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Take That / Western Animation

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"Trace amounts of mental activity detected. Possibly a dead weasel or cartoon viewer."
Brainspawn, the Futurama episode "The Why of Fry"

Because sometimes it's good to poke fun at your more two-dimensional competitors.

Animated series with their own pages

  • In the Johnny Test episode "Coming to a Johnny Near You", a television advert for a movie entitled Preschool Parole Officer declares it as "the best movie in the history of the world... ever!". Johnny and Dukey go to see it... and are instantly disappointed at its lack of comedy.
    • "Fangs a Lot Johnny" has Susan and Mary turning into vampires in order to impress Gil and they pursue Johnny and Dukey, who attempt to evade them by entering broad daylight...only to find out the twins are unaffected because "hip teen vampires glitter in the sun now".
    Dukey: I hate glittering teen vampires.
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  • Totally Spies! takes an obvious dig at Kim Possible:
    Sam: What could be more embarrassing than WOOHP spies losing all their gadgets and having to hitch a ride from a pop star?
  • The original title for Animaniacs was Bonkers, but Disney already had a series by that name. Every so often, the characters made unflattering comments about Bonkers, such as Slappy saying that her nephew is dumb from watching it, or one of the items on a scavenger hunt being a funny episode of it.
    • Animaniacs kind of likes taking potshots at Disney in general. "Jokahontas" takes a few. For starters, a song about how formulaic and unoriginal their heroines are, John Smith has red pants with two yellow buttons and a catch on his helmet to release a pair of round ears. Oh, and John Smith is Mel Gibson. Straight up. Not voiced by him, but it's still hard to miss.
    • In one episode, Yakko asks whether Wakko and Dot know what time it is. This is followed by Dot replying, "Time to make fun of the Disney Channel?"
      • That would be an installment of the "Wheel of Morality", which network executives mandated be included to "add educational content to what would otherwise be an entirely entertaining show". Yakko would always ask this question, and Dot and Wakko's responses would always be some form of Take That.
      • Interestingly, there was only one scenario where this trope was averted with the "Wheel of Morality." The moral was: "Brush your teeth after every meal." Furthermore, Yakko added "This moral brought to you by the American Dental Association."
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    • In the Animaniacs movie, Wakko's Wish, Dot's backstory and her big fake death are all a big take that at Disney's versions of classic fairy tales and its killing off of characters in movies such as The Lion King and Bambi. In an interview, one of the writers said they don't have anything against the company, they were just an easy target.
    • One segment from 1997 had Slappy Squirrel speaking out against the FCC's demands on the three-hours-a-week increase in educational programming. In fact, Slappy would repeatedly badmouth Moral Guardians cracking down on violence, and the watered-down cartoons that resulted from it.
    • "Back in Style" has the Warner siblings being loaned out to other studios and as a result appearing on parodies of shows like Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! and Underdog. They're pretty brutal toward the shows' characters.
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    • "Aquaintances" is one long Take That at Friends, with the Warner siblings tormenting the characters.
    • There's also "Baloney and Kids", a Take That episode aimed at a well-known and hated dinosaur. Which turned the beast into horror incarnate by making him a Nigh Invulnerable juggernaut relentlessly pursuing the Warners.
    • Or the "Please Please Please Get a Life Foundation" sketch, which was a major Take That aimed at a certain subset of fans.
    • Part 2 of the episode "Hooray For North Hollywood" has Thaddeus Plotz, the C.E.O. of Warner Brothers, releasing a Space Jam parody called "Jamalot". It features a Michael Jordan caricature dressed as a knight surrounded by cartoon characters, none of whom look too thrilled to be there.
    • Also from Part 2 of "Hooray For North Hollywood", at one point Dot meets Joel Schumacher, telling them that she's seen all of his films and encouraging him to make more. As she walks away, she mutters, "Eventually one of them is bound to turn out watchable..."
    • In one of the Wheel of Morality segments (itself a sarcastic comment on government meddling in children's programming), the moral of the day is: "You can teach an old dog new tricks, but you can't teach Madonna how to act." Another is: "If you can't say anything nice, you're probably at the Ice Capades."
    • The episode "Morning Malaise" had an anthropomorphic tern named Howie Tern that was a complete parody of Howard Stern. When Howie told Yakko to go bother Rush Limbaugh, his reply is "We're afraid he might eat us."
  • Tiny Toon Adventures
  • In one episode of Back at the Barnyard, Freddy freaks out at the prospect of being sent away from the barn: "Do you know what they do to animals who have been bad?" Cut to Freddy strapped to a table, being forced to watch something involving kids singing about being in high school and making a musical.
  • Even VeggieTales, of all shows, wasn't above taking a potshot from time to time. In the Silly Song "Oh, Santa", Larry bakes three cookies for Santa, while he's waiting for Jolly Ol' Saint Nick to arrive. Suddenly a robber breaks in, but Larry gives him the cookie anyway out of generosity. The robber is followed up by a Norse Viking, and Larry does the same for him too. Then an agent of the IRS shows up, and Larry slams the door in his face.
  • Clerks: The Animated Series takes a shot at Family Guy in the final episode. Dante and Randal stumble upon the producers discussing ideas for what else to do with them (a la Duck Amuck), and one of them is holding a book labeled "How to Write Cartoons by Seth MacFarlane" and suggests that they put them in a Gilligan's Island spoof with gay jokes, which became Hilarious in Hindsight years later when Family Guy made an episode where Peter and his buddies end up as castaways on a deserted island and make gay jokes. In the commentary for that episode, Kevin Smith drops all pretense and flat-out states that he thinks Family Guy is one of the worst cartoons ever made. Family Guy would retaliate in the episode "Peter's Progress", where Peter's ancestor said he was happy to be away from the films of Kevin Smith.
  • Histeria!
    • One sketch featured a parody of the musical Cats; one of the featured felines is shown burping up Mickey Mouse's shorts.
    • In one of the Dating Game parodies, the prize is that the couple take a trip to the deserted theme park EuroDizzyland, obviously making fun of the real life park's initial lack of visitors. When the bachelorette, Miss Information, picks him as her suitor, host Nostradamus complains that he doesn't want to go to EuroDizzyland.
    • The show also featured a fictional WB network exec named Lydia, who served as a mockery of the censors placed on cartoons. She would do things such as interrupt lessons in order to censor works of fine art that happened to depict tasteful nudity, and at one point was even beaten up and then bound and gagged so she couldn't interfere with the plot anymore.
  • An episode of Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain, titled "That's Edu-tainment!", not only mocks the FCC's demands for E/I content, but also provides two jabs at Disney's One Saturday Morning, which former head writer Peter Hastings started after he left over the addition of Elmyra — Pinky dresses up as a parody of Manny the Uncanny for Brain's educational show, and his response to "Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?" in that episode is "I think so, Brain, but Pepper Ann makes me sneeze."
    • In the same season, the original Pinky and the Brain series itself also provided a Take That directed at One Saturday Morning during its Grand Finale, the "Brainwashed" trilogy - Pinky makes a jab at Disney's retooling of Doug by saying that the Schmarskāhnathon will mean "another preemption for Brand Spanking Fresh and Shiny New Doug."
    • And then there was this:
      Brain: One day, Pinky, we shall live in a land where the mouse is king, and it's the humans who are forced into these humiliating diversions.
      Pinky: You mean Orlando?
    • PEATB used a similar line in an episode where they visited Duckyland:
      Brain: Yes, finally! The Happy Sappy Children of Many Lands ride! Where cheering music will spread the message that a mouse should rule the world!
      Pinky: Oh no, Brain. Narf! You're thinking of that other park in Orlando.
    • Even the theme song for "Pinky, Elmyra & The Brain" gives a Take That! to the WB network producers with the line "Pinky & the Brain/share a new domain/ It's what the network wants/Why bother to complain?" Complete with Brain giving the camera a dirty look and then the two being shown booted from WB's headquarter building and Brain saying "I deeply resent this" as the song ends. If it wasn't clear already, the writers were not happy about the Retool.
    • "Mouse of La Mancha" had Pinky's response to Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering? as "Why would Sophia Loren do a musical?", a jab at her performance in the film adaptation of Man of La Mancha, which even Brain agrees is "a worthy enigma".
  • In the Made-for-TV Movie Re-Animated, Sonny Appleday is supposed to have destroyed the legacy of his father, Milt Appleday, ruined the reputation of his cartoons, and nearly bankrupted his company by trying to do a Totally Radical update of the cartoons using Synchro-Vox. This is attacking Loonatics Unleashed.
    • Since Milt Appleday is a clear Mr. Alt Disney, Sonny might also have been a dig at Micheal Eisner.
    • Outrageously inverted due to the fact then-current president of Cartoon Network, Stuart Snyder, triggered Network Decay after making the movie into a live-action cartoon series, Out of Jimmy's Head, which flatlined like no other, and then used it as a jumping-off point for CN Real and the like. Now, it's Self-Deprecation.
  • Following the success of the 1984 Ghostbusters movie, Filmation cashed in with Filmation's Ghostbusters, a cartoon based off its 1970s TV show. Forced to cede trademark, Columbia Pictures, which produced the Ghostbusters movie, retaliated by calling their cartoon The Real Ghostbusters. Except that they really had to rename it due to a conflict with that previous show: The Ghost Busters. It had a totally unrelated plot and was long over, but they still held the rights to the name of the TV show. So they had to rename it, and The Real Ghostbusters sounds like just as good a name as any. It's indirectly justified in show, as one or two episodes explain that the movies were just adaptations of the Ghostbusters' adventures—-hence, the Ghostbusters we're seeing are the real Ghostbusters.
    • Speaking of the Real Ghostbusters... One episode featured TV programs coming to life, among them zombified space cadets who clearly represented Star Trek: The Original Series characters, and a brutish barbarian from Planet Petunia. The episode "Guess What's Coming To Dinner" had a family of ghosts who looked suspiciously like grotesque versions of The Simpsons invade the GB headquarters. Best of them all, however, was the episode "Spirit of Aunt Lois", where the villain of the week, a phony psychic, was dressed exactly like Jake Kong, the main character of Filmation's Ghostbusters!
    • In the first aired episode, Jane answers a phone call with "We're the real Ghostbusters, not those other guys." It makes sense in the context of the episode, as a team of ghosts had started up a rival, phony ghost-hunting business, but the writer for the episode confirmed this was meant as a jab at Filmation's Ghostbusters on the DVD commentary.
  • Garfield and Friends:
    • Usually Garfield has the last word in the theme song. In one episode, he gives a Take That to Heathcliff. In another episode, he says that his show has what he calls "the Garfield Guarantee", which involves a Take That against both annoying blue people and giant robots at the same time. Other versions include "Maybe not as funny as pro wrestling, but a lot more realistic" and "Don't watch NBC. They don't have cartoons anymore." note 
    • Also, in "The Incredibly Stupid Swamp Monster", Roy calls his agent and asks "Isn't Hanna-Barbera casting? What about cable? I hear they're doing a funny version of Ren and Stimpy."
    • In "Hare Force", Booker suggests that the tortoise in the story of "The Tortoise and the Hare" could be a ninja, and Sheldon asks "Nah, who would want to see that?" in response.
    • The Buddy Bears were intended as a Take That against The Get Along Gang and, to a lesser extent, anything else that promoted The Complainer Is Always Wrong — head writer Mark Evanier used to write for The Get Along Gang earlier in his career, and always found that Aesop disturbing.
    • Then there's the episode where "Gramps' Groceries," a mom-and-pop store, is about to get swallowed up by "The Food Monster", a protest against the major chains squeezing out local competitors. The manager of the Food Monster is shown to be a fat crook who deliberately organizes the store so the stuff people want is impossible to find, and price-gouges customers by bombarding them with false promises of coupons, specials and contests, so they don't notice how much more they're paying. Oh, and he wants to buy out the mom-and-pop store so he can bulldoze it and put in more parking spaces. He's finally defeated when Garfield secretly broadcasts one of his evil speeches across the entire store, and the customers get mad and leave.
    • At one point in "The Automated Animated Adventure", Garfield turns into something resembling a Hanna-Barbera character. When asking if things could possibly get any worse, he turns into a Bart Simpson lookalike.
    • An episode from the last season featured a Tyrannosaurus Rex who, having survived the comet that made his species extinct, decides to enslave mankind and Take Over the World. How does he do it? He paints himself pink, goes on television, and sings sappy hypnotic songs.
    • In another episode from the final season, Aloysius Pig, voiced by comedian Kevin Meaney, says "This is a cartoon show, not Masterpiece Theatre!" upon seeing that they are making an adaptation of Doctor Zhivago.
  • Christy Marx, the main writer of Jem, did a Take That at her own brother, as two thirds of his name is used to name the series' Big Bad, Eric Raymond.
  • In the Spider-Man: The Animated Series episode, "I Really, Really Hate Clones", after he heard the Scarlet Spider's story, the main Spider-Man said, "This is starting to sound like a bad comic book plot!" This was a reference to the infamous Clone Saga arc, which ran from 1994 until 1997 due to Executive Meddling.
  • In Gargoyles, Owen Burnett is explaining to Elisa that the stolen shipment of laser gun prototypes were tested on several Power Ranges. His deadpan tone makes the final word sound like Rangers an obvious dig at the competition. In addition, the villain team The Pack could be seen as this as well.
  • Megas XLR has a company by the name of PoP TV. The logo shows this is an obvious reference to MTV. If at any point there is something from a company to destroy. The first will be one for PoP TV, usually after hearing a soundbyte from a show parodying one from MTV. This is because the series creators had a show called Downtown on that station, which was cancelled. Moreover, the studio making both shows, Titmouse, is known for its risque, adult-oriented shows. Megas XLR was made for Cartoon Network, who had a very strict level of censorship, to make shows fit for children to watch. Nor surprisingly, in this case, the main character (Coop) repeatedly mocks and derides children's programming as immature and sugar-coated.
  • The last episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender before the 4 part finale was a retelling of the entire 3 seasons as a play, and consisted of a long chain of affectionate Take Thats at both their fans and themselves.
    • The July 2008 Comic Con Avatar panel included a video that took a good whack at overzealous Shipping. Though Zutara was the heaviest hit, Crack Pairings Sokka/Toph and Azula/Aang get skewered, too, and—for that matter—a gentle pillow is tossed in the direction of Official Couple Katara/Aang, concerning their relative "...inexperience."
    • In the episode "Sokka's Master", Aang tries on a ridiculously elaborate set of armor, which he's unable to move in and falls backwards while he's still wearing it. The DVD Commentary confirms that this was a swing at the type of ridiculous and impractical choices in character/costume design that the series creators don't exactly agree with.
      • Specifically, it was Mike and Bryan's response to Mattel asking them to give Aang such a set of armor so they could use it in their action figure line.
    • "Sneak attacks don't work if you yell it out loud."
    • "There's no girls in the Avatar universe! Just ask Mattel!" *whip crack*
  • In an episode of My Dad the Rock Star, Rock Zilla is upset that his never-before-mentioned rival, Max Hype has managed to get a reality show, despite Rock Zilla being a much better performer and singer. In addition to having a reality show, he has long black hair and is completely addled to the point that he apparently frequently gets stuck walking into walls or corners. No points for guessing who he's supposed to be a mean-spirited No Celebrities Were Harmed version of.
  • The Grand Finale of The Angry Beavers was axed because it explicitly slammed Nickelodeon's re-re-re-re-rerunning practices and would have exposed them to the ignorant children. How many slots do you think SpongeBob SquarePants would take on Nick's current schedule if the episode did air?
  • SpongeBob SquarePants
    • SpongeBob had the episode "Krabby Land", which was basically one long Take That at McDonald's.
    • There's also the episode "Selling Out" which was an extended Take That towards TGI Friday's.
    • SpongeBob won't let go of his boat and has to face the dangers of giant clams, cheese graters, and EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION?!? OH NO! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
  • The Fairly OddParents!
    • In one episode, a citizen of Atlantis states that the diet of his people consists of crabs, starfish and the occasional underwater squirrel. Take a wild guess at which show they're mocking (hint: it's on the same network, oddly enough). The very same episode has the people of Atlantis deciding that Cosmo sinking them was a good thing after viewing Wet Willy, a fictitious movie starring a very thinly veiled Captain Ersatz for Aquaman, who is primarily noted for sucking.
    • The episode "Shelf Life" gives many stabs to the state of Missouri.
    • Abracatastrophe starts with several Movie Parody dream sequences. In the middle of the "Luke vs. Vader" recreation, a character with long ears walks out advising them not to fight before devolving Gibberish. He is promptly thrown into the abyss by both. Even better, when Timmy becomes the amazingly unsueable Arachnid Kid, he catches him, solely for the sake of using him as a weapon to smack the villain.
  • In Transformers Animated, after the Dinobots gain sentience, Megatron turns them against the Autobots. It ultimately results in Grimlock saying "Cars bad. Car robots worse!" For the uninformed, Transformers: Robots in Disguise was originally called "Car Robots" in Japan.
    • There's a more direct one in the script-reading "Bee in the City", where Optimus Prime states that waiting in a line for 17 hours "took longer than an InuYasha Story Arc". This is also an Actor Allusion, as Prime has the same voice actor as Sesshomaru, a recurring character.
    • Starscream's army of clones can be considered as much Take That as it is homage to the Seekers and the idea of redecoes.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy had a lot of digs and Take That moments.
    • One episode had a computer being booted up and had the faux loading message "Matrix good — Sequels: not so good", obviously a dig at The Matrix films.
    • Another episode dealt with a girl named Dora, who Grim said reminded him of something. He went on to say she reminded him of "his favorite program" which Billy describes as "Is it that one about the little girl who wanders around the jungle with no parental supervision, avoiding crises and conversing with the local wildlife with the aid of her foreign language-speaking monkey?" Dora turned out to be Pandora, who had an evil plot to trick Mandy into opening her lunchbox and destroying the world.
  • Berry's debut episode in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends takes a dump on shippers. A photo album of Berry and Bloo's "moments"? The fact Berry is completely delusional? The Powerpuff Girls fanfics where the titular characters are paired with the Rowdyruff Boys must have really annoyed the creator...
    • Explorin' Lauren! Heh, Lauren...
      • Even more hilarious because Lauren Faust has stated that she hates "Dora the Explorer".
  • The Powerpuff Girls
    • A "Take That" to their fans via the appropriately titled "City of Clipsville" episode. It starts off as a standard Clip Show then moves onto material obviously never made. Most the supposed segments taking potshots at fanfic writers, including Powerpuff Girls / Rowdyruff Boys shippers. It backfired when the shippers loved it.
    • Craig McCracken was annoyed by people who said that the show promotes animal cruelty due to the girls' treatment of Mojo Jojo. "Save Mojo" would be about an Animal Wrongs Group telling the girls they should protect Mojo and the girls telling them he's a criminal and they should be protecting them from him.
    • And Moral Guardians in "Girls Gone Mild".
  • In My Life as a Teenage Robot Jenny gets a hearing upgrade with different settings.
    Jenny: Wow! This works so well! *changes to sound of happy children* I can hear the park down the street! *changes to sound of chatting people* I can hear the people in Mezmers! *Changes to woman saying, "Isn't that illegal, sir?"* Wow! I can even hear Air Force One!
  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm features a fight between Batman and the Joker in a dilapidated park that strongly resembles a cross between EPCOT and Tomorrowland of Disney World. During the course of their fight, it is completely demolished, finishing off with the huge sphere burning to cinders as it falls to the ground, just before the entire place blows up.
    • Word of God says that it was directly inspired by the World's Fair, as it tied in well with the show's art deco-inspired style. It looks like Epcot because Epcot itself was also inspired by the 1939 fair.
    • An episode in the series itself, after the art style change, featured an episode that had a scene where a network TV spokesperson previews a new line up of shows with bad premises and bad actors meant for the "teen/young adult" group. Either a shot at the WB! or at prime time TV in general.
    • One of the Mr. Freeze episodes of Batman: The Animated Series involved an amusement park magnate who wanted Mr. Freeze to grant him immortality through the process that had made Freeze cold-blooded, so the magnate would have time to implement nefarious long-term plans. This was a subtle dig at Walt Disney, both for the rumors that Disney had himself cryogenically frozen at death, and for the extreme political views Disney is said to have had.
    • On an episode of The New Batman Adventures, there is an Ambiguously Gay teen named Joel, who is playing around with a feather boa at Shoemaker's Department Store. Joel mentions that he likes "tight rubber suits" and a Batmobile that "drives up walls", to which the one of the teens say, "Yeah, sure, Joel". Even Batman pokes fun at Batman & Robin.
    • More subtly, Baby Doll's failed version of Macbeth bears a striking resemblance to Roman Polanski's version.
    • The episode "Mean Seasons" is ripe with this. Donna Day, a bitchy fashion designer kidnapped by Calendar Girl, is based on fashion mogul Carrie Donovan. Day and several other fashion moguls are bound and gagged by Calendar Girl, who then lectures them about how "sick" America's obsession with youth is. Just in case you don't get the jab, Calendar Girl was played by Sela Ward, a former model and actress who famously launched a campaign against ageism in Hollywood after a film director made a remark about her age.
  • Justice League Unlimited had the Ultimen, who were all designed to be parodies of the "made-for-TV" members of the Super Friends. The episode also took digs at the corny morals about civic responsibility featured at the end of every Super Friends episode.
    • Justice League loved to take potshots at the Super Friends in early episodes. There's a scene in "Injustice for All" where statues of the widely-hated Wonder Twins are violently smashed during a battle.
    • The first episode of Justice League takes a shot at the much-maligned plot of Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, with Superman systematically destroying the world's store of nuclear weapons... because he's been tricked by an alien posing as a senator, who is rendering Earth defenceless as a prelude to invasion.
    • Another episode centres on sleazy talking head G. Gordon Godfrey and his campaign against the League. One of his interviews was with the writer of a book titled "The Innocent Seduced", which accuses superheroes of causing moral degradation. This is a clear Take That to "Seduction of the Innocent", the scaremongering book which lead to the Comics Code Authority.
  • After ABC was bought out by Disney and dumped ReBoot, the season 2 finale had Megabyte's ships be called "Armored Binome Carriers". "It's the ABCs! They've turned on us!" "Treacherous dogs!"
    • Emma See, the program censor from Talent Night who lambasts almost every act portrayed was a Take That against a specific BS&P official, called Mary, who was "not happy about it" according to the DVD commentary.
  • Yin Yang Yo!
  • The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack episode "Panfake" was a poke at a Disney cartoon that was being made called "Poopdeck", which was a ripoff of the series premise. The creator hoped that the ripoff would air around the premiere of this episode, but it was cancelled as soon as Cartoon Network found out about it.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold
    • In the episode "Legends of the Dark Mite", Bat-Mite confronts a group of irritated fanboys who are bashing the cartoon for not being dark enough, and explains to them that the show does adhere to Batman's comic book history and is just as valid as the previous, darker Batman cartoons.
    • In the same episode, Bat-Mite briefly views the rubberized Batsuit from the much-maligned Batman & Robin film, and dismisses it as being "too icky".
    • "A Bat Divided" features a scene where Batman is split into several clones embodying his various personality traits, and the embodiment of Batman's rage angrily screams out "Batman does not eat nachos!" This could be seen as a dig at the fandom's vitriolic response to the previous Batman cartoon, The Batman, after an early episode had Bruce Wayne asking Alfred to make him some nachos. The scene provoked outraged responses from a number of fans who accused the show of trying too hard to make Bruce seem young and hip.
    • The final episode of the show features a scene where The Brave and the Bold is cancelled and replaced with a "darker", CGI Batgirl TV series. This greatly upsets Bat-Mite, who dismisses the Batgirl cartoon as a poor substitute. In real life, a darker CGI-animation Batman series called Beware the Batman was launched as a replacement for The Brave and the Bold.
    • The "Siege of Starro" two-parter has a scene where Booster Gold, Captain Marvel, and Firestorm try to evade Starro's zombie hordes by removing their costumes and dressing as civilians. Booster remarks that "The toy company won't like this one bit!", a reference to Mattel, the company that provided a sizable portion of the show's budget and as such would step in and make demands pertaining to the series' content from time to time.
    • There was another toy-company swipe in the final episode, where one of Bat-Mite's ploys to get the show cancelled was to load it up with over-the-top Bat-gear obviously shoehorned in for merchandising purposes, such as the "Neon Talking Super Street Batluge".
  • The Batman Beyond first season episode "Heroes" features the Terrific Trio, a group with notable similarities to the Fantastic Four. Judging by their rather horrible deaths, it seems the episode's writer isn't a fan.
  • Invader Zim did a HUGE take that at Nickelodeon, as Zim captures a human child and implants an ENORMOUS probe in his skull that forces him to be eternally happy. The child's name? Nick. This is funny because of how Nickelodeon tried to always lighten up the plots and mood of the show, which would eventually lead to them cancelling it. To make the irony more delicious, Nick was voiced by the creator of the show and the primary victim of Nickelodeon's executive annoyance, Jhonen Vasquez.
  • Phineas and Ferb
    • Quite a few directed at Twilight in the episode "The Curse of Candace".
      Stacy: Imagine if you had to choose between a bloodthirsty undead walking corpse and a slobbering, hairy, lupine man-beast for a boyfriend.
    • The song of the episode mocks Twihards and their habits, shopping choices, and general gothic attitude.
    • A HUGE one toward Moral Guardians in "Quantam Boogaloo", depicting Danville as a dystopia if they ran everything.
    • "Summer Belongs to You" has a not so subtle dig at SpongeBob SquarePants, when Phineas attempts to look for things to get off the island.
      Phineas: Oh, look! A sponge and a starfish! Maybe we can make something with these! Oh, no! That's ridiculous!
  • The Boondocks has too many of these to count because it's based on a comic built around the trope.
    • One of the recurring characters on the show, Rallo Goodluv, is an obvious take that to Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.
  • Freakazoid!, in the episode "Candle Jack":
    Freakazoid: The scariest thing in the world... would be if they gave Sinbad another TV show.
    Kids: AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!! *run into cabin and hide*
    • Not to mention the episode where he gets teleported back in time and prevents the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He then goes to see what has changed. He finds a theater playing Macbeth with Sharon Stone. He is shocked to find she is good. "She's really good. Sharon Stone can act!" He also sees Rush Limbaugh became a bleeding heart liberal. Then he picks up a paper and also learns Euro Disney is packed, Cold Fusion works, and there are no Chevy Chase movies!
    • In "The Chip," Gutierrez tries to get information out of Dexter and Roddy by revealing that he has Dexter's family tied up in another room and threatens to show them a video tape of "The Best of Marty Ingels."
    Roddy: What kind of sadistic creature are you!?
    • In another episode, Freakzoid is interviewing a woman who saw something horrible. When Frekazoid asks her to be more specific, she says that it was like "having to watch Waterworld for a month," which horrifies Freakazoid.
  • Superman: The Animated Series has an episode where Supergirl looks through a stack of comic books given to her by a friend and reacts in disgust after seeing a comic about a certain spider-themed superhero.
    • Superman: Doomsday has a scene where Superman destroys a giant robot spider, and a bemused man resembling (and voiced by) Kevin Smith remarks that the fight was "lame". In real life, Smith wrote a rejected script for a Superman movie and frequently talks about how producer Jon Peters repeatedly asked him to include a scene where Superman fought a giant robot spider.
  • Independent animator Bill Plympton did a scathing parody of abstract animation called Spiral. It was actually controversial within the indie animation community and angered many abstract animators. One of them, Steven Woloshen, did a film rebutting called, well, Rebuttal.
  • American Dad!
    • "Tell your father I'll be gone all night. Man, these hours are brutal. No wonder those doctors on Scrubs don't have time to be funny." (with Klaus, the show's equivalent to Meg on Family Guy, pitifully commenting that he likes Scrubs).
    • Another episode had Steve and Roger talking (metaphorically) about Steve's place in the family. He used to be "first class" now he was back in coach between two fat ladies from Toronto. Roger responds "Blue Jays fans are the worst!" They then go on to make fun of Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox fans.
  • In The Swan Princess 3, Zelda mentions the names of three other works' villainesses during her Villain Song "Bad Days Ahead": "Move over, Medusa; Cruella, get lost; take a hike, Wicked Witch of the West!"
  • Pretty much all of Ezekiel's plot in Total Drama World Tour is a Take That to Total Drama Comeback, Kobold Necromancer, and Ezekiel fans.
    • Sierra's main purpose is to show how pathetic and nucking futs Cody's legion of fangirls are. You may think it backfired, but when you realize that there pretty much just demonizing themselves, the Take That is even sweeter.
    • Hell, the entire first season is a parody of dangerous, dramatic teenage reality shows such as Survivor, and Chris's arrogance and ruthlessness is the most obvious Take That in the season, to the producers of those shows.
  • In Walt Disney's Dumbo, which was made during the infamous Disney Animators' Strike, there is a straw-man illustration of the striking employees represented by greedy clowns who want to try and ring the circus master for a raise. Not one of Uncle Walt's finest moments, but fortunately too lost on most audiences to be distracting. Also, when the Pink Elephants made an appearance in the show House of Mouse, some of said Pink Elephants can actually be seen drinking out of a honey pot at one point.
  • Arthur
    • One episode had an in-universe example: Buster plans to open his report with a joke, and tests it out on Binky before school starts, only to have Binky tell the joke before his report. Buster spends the rest of the episode holding a grudge against Binky for this, and later at the school talent show, his entire "comedy act" consists of a long screed against Binky. Needless to say, the act bombs... which he proceeds to blame Binky for.
    • There were also several Take Thats against Beavis and Butt-Head, which was represented in the show as Peabrain and Nutthead several times.
      Buster: Laugh.
      Arthur: But I don't get it!
      Buster: Neither do I, but they don't have to know that.
    • D.W.'s favorite show (which Arthur hates), The Mary Moo Cow Show, strongly resembles Barney, including the Tastes Like Diabetes tone and annoying songs. When it's eventually cancelled, it's replaced with Stock Market Today, a parody of PBS's Nightly Business Report.
    • Similarly, in an early episode, Sue Ellen is working with The Brain on a biology project and both of them create a model Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton. Sue Ellen's first attempt at making a skull results in a clay Barney head. She immediately smooshes it back into a shapeless blob with an irritated look.
  • Arthur was also on the receiving end of a Take That: the first episode of the Disney version of Doug, themed around change, had Doug remembering his old pals Arthur and Buster in Bloatsburg...namely, how annoying they were. To drive the point home, the expies of the characters resembled the real thing very eerily.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force
    • Soon after Futurama left [adult swim] for Comedy Central, the show featured one relevant to that point, where Meatwad complains of wanting to watch Futuruma, and Shake tells him to go over to "Carl Central," where they have Futurama on all the time. He bitterly remarks that Carl didn't even like Futurama until the Aqua Teen started watching it, a reference to Comedy Central producing new episodes of Futurama after the show had already been airing in reruns on Adult Swim for several years.
    • Another episode has Carl's girlfriend telling her kids' babysitter that the children are only allowed to watch animated programs, and therefore "No Cartoon Network". At the time, Cartoon Network was coming under fire for the increasingly large amount of live-action and reality shows being aired on the channel.
    • Reportedly, they made an episode called "Boston" in response to the 2007 bomb scare caused by a promotional campaign gone wrong, but Turner's legal department won't allow it to air or be released out of fear of further legal action.
  • Saleen, a mermaid character from Aladdin: The Series, actually pokes fun at another famous Disney mermaid. She has red hair, but is more villainous and tries to land herself a human man more for her own personal amusement rather than for love.
    "Legs. What's all the fuss about?"
    • She also gives Jasmine the hairstyle of said mermaid, but complains it "Looks like every other Princess under the sea".
  • Looney Tunes
    • The short "Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers" could be seen as a Take That towards over-use of Limited Animation and the various attempts to water down the Looney Tunes franchise. It involves Bugs Bunny's rivals being replaced by eerily-cheerful, badly-drawn and badly-animated clones from the planet Nudnik (named for a Russian Limited Animation series), including Daffy briefly being animated in Synchro-Vox.
    • Another short from the 90's, "Blooper Bunny" relentlessly made fun of the fuss Warner Bros. made to promote Bugs' 50th anniversary.
  • A G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero episode has Cobra creating a childrens' cartoon called The Likables which is a blatant Smurfs parody. It involves two green trolls turning a purple troll's color green and saying "when everyone looks, thinks, and acts the same, we can achieve world peace". Followed by Duke turning off the tv and saying "this has got to stop".
  • In an episode of Good Vibes, Gina asks Mondo if he would like to watch a porno with her. She turns on the TV, and Mondo exclaims "Yuck, it's all shock value and no plot!" Gina then tells him that it's Family Guy, and then puts on the porno.
  • The Bakshi Mighty Mouse episode "Don't Touch That Dial" skewers Hanna-Barbera, anime, 80s cartoons in general, and vegetating to "electronic pablum" specifically. Features an affectionate nod to Rocky and Bullwinkle.
  • Spy Groove features The Marquis, a masochist who enjoys torturing himself. Amongst the things in his personal collection are a pair of pajamas with prickly insides, a half-hammer-half-feather duster, and the Director's Cut of Patch Adams.
  • Nearly everyone on Celebrity Deathmatch gets at least one Take That at some point.
    • When Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller met, both were so used to being the underdog that they could only have a Wimp Fight. Mills Lane told them to fight for real by threatening to bring out the MADtv cast. When the two said they could take them, Mills clarified that he would bring them out not to fight but to perform their sketches live.
  • Beavis & Butt-Head's Spanish teacher revealsthat the only Spanish that the main duo knows is what they learned at Taco Bell, and seconds later even that escapes Beavis' Mexican vocabulary.
  • The Grojband episode "Who Are You" is one big Take That to hipster culture.
  • Robot Chicken:
    • One sketch had Pamela Anderson and Stan Lee discussing the latest superhero gossip. After mentioning an encounter where Red Skull shot bullets at Captain America which were deflected by his shield and hit innocent bystanders, Anderson bemoaned all the pain and suffering. Lee told her if you want pain and suffering, try watching Catwoman. Made worlds funnier because that actually was Stan Lee providing the voice.
    • A more playful shot at Mark Hamill pops up (which crosses between this and Self-Deprecation as Hamill himself voices Luke Skywalker, among other roles, on the show, but wasn't around for this specific skit) was one sketch that featured a drunken Boba Fett, poking fun at how easily he went down in Return of the Jedi. He calls Luke Skywalker an asshole, and then...
    Boba Fett: Ha ha ha I just called Jodie Foster an asshole!
  • X-Men: Evolution has one episode reveal that a sports drink causes harm to mutants, Powerade...Power 8 rather. Seems reasonable, until the CEO makes the discovery and actively begins marketing it as a weapon.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show had Ren imagine himself as the president of the United States, bombing the entire country of Australia because one person there didn't agree with him.
  • Bruce Timm's take on Harley Quinn in Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles spun out of his dislike for some of the more Stripperiffic, Darker and Edgier takes on the character in the recent years. His response was to create the most Stripperiffic design imaginable (modeled after her New 52 Suicide Squad look), and then make her into a horrifying child-killer who ends up getting killed horribly by Batman at the end. Fan Disservice indeed.
    Bruce Timm: What I wanted to do in the Gods And Monsters short was to go extreme and nasty with her. It’s not the cute and cuddly Harley from the Batman Animated Series. You want skanky Harley, here you go. So it was kind of a mean spirited take on that.
  • Gravity Falls: "Northwest Mansion Mystery" has Dipper watching "Ghost Harassers" on the "Used To Be About History Channel". (Qualifies at Biting-the-Hand Humor too, since Disney owns half of History and fellow decayed channel A&E, together with Hearst.)
  • Uncle Grandpa fires a shot at the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Periphery Demographic in the episode titled "Older". Billy is annoyed that a channel has been blocked and that he can't watch an ultra-violent movie. His mother says he's too young for that garbage, and suggests watching "that cute little show with the pink and purple horsies."
    Billy: But mooooom, that show is for little girls and twisted weirdos!
    • "The Grampies" segment, where Uncle Grandpa wins every single award against all the other Cartoon Network stars, is a "take that" to the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards and their practice of giving out awards to SpongeBob SquarePants at the expense of all other TV kids cartoons. note 
  • In an episode of The Amazing World of Gumball, The Void, Gumball and Darwin visit a place (the void) where all the mistakes the world has made end up. What are the first three things they see? Mullets, cut-off jean shorts and a laserdisk.
    • One episode went at length to show that, due to tight money, Gumball's family could only afford the cheapest versions of products, like hamburger buns the size of doughnut holes and having to watch The Little Panda Fighter instead of a real movie.
    • The episode The Copycats is an entire episode dedicated to calling out the show's own Shoddy Knockoff Product, even having an entire musical number about how they should try and be original.
    • In "The Menu", Gumball points out that the toy from a fast-food place has more nutritional value than the food.
  • A minor character in Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a warmongering Senator named "Halle Burtoni." Her name appears to be a nod to the Halliburton Corporation, an American oil company that was strongly criticized for profiteering off of The War on Terror.
  • In-Universe example with The Lion Guard where Bunga asks which member of the Lion Guard fanclub plays him, to which one of the responses with 'whoever chooses last', much to his disappointment.
  • Kaeloo:
    • Episode 64 had Mr. Cat open up a fast-food restaurant which served actual trash from the dumpster as food. When everybody else starts protesting against this, he offers them toys with their "food". Everyone immediately stops protesting and buys more food for the sake of the toys.
    • In another episode, when Kaeloo and Mr. Cat are playing a game where the object of the game is to make another person laugh, Kaeloo stands on a podium pretending to be a politician, makes a lot of promises and says she will keep all of those promises. Mr. Cat bursts out laughing.
    • In one of the season 1 episodes, Stumpy is selling apples, and his apples are horribly rotten. When Mr. Cat points out that the apples are rotten, Stumpy replies "No, they're organic."
    • In Episode 135, the main four try to make their own episode using figurines of themselves and a video camera. The video turns out poorly made. Mr. Cat says that the episode they made was incomprehensible, "like a Danish movie".
    • Then there's this little exchange between Kaeloo and Mr. Cat in an episode where they're both doctors in a hospital:
    Mr. Cat (referring to Quack Quack, who is the patient): I'm gonna book him in for surgery, but, before that... (starts throwing papers around) scanners, MRAs, X-rays, colonoscopies, the whole nine yards, muahahahaha!
    Kaeloo: Is all that really necessary, Mr. Cat?
    • In one episode, the characters participate on a parody of The Voice. Kaeloo, who is the only female contestant, decides that the best way to win is to perform a sexually suggestive dance wearing an inappropriate outfit. After watching it, Pretty, who is one of the judges, grabs a mic, faces the camera, and criticizes Kaeloo's performance for how she just portrayed females and says that there's more to girls than that, which is a jab at how many female singers tend to sexualize themselves to get attention.
    • In Episode 68, the gang decide to play rock music. Mr. Cat picks up a microphone and screams into it. No words, just screaming. This is then posted on the internet and becomes an Instant Web Hit.
    • One of the season 3 episodes had a few of the characters compete in an election to become the president of Smileyland. Mr. Cat's campaign is full of lies and fake promises... and he's dressed like President Donald Trump.
    • Episode 138 had Mr. Cat attempt to diagnose Stumpy with dyspraxia even though it's obvious that he doesn't have dyspraxia and is just being lazy. The episode is meant to be a satire on psychologists who diagnose normal kids with illnesses they don't have and then try to treat them for those illnesses.
    • The episode Art Class was dedicated to making fun of modern art. Highlights include Mr. Cat explaining that you can put any mundane object on a pedestal and call it art, and Stumpy sitting on a toilet, taking a shit and calling it "performance art".
    • Episode 59 calls out judges who are biased and unfair. In this case, Olaf, the judge in a cooking contest, declares Mr. Cat the winner without even tasting his dish just because the dish was something from his homeland, and he also disqualifies Eugly from the competition for "being ugly", which has nothing to do with her ability to cook. The same episode manages to get a shot at new "health" fads by having a scene where Pretty serves up a dish of live earthworms, claiming that they're a new type of health food.
  • On The Backyardigans, in the soundtrack exclusive version of the "W-I-O-Wa" song from "News Flash," Uniqua delivers one at what often passes for the state of news-reporting these days:
    Uniqua: I'm not that sort of newswoman who sits at a desk and talks. I'm the sort who'd rather report, 'cause being a reporter rocks!
  • 850 Meters: One of the silhouettes that scare the knight in the foggy area looks like one of the teletubbies. It's eventually revealed it was a dragon that intentionally put on a disguise to look like that.
  • MAD has quite a few:
    • The writers apparently really hate the Cars movies. One short features Lightning McQueen getting crushed in a junkyard, while "Thomas the Unstoppable Tank Engine" features Lightning and Mater Being destroyed after a run-in with Thomas.
    • "Ko-Bee Movie" pokes fun at Bee Movie. When a bee that looks like Kobe Bryant discovers that there's a human that looks like him, a bee that looks like Jerry Seinfeld suggests that he sue him. The Kobe bee replies that that would be boring. Then the Jerry bee admits that Bee Movie was indeed boring.
    • In ''Trans-Bore-Mores", Optimus comes up with the name of the "thing" that the Decepticons are after - the Rock of No-talent-tron by staring at a poster of The Rock and then staring at a poster of Kesha.
    • Speaking of Kesha, in "Pirates of the Neverland: At Wit's End", Captain Hook tells Captain Jack Sparrow that the Crocodile who pursues him makes a horrible tick-tocking noise. Jack asks if he means like the sound a clock makes, to which Hook says that he actually means "that annoying Kesha song."
    • The sketch Star Wars: the Groan Wars makes fun of Star Wars: The Clone Wars - in particular, it starts by making fun of the animation, claiming that the characters look just as wooden as Pinocchio. The Anakin parody is named "Mannequin", and at one point Palpatine introduces his "George Troopers", the leader of which tells one of his men to create a video game and another to make an animated sitcom, then says that he wants a bounty hunter clothing line by the end of the week.
    • The writers also aren't too fond of Twilight and tend to make fun of it a lot.
    • "Super '80s" has a city being invaded by things that were popular in the 1980s (such as a Rubix cube, one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Mario). One character says that they have to stop the '80s from taking over the town, reminding everyone that the '80s gave them Urkel and ALF.
    • There are also quite a few slams at Jersey Shore. For example, the sketch "S'UP" has the cast invading Carl Fredricksen's house. Carl is understandably irritated by them.
    • "Destroy, Bob the Builder, Destroy" is a not-at-all-affectionate parody of Destroy, Build, Destroy. It culminates in Bob beating the crap out of Andrew W.K.
    • ''Garfield of Dreams" has a bunch of comic strip characters enlisting the help of Seth Macfarlane to help Hollywood remember who they are. When Seth asks why they're enlisting HIS help, Dagwood replies, "People will watch ANYTHING you make! Seriously, ANYTHING."
      • Then Seth says that they'll show Hollywood how entertaining they are. Then Doonesbury appears and cheers, to which Seth says, "Not you, Doonesbury! I said 'entertaining'!"
      • At one point, Seth says that Marmaduke doesn't make sense.
      • Long story short, the sketch becomes a Take That! at movies based on comic strips. The comic strip characters are appalled by the movies that Hollywood makes about them, saying that they tried to make them hip by pandering to the audience and that they didn't need to be reinvented, just reintroduced.
      • It turns out that the sketch was All Just a Dream, and Seth says that it's better to let the past stay where it is and always come up with something original. Then the sketch ends with a jab at how Seth's shows all follow the same formula.
    • "Modern Family Circus", has the cast of Modern Family visiting the cast of The Family Circus, who are apparently Phil's relatives. While Modern Family doesn't get made fun of that much, they're brutal towards Family Circus, with Jay being the only one who finds the jokes funny.
    • Outtagascar makes fun of Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted. Near the beginning Marty straight-up says that the franchise is running out of steam, then the characters find a train car featuring characters from movies that are "totally out of ideas" and have lame sequels - Shrek and Donkey, Manny and Scrat, Buzz Lightyear, and Lightning McQueen. Alex claims that they don't belong with them because they've got tons of new ideas, and then...
    King Julien: (singing and dancing) We've got to move it move it!
    Marty: (climbs aboard) I call window seat!
  • The Mickey Mouse (2013) short "Eau de Minnie" took a swipe at Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. When Minnie is trying on outfits for her date, she tries on her default outfit from the series, but decides it is "too young".
  • In The Venture Bros., The Monarch is asked why he isn't trying to Take Over the World, and answers "I'd rather leave that to the religious nuts or the Republicans."
    • H.E.L.P.e.R insults Led Zeppelin, calling them "jock rock", leaving Brock Samson to defend them rather lamely, saying "they've got other Hobbits".
    • The entire Roy Brisbey episode.
    Rusty Venture: This is that giant beehive next to your mansion, isn't it? You trained a panda to knock me out and put me in a bag to bring me fifty yards?
  • Rick and Morty fires one at the Media Watchdogs and Moral Guardians in Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate when Morty snaps at Summer for complaining about the violence in the tv shows:
    Morty: Well, summer, maybe people that create things aren't concerned with your delicate sensibilities, you know? Maybe the species that communicate with each other through the filter of your comfort are less evolved than the ones that just communicate! Maybe your problems are your own to deal with, and maybe the public giving a shit about your feelings is a one-way ticket to extinction!
    Rick: Geez, Morty. I take it Cathrine Hefflefinger hasn't texted you back yet.
    Rick: So you're mining stuff to craft with and crafting stuff to mine with? Did your dad write this game?
    Morty: Mean.
    • The episode "Total Rickall" appears to be one directed at Family Guy for its constant use of plot-irrelevant Cutaway Gags. The premise it that alien parasites that disguise themselves by creating fake memories in their victims and appearing as people from those memories are in the Smith house. Each time the characters have a fake flashback, a new character is introduced. Rick constantly gets annoyed and at one point interrupts a fake memory.
  • DuckTales (2017) takes shots at the various new tech companies and billionaires that have sprung up in the late 2000s and 2010s that have made money through creating buzz about their products and generating investments (e.g. Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk) through new character Mark Beaks. Beaks is introduced as the social media savvy founder and CEO of a company who's on his way to making a billion just through the hype and buzz generated by a product that turns out to literally be Vaporware (it's literally nothing).
  • BoJack Horseman has a few examples:
    • On a meta level, whenever a celebrity refuses to voice themselves as a character, the creators make sure something bad happens to their character (i.e. Andrew Garfield breaking all the bones in his body).
    • Sarah Lynn's bear stepfather, who was implied to have been sexually abusive, is designed to look like a bear version of Terry Richardson.
  • Wish Kid: The prologue to "Gross Encounters" delivers one to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987), the show that shared the same time slot. In it, Macaulay Culkin asks the audience if they're tired of Ninja Turtles, tells them he is, and uses his animated persona Nick McClary's baseball glove to wish for something new. note 
  • In the Mao Mao: Heroes of Pure Heart episode, "Popularity Conquest", when the titular character is trying for a new look, one outfit he wears is similar to Finn from Adventure Time. Snugglemagne rejects it, saying "That's over", because the series aired its final episode in 2018. Then, Mao Mao tries with an outfit similar to Robin from Teen Titans Go!, which Snugglemagne also dismisses it, saying "I see that one all the time", a reference to that series taking up a lot of Cartoon Network's timeslots in the United States.
  • Muppet Babies (2018) , based on Muppet Babies (1984) has a lighter example in "Kermit's Big Show". Kermit learns there's no one right way to do something well as long as you have fun, in reference to how he was insistent on doing the play by the book and inadvertently making his friends miserable. Though the message of the episode is definitely well written , one can definitely see this as a take that to people who criticized the reboot before it even aired.


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