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Straw Character

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Members of the Springfield Republican Party include Dracula, Mr. Burns, a water-cooler, and an unfunny clown.

Stan Smith: Make your voice heard, even if it's a whining, sanctimonious liberal voice trying to get illegal immigrants free hair gel and heroin.
Brian Griffin: Or if you're a trigger-happy, conservative, weasel-faced hate spigot.
[Stan shoots Brian in the leg]
2012 "Rock the Vote" PSA

In the strawman fallacy, a debater constructs a weakened or just plain unrecognizable form of an opponent's argument, and in defeating it, acts like they have defeated the real argument. This is likened to attacking a dummy made out of straw that can't fight back. In other words, the go-to tool for someone, possibly driven by a dangerous ego, to create a fantasy outcome where they win.

A straw character is a caricature of a person, a character the author has set up in order to ridicule a particular viewpoint.

A strawman can have pretty much any viewpoint. Why bother addressing the real issues of, for example, gun control, when you can instead portray all firearms advocates as bearded, racist, hillbilly lunatics ranting about black helicopters and wanting to own their own nuclear warheads? And so it goes with other examples; capitalists literally worship the bottom line and would sell their own kids into slavery if they could; liberals are all constantly outraged and secret Communists aiming to destroy morality and personal choice; conservatives are constantly outraged, intolerant bigots who want nothing more than to see oppressed minorities suffer; scientists look down their nose on the religious, then shake their fist at God while plotting to surpass Him; the religious are wide-eyed, superstitious, self-righteous madmen (who more often than not treat science as a Religion of Evil); feminists want to kill all men; and so on.

This is not to say that such extremists don't actually exist, but the straw character presents extreme or minority views as the typical beliefs of a group rather than those of a tiny subset of it.

A sub-type of straw character is the sounding board, a character who makes points on their side purely so a character the author agrees with can reply with devastating comebacks that prove the first character's foolishness. The straw character is left stumped by the author's obvious wisdom and will struggle to reply or explode angrily to show how unreasonable they (and anyone else holding such views) are. In some instances, they'll go completely silent or avert their gaze, presumably rendered mute/ashamed by the author's "truth".

Characters of this type are extremely one-dimensional. Every aspect of them is geared towards advancing the views of the author. The presence of such characters is often jarring and sometimes offensive to people who actually hold the beliefs that are being misrepresented; in addition, strawmen are very ineffective tools to convert or convince people of opposing beliefs and tend to encourage Confirmation Bias. Their ability to always be right within the politics of their creator frequently makes them come off as extremely arrogant, condescending, and unlikable. This is especially annoying when a normal member of the cast suddenly breaks the flow of the story to get on a soapbox and deliver An Aesop.

Sub Tropes:

  • Animal Wrongs Group: An animal rights group who does more harm to their cause than good by either valuing animal life over human life or being completely hypocritical due to not condemning every form of animal abuse or willing to harm animals themselves to get their message across.
  • Blonde Republican Sex Kitten: An attractive female conservative used to demonstrate that they're not all old white men.
  • Cruella to Animals: Anyone who wears clothing and eats food made from animals does so because they enjoy making animals suffer. Bonus points if they have a preference for doing this with animals who are endangered species.
  • Fox News Liberal: A political character who is used to present the illusion of ideological balance in a work whose political slant is strongly the other direction.
  • Heteronormative Crusader: A homophobic activist who sees any sexuality other than straight to be wicked and vile and is determined to kill or cure everyone who is gay. Has a high chance of secretly being gay themselves.
  • Malcolm Xerox: A civil rights activist who is willing to resort to extremist violence to further their cause.
  • Pompous Political Pundit: A politically biased commentator used to satirize the (more often than not) conservative pundits on news media.
  • Straw Fan: A representation of the work's fanbase who lampoons and exaggerates their worst qualities.
  • Straw Feminist: Feminists are stereotyped as being misandrists who use the claim that they are fighting against oppression towards women as a shield to deflect accusations of them being bigoted towards males. May frequently make unironic statements about how all men are evil and deserve to suffer or die.
  • Straw Loser: A pathetic character who exists solely to make the other characters look cooler in comparison.
  • Straw Misogynist: A male character who hates women and exists solely to have their sexist beliefs proven wrong.
  • Strawman News Media: Fictional news media tends to be completely biased and untrustworthy.
  • Straw Nihilist: A character that uses nihilism to justify their amoral, sociopathic, and villainous behavior set up to be defeated by a hero.

More Straw Characters can be found at The Only Righteous Index of Fanatics!.

See Strawman U for an entire university composed of straw characters or Fictional Political Party for what can amount to an entire party of strawmen. See also Fox News Liberal (aka MSNBC Conservative) for varieties trotted out for or by the media. This tactic is also sometimes used in AstroTurf campaigns.

The strawman is a relative of the Windmill. While a strawman is a dumbed-down version of a real enemy or threat, a windmill is not at all the threat it's believed to be — if it even exists in the first place. A person who honestly fights such windmills can be used as a Straw Loser, while a dishonest person who tricks others into fighting windmills typically is a Straw Hypocrite. If the strawman actually makes a good point that the author didn't intend, it's a case of Strawman Has a Point. Compare and contrast with Deliberately Bad Example, where a character's purpose is to make a sympathetic character look better in comparison regarding a potentially touchy subject. Finally, characters literally made of straw are Scary Scarecrows.



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    Comic Books 
  • Almost every evangelist tract by Jack Chick features strawmen liberals as villains. Often he proves his arguments by having a character argue down a Strawman Political.
    • A particularly bad one is "Big Daddy", which consists mostly of a blatant Gary Stu debating evolution with a Strawman Political science teacher. Guess who wins?
    • Jack Chick outdid himself in a Crusaders and Alberto comics, where the main characters meet new political strawmen every issue who state things such as the Catholic Church is really a front for The Illuminati or Communism is actually a form of Satanism.
    • Heaven help you (so to speak) if you're a Latter Day Saint.
  • Goldilocks, from the Vertigo comic Fables, seems to be this at first, with every negative stereotype about liberal feminists you can think of, spouting Communist rhetoric, exclaiming "Oh my Goddess!" at every turn; however, it turns out it's all an act to cynically manipulate her followers. Also, she's insane.
  • In an issue of Preacher, Jesse was listening to a late-night debate between a Straw Feminist and a Straw Conservative which was so stupid he got pissed off, called the radio station, and used his Compelling Voice to make them confess what each really wanted. They both said they want cock.
  • The Corrupt Corporate Executive version of Lex Luthor occasionally edged into Strawman Conservative territory, though when the character actually ran for president the writers were careful not to describe his political leanings at all. Though it's worth noting that at one point, Green Arrow decries something President Luthor has done with "This would never happen with a Democrat in the White House!" (Green Arrow's own leftist strawman status is debatable; make your own decision on whether his statement there was meant as a strawman's or dead serious). Superman/Batman: Public Enemies avoids this by making Luthor a third-party independent. Luthor was a third party candidate in the comic books as well. If some writers forgot that in order to turn him into a Strawman, that can't be helped, but the main writers of the story showed him as competing with the "two major party candidates."
  • The DCU super-duo, Hawk and Dove, were created to exemplify this trope. In the original stories, penned by Objectivist Steve Ditko, Dove, the pacifist, is portrayed as weak-willed, vacillating, and ineffectual, while his aggressive brother Hawk is the only one who manages to accomplish anything. Almost every writer since Ditko has portrayed Hawk as a thoughtlessly belligerent borderline berserker, with the rational, thoughtful Dove providing the only rational check on his action. Only rarely do we see a story where both viewpoints are treated with anything approaching equal regard, or a writer who admits the possibility that the different approaches might be appropriate in different situations. Ironically, this mainly came to the fore when Ditko was working with Steve Skeates, the more liberal co-creator of the duo. Characterization veered from side to side depending on who was doing the main plotting, until Skeates finally left the book over how Dove was being made into a wimp. When Hawk and Dove were later revived, the whole "conservative vs. liberal" thing was quietly dropped in the dustbin, and the two were recast as agents of Order (Dove) and Chaos (Hawk) meant to find a balance in tumultuous situations. Bonus Points: their father was a judge and always told them that they needed to see and understand each other's side. Later taken to extremes when Hawk murdered Dove and became a brutal militaristic dictator. And then taken to an even greater extreme during Blackest Night, where Dove I is apparently the only dead person in the entire universe who is at peace. This all becomes rather strange when you consider that the peaceful, pacifist, Dove constantly telling Hawk that not all problems are solved by running around in spandex and punching people in the face is portrayed as unfailingly right by most writers, when the setting revolves around people running around in spandex and punching people in the face. It's also important to remember that throughout most of the 1960s, before the antiwar mindset, truly entered the liberal mainstream, it was possible to be a liberal and a hawk (as long as war advanced a liberal agenda). In fact, at many times in the past the conservatives were the ones who were antiwar. In the JLU episode "Hawk and Dove", they were portrayed once again as Straw Conservative and Liberal respectively, and while Hawk was once again portrayed as an over-aggressive brute vs Dove's pacifist outlook, his behavior was tempered by his stated need to protect his brother, whom he saw as "weak".
  • The Daily Planet columnist Dirk Armstrong in Superman comics was created as a strawman conservative, though some later writers gave him more depth and sympathetic qualities, such as having to raise a blind teenage daughter on his own. His strawman status should have been obvious, given his physical resemblance to Rush Limbaugh. While he is portrayed initially as a Superman fan (for being tough on crime), he is the first to turn on Superman after he loses control of his powers and becomes an energy being... though in hindsight, he might have been the Only Sane Man on this subject! Thankfully, soon after that storyline ended, he was Put on a Bus and has not been seen since. Some writers that handled the character seemed to think that any conservative-leaning, at all, constituted being a wacko extremist. Meaning that when Armstrong vowed to devote his column to making sure a mayor with a poor gun rights record wasn't elected (at least until the election), it slammed straight into Strawman Has a Point territory so hard that if you weren't aware of the character's status as a strawman whipping-boy, you'd have thought they meant him to be right. For extra points, he said this while at a costume party and dressed as Lincoln... the mayor was dressed as Caesar.
  • Supergirl's portrayal in the first dozen of issues of Supergirl (2005) drew a lot of criticism as fans cried foul at Kara's characterization and the sheer force of difference between that version of her and her original portrayal. (The Pre-Crisis Kara Zor-El was quick-tempered and snarky but mostly cheerful, enthusiastic, responsible and heroic; the Post-Crisis version was mainly obnoxious, whiny and selfish). Ultimately writer Joe Kelly decided to address these complaints by having a Mirror Match between Post-Crisis Supergirl and an exaggerated knockoff of Pre-Crisis Supergirl, whose sole purpose in the story appears to have been an excuse for Kelly to espouse why a flawed, angry Supergirl is such a better alternative to the "Little Miss Perfect" caricature they paraded out to contrast with her. Fans didn't take this well, and the next writers proceeded to give Post-Crisis Kara a likable personality and retcon her early characterization as Kryptonite-induced madness and the "match" as a hallucination.
  • Liberality for All is summarized as such: It is 2021, tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of 9/11. America is under oppression by ultra-liberal extremists who have surrendered governing authority to the United Nations. Hate speech legislation called the "Coulter Laws" have forced vocal conservatives underground. A group of bio-mechanically enhanced conservatives led by Sean Hannity, G. Gordon Liddy, Oliver North, and a young man born on September 11, 2001, set out to thwart Ambassador Usama bin Laden's plans to nuke New York City. As hard it may seem to believe, this series does contain one or two strawman liberal depictions.
  • normalman has both a Strawman Liberal and a Strawman Conservative, and they're technically the same character. That is the malevolent, overzealous reactionary nut-job Ultra-Conservative, and his alternate personality, the radical, chaotic anarchist Liberalator. Ultra-Conservative eventually suppresses the transformation by thinking about "commie agitators", "pinko cupcakes", and the "death penalty" while shouting that he "will not change!"
  • The various X-Men and spinoff series semi-regularly feature intolerant, hate-preaching fundamentalist groups obviously based off televangelists and Westboro Baptists with some Ku Klux Klan thrown in for good measure as villains. Several major arcs featured a Reverend Stryker becoming a major threat to the X-Men. Less common, but still present on rare occasions, are religious folk shown opposing the extremist fringe. (Anti-mutant discrimination is often played to echo historic discrimination against Blacks in America. That the actual emancipation movement first took root in religious circles is not similarly reflected.) They also, especially in the last few years, represent gays, so religious persecution makes perfect sense. That's the X-Men - they stand in for every minority group ever. Any political view can be justified with the right interpretation of a religion. The first arc of the Marvel NOW! Cable and X-Force relaunch has the team taking on the Marvel Universe's equivalent of Chick-fil-A. The only difference is they swapped out the restaurant chain's alleged homophobic leanings for a hatred of mutants.
  • In Warren Ellis' Black Summer, Well-Intentioned Extremist John Horus assassinates the US President, who's actions bear a striking resemblance to the accusations leveled at George W. Bush. This is treated by many of the others with a reaction generally equivalent to "Sure, man, we all would have loved to have done it, that doesn't mean you should have."
  • Most of the early Green Arrow stories depicted Oliver Queen as a hero dedicated to helping the common people - a man of left-wing values who often spoke of rich conservatives as fat cats. Occasionally though, in more recent stories writers will let Queen's negative qualities such as his self-righteousness or his contempt for such "fat cats" get the better of him, and he comes off, intentionally or not, as something of a Straw Liberal. This is taken to extremes (and possibly played for laughs) in The Dark Knight Strikes Again. Miller went overboard rather strongly in DK 2, but Queen had taken to cynically gaming the system in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, which might explain his later histrionics as a means to keep a smokescreen up lest his cohorts turn on him like Superman had when he burned off Queen's arm with heat vision in the backstory. Like Ollie said, "You have to make the bastards work for you."
  • Hal Jordan was portrayed as a straw conservative in the famed Green Lantern/Green Arrow series from the '70s. Most stories involved Hal acting like a Jerkass and spouting off conservative talking points, only to be taught a lesson about racism, sexism or classism by the end of the issue. Perhaps most notable would be John Stewart's debut issue. Hal is basically called a racist by one of the Guardians of the Universe after he bashes Stewart for standing up to a bigoted police officer.
    • Guy Gardner would qualify as well in The '90s. Essentially he took over from Hal as the strawman conservative of the DC Universe during that period of time, although Gardner's cartoonish chauvinism made Jordan's righ wing tendencies seem like moderate centrism.
  • This was averted with the similar Captain America and The Falcon series. The Falcon was usually used to explore issues like classism and racism, but Captain America rarely came off as badly as Hal Jordan did. At worst, he just came across as a naive white guy who didn't grasp racial issues in modern America. Any accidental racism, sexism, etc. on Cap's part could be forgiven to an extent because of the time period that Cap grew up in and was thrown out of in - to him - an instant.
  • An early Garth Ennis issue of The Punisher had the titular vigilante (of all people) threatening President Bush, claiming the US brought 9/11 on itself and ranting about the military industrial complex a mere few weeks after the attacks happened in Real Life.
    • His first Punisher maxi-series featured a trio of copycat vigilantes with similar methods to the titular antihero. Elite was a wealthy conservative who believed all of society's ills were caused by minorities and poor people, Mr. Payback was a working-class liberal who believed all of society's ills were caused by corporate fat cats, and the Holy was a Latino priest who simply believed that sinners deserved to die regardless of their background. Before killing them, Punisher delivered the trio a Reason You Suck Speech where he dismissed Elite as A Nazi by Any Other Name, the Holy as a complete lunatic, and Mr. Payback as an idiot who was inadvertently killing innocent people (such as a Latina cleaning woman he'd accidentally shot) due to his poor planning and general stupidity.
  • Any politician who appears in The Authority will be depicted as corrupt, greedy and too dumb to live. They also will be all Strawman Conservatives - and the more vocally they are opposed to the titular group of superpowered sociopaths, the more Straw they get.
  • Silver Age comics had a form of this in the Strawman Communist: for instance, Iron Man fought enemies like Titanium Man and the Crimson Dynamo several times. The focus wasn't on their ideology, which was hardly even mentioned: the focus was on providing an acceptable target for the hero to beat up—in those days, Communists were used much like Nazis are used in World War II shooters today. In truth, it's not much of a stretch to conceive of an aggressive Soviet enemy responding to Tony Stark's escalation of the arms race, considering the Cold War nearly went hot multiple times in real life for similar reasons.
  • Flag-Smasher, a Badass Normal Anti-Hero created by Marvel in 1985: the name represents his hatred of flags and nationalism, which he sees as a source of evil in the world, especially the aggressive, jingoistic foreign policies of superpowers like the USA. Right after he's been introduced and his motivations explained, we see him raid and burn a factory producing American flags, chuckling to himself that the workers will surely be "glad to be freed from the hypocrisy of their jobs."
  • PS238 plays the trope for comedy in the form of America Eagle and USA Patriot Act, a pair of superheroes-in-training who were sponsored by the two major political parties. (Technically we don't know which is which, but evidence suggests Eagle is the Democrat and Patriot Act is the Republican.) They spend most of their time arguing by throwing different liberal and conservative talking points that they obviously aren't old enough to fully comprehend at each other, and the other students all find this annoying. They're each relatively less annoying if the other isn't around, though.
  • Gates from Legion of Super-Heroes is an interesting example. He was one of the very few free thinkers among his race, who all shared the same opinions. He's basically a socialist, openly suspicious of authority figures, with most of his dialogue being him complaining about the "capitalist police state" and "teenage death squad" he's been forcibly drafted into. While most of his appearances involve making fun of extreme beliefs in one way or another, writers have consistently treated him as a sympathetic three-dimensional character.
  • Concrete almost always portrays conservatives in a bad light, often as ignorant, old, bald men or raving racists who only care about money. It doesn't stop there. Characters who should be neutral or have a variety of opinions almost always agree with the author/protagonists on controversial or highly varied issues, even when Concrete is visiting an area of the world where such an opinion is virtually non-existent or would be nonsensical to hold.
  • Viz has a number of one-joke characters based around parodying certain political viewpoints. Ones which still appear regularly are Millie Tant (Straw Feminist), Major Misunderstanding (conservative Grumpy Old Man who hates the modern world in general and anybody who isn't a white male heterosexual Tory in particular), Meddlesome Ratbag (right-wing Moral Guardian), and the Male Online (Anthropomorphic Personification of the very right-wing Daily Mail newspaper). The comic also used to feature The Modern Parents (a parody of media depictions of trendy middle-class Bourgeois Bohemian leftist/environmentalist) but they haven't appeared for some time. Actual politician Baxter Basics is not an example, as his strips tend to revolve around his sexual depravity, financial corruption, and general self-centredness rather than partisan ideological humour.
  • Played with in Astro City; while the characters are not straw political caricatures, they are sometimes seen as such in-universe by others.
    • Some citizens of Astro City view Winged Victory in a distinctively negative light because of her strong advocacy for women's rights and independence.
    • Similarly, the Crossbreed are typically dismissed as religious fanatics because they believe their powers are a gift from God and proselytize when not fighting super-villains.

    Fan Works 
  • Seth in the Pokécity has this in the form of Barney's son, Flosshead the Dinosaur. He is intended to be a Take That! directed at far-right hypocrites and people who have little idea of what they're talking about.
    • There's also their version of Donald Trump, who digs in the garbage looking for evidence against the Democrat party, especially Joe Biden.
  • The Pokémon Squad, in a similar vein to Seth in the Pokécity, uses Jimmy Neutron as a notable Republican politician in Kanto, who happens to be racist and homophobic (though the latter covers up a disturbing crush on Rudy). He also has his own talk show, which is a blatant Take That! at FOX News.
    • Much earlier, George W. Bush was introduced into the Yaoi House. He is depicted as a hopelessly inept with intelligence about on par with Ash. The real RM even jokes that Bush is one of the few characters he didn't exaggerate.
  • Deliberately Averted in A Thing of Vikings. The author has said that Fishswill, one of his original characters, is an attempt to create a character who has entirely reasonable and logical (at least to them) beliefs that happen to disagree with those of the protagonists. They both want a better world, but have different ideas of how to get there.
    "I want to avoid falling into the trap I've seen from other writers where they create their perfect society with no internal conflicts or downsides, or just write the people who politically disagree with them as one dimensional strawmen who are corrupt, idiotic, treasonous, or all of the above."

  • In The American President, President Shepherd's political party isn't explicitly mentioned, and his opponent's party (Republican) is mentioned only once in passing, such that one could be forgiven for blinking and missing it. The opponent, however, is portrayed as a pretty standard strawman conservative who sits around with his cronies smoking cigars and plotting evil. At one point he sings, "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas" when he discovers that the incumbent President's girlfriend has a checkered past. It was pretty clear President Shepherd was a Democrat. His opponent's methods were based on the Republican rhetoric of the Bill Clinton era attacking him for his alleged lack of "family values".
  • Ben and Arthur has a radical right-wing Christian as its main antagonist. He has zero problems murdering his brother and his brother's boyfriend in cold blood because they're gay and even the leaders of his church agree that murder is the correct solution. The movie treats this as just a thing modern Christians do.
  • The Contender stars Joan Allen as a U.S. Senator (formerly moderate Republican, now a Democrat, and a pro-choice atheist to boot) who is nominated for the Vice Presidency after the incumbent veep is killed. A Republican Congressman tries to block the nomination by dredging up her sexual past, but is unsuccessful, thanks in no small part to the efforts of the (Democratic) President. The "good guys" and "bad guys" are easy to spot. (Gary Oldman, who played the Republican Congressman, and the film's producer subsequently accused DreamWorks SKG executives of re-editing the film, which came out three weeks prior to the 2000 election, to make the Democrats more sympathetic).
  • Shoot 'Em Up featured both a Strawman Conservative and Strawman Liberal. Both of them kill babies, but like the rest of the movie, their portrayal is pretty tongue-in-cheek. Though the Strawman Conservative was portrayed as being absolutely pure evil, and for extra anviliciousness had a monologue about how America having guns was great because it let cowards feel powerful, and seems to enjoy the idea of killing babies. The Strawman Liberal requires dead babies to continue living and was being blackmailed by the Strawman Conservative into selling out his beliefs.
  • La Cage Aux Folles, feature an obvious strawman in the father of a gay man's son's fiancée. The French version has deputy Simon Charrier being played by Michel Galabru, who turns the straw into pure comedic awesomeness. This being a French movie, Sarrier was not meant to be a strawman conservative, but a religious extremist: Given the multi-party French political system, conservatives and fundamentalists do not share a party, and thus the former would not feel targeted.
  • The American remake The Birdcage: While the Senator looks quite a bit like a strawman, it's easy enough to view it as just a sign of the ridiculous exaggeration and silliness that pervades all the characters. He's a kooky, over-the-top example of right-wing politicians because the family of his daughter's fiancé is a kooky, over-the-top example of a gay couple. And his goal in the movie isn't that absurd: he wants to get reelected and is facing a scandal that really isn't his fault. What he's against is seeming even more ridiculous in the eyes of the American public, especially his supporters. If you're against gay rights, it would be bad to see your senator's daughter marrying the son of a kooky, gay couple.
  • Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. Almost every time politics of any type is expressed.
  • Blue State is actually more politically complex than the concept (two people moving to Canada after Bush gets re-elected) would imply, but the protagonist's father is a definite conservative Strawman Political: he greets his son by calling him "Comrade Lenin," mocks him for voting for Kerry, and begins to act like a deranged Bill O'Reilly on mushrooms when his son argues with him, screaming out to "cut his mic," and eventually throws his son out of the house.
  • Mexican film Un Mundo Maravilloso was deliberately made as a giant leftist Take That! to the liberal economic policies of recent governments in Mexico (but more specifically Vicente Fox's administration). The protagonist (a homeless, jobless hobo) and his friends several times blame "the system" and "the government" for his situation, and the Minister of Economy (the antagonist) in the end decides to outlaw poverty and for this, he wins the Nobel Prize in Economics.
  • Similarly, La Ley de Herodes (which is set in the 50s) from the same filmmaker has these two exchanges between an opposition party member and a strawman U.S. citizen:
    Morales: Do you think democracy is the solution for poor countries like Mexico?
    Robert: No no no, we Americans also like dictatorships like yours.
    Morales: Is it true that your countrymen are still angry from the Mexican oil expropriation?
    Robert: Well a little... yeah. But my countrymen know that one day we will recover all of that, and in time more, much more.
  • In Hiding Out, Jon Cryer is an adult accountant hiding out as a high school student. In a history class, the strawman conservative teacher gives a weak and histrionic defense of Richard Nixon as Cryer's character struggles to bite his tongue.
  • Valentine, the villain of Kingsman: The Secret Service is a Straw Enviromentalist willing to kill off most of humanity to solve overpopulation. Oddly, one organization he aids is a straw extremist church that might as well be The Klan under a religious facade (it's actually a parody of the real-life Westboro Baptist Church). Meanwhile, the US President in Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a straw Social Darwinist who doesn't really care if millions die just because they used drugs, including those who used them for medicinal purposes.
  • Team America: World Police features collateral damage caused by gung-ho Strawman Conservatives taking on Strawman Liberal actors who help terrorists.
  • But I'm a Cheerleader involved straw-conservatives trying to teach gay teens to recover their "true" sexuality via acting out stereotypical 1950's gender roles. Everyone in the movie is a stereotype of some sort.
  • Away We Go featured not so much a Strawman Political, but a Strawman Lifestyle, in showing a "crunchy" family as ridiculous and unfit parents, with an inconsiderate, rambly, condescending wife who screeches like a harpy when presented with a stroller and a husband who just agrees with everything his wife says and mumbles something about the family bed (and is entirely forgettable, probably intentionally). You're clearly supposed to be giggling along with the protagonist couple at the silly crunchies when, in reality, there are plenty of reasons to not use a stroller, breastfeed into toddlerhood, or have a family bed.
  • The documentary The Atomic Cafe compiles videos of World War II and post-WW2 era American pro-war propaganda. One of these scenes is a stereotypical Straw Feminist in huge glasses on a soapbox claiming that Communist countries want peace and are all-around great countries. She is also a classic Straw Pacifist.
  • If there's one thing that The Cell should be applauded for besides its visuals, it's the fact that it utterly averts this trope. Vince Vaughn's character blatantly disagrees with the film's overall view of treating criminals more compassionately, but his views (and any audience members who share these views) are still treated with respect by the director. They also give him a heartbreaking story to justify this, which helps.
  • Red Planet features a straw man atheist geneticist who offers no coherent support for his disbelief when debating with other characters. On the opposite side of the equation there is a straw man religious old man, who also offers no coherent support for his spirituality, while expecting others to share it. Curiously, they get along just fine.
  • The final sequence in Things to Come is based around the idea that anyone who questions Everytown's black-clad, arguably techno-fascist leadership is opposed to "progress". Not to ruthless, dehumanizing progress, not to an obsessively technological society completely cut off from the natural world (at one point a small girl asks her great-grandfather what "windows" were), certainly not to a government that has outlawed private ownership of airplanes and declared its opposition to the existence of independent sovereign states, but to progress itself.
  • In Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen, Director Galloway reminds us a number of times that he's the National Security Advisor for President Obama. He spends the movie making bad decisions and going against the advice of the military, following typical right-wing accusations that liberals are soft on defense. Michael Bay is well known for his support of the American military, to the point where he films jets and tanks the same way he films Megan Fox straddling a motorcycle.
  • Roland Emmerich:
    • 2012 has Dr. Adrian Hemsley being at odds with Carl Anheuser (the White House's Chief of Staff who becomes Acting President after all others above him die), the first being a stand-in for Barack Obama (then running for President at the time of the film's production) who wants the "Ark" to save everybody they could, while Anheuser does not only want to save only the ones he considers "fit" to survive (in other words, rich), but he also pretty much embodies (literally) the (second term) Bush cabinet, in the case his first name doesn't give away enough information.
    • The Day After Tomorrow features hopelessly greedy Republican strawmen in denial over the imminent climate disasters. Lampshaded in the South Park episode "Two Days Before The Day After Tomorrow" where Randy refers to a critic of his environmental policies as a "cliché dissenting Republican".
    • In White House Down, the main protagonist of the film (a thinly-veiled Barack Obama) is opposed by a collection of conservative strawmen including Gun Nut gun-toting conservatives, warmongering ultra-nationalists, members of the frequently-cited Military Industrial Complex, and disgruntled veterans all bent on spoiling the Presidents newly-forged Middle Eastern peace.
  • Pick a movie, any movie, by Quebecois filmmaker Pierre Falardeau, and you'll find at least one if not many strawmen standing for federal government support or anti-separatists or just liberals in general.
  • President Stone of the 2009 Astro Boy movie takes every single strawman conservative stereotype, and pushes them beyond their natural extremes. "(The film) seems to have a political agenda" indeed.
  • PCU does this to liberals and conservatives, Played for Laughs. Most of the college students are clueless, politically-correct hippies, while the dean and the local rich kid fraternity are xenophobic, elitist and corrupt. Our main characters are just slackers caught between the two extremes, although they find the fratboys just annoying instead of crazy.
  • Undercover Brother has wall-to-wall Strawmen, from Mr. Feather to Conspiracy Brother. (Don't worry, they are equal opportunity offenders.)
  • One of the villains of Machete is a Texas State Senator so virulently anti-immigrant that he occasionally rides along with a group of border vigilantes who shoot unarmed illegal immigrants coming over the border, including a pregnant woman. Given that the movie is a loving homage to over-the-top Grindhouse-style movies where subtlety was not considered a virtue, however, this is arguably intentionally over-the-top.
  • The Purge films are as close as mainstream entertainment has come to Strawman Political: The Movie, which becomes exponentially more heavy-handed with each sequel. By the third movie, anyone of even the slightest conservative bent is depicted as a fascist, mass-murdering, white-supremacist religious fanatic out to slaughter everyone who isn't exactly like them for the benefit of their rich and equally white, fascist, racist, religious overlords, to the point that actual, violent criminal gangbangers are depicted as heroic in comparison. That said, the writers' overtly vicious Demonization of Conservatives and general cluelessness about real-world politics, sociology, and economics makes these characters come off so extreme as to seem like cartoonish abstractions, so it has to be difficult for any right-leaning viewers to take them seriously enough to be offended.
  • Elysium: The militantly elitist and xenophobic Delacourt is a strawman of the anti-immigration debate. Even her superiors are alarmed by her extreme tactics.
  • The Christian film God's Not Dead is basically one huge straw man against atheism. The over-the-top atheistic antagonist in this is filled with hatred towards the perfectly decent Christian lead. As the movie progresses, he becomes more and more strident. To add insult to injury, he turns out to be a Hollywood Atheist who is bitter about his mom dying. The film ends with him getting hit by a car and converting as he dies. The sequel is much the same thing, as are most Christian films (not to be confused with faith-based films). It's so over the top many atheists find the films more funny than offensive and enjoy mocking them for their idiocy.
  • Arguably every character in Saved! except for the protagonist and her friends (and the protagonist at the beginning of the film) is a Straw Character. Saved! depicts a fundamentalist Christian private school. Most of the faculty, students, and parents connected to the school demonstrate both judgmentalism and obliviousness to obvious realities due to their entrenched indoctrination. One particular scene deliberately sets up the type of devastating comeback mentioned in this trope:
    Hilary Faye: I am filled with Christ's love! [throws her Bible at Mary] You are just jealous of my success in the Lord.
    Mary: [Mary hands Bible back to Hilary Faye] This is not a weapon, you idiot.
  • This cartoon from the documentary For the Bible Tells Me So gives us a painfully obvious Straw Christian by the name of - any guesses? - Christian. Not that no one ever makes "Christian's" arguments, but he's obviously just there to be shot down.
  • Saving Christmas: Christian is bummed out that Christmas is getting too materialistic. Kirk spends the movie essentially telling him to chill out.
  • Zootopia is unique among family-oriented animated films for its use of the trope, which got it in the news (no less considering that it was released during the 2016 US presidential campaign): Assistant Mayor Bellwether sees herself as the tribune of preys and deliberately riles up tensions between them and predators. Meanwhile, the Mayor, while mostly portrayed sympathetically, firmly clings to the belief that predators are better than preys anyway (in spite of being promoted as a land of equality, there are several cases of casual discrimination) and is extremely reluctant about upending the status quo.
  • The Dictator is an absolute take-down of politics:
    • General Aladeen is a brutal autocrat who has changed an entire language at his will. He also sends whoever disagrees with him to the gallows.
    • Aladeen's uncle Tamir, on the other hand, believes in democracy... as he will be able to sell oil to foreigners.
    • In his speech to the U.N., Aladeen speaks of dictatorships as giving disproportionate economic power to a tiny fraction of the population, ignoring social issues, sending countries into senseless wars, cramming prisons with members of certain racial persuasions and using media to scare people into supporting the government. All these being talking points of 21st century American left-wing politics regarding U.S. policies.
  • Gold Through the Fire: The irreligious mother who objects to Peter's preaching in school gets portrayed as a hysterical bigot who despises religion, accuses Peter of giving her daughter a rash due to stress, and wholly ignorant that "separation of church and state" isn't actually a phrase found in the Constitution or Bill of Rights (this is well known to real secularists-it was coined to describe the First Amendment's protection).

  • "Respectability; childishness; mental timidity; dullness; sentimentality; censoriousness; and depression of spirits.......Whenever an average Christian is represented in a novel or a play, he is pretty sure to be shown practicing one or all of the Seven Deadly Virtues enumerated above." Dorothy L. Sayers, "The Dogma Is the Drama".
  • The global government in the Left Behind series starts out on the Straw-Lib end of the scale.
  • Edge of Apocalypse (written in part by Tim Lahaye, co-author of Left Behind) features a senator who is actually named Straworth. He and the majority of the politicians in the book (President included) are corrupt straw liberals.
  • Ayn Rand, as a Writer on Board promoting her philosophy of Objectivism, generally made the villains of her fictional works Strawman Socialists. In particular, not only does Atlas Shrugged have lots and lots of Strawman Socialist villains, but their political beliefs are repeatedly blamed for every single disaster that happens in the story. In one episode, a passenger train is held up just short of a tunnel unsuitable for its steam locomotive but is ordered to proceed nevertheless by a corrupt politician who is late for a rally and unwilling to wait for a diesel locomotive to carry the train through the tunnel. This means death for every passenger on board — What a Senseless Waste of Human Life, right? No — the Strawman Political beliefs of the doomed passengers are illustrated to show how their catastrophic demise was justified because they were allegedly each no different than the politician. Even worse is Anthem, where the Strawman Socialists have eliminated the use of the word "I" in favor of "We," where everyone sobs themselves to sleep in despair, and where the protagonist is ostracized after rediscovering electric lighting both for stepping out of his assigned role as a janitor and for threatening the jobs of candlestick makers.
  • In a particularly Anvilicious case of Writer on Board and Author Filibuster, in the Sword of Truth books author Terry Goodkind has done the strawman routine on everything from liberalism to socialism to traditional religion to democracy. All other ideals can only stand in the way of the true freedom that comes about under the rule of a benevolent Objectivist dictator, Richard.
    • Richard is opposed by pacifist terrorists who are said to be "armed with only their hatred of moral clarity" and must be ridden down by Richard to prevent them from screwing everything up.
    • All proponents of religion are shown to be foolish by contrast to Richard, who espouses that all must live their lives free from backwards religious beliefs because there can be no proof of life beyond death... despite having extensive personal experience with spirits.
    • One pair of villains is a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Bill and Hillary Clinton, who are killed by their own lecherous depravity.
    • Goodkind spares most of his straw for depictions of socialists and socialism, which is portrayed as a ludicrously harmful and illogical philosophy that does nothing but destroy the human spirit. One zealous socialist is shown to quickly drive her husband's business into the ground with her illogical socialist business practices, such as hiring random people simply because they need jobs and paying unskilled laborers as much as master craftsmen because it's "fair."
  • Most politicians in Honor Harrington get this treatment in some way - the good guys fall almost entirely into the Crown Loyalist or Centrist parties, while the bad guys and just plain nutcases/cowards are generally Conservatives or Liberals. That being said, Weber's more recent books have been rather more evenhanded in portraying political opposition, making a significant plot point out of Catherine Montaigne's reconstruction of the Liberal Party around sincere ideology instead of Countess New Kiev's hypocrisy.
  • In another David Weber example, the Starfire novels (which, admittedly, are collaborative works) make it easy to tell who the sniveling mush-brained idiots of the Terran Federation are - they're the ones with 'Liberal' in their party name. The second novel written, but first novel chronologically (so far at least, in November 2014), Crusade, gives them the Idiot Ball, and it seems they're still playing with it decades later. Although the Liberals' staunchest political allies (for reasons of pure self-interest) are the Core World business interests, who are Strawman Conservatives to a man, and carry the Villain Ball just as often as the Liberals carry the Idiot Ball.
  • In any novel by J.T. Edson, any character described as 'liberal' will be a coward, a hypocrite, and a homosexual. They will also be ugly and not bathe.
  • Most liberal/Progressive characters in Tom Kratman's works are varying degrees of detestable, and serve only as punching bags for the protagonists.
  • The S. M. Stirling series Island in the Sea of Time and sequels have straw liberals (hippies who can't believe in Evil Natives who therefore die horribly at the Evil Natives' hands) and straw conservatives (who complain about the lesbian Coast Guard officer). His other books have other straw opponents, who exist solely to make ineffectual trouble. In fact, not only do the straw liberals in Island die horribly, they accidentally wipe out the very Mesoamerican natives they want to protect (by infecting them with mumps, to which the natives have no immunity).
  • Being a staunch socialist, Upton Sinclair's books are chock full of capitalist straw men.
  • The Mercy Thompson series has coherent and dangerous hate groups spring up every time a new supernatural species leaves the masquerade. Often overnight. They are always religious, conservative, and popular enough to push a federal bill to declare werewolves — at this point, going out of their way to only out their everyday heroes using their curses to help others — as non-citizens and non-human. That's right, a bunch of inherently homophobic, sexist, hierarchical werewolves, most of whom seem to be suburban or rural men and their wives, who tend to work for the military or government, that's what conservative Christians would rail against. Possibly subverted in Iron Kissed, where Mercy infiltrates a hate group in search of a murderer. Her expectations and their posters bring up the typical nut-job concepts, but it's really just a small group of folk worried (justly) about The Fair Folk.
  • In the novel Prayers for the Assassin, nuke attacks on American cities as well as Mecca result in blue America converting to Islam out of fear and compassion for the poor victimized Muslims, forming the Islamic Republic of America. Meanwhile, all the conservatives in those territories emigrate to the red Christian States of America. It's also a possible subversion as neither of the two is shown to be working particularly well, as they are overrun with armed religious extremist militias, ravaged by global warming and are being invaded by both Mexico and Canada.
  • The Guardians series is chock full of Strawmen of every possible political stripe, including some of the viewpoint characters— the original author seemed to be trying to be making the point that extremism of any form is bad (and if that's his message he sure did it in a muddled and confused way), but as new writers came in, it just got to be straw for straw's sake.
  • In Orson Scott Card's Empire the Blue states attempt to secede from the Union, funded by a Straw Liberal Billionaire (though this was all set up by a bipartisan moderate Magnificent Bastard). Any non-Christian in the sequel Hidden Empire also counts, especially Muslims and the pre-Christian Romans.
  • Piers Anthony's Bio of a Space Tyrant is chock full of these, especially the Nixon stand-in.
  • The Divine Comedy: Dante put many of his political/religious enemies in Hell.
  • Richard K. Morgan's Th1rte3n breaks the United States up into three countries along stereotypical (extremely so in the case of the red states) red/blue lines.
  • Galileo's Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems has a Strawman Geocentrist named Simplicio. Part of what got Galileo in trouble was that he put the Pope's words in Simplicio's mouth. This after the Pope had defended Galileo against his enemies.
  • Senator Sedgewick Sexton from Dan Brown's Deception Point, a Republican senator who starts out as an obvious scumbag and becomes worse and worse as the book progresses.
  • Strawmen can be found in all manner of classical literature. Plato regularly used strawmen as opponents to Socrates in his Socratic Dialogues, making this trope Older Than Feudalism.
  • The Illuminatus! Trilogy has strawmen left, right and center. In the end, the authors have an Anarcho-Individualist lean, and its representatives are portrayed as completely insane... in a good way. Various strawmen include Knights of Christianity United in Faith and Simon Moon's parents (militant anarcho-syndicalist dad and anarcho-pacifist mom, which leads to embarrassing situations such as Simon telling his third grade teacher that the US isn't a democracy).
  • Mike Carey's short story "Face" is about a judge from a fictional empire who has to issue a decision in the case of two desert people - father and daughter. Their race (obvious Muslim analogue), for religious reasons, uses magic to take their women's faces, which are returned to them after they're married. The daughter doesn't believe in her people's religion and wants her face back. The judge decides that this tradition is disgusting and detrimental to women and orders the desert people to return all faces to women under threat of punishment. Everything is told from the judge's perspective, making the desert people look like strawmen. However, at the end of the story, we find out how big a hypocrite the judge is when he mercilessly hammers down his own daughter's dreams about being an explorer by saying that her destiny is to marry a man and become a mother.
  • One would have to dig deep to find a John Ringo work that doesn't have one of these, usually of the liberal variety. Ringo has himself acknowledged that he has problems with writing liberals in a panel on politics in Science Fiction at the 2010 Dragon*Con.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's books all have strawmen since his presented political philosophies are black-and-white. They also jump between various extremes on the political spectrum, depending on the year they're written.
    • His first book (unpublished, and in retrospect, it's easy to understand why) For Us The Living is a long libertarian socialist Author Tract where every character that disagrees is a strawman whose ideas are quickly shot down.
    • In Starship Troopers, Heinlein jumps to the opposite end of the spectrum, advocating disenfranchisement of all non-veterans, but also corporal punishment for minor crimes, along with capital punishment for violent crimes or homicide, even by insane persons. This is all justified with various arguments claiming that anything less would coddle people and lead to higher crime rates (he compares it with training dogs) and any opposing views are strawman versions of themselves. It doesn't help that in-universe characters that advocate these views are teachers, and so any opposition comes from their students who naturally can't offer any serious opposition; and also claim their philosophy has been mathematically proven to close the argument.
    • In Stranger in a Strange Land, Heinlein once again goes back to libertarian views involving a rich and famous writer/doctor/lawyer, protecting an even more rich and famous Martian/Changeling/cult-leader from a human society of fascist politicians and religious fanatics who want to stop/control/kill him — sort of an interplanetary version of Atlas Shrugged, along with arguments comparing humans to monkeys and God.
    • In the authorized biography of Heinlein, Robert A. Heinlein, in dialogue with his century. Volume 2, 1948-1988, the man who learned better, author William H. Patterson presents evidence that Heinlein considered the political and moral viewpoints of Stranger in a Strange Land and Starship Troopers to be identical. Both center around young men (Michael Valentine Smith and Juan Rico) who are willing to take responsibility to improve the societies they live in, and to lay down their lives in this service.
  • Iain M. Banks in The Culture series portrays religion and traditional societies as one-dimensional and morally grotesque, in a way only an anarchist could.
  • The character Joiler Veppers in Surface Detail seemed to represent various people online who criticize the Culture as weak, spineless, etc. and claim that it should have already collapsed for not following their own paradigm.
  • Cergorn, the senior Loremaster of the Shadowleague, is against any expansion of knowledge to lesser peoples, as he thinks it would be dangerous for them. More dangerous than letting them all die of the plague, it appears.
  • Unsurprisingly, conservative pundit Ben Shapiro includes this in his book, True Allegiance. Levon Williams is a black "race hustler" who stages the police killing of a black child in order to gain power. His in-universe arguments about black communities' relationship with the police are basically presented as posturing for the cameras - which is the only way the author attempts to dismiss them.
  • 19th-century Russian novelists, particularly Dostoyevski, are fond of this trope and will very frequently work tangents about the philosophical/political issues of the time into the dialog, even when it doesn't really have anything to do with what people are talking about. Frequently this involves having a fashion chasing idiot arguing espousing Enlightenment ideals to somebody taking the side of simple virtues of the Russian peasantry/Orthodox Christianity. Many are also Dirty Communists and or Straw Nihilists in Dostoyevski novels. On the other hand, Dostoyevsky would tend to invert the trope too, creating Steelman characters out of whoever who represented the strongest philosophical oppositions to the spiritual or social thoughts he was wrestling with while writing the book. For example, in The Brothers Karamazov, Ivan is much more intelligent and insightful than Alyosha and ultimately wins every discussed argument they have, even though Alyosha is the hero.
  • Jerry Pournelle's books are full of straw environmentalists who hate all science and technology. His collaborations with Larry Niven are especially straw-heavy: in Fallen Angels they impose a fascist-disguised-as-liberal dictatorship in the U.S. which outlaws science fiction (after singlehandedly causing the next Ice Age); in Oath of Fealty they are a Weather Underground-style terrorist group; and after the comet impact in Lucifer's Hammer they devolve into cannibalism. The cannibals include renegade black soldiers and gangbangers and Evangelical Christians.
  • The Doctor Who book Night of the Humans is essentially one long rant about how awful and evil religion is. The Doctor responds to a crash-landed alien race on a massive pile of space-junk that is threatening a nearby planet. The chosen 'god' of the crashed humans turns out to be a creepy, creepy, clown called Gobo, who's presence and use as a very heavy-handed metaphor for all religion.
  • The Wing Commander novels written solely by William Forstchen contain these in spades, particularly of the liberal variety.
  • Admiral McAteer in the Star Trek: Stargazer novels is a staunch conservative. His dislike for Picard stems purely from the fact that he thinks the latter is too young to be a captain in his ideal Starfleet. He can't do anything directly because he's not Picard's immediate superior, but he spends plenty of time trying to sabotage Picard in order to give him the excuse to demote him. He even develops a strong dislike for William Shakespeare after watching Macbeth and deciding that Shakespeare's message that ambition is bad is just plain wrong. In one of the novels, Picard's Number Two tries to reason with the admiral, asking him to keep an open mind about Picard. McAteer promptly replies that open minds are for those who lack conviction. The other officer immediately aborts his attempts, reasoning that people who believe that can't be reasoned with.
  • Some Stephen King novels feature Anvilicious Straw Conservatives, such as Carrie. IT also mentions some Straw Preachers, and the act of hatred that awakens It is the murder of a gay man by some violent Straw Homophobes (and Straw Pro-Lifers in Insomnia). Villainous and/or unpleasant characters have a good chance of being offhandedly mentioned as Republicans and/or disparaging of Democrats in many of his works, even when personal politics otherwise don't factor into their characterization at all. This also goes for a few bit characters who don't make an actual appearance in the story; King describing someone as Republican is essentially his shorthand for "You're not supposed to like or respect this person."
  • The In Death series:
    • Some characters are certainly this, with Commander Douglas Skinner from Interlude In Death standing out in particular. "Instead, he'd put in his fifty and then used that as a springboard in a run for Congress. And had fallen hard on his face. A half century of public service hadn't been enough to offset views so narrow even the most dug-in of the Conservative Party had balked. Added to that, his platform had swung unevenly from side to side. He was an unwavering supporter of the Gun Ban, something the Conservatives tried to overturn at every opportunity. Yet he beat the drum to reinstate the death penalty, which alienated the Liberals from mid-road to far left. He wanted to dissolve legal and regulated prostitution and strike out all legal and tax benefits for cohabitating couples. He preached about the sanctity of marriage, as long as it was heterosexual, but disavowed the government stipend for professional mothers. Motherhood, the gospel according to Skinner stated, was a God-given duty, and payment in its own right. His mixed-voice and muddled campaign had gone down in flames. However much he'd rebounded financially via lectures, books, and consults, Eve imagined he still bore the burns of that failure." Apparently, Skinner is supposed to be a Straw Conservative with The Fundamentalist mixed in, but even the Conservative Party didn't like him very much because he didn't agree with all their policies.
    • This is hardly the biggest strawman character in the series either. That honor goes to a Conservative senator in the first book, who's a literal slobbering pedophile rapist (incestuous, at that).
    • In general, the series treats conservatives as being, nearly to a man (and they're all men), misogynist assholes, while liberals (especially liberal politicians) are portrayed as being respectable if not likable. The series moves away from this a bit later on, able to treat at least some subjects considered conservative (such as religion) with respect, but at the same time goes back to referring to the conservative political party as the Republicans.
  • In Sing You Home, the Christians portrayed in the book are all die-hard conservative evangelicals who hate gay people with a passion and who agree with the Westboro Baptist Church.
  • This initially seems to be the case in the Science Fiction novel, Virtually Eliminated where the main villain is a serial killer with a very conservative outlook. Then, it turns into a subversion when the hero ends up agreeing with a lot of the villain's beliefs (but not with the crimes the villain has committed for the sake of those beliefs).
  • The English Dragon: Liberal characters are prone to coming out with comments such as "you're racist because you're White" and "How do you know that you aren't a fascist?". The ignorant youths who kidnap Oliver's son, meanwhile, have dialogue like "St. George - He's someat to do with England...a king or someat" and "Nelson? Didn't he fight the Germans?" - Strawman Apolitical, perhaps.
  • In Christian Nation, the evangelical Christians are seen as power-hungry, God's-wrath-driven, gay-hating people who want to take control over the country in the name of their religion, who only want "born again" males to be in control of everything, with Sarah Palin and Steve Jordan being the prime targets, demonizing those who would dare to oppose them.
  • Batavus Droogstoppel (literally: Dutch drier) from Max Havelaar is this. The first four chapters that are written from his perspective are there to show how one-sided his opinions are. He also does not seem to tolerate it if someone dares to diverge from his ideas, because he later would try to prove the futility of someone who wants instead to write about a romantic hero by "analyzing" a theatrical piece. Even the author is disgusted by him and orders him to suffocate in coffee (the man is a coffee trader) and disappear.
  • Robert J. Sawyer has these in some of his works.
    • Jock, a very conservative former consultant with the RAND Institute in The Neanderthal Parallax, goes from expressing skepticism over the Neanderthals to attempting their genocide.
    • Meanwhile in Quantum Night, we have a right-wing US President who's quite Islamophobic, turns out to be a psychopath, and eventually invades Canada. Not to mention a Texas governor who passed a law removing all legal rights for illegal aliens (which is actually ridiculously unconstitutional), sparking their mass murders. That, plus the Georgia jury who believe in capital punishment and (even if not everyone agrees on that) reacts in understandable horror after learning the main character (called by the defense to show the defendant is a psychopath, thus he couldn't help killing) favors infanticide for disabled babies.
    • In Calculating God, we have two anti-abortion, creationist fundamentalist Christian terrorists who try to destroy the Burgess Shale for its conflict with their literalist view of the Bible after the pair bomb an abortion clinic. They die in a shootout with the police inside the museum where it's held, after damaging the priceless fossil greatly using an automatic weapon.
  • The Candidates (based on a true country) focuses on the two candidates for the US Presidency: Democrat Harry Pinko, who is a self-obsessed slacker who just wants get elected so he can Troll rich people, and Republican Skip LaDouche, a trigger-happy former Corrupt Corporate Executive. Both of them are shameless hypocrites who are only in it for their own benefit and amusement. Their respective campaign managers are, in many ways, even worse.
  • The William W. Johnstone book (ghostwritten by J.A. Johnstone) Trigger Warning is a screed against liberal college culture. Just about every denizen of the college is a straw caricature of a clueless professor, wussy slacker or murderous Antifa thug. The main character, a conservative military veteran attending the college, spends a good portion of the narrative fighting off hordes of scrawny Antifa who unjustly target him for defending an unappreciative shrew of a Granola Girl. The narration gleefully rails against the college kids as "pajama boys" (taking a jab to the "romper craze" that hit colleges in 2017) and "precious snowflakes" in search of "safe spaces" and so forth.
  • The Inheritance Cycle: An argument is presented between representatives of the religious Dwarves and atheist Elves. The Dwarf is emotionally ranting, while the Elf is calm and wise. Downplayed, however, in that the Elf deliberately picked the fight, knowing that she could stay calm since she had no stake in it.
  • Tales of the Bounty Hunters: Boba Fett gets portrayed as one of the extremely conservative variety. He doesn't have a single vice, because he considers them an insult to the flesh. He considers sex between those not married to be immoral - that includes rape, too. When Leia tried offering to pay him to get her and her friends out, he flat out refused, saying that the rebels were morally wrong. Apparently, he supports the Empire because it permits civilization to exist, never mind that it's an empire that commits genocide. He hates Han's guts because Han breaks laws, and Fett finds the idea of breaking laws to be offensive. Never mind that Fett murders people, and takes bounties set by the notorious gangster Jabba (who Han began as a smuggler for). He laughs off the Dark Side as Jedi superstition, which becomes hilarious in hindsight, because for all his hatred of Jedi, his lifestyle is much the kind that the Jedi Order would have considered ideal (not to mention making him a Flat-Earth Atheist type given other material shows Vader once Force choked him—or it may be a Continuity Snarl).
  • In The Supervillainy Saga, the President of the United States is Preisdent Omega and he is a Hate Sink who is a former Nazi General and came back in time because the future is a utopia he found to be incredibly boring. He's also a Fantastic Racism genocidal nut. Why is he a Strawman Political? Well, much of his description is that he's got a bad toupee and tiny hands...
  • Lord of the World portrays everyone who is not a theocratic, reactionary monarchist in the worst possible light, as Marxists to a man, who while professing atheism actually believe that “Man is God”, which in practice just means worshipping their leader and giving no regard to the rights of individual humans that they claim to profess anyway (despite claiming to be a democracy, which the narrative seems to believe). Euthanasia requires no consent from the patient, and the state outright encourages suicide in response to hardship. They also want to murder exiled royals (decades after they were deposed) as well as every Christian on Earth. Even apostates want to murder their former coreligionists. And despite claiming to be for science and reason, the Humanists don’t do that either, since they shut down all the universitiesnote  and The Hero points out that Humanism is the logical endpoint of substituting subjective emotion for objective reality, so there is overlap with Strawman Emotional here as well. But the biggest reason they are a straw man is because the narrative refuses to recognize any ideology other than theocratic monarchism on one side and pagan Marxist Satanism on the other. If you aren’t one then you must be the other.

    Live Action TV 
  • 24 has featured both types in its run. Two examples include a lawyer for "Amnesty Global" in season 4 who exempts an arrested suspect from interrogation (having been paid by a terrorist leader to do so, although it's implied the lawyer doesn't know this), and deputy chief of staff Tom Lennox in season 6, who detains thousands of innocent Muslim Americans without presidential authorization and openly talks of "suspending liberties" to safeguard the country. (In later episodes, however, Lennox becomes more of a Magnificent Bastard than a Strawman Ball.) In quadruple irony, the show is always ultimately geared towards the President's liberal and Protagonist's conservative values turning out to be correct. Detaining citizens of a radical religion HAS to be wrong, torturing terrorists HAS to be right. A restrained response to a downtown nuke HAS to be the right thing, despite the proven response to the much lower death toll of real-life 9/11 being two wars and bloody hell in response to an errant nuke being the more likely consequence than a rogue maverick detaining citizens.
  • In 30 Rock, Jack and Liz have some straw conservative and straw liberal traits respectively. Although both characters are portrayed as flawed yet sympathetic, it's pretty obvious the writers are on the liberal side in real life. The pokes at conservatives have the feel of serious-ish Satire while the pokes at liberals have the feel of light-hearted Self-Deprecation. Not that it really matters since the show mostly runs on the Rule of Funny anyway. That doesn't stop the writers from attacking liberals as well. The episode "Jack-Tor" basically has Liz position herself as a White Savior and ends with Tracy calling her out and pointing out that her attitude is itself, quite racist.
  • All in the Family had the character Archie Bunker, who was created by producer Norman Lear to be a Neanderthalesque caricature of working-class conservatives. It backfired. Archie even gets used as a strawman in-universe when he complained about a pro-gun-control editorial by a local TV station. The station manager realized that by giving Archie air time to present an "opposing view", he could stack the deck even further in his favor while following the letter of the then-extant "Fairness Doctrine". Sure enough, Archie made his side of the debate look absolutely ridiculous by suggesting that airlines should "pass out the pistols" to passengers before each flight to prevent skyjackings.
  • Blue Hawk in The Boys (2019) is every stereotype of the critics of the Black Lives Matter organization rolled into one person. After trying to downplay his murder of an unarmed black man to an audience of his black neighbors during an Ordered Apology, he then outright accuses their entire race of being inherently criminal based on crime statistics. Then he injures a black man, prompting the entire community to start chanting "Black Lives Matter", to which he responds by calmly saying "All Lives Matter" right before screaming "Supes Lives Matter!" within seconds.
  • The Colbert Report has a straw conservative anchorman. He makes snap decisions with his "gut" rather than his brain, preferring to believe what feels right rather than what dry facts tell him ("reality has a well-known liberal bias"). In early episodes, he had a straw liberal foil in the form of Russ Lieber, played by David Cross, who was so obsessed with not offending anyone that he could barely function at all.
  • Sarah Bunting from Downton Abbey. She wasn't so bad in Series 4, but in Series 5 Julian Fellowes might as well have put a subtitle on all her scenes saying "This is why I hate the working class." Her final scene has her refusing to accept the victory of lowly assistant cook Daisy saying she's greatly enjoying Bunting's lessons above her station and continuing to needle Robert about it, causing him to blow up at her and order her to never come back.
  • For the majority of Freaks and Geeks the character of Sam has a crush on a pretty, popular cheerleader named Cindy Sanders. When the two of them finally start dating, we find out that Cindy is a Republican. And her character suddenly changes into a person who is rude, close-minded, egotistical, and shallow.
  • Glee:
  • The Half Hour News Hour was a conservative response to The Daily Show, in an attempt to inject right-leaning political humor into the market. Its jokes were largely based on taking down straw versions of liberal figures and stereotypes.
  • Hearts Afire featured a borderline-dadaist Republican senator and frequently featured stereotypical "conservative vs. liberal" arguments, in which the conservative would present a hollow argument so that he could be intellectually trounced by the liberal character.
  • Homeland: Right-wing extremist Brett O'Keefe is a strawman alt-right figure (a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Alex Jones) who is shameless in using misinformation and manipulation to spew venom at the president-elect and endorse various conspiracy theories. He's also a physical coward and a traitor who colludes with a conspiracy within the CIA trying to sabotage the president-elect.
  • JAG:
    • Roberta "Bobbie" Latham, democratic congresswoman from Michigan is an arch-typical leftist liberal advocating of the advancement of women in the military for the sake of just doing it, is critical of excessive defense spending, claims to be a human rights activist, is a political opportunist in general, and a strong advocate of UN peacekeeping operations (even if the operation can't keep the peace in the first place.)
    • There are also several episodes where members of Congress or White House staffers in concert with Strawman News Media conduct investigations that turn into politically expedient Witch Hunts. Also, the evidence behind it is always shown as nothing more than either conjecture or hearsay (Truth in Television?).
  • The entire premise of the 2005 CBC series Jimmy MacDonald's Canada was a Strawman Conservative current affairs show host trying to cope with the 1960s, until he went Ax-Crazy in the last episode and crashed a plane into Northern Ontario. Since everything that bothered Jimmy happened several decades ago, no one feels offended by his over-the-top right-wing leanings, as (most) modern conservatives have no objection to Zambonis or Italian food.
  • Subverted with Mike Baxter in Last Man Standing, in that while he's opinionated and set in his conservative ways, he's generally well-educated on the issues, unlike the ignorant Kristin and Ryan. Additionally, he's shown to be fairly liberal on social issues like gay rights and is against quite a few of the Republican Party's policies such as the Patriot Act. He often plays up the hardcore conservative for fun and annoying others, but he doesn't overtly attack others for having contrary beliefs and is willing to listen to liberal ideas.
  • Law & Order made a point to fulfill this whenever it delved into a topic remotely political. If you didn't catch how the defendant and/or defense attorney was a straw man during the episode, the ADA would be happy to explain it all in the closing arguments. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit does this plenty as well, though usually the reason we should hate the strawman and why he's wrong is explained to us by the detectives instead of the ADA.
  • CBC comedy Little Mosque on the Prairie includes Fred Tupper, an offensive radio host who doesn't trust Muslims, as well as Baber, who believes that winegums, liquorice, and rye bread are part of a plot to trick Muslims into drinking alcohol. In one episode, Baber was able to patch up his religious differences with an ignorant redneck because they both felt equally strongly about same-sex marriage, or, as Baber called it, "The Abomination." It gets even more subversive when you consider that the imam, who would never conduct such a marriage, encourages the Anglican minister to.
  • Congressional Republicans don't come off particularly well in Madam Secretary, usually being portrayed as Obstructive Bureaucrats using Ad Hominem attacks to score political points against the Dalton Administration in general and protagonist Elizabeth McCord's State Department in particular. It's sort of understandable since Liz is a populist policymaker in a Democratic administration, so they're her natural political adversaries.
  • On M*A*S*H, Major Frank Burns was a jingoistic, hypocritically pious, John Birch-style conservative Jerkass, while his successor Major Charles Winchester was a snobby Boston Brahmin type and establishment Republican.
  • Played with in an episode of New Amsterdam (2018). Dr. Frome, head off psychiatry, is talking to a patient, who pointed his gun at his ex-wife. The guy accuses Frome of being a "bleeding-heart liberal", who is judging him based on the fact that he believes in the Second Amendment. Later on, Frome explains that yes, he's a "bleeding-heart liberal" (also married to another man), but he is absolute for responsible gun use, and it is the patient who is the straw character for immediately prejudging him based on a single impression.
  • The Newsroom used this as part of its series-wide attack on the Tea Party. The Show Within a Show's anchor Will McAvoy, a self-described conservative, and the rest of his staff regularly tear into Tea Party-aligned characters on the show, with Will stating that they are not true conservatives, but actually near-fascists. The straw characters typically collapse under the assault. The trope is regularly addressed, however:
    • In one episode, Will struggles to find quality Tea Party guests who can to form an intelligent defense of their opinions. He fails and has to settle for an inferior guest who cannot form the barest backbone of a defense for her views, forcing Will to make her argument for her just to continue the conversation, which is a professional embarrassment.
    • After another episode, creator Aaron Sorkin defended Will's ability to win a debate with a gay adviser of Rick Santorum because it was necessary for Will to feel guilty about his bullying behavior afterwards for the sake of character development.
  • The New Statesman featured a scathing parody of the Thatcher ministry, particularly in its depiction of Alan B'Stard.
    • The British No 2 AV campaign used B'Stard as an example of the kind of arsehole who would inevitably saturate the UK's political life if "alternative voting" (electing candidates by order of preference) was introduced. Unfortunately, most of his dickery could easily be attributed to the politicians of the status quo.
  • Oz zigzagged this trope. Despite clearly sympathizing with the liberal McManus and Peter Marie's perspective, the conservative prison staff - particularly Warden Glynn - are portrayed sympathetically and make good points, while the liberal characters are flawed and frequently screw up (particularly McManus. However, it's played straight with Governor Devlin, a satire of "law and order" Conservative politicians who is portrayed entirely unsympathetically in comparison to his more moderate and understanding subordinates.
  • Psych:
    • Gus sometimes plays a Straw Liberal, for laughs. In "Let's Get Hairy" he goes on rants against taxidermy (after being seen nuzzling a koala for charity), briefly forgetting that they're chasing someone who's committed a double murder.
    • Carlton Lassiter comes off as a Straw Conservative of some sort, although his depiction is much more subdued than many other examples from American television. Usually, he tends to fill the relatively benign "blue-collar tough guy" stereotype - though he will violently lose his temper if anyone ever says something disrespectful about Ronald Reagan.
  • The Punisher (2017) actually has several straw men presenting alternate extremes. O'Connor and Lewis are unhinged gun nuts fearful of the government trying to steal their guns, while Senator Ori is a sniveling liberal politician who really does want to take away everyone's guns. Only Lewis is presented with any degree of sympathy, as a deeply traumatized soldier lashing out the only way he knows how. O'Connor and Ori are patently two-dimensional caricatures embodying the fears of both the left and the right, respectively. The writers may have been attempting to balance one stereotype with another, but given the nature of the Punisher, it seems to support the bias which builds the senator more strongly, actively justifying aspects of the paranoid worldview which O'Connor and Lewis espouse.
  • Smallville:
    • The show brought in Cat Grant in Season 10 as a gratingly-annoying Straw Conservative and Blonde Republican Sex Kitten who was apparently meant to be a pastiche of...whatever the presumably-liberal writers thought that conservatives believe. On one occasion, she is sneaking around and sees Clark and Lois getting caught up in some ancient ritual (It Makes Sense in Context) and mutters "I will never understand liberals." Apparently, the Blonde Republican Sex Kitten thinks that anything weird must be "liberal," and we're supposed to laugh at her ignorance...if we weren't too busy groaning at how heavy-handed the liberal writers were being in their attempts to build a Strawman Conservative. Even worse, apparently the Straw Conservative position in the Smallville-verse is to hate superheroes, as we see repeatedly throughout Season 10, as a bunch of Straw Military characters show up to persecute the superheroes and drive the writers' point home even further.
    • There's also Gordon Godfrey, who starts out as a right-wing talk radio host who first gets possessed by Darkseid and then later willingly joins Darkseid's evil minion team. Cat Grant, meanwhile, mostly was just there to annoyingly lecture the cool liberal heroes in the most high-pitched voice possible.
  • Supernatural has Dick Roman, who somehow manages to heavy-handedly embody several straw stereotypes of both conservatives and libertarians at once.
  • Parodied/lampshaded in the first episode of That's My Bush!:
    George W. Bush: You must always remember that she believes what she does because she thinks she's right.
    George W. Bush: And you must always remember that he believes what he does because of a strong moral imperative.
  • Alf Garnett of Till Death Us Do Part and its sequels. Creator Johnny Speight claimed the character was based directly on his own father's POV. The character backfired, being a racist, borderline anti-Semitic idiot who became an idol to people who seemed to miss that fact that he was created, scripted and acted by Jews.
  • Torchwood: Anytime anything or anyone shows up anywhere who is a smidgen right of center, they're going to have a bad time.
  • The West Wing tends to have liberal-leaning sensibilities, but tries to avert or subvert this trope. However, it's played straight with its portrayal of members of the Religious Right. The pilot alone portrays religious leaders who are shown to be hypocritical, anti-Semitic, and tacitly condoning very extreme methods. On the other side of the coin, characters who are to the left of the main cast are painted either as naive idealists, posturing hypocrites, or more interested in staking out their territory than working with other progressive groups.
  • Yellowstone: Summer Higgins is an insufferable Granola Girl who has spent her whole life campaigning for animal rights and environmentalism and yet can't come up with even the most basic defense of her views. Just about every conversation she has with the Duttons about their opposing views ends with her in stunned silence in the face of their superior arguments. Even her basic manners need to be corrected by various Yellowstone residents. She's basically a walking caricature of a "woke SJW."
  • Parodied on The Young Ones with the character of Rick; so over the top, it actually seems to be making fun of conservatives who see liberals this way. While he can be justifiably read that way, he's ultimately mocking people who are anarchists or socialists only because it's fashionable and are at heart as reactionary as any of the Old Guard. Hence, Rick's instant flip flop on the morality of the police when he's in trouble.

    New Media 
  • Conservapedia: "The Trustworthy Encyclopedia". All articles on Democratic/Liberal/Evolutionary topics are built of straw. Their article on President Obama is a stewed mixture of straw, insults and long-discredited smears.
  • Rational Wiki is a direct reaction against Conservapedia that takes constant potshots at conservatives, fundamentalists, Conservapedia, and especially its founder, Andrew Schlafly. Unlike Conservapedia, though, they make no claims to objectivity.
  • The YouTube Video Beware the Believers plays the straw evolutionist for laughs.
  • Poe's Law describes the difficulties inherent in separating applications of Strawman Political and parodies of the same.
  • Proposition 8: The Musical. You tell a group of Straw Conservatives when you see them.
  • The Year Zero ARG, which promotes the Nine Inch Nails album of the same name, depicts the United States after 15 additional years of rule by Strawman Republicans and gets absolutely ridiculous. It's stated they're forbidding women to work, have genocidal bands of Christians killing non-Christians in certain suburbs, they make their soldiers take drugs to both combat the drug the evil neocons poisoned everyone with (yes, that's what they did) and get Special Forces to take even worse drugs that forces the body to equate killing with sexual excitement, the local MegaCorp exploits drug addicts to boost their profits, and they make up "terrorists" by creating a virus. This is what Trent pulled together when he decided to stop taking drugs himself and get back to making music, so it was forgiven. Given how over the top it was, it wasn't all that convincing.
  • The Landover Baptist Church, which, along with, has been mistaken for an actual Christian website.
  • The site Derailing For Dummies is dedicated to providing a snappy generic response to counter a variety of tangential, emotion-based arguments. But the strawman? It's in the very intention of the site. By using this site, you invoke the strawman that paints your opponent as a common troll who argues with only the over-the-top prescribed fallacies featured. And unless you are responding to a post that uses those arguments exclusively and word-for-word, you've just obstructed any valid arguments from being addressed. If the irony isn't quite potent enough, just consider when it's used in advance to address "arguments I hear all the time".
  • Political memes on social media often distort the other side's views, sometimes beyond recognition, e.g., accusing right-leaning libertarians of believing that Ayn Rand was an economist.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Just say that any political cartoonist has done this; in fact, their profession demands it.
  • Any liberal, Democrat or member of a minority group that appears in Bruce Tinsley's Mallard Fillmore.
  • Doonesbury often features straw conservatives, as have Bloom County and its spinoffs.
  • While it rarely alluded to politics, Calvin and Hobbes did a number of rather subtle jokes at the expense of conservatives, criticizing the Reagan administration's rhetoric regarding the Cold War, comparing it to the Red Scare of the 1950s. Interestingly, one strip had Calvin dismissing "conservative talk radio" as a bunch of kids spouting nonsense. This was published in 1986 when Rush Limbaugh became an overnight success and the FCC was about to drop its "Fairness Doctrine" policy, which paved the way for broadcast punditry. Watterson's editors eventually compelled him to dial down these jokes, with most of the social commentary put forth afterward being more politically neutral (more focused on economics) but still rather cutting. In hindsight this was probably for the best, as nowadays the strip is almost quite as fondly remembered and beloved by conservative/right-leaning readers as it is universally adored among liberals. One thing that remained were environmentalist messages and complaints about consumerism. Though generally a left-wing stance in the US, they avoided falling into this trope by not attacking anyone specifically.
  • Candorville features strawmen of both liberal and conservative varieties, and then lampshades them all.
  • In its early days, the character of Dogbert in Dilbert, who was extremely selfish and self-regarding, would sometimes be used as a caricature of a uncaring conservative — often working as a management consultant at Dilbert's office where he would spout the most extreme anti-worker, pro-profit philosophies. He once even had his own talk radio show where he railed against "sex after marriage," even while admitting it would kill off the entire human race. The strip also featured a number of characters who existed mostly as strawmen feminists, and as the years went on, there would be an increasing number of characters designed to belittle contemporary "woke" cultures, mirroring creator Scott Adams' own growing preoccupation with American culture war debates.
  • Get Fuzzy uses Bucky Katt for a conservative-as-idiot strawman, with Satchel Pooch as his Vitriolic Best Bud counterpart on the left. Rob in turn would be the neutral/slightly liberal Author Avatar.
  • Rat in Pearls Before Swine is also used as a conservative strawman. Given that Pearls creator Stephan Pastis and Fuzzy's Darby Conley are close friends, it's hard to guess who's copying who. In the notes to the treasury collections, artist Stephan Pastis indicates that Rat is simply himself with less self-restraint. Whether that still qualifies Rat for Strawman status is debatable.
  • Royboy in Soup to Nutz is also used as a conservative strawman. This usually doesn't work too well, because he's often just used to spout whatever the writer believes are right-wing talking points, such as anti-vaccine propaganda, while the other characters laugh at him. The character rarely actually acts like the 8-year-old boy he is. His younger sister is often used as a left-wing straw man, making anti-war, pro-vegetarian comments, and always ends up getting the upper hand, generally in a rather heavy-handed way.
  • Prickly City:
    • In one early story, Winslow the coyote pup jokingly suggested that she and her human companion, Carmen, get married, so that Scott Stantis could equate gay marriage with bestiality.
    • Being a right-of-centre cartoonist, Stantis has mocked both the Republican and Democratic parties by portraying them as extremist lunatics, the former being a caricature of Donald Trump as a crooked skunk and the latter is Hillary Clinton as a raving bunny.
  • Aaron McGruder's The Boondocks had plenty of these. See Western Animation below.
  • Going further back, Little Orphan Annie hammered liberals and the New Deal quite frequently.
  • Li'l Abner often poked fun at conservatives for most of its run, but it's better remembered these days for Al Capp's tirades against hippies and the "New Left" in later years.
  • Pogo featured strawmen on both sides (though more often as conservatives, given Walt Kelly's politics). A particularly famous example is that of Senator Malarkey, a thinly-veiled Take That! of Joseph McCarthy.
  • Non Sequitur makes constant jabs at conservatives. Actually, the strip ran into trouble in 2019 after a strip had a scribble featuring an alleged insult aimed at Donald Trump.
  • Dustin:
    • The strip's creators (Steve Kelley and Jeff Parker) are both staunchly conservative editorial cartoonists. Unsurprisingly, they have mocked liberals in a few occasions, most notably with recurring unseen character Chris, a marijuana advocate who always makes a fool of himself.
    • The title character could be interpreted as having a Straw Lifestyle, preferring to slack around rather than doing something for himself. At least, this attribute had some depth added into it (having just graduated at the height of the Great Recession).
  • Parodied to great extent by The Onion's Stan Kelly. Every terrible teen is a zit-faced juvenile delinquent. Every liberal is a smelly, sanctimonious hippie. Feminists and #MeToo advocates are ugly, hairy Feminazis. Every dead celebrity he likes is in Fluffy Cloud Heaven, and every one he doesn't like is in Fire and Brimstone Hell. Literally everyone who he doesn't like personally (especially if they're a stand-in for his ex-wife) is drawn with a Sinister Schnoz and Scary Teeth.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Dan Richards, AKA "Progressive Liberal", a Kentucky part-time wrestler who enters the ring in a shirt covered with Hillary Clinton's face, openly declares he wants to take the (highly-conservative) crowd's guns away and named his Finishing Move the "Liberal Agenda". Interestingly enough, he is a progressive liberal, playing it up to a crowd that loves to hate him. He claims he'd be a mega-over face if he'd compete in major cosmopolitan cities, but he hasn't gone there.
  • Sam Polinsky (Corey Graves' brother and former FCW developmental talent Buddy Stetcher) portrays a character called "Sam Adonis" in Mexico, as a Mexico-hating Donald Trump supporter, although like Richards, Polinsky is quite the liberal, and no Trump fan at all.

  • From Dino Attack RPG:
    • Many realists, especially by Atton Rand during the idealist/realist conflict, were depicted as Straw Characters to show how "wrong" and "evil" the realist views were. These include, among others, Cam O'Cozy and Sherlock.
    • On the other end of the spectrum, Elite Agent French Fries is a straw character initially representing the idealist side of the team, ordering that the Antarctica mission be exposed for no other reason than because it had been kept secret. Later he is depicted as oblivious to everything around him as well as extremely prejudiced.
    • Soldier appears to be racist and sexist, occasionally aiming insults at foreigners and women. Given that he is depicted as comically inept, his moments of racism and sexism are not intended to be taken seriously, especially since they result in Soldier getting hurt by whomever he happens to be insulting.

    Tabletop RPG 
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse: Pentex is a Straw Evil MegaCorp, one of the setting's primary villains. It's a cult of the Wyrm, the setting's embodiment of corruption and decay. The setting of the World of Darkness is explicitly an exaggerated crap-sack version of reality, so whether it's meant to be a political statement about corporations is questionable.
  • Bleak World has this as a possible organization for Werebeasts and Witches, both gain power for killing Republicans and Industrialists (Host Credibility for witches and symbiosis with your inner animal for werebeasts).

  • Louis Ironson of Angels in America reads very much like a Deconstruction of the Strawman Liberal stereotype.
  • Mr. Birling from An Inspector Calls is a prime example of a British conservative straw man. J.B. Priestly gives the audience no doubt that he is wrong about everything, including his political and social views.
  • The rock musical version of Two Gentlemen of Verona had the Duke of Milan's entrance song making him a Strawman Conservative Militarist.
    "I sent 'em over and I can bring 'em back. Re-elect me!"
  • Mr. Henderson, the IRS agent in You Can't Take It With You. When he interviews Martin about his 24 years of income tax evasion, at no time does he present a reasonably persuasive argument about paying taxes such as supporting the New Deal programs that unemployed people like Donald are using to get by. Instead, he blusters impotently about relative remotely aspects of government and tries to throw his authoritarian weight around.

    Video Games 
  • The Grand Theft Auto franchise often features conservative politicians as murderous fascists in all but name, while liberals are portrayed as touchy-feely pseudo-anarchists who are in it just to gain some moral superiority. Dan Hauser actually complained that since GTA V, and particularly after the highly-contentious U.S. Presidential Election of 2016, real-life politicians have become too similar to the games' parodies, making it hard to parody them without harboring Unfortunate Implications (and entering "Dude, Not Funny! territory") instead of just poking fun at the most ideologically-charged aspects of the American Political System through a British lens (the British Political System was traditionally more inclined to consensus-building, given its parliamentary/multi-party nature). Because of this, Hauser says that Rockstar does not plan on making or releasing GTA 6 at least until after Donald Trump leaves the White House. Since Trump's departure, the game itself is still being developed.
    • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City has a talk show where right- and left-wing strawmen try to out-straw each other.
    • Grand Theft Auto IV:
      • The Weasel News Network is a direct Take That! against the Fox News Channel. (Get the pun?) Everything about the network is portrayed as crossing the line twice.
      • PLR is a rather blatant Expy of NPR, where it has the Straw Liberal viewpoint.
      • John Hunter, the "Conservative-Liberal Democrat" candidate for Governor, espouses both far-left and far-right views as part of his platform, also being a critique of the conservative turn the Democratic Party made during the 1990s and 2000s.
    • Grand Theft Auto V features two talk radio stations: While in Los Santos, you get a liberal-leaning station whose patronizing is only superseded by its hypocrisy (all of the station's shows are sponsored by Ammu-Nation). Out of town, you get a conservative-leaning station featuring conspiracy theorists (one of them being Trevor's friend Ron, with Trevor himself making a brief cameo).
  • Rockstar's Bully, while usually about as ham-fisted in its social commentary as GTA, actually subverts this with Bullworth Academy's headmaster, Dr. Crabblesnitch. His rigid, 1950's-style hyperconservatism causes him to ignore or even condone a lot of bullying that goes on at the school and paints him as a Grade-A Jerkass, but it's also the same thing that gives him his more noble and sympathetic traits: For as much as he's presented as a right-wing hardass who stays on Jimmy's case, he also places a high value on traditional mores like hard work, dedication and self-discipline, which are why he gives his students every possible chance to stay in school and reform themselves. Heck, he only expels Jimmy near the end when he has no choice due to Jimmy's very public act of vandalism, and he quickly reverses the decision (along with making a few other positive changes like canning Mr. Burton for sexually harassing Zoe and readmitting her to Bullworth) after Jimmy saves the school from Gary's scheming.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines: The radio messages portray a fictional right-wing politician as a sleazeball. The radio is purely there for comedy and everyone who appears on the radio is presented as a complete idiot.
  • In a very early example, Infocom's A Mind Forever Voyaging was intended as a critique of the Reagan era of conservative capitalism. The part where they didn't remotely use any of Reagan's actual policies, save for tax cuts, didn't help it any. It also didn't help that Senator Ryder, the Big Bad, was written as so psychotically evil that when the aforementioned psychohistorical forecasting shows that the end result of his plan will be that within 20 years the country will be bankrupt, within 40 years his hoped-for government will be overthrown by an apocalyptic religious cult and he will be either a powerless serf or dead and that within 50 years human civilization will cease to exist, he isn't deterred a bit — just so long as he wins the next Presidential election, who cares if he's dooming the human race and himself personally? A more cartoonish straw man you would be hard-pressed to find.
  • The freeware game by Tarn Adams, Liberal Crime Squad is entirely built around this. America is slowly becoming incredibly conservative, and you play as the titular group of criminals, who are willing to murder and sabotage society to get everyone to become liberal. Your main enemies are the Conservative Crime Squad, who are just as crazy as the Liberal Crime Squad, if not more.
    • How crazy? Liberals will end up with such goals as granting animals full personhood... for that kind of reason. Conservatives will end up with such goals as making burning an American flag legally equal to murdering a human being, under the crime "Flag Murder". Again, worth reminding, it's all Played for Laughs. (Though it is very obvious which side is the more correct one here)
  • Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six has strawman environmentalists, who wanted to save the Earth from humanity by killing off 99% of it.
  • The radio transmissions in The Conduit are full of these, with right-wing Timothy Browning, left-wing Jared X. Fulton, and Granola Girl Autumn Wanderer, all of whom use the game's Alien Invasion as a springboard for their straw views.
    "Where are the Democrats on this matter? What have they done to make this country safe? What really needs to be done here is the Democrats allowing the GOP to take charge in this time of crisis so no more lives will be spent needlessly!"
  • Saints Row 2 features radio ads for an in-game gun shop called "Friendly Fire" that use extremely strawmanned arguments for protecting the second amendment. ("If you support waiting periods, you hate freedom!") Since you're playing a sociopathic Villain Protagonist who runs around shooting helpless civilians on a whim, the Strawman Has a Point about just how unsafe you are without something to shoot back with.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies features Aristotle Means in Case 5-3. He's the director of the Themis Academy, a professor of law and an Amoral Attorney to boot who ''really'' believes in the doctrine "the ends justify the means", and he teaches this mantra (which he repeats at every chance he gets) to his students. Naturally, he's meant to be seen in the wrong and he's also the murderer in the case at hand. The case ends with the characters proclaiming out loud that the ends DON'T justify the means in a conversation. For the same purpose as Aristotle, the novel uses Gaspen Payne in the closing credits.
  • Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: is a glorious aversion or deconstruction. After Unity reached Alpha Centauri, Captain Garland was assassinated, and the crew split up according to ideological belief, meaning that the straw types would logically be in charge. However, there is no obvious precedence among the factions, and the in-game quotes from the faction leaders have each one making some perfectly salient points and some... less so. Deconstructed if you consider the fact that every ideology is taken to a utopian extreme, and the game does not gloss over what it would realistically take to make a good number of these philosophies actually work within the frame of a society. Hint: if you want your civ to function in a way that even remotely resembles the modern western society you probably live in right now, stay the everliving hell away from everybody who isn't either the Peacekeepers or the Gaians, maybe Morgan Industries or the Free Drones depending on your view of economics. The Spartans, Believers, Human Hive and even the University are right out.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, the Celtic demon Dagda takes the individualist side in an Individualism vs. Collectivism argument between him and Danu. The game is dead-set of portraying him as wrong, setting him out as a stubborn, nihilistic jerk, often compared to a rebellious edgy teenager in a phase, who's just lashing out against the world and puts the player as a bastard for daring to side with him.
  • The Azure Striker Gunvolt series takes a very lopsided look at prejudice and racism by portraying Copen as one of these after his father gets killed by a septima user (also known as an "adept" in the English versions). This causes him to be motivated by Irrational Hatred to kill any and all adepts; even those who pose no threat to anyone. In fact, the second game ends with Copen cutting off all ties to his family when he discovers that his own sister is an adept; something he feels he can never accept.
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance: Senator Steven Armstrong is an extreme Strawman Libertarian: he wants to give freedom to the American people from the corrupt government and media... By remaking the United States into The Social Darwinist "utopia" where everyone preys on each other.
  • Red Dead Redemption and the prequel both contain many characters representative of the hideously dated and idiotic views commonly held in the turn of the 19th Century into the 20th, such as a couple of critics of the burgeoning suffragette movement, and a eugenics advocate (who is apparently so hated even in 1899 that you can beat the ever-loving crud out of him in broad daylight and the local police don't even charge you for it). The games take a lot of relish in making fun of these characters.
  • In Disco Elysium, the player character will inevitably end up as one of these regardless of what political opinion they end up espousing. This ranges from a free-market hating communist with an obsession with violent revolution, a fascist who blames everything on foreigners and women, a money-obsessed "Ultraliberal" who's all about hustling money or a gutless "Moralist" with no true opinion of their own. The other characters of the game tend to be a bit more nuanced however.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn: The rich conservatives in charge manage to be the most disgusting characters in a series that includes a serial-killing tyrant and a manipulative cult leader. Ted Faro pretends to be a genius by buying out dozens of scientists smarter than he is, only to venture his technology firm into a field it was never experienced in and then crashes it straight into the ground - which, in this case, involves causing the robot apocalypse that completely destroys civilization, and then screws up the reconstruction efforts so he can be hailed as a god by savages. And somehow, he manages to be second in assholery compared to Zenith, a cabal of the richest elites who flee the apocalypse (and even sabotage others' plans to stop it so they don't have a pesky rival civilization to deal with in the future), spending a thousand years living the high life on their psychopathic paradise world where they manage to perfectly suppress their hatred of each other because they're too busy torturing artificial intelligences for fun, and then they screw up an AI made of their clones so badly that it goes completely insane with hatred, even as it attains godlike mastery of science and technology, creating the greatest existential threat to humanity ever. Summarized: Rich conservatives have everything they need to create a perfect world - and they will always choose the crapsack one because screwing everyone else over makes them feel better.

  • Cecania and Fairbanks in Sore Thumbs are hilariously exaggerated strawmen of liberals and conservatives respectively. Each of them seems to have taken their ideology to a ridiculous extreme, and then taken the ridiculous extreme to a ridiculous extreme, leading to such things as Fairbanks having once killed two people because "they looked like terrorists" (luckily for him, they were) and Cecania having been known to demonstrate outside abortion clinics because they won't offer drive-through service. Cecania is still presented as being a lot more sympathetic, though.
  • Chris Muir's Day by Day has characters on both ends of the political spectrum, but the conservative/libertarian characters (including product designer and Special Ops sniper Zed, black Republican Damon, and Redheaded Republican Sex Kitten Sam) are portrayed as both principled and cool, while liberal Jan is often portrayed as being a bit histrionic and over the top; however, the comic itself points out that the characters respect her because she actually believes what she's saying and says it because she's honestly trying to help others. This is pointed out in one comic where it's said Jan is a "dove", and that she's sincere about it (as opposed to many who claim the title and simply "sit around and shit all over everything"). There's even an arc chastising Damon for going too far with his arguing against her, where he acknowledges he needs to be more respectful of her ideals. Since having her go through an obligatory Opposites Attract romance with Damon, Jan has increasingly shifted to being a Fox News Liberal, with her position of Straw Liberal taken over by Sam's sister Skye (who runs truer to this trope by having nearly no redeeming qualities whatsoever).
  • In Questionable Content, being a professional Strawman is Angus's occupation. This means that he gets paid to appear on debates with ludicrous arguments and lose... must be awesome. When he goes up against another professional Strawman, they end up actually competing as to who can give a worse argument.
  • Ctrl+Alt+Del had religious leaders from all over the world to temporarily put aside their differences to beat up on Ethan's new Gamer Religion, and Lucas manages to dumbfound them with some minor piece of wisdom (along the lines of "Provide a reason that Ethan's gods don't exist that can't also be used to disprove the existence of your gods") that they are utterly slackjawed to answer.
  • Hackles has Marcus, their marketing mouse. He is used to supporting anything uncool, such as some conservatism (although they don't really get into politics, everyone is "moderate"), Windows users, poor web design, poor software design, and marketing. He would be a Butt-Monkey if he didn't deserve what happens to him (he is a mouse, and some of the characters are mice...including his nurse/date).
  • Penny Arcade features a literal strawman here.
  • So does Bruno the Bandit, in this strip.
  • Occasionally used in Dork Tower as a Take That! against self-proclaimed Moral Guardians and other bureaucrats.
    • One example can be found here.
    • A related gag is for Bill to deal with clueless Moral Guardians protesting role-playing games.
  • In Awful Comics, the leader of a gang of straw-conservatives was revealed to be Lord Zedd.
  • Gilly Gopher of Nip and Tuck: A blatant straw Liberal who exists solely to be talked down to by the entire population of Mularky County.
  • Men in Hats, has Sam, straw theocrat.
  • In The Adventures of Gyno-Star the Feminist superhero, Gyno-Star, faces an array of straw foes, most notably a straw Libertarian super-villain knows as The Glibertarian, created in a lab by an insurance company in order to spread pro-corporate ideology.
  • In 8-Bit Theater, this guy appears to be a simultaneous strawman of Republicans and the elderly.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal demonstrates how to be a political cartoonist.
  • While League of Super Redundant Heroes is focused on the antics of the resident superhero population, it also has the occasional political comic. American conservatives are usually portrayed in one of two categories. The rich ones are Corrupt Corporate Executives who lie to and manipulate their followers while ruining the world for their own profit. The poor ones are mad Conspiracy Theorists who are completely detached from reality. All of them demonize and persecute liberals while ranting about threats that don't actually exist.
  • In Looking for Group, Richard, the Token Evil Teammate, is a member of the Republican Party. Though even he finds their immigration policy appalling. The Tiny Dick B-Side Comics are almost exclusively this, using a miniature version of Richard to portray various people and opinions in a negative or occasionally positive light. Tiny Dick is largely used to promote Democratic Socialism while putting down Conservatism and other related ideologies.
  • Subverted in Filthy Lies. Damian is an Author Avatar who has the same overall opinions as the cartoonist, but he's also a Psychopathic Manchild who wants to solve the homeless problem by poisoning the food at a soup kitchen. Joel is The Fundamentalist and has the opposite opinions to the cartoonist on everything, but he's also a genuinely Nice Guy who consistently does the moral and reasonable thing when it counts.
  • Existential Comics: While many comics make fun of all philosophers pretty much equally, when Corey feels strongly about a topic he makes it clear that only an idiot or a reprobate could possibly disagree with him. Capitalism versus communism is a frequent example (he seems to support anarcho-communist ideas that have rarely been tested), as well as the value of philosophy (anyone who is unimpressed with it as a field is an entitled moron who just want rich white guys to be in charge of everything forever - and never mind that Corey has some pretty snarky things to say about various philosophers and about philosophy in general himself, that being a large part of what the comic is usually about). Characters (usually real philosophers) who hold such views exist only to appear and be shot down, mostly while being made to look like idiots/horrible.

    Web Original 
  • Being the politically.minded work that it is, El Chigüire Bipolar will often feature these.
  • FreedomToons: Leftists tend to be portrayed as blue-haired hipsters, Rightwingers as corporatist sell-outs.
  • The Game Overthinker: In early episodes, a character regularly appears to facilitate a dialectic. This character exclusively makes ignorant and fallacious arguments for the Overthinker to rebut, and also manages to be a Straw Fan and Straw Critic of the show he is in. This character's name is Strawman and he is a talking bale of straw.
  • The Tellygunge series Comeuppance combines this with Official Fan-Submitted Content. The readers vote on which woman with whatever disliked occupation will be Covered in Gunge. The thing is that all the women are just straw- well, women for the represented occupation (the Tax lady loves lining her pockets with your cash, the dentist loves to scare you, the airline service check lady demands you pay up if you want to fly if you didn't bring your boarding pass, etc.) Hence, this leads to a case where a woman coming third (or escapes for 2 nights in a row) is seen as a Karma Houdini, while the gunging is Laser-Guided Karma for their 'misdeeds'.
  • Epic Rap Battles of History: The series has a slight but obvious left bend which is occasionally more critical of right-leaning people than those on the left. Its treatment of Bill O'Reilly, in which brags about how evil he is and how black his heart is, however, verges into an outright strawman.
  • Some More News has recurring character Warmbo, a literal puppet operated by News Dude Cody Johnston. Warmbo is basically a Sesame Street character shilling for a mainstream political party, relentlessly cheery about the good things Democrats do when they're in power (which are good because Democrats do them) while being upset about the bad things Republicans do when they're in power (which are bad because Republicans do them... Even if they're good when Democrats do them). His status as a strawman is discussed and deconstructed in his first appearance, with the News Dude pointing out that Warmbo, while extremely exaggerated, resembles much of the U.S. electorate in that he isn't really deeply engaged in politics day-to-day or has a clearly defined ideology. He has no personal stake in many of the issues, beyond wanting to see 'his side' win and for things to stay his idea of normal, and as such doesn't really care when Democrats carry on with the same destructive policies they inherit from previous Republican administrations.
  • The Nostalgia Critic has Peter Soulless, a studio executive who only cares about making money and doesn't care about how much he changes about The Cat in the Hat from its source material as long as it earns a lot of money.
  • Leftist book reviewer The Radical Reviewer has Straw-Dog, a literal hand puppet made of straw with googly eyes, whose job it is is to make intentionally fallacious and over-the-top statements and "gotcha!" arguments against the Reviewer for whichever ideology he is supposed to represent. He has even, on occasion, debated himself.

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad! used to be this. Originally, the show seemed to be created solely for this, but eventually, Seth MacFarlane switched all of his strawmanning and soapboxing back over to Family Guy, and apparently allowed American Dad to actually have a purpose other than "Conservatives are evil".
    • The opening of one episode taking place during Black History Month, has a teacher at Steve's school (a white guy dressed in a dashiki) screaming at his students that none of them have even seen a black person, even though four of the kids in the class are indeed black and as confused as everyone else. As the teacher is yelling at them, he's got a black woman banging on a drum each time he finishes speaking. He goes on saying that white men only think of sex with a black man once a year, and ends his lecture by stating that "the next time you privileged suburban white boys think Mozart wasn't black, you should look in the mirror!"
    • That said, Stan Smith does have some pretty heavy Strawman reactionary tendencies in a lot of episodes involve him learning some kind of lesson, often involving him seeing how his conservative/reactionary perspective on an issue was wrong and becoming more liberal. Stan also exhibits a lot of positive tendencies associated with conservatives, like personal responsibility and work ethic but to what degree and how likable that makes him varies from episode to episode.
    • Much like how Mike "Meathead" Stivic filled this role on All In The Family, more often than not, Stan's daughter Hayley fills out the role of the strawman liberal. As a character, she tends to alternate between a well-meaning, socially conscious liberal who tries to do the right thing but goes about it the wrong way, to a self-righteous, shrill Know-Nothing Know-It-All Soapbox Sadie who opposes various causes just because her dad supports them and for a desire to appear to have the moral high ground. A glaring example of this is her hypocrisy with men. She has no problem whatsoever casually dumping men for any and all reasons and has done so at the drop of a hat, expecting them to "get over it". However, the minute she is the one dumped, all sanity and logic go flying out the window and she goes on an insane violence spree.
  • Batman: The Animated Series features a Canon Foreigner villain, Lock-Up, who is a straw conservative and vigilante who despises the "liberal media" and enjoys throwing everyone he doesn't like into prison.
  • The Boondocks:
    • Basically anyone but the main characters in the show have whatever character traits they have taken to the furthest extremes possible. Even Riley, Huey and Grandpa are strawmen at points, although depending on the focus of the episode (with Huey in particular) it varies whether they're a strawman, or actually making a good point.
    • Huey Freeman is used to representing far-left radicals; he's been described variously as a socialist or black nationalist.
    • Tom and Sarah DuBois, though portrayed as decent people, are milquetoast establishment Strawman Democrats. Tom once tried to kidnap Ralph Nader for taking votes away from Al Gore. (Thus earning the title of "the first moderate liberal extremist".)
    • Uncle Ruckus is used to parody white nationalists and Tea Party Republicans, with the added irony that he's black.
    • "Wingmen" featured Dewey Jenkins, a fake Muslim who writes bad poetry because he's "down with the struggle". Huey, an actual leftist radical, finds him disgraceful.
    • Betty von Heusen is portrayed as an obsessed gun nut.
    • Rev. Rollo Goodlove, an Expy of Al Sharpton, is a self-serving black liberal hypocrite who intentionally attaches himself to bogus "struggles" for publicity.
    • Their portrayal of Ann Coulter: She appears on TV as a massively hateful ranter, but it's just an act for publicity. She's not even a real conservative.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers:
    • "Looten Plunder" is a completely amoral capitalist who dreams of "stripping entire continents" for monetary gain and was a strawman conservative (At least he had a reason, though.)
    • Wheeler was the only white male Planeteer, and his whole existence seemed to revolve around raising conservative-sounding viewpoints, only to have them shot down by the more diverse members of the team.
  • Duckman: In the "They Craved Duckman's Brain" episode, Duckman has the cancer’s cure in his brain, so the Corrupt Corporate Executive Roland Thompson who is Withholding the Cure tries to kill Duckman… after a really long Just Between You and Me:
    A video presentation: Ladies and Gentlemans, here are your cancer profiteers: doctors, lab workers, pharmaceutical manufactures, probate lawyers, obituaries writers, coffin makers, New Yorkers who need apartment, the Republican Party.
    Roland Thompson: Nothing really, they just go where evil is.
  • Family Guy uses this trope to death; any time a character with conservative leanings appears, you can expect them to be a caricature in line with the most heavy-handed political cartoons. One specific example is Peter's father Francis, a typical Strawman Conservative religious zealot. Peter can be seen as a Strawman American thanks to his Flanderization from Bumbling Dad into self-absorbed Jerkass. Ironically, Brian (who is often thought of as Seth MacFarlane's Author Avatar), dips into Strawman Liberal at times, showing him to be a faux-intellectual blowhard who campaigns to make himself look important rather than to help others.

    In one episode, when Brian learns that Rush Limbaugh is in town for a book signing, he launches into a tirade about how the man is a monster and then marches down to the bookstore to chew him out. After Rush saves Brian from some muggers, he ends up going Republican...only to become exactly the same kind of Strawman that every other conservative is on this show, spouting off the most extreme caricatures of Republican ideology (free guns for everyone, execute every single person in jail, etc). The Snap Back ensures that he's back to being liberal by the end of the episode.
  • Futurama: This seems to be the sole purpose of the Waterfall family's existence, as a collection of strawmen (and one woman) that do little good for the world, and ultimately suffer some kind of Karmic Death by the end of the episode they debut in, such as Free Waterfall Jr., Sr., and Frida Waterfall. Interestingly enough, Old Man and Hutch Waterfall are portrayed pretty positively, but you can bet they don't make it out alive, either.
  • Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law featured some Animal Liberation Nut Strawmen in "Free Magilla"; they freed all the animals from Mr. Peeble's pet store, even though this seemed to cause the creatures more anxiety than relief. When Magilla Gorilla later reunites with Mr. Peebles, he asks him to "Take me home- home to my nice, safe cage", the group who stole him splashes red paint on him and shouts "Animal freedom now!"
  • Justice League:
    • General Eiling is shown to have sinister straw-conservative leanings, he's eager to drop nuclear bombs on the Justice League, blames the "bleeding hearts in Congress" for not getting his way and eventually turns himself into a supervillain in order to "defend" America from heroes. The series also features a cowardly straw-Bill O'Reilly type character.
    • Like the comic books, they avoid hinting which political side Lex Luthor leans toward in his policies when he runs for president. A quick line of dialogue revealed he was running as an independent.
      "Polls among likely voters place Luthor within striking distance of both major party candidates."
    • Green Arrow is a much more downplayed version. Like the comics, Green Arrow is liberal in his views and comments on it from time to time (he is a self described "old lefty" and marched against nuclear energy in college, according to a comment made to Captain Atom). Unlike the two straw conservative examples above, however, he is very respectful of the other heroes, even when he disagrees with them, and was brought into the League specifically to counter-balance them and offer a street-level perspective.
  • King of the Hill skews conservative/(right wing) libertarian (as per its creator Mike Judge), but in general it's pretty good about being equal opportunity. The first episode of series has a Strawman Liberal social worker who's convinced that Hank is physically abusing Bobby but ultimately gets Reassigned to Antarctica by his boss for not actually investigating Hank and operating solely off of gut instinct. (This character, or an Identical Stranger, returns in a later episode where he enables people to claim disability for ludicrous reasons.) On the other hand, another early episode has a Strawman Christian fundamentalist woman who claims all forms of Halloween celebration are Satanic and gets Arlen to "cancel" the holiday; Hank ends up putting on an old costume and leading a protest against her, with all the adults of the neighborhood agreeing with him.
    • In earlier episodes Dale could be seen as a Strawman Conservative with his extreme distrust of the government; however, once Flanderization kicks in he's just treated as a lone nutcase who thinks "The Conspiracy" is behind everything bad in America with several Straw Right-wing Libertarian leanings.
    • As the seasons progressed, Flanderization would set in and Hank's discomfort with anything outside his worldview would more often than not be justified, and those holding alternative views were portrayed as dumber than dirt. One late episode has Hank joining a co-op grocery store who's employees, stereotypical hippies one and all, seem to not understand basics of business. After Hank makes some common sense improvements around the store, the employees are shown as dumbfounded by making a profit. Not surprised that the store made a profit, but unaware of the concept that they could have more money than they started with, rendered helpless and dumbstruck until Hank explains basic economics.
    • The Goode Family, in much the same vein as King of the Hill.
  • Our Cartoon President plays this up for all sides of the political spectrum, in spite of it being a show mostly making fun of Donald Trump and his administration.
  • While rife with political satire, The Simpsons is notorious for hammering the Republican Party in particular, whose Springfield headquarters is a Transylvanian-style castle which furnishes the page image. Consider that the Springfield GOP's mayoral candidate in one instance had just left jail, having been convicted for attempting murder twice, while a Rush Limbaugh-esque talk radio host paints him as the victim of America's "liberal" justice system. The Democrats meanwhile are often portrayed as wishy-washy, weak, ineffectual, incompetent, and willing to tolerate the abuses of their own candidates, often exemplified with Mayor Joe Quimby when he's used in episodes detailing the Left/Right divide and not as a general satire on corrupt politicians.
  • South Park sometimes does this with its social and political-themed episodes. Not when both sides are made to look like asses (how the show normally deals with these issues), but when one side is unambiguously set up as wrong based on faulty pretenses, for the sake of dropping the episode's moral, like the episodes about hate crimes, pederasty, and alcoholism.
    • Trey Parker and Matt Stone are known to be pretty syncretic libertarians. While no one is safe, leftist people and causes seem to get the brunt of the potshots. Witness their portrayal and treatment of "hippies", Al Gore, San Francisco, Occupy, the medical cannabis debate, and so on. However, the two have gone on record to clarify that the reason why they tend to make fun of liberals so often is because of how the rest of Hollywood already focuses on mocking conservatives, rather than any political bias.
      Matt Stone: Ripping on Republicans is not that fun for us only because everyone else does it. It's so much more fun for us to rip on liberals only because nobody else does it, and not because we think liberals are worse than Republicans but, just because...
      Trey Parker: …it's like fresh snow. I mean, how're you gonna rip on Sarah Palin in a new way?
      Matt Stone: I think sometimes we do gravitate towards things other people haven't done and a lot of times that makes us gravitate away from ripping on Republicans cause it's just done very well by a ton of people. It's hard to compete with Jon Stewart, etc — those guys are brilliant.
    • Similarly, in "Two Days Before The Day After Tomorrow", both sides make tits of themselves: "We know whose fault this is: GEORGE BUSH'S FAULT!"/"George Bush didn't break that beaver dam - it was Al-Qaeda's Beaver Dam WMD's!"
    • When they do take shots at conservatives, it's usually white alpha-male wannabe stereotypes with no real authority such as Mr. Garrison, Jimbo & Ned and a group of men (and one woman who wishes she was a man) with anger problems, the latter of whom were just insecure about their small penises. Mr. White in later seasons was a Conspiracy Theorist and strawman for the American far-right, lampooning conspiracy theories like white genocide and QAnon. Like Al Gore, he's eventually proven right as his claims of "two guys running the show" were referring to Trey Parker and Matt Stone themselves.
    • Authoritarians are their biggest strawmen of all, with absolutely no redeeming qualities shown. The police and military are little more than violent dadaists looking for reasons to screw with black people. (Though in the context of that episode, it’s pretty clearly saying that such a thing is a ridiculous accusation that never actually happens.) Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is considered a major threat, whilst Satan is just misunderstood. Canada's royal family traditions involve men mutilating their wives. The world's governments got Earth banned from the Universal Council in one episode because they were liars and cheats.
      • The biggest offender is Kyle's mother, who declared war on Canada because the boys saw a movie full of naughty words... that was made in Canada. The American government also didn't care that by holding Terrence and Phillip prisoner, they would force Canada into a recession.
    • Clyde in South Park: Post Covid is a parody of COVID vaccine skeptics, as his adamant refusal to get the vaccine for no discernable reason makes him The Millstone as the entire town is placed under martial law because of it. At one point he screams at the others that his "body is a temple" moments after accepting what he thought was cocaine from Wendy. The punchline? His adamant refusal was the result of a bootstrap paradox, with the "expert" he cited being his own future self.

Alternative Title(s): Straw Political, Straw Liberal, Straw Conservative, Strawman Political


Olive Oyl for President

The short presents Congress as a room full of arguing donkeys and elephants (Democrats and Republicans, respectively) — for every proposal that Olive presents, the donkeys say, "We accept it!" in unison, and the elephants scream, "We reject it!" in response.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / StrawCharacter

Media sources: