Jerkass Has a Point

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_20100216_kq6j.png

"You're not wrong, Walter, you're just an asshole."
The Dude, The Big Lebowski

He's not good. He's not nice. He's a jerkass. What he just said is not what the main characters wanted to hear but he's right.

The jerkass in question can be anything from your ISO Standard Jerkass or Anti-Hero all the way up to any flavor of Villain (though the chance is inversely proportional to the distance they go down the "slippery slope"). Whoever he or she is, they're seriously deficient in the morals department, at least from the point of view of the perspective characters. Then they have a moment where they say something undeniably true - the good guys don't have to like what he's saying, but they can't deny he's right without deluding themselves. Cases typically involve the listener conceding the point or a trustworthy source agreeing with the jerkass. Perhaps even the protagonist is caught on a moral stumbling block, and the antagonist is all too glad to point out their hypocrisy. After all, at least the antagonist is honest about it. Or maybe its the antagonist who is a hypocrite and sees the moral failings of the others but not his own. It is all too often that the character is Right for the Wrong Reasons, making some legit points, albeit for entirely selfish reasons.

The other main reason a character is likely to say "I can't believe I'm saying this, but I agree with him."

It's worth noting that the Alpha Bitch and the Jerk Jock, two of the main distributors of this trope, have a tendency toward bluntness. While our hero's friends may be hesitant to insult him, these characters don't really care what he thinks and are willing to say exactly what he's doing wrong, without sugarcoating their "What the Hell, Hero?".

A rare outcome of the claim that "We are Not So Different". A response of "Shut Up, Hannibal!" would be out of place, and is likely to get shot down if it appears but a Kirk Summation could work. See also Not Himself and What the Hell, Hero? for situations likely to inspire this. Compare The Horseshoe Effect, wherein two people claim to be ideologically opposed and yet have beliefs in common. See Don't Shoot the Message for what happens when this occurs in Real Life. Sister Trope to Dumbass Has a Point, The Extremist Was Right, Hypocrite Has a Point, Villain Has a Point and Wisdom from the Gutter.

This is an In-Universe Only Trope. For it to be Jerkass Has a Point, the work or characters within the work must acknowledge that the jerkass is right. If a character who is often unpleasant makes a point that readers are meant to see as wrong, but still comes across as more sensible than the counterargument, that's Strawman Has a Point. Also, No Real Life Examples, Please!


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 
  • After The Dark Phoenix Saga, a time-displaced teenage Jean Grey is put on trial by Gladiator for the actions of Dark Phoenix. Effectively, she's being put on trial for crimes she hadn't actually done yet. J'son of Spartax, of all people, is the one to call out Gladiator for his unfair treatment of Jean Grey, saying that putting her on trial for things she only might do makes no sense. It doesn't help that Gladiator was really Bullying a Dragon, going after Jean's family and friends in an effort to get to her on the off chance she'd become a Phoenix host. While J'son only called out Gladiator to make the Shi'ar look bad rather than any concern for Jean personally, the point still stands.
  • Basically any time Batman opens his mouth. What he lacks for in tact he makes up for in usually having the right idea. As an example, the "Tower Of Babel" arc has him pointing out that there needs to be failsafes in place in case something happens and the Justice League goes rogue (and considering brainwashing schemes happen pretty often, he's right and the League grudgingly agrees with this)... only problem is, the arc has the League being nearly killed when the League of Assassins uses some of Batman's failsafe plans against them, and the moment Batman points this out is on the aftermath, when he's completely unapologetic about the plans (and the fact that there were no plans to handle him if the League had to take him down) and the League votes to kick him out. The film Justice League: Doom adds a scene where Batman agrees that there's no factual plan to take him down if he goes rogue... because he believes that the Justice League is all the "plan" he needs.
    • There's little sense to Batman creating a plan to take himself out because he'd know the plan. It would be incumbent on the others to make a plan to take him out.
  • In volume 4 of Empowered, the protagonist is overjoyed to be running for the Caped Justice Awards, until Sistah Spooky informs her that the award is a setup used to publicly humiliate the receiver and that she should watch out. Given that Sistah Spooky has been nothing but antagonistic from day one (not to mention breaking her own pedestal, since Empowered was a big fan of hers until they met), she assumes Sistah is just raining on her parade. She's not.
    • And after Sistah Spooky starts acting nice to Emp, Major Havoc takes over the role of "asshole who belittles Emp" on the team and does so with an utterly fanatical streak. Every single little victory Emp has throughout the series, he's able to demolish and then put her in an even worse position. The worst part is that (even if he's only doing so out of an Irrational Hatred for Emp) every single thing he brings up about why she's unreliable is true (such as the entire Superdead community vouching for her... considering the fact that they are superpowered zombies that could go back to be controlled by Deathmonger at any second and there is no way of telling if they are until they go on a rampage, having a very lightweight super that cannot fight any of them off as a liaison is just asking for trouble).
  • Watchmen:
    • In both the graphic novel and film adaptation of the selfsame, Ozymandias is moved to set his plan into action after The Comedian mocks (Captain Metropolis in the novel, Ozymandias himself in the film) for trying to form a Super Team and points out that with the Cold War inching mankind closer to nuclear annihilation with each passing moment, running around beating up petty criminals was pretty much irrelevant. The Comedian's insight makes him one of the best (and nastiest) examples of this ever.
    • The Comedian also condemns Dr. Manhattan for his noninterference. The Comedian shoots a pregnant Vietnamese woman over Manhattan's objections, and is then chastised for it. While this is obviously a heinous crime, he correctly points out that Manhattan could have prevented it with his godlike powers, by teleporting either party away or changing the gun into something harmless, but chose not to. As it turns out, this passive observation eventually leads to the deaths of thousands, if not millions.
  • In Sin City: The Big Fat Kill, while Dwight's driving a car loaded with dead bodies – including a dead cop who wouldn't fit in the trunk in the passenger seat with a pistol slide lodged in his forehead — he gets pulled over. His passenger immediately starts talking about how screwed he is.
    Dwight: This time I can't bring myself to tell him to shut up. Sure he's an asshole. Sure he's dead. Sure I'm just imagining that he's talking to me. None of that stops the bastard from being absolutely right about everything he's saying.
  • The Beast in Transmetropolitan, who has been heralded as the Ultimate Evil by Spider, manages to make a few surprisingly salient points when doing a pre-election interview. Even Spider grudgingly concedes he may be onto something.
  • In Chick Tracts, there's typically unambiguous depictions of who is right and who is wrong, as well as opposing characters who don't make valid points (or at least, aren't supposed to). However, in "Humbug", their take on A Christmas Carol, Scrooge accidentally references a Bible verse while arguing with Cratchit.
    Scrooge: Why in HEAVEN'S name would God bother with insignificant Man? Man is rotten to the corenote ! MAN is a BLIGHT on the earth!
    Cratchit: What a coincidence, Mr. Scrooge. The Word of God says the same thing.
    Scrooge: It does?
  • In X-Men (and the Marvel Universe in general) Senator Robert Kelly constantly encourages anti-mutant laws and registration. However rather than just being a jerkass he actually has a reason for his rhetoric; namely that mutants can be massive threats to public safety and national security if they choose so or can't control their powers well. The first film has a sequence where he mentions Shadowcat (whose power is to phase through solid matter) and correctly points out how much of a huge security risk such a person could be if they decided to commit crime. It's often pointed out that Kelly does have valid points, but his rhetoric and fiery personality means that he often takes it too far. (At which point this Trope might be combined with Strawman Has a Point.) Later on Character Development causes him to realize this and tone down his anti-mutant stance, keeping his old talking points while also making sure to encourage human/mutant equality. In these regards he's often contrasted with Grayson Creed, who's just an insane bigot.
    • Another good example of this appears in volume #1 of X-Men: Gold, where a nameless interviewee points out that as mutants develop their powers at random, and those powers can be any combination of extremely dangerous and extremely hard to control, this means any mutant could be not only a Person of Mass Destruction, but also an extremely volatile time-bomb. In essence, she compares being around mutants to being around unstable nitroglycerine... and she's not wrong to do so; even in the Original 5 X-Men, Cyclops' inability to control his eyebeams makes him one missing pair of glasses away from suddenly vaporizing a building full of people. Especially when you factor in that Secondary Mutations are an In-Universe factor, so even a mutant established as harmless might suddenly turn into a destructive monster. It's not a very probable occurrence, but it is a legitimate concern.
  • In Venerdì 12 (from the crazy author of Rat-Man) we're presented with Bedelia, former girlfriend of the protagonist who Really Gets Around and dumped him very rudely (stealing his car in the process) before the start of the series, with her having planned to dump him that day since the start (she even had him tattooed with an expiration date)... Except she also pointed out his many personality defects, and she had multiple points to act so rudely: during the series he admits his incredible shyness drove him to a few rather disgusting actions before her (like kissing her dog at least twice, and eat the pieces of skin she had to peel off after getting a sunburn), and near the end we see what happened the day before she dumped him: annoyed she had not picked up the many mountain-sized hints she wanted to have sex with him, she came at his home and told him flat-out she was there for that, and he, after agreeing (he wanted too, but was incredibly shy), was overcome by his shyness and locked himself in the bathroom until she left. Seriously, you try being polite after that...

    Comic Strips 
  • In Peanuts, Lucy is a mean and "crabby" person who insults the rest of the cast, but sometimes she's very accurate in doing so:
    • For instance, in one series of strips where Snoopy becomes a Beagle Scout and goes on a hike, Charlie Brown wonders if he got lost; Lucy is pretty certain he did, saying, "That stupid beagle couldn't find his way across the kitchen floor!" Not only did Snoopy get lost (and as Lucy is saying that, is waiting for the moon to rise, thinking that he can use it to find his way home because he thinks the moon is always over Hollywood, he's eventually rescued by a Girl Scout selling cookies.
    • There was also the time Snoopy was promoted to Head Beagle. Lucy was comically terrified during the whole arc, calling him incompetent and saying he'd "probably get impeached". Unfortunately, she was right here too. Snoopy was a pretty incompetent Head Beagle (not helped by having Woodstock as a secretary or his predecessor, who left things an awful mess) and by his own admission, every one of the 120 decision he made in a day were wrong. Eventually, true to Lucy's prediction, he was replaced.
  • In the October 26, 2013 Dilbert strip, the Pointy-Haired Boss asks a rather simple question that kind of debunks Alice's rather boastful and idealistic one very quickly. To an extent, it also overlaps with Dumbass Has a Point, given the PHB's typical intelligence.
    Alice: Futurists say that someday, humans will have the know-how to create an entire universe.
    PHB: Where would they put it?
  • Danae from Non Sequitur is a Straw Feminist, a Windmill Crusader, has created a Scam Religion, and endless tries to use Loophole Abuse and/or Insane Troll Logic to gain money, influence, or both. However, unlike her brainy friend Jeffery (who usually points out the flaws in her hair-brained schemes) she's smart enough to know that zombies don't exist, something she tells Jeffery whenever he's preparing for a Zombie Apocalypse.
  • Stuart in Retail is a condescending and somewhat misogynistic district manager who always undermines his employees, but he was in the right when he chewed Marla out for letting her emotions get to her and firing her assistant on the spot for admitting that he lied to her about having a job offer in order to get a raise, rather than letting him work out the two weeks notice he originally gave her. As Stuart coldly tells Marla that covering the assistant's workload for the next few weeks is now her problem since it's her fault for firing him, she expresses her dismay that he's actually right.
  • In Lupo Alberto, Moses uses his power as the farm's leader in rather tyrannical ways, and, being also the farm's guardian, beats up Alberto every time he shows up to meet his girlfriend Martha. Most of the farm's inhabitants are lazy and/or stupid (as shown when Enrico won the election to replace him with such promises as creating a river of milk and honey and getting to Mars before 2020) and need a firm hand (Moses often goes overboard, but it's clear most of it is out of frustration at their shenanigans), and as for his treatment of Alberto... Moses' a Bobtail sheepdog, Martha is a hen and Alberto is a wolf who at times has eaten other chicken, what else should he do?
  • Mafalda: one strip has Susanita say that she want to have plenty of dresses when she grows up, and Mafalda reply that she wants to have plenty of culture instead. Susanita replies as follows:
    Susanita: Can you get arrested in the street for being uncultured?
    Mafalda: No.
    Susanita: Try and get in the street undressed.
    The last panel has Susanita crying, and Mafalda walking away with a sad expression
    Mafalda: It's so sad when you have to beat up someone who's right!...

    Films — Animation 
  • Frozen:
    • A strange example, but one that nevertheless counts, comes up when Prince Hans tells Elsa not to kill two soldiers who had just tried to kill her, saying that it will make her the monster people feared her as. This is most likely done to manipulate her, since he's able to take advantage of her hesitation to redirect one of their crossbows to knock down the ice chandelier and knock her out, but she accepts his point. He also points out how stupid Anna was for falling for him at first sight- all the more of a Jerkass move because he's gloating over his betrayal of her, and all the more of a good point after he's shown his true colors.
  • During a pseudo-drunken rant in The Boxtrolls, Snatcher gripes about how all Lord Portley-Rind and his fellow White Hats do is sit around and waste taxpayer's time and money on eating fancy cheeses, which is a startlingly accurate description.
  • In the Lucky Luke film Daisy Town, Joe Dalton, out for revenge against Lucky Luke and the titular town, tries to provoke a local Native tribe into attacking them... by warning them of a future in which the railways have brought civilization across the plains, the buffaloes have been driven off, and the natives are reduced to selling souvenirs.
  • 1 from 9, for as big of a sniveling coward as he is, spends a good portion of the film raising very good points about how the titular 9's actions do nothing but put them at risk, and especially when he points out that 9's rescue mission ended in failure (as he predicted) and only served to awaken The Machine. When 9 tries to give him a dose of Shut Up, Hannibal! by calling him a coward, 1 again raises a good point:
    1: Sometimes fear is the appropriate response.
  • Barbie In Rockn Royals: Even Erika's friends at Camp Royalty acknowledge Princess Olivia's point when she accuses Erika of hogging the spotlight.
  • Mr. Potato Head in Toy Story isn't quite fond of Woody, and loves mocking him at every angle he can find. However, Potato Head is justifiably ticked off at Woody knocking Buzz out the window, and asks Woody if he would do the same to Potato Head (and on that note, pretty much every other toy in the room) if Andy started playing with him more often. While Woody only meant to knock Buzz behind a dresser instead of out the window, Potato Head's accusations are still on-point; it convinces the other toys to turn on Woody, and later refuse to help rescue Woody when he's taken to Sid's house.
  • Wreck-It Ralph:
    • The Nicelanders are fairly justified in not wanting Ralph to join the party at their building, considering he is a Walking Disaster Area who is programmed to wreck anything (especially the building the party's in), and true to form, has completely ruined the party within minutes of attendingnote . It doesn't come close to justifying how shabbily they (or any of the other characters for that matter) treat him overall, however, considering he is a genuinely good person who's just a bit rough around the edges.
    • Ralph, for his part, may be destructive and have a bad temper, which resulted in him inadvertently ruining the party, but he also has plenty reason to be upset. He's been shunned and has lived in the dump for thirty years, and the Nicelanders and Felix never even bothered to ask him how he feels, connect with him, or help out. The destruction isn't nearly as bad as it seems either, since dead characters regenerate instantly inside their own game, and damage can be fixed with a magic hammer in seconds. Admittedly, the Nicelanders may have had a point in banning him from this specific party, since characters from other games don't regenerate, but the fact that Ralph has never even eaten cake at all indicates that they've done nothing but ostracize him, which leaves them with no excuse.
  • Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers: As harsh as he is in mocking Mickey Goofy and Donald, one can't deny that Pete is right about how Donald's cowardice and Goofy's idiocy doesn't make them real musketeers.
  • Zootopia
    • Chief Bogo is a curt, tough, demanding boss known for his brutal honesty and has issues with Judy being assigned to his precinct feeling she is a political appointee for PR purposes. But when he chews her out for abandoning her post to chase after a thief, and even worse, continuing the chase through the highly fragile Little Rodentia district, he's certainly right about her actions being unacceptably reckless.
    • Mayor Lionheart, without informing the police or the public, incarcerates several predator mammals who have gone savage, though he keeps them safe in rooms where casualties are minimized, provides them with food and water, and has a round-the-clock medical team trying to find a cure. While he does this partly because he's worried about his reputation, he's also worried that telling the public about what he's done before he can find a concrete answer will cause mass panic, even shouting his concerns after he's been arrested by the Zootopia Police Department. Sure enough, once what Lionheart was covering up gets made public, that's exactly what happens. Even the ZPD ultimately has to acknowledge that what Lionheart did, while questionable, made sense at the time.
  • Maui often snarks to Moana about her sheltered upbringing; namely, why The Chosen One is a naive girl who's never been past the reef of her island, and when Kakamora attack, he tells her to stop asking the ocean for help and that you need to help yourself when there's trouble. Given how very close Moana nearly came to dying after sailing away, it's something our girl takes to heart.
    • For all his snark, Maui really makes a lot of good points, from the glaringly obvious (the ocean choosing a sheltered, naive teenager) to essential life lessons (she has to rely on herself). However, the most important one is arguably the most poignant. Near the movie's climax, he finally gets fed up with Moana and abandons her, but not before chiding her for being unnecessarily reckless and nearly getting both of them killed (which she's done multiple times at this point). The whole scene is sad, but Maui is still right about Moana being too headstrong and failing to the consider the consequences.
  • Judith from the bank in Sing is very unfeeling and humorless about Buster's dreams about theater but she is correct that the theater's business has gone so bad that Buster had to steal electricity and water so she is well within her rights to repossess it due to unpaid bills. Also, she is legally correct that the comeback performance is technically trespassing on bank property without permission.
    • As arrogant and abrasive Mike is, he made two accurate points, even if it was done rudely. That Meena, who was stammering and unable to sing, was holding up the line for the rest of the contestants and that Buster was wrong to lie about the real prize money amount.
    • Nana refuses to lend money to Buster because his previous productions have failed and she feels that Buster's management was the cause of her beloved theater's fall from grace.
    • Meena's grandfather has a tendency to be abrasive, especially when it comes to his granddaughter's stage fright, but when it comes down to it, he's completely right that Meena has to overcome it if she wants to pursue her dream of singing.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • At the time of his heel run in 2012, CM Punk went postal when John Cena won the "Superstar of the Year" award of the Slammy Awards, demanding why someone who got destroyed by Brock Lesnar, lost to The Rock, lost to Punk, failed to win with MITB, and couldn't win Dolph Ziggler's title shot won an award over someone who held the WWE Championship every day of 2012. While these Slammys were determined entirely by popular vote, Punk brought up some credible points. To his credit, Cena obviously agreed as the look on his face when he came out to receive it was a combination of Oh, Crap! and This Is Gonna Suck, not aided by the fact that the award show was in Philadelphia. Cm Punk was rightfully upset about not getting any respect when he was champion all year long yet most of the time was still playing second fiddle to Cena.
  • At the 2014 CZW Down With The Sickness, Rory Mondo gave Danny Havoc internal injuries, attempted to cut him and several members of the CZW staff with a weed whacker, a "weapon" that had been nationally banned from use in all sporting events, likely resulting in a fine or worse for CZW had he been successful, broke the stretcher Havoc was being carried out on and falsely claimed that Havoc had quit when it was referee stoppage that ended their match. Thing was, the match ended with one man unable to continue and another who could, yet the referee called it a "no contest". That might have even been reasonable in most fed but in Garbage Wrestling CZW the logical decision should have been to declare Mondo the winner.
  • Randy Orton's whole motive for going after Triple H during the road to their WrestleMania 25 match was because Triple H screwed him out of his first title run-which was exactly what happen. It was not help by the fact that during the feud he was going after Triple H's family the Mcmahon's who all were at best Asshole Victim's
    • Funny enough Cm Punk's fed with Orton at Wrestlemania 27 feud was over a similar issue where Punk was after Orton because Orton cost him his first title run by attacking him out before his title match and taking him out of the match as a result, thus Punk never properly lost his belt.
  • Ryback's reason for turning heel against John Cena back in 2013 was because he was sick of Cena never having his back after he was constantly being attack by The Shield despite the fact Ryback had always been there to help Cena. It was very telling that the fans were intentionally unsure if Ryback was a heel since that was a understandable reason to turn on Cena. Further it wasn't help by the fact Cena's rebuttal was simply just accusing Ryback of being a crybaby.
  • Triple H and Stephanie McMahon calling out John Cena for attacking skinny middle aged Jon Stewart. Granted Stewart had cost Cena his title match against Rollins, but still Cena did come off as a sore loser.
  • Chris Jericho's heel run in 2008 was kicked off because Shawn Michaels had faked an injury during his match against Batista (that Jericho was acting as special referee for and sympathized with) then pulled even more shenanigans when Jericho himself took on Shawn the following month to steal a win. Jericho, rightly annoyed at Michaels and the fans for validating such behavior, invited Michaels onto his Highlight Reel show and beat him down out of frustration.
  • The Big Show's Face–Heel Turn at "Over The Limit 2012" came as a result of the fact that after he was fired by John Laurinaitis for mocking his voice, none of the faces on the roster nor the fans stood up to Laurinaitis on his behalf.
  • The turns of R-Truth, Mark Henry, and Christian all within two months of each other during Spring 2011. R-Truth won a title shot against The Miz's WWE championship, but the week after, John Morrison convinced him to put his title shot on the line. R-Truth snapped when Morrison won the match and took his title shot out of his hands. Mark Henry was in his fifteenth year in the industry and was tired of nobody taking him seriously for that long, so it's no wonder why he finally snapped. Christian finally won his first world title at "Extreme Rules", but Teddy Long forced him to defend it the very next episode of SmackDown against Randy Orton, seeing his dream abruptly ended in just two five days.
    • These stories all came together into the COO Triple H "vote of no confidence" angle that fall, as that time period would see heels being increasingly brutalized at the hands of faces, and the faces in question going completely unpunished (most notably, the fact that WWE did nothing to stop Hugh Jackman, a non-wrestler, from breaking Dolph Ziggler's nose in a match against Zack Ryder). Around the time, R-Truth formed the "Awesome Truth" tag team with The Miz (who was furious at how rapidly he had fallen down the card since losing the WWE Championship that May). Once Triple H fired them, they started randomly attacking WWE stars, creating an increasingly unsafe WWE environment, and eventually leading the heels to revolt and stage a walkout.
  • Muhammad Hassan's story arc was that he was an Arab-American wrestler who was angry at the discrimination he faced post-9/11.

    Theater 
  • Legally Blonde: The Musical: Alpha Bitch Vivienne tells Elle to return to the trial after vowing not to practice law all around.
  • Subverted in Thirteen when Lucy tells Kendra she should thank Evan for getting Kendra and Brett back together But really. Lucy set the whole thing up so that she could be with Brett. It's a case of Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • The Witch of Into the Woods has this effect on the characters; regardless of whether they say so aloud, they are visibly humbled by the breaking speech that is "Last Midnight", in which she calls them out on the fact that their wishes and carelessness got them in the trouble they're in now.
    I'm not good, I'm not nice, I'm just right! I'm the witch. You're the world!
  • Freddie Trumper of Chess is correct in his assertions that his reputation as the bad boy of chess have help to renew public interest in the game. He later helps Anatoly realize that winning the championship is his only chance to redeem himself.
  • Edward Rutledge is a great example in 1776, especially with the number "Molasses to Rum." Sure, he's arguing for slavery, but when he exposes Thomas Jefferson's and John Adams' respective hypocrisies, he not only has a point, but it's a historically accurate one.
  • King Lear:
    • Lear gives up his throne and kingdom, granting half to each of his daughters, and then announces that he plans to stay with both of them in monthly shifts for the rest of his life. Goneril and Regan eventually get fed up with this arrangement - especially because Lear insists on travelling with an entourage of one hundred knights - and tell him that if he's going to live with them, he has to be more accommodating and send the knights away. Lear launches into a tirade when they do this, claiming that they're "thankless," but while Goneril and Regan do go too far, they're completely right. Lear spends his days partying and hunting with his knights, then storming into his daughters' castles and demanding that they wait on him and his entourage hand and foot. The princesses may be too extreme in their treatment of their father, but they're justified in trying to devise an arrangement that works for everyone, not just Lear. Of course, as Lear says he is a man more sinned against then sinning. To Jacobean audiences, him attempting to abdicate and divide the kingdom would not be approved of.
    • Edmund is clearly a despicable person, but he is right to criticize the way that society treats bastard children. He also points out the foolishness of Gloucester's astrological beliefs and how they provide a convenient excuse for people to pretend that their mistakes and misdeeds are somehow not their fault. Then again, Gloucester's predictions do turn out to be quite accurate.

    Visual Novels 
  • There's many occasions in the Ace Attorney series when Phoenix, Apollo or Athena will admit the prosecutor (be they whip happy, arrogant, a homicidal maniac or just a plain jerkass) is making a valid point.
    • During the first game, Phoenix lays into Edgeworth about how he became a prosecutor, the opposite of being the defense attorney he wanted to be as a child, and asks him how he can be so ruthless and use any method available to get a guilty verdict for the defendants. Edgeworth immediately counters this by pointing out that the guilty will always lie to avoid the consequences of their actions, so even if a defendant denies having done anything, they couldn't take their word for it, so the best he can do is make sure they get their just desserts and he is basically doing his job. Phoenix is rather stunned after that.
      • He also points out that as long as the prosecutor and defender argue properly for their own sides, the one who wins the argument will be the one who is actually right, thus uncovering the truth of the case. This is nothing less than the core principle of adversarial trial.
    • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for All's second case, it's strongly implied that Dr. Grey is right and that Mimi Miney was, in fact, at fault for the malpractice incident that killed fourteen patients, as Phoenix says near the end of the trial. While Dr. Grey ultimately isn't the one on trial, it does shed light on his killer's motive.
    • Also in Justice for All, Phoenix spends most of the game seeing prosecutors as arrogant individuals who do nothing but obstruct his efforts to defend the innocent even when they should know that the defendants aren't guilty (although his feelings over Edgeworth's disappearance and return are partially influence this), but after he's blackmailed into defending a guilty client while Maya's life is threatened, and his ability to Take a Third Option is in no small part due to Edgeworth and Franziska's help, he becomes somewhat more open-minded regarding the prosecution.
    • In Dual Destinies, prosecutor Simon Blackquill displays animosity towards Apollo's Perceiving, using his bird Taka to attack Apollo every time Apollo tries it. Except until the last case. Though Blackquill's reasoning, a secret ability where no one else understands how it works or can replicate it shouldn't hold up in court. Apollo and Athena both admit that Blackquill may have a point with that.
  • Byakuya Togami often plays this role in Danganronpa. He spends most of his time distancing himself from the group, believing himself to be one of the smartest and most capable people alive, and, therefore, above everyone else present. And while he doesn't have to be such a jerk about it... he's got a point, given how many incredible things he's accomplished without even being out of high school. Also, whenever something sad or horrible happens, you can count on him to coldly lay out the facts or state the status quo.
  • Katawa Shoujo:
    • When Hisao suggests that Jigoro Hakamichi could visit his daughter Shizune, Jigoro counters by, among other things, asking when the last time Hisao has called his parents was. Hisao concedes that he has not made much of an effort to keep in touch with them, although he hates Jigoro enough to be tempted to punch him in the face. Interestingly enough, Jigoro does appear to take Hisao's comment to heart, since he appears at Yamaku later in the route... To ask Shizune if she wants to go fishing with him. He's still a huge ass while asking it, but it does show that the above comment was just an attempt to change the subject and avoid thinking about it. It obviously didn't work.
    • In Rin's route, Nomiya, while not originally a Jerk Ass, asks Hisao at one point while arguing over whether it was right to let Rin walk away from the exhibition whether he has anything comparable to Rin's passion for art. Hisao is forced to concede that he does not.
      • While Nomiya gets incredibly nasty after losing his cool with Rin and Hisao later on, he has a lot of valid points. On a practical level, Rin's future is very much in doubt when she chooses to walk away from her exhibition. While he went overboard, it's not hard to see him as someone who wants Rin to succeed as an artist but simply got fed up with dealing with a seemingly ungrateful pupil.
  • Lotus from Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors brings up the fact that - for anyone to survive the game at all- people will have to be left behind, thus sparking conversation on who it will be. It was brutally pragmatic, but also necessary - nobody knew at the time that everyone could escape the game. She was just trying to solve a bad situation the only way she knew how. And given the tense situation they were in, it's perfectly reasonable that Lotus would want them to decide on who they'd sacrifice as soon as possible. Letting time pass would only make it worse. Of course, when the time comes for her to be left behind in one ending she is fully accepting of her fate.
  • In Plumbers Don't Wear Ties, if you choose to have Thresher reject Jane after she begs him for a job, he will launch into a "The Reason You Suck" Speech against her that shows that he's a rude, misogynistic pervert with a low opinion of job seekers. That said, the main point of his argument- that with over 200 qualified applicants for each position, Jane shouldn't think that she's the only "desperate" one out there- is fairly sound.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY:
    • Weiss, despite being an Academic Alpha Bitch who goes out of her way to insult others, frequently makes good points:
      • When Ruby jumps directly in front of Weiss' magic attack to take out the enemy they were both focused on, Weiss makes the point that Ruby's recklessness and lack of communication nearly got herself killed.
      • While she's rather harsh with Ruby in episode 10, it's because she's angry at the supposed team leader for cheerfully slacking off in class.
      • Her argument with Blake regarding the White Fang in the penultimate episode of volume 1. While Weiss is clearly bigoted towards the Faunus in general, as shown by her reaction to Sun's petty crimes and mischief making, her hatred of the White Fang is not unjustified, since they are a terrorist group trying to Kill All Humans and her family has personally suffered at their hands.
    • Weiss' father Jacques is a self-centered, remorseless profiteer, but he also understands consequences. Ironwood bans Dust shipments to starve the enemy of fuel which damages Jacques' profit margins. Ironwood dismisses Jacques' concern that the Kingdoms will turn on Atlas as stocks run out as self-interest, so Jacques organizes a fundraiser on behalf of Vale to improve PR. Ironwood later locks down Atlas as a precaution against invasion, leaving Jacques concerned that Ironwood is amassing too much power at a time when his judgment is impaired by guilt over Ozpin's fate. Seeing only Jacques' selfishness, Ironwood threatens him in a borderline abuse of power, thereby validating Jacques' concerns.

    Web Comics 
  • Drowtales: As part of the Grey and Gray Morality, this pops up quite a bit. The Kyorl'solenurn, for instance, are surprisingly justified in their extremism against the tainted, especially after recent revelations like the fact that most tainted have been given intentionally faulty demonic seeds that will kill them within 50 years. Quain'tana also has some of this, since while a terribly abusive parent and all around not very nice person she does make good points, especially when it comes to the Sharen, who the readers know are not what they seem at all. This also applies to her interactions with her daughter Mel, who has twice tried to claim submission to her mother, but Quain doesn't buy it, and we the audience know that she's actually right to not trust Mel since she was put up to it by the character who's effectively the Big Bad of the series.
  • In El Goonish Shive, when Susan confronts Tom about being a Manipulative Bastard to score a date with her, he claims everyone manipulates people by responding in ways to get certain reactions. He sees himself different because "At Least I Admit It". Susan acknowledges the point, but shuts down his justification by pointing out the majority of people do that sort of thing for good or otherwise benign reasons, such as protecting a friend's feelings or keeping something private. Tom was just being selfish because he did everything he did knowing Susan wasn't looking to date anyone.
  • In Freefall, when Max Post argues for freeing the intelligent robots, the mayor points out that this will take billions of credits from the corporation that owns the planet and all the military equipment - which will obviously calm everything down.
    • Sam also pulls this on Florence - she might not like to be called a slave, but as Sam points out, she is one, as would be her children (which would belong to Ecosystems Unlimited as "derivative products"). Florence sees his point, which helps prompt her to become more proactive in helping other artificial intelligences receive full rights.
    • During a public debate about whether robots should be allowed full intelligence if it poses a risk to humans, Blunt tries to use the vicious and narcissistic Edge as an example of the risks in intelligent, disobedient robots. Edge argues that obedient, unintelligent robots would pose a similar risk through simple user error by their human masters.
      Edge: You guys give some stupid orders!
  • Girl Genius got pretty unpleasant Zulenna who habitually advocated Baron's dubious actions including imprisonment of "Othar Tryggvassen, Gentleman Adventurer". Agatha and other students ignored this. The guy turned to be more or less as much heroic as he pretended to be... and a dangerous nutcase as a bonus. Zulenna generally has a point any time she is not posturing.
    • On the other hand, it's also been pointed out in-strip that Othar's "Kill all the insane world-wrecking Sparks" master-plan is not entirely without its merits.
  • Guilded Age: A lot of what Miyamoto says about adventurers is harsh-but-true.
  • Homestuck:
    • Karkat has a problem: he is constantly bickering with past and future versions of himself. He's berated for this by nearly everyone, including Jade. But when Jade has to deal with a incessantly whiny version of herself for reasons that would take hours to explain, Karkat pulls this one on her.
      CG: IF I RECALL, IT WASN'T THAT LONG AGO FROM EITHER OF OUR PERSPECTIVES THAT YOU WERE RIPPING ON ME AND MY SMUG WINDBAG FUTURE SELF FOR ARGUING WITH EACH OTHER
      GG: oh come on...
      GG: this is NOTHING like that!
      CG: HOW IS THIS NOT LIKE THAT
      GG: because she's...
      GG: well
      GG: she's ACTUALLY INSANE
      CG: OH I SEE, AND ALL THOSE IDIOT PAST AND FUTURE KARKATS WEREN'T???
    • When undyingUmbrage tells Dirk that Lil' Cal is a juju who will only bring misery to everyone around him, Dirk just waves it off as more of uu's aggressive trolling. Unfortunately, he was telling the truth that time.
    • When Meenah sees Cronus verbally abusing Mituna, she rightfully calls him out on it. He counters that she's a hypocrite since, in an alternate timeline, she grafted him to her spaceship and artificially extended his life to use him as her ship's motor, which is much worse. She can't manage to come up with a good response to that.
  • Ménage à 3 is full of fairly dumb or self-deluded individuals, so the occasional snarky comment from less-than-perfect characters is all too often justified.
    • Roxie's reactions to DiDi's behavior and Damien's flirtatious ways are often ill-tempered and sometimes ridiculously violent, but a lot of what she says about both of them is true.
    • Senna is a classic Rich Bitch. However...
      • While they are in Paris together, she suggests to Gary that they might visit some of the famous museums and galleries — but Gary dives straight into a video game shop, much to Senna's annoyance. She may be a cultural snob, but some readers share her exasperation at Gary's narrow vision.
      • Later, Gary dumps her — for which few readers blame him. But he doesn't seem to understand that he's done so, and makes a joke of the idea to Senna herself. Few readers blame her for slapping his face, either.
    • Sonya is a drama-addicted Stalker With a Crush towards Zii, but pursues Gary for his sexual skills and to put one over on her rival Yuki, actively setting out to seduce him while he and Yuki are a couple; then, when Yuki drops Gary, Sonya gloats over her, and shortly afterwards dumps Gary (in mid-sex, even). "Jerkass" may be an understatement with her. But...
      • She is completely correct in saying that the phallophobic Yuki is a lousy girlfriend for Gary or any other man, she is very happy to show Gary just how much better off he is dating someone who doesn't regularly kick him in the crotch, and she even tries to offer him good advice (which he, as ever, ignores) when dumping him.
      • Even her attempts to seduce Zii away from Erik involve her shrewdly pointing out that Zii doesn't seem to find that relationship totally satisfying — which, given her usual level of smarts, could also qualify as a case of Dumbass Has a Point.
      • And she's one of the few people to call DiDi on her monstrous, unthinking sense of entitlement.
  • In Misfile, Emily ends up calling Molly for relationship advice.
    Molly: Now let's sit back, just us bitches and figure out how to fix this, 'cause being a bitch is kind of my thing, and two bitches is one bitch too many.
  • The Order of the Stick
    • Xykon delivers some foreshadowing to Miko in "The Road to Heck", by way of paraphrasing Yoda: "Fear leads to anger, anger leads to suffering, and suffering leads to the Dark Side." Minus the fear, that's just what happens to Miko later on.
    • Several instances where Belkar says something useful. In "Temporary Weakness", Belkar gives a scathing and insulting speech to Roy, who is in a Heroic B.S.O.D. and strongly considering giving up after Durkon gets turned into a vampire. Roy is initially too angry to form a proper sentence, but reluctantly accepts Belkar's point and presses on.
    • Later on, after Vampire!Durkon rejoins the Order, Belkar insists that they should stake him as soon as possible so they can resurrect him as a living dwarf later, because the vampire is not the dwarf they know. Roy refuses to do so until they have a way to resurrect him prepared, saying that the vampire dwarf is "Durkon enough for their purposes". Then it turns out that the vampire is not Durkon, but a dark spirit controlling his body for evil purposes, making Belkar right on both counts. However, in that case, the non-jerkass also has a point, in that staking Vamp!Durkon will deprive them of crucial capabilities that they need to complete their mission. The fact that he says "Durkon enough for our purposes" implies that he isn't completely unaware of the risks.
    • Belkar earlier called out Hinjo on his Honor Before Reason, claiming that his late uncle Shojo was a braver man since he was willing to sacrifice his own personal honor for the good of his city. Subverted a bit since Hinjo had already been convinced to retreat, so Belkar didn't really need to make that point. He was just being a Jerkass. Though in that case, Belkar was already psyched up to rant at Hinjo before being interrupted by the Mauve Shirt who convinced Hinjo to retreat.
    • Vaarsuvius' killing of Kubota is portrayed as a major Kick the Dog moment, as well as a sign that V's Sanity Slippage is leading the elf down a darker path, but he/she correctly points out that they are trying to save the world here, and don't have the weeks to waste that a trial would take up, as well as the fact that his/her failure to get involved until that point is because finding a way to reunite the Order was a far greater priority than dealing with minor villains.
    • Elan's father Tarquin is full of this, as he acknowledges that it's in his best interest to help the heroes save the world, so he can keep running his empire, and in the best interest of the heroes to let him because they have bigger fish to fry at the moment. He even admits that eventually Elan or someone else will take him out, but that could take years and in the meantime he'll be living it up; for every plucky hero that eventually defeats The Empire, the Empire has to win first or there's nothing to defeat.
  • Pintsize, resident extreme jerkass in Questionable Content, speaks and acts for many readers here.
  • Schlock Mercenary: It's a comic about space mercenaries. Black and Gray Morality is a given, and the Toughs shade of grey tends to shift abruptly. However, it usually slants in favor of individual rather than collective action; Individuals can be kicked in the head when they screw up. The Government can't.
    • Such a moment when Thurl actually said "The pesky little virus has a point, sir."
    • The United Nations of Sol in actually has humanity's best interests in mind most of the time. Unfortunately, they tend to be Well Intentioned Extremists who refuse to admit they could be wrong - especially when it becomes increasingly obvious that the assessments they started with are just plain wrong. They're basically first-responders at disasters who refuse to change their tactics when the disaster isn't what they expected it to be.
      • Laws aren't unreasonable, the military is a completely necessary defense against internal and external threats, the intelligence community has plenty good reason to get involved where it does, and the transhuman immortality project is kept secret for perfectly valid reasons; in its early phases, it does make sophonts functionally immortal while also making them so powerful it takes heavy artillery to kill one; all it takes is one psychopathic immortal to commit a mass murder. Later iterations provide the immortality minus the city-wrecking superpowers. The problem is that everyone employed by and running the government has used this as an excuse for indulging in unilateral solutions and generally sociopathic behavior. Admiral Xinchub claims to do what he does for the good of humanity, but it's clear that he actually enjoys all the horrible things he's ordered to do. The military and spies don't care the least bit about what collateral damage they cause, and frequently end up causing even more problems trying to keep their constant screw-ups secret.
      • In Random Access Memorabilia, the strategy of the UNS specifically required the death of thousands, if not millions, of neutral human civilian scientists. And they couldn't even do that right, the nanotech weapon they use wasn't ready and its malfunctions compromised the mission (not that the abysmal response by management helped). Even the justification for all that turned out to be wrong, the alien artifact they were after turned out to be nothing like what they expected (or rather speculated, since the dig had only just started) and their interference ended up rendering the artifact useless to them. They literally decided that a device they knew almost nothing about was worth committing a massacre over. Then again, earlier in The Teraport Wars they also betrayed the entire galaxy in the middle of the largest war in history against the most powerful and advanced species in the galaxy, all because they wanted to take the Gatekeeper's knowledge and technology for themselves even though they had no idea what it was. They didn't even betray anyone to the enemy, they simply declared war on all their allies in the middle of a military operation. Oh, and they failed, for obvious reasons. It could be considered An Aesop; Once The Government starts crossing the Godzilla Threshold repeatedly, how long before it starts looking for reasons to cross it?
      • The main cast by all means should be arrested and/or executed for some of their actions, but their more heroic acts, constant attempts to limit collateral damage, fairly high standards and general lack of malice(along with some amazingly good luck) has earned them powerful and talented allies who repeatedly shield them from the consequences - though even Petey sometimes thinks they're not worth the trouble they cause. Also, their enemies are much, much worse than them and they've repeatedly demonstrated their skill at handling them. When short-sighted bureaucrats drop the ball and cause completely avoidable disasters, the Toughs can be trusted to get the job done.
  • Something*Positive: When Kharisma leaves the medicaid company at which she works with Davan, she advises him to get out, telling him that he can do better and that she wouldn't wish the job on her worst enemy.
    • Davan himself is the living embodiment of this trope; for that matter, his father Fred is, too.
  • In Sticky Dilly Buns, jealous rival Angel tries to undermine Dillon's relationship with Jerzy ... mostly by telling Jerzy the truth about Dillon.
  • This is a trait of Mike from the Walkyverse. He seemingly exists solely to make others miserable, but on a few occasions he has done so by pointing out when they are being hypocrites or making bad decisions. Who cares if it causes Character Development in the long term, as long as it makes them suffer in the short term he seems fine with it.
  • Played for Laughs in The Last Days Of FOXHOUND. Revolver Ocelot runs out of medication for his Chronic Backstabbing Disorder (treated as an actual disease) while on a bus, and the bus driver refuses to pull over for him. Then the bus driver triggers his CBD by leaning down to pick up a quarter. Ocelot's inner conflict manifests as a Good Angel, Bad Angel, where the good angel says that he shouldn't stab the driver in the back. The bad angel tells him that he should because the driver refused to let off Ocelot after being told that he was very sick and could have a fit, and also because the driver is taking his eyes off of the road while driving a bus full of people. The good angel concedes his point and just suggests that he stops the bus so that no one else gets hurt.

    Web Original 


Alternative Title(s): Advice From Libby

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/JerkassHasaPoint