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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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 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".