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Hitler Ate Sugar
aka: Guilt By Association

"You know, I shouldn't have to explain this, but sharing one attribute with Nazis doesn't make you one!"
Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

A logical fallacy that assumes that anything done or liked by a bad person must be bad itself, taking Not So Different to absurd levels.

The premise seems to be that bad people must have a way to tell if something is evil. Either that, or bad people are repulsed by anything that isn't at least as evil as they are. Whatever the reason, bad people magically will only associate with things that are bad. Therefore people claim a thing is bad because bad people associate with it.

This is a concept called The Association Fallacy, which often overlaps with Godwin's Law, due to how often Hitler is used for this (also known as Reductio ad Hitlerum).

After all, Hitler has gained the reputation for being the very embodiment of darkest evil, who oozed "pure liquid malevolence" right out of his pores. So, he supposedly would only do/like/own things that are as evil as him. Things like sitting on a chair, wearing clothes, eating, taking a walk, and breathing. Hitler did those things, but that doesn't make them bad. Hitler is not a reason things are bad.

We don't think mass murder is bad because Hitler, Stalin, or other bad people did them. We think those people are bad because they committed mass murder. In other words, this trope is backwards. A thing being bad stands on its own as bad. It would be like...

Bob: I want to commit genocide.
Alice: The Nazis committed genocide.
Bob: Really? What was I thinking? I can't believe I was going to do something the Nazis did.

This is also one of the reasons why we are often loath to admit that a person who we generally always disagree with may actually be right for once. Someone intimidated by this "argument" may invoke No True Scotsman as a "rebuttal". ("Hitler wasn't a REAL vegetarian.")

A Sub-Trope of So Was X and Anti-Advice.

A Sister Trope to Abomination Accusation Attack, Chewbacca Defense, Godwin's Law.

Compare also to Real Men Hate Sugar (people come to hate something normally considered pleasant due to cultural/gender expectations of what is considered "mature" or "masculine").

See Villains Out Shopping for examples of evildoers doing innocuous things. The inversion of this trope is What Would X Do?.
Please note that this page is for examples where X is claimed to be bad due to being done, eaten, read, watched or whatever by demonstrably bad people. It's not for cases where the meaning is more "Look, just because he/she/it does/eats/reads/watches X, doesn't mean he/she/it is a good person." It's the difference between the fallacious argument "Hitler ate sugar, therefore sugar is bad" and the valid argument "Even Hitler ate sugar. Eating sugar does not automatically make you nice".

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Parodied in one of many Pokémon Abridged Series.
    Officer Jenny: You know who else claimed he wasn't a Nazi? Hitler!

    Comicbooks 
  • The Anita Blake comic book attempts to justify slaying a doting grandmother with the line "Hitler liked dogs".
  • Judge Death in Judge Dredd's universe has the logically extreme example. It runs something like "Crime is bad. You know who commits crime? People that are alive!" Therefore, "The Crime isss Life, the Sssentence isss DEATH!!"
  • Defied in Watchmen, where Rorschach uses the correct logic associated with this trope:
    Nite Owl II on how he couldn't believe Adrian was the Big Bad: He's a pacifist, a vegetarian...
    Rorschach: Hitler was vegetarian.
  • In Batman: Fortunate Son. it is retconned that Bruce's parents told him to stop listening to rock and roll on the night that they were killed. Therefore, he comes to the conclusion that rock and roll is death, crime, and the rage of a beast! Or something like that.
  • Superboy-Prime constantly mouthing off common fan complaints while committing planetary genocide.

    Fan Fic 
  • In Equestria: A History Revealed, the narrator reasons that she doesn't understand the scientific process behind baking a cake, and therefore, sees it as something that cannot be explained. She also reasons that dark magic cannot be explained. Therefore, baking must be a representation of dark magic. It gets worse from there on out.

    Film 
  • Inverted in the comedy To Be or Not to Be with a running joke. The hero is undercover and talking and joking with a Nazi, Colonel Erndhardt. Erndhardt will mock a feature of his sidekick Schultz (e.g. fastidiousness, vegetarianism, etc.), leading the hero to accuse him of insulting Hitler who had all of these traits.
  • In Office Space, Peter's "you know, the Nazis had 'pieces of flair' they made the Jews wear." However, the employers in Office Space in fact do utilize totalitarian structures and strategies to keep their workers in line. In this particular example, the flair pieces are part of a Double Bind structure. This doesn't make Peter's argument any less fallible though, and he takes it back to proceed with even more verbal tripping over himself.
  • Used in Clerks in a scene where a 'Chewley's' gum representative is trying to stir up anti-cigarette sentiment in order to sell gum as a substitute. He tells the protagonist that shopkeepers who sell cigarettes are equal to Nazis because clerks like him are only following orders, and so did the Nazis. This is ironic as the Nazis hated smoking. Granted it's a flawed argument considering he obviously has no choice in what he sells and nobody is forced to buy it, but his customers are stirred into pelting him with cigarettes anyway.
  • Used in Alfred Hitchcock's Rope in the argument between David's father and Brandon on the subject of whether "superior" people should have the right to kill inferior ones.
  • In The King Of Comedy
    Rupert Pupkin: I made a mistake.
    Jerry Langford: So did Hitler.
  • Inverted in Downfall, where the first scene shows Hitler being kind and forgiving to a flustered job applicant. The director was obviously trying to make the point that no one can be evil 24-7, but the usual suspects went nuts, claiming the film was trying to whitewash Hitler. They also failed to notice that Hitler was being kind because the secretary came from a region of Germany he was fond of, demonstrating how he had little interest in people's actual competence compared to their racial purity or national heritage.
  • In Clint Eastwood's A Perfect World:
    Bobby Lee: I love my work.
    Sally Gerber: So did Hitler.
  • This is the reasoning behind the title of Bowling for Columbine. Moore points out that media watchdogs and social commentary pundits were alarmingly quick to point towards all sorts of societal influences that supposedly caused Harris and Klebold's rampage, including video games, bullying, violent movies, and the like. He then questions if they might as well blame the sport of bowling for what happened, as both killers were attending school classes in bowling and played a game the day before the shooting.

    Literature 
  • Played with in A Series of Unfortunate Events, a few times. (Only a villainous person places his cup on the table without using a coaster or enjoys the works of Edgar Guest.)
  • Project Itoh played this trope straight in his sci-fi novel Harmony, where a professor connects the book's healthcare-obsessed false Utopia with the Nazis because the Nazis starting looking into ways to cure cancer, being socialists, and being politically correct. Those last two are kind of eye-rollers, but the cancer thing gets especially weird seeing as the author was dying of cancer while writing the book. Wonder what that means.
    • Itoh probably learned a lot about cancer during his illness, then he needed an explanation for that in-universe professor and wrote what came first to his mind.
  • The foreword to Harry Potter parody Barry Trotter and the Shameless Parody inverts this while playing it for laughs. It includes a message from the publisher describing the work as 'satanic', and a message from Satan who thinks the book is utterly terrible and refuses to take the blame for it. A message from the church follows, stating that anything so reviled by Satan must be the ultimate work of good and encouraging the public to buy it en masse.
  • Warrior Cats uses a variant with Tigerstar, the series equivalent of Hitler. All apprentices must serve the elders. When apprentice Tawnypaw Tigerstar's daughter is slighty late bringing moss to the elder Smallear, Smallear says, "Tigerstar didn't want to serve the elders either when he was an apprentice! You're going to turn out just like him!"
  • In Death series: Origin In Death reveals that the Icoves and their partner Wilson essentially espoused eugenics. Naturally the opposition played this trope. It stopped them from doing things publicly. Privately, they engaged in cloning, genetic manipulation, and a lot of ugly stuff!
  • Penn Jillette, in his foreword to Greg Gutfeld's The Bible of Unspeakable Truths, uses this as an argument against believing in God (which he identifies as a major point of disagreement between himself and the author).
  • One book revealed that several prominent U.S. companies - Ford Motor Company, Texaco Oil, and International Business Machines (IBM) among them - struck deals with Nazi Germany to manufacture the bullets used to kill Allied soldiers. The author then suggests that the people now running those companies be retroactively sued for treason.
  • Spenser often will comment "Hitler liked dogs" when noting that an otherwise villainous character performed a Pet the Dog.
  • In I, Jedi, a novel overlapping with the Jedi Academy Trilogy, Corran Horn uses his ability to absorb energy and channel it into telekinetic feats to save the life of another student. Luke cautions him against using his power that way in the future, because Darth Vader used that technique (the Cloud City scene where Han tries to shoot him and he stops the blaster bolts with his hand). Corran accepts this argument, despite the fact that no reason is given why the technique should be regarded as morally problematic, aside from the fact that Vader used it one time. (And it's a particularly hypocritical argument on Luke's part, since he had himself used Force skills associated with the Dark Side for benevolent purposes, such as using Force-choke - another favorite technique of Vader's - to intimidate some Gamorrean guards into letting him pass when he invaded Jabba the Hutt's palace.)
  • In A Wolf In The Soul, Greg's father reacts this way to Greg's becoming a vegetarian.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Daily Show:
    • Once used Glenn Beck logic to prove that Bert — yes, the one from Sesame Street — is actually Hitler. Seen here.
      • Showing a clip of Glenn Beck using it himself, not as a parody: since the Nazis and Communist both used "social justice" as a leitmotif, everyone asking for it is either of them (or maybe both).
    • From another of his Glenn Beck segments:
      You know who else didn't answer medical questions? Hitler.
    • Another time was when a mention was made to Glenn Beck connecting the word "empathy" which was what Barack Obama said America needed more of (or something like that) to Hitler. As Lewis Black said, he'd just connected one of the most positive words in the English language to Hitler and that Glenn Beck had "Nazi Tourettes."
      "Oh, can I play? Let's see. Mother Teresa: Mother Teresa had a mustache, Hitler had a mustache. Mother Teresa is Hitler!"
    • And in what may be his final Glenn Beck riff, on 4/7/2011, Jon Stewart managed to link the announced cancellation of Glenn Beck's show on Fox News to the apocalypse predicted by the Mayans in 2012. "Do we want to live in an America where what we watch is determined by a shadowy mix-and-match collective of so-called 'Nielsen Families'? You know who else had a family that anyone could join? Charles Manson."
    • Jon brought the author of "Liberal Fascism" (Jonah Goldberg) onto his show and asked him to explain why organic foods are fascist. The author's response? Hitler made his troops eat organic foods (which aren't even "liberal" in the traditional sense, either. Goldberg apparently got "left-wing" confused with "alternative lifestyle"). Jon's response to this was "That is literally like saying mustaches are fascist. Hitler had a mustache."
      • At one point, Goldberg said that liberals use accusations of fascism to discredit all conservatives. Basically, accusing liberals of using this trope. While this actually is the case among SOME liberals, Jon held up the author's own book in a Crowning Moment of Funny to show him he's doing the exact same thing.
  • Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report often uses this as a means of argumentation, for example thinking that it's not OK to be a vegetarian because Hitler was one or celebrate Mother's Day because Joseph Stalin had a mother.
    • On the other hand, Colbert did defend Michael Jordan for his recent sporting of a toothbrush mustache in Hanes underwear commercials. This could be because Jordan is black (and, therefore, couldn't possibly be Aryan and thus has, if you will, N Mustache Privileges), although the reason Colbert explicitly gave is that Jordan has a soul patch as well. (Colbert pointed out that if Hitler had had a soul patch too, he'd have looked less like, well, Hitler and more like a beatnik.)
  • Parodied in John Safran's Music Jamboree, where it explained, in depth, why Dr Seuss books and Cristina Aguilera CDs are bad, because their publishers are owned by a company that "used slave labour" during the Nazi era. (Based on that logic, Ebenezer Scrooge is an evil man because he once hated Christmas.)
  • John Safran vs God, the titular presenter (who is Jewish) mentions an anecdote from his youth. He was a big fan of the Beastie Boys and to emulate them, got a big Volkswagen logo pendant. This led to his mother ranting about how he was showing support for a product of Nazi Germany.
  • The Young Ones but ever so slightly inverted:
    Rick: Vyvyan, stop being so sexist! They're called breasts and everybody has them.
    Vyvyan: Well I don't!
    Rick: Yes, and nor did Adolf Hitler.
  • Saturday Night Live had a parody commercial for a sneaker company where they showed members of the Heaven's Gate suicide cult wearing Nike sneakers, with the implication that if a suicide cult wears them they must be evil.
  • From Dexter:
    • On Dexter's advice about Cody's school assignment:
    Rita's mom: Dexter does drugs. He is wrong.
    • On Agent Lundy's walking style:
    Masuka: That's exactly how Hitler walked.
  • Inverted on Mad Men. Bert Cooper argues that Roger should stop smoking because it's a sign of weakness, claiming that when Hitler met with Chamberlain in Munich, he made sure it was in an old non-smoking building so that after a few hours Chamberlain would have agreed to anything to get out of there. Roger replies, "All I can get from that story is that Hitler didn't smoke, and I do."
  • An episode of M*A*S*H sees Hawkeye yelling at a soldier whose deep guilt over a lack of bravery on the battlefield has given him psychological paralysis, on the theory that if the soldier doesn't overcome his guilt now, he never will. When Trapper asks afterward if it was rough, Hawkeye says, "Did you know Hitler and I have the same answering service?"
  • Craig Ferguson uses a variant of this a lot in his Late Late Show monologues. "You know who else doesn't like _____ ? Al-Qaeda!"
  • Inverted on an episode of Late Night With Conan O'Brian several years back, where a skit mentioned news that US tobacco companies were being required by law to start making anti-tobacco ads. One of the "ads" shown on the show involved Himmler walking up to Hitler and offering him a cigar, to which Hitler responded with a quick "Nein!" The ad ended with the tagline: "Be Like Hitler: Don't Smoke!"
  • Cam and Mitchell on Modern Family point out that Hitler had straight parents when they believe people assume the worst from them for being gay parents.
  • In an episode of Mad About You, Paul insists in using Nazi comparisons when having arguments with Jamie (mostly about the mayor, for whom she worked), to the point where she claims he would be unable to have a discussion if the Nazis didn't exist.
  • A Running Gag in the pilot of Freaks and Geeks is Harold Weir constantly knocking down his children's proposals or scolding their behavior with the argument "[Celebrity Name]/[A friend of mine growing up] did that, and you know what happened? They DIED!"
  • On So Random!, in one skit, in a school presidential debate, Layla points out that she looks good in hats, and Mark responds "You know who else said they looked good in hats? Attila the Hun".
  • QI discussed the trope at one point, along with Godwin's Law. Stephen Fry is of the opinion that anybody who uses this trope immediately loses whatever argument they were having.
    Hitler was massively opposed to fox hunting; he thought it was cruel. And so, he banned it. But for someone to say "Oh well, then, fox hunting must be good!" is just ludicrous.
  • Detective Delahoy from The Unusuals is supposed to be doing paperwork but refuses and instead hangs at a Chinese restaurant. When his partner confronts him about it, he says that the Nazis did a lot of paperwork.
  • On Married... with Children, Marcy visits the Bundys with a bunch of political signs to put in their yard, and Bud notices that one reads "Support toxic waste dumps." Marcy explains that if the neighbors see something in their yard, they'll be instantly driven to the opposite.

    Music 
  • Because the music of Richard Wagner was so commonly used by the Nazis in their propaganda, fans of Wagner can expect to hear this from the ill-informed when they announce their admiration for Der Ring des Nibelungen. Granted, the situation is more complicated than usual since Wagner himself was anti-Semitic and pushed for a united Germany. Yet, he still died before Hitler was even born. And his only work of music which references his anti-Semitism at all is Parsifal, which the Nazis actually banned for being too pacifistic since Wagner wanted Jews to convert to Christianity - he was not in favor of genocide. Despite all this, though, if people know one thing about Wagner and his music, it's that he was a "Nazi composer," to the extent that his music is quite verboten in Israel.
    • Fans of Wagner themselves are sometimes called anti-Semitic just for liking his music.
    • In some lovely Irony, as Wagner's Opera The Flying Dutchman is based off a recording of the legends by the poet Heinrich Heine, who was Jewish.
  • According to The Axis Of Awesome song "Do They Know It's Pizza?", Joseph Kony cuts pizzas into 8 slices. (Spoofed by an issue of MAD that has a fake Williams-Sonoma mail-order catalog offering a rusty steel "African Warlord Pizza Machete" that customers can use to cut uniform slices and then lop off the hands of anyone who tries to take some pizza.)

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In a Dilbert strip, Ratbert wins every debate on the Internet by using the argument: "How would you like it if Hitler killed you?" In one of his text books, Scott Adams pointed out you can win any argument by comparing something to Hitler. This works so well, he explains, because Hitler was a surprisingly versatile guy; he did everything from invasions to building autobahns.

    Radio 
  • There's a That Mitchell And Webb Sound sketch about this sort of thing. There's a debate about killing pizza-flyer delivery guys and one of them reduces all the other's responses to comparisons with Hitler, and the other constantly compares his opponent to Stalin. Which culminates in the exchange:
    "You're like Stalin..."
    "You are Hitler".

    Religion 
  • In regards to sin in general, I John 3:8 states that anyone who has committed a sin is considered of the devil, who had committed a sin by rebelling against God before the foundation of the earth. This is paraphrased as "If you do something bad, no matter how bad it is, you're following the example of Satan."

    Stand-up Comedy 
  • The entire premise behind Richard Herring's "Hitler Moustache" show is that he is reclaiming the toothbrush moustache. He points out that Charlie Chaplin had it first, but it's become evil by association with Hitler. The toothbrush moustache was also a popular fashion accessory for German World War I veterans who joined the postwar Freikorps, a right-wing paramilitary organization formed to restore order in the wake of the political violence in Germany immediately after the war. While many of the Freikorps troops did become Nazis, various others were Jewish - and one was even murdered by his fellow troopers for it!
  • Lampshaded in a tongue-in-cheek fashion in Bill Bailey's stand-up: asking the audience for famous vegetarians, someone yells out "Hitler!", with Bailey replying: "You're absolutely right, Hitler was a vegetarian. It's very unseemly to think so, but there he was. Just goes to show: vegetarianism - not always a good thing. Can in some extreme cases lead to genocide."
  • Comedian Andy Kindler says he uses this trope to break up the "Astrological love-fest" between people with the same Zodiac sign (ie. "Hitler was a Sagittarius"). If it isn't true, no one's going to call you out on it. Hitler was a Taurus.

    Tabletop RPG 

    Web Animation 
  • In the comedic flash parody The Matrix Has You, Neo gives a lecture on car safety, specifically to buckle up, and points out that both Agent Smith and Hitler don't wear seat belts.
    Neo: Why, Agent Smith never buckles up. [a mustache appears over Smith's face] And neither did Hitler. You don't want to be like Hitler... do you?

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • Jacksfilms uses this once or twice. In his jeggings parody:
    "You might be thinking, "Hey! I like pants!" Well that's fine. You know who else liked pants? Hitler."
  • Used in Epic Meal Time:
    • "If you're getting tired of all this bacon there's something wrong with your brain! You know who else didn't like too much bacon? Hitler. You don't want to be Hitler, do you? No. He's got stupid hair.
  • Used and inverted in That Guy with the Glasses' 2-year anniversary special, Kickassia. When Linkara expresses doubts about the upcoming invasion of Molossia, The Nostalgia Critic responds:
    Critic: You know, there's another group of people who thought like you, Linkara, they were called NAZIS! They were closed-minded, hate-filled people who only wanted things their way! Are you a Nazi, Linkara? ARE YOU?!
    [...]
    Critic: Good. Now let me tell you about a group of people who didn't give up. They were called Nazis...
  • Lampshaded and parodied in the D&D PHB PSAs by Creative Juices 7 in D&Debate #6 (PSA #39), when Mialee discovers that she's being sued for his mistreatment of Displacer Beasts:
    Lilith: Do you know who else made sweaters out of an oppressed species?
    Mialee: (pause) ... no?
    Lilith: Hitler.
    Mialee: Um, I... yeah, um, Hitler did a lot of bad stuff, but I'm pretty sure you're thinking of Mr. Burns from The Simpsons.
    Lilith: (angry glare)
    Mialee: Uh, no offense.
  • Children's Daycare is Evil (no longer subtitled, but you get the gist from the keywords and tone).
  • Used for comedic effect in Coldmirror's Gag Dub "Harry Potter und der Plastikpokal":
    Barty Crouch Sr./Candyman: Good day, it's me the candyman. From now on I am going to come to your school with my food trolley every morning and sell candy. No stupid cheese rolls like in your cafeteria. No, just sweets, sugar... lots of sugar.
    Pupils: Whaaat?
    Ron: Sugar is evil!
    Girl: Sugar makes hyperactive!
    The Wesley twins: Hitler ate sugar!
  • Also used for comedy in an old Seanbaby review about the NES game Wall Street Kid, concluding with "To keep it in perspective, though; all this game really was was a simple bad idea. But you know who else had some simple bad ideas? Hitler."
  • An episode of "Hope Is Emo" had the main character disapprove of babies because Hitler was a baby.
  • Parodied in The Agony Booth review of TRON: Legacy.
    You know who else was a genocidal maniac? Hitler!
  • From the Rifftrax of High School Musical during a romance pop-song called "Start of Something New":
    Bill Corbett "Yeah, you know what else was new at one time? Hitler."
    Mike Neslon: "Easy there! A bit early in the film to go full Godwin!"
  • This is basically a meme on the liberal political humour blog Wonkette: "You know who else...?" Invariably, when someone asks such a question in the comments, people will respond with nonsensical answers (although the intended answer is usually, of course, "Hitler"). Presumably it started by means of mocking Glenn Beck.
  • This parody political ad for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic villain Ahuizotl takes this trope and runs with it hilariously:
    Announcer: "Daring Do has consistently shown a desire to steal, plunder and destroy ancient artifacts for nothing more than greed. You know who else was greedy? Al Capone. In fact, have you ever seen them together? That's right: Al Capone and Daring Do are most likely the same person."
    Ahuizotl: "Also, have you ever seen me and Mother Theresa, or Batman in the same room together? I'm not saying I am Mother Theresa or Batman... but I'm implying it shamelessly!"
  • This joke post to a diabetes forum.

    Video Games 
  • Postal 2 includes a group of protesters whose slogan is "save a tree, burn a book". One of their placards reads "Achtung! Hitler wrote a book!"
  • Played With in Metal Gear Solid: Snake points out to Otacon that Hitler was a dog lover. He's not actually speaking one way or the other to the morality of being a dog lover, and in fact is a big fan of canines himself. He's merely refuting Otacon's assertion that Sniper Wolf liking dogs is concrete proof that she's a good person.
  • A borderline Insane Troll Logic variant appears in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Justice For All a witness states that a bellboy is suspicious because he had stitches on his face and wore non-uniform leather gloves. Phoenix, grasping at straws, points out that baseballs have stitches, and footballs are made of leather. Does that make all baseballs and footballs suspicious?

    Western Animation 
  • Trope name comes from Daria, episode "Pinch Sitter", with this little exchange from two kids repeating stuff their parents told them about eating sweets.
    Tricia: Sugar is bad.
    Tad: Sugar rots your teeth.
    Tricia: Sugar makes you hyper.
    Tad: Hitler ate sugar.
  • South Park, "Weight Gain 4000":
    Cartman: You guys, guess what? After I'm on television, I'm gonna be totally famous.
    Wendy: [as she passes by] Hitler was famous, too.
  • King of the Hill:
    • Luann finally moves out, but her new roommates are stereotypically lazy college students who invoke Godwin's Law whenever anyone attempts to assert any sort of authority over them. For example, when she asks them not to smoke in the house:
    Girl Hipster: You know who else was anti-smoking? HITLER!
    • This didn't pan out when the male roommate made the same accusation against Grandpa Cotton, a grizzled World War II veteran:
      Cotton: WHO ARE YOU CALLIN' A NAZZY?! *headbutt!*
  • The Simpsons:
    • Inverted when Sideshow Bob, up for parole, is questioned about his tattoo reading "Die Bart, Die." He explains that it is German for "The Bart, The". The parole board is convinced, someone reasoning "No one who speaks German could be an evil man."
    • Also inverted in "Revenge is a Dish Best Served Three Times" where the Springfield Library has a cardboard cutout of Hitler encouraging reading.
    • The Itchy & Scratchy Show was once sponsored by a brand of mustache wax. Their brand was being the one Hitler didn't use.
  • Buck Rockgut from The Penguins of Madagascar uses this Up to Eleven.
    "Like nuts do ya? You know who else likes nuts? THE RED SQUIRREL!"
    "Your friend there has a big fluffy tail. You know who else has a tail? THE RED SQUIRREL!!"
    "Read any good books lately? Read? Red? THE RED SQUIRREL!!!"
  • Family Guy: Dialogue from a PSA made to make weed illegal again in Quahog
    Peter: All right, Carter, I've finished cutting together our anti-pot video. Take a look. (a live-action Adolf Hitler is shown with a cartoon marijuana joint)
    Adolf Hitler: (in Peter's voice) Hey, I've got a great idea! Let's kill 6 million Jews!
    German People: (in Carter's voice) Hooray! Yeah! Yeah, I'm on board! How did you come up with that?
    Adolf Hitler: (in Peter's voice) I got the idea from... from... while... from while I was smoking pot. Anyone else who likes pot, reach for my joint.
    German People: (in Carter's voice) Oh, there it is. Give us some of that!
    Adolf Hitler: (in Peter's voice) Ha ha ha! Perhaps later. Now let's go to France and steal all their Objects D'arte!
    German Soldiers: (in Carter's voice) Yeah, alright! Let's go to France!
  • The trope itself is discussed in Adventure Time.
    Finn: Hey, Ice King seems way into ninjas. Even more than we are.
    Jake: Yeah, so?
    Finn: So, doesn't that mean that ninjas must be kinda lame?
    Jake: Nah, they're still cool. But Ice King's still lame because he hides his ninja love. We wear our ninja on our sleeve!
  • On The Boondocks, after Riley finds out his idol Gangstalicious is gay, he comes to conclusion that since he likes Gangstalicious he must be gay himself.

    Real Life 
  • This trope was pointed out as early as 1944, when George Orwell wrote in What is Fascism? that "It will be seen that, as used, the word 'Fascism' is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, it is used even more wildly than in print." Orwell names a long list of often opposing groups accused of fascism. It would seem that, according to Orwell, almost any group at the time had been accused of fascism by linking it to some policy in Fascist Italy or National Socialist Germany.
    • Bill O'Reilly used "fascism" exactly as Orwell described in an interview with Richard Dawkins, when he described Dawkins's refusal to accept the validity of intelligent design "fascist". Dawkins had a Flat "What." moment at that.
    • Ironically, the term "Orwellian" is used today in almost the exact same way Orwell rallied against back in 1944.
    • Ironically Dawkins often uses this argument as to why religion was evil, because Hitler claimed to be Catholic. However a lot of Hitler's private statements show he hated Christianity and a lot of Catholics died opposing him or helped Jews escape.
  • In an example much like the Bob and Alice example in the intro of this page, Fox News Liberal Bob Beckel said that America should attack Bashar al-Assad for using chemical warfare because the only other people to ever use chemical warfare were Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein. Aside from this being hilariously wrong, it's basically saying that chemical weapons are immoral because they were used by Hitler and Hussein, not simply because they kill people indiscriminately.
  • Hitler is sometimes considered to be the poster boy of Evil Vegetarian, in arguments that often try to make vegetarians look like an Animal Wrongs Group. This naturally ignores two key points. 1: Hitler was not a voluntary vegetarian, for any moral compunction; rather, his doctors recommended he stop eating meat to ease his digestive troubles. 2: Hitler didn't necessarily listen to his doctors.
  • BitTorrent and other P2P programs fall victim to this. As it is often used for trafficking illegally-obtained media, like games and films, it isn't surprising to shun the protocol as exclusively for piracy, where there are actually myriad legitimate uses for it.
    • In fact, with that anti-piracy logic in mind, wouldn't be sufficient to say that the Internet itself allows for the same sort of piracy?
  • Hitler's often held up as an example of the inevitable moral bankruptcy of atheism... and as an example of the inherently intolerant and oppressive nature of Christianity. This is actually sort of understandable, since he was Christian in public, but his private statements show that he actually hated Christianity.
  • A strange variant of this trope occurred in Jaslo, Poland in July 2009. An oak tree became the target of a political movement to get it felled once it was found out that Hitler planted it in celebration of his 53rd birthday. Though really, that isn't saying all trees are bad... just the specific Hitler Tree.
  • Anti-smoking policies are often denounced as Nazi-ist, as the Nazis banned things. Adolf Hitler did indeed disapprove of smoking, and hoped that in his lifetime every cigarette package in Europe would be labeled with a warning message (an idea that has since then become widespread). He also never drank alcohol, citing its effects on the poor families in Austria. Yet, cigarette corporations have also been accused of fascism on at least one occasion, for profiting on the ills of others.
    • This particular aspect of the trope was given front page coverage on the Australian newspaper the "Daily Telegraph" as part of their smear campaign against Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. It included a full page photoshop of him and several other ministers stuck onto the heads of the lead actors from Hogan's Heroes.
  • For people who don't like porn, they point out that noted psychos (including, guess who) were sexual deviants. And people who are pro-porn and pro-sex point out how "oppressive" (read: ~evil~) regimes are anti-those-things. (E.g. The Nazis banned contraception/abortion for Aryans and sent the gays to concentration camps)
    • That criticism actually began during the Nazi rise to power from their critics, mostly because of the gay-friendly nature of the SA until the Night of the Long Knives, eg, former Commander-in-Chief Hammerstein-Equord notoriously called them "gangsters and perverts" (»Verbrecherbande und Schweinigels«.).
    • Poland had a quite straight example along those lines, a billboarding that said, "Abortion for Poles: introduced by Hitler, March 9, 1943." It is a pretty good example of the problems of playing this trope straight; Germany could put up a poster saying that Hitler banned abortions, because he did for Aryans, while legalizing or even forcing them on others. This seems to make him anti-choice, without being pro-life, a viewpoint not exactly (hopefully) relevant in today's society.
      • For most Polish women, they did get the ability to choose thanks to Hitler. While they were legalized for all Poles, they were only forced on a minority (usually criminals, disabled, concentration camp inmates, victims of reprisals, etc.) Of course, all this meant is any woman on whom they wanted to force an abortion simply got framed for a crime.
  • In an attempt to discredit Charles Darwin and evolution, evangelical minister Ray Comfort and actor Kirk Cameron added a special 150th anniversary "introduction" to On the Origin of Species that pointed out "Adolf Hitler's undeniable connection with the theory", among other things. That's what happens when you let things fall into the public domain, we suppose. It's also what happens when someone misses (or ignores) the fact that one of the first books that was banned in Germany after Hitler took control of the country was On The Origin of Species.
  • This trope was a major problem for the left nationalist movement in Canada during the 1960's. During that time period, Canadians everywhere suffered a major national identity crisis whose finer points are too lengthy to explain in this example (most prominently, there were fears that trade exports with the United States were "contaminating" the country with American lifestyle choices in exchange for a stronger economy), left nationalists reacted by shunning anything and everything American. The debate broke wide open when prominent left nationalist Robin Mathews wrote in the essay "Draft Dodgers and U.S. Imperialism" that American war resisters escaping the Vietnam draft should be refused entry into Canada because, despite holding similar views to many Canadians at the time, they still carried the "stench" of American evil with them. For many people in the left nationalist, acknowledging that Mathews took things too far would mean recognizing that America had redeeming qualities, and thus the movement's absolutist views of anti-Americanism fell apart.
  • Osama bin Laden supported the fight against climate change. Cue Right-wing America asking 'What is the difference between bin Laden and Al Gore?'
  • As cited here, the Guardian produced an example that's pushing it even for this trope:
    Although the fringe event was carefully stage-managed – terse political lines trotted out and limited time for questions – there was one unfortunate mistake. The basement room in which delegates gathered to hear the controversial Tory allies was in Manchester’s Midland Hotel, a building Hitler is said to have liked so much that he would have made it his northern residence if he had invaded.
  • The Daily Mail have used Charles Manson's belief in climate change to ridicule the idea. Seriously
  • This has become infamously associated with a certain political commentator in the USA...
  • The (slightly left-wing) Labour party of the UK tried this kind of argument on the (slightly right-wing) Conservative party by showing a series of billboards featuring the Conservative party leader photoshopped into "Gene Hunt", the sexist, homophobic main character of Life On Mars and Ashes to Ashes. Which might have been a good idea if Gene Hunt wasn't the most popular TV character in the country at the time.
  • In April of 2012, Representative Allen West said that members of the Congressional Progressive Caucaus were members of the Communist Party, because the Communist Party praised some of their policies. Politifact called this "Guilt by Association on steroids."
  • Dan Savage once pointed out an inversion of this trope. He had advised someone to beware of entering a relationship with a much older man, and a woman married to a much older man sent him a Strongly Worded Letter about how wonderful her own husband was. His response; "My boyfriend is tall, blond, in his thirties, and he's not a cannibal. Going by your logic, we'd have to conclude that Jeffrey Dahmer, who was tall, blond, and in his thirties, wasn't a cannibal either."
    • The logic here appears to be that entering a relationship with a much older man is usually a bad idea, and this one specific woman's exception doesn't change that rule. The same way Dan Savage found the exception with his boyfriend, and that doesn't change the fact that most tall, blond, men in their thirties... are cannibals?
  • A Southern California newsletter (and a fairly reputable one, believe it or not) protested the special 150th-anniversary edition of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engel's The Communist Manifesto that was published in 1998. The article accused the book of having caused millions of deaths, and likened its rerelease to a new publishing of Mein Kampf. Which is unfair - Marx and Engels, whatever their flaws as theorists, and however many deaths their ideas caused (with or without their original intentions), were reasonably upset with very real suffering and injustice they had observed in industrial society, criticized the people who could reasonably be held responsible for this and suggested a solution that had not yet been demonstrated unrealistic. Hitler was an angry war veteran lashing out at the imagined villainy of some groups of people and not suggesting anything more constructive than killing or incarcerating these groups.
    • It should be noted that Mein Kampf has also been republished several times over the years, at least in countries that haven't outright banned it.
  • This might have been part of the rationale behind various left wing Hollywood celebrities trying to excuse what Roman Polanski did. Most of Polanski's most vocal critics tended to be conservatives and right-wingers and other sorts of people these celebrities despised. Thus, even though most of them undoubtedly knew that what Polanski did was wrong, and despite the fact that many left-wing celebrities (such as Jon Stewart and Bill Maher) condemned what Polanski did, they still felt the impulse to chime in on his side for fear of being associated with "those people."
  • Same with Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ. Left-wing film critics almost universally felt the film was God-awful, but felt they had to stick up for Scorsese anyway (even to the point that he got an Academy Award nomination) because his film was being attacked by fundamentalist Christians, conservative Roman Catholics, and plenty of other folks those critics couldn't stand.
  • The late West Virginia senator Robert Byrd was a member of the Ku Klux Klan as a young man. He later regretted the decision and associated with fellow legislators who were strongly anti-Klan, but it didn't matter: anyone who strongly disagreed with either Byrd or one of his senatorial allies could feel free to bring up the Klan connection to tar them both.
    • It should be noted that Byrd was a Kleagle and Grand Cyclops during his time in the Klan (both higher ranking positions), and that even when he left it he still held staunch views on race, such that he was among the Senate that attempted to block the 1964 Civil Rights Act. In that sense, while Byrd definitely changed his views as time went on, it wasn't like he joined the Klan (just) because the cool people were doing it, nor was he totally innocent of his association to it. With that said, the above argument still stands when applied to those who dismissed any point of view offered by Byrd out of hand, even if it had nothing to do with race.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien was a major proponent of Germanic culture and art, and he once wrote to one of his sons fighting in World War II that he rather wished he was out there fighting as well, given the degree to which Hitler ruined a lot of otherwise valid ideas (like the old Germanic theory of courage) through his association with them.
  • The recent incident at a certain shopping mall in Manila involving hammers being used for a jewelry store heist has prompted the local police to ban hammers from being sold in malls, on the pretense that it can be used for staging robberies or assaults on civilians. As expected, netizens took this as a stupid and pointless move, given that they could just use something else for breaking into a store anyway.
    • Same goes when Manila mayor Joseph Estrada proposed a ban on motorcycle passengers, as criminals tend to utilise this tactic in drive-by shootings and other such incidents. As expected it didn't go well with the riding public, simply because in developing countries like the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, people invest in motorcycles as their everyday transport, as cars are simply beyond their financial reach, and barring passengers from bikes would affect law-abiding civilians in the process.
  • Any time there's a national tragedy, the killer's hobbies and musical interest are always demonized for having "turned" him into a killer. Video games and hardcore rock/rap are always the first to take the heat. No one ever stops to think that if an adult or adolescent is letting media direct him to commit atrocities, that says more about his mental state than the media itself; anyone who does point this out is ignored.
    • The video game Mass Effect was perceived as an example, because the shooter responsible for the December 14th, 2012 Connecticut massacre, according to initial reports, listed the game as a favorite on his Facebook page. This was subverted mere hours later once CNN revealed that Ryan Lanza, the man originally blamed for the tragedy, was misidentified as the gunman. It was Ryan's younger brother, Adam Lanza, that did the slayings. Alas, there was plenty of stupidity to pass around before that mistake was clarified.
    • After the above-mentioned massacre, the company Cerberus Capital Management sold its investments in the "Freedom Group", a collection of various firearms manufacturing companies, simply because one of the companies in said group, Bushmaster, manufactured the rifle that was used in it. In a reversal, consumers are buying assault weapons like it up as fast as they can in expectation of the Clinton-era Assault Weapons Ban coming back into effect.
  • This article on beliefnet purportedly has a woman who grew up in Nazi Austria "trying to warn America." You know who supported women working outside the home? Hitler!
  • American political commentator Glenn Greenwald compared the Iraq War to the Nazi annexation of the Sudetenland; more specifically, he compared the Kurds to the Sudeten Germans because the Kurds supported the 2003 invasion. Whilst there are many differences of opinion regarding the war in Iraq, to compare the Kurds, isolated and massacred with poison gas, with the Sudeten Germans, protected under the Czech constitution, many of whom were fanatical Nazis, is so overblown that it would be funny if it wasn't so viciously and inexcusably callous.
  • All weapons used by the Nazis are hated by most people, even though the SOE actually used silenced Luger P08s, and the gun was also a popular war trophy for American soldiers. Not to mention captured MP-40/Schmeisser submachine guns were used by resistance groups and even British forces post-Dunkirk when they could get their hands on them.
    • British soldiers quite often set aside their slow, limited-fire, low-capacity Bren light machine guns when they could get their hands on captured German MG 34 and MG 42 weapons, which sprayed a vastly heavier firepower through continuous belts which could be as long as you liked. The Bren was liked, but compared to the German equivalent, its 30-round magazine was negligible.
    • Some modern weapon enthusiasts seem to take an inversion of this to the absolute extreme and believe that the only innovative weapon designs in the past century - firearms, armored vehicles, aircraft, anything - were developed by the Nazis.
  • Ian Kershaw, widely considered the expert on Hitler, writes rather contemptuously about a 16-year-old Hitler. Noting that he "lived a life of parasitic idleness — funded, provided for, looked after, and cosseted by a doting mother" and sneers at how "the whole time he daydreamed and fantasized about his future as a great artist. He stayed up late into the night and slept long into the mornings." Now, if the teenager in question weren't named "Adolf Hitler", it sounds suspiciously like a Grumpy Old Man scoffing at "Today's typical, lazy young'uns!"
  • Inverted in a quip often found on the Internet: "Hitler wasn't so bad. After all, he did kill Hitler."
    • And a common response to the above is "yeah, but he also killed the guy who killed Hitler."
      • Ah, but he also killed the guy who killed the guy who killed Hitler! (Cue infinite recursion)
  • This is, ironically enough, the sort of logic that screwed over Nazi Germany's attempts to create nuclear weapons during the war - perfectly valid and workable ideas, ones which helped make the Manhattan Project successful, were forcibly rejected by the nine or so programs competing to create such weapons for the Nazis, simply because the party had determined said ideas had some association with Jews and were therefore "tainted".
  • Hitler spent some of his younger years as a painter, which is sometimes brought up in discussions over whether or not it's okay to enjoy the artistic output of morally questionable people.
  • The trope came into play as a part of the Passive Resistance during the German occupation of Norway. It went almost like this: a girl happened to like a certain record. Then she met a German soldier who also happened to like the same record. After she was encountered with this fact, she forcefully never played the record again. Conclusion: "Germans are the enemy, therefore, we will not like what they like".
  • Jonah Goldberg's book Liberal Fascism compiles many of the above examples (government censorship, smoking bans, vegetarianism, healthcare) and describes fascism as a left-wing ideology. However he includes some more... creative examples. One segment claims that Brokeback Mountain of all things promotes fascism, on the grounds that Ernst Rohm (head of the SA, murdered during Hitler's Night of the Long Knives) was a homosexual.
  • According to some, Hitler was sexually repressed, asexual and a virgin when he died and that Eva Braun was a stage prop to give the dictator a more masculine image and that lead him to become a very dangerous leader.


Rest easy, Hitler never browsed TV Tropes. As far as we know.
Association FallacyLogic TropesBandwagon Fallacy
Hitler's Time Travel Exemption ActReichstropenHitler Cam
Association FallacyLogical FallaciesBandwagon Fallacy
Esoteric Happy EndingThe Only Righteous Index of FanaticsReal Life
Happy PlaceAbsurdity AscendantImplausible Deniability
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alternative title(s): Guilt By Association; The Hitler Card; Hitler Was A Vegetarian; Adolf Ate Sugar; Hitler Breathed Oxygen; Reductio Ad Hitlerum
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