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Sometimes information about a real-life event that ties into a medium is revealed that undermines one's appreciation for said medium. Other times, that same info can make you enjoy the medium even more. Then there's Cue Irony, real life facts and/or events about a show that make you really appreciate what those involved went through to make the medium.

Named such because, more often than not, said event or fact will lead contradictory to what the show is all about (read, Irony), it's usually a testament to the dedication and love an actor, cast member, or other production member has for their livelihood, with the idea that knowing how much they suffered to bring you their masterpieces makes one understand and empathize with them, and allows one to better appreciate and enjoy the medium; after all, it would be unbecoming of a fan to take the creators' sacrifice in vain.

Examples of Cue Irony include:

Anime and Manga

  • The Hayao Miyazaki films that star children and are aimed at them take on a different tone when you learn that his dedication to his work led him to ignore his actual children.
  • No matter your opinion on the Excel Saga dub, you can't fault initial lead voice actress Jessica Calvello for the effort she put into the title character; her doctor insisted she quit halfway through the show or risk permanent damage to her vocal chords.
  • In the same vein, one has to respect actor Matt Hill for his work as Gundam Seed‍'‍s Kira Yamato; he actually had the show's vocal director kick him in the groin in order to ensure that his crying sounded authentic (and considering fans mock his counterpart Soichiro Hoshi for sounding like "a dying horse" when Kira cries in the original Japanese...).
    • Not to mention the fact that both Hill and Sam Vincent, who played Kira's best friend and partner Athrun Zala, have said at anime cons that they weren't happy with how Gundam Seed Destiny turned out.

Live Action TV

  • The numerous rehashes of the very messy Game Shows Double Dare and What Would You Do? on old-school Nickelodeon become much more memorable when one realizes that their host, Marc Summers, was suffering from an acute form of OCD (in particular, an obsession with keeping neat and clean) at the time.
    • This had the added effect of making him a major Badass among the fans for showing up for work every day and acting such that you'd never know he had a problem.
  • In the Doctor Who serial "The Sontaran Experiment", Tom Baker broke his collarbone badly while undergoing a stunt (possibly one calling for him to fall down a ravine). Subsequent shots in the episode using him show his scarf laying oddly—it's covering up the neckbrace and cast.
    • Earlier on, in "Terror of the Autons", a stuntman playing an Auton was supposed to be rammed by a car while on the edge of a quarry with him landing on the hood of the car. The car hit him just a bit too hard, sending him flying down the quarry's slope. The director left the camera running, getting the ultimately injury-free incident on film and decided to use it rather than the shot as planned.
    • The final scene of "Castrovalva" (where Tegan and the Doctor discuss Tegan's landing of the TARDIS) does not include Adric, as Matthew Waterhouse had had a bit too much Campari while partying the night before and was hung over and nauseated. He's said that is the reason that he looks pale in the sequences shot that day (which works out well, as the script calls for him to be wan and haggard after the ordeal the Master subjected him to).


  • In the Lord of the Rings movies, several actors really suffered for their art. Remember that scene in The Two Towers where Aragorn kicks an orc helmet and screams in frustration because he thinks the hobbits are lost? He just broke his toe. Poor John Rhys Davies was playing Gimli and was allergic to his latex mask. In the section when Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli are running across the countryside after the orcs, Viggo Mortensen had a broken toe, Brett Beattie, John Rhys Davis' stunt double, had a knee injury, and Orlando Bloom had broken ribs sustained from falling off a horse.
    • Then there's Sean Bean, who hated helicopters. So, rather than ride the helicopter to the top of the mountain where the shoot was taking place, he climbed the mountain in his full Boromir costume, did the shoot and then climbed back down again. The climb took him two hours each way. That's dedication.
    • When Sam runs into the lake to follow Frodo what you don't hear is that the actor stepped on a piece of glass in the lake and opened up his foot doing it.
  • Peter Sellers labored to get a film adaptation of Being There made for 7–8 years; it was one reason he revived his Inspector Clouseau character. He was willing to do everything within reason to play Chance the Gardener because he identified with him so much. This affected his personal relationships with his then-wife and children to varying degrees as he took on the character's persona. Worse, making the film partially contributed to the further deterioration of his health, as his heart problems had returned with a vengeance by the late 1970s. He was willing to gain weight to play the role and hide an attack from insurers and doctors because he knew they might force him to put off making the film if they found out. He died less than a year after it was released. Beyond the performance serving as his Crowning Moment of Awesome, there's the irony that he had to struggle so much to play a character who hardly does a thing to rise to power and lives in a perpetual state of unaware, untroubled contentment.
  • Spaceballs "You've got to marry Prince Valium! He's the last prince left in the galaxy!" Prince Valium is played by Jim J. Bullock, who is gay.


  • Beethoven's later works can be considered Cue Irony, when one keeps in mind he was going deaf when he composed them, in the early 1800s.
    • To quote Terry Pratchett, "Deafness doesn't prevent composers from hearing the music. It prevents them from hearing the distractions."
  • Gene Simmons of Kiss is known for flying around on stage with cables but he is afraid of heights.
  • Jack Norworth, the writer of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game", didn't actually attend any baseball games until years later. He argued that he was purely a songwriter, and baseball itself didn't interest him at all.

Western Animation

  • Mel Blanc, original voice of the carrot-loving Bugs Bunny, had to chew on actual carrots during his voice recording sessions since nothing at the time could replicate the sound of nibbling on carrots. In order to avoid choking on the half-eaten carrots while trying to deliver his following lines, he would spit them out into a nearby spittoon instead.
    • At least one account had him save the carrot-chomping for the last stages of recording for a particular short, and the recordings of the carrot-chomping would then be inserted into the audio track as necessary.
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