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Film — Animated

  • In Balto II: Wolf Quest, the elder leader of the wolf pack is meant to be the good guy. He is very spiritual, and preaches accepting change and realizing that you will never know everything. Contrasting this is a young, loud, warlike wolf who scoffs at his elder's spiritualism and argues that the pack has to fight to defend itself. The elder's talk of a vague "Grand Design" and not fearing change would probably be received better if the entire pack wasn't on the brink of starvation. Admittedly, fighting a human development would not end well for wolves, but one has to wonder why the pack elder didn't just say that in the first place.
  • A Goofy Movie:
    • While Principal Mazur exaggerated Max's behavior during a phone call with Goofy, Mazur has a right to be upset; Max interrupted a school assembly to perform as Powerline with help from Bobby and P.J, and sent the principal down a trap door. Also, Mazur is meant to be an overreacting Dean Bitterman after his comment about how Goofy needs to correct Max's behavior "before he ends up in the electric chair," which many would interpret it as "Max should be killed for violating school regulations". In actuality, Mazur is saying that Max may one day get into serious legal issues if he keeps up with this type of irresponsible behavior, and that seemed like an imminent possibility based on Max's attempt to become popular.
    • Even though Pete is a legitimately bad father, he does have a point when he says that his son needs to respect him. While it's good that your children love you, you also need their respect as well, since respect is integral to correcting bad behavior. Indeed, a lack of respect between Max and Goofy is a big reason for the film's conflict.
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    • While Max might come off as ungrateful when he openly admits his dislike of Goofy's antics, he has a point: Goofy took Max on an impromptu vacation that Max vocally did not want to go on instead of simply talking about the principal's phone call, and Goofy was only thinking about how this would affect him personally, making his motives pretty selfish. Max might have been overreacting, but Goofy wasn't acting much better.
  • Judge Claude Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame is generally presented as a bigoted Knight Templar, but nonetheless, not all of his actions are as unreasonable as they may first appear when viewed in their proper context.
    • Even though he is essentially an abusive foster parent, Frollo's grim depiction of the world "out there" actually sounds quite realistic considering the film is set in Medieval Europe which was not known for being kind to those with severe birth defects. Quasimodo does, however, get to witness this first hand, and later says that it's because of people like Frollo that the world is that way.
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    • While his beliefs are still bigoted and he remains a crusader/fanatic, the movie proves Frollo more or less right that at least those Gypsies who are associated with the Court of Miracles are dangerous criminals, and arguably even terrorists for attempting to murder the serving captain of the guard. Even had they done nothing bad whatever before, that by itself actually serves to perfectly justify him arresting them, even under modern legal norms.
    • Similarly, while his treatment of Esmeralda can in no way be justified, the fact remains that she is a criminal who resisted arrest and assaulted the arresting officers, with a degree of violence that would likely have killed or seriously maimed at least some of them without the meliorating effects of cartoon physics.note  If he had simply wanted her arrested and fairly tried, it would have been difficult to fault him for that; it's his creepy personal vendetta that makes him the villain in that case.
  • Finding Nemo revolves around Marlin letting go of his nervousness and relaxing. The problem is Marlin is completely right to fear for his son after Coral and the other kids died thanks to a barracuda and is proven right again and again thanks to all the bad stuff that happened to Nemo and Marlin in their odyssey.
  • South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut: At the start of the movie, the mothers of Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny are at least partly justified when they boycott Terrance and Philip, as their film did influence the boys badly. Kenny eventually dies trying to replicate one of their stunts, giving them every reason to be angry. However, as a studio executive points out, the film had an adult rating; the boys sneak in by claiming a random adult was their legal guardian, and the studio who made the movie never intended it to be for children. The movie may have been gross, but the boys weren't the target audience. The parents only become full-on villains when they decide to blame all of their problems on Canada.
  • In Trolls, Branch refuses to help Poppy save her friends, and she scolds "You can't say no!". But he's actually well within his rights to say no. He had warned Poppy and her friends that their singing and dancing would bring the Bergens over, and he had spent years building up his bunker and avoiding the Bergens, while they think it's just him Crying Wolf. When their loud party causes the Big Bad Chef Bergen to come and snatch plenty of trolls up, Branch feels no obligation to help them out after they had ignored his advice for many years.
  • My Little Pony: The Movie (2017):
    • Tempest Shadow mulls to herself about how so much Equestrian power is wasted on parties when it has far greater uses. This is meant to be part of her anti-friendship views, except she's absolutely right. If Equestria's monarchs dedicated as much power and time to the security of Equestria as they do to trying to spread friendship through parties and celebrations, the Storm King's invasion, or for that matter pretty much any villain invasion ever in the show, could've been prevented or easily dealt with.
    • Tempest makes another good point with her Villain Song, "Open Up Your Eyes", which explains her back story of why she distrusts friendship (click here for spoilers! note  ). While the song is supposed to be evil/anti-friendship, it instead comes off more as a cautionary tale of being careful who you choose to trust because anybody who calls themselves your friend is still capable of stabbing you in the back.
  • In Return to Never Land, Jane's no-nonsense dismissal of all things childish is treated as wrong by the other characters and the narration, and her Character Development revolves around her needing to be reminded that she is still a child. However, she lives during World War II in a town regularly bombarded by enemy airplanes. Therefore, her growing up faster to be more responsible (albeit while also being a killjoy) may seem like a reasonable thing to some. And some would agree that she can be justified to have other priorities than children stories in a time of war and privations.
  • In The Secret of Kells, Abbot Cellach's obsession with building his wall over preserving the books and his decision to forbid his nephew Brendan to go to the forest are portrayed as well-intentioned but ultimately misguided. And there's no doubt that he's not the best at expressing his affection towards Brendan. However, on the other hand, when Brendan does go into the forest, he's attacked by wolves and would have died if the local representative of The Fair Folk didn't come to help him. So the abbot was perfectly justified. Moreover, Cellach's decision to protect the present (with his wall) instead of the future (the books and their knowledge) can seem justified in a time of invasions. And it's worth mentioning that, had he not lived in a world where Northmen are apparently unstoppable surhuman monsters, an invading army would have thought twice before attacking a heavily fortified location.
  • In Mulan, Shang is portrayed in the wrong for mistrusting Mulan after she was revealed to be a woman. This completely ignores the fact that by pretending to be Ping, Mulan had been lying to Shang and her fellow soldiers for months, and would still be lying to them if not for events outside of her control. She may have had good intentions in trying to save her father's life, but she was still lying, risking not only her own death, but shame upon her family name. This makes Shang's lack of trust in her fairly reasonable.
  • In The Emoji Movie Smiler is supposed to come across as a tyrannical Control Freak for wanting to delete the main character, Gene, because of his "malfunction", except that she lives in a Cosmic Horror Story world where the entire emoji universe can be annihilated at a teenage boy's whim, something that very nearly happens thanks to Gene. Her pursuit of Gene is clearly (and confirmed by Word of God) meant to be a case of Fantastic Racism, except that Gene's need to "be himself" not only destroys his workplace, causes several totally innocent apps to be deleted during his flight from justice and puts the entire world at risk—something which Gene never apologizes for or tries to help repair. While her methods are admittedly extreme, her motivation ultimately comes down to preventing The End of the World as We Know It and we're supposed to see everything she does as totally unreasonable.

Film — Live Action

  • 28 Weeks Later:
    • The film portrays Don as a weak Dirty Coward for abandoning his wife Alice when she runs back into a house being overrun by zombies to save a little boy, but it is later established that the boy died anyway, (along with everybody else who was hiding away at that house at the time, killed for trying to shelter the pursued boy from the infected, with Alice only surviving because she's miraculously immune to the infection) and that Don was the only other person in the house who survived the outbreak explicitly because he ran. To say nothing of the fact that his only real alternative at the time was to engage around fifty infected in what amounts to hand-to-hand combat.
    • It similarly tries to pull the Armies Are Evil card by portraying the Army as the villains when they decide to kill the immune Alice and implement their "all targets are open" (kill everyone: survivors and infected alike) strategy to contain the outbreak. Trouble is, their options are pretty damn limited. Alice is a dangerous vector who can spread the virus to others and risking keeping her alive to develop a vaccine would be pointless when the virus doesn't exist elsewhere in nature and will burn itself out in weeks anyways, the virus spreads so swiftly that other options are extremely risky considering the necessary time, ability or manpower. The ending shows infected in France: those few survivors who escaped spread it to the mainland meaning all of Europe and Asia will likely be lost to the infection.
  • In 101 Dalmatians, the evil fashion exec Cruella Deville is dismissive of the idea that Anita, her employee, should leave her job in the event of marriage. This is meant to show Deville as callous and cynical, but her observation that marriage tends to deal a massive blow to a woman's career is unfortunately true — or at least, was at the time period.
  • The closest thing that 2012 has to a villain is Oliver Platt's heartless presidential adviser, who's an obvious Take That! to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney — note that his name is Anheuser, presumably after Anheuser-Busch breweries. However, after the fifth or sixth argument where his level-headed pragmatism is contrasted with the Honor Before Reason Save Everyone bleeding-heart attitude of the rest of the cast, you kind of have to wonder if maybe the writers did not secretly agree with him. Some examples:
    • He is heavily criticized for keeping the impending disaster a secret from the general public, although announcing the end of the world would've caused massive panic and hysteria and helped no one.
    • Dr. Adrian complains that "only rich people" are being let onto the Arks, to which Anheuser responds that the money they spent buying tickets is what funded the Arks in the first place. That and snarking "Oh, you mean life isn't fair?!" (No one seems to point out that those "rich people" won't be rich after the catastrophe. Even if they could take all their money with them, it'll be worthless in a world without an economy to back it up. They'll have to work just like everyone else and will find it significantly harder than those who have developed skills that might actually apply in rebuilding society, such as construction, science, logistics, or agriculture.)
    • When Adrian wants to open up the Ark to save one more family, Anheuser chews him out for wanting to risk everyone's lives just for a slim chance of saving five or six more people. Which is made even more glaring in hindsight after this supposed heroism results in the horrific deaths of Gordon and Tamara.
    • The scientists gave the world governments a set timetable for when the world was supposed to end, and the world governments began their doomsday preparations based upon the timeline given to them. But when the end of the world started earlier than what was projected, Anheuser essentially has to make decisions on the fly which are morally ambiguous but are also realistic. He's supposed to be seen as evil for not wanting to save certain people, but considering the scientists keep feeding data that is consistently wrong it's hard to blame him for having to make such drastic decisions.
  • In Accepted, a high school senior rejected by every college ends up inventing one out of thin air. The thing spins out of control and becomes an actual, factual school set out of an old mental institution. The Dean Bitterman at the nearby traditional college wages an accreditation jihad against the upstart. The guy's a Jerkass, and the new school (with its emphasis on the students) is presented as a brave bastion of new educational methods. But as Dean Dick points out, the new place doesn't have a health center, more than one faculty member, or even a library. One doesn't have to be a crusty old academic to argue that a college should at least have a freaking library.
  • Dean Wormer's point of view in Animal House is understandable — no sane college administration would want the Deltas around, and the rest of the student body might well have been good and tired of their endless pranks, hell-raising and rule-breaking. The Deltas may have been Affably Evil, but evil they were nonetheless — a lot of the stunts they pulled would get people who tried them in Real Life tossed straight into jail. That Wormer goes overboard, and goes out of his way to target the Deltas when his favored Omegas aren't much better, ultimately justifies him being the villain.
  • American Beauty makes the uptight Carolyn seem like another one of Lester's problems we are to sympathize with him for having. Yet she is absolutely right when she criticizes him for abruptly quitting his job and putting the burden of supporting the household on her; later, when the two seem about to reconcile and have afternoon sex on the living room couch, she stops when she realizes he's holding an open beer bottle. Would it have been too much to ask for him to put it down so they don't spill it over expensive upholstery, which would require some extensive cleaning to get the smell out?
  • In Billy Madison, Eric is supposed to be a Corrupt Corporate Executive who merely wants to run Madison Hotels. However, he is right when he points out that the company's fifty-thousand employees are not likely to have jobs for very long if the president makes his drunkard son (who only graduated because his father bribed his teachers) president of the company. Notably, before Billy strikes a deal to graduate legitimately, this actually does temporarily convince Billy's father to hand the reins over to Eric. It's also noteworthy that, after some Character Development, Billy himself concludes that he's not cut out for the management of a large company and turns it over to Carl, who is both competent and not a Jerkassnote . As for Eric losing his cool and drawing a gun in the climax, remember that he just lost the chemistry competition due to the judges accepting that Billy was able to freeze a boot.
  • In Brüno, Sacha Baron Cohen's goal as the titular character is to "expose the undercurrent of homophobia in American society". But he does this by assuming the character of an outrageously, nauseatingly flamboyant caricature of the worst stereotypes of homosexual men (to say nothing of idolizing Hitler as Austria's greatest national character), and then engaging in what is fundamentally sexual harassment of various men who cross his path. The "homosexual hate" he encounters, in a lot of cases, feels less like homophobia and more like a perfectly natural response to being accosted by such an unpleasant, highly offensive individual.
  • In Cape Fear, Bowden gets the chief of police to try to drive Cady out of town before Cady has done anything illegal. Cady hires a lawyer who is portrayed as fussy and over-liberal, but who makes the entirely legitimate point that Cady is being harassed for no reason. Of course, Cady does not stay innocent for long.
  • In Catching Faith, John Taylor gets caught drinking alcohol while underage at a party. His family pressures him to accept responsibility by confessing, even though that meant that he could not play any more games during the rest of the football season. Later, his coach talks to John on this issue. John, while still resentful, does bring up the point in that many other people, especially members of the same football team, engaged in underage consumption of alcohol, yet they appeared to be getting scot-free. The coach instead doubles down on the "take responsibility of your actions" moral. Indeed, not only the film never touches upon what exactly has happened to everyone else at that party, but, also, all of the other football players did not get the punishment that John got.
  • Chairman of the Board has a version of this mixed with Hilarious in Hindsight: Bradford, the antagonist, blasts Edison's management of the company while the latter is shown driving up the stock price and getting magazine covers amid his antics running the company. The only problem? He was running the company in almost exactly the same manner as a lot of dotcom startups at the same time, almost all of which went broke. Had Bradford not violated numerous laws in forcing Edison out, his fight for control of the company would have been justified to save it from Edison's "interesting" management style. In the meantime, Bradford would arguably have managed the company competently even if he was only looking to presumes he would have gotten more for a functional company than an asset-stripped wreck, after all.
  • Christmas with the Kranks expects the viewers to side with the neighbors who harass the title characters for deciding to celebrate Christmas by taking a cruise. Their daughter went off on a Peace Corps assignment thus making the first time in almost two decades they have time for themselves, except the annual Christmas lights competition in which the neighborhood competes annually would count against them having a family out of town and not competing, and they could not have that. The entire plot of the movie is because the neighborhood wants a certificate or a trophy to put in Town Hall for a year. The ending moral is about Christmas being about togetherness and love, the husband portrayed as being selfish and petty for resenting the neighborhood finally getting him to join their traditions (complete with Unsportsmanlike Gloating and insults) and still wanting to go on the cruise. Said cruise was a romantic gesture and an attempt to spend long deserved time alone with his wife, a much better symbolism of Christmas' virtues than bullying someone in excess for the sake of winning a contest.
  • In The Class, a French teacher (François Bégaudeau) struggles to teach grammar to his often apathetic students. Though the students are fleshed out and late in the film the teacher is disrespectful and called out for it, thereby avoiding Straw Characters, the audience is expected to take his side about the necessity of grammar. Not all agreed with it, though.
    Ebert: As the students puzzle their way through, I don't know, the passive pluperfect subjunctive or whatever, I must say I sided with them. Despite the best efforts of dedicated and gifted nuns, I never learned to diagram a sentence, something they believed was of paramount importance. Yet I have made my living by writing and speaking. You learn a language by listening and speaking. You learn how to write by reading. It's not an abstraction. Do you think the people who first used the imperfect tense felt the need to name it?
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Roy Neary, the protagonist, makes his dreams come true when he meets the aliens and leaves on their ship. All is great and uplifting and wonderful... except the guy has a wife and four kids, who are dependent on him. His wife is presented as being vindictive, but this does not change the facts: chasing his dream, Neary got himself fired from his job, which was the main source of income for his whole family, and now leaves them altogether for a journey across space he dreamed of. His wife is absolutely right when she describes Roy as an overgrown kid without any sense of responsibility. Interestingly enough, the director himself noted later that now, being married and with children, he would not endorse Neary's actions.
  • In the hilariously anvilicious and Narmy Lifetime Movie of the Week Cyber Seduction: His Secret Life, the mother of the protagonist freaks and panics upon learning that her son is looking at Internet porn. The father is very unconcerned and does not think there is anything abnormal about a teenage boy looking at porn, and the viewer is expected to consider the father an oafish buffoon. Admittedly there are some types of porn no-one should be looking at, but the film treats the protagonist looking at pictures of scantily-dressed models (who were still fully-clothed, mind you) as some kind of grievous moral failing that inexplicably ruins his whole life.
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951):
    • The humans are lambasted for "striking first". But after the alien spacecraft landed with little warning in a capital city, Klaatu walks directly at the humans wearing a face-obscuring (and unnecessary) helmet with an object that snaps open unexpectedly within melee range. Did Klaatu really expect the humans wouldn't so much as flinch when that happened? While the soldiers are still in error for shooting, their error is entirely understandable, because making sudden moves during a very tense situation where people are already pointing weapons is not going to end well.
    • In a greater scope, humanity in general. Klaatu arrives with zero warning, shuts down all power on Earth (with the exception of hospitals and in-flight airplanes) — which still potentially causes thousands of deaths — all to deliver a message of complete annihilation if they do anything remotely "threatening" to a planet they didn't even know existed solely because Earth has the theoretical capability to attack them, not because of any action Earth intentionally or unintentionally made against them. This makes Klaatu's planet look extremely hostile and xenophobic, ruining the film's intended message.
  • In The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) various characters from the government and military are depicted as being callous, paranoid, and inhumane when they immediately imprison the injured alien visitor and attempt to interrogate him about what he's doing on Earth. Even though the viewers are supposed to be disgusted with their behavior, there's one minor problem; Klaatu is indeed planning to destroy the entire human race, taking all of a day and a couple interviews to verify it as the right course. The "inhumane" government officials were completely correct to treat him as an enemy.
  • In The Devil Wears Prada, Miranda Priestly delivers a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to her poor, put-upon assistant Andrea, who just wants to be a writer and doesn't understand why everybody looks down on her for not being a fashionista. The problem is that she works for the editor of a fashion magazine. Miranda's speech shows quite nicely that problematic though it is, the industry influences everyone and is ignored at one's own peril. Moreover, thinking that you're "above" the field you work in is not a professional attitude or one you should display in front of your boss and coworkers, who have slaved and sacrificed to succeed in an intensely cutthroat line of work.
    • Later, Andrea is chewed out by her friends for getting involved in her work, instead of remaining an aloof hipster like them, but she's in a high-risk high-energy industry, and she only took the job to get the credentials she needs for the job she wants, so actually investing herself in the job is what's expected of her, where if she treats it like a 9 to 5, she'll never get a good recommendation, to say nothing of basic work ethic of doing your job well.
  • In Dragonslayer, King Casiodorus is presented as a villain whose great crime is creating the lottery by which innocent virgins are sacrificed to the dragon Vermithrax. The thing is, though, the lottery worked. Casiodorus tells the story of how his brother Gazerick, a brave warrior king, went out to try and slay the dragon. Vermithrax killed Gazerick and all his men, then laid waste to whole towns in retaliation. The point is underscored when Galen's first bungled effort at dragon-slaying provokes a slaughter. Casiodorus's solution of pacifying the dragon with a handful of sacrifices was far better. Even though Casiodorus is later shown to be a hypocrite who accepts bribes to keep rich ladies out of the lottery, then jettisons the whole scheme when his own daughter offers herself up, no one ever presents a compelling answer to his argument: better a few should die that many may live.
  • A frequent problem in Cowboy Cop type movies, particularly Dirty Harry, where the wishy-washy liberal superiors chastise Harry for his flagrant abuse of the rights of the suspect and ignorance of police procedure. But the thing is, they are right, and Harry would be a terrifyingly dangerous person in real life. This whole issue was deliberately acknowledged in the first film, Dirty Harry, where the superior turns out to be completely right: it's not good to be a loose cannon. Its sequel Magnum Force acknowledged this with the primary antagonists being a group of Cowboy Cops. It is instructive to note that despite all the other rules he breaks, Harry never actually killed anyone outside standard law enforcement rules of engagement.
    • Even in the first movie, Harry isn't portrayed as completely in the right. Everyone seems to forget (probably because the sequels retconned it) that at the end of the movie, he quits the force because things just don't work. Also that the killer goes free because of Harry's misconduct (though see the Hollywood Law entry about this-legally, his apprehension of Scorpio was perfectly legal except for the confession, which wouldn't be necessary for a conviction). It's certainly not the case that Harry's methods get things done in spite of being unconventional and illegal.
    • The creators seem to be at least aware of this, as a common feature of the sort of Cowboy Cop movie like Dirty Harry and Cobra is to make the villains so over-the-top evil (baby-killers, mass murderers, etc) that the political strawmen do end up looking like callous enablers allowing them to game the system. As a result, it's not the politicians but the villains themselves who become strawmen to justify the movie's aesop that the cops were doing what they felt was right to prevent greater evils.
    • This is pointedly invoked in Zodiac, where Inspector Toschi (on whom Harry is ostensibly based) walks out of a screening of Dirty Harry. He's clearly disgusted by the film and comments to Robert Graysmith afterwards, "So much for due process."
  • In Dobro Pozhalovat, ili Postoronni vhod vospreschen ("Welcome, or No Entry unless Invited"), a Russian film about a child expelled from summer camp, the camp director Dynin is a horrible Obstructive Bureaucrat who clearly doesn't understand children while sucking up to his superiors. Yet his reasons to expel Innochkin (the main protagonist) are absolutely valid. Innochkin already taught everyone to fence with sticks, resulting in injuries, broke the curfew repeatedly, and now swam across the river despite this being strictly forbidden. Not only is Dynin right in no longer wanting to be responsible for Innochkin (though he is a very good swimmer, he could still drown), but unless an example is set other children may start crossing the river too - and not all of them are such good swimmers. Removing Innochkin from camp was the only sane thing to do-especially as they might be liable for anyone getting hurt.
  • In Eagle Eye, the antagonist has a pretty good point. The President of the United States 1) spent billions of dollars on a Supercomputer, only to completely ignore its conclusions, and the advice of his own Secretary of Defense, and then 2) bombed a funeral procession full of innocent people, leading to an increase in acts of terror against the United States and 3) washed his hands of the whole thing by blaming the entire incident on the hardworking scientists who built the Supercomputer in the first place, even though it very explicitly told him that the bombing was a very unwise idea. Honestly, if Operation Guillotine hadn't involved the deaths of dozens of children and other innocent bystanders as collateral damage, she probably would have been in the right because this guy is clearly too self-centered to be an effective leader.
  • In Election, protagonist Jim resents the fact that, following a sexual relationship between a teacher and a high school student, the teacher loses his job and the student's parents use their influence to prevent the situation from impacting her reputation or future. Bizarrely, he seems to see the adult in the relationship as the victim and a seventeen-year-old girl as a predator who deserves to suffer.
  • In Fantastic Four (2015), after the teleporter to Planet Zero is perfected, a scientist announces that he's going to call NASA to get some astronauts to go explore. Victor and Reed protest this because they want to be the ones known for being the first to explore the new planet. Victor even goes on a drunken rant about how everyone remembers the astronauts of the Apollo missions and not the engineers who made it possible. We're clearly supposed to sympathize with them, but given how they do pretty much everything wrong on their drunken exploration trip (wandering off, touching weird rivers of energy, and suchlike), it obviously would have been much better to send trained professionals on this important and likely dangerous mission. Also, as the inventors of the technology, they're too valuable to risk sending on dangerous missions and would be needed to perfect any errors during the tech's first use.
  • Edward Rooney in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. It's his job to prevent truancy among his students and ensure attendance. While he clearly oversteps his authority by the end of the film, and although Ferris had a parentally excused absence, that doesn't change the fact that Ferris was skipping school, has done so at least nine times prior (he hacks into the school computer to change the records), does so by blatantly exploiting the good will of everyone, including his parents (he tricked them into excusing him from school, so even though he's excused it's just more proof of Rooney's accusations), and was also taking other students out of school while they were under Rooney's care. And Ferris's sister Jeane is also treated as a villain who just wants to catch Ferris out of spite, even though she never does anything immoral - rather she counters several of Ferris' immoral acts.
  • The villain of the 1978 film FM, now remembered primarily for the Steely Dan theme song, are the executives who want to run more ads and run ads by certain advertisers (like the military) that the station's D Js consider so objectionable they barricade themselves in the station in protest. But early in the film one of them makes the perfectly valid complaint that even though the station has the second largest listenership in the Los Angeles market, it's not making much money, if any. No one who has ever been involved in running a for-profit business would disagree that that's a problem that must be addressed.
  • In Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, Tommy Jarvis desperately attempts to warn the Crystal Lake/Forest Green police after he accidentally brings Serial Killer Jason Voorhees back to life, but nobody but the sheriff's own daughter will believe him. Jason's subsequent bloodbath only convinces the cops that Tommy himself is the killer, acting out a delusion of Jason's return. Never mind that the sheriff's daughter can vouch for Tommy because he was with her during two of the murders. The cops are only forced to accept Tommy's story when they are attacked by Jason himself at the camp, and promptly killed. We are supposed to side with Tommy and see the policemen as useless buffoons, but on the other hand, when a kid who spent several years in an institution and is under psychiatric care shows up and claims a notorious murderer, who is dead and buried for years, was revived by a lightning strike and is now a zombie, prowling around with a machete and killing people, would you believe him unconditionally? And Megan's statement means only that Tommy could have an alibi for two of the murders, not for the rest of them.
  • Walter Peck, Ghostbusters' Obstructive Bureaucrat, triggers the film's climax when he orders the titular organization's containment turned off, releasing all their captured ghosts to terrorize Manhattan (amusingly, as this is a comedy). But although the film makes him obnoxious and annoying, it can't disguise that he has a point: the Ghostbusters' technology poses considerable risk as it uses dangerous technology and is untested and poorly understood by anyone but them; indeed Venkman lampshades this earlier in the film when he notes that the three of them are carrying unlicensed nuclear accelerators on their backs.
  • At the end of God's Not Dead, despite Josh getting Radisson to admit he hates God, Radission tells him that this doesn't prove anything and he hasn't proven God exists. Which is correct. Everything Josh has stated over the course of the lecture has not given any actual proof. One could say he simply sought to put on a good case for God's existence, a.k.a. the God-in-Gap Defense note , which was arguably his actual intent — but this is negated as they treat it as 100% fact that God does exist. He also makes a fair point by noting that free will can't explain natural evil (e.g. disasters caused by weather events), a standard counterargument to this, which goes unanswered by Josh.
  • God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness: One news anchor mentions in a segment what could be a legitimate reason for opposing the church on public university grounds: apparently, it's funded by the school, while no other sect is. This raises a lot of church-state separation issues. While it wouldn't mean demolishing the church is necessary, at the very least they might financially separate, since the university is no longer private or Christian. However, this is never brought up again in the film.
  • In the Roland Emmerich Godzilla, Mayor Ebert is already intended to be a character the audience should hate because he's clearly based on Roger Ebert, who criticized some of Emmerich's previous films. Therefore, he's set up as a whiny moron who constantly badgers the military and makes terrible decisions in light of a mass panic. However, most of them are dead on - at one point he chastises the commander for doing more damage than the lizard himself (at which point he is comically thrown a bag of chocolates because HE'S FAT). He's dead right though - at the time he shouts that line, the military's blundering, clumsy efforts and lack of regard for life and property in containing Godzilla have caused far more on-camera casualties than Godzilla himself has. One of the highlights being the military's destruction of the Chrysler building when they miss Godzilla... No doubt there were still people inside given how many people were still trapped inside the city (and not to mention a building of that size going down would make a lot of collateral damage...), which prompted the outburst in the first place.
  • In Gross Anatomy, the protagonist, Joe Slovak, lambastes the administration of the medical school where he is a student after his roommate and best friend is "invited to leave"; that is, informally expelled. The problem is that said roommate was caught using amphetamines. The protagonist objects that medical students are only human, not superhuman, and that the school's expectations of them are too high, and that the school should be more understanding and compassionate toward a student who needed speed to get through his classes. We're clearly meant to side with Slovak and his roommate - but, here's the thing: would you want to be the patient of a doctor who needed amphetamines just to pass his first year of medical school? Moreover, most doctors passed their first years without speed. Also, arguably the school is being compassionate by washing out a student who can't hack it as a first-year, rather than waiting for him to accrue tens of thousands of dollars more in student-loan debt when they have to expel him later. A doctor who washes out as an intern after graduating from medical school doesn't get all his student loans magically forgiven. He still has to pay them back, but without the income of a full-fledged licensed physician.
  • The title character of Hitch makes some very valid points about continuing with one's life, adapting, and moving on after a relationship goes sour. He gets called out on this by one of his clients who outright calls him a coward for not chasing after one's love; granted, in the client's case, the breakup was because of a misunderstanding, but in Hitch's case there was a very clear and valid reason for it. As expected, since the film is a Romantic Comedy, Hitch gives in and goes great lengths to get back his love interest even after several rejections, incurring extreme behavior and injuries to himself.
  • Home Alone 2:
    • After the card Kevin used at the Plaza Hotel comes up as "stolen," the hotel concierge has every right to want Kevin arrested for credit card fraud. As far as he and the rest of the hotel staff knew, Kevin's story was a complete lie. And even though the card did belong to Kevin's dad, Kevin was still using the credit card without permission, and Kevin really was lying about how he got a hold of it. Sure, the concierge may have been trying to snoop in on Kevin, but the fact remains that the concierge was acting well within the law.
    • Later on in the film, Kevin's mother slaps the hotel concierge for telling her not to go out looking for Kevin by herself, even though he points how huge and dangerous New York is, especially in the middle of the night, which is when she wants to go looking. Even Kevin's dad tries to tell her it's a bad idea, but she's insistent. We're supposed to take her side as a concerned parent, but she's needlessly putting herself in all kinds of danger just on the off-chance she might find out where Kevin is in a place as huge as New York City.
  • I Am Sam. More than a few critics and viewers couldn't help agreeing with the "bad guys" that, no matter how wonderful of a person Sam was, he wasn't capable of raising a child. Having said that, it's clear at the end that the would-be adoptive mother is still in the picture, even if Sam is legally the father. Presumably she helps out with the various things that he can't handle by himself, but the movie didn't make that explicit.
  • In Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, two government agents angrily interrogate Indy after Russian spies kidnap him and an old partner of his, murder several American soldiers at a top secret test facility and make off with an alien corpse. Considering what just happened and that Indy's old partner was working with the Russians, the interrogation doesn't seem that unnecessary. Bear in mind this is set during the Cold War.
  • In JFK, the opposing argument to Jim Garrison's conspiracy scenario is laid out nicely by Bill Broussard (played by Michael Rooker). While yes, Broussard was secretly working with the FBI against Garrison, he nonetheless raises an excellent point when he criticizes Garrison's scenario regarding the assassination of President Kennedy - which, according to Garrison, involves the CIA, FBI, anti-Castro Cubans, the Mafia, the Dallas Police, right-wing oil billionaires, and the military-industrial complex to name just a few. Broussard lays out the best argument for lone gunman proponents when he says that such a conspiracy would be impossible to successfully pull off and keep a secret, owing to how complicated such a conspiracy would be and how many people would have to be involved (something real people have also argued). True, Broussard's own theory isn't great either, but his criticism of Garrison unintentionally undermines the film's pro-conspiracy message. Given that Garrison is mostly a mouthpiece for Oliver Stone to voice his own views, and that the person whom Broussard was based upon was claimed by the real Garrison to have undermined his case from day one (and Stone largely believed whatever Garrison said), Broussard is treated as a villain while Garrison is portrayed as in the right, regardless of the nonsensical nature of his entire premise.
  • In Land of the Lost, Rick states that he doesn't want Cha-Ka sleeping in the cave with them and, when his friends take offense to this (implying Fantastic Racism), Rick points out that Cha-Ka was about to be executed when they found him and may have done something to actually deserve it. While Rick basically is being fantastically racist, his claim is a valid concern. Especially when later in the film when the Big Bad takes advantage of their trust to escape and nearly Take Over the World.
  • Ebert's review of The Life of David Gale, which is a different type of this trope wherein the movie's central characters go so ridiculously far to show that their position is right, you cannot help but be disgusted with them. The characters were going for "the death penalty is wrong because an innocent man can potentially be executed". What they actually proved was "if you deliberately conceal the evidence that you are innocent from the court until after its too late to do anything, it will arrive too late to do anything". Well, duh.
  • Many critics who disliked Lions for Lambs felt this way about Tom Cruise's character. A Senator with Presidential ambitions, his role in the film is an interview with anti-war journalist played by Meryl Streep discussing his new plan for Afghanistan. The Senator outlines a reasonable plan and makes some good points, but the film basically expects us to side exclusively with Streep's character simply due to her being anti-war and it being an anti-war film.
  • In Look Who's Talking Too, the mooching brother-in-law is essentially a strawman for everything that is not a Proper New York City Attitude, including the fact that he has a gun. However, it is a little difficult to argue with one of his rationalizations for having it:
    "You know, you people really amuse me, stockpiling your canned food and your water in case of disaster. But when the shit really hits the fan and you're sitting over here with your stuff, and the guy next door has a gun, who do you think's gonna go hungry? Him, or you?"
  • In The Lost World: Jurassic Park the villains, InGen corporation, are portrayed as evil because they want to recapture the dinosaurs from Isla Sorna to recoup their losses from the first film. While they were pretty ruthless, as well as dicks with the exception of two (hunter Roland Tembo and his buddy Ajay), their argument that the dinosaurs are their rightful property does have merit. When the heroes call them out on destroying the island's "natural" environment, the Corrupt Corporate Executive points out that they created the dinosaurs and introduced them to the island in the first place, millions of years and thousands of miles from their actual long-gone natural habitat. The heroes have no counterargument to this other than Nick trying to start a fight. This is one of those cases where what's right legally may or may not be what's right morally, but it's certainly not as cut-and-dried as the film would like to present it.
    • There's also a deleted scene of an InGen meeting where they discuss the millions of dollars already lost on Jurassic Park and the ensuing lawsuits. Between the cleanup and the wrongful death suits alone, they're a hair shy of 200 million in the red, and they do have a right to use their assets to try and recoup their losses. You could argue they actually have a duty to the shareholders.
  • James Bond:
    • The unofficial film Never Say Never Again introduces us to a new M who orders Bond to go to a health farm after he fails a training exercise - an act in which we the viewer are clearly meant to believe makes him some kind of tinpot dictator or Obstructive Bureaucrat that is unable to register just how badass Bond is. But if you take off your fan hat for a second and analyse the situation from his point of view, you suddenly realize that he is absolutely correct. He has an ageing senior field agent of the elite 00 unit who failed an exercise because he wasn't being careful enough, drinks heavily, smokes like a chimney, frequently gambles, is open to all sorts of S.T.D.s thanks to his womanising, is not a team-player and has a diet rich in fatty heavily salted foods. Even by the standards of the 80's you simply cannot let an active agent licensed to kill anyone he pleases behind enemy lines carry on like this.
    • In what is likely a nod to this, Skyfall features a similar scenario. Bond is cleared by M to go back on active duty, despite having failed his physical re-evaluation (and her hiding the fact from him). When he's informed that he's been approved, Gareth Mallory points out that "it's a young man's game" and that there's no shame in admitting that he's too old for the job. It seems as though the audience is supposed to take the side of Bond (who is the main character), but Mallory isn't exactly far off the mark. An agent with a previous injury (that, by his own words, nearly killed him) and borderline-inadequate physical health shouldn't be the sole resource for a mission, even when Bond's machinations play into Raoul Silva's plan to attempt an assassination on M. By the end of the film, however, it is reaffirmed that sometimes, old dogs have to learn new tricks to stay relevant in the modern age.
  • Johnny English: Very similar to the James Bond example above, we have Pegasus, the M stand in for the film and clearly designed to be either an Obstructive Bureaucrat or just blind to what is in front of him. Johnny is obviously right about Sauvage from the word go. The problem is that his evidence is entirely circumstantial. The fact that two of his employees turned out to be assassins for example is no more an example of Sauvage being behind anything than the head of any other company would be if two people working for him turned out to be criminals. And then of course we have the obvious: an aged James Bond is still James Bond, whereas Johnny English in his prime is an agent of dubious competence with an obvious dislike of the French who only got the job because there was no one else left. It is not unfair for Pegasus to subject him to higher scrutiny than he might have done to anyone else.
  • The Christian propaganda movie Let There Be Light (2017) deals with an influential and famous over-the-top atheist thinker who suffers an accident and has a near-death-experience in which he sees his dead little son; the experience leaves him shaken and ultimately causes him to convert to Christianity. At one point, the neurologist who treats him for his accident gives the completely rational and medical explanation for his visions, she is never proven wrong, but the movie simply dismisses her as just another atheist (you know this because she immediately introduced herself as a fan of the pre-converted protagonist).
  • In Maid in Manhattan, Designated Villain Caroline files a complaint with hotel management when she discovers that Marisa, the maid in question, had been wearing her clothes and using her identity. The audience knows that Marisa doesn't have any ill intentions, but Caroline doesn't and has every right to be upset. What's more, such an action is an offense worthy of termination, precisely what happens.
  • The 1962 version of Mutiny on the Bounty has Captain Bligh brusquely refusing to marry one of his younger crewmen to a Polynesian girl he wants to sleep with, laughing contemptuously in the guy's face (apparently the only time he is noted to have actually laughed during the entire voyage) and telling him to 'get that slut off of [his] ship.' This is brought up later as just another sign of what a callous prick the captain is, but Bligh is probably on to something in that it would irresponsible as the captain of the ship to marry a man to a woman (who doesn't even speak the same language as them) just because he wants to bed her and has some religious reservations about it. The ceremony would likely be legally binding considering they're on an British warship, and the affair is almost certainly meaningless and going to burn itself out rather quickly. In essence, Bligh may be being a jerk about it, but he's right to think the guy is an idiot who's thinking with the wrong head.
  • Night of the Living Dead: 30th Anniversary Edition: Reverend Hicks miraculously survives being bitten by a zombie, and at the end goes on a deranged rant that the zombies are demons from hell. He is supposed to come across as The Fundamentalist, but his fanatical belief that the zombie plague is supernatural in origin isn't really any more preposterous than simply being some sort of virus. In fact, one could argue that it makes even more sense because magical or paranormal elements in stories don't strain the Willing Suspension of Disbelief in the same way that Hollywood Science does.
  • Nine Months is all about a man (Samuel) who finds out his girlfriend (Rebecca) is pregnant; needless to say, it's a surprise pregnancy and neither of them are really sure if they want to go through with it at first. Samuel himself doesn't really accept it until close to the end of the pregnancy, but Rebecca accepts it pretty early on and starts preparing for motherhood. Great pains are taken to paint Samuel as wrong for being reluctant to have a kid, veering into Strawman territory at several points, but the kicker has to be early on when Rebecca gets worried that the cat Samuel owns might be a problem, as a cat can lie on a baby's face and smother it. She tries to convince Samuel to get rid of the cat, and we're supposed to side with her and think Samuel is an uncaring jerk for putting his pet ahead of his baby...except that, as Samuel says, the cat is fifteen years old, so it would be a surprise if it lived long enough to see the baby born, the cat has no teeth left, and the poor thing hardly moves. No vet would agree to put down an otherwise healthy pet that's just old, and giving it up to a shelter would be heartless because a cat that old is unadoptable, so it would be put down after a few months anyway instead of living its final days in comfort with a loving owner. Not to mention, the very idea that a cat would lie down on a baby's face and smother it to death is, at best, implausible. Samuel point-blank refuses to get rid of the cat and the matter is dropped for the rest of the movie.
  • The heroine in One Magic Christmas is not sufficiently excited about celebrating Christmas, so she's made to go through a Trauma Conga Line to make her thankful for what she has and get her in the holiday spirit. The thing is, she's depressed because her husband is out of work and out of money and their landlord is preparing to foreclose on their home— who would be feeling merry and festive in those circumstances? And how is putting her through a barrage of terribly traumatic life experiences supposed to make her feel better?
  • The 70s film Over the Edge presents police officer Sgt. Doberman as the face of authoritarian evil for trying to do his job and treats his shooting of a teenager as a Moral Event Horizon because the kid was pointing an empty gun at him while screaming "Die, pig!!" The intended sympathetic characters immediately dismiss Doberman's point that he had no way of knowing the weapon was unloaded, conveniently ignoring the fact that it's a damn good point. Anyone who's had firearms training — especially police officers — knows they absolutely cannot afford to assume that any gun aimed at them isn't loaded. Common sense dictates that anyone pointing an empty gun at somebody guaranteed to have both the means and ability to shoot back is either Too Dumb to Live or trying to die.
  • In the Lindsay Lohan remake of The Parent Trap, not only did the girls immediately take a hating to Meredith simply because she wasn't their mother, but during the camping trip (to which she told them she wasn't an outdoors person) they filled her backpack with rocks, put a lizard on her head, replaced her bug repellent with sugar water, made her look like an idiot by telling her there were mountain lions, and finally push her mattress into the middle of the lake while she was asleep. Meredith is meant to look like a terrible person for freaking out and wanting to send the girls away, but anyone would have lost their shit and want to be rid of those little devils at that point. To make it worse, in her very first scene Meredith seemed to truly attempt to befriend Annie.
  • Patch Adams:
    • Siskel & Ebert agree with the villains. Yes, while they were shown as insisting on being coldly professional at all times, which apparently includes things such as flatly telling someone they had a few weeks to live and then heading off to complete your rounds without another word, Ebert and Siskel said they would run if they got a wacky doctor like Robin Williams' character who is never actually seen treating patients. The option of having a reasonable amount of bedside manner without going overboard is never offered. The real Patch Adams himself was upset regarding his depiction in the movie, saying his method was more like the middle ground; help patients keep a positive attitude with good humor, but still, you know, practice real medicine. The film also focuses entirely on patients' mental well-being and neglects to consider the doctor's well-being. Becoming emotionally invested with a patient only to watch helplessly as they die will make anyone an emotional wreck.
      • On top of that, while Patch Adams is supposed to be the good guy, he commits numerous violations of professional ethics, as well as outright crimes, such as stealing medication from a hospital and practising medicine without a license. (The real patch Adams never did either.) The establishment doctors are fully justififed in being horrified at Adams' antics.
    • Patch's roommate is supposed to be a Jerkass whose hostility is motivated by his frustration over Patch's subversive antics. When Patch calls him out after he turns Patch in for suspected cheating, the roommate replies he has seen how little Patch actually studies and asks how Patch still manages to get such high marks. The viewer has yet to see Patch do much studying either, so it seems primed for Patch to defend himself to show he knows the material. Instead, Patch launches into another speech attacking the roommate for being a Jerkass, and the viewer is left to assume Patch wears his smart hat offscreen because he is the protagonist, so he could not possibly be cheating to excel in an academic system he has such little regard for. (So...Patch doesn't study because he's "too smart" for the class?)
  • Plan 9 from Outer Space: If, and only if, such a device that could blow up not only the world but the universe were plausible - then these visiting aliens would have a good point in trying to prevent it from being built. They really need to work on their methods though...
  • The Princess Diaries: Clarisse is portrayed as too harsh for getting angry at Mia for (unintentionally) embarrassing the family . While yes, Clarisse was indeed too harsh, she's not completely wrong for at least feeling mortified, considering that Mia was going to be the princess of a whole country in a few days. Princesses are usually supposed to be portrayed as classy, so having those moritfying photos of Mia in only a towel in the newspapers for everyone to see would do a damage to the image of Mia's family.
  • Christian in Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas raises several valid and true points about the commercialization of Christmas, such as how modern Christianity has absorbed several religious symbols (such as Christmas trees) from Pagan beliefs, or that the mass overspending on personal goods could be used to help feed the needy. Cameron's character easily brushes off every complaint with Insane Troll Logic (i.e. It's okay to be greedy and gluttonous for material things because Jesus sacrificed his material body, or that people should see a stack of Christmas presents as the skyline of the New Jerusalem) that the film presents as actually being a Logic Bomb, as made clear as whenever Cameron is finished explaining something, Christian sits back in awe at the incredible wisdom he's just experienced.
  • In RoboCop 2, the titular hero has been given a massive reprogramming effort, including such gems as "discourage feelings of negativity and hostility" and "don't run through puddles and splash pedestrians or other cars". This is the same titular hero who previously wound up blowing up an entire multi-million-dollar gas station in order to stop an armed robbery that would have taken the cash in the register (and, depending on your level of analysis, even did so because he had a personal vendetta against the perpetrator). Although of course the movie is a send-up of the excesses of the U.S. in the 80s, OCP was actually trying to make him behave a little more like a real police officer instead of a reckless gung-ho killing machine devoid of emotion or remorse (which is played with a lot in the RoboCop (2014) remake). The two directives listed above, for instance, are basic common sense that every real police officer is supposed to do. On-screen, however, the programmers insist "they screwed him up!" At least they've already proven that he was, indeed, screwed up by the additional programming — but that's because he was already certifiable to begin with. The only saving grace is that the future was so dystopian that it needed him to be a loose cannon.
  • School of Rock:
    • Dewey has been bumming at the apartment of Ned and Patty for months if not years, while continually refusing to get a steady job and therefore doing little to contribute to the rent. Ned keeps doing whatever he can to accommodate him because they were in a band years ago, while Patty is just supposed to put up with this. It doesn't change the fact that Patty seems to take joy in Dewey's suffering, but anyone would be frustrated by that point.
    • It's hard to blame Dewey's band for firing him — just watch Dewey in action during the opening scene. The fact that they win the battle of the bands without him only proves their point.
    • It doesn't exactly make parents "tightly-wound" for being upset that their kids are learning nothing but rock music, and no academics, for weeks or months on end. Even many rock-loving parents would be bothered by how this would set their kids up for some serious educational problems later in the area (for being behind all the other classes in their grade). They might even sue the school for not checking Dewey's credentials. In their case, it's not as extreme as the others in the movie as they are shown to just want what's best for their kids (as seen by their horrified reaction when Dewey accidentally implies he molested the students).
  • In the film version of Sgt. Bilko, the villain is a military higher-up who wants to run Bilko out of the Army for essentially running a team of Neighborhood Friendly Gangsters out of an American military base, and also for getting him blamed for a crime Bilko committed and getting the villain transferred to Alaska. Since this is actually a completely reasonable thing to do from any objective viewpoint, the villain is made to accomplish his goals through methods even more criminal and underhanded than Bilko's, in order to make sure he doesn't get the audience's sympathy.
  • Captain Skroeder from Short Circuit is the movie's villain... who makes the best sense of the characters. After all, he has to deal with a malfunctioning military robot that escaped; a robot that has, for example, no idea about the concept of death. Everyone's lucky it did not end in a major Terminator-style carnage.
  • Space Mutiny tries to present the mutineers as evil, but look at it from their perspective. They didn't choose to spend their entire life on a ship - that decision was made for them. Space is clearly inhabited beyond the Southern Sun, so why aren't people who want to leave allowed to just leave? It's not hard to see the mutineers as simply trying to escape the flying jail they were unlucky enough to be born in, even if they are going about it in a bad way. The best the movie can muster against them is that the mutineers are wrong because their plans go against some nebulous, ill-defined "law of the universe."
  • Species: Dr. Xavier Fitch says they made the alien female because they assumed she'd be more docile, which is seen as funny by Preston and it's actually untrue as female members in Earthly predatory species tend to be more aggressive than males (it's mostly mammals who buck the trend). But by doing so they actually may have bought themselves more time, considering a female only can have one partner and reproduce more or less one by one while a male can have multiple ones at once and impregnate all of them. And considering what we see of the clearly more dangerous male hybrid in Species II, he turns out to be pretty close to being entirely accurate. Basically, Right for the Wrong Reasons.
  • Spy Game. The CIA officials are shown as ruthless Obstructive Bureaucrats that are fully willing to let Tom Bishop be executed. On close examination however:
    • Bishop was caught red-handed by the Chinese - a Chinese spy caught red-handed by the US would likely get a life without parole (if s/he were lucky). As cruel as it sounds, this is a professional risk of a spy. Especially for, as Bishop was, operating on a non-official cover.
    • No one knows if the Chinese are actually willing to execute Bishop - in diplomatese, such threat is often a call to the bidding table, to see how much the US are willing to sacrifice in order to get their man back. The fact that the CIA officials do not talk about any negotiations does not mean they are not happening. (Especially considering US and China are about to sign a major trade agreement; Bishop's capture is a good opportunity to the Chinese to negotiate some benefits in exchange for the spy.)
    • Bishop's action was unauthorized by his superiors - by going rogue, he jeopardized multiple other cover agents in China. Sacrificing one agent to save an entire network of spies is cold, but hardly irrational.
    • Muir finally saves Bishop by faking a written order and sending a navy SEAL team to retrieve him and Hadley by force. Considered the relations between the US and China at the moment are far from an open military conflict, this is an act of war. (And it's against a major economic and military power, that is...) It's rather unlikely that Muir began a WWIII, but still, some more or less nasty international repercussions will follow.
  • Star Trek: First Contact: The movie tries to portray Starfleet Command as being their usual Obstructive Bureaucrat selves when they refuse to allow Captain Picard and the Enterprise-E to join up with the task force intercepting the Borg because they claim he is too unstable when dealing with the Borg. However, while Picard disobeying their orders is what saves the day at the battle of Earth, their fears prove to be well founded when his Revenge Before Reason mindset nearly hands the Borg victory on a platter later on.
  • Star Trek: Insurrection: This is a common criticism of the film, as Picard and his crew mutiny rather than remove people who aren't even native to a planet, number less than 1000, who're sitting on a literal fountain of youth that could save the lives of millions...all during the Dominion War, a conflict the Federation is badly losing at this point, where it could turn the tide in their favor. What's even worse, is that if the Federation and its allies lose the war, they predict that over a hundred billion people will die. Of course, strawman villains are used to shore up Picard's side as being right - the bad guys are dog-kickers who want revenge on the pacifist Baku (plus they're ugly), so by the movie's logic this makes it okay. Even many cast members (including the director, Jonathan Frakes), felt that in this case removing the Baku would have been acceptable. The sad part is that this would have been easily avoided by having the reveal be that the slaving drug dealing Dominion allies they were working with were lying about the benefits.
  • In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, there are a lot of questionable lessons imparted in the movie. The biggest one is that Poe's character development is supposed to be becoming less of a hot-head, but in the context of the universe and previous stories, his actions are actually right, and Vice-Admiral Holdo refusing to tell anybody what the plan was, or that there even was a plan, gets a number of people killed. If he also hadn't led the bombing run to destroy the cruiser (and the bombers all went forth on their own volition), the cruiser might well have destroyed their fleet as soon as the First Order tracked them through Hyperspace.
  • Lex Luthor in Superman Returns accuses Superman of selfishly withholding the advanced alien technology he inherited from his dad, so that the planet is forced to stay dependent on Superman. While he is probably wrong about Superman's motives, he has a point. Sharing, say, what Kryptonian science knows about medicine or space travel or producing food would probably save a lot more lives than individually putting out fires with super breath. There are a few hints at an explanation in the first movienote , but the lack of detail of what is permitted, why it is in place and how this is supposed to be enforced — if it even has enforcement — leaves it somewhat lacking as a response (in addition to not being raised in the same film).
  • In the Killer Bee movie The Swarm, Michael Caine's character, Dr Bradford Crane, is clearly supposed to be the hero and Richard Widmark's General Slater the villain. The trouble is that all of the schemes for dealing with the bees suggested by Slater all seem eminently sensible but are shot down by Crane on the grounds of the "environmental damage" (even after the bees have already blown up a nuclear reactor, killing upwards of 30,000 people) whilst none of Crane's schemes actually work until the end. On top of that, Crane defeats the swarm of bees by setting an oil slick on fire, even though that is not exactly great for the environment.
  • Teaching Mrs. Tingle: the title character is a high school Sadist Teacher who has it in for the lead character, who is just trying to become valedictorian. At the start of the film, Mrs. Tingle gives a C grade to a project she worked six months on, a historical recreation of the diary of a girl accused of being a witch during the time of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. Except that the diary describes witch-burnings, whereas the accused witches at Salem were all hanged, except for the one man who was crushednote , meaning the teacher was well within her rights to mark the assignment down. Later, Mrs. Tingle tries to report the lead for cheating — after she finds a copy of an upcoming test in her backpack. One needn't be a villain not to be convinced by the girl's claim that "Someone else put that there, I didn't want it!"
  • In The Time Machine (2002), the Uber-Morlock is ostensibly heartless for justifying his clan preying on the human Eloi as "800,000 years of evolution," but his arguments come off as far more convincing than those of the protagonist. Alexander simply claims that it's a perversion of natural law, only based on the standards of his time and ignoring what went on for those 800 millennium. On the other hand, the Uber-Morlock retorts that his Time Machine is just as much a perversion, made as an attempt for Alexander to control the world around him, and he goes into detail explaining how fate has led to his current state just as it had led to the Uber-Morlock's existence.
  • In Wayne's World, an "evil" businessman (played by 90s-sleezeball-incarnate Rob Lowe) offers our heroes, Wayne and Garth, a $10,000 advance to do a professionalized version of their public access TV show, securing money to sponsor the show from a successful local businessman. Wayne, addressing the audience in an earlier scene, tells us that this exact scenario is his wildest fantasy. A studio is rented, sets are built, cast and crew (including a professional announcer) are paid, promotions secure a sizable audience, and a premiere date is set. This would be fine if he wanted to be professional, but the changes just make him uncomfortable and not being allowed to mock the sponsor is the last straw that makes him quit. If this was the story of a struggling actor being put on a late-night show, he would look like an uncompromising fool who can't deal with executives when both stand to benefit. It's not, so this subplot gets dropped.
  • In the made-for-TV movie Zenon: The Zequel, General Hammond (no, not that one) arrives to decommission the station, which was still suffering the after-effects of the sabotage in the previous film. His actions are seen by the main characters as evil. Here's what he really does: decommission an unstable space station before it falls to Earth, doing untold damage, attempt to apprehend a girl who thinks it's ok to smuggle aboard a shuttle, chase after spaceship thieves, and other actions perfectly in line with what any good soldier or policeman would do.


Example of: