->''"The sympathy extended to a victim is deceptive. People love the victim only when they can feel superior to him or her. [...] It is a human reflex that makes you feel better about yourself when you can help someone weaker, a victim. That works as long as the roles are clearly defined."''
-->-- '''Natascha Kampusch''', in the epilogue of ''3,096 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.



[[folder: Anime/Manga]]
* [[NaiveEverygirl Haruhi]] [[LittleMissSnarker Fujioka]] of ''Manga/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 in ''Manga/KenichiTheMightiestDisciple'', 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:Comic Books]]
* 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 ''[[ComicBook/WhateverLoveMeans The Feeling Prince Charles Had]]'', 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."

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* [[http://llevatetodo.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Argumentacion-Quino.jpg This comic Strip]] from Joaquin Lavado (ComicStrip/{{Quino}}) is titled "They are JustLikeUs." Here comes a translation:
-->This "globalization" issue allows 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 in sorrow with tears like our own, and laugh with joy with loud guffaws, [[RunningGag just like us]].\\
They even rent the same movies that we see and eat the same fast food with the same soda we drink here.\\
What does all of this demonstrate? That ''they'', though seeming so different, are ''[[AnAesop just like us!]]''\\
It's so easy to say, "They are just like us!" How long will it take for us to even begin to say [[NotSoDifferent "We are just like them"]]?

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthParkBiggerLongerAndUncut'': Kyle and Cartman are facing certain death.
-->'''Cartman:''' All those times I said you were a big dumb Jew, I didn't mean it... you're not a Jew.\\
'''Kyle:''' (''irritably'') Yes I am! I ''am'' a Jew, Cartman!\\
'''Cartman:''' No, no, Kyle, don't be so hard on yourself.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/TheBitterTeaOfGeneralYen'' includes scenes of missionaries in China. They are all extremely condescending towards the Chinese people, and they all think they're savages who should be pitied and shown the Christian way of life.
* ''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.
* In ''Film/ButImACheerleader'', this idea underlies the film's setup, starting with the intervention confrontation at the start of the film. Megan comes home from school to be confronted by her parents, her boyfriend, some of her female friends and Mike, a self-described ex-gay staffer from a residential therapy program called True Directions. On her arrival at True Directions, Megan is put through an intense session led by camp director Mary, who strives to break down Megan's insistence that she isn't actually a lesbian and her presence there is a mistake. Megan is actually reduced to tears by the end of the session. It becomes clear that Mary thinks True Directions' program is attempting "therapeutic" intervention.
* In a film called ''Film/HateCrime'', the mother of a young man convicted of murdering a gay man decides that the Christian thing to do is to 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.
* The gentile teacher at the beginning of ''Film/TheHebrewHammer'' implores her all-Christian students to be respectful of Mordechai's different faith and practices, although that doesn't stop her from throwing a few jabs at Jews into her speech.
* {{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.\\
'''Father:''' No... I was disappointed... because you tried]].
* In the movie ''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 mistakes them for lovers). This doesn't sit well with the protagonist, who then [[DisproportionateRetribution decides to seduce the antagonist's wife in retaliation]].
* 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 emotionally damage her if she [[InternalizedCategorism internalized it]].
* The main conflict in ''Film/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.
* ''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.
* ''Film/XMen'':
** ''Film/XMenTheLastStand'': The quest by Angel's father 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.
** ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'': {{Played with}} when a nurse tells Mystique that she feels sorry for the blue-skinned woman she saw on 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.
* An attempted - and failed - aversion resulted from the making of the 1932 black comedy/horror film ''{{Freaks}}''. Director Todd Browning wanted to show sideshow performers to be, if not exactly ordinary, then at least well-adjusted and confident, and not in need of the other circus people to feel sorry for them or protect them from persecution. But he was [[ExecutiveMeddling forced to cut large portions of the screenplay by the film's producers]] (partly for censorship reasons and partly because the studio just wanted a shorter film), with the result that the freaks are pictured more as [[NobleSavage Noble Savages]] (they are even - sympathetically - referred to as children) and then as near-villains when they take their revenge in the climax.

* In ''Literature/TheBabySittersClub'' series, Stacey is this toward a new girl in one book.
* 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 ''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 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:Live-Action TV]]
* Occurs on ''Series/{{Community}}'' in the episode "Early 21st Century Romanticism". Britta makes friends with a lesbian pretty much for the sole purpose of having an excuse to smugly brag to everybody about what a progressive and tolerant person she is. At one point, the rather naïve and sheltered Annie curiously asks her some questions about her friend, and Britta uses this opportunity to condescendingly lecture her on her "homophobia" and how it makes her a lesser person. [[spoiler:It turned out that Britta's "lesbian" friend was straight, thought ''Britta'' was a lesbian, and befriended her for exactly the same reason. Neither girl was very happy to find out the truth.]]
* 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."
* ''Series/{{House}}'' addresses this a few times in the mentality of doctors and their patients. Cameron previously was married to a man who she knew was dying of terminal cancer, and their marriage naturally only lasted six months. She finds herself likely attracted to the miserable, depressed, crippled House, and makes several advances on him. Eventually House spells it out that what she feels for him isn't ''love,'' it's ''pity,'' and that he's not going to go into a relationship based on something like that. Likewise, Wilson's repeated failed marriages are attributed by House that he's only attracted to women who are "broken," and then loses interest when they get back on their feet. Again, it's implied this is a major reason why Wilson and House are friends, since House is so damaged that Wilson just can't fix him no matter how long they're together.
* In a ''Series/TheDailyShow'' 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.
* The first episode of ''Series/AdamRuinsEverything'' points this out as a contributing factor to why various charitable giving operations don't help like we think they do. Adam asks his student-for-the-day Emily what she visualizes when thinking about a citizen of an African country. What she comes up with is a string of stereotypes of rural African communities before [[LampshadeHanging stopping and realizing how condescending she sounds]]. Later in the episode it is implied that this contributes to the attitude that poor people can't just be given money directly because they might spend it on things they don't need.

* 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: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: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:Web Comics]]
* 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]].
** This in general is Beforus' hat. It's a culture that is based around babying those with "lower" blood colors like they're helpless.
* 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: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 non-European protagonists generally do fine if they can get into theaters in majority-ethnic-European societies.)
* Discussed in The Tuesday Zone's [[http://roosterillusionreviews.com/2014/11/04/the-tuesday-zone-eldritch-adaptations-part-21/ review]] of ''Call Girl of Cthulhu'', specifically as it relates to the protagonist's Nice Guy Syndrome.
-->''First of all, the main character—who we are 100% meant to sympathize with and support—[[UnfortunateImplications just referred to women as things]]. Second, note that the main character desperately wants sex and only interacts with two women before this conversation: his roommate, whom he condescends to because'' '''''he could only have sex with someone he loves, unlike her,''''' ''and the titular call girl, whose line of work he disrespects but attempts to tolerate. He paints prostitutes, apparently reflecting on how he respects their bodies more than most clients or some hogwash like that, but doesn’t realize that he’s judging them and their line of work in a snobbish way as a result. He thinks he knows what their bodies are good for better than they do.''

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' episode "Keystone Motel", Sapphire treats Ruby's anger as insignificant because she knows it will eventually fade. This trivialization of her emotions only makes Ruby angrier- especially because her hurt feelings are ''entirely justified'' given the circumstances. Sapphire later admits that by doing this, she was only escalating their fight.
-->'''Steven:''' But [Ruby] seems really upset.\\
'''Sapphire:''' That doesn't matter. She can't stay mad at [[spoiler:Pearl]] forever and she can't stay mad at ''me'' forever, and then she'll come back and see that I'm right.