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Right Way/Wrong Way Pair

Huey: You can't just lecture people on morals then get caught in a sex scandal. It's hypocritical.
Riley: I agree.
Huey: I can't stand hypocrisy.
Riley: I can't stand morals.

A pair of characters are compared and contrasted against each other, where one character demonstrates the proper, moral, or effective way to do things, while the other… is a complete failure.

As the Trope Maker is Goofus and Gallant, the characters, if they are named, set up in an Imagine Spot or something similar, will have rhyming, alliterative or Theme Naming

When the characters are related, compare Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling and Youngest Child Wins. In humor, compare Boke and Tsukkomi Routine. Also compare Good Angel, Bad Angel. The "wrong" character may or may not be a Deliberately Bad Example.

Examples

Advertising
  • A fairly Omnipresent Trope where Brand X contrasts itself against Brand Y.
    • Apple uses this in the "I'm a Mac / I'm a PC" commercials.
    • Various cell phone companies will use this and models of their clients to show why each is superior.
  • An anti-drunk driving radio PSA has two girls telling stories of going home from a bar. They're basically the same girl, Sliding Doors style: one drives home and the other takes a cab.
    Girl 1: A squirrel ran across the road.
    Girl 2: A squirrel ran across the road.
    Girl 1: I swerved.
    Girl 2: The cab swerved.
    Girl 1: I hit a guy.
    Girl 2: The cabbie just missed a guy.
    Girl 1: I wish I'd taken a cab home.
    Girl 2: Thank God I took a cab home.
  • A beer ad in Brazil had compared the lives of two men: one spent a night at the bar and the other spent it at home. It pointed five good reasons the bar would be better and none for home. Website charges dot com dot br made a parody of it where home won 3-0.

Comics
  • MAD's "Melvin and Jenkins". Jenkins, a nerdy-looking chap, is polite and intelligent and always tries to do his best; Melvin, on the other hand, is a gangsta wannabe hoodlum who delights in petty mischief.
  • The Captain N: The Game Master comics had "Villain Do's and Don'ts," in which a strongman named Uranos demonstrates the right way to be a villain, and the Eggplant Wizard demonstrates the wrong way. For instance, Uranos uses a forbidding fortress as his base of operations, while the Eggplant Wizard uses a baseball stadium.
  • Played with in Richie Rich. Cadbury serves as a one-man example of this when he trains another butler by showing him first the wrong way, then the right way to act in a particular situation (e.g., making a pass at the maid as opposed to greeting her politely). However, the trainee's employer, checking up on his progress, always manages to catch Cadbury only when he's acting the wrong way, and in increasingly exaggerated fashion. She finally kicks him out, then is pleasantly surprised when her own butler performs his duties so well.

Literature
  • Goofus and Gallant: the Trope Maker.
  • The Bible's book of Proverbs' first 29 chapters carry the thread of contrasting the wise man and The Fool.
  • Doofus and Darling: Manners for the Modern Man, a humour book demonstrating the right and wrong ways to navigate various social situations.
  • Richard Scarry's Pig Will and Pig Wont.

Live-Action TV
  • In The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest, there was a parody of Goofus and Gallant with two criminals one who did things the wrong way (Doofus) and one who did things the right way (Valiant).
  • All That had sketches of “Life With Peter & Flem”, which took Flem's wrong way Up to Eleven.
    After watching a fine program, Peter turns off his television with the remote control. Flem uses a brick.
  • A strange 50's-style fantasy sequence in That '70s Show had "Doofus and Diligent" (Kelso and Eric, respectively) working at a fast food restaurant. The segment was an Imagine Spot by Jackie’s dad, using minimal character exaggeration, to show why Eric got the job and Kelso didn’t. Jackie's dad intentionally (and rightly) framed her boyfriend Kelso as "Doofus". Eric, with the threat of his dad's foot up his ass, was of course "Diligent".
  • The original Mickey Mouse Club had a series of shorts hosted by Jiminy Cricket about safety. Each episode ended with a contest between "You" and "a common, ordinary fool". "You" follows all safety precautions and wins, while the fool got nothing but Amusing Injuries.
  • In Home Improvement, Tim Taylor, on his Tool Time show, is considered to do this deliberately. He has gotten a few rewards for what they consider deliberately doing the wrong thing in contrast to his assistant Al, and showing what happens. Subverted on the Show Within a Show as they're both talented, but Tim is really just accident prone.
  • Malcolm in the Middle: When Malcolm, Reese and Dewey went to play bowling, their parents briefly wondered over which one of them took them to the bowling alley. The story then divided into two universes: one where the mother took them and one where the father did it. Subverted in that neither outcome was the "right" outcome.
  • An early episode of Good Eats had Alton and his Evil Twin B.A. making spaghetti. Alton did it the right way, and B.A. did it the wrong way, resulting in a boilover and a bad texture. Later episodes simply have B.A. demonstrate a way of preparing a savory (usually spicy) version of a sweet recipe Alton does.

Video Games
  • Bioshock Infinite features an in-game example in Duke and Dimwit (pictured above), a pair of young boys frequently featured in Columbian propaganda throughout the game, from posters to penny arcade machines. The twist is that the pair are for educating children in the extremely screwed-up morality of Columbia (best described as "North Korea meets Edwardian Era Eagleland, with horrific cyborgs").
    Are you a Duke, or a Dimwit?
  • In Lyn's normal-mode story of Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword, Sain and Kent take this role to explain the game mechanics. Sain charges at axe-wielding bandits with a lance (it looks more heroic!) so Kent can tell him he should have used a sword. Sain admits he didn't actually bring a sword, so Kent gets to explain the item-trading system. Sain whiffs against a bandit hiding in the forest, Kent explains Geo Effects...

Web Original
  • The Art Of Manliness has an adult variation of Goofus and Gallant (called Dim and Dash) in order to display proper male etiquette.
  • The Randomverse's original videos used the same mechanic as the “I’m A Mac / I’m A PC” commercials, as “I’m A Marvel / I’m A DC to show the right (later Marvel films, Batman) and wrong (earlier Marvel films, everything else DC) way to make a film series around similar concepts. As ItsJustSomeRandomGuy is a fan of both companies, the jabs were fairly lighthearted. Except for the stupidity that was the kryptonite mountain.
  • A parody of this is done regarding driving habits in the flash "Yes and No: A Dyseducational Road Film", where the red car is the "wrong" one and the green car is the "right" one. Unlike most examples, the "right" option involves bad things and inconveniences happening to that person.
  • The Zero Punctuation review of Alone in the Dark had a pair with Terry and Gonad, with Terry presenting interesting gaming concepts while Gonad finds ways to make those concepts either inconvenient or downright unusable.

Western Animation
  • The Private Snafu shorts were made for this. Snafu did it wrong, then went back and did it right (that is, if he managed to avoid getting his stupid ass killed, which happened a few times and was intended to show soldiers the consequences of being inattentive/irresponsible).
  • Animaniacs had shorts of "Good Idea, Bad Idea", although one character demonstrates both ideas. Good Ideas are usually simple, practical, unimportant everyday things, while Bad Ideas are hilariously useless or dangerous to the user. More found on the Other Wikiquote.
    Good Idea: Buying a pair of shoes on sale.
    Bad Idea: Buying a parachute on sale.
  • Duck from Thomas the Tank Engine holds the philosophy that there are two ways of doing things - The Great Western Way and the wrong way, and the Great Western Way implies that he works diligently without fuss. This was into play in "The Thomas Way" where Duck informs Thomas that the Great Western Way is to take Harold to the repairs without showing him the sights of Sodor which is a distraction from their work. Deconstructed as both methods cause "confusion and delay" and they end up Taking A Third Option.
  • Done a few times with Stan and Francine in terms of providing for the family American Dad!, with Stan's overzealous extremist (and occasionally psychotic) approach pretty much always making him the Wrong Way guy. Deconstructed a handful of instances Francine's calmer approach also falls short (eg. Stan creates two clones of Steve for each of them to raise separately, Stan's clone goes insane from his overbearing treatment, while Francine's coddling devolves the other into a spoiled lazy bum).
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