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Take a work that either has no real clear Aesop or a decidedly Family-Unfriendly Aesop, and try to pretend it has a perfectly positive and wholesome moral. As in don't even mention anything unpleasant. The moral is to seem like something that even the most staunch of Moral Guardians would want to be told to children.

If you can't find a work with no positive message, just choose a work and find some positive messages the creators probably didn't intend.

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But don't try to use this for stealth complaining.

Compare Accidental Aesop.

Contrast Warp That Aesop.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Berserk: The Power of Love and friendship can change the world.
  • Bible Black: Even if you struck a Deal with the Devil, there's always a way out.
  • Black Laggon: Even the evilest and most ruthless villains can be talked down if one knows the right things to say towards them.
    • Alternatively, you shouldn’t let your environment shape your thoughts and beliefs, that will only bring you misery, instead, discover and find your own meaning in the world, preferably one that doesn’t operate on pure White and Black with no exceptions towards anything.
  • Bleach: In order for a society's government to function properly its legislature group and the soldier squadrons whom they order should have a proper sense of checks and balances and communication. Failure to do so can make the Soldier Squadrons easy to manipulate to do things such as execute innocent people.
  • Bokurano: It's worth it to put your people's interests before your own.
  • Death Note:
    • Normal people can change the world.
    • God is always watching you.
    • If you are given a powerful item do not try to use it to solve all your problems in life.
    • If you aspire to protect the lives of innocent people it is a big responsibility that you must fulfill even if its not convenient for your plans.
    • There's no limit to what you can accomplish through a good book.
    • Remember kids — an apple a day! It will save your life!
  • Digimon:
  • Dragon Ball
    • When choosing between helping people that need help and staying on your journey without stopping, help those people and it just might help you in the long run.
    • Just because something looks scary, it doesn't always mean that its a threat. Get to know them first.
    • You don't need magic to get what you wish. Sometimes it was there all along and you just didn't notice.
  • Dragon Ball Z
    • Stop attacking yourself, thinking that there's something wrong with you, 'cause there's not. You have potential, so let it out!
    • Your worst enemy can turn out to be your best friend.
    • Going through a lot of hardships makes you a stronger and wiser person.
    • Don't make selfish decisions, or else you'll end up hurting others around you.
  • Fairy Tail: Always believe in your True Companions. One day it will save your life.
  • La Blue Girl: The Power of Love comes in many forms.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya:
    • God loves you. God really loves you.
    • Alternately, your friends are closer than you think, and they're with you even if you don't know it.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!:
    • You should never be so focused on the past that you can't see the people who care about you.
    • Others include: People are people whether they're "real" or not; even people who think they're beyond redemption aren't.
  • Martian Successor Nadesico: Your favorite show, book, movie, etc. is not a big deal. Don't make it into one. The consequences of doing so range from embarrassing to disastrous.
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam: If you dislike how humanity is treating the Earth please keep in mind that Genocide is never the answer. So if you're trying to be a Well-Intentioned Extremist, never work for a Genocidal madman; it won't work well.
  • Naruto:
    • Relationships can be broken beyond recovery. If that happens, lean on the real friends you have and cherish what you have with them. Fixating on someone who doesn't want anything to do with you anymore will only make you look ridiculous.
    • When the people who care about you try to warn you about your desires of revenge it doesn't mean that you should let the person who has genuinely wronged you get away with their crimes. What they mean is that you should never abandon your integrity and the people who cared for you just for the sake of killing someone for any reason. Revenge doesn't give you the right to betray your friends and your home. While it's not wrong to punish someone whom has killed those you cared for but it should be done in a just and honorable matter.
    • Basically, don't turn your back against everything you stand for; don't turn your back against those who love you just for the sake of petty vengeance.
    • If life has dealt you a bad hand, don't lose hope. You CAN overcome it!
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • Love is worth doing anything for.
    • Suicide is never the answer.
    • Also, Drugs Are Bad, especially right before church.
    • Angelic Days: A positive attitude can make all the difference in the world.
  • Pokémon:
    • Never give up on your dreams, because you never know how close you are to achieving them.
    • If it seems as though you are on a losing streak, never give up hope and always try different methods to improve your skills so you can come on top.
    • Don't abandon your friends during hard times.
    • You may argue with your friends from time to time, but they are still your true friends at the end of the day.
  • The Pollinic Girls Attack!: Being honest with your feelings just might get you laid.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
    • Don't worry about your lack of magic powers. You're really better off without them.
    • Selfless love can empower the weak and bring hope to those who have none.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion: Don't mess around with things you don't understand.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena:
    • You never needed to be or find a prince. Just be yourself and you will eventually change the world.
    • Redemption is possible.
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero:
    • Helping the helpless through economic discourse and defending them from things that threaten their lives, their families and their livelihoods is more meaningful and better in the long-run than trying to do storybook heroic deeds like dragon-slaying or dungeon-crawling.
    • Doing good deeds for the promise of tangible rewards doesn't necessarily make them any less good.
    • Don't trust everything you hear at face-value. The world is more complicated than that and your knee-jerk reactions might just make things worse.
    • Adversity is hard, but it can also be educational.
    • Not everyone is out to get you and not everyone is a gullible lemming that will believe anything they are told.
    • Not all problems can be solved with violence.
    • Being a hero does not mean solving all the problems in the world. There is only so much you can do.
    • Whether you are The Chosen One or not, you must be conscious of your own actions or people will lose faith in you. People won't always look the other way or shoulder the burden of the long-term consequences and you will eventually have to answer for them.
    • There is a limit to how often you can lie, cheat and back-stab your way into getting people to do what you want before Crying Wolf sets in and you run out of arms to lean on for support.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Don't worry if you're clumsy, not too bright and a bit of a crybaby. Even those who doubt you will give you a chance to grow and chance, and your kindness and good heart will win them over.
    • You are never alone as long as someone reaches out to you.
    • Even the most evil and nasty of villains can love.
    • Always trust talking cats. They may give you a hard time but they always have your best interests at heart.
    • The Power of Love can fix many things.
  • The Seven Deadly Sins:
    • Murderers, thieves, mercenaries, it doesn't matter. Anyone is capable of redemption and can become heroes.
    • No one is Always Chaotic Evil.
  • Soul Eater:
    • Crusades without due process all over the world is fine as long as they are Obviously Evil and God told you to do it.
    • Even God isn't perfect and sometimes needs to be told "no" or "maybe we should try something else".

    Art 
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    Asian Animation 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Don't give up on your dreams, no matter how often you fail or suffer. Always come back to give it another shot! You'll eventually be happy one day, even if it takes over 14 years.

    Comic Books 
  • All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder: Repetition of key phrases is key to getting your point across.
  • Chick Tracts:
    • If you don't have a good point to make, no amount of ad hominem attacks will help your case. The only way to truly win a debate is to properly research your subjects and present reasonable, well thought-out arguments.
    • There is good in everyone. Even in Satan.
  • Crossed: If you're creative enough, you can make tools or clothing out of anything.
  • The Dark Phoenix Saga: Your soul is your own: nothing and no one can take it from you.
  • Empowered: If you refuse to give up and you're willing to think outside the box, you've got what it takes to be a hero. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.
  • Fantastic Four: If you have accidentally got your close friends into an incident that would change their bodies and lives forever you should work very hard to make sure that their lives will go well despite that.
  • The Killing Joke: The best way to smooth over differences with an old acquaintance is to share a good laugh.
  • Marvel Civil War Frontlines: It's good for the last generation to embrace modern values.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Even if the majority of the populace refuse to except you for who you are no matter what you do you should be a good person in life anyways.
    • You should help people in general regardless of how much they hate you, because if people in general seem to think you're Always Chaotic Evil, do you really want to prove them right?
  • Promethea: Be respectful of other people's religions. They're all equally right.
  • The Punisher:
    • In order to get justice, you need to be proactive.
    • In order to properly fight the forces of evil one must show a great amount of responsibility and good judgment, one should never take extreme action against evil lightly.
    • Mental illness is not a curse. No matter how much it hurts, you can keep going.
    • Nothing is more powerful than love for your family.
  • Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose:
    • Even attractive people can be self-conscious of their bodies.
    • Polyamory is fine if everyone is consenting. Maybe not everyone will be happy about it, so best come clean about it.
  • Uncanny X-Men: There is nothing wrong with fighting an oppressive government.
  • Watchmen: There are many different approaches to doing good. Some work well in day-to-day life, others prevail on the global scale. But everyone, regardless of their race, gender, age, sexual orientation, or social conditions, has what it takes to be a hero.

    Fairy Tales 
  • Sun, Moon, and Talia:
    • Don't give up on the one you love just because they come on a little strong at first.
    • Every child deserves a father.
    • Everyone has a right to be with their perfect man or woman no matter what stands in their way.

    Fanfic 

    Films — Animated 
  • Chicken Little: Your friends will always have your back.
  • Frozen: Never be desperate for companions or else you'll end up with the wrong people.
    • Being different is nothing to be ashamed of. You are not a monster, and you are beautiful and powerful the way you are.
  • Frozen II: If you hate a specific ethnic group, your child will most definitely marry and have kids with someone of that ethnic group. If you don't want your child to mix races with a race you hate, stop hating that race.
  • How to Train Your Dragon: Just because it's how it has always been done, doesn't necessarily mean that it's right.
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2: Sometimes your elders really do know better, so maybe consider what they have to say when it's Serious Business.
  • How to Train Your Dragon: Homecoming: It's fine to sell your kids a false narrative as long as it gets your message across.
  • The Little Mermaid (1989) and the sequel:
    • Always obey your parents. They know what's best for you.
    • It's okay to have a different opinion than your parents, but that doesn't mean you should run off and do something reckless. It'll only put you in danger and won't show them you can properly take charge of your life at all.
    • You might not agree with your child, but sometimes, taking matters into your own hands will make things a lot worse.
    • Never hide important things and facts from your children, or else they will end up trusting the wrong people.
    • And most of all JUST SAY NO!!!!
  • Mulan II: Always do what you believe is right, no matter what your country tells you.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas: There's always a place for you to be king.
  • Pinocchio:
    • Don't run off with a stranger. You might not know what you're really in for.
    • Stay in school, and don't try to skip.
  • Wreck-It Ralph: Don't get lazy with your code.
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    Films — Live-Action 
  • Avatar:
    • It's best to resolve conflicts with people who are different from you by trying to understand them.
    • Sometimes you can be so determined to protect the people close to you that you hurt the ones that aren't.
    • Your origin does not determine your worth or who you are.
  • Christine: Take care of your car and treat it with love, and it will do the same to you.
  • Citizen Kane: Cherish your happiest memory for as long as you live.
  • Drop Dead Fred: Sometimes our greatest problems can be our greatest source of strength.
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off: Schoolwork can be made up. Have fun while you still can.
  • Gran Torino: Everyone has some sort of good in them.
  • Hard Core Logo: Don't lie to your best friends. Even if you don't mean any harm, it never works out well.
  • The Hateful Eight:
    • You can create a better present by letting go of past hatred.
    • Being friendly can enrich any moment, even dying ones.
  • No Country for Old Men: Tolerance is the key to living a long life. Do not concern yourself with those whom you dislike, and they shall grant you the same favor.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Friendship transcends racial and social barriers, including royalty.
  • Secrets & Lies:
    • Things aren't always what they appear to be, so don't go assuming the absolute worst. Give people the benefit of the doubt.
    • Getting rich won't make you any better or worse of a person than you were when you didn't have money.
    • Just because a situation looks bad now, that doesn't mean that that will always be the case.
  • A Serbian Film: It's not how much money your art can make you; it's whether your art feels right to you.
  • There Will Be Blood: With a little luck and plenty of perseverance, anyone can strike it rich in America.
  • Thor:
    • Proper communication is the foundation of happy families.
    • Alternately, never let your children feel unloved or unappreciated.
  • TRON: Legacy:
    • Things change. Once they do, it's usually best not to dwell in the past.
    • A good father will always love their sons, even if the son fails to understand that.
    • In the end, turn off the computer and go watch a sunrise.
    • The Power of Friendship and The Power of Love can override just about anything.
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey:
    • If you study hard and become an astronaut, you'll see things that no one else has seen before.
    • The universe is full of wonders beyond your greatest imaginings.

    Literature 
  • Alfie's Home: With therapy, it's possible to overcome childhood abuse and live a good life.
  • All Fun And Games Until Somebody Loses An Eye: You never know your own strength until it's put to the test.
  • Animal Farm: No matter how drastically things change for you and your friends/family, fear not! Everything will go back to normal eventually.
  • Another Time, Another Place: Don't just hoard all your money. It's very sensible to have a bit put by for a rainy day, but a few little extras are good for the soul.
    • Justice comes at a price.
    • If your partner is about to be deployed, you're probably better off marrying to make sure you get a pension if they die.
    • We can all feel like outsiders sometimes.
  • The Black Company:
    • Keep your friends close; with enough determination, courage, and faith in one another, you can overcome anything.
    • Alternatively: No matter how bad life may seem, it's still worth living.
  • Brideshead Revisited:
    • When you feel like your family doesn't understand you, your friends can be the people in you life who see you for who you really are and still love you.
    • Drinking socially to have a good time is fine, but when you drink to nurse a hurt inside you that can't easily resolve, not only will you be unable to quit, but you will alienate those who care about you and you will not be able to go back to being the person you were before.
  • Catch-22: If you stick to your beliefs, then you'll be fine.
  • The Chocolate War: You can't always make big changes to the world by yourself; you will have a higher chance of succeeding in numbers, and with support from the media and other third parties, than when trying to buck the system alone.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo: It's okay to want (and even pursue) revenge, as long as you're careful not to let it define your life.
  • The Cthulhu Mythos: So some embarrassing things have happened to you. Well, don't worry about it too much, because in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter.
  • The Draka: Problems only get worse when ignored, so don't stick your head in the sand — deal with them when you can.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Suicide won't solve anything.
    • Authority figures are just as fallible as anyone else.
  • Harry Potter:
    • The power of love isn't always magical, but you will have plenty of friends who will stick by to the very end and take up your cause even when you're down.
    • Not all slave owners are evil. Some of them may treat their slaves with respect.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Study medieval architecture some time! It's surprisingly interesting and educational.
  • Lolita:
    • Appreciate your romantic partners for who they are, not because they resemble a lost love or belong to a demographic you find attractive.
    • Let go of the past. You can't be young forever!
  • The Long Walk:
    • Make the best of the time you have remaining, because you have no idea what's around the corner.
  • Nothing to Envy: Never take your freedom for granted.
    • Humans can overcome seemingly impossible odds with ingenuity and extreme fortitude.
    • Keeping an open mind can greatly improve your life.
  • 1984:
    • Even if you disagree with others, it's best to remember you love them in the end.
    • Sometimes, you'll be better off if you listen to others.
  • The Remains of the Day:
    • Don't be afraid to take chances in life.
    • Always try to be your own person - no matter how dedicated you are to your job, you cannot let your career become your whole identity.
    • Cutting your nose to spite your face won't end well for anyone.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Age, gender, and disability are no barriers to playing an important part in history.
    • When pursuing potentially controversial courses of action for the good of your country, make certain you have trustworthy allies.
    • There are multiple sides to every story. Understand that before you judge or take action.
  • Twilight:
    • Love really does conquer all.
    • Sometimes, beyond all logic or reason, happy endings can happen.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin:
    • The death of a good person does not invalidate all the good deeds they did while alive.
    • Just one thing can help change the world.
  • The White Bird Passes:
    • Your children can give you so much love, and you owe it to them to be worthy of it. Don't let your pride get in the way of meeting their needs.
    • Poetry can free the soul.
    • Kids need love - it's not enough to meet their physical needs and keep them safe. They have hopes and dreams and deserve to treated as individuals, not just as a problem to palm off onto someone else.
  • Z for Zachariah: Be cautious when meeting new people. They may not be all that they appear to be.
  • Almost anything by Zilpha Keatley Snyder (other than the Green-Sky Trilogy):
    • You're incredibly lucky! Most people never experience magic or wonder even for a brief time. As you return to your dull, boring, ordinary life, cherish your memories. Can you use your experience to bring "magic" to your loved ones?
    • The only book in which the protagonist actually gains and keeps a magical ability is Season of Ponies (1964), her first. In most of her later books this is reduced to "the best magic is kindness to others". The Green-Sky Trilogy, her only complete fantasy, breaks out of this; little girls discover, then lose an extinct Psychic Powers skill, but will recover it over time.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Boy Meets World:
    • No matter how rough life gets, you can always count on your friends to bail you out.
    • Finding your one true love at an early age is a wonderful thing to be cherished always.
    • Even the big bad school bully can become your friend if you give each other a chance.
  • Charm School:
    • The best revenge on your haters is to prove them wrong.
    • Always strive to be the best person you can be.
    • It's okay to admit you have flaws and want to work on them.
  • Community :
    • True Companions will always be there for you, no matter the situation.
    • It doesn't matter how broken or messed-up you think you are; everyone is worthy of being loved.
  • Dexter: Everyone has at least one talent that they can use for good.
  • Doctor Who: No matter who you are, no matter where you go or how powerful you become, it's good to make friends and see new things. Especially if your new friends can come too.
  • Dollhouse: Meta Example: If a couple is meant to be together, they can survive anything... even being in a Joss Whedon show.
  • Elementary: Even Insufferable Geniuses need supportive friends.
  • Father Ted: There's a lot of fun to be had in a bad situation. Just try and avoid being on the receiving end of it.
  • Firefly: Your crew trumps everything.
  • Frankie Howerd Rather You Than Me:
    • Love is difficult sometimes. Like everything else in life, it has its peaks and troughs.
    • Suffering from anxiety or stage fright need not be a barrier to a successful career in show business.
  • Friends: Provided that you are prepared to be patient, true love will conquer all.
  • Garth Marenghis Darkplace: There is no situation or issue that cannot be resolved by a peace offering and an apology.
  • The Good Place:
    • Whether you're human or an immortal being, pobody's nerfect.
    • Even demons are capable of love and compassion. They just need a little help.
    • Being good doesn't always mean doing things by the book. If the rules are unjust, then those are the rules that were made to be broken.
    • Sometimes external factors really are to blame for your shirty lot in life, so don't beat yourself up over every little thing.
    • You can't take responsibility for everyone else's happiness or unhappiness, so just chill the fork out and live a little.
    • Opposites attract.
  • Life On Mars: No matter how trapped a situation makes you feel, there's always a way out.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Having a good sense of humor is a great way to have an overall happy life even if your surroundings are anything but happy.
  • Oz:
    • Drinking and driving will hurt you, others, and the people you love.
    • You can always make the best of the cards you've been dealt in life.
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Love and loyalty go beyond things like conflict, time, and even the difference between organic and machine.
  • The Secret Diaries Of Miss Anne Lister:
    • Relationships often don't work out, so it's important to make the most of the time that you have together and not to spend it fighting.
    • A marriage of convenience is not necessarily an unhappy one.
  • Sherlock:
    • Feelings like fear and love might make you vulnerable, but they also make you human.
    • Heroes do exist, but no two are the same - sometimes you can be a hero and not even realize it.
    • If you love someone, don't let them go. Not in a creepy, possessive way, but don't just abandon all hope and move over because it seems to be the mature thing to do.
  • Sons of Anarchy: Your friends and family can help you achieve things you never considered.
  • Torchwood:
    • The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, and sometimes you just need time alone to cope with your problems.
    • Make sure that the people you love know how you feel.
    • In the end, no one really gets a Karma Houdini and we all have to face up to the things that we've done, for better or worse.
  • The Wire: "Ain't no shame in holdin' on to grief, as long as you make room for other things, too."

    Tabletop Games 
  • FATAL: Sometimes, life can be tough. Sometimes, it may feel as though it isn't worth living. But in the end, everyone can slowly learn and grow, and anyone can get laid.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Hey, sometimes life can be pretty hard. It may seem like the world is out to get you. It may even seem as though there are no good choices. But no matter how dark the universe gets, life endures despite difficulties. So hope is always worth clinging to. Tzeentch needs his lunch, after all.
    • The war will never end, but it's the little victories that make the fight worth it. At the very least, you'll buy some time for someone else.
    • With enough courage and faith, you can do anything.

    Theatre 
  • Cabaret: Try and enjoy life while you can - it can go very wrong very quickly.
  • Chess:
    • Loving someone isn't going to be enough to stop the unpleasant parts of their personality from manifesting, so you shouldn't beat yourself up about it.
    • Always try your very best so that mediocrity can't get the better of you.
    • Be true to yourself - no one else can do it for you.
    • Keep a cool head, don't let emotion cloud reason
  • Chicago: Do you make mistakes? Do not fret. There are many people in the world who care about you, and they will do everything they can to help you work through the hard times and rebuild your life.
  • Hairspray: It doesn't matter what size or race you are. Never let what people think of you get in the way of achieving your dreams.
  • Little Shop of Horrors: If you have good people skills, then the world can be yours.
  • The Phantom of the Opera:
    • It's your choices that make you truly bad or good, not how you look or where you live.
    • Love is messy. Sometimes you get hurt. It's not the end of the world when that happens.
  • Spring Awakening: None of us really have it totally figured out, but the most important things in life are compassion, self-restraint, friendship, and love. Don't rush into something just because it feels good or because you're specifically told not to. Parents, love your children and don't keep them in the dark. Children, love your parents, but at the same time acknowledge they're just as in the dark as you are about the big things.
  • Wicked:
    • Choosing your own path may cost you many things, but not choosing it would cost you everything.
    • True friends enrich our souls and shape our destiny like nothing else.
    • Just because you choose a different path than someone you love, doesn't mean that they will love you any less.

    Tropes 
  • Affably Evil: Just because you're the bad guy, doesn't mean you have to be a bad guy.
  • Author Appeal: As long as you don’t turn your entire work into a dump for your personal opinions, there is nothing wrong into inserting elements in it that cater to your tastes, and it may in fact make your work more fun.
  • Badass Decay: We can't all kick ass and take names forever. Sometimes you just peak.
  • Best Knownforthe Fanservice: A series fame can come from the most unexpected reasons.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Too many dark and/or disturbing elements can end up making your work meaningless to your viewers, a bit of idealism doesn't hurt your art, and in fact, might even improve it.
  • Downer Ending: You can't win them all, and that's okay.
  • Drunk on Milk: You can overdose on anything if you indulge in it enough.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Who said learning had to be boring?
  • Embodiment of Vice: Try to keep your bad habits in check. People just might remember you for your worst moments.
  • Embodiment of Virtue: Sometimes your best qualities can define you.
  • Funny Foreigner: Just because they are from somewhere else doesn't mean you have to be wary of them.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Just because you're the good guy, doesn't mean you have to let everyone else walk all over you.
  • Improperly Paranoid: Not everything is out to get you. Just chill out, man!
  • Mundangerous: Not every inconvenience in the life of a badass has to be a Doomsday Device or an Alien Invasion. Sometimes it can be as simple as stubbing your toe or running late for an appointment.
  • My Fist Forgives You: Best air out your dirty laundry immediately before it explodes later.
  • My Real Daddy: Don't be fearful towards a work being continued or adaptated by a different author, sometimes they might even improve upon the original concept.
  • Neologizer: Language is subjective and anyone can make it their own.
  • Noble Bigot with a Badge: The best kind of authority is the kind that leaves their biases at home.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Even if a person appears to be racist or intolerant towards a certain group, that doesn't stop them from having positive traits, and they might be genuinely misguided towards the group they oppose and even change for the better once they learn more about them.
  • Properly Paranoid: Sometimes that nagging feeling in the back of your neck is justified and it is better to be safe than sorry.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Know your bad habits.
  • Seven Heavenly Virtues: Know your good habits.
  • String Theory: It's good to keep your notes organized.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: There is nothing wrong with inserting conflicts, scary moments or dark elements in your work, and the lack of them might even make a setting boring to watch. Variation is the key to a good art piece.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: Not all works of art have to spell out its message. Sometimes the best art is the kind that makes you think.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Karma's a bitch.

Meta

    Video Games 

Aesops Pertaining to Video Games in-general:

  • Just about every game ever: Good triumphs over evil in the end, even if it's a bumpy ride and requires sacrifice.
  • You can overcome most problems with persistence and changing your strategy when you need to.
  • Any game with easy revives (Call of Duty, Gears of War in particular):
  • Any Player-vs-Player team-based video-game shows that team-work can overcome even the hardest obstacles.
  • Any Rogue Like: Life is short, so make the best out of it!

Aesops Pertaining to Specific Games:

  • Ace Attorney:
    • You don't have to be book-smart, socially savvy or even popular to win the day. All you need is an unwavering belief and the desire to do the right thing.
    • Don't give up on your old friends, no matter how much they've changed for the worst. With enough patience and kindness, you'll get through to them.
    • No matter what life throws at you, keep smiling. You'll come out on top.
    • Death isn't the end of friendship.
  • Age of Wonders: Nations must overcome racism in order to achieve greatness.
  • Assassin's Creed: History can be entertaining and interesting.
  • BioShock:
    • Using drugs is never a good idea. And you can't solve all your problems by trying to become stronger than everyone else—sometimes it's better to just be yourself.
    • Extremism, no matter the intentions behind it, will cause more harm than good.
    • Family is worth fighting for.
  • Blazblue:
    • It may hurt, but letting the past go can be the key to growing healthily from here on out.
    • No matter how badly you've been screwed over or who it was that did it to you, just a few dependable people who honestly want to help can be enough to give you your life back.
    • A patient series of small differences can be all it takes to escape what otherwise feels like an interminable loop.
    • Helping people is admirable, but forcing your will on the world ultimately only benefits you. And you won't be here forever.
  • Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker: You don't have to be super to be a hero.
  • Dwarf Fortress: When things get hard, stay calm and keep your head. Internal strife can destroy a community more surely than nay external threat, so sometimes it's best to just let things go.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • Determination will get you far. With determination, you can do anything from becoming head of a guild, to fighting a world-eating dragon.
    • The world is a lot less of an exciting place without you around. They depend on you, and want you here.
  • Endless Legend: Never give up, even when it feels like the whole world is doomed to a cold, painful death!
  • Epic Mickey: No matter how famous you are, never forget your family members that are worse off than you.
  • Eversion: If there's someone you love who needs help and you can give them that help, do it no matter the personal cost.
  • Fable: Morality is much more complicated than a mere good/evil binary.
  • Fallout:
    • When looking to the past, don't try to return to it, learn from it and try to build a better future.
    • No matter what catastrophes happen, know that you can always rebuild and recover.
  • Far Cry 5: You don't have to solve every problem with violence. Peaceful de-escalation can yield the exact same results with far fewer losses.
  • First Encounter Assault Recon:
    • No matter what else happens, remember this: Mommy loves you.
    • Family can overcome anything to come together, be it mistrust, violence, armies, and even death.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance:
    • General: It's better to face your problems than try to run away from them.
    • Fire Emblem: Never falter in your resolve, you will save the world even if it's only through your son seventeen years later.
    • Fire Emblem Tellius:
      • No matter how much your life's sucked, if you can find one person to believe in who won't ever leave your side it's worth everything.
      • Letting go of old prejudices will earn you the trust and friendship of those you once shunned.
    • Path of Radiance: In difficult times, abandoning your kinder side may seem like an easier option, but sticking by it can change the world.
    • Radiant Dawn: There is always a third option.note 
    • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones: Even when everything seems darkest, there is always one last hope.
    • Fire Emblem Awakening:
      • Destiny can be altered if you work hard enough and believe in the bonds between you, your friends and your family.
      • If you help a woman win the affections of another man, she just might end up falling for you instead!
      • Unrequited love can hurt, but it's not fatal and you can always love again.
      • No matter how prickly you are and how hard it is for you to get close to people, there will always be one person who sees past that and reaches out to you.
      • Sometimes, using dark magic can lead to wonderful things, including falling in love!
      • No matter how much your friends and teammates yell at you for "always running away", deep down they truly care for you and want to help even if they're not good at expressing it.
      • If you take off the mask, someone just may fall madly in love with you.
      • Even if your self-sacrifice would save the world, it may not necessarily be the right thing to do. Sometimes, getting rid of the Big Bad isn't worth others losing a best friend, a spouse or a parent, and a thousand years is a long time. So enjoy your life while you've got it.
    • Fire Emblem Fates:
      • You can save the world and stop a war with minimal casualties and no betrayal. It won't be easy, but with enough time and effort you'll convince both sides of a greater enemy and bring them together-not just for the sake of winning the war, but forming a lifelong bond of friendship!
      • Even the lowest of street rats can find a home and a purpose.
      • Stalking isn't the best way to get someone's attention, but don't change too much. They love you just the way you are.
  • Fortnite: Seemingly inconsequential actions like thanking the bus driver will make you look like a better person to everyone else.
  • Grand Theft Auto V:
    • Even the most broken of relationships (be they family or friendship) can slowly be patched together with talking and time.
    • Loyalty and honesty are very important virtues. Don't lie to your best friend(s). If you are in trouble in any way, simply talk to them about it. Don't stab them in the back when they're not watching because it looks like the easy way out.
  • I Wanna Be the Guy: Even an obstacle that seems impossible can be overcome with perseverance.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Not all friendships last forever... but even the memory of a friendship long over can comfort you in harsh times.
  • Knights of the Old Republic: Screw Destiny. When life gives you a second chance, it's entirely yours to decide what you do with it.
  • Left 4 Dead: The Power of Friendship is the most potent force in the world. Relying on friends can save you from anything.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Courage is doing something, even when you're scared shitless, because you know it's the right thing.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Metal Gear Solid: Don't base your self-image around something that isn't your fault and that you have no control over. The alleged inferiority that you're obsessing over might not even be true, anyway. Also, no matter how mad you are at the world, and how cool your military tech is, don't start nuclear wars.
    • Metal Gear Solid 2: No matter how much you admire your role models, it's still healthier to be yourself.
    • Metal Gear Solid 3: A person's current political allegiance is not necessarily a reliable guide to whether or not they're a good person.
    • Metal Gear Solid 4: Sometimes we have to make a lasting legacy for a new generation.
  • Minecraft: You can build anything if you set your mind to it and can defend it from saboteurs.
  • Pandemic: No matter how bad things seem, mankind will always find a way to endure.
  • Persona 4: Everybody has a dark side to them, but learning to embrace your flaws will help you overcome anything in your way.
  • Psychonauts: Exercising is important if you want to become a secret agent.
  • Saints Row:
    • Stand by your friends, and they'll stand by you.
    • If you're drunk, don't try to do anything involving fire.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: If you constantly chase a guy, it will make him even more uninterested in you.
  • Sonic Lost World: Never trust evil people over your best friend, because they will use you to advance their evil goals.
  • Spec Ops: The Line: No matter what mistakes you've made, you can still redeem yourself.
  • Spyro the Dragon:
  • The Sims: If you work hard at the things that truly matter, especially at having good friends, you will have a far better, more fulfilling quality of life than if you let the universe push you around or let life pass you by while living on autopilot.
  • Tyranny: Don't judge people too harshly. Even someone who seems like a Complete Monster may well be trying to make the best of a bad situation. What would you have done in their position? What could you have done?

    Web Comics 
  • Dominic Deegan: Be nice to your friends and don't cause them any undue stress. That just makes life harder for everyone.
  • 8-Bit Theater: Don't worry. Evil can never triumph. Ever.
  • Garfield Minus Garfield: You don't always need tons of friends and pets to enjoy your life.
  • Homestuck:
    • When attempting to communicate, decide your message in advance and express it clearly and efficiently. Getting worked up, sending contradicting messages, or being unnecessarily vague will doom your effort.
    • Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff: Be careful around potentially hazardous architectural features.
  • The Rock Cocks:
    • Free sexuality is a force to be reckoned with.
    • Take care of your car.
    • Public nudity is awesome!
  • Sluggy Freelance: When you find a woman bathing in an outdoors lake, the polite thing to do is averting your eyes and walking away. Do the polite thing.

    Web Original 
Websites
  • Encyclopedia Dramatica: The Internet is a wonderful tool for bringing people together. People who would otherwise keep their hobbies to themselves can go online, meet others who share their interests, and find the courage and motivation to create something glorious and share it with the world.
    • Alternatively, the Internet can be a mean place; just try not to be influenced by such ideas, and know where your moral center is.

Web Original Fiction

Web Video

  • The Angry Video Game Nerd:
    • You can start an online cultural movement and popularize making a living doing what you love by embracing your emotions.
    • Retro-gaming is cool.
  • Jreg:
    • Talking politics can be entertaining!
    • Rich pedophiles have feelings too, yah know!
    • Just because you disagree on certain things politically, doesn't mean you can't still be friends.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: The world is full of wonder, beauty and excitement, but it is also dangerous and fragile. Be prepared and exercise good judgment when exploring it.
  • The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan: It doesn't matter if you never solve the cases yourself, jump to all the wrong conclusions and get into trouble, your father is proud of you for having the determination to give it your all anyway and appreciates your efforts.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
      • If someone loves you, they'll always forgive you no matter how badly you screw up. All that matters to them is that you came to that all-important realization and done what's right for yourself.
      • Your family may very well be crazy evil, and your dad, as Aang would put it, may be the "baddest man on the planet", but that does not mean you're evil. You are free to choose your own destiny far apart from the destiny of your family, or, as Iroh would put it, "the destiny [they] imposed on you."
      • Being the hero doesn't mean you're required to kill the Big Bad. Sometimes, the worst evil deserves a fate worse than death and you're the one to give it to them.
    • The Legend of Korra:
      • Don't be ashamed of who you are. Just because some haters are saying you're an abomination for being different, ignore them. Be happy with yourself and have fun when you can.
      • Stand up for what you know is right, even when those close to you are doing what you know is wrong.
      • Extremism is dangerous and destructive. Don't allow yourself to be consumed by your cause, no matter how noble it might seem.
  • Beavis And Butthead:
    • Even the dumbest of slackers can find happiness in the simplest of delusions.
    • For the reboot: If you're capable of mocking Jersey Shore, you're not as dumb as you appear to be.
  • ChalkZone: Be as creative as you want.
  • Code Lyoko: No matter how clever, courageous, or dedicated you are, there will always be problems that you can't solve within the course of an afternoon. Don't let that affect you negatively. Take your victories where you can, keep working, and try to relax instead.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door:
    • Recycling is both useful and fun.
    • When you grow up, try to remember what it was like to be a kid and don't be too hard on them. You might mean very well, but all you're really doing is coming off as a villain in a child's eyes.
  • Disney:
    • Donald Duck: When something goes wrong, try not to get too angry. You'll only cause yourself more trouble.
    • Mickey's Nightmare: If you are still young and have a girlfriend/boyfriend, don't be in a rush to get married and have kids. Chances are, you're not ready to deal with raising a family yet.
  • Dragons: Riders of Berk:
    • General: Trust the young to learn for themselves. Sometimes they might figure things out better than their elders.
    • "Viking For Hire": Just because your job has been made obsolete doesn't mean your skills have been too. Chin up, try new things and you'll regain your footing.
    • "Animal House": Animal Jingoism can be overcome with a bit of compassion and understanding.
    • "Thawfest":
      • Nobody likes a sore-winner, regardless of whether the loser needed his ego-deflated
      • Chicks like'm humble.
    • "The Terrible Twos": Baby or not, it isn't wise to bring every stray animal you find into the home and expect everything to turn out fine.
    • "Dragon Eye of the Beholder, Part 1": Nobody trusts traitors. Best not practice it.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy:
    • Be yourself to have friends. Don't pretend to be a jerkass or a Smug Snake because it will only get you hated, ostracized from your peers, and beaten up.
    • Always stand up for yourself and your friends when you/they are being bullied (Little Ed Blue, A Fistful of Ed).
  • Family Guy:
  • Garfield and Friends:
    • A true appreciation of fine Italian food can enrich your life.
    • Even if your cat is not as affectionate as your dog, he still loves you.
  • The Looney Tunes Show:
    • Don't hold grudges towards people who might've treated you poorly in the past but have apologized to you and already feel guilty about it.
    • "Off-Duty Cop": Not everything you see on TV is real.
    • "French Fries": Don't overreact.
    • "The Float": Don't con people out of their money. It's selfish and wrong.
    • "Gribbler's Quest": Just because there's something that you like doing a lot doesn't mean that there's something wrong with you. Granted, that doesn't mean that you don't have any problems at all...
  • Metalocalypse: It doesn't matter if you lack formal education, aren't very book-smart, or had a bad upbringing - if you're talented and committed to the ideals of your art, you and your True Companions can create awesome music and change the world.
  • Miraculous Ladybug:
    • Just because you have a crush on someone, it doesn't ensure that you'll actually get together with them. Perhaps they don't feel the same way, Real Life will change the chemistry between you or maybe you just weren't meant for each other, and that's okay.
    • If you have a crush on somebody, just spit it out and tell them! At best, they'll just say no and we— err, you can get on with your life. At worst, misunderstandings between you will ensue, things left unsaid will cause distress and everyone will get frustrated and jump ship all-together.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • General: Don't judge people for how they look.
    • "The Cutie Remark - Part 2": The reason why Twilight Sparkle does not punish Starlight Glimmer for maliciously tampering with the past is because no good would've come from doing so. And the reason why Twilight Sparkle forgave Starlight Glimmer and made her both a friend and a pupil to study friendship was not only to give her a second chance but to help ensure that she never falls down the path of evil again.
    "An eye-for-eye and tooth-for-tooth would lead to a world of the blind and toothless." ~Book of Exodus [21:24]
    "Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?" ~Abraham Lincoln
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
    • "Fuzzy Logic": It's important to share. Don't be selfish.
    • "Equal Fights": Feminism isn't about special treatment. It's about equal rights for both genders.
  • The Simpsons:
    • "I Am Furious (Yellow)": Sometimes, it's okay to be angry.
    • "The Boys of Bummer": Don't overreact if you lose, it's only a game.
    • "Homer's Enemy": Don't let envy take control of your life. It's not healthy for your mental well-being and you'll end up isolating yourself from the people who genuinely want to be friends with you.
  • South Park: The person you think you hate the most is the one who makes your life worth living and can't be replaced.
  • Spongebob Squarepants: Money isn't important. Doing something you love and bringing joy to people is all that matters.

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