Villain Has a Point
"Even in the book of lies sometimes you find truth"Time and time again a story is told with the classic hero vs. villain setup with the villain committing acts deemed evil by good, neutral, and the normally apathetic. The villain usually commits said acts for their own personal reasons, be it pride, ambition, self-righteousness, megalomania, or even love. But wait, they have a justified reason for their actions? They may not be so much evil as they are anti? They may end up sending the hero into a depression after their motives come to light? Here is a villain who has a justified reason for being what they are, or has justifiable motives, or makes accurate assessments of the world or the hero/es. In any case, this is a villain who unexpectedly has a point about something. Due to the nature of their villainy, if they become too excessive in their methods they can easily fall under Well-Intentioned Extremist. In-Universe they can easily fall under Designated Villain. Compare Anti-Villain and Ambiguously Evil. Compare Jerkass Has a Point and Strawman Has a Point for other characters designed to be detestable who nevertheless are right about something.
— Andrew Ryan, BioShock
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Anime and Manga
- Yu Gi Oh ZEXAL has this with Kaito Tenjo. He believes the Numbers' cards are evil, and from what has been seen, the Numbers can easily make the good bad (Ukyo, Fuya to a lesser extent) and the bad worse, (Jin, Rikuo, Kaio). Also, his claim that the Numbers want to destroy the world seems plausible, seeing the evil from Black Mist who was able to capture Astral and control Yuma's body against his will. The only issue with him capturing Numbers is that he takes the soul of the person who possessed it.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Daimon calls out Kaiba on the way he used and abused both The Big Five, and his own brother, Mokuba, during his coup against his adoptave father Gozaburo. While Daimon‘s a bastard, and in no position to criticize, he's not wrong when he points out how unacceptable Kaiba's behaviour was.
- In Bitter Virgin, maybe he doesn't exactly earn the title of "villain" (he's more Jerkass than he is villian), but when Yamamoto grabs Hinako in the final chapter, setting himself up pretty nicely as one more in a long line of abusive bastards, he makes her realise that, without intending to, understandable though her reaction was, she has truly hurt the feelings of some of the guys in her class, most of whom wouldn't even dream of harming her the way her rapist did.
- In Psycho-Pass, the antagonist Shogo Makishima may be a sociopathic serial killer who instructs would-be criminals how to commit their crimes, but he is spot-on in his criticisms of the society in which he lives, and especially of the sybil system.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
- The Big Bad is despicable no question, but he has a point; a system where a relatively small amount of people are traumatised and killed is a lot more preferable to the premature heat death of the universe. Both the characters who find out about this agree, and while one doesn't try and change it the other keeps it in place but slightly alters it to make it less harsh on the girls.
- At the end of Rebellion, the new Big Bad traps the entire universe in a Lotus-Eater Machine. The thing is, she just wants to give everyone happy lives. And she brings back three magical girls. One character declares that she will oppose the Big Bad but finds herself crying a Tear Of Joy when she sees her friends again.
- Every antagonist in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is right, and the fears they give for their actions are completely real. The Giha village chief is right that living underground keeps them safe, the Adai village chief is right that they don't have enough food to feed more people so his methods keep the the village as a whole alive, Lordgenome is right that suppressing humanity keeps them safe from the Anti-Spirals, and they're completely justified in their goals because otherwise the universe is at risk. The only reason that the heroes are more right is because this is a universe fuelled by manly spirit, which allows them to kick reason to the curb and come up with a better solution than the rational one.
- Light Yagami of Death Note. Is he twisted? Yes. Arrogant? Yes. Devious? You bet. But Light put an end to all wars and dropped global crime by 70%. Nobody contradicts him when he says this.
- Kagatane from Black Bullet is your typical masked man ranting on and on about the government and how Humans Are Bastards. Though when you see the overall treatment towards little girls who risk their lives to save their butts every waking moment of their life, which includes lynch mobs, school bombings, and treating them as something less than human, you begin to wonder why the protagonists don't start thinking like him.
- In ElfQuest, Rayek realizes that the accident that brought the High Ones to the World of Two Moons is going to happen in the future, and the Palace is capable of time travel. He brings up the idea of going to that exact moment and preventing the High Ones from being sent into the past and driven from their home, and preempt centuries of struggle and suffering on their part. When Cutter objects, Rayek makes a point: the presence of elves has always negatively affected the World of Two Moons (going back to the first volume, when a human tribe caused a forest fire to drive the Wolfriders out), but they're literally aliens; the world had its own path before they arrived by accident, and it has a right to its own destiny. Of course, that point gets quickly lost in Rayek's otherwise power-hungry, elitist motivations, as well as his dismissal of the fact that, unless they are in the Palace, all elves born since the crash who are not dead and have their spirits tied to the Palace will never exist.*
- Begrudgingly pointed out by Linkara, Mephisto does have justification why he doesn't want Peter's soul in One More Day. The souls he collects would have the satisfaction that they have sacrificed themselves for the greater good, and Mephisto would lose any joy in making them suffer.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight: Simone Doffler goes rogue from Buffy's Slayer Organization largely because they repeatedly refuse to let the Slayers use guns. Aside from Buffy's general dislike of guns, the Scoobies really have no real reason to give her why not.
- Often the case with Magneto, and the main reason why he so often swings between being an enemy or an ally of the X-Men, and even as an enemy he seldom completely loses the sympathy and grudging respect of both the X-Men and the audience. This carries over to the films, where it is indeed usually humanity (or, at least, a human), who escalates the human-mutant conflict, but his possibly-justified retaliation crosses the line by targeting innocents as well as the guilty.
- Transformers Combiner Wars: Starscream just loves to lace his self-serving ambitions with logical thinking. His insults to Optimus about using titles (like Prime) to put oneself above the others is detrimental to the new peace (which ol' Screamer's obviously being a hypocrite about since his whole Chosen One schtick puts him above others), which Optimus agrees with. Then there's Starscream's justification about using Superion, since Optimus has Devastator, a dangerous powerful monster that Optimus really cannot control. When Devastator does end up a problem, Starscream forcibly conscripts Six Autobots and turns them into a Combiner, and he's completely right in doing so. Devastator is a damaging machine of destruction who took down the only Combiner on their side, but with two, they defeat Devastator and save everyone. Starscream looks the hero, and he has two powerful war machines behind him, even if their true loyalties are to the Autobots.
- One of the most psychologically/emotionally charged sequences in the Batman: Knightfall saga comes early on, when Serial Killer Victor Zsasz tells Batman that the two of them are both killers - and when Batman retorts that he does not kill, Zsasz insists that Batman's hatred of criminals makes him want to kill them, and he would actually do it if he believed he could get away with it. This argument then unhinges Batman to the point where he beats Zsasz bloody in a rage, breaking his jaw and fracturing his skull and coming within a blow or two of smashing in his brain before Renee Montoya stops him - all the while screaming that he is not a killer.
- In the novelization, though, Zsasz's argument is taken in a different direction when Batman is being stalked through the Batcave by Bane and considers using one of his collection of samurai swords to slice Bane open - but then feels guilty when he remembers Zsasz's "killer" accusation. In fact, here Batman would have been completely justified in killing Bane because 1) psychologically tormented drug addict or not, Bane is still a mass-murdering monster and Manipulative Bastard, 2) Batman was acting purely in self-defense and 3) he's no match for Bane physically in his exhausted state and he can't think of any nonlethal way to bring him down. Tragically, then, Batman gets his back broken by Bane because he forecloses his only option due to a point made by an enemy of his that was only partly applicable to real life, and an extremely disingenuous one at that.
- In the Pony POV Series, Nightmare Eclipse/Paradox points out that Discord is responsible for so much misery (something she knows first hoof, being a potential future version of Dark World!Twilight) that he deserves an And I Must Scream fate which she gave him. While she's undoubtedly a monster, it's hard to argue with the point. The problem is her method ended up being worse than Discord's own crimes and Discord has long since had a Heel Realization.
- In the Jackie Chan Adventures and W.I.T.C.H. crossover fanfic Kage (part of Project Dark Jade), Nerissa seethes at Himerish for not stepping in and stopping Phobos himself when the tyrant came to power (though Word of God has hinted that his reasoning will be explored later, it's hard not to see that she makes more than a little sense).
- One Harry Potter story explains Voldemort's reasoning as to why there's no such thing as a Fate Worse Than Death. His logic is basically, so long as you're still alive, there's hope things will get better. "The poor may become rich, the crippled might miraculously heal, the insane could claw their way back to sanity."
Films — Animated
- Monsters University: Mike and Sulley accidentally break Dean Hardscrabble's last memento of her scaring career, so she gives them a dressing down, by giving them hypothetical scenarios that they both fail, and get kicked out of the program for. She fails Mike immediately because as smart as he is, he's just not intimidating, and she fails Sulley because, while he's intimidating, he doesn't use his head to analyze and adapt to scaring situations. The film shows she's right about both, and they need to work together to be efficient.
- Batman: Under the Red Hood: No matter how many times Joker may get slammed into Arkham, being the Cardboard Prison it is, he always returns at some point to wreak more havoc. While Batman does think about killing Joker, he fears about never coming back. However, among Batman's rogues gallery, Joker DOES have a higher kill count alone than most and will most likely never stop killing as long as he is able, so putting him behind bars or a padded room does no good. Yet because he's Batman, he won't take that step. Some people find it easy to side with Red Hood here, even though he is a bit demented.
- Prince Hans in Frozen is just manipulating Elsa for his own ends, but a well timed line from him is poignant enough to stop Elsa falling into full-blown villainy. "Don't be the monster they fear you are!"
Films — Live-Action
- In Jet Li's The One, his character Yulaw is wanted for murdering alternate versions of himself in parallel dimensions. In doing so the life force of the duplicates he kills is divided among the remaining parallel selves, making them stronger. When placed on trial early in the film for 123 counts of murder, Yulaw points out how can he possibly be guilty of murdering himself? He then goes on to say all their energy will simply go into a single individual. When one looks at the troubling implications of the multiverse regarding freewill, Yulaw's goal seems more like a subversion of predestination. Though it's made clear he's lost all compassion due to his obsession.
Yulaw: You call it murder. How could I murder myself, a hundred and twenty three times? I just took those wasted energies and put them into one container... me. It made me faster, smarter, stronger. What if that is our fate? To unite with our other selves. To be unified forever. To be one. I will be The One.
- In The Dark Knight, one of the reasons why the Joker is so effective a villain is that he's very good at pointing out the flaws in the principles of others, and exploiting those flaws to his advantage. Some examples are: 1) He immediately recognizes that Batman is the real reason why organized crime is threatened in Gotham and points this out to the mob, which causes the mob to hire the Joker when they realize he was right, giving the Joker access to Gotham's underworld. 2) He exploits the fact that Batman really is an unlawful vigilante by promising to kill people until Batman unmasks, turning the city and the cops against Batman. 3) He convinces Harvey Dent to become Two-Face by telling Dent that the so-called justice system that he supports is filled with corrupt people who constantly tolerate corruption and profit from crime, which is true since Jim Gordon is forced to work with suspect cops in order to have enough men to do his job. 4) He constantly claims that people are complacent and corruptible and backs up his beliefs by putting people in a position where they have to choose to obey the law and their principles, or lose something they dearly love (only Batman consistently demonstrates his incorruptibility).
- In Rocky III, Clubber Lang is outraged that Rocky won't allow him a shot at the heavyweight championship title and publicly accuses him of only ever taking easy matches. He's actually right: it turns out Rocky's manager Mickey has quietly been refusing all challenges to the title except those he knows Rocky can win.
- Ferris Bueller's Day Off: Yes, Vice Principal Ed Rooney had gone too far by breaking into the Bueller home, but that doesn't change the fact that Ferris is skipping school, has done so at least nine times before (even hacking into the school computer to change the records), and has done so by blatantly exploiting the good will of everyone around him.
- Yuri Orlov, the eponymous Lord of War, is an amoral arms dealer who sells weapons to warlords whom he knows will use them to massacre innocent people. But, as he points out, plenty of innocent people are massacred without advanced weapons (the Rwandan genocide was committed primarily with machetes, for example), if he didn't sell them someone else would, and, as he points out to the Hero Antagonist Jack Valentine, a lot of his work is being clandestinely hired by the United States or other governments to arm people they don't want to be shown to openly support. The film ends with statistics showing that independent arms dealers don't even come close to the amount of weapons sold every day by nations like the US and Russia, who consider their arms dealing completely justified.
- Trask in X-Men: Days of Future Past. He made a lot of work to convince Obstructive Bureaucrats that mutants do exist, that they can be dangerous, and that America needs some kind of protection from them... and Magneto proved that Trask was completely right.
- As said under Comics above, Magneto himself, especially in X-Men: First Class when the actual moment of the inevitable break between him and Charles happens because he wants to retaliate against people who have just tried to kill all the mutants (including the ones to whom they are allied), in an attack solely motivated by fear of what they might do with their power rather than because the mutants were in any way aggressive towards them at the time. Charles' protests that the men Magneto's immediately targeting were Just Following Orders, which unsurprisingly does not make the Holocaust-survivor relent.
- Demolition Man: Simon Phoenix is a total psycho, but even he is correct in pointing out that Raymond Cocteau's society is horrific. He'd rather have hellish chaos than sissy fascism.
Simon Phoenix: You can't take away people's right to be assholes.
- Loki had a legitimate point in Thor, in that his brother wasn't ready for the throne. It is only because Loki let the frost giants into Asgard, leading to Thor being banished by Odin for recklessly seeking revenge against them, that Thor learns humility and grows into being a worthy future king and protector of the Nine Realms. A deleted scene also shows that, by that point, Loki is made the legitimate king of Asgard while Odin sleeps.
- Vernon Warmer from Animal House is the archetypal Dean Bitterman, but he's right when he makes the point that the Deltas aren't just lovable pranksters; they're drunken and destructive hooligans who need to either shape up or ship out.
- Heavyweights: Tony Perkins is an insane and abusive prick, but the campers were not making any effort to lose weight. In fact, the fat kids regularly smuggled junk food into the camp. While confiscating it wasn't a particularly nice thing to do, it is part of Tony's job. In fact, the first thing the camp does when Tony is locked up, is to celebrate with a junk food binge. Pat tells them that the point of the camp is to lose weight, and to feel better, and that they can do it without acting like Tony.
- In Star Wars: Attack of the Clones Count Dooku tries to get Obi-Wan to join him by claiming the Republic is beyond saving and needs to be replaced, that it's so corrupt a Sith Lord has been able to seize control of it entirely. While him being said Sith Lord's apprentice ruins his argument somewhat, he does have a point; the Republic by this time is incapable of preserving law and order even on the more civilised planets, Mega Corps have legal private armies, and most Senators are more interested in preserving their wealth and power than in actually helping their constituents. He's ultimately proven right, as the New Republic established after the fall of Palpatine's Empire focuses more on restoring the spirit of the Old Republic instead of just its bureaucracy.
- Assault on Precinct 13 (2005), due to the Enemy Mine team up between police and criminals, could be called "Villain Has A Point: The Feature Film". Most notably when two of the prisoners decide to abandon the group and make a break for it, and Bishop coldly points out that they could use them as cover to let two others get to a vehicle to get help.
- In Simon Bloom, Sirabetta, the Big Bad of the first book, is quite correct on how the Knowledge Union has some significant flaws.
- Isaac Asimov:
"Happy goldfish bowl to you, to me, to everyone, and may each of you fry in hell forever. Arrest rescinded."
- In "The Dead Past", the government agents trying to prevent the protagonists from learning the secret of viewing the past seem like a classic heavy-handed Government Conspiracy... until it turns out that they're simply trying to prevent privacy from being utterly destroyed by the dissemination of devices that can view any place at any past time from a century ago to a microsecond ago.
- The short story In A Good Cause... centres around two old friends, both initially part of a movement towards human federation in the face of the united alien empire of the Diaboli, with one remaining the idealist and getting arrested for it several times, and the other turning against him and gradually rising up in Earth's government. The first scene encourages the reader to sympathize with the idealist by establishing that there now is a united human federation, and it regards the idealist with respect and a bit of shame for repeatedly arresting him. Every time the two friends interact (the story uses large time-jumps to pass the time the idealist actually spends in prison), the one who turned against the movement chides the idealist for not being pragmatic enough. In the final scene where the two interact... the pragmatist's manipulations has led to the aliens being defeated and the human worlds moving towards federation, just as they both wanted all along.
- Honor Harrington: The Mesans are in the author's own opinion correct in their position on transhumanism and genetic engineering, it's their Utopia Justifies the Means ways that are wrong.
- Skitter from Worm when talking to almost any hero or their bosses, pointing out that the system they belong to is damaged and imperfect, the heroes aren't as clean as they pretend, or, in one case, that they're deliberately trying to induce a hostage situation. The last one is so convincing that the hostages side with her.
- John Farson, the "Good Man" of The Dark Tower, is a cruel, power-hungry despot, or so we're told. However, he's right that the Affiliation is ruled by a cabal of thugs with vague aristocratic pretensions who maintain power largely by having the best guns.
- In Firestarter, the Shop's methods are reckless and dangerous, but they cannot be faulted for wanting to get Charlie and Andy under control. Either of those two, alone, is hideously dangerous, and the two of them together could cause untold havoc.
- Victor Dashkov from Vampire Academy is portrayed as a villain, but sees himself as a social reformer. At several moments in the story Rose finds herself agreeing with some of the things Victor advocated, including a reorganisation of the Moroi government.
- In Star Wars: Shatterpoint, Kar Vastor and the ULF in general are portrayed as brutal murderers seeped in The Dark Side who mercilessly slaughter any off-worlders, set up as one half of the Grey and Gray Morality of the Summertime War, but what were they supposed to do otherwise? For thirty years off-worlders have been shooting Korunnai on sight, prospectors kidnap, torture and murder their children, they're forced to shelter in caves in deplorable conditions because any exposed settlement is bombed from orbit, and they can't even take their herds out to graze because gunship patrols fire on them and their animals, while the Republic did nothing to help. All so off-worlders can sell the rare spices and barks that grow on Haruun Kal. While Vastor firmly crosses the Moral Event Horizon in the finale, it's perfectly understandable for them to use extreme tactics to defend themselves from the genocidal actions of a colonial power exploiting their lands.
- Star Trek:
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: In "Birthright", Worf learns about a Romulan prison camp where Klingons POWs have been held for decades. When he arrives, he's shocked to see the Romulans and Klingons living amicably. He is especially outraged that the young Klingons born there know nothing about their heritage. But Tokath, the Romulan commandant, points out he had still done something no diplomats from the Klingon or Romulan empires, or even the Federation has done: forge a manageable peace between Klingons and Romulans. Particularly since he had the choice of killing them or sending them back to the Klingon homeworld, where they'd have been dishonored and shunned.
- The Monster of the Week in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Hope and Fear" is an alien who devises an elaborate trap for Voyager on the grounds that Janeway's alliance with the Borg against Species 8472 in "Scorpion" enabled the Borg to assimilate his entire species, whereas if Janeway had stayed out of it the Borg would've been extinct by now.
- In Doctor Who, Torchwood started as a nationalist organisation with full intention of not just using Imported Alien Phlebotinum to defend Britain, even if they have to steal and kill to get it, but also to ensure its dominance over the world, and possibly other worlds. But given the constant threats that Earth faces and the complete incompetence of UNIT to deal with anything at all without the Doctor helping them, it makes complete sense to resort to drastic measures to ensure the next wandering alien doesn't wipe Earth from the universe.
- Game of Thrones:
- During a heated exchange when Catelyn Stark tries to insult Jamie Lannister by calling him 'Kingslayer' and dishonourable, Jaime quite rightly points out that the king in question was an insane monster (he could have equally pointed out that Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon also betrayed the king by rebelling against him in the first place). Then Jaime points out that Ned Stark (Catelyn’s husband), while honourable, was not without his flaws either and Catelyn herself hardly fulfills the ideals of "Family, Duty, Honor" either, since she always resented and hated Jon Snow for something which was ultimately not his fault. Jamie is an asshole, and his own behaviour has not been any better, but he is not wrong when he points out this self-righteous hypocrisy.
- While he is shown later to not be as bad as initially thought, Sandor "The Hound" Clegane gets this a lot, as he is repeatedly shown to be mostly correct that being callous and cynical is the best way to survive in Westeros. For instance when Sansa gets upset with him for being a brutal Jerkass he points out that he's the only one who could protect her from his boss Joffrey, mostly thanks to his reputation. He also mocks the notion of "knights" as being romantic, viewing them more-or-less rightfully as hired killers, and he is better than most of them because he at least acknowledges what he is and doesn't indulge in wanton sadism.
- Moriarty/ Irene Adler of Elementary is a ruthless crime lord and murderer, but the reason she states for giving up her daughter for adoption are hard to argue with. The head of a criminal empire is not even close to an ideal choice for a mother.
- While in ECW, Mick Foley invoked this during his "anti-hardcore" gimmick, making real points about the fans (who were hungry for more and more risk-taking and violence by the wrestlers that would get to be too much) and still being considered a villain. He'd also invoke this trope when he "quit" as Cactus Jack while in the WWF, citing that he and Funk had been beaten pretty badly and the audience didn't seem to care once they heard uber-popular "Stone Cold" Steve Austin was in the building and started chanting his name.
- When Stephanie McMahon turned heel for the first time by betraying her then-face dad and marrying top heel Triple H, she cited earlier in the year when her dad covertly arranged her own kidnapping from The Undertaker (and various other things that made her fear for her life) in an overly complicated plan to screw Stone Cold Steve Austin out of the title. Honestly, it's hard to blame her for that one when you take a step back. Triple H at the time had become the most detestable man in the business and his Start of Darkness was betraying DX to join Vince's Corporation and take part in those very plans.
- Sometimes, a heel will hate a face for some pretty solid reasons and still be a heel nonetheless. An example would be when Chris Jericho had a feud with Shawn Michaels in 2008. Most everything Jericho said about the fans being hypocrites for supporting HBK (Michaels) were pretty much true — except that it wasn't long before Jericho began calling the fans hypocrites for pretty much any reason.
- Smug Straightedge villain CM Punk frequently called out Jeff Hardy over his past drug use during their 2009 feud. Hardy's lame excuses (like that he's just "living in the moment" or that he's not perfect), combined with the fact that he never admitted fault for his past, caused more than a few fans to turn against the supposed face. Of course, this didn't at all justify Punk's cheating or using cowardly sneak attacks.
- Punk tends to get this a lot. His point toward Jeff Hardy during The Nexus feud that he's not as high on morals as he claims can be argued to be true. John Cena's done some pretty awful things and was saved from being booed by being a face. Of course Punk, being a heel, was booed for pointing this out.
- Further down the road, he was the heel in a feud with Randy Orton, but it was then-heel Orton who attacked then face-Punk years ago when he was champion, and punted him in the head, forcing him to forfeit the title via injury. Of course, Orton being a pretty textbook Draco in Leather Pants (even as a face) Punk was booed. Where this got particularly dark was when Orton took to using the same punting move on members of Punk's Nexus group, eventually putting everyone in the group except Punk himself on a bus. When you look at it, Punk is seeking revenge for something that a person would be extremely justified in being angry about, but he's the villain, when Orton himself has barely changed from his vicious, psycho heel persona, but the crowd cheers him anyway.
- Lita's story reason for turning heel in her retirement speech. Read between the lines of the typical heel self-aggrandizing and it was pretty sound. She felt WWE women's wrestling wasn't given any respect by fans or the WWE corporation despite busting her butt to bring up diva's wrestling to the level it was at the time.
- See also: Beth Phoenix and Natalya's Divas of Doom team-up. Whilst describing the rest of the divas as "perky bimbos" may be going a little far, consider that the two of them have in fact wrestled from an early age and yet often lose to former models who never wrestled before joining WWE and it can be a little hard to see them as outright heels.
- Muhammad Hassan had spent his entire career in the WWE pointing out the prejudice and racism he has to go through as an Arab-American. When you hear fans chanting "USA" at him despite being billed from Detroit, Michigan, you know he has a valid point. And let's not talk about his appearance in the Royal Rumble match (where every wrestler in the ring, heel or face, teamed up to eject him). What drove home his point is that during his feud with The Undertaker, he had several masked assailants attack Taker. The New York Post's Don Kaplan ran a story headlined with "Undertaker Attacked By Arabs." Hassan brought up the very valid point of "How did they know they were Arab if they were wearing masks?" (Answer: because they appeared after Hassan apparently "prayed" them into existence, and as his theme song played.) Unfortunately, even that wasn't enough to save his character - UPN essentially forced WWE to never show him on Smackdown again when the terrorism angle coincided with the 2005 London bombings, and they saw no other choice but to have Undertaker essentially kill him off in their scheduled match at the next pay-per-view. Sad thing is, he's a kayfabe Arab; in real life Mark Copani was descended from Italian Americans, so it's really just because people see dark skin and assume everything they hear that is negative to be true.
- During the whole "Eddiesploitation" fiasco, when Chavo Guererro turned heel against then-Champion Rey Mysterio, he accused Rey of using the Guererro name to further his own career. He was supposed to come off as jealous (since he failed to win his own tribute match to his uncle), but considering that Eddie's death has been used as Rey's motivation even before his Road to Wrestlemania, some fans agreed with him to the point where he was considered to be the true face in all of this (others just thought it was a dumb angle, considering Rey should be able to coast on his own family name)
- The Fourtune/EV 2.0 feud in TNA seemed to be based around the fact that Fourtune was pissed they had to make room in the spotlight for all the old ECW guys, most of whom they feel can't wrestle. Ric Flair stated that until [the ECW guys] survive a plane crash like he did, they can't tell him shit about being "hardcore". Likewise, AJ Styles feels he's helped make TNA what it is through his duty to the company, calling TNA "The House That AJ Styles Built" and declaring ECW has no right to push him and the other originals out of the spotlight. They both have a point. What sends this into a combination of Viewers Are Morons/Mind Screw territory is that the ECW/EV2.0 guys were famously loyal to Paul Heyman because they always came first to him (other guys would come in but he never put them over at the expense of his originals). The audience was supposed to boo Fourtune (the original TNA guys, for the most part) because they're complaining EV2.0 (the invaders) are taking over their show, when the invaders' original company (ECW) achieved its success because the original ECW manager was loyal to his originals and never pushed them aside. Furthermore, the ECW guys are supposed to be faces, but they're doing something that the original ECW despised (pushing aside original talent in favor of other, more famous people).
- The way Batista was treated after Over the Limit was particularly egregious, not the least because it happened on his very last night with WWE. He and John Cena competed for the WWE Championship in an "I Quit" match that culminated with Batista giving up after Cena threatened to F-U him off the top of a car. Cena smiled — and then F-U'ed him anyway, nearly killing him! The next night on Raw, Batista showed up (in a wheelchair) to protest Cena's cowardly attack on him and to threaten to bring a lawsuit against WWE, claiming them responsible for nearly ending his career. Raw General Manager Bret Hart then appeared and told Batista that he would be granted another chance at the WWE Championship if he could win a qualifying match to be held immediately. When Batista pointed out that he couldn't even walk, Hart rather rudely stated that Batista therefore forfeited. Batista went ballistic and screamed at everyone, announcing that he was quitting WWE for being treated so unfairly — and every single person in the arena booed him, like they would any other crybaby heel. Kayfabe aside, it was a really disrespectful send-off for a wrestler who, for the past five years, had been second only to Cena in popularity.
- Bret Hart's ascension to General Manager was actually Vince McMahon attempting to pull this on him. After Bret dished him a particularly nasty beatdown over the Montreal Screwjob, Vince decided to promote him to GM, showing him that being in charge means being the bad guy and making decisions not everyone will like for the sake of the company. He gets into a disagreement with his family after making such a decision over a match, though Vince quickly seizes the moment and fires him afterwards, ensuring Bret still looks unfairly treated.
- On the Backlash after Wrestlemania XIV, prior to Triple H's match with X-Pac, he and Chyna talked about how much of a Ungrateful Bastard X-Pac was, as he was the reason he got a job in the then-WWF in the first place. While Triple H was a heel at the time and could be dismissed as a jerkass trying to justify himself betraying DX, after thinking about Chyna betraying Triple H for the Corporation and how he was all alone with none of the other DX members coming to his aid, it's no surprise that Triple H decided to sell out his buddies in DX.
- When Jerry Lawler wrestled The Miz for the WWE title, the next Raw, Michael Cole did have a point in that Lawler was partially at fault, although not in the way he intended or the way he said. While the point Cole made was slightly valid, it really wasn't Lawler's place to interrupt a new champion's victory celebration, but The Miz is a frankly pathetic heel who more or less cheated to win his title and most faces would have done the same, there was a point in that Lawler technically did screw himself out of the win. While yes, Cole did pull him off the ladder and temporarily stop him from winning, Lawler berated and then assaulted Cole on this for at least a full minute. If Lawler had simply given Cole a well-deserved punch in the mouth and gone back to his business, Lawler would have been champion. Although it was still fun to see Michael Cole get beaten down.
- Michael Cole gets one during the 3/25/2011 segment when he was trolling the hell out of R-Truth. Booker T says he lost respect for him, his reply:
Michael Cole: It's not about respect. No one gave me respect for fourteen years.
- The number of people who have turned heel for no other reason than because they had the audacity to be angry after being attacked and/or bullied by "Stone Cold" Steve Austin for no apparent reason is pretty high. Prominent examples include Ric Flair during the initial brand split who was attacked despite doing everything he could to get on Austin's good side, and Vince McMahon himself, who started a nearly five year epic feud simply by asking Austin to be a bit less anti-social.
- Bobby Roode, since turning heel to take the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, has seen the bad side of new authority figure Sting. Sting has tried to punish Roode for his outright cheating tactics and jerkass tendencies - including taking advantage of injured ex-partners and practically shooting them In the Back, using Dixie Carter as a shield and spitting in her face, among other assorted tactics - by making life hard for him as the champion. However, Sting in the process has taken to forcing Roode into repeat title defenses on Impact after certain pay-per-views as well as physically involved himself in world title matters. Roode is a selfish traitor with no redeemable social qualities whatsoever, but he's got a point about Sting's zeal for screwing with him to get a more virtuous champion — he's even recently exploited that to recreate an old Bret Hart title defense. Sting would later realize that Roode was right and he would never end Roode's reign this way, turning over power back to Hulk Hogan because it just wasn't working and coming back later as an active wrestler again.
- Matt Hardy turned heel on his brother Jeff (the first time) because he was annoyed with Jeff costing them matches by being unable to resist doing high spots. Notably in a cage match, Jeff cost them the titles by being at the top of the cage, and instead of escaping (and winning the match), he chose to jump off and ended up getting pinned. Matt had a point, didn't he?
- MVP's assertion that Bobby Lashley had only become heavyweight champion of TNA because of MVP's earlier injury. Bobby took offense to this but not only was it true, MVP also did everything in his power to keep Lashley healthy even after he was healthy enough to wrestle again, not demanding he get his shot until Lashley lost the belt. Nonetheless, Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode tried to milk this for all they could to turn Lashley and MVP against each other.
- Foreign Wrestling Heel Rusev, during his feud with Cena, pretty much called Cena an arrogant, pompous bully on the downswing of his career, just like America. Considering that just the prior week, Cena told Rusev he had the right to free speech, assaulted Rusev when Rusev later exercised that right, and then put a barely conscious Rusev in the STF until Rusev's crying girlfriend agreed to give Cena what he wanted, Rusev had a point in calling Cena an arrogant dick.
- As part of its efforts to bump the Chaos Gods of Warhammer 40,000 from their standard Chaotic Evil approach to a more Chaotic Neutral one in Black Crusade, they remade Nurgle, the already Affably Evil God of Pestilence and Decay into an agent of Eternal Recurrence. Nurgle wants to destroy the current galaxy because he deems it's time that it perished and decayed, so that new life and civilisations can rise from the ruins, stronger and healthier than what was. Considering that the setting is a Crapsack World, with the primary human empire being a conglomeration of all the worst aspects of humanity's past, outright described by the authors with terms like "rotting" or "decaying" and spending more of its forces fighting futile battles to suppress internal dissent and political upheaval than against fighting the very real alien invaders, it's kind of hard to argue that maybe it would be best for the setting if it was quietly killed off and something new allowed to evolve in the ruins.
- In the Magic: The Gathering short story "A New Tarkir of Old," Yasova Dragonclaw is made to look like the bad guy, seeing as she chose to work with Nicol Bolas. However, as the audience has already seen, Tarkir is enough of a Death World without giant dragons attacking everything that isn't a dragon. Conversely, Sarkhan may be seen as the villain for opposing her, but he has a point as well, abiet one that no one on Tarkir would be able to comprehend (she's fighting to take down Ugin, who is both the source of all dragons on Tarkir, and the only being that knows how to re-seal the Eldrazi).
- In Mega Man 9, Dr. Wily convinces Dr. Light's newest robot masters, all of whom are about to reach their expiration date and due to be recycled, that they shouldn't have to die because the law says so and that they can still live perfectly useful lives. While Wily is just saying this so he can use them to frame Dr. Light, he is right in that the robot masters are still sentient living beings that are being trashed because of the law and not by choice.
- In Shadow Hearts we have Albert Simon, A.K.A. Roger Bacon. Through most of the game we see he is pretty dead-set on bringing about the Apocalypse and has numerous plans to do it. In the end it turns out he wants to wipe the world's slate clean and make it a garden of Eden. He has seen the worst of man-kind and can tell that it's going to get even worse still (World War I is on the way) and wants to save it before it get's to that point. The twist is he has no intention of ruling it, so it's not even as if he is robbing man-kind of anything but it's worst. Though even if he is going to bring them back, a lot of people are still going to die during his renovation.
- Sly Cooper:
- Dr. M from Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves may be a terrible person to work with, a lab nut, and an overall Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain but he DID buy the island legally so everything is technically his and he could've claimed his right to kill Sly seeing that Sly invaded his land.
- During Penelope's Motive Rant in Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time, she points out that Bentley could have done so much more in life than just been the brains of a group of thieves, given how unbelievably smart he is. She's absolutely right and Bentley agrees, but he loves his friends so much (they're practically family after all considering they were all orphans and grew up together) that all he's ever wanted to be is part of their team.
- Diablo III has your main character as his allies forced to negotiate with the ghost of Zoltum Kulle, an Obviously Evil villain who makes no attempt to hide the fact he is using you to be revived. During your cooperation, he passes most of the time explaining your character that he actually is a Well-Intentioned Extremist who want to awake Humans' true power, and that your own allies are manipulating you for their own purpose. At the end of Act III, it turns out one of your allies, Adria, was indeed using you to prepare Diablo's resurrection.
- Mundus in DMC Devil May Cry mocks Dante's desire to free humanity by pointing out that humans had freedom before Mundus arrived, and "They fought. They killed. They starved." Vergil shares Mundus' opinion of humanity, to the point that he wants to rule humanity with Dante after Mundus' defeat.
- Darth Traya from Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords justifies her actions by proclaiming that the Force uses people as tools and that she wants to break free from the cycle of massive galactic wars by destroying it. Though her arrogant assumption that she is fit of standing above the conflict, instead of being just another Sith urged by the Dark Side to plan an action that will kill all life in the Galaxy makes her a villain, she has a point: the wars between Jedi and Sith rage on for millennia afterward, with countless innocents in the crossfire and no end in sight. There's also the matter of a single Jedi or Sith being able to influence the entire galaxy; is that sort of power something any one person should have when individuals will lay waste to everything just to obtain it?
- Assassin's Creed III:
- William Johnson in his Hannibal Lecture before his death claims that if the British control on the colonies was broken the colonists will encroach on the Native American lands and displace the inhabitants...something that obviously occurred in Real Life and is even later touched on in universe.
- Haytham has a conversation with Connor about The Templars. Haytham angrily points out that the people Connor works for are not much different then the Templars and that the only difference between them is Haytham "Doesn't feign affection" The Templars wrote the history books and manipulated information and society both through subtle means and by blatant means like the piece of Eden. Samuel Adams himself says that since nobody knew who fired the first shot that started the war he was going to spin it to look like self defense rather then treason. For the greater good just like the templars do.
- The terrorist group Ilias Kreuz in Monster Girl Quest are a gang of criminals who show no mercy whatsoever toward monsters and slay them without hesitation. However, when these monsters also tend to show no mercy to humans whatsoever and either devour, enslave, or kill For the Evulz any human they encounter, it's kind of hard to not understand where Ilias Kreuz is coming from. Out of over 200 monsters, about 9 of them are actually friendly, and three of them had to be beaten in a fight first. They start attacking humans in chapter 3 again, by the way.
- The Big Bad of Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura, Kerghan, believes that the afterlife is far more peaceful and pleasant than existence as a mortal and therefore intends to act on the logical conclusion. As two certain party members who have died and been resurrected respectively raised as undead can confirm he is right.
- Cardinal Albert Simon, the Big Bad of Shadow Hearts, wants to wipe out humanity and restart civilisation because of the brutal repression of human elites. The party doesn't even disagree with him about the repression, but still fights him because of the loss of innocent lives. The sequel reveals that his actions in the first game were a misguided attempt to stop Rasputin.
Albert Simon: Only an illusion of peace exists in the superficial calm of our lives. In fact, the blood and tears of the poor are sacrificed daily by a handful of elite power-mongers. No matter how far science and technology advance, repression will never cease. We're only human. Whenever the calls for revolution turn into concrete action, instigators are met by the full resistance of the elite, who stop at nothing to keep their power.
- In a bizarre mix of this and Even Evil Has Standards, Azrael of Blazblue, sociopathic monster he may be, is quick to call out Sector Seven's motives for releasing him. It's difficult to disagree with him.
"So, let me get this straight: First you guys get Kokonoe to capture me and put me on ice, and now you're releasing me so I can kill her? That's the joke of the century right there. You're a bunch of selfish assholes by any standard."
- Mass Effect:
- Cerberus is portrayed as evil for using extreme measures to make humanity strong without the Citadel Council, with their primary argument as 'When the going gets tough, the aliens will abandon us". Guess what happens at the beginning of Mass Effect 3?
- The end of Mass Effect 2 is a weird case not where the villain has a point, but where they're the only one who presents a valid point. The Paragon option to destroy the Collector base prompts The Illusive Man to plead that they could use the technology to help fight the Reapers, which is understandable, while Shepard responds with some claptrap about being able to fight the Reapers on their own without its help. The thing is, Shepard could have pointed out that every single time someone tries to use Reaper technology they end up being Indoctrinated, which is a much more valid reason to destroy it, but because they never mention it TIM ends up looking like the more reasonable party.
- One of the many reasons the original ending to ME3 got such immense hatred is that each of the endings proves one of the villains right. The Control ending proves The Illusive Man right that humanity should control the Reapers, the Synthesis ending proves Saren right that organics and synthetics should live as one, and the Destroy ending proves the Reapers right that organics and synthetics cannot co-exist, leaving the impression that a lot of suffering could have been avoided if Shepard had just joined the villains instead of fighting them.
- In Shin Megami Tensei IV, no one can say Tayama isn't an arrogant, amoral asshole, or that the Red Pills his Ashura-kai create aren't unspeakably vile, considering the production method , but unfortunately he's not bluffing when he stresses the importance of both for Tokyo. After the events of the Alternate Timeline arc are over, the prentice Samurai return to a Tokyo that's now worse than the two Death Worlds they've just visited, due to the fall of the Ashura-kai and the collapse of the Red Pills' production lines.
- In Half-Life 2, Dr. Breen is The Quisling who sold out humanity to the Combine so he could be in charge. He's also completely right that surrender was preferable to annihilation, and that if he doesn't convince the Combine that humanity are useful in some way they'll just kill them all anyway. In the midst of his desperate ramblings at the protagonist to dissuade him from accomplishing his mission during the endgame, he delivers this line:
"Tell me Doctor Freeman if you can, you have destroyed so much... what is it exactly that you have created? Can you even name one thing?? I thought not."
- In Final Fantasy X, before Maester Seymour is revealed as a villain, Wakka questions why a maester of Yevon is supporting a mission using technology that's taboo to their faith. Seymour explains that he should stand against the use of machina, but that so many are willing to risk their lives and put forth so much effort to destroy Sin, it's really for the good of everyone that he turns a blind eye to the teachings. Even Tidus, who never liked Seymour to begin with, had to admit it made sense to him. Though it's ultimately subverted by Maester Kinoc, who says in so many words that the maesters know this isn't going to work, and are trying to send a message to anyone who still doubts them.
- In Neverwinter Nights 2 Mask of the Betrayer a player that does a Face-Heel Turn can justify it by being sick of getting constantly yanked around by cosmic forces. Essentially, they call the gods out on their general dickery and declare war on them. While some gods don't abuse mortals much, most do and all manipulate lives to their own benefit.
- In Injustice: Gods Among Us, the New Regime trailer. While Injustice!Superman and his fellows became evil, they are right: before coming to power, criminals were unstoppable, as it was essentially nothing to fear for them: government did nothing to properly imprison or punish, and heroes didn't kill in any circumstance. "Look at the Joker. Would he even exist if not for you?"
- Iji pulls this out multiple times as part of its White and Grey Morality, with every villain having at least one good point either about the overall plot or the title character herself (except for Asha, who's just a dick). The Anti-Villain Big Bad tops them all; everything he says is right, there's really nothing he nor Iji can do to stop the inevitable, and Iji only continues her mission because the only other option is death, just like him.
- Dagoth Ur from The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind is a malicious, insane, conquer that wants to rule the world by spreading a blight disease that rots the mind and turn those inflicted into insane zombies but he does have a point for his hatred of outlanders. The Tribunal pretty much set themselves as undisputed rulers that freely encourage slavery and look down on the native ashlanders. And the Imperials are arguably not much better, especially if one plays this game after The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim which showed them at their worst (if you play as a Stormcloak).
- Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance has this with almost every villain, each expressing in their own way the purity of violence, the strong controlling the weak, Might Makes Right, and that Raiden is Not So Different to them. Ultimately Raiden agrees with them and takes bits of their philosophy into his own... and kills them anyway, so that he can use their ideals but put them into practice in his own way.
- In Star Trek Online's Klingon Defense Force tutorial, the Player Character's CO, Captain Jurlek, conspires with the crew of the USS Musashi to illegally transfer a prisoner back to the Federation, treason the Player Character kills him over. Part of his reasoning is that he believes the war with the Federation is pointless, that the Federation is the enemy the Klingons cannot beat: during peacetime they were slowly changing the Klingons by cultural influence, and in war Starfleet was always able to stonewall them effectively despite simultaneously fighting any number of border conflicts and Space Cold Wars. Cowardly? Perhaps, but when you think about it he kinda comes off as Properly Paranoid.
- In Higurashi: When They Cry's Meakashi-hen, as completely insane and sadistic is Shion Sonozaki is at this point, she's actually got a good point when she's calling Kimiyoshi out over Satoshi being treated unfairly due to Sins of Our Fathers. Might be a social commentary by the author, since it comes up again in Minagoroshi-hen.
- Cracked: Invoked with "9 Famous Movie Villains Who Were Right All Along".
- Linkara invokes this in his rant about why Izaak Crowe's whining in Batman: Fortunate Son is idiotic, followed by the relevant clip from The Dark Knight:
Linkara: I hate to agree with a villain, but The Joker is right!
- Deadcoders Reviews has this opinion in regards to Code Lyoko:
"Some people ask why XANA immediately tried to Kill Jeremie in this episode, given that Jeremie really isn't a threat. I think I figured out why XANA tries to exterminate humanity. When XANA was first created, the very first person he met was Franz Hopper, a man so crazy that even Aelita pointed it out at one point. The next person he met was Aelita. Since XANA has at least a peripheral understanding of the outside world, he can sense what's going on in the factory. That means that he can sense the horrors of french engineering. He can also sense the school, which means that he can sense the amazing incompetence of a school that hired Jim, hired a man as crazy as Franz Hopper, keeps open containers of toxic waste near children, and is run by a man so spineless that Sissi can manipulate him. He can also sense the hospital, and the horrors of the french mental healthcare system. Based on all these things at once, my guess is that XANA encountered all of these horrors of humanity, and it's first reaction to a species that consistently produced such horrible things was, "AHH! KILL IT! KILL IT WITH FIRE! actually, SCREW FIRE, KILL IT WITH FIRE, ORBITAL BOMBARDMENT, DEATH LASERS, CAPTAIN JANEWAY'S CYBERNETIC SPIDERS, ARMIES OF ROBOTS, THE POWER OF STEPHEN KING NOVELS, WEATHER, ELECTRIC TAR, AND ANYTHING ELSE THAT COMES TO MIND!" XANA is not evil. It's just trying to save itself and all other species from the horrors of humanity. Given that the main and secondary cast includes Yumi, an implied domestic abuser; Ulrich, a disturbed stalker; Jim, a person who smiles at the thought of rubbing himself with poop; Jeremie, a necrophile; Aelita, a pedophile; Odd, a manwhore moron; and other horrors, I kind of have to side with XANA on this one."
- Discussed at length and ultimately deconstructed in this blog post by Eliezer Yudkowsky of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality fame. Yudkowsky deliberately made the villains of HPMOR, and their perspectives, as believable and easy to understand as possible, not to cheerlead them but to demonstrate, in his opinion, how the psychology of evil actually works. Taking care to distinguish this trope from other, similar tropes like Both Sides Have a Point and Gray and Grey Morality (the latter of which HPMOR is often pegged as), he points out that "self-justification is cheap," and that a villain who makes a strong argument is not necessarily justified in what they do.
"When I’m writing HPMOR’s Death Eaters, I’m trying to pass the Ideological Turing Test for Death Eaters—-when I write Draco Malfoy’s viewpoint, I’m writing about Death Eaters the way that Draco Malfoy would see them. The goal is that a real Death Eater would read my Draco Malfoy viewpoint and not say, “Aha! This was clearly written not by the real Draco Malfoy, but by someone who wanted to make Death Eaters look bad.” ... Professor Quirrell is being written with a goal of making sure that the real Professor Quirrell wouldn’t be able to point to one of his lines and say, “What? I wouldn’t say that. There are much more persuasive arguments for a nation that stands strong under a strong ruler, like—-“"
- Justice League Unlimited:
"And with that power we've made a world where no eight year old boy will EVER lose his parents because of some punk with a gun...."
- Project Cadmus created several threats to the world, but they do have considerable ground to stand on for their actions: the League didn't tell anyone about their big Kill Sat, they themselves have made questionable decisions in the past, and the Justice Lords were able to take over their world with only six of the founding members.
- The Justice Lord Batman pulled one of these on the League one in a scene that even the writers were unable to directly respond to.
- Batman: The Animated Series:
Joker: "I hate it when you make sense!"
- Lock-Up points out that Arkham is a Cardboard Prison with a revolving door, and the villains keep coming back. This doesn't justify his excessive punishments, but it's telling that, when he shows up in the comics, Batman does briefly team up with him.
- "Joker's Wild" inverts this when Batman, caught in one of the Joker's explosive death traps with which he also plans to level a casino, manages to talk his way out by pointing out to the Joker that he's playing into the casino owner's hands, since the guy is trying to get the casino destroyed as part of an insurance scam. Much as it infuriates him, Joker realizes Batman is right, and has to abandon his death trap to go settle accounts with the casino owner instead.
- In The Batman Francis Grey's complaint about his 17 year sentence for stealing a small item.:
Francis: I took a watch! Everything else was just an accident.
- In the Wonder Woman film Persephone's arguments about the wrongness of Hippolyta's hiding the Amazons away from Man's World:
Hippolyta: You were given a life of peace and beauty!
Persephone: And denied one of families and children. Yes Hippolyta, the Amazons are warriors, but we are women too.
- The Legend of Korra: One of the recurring themes of the series.
- The Equalists claims that benders in the United Republic of Nations are forcing non-benders to live as second class citizens. This belief carries some weight since the state is governed entirely by an unelected council that at the time was chaired solely by benders, the heavy hitters in the military and the police are mostly benders, the biggest sport in town is one that only benders can play, and benders apparently get more job opportunities (such as firebenders who power the generators with lightning) than non-benders. Though we don't see too much of it in the series itself, Word of God is that the Equalist Revolution did convince the United Republic to abolish its unelected council and replace it with a democratically-elected government implied to be actively addressing the bender/non-bender divide, with the current president himself being a non-bender.
- In the Season 2 finale, Korra realizes her Evil Uncle might have had a point with his plan to break the barrier between the Spirit World and the Material World, he just went about it in the wrong way, and decides to leave the spirit portals open.
- Season 3 gives us Earth Queen Hou-Ting, who conscripts all of the new airbenders in Ba Sing Se as her personal army against their wills. While this is shown to be nothing but despicable, both she and Commander Bumi point out that as their monarch she really can conscript any of them she pleases. The problem is she's having them abducted, keeping them from contacting their families and loved ones, having them "trained" by a Drill Sergeant Nasty Dai Li agent (he basically just earthbends projectiles at them and forces them to try and deflect them and punished Kai when he kept another airbender from getting hit), and is treating them like slaves.
- At one point, a group of bandits tries to steal tax money the Earth Queen demanded Korra deliver to her in exchange for helping find the new airbenders in Ba Sing Se. After she and Asami fight them and drive them off, one of them exclaims that she's on the wrong side, and the gold belongs to the people. Korra admits that she has a feeling that he's right, but still delivers the gold in the hopes the Earth Queen would uphold her end of the bargain, and calls the Earth Queen out when she doesn't uphold her end of the bargain.
- The main villains of Season 3, Zaheer and his companions, want to remove all world leaders, plunging the world into chaos. Considering some of the authority figures we've already seen - the warmongering Fire Lords (one of whom carried out a genocide of the Air Benders, though Zuko and his daughter have been a definite step up), the inept President of Republic City, and the cruel, vindictive Earth Queen - Zaheer has a very valid point that not even Korra can deny, though she doesn't agree with Zaheer's goal of creating total chaos.
- General Kuvira in Season 4 usurps the throne of the Earth Kingdom and instead crowns herself Emperor due to the heir apparent (Hou-Ting's bumbling nephew Wu) being an incapable leader who would essentially be a puppet installed by the other nations instead of a strong leader with enough authority to be able to push back against them. Wu himself eventually agrees with her about the obsolescence of the traditional monarchy, and decides to reform the Earth Kingdom into a republic with elected leaders.
- As Toph points out in "The Calling", Amon, Unalaq, and Zaheer had good ideas (equality, bringing spirits back, and freedom) but went too far with them.
- In the original 1972 adaptation of The Lorax, the Once-ler tells the Lorax that if he shuts down production of the Thneed factories which are destroying the Truffula trees, it will put hundreds of workers and family members out of a job. Unfortunately, the Thneed production goes too far and the very last Truffula tree is cut down to make them, resulting in not only the permanent closing of the Once-ler's factory, but the complete destruction of a beautiful forest. And he is implied to regret this mistake.
- Xanatos in Gargoyles is nothing if not pragmatic, so this trope is particularly evident when the heroes are... not so pragmatic. Most notably, in the middle of the "City of Stone" four-parter, when Goliath is about to attack Xanatos for helping Demona curse Manhattan, Xanatos asks Goliath "Do you want vengeance, or a solution?"
- Azula can sometimes be a source of uncomfortable truths in Avatar: The Last Airbender. She tells Zuko at the start of season 2 that he wouldn't have been sent on a Snipe Hunt in the first place if his father cared about him at all, let alone welcoming him back after he completely failed. She also tells the Dai Li that no matter what they do they are simply never going to be trusted by the earth king or his soldiers again. The moment she says that, the screen cuts to a rather sad looking agent acknowledging the obvious truth. They won't be trusted again, in part because a large number of their members simply aren't trustworthy, even if that doesn't apply to all of them.
- In Gravity Falls episode "Sock Opera" Bill Cipher points out that while Dipper's sacrificed his own needs and wants for Mabel, his twin has never really repaid the favor. Later on, when the triangle fights Mabel for the journal, he tells her that she had no problem abandoning her brother to obsess over her latest crush, not to mention taking one of his possessions without permission to use a prop in her puppet show.