[[quoteright:200:[[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Obey_The_Rules_1890.bmp]]]]
[[caption-width-right:200: These urban renewal murals are going too far.]]

->''"We're wild, reckless men, we're on a rampage again''\\
''We drive with just one hand on the wheel''\\
''Danger's in our soul, we're going out of control''\\
''Swimming right after a big heavy meal"''
-->-- '''Music/WeirdAlYankovic''', "Young, Dumb & Ugly"

Someone who is going for being a RebelliousSpirit but whose rebellion is mildly inconvenient at best, or so minor to be unnoticed at worst. This may be a fumble on the writer's part where they genuinely think the act is impressively rebellious but due to ValuesDissonance the audience doesn't think so. However, usually it's used as a characterization trope to show that the character himself is either so out-of-touch or self-important that they believe they're edgy and pushing the envelope even when it's unimpressive. They may also be too timid to really commit to a truly rebellious act. Maybe they don't even really believe in their cause but just want to fit in.

Compare PokeThePoodle, where someone's attempt at doing evil is similarly unimpressive. Also compare TheManIsStickingItToTheMan, where a company encourages rebellion by following their own rules and buying their products. See also SupposedlyRebelliousSeries, which was formerly named RuleAbidingRebel.


* A character who doesn't like prom in Disney's ''{{Prom}}''.
* The DisneyChannel original movie ''Film/RadioRebel''. The main character is a teen radio commentator who is supposed to be seen as this cool, rebellious girl, but she doesn't really do anything anti-authority. She mostly complains about cliques and school rules being unfair but doesn't say anything that would be considered controversial or new by most people, especially teens.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{House}}'' is a pretty solid example. For all his attempts to come out with things that are overly cynical, edgy or controversial, nothing he says seems to be all that out there. And as the series progressed and the show made it clear how much he supposedly cared for the people around him, his comments seemed to lose their sting even more. Also, his "rebellious" behavior and attitude were revealed to be substitutes for the kind of life he ''really'' wanted.
* ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' had a band of criminals who [[PiratesWhoDontDoAnything never once did anything illegal]]. Considering the show, it was PlayedForLaughs.
* ''FullHouse'' really, really wants its audience to believe that Uncle Jesse is a badass because he drives a motorcycle and listens to/plays rock music (''Classic'' rock like [[ElvisPresley Elvis]] that is. A TakeThat at TwistedSister indicates that [[WriterOnBoard neither he nor the writers]] care for HeavyMetal.). In reality, not so much. Eventually Jesse leaves his "wild ways" behind when he decides to get married and have [[CousinOliver twins.]]
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' showed a {{Grunge}} music video Robin made back in Canada. It's trying to be all rebellious, but when mixed with [[CanadaEh Canadian politeness]], you get the message, "Consider Questioning Authority, Please".

* The {{Music/TISM}} song "[[LedZeppelin Dazed And]] {{Confucius}}" is a lament that, while the singer does want to be a rebel, he just can't stay up late enough to do any rebellious things. In the end the police search his house and find his stash of H[[spoiler:omework]].
-->Week night discos, late night movies\\
Are indispensable to be called groovy.\\
My friends, they go out at 11 pm\\
I'm meant to be in bed an hour before then.
* The Music/PhilOchs song "Love Me I'm A Liberal" is about people who espouse left-wing causes until it becomes personally inconvenient or dangerous for them.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* ''{{Garfield}}'': Jon Arbuckle's attempts to be unconventional come off as this.
-->'''Jon:''' I'm wearing knee pads on my ''elbows''!
-->'''Garfield:''' You're a wild man, Jon Arbuckle!

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* When he teamed up with RandyOrton to battle D-Generation X in the fall of 2006, {{Edge}} accused ShawnMichaels and TripleH of being this. Certainly, compared with their overtly offensive incarnation during TheNineties, DX's second coming in 2006 looked pretty {{Badbutt}}.
* After CM Punk gained notoriety for his {{worked shoot}} promo in the summer of 2011 and won the WWE Championship, many fans felt that he had turned into a typical face.
** Problem solved almost exactly one year later, when he turned heel again and the fans continued to cheer him.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}'': While all secret societies are officially treasonous (doubly so for the Communists), their actual threat to Alpha Complex varies a lot (FCCCP and the Trekkies in particular are identified as mostly harmless). The XP edition introduces a secret three-tier classification system, and reveals that some societies were deliberately created to draw in potential traitors and turn them into {{Rule Abiding Rebel}}s (for every Commie and [=PURGEr=] blowing stuff up, there's ten Death Leopards who think they're BadAss for putting up some graffiti).

* Ibsen's plays often suffer from ValuesDissonance of this sort. What many modern readers perceive as Rule Abiding Rebel behavior was in fact rule-breaking at the time - even portraying the (usually realistic) unhappy situations his plays always deal with was deeply shocking.
** Ibsen got away with a lot by presenting multiple points of view and not outright stating which one to support. There's still argument over whether ''Theatre/ADollsHouse'' favors Nora's desire for independence, Torvald's desire to keep the marriage together, or neither.

* In VideoGame/DragonAgeII, the Tal-Vashoth rebels against the [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Qunari]] end up operating according to a specific set of codes about how rebels should operate. Those that can't usually end up entering human society as mercenaries or occasionally merchants.
* In the full version of ''VisualNovel/HatofulBoyfriend'', the human girl can, as a sidequest, make friends with the former leaders of a notorious biker gang called "Hell's Birdies"... who are ''extremely'' conscientious of traffic laws.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' presents: Nanase and her [[http://egscomics.com/?date=2009-03-28 bold act of defiance]]. It still counts, right?.. [[PokeThePoodle ]]. This was almost certainly intentional.
* ''Webcomic/SkinHorse'' gives us Sweetheart's [[http://skin-horse.com/comic/effort-to-find/ rampage]]. Sweetheart is a creation of mad science, so a rampage was inevitable. Spilling coffee (which she bought) on a random lawn. Shocking.
* Blunt in ''Webcomic/FreeFall'' is trying to wipe out all intelligent robots (including himself) to protect humanity which is mostly willing to take the risk. This qualifies as both treason and genocide. Nevertheless, [[http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff2600/fc02520.htm he scrupulously refuses to break any law in his quest]]. As was said earlier, law abiding criminals can be the hardest ones to stop.

[[folder: Web Original]]
* TheOnion: [[http://www.theonion.com/articles/teen-rebel-refusing-to-purchase-yearbook,19901/ Teen rebel refusing to purchase yearbook]].
* ''WebVideo/FoldingIdeas'': The Foldable Human's analysis of Jack from ''Film/FightClub'' makes him sound like this. More specifically, he rebels against society not because he thinks conformity is bad. But because he feels entitled to live life as their idea of a [[IJustWantToBeBadass "real"]] [[IWantToBeARealMan man]] and acceptance that society promised. So as a result, he enforces similar ideals of masculinity, but in a different way, mainly by starting a fight club.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Like a lot of things, mocked by ''FamilyGuy'' quite often. One particularly memorable example is a parody of movies about career women who learn "what's truly important in life":
-->'''Male Lead''': Over the next 90 minutes, I'm going to show you that all of your problems can be solved by my penis.
* A ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'' sketch has the Wildman, a generic 80s rock star type, who comes off as a cool rebel type to a group of kids. Except that when the kids of the sketch spend some time around him, he insists on turning everything a AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle type moment, and following so many rules that it kills any possibility for fun. By the end he's inserting hamfisted conservative messages into his bit, and the kids are long since tired of him and think he's a weird flake. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XklH0kj3mBs Link]]
* [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons The Simpsons]]:
** Homer in "Take My Wife, Sleaze." After winning a motorcyle in a dance contest, Homer decides to start a biker gang called the "Hell's Satans", consisting of himself, Moe, Lenny, Carl, and [[TheRuntAtTheEnd Ned Flanders]]. All of them - except Flanders - see themselves as bold, offensive scofflaws, taunting Chief Wiggum that he can't stop them and calling him a "pig." But as soon as Homer finds himself threatened by another biker gang out of California who claim to be the ''original'' Hell's Satans, he appeals to Chief Wiggum for help; Wiggum points out the hypocrisy of this appeal and tells Homer he's on his own. Homer eventually ends up hunting down and fighting the Hell's Satans when they kidnap Marge, ultimately [[StatusQuoIsGod returning to his former lifestyle]].
** The trope was also explored in a number of ways in the episode that had CheechAndChong come perform in Springfield. While they are acting out their popular "Dave's not here" skit, Chong becomes annoyed when he notices that their middle-aged fans know the routine by heart and are shouting out the lines before he and Cheech can say them. So begins ad-libbing - and when Cheech tells him to stick to the script, Chong replies with an angry shout of [[ThatManIsDead "CHONG'S not here!"]] and [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere storms off the stage]] (in what proves eventually to be a TenMinuteRetirement). Cheech now needs a new Chong, and settles on Homer. At first Homer is [[AscendedFanboy thrilled to be performing alongside one of his adolescent heroes]], and imagines Cheech and himself going on all kinds of "wacky adventures." Homer soon becomes disappointed when he finds that Cheech is actually quite serious off-stage, and that his idea of "sticking it to the man" is going to museums to view works created by marginalized Chicano artists, which Homer finds boring. (He won't even let them buy French fries, because they're "too high in trans-fats.")
** When Homer quits his job, he decides to finally stick it to his MeanBoss, Mr. Burns, by . . . putting a glass of water on Burns's desk without a coaster. Then grabbing Burns's wastepaper basket and dumping the one piece of paper in it on the floor. [[SeriousBusiness Burns is shocked and outraged at this behavior.]] The trope's then [[SubvertedTrope subverted]] when Homer does some ''actually'' rebellious stuff, like using Burns's head as a makeshift bongo drum, or ''literally'' burning a bridge behind him on the way out.