Innocently Insensitive

Drax: You, Quill, are my friend.
Quill: Thanks.
Drax: This dumb tree, he is my friend.
Groot: (grunts)
Drax: And this green whore; she, too—
Gamora: Oh, you must stop!

This character picks on the short girl for being short. They'll ask a woman for her age. They'll bug the flamboyant guy about his sexuality. And the worst part is, they don't realize what they're doing is rather painful for the person on the receiving end of the criticism. In the worst cases, they might not stop at one insult and even continue until someone forces them to stop, or the other person runs away crying. (Their reaction to this is probably: "Huh? What did I do?")

What separates them from the Jerkass is that this person is actually a good person - they're just clueless to things that people might generally be sensitive to. To them, it was just a fun joke or an honest assessment - no offense intended. When others bring up the fact that what they're saying is hurting other people's feelings, they try to change.

The Idiot Hero is prone to this. They tend to receive replies like You Know I'm Black, Right? and I'm Standing Right Here. Innocent Bigot is a subtrope. When this is done intentionally, they're a Deadpan Snarker. Obviously guilty of frequently committing a Fee Fi Faux Pas. It may also be the result of a Crazy Cultural Comparison or a Cross Cultural Kerfuffle. Compare Horrible Judge of Character and Oblivious Mockery.

A frustrating Truth in Television. Especially notable are people with Asperger Syndrome, though this can vary and often the exact opposite is true if said people are hypersensitive. Contrast with Apologises a Lot, when a character tries too hard to avoid being this.

Compare Hanlon's Razor.


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     Anime and Manga 
  • Yuri!!! on Ice:
    • Yuuri's initial reaction to shattering Victor's heart is completely apathetic, reaching out to casually touch him while making an utterly inappropriate remark. He then proceeds to act confused and defensive when Victor snaps at him. Word of God also comments that he can be "quite cold-hearted", and is "someone who doesn't really try to get into people's hearts".
    • Victor's lack of experience as a coach causes him to be this, which results in him making Yuri cry by telling him that he'll resign being his coach if he doesn't place on the podium, which he only said to scare Yuri out of his anxiety. And, in Episode 11, when Yurio subtly mocks Yuri's performance by saying that Otabek will score higher than him, Victor doesn't defend Yuri or even give him some reassurance and simply expresses awe at Otabek's performance, which hurts Yuri even further. In fact, he says nothing to comfort Yuri even after seeing how he's upset with the results of his short program, though it's likely he's unaware that Yuri's mood is getting worse.
  • When Loki Asgard transfers into the main characters' class in Boku Girl, her first act upon seeing the androgynous Mizuki is to remark on how girls are allowed to wear the boys uniform. This is actually a subversion in that Loki Asgard is the Loki and is directly responsible for Mizuki being turned into a physical girl, so she knows exactly what she's saying.
  • Touma Kamijou from A Certain Magical Index says it's ridiculous that so many people think he's attracted to girls like Index or Mikoto because they're just kids (he's 17, they're 14). While he's trying to say he's not a pedophile, he doesn't understand that they're genuinely and completely in love with him, and he doesn't understand that implying they have small boobs, are not beautiful and sexy (instead of pretty and cute), are short, etc. are their biggest Berserk Buttons.
  • Ian in A Cruel God Reigns does this to Jeremy when he actively tries to make their new step-family a happy one. What he doesn't know is that his father is sexually abusing Jeremy every weekend when they come home from their boarding school.
    Ian: The plan is to make this a loving household of Lynn Forest, aiming to create a peaceful family.
    Jeremy: Will it
    Ian: We'll make it work Jeremy! And in the end we'll all be happy.
  • In Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE's fourth episode, Yumoto apologizes to someone for annoying him, addressing him like an older man. The guy is actually a student from Yumoto's high school who's very sensitive about people thinking he's fifty, to the point that Zundar turns him into a Monster of the Week with the power of making people into children.
  • An episode of Digimon Adventure was focused on Mimi getting into trouble after she got upset at Izzy, who ignored her in favour of working on his laptop. He had no idea why she was crying, or that he'd been ignoring her at all.
  • Devils from Dorohedoro have this as one of their hats. Then there's the Magic User Kawajiri, who has difficulty being tactful due to having spent years as a devil himself.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Goku. Though it's implied that he had brain damage as a baby due to hitting his head, and not to mention he was almost totally isolated from others until he was 12.
    • Maron, a filler character, in the Garlic Junior Saga, is this when she insults Chi-Chi and Bulma by calling them old ladies (and you can guess how the former reacts).
    • Little Marron, Krillin & Android 18's daughter, also qualifies. In a scene in the Great Saiyaman Saga, when Master Roshi asks if he wants to participate in the tournament, she replies with "No way, you're too old!!". For Marron, this is a Justified Trope, as she is only 3 years old and she doesn't know any better.
  • In Girls und Panzer, when Ami, temporary tankery instructor for Oarai, sees Miho among the assembled students, she points out that Miho's mother (Ami's tankery instructor) has done quite a bit for her, makes a polite inquiry about how Miho's sister is doing, and says the Nishizumi school has a long history. Despite having no ill intentions toward Miho, Ami ends up upsetting Miho by bringing up her family (Miho, unable to adhere to her family's Second Place Is for Losers mentality, had until recently quit tankery), but Saori quickly moves to Change the Uncomfortable Subject.
  • Shou from Father and Son tends to say things that offend people. He once unintentionally offended his teacher as well as his mother whom he had never met until that day. It may be justified since he's a little kid and doesn't know how to speak tactfully.
  • Miyako in Hidamari Sketch does this a lot. It's hard to be sure when she's just oblivious and when she actually is winding up Hiro.
  • InuYasha has his moments. Justified, since he is a half-demon and was treated rudely by humans and demons, decided to live isolated from others and hence doesn't know when something can be seen as rude.
  • A really twisted example happens in Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Stardust Crusaders. The team checks into a hotel run by Enya Geil, master of the Justice Stand and actually an assassin planning to kill them all one by one. Polnareff walks in on her while she's trying to dispose of a body, and starts talking about how she seems very lonely running the place on her own, and doesn't she have a son or a family, and wouldn't it be nice to have grandkids running around, and even offers to fill the void for tonight by pretending to be her son. Thing is, Enya had a son - J. 'Centerfold' Geil - whom Polnareff killed.note Enya is seething and fighting hard to keep from dropping the charade and just stab him there and then. And Polnareff just keeps smiling.
  • Played for Drama in Kotoura-san, when this trope, combined with telepathy that Haruka couldn't turn off, causes her to inadvertently start blurting out her friends' and family's personal secrets, resulting in her schoolmates labelling her as a freak and compulsive liar and her parents' divorce. Although later on she invokes this trope to keep people from being close to her.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's: Fate instantly draws a connection between herself and the Wolkenritter upon Chrono's reveal that the the latter are nothing more than semi-autonomous magical programs. He and Lindy backpedal very quickly to tell her that she was just born differently and is just as human as everyone else.
  • Setsuna in Mahou Sensei Negima! tends to act far too formally and subserviently towards those she feels have a higher social class than her. For example, she always refers to her love interest as ojou-sama/milady and acts more like a servant than a friend. Konoka, for her part, keeps telling her to quit it to no avail. Near the end of the manga, she actually makes Asuna cry by acting even more subservient towards her than she does towards Konoka after Setsuna learns Asuna is actually a princess. Normally, she's Setsuna's best friend, which makes it quite painful to be treated like that. It was a slight exaggeration of how she really felt, but she wanted to make sure Setsuna cut it out immediately rather than make a habit of it.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, After Shinn destroys the Freedom, apparently killing Kira in the process, he proudly walks up to Athrun and declares: "I got payback, for you and me both." Athrun responds by punching Shinn in the face. What Shinn didn't realize was that Kira is Athrun's oldest and best friend; as far as he knew, he was just taking out the guy who wrecked Athrun's Gundam and injured him pretty badly in the process.
  • In Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, Seo's jerkass attitude is seen by Nozaki as a result of being mood-blind. Probably the best example of this is when Seo tells Nozaki that people ask her for help all the time, that she's considerate of others and that she can read situations...all while ruining a group picture, smearing someone's calligraphy and interrupting a love confession, in that order. However, the rest of the time it's hard to tell whether she really is this trope or genuinely a jerkass.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • Denki Kaminari openly called the villain Stain cool ... in front of Iida whose older brother was severely injured by Stain. However, once Midoriya pointed out the insensitivity of his remark, Kaminari quickly apologized.
    • Momo Yaoyorozu tends to forget thant she is far more wealthier than the rest of her middle-class classmates due to their very different lifestyles. She often casually brings up how big her mansion is or her knowledge of expensive tea brands while unknowingly and naively insulting her classmates' level of wealth.
  • Sai from Naruto post-Heel–Face Turn and Character Development. He is trying to become better friends with Naruto and Sakura, but genuinely thinks "ugly" is a good idea for a nickname, and that people always need to hear the truth. Ironically when he decides to give this weird "sensitivity" thing a go, he decides the way to do it is to tell people the exact opposite of what he thinks of them, so he tells Ino she's gorgeous. Even more ironically, they eventually end up married.
  • One Piece: Monkey D. Luffy's ability to do this is legendary. While in the tower of the Shrinking Violet mermaid princess, he starts eating her food while she talks to him. His mouth is filled with food, so his cheeks bulge out. This is new to the innocent girl, so she pokes his cheeks, and he shouts at her for it. She begins to well up with tears, and he calls her a coward, a crybaby, and says in a completely happy, joking manner, "I don't like you one bit!". He obviously thought he was bantering, since the next thing he says is to suggest she sneaks out of the room to go on an adventure, in as happy and joking a manner as before.
  • Mashiro of The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, who is an Idiot Savant, has No Social Skills, and is seen by most viewers as autistic, runs into this in a close to Once an Episode frequency.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
    • Sayaka is this to Kyousuke, the object of her affections. Kyousuke's passion is the violin, so his arm getting paralyzed in an accident was a big blow to him. Rather naively, Sayaka thinks bringing him classical music CDs would relax him. She was wrongnote , and it sends him into tears at first and into an almost screaming Heroic B.S.O.D. later.
    • Incidentally, Kyousuke also counts as this. While he cares for Sayaka, it's more in a Platonic Life Partners sense and he's completely oblivious to Sayaka's love. This results in him doing things that, unbeknownst to him, really hurt Sayaka and was partly her Unwitting Instigator of Doom (the spoiler is a trope, so don't hover over it).
  • Ranma ½:
    Akari: What's wrong? Didn't I praise him [Ryoga] enough?
    Ranma: You were praising him?
  • Saya of Servant × Service tends to speak her mind without even considering the potential consequences. Particularly evident in Episode 6, where she unwittingly sent the normally carefree Yutaka into a Corner of Woe by passively saying that he's beneath her, and a flashback reveals that she rejected a boy's confession by saying he should've looked at himself in a mirror and thought again (she meant she thought he could do better). Eventually Chihaya had to warn her against rejecting Mrs. Tanaka's offer of marriage to her grandson so as not to cause heart attacks.
  • An Idiot Plot climax of Seikoku no Dragonar starts purely because the airheaded maid Plum mutters a racist comment that a dragon and a human can't get married. Eco, who's a hypersensitive Tsundere, launches herself out of the castle in despair and right into the enemy's hands.
  • Ayu from 7 Seeds can have shades of this. She calls people "resistant as cockroaches", but means it in the nicest way of a compliment. She decides on a group-split-up that leaves her with someone that she is implied to have a crush on and doesn't get it why people react strangely about it. It isn't until Tsunomata points out to her that her straightforward ways can be seen as hurtful that Ayu even wonders why it would seem hurtful.
  • Masao from Shiki is mostly just a Jerk Ass, but there's many scenes where he comes off this way too.
  • Nia in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, due to her sheltered upbringing. She is completely oblivious to any negative mood, which doesn't endear her to the others, especially after Kamina had just recently died. She also cheerfully turned down Simon's proposal. Fortunately Kiyoh and Kiyal make her realize her accidental mistake.
  • Haru from Tsuritama who tries to cheer up Yuki about his grandmother's hospitalization by telling him that everyone dies at some point. This is because Haru is a possibly immortal alien who struggles with understanding things from the viewpoint of us Puny Earthlings.
  • When Mako from Wandering Son went outside as a girl for the first time alone she ended up running into her schoolmate, and crush, Oka. She panicked, ran away, and almost quit school to become a hikikomori however decided to confront Oka later. Oka didn't even notice her and states he couldn't imagine her as a girl anyway.
  • In Tomodachi Game, Shibe's Establishing Character Moment demonstrates that he doesn't consider how his words come off as at times, and it remains a major flaw of his throughout the game. In a series where the reader is meant to doubt the characters, Shibe can come off as a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing or Jerkass in hiding, before it's made clear that no, Shibe's really just this trope.

     Comic Books 
  • Because she lacks social skills, Laura Kinney aka X-23 tends to do this. After an adventure in Limbo, Laura sees no problem with telling Surge (who wasn't present) that her boyfriend Prodigy had his heart ripped out (he got better) when all the other students were evasive about it (even implied that this was why Nori asked her about it after the others didn't come clean). When Laura is later attending Avengers Academy and Wolverine brings some of her former classmates from Xavier's there to keep them safe, she greets Dust by telling her she "smells healthy." After Dust reminds her it's not polite to tell someone how they smell, she innocently says that because she can't see her (Dust practices hijab and covers herself in public) it's the only way she can tell.
  • Lois Lane, in her attempts to report on poverty, tended to do this.
  • Klara Prast of the Runaways once mistook the X-Men for demons, and on another occasion, mistook Tigra for a prostitute. She's also been on the receiving end of innocent insensitivity; Victor and Chase have used the fact that she was once married as an excuse to talk about sex around her, because she presumably already knows about it. It doesn't occur to them that she'd rather not be reminded of that fact...
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise, some of the members of the Yu Dao chapter of the Air Acolytes tattooed their foreheads just like Aang. Who thought they were treating his culture as if it was a game. The members later apologized, saying they never meant to insult him or his culture.
  • In Violine:
    • After crocodiles tear apart two pursuing death squad members, Kombo leads Violine away so she doesn't see it... and then tells her how the crocodiles teared them apart in detail.
    • Kombo does the same thing when Violine is in danger from crocodiles herself, describing how they will take pieces of meat to the bottom of the river to let them rot before eating them.
  • Batman Beyond: Terry discussing family issues with Bruce.
    Terry: I'm beginning to think that relatives can be more trouble than they're worth.
    Bruce: I wouldn't know.

     Fan Works 
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fic Brother Bothers, Pinkie Pie is this to Cheese Sandwich and his brother Tomato concerning their nasty Sibling Rivalry. She forces them into a "Brotherly Bonding Time", not realizing that it would only aggravate their already tense feud, up to the point where both of the brothers end up exploding at each other. She realizes this at the end of the fic and apologizes to them.
  • In Hopes and Follies, Twilight assures Trixie that she doesn't have to worry about their past conflicts, because nopony holds her responsible for it and they hardly even remembered the Ursa incident until she came back. It's not until after Trixie storms off overwhelmingly pissed that Twilight realizes that a professional showpony would want to be remembered, even as a villain. Not to mention that those events were some of the most defining moments of her life. And Trixie has an overwhelming need to be recognized by Twilight, one way or another. This results in Trixie resolving to become an enemy, rival or problem that Twilight can't ignore... ironically, while Twilight's resolving to become closer to Trixie and accept her as a friend.
  • In "Dear Sweetie Belle," Rarity had just found out she was pregnant after a party her roommate had dragged her to. Said roommate sees her crying and asks her if she wants to go to another party. Rarity freaking snaps.
  • In the Mork & Mindy fanfic Mork And Mindys Twenty Fifth Anniversary, Beth jokes that "lately people think Daddy's [Mindy's] son anyway", not realizing that this fact is upsetting to her mother.
  • In The Hobbit fanfic Wear a Flower in Your Hair (You're Beautiful), Thorin calls Bella a halfling in reference to her being a hobbit. Unbeknownst to Thorin, "halfling" is an insult hobbits use to describe females who are barren.
  • In Disney High School, Quasi is occasionally on the receiving end of this.
    Kuzco: WOW cool costume, that mask is amazing! Are you in the drama club?
    Quasimodo: No, it's my face...I look like this.
    Kuzco: Oh shi...I'm sorry! I didn' I'm sorry!
  • In The Totally Amazing Spider Man, Peter Parker brushed off a friendly conversation with Sam, due to his shyness, and a study date with Clover, because he feared she was an Alpha Bitch. The spies, however, thought he was being a pretentious New Yorker. Thankfully, they are able to settle their issues pretty quickly.
  • In the Peggy Sue fic The Second Try, Misato jokingly made a comment that Shinji and Asuka should use protection when she thinks they want to stay home to have sex. Not the best thing to say to two parents who's daughter was just Ret Goned.
  • In Cardcaptor Rad, Hot Shot manages to both get High Wire mad at him and depress Rachel when he counters Optimus' praise that Rachel did good with protecting High Wire from the Decepticons.
  • Due to having spent the entirety of his life in the Jedi Order (and not being a very worldly one at that), Master Koth in A Horse for the Force manages to really shove his foot in his mouth when talking to Ranma.
    Ranma: I could even be raped in this form. Something, something which I've had some nightmares about.
    Master Koth: Fear leads to the Dark Side. You should face your fears.
  • Her Inner Demons: The Shadowbolts, thanks to their hyper-competitive nature didn't realize they were aggravating Twilight. It becomes Played for Drama, since Twilight had already been bullied and ridiculed, and their own actions only drove Twilight into deeper despair and allowed her darkness to consume her and become Midnight Sparkle, and they themselves end up feeling horrible for ignoring Twilight's emotional breakdown
  • Adrien in Nymph and the Corrupted Miraculous comes across as this to Marinette when he implies that she can't do things as simple as getting to her seat because she's handicapped.

     Film — Animated 
  • Fix-It Felix Jr. of Wreck-It Ralph has this painfully so. He can't bring himself to tell the Nicelanders to let Ralph in his birthday party, he accidentally causes Calhoun to suffer a Heroic B.S.O.D. when he calls her "one dynamite gal" and only realizes how crummy he's been when Ralph slings back Felix's accusation that he doesn't know how it feels to be treated as a criminal.
  • Anna in Frozen is made to forget the fact that her older sister Elsa has ice powers after the latter nearly accidentally kills Anna while playing with them. The fear and guilt force Elsa to isolate herself for over a decade, which Anna does not understand. So naturally she showers Elsa with Armour Piercing Questions, causing her to break down and flee the castle.
    Anna: Elsa, please, I can't live like this anymore!
  • Wilbur Robinson of Meet the Robinsons treats Lewis being an orphan as a mere footnote when the audience is aware that this is probably one of the most painful parts, if not the most, of Lewis's life. Kind of Justified since Wilbur knows he's destined to be Happily Adopted by the end of the day/thirty years ago.
  • In Scooby Doo Moon Monster Madness, Fred accidentally offends two astronauts by reminding them that their mission occurred "before [he] was born."
  • In Penguins of Madagascar, even when Private expresses how much he wants just to be a meaningful and valued member of the team, the others continue to just treat him as simply "the cute one", much to his annoyance.
    Skipper: You can't take away Private's cuteness!
    Kowalski: He's the cute one! That's, that's his thing!
    Private: What?
    Skipper: It's all the little guy's got!
    Private: Ugh...
  • This is one of Joy's major traits in Inside Out. As the Anthropomorphic Personification of happiness, she's a cheerful, friendly emotion that loves Riley (the girl she and the other emotions maintain) and has her best interests at heart. However, she's so determined to keep Riley happy constantly that she often pushes the other emotions—and especially Sadness—aside so she can run things her way; at one point, she forces Sadness to stay in a small circle and read manuals about the brain to keep her from interfering with Riley's first day at a new school. Joy doesn't do any of this maliciously, but it still hurts, and much of her Character Development throughout the movie is learning that Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust have an important purpose in Riley's life.
  • Being a movie all about stereotypes and how even the most open-minded people can have bigoted tendencies, Zootopia has a few characters who do this.
  • Sid from Ice Age, especially in The Meltdown, where he makes several insensitive remarks towards Manny, who thinks that he's the last of his kind.
    Sid: Someday when you've gone extinct. When you make a stink—
    Manny: Shut up, Sid.
    Sid: Okay. (later) Stop, hey-hey, what's that sound? All the mammoths are in the ground!
    Manny: Stop singing, Sid!
    Sid: If your species will continue clap your hands! If your species will—
    Manny: Sid, I'm gonna fall on you again, and this time, I will kill you.
    Sid: Okay, somebody doesn't like the classics.
  • Koda in Brother Bear 2. While teasing Nita with a salmon he caught, Koda unknowingly triggers back her fear of water. He goes so far in this that Kenai ends up having to tell him sharply to stop.

     Film — Live-Action 
  • The Purge: The youngest Sandin kid is asking his parents why they don't kill during The Purge. He thinks it's a game and doesn't quite realize yet that it isn't.
  • In Elf, Buddy meets Miles Finch, a little person. Having grown up with Santa Claus and his elves his whole life, he assumes Miles is an elf and addresses him as one, asking how things are back at Santa's workshop. Miles is enraged, thinking Buddy is doing short jokes. Throughout the whole scene, Buddy doesn't understand his mistake, even after Miles beats him up.
  • Mr. Spock of Star Trek fame always had a little bit of this going all the way back to the original series, due to his being raised in a society where emotions are suppressed in favor of logic, much to the annoyance of Dr. McCoy and the others. Captain/Admiral James T. Kirk was usually more patient with Spock due to their Heterosexual Life-Partners friendship, but in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home Kirk, after putting up with an even more Innocently Insensitive than usual Spock (who was still coming off of rebirth) in the 20th century finally loses his temper and snaps at Spock who, upon learning that the window of opportunity to snatch up two whales is rapidly closing (thus placing the future of the Earth in dire peril), bluntly states that their mission won't be successful and states it as if they were running a grocery errand. Specifically Kirk tears into Spock with an incredulous "Our mission? Spock you're talking about the end of every life on Earth! You're half human! Haven't you got any God damned feelings about THAT?!"
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
    • When Logan momentarily loses the connection with his future self, he forgets about Xavier and Hank which makes him react in shock at the latter beastly appearance. Hank just rolls his eyes thinking he's messing with him.
    • After Mystique escapes the peace conference, she is outed as a mutant on the news. She manages to get to a hospital and get her leg bandaged in her normal human guise. The nurse who is doing it is watching the earlier footage and pities Mystique's appearance, wondering "It must be hard waking up each day and seeing that in a mirror". Ouch.
  • Ahkmenrah's parents from Night at the Museum 3 when they hear Larry is half Jewish:
    "We love Jews! We owned forty thousand. So happy, always singing with their candles..."
  • In Moonrise Kingdom, Suzy comments that being an orphan must be quite exciting. Her friend Sam, an orphan who is conspicuously not Happily Adopted, is offended.
    Sam: I love you, but you don't know what you're talking about.
  • Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy blithely muses that the Guardians are now his friends even as he continues to unknowingly insult them, as shown in the page quote.
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron:
    • This exchange when Bruce is feeling down about his time as the Other Guy.
    Black Widow: Thor, report on the Hulk.
    Thor: The gates of Hel are filled with the screams of his victims!
    Bruce: (sobs)
    Thor: But not the screams of the dead, of course. No, no... wounded screams... mainly whimpering, a great deal of complaining and tales of sprained deltoids and... gout.
    • While preparing for the final battle, Tony Stark says that Ultron will be gunning for him first. Vision, who is literally a few hours old at this point, backs this up, almost cheerfully. "That's true, he hates you the most."
  • In Cinderella (2015), Ella's father is a Nice Guy, but he does love Ella more than his new wife and stepdaughters. Lady Tremaine overhears him tell her this, and it becomes the seed of a lot of the abuse she deals later.
  • In Psycho, it seems like Norman Bates is going to run into this, especially once he starts asking his guest about "what [she's] running away from," but she seems strangely tolerant of it. A moment later, when she asks why Norman doesn't send his delusional old mother to an institution, he does not extend her the same courtesy.
    Marion: I am sorry. I only felt... It seemed she was harming you. I meant...
    Norman: What? You meant well? People always mean well, they cluck their thick tongues and shake their heads and suggest so very delicately that...

  • In Sense and Sensibility, this is lampshaded, and happens several times over.
    • Sir John, who in all respects is a kind and generous man who gives Mrs. Dashwood and her daughters a home after her worthless son and daughter-in-law force them out of their ownnote  teams up with his mother-in-law Mrs. Jennings to tease Elinor about her "beau" with the initial of F. (that information being given by likewise insensitive Margaret, the youngest Dashwood). They routinely tease any young friend about romance in nothing but good humor and well-wishes but in this instance it's quite painful, as Edward Ferrars is secretly engaged and his family would never approve his marrying a girl as poor as Elinor.
    • Marianne, who eventually throws a tantrum at Mrs. Jennings' endless teasing, brushes off Elinor's explanation that the older woman means well by saying that Elinor can't possibly know how she, Marianne, is suffering. (She's properly ashamed when she learns of Elinor's situation.)
    • Near the end of the book, Edward is disinherited when his secret engagement to Lucy Steele comes to light. Colonel Brandon, whose own family forcibly separated him from his sweetheart as a young man, decides to grant him the parish living on his own estate. As he's not well-acquainted with Edward, he asks Elinor to act as intermediary, not realizing that he's asking his friend to speed up the marriage of her love to another woman.
  • In Persuasion, Admiral and Mrs. Croft quickly befriend Anne, and they're both kind, good-natured people. But they have no idea of the pain they're causing when they ask casually which of the Musgrove girls Wentworth will marry, having no idea that he was engaged to Anne once.
  • In Dragon Bones, it is mentioned that Ward pretends to be this as part of his Obfuscating Stupidity. For example, when his uncle asks him whether he knows what just happened (after his father's death), Ward nods, and says "I get father's horse", the stupidest and most inappropriate thing he can come up with at the moment.
  • Hermione Granger comes off like this in Harry Potter at least once a book, arguably downplayed in the movies.
    • In Order of the Phoenix Dean Thomas asks Firenze if Hagrid breeds the Centaurs like cattle, it is lucky he did not ask this of any other centaur as Firenze merely corrects him and continues the lesson but the others seen have flown into a violent indignant rage over far lesser insults and things which are difficult to envisage as insults.
  • Princess Eilonwy has moments of this in The Chronicles of Prydain series.
  • Depending on interpretation, Sherlock Holmes. Opinion varies on whether he's genuinely socially inept or deliberately spiteful to people who aren't as smart as him. The 2009 film favours the latter explanation, but critics who stress Holmes' loneliness as a character trait favour the former.
    • The BBC series Sherlock seems to use a bit of both - he once asks John whether a comment was too insensitive, but also makes fun of everyone for not understanding his deductions. We haven't seen much of the loneliness outright yet, but he sure does get upset when John's in danger. He claims to be a sociopath, as well, but the fact that he shows genuine concern for another human being pretty clearly tells that if he has a disorder, it's not as serious as he thinks. Or perhaps John is just the exception. Word of God from Moffatt is that Sherlock is a) full of crap and b) wants to be a sociopath; he thinks his intellect would be much more efficient if it wasn't for all this caring about stuff getting in the way.
    • Both presentations may be correct. Individuals with exceptionally high IQs often have difficulty with proper social interactions, usually coming off as either distant, patronizing, or outright arrogant and insulting (even when it is not their intent). Psychologists think it comes from their altered viewpoint of reality. People with high IQs easily make intellectual connections and usually have a better understanding of things. But even when they know intellectually that it is due to their high IQ, they can't always grasp why no one else gets it or may be frustrated by how they need to explain "simple" things. For Sherlock, who likely has a very high IQ, he doesn't get why everyone else can't see the world the way he does. To him, he is pointing out things on the same level of obviousness as "The sky is blue" and then dealing with people who are so dense they need it spelled out to them (even though no one else would ever make those connections).
  • Brainless Beauty Christine from the Discworld book Maskerade, an opera hopeful with the looks but not the musical talent, is apparently oblivious to the fact that her very presence is trampling over the ambitions of Fat Girl Agnes Nitt, who has the musical talent but not the looks. She also says at one point that Agnes is lucky about not having to watch what she eats.
  • Gray Wing from Warrior Cats: Dawn of the Clans tries (poorly) to comfort Wind Runner by saying that her son Emberkit was in a better place. This, however, makes Wind Runner angry at him, yelling at him that the best place for a kit was at its mother's belly and wishing him grief, saying that he's as bad as Clear Sky and she'll throw that comment back at him. But when Turtle Tail dies, she apologizes to him.
  • Lightning Strike from Out of Position. He's not necessarily a Jerkass, but he has no problem sharing his opinions, no matter how annoying or upsetting they may be. He even tries to give Dev bondage gear as a Christmas present at a very public party because he believed it was something Dev wanted.
  • In Tomcat Blue Eyes Diaries, Blue Eyes and White Whiskers Rusty go to visit their mutual friend, cat Green Eyes who has just had babies. Blue Eyes is always very friendly, affectionate little tom-cat — almost a kitten himself. He says to Whiskers that Green Eyes' babies are real ugly and- the horror- even blind. Green Eyes gets angry and swats him twice with her front paws and runs away with her babies. Whiskers tries to explain to him that every mother is sorry when somebody shames her children and tells Blue Eyes that he was not prettier when he was born. Blue Eyes doesn't believe him and is sure that that he was never blind.
  • Alpha and Omega:
    • Asil makes a crude remark about Charles 'sharing' Anna. Because Asil has only known her for a few minutes, he is unaware that Anna is a gang-rape survivor.
    • Charles asks Asil how torture affects an Omega werewolf- just before remembering that Asil's wife was tortured to death. (He apologizes later.)
  • Heather Badcock, the victim of The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side. She casually revealed when she was Fangirling over Marina Gregg that she broke out of a quarantine wing in a hospital against doctor's orders while she was infected with German Measles in order to see Marina on stage and get her autograph. Marina was pregnant! note  Marina coldly murdered her in a furious rage when she found out.
  • Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note's Wakatake doesn't have any problems with boys, but he doesn't seem to know what not to say in front of girls. For example, saying the girl he crashed into a mailbox, or "I found girls annoying'' in her face.
  • In Room, due to Jack's age, he doesn't have a complete understanding of the full extent of what his Ma constantly went through while they were prisoners in the titular Room, and will bring it up casually in conversation with people. Almost everybody understands this and try to brush it off. Although Ma, suffering from severe PTSD, snaps and loses her temper at a few points.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire Stannis Baratheon occasionally makes these comments to people due to his lacking social skills and Brutal Honesty — which is not helped by the fact that Stannis doesn't think he has any friends (though he has quite a good relationship with Davos Seaworth). In the prologue to A Clash of Kings, Stannis tells the aged Maester Cressen he is reducing their work as they're too old to be of use. However, he then mentions that working for him at their age could be dangerous (particularly as Cressen recently fell and broke their hip), so Stannis was trying to be nice to Cressen. In A Storm of Swords, he tells Jon Snow that one of Jon's beloved siblings, Robb Stark, Jon's murdered brother, was a traitor for not declaring for Stannis and while Stannis perceives this as true, it was certainly a horrible thing to say to Jon.
  • In The Dinosaur Lords, the Gardeners, a religious sect basing their philosophy on works of one Jaume dels Flors, is prone to praising their spiritual guru whenever Karyl is present, which is painful for Karyl, as dels Flors is the man who killed him (Karyl got better).
  • Clay from Wings of Fire can be this at times, especially around Peril. The other dragonets have to cover for him, and it even leads Tsunami and Glory pulling a trick on Clay to show that being this can be hurtful at times.
  • In Wolf Hall, Thomas Cromwell has a slightly difficult relationship with his son Gregory; they love each other, but Gregory is guileless and doesn't understand his father very well. So when Cromwell makes a joking-not-joking comment that his portrait makes him look like a murderer (a persistent insecurity of his), Gregory simply says "you didn't know?"
  • The Stormlight Archive: The Parshmen are a docile Slave Race that will starve to death if not given any orders. When the Alethi find a tribe of free Parshmen with their own culture, they name them Parshendi, which means "Parshmen that can think." Neither side sees anything wrong with this; the Parshendi normally just call themselves "the listeners," anyway.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • Sheldon doesn't always realize that he's being condescending about others' intellect.
    • His mom is this in another way. Mrs. Cooper is the type of stereotypical Born Again Christian that would be likely to tell someone You Are a Credit to Your Race or use an outdated, racist term (Leonard eventually has to make her a list of what she can't say). That said, she's so sweet and comforting (unlike her son) you know she doesn't mean anything by it, it's just a side effect of being born and raised in East Texas.
    • Amy also tends to fall into this.
  • Liz Lemon during high school, as revealed in the Class Reunion of 30 Rock. (More rarely, she does this in the present as well.)
  • Rimmer from Red Dwarf is a more obnoxious variant - yes, he's a pain in the neck, but most times he thinks he's genuinely doing the right thing. Even if he does have Manipulative Bastard moments. Cat's a more straightforward example. Actually, you could just shove everyone in this category, they all have their moments.
  • Mr. Pither from Monty Python's Flying Circus (he's on a cycling tour of North Cornwall). He's a perfectly kindly soul, but oblivious to other people's feelings.
  • Monk. His Hyper Awareness lets him in on all sorts of details about people, and he's not always clear on which ones are better to keep to himself, such as when he sees the date on a woman's credit card and realizes she's lying about her age, or deduces that the judge at a hearing has been having an affair with his secretary.
  • On M*A*S*H, aristocratic Major Charles Emerson Winchester perceives himself as more intelligent and refined than the rest of his fellow comrades, that sometimes he doesn't realize he offends people in doing so.
    Charles: Relax? Are you insane? How would you feel if your sister were marrying a swarthy, dark-haired, olive picker?
    Klinger: She did! And for your information, Major, so did my mother and my grandmother, not to mention the future Mrs. Max Klinger, whoever she is! (storms out in huff)
    Charles: Did I say something to offend him?
  • Much of the cast of Friends at one point or another, but especially Joey and Phoebe.
  • Sherlock Holmes has a big moment of this in the second episode of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, during the scene with Watson's pocket watch. Brilliant as Holmes is, he hadn't anticipated that discussing Watson's ill-fated alcoholic brother might upset him.
    • This scene is, of course, lifted from Doyle's The Sign of Four, where Watson is so upset he actually accuses Holmes of secretly investigating his family just so he could show off pretended deductions. Holmes immediately realizes how insensitive he's been and apologizes, and also explains the evidence that led him to his deductions.
  • Also Sherlock from BBC's Sherlock. He tends to deduce things and think he's being kind by letting the concerned parties know: telling Molly that Jim (her boyfriend) is gay, informing Mrs. Hudson that her love interest is married and a casanova, deducing presents people give him when he's hardly touched the package, etc. He eventually begins to rely on John to give him a heads-up when he's gone too far.
    Sherlock: (after asking why a woman would continue being upset about her daughter's stillbirth a decade ago) Ah... Not good?
    John: Bit not good, yeah.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Mr. Data, being an android, is often insulting without meaning to be. In Liaisons, he gives Worf advice on dealing with a fractious diplomat who's visiting Enterprise:
      Data: I have heard that in moments of diplomatic tension, it is often helpful to find elements of commonality.
      Worf: Ambassador Byleth is demanding, temperamental, and rude!
      Data: (sincerely trying to be helpful) You share all of those qualities in abundance! Perhaps you should try to build on your similarities.
    • The Establishing Character Moment for Dr. Bashir in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine show him as an Upper-Class Twit who signed up for what is a disaster relief mission only for his own ego, by telling one of the locals how excited he is about the adventures he will have, while standing inside the remains of a concentration camp.
    Bashir: I didn't want some cushy job or a research grant; I wanted this — the furthest reaches of the galaxy, one of the most remote outposts available. This is where the adventure is. This is where heroes are made. Right here — in the wilderness.
    Kira: This is my home.
  • Reid from Criminal Minds sometimes falls into this trap, mostly because his social skills aren't great and, therefore, he tends to forget about them when he gets really excited or is concentrating on something. For example, at one point the team is tracking a killer who has kidnapped a young girl that Morgan is very attached to. Rossi worries that a radio announcement might lead the killer to change vehicles. Reid gets about halfway through brightly saying, "Or he might kill the kid!" before seeing the look on Morgan's face and quickly backtracking.
  • Castiel from Supernatural is particularly prone to the trope. He called Sam an "abomination" in order to explain a point, and complimented Dean by telling him, "you're not the broken shell of a man that I thought you were."
  • The Office (US):
    • Michael Scott. Even when he's trying to be well-intentioned he doesn't realize how much the things he's saying can be rude or potentially offensive.
    • Dwight Schrute casually and without malice insults people who fall short of his standards of efficiency and skill, which is nearly everyone. His coworkers generally blow it off.
  • Arthur from Merlin is prone to this in earlier seasons towards the poor. Best demonstrated in The Once and Future Queen, where he's staying with Gwen, a maidservant from the castle. He offers to cook her dinner and then cheats out on it the first chance he gets. She finds out and confronts him about it. This exchange happens.
    Arthur: Look, I can kill a chicken from a thousand paces, just don't ask me to cook it. That's what servants are for.
    (Gwen gives him a death glare)
    Arthur: (realizes what he said) I didn't mean.
  • On Gotham a kidnapper and murderer targets the offspring of wealthy families. Young Bruce Wayne refuses to leave Gotham because he wants to see how the case unfolds, and justifies himself on the basis of being an orphan. "Why would anyone take me? There's no one to take me from." Alfred looks wounded.
  • The Twelfth Doctor in Doctor Who has this as a Running Gag. Once an Episode in Series 8, he attempts to compliment Clara's appearance in a way that would reveal he has absolutely no understanding of human beauty or feelings - like asking why she's wearing high heels because there's no reason for her to be taller, or assuming she's taken off her makeup while she's obviously still wearing loads before kindly advising her that it's what's on the inside that counts.
    • Clara has taken to writing cue cards for him to read with comments appropriate to a given situation by Series 9.
    • Clara was prone to this with Danny Pink, an ex-soldier, at one point even joking about him killing people which pushes his Berserk Button.
    • Other incarnations of The Doctor have had this, as well. Generally, the more "abrasive" personalities are most guilty. However, since he also uses it to put others off their game, it's not always clear if/when it's intentional.
  • Most characters of Firefly fall into this at one time or another, but Simon is the biggest offender whenever he talks to Kaylee.
  • Downton Abbey: The Duchess of Yeovil visits the house in season 4 and happily strikes up a conversation with Tom. She offers her condolences for Sybil's death, and while she's trying to sympathize (having lost her husband), it just opens up the still healing wounds of her passing. She also talks to him at length about the Anglo-Irish Aristocrats she calls friends expecting him (Irish himself) to follow along. Tom has absolutely no idea what she's talking about, and it makes him realize how he doesn't fit in high society. It feeds into his arc of being lost and confused about his place in the world. When talking to Lord Grantham later, Tom clarifies that the Duchess was very polite and she tried her best to include him, he just feels that he isn't right for such inclusion.
  • In the iCarly episode, "iWin A Date", Carly does this when Gibby tells the group that a girl he has a crush on doesn't return his feelings.
    Carly: Poor kid. It must be hard to love someone who doesn't love you back.
    (Freddie gives her a longing stare)
    Carly: Sorry.
  • The Twilight Zone: Mr. Bemis, the Bookworm who loses his glasses in the apocalypse. While his fate wasn't kind, his obsession with books meant he neglected everybody around him, like a customer he was supposed to be assisting. It's a small wonder that his boss and wife were exasperated with him.
  • Kel from Kenan & Kel is quite prone to this; unknowingly insulting people due to his general lack of thought. It gets worse after he Took a Level in Dumbass in the final two seasons. Here's a few of the things he says.

    • Kel trying to comfort Kenan after the latter is going to be missing his day at the Comic-Con.
    Kel: "Aw, Kenan, man. Come on, man. It's not that bad. Hey, look, look, look. There'll be another convention in a year. Yeah! And a year is only 360 days, which gives you only 8,760 hours, which is…"
    Kenan: "Kel! You're not cheering me up."

    • Kel talking about Kenan's date not showing up.
    Kel: "Hey, Kenan! Calm down! It's not like you're the only person here without a date. Oh, well, wait a minute. Yes, you are."
    Kel: "You're just mad because you're date didn't show up!"

    • Kel wanting to know how one of Roger's old classmates became so rich.
    Kel: "Uh, Mr. Rockmore, I mean you and Mr. Malone went to the same school. I mean, why did he become much more successful than you did?"
    Sheryl: "Kel!"
    Kel: "I mean, come on, he's a multi-millionaire with his own company and you're just… bald."

    • Kel explaining what happened to Caitlin when she got dumped.
    Roger: "I was just trying to tell Kenan that Caitlin's boyfriend dumped her."
    Kenan: "He dumped you?"
    Kel: "Yeah, Kenan. You know. Dumped her. Just broke her heart. Here's her heart right here. (imitates a heartbeat) All on the ground! Just stomped all over the heart. Stomped all over the heart. Went wrestling with her heart. Went wrestling on her heart. On HER HEART! Oh, poor baby! You ain't got a man no more!"

    • Kel explaining a possible reason Caitlin got dumped.
    Kel: "So, uh, Caitlin. Why'd you get dumped? I mean, like, what's wrong with you?"
    Sheryl: "Kel, that's rude! Nothing's wrong with her."
    Kel: "Oh, wait, I found out. I see it. Boy, you got some big, ugly feet."

  • [Voltaire] has the song "Dunce" from his album "Almost Human".

    Video Games 
  • Wheatley from Portal 2 occasionally falls into this category.
    Wheatley: They ended up giving me the WORST possible job, tending to all the smelly humans. (looks at Chell) The... The, ah... sorry, I wouldn't say smelly. Just attending to the humans! Sorry 'bout that, that just slipped out...
  • Red from Solatorobo. His sister Chocolat is constantly chiding him for not understanding girls' feelings, and Elh calls him "an idiot with a bad mouth" when he continues to stick his foot in there.
  • Minsc in Baldur's Gate being a brain-damaged warrior with the mind of a child, has a few banters that paint him in this light. Everyone realises his true intentions, and nobody ever gets permanently insulted. Boo is also quick to correct him when he puts his foot in his mouth.
  • Girl!Morgan in Fire Emblem Awakening is a kind-hearted Genki Girl, but she can be sometimes rather pushy with her love interests. May be somewhat of a Justified Trope as she not only has heavy Laser-Guided Amnesia but seems to be the youngest of her group of friends and thus is more sheltered than them.
  • Ike in Fire Emblem Tellius. He's never met Laguz before and only heard them called "sub-humans". So when he first meets one, he uses the only name he knows, which naturally offends the one greeting him. However, he also picks up on the Laguz's offense and apologizes, explaining that he doesn't know any other name.
  • The King of Fighters:
    • Athena Asamiya shows some traces of this, specially in KOF XIII. She launches in a Rant-Inducing Slight when she sees Kula fighting despite her willingly being there, inadvertently embarrasses her friend Kyo via asking him if he did graduate from high school...
    • Kyo's girlfriend, Yuki was like this in the manga. After learning that he and Athena fought in the previous tournament, she becomes angry at Kyo for "beating on girls". Being a martial artist herself, Athena feels insulted.
  • Onmyōji: When Kingyo-hime and Susabi are told a story of a horribly abused boy, the former immediately jumps to the conclusion that he probably deserved it for misbehaving, not knowing that the boy in question is Susabi, sitting right in front of her. What makes it even worse is that Susabi was actually a nice, good kid all along rather than a bad one like Kingyo-hime thought.
    • This conversation between Hiromasa and Seimei after the latter has been wrongfully accused of murder:
    Hiromasa: Didn't you say you don't remember a thing about your past? Doesn't that mean that you could have killed somebody back then?
    Kagura: Hiromasa, stop it.
    • Yaobikuni manages to have a moment as well. After Seimei has a nightmare in which he involuntarily kills his charge Kagura, she responds that "dreams are a mirror reflecting one's heart", making Seimei fear that he might subconsciously want to do such a thing.
  • In Persona 4, the first time Yosuke, Chie, and Yukiko meet Nanako he challenges Chie to a cook-off, offering to have Nanako judge and saying that one of them would probably "make something that ranks up there with your mom's cooking." Nanako points out that her mother died in an accident, and forgives him for saying that when he quickly apologizes.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition has Cole, a spirit of compassion who took on human form. He's able to read others' minds to find out what's hurting them so he can try to help...but he tends to say what he's reading from them out loud and doesn't understand why certain things should or should not be said, be they personal traumas or the party's relationships and sexual activities. He doesn't understand what's wrong it it, since spirits in the Fade do it all the time. Helping him become more human can help him start to grow out of this, though even then he never loses his desire to help ease peoples' pain.
  • Maxim in Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals/Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals constantly infuriates Tia with his inability to recognize her feelings and concern towards him. The remake even names one of Maxim's Titles "Insensitive".
  • Nova from Tales of Xillia 2 can easily be considered this. She's in charge of Ludger's huge debt and repeatedly calls him over the course of the game to remind him to pay back his loan in segments. Unfortunately, since she is locked out of what exactly Ludger is doing, she often calls at inopportune times or when the debt is the last thing on his mind. The player does have an option to snap at her about this, but how good that actually feels depends, since she honestly cannot help but do what she's doing: her job.
    • Elle is this as well, with the justification of her really just being eight years old.
  • In Stardew Valley, Penny, one of the romance options for the player, lives next door to George, a grumpy old fellow who happens to be wheelchair-bound and struggles to reach up to get letters out of the back of his mailbox. Penny spots him and rushes to help - by pushing George out of the way. The player can call her out on this.

    Visual Novels 
  • Katawa Shoujo:
    • Shizune Hakamichi can come across as being very blunt to point where she comes across as being flat out bossy. This is in part the result of her being deaf and because of this communicating with others directly is difficult for her along with the fact that she cannot perceive vocal cues of emotion and intent in other people. It does not help that her interpreter Misha seems to have her own troubles reading social cues in other people, leading to more than a few "blind leading the blind situations" including the panic attack incident in Hanako's route.
    • Hisao himself falls into this at times, especially early on when he's not sure how to talk to people with disabilities. This can be a problem in Hanako and Emi's routes; in the former, he can deeply upset her if he pities her too much, and in the latter, he can anger Emi if he is too aggressive in trying to protect her.
  • Sakuya Shirogane Le Bel from Hatoful Boyfriend. Classist (to Ryouta and the player character), racist (to Yuuya, Anghel, and the player character), ableist (to Oko San), and a royal Upper-Class Twit, and it takes him most of the game, if the player's on his route, to even acknowledge that these are bad things. However he also has a Freudian Excuse: his father raised him to believe himself above everybirdy else, and Sakuya cannot comprehend that his father could be wrong. In the Bad Boys Love route, finding out that not only was his father wrong but not even his father gives Sakuya a full-blown Heroic B.S.O.D.. In Anghel's route, Sakuya says quite a few racist things about Anghel in the presence of the player character, who echoes them later.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry: Keiichi does a variation towards Mion in the Watanagashi arc, by not giving her the doll he won, reasoning that she's too boyish to appreciate it as Rena (who takes home anything she finds cute) would; this instance of his calling out her boyish traits (unlike most other times) deeply hurts her feelings. Keiichi has to get lectured by both Rena and Shion before he finally realizes what he did. Unfortunately, at that point the wheels are already in motion for tragedy.
  • In Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors Junpei can be like this at one point, not due to lack of social skills but due to lack of context. At one point he jokes about puting Akane's heart on fire, not knowing that as a child she almost got burned alive.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY
    • Jaune — being unaware of Pyrrha's feelings for him — sees nothing wrong with pouring out his romantic woes to her. Later, in a much more serious situation, Pyrrha opens up to Jaune about how she's always felt it was her destiny to save the world, and how she recently found a chance to do so. What she doesn't mention is that it will likely come at a great cost. Jaune encourages her to not let anything stand in her way. In any other situation, the words would be perfectly good advice, but because of Pyrrha's circumstances, it ends up hurting her.
    • Subverted with Yang's father, Taiyang. At one point he makes what looks like very nasty comment about Yang's lost arm, but she treats it like a good joke.
  • In X-Ray & Vav, Mogar, a man who has seemingly lived his entire life away from most civilization, is coerced into aiding The Mad King in escaping and crushing our heroes. Though, when Mogar agrees, he refers to them as "those two colored people". While he obviously is talking about their brightly colored spandex, The Mad King makes a point to let him do the talking instead of Mogar just for that reason.
    • Vav has it much worse than Mogar. Vav's a Nice Guy compared to "Mr. It's All About Me" X-Ray. However, he has no clue at all that X-Ray is helplessly jealous towards Vav being attracted to Ash Samosa, the Intrepid Reporter out to cover the Mogar story. Thus, he sees nothing wrong at all at doing something like swiping all of their clues about Mogar and giving them to Ash or when put in a Sadistic Choice between saving X-Ray or Ash, choosing Ash was the wrong idea. When X-Ray blows off Vav and Ash, guilty over using him to push the story, leaves him, all Vav can do is shout to the heavens "What the bloody hell is going on?!"

    Web Comics 
  • Katherine of Wapsi Square is remarkably observant, but lacks any social skills, so it makes sense that she would fall into this trope at times.
  • Marty of Dubious Company. He has no idea why Elly isn't into him or why Sue wants to shove her boot up his rectal cavity. He is able to recognize when he pisses off his brother, though.
    Izor: Something needs to be done about Walter.
    Marty: Yeah. No fair keeping all the cute ones up on the bridge. All we get is Sue here.
  • Jake of Homestuck. Most likely due to his upbringing as an orphaned, isolated inhabitant of a deserted jungle island, Jake has a tendency to be oblivious to the feelings of others, mostly Jane's. It's also implied that in his previous incarnation as Grandpa Harley, he was similar and ran away from home and from Nanna without apparently considering how it made her feel.
  • Girls with Slingshots:
    • Hazel is not good with lesbians, babies (and people who have them), animals, or her boyfriend (the last one gets her dumped).
      Jamie: Why are we friends, again?
    • Candy's reactions to being called out on her misandry seem to point to her being this way, too... though attempted rape is kind of pushing the definition of "innocent".
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Lalli, Emil, Tuuri and Sigrun come at this trope from separate directions:
    • Lalli is Literal-Minded, has No Social Skills, prefers to work alone and is suspected to have some form of Autism Spectrum Disorder, all leading to someone with little use for social niceties.
    • Emil, on the other hand, is a Spoiled Sweet Jerk with a Heart of Gold and a good person at heart... as long as he can remember that there are other people in the world than him.
    • Tuuri has a habit of not completely taking other people's point of view into account, which she apparently picked up while dealing with whatever disorder Lalli has. The problem is that both mages of the team (one of whom is Lalli himself, the other just starting to awaken during the story) frequently need her as a translator, and they very literally have a different perspective on the world than most people. This causes a lot of important information to get lost in the translation given to their commander.
    • Sigrun apparently just plain doesn't believe in being tactful.
    • Mikkel occasionally falls into this as well, since he's a Flat-Earth Atheist and shares a language with one of the crew's mages, causing him to dismiss concerns that are completely legitimate from the other's point of view.
  • Sunati of Always Human makes the mistake of regarding her girlfriend Austen as Inspirationally Disadvantaged due to her inability to use "mods", nanotech body modifications used in the scifi setting, which offends the latter.
  • Denmark of Scandinavia and the World fame is prone to this. This usually contrasts with his laid-back and... friendly attitude towards everyone around him. Of course, the character being based on Denmark, most of his comments turn up racist and insensitive mainly towards the middle-eastern or african characters.
    • Not that it can't help him out once in a while.
      Denmark: Hey there, sexy lady! Can I buy you a drink?
      Brother Thailand: Before you go any further, you should know that I'm not Sister Thailand, I'm Brother Thailand.
      Denmark: ... Oh.
  • In Champions of Faraus, Some of the gods and goddesses slip into this on occasion.In the short story "Will's induction", the godess Leilusa cheerily tells Will that he's getting a promotion to high priest at the funeral for his aunt, Leilusa's former high priestess.While standing at the foot of her grave.
  • Grrl Power: When Sydney sees a bindi on an Indian doctor's head (that she somehow missed in their previous meetings), she immediately yells "SNIPER!" and tries to tackle the doctor to the ground. The doctor punches her out and storms off.
    Dr. Chevy: I feel like I should have been offended... but she did dive to my aid, so...
    Arianna: I'll have a word with her anyway.
  • League of Super Redundant Heroes: Eva (aka Buckaress) falls into the "micro-aggression" under Real Life when clarifying whether she's meeting her girlfriend's sister or "sista".
    Alex: My actual sister. What's wrong with you?
    Buckaress: I'm white and need things explained to me. I thought we'd been over this.

    Web Original 
  • Arthéon's Season 4 girlfriend Kary in Noob. Arthéon really loves Kary to the point that he actually wants to marry her in real life. After they find a unique item together, Kary agrees to a wedding on the online game that they're both playing. In the middle of the ceremony, a game-wide event is triggered and Kary prefers going to see what it's about rather than finishing the ceremony, stating it was just something they were doing for fun anyway. This breaks Arhtéon's heart to the point of causing a Rage Breaking Point. The main culpirt in that insensitivity is however the fact that she seemingly was taking the relationship less seriously than Arthéon and assumed it was the same thing for him.
  • Carlos from Welcome to Night Vale is this towards Cecil sometimes. He does his best to fix the situation once he does finally notice it, though.
  • When Hooper, the new mechanic on board of the S.S.Beatrix meets the mute pilot Josie, he starts speaking to her in an exaggerately loud way. Takes him a while to understand that Josie can hear just fine.

    Western Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Pinkie Pie often falls into this trope.
      • In "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", she can't stop gushing about how great the cider at Sweet Apple Acres is, despite Rainbow Dash (who didn't get any cider) growing increasingly irritated. What makes it even worse is that Pinkie Pie had also a) gave the suggestion to other ponies to camp out in front of the cider stand, b) was in front of said line and c) put up a pile of coins and walks off with at least ten mugs of the frothy stuff without realizing that others wouldn't get sips. Thankfully she gives one of her mugs to Rainbow Dash at the end.
      • The episode "A Friend in Deed" is basically twenty minutes of Pinkie Pie annoying Cranky Doodle Donkey while trying to cheer him up.
      • And she unintentionally helped cause the termination of Nightmare Night in "Luna Eclipsed" due to managing to alienate Princess Luna. She genuinely thought it was just part of the fun.
      • She takes this to the extreme during "Filli Vanilli", constantly setting off Fluttershy's stage fright and upsetting her.note 
    • Twilight Sparkle is pretty prone to this herself.
      • In "Baby Cakes", she innocently tells Pinkie that she knew that Pinkie probably couldn't handle the responsibility of caring for baby twins. She doesn't seem to notice that Pinkie is offended by this, even as she is pushed out the door.
      • In "The Last Roundup", Twilight slams the door in the face of a mailpony after getting a letter from Applejack. On his birthday. Granted, she was worried about her friend, but you can't help but feel sorry for him. (Pinkie Pie does give him a slice of cake, though.)
      • When researching the Mare in the Moon, she dumps a pile of books on Spike's head looking for the right one, and doesn't even notice.
      • In "Spike At Your Service" she once again is so buried in her work fails to notice Spike as he tearfully explains he is honor-bound to serve Applejack and must leave her. She is visibly guilt-ridden when Applejack later coaxes her out of her studies and explains what happened.
    • The episode "Dragon Quest" has Rarity telling Spike that he's better than the other dragons, because he has something special that they don't. Spike gleefully asks what it is, and then Rarity says he has "The cutest widdle chubby cheeks," unintentionally humiliating him in the process:
      Rarity: Oh, isn't he adorable when he waddles off in anger?
      Spike: Waddle!? GAAHHH!
    • Spike himself has bouts of this due to his sometimes obnoxious sense of humor and inadvertent bluntness. In "Hurricane Fluttershy", he constantly aggravates Fluttershy's low confidence concerning her poor flying skills, but just doesn't get why Twilight keeps giving him nasty glares.
    • Fluttershy also falls into this at times, such as when she makes Rainbow Dash's stage fright even worse in "Sonic Rainboom", describing how everyone in Cloudsdale, including the Wonderbolts and Princess Celestia would be watching her and see any mistakes she made.
    • Speaking of Rainbow Dash, this could be a reason as to why she starts off seemingly uncaring about Fluttershy's phobias in the early episodes even willing to prank her. She has impatience in Dragonshy, doesn't realize her spending time with Gilda is essentially alienating her friend Pinkie Pie, teases Spike for wearing an apron in Dragon Quest, in her lust for cider, ends up making Fluttershy feel uncomfortable in Bats, destroys the Cloudsdale weather factory to stop winter just to spend more time with her tortoise, shoves said tortoise to the side in the episode he becomes her pet, tries to get Fluttershy to fly in the tornado by pushing her against her will, (though Fluttershy goes anyway because of Rainbow Dash, she still is told to suck it up by Rainbow Dash before the pegasus quickly realizes who she was talking to and changes her tone) and even unknowingly causes Scootaloo to be afraid of the Everfree Forest by telling ghost stories.
    • The Cutie Mark Crusaders, when inviting Babs Seed into their club, make her painfully aware of her lack of a cutie mark, something she came there to forget about in the first place.
    • Among the Cutie Mark Crusaders Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle tend to do this without thinking such as leave their friend alone when she's clearly broken about being teased for being unable to fly, Sweetie unknowingly almost causes Rarity to lose her job just from changing a stitch, and Apple Bloom when she finds the toy Big Mac and her used to play with, kinda just shrugs it off leaving her big brother to be very hurt.
    • Starlight Glimmer is this trope personified in both villainous and heroic versions, as everything she has done in the series to date was based around having good intentions but messing up badly due to her lack of tact and simply just not thinking.
      • As a villain, she really did have good intentions and a point taking talents away from other ponies, as differences do create problems between friends, except she still held onto her own talent in order to do so, exposing her as a Hypocrite, completely undercutting her entire message and making her a Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist.
      • After turning over new leaf and graduating to Sixth Ranger, Starlight Glimmer still uses her magical talent to solve problems, only to not only fail to fix things, but actually make things worse. In No Second Prances, Starlight uses her magic to create a cake, except it ticks off the non-magical Mrs. Cake, who believes Starlight is trying to put her out of business.
      • Starlight later ends up scaring away Big Macintosh by casting a talking spell on him so she can talk to him more.
      • Starlight's insensitivity really comes to the forefront in Every Little Thing She Does, where she once again uses magic, a mind control spell in particular on her Mane Five friends in order to her friendship lessons done more efficiently. Unsurprisingly, it spectacularly fails (or worked too well depending on how you look at it), and the Mane Six are furious with her afterwards. Starlight Glimmer still hasn't quite gotten the message about irresponsibly resorting to magic to solve problems.
  • Parodied in a Family Guy skit about high school kids (and no, this isn't taken out of context): note 
    Girl: Hey Tyler, you going to algebra?
    Tyler: Yeah, I'll see you there.
    [The girl instantly breaks down bawling, then leaps out a two-story window]
    Girl's friend: You're awful!
    Narrator: The preceding joke is brought to you by: Men.
    Invisible Backup Band: Men! We don't know what we did!
  • Futurama:
    • Done repeatedly in "War is the H-Word", where Leela is pretending to be a macho guy, and Bender unknowingly "compliments" her on the macho stereotypes least suited to a woman:
    Bender: You're my kind of soldier, Lemon. A foul-mouthed, barrel-chested, beer-bellied pile of ugly muscle.... But sweet girls aren't for you, eh? You hard-fighting, hard-farting, ugly, ugly son of a—
    Leela: Stop! Stop flattering me!
    Fry: "Put that checkbook away, because I've discovered something more important. My friends. And they aren't worth even a penny to me."
  • Cyborg in Teen Titans in the episode "Troq", when he calls Starfire by the title word. Throughout the episode, the racist Val-Yor has been calling her this, and Starfire told Cyborg it meant "nothing" (without explaining that it meant "nothing" as in "worthless"), meaning he didn't realize how hurtful it was. Becomes a case of Bullying a Dragon when you remember this is a race of super-strong beings who have Eye Beams and energy-hurling abilities.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • Korra was trained for most of her life in a compound where she could be taught the four elements in safety, but as a result when she enters the world as a teenage girl she has No Social Skills and winds up greatly exacerbating a Love Triangle she winds up in because she has no firsthand experience with romance. At one point she plants a Forceful Kiss on her crush after he admits to liking her and honestly doesn't seem to grasp that it's a problem (at first), since he's already in a relationship with someone else.
    • Tenzin's declaration that the Air Nomads will help restore balance until Korra recovers from her injuries at the end of Season Three; while it might not seem that bad, earlier Korra had seen hallucinations of previous villains telling her she was no longer needed, and here's her mentor implying the same thing. She doesn't take it well. During Season Four, she calls him out when he acts this way towards her which causes him to backpedal in what he tries to tell her.
    • Opal Beifong has moments of this when she tries to strike up a teen romance with Bolin, since Opal was raised in the wealthy Metal Clan family and thus has little to no idea of just how hard life can be for someone like Bolin who comes from a lower to middle class background. She's basically the Spoiled Sweet rich girl to his blue collar working man.
  • In Spongebob Squarepants, we have the title character himself. All though SpongeBob means well, he unintentionally ruins other peoples' lives. Just ask Squidward or his boating school teacher Mrs. Puff.
    • It was taken at its worst in "Demolition Doofus" when after his driving caused Mrs. Puff to pop her inflation sac, SpongeBob, who is clueless to what's going on, makes very insensitive comments about her serious condition by saying she should be now called Mrs. Pop, and that he actually likes her that way. It was so bad that this drove Mrs. Puff into attempting to murder the sponge.
  • Moral Orel: Orel Puppington falls under this at times. He's actually a kid with good intentions, but as he's young, naive and often misinterprets advice from other adults, he usually ends up causing more bad than good for people.
  • Dee Dee of Dexter's Laboratory is this at her worst. For the most part, she's just trying to have fun, but she constantly ends up wrecking Dexter's lab and causing him no small amount of grief in doing so.
  • King of the Hill: Dale doesn't realize his son Joseph's true parentage, leading to this exchange with John Redcorn (Joseph's biological father):
    John Redcorn: Joseph hates me...
    Dale: Why would Joseph hate you? He barely knows you.
  • In Mike Tyson Mysteries, "Ty-Stunned", everyone, minus Yung, unintentionally acts insensitive to Miss Ensler when they keep bringing up her husband's mutilated body. Mike Tyson is a big offender when he's having a business meeting with his agent during the mystery.
    Mike: Hey, Miss Ensler, I know you're still grieving, but I want your honest opinion, okay. Do you think I should have a line of neckties?
    Marquess: Michael!
    Ensler: Richard loved ties. They cut off his head!
    (Miss Ensler starts sobbing)
    Mike: Okay, let's do it! Mike Tyson is in the tie business.
  • On South Park, we have Butters in the episode "The Hobbit:"
    Wendy: Lisa Berger asks you out and you call her fat?!
    Butters: (Beat) But she is fat.
    Wendy: Do you have any idea how you made her feel?! She's a really nice girl!
    Butters: I think she's a nice girl, too! She's just too big for me.
  • Justice League: Batman is frequently told how he can never understand the loss of loved ones or he has to hear others talk about how horrible being an orphan is. A darker consequence of secret identities than most.
  • Batman: The Animated Series: In "Robin's Reckoning", Robin is chasing the man who killed his parents, and intends to kill him. Batman tries to stop him, only for Robin to accuse him of having a "stone cold heart" and not knowing how he feels. The look on Batman's face makes him realize what he just said and he apologizes immediately.
  • Steven Universe:
    • A common trait with Pearl in that she doesn't pick up much on what Steven or other humans say or think until she steps over the line, and was unable to realize how upset Amethyst was about her origins.
      Pearl: No, no, Amethyst, you're not the mistake. You're just the byproduct of a (realizing what she's saying) big... mistake.
    • Sapphire's future vision sometimes means that she forgets that the problems she sees solved in the future still affect people in the present. When she realizes this in Keystone Motel, she's so mortified she starts weeping.
    • Rose Quartz was also not immune to this back when she and Greg had started dating. Rose laughs at Greg's attempts to fuse with her in order to get intimate in the same way she can with Pearl, and she says that she loves humans because they're all so funny. When Greg asks in complete seriousness if she respects him, Rose still thinks he's trying to be funny.
    • In "Too Far" when Peridot discovers that Amethyst enjoys her sense of humor, Peridot takes in enjoyment in cracking jokes about everyone, including Amethyst until she unintentionally takes it too far by describing her as defective. When Steven explains that she hurt Amethyst's feelings, Peridot cannot understand what she was saying is wrong and offensive. Peridot has similar issues with Lapis Lazuli. While she understands that Lapis has genuine grievances against her, her attempts to make amends consist of apologies like "Sorry but you were just so useful at the time."
    • Sardonyx. When she is trying to figure out the capabilities of Steven and Amethyst's fusion Smoky Quartz, she unintentionally makes it all about her and does a number on Smoky's ego. When she realizes what she did, the horror makes her de-fuse.
    • Steven have also had his moments of unwitting insensitivity. First, how he pressured Sadie (along with Barb) into competing in a competition she hardly wanted to do in the first place. Second, he gave Lapis a minor guilt trip for not wanting to be Peridot's friend — the same Gem who previously imprisoned Lapis (with Jasper), something that Steven was aware of.
  • One episode of the 90s Mr. Men cartoon has Mr. Forgetful's habit of forgetting things cause him to unintentionally hurt Miss Star's feelings. When he realizes that he hurt her feelings, he tries to cheer her up by tickling her foot.
  • In Bojack Horseman, Diane's first encounter with brother-in-law Captain Peanutbutter ends on an uncomfortable note when Captain starts rambling on about how life is the most precious thing in the world, unaware that Diane recently underwent an abortion.

    Real Life 
  • People with poor social skills — children and shy people who haven't had much chance to interact socially especially — are also prone to this. It's a recognized symptom of Autism Spectrum Disorders, since sufferers are bad at picking up non-verbal cues that would alert them to other people's feelings.
  • Can also happen when you go to another culture. Even if you speak the language, the complexities of social interaction can take a while to learn, and it'll often involve a lot of unintentional insults to the people whose country you're in before you figure out what you should and should not do.
  • Researchers such as Dunning and Kruger have studied for years how well most people estimate their own ability levels or competence and the ability levels or competence of other people. They have found that people who are highly competent and/or highly intelligent nearly always *overestimate* the ability levels of the average person while *underestimating* their own ability levels (because it never seems that difficult for them); in contrast, unskilled people nearly always overestimate their competence (because they lack the knowledge and metacognitive skills necessary both for that level of self-assessment and for successful use of feedback). That's right: the more talented one is, the more likely one is to assume everyone else is just as talented.
    • This has the sad side effect that extraordinarily competent people may come across as snobbish because they constantly have to remind themselves not to expect the average person to be able to keep up with them.
    • It can make for a bitter, painful life when one must constantly choose between the loneliness of always being out ahead of the pack or hobbling oneself until one is as slow as everyone else. Studies like these only make it easy to sympathesize with snobs and both male and female Alpha Bitch es of the intellectual variety.
      • Of course, most people who think they have this problem, as the cited research points out, don't.
    • Less talented people feel insulted when told that the task they failed at, or invested a lot of effort to accomplish is "very easy", leading to a situation where highly intelligent people, by trying to downplay their intelligence, achieve the exact opposite of the intended effect.
  • The term "microaggression," which refers to any kind of thoughtless comment that someone might take offense to (such as using the slang of another culture or referring to someone by the wrong gender), even if it's unintentional, has recently cropped up in the public consciousness, mostly through social media. Whether its usage is warranted or not probably shouldn't be discussed here.