A morality trope about the arbitrary distinctions writers make between certain sorts of victims. If a character in fiction has a problem or ailment or social situation, and the creators intend him to be sympathetic, the character will have acquired the problem in the most socially acceptable way. If the character isn't sympathetic, then he will have contracted the illness through [[UsefulNotes/VictimBlaming "your own damn fault".]] Compare and contrast LoserProtagonist.

Here's a helpful chart of examples:
||align=center border=1 width=100%
||'''Situation''' || '''Good''' || '''Bad''' ||
||'''Rape ''' ||chaste woman, child ||promiscuous woman, [[DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnMale man]] ||
||'''Unemployment''' ||Laid off, displaced, single mother ||[[{{NEET}} never hired]], fired regardless of circumstances ||
||'''AIDS ''' ||in-utero, transfusion, rape victim ||sex (especially if it was ''gay'' sex), shared drug needles, rapist ||
||'''Cancer ''' ||hazardous worker, accidental toxin exposure, child victims ||smoker, heavy drinker, overweight or obese
||'''Abortion ''' ||against her will, when the pregnancy is due to a rape ||response to casual sex or [[YourCheatingHeart adultery]]
||'''Disaster ''' ||Absolutely unforeseen, at least by the general populace, new, not result of victim action, government negligence ||Foreseen by everyone but willingly ignored, known hazard, victims caused or contributed, third world country
||'''Homelessness ''' ||Sudden and absolutely unforeseeable disaster, DomesticAbuse, war ||Personal financial problems/unemployment, [[CrazyHomelessPeople mental illness]], drug addiction
||'''Drug Addiction ''' ||as a result of prescribed medication ||as a result of illegal drugs
||'''Becoming a social outcast''' ||Society itself is a {{Dystopia}}, one can prove extreme talent ||[[TheComplainerIsAlwaysWrong Disagreement with anything short of a]] {{Dystopia}}, [[LonersAreFreaks being a loner]], ValuesDissonance
||'''Vampirism ''' ||in-utero, transfusion, involuntarily bitten ||bitten, voluntary
||'''Lycanthropy ''' ||involuntarily bitten, inherited, cursed ||voluntary
||'''Superpowers ''' ||accident, inherited, experiment ||voluntary
||'''Murder''' ||[[ChildrenAreInnocent innocent child]], woman murdered by husband/boyfriend, TokenWholesome ||AssholeVictim, DisposableSexWorker ||

Note that for some people this trope can be justified. They consider a person who gets carpal tunnel syndrome from writing a Nobel prize winning novel is a bit different from someone who gets it playing ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' is a bit different from someone who gets it by spending too much time whipping slaves. Regardless of how they got it, they are still victims. Whether you have sympathy for them is another matter.

See also GoodFlawsBadFlaws. Compare the varying media standards between Hitmen and Assassins (both in ProfessionalKiller). Also see the difference between HighClassCallGirl and DisposableSexWorker.

No RealLife examples, please, as they are just an invitation to an Administrivia/EditWar.


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* ''Manga/KotouraSan'' has a surprising amount of both for a TwelveEpisodeAnime:
** Good Victims: In the DownerBeginning, Haruka (a {{Telepath|y}} with PowerIncontinence) did not cause any distrust among the people around her, [[LivingLieDetector she just made it apparent]] with InnocentlyInsensitive {{Curiosity| Is A Crapshoot}}. Of course, she then becomes TheScapegoat and AllOfTheOtherReindeer for this distrust even existing. Detective Tsukino is another example during the criminal arc (episodes 9 through 11) for being bullied about [[StatuesqueStunner her height]] and then feared for being physically stronger than everyone else during her own DarkAndTroubledPast. [[spoiler: She unconsciously develops an EnemyWithin from this experience. This is the [[AntiVillain actual criminal]], which Haruka herself broke]].
** Bad Victims: Generally speaking, these are {{Yes M|an}}en who [[BecomingTheMask uphold]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tatemae their facades]] to deny the truth they already know or their feelings which need to be admitted. [[TheBully Hiyori]] and her GirlPosse are such examples in the PresentDay [[spoiler: up until episode 3]]. Kumiko, Haruka's mother, is another one for her use of IHaveNoDaughter when Haruka revealed her [[YourCheatingHeart parents' adultry]] in the DownerBeginning. [[spoiler: Like Hiyori, Kumiko also develops away from this during the GrandFinale. It's even implied that [[HeelRealization she finally realized]] that Haruka is {{Telepath|y}}ic during that time.]]


[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* ''ComicBook/{{Blade}}'': The main character is a heroic half-vampire who contracted it not in the normal way (being bitten) but in-utero when his pregnant mother was bitten. Victims of bites are uniformly evil.
* {{Mutants}} in the ''ComicBook/XMen'' mythos are feared and despised by having natural powers, yet people like Franchise/SpiderMan and Mr. Fantastic are loved by the public, even though the only difference is that they got their powers in accidents. While nearly all heroes in the Marvel Universe have been hunted by the authorities at one point or another, only mutants are (nearly) always despised simply for being mutants. Making matters worse, all superpowers manifested by humans have the same root cause: genetic experiments performed on the ancestors of humanity by aliens. Mutants are simply the subset of humans for whom manifesting powers is a matter of time.


[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/TheAccused'': Sarah Tobias is blamed for being brutally gang raped due to her dancing and flirting. BasedOnATrueStory.
* ''Adulthood'': The character Lexy has a particularly horrendous gang rape as part of her backstory and the perpetrators got away with it by making her look promiscuous in court.
* ''Film/BoysDontCry'' had a different kind of bad victim in Brandon Teena, where the cop who interviewed him seemed to think that his {{Transgender}} status was a far more relevant topic to focus on than the fact he was raped.
* ''Film/ThelmaAndLouise'' has Louise tells Thelma that no one will believe that she was almost raped because she was seen dancing with her attacker by the entire bar[[spoiler: probably because she was blamed for her own rape]].
* ''The Rape Of Richard Beck''. The titular character frequently blames women for their own rapes if he considers them unchaste... before he gets raped himself.
* ''Film/NorthCountry'' has Josie blamed and disbelieved, first for being the victim of domestic violence then sexual harassment due to having a promiscuous reputation (though this reputation is actually inaccurate).
* In ''Film/{{Philadelphia}}'', Andrew is discriminated because he got AIDS through gay sexual intercourse. A woman named Melissa, who was called to testify, got it through a blood transfusion, and as such is looked upon much more sympathetically. Melissa lampshades this, saying that in her opinion, there are no innocent or guilty people when it comes to AIDS, there are simply people trying to survive.
* Cited in ''Film/{{Malice}}''. When Tracy sues Jed for removing her ovaries due to his mistaken belief that they were necrotic and would have killed her via sepsis, his lawyer describes her as "A lovely young woman married to a handsome young man. He's an English teacher, she's a hospital volunteer. They buy a big old house and want to fix it up and fill it with children. That is a Norman Rockwell painting and you slashed it to bits with your scalpel." But when her husband Andy discovers that she'd been cheating on him, he goes to Jed and urges him to fight against the settlement, pointing out that the large amount was because "The jury thought they were dealing with Snow White. What if Snow White were sleeping with her lawyer?".


[[folder: Literature ]]

* [[http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,318628,00.html This article]] discusses this trope as related to AIDS in the 1990s.
* Tatum O'Neal's autobiography ''Literature/{{A Paper Life}}'' claims her father's reaction to finding out she was molested by her drug dealer was to accuse her of leading him on.
* ''Literature/AnitaBlake'' has most shapeshifters contract lycanthropy from attacks by a were-whatever, making them the survivors of a vicious attack. Only a very few chose the life voluntarily.
* ''Literature/WildCards'' has Aces and Jokers-they have the same virus, but their reception by the public varies based on which manifestation of it they got. And they're not written necessarily sympathetically if they're pretty aces, or hatefully if they're deformed jokers either.
* Debbie Morris writes in her book "Literature/{{Forgiving the Dead Man Walking}}" that she was considered a bad victim for her kidnapping and rape by many people in her town due to her having broken curfew.
* Fantasia Burrino wrote in her autobiography that her father blamed her for being raped due to her sexy clothing.
* In the ''Literature/JamesBond'' novel ''Literature/{{Goldfinger}}'', Bond dislikes Pussy Galore's lesbianism until she tells him [[RapeAndSwitch she was abused]] by her CreepyUncle. So apparently (in the 1950s at least), lesbianism by choice was bad but lesbianism because of previous abuse by men was OK.
* Rain "daughter of [[Creator/RichardPryor Richard]]" Pryor wrote in ''Literature/{{Jokes My Father Never Taught Me}}'' that her father blamed her for her teenage sexual assault due to the way she dressed.
* ''Pure Evil'' by Maureen Harvey. She writes about football fans chanting at matches that they are glad her son was murdered cause he supported a different team. They were almost definitely joking but ''still''.
* ''Literature/TwoWeeksWithTheQueen'' is surprisingly tolerant in this regard-even the gay man with AIDS is treated sympathetically.
* ''Literature/SweetValleyHigh'': Lila's lacquered appearance and dating history lead to her being blamed and disbelieved when seemingly nice guy John Pfeifer tries to rape her.
* ''Literature/TheLostGirl'', a true crime biography by Caroline Roberts who was kidnapped by Fred and Rose West, describes how they got away with raping her due to her having had a couple of one-night stands.


[[folder: Live-Action TV ]]

* ''Series/FootballersWives'' had a groupie raped while unconscious at a party of footballers who is paid off when the club owners persuade her that her actions at the party will be used against her.
* An episode of ''Series/BrassEye'' invokes this when the host of a chat show completely changes his attitude toward a guest when he discovers the guest has "Bad AIDS" (caught from homosexual sex) rather than "Good AIDS" (caught from a blood transfusion) as the host had previously thought. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFNs2mOkKzc Seen here.]]
* ''Series/SesameStreet'': Kami is a {{Muppet}} character from the South African version of the show who has AIDS, contracted in-utero. Her mother died of AIDS and now she lives with a human foster mother. One sketch had Kami telling her friends that she missed her mother sometimes and how she deals with grief.
* ''The Lakes'' has gang rape victim Lucy Archer, who is blamed for her horrific attack due to her promiscuity.
* Danni Sutherland in ''Series/HomeAndAway'' is partially blamed for being raped for the way she dresses.
* ''Series/{{The Bill}}'' has featured several storylines of rape victims who have been blamed for their rapes due to flirty behavior, kissing or sexual contact with the rapist beforehand, or [[DisposableSexWorker being sex workers]].
* A TV movie ''Sex, Videotapes and Footballers'' featured a woman who accused 3 football players of raping her, and her so-called friend said it was her fault because she had consensual sex with their friend before they allegedly raped her.
* Similarly, the TV movie ''Gifted'' had a pole dancer and single mother drugged and raped by a footballer decide not to press charges, knowing how she would be portrayed.
* ''Series/{{Brookside}}'' explores this both with teenage pregnancy and bullying when {{OverprotectiveDad}} Marty Murray is initially sympathetic to his underage daughter being pregnant when he assumes she must have been raped, but angry when she tells him the sex was consensual. He also supports his son when he thinks he's being bullied by boys, but has a harder time being sympathetic when he finds out the bullies are girls. The last episode also ended with the cold-blooded murder of a violent drug dealer with most of the characters deciding that he deserved it. The show seems to leave it up to the audience to decide if they agree with this sentiment.
* ''Series/{{The Good Wife}}'' had a seemingly-the episode aired 6 months before the famous RealLife event occurred-{{Ripped from the Headlines}} episode about a massage therapist who accuses a politician of sexual assault but decides not to press charges as there is too much in her past that would be used to paint her as a bad victim.
* ''Series/{{Eastenders}}'': Kat's uncle who raped and impregnated her when she was 13 tried to blame her for what happened by pointing out the way she dressed and that she wore heavy makeup. She responded by pointing out that she walked around in her mother's high heels when she was a toddler and asked if she was asking for rape then as well.
* There's a bizarre variation on this in ''Series/{{Oz}}'' when homophobic Dino Ortolani becomes more sympathetic to a dying AIDS patient on discovering he is not gay as he assumes but got AIDS from taking heroin. There is also a storyline involving Tobias Beecher deciding that a teenage boy is deserving of being raped due to him being convicted of raping his ex.
* DiscussedTrope on ''Series/{{Degrassi}}'' season 13 when Zoe is raped by members of the hockey team. Throughout the show, Zoe has been portrayed as a boy-crazy AlphaBitch and at the trial, the defense tries to portray her in that way.
* ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'' runs on this trope. Arguably one of the show's [[SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped greatest strengths]] is exploring just how arbitrary the idea of a "good victim" is, since even the "good" victims will almost invariably be portrayed by the rapists' defense attorney as asking for it in ''some'' way. Alternately, the protagonists will go out of their way to get justice for "bad" victims; in one episode, the ADA has to battle it out with the defense attorney over ''the way rape is defined by the law'', since the victim is a male stripper who was raped by three women, and the law's definition of rape as forcible penetration does not encompass what they did to him. In another episode, despite one of the perpetrators confessing on the stand to rape, the judge overrides the jury's guilty verdict, claiming that the defendants had no way of knowing the victim didn't want it, as they've seen her in adult films getting fake-raped on camera.
* During ''Series/GeneralHospital'''s AIDS storyline, Stone Cates often ran into people with this attitude--AJ Quartermaine expressed annoyance at how much attention was being paid to AIDS research while [[JerkassHasAPoint other equally deadly illnesses didn't receive nearly as much support]] (additionally, having just spent the past year watching his mother battle breast cancer, it's understandable he'd be ticked off at the lack of funds dedicated to fighting it). Unfortunately, he promptly undermined his point with his suggestion that those with AIDS had done something stupid to get it (drugs, unsafe sex), while those with the other diseases presumably got it through no fault of their own. Later in the storyline, Stone ran into two women with a similar mindset--while they had nothing but sympathy for children who were afflicted, they had none for people like him, who'd contracted it via unsafe sex.
* On ''Series/SexAndTheCity'' after Samantha developed breast cancer, she asked her doctor why it had happened, given that she had always taken good care of her health. When he replied that certain lifestyle choices put some women at higher risk (not having children, etc), she explodes at him and accuses him of thinking that "I'm a whore who deserves to get cancer!". When she seeks out another doctor, she chats with another woman who reveals that she is a nun--someone else who has never had children--and realizes that she ''isn't'' being punished for some unknown sin.
* Mentioned on ''Series/TheGoldenGirls'', while Rose waits for the results of her HIV test, snapping at Blanche, "You must have slept with hundreds of men!". When Blanche angrily demands to know if that means that ''she'' should be the one worrying, Rose further steps in it by claiming, "I'm a good person." Blanche tells her "AIDS is not a "bad person" disease, it is not God punishing people for their sins!"


[[folder: Video Games ]]
* ''Franchise/DragonAge'':
** The Orlesian Empire is infamous for conquering and occupying most of its neighbors, especially Ferelden (the setting of the first game) and the Elven Dales. Their conquering Ferelden is depicted as 100% inexcusable in-universe and out, yet their conquer of the Elven Dales is ''frequently'' dismissed as the elves' own fault because they didn't help against the [[WorldWreckingWave Blight]] a few decades before, and were acting too "isolationist" and "unfriendly" when Orlais sent missionaries and trade caravans (even though Orlais was leading Imperialist expansion campaigns against their other neighbors at the time, and the elves had very good reason not to trust them). [[note]]Not to mention the backstory leading up to it. The Elves had recently been granted freedom after millennia of slavery and cultural genocide under humans, and were trying to restore their half-forgotten lore when Orlais sent missionaries to undermine their autonomy. [[http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Codex_entry:_The_Exalted_March_of_the_Dales One codex entry]] speculates that Orlais was clearly undermining the elves' autonomy, and notes how the conveniently placed the Dales is between Orlais and its eventual prize of Ferelden.[[/note]]
** Even characters who feel sorry for mages tend to feel this way about [[BloodMagic blood mages]]. It doesn't matter how badly the mage was abused by Templars beforehand; as soon as they're discovered to have dabbled in blood magic (even if they never used it to hurt anyone) they're instantly deemed unworthy of any sympathy, at fault for anything bad that happened to them, and condemned to death or [[EmptyShell Tranquility]].
** If a character massacres a human noble family, like Rendon Howe to the Cousland family in ''[[VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins DAO]]'' and [[spoiler:Thom Rainier]] to his commander's entire family in ''[[VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition DAI]], they are depicted as complete monster and the family as unambiguous victims. However, if a character massacres mages or elves, odds are the narrative treats it as a [[GreyAndGrayMorality morally ambiguous]], if not [[IDidWhatIHadToDo justifiable]], decision; along with in-universe justifications for what the mages and/or elves did or might have done to deserve getting killed.
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'': Most mage characters are depicted sympathetically for all the horrors and abuses they suffer under Templars... ''until'' they're discovered to have dabbled in blood magic and/or demon summon. Then they're AlwaysChaoticEvil and/or TooDumbToLive. Even Anders, the most [[SingleIssueWonk notoriously pro-mage companion in the franchise]], doesn't feel blood mages deserve any sympathy or second chances.
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'': Elven companion Sera has a lot of pity for the nondescript "common folk" (Andrastian humans, "non-elfy" elves, and surface dwarves) who are oppressed by cruel and abusive nobles, but has no such pity for mages or [[BoomerangBigot "elfy" elves]]. She figures that the former's magic being dangerous to the common folk and the latter's wariness toward human commoners means they ''deserve'' how they're treated.
* The demon-allied [[OurOrcsAreDifferent orcs]] of ''[[VideoGame/WarcraftOrcsAndHumans Warcraft I]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/WarcraftII II]]'' are revealed to be a peaceful shamanistic race in the backstory to ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'', as after the Horde's defeat, they lost their permanent rage. [[MessianicArchetype Thrall]], seeking to reunite them with their roots, allies with [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Grom Hellscream]] (one of the original chieftains of their homeworld). Grom ends up being repossesed by the demons, but reveals that (most of) the chieftains gave themselves to the corruption willingly. Thrall, who is understandably more than a little pissed to hear this, brings Grom back and kicks the ass of the Pit Lord responsible for the corruption.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Played with in the ''WesternAnimation/{{Captain Planet|and the Planeteers}}'' episode that dealt with HIV. While the teenager who contracted it got it through a blood transfusion, his doctor also mentions how shared needles and unprotected sex can also be how the disease is contracted. The episode still calls out people for spreading misinformation on HIV-positive people in general, indicating that all of them deserve the same understanding.