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    • On at least one occasion, the audience is supposed to support Jack in his hatred of the 'wishy washy liberal human rights lawyer' who (quite correctly) calls Jack on his tendency to illegally hold people with no firm evidence and then torture them into giving him information. In Season 4, Jack even yells "How can you sleep at night!" at a human rights lawyer brought in to defend one of Jack's prisoners who has every right to have an attorney. Season 7 attempts to address this tendency with a few scenes of introspection but ultimately still cheers Jack on as he runs around shooting and kidnapping people. Jack has had torture fail before, and at least on one occasion tortured someone who really didn't know anything, but the writers didn't do more than have Jack angst instead of showing real consequences of using torture that have been around since Medieval Europe — not that it can make people tell you the truth, but that it can make people tell you anything you want, even if they're not actually guilty of anything. Police states make use of torture not primarily for obtaining information, but confessions, which can be trotted out as "proof" later.
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    • In Season 5, Lynn McGill is portrayed as being mentally unstable for accusing almost every single member of CTU of conspiring against him. However, since many of them, from Buchanan on down are seen to have been conspiring against McGill, or at least keeping vital information from him, he does have something of a point.
    • Ryan Chappelle. The regional division director of CTU comes in to assume control of the Los Angeles branch on several occasions throughout the first three seasons, and is often chastised or made to be in the wrong for taking a by-the-book approach to terrorist situations:
      • In season one, Jack Bauer is placed in CTU custody after rescuing his family from Ira Gaines. Chappelle comes in and debriefs him, but when Jack asks to be reinstated, the director says that he broke too many protocols and can't be brought back on active duty. The only reason Jack later gets reinstated is because David Palmer pulls rank and has a friend from Washington call the director to force him to reinstate his agent. This is despite Chappelle having spent the previous hour soliciting opinions from Jack's co-workers before making any decision. Chappelle then (correctly) points out later that Jack's involvement has resulted in him being captured after discovering Victor Drazen's location, and CTU has to bail him out. Although Chappelle doesn't authorize the hostage exchange for Alexis Drazen, Palmer once again goes over his head and convinces George Mason to authorize it.
      • In season two, Chappelle appears again after CTU is bombed. For his part in asking the staff to continue planning a military assault on several nations that were believed to have contributed to a plan to detonate a nuke on U.S. soil, he gets drugged and placed in a closet. Later, he arrests Tony and Michelle Dessler after he wakes up and is once again made out to be the bad guy for stalling their operation, even though he thought he was the director and no one bothered to sway his opinion before the duo knocked him out.
      • In the third season, he's made to look insensitive (and is called out by several people) because he fires Chloe O'Brien for taking care of a baby during office hours. He's right, though — one of his lead analysts is distracted by a baby at a time when a terrorist is conducting chemical attacks on American soil, and their lead resource (Jack) is in a precarious position in a South American country.
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    • In season seven, Senator Mayer is clearly supposed to be seen in the wrong for wanting to put Jack on trial after CTU is disbanded (and is shocked when Jack calls the trial an "agenda" and smirks at him). Mayer is right, though — aside from the instance pointed out above where Jack tortured a suspect, there are several other borderline-illegal interrogations done over the course of the series. Mayer is also supposed to be evil because he shut down CTU, but he's quite justified. CTU was the site of many inside moles working for the enemy, incompetence, internal sabotage, several terrorist attacks, a civilian shooting a terrorist, car crashes and much more. After that kind of track record, it's a surprise they weren't shut down or reformed earlier.
  • All in the Family had this problem a few times. Audiences were always supposed to see Archie Bunker as wrong, no matter what, even when he actually made more sense than Mike. The worst is the infamous exchange in "Archie and the KKK Part 1" where Mike tries to justify people looting and stealing because they were poor and needed it. Archie rightfully points out that it's still stealing, and most of the people that did steal didn't steal living necessities like food and clothing, they stole frivolous luxury goods like cars.
    Mike: Arch, poor people steal, hungry people steal!
    Archie: Oh yeah? That's why in that July blackout there they drove fifty cars out of the showrooms on account of they had a craving to eat a Pontiac.?
    Mike: Yes they have a craving, because the media advertisers create that craving! They tell the people what they should want, and they tell them that they're nothing unless they run right out and get it! Well what the hell are they supposed to do?
    Archie: They're supposed to go out and work for a buck!
    • Mike then claims there are no jobs available, to which Archie points out that there are in fact jobs available. They may be blue collar jobs that are unpleasant and not glamorous, but they are there and will accept anyone willing to do a hard day's work for an honest paycheck. Archie himself was a high school dropout who had been working blue collar jobs since he was a teenager to support his family and he was able to put a roof over their heads and food on the table.
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    • In another episode, Archie makes surprising salient points about how big corporations encouraged everyone to buy electronic products, and even made life difficult without them, only to, once they'd made their "billions and billions of dollars," turn around and start demanding that people save energy and go without.
    • Archie is made to be a racist idiot just because he doesn't want to eat his Chinese food with chopsticks in "Mike Meets Archie." The fact is that most Westerners simply don't know how to use chopsticks correctly. All Archie wanted was a fork to eat the food that he probably paid for, and he was still given a bunch of crap.
    • Yet another exchange has anti-gun Gloria citing the high number of homicides in America committed with handguns as one of her reasons for her stance. Archie immediately responds by asking whether she would feel better if the homicides were committed by some other method, such as pushing the victims out of windows. Gloria dismisses this illogical, but data proves that prohibiting handguns doesn't necessarily prevent homicides, as seen when the homicide rate in Great Britain rose following the 1997 handgun ban before the country took other measures to decrease violent crime.
  • All My Children: Adam Chandler finds out that his ex-wife Dixie has been sleeping around and that her latest conquest is an 18-year-old boy. At this, he files for full custody of their son. Everyone in town sees him as an evil bastard and her as a sweet, innocent victim when he has every right to be concerned about her fitness as a parent.
    • Most soaps have shades of this, the other ". . .Has A Point" tropes, and the Designated Villain trope. A second look at many of their storylines will find that the supposed bad guys were actually right.
  • Babylon 5:
    • During a Flash Forward to a hundred years in the future, where historians are debating the role and morality of the actions of Sheridan and his disciples, an aged Delenn tells them off for talking drivel and listening only to what they want to hear. But from the point of view of real historiography they're presenting valid viewpoints given the data available to them. After all, extraordinary claims do require extraordinary evidence, and given how momentous Sheridan's actions were it would be very unprofessional for a historian to unquestioningly buy into the story. On the other hand, Delenn was a close friend, confidant, and lover of Sheridan, so it's understandable that she'd stick up for all of the friends and family she had at that time. Doesn't mean that she's right for doing this, but it makes her position a little more reasonable. The charitable interpretations of the scene run head on into J Michael Straczynski's own words in the DVD Commentary, in which he outright declares that the scene was an expression of his disgust with historians who try to explain events in terms of large-scale social, economic and geopolitical forces, who he thinks are pathetic losers who just want to tear down the Great People who achieved things.
    • Garibaldi and Sheridan's fight in Season 4. Later it's revealed that Garibaldi had been manipulated by telepaths and they make up after Garibaldi apologizes. Upon reflection, though, Garibaldi's critiques of Sheridan make a lot of sense — Sheridan really is building a huge army loyal to him personally, he's encouraging or at least allowing a cult of personality to build up around him stating that he has mystical powers, and he's leaving his friends and co-officers out of the decision making process. Since Sheridan's a fictional character he never abuses his position, but he continues to wield massive, essentially unchecked personal power from this point for the rest of his remaining lifespan. In real life, Garibaldi would be perfectly correct to not approve of this, and Sheridan never really addresses concerns on these points.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003):
    • Before he leaps headlong into the Moral Event Horizon by massacring the Quorum of Twelve, Tom Zarek seems to be the Only Sane Man among the upper political leadership. For a season-and-a-half, he assumes the role of Vice President and has legitimate grounds on two occasions to be named President in Roslin's absence, but is overruled by Bill and/or Lee for little reason beyond "Bill doesn't like you". He is then forced to spend his time placating the Quorum and lobbying Lee as an ally while the command crew gives more and more preferential treatment to the Cylons (the enemy who's been hunting them throughout the series), culminating in Galactica attempting to force ships throughout the fleet to accept Cylon upgrades. Yet, he's made to seem in the wrong because he's not kowtowing to Roslin and Bill and responding on behalf of many ships throughout the fleet.
  • The Beast: This review of this Made-for-TV Movie points how the characterization in the film suffers badly from this trope. We are meant to cheer for the Designated Hero Whip Dalton and boo the Designated Villain Schuyler Graves. Unfortunately, practically the only sign we're given that Graves is evil is when he's criticizing Whip for destroying a raft that Graves was trying to claim as his property — perfectly legitimately in accordance with maritime law.
  • Beverly Hills, 90210's infamous "Donna Martin Graduates" storyline, though it's More like "Strawman Is Absolutely Right", with a little Designated Villain and Unintentionally Unsympathetic thrown in. The school administration explicitly warns the students that having or consuming alcohol at the senior prom is strictly forbidden and that anyone breaking this rule will be suspended, barred from graduation activities, and have to attend summer school. So Donna gets drunk, gets the punishment. . . and we're supposed to feel sorry for her and see the administration as the bad guys? Um, no. Donna's mother Felice was also frequently portrayed as an overbearing bitch, and she was portrayed this way again during this storyline. But she has every right to be angry at the parents who served her underage daughter alcohol and at Donna herself, who drank the champagne.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The Knights of Byzantium in season 5 are pretty harsh: they plan on killing Buffy's younger sister, "The Key", to prevent a Hellgod from another dimension from using her to open a portal back to her dimension that would plunge this world into chaos. As hard as it is to blame Buffy for defending her sister and going against this, the fact remains that in doing so she is risking the fate of the entire world merely to attempt to save one magically created metaphysical entity that Buffy falsely believes to be her sister. Looking at things from a rational standpoint, what the Knights are trying to do makes perfect sense, and in fact Buffy comes to agree with that after a few years of Character Development, telling Giles in season 7 that if given the choice again she would sacrifice Dawn for the good of the world.
    • The Social Worker from the episode "Gone". We're meant to hate her for making Buffy's life harder and cheer Buffy on when she's invisible and gets revenge, but really, Buffy's in no state to look after a teenage girl with issues, even if she is her sister, especially considering the way she handled that was by making the social worker look like she was insane to her boss. Way to make sure that other children are being looked after, Buffy.
    • Xander is portrayed as a Strawman after the initial shock and dismay of Angel being back from hell has worn off on the Scoobies. The audience is supposed to feel that Xander is just being jealous and can't understand the love that Buffy and Angel share. Except that he is totally correct in that Angel is a huge threat, which he proved in the previous season when he lost his soul. Everyone eventually gets over the fact that they were tortured or attacked except for Xander and brings up that Buffy should slay or at the very least not be in contact with him several times over the next few episodes, for which Willow and Buffy admonish him. Buffy assures them that she is keeping things professional, but every time we see them they are making out. This wouldn't be a problem if she knew exactly how far she could go before he would lose his soul, but the terms of his curse are vague at best and it can be broken by other means.
    • Ironically, Buffy and Xander end up on the opposite side of the argument when it turns out that Anya, Xander's vengeance demon ex-fiance, is responsible for several deaths. Buffy instantly decides she's a danger and needs to be killed, Xander disagrees because... well, it's the person he's in love with this time and anyway they're kind of used to their friends turning evil by now. In the end, Willow decides to Take a Third Option.
    • Willow's first meeting with the Wiccan group where she meets Tara. The Wiccans dismiss Willow for suggesting they try actual magic, as they would do in any real life school. They're portrayed as being close-minded posers, despite the masquerade being in effect and as far as they're concerned, Willow's suggestion is no more valid than it would be in real life. Also worth noting that Wicca is a real life religion. And while they do believe in magic as part of their faith, expecting them to be magic practitioners because of that is... potentially offensive.
  • Carrusel: Jorge tells on Bibi, since Bibi was cheating on a test. The audience is supposed to take Bibi's side, since Jorge is such an abominable character overall. But cheating is wrong. It is unfair for Bibi to cheat and get away with it. And at age 9, nobody will be faulted for saying it loud and immediately instead of waiting till later and telling the teacher in private.
  • Castle: Captain Gates is seen as a hard-ass who wants Castle gone from the precinct, in direct opposition to former Captain Montgomery's permissive role with him. She is seen as only keeping him on at the Mayor's word, and each time she can (when Beckett's not officially in the precinct anymore) she jettisons him. But of course she has the point that Castle's not a cop and shouldn't be there when the person he's basing his novels on is not in the precinct... no matter how helpful he truly is to the investigation.
  • Casualty: One rather odd storyline expected the audience to hate locum consultant Dominic Carter because registrar Tom Kent holds a grudge against him for an incident when Dominic covered up a mistake made by a junior colleague and Tom reported him. Yet most of the time Dominic was the one in the right. He treats a teenage girl who fell down some stairs for the injuries she sustained and tells her to see her GP about feeling unwell. She later turns out to have meningitis but she was showing no symptoms when Dominic examined her. When Tom calls Dominic out on this, Dominic points out Tom also failed to diagnose her so Tom punches him, escaping punishment after a half-hearted apology. Then Dominic wants to declare a baby with severe hypothermia dead but Tom insists on continuing with a resuscitation and gets his heart going again. He's hailed as a hero but Dominic rightly points out the child is still seriously ill and even if he survives will probably be brain-damaged. Dominic is promptly sacked as a liability. To compound the problem, Tom then tries to attack colleague Dylan Keogh simply because he told the truth when questioned about Tom punching Dominic and Dylan resigns (although that's mostly down to not being able to work with Tom when he's sleeping with Dylan's ex-wife), meaning Tom has cost the department two doctors. Who exactly is the liability?
  • Criminal Minds:
    • Any time anyone doubts the legitimacy of offender profiling, particularly when it's the only evidence for an arrest. In real life, profiling has never been proved to be effective and tests show "experts" have no more success with it than laymen. In the episode "Tabula Rasa" there is an especially egregious example where Hotchner is testifying at a criminal trial. When the defense lawyer claims that the FBI's "profilers" are doing is simply cold reading, Hotchner responds by cold reading the defense lawyer. This of course defeats this lawyer despite actually proving his point. Even though Hotchner was correct in his predictions, this does not prove anything of value. If that was a real defense lawyer of any skill, he should have called a fake psychic to do the exact same thing as a rebuttal witness. Of course at the end of the episode, as always, they end up proving themselves correct with other evidence.
    • In-Universe: during "25 to Life", the team deduces the correct UnSub via the profile but are stopped from arresting him by Erin Strauss, who points out that they have no actual physical evidence. This is the only time the team is prevented from an arrest after profiling the right criminal a situation that came up because the profiled criminal is a Congressman, someone they'd need to be sure is guilty before trying anything with him. The team eventually gets around this by confronting the Congressman while he was hosting a party, showing off his hand which has scars on it that gives the team the evidence it needs to arrest him.
    • In early seasons the team's initial profiles being so general that local law enforcement pointed out that they applied to half the people in the area was actually a minor running gag.
  • The Daily Show: On the March 18, 2010 episode, while making fun of Glenn Beck making fun of progressives, Jon Stewart lampshades this when he says "Hmm... Strawman-Slippery-Slope-Dumb-Guy might have a point."
  • The Defenders (2017):
    • Daredevil (2015): Mitchell Ellison made the right call not to print Ben's article on Wilson Fisk killing his father, on the grounds that it was based completely on the hearsay of Fisk's senile mother. Unlike his article on Union Allied, all of Ben's information regarding Bill Fisk came from informant testimony with no hard evidence. Ben is trying to take down a major criminal who's got good publicity with the press, using nothing but hearsay, and wonders why no one would listen. The show itself seems to acknowledge this as Ellison is ultimately revealed to only be a Red Herring for Fisk's actual mole at the paper, meaning everything he said was genuine.
      • Ellison has another case of this season 3. Upon word of Fisk being released from prison, he makes clear to Karen (who's having dinner with him and his family when the call comes in) that she can't be a part of the Bulletin coverage of Fisk because she's biased. Karen thinks he's being unreasonable, countering that she knows more about Fisk than anyone else on staff, and the Bulletin is going to have bias problems regardless of who reports on Fisk since Fisk killed Ben Urich (and as far as the public was concerned, Ben was still working for the paper at the time of his death, since he was killed literally the same night he was fired). But in this case, Ellison's call is rather reasonable: unlike all the other reporters on the staff, Karen was involved in the events that led up to Fisk's arrest, including the Union Allied scandal and Fisk's two attempts to have her killed over it (plus things Ellison doesn't know about yet like her murder of James Wesley). This means Karen has a major conflict of interest, with Ellison pointing out, "If people see your name and your connection to Fisk, it compromises this paper!" especially when it leaves the paper open to libel lawsuits from Fisk. So this is a case where Both Sides Have a Point. (There's also an implication that Karen might be on thin ice with Ellison given her prior misuse of Bulletin resources to aid and abet Frank Castle during The Punisher (2017) season 1, which may not have happened that long before Daredevil season 3.)
      • While it's framed partially as Ellison being angry over Dex wounding him and murdering several reporters in the course of his attack on the Bulletin to get rid of Jasper Evans, Ellison's demand for Karen to tell him what she knows about the real Daredevil is reasonable as Karen knows information that might help the police in their investigation.
    • Luke Cage (2016):
      • Rafael Scarfe may be crooked and on Cottonmouth's payroll, but when he makes remarks after Luke's raid on Crispus Attucks about why he celebrates a vigilante helping cops out after years of investigation with no payoff, his argument makes a lot of sense. Especially when corruption is Inherent in the System and Differently Powered Individuals exist everywhere. It helps that there were no deaths, so even if he wasn't trained like Misty complained, Luke was able to go in a place full of armed gangsters without any real danger. Sure, Scarfe is corrupt, and he basically advocates the NYPD giving up and Holding Out for a Hero, but until they find a secret Muggle Power (which ultimately turns out to be Diamondback's Judas bullets), it's not like they can do anything about it.
      • Another instance occurs in the final episode of season 1 with Misty. Inspector Ridley slams her for not trusting her fellow officers enough to protect Candace Miller, and the show seems to paint Misty's poor judgement as the reason Mariah Dillard goes free. However, this seems to ignore the fact that this was the same NYPD recently revealed to be mired with Dirty Cops, one of whom was Scarfe, Misty's own partner. Coupled on with the fact that it's only been a matter of months since it was uncovered that large numbers of NYPD officers were in Wilson Fisk's pocket, it's not hard to see why Misty would've had reservations trusting her colleagues.
      • Thomas Ridenhour in season 2 is another case of this. While he's stonewalling Misty's efforts to investigate Mariah, and is a former high school sweetheart of Mariah's, he's as invested in trying to stop the criminal violence in Harlem as the other NYPD detectives. Just...he's not as good at it, as shown by his efforts to use Comanche as an informant.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "The Dominators", the villainous Rago repeatedly tells Toba to conserve their power by not just murdering everyone on the island like Toba wants — clearly, Rago is a canny leader and Toba's a paranoid psychopath, fair enough. Except Rago's plan absolutely would have worked if Toba had just murdered everyone on the island (which would have included the Doctor, Jamie, Zoe, and Cully, the only people on the island who want to fight back).
    • In the serial "The Invasion", aspiring glamour photographer Isobel suggests getting proof of the Cybermen's presence in the sewers by going down to take pictures. The Brigadier agrees, but intends to use his own men instead, on the basis that such a situation is no place for a lady. Isobel blows up at how backward and sexist he's being, but the Brig refuses, and both girls gang up on Jamie for agreeing with him and both she and Zoe walk away in a huff to get the pics themselves with Jamie worriedly tagging along, which ends up getting a police officer and a UNIT soldier sent to rescue them killed. While it could easily be argued that the Brig was in the wrong to assume they could not handle themselves for being women, it might have been better to let trained and experienced soldiers do the dangerous work, and neither of the girls are called out for their reckless actions getting two men killed. To add insult to injury, Isobel's photos end up being useless since she's never done any surveillance or dim-lighting photography.
    • In "The Curse of Peladon", Hepesh is treated as an unreasonable nationalist willing to do anything not to deal with the Second Great and Bountiful Human Empire. But "The Mutants" two serials later shows that an earlier Human Empire did to the planet Solos exactly what Hepesh feared would happen to Peladon, exploited to the point of destruction and with the native population almost wiped out. Later in "The Monster of Peladon" it's shown a lot of the miners on Peladon feel they are being exploited, and "Planet of the Ood" would give another good reason to dislike the empire.
    • In "The Time Monster", Ruth Ingram is supposed to be an obnoxious Straw Feminist who treats men the way sexist men treat women. However, her initial complaint about her boss banging on about his 'male superiority' is bang on the money, since her boss goes around calling himself The Master. The Master also treats her in a sexist way (inexplicably), saying things to her that are wildly inappropriate by anyone's standards and treating her less experienced male colleague like the boss rather than her. Her one sexist line to Benton ("Just stand over there and look pretty") is also played by both actors involved as being mutually enjoyed flirting rather than an insult. All in all, she comes off as being a reasonable feminist, if perhaps a bit prone to hyperbole when talking about legitimate grievances.
    • The Doctor (beginning with the Fourth) often criticised the Time Lords for sitting around being pompous instead of using their powers to intervene more, content to let whole civilisations be destroyed on their watch. However with all the dangerous renegades like the Monk, the War Chief, the Master, and the Rani running around with all the damage they cause, and the Doctor himself often centimetres away from full A God Am I status, it makes sense the Time Lords prefer not to intervene except for major problems. When they first appeared they did interfere in a reasonable manner, the Doctor calling them in to stop a plan to conquer a galaxy with an Army of the Ages assisted by a rogue Time Lord. Later the Time Lords occasionally sent the Doctor, especially the Third, to assist affairs on an important scale. That's before considering that when the Time Lords intervened in "The Trial of a Time Lord" this action almost destroyed Earth, and when they sent the Doctor to destroy the Daleks before they were created it ended up being the first shot in a Great Offscreen War that nearly destroyed the universe. The serial "Underworld" even revealed that when the Time Lords first interacted with another planet by giving them advanced technology, the planet and nearly all of the species were wiped out. Their most interventionist Lord President, Morbius, was also a dictator, cult leader and war criminal who was eventually executed for his conquests.
    • Whizzkid in "Greatest Show In The Galaxy" is a cruel stereotype of the Doctor Who fans of the period, complaining that "although I never saw it in the early days I know it's not as good as it used to be." Except, as pointed out in The Completely Useless Encyclopedia, Whizkid is right about the circus, and the reasons are pretty much exactly the criticisms fans were making about eighties Doctor Who.
    • "The Parting of the Ways" has the Ninth Doctor decline from destroying Earth along with the Daleks, claiming it's the morally better choice to not wipe out humanity. However the episode had just a moment before shown the Daleks attacking Earth so heavily they have probably wiped out at least nearly all of humanity. By the time the Daleks confront the Doctor he is quite possibly the only non-Dalek in range of the Delta Wave and the Daleks will exterminate him anyway. The Doctor even points out earlier that the human race has traveled to other worlds and will survive. The Daleks surviving means they'll attack more worlds and give humanity much less chance of surviving, and it's only a literal Deus ex Machina from Rose that saves the Universe from the Daleks.
    • In "The Sontaran Stratagem", the Doctor insists that he is going to handle the situation and that Colonel Mace of UNIT should listen to him and not attack the Sontarans who has already killed several dozen people and are warming up a full force invasion. While the Doctor is right that something fishy is going on with the Sontaran tactics and that UNIT could easy be crushed if the Sontarans actually tried, Colonel Mace is dealing with an alien invasion; he knows that attacking that building may end with all of his men dead, but he points out that they cannot simply sit around and wait to be conquered.
      • As a subversion of usual usage of the trope, this becomes a Big Damn Heroes moment where UNIT successfully counters the Sontaran's advantages and wipes out the ground forces while the Doctor takes care of the superweapons and the ship in orbit.
      • In this particular instance, much of Colonel Mace's trenchant personality is a response to the Doctor's outright antagonistic attitude towards the UNIT soldiers' use of guns. Colonel Mace probably would've been more inclined to listen to the Doctor's warnings, and hence, minimize deaths on his side, if the Doctor had someone like Rose around to rein him in, as that was something Rose was shown to do many times during her tenure with Nine and Ten. There were smarter ways to play it, and those would've happened if the Doctor hadn't antagonized Mace for the last hour.

    • Both Harriet Jones and Torchwood One are presented by both the Doctor and the script writers as being entirely in the wrong for activities such as harvesting alien technology. Problem is that the Doctor is reckless, and treats death like a game and he is someone who is not likely to be there when the Earth needs him and he is responsible through his indirect actions for a good portion of the threats the Earth encounters.
    • This is done even worse in "Journey's End", where the Doctor is disgusted when his clone destroys the Dalek fleet and treats him like a monster, the narrative using him to demonstrate how much the Doctor has morally improved since travelling with Rose. Even though the Daleks are fanatical mass-murderers who never negotiate and letting them live would inevitably lead to countless more deaths. They had just come close to destroying the Universe and it probably wouldn't be too difficult for them to try again, and from what we see the Doctor was just willing to leave them like they were.
    • This is possibly acknowledged in "The Day of the Doctor". Originally the future Doctors treated the War Doctor like a monster for destroying Gallifrey with the Daleks. Later 10 and 11 meet him just before he does so and realise he wasn't evil and there was genuinely no other way for him other than the universe being destroyed. Of course they then proceed to save Gallifrey with a Tricked Out Time gambit but acknowledge that one Doctor couldn't have done it and it takes all 13 to do so.
    • In "Day of the Doctor", Ten and Eleven criticize Kate Stewart for being willing to blow up the Black Archive (and a good chunk of London with it) in order to keep the Zygons from using the technology stored in the Archive to conquer Earth. Sure, the Doctors came up with an alternate solution, but it is literally one that could only be enacted by a third party.
    • In "Arachnids in the U.K.," the 13th Doctor savages the villainous hotelier (and Donald Trump Expy) for shooting one of the dying giant spiders to death and dismissing it as a "mercy killing." However, even though the hotelier's heart was unquestionably in the wrong place, it's not at all clear that the Doctor's approach (letting the thousands of spiders slowly asphyxiate due to their overscaled breathing physiology) was any more merciful ... or even remotely as merciful.
  • ER: The early portrayal of Dr. Anspaugh. We're supposed to see him as gruff, unyielding and unfair to poor Carter, who wants to switch his residency to emergency medicine. He does come around, but really, his arguments against residents just switching residencies on a whim ring true.
  • Frasier:
    • In "Room Full of Heroes", Niles begins to say, in-character as Martin, that he and Frasier were disappointments to him. Martin sharply cuts him off and says he's portraying him as a "drunken judgmental jackass". While Niles was certainly over the line and had indeed had a few beers, considering how Martin treats the two of them and routinely expresses exasperation about their behaviour, it's hard not to see why Niles would think this way.
    • In one episode, the three go to Martin's favorite restaurant. It's supposed to be about Frasier and Niles being snooty, which, duh, they are, except...the first thing that happens when they walk in the door is the hostess using a pair of scissors to cut up their (expensive, designer silk) ties and pinning the rags to the wall, as Martin laughs and says it's one of the best draws of the place. We're supposed to think that Frasier and Niles are stick-in-the-muds who can't just have a good time like regular Joes. But really, who would want to patronize a business that destroys its customers' property and treats it like a joke? And since Martin knew about it, he comes across not as the example of blue-collar bonhomie the show wants you to see, but rather a malicious Jerkass who enjoys humiliating his sons.
  • Friends:
    • In "The One With The Cat", Phoebe encounters a cat and suddenly gets the vibe that it's the reincarnation of her dead mother. Fair enough — except the cat has an owner, an eight-year-old girl to be precise — and Phoebe refuses to give it back. It doesn't sound like she's joking either, she seems serious about it. When Ross calls her out on it, Phoebe basically accuses him of being intolerant of her beliefs and he is eventually pressured into apologising to the cat. Behind Phoebe's back, the others actually agree with Ross, but they don't support him when he actually confronts Phoebe. While Ross could've been a tad calmer about the whole thing, even contemplating the idea of stealing someone else's pet was definitely low of Phoebe.
    • Joey not wanting to share food is portrayed as a selfish character trait. Except in the episode the girl he doesn't share food with simply grabs it off his plate without even asking. And on the second date she orders a salad and then asks to eat some of his food as well. Joey has a right to be annoyed since if she wanted to eat his food, why didn't she order it for herself? In other episodes he seems happy enough to let Phoebe have some of his food when she asks nicely whereas this girl simply looks at his food, asks "are those stuffed clams?" and then reaches out to grab one.
    • In the season 4 finale Emily wants to call off the wedding and move it to a later date because the venue has undergone sudden construction work. Monica tries to explain to Ross about how Emily has been dreaming of her wedding her entire life and thus her wishes come first. Except Ross, Joey, Monica, Chandler and Ross's parents had flown all the way from America to England and they had already spent a fortune on planning the wedding so Emily's wanting to move the wedding last minute comes across as pretty unpractical.
  • Gilmore Girls: Mitchum Huntzberger is portrayed as villainous for telling Rory he doesn't think she has it after she does some work experience at his newspaper. The thing is Rory is incredibly sheltered, doesn't join in with any ideas at a meeting about using university students (such as herself) to cover events and when told this she meekly accepts it instead of showing any sort of anger or telling him he's wrong.
  • Glee:
    • Kurt relentlessly pursues Finn, knowing full well that Finn is straight. He orchestrates their parents into getting together to get closer to Finn. When they move in together, they end up sharing a room. Kurt redecorates it romantically and Finn, fed up with Kurt's advances, gets angry and ends up using the word "fag." Kurt's father Burt hears that and throws Finn out of the house for it. While it's obvious Finn should not have used that word, Kurt's behavior was straight-up sexual harassment. While the writers intended the scene to make Finn the wrong one, over the hiatus, they heard fans' reactions and in season two wrote in a scene where Burt calls Kurt out for his dishonesty and how things would be different if Finn pursued a girl that way.
    • Bryan Ryan, a guest character played by Neil Patrick Harris, is an ex-glee-clubber who goes on a crusade against school arts programs out of his own frustration that his singing and acting career didn't exactly pan out. While the point is lost in how far he takes it—basically encouraging the kids to give up on the arts altogether—he's not wrong that most of them will not make it in showbiz and that they should have back-up plans to avoid being miserable in adulthood. The show doesn't help by having background characters like Tina be the ones to argue for their arts dreams.
    • Upon his return, Jesse St. James is painted as a massive Jerkass for pointing out things like being talented isn't an excuse not to practice and rehearse. More than a few people in fandom agreed, and some even went so far as to say they were hoping New Directions didn't win at Nationals, since the fact that they weren't preparing any songs, weren't prepared to practice, and really didn't care showed they didn't deserve to win that year, and agreed with the decision in the finale.
    • In another episode, Will wants Emma to embrace that she has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder by wearing it printed on a tee shirt in front of the club. She chickens out and instead says her flaw is that she is a ginger. When Will confronts her, she says that she did not confess she has a serious mental disorder because as a staff member, it is highly inappropriate to talk about such things with students. And while she does later admit that that was just an excuse and goes out in the ending number with a shirt reading OCD, she was initially quite right that her personal psychiatric health is not a subject she should discuss with her students.
    • In "Guilty Pleasures", Jake wants to sing a Chris Brown song (his musical guilty pleasure), but is railed on by the girls of the New Directions for liking Brown's music, due to Brown's abuse of Rihanna. He defends his position by claiming that you can enjoy someone's music even if you don't approve of the person's actions. It's clear that we're not supposed to agree with him, but it's hard to argue with his point.
    • In "Rumours" Brittany breaks up with Artie because he says, in frustration, "Why are you so stupid?" The reason for his outburst? He'd just learned that Brittany had been cheating on him for months with Santana who'd convinced that it wasn't cheating "if the plumbing was different"—and when Artie pointed out that yes, actually, it was, Brittany refused to listen to him and kept defending Santana. Artie's meant to be seen as the only one in the wrong here, since Brittany is hurt by his words—"You're the only one that never called me stupid"—but, under the circumstances, Artie's angry, frustrated and upset reaction was perfectly justified. (Also, Santana calls Brittany stupid plenty of times, but she never gets called out on it.)
  • The Gruen Transfer: In "The Pitch" segments, some topics, while unsellable, do get mighty-convincing ads. This is naturally intentional, since the whole point is to demonstrate exactly how effective advertising can be at persuasion, even if it's persuading you to accept something unsavoury.
  • House: During Foreman's short stint as a chief of diagnostics in another hospital, he decides to go against protocol: while his team decides on a particular procedure, Foreman follows his intuition and changes the treatment on his own, without informing anyone. This turns out to be a good decision and the patient is saved, yet his boss still fires him for breach of procedures. We're supposed to side with Foreman and consider his boss as a vindictive shrew; yet, what if Foreman had been wrong? Such complete breach of procedure resulting in a patient's death would end up in a massive lawsuit, not to mention heavy damage to the hospital's reputation, and likely being a complete career killer for Foreman. This is actually a frequent problem in the series: the cavalier methods of House and his pals are more or less justified because they work (well, most of the time), but in reality, any failure would end terribly for all involved. This is the main reason why such behavior is heavily discouraged in real life.
    • This goes further when Foreman tries to find a new job and, to his horror, finds out that his ex-boss has spread a word about his actions, making him practically unemployable by any respected hospital. Everyone treats the woman as a traitorous, backstabbing bitch, but she simply warned her colleagues about a major liability they can have on their hands if they hire Foreman.
  • I Love Lucy:
    • In "Redecorating the Mertzes' Apartment", Lucy kindly offers to help Fred and Ethel fix up their apartment, with Ricky even agreeing to pay for all the materials. As Lucy and Ethel begin to reupholster an old chair by taking the feather stuffing out of it, Fred plugs in a fan to get rid of the paint smell. Naturally this ends in disaster with feathers flying all over the place. Fred yells at Lucy about the mess "she" made and blames her for ruining their apartment. "I have?" she understandably fires back, but Ethel agrees with Fred and insists Lucy is to blame because it was all her idea to start with. She is supposedly in the wrong because she butted in. In the end, the Ricardos are forced to give the Mertzes their furniture and so must pay to refurnish their own apartment. The audience is expected to accept that everything turned out fine.
  • Law & Order:
    • Serena Southerlyn was an in-universe version; anytime a defendant had a liberal-leaning defense, she'd jump to their side (i.e. a homeless man claims homelessness made him kill), saying things like "You don't think his lawyer has a point about homelessness being a problem?" She oscillated between just playing the Devil's Advocate and outright missing the point that, in this case, not everyone who is homeless goes off and murders someone (indeed, many homeless people have been the victims of murder, since they are unusually vulnerable). Further, one can agree homelessness is a problem without viewing being a homeless person as by itself a defense to murder charges.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit:
    • An episode where a boy has raped a celebrity, allegedly due to the influence of listening to and idolizing a radio shock jock. The shock jock is portrayed as a complete asshole who cares more about freedom of speech than his point — at one point, he refuses to testify that the perpetrator admitted he'd raped the girl while he was on his show. However, the only reason that he even has to testify to this fact is because the censors took his show off the air in mid-broadcast, before the boy made the confession. Meaning if not for the rampant desire to censor him (which the protagonists of the show shared) there would be a taped, nationally broadcast confession. He is a complete asshole, but he does have a good point.
    • One episode had the detectives interrogating a man whom they suspected of raping a disabled woman. The man insists that the sex was consensual. When the detectives scoff at this, the man chides them for assuming that just because someone is in a wheelchair, he/she is incapable of sexual desires or feelings. While his point is undermined by the fact that he's guilty, it's a valid point just the same.
    • Another episode has a woman allegedly raped by her cop husband. While the squad is very clear that, uniform or no uniform, rape is rape, the marital-rape issues cause more squad-room debate. At one point, when the case has devolved into he-said-she-said and Alex states that the charges may have to be dropped, Cragen asks her if they really want to risk sending the message that a woman claiming her husband raped her had better be battered too. Well, maybe not battered, but since one's mate's DNA in/on one's person is hardly evidence of rape by itself — yeah, some other physical evidence would be helpful. The case is further compounded by the wife often physically attacking her husband, including one on-screen instance where she smacks the back of his head with a frying pan (and not in a comedic way). The cop's buddies don't help his case by asking questions like "how do you rape a wife?" News flash: marital rape is illegal in all 50 states (though the last was only in 1993, just seven years before the episode aired).
    • One episode has a boy who has a psychotic episode and shoots two of his classmates, and so the SVU team blames the pharmaceutical company that produced the pills he was on at the time. When confronted, the representative from the company makes some very valid points: the medication was sent only to people who had already been prescribed it previously, it was sent completely free of charge, the instructions were very clear that it wasn't meant to be taken by children, and it was prescribed to the boy's mother and not the boy himself. The fact that the boy's school demanded he be medicated or he would be expelled doesn't matter. The fact that the mother's HMO refused to cover regular therapy (with a doctor who didn't think the boy needed to be medicated at all) doesn't matter. The fact that the boy's mother, who gave him the pills without reading the instructions or consulting a doctor, continued giving them to him after he developed severe insomnia and paranoid schizophrenia, doesn't matter. All that matters is that Big Pharma is bad, and that's why the CEO is arrested. Granted, the CEO was morally shady (he had pills sent directly to patients through doctors' lists) and he's not charged with murder — only for reckless endangerment and misuse of the mail — but the audience is still expected to think of him as directly, morally culpable for the killings. For extra fun, consider that the doctor who gave his patient list to the pharmaceutical company did it specifically so that his patients could get, free of charge, the medications they needed but couldn't afford!
    • While there are a few sympathetic defense attorneys (Olivia's friend Bayard Ellis being the best-known one), many of them are portrayed as scum and the defenses they present as underhanded and dirty. You'd think that after giving so many Miranda warnings, the detectives would remember that everyone is entitled to a defense. And while some of the defenses are truly outrageous, others are much less bizarre, and some are only strange because they don't line up with the particular case, but would be valid defenses in another case.
    • One episode has a photographer who's a repressed pedophile and sadist, but has never acted on these impulses despite increasing signs that his fantasies are escalating. (He lives across from a school-zone, has built a torture chamber, etc.) He later admits himself on the stand he has no relationship with his son because he was afraid of what he might end up doing to him. But the protagonists basically spend the entire episode trying to have him imprisoned for crimes there is no forensic (or even practical) evidence he committed, they themselves admit that they have a better emotional case than a legal one, and the man is found not guilty. This is supposed to be a moral defeat, despite the simple logic that you can't lock somebody away for something they haven't done just because you are afraid they might do it.
  • Malcolm in the Middle: The boys often have legitimate excuses for acting out (e.g. abusive parents who constantly gripe about how much they’ve sacrificed) it's just that they go so overboard that they lose any sympathy points. For example in "Charity" when Lois forces the boys to help out at a church to build character. They quickly learn that everything they’ve been giving away is better than anything they own. Trading their own stuff can be seen as Throw the Dog a Bone however they soon set up their own black market.
  • M*A*S*H:
    • In one episode, Frank is suspicious of locals burying an unknown object next to a road near the camp and orders it dug up. When it turns out to be a kimchi pot, he's practically called a racist idiot. Except in the wake of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, roadside bombs were the primary cause of coalition casualties plus the use of booby traps in Korea and Vietnam, Frank is wholly justified in being suspicious of something buried beside a road. Especially since a large kimchi pot is a great place to hide a bomb.
    • Throughout the first few seasons Frank and Margaret are always in the wrong for going after Hawkeye and Trapper and undermining Col. Blake's command. The problem is sometimes Hawkeye and Trapper have gone so far in their antics that it could be seen as harassment, bullying, or even criminal actions, and every one in Blake's command saw him as a subpar commander, including Blake himself. It doesn't help that Hawkeye was rightly chewed out by Col. Potter for the same stunt in later seasons that he would have gotten away with under Blake's command, and when Potter showed up he immediately demanded and received the respect that Blake was never given.
  • Memphis Beat: Dwight and the other cops are issued smartphones. They prefer their regular phones, and treat them with contempt. Dwight even quips "there's an app for that" just before he uses his to break a window. Problem is, smartphones can actually increase productivity and effectiveness, with proper training, which Dwight and Co. admittedly had not received (yet). Also, Dwight was risking damage to an expensive phone and associated services on the Memphis taxpayers' dime. The series aired from 2010 to 11, long before smartphones were as ubiquitous as they are today.
  • The Mentalist: Fan-hated Sam Bosco actually has a pretty good point when he says Jane has damaged the team by persuading them to resort to illegal tactics repeatedly in the pursuit of justice. Once, when Rigsby and Cho are trying to convince him to let Jane off for bugging his office, he asks in return if they'd be willing to do borderline illegal things for him in return. When their immediate answer is yes, he reveals that it was a Secret Test of Character which they absolutely failed since as cops they shouldn't be so willing to break the law. He's absolutely right.note  While Jane is an excellent detective, he's also a con artist and expert at manipulation who takes great delight in getting people to commit crimes which he can then nail them for, or using other illegal methods to solve cases.
  • Merlin:
    • This is played with (usually consciously) with King Uther. The man hates magic due to the fact that it killed his wife, and his genocide of all those who practice magic, no matter how benevolent, is seen as terrible. And yet, most times the threats against Camelot are entirely magical in nature (though in turn, many of Camelot's magical enemies are striking against Uther out of vengeance of what he's done to them. It's a vicious circle). Other times, Uther has to make tough decisions about how to rule, and though he's often portrayed to be in the wrong, it's not difficult to see his point when he refuses to help a small village in a neighboring kingdom because sending armed knights in to help might be construed as an act of war, or when he cuts off supplies from the lower towns during a famine because he needs what little food is left to feed the knights and thus maintain Camelot's safety. That first one falls through though in the Series 2 finale, when it's revealed that while he was unwilling to risk war on account of a peasant village getting wiped out, he was willing to send soldiers in order to exterminate the last Dragonlord, who at this point was completely powerless, was outside his kingdom, and if anything had only helped him. Balinor's initial willingness to let Camelot get wiped out is Disproportionate Retribution, but can you honestly blame him?
    • This is true of any villain of the week. In virtually every case Uther's genocidal tyranny is what drives their attack. Several of them make the entirely legitimate point that killing Uther would resolve every problem Merlin faces. The basic continuity of the show is so lopsided towards the idea that Uther is an existential threat to Merlin and that if he simply chose not to save Uther his life would improve dramatically, that the show almost always has a Kick the Dog moment where the villain of the week decides to commit genocide against the entire kingdom. Often there is no motivation for this sudden genocidal impulse other than giving Merlin a licence to save Uther. It's only later in the series ( when it actually HAPPENS) that the sensible point of 'Uther dying to magic would only harden Arthur's heart to it as well and make peace impossible is brought up.
  • NCIS: In the episode "Dog Tags", a "drug sniffing" dog is believed to have killed his handler. The same dog attacks and hurts McGee in the beginning of the episode, yet he's treated like crap for not trusting the dog that attacked him. The evidence throughout most of the episode points to the dog as the killer, so McGee has even more reason not to trust the dog. What is Abby's counterargument? Dogs are man's best friend. Abby forces McGee to take care of an animal that he not only clearly dislikes, but also attacked him. And then she yells at him for having shot the dog when it was trying to kill him. A German Shepherd is attempting to maul him and he was supposed to... what? Pet it? In the finale she browbeats McGee into adopting the dog he very much wants to avoid. The dog that is still growling at him.
  • Northern Exposure:
    • In one episode, Fleischmann refuses to participate in a local tradition and is chewed out by just everyone else for not wanting to blend in with the locals. The point is, he's essentially left without any choice and bullied into participating, which is far from a good way of integrating someone with the local society. Furthermore, no one is interested at all in whether Fleischmann can/wants to take part: what if he, a Jew, were strictly observant of kosher laws and the tradition included eating pork, or he had a heart problem and was forced to dance a lot?
    • At times, both Fleischmann and his successor Dr. Capra unknowingly violate some local tradition or custom and are scolded for it, while making a completely valid point — that there was no way they could have known about some obscure local customs and violated it unknowingly — that gets ignored, or treated with a "this is no excuse" reply.
    • In one episode, Maggie is outraged at Joel because the urgent cargo she brought for him turned out to be a box of fresh bagels and not — as she expected — medical tools. Fleischmann's comment that it is her job causes her to be even more outraged, and we are supposed to side with her and consider Fleischmann an arrogant prick, yet, well, he is right: Maggie is a commercial pilot and, as long as she is medically fit, the cargo is not illegal or dangerous or the meteorological conditions are not prohibitive, she is expected to deliver Joel any package he wants, because it is her job and duty and that's precisely what she gets paid to do (and Joel never told her what is in the box, so the 'medical tools' were merely her assumptions).
    • When Joel is asked to lend his X-ray machine to examine a mysterious box that was found by Ed, he refuses and is chewed out as selfish... and he even does not get an opportunity to explain that X-ray machine for use on living beings is a bit different than the one used on luggage at an airports (it is specifically designed for get a detailed image of human tissues — that have a particular range of density — while avoiding a fatal irradiation; with luggage, this is not a concern, and the equipment is designed for a significantly wider range of density).
    • In one episode Joel is asked to join the local amateur firefighting unit and he refuses. When his car starts accidentally burning and he calls the fire service, he is made to wait because they are saving a goat that got stuck in mud. When he confronts Ruth-Anne on this, she tells him she did it to teach him a lesson about teamwork and being a part of local society. Where to even begin?... First, there is a reason why firefighter candidates must undergo a series of demanding physical and medical tests. But here no one seems to care if Fleischmann is fit for a very tough job. Second, belonging to such unit is not compulsory and anyone should have a chance to turn the offer down. Third, even if Joel was a complete asshole and refused only because-fuck-you-that's-why, this is still not a reason to refuse him help. And fourth, Joel lives in a town in the Alaskan wilderness, with a solid number of patients living miles away from the city in some remote area; a car is not a commodity, it is a necessity. A good lawyer could argue that when Ruth-Anne refused to help Joel and let his car burn down, she endangered the lives of dozens of patients Joel could have difficulty to reach in a critical situation, and sue her backside into oblivion or even get her some prison time.
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • The Good Guys, especially David/Prince Charming, repeatedly allow the bad guys to live over the protests of various strawmen. They'll even release them with little more than a wag of the finger, and even make sacrifices to save them. Refusing to use offensive magic against the Bad Guys, stopping their allies from retaliating against the Bad Guys, saving the Bad Guys from lynch mobs, even jumping in front of arrows for the Bad Guys, it happens constantly. You know what else happens constantly? The Bad Guys kill, imprison, rob, and rape people. The audience is meant to agree with the Good Guys that capital punishment is bad, but every time they catch and release the Bad Guys, the Bad Guys go on to do something breathtakingly evil, usually including multiple murders, that could have been prevented.
    • Henry develops a Magic Is Evil stance in the Season 5 finale which is portrayed as wrong. While his decision to destroy magic is extreme, this show has pointed out time and time again that using magic has its problems to the point of being Arc Words. Additionally, most of the villains on the show have magic and exposure to magic is often the reason many of them became villains in the first place.
  • Parks and Recreation:
    • In "Bailout", Leslie saves a failing video store with a government bailout because she arbitrarily decided the business was a Pawnee institution (even though hardly anyone went there because the owner only stocked obscure art house films). After the motion is passed, she is promptly buried in other Pawnee businesses and citizens who also want government investment, which is portrayed as ridiculous and simple-minded of them... but from their perspective, it makes perfect sense to ask why one business gets special treatment on their tax dime and why they can't be treated the same. The hardware store owner in particular points out his business is facing the same exact problem as the video store (lost business due to increased online shopping) and has actually been in business longer, so it's obvious Leslie's decision on what should be considered a town landmark was based more on her personal sentiment than public perception.
  • Revolution:
    • The Monroe Republic might be a violent group of thugs, but they are also the closest thing to law and government in this part of the wasteland ("Chained Heat"). The writers are clearly well aware of this; all of the villains have sympathetic motivations, and their families are frequently mentioned ("No Quarter"). Then you have Monroe becoming so deranged that he's killing loyal friends and soldiers out of paranoia, and trying to use a nuke ("The Song Remains the Same") and anthrax ("The Love Boat") to kill off all his enemies. The other parts of the former USA have been shown to be better places to live compared to the Monroe Republic ("The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia").
    • Miles might be a Jerkass Anti-Hero, but he not only survived the last 15 years in good shape, but he went from being the leader of the Monroe Militia to becoming completely anonymous, despite living (undisguised) in the middle of a city with a whole army hunting him ("Pilot"). The characters don't take his advice as much as they probably should.
    • Rachel in "The Longest Day" has now taken turning the power back on as her motivation. She's only doing it because she's trying to avenge her dead son, Danny. While she is right to point out that they can't save everyone, she also undermines her position by threatening to abandon Aaron. Aaron, who came with her voluntarily and saved her life due to a broken leg that happened because of a chain of events that she started. Then in "Children of Men", she accuses Monroe of killing Danny to his face, and when he tries to point out that he wasn't even there when that happened, she yells at him to stop making excuses. They both have a point, because Monroe has been making excuses for his horrible behavior, and Rachel is clearly going after Monroe Republic members, even if they didn't do the deed in question.
  • Roseanne:
    • Leon is portrayed as wrong for wanting to fire Roseanne, even though she really is a lazy and sometimes intimidating employee who backtalks him almost every time he asks her to do something, even if that thing is something completely reasonable for an employer to ask of an employee. Of course, Leon is often a bit of a jerk in his own right.
    • At the end of the bike shop storyline (basic plot: Dan and Roseanne's old friend comes to town and convinces them to open a motorcycle store in Lanford; they eventually do so at huge personal financial risk; the place doesn't do well and ends up having to close), Becky loses her temper at Dan and blames him for ruining her future by not running the shop well enough. She eventually goes so far as to run away and elope with Mark, her boyfriend. We're supposed to see Becky as a typical Bratty Teenage Daughter who is making the issue about herself, but consider the following: To fund the shop, Dan used the money that would have gone to Becky's college tuition, meaning she can't afford to go after working hard and getting good grades all throughout high school; and Dan opened up a business despite having no knowledge of economics (which doesn't make him a stupid person, but does make the idea of his successfully running a store rather farfetched). All in all, Becky seems perfectly justified in her outburst, though she certainly could have worded it better.
    • This occurred In-Universe a few times as well. In one episode, Roseanne loses her temper and strikes DJ after he steals a car (when he's still a preteen). Jackie immediately begins drawing parallels to her and Roseanne's own father's physical abuse; when Dan says that it's not the same thing and that she's overreacting, she points out (quite rightly) that child abuse does tend to repeat itself, and saying that it was a one-time fluke is naive, which Roseanne agrees with.
    • Another In-Universe example: Roseanne was proud of her combative and complaining nature, and how she was the "alpha male" in her relationship with Dan. She was equally proud when Darlene was bossy and controlling with David as well. Anyone who ever complained about her or pointed out that she was being rude or nasty was inevitably portrayed as a stick-in-the-mud jerk who deserves to be the butt of a joke. However, in one episode, Roseanne and Dan discover that D.J. has a girlfriend who has been verbally abusing him. When they tell him that it's not OK, he correctly points out that this is the model he's used to—a woman treating a guy like dirt. Yes, Roseanne and Dan are clearly equal partners, the supposed "dominance" in the relationship is mutual and all in fun, and their teasing relationship is part of what makes their dynamic great, but they never took the time to explain any of that to D.J. To the show's credit, Roseanne and Dan immediately realize that this is wrong and try to be better role models (for that episode, anyway).
  • Scandal: Vice-Prez Langston is surprisingly reasonable in the season finale. She talks about the strength of her faith and how it's not just politicking with her — and then gets threatened with the knowledge of her young daughter's abortion. Ouch.
  • Sherlock: Sergeant Sally Donovan and Phillip Anderson are portrayed as the antagonists for not trusting Sherlock Holmes or his genius. Donovan tells John Watson in the episode "A Study in Pink" that Sherlock is a psychopath. Actually, they are absolutely right to be suspicious of Sherlock. It's very common for serial killers to take an interest in the investigations of their own crimes, up to and including returning to the scene of their crimes and even trying to insinuate themselves into the investigations. Donovan and Anderson aren't being malicious; they're being intelligent and practical. Even worse, Sherlock himself says he's a sociopath — not really the best admission to instill confidence (it's untrue, but they don't know this).
  • Smallville:
    • A number of characters have tried to force Clark/The Blur out of hiding and into the spotlight of the public eye. Since the series as a whole was building to Clark eventually coming out as Superman, the arguments for Clark staying hidden became less credible over time. The evil reporter from Season 2 who tried to forcibly expose Clark's secret argued that the public had a right to know about a powerful alien living in their backyard, which makes sense from a purely ethical standpoint of journalist ethics (as well as the aforementioned fact that the public would eventually find out about him), even if Clark does indeed have a right to a private life. There was also the corrupt DA from Season 9 who wanted The Blur to show his face and answer for a series of screwups that were blamed on him that were really the fault of the Wonder Twins trying to impersonate their favorite hero; his corruption was revealed last-minute as a means to give the Wonder Twins a heroic gesture and kill any debate on whether or not the Blur should have to reveal himself to clear his name.
    • In the early episodes, any interaction Clark had with Lex fell into this, and the one that stands out the most is "Memoria". Lex was trying to regain his lost memories from "Asylum". When Clark tried to stop him he ended up getting captured, and when Lex called him out on this Clark's only excuse was that in trying to stop his father Lex repeatedly stoops to his methods and innocent people get hurt. However, this falls on its face when you realize that the only reason Clark got hurt was that he was trying to stop Lex for, as Lionel said, his own selfish reasons. What Lex was doing only affected himself and that was his decision. Lionel wouldn't have known about it if Clark didn't get involved.
    • While it's true that Lex and Lana both became insufferably smug, they still had legitimate points when it came to protecting Earth from a potential Kryptonian/Phantom Zone/other alien invasion. In Seasons 5 & 6, Lex and Lana start sniffing around about Kryptonian technology, trying to learn everything they can about it. Clark gets very upset about this, but Lex and Lana repeatedly note that if aliens like Zod or Brainiac ever return, learning how their technology works just might end up being the thing that saves humanity from them next time, which is a perfectly defensible viewpoint. Indeed, Clark and the JLA themselves start incorporating bits of alien tech later on in fights against Zod and other threats.
  • Stargate Atlantis:
    • Bates has legitimate concerns about Teyla as a security risk, but because she's part of the main cast they get dismissed and his nose rubbed in her trustworthiness when she proves it.
    • In "Condemned", the governor is portrayed as an evil and corrupt politician who sends people to their death to serve his own interests of protecting himself from the Wraith. But they've reached a level of technological advancement that generally isn't allowed by the Wraith, and if people are going to be culled either way, isn't it better to have the technology (and accompanying higher standard of living) that goes with it? On the other hand, he's shown very clearly to be going too far with it. Originally getting fed to the Wraith was reserved for only the most serious crimes; it proved such an effective deterrent that pettier and pettier criminals had to be sentenced to death for them to keep up the quota, and in the end, people were getting sent to the island for the mere suspicion of committing a crime.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Senator Kinsey. While his character very quickly evolves into a Jerkass, the episode that introduced him had him find out about the Stargate program and shut it down. Why? Because it's a big drain on the defense budget with few or no returns. Hammond and SG-1's arguments are based entirely around their own experiences, which Kinsey obviously doesn't have access to and he simply doesn't trust them enough. At that point in the show, the main method of interplanetary travel is via the Stargate, so shutting it down and burying it seems like a good enough plan to prevent further alien incursions, and Kinsey doesn't believe Teal'c that the Goa'uld are fully capable of reaching Earth in starships. SG-1 turns out to be right, Earth barely survives the attack, and the team is hailed as heroes, while Kinsey is forced to back off. Later on, he Jumps Off The Slippery Slope, losing any likeability. Additionally, later on, the program does indeed start paying for itself (figuratively speaking).
    • Kinsey gets another one after he becomes vice president. In "Lost City", he's portrayed as a Dirty Coward for electing to flee to the Alpha Site once Anubis starts curb-stomping the regular human military. However, he's right to do so since the Alpha Site was built partially to ensure continuity of government in the event of an alien attack on Earth.
    • Once shutting down the SGC is no longer an option, plenty of power-hungry scumbags try to take it over to advance their own agendas, always citing the main characters' actions in earlier episodes to try and portray them as unreliable and dangerous. Except that from an outsider's perspective Hammond and SG-1 frequently make incredibly questionable and risky decisions, and it would be worrying that the SGC's flagship team are constantly influenced or taken over by alien technology.
    • In the first season episode "The Nox", SG-1 is portrayed as in the wrong for not listening to the Nox and leaving immediately, and the Nox were justified in both preventing them from capturing Apophis and barring them from ever returning. Except that SG-1 wouldn't leave because they were defending what they thought were defenseless villagers against Apophis, and the Nox were deliberately unhelpful and deceptive. On a larger scale the Nox preach pacifism and rebuke SG-1 for their use of violence to solve their problems. Only the Nox don't try and peacefully stop the parasitic aliens that enslave humans throughout the Milky Way instead choosing to use their advanced technology to hide. They seem content to let everyone else in the galaxy suffer as long as they get to live peacefully. The writers seemed to have realised this, as aside from a single episode later on the Nox are never seen again.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series:
    • In "The Ultimate Computer", we are supposed to sympathize with Kirk when M-5's choices for the landing party doing a survey mission include, contrary to Kirk's choices, neither himself nor McCoy as they are "non-essential personnel" for the mission. In fact, Kirk's habit of leading from the front this way along with assorted members of his senior staff, often needlessly exposing himself and them to unexpected danger (or death, if they're not one of the leads) is a common and frequent criticism of his leadership style.
    • (Elaan of "Elaan of Troyius" is clearly meant to be a deeply unlikable character, being spoiled, petulant and rude constantly and to absolutely everyone — but she's being dragged off to a planet she despises and forcibly married to someone she doesn't like for the sake of politics and is very vocal about it. Her bad temper is not particularly unwarranted, given the circumstances. Kirk's crippling sexism throughout shown towards her doesn't help the audience take his side, at one point threatening to spank her — and let's not forget she's the ruler of a whole world — if she doesn't start behaving. In the scene immediately before he shares this pearl of wisdom with Spock:
      "Mr. Spock, the women on your planet are logical. That's the only planet in the galaxy that can make that claim."
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • In "Time Squared", Dr. Pulaski (who, to put it mildly, was not well-liked by the crew) tells Troi that she's concerned Picard's fear and doubt over the situation with the future Picard could be potentially paralyzing, and says the time may come that she'd have to relieve him of duty. Troi basically tells her to shove it, but when the vortex shows up, Pulaski is proven right: Picard, uncharacteristically, keeps going back and forth with himself out loud about what to do.
    • Worf. As noted in this compilation, Worf's frequently the Only Sane Man in any situation by suggesting they be prepared for hostile or belligerent aliens that might threaten the ship, only for the others to ignore him completely largely with the reason that violence is not Starfleet. Usually Worf then suffers an ass-kicking for his trouble when it invariably turns out he was right all along. Michael Dorn even mentioned having seen the video in a Q&A and found it hilarious.
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • A great many episodes have situations in which they have an opportunity to do something that would be very advantageous for the crew, only to have Captain Janeway refuse for reasons typically related to the Prime Directive. Some character inevitably complains about her decision and points out that her moral arguments for why they can't take advantage of the opportunity don't actually make any sense, but they're always portrayed as being wrong, while Janeway is right.
    • In "Gravity", the audience is supposed to agree with Tom Paris that the human way of being in touch with our emotions and having them in our lives is the right way, in opposition to the Vulcan master who taught Tuvok to suppress his emotions. Paris has a real problem with accepting that Vulcans aren't humans. Vulcan emotions are far more volatile, erratic and all-consuming than human's (whose emotions are less violent), and for a Vulcan being in love can be legitimately destructive, and not in the metaphoric sense that humans use (note that a lot of writers overlook the canon about the true nature of Vulcan emotions and basically treat them as being really stuck-up, repressed humans).
    • Lt. Mortimer Harren from the episode "Good Shepherd" has Janeway brand him a murderer and has the other members of the Away team shun him for killing an alien creature that had intruded upon the Delta Flyer (that had been disabled by a then unknown source), possessed a member of the crew and then proceeded to try and drain every last drop of power. Her justification is that it could have been an innocent and possibly sapient creature that didn't mean them any harm. This immediately falls apart however when a moment's thought reveals that at that exact point in time when he shot it there was a 50% chance that he had just saved the whole team from an invading alien that wanted to steal their bodies and a 50% chance he had just saved the team from a harmless creature that was nonetheless about to suck their batteries dry (and with it their oxygen and heat). What's worse is that she has faced this choice multiple times before when a member or members of her crew have been inadvertently been put at risk and in those instances she straight up saw no problem in executing them herself for what she saw as the greater good — Tuvix springs quite nicely to mind.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise:
    • In "Unexpected", Tucker's complaints about how various parts of the engine room are extremely unsafe is played as him being comically irrational due to the mood swings brought on by his unexpected pregnancy. However, this is accomplished by him showing how the handrail on the service lift, if grasped, is so close to the edge that it will sever the fingers of the passenger on the bottom of the floor above, which is something to warrant extreme concern. The answer from the rest of the crew? "Just don't put your hand there." Yeah, guys, OSHA might like to have a word with you.
    • In "Fortunate Son", we're obviously supposed to disagree with the humans on the freighter who are trying to attack a base of Nausicaan pirates because the humans tortured a prisoner for information and the man in charge, Matthew Ryan, is clearly obsessed. However Ryan has a point. So far Starfleet and the Vulcans haven't done a single thing to stop the pirate attacks and the freighters have to endure constant attacks by far stronger pirates. The episode itself seems to unconsciously admit this when Archer can't think up a good counter to Ryan's complaints. Just two episodes after this episode is "Silent Enemy". A bunch of aliens repeatedly attack Enterprise without provocation, injure their crew members and make it very clear they aren't going to stop. Archer's response to someone doing this to his ship? Righteous anger and threatening to fight back with everything they've got! Why does that sound familiar?
    • Archer in "The Hatchery". He decides they have to keep it running; when the crew protests, Archer says it's the same as if they'd found a nursery full of humanoid babies, and saving the hatchery could serve as a point of truce between them and the Xindi, relating a story where soldiers in the Eugenics War called a truce so they could move the battle lines away from a school. Pretty in-line with Trek's themes of respecting life even in forms we're unfamiliar with, right? NOPE. This is irrational behavior that leads to Archer genuinely jeopardizing the mission and T'Pol has to mutiny against him. The only reason Archer wants to save the babies (weird, alien bug babies, guys!) is because he got some egg gunk on him that made him reverse-imprint. Once Phlox fixes it, he's perfectly happy to ditch the hatchery with the Hand Wave that "they'll survive until a Xindi ship finds them."
  • Steve Harvey:
    • In the episode "That’s a Bunch of Bull", Regina stopped trusting Lovita’s work when she refused to admit she made a mistake on the lunch forms. It turns out that a vegetarian student caused a problem when they erased the order of hamburgers and Regina ends up apologizing to Lovita. The problem is that Lovita never even looked at the forms opting instead to watch her soap operas. So even if the student didn’t change the form if there was a mistake Lovita never would have seen it.
    • When Steve first took a run as acting principal is also a good example of this. Steve was shown as entirely unready for the position needing Regina to swoop in and save the day. The problem was that before she left, Regina never got anyone to take over Steve’s normal duties; no, in addition to his normal jobs such as teaching classes, being the faculty adviser, etc., he had to do Regina’s job as well. In addition, while Regina and Cedric was shown helping him, they were mostly focused on they wedding plans and in most instances actively sabotaging him, such as Regina not telling him that the sister school was visiting. Heck when Regina came back all she really did was tell everyone to do their job.
  • The Supersizers Eat: Discussed Trope in the episode dealing with cuisine during the Restoration period. During the episode, one source of food comes from a pamphlet written by a monarchist which contained recipes attributed to Oliver Cromwell's wife — the joke being that these recipes (and Puritan culture) were bland and uninteresting. Giles and Sue actually found those dishes to be much better than much of the other Restoration food, because they emphasized simple flavors rather than the bizarre flavor combinations which were the norm under the Restoration spirit of excess.
  • In Switched at Birth, Bay (who is hearing) decides to go to Carleton, a school for the deaf, along with 6 other hearing students, despite having little signing ability and making no apparent attempt to learn. This leads to slowing down class for everyone and the art program being cut in order to pay for an interpreter for the hearing students. Naturally, a group of deaf students resent this, led by the bully Natalie. Bay complains that she is being bullied simply because she's hearing, and that it's not her fault, and she's portrayed sympathetically, or at worst, that she and Natalie are equally in the wrong. This ignores the fact that it was her decision to go to Carleton in the first place. She's the one forcing herself into a culture she doesn't respect. Furthermore, she personally did everything she was accused of, which makes the claim of discrimination absurd, and the worst part is that she never stops or even acknowledges that she did anything wrong (apart from hitting Natalie with a volleyball).
  • True Blood: Due to Creative Differences, the struggle of the vampires to "come out of the coffin" is intentionally analogous to the LGBT rights movement. Against the vampires is a religious sect sworn to kill them who are supposed to be seen as a bunch of corrupt and bigoted fanatics. However, the show pulls no punches in showing how vampire society is still built around killing humans. Steve Newlin's sect brings up a number of valid points against allowing vampires to live in human society: most vampires really are a threat to public safety.
  • The Waltons: In the episode "Founder's Day", Jason must complete one final assignment before he can graduate from the conservatory. Jason is uncomfortable with the assignment because it involves composing a piece of music in a genre that he's unfamiliar with so he refuses on the grounds that he has to be true to himself (meaning he only likes working with his brand of mountain hick music). The audience is expected to side with Jason but the truth of the matter is that the professor has every right to assign whatever assignment he deems necessary to pass his class and it is Jason's job as a student to abide by those guidelines. Also, a person in a creative field such as music should be open to experimenting and challenging themselves. Jason comes off as lacking creativity and talent but the show wants you to root for him as he whines about working on music he doesn't believe in. John-boy had the same issue. He called himself a writer but would refuse to work in fiction because he lacked imagination.
  • The BBC/Starz series The White Queen, insofar as it wants to present the characters who accuse Elizabeth and Jacquetta of witchcraft as irrational paranoiacs who are nuts to believe that such a thing exists, and at the same time, also depicts the Queen and her mother as actual witches, with very real supernatural powers. George and Isabel seem to be portrayed as being irrational when they accuse the Queen of using magic to summon the storm that killed their son, except that in the show she did exactly that! So even though the producers clearly want us to have no sympathy for George, and a great deal for Elizabeth, who is after all the main protagonist, the fact is that George and the other characters who label her as a witch are completely correct in at least most of their charges against Elizabeth (with even the false ones more excusable because of this).
  • Wire in the Blood: Penny Burgess, a manipulative journalist who has sex with a police officer for inside information, points out that it is wrong to arrest a suspect on purely circumstantial evidence and release his name to the public. Because she is a villain, the audience isn't encouraged to take what she says seriously and none of the other characters agree with her, but she is proven right when the man they arrested commits suicide in prison and is later proven to be innocent.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place: Stevie hatches a plan to allow all wizards to keep their magical powers. Normally, only the winner of a competition between siblings retains said powers. The fallout of such a competition has been shown to invariably break families apart. While she may be rather extreme in her measures, she made a good point, yet Alex and friends ignore her and proceed to kill her accidentally.
  • In the Wonder Woman unaired 2011 pilot, Diana has dinner with a Senator who expresses concerns about the way she does things — namely, using Cold-Blooded Torture to get information from criminals, giving the metaphorical finger to Reasonable Authority Figures, and outright committing slander by holding a press conference to accuse Liz Hurley's character of being a murderous Corrupt Corporate Executive and admitting that she doesn't have any proof besides gut instinct. In fact, the only reason she's meeting the Senator is to get justification so she can go after Hurley. Of course, since Wondy-In Name Only is the hero of this story, she's ultimately presented as right.
    • Although the Senator's point about the press conference is redundant: Imagine Superman calling a press conference in Metropolis and telling the world that he personally believes a particular series of mysterious deaths were directly caused by Lex Luthor doing things at Lex Corp and that he is personally going to investigate it but that he has ZERO evidence at this point. This means that yes, Lex Luthor can complain to the authorities that the Kryptonian superhero (who may not even have another name or social security number) publicly slandered him but it also means that anyone else giving Luthor grief on the grounds that "Superman said you're behind it!" would also admit they are acting that way because Superman personally believes something while admitting he has no evidence of it.

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