There is a certain school of thought that says that none of what Finn is experiencing is real, or is at the very least vastly distorted from the true (and likely terrible) reality he lives in. Word Of God states that Ooo is a post-apocalyptic world recovering from what is referred to as the Mushroom War. The possibility exists that what Finn views as adventure might be a great deal more harrowing than his mind allows him to process... throughout the series, there is all kinds of Scenery Gorn, with destroyed or submerged buildings, half-buried and wrecked cars, broken televisions, abandoned military equipment, and notably, a river of trash. The opening sequence briefly features a barren field of bombs and bare trees, as well as an arm reaching out, and several of the situations in the show could be read as euphemisms for what is really taking place (such as the Rainicorns attempting to eat Finn, then substituting him for 'soy people' as a euphemism for cannibalism; the Ice King's obsession with kidnapping princesses as a euphemism for slavery; the relationship between Finn and Jake being perhaps a master-slave relationship with Jake the master; the absence of Finn's (and most other characters') parents, the fact that he lives in a tree; possible deformity or mutation represented by Candy People and various other non-human characters, etc). Word Of God states that this isn't the eventual revelation of the series... while throwing in sounds of Finn screaming and machine-gun-fire over a freeze frame. There are some similarities between Adventure Time and A Boy and His Dog, as well. Is he suffering from radiation-poisoning and starvation-induced hallucinations, and repainting his life as a coping mechanism, or is it all true with the context of the story? Who knows.
A prominent section of fans follow the school of thought that Bubblegum is a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing. For one thing, she treats her creation/"son" Lemongrab as an insane freak, and though she is more or less right, her seeming lack of compassion towards him and apparent unwillingness to seriously help him makes her come off as negligent, if not outright abusive. (For what it's worth, Bubblegum is shown to regret how her mishandling of Lemongrab's situation made things worse, and did try to make it up to him, though that opened another can of worms; see below). Her handling of Finn is also questionable, seeing as how she rather callously told him to "move on" during Too Young and to "stop acting weird" in Incendium.
As for Marceline herself, it's well known by this point that she survived the Great Mushroom War and was just a very small child at the time to boot. Marceline could be considered the only sane person in all of Ooo, as her main motivation seems to be just hiding from the world, and not getting involved, as an apocalypse survivor's primary motivation is generally self preservation.
Speaking of Lemongrab... Is he a spoiled and selfishmoron who uses his Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery, or is he a genuinely pitiful affection starvedwoobie who really desperately needed a reason to be happy about life? Word of God stated that after he was born, PB stuck him a castle to be raised by servants. Is his inability to read social cues and relate to others the result of an undiagnosed mental disorder, or is it the result of the actual social and physical isolation the princess imposed on him?
In Too Old did Lemongrab abuse his brother/clone/partner and the Lemon children because of his worsened mental problems, or was he lashing out over his grief over Lemonjon's death? Is he a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, or a monster?
Braco is a character that only appeared for one episode, but he's gotten quite a bit of this. Was he unfairly rejected by Bubblegum before even getting a shot to prove himself to her, or was he an entitled and patheticidiot who never really cared for PB as a person in the first place (given how he was looking a bit too willing to settle for the Bubblegum-Bot) and was only merely Loving a Shadow?
What is Princess Bubblegum's relationship with Marceline? "What Was Missing?" heavily implied they had less than platonic feelings for each other, and future seasons further imply it. Still, there are many fans who think they were simply best friends who grew apart over time. If they are in love, that still leads to many interpretations. One (supported by Marceline's VA) was that they were a couple once but broke up prior to the series. Another popular interpretation is that they were best friends who slowly fell in love but broke off their friendship before they could date, leading to a lot of Unresolved Sexual Tension. At the end of the series, their past relationship is still unclarified but they do undergo a Relationship Upgrade.
In The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan, Henry's treatment of Stanley varies depending on the episode (episode 10 has him being quite verbally abusive, but in episode 7 he appears to be amused by Stanley's antics even as he tells him to cut it out). Alan and Tom's chauvinism towards Anne is either a cause for minor tension between them or nonexistent, and Mimi's bossiness towards Scooter ranges from playful chiding to her behaving like a strict mother would towards him.
Did Vander relent out of guilt when strangling Silco for the second time, or did he run out of strength after being stabbed?
Did Silco embrace and comfort Powder because he truly saw himself in herfollowing her "abandonment"? Or did he simply say what the girl wanted to hear, recognizing he had a potential pawn he could manipulate on his hands?
Act III seems to suggest his feelings of parental affection are very much genuine. He panics when he sees how badly hurt Jinx has been by one of her bombs, and admits while dying that he was never planning on taking the deal for Zaunite independence if it meant sacrificing her life. Though this does raise the question of whether he's doing so simply to make her continue the fight against Piltover or not.
The human aspects of Singed never seen before this show. He admits he and Viktor are kindred spirits in their loneliness, but whether this means he has genuine empathy for Viktor is vague; he takes Viktor in as an assistant and does seem genuinely disheartened when Viktor becomes disillusioned with his experiments and leaves him. Furthermore, despite the extreme means he goes through to save the terminally ill Rio's life, Singed is shown gently comforting the creature in a flashback before the scene segues to the present, where it's shown how far he's fallen in his callousness. This leaves the interpretation of whether Singed simply always did his heinous experiments For Science! or genuinely once desired to save others from the frailty of life. Taken a significant step further when he reveals to Silco he too was once a father and understands his anguish, and is even seen grieving for his child on a pendant in solitude.
Is Jayce actually the intelligent, forward-thinking Man of Progress? Or is he a weak-willed, easily manipulated and impulsive nerd who thinks he can't possibly succeed at his dreams if he doesn't have others propping him up and correcting his mistakes so he doesn't have to do the hard work to support and achieve those dreams? Given how he was willing to mope, angst and commit suicide in the wake of the Kirraman's lab accident and his inability to stay quiet during the trial, and how he'll compromise his principles and literally get in bed with the Piltover oligarchs while not pursuing his and Viktor's original dreams, one has to wonder.
How benevolent was Marcus's plan for Vi? It appears to have started and ended with throwing her in prison for life. Did he really want to protect her from being killed or experimented on by Silco, did he hope to later use her against him following his betrayal, or did he just want her off the street and out of mind? Was his statement that Silco will kill her a warning or a threat?
After being knocked down and beaten by Ekko, Jinx sets off one of her own bombs when Ekko briefly hesitates. Did she know that she might be caught in the blast? If so, was she pulling a Taking You with Me out of spite at her enemy or out of guilt and a sick sense of togetherness, wanting to die alongside her last surviving childhood friend? Even before she sets off the bomb, she does look regretful and makes no attempt to dodge the bomb.
There's a third theory that based on the fact Jinx didn't try to use said bomb prior and there's enough time between her activating it and the bomb actually exploding that Ekko was able to get away with only a busted leg, that she was actually trying to kill herself, possibly because she didn't want Ekko to do it.
In Episode 8, Vi confides in Caitlyn that she used to chase away monsters for Powder when they were kids and that she ran away when a real monster appeared. Was she referring to Silco, who managed to corner Powder after Vi walked away from her? Or was she referring to herself, for, after revealing her monster by slapping and insulting Powder, leaving Powder alone rather than apologizing and taking her to safety?
In the final arc, was Sevika really planning to betray Silco to put Finn in charge and changed her mind from the speech about loyalty he gave, or was she always planning to stay on Silco's side and was just putting on a display for those who would betray him (it's clear that Silco wasn't sure which was which at first as he loses his composure for a minute after she swings her arm blade, nearly missing him to kill Finn). Or is it possible that she just wanted to keep those under Silco in line so that she could take over after Silco inevitably self-destructed with his relationship with Jinx? The final shot of her has her lounging in his office and smoking a cigar while recovering from her fight with Vi.
Does Jinx genuinely believe that Caitlyn is Vi's girlfriend, or at least that one or both is in love with the other, or was she just taunting her?
Did Jinx really think that Vi would consider killing Caitlyn to make her go back to being Powder, or did she know Vi would never do that and only presented her with such a Sadistic Choice to try and convince her that she's changed from being the old Powder and is now different as Jinx?
An important factor to remember is that Jinx created this scenario right after Singed performed the operation that saved her life after her fight with Ekko - something he outright stated was full of risks and wouldn't leave Jinx the same as she was before. So would Jinx really have done actually such a thing pre-operation or did whatever Singed do to bring her back from the brink of death fully transform her into the kind of person who would create such a dangerous situation, leading her into fully becoming the immoral Mad Bomber in the games?
Despite his general jerkassery, Archer deeply loves his much put-upon butler Woodhouse. Archer's treatment of Woodhouse seems a little conspicuous since, while he's definitely not a nice guy, he normally shows it by being self-centered and completely oblivious to other people's feelings - yet, for some reason, he seems to actively go out of his way to make Woodhouse's life miserable. But since Woodhouse was the only adult in Archer's life for much of his childhood, he's really the closest thing that Archer has to a father. And with all the abuse that Archer took from his mother as a child, maybe he only gives Woodhouse so much grief because it's the only way he knows how to show affection to the parental figures in his life.
Despite her apparent snobbishness, Cheryl/Carol is actually a sensitive woobie who's afraid of alienating people with her wealth, and she keeps working at ISIS because her coworkers are her only close friends. The woman's worth billions, so she obviously doesn't need the paycheck. And she's probably been with ISIS for at least a few years, but the others didn't find out about her wealthy family until late in Season 2. Considering how open she usually is about personal stuff (like her weird sexual fetishes) it seems a little odd that she kept that little detail to herself for so long. Maybe she was afraid of losing her only real friendships.
As Told by Ginger: There are many ways to view Courtney's character. A lot of fans feel that Courtney in love with Ginger and that her constant attempts to reach out to her are her ways of expressing this. Alternately she could be a Lonely Rich Kid who is just fascinated by Ginger, Macie and Dodie's long running friendship and desires to have close friends. Or maybe she is simply fascinated by Ginger's middle class life.
Batman: The Animated Series: Harleen Quinzel's voice sounds different than Harley Quinn's. Her voice is lower and her accent is far less pronounced. There are two ways of interpreting this: she downplayed her natural accent while working as a psychiatrist or Harley's voice is an exaggerated form of her "real voice".
Gwen's and Kevin's crushes on each other in the sequels of the Original Series are just their way of repressing that they're both attracted to Ben. Both attractions are at least partially taboo - Gwen's because Ben's her cousin, Kevin's because Ben's a guy - so the only solution is to try to force themselves to fall (however improperly) for each other. Because they're both lying to themselves and each other, they're both getting their signals returned, which is encouraging the charade. This explains why Gwen tells Kevin to ask her out without wanting him to, why Kevin tries to make himself appear attracted to Gwen without making a move, and why they both show Ben so much more subtle and genuine affection.
Ben sudden personality change in Omniverse is a coping mechanism. After nearly going Knight Templar and almost brainwashing the entire universe to his will, he reverted back to his old personality in order to hide the guilt he felt at almost irreversibly harming the universe. Likewise, it's also an attempt to cool himself down somewhat and not take things too seriously like he used to. The change in personality could also be because of Obfuscating Stupidity. After all, Ben does have an awful a lot of enemies. Wouldn't be better if he just seemed immature just to make them underestimate him?
Was High Voltage's HeelFace Door-Slam in "Something's Fishy" because they realized Evil Feels Good and genuinely decided they liked being villains? Or, was it because, having been mutated into eel people, they realized they could never live normal lives and so decided Then Let Me Be Evil?
The nature of Tom and Sarah's relationship in The Boondocks. While they usually seem Happily Married, flanderization made Sarah into quite a fangirl for other men after the first season. While she never goes as far as to actually cheat on Tom (and even gets mad at him for implying she would), many fans consider her a step away from becoming a cheater. This, combined with her boredom due to Tom's lack of adventure and dominance has created a fanon that the two will divorce by the time Jazmine is in high school.
Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars: Are Bucky O'Hare and the crew of the Righteous Indignation a group of freedom fighters who want to save the galaxy from the evil Toad Empire or are they a group of mammal supremacists that we see the series from the eyes of and of whom commit hate crimes against all non-mammals (save humans), using Bucky's past experiences with bad toads as an excuse? (This theory is the work of the crew of The Annotated Series)
Care Bears are supposedly Thought Crime enforcement thugs. You are not allowed to feel anything they do not approve of. They are on constant watch for inappropriate unhappiness. If you dare be melancholy, then a horde of bears will drop from the sky and Care Bearstare you down until you pretend to be fine and get back in line with the rest of the herd.
Is Gadget Hackwrench a simple Genius Ditz with a heart of gold? Or is she harboring an amoral dark side that needs to be harnessed for good by the Rescue Rangers lest it grow out of control (as shown by the "salesman traps" that Chip and Dale ran into in the pilot right before they met her, many of which were quite lethal)?
Also one of the most divisive topics in the fandom: is she completely oblivious to Chip and Dale's romantic advances, cognizant of them but uninterested, or does she harbor feelings for one or the other, and if so, which one? There's plenty of Ship Tease in the show to support any side of the argument, which is why the topic is so hot.
Chowder: Does the mother of Gazpacho exist from Chowder? Maybe Gazpacho is a sad, lonely Mammoth who can't commit to a relationship, and so he says his mother doesn't let him kiss other girls and uses his mother as an excuse to his odd behaviour. Maybe his mother moved away from him or died; he can't take it mentally, and so he thinks of her as always around.
Does Jeff want to be friends with Clarence and Sumo because he simply wants to or is he a troubled child who just wants two kids to torment, mock and constantly prove how "better" he is? He does act nice, but he does have a thing for beating Clarence up, contradicting his imaginative ideas and trying to be the smart, superior guy in an egotistical way.
Are The Little Traitor Dudes For Children's Defense, the "negative" counterparts of The Delightful Children From Down The Lane really good guys or just bad guys who were brainwahsed just like their counterparts?
Is the global organization a rebellious group of kids devoted to defying adult authority, or a benevolent, somewhat Knight Templar-ish group protecting the children of the world from those that wish to harm or unjustly oppress them? Although OP: Z.E.R.O. seems to confirm on the latter, some viewers tend to scale strictly on the former. Or are they straight-up Villain Protagonists with a Sympathetic P.O.V.? This was a lot more plausible early on in the show.
The entire show is a game a bunch of kids are playing, or a story they made up. (This theory seems to be gaining ground on 4chan) And adding on to that theory, Numbuh One is a kid who possibly moved away or died.
Alternatively, Numbuh One has either cancer or lukemia and the series takes place in his imagination.
Danny Phantom has characters who can be construed in different ways: Vlad, Danny, Sam, Jack, Dark Danny... but most notably, Vlad, who has before-and-after Villain Decay selves to play with.
There was a Fridge Brilliance take where Sam may be in love with Danny Phantom more than Danny Fenton; thus, why she acted so pissed during the Grand Finale when he briefly and willingly took away his own powers.
Vlad: sympathetic villain who deserves the love he's sought, or a jerk who lost that chance years ago and needs to get his karmic justification?
Considering how easily Tucker is corrupted by his vice and how little time he's given in Season 3, it's possible that he's secretly devising an evil plot to wipe out his friends and take over the world. He becomes a mayor by the end of the series, giving him a significant portion of power in his hometown.
A somewhat common interpretation for Danny is that has developed into a Stepford Smiler, explaining why he's remained pretty damn chipper through the whole show, especially after the events of The Ultimate Enemy, which by all means could have (and should have) traumatized him.
This archived Tumblr page suggests that Danielle may be hiding a more traumatized and torn apart life than she appears to have over her severing ties with Vlad and having Danny as her only family, not to mention her life alone on the streets. It also suggests the reason she doesn't stay with Danny is out of guilt over the trouble she caused him.
Daria - the Only Sane Man, or a self righteous snob, who acts like an asshole to everyone around her, and honestly can't understand, why exactly she isn't a Miss Popularity, which she thinks she deserves to be.
There's a lot of stuff going for how Sandi is just a pure Alpha Bitch. But in "Fire", Sandi actually smells a rat with how the bellboy appears to know just where Quinn is and is handing her and her friends free stuff. It's very easy to read this as not so much spite that it's for Quinn and not her, but because she senses that the bellboy is a stalker. In "The Daria Hunter", Sandi gets angry that the fashion club members aren't wearing goggles because it's against the rules of Paintball. (And that's a SAFETY rule!) Also to liking other friends, in "Fat like Me", Quinn's kindness towards Sandi to helping her get out of the Despair Event Horizon drives her to tears.
Mr. O'Neill actually gets this a lot. Is he a cheery guy who really tries to make people happy despite his spectacular inadequence at it, or does his failure to learn from his mistakes (or notice them, a lot of the time) indicate that he doesn't really care at all?
And, Tom Sloane, anyone?. This character is from this trope. Tom's potentially ending the relationship between Daria and Jane, and effectively sealing the fate of the flirtation between Daria and Trent Lane, caused Tom to be a very controversial character. The infamous kiss with Daria generated enormous antipathy for both Tom and Daria, therefore, there are very few fanworks that portray them in a positive light. The Tom/Daria pairing has come in for stick for Tom being too much in the right, with some saying the relationship comes off as parternalistic and unequal as a result; others criticise it for being too unromantic, viewing this as unrealistic. Others defend the latter as making sense for Daria, a normally closed-off person.
Outside of his relationship with Daria, Tom's portrayal still varies. A number of writers show him being a good person and/or an ally of Daria's. Others have criticised Tom for being dull and not having much to him beyond being "the boyfriend", claiming he wasn't fleshed out enough. The Angst Guy has usually shown Tom as being weak, attempting to do the right thing but backing out or getting it wrong; on the Daria Fandom Blog, he also once remarked Tom had been punished for The Kiss by having to date Daria, which he viewed as being a source of pain and frustration for Tom.
Is Muttley secretly on Yankee Doodle Pigeon's side? Is he really a mole, planted to foil the Vulture Squadron's plans from within? Perhaps the US military figured that a dog - albeit an egotistical, snickering glory-hound- would be an ideal spy to bungle Vulture Squadron's counter-intelligence. Notice episodes like "Operation Anvil," where Muttley single-handedly botches the squadron's plan to flatten the pigeon and then remains in the air for the rest of the episode, having a snicker at Dick Dastardly's expense.
Come to think of it, maybe Klunk is a mole instead of or in addition to Muttley! All those weird sound effects are really his way of saying, "Ha ha! I'm trying to put one over on you by designing killer planes that don't work!" Zilly, meanwhile, pretends to know what Klunk's talking about to cover his behind.
Dexter has awkward social tendencies, which may be a result of his having Asperger's Syndrome. He is a genius, but he doesn't seem to have a basic understanding of things outside book smarts and the like. He apparently is unable to have much of an imagination about anything.
There are also some that contend (especially considering the ending of the movie Ego Trip) that Dexter is a Villain Protagonist and Dee Dee is the real hero.
On the mention of Dee Dee, how smart is she really? Depending on who you ask, she's actually dumb, deliberately trolling Dexter and Obfuscating Stupidity when she's of average intelligence (albeit with more common sense than her brother), or she's smarter than Dexter but her own genius is overshadowed by her silly and bubbly nature. This mix of interpretations is aided by the fact that, depending on the needs of a given episode, Dee Dee has explicitly held all three of these roles throughout the series.
Is the Pointy-Haired Boss in the animated adaptation of Dilbert phenomenally stupid, or just vastly ignorant because of a sociopathic lack of interest in anything that isn't himself? It doesn't help that his voice actor said he didn't know if he was stupid, or stupid like a fox.
Is Dora is a brave girl whose careless parents let her freely roam a dangerous jungle or an imaginative little girl with her stuffed animals using puddles and a sandbox to keep herself entertained in her backyard? She is either surrounded by friends that are always there for her or only has one friend and he only hangs out with her because they are cousins.
Her being a Child Prodigy, with it running in the family, is another common belief. Her three cousins - Diego, Alicia, and Daisy - are precocious for their age. Diego and Alicia work even more dangerously than Dora, being animal rescurers despite not being out of middle school. Daisy is apparently only fourten or fifteen but is in college.
Considering all the changes, a lot of older viewers and former fans think Dora's Explorer Girls is a case of Growing Up Sucks, with Dora leaving her adventures and friends to live a more mundane life.
Why doesn't Swiper keep the things he steals? Is he just doing it to be a dick? Or is he a secretly remorseful kleptomaniac who wants to give people a chance to get their stuff back?
Sgt Blob can range anywhere from a Smug SnakeDrill Sergeant Nasty to a somewhat delirious Father to His Men. His treatment of Frizz and Nug ranges from abusive and self aggrandizing to desperately trying to keep their stupidity and laziness from triggering Zordrak's anger onto them, while his overzeal towards the Noops just to preserve the hides of him and his men isn't much greater than that of vice versa (who send children to stop Zordrak and have nonchalantly doomed the fate of endless Urpneys for the sake of maintaining good dreams).
In Metal Attraction, is Gandra being ungrateful for not thanking Fenton for the lengths he goes to make her happy, or she is justified in complaining that he is overdoing it?
Was Gandra despising Fenton because filming her for the Pep commercial ruined her reputation in The Big Flub uncalled for, or did she have every right to be angry at her boyfriend because of the town's backlash to a product that Fenton didn't bother to test before releasing?
Kankers are very prone to this, due to their canon flatness. Are they just bullies tormenting everyone for kicks, or is it a facade due to (implied) abuse and poverty early in their lives? Do they care about the Eds, and if yes, to what extent?
Is Plank alive or just a piece of wood who only lives in Johnny's head? If he is alive, is his apparent grudge against the Eds evidence of a cruel streak, or an understandable response to their antics?
Is Edd gay, bisexual, or is he just too socially awkward to not understand that boys generally don't show affection to each other the way he does? For that matter, is he naturally girly or did his parents raise him that way deliberately as a means to control him?
Is Eddy the most generous kid in town? Whenever he gets money the first thing he thinks of are his friends, and that's why he scams. The other kids have money, even his friends, but won't buckle in a cent no matter the circumstance.
Is his brother a simple case of Jerkass bully older brother or an abuser or worse? Does he have a nice side, as some episodes seemed to imply? Was he manipulating people into thinking he did? Or were those hints just Eddy being dishonest or in denial?
Are either Edd, Jimmy or Ed gay?
Is Kevin just a typical Jerk Jock who takes advantage of the Eds' unpopularity to bully them without being called out for it? Or does he see himself as a hero whose attacks on them are justified retaliation against their scams? If the latter, how much does this self-perception reflect reality? Something adding weight to this theory is that he shows he can get along with Ed and Edd and seems to have the most antagonistic relationship with Eddy in particular.
Whatever is underneath Edd's hat and why he hides it is an alternate character interpretation in itself. Some fans say that Edd has a severe case of psoriasis on his scalp. For some reason, it only affects his scalp, and he hates people staring at the swollen pink blotches and grayish scales the disease causes, so he wears a hat to hide them. Ed thinks the blotches and scales look cool, being a monster movie fan, and says so when Edd's hat is pulled off by a ceiling fan. Others believe he has long hair and is hiding it due to embarrassment (which is similar to the theory of him hiding his hair to avoid Dumb Blond stereotypes). It's also common for him to just see his hat as a security blanket and he has perfectly normal hair. There are also more outlandish theories, like that his brain is poking through his skull.
Vicky has this: There a fan interpretation that Vicky's bullying toward Timmy is a result of a troubled childhood past, based on Vicky's confessing of this to Timmy in the episode Snow Bound. The creator of the series, Butch Hartman, has also named this episode as one of his favorites for this reason. This kind of falls apart when you find out that her parents are terrified of her. Does this mean that Vicky really is icky, or is it simply her taking retribution for being abused by them now that she's capable of doing so? Then you get into the theories that they adopted her after she was taken from her abusive biological parents...
Her little sister Tootie is shown to be very similar to Timmy in many cases, including their shared torment at the hands of Vicky. This has led to many fans calling for her to receive a fairy, which in a way comes true in the FOP movie.
Is Trixie just a generic Alpha Bitch popular girl or does she have Hidden Depths? Earlier episodes implied she was much nicer than she seemed and was repressing her more tomboyish side in order to please her friends and maintain a certain image. There are those who jump to another conclusion as well, claiming she's a closeted lesbian or bisexual who's deeply afraid of what might happen if people found out; her having a crush on Timantha is obligatory here.
Does Timmy really have fairy godparents or is he really just "an average kid, that no-one understands" with issues in life who imagines he has fairy godparents to pretend to wish his problems away? Does this also mean Crocker is just a normal teacher who doesn't appreciate Timmy's effort in his work and not a fairy-obsessed psychopath who constantly gives out F's, and that Vicky is just a normal, average babysitter that Timmy also imagines as a psychopath? Or are they still cruel, just not to the cartoonish extremes Timmy imagines them to be?
Meg Griffin: Practically everyone in the show and a good number of fans hate her. But does she deserve it? On the one hand, she frequently whines about how "ugly" and "fat" she is, and she's willing to do anything to gain acceptance by her peers and family. To cope with the constant abuse and ridicule that her family dishes out, coupled with the bullying at the hands of Connie, Meg has engaged in a number of questionable and destructive actions. Some of these include threatening to kill herself, doing drugs, throwing up after meals, and cutting herself. However, some fans believe that she's just doing it to get attention.
Maybe the reason Meg cuts herself is that the physical pain of it and watching the wound heal brings some sort of relief and comfort from all the emotional abuse she gets.
There's a slight aversion of this trope with Peter - they mention his being retarded just enough that people who pay attention know this is the cause of most of his Jerkass behavior. Others who are less avid fans of the show fall into the interpretation that Peter is just a stupid jerk (faulting him for things a person who was mentally handicapped in real life would probably be forgiven for)
Stewie Griffin switches from evil murdering genius whose inventions could help him conquer the world, jack of all trades in baby form, flaming homosexual, and innocent baby so much that he seems to be experiencing a Joker-style multiple personality disorder.
One episode had an in-universe example: Quagmire, who is a horrible, selfish person, points out in specific detail why Brian may not be the bastion of logic and morality that the viewers have been led to believe.
Joe could be the worst cop in Spooner Street as he is fully aware of Peter's and Quagmire's horrific actions yet he refuses to arrest them.
Is Lois a sociopathic Bitch in Sheep's Clothing or a tortured soul who put up with an abusive father, a retarded husband and a town full of idiots?
Brian is endlessly bullied or treated as sub human because he is a dog, even by his closest friends. When we see him enter an alternate universe where dogs are the dominant species, he is perfectly willing to stay, while his human counterpart (who suffers the same prejudice that dogs do in the human-ruled universe) is quite refreshed at the idea of staying in Brian's world. Are Brian's pretentious antics merely childish ploys for attention, or just over insistence on proving he is as intellectual and sophisticated as any human and being seen as an equal.
The Great Gazoo could be the most evil character ever created. He was sent to earth as punishment for creating a doomsday device that would destroy the universe. And he is cute, not menacing. Obvious evil is easy to spot and thus not as dangerous; insidious or hidden evil is much worse.
The Flintstones has been interpreted as a Post Apocalyptic world ("bombed back to the stone age") who are trying to rebuild almost-forgotten technology with what they have available. Which makes a lot more sense if you consider that they celebrate Christmas and seem to have similar cultural norms to modern Americans.
Word Of God has stated several viewpoints for Finella (who was introduced in the Avalon 3 parter). Did she aid Katherine and the others because she was disgusted by Constantine's actions? Or would she have gone along with Constantine had he not spurned her for Katherine?
Did David Xanatos really pull a HeelFace Turn or was it an act to get the Gargoyles on his side so that he can use them as pawns in the future?
Max's morality. Is Max a good person who just happens to be selfish sometimes, someone whose selfish and kind actions are pretty much evenly split, or an Easily Forgiven self-centered whiny Jerkass who's not any better or is barely better than Pete?
PJ's intelligence: is he really stupid? Somewhat gullible and Book Dumb but sensible? Completely unremarkable? The smartest person in the cast? Also, his personality: does he have a trite, stereotypical characterization or an unusual one with a lot of depth? And his affectedness: is he a miserable mess who needs to be protected or remarkably well-adjusted (or both)?
Is Peg too hard on Pete or is her regular anger with him wholly justified? Does she side with Goofy more often than Pete because of a straightforward response to Goofy just being nicer than Pete, or because she secretly wants to be with Goofy rather than with Pete?
Perhaps Nergal is the result of what happens to Jon Irenicus at the end of Baldur's Gate II. Or, perhaps more creepily, he is Grandfather Nurgle from Warhammer: it strikes all the points - utterly disgusting and a family man - and he even has Nurglings. The only aspect they left out were the horrifying diseases, which wouldn't gotten by, even in this show.
Is Mandy a normal (if creepy) girl with bizarre abilities, or a Humanoid Abomination? Or is she Satan herself within a girl's body?
Halloween Is Grinch Night: Does the Grinch really have all those monsters locked up in the Paraphernalia Wagon, or is he a Master of Illusion who made Euchariah hallucinate all the things he saw after the wagon was opened? On the one hand, Euchariah is standing on top of the wagon when the Sweet-Sour Wind dies down, as if to suggest he was standing there all along, but on the other hand, when Max is pulling the wagon back to the Grinch's cave, the latched door is bumping as though something inside is trying to get out.
Helga's older sister Olga. Is she a sensitive Stepford Smiler who is actually trying to be a better sister to Helga, or is she a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who passive-aggressively torments Helga and uses fake tears to manipulate people into feeling sorry for her? It really doesn't help that Olga never seems to keep her promises to Helga, nor does she seem to learn from her experiences around Helga. Not to mention her cheerfully telling the entire class at school about Helga's former bed-wetting habit after Helga told Olga to not tell them any of Helga's secrets and quickly assigning Helga detention for a petty slight.
Lila creates a lot of different interpretations. Word Of God is that she has a repressed darker side; however, this just adds fuel to the fire. There are enough elements to support her being either a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who manipulates everyone or a Stepford Smiler trying to be as sweet and smart as can be while having a difficult life.
A theory that pops up occasionally is that Lila was sexually abused in the past. Unlike other dark theories like "[x] series is just a comatose dream" or "Rugrats theory" this is taken more seriously. A common abuser is her mother, which is why she's nowhere to be seen and explains why Lila's family moved to the city.
When Adam turns Mira down midway through the show some fans wondered whether this was a stealthy, Show, Don't Tell way of introducing a gay character among the main characters, while others simply thought that he was not interested, which is also plausible. In the first episode, Kai refuses to have "his nose in (Adam's) buttocks" when they run out of the room by the vent, and Adam seems offended by what looks like gay panic.
Another interpretation could be Adam was leaving room for Kai. He had said he did like Mira after she kissed him, but he knew Kai already did from an earlier episode and had nearly admitted it to her en route to the demon monks. Adam's reaction could have also been out of respect, despite his less than subtle actions the last both saw of him.
Is Inspector Gadget an idiot over his head or a man traumatised by being turned into a cyborg who blocks it all out? One guy's take on this is here, and another is here
Or does he simply do things a little differently, making everyone else think he's stupid? The world may never know.
He could be the ultimate case of Obfuscating Stupidity, tossing the exploding notes back to Quimby as a gag, stumbling through Doctor Claw's schemes so the henchmen keep underestimating him, and generously letting Penny and Brain think they've solved the crimes while he had the whole situation under control (and letting them think they're letting him think he solved the crime). Hey, you never know - he did save Penny a couple of times even in standard canon interpretation.
Some also have gone further and interpreted this as he acts incompetent and takes credit for solving all the crimes so that Penny and Brain remain safe on purpose, that he's well aware that they're the ones doing the detective work while he merely bumbles around then apprehends the criminals. They actually have this to a T; Gadget keeps everyone distracted while Brain and Penny solve the crime and he apprehends them, being a very good actor. When Penny is in danger and Gadget knows it, then he goes into Papa Wolf mode and becomes scarily competent.
Perhaps he is secretly training Penny and Brain to become the world's greatest detectives and crime fighters.
Gadget might actually be a robot built by Penny. She's obviously a genius and her first robot, Claw, went rogue so she created Gadget and Brain to help her fight Claw. She also uses Gadget as her official guardian so the courts don't put her in foster care. Claw must be a robot, since despite being a criminal mastermind bent on conquering the world, he never actually hurts anybody (See Laws of Robotics). The big question is did she make Gadget an idiot deliberately so he wouldn't turn on her or so he could function as a distraction while she and her robodog do all the real crimefighting.
Yet another is that Gadget is simply a robot made in the likeness of the real Inspector Gadget who went on to become Claw. Which would explain both his hatred of Gadget (for replacing him) and why he and his henchmen never harm Penny (his niece).
Merciless Omnicidal Maniac... or just an ambitious little guy who is in it For Science! and affection? Some of the flashbacks show him as being a loving little smeet, latching on to the cold and unfeeling robotic arm for love. The Irken lifestyle would have left him starved for that. Since it glorified conquest and conquerors as worthy of love and admiration, he set out to be one hoping he'll be loved for it. His fiercest rival Dib and he are forced into alliances so often that they're practically friends! Also, Zim could kill Dib easily; no one on that Crapsack World would notice Dib's absence or care enough to do anything if they did. It's worth noting that, in the episode GIR goes haywire, he goes out of his way to reprogramthe cop who discovers his base and alienness rather than killing him; by the end, he lets him go - into an ocean full of sharks, but that part was unintentional. In short, Zim is intellectually into the idea of destroying and conquering the Earth, but the heart he is not supposed to have is not in it. It's speculation, but if the series had continued after Zim realized that the Almighty Tallest hates him, then he would likely switch to the side of humans completely... or start gunning them down actively.
Dib can be (and has been) interpreted as a heroic defender of Earth struggling against the ignorants that surround him, a hopelessly deluded fool who can't realise that his Crapsack World isn't worth saving, a nutcase who's too excited that he found an alien to notice Zim's blinding incompetence, a selfish and vindictive little boy who is willing to do anything to receive the praise he feels he deserves, an equally affection-starved and sensitive soul for whom fighting Zim is the only thing that gives his existence purpose, or any combination of the above.
Though less common than either of the above, Gaz. Many choose to see her sympathetically, suggesting her overly-violent tendencies are the result of her father's neglect and that, despite her violence toward him, she truly loves her brother Dib on some level. Others think of her in less optimistic terms...
Even the Ensemble Dark Horse Tak is prone to this. Some see her as a total bitch; others put her on Woobie levels comparable to Dib. Nearly every character is subject to this.
GIR is normally seen as a lovable idiot who is too easily distracted to be much of a threat to anyone (at least intentionally). But there are moments in the series that suggest that he is less The Ditz and more a psychotic overlord in waiting. For reference, see "GIR Goes Crazy and Stuff," in which he's left alone and almost takes over the Earth by himself - and specifically the terrifying moment where we get to see the world through his eyes: A bunch of sausages grow hats and canes and say: "Dance with us, Gir. Dance with us into oblivion."
The Invader Zim fandom even has alternative interpretations for minor characters. Is Dwicky genuinely trying to help Dib, or is he a constantly smiling sadist who thinks Dib is crazy? Did Dwicky believe Dib and lie to his coworker, or did he think the kid was lying from the start? Is Gretchen a cute girl too shy to reveal her feelings for the class weirdo or a deranged stalker who lacks the social skills to talk to Dib? Is Paranormal Investigator Bill right in his views of the paranormal (which on this show isn't much of a stretch), or was he deliberately trying to keep the twelve year old kid he was stuck with away from danger? Is he competent? Is Professor Membrane a jerk more obsessed with work than anything else, or is he just trying to leave his kids a legacy (and riches) via his inventions to better than world? Honestly, fandom takes this trope and runs with it.
Skoodge usually seems pretty harmless, but he may be the most terrifying character in the show. Not only was he the first invader to conquer a planet, but it was the planet of the slaughtering rat people! Then he survives being shot out of a cannon, and (for a while, at least) survives being attacked by the hogulus, and lives for a substantial period of time without his PAK! Skoodge is either really lucky, or an adorable yet evil badass who can survive almost anything.
The kid in Dib's class with the head with two bits of red hair sticking out and said Dib accused him of being an alien in "Mysterious Mysteries". His head is the shape of the Martian from the episode where Zim finds out Mars is an abandoned battleship. Maybe Dib was on to something?
Stormer's relationship with the other band mates. Is she an Extreme Doormat who is friends with a group of Vitriolic Best Buds? Or do they use her and keep her around for her talent, making her think she's nothing without them when in reality they're wrecks without Stormer?
Is Beezy really such a nice guy? Sure, he's not actively evil like his father, but he's still a Lazy Bum who puts his sloth above everything else, and is quite a Poisonous Friend to Jimmy, especially when it comes to sharing him with Heloise. In season two it's noted that his entire plan in "My Best Friend is a Weavil" involved manipulating the feelings of a weavil (whome he bluntly has Fantastic Racism towards) and loves the events of "Panda-Monium" because he got laughs at Heloise's expense.
Does Lucius have any redeeming qualities? Does he care for Beezy on some level, or is he merely interested in turning him into a worthy successor? Does he care for Jez, or merely see her as a trophy girlfriend? He mentions that Samy is his best friend, so does he care about him is his own twisted way? Is he a Jerkass Woobie, Jerk with a Heart of Gold, or just plain Jerkass?
What about Heloise? As sadistic and maniacal as she is, her sweet moments with Jimmy (which get more frequent as the series goes on) seem to suggest she does have a nice side, and it is much bigger than what she like to think of it as.
Is the titular character from Julius Jr. really a Child Prodigy? Or does he and his friends just have a good imagination and are playing pretend? It's up to the viewer to determine how to interpret this.
The Flash acts flippant, flirtatious, and downright not serious as he does presumably because he's fully aware that one day he'll run fast enough that he'll vanish into the Speedforce. He knows that his power will eventually kill him - though the speedforce seems like a neat place for his kind to end up, and he probably knows that, too. He's keeping the "every moment counts" mentality: no sense in wasting time being angsty - you might run out of time to laugh and have fun. "Divided We Fall" supports this.
Not sure if anyone noticed, but when Shayera told him to take her hand so she could pull him back... he didn't. Maybe he didn't want to.
Certainly, after Lex Luthor switches minds with him, we see what he could do if he wasn't incredibly careful in how he uses his power. His seeming carelessness, obnoxiousness, and immaturity might be how he lets off the steam of having to be so tightly controlled all the time.
The reason behind The Flash's antics is the focal point of "Flash and Substance". The episode strongly implies that the Flash acts like that for both civilians and other League members. Most of the other members are stoically serious; the Flash is capable of giving them necessary emotional relief. The people look up to him because they can relate to him. They find him genuinely fun to be around, contrary to Superman's constantly stressed "workaholic" nature or, worse, Batman's. Orion even makes use of the trope himself, realizing that it helps the Flash get through League stress as well.
The alternate Flash's death causes alt-Superman to kill Luthor, which causes the Justice League to become the Justice Lords. Hard evidence there.
Harder evidence: When Superman "dies," Wonder Woman was a second away from punching Toyman to death. FLASH was able to get her to back down.
Taking a look at Superman for a moment, in the JLU episode "Kid Stuff" where the four of them are changed into kids, Green Lantern briefly makes fun of Superman for not being able to see that Wonder Woman is infatuated with Batman (and maybe vice versa). Is Superman, one of the most powerful heroes in the League, really so hopelessly naive that he can't see how his teammates are hooking up, or is he just really respectful of his teammates privacy, to the point that he makes it a rule to not fixate on their personal lives (especially when he has his own hands full dealing with Lois Lane)?
Superman's actions during the Cadmus arc are very much open to interpretation when it comes to how forgivable his intentions really were. Is he an essentially good but sometimes stubborn and shortsighted man thrown into a political and moral wringer who still manages to get out the other side with his soul intact? Or is he a short-tempered, condescending, borderline authoritarian who only maintains his grip on his morals from the shame of literally seeing the man he could become?
Vandal Savage. His HeelFace Turn in the Bad Future of "Hereafter", having had 30,000 years of solitude to regret his past actions, begs the very real question that Savage's villainy and attempts to take over the world might simply be because there is nothing left for him to occupy his endless existence with. Since he's been around for 25,000 years already, he's probably been pretty much everywhere, seen pretty much everything, and done pretty much everything else worth doing.
Disney's Kim Possible: Several of the lead characters of have multiple alternate interpretations. Much of this is a result of the show's Word Of God professed "continuity by accident."
Shego is most often the Dark Action Girl to Kim's Action Girl (she's the page image for that article); but she can also be the Classy Cat-Burglar or (even better) the Dark Chick. These don't necessarily overlap in her Alt Interpretations, especially in Slash Fic, where she's the show's queen of Draco in Leather Pants. These interpretations probably come from her having the least developed background of any of the main characters.
Can Kim genuinely beat Shego (who is superpowered and has years of fighting experience) in fights or is Shego just letting her win? Reasons for the latter vary depending on the fan. Some fans think she doesn't harm her due to moral reasons or practical reasons (murdering someone would cause her a lot more trouble than just stealing things). Others think that Shego believes Kim is her rival and that she enjoys fighting her; if she defeated Kim then she'd lose the excitement that she brings. A third interpretation popular with shippers is that she doesn't hurt Kim because she loves her..
Other characters, especially Kim's parents and her Arch-Enemy, Dr. Drakken, also have multiple wide-ranging interpretations depending on which fans of the show you ask.
Is Hank Hill really the Only Sane Man, or is he Not so Above It All? It seems that he's mentally stuck in the 1950s, when things seemed simpler, women were at home, children obeyed their parents, and everyone was more patriotic and full of morals. Is it just a mental barrier to keep him grounded and good, unlike his immoral "friends" and co-workers and his own family? Or could it be a coping mechanism for having to put up with his insane father and egomaniac wife and he doesn't like things that challenge his love for simplicity and straightforwardness?
A different variation proposes that Hank isn't stuck in the 1950's but has a classic mental-block caused by the traumatic memories of his childhood. He became so used to being beaten down by Cotton in his youth for showing the slightest sign of weakness that Hank, in essence, built a mental fortress around himself, and is afraid of anything "new" or "modern" penetrating this mental fortress out of a subconscious fear of Cotton's retribution.
Another interpretation that's gained popularity in recent years posits that Hank is autistic. It's fully possible, given the timeframe the show takes place, as well as Hank's age, that he could have been on the spectrum but nobody knew.
Did Cotton really kill fifty men in WWII? Is he exaggerating? Did he even kill anyone? Or is his constant reminding everyone that he killed "fitty men" just a way to cope with his massive PTSD and the fact that he got his shins blown off?
Also, is Cotton really just a Jerkass father who's disappointed in his son and only cares about his past glories, or is he a Shell-Shocked Veteran broken from seeing all his friends getting killed horribly, being forced to kill fifty men just as innocent as himself, getting permanently crippled, developing a true romantic relationship with a Japanese nurse before being forced to leave her by the government that he already gave so much to, then being forced to return to a home which had nothing to give him except an impulsive wife who once accidentally defected to China and the glory of a war which destroyed all he held dear?
in the episode "Dia-BILL-ic Shock", when Bill was in the hospital for the second time in a week for his diabetes, was Bill's doctor really as much of a Dr. Jerk as he seemed, or did he realise that he was dealing with a patient who had no intention of changing (Bill ignored his previous doctor and even listed "Jell-O" under "medications" on his medical form) and therefore decided to take a more agressive approach in an attempt to scare Bill into taking his condition seriously?
Similarly, in the same episode, the doctor tells Bill that if he doesn't get control of his diabetes he'll eventually lose his legs to gangrene and end up in a wheelchair. And since Bill was totally unwilling to change his lifestyle, he might as well buy one now while he still has insurance. Bill then starts going around in a wheelchair everywhere. Was Bill using the wheelchair because he was scared (and stupid) enough to take the doctor literally and use a chair he didn't need yet (the doctor only said he'd need it eventually, not that he needed it now) or was Bill knowingly using the wheelchair he didn't need in order to get sympathy and attention from people (and because he didn't want to go on a diet)?
In "I Want to Be a Pirate", when the Maid has the Princess "swab the deck" (clean the hallway), the Chef serves her cold fish stew, and the Gardener has her dig for potatoes, calling them "treasure", are they trying to make her stop playing pirate (since she was annoying several characters with her pranks that she was doing because she'd been told pirates were "naughty"), or did they truly want to have fun with the Princess, but their unconventional ideas of fun got her down?
In "I Want a Surprise", was the Princess planning to sneak out of bed all along and only pretended to fall asleep, or did she get the idea of sneaking out after waking up at night?
In "I Don't Want to Kiss Great-Aunty", when the King and Queen called the doctor, were they fooled by her Playing Sick, or were they just humouring her?
Also, is Daffy a greedy, cowardly Jerkassnote To quote Daffy himself, "I may be a craven little coward, but I'm a greedy craven little coward. who sells out his friends to Elmer simply to save his own neck, or is he just like this because Bugs Bunny stole his act? He is three years older than Bugs and was originally the Screwball Trickster but then Bugs (who was described by the creators as 'Daffy Duck in a rabbit costume') came along and eventually took over those traits. With his act stolen he was forced to become the straightman for Bugs' jokes or the Buttmonkey who always got outsmarted, and is now forced to become second best to the person who was originally his Expy. Such as this dialogue from Looney Tunes: Back in Action
Bugs Bunny: I'm tellin' ya, Daffy, I heard the Warner Brothers say that you were their best duck.
Daffy Duck: Flattered though I may be, flattened I will not, in order for you to get the laughs! It's all "woo-hoo, yuk yuk", and then "bam, wham, WHAM!"
Bugs Bunny: And your tail's on fire.
Daffy Duck: Exactly my point! I...
Bugs Bunny: No, really, your tail's on fire.
[Daffy sees that his tail IS on fire - he runs around trying to extinguish it - Bugs laughs]
Bugs Bunny: Daff, you're accident prone.
[Daffy finally puts out his tail]
Daffy Duck: [sadly] Oh, what am I talkin' to you for? All you have to do is munch on a carrot and people love you...
Speedy Gonzales' cousin Slowpoke Rodriguez could be interpreted as a stoner. He has big baggy eyes, he talks in a slow manner, he sometimes snickers, and he constantly complains that he's hungry.
Some believe that this version of Lola Bunny either received brain damage from being hit on the head with a tennis ball in her fist appearance or the original's bizarro evil twin from a parallel universe.
Some also think she may be more intelligent than she seems. As supported in "Double Date". Where either her idiocy lead to a series of events that got Bugs to admit he considers her his girlfriend while she just happened to be ready to record his confession, or she played him to get that confession.
Resident prankster and comedian Luan Loud has spawned many theories about her mentality:
Is she as stable as she seems and if she's not, just how unstable is she? "April Fools Rules" indicates that she might not be entirely stable or benign, since she pulls of many dangerous pranks and doesn't see anything wrong with them.
She may have a split personality that manifests itself through her ventriloquist dummy Mr. Coconuts. After all, the dummy seems to have a mind of its own as when it shoots Luan a death glare even when Luan is controlling and voicing it.
Lola's a narcissistic jerk, no doubt about it—but how much of it is it by her own volition and how much of it is from the stress of regularly competing in beauty pageants?
Ms. Frizzle could be seen as a character in the vein of Willy Wonka, using the field trips to find a successor (possibly to the Time Lord-like organization that gave her the bus and taught her how to timetravel). Since there's promotional material with Arnold by her side, she could see the most potential in him and wants to break him from his neuroses to train him. Other candidates could be Ralphie for his eccentricities & DA for her knowledge.
Another interpretation is that Ms. Frizzle is actually tweaked-out, and is slipping the kids drugs during school time; she introduces a topic, slips some acid into their lunch, so they can go on a "field trip" to learn about subjects firsthand. They always go to the bus because it's a safe place - she has them strap in and she explains to them what is happening as they go through the trip, guiding them. Invariably, something bad does happen, which is their trip taking a turn for the worse before Ms. Frizzle calms them down again.
Is the school bus really magic or is it an advanced form of science? To this, it's often quoted that any sufficiently advanced science is indistinguishable from magic.
Is she a naive, destructiveinnocent little girl? Or is she a depressed child who is trying to get over the death of her parents and who wishes for nothing more than to be loved? Or is she a sneaky, brilliant sadist who picks on Vendetta because she's a clumsy, foolish bully who wouldn't last a second if Charlotte wasn't screwing around for fun?
Maybe she's a depressed child trying to deny the deaths of her parents, so much that her grandmother played along?
Are Charlotte's interest in Vendette just a disire to be her friend and not taking the hint that she hates her. Or does she have deeper feelings, that she may not understand yet.
Megas XLR: Is Coop just an Idiot Hero and Destructive Savior who means well, but is just reallybad at the whole heroic mech pilot business? Or is he a Villain Protagonist in the making? On one hand, he does come off as a Nice Guy who never intends to hurt anyone or cause trouble, until someone else starts it. And he's more than happy to help his friends. But on the other hand, he has very strong Blood Knight tendencies and never makes a big deal of the massive amounts of collateral damage he causes. Even though he has a habit of directly or indirectly causing most of the the threats of the week that lead to said collateral. Complicating matters further, is that we meet a Bad Future version of him in the season two finale, that went bad and abandoned everything he used to care about, just so he could quench his thirst for battle, becoming a tyrant in the process. Implying Coop may have been destined to become the villain, (something actually played around with a little in other places) as his alternate version seemed to be just like him before he turned. Though Coop was appropriately horrified by what his alternate self had become, opening up the possibility that he may make an effort to become a better hero. But then again, Coop isn't the type that easily learns from his mistakes. And with the series cancelled right after this, we will likely never learn if he continued dow the road to villainy or tried to be better.
The band members of Dethklok aren't just lazy Jerkass rockers who are only (barely) good at music and contract negotiations and who are ushering in some sort of endtimes by rocking so hard and employing shoddy help. They are a band of Eldritch Abominations who have taken human form to bring about Cthulhu-esque levels of revelry. Hence, everyone who hears them live tends to die horribly, and those fans who live to see a second show are insane afterward. They have little regard for normal people and no idea how to do mundane things like shop; this suggests that they aren't human.
Or alternately, people whose 'gifts' are at least as much psychic as musical and are being manipulated by their frighteningly competent manager who would be the real Eldritch Abomination. The effects of their music would tie into the psychic abilities, and the invincibility of the manager (see the season one finale) with his being an Eldritch Abomination.
Another possible interpretation: They're a weapon used (possibly unwittingly) to bring the End of the World as We Know It by methods near Slaaneshi. Music that changes peoples' behaviour, making them crazy enough to find pleasure in horrific pain? Check. Daemon summoning? Check - the troll could be a 40K Daemon without changing anything. They even bargain with the Devil! Pickles is so used to drugs that the daemon-possessed Totally Awesome Sweet Alabama Liquid Snake has no effect on him, consistent with Slaanesh-induced sense dulling. The amount of death they cause is comparable with that of unopposed 40K Chaos cults, and the descriptions of how they happen are nearly interchangeable. And so forth and on... They predate Slaanesh by about 15000 years - but time means nothing to the Warp.
Orel: Is he an eternal Cheerful Child that is the butt of abuse by his parents and almost everyone around him? Or is he a dangerously overeager little bastard whose abuses are a form of karmic justice for being a murderer, rapist, abuser, and perpetrator of other gross injustices?
In universe example, Orel is told that Judas can be seen as the hero of the bible because without him, all the other stuff would never have happened.
My Gym Partner's a Monkey: What was going on with Adam in "Sick Day"? Was he genuinely sick, infected Jake, and that's why he was absent the next day? Or was he Playing Sick (since he seemed pretty energetic) and Jake was absent for a different reason?
The episode "Legends of the Dark Knight" had four kids giving their own interpretations of Batman, from the Bill Finger/Bob Kane version to Frank Miller's version to Joel Shumacher's version to the Bruce Timm version, and one who thought he was a bat-like monster similar to Manbat.
This series in general portrayed Batman as more of a cold, detached sociopath than its predecessor, and did more to demonstrate the toxic aspects of his relationships with his sidekicks and teammates.
Nina Needs to Go!: Nina will often deny needing to go to the bathroom, only to have a Potty Emergency moments later, and the moral is said to be "Don't wait to go". Is she lying when she says she doesn't need to go to the bathroom, or does she genuinely think she doesn't?
Numberjacks: Why were the humans lying down in "Into the Teens"? Were they being dramatic with how frustrated they are, or did the Numbertaker make them lie down?
Is Candace a control freak who wants to bust her brothers because she can't get away with the things her brothers do when she trys them or is she only trying to bust her brothers so they don't hurt themselves and end up in a hospital, brutally wounded from their inventions? Or both, and the latter is on a subconscious level.
Similarly, is Stacy on Candace's side and supporting in her wanting to bust Phineas and Ferb, or does she think Candace needs to branch out and not be so uptight, and getting sick of holding back on the offchance that she ever will?
Is Roger really a Goody-two-shoes as Heinz claims to be? The only scene we actually see without being a center of his evil scheme and/or on mayoral duties is setting up for the fall he didn't want to take, and not caring enough of the citizens to pay giant robot destruction insurance and used it as a coffee piece. And it won't be surprising considering how much crap Heniz already went through.
Isabella: Is she a sweet Girl Next Door kinda neighbor with a crush on Phineas, or is she a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing with an obsessive crush and won't even care what happens to anyone, as long as she has Phineas?
Did Doofenshmirtz-2 really turn evil because he lost that toy train? Or did he have a past so unbelievably traumatic that he blocked it out, and funnels all those negative emotions into the loss of his beloved childhood toy? Or was he a horrible person even as a kid and is just using the train as an excuse?
In regard to Pinky and the Brain ("one is a genius/the other's insane"), whether we should take the first line to refer to the Brain, or is the true genius Pinky for saving the world every single night? If Pinky is a genius, then by process of elimination, the Brain would be ... who are we kidding? He's trying to take over the world! He's insane!
Consider these three episodes:
Brain calculates that Pinky is the reason all his plans fail and tries to make Pinky smarter to help him take over the world. Pinky then shows Brain that every plan has some sort of flaw in it. Turns out, the initial calculation is flawed as well; the correct answer is that Brain is causing every plan to fail.
In another episode, Pinky's thought process is revealed. As it turns out, Pinky thinks logically and makes leaps between subjects quickly. His nonsense responses do make sense; but we never hear his thought process in any other episode, so they seem completely random to us.
Brain goes to a therapist who learns the root of Brain's desire to take over the world. Before becoming a lab rat, he lived with his family in a peach can. As he was captured by researchers, he glanced back at the can; its logo was the last thing he saw before getting caged. The logo? Planet Earth. He just wants to go home but tries to take over the world because he can't tell the difference.
Therefore, Brain is crazy with a poor grasp of reality; Pinky is the genius and just misunderstood.
Also, if we take "one is a genius/the other's insane" to apply to them respectively, notice that Pinky's name comes first.
Alternatively, is Pinky just a Bumbling Sidekick stupid enough to remain subservient to the Brain, or is he a walking embodiment of Undying Loyalty? Despite his dopey behaviour, he has occasionally shown a very lucid and observant amount of admiration for Brain and his positive traits, his Christmas List consists of nothing for himself, unable to think of anything he desires outside to make his best friend happy. He is outright self sacrificial at times as well, devoting all his free time without argument to help Brain's schemes and even attempting to donate not just his life but his eternal soul just so he could get what he wants. He even submits to the role of the dimwitted subordinate just to boost Brain's self esteem.
Mojo Jojo. A mortal enemy or a big brother having a bit of a (superpowered) sibling rivalry with the girls? Especially in the movie, his actions could be interpreted as a Xanatos Gambit: either the girls, who were hated and rejected by everyone at that point and had no direction or a real paternal figure, become beloved heroes (thus showing a Big Brother Instinct) or siblings of the new King Mojo.
In an in-universe example, Amy Rogers stated that "Him Diddle Riddle" would show that Bubbles was actually the smartest of the girls. In the segment where Him has the girls take their SAT tests, Buttercup scores a 25, Blossom a 10, and Bubbles - whose test card was configured to be a flower - scored 1025.
Is Him's flamboyant behavior a ruse to fool his opponents?
Are the Color Kids from Rainbow BriteKid Heroes or something more? They have no adult supervision, are Ambiguously Human, and at least one line implies they're Really 700 Years Old. Rainbow herself is an exception as she's shown to be an orphaned human child named "Wisp", but even she doesn't seem to age.
In "House Rules" Mordecai learns that Rigby may die young or just leave Mordecai. Have episodes like "Think Positive", "Best Burgers in the World" and "Replaced" made him more lazy in order to hang out more with Rigby?
"Lift With Your Back" and "Eileen Flat Screen" both imply that Rigby is more mature than the show usually gives him credit for; it's just that we normally see him through Mordecai's perspective, as his idiot friend. It's also just showing his Brilliant, but Lazy tendencies, and that Rigby could probably improve so much about his life if he ever gave a real damn about anything.
Was Mordecai, at least on some level, sticking by Rigby because at least until later on in the show, Rigby made him look better by comparison? Both Mordecai and Rigby were lazy and irresponsible man children, who never finished school and wound up working dead end jobs at the local park, that they can barely even hold down. But at the same time, few would argue that Rigby wasn't the worst of the two for much of the series. And Mordecai does seem rather reluctant to give Rigby credit when he actually was being a good worker and friend in "Lift With Your Back" and when Rigby does make genuine strides in bettering himself late into the series, Mordecai is too wrapped up in his own personal issues to be happy for him. Some may even think he's envious that his "loser" friend was actually improving his life.
The events of "Rigby Goes to the Prom" has had fans questioning just how much of Rigby's attitude and personality throughout the show is his own fault or if this behavior is just the natural result developed from years of his dad's poor treatment of him as The Unfavorite combined with the years of being overshadowed by his younger brother.
Is Benson just a Mean Boss with a Hair-Trigger Temper (albeit with a heart of gold underneath), or is he a friendly enough Reasonable Authority Figure who has just been pushed to his wits end by Mordecai and Rigby's antics. While he can be harsh and he does have a few legitimate Kick the Dog moments throughout the series, often his frustration with the two is understandable given what they put him through and their general laziness, and it's shown that he is willing to treat his employees when they actually do their work. Not to mention, despite threatening to fire the main duo enough for "Or your fired!" to be considered his Catchphrase, he rarely attempts to act on it, even when they give him more than enough reason to.
Why does Benson occasionally entrust Mordecai and Rigby with important tasks, despite knowing very well what screwups they are, to the point where other times he's reluctant to give them a chance? Is it just him occasionally grabbing the Idiot Ball, or is there a part of him that sincerely thinks they can do better and wants to give them the opportunity to show it.
Is Tommy The Hero of the babies, who leads them on wild adventures and encourages them to be brave? Or is he a selfish Spoiled Brat who browbeats his "friends"—and especially Chuckie—into doing whatever he wants them to do through peer pressure, ignoring anyone else's opinions and ideas? This interpretation was far more noticeable in the earlier seasons; after The Movie, Tommy became more of a genuine Nice Guy, with few negative qualities.
Angelica gets the opposite treatment. Is she an Enfant Terrible of pure malice who makes mischief and takes advantage of her age to lord over the babies like a petty tyrant? Or is she a troubled, misunderstood child with No Social Skills whose workaholic parents don't give her the love and attention she deserves, making her unable to bond with the other babies and resulting to bullying because she doesn't know how to be kind?
There's also the infamous "Rugrats theory," which postulates that Angelica is the daughter of a drug addict who gave her up for adoption (her "real" mother manifests in the form of Cynthia, her beloved doll). Mentally ill, Angelica invents the other Rugrats to be her friends, based on tragic stories of her parents' own social circle: Tommy was stillborn, explaining why his father spends all of his time making toys (he can't get past the loss); Chuckie died in an accident that claimed his mother's life, which is why Chaz suffers from such terrible anxiety; and the DeVilles had an abortion, and since Angelica didn't know the sex of the child, she invented two of the same person—hence, Phil and Lil. However, this doesn't take into account that Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, and Lil are present even in episodes where Angelica is absent, e.g. "Naked Tommy."
Susie Carmichael, introduced to the show later in the series, is either a clever, kindhearted Foil to Angelica, given her kindness and willingness to help the babies, or a perfect child and blatant case of Flawless Token (she's African-American and, after her first few episodes, rarely does any wrong).
Josh from "The New Kid in Town", who acts like a bully but insists he's being "fair" — Is he sincerely trying to be nice but doesn't realise he's being unfair, is he skirting the rules of what his parents taught him about fairness to get away with being mean, or is he straight-up trying to manipulate the babies?
A sociopath with no impulse control and less sense of self-preservation (that is, he knows exactly what he's doing, but he has no sense of consequences), or merely Too Dumb to Live?
Or maybe Captain Murphy has achieved Medium Awareness and realises that, no matter what damage he does, it will all disappear by the next episode.
The Smurfs (1981) has a long history of this, especially within whenever or not they're actually symbolizing something else:
Some people see it as communist propaganda. At the least, their utopia has a few similarities with communism. They don't use money; they are nearly identical, nameless (identified only by job), and nearly sexless; and their primary enemy is a Franciscan friar lookalike who wants to turn them into gold (or eat them). One episode with an attempt to use money ended disastrously, and Brainy Smurf was tossed out of the village again.
They have also been seen as an allegory for the Ku Klux Klan, with the leader having a red pointy hat and being able to do magic (a reference to the Grand Wizards of KKK), all the others having white pointy hats, their all sometimes dancing around a big fire, the lone female a walking Aryan stereotype, and the villain looking like an "evil Jew."
The movie Slacker argues that the Smurfs are Apocalyptic Hindu propaganda: The goal is to get children used to the idea of people with blue skin so that they'll be comfortable with the blue-skinned Avatar of Vishnu who is due to incarnate in the near future. (The movie also argues that Scooby-Doo is capitalist propaganda: When the other characters need Scooby to do something, they bribe him with Scooby Snacks instead of appealing to his sense of social justice.)
Maybe they're fascists. They have the anti-intellectualism (Brainy) and anti-Semitism (Gargamel resembles a classic Jewish caricature, and is fixated on gold). Also, Fascists emphasize conformity and tend to be misogynistic; Smurfette's redemption comes through acceptance of traditional gender roles, not rejection of them. Although their 'smurfy' language sort of resembles doublespeak, so who knows?
Superjail! has this from both the creators itself and its fans:
Does the Warden truly care about rehabilitating inmates, or is he just a crazy megalomaniac that's only in it for the thrill and pleasure of making others suffer? The creators initially stated the latter interpretation (and that he was more of an enthusiast than a real warden), but then later admitted that either could be the case. Christy Karacas also stated that he had no clue or solid canon on the Warden's sexuality, stating that sometimes he comes off as more asexual or "confused" over the concept of sex, while other times he definitely has feelings for women.
To add to that, fans debate if Warden's feelings for Alice are genuinely heartfelt, or if he's just a desperate pervert lusting after her and having a complex for controlling women. Then there's the debate over whether he secretly might like The Mistress, or if he's too clueless and childish to pursue her.
Did Alice truly feel a gender identity crisis that lead her to transition, or did she only start simply because she didn't want to be seen as a gay man? The flashback in "Jailbot 2.0" seemed to cause debate. Season 3 seems to run with the idea of Alice having a more feminine identity before her first guard job (although as many things in the show are subject to Rule of Funny, expect there to be multiple choices).
Jared's feelings for the Warden are another subject of interpretation, spurred on by the disturbing sequence in "Dream Machine" where he dreams of being the boss and making out with the Warden (who's his assistant in the dream). Is it a repressed crush, or simply a power fantasy gone mad? Fans may never truly know.
Then there's the matter of his distant girlfriend Charise, and if she's really as sweet and innocent as she appears to be. Would she be the solution to Jared's problems and be able to "fix" him? Is she actually as broken and issue-laden as he is, and just puts on an innocent appearance to try to save her own sanity? And then some wonder if she may be only serving to manipulate him for her own interests (whether her intentions are helpful or something darker).
Are the Twins completely irredeemable and sociopathic, more along the lines of gray-area characters, or do they simply not grasp humans' morality?. There's also the matter if their callous attitude is a defense mechanism brought on by being abused by their family and only really having each other to count on, if it's due to them viewing Earth people as mere playthings for their enjoyment, or both options and then some. To add to that, if they can be seen as sympathetic at ALL or if they're simply just narcissistic, spoiled brats who don't deserve anyone's pity.
Some think of the Triplets as always being sadistic bullies that were jealous of and hated their new siblings from birth (seeing them as an obstacle), or that their father helped manipulate them into being crueler and fed their superiority complex so that his children would always be feuding. That, and questioning over whether the Twins were truly innocent bullied children, or if they did something to deserve the punishment in their planet's eyes.
Does the Mistress secretly like the Warden deep down and is simply playing hard to get to test him? Or is she more concerned with power and instead sees him as an obstacle and challenge to conquer? Tread carefully, certain fans in these debates can get very heated on this matter (especially when shipping comes into play or over what happened in "Stingstress"). There's also ongoing debate on whether she's the harsher and cruel prison warden compared to Warden (whose own Jerkass tendencies get overlooked), or if she's a firm but fair ruler and that the Warden is an abusive monster (although proponents of this side also ignore that she abuses Charise just as much).
Livewire in Superman: The Animated Series. Now, the main view is that she's a jerk who kept being a jerk and she has no right to be angry with Superman, considering he saved her life. However, there might be something else: Her last facial expression conveys the emotional expression of someone anticipating, with glee, a lethal event. And not only did Superman steal that from her, he ultimately robbed her of her biological humanity. Is that the real reason for her anger at Superman?
Tweety, of Warner Brothers' Sylvester and Tweety or, at least, the Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries. Innocent victim of a homicidal cat, or equally homicidal sadist who lives to torment the cat in question? He has been known to get Sylvester seriously hurt or in trouble even without the usual provocation of Sylvester trying to eat him, apparently for his own sick amusement.
Likewise, Sylvester has often been shown to be sympathetic, even heroic, sometimes to the point of coming off more as a Designated Villain; he has gone so far as to save Tweety's life a couple of times when his conscience got the better of him. The only reason he wants to kill Tweety is to satisfy his biological imperative to eat. Sylvester's no paragon of virtue, but which one of these two is more villainous?
It doesn't help that the universe seems set on punishing Sylvester for whatever objective he has because Cats Are Mean. Hector the Bulldog, when not punishing Sylvester for trying to eat a sweet innocent little bird, is physically threatening him for failing to catch a (supposedly) similar harmless little mouse.
Their treatment of each other as a whole is up for debate. Is Rebecca an abusive Bad Boss that exploits her ownership of the Sea Duck to force labour from Baloo or is she an Extreme Doormat that constantly grants employment and a salary for her incompetant Jerkass employee? Similarly is Baloo working for Rebecca solely to buy back "his baby" and bail outta there or is he actually a provider and bodyguard for his new surrogate family that is merely holding onto said vow out of pride?
Is Shere Khan villainous by inclination, only restrained from doing worse due to his pragmatism and lack of interest in anything that won't increase his money and/or power? A normally decent person who just happens to delve into less than ethical behavior when he believes his interests are on the line? Or is he neither: an amoral figure who chooses what side of the moral divide he's on based on what will better accomplish his goals?
Leonardo of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Is he a bossy teacher's pet and Jerkass control freak, or a sympathetic older brother figure burdened with the responsibility of his family's safety? The answer often seems to depend on whether Raphael is a person's favorite Turtle.
Terra: Some fans see her as a wonderful person who is constantly misunderstood and persecuted (often times they are also Beast Boy/Terra shippers), or as a horrible bitch who betrayed the Titans and deserved what she got at the end of Season 2. (usually Beast Boy/Raven shippers.) However, quite a few people realize what she was actually meant to be: a Broken Bird and Anti-Villain with complicated motives and very deep emotional issues. So she's a normal teenage girl. Albeit one with geokinetic powers.
The girl in the final episode spawned multiple interpretations because it's vague as to whether she actually is Terra or not. If she is Terra, is she suffering from amnesia or was she lying to Beast Boy because she wanted to restart her life as a normal kid? Teen Titans Go! implies the latter.
There are people who believe that Slade is really Batman, secretly testing Robin in season 1 and then secretly helping the group against Trigon through the rest of the series. The big contradiction to this theory is his treatment of Terra in season 2... unless you think that she was on it and in reward she got fake death, depowering and memory wipe, so she can have a normal life.
"The Beast Within": How much of Beast Boy's jerkish and seemingly OOC behavior was the result of the chemicals, and how much was because of the "something primal" in his psyche?
Jerry the mouse has the same character ambivalence to Tweety early on, but he seemed to mellow out in the late 1950s and stopped being a Jerkass.
Many Jerry fans see Tom as a bully, if Jerry so much as walks outside his mousehole Tom will catch him in his deadly paws. We could see him in a different perspective, as the poor mistreated pet who's only doing what his owner told (and kicked and threatened) him to (even if he still sometimes enjoys his job a bit too much). Or, Jerry could be considered a criminal, stealing cheese and living in a house which he never paid the bills for. And Tom works like a policeman/law enforcer who can't seem to catch Jerry.
Chris McLean: Does he put the contestants in danger merely as an act because mortal danger equals high ratings? Or is he really that sadistic from day one? Or did it start as an act, then he became more sadistic the longer he hosted the show?
Chef Hatchet: A guy that's just going along with whatever the hell Chris is up to and is the Only Sane Man? Is he in agreement with what Chris does? Do either one have a crush on the other?
Justin - A plain out narcissisticJerkass from the get-go, or was he really a nice guy at the start of the series but Took a Level in Jerkass after Heather got him voted off? Several fanfic writers love exploring the latter.
Ezekiel - A sexist jerk that got what was coming to him, or a sheltered boy who just didn't know any better and was just trying to get people to like him, and got screwed over badly by the creators?
Is Heather's friendship with Cody and Harold genuine? Unlike with most other contestants where it's made clear Heather doesn't care for them, it is made somewhat ambiguous with them. In the World Tour finale, they are the only ones to initially support her against Alejandro. Cody's reasoning being that Heather was pretty nice to him, and Harold does it due to his beef with Alejandro. On one hand, she has stated that she sees them as mere potential alliance partners, and has openly insulted or mocked them on various occasions. On the other hand, she has shown a degree of respect for them at one point or another, such as when she admired Harold's num-yo skills, or being inspired by Cody's words when he told her that she is the "good" guy.
Is Courtney a whiny Jerkass who puts herself before everyone else or is she a regular girl who let the competition get to her head? Did she plan to eliminate Gwen in All-Stars because she wanted to win, or because she still had doubts about Gwen wanting to stay her friend?
Did Lindsay actually take a gigantic level in dumbass in All-Stars, or was she only playing dumb because she was tired of the show and knew that it would get her voted off first?
Was Dave a self-centered Entitled Bastard whose Sanity Slippage was a result of a well-deserved rejection at long last, or was he a not-entirely-sympathetic Dogged Nice Guy who was outraged at his (proven mutual) crush's reveal of having a boyfriend, whose FaceHeel Turn ironically proved he did have morals?
Topher's character page on the show's wiki brings up a question regarding his Chris-obsession and eventual attempt to take his job: did Topher legitimately admire Chris or was he just stroking his ego as to lower his guard?
Rampage of Beast Wars. Is he a twisted, sinister monster, or a tortured, tormented misfit? "Both" is an option, but between the other two options, there was a voice for each... and there still will be if you bring up the topic in the right place.
For that matter, why does Megatron keep a backstabber like Starscream around? The in-universe explanation is that, while Starscream is a lousy traitor, Megatron keeps him because he is so damn good at his job. However, some suspect there are other factors at play. Does Megatron believe he needs a constant reminder he can't get too comfortable? Does he think Starscream will fend off other attempts at his power? Or does he secretly like Starscream on some level?
Another of the more noteworthy ones is Ratbat. He's a voiceless servant to Soundwave in the original series, but he was Decepticon leader for a time in the original comics. Later continuities have tried to meld both interpretations for one backstory.
DR. SMOOV has created a video made from scenes from the G1 cartoon that reinterprets Shockwave as a comically poor marksman and buffoon who was left on Cybertron because Megatron wanted him out of the way.
DR. SMOOV's Transformers videos have a lot of this. Optimus Prime is lazy, Wheeljack is an amoral Jerkass, Red Alert is crazy and The Load, Chip is the Butt-Monkey, and more.
Megatron in various continuities gets this one also: Is he a freedom fighter trying to raise his fellow second-class citizen Decepticons up against the oppressive Autobot regime, or is he a tyrannical dictator whose rule will spell ruin for all of Cybertron and whose actions are why the Autobots come down so hard on his people to begin with? (Guess which one tends to be canon.)
Is Grimlock really stupid? Or does he just pretend to be stupid to throw his enemies off guard? Another interpretation is that Grimlock is quite intelligent but is unable to speak properly due to a malfunction in his speech processor, giving him a variant of Broca's aphasia.
The idea of Megatron-as-freedom-fighter has the most support in Transformers: Animated, in which the Decepticons have lost the war and are a scattered, oppressed minority. We see only a handful of his minions; the majority of these are dead loyal, dislike the Autobots for whatever reason, or are Starscream. The Autobot Elite Guard, on the other hand, has a petty lying egomaniac as one of its most trusted members; and Ultra Magnus seems more interested in keeping the peace than doing what's right. While the protagonist Autobots aren't bad guys, as a faction the Decepticons seem to come out more sympathetic, even though they are more warlike and power-hungry as individuals.
There have been times where Megatron truly seemed to show concern for his underlings.
Sentinel Prime suffered severe psychological damage in the incident where Elita-1 was lost. Since then, rabid fear of organics and guilt over leaving Elita-1 to die have been gnawing away at his neural nets, turning him into a paranoid wreck who's convinced he's the Only Sane Man. Or just some self-centered jerk who just won't take responsibilities for his actions. A slight riff on the former: Sentinel and Elita-One were romantically involvedyou see his arm around her waist and he puts in every effort he can to protect her, even covering her and Optimus retreat. When she fell to her death, hes willing to throw himself into a damn inferno to save her. Yeah, he took her death pretty hard, especially since his and Optimus rule-breaking (going to that off-limits planet) caused Elita's death. Now, in the present, hes convinced that rule-breaking will always cause heartbreak. Thats why hes so obsessed with regulations and order, to keep others from suffering that same loss. He wants to do good in that regard, but he does need a little guidance; after you realize that, its hard to hate him. Alternate Character Interpretation, indeed.
Some more Transformers: Animated specific examples: Do Lugnut and Blitzwing merely work together, or are they genuinely friends? Is Blitzwing crazy because he's a triple-changer, or is he able to triple-change only because he's crazy? Or are his nuttiness and ability to triple-change unrelated? Derrick J. Wyatt stated that becoming a triple-changer means going crazy in response to a question on his blog.
Invoked with Blackarachnia's last scene. Waspinator was destabilizing due to the Transwarp energy she infused him with, and was close to exploding. Blackarachnia encased both herself and him in web, lessening the explosion. Optimus says she did that to save them, sacrificing herself, Sentinel says she did it to harness the energy and teleport out, sacrificing Wasp.
Tankor in Beast Machines. The writers intended him to have chosen evil of his own free will after having been twisted by his time under Megatron's control. A popular fan theory is that he wasn't evil - his actions were caused by input from his awakened spark being filtered through a shell programme. Both interpretations fit what we see on the screen. (Given that, upon his death, he seemed genuinely repentant, the Shell Program makes a lot of sense.)
Was Megatron just pretending that Savage/Noble was a wild animal driven purely by instinct, or was he really like that and useful?
Then there's Armada Hot Shot, whose ACI became semi-canon. He was the team hothead in the cartoon, but a fan "translated" a comic so it decipted him as a drooling moron who only stays alive because of his minicon. The comic was then referenced by his Universe Toy packaging and license plate. See TF Wiki Dot Nets' JaAm article for exact details.
Did Hot Rod really want to stop Megatron from killing Optimus in The Transformers: The Movie or was he enacting part one of his plan to be the Autobots' example of The Starscream, which suceeded and led to him becoming Rodimus Prime? In addition, did he intend to pick up the Matrix to give it to Ultra Magnus but accidentally touched it leading to Hot Rod becoming the Chosen One instead of Ultra Magnus as Optimus intended, or did he know that it would pick whoever touched it to be the Chosen One?
The Venture Bros. - The sheer jackassery of Rusty Venture has caused some people to believe he is a Villain Protagonist. Dr. Killinger believed this as well (or did he?) and tried to help him become an Evil Scientist. The fact that the episode in question itself ends with Rusty, while rejecting Killinger, earnestly asking Brock about whether or not he's a bad guy (and Brock's hesitation to respond) lampshades this.
Dick Dastardly constantly gets far enough ahead before stopping to cheat, proving him to be the best racer out of all of them. Isn't it more likely he has more fun losing creatively than the hollow victory of an easy win? Or is he simply too fixated on cheating to realize he's good enough to win without having to cheat?
Did Dick's genie make honest mistakes or was he intentionally twisting Dick's commands out of hatred for having to do a bad guy's bidding?
The Brotherhood of Tofu are the real heroes the world of Twelve ?. Because when you think about it, they didn't defeated the main antagonist of the two Seasons and Special Episodes:
Yugo has been killed by Nox and accidentally foiled his attempt to travel 200 years in the past reducing it at 20 minutes and nearly doomed the Sadida Kingdom by using Nox's fuel. Sadlygrove has also been wrongly credited to be their Savior when it's Ruel and then Joris who destroyed the robot. On top of that, Grovy could easily jump at the robot to fight him or at the girls to put them at safety(Season 1 episode 19 shows he can leap incredible distances like the Hulk in mere seconds when possessed by Rubilax)
Yugo has also been defeated by Qilby alongside the other Eliatrope Children due to Qilby's Immortality. The Big Bad has been betrayed himself by his own sister, severely injuring him and crippling him enough for Yugo to put him back in the Blank Dimension. See YMMV/Wakfu for more details. This video pretty much explains that the 1st Eliatrope Extermination was due to the Council of 12 and the 2nd one to a MASSIVE screw-up by Yugo.
The Specials are no better: First, Grovy decide to abandon his family to fight [[The Heavy Ogrest]] despite his complete inexperience on his newfound God Powers and the fact that Ogrest has defeated the 12 Original Gods who were more experienced and powerful. Yugo then attack his brother for gaining enough power to help his friend(forgetting since he is god, he is..., well, immortal). During the battle, he ends up Teleporting an Entire mountain on space which causes debris to rain down on the World of Twelve. To top it all, it's the new character introduced Otomai who defeat Ogrest and Goultard(Grovy's Master and Demi-God) who saves them. And they still being credited as heroes, AGAIN. This video pretty much explain it better. It's interesting to see that Yugo is doing the same mistakes as Nox and Qilby: he is willing to harm is closest relatives for gaining more power(like Nox) and put the entire world at danger for selfish purposes(like Qilby).
Sadlygrove is quite Innocently Insensitive to his girlfriend: Firstly, he destroyed her bow over a stupid Cock Fight (forgetting she wasn't interested by his rival the previous episode) and then ran away; Secondly he died protecting her although he could have jumped to destroy the robot or saved her. And then, he leaves criptic messages while Eva is suffering a HUGE Sanity Slippage and immediately fights after his resurrection. Lastly, he neglects her over a "Dirty Secret" (her sister) and almost cheats on her. And FINALLY, when he becomes a father he decided to solve the flood by attacking an ogre who has already defeated 12 more experienced and powerful gods.
Fans divided on the Bloom/Riven pairing often cite the season 1 Mother's Day episode as a make-it-or-break-it for the couple. Either Bloom was flirting (badly) and Riven stormed off because he hit on her, she "rejected" him, and his pride was hurt; OR Riven was being a Jerkass for the sake of being a Jerkass, and Bloom told him flat-out to screw off.
In Winx Club, while at first it seemed like Lucy was just being a bitch to Mirta for no real reason, it was later revealed (or further explained, depending on which version you watched) that Mirta was extremely timid, so much so that she almost wasn't accepted into Cloud Tower. Once you know that, you could argue that she was actually trying to toughen Mirta up or make her mad enough to start standing up for herself, instead of just abusing her because she was a shy doormat.
Sympathetic anti-hero trying to live her own life despite being raised as a weapon, or mentally ill mutant held back for the good of the general public? The answer depends on the fan, but her mood whiplash and the randomly placed flashbacks in her premiere episode may be evidence that she isn't stable enough to function outside the military. Even as a child, when they tried to socialize her, she would end up breaking things and having to be forcibly removed from the area. Perhaps HYDRA's holding her prisoner was a good thing.
Her instability could very likely be a result of HYDRA's treatment of her for her entire life (as a weapon, that is). Attempts to bring her outdoors were clearly more about making her blend in with society that genuinely trying to socialise her. To further this point, the doctor who gave Wolverine this information in X-23's first appearance seemed to lean towards this point and felt terrible about the way HYDRA treated her; and their attempts to recapture her in her second appearance. Add Wolverine's disgust with their treatment of her, and the episode largely implies that if she'd been raised as a normal child she would be more stable (her existence was about creating a weapon based on Weapon X, so ...)
Lance: did he really have a heroic side, or was it just a trick to get Kitty to like him? Can it be both in the end, with Lance starting to do good things just to get Kitty into liking him and then keeping up just because he was in the mood? And if it's either the first or both, just how heroic can he be: sympathetic Anti-Villain, hard-ass Anti-Hero, prospect '90s Anti-Hero, or something else whatsoever?
The Brotherhood as a whole, Are they ineffectual villains who do try to be bad but are easily outmatched, or are they misunderstood misfits being targeted by the X-Men.
Scott: was he just trying to be a responsible leader who let his rivalry with Lance get the better of him sometimes, or was he unneedingly hostile to him? We also have his relationships with Jean and Rogue to consider...
Were the New Recruits complete idiots who crossed into Too Dumb to Live, or just inexperienced and excited at the prospect of being mutants that they got ahead of themselves a few times?
More specifically, Bobby/Iceman. Did he truly learn his lesson and become a good asset to the X-Men/New Mutants, or were his Too Dumb to Live credentials just swept under the rug?
Was Spyke an asshole who was Easily Forgiven only for being a newbie and Storm's relative, or just an antihero as well as too young and constrained to do it right?
Was Rogue really a sympathetic and lost young girl and in dire need of help, or was she just a self centered whiner who only paid attention to her own problems?
Did Mystique really try to help her stepdaughter, or was it just her way of emotionally manipulating her to get more information easier? And what about her and her biological son Kurt...?
All of Magneto's actions with Wanda. Given how powerful Wanda is, her lack of control is indeed something to fear. Having Mastermind Mind Rape her, since he did try to resolve things the old fashioned way beforehand.
At least one Yin Yang Yo! fanfic has described Ultimoose as a notorious womanizer. Nothing in the show seemed to directly contradict this, until the Series Finale, when it's revealed that Ultimoose does not only have an inflatable girlfriend, but a whole inflatable family.