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Bad Mood as an Excuse

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Da only reson Dumbledeor swor is coz he had a hedache ok an on tup of dat he wuz mad at dem 4 having sexx!note 
Tara Gilesbie, explaining Albus Dumbledore's Out-of-Character Moment in the Chapter 5 author's note of My Immortal.

Let's say Bob is really cranky for some reason or another. Maybe someone's ruining his life and eating all his steak and it's really getting to him. If he just grumbled and steamed about it, we would be able to just conclude that Bob is in a bad mood. However, Bob has just done something nasty to someone else. Maybe he's yelled at his best friend Alice, or else he's smacked his little brother Charlie in the face. In extreme cases, he killed Kenny. Whatever Bob has done, his bad mood was a factor in it and he uses it as an excuse for his actions.

Also often connected with a Bad Boss or Troubled Abuser, whose first instinct towards a bad mood is usually to lash it out on someone below them. Almost always linked to either Disproportionate Retribution or Misplaced Retribution (or both).

If the character is female, their bad mood might be blamed on PMS.


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    Comic Books 
  • Exiles:
    • After a few crappy realities too many, resulting in him beating an alternate Namor to death Mimic starts getting increasingly closed off, refusing to speak to anyone as to why.
    • One reality's problems all start with Danny Rand, the Immortal Iron Fist, waking up in a bad mood. End result, the total genocide of every man, woman, and child in Japan, and the death of the Avengers, Rand included.
  • Some Disney Ducks Comic Universe stories explain Magica's varying level of vileness with her mercurial temper, associating her bad moods with the viler moments. On the flip side, when she's in a very good mood she's surprisingly nice.

    Fan Works 
  • In the First Try Series, Sakura tries to punch Naruto for "faking being a ninja." Naruto, already depressed from being left behind by his teammates, stops her punch and, in a bout of Tranquil Fury, rips Sakura a new one.
  • In My Immortal, Tara Gilesbie justifies Dumbledore calling characters "Motherfuckers" by saying he had a headache. (No justification is ever offered for everything else about the fanfic.)

  • The series of misunderstandings issued towards Dave in Anger Management are revealed to have all been an act, except for the Air Marshall that tazered him on the airplane, who was just in a bad mood from his seating choice.
  • Played with in Incredibles 2. Given the justified emotional upheaval that Violet is dealing with regarding her failed date with Tony, she becomes understandably livid when she learns it was caused by Agent Dicker's memory wipe made at Bob's request. Dash watches her ensuing tantrum and, befitting the naïveté of a 10-year-old boy, wonders aloud if her behavior is somehow linked to her "having adolescence".
  • Happens tragically in The Tooth Fairy, when Derek just had a terrible time at a failed hockey match while balancing his tooth fairy duty. And when he gets back home, he finds his girlfriend Carly waiting with her children, much to his annoyance. Her son, Randy, is asking Derek to help him practice with his guitar for the talent show. The depressed Derek snaps at him by describing to him how he will be a failure as a rockstar. This causes Randy to tearfully smash his guitar, which shocks Carly. She lambasts Derek for his behavior, to which he defends himself by saying that he had a bad day. She does not find that excuse a good one at all, and breaks up with him out of disappointment. Before leaving, she tells him that shattering people's dreams isn't his problem, it's his inability to be optimistic and that he can't say the words "What if".

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: One of the two space cops the characters runs into claims he writes novels to offset the "dumb cop" cliche, but since none of them have been published, he's in a mean mood. The characters are appropriately baffled by how little this has to do with shooting at them.
  • The protagonist of Horatio Hornblower has the rather unadmirable tendency to take out his anxieties by getting snappish at his subordinates. Most usually it's his long-suffering Number Two, Bush, who is too straightforward and devoted to his captain to do much but stoically resign himself to hurtful comments, much as he resigns himself to random squalls at sea. Hornblower usually regrets it immediately, but he still does it enough that it's quite gratifying to see it No-Sell on Mr. Freeman, who just says that he likes idle speculation however useless Hornblower might find it.
  • The Winnie the Pooh book Just Be Nice... and Say You're Sorry! has Rabbit getting into a bad mood because of a rough morning and snapping at his friends in anger. Later, when he calms down and tries to deliver vegetables to him, they all reject his offerings. Only then does he realize just how nasty he'd been, and apologizes to them.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes sometimes uses this attitude.
    Calvin: Boy, I'm in a bad mood today! Everyone had better steer clear of me! I hate everybody! As far as I'm concerned, everyone on the planet can just drop dead. People are scum. (Beat) WELL-L-L-L? Doesn't anyone want to cheer me up?
    • Another time had an irritable Calvin try to bully Hobbes and shove him out of his way. He gets picked up and tossed into a huge mud pit for his trouble.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Played with in a WWE arc, where Vince Mac Mahon becomes obsessively critical of Smackdown manager Theodore Long. Later on he claims he wanted to apologize since this was largely due to becoming frustrated by his own professional problems...until he decided he hated Long anyway so continued getting on his back.
  • Used in excess with heel characters. Whenever they are having a losing streak, a plan has failed, or they're just feeling a little under the weather, expect them to administer a nasty verbal or physical onslaught on some other wrestler, starting a long time feud. It isn't rare for some heels to suddenly insist on completely destroying the lives of another simply because they were at the same place that their snit fit was provoked and thus vaguely connected to their misery. After all Evil Is Petty.

    Video Games 
  • One gets the impression from the message programed into the robotic dummy of President Vinzer Deling in Final Fantasy VIII that the real Deling makes use of this a lot, given how convincing the dummy is.
    Deling Dummy: I'm in a bad mood right now! If there is nothing in particular, I order you to leave immediately!
  • Larxene in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories to Naminé when she begs her to leave off attacking Sora and company.
    "I should tell you that I'm in an EXTREMELY foul mood. Thanks to you, all our plans are ruined!"
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda:
    • Ryder's first conversations with Foster Addison has her snap at them, only to immediately apologize and explain she's just tired from the sheer wealth of problems she's had to deal with. Not that she gets much lighter and sunnier. Foster really didn't want her current job.
    • One of the Nomad conversations has the normally cheerful Jaal snap at Liam. Afterwards, he apologizes, and explains he just had a physical from Dr. T'Perro (she of the no bedside skills whatsoever).

    Visual Novels 
  • When Akira from Spirit Hunter: NG was a kid, his family had no money and he always felt like things were falling apart. This gave him some anger issues that only fighting could help him deal with. After he was adopted by his aunt, and his best friend gave him an outlet for his anger, he was able to stabilize himself.

    Web Animation 
  • The LeBrons episode "Misunderstood" has Kid in this mood because nobody understands him at all after he lost his basketball game. His attitude is especially directed at his friends Condor, Erik and Li. Word of God says this is based on LeBron James' attitude after he missed his game.

  • Something*Positive: At one point Mike's girlfriend treats him him like dirt during a period of wild Mood Swings (semi-justified in that she's pregnant, but other characters call her out on it).
  • Vampire Girl: Levan becomes so depressed over her favorite web comic being discontinued, that she basically brushes off the little girl she’s babysitting.

    Western Animation 
  • Family Guy often makes use of this. One example is Brian ranting at a crying baby in a restaurant. When confronted about this he claims he was irritated because his meal was undercooked.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998) nemesis Mojo Jojo, in the episode, "A Very Special Blossom", once made a destructive rampage in Townsville out of annoyance he couldn't find a ship in a bottle he wanted in a store.
    Blossom: Oh please.
    Mojo Jojo: (defensive) It's a hobby of mine!
  • In an episode of Futurama, Farnsworth and Hermes are beaten mercilessly by a slime alien after their sons break one of the windows in his house in their paper round. Later on he comes to their hospital to apologize, explaining he was frustrated by some problems at work but that doesn't excuse his behavior and he's sorry.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: Taken to extreme in "Little Ed Blue", where Ed gains a rather uncharacteristic bad mood, becoming aloof, violent and outright intimidating to everyone, even his usually overbearing sister. This is stopped when Johnny pulls off his shoe, revealing a pebble inside. Ed immediately becomes cheerful and friendly again, to the complete disbelief of Edd and Eddy.
    Edd: A pebble? Ed's bad mood was because he had a pebble in his shoe?!
  • In the episode "The Grumpy Garbage Barge" of Theodore Tugboat, Guysborough's grumpiness makes Theodore surly and this bad mood is eventually contagiated to everyone. When the Dispatcher demands an explanation for the ensuing mischief, Emily replies that they're just in a grumpy mood.
  • In "Winter's Gift" from Sofia the First, when Sofia asks Glacia why she can't just remove Winter's ice touch, Glacia replies that she's in a bad mood.
    Glacia: Why don't you check back in a few centuries. Bye-bye, now. Don't let the door hit you on the way out. Oh, that's right. I had the door removed.
  • In "Itching for a Cure" on Dragon Tales, Zak, Wheezie and Enrique are searching for honey as part of a cure for Mungus the giant's itchy rash. They encounter a bee who doesn't want to share his honey. When they try to get him to change his mind, he tells them he's in a bad mood. They finally get the honey by putting him in a good mood by telling a joke that gets him to laugh.
  • In Arthur, we have "D.W.'s Very Bad Mood", all because she wasn't invited to one of her classmate's birthday party.
  • 6teen: "Enter the Dragon" has Caitlin being in a very bad mood and snapping at everyone for most of the episode because of her period.
  • In "The Collar Caper" from Wallykazam, when Wally asks the Pirate Snails why they won't give back Norville's collar, they reply that it's because they're pirates and pirates are grumpy, all day long, every day of the week, especially Tuesdays.


Video Example(s):


Dragon Tales - Bee's Bad Mood

In "Itchy Situation" from "Dragon Tales," honey is needed to make up a cure for Mungus the Giant's itchy back. Enrique, Zak and Wheezie try to get a bee to share some, but he doesn't want to. Why? No reason other than that he's in a bad mood.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

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Main / BadMoodAsAnExcuse

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