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  • In the Woody Woodpecker short Ski For Two, Woody attempts to enter a lodge owned by Wally Walrus, only to be rejected due to the lodge only allowing those with reservations to stay there. So Woody promptly gives him lots of reservations...or rather, reservations Woody has made to other resorts and lodges.
  • The Simpsons
    • Inverted and subverted in an episode where Homer enters a Robot Wars style contest as a robot. He is about to be awarded a trophy by one of the two judges. There a protest that he can't do that.

 Announcer 1: Tell me where in the rule book it says that a human can't participate in a robot fighting competition!

Announcer 2: Right here, rule number 1.

    • A similar scenario occurs when Homer trains a horse to be a football player. He then reads the rulebook which says they can't play in the NFL.
    • And parodied by a mock movie trailer for "Soccer Mummy". Ain't no rule that says a centuries old Egyptian mummy can't play soccer!
    • When a secret society Homer is made leader of wants to reform without him in they become the society of "No Homers". When he complains that they already let another guy named Homer in, they respond, "It says 'No Homers.' We're allowed to have one."
    • But perhaps the funniest example occurred in an early "Treehouse of Horror" Halloween episode, where Lisa dreams that she and her family purchase a magical Moroccan "monkey's paw" that grants four wishes but also finds some way to totally screw the wisher over while adhering to the wording of the wish. After the second and third wishes result in unmitigated disasters, Homer declares that he has thought of a completely foolproof wish: "I want a turkey sandwich....on rye bread....with mustard - and - and - I don't want any zombie-turkeys, and I don't want to turn into a turkey myself, and I don't want any other weird surprises. Got it?!" Homer's sandwich then appears as requested, and he promptly bites into it....and then throws a tantrum because the turkey is a little dry. (See, he said he didn't want any WEIRD surprises.)
    • Invoked by Homer in another "Treehouse of Horror" where he sells his soul for a donut. He eventually figures that if he didn't finish the donut, he wouldn't have to go to Hell. It works...until Homer sleepwalks to the kitchen later that night and eats it.
      • In the same episode, Homer is on trial for his soul. He's saved when Marge shows a picture of them on the back of which Homer wrote that his soul belongs to Marge. Apparently, this is legally-binding and, thus, supercedes the agreement between Homer and Ned the Devil.
    • In a flashback episode showing Marge pregnant with Maggie, Marge was afraid of Homer's reaction to the pregnancy so she asked her sisters to promise not to tell him about it and they agreed. Since they promised not to tell Homer about the pregnancy, they told other people so THEY would tell him.
    • That's how Cletus Spuckler could get so many pretzels (for everyone of his many children) from Marge, who was giving coupons valid for a free sample. She forgot to state that she would accept only one coupon per customer. At least this helped her to know the name of every Cletus' child...
    • “Lisa's Date with Density”: Lisa complains about her punishment for being amused by Nelson’s antics against Willie. When Nelson sees this, he tells her to use the multiple chalk holder that’s she’ll be done faster. Lisa tells him off, but she does take his advice since there wasn’t rule against using such device.
  • South Park: There also ain't no rule that a peewee hockey team can't stand in for the Colorado Avalanche against the Detroit Red Wings.
  • The Bots Master had a robot playing children's baseball since each team was allowed one robot. (for carrying equipment but the rule didn't specify)
  • Kim Possible, there is no rule that Ron can't try out for the Cheer Squad...and there really is no such rule. This episode struck a sore spot with many fans since male cheerleaders are not just common, but actually required in many cheer-squads. Apart from providing support for physically taxing performances, many school districts in the United States have rules requiring at least one male cheerleader on the squad for legal and ethical reasons. Anti-discriminations clauses in many state statues stipulate that if a school does not make available gender-segregated options for both genders for each school activity then existing programs must be made available to both genders.
    • Even worse was that Ron wasn't coming on necessarily as a male cheerleader, but as the mascot. Their issue? They think Ron's routine looks dumb. After Ron shows it off onscreen, one wonders if any of these girls have ever actually seen a high school (or college, for that matter) sports mascot before.
  • Similar to the above example, in an episode of The Proud Family, Penny wants to try out for the football team. Subverted, when she tells the coach there's no rule saying she can't play, he still refuses due to his "girl's can't play sports" viewpoint, despite the fact she is clearly better than any of the guys on the team. Double subverted when her friend's mother is a lawyer who forces the coach to let her on the team. And shockingly triple subverted when the Couch allows her on the team, but states there was no rule that made him have to let her actually participate in the game.
  • King of the Hill, Ain't No Rule that says a 45-year-old high school dropout can't come back and play the last game of the season for his old team, just for the sake of tying a record.[1]
    • You need Haz-Mat certification to drive a Haz-mat vehicle, but you don't need one to drive a tow truck carrying a Haz-mat vehicle.
    • Dale wants a guard tower built on his property, but always gets rejected by the zoning board. He abuses the loophole by building the tower below mimimum zoning standards making it a shorter and narrower than minimum height and area and not build a foundation. The inspector notices this and calls Dale a complete imbecile. The tower soon collapses.
  • Animaniacs: Ain't no rule that a chicken can't have whatever job he wants. Of course, no matter how well Chicken Boo does, he'll still get run out of town once he's found out.
  • In an episode of Noddy In Toytown, Noddy is attempting to tow a giant jelly with his car, only for it to become unhitched as he is going up a hill, so it rolls back down it. The jelly rolls into Toytown where Noddy is finally able to stop it. An amused Mr. Plod (the policeman) sees the jelly and consults his rule book, and while there is a section on jelly there is nothing against the law over speeding jellies.
  • Gargoyles: Puck in his opening episode manages off Loophole Abuse multiple times. Demona just didn't learn. Puck: "Did you say, that human, or that human? Ah, I'll figure it out myself." And then he turns said human into a gargoyle, thus ridding Demona of that human. Later, he twisted another wish and turned all humans in Manhattan into Gargoyles. When Demona wished them to be turned humans, he took advantage of the fact she didn't specify which gargoyles she wanted to be turned into humans and turned Goliath's group into humans, which made Demona angrier until Puck pointed out that, as humans, Goliath's group would be easier to defeat. However, Gargoyle Eliza helped them to defeat Demona. After the Gargoyles released Puck from her grasp, he granted Demona a final wish: no longer turning stone at sunlight. He twisted the wish by turning her human instead of stone, much to her horror.
  • In Disney's The Sword in the Stone, Madam Mim immediately sets ground rules for her Shapeshifter Showdown with Merlin, among which is this: "No make-believe things," specifically, "Pink dragons and stuff." Of course being a foul cheat, she never had any intention of following them including at the climax when she becomes a purple dragon. When Merlin tries to call her out on this, she simply responds with, "Did I say 'No purple dragons?' Did I!?" Of course, the "and stuff..." part of her "rules" clearly implies she did, but she's beyond caring at this point.
    • She has no loophole to excuse her turning invisible, though.
  • The Fairly Odd Parents. Timmy and his friends are stuck in a horrible military school and his Fairy God Parents are trapped, in a vulnerable state at the end. With missiles pointed at them. They simply go around the last obstacle.
    • Also Timmy pretty much always defeats the pixies using a loophole in one of their ironclad contracts.
    • In the episode where Timmy ran away from home, Cosmo and Wanda took him to a carnival-themed park instead of a circus. Circuses are bound by certain child labor laws carnivals don't have to obey ("they barely obey the laws of physics!") or so Cosmo told Timmy when he explained it was not a circus.
    • In School's out! The Musical, Flappy Bob made his Heel Face Turn since he knows about loopholes, thanks to his law education which switch the world from dull to colorful. When the Pixies remind him of the contact he signed with them, all Bob had to do is show them the loophole on what “he” defines as fun, not The Pixies.
    • In Chin Up!, it's reveal that there isn't rule against fairies going to conventions where people are in costumes since they're easily mistaken for follow attendees, like a comic-book convention.
    • In it's Live Action Adaptation, A Fairly Odd Movie Grow Up Timmy Turner, Timmy is 23, and, according to "Da Rules", he was supposed to had lost Godparents when growing up, but he manages to keep them by living like a child(still living with parents, going to school...).
  • In Xiaolin Showdown the monks in training are faced with a circular obstacle course that they must complete by taking a small statue off a pedestal at the end. All of them compete for the best time until Clay looks at the obstacle course for a few moments and then turns around and takes the statue, setting an unbreakable record. In Zen (sorta) tradition this is the correct result, and their master confirms this.
    • Similarly Jack and Omi had a showdown in which they had to get to the end of an obstacle course with a glass of water "Without spilling a single drop". So Omi held the water in his mouth for the last leg of the course and ran.
    • Happens quite frequently in the show, actually. For example, the challenge in which the monks need to steal a small idol from Master Fung. Master Fung then decides to smash the idol, preventing the monks from being physically able to win the challenge.
  • Hey Arnold had the thrice held-back student on a 4th-grade against 5th-grade football game. The student is...well, let's just say they had to bring the class picture to prove it. Of course, it backfires when he trips and twists his ankle thirty seconds after the game starts.
  • In a "U.S. Acres" segment of Garfield and Friends, Roy Rooster goes on the Buddy Bears show as "Big Bad Buddy Bird". He becomes the victim of a twisted version of The Complainer Is Always Wrong, getting a sixteen ton safe dropped on his head for having even the slightest disagreement with the group. Getting fed up, he refuses to do anymore acting until the bears promise not to drop a sixteen ton safe on him. They promise, only to drop two sixteen ton safes on him. A later episode has him rejoin them, after having made sure they won't drop any permutation of 16-ton safes on him. Instead they drop other objects, including a much heavier type of safe on him.
    • In "U.S. Acres" episode "Rooster Revenge", Roy's prank victims decided they should play some prank on him and Orson decided the worst thing he could do was "nothing". By NOT pranking Roy, Orson turned Roy's paranoia against him. In the end, Roy was visited by an inspector who looked like Orson with a fake mustache. By the time Orson appeared, making Roy realize the inspector wasn't him, Roy had already thrown the inspector into a mud waller. Enraged, the inspector threatened to transfer Roy to South Pole. The very idea frightened Roy into running away. The inspector was revealed to be Lanolin playing a prank. Just because Orson said "he" wouldn't do anything, that didn't mean "she" wouldn't.
  • From the classic Warner Brothers cartoon Gone Batty:

 "There's nothing in the rulebook that says an elephant can't pitch! PLAY BALL!"

  • Laff-A-Lympics: The Really Rottens were usually penalized for cheating. But in the free-form pole-vaulting event, they were allowed to participate as a several-story-tall human tower. As the Rottens made their run, the announcer reminded us that "This is free-form vaulting. That means anything goes! So, as ridiculous as this looks, it is NOT considered cheating!" Cue the Rottens' usual villainous cheering.
    • In another episode, there was a kangaroo race and the Really Rottens used a mechanical kangaroo instead of a real one. However, it wasn't considered cheating because "a kangaroo is a kangaroo". They won but, when it was revealed that Dirty and Dastardly Dalton were with Mumbly in the kangaroo, they were disqualified anyway because they couldn't have more than one athlete riding their kangaroo.
    • In yet another episode, there was a three-legged race and the Really Rottens were running on a treadmill attached to a vehicle driven by Dread Baron, who tried to pass it as a legit strategy because all the rules required was that they runned on three legs during the race course. However, they were disqualified and lost 25 points for it and another 25 points for forging the rule book Dread Baron presented to trick the judges into thinking the trick was legal.
  • In an episode of Angela Anaconda, Angela is forced into a pogo competition for charity. Despite her lack of skill, she manages to beat Nannette (in fundraising, even though she fails to break her jump record) by using two sticks at once - there was no rule against "double sticking".
  • In the Stoked! episode "Boards of Glory", Reef and Broseph compete in the tandem surf competition after lo discovers that there is nothing the rules that specifies that the pair must be male and female.
  • In the Kids From Room 402 episode "Mrs. McCoy's Baby Boy", Nancy learned that Jordan is wealthy but doesn't want anyone to find out out of fear they'll think she's some kind of Rich Bitch. Nancy promised not to expose Jordan's secret. However, she started bragging to her friends about having a rich friend.
  • In the Futurama episode "A Head in the Polls", Richard Nixon's head ran for President of the Earth. A reporter asked him about the rule stating that nobody can be elected more than twice as such, he displayed his new robotic body and "admitted" that "no body" can.
    • Which is kind of nonsensical anyway, seeing as the 22nd Amendment actually says "no person" and that was the United States Constitution and presumably the Earthican Constitution wouldn't apply.
  • One episode of The Secret Show featured a clown who ran for the title of "World Leader". His strategy consisted of renaming himself after the ballot's instruction of where to insert the X and count on confused voters. Not only the strategy was declared legal, but it WORKED!
  • In one episode of Rugrats, Angelica's mother told her not to be mean to the other kids or she wouldn't get the new doll accessory she wanted. When she heard about people hiring assistants to do for people things they can't do themselves, she decided to pick a kid to be her assistant and be mean to the others on her behalf because she couldn't be mean herself. Her mother caught her showing her "assistant" how to be mean, the plan backfired.
    • In “Beauty Contest”, Lou convinces Stu to put Tommy in a beauty contest, by having him dress like a girl since it was girls only. However, Tommy’s uncle, Drew, entered his daughter, Angelica, in the same contest, which Didi exposes the problem. Despite this, Lou still get to keep the prize, which it's a boat because both Stu and Drew are “his sons” and Angelica is his granddaughter.
  • Phineas and Ferb are kids, and thus don't have driver's licenses and aren't allowed to drive. Thus, they simply drive vehicles via remote controls.
  • Ed Edd and Eddy had an example similair to the Xiaolin Showdown example above, Rolf held a no rules race to see who would get a jawbreaker to solve an arguement while carrying an egg. Eddy cheated, as per usual, Double D made a 2X4 gocart, Ed just hobbled (Eddy had tied his shoe at the start) to the finish, which was right by the start, and won (Ed's egg broke, but Rolf never said the egg had to make it).
    • Stop, Look, Ed: Ed goes underneath a patch of grass Double D tells him and Eddy to stay off. However, Double D did acknowledge that Ed wasn't "on the grass" and he's in dirt, which is technically okay.
    • Mission Ed-Possible: When Edd was given the job to ensure that the report cards Ed and Eddy get to their parents, the principal didn't prohibit Edd from getting "help" on his job, hence why Rolf was recruited.
  • The Disney short The Art Of Self Defense has Goofy attempting to exploit the "No hitting below the belt" rule twice in a row against his opponent by hitching his pants up to his armpits (which gets him punched in the face) and eventually up to where only the top of his head is exposed (his opponent merely pounds him there.)
  • In an episode of The Looney Tunes Show, the doctor cuts Bugs off his caffeine. In The Stinger it's revealed that the doctor told him "One cup of coffee a day can't hurt"...so he just bought a really gigantic coffee cup.
  • Invoked by Kuzco in The Emperors New Groove, after he has been turned into a llama and goes back on a deal sealed with hand-shake: "The funny thing about shaking hands.. you need hands!" (Cheerfully waves his hooves.)
  • Averted in The Legend of Korra. Judging from the response when Korra earthbends during a probending game, it doesn't sound like there are any actual rules about bending an element other than your own (since only one person in the world actually can). The judges insist that Korra limit herself to waterbending anyway.
    • Technically, I suppose bending an element other than your own would be a uniform violation. You can't dress an earthbender as a waterbender in order to get around the rule that you have to have one bender of each element, identifiable by the uniform.
  • Rocket Power: In “Banned on the Run”, Merv Stimpleton was able to get skateboarding and rolling skating banned on the boardwalk, his wife, Violet, was upset with him because he faked his injuries in order to get the ban passed. As the youth population rebel, Merv just didn’t care about unlike Violet did. However, Violet was able to help the children in a way by refusing to stop them from using the Stimpleton’s empty pool for their alternative as the law only applied to the boardwalk, not residential areas. Merv was finally convinced that a skate park was needed, in hopes the children get away from him, and Madtown Skate Park was born.
  • In The Angry Beavers episode, I Dare You, the brothers were informed during a host of dangerous challenges by the Risk Keeper after Daggett if either one or both “chicken out”; they’re cursed to wear a sign that informs of their cowardice. However, during the last challenge to prove their bravery, they both forced each other out of the task. Just as they were about to be punished, the brothers got the last laugh and made the Risk Keeper wear the sign. Daggett found a loophole since he and Norbert were forcing each out of the challenge; it didn’t count as cowardice because the rule only applies if done voluntary, NOT BY FORCE from one and another.

Notes

  1. In Real Life there is.
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