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- Code Prime:
- While Suzaku Kururugi's decision to kill his father in the past because the latter ordered Japan to fight to the last man earns him some sympathy and makes his actions understandable, Ironhide points out that this does not excuse his actions as a member of the Britannian Army or the Decepticons. This is compounded by the fact he refuses to accept blame for these crimes.
- Megatron, of all people, shows a modicum of sympathy for Emperor Charles' Dark and Troubled Past, but makes it clear that the Emperor's end goal of creating a "World Without Lies" via the Ragnarok Connection is incredibly childish and does not excuse how many people he has brutalized and killed.
- In The Demon's Contract, Nabiki and Kasumi try to use their dead mother to excuse Akane's bratty behavior but Ranma points out that: 1) She's had ten years to get over it, which her sisters have done just fine, 2) The real world doesn't care about her problems and she has to learn she won't always get her way, 3) Ranma's mother is dead too and unlike Akane, he neither knows what she looks like or where she's buried, leaving him unable to properly mourn.
- The Dragon and the Bow: Despite the fact that Astrid Hofferson lost her father in the war with the Highlanders, neither Merida or Astrid's mother Bertha consider it a valid reason for Astrid to persecute the princess. Bertha misses her husband too, but she knows that bullying Merida won't bring him back, and she warns her daughter that Merida needs to be on good terms with Berk otherwise their alliance with the Highlanders will fail. And Merida becomes even more enraged with Astrid when she finds this out: after all, her family were not the ones who killed Astrid's father, and the key word is "killed", not "murdered", so for all they know, Astrid's father died at the hands of a Highlander whose home he was attacking, and therefore Astrid can't claim the moral high ground for him. Merida doesn't start forgiving Astrid until the young Hofferson makes up for all the bad things she's said and done by this point.
- Equestria Girls: A Fairly Odd Friendship:
- While Twilight acknowledges that Timmy has to deal with a lot of horrible people in his life, she says this does not give him a right to be a destructive brat.
- Twilight feels this way about the Dazzlings after hearing Adagio's Motive Rant — she acknowledges they've had terrible lives, but since they've crossed so many lines and have refused to accept responsibility for their actions, she no longer has any sympathy for them.
- Fate DxD AU: When Ritsuka Fujimaru learns why holy swords are Yuuto Kiba's Berserk Button (when he was a child, he and several other children were put in a dangerous experiment involving holy swords that resulted in many of their deaths), Ritsuka is not impressed. Ritsuka says that while what happened to him sucks, that is no excuse for Kiba going crazy whenever he sees a holy sword and endangering both himself and his comrades in his mad attempts to destroy the nigh-indestructible weapons. Ritsuka also calls him out on his Misplaced Retribution, pointing out that since the holy swords are not sentient, he should strive to find and punish the people behind the experiment.
- Fate/Parallel Fantasia: Kirei Kotomine learned long ago that he has a condition that means he is only happy when he makes people suffer, causing him to be a jerk and embrace a plan to wipe out most of humanity. His daughter Caren condemns him and says that is not an excuse because she has the same condition, but she still chose to be good, even if she can't enjoy it.
- The Gods Awaken: When Boscha is asked why she hated Willow, Boscha explains how she was like her once being a half-witch and a constant target of bullying, but she remade herself. Luz, however, points out to her that despite her bullying Willow for years, she never resorted to bullying weaker students. Luz goes as far to say that Boscha actually did not change, but puts up a tough girl front to hide her insecurity.
- In Imaginary Seas, Percy Jackson is a little sympathetic to Caenis after learning who she is because his father Poseidon had raped her, but he says that is no excuse for her threatening innocent people.
- Justice: When Aresia tries to appeal to Nami and Robin into joining her crusade against men by citing the misogynistic atrocities done to women, they not only refuse on the account that her genocidal bioweapon is affecting their male crewmates, but also find her hatred for the other gender to be childish at best and flat out hypocritical at worst. Nami even pointedly states that Aresia is no better than the men who did them wrong before they met Luffy.
- Several villains in The Last Son end up on the receiving end of this. Notable examples:
- Magneto became a monster due to his past as a Holocaust survivor and fell into a Cycle of Revenge because he wasn't satisfied after he was done with the Nazis who killed his family. When Superman reveals this fact to Wanda, she remarks that's no excuse for his actions and Superman agrees.
- Graydon Creed hates mutants with a passion because of his abusive father Sabretooth. His Friends of Humanity operatives quickly turned their backs on him when Superman made this fact public.
- General Zod went mad after the death of his fiancée Ursa in the Shi'ar War, which he uses to justify his hatred for non-Kryptonians. Naturally, when the heroes find this out, they lose any shred of sympathy they could have had for him.
- Mia Fey: Ace Attorney The Fool's Turnabout:
- Sae Niijima is an amoral prosecutor who does everything she can to win cases — even if that means manipulating evidence and forcing false confessions from witnesses. When Mia confronts her about it before the last day of the trial, Sae rants about how she has to raise her sister Makoto on her own after their father died. Because of this, she has to do her best to do her job at the prosecutor's office. On top of the ruthlessness of the office, she also has to deal with sexism since she has to do twice the effort for the same amount of respect. And the way to get respect there is to win cases. Mia understands Sae's struggle, but she still says that it doesn't excuse the fact that she's trying to get her client, Ren Amamiya, convicted of a murder that he didn't commit. Nor does it excuse the harsh words that she says to Makoto just for trying to stop Sae from going down a path she will regret. She finally understands this by the end of the story.
- This comes up with the actual killer. Goro Akechi has been abandoned by his father, Masayoshi Shido, and was used by him for years when he finally reunited with him. While he was adored by his fans as the Detective Prince, he never had any true friends like Ren. When he found about Shido planning to discard him, he didn't want that to happen so he went to kill him. When he was found out, he revealed that he was jealous of Ren since he never had friends like Ren had, and decided to frame him out of envy. While the protagonists acknowledge how tragic they are, none of them excuse the actions of framing Ren and manipulating Sae to do it. Ryuji even states that the way he used people makes Akechi no better than his father — something Akechi acknowledges.
- Played for Laughs in Motivational Speaker For Hire. Grogar hires Matt Foley, hoping he can get his minions to work together as a team. When Cozy Glow admits she never had any parents, Foley gives her his usual routine.
: Well boo-FRICKITY-HOO
! Is this why you were stealing everyone's magic? Was it so you could fill in that big empty void where the love of your mommy and daddy is suppose to be? Well GET OVER IT! My parents never even dropped me off at an orphanage, the only place they dropped me off was in a van down by the river!"
- Naruto Rend: Naruto ends up talking with his parents while they're both in the hospital about the very rough state of their relationship, admitting that while he doesn't agree with how they handled things, he's done hating them and using his anger as an excuse to be hostile towards them and his siblings.
- Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!: Todoroki is called out on holding back his fire powers much earlier than in canon, albeit for different reasons, since the rest of Class 1-A sees this attitude as arrogant and petty. In the aftermath of the USJ incident, Aizawa outright tells him that whatever issues he's got with his father are no excuse to hold back his fire powers when there are lives at stake.
- In Revival, Nyarlathotep claims that he became the way he was because he was born without a name or identity due to his father being the Almighty Idiot. Patrick, however, denies him this citing that he was actually just a cosmological Psychopathic Manchild who was evil the moment he was born. When Lincoln states this to Nyarlathotep in the sequel, Nyarlathotep actually agrees there.
- The Vasto of White: Gin gets captured by Soul Society and decides to explain his motives. When he and his best friend Rangiku were children, Aizen seriously injured her. Gin dedicated his life to revenge, but knowing he couldn't beat Aizen head on, decided to pretend to join him so that he could one day stab him in the back. Everyone, including Rangiku, points out that is no excuse for being a total asshole, helping Aizen help their enemies, and hurting a bunch of people.
- In Fighting for the Future. Lex Luthor explains his desire to kill all Metahumans comes from the fact that one Metahuman, implied to be Black Siren, caused a train accident that killed his fiancee. No one is very impressed with this, having seen it before in both Malcolm Merlyn and Slade Wilson; and Oliver explicitly states that that would justify killing that one Metahuman, not all of them. He even points out that the love of his life was murdered, but he still only killed those responsible.
- In Danganronpa: Last Hurrah, the second killer commits murder out of a desire for their parents' approval, and feeling overshadowed by their older brother. Nao Hisoka, the protagonist, asks whether the killer's parents abused them, and when the killer says no, Nao launches into a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, ending with him asking the killer if their parents will be proud of them for committing murder. It later turns out that Jirou, the second killer, is actually the mastermind, and that he survived his execution. Jirou then says that while he wasn't lying about his life story, he actually didn't care about that.
- Danny Phantom: Stranded: Valerie Gray hates Danny Phantom for ruining her life, as he accidentally caused her father to lose his job, leading to them becoming poor and her losing her popularity. Star calls Valerie out for holding a grudge against Phantom despite all he has done to protect the town, pointing out that it was an accident and that he genuinely feels bad about it. When Valerie doesn't care and still sees him as dangerous and a loose cannon, Star retorts out Valerie is also dangerous, as she's only justifying a reason to be cruel. Also, Danny Phantom actually improved Valerie's life by getting her out of the A-Listers, and she still has her father and real friends. While Star is sorry for what happened to Valerie's father, she cannot blame everything bad that happened to her on Phantom. When Valerie again refuses to listen, Star loses her patience and realizes Valerie has not changed at all because she's still looking for an excuse to bully someone. Star proclaims that she is done listening to Valerie whining and pinning the blame for her problems on someone who just had bad luck.
- Resurrected Memories: Vlad tries to cajole Ember into joining his side, citing her own miserable past as proof that she'll always be alone. Ember throws back that as horrible as her life was, she had no right to make others miserable as well.
- Shadow of Her Own: Scrooge McDuck had wondered if Magica De Spell had created Lena to gain a family to replace her brother, Poe De Spell. Thanks to a confrontation between Scrooge and Magica, Poe was permanently turned into a non-sapient crow and lost to the wilds. Lena points out that she was created to use against Scrooge, and that she was the one that started calling Magica "Aunt Magica". Eventually, Magica let Lena call her that for the sake of keeping Lena under control after she became sentient. When Scrooge suggested that the reason that Magica could not love Lena is because of what happened to Poe, Lena angrily rejected the notion that Magica loved her, with or without Poe, saying that all she was to Magica was her magical failure. Scrooge apologizes to Lena for putting Magica on a darker path, leading to her creating Lena and abusing her. Lena then assured Scrooge that she does not regret being made, and Magica's actions were not his fault; Magica chose her own path, and whatever excuses she comes up with regarding Scrooge don't excuse the way that Magica has treated Lena.
- Dragon Ball Multiverse: Son Bra willingly let Babidi control her so that she could finally take out her issues on everyone in the vicinity, including her own family and friends. A lot of her issues can be attributed to Vegito's "parenting" skills. He never tried to properly raise her outside of just training her, and would quickly give up whenever he failed to discipline her during her temper tantrums. He also tends to place rather unrealistic expectations on her when it comes to protecting the universe, which only drives her insecurities even further. Chapter 75 reveals that Vegito's may have been significantly worse than just negectlful with a flashback showing him threatening to kill Bra before she can grow stronger then him. That being said, her Universe 18 counterpart Bra Briefs points out that her less than ideal upbringing does not justify how much of a colossal jackass and mass-murderering slave of Babidi and brutally calls her out for trying to excuse her actions this way. She adds that Son Bra will never be the number 1 she wished to be if she continued to let her past control her instead of trying to overcome it no matter how unfair it is.
- In Dragon Ball Z Abridged, Android 16 calls out Gohan for his Suicidal Pacifist actions by telling him that just because Goku isn't Father of the Year material doesn't mean that the entire world has to suffer because he wants to be the bigger man.
- In Hermit, Jamba wants to kill Shin in order to kill Beerus for destroying his home planet. Zuno knows exactly what Jamba desires to do and why, and tells him that his suffering is no excuse for his actions, which include helping Freeza's family rule 70% of the galaxy and planning to kill a child because the latter might try to stop him.
- Some of the earlier English dubs of Dragon Ball Z have Vegeta, prior to his death on Namek, tell Goku that Frieza twisted and corrupted him into a genocidal Space Pirate and he never had the chance to do anything else, stating outright that all of his actions and evil were on Frieza. In Reign, Frieza himself tears the claims he made apart by pointing out that Vegeta has repeatedly shown himself perfectly capable of killing and destroying without Frieza's orders or input. He cites multiple atrocities of Vegeta's, such as his blowing up the planet Arlia, committing genocide on the colonies of Ethrom, and beheading the king of Verbu solely because the man insulted his height, all done on his own initiative and of his own volition, as proof that Freudian Excuse or not, Vegeta was just a violent, petty thug.
- The fanfic The Phoenix and the Snowbird has a rare one where Prince Hans himself acknowledges to Queen Elsa that he must stop using his claim of his 12 older brothers abusing and ignoring him as a way to justify his crimes. He even states that the time he spent without them slowly made him realize just how miserable he is.
- Silence: In chapter 6, the head maid calls Akito out on continuing to use her Abusive Mom as an excuse to pity herself and lash out at people, especially since by that point, Akito is married to Shigure, has a daughter of her own, and Ren is dead. She explains her history with her own mother to put things in perspective; Her own mother was a prostitute who forced her into doing so as well so they could make more money to get ends meet, resulting in her getting pregnant by a man old enough to be her grandfather and forced to give her baby up for adoption. It was after this that she ran away, got a job at the Sohma estate, and became head maid, eventually becoming Akito's Parental Substitute after Ren abandoned her.
- Phylactery: In chapter 12, Edward pulls this on a recently resurrected Envy when the latter finally succeeds in angering him by threatening his wife and children.
I get it; I do. In a way, you couldn't help being the way you were any more than Gluttony could help being hungry or Greed could help being greedy. But to say that you were forced to act out of jealousy is just an excuse. The fact is that you were cruel and sadistic and enjoyed every bit of pain you caused, and even if you can
change, I'm not convinced you deserve the chance. Envy:
) Shut up! Shut up!
You don't- You don't have the right to talk about us like that! Like you know- Edward:
But you're here and alive again, and I really do hope that you can change. I don't want to have to kill you. But if you try to hurt my family, try to threaten them, even try to meet or talk to them...If you try to kill anyone
, I won't hesitate to stop you. In whatever way is necessary.
The Goblin Emperor
- Take These Tower Stones inflicts a brutal Karma Houdini Warranty on Setheris Nelar when his wife announces her intent to divorce him for abusing his ward. Yes, it explicitely was because the previous Emperor was a dick who exiled Nelar in the marshlands, away from everything and everyone he loved, but Nelar still chose to beat and demean a helpless child entrusted to his care.
Hesero Nelar: The beating of a child is not a broken plate, Setheris. Thou art proven as the kind of man who will harm another on a whim, and being alone and afraid does not excuse that. Thou madest a choice, each time, and now here are the consequences. Less than thou deservest.
- Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): Vivienne Graham thinks as much when Alan Jonah tries to exploit Sympathy for the Devil, mentally noting his tragedy doesn't in any way justify putting millions of innocent others through the same pain he experienced by setting Ghidorah loose on the world. During a Kirk Summation, Madison Russell calls out the sheer hypocrisy of her deceased mother trying to make her brother's death "matter" by forcing millions of other families to also lose their children and loved ones amid rampaging Titans.
- The Very Secret Diary: Ginny acknowledges that Tom had a rough upbringing, but, after some thinking, she concludes that that isn't the reason he's so horrible. After all, plenty of people, such as Harry, have had it way, way worse than Tom did and not turned out evil. She then tells him that she's thought it over from every angle, but she simply can't figure what's wrong with him.
- Weasley Girl has an example where Hagrid, of all people, loses his temper with Snape and calls him out on his attitude and his unfair treatment of Harry.
All right, that's enough! This is my
house! I let yeh stay here ter rest, I made yeh supper an' breakfast, an' I don't even mind that I never heard a word o' thanks, but yeh don't talk ter Harry like that while yer under my roof!
An' I've bin makin' excuses fer yeh all year, too —! Snape:
I don't recall asking you to do that. Hagrid:
Cuttin' yeh some slack here, cause yer still sick, an' yeh've bin with You-Know-Who, an workin' against 'im, mighty brave o' yeh an' all that, yer a true hero, but GROW UP!
Yeh had a rotten life? Well, guess what, other people had rotten lives too, an' they don't go around sneerin' at everyone! NOW SHUT UP AN' EAT YER RUDDY EGGS!
- The sequel, Weasley Girl: Secrets of the Past: has a scene where Peter Pettigrew tries to defend his actions by pointing out what a horrible situation he was in, how bigger and badder people forced his hand, how he was too weak to resist. He paints a pretty bleak picture of his own life, only to have it come crashing down on him with one question from Harry:
- Down And Out: Zig-Zagged. When The Cat visits the Mall Car to see Simon, Grace lies, saying that Simon died, before blaming the feline for his downward spiral and demise. When The Cat points out it isn't fair that she should get all the blame when Grace also played a role, Grace responds that while neither of them are responsible for how Simon responded to his trauma, The Cat is still the source of said trauma.
- He Never Told You: Grace blames herself for Simon's death because she was the one that told him the lie that numbers increasing mean strength. The Cat points out that they both believed that lie and that got them into trouble. When they learned the truth Grace dealt with it and Simon didn't.
Kill la Kill
- After Mako learns about Ryuko's alien nature and origins in Natural Selection, she gets the idea to become a Positive Friend Influence to her to help redeem her from what she's become. Inumuta is quick to point out that at this point, whatever excuse she has doesn't matter. She has the blood of countless people on her hands and has taken sadistic glee in the destruction she's caused. Even if she can be made better, she must answer for the things she's done.
Kolchak: The Night Stalker
- In The Wings of Lilith, Kolchak interviews the owner of an occult book store centered around Lilith, who talks of how Lilith was mistreated by Adam and cast aside by God, eventually joining up with the demons of Hell and becoming a demonic monster herself. After the owner notes that Lilith is now a symbol of feminism, Kolchak notes that Lilith kills innocent babies for the sake of spiting God. The owner dismisses this as anti-feminist propaganda added on to a fictional character adopted by early feminist movements, though the reader and Kolchak already know that it is very, very true.
Kung Fu Panda
- A Different Lesson: While Tai Lung is on his way to realizing this from his first talk with Po onward (and especially after visiting the village with Tigress and meeting Oogway's ghost for the first time), in his narcissism and Never My Fault mentality it isn't until he has forgiven Oogway and is contemplating his battle with Shifu in the movie, their argument just before his rampage, and his reasons for refusing to accept Shifu's apology that he finally accepts the truth: that everything which happened to him, and the way Shifu raised and acted toward him, does not change how horrible and wrong his own actions were. This (along with Shifu explaining the truth behind why he never stood up for him to Oogway) is naturally what leads to their reconciliation as father and son.
And yet, he'd still come that close to killing Shifu. That, too, was something that could never be forgiven. Not even by himself. As he had told Tigress, it was the worst thing he could ever have done, and every time he thought of it now, it filled him with horror. All his prior reasoning could explain his actions...but it could never justify them...
The Loud House
- In Stories and Tales from Dimension 63, Linka is revealed to have been physically beaten when three boys invaded the home in search of her older brother Loki, while Lane who was also in the house hid instead of trying to protect her because he had to protect the then-infant Lars. However, when Linka tries to use that excuse at times, other characters point out that she could've asked her family to stop being overly protective of her, and instead of being painted in a sympathetic light, Linka willingly tries to take over Lincoln's life simply because she felt that her own family didn't pamper her enough.
- For His Own Sake: When Granny Hina sat down with her daughter Marumi, she explains why she broke her promise to her daughter to let her inherit Hinata Inn. Hina explains how she had a difficult relationship with her eldest daughter, Yoko, because she disapproves of the things she did, like marrying Toji when she wanted her to marry Shakiko's son, Sanji. On the day before Yoko dies in that car accident with her husband, Toji, Yoko wanted help, and Hina refused to help her even when she begged Hina for help. Hina feels guilty for driving Yoko away and not being there for her children growing up because she was busy running the inn and her husband die when her children were kids. Those Marumi assured Hina she and her siblings never hold it again their mother. Hina then meets Nara and Mitsune, learning they were having problems with their family's and seeing how the inn was not getting many guests decide to turn the inn into an all-female dorm to give the girls a place where didn't feel burdened by there problems and can go to Hina for help. Marumi pointed out that Hina neither told her family she change her inn to an all-female dorm or help the girls with their problems. She was just making excuses for the girls or covering up their bad actions given them the mindset that they don't have to face the consequences for their terrible actions. When Hina tries to insist that she really did help the girls and downplay the problems, Marumi points out all the abuse Keitaro suffers because of girls and the fact that Hina neither told Keitaro that the inn was changed to an all-female dorm or the girls she was making her grandson the Manager of the dorm. When Hina still tries to downplay, deny and refuse to admit she was wrong, Marumi tells her that while she had good intentions, her obsession with doing right for those girls has caused her to disregard everything else completely. Marumi tells Hina she will stop her before she does any more damage to their family and those girls because, quite frankly, she didn't really help them. As Hina angry leaves refusing to believe she did wrong, Marumi sadly notes that Hina's husband and daughter Yoko would disapprove of her actions.
Marvel Cinematic Universe
- Heimdall in One Hell of a Ride tries to usurp Hela because his sister was one of the valkyries she killed before being imprisoned thousands of years ago. Tony and Hela countert that 1) his sister knew what she was getting into when she became a valkyrie and when she fought against Hela, 2) Hela has been recognized by both the people and Asgard itself as the rightful queen. Regardless of his feelings on the matter, his actions are sedition at best and treason at worst.
My Hero Academia
- In Conversations with a Cryptid, the narrative and Midoriya points out that Bakugou grew up with a physically and verbally abusive mother, a spineless father and a school system that fostered his sense of entitlement through the strength of his quirk and encouraged him to look down on Quirkless people like Midoriya. The narrative and All for One counters that in no way excuses Bakugou's decade of abusing Midoriya. All for One points out that Bakugou had attacked, burned and belittled Midoriya on a daily basis of his own free will. Even going so far as Bakugou attempt to bait Midoriya into committing suicide which still emotionally scars Midoriya and throwing tantrums in front of his peers and live television when he doesn't get his way.
- In Crimson and Emerald, Endeavor is revealed to have been horrifically abused as a child by his father, Ryu and saw his mother be abused. Considering this is revealed to show how Endeavor doesn't understand why his treatment of his wife and children is wrong when All Might, Hawks and Inko intervene to rescue his family from him, he doesn't get any sympathy points.
- In Cursed Blood, when Todoroki reveals his Dark and Troubled Past to Izuku and his friends, they tell him that, while what happened to him was truly terrible, it does not excuse him being a Jerkass, nevermind that many other people have suffered worse than him due to Quirkism (among them Izuku himself, who is a subject of Bad Powers, Good People). When Lily points out that he still has his mother and can make peace with her, Todoroki loses his patience and angrily claims that she has no idea about what suffering is - only to remember just then that Lily was raped to death and is only alive because Izuku turned her into a zombie child. Izuku tells Todoroki that, for all that he claims he will never be like his father, he's showing up to be Endeavor 2.0.
- In Deku? I think he's some pro..., All Might never passed on One For All to Midoriya, instead telling him that he could never become a hero and should give up on his dream. When Izuku proceeds to make it into U.A. anyway, he continues to disparage and dismiss his efforts, insisting that his Quirklessness means he's simply too weak and vulnerable. Sir Nighteye confronts him with the knowledge that he used to be Quirkless himself, suggesting that he's discouraging Izuku because he doesn't want to see him succeed where he failed — something he calls out as incredibly petty and disappointing. Particularly from somebody who otherwise insists that anybody can become a hero.
- In Karma in Retrograde, Touya's self-loathing is only amplified by the fact he's disappointed with his own motive, since all his siblings went through the same thing he did, but hadn't become villains like he had.
How weak could he be? Oh, boo hoo, he'd wanted his dad to love him.
That wasn't an excuse for all the shit he'd pulled over the years. Natsuo and Fuyumi hadn't broken as he had.
- Sleeper Hit AU
- In My Hero Playthrough, Aizawa does this to Shinso after learning that Shinso used his Quirk to brainwash Ojiro and Hagakure into helping him get through the first stage of the Sports Festival, then abandoning them when he no longer needs them, resulting in them doing poorly and nearly being placed on academic probation. Aizawa can understand why Shinso feels that the U.A. entrance exam favors those with flashy and destructive Quirks, but points out that Ojiro and Hagakure passed despite not having Quirks like those, simply because they worked harder than Shinso does. Aizawa's point is that if anyone is stacking the deck against Shinso, it's Shinso himself.
My Little Pony: Equestria Girls
- In MLDC Firestorm Crisis, the Humane Five are making assumptions of why Sunset Shimmer is an Alpha Bitch. Then Rainbow Dash speaks up:
"Poor Sunset"? Really? [the others look to Rainbow Dash]
So what if she did come from a crappy home, is an orphan, or was abused. There are other people who have gone through that and aren't total assholes. Taking out your problems on other people is a coward's way of dealing with them, instead of facing them! Rarity:
Rainbow Dash! Rainbow Dash: I'm just making a point!
If she really
wants my pity or sympathy, then she has to earn it!
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
- Heir of the Nightmare: Nightmare Moon tells her daughter Twilight that her brutality and bringing of eternal night is mean to protect anypony from trying to hurt Twilight again. Twilight, however, throws back that Nightmare is hurting ponies who did nothing to her.
- In ...That's It?, Twilight Sparkle is Disappointed by the Motive when Starlight Glimmer reveals that the reason she did things that could've caused the end of all space-time or doomed Equestria to rule by an evil entity was because Starlight's friend Sunburst got his cutie mark before she did when they were kids, causing him to move away. Twilight is disgusted with the self-righteous behavior, but with just the right Armor-Piercing Question, Twilight manages to convince Starlight to stop her plans.
- In Pony POV Series, this trope is practically a major theme: a Freudian Excuse can explain a villain's actions, but it doesn't come close to justifying them at all.
- Discord loves to excuse his behavior as being the fault of literally anyone except himself, especially Fate herself, but it's made clear ultimately his evil is no-one's fault but his own with Celestia describing it as him discovering his Sadism. Something Discord eventually realizes himself.
- Queen Chrysalis has a pretty tragic backstory, including being Made a Slave and accidentally draining her parents into an Empty Shell state, but she is under no delusion she's anything but a monster and is proud of it. She knows she's going to Hell and has every intention of trying to take it over when she gets there. One major bit of development for Sweetie Belle (after Chrysalis comes to care for her but not enough to stop) is realizing that no matter what Chrysalis told her, she was a bad person.
- Nightmare Eclipse and her Gallery have all suffered horrific tragedies having gone through the Dark World and all the suffering Twilight and her friends have, in some cases more, but the only one under the delusion this justifies their behavior is Eclipse herself. Even Nightmare Mirror openly admits the six of them are monsters and intended to drag all of them to Hell herself in the end. Rota Fortuna even gives Eclipse a "The Reason You Suck" Speech pointing out that it's gotten to the point Eclipse herself is the one doing everything Discord did to her onto others and thus she has zero moral high-ground left.
- Nightmares in general are spawned from a tragedy. In fact, the Arc Words that accompany the transformation is some variation of the phrase 'the world isn't fair, so I'll make it fair.' Despite this, Celestia and especially Luna make it clear to any purified Nightmares that tragedy doesn't excuse anything they did, something Luna holds herself to as well. Most of the turned-sane Nightmares eventually come to agree.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
- In Ghosts of Evangelion, Ryuko calls her mother out, pointing out that childhood trauma doesn't justify a crappy disposition when you're in your forties. Asuka's reaction is, in fact... hugging her and expressing how proud she is of Ryuko.
Ryuko: Bullshit! "The best you can," you say? Whatever. Today you were fine. I felt like you were an actual parent for a change, and that was nice. But last night? Fuck that noise. Back in the day, I guess you could get away with it since things were really rough for you back then. But now, not so much. We deserve better, father and I, and so do you!
- The Second Try: At one point, Shinji calls Gendo out on blaming all of his actions -including abandoning his son- on the pain of losing his wife.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide: As arguing about Asuka, Misato says the German girl would surely be less abrasive and temperamental if someone had helped her when she needed. Nakajima replies past pains are not an excuse for a bad attitude, and Misato retorts she never said it was.
Nakayima: "Be any worse? I couldn't really imagine how anyone"
Misato: "Be any worse? Trust me, she's mellowed out lately. I guess being with Shinji really helps her deal with all that pain."
Nakajima: "Her pain? Miko still thinks she's responsible for Keiko getting hurt, even if she doesn't outright blame her anymore. It's not easy feeling sympathy for her."
Misato: "She wouldn't want it anyway - she'd think it makes her weak. However, wanting and needing can be quite different things sometimes. She definitely could have used some earlier in her life."
Nakayima: "We all have things in our past we'd like to forget. That isn't really an excuse."
Misato: "No. But it can be an explanation. Asuka certainly made some bad choices all on her own, and I know how hard it made her to deal with, and almost impossible to actually help her. All the more reason I admire Shinji for getting through to her somehow."
- The Royal Couple:
- After seeing the true form of Kunikazu Okumura's Treasure, and hearing Haru explain that it was a model that Kunikazu's father couldn't afford because of his generosity, Ryuji remarks that it's no excuse for Kunikazu to become a Corrupt Corporate Executive who would set his daughter up with an Arranged Marriage to an abusive fiance in order to gain power. Makoto is offended, but Haru concedes that Ryuji isn't wrong.
- Tsukasa turns out to have a Freudian Excuse for his behavior in this fic. His mother ended up getting swindled out of money and didn't notice that her husband was cheating on her, thus causing Tsukasa to conclude that women were easy marks and use his popularity with the ladies for his own gain. After hearing this from Tsukasa's Shadow, Makoto remarks that Tsukasa turned out to be just as bad as his father and the man who scammed his mother.
- When Haru returns to school after her father's death, she receives an anonymous note from a fellow student. Said student hated Kunikazu for causing her father to work himself to death, and resents the fact that Haru is still well-off compared to her. With some sleuthing, Makoto uncovers the identity of the student responsible and tells her that while she sympathizes with the pain of losing her father(since Makoto lost both her parents), it doesn't give her license to lash out at Haru, who also lost her father.
- Pokémon: A Marvelous Journey: Amara's Jerkass behavior all began when her best friend was killed by a rampaging Gyarados, and her actions are because she's lashing out in grief at that. However, in the process, she's stolen Pokemon and Gym Badges, abused several of said Pokemon, and attacked innocent bystanders either by herself or by using her Pokemon. It's made clear in-universe that Amara's grief and pain do not excuse her behavior; Julia herself openly states as such and tells their mother she wants Amara to be arrested.
- Pokémon Reset Bloodlines:
- One sidestory has Red encounter a trainer named Rosso while traveling across the Sevii Islands. He was seen as a talented Pokémon trainer in his hometown, which quickly got to his head, but when he started his journey, he saw how tough the real world could be and that he wasn't as great as he thought. As a result, he started picking on weaker trainers and often beating them up while they were down, using an excuse that he was simply "giving his all out of respect" as he learned from Shinku Tajiri (Red's late mother who was a professional boxer). Naturally, Red took it very personally that someone was using his mother's philosophy as an excuse to be a bully to others, and called him out on it.
- Another sidestory has Ash's Butterfree realize that, whenever he's reminded of the Pink Butterfree and how he lost her, he tends to take it out on people who had nothing to do with it (including Ash himself at one point). It takes a My God, What Have I Done? moment when he delivers a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on a female Vivillon who wanted to spar with him, even attacking her after she gave up, to realize how badly he lashes out on others for it.
- Childhood's End
- Kasumi invokes this on her sister, Akane, over her love-hate relationship with Ranma.
Kasumi: At first I thought that your behavior was due to the way you were treated by the boys at your school. Emotional scars that were taking time to heal properly, if you understand what I mean. I can't really believe that anymore — too much time has passed. It sometimes seems as if your emotional development has been frozen as if you stopped growing emotionally when you reached puberty. I'm sorry if that sounds rather harsh, but that is how it looks to me.
- When the cause for why Akane and Ranma not developing emotionally is revealed, Akane initially blames her father for it before correcting herself, admitting that while her father and Genma did in fact use a spell that had the side-effect of stunting her and Ranma's emotional growth, she is ultimately the one responsible for her immature behavior, especially around Ranma.
- Tabula Rasa repeatedly emphasizes that Yoshino losing her son to a Junsekyo-cursed character does not justify her assisting the Jusenkyo Preservation Society. Especially in terms of the Cold-Blooded Torture she inflicts upon Ranma.
Red vs. Blue
- In Recovery None the Director tries to justify his crimes, manipulations, and the psychological damage he inflicted on his agents with the loss of his wife and desire to help humanity. Wash, South, Carolina, and York are in no mood for his bullshit and bluntly tell him that he ruined the lives of countless people with his project and nothing will ever justify or excuse anything he did.
Ren Zha Fan Pai Zi Jiu Xi Tong
- This is Shen Yuan's conflict with Shen Qingqiu the person he transmigrated into in SV Wishes. Shen Qingqiu's life utterly sucked with him being a former Sex Slave having to survive in very cutthroat and classist society being sabotaged by others around him from his household servants to the goddamn Emperor. Shen Qingqiu's husband betrayed his unconditional love, sacrifices and devotion by getting a younger, prettier and richer spouse. Shen Jiu/Shen Qingqiu was also an awful person. He is a Bad Boss to his staff whenever he can get away with it and outright verbally, mentally and physically abusive to his apprentice, Luo Binghe. Luo Binghe would be made Shen Jius emotional whipping boy and was neglected and abused when Shen Jiu/Shen Qingqiu need to lash out at someone. Shen Qingqiu would rarely feed or teach him despite Luo Binghe being his apprentice, using him as an unpaid servant. Shen Qingqiu goes out of his way to sabotage Liu Qingge and constantly antagonized and fought with him. Shen Qingqiu went out of his way to make the world miserable as he was, which had dire consequences on the whole world. Shen Yuan pities Shen Jiu and sees his complexities, but acknowledges he was a terrible person.
- The Makings of Team CRME: Cinder Fall is given a Freudian Excuse in the form of her abusive mother from My Name Is Cinder. However, it only explains why she is such a sociopath. The fact that she becomes exponentially worse than her mother in the show and in CRME nullifies any potential sympathy that she could have. Mercury even calls her out on this when he catches her abusing Emerald.
- RWBY: Destiny of Remnant: Adam Taurus was taken to a slave labor camp owned by the Schnee Dust Company alongside his family, forced to endure the abuse and humiliation as slaves for years. After several horrific events throughout Adam's time as a slavenote , Adam finally snapped and vowed revenge on all of humanity for the pain he's gone through. While everyone is horrified by Adam's tale and understand why he hates humans so much, they still note his tragic past doesn't excuse his actions, since he's willing to commit the exact same crimes against other innocent Faunus, namely amputating their animal body parts for opposing him. Velvet's speech says it best.
Velvet: You want vengeance for what happened to you and while I for one am so, so sorry for what happened to you I don't think it justifies what you have done. I know you lived through so many terrible things, you lost everyone you cared for and I truly do feel sorry for you, but I know what you've done. WE know what you've done. You may have fooled the Elite Guard and your troops, but we were in that prison, we saw what you did to those people, we know you held a sword to Haulan's throat, you cut off Sun's tail and Yang's arm, you were going to murder my friends had Ruby not gotten away, and who knows what else you've done. I feel bad for you, no one should have to live through what you did, but it doesn't excuse the terrible things you have done, the lives you destroy in the Fall, the people who were killed, the pain you've cause, and the amputees we saw. As long as we live we will do our best to make sure your crimes become known, Adam. Your lust for revenge has twisted you into a monster, you're no different than the humans who killed your family, they would be ashamed of you.
- Last Call: Lapis is an alcoholic Troubled Abuser who has a Dark and Troubled Past with an abusive father, neglectful mother, and abusive boyfriend. However, as her ex-girlfriend Jasper tells her, none of that excuses all the mental and physical abuse she put her through.
- In When Sorry Doesn't Cut It, Pearl tries to apologize to Garnet over tricking the latter into fusing with her to help herself feel better. This gets Ruby and Sapphire to unfuse over arguing about it, and leads to Ruby giving Pearl a massive "The Reason You Suck" Speech over how, yes, all of Pearl's actions are a result of her past trauma. Ruby also yells that it has been five thousand years since they were freed from the society that caused said trauma and that Pearl is still taking out her issues on other people. That said, after they reconcile, Ruby admits that having to keep Roses' massive secret under geass was likely why Pearl was stuck, and Ruby herself forgot what kind of life and programming Pearl was under for centuries when she lashed out.
Ruby: [...] What?! Am I wrong? How long have we been putting up with her tantrums and her mood swings and 'I'm special Rose is the only one who will ever get me'? I know you never understood why Rose put up with her either!
Sapphire: That doesn't mean you can
Ruby: What, tell her the truth?
Sapphire: This isn't about Rose, it's about Sardonyx and
Ruby: It's about everything, Sapphire! She always does this! She gets mad at Amethyst for no reason, she yells at Steven for not knowing his own mother, she abuses fusion, and we all just deal with it. I'm sick of it! It's not our fault she's broken!
- In The Corrupted Innocent, after she was sexually abused by her father when she was a teenager, Bela Talbot eventually gets a brief chance to talk with her mother's ghost (her mother died when Bela was little and her stepmother just liked to watch her husband sexually abuse her stepdaughter). Her mother is able to give Bela some details of her father's upbringing and how he ended up in such a warped psychological state, but Bela and her mother nevertheless agree that even understanding his past doesn't excuse the way he treated Bela.
Thomas & Friends
- In Sailor John: A Pirate's Vendetta, while the Fat Controller sympathises with Seymour Murphy having lost his father to an accident involving a steam engine at such a young age, he also states that it doesn't justify Seymour teaming up with Sailor John to steal morphine, shoot at the engines of Sodor, kill Emily's old driver or destroy Thomas.
- In story No Where Else, Tori gets fed up with Jade's behavior and calls her out. She points out that many people have neglectful parents, but don't act as bad as her. Tori even notes that her parents have been just as neglectful and she's nothing like Jade. Jade seems to take this to heart but then proceeds to insult Tori.
- In X-Men: The Early Years, Scott Summers' parole officer asks him to go soft on a bully whom she's trying to reform, explaining Bruno's a bully because of his abusive father. Scott replies it doesn't make his behavior okay.
Carol: Good, now that we're alone. I'm asking you to try to be a little nicer to Bruno, okay? I know it's not an easy task and he's not the most pleasant person you'll ever meet. Bruno's not a bad kid, Scott. Yes, I know he's a bully, but he's only acting out what he knows. What his father taught him.
Scott: So? That makes it okay for him to threaten to hurt Bobby? That makes it okay for him to threaten to hurt someone younger than he is?
Carol: No, of course not. But Bruno has only threatened, and he actually hasn't made a move to hurt Bobby. That leaves a lot of room for you to let it slide off your back and compromise until he actually tries something. If Bruno tries to hurt Bobby, you won't be the first one to trounce him. Trust me.
- In the fanfic A New Dawn, this becomes a point of discussion following the reveal that Dawn Bellwether's lifelong vendetta against predators came about because of a traumatic incident where she was raped by one. Judy and Gideon both sympathize with her, while Nick doesn't. By the time Dawn finally accepts that not all predators are monsters, she turns this trope on herself, admitting that there truly was no excuse for her actions, and she does everything in her power to fix the mistakes she made.