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Something which is spelled out explicitly or said aloud to the audience (especially the end of an episode) after already being considerably hinted at or alluded to in a smooth subtle form. Sort of like explaining the joke. Just in case the audience is full of morons.
These days, it's Lampshaded more often than not.
Anime and Manga
- In GaoGaiGar FINAL, Renee and Soldat J suddenly discover that by putting their Green Rocks together, they power up. They stare at the jewels for a few moments, considering. The G and J emblems are flashing inside the jewels - Synchronization ahoy. Right at this point, a fragment of the opening theme starts playing: "Bright oath, G and J, illuminate our wish for peace!"
- The Day After Tomorrow, which concludes with a Dick Cheney lookalike announcing publicly how wrong humanity was to abuse petroleum.
- Because the world freezing over was too subtle, I guess.
- Lampshade Hanging in Wayne's World: The final alternate ending (the "Mega-Happy" one) features everyone, including the villain, reforming completely (loudly announcing the lessons they've learned) while Wayne turns towards the camera and announces, "Isn't it great that we're all better people?" And then immediately subverts it by Wayne and Garth yelling "Fished in!"
- This is Older Than Television, thanks to the last line of King Kong, "'Twas beauty killed the beast!", spoken by Carl Denham in both the original film and Peter Jackson's version. Just in case someone still didn't get the reference to the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast, even though the theme is discussed throughout the movie, starting with the famous "Old Arabian Proverb", and reaching its most comic point when Denham comments on how well Fay Wray gets along with the ship's pet monkey, Iggy.
- Still one of the more famous quotes out there.
- Avatar: Ted Turner wished he made Captain Planet this preachy. "...there's no green on our planet. We destroyed it; we killed our mother, and we'll do the same thing here."
- Harry Potter would be Anvilicious about its morals even without Dumbledore ending every book with a detailed explanation of the plot and lesson learned. He shows his admirable dedication to the role by continuing to do this in book seven, proving that even the cold embrace of death cannot hinder him in his mission to explain the plot to stupid people. Mind you, he also explains things that actually needed explaining, and how he managed to be thinking three steps ahead of everyone else.
- The prime weakness of Lyndon Hardy's Master of the Five Magics series is that the characters generally end by explaining what they learned over the course of their (mis)adventures. It was Egregious in Riddle of the Seven Realms.
Live Action TV
- Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Symbiosis". Tasha Yar evidently got busted for possession of drugs, so she had to do a public service announcement, To Wesley, no less, because kids are the future.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the musical episode "Once More With Feeling": After declaring to her friends that by bringing her Back From the Dead, they dragged her out of Heaven, Buffy begins dancing herself to death. Before she can burst into flames, Spike grabs her, stopping the dance, and sings that life is hard but must be lived on. Whereupon Dawn steps forward and says, "The hardest thing in this world is to live in it." Television Without Pity compared it to an anvil. When the episode was Edited for Syndication (the original version ran longer than the usual time slot), someone saw fit to excise Dawn's line, one of the few syndication edits that improved things.
- Strangers with Candy, parodying the kids' shows. "I got something to say!" invariably precedes the Spoof Aesop. Usually Jerri, but used at least once by Noblet (in an Aesop about homosexuality... sort of.)
- OK, it looks like Sylar saved Peter. Oh, Peter agrees. What's that you say, Arthur? You think Sylar saved Peter? OK, I get it! you can shut up now.
- Scrubs just about Once an Episode.
- Lampshaded with increasing frequency as as the seasons went on, to the point where it was less often than not played straight in season 8.
- The last episode of season one of the Dollhouse, Epitaph One. The series had been good up until literally the last line of the episode, which states the moral plainly for all to hear.
- During the climax of the Doctor Who episode "The Beast Below", the star-whale is likened to the Doctor:"very old, very kind, and the very last of its kind..." Once the situation is fixed, Amy explains it more clearly. And then, just in case we didn't get it, she explains it to the Doctor again. (To make things worse, Amy's Eureka Moment was shown as repetitive flashbacks. We're brighter than that... aren't we?)
- From Calvin and Hobbes:
Calvin: Well, at least I learned a valuable lesson from this duplicator mess.
- Watterson plays it straight, though, when Calvin delivers a Green Aesop.
- Every episode of Adventures in Odyssey ends with Chris showing up to explicitly lay out whatever lesson (and, occasionally, plot development) had been the subject of the episode. This on top of the traditional Golden Moment, which is usually a bit easier to swallow. On the other hand, it's very safe to say by now that it just wouldn't be Odyssey without her.
- Ellen's Energy Adventure at EPCOT contains a long statements over how great fossil fuels are. Certain things about the attraction imply that people were walking out of the theatre.
- Used just before the fight against the Big Bad in Final Fantasy VI. He responds that the protagonists sound like the pages of a self-help book.
- Red Dead Redemption, so much. Several instances can be named where there is some poetic symbolism going on (e.g. John Marston's car ride with his government friends) that then are absolutely ruined by the writers apparently feeling the need to hammer the point home in the most heavy handed way possible.
- Parodied on South Park, which frequently ends with Kyle and/or Stan announcing "I've learned something today" before delivering a Spoof Aesop.
- Parodied even more in the movie South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut when Kenny gives a lengthy speech at the end, which the other kids respond as being an amazing insight; unfortunately for the audience, Kenny's speech was unintelligible to the audience, being entirely muffled by his hood like everything else he says.
- The spoofs are less and less common though, and recent seasons have played this quote quite straight.
- Spoofed in Family Guy:
Lois: So Peter did you learn your lesson?
- The Simpsons from "Homer Badman":
Marge: Hasn't this experience taught you you can't believe everything you hear?
- Lampshaded/parodied in Teen Titans; after defeating Control Freak, Robin states that the lesson this week was to not watch too much TV...until he's reminded that they only won because Beast Boy watches too much TV, thereby deliberately smashing the Aesop into small pieces.
- Played straight in "Troq", the episode dealing with Fantastic Racism, though.
- Several episodes of Animaniacs ended with a segment titled The Wheel of Morality. The Warners would spin the wheel, whilst Yakko chanted "Wheel of Morality, turn turn turn, tell us a lesson that we should learn." The wheel would then stop, and an Aesop-style moral would be read out, totally unrelated to the events of the episode, as it was one of a number of random segments tacked on to the episode. Reaches the height of Spoof Aesop, when they win a prize!
- Lampshaded in Danny Phantom:
Danny: Jazz, take it easy. There's a rhythm to these things. Ghost attacks, we exchange witty banter, I kick ghost butt, and we all go home having learned a valuable lesson about honesty or... some such nonsense.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Almost never played straight. One memorable example is when SpongeBob makes a speech about honesty while Patrick does sorrowful background music a capella.
- At the end of every Fairly Oddparents episode, Timmy explicitly spells out what that episode's Aesop was.
- But not the series Aesop, i.e. that wishing never works.
- My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: The theme of friendship is explained at the end of many episodes, with the iconic line "Dear Princess Celestia..." Not always, however; a few episodes do not reiterate the message at all, and a few end with the characters moving to write the letter because that's what the characters would do, but not showing or dictating its contents.
- Hilariously subverted in the Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 episode:
Applejack: Dear Princess Celestia, I wanted to share my thoughts with you...I didn't learn anything! Ha, I was right all along!
- Fractured Fairytails and Mr. Peabody episodes always ended up with a moral of the story in a groanable, awful, pun.
- Veggie Tales: "Let's go over by QWERTY to talk about what we learned today!"
- ♪ "And so what we have learned applies to our lives today…" ♫
- Almost every cartoon aimed towards children will have this, because a young kid may not get the message that's been hinted at (either because they're too young to fully understand without help or because their attention spans are too short) without being told outright what it is.