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Dramatically Missing the Point

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Sometimes people can miss the point of things, due to being dense, stubborn, or lacking context, but the story treats this as a serious thing. The consequences can vary though, from a misunderstanding, to a tragedy, or even a Happy Ending.

One of the most common forms is someone being sad, seemingly due to a small trigger, and another person thinks it's just that trigger instead of the bigger picture.


Although this can be caused by people being stupid or delusional, as with an Irrational Hatred, often they can simply be naive, like people who don't realize that they are being asked out, or confessed to. This also could apply to when the mentor/Parent/Acquaintance leaves some sort of instructions or advice that is tragically misinterpreted. Likewise, ignoring another person's feelings may come to a head with a declaration of "Did You Think I Can't Feel?"

Also, this can happen in Comedies, it's just not meant to be silly ways of missing the point.

Many of the more moralistic examples of the Inspector Javert trope stem from this. Sometimes, you'll get a Javert who is simply confused or doesn't have all the facts, but the others persecute people they know are good simply because it's the rules. They're loyal to the letter of the law, but not its spirit.


A Sister Trope to Comically Missing the Point.

Compare Poor Communication Kills, "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot, Ignored Epiphany, Dramatic Irony, Selective Obliviousness, Stopped Reading Too Soon.

In-Universe Examples Only:

    open/close all folders 

  • Commercials for the short-lived food Snack 'Ums would feature a kid trying out said product, then getting hurt doing a sports activity, such as high diving or street hockey. When asked by one of his friends if it hurt, he would reply "Yeah, but I think I liked it" and asks for some more, referring to the snack and not the injury.

    Anime and Manga 
  • The events of the second chapter (or the second segment of the first episode) of Asteroid in Love is basically caused by Ao, as she freaks out from the profuse stream of text messages Mira sends her on the day they reunited, decides to consult a book on business emails to help her reply the the texts. Ao's very formal response to Mira's texts makes Mira mistakenly think Ao doesn't like her anymore.
  • Bakuman。:
    • After learning that Nakai said that he'd only draw for Aoki if Aoki becomes Nakai's girlfriend, Fukuda confronts Nakai and punches him, angrily saying that he's forgotten his promise to compete with the other members of "Team Fukuda." Nakai, who's lost sight of his goals, angrily complains about Fukuda meddling in his love life.
    • In the "PCP Copycat arc," someone imitates a "perfect crime" mentioned in PCP- breaking into a bank vault and leaving behind a note, thus causing Moral Guardians to come down even harder on the series. The point that both are missing is that while PCP are pranksters by nature, they only do "perfect crimes" that don't cause harm to others- when the crime was proposed in the manga itself, the characters decided against it, since someone breaking into the vault would cause the security company's reputation to suffer.
  • In Bleach, the New Captain Amagai Arc has a villain whose motivation is that Head Captain Yamamoto killed his father. The only other clue he had is that the father's dying words were "Bakkoto," the MacGuffins and Empathetic Weapons featured in the arc. It turns out that the father's last words were actually "Beware the Bakkoto" and that Yamamoto killed him because he was possessed, making the entire arc a Shoot the Shaggy Dog Story as had he not sworn revenge, the original villain's schemes would have still outed him as a villain and Amagai (who committed suicide out of remorse after losing to Ichigo and learning the truth) would still be alive.
    • In Uryu's introductory arc, he starts a "hollow hunting contest," between himself and Ichigo to see whether Soul Reapers or Quincies are superior, since he's bitter about the Soul Reapers abandoning his grandfather. Not only does this endanger many innocent people, but it also misses the point of what his grandfather was trying to accomplish- he wanted Soul Reapers and Quincies to cooperate. It's fairly telling that Ichigo gets the point the first time he's told the story, despite not having paid attention to it.
  • In Bloom Into You:
    • Many adults sing Touko's praises as being an ideal Student Council President who takes after her late sister, not realizing that Touko was putting up a façade, as was her sister. In Chapter 10, after hearing one of the teachers say something to this effect, Yuu, one of the few who's aware of Touko's insecurities, makes a brief internal monologue noting how much the teacher missed the mark.
    • While in middle school, Sayaka was once in a relationship with her senpai, only for the older girl to break off their relationship, thinking that they're getting too old for the Romantic Two-Girl Friendship, leading Sayaka to transfer out and go to Toomi East High School. In a side chapter, Sayaka's ex sees her again, and apologizes for making Sayaka interested in girls in the first place. Sayaka, who has come to terms with her sexuality and fallen in love with Touko, is deeply hurt by her ex's comments, and after reassuring the older girl that she no longer loves her, subtly expresses that she's still a lesbian by leaving arm-in-arm with Touko.
  • Code Geass: In episode 21 of R2, when Lelouch points out that he only wanted to exact vengeance so that good may result, for others' sake, whereas his father committed crimes for his benefit (he would have thrown away his children's lives without hesitation) and only cares that he wins (declaring how people feel as a result of another's actions a worthless delusion), Charles doesn't get it.
    • In fact, it's not just that he would've thrown his children's lives away; he did throw his children's lives away. Lelouch tries to get his parents to understand that it's not right for them to have done that and argue that he had no right to disagree just because the things they'd planned to reunite the dead with the living happened to turn out well, but they refused to understand how evil it was that they would've let their children die (without even knowing whether their plan would succeed or not), and, worse still, self-serving; and, then, Charles continues to blame God when he's been the one responsible for making the world as awful as it is (Lelouch points out that, regardless of the innocent lives that would be lost for Britannia's benefit, even with his children in exile, he was still bent on conquering Japan, and, according to Suzaku in the episode prior, he could've saved Euphy).
  • This comes up in Teru Mikami's backstory in Death Note. As a child, Teru did what he could to protect his schoolmates from bullies, and while he enjoyed some initial success, in high school, the bullies retaliated against him, prompting his mother to advise him to give up on his crusade. The narration points out that she did so out of concern for his well-being, but Teru decided that his mother had no sense of justice, and actually rejoiced when she was killed along with a few of the bullies in an auto accident.
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, this is played with in Rui's backstory. After he turned into a demon and killed a human, his parents were planning to kill him and then themselves as a way of atonement, only for Rui to kill them instead and conclude that they never loved him. Despite that, Rui understood what they were trying to do on some level, and the only way he could live with what he had done was to lie to himself that his parents had never loved him.
  • Food Wars!: Much of the drama instigated by the antagonists in the story is due to them falling into this:
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency, when Joseph and Caesar climb the Hell Climb Pillar, Joseph notices that Caesar's hanging on by his fingertips, and assumes he's about to fall off. Joseph forgot something Caesar had told him before, about how Hamon is best concentrated in the fingertips, meaning that Caesar was actually climbing properly. Joseph then remembers Caesar's advice, gets the hint and eventually manages to get the hang of climbing the pillar.
  • In Kaguya-sama: Love is War, Shirogane says that Princess Kaguya's beloved was guilty of this in The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. The man had destroyed the elixir of immortality Kaguya had given him due to not wanting to live forever in a world without Kaguya. According to Shirogane, the elixir Kaguya's way of promising to see him again, even if their reunion would take longer than a human's lifetime.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Arf tells Fate that seeing her sad and in pain from her quest for the Jewel Seeds is driving her insane with grief and begs her to stop. Fate's response is that she'll just have to repress her feelings to avoid upsetting Arf and try even harder to finish her mission. Fate eventually gets the point after her mother makes it clear that she never thought of Fate as her daughter, and regrets taking Arf's loyalty for granted and causing her pain by persisting in this painful and hopeless quest.
    • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, Teana, who's quite competent despite not having much magic power or many rare abilities initially assumes that the only appropriate response to any mistake or inability to adequately contribute is to try even harder, which in turn leads to more problems. During the mission to protect the hotel, she and the other Forwards, who are essentially the last line of defense, don't see much action, so Teana tries to let loose with a magical barrage rather than hold out until Vita arrives, nearly injuring Subaru if not for Vita's intervention. After getting a harsh scolding from Vita and a calmer lecture from Nanoha, Teana pushes herself in training for several days, and tries a reckless combination attack against Nanoha during a training exercise, resulting in Nanoha blasting her into unconsciousness (which is implied to be partly the result of exhaustion). When Teana wakes up that night and is temporarily taken off active duty out of concern for her health, Teana protests and states her desire to be useful until Signum punches her in the face. After learning Nanoha's backstory and more of her training plans, Teana gets the point and decides to use what magic she has strategically.
  • In My Hero Academia, Endeavor believes that the only thing between him and the title of #1 Hero is that he isn't as strong as All Might, never thinking that it's related to the fact that he is an awful person who scares and is a huge jerk even to his own fans (later chapters reveal he has gathered a large Hatedom in-universe), while All Might is an Ideal Hero whose main interest is to make citizens feel safe and protected and inspires hope to the people. Endeavor becomes painfully aware of what he's lacking when All Might is forced into retirement, and Endeavor becomes the #1 Hero by default, even though he can't be the Symbol of Peace that All Might had been. He's forced to clean up his act as a hero and a father, albeit with mixed results.
  • The New Fishman Pirates of One Piece idolize Fisher Tiger, a fishman adventurer who attacked Marijoa, center of the human-run World Government, believing it to be retribution for the Fantastic Racism fishmen suffered, and practice anti-humanism to such a degree that they have no problem enslaving human pirates that sail towards Fishman Island. What they didn't seem to pick up on is that Tiger hated slavery in general, and attacked the city to free as many slaves as he could, regardless of race.
  • In YuYu Hakusho, Kuwabara gets very angry with Yusuke for not telling him about Genkai's death, after having learned about the event in question in perhaps the worst way possible, but Kurama then tells Kuwabara that Yusuke didn't tell anyone else about it. Yusuke says it's because he was having trouble accepting it, and admitting what had happened would force him to accept reality. Kuwabara, who's often rather dense, replies as follows.
    Kuwabara: Why didn't you just say so, then?
    Kurama: Weren't you listening? That's just what he couldn't do.

    Comic Books 
  • Chick Tracts:
    • A lot of people who refuse to accept Christ don't get what the Christian who's witnessing to them is trying to express. For example, the sheriff in "Gun Slinger," assumes he's too good to go to Hell. In reality, the point of the tract is that it doesn't matter whether you're a good or bad person as long as you accept Jesus and repent of your sins; a notorious outlaw who'd repented of his sins before being executed goes to heaven, while the sheriff goes to hell.
    • Subverted in "Ransom." Bonnie, who's just learned that her sister and brother-in-law have no intention of paying her ransom, initially sounds like she needs a reality check when she says that she's already been ransomed, but then launches into a metaphor about Jesus paying the "ransom" for mankind's sins that ends up converting her kidnappers.
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us, when Superman starts going over the edge, Batman points out that Superman is scaring people. Superman justifies himself by saying that the bad guys should be scared, not understanding that Batman meant people in general.
  • A good chunk of suffering and death in the Marvel Universe is due to Thanos madly trying to earn Death's favor by killing people. Death apparently reciprocates those feelings, but she sometimes seems weary of Thanos' "offerings". At one point she bluntly told him that more death is the last thing she needs. This hasn't stopped Thanos' killing spree. He isn't called the "Mad" Titan for nothing.
  • Revival sees dozens of people come back to life. Jordan Borchardt's mother asks if she saw God during her time dead and is disappointed that Jordan reports only blackness. Off this reaction Jordan slices off her eyelids so that next time she'll keep her eyes open.

    Fan Works 
  • In Another Chance, while the most of the rest of Fairy Tail is attacking Lucy for hurting Lisanna, Natsu's confused as to why Gajeel, Juvia, Wendy and the Exceeds aren't helping out, especially Happy, given the history he and Natsu share with Lisanna. The point that Natsu's missing is that Lucy's the victim of a painfully obvious Wounded Gazelle Gambit by Lisanna, and if Makarov can smell the makeup that Lisanna is using to pretend to be injured, Natsu, as a Dragon Slayer with enhanced senses, should have been able to do so.
  • In Fusion Impression, Priyanka accidentally implies that fusion is Steven's way of taking advantage of Connie. He does not take it well.
  • In The Havoc Side of the Force, Jedi Master Ki-Adi-Mundi hears that for all the problems his arrival caused, pretty much everyone who actually talks to Harry Potter agrees that he's a decent if mischievous fellow. Mundi decides that Harry's brainwashing and enslaving them, including two Jedi Masters (Sinube and Qui-Gon Jinn), just by meeting them. Later chapters reveal that Anakin's harmless prank of staining Ki Adi's head is causing a chemical reaction that increases his paranoia.
  • In Hell Is a Martial Artist, Hild goes from manipulating Ranma for her own amusement to genuinely caring about him and once he hits the Despair Event Horizon, she rewrites reality to make him her son. Urd, unable to see any good in her mother, drives herself up the wall trying to figure out her mother's angle and notes that even if she sent the request from Nidhogg, it'd still require Yggdrasil's approval and comes to the conclusion that Yggdrasil's been hacked, rather than realizing that God agreed with Hild.
  • In A Hero Rises, Bakugo insists that being a Pro Hero is entirely about fighting villains, not saving people, going so far as to declare that saving hostages isn't his job. When All Might attempts an Armor-Piercing Response by pointing out that by Bakugo's logic, he should've left the boy to die at the hands of the Sludge Villain, Bakugo simply insists he didn't need any help.
  • Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail:
    • When Chloe confronts Goh and her father about how their obsession with Pokémon and obliviousness to her feelings have made her feel neglected and left behind, Goh lashes out in return in a way that only strengthens her stance. Specifically, he declares that his quest to find Mew has given him a Goal in Life that she lacks, unintentionally implying that her lack of interest in Pokémon is, in fact, a critical flaw in his eyes.
    • Similarly, Professor Cerise starts praising Chloe for battling Ash... but that makes Chloe feel like her father will only notice her if she gets involved with Pokémon.
    • When Atticus asks Chloe why she can't get along with Ash if their Pokémon can, she replies that there's no way for them to be friends since Ash already has Goh. Not only does it cause her number to go back to where it was before, she starts blaming Ash for causing that.
    • Even with Chloe spelling out her issues with both of them directly during her big blow-up, both Goh and her father still struggle with understanding what's eating her. Goh naively believes that they just need to find her to fix everything, while her father gradually backslides as he finds other things to blame her running away on.
    • When Parker suggests that Chloe's interest in horror runs along the same lines of his father's interest in researching Pokémon, Professor Cerise completely blows him off.
    • When Chloe finally responds to Goh's texts, she explains to him that she can't leave the Train yet — and even if she could, she's not ready to return home and is tired of trying to fix their friendship. Goh responds by begging her to come back, completely ignoring everything she's saying... and when she asks him to pass on some messages for her, eagerly asks if she'll come back after he does that for her.
  • Leave for Mendeleiev:
    • Adrien/Chat Noir has this problem. No matter how many times it's explained to him how dangerous it would be for him to know Ladybug's Secret Identity — and that Ladybug neither wants him to know or is interested in any of his 'romantic advances' — he refuses to stop trying, insisting that it will all be fine because they're 'meant to be together'.
    • After Lady Wifi mistakenly 'exposes' Chloe as Ladybug, Adrien doesn't understand why Ladybug keeps insisting that's not true. On top of taunting her with the idea that everyone knows who she is now, he gets annoyed when she ducks into a closet to detransform and stands outside, insisting that she doesn't have to keep up the pretense of hiding her identity and that it's 'safe' to show him who she is... acting like she's the one being unreasonable for getting upset.
    • Even after being forced to recognize that she's not Chloe after all, he continues to insist that he doesn't know why the idea upsets her so much. When she spells out to him that Chloe is a Spoiled Brat Alpha Bitch who's always abusing her father's position as the mayor, and about as far away from hero material as you can get, he completely blows all of that off to focus on the idea that Ladybug unintentionally hinted that she knows Chloe.
    • Adrien's complete refusal to grasp the important of keeping secret identities secret leads to him casually outing Lila's false identity as Volpina while she's being held hostage by Mime, utterly failing to see how he's just made the situation significantly worse.
    • When Ladybug stresses to him that relationships take time, effort, and mutual investment, he grasps her hand and tosses out a smarmy line about "Good thing we're already there," completely ignoring her complete disinterest in getting together with him.
  • Let the Galaxy Burn: When it turns out that the Longbow Network,a satellite defensive network developed by a company owned in part by the Tarlys, which is an economic rival to the Tyrell-Redwyne-Hightower alliance, was what allowed the defenders of Southshield to beat the Ironborn back while suffering few casualties, one of the Hightowers muses that they ought to start doing propaganda to offset any good publicity the Longbow Network has earned.
  • In Marigami Stories, everyone assumed that Marinette was with Kagami - or "the ice queen" as Alya calls her - as a form of payback when the rest of them ignore her for "mistreating" Lila.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Izuku discovers his Kryptonian Super Strength a little over an hour after being declared Quirkless. His sheer excitement over powers at all makes him forget that Quirks are inherited from one's parents. Thus it should be impossible for him to have superhuman strength since his parents have fire-breathing and the ability to attract small objects respectively. He only puts two-and-two together after his Super-Hearing manifests while his parents argue with Dr. Tsubasa in the hospital, forcing Inko and Hisashi to tell Izuku the truth about his origins.
  • Alya is unfortunately prone to this in the Miraculous Ladybug fic The One to Make It Stay:
    • After Alya posts a video of Chat Noir confessing his feelings to Ladybug, carefully editing it to support her ship, she fails to understand just why Ladybug is so upset. The only complaint she doesn't brush off is when Ladybug points out that Hawkmoth probably reads the Ladyblog too, and might try to use that misinformation to his advantage. Aside from that, she doesn't appear to care about Ladybug's feelings at all, and protests being punished for the breach of trust.
    • Alya also interrupts Marinette, Luka and Manon's outing at the museum and attempts to drag her away to force her into spending more time with Adrien. When Marinette protests, saying that she doesn't want to confess to him (as she's already dating Luka), Alya thinks she means that she's still too intimidated to do it without help.
    • When Marinette spells out to Alya that she's already in a relationship with Luka, Alya continues to insist that she must still have feelings for Adrien, even accusing her of only dating Luka as part of an Operation: Jealousy scheme.
  • An Orchid Beside The Red Heaven Way lampshades a common misconception about Romeo and Juliet, as Akane calls it "the most famous romance in the world", only for her friend Ran to correct her.
    Ran: I don't want to burst your bubble but Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy.
    Akane: Well, they do die at the end, but...
    Ran: No, you're not getting it. It's a tragedy. Two silly kids raised by oblivious parents in a city full of stupidity. They take several rash actions on the spur of the moment, try to run away and hide from the consequences and end up killing themselves for nothing. Everyone is hurt, and everyone is to blame. That's why it's a tragedy.
  • In Origin of a Non-Hero, Izuku and Ochaco's son Shikinori wants absolutely nothing to do with Pro Heroism after seeing how much it cost their family. Despite repeatedly making clear to his father that he has no interest in heroism, he still feels pressured to follow in their footsteps, to the point that he wants to have his Quirk removed entirely just so they'll stop asking. Ultimately, when Izuku believes that he's gone through with it, his response is to consider giving him One For All... even though that would just add to his son's sense that he wanted him to become a Hero no matter what.
  • Of Patience and Pettiness:
    • Kagami attempts to help Adrien understand how he mishandled the Lila situation by asking him whether he would ever lie to her or Marinette. When he insists that he'd never do so, she then asks why it was okay for Lila to trick everyone, only for Adrien to insist that she only lied because she was trying to impress others. But since they're already friends, he doesn't have any reason to lie to Kagami or Marinette.
    • When Marinette calls him out on his failure to support or even check up on her while she was dealing with Lila, Adrien attempts to pin the blame on her by declaring that he DID try, only to get rebuffed. This ignores several details: the fact that he only did so after she exposed Lila, intending to scold her for standing up for herself, and that he was Chat Noir at the time — he never attempted any intervention as Adrien. This results in Marinette realizing they were one and the same, much to her disgust.
    • Adrien does this again when Nino encourages him with a pep talk about how they can't change the past, but can make the future better, using his desire to rebuild his friendship with Marinette as an example. The fact that he's talking about learning from their mistakes and making better decisions sails clear over Adrien's head; instead, he decides to 'fix' things by pursuing a romantic relationship with her.
  • RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse: During Tales of Ponyville, Trixie sees Raindrops out enjoying the rain. Since Raindrops is usually a grouchy sort, Trixie assumes she's an imposter, drags her inside and tries "exposing" her, forcing Raindrops to take a highly embarrassing truth potion to confirm that yes, she is Raindrops.
  • In Redaction of the Golden Witch, the Protagonist of the 1996 sections is deeply uncomfortable with how their Witch Hunter friends treat the whole matter of the Rokkenjima Incident, and hopes that they'll come to recognize that the tragedy was a very real incident, with real victims, and that the fandom they've built up around it is... really kind of creepy and exploitive. Time and again, the darker implications and impact of their actions is lost upon them.
  • Robb Returns: The message from the Seven, delivered via their statues turning Northwards, was intended to warn their followers against the Others, but many of their followers either misinterpret or choose to believe that it's warning them against the North and the Old Gods instead.
  • In Alya's chapter of ChaoticNeutral's Salt Series, her reactions to the web seminar are a mixture of this and denial. As she watches one of her idols systematically deconstruct and criticize every mistake and misstep in her journalistic efforts, Alya attempts to dismiss and excuse as much as possible. For instance, when Victoria points out how she violated Chloe's right to privacy chasing an easily disproven hunch, her immediate reaction is to think that it doesn't matter because it was Chloe. Similarly, she tries to justify her stealing the textbook Ladybug dropped as chasing a lead rather than theft and potential Blackmail.
  • In Sorting Sideways, the Sorting Hat is worried students are more focused on trying to fit into the House they want rather than find a House that fits them. So he deliberately sorts an entire year into the House that represents what they most lack and/or need. For example, Hermione lacks humility and Draco doesn't see the value of hard work so both are sent to Hufflepuff. Meanwhile, Ron wants to prove himself but is daunted by his brothers' accomplishments so being in Slytherin will help him to greatness, though not easily.
  • In The Stalking Zuko Series this essentially sums up Aang's position on sparing Ozai, something that most of the characters and the author believe is a grave mistake. For example, after turning Ozai over to the Fire Nation to be imprisoned, Aang is honestly confused that Ozai isn't grateful to Aang for sparing his life.
  • Wrong Road to the Right Place: After Dinah Lance confesses she let Sara get on the Gambit, she thinks Laurel's anger and pain is because Laurel blames her for Sara's death. Oliver needs to outright tell her that Laurel realizes Sara's death is not her fault, and she is angry because Dinah betrayed her.

    Film — Animated 
  • Olaf's Frozen Adventure hinges on Olaf's belief that he can just find someone else's holiday tradition so Anna and Elsa can mimic it. He doesn't realize, either out of innocence or thoughtlessness, that a family tradition is a personal thing by nature.
  • Toy Story 4 builds its ending around this trope throughout most of the film. After having spent weeks not being played with by Bonnie, Woody fears he's lost his purpose, but still maintains loyalty to his owner in spite of the fact. His actions to prove his loyalty to her constantly end up causing him and his friends trouble, even if he never meant to. When he reencounters his old flame Bo Peep, she spends much of the time trying to convince him he needed to move on with his life, but he doesn't quite seem to get it, content with staying as Bonnie's toy. It takes a disastrous rescue mission and Bo walking out on him afterwards that Woody realizes that he's been largely unable to move on from being Andy's toy, and that Bonnie doesn't appreciate him the same way as Andy did. Thus, he decides to stay with Bo and live life as a lost toy.
  • The Incredibles had this trope being the reason why Buddy Pine/Syndrome was never able to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a superhero. While he clearly was a gifted inventor with great ambition and enthusiasm and could have become a capable Science Hero, his failure to achieve his goal was because he focused entirely on the "super" part of being a superhero that involved having extraordinary powers and abilities while never giving any thought towards the "hero" part of it that motivated his ex-idols to use their powers for the greater good. As a child, he believed Mr. Incredible's refusal to accept him as his sidekick was due to him lacking any legitimate superpowers rather than being an over-impulsive, reckless youth who kept putting himself in harm's way despite Mr. I's efforts to dissuade him. This mentality persisted all the way to adulthood, as shown when Mr. Incredible calls him out for murdering retired superheroes so he can pretend to be one, he rebuffs that his technology made him real enough to capture the entire Parr family and get as far as he did rather than acknowledge how he was willing to become a mass-murdering lunatic for the sake of living out his self-centered fantasy.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • At the ending of The Final, the parents of the victims dramatically miss the point of the attacks. Instead of the victims being seen as getting their comeuppance for years of bullying, they're portrayed as saint-like who were attacked for no reason. Also, rather than become "a moment in history", as one of the attackers said it would be, it's largely forgotten about after it's over. Though Kelly, realizing just what her behavior has driven people to do, eventually kills herself out of shame.
  • In The King's Speech, Albert criticizes his brother Edward, who is heir to the throne, of acting unbecoming of the King of England. Edward thus accuses his brother of trying to take his place as king, when what Albert was really trying to do was telling Edward to get his act together specifically because Albert didn't want to be king. (Which is especially ironic, because Albert does end up becoming King (as George VI) precisely because of Edward's behavior.)
  • The script for Pretty Woman started out a lot more tragic. One plot point was Edward renting a white fur coat for Vivian to wear during her hired time. When she is sad over their time nearly being up, he thinks it's just because he made her give the fur back.
  • Star Trek:
    • In both Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek (2009), the Kobayashi Maru test is a major one for Kirk. In both timelines, Kirk is so determined to beat the training simulation that he actually hacks Starfleet Academy's computers and cheats his way to victory by changing the conditions of the starting scenario. He doesn't realize that the entire point of the Kobayashi Maru simulation is that cadets aren't supposed to beat it; the test is designed to be unbeatable to prepare them for the possibility of a no-win scenario, and to test how they react to defeat. Or rather, he rejects the point of the test, adamantly believing that there's no such thing as a no-win scenario. Kirk's refusal to accept this fact provides valuable insight into his pride, which proves to be his Fatal Flaw.
      • In a more straight example, Khan owns Moby-Dick, and even quotes Captain Ahab, but apparently completely missed the entire point of the book about the cost of vengeance.
    • In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Valeris airs her concerns to Spock about this new Federation-Klingon peace. SF Debris noted Spock doesn't realize how concerned she is at this moment. He later states neither party was listening to the other.
  • In White Christmas, Betty is upset at what she thinks is Judy's betrayal at leaving the act to get married and Bob's double-dealing by using the show for publicity. Bob, on the other hand, doesn't understand why she won't sing for him and thinks she's just being difficult.
  • In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Henry didn't realize the way he was treating his son was driving a wedge between them. Indy states this when Calling the Old Man Out.
  • Moulin Rouge!: Christian leaves before the finale of El Tango De Roxanne, depressed at the thought of Satine sleeping with the Duke, in doing so missing the point of the song; the Argentinian was playing the part of The Duke, not Christian, during the song; it was a warning that he (The Duke) was going to do anything, including rape, to be with Satine.
  • Secrets & Lies: Cynthia thinks that Maurice and Monica don't have children because Monica doesn't want any while Maurice does. Going by the way she tries to cut her mother off when she confronts Monica, Roxanne has probably already cottoned on to the real reason.
  • Over the Edge: After Richie is shot by Doberman for pointing an unloaded gun at him, Jerry calls a PTA meeting, but his discussion is less about how to deal with the problem of delinquency, and more about how to maintain the town's property values. This causes Fred, his own business partner, to angrily call Jerry, himself, and every parent in the meeting out for neglecting their children.
  • Interview with the Vampire: Louis (the titular vampire) spends the whole of his interview with a reporter named Daniel discussing how he was sired by Lestat and the years he has spent as a vampire. He describes his unlife and the blood lust that came with it as a torturous existence that has been nothing but painful with any supposed benefits being far outweighed by the negatives. Daniel, however, becomes so enamoured with the idea of living forever as a supernatural being that he asks Louis to make him a vampire. Predictably (and understandably), Louis flips out.
  • Done subtly in The Sandlot. At the end of the movie, Scotty and Benny meet the Cool Old Guy Mr. Mertle, a retired baseball star who supposedly once knew Babe Ruth personally, and always dreamed of beating the Babe's home run record before he was forced to retire when a wayward baseball left him blind. After hearing his life story, Scotty assumes that he never got to beat the record because he lost his eyesight. Of course, an older viewer will probably deduce the real reason: he's a middle-aged African-American man in the 1960s, and he would have played long before baseball teams were desegregated. In all likelihood, he was never allowed to achieve his dream because he was never allowed to play against White players.
  • In Avengers: Endgame, when 2014!Thanos sees that even five years after managing to complete his grand scheme of "solving" the Overpopulation Crisis by wiping out half the population of the universe, everyone still remembers and are recovering from the event, the Avengers killed his future self for it, and are in the process of trying to undoing it. Instead of realizing that his solution was the wrong one from seeing these things, he decides everyone else are simply ungrateful and decides instead that he will wipe out the entire population of the universe and build a new one where no one will know the atrocities he committed and everyone will be grateful towards him.
  • The Hunt (2020): The hunters attempt to make their hunt a long-running homage to Animal Farm, complete with a pig and nicknaming them after the animals in them. They seem to utterly miss that it's a story about leftist revolutionaries becoming as bad as the people who they revolted against. Nor does Athena seem to realize that Crystal isn't who she should dub "Snowball" after the Trotsky character in the story. Crystal notes that going by what Athena believes, she should give that to herself as a nickname.

  • Vlad Tepes in Count and Countess, who doesn't understand why it's bad to conscript children into his army, nor why Elizabeth Bathory is so upset when her daughter dies.
  • Everyone in A Song of Ice and Fire who treats the conflict over Westeros as a "game of thrones" and covets the Iron Throne as the ultimate prize. The entire point of the Iron Throne (an extremely uncomfortable and dangerous chair made of swords) is that ruling a realm is a responsibility and a burden, not a prize in a game. So far as we know, only three people in the series really seem to have understood this: Eddard Stark, who had the opportunity to seize the Throne but refused it out of a sense of honor and never regretted it; Robert Baratheon, who never really wanted it in the first place but was forced to claim it; and Aegon the Conqueror, who made the damn thing in the first place. Stannis and Robb get some credit, as neither is motivated by personal gain and dislike what comes with being King. Both of them are still fight over the throne, Robb in order to avenge his father and Stannis because he's technically next in line to inherit it and he refuses to fail at his duty. Varys does at least claim to be doing what's best for the people, but his true motives are too murky to say for sure. Aegon VI was raised to believe this, but he still seems to have a bit of an entitlement complex about the whole thing.
    • Although in Robb's case, he never actually expresses any intent to claim the Iron Throne. He's crowned King in the North, and as far as land he only ever expressly plans to keep everything North of the Trident as independent Kingdom. His issue is a different way of interpreting this trope, as he's focused on avenging the Northmen who had lost their lives already (including his father), as well as rescuing his sisters (one of who already escaped, but he doesn't know this). He does also want to dethrone the illegitimate Joffrey and eventually bring down the Lannisters in revenge and "justice", which may or may not result in him claiming the Iron Throne, depending on how it plays out. In the War Council at the end of the first book, his mother Catelyn attempts to point out the fact that killing the ones responsible for their dead will not bring her husband or other dead and they should be willing to make concessions for the sake of peace, the security of their realm, and saving the people who still could be saved (like Rob's sisters). Of course none of the other factions are willing to budge, making such negotiations difficult, and thanks to his advisors Robb decides to play the game full-tilt. With dire consequences...
  • The Collector. Clegg stalks and abducts Miranda, a young woman he's grown obsessed with. After numerous escape attempts on her part, Miranda becomes severely ill and dies because Clegg refuses to let her out of captivity to see a doctor. The lesson Clegg learns from all of this? Things went badly because he was too lenient a captor, and the book ends with him stalking another girl, eager to put his new knowledge to use.
  • The Wheel of Time:
    • The Aes Sedai are magically bound by the Three Oaths, to "speak no word that is not true," "make no weapon for one man to kill another," and "Never to use the One Power as a weapon except against Darkfriends or Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme defense of her life, the life of her Warder, or another Aes Sedai". In theory, this was to stop them from taking advantage of people, but in practice, they focus on the first one, and use it primarily to gain people's trust while twisting the truth, so they can more easily manipulate them.
    • Also, their name; "Aes Sedai" means "Servant of All" in the Old Tongue, which, in the the Age of Legends would have been taken largely at face value, being a phrase in the language that everyone spoke. This meaning, while still known to those with knowledge of the Old Tongue, is now completely non-indicative, as modern Aes Sedai seem mostly to want to lead the world (at best), or rule over it with an iron fist/destroy it(at worst).
    • The Aiel prohibition against using swords is a remnant of their previous pacifism (a sword doesn't have use as a tool, like an axe would, so it served as a shorthand). Having forgotten the origins of the rule, they're now perfectly happy to kill people but are arbitrarily restricted from using swords to do it.
  • One in Warhammer 40,000's backstory is shown in the Horus Heresy novel Betrayer. In the Night of the Wolf, Leman Russ and the Space Wolves confronted Angron about his practice of using forbidden technology to turn the World Eaters into raving berserkers, and the two legions came to blows over it. Angron always said that he won, that he thrashed Leman Russ in close combat until the Wolf had to crawl away. Decades later, Lorgar of the Word Bearers explained that Angron won the duel, but Russ won the battle - Angron's bloodlust led him to be surrounded by Russ' bodyguard while the rest of the World Bearers fought on oblivious, therefore proving Russ' point that Russ' soldiers were greater than Angron's warriors. The only reason Russ spared Angron was in hope that the Primarch learned something.
  • In The Tales of Beedle the Bard, the aesop of the story of the Deathly Hallows is that it's futile to fight Death and that one should accept mortality. Some wizards came to believe that they could achieve immortality if they collected all three Hallows. Dumbledore being one of those wizards who missed the point in his youth and arguably still didn't fully grasp it (attempting to use the Resurrection Stone to apologize and make up for past mistakes instead of letting go and moving on) until after his own death lamented this folly in his commentary.
  • The Traveler's Gate: Naraka Travelers are supposed to be completely dedicated to justice. Unfortunately, Naraka defines justice as "punishing the guilty." They don't much care about side effects of their punishments, or even about preventing crimes. A Naraka Traveler can commit a crime, undergo proper penance for it in the form of pain, and then go right back to committing the same crime again.
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm: Myne describes her previous life mother's attempts to save water and electricity to be this. She would turn water off while brushing her teeth but not while doing dishes and unplug the television while it was not in use only to regularly fall asleep while it was on.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Black Mirror: In the first episode, "The National Anthem", everyone seems to be way more interested in the sensationalism of the ridiculous demands of the princess' kidnapper to actually think about her well-being. It's enforced with her release at the point of no return, making it clear that the kidnapper's actions were nothing more than a statement.
  • Brenda in The Closer is many times blindingly oblivious to her hypocrisy when she calls out other people for being manipulative, arrogant, ignoring the rules, lying to her, or ignoring her authority even when others specifically try to make her realize this. It eventually comes back to bite her in the final season and she does start to realize that a series of murders the unit has had to deal with, not to mention the professional difficulties they've had that season, are largely her fault.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Partners in Crime" has an unusual, spoilery example related to the Series 4 Story Arc, one that is disguised by making it look like another character is Comically Missing the Point. It turns out that when Miss Foster's employers told her that their breeding planet was lost, she didn't realize they meant it completely literally: the planet had vanished into thin air. It's clear she assumed the planet to have been "lost" in the metaphorical sense, as a nation might lose territory in a war. The writer was clearly trying to trip the audience up with this one, as the conversation initially seems like the Doctor is misinterpreting what Foster said by assuming the planet to have disappeared, when he's correctly figured out what she misinterpreted.
      Miss Foster: I've been employed by the Adiposian First Family to foster a new generation after their breeding planet was lost.
      The Doctor: What do you mean, "lost"? How d'you lose a planet?
      Miss Foster: Oh, the politics are none of my concern. I'm just here to look after the children on behalf of the parents.
    • "The Pandorica Opens": When the Doctor relays the myth of the Pandorica; any fan can grasp the implication that it's the Doctor the myth is referring to, especially after he trumps up his countless victories over all the alien races present as just a single unarmed man with no plan. Interestingly enough, he does talk indirectly about himself regarding it, namely that it was sealed by a good wizard tricking it.
      The Doctor: There was a goblin, or a... trickster. Or a warrior. A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it, or hold it, or... reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • In Season 1, Episode 7, Jon is incensed that he was named as Mormont's steward, when he expected to be a ranger because of his fighting abilities. Sam points out that he's essentially being made personal assistant to the Lord Commander, right out of training, which gives him a very rare opportunity to work with and learn from the man, and very likely means that Mormont is grooming him for command.
    • In Season 5, Episode 2, Cersei and Jaime Lannister learn that their child Myrcella is in danger in Dorne. Cersei loudly and angrily threatens vengeance if "our daughter" is harmed. Jaime tries to quiet her and reminds her that no one can be allowed to hear that Myrcella is their daughter. Cersei reprimands Jaime quite venomously and tells him "then don't call her your daughter," somehow failing to realise that HER previous angry rant is why Jaime spoke up in the first place.
  • Good Omens (2019): The angels sometimes fail to understand that the point of being good is to be good, not just to oppose the demons.
    Aziraphale: There doesn't have to be a war.
    Gabriel: Of course there does. Otherwise, how would we win it? [gives "duh" look]
  • Arthur in Merlin is convinced that he's created a golden age of equality and justice where all men are respected. In many ways he has, as he's married a peasant girl who was worthy to be Queen, knighted the commoners who helped him take back his kingdom, and established the Round Table. However, he has remained oblivious to the people that need equality most: the magic-users, who were shunned and persecuted during his father's reign. This comes back to bite him hard when it is what eventually turns Mordred, until then a loyal knight, on him.
    • He's also claimed his strength is in the support of Camelot, and that he is much wiser for accepting the advice of others. The one person he does not accept the advice of? Merlin, who is the most deserving.
  • In one episode of NUMB3RS, an internal affairs officer working with the FBI sends a uniformed LAPD officer — a male officer, no less — to transport a woman who had just been raped by a police officer. Even when she's called on it, she doesn't quite understand the issue.
    Megan: You put a woman who was attacked by a cop in a car with a cop?
    IA Officer: Nobody wants to get this guy more than we do.
    Megan: That's not the point.
  • In the seventh season of Psych, Juliet discovers that Shawn has been lying about being a psychic, and this implodes their relationship. He spends the following episode mulling things over and tells her that "If I hadn't given you my jacket, everything would be okay." No, Shawn, it wouldn't, and that's the point.
    • It even seems to be part of his character that he can't stop himself from missing the point. Just before that scene he has a full dream about how to properly handle the situation from completely listening to Juliet's feelings to acknowledging and apologizing for his mistakes...Once he wakes up however and is immediately faced with the same situation he proceeds to do everything in the opposite way leading to the quote above which completely torpedoes the situation.
    • Juliet's own face says it all. Shawn knows her dad was a con artist and thus Juliet absolutely hates liars and the like. And here's Shawn clearly thinking it's how Juliet found out the truth that's upsetting her, not that Shawn has been lying to her all these years like her father did.
  • Soap: Burt's doctor calls him in to tell him that he's got a rare disease.
    Burt: OK, then what's the treatment?
    Doctor: Burt, there is no treatment.
    Burt: So, what, it just goes away by itself, huh?
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Well into the Dominion War, Weyoun notices that Damar has actually started showing up to work sober. He takes it as a good sign that Weyoun has turned the corner on his despair and has renewed confidence in Dominion victory. In fact, Damar's newfound sense of purpose came from his decision to foment a rebellion against the Dominion.
  • invoked In HBO's Watchmen Sequel Series, Rorshach had his journal posthumously published by The New Frontiersman in the hopes of it revealing that Adrian Veidt was responsible for the deaths of over 3 million innocent people and traumatizing countless more in 11/2. Unfortunately, it was promptly dismissed as the mad ravings of an Ax-Crazy Serial Killer by general society, and only found a Misaimed Fandom in the white supremacist Seventh Kavalry, who began to use it as a paper-thin justification for their actions as Western Terrorists against minority groups. Now, Rorshach was certainly a Politically Incorrect Hero, but it's still painfully obvious that he would be utterly revolted by his desire to have justice served against a mass-murdering Narcissist instead be misappropriated by The Klan as an excuse for killing countless Innocent Bystanders.
  • The X-Files. In "Never Again" Scully complains that she has to share Mulder's desk; this and some Jerkass behaviour from her partner causes her to go off and engage in a number of Out of Character behaviors like getting a tattoo and engaging in a one-night stand. At the end of the episode Mulder says, "I don't understand...all this over a desk?" Scully just replies: "Not everything is about you, Mulder." The truth is Scully had just discovered she had cancer.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer40000: The Iron Hands Astartes Chapter believe that the living metal hands of their Primarch were a physical embodiment of his doctrines of efficiency and strength above all things, something that has led to the Chapter's Rite of Severance where a newly initiated battle-brother has their left hand replaced with a mechanical one. Ferrus himself, however, never saw his hands as a sign of strength, for all the great works he accomplished with them he was painfully aware they weren't his real hands and it amazed him that no one else saw it that way too. He saw the hands as a sign of his weakness, a crutch he relied on instead of being strong in his own right. He intended to lead by example by removing the metal from his hands but was slain in his fateful duel with Fulgrim before he had the chance.

  • Death of a Salesman: Willy Loman ends up killing himself, thinking that he will give his family a lot of money. At his funeral, at least one character points out that Willy could have chosen another path and have been happier for it. One of his sons, Happy, declares that he will succeed where Willy failed. He's blatantly ignoring the fact that Willy was no good at being a salesman and Happy has no reason to assume that he's any better, and that if any lessons were to be learned from events it was that it's more important to find something you're good at which makes you happy and look for success there, rather than follow someone else's idea of success.
  • In Les Misérables, when Valjean is trying to explain his theft to Javert in the first song.
    Valjean: "My sister's child was close to death, we were starving—"
    Javert: "You'll starve again!"

    Video Games 
  • Persona 4
    • When Mitsuo's Shadow is defeated, and disappears, Mitsuo starts gloating, acting as though he'd defeated it. In reality, this means that he failed to come to terms with the personal flaws that gave rise to it, in stark contrast to the heroes, who'd used those powers to defeat it.
    • In Chie's Social Link, one of Chie's old friends, Takeshi, is infatuated with Yukiko. At Rank 8, he complains to her about how Yukiko had a "funky laugh" the last time he saw her, and points out that he thinks she "was better off gloomy." Chie points out that's how Yukiko naturally is, and it's subtly indicated that she gradually gains the confidence to be herself around people other than Chie. Contrasting this earlier was after saving Yukiko and seeing her open more to the others, Yosuke notes he wants to know more of her like this as a person.
    • Kanji says that a great deal of his efforts to be a man at first, such as beating up biker gangs and hiding his interest in handicrafts, were a result of trying to follow his late father's advice to "become strong," out of the belief that his father didn't think he was strong enough (to be fair, he was a kid when he lost his father.) Kanji ultimately realizes that he had the wrong idea of what it means to be strong, and so decides to be true to himself.
  • Persona 5
    • Early on in the game, if you talk to two girls at Shujin, they will remark about how Ann's best friend Shiho often meets with Kamoshida, her volleyball coach, for one-on-one sessions, and leaves feeling depressed. Rather than realize that Kamoshida is physically abusing Shiho and later rapes her, the girls are offended that Shiho is sad after monopolizing Kamoshida's time.
    • On Christmas Day, Ryuji enthusiastically greets Makoto, Futaba and Sojiro in LeBlanc and wonders why the three of them seem saddened, clearly unable to read the mood. Ryuji did not realize the protagonist had turned himself in to the police.
  • In World of Warcraft, during the fight with Murozond, leader of the Infinite Dragonflight, the party can use the Hourglass of Time to reverse time, resetting all their health and cooldowns to their state at the start of the battle, and causing Murozond to arrogantly say that the Hourglass does nothing to him. He's right, but fails to notice that his health isn't being reset- by using the Hourglass to repeatedly use your strongest abilities and clear the voidzones left by Distortion Bombs, it's possible to defeat Murozond.
  • The Final Fantasy X character Yuna has always believed that the fayth want her to die, and spends quite some time arranging her death and making sure it will happen in a way that benefits Spira. She's correct that the fayth want her to learn about tragedy, but it's not for the purpose she thinks: she's not supposed to join the dead, just to listen to them, and use the knowledge gained to lead Spira into a brighter future. Yuna takes this realization badly for two reasons; one, because her capacity to deal with negative feelings relied solely on the hope that she would someday be able to commit suicide, and two, because it happened during the untimely death of yet another of her loved ones.
  • The Big Bad of BioShock Infinite, Comstock, just doesn't get that baptism is supposed to metaphorically make you a new person unaffected by the sins you have committed, and believes that his baptism has justified his past sins into not sins, therefore making them admirable deeds.
  • Happens to Injustice!Superman in Injustice: Gods Among Us:
    • When Batman points out that Superman was beginning to have his Face–Heel Turn and are scaring people, Superman justifies himself by saying that the bad guys should be afraid, not understanding that Batman was referring to people in general.
    • He repeatedly justifies that everything he is doing was for Lois's sake, including wanting to bring an alternate Lois to his universe. When Prime!Superman confronts him and says how horrified and disgusted Lois would be of him, he instead claims that she would be alive.
  • Street Fighter veteran E. Honda claims that his motivation is to show people that Sumo Wrestling is a legitimate martial art, and sumos are the best fighters on Earth. However, no less than Dan Hibiki pointed out a problem with this: Honda modified his wrestling style to compete with other martial artists, including adding various moves that would generally be illegal in sumo (sumo doesn't allow you to kick, for instance). Therefore, his own actions prove the opposite: traditional sumo wrestling has no place in an actual fight, since otherwise, Honda wouldn't need to change anything.
  • In Fire Emblem Awakening, Lucina's B support with her siblingnote  has her realize that the latter may be able to wield Falchion, a weapon that only a handful in Ylisse's bloodline can wield, such as Lucina and her father Chrom, and insists on putting it to the test should it become necessary. The sibling asks if this is in case Lucina is busy, prompting Lucina to clarify that she means that it's in case she dies. It's played with a bit in that the sibling isn't necessarily dense, per se- s/he is understandably disturbed by the idea of his/her older sister dying and how willing Lucina is to discuss the possibility.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Spirit Hunter: NG, the reason Kubitarou collects heads is because she misinterpreted a children's song that she thought could heal her younger brother. The opening line is "Head to the Great Tarou Kintoki"; because of her sub-standard education, Kubitarou took it to mean "Bring a head to the Great Tarou Kintoki".
  • An especially tragic version of this happens with Peko Pekoyama in Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair. Having been raised to think of herself as a tool to the Kuzuryuu clan, when the scion to the clan, Fuyuhiko, insists that their relationship until now is null and void once they arrive at the "class trip," she assumes that he, out of his desire to prove himself independent of the clan, hates her as the clan's tool, when in reality, he wants her as a person, rather than a tool. As a result of this mindset, Peko kills Mahiru when a tense standoff between Mahiru and Fuyuhiko (who'd planned on killing Mahiru but was starting to get cold feet) breaks down, believing that because she acts on Fuyuhiko's behalf, if she's convicted of the murder, he'll be able to "graduate." In truth, Fuyuhiko didn't want her to do that, so Peko is found guilty and executed, with Fuyuhiko losing an eye in a failed attempt to save her and living with the guilt for the rest of the game. In Island Mode, however, Peko gets over this if you successfully reach her ending.
  • Toward the end of Shinrai: Broken Beyond Despair, a flashback reveals that Kamen had tried to tell her best friend Momoko that Hiro was unfaithful, since Hiro had asked Kamen out while still in a relationship. Momoko, however, refused to believe Kamen, assuming that Kamen wanted Hiro for herself, and threatened to end their friendship if Kamen persisted. In reality, Kamen was a lesbian who had Unrequited Love for Momoko, but she didn't want to break them up; she just didn't want Momoko to get her heart broken. In the end, Momoko read texts from Hiro on Kamen's phone, and, assuming that Hiro was cheating on her with Kamen, proceeded to kill Hiro and herself with the goal of framing Kamen for their deaths.

  • The Order of the Stick: Miko Miyazaki immediately assumes that because her own conclusions led her to kill Lord Shojo, the eponymous band somehow made her do it. She then takes it as far as assuming everyone in the room is working against her, and she can do no wrong because she is the strongest member of the Sapphire Guard.
    Roy Greenhilt: It's like she has that Monk ability that lets you jump as far as you want, only for her, it applies to conclusions.
  • TREVOR: Dr. Maddison thinks that Colin and Purdy being dumbfounded are them maliciously mocking him by pretending to not know what was happening to Trevor, despite him sending them multiple messages explaining it. Enid explains to Purdy that she had the messages (that they could catch) altered without Dr. Maddison’s knowledge, and fed rumors about Dr. Maddison being crazy to the rest of the staff, so they truly do not know what he is ranting and raving about, despite his insistence that he’s already told them.

    Web Original 
  • Not Always Right has a story about a child throwing a can of yams at a cashier, significantly injuring them. His mother's response? “Oh! Isn’t he cute?! He wants to play baseball!”
  • The villains of RWBY primarily operate in the shadows, exacerbating tensions until the area falls to in-fighting, which, in a world full of monsters drawn to negativity, is a recipe for disaster. General Ironwood believes the best way to combat this send a massive fleet to whatever territory is potentially threatened, turn it into a police state, and ignore whatever criticism he may receive, creating the tension the villains need. And when things go wrong, his immediate response is to tighten his grip.

    Western Animation 
  • In the final season of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Fire Lord Ozai asks Zuko (who spent most of season 2 Walking the Earth) how best to take care of the the remaining pockets of resistance in the Earth Kingdom. Zuko thinks that the reistances are stubborn like rocks and won't give up as long as they have hope, which Azula and Ozai take to mean that they should just burn it all to the ground, whereas Zuko was going to suggest a more diplomatic approach.
  • Arthur: In "Arthur's Big Hit", Arthur gets a lot flack from his parents and peers for hitting D.W. in retaliation for breaking his model plane. He focuses entirely on the fact that he constantly reminded D.W. not to touch it, failing to realize their point is that hitting his sister is still not an appropriate response. It took Binky (who was pressured by the Tough Customers) hitting him that makes realize his mistake.
    • Of course the Broken Aesop nature means that this also applies to everyone else. Everyone completely ignores the fact that Arthur told D.W. numerous times not to touch his plane - yet she threw it out a window and repeatedly blames Aruthur for the fact that it broke. D.W. can get a little bit of a pass for her Never My Fault attitude, considering her age, but neither their parents nor any of Arthur's friends acknowledge that D.W. is also in the wrong. Plus they treat Arthur getting hit by someone else in an unrelated situation as an appropriate punishment, again entirely missing the point of the argument that "hitting people is always wrong".
  • A Boy Named Charlie Brown has Charlie Brown, who feels he is a complete loser as a spelling bee competitor, fails to realize he not only won the state Spelling Bee championship but he came in second in the National championship. His friends miss the point as well, as the closest thing he gets to support is Linus telling he didn't need to be worried because everything is okay despite his failure, totally missing the point that both winning the state championship and coming in second at the national Championship is actually an incredible level of success.
  • Gravity Falls: In "A Tale of Two Stans", During Stan and Ford's final argument before the latter is sent into an alternate universe, Stan angrily accuses Ford of “selfishly hoarding” his grant money rather than helping out Stan or their parents. However, that’s not how grant money works, and Ford’s expenditures would’ve been very closely monitored so as to make sure that they didn’t get abused in any such way. On the other hand, this is justified given Stan dropped out of high school and may not know this. On the other hand, he is actually correct in a more general sense; namely that Ford had spent his life in pursuit of his ambitions rather than help those who got him there, especially since Ford would end up causing a lot of trouble for it, (especially Mc Gucket.) When he finally contacted Stan, it was over a decade and ask him for a favor, not bothering to see how Stan himself was.
  • Kaeloo: In Episode 17, Kaeloo forces several kisses on Mr. Cat offscreen and she thinks it's okay because "kissing isn't violent". She tries to explain this to Mr. Cat... who is sitting in Troubled Fetal Position with a disturbed facial expression, clearly feeling violated.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
  • Rocket Power: In "Radical New Equipment," the gang encounters a group of winter sports athletes with different physical impairments, such as blindness and paralysis. Reggie is particularly impressed by Lizzie, a girl with a prosthetic leg, and tries to strike up a friendship, only to treat her like a helpless child. Hoping to help Reggie understand that Lizzie is not helpless because of her disability. Reggie's father, Ray, and honorary uncle Tito tell her a story about their friend Leonard the lizard Brady; he used to be the best surfer around until he lost his eyesight. All his friends felt sorry for him because he could not surf anymore, until one day at night, he was able to surf in the dark with no problem. Tito explains that Brady did not let anything stop him from living his life to the fullest. He even uses his blindness to his advantage. Reggie got that Lizzie is making the best of a bad situation. Reggie left before Ray and Tito explain the real lesson that she should've learned.
  • In the South Park episode "Kenny Dies" (with a semi-parody tone), where the boys are told Kenny is diagnosed with a terminal disease. "But he's gonna get better, right?" inquires Stan. Somber music plays in the background as the adults exchange saddened looks.
  • Star Wars Rebels: In "Ghosts of Geonosis", the rebels exploring the titular Ghost Planet find a surviving Geonosian. When they ask him what the Empire was doing at the planet, all he does is draw a circle inside of a circle, clearly representative of a certain superweapon. Due to the Language Barrier, however, the rebels can only misinterpret the images, ultimately concluding that Klik-Klak was drawing the poison gas canisters they find at the bottom of a shaft.
  • Steven Universe:
    • The Homeworld Gems have performed experiments with fusion as a means to strengthen their forces. Unfortunately, they see it as nothing but a power boost instead of a relationship. By forcefully mashing together Gem shards, all they have created are misshapen pitiful horrors. So then they went "screw it" and used the results of their research to make a "fusion" out of millions of shards called the Cluster and stuck it in the Earth's core so that it will destroy the planet upon awakening.
    • In "Off Colors", Lars saves the Off Colors from the Shattering Robonoids by blocking their scanners with his body and beating them with a rock. He finishes off the last one by jumping on top of it and jamming a pointed rock in its "eye", causing it to blow up. He gets flung into a wall with a nasty "CRACK" and falls thirty feet to the ground. The Off Colors immediately start celebrating and praising his bravery while Steven panics because Lars isn't moving. He immediately checks Lars's vitals, and starts to sob when he can't find a heartbeat.
    • In "Now We're Only Falling Apart", Sapphire is distraught upon finding out that Rose Quartz was actually Pink Diamond, as she ended up believing that Rose was the cruel, cowardly tyrant the Crystal Gems assumed they were supposed to shatter along with the other Diamonds, and she never looked into Rose or any of her intentions because she trusted Rose that much. Steven and Pearl eventually get her to realize how backwards Sapphire was thinking when Pearl explains why Pink Diamond did what she did to spare the Earth. Pearl's following flashback story reveals that when Pink Diamond told Blue Diamond she wanted to save life on Earth from the damage Pink's colonization was causing, Blue created a People Zoo and put a few humans in, believing that that would appease her.
  • Steven Universe: Future:
    • In "Volleyball", Pearl thinks that White Diamond is the cause of Volleyball's scar, and refuses to believe that it was Pink Diamond.
    • The episode "Prickly Pair" has Steven venting his bottled-up feelings to a sentient cactus, causing problems when it starts parroting Steven's words. Steven realizes that using his pet as an emotional punching bag was a mistake... But what he takes away from this experience is that he shouldn't talk about his problems at all.
  • Infinity Train has an example in the form of Amelia. During the final episode it's revealed that much like the protagonist, she found herself aboard the train after a traumatic event. (the death of her husband), but rather than use the many environments to work through her emotional issues as is implied to be the train's very purpose, she asked the conductor to make a train car for her in which her husband was still alive. The conductor refused so she rebelled and took control of the train herself. The number that denotes her progress has ascended so high that it's unlikely she'll ever be able to leave alive.
  • In Miraculous Ladybug episode "Stormy Weather 2", Nathalie, Gabriel Agreste's assistant, reveals in an Internal Monologue that she admires Gabriel's commitment to his family. Of course, this is ignoring that Gabriel is an emotionally abusive Control Freak whose "commitment" is damaging to everyone involved.


Video Example(s):


Teleporting Bread

When shown the tumorous bread, Soldier concludes this means they can't teleport any more bread and flies into a rage. Engineer tells him he can "teleport as much bread as you like" to calm him down. Soldier then spends the entire three days teleporting so much bread that it creates a giant monster, having interpreted Engineer's words as an order.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / DramaticallyMissingThePoint

Media sources:

Main / DramaticallyMissingThePoint