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Discriminate and Switch

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Malory: Why, because I don't want my son to end up with a woman like Lana Kane? My God, a black [swallows some pills] ops field agent?
Pam: Totally thought she was going in a whoooooole other direction with that.

A form of Bait-and-Switch comedy that teases with prejudice and discrimination, where one party looks like they're about to discriminate against someone for one reason, a reason that would be appallingly un-PC (race, gender, possibly leading to a Gender Scoff, religion, etc), but in reality ... it's because they like avocado ice cream. (What? Don't judge it 'till you try it!)

If the accuser has some kind of unsavory character trait, expect the accused to reply with, "I don't hate you because you're [minority status], I hate you because you're [perfectly legit reason to dislike them]."

Writers can play with this by switching the second reason. The character seems to be discriminated against for an unacceptable and bigoted reason, and then it turns out that they're being discriminated against for a completely different, equally unacceptable, bigoted reason.

Not to be confused with Pretend Prejudice. Also not to be confused with Persecution Flip. Compare Mistaken for Racist, Stereotype Reaction Gag. Also invokes Good Flaws, Bad Flaws: the snubber is still a jerk, but at least for a "good" reason.


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  • This GEICO commercial has the mobile-app pig assuming he's pulled over because he's... well, a pig.
    Officer: You know why I pulled you over today?
    Maxwell: Because I'm a pig driving a convertible?
    Officer: [annoyed at the insinuation] Tail light's out. Fix it.
  • In this commercial for the Tide To Go stain-removal pen, a gay male couple are about to head inside a church to get married when a stern, official-looking woman (a parody of Kim Davis) halts them at the door and refuses to let them "blemish the sanctity of marriage." Just as the grooms get up in arms, she reaches into her purse and takes out the Tide pen to clean away a large stain on the ginger groom's shirt, then she straightens the other groom's bow tie. With no more objections, she gives the men her blessing and walks off.
    Ginger Groom: [to his partner, mildly embarrassed] Why didn't you spot it?

    Film Animated 
  • Sausage Party: When Sammy and Lavash return to their aisles, they are scolded by Gefilte Fish and Baba Ghanoush respectively for traveling back together—because they're racist, not homophobic.

  • Inverted Trope for this one:
    A: Why can't Helen Keller drive?
    B: Because she's blind?
    A: No, because she's a woman.note 
  • A similar joke replaces Helen Keller with Stevie Wonder, the punchline being "because he's black".
  • Q: What's black and useless? A: Decaffeinated coffee
    • Q: What do you call a black man flying a plane? A: The pilot, you racist bastard!
  • A man walks into the bar and says, "Lawyers are assholes!". Another man, who has been sitting at the bar says, "Hey, shut up!" (or "Excuse me, sir, I take offense to that!") So the first man asks, "Why, are you a lawyer?" "No," says the other. "I'm an asshole."
  • A t-shirt: "POLYAMORY IS WRONG! It is either Multiamory or Polyphilia but mixing Greek and Latin roots? Wrong!"
  • An Irish girl comes home after not visiting for 5 years.
    Father: Where have you been all this time? You haven't even called or written a letter!
    Daughter: Dad...I became a prostitute.
    Father: You what?!? Get out of here! You're a disgrace to this Catholic family!
    Daughter: Okay, Dad. I only came back to give Mom this expensive fur coat, deed to a ten bedroom mansion, and you a brand new Mercedes and a membership to the country club.
    Father: ...What did you say you became?
    Daughter: A prostitute.
    Father: Oh thank god! I thought you said a Protestant! Come here and give your dad a hug!

  • One Political Cartoon had Ronald Reagan tell Michael Jackson "I've done a lot for your people". When Michael diplomatically asks "my people?", Reagan says "yeah — millionaires".
  • Amidst the Grand Theft Auto controversy of the 2000's, when Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was released in 2004, MAD ran an article listing all the ways hero CJ can be a role-model. One of them was, "When he visits the city based on San Francisco and shoots up a gay wedding, he explains to his sister Kendl, 'I'm not shooting them because they're gay, I'm shooting them because they're white!'"

    Professional Wrestling 

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Brazilian comedian Danilo Gentili, in a number about a new law in São Paulo that didn't allow the use of cell phones on libraries, imitated a person in the library reporting a violation... by calling from the cell phone.
    There's someone using a cell phone in here. [Pause] Black. [Pause] No, the cell's black, dude's white.
  • Tim Minchin would like to share some thoughts on prejudice. Also used by Minchin in his song Cont.
  • In a standup routine, Dave Chappelle was talking about an incident where he was confronted by the KKK.
    I mean, I was shocked. It's the 21st century. (Beat) Are there people still afraid of ghosts?
    • In another bit he told a story about going to a restaurant.
      I go to a restaurant to order some food, and I said to the guy, "I would like to have..." and before I could finish my sentence he said, "The chicken!" I could not believe it. (Beat) This man was absolutely right, how did he know I was gonna get some chicken?!
  • Similarly, Rene Hicks related a story where she saw a racist sign at a shop in the Deep South.
    Hicks: Well that didn't stop me because I don't answer to that! I walked up in there all the way to the counter and I said "Hey, you see that sign out there? Well, the word 'Nigger' is... spelled with TWO G's, you stupid-ass!"
  • Comedian Brendon Burns provided the former page quote, talking about how gay men, in general, have a lot more money than lesbians do... because gay men don't have girlfriends.
    "At first it appeared like I was going to be homophobic. Turns out I was being sexist!"

  • A weird example in the first Only an Excuse? live show, parodying sectarianism in Scottish football. Two supporters are in the stands waiting for the teams to come out, and when they do, one supporter lets fly with a torrent of anti-Catholic abuse. The other then does likewise with anti-Protestant abuse. Then the first one says "Right, that's our team dealt with, now for the opposition!"

    Web Original 
  • This trope is the basis for the successful black man meme.
  • 4chan loves this trope.
  • A skit from asdfmovie 12:
    Boy: Dad, I'm gay!
    Dad: I have no son!
    Boy: (gasp) This isn't my house!
  • Battlefield Friends has this in an episode titled Recon C4 which takes place in Battlefield 4, where the Noob (who typically plays Support) is accusing Recon of stealing his "JeepStuff" The C4 explosives that Support used to have in Battlefield 3 before it was moved to Recon, Which is something he expected the black Assault/Medic to do...
    Medic: [Indignantly, overhearing this on the squad's radio] The fuck is that supposed to mean?
    Noob: You do know what that means!
    Medic: No I don't know what that means!
    Noob: Because you're always stealing kills with your overpowered Rifles!
    Medic: [Beat] ...oh, oh I thought you... never mind."
  • In an episode of Camp Camp, Ambiguously Brown Max gets refused service by a bartender who doesn't serve "your kind". After Max demands to know who "your kind" are, the bartender points out that he means kids, and that Max is legally prohibited from drinking alcohol.
  • From the website Clients From Hell: "Nobody likes these black things..." As in, not the black man the speaker is pointing at, but the Blackberry phone the man is holding.
  • In the "Don't Deny It- Defy It" segment from The Crystal Gems Say be Anti-Racist, two boys make a Childhood Marriage Promise, only for a bully to attempt to discourage them... because "black people can't marry white people", instead of "boys can't marry boys".
  • In Death Note: The Abridged Series (kpts4tv), right after Light's sexuality is brought up again Near tells everyone he'll see them all in Heaven-except for Light of course.
    Light: Wait, why did you single me out?
    Near: Well, because you're Kira, obviously.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged: Played straight, then quickly subverted when Gohan and Krillin see Freeza, Zarbon, and Dodoria for the first time.
    Krillin: Jeez, these aliens are scary. Especially [Freeza]. Looks like a total FAG.
    Gohan: Krillin!
    Krillin: What? A Freaky Alien Genotype. (Beat) What did you think I meant?
    Gohan: Oooh. I thought you were calling him a derogatory term for a homosexual.
    Krillin: THAT THING'S A GUY?!
  • The Nostalgia Chick:
    • She tells us that "Song of the South is offensive because it perpetuates the stereotype that black people are boring."
    • Likewise, she assumes the disapproval over the interracial romance in Cruel Intentions is because the boyfriend is "bla...nd."
  • In Film Brain and The Rap Critic's review of Big Momma's House 3:
    Rap Critic: Yeah, I know why you want me to review that movie. It's because I am—
    Film Brain: —a student in art college!
    Rap Critic: Uhh... yeah.
    Film Brain: ...what did you think I was going to say?
    Rap Critic: Nothing, I thought you were gonna say it was because I was a rapper.
  • The Most Popular Girls in School: In Episode 26, Mackenzie acts standoffish about Tristian trying out for the cheer squad-not because he's a guy picking a stereotypically feminine activity or because he's Camp Gay, but because he doesn't go to their school.
  • Not Always Right and its sister sites sometimes get these stories.
    • This woman introduces her sister's wife to some coworkers, with one of them looking very stiff and worried, making one think she's homophobic. Then the wife calmly mentions that she's 26 years old and the coworker relaxes, having mistaken her to be in her mid-teens.
      "Oh, thank god! Don't scare me like that!"
    • Not Always Related has several stories of kids coming out to their parents as non-heteronormative, only for the parents to take it in stride and revealing that they were worried about them revealing something else, usually something nowhere near as dramatic.
    • One story had a little girl saying she really didn't like Tiana because she 'didn't like her color'. The teacher was worried about the little girl having racist views, only for her to explain that she really doesn't like the color green.
    • In this story, the poster and their family had been trying to keep their neighbor's recent gay marriage, a first for their rural and mostly conservative small town, a secret from their elderly grandma. When she found out anyway, the family were prepared to give her a spiel about progress and tolerance, but granny was totally incensed that he would dare marry a man... from a rival small town.
  • RedLetterMedia's Mr. Plinkett likes to do this—sometimes with prejudice, other times with stuff that'd just generally be in bad taste.
    Anyway, so then Marlowe chases after the female dog, but then he runs past the dog he's chasing for some reason. Jesus Christ, who was this dog's trainer, Michael Vick? ... did you get that joke? It's because Michael Vick would often throw passes that would go well ahead of the intended receiver.
  • Lots of joke comments on a Campbell's commercial featuring two dads.
    "This makes me sick. What kind of corrupted family feeds their child Campbell's Soup? It's just not natural'.
    "This is disgusting. How dare the make a Vader impression at the dinner table. That is downright offensive. Learn some manners, jeez."
  • In one of Thomas Sanders' vines, Thomas whistles at a girl, who is rightfully offended. Thomas rapidly explains that he was whistling at her dog. Cue the dog's offended rant.
  • In Miniminuteman's reading of an old history book, he starts out by making a cup of tea.
    "For someone who absolutely hates British people, I gotta say, tea is pretty good. That was a joke! Please don't take that seriously! I don't actually like tea."

    Real Life 
  • When Eric McCormack told his mother he would be playing a gay lawyer, she winced and said "Oh God... you're playing a lawyer?"
  • One particular news story has someone's quote as the title of the article preview, which said: "I won't photograph ugly people." Only when you actually click the link to read the whole article is it clarified that the person who said the quote means that she won't take pictures of bullies for the high school yearbook since she considers bullies as ugly people.
  • In a speech to the Springfield, Missouri City Council, preacher Phil Snider initially seems to be giving a typical religious "gays are an abomination in the eyes of God" rant, only to unexpectedly shift into a very pro-gay stance halfway through.
  • Back in the 2008 election of Barack Obama, a great number of jokes focused on the fact that for the first time in US history, Americans had finally elected a president who was… from Hawaiʻi.
  • Dan Savage reports on his blog about gay bowler Scott Norton, who shared a hug and a kiss with his husband after winning the PBA Chameleon Championship. "What a great day for a historically oppressed minority group," Savage comments, linking to an article which says "Norton ends left-handed drought".
  • In April 2015, a man at a train station in Rio de Janeiro took a photograph of various commuters on the platform, including two women kissing, and posted it on Facebook with what initially appeared to be a homophobic rant, complete with Think of the Children! remark... only to then reveal he was actually talking about a guy in the background standing too close to the tracks.
  • When Jodie Whittaker made headlines by being announced as the Thirteenth Doctor, jokes almost immediately began circulating of the series at last casting the Doctor with someone from Yorkshire.


Video Example(s):


That Won't Do (Spoiler)

Say what you will about Odalia, but at least she isn't homophobic.

How well does it match the trope?

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