Follow TV Tropes


Hypocritical Heartwarming

Go To

"You can't be mean to my Waddle Dees! Only I can be mean to my Waddle Dees!"
King Dedede, Kirby's Epic Yarn

A subtrope of Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other, and/or Friendship Moment, in which a character who frequently bullies or teases another is the first to stand up for them if they get the same treatment from anyone else. The time-honored cliche is "You can't do that to them. Only I can do that to them!"

For example, Alice and Bob are going out, and Alice never misses a chance to call Bob a jackass. Then, one day, Bob screws up big time in front of Charlie, who calls Bob a jackass. Cue Unstoppable Rage from Alice.

May include an impassioned speech on what Alice will do to Charlie if he ever dares disrespect Bob again... before the payoff that it's not because she doesn't want Bob to be abused, it's because doing so is her job, dammit!

This dynamic can exist in all sorts of relationships, from couples to friends to, perhaps most commonly, siblings (combining Sibling Rivalry with Big Brother Instinct), or the unpopular but tolerated member of a group.

Frequently a sign of Belligerent Sexual Tension, Vitriolic Best Buds, Tsundere, or Moral Myopia. Often a Jerk with a Heart of Gold trait. Compare The Only One Allowed to Defeat You, where a character's enemy will come to his or her defense if anyone else attacks him/her.


    open/close all folders 
    Anime & Manga 
  • In 7 Seeds, most of Semimaru's behavior towards Natsu comes across as this. He bullies her, but when Hibari talks down to Natsu and calls her a useless, spineless doormat, Semimaru gets pretty nasty. That's his prey, after all. Not that Hibari believes "prey" to be the right term.
  • The Beautiful Skies of Houou High:
    Kei: Why did you help me back there?
    Yui: Because the only one allowed to make fun of you is me!
  • In Berserk the Anti-Hero protagonist Guts early on the Black Swordsman arc declares that he loathes the weak and anyone who can’t protect themselves deserve to die. Cut to the Conviction Arc where Guts is dropping everything to protect his insane and defenceless lover Casca who’s largely weak and cannot look after herself. Besides Casca, Guts also goes out of his way to protect the likes of Theresia, Jill, Farnese, Isidro and Schierke most of whom are physically quite weak. So for someone who vocally hates the defenceless, he certain saves and protects a lot of them.
  • In Don't Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro, Nagatoro gets furious with her friends on several occasions for their mistreatment of Senpai, even though what they do isn't that different than what she does to him. Downplayed in that, by the time her friends get a real introduction, Nagatoro has already started to get attached to Senpai, and her bullying has scaled down to teasing.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Chi-Chi never wastes a moment to chide her husband Goku for being a layabout with no job, frequently calling him a idiot when in a bad mood. Yet in the anime when she hears a nasty and sadistic tutor she hired for Gohan call Goku a “worthless father”, Chi-Chi defenestrates the bastard without a moment hesitation. It seems as far as Chi-Chi is concerned only she’s allowed to insult Goku, anyone else who insults her beloved dumb hubby is just asking for pain.
    • Super has this dynamic pop up between twin brothers Beerus and Champa of the Universe Survival arc. After learning that the Kais of the other universes held a meeting without inviting the Kai of Universe 7, Champa engages his own meeting with the other Gods of Destruction to make sure they weren't planning anything underhanded, and gets notably stressed once the topic moves to Beerus, and by extension, Goku, since they're scapegoating the entirety of Universe 7 for putting them through the tournament and slating them for destruction if they lose when both Champa and Vados know that Zen'o was planning on destroying them anyway until Goku reminded him of the tournament. When this claim falls on deaf ears, he gets visibly irate at them disrespecting both his brother and Goku despite his intense rivalry with Beerus.
  • In Datto Nishiwaki's manga adaptation of Fate/stay night, Shinji is still very much a Big Brother Bully to Sakura, but there's also a flashback where he defended her against the archery club president's bullying the previous year. It's part of a pattern of downplaying Shinji's worst behavior from the visual novel (including him not raping Sakura on a regular basis like in the VN), leading up to him pulling something of a Heel–Face Turn, accepting defeat in the Grail War and not dying like he does in most of the VN's routes.
  • In Fruits Basket, Rin gets physical with Tohru, ever since their first meeting, e.g., grabbing her by the collar, roughly rubbing her head, etc. The moment Kagura punches Tohru (and accidentally knocks her out) in frustration that she won't confess her feelings to Kyo so that Kagura wouldn't have to think about him anymore, Rin gets the angriest anyone has seen her in the story. Contains some Fridge Brilliance in that Rin acts that way because of how different she and Kagura are. Both have bad tempers, but Kagura does not know her own strength and frequently hurts others by accident when riled up. Rin knows that she isn't a serious danger to Tohru, but she can't trust Kagura to have the same discipline.
  • In the later episodes of Hikaru no Go, Touya frequently employs this in regards to Shindou:
    [heavy arguing between Touya and Shindou, Shindou storms off]
    Customer: That Shindou really needs to learn his place. A mere first-dan shouldn't argue against the young master.
    Touya: [enraged] No matter how good you are, you're a first-dan when you start off. Don't look down upon Shindou just because he's a first-dan! [strides away indignantly]
  • In House of the Sun, Chihiro is complaining to her best friend Mao about how her love interest Oda is an idiot. Mao agrees, saying that he is an idiot. Chi quickly shoots back that Mao is not allowed to call him an idiot.
  • Tomoe from Kamisama Kiss is normally sarcastic, rude, and highly critical of just about anything Nanami does. But should anyone else insult her and/or criticize her, he is quick to come to her defense.
  • Kiss and White Lily for My Dearest Girl provides a non-bullying example. Yukina chastises Towako in private for sabotaging the Gardening Club, but refuses to let the student council say anything critical about her. Since Yukina and Towako are in the same hierarchy, this trope is given connotations of "providing a united front".
  • In My Hero Academia, Sir Nighteye doesn't think very highly of Midoriya, considering him an Inadequate Inheritor of One for All compared to Nighteye's protégé Mirio. While Midoriya is out on patrol with Mirio, he has no choice but to let Eri go back to her abusive father Overhaul, since Nighteye had ordered the heroes not to interfere with Overhaul while the investigation was in progress. When Midoriya gets back and tells Nighteye about the incident, Nighteye criticizes Midoriya for wanting to rush in and save Eri without a plan. Later, however, it turns out that not saving Eri was a much worse idea than even Midoriya thought,note  but when Rock Lock complains about what happened, Nighteye takes responsibility and defends Midoriya and Mirio, saying they were Just Following Orders and they feel the worst about Eri's situation.
  • In Nabari no Ou, Raikou physically abuses Gau on a regular basis. When an unnamed mook hurts Gau, Raikou kills him and mutilates his dead body.
  • In One Piece, while Sanji often bickers with his mentor and father figure Zeff, Zeff defends Sanji when the other cooks call Sanji out for feeding Don Krieg, asking whether any of the cooks know what it's like to starve (an experience that Zeff and Sanji shared).
  • Oreimo:
    • Kyousuke constantly jabs Manami about how normal and plain she is, but when Kirino offhandedly makes a similar remark about her, Kyousuke has this to say:
      Kyousuke: I hate hearing someone other than me badmouthing her!
    • A Foreshadowing of sorts, this trope also (somewhat) applies to the Little Sister Heroine Kirino herself. When her friends Ayase and Kanako come over for a visit, they hear her constantly berating Kyousuke (which the poor man overhears), but once Kanako adds her own words, Kirino stays silent instead of agreeing with her.
  • PandoraHearts:
    • At the beginning of the manga, Alice calls Oz her property and protects him from people who want to hurt him, but will consistently hit him herself.
      Alice: Nobody touches my property! And Oz is my manservant—therefore, he is my property!
    • At one point, Oz yells at somebody because they've made Gilbert upset and states that he's the only one allowed to make Gilbert cry.
  • Psyren:
    • Fredrica often bullies Marie. However, when someone else threatens her, targets her, and/or makes her cry, she goes ballistic.
    • Inui, who cruelly beats his brother, Saburou, nearly constantly claims the world is too cruel for his brother, spouting, "I'm the only one allowed to hurt him!" However, this example comes out creepy as opposed to heartwarming.
  • Ranma ½: Ranma and Akane are one of Rumiko Takahashi's most famous fictional couples, known for their Belligerent Sexual Tension, so it's no surprise that they've insulted each other more times than you can count. But when Kodachi's rival, Asuka, calls Ranma a fool, Akane gets pissed and actually has Ranma go out on a double date with Kodachi and Asuka to prove how handsome and cool he really is, despite being the jealous type. She even helps dress him up and follows them on the date to make sure everything goes smoothly. Which, of course, it doesn't.
  • In Rent-A-Girlfriend, Kazuya and Chizuru don't get off on the right foot, and she spends most of the early series annoyed with him, although she does have some sympathy for him. However, when they meet Kazuya's ex-girlfriend Mami at a mixer, and Mami begins insulting Kazuya, Chizuru gets visibly angry as she objects to Mami's behavior, surprising Kazuya.
  • Shannon Casull teases his little sister Pacifica mercilessly in Scrapped Princess, but he literally swears to oppose God Himself in her defence, even if it means the destruction of the world.
  • Touch (1981): In the first chapter, Minami gets angry because her friends are dissing Tetsuya. When they remind her that she constantly complains about Tetsuya, Minami replies it is different when she does it (justified because her friends were just mocking him; Minami berates him because she knows he is not a useless idiot but he wants everyone thinking he is).
  • A rather dark version of this happens in X1999. Despite murdering Subaru's beloved sister Hokuto as well as constantly trying to kill Subaru himself, Seishiro gives Subaru one of his eyes upon his death to replace the one he lost to Fuuma/Dark Kamui. The reason given is that he didn't want a mark left on Subaru that he himself didn't make.
  • In one episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Professor Chronos vehemently defends the Osiris Dorm from Napoleon, and then chews him out thoroughly for insulting them, yelling, "You had the nerve to call my worthless student worthless! Only I can insult those slackers!" This is the point where he goes from a reluctant ally of the protagonists to a full-fledged one.

    Asian Animation 
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Mighty Little Defenders episode 36, Wolnie protects Wolffy from the wolf duo Rolly and Raoul, who are seeking to turn him in for money. Wolnie tells them that, to paraphrase, "nobody can mess with Wolffy except for me!". Wolnie has abused Wolffy for not capturing the goats a lot throughout the series, primarily in the earlier seasons.

    Comic Books 
  • In an Archie Comics story, Mr. Lodge and Smithers feel sorry for Betty over how mean Veronica often is to her. Hoping to prevent further hurt, they conspire to make Betty think that Veronica is shunning her. After setting the devastated Betty straight, Veronica furiously castigates her father and butler for what they've done: "If you can't insult your best friend, who can you insult? But not you! Me!"
  • Batman and Robin (2009): "Nobody gets to kill my family but me." A darker take on this, because a.) this is coming from Victor Zsasz, who probably isn't kidding, and b.) he's talking to somebody who already did kill his brother.
  • Challengers of the Unknown: The 48th issue of the original series, which crosses over with the Doom Patrol, has Negative Man split up a squabble between "Rocky" Davis and Robotman.
    Negative Man: Hold it, chum! That's my buddy you're pushing around!
    Robotman: Why, Larry! I didn't know you still cared!
    Negative Man: Sure! Nobody's gonna rap your corrugated cranium...except me!
  • Fantastic Four:
    • A recurring trope for the Thing — he will constantly threaten, shove around, fight with, and even beat up the Human Torch, but the moment anyone else lays a finger on him, Ben will exclaim "no one hits Matchstick but me!" and will not stop until the villain has been pummeled thoroughly. Johnny Storm reciprocates similarly — he is constantly making fun of and playing cruel pranks on the Thing while showing little to no sensitivity about his monstrous appearance, but will furiously leap to his defense if anyone else hurts Ben's feelings.
    • Throughout most of the Fantastic Four's history, the Thing was harassed and teased by his former gang on Yancy Street who tended to call him a "sell-out"; however, they often helped him and the rest of his team if a villain was giving them trouble on their turf, claiming "that's our job" on such occasions. (They really didn't mean it, anyway.) They also spent much of FF being genuinely outraged that some singer in an old Thing exoskeleton was replacing their Ben Grimm.
  • The Marvel Universe crossover Maximum Security features U.S. Agent, now working for a Cape Busters force called S.T.A.R.S., co-opting The Avengers, and being his usual abrasive self, utterly contemptuous of these so-called heroes. In the end, when he rejects Cap's offer of friendship, one of his S.T.A.R.S. colleagues says "You told 'em, sir. Who do they think they are?" and gets slammed against the side of their aircraft. You do not talk like that about the Avengers to U.S. Agent.
  • In one of the Expanded Universe Overwatch comics focusing on Junkrat and Roadhog, Junkrat is seen constantly insulting Roadhog for being fat, but as soon as one cop tells another to "keep an eye on the fat one", Junkrat immediately flies into a rage.
  • In The Sandman (1989), Cain goes absolutely berserk when the Kindly Ones kill Abel. Abel dies a lot of times in the series, always killed by Cain, of course. Abel also takes the event very badly judging by his last words, since it's not like he likes Cain killing him on a near-constant basis, but that's the way their story has always gone. When the Kindly Ones do it he gets upset, exclaiming that they don't even know him.
  • In Secret Wars (1984), one of Marvel's first Crisis Crossovers, tensions rise between the X-Men and the other Marvel heroes out of distrust (though most of them have worked with the X-Men in the past at least once, so they really should have known better). When Hawkeye gets in Cyclops's face, Wolverine cuts in and says, "Cyclops might be a jerk, but he's our jerk!"
  • Spider-Man: J. Jonah Jameson is a very loud and very verbally abusive boss to the Daily Bugle staff, but that is his right as the Editor and Chief. On the many occasions the Bugle has been attacked (more than one villain has realized that the Bugle's great pictures of Spider-Man mean someone there is friendly with the web head), if ol' JJJ isn't mouthing off to the supervillain, it's because he was home sick with laryngitis, thus preventing him from phoning in and giving the bad guy a verbal beat down for threatening his staff. This is largely due to J. Jonah Jameson having a background as an investigative journalist: He had to drop many a story when his editors got calls from the very people he was investigating and forced Jameson to back off. Now that he's the editor, he actually views a threat because one of his reporters was ticking off a person with power so much, they were resorting to threats to the paper as a badge of honor for that reporter. Doesn't matter if the power is political or super, J. Jonah Jameson is going to turn all of his bluster against the villain and in support of his reporter... often with the reporter in the room at that time (and because he was being chewed out by JJ for something... JJ will yell because that particular day of the week ends with a "y", so the chewing out of the employee might not be warranted).
  • In Watchmen for as unpleasantly dismissive as Rorschach was of the Attempted Rape the Comedian (a superhero he idolises) pulled on Sally Jupiter in the past, much to her daughter Laurie’s anger, he absolutely despises sexual predators and actively saves women from being assaulted on the streets at night.
  • X-Men:
    • The first sign of Wolverine mellowing from Jerk with a Heart of Jerk to Jerk with a Heart of Gold is when a demon attacks the X-Mansion (long story) and insults Nightcrawler. Logan, who only a few pages prior had tried to outright murder Kurt for laughing at him, tears into the demon on the grounds that the elf is his buddy.
    • X-Men Red (2022) has a tremendous example of this with Magneto. As anyone who’s familiar with Marvel knows Magneto despises humanity, considering them no more “wolves” and ever since helping establish Krakoa is happy at the idea of slowly ousting and replacing mankind as the superior species. Yet as revealed the person Magneto actually loved the most in the whole world isn’t Wanda or Lorna, but Anya his first daughter who is 100% human. When Erik learns that Wanda’s Eldritch Orchid cannot bring his non-mutant daughter back, he breaks down crying in despair.

    Comic Strips 
  • Inverted: When Beetle Bailey hears that Sergeant Snorkel has beaten up a private from another company, he becomes outraged and tries to report him for infidelity.
  • In Blondie, nobody except Dagwood's Mean Boss Mr. Dithers is allowed to yell at, kick, fire, or otherwise abuse Dagwood, period. Dithers has been known to resort to violence to enforce that rule.
  • In an early strip of For Better or for Worse, Michael roughs up a friend of his who made Elizabeth cry, saying, "No one makes my baby sister cry except me!"
  • A June 12, 1981 strip of Garfield had Garfield smack into next week a cat that beat up on Odie, claiming "No one beats up Odie but me!"

    Fan Works 
  • Many (if not most) Fairly Oddparents fics that feature Timmy/Vicky have Vicky defending Timmy because only she's allowed to make him miserable.
  • 221B: "Boswells Unite!" features Watson receiving a letter from the Strand informing him they're not printing any more of his stories for the moment because someone has been sending in "gutter-press" under his name. Holmes fumes that only he can criticize Watson's writing, and whoever this is has gone even further by blackening his reputation. He immediately sets out to find the perpetrator and teach him a lesson.
  • Advice and Trust: When Shinji loses a Strip Chess match against Pen Pen (long story) and becomes its butler for one month, Asuka wins him back because she will not put up with him slaving at the whims of a bird. When Misato asks if she is fine with Shinji slaving at her whims, she replies that is how it works.
    Asuka: Baka Shinji's mine, not some cheeky penguin's servant! I will not see him forced to slave at the whims of a bird!
    Misato: But you're just fine with him slaving at your whims?
    Asuka: Well, duh. That's the way things are supposed to go. He's mine. He belongs to me.
  • The Miraculous Ladybug fic The Book of Revelations has this exchange between Plagg and Tikki, though it turns into straight-up Hypocritical Humor by the end.
    Tikki: Look at what happened to Adrien! You told him and he immediately started acting like an... like an... idiot!
    Plagg: Hey! Let's get one thing straight, bugaboo... Adrien is an idiot. The fact that he failed to deduce Ladybug's identity without me screaming it at him is proof of that. But I am responsible for that idiot day in, day out, and I am the only one who gets to call him that!
    Tikki: ... Alright, I suppose that was out of line... no need to bring the kids into this—
    Plagg: Besides, if anyone is the idiot here, it's Marinette!
    Tikki: ... Excuse me?
    Plagg: [mocking imitation of Marinette's voice] "Oh Chat Noir, we simply can't know each other's identities because... um... uh... oh jeez gotta go!"
  • In Fates Collide, after hearing Weiss Schnee's description of Ruby Rose, Nero insults Ruby and calls her immature. Weiss warns her only she is allowed to talk about Ruby that way.
  • For the Glory of Irk: At one point, Zim firmly tells off CB for silencing Skoodge, stating that only he can do that. Later, he says the same thing to Voel regarding being mean to CB.
  • Harry Hibiki and the Philosopher's Stone:
    Kodachi: No one calls Brother Dear an idiot except me.
  • Mentioned in the South Park fanfic How Cartman Stole Christmas.
    Kyle was his to torment and his alone.
  • Invader Zim: A Bad Thing Never Ends: In Chapter 6, Gaz beats up Zim and the minion trio for the Tar and Feathers stunt they pulled on Dib in the previous chapter, noting that only she gets to do that kind of stuff to him.
  • The King Nobody Wanted: Every interaction Nightmare Fetishist Barb Bracken has with her timid sister Jayne involves her reveling in making her sister miserable, up until the scene where she furiously scares away their Creepy Uncle for being even worse to Jayne than Barb usually is.
  • Ninja Wizard Book 2:
    Sirius: I guarantee if you asked any of [my cousins] if they'd be happier as an only child, they'd probably hex you.
    Remus: I seem to recall you hexed James once for making a similar crack to you.
    Sirius: Well, he had no call talking about Reg like that.
    Remus: You used to say worse.
    Sirius: Yeah, but that was me.
  • Old Stories, New Discoveries has Marinette, after she and the rest of the class have found out Adrien's secret, furiously standing up for her partner after Chloe calls him "that mangy cat", before muttering that she's the only one who gets to call him that.
  • In Payback is a Pansy hits Astoria and Daphne kidnaps and ties up Pansy as revenge.
    Pansy: Daphne? Let me go! It was her own fault! I saw her sniffing around my Draco.
    Daphne: Nobody bullies my little sister except for me! Now do I need to do some permanent damage, or will you back off?
  • In The Second String, Mundungus Fletcher asks Harry if it's possible that Aberforth has a secret girlfriend.
    "He can 'ave me Vera!" a drunken Dalcop offered magnanimously.

    "Ah, everyone who's anyone already has!" retorted Martial Sorner.

    Harry had cursed them all as he mopped up the puddle from the tankard Dalcop had emptied over Martial's head for that one. Apparently Dalcop could say whatever he wanted about his wife, but no one else better dare to.
  • Arthur is often rude to Merlin in The Student Prince, but he gets protective when Lady Viva acts rudely to Merlin, promptly turning her down and shutting her out of their room.
  • From the Death Note AU Those Who Stand for Nothing Fall for Anything:
    L: No one takes the piss out of Light apart from me.
  • In Truthfully, nobody is allowed to beat up on the Avengers without Loki's permission, nor without following his rules pertaining to it. God help you if you try actually killing any of them.
  • The Vanishing Cabinet of Time:
    Fred: Who poisoned [Ron]?
    George: One of the Slytherins? We'll hex him. Nobody messes with our brother.
    Fred/George: Except for us!
  • You've Cast A Spell Over Me, Nope, Just A Hex:
    "Potter, Potter, always trying to play the hero," Draco smirked, although he felt an odd tug of something like possession somewhere in his stomach. No one else should hex Potter - that was his job.

    Films — Animation 
  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker sees the Joker unintentionally invoke this. As part of his Villainous Breakdown, he screams at Terry McGinnis that he isn't Batman. As far as the Joker is concerned, no matter how skilled or professional you are, and no matter how you piss him off, Bruce Wayne is the only Batman.
  • Throughout most of Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Picture Show, the Kanker Sisters are hunting down and capturing the other kids for having the temerity to even try and harm the Eds. At the end, they're also outright disgusted at Eddy's brother for beating on them and drag him into his trailer to give him some of their infamous "attention".
    Marie: Ain't no one beating up on my man but me!
    (Later in the final minutes, when they see Eddy’s Brother beating up Eddy…)
  • In Rise of the Guardians, Bunnymund has no qualms mocking Jack about his lack of believers. But the moment Pitch does the same thing, Bunny immediately tries to attack him for it.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Romantic variation in The Addams Family (although given the nature of Gomez and Morticia's relationship, this is open to interpretation):
    Morticia: Don't torture yourself, dear. That's my job.
  • The scene from Animal House where Neidermeyer is riding roughshod on Flounder in ROTC training:
    Otter: He can't do that to our pledges!
    Boon: Only we can do that to our pledges.
  • The Court Jester: Gwendolyn repeatedly threatens her handmaiden Griselda. However, when her father threatens Griselda, Gwendolyn says that she'll throw herself out the window if he tries it.
  • Forrest Gump: Lieutenant Dan is constantly abrasive towards Forrest, verbally abusing him at every turn in a "George and Lennie" fashion. However, he completely loses his cool when a pair of escorts he's invited over to celebrate New Year's with begin calling Forrest "stupid" and immediately tells them to get lost.
  • Invoked in the live-action Garfield film. When the evil pet owner, Happy Chapman, tortures Odie with a shock collar, Garfield is visibly disgusted by Chapman's actions.
    Garfield: Poor Odie. He faces a life of torture, neglect, and degradation. Hey, nobody gets to mistreat my dog like that except me!
  • In The Goonies, there is a deleted scene where the bully Troy is going to punch Mikey when Brand stops him, saying, "Nobody hits my brother except me."
  • In the film adaptation of The Great Gilly Hopkins, the eponymous character picks on her younger foster brother, William Earnest, constantly but immediately intervenes when he's targeted by bullies at school. She claims that it's because she wants picking on William Earnest to be her sole purview, but it's actually the first hint that she's beginning to care despite herself. (In later scenes, after Gilly has pretty much stopped picking on him altogether, she teaches him how to fight back against the bullies.)
  • In Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Drax does this in the climax; not one minute after he calls Gamora a whore, Nebula appears... And Drax angrily shoots her mid-rant for insulting Gamora.
  • In Hot Shots!, Admiral Bensen beats up one of the corrupt weapons dealers who sabotaged the pilots' planes.
    Benson: You risked the lives of some damn fine pilots... and that's my job!
  • In Joyful Noise, Olivia gets angry at her boyfriend Randy for calling her mom the Wicked Witch of the West, even though she's used worse insults.
  • In Mean Girls:
    Janis: This is Damian. He's almost too gay to function.
Cady innocently repeats this to the Plastics, then follows it up by thinking "Uh-oh. Maybe it's only okay when Janis says that." And then later:
Damian: [outraged] Too gay to function?
Janis: It's only okay when I say that!
  • In Money Train, Wesley Snipes's character will be the first to call his adopted brother a fuck up... but god help anyone else who does it in front of him. Hell, he won't even allow his adopted brother to say it about himself. He even angrily says to his adopted brother that he "keeps fucking up" rather than that he "is a fuck-up" when his adopted brother admits he is one.
  • Prom Wars: Hamish is one of the only jocks at the Selby school (due to being a legacy) and can be a Jerk Jock at times. But after the Lancaster boys bully some of his classmates and steal their pants, Hamish angrily says that no one can do that to Selby students except him.
  • Shaolin Soccer: The monks are all creeped out by Mui's new, bizarre look and make jokes that she's a ghost. When Mui's overbearing boss arrives and insults her appearance, the monks all rush to her defense and castigate the employer, saying that she looks beautiful.
  • In Spider-Man, J. Jonah Jameson is, as always, intensely critical of Peter Parker's photos, tries to shortchange him whenever he can, and is just generally a caustic ass. But when the Green Goblin comes asking for the photographer to take Spider-Man's photos, Jameson immediately makes up an excuse that he doesn't know who he is and that the photos come unmarked in the mail in order to protect Peter.

  • There's a children's poem by Agniya Barto where the narrator says how he'll never allow anyone to hurt his little sister Lida. It concludes with: "If necessary — I can beat her up myself!"
  • Bindy from Being Bindy complains about her mum all the time, but when Janey calls her a bitch, Bindy is offended.
    Bindy: It's up to me to say, not you. I don't say mean things about your mum.
    Janey: What's to say? My mum is nice.
  • Brotherband:
    • Ulf and Wulf make a constant habit of bickering with and insulting each other, but let anyone else make a move on one, and his twin will immediately come to the rescue.
    • In Slaves of Soccorro, Ulf and Wulf are gleeful at Ingvar playing the part of the slave during the Herons' reconnaissance mission, as Ingvar usually disciplines them when they act up too much. However, when the slavers take Ingvar for real, they're adamant about getting him back.
  • In A Brother's Price, Corelle has lots of complaints regarding her brother Jerin. He talks too posh, he doesn't wear the right clothes... but when some woman dares imply that Jerin would be lucky if a noblewoman like her would deign to marry him, Corelle is enraged. Justified in that this is an insult to (the social standing of) the whole family, but it's also clear that Corelle won't let someone outside the family insult her brother.
  • In Castle Hangnail, Molly and Sarah can't be in the same room for five minutes straight without discord, but woe betide anybody who mocks Sarah in Molly's hearing. "Nobody calls my twin stupid but me!"
  • A classic example, mixed heavily with UST, is Taran and Eilonwy's relationship in The Chronicles of Prydain. Just one instance occurs in the second book when Taran is telling Eilonwy to Stay in the Kitchen. Prince Ellidyr comes in and has the temerity to agree with Taran, which sets him off, and he lectures Ellidyr on how Eilonwy has already survived great dangers and befriended Prince Gwydion himself, while Ellidyr's never done much of anything.
  • The book series Cut and Run has main characters Ty and Zane insult and annoy each other and, as a trigger for beginning a romantic (but dysfunctional) relationship, attack each other in a full-blown physical brawl, Ty even attempting to break Zane's nose. The rest of the series involves the two defending each other from various antagonists while consistently pissing each other off.
  • Discworld:
    • In the Witches series, the many branches of the Ogg family are locked in a never-ending, complicated feud, but if one member ever hears a stranger badmouth a member of the family, then the Oggs will forget their differences and unite to punish the troublemaker.
    • Vimes: Detritus is not my property. If I don't need a passport, neither does he.
      Detritus: You know, if it's gonna be a problem, I don't mind—
      Vimes: Shut up, Detritus. You are a free citizen of Anhk-Morpork. That is an order.
    • Archchancellor Ridcully has a similar view to his people.
      Ridcully: How dare you, sir! Continue, Mr. Collabone!
      Collabone: I, I, I—
      Ridcully: That is an order, Dr. Collabone!note 
    • Carrot interprets Vimes's feelings about Vetinari as more or less this (kind of straddling the fine line between this trope and The Only One Allowed to Defeat You):
      Carrot: I think he's got a sort of soft spot for the Patrician, in his way. He once said that if anyone was going to kill Vetinari he'd like it to be him.
    • Vimes even feels this way about Ankh-Morpork itself:
      Vimes: Listen, if anyone ever sets fire to this city, it's going to be me.
    • Another collective example for Vimes: One of the books has him infuriated at a party of human nobles for making speciesist remarks against trolls and dwarfs. His wife points out to him that he insults trolls and dwarfs all the time. Vimes's response is, essentially, that he is allowed to, because he spends his days surrounded by trolls and dwarfs and therefore knows for a fact that most of them are bastards, while the nobles are just being ignorant bigots.
    • Annagramma Hawkin may treat Tiffany Aching like a spot of dirt that happened to be beneath her nose, but when the literal personification of all of winter, who is powerful enough to create an avalanche or snowstorm in a split second, harasses Tiffany, she stomps up to him as if he were no-one more than Bob from the coffee shop, yells at him to leave her alone, and chucks a fireball at him. She succeeds in melting him, albeit temporarily.
  • The Fort (2022): A Moral Myopia version occurs when Marcus learns that Luke and Jaeger have been following and threatening his stepson C.J. He goes ballistic and nearly strangles Jaeger to death. It would be an awesome (albeit terrifying) Papa Wolf if not for the fact that Marcus has been abusing C.J. for years, almost on a daily basis, and has sent him to the hospital multiple times.
  • In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Ron ends up getting detention from Professor Snape, after criticizing Snape for calling Hermione a know-it-all when she answers a question. It is mentioned that everyone in class has called Hermione a know-it-all at least once, and Ron calls Hermione a know-it-all about twice a week. But they all understand that it's far worse when a teacher does it.
  • The picture book Julius the Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes is built around this trope: The jealous older sister, Lily, comes to terms with her new baby brother when she hears her cousin insult him and springs to his defense.
  • Only Junie B. Jones is allowed to criticize Mrs. Miller-Jones's cooking.
  • In Myth Directions, Skeeve makes a promise without thinking, immensely complicating the book's plot. His master Aahz has plenty to say about it, but when somebody else makes the same point, Aahz snarls at them; he's the only one who's allowed to criticize his apprentice.
  • In The Saddle Club, the Lake siblings fight with each other constantly, but are the first to come to each other's defense if someone outside the family messes with them and to offer support if one of them is ill or injured. This is especially true with Stevie and Alex, who have an extra layer of connection due to being twins.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • When they first meet, Jaime and Brienne refer to each other exclusively as Kingslayer and wench, respectively. Later in their relationship, he only calls her a wench when she frustrates him. In A Feast for Crows, after they go their separate ways, he encounters someone who knew her and has a variety of unpleasant things to say on the matter, including calling her a wench. So he punches the man out. With a metal fist, at that.
      Jaime: You are speaking of a highborn lady, ser. Call her by her name. Call her Brienne.
    • Tywin Lannister and Walder Frey don't seem to have any sincere affection for their offspring, dealing out backhanded compliments and outright belittlement at every opportunity, but both of them will respond with utter ruthlessness to any outsider that dares slight a member of their families.
  • Superheroes Anonymous: Hostage Girl is furious when another Supervillain injures Razor X in a fight; "Raze is my enemy, nobody gets to hurt her but me!" She does realize the sheer dysfunctional idiocy of this thought.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Absolutely Fabulous, Edina and Patsy constantly belittle Edina's daughter, Saffron. Patsy goes as far as wishing Edina had an abortion, and Edina is often a bitch to Saffy. However, when Saffy reveals that the man who is coming onto her is married and she doesn't want his attention, Edina decks the man and yells, "Stay away from my daughter!"
  • In the Adventures in Wonderland episode "Invasion of the Tweedle Snatchers", the Queen of Hearts says this when she thinks that the Tweedles are being mind-controlled by aliens:
    Queen: Nobody's going to tell my subjects what to think unless it's me!
  • In All in the Family, Archie is rude and uncouth, speaking down to Mike (whom he calls "Meathead") frequently, calling Edith a "Dingbat" and yelling at her, and getting into nasty verbal conflicts with his neighbor George. But if anyone else insults them, there'll be hell to pay.
  • The A-Team: Although it's never expressly stated, it's pretty obvious that B.A. is the only one who's allowed to be mean to Murdock and Face. He frequently verbally abuses them and threatens them with physical violence (Murdock is his main target, but Face gets quite a bit of this too, at times). And then you'll get a scene where the team is facing the slimeballs of the week; Murdock and Face, the physically weaker half of the team, frequently find themselves fighting a mook who's too big for them to handle. Cue B.A., who proceeds to knock the sucka's lights out. Five minutes later he's back to insulting Murdock and Face and threatening to beat them up himself. Happens every few episodes.
  • Black Books has a half-dying Bernard (having had to look after himself for a whole day) snap out of it when he hears that his Chew Toy Manny is being bullied by his new boss. "How dare you? Don't you touch a hair on that boy's head! Have you no respect? He's mine! Get your own human plaything, you quartz-brained little cream puff!"
  • On Blake's 7, despite claiming to despise Vila, when Avon finds out that Tarrant is likely to get him killed, Avon threatens to kill him.
  • In one Bones episode, Booth is watching Cam argue with her sister. When the sister turns on him, he raises his voice at her, and Cam snaps at him and the two leave for lunch while Cam comments that he needs to calm down.
  • The Boys: Billy Butcher invokes this frequently, he has an (admittedly understandable) very vocal and active hatred of Supes and people with superpowers. Yet with the baby with Eye Beams, he gave the infant a kiss on head and gently put the child back in their cot after using them to laser some Vought mooks apart. He also comes to love the superpowered Ryan his wife’s Becca Child by Rape after being assaulted by his Arch-Enemy Homelander, and willingly betrays his deal with Soldier Boy out of his love for Ryan.
  • In Charité at War, Professor Ferdinand Sauerbruch acts like this to the entire staff of his hospital ward: He can belittle them and yell at them however he pleases, but if someone else disrespects one of his students or employees, Sauerbruch puts the fear of God into them.
  • On Cheers, Harry the Hat shows up frequently to swindle money out of the patrons and staff of the bar, but at times, he helps them out, partly out of sentiment, and partly to protect them from operators and crooks even more unscrupulous than himself, noting, "I don't like the idea of someone else plucking my pigeons."
  • Gareth's Establishing Character Moment in Chef! (1993) is him delivering an epic rant to his subordinates, making it clear that he's Surrounded by Idiots, and then leaving the kitchen to deliver an even more epic rant to a customer for denigrating the work of these highly-trained and hard-working professionals.
  • Clarissa Explains It All:
    • In one episode, Ferguson becomes a victim of the school bully, and Clarissa stands up for him saying, "He's my brother. If anyone's going to clobber him, it's going to be me!"
    • In another episode, Ferguson gets a new rich friend who Clarissa discovers is her secret admirer and is only using Ferguson to get to her. When trying to figure out how to tell Ferguson gently, Clarissa declares, "I don't want him crushed, only slightly dented!"
  • Community:
    • Jeff declares that "Greendale is our toilet, and no one craps in it but us!" at one point to get the rest of the study group riled up to save the day.
    • The study group declaring Britta "the worst" or otherwise making fun of her is very common, but when Mr. Rad, the glee club teacher, yells it at her, the entire group snaps out of their gleeful musical haze to defend her.
      Jeff: Hey!
      Troy: You do not get to call Britta the worst!
    • Jeff may dislike the Dean, but he takes action after finding out that he's been kidnapped.
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show: In "A Day in the Life of Alan Brady", Millie considers Alan Brady a "rat" because he called Jerry "dumbo" when he finished an old joke Alan was telling. She insists that only she can call Jerry that. Of course, this doesn't stop her from wanting him at the party when it turns out the event will be televised.
  • Megan does this on two occasions in Drake & Josh:
    • In the first, she helps acquit Drake of a prank he didn't commit, and when Drake asks why she's helping him, Megan replies, "Because you're my brother, and I can tell you're sad and scared and upset, and I can't stand to see you that way... unless I cause it."
    • In the second, Megan initially doesn't like Mindy before she becomes Josh's girlfriend because she makes him miserable... and that's Megan's job.
  • In Even Stevens, Ren never hesitates to call Louis an idiot. However, after failing a band audition (big time), the guy judging it calls Louis an idiot. Ren then tells him that the only person allowed to call him an idiot is her.
  • There's an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where Ray ends up in a rivalry against Peggy, the obnoxious den mother of the Frontier Girls troop that Ray's daughter is a member of (to elaborate, Peggy has a history of bullying the other scouts' parents—to the point where they're terrified of her—in order to get choice spots to sell cookies, thus guaranteeing that she herself will win the top prizes). Ray is apparently the first parent to stand up to her, and she reacts by trying to pull his sales table away from him in public and push him onto the ground. Ray's wife Debra shows up and tells Peggy to back off. At first one is inclined to think that Debra, who usually bullies and physically abuses Ray a lot herself, is going to finally redeem herself... but then as soon as Peggy is out of sight, Debra goes back to bullying Ray, and starts sneering at him (and in later episodes such as "A Date for Peter", she uses the events of this episode to make fun of him in public). Apparently, she doesn't really object to Ray being bullied... she merely objects to someone else bullying him, because she apparently views him as being her property (emphasized when she tells Peggy "if you've got a problem, you bring it up with me" as if Ray isn't his own person, and is merely just one of her possessions).
  • Family Matters:
    • In one episode, Laura dumps a boyfriend because he starts making fun of her brother the same way she does.
    • She also blasts anyone who dares to badmouth Urkel, despite the fact that she herself can't stand him most of the time.
    • Eddie will fight with Laura, but his protectiveness of her is more Big Brother Instinct.
  • Firefly:
    • Mal calls Inara a whore all the time. But he's also the first to defend her if anyone else calls her (or implies that she is) a whore. He later states that while he loathes and insults her job, he's not insulting the woman herself and actively tries to protect her professional reputation (just never to her face). On the other hand, the person who triggered his Hypocritical Heartwarming was treating Inara herself (instead of her job) like a whore, and even a slave. And mutually, their Volleying Insults can range from overprotectiveness, a defensive mechanism against rejection, or just an act to annoy each other.
    • Jayne is typically a bullying jerkass to the crew, outright saying he doesn’t give a shit about them and Only in It for the Money. In the first episode he humiliates Kaylee at the dinner table when she’s crushing on the handsome doctor Simon (making a gynaecologist joke). However when Kaylee is shot, Jayne is seen perching by the infirmary window like a child clearly terrified for Kaylee’s life. Also for a man who supposedly only cares about himself, someone Taking the Bullet for him causes Jayne to have a massive Freak Out. He’s also proudly pervertedly lustful towards attractive women and a fan of torture, yet openly states his disgust the rape and mutilation the Reavers perform.
  • While Frasier Crane from Frasier will happily mock, belittle, and humiliate his little brother Niles all day long, he hates Niles's wife Maris with a burning passion because of her abusive treatment of her husband. Occasionally expressed by Frasier encouraging Niles to stand up for himself, and then yelling at him and bossing him around while telling him precisely how to do so.
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Will picks on Carlton all the time and has made quite a few jokes about him being too "white", but he is quick to defend him against anyone who puts him down.
  • Friends: Occasionally Monica about Chandler. Like when they're having photos taken.
    Monica: Chandler, what is wrong with your face? It's meant to say "Geller and Bing to be Married", not "Local Woman Saves Drowning Moron!"
    Photographer: [laughs]
    Monica: Hey! Don't laugh at him, he's my drowning moron.
    Chandler: [smiles]
  • In Game of Thrones, Tywin Lannister despises his son Tyrion, yet refuses to tolerate anyone else mocking or harming him. This has nothing to do with Tyrion and everything to do with the fact that anyone who wrongs him is defying the power and authority of House Lannister, which Tywin will not allow.
    Tywin: He's a Lannister! Maybe the lowest of the Lannisters, but he's one of us. And every day that he remains a prisoner, the less our name commands respect.
    Tyrion: [lukewarmly] Kind of you to go to war for me.
  • House of the Dragon: Daemon Targaryen pisses off his older brother Viserys and criticizes him on a regular basis, but he won't allow anyone to speak ill of him.
Corlys Velaryon: I will not have Driftmark beggared while our king idles himself with feasts and balls and tourneys!
Daemon: I will speak of my brother as I wish. You will not.
  • Glee:
    • Rachel is tricked by her boyfriend Jesse into getting egged by Vocal Adrenaline — genuinely upsetting for Rachel, since 1) she's a vegan and 2) Jesse took the opportunity to break up with her. The boys from New Directions immediately mobilize to go kick Vocal Adrenaline's asses — including Kurt, who angrily insists that "Rachel is one of us! We're the only ones who get to humiliate her."
    • In one episode, all the Glee guys, even the ones who used to bully Kurt, defend him in front of Karofsky.
  • On Home Improvement, Brad and Randy say that anyone who calls Mark a dork for wearing glasses will have to answer to them because they are the only ones allowed to call him a dork.
  • In the Inspector Lynley pilot "A Great Deliverance", the fiery, sarcastic Detective Sergeant Havers — who doesn't even like her partner DI Lynley at this point — immediately takes offense at the accusations leveled against him by an old partner of Lynley's, with whom he had parted on rather unfriendly terms. And she does this while conveniently ignoring the fact that, just hours earlier, she had been levelling those same accusations at him. This proves to be an excellent indicator of their future relationship.
  • Jessie:
    Mrs Chesterfeild: These revolting children were in my house?! How repugnant!
    Bertram: Hey! Nobody calls these kids revolting and repugnant except me!
  • In Kamen Rider Build, Ryuga Banjo has two instances:
    • Don't insult Sento Kiryu. It doesn't matter if your insult is valid. It's the intent that counts. Only he can call him out on his crap because he aims for Sento to realize the pitfalls of his logic/actions/whatever, not to hurt him.
    • Only he can be a (minor) jerk to Misora Isurugi, mostly because he doesn't want to openly admit that he cares about her. Everyone else will pay for hurting her.
  • Legends of Tomorrow: In the episode "Zari", there's this wonderful exchange between Mick and Ray:
    Mick: If anyone's gonna kill Haircut, it's gonna be me, lady!
    Ray: [touched] Oh, thanks, Mick!
    Mick: My pleasure.
  • Leverage features this with Vitriolic Best Buds Eliot and Hardison. When the Villain of the Week tries to throw Hardison off the roof:
    Eliot: Nobody throws Hardison off a roof. Except maybe me.
  • Life with Derek: The title character, Derek Venturi, makes this clear in "Don't Take a Tip from Me": nobody is allowed to make fun of Casey and talk to her so rudely except for him.
  • Malcolm in the Middle:
    • Reese mocks and beats up Malcolm and bullies Dewey all the time, but if anyone else calls them names or tries to pick on them, he takes it as his duty to kick the offender's ass in retaliation.
    • None of the kids get along too well with their mother Lois, but the entire family engages in an epic Curbstomp Battle against a clown troop because one of the clowns calls Lois fat to Hal's face. Lois, who for the entire episode has been trying to curb all the boys' bad behavior, can only look on as if the boys had just bought her a dozen red roses each to apologize while "You Light Up My Life" plays over the whole scene.
    • In a later episode while the kids generally enjoy seeing Lois get taken down a peg when the Obnoxious In-Laws drive her to tears, they all immediately step up to get revenge on them.
  • In Man Like Mobeen, Uncle Shady, who regularly demeans Mobeen, comes to the latter's defense during a meeting with a prospective spouse and in-law:
    Brother Ahmed: You, Mobeen Deen, are scum of the bloody earth!
    Uncle Shady: You, Mr. Ahmed, you are the biggest arsehole.
    Brother Ahmed: I beg your pardon.
    Uncle Shady: Nobody speaks to Mobeen like this except me.
    Mobeen: Thanks and that, but I'd prefer if you didn't speak to me like that as well.
  • Married... with Children:
    • Al's attitude towards Peg is indifferent at best and rather insulting at worst; however, he has been known to react with violence towards anyone who insults or makes any indecent moves towards her.
    • Bud and Kelly show this too, fighting each other like Cain and Abel most of the time, Bud often making fun of how easy she is while Kelly mocks his bad luck with women, but in some episodes, they protect each other vigilantly. In one where a boy tries to get fresh with Kelly, only to be kicked out of her car and sent walking home, he meets Bud and consoles with him; Bud pretends to sympathize, then hugs him, not mentioning that he had just been with a girl who had chickenpox. In another episode, Bud is set up for a Prank Date by a girl and humiliated; Kelly punishes the girl by tying her up in a school hallway wearing only a towel with Buck's leash tied to the towel (and then calling for Buck as she and the other students enter, at which point the end credits start).
  • Million Yen Women: Minami, and some of the other women to a lesser extent, tend to call Shin's novels bad. However, when a literary critic does the same thing, be it via a magazine article or to Shin's face while the women are present, the women get mad at him and ask what right he has to denigrate Shin's work.
  • In Mystery Science Theater 3000, visiting circus conman PT Mindslap offers to buy Jonah and the Bots off of Kinga and Max. They refuse on the grounds that they see through his scam (there is no actual circus performance and they'd be slaves in the kitchens) and if anyone is going to exploit them, it's Kinga.
  • On NCIS, pretty much the whole team can be like this. It is part of what makes them True Companions. For example, Tony gets to insult McGee. You don't get to insult McGee. Tony does. Not you.
  • One episode of Outlander has Claire joining some MacKenzie men on a rent-collecting tour and constantly getting insulted and belittled by them along the way. Towards the end of the episode, when she's patching them up after a tavern brawl, it turns out that the brawl was caused by some other men insulting Claire's honour and all of them jumping to her defense. They explain that she is a guest of their Laird, so they can insult her all they want, but for anyone else to do it is a slight against the MacKenzie clan as a whole.
  • In The Phil Silvers Show, Sgt. Bilko spends much of his time tricking and conning his men and colleagues. Should anyone else try to fleece them, however, Bilko will come down on the grifters like the wrath of god, usually with an elaborate scheme to turn the tables on them.
  • Reba: In the episode "Sister Act", Kyra gets suspended for punching a girl who called Cheyenne a slut, even though Kyra pokes fun at Cheyenne's Teen Pregnancy all the time. Though it later turns out to be a subversion. When Reba, Brock, and Barbra Jean head down to the school to contest the suspension, Kyra admits that she wasn't defending Cheyenne nor is it her place to do so. She only punched the girl because she was tired of being bullied for Cheyenne's mistakes and wanted an excuse to get out of school for a while.
  • Red Dwarf:
    • Lister has a great moment of this when acting as a defence witness for Rimmer in “Justice”.
    Kryten: Now, sir, if you can give an honest answer. You are under polygraphic surveillance. Would you describe the accused as a friend?
    Lister: No, I describe the accused as a git.
    Kryten: Who would you say, then, is the person who thinks of him most fondly?
    Lister: (thinks about it, and answers truthfully) I do.
    • Rimmer likewise frequently considers and dubs Lister a waste of space, yet as early as “Confidence and Paranoia” was extremely panicked when Lister collapsed in the corridor and tried to get the Cat (before he Took a Level in Kindness) to help him pick Lister up.
    • The Cat himself similar to Rimmer has a It's All About Me attitude and claims he doesn’t care about Lister and the others. But in the episodes like “D.N.A” he explicitly tries to help Lister get out of a Containment Field and in “Out of Time” is horrified at the idea of the crew forgetting he exists.
  • The entire Reno Sheriffs Department on Reno 911! will frequently make fun of Dept. Weigel and, at times, will play some rather cruel pranks on her, but they're also very protective of her, and will go after anyone whom they see as a potential threat to her safety (considering that she's usually not competent enough to see the threat herself).
  • Scrubs:
    • While Cox is always insulting and belittling JD and Elliot, he smacks down any strangers who try to do the same thing and consistently defends them against Kelso. However, he doesn't care when their other superiors torment them (or in JD's case, the Janitor).
    • It's a running gag that Dr. Kelso is constantly complaining about how disappointed he is with his (never-seen) son. In one episode, Dr. Cox chips in some mockery, and Kelso is immediately enraged.
      Cox: All I remember is we were both making fun of our kids, and bam, he stuck me with Ted.
      Jordan: No, you made fun of your kid, he made fun of his kid... and then you made fun of his kid.
  • In Shadowhunters, Simon and Raphael rarely get along, and Simon hates being a vampire, but the second a werewolf shoves Simon, Raphael and the other vampires immediately jump to his defense.
  • Sherlock:
    Mycroft: Oh, shut up, Mrs. Hudson!
    Sherlock and John: [in unison, outraged] Mycroft!
    Mycroft: Apologies.
    Mrs. Hudson: Thank you.
    Sherlock: [to Mrs. Hudson] Though do, in fact, shut up.
  • Stranger Things:
    • Nancy openly thinks her brother Mike’s D&D sessions are stupid and lame. Yet apparently she’s participated in them and dressed up as a elf while playing it in the past.
    • Steve has a shallow distaste and bafflement for nerdy and unfashionable things and people and has little patience for stuff outside the cultural norm. Except he becomes bosom buddies with both Dustin and Robin two of the biggest dorky and unfashionable outcasts in Hawkins and is very protective of them.
    • Eddie from Season 4 gets on the canteen table to publicly rag on the social elite of Hawkins High and their forced conformity, considering them all snobs and assholes. However when talking (and drug dealing) the highly popular cheerleading queen of Hawkins High Chrissy, Eddie is nothing but affectionate and caring to her with Word of God confirming Eddie has had a crush on Chrissy since middle school.
  • In Star Trek: The Original Series, McCoy is always trying to get an emotional rise out of Spock, but in "Plato's Stepchildren", McCoy jumps to Spock's defense when powerful aliens force him to cry and to laugh. And in other episodes, he's usually the first to jump to Spock's defense any time anyone attacks or insults him, possibly because his issues with Spock are more of a giant angry moral debate while other people tend to be full racism.
  • In Supergirl (2015), Cat Grant is the only one allowed to be mean to her employees. Everyone else had better damn well treat them with the respect they deserve, as her mother learns when she's rude to Kara.
  • Supernatural:
    • Borderline example. No one is allowed to call Sam "Sammy" except for Dean. In fact, the easiest way to identify bad guys is that they are people who call him "Sammy". Even Lucifer is sympathetic until he calls Sam "Sammy". After that, he has to die.
    • When Castiel throws a Holy Oil Molotov cocktail at Michael, making him dissipate temporarily, Lucifer, Michael's brother, is enraged. Before snapping his fingers and obliterating Castiel, he defends his brother.
      Lucifer: No one dicks with Michael... but me.
  • In That '70s Show, Hyde doesn't like Jackie at all early in the series and will often insult her. But when a guy Jackie shows interest in to make Hyde jealous calls her a "bitch", Hyde punches the guy in the face.
  • Two and a Half Men: When Alan reveals that he plans to move in with Lyndsey, Eldridge and Jake object to the idea, with the former remarking that it's bad enough that his mother is "sleeping with this loser", something the latter takes exception to.
    Jake: Are you calling my dad a loser?
    Eldridge: You call him a loser all the time.
    Jake: He's my dad. I'm allowed.
  • The Vampire Diaries:
    • Brothers Damon and Stefan Salvatore may hate each other and mess with each other all the time, but woe betide anyone else who tries to hurt or kill the other.
    • Damon and Bonnie in the later seasons. They argue and bicker but if one of them is in danger, the other will be prone to protect. For example, in Season 6, Damon attacks Kai in a shop after he threatens Bonnie despite their own conflict before. And Bonnie in return recovers her magic to defend him from Kai in the same episode.
  • Vicious: In the finale, Freddie ceases insulting his partner, Stuart, to stand up for him and admit his love for him when Stuart comes out to his mother and she turns on him. The niceness between them lasts all of thirty seconds:
    Stuart: Did Freddie Thornhill just use the word love?
    Freddie: You're so desperate, clinging to every kind word tossed you way. It's very unattractive, Stuart, so why don't you get us some drinks, and stop standing there with your mouth gaping open like a cheap Italian fountain?!
  • Wednesday: In the pilot, Wednesday Addams goes after her school’s polo team with piranhas for bullying Pugsley, stating that she is the only one allowed to torment him.
    Wednesday: Getting expelled was just a bonus.
  • In one episode of WKRP in Cincinnati, rumors fly that Bailey is having an affair with Johnny. At one point Andy and Venus find themselves laughing hysterically when she says an unintended double-entendre, much to her annoyance. But when another DJ makes a snide remark about the affair, they instantly grow serious and angrily tell him that she's a good person who shouldn't be subjected to rumors.


    Video Games 
  • In Ar tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel, Aoto claims that no one can bully Finnel except him. This carries way more subtext than usual, since Finnel is a hardcore submissive and gets off on being bullied.
  • In Batman: Arkham Asylum, the Joker berates Batman for beating up Harley Quinn, only to state that it's his hobby.
  • In Costume Quest, your character doesn't exactly agree that their twin is their best friend. But when that twin is kidnapped by monsters, you go straight after them (admittedly, part of that is not wanting to be grounded), and at one point declare that your sibling is, while smelly, annoying, and wearing an embarrassing costume, "mine to terrorize, not yours!"
  • In Dragon Age II, Carver's dislike of magic is due to an inferiority complex due to being a Muggle Born of Mages, which doesn't help his rivalry with his elder sibling if they are also a Mage. That said, when Fenris insults Mage Hawke by claiming that Mages are always power-hungry, a furious Carver quickly steps in to defend their sibling.
  • Fire Emblem:
  • In Guacamelee!, when the villain Flame Face was still alive, he used to set people on fire to please the Devil. When he died, he found out the hard way that the Devil was the exact opposite of pleased. Causing pain and suffering is his job! As punishment, he cursed Flame Face with an eternally flaming head, which is how he got the name.
  • King Dedede in Kirby's Epic Yarn chastises Yin-Yarn for enslaving his Waddle Dees, despite his treatment of them not being much different.
  • When Pram tries bullying Mickey in Makai Kingdom, Volvagia's two other heads quickly butt in and defend him, noting that the only people who get to bully Mickey are them.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, after Bowser frees the Goomba squadron imprisoned by Fawful, he says, "Don't mess with my minions! Only I do that."
  • In Mortal Kombat 11, one of Johnny Cage's intros with Sub-Zero is to mockingly call him "Grandmaster Blueberry Ice", to Sub-Zero's chagrin. When The Joker makes the same crack, however, Sub-Zero is quick to tell him, "Only Johnny Cage may use that name and live!"
  • In Over the Hedge, resident Jerk with a Heart of Gold RJ has this to say to Ozzie getting attacked by rats in the Night Streets level:
    RJ: No one but me hassles my friends!
  • Persona 4:
    • During the Priestess Social Link, Yukiko's strongly considering leaving Inaba behind once she graduates from high school, rather than inherit her family's inn. However, she politely disagrees when a shady reporter calls Inaba "the dumps," and angrily calls him out when he proposes doing a sensationalist piece on the inn. Both instances, along with the numerous times she mentions how important her family and the inn's staff are to her, help Yukiko realize that the inn is important to her and convince her to stay in Inaba.
    • The Temperance Social Link involves you befriending a recently married young woman named Eri and helping her overcome her difficulties in bonding with her stepson, Yuuta. Late in the link, Eri complains about how Yuuta's reputation as a bad student and troublemaker causes problems for her. No matter what choice you choose, Eri gets more upset and bursts into tears, at which point Yuuta runs up, says "D-Don't bully Mom!" and punches your character hard enough to knock him to the ground. That act helps Eri realize that Yuuta's actually a good kid who cares about her, enabling them to finally start bonding.
  • Portal 2 has GlaDOS frequently calling Chell fat and mocking on the fact that she seems to be an orphan — but when they team up against Wheatley and he uses the same insults, GlaDOS responds with: "What exactly is wrong with being adopted? [...] Also, look at her, you moron. She's not fat." Subverted a few seconds later when she whispers to Chell that she is adopted, And That's Terrible, and that she's only defending Chell to annoy Wheatley, because his insults, while technically the same thing, are just crude compared to hers.
    Wheatley: Alright, it seems that being civil isn't motivating you, so let's try things her way! Huh? Fatty! Adopted fatty! Fatty-fatty no-parents!
  • The titular hero displays this behavior in the Rance h-game series. Rance will bully his slave girl Sill Plain from dawn 'till dusk and take liberties with just about every woman he meets, but if you hurt a woman "for real" when he's anywhere nearby, nothing that exists will save you from his Unstoppable Rage. That last part is Not Hyperbole: in Kichikuou Rance, Sill is kidnapped and imprisoned and Rance is both willing and able to conquer the entire world just to get her back.
  • Tales of Vesperia:
    • A variation happens between Flynn and Yuri. Flynn is noted to be the most humble of characters (even more so in the Updated Re-release, which gives him more spotlight) and yet his reaction to Yuri doing the exact same thing as him is of sheer rage that he would put himself down.
    • Yuri also sometimes slides into this when interacting with others due to his minor Tsundere nature — as Estelle notes often, Yuri isn't good at being honest with his feelings so tends to tease and give backhanded compliments to his True Companions. But if anyone goes after his friends, he's the first one to their defence.

    Visual Novels 
  • a2 ~a due~: One of the orchestra members has a moment of this for Hao, as he helps protect both Hao and Sona from a bunch of thugs.
    Percussion player: The only one who can make fun of our conductor is me!
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice, Athena Cykes ends up defending Bucky Whet, the heir to Whet Soba, when he is accused of murder, and Simon Blackquill, a prosecutor with close ties to Athena who happened to be present on the day of the crime, ends up serving as her co-counsel. Simon often mocks or berates Athena for making mistakes on the case, but has no tolerance for opposing prosecutor Nahyuta Sahdmadhi making even more vicious insults against Athena, or even forcing Athena to listen to the gallery's disdain from her to cause her to have a breakdown. The distinction is that Blackquill wants Athena to do a better job defending the heir to his favorite soba shop, whereas Nahyuta wants to break Athena's spirit and cause her to lose the trial.

    Web Animation 
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged: Implied in one episode, though it could also be Vegeta trolling Yajirobe:
    Vegeta: You... you cut through my armor! It was a gift from my father!
    Yajirobe: I'm sorry, I'm sure your father was a great man!
    Vegeta: I hated my father!
    Yajirobe: Oh, well then, I'm sure your father was a big jerk!
    Vegeta: How dare you talk about my father like that?!
  • Dreamscape: Only Seleenara is allowed to call Boru names!
    Vampire Lord: Oh you're one of those people... "I can insult my friend as much as I want, but if someone else does it, that crosses the line!"
  • In the Eddsworld episode "PowerEdd", Tom is transformed by an unknown force into a giant monster (possibly by Kate, the demonic little wizard girl from TomSka's Crash Zoom). When he smacks Edd into a wall, which depowers him, Eduardo retaliates with a Kamehame Hadoken and a Pre-Asskicking One-Liner.
    Eduardo: No one hits my neighbor but me!
  • The Most Popular Girls in School: Shay calls her older sister Cameron a whore and mocks her sexual history all the time, but gets irritated if anyone else does it.
    Jenna Darabond: [to Shay and Mackenzie] This is a look, okay? I don't expect you to get it, because you don't get anything, ever.
    Jenna Dapananian: Yeah, except for herpes!
    Jenna Darabond: Yeah! Good one, Jenna!
    Jenna Dapananian: Yeah!
    Mackenzie: I'm sorry, I don't know who you think you're talking to, but we're not her sister.
    Shay: Yeah! Wait, what? What the fuck?!
    Mackenzie: What? I'm just saying, she has herpes.
    Shay: Yeah, okay, we don't need to send out a newsletter.
  • From Red vs. Blue Season 2:
    Church: From now on, if anyone makes my girlfriend cranky and psychotic, it's going to be me.
    Tex: Aww, that's sweet.
    Church: Shut up, bitch.
    Tex: Asshole.

  • Bad Machinery: Jack's sister is quite clear about this after she realises that he's being bullied when he comes home with a black eye:
    Jessica: Jack, maybe I have pushed you round a bit over the years. But no one messes with my personal punchbag.
  • In Cheap Thrills, Jeordie is angry that Bruce's little brother threw a rock at his little brother, since if anyone's going to throw rocks at Faris, it'd better be him.
  • When we first meet Dominic's older brother Jacob in Dominic Deegan, it turns out that he was the one who horribly mutilated Lord Siegfried a few strips earlier. In his own words:
    Jacob: He beat the hell out of my little brothers. Only I get to do that.
    This would be a lot less hypocritical and a lot more heartwarming if Jacob wasn't considerably more of a villain than Siegfried ever was; ol' Siggy might be an insensitive racist jerk with an anger-management problem, but you don't see him casually murdering people so he can play with Animate Dead. Dominic loudly calls Jacob out on this fact at the time.

    Web Original 
  • Batman and Superman in I'm a Marvel... And I'm a DC, as noted in this conversation:
    Spiderman: Wow. Supes must mean a lot to you for you to go all this trouble to find him.
    Batman: "Supes" is a headstrong, naive idiot without the least bit of common sense for these situations.
    [Spiderman laughs]
    Batman: But only I'm allowed to say that.
    Spiderman: [meekly] Yes sir.
  • In Noob, the guildmaster of Relic Hunter may be a Mean Boss, but he will get mad if the female Mad Bomber of the cast blows up his Casanova Wannabe subordinate for coming onto her.
  • Parody Janeway from SF Debris has a simple rule: Only she gets to make the lives of her crew a living hell. Anyone else trying to get in on it is in serious trouble, except possibly Neelix, and that's because she gets to torment him too.
  • SuperMarioLogan: In "The Call Of Duty Blackout", when Brookyln Guy's son gets hungry and starts whining, Black Yoshi tells him that "The only one that can mooch off Mario is me!"
  • In There Will Be Brawl, Captain Falcon gets an epic moment when Pit is harmed. He says something similar to, "The only hand allowed to harm my angel's face is mine!" Cue Falcon Punch.
    "I may have held mercy for you, but there is only one fist that may bruise the face of my angel."
  • In Welcome to Night Vale, Cecil's attitude towards Night Vale increasingly becomes this as the incursion from StrexCorp continues: "Parade Day" has him claim "Tamika led a great revolt to rid our town of a terrible evil, and restore the original less-terrible evil that preceded it", and "Old Oak Doors Part B" has him defend Kevin's dismissive attitude towards the town's strangeness with "This is our town! And it is terrible. But it is ours. And we... we are fighting for it!".
  • Michael Buckly, in his webseries What the Buck, said something of this nature after reading harsh criticisms of Selena Gomez.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Aaahh!!! Real Monsters episode "Showdown", Simon the Monster Hunter hires a trio of hunters to hunt down Ickis. When the hunters decide to hunt Ickis for themselves, Simon saves Ickis and sends the hunters tumbling into a boat, stating that only he is allowed to hunt monsters.
  • In the Adventure Time episode "It Came from the Nightosphere", the Ice King gets mad when he sees Marceline's father sucking the souls out of his penguin minions: "No one sucks the life from my penguins but me! And maybe polar bears, because that's just nature, Gunther." He confronts Marceline's dad angrily, but ends up fleeing in terror when he sees the demon lord's Nightmare Face.
  • Lil for Phil in All Grown Up!, such as the episode where she snaps at a group of her friends who are badmouthing Phil, telling them, "I can say he's a jerk or a slob, but you can't!" It is lampshaded by Tommy in another episode.
    Tommy: Lil disses Phil all the time, but she defends him when other kids do it.
    Phil: [to Lil in surprise] You diss me?
    Lil: Only behind your back.
    Phil: Oh, okay.
  • In the 1983 Ruby-Spears version of Alvin and the Chipmunks, Brittany defends Jeanette when Tara Marie (who took Brittany's role of Snow White) calls her a "jerk".
    Tara Marie: Daddy! I want this clumsy jerk out of here!
    Brittany: Nobody, but nobody calls my sister a jerk!
    Jeanette: But you do all the time.
    Brittany: That's different! I love you!
  • Archer:
  • In the "April 9th" episode of Arthur, Arthur's class gets transferred to another school after a fire in their own, and a group of students from the other school pick on George. Binky approaches them and yells at them for it.
    Binky: Hey! You can't pick on George! He's in my class! [George looks relieved] Only I can pick on George. [George looks sad and hands Binky his lunch money]
  • Bradley Buzzcut from Beavis and Butt-Head typically treats his students with disdain and contempt, but when he walks in to find Mr. Candy assaulting the titular duo, he immediately comes to the boys' defense and, when Mr. Candy makes the mistake of harmlessly slapping him, Buzzcut responds by beating the complete man-shit out of Mr. Candy.
    Buzzcut: What the hell are you doing?! This is my class! I do the ass-kicking around here!
  • Ben 10: Ben and Gwen Tennyson when they're kids during the classic continuity. Seeing the other get mistreated or threatened are the only times in the original 2005 series where they openly admit they care about each other.
    Gwen: You can't treat my cousin like that!
    Ben: Thanks.
    Gwen: Only I can treat my cousin like that!
  • This is a regular part of Louise's behavior in Bob's Burgers. She can mock, embarrass, and screw with her siblings all she wants. You stay in your lane if you're tempted to do the same. For example, in "Bad Tina", when Tina runs around with her new friend, bad girl Tammy, Louise and her brother Gene blackmail her to keep her bad deeds secret from their parents — but when they find out that Tammy is blackmailing her, they rally to her side.
    Gene: No one blackmails our sister but us!
    Louise: Yeah! Messing with Tina is a privilege, not a right.
  • One episode of Bojack Horseman has Diane hanging out with the Snatch Pack, a group of young actors who constantly rag on their friend Shitshow. When Diane tries to join in on the teasing, they tell her that she hasn't earned the privilege.
  • CatDog: This line from Cat: "Nobody calls Dog a loser but me!"
  • In the Dexter's Laboratory episode "Star Spangled Sidekicks", a supervillain and his minions attack a mall where Dexter and Dee Dee are attending Major Glory's sidekick audition. During the ensuing chaos, a small chunk of debris bounces off Dee Dee's head, mildly inconveniencing her.
    Dexter: Huh? Nobody clonks my sister but me!
    [Dexter promptly dispatches the mooks with his superhero gadgets]
  • In an episode of Doug, Doug is about to be beaten up by Mr. Bone's nephew, Percy Femur. As it turns out, Roger went and told Mr. Bone what was going on and he immediately went to put a stop to it. He explains that he won't let anyone pick on Doug unless he's doing it himself.
  • Sergeant Blob from The Dreamstone has no tolerance for Urpgor insulting Frizz and Nug. That's the commanding officer's job.
  • DuckTales (2017):
    • In "The Impossible Summit of Mt. Neverrest!", Louie isn't happy to hear that a Con Man sold Launchpad a bunch of useless mountain-climbing gear with bogus stories about "ice fever", and says "No one cons my family but me!" as he plans to get even on Launchpad's behalf.
    • In "GlomTales!", after his failed Villain Team-Up scheme causes Bigtime Beagle to run off crying, Ma Beagle whacks Flintheart Glomgold with her purse and reprimands him for essentially doing her job for her.
  • Edgar & Ellen: The titular twins enjoy playing sadistic pranks on each other, but neither of them will let anyone else hurt the other one.
    Edgar: [to a Jerk Jock asking him to publicly humiliate Ellen] That's my sister you want me to humiliate for your entertainment! And when I humiliate my sister, it's for my entertainment only!
  • The Murphy's in F is for Family are shown to have this kind of attitude towards each other, being a very dysfunctional family that still loves each other and all. For example, the oldest child Keven and youngest child Moreen both give the family's unfortunate, middle child Bill a lot of crap throughout the series, but in the first season, they're both shown jumping in at one point to save their brother from the resident bully... before punching him for inadvertently ruining his date and twice blackmailing him into giving her something, just to tear it up in front of him, respectively.
  • Futurama:
  • In The Ghost and Molly McGee, Scratch makes it clear that he — and only he — can crush Molly's spirits, and he exacts revenge against anyone else who does so.
  • Godzilla: The Series: When the DNA Mimic is caught messing around with H.E.A.T.'s pet robot N.I.G.E.L., Randy, the resident Playful Hacker, claims insult.
    Randy: Hey, it can't do that! Only I can do that!
  • Pete on Goof Troop generally treats his son PJ very badly and shows almost no concern for him outside of what he perceives to be life-or-death situations. However, in a few episodes, he also gets really mad when someone else attacks him, humiliates him, or drags him into doing something.
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "Scary-Oke", Grunkle Stan quips "The only wrinkly monster that harasses my family is me!" while protecting Dipper and Mabel from a horde of zombies.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy:
    • This happens a lot when it comes to Grim and his feelings towards Billy and Mandy. Sure, he can't stand them most of the time, but if anyone intends to do them harm (or worse), you can bet that he'll step in for the save.
      Grim: You keep away from those kids! If anyone is going to have their heads, it's going to be me!
    • Mandy gets this, too. She gets angry whenever somebody abuses Grim or Billy (especially Billy)... somebody other than her, that is.
  • In Hey Arnold!:
    • The Pataki sisters. Helga may not always like her sister Olga, due to the older sibling being the golden child that receives constant praise and thus takes some pleasure in her suffering at times. But when push comes to shove, Helga will protect Olga if need be.
    • Helga will tease and torment Arnold all day (to cover up the fact that she's madly in love with him), but when someone else tries the same, she will come to his aid. In "Parents Day", her father calls Arnold "Orphan Boy" within earshot. Helga apologizes to Arnold (albeit, in a half-assed manner) and helps him defeat Bob in the Parents' Tournament. And in "Summer Love", she discovers that Arnold's crush Summer is using him to win a sandcastle competition in order to appear on a TV show, so she shows Arnold her true intentions.
  • Kaeloo:
    • Mr. Cat, the show's Villain Protagonist, may act like a Jerkass to his best friends Kaeloo, Stumpy, and Quack Quack, and has threatened to (literally) kill them on more than one occasion, but if somebody else tries to mess with them, he'll try to defend them.
      Mr. Cat: [sees Quack Quack hurt] What's the big idea? Who whacked duck-facenote  instead of me?!
    • Pretty constantly insults her sister Eugly, but she gets angry if anyone else does. A notable example is in one episode where Stumpy insults Eugly, and Pretty beats him up, but seconds later turns to Eugly and tells her that Stumpy was right.
    • Stumpy thinks his little sister Lavanade is weird and annoying because of her supernatural powers that allow her to summon spirits and levitate, and constantly complains about her to his friends. However, when Kaeloo suggests that Lavanade needs to be exorcised, Stumpy angrily tells her that he won't let her do any rituals on his sister.
  • In The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, June and her older brother Dennis argue and fight all the time. However, when Dennis is kidnapped by a powerful demon in one episode, after beating the ever-living crap out of said demon:
    June: Now if you come near my family again, they're gonna need a 10th-level Locator spell just to find what's left of you. Jerk.
  • In the episode "Heavy Meddle" of The Loud House, when Lincoln's sisters confront the kid who is bullying him. Or so they think. They're not nearly so protective once they find out that the bully is a girl.
    Lori: How dare you bully our brother! Only we get to do that!
  • Mickey Mouse (2013): In "A Pete Scorned", Pete has a fit of jealousy when he sees Mortimer Mouse relentlessly pranking Mickey.
    Pete: What's the idea letting that guy pick on you? That's my job!
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998):
    • Generally, the girls are like this with each other. They bicker and fight, as sisters do, but Lord help you if you try hurting one of the Puffs and are not family. They will end you.
    • In one episode, Mojo Jojo becomes enraged that an alien villain is destroying the city and doing so many of the evil things that he wanted to do. In the end, he ends up defeating the villain, but then hates it when the townspeople praise him for being a hero.
  • The Proud Family: Suga Mama routinely hits and insults her son Oscar (who almost always provokes her), but in the Pro Wrestling Episode where Oscar is forced to participate in a very real wrestling match and yells at her for help, Suga Mama comes to his rescue and even says that nobody is allowed to beat Oscar up except her.
  • The Real Ghostbusters gave Peter an antagonistic relationship with Slimer. However, when Samhain threatens him...
    Samhain: [holding Slimer] Surrender your weapons, or I shall be forced to do something... unfortunate to your friend.
    Peter: Nobody picks on the spud but me, got it?
  • In Rocket Power, Lars doesn't like it when his cronies insult Twister. Only he can do that. It's a brother thing.
  • Rugrats: Angelica, as part of her Jerk with a Heart of Gold position. She might bully the babies, but she'll stand up to anyone else trying to be mean to them.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Bart has a balanced habit of bullying and defending Lisa.
    • In "Itchy and Scratchy Land", Homer Simpson tells a bunch of rampaging robots, "Nobody ruins my vacation except me! And maybe the boy!"
    • A truly demented version occurs during "Treehouse of Horror IX", where Bart and Lisa are drawn into an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon due to a plutonium-powered TV-remote. They watch Itchy pull his lethal, gory assault on Scratchy, as always, and then laugh at it... but this time, the cartoon duo can hear them, and Itchy thinks they're being mean. Scratchy pulls himself together, and the two decide to teach Bart and Lisa a lesson, violent cartoon style, requiring them to run for their lives.
    • In "The Day the Earth Stood Cool", the family is at a birthday party for a super-pretentious boy, who quickly discards the hand-painted denim jacket Homer made for him and proceeds to mock Homer, adding him to his "poser blog". Bart is so disgusted by this that he shouts, "No one badmouths my dad except me!" and fights with him.
  • South Park: In "Pre-School", Shelley agrees to protect Stan and his friends from Trent Boyette, saying, "No juvenile hall turd is going to kill you. That's my job."
  • Superman: The Animated Series: In the two-part episode "The Main Man", Lobo is introduced going after the alien Squeek. Squeek's big brother Gnaww tries to stop Lobo... because he wants to take the bounty on his head, himself.
  • Eugene from Tangled: The Series may not like Cassandra at all, but in the episode "Under Raps", he's furious when he discovers that the guy she has a crush on means her harm:
    Rapunzel: Cass will be devastated!
    Eugene: Yeah, the only guy who gets to mess with Cass is me!
  • This is common in Tom and Jerry cartoons for both of them. They are the only ones allowed to chase, attack, and beat each other up the way they do. If anyone else tries it, the other will make him regret it.
  • In the Wander over Yonder episode "The Cool Guy", Lord Hater relishes the chance to hang out with Emperor Awesome, but when Awesome starts picking on Commander Peepers, Hater eventually decides that he's had enough and rushes to the Commander's defense, shouting "No one picks on Peepers but me!"

    Real Life 
  • There are cases where if you bully someone's little sibling and the older sibling, however abusive they are, gets wind of it, they will beat the living crap out of you, often saying that "Only I'm allowed to beat them up/insult them."
  • This is a staple of US military culture, particularly among the infantry. Soldiers who have served together, particularly in combat, have insulting nicknames for each other and sling profanities at each other like it's going out of style, no matter how grossly offensive the terms can be (and some of these can get pretty bad). Add to that that many of these insults back and forth will be meant sincerely, rather than in jest, but just the same they will tend to form a unified front against outsiders, just as the different branches will (usually) put their differences aside to work together against a foreign foe. God help any outsider who tries the same thing, especially if they're from the Navy.

    This goes double for any military instructors, no matter how nasty they are. A guy like this will intimidate and insult the troops he trains with dirty language — because that's his job, frankly — but if anyone else insults his men, he shows that guy how nasty he really can be.

    The Marines take this to the next level, are known for being one of the most tightly-knit military organizations in existence, and will rag on each other relentlessly. But while the Marine Corps motto is Semper Fi, their fine print pretty much reads "if you fuck with one of us, you'll have to deal with all of us."
  • It's the same way with most sports teams. Team members can make fun of each other, but if another team insults your teammates... Similarly, opposing player frequently trash-talk each other, but if a player gets significantly hurt, expect both teams to rally around the injured player — and they do not take it well if fans make light of the injury. If the injury is particularly bad or scary, expect the entire league, including die-hard rival teams, to immediately send a wave of support to the injured player.
    • In some cases, players will even intervene if one of their own teammates is being too rough with an opponent, especially if it's happening at a time when there's no actual play going on on the field.
  • Many New York Knicks fans are like this. They know their basketball team sucks. They know the team has sucked for decades, and they openly talk about it. However, they will get offended if a non-fan talks bad about their team, especially if the person is a fan of one of the rival teams.
  • Some psychological studies suggest that male characteristics most correlated with bullying are also correlated with a very strong sense of group loyalty. Which means that male bullies could be so even toward members of their own group, but also be the first to defend them against anyone else.
  • N-Word Privileges are based around this. It's okay to make fun of a group as long as you are part of it. A person foreign to that group? Better watch their back.
  • Many schools unintentionally forge this kind of camaraderie. No matter what kinds of differences or scuffles happen within it, if someone from a rival school attempts the same thing, they will put their differences aside and band together.
  • Americans are allowed to make fun of Canadians. And only Americans. (At least, as far as the Americans are concerned.) As far as Canadians are concerned, however, Americans are not allowed to make fun of them, though Canadians will regularly make jokes out of Canadian stereotypes.
  • Often true with residents of particular cities or states. We live here, so we get to bitch about the transit system/city government/our fellow residents. But god help anybody else who tries because we will band together like the pack animals we are. See especially: New York City, and the John Rocker affair; or the quintessential example via Lewis Black.
  • Me against my brother.
    Me and my brother against our family.
    Me and my family against our clan.
    Me and my clan against our tribe.
    Me and my tribe against the world.
  • Japan and South Korea. Japan may treat South Korea like shit, but only they can do it.
  • Very common among Brazilians, who generally make fun of and complain about their country all the time, but are famously not welcoming when foreigners do it. A TV ad played with this — two Brazilians are having a conversation about their country's shortcomings, but when an Argentinian joins in and agrees with them, they switch to saying "What are you talking about? This country's wonderful, man, there's nothing to complain about" and give him a Death Glare.

Alternative Title(s): The Only One Allowed To Insult You