Magazine-cartoon situations: are they plausible?

There are some settings for cartoons in magazines–some general appeal, some specialized–Playboy, for one, which setting seem contrived, impossible, or merely implausible.
*Cannibals boiling captured visitors in iron cauldrons.
*People marooned on desert islands (countless variations).
*Man and woman caught in flagrante delicto, in a bedroom, by the spouse of either the man or the woman.
*Burglars wearing flat caps, black eye masks, and striped shirts.
Ad infinitum.
Is there any basis to these settings? For one thing, where would cannibal tribes get a cauldron? (And, from a macabre point of view, why would they want boiled meat–which even I know is stringy–when they could barbecue? :eek:!)

Remember that the cauldron thing is a stereotype propagated by British Colonialists.

Why exactly do they have to portray realistic situations? Are you so literal minded that the idea of something having nothing to do with reality is too much for you to take?

Reality is overrated. And it’s pretty pointless to demand reality from a cartoon. Next will you complain that the people in them aren’t “realistic” (“nobody has noses like that! And look at the number of fingers!”)?

I don’t think it’s a complaint that the situations aren’t realistic, it’s an observation with a question - where the heck did we come up with them, and why’d they stick around - and a request for more examples. At no point does the OP indicate that they’re a Bad Thing.

I think Mad magazine used to regularly draw attention to similar examples. For example, how many people have ever actually seen a magician pull a rabbit from a hat?

Cartoonists rely on shorthand, and ‘instant’ ways of conveying a scene or predicament that will serve the purpose of the joke. Realism isn’t the requirement. Structure for a joke is.

Gary Larson commented on this in his Pre-History of The Far Side. When he drew a male mosquito coming home from work, hanging up his hat, and griping to the female about his hard day spreading infection, he was swamped with mail from people anxious to inform him that it’s the female mosquitoes who bite. “Of course,” said Larson, “it’s perfectly plausible that mosquitoes live in houses, wear clothes, speak English…”