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What You Are In The Dark / Western Animation

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  • Gumball Watterson falls into this trope after he ejects Rob into The Void in The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Rerun". The world is frozen and he has the remote that can fix everything, plus Rob did try to destroy him and everyone he loved. No one would blame him if he left him in there, but he decides that what he did isn't right and he has to save him. So he follows him into The Void. Rob is so touched by this that he ends up saving Gumball in return.
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  • On American Dad!, Roger invokes this to be a jerk to Steve after Steve, who had repeatedly masturbated with a portrait of a nude woman Roger painted, learned that the portrait was of Hayley (her face was obscured in the painting). Steve freaks out and rationalizes that only he, Roger, and Hayley know, and Roger states that both God and James Doohan saw, and that the only way to make it right is to kill himself.
  • Archer has a parody of this, when Pam is desperately trying to get someone (anyone) in the office to have sex with her. She actually uses the words "Nobody will know", even if she's got a dolphin puppet on her hand while saying it. Needless to say, Brett, the man she propositions, turns her down (he uses the "I'll know" response.) Even more ironic considering in the same episode, he paid Lana $600 simply to brag about having sex with her, not actually doing the deed. Of course, Pam's claim of anonymity is very dubious, as she's the biggest gossip in the office (even though she's supposed to be in charge of Human Resources).
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  • Halfway through the last season of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Zuko has finally gotten everything he said he wanted; he's Prince of the Fire Nation again, he's wealthy and respected, he has his father's praise, he even has a girl he loves. Then, he finds out his father is about to kill an entire continent and Salt the Earth. He immediately flees the capitol with nothing but the clothes on his back, throwing himself on the heroes' mercy because he can't abide it, knowing full well that they'd be really pissed at him by now given all that he's done while fighting for the Fire Nation; he literally chased them clear across the world, made a global catastrophe possible that a dear friend of the heroes had to make a Heroic Sacrifice to stop, then threw their previous offer of redemption in their face and got The Messiah killed (temporarily). Aang and the Gaang are not too harsh on him; they simply throw him out again and ignore him until he helps save them from an assassin... that he hired earlier. Yeah.
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  • In the episode of Avengers, Assemble! that introduced Kang the Conqueror, Iron Man, having spent all episode trying and failing to keep up with Kang's futuristic weaponry, has entered a room full of them. Black Widow notes that any single device present would keep Stark on top of the tech game for decades, but Tony remarks that he could never live with taking credit for somebody else's work, and promptly opens fire on the arsenal.
  • In Beast Wars, the conclusion of Dinobot's character arc has a moment like this. Dinobot - a Predacon-turned-Maximal who had been struggling with his allegiance and actions over several episodes - observes Megatron discover the mutability of the future, and subsequently sending his entire Predacon force to wipe out the ancestors of the human race to change the future in their favor. With the incredibly high likelihood of death should he take them all on by himself, Dinobot could have chosen to stand back and save himself at the cost of the proto-humans...except that for him, that was never an option.
    Dinobot: The question that once haunted my being has been answered. The future is not fixed, and my choices are my own. And yet, how ironic... for now I find I have no choice at all.
  • In an episode of Danny Phantom, Danny foils some minions attempt to steal jewelry from a store, but when they take off, all the security guards see is him holding the loot. When he leaves, one guard says to the other, "You want to keep this stuff and blame the ghost boy?" The other just sighs and says, "You're under arrest."
  • Doug gives us a twofer. In one episode, Doug is walking out of the bank and finds an envelope full of almost $15,000. After being unable to find the envelope's rightful owner, Doug turns the money into the police; when no-one claims it after thirty days, the money is legally his. Doug then sees a report on the news about the woman who lost the envelope. The next day, Doug finds the woman and returns the money. Doug not only handed off a huge amount of cash twice, but the second time, the money was legally his, he had no obligation to return it, and he didn't expect any kind of reward for it.
  • Parodied in The Dover Boys, with Dan Backslide's quote.
    Dan Backslide: A runabout! I'LL STEAL IT! NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW!
  • Futurama:
    • In the pilot, Leela fell into Fry's old cryonic tube while trying to give him his career chip; even though he just met her and has no reason to specifically think well of her, Fry resets the dial from a thousand years to five minutes.
    • In "The Inhuman Torch", Bender is accused of starting fires in order to put them out and look like a hero, but it was actually started by a fire creature from the sun (whom Bender names Flamo). In order to keep Flamo from burning the Earth into a small star, Bender takes it to the Arctic Circle, where no one will find him, know about the fate he spared them from, and most importantly, he won't be hailed as a hero.
  • In the second part of the Gargoyles pilot episode, Goliath is forced to choose between justice and vengeance, or lose his chance at either; he chooses to save the princess's life, and though it pains him dearly not to have killed the traitor himself, he knows he made the right decision.
  • In the Good Vibes episode "Floatopia" Mondo declines sex with Jeena when she's too drunk to properly consent.
  • Hercules: The Animated Series: In the episode "Hercules and the Prince of Thrace", Adonis disturbs Gaia, so Gaia places a curse on him to die which can only be removed by the Golden Apples in the garden of the Hesperides, which only a god can retrieve. After Hercules fails to get one, they have Atlas get it instead, while Hercules holds up the sky. Despite a chance to abandon Hercules when Atlas suggests that they leave Hercules, Adonis instead tricks Atlas into holding up the sky again and free Hercules.
  • Hey Arnold! gives us Helga Pataki, who's ostensibly a bully. However, in the Christmas episode, she gives up a pair of boots (that she wanted more than anything, and that her mother said "was the last pair in the city" and waited in line all day for them), to a man in exchange for him helping track down the daughter of Mr. Hyunh for Arnold. And Arnold has no idea it was her, no one knows she was the one who did it.
  • Justice League:
    • The episode "The Greatest Story Never Told", is this for Booster Gold, who has to deal with a black hole while the more prominent members are dealing with a bigger threat offscreen.
    • Happens in the finale. After Flash defeats Lexiac and vanishes into the Speed Force, Luthor taunts the heroes that he did kill him after all. Superman picks him up by the neck and readies the laser vision. Wonder Woman starts to rush forward, but Batman holds her off.
      Superman: I'm not the man who killed President Luthor. Right now I wish to Heaven that I was, but I'm not.
      • That was definitely a Batman Gambit. Superman had been struggling throughout the arc with the actions of his alternate universe counterpart, while also dealng with the fallout of having been mind-controlled by Darkseid just before the start of the show (around the end of Superman the Animated series). Batman wanted to give Superman the chance to affirm his character. With the opportunity, Supes shows just how strong he truly is.
  • In Season 1 of The Legend of Korra, Lin Beifong is captured by the Equalists and brought to Amon. Amon offers to let her keep her Bending if she gives up Korra's location, and being as there are no heroes around Lin could easily come up with some story about escaping. Instead, Lin all but spits in his face and accepts her fate with dignity.
  • Janet of The Magic School Bus fails this trope when she's alone in a room save for a bug (actually Miss Frizzle's class aboard the shrunken bus) and decides to gleefully sabotage the class's entry for a scent competition instead of playing fair. No one is happy with her and the Frizz Kids beating her and subtly calling her out is perfectly Laser-Guided Karma.
  • My Life as a Teenage Robot:
    • Jenny gets accosted by Killgore, a sentient wind-up toy that, while completely harmless as a villain, annoys her to death with frequent demands to "SURRENDER!" Problem is, she can't attack him, because too many people find him cute. Jenny eventually catches Killgore at night, but finds she doesn't have it in heart to attack a helpless, if annoying, creature.
    • Jenny generally considers her role as superhero a chore, and wants to have a regular teenager's social life. In the Made-for-TV Movie Escape From Cluster Prime, she loses her memory, along with most of her powers, and starts living on a planet of robots—essentially the life she'd always asked for. Yet Jenny still decides to become a superhero when she sees people who need help, even though she no longer has anyone pressuring her into it (and even becomes a wanted vigilante).
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
    • In the episode "The Times They Are A Changeling", Thorax has been assumed to be evil by all the ponies, while Spike, his only friend, abandoned him at a critical moment. When, later, Spike is in mortal danger and calls out for Thorax's help with nobody else around, he has a brief Then Let Me Be Evil moment, asking Spike why, as an "evil changeling", he should do anything to help him. It only lasts a few seconds, though, and Thorax saves Spike even though nothing about the circumstances compels him to.
    • In the Christmas Episode My Little Pony: Best Gift Ever, Pistachio figures out that Rarity's custom-made hat wasn't for him, and tries to give it back to her. Even though Rarity has every right to take the hat back, and no one else would ever know about the mix-up, she saw how much Pistachio and the Acorn family appreciated the gift. As such, Rarity not only lets Pistachio keep the hat, but invites him to be her guest at an upcoming fashion show to further his passions.
  • The Simpsons:
  • In The Spectacular Spider-Man, Flash Thompson learns that during a football tournament his team won, one of the players (Harry Osborn) was taking a performance-enhancing drug. He's told that by that very player, in a one-on-one conversation, and he knows, that should the word get out, their championship (that he ruined his leg achieving and thus ruining a chance for a good scholarship) would be disqualified. The word still gets out... from Flash himself, because to him an unfair victory isn't worth much.
    • Then there is, of course, Spider-Man confronting Uncle Ben's killer becoming this for the show. As seen in episode 12, Peter had a good chance to let the burglar fall to his death, but saved him because he knew Uncle Ben wouldn't approve.
    • Later Spider-Man confronts Uncle Ben's killer again. He's The Cat, aka Black Cat's father. Black Cat was trying to break him out while Peter was there testing the prison's new security system at request from management since it was used to contain superhumans (though the system has been hijacked by Green Goblin, kickstarting the plot.) Mr. Hardy actually takes Spidey's place to fix the system and insists on staying, fully knowing what he did and to atone for his crimes (and possibly even knowing Spider-Man is Peter Parker.) Unfortunatly, this also strains Black Cat's relation with Spidey as she blames his influence for him staying in prison.
  • Star Wars Rebels: In "The Honorable Ones", Zeb and Agent Kallus are stranded on an ice moon attempting to climb out of a cave up to the surface to be rescued. When some large predatory animals attack them, Zeb manages to get Kallus up to the safety of the surface. Kallus finds Zeb's bo-rifle and realizes he has an opportunity to shoot Zeb, but after a moment's hesitation he opts to shoot the creature attacking Zeb instead.
  • The Steven Universe special "Bismuth" was this for Steven. After defending himself from Bismuth for refusing to use the Breaking Point or letting her use it, Steven promises to tell the Gems what happened to her. His mother Rose Quartz failed this test when the same thing happened to her, choosing to hide Bismuth away for thousands of years to protect her cause and ensure peace instead. Bismuth tearfully admits that this makes Steven a better person than his mother ever was.
    • In a bit of irony, we learn that Rose Quartz was none other than Pink Diamond, the supposed tyrant the Crystal Gems were trying to overthrow from Earth. Turns out she was Running Both Sides and wanted to free the Earth after seeing what Gem harvesting did to the planet and later for the sake of "imperfect" Gems. However, Blue and Yellow Diamonds (her older "sisters"), pretty much reduced her to a Puppet Queen and dragged out the war rather than have her just give the Crystal Gems the planet. Eventually, Pink Diamond tried faking her death with Pearl's help, hoping it'd end the war. It did... but not before the remaining Diamonds used their ultimate attack to cause widescale corruption on both sides. Bismuth handles the revelation better than the others and even notes how Rose ended up taking her advice after all, albeit in a rueful tone which seems to lampshade the pointlessness of the fallout.)
  • The "Between Brothers" episode of ThunderCats (2011) has this. When a young Lion-O and Tygra are playing as kids, Lion-O is crossing a tree trunk bridge over a pit. Tygra, as a child, breaks the edge of the bridge with his foot causing Lion-O to fall in (the two of them didn't exactly have the best relationship when they were younger). Young Lion-O doesn't see him do this (although present day Lion-O does, as he watches this memory) and falls into the pit. Tygra appears to abandon him, so if Lion-O were to die down there, no one would know it was Tygra's fault... although present day Tygra reveals that he did feel guilty afterward and immediately ran to their father for help.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "A Pal For Gary", Gary has every reason to just abandon SpongeBob to his fate after the way SpongeBob has treated him. He instead chooses to come to the rescue, not hesitating for even a second.


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