[[quoteright:200:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hang_in_there_baby_6401.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:200:"[[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Copyright 1968. Hmm, determined or not, that cat must be long dead.]]"]]
->"''If you don't forward this e-mail, that's OK. Mommy says you're a mean heartless person who doesn't care about a poor little boy with only a head. She says that she hopes that you stew in the raw pit of your own guilt-ridden stomach. What kind of wretched person are you that you can't take five lousy minutes to forward this to all your friends so that they can feel guilt and shame for the rest of their day, and then maybe help a poor, bodiless nine-year-old boy?''"
-->-- [[PoesLaw Taken from]] the ''[[Website/{{Snopes}} Snopes.com]]'' entry, [[http://www.snopes.com/humor/iftrue/burlap.asp "Sad Sack"]]

Glurge is a catch-all term for any "inspirational" tale which [[UnfortunateImplications conceals a much darker meaning]] than the [[AnAesop uplifting moral lessons]] it purported to offer, or which [[BrokenAesop undermines its messages]] by [[VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory distorting and fabricating historical fact in the guise of offering "true stories."]]

Glurge often contains such heart-tugging elements as [[TastesLikeDiabetes sad-eyed puppies, sweet-faced children, angels, dying mothers]], [[YouCantFightFate destiny]], [[WhiteMansBurden privileged (white) folks selflessly aiding poor minority women and children]], [[ReligionIsMagic or miraculous rescues brought about by prayer]]. These stories are meant to be parables for modern times but fall far short of the mark. [[TropesAreTools The best ones]] can still be worthy entertainment, or even {{Tear Jerker}}s, but calling something Glurge is never a compliment.

Glurge sometimes contains a [[UnfortunateImplications menacing subtext]] of [[YouCantFightFate fatalism]] or [[PrejudiceTropes xenophobia]]. In such examples, happiness and success are linked to following the message's religious or social beliefs -- [[HardWorkHardlyWorks education, hard work, and achievement are irrelevant]] or subversive. People who are ''not'' members of the favored group are often portrayed as sinister and untrustworthy, and their pain, struggles, or even deaths are ignored (even celebrated) if even one of them rejects their old ways and 'converts' to align with the morals of the one who wrote the story.

Some common, intentionally used tropes in Glurge (and why they are problematic):
* AesopCollateralDamage: In order to drive home the (intended) message, characters are killed off. More often than not, the deaths or injuries are portrayed as LaserGuidedKarma for [[CantGetAwayWithNuthin disobeying parents, trying drugs, or what have you]].
* BlackAndWhiteMorality: This sort of morality tends to apply to kids [[BlackAndWhiteInsanity and insane people]]. It's quite unreasonable to expect adults to simply believe that every single member of a group is completely good or bad.
* ChildrenAreInnocent: It is generally true that children start out as innocent. However, they are also selfish and have need to be taught (by example) and/or ''made'' to be nice to other people. Morally bad children do exist in other words.
* CorruptChurch: Corrupt religious institutions can exist. The trouble with this trope is that no religious organization of any notable size could possibly be staffed ''solely'' by people who are thoroughly corrupt, evil, and possessed of zero redeeming qualities.
* EasyEvangelism: This trope is often connected to religion. The implication is that a person should immediately buy into what a stranger says just because they are correct; as well as that you must be a horrible, stubborn or stupid person just because you are sceptical of their ideas or stick to your existing false beliefs.
* IllGirl: Everyone gets sick at some point in their lives, and sometimes the sickness is incurable. Having a child die of an incurable disease and die regretting that they didn't get to do this or that with his/her life can leave a bad taste in the mouths of some people.
* InspirationallyDisadvantaged: The problem with works using this trope is that characters with disabilities are treated as though it is their fault their disabilities hold them back or treated as if they ought to have compensatory superpowers.
* JesusSaves: It can send the message that non-Christian religions are worthless. It can also be a crutch that a murderer or child molester might use and say "Yes, I did it, but I believe in Jesus, so He'll take my punishment for me!"
* LetThemDieHappy: The fact that it's a form of deception can make it leave a bad taste in the viewer's mouth, especially when the happy lie is contrasted with the harsh reality.
* LittlestCancerPatient: It is possible for little kids to get terminal cancer. There is an underlying implication that people will only care about a terminally ill patient if the patient is a kid.
* MissingMom: This trope can be considered a double standard. Usually they are treated as less important than the protagonist's father and they are considered incredibly pure and saintly. Also, if it turns the mother is alive and willingly abandoned the protagonist, then she'll be portrayed as a monster, unlike the missing dad.
* PuritySue: Some religious fictional works may present the protagonist as this, in order to provide an example of how to live your life. However, people in real life cannot easily be as pure and saintly as a fictional character, and they can't actually be perfect.
* SaintlyChurch: This is the way any kind of religious organization likes to portray itself. Unfortunately, the reality of all religious organizations is that they're staffed by mostly-normal people who spend most of their time doing mundane things. Worse yet, there are dismally many real life examples in which religious institutions and officials have shown themselves capable of great un-saintly-ness. Accordingly, depiction of a SaintlyChurch can leave a bad taste in people's mouths.
* StalkingIsLove: Many romance stories feature this trope. Real Life examples have shown that stalking is a compulsion that is the result of social phobia(s) and/or mental illness(es), not a sign of how in love you are. Also, there is a distinct double-standard concerning stalking: if the stalker is attractive, then people will sympathise with them regardless of the creepiness, illegality, or immorality of their behaviour.
* TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth: A child gets killed off precisely because they couldn't fit in a horrible world. It has a number of bad implications, [[StrawNihilist like living in general is somehow terrible]], and that you shouldn't bother trying to be good because you'll get killed for it.
* WhiteMansBurden: A rich 'white'[[note]]Ethnically pan-European, inclusive of people from the Middle East and the Caucasus[[/note]] person helps out a poor 'non-white' person out of the goodness of their heart; when are also portrayed as helpless, unable in any degree to overcome their problems themselves. This implies that there is an inherent genetic/cultural superiority to 'white' people, apart from their greater wealth and/or education, and that 'non-whites' need 'whites' to solve (all) their problems. Whenever social modernization is brought up, expect UnfortunateImplications that European culture was always inherently modern (and therefore inherently superior), and not just 'made' so in the last century-and-a-half since the Industrial Revolution.[[note]]Take Monarchies and Authoritarian governments versus democracies, for instance. Before 1990 more than half of Europe lived under dictatorships, and one need only go back four centuries to find a Europe with zero democracy whatever, except with very narrow social strata (merchants, nobles). Even the ancient Graeco-Roman democracy was highly limited--only men of particular ancestry had the vote, and only aristocrats and the rich had any shot at attaining power.[[/note]]
* WhoopiEpiphanySpeech: A poor, ethnic-minority, disabled, illiterate or ill-educated character makes a wise and insightful speech to the white, able-bodied, richer and/or better-educated protagonist. While not bad in itself, if the epiphany-giving character isn't sufficiently well-developed in their own right they can seem like a mere living plot device to spur the protagonist into action.
* YouKnowWhoSaidThat: A character uses a statement to make an argument for or against something, and tells us that they were quoting a(n) (in)famous person. However, the character rarely if ever tells us the context in which the words were spoken. This, rightly, leaves viewers to wonder if [[ExactWords they've (deliberately) misused it]] or made it up entirely. Besides, famous people can lie, say dumb things, and have bad ideas just like everyone else.

Not to be confused with TastesLikeDiabetes, though that is a common feature of such stories. Believe it or not, some people are {{Glurge Addict}}s.

Compare CrapsaccharineWorld.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime]]
* The ending for ''Anime/CodeGeass'' results in the world being saved from hatred, malice and endless war... through the noble and time-honoured art of lying, scapegoats, and acceptable casualties to prove how serious you are.
** Not to mention that implication that the [[MightyWhitey White Man]] - the Britannian Lelouch - is the only way that the Japanese and Chinese could ever defeat other white men. Even Lelouch's closest confidante and most skilled subordinate are white and half-white, respectively. Somewhat mitigated by [[{{Mukokuseki}} race being very hard to determine at a glance]], and being a Japanese series, so the implications are not necessarily a result of culture.
** China was doing pretty well on its own against Brittania, it only started to crumble because of [[TheQuisling some treacherous politicians]], and Lelouch was able to start a revolution thanks to getting the Geass, which had nothing to do with his whiteness.
* WebVideo/BennettTheSage has accused ''Anime/GraveOfTheFireflies'' of being this, essentially exploiting the tragedies of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII in order to guilt 1980s youth into falling in line and being more like their parents' generation.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* Jack Chick and his notorious ComicBook/ChickTracts. Also stellar examples of ScareEmStraight. In this case, "scare 'em straight to [[TheFaceless Giant Faceless God]] and his [[GivingSomeoneThePointerFinger Pointing Finger]] [[DoomyDoomsOfDoom of Doom]]..."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/FernGully'' piles on every {{Anvilicious}} [[GreenAesop environmental Aesop]] known to man... but it's all a BrokenAesop because the [[EvilIsCool villainous, demonic spirit of pollution]] is [[EvilIsCool so cool]] you'll probably end up rooting for him (being voiced by TimCurry is only a part of why), and the film treats Batty's traumatic backstory (in which he was cruelly experimented on by [[HumansAreBastards eeeeevil humans]] as a source of comedy and whimsy.
* ''ATrollInCentralPark''. Aside from the fact that this film [[TastesLikeDiabetes will give you insulin shock]], there's the scene where Stanley the troll shows the kids his vision of a perfect world -- a SugarBowl filled with trolls ''who are exactly like him''. [[UnfortunateImplications Yeah...]] [[EsotericHappyEnding And then there's the ending.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Film}} -- Live Action]]
* Almost any "inspirational" movie about a teacher, especially of the SaveOurStudents type, actually implies: 1. A teacher can reach all students just by caring. Caring means not having a life at all. 2. All the other teachers those students ever had just didn't care enough. 3. The school system doesn't need discipline, funding, national standards, or any actual improvements. It just needs teachers who care more.
** Unsurprisingly, the "training" offered by school districts is filled with this exact type of inspirational story glurge. The moral to the story is that everything that goes wrong is the teacher's fault and the overcrowded classrooms, lack of a consistent discipline policy and leadership failings of the administration are never at fault for anything. This is portrayed perfectly in ''Literature/UpTheDownStaircase''.
*** [[TheAreasOfMyExpertise Teacher v. Unruly class; both learn lessons.]]
*** It's especially poignant and "inspirational" if the students are from gang-ridden ghettos, and the teacher is white. The teacher's ability to "overcome racial differences" to "reach the kids" is hailed as something amazing and not at all racist, as most of the other teachers in the school are often black, Hispanic, or otherwise non-white. ''DangerousMinds'' is an example. It can all get a bit [[Creator/RudyardKipling "White Man's Burden."]] ("[[WesternAnimation/SouthPark How do I reach these keeds?]]")
** ''ToSirWithLove'' avoids this very well -- possibly because it's a true story -- yet it still makes it clear that ''lowered expectations'' allowed Sir and his students to succeed.
** ''LeanOnMe'' also avoids falling into the typical trap, mainly by Joe Clark's stressing discipline and control as the only effective methods of instruction. Also, because he doesn't quite manage to save everyone, just (presumably) the core student body. The principal also unceremoniously throws dozens of "troublemakers" out of the school, but faces this issue head-on with brutal practicality. UnderminedByReality in that the actual school never saw that much improvement in test scores, and was taken over by the state one year after Joe Clark left his position (because of resentment by fellow over his work, moreover).
** ''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'' with the [[ShowWithinAShow Film Within A Film]] ''Simple Jack'', a movie about a mentally-disabled farmhand meant to obviously be an OscarBait role for actor Tugg Speedman. The movie becomes a total bomb since, as Kirk Lazarus puts it, Tugg went "Full Retard", playing the character as severely disabled rather than merely InspirationallyDisadvantaged like [[TheRainman Dustin Hoffman]] in ''{{Film/Rainman}}'', TheFool like ''Film/ForrestGump'' or SeeminglyProfoundFool like Creator/PeterSellers in ''BeingThere'' and noting Creator/SeanPenn's performance in ''Film/IAmSam'' as an example of why you don't do so.
* The end of ''Film/{{Knowing}}''. The short version: [[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's OscarBait ''Film/SevenPounds''. [[TheAtoner Atoner]] with God complex [[YouFailYourMedicalBoardsForever decides which patient to receive his saintly organs]]. He thinks that using fake [=IDs=] is a perfectly legit means to contact prospective recipients, and considers a worthy person someone who is rendered barely articulate by a volley of insults. The serious Glurge comes from the fact that [[spoiler:he commits ''suicide'' and this is treated as some sort of beautiful martyrdom just because he donated his organs.]]
** Which is the main reason why [[WebVideo/BadMovieBeatdown Film Brain]] of Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses despises this movie. It's a glurge-fest with the severely {{Family Unfriendly Aesop}}s that [[spoiler:"suicide can be a good thing"]] and [[spoiler:"committing federal crimes, including identity theft and impersonating a federal employee is OK ''as long you do good''". Not to mention (as said in the commentary) that one of his relative ''actually did'' commit suicide shortly before seeing the movie. As he said, "it struck a nerve."]]
** Plus some added BrokenAesop by way of research failure: [[spoiler:his suicide method was a box jellyfish. Ten minutes on Website/{{Google}} will tell you that box jellyfish venom would render many of his organs unusable anyway.]]
* As mentioned in ''ComicStrip/TheBoondocks'': The film ''Soul Food'' which 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.
* ''Film/ForrestGump'' itself runs into some rather creepy implications if you consider that the reason why the protagonist makes good is that it never occurs to him to do anything that falls outside of conservative American ideas about morality. [[http://www.agonybooth.com/video275_Forrest_Gump_1994_Tom_Hanks.aspx Michael A. Novelli]] at Website/TheAgonyBooth has more information here.
** 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. Try that scene again with the roles gender-swapped - [[DoubleStandard a mentally handicapped girl and a promiscuous man]].
** The novel it's based on, it should be noted, hits many of the same beats but plays everything in a more cutting, satirical manner, being mostly about Forrest applying his nuance-free worldview to the craziness and social turmoil happening around him.
* ''Film/PatchAdams'', which is especially bad because it's BasedOnATrueStory, but deliberately ignored most 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 [[TheThemeParkVersion "funny doctor who shakes up the establishment."]] Said real Dr. Adams hates the movie for exactly that reason.
** Whats even worse is that the film uses a real life medical student who was a friend of Patch Adams, and changes him into a female love interest, [[RapeAsBackstory implies that "she" was raped in the past]], [[spoiler:and then has her killed by a patient]]. All of this, except for [[spoiler:the murder]], was a fabrication and all for the sake of cheap drama.
* ''RadioFlyer'', in which a boy escapes his abusive stepfather by building an airplane out of a toy wagon and flying away in it, presumably to his death.
* ''Rock: It's Your Decision'' 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...
-->'''[[WebVideo/TheCinemaSnob Brad Jones]]:''' I'm not kidding, this is one of the most depressing films I ever sat through. And I've watched ''[[Film/SaloOrThe120DaysOfSodom Salo]]'' and ''Film/ASerbianFilm''.
* As far as Christmas movies go, it doesn't get much glurgier than ''[[Film/AirBuddies The Search for Santa Paws]]''. Featuring a HeartwarmingOrphan who comes off instead as a DeliberatelyCuteChild, thanks in no small part to her absurdly high-pitched and breaking voice and unlikely naivety, who is sent to an OrphanageOfFear run by a caricature of what Pat Robertson thinks those who say "Happy Holidays" in shopping malls are like, only for said heartwarming orphan to find Santa's talking dog, who can only be understood by those who "believe in Santa" or something like that. The mere presence of Santa's dog makes the other orphans realize the meaning of Christmas, including the jaded older girl who has been in the orphanage long enough that she has no chance of being adopted. Meanwhile, Santa suffers EasyAmnesia and winds up getting a job as a Shopping-Mall Santa in a toy store run by a young couple with an EmbarrassingLastName. The couple in question is implied to be infertile, and the woman keeps bawling about it. This somehow causes the man not to be such a Scrooge, and the two plot points come together in a RaceAgainstTheClock to recover Santa's magic crystal in order to prevent his death. The movie ends with the young couple adopting the heartwarming orphan. Despite the description, the film is completely serious.
* ''Film/TheBoyWhoCouldFly'' has an uplifting message, but Eric'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.
* ''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 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 it. The part where all this starts to go off the rails is the ending, where Jason receives [[spoiler:2 billion dollars]] for his efforts, [[UnfortunateImplications implying that]] [[spoiler:[[UnfortunateImplications people only improve themselves in the hopes of monetary gain.]]]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Literature}}]]
* Some of the earliest children's books published in English were stories meant for Puritan children. They primarily were stories about children who did nothing but pray and work, and finally had the "good fortune" to [[TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth die young before they could commit any sins that would have gotten them cast into Hell.]] "Wasn't that a nice story? Sleep tight!"
** Parodied in ''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.
** ''Marcelino, pan y vino'' is a book (and movie) that most people in the Spanish-speaking world have heard about. It's about an orphan kid (the eponymous Marcelino) who befriends a living statue of Christ. Marcelino starts stealing bread and wine (the 'pan y vino' of the title) to feed Jesus. In the end Marcelino dies so he can go meet his mother. Oh, and dying was supposed to be a reward. No wonder some people grew to be scared of crucifixes.
** Mark Twain wrote two stories parodying these: "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 utterly fails to inflict ironic punishments.
* In his stand up routine, David Cross savages the book ''Promises to Keep: Daily Devotions for Men of Integrity'' for being full of Glurge and [[FamilyUnfriendlyAesop Warped Aesops]].
* A certain critic wrote a rather scathing review of Alice Sebold's ''Literature/TheLovelyBones'' that essentially accuses the book of being this. Check it out [[http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2002/aug/11/fiction.features2 here]].
* The [[UsefulNotes/NaziGermany Nazi party]] published kids books, which were, unsurprisingly, full of this, presenting [[GreedyJew Jews]] and UsefulNotes/{{Romani}} as evil, conniving demons who wanted to ruin the lives of all the big-eyed Teutonic waifs. There was a Nazi children's book, which featured Hitler inviting a little girl to his private villa for tea and cookies, then giving her a hug and a kiss as she left.
* Invoked in ''Literature/TheFountainhead''; Alvah Scarrett's career is built on writing [[StylisticSuck glurge-filled newspaper editorials]].
* The new emergence of dog books such as ''Saving Cinnamon'', ''The Dog Who Couldn't Stop Loving'', ''A Small Furry Prayer'', ''What a Difference a Dog Makes'', etc. As an ''Entertainment Weekly'' reviewer summed it 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.
* Most of Creator/AynRand's work. The overall theme is "people's true potential is limited by rules", advocating worlds without government oversight or rules. However, she never considers that we, as a society, have rules for a reason, and all her protagonists are friendly sociopaths who only care about themselves. ''VideoGame/{{BioShock|1}}'' points out all the flaws in her philosophy.
* ''Literature/TheSecret''. Hoo boy. Good things happen if you really, ''really'' [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve visualize them enough]]! It's the big secret to every success story in history! Never mind that by that same token, every failure or bad thing that ever happened was because someone didn't want to avoid them strongly enough.
** Critiqued in, of all places, ''ComicBook/TheGoon'', where the gangsters of the comic observe that, by this logic, rape victims and people who died in the Holocaust are to blame for what happened to them.
* The ''Love and Logic'' parenting books that used to be popular could fall into this pretty hard at times. Apparently, 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.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:LiveActionTV]]
* Viewers of ''Series/SeventhHeaven'' are force-fed Christian morals like a baby. The version of Christianity was the vague, feel-good sort that could be described as 'spiritual masturbation.' You don't mention Jesus as anything more than a really hoopy dude, because people might feel ''bad'' and that would be terrible.
* 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''.]] (The name is under spoiler tags to not ruin the episode for people who know about that but haven't seen the show.)
* ''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.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Multi-media]]
* There was an ad promoting Proposition 8 (a law which banned gay marriage in California) featuring a cute, little blonde 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, 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 and 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, Creator/AlfonsoCuaron ([[{{Film/Gravity}} yes]], [[Film/ChildrenOfMen THAT]] [[Film/HarryPotter Alfonso]] [[Film/YTuMamaTambien Cuaron]]), hasn't publicly apologized or even spoken about it since.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Music}}]]
* TeenageDeathSongs. ''All'' of them. (Except for the parodic "I Want My Baby Back" by Jimmy Cross.)
* The song "Christmas Shoes" definitely qualifies. We'll let [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq10bz3PxyY Patton Oswalt]] speak (using lots of cursing, so be warned) for this one. It's so infamous that even Christian Radio stations are opting to stay away from this these days.
** Creator/PattonOswalt offers an AlternativeCharacterInterpretation that posits the kid is a StreetUrchin playing on the heartstrings of his marks in order to scam them.
** WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick [[http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/thedudette/nostalgia-chick/3250-top-10-disturbing-and-inescapable-christmas-songs says it best]]. She calls it the #1 disturbing and inescapable Christmas song.
* Hard 'N Phirm wrote an over-the-top response song to ''Christmas Shoes'' 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"
* The Music/DollyParton song "Letter to Heaven", where 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 left him and took their son years ago because he was gone so much of the time meets a young trucker and recognizes the son, now grown, 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"; this time the hitchhiker is a little girl.
* The Deck of Cards: playing cards in church is 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, terrorists, etc. would lay down their arms if they could just see how happy and peaceful children are and return to that state of giving innocence. Needless to say, the reasons for war and strife in the world are often far more complex than this solution suggests they are...not to mention that adults ''were'' children once, and couldn't solve all the world's problems ''then'', so why/how should the current or next generation of kids be able to do so? Sadly, Jackson never does give an answer to this question in this or similar works, such as several of the pieces in his "Poems and Reflections" book ''Dancing the Dream''.
** ''[[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. What results is a parade of horrors to drive the mayor away, and it [[http://archive.salon.com/ent/tv/diary/2001/10/31/jacko/index.html has been argued]] that Michael is the real villain even though the idea is that he's the hero who teaches us AnAesop about not picking on others who are different.
** "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 proves 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 soldier/driver within to tears by ''standing down the gun he aimed at him''. And '''then''' there was Michael's [[http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xalpov Brit Awards appearance]] in 1996, in which the song became a ten-minute production number that climaxed with Michael clad in white, being treated as a messiah by the suffering masses. About midway through the peformance, Jarvis Cocker (of Music/{{Pulp}}) crashed the stage to counteract the sappiness; [[Main/HilarityEnsues hilarity ensued]]. For more glurge, check out this [[http://www.thehuffingtonpost.com/joe-vogel/michael-jackson-earth-song_b_882740.html excerpt]] from an e-book about its creation.
** "Little Susie", from the same album as "Earth Song", isn't as well-known (it wasn't released as a single) but is at least 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 -- yes, the second (!) prelude to the actual song features a little girl la-la-la-la-ing -- 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).
** Finally, especially since his death, a VocalMinority of his fandom sees Jackson as a universal ambassador for peace and love who was perfect as an artist and a person. Anyone who didn't/doesn't treat him with kid gloves is seen as racist, heartless, unenlightened, or some combination of the three.
* 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.
* 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 that 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]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:VideoGames]]
* ''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.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WesternAnimation]]
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/FostersHomeForImaginaryFriends'': in one episode, this is how Mac is able to tell which of the Bloos is his true best friend. The one that made the heartfelt speech at the end? He wasn't the real one, since [[{{Jerkass}} Bloo would never say or admit something like that]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'', Hank's mom Tilly collects 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.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheDreamstone'', especially in early episodes. The Big Bad's minions, the Urpneys, were sympathetic {{Punch Clock Villain}}s and actually had a more dire motive than the heroes (having bad dreams vs getting horribly killed by your BadBoss). Even worse, the show still seems to try conveying the feud as being BlackAndWhiteMorality, due to heroes' excessively pious and saccharine depiction and several awkward AndThatsTerrible rants concerning their contempt for the Urpneys' actions.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:RealLife]]
* 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.
* Related to the chain letters, Website/{{Facebook}} has its own brand, with so-called "inspirational", but mostly sentimental and preachy viral pictures with the added emotional blackmail saying things like "only 3% of your friends will be brave enough to share this!".
** In addition, some of the viral pictures can be some bad cases of [[BoomerangBigot Boomerang Bigotry]]. In particular, some posts will [[{{Eagleland}} glorify America]] one day and [[WretchedHive condemn it]] the next.
* Some of the crazy stuff people come out with on Website/FundiesSayTheDarndestThings are pretty glurgy. Thanks to PoesLaw, it's very hard to tell if this is actually serious or not. Example:
-->"After four years, our cancer warrior [[AliceAllusion Alice]] has left her earthly bounds and gone to heaven, where her body is healthy again, where the wind can blow through her hair, and where she can finally ride a horse on the beach and swim with dolphins. She was embraced in heaven by all the inspiring teens and children with cancer she met along the way." My question to atheists is: if her parents asked you for your true beliefs, would you really take that away from them? Would you really tell them that their daughter was just unlucky, and suffered heroically for years only to go out like a candle and be nothing more than dirt in the ground?
* 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, well-behaved, etc, but must be taught self-esteem to live up to this. Bad behavior, bad grades, bad sexual choices among adolescents, bullying, etc, were all supposedly symptoms of low self-esteem. It's generally considered that such a view mixes correlation and causality: that it is just as unhealthy for a students with skills and achievements 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.
* There are plently of Website/YouTube videos and Website/{{Facebook}} posts of stories about preteens or even elementary school students falling in love, only for one of the members dying the next day in an over-the-top way (suddenly dying of cancer is a big one, as if cancer is just instantaneous).
** Along these same lines, there's one endlessly re-used script where a girl asks her boyfriend, "will u <3 me 4ever?" and when the boyfriend says "No," she runs crying and screaming into some some hazard or another and dies... only for the boyfriend to tearfully tell her corpse, "I <3 you 5ever". (Because 5ever is more than 4ever. So clever.)
*** [[MemeticMutation LIKE DIS IF U CRY EVRY TIME]]
*** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQuR8LVKhUE Talk of the devil...]]
** In addition to cancer being instantly cured, [[http://imgur.com/acyou boys have ovaries... and ovaries can be donated...]] but the donation is somehow fatal.
* SocialistRealism and other totalitarian art forms have glurge as a primary stock in trade--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.
* Pinterest is especially hated in some circles for its extremely sentimental and preachy 'inspirational' quotes (like the Facebook example mentioned above). Pinterest's glurge can take a pretty nasty turn in the fitspo pins [[note]]'fitspo' being 'fitspiration' or pictures meant to inspire the viewer into becoming fit-- also described by [[http://www.blisstree.com/2013/11/20/fitness/fitspo-quotes/ Blisstree]] as "thinspo's jock sister"[[/note]] which combine the glurge with emotional blackmail and guilt-tripping.
[[/folder]]

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