3The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air -- Will Gets Shot, Carlton Loses It
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was about the wacky escapades of Will Smith (Will Smith), who moves from the streets of West Philadelphia to his uncle's mansion in the richest part of Los Angeles to escape an ass-whoopin'. Even when the show had a message, it rarely felt heavy-handed: At the end of the episode, Will would joke about Uncle Phil being fat and Phil would joke about Will being a moron, and everything would go back to normal.
Well, except that one time shit got real, and stayed that way. In the season 5 episode "Bullets Over Bel-Air," we see Will and Carlton getting money from an ATM and exchanging their usual good-natured quips, when an off-camera gunman orders them to hand over the money.
"Shit! We're all going to have to move to Aspen now!"
When Carlton struggles to get more money out of his pocket, the gunman decides that first-degree murder would be more fun than waiting for his slow ass and shoots him, but Will manages to push Carlton aside and takes the bullet for him. There's no laugh track or anything: We see the gun being fired and then the scene goes to black.
And then two solid hours of Carlton screaming, "He's fucking dead! I'm in hell! Heeeelllll!"
The bullet barely misses Will's spine and he survives, but later, in the hospital, we find out that Carlton was seriously traumatized and has been packing heat ever since the incident. Will flips out and tells Carlton to give him the gun, reminding him that he just saved his life so he sort of owes him a favor. When he refuses, Will begins to tear up and screams at him, "YOU OWE ME!" The still angry Carlton then drops the gun at the foot of the bed before storming out.
Will then picks it up and fires six shots into the back of his unsuspecting cousin.
Upon emptying the bullets, Will buries his head in his hands and then ... that's it. End of the episode. Stick around for a new Two Guys and a Girl.
"Nooo, I hate that show!"
Before the ATM scene, this appeared to be a completely normal episode about Will, Carlton and Uncle Phil going camping, but from one minute to the next, it turns into a depressing drama with a bleak ending. The conflict between Will and Carlton is completely unresolved: For all we know, Carlton went out and bought himself a rocket launcher this time. We also never find out if the gunman was ever found, or if Will ever stopped having nightmares about the shooting (he has one in the episode), or if the nurses thought it was weird that Will had a loaded gun on his bed.
We get that they were trying to leave us with an important message here: Namely, "Look at Will Smith get all dramatic, wouldn't he be great for your movie about space aliens?"
2Tiny Toon Adventures -- The Tiny Toons Get Shitfaced and Die
Tiny Toon Adventures followed the antics of "the next generation of Looney Tunes," each of them suspiciously resembling a classic Looney Tunes character even though none of them were ever acknowledged as their legitimate children. Other than the implication of parental neglect, the show itself was usually pretty innocent ... except for one episode titled "One Beer," in which Buster Bunny, Plucky Duck and Hampton J. Pig get drunk, steal a police car and die in a horrible accident. It was only aired once and then banned, for some reason.
The episode starts when Buster finds a beer on his fridge and pressures the other kids into drinking it -- when Hampton says they shouldn't, Buster points out that it's OK because "in this episode, we're showing the evils of alcohol," smiling wickedly and growing devil horns. At this point it's unclear if Buster is being ironic or not, since this is exactly the sort of meta-joke the show would normally do.
Like that time Buster talked Babs into "showing the evils of blowjobs."
The kids decide to go drink the beer at the park, and after they each have a sip, they are all instantly trashed.
"You know what we should do? Get our dicks pierced. I love you guys, I really do."
In the next scene, an unspecified amount of time later, the kids are dressed like hobos, have grown stubble and are living in an alley. All because they had one beer. Plucky then finds a cop car parked outside a doughnut shop and decides to steal it -- the others agree that this sounds like a great idea, because their alcoholism has impaired their judgment.
Which also explains the fedora.
The kids end up being chased by the police and escape into a tall mountain ... where Drunky drives off the edge of a cliff and kills everybody. Seriously, we see the car land directly on top of a cemetery, and then the spirits of Buster, Plucky and Hampton ascend to heaven. This is like one of those urban legends you read about a lost Simpsons episode where Bart commits suicide or something, except it's completely real.
So, kids, the lesson here is: drinking, theft and suicide equals an instant ticket into heaven.
In the last ten seconds, we learn that the kids are actually fine: They were just trying to show us that "drinking is uncool" by creating an episode-within-the-episode where they end up dead. But that's kind of the problem -- depending on the age of the viewer, it's either an incredibly dark episode full of tragic death (as the little kids will see it), or else it's an incredibly sarcastic episode making fun of all those other shows that tried to legitimately show the dangers of underage drinking (as it will come off to the older ones). The irony is that either way, we're pretty sure the creative team was wasted when they made it.