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Informed Wrongness

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"Oh no, this is wrong somehow!"

Showing when someone is wrong can be a powerful tool for an author. It can characterize the villainous or misguided, it can lead to An Aesop, and it is vital for strawmen in Author Tracts. It's even easier for an author to just tell us that someone is wrong rather than go through all those boring complicated fact things. Unfortunately, this often means that when you think about it, they aren't wrong at all. The fact that we're supposed to be dismissing their opinions is because the writers are telling us to more than any actual logic.


Can be a center point in The War on Straw. See Strawman Has a Point for this trope when used with the strawman archetype. See The Complainer Is Always Wrong for one situation where this often comes up.

Compare And That's Terrible in which characters are clearly shown to be villainous, but this detail is outright explained, anyway. Contrast the sometimes overlapping Never My Fault, when the character responsible completely deflects blame onto someone else. See also Protagonist-Centered Morality for where the goodness or evilness of an action is based solely on how it affects the protagonist.

If taken to the extreme, these characters can become the Designated Villain or will commit a Designated Evil.

May often stem from Values Dissonance, as things that seem "naturally" wrong in one culture don't necessarily come across as being wrong in another. This is also often the case when Blue and Orange Morality is involved, as something that is viewed as completely harmless by most sane people is considered some kind of heinous crime by the character/group/race etc in question.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Pokémon:
    • In the episode "Challenge of the Samurai", Ash Ketchum spends much of the episode being berated by the titular character for not finishing what he started (not stopping a Weedle from escaping, thus letting it summon a swarm of Beedrill). However, the only reason the Weedle escaped was because the Samurai surprised him as he was about to capture it, because he didn't have the courtesy to wait until Ash was done catching it. Yet Ash is meant to accept responsibility for what went wrong, even though nothing was his fault, and though he defeats the Samurai, he's still short one Weedle which would someday evolve into a Beedrill. All of this is duly mocked in the Pokemopolis review of the episode.
    • In the episode "Pokémon Scent-sation!", the gang visits a perfume boutique in Celadon City. Ash comments that he doesn't like the smell of perfume. This results in him getting kicked out of the store by the manager. Simple enough, but then when Ash tries to challenge the gym in Celadon City, it turns out the Gym Leader is the same manager from the shop and she bans him from entering the gym. Naturally, this is all Played for Laughs, but the episode wants to portray Ash as being the stubborn one. If things were painted in a more realistic manner (granted, as realistic as a show about training super powered animals can get) the gym leader would likely lose her license for being so petty.
  • Part of the premise of Delicious in Dungeon with the In-Universe taboo against eating monsters. Wanting to avoid eating humanoid monsters is understandable thanks to Carnivore Confusion but eating those that are animal type is wrong just is. Even though most of them are safe to eat and many of them are essentially just bigger, more beastly versions of normal animals. Most characters encountered balk at the idea of using monsters as food despite how much easier it makes Dungeon Crawling thanks to relieving adventurers of the burden of buying and carrying large amounts of supplies. There are adventurers who do it (someone had to write Laios's guidebook after all) but it still seems to be an interest that's niche at best and reviled at worst.
  • In WORKING!!, Souta is repeatedly made the bad guy for complaining when Inami punches him. Except, you know, she's punching him, with super-strength, and whenever she gets close, for no reason other than her illness. To be fair, he does get kinda rude sometimes, but it's hard not to sympathize with his plight.
  • Sonic X
    • Knuckles would frequently fall victim to this. While he was usually the most serious and vehement on getting the job done, the others were more than willing to turn everything into a game. He would often question the ethics of a plan the team made, only to be bullied into following it through. Most times the plan would fall apart, but he would never call them out nor would the team be remotely apologetic for ignoring him. In one case the team outright steal the Master Emerald from him for their mission (keeping in mind the established importance of the emerald to Angel Island). When Knuckles is rightfully angered by this, the team label him selfish and inconsiderate and outright beat him up.
    • Vector gets taken to task for suggest Cream, a six-year-old girl, should be sent home to her mother Vanilla instead of sticking around with Sonic and friends. They all call Vector heartless because Cream wants to stay, but whether she wants to stay or not shouldn't factor in. Cream is a huge liability for Sonic and crew; she is, at best, The Heart of the team, and otherwise not useful to their mission. Even assuming she'll be looked after by the Thorndykes' staff, Sonic is fighting off monsters and threats to the planet, meaning Cream isn't safe anywhere on Earth! It also doesn't help that Cream's age makes her an easy target for kidnappings. While Vector is portrayed as sticking his nose where it doesn't belong, there's really no reason for Cream to stay.
  • After the Saiyan Saga in Dragon Ball Z, after the Saiyans are defeated (in the anime version at least), when Gohan announces he wants to go to Namek, Chi-Chi gets upset and scolds Gohan about how she wants him to act his age, and she talks about how she didn't see him for a whole year. The show obviously expected fans to side to side with Goku/Gohan's point of view on what's important so it would make Chi-Chi look much worse than she really is, ignoring the fact that Chi-Chi had a valid point. Had Gohan been an older teenager or an adult, this would be justified.
    • In Dragonball GT, when Bulma is called out for discovering the Dragonball when she was 16, she blames Goku for it. The writers expect us to side against Bulma for indirectly causing Omega Shenron to appear, and expect fans to ignore the fact that Bulma did not intend for Omega Shenron to show up and it was all a complete accident in her case.

    Comic Books 
  • Anytime a mutant cure is brought up, the X-Men seem to treat it as an unambiguously wrong thing. This in spite of the fact that there are many, many dangerous extremists who will never stop harming people, and there being mutations where one would be in an And I Must Scream situation for life. This is regardless of the fact that whether one wants their powers or not is a personal matter. But the anti cure side will always go on about mutations being a part of who you are, and corporations have no business providing mutants with any kind of choice. The whole thing is thoroughly mocked in this infamous post.
  • In spite of his knack for Anvilicious strawmen, Jack Chick still manages to create some that present better arguments than his "heroes". Especially when Chick's counter argument consists of someone saying nothing more than "That's a lie!" This is most prevalent in his tract about evolution - Teacher: "We've got a vestigial tailbone. That indicates evolution!" Kid: "It's not vestigial. It's got muscles on it."
  • The anti-reg side of Marvel's Crisis Crossover Civil War. Especially egregious given that for decades, Marvel's been giving us storylines where the same arguments the anti-reg side used were treated as unambiguously right. This is lampshaded by a What If? special where Nova (returning to Earth to rally the heroes against the Annihilation Wave) gives one big "What the hell, everybody?" speech when he lands in the middle of what would've been the final battle.
  • Another Marvel example. Skarr, Son Of The Hulk, was hit with this really hard throughout his entire miniseries. The narration and tone constantly informed us that he was pure evil. And while he certainly did a few morally dubious things in his quest to stop the slavers and slaughterers rampaging across the planet, they were phrased in such overblown ways to make them seem worse than they were that it just seemed melodramatic (with one of his "worst" offenses being a bluff of Pay Evil unto Evil). This culminated in Skarr being wrong for not wanting Galactus to eat his planet because, apparently, Galactus eating the planet was for the greater good... keep in mind, Earth superheroes regularly bluff Galactus with destroying the entire universe to make him leave Earth alone, which means he just goes off and eats someone else's planet.
  • The Spiritual Predecessor to X-Men vs. Avengers, Schism, concerning Cyclops and those who sided with him. The whole situation comes down to Wolverine deciding that Cyclops shouldn't be in charge because he's allowing young students to fight, and Wolverine doesn't want that. Essentially, it's a conflict of idealism and cynicism: The idealistic Wolverine wants the students to stay out of the conflict and keep them safe, while trying to build peaceful ties, while the cynical Cyclops wants to train them to defend themselves. While Wolverine has a point that they're essentially child soldiers, he's completely ignoring that the X-Men have been training teenagers to be superheroes since their inception, and Wolverine himself regularly takes young teenage girls on dangerous missions with him. Wolverine goes so far as to rig Utopia to explode in order to destroy an approaching Sentinel; Cyclops points out that Wolverine will be leaving the mutants with nowhere to go because of it. Things deteriorate from there, as Cyclops uses the memory of Jean Grey against Wolverine in an attempt to shame him, claiming she was always frightened of him. When Wolverine asks who she'd be more scared of if she was there at the moment, Cyclops attacks him, and they end up being so busy fighting, they don't notice the Sentinel bearing down on them, driving the kids to attack and destroy it. Although the immediate menace has passed, Wolverine, disregarding the kids' part in their victory, ends up separating the X-Men into two groups, thereby endangering them all. He comes off as something of a hypocrite and a jerk, yet it's Cyclops who's supposed to be the bad guy in the conflict (Cyke did strike first, on top of playing the Jean card, but before that Wolverine threatened to blow up the island with all his precious children on it, so you can see how it's ambiguous). It's especially bad when you remember that, at the time, there were around 200 mutants left worldwide.
  • In Spider-Man, Carlie Cooper breaks up with Peter Parker after she finds out his secret identity, and the book and the authors insist that Peter was wrong not to tell her and insisted that she was able to handle it. Except the book never stops to have the character of Carlie consider Peter's side of the situation, and has her make outlandish and bizarre accusations regarding Peter and his dual life as Spider-Man, making it seem like they are two completely separate people when Peter's duality has never been treated that way before or after. The creators never have the character acknowledge that Peter might have had a reason for not telling her, or telling her exactly when she asked him, showing no sympathy for Peter who has kept his identity a very guarded secret from even his closest relatives, and knows first hand how bad things could get if the information fell into the wrong hands.
  • In Tim Fish's Cavalcade of Boys series, Gordon is depicted as an unambiguously horrible person because he is a sugar daddy to a series of willing young adults (one of whom seduces him). Other characters' more serious moral failings are either forgiven or shrugged off.
  • ... And Cyclops again (Or rather, Emma Frost's projection of him) in Death of X. It's not so much that his actions weren't in some degree villainous; the problem was that for months before this flashback story came out other characters had been talking him up as if he'd become history's greatest monster, with one story explicitly comparing him to Hitler. And then Death of X came out, and what did he do? Well, he turned a poisoned gas cloud non-toxic without asking for permission from the Inhumans. Apparently this was enough to turn global anti-mutant sentiment up to eleven and make his former friends despise his memory.
  • Most Super Registration Acts fall into this. Villains, jerkasses and Obstructive Bureaucrats will say that superheroes must be supervised and held accountable for their actions. That, if left on their own, they can be incredibly reckless and destructive, causing untold collateral damage. And they are absolutely right.
  • Detective Comics (Rebirth) spends an entire issue having Spoiler rail against Batman's methods and superheroes in general. While the latter is likely supposed to be ironic, given Spoiler herself ends up saving the day as a superhero, the former has her denounce Batman's methods, and ask "how many losses are acceptable?". The problem is... well, it's Batman. Zero losses are acceptable! She manages to take down the bad guy using methods that are supposed to be so much better than Batman's... but are in fact just Batman's methods when he's not written as an idiot.
  • In Batwoman (Rebirth), after Batwoman briefly gives in to a massive dose of fear toxin and attacks Scarecrow, both Jacob Kane and Julia Pennyworth harshly admonish her for it, even going so far as to say she did so for fun. Kate makes no attempt at all to defend herself from these accusations. In reality, Kate "gave in" as a way to defeat Scarecrow, by pushing back against his attempt at a Breaking Speech, and had already been dosed at least once before in the previous 12 hours. Plus, neither Jacob nor Julia seem to understand the specifics of the situation.

  • Not surprisingly, this trope tends to find a lot of use in fanfiction, especially when people invoke Draco in Leather Pants and Ron the Death Eater to change the social dynamics of a story's cast to fit their own story. This is egregious when done in a series with a lot of Comedic Sociopathy (such as Ranma ½) where the entire cast is playing a gigantic game of catch with a multitude of Idiot Balls, Distress Balls, Hero Balls, and Villain Balls. In such stories, it doesn't matter how much attempted murder and bastardry have happened in the past, the NEW instance is suddenly the breaking point.
  • In My Immortal, being a "prep" or a "poser", rather than a "goff", is bad because... the story says so!
  • Harry Potter in the new timeline of In This World and the Next wastes no time in running around acting like an absolute Jerk Ass, and Snape is supposed to be a bad person for pointing this out.
  • In The Prayer Warriors, most of the things that the Satanists and other people do wrong is seen in this light, as Dumbledore is revered by the students of Hogwarts and reviled by the Prayer Warriors for letting his students take drugs, and stay up late at night. Sometimes, the "satanic practices" and "wrong things" that people are doing when the Prayer Warriors happen on them and kill them aren't even elaborated upon, leaving them to readers' imaginations.
  • In The Stalking Zuko Series, as well as other Avatar: The Last Airbender fanfics, Aang defeating Ozai without killing him gets this treatment, with the narrative failing to consider that Aang was able to spare a life by doing so, and that it's possible to neutralize Ozai as a threat without killing him, especially once Ozai no longer has his bending. Opponents of Aang's decision typically can't come up with arguments that are much stronger than the (largely unsupported) idea that doing it will have consequences down the line, or that "everyone else told him not to do it".
  • In The Better Choice, ThunderClan is punished and criticized by the protagonists because they undermine Gemlight's authority. However, Gemlight has done absolutely nothing to deserve her position as deputy note  aside from fucking the Clan leader, was made a deputy and warrior simultaneously (despite not even completing her training!), and threatens to sic a murderous rapist on anyone who disagrees with her. Gee, what's not to love?
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness Act III: In chapter 13, Kurumu and the others call Mizore out on Dark's treatment of Tsukune, specifically his statement that he only saved Tsukune from the ghoul-infected Kokoa so Kokoa could repay her debt to him and make amends, and then he'll kill him to prevent the ghoul from surfacing again. However, Mizore and Felucia inform them that Dark was actually pulling a Jerkass Façade to trick the headmaster into thinking that the Holy Lock's damage wasn't critical yet and find time to figure out a solution, and then outright accuse the others of being Ungrateful Bastards and giving Dark too little credit. Of course, they had good reason to take Dark's words at face value, considering the fact that Dark had repeatedly stated beforehand that if he even suspected that the lock wouldn't hold, he would kill Tsukune without hesitation.
  • In the beginning of This Time Around, both Urd and Peorth decide to cut a specific universe off from influence from their own universe after sending a message to their alternate selves to make a move on Keiichi. Urd declares to Belldandy that unlike her, Urd is too selfish to want to share Keiichi with her and praises Belldandy's selflessness. However, by the story's own admission, Belldandy has been manipulating every single universe she can find to make sure her alternate self always marries Keiichi. Even in universes where Keiichi is already in a relationship, she'll make sure her alternate self becomes part of it and becomes his first wife; anyone else he's involved in has to be content with being his second wife. One can hardly blame Urd and Peorth for wanting just one universe where they get the man instead of Belldandy.

    Film - Animated 
  • In Batman: The Killing Joke, the first half has Batgirl constantly whining about how Batman "doesn't take her seriously," ignoring the fact that every time she tries taking on Paris Franz, she nearly gets killed in the process while Batman rescues her. His concerns, thus, are perfectly valid.

    Film - Live Action 
  • In Showgirls the main character Nomi works in a strip club and aspires to be a topless dancer in a Las Vegas show. At one point she gives a man a lapdance that amounts to sex with a denim condom, she was perfectly willing to do what came down to live, on-stage lesbian sex, screwing her boss to get a higher position, and pushing the lead dancer down the stairs to get her job, but when she's asked during an audition to use ice cubes to make herself more *ahem* "perky", her angry refusal is treated as a display of strength of character. Why the line of moral compromise is drawn at that exact point is perhaps the only thing the movie leaves to the viewer's imagination. Furthermore, her later use of ice cubes after she joins Goddess is intended to be a sign that she's "losing herself."
  • In Surrogates - and, for that matter, almost every movie about virtual reality - it's taken as a given that using artificial means to lead exactly the kind of life you want is inherently morally inferior to actually going out and leading your own boring life. Even though the users feel and experience everything their surrogates do (so it feels just as real as doing it in person except you won't die if, say, your parachute doesn't open), and actually are interacting with other people (they just don't see what they really look like), and the movie tells us in the opening that the use of Surrogates has almost completely wiped out racism and sexism. Yeah, but ... it's not real, man!
  • Similarly, in The Matrix. Cypher is the only one to see Matrix life as preferable. Granted, he killed almost all of his allies and also handed over Morpheus so that the machines could get the codes to Zion to finish off the rest of the free humans, all for a chance to return to the Matrix (with the possibility of him being Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves), but still. The Matrix is treated as a horrible prison, and the machines as monsters for treating humanity that way. When in fact, the people who live in the Matrix are living better lives and people in the real world struggle just to survive. The real world planet has been turned into a total wasteland that can barely support life. Also, in order to get recruits, Morpheus deceives them by sparking their curiosity through extremely vague descriptions, no mention of a war that they are now obligated to be a part of, and also no mention of the fact that life in the real world completely sucks. Yet freedom is treated as the ultimate goal because, um, it's real or something. Cypher puts it best when he says "If you'd [Morpheus] told us the truth, we would've told you to shove that red pill right up your ass!" Made worse when it's mentioned that the Matrix originally was a perfect paradise for people, but human minds just wouldn't accept a perfect world, so the less perfect current version of the Matrix is essentially as good as they could do. The movie never actually says his points are wrong, except for the part where he's willing to kill people in cold blood to achieve them, and to give up Morpheus. And the first part isn't that different from how Zionites treat people in the Matrix.
  • Ed Rooney in Ferris Bueller's Day Off is depicted as a Jerk Ass Dean Bitterman who's going overboard with trying to discipline Ferris (admittedly, he broke the law and committed animal cruelty), though that doesn't change the fact that Ferris is skipping school, has done so at least nine times prior (he hacks into the school computer to change the records), and does so by blatantly exploiting the good will of everyone, including his parents.
  • A movie called Women Obsessed shows a man physically beating his new wife and menacing his stepson. At one point he seemingly rapes the wife (which is a case of What Happened to the Mouse? since we don't see what happens after he closes the door). She gets pregnant by him and ends up losing the baby. He carries her six miles to the hospital. At the doctor's house, she tells the doctor that she wants to leave him because he's abusive. The doctor then chastises her because of his heroics last night. She's portrayed as wrong in this situation and the movie ends with her begging him for forgiveness. This is also a case of Values Dissonance, since the movie was made in 1959, a time when attitudes towards spousal and parental abuse were in several ways very different.
  • Mickey in Shes The One falls out with his new wife Hope for assuming he would go to Paris with her without discussing it with him first, which seems like a reasonable point, yet he is blamed for it and says himself that he ruined the relationship. The only reason given for him being to blame is that he "didn't fight for her" but Hope didn't fight for him either and was in the wrong in the first place.
  • The Wizard has an antagonist whose job is finding the missing children and bringing them home. He might occasionally Poke the Poodle and be a Jerk Ass, but the bad guy's job is locating missing kids for their parents. The movie tries to sell him as a villain. When he is hit with a false accusation of sexual assault by an underage girl, The Wizard portrays this as heroic cleverness on the girl's part.
  • The Lifetime Movie of the Week Cyber Seduction: His Secret Life informs us so about Internet porn. It's something that's so wrong it causes Justin to suddenly suck at swimming, get rejected by the cool kids, end up beaten up and suicidal and get addicted to energy drinks. And this is just from looking at the softcore stuff the movie is able to show… Justin's father does say that Justin looking at porn isn't that big of a deal, but being a man in a Lifetime movie, he of course is wrong by default.
  • School of Rock depicts Ned's girlfriend Patty as being pushy and hypocritical because she "forces" him to demand Dewey actually get a job and pay his massive rent debt. Even though this is a rather reasonable demand, since Dewey isn't terribly concerned with what a drag he is on Ned. She is also supposed to be seen as hypocritical by pointing out that Dewey steps all over him and manipulates him...even though he does exactly that to Ned. To the point of engaging in identity theft to get a job under his name and trying to beg that he not do anything about it when Ned finds out. She's later further villainized for convincing Ned to press charges over the identity theft. At no point in the film is Dewey ever truly sorry for what he pulls on Ned and how many laws he broke or even that what he did could seriously impact Ned's own career as a teacher. For starters, the income from the job that Ned technically lost out on since Dewey took it from him, or what would happen when Ned didn't declare income from a job unknowingly taken under his name on his taxes. Dewey does acknowledge that what he did to the kids was wrong, but he's not ever aware of how much he took advantage of his roommate either. The moment where Ned breaks up with Patty for Dewey's concert is supposed to be a triumph of assertiveness when her only crime is being kind of aggressive over Ned not ever standing up for himself and being taken advantage of. Along that line, the parents of the children in Dewey's class aren't exactly unreasonable for being upset that their kids are learning nothing but rock music, and no academics, for weeks or months on end. Even many rock-loving parents would be bothered by how this would set their kids up for some serious educational problems later in the area (for being behind all the other classes in their grade).
  • In High School Musical, one of several mean things Sharpay help the shy new girl at her school become friends with people who genuinely like and support her. Something Gabriella - the girl in question - openly appreciates. Admittedly, Sharpay only did that because she wanted to distract Gabriella from Troy, but it's still hard to take it as a malevolent act.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In Ant-Man, the villainous Darren Cross, determined to uncover the secret to shrinking technology, orders animal testing on lambs. His aide Hope is horrified (since the failed shrinking tech dissolves them into a tiny puddle of bloody goo) and asks why they aren't testing on mice instead. Cross snarls that there's no difference, but despite his ruthlessness he does have a point: both are just laboratory animals, and a mouse is too small to test shrinking tech that would eventually be used on a human. Also, the fact that Hope objects to the use of lambs but not mice indicates that she's more motivated by the lambs' cuteness rather than actual ethics.
    • In Spider-Man: Homecoming, the mentor-pupil conflict between Tony and Peter is supposed to be seen as Tony being the Experienced Protagonist who is right and correct, and Peter is the eager student getting too big for his boots. The problem with this is that Tony's "mentoring" of Peter just consists of him having Peter run around with the Spider-suit without teaching him how to use it and with no supervision other than Peter leaving Happy Hogan voicemails detailing his daily activities. At no point does Tony clarify why exactly he is training Peter for in the first place, or what he expects of him, or how the latter fits in with his long-term Story Arc (post-Avengers 1) of preparing Earth for another alien invasion. Additionally, many of the things Tony chastises Peter for doing (being reckless and causing collateral damage) are things that Tony himself is guilty of and on a larger scale, making him come across as a complete Hypocrite. Lastly, when Peter tells him about the Vulture and his alien tech, Tony dismisses it as below the Avengers' pay grade and tries having a bunch of FBI agents take care of it, without telling Peter his plan, with disastrous results. The end result is that Tony comes off as a poor mentor who unfairly berates Peter for his own screw ups.
  • Star Wars:

  • The Michael Crichton novel Timeline reveals that the Corrupt Corporate Executive who owns the Time Machine at the center of the novel is planning to market it to the rich and powerful, to host tour groups to the past. And That's Terrible, so much so that the heroes use the time machine strand him in the middle of the Bubonic Plague as punishment. Except, as the novel repeatedly reminds the reader, this form of time travel doesn't cause paradoxes because the past can't be changed: instead, it's more like traveling between identical Alternate Universes that are out of historical sync with one another (this is presented a little inconsistently, since the heroes first got involved via a letter from the past, but the book holds to that explanation regardless). So, apart from an assumed Alien Noninterference Clause towards those other timelines that doesn't actually exist in the book (since it takes place in today's world), there doesn't seem to be anything really wrong with his plan. It's just confirmed as wrong by the horrified reactions of the heroes. This apparently wasn't lost on the movie producers: The Film of the Book instead has the villain accidentally stranding himself in the past while trying to kill the heroes.
  • In The Host, Wanderer is treated as saintly and righteous by most of the humans after a very short period of mistrust, while Kyle is shown as wrong for continuing to want her dead just because she's a deadly parasite that participated in the destruction of his entire culture, and is still protecting the regime that perpetrated that destruction. Needless to say, this has given a few readers pause.
  • Anyone who opposes, or even merely dislikes, Richard and/or Kahlan in The Sword of Truth is usually shown to be a jerkass or evil, but Chandalen is an exception in that he starts off hating Richard and Kahlan but eventually comes around. Before he does so, he states his reason for his hatred of Richard; Richard killed Chandalen's uncle. And yes, he really did. For some reason, Chandalen is consistently portrayed as wrong for hating the man who killed his uncle; he is routinely punished and/or made a fool of whenever he speaks against Richard or does something to get him to leave their village. One of his punishments is that he's sent to protect Kahlan on her mission to Aydindril to get Zedd's help to prevent the Keeper of the Underworld from entering the mortal plain. He is explicitly told that if any harm comes to her, he will be killed, meaning that he can't go back to his village unless she does. Along the way, Kahlan treats him with disdain, even doing dangerous things and taunting him about what will happen if she dies. We're supposed to be on her side when she does this. She eventually runs into the tattered remains of an army, and spends a majority of the rest of the book helping this army defeat an invading force...while Chandalen rightly reminds her that the fate of the entire world is at stake and they don't have time to worry about these two clashing armies. He's treated as a jerk for that.
  • Twilight has any character who is not agreeing with Bella's views as this.
    • Her father Charlie Swan gets a particularly heavy dose of this. He's repeatedly portrayed as being wrong and in the way of Edward and Bella's true love by grounding her, suggesting for her to live with her mother or seek help when she needs it. Given that Charlie wanted to ground her after she disappeared on him with barely any mention on where she was going and why while he was at a friend's funeral, the fact that he suggested she live with her mother in Phoenix after she becomes catatonic after Edward leaves her and to seek professional help from a therapist over her depression because of the same thing... it's difficult to not see that Charlie is merely acting as a well-reasoned, decent parent who is being blatantly ignored and belittled by his daughter.
    • Leah in regards of her pining after Sam because of the imprinting. The two of them used to be a couple, but then Sam imprinted on her cousin Emily, meaning that Sam instantly fell in love with her. The tribe keeps telling her that her hurt feelings are annoying and pointless, with imprinting portrayed as a wonderful thing, like finding one's soulmate. Leah and Sam were originally engaged and were very loving to each other, so being suddenly dropped and Leah turning out to be a female werewolf, meaning that she has unwanted access to every werewolves' thoughts, including Sam's, it just makes Leah appear even more sympathetic to the reader and to be fully justified in being hurt.
    • Another Leah incident is when she tells Jacob that he needs to stop pining over Bella. One of the arguments she uses for this that the pack mind-link means that Jacob's pining is making the rest of the pack, including Leah, have sex dreams about Bella. Despite the fact that Leah is saying the exact same thing to Jacob that the rest of the pack keeps saying to her, the reader is clearly supposed to be angry at her for not being sympathetic to Jacob's feelings.
    • Leah gets another one when she eventually confronts Bella about her attitude towards Jacob, always asking him to remain by her side and playing with him, despite having made it more than clear that he has no chance with her, that Bella is in love and happily married with Edward and is choosing to become a vampire instead of living out her life with Jacob. Everyone, including Jacob, says how wrong it was of Leah to do that.
  • The Baby-Sitters Club had many examples of this trope.
    • In one book Claudia meets a new friend who shares her interest in art, leading Claudia to skip a couple of the club's meetings. The rest of the girls are furious at this, and go so far as to short-sheet her bed and leave nasty notes in her home for her to find — keep in mind that they are at this point still using Claudia's bedroom and phone for club meetings. Yet by the end of the book, Claudia is the one who has to apologise for her behaviour in jilting them for another friend.
    • In a much later book, Mary Anne goes to the mall with her father and gets herself a new short haircut and a range of new outfits. The rest of the club responds as though she's murdered one of them and are resentful and nasty over the fact that her new look has given her a boost in confidence. Once again, Mary Anne is the one apologising by the end. Dawn's reasoning behind her anger at Mary Anne is especially galling — she tells her step-sister that she felt left out by not being included in the father/daughter shopping spree. Because God forbid a teenage girl get to spend one-on-one time with her only living parent for a single afternoon.
    • Early in the series, when Lucy Newton is born, her parents decide to hire a new sitter for her as they feel that, no matter how mature the club members are, a 13-year-old may not be able to cope with a newborn. All the girls act like this is incredibly unfair and irrational and, even when they're finally allowed to sit for Lucy at the end of the book due to Protagonist-Centered Morality, they are still somewhat miffed that the Newtons continue to hire an older babysitter separately.
    • When Stacey gets a boyfriend and starts spending more time with him, the other girls get angry with her for daring to have a life outside the club, yelling at her for wanting to spend time with other people or for doing things other club members have done (such as forgetting a babysitting job.) Stacey quits the club and her decision is presented as justified, yet a few books later her new friends turn out to be delinquents. The story presents it that Stacey is legitimately incapable of choosing her own friends or having a life without the other girls, and she ends up crawling back and apologizing.
    • In one book, when a friend of David Michael's comes over whilst Kristy is babysitting, the friend's parents won't let him stay because Watson and Elizabeth aren't there. Kristy is furious that they don't think her a good enough babysitter, and the reader is supposed to sympathize with her, even though it's perfectly reasonable not to want to leave one's child with an unknown (and very young) babysitter.
    • Claudia's sister Janine is referred to as "Mean" Janine and portrayed as pushy and bossy, even though her requests are often reasonable and she's usually trying to take care of Claudia or make sure that she meets her study commitments.
    • In the spin-off California Diaries series, Dawn, Sunny and Maggie drift away from their friend Jill. Dawn finally ends her friendship with Jill over two incidents: first, Jill gives away her knowledge of Dawn's stepmother's pregnancy, which was supposed to be a secret. Dawn treats this as a huge betrayal even though she is the one who leaked the secret in the first place, and Jill was trying to help Dawn's stepmother, thinking it wasn't safe for her to carry a heavy object whilst pregnant. Then Jill deliberately snitches on the other girls for going to a high school party where they shouldn't have been. The reader is supposed to see this as unforgivable despite the fact that Jill's "friends" had been vile to her (sneaking out of a sleepover at her house because they found it boring) and refused to take steps to avoid implicating her, even after she lied to cover for them. It's often difficult to see Jill as the bad friend during this storyline.
  • Anya, narrator of The Darkest Kiss, condemns the Greek gods' treatment of her mother as cruel and hypocritical. However, Dysnomia didn't just sleep with a lot of men. She slept with a lot of married men, knowingly and repeatedly, and didn't care that she was damaging other people's relationships by doing so.note 
  • An early scene in Dune has the Reverend Mother making a flattering remark about eugenics in front of Paul, and Paul inwardly notes that the notion has offended his "instinct for rightness." The book never elaborates on this. Maybe Frank Herbert didn't think he had to?
  • In the Give Yourself Goosebumps book Hocus-Pocus Horror, "you" (the reader) want to save a dog that an evil stage magician is using in his act - but the dog has been turned invisible, so you are not sure where it is. You can either choose to steal the magician's bag of tricks (believing that the dog may be in there), or leave without it. If you decide that stealing is wrong and choose to leave the bag behind, you are punished with a bad ending by having the invisible dog attack and kill you - even though you were trying to do the right thing by not stealing, and couldn't be sure whether or not the dog was really in the bag.
    • In one storyline of Please Don't Feed the Vampire, you have been turned into a vampire and are desperate for blood. You are then offered the choice of whether or not to drink a glass of blood offered by another vampire. If you accept, the book stops the story there and chastises you for doing something so disgusting - even though in context of the story, it would be an entirely reasonable course of action (as a vampire, it's your only food source, and you're already becoming sick without it.)
  • Warrior Cats: Moth Flight as of Moth Flight's Vision. The first-ever medicine cat of the Clans makes the rules where medicine cats are forbidden from taking mates or having kits, and she (as well as the narrative) thinks that having kittens was a mistake and that no medicine cat should ever have them. The reason why, though? It's because she thinks she can't divide herself between her kits and her duties as medicine cat, and she thinks that the other medicine cats would get distracted too. Nothing bad really happens anyway because of her having kits other than her being stressed, her kits missing her, her Clanmates helping her with them, and one of her kits getting into an accident that any kitten gets into. But because she's stressed, she gives them away and declares that no medicine cat should ever have kittens.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In Little Orphan Annie, Mrs. Warbucks donates large amounts of money to charity. However, she doesn't care a bit about the poor, she just wants to be praised and give a good impression. Fact remains that the poor probably wish more people were like her. Motivation aside, she does help the needy, and that's a good thing.
  • In Luann, Tiffany's desire to get into acting without any formal training is given the Ambition Is Evil treatment and she's all but told that she'll fail without the proper training. This is all despite the fact that A) plenty of famous actors have had no formal training before getting into the business and B) at that point, Tiffany already had a modest professional resume.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons is full of oddly binding rules regarding morality. For instance, several spells are designated "Evil," usually because they use necromancy and negative energy. Players are simply informed that using these forces is considered immoral in and of itself, though in some settings no explanation is given as to why animating undead or draining lifeforce is any different from, say, beating someone to death with your bare fists (the Monk class is Lawful Good).

    Video Games 
  • Many players feel that a lot of the "evil" player choices in the The Force Unleashed series just veer too far into this territory instead. The first game's Light Side ending paints Starkiller as He Who Fights Monsters if he kills Palpatine — never mind that: (A) Starkiller has repeatedly used Dark Side methods and powers for good purposes before (including during this very battle) anyway, (B) he clearly just wants to finally be rid of this complete sociopath instead of outright wanting to replace him, and (C) Palpatine has frequently established throughout the entire Star Wars franchise why his continuing survival is only an overwhelming negative for the entire Galaxy. Likewise, the respective Dark Side ending paints Starkiller's decision to kill Vader as an automatic Moral Event Horizon deserving of a Fate Worse than Death — even though: (A) Starkiller has already suffered well enough in advance because of the guy; (B) Vader has evidently invoked Took a Level in Jerkass and retains almost none of his famous sympathetic qualities during this series; and (C) Starkiller still tries to help the good guys out afterward, thus being more of an Anti-Hero rather than actually invoking Face–Heel Turn. And the sequel's Dark Side ending doesn't even give the main Starkiller clone the chance to act upon anything even remotely consequence-worthy, simply giving him a Diabolus ex Machina death right then and there, in the form of another Starkiller clone, the Dark Apprentice (who, mind you, makes absolutely no appearance in the Light Side ending) suddenly appearing and stabbing you from behind with his lightsaber. In addition to this, the Dark Side ending also somehow results in the death of Juno; instead of merely being unconscious like she was during the Light Side ending, she's inexplicably dead.
  • In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Master Eraqus is painted as a narrow-minded Knight Templar who's too biased toward Light and against Darkness. However, while he definitely suffers from Poor Communication Kills, his beliefs themselves keep being reinforced by the very series mythology — which always paints Darkness as the dangerous force and Light as the protective force, respectively, with the exception of one single character (Riku) who eventually learns to use Darkness without corrupting himself (but even then, he still cuts it extremely close more than once, and he ultimately still favors Light anyway). Additionally, it's that very same Light Is Good mindset that enables Eraqus's Heart to ultimately reinforce Terra's against the full brunt of Master Xehanort's Dark Is Evil possession — as revealed in the Blank Points secret ending.
  • World of Warcraft
    • During the Rage of the Firelands patch, the Night Elf Druid Leyara switched sides with Fandral Staghelm and became a Druid of the Flame because her daughter had been killed in one of the Horde's attacks on Ashenvale, an attack she felt could have been prevented if Malfurion Stormrage had taken a more proactive stance against the Horde. When he learned of this, Malfurion seemed to believe she was being unreasonable, but many players felt her anger was justified (and perhaps even agreed with her line of thinking, at least right up until she jumped off the slippery slope).

      The funny thing is that Leyara was supposed to be a Take That, Audience! towards the Alliance players who'd been complaining about the Druids' neutrality, but the way she was presented made players sympathetic to her and caused them to view Malfurion as even more of a Jerk Ass than they had before.
    • In the novel Wolfheart, King Varian is the only Alliance leader to refuse membership to the Worgen of Gilneas. Why? Not because they're Worgen but because Gilneas stood by behind their great walls and let their former allies be destroyed by the Undead. Everyone tries to tell Varian not to be unreasonable, but what is so unreasonable about having reservations about giving help to someone who formerly refused to help you when you needed it? Naturally, Varian not only ends up liking the Worgen by the end of the novel but even leading them to counter-attack the Horde. His original reservations are simply brushed aside.
    • In Garrosh Hellscream's final confrontation with Thrall, he accuses Thrall of forcing the title of Warchief on him when he wasn't ready and making him into what he is. The writers obviously intended this to be a desperate case of Never My Fault on Garrosh's behalf. However, many players sympathized with Garrosh, feeling that Thrall had failed him as a mentor. Despite obviously wanting to build him up as a right-hand man and protégé, Thrall never made any serious attempts at reining in Garrosh's racism and warmongering, he romanticized Garrosh's father Grom as a great hero despite those same flaws being present in him, and he continuously rewarded Garrosh with higher and higher positions within the Horde, culminating in him being named Thrall's successor as Warchief over better-suited characters like Cairne and Vol'jin, something that was seen as a bad idea by many even at the time. While Garrosh should certainly be held responsible for his actions, Thrall both enabled him by putting him in a position of power, and failed to teach him how to lead wisely, so to see him just brush off all wrongdoing rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.
    • Xe'ra is said to be controlling and prejudiced against those who use powers besides the Light. The writers even intended to make her a case of exploring that not every Naaru is good from the player's perspective. Given that Illidan is coming close to He Who Fights Monsters and both Fel and Void often induce The Dark Side Will Make You Forget, she has a point about an aversion to non-Light powers; while it was wrong of her to omit that Naaru can turn into Void Gods, if she wanted to avoid that fate herself it makes her aversion to anyone using the Void understandable. Yet this purported prejudice didn't stop Xe'ra from recruiting people like the non-Light-using player characters, NCP Archmage Y'mera and Alleria (prior to Alleria's using the power of the Void, and even then Turalyon and Lothraxion talked her into being merciful. The fact that Turalyon and Lothraxion were both able to talk Xe'ra out of a more merciless approach proves that she's not controlling anyone, even the Lightforged Draenei). She's also a Naaru who's rallying people to help people fight the Burning Legion. Not only does it turn her into a Base-Breaking Character, the story treats her as if she's some Holier Than Thou fundamentalist and nearly everyone involved ends up disagreeing with her (except Turalyon). Despite Velen needing her help and being devoted to her cause (as recently as the Battle for the Exodar scenario, he suddenly switches face and doesn't object to Illidan killing her, only criticizing her decision to try to force the Light on Illidan. No one else called him out on this either except Turalyon. It's also egregious as the story is obviously Character Shilling for Illidan, but Xe'ra doing it is treated negatively.
  • Valkyria Chronicles has the flinders of its moral lessons all over the place, but the Valkyria in general get the gold star for this one. We're told in no uncertain terms that Valkyria powers are Bad News, but we're never really given a good explanation for why that is; the closest we get is the fact that one guy in the entire world would want to exploit them for personal gain. One guy. Who dies at the end of the game after his homemade artificial Valkyria power-armor crapped out on him. But, since Ambition Is Evil and the Valkyria make tanks look like tinker toys, everybody who doesn't think that those powers are evil ends up crushed to death by raining anvils.
  • In the Ar Tonelico series, we're repeatedly given examples of Reyvateils being treated like trash...but we're supposed to assume the fault lies with them for "not trusting in others" enough, thus requiring the main characters to fix what's wrong with their heads. For the most egregious example that comes to mind, Misha didn't want to be locked up in a room all her life singing, and for this the game wants us to assume she's a whiny brat (and we're also supposed to assume The Hero was in the wrong for telling his father off for this, since it was his father's idea).
  • BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma has Kokonoe wanting to sacrifice Celica to activate the Lynchpin needed to defeat the Imperator near the end of the story. Ignoring the fact that Celica is a clone and will die in six months regardless of what Kokonoe does, the only option other than doing what Kokonoe suggested would be to unleash an arsenal of nukes and render Ibukido uninhabitable that may solve the problem that everyone is trying to solve, the protagonists' plan is "hopefully we'll think of something" despite the fact that if they waited so much as half an hour, Ikaruga would be destroyed and the rest of the world would be next. The only reason it worked without sacrificing Celica was because the method used was foreshadowed in a way so vaguely it could've been over a dozen different things and made the same amount of sense. Which Rachel somehow knew despite not even being present, though that could at least have been through her power as an Observer. However... 
  • In Metroid: Other M, Samus leaving Adam Malkovitch's command to become an independent bounty hunter against his will note  is treated as a terrible decision and an act of betrayal toward her father figure (yet Adam doesn't really act like one in the flashbacks). Adam clearly resents her for this and this is why he's reluctant to work with her when they meet again years later. Samus belittles herself saying "I was young and naive" then proceeds to "redeem" herself by acting extremely obedient to Adam including one infamous instance where she doesn’t activate her Varia suit in a lava-filled area because Adam hadn't authorized it. It is later revealed in the game that her decision was motivated by the death of Adam's brother Ian with whom she was very close. Still it doesn't explain how quitting a job is something of a irreparable black mark especially when according to the other games her career as a bounty hunter was quite successful (she defeated the space pirates and saved the galaxy more than once) and when she said that she felt uncomfortable among her misogynist teammates who looked down on her.
  • This trope is why people began Rooting for the Empire from the initial previews of XCOM 2. Yes, the aliens have taken over Earth... and they've created advanced futuristic cities that people are offered the choice to move to, where they will be free of poverty, hunger and homelessness, they have shared incredibly advanced technology with humanity, and even provide free hospitals where genetic tailoring has severely reduced, if not eliminated, all manner of ailments and afflictions, like many genetic defects, cancer and AIDS. Even their Police State actions are justifiable since, y'know, there's a bunch of xenophobic conspiracy theorists running around blowing up hospitals, assassinating government officials, and murdering law enforcement officers. Really, the Advent initially comes off as being no worse than most human governments and in many ways better than they are. The informed wrongness completely disappears, however, when you discover that the aliens are still using humans as fodder for their experiments instead of treating them like people, and their hospitals and gene clinics are merely fronts for harvesting genetic material in order to find psy-capable gene sequences. A note is made by the XCOM resistance that all of the cases of missing persons last went to the clinics before vanishing.
  • A rare, weird inversion of this trope into "Informed Rightness" comes with Caesar's Legion in Fallout: New Vegas. Word of God is that the four paths to completing the core game (NCR-Aligned, Legion-Aligned, House-Aligned, Wild Card) were supposed to be a case of Grey and Gray Morality, with every faction having its downsides and its upsides. In practice, however, it comes off as a case of Black and Gray Morality: none of the apparent "benefits" of Legion rule are much more than referenced in-game, and all of its downfalls, like being host to a murderous band of neo-barbarians who make heavy use of slavery, brutally abuse women, wield torture and death as the "big stick" to force compliance, deploy Child Soldiers, practice Human Sacrifice in honor of Caesar and engage in cannibalism, are shown to us. Even much of their "good side" is undercut by further admissions of things like how the "peace" in their land is pretty much only the "peace" to be worked to death or fight and die for Caesar's will, or how it's guaranteed that they will fall apart once Caesar dies and slaughter themselves into irrelevance.
  • Sonic's alliance with Eggman in Sonic Lost World. After accidentally freeing the Deadly Six from Eggman’s control and they start to suck the planet dry of its life-force, Sonic accepts Eggman’s help to disable the extractor. This isn't an unreasonable decision since Eggman created the machine and does not want the world to be destroyed however Tails berates Sonic for trusting Eggman more than him. Although Eggman later turns against Sonic, this happens after they successfully stop the Deadly Six. Yet for some reason the game sides with Tails and ends with Sonic apologizing for "doubting him".
  • Invoked and played for laughs in Tropico 5 when Socialism is researched:
    Penultimo: (heavyhearted) Presidente, don't research that. Don't you know that if you do, you will then research Socialism. Which everyone knows is bad. We should stick to our current model of capitalist cronyism. I, my friends, and and all my relatives think is the best model for government.
  • If the protagonist of 80 Days considers helping the Black Rose with a robbery but doesn't go through with it, he will feel guilty for some reason when the Rose confronts him about it. And his "betrayal" is so shocking that it convinces her to never trust anyone ever again.
  • In Persona 5, there's the Phantom Thieves stealing Kunikazu Okumura's heart, which has the unintended consequences of Okumura being murdered by his co-conspirators, who proceed to frame the Phantom Thieves for his death, and which the Phantom Thieves believe is proof that they've become so preoccupied with their fame that they've lost sight of their goals. The problem is that Okumura is at least as bad as most of the Phantom Thieves' major targets, having run his food corporation in an exploitative way, and setting up an Arranged Marriage between his daughter Haru and the son of a Diet member in order to launch his political career, despite knowing that his soon-to-be son-in-law views Haru as a plaything. The Phantom Thieves are initially hesitant to steal Okumura's heart, even with possible evidence that connects him to being behind the mental shutdowns (he didn't do it, but he did request some of them, which is just as bad), since they don't know for certain whether he's guilty. That only changes once they meet Haru, who reveals that she's known about her father's misdeeds for some time, and that she'll soon be forced to move in with her fiance. While it is revealed that the Conspiracy hacked into Mishima's site to make Okumura the most requested target, the Phantom Thieves had good reason to target him.
  • The protagonist of Undertale's decision to kill some attacking monsters during a Neutral Run tends to cross into this territory, as they tend to be judged for killing monsters who were trying to kill them first. While it's true it's entirely possible to win every fight passively, it's not like the protagonist attacks NPCs or monsters who leave them be.
  • At the end of Grand Theft Auto IV, Niko is offered a chance to work with Dimitri Rascalov for a butt-load of money. If Niko decides to put aside his grudge against him and do the deal, Kate gives him shit for abandoning his principles for money when all he really did was abandon common sense for money.
  • During Detroit: Become Human, robot-protagonist Connor is given the option to shoot a hostile, errant stripperbot involved in a murder, who turns around to charge at him after a vicious brawl. This is, all things considered, textbook self-defense, but Connor never describes it as such and his partner Hank will chew him out for an unjustified application of lethal force.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Danganronpa:
    • Makoto witnesses a Wham Shot. When Kyoko confronts him about it, he refuses to share the details on the grounds that the information he learned is far too dangerous (Monokuma later reveals it in the hopes it will be seen as a motive for murder) and that he doesn't really have proof. In response, she gives him the cold(er than usual) shoulder, calling him out because he preached to her about trusting each other before. Subverted in that Kyoko later realises Makoto had good reasons for withholding the information and apologises.
    • In New Danganronpa V3, case 4 ends with Kaito being pissed at Shuichi because he trusted Oma (the Token Evil Teammate and The Friend Nobody Likes) over him, who has been an emotional support for Shuichi ever since Kaede's death while Oma has done nothing but spread discord, this support culminating in Gonta, who is the Gentle Giant loved by everybody, executed for a murder he doesn't remember. The issue is: Oma was right, and Gonta really did commit a murder, even if he doesn't remember. Shuichi was tasked with finding out the truth and if he hadn't, everybody but Gonta would have been killed, making Kaito comes off as petty for punishing Shuichi for saving everybody in a way he disagrees with (even if it was the only way) and the rest of the game tries to make it seems like they are both being stubborn about it, while it hardly seems that way.
  • Maria Ushiromiya of Umineko no Naku Koro ni is often picked on by those around her (including her own mother) for acting much younger than she is (9). This is despite the fact that, while she does have a tendency to act somewhat babyish, she also demonstrates a surprisingly in-depth knowledge of western occult lore and theological history far beyond what a typical nine year old should be able to understand. Instead of being recognized as some sort of savant, she's looked upon as creepy and off putting, and often gets smacked around by her mother for not being "normal" instead of recognizing Maria's obvious intellect.

    Web Comics 
  • In Treading Ground, protagonist Nate was cast as a repressed asshole by his and Rose's circle of friends for not giving in to Rose's advances, up to and including Rose stripping in front of him. Somehow lost in all of this is that Rose was 17 and Nate was in his 20s. And the fact that Rose agreed to wait until she was 18 before they pursued anything more than Just Friends (an agreement they came to when she was 16). It was heavily implied early on that Nate came up with that pact hoping Rose would get tired of waiting and move on to someone closer to her age, but that line of thought seemed to have been dropped by the end. Possible intentional Moral Dissonance at work.
    • It was brought up in-story that the age of consent in their state (South Carolina) is 16, and that neither Rose nor Nate - possibly intentionally on his part - were aware of this. Which still leaves the ridiculous idea that Nate was a jerk for not wanting to sleep with a teenager (even one as willing as Rose).
    • Even if she was his age, there would still be nothing at all wrong with the refusal.
  • Dominic Deegan refers to Alterism as unnatural and Alterists as creepy. We don't actually see any Alterists save for one student doing some amateur work on himself and one hairdresser who only used the magic to style hair and we are never shown how Alterism is any more unnatural than pumping your head full of "ecomancy", the "natural" equivalent, beyond some bad hairdos. This was eventually addressed in one arc where Dominic and Luna admitted their dislikes stem from Freudian Excuses and alterism is show to be akin to surgery, though with some more bizarre possibilities. It's still generally considered "wrong" in-verse due to a bad rap from its use by people more for physical enhancement than medical treatment.
    • It was later revealed that a 'prank' as a young student resulted in him having over a week of visions of the worst horrors that could go wrong with Alterism FROM THE VICTIM'S PERSPECTIVE. So Dominic's treating it as something horrible is a result of not being able to get over that traumatic incident. Otherwise it doesn't seem to be treated as being that wrong (and allowed a trans female character to successfully undergo physical transition and be happy). Which...means it's actually an IN UNIVERSE example, albeit an Anvilicious one.

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied in a Robot Chicken sketch entitled Twelve Angry Little People. A Rogue Juror insists they not convict a boy of murder because one of the witnesses must have been mistaken about her testimony, since she normally wears glasses and wouldn't have them on when she woke up and allegedly saw the crime (an obvious reference to 12 Angry Men). A dog on the jury points out that there is incontrovertible DNA evidence at the scene of the crime pointing to the boy. The Rogue Juror replies by saying- "why are we listening to you? You're a *BLEEP* ing dog!" Later it turns out the Juror's theory is wrong and he ends up on trial for accidentally killing the defendant.
  • Done rather frustratingly in Captain Planet and the Planeteers with Wheeler, who gets dismissed as an idiot even when he has a point. In at least one episode the others brought him around to their way of thinking, then arbitrarily switched sides and he was considered wrong again. The episode "The Numbers Game" takes this to bizarre levels—-at the beginning of the episode he opines that people shouldn't have children they can't afford to support, and the others call him out for being unsympathetic to poor people. Then he goes to sleep and has a dream where he and Linka are married with a whole bunch of kids, which leads to a horribly wasteful world since having more than two kids is bad for the environment, and his dream-friends chew him out again for being so irresponsible. He then wakes up and tells Linka that if they get married one day, he only wants two kids at most. The episode sets it up as if he learned a lesson... but by the show's own standards, he was right the whole time! At one point, they did the same debate, except in this episode Wheeler was on the exact opposite side of the argument, and was still considered wrong.
  • Also a major trait of Eric from the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon. This is one of the most famous examples of The Complainer Is Always Wrong. No matter how reasonable his objections were, the other characters ignore him, and we're supposed to side with them.
  • In Gargoyles, Goliath and Elisa help the Avalon clan defend themselves from Oberon, who wants to drive them out. One of the clanmembers points out that technically the clan is squatting on Oberon's rightful property, but her thought is quickly dismissed and we're supposed to side with the gargoyles. To make it worse, Elisa's rationalization that Oberon gave up his claim on Avalon by abandoning it for a thousand years conveniently ignores the fact that Oberon is immortal and a thousand years wouldn't seem that long to him. To his credit, Oberon was willing to settle the matter diplomatically at the end, so at least it wasn't a matter of him being completely wrong as the Avalon clan proving themselves worthy to stay on Avalon, and there's no question that Oberon is still top dog over the human residents.
  • In Skunk Fu!, the Big Bad, Dragon, is mentioned to have been "punished for his arrogance". In his full backstory, it's said that the valley the characters live in was under an intense drought. When Dragon asked the Heavens if he could use his water powers to stop the drought, the Heavens didn't respond at all. So Dragon went ahead and ended the drought with rainfall. The Heavens then punished him by stripping him of his water powers and trapping him in a mountain prison. This is most likely based on a Chinese legend on how the four rivers were made. Four dragons of water went much the same way as Dragon did and gave the people water after being refused permission, and were punished by the gods by being turned into rivers. Seeing as China presents the afterlife as a Celestial Bureaucracy and deference to authority is taken very seriously, apparently the way Dragon was "arrogant" is that he thought himself above those that told him when he was able to use his powers.
  • X-Men: Evolution: "Joyride"; Avalanche joins the X-Men, but only to be close to Kitty, who he's grown close to and has feelings for. Throughout the episode, he goofs off, destroys property, endangers others, and shows that he's way over his head, and when Cyclops tries to be friendly, he growls at him like a dog, then taunts him when he finds his car has been trashed by a joyride. So, when Cyclops starts to suspect he's responsible for the recent joyrides, he's presented as wrong to not trust the former villain, even though all the evidence points to him, and in the end Scott apologizes for not trusting him. While Scott shouldn't have embarrassed him by reactivating a machine to knock him over, that doesn't change the fact he's treated as an asshole for not trusting him despite his lack of any logical reason to. In the end Lance quits, not because of Scott but because he'd rather stay with the Brotherhood because the X-Men expect too much effort being put in.
  • In one episode of Hey Arnold!, Arnold gets fed up with Helga's bullying and gets back at her by spilling paint on her. He gets in trouble and everyone treats him like he perfomed a Kick the Dog action. He's told that he should just let Helga bully him because she's a girl.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In "Boast Busters" Trixie is meant to be in the wrong for publicly humiliating Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Applejack on stage and gloating about how "Great and Powerful" she is, except this clearly wasn't part of her intended act: her show was clearly just a Stage Magic act until Rainbow Dash began booing her, and their humiliation was issued as a challenge which they eagerly leapt onto stage to accept. While she may have gone too far in humiliating them and her animosity toward Twilight Sparkle was entirely unjust, it's very hard to fault an entertainer for wanting to stick it to hecklers in the audience who are loudly disrupting their show. This would get an Author's Saving Throw much later in Magic Duel, where it's acknowledged In-Universe that she really wasn't that bad in her first appearance, before latter joining the show's supporting cast in a positive portrayal as Starlight's best friend.
    • In "Bridle Gossip", the entire moral is not to judge a book by it's cover. However, the ponies aren't just judging the "witch" Zecora by her appearance: they're also judging her based on the fact she comes from the dangerous Everfree Forest and that her behavior comes off as threateningnote . The ponies wake up the next morning under the effects of Poison Joke, which they immediately blame on Zecora having mistook her warning as a threat. In a world where magic and curses are very real, this is not an unreasonable thing to believe. While this may not have been quite enough evidence, at the very end Twilight witnesses Zecora behaving and speaking in a manner which strongly suggests that she's going to cook a pony (which she is not). The ponies are reasonably concerned, but still portrayed as wrong for judging her.
    • "One Bad Apple" infamously ended with the moral of "standing up to a bully will make you a bully as well", effectively portraying the CMC as wrong for trying to defend themselves against Babs Seed. That Babs has effectively spent every waking moment actively hunting the CMC to ruin every second of their day, that the CMC did attempted other means to solve the issue which all failed, that the CMC's reasoning for not telling an Adult is fear that it will make the bullying worse (a very valid concern, as it's often the case in real life), and that Babs actually threatened them if they told an adult, are never given any thought. To say this didn't sit well with the fanbase, particularly fans who were victims of bullying themselves and know that telling an adult rarely if ever actually solves bullying (it's only the first step), would be one heck of an understatement.
    • Zecora gets to be on the other side of this in Just For Sidekicks where she swipes a gem from Spike because "there's no worse mojo than dragon greed". That may be, and yes Spike is doing a thoughtless job of what he was paid the gems to do, but he's not motivated by sheer greed but rather to earn a quantity of gems to bake a cake. He's effectively doing the equivalent of a kid mowing some lawns to earn some cash to buy something they want, which Zecora presents as an entirely wrong thing to do with no consideration whatsoever.
    • "Bats!" had the main conflict is between Fluttershy and Applejack over whether Applejack should allow a swarm of vampire fruit bats to remain on her apple farm. Applejack wants them gone, because in the past they've caused massive amounts of damage to the crop and nearly wrecked the farm, while Fluttershy wants Applejack to cordon off a section of the orchard for the bats to stay in for the sake of the bats.note  But then, a magic spell which can remove the bats' appetite for apples is suggested; Fluttershy has moral reservations about this "solution". Considering what happened when a similar spell backfired in a prior episode, this is understandable. However, this solution fails for completely different reasons (Fluttershy turns into a half-pony half-bat hybrid), and then Fluttershy's solution is attempted and somehow works. The episode (and Applejack) ultimately end up siding with Fluttershy, even though Applejack's argument (that her farm might be ruined if the bats are allowed to stay) has perfectly valid points that are never addressed and nobody seems concerned that the last time Fluttershy gave a pest a birth because she thought it was cute it backfired tremendously.
    • In No Second Prances, Starlight Glimmer gives Twilight Sparkle flak for not trusting Trixie, and by extension, not trusting her. Thing is, genuinely good person at heart or not, Starlight is a reforming ex-villain. Prior to her Heel–Face Turn she was dangerous, aggressive, and unhinged, and committed some of the worst acts any villain in the series has ever done. Even post Heel–Face Turn she still struggles quite a bit with basic concepts of right and wrong. Regardless of how unjustified Twilight Sparkle may be in not trusting Trixie at this point, she has every valid reason in the world to not wholly trust Starlight.
    • Chancellor Neighsay in School Daze closes Twilight Sparkle's School of Friendship due to the teachers being too unqualified and irresponsible and for the danger it poses to ponies, all of which is written off as being wrong because he is deep-down motivated by a racist (specist?) agenda. His motives aside, he's right that Twilight's friends are unqualified and irresponsible, as they admit such and a later episode has a student nearly drown due to the teachers feuding, and he's right about the risk as he witnesses those students endangering the lives of others and their nations threatening war over them.
  • In Recess, Gretchen practicing with her yoyo all day is apparently a horrible habit that warrants Vince to angrily say "why don't you put that thing away!" and Spinelli to complain about it. It's presented as a sign that Gretchen is 'neglecting' her friends over her new hobby.
  • The Rocket Power episode "Power Girl Surfers" has Otto and Reggie getting into an argument that starts when Otto is unexpectedly offered a cover story in his favorite surfing magazine, and Reggie is unable to convince the magazine editor that she deserves her own story more than her brother does. While the editor was undeniably a Jerkass to Reggie, we're never actually shown anything suggesting that she would have been a better candidate than Otto, and Otto is painted as a selfish jerk because he accepts the cover story, refusing to throw away his shot at fame because of his sister's jealousy.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy gets a lot of these.
    • In "Stop, Look and Ed", Double D is seen as the wrong one just because he called the kids' parents despite the fact that it was the kids' own fault for breaking the rules all because Eddy told them to. Keep in mind that they shouldn't have even trusted Eddy to begin with knowing that they hate him the most of the trio due to what his scams had caused them. So they really have no right getting mad at Double D (or the other two Eds for that matter).
    • In "To Sir With Ed", Nazz punishes Eddy by demanding him to go to bed after Ed accidentally causes the bathtub to crash down through the ceiling. Eddy gets painted as the jerk even though Nazz wasn't doing her job as a responsible babysitter after she unofficially invited guests in Eddy's house, probably without Eddy's parents' permission.
    • In "Dim Lit Ed", Double D tries to educate the kids due to their lack of decorum. Towards the second half of the episode, we're made to believe that Double D was being a jerk to the kids by letting them believe that the prize for a scavenger hunt is a jawbreaker even though they only put words in his mouth right before he even had a chance to tell them what the real prize is.
    • In "Too Smart For His Own Ed" the kids blame Ed and Eddy for their failed quizzes after Ed wrote down random answers all because they believed that he was a genius after winning a spelling bee. Most of the questions were fairly easy to answer and required little to no thought at all. So there was no reason for them to rely on Ed for their quizzes.
  • In The Legend of Korra:
    • Any conflict at all between humans and spirits in the show is portrayed as the humans' fault for being selfish and not willing to understand the spirits, but from what we actually see, the spirits are just as guilty of this and are not morally superior to humanity in any way. They demand respect from humanity while giving none in return, yet the narrative constantly portrays them as being in the right.
    • Lin Bei Fong, Chief of the Republic City Metal Bending Police, is apparently wrong for wanting to arrest Varrick for the crimes he committed in season 2 because he's seeking asylum in the city of her half-sister Suyin, who believes that his past crimes no longer matter because he says he wants to reform.
  • Frosty Returns: Because it's a spray that destroys snow in a kid's movie about a sentient snowman, we're supposed to be horrified by Summer Wheeze and see it getting discontinued at the end as a victory. While the villain's plan to use it to get rid of ALL the snow was indeed stupid, if it had been used responsibly simply to clear the snow from the streets and side walks, then the product would actually have been a great boon to society. Seriously, can you imagine all the time and effort that would be spared each winter if you could just spray away the snow in a matter of minutes as opposed to hours of tedious shoveling? Aging people (like that teacher in the movie) can even die of heart attacks if they exert to much effort shoveling. So the only evil was in how the product was used, not in the product itself.
  • The Futurama episode "Leela and the Genestalk" shows a number of positive effects of genetic engineering and the only downsides given are vague "long-term effects" (bear in mind that the technology in-universe is over a thousand years old). We're supposed to side with the anti-genetic engineering crowd simply because they're represented by Leela and the other side is represented by Mom. Subverted when the instant a cure is made available for Leela, she immediately stops caring.
  • One episode of As Told by Ginger has Macie turning thirteen and her parents forgetting it. When Ginger tells them this, they're horrified and try to make it up to Macie by spending large amounts of time with her. The 'issue' is that they treat her more like you would a seven year old than you would a thirteen year old. Macie never complains or seems to dislike the treatment but her friends are horrified that Macie's parents are infantizing her. Her parents are presented in the wrong and this is something that needs to be changed even though Macie doesn't mind. At the end, however, Macie decides to talk to her parents and tell them that while she's had fun catching up on lost childhood, she is a teenager now and they should treat her as such.
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "Roadside Attraction," Dipper tries to get over his unrequited crush on Wendy by following his grunkle's advice and using a road trip as an excuse to get friendly with a bunch of girls he's never going to see this again. This is supposed to be a metaphor for Dipper sleeping around and using Pick-up Artist tactics, with him getting their online contacts as a stand-in for phone numbers, and the episode treats it with the full lecherousness it's supposed to represent. The key problem is that, despite the symbolism, what is literally happening on-screen is that Dipper is just talking to them. He's just making friendly and entirely non-romantic small-talk with some girls. Heck, most people would probably agree that it is a really healthy exercise for a shy and self-conscious kid like Dipper to try their hand at small-talking with their peers. Somehow, this ends up backfiring on him when all of the girls meet, treating him as a cheater for leading them all on at the same time... by talking to them. Exacerbated by the fact that another episode has Soos also trying to pick up girls and it's seen as a noble pursuit just because he's more inept at it and possibly because he does not move on to the next one until after being turned down. Near the beginning of the series, Mabel is also shown trying to pick up a summer boyfriend with almost every boy she sees, and this is seen as a charming quirk of her character. Mabel never gets a storyline devoted to that to the same level Dipper had.
  • Total Drama has Gwen fall victim to this in "The Chefshank Redemption" from Action. The Killer Grips blackmail her into losing the challenge and ultimately eliminating herself as revenge for how Trent would keep throwing challenges for the aforementioned team. However, Gwen was completely unaware of the fact that Trent was throwing the challenges for his team on purpose in order to keep her safe so she's basically being punished for something that was both out of her hands and not even her fault. Her constant misfortunes throughout the episode that's supposed to be viewed as "Karma" (such as being puked on by Lindsay) but instead comes across as needless torture don't help either.
  • The episodes of American Dad! where Stan deals with his Obnoxious In-Laws ("Big Trouble in Little Langley" & "Kung-Pao Turkey") present him as wrong for being annoyed at Francine's parents when they come over uninvited, enforce their rules under Stan's roof, and use or destroy his property without permission. Both episodes end with Stan learning to accept them, even though he's justified at being annoyed by their behavior.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls episode "Cover Up", Blossom and Bubbles pressure Buttercup to get rid of her Security Blanket, claiming it's an emotional crutch, even though A) Buttercup is at an age where it's considered acceptable to have a security blanket, and B) Bubbles has Octi, who is also an emotional crutch.
  • In one episode of Jem, Minx ends up kicked out of her band after taking a Heel–Face Turn and ends up Driven to Suicide. After being saved from jumping off a building, she becomes indebted to Rio due to him saving her from drowning a few days prior. Minx is made to be a huge annoyance however she doesn't do anything particularly wrong. For example, it's not her fault that the Starlight Girls decide to misuse the toy guns she brought them. In the end everyone gets mad at her, which causes her to go back to being a jerk and return to her band.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: In "Operation: D.A.T.E.", the Delightful Children from Down the Lane invite every kid in town, including the titular KND, their archenemies, to a dance party. Numbuh 1 thinks it's some sort of trap, and has to invite Lizzie along to go undercover to the party. But, Lizzie thinks of it as a date, and keeps insisting on it even after the Delightful Children reveal their plans to zombify every kid they take pictures of. This eventually leads to Nigel angrily giving Lizzie a "The Reason You Suck" Speech and goes off to face the Delightful Children alone. Nigel looks like the bad guy for "ruining" a romantic evening, but Lizzie's Selective Obliviousness and excessive nagging is what caused Numbuh 1 to blow up on her in the first place.
  • Justice League: "The Doomsday Sanction" has the League itself subjected to this, as Batman views his fellow founding members sending Doomsday to the Phantom Zone as a line they shouldn't have crossed. However, Adaptational Intelligence aside, he was still Doomsday, a violent, rampaging monster with no conscience and not a normal criminal, so a normal prison couldn't hold him.