Brutal Honesty

"The truth is like sunlight. People used to think it was good for you."
Nancy Gribble, King of the Hill

Since everybody in TV land spends all day desperately lying their way out of situations, one of the more reliable gags is to create a situation where you'd imagine the characters would lie, and have them be perfectly honest and straightforward instead. Sometimes this can separate a polite person from an impolite person, since a brutally honest character may say exactly what's on their mind. This is a hallmark of the Caustic Critic.

A common twist on this is when the characters are brutally honest, but then their honesty is not believed. Sometimes, this is used deliberately.

Another common twist is for a character to promise brutal honesty before saying something kind.

A form of Bait and Switch. Often employed in "The Reason You Suck" Speech. A Blunt "Yes" typically is an expression of this.

Another variation has Charlie being perfectly sincere and asking "Have I ever lied to you?" Joe will then list every instance where Charlie has lied out of his proverbial butt, often citing many examples. Little wonder Joe doesn't believe him. It seems Charlie is quite an accomplished and imaginative fibber.


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  • Big Bill Hell's, originally produced for a faux award show called The Ad Follies, runs on this trope.
    "It's our belief that you're such a stupid motherfucker, you'll fall for this bullshit. Guaranteed!"

    Anime & Manga 
  • Goku from Dragon Ball. Subtlety is one of those things his grandfather forgot to teach him.
  • Luffy from One Piece seems to do this deliberately. Zoro and usually Sanji tend to follow suit.
  • Ichigo from the Onegai/Please series. Amplified by her snarkiness and social status.
  • InuYasha. He seemed to be about six when he was orphaned, and seems to have survived for the next one hundred and forty six years rejected by both human and Youkai, no surprise he forgot what tact he'd learned from his mother.
  • In K-On!, Yui watches the light music club's first performance and tells them outright that they aren't very good.
  • Ouran High School Host Club's Haruhi is usually a Deadpan Snarker and sometimes it's because of this. Often times she's just stating the honest truth without realizing it might actually hurt someone's feelings.
  • Naruto:
    • Sai of was raised as an assassin and spy by Root, an organisation where all emotion is stamped out. As a result he can't predict whether his words will hurt others, and many problems are created or solved because Sai, unlike the other teenage protagonists, doesn't pussyfoot around delicate issues like "The promise your best friend made you when he was twelve is killing him" or "Sasuke is too dangerous to be left alive".
    • Also Tobirama Senju, aka. The Second Hokage. He has no problem saying exactly what he thinks about the Uchiha Clan, even if one of the last surviving members is the one asking him.
  • Maria, the title "Devil" of A Devil and Her Love Song. Granted, it's not just your simple truth that everybody pretends they don't notice, it's a sophisticated Brutal Honesty.
  • In Black God, a side-story shows that Namu used to work as a fortune-teller and didn't make much money off of it as she didn't see anything wrong with giving the plain and honest truth. Such as flat-out telling a college kid he'd never pass college as he'd only look at porn all day in front of his mother and telling another man that he'd eventually die in the near future. It's no wonder she didn't get tips.
  • Ranma Saotome from Ranma ½ tells the brutal truth, but he tells Blatant Lies almost as often. Sometimes he tells the truth even when toning it down or lying may have served him better, especially when confronted with Akane — this can easily be seen as early as the first Martial Arts and Crafts story, where he proclaims Ryōga's declaration of Akane's progress to be nothing but the lovestruck Eternally Lost Boy lying through his teeth for Akane's sake. On the other hand, especially in the manga, Ranma will lie without a second thought if it suits his purposes, and is in fact one of the most deceitful, false-tongued, insincere members of the cast.
  • The "Magical Cooking" one-shot of the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Comic à la Carte official anthology book presented a dilemma for Nanoha and Fate. Their daughter, Vivio, had just proudly baked some cookies on her own. Unfortunately, the cookies were awful. After taking one bite, Fate ran through various thoughts on what's the best way to say this to her daughter without breaking her 9-year old heart. Nanoha, on the other hand...
    Nanoha: (while brightly smiling at Vivio) It's terrible.
  • Digimon:
    • In Digimon Adventure, Tailmon has shades of this when she mentions all they can do while WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon fight is stand back and watch. After being called out on it as to if she even cares about her friends...
      Tailmon: Would it make a difference if I said yes?
    • Terriermon from Digimon Tamers even more so—his first line towards Takato is pointing out how bad a Tamer he is for losing his Digimon.
  • The eponymous character in Soul Eater. He consistently and bluntly tells his partner, Maka, that's she's flat and lacks sex appeal; he doesn't dislike Maka, though, sharing several incredibly heart-warming moments with her. This comes back into light during the Book of Eibon arc in the Lust chapter where one's inner most lust reflects itself as a gender swap. Soul becomes a dead ringer for Maka.
  • In Bakuman。, Takahama goes before the editor in chief of Shonen Jump to ask to get a new editor because he believes that his editor, Miura, won't let him draw what he wants. The editor responds that saying that is the same as admitting his own lack of talent, and that no artists, whether veterans or rookies, can change editors. He suggests that Takahama go elsewhere if he's dissatisfied, but Takahama, chastened, withdraws his request and apologizes. Mashiro and Takagi note that what the editor said was harsh, but he had a point and they should stop blaming Miura.
  • Death Note:
    • Near alternates between being so honest people want to punch him, and so dishonest people want to punch him. L often roams a tactful middle ground, but Near seems completely inconsiderate with no intention to give consideration the old college try. Until the very last chapter, where he makes gestures toward both the old task force and the memory of Mello. The implication is that Mello, who enabled his victory, demonstrated that caring can, in fact, be an advantage.
    • However, L does have two moments when he first meets Light. The entire conflict between the two is about subtlety, as one screw up from either of them will expose their identity. Thus, Light is taken completely by surprise when his classmate, "Hideki Ryuga", bluntly admits that he's L. Light is then rendered speechless when L follows up by declaring he suspects that Light is Kira. Light later admits that this was a very clever move.
  • Takashi Hayashida from Sangatsu no Lion does not mince any words whenever he directly or indirectly speaks of his student Rei's social ineptness in school.
  • Shiho's mother in Zettai Karen Children adopts this as something of a coping mechanism due to Shiho's psychometry powers, which enable mind reading with any physical contact. So as to not try to hide things from Shiho, she simply speaks her mind, with no regard as to what she's about to say.
  • Ryuunosuke in Sakura-sou no Pet na Kanojo; he did not hide why he comes out to attend classes (to obtain enough attendance points to go to college), and, of course, towards Rita in episode 10, when he sees right through her "fake smile" and tells it like he sees it. It doesn't go very well with her.
  • This is Emi's defining character trait in the "Little Army" prequel manga of Girls und Panzer. Her willingness to speak her mind regardless of how the listener will take it causes much of the conflict early on in the story, but it also helps Miho speak honestly about her troubles later on.
    Emi: I hate lies and flattery. There's no point in wasting praise on the selfish.
  • Attack on Titan has numerous examples of this trope. Given the grim, and oftentimes cruel, setting that the story takes place in, the ability to deliver hard, verbal slaps to the face is almost a necessity.
    • The guy who stands out the most in this area has got to be Captain Levi of the Survay Corps; he says whatever's on his mind when he sees fit, politeness or dangerous circumstances be damned.
    • Jean is also notorious for doing this; at first it was because he was a Jerk, but After some Character Development, he does it to remind his teammates what they're fighting for.
    • Commander Erwin flat out tells the new recruits that the probability of them dying is 50% and most of them will die within the next year. This is actually sensible because the Survey Corps needs recruits that would volunteer despite knowing the terrible odds. And later on when Erwin is questioned about his role in the two Titan shifters battling each other and destroying part of Stohess, he stated it was his responsibility and made no excuses for it.
  • Kotoura-san deals with this in a few ways.
    • Deconstructed in Haruka's case. Haruka the telepath became The Cassandra because of this trope—her words made all the people around her seem like a compulsive liar, and for that reason she was labelled the compulsive liar. That's the reason why she can stand Manabe; he's one of the few people who actually speak what he thinks.
    • Manabe's case is more Lighter and Softer than his girlfriend does as he at least can't read others' minds. He plays it for both laughs and drama.
  • Tomoe from Kamisama Kiss. He will tell just about anybody what he really thinks about the situation whither they asked him to or not and he will usually do it in the rudest possible way. We do see on occasion that he does know how to be tactful, but most of the time he chooses not to be.
  • Saya of Servant × Service is prone to this, and her Innocently Insensitive hurt people even more. It was even lampshaded by the local Cosplay Otaku Girl Chihaya.
    Chihaya: She's perfect for Hydrangea [Blue, one of the heroines of Magical Flowers]... Because hydrangea... its hanakotoba is "brutal".
  • A few characters practice this in Saki,
    • Hiroko "FunaQ" Funakubo of Senriyama, after hearing that her teammate Izumi Nijou lost badly in her match in the semi-finals, says that she messed up, and proceeds to disabuse her of her notion that she's the best first-year mahjong player in the inter-high tournament.
    • Mairu Shirouzu of Shindoji has a similar approach to her teammate Hitomi Ezaki's similar loss in the third match of the semi-finals, in response to her saying that "It's all the government's fault!" In the first match, while talking with her best friend Himeko Tsuruta about their teammate Kirame Hanada's chances, she says that no matter how they put it, Kirame's situation does not look good, possibly considering that they knew she wasn't good enough to get on the team, and put her in that position because they knew she wouldn't go under 0.
    • In Saki Shinohayu -dawn of age-, this happens when Kanna recruits her friends to form a mahjong club and defeat Hayari Mizuhara, who won the local tournament, defeating Kanna.
      Kyouka: Are we supposed to beat (Hayari), too?
      Kanna: Nah. You're just here to be my sparring partners.
      Kyouka: Can't you at least try to show some tact?
    • Kyouka later turns it around by saying that she didn't come to watch Kanna at the mahjong tournament because she thought Kanna would be embarrassed to have one of her friends see her defeated and humiliated. In one of Kanna's POV chapters, however, this is subverted when it's revealed that Kyouka, however, did see at least part of the game.
    • Early on in the main series, Yasuko Fujita, a pro player, plays against and defeats Saki and Nodoka, then reveals that the best player on the team that won the prefectural tournament last year was able to defeat her.
      Fujita: Oh? You girls are also entering the preliminaries? Too bad. I think you girls understand, but there is absolutely no way you girls can win.
  • This is practically Naru's trademark in Ghost Hunt.
  • In Yugami-kun ni wa Tomodachi ga Inai, this, paired with his Principles Zealot mentality, is the reason The Protagonist Yugami is avoided by his classmates and baseball club teammates whenever possible. The isolation doesn't faze Yugami one bit, though.
  • Due to being raised on an isolated island, Kajika from Hanasakeru Seishounen is like this. She always says what she means and does not sugarcoat it. At one point she calls out and slaps a prince. She says this Eugene after asking him for advice (about love):
    Eugene: Why did you come to me about it?
    Kajika: Well, out of all my friends... there's only one who's really, really, reeeeeeeally knowledgeable about this stuff. And that's you Mustafa!
    Eugene: I won't deny it, but...
  • Tonari no Kashiwagi-san:
    • When Yuuto asks for it, Kazuki will respond bluntly, who can also be as direct to his girlfriend.
    • Sayaka, being who she is, won't spare feelings either.
  • Koufuku Graffiti:
    • Shiina does this towards Kirin in episode 7, when she suggests to Ryou that they'll do the cooking. She then points out how she saw how Kirin freeloads off her cousin, and doesn't even lift a finger to help her at all, even washing the dishes afterwards. Though these statements hit her pretty hard, Kirin is swayed after Shiina tells her Ryou might enjoy their cooking too.
    • Tsuyuko gives a harsh critique of Kirin's and Shiina's cooking in episode 6. However, she also says it tastes good. This in stark contrast to Ryou's review, where she liked it quite a bit.

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • Calvin is caught by his visiting uncle while going through his luggage, and responds to the incredulous resultant question with "[I'm] going through your luggage. What's it look like?"
    • Similarly, when his mother catches him pounding nails into the coffee table in the living room with a "What on earth are you doing?!", there's a Beat Panel before he says, "... Is this a trick question?"
  • Dilbert: Happens all the time in Dilbert's workplace. As the Pointy-Haired Boss summarizes neatly:

    Fan Works 
  • Luminosity: Bella enforces this on herself, complete with journals so she can make sure she's not tricking herself after the fact.
  • A certain Wise Prince from Dragon Age: The Crown Of Thorns likes to use it, to far-reaching effect.
  • Turnabout Storm:
    • When prosecutor and local jerk Trixie gets informed that a piece of information was hidden from her:
      Trixie: Witness! This is the first time I'm hearing about this! Why did you not say anything to me regarding this earlier!?
      Apple Bloom: Because I don't like you...
      Trixie: (wild take) ...ARGH!!
    • Cruise Control after Twilight mentions certain locks and chains (Psyche-Locks) that nopony else can see.
      Cruise Control: Don't worry, I don't think you're crazy or anything! (beat) ...Ugh, NO! You do think she's crazy! DON'T LIE!
  • In the Katawa Shoujo fanfic Weekend at Hisao's, Hisao meets with his old best friend Takumi, who is now in a relationship with Iwanako, the girl who confessed to him on the day of his first heart attack. He asks Takumi why he didn't tell him, and Takumi, after a little beating around the bush, says "You were an asshole back then," earning a Flat "What." from Hisao. Takumi goes on to explain that he understands Hisao was depressed, but his gloomy demeanor and refusal to talk made it difficult to be around him, leading them to give up after a few weeks, a statement Hisao agrees with.
  • Anthony Caine had this in The New Retcons, to the point of being rather blunt when he told his children and Frank Day about Elly Patterson's death.
  • A Growing Affection: Early in the story, Tsunade describes the holes in Naruto's and Hinata's skill sets quite frankly, nearly bringing Hinata to tears.
  • In DISGAEA, when Flonne gave Laharl the idea to gather all demons who wanted to become overlord in one place like what he did in Disgaea: Hour of Darkness everybody is surprised that Flonne had an actually smart idea. Flonne later asks Aramis is he thinks she's dumb.
    Aramis: Big time.
  • Happens twice in The Lion King Adventures:
    • Tojo tells Tama outright that she's a monster in Goodbye, Nala.
    • Haiba lambasts Simba for his evil actions in The Final Task.
  • A Protector's Pride: Orihime tells the rest of the gang she wants to help fight the Aizen's army. Urahara immediately shuts her down pointing out how her Actual Pacifist nature would put everyone in danger and how she should stick to being The Medic.
  • In the Girls und Panzer and Saki crossover, Necessary To Win, after the practice match between Oarai Academy and BC Freedom, BC Freedom's coach, which the outnumbered Oarai forces narrowly lost, Yasuko Fujita says that if they intend to enter the tournament, the odds won't be in their favor, especially when they go up against stronger schools. Unlike in Saki, however, Yasuko concedes that they have the potential to improve.
    Yasuko: What I'm saying may sound harsh. But as you are now, your school doesn't stand a chance in the tournament. And neither does ours.
  • In The Boy Who Fell from the Sky, a Naruto and The Legend of Korra crossover in a way for them to get to know each other better Naruto and Korra meditate while telling each other what their worst fears and regrets in life are.
  • Shigeru and Kazumi of Despair's Last Resort invoke this trope. The former because he doesn't care what others think, and the latter because of her upbringing. Miyako also tends to do this from time to time, though it's unknown why she does.
  • In Dangan Ronpa Abridged Thing, in Episode 5, Alter Ego asks about what happened to its creator, Chihiro Fujisaki.
    Alter Ego: By the way, I don't see Onii-chan anywhere. Onii-chan? Daijobu?
    Naegi: Okay, Kirigiri, you're going to need to be super tactful here, so don't—
    Kirigiri: (ignoring Naegi and typing to Alter Ego) Oowada crushed their head.
  • Escape from the Hokage's Hat: Hanabi loses her position as heir and ends up either bullied or treated with indifference by her clan. She does eventually get to voice her frustration to Neji and asks why they are treating her like that while they only have nice things to say about Hinata. Neji replies by telling her that it's because she isn't a nice person and Hinata is liked because the Branch members don't want to torment the only Main branch Hyuuga who is genuinely nice to them.
  • In Puella Musicus Madoka Magica, Homura explains at length why she considers Sayaka a clueless buffoon, to the girl in question. This is not because Homura doesn't know to be civil, but because she doesn't care about it.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Done in a serious manner in The Grey. After a plane crash one of the characters is badly injured and bleeding internally, and the rest don't seem to know what to do or say. Liam Neeson's character appears, and instead of the usual "you are going to be okay", he calmly explains to him that he is about die and nothing can be done about it, and that he should spend those final moments of life thinking about the people he loved. It works.
  • David Norris' atypically sincere concession speech in The Adjustment Bureau, with some very unflattering remarks about his spin doctors, saves his reputation as an honest "people's candidate" and his political career.
  • In Bulworth, the eponymous Senator, having a death wish, decides to tell the raw, unvarnished truth when out in public. It gains him a great deal of popularity with the general public, to the point where some voters in both major political parties write him in for President during the election. Unfortunately, it's only after he stops feeling suicidal that his brutal honesty pisses off the wrong person, who proceeds to kill him at the movie's end.
  • The Invention of Lying features a world based around this. And note that it's not just that people don't lie, they don't even have a concept of it. Taken to the ultimate extreme in that not only do they have no concept of lying, they have no concept of withholding the truth. Many times a character would not have had to lie simply by not saying anything but this doesn't seem to be an option either. Apparently this also means never using tact, as a character invariably blurts out the worst possible answer to anything.
  • Tony Stark's press conference at the end of the first Iron Man movie, when he starts reading the "official explanation" for his power-armored shenanigans, then throws it away and reveals his Secret Identity.
  • Ladyhawke gives us this example:
    Soldier #1: Where is Navarre?
    Phillipe: Navarre? Navarre? Ah, yes. Big man, black horse. I thought I saw him ride south, toward Aquila.
    Soldier #2: Ha, then we ride north.
    Phillipe: It isn't polite to assume that someone is a liar when you've only just met them.
    Soldier #1: And yet you knew we would. We ride south.
    Phillipe: (talking to God) I told the truth, Lord. How can I learn any moral lessons when You keep confusing me this way?
  • In Cats & Dogs, you have this hilarious exchange:
    (after he and his subordinate Calico set fire to a room in order to kill off the people inside, Tinkles stops at the door and turns to Calico)
    Mr. Tinkles: I want you to stay here.
    Calico: Why?!
    Mr. Tinkles: Because I hate you. (slams door)
  • Liar Liar has this as a result of the wish, even to Fletcher himself. To clarify, Fletcher is a sleazy lawyer who makes a living on lying. He's not even able to argue his case without lying or asking a question that he knows will be answered with a lie. He almost manages to convince the judge to postpone the hearing for 24 hours (when the wish will expire)... until the judge asks if Fletcher can continue. Fletcher can.
    Fletcher: All right, now let me tell you something. I'm a bad father.... I mean...
  • The Lord of the Rings:
  • In S.O.B., Tim Culley asks Felix Farmer "Have I ever lied to you?" and Felix replies "No". Tim goes on to say "Well I have, repeatedly. But the fact that I just admitted I have lied to you in the past means you can believe me now".
  • In Spaceballs, Lone Starr pulls this repeatedly when he's sneaking aboard Spaceball One to destroy it. He grabs one guard by the neck and when the guard asks him what he's doing, he replies, "The Vulcan neck pinch." The guard then tells him the proper way to do it. Lone Starr only gets away with it because the average Spaceball is Too Dumb to Live (said Spaceball complimented him for doing it right before collapsing). Next he grabs a can of shaving cream from another guard and when he asks what Lone Starr's doing with it, Lone Starr replies, "This!", sprays the shaving cream in the guard's mouth and eyes before giving him the pinch.
  • The Big Bad in Water World likes children when he's asking for someone's opinion, since they tell the truth rather than what they think you want to hear. Notably, a couple entries in the Evil Overlord List run off of the same principle.
  • The protagonist of Adam can't help but being brutally honest because of his Asperger Syndrome.
  • Colonel Glover prides himself on this in The Crossing. Washington calls him "a thorn in my ass" during a conversation in which Glover asks Washington has gone mad and that his plan for attacking the Hessians doomed to fail. Glover can do this because he's saved the Continental Army three times and says he'll carry out Washington's plan to cross the Delaware, mad though it may be.
  • In Rush (2013), Niki Lauda will speak his mind, no matter what and no matter who is present.
  • Into The Storm has ample examples from Winston Churchill spitting the truth in people's faces.
  • X-Men:

  • The Lord of the Rings: It's even worse in the book than in the film. In the film Denethor at least seems aware of what a terrible thing he's saying, and says it with some solemnity. In the book Denethor replies with "Certainly I wish it, for Boromir was loyal to me, and no wizard's pupil".
  • A number of characters from A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Sandor Clegane, an embittered Straw Nihilist that's perfectly willing to shatter people's fancy delusions.
    • Ser Davos Seaworth, a common smuggler raised above his station that's so loyal to his king that he makes a point of avoiding the ass-kissing behavior others display. His boss appreciates this so much he's repeatedly promoted for it.
    • Stannis Baratheon, Davos's boss, seems incapable of sparing anyone's feelings even if he tried.
    • Tyrion Lannister is also adept at using this for his own purposes. Especially noticeable in his treatment of Jon Snow, who incidentally is one of the few people Tyrion calls 'friend'. One of the things he likes about The Dragon Bronn is the latter's lack of pretension, and tendency to be completely open about what he thinks of their Crapsack World. On the other hand, when Tyrion makes the mistake of Calling the Old Man Out and demanding to know why he is denied his rightful inheritance, Lord Tywin responds with a truly vicious (and totally undeserved) "The Reason You Suck" Speech, spelling out everything he hates about his dwarf son.
    • Bronn is also a dab hand at this. The best example is this one: he warns Tyrion upfront that, should a better offer come along, he will give him a chance to meet or improve on it. If that's not possible, he's out the door and on to the next job. And, he does exactly that: The Power of Friendship doesn't get a look in. He's a sellsword. If he doesn't live up to his word, he's likely to be dead.
  • Ax of Animorphs once met a small girl in a hospital. She asked him if he was a fairy and what his name was. He answered her correctly and politely. Ax was somewhat known for this:
    Cassie: We're all just worried that this mission will, you know, be a little rough on you, Marco.
    Ax: Yes. Also, that the fact that this mission involves your mother will damage your judgement and cause you to make unwise decisions that might result in all of our deaths.
  • Wallace Wallace of No More Dead Dogs practices this due to the fact that his father told him about fighting in the Vietnam conflict, making his son very proud of him. Wallace is disappointed to find out that his father was lying about the whole thing (he was too young to have even been in the army during the Vietnam conflict.) His incredibly harsh but entirely honest book report on "Old Shep, My Pal" leads to his English teacher (who's directing the school play of the book) to believe that he never read it.
  • In ''My Fair Godmother", the main character tells her sister that she has to go back in time to rescue the guy who disappeared from his home in the present. It's safe to say that her sister didn't believe her. However, it might be inverted because she cannot lie without having to spit up a frog or something.
  • Scott Adams endorses this trope as a quick, reliable way to make a situation funny in The Joy of Work.
  • Luna Lovegood of Harry Potter is known for being painfully honest at times. Averted when no one really minds because the things she says about others aren't very critical, and she reacts with a confused stare instead of an argument when people disagree with her. And then subverted when this starts causing discomfort in Harry because she's honest about her own life, namely that everyone considers her crazy and picks on her, and she doesn't have any friends.
  • Niccolò Machiavelli's book The Prince is all about it.
  • Ozonne from the the Disgaea novels. When Laharl asks her what she thinks of him the first time they meet, she says she thinks he is "a weak and incompetent brat". Later, after she falls for him, she asks him casually to marry her.
  • Christopher, the main character from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, is autistic and can't lie. He explains this by saying that if he said he ate Corn Flakes for breakfast when in fact he had Cheerios, he would be thinking about something that hadn't happened; but then he'd think of other things that hadn't happened, for example, that there hadn't been a scuba diver at the table, or an elephant, and so on, and would get so wrapped up in thinking about what didn't happen that he'd forget the lie he'd told in the first place. It goes so far that he considers anything that didn't really happen a lie, even fiction (the one exception is Sherlock Holmes novels, which he enjoys). It's not just lying, either - he can't pick up on social cues, so he doesn't know what's appropriate to say and what isn't, and so has to be told not to say that one of his classmates is so stupid he would eat pound notes, coins, and his own poop. This is Truth in Television for many people with autism.
  • Sasha in Greek Ninja never hesitates to tell the truth even when it's devastating.
  • Discworld: Brutha from Small Gods isn't so much incapable of lying as he is unable to understand the concept. Given his perfect memory (the first thing he remembers is a bright light followed by someone hitting him), he doesn't get why people would go around saying things didn't happen.
  • In Divergent, the Candor hold this trope as a personal creed.
  • In Those That Wake, Man in Suit weaponizes this.
    Man in Suit: I will answer any question you have, because by merely being honest, I will defeat you.
  • Wind Runner from Warrior Cats: Dawn Of The Clans does this for Bumble. While the other cats are wondering whether Bumble should join them or not, Wind Runner bluntly tells her that she can't because she doesn't know the ways of a wild cat.
  • Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy, isn't shy to speak her mind, regardless of how inappropriate the situation.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the pilot episode of Selfie, Henry Higgs is very straight-forward in his assessment of Eliza. He calls her vapid, self-obsessed, and a narcissist, and openly states he doesn't like her. And that's just their first meeting. When seeing her dressed to be his date to a wedding he's visibly impressed by her looks-but instead says she's wearing too much fragrance. And later says it was a mistake to help her, and that she's a lost cause.
  • In Auction Kings, The experts tend to do this. It's their job. One expert in particular valued a case of Billy Beer at... nothing. He suggested Paul recycle the aluminum cans.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • When Cersei asks Robert if there was ever a possibility of their marriage working, he bluntly tells her no.
    • Stannis freely admits the he and Robert never loved each other when Matthos is dictating a letter for him.
      Stannis: He wasn't "my beloved brother." I didn't love him. He didn't love me.
      Davos: A harmless courtesy, Your Grace.
      Stannis: A lie. Take it out.
    • Renly is usually snarky with Littlefinger, but in "Garden of Bones", he is sick of beating around the bush, as their banter no longer amuses him.
      Renly: I don't like you, Lord Baelish. I don't like your face, I don't like the words that come oozing out of your mouth. I don't want you in my tent one minute more than necessary.
    • When little Robin Arryn reappears in season 4, this is one aspect of his Creepy Child behavior. This is all said in a perfectly calm voice, like they're talking about the weather, while his mother is in the background, smiling at her little boy.
      Robin: (to Sansa) Mummy said they killed your mother and they chopped off your brother's head.
      Sansa: They did... and my father's.
      Robin: They killed my father too, with poison.
  • Happy Endings:
    • Max does this in one episode, not as a contrast to his lying (though he does his fair share of that) but to show how bad he is with kids. When they're bored, he takes them to a memorial service in a bar (because they wanted to see a dead body), and points out the urn. He then explains that the body was burned and burned for hours and stuck in the urn.
      Django: Is there a Heaven?
      Max: Who knows?
    • He goes on to give an extremely pessimistic view of death, saying "you're just gone, like the light goes out. And you know how they say there's people who will remember you forever? They die too." Naturally, the kids burst into tears. Its at once a hilarious and terrible Aversion of Lies to Children. Naturally, Penny later comes in and gives a sugar coated view of heaven and a future where robots will make you live forever. But the kids say heaven sounds fun, and that they want to die and are dangerously close to forming a Suicide Pact before Penny pulls a Verbal Backspace.
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun: A Running Gag, especially in the earlier seasons. One of the examples in which it usually just ended up getting the Solomons seen as either hilarious or insightful.
  • Babylon 5: In one episode, Londo is given permission to divorce two of his three equally unpleasant wives. He ultimately chooses to keep the one who is brutally honest because of all of them she's the only one whose unpleasantness will never lead her to murder him without warning. At least with her, he lampshades, he always knew where he stood.
  • The Big Bang Theory: Sheldon Cooper almost always honestly reacts to every question even if it hurts the person's feelings, one such example is when Penny tells him and Leonard that in spite of the way her old boyfriend treated her part of her still loves him and asks them if she's crazy, Sheldon bluntly replies "Yes!" Though in Sheldon's case it's less of a case of wanting to be honest and more of a case of being unable to lie, not to mention incapable of understanding why the truth might hurt someone.
  • Done as a gag at the end of one episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, when Buck asks if Wilma and Doctor Huer don't really secretly sorta like the apartment he's cobbled together from random 20th century artifacts.
    Wilma and Huer: (in unison) No.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Anya, Spike and Cordelia are the usual embodiments of this, though others have their moments.
      Cordelia: I think it, I say it. It's my way.
      Anya: Why can't you just masturbate like the rest of us.
      Cordelia: Tact is just not saying true stuff. I'll pass.
      Willow: Then talk. Keep eye contact. Funny is good, but don't be glib. And remember, if you hurt her, I will beat you to death with a shovel... A vague disclaimer is nobody's friend. Have fun.
      Spike: (to Anya) I have nothing but respect for a woman who is forthright. Drusilla was always straightforward. Didn't have a single buggering clue about what was going on in front of her, but she was straight about it. That was a virtue.
      Anya: I hate us! Everybody's so nice. Nobody says what's on their mind.
    • When Buffy's caught going through a blood bank's records:
      Nurse: What are you doing?
      Buffy: Breaking into your office and going through your private files.
    • And then again with Willow, of all people:
      Faith: Go ahead, Will, give me the speech. "Don't do it, Faith! We can help you! It's not too late!"
      Willow: It's way too late.
    • Anya's reputation for Brutal Honesty, being a Deadpan Snarker, and basically being an insensitive bitch lead to one of the most powerful and poignant Tear Jerker moments in the entire series: her emotional breakdown after the death of Joyce Summers in "The Body".
      Anya: Are they gonna cut the body open?
      Willow: Oh my God! Would you just... stop talking? Just... shut your mouth. Please.
      Anya: What am I doing?
      Willow: How can you act like that?
      Anya: Am I supposed to be changing my clothes a lot? I mean, is that the helpful thing to do?
      Xander: Guys...
      Willow: The way you behave...
      Anya: Nobody will tell me.
      Willow: Because it's not okay for you to be asking these things!
      Anya: But I don't understand! (begins to cry) I don't understand how this all happens. How we go through this. I mean, I knew her, and then she's ... There's just a body! And I don't understand why she just can't get back in it and not be dead anymore! (begins crying heavily) It's stupid! It's mortal and stupid! And-and Xander's crying and not talking, and— and I was having fruit punch, and I thought, Well, Joyce will never have any more fruit punch ever, and she'll never have eggs, or yawn or brush her hair, not ever, (completely loses it) and no one will explain to me why.
    • The Buffybot does this and it is Played for Laughs in "Intervention", but the Buffybot's "Then why are you here?" (after the Slayer has been killed) forces Giles to realise he must move on from Buffy's death and return to England.
  • The Class: Kat. Always. Her first line ever in the show was "I gotta say, while parties normally bum me out, this one sounds particularly creepy." She continues to say, "I have no recollection of either you or Joanne, but you really sound like people I would hate."
  • Community: Abed has been called out on this behavior by his classmates on more than one occasion.
  • The Crossing: This is the trademark of Colonel Glover from Massachusetts, who is both honest with his opinion about the army's difficulties (which is good for Washington and his poor opinion of fripperies like powdered wigs (which is awkward when at the table of a man wearing a powdered wig).
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm: Larry David does this constantly, especially when he's trying to get an answer from someone he thinks is lying. Of course, he is a massive liar himself.
  • Doctor Who: While the Doctor is quite capable and willing to tell lies, one of his defining traits is that he's sometimes willing to say the truth when no one else wants to see that. Like many an eccentric, socially inept genius, social pleasantries are simply not his area. Special mention goes to his twelfth incarnation.
    Amy: So what's wrong with me?
    River Song: Nothing, you're fine.
    The Doctor: (reading off her vitals) Everything, you're dying.
    River Song: Doctor!
    The Doctor: Yes, you're right, if we lie to her, she'll get all better!
  • Drake & Josh: Drake does this to Josh when he bursts into their room yelling at Drake asking if he took the $2,400 they were going to use to buy a car (Drake bought the dealership's mascot, an orangutan named Bobo, instead). Josh continues to ask and paces back and forth even after Drake openly admits to taking the cash.
  • Entourage: Turtle tries to track down a girl named Kelsie to whom he spoke with on the phone but hasn't yet met. Thinking he's found her, he asked a girl if her name was Kelsie and she replied, "Even if it was, I wouldn't admit it." Turtle walked away, cursing brutal honesty.
  • Friends:
    • Rachel's sister Amy does this a lot. She wonders how come people dislike hearing their babies look bad.
    • In "The One With The Butt", everyone says non-committal positive-ish things about Joey's terrible play, except Chandler, who says "Awful play man, woah!". He's too excited about the beautiful girl who just agreed to go out with him to care about lying.
    • Even Phoebe couldn't hide it.
      Joey: Wow, an agency left me its card! Maybe they wanna sign me!
      Phoebe: Based on this play? ...Based on this play!
  • Grey's Anatomy: Alex is a big fan of this trope.
  • House prides himself on this.
  • House of Anubis:
    Patricia: Sorry, I bet I've been driving you all crazy.
    Everyone: (in an attempt to be polite) No.
    Jerome: Yes.
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • In the episode "Stuff", Lily takes part in a long, dull play and everyone tells her it was wonderful while Barney is the only one to be completely honest and tell her it sucked. Because he believes friends should be honest with each other. Barney.
    • He goes on to prove that friends should say that their plays suck by challenging them to come over to his play and still maintain their tactful lies. His play consists of saying "moist" over and over for an hour (Lily hates that word), followed by half an hour of discharging a squirtgun in Lily's face. After that came the epic saga of a singing, dancing robot that falls in love with a toaster. It was so monstrously bad that Marshall used the second slap he won in the slap bet to put an end to it.
    • He does this a lot. The other characters will be giving the gentle, not-hurting-your-feelings answer and he'll be saying the brutal truth every time. Barney believes that friends should be honest with each other. The women he lies to in order to get into bed aren't his friends.
    • There's another brilliant exchange where Robin asks if the gang have ever watched her show, and they all lie and say "yes", except Barney who says he's never seen it. Then she asks what their favorite part is and they all make something up, except Barney, who repeats that he's never seen it. Finally:
      Robin: You've never watched my show, have you?
      Barney: (with the rest of the gang's protestations) That's what I've been saying this whole time.
    • Barney is usually like this, but this is subverted in "Old King Clancy." Ted's project at GNB was cancelled, and Barney and Marshall had been lying to him for a month to spare his feelings. When Ted says they should have been honest with him, Barney reminds him of a time when he did the same thing to Marshall.
  • iCarly: Carly Shay does this to Sam and Freddie after reaching her breaking point when they drag her into yet another fight (the last of several) during the episode iDate Sam & Freddie. She points out that both their behaviour (Sam being a complete pig when they are on a date, and Freddie being a 'whiny nub' for pointing it out) and finally ends it by telling the two of them that they shouldn't be dating at all.
  • Kaamelott:
    • King Léodagan practices brutal honesty. All the time. Emphasis on the "brutal". To the point the very rare times he tries deceit, he's a Bad Liar.
    • Curiously, one episode was based on Arthur and Guenievre drinking a truth potion that was meant for Léodagan of all people (by his wife, who wanted to know if he'd been sleeping around). After the effects wore off, Guenievre breaks down crying since Arthur had told her he didn't love her, he solves the problem by convincing her it was a Potion of Befuddlement, causing them to say things that were likely not true.
  • Kyle XY: Kyle is a variation of this. He's never really rude, he just tends to immediately say what he thinks, until he wises up as the series progresses.
  • Leverage:
    • Parker does this a lot, but she can't help it since she's a very socially awkward person and doesn't know when she's said too much. Word of God says she has Asperger's Syndrome, a type of high-functioning autism, and this a very realistic portrayal, especially when it comes to moments of unintentional brutal honesty.
    • Except when it comes to Hardison. Then her emotions get in the way and she Cannot Spit It Out.
  • Lie to Me: At the beginning of the series Loker has taken on radical honesty — a (real-life, if you can believe it) technique that not only requires always, always saying the truth, but also manifesting one's thoughts openly regardless of whether they are asked. Hence Loker's tendency to say whatever comes to his mind from moment to moment, or to blurt out things like "I'd like to sleep with you" upon meeting Torres for the first time. As the series goes on he makes a couple significant exceptions, and by the second season it seems he's practically given up.
  • Mad About You: Paul is defending his decision to invest a large sum of money in a virtual reality device. He's trying to tell Jamie how amazing the device is, she asks him what he used it for, and since the audience saw him use it to be very intimate with a virtual Christie Brinkley, we see how this is an awkward question...but then he immediately says, "I gave Christie Brinkley a massage," and goes on to describe in detail how much he enjoyed it.
  • Revolution:
    • Charlie engages in this from time to time. Some would find that very annoying, but that comes with her being a young adult and teenager who hasn't grown up enough.
    • In episode 17, Captain Jeremy Baker engaged in this with General Monroe before Monroe executed him out of paranoia.
  • Seinfeld:
    • One of Kramer's distinctive traits, most notably when he tells George's girlfriend that she needs a nosejob (and then after seeing the results tells her she got "butchered.") Word of God is that this was based on a family friend of one of the writers.
    • Elaine, too: she told "Crazy Joe" Devola to his face that he has a terrible singing voice. Granted, she didn't know it was "Crazy" Joe Devola at the time.
    • Subverted in "The Kiss Hello". Jerry and Elaine are trying to get Elaine's friend Wendy to change her outdated hairstyle but don't have the guts to tell her. Instead, they bring her to Jerry's apartment in the hopes that Kramer will say it. Instead, Kramer compliments her hair, then when she says she was thinking of changing it, he encourages her to keep it. Their mistake was thinking Kramer cared about whether a hairstyle was in fashion.
    • On an episode where George is doing the opposite of what he normally does, he says "Hi, my name is George. I'm unemployed and I live with my parents" as a pickup line. It works. He later meets that woman's employer, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, and says to his face how his horrible decisions have slowly ruined the team. "Hire this man!"
    • One episode is called "The Truth" where after George breaks up with a woman she asks him to tell her the truth of why he wanted to break up with her. He does and she ends up in a mental institution.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Teal'c epitomizes this trope. Up to and including describing just exactly how he got that emblem on his head to a bunch of inner city punks.
      Teal'c: Remove yourself from my path.
      Punk: Listen to this guy. I'll remove myself when you tell me how they tattoo like that in Chulak.
      Teal'c: The skin is cut with an Orak knife and pure molten gold is poured into the wound.
      Punk: Ow, man, don't that hurt when they do that?
      Teal'c: Tremendously.
    • In "1969", Teal'c answers a query about the tattoo's symbolism with, "Slavery. To false gods."
    • Vala Mal Doran has two settings: either she says exactly what she's thinking, or she tells even the most obvious lies with a straight face. Truth or falsehood, she's completely shameless either way.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: In the episode "The Changeling", Kirk manages to talk the evil computer of the week into destroying itself. When finished, Spock compliments him on his "dazzling display of logic." Which then turns into a Compliment Backfire.
    Kirk: You didn't think I had it in me, did you?
    Spock: No, sir.
    (Kirk has a confused and slightly hurt expression)
  • Supernatural:
    • Castiel, mostly because he has No Social Skills and doesn't realize that people don't like it.
      Castiel: I owe you an apology.
      Dean: Cas, it's okay.
      Castiel: You are not the burnt and broken shell of a man that I believed you to be.
      Dean: (caustically) Thank you. I appreciate that.
    • "You Can't Handle the Truth" features an influence that forces people into this. Several committed suicide, and one was murdered.
  • That '70s Show: In the episode "Eric's Burger Job", when the guys apply for a job at a local fast food restaurant:
    Interviewer: Name something about yourself that you consider to be a weakness.
    Hyde: I'm brutally honest... pinhead.
  • Tokumei Sentai Go Busters: Hiromu Sakurada, the Rookie Red Ranger, tends to be blunt to the point of rudeness primarily because he trained alone; closer to earth Robot Buddy Nick does his best to get Hiromu to curb this habit.
  • Torchwood: In the pilot, the team (sans Gwen) is testing the Resurrection Glove (AKA Risen Mitten) on a murder victim (they're only interested in the glove, not the murder). This time, they choose to go with this approach when the man asks what's going on. After he dies again (permanently, this time), they mention that last time they tried to tell the guy he was injured, only for him to keep screaming for an ambulance. They actually get some results with this trope.
  • The West Wing usually shies away from this trope, being a political drama. Senator Arnold Vinnick, however, develops something of a reputation for this: In a presidential debate between Congressman Santos and Senator Vinnick, however, Vinnick is challenged by the moderator to say how many jobs his new administration will create - Santos having just given such a number. Vinnick bluntly explains that his administration won't make any new jobs... because it's not the responsibility of the federal government to create jobs, it's the entrepreneurs'. Vinnick also takes a popularity hit in Iowa when he refuses to recant his opposition to ethanol-based fuel additives - Iowa being the primary producer of such additives.
  • X-Play: This Video Game review show bills itself as giving brutally honest reviews.
  • London Blake to her mother Jane in Open Heart. After spending the entire first episode being unsure of how to answer any of her mom’s questions in the OR, she has an epiphany near the end and finally speaks her mind. Which is to say, she tells her mom that the procedure she used with the patient was far too risky, and she only did it because she saw another family about to lose their father and projected her own life onto the situation.
    Jane: I brought him back.
    London: This time.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Exalted, Intolerable Burning Truths presents itself as this, but really you are just succumbing to the madness of the old gods.
  • In Scion, this is essentially a virtue for the Aesir. The gods expect obedience from their children, but not a bunch of flattery, and are willing to put up with a surprising amount of lip if the scions get results.

    Video Games 
  • Suikoden Tactics has Wendel, who asks Kyril why he didn't help out during the last war. When he tells her why (Heroic BSOD lasting three years), she calls him weak, then adds that at least he's strong now.
  • Dragon Age: Origins gives all six Wardens a Brutal Honesty line upon meeting King Cailan, but grand prize has to go to the City Elf's.
    Cailan: And how are things going in the Denerim Alienage?
    Warden: I killed the Arl's son for raping my friend.
    Cailan: Well... Wait, what?
  • This is one of the three personality options for Hawke in Dragon Age II, along with nice and silly.
  • Tales of the Abyss:
    • Jade Curtiss flips regularly between this and Deadpan Snarker. What frustrates the rest of the cast so much about him is that it's very nearly impossible to tell which is which.
    • Luke tends to do this too, though this is the result of the fact that he's actually a 7 year old kid too young and naive to have anything resembling tact.
  • The merchants of Demons Souls and Dark Souls (except the Once Royal Mistress) are upfront about looting their wares from the dead and the cursed.
  • Touhou: Suika Ibuki is an oni, a race that hates lies and is known to do nasty things to liars. As such, she won't lie to you. No matter how harsh the truth is going to be. This makes some of her conversations rather... vicious. Doesn't help she's drunk off her ass at all times.
  • One of Soren's biggest character traits in the Fire Emblem Tellius duology. Ike admits that he appreciates Soren for being able to bring up issues the others have difficulty doing.
  • All of the guys in Persona4 are guilty of this when it comes to the girls' cooking, but Teddie flat out says, "Wow, this tastes awful!" when taste testing a dish.
  • Wadanohara And The Great Blue Sea: The Post-Gull Nekoyama employs this in his casual conversation, particularly when he gets Samekichi to admit that he loves Wadanohara; Nekoyama proceeds to declare his crush "appallingly obvious", and then says everyone in the ocean knows. Except the girl herself.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Katawa Shoujo, Hideaki is quite brutally honest, such as when he alludes to Akira putting her and Lilly's tickets through the wash.
  • Kyou from CLANNAD has no problems at all with telling Tomoya exactly what she thinks, in contrast to her more timid and soft-spoken twin sister. For example, when Tomoya asks whether she cares more about her bike's tires or his life, she replies 'Tires' almost before he can finish asking the question. On the other hand, Tomoya can be like this himself at times, so it's not a one-sided deal.
  • Rin from Little Busters! also has this tendency, though here it's more to do with a naive lack of knowledge or care about social graces than because she doesn't care about the feelings of the other person. If she thinks something is weird or gross or bad, she'll say it without thinking, no matter how blunt it comes out. Mio, on the other hand, really is just that apathetic about other people. Or she does it because it's funny. It's hard to tell with her.

    Web Comics 
  • Used in Schlock Mercenary, and probably inspired a rule about air vents.
  • Girls with Slingshots: Zach picks up Hazel from a visit to a nurse. He's teasing her about her injury — "What'd you do? Fall on a fencepost?" — when Hazel snaps and snarls, "I spent the whole weekend pleasuring myself because my boyfriend won't!"
  • Headon's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Rachel in Tower of God.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Elan lampshades this trope (while playing it straight) in "The War Council", where he tells Haley about Therkla.
    • Redcloak's honesty is brutal in the most literal sense possible near the end of "Loose Ends".
  • Deconstructed in both Rock, Paper, Cynic and A Softer World. Brutal honesty isn't always the best policy.
  • Questionable Content:
  • Bittersweet Candy Bowl:
  • Vashiel of Misfile is actually incapable of lying, so gets some moments like this:
    Dr. Upton: Vashiel, tell me, how incompetent is your brother?
    Vashiel: Oh, very incompetent sir, most of the time!
  • Done in The Pain - When Will It End in a (NSFW) comic about the reinventing of the Democrats as "The Sex Party". Confronted with charges of sexual impropriety, the Sex Party candidate responds:
    Candidate: Yes. I fucked that woman eight ways to Sunday. I fucked her like I was Paul Bunyan and she was a flapjack the size of Lake Tahoe. I intend to fuck her again immediately after this press conference. Next question?
  • IJDC: Devin has a few of these moments.
  • While Tina of Wapsi Square is usually extremely positive and has been known to, in the words of the other characters, "Blow sunshine up your ass," she considers it her duty to be brutally honest with those she considers friends.
  • Subnormality: Exemplified by a great many of the characters in "The Service".
  • In Slightly Damned, Sakido writes out the true tale of why Buwaro was left alone in the 'Ring of the Slightly Damned', it really changes the perspective of her Heroic Sacrifice earlier in the comic.
  • In The Dragon Doctors, after Sarin confesses her romantic interest in Mori in the wake of their respective Gender Benders, Mori invokes this trope to let her know that he's interested, too.
  • Electric Wonderland did this on the first page of "Valentine's Day Massacre". After Trawn and NJ read a comic from Shroomy, Trawn tells Shroomy that it was a nice try, but not what she was looking for. NJ, who had already scolded Shroomy for not having a clever enough joke, adds, "Also, it wasn't a nice try!"
  • Andy from Bomango. While he's Gogo's friend, he isn't afraid to call out her on her behavior or tell her that she needs to take a bath. Gogo is usually unaffected by this. But after Gogo says to Andy that she'll let him gawk at her as a birthday gift, he tells her that she isn't as good-looking as she thinks. She spends some time wondering why he'd say that, only to realize she's too big (read: muscular) and not thin enough.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama: In episode "The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings", Fry is forced to finish his complex opera with his incapable old human hands. Zoidberg unsympathetically shouts: "Your music is bad, and you should feel bad!" This, just seconds after Zoidberg tells Fry, "You can do it! The beauty was in your heart, not your hands!"
  • One episode of O'Grady revolves around how the weirdness forced people to blurt out the truth no matter how cruel.
  • Played with in the Elefun and Friends short, "A Tangled Tale":
    Giraffalaff: (to Elefun) Can you keep a secret?
    Froggio: Well... no.
    Giraffalaff: I wasn't whispering to you!
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes:
    Jimmy: You wouldn't want to crush my all time number one dream, would you?
    Lucius: Yes, yes I would.
  • Johnny Test from... well, Johnny Test gets this in one episode after a string of lies. His sisters mutate him so he has a second mouth; the mouth soon takes control of him, then aggressively tells the truth to everyone. Everything it says is hurtful and leave the victims angry at Johnny—except for his sisters, who 'conveniently forget' the remark he made about the fact that they are both chasing the same guy but can't both have him.
  • This is a common gag in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Rainbow Dash is the most frequent offender, but others include Fluttershy (when she's pressured into answering a question she'd rather avoid), Applejack (as an unfortunate consequence of her virtue of honesty, though usually depends on who wrote the episode), Twilight Sparkle (out of sheer awkwardness), and even Spike (as the youngest of the major characters).
    • Played for Drama in the Season 2 episode, "Putting Your Hoof Down", by Fluttershy.
    • In the "Canterlot Wedding" two-parter, when Twilight, at her big brother's wedding, in front of her mentor and friends and said brother, calls the bride evil. However, because she provided no real evidence to support her assertions and due to her behaving like a Clingy Jealous Girl for almost the entirety of the episode up to this point, everypony else is shown to be remarkably angry at her for this. Twilight turns out to be right about this, and if she held back, no-one would have found out until it was too late, although this had more to do with the evil "bride" whisking her away to where the real bride is imprisoned, and thus triggering the events of the second part of the two-parter, rather than anypony actually believing her.
    • Applejack, being the Element of Honesty, when she bluntly acknowledges how selfishly Rarity acted in "Rarity Takes Manehattan". Lampshaded by Rainbow Dash:
      Applejack: Yeah, you were pretty rotten.
      Rainbow Dash: Wow, Applejack. I know your thing is honesty, but come on!
    • What ultimately breaks the "Inspiration Manifestation" spell over Rarity when Spike finally tells her that her "improvements" aren't making things better for anypony. He also tells Twilight she looks awful at the end after she's spent the entire day cleaning up Rarity's mess.
    • In "Equestria Games", Rainbow Dash encourages the Ponyville teams to win the gold... except for her team, who she admits probably won't do as well.
  • South Park does this with Craig in "Pandemic", but Kyle also frequently veers in this territory.
  • The Simpsons does this a lot. In one episode, Marge asks Reverend Lovejoy why the church needs to build such a tall steeple. He replies, "To compensate for my own sense of smallness."
  • Daffy Duck in The Looney Tunes Show. This drives everyone crazy except for Foghorn Leghorn, who sees him as an Honest Advisor.
  • Commander Feral in SWAT Kats. Diplomacy is not his strong suit.
  • Spongebob Squarepants!
    SpongeBob: Mrs. Puff's in jail and it's all my fault. Maybe if I talk to Patrick he can ease my guilt.
    Patrick: Well it sounds like it's all your fault.
  • In the Goof Troop episode "Talent to the Max", Max is really bad at magic. He asks for feedback, Pistol evades the question, Goofy delivers a non-answer, and PJ says he "stinks like a skunk with BO" and continues from there. Max takes everyone's comments as compliments, except PJ's, which he takes as a much milder criticism than it was meant to be. PJ spends the rest of the scene trying to convince Max he meant what he said.
  • In Veggie Tales, one of the Silly Songs with Larry features Larry looking for his hairbrush. When Junior hears Larry wondering over his missing hairbrush, he has this to say about it:
    Junior: Why do you need a hairbrush? You don't have any hair!
  • In the Animaniacs cartoon "Bumbie's Mom", Slappy used the "Have I ever lied to you?" line on her nephew Skippy. The boy proceeds to give a laundry list of his aunt's past fibs, such as keno being legal in Burbank.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Amethyst tends toward this.
      Pearl: Greg is... nice, Steven...but I doubt Rose would trust someone like him with such a powerful weapon.
      Amethyst: Your dad's kind of a mess, Steven.
    • She also gives it to herself in "Cat Fingers:" Pearl blames her for Steven's predicament and later claims that the moral of the episode is never to listen to Amethyst. Both times Amethyst replies "That's fair."
  • In Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids the kids are trying to figure out how to handle a classmate named Suede Simpson, who everyone tries to avoid because he never bathes. Fat Albert was elected to tell him but just could break it to him. Finally, Russell flat out tells him he stinks and no one wants to be around him.
  • Batman: The Animated Series :
    • In "A Bullet for Bullock" Harvey Bullock asks for Batman's help to find out who is trying to kill him (Bullock doesn't want to get the department involved, lest they take too close a look at his rule-bending ways). He doesn't soften his disdain for Batman's vigilantism one bit; Batman simply tells him "I appreciate your honesty."
    • Also occurs in "Never Fear" with a Wayne Industries employee under the influence of Scarecrow's fear-killing gas. He promptly tells off his boss (Bruce Wayne) for intimidating him while announcing his immediate resignation, and then shamelessly and aggressively hits on one of Wayne's attractive lady secretaries on whom he's had a secret crush for years while security is escorting him out. In his ransom demand to the mayor, Scarecrow threatens to expose everyone else in the city to his gas as well, which, as Batman points out to Robin, means everyone in Gotham will be just as brutally honest as that former employee of his.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • In the episode "The Coronation", after Prince Wu's meltdown, Mako tells him that while Kuvira may be a tyrant, Wu might not be that good of a ruler either. The prince actually agrees, saying that no one had ever talked to him like that before.
    • Also, Toph doesn't sugarcoat it when she tells Korra that her lingering problems are keeping her from fighting good.
  • In an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures, Hamton always gets Picked Last for soccer games. Plucky says it's not because they don't like him, but rather because he's "a lousy goalie".
  • Nobody, even the announcer, on Wacky Races hides their disdain for the villain, Dick Dastardly. He even deflects it in an episode of the spinoff:
    Announcer: As Yankee Doodle Pigeon breaks the morning stillness while flying another dangerous mission, he keeps a wary eye out for the villainous Vulture Squadron. Skippered by the deadly, diabolical, despicable demon of the skyways, Dick Dastardly.
    Dastardly: You left out dashing and debonair! (evil laugh)
  • In "Doug's New Teacher" Doug is worried that the new substitute teacher thinks he is a troublemaker but Skeeter reassures him that she will probably forget about it the next day. When Doug asks his friend if he really thinks so, Skeeter admits he doesn't and only said that to make Doug feel better.

Alternative Title(s):

Brutally Honest