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Hypocrisy Nod
"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."
Sideshow Bob, The Simpsons

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 of 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.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga 
  • In Code Geass R2 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.
  • 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."

    Fan Works 
  • A nod addressed to the reader happens in the Katawa Shoujo fic From Shizunes 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 Sensha-do, 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).

     Film 
  • 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!"

     Literature 
  • In Stranger in a Strange Land, Valentine Michael Smith, of all people, 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.

     Live-Action TV 
  • 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 and 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.
    Cam: You do your share of polluting with that substitute for masculinity you're driving.
    Frasier: If mine's a substitute for masculinity, then what is yours?
    Cam: Bigger!

     Stand-Up Comedy 
  • 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.

     Video Games 
  • 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 realise 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.

     Web Original 

     Webcomics 
  • VGCats
    • 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.
  • This pictures for sad children strip rants at gadget buffs for supporting the wasteful use of resources. The Alt Text reveals the strip was written on a trendy gadget.

     Western Animation 
  • 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.
  • 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 Unlimited: General Wade Eiling uses a Nazi Super Soldier serum to turn into a 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.
  • In Codename: Kids Next Door the Delightful Children are like this all the time. They never get tired of calling Sector V stupid or incompetent when the reason most of their plans fail is due to them being about as smart as a box of hammers.
  • Toph from Avatar: The Last Airbender goes through this. When the other members of Team Avatar plan on going to the Earth King's party to talk with him, Toph says they won't be able to do so due to lack of manners...while doing stuff like picking her nose. When called out on this, she says that she knew manners, all right, but she chose to not use them.

     Real Life 
  • 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."


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alternative title(s): Pot Calling The Kettle Black
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