"By the way, I'm aware of the irony of appearing on TV in order to decry it, so don't bother pointing that out."So, you want to criticize something, and you could be viewed as hypocritical for doing so, since some of the criticism would apply to you, as well. How do you avoid being called a hypocrite? Quite simply, by saying, or implicitly noting, the hypocrisy of what you're saying. This works on the same principle as a Lampshade Hanging; it dismisses a problem by bringing it to the fore briefly. Pointing it out yourself keeps your opponents from using the hypocrisy as a flaw in your argument. Whether it works or not depends on exactly how hypocritical you're being. It should be noted that, in logic and debate at least, hypocrisy isn't a factor in whether a person is right or wrong. The "Ad Hominem Tu Quoque" fallacy (also known as the "Appeal to Hypocrisy") is a logical error; just because a person is being a hypocrite about something doesn't necessity make them wrong about it. See also Self-Deprecation, Biting-the-Hand Humor, Hypocritical Humor, Start X to Stop X. Not to be confused with At Least I Admit It, which describes characters who do not criticize their own behavior, and instead openly embrace it while accusing those who do criticize it of hypocrisy.
— Sideshow Bob, The Simpsons, "Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming"
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- In first season finale of Code Geass, when Lelouch is confronted by Suzaku about his methods, Lelouch simply brushes him off stating that he doesn't have time to debate which of them is the bigger hypocrite. In fact, what is ultimately the biggest difference between Lelouch and Suzaku is that though they're both hypocrites, Lelouch is perfectly aware of it and never tries to justify it, whereas Suzaku is almost in complete denial about it.
- Dragon Ball Super: Future Zamasu grows to hate mortals and believes that their complete destruction will create a utopia. Yet, he ends up allying himself with Goku Black, the Evil Twin of the very mortal Son Goku. Zamasu acknowledges the inconsistency in one sentence and just moves on with his plan. Not only that, but Goku Black is actually an alternate version of Zamasu from the mainstream timeline, who became so fixated on the real Goku after being defeated by him that he used the Dragon Balls to steal his body.
- Later, Zamasu and Goku Black end up using the Potaras to fuse together, with the resulting Fusion Zamasu continuing to spew hate at mortals despite the fact that one of his fusees is mortal. Fusion Zamasu freely admits this, and states that it was intentional on his part; as far as he's concerned, Goku is everything selfish and evil about mortals, and he took Goku's body so he'd never forget the gods' mistakes and failures.
- Yaoi Genre Ai no Kusabi has second in command of Tanagura, Raoul telling Iason, the top ruling Blondy, he's a hypocrite for strictly enforcing laws yet breaking a few laws himself for his Pet. Iason doesn't deny it as a means to shrug off and end the conversation.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Lacus Clyne acknowledges the biggest hypocrisy many have accused Gundam of: the fact that it's a series about awesome battles with giant robots with a strong anti-war message. "We are calling out for peace with guns in our hands."
- in Mobile Suit Gundam 00 the various members of Celestial Being know fully well the hypocrisy of their actions to try and end all wars with armed force.
- In episode 3 of season 2 of Kiniro Mosaic, after talking to Kouta and Mitsuki about being more honest with their older sister Youko, she immediately responds to herself, aware of her own situation regarding Youko.
- In Overlord Momonga is angry enough with Clementine for torturing Ninya to death that he deliberately takes his time destroying her ego before slowly crushing her to death. This is despite his earlier claims that he didn't care and would have killed them himself if needed.
Momonga: I forgot to tell you. I am very hypocritical.
- Then again Momonga is a Noble Demon that doesn´t take joy from killing, while Clementine made sure they suffered an agonizing death just out of pure sadism.
- The titular Akumetsu admits that using political assassination and terrorism to combat political corruption is hypocrisy and ensures that he pays for it by dying with his victims. Of course considering that there's an army of clones to be Akumatsu ensures that he can do it again and again.
- A nod addressed to the reader happens in the Katawa Shoujo fic From Shizune's Perspective, Shizune, a deaf girl who can often be manipulative, gets angry when Emi plays a prank on her by ducking below her field of view and moving around out of sight so that she can't find her. As Shizune lays into Emi for being "manipulative," she realizes the hypocrisy in doing so.
Shizune narrating: In case you were wondering, no, the irony hadnít struck me quite yet.
- In Boys Und Senshado, after Miho gets hit in the chest by a shell and implies that this happened to her before, Akio tells her that sticking her head out of the tank to look around is dangerous. She tells him that he does it, too, and he concedes it, but says he's following her lead.
- Bait and Switch: Eleya mentions to Gaarra the morning after their second night together that she feels more than a little hypocritical about sleeping with him, since she's going to have to break up a Battle Couple composed of two of her Mauve Shirts for violating Starfleet fraternization policy the exact same way (having sex with one's direct subordinate).
- In Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- fanfic Shatterheart, Fai calls Syaoran out for keeping his relationship with Kurogane a secret and gives him an ultimatum to make him tell the truth to Sakura. Fai realizes that he's being a massive Hypocrite since he lied to everyone the whole time.
- In the Harry Potter and Star Wars crossover The Hidden Empire, Harry (secretly Darth Revan) hates any attempts at invading his mind, due to events that occurred in his past. But he acknowledges the hypocrisy in his actions when he reprograms Fudge's mind.
- In The (Questionable) Burdens of Leadership of a Troll Emperor Naruto and Xanna both freely admit their hypocrisy whenever it comes up (such as still creating and eating meat and dairy products after turning their empire vegan for productivity reasons). Oma notes this is in stark contrast to the Ascended who will punish a fellow Ascended for giving someone Alteran technology but not stop the Goa'uld who built their empire on scavenged Alteran technology.
- While he is uncomfortable with the idea, Keitaro in Tug-of-War does admit it's hypocritical of him to not want Kitsune or Naru to have sex with other men when they allow (and often encourage) him to have sex with other women.
- In Don't Look, Ritsuko is uncomfortable with Misato and Shinji's relationship considering the age difference between them but then admits she doesn't have room to talk given there's a roughly equal age gap between her and Gendo and even she acknowledges how unhealthy her relationship with the man is.
- Fahrenheit 451: The movie version played this straight by having an announcer read the opening credits instead of putting them on-screen. In a very stylish moment, at the end when Montag is among the Book People, words appear on the screen for the first time to say The End.
- In Network Howard Beale tells a passionate speech against television, while on television. At the end he says: "turn off your television sets. Turn them off now. Turn them off right now. Turn them off and leave them off! Turn them off right in the middle of the sentence I'm speaking to you now! TURN THEM OFF!"
- In Serenity, Mal attempts to call the Operative out on his ideal of creating a perfect world. The Operative fully admits that he has no place in the world he is trying to build.
- In XMenDaysOfFuturePast, A young Charles Xavier and Logan are trying to recruit Peter Maximoff for their mission to break into the Pentagon. Amidst the room full of food and goods that he stole, Peter mentions how breaking into prison is illegal.
- In Stranger in a Strange Land, Valentine Michael Smith says that in his capacity as a preacher, he's been rushing around to tell people not to hurry in life.
- When Jagged Peak from Warrior Cats runs without looking where he was going, Gray Wing scolds him for it... before doing it himself by accident. He realizes he's being a hypocrite and resolves on not becoming one.
- In Stephen King's memoir/style manual On Writing, after a chapter about getting rid of as many unnecessary adverbs as possible, he admits he's just an ordinary sinner, and that he will "go on writing in spite of such lapses as 'You can't be serious!' Bill said unbelievingly."
- On the "Lawns" episode of Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, Penn says that chemicals should not be used on plants. They intersperse this with a clip from an earlier episode on organic food where Penn said that chemicals should be used on plants. However, Penn points out that food is a necessity, and lawns aren't.
- Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!. Tim and Eric recruited David Liebe Hart, a down-on-his-luck California public access TV icon, and they make fun of the acts he takes seriously by putting them in the context of a show on [adult swim]. Later on, during the fake Distant Finale, another actor impersonates David Liebe Hart and makes fun of this very practice.
- On Good Eats, Alton will note when the advice he's giving contradicts something that he's said in a previous episode, and explain the reasons for the change. The most notable example is his "stuffing is evil" stance; he originally decried stuffing as being a horrible cooking method, and since has multiply clarified his views to mean specifically that stuffing turkeys is a bad idea, while it works quite well with some other foods. And then he did an entire episode devoted to finding a non-evil method of stuffing turkeys.
- On Star Trek: Enterprise, John Paxton is an extremist who seeks to drive all alien influence from Earth. His idol is a man from Earth's post-WW 3 period who arranged for the mass execution of people who were supposedly genetically-damaged by radiation from the recent war. Paxton himself is suffering from a genetic condition which can only be treated by freely-shared alien medical knowledge, meaning his idol would have had him put to death. He admits that he fails to live up to his own standards.
- One episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip had a flashback to just after September 11, 2001. Matt was writing a sketch making fun of Dick Cheney for having a meeting with Hollywood executives about how they could help the government. Harriet asks Matt what he would do in the same situation if there were a Democrat in the White House. Matt realizes that he'd support the President in that case, but writes the sketch anyway, because "that's the way it goes".
- Frasier: This gem during one of his debates with Cam Winston, who drives an SUV.
- From Hardware, when the characters are talking about a customer who they suspect may be building his own makeshift weapon:
Julie: I hate violence. Which is ironic, because I am actually quite violent.
- George Carlin once prefaced a routine called "Advertising Lullaby" by noting that he was attacking advertising while, at the time, being on television in commercials for collect call service 10-10-220. He told the audience that "you're just gonna have to figure that shit out on your own." He later explained in an interview with The AV Club that that was the quickest way for him to get rid of an IRS debt.
- Fate/stay night, Heaven's Feel: Played for drama (and technically after the fact). After berating Shirou the entire route and the two before it for being too soft to kill, Tohsaka realizes she is too as she can't bring herself to stab Sakura and is nearly killed instead. 'I guess I can't get mad at Shirou anymore.'
- Yuri Lowell in Tales of Vesperia openly admits his vigilante actions are quite hypocritical when he's called out on them (and continues his vigilantism anyways since the law isn't effective).
- In Knights of the Old Republic II, the Big Bad despises The Force and those who are reliant on it. However, all the Big Bad's attacks are Force-reliant, and she's too frail to fight with anything but the Force. If the player calls her out on this, she'll attempt to explain her behavior. However, she'll also admit the player makes a very good point, and it's possible that the explanation she just gave is just an excuse.
- Saints Row: The Third seems to be an elaborate parody of the commercialised glorification of "gangsta life" in modern culture. The Saints, originally a street gang led by the player character with increasingly omnicidal tendencies, have become an established brand name complete with clothing stores, an energy drink, a movie about their life, and random fangirls asking for your autograph or snapping pictures of you after you turn a busy intersection into a pile of corpses and burning car wrecks. Even the Saints themselves realize they sold out. Of course, the game itself is a commercialised glorification of gangsta life and provides you with weaponry specifically intended to express your own omnicidal tendencies. This duality seems to be intentional.
- The endings. In one, it shows the saints being media sellouts and producing a B-movie grade deal, after taking the affable option, giving up revenge for their friends, and playing up their name for it. The hypocrisy of of playing game where where you routinely kill people for fun while still trying to be a "good guy". The other one shows the captive die and the saints basically give a dare against a military force to bring it on. Much less in this ending, as you are playing the game more or less as intended, but compared to the rest the game it's rather dark and completely serious.
- In Pokémon Emerald, Maxie, the leader of Team Magma, calls out Archie, the leader of Team Aqua, for awakening Kyogre and causing heavy rainfall that will flood the continents, even though Maxie's own team awakened Groudon to expand the world's landmass. He then admits to the protagonist that he has no right to be critical of Archie, but but asserts that this is beyond the matter of who is to blame and that stopping the two legendaries is their top priority at this point.
- In 50% OFF, Nagisa's Author Filibuster about yaoi and stereotypes that come from it has him mention that it all ends up sounding moot coming from a wisecracking hedonistic Gayngster.
- When Linkara reviewed Super Sonic Special #7 in late 2014, he lampshaded the fact that he's broken the list of his Top 15 Comics I'll Never Review several times.
- Noted comic book writer/artist Keith Giffen did it in this column:
14) Just because you don't know what to do with a character is no reason to kill the character...15) ...unless it's Karate Kid.
- And again:
21) Here's a horrifying thought, retell "Watchmen" using the Charlton characters. The horrifying part is, I'd bet money that something along those lines has already been floated past the powers that be at DC.22) Okay... It was me. I'm a whore. Sue me.
- And again:
- Zero Punctuation does it sometimes, most times with a Credits Gag line amounting to, "I'm aware of the hypocrisy of this."
(Beat, as Yahtzee looks at the picture) "...Well I never said I wasn't a hypocrite."
- One instance was his complaint about death in an Adventure Game (Zack & Wiki) and overzealous dependency on inventory-based puzzles and the items needed to solve them in Adventure Games in general, since he himself had made an adventure game where the player could get killed and puzzles were solved in this exact way.
- The other instance was his critique of webcomics, since he himself has had several series over the years (which "came out of a dark time in his life from which he has determinedly moved on without a backward glance").
- Review of Mudered Soul Suspect has Yahtzee complain how stupid pratagonists' fedora with a vest looks. An imp then holds up Yahtzee's well-known publicity photo in which he's wearing a fedora and a vest.
- The Spoony One's response to Roger Ebert's review of the movie Fanboys involves acknowledging his own pot-shots at various geek fandoms (not the least of which is the Final Fantasy crowd) but ends with a rousing speech telling geeks not to be ashamed of who and what they are.
- This poster shows us Hasbro doing a Hypocrisy Nod in one of its ads and then... slipping.
- Dr Insano's review of Ferris Bueller's Day Off. "I may be evil, but at least I'm not full of shit!"
- The Cracked article "5 World-Famous Products That Are Shameless Rip-Offs" begins with the following lines:
- In Worm During a fight with Scion , Taylor tries to help apply first aid to one of Bitch's dog's instead of another cape who's dying not far away. She looks at this situation and realizes that despite all her attempts to justify it, she admits that she's just being selfish, arrogant and above all a hypocrite because she's more afraid of losing her team and herself in the process then an actual person dying.
- Random Assault: Tony said he hated cheese but loves lasagna.
- This strip pokes fun at non-Japanese animesque works which overuse anime tropes. Works such as VG Cats itself being the implication.
- A character, angered by the delayed release of a Super Smash Bros. game, declares people who miss deadlines should be shot. The strip itself often misses its update deadline: as a nod the characters stare nervously at the Fourth Wall. The strip came out after a long time with no updates.
- This strip pokes fun at Family Guy and its ratings-boost stunt at the time (Brian's death)... only to bring back a character that was Killed Off for Real in the strip years ago, in a similar stunt lampshading the strip's own situation.
- In This Backward Compatible strip we discover the terrible consequences of the average Resident Evil fan putting the official shirt over his head to reveal the zombie image printed on the inside: zombies with man-boobs. The artist states he is aware he shouldn't wear one like this either.
- In this The Order of the Stick strip, Heroic Comedic Sociopath Belkar argues against including vampire-Durkon in the party:
Belkar: I just don't trust the idea of using a horrible bloodthirsty savage to fulfill our goals while we - oh, I get it.
- Rarity from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic loves to be dramatic, and even has her own couch just for fainting on. One time Twilight Sparkle was overreacting due to Sanity Slippage, and when Rarity called her a drama queen, the other ponies glared at her. Rarity quickly corrected herself with "Relatively speaking."
- During "Ponyville Confidential", she tells off her sister Sweetie Belle for snooping through her possessions, pointing out that Sweetie Belle didn't like it when Rarity went through her stuff just a bit earlier.
- The Simpsons: Sideshow Bob's quote from the top of the page. But unlike most examples here, he admits it.
- An episode of Brandy & Mr. Whiskers has Whiskers obsessed with a portable video game. At the end, he states that he's learned his lesson, that there's better things to do then spend hours after hours staring at a flickering screen. Brandy pauses, looks at the screen, and nervously asks if the moral applies to television. Whiskers, realizing the Broken Aesop, immediately says one can never watch too much television. A cartoon remote then turns them off.
- Justice League: General Wade Eiling uses a Nazi Super Soldier serum to turn into a Incredible Hulk Expy in order to defeat Superman as a show of America's strength. Instead he runs into seven human Leaguers with various trick weapons and completely wipes the floor with them, all the while ranting about how superpowered beings are dangerous. He's eventually called on being the only one present with actual superpowers, and acknowledges that he's become the very thing he seeks to destroy. He then retreats and is never heard from again.
Eiling: All right, I've become what I hate, I'll give you that. But in the long run, you'll see I was right. You'll see you need the likes of me to protect you from them [superhumans].
- Toph from Avatar: The Last Airbender does this when the other members of Team Avatar plan on going to the Earth King's party to talk with him. Toph immediately points out that they have no concept of the higher-class manners that they would need to fit in (she pegs Aang and Sokka as servants, but figures Katara could manage). When called on her own terrible manners, Toph confidently states that she has been taught proper manners... and chooses to ignore them.
- Especially prevalent in South Park episodes "200" and "201", in which creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone had to wrestle with Comedy Central over discussing the Mohammed portrayal controversies; Comedy Central demanded several hoops be jumped through, including censoring the character outright (along with the ending moral about how it's wrong to use threats to force an agenda). Parker and Stone thus viciously lampshaded the double standards of the broadcaster, such as mocking several reappearing celebrities and other religious figures without a fuss:
- This is the whole idea behind the the phrase, "Do as I say, not as I do."
- George Orwell's famous essay "Politics and the English Language" opposes abuse of the English language for political purposes (particularly Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness as a means of obfuscating the truth) — yet he admits in his very own essay to having "again and again committed the very faults I am protesting against."