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Informed Wrongness / Western Animation

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  • One episode of As Told by Ginger has Macie turning thirteen and her parents forgetting it. When Ginger tells them this, they're horrified and try to make it up to Macie by spending large amounts of time with her. The 'issue' is that they treat her more like you would a seven year old than you would a thirteen year old. Macie never complains or seems to dislike the treatment but her friends are horrified that Macie's parents are infantizing her. Her parents are presented in the wrong and this is something that needs to be changed even though Macie doesn't mind. At the end, however, Macie decides to talk to her parents and tell them that while she's had fun catching up on lost childhood, she is a teenager now and they should treat her as such.
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  • The Biker Mice get this in the episode "Hard Rock", where we learn that the titular character was a mercenary who helped the Plutarkians devastate their planet with his abilities. He has since then done a Heel–Face Turn, but the guys are both suspicious and still pissed (especially Throttle). We are supposed to side with Charley, who consider their feelings a "grudge" and can't believe they can't forgive him. While Hard Rock has really changed (to the point he is ready to get killed rather than harm somebody else again), the fact is that he did destroy half of Mars, and this is not something is easy to get over. The fact that Charley acts as the worst thing he did was steal their lunch money is baffling.
  • In one episode of Caillou, the title character is afraid of a man he doesn't know. His mother then leaves him alone with said man to get over his fears. This is supposed to portray Caillou as being irrational for fearing the man, but his mother didn't know the man either, making both Caillou's fear of the man justified and his mother heavily irresponsible.
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  • Done rather frustratingly in Captain Planet and the Planeteers with Wheeler, who gets dismissed as an idiot even when he has a point. In at least one episode the others brought him around to their way of thinking, then arbitrarily switched sides and he was considered wrong again. The episode "The Numbers Game" takes this to bizarre levels—-at the beginning of the episode he opines that people shouldn't have children they can't afford to support, and the others call him out for being unsympathetic to poor people. Then he goes to sleep and has a dream where he and Linka are married with a whole bunch of kids, which leads to a horribly wasteful world since having more than two kids is bad for the environment, and his dream-friends chew him out again for being so irresponsible. He then wakes up and tells Linka that if they get married one day, he only wants two kids at most. The episode sets it up as if he learned a lesson... but by the show's own standards, he was right the whole time! At one point, they did the same debate, except in this episode Wheeler was on the exact opposite side of the argument, and was still considered wrong.
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  • Codename: Kids Next Door: In "Operation: D.A.T.E.", the Delightful Children from Down the Lane invite every kid in town, including the titular KND, their archenemies, to a dance party. Numbuh 1 thinks it's some sort of trap, and has to invite Lizzie along to go undercover to the party. But, Lizzie thinks of it as a date, and keeps insisting on it even after the Delightful Children reveal their plans to zombify every kid they take pictures of. This eventually leads to Nigel angrily giving Lizzie a "The Reason You Suck" Speech and goes off to face the Delightful Children alone. Nigel looks like the bad guy for "ruining" a romantic evening, but Lizzie's Selective Obliviousness and excessive nagging is what caused Numbuh 1 to blow up on her in the first place. Course, given how we discover Lizzie is actually a GKND plant (literally a Plant Alien) to test his loyalty to the KND, it's likely she was testing him.
  • Also a major trait of Eric from the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon. This is one of the most famous examples of The Complainer Is Always Wrong. No matter how reasonable his objections were, the other characters ignore him, and we're supposed to side with them.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy gets a lot of these.
    • In "Stop, Look and Ed", Double D is seen as the wrong one just because he called the kids' parents despite the fact that it was the kids' own fault for breaking the rules all because Eddy told them to. Keep in mind that they shouldn't have even trusted Eddy to begin with knowing that they hate him the most of the trio due to what his scams had caused them. So they really have no right getting mad at Double D (or the other two Eds for that matter).
    • In "To Sir With Ed", Nazz punishes Eddy by demanding him to go to bed after Ed accidentally causes the bathtub to crash down through the ceiling. Eddy gets painted as the jerk even though Nazz wasn't doing her job as a responsible babysitter after she unofficially invited guests in Eddy's house, probably without Eddy's parents' permission.
    • In "Dim Lit Ed", Double D tries to educate the kids due to their lack of decorum. Towards the second half of the episode, we're made to believe that Double D was being a jerk to the kids by letting them believe that the prize for a scavenger hunt is a jawbreaker even though they only put words in his mouth right before he even had a chance to tell them what the real prize is.
    • In "Too Smart For His Own Ed" the kids blame Ed and Eddy for their failed quizzes after Ed wrote down random answers all because they believed that he was a genius after winning a spelling bee. Most of the questions were fairly easy to answer and required little to no thought at all. So there was no reason for them to rely on Ed for their quizzes.
  • Frosty Returns: Because it's a spray that destroys snow in a kid's movie about a sentient snowman, we're supposed to be horrified by Summer Wheeze and see it getting discontinued at the end as a victory. While the villain's plan to use it to get rid of ALL the snow was indeed stupid, if it had been used responsibly simply to clear the snow from the streets and side walks, then the product would actually have been a great boon to society. Seriously, can you imagine all the time and effort that would be spared each winter if you could just spray away the snow in a matter of minutes as opposed to hours of tedious shoveling? Aging people (like that teacher in the movie) can even die of heart attacks if they exert to much effort shoveling. So the only evil was in how the product was used, not in the product itself.
  • Futurama:
    • Fry in "I, Roommate" is constantly chastised by Leela for not wanting to live with Bender and choosing a nice apartment downtown instead, because of how depressed Bender becomes for not getting to be Fry's roommate. Fry's treated as if he's just being a callous jerk who turned his back on Bender, and of course in the end he goes back to living with Bender, but nobody acknowledges that Bender's apartment is literally unlivable for a human (being a coffin-sized closet without furniture, kitchen, or a bathroom) and that there's nowhere else in town where the two could live together. People also call out Fry for not caring that Bender was suffering for his sake, being driven to a depressed self-destructive state, but nobody takes any issue with Fry having to suffer for Bender's sake by living in an apartment that nearly destroyed him after a single night. Even in the end, the only reason living in Bender's apartment works out for Fry is due to sheer luck that the closet is large enough for Fry to live in.
    • "Leela and the Genestalk" shows a number of positive effects of genetic engineering and the only downsides given are vague "long-term effects" (bear in mind that the technology in-universe is over a thousand years old). We're supposed to side with the anti-genetic engineering crowd simply because they're represented by Leela and the other side is represented by Mom. Subverted when the instant a cure is made available for Leela, she immediately stops caring.
    • An In-Universe example appears in "Yo Leela Leela" when Leela lies about creating a children's show from scratch when in reality she's just writing about the antics of an alien species. She becomes more and more convinced that it's wrong that she's lied and that she's taking advantage of the aliens and finally confesses... and nobody else cares. "Wrong" or not, her actions improved the lives of everyone involved: the alien species was able to buy medicine and infrastructure with the paychecks they earned while the orphans were inspired by Leela's success story and ended up Happily Adopted and employed at the TV studio. Even when this is explained to her she begs them to stop praising her and insists she deserves to be punished while the orphans, the aliens, and her friends all hail her as a hero.

  • In Gargoyles, Goliath and Elisa help the Avalon clan defend themselves from Oberon, who wants to drive them out. One of the clanmembers points out that technically the clan is squatting on Oberon's rightful property, but her thought is quickly dismissed and we're supposed to side with the gargoyles. To make it worse, Elisa's rationalization that Oberon gave up his claim on Avalon by abandoning it for a thousand years conveniently ignores the fact that Oberon is immortal and a thousand years wouldn't seem that long to him. To his credit, Oberon was willing to settle the matter diplomatically at the end, so at least it wasn't a matter of him being completely wrong as the Avalon clan proving themselves worthy to stay on Avalon, and there's no question that Oberon is still top dog over the human residents.
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "Roadside Attraction," Dipper tries to get over his unrequited crush on Wendy by following his grunkle's advice and using a road trip as an excuse to get friendly with a bunch of girls he's never going to see this again. This is supposed to be a metaphor for Dipper sleeping around and using Pick-up Artist tactics, with him getting their online contacts as a stand-in for phone numbers, and the episode treats it with the full lecherousness it's supposed to represent. The key problem is that, despite the symbolism, what is literally happening on-screen is that Dipper is just talking to them. He's just making friendly and entirely non-romantic small-talk with some girls. Heck, most people would probably agree that it is a really healthy exercise for a shy and self-conscious kid like Dipper to try their hand at small-talking with their peers. Somehow, this ends up backfiring on him when all of the girls meet, treating him as a cheater for leading them all on at the same time... by talking to them. Exacerbated by the fact that another episode has Soos also trying to pick up girls and it's seen as a noble pursuit just because he's more inept at it and possibly because he does not move on to the next one until after being turned down. Near the beginning of the series, Mabel is also shown trying to pick up a summer boyfriend with almost every boy she sees, and this is seen as a charming quirk of her character. Mabel never gets a storyline devoted to that to the same level Dipper had.
  • In one episode of Hey Arnold!, Arnold gets fed up with Helga's bullying and gets back at her by spilling paint on her. He gets in trouble and everyone treats him like he perfomed a Kick the Dog action. He's told that he should just let Helga bully him because she's a girl.
  • In one episode of Jem, Minx ends up kicked out of her band after taking a Heel–Face Turn and ends up Driven to Suicide. After being saved from jumping off a building, she becomes indebted to Rio due to him saving her from drowning a few days prior. Minx is made to be a huge annoyance however she doesn't do anything particularly wrong. For example, it's not her fault that the Starlight Girls decide to misuse the toy guns she brought them. In the end everyone gets mad at her, which causes her to go back to being a jerk and return to her band.
  • Justice League: "The Doomsday Sanction" has the League itself subjected to this, as Batman views his fellow founding members sending Doomsday to the Phantom Zone as a line they shouldn't have crossed. However, Adaptational Intelligence aside, he was still Doomsday, a violent, rampaging monster with no conscience and not a normal criminal, so a normal prison couldn't hold him.
  • In The Legend of Korra:
    • Any conflict at all between humans and spirits in the show is portrayed as the humans' fault for being selfish and not willing to understand the spirits, but from what we actually see, the spirits are just as guilty of this and are not morally superior to humanity in any way. They demand respect from humanity while giving none in return, yet the narrative constantly portrays them as being in the right.
    • Lin Bei Fong, Chief of the Republic City Metal Bending Police, is apparently wrong for wanting to arrest Varrick for the crimes he committed in season 2 because he's seeking asylum in the city of her half-sister Suyin, who believes that his past crimes no longer matter because he says he wants to reform.
  • The Owl House: In the episode “The First Day,” Luz is assigned to the Detention Track, which is designed to keep troublemaking students out of the way so that they can’t embarrass the school. Luz complains that she’s “better than this place” because she doesn’t want to sit around doing nothing all day when she could be learning magic. She then finds out that the other students on the Track feel exactly the same and have found a way to study every class while they’re there. When Luz’s friends come to break her out so she can appeal to the principal, the other students are offended that she thinks she’s better than they are. Luz and the framing of the episode agree with them. Except Luz never badmouthed the students. She badmouthed the Detention Track itself, and she stopped doing so immediately after learning the truth. It was Luz’s friends, who didn’t know the truth, seeking to get her off the Track at that point, and she only goes along with them because she's offended the other students.
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
  • In Recess, Gretchen practicing with her yo-yo all day is apparently a horrible habit that warrants Vince to angrily say "why don't you put that thing away!" and Spinelli to complain about it. It's presented as a sign that Gretchen is 'neglecting' her friends over her new hobby.
  • Parodied in a Robot Chicken sketch entitled Twelve Angry Little People. A Rogue Juror insists they not convict a boy of murder because one of the witnesses must have been mistaken about her testimony, since she normally wears glasses and wouldn't have them on when she woke up and allegedly saw the crime (an obvious reference to 12 Angry Men). A dog on the jury points out that there is incontrovertible DNA evidence at the scene of the crime pointing to the boy. The Rogue Juror replies by saying- "why are we listening to you? You're a *BLEEP* ing dog!" Later it turns out the Juror's theory is wrong and he ends up on trial for accidentally killing the defendant.
  • The Rocket Power episode "Power Girl Surfers" has Otto and Reggie getting into an argument that starts when Otto is unexpectedly offered a cover story in his favorite surfing magazine, and Reggie is unable to convince the magazine editor that she deserves her own story more than her brother does. While the editor was undeniably a Jerkass to Reggie, we're never actually shown anything suggesting that she would have been a better candidate than Otto, and Otto is painted as a selfish jerk because he accepts the cover story, refusing to throw away his shot at fame because of his sister's jealousy.
  • In Rugrats episode "Chuckie is Rich", Chuckle is seen as changing for the worse due to his father winning a sweepstakes and the wealth (allegedly) going to his head. However, what he rightfully got mad at was Tommy, Phil and Lil completely ignoring him to play with his new video game instead of wanting to be in his company, making it come off as them preferring his new toys to his friendship. Yet, he is portrayed as being in the wrong and has to apologize by the episode's end.
  • In The Simpsons season 2 episode "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou", Homer reconnects with his long lost brother Herb, who is the head of a major automobile company. Convinced that the auto industry has lost touch with the common man, Herb has Homer design the next car, which is so impractical and expensive, Herb's company is promptly out of business. The episode, and its later sequel, want to pin the blame solely on Homer for ruining Herb's life. This ignores several points made in the episode: 1) Homer states he has no experience in auto design, an objection Herb steamrolls over, 2) the engineers make several attempts to communicate that Homer has no idea what he is doing and that his design is wildly impractical, again Herb hears this and steamrolls them over, 3) Herb somehow leverages his entire company on the idea that a car he has never seen will be incredibly popular. The grand unveiling is the first time he, the president of a major car company, has seen the car or even the price tag per unit. His business and personal fortune must have been both tied to a car he never even supervised because the end of the episode shows his mansion foreclosed and Herb on his way to the hobo life.
  • In Skunk Fu!, the Big Bad, Dragon, is mentioned to have been "punished for his arrogance". In his full backstory, it's said that the valley the characters live in was under an intense drought. When Dragon asked the Heavens if he could use his water powers to stop the drought, the Heavens didn't respond at all. So Dragon went ahead and ended the drought with rainfall. The Heavens then punished him by stripping him of his water powers and trapping him in a mountain prison. This is most likely based on a Chinese legend on how the four rivers were made. Four dragons of water went much the same way as Dragon did and gave the people water after being refused permission, and were punished by the gods by being turned into rivers. Seeing as China presents the afterlife as a Celestial Bureaucracy and deference to authority is taken very seriously, apparently the way Dragon was "arrogant" is that he thought himself above those that told him when he was able to use his powers.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Stuck in the Wringer", SpongeBob is apparently being unfair to Patrick for brutally telling him off at the carnival. That being said, it was clearly Patrick's fault for causing SpongeBob to get continuously humiliated and injured since he is the one who glued him to the wringer in the first place. Not to mention that Patrick was being completely thoughtless to it all, thus making it totally justified for SpongeBob to reach his Rage Breaking Point and tell him to go away. The Bikini Bottomites had no right to tell off SpongeBob for this when they had no context of the situation and it wasn't even their business to begin with, especially by telling him he deserved what happened to him.
  • Total Drama has Gwen fall victim to this in "The Chefshank Redemption" from Action. The Killer Grips blackmail her into losing the challenge and ultimately eliminating herself as revenge for how Trent would keep throwing challenges for the aforementioned team. However, Gwen was completely unaware of the fact that Trent was throwing the challenges for his team on purpose in order to keep her safe so she's basically being punished for something that was both out of her hands and not even her fault. Her constant misfortunes throughout the episode that're supposed to be viewed as "Karma" (such as being puked on by Lindsay) but instead come across as needless torture don't help, either.
  • Trollz: In "Field Trip to the Past", the boy trolls become jealous of the fact that only girls can do magic. This is treated as unreasonable, but the boys have every right to be jealous, especially considering that the girl trolls repeatedly use magic on other people without their consent, and are rarely punished for it.
  • In season four of Winx Club, Roxy initially not wanting anything to do with fairies, magic, or going to Alfea is portrayed negatively and her acceptance is supposed to be part of her Character Development. While the latter isn't necessarily a bad thing, Roxy had every right to be angry and lash out at the Winx. Yes, they were trying to protect her, but their introduction to her was entering her home without permission, not to mention they inadvertently led the wizards right to her. From how things look from Roxy's point of view, it's understandable she blames the Winx for everything that's happened at that point, and unlike Bloom, she wasn't exactly given a choice in the matter.
  • W.I.T.C.H.: In "L is for Loser", Irma ends up embarrassed by the latest of attempt by Martin, her Abhorrent Admirer, to win her affections. Irma, who has made it clear numerous times that she has no romantic feelings for Martin, finally gets sick of his inability to take a hint and viciously rips him a new one. Her speech is broadcast on the school radio by resident trouble maker Uriah and the entire school turns against her for being a jerk to Martin. While calling Martin ugly and mocking his clothes may have been going too far, Irma was very much right to let Martin have it that they weren't in a relationship and some of Martin's attempts to win Irma have bordered on harassment. By the end of the episode, Irma issues an apology to Martin over the radio because she doesn't want to lose his friendship which he accepts. However, Martin never apologizes for his own entitled behavior towards Irma.
  • At the end of season two of World of Winx, the former Big Bad, Tinkerbell, makes a sudden, jarring Love at First Sight Heel–Face Turn. The Winx and their new friend Matt (the other half of said Love at First Sight) believe her reformation is genuine. Their other allies, led by Jim, aren't so quick to forgive. Jim points out all the terrible things she's done (including kidnapping and attempted murder), which have spanned two seasons. The only "proof" the Winx have of her sincerity is that Jim "saw her face in the stars" and she says she's sorry, yet they quickly decide that Jim's goal is to grab her power for himself and become even more of a tyrant. Yes, Jim fully intended to grab power he is Captain Hook, after all, and he becomes the enemy for the remaining three episodes, and Tinkerbell does eventually prove through her actions that her reformation is genuine, but that doesn't erase everything she's done to hurt people. Notably, the other citizens of the World of Dreams initially feel the same way as Jim, but none of them are criticized for it.
  • X-Men: Evolution: "Joyride"; Avalanche joins the X-Men, but only to be close to Kitty, who he's grown close to and has feelings for. Throughout the episode, he goofs off, destroys property, endangers others, and shows that he's way over his head, and when Cyclops tries to be friendly, he growls at him like a dog, then taunts him when he finds his car has been trashed by a joyride. So, when Cyclops starts to suspect he's responsible for the recent joyrides, he's presented as wrong to not trust the former villain, even though all the evidence points to him, and in the end Scott apologizes for not trusting him. While Scott shouldn't have embarrassed him by reactivating a machine to knock him over, that doesn't change the fact he's treated as an asshole for not trusting him despite his lack of any logical reason to. In the end Lance quits, not because of Scott but because he'd rather stay with the Brotherhood because the X-Men expect too much effort being put in.
  • Young Justice: When Nightwing eventually reveals that Aqualad is actually a double agent rather than a traitor, Superboy immediately reads him the riot act, solely blaming Nightwing's "need for secrecy" for a Drunk with Power Miss Martian breaking Kaulder's mind, possibly beyond repair... Except, Dick hadn't known that M'gann was abusing her powers, because Conner hadn't told anybody that she was. He's never called out on this.

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