Alice has nothing but disdain for Bob and all that he stands for. Well, almost everything. In spite of herself, Alice can't help but admire one attribute of Bob's. Not an important attribute, mind, but something completely irrelevant: Bob is morally bankrupt and a complete ignoramus, but he has great taste in shoes. And he cooks the best chili you've ever tasted.
For added punch, the attribute Alice professes to admire may be the one thing Bob is the least proud of.
A form of Damned by Faint Praise, but with the negative side made explicit instead of implied. Compare with Worthy Opponent, Actually Pretty Funny, and Bad News, Irrelevant News. Compare and contrast with Sympathy for the Devil and Sympathy for the Hero.
- In the second season of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, even Judai can't help but compliment Saiou for managing a "Zero Turn Kill" (which is winning a duel without even getting a turn) against Prince Orgene.
- In EDENS ZERO, adventuress and "B-cube" online video maker Rebecca has an Alpha Bitch rival, Labilia, who spends almost every moment they're in the same scene putting Rebecca down and bragging about how much more popular her own videos are. As much as they hate each other, Rebecca has to admit that Labilia is a very talented B-cuber who puts a lot of work into her videos.
- In Isekai Quartet, Albedo claims that Valentine's Day is "the one holiday foolish humans celebrate that [she] approve[s] of".
- In Failed Princesses, while Kanade Kurokawa disliked Nanaki Fujishiro for bullying her, she did admire Fujishiro's beauty and self-confidence, both traits Kurokawa felt she herself lacked. As a result, Kurokawa admired Fujishiro despite not liking her, a sentiment that influenced their relationship even after they became friends.
- In ElfQuest, the Wolfriders and the trolls who live nearby get along fairly well as elf and troll tribes go — which is to say that they aren't trying to genocide each other and even engage in some trade. As it stands, they still have total contempt for each other's way of life, and no small amount of personal enmity. However, when one elf and his wolf-friend contract "the foaming sickness" (rabies), the elves (lacking a magical healer) take him to the trolls' tribal elder/herbalist to be treated. The treatment is arduous and likely to fail, and the troll herbalist believes that the elves' efforts "make no sense". When told it's not about sense, she responds: "Anything for family, eh? I can fault you elves in all ways but that."
- This Bites!: Lucci actually rather likes that Soundbite can make Hattori talk on his own.
- The Sanctuary Telepath: Janine detests Tesla with everything she has but even she's forced to admit that the vampire has great intelligence... and a good taste in wine.
- In Ruined With You, Nathalie notes that, while Gabriel Agreste may have been a supervillain who terrorised Paris for years, she still owes him for hiring her despite being underqualified because he saw her potential. Adrien privately acknowledges that she has a point, and that Gabriel did this a lot.
- In Dr. Strangelove: British officer Lionel Mandrake was discussing his time as a prisoner in a Japanese POW camp:
General Ripper: No, I mean when they tortured you did you talk?Mandrake: Ah. Oh, no, I don't think they wanted me to talk, really. I don't think they wanted me to say anything. It was just their way of having a bit of fun, the swines. Strange thing is they make such bloody good cameras.
- From The Spy Who Loved Me:
Bond: Mmm, maybe I misjudged Stromberg. Any man who drinks Dom Perignon '52 can't be all bad.
- Zoolander: Every time Mugatu mentions Hansel in a conversation, he immediately adds "He's so hot right now," to the extent that it borders on a Verbal Tic. This continues even after Hansel has joined the protagonists in exposing the Ancient Conspiracy that Mugatu works for.
Mugatu: It's that damned Hansel! He's so hot right now!
- Batman (1989). The Joker makes a TV broadcast to Gotham City.
Joker: Now you fellows have said some pretty mean things, some of which were true under that fiend, Boss Grissom. He was a thief and a terrorist. On the other hand, he had a tremendous singing voice.
- In Out Cold the characters comment that the new company that's taking over the ski resort is "ruining our town" but their coffee shop sells delicious beverages.
- From Top Secret!:
Deja Vu: You've got to hand it to the Germans, they make great cars.
- In Vertical Limit, the Pakistani military officer admits that despite the Indians being their mortal enemies, they make really good tea.
- In UHF, the Engineered Public Confession of the Affiliate Owner ends with "But, there is one good thing about broadcasting to a town full of mindless sheep: I always know I have them exactly where I want them!"
- In The Big Lebowski, Walter, a Jewish convert, learns that the Germans are not Nazis, but nihilists.
Walter: Nihilists, fuck me... I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, at least it's an ethos.
- After all the many times The Angry Video Game Nerd has trashed on E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, he finally admits in The Movie that despite all its shortcomings it was actually quite innovative for its time and that it's honestly impressive it was made in only five and a half weeks.
- In The Dark Id's Let's Play of The 3rd Birthday during the credits of the game, he trashes on each and every single member of the staff for everything that went wrong with the game until he gets to the composers Yoko Shimomura and Mitsuto Suzuki as the only thing he loved about the game.
Id: Yoko Shimomura and Mitsuto Suzuki? You both did the only good jobs in this game. Nice work. Most of that soundtrack was lovely.
- In Book One of Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Ms. Plithiver thinks to herself that there is something very wrong with Kludd. He then coughs up a pellet and she reconsiders that no bird with such a noble digestive system could be completely bad. If only...
- Harry Dresden of The Dresden Files hates local crimelord Gentleman John Marcone. On the other hand, he has to admit that whatever else you say about the guy, he's got "balls that drag along the ground when he walks". Furthermore, every time Harry tries to hate the guy, he's reminded that Marcone may be a ruthless, hardened crime boss with connections from the CCPD to the Capitol...but he's also a Friend to All Children, and he will come down hard on anyone who tries to hurt them.
- In Terry Pratchett's Going Postal Vetinari and Gilt share a mutual one of these after a third character shows his profound ignorance about the game "Thud".
"Gilt and Vetinari shared a look. It said: While I loathe you and every aspect of your personal philosophy to a depth unplumbable by any line, I'll credit you at least with not being Crispin Horsefry."
- Many otherwise scathing in-depth reviews of the Twilight books will usually make a side-note that the plot of Eclipse and the new characters introduced are actually pretty good; this is quickly followed by the reviewer bemoaning the fact that the book never focused on the interesting parts, but rather spent page after page on Edward and Bella, the two least interesting characters. Similar comments are sometimes made about the werewolf pack scenes in New Moon.
- Ciaphas Cain's opinion on the tau, as opposed to the blistering hatred and/or terror he feels about every other alien species he encounters (not irrationally).
Cain: Say what you will about the tau, and I've said plenty over the years, they know how to put on a good war.
- In the Catwoman novel Tiger Hunt, Selina is pursuing a criminal with a tiger gimmick and reflects "How can someone who loves tigers be all bad?" Subverted when she finds his interest is in killing tigers to gain their strength and thinks "This was how."
- In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore pulls off a dramatic escape from about half a dozen senior Ministry of Magic personnel, including two top Aurors (granted, one was secretly on his side). And he makes it look easy. Phineas Nigellus Black, who disagrees with Dumbledore on a large number of topics, has to admit that the man has style.
- In The Princess Diaries: Book 5, Mia is at a completely different end of life and the political spectrum from her Grandmere, and the two often fight because of that. Nonetheless, Mia is comforted when she bemoans that her boyfriend doesn't appreciate prom and Grandmere immediately understands.
"Well, never mind. Your grandfather was the same way. Do you know that if I had left it up to him we'd have been married in a clerk's office, and gone to a coffee shop for lunch afterwards? The man simply had no understanding of romance, let alone the public's need for PAGEANTRY."
- The Fear Street novel One Evil Summer has a scene where the main character, Amanda, digs through the belongings of the villain, Lilith. Amanda at one point muses that even though Lilith is horrendously evil, she does have great taste in shoes.
- In Shadow of the Conqueror, Lyrah hates the air that Dayless the Conqueror breathes and the ground he walks upon, but him saving Highdawn from total destruction still impresses her.
- Angel: Angel and Spike are bickering like five-year-olds as usual, but then...
Angel: There was one thing about you...
Angel: Yeah, I never told anybody this, but... I liked your poems.
Spike: You like Barry Manilow!
- Black Lightning: Technocrat (or just TC) hates the ASA for experimenting on him and keeping him in suspended animation for 30 years, but he gives them props for his cool name.
- Evoked in Cobra Kai with Johnny's dickish rich abusive stepfather, who tries to turn this into "the one thing you shouldn't hate about me" in order to make himself look better compared to Johnny's real father. Johnny makes it very clear time and time again this isn't even remotely good enough to redeem the old man in his eyes, and is well aware that his stepfather is just doing this to Victim Blame him for not loving the old bastard in spite of the abuse, which of course is a driving factor in what drove him into the arms of the psychotic John Kreese — even if Kreese only did it for his own selfish needs and in a very destructive way, he actually did give the kid some affection and encouragement.
- Luke Cage (2016) hates Cottonmouth, but respects his skill as a keyboardist. Cottonmouth actually wanted to be a musician, but was forced into continuing his family's criminal legacy.
- Game of Thrones:
Tyrion: (to Cersei) You love your children. It's your one redeeming quality. That and your cheekbones.
- The West Wing has a memorable scene of President Bartlett and a prominent Republican opponent having a sitdown. While it's obvious there's a certain amount of respect between the two, it opens with each (in surprisingly good humour) going through a lengthy list of their disagreements with the other, before getting down to the one thing they see eye to eye on:
Bartlet: We agree on nothing, Max.
Senator Lobell: Yes, sir.
Bartlet: Education, guns, drugs, school prayer, gays, defense spending, taxes - you name it, we disagree.
Senator Lobell: You know why?
Bartlet: Because I'm a lily-livered, bleeding-heart, liberal, egghead communist.
Senator Lobell: Yes, sir. And I'm a gun-toting, redneck son-of-a-bitch.
Bartlet: Yes, you are.
Senator Lobell: We agree on that.
Bartlet: We also agree on campaign finance.
Senator Lobell: Yes, sir.
- During the UltraMantis Black-Brodie Lee match at CHIKARA JoshiMania Night III, December 4, 2001, commentators Leonard F. Chikarason and Gavin Loudspeaker talk about how Mantis is "devious, he's underhanded, but still the fans love him. Brodie Lee is just rotten and mean." They say that Brodie has "no redeeming qualities." Then Chikarason says, "Well, his fiancée's kinda nice." Jon "Brodie Lee"/"Luke Harper" Huber is married to Synndy (aka Synndy Synn), a former valet/manager turned wrestler who competed from 2004 to 2007 for NWA Upstate (Rochester, New York), New England Championship Wrestling (Massachusetts), the Pure Wrestling Association (Ontario, Canada) and NWA Empire (Buffalo, New York).
- From "Exotic" Adrian Street's song "Sweet Transvestite with a Broken Nose":
"I hate Joan Collins
But love her taste in clothes"
- In Jesus Christ Superstar, Caiaphas and several priests discuss what a problem Jesus is, and start concocting a plan to kill him before he starts threatening their power base. In the middle of warning how dangerous he is, Caiaphas admits "One thing I'll say for him, Jesus is cool."
- This is what leads to Alex advocating for the election of Thomas Jefferson over Aaron Burr when asked for his opinion on the matter near the end of Hamilton, because for all he despises about Jefferson, he appreciates that at least Jefferson has things he believes in, unlike Burr.
- In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, Bowser will admit that, for all he hates Fawful, the midget is a great cook.
- In Undertale, despite Mettaton being Alphys's friend, Undyne doesn't like him very much, but admires his luxurious lifestyle as an idol for the Underground.
- Borderlands character Athena was raised as an assassin by the Atlas corporation, only to be betrayed by them when they trick her into destroying a village that contained her sister. Her hatred for them is enough that in Tales From the Borderlands, encountering an Atlas scientist makes her apoplectic with rage. She will admit one nice thing about Atlas, though: they made the best lattes.
- In Video Game/Hades, the titular God of the Dead holds a profound dislike for most of his Olympian relatives, his little brother Zeus in particular. However, even he has to admit that Zeus has got a Badass Beard.
Hades: You wish to meet your uncle Zeus someday? Imagine me, with a luxurious white mane, without a modicum of self-control. That's your Zeus.
- Havenfall Is for Lovers: JD dislikes Hikari, but respects her taste in anime.
JD: Oh, jackpot. This is one of Hikari's favorites.
MC: And that's a point in its favor?
JD: The worst thing about Hikari is that she actually has impeccable taste for super specific things. It's awful.
- City Face: Every time Magpie55 posts beneath the comic, he does nothing but insult City Face and pigeons in general. Then City Face starts doing the human businessman dance, and Magpie55 can only write "whoa he's actually pretty good at that..."
- Bobwhite: Marlene and Ivy frequently make fun of Cleo for her awkwardness and her CloudCuckoolanderishness. Then they visit Cleo in her metal shop class and are briefly impressed.
Marlene: Wow. I will never make fun of her again.
Ivy: Yes you will.
Marlene: Yes I will.
- Homestuck. Terezi confronts Vriska, who used to be a friend but has now gone too far and must be brought to justice (i.e. stabbity death).
Terezi: MUCH 4S 1T P41NS M3 TO 4DM1T 1T, YOUR FRUITY OR4NG3 F41RY SU1T SM3LLS... D3L1C1OUS.
- In The Last Days Of Fox Hound, Revolver Ocelot has one nice thing to say about The Patriots:
Ocelot:(After having Liquid's arm grafted onto him) Say what you like about The Patriots, but their health plan rocks.
- The Angry Video Game Nerd:
- The Tiger R-Zone is #1 on his Top 10 Worst Video Game Consoles list, in which he describes it as "a shitty version of the Virtual Boy, as if the Virtual Boy wasn't already shitty enough." However, he also says that the one thing he has to give Tiger credit for was including a headstrap for it, the lack of one being one of his main complaints against the Virtual Boy.
- He also admits that the The Legend Of Zelda C Di Games have nice music.
- When being forced to play Bugs Bunny's Crazy Castle, he does begrudgingly admit that the game has "the shortest sweetest password he's ever seen".
- While he otherwise has nothing nice to say about the video game adaptation of Friday the 13th, he admits that the day to night cycle works quite well and, unlike Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, shows that such things can work in an NES game when done right.
- He has absolutely nothing nice to say about the Amiga CD32 and everything associated with it, finding it all to be complete garbage with absolutely no redeeming qualities in any of it, save for one game called Bubba 'n' Stix which he quite enjoys and considers to be a hidden gem on the console.
- He despises Superman 64 overall, but he admits that Parasite's boss battle and the level leading up to it are not bad.
- In Some Jerk with a Camera's review of The Haunted Mansion, Count Jackula actually becomes paralyzed at how good the set design and zombie makeup is compared to how utterly abysmal the rest of the film is. Even Jerk admits that, despite the movie's flaws (and it has many), the atmosphere, set, and costume design were halfway decent, and some of the fan appeal actually worked out okay as appealing to a fan of the ride (namely, him).
- Jerk admits that while he hates almost everything about Escape from Tomorrow, he can't fault the fact that the actors were actually quite good, even the child actors. What brought it up was the protagonist, Jim, shitting his brains out from the "cat flu", doing so with such conviction despite the fact that it will likely be the only thing he is ever known for.
- In the Game Grumps, usually inspired by Danny's much more optimistic outlook on even bad games, Arin often will begrudgingly admit to liking at least one aspect of a game he otherwise dislikes or even hates. For the "Auto Mario" levels of Super Mario Maker which he thinks are mindless clickbait garbage that don't deserve to be the highest rated levels he admits that he does find them creative, for Sonic Boom: Rise Of Lyric which he thinks is a glitch-riddled Christmas Rushed unfinished trainwreck he admits that the game's graphics are very gorgeous and inspired, and in spite of the many many bad things he has to say about The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword he eagerly admits that he loves Groose.
- In Epic Rap Battles of History:
- Despite despising Lance Armstrong for his foul play, Babe Ruth genuinely congratulates him for beating cancer.
- Ronald McDonald briefly admits to liking Burger King's onion rings, despite hating everything else about the mascot and his restaurant.
- Sigmund Freud chews out Mother Theresa for her more questionable practices and methods, but begrudgingly admits that her message was an admirable one.
- Pennywise hates pretty much everything about The Joker, but praises Jack Nicholson's portrayal of the character in Batman (1989).
- Sometimes The Nostalgia Critic will find something nice to say about movies he otherwise thinks are garbage. In fact, the one movie he's gone on record as saying has absolutely zero redeeming qualities is The Garbage Pail Kids Movie, to which he's actually asked if there's anyone out there who likes that movie to contact him and explain why. Otherwise, towards the end of the review he'll often point out something positive, so for some of his most extreme examples:
- Though he believes Moonwalker is overall a self-indulgent, incoherent mess of a movie, he thinks the "Smooth Criminal" sequence is brilliant and spends a good chunk of the review praising it.
- For Jack Frost, while he dislikes pretty much everything about it, he admits the movie looks really nice with good cinematography and winter colors.
- For Ernest Saves Christmas, he begrudgingly admits that he watches it every year because, in spite of all its flaws, it has the absolute best Santa Claus ever in a movie (played by Douglas Seale, most well known for voicing the Sultan in Aladdin).
- While he otherwise hates Warriors of Virtue, he adores the villain Lord Komodo (played by Angus Macfadyen of Brave Heart and Equilibrium who spends the entire time on the verge of bursting into laughter) for at least being entertaining for how cartoonish and over-the-top he is and for not Taking The Bad Film Seriously like all the other actors.
- While he mocks Judge Dredd heavily, he admits that it makes it a guilty pleasure that's at least fun to watch.
- He actually really likes the interactions between Annabelle and her father in A Simple Wish, saying that he actually found himself invested in their relationship and even in whether or not her father gets the part in the play. Unfortunately he really dislikes everything about the film, especially Martin Short's over-acting, which takes up the vast majority of the movie. He goes far enough to admit that if the movie didn't have any of the magical fairy godmother aspects and just focused on the relationship of a single father juggling his professional life and his relationship with his daughter in the wake of losing the mother, that he'd probably like the film.
- While Son of the Mask is one of his most hated movies of all time he does admit that the car that Tim summons up, which he dubs "the Charlie-Sheen-Mobile", is fucking awesome.
- During his team-up review of Digimon: The Movie with JesuOtaku, for as much as he hates pretty much everything about it as it's effectively three non-related movies haphazardly cobbled together "with only bad puns and Smash Mouth songs holding it together'' (as JO puts it), he admits the animation is top notch during the fight scenes.
- He's disdainful at best when it comes to most aspects of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, but he praises the Lotus Casino sequence as both a clever update of the Island of the Lotus Eaters and a well-executed metaphor for addiction.
- On Fact Hunt it's a Once per Episode gag for Larry to take a pot shot at Peter Molyneux, and he has said some terrible things about the man. In his "10 Companies EA Bought, Then DESTROYED" video however he admits that Molyneux was good at shielding Bullfrog Productions from EA's Executive Meddling and was the reason they remained successful unlike so many other companies under EA's thumb. He goes on to describe that Molyneux leaving to form Lionhead Studios was basically the death kneel of Bullfrog as EA swooped in, assumed control, "took them over like The Borg" (as Mike Diskett of Bullfrog described it) and basically drove the studio into the ground.
Larry: See? I can say nice things about Molyneux!
- The Simpsons:
- In "Colonel Homer", where Homer's new job as Lurleen Lumpkin's manager is driving him away from his family:
Marge: You've got a wonderful family, Homer. Please don't forget it when you walk out that door tonight.
Bart: Much as I hate that man right now, you gotta love that suit.
- In "Brush with Greatness", the teacher of Marge's art class blasts her high school art teacher for criticizing her work:
Teacher: The man was a fool! But one must admire the strength of his conviction.
- Both Marge and Homer regard Judge Constance Harm as a evil, harsh, sadistic, and unforgiving disciplinarian (which she is) but in "The Parent Rap", they think her house boat is kind of cool.
- In "Colonel Homer", where Homer's new job as Lurleen Lumpkin's manager is driving him away from his family:
- From South Park:
- In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003), the one thing that the Turtles admire about the Foot is the Nice Hats worn by the Shredder's Elite Guard:
Raphael: Nice hats!
Michaelangelo: Yeah, we thought so, too.
Donatello: Say what you will about the Foot, but they do not skimp on the headgear.
- The finale of Cyber Six has Von Richter say one good thing about the titular character:
Von Richter: ...Cyber Six is my greatest failure, but she has courage and I admire that.
- From The Powerpuff Girls episode "Impeach Fuzz", the Mayor really gets angry at Fuzzy Lumpkins:
Mayor: FUZZY! You can throw away my things, and I don't mind the hay on the floor, and the chicken wire's a nice touch, and I kinda like that beat-up old flivver. But no one, I mean no one, wears my mayorin' hat! Now give it back!
- Well, okay, that was two things, but as the rest of the episode showed, the hat was enough for him to take about 100 levels in badass and beat Fuzzy to a pulp.
- In Batman: The Animated Series, both Batman and Harvey Bullock get one of these for each other at the end of A Bullet For Bullock. Bullock admits that, as much as he hates the Bat, that Batman is genuinely doing good for the city, while Batman learns that despite all of Bullock's many shortcomings the man is at least an honest uncorrupted cop.
- The Legend of Calamity Jane episode "I'd Rather Be in Philadelphia" involves a group of Neo-Confederates who are trying to assassinate President Grant. The gang's leader at one point declares, "Grant may be a red-handed murderer, but he gets the trains to run on time."
- At the end of the DuckTales (2017) episode The Duck Knight Returns, Drake Mallard and Launchpad decide that Jim Starling, while an Ax-Crazy attempted murderer, did inspire them through childhood through his Darkwing Duck show.
- At the middle of the Tangled: The Series episode "Beyond The Corona Walls", Lady-in-Waiting Cassandra confesses to Princess Rapunzel her view on Eugene, Rapunzel's Love Interest:
Rapunzel, we all know that Eugene and I don't always agree on everything but over the last year or so I've noticed something that makes him less detestable: He loves you, Rapunzel, more than anyone has ever loved anybody.
- Essentially the main point of "separating an artist from their art;" namely, acknowledging one's creative abilities while still holding them accountable for misdeeds.
- John Lydon famously disliked Sid and Nancy, criticizing it for its inaccuracies, its sensationalizing and romanticizing a tragedy, and what he saw as glorifying heroin abuse and trying to make a quick buck off two untimely, tragic deaths. However, he did praise Gary Oldman's performance as Sid Vicious, saying it was very good.