Berate and Switch

"Greasy walls. Rickety bed. Crazy neighbors. [beat] I love it!"
Judy, Zootopia

A comedic trope where a character assesses the current situation, listing typically unpleasant, unfavorable, or immoral actions or thoughts, and the conclusion drawn is the opposite of what you expect: they are very favorable and happy about it. The comedy can come from the fact that obsession and revulsion can result in a similar level of enthusiasm. Beauty, fashion sense, cuisine choice, etc. are all in the eye of the beholder.

This is a form of subverted Sarcasm Mode. Unlike Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad, this trope is used for comedy and is definitely not played straight. Expect sitcoms to cue the Laugh Track. For example:

Bob: Look at this car! It's covered in rust, the stuffing's coming out of the seats, and you have to kick the trunk to get it to open...beautiful, isn't it?

An alternate version of this trope happens when a character gives advice to another, and what is seemingly a situation they want to deflect or have the receiver turn away from instead turns out to be encouragement. Depending on the situation, the more conservative outsider may look on such a conversation with shock or disgust.

Can be inverted by describing typically pleasant things, such as a beautiful sunny day, flowers, and puppies and it turns out the character is disgusted by them.

Not to be confused with Evil Virtues, which are about honest to goodness virtues applied to evil. Compare I Have Just One Thing to Say, Arson, Murder, and Admiration, I Like Those Odds. See also Too Kinky to Torture.

Examples

Comic Books
  • In The Killing Joke, the Joker assesses a run-down amusement park as a potential hideout:
    The Joker: Well, it's garish, ugly, and derelicts have used it for a toilet. The rides are dilapidated to the point of being lethal, and could easily maim or kill innocent little children.
    Estate Agent: Oh. So you don't like it?
    The Joker: Don't like it? I'm crazy for it.

Literature

Film - Animated
  • In Beauty and the Beast, Gaston tells the asylum warden of his plan to force Belle to marry him by threatening to commit her father. He says "That's despicable... I love it!".
  • Zootopia provides the page quote. Judy's surprise assessment of her situation when she moves into her rather small and tacky apartment at the titular city.

Film - Live Action
  • Sister Act:
    Reverend Mother: I hold you responsible for all of this. For introducing a lounge act into my convent, for utterly disrupting our lives, and exposing us all to mortal danger.
    ...thank you.
  • Star Trek: Generations. Data has recently had an emotion chip installed and is busy experiencing new things. When he tries one of Guinan's new drinks he hates it (as it tastes revolting) but eagerly asks for more.
  • The Addams Family:
    Morticia: Last night you were unhinged. You were like some desperate, howling demon. You frightened me. Do it again!
  • The Imitation Game:
    • Major Menzies when ask by Turing and Joan to help them keep the successful codebreaking a secret from the higher ups.
    Menzies: "Maintain a conspiracy of lies ... at the highest levels of government!? ...(pause)... Sounds right up my alley.
    • Turing also does this in one scene:
    Turing: "This distraction is completely unacceptable ...(pause)... Please take a seat so we can begin."
  • In Pacific Rim, Marshal Pentecost's scolding about Becket's reckless yet successful fighting maneuvers ends up being a compliment.
    Pentecost: (frowning) In all of my years fighting I've never... (smile appears on his face) ... seen anything like that. Well done.

Literature

Live-Action TV
  • From The Monkees episode "Monkees in the Ring":
    Mike: You're gonna be going through a lot strange cities, and there's always this one hotel: one with a lot of heavy drinking, a lot of fast women, and a lot of loose talk. You know what to do when you get to town?
    Davy: Find that hotel!
    Mike: And you'll do fine.
  • The Good Life: Tom and Barbara usually eat healthy food they've grown in their own garden. In "The Pagan Rite" when they are out to dinner, they say that their food is full of artificial additives, cholesterol, etc., and Tom ends up saying, "Great, isn't it?"
  • A typical Get Smart quote:
    Chief: You understand your current assignment means you will be in constant danger, unable to trust anyone, and face torture or even death.
    Max: And...loving it.
  • The various versions of The Addams Family are full of this trope, a rainy day will be described as something beautiful, flowers with only stems are more attractive, and dolls should be headless.
  • The Aquabats! Super Show! combined this trope with Strange Minds Think Alike. First the MC Bat Commander describes being on tour involving truck stop food, public restrooms and a complete lack of showers as the best thing ever. After their Battle Tram is stolen by an unscrupulous carnival worker named Carl, he describes going out on the open road the exact same way; truck stop food, public restrooms, and complete lack of showers is like heaven on wheels.

Tabletop Games
  • The Warhammer 40,000 sourcebook Codex: Catachans has some flavor text in which a member of the Catachan Jungle Fighters Imperial Guard Regiment describes the Death World of Varestus Prime:
    We've run into scorpions the size of battle tanks, three men died from Eyerot last week. I've sweat enough to fill a lake, my boots got sucked into a sink-swamp and the trees are so thick in places, you can't squeeze between them. Emperor help me, I love this place! It's just like home!

Video Games
  • One of the Shadowknight's quotes from Champions of Norrath hints at this:
    Shadowknight: Whoever designed this dungeon was sick, twisted and half-mad... my compliments!

Web Comics
  • From Vexxarr:
    Vexxarr: If you think the Emperor was enraged before, he'll boil away entire star systems to get me now! Once word of this gets back to Bleen, I'll be the most hated, despised and feared cnidarian in the galaxy!...YESSS!
  • At one point in Freefall Sam says of Florence "She's out all night, doesn't check in to tell us where she's been, and now we find out she's been incarcerated. Helix, my hard work as a role model is finally starting to pay off."

Web Animation
  • In RWBY, during the mission to Mountain Glenn, Professor Dr. Oobleck finds out that Ruby had brought along Zwei, who she was pet-sitting when the mission came up.
    Oobleck: We're here to investigate an abandoned urban jungle teeming with death and hostility, and you brought... a dog?
    Ruby: I... uhh...
    Oobleck: Genius! Canines are historically known for their perceptive nose and heightened sense of sound, making them excellent companions for hunts such as ours!

Western Animation
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Rarity spends time hanging out with posh ponies instead of designing her friend Twilight Sparkle's birthday dress. When Twilight shows up out of the blue, she seems to hate the plain dress, until she says she loves its simplicity and practicality.
  • In the first episode of Futurama, after Fry is unfrozen in the future, he reflects on how his girlfriend, parents, and everyone he's ever known is dead, pauses and says "Woo-hoo!"
  • The Joker on The Batman has a pretty low opinion on Harleen Quinzell's talkshow:
    Joker: "Pop Psychology at its worst! That girl's theories are unfounded, her professional manner's a joke, and her training, if ANY, is shoddy at best! (Beat) I LOVE THIS SHOW!"

Inversions

Film
  • In Addams Family Values, the family is shocked when the baby turns out to enjoy hearing pleasant stories read to him and that he has curly blonde hair.
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