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Honor Thy Abuser

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Sometimes, abusers or bullies are depicted as the worst kind of scum. Usually, their victim is justified in their dislike for them. However, there are times when the victim not only is wrong for their resentment, but they eventually learn to forgive and respect them.

Causes of this include:

A sub-page of Family-Unfriendly Aesop. Compare Troubled Abuser, Informed Wrongness, and The Complainer Is Always Wrong.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Assassination Classroom reveals that Nagisa's mother was horribly abusive towards him. However, their subplot ends with Nagisa forgiving her and her being a Karma Houdini.
  • Love Hina: Despite all the years of Naru beating Keitaro to near-death for every minor infraction, he not only forgives her, but marries her. To make matters worse, the series ends with Keitaro accidentally ripping Naru's wedding dress. Three guesses what that leads to.
  • Naruto
    • In the manga itself, Shikamaru questions why his dad married his overbearing mother, and Shikaku's answer is that mothers are supposed to be hardasses. He takes this advice to heart and marries Temari, who subjects him and his son, Shikadai to some abuse that's Played for Laughs.
    • The alternate universe in Naruto the Movie: Road to Ninja Flanderizes Kushina's Hair-Trigger Temper into physical and emotional abuse. However, Naruto learns to accept this reality over time.
  • Durarara!! has a scene where Izumii's father breaks his nose for his room being set on fire, under the belief that he was smoking. However, Izumii entirely holds a grudge against Aoba, who set his room on fire just to get back at him for hitting him. The reason why Izumii hit Aoba in the first place was because he believes his parents favor and spoil him.
  • My Hero Academia: How some people view Shouto's relationship with his parents. Despite his mother throwing boiling water on him when he was five, Shouto focuses all of his anger on his father. While Endeavor is no saint and can be blamed for his mother's mental breakdown, some are baffled that Shouto holds no resentment for his mother.
  • Fruits Basket:
    • Tohru forgives Akito for the various atrocities she committed against the Sohma clan, and most of other Sohmas either forgive her or have moved on to the point where they stopped caring. The only one that doesn't forgive her is Rin, but even she feels rotten for not being able to.
    • Kyo attempts this with his father near the end. His father regularly blamed him for the suicide of his mother, but it's heavily implied that he was a Domestic Abuser that drove her to do it. When Kyo tried to make amends with him, he wouldn't stop hurling insults at him. Kyo finally realizes that his father is a lost cause and cuts him from his life.
  • Jojos Bizarre Adventure: George Joestar never gets reprimanded for constantly berating Jonathan and acting oblivious to Dio's bullying towards him. Instead, he tells him in his dying words that he acted that way to make Jonathan a better person. Though, considering it took place in the 19th Century, it could be Deliberate Values Dissonance.

    Comic Book 
  • In Teen Titans: Earth One, Tara's mom is a verbally and physically abusive addict. Later, however, she is one of the few parents to care about and help her children, and shares a load of helpful exposition and advice in a tearful goodbye to Tara.
  • Discussed and defied in Batwoman: Detective Sawyer's father once locked her in a tool shed when she was a child because he was worried she was going to Hell for being so butch. After Sawyer broke her way out, her mother met her, crying, talking about how he did it out of love for her. Sawyer doesn't forgive him, and later says that she isn't a particularly forgiving person.
  • In Deathstroke, Rose and Joey often leave their father and try to establish their own civilian lives, only to return to Slade's side (usually after Slade has whoever they were forming a life with murdered).
  • In the 2017 series of Runaways, Dr. Hayes performed genetic-engineering experiments on her children, encouraged them to have sex with each other in the hopes of producing a super-powered grandchild, performed medically-unnecessary tests on her granddaughter, and attempted to harvest genetic material from the Runaways without their knowledge or consent. In spite of this, the series treats her sympathetically because her children are dead (never mind that those children grew up to be supervillains who died during a failed attempt to bring about the end of the world), and the Runaways elect not to harm her despite her enthusiastic efforts to kill them.

  • The Kid (2000): Russ is seen as the bad guy for trying to cut his abusive father from his life.

  • The Harry Potter books have a problem with this.
    • It is revealed that one of the reasons Dumbledore let Harry live with the Dursleys despite their abuse is that he believes an abusive upbringing will make him more humble and willing to sacrifice himself.
    • When Ron returns from his departure in Deathly Hallows, Hermione beats the crap out of him. The kicker? Even though his actions were under the influence of a Horcrux, Ron thinks he deserves it and tries to win Hermione back. This was thankfully removed from the movie. Hermione instead verbally chastises him, and Ron has a Dude, Where's My Respect? response.
    • It turns out Snape's actions were all a Jerkass Fašade to help Harry kill Voldemort. While you can justify him killing Dumbledore to some extent since he was dying anyway and it was an assisted suicide, that doesn't justify his years of bullying Gryffindors because of a petty childhood grudge. Harry easily forgives him and even names one of his children after him.

    Video Games 
  • Final Fantasy X: Tidus harbors resentment towards Jecht because he often verbally abused him (in particular, always calling him a "crybaby"). However, the game later reveals that it was all a Batman Gambit to give Tidus the motivation to kill him as Sin.
  • Persona 4 was really bad with this. Three primary examples occur.
    • Yumi is painted as in the wrong for not caring that her father, who abandoned her, is dying.
    • The moral of Yukiko's Social Link is that she learns to accept that she has to run her family's Inn, despite her objections.
    • Mr. Morooka was a Jerk Ass that insulted his students any chance he got, put the Protagonist on his "shit list" for calling him out, and slut shamed Saki at her memorial. And yet, when he dies, not only do his students mourn him, but they consider his replacement even worse.
    • While Ryotaro Dojima isn't the worst example of this, he never gets called out for neither his knee-jerk reaction to getting sent a threatening letter by nearly disowning the Protagonist and having him sent to the station for questioning, nor leaving Nanako home alone, leaving her open to abduction.
  • NieR: Automata: There's a sidequest where 2B and 9S have to retrieve a machine that ran away from home after an argument with his mother. The machine is painted as a Bratty Half-Pint for running off even though the reason he did so was because his mother favored his older brother, blamed him for something that was his younger sibling's fault, and blamed him when his older brother hit him.

  • Invoked in Keychain of Creation when Marena forces herself to forgive her mother of the many abuses she inflicted in the name of preparing her for life in the royal court. By the end of the List of Transgressions, Marena admits that her mother's Manipulative Bastard tendencies come from having to go to incredible lengths to reach her current status.
    "And I forgive my mother for... for... For making me respect her anyway. ...She started off in a worse place than I did. I have to."

    Western Animation 
  • Family Guy: "Seahorse Seashell Party" has Meg give her family a big "Reason You Suck" Speech after one act of abuse too many. This leads to them going at each other's throats. Meg learns that her abuse was the only thing keeping her family from falling apart, so she decides to continue putting up with them.
  • Rick and Morty: Bird Person advises Morty to keep indulging Rick's sociopathic behavior because he suffers from serious depression.
  • Hey Arnold!: In the Thanksgiving special, Helga is painted as an ungrateful brat for not being thankful for anything. The episode ends with her learning to be thankful for her family, even though throughout the series, Bob ignores Helga and puts Olga on a pedestal and Miriam is a G-Rated alcoholic that often neglects her.