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This trope is under discussion in the Trope Repair Shop.

"A clever argument is not what makes a good or bad person. Anyone can make a clever argument, whether they believe it or not. You see someone being a cruel piece of shit? That's a bad person no matter what they fucking believe, and I've seen some cruel pieces of shit around this thing."
Ashton Greymoore, "Night at the Ligament Manor", Critical Role

Whether good or bad, almost everyone has a reason for the things that they do. That doesn't necessarily mean that their actions and reactions are valid.

In this trope, a villainous character's reasoning for what they do is at least partially, well, reasonable: that is, they make some good points about their motivations for their actions and/or the present situation. However, the mere fact that they can score some rhetorical points, even deliver a Breaking Speech good enough to cause a Heroic BSoD, doesn't excuse what they've done: at the end of the day, they're still doing bad things and they still need to be stopped.

For this trope to apply, the work has to directly acknowledge in some way, often via the protagonists' reactions, that the antagonists raise some legitimate points about the situation they and the protagonists find themselves in, without portraying them as ultimately justified in behaving as they do. If you want to argue that a character was justified when they weren't intended to be, see Alternative Character Interpretation, Informed Wrongness, Strawman Has a Point, and Unintentionally Sympathetic among others.

Compare and contrast with:

  • Anti-Villain, where a character possesses a lot of good traits but is still ultimately the villain.
  • At Least I Admit It, where a character admits to their flaws and argues that's better than pretending.
  • Freudian Excuse, where a character commits horrible acts due to an evil upbringing.
  • Freudian Excuse Denial, where a villain outright denies any Freudian Excuse as an explanation for their actions.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse, where the work itself acknowledges that a villain has to take responsibility now even if they had a horrible upbringing.
  • The Extremist Was Right, where the work ultimately validates the arguments made by a character doing terrible things.
  • "Not So Different" Remark, where a character argues that they and another character are more similar than the other character wants to admit.
  • Jerkass Has a Point for cases where the argument isn't wrong but the character was rude in the way they got it across (or is habitually rude in general).
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist, where a character commits horrible acts out of what they at least believe is a good cause.

In-Universe Examples Only

Has no connection to Spikes of Villainy.


Example Sub-pages:

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    Asian Animation 
  • BoBoiBoy: During the BoBoiBot arc, Adu Du argues to the citizens that BoBoiBot would be a better superhero than the original BoBoiBoy since he wouldn't get exhausted like BoBoiBoy did and unlike BoBoiBoy, he can control his fire powers. If Adu Du doesn't plan to use BoBoiBot to extort people, he would be 100% right.

    Films — Animation 
  • Aladdin: During his Villain Song, Jafar criticizes Aladdin for impersonating a prince in order to get close to Jasmine instead of simply being the person he is. Genie himself told Aladdin the same thing earlier in the movie, but in a nicer way.
  • In Batman and Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and the Floronic Man are working together in a plan to mutate all life on Earth into plant hybrids like they are to make the human race more dependent on and thus invested in environmental preservation. Ivy starts having second thoughts due to the high risk of their formula killing all life rather than changing it. Jason reminds her that the Earth will suffer a slow death at the rate of pollution and environmental exploitation mankind is creating if they don't take the risk. As he reminds her in her own words, people won't give a damn about saving the Earth unless they're made to. He's not wrong. Many of the big efforts to regrow forests or clean up oceans only started after people were faced with the consequences of their current lifestyles.
  • General Hemmer from Battle for Terra has the completely understandable motivation of wanting to prevent his own species' extinction, a deadline which they have approximately two months to avoid, since their last Colony Ship is literally falling apart around them, leaving humanity with nowhere else to go and no time to look for a more suitable, uninhabited planet on which to establish a colony. His proposed solution to the crisis is quite extreme, but note that nobody else on the ruling council of the Ark actually comes up with any better ideas.
  • Big Hero 6: Despite Callaghan's cruelty in telling Hiro that Tadashi's death was his own fault, he is still somewhat correct in saying so. Tadashi was the one who voluntarily decided to run into the flaming SFIT building by himself without any protection/equipment instead of waiting for the fire department to rescue people possibly still trapped inside. Noble as it may have been, it was a monumentally stupid thing to do, and it did nothing except make Tadashi the only fatality of the fire when he wasn’t even INSIDE the building when it started.
  • This is the cause for the plot of the Billy & Mandy's Big Boogey Adventure, in which Boogey presses charges against Grim for misusing his powers. The thing is, the facts that he brings up to the Underworld Court are perfectly accurate; Grim is indeed very irresponsible with the handling of his cosmic powers, routinely letting his scythe and other objects of arcane power get stolen. He's also right that Grim doesn't have enough will of his own to resist being forced by the two self-serving kids to placating their selfish whims. He is even right when he says that Billy and Mandy are only Grim's friends because they can use him and about the other ugly things that he says about them being barbaric and wickedly loathsome. Of course, he says that all to get them into trouble and make Grim lose his job as a psychopomp out of spite, but the points still remain.
  • During a pseudo-drunken rant in The Boxtrolls, Snatcher gripes about how all Lord Portley-Rind and his fellow White Hats do is sit around and waste taxpayer's time and money on eating fancy cheeses, which is a startlingly accurate description.
  • A Bug's Life:
    • When several grasshoppers question Hopper's motivations to bully the ant colony, he points out (after punishing the blabbermouths by death) that the ants have to be kept in line because if one of them recognizes the numbers advantage they collectively have over the grasshoppers, they'll turn on them without hesitation. He was right to worry, because at the end, they do thanks to Flik.
    • Earlier on, Hopper tells Atta that the first rule of leadership is that everything is your fault. Even though he's just bullying her for the sake of laying down the law with the new leader, he is correct that she must learn to take responsibility when things go wrong.
  • The Fox and the Hound: The viewers know that Todd is a sapient being who shouldn't be shot, but Amos Slade doesn't, and he has every right to be angry that his wealthier neighbor is letting her carnivorous pet roam loose on his land and possibly kill the chickens he can ill afford to lose. Chief, meanwhile, is a dog doing what he was bred for millennia to do.
  • Kung Fu Panda: While Tai Lung is fighting his former mentor and adoptive father, Master Shifu, he blames Shifu for abandoning him when Master Oogway said Tai Lung couldn't be the Dragon Warrior. Shifu did believe Tai Lung to be the future Dragon Warrior and had him train hard without teaching him humility. Shifu's act of no longer supporting his adoptive son after Oogway's rejection caused Tai Lung to snap. When Shifu's defeated, he admits his responsibility in Tai Lung's fall from grace and sincerely apologizes. Unfortunately, Tai Lung looks momentarily touched, but he casts aside Shifu's words and remains a villain.
    Tai Lung: I rotted in jail for twenty years because of your weakness!
    Master Shifu: Obeying your master is not weakness!
    Tai Lung: You knew I was the Dragon Warrior! You always knew. But, when Oogway said otherwise, what did you do? What did you do?! NOTHING!
    Master Shifu: You were not meant to be the Dragon Warrior! That was not my fault!
    Tai Lung: Not your fault? Who filled my head with dreams?! Who drove me to train until my bones cracked?! Who denied me my DESTINY?!
  • The Little Mermaid (1989): When Ariel is hesitating on making her deal with Ursula to become human, she points out that turning into a human will mean she'll never see her father or sisters again. Ursula agrees with this observation, then says that if Ariel remains a mermaid, she'll never have a chance at winning Prince Eric's heart.
    Ursula: Life's full of tough choices, isn't it?
  • Undertow from The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea is surprisingly insightful as he tells Morgana that she cannot keep trying to blame Ursula for her own failures, and asks Melody what kind of friends Tip and Dash are if they would abandon her at the first sign of danger. Even Morgana herself is quite insightful, as she cruelly — yet correctly — points out that it was wrong for Ariel to hide her mermaid heritage away from Melody, otherwise the latter wouldn't have run away and ultimately handed over the trident to Morgana. Even Ariel herself sadly admits to this following Morgana's defeat.
  • In The Mitchells vs. the Machines, despite wanting to kidnap every human on Earth and rocket them into space to die, PAL has every right to be angry and betrayed after Mark, who created her and called her family, designed a robot to replace her and callously called her obsolete. On top of it, she makes valid points about how much humanity takes the ever-evolving technology for granted like her and to an extent, how people treat their own family like commodities.
  • Meet the Robinsons: The Bowler Hat Guy has the goal of ruining the future of the main hero by disrupting the science fair and patenting the finished invention as his own. The reason being for missing the winning catch as his fellow roommate Goob. While it is partly his own fault for not letting go and moving forward as per the message of the film, he brings up a valid point: Lewis simply used Goob as a means to work on the project and kept him up all night working on it. And when he did finish, Lewis never bothered to even apologize and outright neglected him throughout the years, being more concerned about his own future and well-being without sparing a second thought about his roommate. In that regard, Lewis comes out as very selfish, or at least self-absorbed, and the film is about him needing to learn from his mistakes not only on a scientific sense but also in his relationship with others.
  • Monsters University: While she's not a villain, Dean Hardscrabble is antagonistic towards Mike and Sulley, and she gives them a dressing down, by giving them hypothetical scenarios that they both fail, and for which they get kicked out of the program. She fails Mike immediately because as smart as he is, he's just not intimidating, and she fails Sulley because, while he's intimidating, he doesn't use his head to analyze and adapt to scaring situations. The film shows she's right about both, and they need to work together to be efficient.
  • Over the Hedge: From an outsider's perspective, Gladys Sharp's grudge against the animals is perfectly reasonable, considering they spend much of the film stealing food left and right and are tearing apart the very neighbourhood she and her organization worked so hard to create. What makes her a villain is her insistence on the installation of a highly illegal and completely inhumane animal trap specifically after being told that it's illegal, showing her as someone who clearly believes herself to be above the law.
    • Similarly, Vincent may be the Big Bad, but his grudge against RJ is perfectly understandable since the racoon destroyed his food supply, and RJ offers to get it all back in exchange for his life. Much like Gladys, however, he goes too far when he declares that after killing RJ, Verne and the others are next.
  • Puss in Boots: The Last Wish: Death's entire reason for hating Puss in Boots is actually very understandable. Puss is someone who squandered 8 of his 9 lives (which is far more than most people ever get) in incredibly stupid ways, and made a reputation on the fact he "laughs in the face of death", thus treating death like a joke, and treating his own life with little if any value. As a result, Death has decided to claim Puss's ninth and final life personally, because he wants to teach the "arrogant little legend" two valuable lessons: 1; life is not a game, it is a valuable gift that is not to be wasted, and if you don't appreciate that gift, then you don't deserve to have it. 2; as the natural force of death itself, Death is inevitable and can never truly be bested, only delayed.
  • Ratatouille: Up until he plans to cheat Linguini out of his inheritance, you can see Skinner's point about not wanting the new garbage boy to experiment in the kitchen right when customers are expecting their high standard orders. For one, Linguini can't cook, and even Remy who knows how to cook is still inexperienced in the kitchen. Colette barely convinces Skinner to give Linguini a chance since they think he and not Remy made the soup — due to Remy being a rat — and Skinner is willing to hire Linguini as a probational chef and train him.
  • Dr. Benedict of Recess: School's Out has a nefarious plan to get rid of summer vacation by moving the moon and disrupting the Earth's weather patterns. His stated reason for doing so is because he's upset by how American kids are falling behind their international peers in academic tests. The guy's planned remedy is definitely a severe case of Jumping Off the Slippery Slope for a few reasons, but that actually is a very legitimate concern.
    • An episode of the TV show, "Recess is Cancelled," actually invalidated Benedict's belief that getting rid of recess would improve test scores. While he's right to be concerned about said scores, it was shown getting rid of recess altogether would rob children of a much needed break between classes. Without that time or space to relax and being subjected to the monotony of work and testing day in and day out, it would not only rob the kids of energy and enthusiasm but causes their test scores to plummet.
  • Shrek:
    • The villains of Shrek 2 may be trying to break Shrek and Fiona up for their own gain, but they do pose a fair question; wouldn't Fiona be better off living as a princess in a castle, rather than an ogre in a swamp? This weighs heavily on Shrek and convinces him to try and make both of them human with a potion, and give up his relationship with her so she can have a better life with Prince Charming. While he changes his mind about giving Fiona up once he realizes they are being manipulated, he ultimately lets her choose whether they will remain human or go back to being ogres.
    • In Shrek Forever After, Rumpelstiltskin dupes Shrek, tired of his celebrity status, into signing a contract that gives him a day as a "real ogre" in exchange for a day from his childhood; the day in question was the day Shrek was born, creating an Alternate Timeline where Shrek never existed, Fiona's parents signed Far Far Away over to Rumpel, and will eventually lead Shrek to suffer Cessation of Existence. When all of this is revealed to Shrek, who blames Rumpel for what happened, Rumpel is quick to point out that Shrek willingly let him take any day from his past that he wanted and signed the contract of his own volition.
      Shrek: You took the day I was born...
      Rumpel: No, Shrek. You gave it to me.
  • In Sleeping Beauty, when the fairies leave Aurora to have some time for herself, this leaves her unattended and completely vulnerable for Maleficent to make the curse come true. She was right to call out the fairies for not watching Aurora, thus failing in their mission.
  • In Toy Story 2, Stinky Pete tells Woody that Andy will one day grow up and leave him. Although he was obviously saying this to manipulate Woody into giving up on Andy, he is actually right as all children eventually outgrow their toys and Jessie herself was outgrown by her former owner, Emily. Woody fully agrees with him that he can't stop Andy from growing up. In fact, this gave hints Foreshadowing Toy Story 3.
  • Hungarian animated epic The Tragedy of Man (Az ember tragedija) is a debate between Adam and Lucifer, spanning throughout the entire history of humanity. Lucifer ultimately dismisses all of Adam's idealistic beliefs with toxic, paralyzing rationality. What he fails to understand is that hope, which brings Adam the power to struggle, is irrational.
  • In the Wonder Woman film Persephone's arguments about the wrongness of Hippolyta's hiding the Amazons away from Man's World:
    Hippolyta: You were given a life of peace and beauty!
    Persephone: And denied one of families and children. Yes Hippolyta, the Amazons are warriors, but we are women too.
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, although it's quite clear King Candy / Turbo is lying his ass off and has his own reason for wanting to keep Vanellope from racing, being worried that the players might assume the game is broken (which could result in it being unplugged) if they witness her glitching is a valid concern, especially since that's exactly why Turbo Time was unplugged. His point is undermined somewhat by him being the cause of her glitching from messing with the source code in the first place, but still valid. Luckily, the opposite holds true and gamers consider Vanellope's glitching a Good Bad Bug rather than a Game-Breaking Bug, since it can be used to pass other racers more easily.

    Literature 
  • Isaac Asimov:
    • In The Dead Past, the government agents trying to prevent the protagonists from learning the secret of viewing the past seem like a classic heavy-handed Government Conspiracy... until it turns out that they're simply trying to prevent privacy from being utterly destroyed by the dissemination of devices that can view any place at any past time from a century ago to a microsecond ago.
      "Happy goldfish bowl to you, to me, to everyone, and may each of you fry in hell forever. Arrest rescinded."
    • The short story In A Good Cause... follows two friends over decades as their paths diverge, one of them an idealist desperately trying to unite the human race in the face of an alien threat, the other a soldier and later a political leader who fights in multiple wars against other human factions. When the aliens finally do attack, the human factions unite and make short work of them. The soldier points out to his friend that decades of internal competition had forced humanity to advance militarily, which protected them from outside invaders. Though events have proved him right, he acknowledges that his friend's idealism will make him a hero in the future, while his own militarism will make him history's Designated Villain.
  • John Farson, the "Good Man" of The Dark Tower, is a cruel, power-hungry despot, or so we're told. However, he's right that the Affiliation is ruled by a cabal of thugs with vague aristocratic pretensions who maintain power largely by having the best guns.
  • In the first Disney Chills book, while Ursula is a nasty villain you don't want to be making deals with, she rightly chastises Shelly for using the ocean as a dumping ground for trash, and Shelly reflects that she knew throwing a coffee cup in the ocean was bad but did it anyway.
  • In Gone Girl, Amy deconstructs the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope by bitterly monologuing about the inherent unfairness of women being expected by society to change their personalities to suit male needs and get labelled as shrill, nagging bitches the minute they have differing opinions or interests to their partner. Though she is pretty hypocritical because she ultimately forces Nick into being the ideal man she wants him to be by threatening to turn the American public and his unborn child against him, she's not wrong in pointing out the massive Double Standard.
  • The Hobbit: While Bilbo speaks with Smaug, the wicked and greedy dragon brings to the hobbit's attention something he hasn't thought about concerning the Company's quest to take Erebor back from Smaug; even if it were possible for the hobbit to claim his promised share of the treasure without Smaug having a say in it, he couldn't get far away with it all. Despite knowing that Smaug is trying to play mind games with him, Bilbo cannot help but be troubled to realize this.
  • Annie Wilkes in Misery is very perceptive in her criticisms of Paul's writing, and Paul concedes this. He especially agrees with her scathing dismissal of Cliffhanger Copouts and Deus ex Machina, and eventually comes around to her dismissing Fast Cars as pretentious. After all, it is not her criticism that's bad its how seriously she takes it.
  • In Percy Jackson and the Olympians and its sequel series, the main villains want to overthrow the Olympians and take over the world in their place. Should they succeed, it would lead to the total collapse of civilization and the enslavement, if not outright destruction, of humanity. That being said, many times they bring up the valid point that the Olympians themselves can be unbelievably petty and cruel, even to those that don't deserve it, and that they can often be inattentive or uncaring to the mortals that need and look up to them. One of the major reasons the bad guys in the first series had an army of demigods on their side in the first place was due to their feelings of abandonment, believing themselves to be forsaken not just by the gods, but by their own parents. Even the main characters admit at several times, that while the Olympians may be overall better than the villains they are fighting against, they sure as hell aren't what they would call good.
  • The Raven Tower: Mawat's uncle Hibal is entirely correct in saying that Mawat is The Wrongful Heir to the Throne due to his Hair-Trigger Temper and arrogance and needs more time to mature before he'll be fit to rule. It's not the reason why Hibal betrayed Mawat's father and usurped the throne, but even Mawat's closest friend privately concedes that it's correct.
  • In the Rivers of London book Lies Sleeping, Lesley tells Peter that the City of London itself is a kind of vampire; that it sucks in jobs, talent, money, and people from the rest of the UK and gives nothing back, and that to most people in the UK the entire of London could drop into a huge hole in the ground and they wouldn't give a damn about it. She might be The Dragon to a megalomaniacal bad guy who plans on conquering the UK to bring in a new Dark Age, but she's not exactly wrong. Many of Peter's own monologues have been about how firms, people, and transport links all end up in London.
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel: While the author, the Baroness de Orczy, clearly has little sympathy for the government of the First Republic and pretty much outright calls the Reign of Terror a genocide, she admits that the pre-Revolution government was arbitrary and cruel to commoners to the point where revolution was in fact justified. Several moderate republicans are treated sympathetically, as are people who fought back against abuse by noble rulers.
  • In Charlaine Harris' ''Southern Vampire'' stories the anti-vampire forces insist that vampirism is not, as claimed by the newly-out vampires, a medical condition, not all vampires will be completely content drinking synthetic blood, and that vampires have a secret government whose laws they consider more significant than human laws, if only because its punishments are more sure and more brutal... and they're right. (They may get the scale wrong, e.g. most vampires adjust to synthetic blood pretty well and stick to willing human donors if only to avoid trouble.)
  • In Those Who Hunt the Night, Grippen, the Master Vampire of London, may be a remorseless killer of thousands over his centuries-long lifespan...but he's perfectly correct to point out that the governments waging World War I have slaughtered far more in a month's time than all the vampires of Europe could do. He also points out that he and the hero aren't so different, referring to the hero's past as a secret agent who did his share of killing.
  • Victor Dashkov from Vampire Academy is portrayed as a villain, but sees himself as a social reformer. At several moments in the story Rose finds herself agreeing with some of the things Victor advocated, including a reorganisation of the Moroi government.
  • Wet Desert: Tracking Down a Terrorist on the Colorado River: Grant and the FBI can't help but find the bomber's aim to restore the Colorado River delta to be understandable.
  • Skitter from Worm when talking to almost any hero or their bosses, pointing out that the system they belong to is damaged and imperfect, the heroes aren't as clean as they pretend, or, in one case, that they're deliberately trying to induce a hostage situation. The last one is so convincing that the hostages side with her.
    • She may be slightly biased given that her trigger event was caused by the sadism of a young hero, although really this just supports her argument.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel: In "Home", the Angel Investigations crew are forced to question whether they did the right thing by defeating Jasmine when they are offered control of the LA branch of Wolfram & Hart. According to an undead Lilah Morgan, the Senior Partners are making the offer out of gratitude to them for stopping the world peace Jasmine would have achieved with her planet-spanning Mind Control. Angel and the gang are disturbed at the prospect of being thanked by the Senior Partners, and while they insist that Jasmine needed to be stopped, Lilah pretty much shoots down all of their arguments.
  • Arrow: In the episode "Vigilante", while the titular Vigilante Man is clearly a Knight Templar, most of Team Arrow, a group mostly comprised of morally grey anti-heroes, support his actions at first, until his actions result in civilian casualties that Vigilante dismisses as "collateral damage". Oliver, while being against Vigilante from the start, has to concede Vigilante's point that Star City is worse than ever, and Green Arrow's gentler methods aren't necessarily getting the job done.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In "Choices", Mayor Wilkins discusses Buffy and Angel's relationship at length with them. He points out that Angel's immortality, sterility, and Curse Escape Clause all mean that they basically have no real future together and Angel is keeping Buffy from making any kind of a happy life for herself. Buffy's mother Joyce later makes many of those same points. This contributes to Angel's decision to break up with Buffy and leave Sunnydale.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Journey's End": Davros makes a scathing observation about how the Doctor forges his companions into weapons to do the dirty work for him.
  • Marco Inaros of The Expanse is a genocidal monster (his most infamous action in the series is to kill millions, perhaps billions of Earthers via a Colony Drop and the catastrophic effects of it) and a narcissist, but his statements that Earth and Mars have been ruthlessly exploiting the Belt for decades, stealing its resources while horribly abusing the human rights of the Belt's inhabitants, are always acknowledged to be correct even by several of his greatest enemies. Even after his defeat, debate over what should be over the Ring Gates nearly leads to the Belters getting the short end of the stick again, and Holden passionately argues that if Earth and Mars don't give the Belt real reforms and fair treatment, the same resentment and anger that created Marco will give rise to someone else just like him. In the end Holden uses his extraordinary fame and reputation to get control of the neutral company overseeing the Rings, then promptly hands it off to the Belters so they'll be a competitive force in the Solar System on the same level as Earth and Mars, which is more or less what Marco claimed to want, but without any mass murder.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • While he is shown later to not be as bad as initially thought, Sandor "The Hound" Clegane gets this a lot, as he is shown to be mostly correct that being callous and cynical is the best way to survive in Westeros. For instance, when Sansa gets upset with him for being a brutal Jerkass, he points out that he's the only one who could protect her from his boss King Joffrey Baratheon, mostly thanks to his reputation. He also mocks the notion of "knights" as being romantic and idealized, viewing them somewhat correctly as hired killers, and he is better than a good number of them because he at least acknowledges what he is and doesn't indulge in wanton sadism.
    • Joffrey ridicules Tywin for sitting around during Robert Baratheon's rebellion, saying Tywin mostly stood by until he was allowed into King's Landing. Joffrey is half right. He states his father did most of the work in the rebellion (not aware that Jaime Lannister is his father, not Robert). He is, however, right about how Tywin acted during the rebellion. Tywin doesn't actually deny any of it and simply has Joffrey sent to his room.
    • In Season 6, Euron Greyjoy returns to the Iron Islands in order to claim the throne. When Yara accuses him of murdering her father, Euron brazenly admits he did it and comments that Balon was a terrible king that nobody wanted, who led the Iron Islands into two wars they had no hope of winning and brought his people to near-ruin, all because of his personal ambition without any decent strategy or plan to back it up. He's right on all counts and his speech is enough to turn the majority of the Iron Islanders against Yara and Theon. Also, the Ironborn are a culture of raiders. Their motto is "We Do Not Sow," because they take what others have rather than grow their own crops or build their own palaces. Euron killing Balon to claim the throne actually shows him far more fitting a ruler than Theon and Yara, who based their claims based on appeals to honor.
    • In Season 7, Cersei Lannister is able to rally her allies against Daenerys Targaryen due to her bringing a massive Dothraki horde to Westeros. While Cersei is a highly corrupt despot whose aim is to remain in power by any means necessary, the fear and hate of the Dothraki is justified: up until Daenerys took control of them, they were a savage and extremely misogynistic barbarians (one Dothraki widow reminisced how her husband brutalized her after she gave birth to a daughter — and she was 12 at the time!). Even though Daenerys has noble intentions to liberate Westeros from the Lannisters' iron grip, the reputation of her own forces is far more feared than even that of the Ironborn, the local Westerosi raiders.
  • Supernatural: In Season 9, Crowley warns Kevin Tran not to trust the Winchesters and that people in their circle tend to have short lifespans. Later, after Gadreel murders Kevin, Crowley taunts a devastated Dean with the fact that he had warned Kevin.
  • Utopia Falls: Phydra, head of the Authority, believes allowing new artistic expression is just a short step to open defiance toward the state. She's a weasel, but also right-it moves almost immediately to that point (not that the dissidents are wrong in doing this of course).

    Professional Wrestling 
  • While in ECW, Mick Foley invoked this during his "anti-hardcore" gimmick, making real points about the fans (who were hungry for more and more risk-taking and violence by the wrestlers that would get to be too much) and still being considered a villain. He'd also invoke this trope when he "quit" as Cactus Jack while in the WWF, citing that he and Funk had been beaten pretty badly and the audience didn't seem to care once they heard uber-popular "Stone Cold" Steve Austin was in the building and started chanting his name.
  • When Stephanie McMahon turned heel for the first time by betraying her then-face dad and marrying top heel Triple H, she cited earlier in the year when her dad covertly arranged her own kidnapping from The Undertaker (and various other things that made her fear for her life) in an overly complicated plan to screw Stone Cold Steve Austin out of the title. Honestly, it's hard to blame her for that one when you take a step back. Triple H at the time had become the most detestable man in the business and his Start of Darkness was betraying DX to join Vince's Corporation and take part in those very plans.
  • Sometimes, a heel will hate a face for some pretty solid reasons and still be a heel nonetheless. An example would be when Chris Jericho had a feud with Shawn Michaels in 2008. Most everything Jericho said about the fans being hypocrites for supporting HBK (Michaels) were pretty much true — except that it wasn't long before Jericho began calling the fans hypocrites for pretty much any reason.
  • Smug Straightedge villain CM Punk frequently called out Jeff Hardy over his past drug use during their 2009 feud. Hardy's lame excuses (like that he's just "living in the moment" or that he's not perfect), combined with the fact that he never admitted fault for his past, caused more than a few fans to turn against the supposed face. Of course, this didn't at all justify Punk's cheating or using cowardly sneak attacks.
    • Punk tends to get this a lot. His point toward John Cena during The Nexus feud that he's not as high on morals as he claims can be argued to be true. John Cena's done some pretty awful things and was saved from being booed by being a face. Of course Punk, being a heel, was booed for pointing this out.
    • Further down the road, he was the heel in a feud with Randy Orton, but it was then-heel Orton who attacked then face-Punk years ago when he was champion, and punted him in the head, forcing him to forfeit the title via injury. Of course, Orton being a pretty textbook Draco in Leather Pants (even as a face) Punk was booed. Where this got particularly dark was when Orton took to using the same punting move on members of Punk's Nexus group, eventually putting everyone in the group except Punk himself on a bus. When you look at it, Punk is seeking revenge for something that a person would be extremely justified in being angry about, but he's the villain, when Orton himself has barely changed from his vicious, psycho heel persona, but the crowd cheers him anyway.
  • Lita's story reason for turning heel in her retirement speech. Read between the lines of the typical heel self-aggrandizing and it was pretty sound. She felt WWE women's wrestling wasn't given any respect by fans or the WWE corporation despite busting her butt to bring up diva's wrestling to the level it was at the time.
  • See also: Beth Phoenix and Natalya's Divas of Doom team-up. Whilst describing the rest of the divas as "perky bimbos" may be going a little far, consider that the two of them have in fact wrestled from an early age and yet often lose to former models who never wrestled before joining WWE and it can be a little hard to see them as outright heels.
  • Muhammad Hassan had spent his entire career in the WWE pointing out the prejudice and racism he has to go through as an Arab-American. When you hear fans chanting "USA" at him despite being billed from Detroit, Michigan, you know he has a valid point. And let's not talk about his appearance in the Royal Rumble match (where every wrestler in the ring, heel or face, teamed up to eject him). What drove home his point is that during his feud with The Undertaker, he had several masked assailants attack Taker. The New York Post's Don Kaplan ran a story headlined with "Undertaker Attacked By Arabs." Hassan brought up the very valid point of "How did they know they were Arab if they were wearing masks?" (Answer: because they appeared after Hassan apparently "prayed" them into existence, and as his theme song played.) Unfortunately, even that wasn't enough to save his character — UPN essentially forced WWE to never show him on Smackdown again when the terrorism angle coincided with the 2005 London bombings, and they saw no other choice but to have Undertaker essentially kill him off in their scheduled match at the next pay-per-view. Sad thing is, he's a kayfabe Arab; in real life Mark Copani was descended from Italian Americans, so it's really just because people see dark skin and assume everything they hear that is negative to be true.
  • During the whole "Eddiesploitation" fiasco, when Chavo Guerrero turned heel against then-Champion Rey Mysterio, he accused Rey of using the Guerrero name to further his own career. He was supposed to come off as jealous (since he failed to win his own tribute match to his uncle), but considering that Eddie's death has been used as Rey's motivation even before his Road to WrestleMania, some fans agreed with him to the point where he was considered to be the true face in all of this (others just thought it was a dumb angle, considering Rey should be able to coast on his own family name).
  • The Fourtune/EV 2.0 feud in TNA seemed to be based around the fact that Fourtune was pissed they had to make room in the spotlight for all the old ECW guys, most of whom they feel can't wrestle. Ric Flair stated that until [the ECW guys] survive a plane crash like he did, they can't tell him shit about being "hardcore". Likewise, AJ Styles feels he's helped make TNA what it is through his duty to the company, calling TNA "The House That AJ Styles Built" and declaring ECW has no right to push him and the other originals out of the spotlight. They both have a point. What sends this into Mind Screw territory is that the ECW/EV2.0 guys were famously loyal to Paul Heyman because they always came first to him (other guys would come in but he never put them over at the expense of his originals). The audience was supposed to boo Fourtune (the original TNA guys, for the most part) because they're complaining EV2.0 (the invaders) are taking over their show, when the invaders' original company (ECW) achieved its success because the original ECW manager was loyal to his originals and never pushed them aside. Furthermore, the ECW guys are supposed to be faces, but they're doing something that the original ECW despised (pushing aside original talent in favor of other, more famous people).
  • The way Batista was treated after Over the Limit was particularly egregious, not the least because it happened on his very last night with WWE. He and John Cena competed for the WWE Championship in an "I Quit" match that culminated with Batista giving up after Cena threatened to give him the Attitude Adjustment off the top of a car. Cena smiled — and then went through with it anyway, nearly killing him! The next night on Raw, Batista showed up (in a wheelchair) to protest Cena's actions and to threaten to bring a lawsuit against WWE, claiming them responsible for nearly ending his career. Raw General Manager Bret Hart then appeared and told Batista that he would be granted another chance at the WWE Championship if he could win a qualifying match against Randy Orton to be held immediately. When Batista pointed out, twice no less, that he couldn't even walk and threatened to quit if he continued to have him take the match, Hart rather rudely stated that Batista therefore forfeited. Batista went ballistic and screamed at everyone, announcing that he was quitting WWE for being treated so unfairly — and every single person in the arena booed him, like they would any other crybaby heel. Kayfabe aside, it was a really disrespectful send-off for a wrestler who, for the past five years, had been second only to Cena in popularity.
    • Bret Hart's ascension to General Manager was actually Vince McMahon attempting to pull this on him. After Bret dished him a particularly nasty beatdown over the Montreal Screwjob, Vince decided to promote him to GM, showing him that being in charge means being the bad guy and making decisions not everyone will like for the sake of the company. He gets into a disagreement with his family after making such a decision over a match, though Vince quickly seizes the moment and fires him afterwards, ensuring Bret still looks unfairly treated.
  • On the Backlash after WrestleMania XIV, prior to Triple H's match with X-Pac, he and Chyna talked about how much of a Ungrateful Bastard X-Pac was, as he was the reason he got a job in the then-WWF in the first place. While Triple H was a heel at the time and could be dismissed as a jerkass trying to justify himself betraying DX, after thinking about Chyna betraying Triple H for the Corporation and how he was all alone with none of the other DX members coming to his aid, it's no surprise that Triple H decided to sell out his buddies in DX.
  • When Jerry Lawler wrestled The Miz for the WWE title, the next Raw, Michael Cole did have a point in that Lawler was partially at fault, although not in the way he intended or the way he said. While the point Cole made was slightly valid, it really wasn't Lawler's place to interrupt a new champion's victory celebration, but The Miz is a frankly pathetic heel who more or less cheated to win his title and most faces would have done the same, there was a point in that Lawler technically did screw himself out of the win. While yes, Cole did pull him off the ladder and temporarily stop him from winning, Lawler berated and then assaulted Cole on this for at least a full minute. If Lawler had simply given Cole a well-deserved punch in the mouth and gone back to his business, Lawler would have been champion. Although it was still fun to see Michael Cole get beaten down.
  • Michael Cole gets one during the 3/25/2011 segment when he was trolling the hell out of R-Truth. Booker T says he lost respect for him, his reply:
    Michael Cole: It's not about respect. No one gave me respect for fourteen years.
  • The number of people who have turned heel for no other reason than because they had the audacity to be angry after being attacked and/or bullied by "Stone Cold" Steve Austin for no apparent reason is pretty high. Prominent examples include Ric Flair during the initial brand split who was attacked despite doing everything he could to get on Austin's good side, and Vince McMahon himself, who started a nearly five year epic feud simply by asking Austin to be a bit less anti-social.
  • Bobby Roode, after turning heel to take the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, saw the bad side of new authority figure Sting. Sting tried to punish Roode for his outright cheating tactics and jerkass tendencies — including taking advantage of injured ex-partners and practically shooting them In the Back, using Dixie Carter as a shield and spitting in her face, among other assorted tactics — by making life hard for him as the champion. However, Sting in the process took to forcing Roode into repeat title defenses on Impact after certain pay-per-views as well as physically involved himself in world title matters. Roode is a selfish traitor with no redeemable social qualities whatsoever, but he's got a point about Sting's zeal for screwing with him to get a more virtuous champion — he's later exploited that to recreate an old Bret Hart title defense. Sting would still later realize that Roode was right and he would never end Roode's reign this way, turning over power back to Hulk Hogan because it just wasn't working and coming back later as an active wrestler again.
  • Matt Hardy turned heel on his brother Jeff (the first time) because he was annoyed with Jeff costing them matches by being unable to resist doing high spots. Notably in a cage match, Jeff cost them the titles by being at the top of the cage, and instead of escaping (and winning the match), he chose to jump off and ended up getting pinned. Matt had a point, didn't he?
  • MVP's assertion that Bobby Lashley had only become TNA heavyweight champion because of MVP's earlier injury. Bobby took offense to this but not only was it true, MVP also did everything in his power to keep Lashley healthy even after he was healthy enough to wrestle again, not demanding he get his shot until Lashley lost the belt. Nonetheless, Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode tried to milk this for all they could to turn Lashley and MVP against each other.
  • Foreign Wrestling Heel Alexander Rusev, during his feud with Cena, pretty much called Cena an arrogant, pompous bully on the downswing of his career, just like America. Considering that just the prior week, Cena told Rusev he had the right to free speech, assaulted Rusev when Rusev later exercised that right, and then put a barely conscious Rusev in the STF until Rusev's crying girlfriend agreed to give Cena what he wanted, Rusev had a point in calling Cena an arrogant dick.
  • Finn Balor and Seth Rollins have no love lost between each other, but it really didn't start until after the latter won the newly-revealed WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Seth injuring Finn, which forced him to forfeit the WWE Universal Championship alone would justfy his grudge. But, as Finn mentioned himself, it wasn't that Seth injuring him that made him bitter, it was that he laughed in his face after he relinquished the title. Showing that he had no remorse for what he did. While he's become obsessed with rage towards Seth, he's not wrong to hold a grudge against the man who ruined his life.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Eberron, the Blood of Vol is a fringe religion that exalts undeath as a path to immortality. The afterlife is known and it sucks, so most of its followers are good people seeking escape from an afterlife best summarized as an eternity of crippling clinical depression. Your harmless neighbor could secretly be a Vol cultist, but more importantly he is still harmless. The Game Master is meant to use this to challenge players who crusade against the blatant Religion of Evil, as the faithful are there of their own volition in the hope of finding some better eternal reward for their toils in life. And despite the fact that the Blood of Vol is being run by an evil lich and is unwittingly aiding a terrorist organization, it really is the best chance most any common person will have to escape the afterlife.
  • In the Magic: The Gathering short story "A New Tarkir of Old," Yasova Dragonclaw is made to look like the bad guy, seeing as she chose to work with Nicol Bolas. However, as the audience has already seen, Tarkir is enough of a Death World without giant dragons attacking everything that isn't a dragon. Conversely, Sarkhan may be seen as the villain for opposing her, but he has a point as well, abiet one that no one on Tarkir would be able to comprehend (she's fighting to take down Ugin, who is both the source of all dragons on Tarkir, and the only being that knows how to re-seal the Eldrazi).
  • Warhammer 40,000
    • As part of its efforts to bump the Chaos Gods from their standard Chaotic Evil approach to a more Chaotic Neutral one in Black Crusade, they remade Nurgle, the already Affably Evil God of Pestilence and Decay into an agent of Eternal Recurrence. Nurgle wants to destroy the current galaxy because he deems it's time that it perished and decayed, so that new life and civilisations can rise from the ruins, stronger and healthier than what was. Considering that the setting is a Crapsack World, with the primary human empire being a conglomeration of all the worst aspects of humanity's past, outright described by the authors with terms like "rotting" or "decaying" and spending more of its forces fighting futile battles to suppress internal dissent and political upheaval than against fighting the very real alien invaders, it's kind of hard to argue that maybe it would be best for the setting if it was quietly killed off and something new allowed to evolve in the ruins.
    • Several of the Primarchs who betrayed the Emperor during the Horus Heresy had legitimate reasons to be pissed off at the Emperor: Angron, the savage berserker, who was whisked away to serve as a weapon in another's war while the people he cared about were left to die; Perturabo, the coldly calculating besieger who was willing to sacrifice any number of warriors for victory, who spent a century and a half trudging through the endless hell of sieges while all the other Legions got the glory and looked down on him; and Lorgar, the high priest of a Religion of Evil, who had his genuine commitment treated with brutal disdain by the one he revered above all, in a rebuke that left a city in ruins and its population dead. Even though their path led them into an eternity of damnation in service to mad gods, it's not hard to see some justice in the reasons they each chose to walk it.
    • Fabius Bile, the Mad Scientist to end all mad scientists, sums up Imperial hypocrisy in one sentence, and scarily accurately describes how they've twisted themselves so far from The Emperor's ideals.
      Fabius: Unlike you, whelp, I once walked the same ground as your idol. I breathed the same air as him. And I tell you this, without lie or artifice. He never wanted to become what you have made him. He did not wish to be your God-thing. He abhorred such ideals! The slavery of your crippled, blind Imperium would sicken him, if he had eyes to see it.
    • Konrad Curze and his Night Lords legion were seen as monsters and sadistic butchers even before the Horus Heresy — and rightly so — but as Konrad points out more than once, his brutal and horrific fear tactics ultimately lead to far fewer deaths in campaigns prosecuted by the Night Lords than many of the more "righteous" Legions, like the Blood Angels or the Space Wolves. Which is worse? To horrifically torture hundreds of civilians, and broadcast their agonizing death screams to a terrified populace that immediately surrenders? Or to engage in a protracted campaign to conquer a planet that ultimately leaves millions — even billions — dead, military and civilian alike, to bring a world into compliance by military force? All of the Astartes legions committed atrocities, the Night Lords were simply very open and honest about their role, as they saw it.

    Religion 
  • Taoism is basically this trope. They see good and evil as not a strict moral dichotomy, but as complementary. In fact, it mentions instances where things that seem crooked are actually more good than supposedly good things. Here's a sample passage.

    Theatre 
  • 1776.
    • John Dickinson, rather than being a strawman, is depicted as having sound arguments against fighting for independence. One of his main objections to independence is that a bunch of ill-trained militiamen has no chance of defeating the British armed forces, then the strongest in the world. It's a very good point, really.
    • Edward Rutledge gets a couple of these moments. The first comes when he submits a motion that a vote for independence must be unanimous among the represented colonies; John Hancock actually agrees with this on the grounds that the colonies would be forced to fight each other if it's not and actually casts the tie-breaking vote in favor of unanimity. Later on, he responds to John Adams and Thomas Jefferson's criticisms of slavery by (historically accurately) pointing out both that Jefferson is a slaveowner and that Adams is from Boston, a city heavily involved in the absolutely horrific trans-Atlantic slave trade.
  • The SQUIP in Be More Chill is a coldly logical, manipulative AI. It also accurately points out that Christine is not interested in Jeremy, so it would make more sense for him to date a girl who actually likes him. Jeremy is forced to concede at the end of the musical that the Squip was right. During "The Pitiful Children", it tells Jeremy that all his fellow students, even the popular ones, are every bit as insecure and scared as he is, deep down. While it's saying his just to manipulate Jeremy into doing its bidding, anyone who is or has ever been a teenager can confirm it's not off the mark.
  • Hamilton: King George III points out in "What Comes Next" that there are a lot of difficulties involved with running a country and predicts that the newly-independent America will struggle to govern itself now that it has to shoulder the entire burden of governing. He's proven right in the second act, since adjusting to self-government turns out to be quite the challenge and much of Act II's plot revolves around nasty and unpleasant political bickering.
  • Both of the antagonists within the first and second act of Into the Woods make legitimate points.
    • As the Witch points out, the Baker's father was stealing vegetables from her garden for his pregnant wife without even asking to buy them; she let him off "easy" by telling him she just wants the baby as payment but then his father stole magic beans which weren't supposed to be touched, which cursed her with old age and ugliness. The Baker really has no response to his father's misdeeds and agrees to the witch's bargain to get her four ingredients for a potion. Later, she tells off the whole cast for blaming each other as the Giantess is rampaging because they all had a part to play in her coming down from the land in the sky. Much later, she tries to break up her adopted daughter and the prince who's coming to visit her, telling Rapunzel that princes come and go, and the world is as dangerous as it is lovely. She's proven right when Rapunzel comes to her in Act Two, revealing that her prince is a philanderer and impregnated her with three twins; then the giantess crushes Rapunzel, with the Witch lamenting I Warned You. Of course, as Rapunzel points out scathingly, what "Mother" did to her and the prince did not justify her points in any way.
    • The Giantess took in Jack after she saw him climbing the beanstalk and looking exhausted, feeding him and giving him a place to sleep. In return, he stole from her house and murdered her husband. The cast even admits that she has every reason to be angry with Jack. The witch wants to turn him in so the Giantess will stop rampaging around the countryside; the only reason that the others protest is that he's just a kid and the Baker promised his dying mother to protect her son. They realize, however, that the Giantess is no better when she's killing people by accident due to her size and shows no remorse for that, so for pragmatic reasons they need to defeat her. Little Red at least acknowledges that they're killing a sentient person, even for self-defense. Jack laters goes My God, What Have I Done? when he learns his mother died begging for his life from the Giantess, knowing that if he hadn't stolen from the giants, she would still be alive.
  • In Jasper in Deadland, Mr Lethe's factory provides Deadland with bottled water that secretly erases the memories of people who drink it. When Jasper's presence starts restoring the memories of the dead citizens, Mr Lethe tries to force Jasper to leave before he can rescue his friend Agnes, and when this fails he tries to convince him to bring Lethe-water to the Living World, so that everyone will lose their memories. This is clearly portrayed as evil, and Jasper is horrified when he realizes that he's losing his memories. However, it's also clearly shown that the citizens of Deadland are happy, because they can't remember anything bad to care about, and Jasper and Agnes are both much more carefree when they've lost all their memories.
  • Over time, the biblical Judas has become an archetype of a traitor who betrays their closest friends for personal gain. Judas in the Webber-Rice rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar is however a much more complex character and an example of this. He nails the point in "Heaven On Their Minds": the whole Jesus thing started nicely, but now, it's getting out of hand, as the followers are speaking more and more openly of a violent rebellion against the occupying Romans. Judas sees that Jesus can very easily lose control over people following him, and while Romans can tolerate some new religious sect wandering around, any attempt at the revolution will lead to a brutal suppression and nasty reprisal for the entire Judea. Judas has basically a Morton's Fork thing: betray his friend and have his name spoiled forever or see the bloody slaughter of his fellow countrymen. Basically he chooses The Needs of the Many.
  • While it's impossible to argue some of his actions aren't excusable, given he was put in a traveling circus as a freak while a young child and abused by his master and has to hide in the basement of the Opera for most of his life to avoid being killed for being deformed, Erik has a valid point when he says "The world showed no compassion to me!"
  • The Music Man: Charlie may be a self-serving sleazebag, but he is absolutely correct in wanting to take Harold down. As he points out, Harold's cons (claiming to be a music teacher in town to start a marching band, getting the townsfolk to pay through the nose for instruments and uniforms and leaving before he has to make good on his claims) are leaving crying kids with instruments they'll never play, parents with bills for things that will never arrive and towns without money that's needed to pay for public utilities and services. Charlie is something of a Designated Villain, though, so that helps making his viewpoint sympathetic.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Yanagi's route in Collar × Malice, when confronting Zero/Saeki after discovering his true identity, to point their point about revenge and how even someone as kind as Ichika would kill someone to protect her loved ones, Zero/Saeki taunts her and asks what she would do if they killed Yanagi and her little brother right now and says that she could kill them right now to stop them. Zero/Saeki's point is proven when Ichika understandably becomes furious and nearly loses her composure and one option is that she could take out her gun to shoot them.
  • In Higurashi: When They Cry's Meakashi-hen, as completely insane and sadistic is Shion Sonozaki is at this point, she's actually got a good point when she's calling Kimiyoshi out over Satoshi being treated unfairly due to Sins of Our Fathers. Might be a social commentary by the author, since it comes up again in Minagoroshi-hen.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
    • At the very end of the first game's bonus case, Damon Gant admits that the reason he had gone vigilante was because he couldn't stand how much the law limited his ability to bring justice to criminals, and indicates that Edgeworth may soon have the exact same problem. True to form, in the Ace Attorney Investigations games, one of the biggest problems that Edgeworth faces is criminals hiding behind their wealth, influence over the law community, and various laws (such as extraterritorial rights or the Statute of Limitations), or corrupt political entities like the Prosecutorial Investigation Committee preventing him from investigating crimes and using cover-ups by falsely charging criminals (like charging Knightly for attempting to assassinate president Huang (the assassination attempt was actually a fake publicity stunt), instead of for murdering his superior). Even Dogen, a former assassin in Investigations 2, recognizes how fucked up the system is.
    • Morgan Fey is a bitter woman who is jealous of her younger sister Misty for being chosen as Master of Kurain instead of her. Her desire to have her daughter Pearl become the next Master instead of Misty's daughter Maya is so great that she tries to frame Maya for murder in 2-4, and kill her and/or frame her for murder in 3-5. That said, she has a legitimate point about how Pearl is a more talented spirit medium than Maya at a younger age, since Pearl channels Mia perfectly on her first attempt, whereas Maya only manages the feat after Phoenix is nearly convicted of Mia's murder.
    • Former Chief Prosecutor Blaise Debeste (Bansai Ichiyanagi) from the second Ace Attorney Investigations is head of the P.I.C., the organization that is trying to strip Edgeworth of his prosecutor's badge. It eventually turns out that he runs a black market auction to illegally sell evidence, is personally responsible for at least one murder and many others, provided Manfred von Karma with the forged evidence that resulted in his penalty (thereby causing DL-6 and the entire plot of the original Phoenix Wright trilogy), and is part of a conspiracy to Kill and Replace the president of Zheng Fa. However, when Blaise's fellow P.I.C. member Judge Justine Courtney calls Blaise out on not only calling his son Sebastian (Yumihiko) an idiot, but emotionally breaking Sebastian by revealing that all his achievements were things that were given to him, rather than earned, Blaise points out that Justine used Sebastian to get close to Blaise to investigate him or his crimes. Justine admits Blaise has a point, but contends that she sees Sebastian's good intentions in spite of his bumbling.
  • In Umineko: When They Cry, Erika Furudo mocks the series' Arc Words ("Without love, it cannot be seen"), and says that love can make people see things that don't exist. Later on, the story delves into the more negative aspects of love, such as Kinzo Ushiromiya deluding himself into believing his daughter Beatrice Ushiromiya was her mother's reincarnation and the tragic results. In the final arc, she also calls out Battler for being so roundabout with his game's message to Ange and hiding the truth about Rokkenjima from her, when he'd been upset about Beatrice doing the same thing to him.

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue: It was learning that simulation troopers are used by the Freelancers and UNSC, getting people killed for a war that doesn't exist just to further private agendas that tipped Temple over the edge and sent him on his villainous crusade. However, while it's true that Project Freelancer and the UNSC have a lot to answer for, the work makes it clear that this should be resolved through legal means and not by becoming the very monsters he objected to.
  • RWBY: When Ilia and Blake argue about why Ilia is supporting Adam's villainy, she insists that humans either hate Faunus or stand back and let the hate happen. Her words serve as a Call-Back to Volume 1 when Velvet was being harassed by Cardin Winchester; although both Teams RWBY and JNPR all expressed disgust with Team CRDL's behaviour and sympathy for Velvet's plight, none of them intervened to help her — not even Blake. While Blake still doesn't condone Ilia's actions, she cannot refute it either. She eventually uses Ilia's point to chastise Menagerie for their lack of interest in saving Haven Academy, pointing out that they're standing by and letting the hate happen, just like the humans they condemn, by turning a blind eye to the atrocities carried out elsewhere in their name. Ilia's decision to support Blake at that point galvanises the rest of Menagerie to throw in their support as well.

    Webcomics 
  • In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, McBonald eventually comes to the realization that the Dr. sees him as one of his villains, which he considers hilarious. While McBonald is not the most ethical business man, he points out to the Dr. that all he did was sell some novelty burgers that coincidentally shared his name, and the Dr. responded by knocking out a restaurant full of customers, destroying his robots, and assaulting him. The Dr. admits he has a point.
  • In "Axe Cop Gets Married", "Reverend" Jauber may otherwise be quite evil, but it's hard to fault his "evil" plan to stop Axe Cop and Axe Girl from marrying, since all he has to do to achieve that is ask them to articulate what they actually expect from the marriage. ('Cop only wants a wife to stay home and watch over his kids, which 'Girl doesn't want to do any more than he does.) You'd think he was just doing them a favour.
  • In Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures, Beings (the "normals" of the setting, assorted morphic animals) are repeatedly called out over Fantastic Racism towards Creatures (supernatural entities with drastically superior power, such as Demons, Dragons, Fae and Incubi). Particular criticism is laid against the Being practice of sponsoring adventurers, who are given actual licenses to hunt and kill Creatures and are noted as being susceptible to Van Helsing Hate Crimes. However, Beings license adventurers because Creatures are not only drastically more powerful than ordinary Beings, but because Creatures proudly preach their adherence to their own Blue-and-Orange Morality and, as such, will butcher, eat and otherwise abuse Beings if they see fit. Worse, Creatures tend to assume roles of political and legal power and so they gladly bend the law to support them — witness how a Creature is punished for murdering a dozen Beings with just a cheap fine. Beings don't really have any options between "train individuals to kill off the most openly abusive Creatures" and "be toys and fodder for any Creature who comes along", because Creatures will not try to get along equitably.
    • It should be noted that the majority of adventurer-hate is laid against Demons and Incubi. Demons are the major believers in Might Makes Right, to the point of complaining of the "Moral Myopia" of Beings getting offended at being eaten because they weren't strong enough to stop a hungry Demon and officially not caring when one of their own kind is killed because a Demon weak enough to be killed deserved to die. Incubi are Emotion Eaters and shapeshifters with Charm Person powers who tend to casually manipulate, abuse and kill Beings for food, for their own plans or just for the hell of it. It's kind of understandable why Beings hate them so much.
    • A more specific example is the attempted assassination of Kria Soulstealer. As much as the assassin is portrayed as the bad guy, they do have the point that Kria is a ravening cannibalistic mass-murder who proudly boasts of her Chaotic Evil status. This is a woman who encouraged her infant daughter to eat other people's children, makes it a habit of killing and maiming at random For the Evulz, and eats people whenever she's angry, hungry or bored. It's rather understandable that people want her dead. Even Kria herself acknowledges she causes murderous responses and so she just assumes everyone she meets probably wants to kill her for some atrocity she inflicted but doesn't care enough to recall.
    • A cynical observer might contemplate that the Early-Installment Weirdness was invoked, in that the author realised she had to whitewash just how bad Creatures are as a whole because, as it was, the Being adventurer attitude of "kill them all, they almost certainly deserve it" made far too much sense. Even half-Demon Lorenda, the "nice one", chowed down on multiple people in the early stories despite being explicitly called out as not being as predatory as a pure-blood Demon, to the point she was evicted from her original apartment because she had eaten so many of the other tenants.
  • Girl Genius features two examples of people who are more "antagonists" than out-and-out villains, but still...
    • Othar Tryggvassen (Gentleman Adventurer!!) and his one-by-one Spark-extermination policy. This is viewed as bad by our heroine and her friends, mainly because she's a Spark, but Othar is highly regarded and loved by the general (non-Spark) populace of Europe for his efforts. As summed up by one put-upon minion in a side-story:
      Squibbs: Let me see if I understand this. He thinks all the problems in Europe are caused by the mad scientists who build all the monsters. The mad scientists who vie with each other to see who can be the first to turn the population into wombat bats or clam people or stylish furniture. The raving lunatics who set off life-size chocolate volcanoes and unleash flash floods of porridge upon innocent villages. Othar wants to destroy these people, and you think he's insane?!
    • Klaus Wulfenbach, who maintains order (along with genuine peace and prosperity) across Europe via merciless naked force against all current and potential threats, cowing aforementioned Sparks to his cause and focusing their efforts into productive avenues and killing those who refuse to fall in line. He ruthlessly hunts down/tries to kill the protagonist Agatha because of the quite-genuine threat her mere existence brings to everything he's accomplished. Unfortunately, part of the problems he's having is due to Poor Communication Kills and a bit of Wrong Genre Savvy regarding how to deal with Agatha, which is one of the reasons why Agatha ran away from him and ended up setting off the Disaster Dominoes that ended up with the Pax Wulfenbach ending. And then there are hints of there being a Stable Time Loop in place...
    • Dr. Vapnoople takes time out of his villain monologue and drops out of The Madness Place to give Agatha a sage piece of advice: "Never be afraid to admit you may have made a mistake."
  • I Don't Want This Kind of Hero: Discussed. Orca tells Naga that the organization Spoon belongs to isn't exactly clean, and the fact that the existence of Knife hasn't been publicized throws further suspicion on them. When Naga then relates this to Dana, asking for answers, she admits that that's all true — but does it matter? Even if Spoon has its shady areas, that doesn't change the fact that Knife is full of mass murderers who need to be stopped.
  • Redcloak from The Order of the Stick is a goblin who saw all the ugliness of assuming a race is Always Chaotic Evil — bigotry, squallor, and even guilt-free massacre of his people — and has decided to carve a path of bloody revolution to see his people's debts repayed. When Durkon finally learns why the goblins are fighting, he can't help but agree that the goblins deserved better, even if Redcloak himself might be going too far. (It turns out he's wrong about it being done on purpose, but that doesn't make it any better.)
    Redcloak: The larger point is that goblins do not have — and never had — the same opportunities as the rest of you. If you and your friends raid a goblin camp, kill everyone and take all of their money, they call you adventurers. If me and my friends do the same to a human village, they call us monsters. And it's not by accident! This was done to us on purpose! Your gods made us fodder for you! We were put here so your "heroes" could kill us and become more powerful! We were betrayed by our own creators from the moment we first drew breath — and that betrayal has led to goblin suffering ever since!! We want goblins to be on equal footing as everyone else. No more. Not one drop less.
  • Schlock Mercenary has Xinchub, one of the most oleaginous villains ever put to print, delivering a surprisingly excellent speech after Jevee Ceeta and Tagon pass the buck — sending him a collection of biocidal, and thoroughly idiotic robots, to take care of. Well, he is a politician...
    Jeeta: Just because he's right doesn't mean you're not allowed to hate him.

    Web Original 
  • Cracked: Invoked with "9 Famous Movie Villains Who Were Right All Along".
  • Linkara invokes this in his rant about why Izaak Crowe's whining in Batman: Fortunate Son is idiotic, followed by the relevant clip from The Dark Knight:
    Linkara: I hate to agree with a villain, but The Joker is right!
  • Deadcoders Reviews has this opinion in regards to Code Lyoko:
    "Some people ask why XANA immediately tried to kill Jeremie in this episode, given that Jeremie really isn't a threat. I think I figured out why XANA tries to exterminate humanity. When XANA was first created, the very first person he met was Franz Hopper, a man so crazy that even Aelita pointed it out at one point. The next person he met was Aelita. Since XANA has at least a peripheral understanding of the outside world, he can sense what's going on in the factory. That means that he can sense the horrors of French engineering. He can also sense the school, which means that he can sense the amazing incompetence of a school that hired Jim, hired a man as crazy as Franz Hopper, keeps open containers of toxic waste near children, and is run by a man so spineless that Sissi can manipulate him. He can also sense the hospital, and the horrors of the french mental healthcare system. Based on all these things at once, my guess is that XANA encountered all of these horrors of humanity, and it's first reaction to a species that consistently produced such horrible things was, "AHH! KILL IT! KILL IT WITH FIRE! actually, SCREW FIRE, KILL IT WITH FIRE, ORBITAL BOMBARDMENT, DEATH LASERS, CAPTAIN JANEWAY'S CYBERNETIC SPIDERS, ARMIES OF ROBOTS, THE POWER OF STEPHEN KING NOVELS, WEATHER, ELECTRIC TAR, AND ANYTHING ELSE THAT COMES TO MIND!" XANA is not evil. It's just trying to save itself and all other species from the horrors of humanity. Given that the main and secondary cast includes Yumi, an implied domestic abuser; Ulrich, a disturbed stalker; Jim, a person who smiles at the thought of rubbing himself with poop; Jeremie, a necrophile; Aelita, a pedophile; Odd, a manwhore moron; and other horrors, I kind of have to side with XANA on this one."
  • Dragon Ball DC Lex Luthor quizzing Gohan on how to handle a crisis. Luthor is as a much of Jerkass as you'd expect, but he makes a valid point when asking Gohan on what he should try to save first, he tells him to focus on buildings before people because emergancy responders can save the people, but not the entire buildings like he can. That show doesn't frame Luthor's line of thinking as correct but he does have a point.
  • Discussed at length and ultimately deconstructed in this blog post by Eliezer Yudkowsky of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality fame. Yudkowsky deliberately made the villains of HPMOR, and their perspectives, as believable and easy to understand as possible, not to cheerlead them but to demonstrate, in his opinion, how the psychology of evil actually works. Taking care to distinguish this trope from other, similar tropes like Both Sides Have a Point and Gray-and-Grey Morality (the latter of which HPMOR is often pegged as), he points out that "self-justification is cheap," and that a villain who makes a strong argument is not necessarily justified in what they do.
    "When I'm writing HPMOR's Death Eaters, I'm trying to pass the Ideological Turing Test for Death Eaters — when I write Draco Malfoy's viewpoint, I'm writing about Death Eaters the way that Draco Malfoy would see them. The goal is that a real Death Eater would read my Draco Malfoy viewpoint and not say, “Aha! This was clearly written not by the real Draco Malfoy, but by someone who wanted to make Death Eaters look bad.” ... Professor Quirrell is being written with a goal of making sure that the real Professor Quirrell wouldn't be able to point to one of his lines and say, “What? I wouldn't say that. There are much more persuasive arguments for a nation that stands strong under a strong ruler, like—“"
  • Neopets: Xandra did have a legitimate point: the Faeries do comparatively little for Neopia, and yet everyone idolises and reveres them. However, her response was... well... there aren't many people who'd say that crashing Faerieland into Neopia was the right thing to do. The Fairy Queen actually admits that she DID have a point and she and the rest of the Faeries resolve to do more for Neopia.
  • The Onion:
    • "U.S. Authorities Can't Really Fault Al-Qaeda For Deadly Bombing Of Carnival Cruise Ship"
      Following Monday's deadly terrorist attack on a Carnival Cruise Line ship, U.S. officials have had difficulty issuing a stern condemnation of the incident, saying that while any act of terrorism is inexcusable, they couldn't completely blame al-Qaeda for wanting to blow up what is essentially a giant, floating symbol of everything that is truly god-awful about America.
    • "Hostage Negotiator Has To Admit Terrorist Has Good Point"
      "Well, I don't approve of threatening the lives of over 300 innocent civilians, but I have to agree that the Turkish troops have no business being in Cyprus, the only European country occupied by a foreign army."
  • Outside Xbox brought up a couple of video game examples in the video "7 Bad Guys Who Had a Point, Now I Think About It"
  • The whole premise behind the podcast The Villain Was Right, where they examine movies from the antagonist (or Hero Antagonist) point of view and discuss whether they were wrong or perhaps some of the heroes were in the wrong.


Alternative Title(s): Hannibal Has A Point

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