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Double Standard Abuse Female On Male / Western Animation

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  • In American Dad!, Francine frequently vents unstable violent tendencies on Stan, once beating him mercilessly for forgetting their wedding anniversary, and once threatening to shoot his kneecaps off for another deception (which he only avoids by having her gun down his double by mistake). On both occasions they kiss and make up by the end of the episode. Granted, however, Stan is a Jerkass whose belittling treatment of Francine is also usually Played for Laughs (albeit in a verbal manner; the one time Stan was falsely implied to have beaten Francine, and on a much less brutal scale than the genuine occasions the opposite has happened, he was labelled a monster and jailed). There is also more than one episode where the couple have all-out bloody fights with both sides giving and getting, and at least one where he's implied to have been torturing her off camera. He also accidentally threw a javelin at her once, although he was trying to hit a bear (It Makes Sense in Context). Luckily, she's still fine... then Stan accidentally shoots her, which Peter laughs at.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender,
    • Slight subversion: when Master Pakku refuses to teach her waterbending, Katara demands to duel him. When he refuses, she assaults him. Master Pakku's misogyny is called out, but Katara's assumption that being a young girl entitles her to free hits on an older man is VERY swiftly disabused:
      "Fine. You want to learn to fight so bad? Study closely."
    • Played straight with Mai and Zuko. Mai never listens to Zuko when he opens up to her, puts him down, calls him names, and rejects him constantly. He tries to make her happy and please her due to his own abuse. She throws things at him, belittles him, and mocks his abuse. She threatens him at the end of the series. In the comics, she helps her father hide his attempts to murder Zuko and his family, lies to Zuko when he asks if her father is involved in the assassination attempts, and when later caught, she gaslights Zuko into apologizing. If the genders were reversed, this would be pretty disturbing.
  • An episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, "Triumvirate of Terror!", shows this. Lex Luthor, Cheetah and Joker decide to switch arch enemies. Joker takes on Wonder Woman and subdues her using trickery and had earlier knocked out a heap of Amazons using laughing gas. Cheetah meanwhile takes on Superman and gives him a brutal beating. Joker is never seen hitting Wonder Woman and is stopped before he can, compared to Superman who is badly beaten and gets his costume torn in places. Wonder Woman is also the only one of the three heroes who is shown hitting Cheetah on screen.
    • Subverted in "Night of the Huntress!" where Batman punches Mrs. Manface, saying, "The hammer of Justice is unisex!" Though given that the character in question has... well... a man's face, the extent to which this is a subversion is debatable.
  • In Ben 10: Omniverse, it's revealed Kevin once got betrothed to a Tetramand princess named Looma as part of an old deal. When she comes back looking for him, her method to have him marry her involves chasing him, beating him to a pulp and threatening to "break every single bone" of his body. Not only is this played for comedy, but Gwen, Kevin's official girlfriend, finds it "romantic".
  • Janet Barch from Daria is the pure, unadulterated, research-grade form of this trope. The show portrays her as being violently unhinged in early episodes, which is where most of the actual abuse is confined to. Later episodes portray her as something of a Defrosting Ice Queen as she begins a relationship with Mr. O'Neill, which is portrayed as being weird but not necessarily dysfunctional. ("The F Word" does seem to imply some consensual "abuse" in their sex life, though.)
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  • This goes all the way back to Disney's Donald Duck cartoons. Whenever Donald and Daisy had any sort of argument, it would usually end in Daisy beating the living stuffing out of Donald. The worst he could ever do was insult or mock her, which usually just resulted in him getting more beatings.
  • In Ed, Edd n Eddy, the Eds are commonly beaten up by Ed's sister Sarah, plus all the times they've been possibly raped by the Kankers, who are the walking definitions of Do Not Want. Not only are the Kankers beasts, but the cul-de-sac is scared of them. So while their treatment of the Eds and anyone who annoys them is usually played for laughs, there are times that it is wrong and quite likely illegal, but those moments are never actually on screen and only inferred or alluded to. It's to the point that when they drag Eddy's brother away for 'mouth to mouth', it's viewed as his comeuppance. Granted, he is a complete jerk who abuses Eddy, but still...
    • In one episode, the Eds actually turn their harassment against them in an effort to discourage them from doing it again. It starts to work and is both Played for Laughs and treated as justified, considering what the Kankers typically do to them. Unfortunately, the Kankers realise their plan (thanks to Eddy) and turn it against them again.
  • In The Fairly OddParents!, this is somewhat subverted with Vicky's abuse of Timmy. While she's quite obviously a villain and many times her treatment of Timmy is Played for Laughs, it would probably not be as well received if it were a boy doing this to a girl. In addition, Vicky has stripped Timmy down to his underwear and many times she has forced him to wear a dress. Imagine a 16 year old boy doing this to a 10 year old girl.
    • One episode features Timmy wishing Vicky into a five year old so he can bully her. Wanda shames him for just wanting to see a little girl cry. The intended lesson is "Don't fight bullying with bullying." Make of that what you will.
  • In the Futurama episode "The Butterjunk Effect," Amy and Leela become Butterfly Derby athletes by doping up on "Nectar", which is space steroids. Fry and Kif are the victims of their subsequent 'roid rage: Kif mentions being hit with "various chairs", and Fry gets sexually assaulted by both of them while in the throes of their Nectar-induced madness. While it's not completely played for laughs, if the sexes were reversed this whole situation wouldn't be funny at all.
    • Mom beats on her sons, Walt, Larry and Igner regularly. Granted, they are a parodic Three Stooges Shout-Out, and really are pretty pathetic, but it's played as a lot more funny than if they had been daughters or Mom was a Dad.
  • Averted in The Cleveland Show. Although it's Played for Laughs, the characters never act like it's okay that their friend is being beaten by his girlfriend or mock him about it, and the main plot of the episode is about trying to get her away from him.
    • Played straight in that Donna is regularly shown assaulting Cleveland for gags.
    • Family Guy did a similar episode, satirizing this.
    • If it's a Seth MacFarlane show, its going to have this. Family Guy is also never above using violence from either sex against the other as comedic fodder, finding dark humor in it.
    • Shock value aside however, Lois and Meg are often portrayed far more sympathetically than the male cast, despite often being equally abusive and unhinged as they are, and tend to get dished Aesops about their callous treatment a lot less often. Though, Meg tends to be more justified, as she is subjected to so much crap from her family that her abuses are often portrayed as her snapping, rather than some inherent right as a female.
  • Zig-Zagged in Hey Arnold!. Helga regularly harasses characters in the series, especially Arnold and Brainy (who has a tendency to appear behind her and get punched after he breathes down her neck). Averted when a psychiatrist does visit PS 118, spots her behaviour, and immediately wishes to assess it. By the end of the episode, when Helga asks if she can still punch Brainy, she's told, "No, that's the reason why you're here". Granted, it's not a punishment, but she did get repercussions for her bully tendencies. Plus her harassment is showing the audience that she has a problem, and played for drama more than it is for laughs.
    • Also, in one episode Arnold is fed up with Helga verbally abusing him in art class, and after she throws glue and feathers on him (and then laughs at him, shouting to the whole class "Arnold's a bird!"), he eventually retaliates by throwing a cup of paint on her (after she did so to him and refused to allow him to do any painting). The teacher, who never did anything when Helga abused him, is shocked at Arnold and sends him to the principal's office, and his grandparents are notified. Helga gets away with this.
  • Home Movies: Brendon is trying to stop an older kid from beating him up, and gets him to turn placid and mellowed out. Melissa, who was harboring a crush on the guy, angrily beats up Brendon for changing him.
  • The way Gaz treats her older brother, Dib, on Invader Zim. Early episodes just portrayed her as threatening him but never doing much, but by the second season she had been Flanderized into beating him savagely for minor deeds, and Fan Fiction took that even farther and made her into a God Mode Jerk Sue. Though Dib is only a year older than her and Gaz is clearly stronger than any normal child her age could be, the idea of her beating him in ways as bad or worse than an adult could are rarely played for anything but laughs. There is a small but vocal Hatedom of Gaz for this very reason, which often produce a genre of Fix Fics where Gaz suffers in some way for her actions. It also doesn't help that between their lack of a mom, their dad being at the lab all the time and usually only communicating with his kids through a screen, and the authority figures at their school being worthless, there really isn't anyone who seems willing to correct her behavior.
  • Practically a Running Gag in Johnny Bravo where the titular character is beaten up all the time by every girl he tries to woo in over the top ways. Pretty much the only females that did not beat the crap out of him were his own mother and little Suzy, who's too young for him.
  • June towards Henry on KaBlam!.
  • Averted in the King of the Hill episode "Leanne's Saga". When Luanne's mother, Leanne, is released from jail, she stays with the Hills. She starts dating Bill. Things aren't too bad at first, even though she does show some gold digger tendencies, with her getting him to spend all his money for her, but after she succumbs to her alcoholism again, she starts to abuse Bill both physically and verbally. Even if the audience may be amused, the characters in the show are appalled by her behavior and treatment towards Bill. Leanne was also originally in jail for stabbing Luanne's father with a fork, and that he subsequently moved to an oil rig, refusing to come back to the mainland until Hank faxes him Leanne's death certificate. (This was later Retconned to him being in jail too, but still applies to the episode in question.)
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • Bolin starts a relationship with Korra's cousin Eska in season two. At first it just seems like Eska is an Ice Queen unsure how to deal with liking an Adorkable guy, but by the third episode it's unabashedly abusive on her end with Bolin as little more than a servant for her and her twin brother. The relationship is played for laughs, with Bolin firmly in his role as the Butt-Monkey of the group, and none of his friends and family take the situation seriously, telling him that he should simply stand up for himself, despite Bolin having made it very clear that Eska threatened him with death should he break up with her.
    • It's also mentioned that when Tenzin broke up with Lin Bei Fong, she was so heartbroken and angry over it that she used her bending to trash his home. Lin apparently remembers the memory fondly and as with Eska above, it's played for laughs.
    • In season 3 Korra and Asami laugh as the former levitates Mako with airbending. Granted, it was just a prank, but it could have gotten him seriously injured.
    • Season 4 started to wise up and subvert this. While the rift between Opal and Bolin is justifiable, her cold treatment towards him is not shown as being reasonable, though the conflict is still resolved in her favour. And in the last few episodes Kuvira trying to kill her fiancé, Baatar Jr. in a Shoot the Hostage sort of situation is clearly extremely traumatic for the latter.
  • Muppet Babies: Piggy does this to Gonzo in almost every episode. When Gonzo sweet talks Piggy into liking him, she gets very mad and beats him up in the most hilarious ways imaginable.
  • Oddly played for laughs in Phineas and Ferb when a supervillain is hit by a chair thrown by his wife, who then demands they go shopping for more "throwing chairs."
  • The Proud Family: Oscar is beaten up, sometimes twice an episode, and usually by his wife or mother. Most of the times it's because he flirts with other women, which is wrong, but if Trudy ever flirts with another man and Oscar says something about it, he is portrayed as over-reacting. One particularly Egregious example: Trudy makes a joke about leaving Oscar for Denzel Washington. Everyone laughs. Oscar makes a joke about leaving her for Halle Berry. Trudy and Penny glare at him before Trudy drops his foot, which was bandaged after an earlier accident.
  • In The Ren & Stimpy Show episode "Ren's Bitter Half" near the end Ren's evil side decides to replicate himself so that the world will be full of Evil Rens, the first clone turns out to be female and they fall in love, near the end after they get married they playfully get into a fight, you will notice that none of his punches are able to strike her and she is able to beat him up all she wants.
  • Played with in The Simpsons. This is apparently so common, Springfield has a Men's Shelter. Bart and Lisa are a subversion, as the two of them have beaten up on each other repeatedly, and take as much as they dish out.
    • On the other hand Bart's physical abuse of Lisa is usually more petty and harmless, akin to playful bullying. When the two truly get physical, Lisa usually overpowers him easily.
      • In the episode "The Great Wife Hope", Bart suggests to Lisa to enter the octagon to to settle their lifelong rivalry and she accepts. As they approach each other to throw a punch, Lisa easily punching Bart to the ground. Bart is unconscious and Lisa walks away satisfied. This is frightening but Melissa and Randall Baker of TV Guide magazine said that the scene was a moment of "girl power."
    • Psychological and verbal abuse from Lisa to Bart is more frequent and severe than psychological and verbal abuse from him to her. Lisa also usually underestimate him and she even talks badly behind his back.
    • Word of God states that at one point writers suggested making a gag where Homer strangles Lisa, which was immediately rebuked, despite no one ever criticizing the often used gag of him strangling Bart.
    • A scene where Marge rapes Homer is played for laughs. No, seriously. In the episode "Strong Arms of the Ma", Marge becomes a muscular body-builder. When Homer refuses to have sex with her because he'd rather go to sleep, she over-powers him and says "I wasn't asking". A Gilligan Cut then shows Homer walking funny the morning after. Ha.
    • Averted in "Homer of Seville", where Homer becomes a popular opera singer, and has to fight off hoards of loving fans. Julia, a woman who rescues Homer from a mob of them, becomes his manager in an attempt to seduce him. She goes so far as to strip herself naked in front him. Homer, however, is disturbed by all this, and fires Julia. When Julia makes a threat on Homer's life, Chief Wiggum puts up a lot of security to protect him.
  • An early episode of South Park revolves around Stan being beaten and everyone being sympathetic toward him over it... until they find out that the one beating him up is his sister. Then they mock him and call him a pussy. This is despite the fact that Stan's sister is older and bigger than he is, and is also a violent sociopath. Although they were still sympathetic when asking if his mother was the one hitting him, so this double standard apparently has a limited age range.
    • Averted though when they find out Ike is sleeping with his teacher. The obvious message of the episode is that it's statutory rape and still terrible. The adults in South Park are oblivious, and seem ok with it, subscribing Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male. A policeman even said it wasn't a crime because "she's hot".
    • Played with the McCormicks. While they are implied to both take as much as they dish out, only Carol is shown hitting Stuart onscreen. A preview for "Make Love, Not Warcraft" showed Stuart about to slug her but cuts off just beforehand. For the final episode, this was edited to Carol actually shown doing so to him.
  • Averted in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The Nightsisters' cruel abuse of the Nightbrothers, to the point of brainwashing and forcing one to murder his own brother is not portrayed as ok. Savage turns on Ventress rapidly for her abuse and tries to strangle her, and the whole scheme ends in total failure and a subsequent vicious massacre of the Nightsisters by General Grievous.
  • A subtle example in TaleSpin, though not used to excessively violent measures, the show took pleasure showing Rebecca kicking around Baloo, her comparatively large, hulking male employee, for comical purposes. Though Baloo was at least sometimes savvy enough to get slapstick revenge via other methods (eg. setting a rambunctious boar on her), he never directly attacked her himself in the same manner as vice versa.
  • Teen Titans: A hugely popular example is Raven and Beast Boy. Raven constantly smacks, slaps, and punches Beast Boy for making jokes or being inappropriate. Not only do fans accept this without question, but they think it's adorable and exaggerate it in fanworks.
  • Averted with Tiny Toon Adventures: characters of both genders get their fair share of slapstick, and it's usually played off as cartoonishly non-lethal.
  • Occurred on Total Drama, but ten times worse during Total Drama Action as Courtney becomes the main antagonist in the second half of the season. She has kicked her love interest, Duncan, in the crotch numerous times just in order to win competitions, and sometimes just for flirting with her when she was in a bad mood.
    • Ironically, after he cheated on her and she began to hate him, she only kicked him in the crotch once and blanked him for the rest of the series.
  • Happens again in Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race where Josee would sometimes be physically abusive to Jacques not to mention constantly verbally abusive. Jacques never retaliates, but he instead threatens to break off their partnership when he gets annoyed at her for not listening to him. Priorities.
  • In the animated adaptation of Wayside School, Maurecia, an Action Girl with a crush on Only Sane Man (and Butt-Monkey) Todd, hits her love interest with an unprovoked Megaton Punch every chance she gets. She never gets in trouble for this, even when a teacher has seen what happened — although Todd sometimes does. The punches are implied to be something like a sign of Maurecia's affection, or her confusion about her own feelings, and in either case, harmless. Although Todd always rebuffs Maurecia's romantic advances (the only way in which he "provokes" the abuse), he still considers her a friend, spends a lot of time around her, and never, ever complains to a teacher about getting Punched Across the Room. And this is all in a series aimed at children...
  • Somewhat averted in Metalocalypse with Nathan's relationship with Rebecca. While her blatant verbal abuse seems to be Played for Laughs at first, the other band members quickly convince him to break up with her (albeit by behaving even more violently toward him).
  • The episode that introduced Numbah One's girlfriend Lizzy in Codename: Kids Next Door involved her tricking him into putting on a helmet known as the "Yes Dear 9000", which turns the boyfriend into a slave to their whims. Subverted in that despite it being mass produced and the helmet's effects becoming permanent over time, the use of it is not portrayed as okay, and after Numbah One gets angry enough for it to break on its own he very firmly tells her never to use one of them on him again. Though that's her only punishment, and he doesn't break up with her or even be upset with her for more than a few moments after breaking free.
    • It's also shown in another episode that the "Yes Dear 9000" can be modified to work on girls. Which is then used to full effect on Lizzie by her own aborrant admirer, and is portrayed with the exact same amount of horror as it was with Nigel.
  • The pilot episode of The Flintstones has Wilma use the reliable old gag of hitting Fred over the head with a frying pan at one point.
  • In Rocko's Modern Life, Rocko's encounters with Gladys the Hippo Lady almost always involve this.
    • Also, the Show Within a Show, Meet the Fatheads often features Mrs. Fathead bashing her Henpecked Husband with a parking meter. (Though he sometimes hits her with parking meters, too.) The creator of the "series," Ralph Bighead, says that the characters were made as a Take That! against his parents, who act like milder versions of the Fatheads. Word of God says that the only one that Ed Bighead is afraid of is his wife, Bev.
  • Justice League Unlimited:
    • Subverted in one episode when a man who invented a time machine is forced to deal with his verbally abusive wife, which eventually leads to his Face–Heel Turn and an eventual Bad Future. On the other hand, the episode ends with him being trapped in a time loop reliving the same few minutes with said wife over and over again.
    • Averted as a whole with the entire series where battles are concerned. Female characters hitting male characters is depicted with all the gravity and seriousness you would expect when a potentially superpowered professional fighter hits someone else, and conversely the male characters have no qualms whatsoever about swinging right back at full strength.


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