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Both Sides Have a Point

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This trope is under discussion in the Trope Repair Shop.
Avram: [gestures at Perchik and Mordcha] He's right, and he's right? They can't both be right.
Tevye: You are also right.

This trope is when two or more opposing sides of an argument eventually realize that each side has a point and that they shouldn't be fighting each other. They usually come to this realization by either talking it out with each other or by being influenced by a third party. In works that decide to include a third party into the equation, this character has to be the middleman between two sides. In order to resolve the argument, this character decides to judge both sides fairly and vocalize the strengths of each side's arguments. The purpose of this tactic in the story's narrative is to enrich the morality of the setting and avert Black-and-White Morality.

Compare What Is Evil?, where a villain tries to invoke this to challenge their status as a villain to begin with, with varying possible degrees of justification and success (depending mostly on whether the work's approach to morality is more Black and White or rather Grey and Gray). Compare also The Horseshoe Effect, for those strange cases in which both sides actually have the same point, despite being ostensibly opposed to one another. Contrast Culture Justifies Anything, where it's very likely that at least one side does in fact not have any valid point. Not to be confused with Double Weapon, where both sides of your weapon have a point. Compare Grey-and-Gray Morality, as well as Rousseau Was Right and Good Versus Good. Characters stuck in this situation may decide to Take a Third Option. If only one side is portrayed as valid in-story but the other also has one in practice, that's Strawman Has a Point. Beware of falling into the Golden Mean Fallacy, where a compromise is reached, but one side is flat-out wrong, and has no valid point after all.


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    Comic Books 
  • Justice League of America: In JLA: Tower of Babel, when the rest of the League discover that Batman devised plans to defeat them (in the event of them being brainwashed, possessed, or going evil/insane on their own), the team debate about their response to this discovery. Plastic Man, Aquaman and Wonder Woman regard it as a betrayal from someone they trusted while Kyle Rayner, Wally West and J'onn J'onzz acknowledge that Batman's reasons for coming up with the plans in the first place was valid even if they're angry at him for spending months regarding them as test subjects (Superman also voted against Batman's acts, reasoning that Batman could have at least told the others that such plans existed without compromising their effectiveness, but he quits before the vote could be cast, and the rest of the Bat-Family ends up paying the price by being heavily distrusted in the process). Batman is, of course, right to have such plans in place, as all of these members could potentially destroy the entire world if they wanted to (Superman especially, as it has been shown time and again), so there needs to be some sort of a contingency in place in any event they break bad. Even a few of the heroes agree they have the potentially to cause trouble in any circumstances, so said plans may be needed in that case. However, the League has every right to be angry at him, since Batman could have told them about the plans without necessarily spilling the details as to how they could be implemented, as he effectively used his friends as his own personal guinea pigs without their consent. Well-intentioned or not, he blatantly violated their trust.
  • Kingdom Come: Superman and his crew are right that the anti-heroes have become too bloodthirsty and overzealous, blurring the binary of hero and villain, losing track of concepts like collateral damage and simply not caring about the people not on their power level. But the anti-heroes are also right in their belief that simply beating up supervillains and tossing them in jail is a temporary solution at best and useless at worst because of Joker Immunity and that more violent action is the only counter to the less-restrained villains.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW):
    • Sonic comes to blows with his allies during the Metal Virus arc over his decision to spare Eggman in his amnesiac state as Mr. Tinker so he can start over and have a second chance at life... which backfires when Eggman regains his memory and goes right back to his evil ways, leading directly to the Metal Virus outbreak. Both sides bring up valid points:
      • Sonic maintains that sparing Eggman was the right thing to do; at least it gave him a chance to do some good for once, even if he wasn't in his right mind. He also insists that nobody could have foreseen someone like Dr. Starline going out of his way to find him and restore his memories, and throws Shadow's own logic back in his face by pointing out Shadow also tried to destroy the world while amnesiac, and if he got a second chance and was forgiven, then there's no reason Eggman shouldn't be given the same courtesy.
      • Shadow and Espio, however, are also correct in their points, both of them wanting Eggman arrested or eliminated at his most vulnerable because, well, let's face it: the doctor is a lunatic. Shadow also points out from his own experiences that just because one loses their memory doesn't make them any less dangerous. One would think Sonic would get the hint based on all of the atrocities Eggman has committed prior to the Metal Virus... but instead, he just accuses them of automatically "assuming the worst about everyone and everything". As things go From Bad to Worse, however, Sonic acknowledges that both of them were right and the entire mess is his fault.
    • In the opening of the Zeti Hunt arc, Sonic and Eggman argue over who's fault it is the Deadly Six are running loose in the world, with Sonic holding Eggman responsible. Eggman points out that Starline went behind his back to get the Zeti involved in the Metal Virus incident, He's not wrong, but Sonic points out that Starline was Eggman's lackey at the time (Eggman didn't fire him until after the fact), so Eggman still bears responsibility. Eggman's much longer List of Transgressions doesn't help his case.
  • Transformers:
    • The Transformers: Robots in Disguise: After the Autobots win the war, the Decepticons accuse them of being more concerned about keeping the 'cons under control with ID chips than building shelters for the ever-increasing numbers of refugees coming to Cybertron. However the 'cons themselves have been shown to be quite untrustworthy and prone to violence and have engaged in acts such as beating neutrals for fun, attempting to assassinate Bumblebee and when Megatron comes back, they immediately form a mob and try to take the city by force.
    • Playing more into the series, both the Autobots and the Decepticons have valid reasons as to why they are at war. The Pre-war Cybertronian Senate that a number of future Autobots worked for was little more than a corrupt police state, forcing their denizens into jobs they were explicitly built for rather than allowing them to choose their own path, and viciously beat the living tar out of anyone who dared to defy the norm, Megatron included. But the fact that the Decepticons became much worse than the Senate ever were, even on a bad day, showcased that neither side was entirely blameless (in stark contrast to the original cartoon, in which the war was entirely one-sided thanks to the Decepticons' lust for power against a benevolent Autobot government). In fact, Optimus Prime actually agreed with Megatron in that the Senate and Zeta Prime had allowed the planet to denigrate; it's just that he doesn't agree with the extreme methods to which Megatron was willing to go in order to change things.
    • IDW's rebooted series, Transformers (2019), plays with this a little bit. This time, the Autobots and Decepticons are drawn into conflict over the Nominus Edict, a rule that prohibits Cybertronians from establishing any more colonies, limits Energon rations, and places production caps on how many new denizens can be forged. Megatron and his Ascenticon faction are protesting the rule for stagnating the planet. He's right in that sense, since Cybertron has become a dull place to be under an outdated rule, and few on Cybertron, including Senator Orion Pax, disagree. Megatron's way of protesting said rule—through violent and otherwise rowdy means—is proving to be an issue, especially since Megatron is secretly leading a terrorist organization, The Rise, to spook the population into joining his cause and cast the Senate in a bad light. Since Cybertron's Pre-War Government undergoes Adaptational Heroism this time and is shown to be far less restrictive this time around, Megatron is mostly in the wrong this time since he's just too stubborn to admit he's gone too far. Orion pleads with his old friend to at least tone down the violence if nothing else. Alas, Megatron doesn't listen...
  • In Transformers: Beast Wars (2021), the Vok learn of the presence of the Maximals and Predacons on a planet they're using for experimentation. One of them seeks to scrub the project due to the contamination of the Cybertronians, while the other wants them spared to see what new data they could offer. Their leader manages to strike a compromise between the two points of view: the experiment will remain as planned, but if either side causes any further disruptions, the entire project will be scrapped right there and then.
  • Ultimate X Men: Inverted by Sabertooth. He considers both Xavier's and Magneto's factions hypocritical for pretending that mutants are oh-so-great, rather than just fallible humans with super-powers.
  • X-Men: In the Schism event, which leads to the second volume of Uncanny X-Men and to Wolverine and the X-Men, both Cyclops and Wolverine have valid points:
    • Wolverine is correct that Cyclops' new, militant approach to the mutant race's survival goes against what Xavier intended for the X-Men, and that he seems to have forgotten that the X-Men were supposed to be teachers and educators for mutants. There's a reason practically half of the teaching staff abandons Utopia so as to be able to go back to being teachers, not defenders.
    • However, Cyclops is also correct in his points, and his points arguably have a lot more weight to them. The X-Men are living in a world that is more hostile towards mutants than ever before, and with barely 200 mutants alive on Earth at the present, they need to be able to pull together and make humans see they won't just roll over and die to any bigots who come knocking. It's telling that many of the students choose to remain with Cyclops, pointing out to their Wolverine-siding fellows that A: more students died in the Xavier Institute than have ever died on Utopia, and B: they are living in a world where Fantastic Racism overrules any concept of kids as non-targets in a racial war. As the spokesperson for the Cyclops-loyalists so eloquently puts it, the second a mutant's X-gene activates, they stop being a kid and start being a target for every anti-mutant bigot in a world crawling with them. And if one must be a target, then better to be a target who can shoot back.
    • This can also be used for the initial conflict between Xavier and Magneto. Xavier goes the democratic route, hoping for peace, but the amount of destructive mutants in the world tends to over-rule peace talks. Although Magneto does go overboard sometimes (killing innocents, trying to destroy the world, bad stuff), he has a point that a war between mutants and humans was always going to happen. Any time things look like they'll get better, a shady government agency or the Sentinels or a random human faction will come along and murder a bunch of mutants. Mutants that aren't ready to fight will most surely die. This is one of the reasons he joins Cyclops after Schism.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Bao, the mother was overprotective and kept barring the young bao from Western culture and playing with "unsuitable" friends. The young bao became distant and unappreciative of the mother's efforts even after he was old enough to understand her perspective.
  • Batman: Under the Red Hood: Batman and Red Hood's conflict stems from deciding the fate of The Joker, who murdered the latter when he was still Robin. Jason believes that Joker has been a Karma Houdini for too long, and needs to die for all the destruction and pain he's caused. Batman agrees with him—even admitting he's thought about crossing that line—but for someone who's crusade hinges on staying above the villains and avoiding becoming no better than those he fights, he refuses to outright kill him. Jason does admit he understands Batman's code to an extent, but not as far as Joker goes. It's a subjective topic even In-Universe, but both characters make valid arguments.
  • Beauty and the Beast: Discussed In-Universe, when Belle runs away from the castle and Beast saves her from being mauled alive by wolves:
    Beast: Well, if you hadn't run away, this wouldn't have happened.
    Belle: If you hadn't frightened me, I wouldn't have run away!
    Beast: (Beat, as he is momentarily lost for words) ...Well, you shouldn't have been at the west wing!
    Belle: Well, you should learn to control your temper!
  • Brave: This is the reason why Merida and her mother are always at odds at the beginning. Merida is correct about how her mother shouldn’t try to control every aspect of her life and how she should act. Elinor is also right about Merida acting like a brat and how necessary it is for Merida to learn the skill she needs, including diplomacy, to be her eventual successor.
  • Cars: Lightning McQueen, an arrogant rookie race car, gets lost in the small town of Radiator Springs on his way to the Los Angeles International Speedway for his final race of the season, and is ordered by Judge Doc Hudson to repair the damage he caused during his arrival. McQueen, being a Narcissist with an It's All About Me attitude and a big Jerkass personality to the rest of the townsfolk, half-asses it and is forced to stay longer when he loses a race to Doc. While staying around, he learns that Doc used to be the famous Fabulous Hudson Hornet, a three-time Piston Cup Champion racer. Doc, naturally, wants Lightning to put a lid on it, but as he sees the old car test out his racing skills, he confronts him on why he quit. It turns out, he didn't quit. He was forced into retirement after a big wreck, and had spent the last several years living in Radiator Springs, with no one knowing of his old life. Doc is quick to call out Lightning on his attitude and how his Lack of Empathy for others has made him uncaring towards the plight of the struggling townsfolk. Lightning quickly retorts that they don't know who Doc really is, but he does have a bit of a Jerkass Realization and is quick to change his attitude by staying in town an extra day and giving the folks some much needed business, and even fixing the neon signs for them. Yet Doc calls the racing network to tell them where Lightning is so he can shoo him out due to lingering resentment, at which point Sally calls him out on it. At this point, he has a Heel Realization and takes Mater, Fillmore, Luigi, and Guido to the LA Speedway to serve as Lightning's pit crew, complete with his old Hudson Hornet decor.
  • Coco: Downplayed. While Héctor's pursuit to share his music was moderate when compared to Ernesto's ambition, the former even admits he regrets leaving his family behind, making a point that family is more important than ambition. However, although their descendant did save her husband in the long run, Imelda's music ban on her family was taking it to an extreme that eventually drove Miguel into trouble, making a point that it's okay to enjoy what you like.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Picture Show: Eddy and Double D get into an argument in the middle of the film. Double D lashes out at Eddy for his irresponsibility, pride and never listening to him. Eddy fires back at Double D, however, pointing out that for all his supposed moral high ground, he still goes along with Eddy's schemes even against his better judgement and he's the one who built the machine that triggered the Noodle Incident that got them chased out of the cul-de-sac in the first place, to which Double D points out that they wouldn't have been chased out of town had Eddy bothered to pay attention to him when he warned Eddy against pushing the red button that caused the whole scam to go haywire.
  • In Finding Nemo, the plot is kicked off thanks to Marlin and Nemo getting into an argument. Marlin is so concerned about wanting to protect his son that he physically forbidding him to even leave the house, especially when he sneaks off on his first day of school. Nemo, angry with his father's overbearingness, disobeys him and goes out of his way to touch a boat, which in turn gets him captured by a scuba-diver. Over their course of their journeys, both father and son realize that there was merit to the other's argument. For Nemo, it was accepting that like it or not, the sea is extremely dangerous, and he can't go risking his life so foolishly. For Marlin, it was accepting that he was allowing the trauma of his wife and other children's deaths to keep his son at bay and prevent him from living his life. When they finally reunite, they both apologize for having gotten so mad, and while Nemo becomes less reckless, Marlin, though still being a concerned father, doesn't act so overbearing with his son.
  • In Frozen (2013), the argument between Anna and Elsa over her impromptu engagement with Hans comes off as this. On one hand, Elsa is right that Anna cannot marry someone that she just met and that she is too naive to understand the concept of love. On the other hand, Anna has a lonely and isolated life secluded in the castle with a completely distant sister, and the gates are about to shut the next day and cut off future opportunities to meet other people, so it's understandable that she wants to take what may be her only chance to marry someone who shows her affection and doesn't shut her out. Ultimately their inability to see the other's points leads into a huge argument that leads to Elsa snapping at her sister, revealing her powers in the process. In the end, Anna learns that love and friendliness aren't the same thing, while Elsa learns that shutting people out is not the solution to her problem and learns that opening up her heart with love is the key to control her powers.
  • A Goofy Movie has two examples.
    • The Max/Goofy conflict is the main one. Goofy's motivations are perfectly reasonable and understandable (he wants to be a part of Max's life as his son grows up and is worried about Max after a phone call from Max's principal who said that Max was "dressing like a gang member" and "leading the students in a riot," among other things), but his methods are questionable, at best. He drags Max on an impromptu road trip that Max clearly doesn't want to go on and never talks to him about the phone call he got from the principal, so he never hears Max's side of the story. Max, on the other hand, is no better in this regard. While his actions are mostly understandable when viewed through the lens of a teenage boy trying to assert his independence from his overbearing and embarrassing father, as well as impress his crush and win the respect of his peers, Max changing the road trip map and lying to his father are pretty inexcusable. When the two come to blows over it, both sides finally see things from each other's point of view, and are able to find themselves in a better least until An Extremely Goofy Movie.
    • Meanwhile, Pete and Goofy have an argument about their respective parenting styles. Goofy claims that Max loves him, which is true. Pete fires back by stating that PJ "respects" him, which is also true. Goofy has done his best to be a loving parent to Max, and has succeeded for the most part. However, it's pretty clear that Goofy has been a negligent disciplinarian, and that Max really could have used more discipline and structure in his life growing up. Plus, considering that Max is effectively acting like he doesn't want to be there (which is true), and is only going so he can trick Goofy into taking him elsewhere, Pete has a point that Max clearly doesn't respect his father in the slightest. His son may love him, but Goofy nonetheless clearly doesn't have Max's respect. On Pete's side, while he certainly has the respect of his son, and PJ is much more unwilling to do things like lie and deceive Pete, it's also clear that PJ is also afraid of his father on some level, and vastly prefers to spend his time with the much more easygoing Goofy. It's true that Pete is a poor excuse of a parent, and PJ is clearly not very loving towards his dad, if nothing else, he at least respects his old man enough to not pull a stunt like Max is.
  • In The Incredibles, Bob and Helen's argument about whether or not Dash should be allowed to try out for sports has shades of this. Helen is completely right that Bob doesn't care about the fact that they have to keep a low profile for pragmatic reasons; if they are busted, that means moving again, and the kids can't live with that instability forever. Dash thus far has also demonstrated great agility, but a lack of discipline on when to hold back. The fact that he plays pranks on his teachers doesn't help his case. Bob, however, says that Dash is a good kid with potential, and he has to hide the special bits about himself to fit in because society won't accept his unique gifts while finding reasons to celebrate mediocrity. The ending shows the family compromising now that Dash has shown discipline during the battles on the island and with the Omnidroid; he can try out for track, but he can't win first place for fear of getting noticed. Dash is more than fine with going for second since he enjoys the participation more than anything else.
  • Bob and Helen's conflict early in Incredibles 2, where both arguments are valid. Helen wants the kids to be safe and not have to risk going to jail for using their powers, which is against the law. Bob points out that the kids don't have to become superheroes, but he wants them to be able to have that choice, and questions why you should respect a law if said law is disrespectful.
  • Kung Fu Panda:
    • Oogway and Shifu have a discussion about how control is an illusion. Oogway uses a peach tree as an example: you cannot control when the fruit will bloom or how fast they grow. Shifu counters that you can decide when to pluck the fruit and plant the seeds. Oogway wins the argument by saying certain things are fixed, such as no matter how hard you want, the peach tree will only ever grow peaches. This leads to the paradoxical lesson, you're able to gain more control over life when you accept those things that are beyond your power.
    • During their fight, both Shifu and Tai Lung bring up legitimate points about the other. Shifu points out that Tai Lung did not have to give into his rage and betray his master or attempt to destroy the Valley of Peace. Tai Lung retorts that he spent his life trying to please Shifu and training for years to earn a destiny that he ultimately couldn't claim.
  • In The LEGO Batman Movie, Batman and newly appointed police commissioner Barbara Gordon are at odds over how to effectively stop crime in Gotham, with the former using his traditional methods, while the latter wants Batman to work with the police. She argues that Batman being an Ineffectual Loner is hurting Gotham more than helping it, since he's never managed to keep the criminals locked up for long, and the film shows that Batman's I Work Alone tendencies are preventing him from truly being happy, especially since he gets roped into a Batman Gambit by the Joker in part thanks to this. However, Batman's methods, though flawed, have kept Gotham safe for years; it's just the corrupt justice system and the Cardboard Prison that is Arkham Asylum have not helped matters, and nothing Barbara does is going to change that. By the end of the film, Batman accepts Barbara is right that he's letting his past get in the way of being happy, and works with her to solve the crisis, while Barbara admits that Batman's methods are just as necessary by working with him as Batgirl.
  • In The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, Finn and Bianca (the kids who own the titular LEGO characters) find their relationship at odds when Bianca keeps stealing her brother's sets and figures for her own adventures, which Finn has no intention of sharing, which ends up affecting the LEGO universe on a fundamental level by having all of the residents of the newly-christened "Apocalypseburg" (sans Emmett) become hardened and "tough", while those who live in the "Sis-Star System" are overly sweet and cheery to the point that the Apocalypseburgians think their brethren have been brainwashed. However, both children are at fault in some ways, since Bianca just wants her brother to play with her, and he's being a Big Brother Bully rather than trying to work things out with her, but he's got just as much reason to be upset since she's stealing his things and modifying them (as in putting glitter and stickers all over them) without his permission, and has been doing this for years (albeit innocently). This causes their mom to give them an ultimatum: either play nice, or everything gets binned. Naturally, things go horribly wrong and Finn breaks his sister's display out of rage, causing their mom to force them to bin everything, (otherwise known as "Ourmomageddon" in the LEGO world). This turns out to have been the main ploy of the villain, Rex Dangervest, who reveals himself to be a future version of Emmett who became bitter and hardened at being abandoned, and sought to cause Ourmomageddon to force Emmett to see things from his point of view and become just like him. Nevertheless, Finn has a Jerkass Realization and is able to fix things with his sister, who is implied to have stopped stealing her brother's things now that the two have reconciled.
    • The conflict also plays similarly in the LEGO world when Lucy tries to force Emmett to become tougher for his own sake, convinced he won't be able to survive the harsh world the denizens now live in, while he continues to remain his chipper self in spite of the fact he's living in a Crapsack World. In many ways, Emmett represents Finn's childhood, and the refusal to wish to grow up, while Lucy and Rex represent his desire to grow up, albeit in a way of which represents giving up everything considered "childish" and becoming "tough and hardened". Lucy is right that Emmett can't continue to act in such a manner all the time, since he does need to focus on trying to survive in the world they live in. Yet when Emmett does try to be "tough", it goes horribly wrong thanks to Rex's manipulations, and he causes Ourmomageddon to doom the entire LEGO universe to an eternity in a storage bin, proving that Emmett's methods to Be Yourself have their validity. In fact, Rex, being a future version of Emmett, represents the worst of Lucy's beliefs of being tough in that there's no room for the once joyful life that Emmett once had, turning him into a bitter and cynical villain who wants nothing more than to prove his way is the only way to live. Both Lucy and Emmett come to acknowledge each other's points in the end, but find a reasonable compromise; they will have to grow up sooner or later, but can still be themselves without having to become more cynical or evil to do it.
  • In The Little Mermaid, Ariel and her father King Triton are at odds because of the former's obsession with the surface world. Triton thinks that humans are nothing but savages, and that his daughter's unhealthy obsession with them is only going to get her killed, while Ariel believes that humanity is a fascinating species and wants to be a part of them. In this instance, Triton is right that humanity can be dangerous, and his hatred of them isn't entirely irrational—the prequel shows that they killed his wife, and are just as destructive due to their fishing. But Ariel is right that her father isn't willing to give humanity a chance simply out of hatred, and her experiences on the surface world show that humans are far from the monsters Triton claims them to be. Ultimately, Triton acknowledges his daughter's points and lets her become human to stay with Prince Eric, but Ariel does come to admit that she was being needlessly reckless in her obsession with the human world, as her actions nearly gave Ursula control of the entire undersea kingdom (and possibly the world itself).
    • The sequel, The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea enacts a similar conflict when Melody, Ariel's daughter, ends up falling on the opposite path of her mother's (wanting to be a mermaid instead of a human), but Ariel has explicitly kept her in the dark about this side of her heritage due to Ursula's sister Morgana threatening her life. When Melody gets turned into a mermaid by Morgana, Ariel returns to her old mermaid form to track down her kid, leading to the two encountering each other and causing Melody to turn over the stolen trident to Morgana out of frustration for her mother's blatant hypocrisy. In such a case, Melody was right that her mom blatantly hid her true heritage from her for years, and had been lying about it when she could have just told her what was going on. Yet, as immediately demonstrated, Ariel had every right to fear for Melody's safety when Morgana ends up using the trident to almost take over Atlantica and nearly drowns Melody in the process by turning her back into a human, showing that, as wrong as Ariel's approach to the situation was, Morgana was just as much of a threat she feared her to be when she nearly drowned her daughter as a baby. When the villainess is eventually dealt with, both mother and daughter acknowledge their mistakes and reconcile.
  • Migration: Mack sees no point in taking the family away from their comfortable home on a risky journey to a strange land, but Pam believes they shouldn't avoid life beyond their boundaries.
  • Monsters, Inc.:
    • In Monsters University, Mike and Sully's initial conflict stems from their different approaches to scaring. Mike believes that it's a matter of proper technique, while Sully prefers simply using his natural skills to scrape by. Unfortunately, neither monster seems to get that it requires both to make a difference. Yes, looking scary is important, but it's useless without the technique behind it. Yes, having a plan is immensely necessary, but it won't work unless you're able to be scary in the first place. It takes getting kicked out the Scaring Program, expelled from the university, and nearly getting trapped in the human world to get both monsters to realize that they each had a point, and they could utilize their natural strengths to create an unstoppable team.
    • The original film, Monsters, Inc., plays with this. When a human girl gets lost in the monster world, Sully and Mike try to get her back. However, while Sully starts getting attached to this little girl (whom he nicknames Boo), Mike just wants to be rid of her first thing. When the two end up getting banished thanks to learning of Mr. Waternoose's secret plot, Mike accuses Sully of ignoring his own feelings in the matter and dismissing his advice, ruining his life and everything he's worked for just because of a kid they were trying to get rid of anyway. He's being a jerk about it, but he's right in some way, since Sully never considered how this would affect him, and effectively shot their entire career they spent a decade working towards, not to mention it left Mike's relationship with his girlfriend Celia strained (possibly beyond repair), and he can't ever fix things in exile. However, Sully, though acknowledging Mike's point, refuses to stop rescuing Boo, since, like it or not, she's just a kid trapped in a world she doesn't know, and she's the target of a conspiracy led by Waternoose and Randall, who want to literally suck the scream out of her (which, mind you, would likely kill her), and then do the same to other kids. Even if he's not considering Mike's feelings, Boo is still in serious danger, and it's far from responsible to leave her at the mercy of the villains. Mike tells him he's on his own, but it's only a few minutes later that Mike comes back and admits that he was wrong to have refused to help, since his friendship with Sully was what mattered most to him.
  • Mulan: This trope happens the moment Shang leaves Mulan behind after her gender is revealed. Mulan joined the army under illegal false pretenses and has been lying about her entire identity, so Shang's standpoint that he shouldn't trust her is understandable, if incorrect. On the other hand, Mulan only did what she did to save her father's life, and she's probably right when she implies ("You said you'd trust Ping. Why is Mulan any different?") that culturally-ingrained sexism is also influencing Shang at this point. This is repeated almost word-for-word in the live action remake, which operates under a similar argument.
  • Ratatouille: Rémy admits that he and his dad have different viewpoints on the food they take from humans and he can understand Django's perspective. Django says that taking garbage is better than risking their lives in the kitchen. His reasoning is that humans throw out garbage rather than protect it personally, and they don't have a chance to be picky what with the world wanting to kill them. To really strike his point home, he shows Rémy a ratcatcher shop where rodent bodies are mounted in the window, saying that it's why rats need to keep a low profile. Rémy believes, on the other hand, that it's stealing because humans often make things rather than take them, and he wants to earn his way to a good meal rather than stay a scrounger. He tells his dad that what they put into their bodies and minds has an impact and they have a choice to do better. What's more, the only way to move past being a body display for a ratcatcher is to fight for change, and be willing to risk your life for it. They come to a compromise at the end; Django sees Linguini standing up for Rémy and realizes that not all humans are bad, agreeing to help his son in the kitchen. Rémy in turn admits that his father may have been right about keeping a low profile after their entire family's presence at Gusteau's gets the restaurant closed. Fittingly, the rats at the new Ratatouille restaurant are proper patrons, paying for their food, but staying hidden from the human populace. Django also admits he's proud of Rémy for sticking to his guns.
  • South Park: Joining the Panderverse: The special's two central characters: Eric Cartman and Kathleen Kennedy, are both portrayed as very flawed and going about the wrong way to deliver/deal with criticism. Cartman mostly wrote out of hateful bigotry with very little constructive criticism. Meanwhile Kennedy responded impulsively to Cartman's hate mail instead of ignoring it and ends up taking the easy solution of using the Panderstone. After an argument between the two, they eventually concede that, despite their errors, both of them had a point. Cartman, after learning that his actions only made things worse, admits that it was wrong and lazy of him to deliver purely vitriolic and hateful feedback rather than any helpful criticism. Kennedy, meanwhile, learns that progress should be fought for the hard way without shortcuts and that a work's quality and writing should not suffer for the sake of inclusion and diversity. By the episode's end, the two are on friendly terms.
  • The Spongebob Squarepants Movie: SpongeBob ends up in this position when Mr. Krabs denies him promotion to manager of the Krusty Krab 2, claiming he's too immature for the responsibility. Seeing as SpongeBob spends his days goofing off with Patrick, annoying Squidward to no end, and doesn't even have a boating license, he is right in some way—only a few scenes later is this proven true when SpongeBob, Drunk on Milk from spending his night crushed at getting passed over, almost gets Mr. Krabs deep fried by King Neptune by immaturely telling him off. However, SpongeBob, immature or not, has proven to be managerial material, seeing as his cooking has made The Krusty Krab the premier eatery in town in spite of Krab's own greediness hampering business, and puts his heart and soul into keeping things ship-shape. The one who got the job, Squidward, is a miserable Burger Fool who has tried and failed repeatedly to leave, and is practically hated in town. In the end, while SpongeBob does acknowledge his immaturity and saves the town from Plankton's control, Mr. Krabs acknowledges he was wrong and happily makes SpongeBob the manager.
  • The main conflict of Superman vs. the Elite. Superman adamantly sticks to his Thou Shalt Not Kill policy even as the Elite gains public support for killing the bad guys, and when the Elite later declare that they decide who the villains are, and that "people who endanger innocent lives" can apply to more than just criminals and terrorists, it shows how the Elite's methods can lead to Jumping Off the Slippery Slope and He Who Fights Monsters territory. On the other hand, while they don't particularly care for innocent bystanders and aren't good at using their powers beyond killing and breaking things, the Elite believe their way is better since Superman just beating up criminals and having them thrown in improper prisons leads to Joker Immunity and allows villains like the Atomic Skull to just keep killing... which, unfortunately, happens nearly all the time. Superman then cleverly manages to strike the middle ground by showing that, while the Elite's methods are effective, they are dangerous. How? He goes off the deep end by letting loose and seemingly murdering the Elite off one by one, showing no apparent regard for collateral damage and effectively frightening everyone around him to the point that the once smug Manchester Black is begging for mercy at the hands of a fallen Man of Steel. Or rather he fakes it, proving to the world that, while the Elite is right in that using lethal force will remove dangerous criminals, it won't make those committing the deed any better than those they're killing.
  • TMNT: Near the climax of the film, Leo and Raph descend into an argument after Leo discovers that Raph is the Nightwatcher. On Leo’s side, he’s right that Raph’s activities are risky because they draw too much attention and could risk the family’s exposure and discovery by their enemies and the outside world. On Raph’s side, he’s correct that with Leo gone, the Turtles ceased their crimefighting and someone had to step up to patrol the city. Raph also is correct that Leo’s absence meant that the family needed time to repair its bond, let alone respect Leo’s authority again. Both Turtles fail to acknowledge, however, that their combined poor communication skills are what led to things getting this bad and that both of them should’ve worked together to heal. Ultimately, they both lose their tempers and descend into a brutal fight.
  • This seems to be a bit of a habit for Andy's toys in Toy Story:
    • Toy Story: The primary conflict of the film boils down to Woody and Buzz being Andy's favorite toy, as Woody once held the position until Buzz showed up. Unlike the infamous "Black Friday" reel where Woody was depicted as an egoistical tyrant, the final film shows that his reasons for disliking Buzz do have merit; after all, Buzz Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality whatsoever, and thinks he's the real Buzz Lightyear. Not only is this proving annoying, but he's taking Andy's clear love for him for granted. Buzz, on the other hand, isn't entirely in the wrong, as he's not doing so intentionally, and Woody ends up going overboard with his immense jealously to the point that the other toys turn on him after he knocks Buzz out the window. When the two have a heartfelt conversation, Buzz, after having spent a good chunk of the movie depressed upon discovering the truth of him being a toy, acknowledges that being a toy is far more important, as he has the love of a child. Woody, meanwhile, realizes he went too far with his jealousy, and part of loving Andy is to allow him to have room for other favorites in his life. Thus, an iconic friendship is born.
    • Toy Story 2: A philosophical argument is built upon this trope when dealing with Woody and Stinky Pete. When Woody is kidnapped by a greedy toy collector named Al to be sold to a toy museum in Japan, he's dead set on getting back to Andy, but Pete reminds him that Andy isn't going to be around forever. Sooner or later, Andy is going to grow up and move on with his life, and Woody may no longer be a part of it. Woody, however, initially spends much of his time insisting Andy is a loving and caring owner who cherishes his toys. Part way through the film, Woody comes to agree with Prospector's viewpoint, worried Andy may no longer play with him if his arm rips again, leaving him to initially want to go the museum. It's only when he sees a boy who looks an awful lot like Andy on tv that he acknowledges Prospector is still valid in his reasoning that Woody won't be able to stop Andy from growing up, but he holds stedfast to his belief that he needs to be there for his kid. Unfortunately, this is where Prospector shows his true colors, revealing he thinks children destroy toys, and that all of them will be thrown out and left to rot. In the end, however, Prospector does come around, as post-movie media depicts him as being happy with his new owner, showing Woody was right about kids being good to their toys. Unfortunately, Prospector's points came true in the third film, as Andy does grow up and stop playing with his toys, and his other point almost comes true when they nearly die in a garbage dump's incinerator.
    • Toy Story 3: When a misunderstanding lands Andy's toys on the curb, they decide to donate themselves to Sunnyside Daycare and spend the rest of their lives getting played with, much to Woody's chagrin. He then chastises them for doing so, calling them selfish for putting their needs before their kid's, and decides to leave them while he goes back to Andy. The other toys think he's crazy, as Andy has already grown up and is no longer playing with them. On the one hand, the toys are right in that Andy is not going to be playing with them anymore, especially since he's off to college, and they need to move on with their lives so they can fulfill their purpose of being played with, thereby ensuring their own happiness. However, Woody is right they are being selfish, as Andy was trying to take care of them by putting them in the attic; it's just his carelessness led them to being thrown out and them not believing a word Woody says when he has no reason to lie to them shows they've moved on a little too quickly from Andy. The toys in the end do find out that Andy did mean to put them in the attic, and admit to Woody they were wrong when he reunites with them (well, that and Sunnyside being a prison camp run by a sadistic teddy bear made them eager to get back rather quickly). Woody, however, does come to realize that his friends won't be happy staying up in the attic and need to be played with, thus he makes sure that all of the toys, including himself, are donated to a little girl named Bonnie, ensuring they'll continue to get played with under a new owner.
      • In the climax of the toys' escape from Sunnyside, Ken begs Lotso to spare Barbie from the dumpster. Lotso cynically notes there are thousands of Barbie dolls just like her, and Ken responds "Not like her." Lotso has a point, as Ken and Barbie have completely stereotypical personalities, fell in love at first sight with no consideration of them or any "unique" traits, and that particular Barbie had tied up Ken and interrogated him earlier, so Ken seems to be following his instinctive script as a toy. But Ken is correct in his assessment as well, as that particular Barbie faked a Face–Heel Turn to get close to him, got Ken to spill the beans on how they brainwashed Buzz by way of ripping up his clothing selection (which would likely be Serious Business to a dress-up doll), and seconds before their confrontation gave a remarkably thorough Shut Up, Hannibal! over how "authority should derive from the consent of the governed, not through the threat of force." There really isn't a Barbie doll like her.
    • Toy Story 4: After their mission to rescue Forky from Gabby-Gabby fails miserably, Woody and Bo end up in a pretty heated argument that causes them to fall out, where Woody accuses Bo of not understanding loyalty, while Bo accuses Woody of allowing his desire to help out Bonnie hold him back from actually living life,as he's still clinging on to her as if she was Andy. While Woody ultimately is able to get Forky back by giving Gabby-Gabby his voice box, he does come to realize that Bo has a point, and him unable to move on from being Andy's toy is making things more difficult for him and his friends. Likewise, Bo concedes that Woody was right when she admitted that she didn't understand loyalty, specifically Woody's loyalty to his kid - the kind that made her care for him so much in the first place - and goes back to help him. This ultimately allows Woody to decide to stay with Bo, where he can still help other toys like he always has, but not be bound to any child's collection.
  • Turning Red: The argument about if Mei should go to the concert. As Mei points out, she can raise the money, and her friends will be with her, so she will be safe. As Ming points out, there is a significant difference between controlling your emotions at home or at school and controlling your emotions at a music concert.

    Films — Live Action 
  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Harry Osborn is suffering from a terminal disease, and wants Spider-Man's blood, believing it to be his only hope of survival; however, Spider-Man refuses, believing it might harm or kill him, or even turn Harry into a monster like the Lizard. While Spidey makes a valid point, Harry also does when he points out to Spidey that he's already dying, so he's got nothing to lose either way. Spider-Man still refuses, resulting in Harry's transformation into the Green Goblin and the subsequent death of Gwen Stacy after Harry subsequently turns to other means of curing himself in his desperation and eventually chooses to perform the latter action after discovering the truth about Spider-Man being his friend Peter so as to spite him for said earlier refusal to help him by giving him his blood.
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: As presented in the titular conflict (with further expansion being founded upon in the film's expanded cut), both Batman and Superman distrust each other due to their methods of heroism. The Dark Knight finds the Man of Steel to be a very powerful and extremely dangerous being who could potentially wipe out all of humanity on a whim (as Zack Snyder's Justice League demonstrates in the Knightmare Sequence, where a brainwashed Superman has reduced Earth to a wasteland on Darkseid's behalf), and his destructive actions in Man of Steel are further proof of the danger he possibly presents (with the implication that It's Personal due to Bruce having lost several of his employees at Wayne Enterprises' Metropolis offices the day of the attack). At the same time, Superman feels that Batman is a danger for taking the law into his own hands, notably branding criminals for death at the hands of their fellow inmates, and having fallen from Gotham's savior to a man on the edge of being no better than those he fights. Both heroes come to acknowledge the other's point of views when Batman realizes Superman is not the threat he perceives to be, taking efforts to be better when Superman dies battling Doomsday, and finds new motivation in the aftermath (guilt for the role he played in Superman's death in Justice League (2017), and becoming more hopeful in Zack Snyder's Justice League), while Superman strives to be better following his resurrection in both cuts of the film, becoming the symbol of hope he was meant to always be.
  • Captain Fantastic: A key theme throughout the film is how neither side of the debate featured is exclusively right or wrong. On the one hand, as unconventional as the lifestyle he and his wife chose for themselves and their children is and as much as he himself is not afraid to voice his grievances, Ben is not wrong when he points out both the flaws he sees in modern American capitalist society (and which implicitly disillusioned himself and his late wife Leslie and drove them to embark on their chosen isolationist lifestyle in the first place) and how much more well read and overall high-level Book Smart his kids are in comparison to their conventionally educated cousins. But on the other hand, Ben's sister and her husband, his father in-law, and even his own sons Bodevan and Rellian also aren't wrong when they point out that Ben's keeping the kids isolated from larger American society and immense inflexibility in his refusal to allow himself, Leslie, or their kids to interact with such has stunted the kids' development of their social skills, left them utterly incapable of properly surviving in and interacting with society outside their immediate family social circle, and indirectly contributed to Leslie's bipolar disorder induced suicide; not to mention the fact that, as much as he may not necessarily be guaranteed to like what his kids choose to do with their lives when they grow up, he still needs to be willing to step back and allow them to make their own decisions when the time comes for such. Rather fittingly, the film ultimately ends with Ben managing to implicitly strike a compromise by allowing Bodevan to travel out into the world to follow his own chosen path and also allowing the rest of the kids to go to school and get a conventional education so that they'll have the ability to properly live in the world outside their previous life of total isolation if that's what they so choose, but still having himself and the rest of the kids live on a farm relatively isolated from the rest of American society so that he won't have to completely give up the lifestyle that most suits his comfort zone.
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has this as one of its primary themes. Save for Koba (who even early on has good points), both the humans and apes are just trying to survive. The humans want to rebuild civilization while the apes want to thrive in theirs and neither really want a war. Neither have much reason to trust the other side either and have all rights to make efforts to protect themselves. Overall, the film depicts the good and peaceful intentions of a reasonable many, being hampered and eventually sunk by the ill (though understandable) actions of an unreasonable few.
  • Denial: Defied. Prior to Lipstadt writing her book that Irving would sue over, she notes that several student newspapers (some of which are even run by Jews) ran adverts proclaiming Holocaust denial and asking for debate by Bradley Smith, under the reasoning that "both sides deserve to be heard". Which ignores that one side is demonstrably wrong. After the verdict comes down on her side, she rams this point home in her remarks to the press. "Not all opinions are equal. And some things happen, just like we say they do. Slavery happened. The Black Death happened. The Earth is round, the icecaps are melting, and Elvis is not alive."
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has Thranduil and Thorin. Thorin accuses Thranduil of being honorless because the Dwarves came to him once looking for shelter after Smaug took the Mountain for himself and Thranduil just shut them out. Thranduil accuses Thorin of being just like his grandfather, being so obsessed with pride and greed that he won't listen to reason. It takes a while to realize that both sides are guilty: Thranduil didn't have to attack the dragon, he could have just aided the refugees, whereas Thorin is becoming more and more like a Jerkass the closer he gets to the Mountain and by the third film, Thranduil is proven absolutely right.
  • The titular Major Payne is absolutely correct about the effectiveness of his training methods, particularly in how he succeeds in doing what no other leader could do by whipping the ROTC Boys into an effective squadron who scores first in the military games. Dr. Walburn does agree, but points out her issue is that this time around they're children so it's morally wrong to treat them with that level of severity and intensity, nor is it necessary for him to be in Drill Sergeant Nasty mode 24/7 (Even his fantasy about an idyllic married life includes a visit from the Vietcong). She ultimately succeeds in getting him to lighten up quite a bit and treat his cadets as children (Though he's still not above shaving them bald for talking back...).
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Captain America: Civil War:
      • Tony believes that the Avengers need to be accountable for their actions, while Steve believes that the heroes themselves are the best ones to make judgement calls. Their experiences in previous films both lend credence to their points of view:
      • Tony's cavalier attitude towards his tech has led to horrible consequences (such as Ultron's creation), while Steve has encountered corrupt and incompetent government officials who've made situations worse.
      • What it comes down to is that while the heroes might not be the best ones to make a judgement call, how can they be sure that anyone they hand the responsibility to would be better? Why would the whole world put their lives in a bunch of misfits?
      • On a more personal level, they make several questionable decisions in how they handle the conflict. They do, however, raise several valid points.
      • From Iron Man:
      • He's hounded by the captured Anti-Accord team for arresting them and sending them to a Hellhole Prison. While they are indeed given very dubious treatment, Stark points out that he was just doing his duty (as he is under a lot of government pressure), and that the Anti-Accord side should have known what they risked when they aided a known felon.
      • Likewise, Cap tears into Tony for keeping Wanda under what is essentially house arrest without even telling her, and while Tony's motivations and right to make that call are left dubious, he is right when he says Wanda really isn't safe among the masses right now. Later properties such as Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and WandaVision also prove Tony's point that Wanda is a very big danger not just to herself, but also to the world at large, considering the kind of powers she possesses.
      • Lastly, while Tony could be seen as irresponsible in bringing Spider-Man, who's still an inexperienced teenager, into the conflict, his orders were for Peter to keep his distance and just web up opponents without becoming involved, which Peter promptly ignores. His first scene even depicts him being guilt-shamed by the mother of a Sokovian victim and he presents this to the Avengers as why he thinks they, himself included, need to be kept in check. Tony doesn't start acting irrational until Zemo's schemes ruin any chance of reconciliation between the two sides.
      • At the climax, Tony is completely right that Bucky killed Tony's parents and Steve at least suspected it and never told him about it. Steve tells the truth when questioned and later apologizes to Tony for lying.
      • From Captain America:
      • He seemingly takes the accusations of collateral damage very lightly, but he does make a valid point saying things would be much, much worse if the Avengers didn't do anything at all (specifically, the human race would've been conquered by Thanos or HYDRA, or driven extinct by Ultron, either of which is overwhelmingly worse than the collateral damage caused by the Avengers in stopping these from happening).
      • While he may be borderline unreasonable in his desire not to sign the accords (it should be noted that Steve was willing to compromise up until he heard about the situation with Wanda's house arrest), he points out those agreements would turn the Avengers into a bunch of glorified attack dogs, which would only allow him to help people selectively,note  to say nothing of how easily groups like HYDRA or other villains, such as the villain of this very movie, have repeatedly been able to insert themselves into government groups like this in the past.
      • Additionally, the way the government officials act throughout the film (sending the police after Bucky, who's only a suspect based on circumstantial evidence, with shoot-to-kill orders, refusing to adhere to Steve, Sam, and Bucky's right to legal representation after they're brought in, and refusing to release the captured Team Cap members and go after Zemo when it's definitively proven he was responsible for the bombing) shows that putting them in control of the Avengers would not be the best idea.
      • He also gets a lot of flak for dragging all the other Anti-Accord heroes in his quest to help Bucky, disregarding the fact that each and every one of them made the decision to help Cap themselves, with several of them having their own personal motivations for assisting Cap.
      • When it comes to the climax, while Steve does admit that he does selfishly want to protect Bucky, he also is correct that Bucky was brainwashed into killing the Starks. Tony acknowledges this when he greets Bucky as "Manchurian Candidate" and when told about the brainwashing, says "I don't care," rather than claiming that Steve is wrong/lying.
    • Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame ultimately plays with this trope in regards to Thanos and the Avengers, who come into conflict over the former's desire to use the six Infinity Stones to wipe out half the universe, convinced it's the only way to save everyone from a devastating overpopulation crisis like the one that decimated his home planet. The thing is, not a single one of the heroes disputes Thanos's reasoning; in fact, not once do they question the validity of having too many people and not enough resources, seeing as Earth (and undoubtedly many other planets), experiences the same issues daily. What they do dispute is his methods in solving that crisis, given that he's committing universal genocide. Ultimately, he wins, but his methods prove to have left devastating physical and psychological effects on the survivors, including governmental collapse, mass displacement, a rise in crime, and many other societal issues that rose out of having the planet's population get halved almost instantly, proving the Avengers correct that Thanos was not right in the way he pursued his course of action. He is only right that with less of a population, there's not as many people to feed, and it's shown to have a small impact on the environment, but the much more lasting damage he implements proves him utterly wrong. Then, when the team tries to undo the damage and ends up encountering a past version of Thanos in the process, he subverts his entire point of view by showing he's a Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist who is willing to wipe out the entire universe when they show ingratitude for what he did, intending to rewrite all of reality to his own personal whims, proving the Avengers as being utterly right.
  • My Days of Mercy: Lucy is an anti-death penalty activist, while Mercy favors it. Both are portrayed as having sympathetic motivations, and the pair treat each other respectfully regarding this despite their disagreement, while growing to understand the other view more (Mercy ends up helping Lucy on her dad's case).
  • Played for Laughs in Ocean's Twelve, when the group reunites after Benedict has found and threatened everyone, the group is more concerned and hurt that Benedict calls them "Ocean's 11" and complain to Danny about it. Linus is the only one who doesn't voice against it and points out it was all Danny's plan while the others argue that without them, Danny couldn't have pulled off the heist.
  • Other People's Money avoids the easy trap of portraying either Jorgy or Larry as wrong. They just have fundamentally different beliefs of what a business is for and how one ought to be run.
  • Revenge of the Sith: Upon Chancellor Palpatine's recommendation, Anakin is made a member of the Jedi Council, but not a Jedi Master. He complains about how unfair it was he wasn't getting made a master, but Mace simply tells him to take a seat and leaves it at that. In this case, Anakin's temper tantrum had proven Mace's point that he's not ready for the responsibility being a master entails, given his troubled emotional state, and this gesture was a favor to a man they really don't trust (and have no good reason to considering). But Anakin also has legitimate concerns about being asked in return to spy on the Chancellor, a man he considers to be a friend and father figure.
  • In SHAZAM! (2019), Freddy rightfully calls out Billy for taking his new powers for granted and abusing them to become a showoff and get money. However, Billy is right to tell off Freddy for wanting Billy as Shazam around for selfish reasons like wanting to boost Freddie's own popularity at school, not caring about the risk of exposing Billy's identity.
  • The Social Network is done this way, and the characters themselves reach this conclusion: None of them is truly unsympathetic, and they all have more or less valid claims and complaints.
  • In Team America: World Police, both 'dicks' and 'pussies' have a point, according to Gary's (plagiarized but altered) speech at the end. As he puts it, the 'dicks' are in the business of dealing with 'assholes,' but can occasionally take things too far, and the 'pussies' can sometimes have a good point when they call the 'dicks' out, even if they can sometimes become 'assholes' themselves. The 'assholes' on the other hand, just want to shit all over everything.
  • In Traffic (2000) there are more than just two sides and most of them have a point. The most surprising one coming from the arrested drug dealer who points out that the DEA agents are also technically working for the drug mafia as they are being used by one of the drug cartels to destroy its opposition.
  • In Transformers: Age of Extinction, humans have a good reason for wanting to build anti-Transformer technology since battles have razed cities and killed thousands of innocent people in the crossfire. On the other hand, if left unchecked, Decepticons would easily destroy/enslave humanity, nor did it justify working with a murderous Cybertronian or killing/experimenting on the good Autobots.
  • What makes WarGames so special is how it delivers its anti-war message without demonizing either side. Both General Beringer and Professor Falken have sound ideas about how best to deal with JOSHUA and prevent him from causing a pre-emptive nuclear war.
  • The 1961 and 2021 film versions of West Side Story change "America" to Anita and Bernardo singing about the different aspects of America. She sings that America is a land of opportunity, while he sings that America is a land of bigots. Neither side is wrong.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit: While Eddie makes a point that Angelo would rat out Roger for money, Roger also makes a point that making him laugh would get him to change his mind.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X-Men had this trope for the Senate hearing where Dr. Jean Grey debated with politicians concerning mutants. Both sides brought up good points, which was the intention of the director. On the one hand, it is an invasion of privacy and discrimination to demand that all mutants register their names, powers, and identities with the government. On the other, mutants are genuinely superhuman, some of them with extremely dangerous abilities... abilities that law enforcement needs to know how to protect people from should a mutant decide to abuse his or her powers.
    • X-Men: The Last Stand:
      • When a cure for mutants is introduced, Magneto is wary that humans will 'draw first blood' and use it to forcibly strip mutants of their powers—which is exactly what they do. Unfortunately, he, the Brotherhood and the Phoenix then go on to launch an attack on the cure-production facility (tearing the Golden Gate Bridge off its foundations in the process) with the stated intent of destroying the cure's source—which happens to be an innocent teenage boy who is himself a mutant, thus giving humans every reason to believe that mutants are exactly as dangerous and destructive as feared.
      • Also, when the heroes are discussing taking the cure.
        Storm: I don't believe this. What sort of coward would take that just to fit in?
        Beast: Is it cowardice to want to be free from persecution? Not everyone can blend in so easily; you don't shed on the furniture.
    • Deadpool 2: The conflict between Deadpool and Colossus comes down to this:
      • While Deadpool’s pragmatism and willingness to break rules are understandable and often justified, Colossus is completely correct when he rips into Deadpool for being a callous and reckless Ungrateful Bastard who frequently does more harm than good and acts like the law doesn’t apply to him (the main plot is kicked off when he kills an orderly who abused children... by shooting him in cold blood, right in front of innocent civilians and with no evidence other than “you can tell”). Wade is forced to face the consequences of his behavior when he’s shown that his ruthless, uncaring attitude is threatening to turn Russell into a monster, apologizing to the X-Men for his ingratitude and fighting to prevent Russell from making the same mistakes Wade did when he was young.
      • Colossus is, in many ways, a prime example of what superheroes should be, and his idealism and empathetic nature are very admirable qualities... but as Deadpool calls out, he sometimes take it way too far, letting his kindness and belief in others blind him to reality, while also being far too trusting towards those who’ve done nothing to earn it (he never thinks to investigate Essex until Deadpool exposes the place for what it is) and letting others stomp all over him. When faced with the situation with Russell and The Juggernaut, Colossus is ultimately forced to acknowledge that he has become too rigid and rulebound for his own good, learning to loosen up and fight dirty when he needs to.

  • The trope is reduced to absurdity in an old Jewish joke. Two Jews come to a rabbi to resolve a dispute and present their arguments; they also bring along a witness. The rabbi, after leafing through the Talmud for a couple of hours, finally says: "Shlomo, you are right. But, Moyshe, you are right as well". The puzzled witness asks: "But, rabbi, how can two men with completely different opinions be right at the same time? It's impossible!". The rabbi replies: "You know, Joshua, it turns that you are right as well!"

  • "TMZ" by "Weird Al" Yankovic. The song is mostly bashing TMZ for picking apart every little thing celebrities do, but the bridge turns it around by pointing out that these shows also report less trivial things (DUIs, racist rants) that might have had less coverage if not for shows like that.

  • In In Strange Woods, while the teenagers of Whitetail have a point about their elders overprotecting them, the adults have a point in that there are things their children can't handle.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons has settings that try to take this approach to racial conflicts, as an alternative to Always Chaotic Evil and everyone just being tragically misunderstood (which gets bland quickly). Eberron, for instance, affiliates most of the "monster" races with fallen or current civilizations with religious or economic conflicts with the players' home civilizations. This dodges the unfortunate implications of the usual racial warfare while still giving reasonably simple reasons to get into sword and sorcery brawls within moments of running into each other.
  • The World of Darkness:
    • Every splat has an antagonist faction where the conflict is black vs grey (e.g. you're a werewolf fighting the wyrm to keep the world from being destroyed), a faction where the conflict is grey vs grey (e.g. you're a mage in conflict with the technocrats because you're competing for a prize you both want - control of reality), and a faction where the conflict is white vs grey... and you're the grey (e.g. you're a vampire and human hunters are coming for you with stakes, and are completely in the right, as even if you're "moral" you're one failed will save from a murder spree and have probably failed that save at least once).
    • The later versions of Mage: The Ascension used this perspective. The Technocratic Union wants a stable and democratic reality where everyone is able to create miracles through technology. They have largely succeeded: the modern world with computers, airplanes and modern medicine exists by their design. Their opponents, the Traditions, prefer a more unstable (ahem, dynamic) reality with more personal freedom - a freedom of expression that includes rewriting reality itself rather then merely writing words. (The original version had this same conflict of interest, but hardcoded that the Technocracy's ideals made them Dirty Communists.) Taken a step further in The Sorcerer's Crusade; in the Dark Ages, when everyone believed in magic, the Traditions (especially the Order of Hermes) were in control and maintaining the stability of the world while the upstart Order of Reason wanted to overturn this consensus reality for the good of everyone. The future Technocrats won, at which point the Traditions became the Plucky Underdogs.
    • The successor game, Mage: The Awakening, took this conflict and put it into the tradition mages and the free council, both playable factions that are nominally allied and can be mixed into the same cabal. The traditions essentially advocate the "magic is superior/new things are bad" viewpoint, backed up mechanically by new human technologies draining the power from old spells. The free council thinks new stuff is great, drawing power from new concepts and even technology in crafting rote spells. The primary antagonist faction was changed into decadent god-priests obsessed with controlling the destiny of mages and mortals specifically to avoid this trope, though many complained that it weakened the setting by bringing up the trope in a new way: that's pretty much what the traditions want, too.

  • Doubt focuses on the struggle of Sister Aloyisus trying to prove that Father Flynn has molested a young boy. The play never makes it clear whether or not he's guilty; Father Flynn ends up becoming the new pastor at a different school, at worst freeing him up to molest more kids, and at best causing damage to both his reputation and beloved students at the Catholic school. Apparently, the author does know the true answer, but only reveals it to actors who play Father Flynn on Broadway or in film.
  • Fiddler on the Roof runs on this trope. Tevye is caught in the clash between the traditional world and the modern world. He's a really smart guy, but poor and uneducated. He tries his best to be fair and see both sides of the situation, with many inner monologues about "on the one hand [...] but on the other hand". In the page quote above he gets ridiculed for not simply picking a side when two guys who both have valid ideas stick to parroting slogans at each other instead of making more nuanced arguments for their causes.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Cafe Enchante, there are differences between Misyr and Rindo's beliefs when it comes to humans and non-humans. Misyr believes they are not that different in the end (he even feels human technology like cell phones are more advanced than magic) and can co-exist happily like how Souen, Kotone and Kariya have demonstrated with the regulars. Rindo on the other hand repeatedly expresses that humans and non-humans cannot live together, as in his line of work and from what he sees of Mikado and his sister Shizuka who had been transformed into a non-human, he has seen many attempts to live peacefully end terribly for both parties, not always out of malice but mostly out of misunderstandings and things beyond anyone's control. Neither are entirely right or wrong and Kotone comes to share both lines of thinking.
  • In Fate/stay night, this trope applies in a way to the conflict between Rin and her younger sister Sakura in Heaven's Feel, since there are things that each party doesn't realize about the other. On the one hand, Sakura's life with the Matous was horrific, with her being filled with Crest Worms and repeatedly raped, and in one Bad End, Rin breaks after experiencing that sort of treatment for a day, whereas Sakura endured that for years. From Sakura's perspective, it's unsurprising that it seems as though Rin doesn't care for her little sister. On the other hand, Rin's life wasn't easy, due to struggling financially, having to deal with the loss of both her parents and only having the manipulative and evil Kirei Kotomine to rely on. As such, Rin understandably hoped that Sakura would have had an easier life. In the end, the sisters are able to reconcile.
  • At the start of Heart of the Woods, long-time best friends Madison and Tara have a falling-out over the former quitting her job as the manager for the latter's vlog, Taranormal. While the two of them often take things overly personally, they have legitimate points. Ultimately, both of them apologize to each other once they're reunited in Chapter 5.
    • On the one hand, Madison has made many sacrifices to be part of Taranormal, from quitting her part-time job to dropping out of college, to say nothing of traveling all over the world with Tara and getting involved in her misadventures. Madison not only keeps Tara in line, but also handles many important things, like video editing, that Tara should be able to do herself. It's understandable that Madison would want to reclaim her life after giving so much time and effort to Taranormal, especially since Madison doesn't get any of the fame. Madison is also understandably upset about Tara giving her the cold shoulder when Madison wants to help, and Morgan calls Tara out on pushing Madison away despite wanting to be friends with her again.
    • On the other hand, Madison is a vital part of Taranormal, with her business and tech savvy, so Tara would be hard-pressed to do her job without Madison. As Madison herself admits, Tara shoulders all of the Taranormal expenses, including paying thousands of dollars to go to Eysenfeld, while splitting royalties with Madison, so Madison can't really complain about Tara wasting money on the trip if Tara's the only one paying. While Madison's skepticism is understandable, so is Tara not being happy with Madison's constant negativity about the trip, or Madison's dislike of Morgan. While Tara takes Madison's decision to quit too personally, Tara has reason to doubt whether Madison's renewed interest in the Eysenfeld case means she's willing to stick it out with Taranormal for the long term. Madison also admits that she should have told Tara she was thinking about quitting and talked things through with her instead of suddenly telling her about her decision just before leaving for Eysenfeld.
  • In Kindred Spirits on the Roof:
    • Matsuri and Miyu are not only captain and vice-captain of the track team, but are also in a relationship that they have agreed to keep secret out of concern over what might happen if other people, like Miyu's parents find out. This involves not making public displays of affection, such as kissing or saying "I love you," at school or anywhere a record might be left (e.g. text messages), and Matsuri ends up having difficulty keeping her promise, much to Miyu's frustration. On the one hand, Miyu has understandable reasons to worry about what might happen if her parents find out, and it's difficult to fault her annoyance with Matsuri for not living up to her end of the agreement (something Matsuri concedes). On the other hand, Matsuri has gone without skinship or other displays of affection for months, and isn't wrong when she points out that this amounts to them hiding their relationship out of fear. At the start of September, Megumi takes Matsuri's side, while Sachi takes Miyu's, and both of them ask Yuna who she thinks is at fault. Regardless of Yuna's answer, she'll have the following thought.
      Yuna: Frankly I think they're both at fault, but they also both have points.
    • Another example between Miyu and Matsuri comes in an extra scene, which involves how many confessions Matsuri gets. On the one hand, Miyu is understandably a bit annoyed when Matsuri brings this up to her, and can't help but feel a bit insecure given Matsuri's popularity. On the other hand, from Matsuri's perspective, she's merely being honest with Miyu, especially since she turns down all those confessions. Matsuri ends up feeling a bit hurt when Miyu taunts her by bringing up a confession that Miyu got, and while Miyu feels guilty about it, doing so helps her realize that Matsuri truly values her.
  • In Shinrai: Broken Beyond Despair, a conflict emerges midway through the story when the nine surviving guests discuss whether Momoko was killed or committed suicide, and in the former case, whether one of them is a murderer. Rie is unwilling to suspect any of her friends, least of all her best friend Runa, whereas Taiko believes that unless the group is willing to do just that, they won't find out who the killer is. On the one hand, Taiko is correct that one of the ten guests is a murderer. On the other hand, Rie is right about Runa being innocent, not to mention how Taiko jumping to conclusions and suspecting that Kamen is guilty after Taiko's best friend Kotoba is killed/badly burned suggests that the two aren't so different when it comes to being irrational about their friends. Complicating matters is the fact that in truth, Momoko actually faked her death, later killing Hiro and leaving Taiko to die before actually hanging herself, a possibility no one considered.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: In Volume 8, disagreement between Ruby Rose and Yang Xiao Long on what to do splits the group as each side tries to argue their plan is more important than the other. Ruby and Nora Valkyrie want to focus on warning the rest of Remnant about Salem while Yang and Lie Ren want to evacuate the people of Mantle, who need help immediately. Jaune Arc and Oscar Pine don't take either side and instead solve the issue by suggesting that they complete both missions, splitting into two teams to achieve both the separate goals and the shared common goal of trying to save as many lives as possible.

  • In Dinosaur Comics strip 635, T-Rex is asked what God thinks about intelligent design:
    T-Rex: He says — there's some merit to both sides of the issue?
  • In El Goonish Shive, Magus makes the argument that Ellen likely originally identified as male but was unreasonably forced to become and stay a woman. He points out that no one had bothered to find out if Ellen actually enjoys being female or had just convinced herself she is meant to be because there's no other choice. Elliot makes the argument that assuming Ellen actually feels this way despite what she says based on one interpretation of the situation is also wrong and referring to her with male pronouns is disrespectful. Word of God says that Magus' conclusion is wrong but his point isn't.
  • In The Seer, Jeff the Killer is fully prepared to destroy the Scarecrow even after she claims she can explain herself. When Korbyn tries to stop him, he tells her that they can't rule out the possibility that Scarecrow is lying. While Korbyn concedes that he has a point there, she goes on to tell him that they can't just jump to that conclusion without hearing her side of the story first.
  • Sleepless Domain: Kokoro explains that she's living at the student dorms instead of with her dad due to their different views about Kokoro being an active magical girl. Her dad is understandably scared and worried that, on top of the usual risks of being a magical girl, Kokoro generally fights monsters alone, and the death of her ex-magical girl mother in a monster attack still weighs on him. Kokoro acknowledges that her dad's over-protectiveness is completely reasonable, especially given her own issues with the magical girl system, but she still wants to protect the innocent and live up to her mother's legacy. They used to have constant arguments about it, and while both of them understand the other's viewpoint well enough that arguing made them feel guilty, those views are simply too important for either to compromise. The disagreement turned into a huge Elephant in the Living Room that stained an otherwise loving relationship, and Kokoro chose to move away in an attempt to lessen the awkwardness.

    Web Video 
  • Honest Trailers did this with the trailer they made for the divisive Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice:
    Narrator: Get ready for the battle of the century between critics and fans, that had the movie's most rabid supporters sending out death threats, while its harshest critics refused to admit that anything about it was cool, even if you'd be lying if you thought this wasn't awesome (shows Batman's fight in the warehouse) and this wasn't ridiculous.
    Superman: S-save... M-Martha...
  • This is largely how Internet Historian ultimately felt about the drama surrounding the utterly disastrous launch of No Man's Sky. On one hand he feels that fans went way too far in attacking the developers and accusing them of lying or being conmen, that the hype for the game was far too high, and he even defends the lead developer for simply being an introverted poor public speaker rather than one who deliberately lied. On the other hand, he does talk about the things the developers actually were dishonest about, like the demo world being randomly generated (it wasn't) or that it was possible to encounter other players in the world (it wasn't), points out how the game was priced as a full-price AAA release at $60 which set expectations accordingly, and points out that some of the fans' complaints about the game were justified and that the dishonest things they did fuelled a lot of the more extreme accusations about the crew who made the game.
  • The Jubilee Media series Middle Ground involves three people from each of two demographics or identities that fall on either side of a traditional conflict. A series of statements is read out, with all six participants directed to indicate (and discuss) their agreement or disagreement with each statement. Jubilee makes a point of never taking sides.
  • Locomotives of British Railways: Episode 1, "Suburban Struggle", has a conflict arise between Johnny, the Battle Of Britain Class pacific, and Nicholas, the T9 4-4-0, about how they think passenger trains should be run. Johnny believes that trains should be pulled fast, giving the passengers the thrill of speeding down theline to their destination. Nicholas believes in prioritizing getting the train and its passengers to their destination smoothly, safely, and on time. They end up having arguments about who's right, and Rafferty tries to diffuse the situation by saying that both have valid points and could learn from each other. However, neither one is willing to compromise, until they both run into problems born from their own philosophies.
  • The Unlucky Tug discusses this trope twice in More Than a Kids' Show, his series analysing specific episodes of Thomas & Friends. He praises both "Henry's Hero" and "Respect for Gordon" for having conflicts where both parties are right and wrong in their own ways, something that's rare in Thomas. In the former, Hiro is right for persevering on, but Henry is right for being cautious about his health; and in the latter, Gordon is wrong for demanding respect, but the others are wrong for making fun of him.
  • The video channel The Warp Zone parodied this with a courtroom-drama style look into the Broken Base over The Last Jedi. Two Straw Fans—one who hated the film and wants the sequel trilogy removed from the canon so he can do it himself and one who loves the film so much that he praises every aspect of it—each present their case over the film's merits. Unusually for a Straw Character, they both make valid points; The Hater points out the film's flaws (i.e. Snoke being a case of They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character, the questionable logic of Holdo's Heroic Sacrifice and why it wasn't done in the series before) and that The Sycophant is trying to find any excuse to justify such massive cases of Fridge Logic. The Sycophant is quick to retort that the film had many genuinely enjoyable moments (like the Praetorian Guards vs Rey and Kylo Ren, and had a great deal of character development), and The Hater is just disliking the film because it doesn't meet to his standards (notably calling him out for judging The Rise of Skywalker long before it released by pointing out he bought tickets to Solo: A Star Wars Story before it came out). The Judge agrees that both sides do have a point about both the film and one another, so he offers a middle ground; it's okay to like or dislike a movie, but it's not right to like it without admitting it has its flaws, nor is it okay to hate it without admitting it has some enjoyable parts. He then aptly punishes them by stripping them of their fandom and banning them from ever seeing any Star Wars films ever again.


Video Example(s):


Velvette Angers Camilla

Despite being a grown woman who's the head of a business, Velvette behaves like a petty teenager, mocking the other overlords for being "old" and is overall impulsive and reckless. But despite that, she's shown to be a lot smart than she looks as she realizes that Carmilla is hiding something from the other Overlords.

How well does it match the trope?

4.82 (17 votes)

Example of:

Main / PsychopathicManchild

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