Twilight Zone turns 50 years old today, so to celebrate here are the most important moral lessons we learned from this ground-breaking anthology series. For example: You should never trust an alien.
The End of The World Isn't The Worst Thing That Can Happen
The Twilight Zone loved to threaten us with the end of the world over and over again. And every time good character or bad, the end of the world is always eclipsed by something even worse happening. Take the little man with the huge glasses, Burgess Meridith. All he wanted was peace and quiet so he could read, then the world ends and he's the last man on the face of the Earth with plenty of reading material. Then he breaks his giant coke-bottle glasses. Even fake end of the world can get one-upped by our neighbor's gusto to break down our doors to get into the only shelter.
Aliens Are Dicks
Whether they want to trick us into coming home with them so they can cook us for dinner, gloating that they're about to colonize our planet right under our noses, or just shooting us with tiny guns, aliens are always jerks. Even when they're just dressed as aliens and from our home planet. They are not to be trusted, and nine out of ten times are merely just messing with you. Meet an alien? Turn the other way, or you may wind up in their zoo.
If You Can't Be Good, Be Clever
Bad people getting their comeuppances is pretty much a Twilight Zone mainstay. So either be a good person, or you'll either die, or spend your life regretting it. Especially, don't steal. But if you can't be good, be smart. When someone tells you, you can get a large sum of money for wearing a mask until midnight, and then that person dies, that's a "too good to be true" deal. And you'll probably be paying for it, forever. Also should you discover a great gimmick, like a camera that tells the future and just made you a ton of money, don't get greedy. Take the first pay-out and call it a night. A good person wouldn't try and hide a dead hitchiker, but a clever person wouldn't have hit them in the first place.
Children And Other Small Things Are Evil And Must Be Destroyed
Kids always have god-like abilities and/or vengeful dolls. There's nothing good about children or their toys. This scene from "The Good Life" still haunts me.
Machines, Robots, And Technology In General Are Evil. Smash It All With A Hammer
Machines can erase your memory and leave you stuck in some godforsaken town. They can keep you locked up in a cave for years pretending to be a human, they can even fall in love with you and ruin your chances with another human. Avoid machines, computers, and especially airplanes. They are the devil. And never ever get on a plane with William Shatner. Note: the episode "From Agnes With Love" is also where I learned the term "sex machine."
War Is Hell
Anything and everything can happen during wartime. You can be time-warped to another dimension where you find out you past self was a big fat coward or. one day you're fighting on your side the next morning you wake up, and you're the enemy. Also, you can never leave the war behind you it will always come back to haunt you. So, no thanks.