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What the Hell, Hero?

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You made a kid a hero?! You gotta be kidding me!
"You think I am a monster, but you're no different from me, Drake. How many men have you killed? How many, just today?"
Zoran Lazarevic, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

When characters In-Universe call out one or possibly more of the heroes for doing something clearly unheroic, if not outright heinous.

Occasionally, an author will drop some black into their otherwise flawlessly good guy hero... and have others, particularly The Heart (and especially The McCoy), notice. This can add guilt and remorse to a character as they feel shame for their evil actions, and legitimately have to fight to restore their name, undo the harm, or simply live with the guilt and shame of it. In this case, you can expect to hear some variation of "Haven't you done enough already?" More extremely, it can be the first step towards Anti-Hero-dom or a full-blown Face–Heel Turn. A Redemption Quest is usually considered the most noble or morally good way to respond to this.

The opposite of Protagonist-Centered Morality; contrast also Designated Hero and Hero Insurance. See also What Is Evil? and "Not So Different" Remark for when a villain is the one pointing this out, or acting as though there's something to point out to mess with the hero. (A variation is when the villain will praise the hero, which the hero will find profoundly humiliating.)

If the player is given no choice in their decision due to Railroading or multiple choices they can make all end with terrible consequences, and the player is then called out for their actions, they are Blamed for Being Railroaded.

Almost never applies to those Powers That Be who have an Omniscient Morality License, although characters who Rage Against the Heavens might attempt it. Likewise, villains tend to be immune to this thanks to their It's All About Me attitude (or, at best, Moral Myopia), though a Heel Realisation might clue them in, perhaps leading to a Villainous BSoD. (This trope doesn't really apply to villains who are just doing it For the Evulz.) A villain may also be in the receiving end from another villain that remembers that Even Evil Has Standards. Those pesky Trickster Mentors may also find themselves on the receiving end of Rage Against the Mentor.

Some video games offer dialogue trees or something similar that might allow your character to call someone out for their horrible behavior, which can be immensely satisfying. If your character is the one being called out, it's What the Hell, Player? My God, What Have I Done? may be a self-inflicted version, and this is often associated with a Video Game Cruelty Punishment. Can come right off the heels of a Sadistic Choice foisted on the player in a video game. The hero may attempt to invoke I Did What I Had to Do as their justification, though this does not always succeed. Of course, those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, and one should beware of their own Moral Myopia leading to The Complainer Is Always Wrong. Results may vary against the Sociopathic Hero or The Unfettered; beware you don't get a Shut Up, Kirk! or Hannibal Lecture in response. Et Tu, Brute? may also counts as this when a hero does not make a full Face–Heel Turn, but gets called out for nearly betraying their allies. If it's a child calling out a parent or vice versa, it's Calling the Old Man Out or Calling the Young Man Out. Can overlap with "The Reason You Suck" Speech if a character points out a hero's flaws in very long detail in the most brutal way possible. Can also overlap with Cowardice Callout if the hero is being called out on shortcomings that are rooted in fear or a lack of well-placed courage. A character verbally chastising the hero may realize they were too hard on them if they feel uncomfortable in chewing out the hero. The hero may lash out at the reproof if they Can't Take Criticism.

Of course, the critics aren't necessarily infallible themselves. There may be times when those making the criticism may not be aware of extenuating factors for the heroes. Sometimes, those making a What The Hell Hero statement can get one in return- an Anti-Hero may call The Hero out on being too inflexible to do what is necessary, while the hero may respond that their critic's methods are little better than those of the villains.

Important note: This article is exclusively about scenes where the hero is called on their morally ambiguous or directly evil actions by characters in the story. If the Designated Hero is a Jerkass (or worse), but no one calls them on it in the series, then take your example to Designated Hero. Good-intended mistakes fall under Nice Job Breaking It, Hero. Reviewers can call out this in their reviews, but they themselves are not engaging in What the Hell, Hero? as they are not part of the series being criticized. A skit still has to be based on events in the series; not something they make up so they can do the criticizing themselves. noreallife

In-Universe Examples Only

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    Fairy Tales 
  • In Russian fairy tale "The Soldier And Death", the soldier imprisons Death in a magic bag to avert his own demise. Hence, everybody keep getting older and sicker, and nobody can die and go to Heaven. The soldier is called out by an elderly woman (who was ready to pass away when he bagged Death) by putting hundreds of thousands of people through a unending suffering.
    "What an old hag," said the soldier to himself. "It was time for her to die a many years ago."
    "Yes," says the old crone, with her toothless gums numbling and grumbling over her words. "Long ago it was time for me to die. When you shut up Death in the sack I had only an hour left to live. I had done with the world, and the world had done with me, and I would have been glad to be at peace. Long ago my place in heaven was made ready, and it is empty to this day for I cannot die. You, soldier, have sinned before God and before man. You have sinned a sin that God will not forgive. I am not the only soul in the world who is tortured as I am. Mine is not the only place that is growing dusty in heaven. Hundreds and thousands of us who should have died drag on in misery about the world. And but for you we should now be resting in peace."
    The soldier began to think. And he thought of all the other old men and women he had kept from the rest that God had made ready for them. "There is no doubt about it," thinks he; "I had better let Death loose again. No matter if I am the first of whom she makes an end. I have sinned many sins, not counting this one. Better go to the other world now and bear my punishment while I am strong, for when I am very old it will come worse to me to be tortured."

  • Jack Johnson's version of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" has Rudolph telling the other reindeer off for his prior mistreatment and only coming around when they needed him. The other reindeer realize their mistake and tell him they'll change.
  • Inner Circle's "Bad Boys" (most famous as the theme of COPS) is one extended one towards a person being arrested.
    When you were eight and you had bad traits
    You go to school and learn the golden rule.
    So why are you acting like a bloody fool?
    If you get hot, then you must get cool!
  • Sabaton:
    • "Uprising" calls out the Allies for twice abandoning the Poles to the Nazis.
      First verse: Do you remember when
      When the Nazis forced their rule on Poland?
      Nineteen thirty-nine
      And the Allies turned away!
      Chorus: Warsaw, city at war
      Voices from Underground, whispers of freedom
      Nineteen forty-four
      Help that never came!
      Second verse: Spirit, soul and heart
      In accordance with the old traditions
      Nineteen forty-four
      Still the Allies turn away!
    • "Ett Slag Färgat Rött" (the Swedish version of "Killing Ground") calls out the Caroleansnote  for slaughtering Russian prisoners-of-war at the Battle of Fraustadt. (The English version alludes to it in the chorus, but the Swedish lyrics devote the entire bridge stanza to it.)
  • Kids Praise: Harmony makes a pig of herself at the potluck in the sixth album, pushing the other kids aside while she does so and also telling a poor boy whose family couldn't afford to send him with any food that he couldn't come to the potluck. Psalty doesn't wait for her song to be over; he kicks off the second verse calling her out on her behavior, and the final chorus turns into a duet.
  • The Megas:
    • Wily rips into Mega Man and Dr Light in "Look What You've Done":
      And how quick you had him dispatch his brothers. You called this murderer a saviour!
    • Proto Man fires his own salvo in "I'm Not the Breakman":
      Sometimes I can't see the blue through the red...Hard to see the good through your trail of dead!
    • Snake Man gives it a go in "Walk Away from Light", although it doesn't exactly do him much good.
      You say 'don't take their lives, they don't deserve to die'. Well, who does? Do you think it's us? And what of the one who calls us son? You gonna kill him too? 'Cause who are you? You're a man's metal son, the same as every one of us! You're one of us!

    Myths & Religion 
  • Classical Mythology: Apollo, the Greek deity of the sun and the arts, once competed in a music competition with a satyr named Marsyas. When Apollo found out that he couldn't beat Marsyas, he challenged the satyr to do an impossible task: play on a flute and sing at the same time. In another version of the story, Apollo turns his lyre upside-down and plays beautifully and demands that Marsyas do the same. When he couldn't do that, Apollo announced himself to be the winner, and ordered the challenger to be skinned alive. In some myths, King Midas called him on his total jackassery (others, he simply voted for the other guy until Apollo did the Moving the Goalposts bit), but Apollo just gave him donkey ears to shut him up. For the Ancient Greeks, the fault would have been Midas' for showing disrespect to Apollo. A point of the whole story, meanwhile, might have been that you don't enter contests where being flayed alive is the stake and the other guy is a god. And that you shouldn't go around saying you're better than a really powerful deity.
  • Aeneid: In Book 3, Aeneas and his men stop on an island and prepare for a meal, when a bunch of harpies come down and ruin the foo. So they prepare again, this time concealing weapons: when the harpies return, they attack. But not only are the harpies invulnerable (so the meal is still ruined), once they've flown to safety, one of them, Celaeno, gives a scathing speech, pointing out that the harpies were there first, and it's a little disproportionate to start a battle over some ruined food.
  • The Iliad,: Patroclus calls Achilles for moping over Briseis instead of fighting for Greece. Subverted by Thersites, who attempts to call out Agamemnon for being a Jerkass to Achilles, among other failings on his part, but gets beaten down by Odysseus for his arrogance.
  • In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Shamash calls Enkidu out for cursing Shamhat, the sacred prostitute who introduced civilization to Enkidu, because of the grief it eventually cost him with the Bull of Heaven mess. Enkidu relents and instead offers a blessing for Shamhat.
  • The Bible:
    • King David, slayer of Goliath, the measure of righteousness by which all other kings of Israel are measured—and adulterer guilty of getting a love rival killed. God sends Nathan to call him out, and while David repents immediately upon hearing the rebuke, the damage has been done. In fact, God—via Nathan—tells David a story about a rich man who killed a neighbor's pet sheep for his dinner despite having a large flock of his own (David had several wives at the time). David is furious and decrees that the rich man should die, and four sheep of his flock should be given to the wronged neighbor. In a brilliantly delivered Twist Ending, God essentially gets David to call himself out.
      David: As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.
      Nathan: Thou art the man!
    • Before this, Joab, David's right-hand man whose job it was to get Uriah killed, returns to Israel after it's done and hands David a list of all the other soldiers who were killed in the pointless attack that killed Uriah.
    • In the Book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzer of Babylon does a lot of stupid things, including threatening his seers with death unless they completed an impossible task and building a giant statue, forcing people to worship it, and attempting to kill 3 of his official who wouldn't, because they were Jewish. Both times, God sorts out the problem, and Nebuchadnezzer appears to have been converted so God lets him off. Then he breaks his promise one day by looking over his kingdom and calling himself God. So Daniel shows up to inform him that his punishment from God is that he will go insane for seven years and think he's an animal, which soon comes to pass.
    • The Book of Job has Job asking God why his possessions have been taken away, his children killed and his health afflicted. Job's friends keep trying to convince him that he must have done something to deserve the punishment (of which he could therefore repent), while Job holds the line and maintains his innocence before God. In spite of this, however, Job never really loses faith in God, nor does he directly accuse God of sin. Job's friends grow increasingly accusative as Job defends himself. God counters Job's complaints, not by explaining that Satan bet he could turn Job against God, but by explaining His omniscience causes His methods and actions to seem understandable to mortals. God also tells the friends that unlike Job, they were wrong about Him, and they are the ones who end up having to repent. Afterwards, God doubles Job's prosperity, giving him twice his prior crops and wealth, as well as more children. Apparently, God considered Job to have had twice as much children, because the first ten were living with Him.
    • In the Book of Jonah, after the titular Anti-Hero reluctantly saves the city of Nineveh he throws a fit because he hated it and wanted to see it destroyed by God instead. God decides to teach him a lesson by growing a plant to give him shade, only to have it wither and die. When Jonah bemoans his misfortune, God scolds him for caring more about a single plant than thousands of people.
    • During the Last Supper, Peter says that he will follow Jesus even into death, if need be. Jesus responds that Peter will deny him three times that very day. Flash forward a few hours: while Jesus is on trial, some people recognize Peter as one of his followers. Forgetting all about the earlier conversation, Peter denies the he knows Jesus, with his denials becoming more and more emphatic each time he's asked. Immediately after the third such denial a rooster crows, and Jesus just turns and looks at him. Peter is so shamed by that look that he apparently gives up on Christianity altogether and goes back to his old life as a fisherman. He gets better, though; Jesus restores and reinstates Peter in the final chapter of John.
    • In The Book of Mark, Jesus gives one to his disciples after they inform him that they commanded a man with the ability to exorcise evil spirits to stop because he was not a follower of Christ and tells them that as he was using his powers to do good deeds, they should see him as an ally and not an enemy.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • On the October 3rd, 2011 episode of Monday Night RAW, the wrestlers, the referees and the divas give Triple H the riot act over the fact that they felt that RAW was turning into a chaos-driven show. When it seems that Triple H just isn't listening, they all give a vote of No Confidence. This followed by Jerry "The King" Lawler walking out, followed by the wrestlers, the divas, the officials, the announcers, the cameramen and finally the timekeeper.

  • Adam Dodd of Survival of the Fittest receives a horrified reaction from his friends after he shoots a comatose member of his group in the head. Needless to say, just about everybody there called him out on it.
    • During the final two, the other finalist Jack O'Connor brutally called him out on all of his murders throughout the game.
  • In We Are Our Avatars, this is the default reaction of the saner members of the Group (i.e. everyone else) whenever Caim goes slaughter-happy. This is Played for Laughs, as Caim is usually portrayed as an unsympathetic Jerkass.
    • There was this one time Osaka accidentally shot Irene in the foot (with a very powerful gun, to boot) and everyone called her out on it.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons, Forgotten Realms campaign setting
    • During the Time of Troubles, Helm was tasked with ensuring that the other gods did not enter a certain portal. When Mystra tried to force her way into the portal, Helm struck her down without even bothering to figure out an alternative. The resulting outrage and backlash from the other gods (not to mention his own followers) was so severe that to this day there's lingering resentment over what he did.
      • It's so bad, that the physical side effects of Mystra's death — the creation of wild magic zonesnote  and dead magic zonesnote  — are derisively referred to as "Helmlands" in order to remind Helmites of his failure.
    • Helm's followers weren't too long in getting their own incident of this when an expedition of one group's led to them discovering Maztica... and promptly re-enacting "Conquistadors vs Aztecs". How bad was it? They founded an entire new order of paladins to try and make up for the damage those Helmites did.
  • Exalted: In the beginning of their guidebook to Hell, a comic shows a tour guide showing the decadent First Age Solar Exalted about the Demon City, only to realize that they don't care at all:
    Oh, what's the use? Nobody cares anymore. Nobody comes here for the right reasons. You're all either hiding from your responsibilities, or lost in your own little worlds. Why do we bother?
  • Magic: The Gathering: after the Gatewatch kill Ulamog and Kozilek, Ugin shows up and basically calls them a pack of irresponsible jackasses, giving Jace in particular both barrels for being sanctimonious, deceitful, and arrogant, then tells them that he'd be quite happy if he never saw any of them again.
  • In the Powered by the Apocalypse game Masks: A New Generation, one character type (the Reformed Villain) has this word-for-word as the name of a special ability. It's about calling out heroes on their own injustices.
  • Warhammer 40,000: after Angron was beaten back from Armageddon, the Inquisition rounded the surviving local population to be sterilised and placed in forced labour camps to prevent them from spreading first-hand knowledge of Chaos. Logan Grimnar of the Space Wolves... didn't like that very much, and has even vowed not to let this kind of thing happen again.
    • Logan and Inquisition actually started a civil war, the Months of Shame, over this issue. It stopped only when Bjorn the Fell-Handed delivered another epic What the Hell, Hero? speech to both Logan and (surviving) Grey Knights and Inquisitors. Justified, since their little feud caused more casualties than First War of Armageddon due to the fact the Inquisitor responsible went on an Exterminatus rampage in a failed attempt to wipe out every last trace of Armageddon's population, before attacking Fenris and losing his head (literally) at the hands of Logan.
    • Under Logan Grimnar, the Space Wolves have started doing this a lot. But his subordinates tend to voice their displeasure with their Boltguns instead. One of the more notable examples, an event called Honor's End, saw hundreds of Marines dead when the Space Wolves were enraged by the Flesh Tearers' butchery of civilians long after the enemy had been routed.
    • During the Third War for Armageddon, a group of Orks infiltrated a refugee camp. When the captain in charge of the Marines Malevolent advocated wiping out the camp with artillery to eradicate the Orks, the Chapter Master of the Salamanders very nearly came to blows with him. In fluff, the Salamanders are much more conscious of civilians, and consequently much more careful to avoid civilian casualties, than most other chapters who often see them as "unfortunate, but they got in our way."
    • During the Horus Heresy, many of the Thousand Sons - prior to their fall to true damnation - spent a fair chunk of "A Thousand Sons" chewing out the Space Wolves for their thoughtlessly destructive purge of Heliosa and their hypocrisy in using psykers themselves while simultaneously accusing the Thousand Sons of practicing sorcery.
    • Eldrad gets chewed out by the rest of the Craftworld Farseers after the events of Death Masque. Not only for stealing the bodies of dead farseers and deceiving his allies so that he could attempt a dangerous ritual. But for trying to personally determine the fate of their people countless times in the past.

  • Two major ones in 1776:
    • When Adams and Jefferson want to keep the anti-slavery clause in the Declaration, Rutledge of South Carolina launches into "Molasses to Rum," an absolutely damning song where he points out that New Englanders are the primary carriers of slaves from Africa to North America and it's absolutely hypocritical of them to blame the whole thing on the South. Then he walks out with the entire Southern delegation.
    • Shortly after this, Franklin tells John that the anti-slavery clause must go, and Adams insults him. Franklin sharply corrects Adams's Surrounded by Idiots attitude, pointing out that the other congressmen are as proud and accomplished as Adams and they, like he, were given the trust and responsibility for their own colonies.
  • In The Book of Mormon, Elder Price has a "Spooky Mormon Hell Dream" after walking out on Elder Cunningham. He gets tormented by visions of Satan, his minions and a few historical figures whose heinous offenses are compared with his breaking Rule 72, but what really burns is the part where Jesus calls him a dick.
  • Dear Evan Hansen has Good For You, basically an entire song of this, when the conflict is coming to a head. It is sung after Heidi discovers that Evan has been at the Murphy's all the time, Alana starts seeing gaps in Evan's lies, and Jared feels that Evan is only using him.
  • Most of the reactions to Hamilton's affair in Hamilton fall under this. In We Know, Hamilton's explanation of why Jefferson, Madison, and Burr think he is embezzling government money (namely, to pay blackmail to the husband of the woman he has cheated with) is met with a moment of stunned silence, followed by a "My God..." from Jefferson. Angelica, meanwhile, rips into him in The Reynolds Pamphlet. This is even longer in the cut song Congratulations, where she claims that he's "invented a new kind of stupid". In both songs, she says that despite everything they've had together, she's siding with Eliza and tells him, "God, I hope you're satisfied", echoing their earlier words that the both of them will never be satisfied.
  • Similarly, in Hamlet, when Hamlet switches a letter ordering his own execution with one ordering the deaths of its bearers (who happen to be his erstwhile schoolmates Rosencrantz and Guildenstern), his friend Horatio calls him on it. Hamlet, however, brushes it off with a glib, "They are not near my conscience," which Horatio seems to accept.
  • In Henry V, the king goes incognito before the battle of Agincourt and mingles with his common soldiers. Unsurprisingly, they don't have a lot of cheerful, positive things to say about the next day's battle, since they are vastly outnumbered by fresh French soldiers, and they are not thrilled about the king that led them there. Henry (still pretending to be a regular dude) takes some offense and formally challenges one of the men. After the battle, he (now fully visible as king) calls the guy out, and the guy tells him if he got angry at his soldiers' honestly expressed thoughts, it's his own fault for dressing up like a commoner to fool them in the first place.
  • Fairy tale conglomeration/parody Into the Woods is made of this trope. The entire first act highlights the amorality of various fairy tale favorites in their quests to find 'happily ever after', with a character occasionally calling another out on it. It all comes to a head in the second act, which is dedicated entirely to the various characters dealing with the ramifications of their cutthroat methods. The song 'Your Fault' is a half example of this, tempered from a true 'what the hell' by the fact that the characters are simply scrambling to keep the blame off themselves, which ends in the unanimous decision to blame the Witch. Her response is of course a verbal spanking of epic proportions in 'The Last Midnight' for, aside from their amorality to begin with, wasting time finding blame when they should instead be dealing with the damn problem.
    • Though the audience may find themselves thinking the Witch has very little room to talk, what with her abuse of her adopted daughter Rapunzel (even if it's ironically rooted in love), which comes up as way worse than, at least, Cinderella wanting to escape her unhappy home life. (Cinderella's only amoral action, in fact, is participating in blaming the Witch with the others.)
  • In Knights of the Square Table, Sir Galahad calls out Merlin for not using his teleportation ability to get them to the deserted island in the first place, but only using it to get them off the island and back to the kingdom. This happens before Sir Galahad realizes Merlin was the real villain.
  • In Miss Saigon, John blasts Chris and his wife Ellen for their decision to leave his son behind in Bangkok, assuring themselves that everything will be fine because of the financial support that they will send. Ignoring the fact that the child will face considerable prejudice because of his mixed race—and already has, given that his mother's cousin tried to kill him—and heavily implying that the real reason behind their decision is to maintain their comfortable life in America without a permanent reminder of the fact that Chris had a Wartime Romance before meeting his wife.
  • Wagner's Parsifal actually introduces its eponymous hero this way, with him being reprimanded for senselessly killing a swan. Of course, he's The Fool and has a lot to learn — he doesn't even know his name at this point.
  • In Pokémon Live!, there's a comical version. Brock gets the group lost when he chucks away the map to Viridian City to deliberately talk to a pretty girl and ask for directions. Needless to say, Misty is not happy.
  • In the climactic scene of Noah Smith's stage version of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Helen calls Utterson out for seeming more concerned about Jekyll's safety than about his potential future victims if he's left unchecked.
  • At the climax of Shakespeare's The Tempest, Prospero is actually talked out of his revenge plot when his servant Ariel describes the distress of his captured enemies. Prospero realizes that if Ariel, a spirit of the air, can feel pity for these men, then he as their fellow human being should be compassionate as well.
  • In William Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, the title character kills his youngest son, Mutius, in the first scene for very little reason and with amazingly little fanfare — no dying speech, no nothing. He is called out by his remaining sons.
  • In Wicked, Elphaba calls out Glinda for using her sister's death as a trap to have her arrested. Though Glinda didn't intend to for Nessa to die in order to lure Elphaba, she did suggest using Nessa as a way to get to Elphaba.
    Elphaba: I can't believe you would sink this low! To use my sister's death as a trap to capture me?!
    • Glinda gets to deliver one to Elphaba at the end, when Elphaba is holding Dorothy hostage
    Glinda: I know you don't want to hear it, but somebody has to say it! You are out of control!

    Web Animation 
  • In Dead Fantasy V, Hitomi wordlessly delivers one to Hayate after he sics an army of Ninjas on Tifa. It can be interpreted either she saw it as a cheap way to dispose of a Worthy Opponent, or she was appalled by the extent of the injuries they inflicted.
  • Dorkly Originals:
    • "Link's Wish" has Link defeating Ganon and using the Triforce to grant his wish of... a pizza dinosaur. The Triforce is utterly dumbfounded and flies off, while Zelda berates Link for leaving Hyrule in ruins before she's eaten by the dinosaur.
    • "Luke won't forgive Anakin": After Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Luke (and Leia) won't forgive Anakin for the atrocities he committed just because he killed the Emperor. This is confusing not only to him, but Obi-Wan and Yoda as well.
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • After Agent Washington shoots Agent South in the Head he and the A.I. Delta are called out by Church to be "some cold motherfuckers". It takes half an episode for Church and Caboose to stop trying to calm him down with a very annoying "just calm down...we are all your friends...lower your weapon" way of speaking.
      Wash: Stop talking to me like that, I'm not insane. Now if you'll excuse me, I have blow up this dead body.
    • The Reds and Blues really let Church and Carolina have it when they plan to throw everything they have at the Director, even using the Reds and Blues as cannon fodder. It only hits home when the Reds and Blues, including Washington, walk out on them.
  • RWBY: In Volume 7, Ironwood is being seen by both the citizens of Mantle and at least some of the heroes as increasingly dictatorial and unreasonable in his decision-making process and the human suffering he's willing to overlook for the sake of achieving the "greater good". When he responds to Robyn's increasing attacks on the construction supplies being diverted from Mantle to Amity Tower, he contemplates the possibility of enforcing martial law on Mantle but a frustrated Nora quickly challenges it. When he tries to defend it by saying everyone must make sacrifices, Nora angrily notes that Mantle is bearing the burden alone. He backs down as a result. Over time, he becomes less willing to back down until he finally crosses the line into true villainy at the end of Volume 7.
  • Camp Camp: In Season 3, Episode 1 - The Fun-Raiser, David and Gwen steal Quartermaster's hook as a pity ploy to raise funds for the camp (since all of Cameron Campbell's assets are frozen). They get their comeuppance at the end of the episode.
  • In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, the Emperor, upon learning that the Custodes have done pretty much nothing for the better part of ten thousand years, promptly orders them to go out and help the Imperium, seeing how they have the best gear in the galaxy. They do so minus the gear.
  • This video from How It Should Have Ended has Iron Man called out for his actions in the first movie by Superman and Batman. Tony gets to fire back by lampshading Card Board Prison and Joker Immunity.
  • In Double Rainboom, Twilight, and pretty much the audience's reaction to Rainbow Dash completely destroying Ponyville.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Koden and some of the others call Alex out on his...less than noble choices.
  • Dreamscape: The others really call out Vampire Lord on his actions in his fight against Keela during the fighting tournament.
  • Mani Mani People: In the bonus clip of this story, Keita brags to Moroboshi and Niko that he gave Ritsuko and Haru pills that turn men into women and the events that happened after. They called him out for it, since he could've ruined both of their lives.
  • In the Marvel Funko Short "Spellbound", Iron Man is able to rescue Spider-Man from Loki's spell by taking away his staff. Spidey decides to get revenge with the staff by... making his act like a chicken. Spidey laughs at Loki, but Iron Man shakes his head disappointingly and asks for the staff back, making Spidey hang his head in shame.

  • The SCP Foundation is known for its Black-and-Gray Morality, being pragmatists at best and Well Intentioned Extremists at worst. On one occasion they're called out on their callous nature by the creator of SCP-3108, a modified Nerf dart gun than can Nerf objects. After he's informed that they tested it on people, he's horrified that they "turned his joke into a torture device" and is so disgusted he ends the interview early and demands the researcher leaves his cell.

    Web Videos 
  • Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. The Villain Protagonist is the one to call the hero Captain Hammer out on his idiocy. Captain Hammer had almost flattened Penny by disrupting Dr. Horrible's remote control on the van and proceeding to grandstand. Unfortunately for Horrible, Captain Hammer is just the kind of narcissist that lets this slide off his back and blame him for everything, and even more unfortunately, such is the universe that Horrible is a Villain Ball Magnet.
  • This Let's Play of Planescape: Torment has the Nameless One Jumping Off the Slippery Slope, corrupted by the game's Tome of Eldritch Lore. Only to eventually reveal to the book that he was an evil bastard all along, just before destroying it.
  • A comparatively minor example: In TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life, Joy eventually calls Chris out for mocking Dash one time too many.
  • Linkara's pet peeve is heroes who don't act like heroes. E.G., Frank Miller's All Star Batman and Robin, Neutro Number 1 and Superman at Earth's End.
    • Linkara finally gets this himself in Catwoman, Guardian of Gotham #2.
  • By seasons two and three of Marble Hornets, Jay is regular getting chewed out for his Genre Blindness, stalking, and focus on filming everything and putting it on YouTube instead of helping people.
  • In Strange Aeons, Arron gets chewed out by Nick for filming his most private moments and putting them on his channel.
  • In the "Cannon Ball Run" episode of Achievement Hunter's Let's Play Grand Theft Auto IV, Gavin had continuously messed up Team Lads' attempts to win in a round of "Cops n' Crooks", prompting Michael to ask what's going through his brain. When Gavin gives him the reasoning - that he was actively losing because they just kept on winning and thus he felt it wasn't fun - it pissed Michael off enough that he temporarily tossed him off of Team Lads.
    • In "Ryan's Heist" (Let's Play Grand Theft Auto V), Michael chews out Ryan for killing Geoff (though that was an accident) and trying to kill Ray (that one wasn't).
  • This is a common form of diss in the Epic Rap Battles of History:
    Bill Gates: Well Steve, you steal all the credit for work that other people do. Did your fat beard Wozniak write these raps for you too?
    Romney: You're all Barack and no bite! Been no change and we're all still hoping... that you'll shut your mouth, but like Guantanamo Bay they're both open.
    Batman: You're not smart! You're selfish; you endanger everyone's life!
    • Done by both sides in "Moses vs. Santa Claus":
      Santa: You been a naughty boy! You brought a plague of frogs! You best arrest yourself, you broke Your own law! Or was there something in Rule 6 I didn't understand? My list says "killed Egyptian dude, buried him in sand".
      • Later:
      Moses: You ain't a saint, you a slaver like a Pharaoh in the snow. Stop with the unpaid labour, and let my little people go!
    • "Michael Jordan vs. Muhammad Ali":
      Michael Jordan: Why don't you dodge this battle like you did Vietnam?
      • And in the same battle:
      Muhammad Ali: You fight like the little girls who make your Nike shoes!
    • In "Stephen King vs. Edgar Allan Poe":
    Stephen King: Masque of the Red Death? Barely blood-curdling. The Pit and the Pendulum? Not even unnerving. Perving on your first cousin when she's 13 years old? Now that's disturbing.
    Mythbusters: You built a laser grid with no safety switch, and Walter Peck was right, that's some shady shit!
    ''And if those Native dudes knew what white men were gonna do, they would have stopped you in Dakota-they should totally Sioux!
    Socrates: I won't be taught camaraderie by a frog who rigged the lottery! You make a mockery of ethics, so keep your fat nose in your coffee!
    Jim: Let me mention, I'm impressed by all the vision that it took/For you to sign your name...
    Kermit the Frog: On all of Jack Kirby's comic books!
    • In their clash, Frederick Douglass spends near his entire rap calling Thomas Jefferson a Hypocrite for actively partaking in the African-American slave trade after fighting a war of liberation. Jefferson has no real comeback for it.
  • The Courier in Courier's Mind: Rise of New Vegas, practically makes it one of his many missions to do this to any character, that remotely makes him mad and/or does something incredibly stupid. Not that he's usually wrong.
  • In "A New Planet & Antimatter!" by Matthew Santoro, Matthew dies and goes to heaven. St. Peter calls him out for being mean to his clone, Hugo.
  • In "Deadpool: The Musical 2," Deadpool kills dozens of mooks in a warehouse decorated with anti-mutant posters before locating mutant prisoner Jubilee, who is tied to a chair wearing a power-dampening collar. He fully expects her to applaud his heroics as he frees her, but she calls him out instead and triggers his heel realization:
    Jubilee: "Don't think saving me is going to win you any points with the X-Men. You're not a superhero, you're an actual murderer."
  • At the end of Dream's "2 Hunters" video, Sapnap has nothing but anger towards George after he kills Sapnap eventually leading to Dream's victory. He only gets more annoyed at George when he realizes in the bonus video that George killing him is the only reason Dream won in the first place, having used Sapnap's Ender Pearls to save himself from the void.
  • Title Pending: In Episode 1 Alyssa requests to replace the duo's friends with new actors and in Episode 2 they hold auditions. In Episode 3 Caelan, Gordon and Caleb bring it up how messed up it is without letting Bayden speak up.
  • SMPEarth: TimeDeo to Tommy during the Internet Protocol Crisis:
    Deo: So you leaked the IP and you expect him [JoshA20] to save you?
  • Critical Role: Episode 78 of Campaign 3 is almost entirely dedicated to Bells Hells tearing Ashton a new one for trying to absorb the shard of Rau'shan in the previous episode despite being warned not to, and coming within a hair's breadth of killing himself in the process. The fact that he lied to the other Hells to prevent them from intervening until it was too late completely shattered their trust in him, and the mission they were about to embark on had to be delayed until the group was able to properly process what happened.

Alternative Title(s): What The Hell Hero Speech


Real And Spectacular

Elaine thinks Jerry's new date has fake breasts because they're too big and perfect, leading to her going to the sauna to find out for sure.

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