Family Guy — Drive-Thru Externalities

 

Joe wants to go on a cross country road trip, but he’s being a bit of a bother. He isn’t taking into account his actions and how they may be impacting others. For example, his decision to goof off in the drive-thru line for food bothers Cleveland, but also the people waiting in line to get food. Negative externalities occur when an individual is making private decisions (like goofing off), but not considering how that impacts the people around them (like the others in line).

This clip was submitted by Isaac Messinger.

Spongebob — More Drive Thrus

 

After accidentally creating a large hole in the wall of the Krusty Krab, a customer mistakes the hole for a drive thru window and places and order. Mr. Krabs, being a the savvy businesscrab that he is, quickly adds a menu and microphone system to facilitate the drive thru. It becomes so popular people are waiting in line and causing a huge traffic jam (could use this to talk about a negative externality too!) in Bikini Bottom. The police visit and threaten to issue Mr. Krabs with a ticket and then the mayor comes in to complain as well, but Mr. Krabs has a solution. Adding a second drive thru to reduce the line, but that doesn’t work out too well. Watch what happens as diminishing marginal returns sets in.

Thanks to Erin Yetter (Twitter) for both the clip and the description!

Dumb and Dumber — Most Annoying Noise

 

Harry (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd (Jim Carrey) pick up a hitchhiker, but proceed to drive him crazy with their childish antics. While the two of them see no problems with their behaviors, they don’t take into account the cost they impose on the hitchhiker. The hitchhiker quickly realizes that the cost of the trip may not be worth the benefit he gets from the no-cost ride.

Thanks to Michael Romano for the suggestion.

Brooklyn 99 — Gift Giving Externalities

 

Charles and Gina have been secretly hooking up  for a while, but now their parents have decided to start dating and it’s freaking the two of them out. Charles rushes to the office to show Gina a gift that his dad is planning to give Gina’s mom. At first the two are scared of the repercussions to their lives if their parents start dating, but quickly realize that the planned gift is much worse for their parents than for them. Gina also goes through her process of unwrapping gifts before the actual reveal because she doesn’t want to get surprised in photos. Her risk aversion results in lots of time spent to avoid embarrassment.

Superstore — Messy Roommate Situation

Garrett and Jonah became roommates after a tornado destroyed Jonah’s apartment, but it turns out that their habits aren’t exactly conducive to being roommates. Garrett passively aggressively lets Jonah know that he’s messy when it comes to taking a shower so he buys Jonah a bathmat. In return, Jonah suggests that he get Garrett a pair of noise-canceling headphones since he’s so bothered by every noise Jonah makes. The two go back-and-forth listing the various ways they annoy each other.

Shameless — Crying Baby

The eldest daughter takes care and provides for most of the family because their father is an alcoholic and mother is absent in their lives. One of the daughters, Debbie, gets pregnant and decides to have the child. After having the baby, she brings it back home and begins to live in her house with her newborn. One morning, the baby starts to cry. Everyone in the house is woken up by the newborn’s cries and is extremely angry. The baby crying in the morning is an example of a negative externality. By crying and waking everyone up, the baby is costing the third party, in this case the family, sleep, as a result.

Thanks to Annie Mae Weiss for the clip and description!

The Simpsons — Prohibition

Springfield residents are clamoring to re-enact prohibition in town, but the City Council feels like the positive externalities outweigh the costs associated with alcohol. The County Clerk finds an old law for Springfield ordinance that actually outlaws alcohol. The new Duff Zero (alcohol-free beer) isn’t as popular as the original and the Duff factory has to shut down.

Futurama — Big Piece of Garbage

 

A giant ball of garbage is heading toward earth and the gang learns what caused it. Early settlers of New York City couldn’t figure out where to dump all their garbage. After the barges filled up, the citizens were able to acquire a rocket and shoot the garbage into space. The trash is coming back though!

Up ↑