Unfortunate Implications/Live Action TV

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Important Note: Just because a work has Unfortunate Implications does not mean the author was thinking of it that way. In fact, that's the point of it being unfortunate. So, please, no Justifying Edits about "what the authors really meant." The way an author handles a trope is an important factor here; handling a trope in a clumsy manner can certainly create unintentional impressions for readers. Likewise, if a work intends the offensive message (for example, a piece of Nazi propaganda about Jews), it wouldn't count. Also, for something that may not be offensive to you personally but may offend others in a different culture or time period (or vice versa), see Values Dissonance.


  • Upright Citizens Brigade: Season 1, "Saigon Suicide Show", Pretty much the entire episode. One notable moment: In an effort to promote cultural tolerance within the audience, Trotter tries to get a Group Hug of Unity going, saying "Everyone hug someone different from you! Old people hug a young person! Straight people, hug someone you think might be gay! White people, hug a black person! (Everyone including Trotter looks around, realizing a mostly-white audience.) Okay, there aren't a lot of black people, so we're going to have to share the black people." Trotter's choice of words elicits a Face Palm from Antoine, the UCB leader watching the Monologue from backstage.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor's first companion, Susan Foreman, was originally not supposed to be related to him. The powers that be made her into his granddaughter because they feared he would come across as a child molester. Ironically, in the first episode, both Ian And Barbara suspect the Doctor involving his granddaughter in unsavory things anyway before finding out the truth.
    • The new series’ increased focus on exploring romantic dynamics between the Doctor and his companions has given rise to unfortunate implications for some viewers. In particular, the age-gap between the two and the potential power-imbalance this suggested / could result in caused a few critical comments.
    • "Silence in the Library" had Miss Evangelista, who, after some Wacky Hijinks, becomes ugly (long story), and makes comments towards the effect of "If you are ugly or disfigured no one can or will ever love you in any way."
    • In his early characterization at least, Mickey lent himself to unfortunate implications – it didn’t escape notice that the show’s first black regular was initially rather hapless, meek, and a bit dominated by his white girlfriend. He eventually grew out of this however. There's also the fact that Mickey was accused of kidnapping/murdering Rose after she disappears for a year after going away with the Doctor.
  • Battlestar Galactica Reimagined: Razor added a lesbian backstory to one of the series' biggest psychos (with her former lover being one of those on the receiving end of her hardcase-ness, subsequently losing it a bit herself and killing her as well as committing suicide months later). In the DVD Commentary for it, Ronald D. Moore admitted accidentally walking right into Unfortunate Implications territory.
  • Caprica skirts this one by having the only gay character in the main cast (Joseph Adama's brother Sam) be a mob hitman. On the other hand, the Ha'la'tha is hardly portrayed as evil, and Sam himself genuinely loves his husband and cares for his nephew Willie to the point where he repeatedly accuses Joseph of not caring for him and takes up the task of being Willie's mentor. Also, the cast is filled with Bi the Way.
  • The first episode of Phoenix Nights lampshades this trope. A local folk band called "Half A Shilling" perform at the opening of the eponymous social club; their signature song "Send the Buggers Back" is ostensibly about sending back a pair of shoes but with racial subtext (the shoes were black when they should have been white). When Peter Kay's character realises this (with the help of a journalist covering the event) he goes into a blind panic and tries to get them off the stage.
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers:
    • Compare the original minority members to the colors they were chosen to wear: an African-American as the Black Ranger, and an Asian as the Yellow Ranger. Series developer Tony Oliver admitted when recasting Trini from the Hispanic Audri DuBois to the Asian Thuy Trang after the pilot episode this genuinely never occurred to anyone in production. For the most part, it appears that Rangers subscribes to color-blind casting, and doesn't really factor in race outside of making sure multiple ones are represented. For what it's worth, Austin St. John (Jason, the original Red Ranger) is of mixed Caucasian, Native American and Asian descent, and reportedly, Walter Jones (who played the original Black Ranger) was initially lined up for the role of Blue until he asked to change because he preferred the Black Ranger's design. He also confirmed (in interviews and on VH1's I Love the 90s) that nobody realized the implications of the casting until after several episodes had been completed.
    • SPD introduces Jack and Z, who steal for the homeless. This wouldn't be so bad were they not Black and Hispanic respectively. The only other recurring cast member of color, Charlie, is the leader of the evil A-Squad - which carries double Unfortunate Implications because she is also the first female Red Ranger in Power Rangers.
    • Turbo marked the first time an African American was a Red Ranger (The designated leader of the team). This wouldn't be much of a big deal except that it was also the only season where the rangers lost at the end. It didn't help that the Red Ranger was "demoted" in the following season.[1]
    • Within the show itself, the Rangers themselves were never referred as anything other than "[color] Ranger" in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. However, on the official Disney site of the franchise, presumably to distinguish the original team members from later incarnations, they address each Mighty Morphin member as "[color] Power Ranger", leading to such unintentionally racist handles like White Power Ranger", the "Black Power Ranger", and the "Red Power Ranger".
    • In Power Rangers Samurai, one of the series' original Those Two Guys, Bulk, reappears, with Skull being replaced by his 15-year-old son Spike. The unfortunate implications come in when you realize that 15 years earlier was Power Rangers Zeo, when Skull was still in high school. When you factor in the Word of God (stated by one of the writers) that Skull married the original Pink Ranger... who had left the series the year before Zeo, and sent her boyfriend a Dear John letter right around the time Spike would have been born, the implication is that one of the comic relief guys got the Pink Ranger pregnant in high school.
  • Heroes has a number of unfortunate implications in the series.
    • The majority of black and Latino characters are criminals, or put in position of being criminals or Magical Negroes. A special mention should be made for season 3 villain Knox, a black man who is not only a criminal, but who has the power to... grow stronger by terrifying people. He also enjoys it. Not to mention how many black characters are Killed Off for Real in general.
    • Hiro's Flanderized buffoonishness, particularly the arc in which he mentally reverted to a 10-year-old, plays to some unfortunate stereotypes of Asian men. Ando's initial obsession with porn/Niki did too, but that character trait was fortunately phased out pretty early in the series.
    • The majority of empowered humans with abilities they can use to successfully fight off Sylar are male.
    • The majority of female characters are either manipulative or helpless, rather than proactive. Furthermore, they are almost never curious about their abilities or in any way ambitious about using them. Special mentions go to a woman with lie detection who uses it to rise to middle management in a random office, and a waitress with perfect memory who uses it to take orders without a notebook (upon being sent back to 1944, despite having perfect memory of the subsequent 60 years, she chooses to be Rosie the Riveter instead of, say, co-founder of Microsoft).
    • Candice used her illusion powers to fit a specific definition of beautiful, telling Micah [and the viewers] that she was fat and unattractive in her true form... which viewers only saw from the back after Sylar killed her. An official series webcomic showed that as a teenager she was very overweight with a stereotypical goth/"emo" look.
    • Maya hits both race and gender unfortunateness: her powers are triggered by a hyper-emotional state, which happens with irritating frequency, playing to both "hysterical woman" and "overly passionate Latina" stereotypes. The fact that she needs men (Sylar, her brother) to control her only adds to this. She's also victimized on a disturbingly regular basis.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
    • The whole Dark Willow Storyline. Yes, the writers can claim that had she still been with Oz he would have died and she'd react in the same way, but we're left with what they put on screen: a scenario where one half of a lesbian couple is shot dead, and the other half goes crazy. And it just happened to take place after a day of unmagicked, undisguised sex. In addition, the writers blathering on about how Willow's positive magick was used as a metaphor for lesbian sex. Her vicious magick was heavily compared to drug use. This has Unfortunate Implications of its own.
    • The show contains an awful lot of female empowerment, but the 'empowerment' isn't always played when it should be. Xander and Giles are both Badass Normal (strong without powers), while all the females (except Dawn in Season Seven), need to be Slayers, Witches or Demons to hold their own. And of course, in the final battle it is not Buffy, the heroine of the story who came up with the plan of attack, but male vampire Spike who defeats the enemy. So... Joss likes tough females, and they get to kick butt, but when the final battles come they need their male sidekicks to save them...? It's probably just an implication, but it's unfortunate nonetheless.
    • Don't forget how most of those empowered female characters are completely crushed by break-ups with their boyfriends. Buffy is just a mess after losing Angel (every time), then being fooled by that guy in college (Parker?) and then Riley, too. Willow is in deep deep depression after Oz leaves and Anya goes back to being a vengeance demon which sort of results in a series of killings.
      • To be fair, the guys aren't impervious to pain, either. Oz wasn't too keen on hearing Willow had moved on (so much so that he lost control of his Wolf urges), Xander dropped off the grid for awhile after leaving Anya at the altar, and Giles immediately underwent a Heroic BSOD after Jenny's death (sure, this also lead to a Crowning Moment of Awesome on Giles' part, but he was so irrational at that point, that Angelus would've likely killed him if Buffy hadn't intervened).
    • The leads in the series are all white people - all of them. The Slayer Kendra was the first major black character and died in her third episode, while the Slayer who followed her, Caucasian Faith, survived her initially-intended-to-be short arc and become a major recurring character. Mr Trick was a villain. Out of Riley Finn's two best friends the Black Best Friend, Forrest, becomes an unbelievable Jerkass later on and is irrational, short-tempered and overly emotional - he dies and comes back as the villain's Dragon. In contrast, the white Graham is level-headed and reasonable and survives the series (so far as we know) ... Not to mention, Joss wanted Cordelia to be black but this was, thankfully, vetoed by the network Execs.
      • You're forgetting Wood, who turned out to be a Badass Normal son of one of the previous vampire slayers (a black woman) who was killed by Spike. Wood was kicking the shit out of Spike in retaliation for his mother's death in one episode, until Buffy showed up to save him. We're also supposed to believe that Wood was wrong to attack Spike.
        • Well, given that 'he was soulless then but has a soul now' was previously used as a justification by the series for why Angel does not deserve any punishment for Angelus' crimes, we were supposed to believe that Wood was wrong to attack Spike.
      • Mr. Trick was a black character who was kidnapped and pressed into the service of the Mayor, a white character. The Mayor treated his white successor like a daughter.
      • At least spinoff series Angel averted this entirely. Late in the first season a new, black cast regular (Charles Gunn) joins the team, and remains a highly valued member of the operation for the next four seasons.
    • The unseen Watcher of Kendra, the second Vampire Slayer deliberately seeks to keep her from forming any social ties, and especially wants to keep her from having any non-violent contact with the opposite sex, yet he still makes her wear extremely revealing clothing. Sounds like a Dirty Old Man, at the very least.
    • In a season 3 flashback, we see that the first time Angel lays eyes on Buffy and "fell in love with her heart" was when he was sitting in a hidden, blacked out car looking like a creepy old homeless guy (which is exactly what he was at that point), while a 15 year old Buffy sat down on her school steps, wearing a revealing and yet little girl looking dress sucking on a lollipop.
    • The Slayer lineage was created when three men abducted a woman and forced her to participate in a dark ritual in which it looks like she is raped by a demon.
      • On that note, apparently awakening Slayers on a global scale is acceptable as long as the caster is a woman.
    • The same sex relationship between the female characters of Willow and Tara is presented as good and sweet. The same sex relationships between male characters though....less so. Angel and Spike is comfirmed, but only after several seasons in two shows of tension and UST, and at least one of them had no soul and was a mass murdering psycho at the time. Then there is Andrew and Warren. Their relationship is again never shown, though pretty much confirmed. Warren is a sociopath and at the time Andrew was evil also and helping him. The final relationship is Ethan and Giles, which is pretty much canon such as being comfirmed by the writers and being shown with the aid of Willow an Tara's "Magic is Love" metaphor. They were together back when Giles was called Ripper, they were general rebels and summoned demons for kicks. Now Giles is good he hates Ethan and Ethan, who still has feelings for him, stalks him while working for the Big Bad and causing general trouble...
  • Sex and the City:
    • It has been criticised for Unfortunate Implications in that a show supposedly about single, empowered women ends with every single character in a monogamous heterosexual relationship.
    • In the movie, Samantha and Smith break up, and she goes on being her old polygamous self.
    • The lack of minority women in the show could be considered this, as it gives an impression that the whole well-off, empowered woman role exists exclusively for white women.
  • The old B-movies Mystery Science Theater 3000 uses are full of Unfortunate Implications, due usually to the time in which they were made. But the riffs themselves aren't free from their own problems; for example, the Mr. B Natural short comes off incredibly transphobic and in The Violent Years Mike and the bots heavily ridicule a man who was gang raped by a group of women.
  • The Star Trek franchise:
    • The opening theme of Star Trek: Enterprise falls under this. The montage in said theme was ostensibly supposed to show the "firsts" of human space exploration which would eventually lead to warp. Thing is, all of the scenes used were from the American space program, which would ostensibly be more familiar to the American audience. This, of course, doesn't take into account the fact that in Real Life the Soviets were ahead during the earlier stages of the Space Race. Supposedly, when asked why Yuri Gagarin (the first man in space) and other Soviet space heroes weren't seen as important enough to make the title credits, one of the creators suggested that the Soviet space program was important, because it spurred on the Americans to greatness. It veers right past Unfortunate Implications and into Unfortunate Shit Said Outright.
    • Star Trek: Voyager pulled the same stunt years earlier. In " Threshold", when talking about the chance to perform a flight first, Janeway proceeds to rattle off all the American firsts in flight and space travel.
    • The creators of Star Trek always prided themselves on its message against prejudice, both through metaphor and example (the fact that a black woman is on the bridge with Kirk and no one thinks it's unusual). One unanticipated consequence however was that gay fans of the show would take this lesson to heart and call for a gay character on Star Trek: The Next Generation or its spin-offs, or at least have a reference to the fact that homosexuality exists in the Federation. Despite trying to fob fans off with a couple of Very Special Episodes on the subject, there was never any unambiguous sign that any main character, guest star, or expendable ensign had ever had or contemplated having sex with someone of the same gender. One argument by The Powers That Be was that they couldn't do it without belittling gays ("What would you have us do, put pink triangles on them? Have them sashay down the corridor?"). Then comes the Deep Space Nine episodes set in the Mirror Universe. Which sent the message that it is possible to be openly gay. But only evil people do it.
    • Deep Space Nine did manage to explore this more tastefully in the examples of Trill sexuality. While the current host's pre-joining orientation may take precedence, bisexuality is still shown to be innate in joined Trills: Resuming an old host's relationships is a taboo, but Jadzia's encounter with Lenara Khan and Worf's suspicion of an affair with the girl on Riza show that physical gender remains a non-issue.
    • In "The Outcast" a race of mostly asexual/agendered aliens persecutes a woman for having a gender and entering into a heterosexual relationship with Riker. It doesn't help that all the aliens were played by female actors, which makes the episode look uncommonly like a paranoid conservative nightmare about lesbian separatist feminists persecuting straight people. Frakes himself has said the episode, which was supposed to be an allegory of homophobia might have worked a little better if his love interest had been played by a man.
    • In Enterprise, there is an episode likening gays to 'melders,' a persecuted minority of Vulcans who engage in the taboo practice of mindmelding. T'Pol gets Pa'nar Syndrome (an allegory for AIDS) from a forced mind meld. When her bosses try to have her removed from her post for contracting the disease, she refuses to defend herself by telling them that she got it from a non-consensual meld, because she doesn't want to perpetuate negative feelings about melders. Great, except for where it implies that gays are lurking in wait to rape innocent straight people and give them AIDS, and that it is noble to protect your rapist by not reporting them.
    • Star Trek: Voyager has a lot of Unfortunate Implications in the form of Chakotay. While the writers may have wanted to add even more diversity to the cast, their portrayal of Native Americans composed of a mishmash of several different (and often erroneously portrayed) cultural practices of several Native American groups. The end result is so stereotypical that it's bound to have come off as quite offensive. It doesn't help that the episode "Tattoo" basically reveals that a group of aliens visited the Native Americans in the distant past and "uplifted" them from being primitive savages by giving them culture. SF Debris derisively noted that the episode was essentially "Space: White Man's Burden".
    • A TOS episode (The Paradise Syndrome) also pulled that same stunt. Apparently Star Trek writers are required to attend the Tonto School of Native American Stereotypes.
    • SF Debris also mentions this trope and the site by name when he points out the Unfortunate Implication of having Kes (played by a white woman) as the only one who manages to calm down the increasingly escalating hostility between Tuvok (played by a black man) and Harry Kim (Asian-American actor) in the episode "Resolutions." The hostility between the two occurs only because Captain Janeway (again, white female actress) had to leave the ship.

Chuck Sonnenburg: Kes comes in to see Tuvok and, after a couple of minutes, Tuvok decides he'll try that plan of Harry's. There's a thing TV Tropes calls Unfortunate Implications, and this seems to apply here: The only thing stopping the black guy and the Asian guy from beating each other up are white women.

    • The third episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Code of Honor":
      • It was one horrible implication after another. The Enterprise visits a world supposedly similar to Earth's past to obtain a vaccine but the cruel, primitive, misogynistic and petty inhabitants put them through the rigamarole of kidnapping the chief of security officer, the blonde, blue eyed Tasha Yar, with whom the males are all obsessed. Oh, and all the actors are African American. They don't even bother giving them different foreheads. This one can be placed almost solely at the feet of the episode's director, who decided that aliens all be black. It was so bad, he was actually fired during production. The cast all consider the episode to be an embarrassment.
    • "Code of Honor" has even further negative implications beyond race, although race is the only one that's generally called out. In this episode, Troi actually tells Tasha that she's conflicted by her kidnapper, because there is some part of her that is "attracted" to that behavior. Tasha admits that this is true. Remember, Tasha came from a planet overrun by "rape gangs," yet here she was agreeing that she really wanted a man who would kidnap and dominate her. So, the blame can't go entirely on the director. The writer chose to put a "women really want to be dominated and raped" message into the story. The worst part was having the sentiments spoken by female performers.
    • In the TNG pilot "Encounter at Farpoint", the intent was to show how peaceful the 24th century was, but in hindsight, it wasn't a good idea to have the French captain surrender in his first mission.
    • Pretty much any handling of religion on Star Trek falls here.
      • There's a scene in "Who Watches the Watchers" which basically implies that every horrific event in human history happened because people believed in God/religion.
      • In Confused Matthew's review of Deep Space Nine's "Tears of the Prophets", he notes that after the orbs of the Prophets are put out by Dukat, the Bajorans aren't acting like believers whose faith has been shaken (e.g. Ned Flanders in The Simpsons episode "Hurricane Neddy"), but like junkies needing their fix.
    • The Next Generation episode "The High Ground" revolves around a separatist group kidnapping Dr. Krusher. Data, attempting to understand the morality of Terrorism, rattles off a list of "past" examples where it has proved successful, which flusters Picard. Unfortunately, one of his examples was the reunification of Ireland in 2024. The show was first aired in 1990, while The Troubles were still very much ongoing. The episode was banned in the UK and Ireland for (effectively) promoting the IRA's activities as not only just, but fruitful. When it was eventually broadcast, the line was edited out, and was not shown uncut until 2007, almost 10 years after the conflict ended with peaceful negotiations, and 2 years after the IRA had officially disbanded. Even then, there was still a disclaimer at the start of the show stating that it was a work of fiction and it should not be taken literally.
  • An episode of Drake and Josh featured the title characters going head to head with a group of five-to-seven nerds. The nerds are snobby, have an unwarranted sense of self-importance, and are revealed to be underhanded, dishonest thieves, vastly inferior to the talented and creative protagonists. Oh, all the nerds are Asian, by the way.
  • The Christian Grace from The Secret Life of the American Teenager is so Anvilicious that it's embarrassing that some viewers believe all Christians act like that.
  • Harold Perinneau had this reaction to the death of Michael in Lost. While many other characters get to reunite with their loved ones, Michael is given a abrupt "redemption" and blown up - leaving Walt without a father, a common cliche with fictional black families. Nobody even tells Walt that Michael is dead - they all lie to him and say he may be alive.
  • 24:
    • The fourth season features what at first appears to be a liberal Californian family of Middle Eastern origin, they are soon revealed to be both secretly Muslim and secretly evil. What's more anyone who is generally tolerant and not suspicious of Middle Eastern people within their own communities is shown to be at fault.
    • The series' use of the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique as the default approach to counter-terrorism, and worse, the total infallibility of said technique, is especially problematic in season 4. Especially after actual counter terrorist agents have had to be told that 24 is just a TV show and torture doesn't truly magically bring out accurate information.
    • The sixth season of 24 features Kal Penn as a man suspected of being a terrorist simply because of his ethnicity, and violently attacked by some of his neighbors, in a scene where it certainly appears we're supposed to be on his side. Except not long afterward it turns out he really is a terrorist. The show's Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique has always put it in hot water, but this was perhaps the most offensive thing it's ever done.
    • Penn almost didn't take the role because of his reservations about the above, and because he was asked to play a Middle Eastern character despite being of Indian extraction. He took it because he wanted to do an action role and decided he shouldn't deny himself that opportunity just because of the unfortunate implications.
    • They're (barely) redeemed by having a Middle Eastern CTU agent subjected to suspicion and harsh if not horrible interrogations purely for her ethnicity, and prove to be innocent. Except for the part where her colleagues protest that she can't be a terrorist because "she's a Republican."
    • More generally, season 6 attempts some sort of "not all Muslims are terrorists" - message, signaling that the writers at least noticed the problem. However, the Aesop is slightly broken as it turns out that most of the Muslims in the season who aren't terrorists are still violent USA-hating thugs.
    • Eventually there was a season where the only Muslim characters are protrayed as unambiguously good people, even helping to defuse a bomb threat. Unfortunately, this was Season 7, too late to salvage the show's reputation.
  • Denji Sentai Denjiman's opening features the red leader beating up a Scary Black Man. (At the time, TOEI was often hiring black actors, seldom in flattering roles.)
  • Battle Fever J's idea of a Multinational Team is to have its cast born in Japan but simply trained overseas. All except for (Japanese-)American Miss America.
  • Kamen Rider Stronger
    • We have Tackle-chan, at the time the franchise's only female hero, who was altered by the villains (and saved) around the same time as the eponymous hero, and has many similar abilities. She's around for most, if not all of the series until the finale, where she's killed by a monster. She stays dead for 35 years, and is never referred to as a Kamen Rider, something that all main heroes (especially in the Showa era) are. Now compare this to Riderman from Kamen Rider V 3. He begins as a villainous scientist who only leaves after he's been framed and lost his right arm to torture. Even then, he still fought with V3 for several episodes before realizing his mistake, and then dying in the finale. He appeared in far fewer episodes than Tackle. He's suddenly back to life in time for the next year's requisite crossover and he's also referred to as "Kamen Rider #4." He appears in every team-up occasion along with the primary Riders. Tackle never appeared in such crossover occasions until the Kamen Rider Decade Wrap It Up movie in 2010, over 30 years later.
    • Tackle is no longer the series' only female hero, but the others end up no better, every last one being Killed Off for Real, and typically after only one appearance. (Again, Decade provides the exception, with the alternate versions of these Riders, and the one original to its movie, faring far better. Tackle also gets a decent role in its second movie...though she's actually still dead and doesn't realize it.) We'll see if the curse has truly been broken with Kamen Rider Nadeshiko, though a scene in the trailer involving anguished name-yelling doesn't bode well.
  • Robin Hood
    • The show has a troubling attitude toward its female characters: Maid Marian was portrayed as a strong, competent, intelligent young woman, who doesn't take too kindly to either Robin's incessant flirting or Guy's overbearing attempts at wooing her. She rejects Guy's advances, and makes Robin work for her respect. So far, so good right? Well, in the finale of the second season, Marian is murdered by Guy of Gisborne after she inexplicably reveals her love for Robin to him. Guy impales her on his sword, in an erotically-charged death scene that writer Dominic Mingella described as the consummation of Guy and Marian. The writers' reasons for choosing to kill off Marian were cited as a chance to "rock the show" and to "explore the darker side of Robin." In other words, it was a mix of shock value and a way of driving male characterization further. But neither one of these opportunities were acted on. By the second episode of the third season, the show reverted to Status Quo Is God and Robin becomes the most jaw-dropping example of Angst? What Angst? to ever appear on television. Guy also bounces back surprisingly well, though in a (very late) episode confesses his guilt to a young girl called Meg. No prizes for guessing what happens to Meg.
    • Furthermore, the Twofer Token Minority character Djaq was written out of the show at the same time as Marian, and replaced with a (white) girl called Kate. Djaq was witty, compassionate and had a variety of skills. Kate was so useless it was embarrassing and needed the boys to rescue her from stupidity-induced danger at least once an episode.
    • Among the other female guest stars were Eve, a spy for the sheriff until she performs a High Heel Face Turn after falling in love with Much; Bertha, a woman who seems maternal and kindly until it's revealed that she's exploiting orphan children; Beatrice, a Damsel in Distress who doesn't get one single line; Davina, the Sheriff's sister who's a snake-fetishist and dominatrix. They even made Eleanor of Aquitaine a Damsel in Distress. Seriously, there is not a single female character in this show (aside from Djaq, who escapes by being Put on a Bus and forgotten) who isn't dead, evil or completely useless.
  • The "Fagmalion" episodes from Will and Grace in which Will and Jack attempt to turn Straight Gay Barry into a "proper" homosexual (read Flamboyant Gay) and end up getting crushes on the finished result. At one point Barry actually calls them out on this and walks out on them, only to come back a couple scenes later, claiming that he'd rather go through it with them than do it alone... and that he wants to look like someone from "Men's Fitness".
  • Red Dwarf:
    • The makers were worried when they wrote the original pilot script that the character of the Cat was racist—so the production team sent the script to Craig Charles (then a punk poet and occasional actor) and asked his opinion. Charles assured them the character wasn't racist and also asked if he could audition for Lister, whom the creators had originally imagined as looking similar to Christopher Lloyd in Taxi. He ended up getting the part. The casting of The Cat is due to him being descended from a black cat (Frankenstein), thus the human form would be black.
    • It is of note that in the episode "Waiting For God," the ancient cat priest is mostly white, but one hand is black. Like cats Felis sapiens come in all different color combinations.
    • In one of the many Parallel Universe episodes where there are alternate versions of the cast, they were basically going to make everyone opposite (Rimmer is a hero test pilot, Lister is a hard-working engineer, etc.) and so the Cat was going to be a slobby janitor. Then the writers thought of the unfortunate implications and decided it would be better to contrast the Cat's normally selfish nature by making his counterpart a more selfless person. Hence: a priest.
    • Despite the show making it clear that there were many women on board the ship, for the first two series the show had an all male cast. In real life, the writers were probably trying to avoid having the last surviving human being a woman, with all the ensuing "needing to repopulate" UI involved.
    • Throughout the course of the show Holly - the ships computer - was shown to be "computer senile" having been left on his own for 3 million years and going somewhat peculiar. He was originally portrayed as an older man who, while not entirely incompetent, was certainly past his prime. In later series, he was replaced by his female counterpart ... a ditzy blonde. Flanderization had already set in by this point, but the character still made a massive leap from eccentric but functional to being genuinely quite thick.
  • Merlin:
    • On the one hand, the only major dark-skinned character is Guinevere, who will eventually become Queen. On the other hand, in the series she's a servant of the rich white Morgana. In all fairness, Merlin couldn't do much better than it does and still try for some semblance of faux-historical accuracy. Season 3 adds her brother Elyan as a regular cast member, but the show still has a bad track record of killing off black characters (Sir Ewan, Sir Pellinore, Myror, Tom, Aglain, Helios - all black, all dead).
    • The show's creators always planned to have Gwen undergo a gradual makeover throughout the course of the series from a lowly servant to a future queen, but unfortunately, the first step of this makeover coincided with her becoming a Love Interest to Arthur. In series one she was quite plain, and wore clothes that fitted with her being a servant, and in series 2 was made Hotter and Sexier, with a new dress that showed off her cleavage, just in time for her romantic subplots. To all little girls watching the show: no man will ever love you if you don't get your breasts out (though at least Lancelot found her attractive while she was still wearing the equivalent of a potato sack).
    • The show has four main characters: two white males, one white female, and one black female. Guess which one always gets left off the DVD covers. Go on, guess!
      • Subverted by the Season Four DVD covers, where Gwen appears and Morgana doesn't. In a similar vein, the fact that the entire cast except Guinevere had been made into action figures is finally sorted when figures of Queen Guinevere were released in late 2010 - however, the simple fact that it took four years for the promotional material to finally start paying attention to the show's only reoccuring black actress is still an Unfortunate Implication.
    • There's also a troubling theme of powerful women being both evil and seductive. Thus far, we've had Mary/Helen, Sophia, Morgause, Morgana, Nimueh and Lamia - all beautiful, all magical, and all evil (and most acting on the defensive). There has also been Lady Catrina and Grunhilde, two hideous magical creatures in disguise, who try to use beauty and sex to get what they want (the menfolk are suitably repulsed by this), and the Callieach and the Dochraid: two evil, bloodthirsty hags. Even the unambiguously good female characters are rife with Unfortunate Implications: Freya defends herself against an Attempted Rape, is Cursed by the rapist's mother, and Killed Off for Real to provide Angst for Merlin. Vivian is a Spoiled Brat who is punished by being put under a Love Potion that leaves her permanently Mind Raped into believing she's in love with Arthur. Igraine Died In Childbirth after her husband put her under a spell (without her knowledge or consent) to get pregnant with his heir. Alice is called a powerful sorceress but spends the whole episode under the thrall of a magical creature. Elena was possessed by an evil fairy, and when the curse is lifted she looses all her "embarrassing" characteristics such as clumsiness, flatulance and wild hair (because...real women don't have any of those traits? Though she does enjoy horseback-riding, so there's that). Isolde is a Faux Action Girl who is Killed Off for Real in order to provide Arthur with a reason to marry Guinevere. Finally, Guinevere is Mind Raped into cheating with Lancelot and never gets her name cleared (instead Arthur just decides to take her back because he misses her), leaving her convinced that she willingly cheated on him. This betrayal is set between two episodes in which male characters are also magically Brainwashed, but who are all exonerated by the end of the episode. Occasionally there is a brief ray of light (Annis, Mithian, Hunith) but these women are never allowed to pass The Bechdel Test and are quickly Put on a Bus, and this point the sheer consistency with which the female characters fall under Unfortunate Implications is beyond a joke. They're either victims or villains, and to date there has not been a single female character with magical abilities that has not been portrayed as either evil and/or unable to control their powers (as opposed to the dozens of male characters who are both benevolent and in control).
      • Unfortunately, much of this is an inevitable consequence when you're adapting a story which traditionally only featured men in roles of power.
  • Melrose Place:
    • A recent promo for the upcoming continuation of the show features Lauren, the lone female Asian member of the group, who is shown to be working her way through medical school...by sleeping with seedy older men and getting paid for it.
    • Either the writers got into this, or (HIGHLY UNLIKELY) they were thinking of something along the lines of enjo kosai.
    • Subverted with Ella's boss Caleb, who seems to be the stereotypically stern boss, until he reveals he'd go to any lengths to get a contract. And like it.
  • Susan Boyle's appearance on Britains Got Talent: Many observers noted that a lot of the hype that arose around her and the plaudits that surrounded her undeniably skilled singing voice seemed to suggest that people were genuinely shocked that someone who did not look like a supermodel could actually possess genuine talent after all, as if talent was something that was reserved for the conventionally beautiful. It wasn't a shock because less attractive people can't sing. It was a shock because shows like Britains Got Talent only let ugly people on if they're going to make a fool of themselves. Everyone watching has seen this pattern for so long they were cringing waiting for her to fall on her face, and then she didn't. THAT is shocking.
  • True Blood:
    • The parallels between the vampire rights movement and the real life gay rights movement are unnerving. Vampires only exist because they turn other humans into vampires. Nobody is "born" a vampire. In fact, many of them became vampires willingly, so the two shouldn't even be compared. Not to mention the fact that the humans are justified in their prejudice, because vampires are killers. Even Bill.
    • The vampires are also compared to black folks (in a discussion with Sam, Sookie even uses the phrase "separate but equal"). Considering the excuses for prejudice and racism against black people, the comparison is unfortunate, to say the least.
    • The worst part being that the series creator, Alan Ball, is openly gay and has received much praise in the gay community for his film and television work. The show's implications haven't escaped academic types, although currently they seem divided on whether Ball is clueless or satirizing how America sees homosexuals.
  • The Daily Show does this deliberately, for comedy by giving names with Unfortunate Implications to his various news segments.
    • A segment about children's toys was named "Jon Stewart looks at children's things". After a brief pause of awkwardness, he asked the editor to switch over to a contingency name, which comes up on the screen: "Uncle Jon Wants to Show You Something". He complained again and they quickly replaced it with "Jon Stewart's Windowless Van for Kids". At this point he stops "fighting" and just goes with it.
    • Stephen Colbert was once introduced as "Senior Child Molestation Expert" and complained about it.
    • One commentator's segment was called Poll Smoking, and he was apparently oblivious to any pun.
    • Jon Stewart noted in a recent episode that "Gaywatch," his title for a series on the gay-rights movement, seemed passe as Baywatch was already off the air. Other names included "Queer Factor" (Fear Factor) and Jon Stewart's Complicated Gay Issues. He was not amused at that.
    • There also a segment where he encourages specific people to appear on the show. Naturally, it's titled "Come On Jon Stewart".
  • Glee has many Unfortunate Implications, many of them possibly deliberate.
    • The most glaringly obvious one is the treatment of Finn. They cast Cory Moneith, a boy with very little experience, as a boy with very little experience but promise nonetheless. However, his voice is weak and we almost never hear him sing without noticeable autotune. Still, everyone in the cast treats him like he's the best there is, looking over gay Kurt (a talented countertenor who rivals Lea Michele) and wheelchair-using Artie (a deep, powerful baritone) in favor of reedy, pitch-challenged (yet still all-American quarterback) Finn.
    • The entire character of Mercedes. Despite her claim that "I may be a strong, black woman, but I'm more than that.", she really isn't. The writers use her as the Token Sassy Black Woman who (almost) exclusively sings R&B and hip-hop. and an easy source of black jokes, while pretending to be subverting stereotypes.
    • The only Latina in the cast (the school?) is a hot-tempered bully who Really Gets Around.
    • The Asian girl is shy and unassuming, and mostly used to prop up Artie.
    • The majority of the students in Jane Addams Academy, the all-girls' halfway house, are black.
    • The show's portrayal of paralyzed characters has been especially dubious; a quadriplegic (played by an actor with a real disability, although less severe than the character's) is seen lying in bed with the implication that his life is so horrible, Rachel shouldn't complain about her tonsilitis. The next episode is all about how Artie realizes he has to give up his dream of dancing.
    • The Glee students joining the deaf choir for "Imagine" was either uplifting, as was intended, or their interruption was just plain rude, implying the deaf performers weren't good enough unless some hearing people joined them, or in much more mild UI, that it's totally OK to just jump in when a group is performing for you if you're talented/better/just feel like it.
    • The show dedicated a multi-episode arc and high profile guest star appearance to Rachel's biological mother who never knew her, but it took until the third season for her two gay dads to interact with her.
    • Kurt's crush on Finn made him snap and call Kurt "faggy" (if indirectly). Finn later confronted Kurt about it again, saying how questionable Kurt's actions were and that Kurt couldn't understand that "no means no", however, at no point he actually said no to Kurt, even saying he just hoped the crush would go away on its own. Considering that Finn's actions towards Rachel (first when she quit and then, when she was dating Jesse) and Rachel's actions towards Finn (when he was dating Quinn) weren't all that better, it implies that when a gay boy crushes on their straight friend, it's traumatizing (for the straight person) and creepy.
    • This one manages to actually be offensive in the opposite direction as well- Kurt's crush IS pretty creepy in a lot of scenes, but the show treats it as harmless. The same goes for Rachel's crush on Finn. Imagine a man obsessively stalking a woman and even going so far as to hook up their parents in order to get closer to her.
    • The whole subplot with Karofsky panders to the stereotype that everyone opposed to homosexuality must be secretly gay themselves.
    • In "The Rocky Horror Glee Show" the line "I'm a sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania" was changed to "...from SENSATIONAL Transylvania". What, the word "transsexual" can't even be said? Made even worse by the inclusion of the word "tranny" (an extremely offensive anti-trans slur) in that same episode.
    • Puck and Quinn, where we have the following exchange:

Quinn: I can't do this.
Puck: Yes, you can. Have another wine cooler.

    • Then there's when Sue drugs Figgins, strips him, and gets in bed with him (though fully clothed, for what little it matters) in order to take incriminating photos to blackmail his wife with. And it's played entirely for laughs. Just imagine what would've happened if Sue had been a guy and Figgins a woman.
    • In the episode Sexy , when Rachel and Quinn decide to remain celibate, they are treated as prudish and a joke, and actually called frigid by Holly. This not only insults people who have made the choice to not have sex for whatever reason, but also asexuals who just aren't interested in sex.
    • Brittany has said that she's slept with almost all the boys at McKinley High, as well as Santana, and yet she still thinks babies come from the stork and believes that Santa Claus exists. As Flanderization makes her dumber and dumber, it's getting hard not to view all these sexual relationships as various people taking advantage of a mentally disabled girl with the mentality and naivete of a young child. This becomes especially Egregious in her relationship with Santana. Santana tells her that it isn't cheating on Artie because "the plumbing is different," and that she must be a lesbian instead of bisexual or even straight but confused, and Brittany believes everything she says. It's begining to look like she lacks the mental capacity to know what she is, and Santana is just taking advantage of her.
    • The show also seems to have a real problem with bisexuality, as Kurt straight up hates on Blaine for even considering being bisexual, and Word of God claims that one of the two other characters who have expressed bisexual desires, Santana, is really just a lesbian who hasn't admitted it yet.
    • Quinn's actions towards Finn in the first season are downright horrible, yet the other characters consider them absolutely justified. She had sex with Puck while involved with Finn, and got pregnant. At the time, she was president of the celibacy club and never had sex with Finn. So she lied to Finn and said it was his child, saying it was because he ejaculated in a hot tub that both of them were in at the time. When the other students found out about the lie, they deliberately kept this information from Finn, with Mercedes even telling Puck that it's Quinn's right to choose who would act as the father of the child (which it legally isn't evidently). So the show is saying that tricking a high school boy in a non-sexual relationship into at least 18 years of support of a child that is not his is perfectly fine.
    • Quinn's view of relationships perpetuates many double standards. For example, apparently it's okay for her to visit a boy in a motel without owing her boyfriend any explanation, but she forbids Finn from even singing a duet with another girl because it's "cheating."
    • Almost all of Kurt's behavior in "Grilled Cheesus." His argument seems to boil down to "No one can talk about their religious beliefs in public school except atheists." Apparently it's fine to tell Christians that believing in God is like believing in Santa Claus, but anyone who so much as sings a song with religious undertones is shoving their beliefs down Kurt's throat.
    • And now the third season brings us Sugar Motta, who seems to be a conglomeration of every negative stereotype of Asperger's Syndrome the writers could think of.
    • In "The First Time" (3x5), Artie tells Rachel that if she doesn't want to have sex in high school, she must have "a strange aversion to fun." This show seems to be trying very hard to convince its viewers that there's something inherently wrong with you if you graduate high school a virgin.
    • In the Season 1 episode "Dream On," Artie comes to the realization that he will probably never dance (on his feet) again, and bows out of a routine Tina was choreographing for the two of them. He sings "Dream A Little Dream Of Me" while she dances with Mike, the best dancer of the Glee Club. As of 2x1, Tina and Artie had broken up and she started dating Mike, of all people. Furthermore, in "Asian F" (3x3), Mike has a hallucination of Tina, who tells him that the the way he danced made her fall in love with him.
  • Stargate SG-1.
    • Just count the number of instances of rape in the first few seasons that no one seems to notice or care about, from Hathor drugging Daniel into sex to Daniel saying it's okay for a caveman to rape a girl to Sha're's pregnancy, for which Sha're even apologizes.
    • The uncensored version of the pilot, in which the Goa'uld strip two women down to nothing and Mind Rape them. One of them did full-frontal nudity for no real reason; one didn't. Guess which one was white.
  • Supernatural: Currently has no significant female or non-white characters that have not died and stayed that way, which opens the show up to a number of Unfortunate Implications.
    • There's also its portrayal of basically every non-Christian religion as a Religion of Evil.
    • Also the attitude toward any virgins on the show. If you're a virgin, chances are you will either die horribly or be used by the Monster of the Week for some nefarious ends. Best summed up with Dean's wry comment towards a female college student whose lack of virginity saved her from being kidnapped by a dragon:
  • iCarly:
    • The depiction of the Japanese in iGo To Japan. The Japanese webstars sabotage their foreign competitors and ended up getting imprisoned in their homeland. Also, the Japanese security guards who acted like bumbling idiots for being unable to understand English, even though most of the attendees of the event speak it.
    • The Evil Brit roles tend to be thrown to the British, the best examples being Wade Collins (who hates America) and the Pathetic Plays' "Englishman" (who is a cruel father to his children). Nevel also has a British Camp Gay vibe.
    • Reportedly Dan Schneider has to call his Crazy Homeless People "hobos" because of this trope.
    • Freddie gets a lot of derision thrown his way in one episode for having never kissed a girl - the writers almost seem to go out of their way to give the message that "if you're male, are in high school and you don't have a girlfriend, you're a freak!"
  • The Sex Education Show:
    • The host had set up an exercise to show a group of teenagers that the emotional bit is the most important when it comes to relationships, rather than the physical one. This is all well and good, except that the exercise consisted of four or five celebrity couples of which nearly all (except for Elton John and his partner) were straight couples of an average-to-below-average guy and a bombshell of a wife. Of course most of the focus shown was in what she saw in him. To top it off, the host had picked out a sweet quote about a spouse that was to be matched to each of the couples. Naturally, the quote was almost exclusively (again, with the gay couple being the exception) said by the woman.
    • One series involved groups of models touring schools for students to look at the models' naked bodies and ask personal questions. One of the exercises was for students to guess which member of the group was gay/lesbian. The host went to very clear lengths to stress that sexual orientation can't be judged by appearance ... but the students didn't get it, judging on stereotypes anyway (guessing a shorter than average man as the gay man and a short-haired woman as the lesbian. Both were wrong.)
  • Degrassi the Next Generation is pretty good about avoiding this trope but sometimes...
    • All Abusers Are Male
    • Every gay male who is of any major importance has a "creepy" phase to establish that they are indeed homosexual.
    • In the DVD version of "Careless Whisper" we have Marco's Male Gaze on Sean's naked chest, interspersed with shots of Marco licking his lips. Then Sean calls Marco a fag, so of course Sean's the villain.
    • Riley just kissed Peter randomly.
    • And this is all absolutely nothing compared to the hubbub over the "It's Not Rape If You Enjoyed It" episode with Holly J and Declan. It really walks the line of rape and regretted sex and the whole episode was a massive Base Breaker.
    • The only black characters with any real development were Jimmy and Liberty.
    • The show is a Teen Drama, so much of any romantic interlude is chaste and brief and strictly related kissing/making out. However, most of the power couples on Degrassi are straight and get more time for romance than the gay characters, mainly due to the tendency to make the boyfriend/girlfriend characters of the gay characters not quite fleshed out and just enhance a storyline/arc.
    • Audra Torres is seen as an unreasonable nag, both by characters in-universe and by the fandom, for being upset that her son was hazed by the entire football team. What's worse is that the episode ultimately portrays the hazing as "Boys will be boys."
  • The Vampire Diaries:
    • It may or may not be accurate to say that all the witches are black as three quarters of the witches shown are all directly related to each other. In all fairness, there have only been a few so far (which has its own problems. And while, witch girl Bonnie's parents haven't been shown yet, its pretty clear they're not witches. Later on the series introduces the black vampire, Harper, which along with the witches leads to another conclusion that blacks aren't human. Finally in Season 2, another black character is shown briefly before being killed, which is indicative of yet another trope.
    • There's a new witch that shows up for an episode. Kudos to the casting directors (since she's actually also related to Bonnie) for finding yet another ethereally beautiful black witch.
    • The male characters deliberately keep information from Elena purely on the basis that she apparently can't handle it. This is rather reminiscent of another double standard. However, Dracula is a product of Victorian England, not of 21st century America. There is no excuse.
    • The girls of The Vampire Diaries seem to spend 90% of their time fussing over their boyfriends, while letting the men do all the important actual work. Katherine may be the sole exception, in she actually gets things done.
  • No Ordinary Family:
    • It was doing okay until episode 4, at which point Jim's Black Best Friend George, who is the district attorney of their city, decides Jim needs to learn how to dance because it'll help him blend in at weddings (which are being robbed at present as the problem of the week) and possibly improve on his messy landings. Jim is uncomfortable with dancing. And George puts on a song and attempts to teach him. All well and good, until George suddenly switches from the perfect English he has spoken up until now into something more close to Ebonics, telling Jim to "move dem feet!" It comes across as the intelligent black man lowering himself to buffoonery to make his white friend feel more comfortable, particularly since of course the black guy can dance better than the white guy.
    • Then there's the fact that the man decides to use his powers for crimefighting while the woman decides to use her powers to become a better mother. Even in a situation where the wife was right there with her husband when a crime occured, and her power (superspeed) would've allowed her to resolve the situation far more swiftly and easily than her husband could, she just stood there and did nothing.
      • But, they started out by subverting the gender roles. The mother was career oriented and the father took care of the kids. Both characters used their superpowers to fulfill parts of their lives that they felt they were lacking in. The mother didn't feel like she had to use her superpowers to save the world because she was already saving the world by her research.
  • Law and Order Special Victims Unit is full of these.
    • Some may be efforts at Truth in Television, given that these are all based on Real Life prejudices, but the show often fails to pull it off, resulting in all kinds of Unfortunate Implications.
    • Female and underage victims are portrayed as much more sympathetic than adult male victims, especially when the attacker is female, to the point where a female who had been raped a decade earlier faced basically no repercussions, not even a stay in a psych facility, when she sodomized and then branded her attackers. On the other hand, when a male who was raped or molested in the past commits a sex crime, they have no qualms about charging him. This could be because she was getting revenge on the men who raped her while the male rapists targeted innocent victims.
    • The sole female detective is sexually assaulted when a prison guard tries to rape her while she's undercover, some fans finding it offensive that they'd fall back on a Damsel in Distress story. She put up a good fight, but it ultimately came down on a male character to save her.
    • The fact that the male characters are the only ones to ever sustain serious injuries (to the point where Stabler is in the hospital at least once a season).
    • The Chickification of Benson.
    • The show basically ignoring the fact that bisexuals existed up until the 11th season, and when they finally did an episode featuring a bisexual character, she was basically a raving lunatic who felt the need to hit on the female detective.
    • Benson's Career Versus Man, Family Versus Career and My Biological Clock Is Ticking moments.
    • The aptly named episode Doubt was kind of a weird subversion of this, in that the perceived implications said more about the viewer than anyone else. It portrayed a he-said-she-said scenario, where both parties were shaky witnesses, with major holes in their stories and bizarre behavior after the fact. Based on everything presented in the episode, it was impossible to determine who was telling the truth. Still, many viewers sided with either the man or the woman, leading to many implications about the fan base. Likewise, what viewers saw as Unfortunate Implications in the episode itself ("rape victims are liars" or "no rape victim ever lies") tended to have its own Meta implications about the viewer's prejudices.
    • The episode "Gray" had an Unfortunate Implication in a speech delivered at the end by actress Kate Nelligan. Nelligan is an accomplished actress, and the Unfortunate Implications lie entirely at the feet of the writers. She is a judge, wise, and advanced in her career, trying to convince a young woman to testify in court against the man who raped her, by telling the woman the story of her own assault, many years ago, when she was very young. At the time, she, the judge, was a dancer (not a spoiler, as it is irrelevant to the plot), and was walking home alone after a performance, when she was attacked. Her attackers were never brought to justice, and she never danced again. (We don't know whether she "never danced again" because of injury, or emotional trauma.) The Unfortunate Implication is that her distinguished career as a jurist is a direct result of the attack, and thus having to redirect her ambitions, when she could no longer dance.
  • House
    • There was the male patient who hit every homosexual stereotype in the book, being a miserable, self-destructive jerk who was infected with AIDS due to indulging in copious amounts of narcotics and unprotected sex.
    • There was Thirteen, a bisexual character that started well but swiftly dived into this when her attraction to women was increasingly there merely for the Girl-On-Girl Is Hot aspect, her "relationships" with women brief and entirely sexual until she entered a "real" relationship with Foreman (a man).
    • The episode where a plague spreads among the hospital's babies, and House is ultimately forced to sacrifice a baby to see which of two potential cures will work. The baby who dies from being given the wrong cure belongs to a lesbian couple, with no other plot-related reason for it.
    • In a season 8 episode, one of Wilson's patients mentions she and her male life partner's Asexuality with him. Turns out, one of them had a treatable brain tumor that hindered his libido, and the other chose to pretend she was asexual because she was in love with him. Neither of them were actually asexual.
  • 1000 Ways to Die: The episode is Death Puts On a Dunce Camp where two drug smugglers wash up on a island...of Polynesian Stereotypes. Who want to eat them since they've ran out of meat.
  • One of the experts on Stupid Is as Stupid Dies. Instead of getting a expert on bullying and hazing to address the mental attitude of an abusive Sorority girl, they...get a female Mud Wrestler to talk about how to defeat opponents.
  • 1000 Ways almost subverted the bad implications with their segment on a psycho feminist (who encouraged, among several questionable things, testicle twisting in her classes). To counterbalance the crazy woman, a more balanced feminist explained her mindset and why more moderate feminists wouldn't agree with it. The problem? While the feminist gave her explanation, you see the words "BLAH BLAH BLAH" scroll across the screen endlessly.
  • Jersey Shore.
    • Every character is a walking stereotype of the guido lifestyle, with silly nicknames and a "24/7 party" mentality. Needless to say, this depiction hasn't been well received by many Italian-Americans since it started airing on MTV.
    • It's also an example of a huge Double Standard. Apparently Italian-Americans are Acceptable Targets—can you imagine a show like this centering around all the negative stereotypes of another ethnicity? If someone were to make a show like this about Mexican-Americans, black people, etc., it would be deemed too offensive to air.
    • The cast frequently refers to their hope for a "Grenade-Free America," with the term "grenade" being used to mean people who aren't up to their standard of what it means to be good-looking (as in, one friends should "jump on the grenade" so your other friends stand a chance of hooking up with her better looking friends.) So what would need to happen in order for this "Grenade-Free America" to come to be? We're talking mass plastic surgery, best-case. Worst-case? Genocide.
  • In Walker, Texas Ranger, Episode "The Final Showdown, Part 2", The only member of Walker's group in the shootout to get killed was the black guy. Make of that what you will.
  • In Mind of Mencia, Carlos showed a clip to the audience of a news program showing pictures of black people during hurricane Katrina scavenging for supplies and calling them greedy looters exploiting a bad situation. He then showed a news clip of a group of pretty blond white people doing the same exact thing, but the people in the news described them sympathetically as "Just trying to find whatever they can to survive".
  • Dave Chappelle could get called out.
    • He's often done characters in white face paint, and a "white accent" mockingly. Though he probably doesn't intend it to be racist (and there are white people who worked on his show), there's the UI in that a white man doing blackface is racist, but a black man doing whiteface is funny and no one should be offended.
    • Considering the history and reception of "Chappelle's Show", namely highlighting racist stereotypes and how ridiculous they often are, probing that UI was probably the entire point.
    • Notably, Chappelle left the show because during one of the "Uncle Tomfoolery" skits he saw a white crewmember completely busting a gut over it, realizing he was acquiring a Misaimed Fandom. He bailed out on a lot of money because of how much it upset him.
  • In Arrested Development:
    • GOB carries around roofies, which he refers to as a "Forget-Me-Now" and as being an important part of a magician's toolkit. Their use (to make someone forget a magic trick/to induce amnesia in himself) is played for laughs. However, his skeevy personality and status as Casanova Wannabe raise some unfortunate possibilities about other things he might do with them, especially because Forget-Me-Now sounds like a counterpart to a Forget-Me-Not in the sense of a romantic gift. While GOB's never shown as a rapist and it's a level of vileness beyond his jerkassery, the implication is still there.
    • Then there is his line when (correctly) accused of having supplied them to Buster: "I thought he was dating again!"
  • One of the common criticisms of Dollhouse is that the show glamorizes rape. While it does show that what's being done is a Bad Thing, it still uses rape-analogy situations for entertainment.
  • Gossip Girl:
    • In the pilot, Chuck tries to rape both Serena and Jenny. The assault on Serena has never been mentioned again and she thinks of him as her brother. The assault on Jenny has been mentioned a number of times... but it didn't stop Jenny from letting Chuck take her virginity.
    • Jack Bass, in the second season, tries to rape Lily. In the third season Chuck is manipulated by him to set up Blair to sleep with Jack in exchange for Chuck's hotel. Not only is Chuck allowing her to prostitute herself, he is also placing her in danger of getting raped according to the majority of viewers.
  • Both of the USA network shows featuring a woman as the primary heroic figure (Fairly Legal and Covert Affairs) have titles that obliquely refer to sex.
    • Promos for the second season premiere of Covert Affairs use the Wolfmother song "Woman" over various action shots, as if to say "isn't it funny that a woman is doing things?!" They were also running promos for White Collar at the same time; they didn't use a song where the word "Man" was repeated several times in a row.
    • You happened to miss "The Starter Wife" and "In Plain Sight". Also, the ad campaign for White Collar is basically Bishounen Matt Bomer, in a suit, staring at the viewer with his blue, blue eyes. The actual show has Neal flirting with a woman or being admired by one about every five minutes. no one say they don't exploit both genders
  • Charmed tends to veer into sexism and Positive Discrimination more than a few times.
    • The majority of men with powers on the show are either evil or end up getting stripped of their powers eventually.Cole was simply labelled evil when he returned from the Wasteland with new powers, despite trying to be good. Paige's boyfriend Richard, whom she abruptly decided had to be stripped of his powers when he started using them too much. Leo gets power upgrades as an Elder and then as an Avatar which allow him to fight demons properly instead of just being able to orb and heal, then he gets all his powers taken away and is reduced to looking after the kids while the sisters do all the fighting.
    • Also (at least in the earlier seasons), the only men with powers were either warlocks (=evil) or would become evil if they used their powers (Cole and a half-warlock guy in the first or second season).
  • Both 8 Simple Rules and Hope & Faith try to hammer home the Family-Unfriendly Aesop that all teenage boys are either hopeless nerds or perverts who can't commit to one woman. Take Kyle cheating on Bridget with Kerry, Kerry losing her virginity to a guy who doesn't call her and turns out to be a jerk, a one episode guy who asks Bridget and Kerry out on dates in the same day, an older man hitting on Bridget at the gym and even Rory kissing a random girl to practice for his girlfriend. Then Hope & Faith has an episode where Faith invites Sydney's boyfriend around to the house for some private time with Sydney. Except she doesn't say Sydney and he assumes Faith herself wants to sleep with him. A similar situation happens in season 2 when Sydney wants to lose her virginity to a college boy.
  • Discussed on the DVD commentary for Community episode Modern Warfare. The episode tries very hard to avoid the viewer being reminded of actual real life school shootings. Also played for laughs in the episode "English as a Second Language", in which Troy (an African-American character for those unaware) discovers he has an undiscovered talent for plumbing, which much to his confusion and annoyance prompts almost everyone around him to try and get him to 'embrace his destiny' by dropping out of school to become a plumber.
  • The treatment of fathers in 90210 is shockingly poor. Of the main cast two have fathers who are outright criminals (Navid and Liam), four have fathers who are Jerkasses (Naomi, Teddy, Ivy and Liam again - his step father this time) and four have fathers who are simply not in their lives much/whose absence has never been explained (Annie, Dixon, Silver and Adrianna.) In other words every single teen main character has at best a distant relationship with their father.
  • On Family Matters, the romance between Urkel and Laura is filled with this. In addition to all the problems that come with the Give Geeks a Chance trope (namely that a girl only matters because she's beautiful and it's never clear what the would-be couple has in common), the fact that Laura is actually engaged to him at the end of the series gives the message of "If you stalk your dream girl long enough, she'll one day give in!"
  • The TV show Everybody Hates Chris despite being very successful actually falls under this trope for the main reason that every important female character is an epic level scrappy. Everyone from his Annoying Younger Sibling and Bratty Half-Pint younger sister Tanya (although she might be debatable at certain times), to his mother Rochelle (who fully embraces double standards about the relationships of males and females) and her friends who are all stereotypical Sassy Black Women, to his extremely racist teacher (Because you know, an adult that should set an example and make a positive impact in a student's life choosing to making racial stereotypes to a kid is SO funny) easily qualifies for this. It's one thing to be made into a Butt Monkey by Carusso, the school bully, but it's another thing altogether to be made into a Chew Toy by people who are supposed to support you. Even if the 1980s weren't as politically correct as we are now, this is one case where Meaningful Name of the show and Fair for Its Day don't pass as viable excuses for this. If Chris Rock's life was anything like this, it's a great thing he was able to endure it and become so successful.
  • The TV adaptation of Girls in Love by Jacqueline Wilson cast the blonde, Caucasian Magda as a black girl, making the character come across as a Sassy Black Woman (by carrying over Magda's outgoing, cheeky personality from the books) and providing Unfortunate Implications because of her being the most boy-crazy of the three main characters.
  • This awful little puppet segment from song Christian children's show, even though it's about Jesus loving all children no matter their ethnicity, they did it in the most offensive, stereotypical, and inaccurate even as far as stereotypes go way possible. The first two children we meet are a Native American boy and girl, they are wearing traditional feathers and such, and for some reason the girl has the classic sixties hairstyle, they are also explicitly referred to as red. The next boy and girl we meet are Chinese, and they are wearing stereotypical outdated clothes and the music is very racist Chinese music, they are of course explicitly referred to as yellow. Next we meet an African American boy and girl, while the fact they are explicitly referred to as black isn't as bad, they are dressed in hip hop culture clothes, dancing to 70s porno music, and are for some reason grey. Next we get to meet the explicitly referred to as white kids, who are for some reason stereotypical hillbillies, whose background music is for some reason the French national anthem played with country music instruments.(At least they portrayed white kids offensively as well, but it doesn't make up for the next part). Now we see a kid from each pair singing together, and a Mexican boy comes up and says "Hey, did Jesus forget about us?" and the other kids say "No way Jose! Olay!", he doesn't get his own scene with a girl, and next they just say "Red and yellow, black and white.". Again ignoring him. We also learn from this song that Jesus loves all children except for middle-eastern and Jewish kids.
  • The Gay Aesop tends to become this. It's all well and good to try and teach people not to be jag-offs to gay people, but this only lasts for one episode, as the "gay character" tends to get Put on a Bus or is never shown doing anything remotely gay or having a love life like the other 99% straight characters on the show. Remember, it's alright to be gay, but do it in the privacy of your own closet.
  • The Walking Dead features an episode in which a racist easily beats a black man into submission, while the only other man currently present, an Asian, cowers in fear. It takes the white male sheriff showing up out of nowhere to save all the frightened minorities and women. Ironically, the sheriff delivers an in-story anti-racist aesop after the fact.
  • Comedy Central—perhaps trying to cash in on the success of Chapelles Show after it ended—made a (thankfully) short-lived sketch-comedy show styled after The Daily Show called Chocolate News, showing news stories from "the African-American perspective. The very first episode premiered on the day of Obama's winning election, and began with David Alan Grier complaining that Obama was not "black enough" to be considered the first black president. It just snowballed from there.
  • A show called Minipops was briefly shown on British T.V in the early 80's. The idea of the show was to have adorable toddlers sing along to various pop tunes topping the charts at the time. Unfortunately, many of the performers wore clothes that mimicked the adult singers' rather risque performance costumes and included the original song's provocative lyrics (like 9 to 5's "night time is the right time to make love"). The show was accused of being little more than televised kiddie porn and after a huge amount of critic and public backlash the show was axed. Both the producers and the children who sang the tunes were reportedly stunned by the accusations.
  • In Terra Nova, the colony is quite literally a military dictatorship. The government consists solely of Commander Taylor giving orders and his security forces carrying them out. Not only does he make all political decisions, he acts as judge, jury, and executioner in criminal cases. He doesn't even bother with a trial if he is convinced that the person is guilty. However, this is presented positively, as something close to an ideal state. Jim even says that his handling of criminal cases is much better than the justice system from 2149, in which the accused actually has rights. And don't forget that virtually all the rebel "Sixers" who live outside the compound and don't accept Taylor's authority, are black.
  • Sherlock.
    • In spite of otherwise excellent writing, acting and interesting characters, it seems like the show is dedicated to offending any character from outside Europe as a caricature, with Arab men wielding curved swords and wearing traditional garbs and Chinese characters live in Chinatown and work for an ancient crime syndicate, with Chinese antiques or at a Chinese circus.
  • The Soup often lampshades this in shows, for example a Running Gag is Julie Chen's mildly racist comments about Asians on The Talk, such as "Me so sweet and sour".
  • On a season eleven episode of American Idol, Ryan Seacrest said that African-American contestant Joshua Ledet would be performing a civil rights anthem after the break. Cue to Joshua holding, of all things, a monkey.
  1. "Demoted" in quotation marks because there was no actual ceremony or rank, he just joined a team led by a pre-existing Red Ranger