Berate And Switch
What appears to be condemnation turns out to be approval or enthusiasm.
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(permanent link) added: 2011-02-23 01:32:49 sponsor: giggles edited by: Arivne (last reply: 2014-09-04 05:23:25)

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A comedic trope where a character assesses the current situation, listing typically unpleasant, unfavorable, or immoral actions or thoughts, and the conclusion drawn is the opposite of what you expect: they are very favorable and happy about it. The comedy can come from the fact that obsession and revulsion can result in a similar level of enthusiasm. Beauty, fashion sense, cuisine choice, etc. are all in the eye of the beholder.

This is a form of subverted Sarcasm Mode. Unlike Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad, this trope is used for comedy and is definitely not played straight. Expect sitcoms to cue the Laugh Track. For example:

Bob: Look at this car! It's covered in rust, the stuffing's coming out of the seats, and you have to kick the trunk to get it to open...beautiful, isn't it?

An alternate version of this trope happens when a character gives advice to another, and what is seemingly a situation they want to deflect or have the receiver turn away from instead turns out to be encouragement. Depending on the situation, the more conservative outsider may look on such a conversation with shock or disgust.

Can be inverted by describing typically pleasant things, such as a beautiful sunny day, flowers, and puppies and it turns out the character is disgusted by them.

Not to be confused with Evil Virtues, which are about honest to goodness virtues applied to evil. Compare I Have Just One Thing to Say and Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving. See also Too Kinky to Torture.

Examples

Comic Books

Literature

Film
  • Star Trek: Generations. Data has recently had an emotion chip installed and is busy experiencing new things. When he tries one of Guinan's new drinks he hates it (as it tastes revolting) but eagerly asks for more.
  • At the end of the film The Hobbit:
    Thorin (angrily): You! What were you doing? You nearly got yourself killed! Did I not say that you would be a burden, that you would not survive in the wild, and that you had no place amongst us?
    (Bilbo looks down)
    Thorin: I have never been so wrong in all my life.

Live-Action TV
  • Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street. His signature song is "I Love Trash". Anything dirty or dingy or dusty, anything ragged or rotten or rusty....
  • From The Monkees episode "Monkees in the Ring":
    Mike: You're gonna be going through a lot strange cities, and there's always this one hotel: one with a lot of heavy drinking, a lot of fast women, and a lot of loose talk. You know what to do when you get to town?
    Davy: Find that hotel!
    Mike: And you'll do fine.
  • The Good Life: in "The Pagan Rite" when Tom and Barbara are out to dinner, they say that their food is full of artificial additives, cholesterol, etc., and Tom ends up saying, "Great, isn't it?"
  • A typical Get Smart quote:
    Chief: You understand your current assignment means you will be in constant danger, unable to trust anyone, and face torture or even death.
  • The various versions of The Addams Family are full of this trope, a rainy day will be described as something beautiful, flowers with only stems are more attractive, and dolls should be headless.
    • From the 1991 film:
    Morticia: Last night you were unhinged. You were like some desperate, howling demon. You frightened me. Do it again!
  • The Aquabats! Super Show! combined this trope with Strange Minds Think Alike. First the MC Bat Commander describes being on tour involving truck stop food, public restrooms and a complete lack of showers as the best thing ever. After their Battle Tram is stolen by an unscrupulous carnival worker named Carl, he describes going out on the open road the exact same way; truck stop food, public restrooms, and complete lack of showers is like heaven on wheels.

Tabletop Games
  • "We've run into scorpions the size of battle tanks, three men died from Eyerot last week. I've sweat enough to fill a lake, my boots got sucked into a sink-swamp and the trees are so thick in places, you can't squeeze between them. Emperor help me, I love this place! It's just like home!"
    Captain Rock of the Catachan Green Devils on the Death World of Varestus Prime, Warhammer 40K.

Video Games
Shadowknight: Whoever designed this dungeon was sick, twisted and half-mad... my compliments!

Western Animation
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Rarity spends time hanging out with posh ponies instead of designing her friend Twilight Sparkle's birthday dress. When Twilight shows up out of the blue, she seems to hate the plain dress, until she says she loves its simplicity and practicality.
  • In the first episode of Futurama, aafter Fry is unfrozen in the future, he reflects on how his girlfriend, parents, and everyone he's ever known is dead, pauses and says "Woo-hoo!"
  • In Beauty and the Beast, Gaston tells the asylum warden of his plan to force Belle to marry him by threatening to commit her father. He says "That's despicable... I love it!".

Inversions

Film
  • In Addams Family Values, the family is shocked when the baby turns out to enjoy hearing pleasant stories read to him and that he has curly blonde hair.
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