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Jerkass Realization

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Typhan-knee finally sees herself for what she's become.
Sonic: Jet, do you think I've been a dick to everybody?
Jet: [silence]
Sonic: I need you to answer me, buddy, please. Please tell me I'm a good person. Please, deep down, just tell me I'm a good person.

A character is lecturing another character; then somehow, either by someone else telling them the truth afterwards or the one they're lecturing breaking down or otherwise indicating that they've gone too far, the character realizes that they have been a complete Jerkass.

It may have been a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, but it's gone too far.

One variation is a normally nice character ripping into another character that they don't think is present, not realizing until afterwards that the character they are ripping on was in earshot, and realizing that even if they had a point, they were being a jerk.

Could be considered a minor version of My God, What Have I Done? and Heel Realization. See also Was Too Hard on Him which involves a character feeling remorse over harshly scolding or punishing another character. Compare Oblivious Mockery and Guilt-Induced Nightmare.

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Other Examples:

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  • Sexual Violence with the Birds and the Bees:
    • After Zach is made to realize that he was about to commit date rape, he looks down in shame, remarking that he feels like a "total woodpecker head."
    • The bee guy in the second episode posts a lewd comment on a girl's photo. Another guy confronts him over it and impresses upon him how dickish and thoughtless he was, and as the bee guy is left standing alone afterward, his stinger retracts in shame.

    Anime & Manga 
  • The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You: Several years prior to the start of the story, Nano coldly rejected Mimimi's attempt at friendship due to seeing friendship as an illogical waste of time. After undergoing Character Development and meeting Mimimi again, Nano realises just how cruel and insensitive she was, and apologises to Mimimi.
  • Bakuman。: After the cancellation of his first serialized manga, Nakai loses the determination he had demonstrated before and Takes A Level In Jerkass, preferring to work as an assistant so he can spend the day trying to flirt with Kato, who is visibly uncomfortable with it, rather than working to get a new series. And when Aoki asks him to work with her on a new project, he tries to blackmail her into going out with him. When he finally realises that he has lost his drive to be a mangaka and how much of a jerk he has been, he decides to quit being a mangaka and go back to his hometown.
  • Berserk: Guts has one after Godo chews him out over his attitude, particularly the fact that he chose to go off on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Griffith for two years rather than tend to Casca's insanity and help her through her trauma. The realization of just how much he took Casca for granted is enough to bring Guts to his knees.
    Guts: Again!? I had it in my hands...and without thinking, I lost it!? The thing I cherished most...!?
  • Blood+: In the flashbacks in episode 22, Saya gets exasperated with Haji for his refusal to cooperate with her and tells him to go back to where he came from, only to be taken aback when Haji breaks down and informs her that he's not at the Zoo by choice and that Joel and Amshel bought him. It's this realization that marks Saya's change from Spoiled Brat and she takes a level in kindness.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: For most of the series, Sakura is firmly convinced that Touya is nothing but a Big Brother Bully and has little more than scorn for him. When she discovers that Touya had known about her magic and the Clow Cards all along and had been watching over her, and had even sacrificed his sixth sense to save Yue's life, she's left in tearful remorse over how badly she misjudged him.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • When Cell kills Future Trunks, Vegeta is hit with this, realizing that Trunks had come to the past to save them, and Vegeta had done nothing but ignore him and treat him like crap. He's so disgusted with himself and furious at Cell for killing Trunks that it sends him off on an ill-fated Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
    • From the same saga, Goku has so much confidence in his son's ability to beat Cell, he actually gives Cell a senzu bean, which restores him to full health after he'd been weakened by his fight with Goku. Goku reasons that Gohan probably naturally wants a fair fight with Cell. He's oblivious to how things are going until Piccolo spells out for him that his son doesn't enjoy combat the way the others do, and is deeply confused and terrified about why his father is openly giving support to the person who's about to try and murder him.
  • Dragon Ball Super: Jiren spends most of his screen-time being a Social Darwinist and Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy, who is not above mocking Toppo or using his fellow Pride Troopers as pawns for the sake of attaining more power. After being defeated by Goku, Frieza, and 17's teamwork, Jiren finally comes to realize what a jerk he's been. After 17 revives the erased universes, Jiren finally opens up to Toppo and admits that he's been bound by his past traumas that he cannot form attachments with anyone. Toppo rebuffs this by telling him that by fighting so hard to save Universe 11, he's formed a bond with his fellow Pride Troopers and now they'll fight as True Companions, a sentiment Jiren happily agrees with.
  • Falling in Love With the Villainess: Lambert sees Rion's hostility towards Arnold as unforgivable despite being well aware of the history between Rion and Arnold and how Arnold went out of his way to provoke and antagonize Rion, went after Rion with an unsheathed blade for petty reasons, and is one of the parties responsible for Vincent's unjust death. At some point, Lambert realizes the grudge is justified, especially as Rion is the better king.
  • Food Wars!: Erina Nakiri has a major one when she overhears Soma casually revealing to her father Azami that he's the son of Joichiro Saiba. To contextualize, Joichiro Saiba is the only chef that Erina has always admired and her major inspiration to become one herself. Up until very recently, Erina had been actively antagonizing Soma simply because he came from a diner in a middle-class district and taking every possible chance to try and get him expelled from the school. The shock of learning that she'd been unknowingly insulting her idol's son (and by extension, her idol's culinary style) actually causes her to faint.
  • Fruits Basket:
    • At the funeral for Kyoko, Tohru's mother, Kakeru had the gall to tell her to her face, right in the middle of said funeral, that she wasn't the only one who lost a parent in the accident (his girlfriend Komoki's father was the driver who killed Kyoko, and he died in the accident as well) and she was being whiny and disgusting for openly grieving. He is hit by this soon after, especially after Komoki threatens to break up with him in disgust for his actions, and the guilt weighs on his mind for years until he and Tohru talk it out.
    • Saki Hanajima, one of Tohru's best friends, starts getting increasingly bitter and jealous of the extending amount of time Tohru begins to spend with the Sohma family, even stating she "won't give her up so easily." When her younger brother Megumi tells the Prince Yuki Fanclub off for their entitled behavior regarding Yuki, informing them that their crushes on Yuki do not give them the right to act like he owes it to them to not like someone else, Saki is shocked to realize she's been acting the exact same way towards Tohru.
  • Hello! Sandybell: Eva knows Sandybell is an orphan but still treats her poorly. She also takes advantage of the fact that her mother shares her disdain for Sandybell and they work together to make her life a living hell. Eva eventually realizes that Sandybell has been nothing but sweet to her and her awful mother, and they both mend their ways, with Eva becoming a good friend to her afterwards.
  • Highschool of the Dead: After Takashi Mercy Kills the zombified Hisashi, Rei is bitter and chews him out over it, remarking that Takashi must have hated him and enjoyed doing it since Hisashi and Rei were dating. When this nearly leads to Takashi willingly going to fight a massive amount of Them, which would undoubtedly lead to him being Devoured by the Horde, Rei immediately backpedals, apologizes, and begs Takashi not to leave her alone.
  • Karakuri Circus: The manga reveals during the Interrogation arc that Bai Jin realized how selfishly he acted when he told his brother he loved Francine first. This didn't stop him from snapping when he accidentally witnessed her marrying his brother.
  • Little Witch Academia:
    • In Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade, Lotte starts giving Akko the cold shoulder for accidentally ripping her family's music sheet while trying to use it for their parade without permission. When Sucy suggests that she's been bottling up her feelings due to being pushed around by Akko all the time, Akko remarks why Lotte can't be forward with her feelings instead of acting gloomy and depressing all the time. Unfortunately, Lotte is standing right behind her when she says this, so she bluntly states that she thinks Akko's ideas for the parade will fail and that she wants no part in it, leaving Akko to desperately try to take back her words. When Lotte changes her mind and returns for a Big Damn Heroes moment to deliver a hand-made replica of the hat worn by Shiny Chariot, Akko's inspiration for the parade and becoming a witch in general, Akko gives her a big, tearful hug and apology for being such an insensitive jerk.
    • For most of Little Witch Academia (2017), Akko assumes that Diana, based on her behavior, was nothing but a cold aristocrat who had nothing but good fortune in her life. However, when she decided to go to Diana's house to bring her back to Luna Nova in episode 19, she ends up learning from Diana's maid Anna that Diana lost her parents at an young age, which immediately causes Akko to feel guilty for her actions, which only increases when she learns from Andrew shortly afterwards that Diana was an outcast who struggled with magic just like her. Both of these revelations would cause Akko to stop being as antagonistic towards Diana.
  • Mission: Yozakura Family: Goliath is initially aloof towards Taiyo and swats him into the ground for daring to touch his leash. But after seeing Taiyo shield him and Mutsumi from a bomb blast, Goliath tosses Taiyo onto his back while giving him a huff of approval.
  • Monster Musume: The Dating Pool Trio arrive at the dating service fully planning to just nab some monster girls, but once they see all the requirements that go into hosting a monster girl, especially the ones that would make them happy, they realize that they were only thinking of their own interests and end up doubting if they deserve to host any monster girl.
  • Monster Rancher: Genki starts the series dismissing the threat Moo poses, used to thinking of the world he's been pulled into as just a game. This also spurs him to treat the newborn Mocchi harshly, as he's used to raising his monsters with a firm hand. However, he has two realizations about his behavior in rapid succession — first when he starts seeing just how terrified most civilians are of Moo and his minions, and again when he sees how well Mocchi responds to a kindly elderly couple who offers them shelter overnight. This kickstarts his growth into a proper partner for Mocchi and an eventual Hope Bringer.
  • My Bride is a Mermaid: Kai gets one when he thinks he's dying of a terminal illness, and realises just how much he took the people who cared about him for granted. Of course, considering what sort of series this is, it doesn't stick once he learns he's not dying after all.
  • Naruto:
    • When Kakashi has Sasuke tied to a tree pre-time skip and is talking about how nothing good ever comes of revenge, Sasuke accuses Kakashi of not understanding, and proposes killing everyone Kakashi holds dear, but then Kakashi says all his loved ones are already dead. Sasuke then stops talking long enough for Kakashi to tell him that they have lost much in the past, but gained new comrades, and that he should be using his Chidori to protect those comrades, rather than on his quest for revenge. Admittedly Sasuke's later character outshines this little moment, still was an accidental Jerkass moment.
    • Sasuke finally realizes what a dick he's been and decides to figure out the real reason he fights.
    • Early on, Sakura confides in Sasuke that she believes that Naruto became such an undisciplined prankster because he had no parents to teach him how to behave, at which point Sasuke, who knows from personal experience that not having parents sucks, promptly berates her and tells her that she has no idea what she's talking about, coldly telling her she's annoying and walking away. Having treated Naruto much the same earlier, Sakura is taken aback and resolves to try and treat him better.
    • At first, Neji used to lecture everyone about "destiny" and how they're idiots for thinking that they can change it. Later on, Naruto confronts him (even pointing out that he's being a Hypocrite because he's too trying to escape his own destiny). Afterwards, Neji admits he was wrong, and no longer bashes people. Later on, he also confronts the main branch for being responsible for making him believe this way.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi: In the first three episodes, Asuna finds herself increasingly frustrated by Negi and eventually vents her frustrations to Professor Takahata, remarking that Child Prodigy or not, Negi's still a ten-year-old boy who should "stay at home with his parents where he belongs." At that point, Takahata informs her that Negi's parents disappeared when he was a baby, and he was raised by his older sister. Reflecting how Negi had crawled into her bed while she was asleep and explained to her that he's used to sharing a bed with his sister, Asuna is taken aback.
    Asuna: I guess I shouldn't have been so hard on him. The little brat's been through enough as it is.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • In Friends to the End, Ash was very upset about losing the Indigo League in an unflattering way and accused Misty of calling him lazy, which was technically true at the time. However, Ash realized that he was acting like a big baby when he sees and listens to how Ritchie dealt with his losses.
    • In Charizard Chills, Ash's Charizard, who's been refusing to obey its Trainer ever since it evolved twice as it would sleep instead of battling, disrespectful and Berserker attitude leads it to nearly getting the flame on its tail doused by a Poliwrath's Water Gun, and then nearly killed by an Ice Beam, leading Ash to spend the entire night unfreezing him and nursing him back to health. Seeing and listening to Ash, Charizard remembers everything its Trainer did for it, beginning when he saved its life when its original trainer abused and abandoned it. With that, Charizard realizes how badly it has treated Ash, and by morning, it regains its loyalty and respect for him.
    • In Turning Over A New Bayleef, Ash lashed out at his Bayleef to get away and stay from him, after she tried to approach him slowly, as he kept getting tackled by her. However, after a while, Ash realized Bayleef's absence and went looking for her. With the help of his friends, Ash realized that he didn't consider Bayleef's feelings and felt bad for yelling at her. Despite his attempts to apologize to Bayleef, Ash kept getting the silent treatment from her but he earned her forgiveness when she saw his attempts to save her from Team Rocket.
    • In Brave the Wave!, Ash gets frustrated about his Gym Battle loss with Brawly as he thought he wasn't being serious because of his carefree personality. Ash even snapped at his friends when they scolded him and tried to help him then he ran off with Pikachu not far behind him. However, while walking with Pikachu, Ash realized that he really lost it towards his friends and was wrong about Brawly as he can be a serious Gym Leader, after witnessing him train with his newly evolve Pokémon.
    • In Seeing the Forest for the Trees!, after losing his Gym battle against Wulfric and decided to leave for the Winding Woods alone, Ash became very upset with his confidence shattered and questioning himself. A very worried Serena attempted to cheer him up, but he ended up snapping at her. After seeing a frustrated and heartbroken Serena pointing out that he's not acting himself, Ash realized that he really hurt her and was right about his behavior. Meanwhile, Serena felt bad for losing her temper towards Ash as she believed to be responsible for making him leave further into the Winding Woods. After reuniting with one another, Serena attempted to apologize first for losing it but Ash stopped her from saying anything as he assured her that he was the one who really lost it then apologized and thanked her for helping him get out of his depression.
    • In Mission: Total Recall!, Lusamine was hit hard when Gladion called her out for failing to notice Lillie's trauma. Hearing Gladion's words, Lusamine felt ashamed and instantly apologized to Lillie when she meets up with her.
    • Chloe distanced herself from befriending Pokémon and treated the family Yamper with coldness. Although she did come to respect him during the events of Best Friend... Worst Nightmare!, Chloe still kept her distance around Yamper and other Pokémon. However, in There's a New Kid in Town!, Chloe realized how she badly treated Yamper, after hearing how jealous she was during her childhood and remembering that he rescued her from a group of Venonat. Since then, Chloe has grown closer to Yamper and opened herself back up into befriending and loving Pokémon again.
  • The Quintessential Quintuplets: Nino Nakano is the last among the quintuplets to accept Fuutarou as their tutor, largely in part due to seeing him as an interloper in their home, and actively tries to stir up conflict in order to get him out of their lives. After she has a spat with Itsuki that causes them both to run away from home, Fuutarou tries to talk to her disguised as his "cousin" Kintarou (whom she has a crush on) and he tells her that he doesn't care about studying and all he wants is that she and her sisters are together. It's at this moment that Nino realizes that he genuinely cares for them, though with her being a rather prideful Tsundere, she still takes a few more chapters (and an Important Haircut followed by a Love Epiphany) to finally have it sink in.
  • In Rent-A-Girlfriend, Kazuya gives Chizuru a piece of his mind at the aquarium. He realizes that he was wrong to take his anger out on her when she retaliates.
  • Rosario + Vampire: In chapter 7 of the manga, when Kurumu skips out on the Newspaper Club, Moka speculates that Kurumu doesn't actually care about the club or think of her as friends. It reaches a head when Kurumu walks out on them again when their half-finished newspaper draft goes missing; Moka snaps, openly accuses Kurumu of only thinking about herself when everyone else is having a hard time, and orders her to just leave the club and not come back. Shortly after, they discover a blackmail letter and multiple dirty photos addressed to Kurumu in the Newspaper Club's toolbox, and they realize that Kurumu has been acting the way she is because she's being the victim of blackmail and stalking, courtesy of Nagare Kano, and she went to confront him to get the newspaper he stole back. Moka is hit with this, and when they go to help her out, she outright bursts into Tears of Remorse while apologizing:
    Moka: I'm sorry! I didn't know about it and misunderstood your intentions!
  • School Days: Say what you will about Makoto Ito, but he gets hit with this twice in the anime. Though the second time it happens, he gets hit with a knife in the gut before he can actually make amends.
  • The Secret Garden: Mary Lennox and Colin Craven were both Spoiled Brats who grew up extremely sheltered and were neglected by their parents. Mary was grumpy and ill-tempered, while Colin used his illness as an excuse to mope around. After Mary realizes that she's been acting like a horrible person, she strives to do better and begins by spending time with Dickon and adopting his mannerisms. Later, she inspires Colin to do the same as well.
  • Tokiko, the protagonist of Shi ni Aruki, has been exposed to so much death that she barely reacts to it emotionally. When her adoptive father Tokiko dies under mysterious circumstances, Tokiko casually reads a book she found near his body as her family members grieve, then has a similarly callous reaction to two of her adoptive siblings dying. When she meets an insane Serial Killer who believes that he can purify himself by eating people, she has an epiphany about herself.
    Tokiko: How can he go on about something so sickening without... Oh. So that's it. To my family... this is how I looked.
  • Sword Art Online: Asuna's mother, Kyouko, is initially shown to be a Fantasy-Forbidding Mother and very controlling of her daughter's life. By the latter parts of Volume 7 (Season 2 Episode 23 of the anime), she, using Asuna's "Erika" account, has a heart-to-heart with Asuna within ALO. When Asuna confides to Kyouko that her own parents are proud of her achievements and that Asuna's time in SAO and ALO taught her the value of having people who can appreciate her deeds, Kyouko realizes she has been an ungrateful mother and breaks down in Tears of Remorse.
  • At the start of A Timid Woman Longing For Her Delivery Girl, Takase is working as a freelancer, having left her old company after a male coworker sexually harassed her and she overheard her female coworkers claim that she should have been fired instead of the man, before insincerely expressing concern for her. She meets a friendly young delivery woman named Rinko but is initially cold and distant toward her. Over time, however, she realizes that Riko is just as nice as she seems, and that her behavior was unwarranted.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: It's discovered that Splinter and the Turtles are slowly being Brought Down to Normal as a result of their presence in the DC Universe, with them allying with Batman to get back home. During this time, Raphael gets impatient with Batman and gives him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, outright declaring him to be nothing but "a selfish little rich kid" who beats up bad guys for the fun of it who he refuses to put his faith in. Raph gets hit with this trope when Batman takes him to Crime Alley, where his parents were gunned down in front of him, and explains how that loss motivates him to do what he does.
  • Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four: After a Trauma Conga Line of his experiment going wrong and endangering thousands of lives, Professor Ito admits to Reed Richards that the latter is not a Glory Seeker as he had thought, but a true scientist, while he is what people in their profession refer to as a "jerk".
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics): After returning from space, Sonic dates Fiona despite full knowledge of Tails' crush on her, both because he was hurting over his recent breakup with Sally, and because he knew that Fiona had no interest in him and he wanted to stop Tails from being hurt. Instead, it just heavily strains his friendship with Tails, Sonic unaware of just how angry and hurt Tails is over the mess until the tensions explode and lead to a physical fight between the two shortly after the destruction of Knothole. All the while, Sonic is confused and has no clue why Tails has such a beef with him until Tails flat-out screams it at him in a rage and chews him out over dismissing his feelings for Fiona and lack of sensitivity. It's at that moment Sonic realizes just how insensitive and selfish his choosing to date Fiona really was and leads him to apologize and even offer to let Tails beat him up as payback.
    Sonic: I've been a jerk to you, man. I didn't mean it, but it doesn't change the fact that I was.
  • Superman:
    • In the Silver Age story Superman (1939) #172, Superman is forced to choose a successor to the title when a meteor strips him of his powers, and he selects a young Kandorian, Ar-Val. The fame quickly goes to Ar-Val's head, to the point where he secretly uses his superpowers to create crises so he can show off. When the former Superman throws himself in front of a Kryptonite spear for him, Ar-Val nearly kills the villains responsible in rage. After settling the matter, he steps outside to think about how horrible he's been.
    • The entirety of Superman: Savage Dawn, but especially the events of Action Comics Vol. 2 #50, has the Man of Steel finally stop being the Jerkass loner he'd become since Superman: Truth and realize he'd always had friends looking out for him, especially people like his ex-girlfriend Wonder Woman and Lois Lane, who blew his secret identity to save him. It's driven home when the villain Metallo, who is badly injured protecting Lois, willingly surrenders his Kryptonite heart to empower Superman.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): At a women's shelter, Artemis tells an abuse survivor that she's a coward for the way she fled her abusive husband to save her kids, and that her kids would be better off if she were dead. Artemis arrogantly refuses to back down despite reactions, and only seems to realize just how awful she's been when the woman ends up shot by her husband.

    Fairy Tales 
  • "The Grave Mound" opens with a rich man hearing a mysterious voice asking him what he has done in service of his fellow man with the money he has accrued. The rich man is shocked and horrified to realize that he has spent his time on earth as a cruel miser, and kicks off the plot by sharing his food with a struggling single father. The poor man returns the rich man's only act of kindness by conning the devil out of claiming the rich man's soul.

    Films — Animation 
  • A Bug's Life: After Flik reveals he understands how Atta feels when she says the colony is all watching her, waiting for her to screw up, Atta realizes she was just as guilty of treating him that way, apologizes, makes it up to him and is nicer to him from then on.
  • In Cars, Lightning McQueen has his when he learns about Doc Hudson's Dark and Troubled Past where a horrible crash cost him his racing career for good, and he finally discovers what an awful jerk he's been over the course of the movie, making him undergo his Character Development. Doc also has one when he's called out by Sally for calling the press about where Lightning is so he can get him out of town and send him off to the tiebreaker race.
  • Chicken Little: Buck spends two thirds of the movie having a hard time believing in his son. When Chicken Little and Kirby (The baby alien) enters into a movie theater, Buck tries to run away with his son, but Chicken Little stops him and criticizes him for never beliving him or support him (other than the Baseball game), ever since the acorn incident. Buck comes to realize, his son was right all along, and takes the blame to himself, up to an extended, when he admits he's a bad father.
  • Imelda in Coco is completely unwilling to forgive her husband for 96 years for supposedly walking out on her family to the point that she completely bans any music in her household and erase any presence of him in their household and later upon dying in the afterlife, she rejects any and all attempts at him to apologize and explain and left him behind to rot. But then upon being told the truth that Hector intended to return before being murdered along with the fact that he is on the verge of being Deader than Dead, Imelda gets horrified by what she had done to the point that despite being unable to forgive him right away, she agrees to help him live by retrieving the photo that Ernesto has confiscated.
  • In Eight Crazy Nights, after Whitey tells Elanor about Davey's past when his parents were killed in a car accident one night after he won the basketball tournament, Davey flips out at him and calls him a freak, tells him nobody likes him, and that he will never win the patch of appreciation for his charity. Later, Davey has an epiphany realizing that he's been a dick to everyone because of his bitterness towards his parents' deaths and turning to alcohol as a crutch, and Whitey, who had taken him in after his trailer burned down, really isn't appreciated by the townspeople who take advantage of his kindness. He goes to the town banquet to apologize for his behavior over the years and calls out the townspeople for their treatment of Whitey and that he had probably treated him worst of all, the townspeople regret the way they treated him and help Davey give Whitey a surprise party and give him the appreciation patch he's always wanted.
  • In Inside Out, Joy has one after she and Bing Bong end up in the Memory Dump with Riley's core memories. Joy not only realizes she's caused all sorts of trouble with her attempts to keep Riley happy, but when she finds a memory with a mixture of Sadness and Joy, Joy realizes Sadness does have a purpose and she's been pushing her to the side all these years for no reason. This gives her the resolve to escape the dump and make things right.
  • In Kung Fu Panda, Shifu is angry that Po is chosen to be the Dragon Warrior by apparent accident, so he does his best to give Po severe training to drive him out of the palace. But when Tai Lung escapes from prison and Oogway ascends into the heavens, Po is very frightened and tells off Shifu, also saying that whatever abuse Shifu threw at him, nothing hurt him more than living with his faults and failures and how he wants to learn kung fu to change him into someone better. This makes Shifu realize that he cannot train Po the way he had trained the Furious Five, and he decides to train Po a different way.
  • In The LEGO Batman Movie, it takes getting sent to the Phantom Zone and having Phyllis the guardian point out all the times he's pushed people away to make Batman realize how much damage his lone-wolf vigilante shtick has done to his life.
  • In Migration, Pam has this after she and Mack were caged by the Chef and captured with Uncle Dan, Delroy and the other ducks in the Chef’s helicopter, realizing Mack was right about how dangerous their trip would be after her insistence to go and panicking about their kids, all while she worryingly goes through a Despair Event Horizon until Mack raises her spirits.
    Pam: (realizing) It’s hopeless, Mack…
    Mack: What? No, no, no, no! It’s not hopeless, we can do this!
  • ParaNorman: Implied when Norman lashes out and yells at his friends (out of frustration) to get out when searching for Agatha's records. He rants about how Courtney never listens to him and no one else listens to him, and how everyone thinks he's a freak. While she did leave, after seeing him endanger himself she becomes more kind and supportive to Norman, implying she realizes how much pain he is in when he was an outcast and now she wants to help him.
  • Puss in Boots: The Last Wish: While he's already going through a serious Break the Haughty moment throughout the film, this trope kicks in once Puss meets his past lives and is incredibly put off by how boastful and selfish they are. After they mock him for how much he's changed, he ends up calling them (and in turn, himself) out for their standoffish attitude.
  • Rugrats in Paris: Chaz has one after seeing Coco for who she really was, it dawns on him that he got caught up in the romantic atmosphere of Paris, he didn't realize who he was romancing until it was almost too late.
  • The Simpsons Movie: Homer's major character arc in the film is having one of these, after he finally drives his family away from by selfishly choosing to stay in Alaska to let Springfield and all the people in it be destroyed, because of a situation he caused, while throwing the very words he used to convince Marge to stick by him earlier back in her face, and going back to save his family and town.
    • There's also a major subplot of him driving away his son Bart, who gradually turns to Ned Flanders as a Parental Substitute. Homer eventually recognizes his failure as a father and they rekindle their relationship while saving Springfield together in the climax.
  • Shrek:

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 16 Wishes: Abby waited for eight years of her life for her sixteenth birthday as she wanted things her way and made a list. When the day arrives and got sixteen magic candles from a fairy godmother, Abby got everything she wanted at first until she made a wish that everyone would stop treating her like a kid but it instead made her an adult. However, through that wish, Abby realized how bratty and selfish she was to everyone around her, especially her friends and family. After making a wish to redo her sixteenth birthday, Abby starts treating everyone around her better.
  • In the film Chasing Christmas, as Jack Cameron is dragged through the past when Christmas Past goes rogue, he comes to acknowledge that his attitude towards Christmas has been excessive (he caught his wife cheating on him and since then has hated the holiday), while seeing himself from outside helps him realise how and why he failed as a husband. Ultimately, when he learns that Past’s presence in his past will erase him from existence, Jack is initially prepared to accept that as he recognises he’s been unfair, but Present convinces him to keep fighting when she points out that erasing Jack from existence will also erase his daughter.
  • Subverted in Dead Poets Society. After discovering that Neil has committed suicide, Mr. Perry initially shouts "Neil!", but starts saying "My son, my son!" afterwards.
  • In Dennis the Menace, Mr. Wilson gives Dennis a "The Reason You Suck" Speech when the latter tells him that his house has been robbed, causing him to miss the blooming and death of a rare flower he bred at a garden party he hosted. Dennis runs away as a result, and when Henry and Alice return from their business trips, Mr. Wilson realizes that Dennis running away was his fault and searches everywhere for him. Though he doesn't succeed in finding Dennis, who is instead found by Switchblade Sam, he is very distraught and relieved when Dennis returns the next morning on his bicycle, carrying a defeated Sam in his wagon.
  • Hocus Pocus 2: Mike regularly makes fun of people's interests but doesn't realize he's doing it, instead thinking he's just making casual conversation. He's genuinely horrified when Becca and Izzy call him out on this and he realize he'll have to apologize to a lot of people.
  • Home Alone: Kate realizes how unfair and neglectful she was towards Kevin when she finds out that she left him behind while rushing to the plane and spends the rest of the movie doing everything she can to get back to him.
  • In the film version of It, the now-adult members of the Losers Club hold a meeting to talk about old times and discuss their plans for taking down the eponymous creature. One of their number, Stan, is conspicuously absent, which causes the other members of the club to playfully ridicule him and berate him for being late. Soon afterwards, they get a phone call that puts an immediate end to the frivolity—Stan had committed suicide the night before.
  • Mortal Kombat: The Movie: Raiden is fond of this trope. A rare humorous Jerkass Realization.
    Raiden: The fate of billions will depend upon you. Heh heh heh heh! ...sorry.
  • Not Okay: As her lie falls apart and the world turns on her, Danni is forced to acknowledge to a support group that she wasn't that nice a person before this all started and even worse once she got famous. Notably, a member of the group calls her out on "you're saying you learned but at the end of the day you're a privileged white girl who thinks she's the main character." Danni admits that's right in how she's not sure if she really has grown and learned anything from this. The final scene does have her affected by hearing Rowan's poem railing on her lies and leaving in tears at how Rowan is a true survivor while Danni was only pretending to be.
  • A meta-example: Jake LaMotta has said he never truly realized how terribly he treated the people in his life until he saw the events dramatized by Martin Scorsese in Raging Bull (which he worked as a consultant on).
  • In SHAZAM! (2019), After Billy searching for a long time to find his mom and found out that she wants no part in his life, he realized that his obsession to find his mother had made him selfish and he was being cold, and distant to his foster family and makes it up by embracing his new life with them.
  • Space Jam: A New Legacy: Lebron has a big one when after arguing with the Looney Tunes about his coaching methods, he realized he was crushing them (and by extension, his son) with his expectations and finally started making things right by playing their version of basketball as well as apologizing to Dom for not having supported him on his computer skills.
  • Turkey Hollow: After getting kidnapped, Annie thinks about her life and realizes how poorly she treats her parents and her brother. She treats everyone better from that point on.

  • Accomplishments of the Duke's Daughter: After seeing how hard his sister and family are working and how wasteful and useless his friends are in actually aiding the kingdom, Berne realizes that he should never have sided with the second prince. He later owns up to his mistake and apologizes to Iris for turning on her when she needed him most, but while she accepts the apology, she also tells him that she can't forgive him yet.
  • Bazil Broketail: Wiliger goes through this a few times in book four, but it doesn't tend to stick and he goes back to being a Jerkass after another (real or imagined) slight from his subordinates. However, witnessing his men and dragons dying in a terrible manner during the battle at Tog Utbek horrifies him, and makes him finally realize what an awful man he was towards them until this point.
  • The Berenstain Bears Big Chapter Books: Throughout The Berenstain Bears and the Wheelchair Commando, Harry McGill has stubbornly refused to be friendly towards anyone because he thinks they only want to know how he became a paraplegic or that they pity him because of his condition, and otherwise don't care about him as an actual person, no matter how friendly they try to be. When Brother decides to stick up for him against Too-Tall and Harry still thinks it's only because Brother pities him, Brother's finally had enough and calls him out over his jumping to conclusions before telling him why he really stood up for Harry (because he can't stand Too-Tall's bullying anyone). Harry, realizing that Brother really means what he's saying (with a little help from Freddy, who tells him about another time Brother stood up to Too-Tall), finally admits that he had Brother and Fred all wrong, and apologizes.
  • The Black Arrow: Main character Richard "Dick" Shelton stumbles upon a boy named John Matcham wandering around the moor and promises to guide him through the forest. Shortly after, Dick discovers that "John" is really a -beautiful- girl called Joanna Sedley, he embarrassedly remembers their interactions during their trip (featuring Dick complaining about "John" being a wimp, Dick ranting to "John" about not wanting to get married ever because all women are witches, Dick complaining about "John" hindering him every time Dick wants to do something stupid... and, most importantly, Dick wanting to hit "John" during an argument and then whining about the unfairness of being called a bully if he ever went ahead with it), and he feels like a blithering idiot.
  • In The Dinosaur Lords, Melodía, after acting condescendingly to all of her ladies-in-waiting, realizes that they all have Hidden Depths and are smarter than they look. She concludes gloomily that she's been a self-righteous jerkass and the most shallow girl in her clique.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Harry gets several of these, mostly involving Murphy: a few books into the series, he starts letting down the "secretive wizard" routine and sharing more important information, realising that she deserved to know and he wasn't doing anyone any good with it, and much later on, in Small Favor, she mentions her concerns with his increasingly short temper and destructive streak (even by Harry's standards), and he starts working to get a hold on it.
    • In Proven Guilty, Molly rakes her mother over the coals for continually treating Harry like some kind of craven, selfish parasite no matter how much he did for them. Charity gets a lot nicer to Harry from then on, even after Michael is seriously injured in a magical crisis involving Harry.
    • In Turn Coat, Morgan finally seems to have realised that his Inspector Javert nonsense directed at Harry in the early books was out of line; while he's still crabby, aggressive and argumentative, he's lightened up a bit and seems to trust Harry to have his back. He dies less than a minute after effectively admitting he was wrong.
      Morgan: I knew that you knew how it felt to be an innocent man hounded by the Wardens.
  • There are many examples in the Harry Potter series.
    • One was when Ron was craning his neck to get a look at the Longbottoms' beds, then he is told of the Longbottoms' condition.
    • When Hermione is lecturing Harry again about his connection to Voldemort and makes the mistake of saying he likes it. Harry's Death Glare pretty much shuts her up and has her bending over backwards to apologize.
    • The Magical Maintenance man the trio forced to leave in Deathly Hallows was there to be with his wife when she had to go up against Umbridge and the Anti-Muggle trial, cue Jerkass Realization.
    • Slughorn is pretty much a vest-wearing walking example of this trope.
    • When Hermione criticizes The Quibbler in front of Luna in a very Jerkass way, then finds out Luna's the daughter of the Quibbler's Editor, though seeing as how Luna had been reading it when Hermione walked in, it was rather rude regardless.
    • In Order of the Phoenix, Dudley has one when he is attacked by the dementor and is shown the sort of person he really is. This causes Dudley to cease bullying Harry (he is never shown to pick on him again after this point in the books) and try to be a better person (leaving tea outside Harry's room, telling Harry he doesn't think he's a waste of space).
    • Harry himself went through this in the fifth book. When his mental connection to Voldemort as well as Umbridge's actions at Hogwarts make him rude and short with Ron and Hermione, he realizes how moody he'd been. He tries to reel himself in, though he keeps being rather touchy throughout the book until Sirius dies. And even after that, he goes off on Dumbledore in his grief over it.
  • The novel How to Rock Braces and Glasses by Meg Haston is basically a book-long one of these for protagonist Kacey Simon. She's the Alpha Bitch of her school, but she genuinely believes that her Brutal Honesty is helpful and beneficial to those she uses it on. After losing her popularity due to the sudden acquisition of braces and glasses, she realizes that her fellow students mostly consider her a colossal Jerkass and sets out to change this fact by being nicer.
  • Men at Arms: Angua discovers a notebook in Vimes' desk, filled with women's names and corresponding amounts of money. She voices her outrage that Vimes, a man soon to be married, is spending so much money on prostitutes, when Carrot informs her (voice entirely devoid of inflection) that they're the widows and orphans of watchmen who fell in the line of duty.
  • In The Mouse Watch, Bernie Skampersky is a Troubled Sympathetic Bigot mouse who hates and fears rats because one of them killed her brother. When she's accepted into the titular Heroes "R" Us team she's paired up with another rookie, a rat named Jarvis Slinktail. Bernie struggles with her prejudice, alternating between accusing Jarvis of being a traitor and starting to like him in spite of herself until The Reveal that another character is the actual traitor causes her to realize how wrong she's been. She apologizes to Jarvis at the first opportunity and finally accepts him as a friend.
  • In the The Railway Series book More About Thomas The Tank Engine, Thomas and Percy got into a bitter quarrel which started with Thomas blaming Percy for intentionally covering him in coal, and in the last book "Drip Tank", Thomas was even more unsympathetic towards Percy, calling him a "drip" during their argument in the sheds. After Percy rescues him from his accident with a punctured water tank, Thomas becomes ashamed of his behavior and apologizes to him for calling him a "drip" and finally reconciles their friendship. It is from that point on that Thomas becomes more humble and kind throughout the series.
  • The Scholomance: Chloe's last scene in the first book has her apologizing to El for treating her so coldly earlier on and for taking the protection of her enclave for granted.
    Chloe: That day Orion introduced us, I acted like all I needed to have you be my friend was let you know that I was willing to let you talk to me. Like I'm so special. But I'm not. I'm just lucky.
  • Temeraire: In Black Powder War, the protagonist Captain Laurence realizes that he's been treating Tharkay with undue suspicion and hostility, in part due to his mixed ancestry, and offers both a sincere apology and a declaration of how valuable Tharkay has been on his journey. Tharkay, to his own surprise, accepts and later brings The Cavalry at a crucial juncture.
  • Villains Are Destined to Die: Some characters end up realizing that the way they treated Penelope was nothing short of awful. Emily comes to deeply regret how she treated Penelope, even the butler sees how his indifference towards Penelope has hurt her as well, since it enabled the mistreatment by the rest of the servitude under him and made her more prone to lashing out. Callisto is very well aware that holding a defenseless and frail woman at swordpoint and cutting her in the neck was a dick move. Siyeon's real-life family has this as well, although far too late to make amends with Siyeon, who decides to live on as Penelope and cuts the life support of her original body.
  • The Witchlands: Merik realizes that for the past few weeks, he's been going full-on I Reject Your Reality and It's All About Me when the only person left willing to put up with his moods leaves him after giving him a brief "The Reason You Suck" Speech.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrested Development: A rare moment when a character actually realizes that they've said something terrible:
    Tobias: [to Michael] ...And second-of-ly, I know you're the big marriage expert — oh, I'm sorry, I forgot, your wife is dead!
    [Michael and Lindsay stare in silence]
    Tobias: I'm sorry, that was one hundred percent inappropriate and I do apologize profusely. I do apologize profusely, I'm — oh...
  • In the Grand Finale of The Big Bang Theory, when Sheldon once again angers his friends by not caring at all about their personal lives, they are beginning to consider going home. They don't feel like supporting Sheldon when he never does so for them. When Sheldon complains about this to Amy, she tells him that he has always been putting his needs over his friends and the only reason they have tolerated it for years is that he has never meant to. Sheldon asks if this also includes her. She sadly says that, at times, it has. This leaves him stunned so much that when the actual ceremony comes, he takes every second to personally thank his friends and wife for their impact on his life.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: In the first episode, Jake constantly mocks and rebels against the new police captain Holt's strict policies and attempts to get him to behave more maturely until he learns that the reason Holt is so fanatic about making his force run as smoothly as possible is that he was constantly denied opportunities to rise up in the police force because of his homosexuality and this is his first real chance to prove his worth as a captain. After hearing all this from Holt, Jake apologizes to him for being an insensitive jerk and makes an effort to behave (somewhat) better in future episodes.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In the season 2 premiere "When She Was Bad", Buffy comes back to Sunnydale having Took a Level in Jerkass as a result of her temporary death at the Master's hands; she is sullen, actively lashes out at people, and flirts with Xander purely to upset Angel (and hurts Xander and Willow as a result). She gets hit with this when her refusal to cooperate with the other Scoobies leads to Giles and Willow being kidnapped and nearly ritually sacrificed.
    • In the season 3 episode "Revelations", Xander, furious that Angel is Back from the Dead and Buffy withheld it from the rest of the Scoobies, gives Faith the bare minimum of details regarding it, knowing she won't hesitate to stake Angel. However, Angel isn't evil anymore and helps in the resulting fight against the treacherous Watcher Gwen Post. While his lie to Buffy in "Becoming, Part 2" was a bit justified, since Angelus was actively trying to bring about an apocalypse, Xander realizes that he crossed a line here, and makes it up to Buffy by helping her save Angel from the First in "Amends."
    • During the season 5 episode "Forever", Willow and Xander run into Spike, who's in the process of trying to deliver a bouquet of flowers to the Summers home. Xander believes he's trying to take advantage of Buffy's mother's death to score points with Buffy, but Spike adamantly insists that he was actually trying to pay his respects to Joyce, as she was the only one of Buffy's "lot" that was ever nice to him. Xander refuses to believe Spike, who eventually gives in, throws the flowers down, and storms off, telling Xander to think whatever he wants. As soon as he's gone, Willow picks up the bouquet and informs Xander that Spike didn't include a card with the flowers, surprising them both with the knowledge that Spike really was trying to pay his respects.
    • In the above episode, Dawn openly accuses Buffy of not caring or even grieving over their mother's death, because she's been running around and treating it like "just another chore." At that, Buffy breaks down and confesses that, far from being emotionless about Joyce's death, Buffy has been bottling up her emotions because it's the only way she can deal with the grief. Dawn's expression as Buffy steadily breaks down into grief-stricken sobbing goes from cold anger to tearful horror as she realizes just how much her older sister is hurting.
    • In the season six episode "Entropy", once Buffy's Secret Relationship with Spike is revealed, while the other Scoobies accept it relatively easily, Xander is left shocked and horrified, spending the majority of the next episode, "Seeing Red," confused and disgusted as to why she would ever want to have sex with him. Eventually, however, Xander realizes and acknowledges that he gave her plenty of reason not to tell him, and he reacted exactly as badly as she feared he would.
  • Doctor Who: In "It Takes You Away", Erik leaves his blind daughter, Hanne, in their remote cottage with a "Scooby-Doo" Hoax recording playing outside to keep her in the house while he hangs out in an alternate universe where there's a version of his dead wife. When he finally comes back, he sees the writing the Doctor left on the wall for Ryan before she went through the portal, telling Ryan to assume Hanne's father is dead and to find someone who can take care of him, where it finally dawns on him what he almost did.
  • One of these effectively drives the whole plot of My Name Is Earl. While Earl is laid up in the hospital after being hit by a car that cost him a $100k lotto ticket, he ends up watching Carson Daly talk about karma, and puts it together that the reason his life is an unhappy disaster is because he's been nothing but a pile of garbage his whole life. As such, he decides to right all the wrongs he's ever committed.
  • Family Matters: In "Words Hurt", the Winslows hire a hypnotherapist to find out why Steve is sleepwalking and attacking Carl at night. It turns out that a few months ago, Steven accidentally wrecked Carl's prized model ship and Carl, after throwing him out of the house, ranted about how he wished that he would just go away and never come back, not knowing that he heard everything. Carl is absolutely mortified when he learns this and his family starts to alienate him for his words.
  • Full House:
    • In "Just Say No Way", Jesse is absolutely furious when he catches D.J. holding a can of beer at a school dance he was performing for, not knowing that she was actually trying to prevent her then-boyfriend Kevin from drinking it. After Kevin vouches for D.J. (the principal having caught him red-handed and about to suspend him from school), Jesse realizes that he's been throwing the book at his niece for no reason and promptly heads back to apologize.
    • In "The Trouble with Danny", Danny is making the family clean the house for Spring Cleaning Day and they have a private meeting in D.J.'s room to vent their anger at his Neat Freak personality, not knowing that Danny was inside the closet at the time listening onto the whole thing. This prompts him to try to change his image and become a slob, and it's when he tells the others that he's no longer, to quote Joey, "a psycho with a dust mop" do they realize that they've hurt his feelings.
  • Galavant: In the third episode of season one, the titular knight Galavant, Princess Isabella, and Galavant's put-upon squire Sidney take a rest at Sydney's hometown. There the former two learn Sydney hasn't been completely honest with his parents and the whole town, with them thinking Sydney is the knight and Galavant is his squire. Though unhappy about it, Galavant plays along and later works with the other squires in town, who are treated poorly as well, to set up a party for Sidney's return. The other squires begin a song about how every knight is a "Jackass in a Can."note . While listening to them complain about how they view knights, Galavant finds himself joining in singing the final verse, "[All] That jerkface in a can /There's nothing sadder than / [Galavant] Some over-muscled, chauvinistic / Self-indulgent, egotistic / Stingy, prissy, narcississy / [All] Jackass in a can!." Upon finishing the song, Galavant realizes that he is much like the men these squires mock. Later at a party takes Sydney aside and apologises for his behavior and honestly thanks him for his hard work as well as saying his parents should be told the truth and they will still love and respect their son.
  • Girl Meets World: In the episode "Girl Meets Popular", Riley ends up becoming an icon for Farkle's gang of nerds, even changing up her entire outlook to become a Harajuku girl to fit in with them. During the spelling bee scene near the end, Maya changes Riley's given word to "Harajuku", causing Riley to come to her senses and throws the match.
  • In Episode 2x04 of Glee, Rachel Berry has a self-inflicted one of these when she finally realizes that her determination to win at everything and hog all the spotlight, all the time, has made her into a genuinely loathsome individual. She then spends the rest of the episode trying to lose at something so she can consider herself a good person again. Shame it doesn't last - by Episode 2x09 she's walking into class with her mouth taped up in protest over someone else being featured at Sectionals, and when her eternal rival Quinn Fabray hands her an immensely satisfying talking-to about the selfish 'schoolgirl bubble' in which she lives her life in 2x15, all it inspires is a dreary self-justificatory whine set to music - but it was nice while it did...
  • In the third Horatio Hornblower telefilm, Midshipman Hunter hates Horatio's penchant for prudence and "cheating" tactics, believing himself to be braver and more dutiful. When they're captured, Hunter disobeys orders by forming his own escape plan, which ends in total disaster. Horatio immediately claims that the whole thing was his idea, knowing that he'll be shoved in the Punishment Box that broke another shipmate, and refuses all persuasion to tell the truth. Hunter realizes his error, becoming quite subdued and anxious about how Horatio is suffering in his stead.
  • Mimpi Metropolitan: Bambang has been acting rude towards Melani for a couple episodes due to her rejection and his unfounded jealousy. At the end of episode 43, Melani finally talks back, which doesn't move Bambang, and ends up crying. Bambang's expression changes from spiteful to regretful when her tears appear and he spends several hours regretting that he makes a woman cry. However, it takes some time for him to apologize, because he gets distracted by the realization that Melani is implying that she loves him too.
  • NCIS: Tony does this when talking about Gibbs often, he mentions things like his divorce rate, or something about bourbon, cue the scene of Gibbs standing behind him, or walking in from nowhere.
  • The Orville: Klyden is vehemently against Topa's decision to become female again and when he is unable to prevent the gender reassignment procedure he tells Topa he wishes she was never born before leaving her and Bortus. However, once he discovers the Moclan military abducted, tortured, and nearly murdered Topa, Klyden is so disgusted with himself not only for having thought like those people, but also of how Topa's kidnapping wouldn't have happened without his own hurtful comments, that he returns to the Orville and tearfully apologizes to Topa, admitting he was wrong to think so poorly of her.
  • Paper Girls: Mac's brother apologizes for how poorly he treated her when they were kids as, being a father himself, he knows how crappy that was and worse following her death.
  • Scrubs: Quite a fan of these moments as well.
    • After JD's father passes away, JD gets mad at Cox, Cox narrowly averts this trope by getting mad at JD but immediately feeling like a Jerkass, as he knows JD's father has died. Then Ted joins in the taunting of JD, Ted asks why are they clapping and Dr. Cox says, "His dad died..." Ted then immediately stops clapping. "Damn it..."
    • Also in Season 8 when Elliot is shown how depressed Keith is over her treatment of him.
    • A rather odd one in where JD has just revealed to the entire waiting room that he received a DUI last night. Cue flashback to a few minutes ago with Laverne Roberts saying that a girl involved in a drunk driving accident had made it, but her mother had died. However, the jerkassery lies in the way that he brought it up so flippantly, not in the DUI itself since, as we see earlier in the episode, he actually got it for walking (not driving) his moped home while drunk, with the moped on only to play the radio, making it seem like he was about to get on while intoxicated.
    • Dr. Cox spends most of an episode doing community service and is being driven up the wall by Denise Lemmon, an annoyingly optimistic paramedic, who simply will not shut up about her son, her son's favorite baseball card, or how he'll always be ten years old to her. Eventually, after Denise crashes the ambulance, Cox loses it and goes off on a rant towards her. Minutes later another paramedic hands Cox the baseball card, that was recovered from the ambulance, and Cox finally puts the pieces together, realizing that Denise's son had been killed in an accident.
    • In another episode, Dr. Cox, a Hollywood Atheist, becomes determined to convince Laverne, a devout Christian, that everything is a coincidence. When he inevitably pushes things way too far, Laverne gives him an epic Shut Up, Hannibal!, telling him that she needs there to be a God and a bigger reason behind the things that happen to patients because it helps her cope with the horrors of watching people die around the hospital every day. Cox softly offers an apology and stops pushing the issue.
  • In Sherlock, the eponymous hero never holds back from telling the truth as he sees it, generally not caring (or even realizing) if he offends or upsets people in the process. But every now and then he has a moment of clarity where he belatedly realizes just how insensitive he’s being.
    • One notable example is when he draws attention to one of Molly’s hand-wrapped Christmas presents, stating that she’s obviously arranged it specifically for someone she has romantic feelings for, and spends a good few minutes rather brutally lampooning her for it, before picking up the parcel and realizing that it’s his name written on the card (by which time Molly is close to tears and everyone else in the room is massively uncomfortable). For once, he not only realizes what a jerk he has been, he actually apologizes, to the shock of everyone watching.
    • Another example takes place when Mycroft visits the flat and at one point ends up very rudely telling Mrs. Hudson to stay out of the conversation, leading Sherlock to bring him to heel. When Sherlock has to tell you to stop acting like a jerk, you know you've screwed up royally. Mycroft immediately apologizes. This turns into a spot of Hypocritical Heartwarming since after chastising Mycroft, Sherlock then also immediately tells Mrs. Hudson to butt out of things.
    • In the first episode, upon being told that the "Rachel" message the victim carved on the floor is the name of her miscarried daughter, Sherlock launches into a rant about how this makes no sense because she shouldn't still care about something that happened so long ago. The look of sheer dismay on John's face at this blatant lack of compassion stops him cold, and after a moment he hesitantly admits that what he said was "not good".
  • Stargate SG-1: In "Lifeboat", Daniel Jackson becomes the host for about a dozen different consciousnesses, and the team goes back to the planet where it happened, they find the person responsible, then Sam and Teal'c pretty much ordered him to remove the said consciousnesses from Jackson's mind, thus killing them, theorizing that they are already dead. Then they find out they've just asked the man to kill his 10-year old son. Yep, Sam and Teal'c are Jerkassess.
    • Though Teal'c justifiably points out that Daniel wasn't given the chance to volunteer to keep said child alive.
  • The Suite Life on Deck: After the season 2 final and during most of the third season, Cody has been a jerk to Bailey as he blames her for their breakup. Despite his attempts to be friends with Bailey, Cody couldn't let go of his anger and hurt as this led him to write a play about their breakup. However, after the play and a talk with Zack, Cody not only realized how bad of a jerk he was to Bailey but also that he made a mistake of breaking up with her.
  • Two and a Half Men: In "She'll Still Be Dead at Halftime" (S06E16) Alan and Jake call Charlie a sleazeball for being willing to cheat on his fiancée with a drunk and horny former acquaintance. He brushes them off at first, but their words do ultimately get to him; in the end he's unable to go through with it.
    Charlie: You're right. I'm a sleazeball.
    Alan: Don't tell me you actually had a moral epiphany.

  • Goddess Creation System: Xiaxi ends up suffering a harsh setback because another maid ratted her out on attempting to seduce Mingluan. She realizes that she actually had it coming and that Ting Zhu, the maid, was absolutely not the one at fault. She had consciously snubbed several attempts to get along and shown herself as a complete professional ass-kisser, which made her a threat to Ting Zhu's own chances of getting anywhere. She goes out of her way to get on Ting Zhu's good side and doesn't make the mistake of alienating other servants again, even though she probably still doesn't actually care about them.
  • My Beloved Mother: Sinbell, the protagonist, is an orphan Raised by Robots who behaves like a massive jerkass to his robotic mother, Milan, repeatedly rejecting her attempts to love him and even running away from home to seek his "real" mother. He eventually regrets his actions near the end when he realize Milan, his robot mother, continues being a Mysterious Protector to him even after he orders her to leave and be reprogrammed, and realize how much Milan actually means to him - leading to Sinbell's futile attempts to retrieve Milan before she gets recalled and destroyed.
  • My Wife Is a Demon Queen: Aisi is constantly rude to and dismissive of Xiang Ye, considering him "useless lumber". She realises just how wrong of her it was to treat him like that when he starts whipping out spells at a level of power and proficiency that rivals Rennes, The Ace of her class.

    Video Games 
  • Absinthia: In the ending, one of the knights apologizes for insulting Freya behind her back about being trans. It's implied that Guinevere's diversity course helped change the knight's mind.
  • Best of Three: In one ending, the self-absorbed and sophisticated Grant realizes why Helen is so upset at him; she had wrote a poem in English class, and Grant gave her insulting, overly critical comments while unaware she wrote it. When this comes up, Grant genuinely apologizes by saying he didn't realize it would be taken so seriously, and that he didn't really mean most of what he said. Helen can accept his apology to get them on better terms and have a happier ending.
  • Bug Fables: Vi's sister Jaune is initially cold to her, rejecting her apology. However, when Vi goes out of her way to get Jaune red paint for her painting, Jaune hears Vi out and realizes how truly sorry Vi is about what she said and also how unfairly she had treated Vi by trampling on her dreams. She immediately apologizes and asks for forgiveness. Vi accepts on the condition that Jaune forgives her as well. Jaune agrees and the two share a hug.
  • Crescent Prism: Nova starts feeling guilt about his treatment of Amos when the latter leaves the Sundown Squad in order to help Lunita traverse Chroma Tower.
  • Eternal Radiance:
    • Ruby drives Valana out of the party when she suspects the latter is a Shadowborn, due to her becoming paranoid after being betrayed by Yvonne. When she receives a letter from Yvonne stating that Valana was attacked by the Shadowborn, Ruby regrets letting her paranoia drive a wedge between herself and Valana.
    • Valana refuses to talk about her motives even after joining the party, which makes it hard for others to trust her. After the above example with Ruby, Valana realizes that it's unfair to ask the other party members to trust her without trusting them in return.
    • Quinn spends much of the game on bad terms with Celeste because she disobeyed orders, to the point where he refuses to hold a conversation with her. When he learns that she fought Eldareth, the powerful leader of the Shadowborn, he realizes that she could have died and that his last words to her would have been ones of hostility. He then spends the rest of the game mending his relationship with Celeste.
  • Donned in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is a sickly boy who is confined to a wheelchair, but he is able to walk when he is transported to the fantasy world of Ivalice. He becomes hostile towards his older brother Marche since they are trying to get everyone back to the real world and it would mean Donned would lose his ability to walk. When the two brothers finally settle down to talk, Marche reveals that no, he didn't get everything he wanted in the fantasy world and he basically was forced to give up the love and attention from his parents so that they could spend more time taking care of Donned. Upon hearing Marche vent, Donned realizes how much of a brat he was being towards his brother without knowing the sacrifices he was forced to make and cries into his brother's arms while apologizing.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade: In their C support, Chad asks Hugh to lend him some money, to which the latter agrees, but only after making fun of him. In their B support, Chad returns the money and explains why he wanted it in the first place - the orphanage he grew up was burned down by Bern soldiers, and the "little ones" were taken in by the Elimine Church. He bought a sword with the money so he can end the war faster and go pick them up - and defensively asks if Hugh has a problem with that. Hugh says he doesn't, and in fact apologizes for his earlier behavior, even saying that Chad is more of an adult than he is.
    • Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade: In their B support, Nino calls out Canas for leaving his family and letting his mother cast hexes on his one-year-old son; he agrees to tell her to stop, but hedges until Nino yells at him and says that his son needs him. Canas laments that he's ashamed of himself and his ending sees him going home to said son, suggesting it had an effect.
    • Quite a dark example with Say'ri in Fire Emblem: Awakening. Because her brother Yen'fay betrayed their country to join Walhart The Conqueror, Say'ri openly declares she has no brother and vows to kill him personally when they meet on the battlefield. After she does so, Excellus, the Smug Snake tactician of Walhart's forces, pops in at that very moment and reveals to Say'ri that the only reason Yen'fay even joined Walhart in the first place was to protect her, and that if it wasn't for him, Walhart's forces would have already killed Say'ri herself. Say'ri is left absolutely horrified at the fact that she hated and killed a brother who still loved her.
  • Frogsong: Chorus wants to join the Defense Guild, but is looked down upon by their leader Basalt because of their small size and hailing from a village that focuses more on religion than fighting. Then Chorus risks their life to get some honey in the hope of curing Elder Bufo's illness, as honey has become rare and they're the only one small enough to get into a nest full of Humming Devils (bees). Although it doesn't work and Bufo passes away, Basalt realises that she was too hard on Chorus, especially after they later tell her that the reason they wanted to join the Defense Guild was because their old village was once saved from an attack by them, and by the end of the game the two are on much better terms.
  • God of War (PS4): In Alfheim, Atreus accuses Kratos of not actually caring that his mother is dead, and suffers one of this when Kratos makes it clear he does care and is mourning for Faye in his own way.
    Atreus: I'm sorry. I didn't realize...
    Kratos: No. Why would you? You do not know my ways.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: Early on in the game, when Ilia discovers a wound on Epona's leg, she furiously chews Link out, believing that he had been pushing Epona too hard and had injured her jumping over fences. She gets hit with this when Colin explains to her that the reason Epona had been injured is that Link had taken her into the forest to save Talo from monsters; though Ilia did know of that, she didn't know the full story.
      Ilia: I had no idea... I hadn't heard the details about Talo's capture...
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Zelda started off rather abrupt with Link when the latter was able to wield the Master Sword while she was unable to unlock her Royalty Super Power, making him a living reminder of her own failure to fulfill her destiny. At one point, when she is unable to open one of the Sheikah Shrines (with it and the other ancient Sheikah technology being things she is very interested in studying) and realizes it is intended to only open for the Sword's wielder, she angrily tells him to get lost despite him being ordered by the King to guard her. Her diary entry right after this says that he was visibly confused by this outburst, which made her feel bad afterward. Then, when Zelda is attacked by Yiga Clan assassins, Link selflessly fights them off in her defense, which finally makes her realize how pointlessly mean she had been to him. She soon apologizes and starts opening up to him, whereupon she finds out he has similar insecurities to hers.
  • Manafinder: At the end of Sol and Mar's quest chain, they once again make a rigged challenge for Lambda to scam her out of her money. Sol nearly injures herself in order to ram into Lambda in the rock climbing course, causing her to realize that their scams are going too far. The two then relent and give Lambda the prize that they promised rather than running away again. It's implied that they were exiled for running similar scams in Manahill.
  • Gemma in Ninja Pizza Girl apparently thought that joining the rest of the school in mocking "Wobbly Wanda" for her crippling fear of heights was just a bit of fun, and she seems oblivious to the connection between that and Wanda since having dropped out of school. After receiving a snide put-down from Alpha Bitch Chloe about herself having No Sense of Direction, she realises that she's been a jerk and goes out of her way to be nice to Wanda, eventually succeeding in restoring some of the poor girl's confidence.
  • Persona:
    • At one point in Persona 3, Junpei suddenly comes to the conclusion that he had been a jerkass to the protagonist, apologizes, and is more pleasant afterwards. What makes this so surprising is that despite the franchise, this did not require a Battle in the Center of the Mind or a revelation gained from battling one's dark reflection.
    • Persona 5:
      • At one point, Makoto Niijima has a discussion with her elder sister Sae about the morality of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts, during which Makoto innocently comments that she believes their late father would have supported them. Sae has a rather low opinion of their father's ideals, especially since said ideals led to him being killed in action, and hearing Makoto say that causes Sae to lose her temper and verbally attack her younger sister, going so far as to flat-out tell Makoto to her face that she's useless and does nothing but eat away at her life. Makoto is visibly distraught, and Sae immediately regrets it and apologizes, but it's too late to take it back.
      • Sae gets hit by this again during the interrogation after Makoto gets implicated as one of the Phantom Thieves. The protagonist will pick up on this and can opt to twist the knife a little further.
        Joker: You never noticed?
  • At the climax of Psychonauts, Raz's father enters the Meat Circus and sees the Evil Augustus projection made from Raz's own trauma. His response says it all:
    Augustus: Is that... is that really how I look in your mind?
  • Ratchet & Clank (2002): After Ratchet manages to get his revenge on Qwark, he realizes how selfish he was after he sees that Drek has managed to destroy Gorda City. This is ultimately what causes him to start acting more selfless.
  • Valkyria Chronicles: The Imperial soldiers who used to make fun of the now-deceased scout Fritz for being a "Momma's Boy" realize how much of a Jerkass they were after finding out from Welkin and Alicia that the poor boy died crying out for his mother, and likely realizing that Fritz's "enemies" on the other side of the war showed him more kindness and sympathy than they ever did.
  • The World Is Your Weapon: In the third ending, Valiant Hero Schivardi becomes jealous when Weaco defeats the Demon Lord before he can. He snaps and threatens to kill Ponmi if Weaco doesn't give him all the credit for it, but Weaco calls him out on letting his status as hero go to his head and offers him redemption. He then realizes how unheroic he's being and cries Tears of Remorse.

    Visual Novels 
  • When the protagonist of Double Homework is trying to convince Johanna that she’s the only functional one of her siblings, they discuss how Tamara is dysfunctional, lashing out at and manipulating others because she can’t process her own feelings in a healthy way. Tamara, who was listening to their whole conversation, then reveals herself... and agrees with everything they just said about her.
  • Extra Case: My Girlfriend's Secrets: Seira treated Sally coldly because she was jealous that the latter was in a relationship with John. She realized she was wrong to let her jealousy of Sally consume her and wanted to reconcile with her sister, but she died in a car crash before she could get a chance. It's implied her desire for reconciliation is the reason why she never became an evil spirit.
  • In Melody, if the protagonist goes to lunch with the title character in the second week, he has the option of calling her out on the way she behaves toward Amy. Melody admits that he’s right.

    Web Animation 
  • Camp Camp:
    • Max has one in "Nikki's Last Day on Earth", after repeatedly brushing off Nikki's belief that it was her Last Day to Live and deriding the other campers for going out of their way to give her nice final day on Earth based on very flimsy evidence that she's dying, he eventually drives her to break down crying... followed by her snapping at him and telling him off for being selfish, before calming down, leaving Max unnerved. Immediately afterwards, they watch a play put on by Preston and their fellow campers in honor of Nikki's apparent approaching death, where Max is portrayed as a completely apathetic asshole, who couldn't care that one of his best friends is dying, while he slumps in his seat, for the first time being fully confronted with just how much of an aloof Jerkass other people see him as. Soon afterwards, he confides with Nikki that while he still doesn't believe she's dying and the whole last day on Earth things is dumb, it was wrong of him to just completely disregard her feelings.
      • Afterwards, he sparks a minor example with the rest of the campers, after pointing out that they've all gone out of their way to give Nikki the last day on Earth they would want and not asking her if their was anything she specifically wanted to do for her last day on Earth.
    • Max is on the receiving end of another one in the season three finale, "Camp Corp", where when it seems like their time at Camp Campbell is over for good, when the camp shuts down, Max tries to brush off his best friend's, Neil and Nikki's, feelings about being separated, to spare himself the pain of admitting his own feelings on the matters, by telling them that being separated after camp ended was enabatable and they were always "temporary friends" at best. Unsurprisingly breaking their hearts and leading to them parting with him on bad terms. After an attempt to save the camp and realizing that he's becoming like Cameron Campbell leads to him realizing how much he does car about the two, and he gives them a surprisingly heartfelt apology:
      Max: I'm...I'm sorry. I didn't go through all of this trouble for Camp Campbell. I did it...For you guys. Cause you're my friends, and I just didn't wanna admit it, cause once the time finally came for us to say goodbye, I'd have something to lose. But you know, going through life all on your own seems pretty fucking stupid now.
  • Nomad of Nowhere: After being the Butt-Monkey for the entire season, Red Manuel angrily questions why no one seems to respect him despite anything he manages to accomplish. Skout awkwardly points out that it's probably because he acts like a jerk all the time, and he's completely stunned by the revelation.
  • Manga Women's Eden: At the end of The tragic fate of a woman who wanted to be treated like a princess forever, a 55-year-old Himeko breaks down crying after a young boy thanked her, as she realized too late about how much of a jerk she was in her youth.
  • RWBY: Throughout most of Volume 4, Blake repeatedly lashes out at Sun, who's trying to help her and bring her out of her shell. She slaps him repeatedly and tells him point-blank she doesn't want his help in "A Much Needed Talk". An episode later, Sun is badly injured in a fight with Ilia, and she breaks, reinforcing her belief that it's her fault her friends are being injured because of her connection to Adam. When Sun comes around from the injury, he calls her out on her attitude, telling her that, contrary to what she thinks, constantly running out on her friends and pushing them away is not selfless; it just causes them pain. After that, she's much more accepting of Sun's presence in her life.

  • Ask White Pearl and Steven (almost!) anything: After Pearl's self-defense lessons go completely Off the Rails, Rose steps in, clearly anticipating that she'll have to protect Pearl from his Tranquil Fury and admonishing him not to blame her. To her surprise, Steven blames himself instead, breaking down over his inability to keep his promise to protect Earl. Rose then recalls a time where she was in a position similar to his... and that much like Blue Diamond, she isn't showing much in the way of sympathy. This spurs her to try treating him the way she wishes she would have been treated back then.
  • Beware the Villainess!: Ian and Melissa spend part of a festival together after spending months arguing. As a little joke, she puts a toy tiara on his head and gets seriously angry at how humiliated he is, calling him out on how disrespectful it is towards half the population to take offense at being put in a woman's role. He starts behaving more respectfully from here, though Melissa doesn't really notice since he already burned that bridge long ago.
  • Sam & Fuzzy has an example with Lance, who gets stuck with Fuzzy as a partner after Fuzzy and Sam have a massive falling out. After spending less than a day with Fuzzy, Lance quickly realizes why Sam is always such a neurotic wreck since he has to deal with Fuzzy's idiotic schemes all the time. When he spells this out for Fuzzy, pointing out that Fuzzy is neither talented nor a great businessman, just a jerk who wants to play at being a big shot, and only cares about how others make him feel about himself, Lance realizes that he had just repeated the same speech his last ex had given him when she threw him out, almost verbatim. Unfortunately, it's too late to apologize, though the Character Development sticks.
    Lance: Wait, why does that sound familiar? [cue flashback] ARGH, how could I have been so STUPID!
    Fuzzy: I know, Lance, but it's not too late to make amends with me!
    Lance: GO DIE IN A DITCH, BEAR!!
    Fuzzy: Or not.
  • Unsounded: Jivi defaults to adolescent bullying towards Sette after they get off on the wrong foot. Later on, a magical overload causes visions of her worst memories to start manifesting around her, and he sees his own laughing face in the crowd tormenting her. He immediately gives her a Cooldown Hug and promises to change.

    Web Original 
  • Atop the Fourth Wall: The Movie: After Allen's death, Linkara is struck with guilt over his treatment of him ever since they met. He recalls how when the government wanted to assassinate him so they could take Comicron-1 for themselves, Allen spoke in his defense and essentially saved his life, but Linkara still acted like an asshole to him.
  • The Cry of Mann: After discovering that Jouglat is dead, Jack temporarily snaps out of his "Jack Prime" state and admits that he should've been nicer to his brother while he was back from the war, rather than his stubborn insistence on being angry and caring only about his art show.
  • During the Midnight Screenings for Zookeeper, Jerrid blasts Jake for not showing up, thus forcing Jerrid to watch the movie. In the recent Harry Potter movie, Jake says the reason he didn't show up was that he had a huge family emergency. The audience also probably thought Jake was dipping out so it gets the audience with a Jerkass Realization, along with Jerrid's.

Alternative Title(s): Jerkass Realisation



Emma urges Melinda to speak with Merlin to make him understand the circumstances of what happened to her mother.

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