his secret identity. The latter features as many superheroes from the Marvel universe whenever possible, features Spider-Man supporting characters and villains sporadically, features Spider-Man breaking the fourth wall in the middle of a scene to convey thoughts, character and plot development was divided and it focuses far more on Peter and his team of heroes rather than his friends and life.
    • Ultimate Spider-Man also serves as one to Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Both shows are about a hero who works alongside other heroes. The difference is that while USM has an ongoing story that takes place during Peter's early years, BATB is mostly one-shots with Bruce already a veteran. Not to mention while Peter is in a group with few guest heroes, Batman doesn't officially join a team until later in the series, with most guest appearances from other heroes.
  • Teen Titans and Young Justice have this kind of odd symbiotic relationship. The generally serious (though not without its moments of lightness) Teen Titans book was adapted into a zany Lighter and Softer cartoon (though not without its moments of darkness). The generally zany (though not without its moments of darkness) Young Justice book was adapted into a serious Darker and Edgier (though not without its moments of lightness) cartoon.
  • A writer for Time once described SpongeBob SquarePants as "the anti-Bart Simpson". Both are playful young yellow-hued cartoon characters from the most popular animated shows in their respective decades (Bart in the '90s, SpongeBob in the 2000s), but Bart is a cynical spiky-headed troublemaker known for his complete hatred of all forms of authority, and SpongeBob is a relentlessly optimistic flat-headed go-getter who instinctively sees the best in all people. This also spills into both shows' general appeal: The Simpsons appeals to both kids and adults with its intentionally subversive humor on top of its general wackiness, while SpongeBob is unabashedly a kids' show, but manages to appeal to adults with clever humor rather than vulgarity.
    • Both have also come under fire due to the intense amount of Seasonal Rot. Though while with Spongebob it is said because the original creator left the show(before coming back after the second movie).
  • Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling to Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus - both are animated finales to classic Nicktoons that ended up on Netflix at the same time. But Zim was about giving the franchise a sendoff and conclusion fans were denied for so long and addressing some of the complaints they always had (like how crappy Gaz and Membrane are to Dib). Rocko meanwhile engages in meta-commentary about whenever there is still a place for shows like this in a world that moved on and is deeply critical of clinging to nostalgia and chasing things that remind you of the past.
  • The second Danny Phantom 1 hour special, "The Ultimate Enemy", is this to "Channel Chasers", the second 1 hour special to Butch Hartman's first series, The Fairly OddParents. Both involve time travel, dealing with growing up and meeting and facing against future selves, but take different paths. In Channel Chasers, Timmy rejects the idea of growing up and escapes into the world of television to avoid aging; in The Ultimate Enemy, Danny is stressed about a test that might determine whether or not his future is a successful one. While they both meet and oppose their future selves, each does it differently. Timmy opposes his future self before knowing who he is (believing him to be a threatening individual) and upon learning he is itneracting with his older self, he still has trouble with it. However, they bond as they stop Vicky from trying to reach the history channel (and thus cause a retroactive reality warp that would cause her to become ruler of the world.) Danny however never does this with his older self, opposing him all the way due to his older self being a violent sociopath responsible for destroying most of humanity note . By the end, Timmy does look forward to growing up again after being inspired by his older counterpart, while Danny rejects his Bad Future in favor of a better one where he still remains a hero.
  • Mike Judge's flagship shows, Beavis and Butt-Head and King of the Hill, both satirize life in the American South, particularly Judge's home state of Texas. The difference is the Beavis & Butt-head is more scathing in its portrayal of a crude, ignorant, white-trash bunghole, whereas King of the Hill offered a more respectful portrayal of a wholesome, honest, down-to-earth community.
    • Beavis and Butt-Head's spinoff Daria also did this with its source material. Both were animated sitcoms about Generation X teens who didn't fit in with their peers, but while the titular protagonists of B&B were a pair of meatheaded, delinquent teenage boys for whom ignorance was bliss, the titular protagonist of Daria was a sarcastic, brainiac teenage girl whose intellect made her miserable and antisocial. The titular leads of both shows were Audience Surrogates, but while Beavis and Butt-head were frequently the butt of the joke (Judge wasn't subtle in his mockery of MTV's target audience in the '90s), Daria Morgendorffer was given a more sympathetic and humanizing portrayal, with most of the humor coming from her commentary on the stupidity and madness of the sick, sad world around her, while she and her friends got real Character Development over the course of the show's run versus the Negative Continuity of the gag-a-day B&B. Daria was originally created as a foil to Beavis and Butt-Head before she got her own show, and while she tolerated the pair, it was frequently made clear that she held them in very low regard.
    • Beavis and Butt-Head is this to Phineas and Ferb. While two shows focus on duo of boys who can't live without action. The first ones are causing mayhem in daily situations while bothering their entire hometown and an entire hometown's population is aware of their antics, the latter are building eccentric attractions and earn billions of money and all the town's population loves them and treats them as their friends, but their mother is not aware of their antics, even if boys' sister tries to show their antics to their mother.
    • King of the Hill notably made an effort to avoid the cliches of the typical adult animated sitcom, such as The Simpsons and Family Guy. Such shows starred boorish, rowdy, immature, bumbling dads who often got into wacky situations, whereas King of the Hill prided itself in being realistic and able find humor in the mundane, with a lead who was straight-laced, sensible, and hard-working. This is most obvious when comparing Hank Hill to Stan Smith of American Dad!, both of whom are stubborn, conservative patriarchs who have a strained relationship with their sons. Stan often ends up learning lessons on humility and open-mindedness, while Hank is almost always portrayed as the voice of reason.
    • King of the Hill eventually passed the torch of the down-to-earth adult animated sitcom to another Fox show, Bob's Burgers, whose lead, Bob Belcher, acts as an antithesis of Hank in the opposite direction. He also plays the introverted stick-in-the-mud Only Sane Man trying to keep order within his eccentric family, but has more moments of fallibility and is an Open-Minded Parent in sharp contrast to Hank's my-way-or-the-highway stubbornness.
    • On a more obvious note, whereas King of the Hill is a satire of the politically far-right American culture done with love, one of Mike Judge's other shows, The Goode Family, is a satire of the politically far-left American culture that is nothing but scathing.
  • Harvey Beaks was deliberately intended as one to C.H. Greenblatt's previous show Chowder. Both shows are centered around plucky child protagonists who live in unique, fantastical worlds, but whilst Chowder was a surreal, fast-paced Zany Cartoon that tore down the Fourth Wall on a regular basis and took place in an urban setting, Harvey is much more restrained and often delivered bittersweet reflections on childhood and growing up in the woods.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars was set during the time of the prequel trilogy and used the main characters from that trilogy and focused mostly on standalone episodes. Star Wars Rebels went to the original trilogy, used original characters as protagonists, and made more use of serial, arc-based storytelling.
  • Transformers: Prime is this to Transformers Animated. Animated draws more asthetically from the G1 cartoon, and is a bright Animesque Genre Throwback to Saturday Morning Cartoons. Prime draws more asthetically from the Transformers Film Series, and is lot more grim and serious. Animated deconstructs the series background by showing the Gray-and-Gray Morality that started the Autobot / Decepticon war, while Prime deconstructs the characters themselves to show what made them who they are. Animated notably echews the more "religious" aspects of the Transformers mythos (Primus, Unicron, the Thirteen) so as not to clutter the show, whereas Prime deeply explores these concepts as it goes on.
  • The animators of The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat intended the show to be the polar opposite of the Joe Oriolo's Felix the Cat cartoons due to their hatred of that series and love of the original Otto Messmer Felix cartoons. Don Oriolo, Joe's son, forced elements from that show like the Magic Bag of Tricks into the first season, and put a stop to this altogether with the second season's retool making things more in line with the Joe Oriolo version.
  • Two Disney Channel shows made the same creators, Phineas and Ferb and Milo Murphy's Law, star a perpetually optimistic Weirdness Magnet as they go about their lives. The difference is that Phineas and his brother Ferb are Gadgeteer Geniuses who create the weirdness, whereas Milo Murphy is The Jinx who survives the weirdness.
    • Though the show does reference preceding episodes from time to time, Phineas and Ferb's episode plots are mostly self-contained and feature increasingly ridiculous applications of the Reset Button in each one. Milo Murphy's Law on the other hand features overarching plotlines and a clear continuity. The first show also takes place across the whole summer, while the latter picks up right after during the school year.
  • The two Disney Junior shows that Craig Gerber created that take place in a Shared Universe, Sofia the First and Elena of Avalor both star young princesses who are compassionate, brave, and altruistic, and cover similar themes on love, family, friendship, altruism, and leadership. However, there are a few differences. For one thing, Sofia is a young girl (said to start the series at 8-9 years old), while Elena is technically a teenager of age 16 who turns 20 by the time her series ends. Sofia was born a commoner and became a princess when her shoemaking mother and King Rolland II fell in love with each other and married. Elena, on the other hand, was born into a royal family that was usurped by Shuriki when she was 15 years old, and fought to get Avalor's throne back when she was freed from the Amulet and her surviving family members were freed from an enchanted painting. Sofia started with more standalone episodes before dwelling into major story arcs, while Elena's story arcs are set up right off the bat and get even deeper. Sofia is worried about keeping her magical amulet and other magical adventures secret until later on in the series, while Elena is more open with talking about her magical abilities and her adventures with her loved ones early on. On top of that, Elena has a more noticeable political edge due to being a more direct ruler as the Crown Princess, while Sofia is more indirect due to her younger age and being the third-in-line for Enchantia's throne.
  • The creators of South Park personally consider their show to be one to Family Guy. While both are long running adult cartoons, their styles of humor are quite different. South Park tries to avoid gags and make jokes and pop culture references that are relevant to a story. Family Guy is basically nothing but gags. Also, even though the creators of both shows are not members of any religion, South Park says it's okay to be religious while Family Guy says you're a bad person if you are.
  • Another case of two opposing shows made by the same people is Superjail! and Ballmastrz: 9009, on [adult swim]. Both are Bloody Hilarious pieces of Deranged Animation, but one uses bright asthetics as a backdrop for a cynical premise — a Wackyland built by a fanciful madman that serves a high-security prison that holds the worst of the worst, while the other uses edgy asthetics as a backdrop for a surprisingly idealistic premise — a post-apocalyptic future reunited by a Blood Sport where Death Is a Slap on the Wrist and the feel resembles a Shōnen Sports Anime. As a result, Superjail focuses more on the staff due to the inmates dying by the buckets, while Ballmastrz focuses on the players of The Game, particularly one Ragtag Bunch of Misfits. Even the flamboyant Reality Warpers who made the world are polar opposites, the Warden being the star of the show with a fully human appearance and an immature prima-donna personality, whereas Crayzar is a Reasonable God-Emperor with a more bizarre appearance who plays a supporting role and acts for the betterment of mankind.
  • The Jetsons is this to The Flintstones. Both are animated sitcoms created by Hanna-Barbera about an average family living in a distant time based on the values of America in The '60s. The most obvious contrast is the time period (1 Million B.C. vs. The Future), but there's more to it than that. The Flintstones lead a very blue-collar lifestyle due to Fred's manual labor job and their friendships with the Rubbles are a key part of the plot. The Jetsons, on the other hand, are more white-collar and, while not anti-social, George is less connected with the world and doesn't seem to have any close relationships beyond his family and his job. Also, Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm are pre-verbal infants, and Judy and Elroy are high school and elementary school-aged respectively. Finally, Fred and Wilma start as pet owners and become parents later, while George and Jane are the opposite.
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and She-Ra: Princess of Power: In the former, Adam/He-Man and the other Heroic Warriors protect Eternia from Skeletor's attempts to take it over. The latter flips this setup around with Hordak and the Evil Horde having already conquered Etheria while Adora/She-Ra and the other heroes are part of a resistance movement trying to overthrow their tyrannical rule.
    • Their respective reboots bring this Up to Eleven; in addition to the aforementioned differences of the original series, the former is a love-letter to Masters of The Universe as a whole borrowing elements of both the original Filmation cartoon, supplementary material, and The New Adventures of He-Man, has detailed character designs, puts a great deal of effort into making He-Man's Secret Identity believable, and was brought down by poor toy sales, while the latter is quite fond of trying out new ideas, has simplified character designs, does away with the Secret Identity aspect altogether, and downplayed the toyline aspect. Even their respective versions of Hordak are wildly different: In He-Man, he's a Knight of Cerebus and the Greater-Scope Villain to the series as a whole, while She-Ra makes him a more sympathetic figure compared to his brother and the real Big Bad, Horde Prime.
  • The Snowman is this to Frosty the Snowman. Both specials feature a child befriending a snowman that magically came to life (Karen for Frosty, and "James" for the Snowman note ). Santa Claus also appears in both specials. The notable differences between both specials is that while Frosty the Snowman has dialogue, The Snowman is a Mime and Music-Only Cartoon. Another difference is while Frosty goes to the North Pole and promising Karen that he'll return each year, The Snowman sadly melted away one morning, with "James" saddened over what happened.
  • To a degree, Cartoon Network's two most sucessful (mini)series Over the Garden Wall and Infinity Train can be considered this. Both series bear similar aspects, such as a protagonist trapped in a Eldritch Location setting, and coming with terms with a change in your life (Wirt learning to appreciate his younger half-brother in the former and Tulip's being able to deal with her parents divorce in the latter.) but differ greatly in setting. While the former has elements derived primarily from 19th-20th century Americana fiction, the latter is ambiented in a mid-20th Sci-Fi inspired environment. While OTGW only has the Unknown as the principal setting, Infinity Train allows the main character to explore the vastly different worlds contained in the train's cars.
  • WALL•E has been described as a Lighter and Softer Spiritual Adaptation of Mike Judge's film Idiocracy, both being comedies depicting futures in which consumerism and low-brow culture run amok have left humanity breathtakingly stupid, unable to manage things for themselves — complete with Earth being covered in the Trash of the Titans. A critical difference, however, is in the roads they take to get there, and where their societies ultimately ended up. Idiocracy's dystopia came about as the result of the stupid (coded as contemporary Lower Class Louts) outbreeding the smart (producing what some have criticized as a classist, or even eugenicist, subtext), causing society to decay to the point where, by the year 2505, the world is facing famine due to the decision to irrigate crops with electrolyte-filled energy drinks purely on the basis of marketing hype. WALL•E, on the other hand, has maintained an advanced, high-tech society — and in fact, this is precisely what destroyed them. By delegating all responsibility to the robots, humanity became a race of lazy, overweight, infantilized slobs who can't do anything for themselves and need their robotic assistants to cater to their every whim. In short, while the dystopia in Idiocracy is portrayed as the Logical Extreme of lower-class "trailer park" culture run amok, that of WALL•E is portrayed as the logical extreme of middle-class consumerism run amok.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In its early years, it was this to virtually all of the Dom Coms that had proliferated on American television since The '50s, such as Leave It to Beaver, The Brady Bunch, The Waltons, and The Cosby Show, offering a far more satirical take on the idealized nuclear family with (for the time) a lot of blue humor and outlandish behavior from the main characters. Many Moral Guardians, including US President George H. W. Bush, saw its subversion and parody of sitcom tropes as undermining family values, to which the writers of The Simpsons responded by carrying on a Friendly Rivalry with Bush and frequently making jokes about him throughout The '90s, culminating in an episode where Bush briefly moves to Springfield post-presidency.
    • According to Super Eyepatch Wolf in "The Fall Of The Simpsons: How It Happened", The Simpsons in modern times (colloquially known as "Zombie Simpsons") has more or less become the antithesis of itself back in its prime. The characters in Prime Simpsons were satires of character archetypes in the wholesome family sitcoms that came before it, but also had developed personalities, and jokes in the series had to be written around those personalities, while in Zombie Simpsons they're generic characters with simple personalities that can be form fit into whatever unrelated jokes the writers want to write (i.e. Ned Flanders initially being a left-handed, all-loving Ace who's also a devoted Christian, and eventually just becoming a vehicle for jabs at Christians and Conservatives.) Its relationship with celebrities changed as well; in Prime Simpsons actual real-life celebrities rarely appeared, instead opting for Lawyer Friendly Cameos voiced by one of the regular voice actors, or having celebrity cameos voice new one-off characters who look nothing like them (Michael Jackson appearing as a mental patient who thinks he's Michael Jackson being one of the most famous examples,) while in Zombie Simpsons celebrities appearing as themselves became the norm (with one of the Simpsons even blatantly pointing them out as a Running Gag.) One section says it best: Prime Simpsons satirized pop culture, while Zombie Simpsons is the pop culture being satirized.
  • On the subject of The Simpsons, this video by The Take describes Rick and Morty as both this and a Spiritual Successor to that show, in many ways turning its setup on its head. Perhaps fittingly, The Simpsons once did a Couch Gag in which Rick and Morty kill them.
    • While The Simpsons, as noted above, always had an irreverent streak, it was clear that Homer, Marge, Bart, and Lisa Simpson were good people who truly loved each other, and the show ultimately upheld the ideal of the nuclear family with two parents and 2.2 kids as an unambiguous good thing. Rick and Morty also revolves heavily around a dysfunctional nuclear family, but the Smiths are not at all idealized, the focus rather being on how toxic family relationships can get. Rick destroyed his daughter Beth's life, the effects of which trickled down to her kids Morty and Summer and her husband Jerry, not least of all because Rick is still involved with the family. The Smiths are held together not through love, but through fear of losing the only people they are close to, which causes them to excuse all manner of terrible behavior. It's most visible with how both shows treat alcoholism; while it's Played for Laughs on both shows, Homer's drinking is treated as just a quirk of his, while Rick and Beth's drinking is a major cause of their problems.
    • The distinction can also be seen by comparing both shows' respective main characters. The alcoholic grandfather Rick Sanchez is a counterpart to both Abe and Homer Simpson, but whereas Abe's family disrespects and marginalizes him, Rick dominates his family, and whereas Homer is stupid and puts his children in peril through well-meaning incompetence, Rick is a genius and does so out of a reckless desire to challenge his family. Jerry and Beth Smith are also quite similar to Homer and Marge Simpson in their respective roles as the mediocre Bumbling Dad and his wife. Homer, however, is the clear patriarch of the Simpsons, the show treating his flaws as lovable, and while Marge is often frustrated with him, she is ultimately satisfied in her role as a stay-at-home housewife and resolves all her problems with Homer by the end of each episode. Jerry, meanwhile, is rarely excused for his faults so easily and is shown to have little control over his household, while Beth is the primary breadwinner in the family and fully aware that she is Jerry's intellectual superior, often feeling that he is holding her back. Finally, Summer Smith is Lisa Simpson's counterpart as the intelligent daughter who serves as the show's moral center, but whereas Lisa is a nerdy overachiever who is presented as having little interest in "girly" things, Summer is an unapologetic Girly Girl.
  • Aside from often parodying plot elements from the books, The Owl House is also built like an opposite of Harry Potter books.
    • Both stories feature the protagonist entering a world where everyone is using magic and learning to master it themselves. But Harry is a Famed in Story Chosen One who is welcomed with open arms into a Magic School due to being born with magic powers and inherited immense wealth from his dead parents. Luz on the other hand has no innate magical ability and needs to learn an entirely new way to do magic, her desire to be a chosen one serves only to get her into trouble, she is initially accepted only by utter outcasts of society and needs to earn the acceptance of others, including her place at magic school.
    • Harry was raised by an abusive human family he has to come back on summer breaks and despite the books never excusing Dursley's behavior and Harry clearly tolerating them at best, they are still treated by the narrative as his true family with outright magical bond of blood which protects him from Big Bad when he stays at their house. Camila and Luz clearly love each other and while Camila sends Luz off to a camp that's supposed to beat from her any creativity and free spirit, it is presented as coming from misguided fear how the world will hurt her daughter if she won't learn to fit in. Luz is also supposed to return home after summer break ends as well at least until she has to destroy her way home to stop it from falling into the hands of the Big Bad. Despite that, the show still presents a narrative in strong support of a found family that loves you being better than a biological family that hurts you.
    • The Wizarding World society is presented as overall good and any injustices, power abuses or manipulations of public opinions come from individuals who are either incompetent, acting in self-serving interest or outright evil, with main antagonists being a group of wizard supremacists seen as dangerous societal outcasts and terrorists even after they take over in the final book - upon their defeat the system returns back to normal. Boiling Isles slowly reveals itself as a Crapsaccharine World with "dog-eat-dog" mindset dominated by an extremely strict Coven System that benefits The Emperor at the top of it and his inner circle and have forcefully surpassed and destroyed the old traditions and then brainwash new generations with propaganda about how it was a good thing.
    • While they're both an Academy of Adventure, Hogwarts is presented as a place run by people who care for their students, and headmaster Dumbledore is seen as a Reasonable Authority Figure and Big Good of the series, while Hexside seems to exist first and foremost to reinforce the Coven System, with teachers who clearly don't care for the safety of their students beyond warding off attacks from outside forces and principal Bumps varies from being a Bunny-Ears Lawyer to Ambiguously Evil, with rare moments of reason.
    • Among the first other kids Harry meets are Hermione, a Child Prodigy who is the best student of her age but faces opposition due to having human parents and Draco, a smug child of a rich and powerful wizard family, who becomes Harry's rival. The first other kids Luz meets are Willow - a young witch who is bullied and called a half-witch due to struggling with magic only to be revealed to have great magical skill but being misclassified by the system - and Amity, an Academic Alpha Bitch from a rich and powerful family, who initially starts as Luz' rival only to be with time revealed that the way she acts comes from cracking under immense pressure put on her by her parents and slowly developing a friendship with Luz. Moreover, despite the fanbase being very vocal about wanting a possibility of Harry/Draco romance, the books never consider this an option, while Amity eventually falls in love with Luz.
    • Eda and her sister Lilith both contrast Severus Snape in different ways. Just like Snape, Eda's main tool of trade is potion-making but clearly possess skills beyond that. But while Snape is enjoying an overall acceptance among the society, despite being a horribly abusive teacher to his students and Harry in particular, any attempts to mend fences between them ultimately failing, and has been Easily Forgiven for being part of the abovementioned terrorists in the past, Eda is a wanted criminal simply because she refuses to adhere to Coven System and is good, if unorthodox, mentor to Luz as well as her Parental Substitute. Lilith meanwhile shares being a middle-aged Goth working within a powerful institution in the setting. But where Snape works for the Big Good, Lilith works for the Big Bad. Moreover: they both got this position by betrayal, but where Snape betrayed the Big Bad for killing a woman he loves yet never accepts his role in leading to that death, Lilith betrayed her own sister, cursing her to ensure she can get into Emperor's Coven and in the end learned she needs to take responsibility for her actions. They both deflect again, with Snape pulling a fake betrayal to work as The Mole and only finding redemption after being killed, while Lilith turning away from the Emperor upon realizing he won't cure Eda and having to live and earn forgiveness for what she has done. The books try to excuse Snape's actions with a sad backstory, while Lilith's backstory doesn't make excuses for her actions but shows they were motivated by shortsightedness and stupidity, rather than pure malice.
    • The Hogwarts Houses vs the Coven System. Hogwarts Houses are chosen for students, while Hexside kids can pick a Coven of their choice. While Houses aren't perfect as they breed rivalries, they aren't as oppressive as covens; Coven membership is mandatory and failure to join a coven is a high order criminal offense. When a witch joins a coven all of their magic is sealed off except the magic of their chosen coven. On the other hand, kids from different covens get along well, unlike when Gryffindor and Slytherin kids mix. You can also only be in one house at Hogwarts; Luz eventually bucks the system and joins multiple covens. Houses earn points, while covens do not.
  • Dinosaur Train to Ready Jet Go!. Both are CGI PBS Kids shows created by Craig Bartlett teaching about science, but they cancel each other out in many ways. Dinosaur Train is set in prehistoric times and has a heavy dose of Anachronism Stew, as well as glossing over the more unsavory aspects of dinosaurs (mainly, them eating each other). Ready Jet Go! is set in the present day with a science-fiction twist, and the only instance of Anachronism Stew (when Pluto is included in the planetarium show) is lampshaded. Train has Loads and Loads of Characters, while Jet has a medium-sized cast. While Buddy and Jet are both outsiders, Jet at least lives with his biological parents — Buddy was adopted by the Pteranodons and he has no idea who his birth parents are. While Buddy and Jet are both All-Loving Heroes, Buddy never had to deal with a stalker who is out to expose him (the worst dinosaur he encountered was a bully named Keenan who only appeared a few times); Jet has to deal with Mitchell's spying on a consistent basis, although Mitchell becomes nicer to him. While Buddy is excitable, he's not as hyper and impulsive as Jet. Craig Bartlett noted that the transition from Train to Jet was like the transition to The Flintstones to The Jetsons for Hanna-Barbera.
    • Both shows also cancel out Hey Arnold!. Arnold, while having similar themes, humor, and characters to Jet and Train'', was aimed at a much older audience due to being on regular Nickelodeon and could deal with more heavy stuff like abuse and alcoholism. Arnold himself was much calmer than Buddy or Jet, and had to deal with a corrupt capitalist AND a sociopathic treasure hunter who tried to kill Arnold, whereas Buddy and Jet never met foes like these.
  • The two Disney Junior shows that Chris Nee created, Doc McStuffins and Vampirina are both similar in some ways and different in other ways. Both shows are about plucky young girls with some kind of special power or ability who lives among a group of close friends and loved ones. Both shows involve the main character trying to hide her secret from others. They still differ greatly though. Doc is someone who can talk to stuffed animals and toys due to a magic stethoscope she got from her grandma, who was revealed to have previously inherited the stethoscope from her. Vee, in contrast, is naturally magical due to how she's a vampire. Doc is also someone who usually has a solution for many problems, only really getting down when she greatly messes up. In contrast, Vee is someone who makes more mistakes, whether she's trying to hide her vampire side or messes up a spell. Also, Doc is someone who befriends many toys, with the show eventually placing more focus on them over her human friends once McStuffinsVille is introduced. In contrast, Vee has a smaller group of friends in the form of Poppy, Bridget, and Edgar who generally get a good deal of focus in each episode. Doc's parents are also kept in the dark about her secret. Also, while Doc still maintains the secret identity, her grandmother is revealed to know about it in season 4 while the same season also has Dez learn about it. For Vampirina, the show does still use this in Vee hiding her vampire nature from Pennsylvania, but also isn't afraid to let others find out earlier. Poppy and Bridget find out in episodes 1 and 2 respectively while Edgar finds out much earlier in the season 2 finale, which sticks in season 3. As for educational material, most early Doc episodes were just about giving simple health tips, while later episodes become more story-driven with the material being woven in. For Vampirina, while there's some educational material, it mostly sticks to emphasizing friendship and family and greatly utilizes morals.
  • Sausage Party, like VeggieTales, is an animated story that uses Anthropomorphic Food to deliver a message about religion. However, while VeggieTales is a Christian animated series that retells Biblical stories and parables and is intended to teach children proper morals, Sausage Party is an atheistic film in which the protagonists discover that religion is a lie to cover up the fact that their "gods" are actually Eldritch Abominations who plan to eat them, and is very much intended strictly for adults.
  • Animaniacs is this to Bonkers. Both are wacky 90s cartoons made by rivals WB and Disney respectively. Both shows' characters also star in in-universe cartoons. While Animaniacs has the Warner siblings rebel against authority, Bonkers features the titular character serving authority (the police force). Yakko, Wakko, and Dot are quite clever and frequently outsmart their enemies, while Bonkers D. Bobcat is more naive. Finally, Animaniacs is more popular and well-remembered than Bonkers, and got its own reboot while Bonkers is more forgotten (he did make a cameo in an episode of DuckTales (2017) though).
  • Rick and Morty and Bojack Horseman, both praised as being defining adult-focused animated series of the 2010s, can be considered antitheses to each other: both center on aging alcoholics failing interpersonal relationships and self-destructive behaviors, but go about it in opposite ways: Rick is a scientist, brilliant but personally abhorrent, while Bojack is an entertainer, not particularly skilled, but handsome and charming (his handsomeness is a case of Informed Attractiveness since he's a Funny Animal). Rick is stuck in a middle-class lifestyle with his dysfunctional family, but is essentially all-powerful during his adventures; Bojack is incredibly wealthy and privileged, but too incompetent and depressed to do anything with it. Rick's sidekick Morty is naive and anxious, Bojack's sidekick Todd is a laid-back moocher. In tone, Rick and Morty rejects political correctness and embrace escapism, while Bojack Horseman presents progressive morals and somber consequences for the title character's behavior. Rick and Morty is a surreal sci-fi show, while Bojack, despite featuring talking animals, is more down to earth.


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