Movies and shows with horrifying real-life effects

Movies and TV shows are fun, right? We watch them, we enjoy them, and then we move on with our lives. Most of the time, they don't radically affect our lives and how we behave with one another — these moving pictures aren't that powerful, are they? Well, if you read the title, then you know what's up. (If not, welcome stranger who randomly clicks on things without looking!) Movies and TV shows can and do radically affect reality, sometimes for the better, and sometimes for the horrifying. Like, for instance …

101 Dalmatians (1996)

101 Dalmations was one of the coolest animated kids movies of its time, what with its — wait, hold on. We're not talking about the animated film? It's the live-action movie with Glenn Close? Do people even still remember that movie? Anyway, apparently when it came out it was so big that it had widespread effects on dog ownership. Read on, good reader, read on.

See, the live-action 101 Dalmatians is, pretty much, all about how darn cute puppies are. The entire movie is basically just close-ups of adorable dogs doing adorable things. The movie was also made for the most powerful group on the Earth (when it comes to purchasing power): children. Combine those two and you know what that means? A bunch of families are getting new puppies. Oh, all's well that ends well, right? After all, who wouldn't want an adorable doggie? Well, those same kids, after a couple of months.

See, children's brains are tiny, and as such, can only hold an idea for a short while. So when they wanted the dogs it was all consuming, but then, of course, the feeling passed … and so did the dogs. Yep, we're talking doggy death. See, a bunch of parents bought a lot of kids puppies for Christmas the year the movie came out. But the next year, the dalmatians were old hat, so a lot the dogs were abandoned. Some animal shelters said that the numbers doubled. And you know what some shelters do with dogs that can't find a home after a long enough time, don't you? Yep, turns out that Cruella De Ville's evil machinations might not have killed a single dog in the film, but doomed many in real life.

Project X (2012)

Project X is that movie that you definitely don't remember unless you were around sixteen (and very, very impressionable/awful) when it came out. If you do remember it, you probably also remember the mayhem it caused. Yes, a small, barely-seen found footage movie about the ultimate party caused horror, destruction, and actual rape across the country. See, the movie is about some teens who throw a party that spirals out of control until it's basically a moving riot, complete with a flamethrower and SWAT team tossed into the mix. Some teenagers saw this and thought: "Yes, that — that is the life I want to live." So parties, emulating the Project X one, sprung up around the country. And just like in the movie, it went very, very poorly.

Dozens of arrests were made across the country, and one foreclosed home in Miami was wrecked. In Houston, an 18-year-old was shot and killed at a copycat Project X party that got out-of-hand. Lives were destroyed, all thanks to a bad found footage movie from the creator of The Hangover. Ugh.

24 (2001-2010)

Chances are, you know what 24 is. If you don't, welcome to our world, strange beings from another place. 24 is a show that takes place in real time, each episode representing an hour of one day, and all of which involve a man attempting to stop terrorist attacks. Oftentimes he does it using torture. Now, on television or in games, torture is all fun and good, but we know for a fact that torture doesn't actually work at stopping attacks or getting meaningful information out of suspects. You start hurting people and you can get them to admit to being Santa Claus. Experts agree that it's just not useful, plus, y'know, it's totally illegal in the first place.

Of course, in 24, torture works. And what do most Americans listen to: reason? Or bad television shows? In fact, because 24 was so popular, and torture such a mainstay of it, it increased Americans' positive feelings about the practice. It made Americans think that torture was not only A) not a war crime but that B) it was actually effective. Which, again, we have to repeat — it's not. But, if Kiefer Sutherland tells you it is, you better friggin' listen, right?

Jaws (1975)

We really wanted to start this entry with a transcript of the entirety of the Jaws theme song, but we refrained. Anyway, you know Jaws. It's one of Steven Spielberg's best and scariest movies ever — it made us all afraid to go back into the water. It helped revolutionize a certain type of horror movie, about a giant monster killing randomly, an almost unstoppable being — something Spielberg repeated later to great success with his Jurassic Park films. But Jaws is where it all started. Seeing that giant, ferocious monster moving like a demon of the deep, devouring whoever it pleased. It was really, really terrifying.

And totally inaccurate. Sharks, overall, aren't actually that dangerous. There's not a real big reason to be afraid of them, aside from movies making them out to be monsters. But, of course, since film sometimes has more of a hold on us than fact, the movie had a devastating effect on the real lives of actual sharks. Jaws argued that there was a monster in the water in the form of the shark, so people decided that all sharks were monsters. It spurred actual political legislation that allowed people to kill any shark that got a certain distant from a beach. This, despite studies showing that 87 percent of shark bites are non-fatal and 40 percent of reported "shark attacks" result in no injury whatsoever. (Largely because sharks just bumping into boats gets counted as a "shark attack.") All of this fear goes into actually murdering actual sharks. While sharks are not yet an endangered species, if they ever start to die out, the fear stoked by Jaws will at least be partly to blame.

Finding Nemo (2003) and Finding Dory (2016)

Some people aren't good at actually grasping meaning. Make a movie about the dangers of war and you'll see people dazzled by the guns and effects. Make a movie about how evil Nazism is, there's a chance some of those people are going to be wearing black boots by the end of the week. Make a movie about leaving fish in the sea, and some people are going to want to rip those little puffers out of the water.

And that's exactly what happened with Finding Nemo. Despite the movie being entirely about how fish should live in the sea and putting them in tanks is completely unnatural and downright harmful, it inspired a lot of people to get their own clownfish. Because, hey, why actually listen to what a movie says when you can shut off your brain and stare at the pretty colors? People bought so many clownfish, in fact, that it's now extinct in certain regions, because when a movie says protect something, that obviously means destroy it beyond all recognition.

But, like with any horror movie, just when you think the monster is dead, it comes back — bigger and stronger than ever. That's the worry conservationists have, with the release of Finding Dory, the hit sequel to Finding Nemo. With Nemo, it wasn't as bad, since clownfish are bred for people to own, but blue tangs (what Dory is) are completely fished from the wild. Prepare for Disney's sequel Finding Any Fish, At All. Wait. Where Are There? Did You Guys Drain The Ocean Because Of Our Fish Films? That Was Exactly What We Were Saying Not to Do. Fine, Whatever, Here's Cars 4.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000-2015)

CSI is somehow the most ridiculed show on TV that is also incredibly long-lasting. The fact that such a bad show can exist for this long is frankly mind-boggling. What's even weirder is the effect it's had on us. No, it hasn't made us all do stilted jokes while putting on sunglasses. Well, it has, but that's a positive effect, not a negative one, duh. But it also may have had an effect on actual criminal cases, because the world makes no sense at all.

See, in CSI, all of the evidence is easy to find. You can reverse-engineer a thumbprint off of a strong breeze. But here's the thing — in real life, the CSI units aren't actually that good. Some prosecutors complain that real-life juries let criminals get away with murder, thanks to this so-called "CSI Effect." Jurors expect high-tech razzle-dazzle, and if they don't get it, the argument goes, they assume enough isn't being done. It's a controversial opinion, but if it's true at all, there's a chance at least one killer was set free, just because the wizards on CSI can get DNA off of a three-year-old fart.

Deer Hunter (1978)

All right, you pansies, it's time to talk about the coolest game in the entire world: Russian roulette. It's like roulette, but since it's Russian, it's more hardcore. How hardcore? Death hardcore. See, Russian roulette is this game where you put a bullet in the chamber of a gun, spin the chamber, and then point it at your head and shoot. How cool is that?

Now, no one knows exactly how many people have died playing this ridiculous "game," because it's near impossible to tell what's a straight-up suicide and what's the aftermath of Russian roulette, but we do know that there were at least a couple of people who did it specifically because of a Russian roulette scene in 1978's Deer Hunter.

People that make fun of director Michael Cimino's megaflop 1980 follow-up, Heaven's Gate, should probably keep in mind that at least two people, according to Snopes, had killed themselves after watching the Deer Hunter by the time Heaven's Gate came out. By 1989, according to some estimates, that number grew to more than 30. That's enough to shake any artist to their core.

Birth of a Nation (1915)

The Birth of the Nation is almost entirely responsible for the Klu Klux Klan still existing in modern day America. Yep, a moving picture is a big part of why we still have to deal with those white-robed [expletive deleted].

See, for those of you not into silent movies that came out before, like, electricity, The Birth of the Nation was a three-hour silent film that absolutely revolutionized how films were made. Even people who are otherwise decent admit that this film was a cinematic masterpiece. It's just sad that all that talent went towards making such a gross monstrosity. The film is about how evil black people are and how awesome and great the Klu Klux Klan is. Imagine The Lord of the Rings or maybe the first Star Wars, but the heroes are all white people and the villains were all black people.

Like those films, The Birth of the Nation was one of the most well-made blockbusters ever, it just was entirely about how much black people should be killed by the KKK, because they're lower forms of life. Guess who listened? That's right: evil white people. The film spurred a resurgence of the KKK and the group continued using it as a recruiting tool for years.

Thanks, movies and TV shows, for giving us some of the absolute worst things in life.