->''♫Justice is what he claims to fight for, but it's a mystery -- what does this "justice" mean? He hasn't got a clue!♫''
-->-- '''Space Hunt Drake Redcrest's Theme (Vocal Version, English)''', ''VideoGame/ChibiRobo''

Can't think of a convincing personal motivation for your hero? No problem. There are lots of useful words out there. [[MeaninglessMeaningfulWords Useful words]] like [[ForGreatJustice "freedom" or "justice" or "peace" or "mankind"]]! [[LoadedWords Or "love"! Or "hope"! Or "good"!]] Yeah! "Freedom" stirs up lots of warm fuzzy feelings in people. Better yet, any villains who oppose our freedom-loving hero [[DesignatedVillain must be, by definition, evil.]] Better than ''that'', freedom is an abstract. If nothing specific is added, a reader can fill in the blank with ''whatever they want''.

Concepts Are Cheap is the natural result of writers stuffing their narratives with lots of glossy one-size-fits-all words, rather than inventing motivations which emerge organically from the character's experiences. Like a cheap meal, it leaves you empty two hours after you've finished the work. Sure, the hero might have just told the villain that "freedom" is better than "tyranny" and then struck him with his laser sword, thus [[ViolenceReallyIsTheAnswer (violently)]] winning "freedom" for all "mankind". But why? Why did he care? Why should ''we'' care? And would anyone but a CardCarryingVillain ''say'' that tyranny is better than freedom?

ValuesDissonance can hit with some of these concepts. ForScience was a cheap concept in TheFifties (positive or negative, depending on [[MadScientist the sanity of the scientist]]), but there are enough people real and fictional who claim that ScienceIsBad that taking a stand for it does mean something (again, for good or ill).

Compare MeaninglessMeaningfulWords, LoadedWords and ForGreatJustice. Contrast JusticeWillPrevail. Unrelated to HighConcept.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam00'' skillfully uses this trope as a plot point. As season 2 beings, Celestial Being managed to end war [[spoiler:by making themselves the entire world's common enemy, which is not what they hoped for, also everyone is being oppressed by the A-Laws who are an expy of the Titans from ''Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam'']].
* This is a common criticism of ''Anime/PokemonTheFirstMovie'': the rather forced moral in the English dub is that "fighting is wrong", in a series ''all about'' fighting. (ItMakesSenseInContext; the fighting in question is to the death and tied to Mewtwo's hatred of humans, while the series' regular battles are usually friendly and result in nothing more than {{Non Lethal KO}}s. Nonetheless, many fans agree that the film would have been better off with no such moral.)
* [[BigBad The Claw]] in ''Anime/GunXSword'' abuses this, constantly taking about "dreams" and "world peace" to refer to his plan, when it is more or less an [[spoiler: AssimilationPlot]]. It got him quite a devoted fellowship.
* In ''Anime/ConcreteRevolutioChoujinGensou'' this is a recurring theme with [[AntiVillain Sword Phantom Claude]], who has come to believe that while [[SuperHero superhumans]] may claim to fight for peace, justice and freedom for all mankind, it is impossible to be an IdealHero who truly fights for all three.
-->'''[[spoiler:Jiro:]]''' "You admired superhumans too! Those who do the right thing, not for themselves or their country, but for a single..." \\
'''Claude:''' "A single what? Justice? Peace? Freedom? Defending my freedom disturbs the peace! Pursuing your justice violates my freedom! There is no single answer!"
* Explored in ''Manga/{{Vagabond}}'', where much introspection is done about Mushashi's desire to become "invincible under the sun," what that even means and whether or not the lives he takes to get to that point are worth it.
* Briefly {{Invoked|Trope}} and {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d towards the end of ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist''. Once Mustang's group [[spoiler:takes over the central command center]], [[spoiler:Maria Ross]] gives a short speech over the radio about how they're fighting for justice. Breda then mocks her for using such a broad concept, but she replies that people will eat it up because it sounds cool.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'': [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness Back in the day]] the title character spent a lot of time demolishing substandard ghetto housing, exposing political corruption and standing up for the rights of immigrants and the little guy. He was a New Deal superhero! But politics is bad for sales - even corrupt politicians buy comic books, after all. So Superman started to fight for the magnificent generality of "truth, justice and the American way" (the last part added in the 40s for the radio program), and as long as he limits himself to hitting supervillains in the jaw, it doesn't matter. No two people can agree on what Superman "really stands for" anymore, but they all agree it's ''very heroic''. "The American way" part is also often dropped in modern stories, although it's usually [[CaptainObvious only Americans who complain about this.]]
* ''ComicBook/SpiderMan'': Peter Parker fights crime for the grand glorious cause of Responsibility: he has the power to do it, so he has to do it. (It ''does'' spin out of his {{origin story}}, but still.) This may mean that he was doomed to become a superhero no matter what: he was introduced as a young genius almost on par with the other super scientists of the time like Hank Pym from ''ComicBook/AntMan'', Reed Richards from ''ComicBook/FantasticFour'' and Tony Stark from ''ComicBook/IronMan''. Thus, he had great power, and thus, great responsibility.
* Inverted by the morally gray characters of Creator/AlanMoore.
** ''ComicBook/VForVendetta'': V fights for "freedom" not in the form of a vague generality, but in the form of smashing the [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Norsefire regime]] and creating a state of anarchy that may or may not be an improvement.
** In ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'', Rorschach and [[spoiler:Ozymandias]], in very different ways and results, devote their entire lives to their ideals, at the cost of distancing themselves from the morality (and, in Rorschach's case, hygiene standards) of everyday folk. [[spoiler:Ozymandias firmly believes that UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans and that a few million deaths to prevent the ''rest'' of the global population from dying is an acceptable sacrifice, while Rorschach believes that ''not even Utopia'' justifies the means, and that global extinction under the truth is better than peace through a lie.]]
* Periodically, ComicBook/CaptainAmerica will become disillusioned when he realizes that even he doesn't really know what representing "America" really means.
* ''Franchise/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica'':
** Villain Prometheus was designed as a sort of reverse Batman, whose parents were Bonnie and Clyde-like criminals gunned down by the police before his eyes. Why did he take on the Justice League? Because his parents' death instilled in him a deep and abiding ''hatred of justice.'' It's entirely possible it was meant to be as trite as it sounds, but most writers (and readers) don't treat it that way.
** In the mini-series "ComicBook/JusticeLeagueCryForJustice" , suddenly, every single major character spends the entire series demanding "justice" without ever bothering to define what it means or how it's different from what the other heroes are already doing. Their actions are also closer to that of [[{{Revenge}} another concept]] altogether. Prometheus himself is the villain of the piece, funnily enough.
* ''Comicbook/AngelaMarvelComics'': its main character Angela, and by extension all Angels of Heven (this is the in-comic spelling), says her culture centres around materialism and EquivalentExchange. Justice? Honor? Family? All those big and important words they translate to '''Nothing''' or to put it more flowery:
-->"Obey me for no reason, but pretty words, for no one's gain but my own."

* ''FanFic/MyBravePonyStarfleetMagic'''s supposed theme, believing, is constantly being thrown about. However, its message is ridiculously weak and vague.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/{{Megamind}}'' with the "You can't trap justice..." riff.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Franchise/StarWars'' uses broad concepts to help inform the audience who should seem sympathetic or disagreeable.
** Anakin is introduced as a slave: we don't see his performing any slave duties (working in a shop could just be his job for how he's treated), or the effects of slavery on him, or any motivations as a result of his experience, but it earns the tyke sympathy points.
** The Sith are dangerous moral relativists, except when they're rigid moral absolutists, but in the end they only seem to be whatever term the story can hang off them to make then [[CardCarryingVillain eeeevil]].
* ''Music/{{Evita}}'': Late in the film, when Eva [[spoiler:is dying]], she and her president husband Juan start talking about how their "dream" may never come to pass. It's never really revealed what this dream was supposed to be, unless it turns out it was "Enjoy the perks of the Presidential office."[[note]]In real life it was to reform Argentina-the film doesn't really get into this.[[/note]]
* ''Film/{{Braveheart}}'' speaks a lot about "OUR FREEDOM!" with only a couple of lines giving context they were fighting for ("beg forgiveness for a hundred years of theft, rape, and murder"[[note]]The thirteenth century was a fairly peaceful one for Anglo-Scots relations; shortly prior to the war, there had even been talks of uniting the two countries via royal marriage--300 years before James VI/I. A few unfortunate deaths in the Scottish royal family changed that.[[/note]]). Although movie-Wallace's crusade just started out as an act of personal revenge against the man who killed his wife, then somehow morphed into "Freedom for UsefulNotes/{{Scotland}}".
* In ''Film/MoulinRouge'', Christian spends the film chasing after abstract concepts. The movie does very little to explore what these ideas mean in the first place. He believed that because he and Satine believe in Freedom, Art and Love, the universe has to bend around them and that he never has to make any tough choices. Also, it doesn't ever seem to occur to him that these concepts aren't always compatible with each other. For instance, for his play to succeed, he would have to avoid falling in love with the investor's love interest. He also doesn't respect Satine's freedom to love someone other than him, seeing her attempt to break up with him as a result of being manipulated the whole time.
* ''Literature/AmericanPsycho'': Patrick Bateman in TheFilmOfTheBook gives a monologue on the important problems that we need to face, eventually dissolving into a bunch of vacuous rhetoric. Naturally, he doesn't actually care about these things (being a shallow sociopath, a racist, and a serial killer), so his speech is just a huge Lampshade hung on the use of this trope.
-->'''Bateman:''' There's a lot more important problems than Sri Lanka to worry about. We have to end apartheid for one, slow down the nuclear arms race, stop terrorism and end world hunger. We have to provide food and shelter for the homeless and oppose racial discrimination and promote civil rights, while also promoting equal rights for women. We have to encourage a return to traditional moral values. But most importantly we have to promote general social concern, and less materialism.
* ''Film/TheFifthElement'': After the BigBad Zorg is failed by a group of warrior aliens and forced to compromise on a deal, he launches into a monologue about his dislike for warriors and their causes.
-->'''Zorg:''' I don't like warriors. Too narrow-minded, no subtlety. And worse, they fight for hopeless causes. Honor? Huh! Honor's killed millions of people, it hasn't saved a single one.
* In ''Film/TheDarkKnightTrilogy'' much of the plot is about Bruce exploring, discovering and refining his concept of justice and his boundaries (for example, Lucius challenges him on his decision to implement a nigh-omnipresent security system throughout Gotham and Bruce decides to retire it after the current crisis).

* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** Remarked on in ''Discworld/InterestingTimes'' when Rincewind explains why he doesn't support "worthy causes". He says they're much easier to pick up than another chance at life is, so why would he lay down his life for a cause?
** ''Discworld/NightWatch'', wherein a rant by Sir Samuel results in the rebels fighting for truth, justice, freedom, reasonably-priced love (the [[UnusualEuphemism seamstresses]] objected to the inclusion of "free love")... and a hard-boiled egg. The egg, at least, can be had by morning. [[spoiler: Not that he even gets to eat the egg.]]
** Reacher Gilt in ''Discworld/GoingPostal'' loves to talk about freedom, but he really means "freedom for me". He certainly has no intention of letting Moist be free to run the post office while he has anything to say about it. Moist reads Gilt's statement to the Times and is awestruck at how Reacher has ''made'' the Concepts be Cheap.
* ''Literature/DonQuixote'' is a deconstruction of this trope: In the first part of the novel, he wants to be a KnightErrant ForGreatJustice. In reality, he is TheHedonist and all his efforts are really guided to live his dreams, but he doesn't accept it because he is a {{hypocrite}}. In the second part of the novel, his motivation changes ForHappiness. But this time Don Quixote is an honest man who must admit at the end of the novel that [[ShaggyDogStory his efforts didnít help anyone]] and his ChivalricRomance [[FanDisillusionment dreams were shallow]].
* {{Discussed|Trope}} and {{invoked}} in Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''Literature/TheCavesOfSteel''. [[FantasticRacism Robophobic]] detective Elijah Bailey scoffs at the notion that law-enforcement robot R. Daneel Olivaw has a "justice circuit," saying that justice is too abstract a concept to be programmed into a robot. When asked to define justice, Daneel says "That which exists when all laws are enforced." While that would not be many humans' concept of justice, it is perfectly adequate for a law-enforcement robot to function.
* ''Literature/TheSwordOfGood'' is dripping with this trope, as the protagonist Hirou wields the eponymous weapon and teams up with the Forces of Good to defeat the Bad Races led by the Lord of Dark. These are their literal, in-universe names. [[spoiler:[[SubvertedTrope But as the Lord of Dark points out]], the prophesied "Choice Between Good and Bad" isn't a matter of merely saying "Good", but of ''knowing which is which''. The so-called "Forces of Good" only uphold the malignant status quo, which the so-called "Lord of Dark" is overthrowing for the benefit of everyone -- the Sword only comes into its true power when Hirou realizes this.]]

[[folder:Live Action Television]]
* In ''Series/RobinHood'', the main character would often use [[UsefulNotes/RichardTheLionHeart King Richard]] as his rallying cry, but opposed the Crusades. Therefore, the storylines ran on an odd paradox: King Richard was good, but his actions were bad. Many of the storylines revolved around trying to bring King Richard home, yet when the outlaws travel all the way to the Holy Land, Richard is revealed to be a rather weak, misguided King, raising questions as to why Robin was so slavishly devoted to him in the first place. The King even tries to have Robin and the gang executed, but by season three, everyone has reverted back to the mind-set of King Richard = good, peace, justice.
* Mohinder's voice-overs at the beginning of each episode of ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' can be summed up thusly: "Destiny, blah, blah, fate, blah, blah, life and all its mysteries, blah."
* The Twelfth Doctor's MythArc in ''Series/DoctorWho'' reconstructs this trope. From the beginning, he is concerned with the question of whether he is a genuinely good person. This is for several reasons: he's a PragmaticHero as previous incarnations often were, he has a major GuiltComplex about the less-than-noble things he's done for the greater good then and now, and he isn't particularly [[GoodIsNotNice nice]] this time around. Seeing his first companion Clara Oswald, a MoralityChain who ''did'' think he was genuinely good in his previous incarnation, now have doubts because of his icier personality hurts him. Making matters worse, she's been with him so long that while she's braver and more self-sacrificing she's also more dishonest, reckless, oblivious to others' feelings, willing to endanger herself for the sake of adventure and accepting of the loss of innocent lives -- and he knows it's his influence at work. In his adventures he's forced to recognize, or recognizes on his own, that he's often NotSoDifferent from his adversaries, particularly ArchEnemy Missy. However, with the help of Clara and others, in the end he realizes that while he is not a flawlessly moral Good Man nor a Nice Man, he wants to be ''and is'' a Kind Man who chooses to try to help everyone he can -- no matter who they are or the risks he poses to himself (and those he cares about provided that they choose to risk their lives as well) in the process.

* While Music/{{Nickelback}} isn't among the most highly esteemed of bands, their song "If Everyone Cared" draws particular ire for its vague, feel-good message; what everyone's supposed to care ''about'' and ''do'' as a result is never explained.
* Music/MichaelJackson:
** As popular as "Man in the Mirror" is, the "change" we need to make within ourselves that will "make the world a better place" for the homeless/poverty-stricken isn't specified, and the video makes matters vaguer by bringing up issues that aren't even discussed in the lyrics (nuclear war, pollution, etc.).
** "Heal the World"'s vague message -- "There are people dying/If you care enough for the living/Make a better place/For you and for me" -- is reflected in the music video for it: kids go up to soldiers occupying some territory and give them flowers, which immediately convinces them to throw their weapons away. Huh?
** "They Don't Care About Us" does such a poor job of deliniating who ''they'' and ''us'' are that its use of anti-Semitic slurs in the lyrics, which according to Jackson was ''not'' intended to be racist, was interpreted as exactly that! Another song on ''[=HIStory=]'', "Earth Song", is at least much more specific about what needs to be addressed -- environmental destruction and war -- yet offers no suggestions as to ''how''.
* Music/{{Eagles}}' "Desperado" comments on this trope somewhat, in how romanticized the concept of "freedom" is:
--> And freedom? Oh, freedom, that's just some people talkin'
--> Your prison is walking through this world all alone
** And also from the jaded song "The Sad Cafe":
--> We thought we could change this world
--> With words like "love" and "freedom"

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In third edition ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', clerics can choose to devote themselves to some broad concepts rather than a deity. This allows the cleric to act pretty much however he or she wants as long it can be said to not violate the concept rather than worry about how his or her patron deity feels. Of course, some deityís concepts can be just as cheap as those of a patronless cleric, too.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':
** Many [[SuperSoldier Space Marines]] aren't too concerned with the minutiae of any particular war, fighting solely for the "honor" of their Chapter, their Chapter's Primarch, or just [[GodEmperor The Emperor]] himself. There are exceptions of course, like in ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar II'' where the Blood Ravens are fighting for the ''survival'' of their Chapter, but they are few and far between.
** Imperial Guard regiments are [[RedshirtArmy fighting for their lives]] most of the time, but any other motivation is usually limited to just obtaining "glory" for their homeworld: "For Cadia!", "For Valhalla!", "For [[Literature/GauntsGhosts Tanith]]!", etc.
** Subverted with the Tau. You'd think that "For the Greater Good!" would fall head first into this trope, but it turns out the Greater Good is actually a highly defined social structure. Said structure involves a [[FantasticCasteSystem rigid caste system]] where every Tau is assigned a role they're expected to perform from birth to death, and puts non-Tau members at the bottom of the hierarchy, but it's the thought that counts, right?
** The Imperium of Man and the Force of Chaos both over-emphasis high concepts (Daemons and the Chaos Gods basically ARE concepts given solid metaphysical forms) and encourage acting on them for their own sake. Naturally, both factions are ridiculously kill happy, anti-intellectual, fanatical, and short-sighted, unless they stray from dogma and adopt more practical ways.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/Fallout3'' gives us the DJ Three Dog who spouts off fighting the good fight while simultaneously being really really vague on what the good fight was.
* This is enormously subverted in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', as the protagonist's dream is to become a superhero who can save everybody. He is confronted about the flaws of this in the Unlimited Blade Works route by [[spoiler:Archer, who is his future self who followed this ideal to the bitter end and gained nothing in return but betrayal, misery, and disillusionment]]. He points out that the protagonist's ideal of being a hero is too vague; there is no reason for it, no feasible plan to accomplish it, and that it is not even his own ideal - only sacrifice and more conflict can result from it. There is nothing in that ideal, as it is one that can only save everybody in his sight - but as one cannot look at oneself, it can't even let him save himself in the end. Angst and turmoil all 'round in this one. Kotomine also points out how Shirou's desire to save everyone is inherently flawed; saving someone requires they be in danger, so Shirou's desire can only be fulfilled so long as people are in danger.
** The trope is reconstructed by showing that while simply throwing the words around with no meaning is indeed cheap, the base concept of trying to save people is indeed beautiful. Shirou then decides to avert Archer's biggest flaw in order to [[spoiler: not become his future self]]: Being a perfectionist. You can't save everybody, but trying isn't a bad thing at all.
* ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' (and its sister game ''City of Villains'') love seeding Heroes and Villains with motivations no thicker than 'Justice' or 'Villainy', and sometimes [[{{Troperiffic}} gleefully]] rolls characters around in the stuff. With a few exceptions, the entire Longbow faction is essentially Democracy! The Malta Group want you to BewareTheSuperman and reinstate the SuperRegistrationAct! The Crey Corporation is [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Capitalism]]! The Regulators, like Back Alley Brawler, say DrugsAreBad, m'kay! Positron and Vahzilok are ForScience! Eventually subverted by a bunch of different characters, albeit mostly in the supplemental material.
* Parodied in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIII'' on the [[Radio/GTARadio Chatterbox radio station]]. A guy by the name of "Jeff" calls in, advertising a rally at Liberty City Park. However, when the show's host asks what the rally's actually about, Jeff responds with an escalation of otherwise meaningless phrases and appeals, including "for justice" "for the future", and "for hope". The host continues asking, only to be met with more cheap concepts and pleas for attendance, until it turns out the guy doesn't know what it's about.
* ''VideoGame/WildArms'':
** Played with in ''VideoGame/WildArms3''. Idealist Virginia is constantly harassed by GoldfishPoopGang leader Maya Schroedinger, who demands to know why she keeps traveling and fighting. Although Maya ostensibly is only motivated by greed and jewels, in the end she claims that that ideal also includes the planet she lives on - a blue-green jewel.
** In the original ''VideoGame/{{Wild ARMs|1}}'', Calamity Jane refuses to accept that Cecelia and friends are fighting for some vague "save the world" mishmash and demands they solidify their reasons.
* ''VideoGame/MetalWolfChaos'' has propaganda broadcasts from the Government Policy Promotion Department, making pronouncements like "A heart of '''Justice''' is a heart that loves '''Freedom'''." This is when they're not promising to execute everyone who's even tangentially connected to Metal Wolf.
* Abraham Reyes from ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'' gives speeches that have him throwing around rabble-rousing buzzwords such as "Freedom" and "For the people!" And while the people drink it up, it's obvious to Marston and the player that he's nothing more than a self-important blowhard. [[spoiler:You only get to see how fake he really is in the epilogue, when a newspaper blurb spells out to you that he's become a dictator.]]
* ''VideoGame/MetalGear'':
** In ''VideoGame/{{Metal Gear Solid 2|SonsOfLiberty}}'' The Patriots spend roughly a half-hour at the end of the game lecturing Raiden on the failures of "freedom" and how human beings don't deserve it. The Patriots bring up a lot of actually good points about crowd mentality and convenient self-deception, but they jump completely into the bad guy camp the moment they start talking about how bad freedom is.
** In ''VideoGame/{{Metal Gear Solid 3|SnakeEater}}'' The Boss uses the word "loyalty" several times in the game to mean very different things, demonstrating her belief that because the friends of today may be tomorrow's enemies (and vice versa), "loyalty" as a concept is completely useless.
* While "heart", "light", and "darkness" have always been main concepts in the ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' series, ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'' spams them throughout the script so often that they start to lose their meaning as time goes on.
* Spoofed on ''VideoGame/ChibiRobo'' with Space Hunter Drake Redcrest, who claims to fight for justice, then admits he doesn't really know what it means. It even pops up in the vocal version of his theme song.
* In ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors'', Wei, Wu, and Shu, all like to go on about "Ambition", "Family" and "Benevolence" in all situations respectively, but Jiang Wei of Shu especially keeps talking up a "land of benevolence" while constantly waging expensive and futile wars.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', Isabela expresses this belief while discussing mage freedom with Anders.
-->Justice is an idea. It makes sense in a world of ideas, but not in our world.
* In ''Videogame/DragonAgeInquisition'', Cassandra wonders what the Inquisition will stand for after the BigBad is defeated. The Inquisitor can remark that it's a little optimistic to be thinking about such matters when they haven't won yet. Cassandra's concerns are quite understandable, since she used to be a member of an organization that stood for justice and order that eventually became more concerned with its own power. Since said organization the Seekers [[spoiler:was descended from the original Inquisition]], her fears that the same fate might befall the Inquisition have merit.
* Makoto Naegi in ''VisualNovel/{{Danganronpa}}'' genuinely believed in hope as a valuable concept, and it payed off in the final trial against the BigBad's DespairGambit. [[VisualNovel/SuperDanganronpa2 The second game]]'s Ultimate/SHSL Luckster Nagito Komaeda, Naegi's OddballDoppelganger, seems intended to satirize the idea by using the word in the context of doing horrible things like arranging for a murder to occur or helping the culprit to see who's hope was "stronger" under the guise of fighting for hope in general (instead of some specific hope). All while proving again and again that the he's more infatuated by the idea of hope, rather than having any hope of his own; Naegi may have been a HumbleHero, but he never went around calling himself 'trash' the way Komaeda does, and while while he was always sure to TurnTheOtherCheek by sending blame for people's misconduct towards The Mastermind, he never reveled in seeing followers of despair get punished.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Brought up in ''Webcomic/{{Oglaf}}'', when a young man wants to become a paladin and a champion of justice because a hook-handed man killed his parents. The gate guard points out that he's confusing justice with revenge, and should find a definition of justice that is more than just furthering his own needs and goals. Years later, after finishing his training, the now-paladin is no longer interested in vengeance upon finding the hook-handed man.
-->'''[[ItMakesSenseInContext Seagull Paladin]]:''' I think you might have killed my parents.\\
'''Bogdan Hook-Hand:''' And now you want revenge?\\
'''Seagull Paladin:''' Nah. I'm sure you had your reasons.
* Parodied in ''Webcomic/MagickChicks'', where [[TheDitz Tiffany]] forgets exactly how to be heroic more than once.
-->'''Tiffany:''' VENGEANCE SHALL BE MINE! Wait, no, what's the one heroes get? Oh right--JUSTICE WILL BE DONE!

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheTick'' doesn't let the abstract concepts worry him, being an IdiotHero. "Let's hang ten for Justice!" and "Spoon!" appear equivalent in his mind.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'': The Crimson Chin uses "Justice!" as his vague but enthusiastic rallying cry.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'''s version of Batman loves making pithy one-liners about "justice". This usually fits the show's comic tone, though it was rather jarring in the "Tornado Tyrant" episode where Red Tornado tried to explain good and evil to his son, when he could have just said "Evil people like stealing trucks and talking about crime, good people like punching those people and talking about justice, the end."
* Also parodied in the ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' episode "It Takes A Village Idiot, and I Married One", where Lois runs for Mayor - she quickly learns that making rational arguments and fully-explained proposals makes undecided voters fall asleep or get angrily confused, and resorts to ''exactly'' these kinds of platitudes, including responding to completely unrelated questions with "Jesus" and "9/11".
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' [[{{Troperiffic}} gleefully]] plays this straight with [[IdiotHero Finn]], who loves to boast about his defense of "honour" and "justice" without actually having any idea what those things mean ("I swear." "Swear to what?" "I swear ''to justice!''") and fighting evil monsters 'cuz they're "evil". CharacterDevelopment means he's a lot less prone to this in later seasons, but he still won't object to randomly punching monsters.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** [[MessianicArchetype The Avatar]] must bring "balance" to the world, but every Avatar (and their friends/allies) have their own interpretations of what balance is, and inevitably, some people disagree and try to resist them. Avatar Wan thought it meant keeping humans and spirits separate for their own safety, Kuruk interpreted balance as letting people solve their own problems and not interfering unless absolutely necessary, Kyoshi believed in ruthlessly enforcing peace, Roku wanted the four nations to maintain their own distinct identities, Aang eventually decided that balance meant accepting the changing world and encouraging unity and understanding between the nations, and [[WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra Korra]] reopened the spirit portals and is trying to rebuild the Air Nomads to heal the world after the War.
** Then there are the villains and their interpretation of "balance". For Sozin it was a Fire Nation led hegemony, for Amon it meant bender genocide, Unalaq believed in unified physical and spirit worlds ruled by him, Zaheer just wanted total chaos, while Kuvira sought complete control and subjugation under the guise of unity.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* More politicians than not, if not all politicians. [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glittering_generality See also]] Wiki/TheOtherWiki.
** It doesn't matter whether you're talking to the [[UsefulNotes/AmericanGunPolitics National Rifle Association or Handgun Control Inc]], the American Civil Liberties Union or an attorney general, everyone is for the protection of rights and has no problem with reasonable regulation; those phrases mean ''exactly'' nothing. The real fun starts when all sides claim that ''their'' politicians back up their meaningless soundbites with actual policy and claim that everyone ''else's'' politicians have nothing but soundbites.
** The British satirist Simon Hoggart came up with a way of measuring the worth of any political statement; take the exact opposite of that statement and see how likely it is that anyone would say it. For example, a politician makes a statement that he is in favour of 'fairness'. Would anyone say that they are in favour of 'unfairness'? No, then why bother saying such a statement?
** It ''is'' possible to figure out what politicians are all about by looking at what, specifically, they are planning to do if they get elected - and if you don't trust them to be honest about that (which most people don't), you can at least look at their track record so far. They just count (with some justification) on most voters not looking any deeper than those meaningless but nice-sounding sound bites.
** While the invocation of "freedom", "justice" and "liberty" tend to be Americans' preference, European, politicians tend to make more understated speeches: they usually don't go further than "social equality" and "citizenship." However, when talking about ''other'' countries, "democracy" and "human rights" pop up very frequently. There was a fad with "change" to try to [[FollowTheLeader copy]] UsefulNotes/BarackObama's vibe, but it settled very quickly. On that note, many of Obama's critics contend that his famous slogans of "Hope" and "Change" and "Yes We Can" were a little too vague.
** In Britain the concepts are fairness and progressiveness. Every policy of the Tory party in government is fair and progressive. Every policy of the Labour party in opposition is fair and progressive. The only way to tell them apart is that the Tories will occasionally throw in "[[ForGreatJustice justice]]" for good measure.
** After their overwhelming success in the 2015 elections, the Polish ruling party [=PiS=] (Law and Justice) went to work on a series of reforms and other operations under the common name of "The Good Change". Several loud anti-government manifestations and badly received reforms later, they still haven't dropped the name. Tough it probably helps that polls show public support for the party did not decline, in fact, it rose above the support it received in election...
** On the other hand, [[UsefulNotes/AustralianPolitics Julia Gillard's]] 2010 campaign tried to adopt the catch phrase 'moving forward'. Unfortunately, it was repeated just a little bit too often, and so it lasted less than a single speech before people were mocking it ruthlessly. Years later it's still parodied as a prime example of overused political vagueness.
* The Occupy Wall Street movement has been criticized by people from all over the political spectrum for seemingly having little more of a goal than making rich people feel bad. The organizers (and their counterparts all over the globe) stated that they didn't want to elaborate on their stances too much because they didn't want [[WeAreStrugglingTogether to divide the movement along factional lines]], instead opting to unite as many people as possible by getting them all to agree that the rich being greedy was a bad thing that needed to change. The result was very large crowds and very little clarity. Also, if you dug a little you would find that these different factions already existed beneath the surface, they just all found it in their interest (and no doubt belief) to imagine that each of them represented the 99% rather than a tiny proportion of a broad but ultimately not very effectual movement. It was repeatedly pointed out Occupy's overall goal wasn't to push through specific changes in public policy, but to raise awareness that there is a problem in the first place.
* Many activists for social change (feminism, racial/religious minority rights, LGBTQ rights etc.) use phrases like "Equality for all!" frequently, which leads to a lot of confusion as to ''what'' exactly this "equality" is and what it will mean for both people within and outside of the group in question.
* During the bloody period of UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution, the phrase 'for the people!' or 'for France!' was used to justify repression, mass murder, and ill-thought out wars that sent France's economy down the toilet.
* Roman writers used BreadAndCircuses to discuss the vagueness of many political actions, making this trope OlderThanFeudalism.
* John Stuart Mill supported freedom. G.W.F. Hegel supported Freedom. What is meant by freedom in each case is VERY different from the other. This sometimes leads to political BlueAndOrangeMorality between the two factions.
* Quite common for [[YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters terrorist organisations and freedom fighters]]; indeed the very act of naming yourself "freedom fighters" falls into this trope. Some cases are [[WellIntentionedExtremist arguable]], but others couldn't be more blatant. A good example would be the infamous '''Revolutionary United Front''' or RUF, who fought against the government of Sierra Leone. How did they try to do this? By killing villagers, raping women and amputating the limbs of their victims to keep them from voting.
* If the documentary Music/MichaelJackson's ''This Is It'' is anything to go by "It's all for love" was a mantra of his while he was working on his concert comeback, but what he specifically meant by that is never explained.
* The basis for many a real life PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny. If you can't be bothered actually ''making'' your government democratic, then naming it so is the next best thing. Whether or not this actually fools anyone though is unknown.