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Chew-Out Fake-Out

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Steve Stronghold: [acting furious] William. Theodore. Stronghold. [smiles and hold out arms] Come here!
Will Stronghold: You-you're not mad? note 
Steve Stronghold: Ah, my boy has super strength, how can I be mad?

Junior is in trouble. He tried to pull off the greatest prank he could think of, but it went horribly wrong — mostly because he got caught. Now the principal has suspended him and he has to face his parents.

His dad takes him aside and is giving him a stern look. Junior knows this is it, his chickens have come home to roost, he's going to be grounded until the cows come home, and he won't see daylight again until the hogs catch their 9 am flight to Miami. After an unbearable silence, dad has only one thing to say: He thinks what Junior did was hilarious, and he's pretty proud that he managed to pull it off.

In short, this trope is where a character expects to be dressed down by an authority figure, only to find out the authority figure is pretty impressed. What Junior did was still wrong, of course, but Dad doesn't care so much about that little detail.

If the authority, in this case, is an official one (commanding officer, for example), they'll likely give a reprimand that both parties recognize as a token nod to the rules. If it's a parent, it's almost always the father. If the authority figure is particularly impressed, this may even result in Promotion, Not Punishment.

Compare Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving, Not So Above It All, Saved by the Awesome, and Milholland Relationship Moment. May include Do Wrong, Right if afterward the parent/authority gives the protagonist tips on how to not get caught next time. May include I'll Pretend I Didn't Hear That if the authority is letting the protagonist off with a warning not to do it again, or Berate and Switch if the authority figure pretends to chew out the protagonist at first. May include Unishment if the authority gives out a "punishment" that is actually a reward. Contrast HA HA HA—No.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Metroid: Happens between Samus Aran and General Adam Malkovich. When Samus looks set to go vigilante after hearing her home has been attacked (and is about to be razed by the Galactic Federation to prevent its technology falling into the wrong hands), Da Chief orders her to stay put and let the army handle things. Adam on the other hand steps after Samus, despite having known her for less than a day:
    Adam: So you're letting emotions cloud your judgment and abandoning your duty?
    Samus: Don't try to stop me! I'm going to Zebes.
    Adam: You have 48 hours.
    Samus: ...huh?
    Adam: The army will foray in 48 hours, Federation Time. That is all. (leaves)
  • In My Hero Academia, after All Might defeats All For One, he meets up with Izuku at the beach where he trained Izuku and, after All Might socked him in the face, All Might at first berates about how Izuku always acts recklessly and breaks his body due to it still not fitting completely with his Quirk...but then hugs Izuku, praising him for his careful, thought-out, and courageous plan to rescue Bakugo from the League of Villains, and All Might now that he is retired due to losing his powers devotes himself to train Izuku properly so that he can handle his Quirk properly.

    Comic Books 
  • Robin (1993): Tim Drake, after losing all of his biological family, sets up an actor to pretend to be his fake uncle so that he doesn't have to go into the foster care system. Batman, being Batman, naturally finds out, and Tim assumes he's about to be reamed out for going behind Bruce's back... but all Bruce can say is that he's so proud of Tim for taking the initiative, and gives him some tips on how to make the deception foolproof.
  • In the old Super Mario Bros. comic (in Nintendo Comics System), Bowser and Lemmy Koopa take Toad (dressed as Muk) and the Mushroom King's (dressed as Pipe Ooze) place at a Dirk Drainhead cosplay convention. He was training Lemmy in the ways of being evil and decided to let him "have fun" for a while. Lemmy, being a huge Dirk Drainhead fan, mentions that since they're acting out the story in which Muk pulls a Heel–Face Turn, he has to attack Pipe Ooze. What follows is Lemmy beating the shit out of Bowser. At the end of the story, he asks Bowser if he failed his test, to which Bowser replies that he gets extra points for beating up a family member.
  • In The Smurfs comic book story "The Smurf Menace", Papa Smurf chews out Hefty for picking a fight with the Grey Smurfs after specifically telling his little Smurfs not to use violence against them in any of their dealings. Afterward, though, Papa Smurf smiles, as Hefty's willingness to go against Papa Smurf's orders for the sake of sticking up for his fellow Smurfs has produced the result of the Smurfs being united together again.

    Comic Strips 
  • Bloom County: In one strip, Oliver's father notices that he's hacked the phone company and reduced their phone bill. He threatens Oliver with no glazed beets for dinner for a month.
    Oliver: (thinking) He, of course, knows that beets make me throw up.
    Oliver's Dad: Mess with the electric bill and no beets for two months!

    Fan Works 
  • In Fullmetal Serenity, after Ling tricks Edward into thinking he accidentally got Rose killed, Hughes, Mustang, and Hawkeye lecture him. In the middle of it, Hawkeye trails off and says, "Captain, if you need to laugh then get it over with!", to which Mustang immediately doubles over, cracking up.
  • Our Family, An Ascension: While reminiscing over his daughter, Eido, Mithrax recounts his memory of the time she called the Spider a "wannabe aristocrat with a toddler's understanding of art" to his face. After giving her the proper scolding, Mithrax warned her to never say that in front of him ever again. When they later returned home that night, he rewarded his daughter with a treat and admitted that he thought her insult to the crime lord was the funniest thing he had ever heard.
  • In Chapter 269 of "Shards to a Whole", an NCIS fanfic, after an investigation led by McGee took down a terrorist who would have killed hundreds of innocent people, CIA agent Kort visited Director Vance to protest the handling of the incident, as the terrorist in question was regarded as a valuable "asset". McGee, speaking on behalf of NCIS, told Kort to "Fuck off and die", pointing out that his team accomplished in five days what Kort's team couldn't do in five years. When Kort accused McGee of being "impolitic", Vance laid down his punishment(this chapter takes place in late July):
    "McGee! You and your entire team are being placed on paid leave. Once your reports are filled out, I don't want to see any of you here again until August. For the next week, I want you to go home, rest, relax, and think about the grave severity and dire consequences of saying impolitic things to pretentious assholes who upon being offered cake, ice cream, and cookies, complain about the lack of whipped cream and sprinkles on top and deserve to have their ungrateful asses kicked."
  • Show Some Respect has Beachhead tearing some grassroots campaigners a new one for setting up their booth on top of a memorial for fallen soldiers, in front of a senator. After she complains to General Hawk, Hawk is annoyed... that he'll have to stay up late to complete his paperwork because he has to take Beach out for a steak dinner.
  • The Student Prince: When Merlin asks Kilgharrah for help with reaching Nimueh, he rephrases Merlin's question so that it sounds downright treasonous, before replying, "I should be delighted to oblige you, my dear boy."

    Films — Animated 
  • In The Incredibles, Dash gets in trouble for placing a tack on the teacher's chair. His father is more impressed by the fact that Dash managed to avoid being caught on a hidden camera than upset about the prank.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Sky High (2005), Will Stronghold got into a fight, accidentally trashed the school cafeteria, and used his super-strength powers when he wasn't supposed to. When he gets home, his dad takes him into his lair to seemingly yell at him...only to hug him instead because he's so happy Will's powers have finally developed. His dad tells him to just tell his mom that he chewed him out and punished him by telling him no Xbox for a week. Will points out that he doesn't have which point his dad reveals he's so proud of him for inheriting his super-strength powers that he bought him one.
  • In Catch Me If You Can, young con artist Frank Abagnale gets his start by taking over his French class, including teaching, assigning homework, and having parent-teacher conferences and planning a field trip. While his mother is suitably disappointed with the naughty boy, Frank Senior can only grin and laugh that his boy had the balls to pull it off. (The skill came from Frank's French mother -Frank learned it right along with English.)
  • In Kindergarten Cop, Kimble discovers that one of his students is being beaten by his father, and proceeds to give the man a serious beat-down, in broad daylight, in front of half the school. The principal sternly calls Kimble into her office, then proceeds to laud him for his actions.
    "What did it feel like to hit that son of a bitch?"
  • In a scene cut from Love Actually (but included in the DVD extras), Karen (Emma Thompson) is called to her son's school because his teacher is upset by a theme paper he wrote, in which he described how the world would be different if people's farts were visible. Karen listens attentively to the teacher and principal, and then quietly takes her son into the hallway to talk to him;
    Bernie: Sorry, Mum.
    Karen: I'm sorry too, Bernie. Sorry and ashamed and embarrassed... that I have put you in a school with such total and utter pricks that they don't get a good gag when they see one! I mean, this is high-class comedy. This is first-rate stuff! Look, you're my son and obviously, I have to love you. But right now, I really love you! (Mother and son dissolve into laughter)
  • In A Bridge Too Far, a tough old sergeant (played by James Caan) has just held a surgeon at gunpoint to force him to work on the sergeant's commanding officer. As soon as the surgeon is done, the Sergeant gives him his pistol. The surgeon chews him out slightly, and places him under arrest, for sixty seconds. The surgeon in question had declared the man dead on arrival and refused to waste time on a corpse. In order to convince him otherwise, the sergeant pulled a gun and ordered the surgeon to treat him anyway. After a quick examination, the man was found to be both alive and have a good chance of survival. Until that point, neither the audience nor the sergeant had been given any indication that the officer had been alive at all.
  • In Mission: Impossible III, Ethan has been brought into HQ because his superiors think he's gone rogue ( he's really trying to save his wife, who has been kidnapped by the villain). As he's lying immobilized, his immediate superior begins chastising him (for the benefit of those listening in), while simultaneously mouthing an escape plan, knowing that Ethan can read lips.
  • In Thor, Sif and the Warriors Three are discussing what to do about Loki taking the throne, and they worry that Heimdall might be watching them. He is, and calls them to his post, gravely asking them if they really plan to defy their king's explicit orders, which Sif admits to. Heimdall immediately exclaims, "Good!" and lets them do just that.
  • In The Three Musketeers (2011), during the King's first on-screen meeting with the Three Plus One Musketeers, ostensibly to scold them for dueling in the street and fighting Richelieu's guards, he tells them:
    "Oh, and, yes, before I forget: no more fighting with His Eminence's guards. Or there'll be none of them left."
  • From the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie:
    Merrick: (Dying) You do everything wrong...
    Buffy: I'm sorry, I take it back!
    Merrick: No. Do it wrong. Don't play our game.
  • The Magdalene Sisters has several of the characters working in the convent laundry. As they do, one of the more experienced patients tells them about the one who ran off the previous night under the guise of admonishing them.
  • In Rush Hour, Da Chief calls Carter into his office to chew him out for screwing up a drug sting—before congratulating him for sending a message about how hard-core the police are. In reality, he's buttering Carter up so that he'll accept a humiliating assignment from the FBI.
  • In The Replacements (2000), the titular characters are in jail following a Bar Brawl with the actual team that has gone on strike. When their coach shows up to bail them out, he tells them off, warning them that they'll be fired if this happens again...then tells them, for the record, he wishes he'd been there to see the well-deserved ass-kicking they gave to the other players.
  • Downplayed in Project X. While Thomas is obviously still in trouble for the out-of-control party, with his college fund being used to pay for the damages, he ends up gaining a little more respect from his father who "literally" didn't think he had it in him, and curiously asks how many people were there.
  • The Firm: After taking a legal exam, the hero is called out by the firm's leadership and mocked for thinking that he's the best lawyer around. In reality, he only received the second highest score in the firm's history. He's then heartily congratulated by everyone.
  • Yesterday (2019) was about a struggling musician, Jack Malik, who following a quirky worldwide blackout finds he's the only person on Earth who knows about The Beatles. He becomes a worldwide star as everyone thinks the Beatles songs he's performing are his own. Everyone except a couple who were also knowledgeable about the Beatles. The couple appears ready to ostracize Jack for his charade but they eventually thank him for bringing the music of the Beatles to the amnesiac world.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, the Shredder orders his Foot ninja to follow April O'Neil so that she can lead them to the Turtles. When April reports on the site of a toxic waste dump, a Foot discovers a patch of gigantic, clearly by mutation, dandelions. He takes one back to the Shredder, who is inspired to make his own mutants.
    Shredder: This is not the reason I sent you to follow her.
    Foot: I know, Master. But I thought-
    Shredder: Silence! This is even better.

  • The Abandon Trilogy: Mr. Smith wants to talk to Pierce about finding her necklace at the site of apparently graveyard vandalism, which was due to John kicking the gates off their hinges. She prepares to bribe him, expecting him to accuse her of being responsible for the gate, but instead he asks "How long have you known John?"
  • At the end of A Christmas Carol, Bob Cratchit is 18 minutes late to work on Boxing Day. Scrooge, whose reformation appears to have given him a fondness for practical jokes, pretends to be absolutely outraged by this, before announcing that he's raising Bob's salary. Bob's immediate (and perhaps understandable) reaction is to think his employer has gone mad and wonder if he should summon someone with a straitjacket.
  • Discworld
    • At the end of Feet of Clay, the Patrician summons Commander Vimes to his office. He notes that in the course of investigating an attempt to poison Vetinari, Vimes has managed to infuriate all the important figures in the city, and therefore he clearly has no choice but to increase the man's wages.
    • Vimes himself does it to Moist von Lipwig in Raising Steam, much to the Boxed Crook's surprise, since Vimes understandably has never liked him much. After explaining why it was totally inappropriate for Moist to attempt to capture a terrorist by himself, Vimes gives him an "official reprimand" ("Don't do it again!") and shakes him by the hand.
  • From Harry Potter:
    • First happened in The Philosopher's Stone when Harry decided to get on a broom to chase after Malfoy, despite Madam Hooch explicitly telling them not to. Professor McGonagall arrived, hauled him inside, and put him on the Quidditch team.
    • In Chamber of Secrets, when Harry arrives at the Weasleys', Molly is scornful of how he got there (her sons stole their Flying Car), but all Arthur could ask was "Did it go alright?", which Molly is further infuriated by.
    • Later on, there's this scene (the dialogue being from the film):
    Dumbledore: You both realize, of course, that in the past few hours you have broken perhaps a dozen school rules.
    Harry, Ron: Yes, sir.
    Dumbledore: And that there is sufficient evidence to have you both expelled.
    Harry, Ron: Yes, sir.
    Dumbledore: Therefore, it is only fitting that you both receive [pause] special awards for services to the school.
    • In Order of the Phoenix, Harry has a loud argument with Umbridge over the circumstances of Cedric Diggory's death and calls her a liar to her face, which naturally results in him getting punished. When McGonagall hears of this, she looks like she's about to chew him out for being rude to a teacher... only to offer him a biscuit and give him some advice over dealing with crooked authorities like Umbridge.
  • At the end of the fourth Hive Mind (2016) book, after an Are You Sure You Want to Do That? moment between Adika and his deputy Rothan where (due to regulations) Rothan must take command, ordering Adika to step down and threatening to stun him if he doesn't comply. Several days later, Adika gathers everyone together, making Rothan think that he's getting demoted, and tells them that Rothan did exactly the right thing, congratulating him for both being willing to step up and for successfully handling the crisis.
  • At the end of the third John Carter of Mars novel, Carter, after having rescued the royal family of Helium, reunited with his wife the Princess of Helium and exposed the fraud of Barsoom's religion, is called to trial by Helium, apparently for the crime of blasphemy against said fraudulent religion (for which the penalty is death). Only when the verdict is rendered does he find out the real purpose: the princes unanimously declare him Jeddak of Jeddaks, Warlord of Mars (which is, in fact, the the title of the novel.)
  • In the Lord Peter Wimsey short story "Talboys", Peter's eldest son catches a snake and Peter is expected to tell him off, but as soon as the two are alone, he not only tells his son that he thinks it's actually pretty cool but conspires with him to use it to prank an unpleasant guest.
  • In Nicholas Nickleby, John Browdie appears that he's going to beat the crap out of Nicholas for attacking Wackford Squeers and rescuing Smike. Instead, he congratulates him for a job well done.
  • Played with and subverted in the first Song of the Lioness book. Alanna is continually getting in trouble for fighting thanks to Jerk Jock Ralon's brutal bullying. She has to claim she "fell down" in order to keep her honor, and Duke Gareth is forced to follow the rules and punish her. At one point, after Ralon breaks her arm, the Duke ends one of his lectures with "I wish you would thrash him. He deserves it."
    • Finally, when Alanna turns things around on Ralon by beating the snot out of him, he does go through with the impressive lecture and punishment, but she can tell that he's actually impressed with her.
  • In Strata, Kin Arad does in fact sentence the perpetrators of a nuclear-disarmament-protesting plesiosaur to a punishment. But it's a remarkably lenient one, and after switching off the tape she all but openly congratulates them and tells them of her own even more spectacular act of rebellion. It turns out that everyone does something of the sort, and if they do it well enough they're more likely to be promoted than fired.
  • In the X-Wing Series novel Wraith Squadron, Kell Tainer and Runt Ekwesh of the eponymous fighter group pull off a spectacular misdirection ploy, bluffing the Imperial Star Destroyer Implacable into thinking they're the Millennium Falcon. Implacable chases after them, missing out on a major battle where it would have been devastating to the defenders. However, they also break several New Republic protocols (mostly by taunting the Imperials on a clear channel) in the aftermath while they're all high on adrenaline. Their commander, Wedge Antilles, calls them out on it, says he's considering putting them on report despite their heroism, and then concludes that, as a means of reward and punishment, he's simply going to give them medals... pinned directly to their heads. The whole incident quickly goes away as it becomes evident that the Wraiths are simply like that.

    Live Action Television 
  • In Episode 3 of Chernobyl, Shcherbina is exasperated by Legasov's constant complaints that their superiors aren't taking the evacuation as seriously as they should. When Legasov starts mouthing off to Gorbachev, Shcherbina insists that they take a walk. Legasov thinks he is about to get a dressing down, but instead, Shcherbina quietly asks him for more information on radiation sickness, then points out that they have KGB agents following them. Shcherbina actually agrees with Legasov that they need to amp up the evacuations, but he knows they have to be careful what they say.
    • Late in the same episode, after Khomyuk is arrested, Legasov goes straight to the head of the KGB and all but demands that Khomyuk be released. The KGB head agrees, bemused. Legasov turns to Shcherbina, expecting to get told off for his insolence, but instead, Shcherbina shrugs and says, "That went surprisingly well. He thinks you're a naive idiot, and naive idiots are not a threat."
  • Matthews has a word with Deborah in Dexter after she says the f-word during a press conference about a serial killer. Expecting Matthews to read her the riot act, Deborah is surprised when instead he tells her that she's already proven her worthiness; that kind of bluntness is exactly why he gave her the job, and in this case, it has caused the phone to ring off the hook with tips.
  • Malcolm in the Middle:
    • When Hal goes to visit Francis's military school, he's at first appalled that all Francis is doing is goofing off, playing pranks, and getting into all manner of trouble. But when he learns that Francis is doing it to Stick It To Commandant Spengler, who is unnecessarily cruel, Hal is all sorts of proud of his son.
    • Hal tries to do this on Lois' birthday when he learns that the boys (like himself) forgot about it. While in their room, he yells disapprovals to them while whispering about how he needs their help. Unfortunately, when Malcolm speaks, he gets mixed up, and:
      Hal: (whispering) Sorry isn't going to help yourself, mister! (shouting) I forgot your mother's birthday! (cue Oh, Crap! face)
    • After Hal's family treats Lois horribly at the family reunion, her sons respond by wrecking the party with a golf cart. On the way home, Hal is delivering a very un-sincere scolding to them.
      Hal: The next time you drive a golf cart over a catered luncheon and into a swimming pool... there will be consequences.
  • In the children's sitcom Out Of Tune, the Vicar discovered his niece Midge had been modifying the buttons on Tony's suit to make him think he was getting fatter or thinner throughout the episode.
    Midge: Are you angry...?
    Vicar: Angry? I'm furious... furious I didn't think of it first!
  • How I Met Your Mother has a version of this, spousal instead of parental. Marshall loudly rebukes Lily for forgoing her morals for cash (accepting money to paint a nude picture of Barney). In between his chastisements, he whispers to her that he's actually glad she found a way to get so much cash and is criticizing her as loud as possible so that Barney, in the next room, will come back in and offer even more money.
  • In Scrubs:
    • Dr. Kelso delivers a lecture during which he mentions a recent case in which Dr. Reid gave a patient a course of treatment that resulted in his death. He then gives her kudos for having the balls to act instead of equivocating over the best course of action, during which time the patient likely would have died anyway.
    • J.D. had to diagnose and treat a patient but was unable to figure out the diagnosis. During rounds, Dr. Kelso asked J.D. what treatment plan he chose, and J.D. painfully admits that he didn't do anything. He braces himself to be chewed out, but instead, Kelso compliments him and explains that the patient's symptoms were likely caused by being injected with too many medicines in too short of time and the proper treatment would be to stop the medication for a day or two.
    • An intern made a mistake and was getting chewed out by Dr. Kelso. J.D. and Elliot approached and started chewing the intern out too, before shooing Kelso away and saying that they got the intern's punishment handled. Once Kelso was out of earshot, J.D. and Elliot then reassure the traumatized intern that she's doing just fine.
  • In Babylon 5, Sheridan chewing Ivanova out for threatening to airlock a reporter - and not specifying that he would be stripped naked first. After all, one shouldn't waste perfectly good clothing in the middle of a rebellion.
  • Happens in Home Improvement when the kids get revenge on a bully by gluing his butt crack closed. Tim, the father, is impressed and makes only a token effort to tell them they were wrong, and that's only after his wife gets mad.
  • The Big Bang Theory had a complicated episode where Penny's dad Wyatt came to visit and she asked Leonard to pretend they got back together because he was the only guy she's ever dated who he approved of. When she finally tells him the truth, he sits the two of them down and chews them out for lying to him. As soon as she's out of the room, he begs Leonard not to give up on her, then continues to fake a rebuke so that Penny can hear.
  • Typically happened once an episode in McCloud.
  • In Battlestar Galactica, Starbuck tells Seelix, then a deckhand, that she's been accepted for fighter pilot training by turning up on deck first thing in the morning and pretending to chew her out for not getting to the training session on time.
  • In Series 2 of Downton Abbey: Mrs. Patmore, Mrs. Bird, and Molesly are caught skimming food from the main house to feed wounded and homeless vets out of Mrs. Crawley's kitchen by O'Brien; she brings Cora to the house in order to tear into them. Instead, she gets mad that they were taking food provided to the house by the military for fear Downton would be accused of mismanagement of the wounded vets they were taking care of. She promptly grabs a ladle and joins in dispensing food.
  • L.A. Law. A subplot of the episode "Beef Jerky" had Grace prosecuting the theft of bull semen (long story). The testimony gets more and more lurid until the apparently incensed judge demands that Grace and the defense attorney join him in his chambers...only for all three of them to dissolve into hysterics the minute the door is closed.
    • In another episode, the junior-most attorney has just made mincemeat of a routine deposition — in a way that is ultimately beneficial to the firm, but definitely unethical bordering on illegal. An associate is delegated to tell him off and takes him aside for the lecture: "You bad, bad boy. Don't you ever let us catch you doing that again."
  • In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Survival Instinct", Tom and Harry are in Janeway's ready room after getting into a Bar Brawl on an alien Space Station. She calmly chews them both out for getting into the fight but congratulates them for winning the game that started it all.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • The first meeting between Klingon Dahar Master Kor and Worf (who has recently been exiled from Qo'noS for the second time) goes like this:
      Kor: Ah, Worf, the traitor, the pariah, the lowest of the's a pleasure to meet you. Any enemy of Gowron and the High Council is a friend of mine.
    • Kira's cowboy stunt in rescuing Li Nalas from the Cardassians gets her a stern reprimand from Minister Jaro, who says she'll be out of a job if it ever happens again. He also adds that, as a private citizen, he is thankful for what she did.
    • Sisko has done this a few times. In "Captive Pursuit", he berates O'Brien for helping Tosk escape his captors. Unlike many instances of this trope, Sisko was genuinely angry that O'Brien had disobeyed orders and gone outside his authority. But he also tacitly agrees that O'Brien's solution had the best outcome for everyone (even the captors had been disappointed at the hunt being over).
    • And then Sisko is on the receiving end of this in the episode "The Die is Cast" as Admiral Toddmann tells him that if Sisko ever disobeys him again Toddmann will either court martial Sisko or promote him. He concludes by saying that either way Sisko would be in a lot of trouble.
    • A few years later, when Worf abandons an important exfiltration mission to save a critically wounded Dax. Sisko angrily tells Worf that he's failed in his duty, put lives at risk, and permanently damaged his own career. But then he softens and admits that he'd have done the same thing in Worf's position.
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Final Mission", Picard calls Wesley to the bridge and it takes him a few minutes to arrive. Picard sternly reprimands Wesley for his tardiness before slipping in he's been accepted into Starfleet Academy. It takes Wesley a few seconds to realize what Picard said with the captain quickly dropping his facade.
  • Law & Order. Lt. Van Buren begins smoking marijuana to deal with nausea from her chemotherapy (she has cervical cancer). Someone at the station notices the scent and reports her. Suddenly, the head of the precinct arrives at the station and pulls her into her office to blast her. . . for letting people notice the smell. He then proceeds to provide her with the contact info of a dealer and advice on hiding the aroma. note 
  • Billions: In the first season, after "Dollar" Bill just barely squeezes out of an insider-trading charge, he arrives back at Axe Capital triumphantly, only for Axe himself to curtly summon him into his office and yell at him to shut the door. Bill is expecting to be chewed up for something, but Axe tells him to pretend to argue with him while he expresses how proud and happy he is for Bill. Axe just wants everyone to think that he and Bill are on the outs.
  • Horatio Hornblower: Captain Pellew is magnificent when he fake-chews out Hornblower. He starts dressing him down, reprimanding him for breaking rules or not following his orders, and then says how excellently executed Hornblower's action was. Sometimes it's followed by handing him a promotion.
  • In the season 6 finale of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Jake forms a "suicide squad" consisting of Madeline Wuntch, CJ, and The Vulture in order to take down Commissioner Kelly. The problem is Holt doesn't trust Wuntch not to betray them, so Jake has her pretend to do so and leaves Holt out of the loop. When it all goes as planned, Jake explains from an interrogation room why he thought it was necessary to make Holt look like a fool. Unable to see Holt, he can only imagine his reaction.
    Jake: (to Wuntch) Did he storm out?
    Holt: I stormed tell you it was a great plan! Nice work, Peralta.
  • In Sons of Anarchy, Jax tersely calls Rat into the club's meeting room where everyone else sits silently. He angrily orders Rat to cut the "prospect" badge off his jacket. When Rat is done, Chibs hands him a full member patch and tells him to put that one on.
  • In an episode of NCIS, a store owner is seen berating a homeless man for stealing food, yelling at him, "If I catch you again, I'm going to have you arrested!", as he throws him out. . . and hands him the food, saying, "So don't let me catch you." Gibbs and Hollis Mann notice this and he explains that he's just trying to give the guy a break.
  • Subverted in the Strike Back season Vendetta when Col. Coltrane blasts his subordinate for defying orders. Rather than punishing him, he decides to recommend him for a promotion, since "You obviously have your own ideas about how this team should be run", but he still makes it clear that he will be severely reprimanded should he do it again.
  • An epic case in Vikings. King Ecbert from the English kingdom of Wessex has formed an alliance with the Norse led by Ragnar, and gives them land to farm and settle on in England. However, Ecbert's son Aethelwolf and many of the nobles loudly grumble about the idea of just letting the practicing pagans live among them. Then behind Ecbert's back Aethelwolf and these unhappy nobles lead a force that utterly wipes out the Norse settlement. Ecbert furiously denounces them all and arrests the nobles for treason and promises Aethelwolf that he won't escape punishment either. The king and the prince take their argument behind closed doors with only the two of them present... and immediately start celebrating how well their scheme to eliminate the Norse and the disobedient nobles went.
  • During the course of the M*A*S*H episode "Peace on Us", Hawkeye managed through a Bavarian Fire Drill to get into the peace talks at Panmunjeom, then badly stalled. He gave an epic What the Hell, Hero? speech to all assembled, and helped a general with his gastritis, then having said his piece, went back to the 4077th. Upon his return, he is met by a major sent by the general he assisted, who was instructed to give Hawkeye two messages: 1) Officially, if he ever comes within sight of the peace talks again, he'd be liable to arrest; 2) Unofficially, the general wishes he was a crazy doctor so he could do something so brave and awesome and get away with it. And could Hawkeye give him some more detailed dietary directions to get him through his gastritis?

  • "The Cap'n" by They Might Be Giants features the following lyric:
    Did you say
    What I think you just said
    My hat looks good on me?
    I agree, I agree!

  • In Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol the Record Keeper pretends to rail into Marley and the Bogle before congratulating them on their success.
  • An American in Paris: Henri Baurel had kept his desires to be a singer from his parents whom he believed would not approve. When they show up unexpectedly at his performance of "Stairway to Paradise", his mother is initially upset. Then his father approaches him with a stern expression.
    Mr. Baurel: Who would have thought that my own son was capable of this? That was simply...REMARKABLE, MY BOY!

    Video Games 
  • Assassin's Creed 2 has this gem around twenty minutes into the game, shortly after Ezio Auditore has a gang battle and a night of passion with his girlfriend. Ezio returns to his home, seeing his father at the door, expecting the worst when...
    Giovanni Auditore: This behaviour is unacceptable... it... it... *laughs* it reminds me of myself when I was your age!
  • In City of Villains, a high-level story arc has you helping aspiring Mad Scientist Vernon Von Grun. After one mission where his creations ran amok in an Arachnos lab, Arbiter Daos asks to speak to both of you.
    Arbiter Daos: We've been watching you help out Vernon von Grun, Character. In fact, we've had our eye on him for a while now. Von Grun is a genius, alright. He's also reckless, immoral, obsessed, and likely a danger to everyone around him. In other words, a perfect mad scientist candidate. We've been wondering when he'd finally make his big break, and it looks like what he needed was some professional help. A pro-level villain, I mean. Like you.
  • Caesar in Fallout: New Vegas does a version of this if you have low reputation before you're given the Mark of Caesar. You're read a List of Transgressions and then comments that he's just messing with you before giving his list of things he's impressed with you doing.
  • In Wing Commander III, Eisen pulls Blair aside just before he's to have a simulator duel against visiting test pilot "Flash" as part of a challenge, after Flash ignores a scramble call and stays in bed while everyone else is out defending their carrier. It looks like Eisen is about to chew Blair out for acting rashly in issuing the challenge, but instead, he offers some advice: "Kick the little twerp's ass."
  • In Pokémon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon, after defeating all the Trainers at the Trainer's School, the principal calls you to her office… to congratulate you and challenge you herself.
  • Them's Fightin' Herds: Pom the sheep doesn't really want to fight, so her companion dogs do most of the fighting against her will. One of her victory poses has her scolding them.
    Pom: Bad puppies! (Whispers) Good puppies!

  • In DOUBLE K, Kamina tells Kittan the story of a drug bust he handled, and he honestly expects the goody-two-shoes Kittan to berate him over it. Kittan instead proclaims, tears in his eyes, that it's the greatest story he's ever heard, and reveals that he's just as crazy as Kamina and that his by-the-book image was just a fake-out so he could transfer to another department.
  • In this Maximumble strip, a father berates his son for dressing as Batgirl... because the skirt clashes with the Bat-symbol and his shoes are impractical.
  • Happens in Gunnerkrigg Court here and again here. (Note that the teacher doing the fake-out in the first is the student in the second.)

    Web Original 
  • Used on This Very Wiki for the Subverted Trope example on PlayingWith.Punished For Sympathy.
    General Sam: (sternly) Private Roberts, do you mean to tell me you spared his life?
    Bob: Yes sir. (braces for chewing-out)
    General Sam: Mercy is the mark of a great man, son. Well done.
  • The third season of Red vs. Blue has a moment where Simmons manages to rescue Sarge and Caboose from a skirmish between Red and Blue zealots.
    Sarge: Simmons, you get an "F" in efficiency. But I have to give you an "A+" in dramatic timing.
    Simmons: Thank you, sir. I've always felt that presentation is what matters most.
  • Campfire Stories: Acknowledged by Zach in one of his many stories about life in the Army where his sergeants played a 'game' with a rubber stress ball shaped like a grenade. Soldiers who heard a sergeant yell 'frag out' were expected to fall on the fake grenade if they were nearest to it. Except that one time, when Zach was nearest to the door when a sergeant threw the fake grenade, he simply kicked it back outside... prompting a sergeant to yell "WHO DID THAT?" Zach confessed and was told to get into the sergeant's office, where he expected to be punished with a presumably absurdly large number of push-ups while being yelled at. Instead, the sergeant immediately went back into a normal tone of voice and acknowledged that, in a combat situation, Zach's choice was technically the most correct choice, but the purpose of the grenade drill was mostly to encourage compliance with prior instructions and being willing to take one for the team. Zach was let off with little more than a warning, though the sergeant said that he was going to yell Zach out of his office in order to keep up the charade of being a Drill Sergeant Nasty.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: A variation appears in "The Serpent's Pass" when Sokka, after declaring "We scammed that old lady good!" is stopped by a female security guard, who turns out to be Suki without her Kyoshi make-up.
    Suki: Tickets and passports please!
    Sokka: Is there a problem?
    Suki: Yeah, I got a problem with you! I've seen your type before. Probably sarcastic, think you're hilarious and let me guess, you're traveling with the Avatar.
    Sokka: Do I know you?
    Suki: You mean you don't remember? Maybe you'll remember this! [Kisses Sokka on the cheek.]
    Sokka: Suki! [Embraces her.]
    Suki: Sokka, it's good to see you!
  • In the Danny Phantom episode "13", Danny intentionally lets himself get caught spying on Jazz and Johnny. When his parents find out, they initially seem angry... But then quietly congratulate and thank him for doing so, before yelling in earshot of Jazz not to do it again, and then quietly tell him to do it again.
  • Occurs in Generator Rex, when the protagonist's pseudo-father-figure acknowledges that Providence may have denied him just a bit too much normality in his life.
    Agent Six: Sneaking off to spring break was foolish and irresponsible and... completely normal for someone your age.
  • Happens in the Extreme Ghostbusters episode "Grundelesque". Kylie is nearly-despondent about disobeying Egon, but he tells her that she did the right thing and that he was working from a contaminated sample.
  • In the American Dad! episode "Francine's Flashback", when Hayley confronts Jeff over taking her amnesiac mother to Burning Man.
    Hayley: Let Me Get This Straight.... You ran off with my memory-erased mother to a pagan festival, just to get my attention?
    Jeff: Yeah. Did it work?
    Hayley: DID IT EVER! (cue makeout)
  • During a sketch on Robot Chicken, Kid Flash uses his super speed to super speed strip Wonder Woman in front of a crowd. The Flash takes it from there.
    Flash: I am very disappointed in you, boy.
    Looks around
    Flash: Super speed high five!
    High five
  • In an episode of Dexter's Laboratory, Dexter tries to keep himself clean by laminating himself. Unfortunately, he slips and slides all over the room and breaks everything. At first, it seems his mother's going to yell at him for making such a mess, but she's really happy he's finally clean.
  • In the Adventure Time episode "Love Games", Elder Plops seems about to humiliate Slime Princess's sister Blargetha after her atrocious song.
    Elder Plops: As Elder Plops, I've heard many songs in my life, and I can only say this: Finn, you win this one.
  • Occurs in a Teen Titans episode when Cyborg catches Beast Boy and Starfire dressing up as Robin.
    Cyborg: I can't believe you two would just barge into Robin's room when he's gone, dress up in his uniform, and pretend to be Robin...
    Beast Boy and Starfire: Well...
    Cyborg: WITHOUT ME!
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends
    • In the episode "Partying is Such Sweet Soiree", Madame Foster warned Mr. Heriman of not having any wild parties while she was away. Bloo overheard this and organized a big party with the help of other imaginary friends. Herriman failed to stop them, and Madame Foster found out when she came back to the mansion during the party. She was apparently going to scold Herriman for this...until it's shown that she was disappointed because she wanted to join the party (which she did).
    • In the episode "Bloo Tube", Bloo spends most of the episode pissing and moaning about not getting to go to a water park because of a rainy day and choosing to sulk instead of joining in the activities Mac, Wilt, Eduardo, and Coco do to pass the time. When Bloo tries to ruin their fun in making viral videos by informing Frankie that they are using her camera without her permission, it looks like Frankie is going to get mad, but she instead gives Mac, Coco, Wilt, and Eduardo her approval and decides that everyone in Foster's should make a game out of who can make the most popular viral video.
  • In the Biker Mice from Mars episode "Once Upon a Time on Mars", Carbine at first appears to be chewing Rimfire out for disobeying direct orders, but then approvingly tells him that his actions prove he has the makings of a real freedom fighter.
  • The Gravity Falls episode "Not What He Seems" begins with Dipper and Mabel coming across some illegal fireworks and intending to shoot them from the Mystery Shack's roof. Grunkle Stan catches them and tells them that they won't be firing any of the illegal fireworks...without him!
  • Happened on Pinky and the Brain in the episode "Das Mouse", when Jack Maguire appears to reprimand a man for cheering the destruction of Pinky and the Brain's submarine.
    Jack Maguire: I never find joy in the demise of another man's demise... (smiles) Usually!
  • In the Bob's Burgers episode "The Kids Run the Restaurant", Mr. Fischoeder discovers that the Belcher kids have turned Bob's Burgers into a kid-themed underground casino in their dad's absence. Fischoeder is ready to tell the kids that they're in very big trouble...because he plans to spend his own money on one of their games.
  • In the Batman Beyond, two-parter episode "The Call", Terry disobeyed direct orders from Warhawk, who had been giving him a hard time thus far. Warhawk seemed like he was going to scold him for this...but instead congratulated him, because disobeying those orders is what saved him.
  • In the Buzz Lightyear of Star Command episode "Root of Evil", a flashback to Booster's childhood shows him playing Space Rangers with his friend Buster in the irrigation tunnels. Booster's dad catches them and says "What did I tell you about playing Space Rangers in the irrigation tunnels...without me?"
  • This trope occurs in Total Drama at the end of the hunting challenge:
    Chris: Tsk, tsk, tsk... stealing from Chef. Eating chips in the woods. Being mauled by bears. Do you know what I see here? I see a very undisciplined group. I see a disgraceful mess. I see a massive waste of paint product. And, I have to say... that. Was. AWESOME! When you guys opened fire on your own team... wicked TV, guys.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog: In "Curtain of Cruelty", one of the people affected by Floyd's Cruelty Curtain, a device that causes people to become mean and cruel, is a guy in a suit who at first appears to reprimand Eustace for stealing wheels from a baby carriage to replace the ones missing from his car. The man instead commends Eustace for stooping to such a low and rallies everyone else into making Eustace their new mayor.
  • Dan Vs.: In "The Boss", the titular Dan has to get a temp job to gain money for his rent. He constantly slacks off and procrastinates as much as he can, until his boss tells him to actually do his work. So, he tries to start by negotiating with a customer on paying for a magazine subscription. When said customer refuses, Dan snaps and threatens him with physical violence if he doesn't pay, much to the utter shock of the other clients in the room. His boss heard it all and brought him to her office, and Dan is sure that he is finally fired. But he is quite surprised to hear her actually congratulate him for this because she was impressed with the way he scares customers into paying. So, she gives him his own room on the first day in which he can work in, which involves yelling at customers via telephone.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003): "Playtime's Over" has Starlee reprimanding Cody for leaving her behind at the mall to clear the Turtles' name, only to cheer for him at the next second, revealing that she saw him fight the Street Phantoms using Turtle X.
  • Pound Puppies (2010): In "Hail to the Chief", the President of the United States has the Pound Puppies brought to his office, where he appears to be giving them a dressing down for intruding the White House and disrupting his speech before he then commends the Pound Puppies for matching Chief with his daughters and gives general praise for their mission to help dogs find loving owners.
  • Mickey Mouse (2013): In "Roll 'em", Mickey and Minnie have to retrieve a roll of film out of fear that causing the film to roll out of the camera will get them fired. After finally restoring the film to the camera, they worry that their efforts weren't enough to solve the disaster and that the director will eventually have their hides for messing up the film, so they try to leave in a taxi. Sure enough, the director does notice the film being changed because it features scenes of Mickey and Minnie's effort to retrieve the film, but when he catches the two and looks like he's going to give them a dressing down before giving them the boot, he instead happily thanks them for improving the film and offers to make them stars.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks:
    • In "Envoys", Rutherford switches between the ship's four main departments in quick succession. Whoever he broaches the subject of changing career tracks, his superior seems to be on the verge of yelling at him. Instead, they wish him well on his new job.
    • In "Reflections", Boimler goes on a rampage after spending the whole day getting heckled by civilians at a job fair. He's thrown in the brig for a night since he disobeyed a direct order to not leave his booth, but Ranson tells him that he's proud of him for sticking up for Starfleet and says that he wants to hear all about it over drinks when he gets out.
  • The Venture Brothers: In "Mid-Life Chrysalis", Brock undergoes a Heroic BSoD when he learns that his (literal) license to kill has expired, and has to be pushed into preparing for the renewal exam. The results are in his typical fashion, but that just ultimately ensures he passes:
    Instructor: Well, let's see here Mr. Samson, on the driving portion, you totaled every car but the one you were driving, on the pistol range you refused to use a gun, and oh, *laughs* yeah, here's my favorite, on the written you drew a little guy with wings from the Led Zeppelin records.
    Brock: Icarus. So, uh, what are you trying to tell me here, little man, that you don't you like Zepp?
    The instructor stands up and tears the papers in half
    Instructor: ...My father is General Treister. You saved his life. The man spoke of you as a god... and you did not disappoint.
    Brock: Oh yeah, I used to babysit you.

    Real Life 


Video Example(s):


Wally Strips Diana

While Wonder Woman is in the middle of a speech on the sidekicks' potential, Kid Flash uses his super speed to take her clothes off.<br><br>The Flash tells his sidekick he's disappointed in his actions, but uses super speed to secretly give Wally West a high five for what he did.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / PowerPerversionPotential

Media sources: