Karma works against good guys too

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and I didn't list any examples because there are far to many to list from 101 Dalmatians The Series.

but I wonder why shows today rarely, if ever, show characters getting karma or actual punishment for wrongdoings. I'm gonna blame soccer moms.
 

ToonReel

Active Member
There were actually three Tortoise and the Hare ones, and in all three Cecil beat Bugs.

Examples? In the shorts I've seen, nothing bad ever happens to Bugs.
I already listed five, and the above posters repeated them.

Oh and there's Hare Brush, where Elmer wins due to a personality switch.
 

Gershon1

Member
A recent study has shown that in movies and TV, superheroes are even more violent than the villains they fight.
 

ToonReel

Active Member
I guess it's often that the heroes have plot armour and writers likely fear the kids watching will be traumatised if the heroes get brutalised as badly as the villains do. This is likely why lots of shows just go for bumbling villains, though even then it sometimes seems like they have to skew physics to avoid the heroes getting hurt. (eg. Team Rocket battles in the Pokemon anime have gradually become more about Jessie and James' Pokemon (or Meowth's mechs) firing scare tactic shots around the twerps and generally acting like Stormtroopers, and actually have considerably less times they try to cheap shot the trainers themselves than the heroes. Even the times they do fight well they now tend to bend it in a way so the twerps' cuter Pokemon still don't suffer a single direct blow, it's karma yes, but they're so defanged it's hard to consider beating them an accomplishment).

Concerning the Spongebob example, A Breath Of Fresh Squidward is probably the prime case of Spongebob getting a taste of his own medicine. Squidward gets electric shocked and it affects his personality to become as happy and upbeat (and clingy) as Spongebob, meaning he soon drives Spongebob crazy the same way vice versa usually does, steals his popularity and even breaks his Employee of the Month record (which a previous episode established he was FIERCELY protective of). To add to it, the ending has Squidward back to normal through another electric shock, but it also makes Spongebob a grouch as well.

Also Sonic Boom had at least three episodes the heroes got a comeuppance, Into the Wilderness and Designated Heroes for Sonic and Chez Amy for Amy. I think this might actually be the only interpretation I've seen Sonic get a 'loser' role in fact.
 
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I wonder why protagonists in non superhero shows don't get some sort of karma in shows made now. I still partially blame soccor moms but that's just a guess. even another member on this forum interprets my desire for shows to teach kids that actions have consequences as me being a hate monger who has a torture fetish.
 

ToonReel

Active Member
I wonder why protagonists in non superhero shows don't get some sort of karma in shows made now. I still partially blame soccor moms but that's just a guess. even another member on this forum interprets my desire for shows to teach kids that actions have consequences as me being a hate monger who has a torture fetish.
I guess the thing is that it happened in early cartoons because most protagonists were anti-heroes, mischief makers who while often firing second, often had a sadistic streak and were paired against very pitiful villains. As some WB staff noted, there was always a very fine line between these characters looking like defensive heroes or glorified bullies who waited for any petty reason to torment some schmuck. Having it backfire odd times, usually when they were intentionally portrayed as crossing the line, was a way of keeping a leech on them and showing they were only the 'heroes' so long as they played by the rules of karma.

Add to that most of these instances are a specific genre, they're usually light hearted comeuppance stories. That doesn't always work for every fictional media. In many works having a hero 'lose' would have much darker consequences than a bit of slapstick humiliation.

I can sorta see your angle, writing rounded heroes is actually a delicate dance really, you want them to be likeable enough that they aren't 'designated heroes' but you still want them to be flawed and complex, not just bland reactors to the more proactive villains. The best way to show that is have times they act up through their vices but suffer consequences for it, showing they have their own vices but they don't get a double standard for it.

I think too often the problem is that writers short cut around it. Many times a good guy's screw up is done in a way that gives the bad guy the upper hand, and often this causes them to repent and try to fix the problem they've caused by stopping them, tying both the hero and villain plots together nicely. Many badly written cases however, just end up having the bad guy as a distraction from their error, with the hero not implied to have learned anything because the focus is now on the bad guy, thus it adds to this issue with the show's "bad guy" being an enabler for the flawed "good guy's" shortcomings. Alternatively the hero only wins through plot armour so didn't really take responsibility for fixing their mistake.

Case in point the Pokemon anime. Early episodes often had Team Rocket exploit one of the heroes while they were acting up, they'd realise what they'd done and have to outsmart them, usually with an apology to the other heroes afterwards. Simple writing but it worked. Modern episodes often have the heroes act up and Team Rocket just kind of gatecrash that, earning a ridiculously handy pummelling and no implication at all that the heroes had learned from their mistake. (In fairness the heroes being gullible dimwits around Team Rocket is practically a running gag, it would be difficult to maintain the premise of them repenting over getting tricked by them over and over and over).
 
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@ToonReel I was refering more to slice of life shows that are targeted towards impressionable kids who might get the wrong ideas from those shows but it is also about my enjoyment of those shows being impaired or ruined too.

it isn't just My Little Pony, witch I have been talking about. it thankfully stopped happening but The Lion Guard for a time also had the protagonists getting away with stupid mistakes that lead to disasters except only ever one time with a comparatively minor mistake on Bunga's part. and lately, The Lion Guard just has the characters not making such huge mistakes, not giving them more consequences.

and you only mentioned cartoons from the gold and silver age of animation but stuff made in the last 20 years had the protagonists receive consequences. 101 Dalmatians: The Series had the protagonists punished by their parents or other authority figures in almost every single episode. and that show taught morals like My Little Pony and The Lion Guard.
 

Red Arrow

ça va nog wel
Turn on Disney Channel then. Literally every episode of everything ends with the protagonist learning a lesson (and often getting punished).
 
Turn on Disney Channel then. Literally every episode of everything ends with the protagonist learning a lesson (and often getting punished).
I've watched Disney Channel stuff and I don't recall the characters getting punished a lot, especially not the Disney Junior stuff witch is my main problem because kids will be watching.
 

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