A character is lecturing another character; then somehow, either by someone else telling them the truth afterwards or the one they are lecturing breaking down or otherwise indicating that they've gone too far, the character realizes that they have been a complete Jerkass
It may have been a "The Reason You Suck" Speech
, but it's gone too far.
One variation is a normally nice character ripping into another character that they don't think is present, not realizing until afterwards that the character they are ripping on was
in earshot, and realizing that even if they had a point, they were being a jerk.
Could be considered a minor version of My God, What Have I Done?
and Heel Realization
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Anime and Manga
- When Kakashi has Sasuke tied to a tree pre-time skip and is talking about how nothing good ever comes of revenge, Sasuke accuses Kakashi of not understanding, and proposes killing everyone Kakashi holds dear, but then Kakashi says all his loved ones are already dead. Sasuke then stops talking long enough for Kakashi to tell him that they have lost much in the past, but gained new comrades, and that he should be using his Chidori to protect those comrades, rather than on his quest for revenge. Admittedly Sasuke's later character outshines this little moment, still was a accidental Jerkass moment.
- Sasuke finally realizes what a dick he's been and decides to figure out the real reason he fights.
- Earlier on, Sakura starts complaining about how Naruto turned out spoiled because he had no parents to discipline him, and Sasuke angrily tells her that she has no idea what she's talking about. She then begins to consider being nicer to Naruto.
- It doesn't help though, because she still winds up unwittingly tormenting him. This culminates in a bogus love confession, which he immediately calls her out on.
- School Days: Say what you will about Matoko Ito, but he gets hit with his twice in the anime. Though the second time it happens, he gets hit with a knife in the gut before he can actually make amends.
- Card Captor Sakura: Sakura is firmly convinced that Touya is nothing but a Big Brother Bully and has little more than scorn for him. When she discovers that he knew about the Clow Cards and her magic all along and had been looking out for her, and had even sacrificed his sixth sense to save her bodyguard Yue, she is left in tearful remorse over how badly she misjudged him.
- Blood+: In the flashbacks in episode 22, Saya gets exasperated with Haji for his refusal to cooperate with her and tells him to go back to where he came from, only to be taken aback when Haji breaks down and informs her that he's not at the Zoo by choice and that Joel and Amshel bought him. It's this realization that marks Saya's change from Spoiled Brat to Spoiled Sweet.
- In the Pokemon fanfic A Pikachu in Love, Pikachu has several of these in regards to how coldly he's been acting to Ash, but what really hits home is when Misty is carrying him back to the camp site after he had been attacked by the Ursaring, and she starts to talk about how much they all love him and how devastated they'd be if something had happened to them, especially Ash. It's at this point Pikachu realizes just how loved he is, and that Ash would never forget about him or leave him behind.
- In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, Harry hears an I Have This Friend version of the Snape-Lily-James story by Snape, and draws perfectly reasonable conclusions from what little information he is given...expressing them very bluntly and completely and utterly hurting Snape's feelings. Harry isn't insensitive by all means, but this story taught him he should know exactly what he's talking about before recklessly flapping his mouth.
- The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fic Post Nuptials takes the Jerkass Realization Twilight's friends are implied to have in the season 2 finale for ignoring Twilight's warnings against the evil Cadance (actually an imposter), and brings it Up to Eleven: here they realize that they'd broken Twilight's heart by turning their backs on her, and profusely beat themselves up over how they could have treated her so coldly.
- In Team 8, Sakura overhears Naruto warning Rock Lee of trying to win her affections because she cares for no one but herself and Sasuke and is not a nice person to begin with. Sakura realizes Naruto is telling the truth and tries to become a better person.
- In the Ponies Of Olympus series, Rainbow Dash has one at the end of Ditzy Don't when, upon calling out Mademoiselle Doo for treating her like a dumb foal just because she's not as good as her, realizes that that's the exact same way she's always treated Ditzy.
- Jen's friends undergo this in Princess of the Blacks when Jen starts acting more withdrawn than normal. When they insist she not bottle up her problems and share with them, Jen shares some of her Dark and Troubled Past.
- Tracey, who managed to avoid it the first time, really sticks her foot in it when she makes fun of Jen's boggart: a small crying child. Jen curses her out then reveals that her boggart isn't a random child crying over some minor scrape; it's her shortly after being thrown out on the streets and not long before she was raped.
- In The End Of Ends, after Beast Boy leaves his resignation letter behind, the other Teen Titans regret how they treated him in response to his behavior following being rejected by Terra. Unfortunately, it's too late for them to make amends and things get much worse.
- When Tony Stark exclaims how great it is that Harry is immortal in Master of Death and What it Means, the others quickly shoot him down. Harry's explanation of what it means to truly be immortal makes Tony realize just how insensitive his remark was.
- A rare example of the offended doesn't notice the jerkass moment occurs in The Mouse of Konoha. After Anko remarks that Naruto's ability to juggle is "an interesting trick for a civilian but useless to a shinobi", Naruto explains that he taught himself because none of the other kids would play with him and playing catch by himself got boring after a while. Understandably, Anko feels horrible afterwards.
- Anko again in NBH when she angrily asks Naruto if he knows what it's like to be hated for something that wasn't his fault. It's only after Yuugao explains things to her that Anko realizes/remembers that Naruto is a jinchuuriki.
- In a YAHF, Buffy gets one after Xander rolls up his sleeve and explains he has his costume's full memories when asked if he had anything leftover from his transformation on Halloween. While Giles and Willow are horrified, Buffy doesn't see what the big deal is about such a small tattoo, until Giles explains that it's an Auschwitz tattoo.
- Misunderstandings: Sergeant Peppermint York gets one when Peter shows her the scar from his time in a sideshow and later when her subordinate Swift Wind angrily tells her off, saying he has forgiven Peter for accidentally shooting him and asks her "why do you hate him so much?". She realizes she has been targeting an innocent creature for nothing and confesses to her role in the conspiracy against him.
- She gets an even bigger one when she learns of the sabotage, and how it will not only kill Peter, but it nearly destroyed Canterlot and is willing to drop her anonymity, realizing she supported a group that had no interest in protecting ponies.
- Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness Act III: After spending the majority of the fic giving Tsukune and his friends the All of the Other Reindeer treatment, the entire Yokai Academy student body gets hit with this hard after seeing the gang risk their lives to save them from first Kuyou and then a Fairy Tale armada.
- The Rise Of Darth Vulcan:
- Diamond Tiara's experiences while being held hostage by Vulcan do this to her, forcing her to realize just how terrible she was to everyone... which was Vulcan's whole point.
- When Vulcan is a prisoner of the Princesses, Luna uses Jack Bauer Interrogation Techniques to get information out of him, believing him to be the black-hearted warlock he presents himself as. When she realizes that he's just an empowered teenager with trust, authority, and anger issues, she's horrified at herself, but it's too late to explain herself to him.
- Harry Potter There are MANY in Harry Potter.
- Probably was when Ron was craning his neck to get a look at the Longbottom's beds, then he is told of the Longbottom's …condition.
- When Hermione is lecturing Harry again about his connection to Voldemort and makes the mistake of saying he likes it. Harry's Death Glare pretty much shuts her up and has her bending over backwards apologizing.
- The Magical Maintenance man the trio forced to leave was there to be with his wife when she had to go up against Umbridge and the Anti-Muggle trial, cue Jerkass Realization.
- Slughorn is pretty much a vest wearing walking example of this trope.
- When Hermione criticizes The Quibbler in front of Luna in a very Jerkass way, then finds out Luna's the daughter of the Quibbler's Editor, though seeing as how the girl had been reading it when Hermione walked in, it was rather rude regardless.
- In Order of the Phoenix, Dudley has one when he is attacked by the dementor and is shown the sort of person he really is. This causes Dudley to cease bullying Harry (he is never shown to pick on him again after this point in the books) and try to be a better person (leaving tea outside Harry's room, telling Harry he doesn't think he's a waste of space).
- Harry himself went through this in the fifth book. When his mental connection to Voldemort as well as Umbridge's actions at Hogwarts make him rude and short with Ron and Hermione, he realizes how moody he'd been. He tries to reel himself in, though he keeps being rather touchy throughout the book until Sirius dies.
- The novel How To Rock Braces and Glasses by Meg Haston is basically a book-long one of these for protagonist Kacey Simon. She's the Alpha Bitch of her school, but she genuinely believes that her Brutal Honesty is helpful and beneficial to those she uses it on. After losing her popularity due to the sudden acquisition of braces and glasses, she realizes that her fellow students mostly consider her a colossal Jerkass and sets out to change this fact by being nicer.
- Stargate SG-1 (Episode: Lifeboat) Daniel Jackson has become host for about a dozen different consciousnesses and the team goes back to the planet where it happened, they find the person responsible and Sam pretty much orders him to remove the said consciousnesses from Jackson's mind, thus killing them, theorizing that they are already dead. Then she finds out she just asked the man to kill his 10-year old son. Yep, Sam's a Jerkass.
- Scrubs: Quite a fan of these moments as well.
- After JD's father passes away, JD gets mad at Cox, Cox narrowly averts this trope by getting mad at JD but immediately feeling like a Jerkass, as he knows JD's father has died. Then Ted joins in the taunting of JD, Ted asks why are they clapping and Dr Cox says, "His dad died, dammit...." Ted then immediately stops clapping. Ted, You're a Jerkass.
- Also is Season 8 when Elliot is shown how depressed Keith is over her treatment of him.
- A rather odd one in where JD has just revealed to the entire waiting room that he received a DUI last night. Cue flashback to a few minutes ago with Nurse Roberts saying that a girl involved in an drunk driving accident had made it, but her mother had died. However, the jerkassery lies in the way that he brought it up so flippantly, not in the DUI itself since, as we see earlier in the episode, he actually got it for walking (not driving) his moped home while drunk, with the moped on only to play the radio, making it seem like he was about to get on while intoxicated.
- Dr. Cox spends most of an episode doing community service, and is being driven up the wall by Denise Lemmon, an annoyingly optimistic paramedic, who simply will not shut up about her son, her son's favorite baseball card, or how he'll always be ten years old to her. Eventually, after Denise crashes the ambulance, Cox loses it and goes off on a rant towards her. Minutes later another paramedic hands Cox the baseball card, that was recovered from the ambulance, and Cox finally puts the pieces together, realizing that Denise's son had been killed in an accident.
- NCIS Tony does this when talking about Gibbs often, he mentions things like his divorce rate, or something about bourbon, cue the scene of Gibbs standing behind him, or walking in from nowhere.
- Arrested Development A rare moment when a character actually realizes that they've said something terrible:
Tobias: [to Michael] ...And second-of-ly, I know you're the big marriage expert - oh, I'm sorry, I forgot, your wife is dead!
[Michael and Lindsay stare in silence]
Tobias: I'm sorry, that was one hundred percent inappropriate and I do apologize profusely. I do apologize profusely, I'm - oh...
- In Episode 2x04 of Glee, Rachel Berry has a self-inflicted one of these when she finally realizes that her determination to win at everything and hog all the spotlight, all the time, has made her into a genuinely loathsome individual. She then spends the rest of the episode trying to lose at something so she can consider herself a good person again. Shame it doesn't last - by Episode 2x09 she's walking into class with her mouth taped up in protest over someone else being featured at Sectionals, and when her eternal rival Quinn Fabray hands her an immensely satisfying talking-to about the selfish 'schoolgirl bubble' in which she lives her life in 2x15, all it inspires is a dreary self-justificatory whine set to music - but it was nice while it did...
- In Sherlock, the eponymous hero never holds back from telling the truth as he sees it, generally not caring (or even realizing) if he offends or upsets people in the process. But every now and then he has a moment of clarity where he belatedly realizes just how insensitive he’s being. One notable example is when he draws attention to one of Molly’s hand-wrapped Christmas presents, stating that she’s obviously arranged it specifically for someone she has romantic feelings for, and spends a good few minutes rather brutally lampooning her for it, before picking up the parcel and realizing that it’s his name written on the card (by which time Molly is close to tears and everyone else in the room is massively uncomfortable). For once, he not only realizes what a jerk he has been, he actually apologizes, to the shock of everyone watching.
- At one point in Persona 3, Junpei suddenly comes to the conclusion that he had been a jerkass to the protagonist; apologizes, and is more pleasant afterwords. What makes this so surprising is that despite the franchise, this did not require a Battle in the Center of the Mind or a revelation gained from battling one's dark reflection.
- Tidus of Final Fantasy X has one when he's told that Yuna will die if she completes her pilgrimage and performs the Final Summoning, because earlier in the game he kept talking about what they would do after she beat Sin, while she knew the whole time that there wouldn't be an after for her.
- Parodied in Ansem Retort.
We've faced worse than this. Remember when Disneyworld was destroyed? Marluxia:
Larxene did that. Axel:
Well, what about that plane that got hijacked? Marluxia
: You hijacked that plane. Axel:
Okay, but there was that corrupt government. Marluxia:
That was, and still is Zexion. Axel:
Wow, we're assholes
- During the Midnight Screenings for The Zookeeper, Jerrid blasts Jake for not showing up, thus forcing Jerrid to watch the movie. In the recent Harry Potter movie, Jake says the reason he didn't show up was because he had a huge family emergency. The audience also probably thought Jake was dipping out so it gets the audience with a Jerkass Realization, along with Jerrid's.