A character, often a child or teenager and almost Always Female, who cares deeply about all worthy causes. She wants to protect the environment from polluters, prove that women can be as good as men, and Free the Frogs. If she's the main character of the show, she spends a lot of time struggling with her idealism and whether it is too unrealistic.
Soap Box Sadie is usually a post-hippie, the type of girl who would have been a hippie had she not been born in the wrong decade. Sometimes she's updated to the new counter cultures of the time like emos, goths, hipsters, the LGBT, etc. Around the turn of The New '10s, the term "Social Justice Warrior" (usually meant as an insult online) started being used for a variant concerned with social (i.e. race/religion/gender/sexuality/ability) equality and diversity. This type is less of a post/hippie and more than likely a college educated minority in at least one of those social classes. While generally it refers to a type of progressive who advocates for social justice in a detrimental way, by focusing on petty grievances or pushing marginalized people out of their spaces in order to speak for them, it can of course be used merely as an insult intended to get people to shut up even if the "social justice warrior" in question not only has a good point but isn't going about it the wrong way.
In most shows, Sadie exists to teach children about the importance of the environment, feminism, standing up for one's beliefs, and so on. Depending on the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism she's as likely to reach someone as she is to get backlash about forcing her beliefs on others.
This character is almost always on the political left. A character on the political right who behaves this way leans more toward The Fundamentalist.
Many of them are working for the greater good even if they are militant. However, some of them take their beliefs too far, or worse, don't even believe the stuff they're preaching.
See Former Teen Rebel for those who have outgrown this.
- Kotoura-san has Yuriko Mifune who has a different purpose in life: to scientifically prove the existence of Psychic Powers and to protect those who have them. It's a part of how she introduces herself to almost anybody. She's not being Anvilicious at all about it either since she does have a Freudian Excuse in her Backstory.
- Just to prove the main entry wrong, Nadia pretty much fits the trope and holds true to her beliefs even in the epilogue, although she does seem to act more forgiving towards people who disagree with her. Grandis DID tell her that she may end up growing out of it.
- Based on flashbacks, Mermaid Queen Otohime of One Piece spent her life as one of these, constantly campaigning against her own people's Fantastic Racism against the humans (though she also opposed human racism against mermaids and fishmen) and going around harassing people to sign her petition. Her own people found her annoying, only putting up with her because she was the Queen and they knew her heart was in the right place.
- Played for Drama: She's assassinated by a human, not long after finally getting people to sway with her opinions. Even in her dying breath, she tells her children not to let her death cause more anger in this world and continue to fuel the racism. Driven home when you realize that she, along with other Fishmen and mermaids, are Shout Outs to various black-freedom fighters, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X., and the Black Panthers.
- It's even sadder because she was really killed by Hody Jones. The human 'assassin' was just the human Hody hired to burn the petitions. Hody betrayed and framed the guy to stir up anti-human sentiments.
- A male example is Lin/Lynn Kaifun of Super Dimension Fortress Macross. No sooner does he make his first appearance (during a Breather Episode in which his cousin Minmay is visiting home) than he gets on her escort, Humongous Mecha pilot Hikaru Ichijou's case for being in the military. He eventually accompanies them back to the titular spaceship/robot in order to watch out for Minmei at the request of her parents, spreading anti-military sentiment along the way. Throughout the entirety of the series, most of his time is spent either chiding the soldiers and military staff for fighting the Alien Invasion threatening Earth instead of trying to talk things out (despite the fact that most of the aliens do NOT have any intention of talking), or preaching to the civilians who call the ship home about how war and the military are bad... Despite the fact that the army is only fighting the aliens in the first place because they've been proven to be hostile.
- This gets especially stupid when he is requested to join the first Zentraedi-Macross peace talks with Exsedol, and he still complains about the military and wants no part in the negotiations, despite these negotiations being exactly the kind of thing he's been wanting this whole time. Minmei, of all people, points out the contradiction.
- His final appearance shows him having taken up as Minmay's talent manager on a ravaged, post-war Earth, drunkenly complaining that all the payment they received for her last show was a bag of groceries. Word of God further stated that, around the timeframe of Macross 7, he is on one of the colony fleets managing a band that is basically just a knock-off of Fire Bomber... and claiming that his is the original and Fire Bomber is the copycat.
- Animal Man is a rare male example of the trope, due to his ability to communicate with animals. At one point, Grant Morrison, the writer who made him that way, actually directly interacts with the character. Among other things, Morrison admits that he was using Animal Man as a mouthpiece for his own beliefs on animal cruelty and vegetarianism.
- Betty Cooper of Archie Comics will take up whatever cause the plot dictates... and sometimes subvert the hell out of them just because.
- One of the many one-dimensional characters in the old British comic Cheeky was Do-Good Dora, who always carried a placard with her latest cause written on it.
- Fethry Duck in Disney comics is another male example, boasting numerous causes related to nature and society. Born in the days of hippies (1964), though long since transcended the movement. Also a male Granola Girl and eternal faddist; if not crusading for a cause, he typically has a new hobby or interest that he treats as a cause, religiously pushing it on others.
- Gert from Runaways. Apparently, as a little girl, she once stole all of Nico's My Little Pony dolls because she thought that they glorified animal abuse, and when the original series starts, she's arguing with her parents over wanting to join a socialist club at her school.
- The Simpsons: As in the show, Lisa. An issue that has the family go to a Banana Republic has Lisa stumble upon black marketers smuggling literal giant bananas, and she promptly starts yelling at them for "despoiling nature's bounty". They react exactly as you'd expect armed black marketers to react - they try to kill her.
- Fluttershy in The Cadanceverse. As the Element of Generosity, she finds herself advocating for a variety of important causes.
- The canonical Discworld character of Estressa Partleigh (and other activists for various issues) is used as this trope in the writings of A.A. Pessimal. In various fics, Ms Partleigh becomes the Butt-Monkey for her own ideas blowing back into her face. In Zoo Tales, her demand for the Ankh-Morpork City Zoo to have a population of Dwarf Chimpanzees becomes acutely embarrassing when a fundamental fact about bonobo chimps, which she has not taken into consideration, plays out before her eyes.
- Elsewhere in Pessimal's Discworld, there is the OC of Irena Politek, a "Russian" girl born a peasant who used to have firm opinions as to what sort of social organisation Far Überwald should have. Her somewhat bolshevik opinions were modified first by training as a witch - no soap-box Sadie can survive the hard-headed realities of living in Lancre and learning Witchcraft. Then she becomes an Air Policewoman and is assigned to patrolling with Reg Shoe. When she realises what sort of person would end up trying to make a Soviet system actually work in practice. These days Irena tends only to espouse soviet collective socialism to needle her best friend, aristocrat Olga Romanoff, a compatriot from a different sort of "Russia" whose upbringing as privileged daughter of a Grand Duke was similarly challenged by exposure to Witchcraft, Lancre, and the aristocracy of Ankh-Morpork. In her case, ingrained belief in the superiority of the titled and noble classes was fatally undermined by meeting Rusts, Selachiis and Venturis.
- Pacific: World War II U.S. Navy Shipgirls has San Francisco, who also has a touch of Granola Girl. Most of the time, she'll lecture someone on why it's important to vote wisely, eat healthy, etc.
- Prodigal Son: The agora in Eskendereyya is full of people giving "free lectures," most of which being crazy people preaching like prophets.
- The musical TV film Mrs. Santa Claus actually features a character named Sadie Lowenstein, who has this nickname. She's a young suffragette in 1910 Manhattan who literally gets up on her soapbox (that is, she made her speeches atop a box marked "SOAP"). She's not the Trope Namer, however. The term predates the film by several decades.
- Riley in Detention. Her getting whooped in her debate with Gord on the morality of eating meat triggers an existential crisis that ends with the former vegan eating a burger and trying to hang herself. Gord himself is also one, though his views are an inversion of Riley's he believes that not eating meat is morally wrong. That's because he's a vegetable-based alien lifeform, who is leading the invasion of Earth in order to stop vegans like Riley from eating his kin.
- The main character's girlfriend in Orange County is a pretty cute use of this trope - she's always getting sentimental about baby seals, while the rest of the class try not to roll their eyes.
- This is the entire character of Layla, the Unlucky Childhood Friend-turned-Love Interest with a Green Thumb in Disney's teen superhero movie Sky High (2005).
- If you want to see a good pre-1960s example, look no further than the Marilyn Monroe classic The Seven Year Itch (1955). The main character, Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell) is spending the summer at home while his family goes on vacation. His doctor informs him that eating a lot of meat isn't healthy in such hot weather, so Richard has dinner one night at a vegetarian restaurant. His waitress turns out to be an elderly radical who tries to convert him to the cause of nudism, claiming that if the entire human race was unclothed, everyone would look alike (which of course isn't actually true, but never mind) - "all brothers together" - and there would be no more war. This offhand reference to nudity obviously serves as a Foreshadowing of what is to come, but otherwise it's something of a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment. However, it does fit the trope.
- In 10 Things I Hate About You, the radical feminist Kat Stratford lectures about her opinions usually whenever she gets a chance to.
- PCU characterizes virtually all rank-and-file college kids of the 1990s as politically correct drones who champion every social issue that crosses their path until they get distracted by another issue. The heroes, a bunch of renegade slobs, and the villains, a bunch of conservative snobs, are the only exceptions.
- Hold Your Man: One of Ruby's cellmates is a comically earnest socialist who calls Ruby "comrade."
- On Moonlight Bay features a Rare Male Example of this trope in Love Interest Bill Sherman. On his first date with protagonist Marjorie, he rails against men of his cohort frittering away their time on women and baseball. Marjorie is a Passionate Sports Girl. He later starts a rant against banks in front of Marjorie's father, the vice president of the local bank.
- Vamps: Goody was an abolitionist in the early 1800s, and continued to advocate causes (like trying to save the Rosenbergs) throughout her long life.
- In Animorphs, Cassie often voices her opinions on issues she considers morally compromising. The other characters (and the readers) sometimes get annoyed with this.
- In Harry Potter, Hermione's pet project is bringing attention to the ill-treatment of House Elves after seeing the potential for nastier wizards to abuse them. Apparently, most of the wizards (and most of the actual House Elves, with the notable exception of Dobby) consider it an aberration and generally aren't interested in her cause; the ones who do show interest do so in exactly that: stopping the abuse of house elves. It's the other aspect she preaches (universal emancipation and applying human labor standards like wages and holidays) that even the house elves themselves don't like.
- The thing she misses with regard to their emancipation is that for most, Dobby being the standout exception, they either cannot or will not make the distinction between being freed and being sacked in disgrace; most of the other elves consider Dobby to be at least a bit insane due to his insistence on being paid, having vacations (both extremely minimal) and actually wearing regular clothes.
- And she is shown to gradually come to understand and accept the fact that house elves actually like caring for humans and receiving nothing in return except their kindness (on that note, Dobby's desire for payment, holidays and general freedom seems to be more to do with defiance against his former masters, seeing as he refused the opportunity for too much pay note ).
- Her fears are vindicated in Order of the Phoenix, as it is revealed that Kreacher's mistreatment indirectly led to Sirius' death, since house elves expect to be treated like crap and are thus fanatically loyal to anyone that shows them even a sliver of kindness.
- Hermione does eventually seem to grow out of the Soapbox Sadie behaviour and instead actually does something about the issues she's concerned about, as Word of God says she joins the Ministry of Magic and helps eradicate laws that discriminate against magical creatures and Muggleborns.
- Main character Mia's best friend Lilly in The Princess Diaries, though she may better fit the "angry self-righteous activist Goth" description above.
- In Bridget Jones's Diary and its sequel, although she's hardly a teenager, Bridget's best friend Shaz fits the trope admirably. This is especially true of the novels, where Shaz's almost constant righteous anger, expressed in politicised rants on a multitude of topics, is contrasted with Bridget's entertainingly patchy awareness of real-world politics.
- A male example: For at least part of the book, Adam from Good Omens (by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman), after being introduced to Age of Aquarius dogma, suddenly turns into the most militant environmentalist it's possible to be... considering he actually has the power to do something about it....
- Another Pratchett mini-series, the Johnny books, features a character whose name is sometimes Kirsty or Kasandra (depending on her mood) who latches onto a particular cause du jour with all the tenacity of a white shark. Subverted in that Kirsty is anything but meek or flower-child-like; she's dismissive, sarcastic, and ruthlessly efficient.
- And another male example in the main Discworld series is the zombie Reg Shoe, who spends all his spare time going on and on about dead rights, which he calls "consciousness-raising". Fortunately this does not irritate his audience too much, as he tends to focus on trying to drum up grass roots support in graveyards, and it has slackened off now he has joined the police force.
- The character of Estressa, (sometimes Estrella), Partleigh, an activist human woman who one day took it into her head to campaign for Dwarf rights, and founded the Campaign for Equal Heights. The Dwarfs sigh tolerantly, accept her heart's in the right place, and let her get on with it.
- The Baby-Sitters Club: Dawn's other defining trait, besides being automatically cool for being from California, is this. Among other things, she pretty much starts a sermon whenever someone tries to eat meat, and tries to get her middle school to change the script of their production of Peter Pan because she thought Wendy's (whom she was playing) role in it was sexist. In Dawn Saves The Planet, her protesting reaches a point where she runs screaming down the halls at a girl for putting an aluminum can in the trash. That whole book pretty much consists of her doing that to EVERYBODY. Also a massive case of Flanderization, as the early books in which she appears give her a much milder personality.
- Evelyn in Saki (H. H. Munro)'s "The Forbidden Buzzards" is implied to be this by talking "chiefly about good and evil, and of how much one might accomplish in the way of regenerating the world if one was determined to do one's utmost."
- In the Time of the Butterflies has Minerva Mirabal (a real person). A lot of what she does also counts as Values Dissonance, since the things she wants to do (such as going to college, waiting to get married, and wearing pants) aren't a big deal at all today.
- Addie in The Misfits
- Only Fools and Horses: Rodney starts off as one, given to delivering speeches about nuclear war, the environment, unemployment and other typical concerns of left-wing young people in The '80s. In later series as he matures he becomes, of all things, a Deadpan Snarker.
- Degrassi: The Next Generation:
- Emma Nelson in the first three seasons is the prime example. She mostly lost this afterwards, though she did climb back on the soapbox every now and then, most notably in the sixth-season episode "Love My Way." Her stepfather Snake, who is also her teacher, catches her buying birth control and gives her a hard time over it. In response, she gives a class presentation over how men are hostile toward female sexuality, which amazingly wins him over instead of making him angry.
- In the seventh-season episode "Hungry Eyes", where, after initially taking a job as a spokesmodel for "Purple Dragon" energy drink in order to defuse criticism that she was too "predictable", takes a stand against, no, not the sexual objectification of the models (although she did have some criticism of that, too), but with the company's ideals. She does this by ripping off her Purple Dragon outfit on stage in front of the whole school. Best. Episode. Ever.
- From Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High:
- Caitlin Ryan, whose character Emma Nelson was very much a successor to. She fought against pollution, animal testing, Spike's expulsion from school because she was pregnant with Emma, and later nuclear missile production (in Canada!).
- Also Liz, Spike's best friend, who was the angry Goth version.
- At times, Lucy could fit this, though her causes were more focused on feminism and equality.
- For one episode of House, Thirteen comes across as this, constantly scoffing at her teammates for not understanding the work of the performance artist whom they are treating. Doesn't really show up otherwise.
Sebestian: (Showing pictures of African children to the team) I know you guys don't make a lot of money but...
- In a rare male example, the episode TB Or Not TB had House diagnosing a doctor who'd gotten sick after years of treating tuberculosis patients in Africa. While he's doing good work and helping people, the guy never stops talking about how bad things are in Africa and literally asks people why they're not more outraged that things are so bad there when they've got it so good. It reaches the point where he refuses any more treatment from House to save his life so he can let the media think he died of TB and use the media outrage to force pharmaceutical companies to send more drugs to Africa.
Cameron: I wrote your people a check last month.
Sebestian: (smiles charmingly) Ah. Well... Write us another one.
- Nikki from Good Morning Miss Bliss. And her successor, Jessie Spano, on Saved by the Bell. This one is particularly delicious as the actress is otherwise best known for playing the lead role in the legendary sleazefest Showgirls.
- The female Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. It seems almost every episode they were volunteering with kids, cleaning up a park, or participating in some charity. The male Rangers were a Gender Flip of this, but not as extreme. Trini might have been the best example.
- Lily Esposito from Popular, especially regarding animal rights/vegetarianism.
- From Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Willow edges onto this trope now and then, at the whim of whoever's writing the current episode. The most obvious case was probably in the 4th-season episode "Pangs," in which she rants against the evils of Thanksgiving. In "The Freshman" she says jocularly that she's heard about five different issues and is angry about each and every one of them. In later seasons she also becomes this whenever disparaging stereotypes of witches come up.
- Her mother seems to be this in her one appearance on the show where Willow remarks that the longest conversation they ever had was about the supposed patriarchal bias of the Mr Rogers Show.
- Carmen Lopez in the two episodes of The George Lopez Show "guest starring" George W. Bush. Thankfully, to tone down the preachy aspect of Soap Box Sadie, she only fits this archetype for those two episodes and it never happens again.
- Surprisingly, Doug Heffernan in The King of Queens episode "Offensive Fowl". In this episode, Doug becomes a vegetarian after almost running over a chicken with his truck. Carrie gets tired of having to eat meat in private when he forces his new beliefs onto her. At the episode's end, let's just say thank God for status quo.
- Phoebe from Friends slips into this. She vocally criticizes her friends when they do anything that she disapproves of, even when she does them herself.
- Rik from The Young Ones is a particularly vicious parody of a male version of this trope; the 'right-on' leftie student activist who, despite coming from an upper-middle class background, has half-read the works of Trotsky and Marx and decided that he represents the working class. Rik is also convinced that he's a ground-breaking poet who, as the 'People's Poet', is an important voice in revolutionary politics and the fight against Margaret Thatcher, and is well-liked and admired by everyone around him. He's wrong on all counts.
- Amy Jellicoe from Enlightened definitely qualifies. She is presented compassionately, though. She can be irritating, but she does genuinely care.
- New Daily Show correspondent Kristen Schaal seems to have a new cause every time she appears. Due to the show's high cynicism rating, she is also The Woobie as the reality of the situation crushes whatever ideal she starts out with.
- Linda from Round the Twist. At first this was just one facet of her character - later she suffered Flanderization and was turned into an annoying example of the trope while simultaneously losing her judo-fighting badassitude.
- Mokey once convinced everyone in Fraggle Rock to stop eating Doozer constructions before learning the hard way that Doozers don't build their constructions for any purpose other than needing to build; without the Fraggles eating them, Doozer buildings began to take over the rock until the Doozers were planning to leave. To really drive the point home, they lamented (within earshot of Mokey, no less) how cruel the Fraggles were to stop eating their towers for absolutely no reason.
- Kat Stratford in 10 Things I Hate About You, a more extreme version of the Kat Stratford from the 1999 film.
- "Saint" Sarah from Hannah Montana, crusading for such worthy causes as the California Low-Flow Toilet Initiative.
- Britta Perry from Community. She once invoked the Freedom of Information Act to demand a copy of a friend's lecture notes. Several episodes reveal that she's more of a Hypocrite than she likes to think, however, and that a substantial amount of her confrontational self-righteousness was merely posturing designed to make herself feel superior over others.
- The female prosecutors on Law and Order tend to be written this way. Usually to make the lead prosecutor seem smart and reasonable by comparison.
- Some early episodes of Seinfeld have Elaine as one, though it seems that she just uses it as an excuse to argue with people. Later episodes totally subvert it, however. When Jerry asks if Elaine has a problem with the fur industry (in an early episode she made a scene at a party seeing a woman wearing a fur coat), she wearily said, "Eh, who has the energy anymore?"
- Sarah Jane Smith from Doctor Who was often very forward about her feminist ideals, especially in The Monster of Peladon.
- Boardwalk Empire has an example less ham-fisted than usual in Margaret Schroeder, to the point that it can be considered a subversion. Margaret is an adult woman, and she usually fights against injustices she has genuinely suffered herself: in Season 1 she campaigns for female suffrage, being an immigrant from a country (Ireland) where women can vote to one (America) where they can't; she supports Prohibition because her abusive husband gets even more violent when he drinks, rather than because she thinks that alcohol is intrinsically immoral (and she drinks herself with moderation); and in Season 3 her main struggle is to open a clinic that teaches women to take better care of themselves during pregnancy, having already suffered two miscarriages before age 30 herself. The one time she considers fighting for a hopeless cause (bringing Nucky's criminal empire down, which is the basis of her own wealth and status to boot) is when she is stressed and not thinking rationally because of her daughter being sick and blaming herself for it.
- On Pramface, Beth harangues both her friends and strangers if they do anything to contradict one of her personal causes, no matter how (sometimes wildly) inappropriate that is.
- Lindsay Bluth Fünke from Arrested Development in a subverted version of this trope, often taking up causes whenever they benefit her personally - even when they're contradictory to her actual values. She'll sometimes use these causes to shame her family, but they're quick to point out her hypocrisy.
- Michael "The Militant Midget" Evans from Good Times. A spiritual ancestor to ''The Boondocks' Huey Freeman, he probably would've been a Black Panther, had he been born ten years earlier.
- Liz Lemon starts out as this in 30 Rock, constantly jumping onto any cause she can find, even when nobody asks for her help. This is lampshaded and criticized by the others regularly. Eventually she grows out of this after she realizes that her behaviour is negatively impacting her health and is just being exploited by the minority members of the cast to get their way (Tracy in particular loves to do so).
- Maya DiMeo from Speechless is this on behalf of her son J.J., who has cerebral palsy. She's happy to talk smack at anybody making fun of him and is constantly pushing to make his schools and environments more accessible. Unfortunately, she goes about it so abrasively that some people are put off by this and she's become The Dreaded in each neighbourhood her family moves to.
- Parodied in the "High School Theatre" sketches on Saturday Night Live, which are about a trope of middle-class white high-school theater students (both male and female) who have clearly only recently learned about both avant garde theatre and various social justice issues such as homophobia, transphobia, and racism. This leads to a series of skits which are the worst combination of insufferably self-righteous, ill-informed, pretentious and just plain sucky, which their long-suffering parents are forced to endure in the audience with a combination of sarcasm, deconstruction and complaining.
- Also on SNL, Cecily Strong's "The Girl You Don't Want to Sit Next To at Parties", from Weekend Update, often comes across this way.
- Good Omens: Pepper is a young version who denounces war and relationships as a violation of the feminist ideas she's learned from her mum. Anathema also has a little of this, though downplayed, when she lectures Adam about how GMOs and nuclear plants are evil.
- "Prelude/Angry Young Man" by Billy Joel, written from the perspective of an older, more pragmatic ex-activist, gently lampoons this trope:
And there's always a place for the angry young man,With his fist in the air and his head in the sandAnd he's never been able to learn from mistakes,So he can't understand why his heart always breaksHis honor is pure and his courage as well,He's fair and he's true and he's boring as hell!And he'll go to the grave as an angry old man.Oh, there's always a place for the angry young manWith his working class ties and his radical plansHe refuses to bend, he refuses to crawl,And he's always at home with his back to the wallAnd he's proud of his scars and the battles he's lost,And he struggles and bleeds as he hangs on his crossAnd he likes to be known as the angry young man.
- To a point, Alissa White-Gluz of The Agonist. She's a straight-edge vegan animal rights activist who writes songs about humans being bastards who need to show more respect for each other and the environment.
- "Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)" by Styx is basically a request for this sort of character to calm down a little. "Why must you be such an angry young man?/Your future looks quite bright to me."
- "I Should Be Allowed to Think" by They Might Be Giants is a mockery of people like this, complete with opening lines parodying those of Allen Ginsberg's "Howl."
- In his early (1966) song "Persecution Smith", Bob Seger sings about one of these in a vague Bob Dylan impression, taking the song's character to task for whining about social ills but not actually doing anything to help solve them.
- Pretty much everyone in Doonesbury takes a turn on the soapbox.
- The titular character from Mafalda, and possibly the best know example in Latin America. She even steps on a literal soapbox at one point calling for an end to wars, then commenting that she, the U.N. and the Pope have the same effect.
- Nemi, from the Norwegian comic strip by the same name. When she's had a bit to drink she turns into a Cloud Cuckoolander Goth. When she hasn't, she is very likely to give you a long Anvilicious speech on everything that is wrong with this world.
- Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes is a mild example, in that he can get very passionate about various issues (usually environmental), but since his worldview is still that of a six-year-old, the narrative doesn't mind showing him to be just as naive as he is well-meaning. Also spoofed when when Calvin retrieves a small, cardboard soap box to stand on so he can "harangue the multitudes."
Hobbes "You'd probably be more impressive if you tried using the soap."
Calvin: "Let me know if you see any multitudes."
- Hector's former girlfriend Autumn on Zits was like this. Usually she was the Straw Vegetarian type, giving Jeremy the whole "meat is murder" routine (which he always seemed to have a clever comeback to) but there was one storyline where she tried a Free the Frogs variation with locusts, at their school (Reality Ensues when the Hazmat unit shows up).
- The Boondocks: It's often suggested by other characters (notably Caesar) that Huey's stance as an ultra-left wing Afrocentrist usually becomes an excuse to be as big as a Jerkass as he wants. Granddad even points out that Huey's "right to be hostile" just amounts to him making himself miserable in lieu of actually doing any real work for his causes.
- Dennis Rivera in the World Wrestling League, a member of the Puerto Rico Nationalist Party asking why Puerto Ricans did not rebel. He spent more time on wrestling than soap boxing but the question was always right there on his shirt. As a baby face, his initial conflict was with director of operations Savio Vega, another baby face with a "My way or the highway." attitude.
- Sheila ("I'm very social injustice-conscious") from Hair.
- Sally, Steve Jobs' girlfriend, in N.E.R.D.S. So much so that she leaves him when he becomes absorbed in his own narcissism and stops caring about environmental issues.
- In In the Heights, some performances will have Sonny literally step up on a box before going into his political rant in "96,000." Notably, the narrative doesn't dismiss his opinions on the matter as frivolous, but the characters clearly do.
- In Hamilton, Samuel Seabury counts as one in "Farmer Refuted", right down to actually stepping up on a box to give his (ridiculously repetitive) speech on staying loyal to the British. In the original staging, Hamilton steps up with him to give his rebuttal, and one performance had Burr lift Hamilton off the box before saying his piece.
- Edna Strickland from 2010's Back to the Future: The Game is an odd deconstruction. In 1931 she's a crusader for moral and social causes, opposing the speakeasy run by Kid Tannen both because of the alcohol and the sultry singer. She even burned down the first speakeasy. Thanks to Marty's alterations to the timeline, Edna falls for a young Doc Brown and, by 1986, she's used his scientific advances to turn Hill Valley into an Orwellian state where "bad behavior" is controlled via brainwashing.
- Millie from Ozy and Millie often seems to aspire to Soapbox-Sadiedom, but lacks the attention span to truly pull it off.
- In The Non-Adventures of Wonderella, Wonderella used to be one, but almost exclusively because she's an Attention Whore.
- Monique from Sinfest always drifted into this sometimes, but Xanthe/"Trike Girl" lives, breathes, and embodies the trope, always and only. She's also a sort of Author Avatar, so she's always right and never gets the smackdown put on her smug face. Jesus, God, the Devil, and to a lesser extent the Buddha are used as the butt of jokes, but Trike Girl is invariably treated as Serious Business. Not to be outdone, Monique turned the preachiness Up to Eleven at about the same time as Trike Girl first appeared in the comic.
- Later, Monique manages to take it even further by becoming a lesbian and says unironically that she wants to kill all men.
- Yehuda Moon of Yehuda Moon & the Kickstand Cyclery is this way about cycling activism.
- Kankri demonstrates the horrifying synergy between this trope and Motor Mouth.
- Porrim occasionally drifts this way, but luckily has Kankri's example to warn her off.
- Suzette from Precocious is this to the point that when she runs out of things to protest, she uses Insane Troll Logic to invent a new one.
- Dumbing of Age: Roz is progressive, but tends to be rather obnoxious, condescending and self-righteous about it.
- Roz: The "church" that forced kids out of their homes and into the streets? That was you. Until today, that was you.
- Roz is also nonplussed that Leslie is adamantly not okay with Roz shaming Joyce in the class. Roz asks if Joyce gets a pass for shouting over and ignoring gay people her whole life, to which Leslie counters, "Said the straight girl to the gay girl who's been asking her to shut up for the past five minutes." When called on her hypocrisy, Roz leaves the class.
- Jennie from lonelygirl15, charity worker and feminist. She started to irritate fans during series 3, and the writers attempted to redeem the character by demonstrating that she wasn't all talk. For the most part, this seems to have been successful.
- Marzipan in Homestar Runner, also a Granola Girl.
- Social Justice Sally, who is also a Straw Hypocrite who pretends to care about social issues but actually just loves having an excuse to bully people and fight them. Her creator confirms the message here is "be an ally, not a Sally."
- Macrobiotic of the Whateley Universe. Yes, she's a mutant at a Superhero School, and she gave herself the codename Macrobiotic.
- Perkins and Cecil, Chris "Rowdy" Moore's stuffed cats, from TV Trash. If a show has a negative portrayal of cats in ANY way, they will rant about it. In one case, they actually DID one of Moore's reviews for him.
- DarkMatter2525: Dark Matter's videos criticize people who take this too far in his opinion, particularly when God gets onboard, though he's careful to note he agrees in general with opposing racism, sexism etc.
- Played with on ContraPoints , particularly "Abigail Cockbane, Radical Feminist."
- The Simpsons
- Lisa Simpson is probably the best-known examplenote . Just a few examples of her behavior:
Homer: Ohhhh. Lisa. I was looking for you. I wanted to apologize. I don't know exactly what went wrong but it's always my fault.
- Her "don't force your beliefs on others" episode was "Lisa the Vegetarian", where she became a vegetarian. She quickly becomes disgusted with everyone else's carnivorous diet after becoming attached to a cutesy baby petting zoo lamb at a storybook village park, culminating in her ruining Homer's big barbecue because the guests did not want to eat the vegetarian food she prepared. Granted that Homer was a bit of a Jerkass to her while rousing the family in a catchy conga line tune: "You don't win friends with salad". It also doesn't help to call your 8-year old daughter a "know-nothing know-it-all" but that doesn't justify her dangerously irresponsible behavior. The point of that episode was Lisa learning that she shouldn't force other people to become vegetarians and Homer learning to respect his children's choices, and they do apologize to each other at the end which would have been quite touching...had it not played out like this:
Lisa: Actually Dad, this time, I was wrong...
Burns: So, what do you think of today's popular music scene?
- In "The Old Man and the Lisa", she believes that she has turned Burns into an ecologically sensitive businessman. He hasn't of course, but when he fairly offers her final cut of the proceeds, she is so pious that she just... rips up the check dramatically even though that does nothing to help the environment and the money could have been used to do good. Burns's plant was cleaner than the power plant had ever been and he explains that not a single sea creature is wasted when he turns them into an all-use slurry. It's pretty clear that he's genuinely trying to help the world and he's just doesn't understand the harm of fishing on such a huge scale would bring. Lisa just calls him evil and storms off without even attempting to explain why he's actually harming the environment, even when he seems genuinely confused at her reaction and asks why. So she manages to be so entrenched on her soapbox that Mr. Burns is evil that she completely misses the soapbox of trying to convince him to be good.
- In the "Bart Star" episode, her soapbox was deflated, as she tried to join the pee-wee football team. "That's right, a girl wants to join the team." After it was revealed that there were four girls already on the team who were happy to have her, she tries to raise a fuss about the fact that footballs are made from pigskin. She then learns that the balls are synthetic and with each purchase, money is donated to Amnesty International. She runs off in tears, making it clear that she cares more about being on the moral high ground than actually seeing her ideals carried out.
- Lisa has also ruined Homer's chance at success in the "Today I Am a Clown" episode by insisting that he get on her soapbox, i.e. talk about things that bother/interest Lisa instead of what interests/bothers Homer.
- Particularly amusing was in the "Fraudcast News" episode where she and Burns faced off over a free press and were forced to engage in some small talk:
Lisa: I think it distracts people from more important social issues.
Burns: My God, are you always on?
- On top of that, she once goaded Marge into disqualifying herself in the final of a cook-off of the "All's Fair in Oven War" episode, because Marge spiked other entrants' foods with baby medicine, never minding the fact that the other competitors were deliberately sabotaging Marge's hard work in front of her. This wouldn't be so bad, if it wasn't for the fact that the person who'd win was the least-qualified chef in the contest, Brandine Spuckler.
- The "On a Clear Day I Can't See My Sister" episode has the kids go on a field trip to Springfield Glacier, which has been reduced to a tiny hunk of ice in a lake; Lisa spends the entirety of the visit whining about Global Warming and even demands of her classmates "How can you stand around being kids when serious things are happening?!"
- Lisa protests Christmas by surrounding the Christmas tree with crime scene tape in the "The Fight Before Christmas" episode, on the grounds that they cut down an innocent tree.
- Another Christmas-themed version happened in the comic book adaptation (Of the Halloween special), where Lisa pestered Homer to get a live tree to avoid senselessly killing one. Unfortunately, the tree was actually a malevolent alien, and a scout for a race that was planning an invasion. Even worse, it was evil enough to tell Lisa this to her face, as it knew she'd never destroy it herself and never convince anyone of its plans. (And it was right on both counts.) Fortunately, humanity was saved when Homer tripped on the cord for the lights while trying to water it, and electrocuted the creature, causing the invasion force to flee in fear.
- Lisa The Skeptic: When Lisa asks Marge what kind of fool believes in angels, she's stunned for her mother to reply that she does. This only causes her to double down, calling her own mother crazy for believing in things she can't prove.
- Homer Vs. The Eighteenth Amendment: Aside from Rex Banner and the anti-alcohol women's league (who disappear after Banner arrives) Lisa is the only other person in the whole of Springfield that actually cares about the dry law and her opinion when Homer is discovered by Marge to be the "Beer Baron" that is driving Banner crazy (and Marge actually likes it) is to talk about how, yes, the dry law is stupid but it is the law and because of that... she is unable to provide any additional commentary because everybody else (even Maggie) tells her to shut up and go to her room.
- In Lisa Vs. Malibu Stacy, the whole plot (which escalates to the point that Lisa tries to release her own doll to compete, wasting thousands of dollars from the women who helped her design it) happens because Lisa goes on the warpath about the fact that Malibu Stacy, which she has always characterized on her mind as a brainy activist like herself, instead has been given the personality of a Dumb Blonde with her "voiced" version. This trope is actually lampshaded by Marge, who provides the (current) page quote by pointing out that she has forced her family to protest every single hot-button topic under the sun recently, and even then getting angry over the Malibu Stacy looks like petty overkill. Also bear in mind that this episode was done all the way back in Season Five of the show.
- In one episode Marge and Homer discover that Lisa is so well-known to be this among the kids of Springfield that she is completely friendless and she's okay with that. Marge of course doesn't, so she pays a newly arrived girl to be Lisa's friend, and after all of the subsequent drama of Lisa discovering this (which started with Bart following the girl because he thought it was weird another girl would like what Lisa does), the girl do wants to be Lisa's friend for real... but Lisa instantly ditches her when she discloses she is not a vegetarian.
- In at least two different episodes ("Homer The Great" and "Today I Am A Clown") Lisa completely destroys all of the power and fame that Homer had managed to obtain by convincing him to use it for social change, utterly pissing off the people who gave Homer this (the "Stonecutters" Brotherhood of Funny Hats and the producers and audience of his talk show in each respective episode) because they wanted a status quo of Homer leading them into doing stupid things.
- In Caper Chase, Mr. Burns encounter a group of stereotypical students being this, at Yale University, whose leader calls Mr. Burns "worse than Hitler" for referring him as a "fellow" as it's a gender specific pronoun, despite clearly being male.
- Lisa Simpson is probably the best-known examplenote . Just a few examples of her behavior:
- Hayley Smith in American Dad!, usually in defiance of her dad. Post-hippie is probably the perfect way to describe her. Plots involving her than don't focus on her and Jeff being stoners usually focus on her being noisily feminist, anti-gun, anti-capitalism, anti-CIA, pro-environment, pro-Eskimo, and pro-rock-music.
Stan: Just like the rest of the world. Shame on you!
- Parodied in the episode "Camp Refoogee"
Stan: I hate the last day of camp. You better write me when you get home.
Hot Rod: We do not have homes. The rebels destroyed them all.
Stan: Oh yeah. Guess I don't like thinking about the horrible situation you people live in.
- Kid sets a literal soapbox in front of him, Stan steps onto it, looking straight at the camera.
- While Hayley is strongly against her father's views on how wives (and women in general) should be treated or act, one episode revealed Hayley in an outfit and hairstyle from the 1950s while baking pie. Francine discovers this and humorously points out the hypocrisy in it all.
- Another episodes has Hayley attempting to shut down a strip club because she believes the women there are being exploited for their bodies. When she actually goes "behind the scenes", she finds actually the complete opposite is true; horny men are emptying their wallets, and all the women have to do is do a little stripping, do a little dancing.
- Parodied in the episode "Camp Refoogee"
- On Archer, Lana Kane, not surprisingly for the child of academic parents from Berkley, has a history of animal rights and environmental activism. She tends to get very preachy about the moral pros and cons of the missions they get, sometimes endorsing missions for ideological reasons that even her boss Mallory doesn't really care about, and just as often opposing them.
- Katara of Avatar: The Last Airbender has a kind and nurturing nature, but her Soapbox Sadie tendencies have been prominent in some episodes:
- In "Imprisoned", she let herself be captured by the enemy to infiltrate and liberate a rig of Earthbenders.
- In "The Painted Lady", she faked Appa's illness to stay and have more time in a village to help their sick people, putting on hold the team mission.
- In "The Waterbending Master", she confronted the traditions of a culture to gain the right to learn combative waterbending, which was forbidden to the women of the tribe (and, by extension, to her).
- Of course, in "The Ember Island Players", the woman who plays Katara in the play about the Avatar's journey is a very over-the-top, swooning, love-and-friendship preaching mess. Katara tries to deny that she is anything like that in real life, earning an awkward "uh, yeah you are" from her friends. Though she does have her moments of badass straightforwardness, in general Katara is (sometimes blindly) idealistic.
- Huey Freeman from The Boondocks is a male variant. He tends to deliver long monologues about what was wrong with the things that people were doing and that people are blind to the truth. This notably cooled after Season 1, but still.
- JC from Bordertown
- Sharon in Braceface is a very stubborn one at that. She is a vegetarian and animal rights activist.
- Dan of Dan Vs.: "Say no to parenthood!"
- Sam Manson from Danny Phantom, pictured above, is an example of the angry Goth; she once put up an entire protest in a single night to counter her best friend's views (though he did the same). She both complained about people not accepting her for herself and fought to force the whole school to go vegan. Both of those things happened in the same episode- Tucker's protest was in response to Sam forcing the whole school to go vegan, and Sam's counter-protest was a response to Tucker's protest.
- The title character is an exception: While she is very self-righteous about her chosen causes, and often wonders whether she's forcing her beliefs on others, the fact that she doesn't seem to care much whether she actually has any influence on others means she does not fit the standard two types very well. This is gradually subverted in the last season episode "Fizz Ed," when she is convinced she has to personally take action against the school's soda pop contracting and succeeds in reining it back. Worth noting that even when she did take action in "Fizz Ed", Daria didn't actually get the results she was after. It took the school's principal suffering a Freakout brought on by stress and high amounts of caffeine, followed by the district's superintendent walking in and witnessing the proverbial carnage. It's actually noted at the end of the episode that the scaling-back of the contract couldn't be traced to her. Also, Daria was not exactly willing to confront Ms. Li or the superintendent on the matter because she doesn't "get involved" until Jodie and Tom told her she only has the right to complain if she's willing to do something about it.
- A straighter example of this trope would be Jane's older sister Penny, who backpacks in third world countries while attempting to sell handmade knickknacks as a way to salvage the economies. However, Penny clearly has little understanding in terms of foreign languages and the countries she's trying to "save".
- Brian from Family Guy mutated into this in later seasons, delivering liberal and atheist aesops left and right. A few of them made perfect sense (Don't discriminate against gay people) but eventually morphed into such gems as "Religion is for idiots!" and "If we legalized pot everything would be, like, a billion times better!" The fact that Brian is Seth MacFarlane's Author Avatar makes you wonder how much of this is mirrored in his own personal life.
- Played for Laughs in Fillmore!, when Ingrid distracts some Canadian Embassy security guards by pretending to be this type of character and ranting about the "slaughter of baby evergreens".
- Leela on Futurama occasionally takes up causes due to her love of various animals.
- In one episode of Kevin Spencer, a worker hired to tear down the park equipment is met with an angry group of people. The worker thinks they're this, but it turns out that they're just drug dealers, and they wanted the space to deal drugs.
- Bobby from King of the Hill frequently invests himself in various social causes, but he acts like a real adolescent instead of a carefully-constructed mouthpiece for the writers. As soon as he joins a cause, Bobby becomes very self-righteous and emotionally invested in his cause du jour, but he's also very ill-informed and myopic, usually just buying right into whatever his teachers or peers tell him without applying any sort of critical thinking to the matter.
Joseph: Did you ask her out yet?
- Bobby's Temporary Love Interest of in the episode "Bobby Rae". Bobby even points it out:
Bobby: I tried to, but she's too busy trying to save the world.
- Another episode has Bobby fall sway to a fire and brimstone style preacher, which leads Bobby to stand in the mall calling everyone around him a fornicator. His highest point of religious zeal is destroying Hank's papier mache statue of Uncle Sam because Hank was worshiping "false idols".
- This was nicely subverted in one of the later episodes of the series where Bobby goes through a green-phase due to a movement at school. Hank thinks it's stupid at first, but soon learns much of it is common sense and small, reasonable sacrifices. It's shown that many other people in the green movement (who fit more into the usual Soapbox Sadie stereotypes) are only in it because it's "hip", including Hank's boss, who only does it to bed women. After Bobby grows disillusioned with so many people being interested in going green because it's a fad, Hank ends the episode by helping Bobby plant a tree in their yard and telling him he's doing something good, and not to let the people who're only on the bandwagon get to him.
- Alyssa from My Dad the Rock Star fits the trope in that she campaigns for nature and individuality, but mostly not to an obnoxious level.
- Done by Jenny in My Life as a Teenage Robot in a one-off episode involving "Wiggly World", where robots were "slaves" by her estimation. She frees them to disastrous results - including one blowing up because it couldn't do its job.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
- In the episode "Feeling Pinkie Keen", Pinkie Pie has an ability to predict the future that Twilight Sparkle can't seem to explain rationally. When Pinkie asks what the difference is between her ability and Twilight's magic, Twilight stands on a literal soapbox and lectures Pinkie on how magic is practiced and codified, while her "Pinkie Sense" is random and unexplainable. However, by the end of the episode, Twilight learns that just because you can't explain something doesn't mean it's not real, as she's forced by experience to concede that Pinkie's powers are real.
- Twilight Sparkle also likes to soapbox about The Magic Of Friendship any chance she gets, which has earned her a couple of swift Shut Up Kirks from a couple of defeated villains.
- Miss Grotke from Recess can be this in her lessons at times, and a rare example of not being a teenager/child, as she's roughly in her thirties somewhere.
- Wendy Testaburger from South Park. Sometimes Played for Laughs (unsurprising, given the nature of the show) but there have been frequent moments where Matt & Trey have used her for delivering legitimate liberal Aesops and Author Tracts.
- Ophelia on The Life and Times of Juniper Lee is a comic example of the angry Goth. When June wants to keep people out of a particular forest, her brother simply makes up a new endangered species that lives there, and Ophelia, like a flash, is barricading the forest off.
- Courtney from Total Drama qualifies: she does genuinely try to be a polite girl, and thanks to some character development in the first half of season 3 she does come across as genuinely nice at times. At the same time, she's overly preachy, blindly follows the rules, and tends to be rather condescending; Duncan also shows her that being evil is also kind of fun. Hell she's even written a BOOK SERIES on how to be a successful teen.
- X-Men: Evolution Jean could tip into this, what with her speeches on mutant pride and mutant/human equality. It was even lampshaded at one point, in which she gears herself up for a lecture: "And I for one, am very proud of the fact..." only to be yanked off-screen by Scott. In the Girls' Night Out Episode she and the other mutant girls rail against Scott's overprotectiveness and start fighting crime as the "Bayville Sirens." She mellows out by the end of the episode (although she needed almost getting killed by some random gangsters and Cyke helping with a covert optic blast for her to get it).
Cyclops: But what did I do? Tell me.Jean: Alright. You were being a.. a.. a guy!Cyclops: Ohh. I'm... sorry?
- Kaeloo: The titular character has strong moral values and will stand up for what she thinks is right, sometimes behaving like an activist.