So, this guy has been a total {{Jerkass}} to you and you've had enough and snap. You stand up to him, give him a TheReasonYouSuckSpeech, and tell him off for everything he's done to you. Should be a MomentOfAwesome, right? Well, guess what? You were so harsh on the guy that you [[MinorInsultMeltdown hurt his feelings]]. Even worse, your display was witnessed and the only thing that everyone saw was you being mean to him! [[SarcasmMode Congratulations]]. Everyone thinks you're the jerk instead of the guy you just told off!

This can be a FamilyUnfriendlyAesop where being a jerk back is even worse than what the original Jerkass did to you. Can result from being a BullyHunter. A villain, especially a VillainWithGoodPublicity, may use this to [[HeroWithBadPublicity give a hero bad cred]]. Similar to WhyDidYouMakeMeHitYou (where the guy who hit you acts like the victim), IfYouTauntHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim, and AvengingTheVillain. Related to ArrestedForHeroism and NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished (for being punished for doing the right thing), CrimeOfSelfDefense (for being punished for defending yourself), PlayingTheVictimCard (as in a villain tries to get sympathy by claiming to be a victim) and WoundedGazelleGambit (where one pretends to be hurt by another in order to make him look bad). If the victim of this trope were friends with anyone who witness this scene prior to this moment, it probably triggers an EtTuBrute and WeUsedToBeFriends situation. Compare WhatTheHellHero. Contrast EngineeredPublicConfession. See also InformedWrongness for when the author deliberately puts someone in the wrong but the person didn't do anything wrong. Compare NoSympathyForGrudgeholders where the grudgeholder ends up in this situation.

This trope is TruthInTelevision. Sometimes bad timing means only the retaliation and not the original Jerkass behaviour gets witnessed by peers or authority figures; other times it's because they don't ''care'' what wrongdoings are going on so long as things stay quiet, or there's a BitchInSheepsClothing at work.



[[folder: Anime And Manga ]]

* One episode of ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' has Ichigo's little sisters demanding that he apologize to their cousin Tsukishima after he punches him. That wouldn't be wrong except that [[spoiler:Tsukishima is really a villain and he messed with their memories to make them think he's their cousin]]. So, basically he had that punch coming.
* In ''Manga/{{Working}}'', Inami is so [[DoesNotLikeMen terrified of men]], that she instantly punches out any man who is unfortunate enough to be near her, with her regular victim being Souta. Eventually, he gets fed up, [[WhatTheHellHero calls her out on this]], and ''everyone'' treats him as the bad guy and acts as if Inami didn't deserve his calling out.


[[folder: Fan Work ]]

* Played with in ''Fanfic/StoryOfTheCentury''. [[spoiler:No one else is there to see Erin [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech verbally tear L to shreds]] and toss him out of his chair (and one wonders that if they were whether they would have agreed with her argument [[BrokenPedestal at that point]] if put off by her, ahem, intensity), but L's response to it is so kind and graceful that she [[PartingWordsRegret beats herself up over the incident]] for some time afterwards.]]


[[folder: Film ]]

* In ''[[LordOfTheRings Return of the King]]'', Sam can only lash out at Gollum's false accusations. It doesn't help.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* In one of the later ''{{Literature/Twilight}}'' books, [[TheWoobie Leah]] tells off Bella for the way she's been treating Jacob. [[WoundedGazelleGambit Bella then bursts into tears and everybody, including Jacob, gets mad at Leah for upsetting her]].


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* An episode of ''Series/{{Friends}}'' has Ross move into a new apartment. A resident tries to get him to give $100 for the super's retirement, but Ross only ''just'' moved in and doesn't feel obliged. Everyone in the building treats him like a pariah.
* In one episode of ''Series/GroundedForLife'', upon learning that Eddie had an adult movie shot at their house, Claudia bans him from the house. When the kids find out, they get upset that they'll never see their uncle again. Claudia even [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] it.
* In the ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' episode "Columns", Ted deals with a worker (his former boss) who keeps belittling his ideas and being a jerk, prompting him to fire him. However, he finds himself unable to do it due to circumstances: his birthday, his wife left him and served him divorce papers, and his dog died. Finally, Ted has enough and decides to fire him at last. However, as he does, the worker has a heart attack. Ted thinks he's faking it and fires him anyway. The worker is then carried off in a stretcher and everyone despises Ted, including the paramedics.
* One episode of ''Series/HomeImprovement'' features Jill putting Tim's car outside, only for it to get covered in snow. When Tim gets upset with her, she turns it around about how all the times he ruined her things, she forgave him, only for him to not do the same, ending with ''her'' storming out of the garage upset. It's then that Tim realizes what just happened.
-->'''Tim''': Wait a minute! You are really good. ''You'' screw up, and ''I'm'' getting yelled at! You are really, ''really'' good!
* Wonderfully inverted in an episode of ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle''. Lois grounds Malcolm for not helping move a couch even though he was doing some school work. Then when the family is forced to evacuate due to a train wreck releasing toxic fumes, she says the grounding still stands and makes him stay on a cot. When he finally stands up to her, she humiliates him in front of everyone. This results in her being forced to stay outside with the others for things they did (Reese creating a black market for supplies, Dewey lying to everyone to get sympathy, and Hal for causing the accident that forced the evacuation in the first place), resulting in the one time Malcolm came out on top.
* In ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', Picard tells Wesley to shut up when he tries to warn the captain about Lore.
* ''Series/TwoAndAHalfMen'' features an episode where Charlie gives his mother a CallingTheOldManOut speech but then she turns it around and treats him like he's being a brat.


[[folder: Web Comic ]]

* Wonderfully summed up in the last panel of [[ this]] ''Webcomic/{{Bug|Martini}}'' strip.


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* Phase of the ''WebOriginal/WhateleyUniverse'' tries to help Bladedancer take on a lower profile. Phase gets blamed by the whole [[SuperheroSchool school]] for kicking Bladedancer out of Team Kimba.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''{{WesternAnimation/Arthur}}'': The episode "Arthur's Big Hit". No matter how you look at it, Arthur Read's anger towards D.W. (his sister) was completely justified, albeit extreme.
** Ironically, D.W. gets a [[UnintentionallyUnsympathetic meta-example of this]]. The audience is supposed to feel sorry for her when Arthur punches her for playing with the model plane. Unfortunately, she came off as unsympathetic because of a) repeatedly annoying her brother by disturbing him in the midst of him building his model plane, b) ''her own fault'' for throwing the model out of the window, and c) blaming her brother instead of apologizing. All in all, the situation came off as a case of TakeThatScrappy instead.
* In effect in ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' episode "Splitting Images". Tired of resident JerkJock Dash picking on him, Danny decides to use his powers to get some payback. Unfortunately, he catches the attention of BullyHunter Sidney Poindexter who thinks that Dash was an innocent kid (somehow missing when Dash picked on Danny), so he takes over Danny's body and sends him to his realm where Danny gets picked on by Poindexter's bullies. While the message in the episode is ComesGreatResponsibility, it's laced with this trope as well.
* ''WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck'' in the short "Crazy Over Daisy". It has the moral where using chipmunks as a source of transportation after they torment you and destroy your bike results in you losing your girl.
* The ending of ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddysBigPictureShow'' has an inversion of this. At the beginning of the movie, the Eds' latest scam caused massive damage and severely hurt the children, resulting in them being hunted down. After the encounter with Eddy's brother, everyone got over it, except Johnny who didn't arrive until afterwards. Therefore, when he attacked the Eds, the children beat him up.
* An infamous example is ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode 'Benderama'. An ugly giant appeared in the first act and got upset when Fry accidentally insulted his mother. In the third act, he came to Earth to apologize for his behavior, but unfortunately, everyone's so intoxicated ([[ItsALongStory due to all the fresh water on Earth being turned into alcohol]]) that they inadvertently pick him on and call him a monster, causing him to go crazy and start attacking the town, ending with him being killed by Bender's copies.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy'' features Billy being tormented by Sperg. In a rare CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming (for her), Mandy stands up to Sperg on Billy's behalf, [[UngratefulBastard only for Billy to get on her for picking on him]].
* One episode ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' features a dog that was defending a kitten from a mean cat, only for the owner to get the wrong idea and think the dog was being mean to the cat. Fortunately, the dog managed to force the cat to confess the truth.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': An interesting {{Deconstruct|edTrope}}ion happens in the two-parter episode, "A Canterlot Wedding" (Season 2 finale). Twilight Sparkle accuses Princess Cadence of being evil after seeing how much of a {{Jerkass}} she was being towards her friends. Cadence breaks down in tears and runs away, causing her friends to be upset with her, Shining Armor (her brother) to change his mind about her being [[BestWoman Best Mare]], and Princess Celestia to be disappointed in her. [[spoiler:Turns out that it was really the Queen of the Changelings, impersonating Cadence and the real one was locked in a dungeon below the castle. Because of Twilight's friends shunning her, Canterlot became overrun with an army of Changelings and nearly destroyed, and Queen Chrysalis gleefully points this out. [[NiceJobBreakingItHero Nice Job Breaking it, My Little Ponies]]!]]
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' features Gill staying with the family after losing his job on Christmas. He stays for months and defiles the house to the point where Marge can't take it anymore and decides to stand up to him. By that time, Gill had gotten a new job, so Marge takes the family to his new workplace to tell him off. Unfortunately, when she does, he loses the respect of his workers and his boss fires him. Marge feels so guilty that she and the family buy a vacation house from Gill.
** In a segment parodying ''Literature/TheCountOfMonteCristo'', Homer (playing the role of the Count) sets up an elaborate revenge scheme for the man (Moe) who stole his love (Marge) and had him sent to prison, which ends with Moe being killed. Unfortunately, Marge gets upset with him for killing her husband.
* A most egregious example occurs, in of all places, a ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' episode entitled "Stuck In A Wringer". [=SpongeBob=] has an accident that gets him [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin stuck in a wringer]], and thanks to Patrick's stupidity, he can't get out. [=SpongeBob=] feels he'll never be able to do anything now, but Patrick gives him a RousingSpeech that he can go on. Unfortunately, Patrick's speech is proven unfounded as the wringer causes [=SpongeBob=] a ton of bad luck no matter how much Patrick tries to inspire him. Finally, in the middle of an amusement park, [=SpongeBob=] snaps at Patrick, telling him his life is over and that it's all his fault. Patrick runs off crying while everyone who was watching call [=SpongeBob=] a jerk and say he got what he deserved.
** In another episode, Flats the Flounder menaces poor [=SpongeBob=], threatening to "kick your butt". When he actually does, however, [=SpongeBob=]'s soft body just absorbs the blows, and Flats keeps punching away until he falls from exhaustion. [=SpongeBob=] then gives his fellow students a speech against violence, raising his fist for emphasis. That's when Mrs. Puff comes in, sees Flats on the floor and [=SpongeBob=] with his fist up, and accuses him of beating up Flats, then tells him [[HereWeGoAgain "I'm going to kick your butt!"]]
** In the episode entitled "Plankton's Pet", [[spoiler:Plankton disguises himself as a baby to steal a krabby patty. However, Mr. Krabs sees through his disguise (and it's a pretty good disguise) and attacks him. Everyone is horrified that Mr. Krabs is seemingly attacking a baby, until he reveals it's Plankton. However, when Mr. Krabs kicks him out, a bunch of senior citizens that were watching attack him]].


[[folder: Real Life ]]

* Many first-amendment cases have involved attempts to censor something for racism, advocating violence, or other reasons, when the work in question is really a satire of racism or violence.