Complaining about Complaining
McKenzie: And now you're complaining about me complaining!
: You just complained about me complaining about you complaining.
—Sims Big Brother 5.
This trope includes all instances of complaints related to complaints.
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Live Action TV
- This is how many flame wars get started, usually in a couple of ways.
- 1) Someone makes a criticism (different from 2 in that there is actually a reason). Large numbers of people tell them to just shut up. The first person tries to justify their claim. Flame war ensues.
- 2) Someone outright states they don't like the show for very little reason, or complains for the sake of complaining. People then attack the complainer for genuinely complaining. Usually both groups have at least some people who can't let it go and continue to fight while losing whatever reason was behind it (usually just flaming the other side). Back and forth flame war ensues.
- 3) Someone complains/flames about the fans themselves. Napalm Drop Instant Flame War.
- The Onion says it best.
- With YouTube's change from a five star voting system to a simple 'Like/Dislike' option, expect to see various comments with "[number of dislikes] people are [negative object related to the video]."
- Some online forums will ban people for posting their ignore lists (often used to not-see people who complain too much). Ergo, the moderators are forcibly complaining about people spitefully complaining about people endlessly complaining.
- See the page quote from a Machinima about The Sims.
- Calvin And Hobbes:
- Calvin complains about people who can't let one of their pet peeves go... in a rant that lasts for three whole panels
- In another strip, Calvin complains about his grandfather's complaints that the art in newspaper comics isn't what it used to be and has been reduced to "a bunch of Xeroxed talking heads"... in a strip that is exactly that. (It stands out because the art in Calvin and Hobbes, even in the black-and-white, limited-space weekday strips, is always lush and unique. In the color Sunday strips it's downright painterly and genre-busting.)
- In MMOs with heavy chat traffic, it's not unusual to see people spamming, complaining, or otherwise being annoying. However, alerting that player that they are now on an Ignore list or are being reported to GMs gets you the treatment of a tattle-taler in preschool. The litany tends to go "Reported!" "Reported for reporting!" "Reported for reporting a report!" until people get sick of the joke.
- Course many of 'em are pretty much joking around anyways so it's hard to say who legitimately reports people for spamming to a GM.
- Real Life:
- Global Politics: '[media source, leader, etc.]'s disparaging depictions of [country, organization, etc.] play into the hands of [enemy group].'
- Local politics: 'Instead of proposing real solutions, my opponent has focused his campaign on spreading false statements.'
- National politics: 'X is not going to run a negative campaign like Y does.'
- Parenting: [Children complain] => 'I'm going to stop this car right now if you two can't get along!'
- TV Tropes: 'This trope is just Complaining About Shows You Don't Like.'
- The article you're reading right now is complaining about complaining about complaining. Congratulations TV Tropes, we've just divided by zero :)
- Everyone who lives in Britain does this. We complain about the queues, queue up to complain about X; and then complain about having to queue to complain about X, why do we have to queue? All this queueing just to complain about X is simply horrendous! We should complain about this.
- The "You're not allowed to complain about X because these people have it worse" card.
- The (no longer extant) Headscratchers page about "School" had someone coming up with reasons to dislike school (Which may or may not apply to them), in which someone responds by complaining that they're just complaining for the heck of it. Without, of course, knowing how much of a problem it was. (As if they went to a perfect school) It used to be much messier, complete with an Overused Running Gag about "Learn to box" and "You'll get expelled for that".
- Then there's the various Unpleasable Fanbases—you know who they are by now—which does in fact have a fair number of level headed, open minded fans. After a while, these level headed fans will finally get worn down about the seeming unending pessimism within the fanbase and make a comment about it. Which of course leads to flame wars—often between the offending complainers and the blind fanboys rather than the original poster—which lasts long after the original poster just gives up. This is one of the many, many reasons these fans tend to be embarrassed to admit being fans.
- Subverted occasionally in the case of someone who doesn't complain about a thing which everyone is complaining about and is then called delusional or a sheep or immature/uncritical thinker or fan-boy/girl/human for liking the show/book/artist/fanfic, For just enjoying the output, for being chilled about what they like. Complaining about not-complaining.
- In the US legal system, there exists a term called "vexatious litigant". This applies when somebody keeps filing suits over frivolous complaints until there are so many complaints about his frivolous suit that a judge formally tells him to cut it out.