Shamal: I don't really want Hayate-chan's house to get obliterated either... Chrono: We're not talking about damage on such a small scale...
In the Thriller Bark arc of One Piece, Luffy puts recovering the Straw Hats' stolen food on the same level as rescuing Nami and getting his, Zoro and Sanji's shadows back (without which, they will be vaporized by the sunlight). This is in keeping with his personality, as he is at one point unsure whether he wants the legendary One Piece or a Hercules beetle more.
In earlier episodes, he said a bard was more important to the crew than a medic.
There's a chapter of the Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei manga all about this. For instance, one character who is a hardcore otaku, runs into his burning home to rescue various moe merchandise he owns, but neglects his sister, who is still trapped inside.
The computer society president in the Haruhi Suzumiya anime shows this briefly when challenging Haruhi to a game to get his computer back:
"I'm even willing to overlook the mental trauma you inflicted upon me when you stole my computer!"
Completely overlooked is the fact she blackmailed it out of him by threatening to frame him and his clubmates for gang-rape. Though it is possible that he was referring to the entire incident and not just the taking-the-computer part, though he is vague.
When Ouma Yamisaka blows up the restaurant Touma and Index were eating at, Touma yells at the guy for shredding his homework in the process.
When Ollerus tries to tell him what he knows about Imagine Breaker, Touma blows him off, saying he needs to finish his shopping before the store closes.
In Bleach, Hachi and Soi Fon are facing Baraggan, a Nigh InvulnerableWalking Wasteland. Hachi tells Soi Fon that they have to work together and combine their powers, or Baraggan will kill them. Soi Fon coldly declares that she will never work with a comrade of Urahara, whom she hates. She says this while Baraggan is advancing on them. Keep in mind that Baraggan has already disintegrated her arm. In the nick of time, Hachi promises to trap Urahara in a forcefield for a month, and Soi Fon finally agrees.
In the new arc, a new villain by the name of Ivan invades Ichigo's bedroom. Ichigo promptly kicks him out and then prepares to go after him. Ishida, Orihime and Chad decide it's more important for them to stay behind and eat up the bread that Orihime brought than go out to help him.
Just before that, Ichigo doesn't really seem to mind the fact that Ivan broke into his house and seems more annoyed that he's standing on his bed.
Sailor Moon dub, when Serena finds her fellow Sailor Scouts all chained up in a room from the Monster of the Week. Raye Lampshades this by angrily ordering her to help them.
Serena: Hey, Mercury, I thought you were in computer school.
Amy: Class finished early.
In Dragonball, Goku and Piccolo fight in the final match of the 23th World Martial Arts Tournament. Piccolo announces that he plans to kill Goku and take over the world, even nearly killing the audience with stray energy blasts. When Goku's friends attempt to assist him, he orders them back, saying that if they help him, he will get disqualified. They incredulously ask, "You're still thinking about the match!?" and try to point out that Piccolo obviously doesn't care about the match (you get disqualified if you kill your opponent), but to no avail.
Then there's Chi Chi who thinks Gohan's studies are more important than him saving the world. Everyone, including Goku, is weirded out by this.
Vegeta in the Buu Saga has this when he only cared about gaining power and being better than Goku than the fate of the universe, by allowing Babidi to turn him into Majin Vegeta and causing Majin Buu to be released.
Goku believes that fair fights are more important than saving the world. Because of this, he has let his most powerful enemies transform to their strongest level of power. Also, he gave Cell a senzu bean and tried to get Gohan to fight him, because he felt it wouldn't be "fair" if Gohan beat Cell at his weakest.
Fairy Tail: In the Fantasia arc, Laxus and his crew turn the girls to stone, and threaten to shatter them unless the guys search the town for and defeat them. Circumstances force the guys to fight each other in order to advance, all desperate to save the girls. Natsu is trapped in a forcefield and struggles to escape, not to save the girls, but because he wants to fight the others and prove that he's the strongest. Makarov angrily calls him out on this, but Natsu explains that Laxus is obviously bluffing about shattering the girls. It turns out that he was correct. Laxus didn't truly have the heart to kill anybody.
Rowan Atkinson's "Fatal Beatings" sketch, wherein he (as headmaster of a school) is describing the way he beat a parent's son to death.
"I find this morbid fascination with your son's death quite disturbing. What I am talking about is his attitude."
Everypony is awed, impressed, and somewhat scared when a magically-uber Twilight takes out the side of the castle wall. Rarity is furious that she ruined the curtains made of the finest silk.
In V for Vendetta, Lewis Prothero used to run a concentration camp where medical experiments were carried out on people the government deemed 'undesirables'; he's also the proud owner of a large collection of china dolls, and is horrified by the prospect of V damaging them. V lampshades this by asking him how he can care so much for porcelain and so little for the flesh and blood of his fellow humans, shortly before he incinerates the dolls, causing Prothero to suffer a breakdown that renders him catatonic.
In the Haruhi Suzumiya fanfic Kyon: Big Damn Hero, the Computer Society President finds strange that Haruhi's biggest priority on Kyon's first "encounter" with Yamane (which ended with an attempt to kill Tsuruya followed by Kyon dangling Yamane outside a window in the third floor) is Kyon's record, and preventing it getting back to Kyon's mother.
In X-Men fanfic Mutatis Mutandis by Artemis's Liege,teenagers Rogue, Anole, and Northstar are trapped on the edge of a battlefield during the Marvel Civil War, facing an armed Punisher. Rather than help explain the misunderstanding, Jean-Paul begins texting on his cell phone, not for help, but for entertainment, as a gun is held to his face.
Violet: Mom and dad's lives could be in danger! Or worse, their marriage.
Lucius (Frozone): Honey? Honey: What? Lucius: Where's my super suit? Honey: What? Lucius: Where - is - my - super - suit? Honey: I, uh, put it away. [helicopter explodes outside] Lucius: Where? Honey: Why do you need to know? Lucius: I need it! Honey: Uh-uh! Don't you think about running off doing no derrin'-do. We've been planning this dinner for two months! Lucius: The public is in danger! Honey: My evening's in danger! Lucius: You tell me where my suit is, woman! We are talking about the greater good! Honey: 'Greater good?' I am your wife! I'm the greatest good you are ever gonna get!
Witchita: You're risking our lives for a twinkie? Columbus: Just humor him.
In The Producers, Max cries "Oh no!" after stepping out of the way instead of catching a little old lady, who hurtles away; however, it turns out he is upset because she forget to sign the check.
Early on in Attack of the Clones, Obi-Wan chews Anakin out for losing his lightsaber. Later on, when Anakin is trapped inside a wild droid factory with No OSHA Compliance, his lightsaber is destroyed and his response is "Not again. Obi-Wan's gonna kill me."
Played with in Lord Of War: Andre Baptiste Sr., a dictator, shoots one of his own men with a gun that Yuri, an Arms Dealer, is showing to him. Yuri shouts "Why'd you do that!?", then follows up by explaining that Baptiste will now have to buy the gun since he can't sell it used. It's not a straight example because Yuri doesn't actually feel that way - he genuinely reacted to the man's death, then realized doing so was a mistake and made it into a joke to keep on Baptiste's good side.
Played for Drama in Titanic to show off what an asshole Cal is. After hearing that half the people on the ship are going to die, what's he concerned about? "You know, it's a pity I didn't keep that drawing. It'll be worth a lot more by morning."
And by Rose's mother, when she asks a crewman as everyone is piling into the few remaining lifeboats if the seating will be divided by class.
In Apocalypse Now, Colonel Kilgore is annoyed with Charlie (who don't surf) because the VC are occupying a terrific beach that should be used for surfing. He orders a series of air-strikes just to clear the zone so he can exercise his hobby, the military importance is not the issue. In fact Kilgore never would have escorted Willard and his crew there if he hadn't gotten word of a nice beach being there alongside Willard's destination.
Hermione Granger in the first Harry Potter book and film, who was typically more concerned with expulsion over death.
Hermione: I'm going to bed before either of you come up with another clever idea to get us killed. Or worse ...expelled! Ron: She really needs to sort out her priorities.
This is also manifested in Hermione's boggart, which is not Voldemort, death, giant monsters, or anything like that, but failing all her classes.
In the second book, when Harry and Ron crash a Flying Car into the Whomping Willow and get beaten up by it, Snape tries to get them in trouble for, among other things, damaging the tree. Ron tries to point that the tree did more damage to them.
Debated among a few characters in The Pale King as the IRS deals with drastic changes brought on by the Spackman Initiative. Focus on ideal output and civil service is shifted toward a free-market approach that attempts to maximize profits.
In Death: Some characters have demonstrated these. For instance, in New York To Dallas, when Isaac McQueen escaped and murdered a nurse in the process, the prison staff reacted by trying to cover it up. They showed no real concern about the escape of a murderous pedophile, and about the murder of one of their own employees.
The Ferengi in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Relaunch, all the time. In The Left Hand of Destiny, Pharh is horrified to have stood up to Klingon warriors - he reflects that he could have been seriously injured, or even robbed. Then there's Zek:
Gaila: It's why he’s destroying your legacy at the same time as he’s ruining your retirement.
Zek: How dare he! Nobody ruins my retirement and gets away with it!.
Played with in one of the Starfleet Corps of Engineers stories; a character trying to violate his world's laws and contact the Federation for help is chased down, and the police plead with him to surrender so they don't have to shoot - which might damage the building he's in. The character actually feels pride and hope that they consider the building's health more important than his, reflecting that "perhaps there's hope for my people after all".
In Can't Get There From Here, a nameless woman is more concerned about getting a group of homeless kids to give up the dog they rescued to her rather than doing anything about helping the kids themselves.
Older Than Feudalism: One of Aesop's Fables details a boy who swam too far into the river and was about to drown. A nearby man decides to stand there and scold him for being an idiot instead of, you know, rescuing him.
In Twilight, when Bella gets involved in a traffic accident, she is more concerned with the embarassment of having to wear a neck brace when the ambulance people take her to the hospital than with anyone being hurt. In the hospital she is more concerned that a person who was also involved in the accident is annoying her with his apologies for almost killing her, than that he is traumatized and feels guilty about almost killing a class mate.
Buffy: You guys are going to have a prom. The kind of prom that everyone should have. I'm going to give you all a nice, fun, normal evening if I have to kill every single person on the face of the earth to do it. Xander: Yay?
In the first two seasons, this was Cordelia's main character note: no matter what danger anyone was in, she would always bring up some completely irrelevant detail (usually of the self-centered variety) that she deemed far more important. She got better.
One Top Gear challenge involved driving trucks at their top (limited) speeds through some obstacles and then braking. The prize for the shortest braking distance would win a year's supply of pies.
Hammond: What do they mean by "obstacle"? Clarkson: Doesn't say. May: What sort of pies?
Then, in the same challenge:
Clarkson: Exactly! You'll win! You'll be killed, but you'll win!
Clarkson, of course, feels that having an argument is more urgent than seeing the paramedics after he crashes through his obstacle.
On How I Met Your Mother Marshall lists what he thinks the five worst things that could ever possibly happen would be.
Marshall: Number one, supervolcano. Number two, an asteroid hits the earth. Number three, all footage of Evel Knievel is lost. Number four, Ted calls Karen. Number five, Lily gets eaten by a shark. Lily: I'm Lily and I approve the order of that list.
In another episode Lily says that, if Ted ever killed her and dumped her body in New Jersey, she'd come back as a ghost and haunt him. Not because he killed her ("I'm sure you had your reasons") but because, as a born-and-raised New Yorker, she just hates New Jersey that much.
Barney once promised Marshall ten-thousand dollars if he'd let Barney welch on a bet; Marshall refused. Barney then offered to let Marshall slap him in the face instead; this Marshall found difficult to pass up.
That Mitchell and Webb Look has a sketch about Scott's Antarctic expedition in which Scott insists on only eating holiday foods on their appropriate holidays — thus, even though they're out of other food, they can't eat the Christmas pudding, because it's only August.
Bowers: Sir, we are starving to death! Scott: And we are doing so with due deference to the English celebrational calendar.
Fairly common on The Young Ones, as when a late-night visitor triggers an explosive device Vyvyan had connected to the doorbell, and Rick complains about the visitor's bad manners in coming around so late.
In Red Dwarf, it's a running gag that the Cat cares more about clothing than about his safety. For example, when he and Lister are captured by Nazis, Lister suggests stealing a guard's uniform to escape execution, and his reaction is: "Are you insane? Wear grey out of season? I'd rather hang!"
In another episode he was more worried that a simulant holding him at gunpoint would notice he was wearing the same outfit from the last time they met than being killed.
Used three times in Community episode "Epidemiology". First, right before zombies swarm the study room, Jeff asks if anyone managed to turn off the Dean's ABBA playlist. The second time is with the Cat Scare, where they abandon their plans of escape to resolve the cat issue. Then, when Jeff is about to be zombified, all he's scared of is Rich stretching his suit jacket.
Leslie: We need to remember what's important in life. Friends, waffles, and work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn't matter. But work is third.
In another episode:
April: I could get fired. Or even worse, Leslie might give me a lecture on responsibility again.
A sketch on Not the Nine O'Clock News about Question Time being recorded as the Soviets are launching nuclear missiles at the UK—besides one Only Sane Man panellist, they spend the programme bickering about which party's period in government to blame for the crisis.
Deliberately invoked by Mr Moseby in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody when he finds out the twins have been climbing through the air vents. "They could have damaged the vents!"
In Sabrina the Teenage Witch Sabrina's Evil Twin causes a bit of drama that Sabrina gets blamed for. Morgan says she'll forgive her for kissing her boyfriend but it'll take a long time to forgive what was said about her outfit.
Doctor Who; in "Asylum of the Daleks", the Doctor, Amy and Rory are trapped on a planet full of Daleks. Not just Daleks, but battle-scarred psychotic-even-by-Dalek-standards Daleks. Plus Amy absorbed a cloud of nano-techs that is slowly turning her into a Dalek puppet. So what's one of the Doctor's priorities? "In no particular order, we need to neutralize all the Daleks in this Asylum, rescue Oswin from the wreckage, escape from this planet, and fix Amy and Rory's marriage." Sadly he was not able to save Oswin.
The Doctor is also constantly trying to figure out how Oswin gets the ingredients needed for her baking, even in situations when they have more immediate concerns about survival. It turns out to be a vital clue.
"The Big Bang": all of reality has been uncreated, except the Earth, which is staring to fade out as well, and the Doctor just saved River Song from the exploding TARDIS;
River: Right then! I have questions. But number one is this: What in the name of sanity have you got on your head?
A particularly disturbing example from Season 4 of Glee: Newcomer Marley Rose ends up with a case of bulimia and takes to starving herself. The following remark ensues:
Marley: "I'm so hungry, but at least I'll fit into my Sectionals dress."
Many singing show contestants are more concerned with being famous and/or making money than learning to sing. Some of them are single mothers, who really ought to be looking after their children. Some bad singers also blame the judges, rather than themselves.
Horatio Hornblower: Colonel Moncoutant is very disgruntled to leave off executing half the village when Hornblower insists that he should maybe do something about the attacking Republican forces.
In Malcolm in the Middle Lois's own Skewed Priorities help expose a Sadist Teacher. When Malcolm writes Reese's homework for him and gets failed, Lois is initially furious that Malcolm helped Reese cheat but then says to the teacher "you gave something [Malcolm] wrote a D!" realising he is out to get Reese.
Parodied in Scrubs when JD imagines life as a sitcom. When one patient finds out he has terminal lung cancer, he says "at least I don't have to eat my wife's cooking any more"
Jim Steinman's monologue "Love and Death and an American Guitar", released on the Meat Loaf album Back Into Hell as "Wasted Youth": the narrator beats people to death with his guitar, and is about to do the same to his parents "when my father woke up screaming 'Stop! Wait a minute! Stop it, boy! That's no way to treat an expensive musical instrument!'"
Oberon: Hast thou the flower there? Welcome, wanderer.
In The1st Degree: James Tobin admits to shooting his business partner Zachary Barnes. He also admits to shooting himself in the leg to convince people that it was self-defense. If you make the right moves in the game, you will get to see the prosecutor Sterling Granger beautifully call out Tobin on this, pointing out that "As your partner lay bleeding to death at your feet, your first thought was to protect yourself?"
In Mass Effect 3, Shepard has led an Alliance assault on Cerberus's long-hidden headquarters, dealing heavy damage to the station, killing scores of Cerberus troops, and infiltrating The Illusive Man's office. So when TIM shows up via hologram in the office, what does he consider most heinous?
Packrat lives and breathes this trope. He sells his $2000 high-end Korg Triton workstation and then buys a vintage ARP 2600 with only one voice and no memory for $3000. He'd rather twist the knobs on a synth than those on his wife. He buys an anniversary edition Nord Lead just for the reverse keys and not for the sound. Only three of many examples.
Jareth in Roommates has his priorities straight: first his fun and clothing then his friends and love interest, everything else (like ruling his kingdom) comes later and mortal danger is somewhere at the bottom of the list. So what is his first question when appearing in a fantasy dreamworld where a mountain sized talking (eastern)dragon greets him? "Why am I in armor?" of course.
In To Boldly Flee, That SciFi Guy's house was blown up and he was presumed dead. When The Stinger shows him alive, he looks around the blown up and burning house and worries more about how pissed the landlord was going to be.
In one episode, Dr. Nick was called in to advise when an old man froze himself alive inside the Kwik-E-Mart's freezer.
Dr. Nick: Well, we better leave him in there. Moving him now could kill him. And tire us out.
In "Lisa's Date with Density" Homer runs a telemarketing scam that promises to give people eternal happiness if they send him one dollar. When the exceedingly wealthy Mr. Burns gets this message, he responds:
"One dollar for eternal happiness? ...I'd be happier with the dollar."
This is common for Homer. In "Dial Z For Zombies" of "Treehouse of Horror III":
Lisa: Dad, we did something very bad! Homer: Did you wreck the car? Bart: No! Homer: Did you raise the dead? Lisa: Yesss! Homer: But the car's okay? Kids: Uh-huh. Homer: All right then.
In "Deep Space Homer" after Homer broke the handle off the hatch, he grabs a support rod to hit one of the other astronauts. The rod catches in the door and when it is pointed out that could allow them to return safely, he tries to remove the rod so he can continue the attack.
In "Burns' Heir" he noted that Bart being abusive to the family is one thing, but he would not stand idly by and watch him feed a hungry dog.
"Joy of Sect"
Jane: Would you rather have beer, or complete and utter contentment? Homer: ...What kind of beer?
Since this questioner turns out to be working for a cult, this is a sterling case of Homer being Too Dumb to Fool.
In "Treehouse of Horror XVI" he is possessed by the devil but is unconcerned about that because that means he doesn't have to go to work.
In the Hansel and Gretel spoof, when Marge's character finds out Homer left the children in the forest (because they couldn't afford to feed them) she is enraged. They could have sold them.
When a member of Zoidberg's species has sex they die immediately afterward. When Fry learns that Zoidberg has to choose between a life without sex or a gruesome death, he says, "Tough call."
From "Crimes of the Hot", when they discover that Halley's comet is out of ice:
Bender: This could mean the end of the banana daiquiri as we know it. (Everybody looks at him.) Also, life.
Similarly, in "Benderama":
Professor: In a matter of hours, there won't be no more fresh water on Earth! (Dramatic musical sting) Bender: Oh no! What will I mix with my scotch?
In one infamous episode of Thomas the Tank Engine, Thomas loses control and crashes into the station master's house. The station master's wife seems far more annoyed that Thomas ruined their breakfast and that she'll have to cook it again than she does at the fact that a steam engine just plowed through the wall of her house.
Exaggerated in "The Return of Harmony", Pinkie doesn't care about eternal chaos, as long as she gets chocolate milk rain and Rarity wants the box the Elements of Harmony are in, instead of the Elements themselves. Keep in mind that this is beforethey're brainwashed by Discord.
Continued in "Keep Calm And Flutter On", when she instead criticizes Discord for making chocolate milk rain... because he didn't also provide whipped cream.
In "Dragonshy", Rarity foregoes on a protective helmet and picks a chic hat instead, because the helmet didn't look as good.
In "Ponyville Confidential", the CMC laments that, after having made themselves pariah throughout town and alienated everypony (including their own family, and Rainbow Dash), they still didn't get their cutiemarks. This is standard behavior most other times too - no matter how convoluted their plan, disastrous their failure, or devastating the outcome, the possible appearance of a cutiemark takes priority.
Rainbow Dash's reaction to Twilight descending from the sky in a heavenly glow, with wings, and being announced as a princess? New flying buddy! Pinkie's reaction, par for the course, is to host a party.
During "A Canterlot Wedding," after the changelings reveal themselves, Rarity, once again showing her priorities, is more focused on catching the dresses the others threw off than going to get the Elements of Harmony.
In "Dragonshy", Rarity's skewed priorities is put on full display when she is shown to be more concerned about getting some of the dragon's stash of jewels than she is about getting rid of the dragon itself.
In Jackie Chan Adventures, Uncle often accuses Jackie of having skewed priorities, but in reality this is because Uncle tends to look at the big picture and he does not give a crap about Jackie's personal problems. For example, in one episode, when Jade's horseplay breaks a statue Jackie and Uncle were examining:
Jackie: When the museum finds out about this, my career will go down the drain!
Uncle: (Dope Slaps Jackie) Your career's not important! The statue had inscriptions on it! Knowledge has been lost forever!
Lampshaded in Dragons Riders Of Berk, when Hiccup gets distracted from pursuing an agent of the Outcasts who has stolen the Book of Dragons, by Astrid's technique for speeding up Stormfly:
Hiccup: Was that...chicken? Is that what you've been- Astrid: Really? You wanna talk about that now?!
The Armed Forces in any country, any nation, could be the Trope Namer.
Tends to happen to teenaged drivers borrowing their parent's car. The usual tendency when getting involved in an accident which is not immediately incapacitating is to first make sure the car is fine, and only then check the occupants for physical injuries.
Also, some teenagers may only care about peer pressure and fitting in more than their studies.
ThisCracked list links to a number of real-life cases of this. Of particularly terrifying note is the mother who locked her infant son in her car on a hot day. When rescue workers arrived, she refused to let them break a window to get him out, even as he started to show signs of heat stroke. Thankfully they just waited until she left to get her spare key and broke him out anyway.
Politicians frequently and heavily come under fire for having these, especially when they'll try to find some smaller project to increase their approval rating. One that was fairly common in recent years went along the lines of "There's a war going on, and you're focusing on trying to ban gay marriage?"
Common negative stereotypes of Fandoms often revolve around people having different priorities from the norm. Skimping on basic necessities to indulge in an area of entertainment may cause concern among non-fans or invite ridicule. Divisionswithin and betweenfandoms occur due to different groups' priorities being skewed differently.
Police officer "Marcus Liffey" mentioned, in a New Yorker article, about a woman who was almost hit by a bullet. She was upset because the bullet hit, and ruined, one of her houseplants.
A security consultant was brought in because a former worker had come to the workplace with a gun demanding reimbursement for some expenses he had incured while working. The consultant asked why they had not paid him. Answer: because he had not filled out the form correctly.
Some anecdotes from Not Always Right feature people who believe saving a few cents, getting their coffee, or finishing a golf game are more important than the livelihoods or lives of others.