->''"All sympathy given to victims is treacherous. The love is directed exclusively to a victim whom one consider oneself superior to. [...] It's a human psychological mechanism to be excited at the chance to help someone who is weaker, a victim. But this only works for as long as this hierarchy is firmly in place."''
%%If you have the official English translation of 3096 days, please update this quote. I only have the Swedish translation, did my own translation to English from there.
-->-- '''Natascha Kampusch''', in the epilogue of ''3096 days''

Condescending Compassion is when a person feels themselves magnanimous enough not to hold someone's 'faults' against them openly. They can't help being a commoner, idiot, a mutant or simply '''wrong''' so it would simply be rude to treat them badly because of it. Instead, they resort to the ''much'' better idea that they should be sympathetic or even friendly to that lesser being, but of course they won't really take them seriously. In a way, the condescension or even pity is likely well intentioned, but if the target of this attitude realizes it (and they probably will) then [[DontYouDarePityMe they're naturally likely to be quite insulted or hurt]].

May factor into BlackAndWhiteInsanity or WindmillPolitical. Compare and contrast HeteronormativeCrusader. Often runs in the background of WhiteMansBurden or SaveOurStudents plots, which explains why some viewers find those stories offensive and others find them inspiring or heartwarming.

[[noreallife]]
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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime/Manga]]
* [[NaiveEverygirl Haruhi]] [[LittleMissSnarker Fujioka]] of ''OuranHighSchoolHostClub'' is often subject to this from her well-meaning but painfully sheltered school friends, as a result of her scholarship admittance to Ouran High School for the ridiculously wealthy. HilarityEnsues.
* In ''Manga/KazeToKiNoUta'', Gilbert sees this in regards to Serge due to his initial kindness and compassion, which absolutely annoys him to no end.
* An variant appears on HistorysStrongestDiscipleKenichi, with the Masters of the Ryonzampaku Dojo treating everybody that tries to fight [[ThugDojo YOMI]] / [[NebulousEvilOrganization YAMI]] this way. As a high percentage of the people that try to fight the organisation ({{Muggles}}, the occasional BadassNormal and more "normal" martial artists) are pretty much raising the ire of a bunch of [[ArrogantKungFuGuy Sociopath Kung-Fu People]] who are walking [[PersonOfMassDestruction Human Beings of Mass Destruction]] via SupernaturalMartialArts and ''they'' are the only ones who can give a fair fight, there is an odd InUniverse justification for said condescension.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comicbooks]]
* Common in the works of the German cartoonist Ralf König. A good example is a show-within-a-show-within-the-comic. The protagonist is a film critic with a Condescending Compassion bias. He show the audience a movie where this is built into the narrative. The comic start with the film critic ranting about how movies these days are naive and shallow when it comes to homosexuality, making horrible mistakes such as portraying gays as capable of happiness and meaningful lives. Then he shows his own favorite movie. It's about gays getting beaten to death and falling in love with each other as they lie dying in the hospital. After the movie, he feels so sorry for the poor, poor little homos that he pretty much has a nervous breakdown.
* In one strip of ''TheFeelingPrinceCharlesHad'', a heterosexual character talks to a homosexual and holds a little well-meaning rant about how he thinks it's okay to be gay, ending with his wondering when we will ever get rid of homophobia and start treating homosexuals as equals. The reply: "Maybe when you no longer feel you need to give me permission".
* [[http://www.detrasdelespejo.es/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/son-como-nosotros-quino.jpg This comic Strip]] from Joaquin Lavado ({{Quino}}) is titled "They are JustLikeUs." Here comes a translation:
--> This "globalization" issue let us to realize that the people of other races and cultures fall in love, JustLikeUs.
--> And, like us, make love, and children are born of that love. Children that they love and care about, [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment just like us]].
--> And they need music to express themselves, dance and have fun, [[RuleOfThree just like us]].
--> And they weep his sorrows in tears as ours own tears, and laugh out loud their joys with laughter, [[RunningGag just like us]].
--> They even rent the same movies that we see and eat the same fast food with the same soda that we drink here.
--> What shows us all of this? That ''they'', only apparently so different, are ''[[AnAesop just like us!]]''
--> (''{{beat}}'')
--> It sounds so easy to say: "They are just like us!" How long time will it take for us to even begin to say [[NotSoDifferent "We are just like them"]]?
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/XMen'':
** Angel's father in ''Film/XMenTheLastStand'': His quest to help his son is a classic example, only fueling the son's self-hatred. As he caught his young Angel trying to cut off his own wings, he reacted with revulsion to the fact that his son was a Mutant. He then dedicated his life to trying to "cure" his son from being a mutant.
** {{Played with}} in ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast''. A nurse tells Mystique that she feels sorry for the blue-skinned woman she saw on the TV because it must have been such a shame to be born looking like that, but she's unaware that she's talking to the woman in question.
** In the second film, it's mentioned that the whole reason Colonel Stryker had his son enrolled in Xavier's school was because he thought it's purpose was to "cure" mutant children. When he found out it was devoted to helping children control and monitor their mutant powers, he yanked his son out.
* ''Film/TheBreakfastClub'': This is Claire's attitude towards the unpopular kids in school, particularly Bender. Her popularity and friends influence her to be mean to those "beneath her," and much of her conflict stems from hating the fact that this is so.
* {{Played with}} by the protagonists of ''Film/{{Inception}}'' as they write the story of the DreamWithinADream. [[spoiler:Their target is a young heir who they intend to manipulate to make a certain business decision. There is some resentment between him and his dead father, with the father's last word to him being "disappointed". The protagonists resolve this by giving him a fake epiphany...]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Son:''' I know, you were disappointed because I couldn't be you.]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Father:''' No... I was disappointed... because you tried.]]
* The main conflict in ''TheSMJudge'' is about how the prosecutor and others are trying to cast Magda in the role of the poor little victim who everyone should feel sorry for-never mind that the prosecutor himself is the only one having a real harmful influence on her life. Ironically, she didn't get any help when she [[InternalizedCategorism hated herself for being a masochist]] or when she got abused for real by her previous husband. Nope, the pity comes only ''after'' she has turned her life around so that everything is going great.
* In ''Film/{{Mammoth}}'', believing prostitution to be horrible, Leo keeps feeling sorry for Cookie. He does this in a way that's actually shaming her and would damage her emotionally if she [[InternalizedCategorism internalized it]].
* In a film called ''Hate Crime'', the mother of a young man convicted of murdering a gay man decides that the Christian thing to do is offer condolences to the mother of the gay man. She says something to the tune of "Well, after all, your son's bad choices weren't your fault." Bitch gets slapped.
* In the ''Film/TheLedge'' the Christian antagonist openly feels sorry for the atheist protagonist's "empty life without God" as well as for his gay roommate (he mistakenly thinks they're lovers). This doesn't sit well with the protagonist, who then [[DisproportionateRetribution decides to seduce the antagonist's wife in retaliation]].
* ''Film/TheWar'': A new teacher comes to town and she's not prejudiced in the slightest bit. She thinks it's wonderful that dumb black children have to sit in the back of her classroom while the bright white children get all her attention. That's what makes life "a bowl full of cherries" for her.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In Lois Bujold's ''[[Literature/VorkosiganSaga Mirror Dance]]'', a scene at the end comes when the beautiful, powerful, and highly competent and respected mercenary officer Elena Bothari-Jesek reports to the short, crippled, morbidly obese Lord Mark, about [[spoiler:destroying the records of his horrific experience of being repeatedly raped, tortured, and even forcefed over a period of days]] while Mark lies there as everyone else is busying themselves carrying out the terms of the happy ending Mark had arranged for them. When she places her hand on his arm and expresses her pity, the result is a CrowningMomentOfAwesome. "Don't you ''dare'' pity me. I ''won''!"
* In ''3096 Days'' and ''I Choose Life'', the autobiographies of Natascha Kampusch and Sabine Dardenne, they both spend the last part of their books discussing this trope. Both women were kidnapped as kids, and after they got free they experienced that people tried to reduce them to a victimhood-role that was basically there for these people to feel better about themselves at the victim's expense.
* Literature/DonQuixote in the first part of the novel give us The Barber and the Curate, two MoralGuardians, and in the second part LoonyFan Sanson Carrásco, whose sincere desire to help that poor fool, Don Quixote and cure his madness is sabotaged by this attitude, rendering all of them into ThresholdGuardians. [[NotSoDifferent Also, all three do things to help him that could be easily described as "crazy".]]
* In a Daily Show bit just after Obama's election, Larry Wilmore got all excited about finally getting the chance to exercise his "black liberal guilt" by condescendingly praising other races for basic accomplishments like being hardworking and having cute children.
* In ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice'', when he receives news that Lydia has eloped with Wickham, the rector Mr. Collins decides that it would be a good idea to write to Mr. Bennet and 'console' him and his cousins on their misfortune. These condolences primarily come in the form of a self-righteous lecture about what a wicked and shameful girl Lydia is and how she's brought ruin on them all through her wicked conduct.
** The 1995 TV adaptation has him come and deliver this lecture in person ... which, needless to say, [[SarcasmMode just endears him to the Bennett sisters even more]].
* In ''Literature/TheBabySittersClub'' series, Stacey is this toward a new girl in one book.
* In DavidWeber's ''[[Literature/TheWarGods The War God's Own]]'', this is the attitude of spoiled young Sir Vaijon of Almerhas when first introduced. Things go to hell when he meets the protagonist, who is of a race that Vaijon considers the lowest of the low ''and'' has been personally chosen as champion by the patron god of Vaijon's military order.
* {{Lampshaded}} in ''[[Literature/TheElenium The Tamuli]]''. Throughout ''The Elenium'' the protagonists have been Elenes who are very pro-Styric despite the wide-spread anti-Styric attitudes that exist among Elenes, and stand up against Elene racism on the matter. However, in ''The Tamuli'' they finally get to see the great city of the Styrics and the shock of seeing Styrics living ordinary, normal lives like Elenes, as equals to Elenes, instead of the downtrodden, victimised people they're used to seeing, makes them realise that they'd been courting condescending compassion all along. Being good people at heart, they're able to confront this ugly side of themselves and overcome it, but it's a shock to the system when they're first exposed to the reality of the type of compassion they'd previously been feeling.
* ''Franchise/HarryPotter'':
** This is how the non-Death Eaters tend to treat Muggles. The Muggle Prime Minister is frustrated by Fudge and Scrimgeour treating him like a child instead of an equal.
** Hermione's treatment of House Elves also has more than a bit of this. Their BlueAndOrangeMorality makes them eager to serve humans, and they're offended by such notions as "freedom" and "payment". They like working for kind, understanding humans ''better'' than mistreatment, but they still (with only one exception that we see) prefer mistreatment to freedom, to the point where they literally consider it a FateWorseThanDeath. Hermione, believing that she knows what's best for them and that they'll like freedom "once they've got a taste of it," attempts to trick them into freeing themselves. They do not take it well. Dumbledore, by contrast, treats them kindly and respectfully and gladly agrees to pay the one House Elf who asks for it, but does not suggest freeing the majority who don't desire it.
* In Creator/DavidWeber's ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' series, this is one of the attitudes that (nicer) civilians of the Solarian League have towards non-league 'neobarbs'.
* In ''Literature/{{Warbreaker}}'', Vivenna tries to be understanding towards the prickly Jewels after learning that she lost her Breath to one of the Returned. Jewels responds that being chosen to give your Breath to a god is an honor for her people, and that her sacrifice helped save her family from starvation, and thus she really isn't interested in Vivenna's pity.
* The "Smug Marrieds" in both the novel and films in the BridgetJones series either passive aggressively shame/pity single peers (mostly women) when they aren't asking [[ConstantlyCurious "How's Your Love Life?"]] or making "tick tock tick tock" sounds when reminding Bridget about her biological clock.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Occurs in the "Early 21st Century Romanticism" episode of ''Series/{{Community}}'': when Britta makes a friend who is a lesbian, she uses this as an excuse to not-so-subtly brag about what a politically-correct person she is. At one point, the rather naďve and sheltered Annie curiously asks her some questions about her friend, and Britta uses this as an excuse to condescendingly lecture her on her "homophobia" and how it makes her a lesser person.
** Of course, [[spoiler:Britta's "lesbian" friend was doing the same thing. She was straight and befriended Britta for exactly the same reasons]]
* In an episode of ''Series/{{Fringe}}'', a doctor with a paraplegic son was killing other paraplegics in an attempt to find a cure for his son's condition. When the son found out, he was not only horrified by the murders his father was committing, but incredibly hurt that his father didn't accept him the way he was.
* An episode of ''Series/SavedByTheBell'' had Zack dating a [[DisabledLoveInterest paraplegic girl]]. He was very considerate to her, but to such an extent that he slid into this trope. She called him out on it and broke up with him, but by the end of the episode he'd learned the error of his ways and they'd reunited ([[GirlOfTheWeek at least temporarily]]).
* In season 9 of ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', the front desk clerk Curtis constantly and repeatedly pities Ted for being single at a romantic location and during a wedding.
* In ''Series/RedDwarf'', Lister indignantly refutes Kochanski's insinuation that he is homophobic by citing his drinking-buddies status with a gay crewman who he describes as being just one of the boys. The fact the crewman's nickname is ''Bent Bob'' doesn't seem at all incongruous to him.
* In ''Series/HighwayToHeaven'', a bar patron is highly offended when his efforts to buy a drink for a man in a wheelchair, just because he is in a wheelchair, are met with "No, thank you." He thought he deserved brownie points for "being nice to a cripple."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Nanne Grönvall's song "Fördomar" (Prejudice) plays this for laughs. The whole song is about the protagonist bragging about how she's a perfect MarySue who [[NoExceptYes does not have]] any prejudice whatsoever. The first verse is simply about how great and open-minded she is in general. The second verse is the Alice of this trope, expecting gratitude from gays for not despising them. The rest of the song goes downhill from there with blatant racism (against blacks ''and'' whites), sexism (against men ''and'' women), ageism (against young people ''and'' old people) and so on.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', Sebastian tries to sell Merrill on the Chantry by talking about its work caring for orphans and widows. Merrill questions why orphans and widows need to be cared for - in her own clan, they are treated just like everyone else.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'' plays with this trope in a few ways. Being a game about {{disabled love interest}}s, it's easy to fall into this, and is the cause for some {{bad ending}}s. ''Especially'' [[spoiler:[[TheWoobie Hanako's]]]].
** Ironic in one way, but this is basically the real life playing out of the "sympathetic bigot" part of the trope. Not knowing led to ignorant pitying, but once the creators actually began researching and talking to people they developed a more nuanced portrayal of the people involved (for example, the main obstacles in the characters lives are rarely their disabilities but their emotional/psychological problems - which ''can'' stem from their disabilities but don't necessarily ''have'' to.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', Cronus believes that one of his best qualities is how he doesn't ''nearly'' make as big a deal about the fact that he's a [[BlueBlood seadweller]] as he could and that the others should be thankful he's such a progressive guy. After all, he ''could'' lord it over them, but he actually stoops to their level to see them as equals (and reminds them of it constantly)! What more could they possibly ask for? Kankri also has a tendency to fall into condescension, [[HypocriticalHumor even though he expressly argues against that kind of thing]].
* In ''Webcomic/SomethingPositive'', Dahlia (who is wheelchair-bound due to spinal damage) often has to suffer the well-meaning 'sympathy' of people who constantly pity her for her lack of legs, especially people who seem to think [[DisabledMeansHelpless that just because her legs do not work she must also be mentally retarded]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[http://www.cracked.com/article_19549_5-old-timey-prejudices-that-still-show-up-in-every-movie_p2.html#ixzz1hR3yzdot This Cracked article, "5 old timey prejudices that still show up in every movie"]], argues that this attitude from white people is why there are so few non-white protagonists of blockbuster movies. And ''especially'' not in a relationship with a white female character.
--> Again, [[MisBlamed we can blame]] [[HollywoodStyle the studios all we want]]. [[LowestCommonDenominator But they've learned from hard experience that for the most part]], if they don't play to our prejudices, [[UnfortunateImplications we simply won't go see their movie.]] (However, this experience may be out of date, as films with minority protagonists generally do fine if they can get into theaters.)
[[/folder]]

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