Drax: You, Quill, are my friend.This character picks on the short girl for being short. He'll ask a woman for her age. He'll bug the flamboyant guy about his sexuality. And the worst part is, he doesn't realize what he's doing is rather painful for the person on the receiving end of the criticism. In the worst cases, he might not stop at one insult and even continue until someone forces him to stop, or the other person runs away crying. (His reaction to this is probably: "Huh? What did I do?") What separates him from the Jerkass is that this person is actually a good guy - he's just clueless to things that people might generally be sensitive to. To him, it was just a fun joke or an honest assessment - no offense intended. When others bring up the fact that what he's saying is hurting other people's feelings, he tries 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.
Drax: This dumb tree, he is my friend.
Drax: And this green whore; she, too...
Gamora: Oh, you must stop!
Drax: This dumb tree, he is my friend.
Drax: And this green whore; she, too...
Gamora: Oh, you must stop!
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Anime and Manga
- 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 all...work...out?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.
- 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 JoJo's 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 did that for you!". Now, Shinn meant well, but in his usual fashion he'd made assumptions without bothering to get a good understanding of the situation, and the scene turned ugly fast. Killing a man's oldest friend then bragging to him that you did it for his sake? Not cool, Shinn.
- 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.
- 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: Ranma Saotome occasionally had moments of this, but was likely to either be retaliating for something rude done to him, or deliberately being rude just for the hell of it.
- 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.
- 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 appart 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.
- 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 and 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't...man I'm sorry!Quasimodo: It's okay, it's not the first time...
- 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.
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.
- Judy, despite being fervently against prejudice, ends up triggering a race riot and almost ruins her relationship with Nick with her remarks about predators being naturally predisposed to violence.
- Nick himself isn't innocent for pawing all over Dawn Bellwether's fluffy wool without her permission. He's thrilled to get the chance to touch it and doesn't realize what he's doing is rude at best and as prejudiced as following any other stereotype.
- A subtle one happens between Judy and Bellwether after Judy volunteers to take the Otterton case. Bellwether says that "us little guys have to stick together," to which Judy responds, "Like glue." Bellwether chuckles uncomfortably, but says nothing beyond a quiet, "Good one". Glue is traditionally made out of the hooves, hides and bones of ungulates, so comparing a sheep to glue could be construed as racist. (Double-edged, at that — one of the other things glue can be made from is rabbit skin. No wonder Bellwether's so uncomfortable.)
- Clawhauser is introduced this way. He gushes over how cute Judy is and clearly means it as a compliment, but Judy replies that it's very condescending for a non-rabbit to call a rabbit cute, for which he immediately apologizes.
- 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: 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!
- 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:
Drax: You, Quill, are my friend.
Drax: This dumb tree, he is my friend.
Drax: And this green whore; she, too...
Gamora: Oh, you must stop!
- Avengers: Age of Ultron:
Black Widow: Thor, report on the Hulk.
- This exchange when Bruce is feeling down about his time as the Other Guy.
Thor: The gates of Hel are filled with the screams of his victims!
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 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.
- 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.
- In the BBC series, he is apparently a Sociopath, as well.
- He claims to be one, to be sure, 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.
- 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 terrible social skills and Brutal Honesty, not helped by the fact he doesn't think he has any friends (though his relationship with Davos Seaworth seems the closest thing to friendship he has). In the Prologue to A Clash of Kings he 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 their murdered half-brother Robb Stark was a traitor for not declaring for Stannis, although this could certainly be interpreted as correct it wasn't the best 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.
- 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 percieves 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:
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.
- 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.
Kira: This is my home.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- [Voltaire] has the song "Dunce" from his album "Almost Human".
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- In X-Ray and 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?!"
- 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.
- 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 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".
- Hazel is not good with lesbians, babies (and people who have them), animals, or her boyfriend. (The last gets her dumped.)
- Stand Still, Stay Silent: Lalli and Emil come at this trope from separate directions. Lalli is Literal-Minded, Not Good with People, 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.
- 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.
- Arthéon's Season 4 girlfriend Kary in Noob. Arthéon really loves Kary to the poin 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pinkie Pie often falls into this trope.
- Parodied in a Family Guy skit about high school kids (and no, this isn't taken out of context):
- 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!
- 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.
- 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?
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?!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.
- Steven Universe:
Pearl: No, no, Amethyst, you're not the mistake. You're just the bi-product of a (blushes and slowly realizes just what she is saying) big mistake.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Asperger's Syndrome, 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 "microagression," 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 or even unavoidable, has recently cropped up in the public consciousness, mostly through certain hard-left websites. Whether it's usage is warranted or not probably shouldn't be discussed here.