"Now, you fellows have said some pretty mean things, some of which were true...under that fiend, Boss Grissom. He was a thief and a terrorist. On the other hand, he had a tremendous singing voice."Alice has nothing but disdain for Bob and all that he stands for. Well, almost everything. In spite of herself, Alice can't help but admire one attribute of Bob's. Not an important attribute, mind, but something completely irrelevant: Bob is morally bankrupt and a complete ignoramus, but he has great taste in shoes. And he cooks the best chili you've ever tasted. For added punch, the attribute Alice professes to admire may be the one thing Bob is the least proud of. Compare with Worthy Opponent, Actually Pretty Funny, and Bad News, Irrelevant News. Compare and contrast with Sympathy for the Devil and Sympathy for the Hero.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- In ElfQuest, the Wolfriders and the trolls who live nearby get along fairly well as elf and troll tribes go — which is to say that they aren't trying to genocide each other and even engage in some trade. As it stands, they still have total contempt for each other's way of life, and no small amount of personal enmity. However, when one elf and his wolf-friend contract "the foaming sickness" (rabies), the elves (lacking a magical healer) take him to the trolls' tribal elder/herbalist to be treated. The treatment is arduous and likely to fail, and the troll herbalist believes that the elves' efforts "make no sense". When told it's not about sense, she responds: "Anything for family, eh? I can fault you elves in all ways but that."
- From The Spy Who Loved Me:
Bond: Mmm, maybe I misjudged Stromberg. Any man who drinks Dom Perignon '52 can't be all bad.
- Zoolander: Every time Mugatu mentions Hansel in a conversation, he immediately adds "He's so hot right now," to the extent that it borders on a Verbal Tic. This continues even after Hansel has joined the protagonists in exposing the Ancient Conspiracy that Mugatu works for.
Mugatu: It's that damned Hansel! He's so hot right now!
- Batman (1989). The Joker makes a TV broadcast to Gotham City.
Joker: Now you fellows have said some pretty mean things, some of which were true under that fiend, Boss Grissom. He was a thief and a terrorist. On the other hand, he had a tremendous singing voice.
- In Out Cold the characters comment that the new company that's taking over the ski resort is "ruining our town" but their coffee shop sells delicious beverages.
- In Doctor Strangelove Mandrake laments his mistreatment by the Japanese as a POW, but admits they make bloody good cameras.
- From Top Secret!:
Deja Vu: You've got to hand it to the Germans, they make great cars.
- In Vertical Limit, the Pakistani military officer admits that despite the Indians being their mortal enemies, they make really good tea.
- In UHF, the Engineered Public Confession of the Affiliate Owner ends with "But, there is one good thing about broadcasting to a town full of mindless sheep: I always know I have them exactly where I want them!"
- In The Big Lebowski, Walter, a Jewish convert, learns that the Germans are not Nazis, but nihilists.
Walter: Nihilists, fuck me... I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, at least it's an ethos.
- Say what you want about pedophiles, but at least they slow down in school zones.
- In Book One of Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Ms. Plithiver thinks to herself that there is something very wrong with Kludd. He then coughs up a pellet and she reconsiders that no bird with such a noble digestive system could be completely bad. If only...
- Harry Dresden of The Dresden Files hates local crimelord Gentleman John Marcone. On the other hand, he has to admit that whatever else you say about the guy, he's got "balls that drag along the ground when he walks".
- In Terry Pratchett's Going Postal Vetinari and Gilt share a mutual one of these after a third character shows his profound ignorance about the game "Thud".
"Gilt and Vetinari shared a look. It said: While I loathe you and every aspect of your personal philosophy to a depth unplumbable by any line, I'll credit you at least with not being Crispin Horsefry."
- Many otherwise scathing in-depth reviews of the Twilight books will usually make a side-note that the plot of Eclipse and the new characters introduced are actually pretty good; this is quickly followed by the reviewer bemoaning the fact that the book never focused on the interesting parts, but rather spent page after page on Edward and Bella, the two least interesting characters. Similar comments are sometimes made about the werewolf pack scenes in New Moon.
- Ciaphas Cain's opinion on the tau, as opposed to the blistering hatred and/or terror he feels about every other alien species he encounters (not irrationally).
Cain: Say what you will about the tau, and I've said plenty over the years, they know how to put on a good war.
- In the Catwoman novel Tiger Hunt, Selina is pursuing a criminal with a tiger gimmick and reflects "How can someone who loves tigers be all bad?" Subverted when she finds his interest is in killing tigers to gain their strength and thinks "This was how."
- In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore pulls off a dramatic escape from about half a dozen senior Ministry of Magic personnel, including two top Aurors. And he makes it look easy. Phineas Nigellus Black, who disagrees with Dumbledore on a large number of topics, has to admit that the man has style.
Live Action TV
- Angel: Angel and Spike are bickering like five-year-olds as usual, but then...
Angel: There was one thing about you...
Angel: Yeah, I never told anybody this, but... I liked your poems.
Spike: You like Barry Manilow!
- The Office
Jim: Say what you will about Michael Scott, but he would never do that.
- The West Wing has a memorable scene of President Bartlett and a prominent Republican opponent having a sitdown. While it's obvious there's a certain amount of respect between the two, it opens with each (in surprisingly good humour) going through a lengthy list of their disagreements with the other, before getting down to the one thing they see eye to eye on:
Bartlet: We agree on nothing, Max.
Senator Lobell: Yes, sir.
Bartlet: Education, guns, drugs, school prayer, gays, defense spending, taxes - you name it, we disagree.
Senator Lobell: You know why?
Bartlet: Because I'm a lily-livered, bleeding-heart, liberal, egghead communist.
Senator Lobell: Yes, sir. And I'm a gun-toting, redneck son-of-a-bitch.
Bartlet: Yes, you are.
Senator Lobell: We agree on that.
Bartlet: We also agree on campaign finance.
Senator Lobell: Yes, sir.
- The Tiger R-Zone is #1 on The Angry Video Game Nerd's Top 10 Worst Video Game Consoles list, in which he describes it as "a shitty version of the Virtual Boy, as if the Virtual Boy wasn't already shitty enough." However, he also says that the one thing he has to give Tiger credit for was including a headstrap for it, the lack of one being one of his main complaints against the Virtual Boy.
- City Face: Every time Magpie 55 posts beneath the comic, he does nothing but insult City Face and pigeons in general. Then City Face starts doing the human businessman dance, and Magpie 55 can only write "whoa he's actually pretty good at that..."
- Bobwhite: Marlene and Ivy frequently make fun of Cleo for her awkwardness and her CloudCuckoolanderishness. Then they visit Cleo in her metal shop class and are briefly impressed.
Marlene: Wow. I will never make fun of her again.
Ivy: Yes you will.
Marlene: Yes I will.
- Homestuck. Terezi confronts Vriska, who used to be a friend but has now gone too far and must be brought to justice (i.e. stabbity death).
Terezi: MUCH 4S 1T P41NS M3 TO 4DM1T 1T, YOUR FRUITY OR4NG3 F41RY SU1T SM3LLS... D3L1C1OUS.
- In The Last Days Of Fox Hound, Revolver Ocelot has one nice thing to say about The Patriots:
Ocelot:(After having Liquid's arm grafted onto him) Say what you like about The Patriots, but their health plan rocks.
- In The Simpsons episode "Colonel Homer", where Homer's new job as Lurleen Lumpkin's manager is driving him away from his family:
Marge: You've got a wonderful family, Homer. Please don't forget it when you walk out that door tonight.[Homer leaves.]Bart: Much as I hate that man right now, you gotta love that suit.
Teacher: The man was a fool! But one must admire the strength of his conviction.
- In "Brush with Greatness", the teacher of Marge's art class blasts her high school art teacher for criticizing her work:
- Both Marge and Homer regard Judge Constance Harm as a evil, harsh, sadistic, and unforgiving disciplinarian (which she is) but in the first episode she appears, they think her house boat is kind of cool.
- From South Park:
Head of the FBI: Say what you want about Mel Gibson, but the son of a bitch knows story structure.
- In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003), the one thing that the Turtles admire about the Foot is the Nice Hats worn by the Shredder's Elite Guard:
Raphael: Nice hats!
Michaelangelo: Yeah, we thought so, too.
Donatello: Say what you will about the Foot, but they do not skimp on the headgear.
- The finale of Cyber Six has Von Richter say one good thing about the titular character:
Von Richter: ...Cyber Six is my greatest failure, but she has courage and I admire that.
- From The Powerpuff Girls episode "Impeach Fuzz", the Mayor really gets angry at Fuzzy Lumpkins:
Mayor: FUZZY! You can throw away my things, and I don't mind the hay on the floor, and the chicken wire's a nice touch, and I kinda like that beat-up old flivver. But no one, I mean no one, wears my mayorin' hat! Now give it back!
- Well, okay, that was two things, but as the rest of the episode showed, the hat was enough for him to take about 100 levels in badass and beat Fuzzy to a pulp.
- In Batman: The Animated Series, both Batman and Harvey Bullock get one of these for each other at the end of A Bullet For Bullock. Bullock admits that, as much as he hates the Bat, that Batman is genuinely doing good for the city, while Batman learns that despite all of Bullock's many shortcomings the man is at least an honest uncorrupted cop.