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Status Quo Is God / Film

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Films — Animation

  • In The Spongebob Movie Sponge Out Of Water, Plankton goes back to his villainous ways at the end. Given that this is a prequel to the first movie, he'd need to.
  • This is at the heart of Wreck-It Ralph. By the end of the movie, Ralph accepts this, but everything he's gone through by that point helps him understand the importance of his particular status and even earns him the respect he truly deserved. After all, plainly put, a video game like his literally can't function without him. Having finally gained a real true friend after it all helps too.

Films — Live-Action

  • The premise for Batman: The Movie and the Batman TV Series is that that incarnation of Batman only is useful to fight supervillains (and nothing more). He cannot change anything more in his world. Robin's idea to better the world by making a "Freaky Friday" Flip with the bickering United World Organization security council is quickly rejected by Batman. Then when this happens… the security council is still bickering between themselves, but each one of them is bickering in a different idiom. Batman realizes this and he and Robin going out inconspicuously through the window.
  • Before The Dark Knight Trilogy, you could expect all Batman movies to have the main villain dead, with Gotham saved. And Bruce Wayne would always get a new girlfriend, only to end up single again for the next movie. The notable exception is Batman & Robin; both villains are alive at the end although both are incarcerated and one has reformed.
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  • Count Dracula always comes back.
  • Godzilla will always come back to either: A) fight other (possibly Eviler Than Thou) monsters; B) destroy a major city (usually Tokyo), or C) both. No matter how many times the JSDF tries to stop him.
    • For the first sequel, it was another Godzilla, just according to keikaku and predicted by Dr. Yamane in the first Godzilla film. For the rest of the Showa series, he was never permanently defeated, but merely came back throughout one loose but traceable continuity. Other times (like the Return of Godzilla and most of the Millennium films) it was an alternate continuity, sometimes even altering the in-universe events of the films they included. This case could be more Strictly Formula than Status Quo Is God.
    • Comic book writers like to subvert this. In Planetary the Four kill off the Kaiju in their crusade against weird, and in Marvel Civil War it was explained that the arrival of Japanese Superheroes allowed Japan to put an end to its Kaiju attacks. Moral of the Story: the way to kill off a status quo is with another status quo.
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  • High School Musical has a song all about this called "Stick to the Status Quo". As described by The Agony Booth. This results in Sharpay becoming more empty-headed and bitchy by the second movie and again in the third one.
  • Indiana Jones: see James Bond. He finds lost treasures, and they're never heard from again. The Lost Ark? After its display of power, The Government packs it away and nothing bad happens despite the biblical prophecy that anyone who kept the Ark from the rightful Israelites would suffer God's wrath. The Shankara Stones? It's just a rock without the others (and, uh, no one ever will go down to that river). The Holy Grail? Trapped behind a cursed barrier. The Crystal Skull? Reunites with its body, and flies off to space... and another dimension.
  • It's a Wonderful Life is an in-universe case: while George has the opportunity to leave town for college and "see the world", the fact that Potter will take over his father's business and shut it down if he doesn't stay forces him to stay and run the building-and-loan himself. While it is later revealed that he made the wiser choice by staying instead of leaving, his only apparent motivation to make this choice in the first place was a desire to keep the town the same.
  • James Bond never changed his name or call number, even after 40 years of the original (Dr. No-Die Another Day) continuity, countless adventures, and five different actors. Never received any permanent scars or disabilities from battle wounds. Never married (for long), fathered children, caught a disease, or even gets a morning-after call from the Bond Girls he slept with in previous movies. Any new techno-toys Q gave him would vanish before the next movie.
    • This only really started with the Roger Moore films. The Connery films (and Lazenby's sole outing) had a loose story arc revolving around Bond taking on Blofeld and SPECTRE.
    • One fanon explanation is that "007" is "James Bond" ... that is, James Bond is a codename, so whether the current agent with designation 007 looks like Sean Connery, Roger Moore, or Pierce Brosnan, his identity documents still say "James Bond." This was actually given a shout-out in Secret Avengers, with Hawkeye wondering if the new Nick Fury (the African-American son of the original Nick Fury, introduced to coincide with the popularity of the Race Lift Fury gets in adaptations nowadays) is the same deal, and they 'just pretend its the same guy with no fuss'. The two then actually debate this idea concerning Bond, but both seem to accept it as their own Headcanon.
  • An in-story example: In The Matrix trilogy, it's revealed that the humans and machines have gone through several cycles of rebellion and war, always returning to the status quo in between.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan features this; in the original episode "Space Seed," the evil Khan learns his lesson, and goes away with a happy ending; meanwhile in the first Star Trek movie, many developments are made to characters and technology. However in this sequel, Khan is back to his evil old self, and likewise most other things are back the way they were before.
    • This goes double for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; in Star Trek II, Spock died, and Kirk's son was introduced, along with his terraforming "Genesis Device;" however at the end of the movie, all of these are undone by the plot: Spock is brought back to life, Kirk's son is killed, and the Genesis Device is no more.
    • Star Trek III also introduced "trans-warp drive," and destroys the Enterprise. In Star Trek IV... well, you get the picture.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X-Men: The Last Stand seemed like this. During the movie, several characters died (including Professor X!) and many more were "cured" of their powers. Two scenes at the end hint that 1. Xavier downloaded his mind into a catatonic body and 2. Magneto and the others are recovering their powers, meaning the only changes that stick are Scott and Phoenix's deaths. And since Phoenix came back once...
    • Pleasantly and surprisingly averted in The Wolverine. Taking quite a bit of adamantium from Wolverine's claws right before a major installment coming up takes some balls from the creators. However the movie also plays this straight. Magneto is confirmed to have regained his powers, while Professor X is back. And in the wheelchair. The next movie hits a Reset Button for the entire continuity..

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