[[caption-width-right:200:"[[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Copyright 1968. Hmm, determined or not, that cat must be long dead.]]"]]

Glurge is a catch-all term for any "inspirational" tale which conceals a much darker meaning than the [[AnAesop uplifting moral lessons]] it purports to offer. (The word "glurge" was initially coined by a reader of [[http://www.snopes.com/glurge/glurge.asp Snopes.com]], and derives from the sound of someone throwing up.)

These stories are meant to be purely sentimental parables, touching hearts and teaching (often Christian) morals. The problem is, they accomplish this by simplifying their message to the point of complete uselessness to any reader who thinks about it seriously. All shades of grey between the black and white of good and evil are wholly overlooked, meaning potentially more valuable lessons about actual hard work, understanding, personal growth and sacrifice are completely ignored in the rush to present a universe in which everything happens for a ''satisfying'' reason.

"Glurge" is hard to describe, but easier to identify. This being a super-trope, it involves one or more the following:

* AesopCollateralDamage: Glurge often relies upon the suffering of a secondary character to drive home the lesson. This gives the protagonist an opportunity to realize his mistake and choose to follow the lesson after all -- sometimes he might even reason that {{God}} (or whatever Powers That Be) caused this suffering to show him the "right way".
* AllThatGlitters: The protagonist learns that money isn't everything. He typically goes to the complete opposite extreme, becoming TheHermit and renouncing things that are actually important, like his own health and the people close to him.
* AngstWhatAngst: A character is a victim or survivor of some sort of tragic or traumatic incident, and feel absolutely none of the grief or trauma that any real person would feel, indicating the writers are not writing realistic human traits into the character. Alternately they initially, they may actually suffer from grief or trauma, but it only lasts one scene, chapter, or episode, and by the next scene,chapter or episode they act as if nothing happened.
* BlackAndWhiteMorality: Glurge-y works leave no doubt who is right and who is wrong. The sympathetic side will be entirely good, while the opposing side will be not only incorrect but actively hostile to all that is good.
* CantGetAwayWithNuthin: ''Every'' mistake or transgression results in disaster.
* ChildrenAreInnocent: [[AdultsAreUseless Only kids can get anything done, or even do anything right]]. In stories that involve an element of the spiritual or supernatural, children are able to perceive or experience those elements, but the adults and teens in the story are not.
* DisproportionateRetribution[=/=]DisproportionateReward: Because Glurge is there to teach a lesson, it will reward the characters who agree with the message while heaping abuse and suffering on those who disagree, making them an example to the others (see AesopCollateralDamage, above). LaserGuidedKarma is usually also in play.
* EasyEvangelism: The character who speaks the work's message will be impossibly persuasive, winning over all the sympathetic characters. Those who ignore or reject him will be portrayed as stupid, in denial, or evil, regardless of how logical it would be to take this total stranger at his word. Works promoting a religion easily fall into Glurge territory for this reason.
* InspirationallyDisadvantaged: This trope ignores the real limitations a disability imposes; it makes disabled persons seem lesser, "lazy", or just not worth writing about if they haven't developed some sort of DisabilitySuperpower.
* LittlestCancerPatient: The terminally-ill are most sympathetic when they are children. You can fill in the blanks.
* PuritySue: A character -- set up to be admired and imitated -- whose purity and saintliness are impossible in RealLife.
* StalkingIsLove: Many "romantic" Glurge stories feature this trope. It's a particularly dangerous phenomenon; in real life, stalking is demonstrably ''not'' love, but rather a compulsion arising from social phobia or mental illness. And works have a distinct DoubleStandard for this trope; shady-looking stalkers are evil and the victim is in real danger, [[BeautyEqualsGoodness good-looking stalkers]] are romantic and sympathetic, and {{nerd}}y unpopular stalkers are just there to be pitied.
* TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth: Usually ties in to AesopCollateralDamage. It also has the effect of suggesting that [[StrawNihilist living in general is terrible]], and there's no point in being good because you'll wind up dead!
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: Glurge-y stories often distort and fabricate historical fact in the guise of offering "true stories".
* WhiteMansBurden: A rich white person helps out a poor non-white person out of the goodness of his heart. This has a number of UnfortunateImplications, namely that minorities are helpless and unable to overcome the problem themselves; only with MightyWhitey's help can they succeed. Furthermore, the trope doesn't attribute this power to a discrepancy in wealth, education, or social mobility, but rather the made-up intrinsic superiority of European culture.
* WhoopiEpiphanySpeech: A poor, ethnic minority, disabled, illiterate, or ill-educated character (ideally [[TwoferTokenMinority all of the above]]) makes a wise and insightful speech to the white, able-bodied, richer, better-educated protagonist. If the epiphany-giving character isn't sufficiently well-developed in their own right, they can seem like a mere plot device to spur the protagonist -- who ''really'' matters -- to take constructive action.
* YouKnowWhoSaidThat: A character states an argument for or against something, and then tells us that they were quoting a famous person. Such quotes are often [[QuoteMine mined]] or [[ExactWords out of context]], sometimes even on purpose, and they also assume that the famous person is automatically right.

Remember, though, that TropesAreTools; a work can use any number of these tropes without becoming Glurge. The hallmark of Glurge is a questionable message, conveyed through an emotionally manipulative delivery, meant to arouse strong emotion in the reader, failing to withstand FridgeLogic afterwards (but the reader is so emotionally stirred that they'll never look back on the work with any sort of scrutiny).

When Glurge is [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]], or the "moral" is deliberately cynical and selfish, you get a FamilyUnfriendlyAesop.

Not to be confused with {{Anvilicious}} or TastesLikeDiabetes, though that is a common feature of such stories. See also UnfortunateImplications, which has more to do with subtext (and isn't clearly stated at the end).

Believe it or not, some people have the urge for this trope and are {{Glurge Addict}}s.



[[folder: Anime]]
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'' has a strange relationship with this trope. The protagonist, Lelouch, is a Britannian (read: European) nobleman who leads the Japanese in a revolt against their European colonists. He essentially single-handedly tries to end hatred, malice, and endless war. It looks a lot like a MightyWhitey situation, in that the Japanese are incapable of freeing their country on their own. But it's made stranger because Lelouch is a VillainProtagonist, deliberately invokes a ZeroApprovalGambit, and has to operate in disguise. And it's a Japanese series, so it's difficult to tell [[{{Mukokuseki}} what race anybody is anyway.]]
* One of the main points of ''Popotan'' is that the girls always have to [[TimeTravel travel through time]]. Mai, in particular, hates it because she can never settle for any lasting friendships. Eventually, upon finding who they're looking for, they're given the option to either continue or return to any time of their choice. But, even after deciding to go back to those they felt closest to, they're now unhappy about not being able to see ''each other'' anymore. Daichi even calls Ai out for abandoning her purpose in life, and encourages her to reunite with her sisters and continue the journey. This completely ignores the idea that some people just need to move on with their lives, and suggests that you should eschew happiness in favor of repeating an endless cycle to make others happy.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'''s central lesson is that ThePowerOfFriendship can overcome anything, as long as enough people support. But it's delivered so ridiculously that it's impossible to apply it to real life; by the end, the story believes so strongly in DefeatMeansFriendship that it works on villains who were previously trying to [[KillAllHumans wipe out humanity]] and did nothing to ''deserve'' such redemption. The show tried to mitigate this by bringing us Kaguya, a BiggerBad PhysicalGod, who comes out of nowhere to be a HateSink and retroactively excuse the other villains' crimes.

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* Jack Chick and his notorious ComicBook/ChickTracts are full of Glurge. However, they're even better examples of ScareEmStraight; pretty much anyone who rejects his very specific brand of Protestant Christianity has to answer to [[TheFaceless Giant Faceless God]] and his [[GivingSomeoneThePointerFinger Pointing Finger]] [[DoomyDoomsOfDoom of Doom]].

[[folder:Film -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/FernGully'' piles on every {{Anvilicious}} GreenAesop known to man -- and then [[BrokenAesop breaks them]] because the villainous, demonic spirit of pollution is [[EvilIsCool so cool]] (and voiced by Creator/TimCurry no less) that you'll end up [[RootingForTheEmpire rooting for him instead.]] Though it does technically mean you will be cheering for [[UnfortunateImplications death and destruction]], so the glurge interestingly is the lesser of two evils.
* ''WesternAnimation/ATrollInCentralPark'' is so saccharine it will [[TastesLikeDiabetes give you insulin shock]]. A particularly {{broken|Aesop}} scene has Stanley the troll show the kids his vision of a perfect world -- a SugarBowl filled with trolls ''exactly like him''.

[[folder:{{Film}} -- Live Action]]
* Almost any "inspirational" movie about a teacher, especially of the SaveOurStudents type, actually implies: (a) a teacher can reach all students just by caring, which means not having a life at all; (b) all the other teachers those students ever had just didn't care enough; and (c) the school system doesn't need discipline, funding, national standards, or any actual improvements -- it just needs teachers who care more. They also often overlap with WhiteMansBurden, as the teacher is often white and the students non-white, the school is often in a gang-ridden ghetto, and the teacher's ability to "overcome racial differences" to "reach the kids" is hailed as amazing and not at all racist.
** ''Film/DangerousMinds'' is a good example of how such films are impliedly racist; only the white teacher can get through to the students, and not his non-white fellow faculty members.
** ''Literature/UpTheDownStaircase'' shows how this trope is used in school districts' "training" programs, which has the effect of blaming teachers for everything wrong with their schools -- rather than overcrowding, lack of a consistent discipline policy, or other leadership failings at the government level.
** ''Film/ToSirWithLove'' avoids this very well -- possibly because it's a true story -- but it still makes it clear that Sir and his students' success was only possible because of lowered expectations.
** ''Film/GodsNotDead'' is about a religious student clashing with his athiest teacher over God's existence. The glurge comes from the movie's badly written BlackAndWhiteMorality that says all Christians are good and all atheists and non-Christians are either evil or [[TheEeyore sad people]] who really do believe in God, but just pretend not to in response to a [[DarkAndTroubledPast tragic backstory event]]. The film ends with the teacher getting hit by a car and accepting God just before he dies. Critics and audiences were not pleased.
** ''Film/LeanOnMe'' also avoids falling into the typical Glurge trap. Joe Clark stresses discipline and control as the only effective methods of instruction, he can only save the core student body rather than ''everyone'', and the principal unceremoniously throws dozens of "troublemakers" out of the school, facing the issue head-on with brutal practicality. The film is, though, UnderminedByReality; the actual school never saw much improvement in test scores, Joe Clark left his position (partly because of his fellow teachers' resentment of his work), and the state took over the school a year later.
** ''Film/HalfNelson'' subverts this by making the aspiring inspirational white teacher a hypocritical drug addict. To the young black female student he'd like to inspire, her jailed brother's drug dealer partner is a better role model.
* Parodied in ''Film/TropicThunder'': Actor Tugg Speedman, in a [[OscarBait blatant bid to win an Oscar]], played a mentally-disabled farmhand in the [[ShowWithinAShow film-within-a-film]] ''Simple Jack''. He didn't win anything, and the film was a total bomb. Kirk Lazarus explains to Tugg that this is because he went "full retard", and he goes on to show how the actors who ''did'' win (or come close to winning) Oscars didn't actually portray mental disability accurately -- like Creator/DustinHoffman playing InspirationallyDisadvantaged in ''Film/{{Rainman}}'', Creator/TomHanks playing TheFool in ''Film/ForrestGump'', or Creator/PeterSellers playing a SeeminglyProfoundFool in ''Film/BeingThere''. The only one he says ''actually'' played an accurate "full retard" was Creator/SeanPenn in ''Film/IAmSam'', who "went full retard and went home empty-handed."
* The end of ''Film/{{Knowing}}'' was blatant Glurge. [[spoiler:[[SublimeRhyme Earth fries, everybody dies.]] Except for some 30-odd kids who are saved by aliens, whose reason for being there is never explained, and taken to some alien garden, [[AngstWhatAngst surprisingly nonchalant about everybody they know having been horribly killed.]]]]
* Creator/WillSmith, in his OscarBait film ''Film/SevenPounds'', plays an [[TheAtoner Atoner]] with God complex who [[ArtisticLicenseMedicine chooses on a patient to receive his saintly organs]]. He thinks that using fake [=IDs=] is a perfectly legitimate means to contact prospective recipients, and he considers a person worthy if he is rendered barely articulate by a volley of insults. The film implies that committing federal crimes is okay as long as it's for a good cause. But the serious Glurge is that [[spoiler:the protagonist commits suicide at the end to donate his organs, and this is treated as some sort of beautiful martyrdom.]] And the [[BrokenAesop moral breaks]] under CriticalResearchFailure; [[spoiler:his method of suicide is needlessly complicated -- a box jellyfish, whose venom should leave most of his organs unusable anyway]]. [[WebVideo/BadMovieBeatdown Film Brain]] of Website/ChannelAwesome despises this movie for these reasons.
* The film ''Film/SoulFood'' is about a grandmother who shows her love for her family by cooking delicious but unhealthy "soul food". She dies of clogged arteries, and her family honors her by eating the same unhealthy food that killed her. ''WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks'' pointed out how Glurge-y this is.
* ''Film/ForrestGump'', as shown by [[http://www.agonybooth.com/video275_Forrest_Gump_1994_Tom_Hanks.aspx Michael A. Novelli]] at Website/TheAgonyBooth, is chock-full of UnfortunateImplications brought about by its Glurge; Forrest is only a good guy because it never occurs to him to do anything that falls outside a conservative American framework of morality. (The novel it's based on is much more nuance, showing how Forrest struggles to apply his BlackAndWhiteMorality to the crazy world around him.) A ''Website/{{Cracked}}: WebVideo/AfterHours'' video also comments on the problems with the love story between Forrest and Jenny, particularly the scene where Forrest -- a confused, mentally handicapped man -- shows up at Jenny's dorm room and she tries to have sex with him. Swapping the genders in that scene leads to [[DoubleStandard a very sinister result.]]
* ''Film/PatchAdams'' is supposedly BasedOnATrueStory, but it throws away much of the real Patch Adams' philosophy [[note]]which includes that medicine should be available to everyone who needs it, alternative and traditional treatment methods should be integrated, and emotional health is just as important as physical health[[/note]] in favor of Glurge. It even changes a real-life medical student and friend of Dr. Adams into a female love interest with an implied RapeAsBackstory who [[spoiler:ends up killed by a patient]], all for cheap drama. The real Dr. Adams hates the movie for this reason.
* In ''Film/RadioFlyer'', a boy escapes his abusive stepfather by building an airplane out of a toy wagon and flying away in it, presumably to his death.
* ''Film/RockItsYourDecision'' is supposed to be an educational and supportive movie about a Christian teen realizing that he must stop listening to sinful rock music (''i.e.'' all of it). As to the result:
-->'''Creator/BradJones:''' I'm not kidding, [[WebVideo/DVDRHell this is one of the most depressing films I ever sat through]]. And I've watched ''[[Film/SaloOrThe120DaysOfSodom Salo]]'' and ''Film/ASerbianFilm''.
* ''The Search for Santa Paws'', a spinoff of Disney's ''Film/AirBuddies'' film series[[note]]specifically, it's a prequel the fourth ''Buddies'' film, ''Santa Buddies''[[/note]], could be the most Glurge-y {{Christmas movie|sindex}} of all time. A {{deliberately cute|Child}} HeartwarmingOrphan, who lives in an OrphanageOfFear, comes across Santa's talking dog, who can only be understood by those who truly believe in the magic of Christmas. The dog's mere presence makes all the other orphans realize the meaning of Christmas (including the jaded older girl who's given up on ever being adopted). Santa himself has suffered EasyAmnesia and becomes a MallSanta in a toy store; the (sadly infertile) couple who owns it has to help the orphans RaceAgainstTheClock to find Santa's MacGuffin that will save his life, and in the end the couple adopts the aforementioned heartwarming orphan. It's played completely straight, and as a result it's completely ridiculous and implausible.
* ''Film/TheOddLifeOfTimothyGreen'', from the same studio as ''Santa Paws'', involves an infertile couple who somehow grows a child in their garden (ItMakesSenseInContext).
* ''Film/TheBoyWhoCouldFly'' has an uplifting message about autism, but the protagonist's behaviors are not even close to how a regular autistic person acts. Being a popular classroom movie at the time, it may have given lots of students the wrong impression of how autistic people behave and look.
* ''Letters To God'' [[ClicheStorm ticks all the Glurge boxes]], including a TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth LittlestCancerPatient.
* ''Film/{{North}}'' seems to think of itself as an uplifting morality tale of a kid who learns to appreciate his parents. Instead it comes off as a story of [[SmallNameBigEgo a raging egotist]] who abandons his parents but returns to them only because all the other ones he encountered [[UnfortunateImplications were raging racial stereotypes]]. What's worse, [[spoiler:the film tries to save itself by revealing it was AllJustADream, but that just reveals North to be a huge racist himself as well]].
* While ''Film/WhateverHappenedToBabyJane'' wouldn't qualify, the song "I've Written a Letter To Daddy" sure would, if it weren't staged rather creepily.
* ''Film/TheUltimateGift''. Sinful, {{jerkass}} man who disregards his father? Check. Said man must go through a series of trials that improve him in order to get the titular "ultimate gift"? Check. He falls in love with the single mother of the LittlestCancerPatient? Double check. [[spoiler:The kid dies?]] You bet. The part where all this starts to go off the rails is the ending, where Jason receives [[spoiler:two billion dollars]] for his efforts, [[UnfortunateImplications implying that]] [[spoiler:the "ultimate gift" is just money.]]
* This is an accusation levelled at the film ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Boy_%28film%29 Little Boy]]'', a blond American kid's ComingOfAgeStory marked by the bullying he goes through, his father being sent off to WorldWarTwo, and the racism hurled at the Japanese-American neighbor the kid strikes an IntergenerationalFriendship with.
-->'''Youtube commenter''', about the movie's trailer: "Little Boy is a ww2 movie implying [[AtomicBombingsOfHiroshimaAndNagasaki that the bombing of Hiroshima/Nagasaki]] was because one little boy prayed really hard for his father to come home from the war, [[UnfortunateImplications and God was so moved by his prayers that he decided to vaporize thousands of Japanese people.]]"
* ''Film/WarRoom'', ostensibly about a couple turning to faith during a rough patch in their marriage, imparts the message that {{Satan}} is responsible for a verbally abusive and adulterous husband's behavior, and all his wife needs to do is pray for him. This is particularly dangerous, as many abuse victims stay with their partners precisely because they believe it's their responsibility to "save" their abusers.
** A subplot of the film is the husband, Tony, has been making thousands of dollars by stealing and selling his company's drugs. After he finds the Lord, he ''takes the stolen goods back to his boss'', all but insuring major prosecution. The boss is so moved, he lets the whole thing ''slide'' - imparting the message that being sufficiently Christian will spare one from real world consequences of actions; even a cursory reading of Literature/TheBible will not support such a moral.
* ''Old Fashioned'', marketed as TheMoralSubstitute to ''Film/FiftyShadesOfGray'', showing a love story based on romance and courtship rather than sex. Our hero, Clay Walsh, is so disgusted by the possibly of giving into his base desires, he ''refuses to be in the same room'' as his LoveInterest Amber, and much of their so-called romance is actually him molding her to his ideal of a [[StayInTheKitchen properly submissive wife and mother,]] even making her cut up food for a friend's baby. In one scene, he shames a sex worker ''to her face'' (all in the name of "treating women with respect") and almost gets to a fight with her driver when he ''correctly'' points out that [[StrawmanHasAPoint Clay just cost her a night's worth of pay.]]

* Parodied in ''Literature/TheAreasOfMyExpertise'' with The Six Oaths of the Virtuous Child, which are more [[CreepyChild creepy]] than inspiring.
--> - Today shall not be wasted. I shall rise before the sun, so that I may then watch my family as they slumber, with intent, waiting eyes.\\
- I shall honor my mother today, and I shall tell Father he is powerful.\\
- Today I shall be clean. I shall not touch my teeth, knowing that the oils of my skin shall cause them to disintegrate. I shall instead hone them with a good steel twice after prayers.\\
- I shall be a faithful child, and [[ScienceIsBad I shall ever make science my enemy.]] [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking Also eels]].\\
- At day, I shall perform my chores and duties happily, and if I see an eel, I shall kill it before it may speak to me seductively of its lazy life on lazy river bottoms.\\
- At night, I shall dream of more labor, and in my sleep I shall smile with sharpened teeth, knowing that today has not been wasted.
* Mark Twain wrote two stories parodying this: "The Good Little Boy", in which the title character's life ambition is to be the star of a Sunday School book, and "The Bad Little Boy", in which the title character misbehaves and karma [[KarmaHoudini utterly fails]] to inflict ironic punishments.
* In his stand-up routine, Creator/DavidCross savages the book ''Promises to Keep: Daily Devotions for Men of Integrity'' for being full of Glurge and [[FamilyUnfriendlyAesop Warped Aesops]].
* The [[UsefulNotes/NaziGermany Nazi party]] published kids books, which were unsurprisingly full of Glurge. They also presented [[GreedyJew Jews]] and UsefulNotes/{{Romani}} as evil, conniving demons who wanted to ruin the lives of all the big-eyed Teutonic waifs. One Nazi children's book featured Hitler inviting a little girl to his private villa for tea and cookies, then giving her a hug and a kiss as she leaves.
* Invoked in ''Literature/TheFountainhead'': Alvah Scarrett's career is built on writing [[StylisticSuck glurge-filled newspaper editorials]].
* Dog books such as ''Saving Cinnamon'', ''The Dog Who Couldn't Stop Loving'', ''A Small Furry Prayer'', and ''What a Difference a Dog Makes'' are often filled with glurge. As an ''Entertainment Weekly'' reviewer summed up:
--> ''They are all blatantly, painfully the same exaggerated story of hope and triumph-of-the-humane-society spirit. You know the kind -- a pit bull learning to love, a pug saving a nursing home, a chihuahua crusading for immigration reform! Not to be callous, but I've had it! I'm sure Oogy and Pukka are great pooches, but their cloyingly cute books are enough to give you a case of the [[TastesLikeDiabetes canine diabetes]].''
* Edward Everett Hale's ''The Man Without a Country'' is quite Glurge-y, much as it tries to pretend to be a manly man's story set among the men of the Navy. The moral lesson is: love your country dammit, because if you don't have a country your life is worthless and you dwindle into a pathetic loner obsessed with the whole notion of "country." Never mind that [[MyCountryRightOrWrong patriotism for the sake of patriotism]] is naive at best, or that [[DisproportionateRetribution what happened in the story was a form of low-key brainwashing,]] making the man's life revolve around the ''lack'' of the United States -- it's really nauseating.
* ''Literature/TheSecret'' is infamous for claiming that good things happen only if you really, ''really'' [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve visualize them enough]], and that if they don't happen to you, you just didn't want them badly enough.
* The ''Love and Logic'' parenting books imply that the best solution to problems between parents and children is for the parents to do whatever they want and just repeat the phrase "I love you too much to argue" when the child protests.
* Kate Breslin's inspirational romance novel ''For Such a Time'' got some good publicity and was nominated for two 2015 Romance Writers of America awards -- whereupon people not in its target audience of conservative Christians found out about it. A WholePlotReference to the [[Literature/TheBible Book of Esther]], it recasts the story's events as a romance between a Jewish concentration camp prisoner and a Nazi commandant, the latter of whom is redeemed by ThePowerOfLove and God's grace. There's a lot written about it online, but [[http://dearauthor.com/features/letters-of-opinion/joint-discussion-time-kate-breslin/ this joint discussion and the comments below it sum up the major criticisms]] well: the extremely offensive and mostly intentional use of ArtisticLicenseHistory throughout, without which the story couldn't end on HappilyEverAfter; the StockholmSyndrome nature of their relationship; and the Jewish characters not acting authentically Jewish, to the point that a common misconception is that by the end the heroine has converted to Christianity. Thus, the book distorts and exploits both a horrific chapter of Jewish (and 20th century) history and a beloved Old Testament story (which is not even a romantic one) solely for the benefit of Christian readers.
* Scottish actress Louise Linton's book ''In Congo's Shadow'' received [[https://www.buzzfeed.com/craigsilverman/people-are-calling-bullshit-on-this-memoir?utm_term=.gvxwAyJ7Y#.prEGbnE8y heavy criticism for this]]. To make long story short, Linton's portrayal of Zambia during 1990s is inaccurate as hell, filled with racist stereotypes, and suffers horribly from MightyWhitey.
* In the ''[[MarsAndVenusGenderContrast Venus and Mars]]'' books, there's a story about a knight who rescues a princess from a dragon. She marries him, then gets attacked by another dragon, and tells the knight how to kill it. This happens again and again until the knight rescues another princess who doesn't tell him what to do or how to do it. What the reader was ''supposed'' to take from this is that it's important for a man to be able to solve his own problems. What it ended up implying was that women need to be delicate and passive to protect their boyfriend/husband's ego, and that if he cheats, it's ''her'' fault for being too outspoken. It also introduces FridgeLogic: If the princess knows how to slay the dragon herself, why doesn't she at least try?

* ''Series/TheLoneGunmen'': "Like Water for Octane" is a story about the Lone Gunmen struggling to expose the truth about a revolutionary engine which doesn't use petrol, only to decide that the world is [[TheWorldIsNotReady too stupid to be trusted with the truth]] and that the trio should appoint themselves custodians of that technology. The episode seems entirely sincere in this belief, which makes it seem like the production team have somehow misunderstood their own characters. The Lone Gunmen collectively decide that the world does not need to be freed from its addiction to gasoline. Who wrote this episode, Jeremy Clarkson?
* Viewers of ''Series/SeventhHeaven'' are force-fed Christian morals like a baby. The version of UsefulNotes/{{Christianity}} was the vague, feel-good sort that could best be described as "spiritual masturbation". You don't mention {{Jesus}} as anything more than a really hoopy dude, because people might feel ''bad'', AndThatsTerrible.
* The ''Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent'' episode "Faith" is a look at the darker side of glurge: the VictimOfTheWeek is a benefactor who planned to stop supporting a girl who suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease and survived abuse to write an inspiring book about her experiences. [[spoiler:He planned to stop because he found out ''she isn't real'', and her "foster parents" are con artists.]] And this is actually inspired by [[spoiler: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vicki_Johnson Anthony Godby Johnson]], supposed "author" of ''A Rock and a Hard Place''.]]
* ''Series/{{MADtv}}'''s parody skit ''Nice White Lady'' subverts the "[[SaveOurStudents inspirational teacher saves inner-city students]]" story that shows up in so many movies by pointing out the racism underlying many such stories. [=MADtv's=] inspirational teacher doesn't do much to inspire her black, Latino and Asian students except make random speeches and utter platitudes -- but she doesn't have to, because, as the title says, she's a nice white lady.
* ''Series/TouchedByAnAngel'': Sending the message of God's love is awesome, but mixing it with this trope ain't exactly a good idea. The original unaired pilot was more cynical with one angel Monica calling humans "god's sport" and Tess smoking.
* Parodied in ''Series/TheMiddle''. In the first Mother's Day episode, Sue Heck, who often tries out for things that she never makes it into, finds an inspirational fridge magnet with a dolphin flying a kite that says "Think of the thing you can not do and then do it." However, since her father Mike doesn't buy the fridge magnet for her (since Frankie may not have wanted it for Mother's Day), Sue steals it, which is basically contrary to her nature and makes her feel very guilty. So much for the inspirational message.

* There was an ad promoting Proposition 8 (a law which banned gay marriage in California) featuring a cute, little blond girl playing with ''Franchise/{{Barbie}}'' dolls. While the ad seemed sweet on the surface, advocates for gay rights would see this as a way of using children (who don't really understand what it is they're doing) to promote homophobia.
* The notorious ''I Am Autism'' is a film produced by Autism Speaks and put on the Internet in September 2009. It starts out with [[EvilSoundsDeep a man's deep voice speaking over footage of autistic children playing at various activities as]] '''[[EvilSoundsDeep "Autism!]]"''', gloating about how he "work[s] faster than pediatric AIDS, cancer, and diabetes combined" among other things. Then it switches over to various saintly neurotypical adults who all talk about how they will bravely fight autism, with one woman saying that "Autism!" "think[s] that because [her] child lives behind a wall, [she is] afraid to knock it down with [her] bare hands." Unsurprisingly, it got a lot of backlash from autistic people, autistic allies, and many disability rights organizations. Autism Speaks did pull it down, but the director of the piece, none other than Creator/AlfonsoCuaron, hasn't publicly apologized or even spoken about it since.
* The Values.com advertising campaign has verged into [[TastesLikeDiabetes saccharine territory]]. The biggest offender is a 2015 ad centered on a footrace for handicapped children; the first-place runner trips mid-race, the second-place runner stops to help him up, and then all the other runners lock arms and skip across the finish line together.

* The song "Christmas Shoes" is a by-word for Glurge. A man who's not in the Christmas spirit comes across a boy who counts pennies and wants his dying mom "to look good if [she] meets Jesus tonight." He buys a pair of shoes for the boy and winds up changed for good. He further reasons that God sent the boy to help him change (but doesn't address the idea that God must have also nearly killed his mother -- or might not let her into heaven if she looks too poor). It's so infamous, [[EveryoneHasStandards even Christian radio stations have stayed away from the song these days]], and it's evoked a ton of responses:
** Creator/PattonOswalt offers an AlternativeCharacterInterpretation that posits the kid is a StreetUrchin scamming his marks by [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq10bz3PxyY playing on their heartstrings]].
** WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick [[http://channelawesome.com/nostalgia-chick-top-10-inescapable-christmas-songs calls it the #1 disturbing and inescapable Christmas song]].
** Hard 'N Phirm wrote an over-the-top response song called "She Named The Pony Jesus", in which a guy steals a horse from a fair to give to his ridiculously ailing daughter. [[spoiler: The song ends with the horse trampling the girl and running away.]]
---> "Can I have a pony, Jesus\\
your humble servant begs\\
you see my little girl breathes through a tube\\
and has a wheelchair for her legs\\
I'm not asking you to fix her spine\\
or uncollapse her lung\\
but I know she'd thank you for that pony\\
if she had a working tongue\\
I know that horse won't stop her tremors\\
or reattach her nose\\
but I know she'd hop right on that pony\\
if she could move her shriveled toes"
* In the Music/DollyParton song "Letter to Heaven", a little girl writes a letter to her dead mom. [[spoiler:On her way to mailbox, she gets run over by a car and dies.]]
* Red Sovine made a career out of Glurgy songs, most of them about truckers:
** "Teddy Bear": A lonely little paralyzed boy with a dead father and only a C.B. Radio for company.
** "Giddy-up Go": An old trucker, whose wife and son left him years ago because he was gone so much of the time, meets a young trucker and recognizes him as his now-adult son by the name of the young man's truck: "Giddy-up Go", the same thing the old man named his truck when the son was a small child.
** "Little Rosa": A father tells of buying a rose to lay on the grave of his little girl, Rosa, who was killed by a train.
** "Bringing Mary Home": The urban legend of "the vanishing hitchhiker", who's now a little girl.
* "The Deck of Cards" by T. Texas Tyler implies that playing cards in church is [[DisproportionateRetribution punishable by death]].
* Music/MichaelJackson was a GlurgeAddict, so it's not surprising that some of his work falls into this territory. In particular, he ''always'' plays ChildrenAreInnocent straight.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWf-eARnf6U The video for "Heal the World"]] posits that soldiers and terrorists would lay down their arms if they could just see how happy and peaceful children are, in an effort to return to that state of innocence. This doesn't address that these people were children themselves once, and that they're fighting for reasons much more complicated than any child could understand.
** ''[[Film/MichaelJacksonsGhosts Ghosts]]'' was something of a response to accusations that his affection for children [[PaedoHunt hid unsavory motives]]. It uses the framework of a black-and-white horror movie. An evil white mayor (played by Jackson) leads a TorchesAndPitchforks mob on the supernatural Michael, just because he was sharing ghost stories with some local boys.
** "Earth Song" is a GreenAesop guilt trip that attacks the listener for not even ''bothering'' to notice the suffering of plants, animals and people. In the video, war victims and natives wailing and gnashing their teeth somehow prove sufficient to magically turn back time and make everything all better. To make matters worse, live performances had Jackson singlehandedly stand up to a tank and reduce the driver to tears by ''standing down the gun he aimed at him''.
** "Little Susie", from the same album as "Earth Song", isn't as well-known (it wasn't released as a single), but it's just as much of a guilt trip. The title character is a little girl who, thanks to a combination of death and abandonment on her family's part, lives all alone in an apartment. She spends her time singing a song to a tinkly music box tune, while no one in the building tries to help her; only one person is even ''aware'' of her existence. She's finally found dead at the bottom of a flight of stairs, which is either a suicide or a murder (if the latter, clearly by someone in it ForTheEvulz).
* A lot of early-to-mid-20th-century pop can fall into this nowadays, given how completely sentimentality has been redefined since then. "Artificial Flowers" (best-known version by Music/BobbyDarin) is a great example.
** The worst offenders were the many girl groups in the TheSixties, whose lyrics would be perceived as downright ''[[StalkerWithACrush creepy]]'' if they were written today.
** One particularly chilling example is Neil Sadaka's "Next Door to an Angel", in which he delights in describing his young neighbour's physical development ("She used to be such a skinny little girl / But all of a sudden, she's out of this world!") and plans to "make that angel mine"; while the girl next door is explicitly identified as 16, the narrator is suspiciously not. And yet, it's all cheerfully sung to the most cheesy, goofy rhythm imaginable.
* Many songs advertised as father-daughter dances at weddings fall into Glurge; prime examples are "Butterfly Kisses" by Bob Carlisle, and "My Father's Eyes" by Amy Grant. [[http://offbeatbride.com/2007/06/non-sappy-fatherdaughter-dance-songs Some brides are now catching on to how Glurgey and slightly creepy they are.]]
* "Diary of an Unborn Child", an anti-abortion AuthorTract, would have been slightly more effective had the titular foetus not been a grotesque mix of [[TastesLikeDiabetes sickening sweetness]] and NightmareFuel in equal parts, making its death more relieving than tragic. [[{{Narm}} And then it starts singing]].
* "The Little Girl", sung by John Michael Montgomery, is based upon [[http://www.snopes.com/glurge/girl.asp a religiously-themed urban legend]] (similar to the above-mentioned [[http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/GEN-NEWBIE/1998-12/0913688769 "Christmas Shoes"]]). Songwriter Harley Allen, when asked about the song's origin, stated that "if it ain't true, it ought to be," which has UnfortunateImplications: the eponymous "little girl" witnesses the brutal murder-suicide of her parents.

* ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' has a hilarious parody of glurgy chain e-mails called "IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU!" It involves a terminally-ill drell (desert-dwelling green-skinned humanoid) lying in the ocean, praying to [[{{Precursors}} the Enkindlers]], and being told that it wasn't the water but the Enkindlers who were keeping him afloat, then waking to find himself cured. Bonus points for making ''no sense'' in the context of the Enkindler religion, which is essentially deist.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Each ''Webcomic/ZenPencils'' comic is a FramingDevice for a famous quote -- and it falls into all the pitfalls of YouKnowWhoSaidThat, with many quotes being hypocritical or out of context. A surprising number of comics also encourage readers to quit their jobs and pursue their passion (even if it's [[http://zenpencils.com/comic/122-charles-bukowski-roll-the-dice/ obsessively binge-watching]] ''Series/GameOfThrones''), suggesting that the only reason to do anything is [[DoingItForTheArt for the art]]. Its attempt at an [[http://zenpencils.com/comic/144-the-artist-troll-war-1-hatred-breeds-hatred/ original story arc]] is a Glurge-y attempt to paint art critics as hateful {{troll}}s who are defeated by The Power of Art.

* [=TheGamersCave=]'s "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1Ch6N8QT00 I am a Gamer]]" is supposed to be a celebration of the gamer identity. It begins innocently enough, talking about how video games allow players to experience a reality other than their own, but it goes downhill when the narrator starts claiming that video games are ''superior'' to RealLife, reinforcing common gamer stereotypes (such as preferring [[PerverseSexualLust imaginary relationships]] to real ones). The uplifting techno music in the background only adds to [=TheGamersCave=]'s preachiness. The video made the narrator a source of mockery, especially [[FanworkBan when he tried to get a parody taken down]].
* Parodied by RinkWorks' "[[http://www.rinkworks.com/peasoup Pea Soup for the Cynic's Soul]]", a collection of tales whose beginning and middle are stereotypically glurge-y but end in rather twisted or horrific fashion.
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic has a tendency to choose really sappy music for {{rousing speech}}es delivered to straw villains. He has mocked this a few times, like in ''We Wish You A Turtles Christmas'', where he's spewing about Christmas but Tamara is getting gored by zombie Malcolm behind him.

%%* ''WesternAnimation/TheChristmasTree'': "Miss Mavilda learned that you always win when you are good."
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/FostersHomeForImaginaryFriends'': In one episode, this is how Mac is able to tell [[SpotTheImpostor which of the Bloos]] is his true best friend. The one that made the heartfelt speech at the end wasn't the real one, since [[{{Jerkass}} Bloo would never say or admit something like that]].
* ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'':
** Hank's mom Tilly collects cutesy figurines, and Hank utterly despises them because of how much she loves them and how they seem to control her life. Then Hank realizes those figurines were the only things that kept her going while she was trapped in her marriage to Hank's {{Jerkass}} father Cotton.
** In the episode "Husky Bobby", Bobby begins modeling as a plus sized child. Hank is extremely embarrassed about this, as he is prejudiced against overweight people. The whole episode centers around Hank trying to get Bobby to quit. He finally succeeds before a fashion show for plus-sized males, which ends with the children who were not dragged out by their dads getting pelted with donuts. Nobody does anything to stop it, it ends with a heartwarming moment between Bobby and Hank, and nobody is punished for their actions. AWeightyAesop at its worst.
--->'''Bobby:''' Wow Dad, you were right!\\
'''Hank:''' Hell, when you get fashion shows, teenage boys, and donuts in the same place, this is bound to happen.\\
''(Scene fades to black and happy music plays)''
* ''WesternAnimation/TheDreamstone'', especially in early episodes, concerns a SeriousBusiness feud about spreading dreams and nightmares. The BigBad's minions, the Urpneys, were sympathetic {{Punch Clock Villain}}s who got beaten up and sent to face their murderous BadBoss whenever they tried to ruin the heroes' dreams, all still depicted in a sickly sweet and righteous tone.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' includes an in-universe example of Glurge with a historical tale: A heroine couldn't be with her beloved because he was the son of her enemy and had an ArrangedMarriage with a princess, so she rode a dragon into battle, burned down the country, and jumped into a volcano. Jinora thinks it's the most romantic story ever, while Korra is completely nonplussed by it.
* Used InUniverse on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': Bart becomes a co-anchor on Lisa's news show, and taking the advice of Kent Brockman, he does a series of human interest stories of this nature, including one of a duck feeder who is upset that ducks stopped visiting him (even though there's another pond filled with ducks nearby).

* Spam, chain letters and faxlore by the thousands. ''Website/{{Snopes}}'' has an [[http://www.snopes.com/glurge/glurge.asp section dedicated to examples of these]], with well over one hundred entries, and yet even that barely dips into the endless well of schmaltz, {{Narm}}, and [[FridgeHorror unexamined assumptions]] that winds up in people's inboxes daily.
** Parodied on ''CuteOverload!'', in which the storyteller gets confused by the sequence of events in the pictures, leading to a very LostAesop.
** Music/WeirdAlYankovic lampshades this among other things in his song "Stop Forwarding That Crap to Me".
** Website/{{Facebook}} has its own brand of chain letters, which often include pictures and added emotional blackmail along the lines of "only [[LiesDamnedLiesAndStatistics 3%]] of your friends will be brave enough to share this!".
* The "Self-Esteem Movement" that permeated much of academia in the 70s, 80s, and 90s could be categorized as an example of real-life Glurge, broadly defined. The theory was that all children naturally want to be good students, but they must be taught self-esteem to live up to this. Bad behavior, bad grades, bad sexual choices among adolescents, and bullying were all supposedly symptoms of low self-esteem. In real life, this view mixes correlation and causality; it's just as unhealthy for skilled students to put themselves down as it is to artificially build up the self-image of those who have achieved nothing. If you're looking for people with healthy, but realistic self-images, rightly satisfied with their positive qualities, recognizing faults in ways that allows for future improvement, you're probably not going to find them attending high school -- or in Glurge for that matter. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuG4MdRK97w&persist_app=1&app=m?app=desktop An analysis]] of ''Film/{{Nightcrawler}}'' by [[WebVideo/RenegadeCut Leon Thomas]] uses this example.
* SocialistRealism and other totalitarian art forms like to portray glurge, with endless scenes of happy farmers, industrious workers, and brave soldiers without conflict or human suffering or any of the imperfections that make real life real. This has led to some commentators using the umbrella term [[http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204908604574336383324209824.html "totalitarian kitsch"]] to describe art used as propaganda in totalitarian regimes.
** The theme of these paintings has been jokingly described as "girl meets tractor".
* Pinterest is especially hated in some circles for its extremely sentimental and preachy "inspirational" quotes. Its glurge can take a pretty nasty turn through "fitspo" pins (designed to inspire the viewer to get in shape), which combine the glurge with emotional blackmail and guilt-tripping.
* There's a popular story that pops up from time to time that Evanna Lynch, who played Luna Lovegood in the ''Film/HarryPotter'' movies, got the role because Creator/JKRowling promised it to her if she continued to seek treatment for anorexia. While certain elements of it are true (Lynch spent two years in and out of the hospital due to anorexia nervosa, credits the ''Harry Potter'' books with helping her deal with the hospitalization, and of course would go on to play Luna in the movies), Rowling had no role in Lynch's casting. While such rumors make Rowling look great, they carry with them the implication that Lynch did not actually earn the role that made her famous, but had it handed to her out of pity. It's especially bad because the real story is pretty damn inspirational as it is; check out her entry on PromotedFanboy.
* This happens on Website/{{Tumblr}} a lot whenever someone doesn't do the proper research:
** An infamous post of a long black objcet with pink on it was claimed to be a black man's burnt arm, and it was called "tragically beautiful". Then it turned out to actually be a picture of [[{{Squick}} a horse's penis.]]
** A common GIF image purports to depict someone dying in the middle of an MRI scan. The original poster claimed that death causes the brain to release "tons and tons of endorphins that make you feel a range of emotions. Tragically beautiful." After being reblogged as "deep" and "beautiful", someone pointed out that it actually depicted someone turning into a zombie in ''Series/TheWalkingDead'' -- with the AMC logo [[FailedASpotCheck not even removed from the corner]].
** Someone posted [[https://65.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lxjg9hlTzx1qjlo4qo1_500.png a picture]] of a police officer with scars on the side of his face, calling it "Joker without makeup". Some users were sufficiently saddened, others visibly offended, before someone pointed out that it was actually a screencap from ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' where ComicBook/TheJoker was hiding out among a group of policemen.
--->oh thats awkward
** There was a heated argument about a photoset of a bird covered in chocolate, calling it animal cruelty and saying that the bird probably died from interacting with the chocolate. Then it was pointed out that the photos were fake and came from [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdRvlLZLI6c this scene]] in ''Film/JackAndJill''.
* The ''[=BuzzFeed=]'' article "[[http://www.buzzfeed.com/kmallikarjuna/signs-youre-the-lisa-simpson-of-your-family 29 Signs You're the Lisa Simpson of Your Family]]" consist of images of [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Lisa Simpson]] accompanied by text obtensibly comparing the reader to her. Some of these images are taken out of context. Especially the final point, "You started from the bottom now you're here. ''[sic]''", accompanied by an image of Lisa in a pool surrounded by other kids; this episode had Lisa faking her popularity to get to swim in that pool.
* The infamous [[https://vid.me/PDQM/there-s-a-reason-erasers-don-t-work-on-your-hear "There's a reason erasers don't work on your heart"]] vine crosses glurge with an IceCreamKoan.