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Post-Support Regret

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"Look, I always stick up for you. Whenever people say, "Aw, that-that Damone, he's a loudmouth, and they say that a lot, I always say, "Hey, you just don't know Damone." I mean when they call you an idiot, I say "Hey, Damone's not an idiot, you just don't know him." Well, you know something man, maybe they do know you. Pretty good. Maybe I'm just finding out now."
— Mark to his Best Friend Damone who betrayed him in Fast Times at Ridgemont High
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It's Bob and Charlie versus the world — at least that's what Charlie says. Other people don't really like Bob all that much because Bob often acts like a Jerkass to others, even to Charlie. But Charlie doesn't seem to care, and even stands up for him when people trash-talk him, to his face or behind his back, like an All-Loving Hero. Even then, Bob is an Ungrateful Bastard and never shows appreciation for Charlie sticking up for him.

A lot of people ask Charlie why he defends Bob and puts up with his shabby treatment. But Charlie insists that Bob is really a Jerk with a Heart of Gold and that the others just don't know him well enough to see it. But Charlie does. Charlie says he knows Bob better than everyone else. Charlie knows who Bob really is.

Until one day, when Bob does something so awful, so detestable, and so unforgivable, at least in Charlie's eyes, that Charlie's perception of his best friend is shattered, and he starts to believe that all the haters were right — Bob has no Hidden Depths, no Hidden Heart of Gold. He is just as much of a jerk as he behaves as.

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With his new view of his old friend, Charlie will give Bob a "Reason You Suck" Speech and sever his friendship with Bob, declaring that "This Is Unforgivable!" about what Bob has done, and that he was wrong to believe in him and defend him against his naysayers.

When that happens, it will often result in a Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure that will drive the story along. If Bob has anything salvageable in him, losing his Only Friend and staunchest defender will be the wake-up call he needs to have his Heel–Face Turn and start to become a better person to win Charlie back. If Bob is Beyond Redemption, he will simply brush it off as Charlie being just another hater and continue down his path of jerkiness. Even if losing Charlie does give him doubts, he will quickly shove them aside.

If the unforgivable act in question that makes Charlie snap is a betrayal of his best friend, this will overlap with Et Tu, Brute?. Compare Love Forgives All but Lust, where the unforgivable act is cheating on a partner. This happens fairly often as a result of Charlie being an Extreme Doormat or Shrinking Violet, at least until the act of cruelty, upon which he finally Grew a Spine. Charlie might have Selective Obliviousness until Bob's final unforgivable act is too much for him to Turn the Other Cheek, or he is Believing Their Own Lies about Bob until the betrayal shows him the Awful Truth.

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This is often what awaits anyone who is Loving a Shadow or a Horrible Judge of Character. It is also Laser-Guided Karma for the False Friend and Toxic Friend Influence. This could also lead into Backstabbing the Alpha Bitch if Charlie decides that just a tongue-lashing isn't enough justice against Bob. Bob and Charlie's friendship itself can be a Karma Houdini Warranty that expires once Charlie leaves Bob, as without Charlie to defend or protect him, Bob has no one to turn to in his hour of need, and he truly becomes Hated by All without Charlie as a friend.

Examples of the trope include:

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    Comic Book 
  • Civil War: Spider-Man has decided that the actions of Tony Stark go too far since Stark is locking unregistered heroes up in the Negative Zone. When Peter turns against the Pro-Registration crowd, Tony tells him that he's disappointed in him.
    Spider-Man: Not as disappointed as I am in myself.
  • Ultimate Fantastic Four: During the "Ultimate Enemy" arc of Ultimate Doomsday, Ben Grimm voices his disgust at Reed Richards' murderous Face–Heel Turn and attempted murder of Sue Storm. Ben eventually taunts Reed in the "Disassembled" story arc on how the children he stopped from bullying him in their school days were right about him all along.
    Ben: Y'know Reed, I thought I was the only one who understood you. But it turns out, all those kids who called you a jerk and a freak: they were right!

    Fan Works 
  • Chloe's Lament: Chloe was Adrien's Only Friend for years, so he always tried to stand up for her when his other friends got upset at her bullying and convince them to give her a chance because he thought that would motivate her to be a better person. It's only when Chloe betrays him and Ladybug to the Big Bad to satisfy her own selfish ambitions and petty vindications that's he realizes and declares that he was wrong to Turn the Other Cheek to her cruelties and ask his friends to do the same.
    Adrien: I had already enabled you enough, Chloe. And I encouraged others to do the same, thinking it would help you. That if they got to know you — if you had enough support, eventually you would open up and finally be the great person you always seemed to think you were. That they just needed to give you a chance and you would be satisfied and everyone would finally get along. But I was wrong. You're the sort of person who is never satisfied with anything.
  • One for All and Eight for the Ninth: after the Vestiges convince Izuku that his relationship with Bakugo is extremely toxic and to cut all ties with him, Izuku eventually comes to regret all the years he kept praising Bakugo and letting Bakugo abuse him freely in hopes of rekindling their friendship.

    Films — Animated 
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame: At first, Quasimodo trusts Frollo despite how awful he is because Frollo supposedly adopted him when nobody else would.note  When Frollo tries to kill him and Esmeralda, however, that's when he realizes how much of a cruel, genocidal monster Frollo really is.
    Frollo: (uneasily) Now, now, l-listen to me, Quasimodo-
    Quasimodo: No, you listen! All my life, you have told me that the world is a dark, cruel place! But now, I see that the only thing dark and cruel about it is people like you!
  • The Rugrats Movie: Throughout the babies' adventure in the woods, Chuckie, Phil and Lil voice their annoyance toward new baby Dil, but Tommy urges them to go easy on him. Eventually, Dil's behavior grows so unbearable that the others decide to split and leave Tommy alone with him. Finally, Tommy gets pushed too far and he has a total meltdown, blaming Dil for all his problems and nearly leaving him to a band of escaped circus monkeys.
    Tommy: I shoulda let my friends take you back to the "hopsicle". But no, I said. He didn't mean it, I said. He was only playin'! Well, I was wrong! Now, I don't even have friends!
  • The Simpsons Movie: Throughout the movie, Marge tries to support Homer's ideas to make the family's lives better even after his stupidity gets the town trapped under a dome and almost gets them all killed by an angry mob. But when Homer refuses to go back and save Springfield from being blown up, he finds a a video recording from Marge saying that she's done putting up with him and had left with the kids to save the town on their own. To make things worse, to prove to herself that she means it, she recorded the message over their wedding video, which just makes Homer realize just how much he's screwed up.
    Marge: (on the recording) Lately, what's keeping us together is my ability to overlook everything you do. And I overlook these things because...
    Homer: Because...?
    Marge: Well, that's the thing. I-I just don't know how to finish that sentence anymore.
  • Toy Story: When Woody accidentally knocks Buzz out the window and is accused of doing it on purpose, Slinky is one of the few who doesn't believe that Woody is guilty. But when Woody tries to get the others to rescue him from Sid's house and holds up Buzz's detached arm, everyone thinks he killed him, and a heartbroken Slinky is unwilling to defend him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Fast Times at Ridgemont High: This regret happens to Mark with his best friend Damone after finding out that Damone had a fling with a girl he knew Mark was crushing on.
    Mark: Hey, fuck you, Damone. There are a lot of girls out there and you... you have to mess around with Stacy? I mean, what do you got to prove anyway?
    Damone: ... I'm sorry.
    Mark: Look, I always stick up for you. Whenever people say, "Aw, that-that Damone, he's a loudmouth, and they say that a lot, I always say, "Hey, you just don't know Damone." I mean when they call you an idiot, I say "Hey, Damone's not an idiot, you just don't know him." Well, you know something man, maybe they do know you. Pretty good. Maybe I'm just finding out now.
  • Good Morning, Vietnam after Sgt. Major Dickenson has Adrian Cronauer transferred, General Taylor informs Dickenson that he, himself, is being transferred to Guam, invoking this trope.
    General Taylor: Dick, I've covered for you a lot of times cause I thought you were a little crazy. But you're not crazy, you're mean. And this is just radio.

    Literature 
  • In Astrel and the Guardian of the Forest, Overly is a well-meaning but gullible bird who thinks Obviously Evil Kargor is the best friend one can have and is constantly annoyed when others tell her not to trust him. Then she learns that Kargor is the horrible gigantic raven that has been terrorizing the birds in her native forest, and she is utterly devastated that she had ever supported him.
  • Judge Dee: "The Chinese Bell Murders": Wang (a candidate to the Imperial examinations) is secretly sleeping with Pure Jade, a butcher's daughter. The butcher's neighbor finds out and at first intends to report this, but the candidate convinces him of his love for Pure Jade and his intention to marry her after passing the first examination. Unfortunately, the girl is then found raped and murdered, and as the evidence strongly points towards Wang, the neighbor blames himself for allowing this breach in social mores (and the judge doesn't hide his disapproval of either man's conduct). However, it turns out Wang was innocent of the crime, and the judge decrees that he'll be posthumously married to Pure Jade, with no other Top Wife.
  • Gleams of Aeterna: Robert Epine is initially fiercely loyal to Aldo Rakan and repeatedly defends him from anyone questioning his methods and motivations. Eventually, however, even Robert is forced to recognize that Aldo is a narcissistic jerkass who is Drunk with Power and has to be stopped, even for his own good. After Aldo is killed, Robert becomes The Atoner in an effort to somehow make up for everything he and Aldo had messed up together.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Big Bang Theory. In the Finale, Sheldon has, once again, offended his friends. This leads to Amy giving him a serious "The Reason You Suck" Speech, telling him the fact that he didn't mean to offend is the only reason anyone puts up with him, and admits, upon him asking, that this included her. This stark admission leads Sheldon to a Jerkass Realization, and to what is perhaps one of the most heartwarming moments in the entire series, as he puts aside his It's All About Me speech and instead delivers a sincere and heartfelt thanks to his friends for supporting him all these years.
  • Cold Case: In "Iced", the victim Tommy was killed by his best friend Dwight. Dwight was looked down on by others because he was a junkie and acted like a tool, but Tommy still cared for him until he found out that Dwight raped the girl Tommy loved and got her pregnant. Tommy's last words are a declaration that everyone else was right, Dwight is a loser. Sadly, this pushes Dwight's Berserk Button, and he beats Tommy to death with a hockey stick in retaliation.
  • House of Anubis: Toward the end of Season 2, Joy started alienating the rest of the House by writing slander about Nina and taking credit for the anonymous articles Mara wrote at the same time. Before the truth came out, Fabian and Patricia both attempted to defend Joy. After the truth came out, Fabian bitterly told her he defended her, and that she wasn't the Joy he used to know. In a later scene, this is played with as Patricia also points out she defended Joy... in an effort to stop Joy from defriending her as well as to make her see reason.

    Theatre 
  • In Fences, Rose does her best to keep her marriage of eighteen years to Troy steady, despite knowing he's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold on his best days. She breaks down emotionally when she finds out Troy slept with and impregnated another woman. While she's willing to take care of the child when the mother dies in childbirth, she makes it clear that Troy can never hope for forgiveness.
    Rose: I took all my feelings, my wants and needs, my dreams and I buried them inside you. I planted a seed and watched and prayed over it. I planted myself inside you and waited to bloom. And it didn't take me no eighteen years to find out the soil was hard and rocky and it wasn't never gonna bloom! But I held on to you, Troy.

    Webcomics 
  • Towards the end of 8-Bit Theatre, Black Mage finally crosses the line with Fighter when he accidentally skewers White Mage. This is enough to (briefly) finally convince Fighter that their one-sided friendship isn't one and he threatens BM for the first time in the comic's run.

    Western Animation 
  • Amphibia: In the first season, Anne tells Sprig about how friends should behave. This is, of course, implied to be according to what Sasha has taught her. In the episode "Reunion", there is a flashback of Sasha manipulating Anne into ditching her birthday party to meet Marcy at the park. Later in the episode, Anne realizes that Sasha has sided with the toads, who want to kill Hop Pop for his "rebellion" against the toads. After Sprig defends Anne when Sasha tries to manipulate her again, Anne stands up to her before Sasha tries to kill Sprig.
  • Batman Beyond: Charlie "Big Time" Bigelow is first introduced in the episode "Big Time". To summarize, a delinquent "friend" of Terry's gets released from prison, Terry gets him a job at Wayne-Powers despite his other friends' and mentor's warnings, and then Charlie uses the opportunity to steal a chemical that mutates him into a super-powerful brute...but it isn't an example of this trope, as Terry still feels sad about sending "Big Time" back to jail. However, "Big Time" returns in the episode "Betrayal", having escaped from jail allied with the mobster The Major. Terry was torn between his anger at Big Time, wanting to capture him, and feeling guilty for his transformation into a monster. Then Big Time abducts Terry and tries to entice him to join his gang; when Terry refuses, Big Time goes berserk, and Terry seizes the opportunity to escape. The Major reprimands Big Time and gives him an ultimatum to fix his mistake. Big Time finds Terry but claims that he can't bring himself to kill him. Terry convinces Big Time to go to the police, promising that even though he'll go back to jail, it will not be forever, and while in prison, Terry's employer, Bruce Wayne, will work on a cure for him. Big Time reluctantly agrees and asks if he can just stay in his hiding place while the cops arrest the Major. After the Major is arrested, Terry finds that Big Time has gone; when Terry runs into him again, Big Time reveals that he was never going to the cops, used Terry to get the Major apprehended, and that it was all part of his plan to take over the Major's operations. Big Time also admits that he lied about wanting a cure, because he likes his new look, and about being unable to kill Terry, which he tries to do now that the Major is no longer an issue. Terry escapes and, as Batman, battles Big Time. Big Time is killed when he falls off a bridge; Bruce tries to comfort Terry, but Terry just coldly says that he outgrew him, letting go of his guilt and seeing Big Time for the monster he is.
    Bruce: I'm sorry, I know how hard it is to go against a friend.
    Terry: I outgrew him, that's all.
  • Elena of Avalor: Elena’s cousin Esteban has always been a jerk to her growing up, and he’s been a jerk to even some of her friends, but she’s always had his back in spite of all that because she knows he cares about her enough to never hurt her badly, and he’s always come through for her in the nick of time. But, little did Elena know that Esteban has been harboring a deep secret: Esteban committed treachery and helped Shuriki invade Avalor, which led the sorceress to kill both of the princess’ parents, and he refused to tell Elena about it even after he helped take the kingdom back. Once Elena found out, she was devastated and wanted to sentence Esteban to exile on a deserted island. Esteban tries to plead to Elena that he’s changed since then, but Elena doesn’t believe it and sentences Esteban to exile on a deserted island. Elena admitted to having second thoughts about exiling Esteban, but seeing Esteban then joining Ash into taking over the kingdom only shows to her that Esteban is just a selfish jerk who will never change. It’s gotten bad to the point that Elena actively tries to hurt him.
  • Happens with Talon in regards to Xanatos in Gargoyles. At first, Talon admired Xanatos greatly and defended him from slander. He's the richest man in the world and he gave him a high-paying job. When Derek was mutated, Xanatos became his only hope for a cure. All this was shattered when he realized Xanatos used him for his own nefarious schemes and grew to hate him from that moment forward.
    Talon: I don't believe it. Goliath wasn't Sevarius' partner - it was you all along! I trusted you! You turned me into a monster and I defended you!
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Adora and Catra are best friends who grew up together in the Horde, and Adora often stood up for Catra even if she was always a jerk. Things changed when Adora found a better path in the Rebellion, which meant leaving Catra behind. Adora tries to convince Catra to defect, but she refuses out of deep-seated resentment she held of Adora growing up. No matter how many times Catra has tried to hurt Adora after that, Adora still believed there's good in her, and chalks it up as Catra being confused, to say the least. But, when Catra attempted to open the portal to destroy reality just so Adora could lose, Adora sees just what a selfish jerk Catra really is, no matter what suffering she went through, and Adora blows up on Catra for it. Adora felt like she just doesn't know Catra anymore.
  • South Park: In "Cartoon Wars (Part 1)", Cartman announces that he's going cross-country to Hollywood to get an upcoming episode of Family Guy pulled and Kyle, who normally hates Cartman, decides to join him after having a nightmare about the consequences the show could bring. However, Kyle soon finds out that Cartman's real plan is to get the whole series cancelled forever because he's sick of always being compared to it, and Kyle is livid over having been duped by his arch-nemesis.
    Kyle: I can't believe I let you scare me into taking your side!
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998): In Princess Morbucks debate episode Stuck Up, Up, and Away wanted to be a Powerpuff Girl, she annoyed the girls with her attempts to join them not listening that she doesn't have any powers and it's not safe for her to join them. When Princess Morbucks accidentally incapacitates the Powerpuff Girls and unintentionally lets the bank robbers get away, all three girls have had it with her. While Bubbles was angry and Buttercup angrily yelled at her, Blossom stopped Buttercup from yelling at Princess and calmly told her that her joining them was too dangerous and it was for her safety that she did not join them. When Princess does not show up for school the next day, Buttercup angrily asks where she is; Blossom believes that she has learned her lesson and probably feels silly. Then Princess Morbucks comes in and a power suit and beats Blossom's two sisters; after taunting Blossom about taking down her sisters. Blossom loses all sympathy and patience she had for Princess; after defeating her in battle, Blossom tells Princess she's just a spoiled brat, and that's why she can't join the Powerpuff Girls.
  • The Simpsons, "Pokey Mom": Marge befriends a convict, Jack Crowley, whom she thinks has artistic potential. Later, when Principal Skinner commissions Jack to make a mural for the school, Skinner rejects it, demanding a new Sickeningly Sweet version. Unfortunately, the entire town pans it. Later, the mural is set on fire by a mystery arsonist; seemingly Jack, to get back at Skinner. As the police search for him, Jack meets up with Marge, claiming that he didn't set the fire. Marge distracts the police so he can make his escape. A few minutes later, in full view, Jack has set fire to Skinner's car. When Marge confronts him, Jack claims that he didn't do it. Disillusioned, Marge demands Chief Wiggum arrest him.
    Marge: You crumb bum! You looked me right in the eye and lied to me!
    Jack: Marge, this is the God's truth. I burned the mural, but I did not burn Skinner's car.
    Marge: I just SAW you!
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Stanley S. SquarePants", SpongeBob gets his clumsy cousin Stanley a job at the Krusty Krab and takes the blame for all his mishaps, to the point where he gets put on probation. But when Stanley accidentally breaks his spatula, SpongeBob snaps and furiously tells Mr. Krabs the truth. Fortunately, Mr. Krabs gave Stanley a task where his damage is more deserving, enough for him and SpongeBob to overlook all the previous damage he did.
  • Total Drama: After Heather, the resident Alpha Bitch, used a strategy that got her loyal, yet dim, "friend" Lindsay kicked off the island, Lindsay finally realizes why everyone else always hated Heather and said rude things about her. This led to a very much welcomed "Reason You Suck" Speech.

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