-> '''Steve Stronghold:''' All right, if your mom asks, you tell her I read you the riot act and I took away your XBox.\\
'''Will Stronghold:''' But I don't have an Xbox. \\
'''Steve Stronghold:''' Are you sure?\\
[''Reveals his new Xbox'']
-->- ''Film/SkyHigh''

Junior is in trouble. He tried to pull off the greatest prank he could think of, but it went horribly wrong -- mostly because he got caught. Now the principal has suspended him and he has to face his parents.

His dad takes him aside and is giving him a stern look. Junior knows this is it, his chickens have come home to roost, he's going to be grounded until the cows come home, and he won't see daylight again until the hogs catch their 9 am flight to Miami. After an unbearable silence, dad has only one thing to say: He thinks what Junior did was ''hilarious'', and he's pretty proud that he managed to pull it off.

In short, this trope is where a character expects to be dressed down by an authority figure, only to find out [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure the authority figure is pretty impressed]]. What Junior did was still wrong, of course, but Dad doesn't care so much about ''that'' little detail.

If the authority in this case is an official one (commanding officer, for example), they'll likely give a reprimand that both parties recognize as a token nod to the rules. If it's a parent, it's almost always the father. If The authority figure is particularly impressed, this may even result in PromotionNotPunishment.

Compare ArsonMurderAndLifesaving, NotSoAboveItAll, and MilhollandRelationshipMoment. May include DoWrongRight if afterward the parent/authority gives the protagonist tips on how to not get caught next time.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* Tim Drake/Comicbook/{{Robin}}, after losing nearly all of his biological family, sets up an actor to pretend to be his fake uncle so that he doesn't have to go into the foster care system. Batman, being Batman, naturally finds out, and Robin assumes he's about to be reamed out for going behind Bruce's back... but all Bruce can say is that he's so proud of Tim for taking the initiative, and [[DoWrongRight gives him some tips on how to make the deception foolproof]].
* In the old ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' (in ''ComicBook/NintendoComicsSystem''), Bowser and Lemmy Koopa take Toad (dressed as Muk) and the Mushroom King's (dressed as Pipe Ooze) place at a Dirk Drainhead cosplay convention. He was training Lenny in the ways of being evil and decided to let him "have fun" for a while. Lemmy, being a huge Dirk Drainhead fan, mentions that since they're acting out the story in which Muk pulls a HeelFaceTurn, he has to attack Pipe Ooze. What follows is Lemmy beating the '''shit''' out of Bowser. At the end of the story, he asks Bowser if he failed his test, to which Bowser replies that he gets extra points for beating up a family member.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fanfiction]]
* ''Fanfic/TheStudentPrince'': When Merlin asks Kilgharrah for help with reaching Nimueh, he rephrases Merlin's question so that it sounds downright treasonous, before replying, "I should be ''delighted'' to oblige you, my dear boy."
* In [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8935062/269/Shards-To-A-Whole Chapter 269]] of "[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8935062/1/Shards-To-A-Whole Shards To a Whole]]", an ''{{NCIS}}'' fanfic, after an investigation led my [=McGee=] took down a terrorist who would have killed hundreds of innocent people, CIA agent Kort visited Director Vance to protest the handling of the incident, as the terrorist in question was regarded as a valuable "asset". [=McGee=], speaking on behalf of NCIS, told Kort to "Fuck off and die," pointing out that [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech his team accomplished in five days what Kort's team couldn't do in five years.]] When Kort accoused [=McGee=] of being "impolitic", Vance laid down his punishment(this chapter takes place in late July):
-->"[=McGee=]! You and your entire team are being placed on paid leave. Once your reports are filled out, I don't want to see any of you here again until August. For the next week, I want you to go home, rest, relax and and think about the grave severity and dire consequences of saying impolitic things to pretentious assholes who upon being offered cake, ice cream and cookies, complain about the lack of whipped cream and sprinkles on top and deserve to have their ungrateful asses kicked."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In ''Film/SkyHigh'', Will Stronghold trashed the school cafeteria, got into a fight, and used his powers when he wasn't supposed to. His dad punishes him by telling him no Xbox for a week. Will protests that he doesn't have one...at which point his dad reveals he's so proud of him for having powers that he bought him one.
* In ''Film/CatchMeIfYouCan'', young con artist Frank Abagnale gets his start by [[BavarianFireDrill taking over his French class]], including teaching, assigning homework, and [[RefugeInAudacity having parent-teacher conferences and taking a field trip]]. While his mother is suitably disappointed with the naughty boy, Frank Senior can only grin and laugh that his boy had the balls to pull it off.
* In ''Film/KindergartenCop'', Arnold beats the snot out of a man who's been beating his kid. The Principal takes Arnie into her office, and he expects her to throw him out of the school. But regarding the beating, the only thing she has to say is to ask how ''good'' it felt to smack him around.
-->"What did it feel like to hit that son of a bitch?"
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'', Dash gets in trouble for placing a tack on the teacher's chair. His father is more impressed by the fact that Dash managed to avoid being caught on a hidden camera than upset about the prank.
* In a scene cut from ''LoveActually'' (but included in the DVD extras), Karen (Emma Thompson) is called to her son's school because his teacher is upset by a theme paper he wrote, in which he described how the world would be different if people's farts were visible. Karen listens attentively to the teacher and principal, and then quietly takes her son into the hallway to talk to him;
-->'''Bernie''': Sorry, Mum.
-->'''Karen''': I'm sorry too, Bernie. Sorry and ashamed and embarrassed... that I have put you in a school with such total and utter pricks that they don't get a good gag when they see one! I mean, this is high-class comedy. This is first-rate stuff! Look, you're my son and obviously I have to love you. But right now, I really love you! (Mother and son dissolve into laughter)
* In ''Film/ABridgeTooFar'' a tough old sergeant (Played by James Caan in the movie) has just held a surgeon at gunpoint to force him to work on the sergeant's commanding officer. As soon as the surgeon is done, the Sergeant gives him his pistol. The surgeon chews him out slightly, and places him under arrest, for sixty seconds. The surgeon in question had declared the man dead on arrival and refused to waste time on a corpse. In order to convince him otherwise the sergeant pulled a gun and ordered the surgeon to treat him anyway. After a quick examination the man was found to be both alive and have good chances of survival. Until that point, neither the audience nor the sergeant had been given any indication that the officer had been alive at all.
* In the third ''MissionImpossible'' film, [[spoiler: Ethan]] has been brought into HQ because his superiors think he's gone rogue ([[spoiler: He's really trying to save his wife, who has been kidnapped by the villain]]). As he's lying immobilized, his immediate superior begins chastising him (for the benefit of those listening in), while simultaneously mouthing an escape plan, knowing that [[spoiler: Ethan]] can read lips.
* In ''Film/{{Thor}}'', Sif and the Warriors Three are discussing what to do about [[spoiler:Loki taking the throne]], and they worry that Heimdall might be watching them. He is, and calls them to his post, gravely asking them if they ''really'' plan to defy their king's explicit orders, which Sif admits to. Heimdall immediately exclaims, "Good!" and lets them do just that.
* From the original ''Film/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' movie:
-->'''Merrick:''' (Dying) You do everything wrong...\\
'''Buffy:''' I'm sorry, I take it back!\\
'''Merrick:''' No. Do it wrong. Don't play our game.
* ''Film/TheMagdaleneSisters'' has several of the characters working in the convent laundry. As they do, one of the more experienced patients tells them about the one who ran off the previous night under the guise of admonishing them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* From ''Literature/HarryPotter:''
** First happened in ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone The Philosopher's Stone]]'' when Harry decided to get on a broom to chase after Malfoy, despite Madam Hooch explicitly telling them not to. Professor [=McGonagall=] arrived, hauled him inside and put him on the Quidditch team.
** In ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheChamberOfSecrets Chamber of Secrets]]'', when Harry arrives at the Weasleys', Molly, who is in fact scornful of how he got there (her sons stole their flying car), all Arthur could ask was "how was it?", which Molly berates him for.
** Later on there's this scene:
-->'''Dumbledore:''' You both realize, of course, that in the past few hours you have broken perhaps a dozen school rules.
-->'''Harry, Ron:''' Yes, sir.
-->'''Dumbledore:''' And that there is sufficient evidence to have you both expelled.
-->'''Harry, Ron:''' Yes, sir.
-->'''Dumbledore:''' Therefore, it is only fitting that you both receive [pause] special awards for services to the school.
* In the ''LordPeterWimsey'' short story "Talboys", Peter's eldest son catches a snake and Peter is expected to tell him off, but as soon as the two are alone, he not only tells his son that he thinks it's actually pretty cool, but conspires with him to use it to prank an unpleasant guest.
* In ''Literature/NicholasNickleby'', John Browdie appears that he's going to beat the crap out of Nicholas for attacking Wackford Squeers and rescuing Smike. Instead, he congratulates him for a job well done.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}''
** At the end of ''Discworld/FeetOfClay'', the Patrician summons Commander Vimes to his office. He notes that in the course of investigating an attempt to poison Vetinari, Vimes has managed to infuriate all the important figures in the city, and therefore he clearly has no choice but to increase the man's wages.
** Vimes himself does it to Moist von Lipwig in ''Discworld/RaisingSteam'', much to the BoxedCrook's surprise, since Vimes understandably has never liked him much. After explaining why it was totally inappopriate for Moist to attempt to capture a terrorist by himself, Vimes gives him an "official reprimand" ("''Don't do it again!''") and shakes him by the hand.
* In ''Literature/{{Strata}}'', Kin Arad does in fact sentence the perpetrators of a nuclear-disarmament-protesting plesiosaur to a punishment. But it's a remarkably lenient one, and after switching off the tape she all but openly congratulates them, and tells them of her own, even more spectacular, act of rebellion. It turns out that everyone does something of the sort, and if they do it well enough they're more likely to be promoted than fired.
* Captain Pellew of the ''Literature/HoratioHornblower'' series excels at this.
* Played with and subverted in the first ''Literature/SongOfTheLioness'' book. Alanna is continually getting in trouble for fighting thanks to JerkJock Ralon's [[TeensAreMonsters brutal bullying]]. She has to claim she "[[BlatantLies fell down]]" in order to keep her honor, and [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Duke Gareth]] is forced to follow the rules and punish her. At one point, after Ralon breaks her arm, the Duke ends one of his lectures with "I wish you would thrash him. He deserves it."
** Finally, when Alanna turns things around on Ralon by [[TheDogBitesBack beating the snot out of him]], he does go through with the impressive lecture and punishment, but she can tell that he's actually impressed with her.
* In the XWingSeries novel ''Wraith Squadron'', Kell Tainer and Runt Ekwesh of the eponymous fighter group pull off a [[WeNeedADistraction spectacular misdirection ploy]], bluffing the Imperial Star Destroyer ''Implacable'' into thinking they're the ''Millennium Falcon''. ''Implacable'' chases after them, missing out on a major battle where it would have been devastating to the defenders. However, they also break several New Republic protocols (mostly by [[IShallTauntYou taunting the Imperials]] on a clear channel) in the aftermath while they're all high on adrenaline. Their commander, [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Wedge Antilles]], calls them out on it, says he's considering putting them on report despite their heroism, and then concludes that, as a means of reward ''and'' punishment, he's simply going to give them medals... [[CoolAndUnusualPunishment pinned directly to their heads]]. The whole incident quickly goes away as it becomes evident that [[BunnyEarsLawyer the Wraiths are simply like that]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action Television]]
* Matthews has a word with Deborah in ''Series/{{Dexter}}'' after she says the f-word during a press conference. He tells her that he took a lot of crap for promoting her, and that not 24 hours later, she's already proven...that he made the right choice; that kind of bluntness was exactly what he wanted from her.
* ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'': When Hal goes to visit Francis's military school, he's at first appalled that all Francis is doing is goofing off, playing pranks, and getting into all manner of trouble. But when he learns that Francis is doing it to Stick It To Commandant Spengler, who is unnecessarily cruel, Hal is all sorts of proud of his son.
** Later, Hal tries to do this on Lois' birthday, when he learns that the boys (like himself) forgot about it. While in their room, he yells disaprovements to them while whispering about how much trouble they're in. Unfortunately, when Malcolm speaks, he gets mixed up, and:
--> '''Hal:''' (whispering) ''Sorry isn't going to help yourself, mister!'' (shouting) '''I forgot your mother's birthday!''' (cue OhCrap face
** After Hal's family treats Lois horribly at the family reunion, the four boys wreck the party in a golf cart. In the way home Hal is delivering a very unsincere scolding to them.
--> ''Hal:''' Next time you drive a golf cart into a pool there will be consequences.
* In the children's sitcom ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Out_of_Tune Out Of Tune]]'', the Vicar discovered his niece Midge had been modifying the buttons on [[CrustyCaretaker Tony]]'s suit to make him think he was getting fatter or thinner throughout the episode.
-->'''Midge:''' Are you angry...?
-->'''Vicar:''' Angry? I'm furious... furious I didn't think of it first!
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' has a version of this, spousal instead of parental. Marshall loudly rebukes Lily for forgoing her morals for cash (accepting money to paint a nude picture of Barney). In between his chastisements, he whispers to her that he's actually glad she found a way to get so much cash and is criticizing her as loud as possible so that Barney, in the next room, will come back in and offer even more money.
* In ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'', Dr. Kelso delivers a lecture during which he mentions a recent case in which Dr. Reid gave a patient a course of treatment that resulted in his death. He then gives her kudos for having the balls to act instead of equivocating over the best course of action, during which time the patient likely would have died anyway.
* In ''Series/BabylonFive'', Sheridan chewing Ivanova out for threatening to [[ThrownOutTheAirlock airlock]] a reporter - and not specifying that he would be stripped naked first. After all, one shouldn't waste perfectly good clothing in the middle of a rebellion.
* Happens in ''Series/HomeImprovement'' when the kids get revenge on a bully by gluing his butt crack closed. Tim, the father, is impressed and makes only a token effort to tell them they were wrong, and that only after his wife gets mad.
* ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'' had a complicated episode where Penny's dad Wyatt came to visit and she asked Leonard to pretend [[TheBeard they got back together]] because he was the only guy he approved of dating. Leonard had a blast bonding with him but eventually Penny had enough and told him the truth. Wyatt sat them both down and told Penny how hurt he was that she felt the need to lie to him and dismissed her to her room so he could talk to Leonard. Once she was behind the door Wyatt grabbed Leonard by the collar and pleaded "Please don't give up on her." He then tried ReversePsychology by pretending to be angry with him so Leonard would seem more appealing to her.
* Typically happened once an episode in ''[[Series/{{McCloud}} [=McCloud=]]]''.
* In ''[[BattlestarGalacticaReimagined Battlestar Galactica]]'', Starbuck tells Seelix, then a deckhand, that she's been accepted for fighter pilot training by turning up on deck first thing in the morning and pretending to chew her out for not getting to the training session on time.
* In Series 2 of ''DowntonAbbey'': Mrs Patmore, Mrs Bird and Molesly are caught skimming food from the main house to feed wounded and homeless vets out of Mrs Crawley's kitchen by O'Brien; she brings Cora to the house in order to tear into them. Instead she gets mad that they were taking food provided to the house by the military for fear Downton would be accused to mismanagement of the wounded vets they were taking care of. She promptly grabs a ladle a joins in dispensing food.
* An episode of {{LALaw}} had Grace prosecuting the theft of bull semen (long story). The testimony gets more and more lurid until the apparently incensed judge demands that Grace and the defense attorney join him in his chambers . . .only for all three of them to dissolve into hysterics the minute the door is closed.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* "The Cap'n" by ''Music/TheyMightBeGiants'' features the following lyric:
-->Did you say\\
What I think you just said\\
My hat looks good on me?\\
I agree, I agree!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Videogames]]
* ''[[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII Assassin's Creed 2]]'' has this gem around twenty minutes into the game, shortly after [[TheHero Ezio Auditore]] has a gang battle and a night of passion with his girlfriend. Ezio returns to his home, seeing his father at the door, expecting the worst when...
--> '''Giovanni Auditore''': This behaviour is unacceptable... it... it... *laughs* it reminds me of myself when I was your age!
* In ''[[VideoGame/CityOfHeroes City of Villains]]'', a high-level story arc has you helping apsiring MadScientist Vernon Von Grun. After one mission where his creations ran amok in an Arachnos lab, Arbiter Daos asks to speak to both of you.
--> '''Arbiter Daos''': We've been watching you help out Vernon von Grun, [[HelloInsertNameHere Character]]. In fact, we've had our eye on him for a while now. Von Grun is a genius, alright. He's also reckless, immoral, obsessed, and likely a danger to everyone around him. In other words, a perfect mad scientist candidate. We've been wondering when he'd finally make his big break, and it looks like what he needed was some professional help. A pro-level villain, I mean. Like you.
* Caesar in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' does a version of this if you have low reputation before you're given the [[GetOutOfJailFreeCard Mark of Caesar]]. You're read a List of Transgressions, and then comments that he's just messing with you before giving his list of things he's impressed with you doing.
* In ''VideoGame/WingCommander III'', [[TheCaptain Eisen]] pulls [[PlayerCharacter Blair]] aside just before he's to have a simulator duel against visiting [[AcePilot test pilot "Flash"]] as part of a challenge, after Flash ignores a scramble call and stays in bed while everyone else is out defending their carrier. It looks like Eisen is about to chew Blair out for acting rashly in issuing the challenge, but instead he offers some advice: "Kick the little twerp's ass."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* In ''Webcomic/DoubleK'', Kamina tells Kittan the story of a drug bust he handled, and he honestly expects the goody-two-shoes Kittan to berate him over it. Kittan instead proclaims, tears in his eyes, that it's the greatest story he's ever heard, and reveals that he's just as crazy as Kamina, and that his by-the-book image was just a fake-out so he could transfer to another department.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' episode "13", Danny intentionally lets himself get caught spying on Jazz and Johnny. When his parents find out, they initially seem angry... But then quietly congratulate and thank him for doing so, before yelling in earshot of Jazz not to do it again, and then quietly tell him to do it again.
* Occurs in ''WesternAnimation/GeneratorRex'', when the protagonist's pseudo-father-figure acknowledges that Providence may have denied him just a ''bit'' too much normality in his life.
-->'''Agent Six''': Sneaking off to spring break was foolish and irresponsible and... completely normal for someone your age.
* Happens in the ''ExtremeGhostbusters'' episode "Grundelesque." Kylie is nearly-despondent about disobeying Egon, but he tells her that she did the right thing, and that he was working from a contaminated sample.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' episode "Francine's Flashback", when Hayley confronts Jeff over taking her amnesiac mother to Burning Man.
-->'''Hayley:''' LetMeGetThisStraight. You ran off with my memory erased mother to a pagan festival, just to get my attention?
-->'''Jeff:''' Yeah. Did it work?
-->'''Hayley:''' DID IT EVER! ''(cue makeout)''
* During a sketch on ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'', Kid Flash uses his super speed to super speed strip WonderWoman in front of a crowd. TheFlash takes it from there.
-->'''Flash:''' I am very, ''very'' disappointed in you young man.
-->''Looks around''
-->'''Flash:''' Super speed high five!
-->''High five''
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'', Dexter tries to keep himself clean by laminating himself. Unfortunately, he slips and slides all over the room and breaks everything. At first it seems him mother's going to yell at him for making such a mess, but she's really happy he's finally clean.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' episode "Love Games", Elder Plops seems about to humiliate Slime Princess's sister Blargetha after her atrocious song.
-->'''Elder Plops''': As Elder Plops, I've heard many songs in my life, and I can only say this: Finn, you win this one.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* A RealLife example might be the internet's response to a [[MemeticMutation video of a kid]] [[WrestlerInAllOfUs powerslamming]] a kid who was [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_AY4Zp1MW0 bullying him]] (and subsequent memetic mutation, including a version with ''StreetFighter'' music and a version with ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' sound effects). Averted by his school, since he was suspended for his actions (mainly since the bully's ankle was broken by the slam, which is kinda hard to ignore no matter what the circumstances).
** ''PennyArcade'' [[http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2011/3/18/ invokes this trope to the letter]].
** ''Webcomic/NerfNow'' speculated on [[http://www.nerfnow.com/comic/484 the boy's parents' response]].
* Another one is the case of Dalton Duncan, who got detention for following up an innocent comment with "That's what she said!". [[http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/15/awesome-kid-gets-detentio_n_462837.html His parents promptly posted his detention slip on the internet, where he was proclaimed awesome.]]
* What kid hasn't had this happen to them? "Mom, Dad, I got in a fight at school today..."
-->Mom's response: "Grounded for a week, and you have to apologize to the other kid."\\
Dad's response: "Did you win?"
* [[http://notalwaysright.com/the-twilight-of-our-literacy-part-3/11651 Two sneaky teenagers in a bookstore]] hid all the copies of the ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' saga from a shopping Twihard, who ended up buying the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series instead. The employee who found out about it was impressed, but had to report them to the store's manager... who gave them both $10 gift cards.
* [[http://notalwayslearning.com/witness-versus-witless/32271 A teenager got into a fight]] when a classmate started beating up and threatening her disabled friend. The vice principal punished her by assigning her a paper about how to win a fight (the other was suspended).
[[/folder]]
----