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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, she doesn't care what Nagisa thinks, wants or needs, if he doesn't achieve what she didn't achieve in her whole life. 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 that he believes his parents favor and spoil him.
  • Fruits Basket:
    • Tohru forgives Akito for the various atrocities she committed against the Sohma clan, and most of the 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.
  • My Hero Academia: Endeavor's redemption arc plays with this. On the one hand, Fuyumi accepts Endeavor's redemption and just wants the Todoroki family to be whole again, but Natsuo isn't as quick to forgive him and gives him a "Reason You Suck" Speech. Shouto, who arguably suffered the most by his hands, takes the neutral ground. He doesn't quite forgive him for what he had done, but he acknowledges that he's trying to improve himself. In the end, Endeavor says that it's fine for his children to not forgive him, and arranges for them to live in a separate house, both for their safety and because he acknowledges that it would be best for him to remove himself from the picture.
  • Detective Conan: Heizo Hattori's actions during the Tiger Scroll Murder Case are this. When Heiji gets a little too careless during the investigation, he punches and belittles him. It is then later revealed that it was all a Batman Gambit to enrage Heiji enough to act as bait for the culprit, which could have very well killed him if there were a Spanner in the Works. His actions are in no way considered reprehensible by the cast, and even his underlings in the Osaka Police Department considered it an act of Tough Love.
  • Shokugeki no Soma: Azami Nakiri submitted his daughter Erina to a Training from Hell to refine her God Tongue, which including verbally and physically abusing her, as well as isolating her from everyone else so she would have no friends or people to rely on. However, at the conclusion of the Central arc, upon seeing the reasons for his actions, Erina quietly thanks her father for everything he did for her sake and she apparently doesn't hold grudges against him.

    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.
  • Inverted in Batgirl (2000), where Cassandra Cain starts out genuinely loving her horrifically abusive father and not truly understanding how bad he was, but by the end of the book has come to despise him for how he treated her.

    Fan Works 
  • In New Hope University: Major In Murder, Ashley openly recognizes that her father was abusive toward her, and even calls him a "fucker" and an "outright psychopath," but says he treated her that way because he saw her potential and believes it made her better than her classmates. Saya, who had a poor relationship with her own father, is flabbergasted by this attitude.

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

  • Harry Potter Subverted with Albus Dumbledore. He claims to Mc Gonagall at the very start of the story that one of the reasons that he will let Harry live with the Dursleys is that it will make him more humble and willing to sacrifice himself. The thing is that 1) how abusive this household turned out to be wasn't even something that he could have expected and 2) it turns out that this was just an excuse and the real reason lied behind the belief that Harry would never be safe in the magical world as there were agents of the Dark Lord everywhere.
    • An individual in-the-heat-of-the-moment violent episode happens with the most tense couple in the series. When Ron returns from his departure in Deathly Hallows, Hermione beats the crap out of him. Even though his actions were partially under the influence of a Horcrux, Hermione was so heartbroken and over this that she refuses to cut him any slack and Ron on his part thinks he deserves it and tries to win her 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 some of Snape's actions were all a "jerkass act" to help Harry kill Voldemort. While killing Dumbledore made sense since he was dying anyway and it was an assisted suicide, that doesn't justify his years of bullying Gryffindors because of a childhood grudge. Harry (after years of spitting at his name) forgives him and gives him some respect and even names one of his children after him all the while still seeing him as flawed and wrong about lots of things.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Shameless (US) deconstructs this trope. Frank neglects Debbie, Carl, and Liam, emotionally abuses Fiona and Lip, and physically abuses Ian. Whenever the Gallagher children give him another chance, it always blows up in their faces.

    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 5 is a huge deconstruction of It Can't Be Helped and depicts most of the main characters abused by the authority figures in their lives and how both of these tropes are often little more than excuses to let those in powers walk all over those around them.
  • 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 that 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.
  • Handled rather maturely in God, the Devil and Bob, as Bob's father passes away, having always been an unrepentant Jerkass with his son, and Bob is disturbed to learn that he actually went to Heaven instead of Hell. At the end of the episode, God and Bob play a round of pool.
    God: Look, I know your father was a jerk to ya, but you don't know what was in his heart.
    Bob: Don't do this, don't gimme that crap, I don't care what was in his heart - he never shared it with me.
    God: You're right. And you're right to be mad at him. But it's not your job to forgive him, it's mine... Did you know your grandfather?
    Bob: What? No. He never talked about him.
    God: Now he was a scary guy.
    Bob: Oh, so that makes it okay for my dad to treat me bad? Feh, liberals.
    God: No, that's not what I'm saying. Look Bob... okay, picture this long line of fathers and sons stretching from Adam all the way down to Andy. Now, they're all passing down this punch, from one generation to the next, father to son, and the trick is to pass on a softer punch. Your father passed on a softer punch.


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