The premise seems to be that bad people must have a way to tell if something is evil. Either that, or bad people are repulsed by anything that isn't at least as evil as they are. Whatever the reason, bad people magically will only associate with things that are bad. Therefore, people claim a thing is bad because bad people associate with it.
This is a concept called the Association Fallacy (or the more well-known term "Guilty by Association"), which often overlaps with Godwin's Law due to how often Adolf Hitler is used (also known as Reductio ad Hitlerum). After all, Hitler has gained the reputation for being the very embodiment of darkest evil, who oozed "pure liquid malevolence" right out of his pores. So, he supposedly would only do/like/own things that are as evil as him. You know, things like sitting on a chair, wearing clothes, eating, taking a walk, and breathing. Hitler did those things, but that doesn't make them bad. Hitler is not a reason things are bad. We don't think mass murder is bad because Hitler, Stalin, or other bad people did them. We think those people are bad because they committed mass murder. In other words, this trope is backwards. A thing being bad stands on its own as bad. It would be like:
Alice: The Nazis committed genocide.
Bob: Really? What was I thinking? I can't believe I was going to do something the Nazis did.
This is also one of the reasons why we often loathe to admit that a person who we generally always disagree with may actually be right for once. Remember, Don't Shoot the Message. Someone intimidated by this "argument" may invoke No True Scotsman as a "rebuttal". ("Hitler wasn't a REAL vegetarian.")
One reason this trope exists was that for a long time during The '30s, Hitler was seen as a neutral statesman and some of his policies were appealing to people because he framed himself and the Nazis as Moral Guardians and various "good-on-paper" sounding ideas like personal hygiene, cleanliness, animal rights, sexual restraint, heteronormality, the "excesses" of Weimar Germany and so on. Nazi Germany focused on cultural policy to an equal and at times greater extent than economics and good governance. So in some respects Hitler Ate Sugar is a Justified Trope because he and his fellow Nazis invoked Culture Justifies Anything as a key part of their platform, and Nazi Germany is a historically relevant example on the dangers of such policies and its appeals. In the contemporary context, it must be noted that this trope is deployed on arguments that have to do with "culture wars" rather than the original context of Nazi Germany (The Great Depression, Modernism, the Weimar era).
For similar reasons, this trope also has been known to overlap with You Know Who Said That, when a person says a quote that other people would agree with at face value, but then— gotcha!— reveals it was actually said by Hitler or some other contemptible figure. Of course, as explained, that doesn't necessarily prove the idea is immoral on its own merits.
On the other hand, if it's framed very carefully there can be a valid point to be made here. If something is a demonstrably evil idea on its own terms, then pointing out how it's tied to an evil source is a relevant supporting example. It might even serve as a sort of moral wake-up call. That would be like:
Alice: Then how come the Nazis used it in their racist propaganda?
Bob: ... Hitler's approval fills me with shame.
Often used as one of the less spurious links in a chain of Insane Troll Logic.
This trope has very similar thinking to No True Scotsman, as both are logical fallacies used to exclude or stigmatize something. It could also be seen as something of an Inverted Trope: No True Scotsman fallaciously excludes one bad example to prevent the group as a whole from being identified with it, while Hitler Ate Sugar fallaciously goes right ahead and identifies the group as a whole with the one bad example. An alternate form of inversion is What Would X Do?, when people argue that an action is good solely on the grounds that a good person did it.
Unrelated to Real Men Hate Sugar, where people come to hate something normally considered pleasant due to cultural expectations of what is considered "mature" or "masculine".
See Villains Out Shopping for examples of evildoers doing innocuous things.
Please note that this page is for examples where X is claimed to be bad due to being done, eaten, read, watched, or what-have-you by demonstrably bad people. It's not for cases where the meaning is more "Look, just because he/she/it does/eats/reads/watches X, doesn't mean he/she/it is a good person." It's the difference between the fallacious argument "Hitler ate sugar, therefore sugar is bad" and the valid argument "Even Hitler ate sugar. Eating sugar does not automatically make you nice".
- Judge Death in Judge Dredd's universe has the logically extreme example. It runs something like "Crime is bad. You know who commits crime? People that are alive!" Therefore, "The Crime isss Life, the Sssentence isss DEATH!!"
- Averted in Watchmen, where Rorschach uses the correct logic associated with this trope:
Nite Owl II on how he couldn't believe Adrian was the Big Bad: He's a pacifist, a vegetarian...
Rorschach: Hitler was a vegetarian.
- In Batman: Fortunate Son. it is retconned that Bruce's parents told him to stop listening to rock and roll on the night that they were killed. Therefore, he comes to the conclusion that rock and roll is death, crime, and the rage of a beast! Or something like that.
- Superboy-Prime constantly mouthing off common fan complaints while committing planetary genocide.
- In Equestria: A History Revealed, the narrator reasons that she doesn't understand the scientific process behind baking a cake, and therefore, sees it as something that cannot be explained. She also reasons that dark magic cannot be explained. Therefore, baking must be a representation of dark magic. It gets worse from there on out.
- A somewhat more rational example than the usual in RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse. As a result of its association with Corona, the Tyrant Sun, gold is all but taboo.
- Inverted in the comedy To Be or Not to Be with a running joke. The hero is undercover and talking and joking with a Nazi, Colonel Erndhardt. Erndhardt will mock a feature of his sidekick Schultz (e.g. fastidiousness, vegetarianism, etc.), leading the hero to accuse him of insulting Hitler who had all of these traits.
- In Office Space, Peter's "you know, the Nazis had 'pieces of flair' they made the Jews wear." However, the employers in Office Space in fact do utilize totalitarian structures and strategies to keep their workers in line. In this particular example, the flair pieces are part of a Double Bind structure. This doesn't make Peter's argument any less fallible though, and he takes it back to proceed with even more verbal tripping over himself.
- Used in Clerks in a scene where a 'Chewley's' gum representative is trying to stir up anti-cigarette sentiment in order to sell gum as a substitute. He tells the protagonist that shopkeepers who sell cigarettes are equal to Nazis because clerks like him are only following orders, and so did the Nazis. This is ironic as the Nazis hated smoking. Granted it's a flawed argument considering he obviously has no choice in what he sells and nobody is forced to buy it, but his customers are stirred into pelting him with cigarettes anyway.
- Used in Alfred Hitchcock's Rope in the argument between David's father and Brandon on the subject of whether "superior" people should have the right to kill inferior ones.
- In The King of Comedy
Rupert Pupkin: I made a mistake.Jerry Langford: So did Hitler.
- The New Tenants: Frank grows increasingly hyperbolic when complaining about Pete hassling him about smoking, eventually moving to vegetarianism and saying "You know, that's how that vegetarian Hitler got started."
- In Clint Eastwood's A Perfect World:
Bobby Lee: I love my work.Sally Gerber: So did Hitler.
- This is the reasoning behind the title of Bowling for Columbine. Moore points out that media watchdogs and social commentary pundits were alarmingly quick to point towards all sorts of societal influences that supposedly caused Harris and Klebold's rampage, including video games, bullying, violent movies, and the like. He then questions if they might as well blame the sport of bowling for what happened, as both killers were attending school classes in bowling and played a game the day before the shooting.
- During one flashback scene in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, wee Hansel is watching his favourite program on Armed Forces Television. He notes that Jesus said that darnedest things, and his mother cuffs him and says "So did Hitler."
Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
- Played for Laughs in The Nice Guys, where Holland March continuously makes comparisons to Hitler as a Running Gag.
- In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country during the beginnings of the Klingon-Federation alliance the Klingons remark that they just desire a bit of breathing room. Kirk quickly points out Hitler said a similar thing in 1938.
- This results in a Wrong Insult Offence in Stolen Kisses. When Georges Tabard mentions learning English from an Australian girl who was married to a housepainter, Fabienne immediately compares the housepainter to Hitler, provoking this response from Georges:
Georges Tabard: Don't ever say Hitler was a housepainter. That's slander. Hitler painted landscapes.
- Played with in A Series of Unfortunate Events, a few times. (Only a villainous person places his cup on the table without using a coaster or enjoys the works of Edgar Guest.)
- Project Itoh played this trope straight in his sci-fi novel Harmony, where a professor connects the book's healthcare-obsessed false Utopia with the Nazis because the Nazis starting looking into ways to cure cancer, being socialists, and being politically correct. Those last two are kind of eye-rollers, but the cancer thing gets especially weird seeing as the author was dying of cancer while writing the book. Wonder what that means.
- Itoh probably learned a lot about cancer during his illness, then he needed an explanation for that in-universe professor and wrote what came first to his mind.
- The foreword to Harry Potter parody Barry Trotter and the Shameless Parody inverts this while playing it for laughs. It includes a message from the publisher describing the work as 'satanic', and a message from Satan who thinks the book is utterly terrible and refuses to take the blame for it. A message from the church follows, stating that anything so reviled by Satan must be the ultimate work of good and encouraging the public to buy it en masse.
- Warrior Cats uses a variant with Tigerstar, the series equivalent of Hitler. All apprentices must serve the elders. When apprentice Tawnypaw Tigerstar's daughter is slightly late bringing moss to the elder Smallear, Smallear says, "Tigerstar didn't want to serve the elders either when he was an apprentice! You're going to turn out just like him!"
- In Death series: Origin In Death reveals that the Icoves and their partner Wilson essentially espoused eugenics. Naturally the opposition played this trope. It stopped them from doing things publicly. Privately, they engaged in cloning, genetic manipulation, and a lot of ugly stuff!
- Penn Jillette, in his foreword to Greg Gutfeld's The Bible of Unspeakable Truths, uses this as an argument against believing in God (which he identifies as a major point of disagreement between himself and the author).
- Spenser often will comment "Hitler liked dogs" when noting that an otherwise villainous character performed a Pet the Dog.
- In I, Jedi, a novel overlapping with the Jedi Academy Trilogy, Corran Horn uses his ability to absorb energy and channel it into telekinetic feats to save the life of another student. Luke cautions him against using his power that way in the future, because Darth Vader used that technique (the Cloud City scene in The Empire Strikes Back, where Han tries to shoot him and he stops the blaster bolts with his hand). Corran accepts this argument, despite the fact that no reason is given why the technique should be regarded as morally problematic aside from the fact that Vader used it one time. And it's a particularly hypocritical argument on Luke's part, since he had himself used Force skills associated with the Dark Side for benevolent purposes, such as using Force-choke - a much more common technique of Vader's - to intimidate some Gamorrean guards into letting him pass when he invaded Jabba the Hutt's palace.
- In A Wolf In The Soul, Greg's father reacts this way to Greg's becoming a vegetarian.
- The film historian, Siegfried Kracauer, a refugee from Nazi Germany himself, accused German Expressionism and various films made during the 20s for inspiring the rise of Hitler in his book, From Caligari to Hitler. He noted that many of these films had authoritarian villains who subverted society and manipulated the masses. Fritz Lang memorably criticized Kracauer for blaming his generation for being the bearers of bad news. Lang especially objected to Kracauer criticizing his film Die Nibelungen for feeding into Hitler's Wagner fetish, when he pointed out that his film was specifically based on the original German source and not on Wagner at all.
- The Dresden Files book Blood Rites has this used as an excuse by a vapid porn actress who's upset that her ex-husband divorced her when she was engineering the death of another actress. Harry points out that the soon-to-be victim has kids, and the woman replies "So did Hitler." Harry then points out that Hitler had dogs.
- Villains by Necessity: In the opening chapter, Arcie gets arrested after getting caught red-handed lifting purses. Sam is arrested as well for... sitting next to Arcie while dressed in black. Yes, Sam was a villain, but the guards had no proof of that, and even after finding all his weapons, could not prove he'd killed anyone, much less any specific person, with them. However, it would be enough to show he was a criminal, which is all they cared about, as they're now just being brainwashed into becoming good citizens, and not punished for anything.
- The Daily Show:
- Jon Stewart once used Glenn Beck logic to prove that Bert yes, the one from Sesame Street is actually Hitler. Seen here.
- He also showed a clip of Glenn Beck using it himself, not as a parody: since the Nazis and Communist both used "social justice" as a leitmotif, everyone asking for it is either of them (or maybe both).
- From another of his Glenn Beck segments:
You know who else didn't answer medical questions? Hitler.
- Another time was when a mention was made to Glenn Beck connecting the word "empathy" which was what Barack Obama said America needed more of (or something like that) to Hitler. As Lewis Black said, he'd just connected one of the most positive words in the English language to Hitler and that Glenn Beck had "Nazi Tourette's."
"Oh, can I play? Let's see. Mother Teresa: Mother Teresa had a mustache, Hitler had a mustache. Mother Teresa is Hitler!"
- And in what may be his final Glenn Beck riff, on 4/7/2011, Jon Stewart managed to link the announced cancellation of Glenn Beck's show on Fox News to the apocalypse predicted by the Mayans in 2012. "Do we want to live in an America where what we watch is determined by a shadowy mix-and-match collective of so-called 'Nielsen Families'? You know who else had a family that anyone could join? Charles Manson."
- Jon brought the author of "Liberal Fascism" (Jonah Goldberg) onto his show and asked him to explain why organic foods are fascist. The author's response? Hitler made his troops eat organic foods (which aren't even "liberal" in the traditional sense, either. Goldberg apparently got "left-wing" confused with "alternative lifestyle"). Jon's response to this was "That is literally like saying mustaches are fascist. Hitler had a mustache."
- At one point, Goldberg said that liberals use accusations of fascism to discredit all conservatives. Basically, accusing liberals of using this trope. While this actually is the case among some liberals, Jon held up the author's own book in a Funny Moment to show him he's doing the exact same thing.
- Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report often uses this as a means of argumentation, for example thinking that it's not OK to be a vegetarian because Hitler was one or celebrate Mother's Day because Joseph Stalin had a mother. On the other hand, Colbert did defend Michael Jordan for his sporting of a toothbrush mustache in Hanes underwear commercials. This could be because Jordan is black (and, therefore, couldn't possibly be Aryan and thus has, if you will, N Mustache Privileges), although the reason Colbert explicitly gave is that Jordan has a soul patch as well. Colbert pointed out that if Hitler had had a soul patch too, he'd have looked less like, well, Hitler, and more like a beatnik.
- Parodied in John Safran's Music Jamboree, where it explained, in depth, why Dr Seuss books and Cristina Aguilera CDs are bad, because their publishers are owned by a company that "used slave labour" during the Nazi era. Based on that logic, Ebenezer Scrooge is an evil man because he once hated Christmas.
- In John Safran vs God, the titular presenter (who is Jewish) mentions an anecdote from his youth. He was a big fan of the Beastie Boys and to emulate them, got a big Volkswagen logo pendant. This led to his mother ranting about how he was showing support for a product of Nazi Germany.
- The Young Ones but ever so slightly inverted:
Rick: Vyvyan, stop being so sexist! They're called breasts and everybody has them.
Vyvyan: Well I don't!
Rick: Yes, and nor did Adolf Hitler.
- Saturday Night Live had a parody commercial for a sneaker company where they showed members of the Heaven's Gate suicide cult wearing Nike sneakers, with the implication that if a suicide cult wears them they must be evil.
- In their 1976 debate, Jimmy Carter (Dan Akroyd) is asked about his personal attacks, and replies that Hitler also criticised people for their personal attacks, and while he doesn't think that his opponent, "Mr. Ford would purposefully kill 50 million people, his lack of leadership may lead to a fiery, demonic holocaust."
- From Dexter:
Rita's mom: Dexter does drugs. He is wrong.
- On Dexter's advice about Cody's school assignment:
Masuka: That's exactly how Hitler walked.
- On Agent Lundy's walking style:
- Inverted on Mad Men. Bert Cooper argues that Roger should stop smoking because it's a sign of weakness, claiming that when Hitler met with Chamberlain in Munich, he made sure it was in an old non-smoking building so that after a few hours Chamberlain would have agreed to anything to get out of there. Roger replies, "All I can get from that story is that Hitler didn't smoke, and I do."
- An episode of M*A*S*H sees Hawkeye yelling at a soldier whose deep guilt over a lack of bravery on the battlefield has given him psychological paralysis, on the theory that if the soldier doesn't overcome his guilt now, he never will. When Trapper asks afterward if it was rough, Hawkeye says, "Did you know Hitler and I have the same answering service?"
- Craig Ferguson uses a variant of this a lot in his Late Late Show monologues. "You know who else doesn't like _____ ? Al-Qaeda!"
- Inverted on an episode of Late Night With Conan O'Brien, where a skit mentioned news that US tobacco companies were being required by law to start making anti-tobacco ads. One of the "ads" shown on the show involved Himmler walking up to Hitler and offering him a cigar, to which Hitler responded with a quick "Nein!" The ad ended with the tagline: "Be Like Hitler: Don't Smoke!"
- Cam and Mitchell on Modern Family point out that Hitler had straight parents when they believe people assume the worst from them for being gay parents.
- In an episode of Mad About You, Paul insists on using Nazi comparisons when having arguments with Jamie (mostly about the mayor, for whom she worked), to the point where she claims he would be unable to have a discussion if the Nazis didn't exist.
- A Running Gag in the pilot of Freaks and Geeks is Harold Weir constantly knocking down his children's proposals or scolding their behavior with the argument "[Celebrity Name]/[A friend of mine growing up] did that, and you know what happened? They DIED!"
- On So Random!, in one skit, in a school presidential debate, Layla points out that she looks good in hats, and Mark responds "You know who else said they looked good in hats? Attila the Hun".
- QI discussed the trope at one point, along with Godwin's Law. Stephen Fry is of the opinion that anybody who uses this trope immediately loses whatever argument they were having.
Hitler liked that therefore it's bad. Or Hitler didn't like that therefore it's good. Hitler, for example, was massively opposed to fox hunting; he thought it was cruel and terrible. And so, he banned it. So, therefore, it must be right... that's just a mad argument.
- Detective Delahoy from The Unusuals is supposed to be doing paperwork but refuses and instead hangs at a Chinese restaurant. When his partner confronts him about it, he says that the Nazis did a lot of paperwork.
- On Married... with Children, Marcy visits the Bundys with a bunch of political signs to put in their yard, and Bud notices that one reads "Support toxic waste dumps." Marcy explains that if the neighbors see something in their yard, they'll be instantly driven to the opposite.
- In Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry is accused by a neighbor of betraying his Jewish heritage by whistling Richard Wagner, since Hitler frequently used his music during the Nazi era.
- Discussed in the Louis Theroux documentary Louis and the Nazis, where the mother of Aryan singing duo Lamb and Lynx has them dance around a swastika. She claims that anyone who would take offence to such an act is merely invoking this trope, as the swastika existed for thousands of years before the Nazis appropriated it. Louis tells her that excuse is a little hollow, however, since she openly calls herself a Nazi.
- In the ABC mini-series The French Atlantic Affair (1979), a cult leader played by Telly Savalas seizes an ocean liner for ransom. A member of the cult argues that their glorious leader is Not Evil, Just Misunderstood, citing how when she first met him, he was involved in helping people in hospitals and orphanages and so on. The rebuttal? Hitler started out the same way!
- Murr on Impractical Jokers used this logic to convince a man not to buy a brand of baby wipes.
- Because the music of Richard Wagner was so commonly used by the Nazis in their propaganda, fans of Wagner can expect to hear this from the ill-informed when they announce their admiration for Der Ring des Nibelungen. Granted, the situation is more complicated than usual since Wagner himself was anti-Semitic and pushed for a united Germany. Yet, he still died before Hitler was even born. And his only work of music which references his anti-Semitism at all is Parsifal, which the Nazis actually banned for being too pacifistic since Wagner wanted Jews to convert to Christianity - he was not in favor of genocide. Despite all this, though, if people know one thing about Wagner and his music, it's that he was a "Nazi composer," to the extent that his music is quite verboten in Israel.
- Fans of Wagner themselves are sometimes called anti-Semitic just for liking his music. Said fans are ignorant of Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, and a huge Wagner fanboy.
- In some lovely Irony, as Wagner's Opera The Flying Dutchman is based off a recording of the legends by the poet Heinrich Heine, who was Jewish.
- According to The Axis of Awesome song "Do They Know It's Pizza?", Joseph Kony cuts pizzas into 8 slices. (Spoofed by an issue of MAD that has a fake Williams-Sonoma mail-order catalog offering a rusty steel "African Warlord Pizza Machete" that customers can use to cut uniform slices and then lop off the hands of anyone who tries to take some pizza.)
- In a Dilbert strip, Ratbert wins every debate on the Internet by using the argument: "How would you like it if Hitler killed you?" In one of his text books, Scott Adams pointed out you can win any argument by comparing something to Hitler. This works so well, he explains, because Hitler was a surprisingly versatile guy; he did everything from invasions to building autobahns.
- There's a That Mitchell and Webb Sound sketch about this sort of thing. There's a debate about killing pizza-flyer delivery guys and one of them reduces all the other's responses to comparisons with Hitler, and the other constantly compares his opponent to Stalin. Which culminates in the exchange:
"You're like Stalin...""You are Hitler".
- In regards to sin in general, I John 3:8 states that anyone who has committed a sin is considered of the devil, who had committed a sin by rebelling against God. This is paraphrased as "If you do something bad, no matter how bad it is, you're following the example of Satan."
- This isn't saying that committing a sin makes you as bad as Satan, but rather that - like him - you're willingly going against what God said to do.
- The entire premise behind Richard Herring's "Hitler Moustache" show is that he is reclaiming the toothbrush moustache. He points out that Charlie Chaplin had it first, but it's become evil by association with Hitler. The toothbrush moustache was also a popular fashion accessory for German World War I veterans who joined the postwar Freikorps, a right-wing paramilitary organization formed to restore order in the wake of the political violence in Germany immediately after the war. While many of the Freikorps troops did become Nazis, various others were Jewish - and one was even murdered by his fellow troopers for it!
- Of course this neglects that Chaplin reclaimed his mustache himself in The Great Dictator by openly embracing the surface resemblance between Hitler and the Tramp, and clarifying the differences once and for all.
- Lampshaded in a tongue-in-cheek fashion in Bill Bailey's stand-up: asking the audience for famous vegetarians, someone yells out "Hitler!", with Bailey replying: "You're absolutely right, Hitler was a vegetarian. It's very unseemly to think so, but there he was. Just goes to show: vegetarianism - not always a good thing. Can in some extreme cases lead to genocide."
- Comedian Andy Kindler says he uses this trope to break up the "Astrological love-fest" between people with the same Zodiac sign (ie. "Hitler was a Sagittarius"). If it isn't true, no one's going to call you out on it. Hitler was a Taurus.
- This is addressed in an editorial in the back of Werewolf: The Apocalypse. The Wyrm is the incarnation of destruction, decay, corruption, etc, but it shouldn't be blamed for everything. if someone is Wyrm-Tainted, that doesn't mean the devil made him do it. It just means he did it and the devil noticed.
- Postal 2 includes a group of protesters first showing up on Tuesday, whose slogan is "save a tree, burn a book". One of their placards reads "Achtung! Hitler wrote a book!" Which, of course, is Comically Missing the Point in that the Nazis also burned books.
- Dragon Age:
- Series-wide, this may be the true character of Blood Magic — a tool and not an inherently evil force. A Player Character can be absolutely upright and selfless and still practice blood magic with no ill effect. The most vilified ability of blood magic is the ability to Mind Control others, but comparing it to certain non-blood magic spells is a good reminder that other magic can also be seriously nasty. For example, Immolate, which allows a mage to "...unleash a massive explosion, leaving enemies in the area burning in agony. There's also magic of some kind which rips a hole in reality, sucking spirits into this world while turning them into insane demons."
- Another, in-universe example comes up in arguments over mage rights: Do you know who else is against preemptively locking up mages and cutting them off from their families? Tevinter, that's who!
- In the Metal Gear series:
- Played With in Metal Gear Solid: Snake points out to Otacon that Hitler was a dog lover. He's not actually speaking one way or the other to the morality of being a dog lover, and in fact is a big fan of canines himself. He's merely refuting Otacon's assertion that Sniper Wolf liking dogs is concrete proof that she's a good person.
- A non-Hitler example comes from Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, where the explanation for why Solid Snake suddenly has Big Boss' CQC abilities is that Snake had always known how to use CQC, but refused to due to its association with Big Boss, as he had betrayed Snake in the original game. He only uses it during the events of this game because, with Big Boss' pre-Outer Heaven exploits having been declassified sometime after the Big Shell incident, everybody else on the modern battlefield now knows a "cookie-cutter imitation" of CQC too, so when they try to use it on Snake he instinctively responds in kind.
- A borderline Insane Troll Logic variant appears in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All: a witness states that a bellboy is suspicious because he had stitches on his face and wore non-uniform leather gloves. Phoenix, grasping at straws and trying to stall the trial for as long as possible, points out that baseballs have stitches, and footballs are made of leather. Does that make all baseballs and footballs suspicious?
- Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy at least makes some effort to avoid this trope in its tutorial level. Kyle at one point tells you "Force powers aren't inherently good or evil - it's how you use them". Sure enough, since which ending you get is based on a single choice, whether to kill a specific NPC who's at your mercy near the end, you can get the light-side ending after having played the game with nothing but Dark Side powers. That said, Kyle and Luke will still worry about you in the intermissions between acts if you invest in too many Dark powers, and it also doesn't help that the earlier Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II did have which ending you got determined by whether you had more Light or Dark powers, with the only variation (i.e. Light-focused power set but Dark Side ending) done by way of killing too many innocents.
- In the comedic flash parody The Matrix Has You, Neo gives a lecture on car safety, specifically to buckle up, and points out that both Agent Smith and Hitler don't wear seat belts.
Neo: Why, Agent Smith never buckles up. [a mustache appears over Smith's face] And neither did Hitler. You don't want to be like Hitler... do you?
- Cyanide & Happiness has this:
"You know who else had a single preference? Hitler."
- Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal explains why you should always floss your teeth:
"Now, I notice you haven't been flossing. So, I wanted to share with you a picture of someone else who didn't floss." *shows portrait of Adolf Hitler*
- College Roomies from Hell!!! once had a crazy person declare that hands were evil because Hitler had hands.
- In a parody of anti-drug PSAs, a Loserz strip demonstrates the evils of pot smoking, finishing off with the assertion that Hitler regularly had a breakfast joint with none other than Satan. Just to drive the point home, the following strip is an equally absurd PSA defending marijuana, ending with the statement that Jesus smoked pot, so it was obviously good.
- Questionable Content came up with the counter to Godwin's Law after Pintsize attempted to invoke this trope:
Pintsize: You know who else knew Latin? The NAZIS.
Hannelore: Well you know who knew more Latin than the Nazis? INDIANA JONES.
- Not actually involving Hitler but in one Elf Only Inn strip, Goku wants to fight Woot because the latter ate Goku's head. Woot uses a similar argument to convince Goku that he doesn't have a mouth.
Woot: I have no mouth. That's just Republican propaganda. You're not republican, are you?
Goku: Oh? Of course not. Sorry.
- User Friendly did a parody on Godwin's Law here.
- In Muertitos here: "I heard she was so evil that if she does something good, then forever after it becomes evil, just 'cause she did it!"
- Millie in Ozy and Millie is fond of this.
- From Ape, Not Monkey
"You know who also associated things with Adolf Hitler? ADOLF HITLER!"
- Referenced in the "That Certain Card" strip of Positivity:
#1: Hey, what do you think of my new haircut?
#2: You know who else had hair? Hitler!
- Inverted in one episode of Penny Arcade: "I mean, it's not like doing one thing the Nazis did is absolutely evil, even if that thing involves burning art that does not conform to our standards".
- This Bug Martini show the difficulty of debating Hitler on account that you can't use this arguement, and because of the Gestapo.
- This seems to show up in The Easy Breather for, of all things, smoking.
- Parodied in one of many Pokémon Abridged Series.
Officer Jenny: You know who else claimed he wasn't a Nazi? Hitler!
- Jacksfilms uses this once or twice. In his jeggings parody:
"You might be thinking, "Hey! I like pants!" Well that's fine. You know who else liked pants? Hitler."
- Used in Epic Meal Time:
"If you're getting tired of all this bacon there's something wrong with your brain! You know who else didn't like too much bacon? Hitler. You don't want to be Hitler, do you? No. He's got stupid hair.
- Used and inverted in That Guy with the Glasses' 2-year anniversary special, Kickassia. When Linkara expresses doubts about the upcoming invasion of Molossia, The Nostalgia Critic responds:
Critic: You know, there's another group of people who thought like you, Linkara, they were called NAZIS! They were closed-minded, hate-filled people who only wanted things their way! Are you a Nazi, Linkara? ARE YOU?!
Critic: Good. Now let me tell you about a group of people who didn't give up. They were called Nazis...
- Lampshaded and parodied in the D&D PHB PSAs by Creative Juices 7 in D&Debate #6 (PSA #39), when Mialee discovers that she's being sued for his mistreatment of Displacer Beasts:
Lilith: Do you know who else made sweaters out of an oppressed species?
Mialee: (pause) ... no?
Mialee: Um, I... yeah, um, Hitler did a lot of bad stuff, but I'm pretty sure you're thinking of Mr. Burns from The Simpsons.
Lilith: (angry glare)
Mialee: Uh, no offense.
- The Drunk and The Ugly podcast group dropped this one during their play-through of Road Trip.
- Children's Daycare is Evil (no longer subtitled, but you get the gist from the keywords and tone).
- Used for comedic effect in Coldmirror's Gag Dub "Harry Potter und der Plastikpokal":
Barty Crouch Sr./Candyman: Good day, it's me the candyman. From now on I am going to come to your school with my food trolley every morning and sell candy. No stupid cheese rolls like in your cafeteria. No, just sweets, sugar... lots of sugar.
Ron: Sugar is evil!
Girl: Sugar makes hyperactive!
The Wesley twins: Hitler ate sugar!
- Also used for comedy in an old Seanbaby review about the NES game Wall Street Kid, concluding with "To keep it in perspective, though; all this game really was was a simple bad idea. But you know who else had some simple bad ideas? Hitler."
Seanbaby: I know the word "Hitler" gets thrown around a lot when someone's angry, but cutting 15 minutes of Booger from a movie is exactly the kind of thing Hitler would do. Exactly.
- Used to even better effect when discussing the injustice of Curtis Armstrong's role in Shanghai Noon being deleted:
- An episode of "Hope Is Emo" had the main character disapprove of babies because Hitler was a baby.
- Parodied in The Agony Booth review of TRON: Legacy.
You know who else was a genocidal maniac? Hitler!
- From the Rifftrax of High School Musical during a romance pop-song called "Start of Something New":
Bill Corbett "Yeah, you know what else was new at one time? Hitler."
Mike Neslon: "Easy there! A bit early in the film to go full Godwin!"
- This is basically a meme on the liberal political humour blog Wonkette: "You know who else...?" Invariably, when someone asks such a question in the comments, people will respond with nonsensical answers (although the intended answer is usually, of course, "Hitler"). Presumably it started by means of mocking Glenn Beck.
- This parody political ad for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic villain Ahuizotl takes this trope and runs with it hilariously:
Announcer: "Daring Do has consistently shown a desire to steal, plunder and destroy ancient artifacts for nothing more than greed. You know who else was greedy? Al Capone. In fact, have you ever seen them together? That's right: Al Capone and Daring Do are most likely the same person."
Ahuizotl: "Also, have you ever seen me and Mother Theresa, or Batman in the same room together? I'm not saying I am Mother Theresa or Batman... but I'm implying it shamelessly!"
- Todd in the Shadows does this with Jason DeRulo, of all people, in response to Meghan Trainor talking about shaking her butt "like I'm supposed to do." He even uses the exact words "You know who else..." Granted, he's not necessarily wrong, assuming she meant the line as literally as he interprets it.
- "Everyone I Don't Like Is Hitler: A Child's Guide to Online Political Discussion◊."
- Episode 11 of Comeuppance, a series that runs on strawmen, has this little bit:
Sian: From Miss Scatcherd and the Trunchbull, to Pink Floyd and The Demon Headmaster, you [teachers] command a unique notoriety in the cultural psyche, dont you?
- The Hittle parodies this way of thinking. A vegetarian and a meat-eater argue about which side is morally superior. So they actually bring Hitler in to resolve the dispute by blindfolding him and giving him a bat. Whoever Hitler attacks is clearly in the right, making the other side wrong.
- Trope name comes from Daria, episode "Pinch Sitter", with this little exchange from two kids repeating stuff their parents told them about eating sweets.
Tricia: Sugar is bad.
Tad: Sugar rots your teeth.
Tricia: Sugar makes you hyper.
Tad: Hitler ate sugar.
- South Park, "Weight Gain 4000":
Cartman: You guys, guess what? After I'm on television, I'm gonna be totally famous.
Wendy: [as she passes by] Hitler was famous, too.
- King of the Hill:
Girl Hipster: You know who else was anti-smoking? HITLER!
- Luann finally moves out in one episode, but her new roommates are stereotypically lazy college students who invoke Godwin's Law whenever anyone attempts to assert any sort of authority over them. For example, when she asks them not to smoke in the house:
- This didn't pan out at the end when the male roommate made the same accusation against Grandpa Cotton, a grizzled World War II veteran:
Cotton: WHO ARE YOU CALLIN' A NAZZY?! *headbutt!*
- The Simpsons:
- Inverted when Sideshow Bob, up for parole, is questioned about his tattoo reading "Die Bart, Die." He explains that it is German for "The Bart, The". The parole board is convinced, someone reasoning "No one who speaks German could be an evil man."
- Also inverted in "Revenge is a Dish Best Served Three Times" where the Springfield Library has a cardboard cutout of Hitler encouraging reading.
- The Itchy & Scratchy Show was once sponsored by a brand of mustache wax. Their brand was being the one Hitler didn't use.
- Buck Rockgut from The Penguins of Madagascar uses this Up to Eleven.
"Like nuts do ya? You know who else likes nuts? THE RED SQUIRREL!"
"Your friend there has a big fluffy tail. You know who else has a tail? THE RED SQUIRREL!!"
"Read any good books lately? Read? Red? THE RED SQUIRREL!!!"
- Family Guy: Dialogue from a PSA made to make weed illegal again in Quahog:
Peter: All right, Carter, I've finished cutting together our anti-pot video. Take a look. (a live-action Adolf Hitler is shown with a cartoon marijuana joint)
Adolf Hitler: (in Peter's voice) Hey, I've got a great idea! Let's kill 6 million Jews!
German People: (in Carter's voice) Hooray! Yeah! Yeah, I'm on board! How did you come up with that?
Adolf Hitler: (in Peter's voice) I got the idea from... from... while... from while I was smoking pot. Anyone else who likes pot, reach for my joint.
German People: (in Carter's voice) Oh, there it is. Give us some of that!
Adolf Hitler: (in Peter's voice) Ha ha ha! Perhaps later. Now let's go to France and steal all their Objects D'arte!
German Soldiers: (in Carter's voice) Yeah, alright! Let's go to France!
- The trope itself is discussed in Adventure Time.
Finn: Hey, Ice King seems way into ninjas. Even more than we are.
Jake: Yeah, so?
Finn: So, doesn't that mean that ninjas must be kinda lame?
Jake: Nah, they're still cool. But Ice King's still lame because he hides his ninja love. We wear our ninja on our sleeve!
- On The Boondocks, after Riley finds out his idol Gangstalicious is gay, he comes to the conclusion that since he likes Gangstalicious he must be gay himself.
- Spoofed to high heaven in the Robot Chicken sketch "Hitler is Stealing Sandwiches" with Adolf Hitlarious himself. A Nazi soldier asks his office mates, Hitler and Himmler, which one of them stole his leftover sandwich from the fridge. Himmler doesn't want to accuse Hitler but points out meaningfully that "only one of us murdered 6 million Jews." Hitler proudly replies, "Yes! Exactly! I murdered 6 million Jews. Clearly I'm a good person! I wouldn't steal a sandwich!" After more discussion, however, it turns out through I Never Said It Was Turkey that Hitler really did steal the sandwich, upon which he has a Heel Realization: "I stole your sandwich, Fritz. Therefore, I am a bad person. Therefore, a bad person killed 6 million Jews. Therefore, maybe killing— What have I done?!" Fritz consoles him: "Mein Führer, only a bad person would kill 6 million Jews, but only a good person would feel bad about it."
- In The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius episode "Maternotron Knows Best", Jimmy's robot caretaker modeled after his mother refuses to let him and his father go outside because "Outside is where the Civil War was held!"
- This trope was pointed out as early as 1944 when George Orwell wrote in What is Fascism? that "It will be seen that, as used, the word 'Fascism' is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, it is used even more wildly than in print." Orwell names a Long List of often opposing groups accused of fascism. It would seem that, according to Orwell, almost any group at the time had been accused of fascism by linking it to some policy in Fascist Italy or National Socialist Germany.
- Bill O'Reilly used "fascism" exactly as Orwell described in an interview with Richard Dawkins when he described Dawkins's refusal to accept the validity of intelligent design "fascist". Dawkins had a Flat "What." moment at that.
- Ironically, the term "Orwellian" is used today in almost the exact same way Orwell rallied against back in 1944. Basically, any act of surveillance or mention of it is equated to the Police State without any ground for nuance, subtlety and gray areas.
- The phrase "reductio ad Hitlerum" note , closely associated to Godwin's Law, was first used in an article written by University of Chicago professor Leo Strauss in 1951, in Measure: A Critical Journal, and re-emerged in another Strauss book titled Natural Right and History in 1953:
"In following this movement towards its end we shall inevitably reach a point beyond which the scene is darkened by the shadow of Hitler. Unfortunately, it does not go without saying that in our examination we must avoid the fallacy that in the last decades has frequently been used as a substitute for the reductio ad absurdum: the reductio ad Hitlerum. A view is not refuted by the fact that it happens to have been shared by Hitler."
"Leo Strauss called it the reductio ad Hitlerum. If Hitler liked neoclassical art, that means that classicism in every form is Nazi; if Hitler wanted to strengthen the German family, that makes the traditional family (and its defenders) Nazi; if Hitler spoke of the "nation" or the "folk," then any invocation of nationality, ethnicity, or even folkishness is Nazi ..."
- In 2000, Catholic traditionalist Thomas Fleming described its use against traditional values:
- In an example much like the Bob and Alice example in the intro of this page, Fox News Liberal Bob Beckel said that America should attack Bashar al-Assad for using chemical warfare because the only other people to ever use chemical warfare were Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein. Aside from this being hilariously wrong, it's basically saying that chemical weapons are immoral because they were used by Hitler and Hussein, not simply because they kill people indiscriminately. Even more ironic, Hitler never used chemical weapons in war (he used it only to murder defenseless people). He was aware that Germany was poorly prepared to defend against chemical attacks if the British or Russians decided to retaliate in kind. Chemical weapons advocates in the past include the likes of Winston Churchill (who advocated the use of Tear Gas in Iraq, to minimise the death of British troops and native rebels). It was also deployed by the United States military, in the form of the defoliant Agent Orange (infamous for defects which appeared in the mass-production batches which caused it to be deadly to animal life as well), during The Vietnam War.
- Hitler is sometimes considered to be the poster boy of Evil Vegetarian, in fallacious arguments that often try to make vegetarians look like an Animal Wrongs Group.
- Taken quite seriously in a book entitled Hitler: Neither Vegetarian Nor Animal Lover. The author, a vegetarian, attempts to refute the "Hitler was a vegetarian" argument, by arguing that actually, Hitler was not a vegetarian.
- One inversion occurs in India, where vegetarianism is part of deadly culture wars. Many people argue that Mahatma Gandhi was a vegetarian and he was good, therefore being vegetarian is "good." And since vegetarianism is an Indian cultural practice commonly seen as "good," some traditionalists will argue that more dubious Indian practices like gender and caste discrimination are also good. The weird part is that right-wing Hindu organizations use draconian measures to target the distribution of meat and other foods (often to target Muslims, Christians and lower-caste Hindus) which is entirely against Gandhian practises, not to mention that Gandhi was killed by a fanatic Hindu himself.
- BitTorrent and other P2P programs fall victim to this. As it is often used for trafficking illegally-obtained media, like games and films, it isn't surprising to shun the protocol as exclusively for piracy, where there are actually myriad legitimate uses for it. Like downloading and/or hosting Linux distributions, for one.
- In fact, with that anti-piracy logic in mind, wouldn't be sufficient to say that the Internet itself allows for the same sort of piracy?
- Same goes for video game console emulators. A number of people and/or companies have vilified them as tools for facilitating piracy, including Sony, Nintendo, and Atlus, when the latter filed a DMCA notice against the RPCS3 project for emulating Persona 5 ahead of its Western release date. Sony had infamously filed suit against Connectix and bleem, but both companies won their respective cases, albeit a Pyrrhic Victory as Connectix's Virtual Game Station was acquired and at the same time discontinued by Sony in a fiendish move, and Bleem filed bankruptcy due to the legal fees they incurred. Despite this, a legal precedent has since been established that emulating a proprietary system is legal so as long as it does not contain any copyrighted code, and it was reverse engineered fairly and transparently.
This is why the Dolphin team and byuu of Higan argued for open-sourcing emulators as it saves them the legal trouble by disclosing how they run and such, and for them to immediately prove that the code is an original work. Dolphin also refuses donations of any kind, as the developers wanted to play it safe and not give the impression that they are in any way profiting from making an unauthorized implementation of Nintendo hardware; Cemu and the aforementioned RPCS3 do have a crowdfunding project, potentially putting their work in legal jeopardy.
- Kodi, formerly known as XBMC, has also been similarly viewed with scorn by corporations, no thanks to the fact that third-party addons which allow pirated streaming content to be loaded and those who profit from it. The XBMC Foundation maintains that it has nothing to do with such illicit use of Kodi and that it is just as legitimate as your average media player, though app stores such as those from Amazon banned Kodi regardless.
- Hitler's religious beliefs, which are considered to be highly syncretic and idiosyncratic by neutral observers and historians, are also used to advocate and denounce the inevitable moral bankruptcy of atheism, and the repressive, intolerant and oppressive nature of Christianity.
- (Here's the TL;DR) Hitler was Raised Catholic and publicly he was a Christiannote , and Nazi Germany did conclude a Concordat with the Church, overseen by Monsignor Pacelli (the future Pope Pius XII). Most notably for Hitler, articles 31 and 32 banned Church interference in politics, putting the final nail in the coffin for the post-Enabling Act Catholic Centre Party before it was even signed, immediately leading to a one party state in Germany. However, Nazism did clash with local Church officials on matters of education (Mussolini, who was an atheist, let the Church handle education), and Hitler tapped into a nationalist Catholic strain dating back to Martin Luther (whose open anti-semitism was revived during the Nazi era) and Bismarck's Kulturkampf, to appeal to the Protestant base of Germany. Hitler later sought to replace Christianity with the National Reich Church which, among other things, sought to prohibit the printing of Bibles and replace the Christian cross with the swastika. The "German Christian" movement was formed to fuse Nazi ideology with Christianity, aiming to overhaul and then replace the latter. There's also the fact that anti-semitism had a long history in Europe among various Christian sects (not to mention the fact that antisemitism can be found among non-Christians and non-Europeans), which was revived and transmuted into scientific racism. Of course this doesn't mean that Hitler was a conventional Catholic, that the Church supported or was in anyway involved with his anti-semitic policies in any significant fashion, but this nuance gets lost in various present-day debates.
- When Christian fundamentalists are speaking out against Satanism, Neo-Paganism, and Occultism, they will sometimes bring up Heinrich Himmler or the Thule Society. But Hitler privately stated that he hated the Occult (in terms not dissimilar to Reaganite and Nixonian arguments against "hippies") and he preferred conventional Catholicism to it. Likewise, Catholic groups will play down the dubious rule of Pope Pius XII and exaggerate some of his vague actions to state he was a resister while atheist groups will grotesquely exaggerate it out of all proportion and call him a collaborator.
- Hitler's (or the Nazi's) stance toward the Occult can be a bit more complicated. For example, Christians think magic is evil or doesn't exist and may deny that what they do is magic, but to a neutral outsider, a Christian lighting a candle and praying for wealth isn't so different from someone in e.g. Congo offering a small animal and praying for wealth - both seem to be attempts at magic. Likewise, some of the stuff some Nazi leaders believed in is pretty weird and unsubstantiated even if they didn't exactly draw occult rune circles in pig blood and performed ancient Germanic chants to pray for succes in battle.
- There is also the fact that even if Hitler was a Catholic Christian/atheist/Positive Christian, not all of the high-ranking officers, willing NSB party members, people who voted him in, members of the SS, other Nazi's, etc. would have been. Hitler didn't do or invent all that stuff on his own.
- A strange variant of this trope occurred in Jaslo, Poland in July 2009. An oak tree became the target of a political movement to get it felled once it was found out that Hitler planted it in celebration of his 53rd birthday. Though really, that isn't saying all trees are bad... just the specific Hitler Tree.
- Anti-smoking policies are often denounced as Nazi-ist, as the Nazis banned things. Adolf Hitler did indeed disapprove of smoking, and hoped that in his lifetime every cigarette package in Europe would be labeled with a warning message (an idea that has since then become widespread). He also never drank alcohol, citing its effects on the poor families in Austria. Yet, cigarette corporations have also been accused of fascism on at least one occasion, for profiting on the ills of others.
- This particular aspect of the trope was given front page coverage on the Australian newspaper the "Daily Telegraph" as part of their smear campaign against Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. It included a full page photoshop of him and several other ministers stuck onto the heads of the lead actors from Hogan's Heroes.
- Ironic that. Cigarettes used to come with picture cards (the forerunner of bubblegum cards), and there were several featuring a Hitler series. You could even get a special album to paste them in.
- The (relative) uniqueness of German anti-smoking beliefs in fact can somewhat tied circumstances brought about by Hitler himself, rather than because he was ahead of his time in that regard. It was only shortly following scientific collaboration breaking down between German and other western powers' scientists that German scientists began first publishing high quality studies in regard to the effects of tobacco. So basically, this trope was having an effect (for good reason), even pre-WWII. Additionally, German scientists led anti-tobacco research prior to the rise of the Nazis (unsurprisingly, as the German prewar tobacco industry was far less powerful and important across the market than in the US); this didn't start out as a pet-project of Hitler's. Furthermore, the harsh conditions of the Eastern Front were causing German physicians to notice cardiac health differences between soldiers who smoked and those who didn't, and obviously they didn't then travel to America and Britain to present their findings.
- For people who don't like porn, they point out that noted psychos (including, guess who) were sexual deviants (Hitler modeled and presented himself as a Celibate Hero and most historians note that compared to Mussolini, who was really a playboy, he was fairly Straight Edge). And people who are pro-porn and pro-sex point out how "oppressive" (read: evil) regimes are anti-those-things (e.g. The Nazis banned contraception/abortion for Aryans and sent gay people to concentration camps).
- That criticism actually began during the Nazi rise to power from their critics, mostly because of the gay-friendly nature of the SA until the Night of the Long Knives, e.g., former Commander-in-Chief Hammerstein-Equord notoriously called them "gangsters and perverts" (»Verbrecherbande und Schweinigels«.).
- Poland had a quite straight example along those lines, a billboarding that said, "Abortion for Poles: introduced by Hitler, March 9, 1943." It is a pretty good example of the problems of playing this trope straight; Germany could put up a poster saying that Hitler banned abortions, because he did for Aryans, while legalizing or even forcing them on others. This seems to make him anti-choice, without being pro-life, a viewpoint not exactly (hopefully) relevant in today's society.
- For most Polish women, they did get the ability to choose thanks to Hitler. While they were legalized for all Poles, they were only forced on a minority (usually criminals, disabled, concentration camp inmates, victims of reprisals, etc.) Of course, all this meant is any woman on whom they wanted to force an abortion simply got framed for a crime.
- Because all fascist governments were dictatorships, and the downfall of fascism discredited dictatorship for good, it's a common mistake by many historians and commentators to equate all dictatorships with Hitler, and likewise compare Nazi totalitarianism with Soviet totalitarianism.
- In the original Roman context, a Dictator was a temporary executive position in the Roman Senate, and performed the same function as a Prime Minister and President in contemporary democracies. One of the dictators, Cincinnatus, was a hero of George Washington. Julius Caesar was the man who made dictatorship an opprobium when he became Dictator Perpetuo following the precedent of Lucius Cornelius Sulla. Caesar himself, aside from conquering Gaul, was very different in management and political style to Hitler needless to say.
- Likewise, there was considerable differences in degree and kind between Mussolini, Francisco Franco, Salazar and Hitler, if we are to discuss Western European dictatorships. Franco was an authoritarian catholic military despot, a rabid anti-communist and he did call for Nazi warplanes to bombard his own people, but he also maintained a policy of neutrality during the War (albeit for reasons of self-interest and definitely not humanitarianism). Franco's Spain and Salazar's Portugal were safe havens for refugee Jews and both nations were NATO allies during the Cold War. That said, in Mussolini's case he and his government did start to resemble Nazi Germany more and more when it became increasingly apparent that Hitler had become the senior partner to his former idol, such as instituting anti-Semitic laws in Italy. Ultimately they became a downright Nazi clone after Mussolini was re-installed in a German puppet state called the Italian Social Republic following the initial capitulation of Italy in 1943.
- The ahistorical association sometimes goes as far as comparing Napoleon Bonaparte to Hitler. Hitler was a Napoleon fanboy and followed in his footsteps in invading Russia, and World War II propaganda in both England and the Soviet Union, invoked memories of The Napoleonic Wars, which often leads to everyone seeing the man most responsible for Jewish deghettoization, and a hero for German-Jewish poet Heinrich Heine, being tarred with the same brush as his polar opposite. Napoleon was in fact an enlightened despot who, unlike Hitler, certainly never contemplated wiping out entire populations. He did seize power from a more or less democratic (if severely dysfunctional) government and was a warmonger more concerned with his own glory than the French people, but he followed his revolutionary predecessors in the many liberal reforms that broke the power of the traditional aristocracy. Also, as mentioned, he scorned anti-Semitism.
- In an attempt to discredit Charles Darwin and evolution, evangelical minister Ray Comfort and actor Kirk Cameron added a special 150th anniversary "introduction" to On the Origin of Species that pointed out "Adolf Hitler's undeniable connection with the theory", among other things. That's what happens when you let things fall into the public domain, we suppose. It's also what happens when someone misses (or ignores) the fact that one of the first books that was banned in Germany after Hitler took control of the country was On The Origin of Species, along with the rest of Darwin's works, plus those of Ernst Haeckel, foremost German advocate of Darwinism (Nazi ideology actually espoused a form of racist creationism).
- There is a long history around politics and evolutionary theory that predates Nazis, on which many books and articles have been written (including several by Stephen Jay Gould). Much of the hostility to evolutionary theory among the religious in particular comes from the way Social Darwinists of late 19th and early 20th centuries co-opted the evolutionary theory to justify their social programs, which included both scientific racism and forced sterilization of those deemed "inferior" for biological reasons (the ideas later called "Social Darwinism" actually long predated him). Nazis were simply the most ruthless in co-opting these programs for their aims, while coming at them from a very different ideological view.
- This trope was a major problem for the left nationalist movement in Canada during the 1960's. During that time period, Canadians everywhere suffered a major national identity crisis whose finer points are too lengthy to explain in this example (most prominently, there were fears that trade exports with the United States were "contaminating" the country with American lifestyle choices in exchange for a stronger economy), left nationalists reacted by shunning anything and everything American. The debate broke wide open when prominent left nationalist Robin Mathews wrote in the essay "Draft Dodgers and U.S. Imperialism" that American war resisters escaping the Vietnam draft should be refused entry into Canada because, despite holding similar views to many Canadians at the time, they still carried the "stench" of American evil with them. For many people in left nationalism, acknowledging that Mathews took things too far would mean recognizing that America had redeeming qualities, and thus the movement's absolutist views of anti-Americanism fell apart.
- Osama bin Laden supported the fight against climate change. Cue Right-wing America asking 'What is the difference between bin Laden and Al Gore?'
- As cited here, the Guardian produced an example that's pushing it even for this trope:
Although the fringe event was carefully stage-managed terse political lines trotted out and limited time for questions there was one unfortunate mistake. The basement room in which delegates gathered to hear the controversial Tory allies was in Manchesters Midland Hotel, a building Hitler is said to have liked so much that he would have made it his northern residence if he had invaded.
- The Daily Mail has used Charles Manson's belief in climate change to ridicule the idea. Seriously.
- The Heartland Institute erected billboards to try to discourage belief in global warming by claiming that the Unabomber believed in it. After a great deal of outrage, even from conservatives, the Institute claimed that the billboards were all part of a brilliant social experiment. Sure they were, boys...
- The (slightly left-wing) Labour party of the UK tried this kind of argument on the (slightly right-wing) Conservative party by showing a series of billboards featuring the Conservative party leader photoshopped into Gene Hunt, the sexist, homophobic main character of Life On Mars and Ashes to Ashes. Which might have been a good idea if Gene Hunt wasn't the most popular TV character in the country at the time.
- In April of 2012, Representative Allen West said that members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus were members of the Communist Party, because the Communist Party praised some of their policies. Politifact called this "Guilt by Association on steroids."
- Dan Savage once pointed out an inversion of this trope. He had advised someone to beware of entering a relationship with a much older man, and a woman married to a much older man sent him a Strongly Worded Letter about how wonderful her own husband was. His response; "My boyfriend is tall, blond, in his thirties, and he's not a cannibal. Going by your logic, we'd have to conclude that Jeffrey Dahmer, who was tall, blond, and in his thirties, wasn't a cannibal either."
- The logic here appears to be that entering a relationship with a much older man is usually a bad idea, and this one specific woman's exception doesn't change that rule. The same way Dan Savage found the exception with his boyfriend, and that doesn't change the fact that most tall, blond men in their thirties... are cannibals?
- Or rather: Relationships with older men are usually bad, and one anecdote (the woman's experience) does not change that. Relationships with tall, blond men in their thirties are usually OK, and one anecdote (Jeffrey Dahmer) does not change that.
- A Southern California newsletter (and a fairly reputable one, believe it or not) protested the special 150th-anniversary edition of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels The Communist Manifesto that was published in 1998. The article accused the book of having caused millions of deaths, and likened its re-release to a new publishing of Mein Kampf. Leaving aside the contentious comparisons between Nazism and Communism, the charge doesn't make sense. Mein Kampf openly advocated racist persecution of specific groups and has no real sociological, economic and literary merit. The Communist Manifesto is a tiny pamphlet analyzing political situations of 1848, and hardly advocated in any form the violence of Stalin and Mao. One could make a better case for Mao's Little Red Book, (which was used during the cultural revolution as a tract for violence). This also doesn't deal with the fact that Mein Kampf and Nazism in general was extremely anti-communist (in fact the Nazi Party grew out of anti-communist militias formed in 1919 which fought them during the failed German Revolution).
- Some have argued that this might have been part of the rationale behind various liberal Hollywood celebrities supporting Roman Polanski after his arrest for drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl. Most of Polanski's most vocal critics tended to be conservatives and right-wingers and other sorts of people these celebrities despised, likewise Polanski's personal life was filled with great deal of trauma: he was a Holocaust survivor and he lost his wife to Charles Manson, which undoubtedly made him sympathetic to some corners. Gore Vidal even argued that the original judge in his case was an antisemite. Thus, even though most of them undoubtedly knew that what Polanski did was wrong, and despite the fact that many left-wing celebrities (such as Jon Stewart and Bill Maher) condemned what Polanski did, they still felt the impulse to chime in on his side for fear of being associated with "those people." Of course, for a long time Polanski was not controversial in America. He won an Oscar for The Pianist (without any protest or opprobrium on the part of the media) and Harrison Ford and many other actors appeared in several of his European films (one of which, Tess, was nominated for an Academy Award), and Polanski traveled in and out of Switzerland for decades before his arrest. These supporters argue that the trial was a media frenzy, that Polanski confessed to statutory rape, cooperated with authorities, did time in Chino Prison and was highly recommended for early release,note and it was only when the original judge backed out of the plea deal and intended to extend his sentence that Polanski fled. The prosecutor in his case himself said, in an interview on a documentary, that he would have done what Polanski did in that situation.
- The late West Virginia senator Robert Byrd was a member of the Ku Klux Klan as a young man. He later regretted the decision and associated with fellow legislators who were strongly anti-Klan, but it didn't matter: anyone who strongly disagreed with either Byrd or one of his senatorial allies could feel free to bring up the Klan connection to tar them both. However, note that Byrd was a Kleagle and Grand Cyclops during his time in the Klan (both high-ranking positions), and that even when he left it he still held staunch segregationist views on race, such that he was among the Senators that attempted to block the 1964 Civil Rights Act. In that sense, while Byrd definitely changed his views as time went on, it wasn't like he joined the Klan (just) because the cool people were doing it, nor was he totally innocent of his association to it. With that said, the above argument still stands when applied to those who dismissed any point of view offered by Byrd out of hand, even if it had nothing to do with race. Even more insanely, there are still (or, as of Byrd's death, were still) people who tried to use Byrd's Klan membership to tarnish the entire Democratic party: "The Democrats were white supremacists and now they want everyone to forget it!" - which is like saying that the Republican party is anti-free trade because they favored insanely high tariffs in the nineteenth century. It's also worth noting many of those Southern Democrats later became Republicans due to President Richard Nixon's "Southern Strategy" of drawing them into his party.
- J. R. R. Tolkien was a major proponent of Germanic culture and art, and he once wrote to one of his sons fighting in World War II that he rather wished he was out there fighting as well, given the degree to which Hitler ruined a lot of otherwise valid ideas (like the old Germanic virtue of courage) through his association with them. He also, famously, wrote a letter trolling a Nazi book publisher who wanted to know if he was Aryan, saying he was sorry he had no Jewish ancestry considering the Jews were such a "gifted people", after explaining the real meaning of Aryan to the man.note He didn't send the letter though.
- An incident at a certain shopping mall in Manila involving hammers being used for a jewelry store heist prompted the local police to ban hammers from being sold in malls, on the pretense that it can be used for staging robberies or assaults on civilians. As expected, netizens took this as a stupid and pointless move that hurt people with legitimate reasons to get a hammer more than it did criminals, given that they could just use anything else of similar size and weight for breaking into a store or assaulting an innocent, but said innocents don't have a lot of non-hammer options for jobs that need a hammer.
- A similar incident occurred in Hong Kong when someone set fire to a passenger train compartment and the train company banned lighters from being sold in the stations. Obviously this led to much ridicule leading to some to joke on social media that "it was a person that started the fire, so clearly they should ban people".
- Manila mayor Joseph Estrada proposed a ban on motorcycle passengers, on the grounds that criminals tend to utilize this tactic in drive-by shootings and other such incidents. As expected it didn't go well with the riding public, simply because in developing countries like the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, people invest in motorcycles as their everyday transport, as cars are simply beyond their financial reach, and barring passengers from bikes would affect law-abiding civilians in the process, again probably moreso than it would affect criminals.
- Any time there's a national tragedy, the killer's hobbies and musical interests are always demonized for having "turned" him into a killer. Video games and hardcore rock/rap are always the first to take the heat. No one ever stops to think that if an adult or adolescent is letting media direct him to commit atrocities, that says more about his mental state than the media itself; anyone who does point this out is ignored.
- The video game Mass Effect was perceived as an example, because the shooter responsible for the December 14th, 2012 Connecticut massacre, according to initial reports, listed the game as a favorite on his Facebook page. This was subverted mere hours later once CNN revealed that Ryan Lanza, the man originally blamed for the tragedy, was misidentified as the gunman. It was Ryan's younger brother, Adam Lanza, that did the slayings. Alas, there was plenty of stupidity to pass around before that mistake was clarified.
- After the above-mentioned massacre, the company Cerberus Capital Management sold its investments in the "Freedom Group", a collection of various firearms manufacturing companies, simply because one of the companies in said group, Bushmaster, manufactured the rifle that was used in it. In a reversal, consumers began buying "assault weapons" like it up as fast as they could, in expectation of the Clinton-era Assault Weapons Ban coming back into effect.
- To twist this trope even further, the infamously gore-filled and ultra-violent video game series Manhunt was tied into a British murder case. At first, the game was accused for giving the teenage murderer ideas on how to commit the crime, but after further investigation, it turned out it was the victim who owned the game.
- In Germany, ever since the first (of seven) mass shootings, media sources have always been extremely quick to announce "Killerspiele (killer games)" as the reason for why someone would grab a gun and shoot instead of questioning how a young man in a country with extremely strict gun laws could even get his hands on one (which usually proves that it was a mixture of depression, bullying and hunting parents with very lousy gun safety procedures). It becomes even more ridiculous whenever the media do find out that the shooter played video games and then suddenly announce that everything from League of Legends to Pokémon is a first-person shooter that aims at training people to kill. Most German gamers usually react by jokingly taking this trope to the extreme, proclaiming things like "The shooter also ate bread/breathed! Bread/oxygen makes you kill people!" to lampshade how stupid this argument is. A few also play with the trope by proclaiming that they will fill their room with stuff that Tastes Like Diabetes such as My Little Pony or Care Bears, just to finish with saying "Bet that will make them think about MY motives for a while".
- The media even demonized the Columbine killer's fashion sense. Both killers wore trench coats while they committed the crime and there was another clique in school known as the "trench coat mafia".note Several schools tried to ban trench coats on the account of them being gang attire. It didn't help that several copycats also wore trench coats.
- This article on beliefnet purportedly has a woman who grew up in Nazi Austria "trying to warn America." You know who supported women working outside the home? Hitler!
- American political commentator Glenn Greenwald compared the Iraq War to the Nazi annexation of the Sudetenland; more specifically, he compared the Kurds to the Sudeten Germans because the Kurds supported the 2003 invasion. Whilst there are many differences of opinion regarding the war in Iraq, to compare the Kurds, isolated and massacred with poison gas,note with the Sudeten Germans, protected under the Czechoslovak constitution, many of whom were fanatical Nazis, is so overblown that it would be funny if it wasn't so viciously and inexcusably callous.
- The comparison may be over the top, but the situations of the Kurds and the Sudeten Germans were not that different. Kurds were present, in substantial numbers, in high-ranking positions in both the Iraqi Army and the Baath Party, even as their compatriots were fighting a guerrilla war against the Iraqi government. Germans in Sudetenland did enjoy rights under the Czechoslovak Constitution at the time, but they had a good reason to believe that their situation was still precarious under Czechoslovak rule.
- A more appropriate example of this trope in the context of Sudeten Germans would be the ethnic German Social Democrats in Sudetenland. They were the only major group among the Sudeten Germans that sought to live peacefully in the Czechozlovak state and opposed the Nazi takeover, for which they were persecuted by the Nazis after the Munich Crisis. But they were still Germans to the Czechoslovaks and were deported along with all other Sudeten Germans after World War II.
- All weapons used by the Nazis are hated by most people, even though the SOE actually used silenced Luger P08s, and the gun was also a popular war trophy for American soldiers due to its extremely good looks. Not to mention captured MP-40/Schmeisser submachine guns were used by resistance groups and even some British forces when they could get their hands on them after the adoption of the Sten, which was lighter and faster, but lacked reliability.
- British soldiers quite often set aside their Bren light machine guns when they could get their hands on captured German MG42 medium machine guns, which sprayed a vastly heavier firepower through continuous belts which could be as long as you liked or portable drum magazines that held at least 50 rounds. The Bren was liked and an extremely reliable weapon, but compared to the MG42, its 30-round magazine was negligible, it was much slower and its high accuracy actually hindered its use for suppressing fire. In contrast, the MG42 was terrifyingly fast and could send whole platoons running for cover.
- Some modern weapon enthusiasts seem to take an inversion of this to the absolute extreme and believe that the only innovative weapon designs in the past century - firearms, armored vehicles, aircraft, anything - were developed by the Nazis, for instance claiming the famous Soviet AK must "obviously" have been a complete rip-off of the StG 44note and glossing over any issues they had like the FG 42's frailty. Even the name for the concept the StG birthed, "assault rifle", is a translation of the name Hitler coined for the weapon in question when he had the chance to test-fire one, yet unlike everything else Hitler ever did, said, or touched, it's gone on to be the backbone of military small arms.
- Inverted with the Walther PPK, which was used frequently by high-ranking Nazis and officers, with Hitler using his personal PPK to commit suicide, and an upgraded variant that never entered production also served as the basis for the post-war Makarov pistol, essentially the Soviet (and therefore "evil") counterpart to the American M1911. Despite this, it's been largely considered a "good guy" gun from being the primary weapon of James Bond from Dr. No onwards. There's also the fact that the PPK technically ended the European theatre of World War II, even if it was Hitler's own gun.
- Amusingly in context to the above, some gun control advocates have started to say that assault rifles are bad because they were invented by the Nazis and named (Sturmgewehr in German) by Hitler himself. While opinions about assault rifles vary, there are certainly better arguments to be made about it than this.
- Hitler during much of his rise pioneered early gun control measures in Europe. Que people arguing that gun control is inherently fascist. Hitler would later then reverse this and force loyal civilians to arm themselves in the later days of World War II, causing other people to argue that gun ownership and right wing militias are also inherently fascist. Of course, both sides ignore the context of both of these decisions - the first was because Hitler wanted to eliminate any potential armed opposition to him, and, far less relevantly today, arms factories getting bogged down by fulfilling orders to civilians when they should be arming the military. He later reversed to position out of sheer desperation because he both wanted as many people to bring as many guns against the Allies as possible and reduce the number of police (so that they could be converted to proper soldiers).
- Inverted in a quip often found on the Internet: "Hitler wasn't so bad. After all, he did kill Hitler." And a common response to the above is "Yeah, but he also killed the guy who killed Hitler." Some may then point out he also killed the guy who killed the guy who killed Hitler — cue infinite recursion.
- This is, ironically enough, the sort of logic that screwed over Nazi Germany's attempts to create nuclear weapons during the war - perfectly valid and workable ideas, ones which helped make America's Manhattan Project successful, were forcibly rejected by the nine or so programs competing to create such weapons for the Nazis, simply because the party had determined said ideas had some association with Jews (i.e. "Jewish physics") and were therefore "tainted".
- Hitler spent some of his younger years as a painter, which is sometimes brought up in discussions over whether or not it's okay to enjoy the artistic output of morally questionable people. Never mind that Hitler was a terrible painter, and was never serious about his artistic pursuit, that his government chased away almost every major artist of the Modernist Weimar era, and the first thing the Nazis did on taking over was shut down the Bauhaus School of Architecture. Besides, Hitler's output left much, or rather everything, to be desired. His paintings can serve as prime examples for Kitsch, though.
- Invoking Leni Riefenstahl is nowadays the film buff's equivalent of Godwins Law: if someone finds a movie's supposed political message objectionable (as with Zero Dark Thirty or American Sniper), they'll inevitably compare it to Riefenstahl's work. Never mind that her best-known films are propaganda claiming to be documentaries rather than heavily fictionalized depictions of real events, or that their supposed messages aren't really congruent.
- During the Cold War, eastern block countries often compared fascism and liberal democracy because both allowed for capitalism. Never mind that Hitler considered democracy to be evil and ineffectual.
- If the eastern block wasn't calling democratic countries fascist it was calling them imperialist. Many democracies had, in fact, engaged in imperialism, and remained imperialist during when the Soviet Union began to form and some of its colonial liberations happened under the inspiration of the October Revolution and in some cases inspired by Lenin, and some of them were allied with the USSR (such as post-independence India), since some of these democracies were victims of imperialism. Of course, the East Block itself could be considered an updated form of imperialism, and the USSR's invasions Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan ruined most of its reputation among anti-colonialists, as did Communist China's invasion and annexation of Tibet.
- The trope came into play as a part of the passive resistance during the German occupation of Norway. It went almost like this: a girl happened to like a certain record. Then she met a German soldier who also happened to like the same record. After she was encountered with this fact, she forcefully never played the record again. Conclusion: "Germans are the enemy, therefore, we will not like what they like."
- Jonah Goldberg's book Liberal Fascism compiles many of the above examples (government censorship, smoking bans, vegetarianism, healthcare) and describes fascism as a left-wing ideology. However he includes some more... creative examples. One segment claims that Brokeback Mountain of all things promotes fascism, on the grounds that Ernst Rohm, head of the SA, was a homosexual (neglecting the fact that the Nazis imprisoned and killed homosexuals - including Rohm, who was murdered during Hitler's Night of the Long Knives). Dinesh D'Souza also uses the connection between Hitler and Rohm in his 2017 book The Big Lie and his 2018 film Death of a Nation to create "evidence" that LGBTQ rights is a Nazi ideology.
- According to some, Hitler was sexually repressed, asexual and a virgin when he died and that Eva Braun was a stage prop to give the dictator a more masculine image, and that lead him to become a very dangerous leader. Therefore Sex Is Good and the Hippies were Right All Along. However this appears to be false anyway: as much as none of us want to know this, contemporaries have said that Braun and Hitler had an active sex life.
- One of the main complaints about Rockism. A belief that people who listen to rock n' roll, heavy metal, and other sub-genres are good people who appreciate good music. However, those people who listen to other more popular genres (especially rap) don't know good music and most likely are criminals, underachievers, and losers. This was also one of the reasons for the Hype Backlash against Nu Metal, a rock sub-genre that included elements of rap music, and why many groups that began their careers playing it tried to break away into more "acceptable" rock genres later in their careers.
- This one applies in reverse too, namely the belief held by a few fans of other genres that rock fans (and, by extension, rockism) are inherently racist because rock music has primarily been made by white people since The '60s — though this ignores the basics of rock history, beginning with the fact that rock was born partly out of rhythm & blues and gospel, was initially called "race music", and was played only on black stations until Alan Freed came along. Not to mention that many of the most important rock musicians, including some of those that created it in the first place, were black, chiefly the greatest guitarist of them all, Jimi Hendrix.
- Parodied in a 2016 campaign to get a cat elected as mayor of a Russian city (in protest against corruption): "Only mice don't vote for Barsik".
- PETA infamously published a video about the evils of milk, starting out by claiming that it's the drink of choice of white supremacists. Is this a good time to remind PETA that Hitler was a vegetarian?
- In the Nazi era, Germany established a nationwide network of radio broadcasters. After the war, the Allies didn't want the network to serve as a mouthpiece for propaganda, so it was broken up into a series of smaller regional networks, while at the same time other Allies' centralized networks like The BBC remained intact, having a virtual monopoly over broadcasting in the U.K. This decentralization later influenced the structure of public broadcasting in the U.S., with NPR and PBS member stations having a lot of leeway in how they program their stations, as a lot of people were uncomfortable with the idea of a State Broadcaster aimed at a domestic audience.
- People who believe Democracy Is Bad and Democracy Is Flawed love to claim that Hitler was democratically elected, though he was actually appointed as Chancellor. Conversely, people who don't like Socialism have been known to gleefully point out that the Nazis were the National Socialist party, never mind that their ideology was socialist In Name Only as a deliberate propaganda strategy.
- Anti-porn advocates have gotten a lot of mileage out of the serial killer Ted Bundy's claim just before he was executed that pornography motivated his crimes.
- The idea that Taxidermy Is Creepy has similarily gotten a lot of traction thanks to Jeffrey Dahmer's childhood fascination with the craft and the fact that he used some of the techniques to process the bodies of his victims. It's sadly not uncommon to see people in the online taxidermy community (sometimes known as vulture culture) getting harrassed under the presumption that they are serial killers in the making.
- "Big Data" fallout. You live in a criminal hood but are innocent? Go tell that to the algorithms (of Pre-Crime and whatnot). Want to get a credit? Choose your neighbors carefully. The more computers take over our life, the more you can expect this trope to get relevant. And computers don't argue.
- Joseph Goebbels is the go-to example across the political spectrum for people they believe to be propagandizing views they don't like.
Rest easy, Hitler never browsed TV Tropes. As far as we know.