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Innocently Insensitive

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Drax: You, Quill, are my friend.
Quill: Thanks.
Drax: This dumb tree, he is my friend.
Groot: [grunts]
Drax: And this green whore; she, too—
Gamora: Oh, you must stop!

This character picks on the short girl for being short. They'll ask a woman for her age. They'll bug the flamboyant guy about his sexuality. And the worst part is, they don't realize what they're doing is rather painful for the person on the receiving end of the criticism. In the worst cases, they might not stop at one insult and even continue until someone forces them to stop, or the other person runs away crying. (Their reaction to this is probably: "Huh? What did I do?")

What separates them from the Jerkass is that this person is actually a good person — they're just clueless to things that people might generally be sensitive to. To them, it was just a fun joke or an honest assessment — no offense intended. When others bring up the fact that what they're saying is hurting other people's feelings, they apologize and try to change.


The Idiot Hero and Cloudcuckoolander are prone to this. They tend to receive replies like "You Know I'm Black, Right?" and "I'm Standing Right Here". Innocent Bigot is a subtrope. Obviously guilty of frequently committing a Fee Fi Faux Pas. It may also be the result of a Crazy Cultural Comparison or a Cross Cultural Kerfuffle. Compare Horrible Judge of Character, Oblivious Mockery, Deadpan Snarker (when this is done intentionally) and Hanlon's Razor.

Frustratingly Truth in Television. Especially notable are people with Asperger Syndrome, though this can vary and often the exact opposite is true if said people are hypersensitive. Contrast with Apologises a Lot, when a character tries too hard to avoid being this- and it is not unheard of for the two to alternate.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Ayu from 7 Seeds can have shades of this. She calls people "resistant as cockroaches", but means it in the nicest way of a compliment. She decides on a group-split-up that leaves her with someone that she is implied to have a crush on and doesn't get it why people react strangely about it. It isn't until Tsunomata points out to her that her straightforward ways can be seen as hurtful that Ayu even wonders why it would seem hurtful.
  • Eijun Sawamura, the protagonist of Ace of the Diamond, has a habit of judging people based only on what he knows, but he's never cruel on purpose. An example of this was as when he was paired with Chris for training, and found Chris' apparent lack of motivation and gloomy attitude annoying, even accusing him of not trying hard enough to get to Seidou's first string. Then, Sawamura learns that Chris once was Seidou's star catcher, but suffered a shoulder injury that put him out for a whole year, and since then he's been undergoing rehab while clinging to the hope of being able to play once more. Sawamura feels horrible upon learning this, even more when he understood that Chris' words of "Don't end up like me" meant "Don't risk yourself to suffer an injury that ruins your future career".
  • This is what kicks off the plot of The Anthem of the Heart: as a child, Jun Naruse witnesses her father leave a gaudy building made to look like a fairytale castle accompanied by a woman she's never seen before, and immediately comes to the conclusion that he's secretly a prince- and promptly goes to tell her mother. As Jun gushes about her father and "his princess", her mother's back is to the camera, but her reaction is more than clear to the viewer.
  • Yuu "Nana" Nanami in Asteroid in Love speaks her mind without reading the room. For example, in Chapter 34, when the results come back for the Shining Star Challenge applications- Mira passed and Ao failed- the first thing she wonders aloud is why it is Mira, rather than Ao who passes it. Chikage has to shut her up for rubbing salt into their wounds.
  • Laios of Delicious in Dungeon can be this sometimes. His love for everything monster related leads him to do and say questionable things. In one chapter where everyone is stripping down out of their wet clothing, he wants to see a naked Itsuzumi. Not for any sexual reasons, but to see how her fusion with an animal soul has affected her body. He is still forced to wear a blindfold by the others for the rest of the chapter.
  • When Loki Asgard transfers into the main characters' class in Boku Girl, her first act upon seeing the androgynous Mizuki is to remark on how girls are allowed to wear the boys uniform. This is actually a subversion in that Loki Asgard is the Loki and is directly responsible for Mizuki being turned into a physical girl, so she knows exactly what she's saying.
  • Touma Kamijou from A Certain Magical Index says it's ridiculous that so many people think he's attracted to girls like Index or Mikoto because they're just kids (he's 17, they're 14). While he's trying to say he's not a pedophile, he doesn't understand that they're genuinely and completely in love with him, and he doesn't understand that implying they have small boobs, are not beautiful and sexy (instead of pretty and cute), are short, etc. are their biggest Berserk Buttons.
  • Ian in A Cruel God Reigns does this to Jeremy when he actively tries to make their new step-family a happy one. What he doesn't know is that his father is sexually abusing Jeremy every weekend when they come home from their boarding school.
    Ian: The plan is to make this a loving household of Lynn Forest, aiming to create a peaceful family.
    Jeremy: Will it all... work... out?
    Ian: We'll make it work Jeremy! And in the end we'll all be happy.
  • In Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!'s fourth episode, Yumoto apologizes to someone for annoying him, addressing him like an older man. The guy is actually a student from Yumoto's high school who's very sensitive about people thinking he's fifty, to the point that Zundar turns him into a Monster of the Week with the power of making people into children.
  • Although Anri of The Demon Girl Next Door means well for Yuko, she has a habit of letting slip things that Yuko would rather not have mentioned, to the point where Yuko wonders if Anri secretly has it in for her. This is why Yuko sometimes says she's an assassin.
  • An episode of Digimon Adventure was focused on Mimi getting into trouble after she got upset at Izzy, who ignored her in favour of working on his laptop. He had no idea why she was crying, or that he'd been ignoring her at all.
    • Patamon causes a fight with TK later by not realizing how serious it was that his partner wasn't going to be able to be with Matt for a while due to their parents being divorced.
    • Terriermon in Digimon Tamers combines this with Brutal Honesty, occasionally having to be reminded by Henry in early episodes that what he's saying is rude.
  • Devils from Dorohedoro have this as one of their hats. Then there's the Magic User Kawajiri, who has difficulty being tactful due to having spent years as a devil himself.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • In Dragon Ball, Goku often tells Bulma how useless she is and even looks under her skirt trying to find, depending on the version, either her tail or her balls. During his adventure to find the Dragon Balls, he gets into the habit of patting a person's crotch when he meets them to find out their gender. He grows out of it, but he never stops being bluntly honest in his evaluation of other people's ability to fight or even just contribute.
      • Though it's implied that he had brain damage as a baby due to hitting his head, and not to mention he was almost totally isolated from others until he was 12.
    • Maron, a filler character, in the Garlic Junior Saga of Dragon Ball Z, is this when she insults Chi-Chi and Bulma by calling them old ladies (and you can guess how the former reacts).
    • Little Marron, Krillin & Android 18's daughter, also qualifies. In a scene in the Great Saiyaman Saga, when Master Roshi asks if he wants to participate in the tournament, she replies with "No way, you're too old!!". For Marron, this is a Justified Trope, as she is only 3 years old and she doesn't know any better.
  • A climax of Dragonar Academy starts purely because the airheaded maid Plum mutters a racist comment that a dragon and a human can't get married. Eco, who's a hypersensitive Tsundere, launches herself out of the castle in despair and right into the enemy's hands.
  • Shou from Father and Son tends to say things that offend people. He once unintentionally offended his teacher as well as his mother whom he had never met until that day. It may be justified since he's a little kid and doesn't know how to speak tactfully.
  • Gakuen Babysitters:
    • When Ryuuichi prepares himself to be Santa Claus for Kotarou, one of his classmates innocently remarks that should be a job for fathers. Only to be quickly called out because Ryuuichi and Kotarou recently lost their parents.
    • The children often don't understand the concept of tact, justified since they are just toddlers. One example is when they cheerfully call to attention how large Ushimaru's chest is.
  • In Girls und Panzer, when Ami, temporary tankery instructor for Oarai, sees Miho among the assembled students, she points out that Miho's mother (Ami's tankery instructor) has done quite a bit for her, makes a polite inquiry about how Miho's sister is doing, and says the Nishizumi school has a long history. Despite having no ill intentions toward Miho, Ami ends up upsetting Miho by bringing up her family (Miho, unable to adhere to her family's Second Place Is for Losers mentality, had until recently quit tankery), but Saori quickly moves to Change the Uncomfortable Subject.
  • Guilty Crown: Shu really should have known better than to underestimate Ayase just because she was in a wheelchair. When he is told he will receive his training from her, he remarks his unease about being trained by a disabled person. Ayase smiles, then offers a handshake, which Shu accepts... leading him to be knocked off his feet and thrown to the ground, where she coldly tells him that her only disability is dealing with people like him.
  • Miyako in Hidamari Sketch does this a lot. It's hard to be sure when she's just oblivious and when she actually is winding up Hiro.
  • Inuyasha's title character has his moments. Justified, since he is a half-demon and was treated rudely by humans and demons, decided to live isolated from others and hence doesn't know when something can be seen as rude.
  • Isekai Quartet:
    • An interesting example is that Aqua was intentionally ragging on Eris for padding her bra after defending Albedo being a virgin—with the unintentional part being insulting Aldebo's cohort Shalltear, who's just as prone to do the same thing Aqua was ragging on Eris for.
    • Aqua herself was on the receiving end of this after Aniz and Subaru calm Tanya after she came to believe Aqua was Being X, both with Subaru pointing out how pathetic Aqua is and Tanya realizing that because of this, Aqua couldn't be Being X.
  • I Think Our Son Is Gay: The boys' father Akiyoshi genuinely wants to bond with his teenage sons, but doesn't know Hiroki is gay and unknowingly makes some insensitive remarks about homosexuals. Fortunately the mother Tomoko is able to defuse the situation and gently tells him to be a bit more open-minded.
  • It's Tough Being Neeko:
    • Imoko cheerfully introduces her sister as a NEET, since she doesn't know what that is.
    • Mrs. Niito gently suggests that Neeko's friend Uriko, who's also unemployed, worry about herself before Neeko. Uriko then replies that she had to quit her job because one of her superiors was sexually harassing her, and that she's working on finding work again. Mrs. Niito then apologizes for being insensitive.
  • A really twisted example happens in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders. The team checks into a hotel run by Enya Geil, master of the Justice Stand and actually an assassin planning to kill them all one by one. Polnareff walks in on her while she's trying to dispose of a body, and starts talking about how she seems very lonely running the place on her own, and doesn't she have a son or a family, and wouldn't it be nice to have grandkids running around, and even offers to fill the void for tonight by pretending to be her son. Thing is, Enya had a son - J. 'Centerfold' Geil - whom Polnareff killed.note Enya is seething and fighting hard to keep from dropping the charade and just stab him there and then. And Polnareff just keeps smiling.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War:
    • This was Kaguya's primary flaw as a child. Being The Ace, she naturally excelled at everything and mistook everyone else lagging behind her as deliberate laziness. Since she was punished whenever she made a mistake at home, she would always tell them to take things seriously, which invariably drove them away due to them thinking that she was looking down on them.
    • After Kaguya and Shirogane become a couple, she starts sharing the details of their relationship with Hayasaka, not realizing that she's essentially bragging about how awesome it is having a boyfriend to someone who's still single (and may have some feelings for Shirogane herself). She honestly thinks Hayasaka wants to hear all of this, and doesn't understand why she's started running away whenever Kaguya starts talking.
    • Due to her complete obliviousness over Maki's crush on Tsubasa, Erika believes that Maki's depression was caused by her not being able to spend time with Kashiwagi and attempts to cheer her up accordingly. This does far more harm than good, especially when she refers to Tsubasa as Kashiwagi's "destined partner".
      Karen: What on God's green Earth is that girl doing!? She doesn't know a thing about love!
  • Played for Drama in Kotoura-san, when this trope, combined with telepathy that Haruka couldn't turn off, causes her to inadvertently start blurting out her friends' and family's personal secrets, resulting in her schoolmates labelling her as a freak and compulsive liar and her parents' divorce. Although later on she invokes this trope to keep people from being close to her.
  • When Suzu mentions his boyfriend in Love Me For Who I Am, Mogumo asks him if he's "homo". When the others correct Mogumo by telling them that "homo" is considered derogatory, Mogumo gets teary eyed and apologizes.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's: Fate instantly draws a connection between herself and the Wolkenritter upon Chrono's reveal that the the latter are nothing more than semi-autonomous magical programs. He and Lindy backpedal very quickly to tell her that she was just born differently and is just as human as everyone else.
  • Major: Ryoko Kawase makes a seemingly innocent comment about Joe Gibson's dead ball being the other player's fault for not dodging it. Given that the other player was Goro's father and it caused his death, this struck a very sensitive nerve on him.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, After Shinn destroys the Freedom, apparently killing Kira in the process, he proudly walks up to Athrun and declares: "I got payback, for you and me both." Athrun responds by punching Shinn in the face. What Shinn didn't realize was that Kira is Athrun's oldest and best friend; as far as he knew, he was just taking out the guy who wrecked Athrun's Gundam and injured him pretty badly in the process.
  • In Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, Seo's jerkass attitude is seen by Nozaki as a result of being mood-blind. Probably the best example of this is when Seo tells Nozaki that people ask her for help all the time, that she's considerate of others and that she can read situations...all while ruining a group picture, smearing someone's calligraphy and interrupting a love confession, in that order. However, the rest of the time it's hard to tell whether she really is this trope or genuinely a jerkass. It seems like Seo tends to approach situations in the fastest, most practical way possible (like bluntly telling Kashima that her singing is god-awful) without thinking about the feelings of others.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • Denki Kaminari openly called the villain Stain cool ... in front of Iida whose older brother was severely injured by Stain. However, once Midoriya pointed out the insensitivity of his remark, Kaminari quickly apologized.
    • Momo Yaoyorozu tends to forget that she is far wealthier than the rest of her middle-class classmates. She'll casually talk about her enormous mansion, the expensive tea brands she has available, and other such things without considering that her classmates don't have access to any of these privileges and have absolutely no idea what she's talking about. Her classmates don't mind, since she's Spoiled Sweet and it's obvious that she just doesn't understand that limited money is a thing that people have to deal with.
    • Inko Midoriya had a moment of this after a Doctor informed her that her son was Quirkless, as she began crying and apologising to Izuku, which unintentionally made him feel much worse about the situation as it solidified that even his own mother doubted he could become a Hero without any powers.
  • Naruto:
    • Sakura combines it with Kick the Dog early on, mocking Naruto and declaring he became such a Bratty Half-Pint because he has no parents to teach him how to behave or tell him what to do. She does this right in front of Sasuke, the Sole Survivor of the Uchiha Clan massacre, who does not take it well and calls her out on it, berating her and telling her she has no idea what she's talking about.
    • Sai, post-Heel–Face Turn and Character Development. He is trying to become better friends with Naruto and Sakura, but genuinely thinks "ugly" is a good idea for a nickname, and that people always need to hear the truth. Ironically when he decides to give this weird "sensitivity" thing a go, he decides the way to do it is to tell people the exact opposite of what he thinks of them, so he tells Ino she's gorgeous (thus making Sakura jealous). Even more ironically, they eventually end up married.
  • Setsuna in Negima! Magister Negi Magi tends to act far too formally and subserviently towards those she feels have a higher social class than her. For example, she always refers to her love interest as ojou-sama/milady and acts more like a servant than a friend. Konoka, for her part, keeps telling her to quit it to no avail. Near the end of the manga, she actually makes Asuna cry by acting even more subservient towards her than she does towards Konoka after Setsuna learns Asuna is actually a princess. Normally, she's Setsuna's best friend, which makes it quite painful to be treated like that. It was a slight exaggeration of how she really felt, but she wanted to make sure Setsuna cut it out immediately rather than make a habit of it.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Rei once throws an Armor-Piercing Slap for saying some insulting things about Gendo, who has raised her for as long as she knows. She doesn't know that Gendo abandoned Shinji shortly after his mother died, and had every right to be pissed off at Gendo.
  • One Piece: Monkey D. Luffy's ability to do this is legendary. While in the tower of the Shrinking Violet mermaid princess, he starts eating her food while she talks to him. His mouth is filled with food, so his cheeks bulge out. This is new to the innocent girl, so she pokes his cheeks, and he shouts at her for it. She begins to well up with tears, and he calls her a coward, a crybaby, and says in a completely happy, joking manner, "I don't like you one bit!". He obviously thought he was bantering, since the next thing he says is to suggest she sneaks out of the room to go on an adventure, in as happy and joking a manner as before.
  • Mashiro of The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, who is an Idiot Savant, has No Social Skills, and is seen by most viewers as autistic, runs into this in a close to Once an Episode frequency.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
    • Sayaka is this to Kyousuke, the object of her affections. Kyousuke's passion is the violin, so his arm getting paralyzed in an accident was a big blow to him. Rather naively, Sayaka thinks bringing him classical music CDs would relax him. She was wrongnote , and it sends him into tears at first and into an almost screaming Heroic BSoD later.
    • Incidentally, Kyousuke also counts as this. While he cares for Sayaka, it's more in a Platonic Life-Partners sense and he's completely oblivious to Sayaka's love. This results in him doing things that, unbeknownst to him, really hurt Sayaka and was partly her Unwitting Instigator of Doom (the spoiler is a trope, so don't hover over it).
  • Ranma ½:
  • In The Red Ranger Becomes an Adventurer in Another World, Tougo wears his heart on his sleeve and never has any reservations about speaking his mind. Because of this, he tends to say things without thinking about how it could sound, proudly announcing that he defeated the Seed of Magic monster with his team's Victory Kizuna Buster despite how confusing that is. His forwardness also clashes with the strict social hierarchies of the fantasy world, and Rosie wants to kill Tougo for his constant lack of decorum towards Teltina (even though she's fine with it).
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Usagi Tsukino. Due to her naivety, she has a habit of unintentionally offending others. In one episode, when Miss Haruna is hospitalized for being put into comatose, Usagi fails to understand the seriousness of the situation and tells the others that this is a good thing for her.
    • Gurio Umino. For example, when Usagi and Umino went to visit Naru after Nephrite's death, Umino casually said, "I thought you didn't go to school because you were sick, but I see it was just heartbreak," resulting in Usagi hitting him. Once they gone out, he didn't take (or didn't seem anyway) into consideration Naru's feelings. Later on, however, he hinted to have felt bad because of this trope. Thanks to Character Development, he became a bit less of this trope later on. In the same scene, he tried to comfort Naru... by mentioning Nephrite's disappearance.
    • In the Dream Arc of the manga, at one point Ami, Rei and Makoto ask Minako to call in the Outers as they'll be able to better assist Mina against the villains, and when she refuses they make multiple allusions to how the Outers' example helped them restoring their powers... Completely oblivious to the fact that not only Minako isn't the unstoppable force that only the Outers can properly assist they believe her to be due her hiding the psychological toll her solo battles took so she could be of example to them, they're slapping in her face the fact she isn't the role model she tries to be (though because they see her as too awesome rather than thinking the Outers are better) and, uberknownst to them, she hasn't recovered her powers yet. Minako suddenly shouting at them for it catches them completely by surprise, and is also when they finally start realize she's not the perfect Sailor Soldier she tries to appear as.
  • In Sazanka, Tatsuki and Aoi's mutual friend, whom the author calls "Friend A", has a habit of calling Tatsuki, who has Asperger's, "an aspie" when Tatsuki spaces out during conversations. The "Innocently" part comes into play when it turns out that Tatsuki never told Friend A, who'd heard someone use the term online and followed suit, not realizing what it meant.
  • Saya of Servant × Service tends to speak her mind without even considering the potential consequences. Particularly evident in Episode 6, where she unwittingly sent the normally carefree Yutaka into a Corner of Woe by passively saying that he's beneath her, and a flashback reveals that she rejected a boy's confession by saying he should've looked at himself in a mirror and thought again (she meant she thought he could do better). Eventually Chihaya had to warn her against rejecting Mrs. Tanaka's offer of marriage to her grandson so as not to cause heart attacks.
  • Masao from Shiki is mostly just a Jerkass, but there's many scenes where he comes off this way too.
  • Suzu from Snow White with the Red Hair manages to combine this with Brutal Honesty and Deadpan Snarker. It is incredibly difficult to tell when he's actually snarking but his questioning if he's going to be arrested when he learns that "Lowen" is actually the crown prince means he's not as innocent or oblivious to how out of line he tends to be as he tries to appear.
  • Nia in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, due to her sheltered upbringing. She is completely oblivious to any negative mood, which doesn't endear her to the others, especially after Kamina had just recently died. She also cheerfully turned down Simon's proposal. Fortunately Kiyoh and Kiyal make her realize her accidental mistake.
  • In Tomodachi Game, Shibe's Establishing Character Moment demonstrates that he doesn't consider how his words come off as at times, and it remains a major flaw of his throughout the game. In a series where the reader is meant to doubt the characters, Shibe can come off as a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing or Jerkass in hiding, before it's made clear that no, Shibe's really just this trope.
  • Haru from Tsuritama who tries to cheer up Yuki about his grandmother's hospitalization by telling him that everyone dies at some point. This is because Haru is a possibly immortal alien who struggles with understanding things from the viewpoint of us Puny Earthlings.
  • The titular character in Violet Evergarden, due to having No Social Skills as she lived her entire life as a Child Soldier. When meeting the Evergarden family for the first time, she bluntly proclaimed to their faces that she doesn't know what a "family" is and has no use for one. This initially causes Violet problems on the job, as her bluntness puts off her other co-workers and she inadvertently took a client's word at face value, writing her response to a love letter as negative and materialistic instead of coy.
    • Iris's mother simply couldn't understand why Iris was upset that she invited a number of boys to Iris's birthday party as a means to get Iris to marry one of them and settle back home. She also didn't understand why Iris was particularly uncomfortable with a particular boy who Iris specifically asked her mother not to invite (but she did anyways). Iris later revealed to Violet she confessed to that boy who gently turned her down, which is why Iris left for the city.
  • When Mako from Wandering Son went outside as a girl for the first time alone, she ended up running into her schoolmate, and crush, Oka. She panicked, ran away, and almost quit school to become a hikikomori, however she decided to confront Oka later. Oka didn't even notice her and states he couldn't imagine her as a girl anyway.
  • WORKING!!:
    • Yachiyo likes talking to Sato about how cool Kyoko is and how much she love and admire her. Since Sato love Yachiyo, this is really unnerving him, but she don't realise that she is hurting his feelings because she is Oblivious to Love.
    • Yamada, being a Cloud Cuckoolander, will sometimes do or say something that annoy someone or push a Berserk Button, despite not meaning any arm.
    • Takanashi Souta suffer from Cuteness Proximity in the presence of Anything small, such as children, Small animal, or Popura. So he can't help gushing about the latter small size despite the fact that she is complexed by it and would just love to be taller.
  • Yuri!!! on Ice:
    • Yuuri's initial reaction to shattering Victor's heart is completely apathetic, reaching out to casually touch him while making an utterly inappropriate remark. He then proceeds to act confused and defensive when Victor snaps at him. Word of God also comments that he can be "quite cold-hearted", and is "someone who doesn't really try to get into people's hearts".
    • Victor's lack of experience as a coach causes him to be this, which results in him making Yuri cry by telling him that he'll resign being his coach if he doesn't place on the podium, which he only said to scare Yuri out of his anxiety. And, in Episode 11, when Yurio subtly mocks Yuri's performance by saying that Otabek will score higher than him, Victor doesn't defend Yuri or even give him some reassurance and simply expresses awe at Otabek's performance, which hurts Yuri even further. In fact, he says nothing to comfort Yuri even after seeing how he's upset with the results of his short program, though it's likely he's unaware that Yuri's mood is getting worse.
  • Yuuutsu-kun to Succubus-san: Eru the angel wants to help the depressed Yuu get back on his feet. Unfortunately, all she can do is encourage Yuu to do his best, unwittingly hit his Trauma Button, or otherwise offer empty platitudes. In contrast, the very first chapter shows Sakuma the succubus reading up on depression and discovering that telling people who tend to put blame on themsleves "do your best" is the exact opposite of what's best to do, and one should instead tell them "you did your best."

    Comic Books 
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics): Sonic himself has his moments. For example, he, after his breakup with Sally, ends up pursuing a relationship with Fiona Fox despite full knowledge of Tails' crush on her, leading to quite a strain on their friendship, which progressively gets worse when Tails' parents lead a Velvet Revolution; Sonic tactlessly criticizes Amadeus for leading an angry mob to Castle Acorn and calls it a stupid move right in front of Tails, dismissing Nicole's concerns over it and suggestion that they talk things out as they were "practically brothers" and would be fine. Later, when he tries to keep Amadeus in prison and Rosemary calls him out over his loyalties to Tails, Sonic smugly gloats that he and Tails grew up together, and that since Tails worships him, he'll get over it; this is what pushes Tails to his Rage Breaking Point and triggers a massive fight between the two. Throughout the entire exchange, Sonic has no clue why Tails is so pissed at him until Tails flat-out screams it at him in a fit of rage; now knowing what it's all about, Sonic apologizes, explaining that he knew that Tails liked Fiona and that she had no interest in him so Sonic went out with Fiona to keep Tails from being hurt, while acknowledging that it was a spur of the moment thing done because he was still hurting over Sally, and he didn't think before he took action.
    Sonic: I've been a jerk to you, man. I didn't mean it, but it doesn't change the fact that I was.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise, some of the members of the Yu Dao chapter of the Air Acolytes tattooed their foreheads just like Aang, who sees it as treating his culture as if it was a game. The members later apologized, saying they never meant to insult him or his culture.
    • In Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Search, Zuko thinks to bring tea to Azula and Ozai to try to facilitate a conversation between the two of them. However, Zuko completely forgets that his sister is still in a straitjacket. Azula calls him out on this, presuming that he wanted her to lap the tea out of the cup like a dog.
  • Batman:
    • The Batman Adventures: After Batman has defeated one of the Scarecrow's schemes:
      Alfred: And not a moment too soon, for my taste. Nightmares every night is no way to live one's life.
      [awkward moment of realization]
      Alfred: Oh, dear. I do apologize, sir.
      Bruce: [looking at parents' portrait] That's... all right, Alfred.
    • Batman Beyond: Terry discussing family issues with Bruce.
      Terry: I'm beginning to think that relatives can be more trouble than they're worth.
      Bruce: I wouldn't know.
    • Deconstruction in Catwoman. When Selina and Sylvia were teenagers working the streets together as prostitutes, Sylvia took Selina's place during their first time so Selina wouldn't have to go through with it. Selina didn't know how to handle Sylvia after the incident or attempt to comfort her, causing Sylvia to develop a deep hatred of Selina because she felt Selina abandoned her. Sylvia's hatred of her was unknown to Selina, who still trusted her and considered Sylvia her closest childhood friend. This allowed Sylvia to betray Selina in the worst way possible.
  • Lois Lane, in her attempts to report on poverty, tended to do this.
  • In one Silver Age comic, Superman gets turned into a humanoid lion. While initially shocked, Lois Lane talks him into going to a play with her to make him feel better and prove her feelings haven't changed. Much to her chagrin, she only remembers once they've arrived that the play is Beauty and the Beast.
  • Klara Prast of the Runaways once mistook the X-Men for demons, and on another occasion, mistook Tigra for a prostitute. She's also been on the receiving end of innocent insensitivity; Victor and Chase have used the fact that she was once married as an excuse to talk about sex around her, because she presumably already knows about it. It doesn't occur to them that she'd rather not be reminded of that fact...
  • In Violine:
    • After crocodiles tear apart two pursuing death squad members, Kombo leads Violine away so she doesn't see it... and then tells her how the crocodiles tore them apart in detail.
    • Kombo does the same thing when Violine is in danger from crocodiles herself, describing how they will take pieces of meat to the bottom of the river to let them rot before eating them.
  • Because she lacks social skills, Laura Kinney aka X-23 tends to do this. After an adventure in Limbo, Laura sees no problem with telling Surge (who wasn't present) that her boyfriend Prodigy had his heart ripped out (he got better) when all the other students were evasive about it (even implied that this was why Nori asked her about it after the others didn't come clean). When Laura is later attending Avengers Academy and Wolverine brings some of her former classmates from Xavier's there to keep them safe, she greets Dust by telling her she "smells healthy." After Dust reminds her it's not polite to tell someone how they smell, she innocently says that because she can't see her (Dust practices hijab and covers herself in public) it's the only way she can tell.
  • Miles Morales
    • First it was Miles, towards the Rhino. They are trying to locate the kidnapped Rhino's niece, and Miles asked if he has a girlfriend. "A wife. But not anymore". Of course, Miles apologized after that.
    • And then it was the Rhino. Explaining that things are difficult for him, as he's trapped inside a Rhino suit he can't get rid of, he told Miles that "You don't know what it's like. People think' they know you 'cause of how you look". Miles is young, has a normal body... and he's black, so yes, he knows. However, as he's in his Spider-Man suit (which covers his whole body) Rhino had no way to know that.
  • Archie Comics (2015): During an argument, Jughead makes fun of Archie's Betty and Veronica Love Triangle drama. Archie replies with "Look, I'm not going to apologize for being a normal guy", which offends Jughead as an aromantic asexual. He apologizes afterwards.
  • In Swordquest Realworld, Alvin tries to reassure Peter that he knows what he's going through by talking about how depressed he got when he was eliminated from The Cutting Board. Peter asks how Alvin could possibly compare losing on a reality TV show to dying.
  • In Black Panther, Aneka repeatedly refers to T'Challa as Harume-Fal - a mocking name that means "orphan king", which is meant to be a reference to the fact that he was the first King of Wakanda to lose his country. But in Wakandan culture, there is a deep stigma against orphans, because centuries of isolation and prosperity have made orphans a rare occurence, and thus the few Wakandans who are orphaned are assumed to have deserved their state. Thus, when Aneka keeps gleefully using the name around her host, Khadijah, she ends up offending her, as Khadijah was actually an orphan, and suffered derision throughout her childhood because of it. Khadijah's husband, Changamire, takes it as a teachable moment, asking Aneka to examine why she is perpetuating the stigma just to mock an antagonist.

    Fan Works 
  • Love Covers All Sins: Holmes is initially too caught up in the pleasure of closing the case to realize how his methods of doing so affected Watson. After thinking about how the same situation would have affected him had their positions been reversed, he realizes he just put his best friend through a horrifying and heart-wrenching afternoon and he dashes off to make amends.
  • Sister Floriana: In The Birthday, the titular character and her friends try to break the jaded Sister Diana out of her shell by giving her a surprise birthday party, having been told by her best friend Sister Emmie that she misses having them. To their shock, Diana hates the party, and gets annoyed at them for moving her books to make way for decorations. When Floriana follows her however, she learns that Diana's mother is bed-ridden with Polio (over 20 years before there would be a vaccine) and that the reason she missed surprise parties is because her mother always gave them to her. Flori helps cheer her up by praying together for her mother's safety.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: Italy is this. Although Germany and Japan made their feelings for him incredibly obvious, he kept on referring to them as "friends". Subverted in that Italy knew all along. He was in deep denial because he thought such wonderful people like Germany and Japan could never love a guy like him and if they did, they would soon "wake up".
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fic Brother Bothers, Pinkie Pie is this to Cheese Sandwich and his brother Tomato concerning their nasty Sibling Rivalry. She forces them into a "Brotherly Bonding Time", not realizing that it would only aggravate their already tense feud, up to the point where both of the brothers end up exploding at each other. She realizes this at the end of the fic and apologizes to them.
  • In Hopes and Follies, Twilight assures Trixie that she doesn't have to worry about their past conflicts, because nopony holds her responsible for it and they hardly even remembered the Ursa incident until she came back. It's not until after Trixie storms off overwhelmingly pissed that Twilight realizes that a professional showpony would want to be remembered, even as a villain. Not to mention that those events were some of the most defining moments of her life. And Trixie has an overwhelming need to be recognized by Twilight, one way or another. This results in Trixie resolving to become an enemy, rival or problem that Twilight can't ignore... ironically, while Twilight's resolving to become closer to Trixie and accept her as a friend.
  • In The Dear Sweetie Belle Continuity, Rarity had just found out she was pregnant after a party her roommate had dragged her to. Said roommate sees her crying and asks her if she wants to go to another party. Rarity freaking snaps.
  • In the Mork & Mindy fanfic Mork and Mindy's Twenty-Fifth Anniversary, Beth jokes that "lately people think Daddy's [Mindy's] son anyway", not realizing that this fact is upsetting to her mother.
  • In The Hobbit fanfic Wear a Flower in Your Hair (You're Beautiful), Thorin calls Bella a halfling in reference to her being a hobbit. Unbeknownst to Thorin, "halfling" is an insult hobbits use to describe females who are barren.
  • In The Totally Amazing Spider-Man, Peter Parker brushed off a friendly conversation with Sam, due to his shyness, and a study date with Clover, because he feared she was an Alpha Bitch. The spies, however, thought he was being a pretentious New Yorker. Thankfully, they are able to settle their issues pretty quickly.
  • In the Peggy Sue fic The Second Try, Misato jokingly made a comment that Shinji and Asuka should use protection when she thinks they want to stay home to have sex. Not the best thing to say to two parents who's daughter was just Ret Goned.
  • In Cardcaptor Rad, Hot Shot manages to both get High Wire mad at him and depress Rachel when he counters Optimus' praise that Rachel did good with protecting High Wire from the Decepticons.
  • Due to having spent the entirety of his life in the Jedi Order (and not being a very worldly one at that), Master Koth in A Horse for the Force manages to really shove his foot in his mouth when talking to Ranma.
    Ranma: I could even be raped in this form. Something, something which I've had some nightmares about.
    Master Koth: Fear leads to the Dark Side. You should face your fears.
    Ranma: We're gonna have to agree to disagree on that one, you insensitive fuck.
  • Her Inner Demons: The Shadowbolts, thanks to their hyper-competitive nature didn't realize they were aggravating Twilight. It becomes Played for Drama, since Twilight had already been bullied and ridiculed, and their own actions only drove Twilight into deeper despair and allowed her darkness to consume her and become Midnight Sparkle, and they themselves end up feeling horrible for ignoring Twilight's emotional breakdown
  • Adrien in Nymph and the Corrupted Miraculous comes across as this to Marinette when he implies that she can't do things as simple as getting to her seat because she's handicapped.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: Vix-Lei's humor tends to be this way, as she doesn't realize her jokes might be offensive to others. At least, at first - she does recognize that the others don't necessarily find them funny, but jokes are the best way she knows to break the ice.
  • Erased Potential: Toshinori bumbles headlong into this when he takes an interest in Izuku... after Izuku has already spent the better part of two years training under Aizawa to become a Quirkless hero. When they learn about his intentions, Aizawa is coldly furious, while Izuku struggles with being unintentionally insulted by somebody he's long idolized.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged: During the Cell Games, when Gohan is the only one present who can keep up with Goku and Cell's fight, Krillin remarks "Huh, Saiyans. Am I right?" Then he realizes that he's talking to Trunks and says "Aw crap, that wasn't racist, was it?"
  • Professor Arc:
    • Jaune's family learn about his fraudulent career only after he's gotten a handle on his situation, and show up in a ham-fisted attempt to force him to quit and return home against his will. They're unaware that he's trying to deal with a criminal conspiracy from the inside, and that he's managed to do some good for several students through his actions, treating him like the "failure" he used to be. Their attempts to handle the situation winds up making things worse for Jaune, and give the students a bad impression of them and Jaune's home life.
    • Winter combines this trope with Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: She warmly praises Weiss for helping her arrest Jaune with the information provided in the questionnaire, unaware of Winter's respect for Jaune. Winter is caught off guard when Weiss angrily tells her to GTFO .
  • When battling Killer Croc in A Little Less Conversation, a Little More Action Please, Flash does his usual mid-fight banter, only to leave Croc slavering with rage over it due to Flash accidentally opening some old wounds. Afterwards, Flash apologizes as he's used to exchanging banter with his rogues.
    • Earlier, Barbara unthinkingly assigns Cassandra Cain to read a bunch of files, not knowing the girl in question can't read.
  • In Faded Blue, it's not that Steven is trying to insult Pearl or Garnet. It's simply that all he knows about Gem culture he learned from Blue Pearl. And once he does learn what he's done is not correct, he does try to make up for it.
  • In Danny Phantom fanfic Resurrected Memories: Due to Ember’s Becoming the Mask as Amberline she ends up unintentionally shutting Kitty out of her life for a while. On the flip side it takes Kitty a very long time to figure out that Ember has truly come to love Danny and that causes her to act insensitively as well.
  • Tales of the Undiscovered Swords: After Sasanoyuki returns from his highly traumatizing kiwame training, his brother Izuminokami drags him into performing tameshigiri with the intention of showing off the Kanesada's cutting power, not knowing that it's a Trauma Button reminding Sasanoyuki of his own historical cutting test from which he learns of his sharpness, leading to a long period of guilt and self-hatred in the past. Sasanoyuki ends up attempting suicide after this.
  • The Very Secret Diary has a darkly hilarious example, mainly due to the person on the receiving end of the unintentional insult 100% deserving it. Tom asks Ginny about this "You-Know-Who" fellow she keeps mentioning, especially when she reveals his name is Lord Voldemort. Wanting to know how his future self is doing, Tom presses her for details, and is at first quite pleased with the results... until Ginny cheerfully explains to him how Voldemort was defeated eleven years ago by the wonderful, heroic Harry Potter, whom nearly everyone in the wizarding world considers a hero. And this happened when Harry was a baby. And how, ten years later, he returned (via drinking unicorn blood and sharing a body with Quirrel), but only briefly, before he got defeated again, by Harry and two other first years. You can practically see Tom thinking, "Oh, come on! Really?!"
  • A Diplomatic Visit: Equestria in general, as it and a great deal of its people tend to steamroll over those of other nations without considering their feelings. Averted by certain hate-groups who are deliberately opposed to any non-ponies.
  • A Prize for Three Empires: When Carol Danvers is introduced to the new Captain Marvel Monica Rambeau, she jokingly asks if Mar-Vell has retired or gotten a new look. Her shocked friends inform her that Mar-Vell got sick from cancer and died.
    She was a black woman in a black-and-white costume, and, when she chose to, she was composed of light. The Thing introduced her as the latest Avenger to the three, Nick, Logan, and Carol, who hadn't met her. "Carol Danvers, meet Captain Marvel."
    Carol dropped her jaw, and then asked if Mar-Vell had retired, or suddenly gotten a new look? She meant it as a joke.
    It wasn't taken as such.
    "Carol, didn't you know?" asked Nick Fury.
    "Know what, Nicholas?" she responded.
    "Mar-Vell's dead."
  • The Portal: When Alex first meets Storm, he tells her that he is actually a human turned into a dragon. Storm, quite understandably, goes into shock.
    Storm: Who are you and what are you doing?
    Alex: U-um... Alex.
    Storm: I'm Storm.
    Alex: And as for what I'm doing, I have no idea. One minute, I'm human, and the next, I'm walking on all fours covered in scales.
    [Storm exits]
    Alex: Uh oh. Maybe telling her that wasn't the best of ideas.
  • Harbinger (Finmonster) (Danny Phantom, ParaNorman): Dash innocently makes Courtney uncomfortable by calling Norman weird in chapter 6, and again when he tries to defend Mitch and Scott from a group of homophobic jerks. He says that Courtney is twice as hot as their girlfriends.
  • In Metallurgy, both Setsuna and Shinso accidentally make a particularly insensitive comment about the USJ event. Setsuna comments that it's impressive Class-1A faced so many villains and came out unscathed while Shinso comments on Izuku getting an extra week off classes as a "perk of being Class-1A's president". In reality, Izuku lost a hand in the attack and the week off was physical therapy to get used to his new prosthetic (made from his own Quirk).
  • Hermione in Hella Potter and the Reincarnated OC used to lecture Hella on "eating like a pig" because she'd never faced starvation like Hella had, who'd grown used to eating as much as she could whenever the opportunity arose and saving more for later, never knowing when her next meal would come. It ended up being part of the reason Hella remained underweight and stunted in her height as she was too embarrassed to actually eat until she was full.
  • In The Silmarillion fanfiction A Boy, a Girl and a Dog: The Leithian Script, the main characters explain to Maiwe -an Elf- what sickness means to Humans. Shocked, Maiwe remembers out loud she heard other Elves talking about "the Sickly Ones", at which point she is warned that is a racial slur. She's awfully sorry but Beren -the Human in the group- doesn't take offense since he knows she didn't mean it.
    Beren: [to the others, earnestly] She doesn't understand. How can she? No one who stayed has ever met us. You said that not even animals get sick here the way they do back home, there's no blight on crops, things don't grow wrong, they just grow until they get old and stop, or something eats them first — they don't start dying while they're alive.
    Teler Maid: [sudden understanding] That is what they meant, those I did overhear talking that are returned, when they spoke of the Sickly Ones —
    Ranger: [fierce] You mustn't say that —
    Teler Maid: [concerned] Is that unmannerly? Was that insult, then?
    Beren: [shaking his head] Not from you, no.
  • Several underground heroes in Deku? I think he's some pro... unthinkingly call Izuku "Deku" all the time because when they'd first asked his name, Izuku had had a particularly rough day and repeated Bakugou's insulting nickname for him. Once they realize what "Deku" actually means, they're all horrified and offer their help to change his hero name (by this point, Izuku was moderately famous in the hero community as "Deku"), but Izuku turns them down, citing that it doesn't feel like an insult when they say it.
  • In Mortal Man, Patrick makes a comment about how, even if Mermaid Man is gone, they've still got Barnacle Boy. Spongebob cringes a bit at the comment's tactlessness, but he also understands that Patrick was only trying to help.
  • Girls Like Us: After Iris asks Laurel to speak to The Flash on her behalf, Barry manages to do this twice. One of them is repeating Oliver's belief that "guys like us don't get the girl". Having been "the girl" herself, Laurel is less than amused. The real thing that angers her however is the revelation that Oliver's been training Barry as a vigilante, something he has absolutely refused to do with her.
  • A Long Way Home has Cadet Kirk venting his frustrations regarding his Vulcan professor Spock to a girl he just met and finds interesting. Unfortunately for him, not only did he use a racial slur to describe Spock (who is from the same species as the girl), said girl also is Spock's younger sister. To his credit, James immediately feels like garbage when informed of that and doesn't begrudge T'Harauk for punching him.
  • The Fire Emblem fanfic Pegasus Stories has Caeda talking with Lyn about the person she loves. It starts off when Lyn mentions that the person in question is a Pegasus Knight, a position that's normally female-exclusive, to which Caeda's first response is to marvel that in Lyn's world, male Pegasus Knights are a thing that can happen (which isn't unheard of in certain worlds). Lyn, growing increasingly annoyed, drops several other major hints without ever specifying gender: they're not actually married because their marriage wouldn't be recognized, but they did go through a marriage ceremony, her lover isn't "handsome," but rather a "delicate and refined" sort despite their mercenary career, and so on. Caeda still doesn't figure it out until Lyn drops the name of her lover, Florina. After that point, she ends up very apologetic.
  • In Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail, practically everyone in Chloe's life is this: her classmates don't see that she doesn't like Pokémon and force her into battling Ash. Her Home Ec teacher reminds her that she doesn't do club activities since her dad makes her go to the lab after school (and he doesn't even notice her unless she does anything involving Pokémon), Ash becoming the center of attention means that Goh and her dad never notice her these days and Goh deciding that he wants to make curry (which the two used to eat all the time but now is a reminder of how their friendship is broken) without considering Chloe anger combines into her snapping and then running away from home to be taken by the Infinity Train.
  • While interrogating the Other Clint in The Others, Rhodey gets tired of having to repeat himself so many times and sarcastically asks if he's gone deaf. Clint responds that yes, that tends to happen when a flash grenade goes off next to your head.
  • Equestria Girls: A Fairly Odd Friendship: Sunset tries to apologize to Moondancer for having bullied her years ago. However, her claims that she was "in a bad place," inability to admit any wrongdoing, and running off in the middle of it to get a text from Moondancer just aggravates her.
  • RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse: At the Grand Galloping Gala, Night Light tries to brush off his behavior towards Trixie when talking with Ditzy by condescendingly telling her she doesn't know what it's like to worry about children (since an argument between Twilight Sparkle and Trixie led to Twilight going on the run). An unoffended Ditzy tells that she is a mom, actually, and does know. Night Light immediately apologizes for his remark.

    Films — Animation 
  • Fix-It Felix Jr. of Wreck-It Ralph has this painfully so. He can't bring himself to tell the Nicelanders to let Ralph in his birthday party, he accidentally causes Calhoun to suffer a Heroic BSoD when he calls her "one dynamite gal" and only realizes how crummy he's been when Ralph slings back Felix's accusation that he doesn't know how it feels to be treated as a criminal.
  • Anna of Frozen is a Nice Girl. She's just made to forget the fact that her older sister Elsa has ice powers after the latter nearly accidentally kills Anna while playing.
    • She repeatedly begs Elsa to build a snowman with her, not knowing that the last time they did it, she almost got killed.
    • The barrage of Armor Piercing Questions she fires at Elsa at the coronation ball is a downplayed example: Anna means to vent her frustration, but she has no idea just how much those questions hurt. She asks what is it that Elsa is so afraid of without knowing that Elsa lives in fear of harming others, especially Anna, with her uncontrollable magic or being hunted down as a witch. "What did I ever do to you?!" is probably the worst, because it's not what Anna did, it's what Elsa herself did. Anna doesn't know how stressed Elsa is at the coronation day and doesn't mean for her outburst to be the last straw that causes Elsa to snap, reveal her powers and unleash the Endless Winter.
    • In Olaf's Frozen Adventure, as the sisters go through their old trunks, Anna asks Elsa what's in her trunk. Elsa says mostly gloves, and Anna assumes she's joking, "sure, rows and rows of satin gloves." They open it and see exactly that; Anna cracks an uneasy smile.
  • After the Beast from Beauty and the Beast lets Belle go, ergo giving up his chances of becoming human again, Cogsworth comes in cheerfully proclaiming how great everything is going and how he always knew the curse could be broken.
  • Wilbur Robinson of Meet the Robinsons treats Lewis being an orphan as a mere footnote when the audience is aware that this is probably one of the most painful parts, if not the most, of Lewis's life. Kind of Justified since Wilbur knows he's destined to be Happily Adopted by the end of the day/thirty years ago.
  • In Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness, Fred accidentally offends two astronauts by reminding them that their mission occurred "before [he] was born."
  • In Penguins of Madagascar, even when Private expresses how much he wants just to be a meaningful and valued member of the team, the others continue to just treat him as simply "the cute one", much to his annoyance.
    Skipper: You can't take away Private's cuteness!
    Kowalski: He's the cute one! That's, that's his thing!
    Private: What?
    Skipper: It's all the little guy's got!
    Private: Ugh...
  • This is one of Joy's major traits in Inside Out. As the Anthropomorphic Personification of happiness, she's a cheerful, friendly emotion that loves Riley (the girl she and the other emotions maintain) and has her best interests at heart. However, she's so determined to keep Riley happy constantly that she often pushes the other emotions — and especially Sadness — aside so she can run things her way; at one point, she forces Sadness to stay in a small circle and read manuals about the brain to keep her from interfering with Riley's first day at a new school. Joy doesn't do any of this maliciously, but it still hurts, and much of her Character Development throughout the movie is learning that Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust have an important purpose in Riley's life.
  • Being a movie all about stereotypes and how even the most open-minded people can have bigoted tendencies, Zootopia has a few characters who do this.
    • Judy, despite striving to be open-minded, made remarks at her press conference about predators being naturally predisposed to violence which ends up inflaming predator/prey tension across the city and almost ruins her relationship with Nick.
    • Clawhauser is introduced this way. He gushes over how cute Judy is and clearly means it as a compliment, but Judy replies that it's OK for a bunny to call another bunny cute but when other animals do it it's not, for which he immediately apologizes.
    • Judy does it early on in the movie when first meeting Nick, calling him "a real articulate fella!" Nick snarks that he rarely meets people so non-patronising, indicating this is a negative stereotype foxes face regularly.
  • Sid from Ice Age franchise, especially in Ice Age: The Meltdown, where he makes several insensitive remarks towards Manny, who thinks that he's The Last of His Kind.
    Sid: Someday when you've gone extinct. When you make a stink—
    Manny: Shut up, Sid.
    Sid: Okay. [later] Stop, hey-hey, what's that sound? All the mammoths are in the ground!
    Manny: Stop singing, Sid!
    Sid: If your species will continue clap your hands! If your species will—
    Manny: Sid, I'm gonna fall on you again, and this time, I will kill you.
    Sid: Okay, somebody doesn't like the classics.
  • Koda in Brother Bear 2. While teasing Nita with a salmon he caught, Koda unknowingly triggers back her fear of water. He goes so far in this that Kenai (who at first found this funny until he sees that Nita's being bothered) ends up having to sharply tell him to stop.
    • This trope is a good and bad thing for Koda in Brother Bear and its sequel. On the good side, Koda says what's on his mind and doesn't mince any words, telling Kenai important things that he (at first) doesn't want to hear. But on the bad side, he sometimes doesn't know when to stop talking and can be unaware of how this affects others.
  • Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit, and Eeyore in Piglet's Big Movie. They don't mean to be so abusive to Piglet, and they realize just how badly they've taken him for granted as the film goes on.
  • Buck Cluck in Chicken Little. Despite his questionable parenting, it's pretty clear he's not intentionally abusive, and he makes up for it at the end.
  • The Lion King (1994): While stargazing with Timon and Pumbaa, Simba tells him that he was told that the great kings of the past are watching over them from the stars. This makes Timon and Pumbaa laugh, asking what "mook" made that up. Simba (who had indirectly mentioned his dead father Mufasa) feels sad and leaves, which leaves Timon to ask a little guiltily, "Was it something I said?"
    Timon: Hopefully they don't fall out of the sky! Hold on, your majesty!
    Pumbaa: Yeah, don't let go!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Purge: The youngest Sandin kid is asking his parents why they don't kill during The Purge. He thinks it's a game and doesn't quite realize yet that it isn't.
  • In Elf, Buddy meets Miles Finch, a little person. Having grown up with Santa Claus and his elves his whole life, he assumes Miles is an elf and addresses him as one, asking how things are back at Santa's workshop. Miles is enraged, thinking Buddy is doing short jokes. Throughout the whole scene, Buddy doesn't understand his mistake, even after Miles beats him up.
  • Mr. Spock of Star Trek fame always had a little bit of this going all the way back to the original series, due to his being raised in a society where emotions are suppressed in favor of logic, much to the annoyance of Dr. McCoy and the others. Captain/Admiral James T. Kirk was usually more patient with Spock due to their Heterosexual Life-Partners friendship, but in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Kirk, after putting up with an even more Innocently Insensitive than usual Spock (who was still coming off of rebirth) in the 20th century finally loses his temper and snaps at Spock who, upon learning that the window of opportunity to snatch up two whales is rapidly closing (thus placing the future of the Earth in dire peril), bluntly states that their mission won't be successful and states it as if they were running a grocery errand. Specifically Kirk tears into Spock with an incredulous "Our mission? Spock you're talking about the end of every life on Earth! You're half human! Haven't you got any goddamned feelings about THAT?!"
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past: After Mystique escapes the peace conference, she is outed as a mutant on the news. She manages to get to a hospital and get her leg bandaged in her normal human guise. The nurse who is doing it is watching the earlier footage and pities Mystique's appearance, wondering "It must be hard waking up each day and seeing that in a mirror". Ouch.
  • Ahkmenrah's parents from Night at the Museum 3 when they hear Larry is half Jewish:
    "We love Jews! We owned forty thousand. So happy, always singing with their candles..."
  • In Moonrise Kingdom, Suzy comments that being an orphan must be quite exciting. Her friend Sam, an orphan who is conspicuously not Happily Adopted, is offended.
    Sam: I love you, but you don't know what you're talking about.
  • Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy blithely muses that the Guardians are now his friends even as he continues to unknowingly insult them. The "innocent" part might have been more obvious if the scene where Literal-Minded Drax hears Gamora referred to as a whore without realizing that it's an insult hadn't been cut.
    Drax: You, Quill, are my friend.
    Quill: Thanks.
    Drax: This dumb tree, he is my friend.
    Groot: [grunts]
    Drax: And this green whore; she, too—
    Gamora: Oh, you must stop!
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron:
    • This exchange when Bruce is feeling down about his time as the Other Guy. Though really, what did Black Widow think was going to happen when she asked the Proud Warrior Race Guy?
      Black Widow: Thor, report on the Hulk.
      Thor: The gates of Hel are filled with the screams of his victims!
      Bruce: [buries his face in his hands]
      Black Widow: [shoots Thor a horrified look]
      Thor: But not the screams of the dead, of course. No, no... wounded screams... mainly whimpering, a great deal of complaining and tales of sprained deltoids and... gout.
    • While preparing for the final battle, Tony Stark says that Ultron will be gunning for him first. Vision, who is literally a few hours old at this point, backs this up, almost cheerfully. "That's true, he hates you the most."
  • In Cinderella, Ella's father is a Nice Guy, but he does love Ella more than his new wife and stepdaughters. Lady Tremaine overhears him tell her this, and it becomes the seed of a lot of the abuse she deals later.
  • In Psycho, it seems like Norman Bates is going to run into this, especially once he starts asking his guest about "what [she's] running away from," but she seems strangely tolerant of it. A moment later, when she asks why Norman doesn't send his delusional old mother to an institution, he does not extend her the same courtesy.
    Marion: I am sorry. I only felt... It seemed she was harming you. I meant...
    Norman: What? You meant well? People always mean well, they cluck their thick tongues and shake their heads and suggest so very delicately that...
  • An interesting variation in The Miracle of Morgan's Creek. Trudy, who sneaked out to a party, got drunk, and found herself married to someone she didn't remember, and pregnant to boot, decides to trick Norval, who's been in love with her since they were kids, into marrying her. She brings up marriage as a general subject, and says that it's not like she's ever had any designs on her. This makes Norval talk about how he's been in love with Trudy his whole life, and brings up things like the classes he took in school just to be near her. This makes Trudy feel so bad she's now in love with Norval, and no longer wants to go through with it.
  • Randall falls afoul of this Clerks II, using the slur "porch monkey" in front of some black customers in reference to himself and Dante. He'd grown up hearing his grandmother use the term without ever realizing the racial connotation of it. His attempts to "reclaim" the term go about as well as you'd expect.
  • Assault on Wall Street: Jim bumps into his former financial advisor whose bank defrauded Jim. The latter makes a token attempt at small talk, comparing Jim's situation to his wife complaining to him that they couldn't go to Barbados that year, not knowing that Jim's wife committed suicide because of their financial worries.
  • Get Out (2017) has a more villainous example in the Armitage family. While they do horrible things to black people, their bigotry is presented less as raging white supremacy and more as a Bourgeois Bohemian, Pretty Fly for a White Guy tendency taken way too far, fetishizing black culture and bodies to the point where the people within those bodies who created that culture are ignored and dehumanized. Even before he starts to suspect that something is wrong, Chris quickly tires of the Condescending Compassion that the Armitages and their friends display to him.
  • Bumblebee: Charlie's step-dad tries to be a good parent to her and is always openly happy and kind to her, but does not understand she is still grieving the death of her biological father and is not ready to accept him as part of the family yet. He actually thought it was a good idea to give her a self-help book telling her to smile more, beleiving it would help her and everyone around her, as a gift for her 18th birthday. This ends up adding insult to injury after Charlie's equally clueless mother nixes Charie's wish for a car as a gift and instead gives her tomboy daughter a girly rainbow colored helmet to wear on her moped.
  • In Jingle All the Way, Jaime wonders why his Workaholic father doesn't dote on him or shower him with gifts like Johnny's father does. Johnny then states that Ted didn't become a Disneyland Dad until after getting divorced, and then suggests to Jaime that maybe his parents should get a divorce, if it would make Howard do the same.
  • Murray Franklin in Joker (2019), with disastrous consequences. All he does is tease Arthur a bit about his stand-up routine, the sort of thing any talk show host would do, but it ends up being the last straw that finally pushes the much-abused Arthur over the edge, causing him to shoot Murray dead.
  • Tales from the Hood 2: In "Good Golly", Audrey doesn't see anything wrong with wanting to own Golliwogs despite their blatantly racist origins, feeling she should get a pass because she has a Token Black Friend and wasn't aware of their history.
  • In Change of Habit, Amanda hears Irene, the only black nun, talking about her difficult background. Later, Amanda shows up at a party with a black hand puppet, and when an adult tries to talk to her, she says, "My name is Irene. When little white girls was playing with dolls I was praying I could be somebody and not just another nigger in the streets."
  • In Sheitan, Joseph comes across as this when he refers to Thai as a 'chink' and Yasmine as a 'camel driver', as he appears to be a well-meaning yokel who doesn't know any better. Later, Jasmine seems to treating him calling her 'little camel driver' as a term of affection. However, when he refer to Ladj as 'nigger' and 'coon' during the drunken Christmas dinner, it becomes apparent that his political incorrectness might not be as innocent as it first seemed.
  • Bicentennial Man: During the trailer, when Rupert talks about how imperfection is the key to making a realistic face, Andrew makes a comment about how imperfect Rupert's head is. During the film, Rupert only does minor double takes and chalks it up to Andrew's honesty. As robots can rarely lie, Andrew makes a number of similar remarks throughout, such as pointing out the contempt the NorthAm CEO has for him, and insulting Portia's work.
  • In The Phantom Menace, when Padmé first meets Anakin and realizes he is a slave, she's shocked and bluntly states "You're a slave?" Anakin is somewhat annoyed by this, stating that he's "a person". Padmé apologizes, explaining she's unfamiliar with Tatooine culture.

  • In Super Minion, Tofu both originally plays this straight and later defies it. Having only a few weeks of social experience, he has a tendency to say unintentionally rude things, like complaining about a form being attention-getting to mutants who can't shapeshift to not look attention getting. When he gets the chance, he enthusiastically signs up for sensitivity training so that he can learn not to hurt people's feelings. At least, not when he doesn't want to.
  • In Sense and Sensibility, this is lampshaded, and happens several times over.
    • Sir John, who in all respects is a kind and generous man who gives Mrs. Dashwood and her daughters a home after her worthless stepson and daughter-in-law force them out of their ownnote  teams up with his mother-in-law Mrs. Jennings to tease Elinor about her "beau" with the initial of F. (that information being given by likewise innocently insensitive Margaret, the youngest Dashwood sister). They routinely tease any young friend about romance in nothing but good humor and well-wishes, but in this instance it's quite painful; Elinor really is in love with Edward Ferrars, and has to constantly pretend that she's not, both because his family would never approve his marrying a girl as poor as Elinor and, worse, he's secretly engaged to another woman and she's the only one who knows it.
    • Marianne, who eventually throws a tantrum at the endless teasing she herself endures from Mrs. Jennings, brushes off Elinor's explanation that the older woman means well by saying that Elinor can't possibly know how she, Marianne, is suffering. (She's properly ashamed when she learns of Elinor's situation.)
    • Near the end of the book, Edward is disinherited when his secret engagement to Lucy Steele comes to light. Colonel Brandon, whose own family forcibly separated him from his sweetheart as a young man, decides to grant him the parish living on his own estate. As he's not well-acquainted with Edward, he asks Elinor to act as intermediary, not realizing that he's asking his friend to speed up the marriage of her love to another woman.
  • In Persuasion, Admiral and Mrs. Croft quickly befriend Anne, and they're both kind, good-natured people. But they have no idea of the pain they're causing when they ask casually which of the Musgrove girls Captain Wentworth will marry, having no idea that he was engaged to Anne once.
  • In Dragon Bones, it is mentioned that Ward pretends to be this as part of his Obfuscating Stupidity. For example, when his uncle asks him whether he knows what just happened (after his father's death), Ward nods, and says "I get father's horse", the stupidest and most inappropriate thing he can come up with at the moment.
  • Linnet Ridgeway from Death on the Nile comes across like this. Old, run-down cottages are overlooking where her new pool will be built, so she has everyone living in them moved out and the cottages removed. She even gives money to them, enticing them to move.
    Linnet: It's to their own benefit.
    Joanna: Yes, dear. I'm sure it is. Compulsory benefit.
  • Harry Potter
    • Hermione Granger comes off like this at least once a book, arguably downplayed in the movies.
    • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Dean Thomas asks Firenze if Hagrid breeds the Centaurs like cattle, it is lucky he did not ask this of any other centaur; Firenze merely corrects him and continues the lesson, but the other centaurs seen have flown into a violent indignant rage over far lesser insults and things which are difficult to envisage as insults.
  • The Chronicles of Prydain:
    • Princess Eilonwy has moments of this.
    • In the third book, King Rhuddlum is a bit guilty of this, as he explains to Taran that he's hoping to eventually betroth Eilonwy to his son Rhun - not even slightly aware that Taran himself is in love with Eilonwy.
  • Depending on interpretation, Sherlock Holmes. Opinion varies on whether he's genuinely socially inept or deliberately spiteful to people who aren't as smart as him. The 2009 film favours the latter explanation, but critics who stress Holmes' loneliness as a character trait favour the former.
    • The BBC series Sherlock seems to use a bit of both - he once asks John whether a comment was too insensitive, but also makes fun of everyone for not understanding his deductions. We haven't seen much of the loneliness outright yet, but he sure does get upset when John's in danger. He claims to be a sociopath, as well, but the fact that he shows genuine concern for another human being pretty clearly tells that if he has a disorder, it's not as serious as he thinks. Or perhaps John is just the exception. Word of God from Moffatt is that Sherlock is a) full of crap and b) wants to be a sociopath; he thinks his intellect would be much more efficient if it wasn't for all this caring about stuff getting in the way.
    • Both presentations may be correct. Individuals with exceptionally high IQs often have difficulty with proper social interactions, usually coming off as either distant, patronizing, or outright arrogant and insulting (even when it is not their intent). Psychologists think it comes from their altered viewpoint of reality. People with high IQs easily make intellectual connections and usually have a better understanding of things. But even when they know intellectually that it is due to their high IQ, they can't always grasp why no one else gets it or may be frustrated by how they need to explain "simple" things. For Sherlock, who likely has a very high IQ, he doesn't get why everyone else can't see the world the way he does. To him, he is pointing out things on the same level of obviousness as "The sky is blue" and then dealing with people who are so dense they need it spelled out to them (even though no one else would ever make those connections).
  • Brainless Beauty Christine from the Discworld book Maskerade, an opera hopeful with the looks but not the musical talent, is apparently oblivious to the fact that her very presence is trampling over the ambitions of Agnes Nitt, who has the musical talent but not the looks. She also says at one point that Agnes is lucky about not having to watch what she eats.
  • Gray Wing from Warrior Cats: Dawn of the Clans tries (poorly) to comfort Wind Runner by saying that her son Emberkit was in a better place. This, however, makes Wind Runner angry at him, yelling at him that the best place for a kit was at its mother's belly and wishing him grief, saying that he's as bad as Clear Sky and she'll throw that comment back at him. But when Turtle Tail dies, she apologizes to him.
  • Lightning Strike from Out of Position. He's not necessarily a Jerkass, but he has no problem sharing his opinions, no matter how annoying or upsetting they may be. He even tries to give Dev bondage gear as a Christmas present at a very public party because he believed it was something Dev wanted.
  • In Tomcat Blue Eyes' Diaries, Blue Eyes and White Whiskers Rusty go to visit their mutual friend, cat Green Eyes who has just had babies. Blue Eyes is always very friendly, affectionate little tom-cat — almost a kitten himself. He says to Whiskers that Green Eyes' babies are real ugly and- the horror- even blind. Green Eyes gets angry and swats him twice with her front paws and runs away with her babies. Whiskers tries to explain to him that every mother is sorry when somebody shames her children and tells Blue Eyes that he was not prettier when he was born. Blue Eyes doesn't believe him and is sure that that he was never blind.
  • Alpha and Omega:
    • Asil makes a crude remark about Charles 'sharing' Anna. Because Asil has only known her for a few minutes, he is unaware that Anna is a gang-rape survivor.
    • Charles asks Asil how torture affects an Omega werewolf - just before remembering that Asil's wife was tortured to death. (He apologizes later.)
  • Heather Badcock, the victim of The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side. She casually revealed when she was Fangirling over Marina Gregg that she broke out of a quarantine wing in a hospital against doctor's orders while she was infected with German Measles in order to see Marina on stage and get her autograph. Marina was pregnant! note  Marina coldly murdered her in a furious rage when she found out.
  • Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note's Wakatake doesn't have any problems with boys, but he doesn't seem to know what not to say in front of girls. For example, saying the girl he crashed into a mailbox, or "I found girls annoying'' in her face.
  • In Room, due to Jack's age, he doesn't have a complete understanding of the full extent of what his Ma constantly went through while they were prisoners in the titular Room, and will bring it up casually in conversation with people. Almost everybody understands this and try to brush it off. Although Ma, suffering from severe PTSD, snaps and loses her temper at a few points.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire Stannis Baratheon occasionally makes these comments to people due to his lacking social skills and Brutal Honesty — which is not helped by the fact that Stannis doesn't think he has any friends (though he has quite a good relationship with Davos Seaworth). In the prologue to A Clash of Kings, Stannis tells the aged Maester Cressen he is reducing his work as he's too old to be of use. However, he then mentions that working for him at his age could be dangerous (particularly as Cressen recently fell and broke his hip), so Stannis was trying to be nice to Cressen. In A Storm of Swords, he tells Jon Snow that one of Jon's beloved siblings, Robb Stark, Jon's murdered brother, was a traitor for not declaring for Stannis and while Stannis perceives this as true, it was certainly a horrible thing to say to Jon.
  • In The Dinosaur Lords, the Gardeners, a religious sect basing their philosophy on works of one Jaume dels Flors, is prone to praising their spiritual guru whenever Karyl is present, which is painful for Karyl, as dels Flors is the man who killed him (Karyl got better).
  • Clay from Wings of Fire can be this at times, especially around Peril. The other dragonets have to cover for him, and it even leads Tsunami and Glory pulling a trick on Clay to show that being this can be hurtful at times.
  • In Wolf Hall, Thomas Cromwell has a slightly difficult relationship with his son Gregory; they love each other, but Gregory is guileless and doesn't understand his father very well. So when Cromwell makes a joking-not-joking comment that his portrait makes him look like a murderer (a persistent insecurity of his), Gregory simply says "you didn't know?"
  • The Stormlight Archive: The Parshmen are a docile Slave Race that will starve to death if not given any orders. When the Alethi find a tribe of free Parshmen with their own culture, they name them Parshendi, which means "Parshmen that can think." Neither side sees anything wrong with this; the Parshendi normally just call themselves "the listeners," anyway.
  • In the Doctor Who New Adventures novel Original Sin, Chris Cwej meets a member of a race conquered by the Earth Empire, and - being a spaceship geek - gushes about how he had a model of one of their ships and how cool they were. He's genuinely confused when the alien bitterly responds that they obviously weren't good enough.
  • In The Hate U Give, the protagonist Starr is a black teenage girl who's dating a white boy, Chris. Chris is a generally nice guy, but he does occasionally put his foot in his mouth. Most notably, when he asks Starr and her friends why black parents give their children "weird" names. Their response is essentially, "...Seriously?", along with a quick lesson in what a lot of those "weird" names mean in various languages — and pointing out that plenty of white people have ridiculous names, too. Chris realizes it was a stupid thing to say and quickly apologizes.
  • In the second book of Crazy Rich Asians, Astrid meets Amicable Exes Charlie's wife Isabel for the first time and innocently mentions that she and Charlie recently went on a road trip together (conveniently forgetting to mention that her cousin was with them also). Isabel, who was having martial problems with Charlie (though Astrid wasn't aware of that), immediately jumped to the worst conclusion.
  • Quentin Coldwater of The Magicians is occasionally beset with this problem, in keeping with his characterization as an oblivious Manchild. For example, at one point in the second book, he tells Julia that she didn't miss a thing by failing the entrance exam to Brakebills... when Julia had been forced to endure several painful months of depression and Sanity Slippage as a result of her failure, being visibly on the brink of a nervous breakdown by the time she met Quentin again. Also, it eventually becomes clear that she become so desperate to learn magic that she prostituted herself to Hedge Wizards and later ended up having a traumatizing encounter with a monstrous demigod who murdered her friends and raped her.
  • Trueman Bradley: In the first book, Trueman deduces that his neighbor Mrs. Levi eats a lot of baloney, then mistakes her look of embarrassment for amazement. When she buries her face in her hands and runs out of the room, he thinks the conversation made her hungry and shouts "Enjoy your baloney!" after her. He feels horrible when he realizes what he did, although he still doesn't understand why someone would be embarrassed about eating baloney.
  • In Stargirl, this is arguably the titular character's only flaw. She is genuinely a kind and friendly girl who wants to make others happy but in-between being home-schooled most of her life and her Cloudcuckoolander attitude, she simply doesn't realize how the real world works.
    • She sings Happy Birthday to everyone on their birthday, embarrassing them all because she never asked their permission or consider they might not like it.
    • A senior girl's grandfather passes away and Stargirl isn't invited in the funeral because the family doesn't know her. Stargirl shows up anyways but the mother angrily tells her to leave.
    • She makes a public Valentine's Day declaration of love to her boyfriend while both were shunned from the rest of the student body. Said boyfriend was so embarrassed he didn't talk to her for the whole day.
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm: When Myne tries making a book out of thin wood slates, the project fails mostly because her mother sees any piece of wood with no obvious other purpose as firewood, resulting in Myne's materials ending up in the hearth almost the second she leaves them unattended. In addition to this, Myne's plan for the book was for it to be a written record of a story her mother once told her. Her mother's response to the information is that she can just ask if she wants to hear the story again.
  • Monster of the Month Club: When Owl uses Rilla's e-mail to contact people with "monster" in their screennames and ask if they're a real monster, he ends up offending pretty much all of them, but doesn't seem to understand why they're insulted.
  • The titular character of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine often has horribly awkward interactions with other people because she often unintentionally insults them to their face—for example, turning down a nail salon's returning customer offer because she can do her nails "at home for free, and better." When others take offense, Eleanor dismisses them as having poor social skills.
  • Ayla in Earth's Children sometimes comes off this way when interacting with people, even bordering on (unintentional) Brutal Honesty. She never intends to be rude or hurtful, but she tends to say exactly what she thinks and feels, and due to being raised by the Clan (who Cannot Tell a Lie) and travelling around a lot, she is often ignorant of social norms and customs, which can unintentionally cause offense.
  • In Because of the Rabbit, two girls on the school bus tell Emma her hair looks like an orange and suggest that she dress as orange juice for Halloween with a straw in her hair. Emma realizes they're trying to be friendly, but she doesn't like people drawing attention to her hair.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Sherlock Holmes has a big moment of this in the second episode of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, during the scene with Watson's pocket watch. Brilliant as Holmes is, he hadn't anticipated that discussing Watson's ill-fated alcoholic brother might upset him.
    • This scene is, of course, lifted from Doyle's The Sign of Four, where Watson is so upset he actually accuses Holmes of secretly investigating his family just so he could show off pretended deductions. Holmes immediately realizes how insensitive he's been and apologizes, and also explains the evidence that led him to his deductions.
  • Alex Rider: Alex to Kyra when she comes to his school in the last episode. He asks about her parents, not realising they've been murdered. She doesn't tell him.
  • The Baby-Sitters Club (2020):
    • There's no malicious intent when the other girls nag Mary Anne to be more assertive in Episode 4, but the way they do it still comes off as rather inconsiderate since they should know how sensitive she is at this point. Sure enough, Mary Anne is driven to tears and runs off. It goes From Bad to Worse when her father misunderstands the situation to be bullying-related and tells the other girls' parents his interpretation of events, leading to them getting grounded and understandably angry at Mary Anne.
    • The nurse and doctor who treat Bailey Delvecchio refer to her as a boy based on her chart and medical file. This clearly upsets Bailey, so Mary Anne takes the two aside to gently but firmly call them out on what they're doing and makes them understand Bailey is a girl and needs to be acknowledged as such regardless of her chart. The doctor and nurse are quietly chastised and apologize for their unintentional rudeness.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • Sheldon doesn't always realize that he's being condescending about others' intellect.
    • His mom is this in another way. Mrs. Cooper is the type of stereotypical Born Again Christian that would be likely to tell someone You Are a Credit to Your Race or use an outdated, racist term (Leonard eventually has to make her a list of what she can't say). That said, she's so sweet and comforting (unlike her son) that you know she doesn't mean anything by it; it's just a side effect of being born and raised in east Texas.
  • Control Z: Quintanilla's secretary, Lulú, compliments whoever did Isabela's sex reassignment surgery, remarking "you can't even tell" and then proceeding to misgender her.
  • Reid from Criminal Minds sometimes falls into this trap, mostly because his social skills aren't great and, therefore, he tends to forget about them when he gets really excited or is concentrating on something. For example, at one point the team is tracking a killer who has kidnapped a young girl that Morgan is very attached to. Rossi worries that a radio announcement might lead the killer to change vehicles. Reid gets about halfway through brightly saying, "Or he might kill the kid!" before seeing the look on Morgan's face and quickly backtracking.
  • The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance: Even as well as Brea means, a lifetime of royal privilege has left her with some preconceptions about the different clans she has to work to unlearn.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Twelfth Doctor has this as a Running Gag. Once an Episode in Series 8, he attempts to compliment Clara's appearance in a way that would reveal he has absolutely no understanding of human beauty or feelings — like asking why she's wearing high heels because there's no reason for her to be taller, or assuming she's taken off her makeup while she's obviously still wearing loads before kindly advising her that it's what's on the inside that counts.
      • Clara has taken to writing cue cards for him to read with comments appropriate to a given situation by Series 9.
    • Clara was prone to this with Danny Pink, an ex-soldier, at one point even joking about him killing people, which pushes his Berserk Button.
    • Other incarnations of The Doctor have had this, as well. Generally, the more "abrasive" personalities are most guilty. However, since he also uses it to put others off their game, it's not always clear if/when it's intentional.
  • Downton Abbey: The Duchess of Yeovil visits the house in season 4 and happily strikes up a conversation with Tom. She offers her condolences for Sybil's death, and while she's trying to sympathize (having lost her husband), it just opens up the still healing wounds of her passing. She also talks to him at length about the Anglo-Irish Aristocrats she calls friends expecting him (Irish himself) to follow along. Tom has absolutely no idea what she's talking about, and it makes him realize how he doesn't fit in high society. It feeds into his arc of being lost and confused about his place in the world. When talking to Lord Grantham later, Tom clarifies that the Duchess was very polite and she tried her best to include him, he just feels that he isn't right for such inclusion.
  • In Euphoria, Jules doesn't realize that Rue has a crush on her and thus doesn't realize how much it hurts Rue when she asks her to take racy pictures to send to "Tyler", her crush. On the other end of things, Rue doesn't realize how much it hurts Jules when she casts aspersions on "Tyler". It's one of the few times Rue and Jules argue.
  • On Gotham a kidnapper and murderer targets the offspring of wealthy families. Young Bruce Wayne refuses to leave Gotham because he wants to see how the case unfolds, and justifies himself on the basis of being an orphan. "Why would anyone take me? There's no one to take me from." Alfred looks wounded.
  • Hell's Kitchen: In one season of the US version, Chef Ramsey unintentionally pissed off a contestant named Robert by calling him "Bobby", the name of his abusive scumbag of a father. After Robert explained the situation, Ramsey apologized for the mistake and promised not to use the nickname anymore.
  • In the iCarly episode "iWin A Date", Carly does this when Gibby tells the group that a girl he has a crush on doesn't return his feelings.
    Carly: Poor kid. It must be hard to love someone who doesn't love you back.
    [Freddie gives her a longing stare]
    Carly: Sorry.
  • Kel from Kenan & Kel is quite prone to this; unknowingly insulting people due to his general lack of thought. It gets worse after he Took a Level in Dumbass in the final two seasons. Here's one example:
    Kel: Uh, Mr. Rockmore, I mean, you and Mr. Malone went to the same school. I mean, why did he become more successful than you did?
    Sheryl: Kel!
    Kel: I mean, come on, he's a multi-millionaire with his own company and you're just... bald.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Carisi was apparently raised in a pretty traditional, conservative household, and as such, he's not always in-touch with some things, especially where LGBT issues are concerned. He also has all the tact of a trainwreck. However, he's still devoted to getting justice for victims, and it becomes obvious within a few conversations with him that he's not a bigot — he's just kind of clueless sometimes. One good example is when he admits to Rollins he doesn't understand what would make "a boy decide to be a girl," when the squad is helping a victim who is transgender. Rollins gently sets him straight, and Carisi gets what she's saying extremely quickly — and he at least had the good sense to not say such a thing in front of the victim.
  • M*A*S*H:
    • Aristocratic Major Charles Emerson Winchester perceives himself as more intelligent and refined than the rest of his fellow comrades, that sometimes he doesn't realize he offends people in doing so.
      Charles: Relax? Are you insane? How would you feel if your sister were marrying a swarthy, dark-haired, olive picker?
      Klinger: She did! And for your information, Major, so did my mother and my grandmother, not to mention the future Mrs. Max Klinger, whoever she is! [storms out in huff]
      Charles: Did I say something to offend him?
    • In the same episode, the following takes place with Father Mulcahy, who had counseled him to accept his sister's choice.
      Charles: The closest I can come to acceptance is to console myself with the thought that at least she's not marrying an Irishman.
      Mulcahy: [look of Tranquil Fury, then drops a loaded dinner tray on Charles' foot and also storms off in a huff]
      Charles: Why is everyone so testy?
  • Arthur from Merlin is prone to this in earlier seasons towards the poor. Best demonstrated in "The Once and Future Queen", where he's staying with Gwen, a maidservant from the castle. He offers to cook her dinner and then cheats out on it the first chance he gets. She finds out and confronts him about it. This exchange happens.
    Arthur: Look, I can kill a chicken from a thousand paces, just don't ask me to cook it. That's what servants are for.
    [Gwen gives him a death glare]
    Arthur: [realizes what he said] I didn't mean.
  • Monk. His Hyper-Awareness lets him in on all sorts of details about people, and he's not always clear on which ones are better to keep to himself, such as when he sees the date on a woman's credit card and realizes she's lying about her age, or deduces that the judge at a hearing has been having an affair with his secretary.
  • Mr. Pither from Monty Python's Flying Circus (he's on a cycling tour of North Cornwall). He's a perfectly kindly soul, but oblivious to other people's feelings.
  • The Office (US):
    • Michael Scott. Even when his intentions are good, he doesn't realize how much the things he's saying can be rude or potentially offensive. Unless it involves Toby. Then he will completely deliberate about it.
    • Dwight Schrute casually and without malice insults people who fall short of his standards of efficiency and skill, which is nearly everyone. His coworkers generally blow it off.
  • Rimmer from Red Dwarf is a more obnoxious variant - yes, he's a pain in the neck, but most times he thinks he's genuinely doing the right thing. Even if he does have Manipulative Bastard moments. Cat's a more straightforward example. Actually, you could just shove everyone in this category, they all have their moments.
  • Also Sherlock from BBC's Sherlock. He tends to deduce things and think he's being kind by letting the concerned parties know: telling Molly that Jim (her boyfriend) is gay, informing Mrs. Hudson that her love interest is married and a casanova, deducing presents people give him when he's hardly touched the package, etc. He eventually begins to rely on John to give him a heads-up when he's gone too far.
    Sherlock: [after asking why a woman would continue being upset about her daughter's stillbirth a decade ago] Ah... Not good?
    John: Bit not good, yeah.
  • Schitt's Creek: Lots of characters do this occasionally, but a few do it all the time.
    • In Season 1, Twyla's tendency to do it is a source of tension between her and Mutt.
    • Alexis does this quite often, especially with Ted, not realizing she's insulted him or has forgotten their plans.
    • Moira's self-centered grousing about the town ends up hurting not only Jocelyn a few times but in one case a group of townspeople protest her remarks.
    • David does this to Stevie a few times, especially when he's desperate to get out of town in early seasons.
  • Stargate SG-1, SG-1 finds a planet where a man from Earth, Ernest, has been stranded for 50 years. He shows them a computer that contains writing, with an alphabet based on the table of the elements. Daniel practically has a joygasm at the idea of translating a language written in elements.
    Ernest: I tried to read it. I tried to understand, but...
    Daniel: A hundred and forty-six elements, letters, or word symbols. If they're letters, if they're pictographic... I mean... this could take a lifetime.
    Ernest: [sadly] More...
    Daniel: [sheepish] Oh Sorry...
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Mr. Data, being an android, is often insulting without meaning to be. In "Liaisons", he gives Worf advice on dealing with a fractious diplomat who's visiting the Enterprise:
      Data: I have heard that in moments of diplomatic tension, it is often helpful to find elements of commonality.
      Worf: Ambassador Byleth is demanding, temperamental, and rude!
      Data: [sincerely trying to be helpful] You share all of those qualities in abundance! Perhaps you should try to build on your similarities.
    • The Establishing Character Moment for Dr. Bashir in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine show him as an Upper-Class Twit who gushes about "adventure" and practicing "frontier medicine" to members of an ancient and proud civilization emerging from decades of brutal occupation.
      Bashir: I didn't want some cushy job or a research grant; I wanted this — the furthest reaches of the galaxy, one of the most remote outposts available. This is where the adventure is. This is where heroes are made. Right here — in the wilderness.
      Kira: This "wilderness" is my home.
  • Castiel from Supernatural is particularly prone to the trope. He called Sam an "abomination" in order to explain a point, and complimented Dean by telling him, "you're not the broken shell of a man that I thought you were."
  • The Twilight Zone: Mr. Bemis, the Bookworm who loses his glasses in the apocalypse. While his fate wasn't kind, his obsession with books meant he neglected everybody around him, like a customer he was supposed to be assisting. It's a small wonder that his boss and wife were exasperated with him.

  • Carlos from Welcome to Night Vale is this towards Cecil sometimes. He does his best to fix the situation once he does finally notice it, though.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Ring Warriors Grand Champion Bruce Santee tried to be politically to help promote the all inclusive atmosphere of the shows. Thing was, he wasn't, especially not regarding females, foreigners and brown people. Still, the fact he tried offended Kevin Sullivan, who knew exactly what he was doing when he talked about those groups.

    Video Games 
  • Wheatley from Portal 2 occasionally falls into this category.
    Wheatley: They ended up giving me the WORST possible job, tending to all the smelly humans. [looks at Chell] The... The, ah... sorry, I wouldn't say smelly. Just attending to the humans! Sorry 'bout that, that just slipped out...
  • Red from Solatorobo. His sister Chocolat is constantly chiding him for not understanding girls' feelings, and Elh calls him "an idiot with a bad mouth" when he continues to stick his foot in there.
  • Minsc in Baldur's Gate being a brain-damaged warrior with the mind of a child, has a few banters that paint him in this light. Everyone realises his true intentions, and nobody ever gets permanently insulted. Boo is also quick to correct him when he puts his foot in his mouth.
  • Girl!Morgan in Fire Emblem Awakening is a kind-hearted Genki Girl, but she can be sometimes rather pushy with her love interests. May be somewhat of a Justified Trope as she not only has heavy Laser-Guided Amnesia but seems to be the youngest of her group of friends and thus is more sheltered than them.]]
    • Chrom has moments when he is like this. Lucina asked to train with him and Chrom, not realizing that he's dead in Lucina's future and Lucina was actually wanting to spend more time with him, told her it would be pointless because he has nothing to teach her. He also finds life as a royal stifling and a hassle at times, not realizing he was complaining to other Shepherds who either lived on the run or grew up in poverty.
  • Ike in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. He's never met Laguz before and only heard them called "sub-humans". So when he first meets one, he uses the only name he knows, which naturally offends the one greeting him. However, he also picks up on the Laguz's offense and apologizes, explaining that he doesn't know any other name.
  • Clair in Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. She's prone to making rather rude remarks in general, though especially about commoners. However, she's genuinely curious about how common people live, since she's been fairly sheltered at court, and Clair does apologize to Alm when Lukas points out she's being insensitive.
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses:
    • The laid-back Sylvain often makes jokes or otherwise lighthearted potentially offensive comments during tense situations. Notably, he is on the receiving end of a slap from Ingrid when Sylvain suggested that the missing Flayn had gone to elope.
    • Caspar didn't understand why Bernadetta wasn't happy for dragging her around like a piece of luggage when he was genuinely trying to show her a place with a new view.
    • Raphael means well when he tries to act like a Cool Big Bro to Lysithea (as she reminds him of his sister, Maya), but his approach was rather patronising and being treated like a child is a major Berserk Button for Lysithea.
    • Mercedes touches quite a nerve in her C-support with Felix when she compares him to her little brother Emile, leading Felix to snap at her that he's not her brother and to leave him alone before he stalks off. Given that Felix's older brother Glenn died rather traumatically, it makes sense that Felix bristled at the comparison, even if Mercedes didn't mean it in a bad way.
  • The King of Fighters:
    • Athena Asamiya shows some traces of this, specially in KOF XIII. She launches in a Rant-Inducing Slight when she sees Kula fighting despite her willingly being there, inadvertently embarrasses her friend Kyo via asking him if he did graduate from high school...
    • Kyo's girlfriend, Yuki was like this in the manga. After learning that he and Athena fought in the previous tournament, she becomes angry at Kyo for "beating on girls". Being a martial artist herself, Athena feels insulted.
  • Onmyōji:
    • When Kingyo-hime and Susabi are told a story of a horribly abused boy, the former immediately jumps to the conclusion that he probably deserved it for misbehaving, not knowing that the boy in question is Susabi, sitting right in front of her. What makes it even worse is that Susabi was actually a nice, good kid all along rather than a bad one like Kingyo-hime thought.
    • This conversation between Hiromasa and Seimei after the latter has been wrongfully accused of murder:
      Hiromasa: Didn't you say you don't remember a thing about your past? Doesn't that mean that you could have killed somebody back then?
      Seimei: ...
      Kagura: Hiromasa, stop it.
    • Yaobikuni manages to have a moment as well. After Seimei has a nightmare in which he involuntarily kills his charge Kagura, she responds that "dreams are a mirror reflecting one's heart", making Seimei fear that he might subconsciously want to do such a thing.
  • Persona:
    • In Persona 3, Mitsuru's rich upbringing occasionally makes her fail to comprehend that can't treat the rest of the cast like they're her paid subordinates, nor do they have access to the same luxuries she's used to. A prime example is in Persona Q, where she criticizes the lower quality of Yasogami High compared to Gekkoukan High, and Shinjiro has to spell out for her that most schools aren't directly funded by a Fiction 500 megacorp.
    • In Persona 4, the first time Yosuke, Chie, and Yukiko meet Nanako, Yosuke challenges Chie to a cook-off, offering to have Nanako judge and saying that one of them would probably "make something that ranks up there with your mom's cooking." Nanako points out that her mother died in an accident, and forgives him for saying that when he quickly apologizes.
    • In Persona 5, due to her lack of social skills, Futaba can be rather tactless as she tends to freely speak her mind. She calls Mishima an "overwhelmingly forgettable guy" to his face upon their introduction to his chagrin. And when she hacks into public records to gather evidence from her abusive uncle who was trying to extort Sojiro for money, she didn't understand why Sojiro was so upset that she had done something illegal.
      • Royal combines this trope with Poor Communication Kills to tragic consequence: Kasumi Yoshizawa proved unable to grasp the mental state of her younger twin sister, Sumire, which lead the latter to try and physically distance herself from her sister after some comments that came off sounding like Condescending Compassion. Unfortunately, Sumire ended up running into the middle of traffic, and it was only through Kasumi's Diving Save that she lived, the older twin taking the hit and dying.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition has Cole, a spirit of compassion who took on human form. He's able to read others' minds to find out what's hurting them so he can try to help...but he tends to say what he's reading from them out loud and doesn't understand why certain things should or should not be said, be they personal traumas or the party's relationships and sexual activities. He doesn't understand what's wrong it it, since spirits in the Fade do it all the time. Helping him become more human can help him start to grow out of this, though even then he never loses his desire to help ease peoples' pain.
  • Maxim in Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals/Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals constantly infuriates Tia with his inability to recognize her feelings and concern towards him. The remake even names one of Maxim's Titles "Insensitive".
  • Presea from Tales of Symphonia is quite prone to this, especially before she has her Key Crest fixed. For example, when the party go to the Temple of Lightning so Sheena can make a pact with Volt (which she failed to do once before), Lloyd asks Sheena how they deactivate the traps. Sheena says she isn't sure, since she was just a kid last time and other people from Mizuho did it for her. When Lloyd asks if they can ask them, Presea responds, "They are dead." Ouch.
    • Not an aspect of her character that is always emphasized, but Colette also does this from time to time. She comments that Rodyle is "creepy" when they first meet him (and this is before it's revealed to the party he's a Desian, though the player is aware) and when the party see the Grand Tethe'alla Bridge, which is powered by exspheres, Colette remarks it's "kind of gross-looking". Zelos of all people points out that isn't an appropriate way to describe them and Colette apologises.
  • Nova from Tales of Xillia 2 can easily be considered this. She's in charge of Ludger's huge debt and repeatedly calls him over the course of the game to remind him to pay back his loan in segments. Unfortunately, since she is locked out of what exactly Ludger is doing, she often calls at inopportune times or when the debt is the last thing on his mind. The player does have an option to snap at her about this, but how good that actually feels depends, since she honestly cannot help but do what she's doing: her job.
    • Elle is this as well, with the justification of her really just being eight years old.
  • In Stardew Valley, Penny, one of the romance options for the player, lives next door to George, a grumpy old fellow who happens to be wheelchair-bound and struggles to reach up to get letters out of the back of his mailbox. Penny spots him and rushes to help - by pushing George out of the way. The player can call her out on this.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel:
    • Rean gets a visit from his sister, Elise, regarding something he said in one of his letters to her.note  Elise asks if Rean has no intention of succeeding his foster father as the next baron, and outright admits it. He says that Baron Schwarzer adopting him into the family has sparked a whirlwind of controversy around him, causing him not to show his face among the nobility except on special occassions. This only upsets her.
      Elise: ...You don't get it.
      Rean: Wha...?
      Elise: You don't get it all... you don't understand how Father feels, you don't understand how Mother feels... and you don't understand how I feel.
      Rean: Elise...?
      Elise: You're the worst! Why do you always have to be so stubborn?! I hate you, I hate you!!
    • Of course, that wasn't the first time Rean got in a tight spot due to him opening his mouth without consideration towards his audience or their reaction to what he says. Earlier in the game, during the field study in Celdic, Laura recognizes Rean's sword style and is impressed by it. Rean, on the other hand doesn't think the same way, believing himself to be "a dropout who's never even been able to progress past beginner level," feeling that he couldn't go farther in his abilities, which prompted his master to cut his training short. He apologizes to Laura for not meeting his expectations, but she plainly states that he has no reason to apologize to him, adding that it's a matter he needs to come terms with by himself. The morning after, when the group is gathered for the next set of tasks, Rean apologizes to Laura once more, only to be fed the same line from last night. This prompts Rean to expand on his apology, saying that what he said was disrespectful to his master, the school he follows and the way of the sword, which he apologizes (again) for making light of. Hearing this, Laura delivers her response.
      Laura: If that's the case, then there is one other person you should be apologizing to as well.
      Rean: ...?
      Laura: I can't pretend to know much about your personal circumstances. But regardless of one's background or social standing, one should always be able to live with pride in him or herself. Thus, if you truly did make light of yourself and your own abilities, it is an act of shame for which you owe yourself recompense.
  • Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony: Yusuf Amir loves to say the n-word, specially towards the main protagonist Luis, who is Dominican and gets offended every time he does it. With that said, due to his exposure to hip-hop culture, Yusuf thinks the n-word is something cool that people in the West call each other and is unaware of the word's historical context.
  • In Deltarune, Susie tries to reassure Lancer that she's in no danger from his dad because she, Ralsei, and Kris will thrash him easily. She doesn't quite take into account that Lancer is worried about him too and the more she goes on about it, the more it looks like a Sadistic Choice between seeing his friends killed or his father.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy X, Tidus does this very often by talking to Yuna about what will happen after her pilgrimage is finished, not knowing that she'll die performing the Final Summoning and defeating Sin.
    • In Final Fantasy XII, Vaan asks Fran her age and is immediately called out by the rest of the party for being tactless.
      Larsa: Surprisingly rude.
    • The first chapters of Final Fantasy XIII are packed with this. Examples include Hope ranting about how terrible his father is (unaware that Sazh is a father at his wits' end trying to save his own son), Sazh telling Vanille that he used to be skeptical of the government's anti-Pulse mania but now agrees that they were right all along (unaware that she is secretly from Pulse), Snow telling Hope that fighting the army is a thing for dumb adults to do in an effort to discourage him from getting in danger (unaware that Hope's mom got killed doing that when volunteering to help Snow).
  • In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Zill can "strike a nerve without realizing it", as mentioned by his figurine. It shows when you return to Outset Island; talk to Zill, and he'll bluntly but innocently ask Link if he's rescued his kidnapped little sister Aryll yet, to his brother and mother's shock.
  • Ensemble Stars! has a couple of cases:
    • Subaru is probably the biggest offender - he has a hard time understanding other people's feelings, particularly negative ones, which can lead to him seeming very insensitive. In reality, he genuinely does care about other people, and doesn't try to hurt people deliberately. It doesn't help that he doesn't even understand his own negative feelings very well, either, which makes it hard for him to express this regret or guilt.
    • Adonis occasionally does this as well, due to being rather awkward and not good at speaking. In particular, his motivation to protect 'the weak' can cause unintended offence.
  • Pillars of Eternity: Edér often unwittingly says offensive things (and promptly apologizes for it) thanks to growing up in a xenophobic small-town in Dyrwood. In particular, orlans are second-class citizens in Dyrwood, often stereotyped as thieves, so he tends to reflexively say stuff about them that he learned growing up without realizing that most places consider what he’s saying to be prejudiced, such as inadvertently calling his friend Hiravias “one of the good ones”. In the second game, he specifically turns down starting a romance with an orlan Watcher because of this, noting that this trope doesn’t go well with a romantic relationship.
  • In the second episode of The Walking Dead, Lee and Kenny are trying to get in a locked building when Kenny innocently asks Lee (who is black) if he knows how to pick a lock. When Lee takes offense, a flustered Kenny says he didn’t mean it like that and adds that he’s from Florida so shit like that just slips out sometimes.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect: Liara has a tendency to be this, thanks to No Social Skills, especially in conversations with Shepard. She also does it with Kaidan, telling him that the Training from Hell he went through was better than asari training. Said training involved a viciously racist turian instructor, who Kaidan eventually killed in self-defense, something he still feels guilty over.
    • Mass Effect: Andromeda: Comes up between squadmates Peebee and Vetra. Peebee asks about Vetra's Promotion to Parent, and thanks to her own troubled youth (with a controlling, speciest mom and controlling, distant older sister), assumes Vetra was desperate to act like a mom. Vetra's mother left their family, and her dad went "missing", leaving a teenaged Vetra to try and look after her sister alone. To her credit, Peebee at least apologises afterwards.
  • Assassin's Creed Origins: Throughout the game, various NPCs tell Bayek he couldn't possibly understand what it's like to lose a child. Bayek's whole motivation is avenging his son's death. Depending on the person, he may just brush it off, or angrily state that he does. By the time of the final DLC, it's much more likely to make him angry.

    Visual Novels 
  • Katawa Shoujo:
    • Shizune Hakamichi can come across as being very blunt to point where she comes across as being flat out bossy. This is in part the result of her being deaf and because of this communicating with others directly is difficult for her along with the fact that she cannot perceive vocal cues of emotion and intent in other people. It does not help that her interpreter Misha seems to have her own troubles reading social cues in other people, leading to more than a few "blind leading the blind situations" including the panic attack incident in Hanako's route.
    • Hisao himself falls into this at times, especially early on when he's not sure how to talk to people with disabilities. This can be a problem in Hanako and Emi's routes; in the former, he can deeply upset her if he pities her too much, and in the latter, he can anger Emi if he is too aggressive in trying to protect her.
  • Sakuya Shirogane Le Bel from Hatoful Boyfriend. Classist (to Ryouta and the player character), racist (to Yuuya, Anghel, and the player character), ableist (to Oko San), and a royal Upper-Class Twit, and it takes him most of the game, if the player's on his route, to even acknowledge that these are bad things. However he also has a Freudian Excuse: his father raised him to believe himself above everybirdy else, and Sakuya cannot comprehend that his father could be wrong. In the Bad Boys Love route, finding out that not only was his father wrong but not even his father gives Sakuya a full-blown Heroic BSoD. In Anghel's route, Sakuya says quite a few racist things about Anghel in the presence of the player character, who echoes them later.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry: Keiichi does a variation towards Mion in the Watanagashi arc, by not giving her the doll he won, reasoning that she's too boyish to appreciate it as Rena (who takes home anything she finds cute) would; this instance of his calling out her boyish traits (unlike most other times) deeply hurts her feelings. Keiichi has to get lectured by both Rena and Shion before he finally realizes what he did. Unfortunately, at that point the wheels are already in motion for tragedy.
  • In Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, Junpei can be like this at one point, not due to lack of social skills but due to lack of context. At one point he jokes about setting Akane's heart on fire, not knowing that as a child she almost got burned alive.
  • The Fruit of Grisaia: Main hero Yuuji has a habit of doing this, most likely a combination of his gadfly tendencies and lack of social skills.
  • The player character in Doki Doki Literature Club! comes off as this at times. He is irritated by his childhood friend Sayori's enthusiastic greeting in the beginning and criticizes her tendency to oversleep, not realizing that Sayori has depression and her friendship/romantic interest in him is her biggest coping mechanism.
  • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony:
    • This trait is often the reason why Miu is perceived as annoying by her classmates, as she has a tendency to just blurt out whatever she's thinking without filtering herself first. Kaede notes in her Freetime Events with Miu that her intent isn't malicious and her constant insulting of Kaede is because Miu wants to make friends with her but has no idea how to do so in a normal way. She often tries to lighten the mood with jokes without being able to read the tone of the situation.
    • Because of his gullible nature, Gonta tends to agree with insults directed at his classmates without realising it, such as telling Kaito that it's okay to be an idiot as long as you believe in people, or accidentally agreeing when Kokichi calls Miu an embarrassment to the human race.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY
    • Jaune — being unaware of Pyrrha's feelings for him — sees nothing wrong with pouring out his romantic woes to her. Later, in a much more serious situation, Pyrrha opens up to Jaune about how she's always felt it was her destiny to save the world, and how she recently found a chance to do so. What she doesn't mention is that it will likely come at a great cost. Jaune encourages her to not let anything stand in her way. In any other situation, the words would be perfectly good advice, but because of Pyrrha's circumstances, it ends up hurting her.
    • Subverted with Yang's father, Taiyang. At one point he makes what looks like a very nasty comment about Yang's lost arm, but she treats it like a good joke.
  • In X-Ray & Vav, Mogar, a man who has seemingly lived his entire life away from most civilization, is coerced into aiding The Mad King in escaping and crushing our heroes. Though, when Mogar agrees, he refers to them as "those two colored people". While he obviously is talking about their brightly colored spandex, The Mad King makes a point to let him do the talking instead of Mogar just for that reason.
    • Vav has it much worse than Mogar. Vav's a Nice Guy compared to "Mr. It's All About Me" X-Ray. However, he has no clue at all that X-Ray is helplessly jealous towards Vav being attracted to Ash Samosa, the Intrepid Reporter out to cover the Mogar story. Thus, he sees nothing wrong at all at doing something like swiping all of their clues about Mogar and giving them to Ash or when put in a Sadistic Choice between saving X-Ray or Ash, choosing Ash was the wrong idea. When X-Ray blows off Vav and Ash, guilty over using him to push the story, leaves him, all Vav can do is shout to the heavens "What the bloody hell is going on?!"
  • DC Super Hero Girls: Harley Quinn's love of pranks puts her firmly into this territory. Glitterbomb in Wonder Woman's digs? Check. Kaboom candy in her bakes? Check. Taking a mallet to Poison Ivy's plants? Well, it wasn't a prank, but still a check.
  • Dolph from Camp Camp is a young boy raised at a German army base who bears an unsettling resemblance to Adolf Hitler in both looks and mannerisms, something which has not gone unnoticed in-universe. However, he's actually just a sweet, artistic boy who doesn't even know who Hitler is, much less show any sign of following any of his ideologies.
  • In Hazbin Hotel, when Alastor summons Niffty to the hotel, she's excited to "make new friends", but reacts with confusion that there aren't any men, as she didn't realise the very feminine-looking Angel Dust is actually a man, though Angel doesn't seem to mind as he doesn't correct her, and Niffty also comments the hotel could do with a "woman's touch" and that it's weird because the others are already women (implying she thinks they should be as excited to clean as she is), but she quickly adds she doesn't mean offence by this. Given Niffty died sometime in the 1950's, this is a case of this trope and Deliberate Values Dissonance.

    Web Comics 
  • In Disney High School, Quasi is occasionally on the receiving end of this.
    Kuzco: WOW cool costume, that mask is amazing! Are you in the drama club?
    Quasimodo: No, it's my face... I look like this.
    Kuzco: Oh shi... I'm sorry! I didn't... man I'm sorry!
    Quasimodo: It's okay, it's not the first time...
  • Katherine of Wapsi Square is remarkably observant, but lacks any social skills, so it makes sense that she would fall into this trope at times.
  • Marty of Dubious Company. He has no idea why Elly isn't into him or why Sue wants to shove her boot up his rectal cavity. He is able to recognize when he pisses off his brother, though.
    Izor: Something needs to be done about Walter.
    Marty: Yeah. No fair keeping all the cute ones up on the bridge. All we get is Sue here.
  • Jake of Homestuck. Most likely due to his upbringing as an orphaned, isolated inhabitant of a deserted jungle island, Jake has a tendency to be oblivious to the feelings of others, mostly Jane's. It's also implied that in his previous incarnation as Grandpa Harley, he was similar and ran away from home and from Nanna without apparently considering how it made her feel.
  • Girls with Slingshots:
    • Hazel is not good with lesbians, babies (and people who have them), animals, or her boyfriend (the last one gets her dumped).
      Jamie: Why are we friends, again?
    • Candy's reactions to being called out on her misandry seem to point to her being this way, too... though attempted rape is kind of pushing the definition of "innocent".
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Lalli, Emil, Tuuri, and Sigrun come at this trope from separate directions:
    • Lalli is Literal-Minded, has No Social Skills, prefers to work alone and is suspected to have some form of Autism Spectrum Disorder, all leading to someone with little use for social niceties.
    • Emil, on the other hand, is a Spoiled Sweet Jerk with a Heart of Gold and a good person at heart... as long as he can remember that there are other people in the world than him.
    • Tuuri has a habit of not completely taking other people's point of view into account, which she apparently picked up while dealing with whatever disorder Lalli has. The problem is that both mages of the team (one of whom is Lalli himself, the other just starting to awaken during the story) frequently need her as a translator, and they very literally have a different perspective on the world than most people. This causes a lot of important information to get lost in the translation given to their commander.
    • Sigrun apparently just plain doesn't believe in being tactful.
    • Mikkel occasionally falls into this as well, since he's a Flat-Earth Atheist and shares a language with one of the crew's mages, causing him to dismiss concerns that are completely legitimate from the other's point of view.
  • Sunati of Always Human makes the mistake of regarding her girlfriend Austen as Inspirationally Disadvantaged due to her inability to use "mods", nanotech body modifications used in the sci-fi setting, which offends the latter.
  • Denmark of Scandinavia and the World fame is prone to this. This usually contrasts with his laid-back and... friendly attitude towards everyone around him. Of course, the character being based on Denmark, most of his comments turn up racist and insensitive mainly towards the Middle Eastern or African characters. Not that it can't help him out once in a while.
    Denmark: Hey there, sexy lady! Can I buy you a drink?
    Brother Thailand: Before you go any further, you should know that I'm not Sister Thailand, I'm Brother Thailand.
    Denmark: ... Oh.
    Denmark: So... You're trying to tell me you'd rather have a beer?
  • In Champions of Far'aus, Some of the gods and goddesses slip into this on occasion.In the short story "Will's induction", the godess Leilusa cheerily tells Will that he's getting a promotion to high priest at the funeral for his aunt, Leilusa's former high priestess.While standing at the foot of her grave.
  • Grrl Power: When Sydney sees a bindi on an Indian doctor's head (that she somehow missed in their previous meetings), she immediately yells "SNIPER!" and tries to tackle the doctor to the ground. The doctor punches her out and storms off.
    Dr. Chevy: I feel like I should have been offended... but she did dive to my aid, so...
    Arianna: I'll have a word with her anyway.
  • League of Super Redundant Heroes: Eva (a.k.a. Buckaress) falls into the "micro-aggression" under Real Life when clarifying whether she's meeting her girlfriend's sister or "sista".
    Alex: My actual sister. What's wrong with you?
    Buckaress: I'm white and need things explained to me. I thought we'd been over this.
  • When Undine meets Heartful Punch in Sleepless Domain, HP recognizes her as a member of the Magical Girl group "Team Alchemical". She wonders why Undine is out alone and comes to the conclusion that the team broke up. Because she skips school assemblies and doesn't watch the news, Heartful Punch legitimately has no idea that the other members of Team Alchemical were killed or de-powered, leaving Undine the sole survivor with her powers intact. When she learns the full story the next day, HP is horrified with herself and fears Undine must think she's the world's biggest asshole. Fortunately, Undine quickly realized Heartful Punch was honestly ignorant at the time and was actually grateful to HP since she wasn't pussyfooting around her and let her feel like things were normal again for a little while. In fact, while HP is freaking out about how much Undine must hate her, Undine's biggest concern is whether the cafeteria is serving turkey. The whole incident sparks a friendship and between the two that gradually turns into being Lovely Angels.
  • Never Satisfied: Philomena, Tetsu, and Broom Girl, all autistic characters, have had their moments:
    • Philomena accidentally shoves the dead pheasant in Cedric's face, grossing him out.
    • Philomena doesn't realize that she's holding January up from catching up with Sasha to retrieve her hat and busking money.
    • Philomena doesn't notice that Lucy's upset by her going on about how overbearing her dad is until they storm out of the bakery.
    • Philomena fails to pick up on Tobi's discomfort when she asks him about Su-Yeong not coming into work.
    • Philomena tries to bond with Lucy over their shared lack of magical skill, only for them to blow up at her because at least she has a loving, if overbearing, family.
    • After the third test when most of the contestants are engaged in a group hug, Broom Girl asks Lucy if they want a hug as well. They decline, so she awkwardly pats them on the head. Later, they complain to Ivy that she treated them like a dog.
    • Tetsu, in their zeal to find out as much as they can about Su-Yeong, ends up trampling all over her boundaries. She's irritated, but takes it in stride.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Grace accidentally suggests Sam, a trans man, is a Bearded Lady. Given that the moment was shown in a flashback and she apparently understands what transgender means now, presumably Sam explained the issue to her. She later realizes how her knowing at all might be causing him stress.
  • The Guide to a Healthy Relationship: Apollo asks his co-worker Galia for advice because she always seems so smart and down to earth "for a tranny". Galia is rightfully pissed, but Apollo is somewhat dense in that regard; he's not too sensitive about his friend Julian's mental illness, either.
  • My Deepest Secret: Emma says a lot of the same things that Camie said to Sophie in high school in order to cheer her up and attempt to help her boost her confidence. While she meant it because she's a very nice girl, Sophie takes it very poorly.

    Web Videos 
  • Arthéon's Season 4 girlfriend Kary in Noob. Arthéon really loves Kary to the point that he actually wants to marry her in real life. After they find a unique item together, Kary agrees to a wedding on the online game that they're both playing. In the middle of the ceremony, a game-wide event is triggered and Kary prefers going to see what it's about rather than finishing the ceremony, stating it was just something they were doing for fun anyway. This breaks Arhtéon's heart to the point of causing a Rage Breaking Point. The main culpirt in that insensitivity is however the fact that she seemingly was taking the relationship less seriously than Arthéon and assumed it was the same thing for him.
  • Dirigible Days: When Hooper, the new mechanic on board of the S.S. Beatrix, meets the mute pilot Josie, he starts speaking to her in an exaggeratedly loud way. It takes him a while to understand that Josie is mute, not deaf.
  • Jester of Critical Role can be this, particularly in regards to social class. At one point, she's complaining to Caleb that she doesn't have enough money, and he responds that she has more money than his parents made in their entire lives.
  • Hiro The Dense - Dense Shonen Protagonist is this when it comes to the Horny Devils attempting to seduce him. Due to a combination of differing factors, he rebuffs every sexual advance he receives, but defeating the succubus Izilith and requesting that she take him to her boss as his prize yields this exchange.
    Izilith: But wouldn't you rather have me?~
    Hiro: But why would I want you?
  • Chuggaaconroy ran into this during his Let's Play of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX. His Episode 9 recap shows he had acquired a Linoone in Sinister Woods off-camera, a Pokémon with raccoon-like features. In Episode 10, Chugga decides to bring Linoone along for the Great Canyon, but he had also nicknamed it "Finecoon". Cut to post-production Chugga explaining that he had named it that because coon is short for raccoon, but he didn't know that coon is also a racial slur until the video had already been made, and sheepishly apologizing for it.

    Western Animation 
  • One episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender has Zuko cheat his way past a sunlight-based lock to get into a temple by reflecting light from his sword onto the lock. Aang comments, "You know, Zuko, I don't care what anyone says about you; you're pretty smart." Zuko is briefly pleased to receive a compliment, only to realize what means about what anyone says. Aang runs off before Zuko can say anything.
  • Batman: The Animated Series: In "Robin's Reckoning", Robin is chasing the man who killed his parents, and intends to kill him. Batman tries to stop him, only for Robin to accuse him of having a "stone cold heart" and not knowing how he feels. The look on Batman's face makes him realize what he just said and he apologizes immediately.
  • In BoJack Horseman, Diane's first encounter with brother-in-law Captain Peanutbutter ends on an uncomfortable note when Captain starts rambling on about how life is the most precious thing in the world, weirding out Diane and causing her to wonder if he's shaming her for her recent abortion. He had no idea about the abortion, and actually just has a twisted spleen and isn't good at talking about painful feelings except in such roundabout ways.
  • Central Park:
    • In Season 1 "Skater's Circle" after saving the city from Sewer Pipe Mike, one citizen thanks Fista-Puffs and tells her she's not awkward at all. Fista-Puffs questions why would she specifically tell her she's not awkward because it implies she did think she's awkward.
    • In Season 1 "Hot Oven", when Molly tells Brendan she lives in Edendale Castle and she assures him she's not like those rich jerks, Brendan reveals he's actually rich, which makes Molly feel awkward for unintentionally calling him a rich jerk. Brendan said it's fine because he doesn't like to reveal he's rich because people freak out that his last name is Brandenham, then Molly immediately freaks out, proving Brendan's point.
  • Dee Dee of Dexter's Laboratory is this at her worst. For the most part, she's just trying to have fun, but she constantly ends up wrecking Dexter's lab and causing him no small amount of grief in doing so.
  • Princess Clara in Drawn Together was this originally, with her racism and religious fanaticism being implied to be the result of her sheltered existence. From season 2 on, however, it became more malicious and deliberate.
  • Family Guy:
  • Futurama:
    • Done repeatedly in "War is the H-Word", where Leela is pretending to be a macho guy, and Bender unknowingly "compliments" her on the macho stereotypes least suited to a woman:
      Bender: You're my kind of soldier, Lemon. A foul-mouthed, barrel-chested, beer-bellied pile of ugly muscle.... But sweet girls aren't for you, eh? You hard-fighting, hard-farting, ugly, ugly son of a—
      Leela: Stop! Stop flattering me!
    • In "A Fishful of Dollars", Fry earns some disturbed looks from his friends when summing up what he learned in the episode:
      Fry: Put that checkbook away, because I've discovered something more important. My friends. And they aren't worth even a penny to me.
    • In "Parasites Lost", several truckers (including Sal) make derogatory, sexist comments toward Leela and Fry attempts to defend her.
      Sal: She looks pretty good for a truck stop chick!
      Fry: You take that back! She does not look good for a truck stop chick!
      [the truckers laugh harder; Leela cringes]
      Sal: Yeah, you're right. She don't gots enough meat for a guy like me.
      Fry: She does too! She's loaded with meat! She's got more meat than a cow!
    • Fry is extremely prone to this on the whole. Unfortunately for his unshakable crush on Leela, it doesn't mix well with her crippling Freakiness Shame.
      Fry: But you're better than normal! You're abnormal!
  • In Gravity Falls, nonmalicious insensitivity seems to be a shared quirk of the Pines family. Mabel can take her friendly teasing of her brother a little too far, Grunkle Stan's attempts at Tough Love lead Dipper to mistakenly believe Stan dislikes him, and even Dipper unintentionally stomps on his sister's insecurities hard in a few episodes. This turns out to be shared by the Author, as a result of his Ineffectual Loner tendencies and emotional obliviousness.
  • Justice League: Batman is frequently told how he can never understand the loss of loved ones or he has to hear others talk about how horrible being an orphan is. A darker consequence of secret identities than most.
  • Kaeloo: During an essay contest where the participants have to write about their biggest dream, Kaeloo writes an essay about how her ideal world would be, which includes calm and peace for everyone. Since Kaeloo and her best friend Mr. Cat spend most of their time bonding over fights with each other, Mr. Cat takes it to mean that Kaeloo doesn't want him in her ideal world and gets upset about his best friend supposedly not caring about him.
  • King of the Hill: Dale doesn't realize his son Joseph's true parentage, leading to this exchange with John Redcorn (Joseph's biological father):
    John Redcorn: Joseph hates me...
    Dale: Why would Joseph hate you? He barely knows you.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • Korra was trained for most of her life in a compound where she could be taught the four elements in safety, but as a result when she enters the world as a teenage girl she has No Social Skills and winds up greatly exacerbating a Love Triangle she winds up in because she has no firsthand experience with romance. At one point she plants a Forceful Kiss on her crush after he admits to liking her and honestly doesn't seem to grasp that it's a problem (at first), since he's already in a relationship with someone else.
    • Tenzin's declaration that the Air Nomads will help restore balance until Korra recovers from her injuries at the end of Season Three; while it might not seem that bad, earlier Korra had seen hallucinations of previous villains telling her she was no longer needed, and here's her mentor implying the same thing. She doesn't take it well. During Season Four, she calls him out when he acts this way towards her which causes him to backpedal in what he tries to tell her.
    • Opal Beifong has moments of this when she tries to strike up a teen romance with Bolin, since Opal was raised in the wealthy Metal Clan family and thus has little to no idea of just how hard life can be for someone like Bolin who comes from a lower to middle class background. She's basically the Spoiled Sweet rich girl to his blue collar working man.
  • In Mike Tyson Mysteries, "Ty-Stunned", everyone, minus Yung, unintentionally acts insensitive to Miss Ensler when they keep bringing up her husband's mutilated body. Mike Tyson is a big offender when he's having a business meeting with his agent during the mystery.
    Mike: Hey, Miss Ensler, I know you're still grieving, but I want your honest opinion, okay. Do you think I should have a line of neckties?
    Marquess: Michael!
    Ensler: Richard loved ties. They cut off his head!
    [Miss Ensler starts sobbing]
    Mike: Okay, let's do it! Mike Tyson is in the tie business.
  • Moral Orel: Orel Puppington falls under this at times. He's actually a kid with good intentions, but as he's young, naive and often misinterprets advice from other adults, he usually ends up causing more bad than good for people.
  • One episode of the 90s Mr. Men cartoon has Mr. Forgetful's habit of forgetting things cause him to unintentionally hurt Miss Star's feelings. When he realizes that he hurt her feelings, he tries to cheer her up by tickling her foot.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Pinkie Pie often falls into this trope.
      • In "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", she can't stop gushing about how great the cider at Sweet Apple Acres is, despite Rainbow Dash (who didn't get any cider) growing increasingly irritated. What makes it even worse is that Pinkie Pie had also a) gave the suggestion to other ponies to camp out in front of the cider stand, b) was in front of said line and c) put up a pile of coins and walks off with at least ten mugs of the frothy stuff without realizing that others wouldn't get sips. Thankfully she gives one of her mugs to Rainbow Dash at the end.
      • The episode "A Friend in Deed" is basically twenty minutes of Pinkie Pie annoying Cranky Doodle Donkey while trying to cheer him up.
      • And she unintentionally helped cause the termination of Nightmare Night in "Luna Eclipsed" due to managing to alienate Princess Luna. She genuinely thought it was just part of the fun.
      • She takes this to the extreme during "Filli Vanilli", constantly setting off Fluttershy's stage fright and upsetting her.
    • Twilight Sparkle is pretty prone to this herself.
      • In "Baby Cakes", she innocently tells Pinkie that she knew that Pinkie probably couldn't handle the responsibility of caring for baby twins. She doesn't seem to notice that Pinkie is offended by this, even as she is pushed out the door.
      • In "The Last Roundup", Twilight slams the door in the face of a mailpony after getting a letter from Applejack. On his birthday. Granted, she was worried about her friend, but you can't help but feel sorry for him. (Pinkie Pie does give him a slice of cake, though.)
      • When researching the Mare in the Moon, she dumps a pile of books on Spike's head looking for the right one, and doesn't even notice.
      • In "Spike at Your Service" she once again is so buried in her work fails to notice Spike as he tearfully explains he is honor-bound to serve Applejack and must leave her. She is visibly guilt-ridden when Applejack later coaxes her out of her studies and explains what happened.
    • The episode "Dragon Quest" has Rarity telling Spike that he's better than the other dragons, because he has something special that they don't. Spike gleefully asks what it is, and then Rarity says he has "The cutest widdle chubby cheeks," unintentionally humiliating him in the process:
      Rarity: Oh, isn't he adorable when he waddles off in anger?
      Spike: Waddle!? GAAHHH!
    • Spike himself has bouts of this due to his sometimes obnoxious sense of humor and inadvertent bluntness. In "Hurricane Fluttershy", he constantly aggravates Fluttershy's low confidence concerning her poor flying skills, but just doesn't get why Twilight keeps giving him nasty glares.
    • Fluttershy also falls into this at times, such as when she makes Rainbow Dash's stage fright even worse in "Sonic Rainboom", describing how everyone in Cloudsdale, including the Wonderbolts and Princess Celestia would be watching her and see any mistakes she made.
    • Speaking of Rainbow Dash, this could be a reason as to why she starts off seemingly uncaring about Fluttershy's phobias in the early episodes, even willing to prank her. She has impatience in "Dragonshy", doesn't realize her spending time with Gilda is essentially alienating her friend Pinkie Pie, teases Spike for wearing an apron in "Dragon Quest" in her lust for cider, ends up making Fluttershy feel uncomfortable in "Bats", destroys the Cloudsdale weather factory to stop winter just to spend more time with her tortoise, shoves said tortoise to the side in the episode he becomes her pet, tries to get Fluttershy to fly in the tornado by pushing her against her will, (though Fluttershy goes anyway because of Rainbow Dash, she still is told to suck it up by Rainbow Dash before the pegasus quickly realizes who she was talking to and changes her tone) and even unknowingly causes Scootaloo to be afraid of the Everfree Forest by telling ghost stories.
    • The Cutie Mark Crusaders, when inviting Babs Seed into their club, make her painfully aware of her lack of a cutie mark, something she came there to forget about in the first place.
    • Among the Cutie Mark Crusaders, Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle tend to do this without thinking such as leave their friend alone when she's clearly broken about being teased for being unable to fly, Sweetie unknowingly almost causes Rarity to lose her job just from changing a stitch, and Apple Bloom when she finds the toy Big Mac and her used to play with, kinda just shrugs it off leaving her big brother to be very hurt.
    • Starlight Glimmer is this trope personified in both villainous and heroic versions, as everything she has done in the series to date was based around having good intentions but messing up badly due to her lack of tact and simply just not thinking.
      • As a villain, she really did have good intentions and a point taking talents away from other ponies, as differences do create problems between friends, except she still held onto her own talent in order to do so, exposing her as a Hypocrite, completely undercutting her entire message and making her a Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist.
      • After turning over new leaf and graduating to Sixth Ranger, Starlight Glimmer still uses her magical talent to solve problems, only to not only fail to fix things, but actually make things worse. In "No Second Prances", Starlight uses her magic to create a cake, except it ticks off the non-magical Mrs. Cake, who believes Starlight is trying to put her out of business.
      • Starlight later ends up scaring away Big Macintosh by casting a talking spell on him so she can talk to him more.
      • Starlight's insensitivity really comes to the forefront in "Every Little Thing She Does", where she once again uses magic, a mind-control spell in particular on her Mane Five friends in order to her friendship lessons done more efficiently. Unsurprisingly, it spectacularly fails (or works too well depending on how you look at it), effectively turns them into subservient mindless meat puppets, and the Mane Six are furious with her afterwards. Starlight Glimmer still hasn't quite gotten the message about irresponsibly resorting to magic to solve problems.
    • In "Once Upon a Zeppelin", Twilight is upset when she misses out on seeing the Northern stars fly by with her family, even breaking down into tears. And then Cadance walks up to her and tells her how awesome it was. Talk about adding insult to injury.
  • Jet from Ready Jet Go! can be like this at times. For example, in "Night of a Bazillion Stars" he takes Sean's birthday telescope just to see how it works, and breaks it. He is promptly chewed out by Sydney for this.
  • Recess: In the season 1 episode "Officer Mikey", Mikey wanted to be a safety ranger, going as far to say it's his dream. His friends work hard to make his dream a reality, doing a bunch of favors to different kids, until they finally get him into the safety rangers. Afterwards, the gang go into school, happy they made Mikey's dream come true, only to be shocked to find Mikey eating in the cafeteria. Mikey told them he quit, because the safety rangers were too much hard work. Mikey tells his friends he has a new dream of being a jet pilot; as he's telling his friends this, he does not notice how shocked and devastated they are because of all the work they did for him was for nothing.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Subverted in "Eeny Teeny Maya Moe", when Moe tries online dating. He is surprised to see his date, Maya, is a little person, then immediately apologises and asks what the correct term is. Maya tells him that he got it right with "little person".
    • In "Homer Badman", Homer gets mistakenly accused of sexually assaulting a woman because he was oblivious to seeing how peeling a candy off someone's butt could be taken the wrong way. He fails to even notice Ashley running out of the car terrified.
  • On South Park, we have Butters in the episode "The Hobbit":
    Wendy: Lisa Berger asks you out and you call her fat?!
    Butters: [beat] But she is fat.
    Wendy: Do you have any idea how you made her feel?! She's a really nice girl!
    Butters: I think she's a nice girl, too! She's just too big for me.
    • The Main Quartet can all fall into this category, though Stan is the biggest offender, being slightly more naive than the other three. One example is in “Cherokee Hair Tampons” where he cries about Kyle possibly dying from an untreated illness... to Kenny. Kenny points out that no one ever seems to care when he dies (they all forget about his death the next day, so it’s not like they know that Kenny can come back to life, they just don’t seem to care when he dies), but Stan doesn’t take notice, even when Kenny is randomly crushed by a falling piano.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • We have the title character himself. Although SpongeBob means well, he unintentionally ruins other peoples' lives. Just ask Squidward or his boating school teacher Mrs. Puff. It was taken at its worst in "Demolition Doofus" when after his driving caused Mrs. Puff to pop her inflation sac, SpongeBob, who is clueless to what's going on, makes very insensitive comments about her serious condition by saying she should be now called Mrs. Pop, and that he actually likes her that way. It was so bad that this drove Mrs. Puff into attempting to murder the sponge.
    • Due to Patrick's intelligence (or lack thereof), he doesn't realize when he's being insulting.
      • In the episode "I'm with Stupid" Patrick convinces Spongebob to act dumb so that his visiting parents don't think he's an idiot. Patrick's mom and dad immediately begin insulting Spongebob, and Patrick merrily joins in on verbally attacking Spongebob. It gets to the point where Spongebob has to plead with Patrick to drop the charade over how horrible he's being treated, with Spongebob reassuring Patrick his parents will love him no matter what. Unfortunately, Patrick ends up thinking he is the more intelligent one between them and joins his parents as they double down on the insults.
      • In "Driven to Tears", after Spongebob fails, yet again, his driver's test, Patrick decides to take it himself and passes it on the first try with minimal effort. For being being issued the one millionth drivers' license, Patrick wins a new boat-mobile, and immediately starts behaving incredibly condescending towards Spongebob. When Patrick finally notices Spongebob is upset, he assumes that he's upset over the fact that he's a terrible driver, rather than the fact that Patrick keeps bragging over how he got a free car after passing the drivers' test while SpongeBob didn't.
  • Steven Universe:
    • A common trait with Pearl in that she doesn't pick up much on what Steven or other humans say or think until she steps over the line, and was unable to realize how upset Amethyst was about her origins.
      Pearl: No, no, Amethyst, you're not the mistake. You're just the byproduct of a [realizing what she's saying, blushes] big... mistake.
    • Sapphire's future vision sometimes means that she forgets that the problems she sees solved in the future still affect people in the present. When she realizes this in "Keystone Motel", she's so mortified she starts weeping.
    • Rose Quartz was also not immune to this back when she and Greg had started dating. Rose laughs at Greg's attempts to fuse with her in order to get intimate in the same way she can with Pearl, and she says that she loves humans because they're all so funny. When Greg asks in complete seriousness if she respects him, Rose still thinks he's trying to be funny.
    • In "Too Far", when Peridot discovers that Amethyst enjoys her sense of humor, she takes enjoyment in cracking jokes about everyone, including Amethyst, until she unintentionally takes it too far by describing her as defective. When Steven explains that she hurt Amethyst's feelings, Peridot cannot understand what she was saying is wrong and offensive. Peridot has similar issues with Lapis Lazuli. While she understands that Lapis has genuine grievances against her, her attempts to make amends consist of apologies like "Sorry but you were just so useful at the time."
    • Sardonyx. When she is trying to figure out the capabilities of Steven and Amethyst's fusion Smoky Quartz, she unintentionally makes it all about her and does a number on Smoky's ego. When she realizes what she did, the horror makes her de-fuse.
    • Steven have also had his moments of unwitting insensitivity. First, how he pressured Sadie (along with Barb) into competing in a competition she hardly wanted to do in the first place. Second, he gave Lapis a minor guilt trip for not wanting to be Peridot's friend — the same Gem who previously imprisoned Lapis (with Jasper), something that Steven was aware of.
    • After returning from giving himself up to the Diamonds Steven initially acts like it was no big deal, despite his actions having painful and long-lasting consequences for his loved ones and most of the town. He does eventually have a Jerkass Realization about his behavior, but Connie and Lion are so angry with him brushing off the emotional anguish his sacrifice caused everyone to go through that they refuse to interact with him for the next few episodes.
    • "Legs From Here to Homeworld": When Centipeetle, or rather Nephrite, is temporarily uncorrupted, unaware of what's happened in the last 5,000 years or the recent revelation that Rose Quartz and Pink Diamond were one and the same, she assumes upon seeing Blue and Yellow Diamond on Earth that Rose Quartz must have been destroyed and lauds them for it. This causes the two of them and Steven to recoil away from her, returning her to her corrupted state.
  • Cyborg in Teen Titans in the episode "Troq", when he calls Starfire by the title word. Throughout the episode, the racist Val-Yor has been calling her this, and Starfire told Cyborg it meant "nothing" (without explaining that it meant "nothing" as in "worthless"), meaning he didn't realize how hurtful it was. Becomes a case of Bullying a Dragon when you remember this is a race of super-strong beings who have Eye Beams and energy-hurling abilities.
    • Later that same episode Val Yor tries to make it up to Starfire but it comes of as condescending saying that Starfire is the exception "you must be one of the good ones."
  • The Tick: Tick is so dumb he often says or does things that make him look like a real Jerkass.
  • In "Two Tutu Friends" from Timothy Goes to School, Doris and Grace have lots of fun together at dance class. When Grace slips and falls, she is mortified and embarrassed. Doris, however, doesn't realize this and thinks it's just a funny story, which she tells to some of the other kids the next day at lunch. Grace overhears and is terribly upset and crying, calling Doris a "blabbermouth." Doris, angry, calls her a "crybaby." They give each other the Silent Treatment for a while, until they finally talk it out and Doris apologizes for what she did, as she genuinely didn't realize that Grace was embarrassed about having fallen.
  • We Bare Bears:
    • When Chloe Park first meets the bears, she uses them as the subjects for a research report for one of her college classes. However, the bears are not amused when they read her report and find that she mainly focused on traits such as their eating habits, odor, and lack of social skills around other humans. Hilarity Ensues when the bears attempt to make the report more "factual", but everything turns out okay in the end.
    • Charlie the Bigfoot, especially in his first appearance, was initially seen as an annoyance by the bears, due to actions such as commenting on Panda's (lack of) love life, and messing with Ice Bear's cooking. However, the bears soon learn that because Charlie is constantly having to move around due to being hounded by Bigfoot enthusiasts who desperately want his picture, he's never been able to make any real friends. As time goes on, the bears' relationship with Charlie gets better, and they consider him a real friend.
  • One episode of Xavier: Renegade Angel begins with Xavier coming to the aid of a boy in a wheelchair he thinks is getting bullied by two other kids. Not only are those two other kids the boy's friends, but Xavier is so condescending to the wheelchair-bound kid while defending him that the two kids beat him up over it.
    Xavier: Look, I'm not 'tarded like Robbie here, so I know a group of strapping young bucks like you would never waste your time with a boy whose legs are as dead as a Thanksgiving turkey with all the trimmings.
    The "Bullies": You apologize right now!
    Xavier: I'll never apologize for defending the weak, the meek, and the useless!

    Real Life 
  • People with poor social skills — children and shy people who haven't had much chance to interact socially especially — are also prone to this. It's a recognized trait of Autistic Spectrum Disorders to have some difficulty at picking up non-verbal cues that would alert them to other people's feelings.
  • Can also happen when you go to another culture. Even if you speak the language, the complexities of social interaction can take a while to learn, and it'll often involve a lot of unintentional insults to the people whose country you're in before you figure out what you should and should not do.
  • Researchers such as Dunning and Kruger have studied for years how well most people estimate their own ability levels or competence and the ability levels or competence of other people. They have found that people who are highly competent and/or highly intelligent nearly always overestimate the ability levels of the average person while underestimating their own ability levels (because it never seems that difficult for them); in contrast, unskilled people nearly always overestimate their competence (because they lack the knowledge and metacognitive skills necessary both for that level of self-assessment and for successful use of feedback). That's right: the more talented one is, the more likely one is to assume everyone else is just as talented.
    • This has the sad side effect that extraordinarily competent people may come across as snobbish because they constantly have to remind themselves not to expect the average person to be able to keep up with them.
    • It can make for a bitter, painful life when one must constantly choose between the loneliness of always being out ahead of the pack or hobbling oneself until one is as slow as everyone else. Studies like these only make it easy to sympathesize with snobs and both male and female Alpha Bitches of the intellectual variety. Of course, most people who think they have this problem, as the cited research points out, don't.
    • Less talented people feel insulted when told that the task they failed at, or invested a lot of effort to accomplish is "very easy", leading to a situation where highly intelligent people, by trying to downplay their intelligence, achieve the exact opposite of the intended effect.
  • The term "microaggression", which refers to any kind of thoughtless comment that someone might take offense to (such as using the slang of another culture or referring to someone by the wrong gender), even if it's unintentional, has recently cropped up in the public consciousness, mostly through social media.
  • Anyone who tries to get an introvert or a shy person to open up by forcing them to be social. To them, it is trying to help someone out of their shell. To the person they are trying to help, however, it can come off as them being forced into something they are highly uncomfortable with.


Video Example(s):


I Want Your Honest Opinion

Miss Ensler is grieving over her husband's horrific death and Mike tries asking her if he think he should get a line of neckties.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / InnocentlyInsensitive

Media sources:

Main / InnocentlyInsensitive