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  • The Simpsons has its own page on the matter.
  • In Futurama, one of the stations in the New New York tubeway system is given as "J.F.K., Jr. Airport". After the real-life John F. Kennedy, Jr. died when his private plane crashed, the line was replaced with "Radio City Mutant Hall" (though the original line can still be heard on the full-episode animatic that appears on Futurama volume one DVD).
    • The line in the first episode about the Stop & Drop Suicide booths being "Americans' favorite suicide booth since 2008" becomes a bit wince worthy in light of 2008's economic meltdown and the invention of an actual suicide machine in the same year.
    • In "The Lesser of Two Evils", the main characters visit a theme park modeled on 2000s New York. There's a brief scene where the stock market drops from about 11,000 to 7,200, similar numbers to the real-life 2008 crash. (Fortunately, it jumps right back up to 11,000, and all the stock brokers who jumped to their apparent deaths float back up into the building via jetpack.) Considering that the scene was supposed to be a "distorted history" take on the crash that started the Great Depression; that makes this a sort of bizarre life imitating art imitating life.
    • Given the flooding, "The Long-lost City of Atlanta" as seen on the episode "The Deep South" doesn't seem too out of place anymore.
    • In the episode "Insane in the Membrane", Richard Nixon on a $1000 bill urges a cop to shoot Fry in the back. After the January 2009 BART incident, this is a lot less funny.
    • On the very first episode, Fry's last line before tumbling into the cryogenic freezer was, "Here's to another lousy millennium." Fry doesn't know how right he is: 2000 to 2010 has had scandals, invasions, a major terrorist attack on American soil, economic failure, and natural disasters (and there's plenty more where that came from from 2011 on...)
    • There was an episode that involved the entire world turning British, 2 cops threaten Fry, Leela and Bender to stop running or they'll have to continue chasing them, since they don't have a gun. 2 weeks later a gun was used by a cop in London, which resulted in a riot.
    • In The Beast With a Billion Backs, Colleen, voiced by Brittany Murphy, is the only person in the universe to stay in heaven. Yeesh.
    • It Got Worse: Beast With A Billion Backs was the last time Brittany Murphy did voicework on an animated show (besides her role as Luanne on King of the Hill)

Guess who died in 2011?

  • Kappa Mikey - Being a show within a show, the crew of Lily Mu frequently lampshades the bad points of the television and outsourced animation industry. Looking back, it's amazing how close Ozu's tendency to fire his employees and close the studio reflects what happened to Animation Collective in 2008!
  • A less tragic example, or an ironic reverse example, occurs in Freakazoid!. Roddy MacStew is teaching Freakazoid telekinesis, saying that his speed and strength will only get him so far. Freakazoid brags that it got the show a second season, prompting Roddy to shout, "You can't count on that! Networks are fickle!" The show only lasted two more episodes.
    • It's entirely possible, considering the massive Executive Meddling that was happening in Warner Bros.' cartoons at that point in time, that this is a veiled Take That at someone's boss.
    • Part of the theme itself could be considered a Funny Aneurysm Moment, given the show turned out to be Too Good to Last:

 He's here to save the nation,

so stay tuned to this station!

If not we'll be unemployed (shot of everyone in the cast in BankruptcyBarrels)

'Freakazoid, Freakazoid!

    • A more conventional example would be the episode "starring" Princess Diana, which looks awkward now.
  • Muppet Babies, of all things, also has an awkward episode involving Princess Diana. And a plot to kidnap all the Nannies in England by aliens who turn out to have ships that run on the power of green striped socks, but that's neither here nor there.
  • The Sam and Max Freelance Police episode "Fools Die on Friday", originally aired in 1997, is about a terrorist who hijacks an aircraft and almost crashes it into a tall structure in New York City. Of course, the aircraft is a blimp, the terrorist is just a mildly insane loser, and the crash (into the Statue of Liberty) is averted. But the overall plot and dialogue still parallel 9/11 enough that it makes the episode harder to laugh at. The episode was not shown on Gametap when they began streaming the series in 2006, but it is fully present on the DVD release.
  • From Family Guy: the episode "Road to Rhode Island" originally had a scene that depicted Osama Bin Laden getting past airport security by singing showtunes. Amazingly enough, this episode was produced and broadcast before September 11th, 2001, when few people knew who Osama Bin Laden was and even fewer knew he would orchestrate an attack using commercial airplanes. The scene was removed from future airings of the episode and even from the DVD release, although it showed up on a later "best-of" DVD. (One could also interpret this as Hilarious in Hindsight; but given the removal of the scene, it seems to belong here.) The worst part is that the show's creator, Seth MacFarlane, was supposed to be on one of the planes that hit the World Trade Center, but was lucky enough to miss it due to oversleeping from a hangover and deciding to wait for another flight (until he saw the crash on the news).
    • The above point about Macfarlane being supposed to board the plane is made worse by the episode Back to the Woods, in which he, as Peter, jokes about a film he is (jokingly) planning to wait called '9/11, Two-Thousand FUN!'. It appears he has dealt with the trauma of nearly going on a doomed flight rather well.
    • Adult Swim aired an episode where Mayor West laughs uncontrollably for about a minute straight at the name of the character Boner from Growing Pains. That's all fine and good, until you realize that they aired said episode 2 days after Andrew Koenig, the actor who played Boner hanged himself from a tree in Stanley Park.
    • In "Go Stewie Go," Stewie makes a joke about a bomb going off in Times Square. Less than two months after the episode aired... [1]
    • And let's not forget the episode, "The Former Life of Brian" when Peter says Brian's very ugly ex-girlfriend looks like a really hot Tim Russert. Two months later, Russert died of a heart attack. When the episode was rerun, the reference to Tim Russert was bleeped out.
    • "Meet The Quagmires": In the alternate universe where Lois is married to Quagmire, Lois mentions that Osama bin Laden was finally captured and that he was hiding out in the cast of Mad TV (which Quagmire states that it's "...the one place no one would think to look." What was once a burn against Mad TV being a nigh-unknown Saturday Night Live clone is now wince-worthy considering that Mad TV was canceled in 2009 with hardly anyone around to see its series finale (as for bin Laden being captured, that's Hilarious in Hindsight, just like all the jokes made between 2001 and 2010 about bin Laden never being found).
  • In South Park, considering how badly Chef had a bridge dropped on him after his voice actor, Isaac Hayes, left the show two months after a stroke and an episode mocking Scientology (and someone - not him - told the powers that be that it was due to their mocking religion, when everyone would know they would put two and two together and know they meant Scientology), it was that much more disconcerting to find out that Hayes died on August 10, 2008. What's even worse is that on the official 2008 South Park Calendar, the month of December has Chef on fire on the bridge just after it was struck by lightning with the quote "Oh my god! They Killed Chef!" underneath.
    • The entire episode "The Jeffersons" (and the lines from the black man on "The Mexican Staring Frog of Southern Sri Lanka" who kept telling Jesus that Michael Jackson is still a beloved entertainer, despite being branded as a Memetic Molester), which brutally spoofed Michael Jackson, considering the death of the pop idol and how all the jokes about Michael Jackson being a child molester fell out of favor when he was acquitted in 2005 and when he died in 2009.
      • Considering all the crap he got for his alleged crimes, that episode of South Park actually had a shocking amount of sympathy for him as an Adult Child who acted this way because he never had a real childhood.
    • Remember how Kenny's deaths used to be hilarious, if somewhat disturbing? "Coon vs Coon and Friends" erases all of the hilarity from any of his deaths when you learn that Kenny's super power as Mysterion is immortality and that he can't stand seeing his friends forget him being shot, stabbed or torn apart.
    • "Butters' Very Own Episode" ends with Gary Condit, JonBenet Ramsey's parents, and O.J. Simpson being called out for being murderers who lie through their teeth and (in the second case) are playing the victims on top of that. Not nearly as funny and biting now that all but O.J. Simpson have been confirmed to be innocent people Convicted by Public Opinion, and too late for Patsy Ramsey (who died of ovarian cancer) at that.
    • When the episode, "It's a Jersey Thing", the residents of South Park calling in Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden to assist against the encroachment of Jerseyites, the episode ending with special forces dropping in and shooting Bin Laden in the head and proclaiming "We got im!". At the time, many people argued that it was a Dude, Not Funny moment. About 7 months later, special forces actually did get him, resulting in this trope.
    • The episode "Scott Tenorman Must Die", aired in 2001, has a scene where Scott finds a human finger in his bowl of chili (that turns out to be the finger of one of his parents, whom had been used as the secret ingredient of the chili Cartman cooked). Four years later, a woman named Anna Alaya claimed that a human finger was found in her bowl of Wendy's chili, but it turned out to be a hoax.
      • And for an in-universe example of this trope, the revelation in the Wham! Episode "201" completely twists the climax of "Scott Tenorman Must Die" around in a new light. For those who wonder: Cartman's true father and Scott Tenorman's father are the same. Meaning that Cartman killed his own dad and thus that his his victory in "Scott Tenorman Must Die" was a retroactive Pyrrhic Victory.
    • Remember the "Cartoon Wars" two-parter, where Muslims intend to retaliate on America if Muhammad is to be shown on the mock Family Guy episode?"200"/"201" defictionalized that bit.
      • I'm not sure that counts, as the Muslim threats in "Cartoon Wars" were already based on real life occurrences revolving around a news publication the published cartoons featuring Mohamed.
    • In "Death", Cartman tells Kyle "Just because your mom is a bitch doesn't miss the whole world has to suffer". Fast-forward to The Movie and...
    • Also in "Cartoon Wars," Matt and Trey give Seth MacFarlane a "no hard feelings" shout-out in the form of a trucker who gives Kyle a ride to the television studio, and who happens to like Family Guy. Why does he like it? Because "at least it doesn't get all preachy and up-its-own-ass with messages," which is what most people have accused South Park of being in later episodes. This label can now aptly be applied to Family Guy in its seventh and eighth seasons, which have been accused of being preachy and "up its own ass" in messages rather than being that Rapid-Fire Comedy sitcom filled with manatee gags, overly-long gags, and random moments that have no plot relevance (though some die-hard fans will tell you that some episodes of Family Guy do show glimmers of these underneath the anviliciousness).
    • In 2004's "Passion of the Jew," Mel Gibson is shown as a deranged man who goes after Stan and Kenny for hating Passion of the Christ and ends up making a fool of himself in front of everyone in town (even going so far as to act like Daffy Duck, back when he was a screwball). In 2006, Gibson was pulled over for drunk driving, and while being arrested he made anti-Semitic remarks and insulted a female officer by calling her a misogynistic name. Now in 2010, he's been taped making racial and sexist slurs and screamed at his wife while threatening her, in a way that is scarily similar to his insane depiction. Though this probably actually makes this episode even funnier, but it makes you wonder if the South Park creators knew something we didn't at the time...
      • No, but they did know something that was common knowledge. The film he had made was widely criticised for being anti-Semitic at the time (pretty much the basis for this episode) and Mel Gibson was already getting a lot of attention for his and his father's choice of church which was also know to espouse anti-Semitic views, particularly regarding the death of Christ. Guessing that he might have some unpleasant views about the Jewish faith wasn't exactly a stretch for anyone at that point.
    • The season five episode "Proper Condom Use" has parents pushing for sex ed to be taught to the younger grades. How young? Try "kindergarten" (which Chef finds appalling, as he believes that kids should be kids and not worry about sexual matters until they find out about it for themselves). It was just a joke about how insane the need for teaching sex ed to younger children can be pushed...until some schools actually proposed having sex ed classes for 1st and 2nd graders.
      • Arguable. The sex-ed proposed for grade schoolers is more about preventing sexual abuse, not condom application.
    • In The Movie, there is a bombing of an American actor after Terrance and Phillip are arrested and Clinton sending the troops to war with Canada. Two years later...
    • Steve Irwin is killed in Prehistoric Ice Man.
    • The episode "You're Getting Old" reveals that all of Randy's Crazy Awesome antics in the later episodes were literally nothing but the antics of a bored, bitter family man trying desperately to give his joke of a life some substantial meaning.
  • An episode of Animaniacs opened with Saddam Hussein speaking out to his subjects (who are all shown in silhouettes, waving plungers in the air) just before falling through a trap door and ending up in Hell. Well, they got the falling-through-a-trap-door-to-his-death part right. All they were missing was the noose.
    • Dot's crush on Mel Gibson is a bit disconcernting, when you look at his recent transgressions.
  • In an episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender, the elderly Iroh was approached by a fortune teller who offered to tell him his future; Iroh declined, saying, "at my age, there is only one great surprise left and I'd like to keep that a mystery." Iroh's VA, Mako, would die a year later.
    • In the last episode of season 1, the possibility of Aang asking the spirit of the moon and the spirit of the ocean for help is raised. Aang joking says that maybe he'll make them unleash a crazy attack upon the fire nation. Later that episode, Aang is possessed by the spirit of the ocean and unleashes a violent attack upon the fire nation, which leads to him being quite afraid of his own power. Also, the ocean spirit kills Zhao, after releasing Aang.
  • An episode of Danny Phantom had the hero splitting himself in two (one as full ghost, the other as full human) to perform his separate duties with hilarious results. A later episode repeated that formula with less hilarious results.
  • Part 3 of the Pinky and The Brain episode "Brainwashed". Recurring Evil Counterpart Snowball gets his enhanced intellect taken away, essentially destroying him as a sapient mind. The Funny Aneurysm Moment comes when you find out that Snowball's voice actor, Roddy MacDowell, died less than a month after the episode that "killed off" the character of Snowball aired.
    • Also, in the Tiny Toons Spring Break Special from 1994, Pinky and The Brain make a cameo appearance as two of Elmyra Duff's caged pets. Then in the Night Ghoulery Special released in the same year, Dizzy mistakenly hands Brain to Elmyra when she requests a brain for the monster she's making, and she says that she'll "play with [him] later". Four years after both of those specials, Elmyra was controversially ReTooled into Pinky and The Brain itself. Could those specials have been where they got the idea?
      • Even worse, there was an episode called "Pinky and the Brain (and Larry)", which was made entirely as a parody of an additional character being added and throwing off the dynamic of the show. The Brain even goes on a rant about it.
    • Speaking of Tiny Toon Adventures, there was an episode in which Buster and Babs thwart a plot, saving the lives of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, who were still married at the time. It became wince-worthy after the divorce and completely depressing after her untimely death.
      • Also, at the end of the episode, "Buster and Babs go Hawaiian", Bugs confronts the two bunnies for "borrowing" his credit card for emergencies. The issue becomes a little less funny with the continuing rise of identity theft over the years, and Buster and Babs come off a lot less sympathetic. May also qualify as Values Dissonance.
  • In the earliest Kids' WB! promos, Yakko Warner proclaimed that the block was meant for kids by shouting, "AND NO GROWN-UPS ALLOWED!" Less than two years later, Freakazoid! got canned because most of its fans were older than Kids' WB!'s target demographic. This also caused a planned 20-episode season for Animaniacs to be cut in half. Sounds like Yakko was giving us fair warning.
  • On Sari Sumdac's birthday, Bulkhead wishes her a "happy date of construction anniversary". She corrects him; but at the end of season two, a flesh wound reveal circuitry under Sari's skin. For an added bonus, in an episode in early season two, after Sari finds out there's no legal proof that she exists, this is one of the theories that Bumblebee and Bulkhead jokingly put forth as to why.
    • As of season three, we can also include their theories that she hatched from some sort of egg from outer space and fell out of a portal.
  • Celebrity Deathmatch has many, many of these moments, including the fight where James Brown crushed himself with a stage light, and the match where Gene Siskel broke Roger Ebert's skull. Siskel would die of a brain tumor a year after that episode was aired.
    • During Steve Irwin's battle with the Medusa from Clash of the Titans, the Croc Hunter is dealt a gaping wound across the chest. He reaches in and remarks "Crikey! What a stinger! I can feel my heart beating!" Shudder.
  • Then of course there's the Looney Tunes short "Often an Orphan," where Charlie Dog dramatizes how claustrophobic city life is, and ends this by screaming that the towers are falling. Now, there's no denying that this has become an aneurysm moment thanks to the September 11th attacks, but it wasn't specified what kind of towers were falling (on top of that, The World Trade Center towers weren't around in the 1940s; groundbreaking started in 1966, construction of the first tower was from 1968-1970 and construction on the second tower was from 1969 to 1971. Even though five other lesser-known towers were constructed between 1980 and 1987, the Twin Towers themselves weren't opened until 1973 and stayed there until that fateful day in 2001).
    • A much more pointed Aneurysm moment in "Falling Hare"; Bugs Bunny is fighting with a gremlin for control of a hijacked hairplane and narrowly avoids crashing into a pair of identical skyscrapers by flying in between them.
  • Tom Warburton's short Kenny and the Chimp: Diseasy Does It has Kenny and the Chimp in a mad scientist's lab; Chimpy's antics cause Kenny to contract various experimental viruses. One of them is the "Swine Flu"; it causes Kenny's head to turn into a pig. Made slightly less amusing by the 2009 H1N1 'Swine Flu' pandemic that killed 18,000 people.
  • An episode of The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 involved Mario and friends rescuing Milli Vanilli from Bowser King Koopa. Needless to say, the episode got Edited for Syndication and DVD releases because of their 1989 lip-synching scandal, mainly by replacing their "songs" with instrumental replacements. Interestingly, this leads to the animation depicting them singing without any sound at all.
  • An episode of Taz-Mania called "Taz Babies" was a Take That against Executive Meddling; the producer said that a proposed Spinoff Babies show was ahead of its time. Then came Baby Looney Tunes. Depending on what you think of that show, this can be either a FAM or a Hilarious in Hindsight moment.
  • An episode of Sealab2021 features a disease that causes people to look and act funny. In a monitor in the background, in one scene, one of the victims has dark hair and is wearing a Michael Jackson "Thriller" jacket.
  • In an episode of MTV's Downtown, which came out in 1999, Chaka accuses Mecca of copying her style and declares that she's going to do something so completely bizarre, absurd and outrageous that Mecca would never, ever follow suit: shave off all her pubic hair.
  • In The Incredibles, Mirage's encouraging message, "The supers aren't gone, Mr. Incredible. You're still here!" becomes very sinister once Bob discovers the list of supers the Omnidroid has killed.
  • In the 1998 King of the Hill episode Meet the Manger Babies, Hank backs out of performing in Luanne's Christian puppet show because its live debut is scheduled opposite the Super Bowl. Hank tries to cheer up Luanne by saying the game could end early due to injuries or "a terrorist attack." King of the Hill entered syndication in 2001, and this very episode -- with the line intact -- aired a couple weeks after 9/11.
    • The last season or so dealt with Luanne's new motherhood. Guess who just died!
    • The episode "After the Mold Rush" has the family pushed out of their house because the insurance company discovers mold. Hank proves that the insurance company is in a lucrative deal with the mold removers and that mold is common and nothing to panic about. Some reports are now saying that the pneumonia that killed Brittany Murphy and her husband was caused by mold in the house . . .
    • In "Bill, Bulk, and the Body Buddies" one of the body builders flexes and has a pulsing vein in his arm, causing Luanne to scream that the guy's arm is having a heart attack. Said body builder was voiced by Macho Man Randy Savage, who died of a heart attack (well, a car accident caused by him having one, but it still counts).
  • In one episode of Men in Black: The Series, Agent Kay loses his memory of everything past the age of 16. Trying to convince Kay of what's happened, Jay asks, "What's the tallest building in New York?". Kay responds with "Empire State Building", thinks Jay is lying about this 'World Trade Center' and runs outside...where the Twin Towers dominate the skyline. Later, the agents are on an out-of-control airship...

 Jay: Hey, Slim! Remember those twin towers?

Kay: What about 'em?

Jay: [Over an ominous shot of the blimp heading towards Tower Two] I don't think they're going to be so tall anymore!

    • Given what Wikipedia said, this episode is no longer shown in US broadcasts due to what's said above.
  • An episode of Road Rovers features an opening with Princess Diana and Prince Charles finalizing their divorce before being attacked by werewolves. This was cut from later airings for obvious reasons.
  • There was an unusual example in Sabrina's Secret Life, an animated series based on the popular live-action series Sabrina the Teenage Witch. In the episode "School Spirit" a teacher asks the classroom a question involving the ninth farthest planet from the sun. Sabrina, trying to outperform her rival, fails miserably when she states that there is no ninth planet, there are only eight planets. All the students start laughing at her and to rub salt into the wound, her nasty rival triumphantly lists the ninth planet as Pluto. Several years later, astronomers find out there was an asteroid larger than Pluto, and this, coupled with Pluto's eccentric qualities, demoted it from planet to dwarf planet status. Thus, Sabrina's answer would have unkowningly been right all along.
  • In the 1941 Donald Duck short Timber, Pete forces Donald to work in a lumber camp for stealing food. At one point the duck grumbles, "Doggone it! I might just as well be in a concentration camp!". This was before the term became associated with the Holocaust, and America knew of the true horrors that were going on...
  • In an early episode of Gargoyles, Goliath is getting adjusted to New York's geography. When asking Elisa why New York has no walls around it to protect it from invaders, she replies that the greatest dangers to New York come from within the city. Then came 9/11, adding this to the other kajillion-and-a-half Twin-Towers-inspired Unfunny Aneurysm Moments.
  • Christy Carlson Romano (aka Kim Possible) plays...well...a jerk of a officer in Cadet Kelly who spends much of the film trying to break Hillary Duff's spirit. In A Sitch in Time, the villains nearly succeed in doing this to Kim. Bonus points if you saw ASiT first.
    • In the episode where the cheerleading squad is forced to stay at Camp Wannaweep, Ron has a flashback to Lake Wannaweep. In the end of the flashback, he tells Gil Moss, a fellow camper, "Wait until the end of camp when you're as wrinkly as a prune and I've made a lot of lanyards."[1] Let's just say that Gil ended up getting a LOT more than simply being as wrinkly as a prune by the end of camp, and hates Ron now for that.
  • In-universe example in the Daria episode, "The Misery Chick". Lawndale High is visited by a veteran football superstar, who happens to be the biggest Jerkass this side of irritating. After a run-in with Daria and Jane, who dole out their usual venomous rhetoric at him (he is unaffected), Daria remarks how it bugs her that that idiot will be treated like a hero all of his life. Jane responds that well, maybe he won't live that long. And Daria says "Come on. You know wishes don't come true." Cue the abrupt sound of a crash outside; a goalpost in the field falls down and kills him.
  • In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Two Face", Bruce quips about stealing Harvey Dent's fiancée. This wasn't particularly funny to begin with, but after watching The Dark Knight one can't help but remember what happened with Rachel, Harvey and Bruce. Even worse, in a comic story based on the animated series, The Joker actually plants the suspicion in a nearly reformed Two Face that his fiance and Bruce are planning to marry each other and conspiring to keep Two Face locked up in Arkham.
  • The Jetsons got a lot of mileage out of George complaining about his "button finger" after being forced to push buttons at work all day (Instead of doing "real work" by the standards of the era it was made in). Now that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a real and painful condition, it doesn't seem as amusing.
  • In an episode of Batman Beyond made in 1999, "Mind Games", Terry/Batman is receiving some history tutoring from Maxine. Trying to remember the presidents:

 Terry McGinnis: Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton... I don't know.

Max Gibson: Come on. Clinton was the fun one, then came the boring one.

Terry McGinnis: They're all boring.

    • This probably still counts as a Funny Aneurysm Moment with maybe a dash of Hilarious in Hindsight, but there were quite a few gags around 1999-2000 about how an incredibly boring president was going to follow Clinton...meaning Al Gore, who most people thought was a shoo-in to take the 2000 election.
  • In an episode of Metalocalypse, the band accidentally destroyed an oil rig, which blew up and killed a lot of people. Fast-foward a few years. Guess what's going on in the Gulf Coast of the USA?
    • Also the episode where they visit Norway. Unimpressed by the high quality of life and low murder rate, the band says that "Norway is fucking boring." It certainly stopped being boring come August 2011...
  • The New Scooby-Doo Movies: special guest voice Mama Cass appears to help the gang solve a mystery in an abandoned candy factory. A majority of the jokes are about her weight. This becomes icky when one recalls that Cass Eliot died of obesity-related causes.
    • The gag about her having to eat her way out of a room filling with candy (pretty damn crass in itself) is worse given the persistent rumor that she had died choking on food.
  • The Gary Coleman Show following the actor's death. Seeing him play a (cartoon) angel is just a little...twisted.
  • Viewers of The Venture Brothers who were shocked at 24's death and subsequent haunting of 21 might feel a little uneasy at this exchange in "Fallen Arches."

 24: Boo!

21: (Jumps) DUDE! I almost killed you!

  • In the one Hey Arnold episode where the city gets flooded, it ends with Principal Wartz staying behind on the roof of the school with a guitar and a sombrero opting to "go down with his ship". He then starts singing "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans".
  • In one episode of Extreme Ghostbusters, there's a fog monster that they're trying to destroy. During their Hard Work Montage, it cuts to clips of the fog monster eating different landmarks of New York. One of which is the World Trade Center. Bonus chill points because the fog monster rises from the ground as a dark roiling mass, making it look like the buildings are being consumed by smoke.
  • Samurai Jack episode 43 begins with Aku having a horrible coughing fit, coughing up a bit of evil that infects Jack and slowly spreads.. When you know what killed Mako...
  • In The Nightmare Before Christmas, the Mayor ends up falling down the stairs of Jack's house trying to get Jack. This is hilarious until you realize that the Mayor's voice actor Gleen Shadix died because of blunt trauma to the head following a fall at his Birmingham condo.
  • In "Lilo and Stitch", in the beginning we hear Lilo's story on why she is late to class. She had to make a peanut Butter sandwich for Pudge the fish because she believes he can control the weather. Later on, we find out her parents died in a car accident while it was raining.
  • The episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars where Ahsoka loses her lightsaber. Her response? "My master's gonna kill me!" Guess what happens to Anakin at the end of Revenge of the Sith! (Hint: Ahsoka was neither in Attack of the Clones or Revenge of the Sith)
  • A bit of ironic crossover occurred in the Teen Titans cartoon, where (former) C-List Fodder Dr. Light is sucked into an apparently horrible abyss within Raven's cloak by shadowy tentacles that came from where the lower half of her body should have been. In later episodes, Dr. Light is comically terrified whenever Raven is in sight. The Naughty Tentacles jokes had less allure after the official DC comic version of Doctor Light was given a history of rape after an initial infamous story used to make him more threatening...
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Summer Belongs to You!", Doofenshmirtz's evil plan is to drop a giant water balloon on Tokyo, flooding it. Almost a year later, the infamous earthquake hit that flooded Japan with a tsunami.
  • In one episode of Hey Arnold, as Arnold tries to teach a held-back student named Torvald math, he tells him how math is important and that without it, you might have trouble with things like pluses and minuses. This cuts to an Imagine Spot of an adult Torvald at Wall Street pressing a minus button on a computer, causing the world economy to crash. With the global recession hitting in 2008, this has become somewhat awkward.
    • The 2010 flash crash is a more relevant example. Something (and it's still not clear exactly what) caused the market to drop six hundred points in five minutes, and recover within 20 minutes.
  • Surprisingly inverted in the pilot episode of Drawn Together. Comedy Central almost cut a scene where Toot revealed that she cuts herself, deeming it too controversial. A year before the show premiered, an episode of The Real World:San Diego revealed that Frankie Abernathy was a cutter. Because of its relevance, the scene was left in the show.
  • The Critic episode "Sherman, Woman and Child," which aired in March 1995, had a scene in which chain smoker and make-up artist Doris attempted to make a smoke ring bunny but it ended up turning into a shape with a demon-like appearance, which told her "Doris ... Tick! Tock!" Seven months after it aired, her voice actress Doris Grau died from emphysema. Also can count as Harsher in Hindsight.
  • In an earlier episode of Ed Edd and Eddy, Eddy tells a lie that his brother is coming home. Among other reactions, Rolf's is to build a moat and wall around his house and urge the Eds to tell Eddy's Brother that his chickens no longer exist. This is funny at the moment, but then the series finale reveals that Eddy's Brother is a sociopathic Complete Monster who had sadistically abused his younger brother the entire time they lived together. This makes this seemingly innocent joke quite disturbing... Though given the rest of the episode, this may have been an Invoked Trope.
    • This might have been a case of Foreshadowing. Even more is in the same episode where after boasting about how great his brother is Eddy reacts with absolute fear when he supposedly shows up.
    • In "O-Ed Eleven", the Eds follow Eddy's brother's "treasure map" to the Kankers' trailer. When the see that the chest is full of wishbones, Edd comments "I think your brother was a whiz at pulling your leg, Eddy". During Eddy's No-Holds-Barred Beatdown in the finale, his brother doesn't just pull it. He twists it!
    • In the very first episode, Edd asks Eddy if they should feel sorry for Jonny when they wrongly accused him of stealing everyone's stuff, Eddy replies "You know what they say. A little childhood trauma builds character".
    • Plus anyy time Eddy shouted "I'm a minor! Stop!" when he is getting beaten up or harassed.
  • In Xiaolin Showdown, Raimundo has a throwaway line in "Chameleon" (season 1, episode 6) - "Maybe I'm missing the point. We're never gonna go after each other!" Talk about Tempting Fate, given the number of betrayals he and Omi commit in later episodes of the series.
  • In an episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast where Susan Olsen was being interviewed (circa 1996), Space Ghost's evil twin Chad asks her if shes related to Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. He then goes on about how freaky-looking they both are. In 2004, Mary Kate entered rehab for anorexia.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic episode "Swarm of the Century," Princess Celestia is distracted from the Parasprite invasion of Ponyville because she needs to take care of "an infestation in Phillydelphia. Not as funny nowadays if you work for a certain government agency in a similarly-named city.
    • In "Bridle Gossip," Spike jokingly refers to Rainbow Dash as "Rainbow Crash" after the supposed curse afflicting her leaves her unable to fly properly. The distinctly angry expression on her face when he says this, compared to those of the other characters, makes much more sense when it is revealed in "Sonic Rainboom" and "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" that (unbeknownst to Spike) various bullies have been using that name to mock her since her childhood.
    • In "The Last Roundup", Derpy Hooves spoke for the first time. The first line ever said by the character was a comedic "I just don't know what went wrong..." in response to the roof of the town hall collapsing. Soon after the episode premiered, people were offended by Derpy's name and portrayal, a large controversy erupted and the character was (temporarily) censored. These days, Derpy's innocent "I just don't know what went wrong..." seems to eerily foreshadow the controversy, and is decidedly less funny. The censorship has since more or less disappeared with the confirmation of not only her canon name remaining Derpy Hooves, but she's set to make a return in Season 3, albeit with a new voice at Tabitha St. Germain's request
  • Pixar Regular Joe Ranft actually died in a car accident while the films Corpse Bride and Cars were both still in production. Particularly jarring, as those movies were about dead people and cars, respectively.
  • Before the Adventure Time episode, "Holly Jolly Secrets", the Ice King's evil and/or Cloudcuckoolander antics were just seen as funny. Now, they remind the viewer of his decline into insanity detailed in that episode.
    • The biggest example of this has to be the "wizard's eyes" gag in Mortal Recoil. What initially seemed to be a silly throwaway gag actually turned out to be foreshadowing for a real Tear Jerker.
  • At the beginning of the Popeye cartoon "Pest Pilot", we open at Popeye's airport with the sign "Airplanes are the safest things on Earth". 60 years later...
  • One Family Guy Cutaway Gag had Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston sitting in bed and asking each other simultaneously if they want to smoke some crack. Now that the latter has died, possibly of drug abuse, it's just not funny anymore.
    • Same goes for an American Dad gag on the episode "Francine's Flashback," where Stan brings Whitney Houston over to sing Francine's favorite song "The Greatest Love of All" [2], which Houston refuses to do -- until Stan offers her a bag of crack cocaine and she sings, "No matter what they take from me/They can't take away my dignity!" before diving for the bag and face-planting on the ground. Which is then followed by Francine throwing the crack out the door and telling Houston to fetch it like a dog.
  • "We're not talking about some dumb mail fraud scheme or hijacking here... WE STOLE A BALLOON!!!!!
    • In "Mermaid Man And Marbacle boy V", SpongeBob shouts "Holy oil spill!"
    • In "Band Geeks", two marching band members die by being flown into a blimp which explodes. A band member then plays "Taps" while Squidward crouches up into fetal position. This aired four days before 9/11.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles isn't immune-in "Shredder and Splintered," one of the theories on the Turtles is that they are space aliens. Twenty-five years later, Michael Bay announced plans in the film reboot he is producing that he intends to make them aliens instead of mutants. Needless to say, this has not passed without notice.
    • Also, "Hot-Rodding Teenagers From Dimension X" has a chase scene to the Global Trade Center, a clear World Trade Center Expy with twin towers. Later on, Traag and Granitor cause mass destruction with Dimension X weaponry. This has an absolutely chilling effect in a post-9/11 world.
  • In the Rugrats episode, The Bank Trick, Chuckie plays with a computer that has contacts to the stock market. Considering he's a toddler, it may sound funny for 1992 but not much any more after the Great Recession of 2008.
  • One scene in Beavis and Butthead Do America, Beavis's transformation into Cornholio and entering the cockpit may have gotten some laughs in 1996. However, this causes a nose drive, which tossed Butthead into the same area and him laughing when the pilot tells to leave. In a post-9/11 America, it's not so funny anymore.


  1. To put it in context, Ron and Gil ended up switching courses in regards to swim time and Arts and Crafts, respectively
  2. Though a later episode revealed that Francine's favorite song is Prince's "Little Red Corvette"
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