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  • Stan Smith of American Dad! is often portrayed as a bigoted, self-serving sociopath who causes havoc over even the slightest problems. However, given that he lives in a Crapsack World where half the cast are almost as bad as he is, he actually often has a good reason to be annoyed (e.g. his Control Freak in-laws taking over his house uninvited, his wife becoming a surrogate mother behind his back, pretty much any disagreement he has with either Hayley or Roger); it's just that his depraved overzealousness causes him to take much nastier measures that gives the other side the higher moral ground.
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  • The "Gee Whiz" episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force has a segment on "Standards and Practices" that claims that the eponymous Department is "keeping good and funny ideas away from [...] the television viewer", the result being "a mediocre product that no one can relate to". In that segment, an example of these "good", "funny", "relatable" ideas is blowing out a nun's brains, leaving the shooter in Ludicrous Gibs. While Standards And Practices in that segment seemed to be okay with someone killing a nun if the Ludicrous Gibs are replaced by "a happy and colorful rainbow", killing an innocent nun is not an idea that most people would find "good" or "funny". On another point, Fridge Horror sets in when you think about just what type of people would actually relate to killing a nun. This is also ironic due to the fact that some fans believed the show declined in quality after standards and practices loosened their grip on the content.
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  • In the Arthur episode "Arthur's Big Hit," Arthur eventually reaches a Rage Breaking Point with Bratty Half-Pint D.W's teasing, punching her hard enough to send D.W. to the ground. While it was wrong for Arthur to punch his sister, she touched his model plane after he specifically told her not to, broke the plane, and then claimed that it was Arthur's fault for "building it wrong". It's hard to blame Arthur for his anger, no matter how he may have handled it.
  • Batman: The Animated Series: Lyle Bolton aka Lock-Up, during his stint as warden of Arkham Asylum, is an inhumane sadist who's quite proud of his extreme treatment of his prisoners. But not only did he kill Arkham's infamy as a Cardboard Prison, but his "victims" are mostly psychopaths with no respect for human life. After he gets fired, he comes across a hard-headed conservative nutcase with his rant about the inefficient politicians and the "liberal media" being the cause of the superpowered psychos. While "cause" might be a stretch, he's quite right about them being part of the problem. The police routinely fail to combat the maniacs, leaving a vigilante to do 90% of the work, the people running Arkham keep it a barely-functional revolving door, and the politicians for the most part do nothing at all to improve Arkham or Gotham itself. Hell, we even see the news treating Poison Ivy as a media darling instead of a murderous eco-terrorist! If they all did their jobs more efficiently and professionally, maybe there wouldn't be so many costumed freaks terrorizing the city.
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  • In Beavis and Butt-Head, just about every teacher or administrator besides Mr. Van Driessen is made to look like an overbearing bully (Buzzcut) or a risible incompetent (Principal McVickers) when coming down on the title duo for their antics. But anyone who has ever tried to keep a classroom full of children on task will probably applaud every time they get thrown out of whatever classroom they're in, as things like sticking pencils up your nose, giggling uncontrollably at little things, and then throwing the pencils up into the ceilings are undeniably disruptive to the educational environment.
  • Ben 10
    • After Ben and the others believed that Zs'skayr and his other aliens have been eliminated, Ben makes a claim about how he did all the work in defeating the enemy. Gwen and Max are upset about this claim, but Ben eventually agrees with them and promises to work together after he used Cannonbolt to save Gwen and Grandpa Max. However, Ben's point is not completely wrong, as compared to his cousin that can only use basic magic and his grandfather who is merely a normal person, Ben has the Omnitrix, one of the most powerful weapons in the universe, and usually ends up saving the day by himself. It doesn't help that earlier on, Gwen makes a point on how she does not need Ben's help which most fans sees her as being envious of him.
    • Albedo from Omniverse has been established to not give a damn about what others think, and will bend the truth to himself to make sure nothing is his fault such as how he blames Azmuth for becoming the person he is. We're supposed to see him as an immature brat for such claims. However, at the end of "For a Few Brains More", rather than attempting to help Albedo, Azmuth messed with Albedo's Ultimatrix, forcing him back to a Ben form, and a younger Ben form at that with both Azmuth and Ben laughing at his own misery as he is imprisoned. In other words, Albedo has every right to blame Azmuth for becoming the person he is.
  • The animated special The Berenstain Bears' Easter Surprise has Boss Bunny quitting his job as the Easter Bunny, resulting in the seasons getting stuck on a permanent winter in Bear Country. When we first meet Boss Bunny, he is cast off in a negative light, not caring about Easter and calling spring a bore. Brother pleads with him to come out of retirement and make Easter possible so the seasons can return to normal. However, Boss Bunny clearly is too old and worn out to continue Easter preparations and his body can't take the hassle anymore. Seasons getting stuck aside, setting up the factory, making truckloads of candy, painting millions of Easter eggs and caring for employees year after year add up to a pretty taxing job.
    • Also, Papa and the cubs are seen as being in the wrong in "Too Much Junk Food" for complaining when Mama Bear disallows them any dessert, even when they get healthy again, because "it's too easy to fall into the junk food trap" and they're clearly painted as unreasonable since Papa is often wrong and the cubs are only eight (Sister) and ten (Brother). But "junk food" isn't addictive and eating a little bit now and again is perfectly OK. Even the doctor acknowledges that eating a bit of it is fine. And FWIW, statistics have shown that kids who had junk food in moderation end up eating healthier than those who had no access to junk food at all, because they got the chance to learn self-control.
  • Braceface: In "Just Quacks", Sharon finds out that the duck conservation group her brother Adam wants to join also condone hunting. When she confronts Hannah (whose father runs the group) about this, Hannah points out that the group supports hunting because it helps prevent duck overpopulation and hunting is actually a major part of any kind of environmental conservation. She also points out that hunting isn't a crime as long as no endangered animals are being poached and if a certain animal isn't hunted out of season, not every animal population crisis is caused by hunting, and the conservation group follows ethical guidelines when it comes to duck hunting (no hunting out of season, no taking more what you need, etc). Sharon brushes all these points off by believing that nature would balance itself out if hunters didn't exist (which Hannah immediately shoots down), and the show obviously sides with Sharon. However, this doesn't change the fact that Hannah's points are legitimate and true.
  • This was a frequent occurrence on Captain Planet with Wheeler, who was portrayed usually as an arrogant and obnoxious jerk and hence always wrong, despite the fact that he often made sense. In one episode, he was mocked and declared selfish due to his opposition to keeping endangered and injured animals picked up in the group's travels on Hope Island, despite the fact that not taking exotic species out of their natural habitat is a perfectly valid Green Aesop on its own. This is not the only example. He has been "wrong" to espouse two entirely contradictory positions in two separate episodes, and was somehow wrong both times — even when the episodes came to the same conclusion. See The Complainer Is Always Wrong for details.
  • In Danny Phantom's polarizing final episode, "Phantom Planet", Danny gets rid of his powers and the others are visibly upset by this, with Sam eventually calling him selfish for doing it. He questions why what he did was selfish, and many viewers took Danny's side of the argument, as his reasons were justified: his wanting to be normal again was to protect his family from the ghost hunters searching for him, and the presence of said ghost hunters meant that he was no longer needed as Amity's protector. This just added to the Alternative Character Interpretation that Sam only cares for Danny Phantom, but not Danny Fenton.
  • Dungeons & Dragons pulled an Exploited Trope. Eric the Cavalier was enforced by Executive Meddling as The Complainer Is Always Wrong, but Gygax and the other writers weren't so fond of the idea. Clever fans, particularly ones who understood the world of the tabletop game, point out on the fan boards and commentary that Eric tends to be dead right when it comes to most of his complaints, including the unofficial first rule of Dungeons and Dragons: Never trust a smiling Dungeonmaster.
  • The Fairly OddParents has its most infamous episode, "It's a Wishful Life", where Timmy receives no appreciation for his good deeds. Bickles was ungrateful simply because Timmy used a different shade of blue for a painted background that others wouldn't have noticed or cared about; AJ was ungrateful simply because Timmy bought a computer that was obsolete as of 5 seconds ago, then used the expensive computer as a door stopper; and Timmy's parents were ungrateful simply because Timmy knew nothing about the "dirty yard contest" they were competing against the Dinklebergs for and spent untold hours (as far as they knew) making the garden beautiful to show his love for them.note  At the end of the episode, An Aesop is thrown out about how you shouldn't do a good deed out of expecting something in return - a perfectly fine aesop, but all that Timmy wanted was a simple Thank you.
  • Futurama: In "Leela and The Genestalk", Mom is used as a caricature of companies producing GMOs. She's very, very obviously Only in It for the Money, but she makes a number of valid points showing the benefits of genetic engineering. Leela brushes all her arguments off with "we have no idea what the long-term effects might be". Given that the show is set a thousand years in the future, one has to wonder how long exactly Leela — and the writers — think it takes to see "long-term effects". However the episode is ambiguous enough that you can interpret it differently; Leela instantly gives up her morals when presented with a cure for her disease fitting in with similar Real Life examples, i.e. a prominent member of PETA who uses insulin derived from animal products for her diabetes, while arguing animals shouldn't be used to cure other diseases.
  • In a Gravity Falls episode titled, "The Last Mabelcorn", a unicorn judges Mabel by claiming to be able to "see into her heart" and determines that she's not pure. It is later revealed to be a lie to get humans to leave her alone, but the unicorn brings up a good argument that doing good deeds for the sole sake of making yourself look better is actually a little self-centered. Considering all the morally-questionable actions that Mabel has done over the course of the series despite her kindness — at one point being called out by the Big Bad himself — the unicorn ends up being Right for the Wrong Reasons.
  • The Groovenians has the Big Bad tell the artistic heroes that nothing in life is free and that they have to pay bills if they want to stay in their new home. This, of course, is presented as corporate greed and the villains making life harder for the heroes. Except that what he's saying is an absolute fact of life: a great majority of people, if any, can't just coast through life doing as they please and need to make concessions (like making money to pay bills) in order to do the things they love.
  • Justice League
    • An example that occurred to the writers happened in the episode "A Better World". In it, Batman gets into a debate/duel with his Justice Lord counterpart, about the latter's seizing control of the world. Originally, League!Batman was meant to convince his counterpart, but after writing a particularly apt line for Lord!Batman note  the writers couldn't come up with a compelling counter argument. In the episode proper, League!Batman concedes the point, and later gets through to Lord!Batman by pointing out how much their parents would have (dis)liked the new Gotham.
    • Eclipsed has Wally start using his Flash persona to make some extra cash, which leads to the league reading him the riot act on how he is 'selling them and himself out'. The problem comes when you realize that Wally isn't a Pulitzer class reporter or some multi-milionary rich boy. He is just a normal guy whose super-hero work has already been shown to eat up a lot of his regular work and while his method (starring in cheesy energy bar commercials) might not exactly have been ideal, the implication that he has no right to actually make some ends meet while in costume falls a bit flat.
  • In the Little Princess episode "I Want to Be Queen", the Princess is clearly meant to be seen as unreasonable for complaining when the Queen gets pancakes while she has to eat cereal instead because she's a whiny four-year-old and the Chef tells her pancakes aren't healthy. However, the Chef's behaviour comes off as mean when you realise that pancakes aren't more unhealthy for a child than an adult, and the Princess explicitly stated that she wanted pancakes for a change.
  • The Loud House: In "Spell it Out", Lucy's siblings are supposed to be in the wrong for "walking all over" her because they're clearly seen doing obnoxious things such as not noticing her when she's standing right there. However, one of the things (painting the bathroom pink, which Lucy didn't want) they have a point about because everyone else wanted to have it pink and they were voting, so even if they'd acknowledged her, she'd have lost the vote anyway.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
    • Buttercup's attitude towards Elmer after he became a monster. She's treated as being in the wrong for refusing to apologize to him after bullying him, but as she points out, Elmer was attacking people that didn't even do anything to him, including his teacher that actually stood up for him.
    • The mayor of Citysville rightly calls the girls out on the fact that they have a tendency to cause as much damage as they prevent—in this case, blowing up a bridge (which will cost roughly $3 million to fix) just to catch some bank robbers when they could have simply used their superhuman strength to overpower the crooks. Downplayed somewhat in that their heroism prevents the villains from deliberately causing more damage than they already were, and the ending of "Paste Makes Waste" suggests that the girls use their powers to repair the damage they cause after a crisis is dealt with.
  • In Rocket Power, a group of Moral Guardians lobby to put a ban on skateboarding, biking, running, and rough-housing on the boardwalk and pier after Merv Stimpleton steps on a skateboard and falls down. (Presumably one of many other accidents, not just when someone carrying boxes was shown as stepping on the skateboard and falling down). They're depicted as strawmen, but if you ask anyone who lives in a similar town, such a ban isn't exactly that unreasonable due to safety reasons. Meanwhile, the kids had to be told not to skate around an extremely crowded area. The episode at least acknowledges this through Ray; he points out that regardless of Mr. Stimpleton's Disproportionate Retribution, the kids did hurt him and hadn't yet apologized, and Otto and co. care more about having fun than someone getting hurt. It also helps that a large part of the resolution was the opening of a skate park which let skaters have as much fun as they wanted without troubling regular passers-by.
  • Samurai Jack
    • While Da Samurai was portrayed as a Dirty Coward for attempting to run away from the assassins that surrounded Jack, him staying back and attempting to fight them would have been him playing Russian Roulette with his life. With Da Samurai having little to no experience in martial arts, it’s not too unreasonable for him to not want to fight the assassins. It also helps that Jack didn't even hold it against him for running away.
    • Inner Jack in episode XCV suggests leaving Ashi (pre-Heel–Face Turn) behind to die and go look for the exit himself. Sounds selfish until you remember that the previous two episodes had Ashi and her sisters try to kill him many times, and she isn't at all cooperative in escaping with him.
    • Mad Jack (as envisioned by Jack as a reddened monster-like version of himself to the part of cartoonishness) in Episode XCVIII may have cost Jack the battle and have no redeeming qualities about him... but he does bring up a good point: Jack has waited too long for this and others have suffered because of it.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Saddlesore Galactica", Lisa's school band competes in a battle of the bands competition. An opposing band from Ogdenville uses glowsticks and wins, even though visual aids were expressly forbidden. Lisa spends the rest of the episode appealing to higher powers until then-President Bill Clinton nullifies the verdict and declares her the winner. Lisa's outrage is justified as the Ogdenville band won despite breaking the rules, as well as her appealing to higher figures, since the competition judge doesn't care about the rules violation and brushes her off when she complains. Even if it wasn't meant maliciously, Ogdenville broke the rules and should have been disqualified.
    • When Comic Book Guy said the episode of Itchy and Scratchy in which they added Poochie was the worst episode ever he said "As a loyal viewer, I feel they owe me." Bart (clearly acting as an Author Avatar speaking to the fans who had been complaining about the show's Seasonal Rot) said "How do they owe you? They provide you with hundreds of hours of entertainment for free. If anything you owe them." Except loyal viewers make advertising space on a show valuable, and the people who work on a show owe their success and livelihood to the money that the advertisers pay - to say nothing of merchandise. So trying to make Comic Book Guy look like an Entitled Bastard for voicing his opinion when a show he used to enjoy started to suck because of Executive Meddling, didn't really work. For that matter, Comic Book Guy's appraisal of the episode's quality wasn't just picking nits or unreasonable complaints; it really was a terrible episode, and much of the story hinges on that fact. Comic Book Guy is just the only person who's treated as wrong for saying it.
    • In Four Great Women and a Manicure, the preschool teacher wants to squash Maggie's creativity. Most of what Maggie uses seems to be reusable, except the sugar cubes, but many preschools don't have the same resources. The teacher could have said that she is monopolizing resources, she could learn to share, she could learn to be creative with fewer resources, she could be teaching and encouraging the other children (which she doesn't do apparently until adulthood.) And the sugar cubes will attract ants and other insects. Maggie gives a speech about artistic individualism, ignoring the possibility that creative people don't necessarily have anyone's best interests in mind, not even their own. But the episode does end with some Hypocritical Humor.
  • South Park's The Hobbit: Wendy's points about Photoshop. To be more specific, while her way of proving her point was blunt, she did little in warranting the other girl's harsh treatment of her and she did have point on the whole "believing their bullshit" thing, considering that the other girls started getting mean and nasty after having their confidence boosted by their photoshopped images.
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Stuck in the Wringer" has Patrick glue SpongeBob into the titular device for no reason other than his own stupidity. When this proceeds to ruin SpongeBob's day, even rendering him unable to eat, Patrick clearly does not care. SpongeBob eventually loses his patience and yells at Patrick, who fully deserves it. The crowd watching them then give SpongeBob a dose of What the Hell, Hero? for treating his friend like that. The writers want us to agree with them.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: Mewni has an extremely serious Fantastic Racism problem against the monster population, with a handful of extremists who want to enact genocide...except it's eventually revealed that the conflict is far more complicated than the humans being jerks, but rather a matter of Poor Communication Kills, since both sides see each other as a threat to their children (further complicated by the fact that the average monster is far more dangerous to the average human than vice versa). When Star abdicated the throne to Eclipsa, she immediately issued an edict to return all of the land to the descendants of the monsters that had been evicted by the humans hundreds of years ago; it's not shown on-screen whether this edict was enforced by the government, but the humans eventually all ended up living in the wilderness. Some of the humans were clearly there by choice but the start of that trend was from a family settling there after losing what had been their family home for generations with no reparations or assistance after the fact.
  • TRON: Uprising:
    • Dyson certainly wins no fans by torturing Tron in ways that include use of a buzzsaw and just being a vicious, genocidal slimeball. But parts of the fanbase trained in computer repair pointed out that Dyson unfortunately had a point; the Isos were destabilizing the system, Flynn's infatuation with them was putting the entire Grid and every life in it at risk, and Tron's directive was to serve Users, even if the User's command was causing harm. Dyson's was to protect the integrity and stability of the system, even if it meant revolt against the User, akin to a real-world malware blocker that can and will prevent a clueless user from downloading suspect material and cleanse the system of what it believes to be suspect; even if the end user wanted it there.
    • Cyrus is clearly insane and a Straw Nihilist who concluded that the Grid can't be saved, so he plans on setting up an electromagnetic bomb to wipe the hard drive and everyone/everything on it. Again, real-world computer troubleshooting does have a "nuke and pave" option (if that hard drive is too corrupt to save, reformat and start over. Hopefully, you have your important files backed up). Heck, even the video game sequel used it as a plot point. And depending on your opinion of TRON: Legacy Cyrus was probably right about the Grid being a hopeless Crapsack World and its inhabitants better off de-rezzed.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man: Throughout the first two seasons, Peter Parker is often depicted as a jerk for wanting to work alone. While it's true that this incarnation of Spider-Man starts off as way more impulsive and dickish than usual, Spidey's arguments to defend himself are actually pretty valid. His new teammates and self-proclaimed "friends" are a bunch of jerkasses who frequently harass and disrespect him for little to no reason at all, force themselves into his life without any consent from his part, and know much more about him than he does about them. And that's not forgetting about Nick Fury, who for all his claims to be a responsible authority figure, has little to no respect for his recruit's privacy and promises (he placed security cameras in his house, and their initial agreement clearly stated that Peter doesn't need to work in a team if he doesn't want to). Therefore, Spider-Man has no actual reason to trust any of them, completely ruining any lessons about the positives of working in a team. This comes up again in "The Incredible Spider-Hulk" where Fury dismisses Spidey's complaints about his PR problem as just immature whining when it's clear that Jameson constantly berating him has truly begun to affect his ability to fight crime.
  • X-Men: Evolution:
    • When Lance joined the X-Men, Scott does not trust him and eventually accuses him of being behind a series of joyrides which have totaled the various X-Vehicles. He is presented as being in the wrong for not trusting Lance and being so apprehensive, in order to motivate Lance to stick with the Brotherhood, even after Scott realizes he was being a dick about it and apologizes. However, Scott had every right to be suspicious as Lance had been an aggressive criminal and was only interested in joining because of his crush on Kitty. Scott even did try to welcome him at first, but became dissuaded when Lance repeatedly did things for the fun of angering Scott including lying about going on joyrides when he did not.
    • Magneto had schemes such as evolving the mutants he deemed to be 'worthy', and assembling a group of followers to his cause, in preparation for the inevitable war against humans when the world finds out they exist. Xavier always felt he was taking an extreme stance against humanity and opted to reveal themselves when they were ready...except there was one rogue SHIELD agent who deemed mutants a threat to humanity and built a Killer Robot with advanced weaponry to go after Wolverine and the larger X-Men and Brotherhood members, though Magneto ensured the battle was brought to the world's attention. The result is a widespread witch-hunt against mutants leaving them on the run. Xavier was conveniently out of commission thanks to Mystique, but one wonders what his reaction would be to see police around his school.
  • Young Justice
    • In season 2, G. Gordon Godfrey is an incredibly biased, inflammatory, and paranoid newscaster who constantly criticizes the Justice League unfairly, is suspicious towards aliens in general, spreads obvious misinformation and propaganda, and is revealed in the finale to be working for the villains. Unfortunately, his fundamental message of promoting public accountability of the League does ring true, however obvious it is that the heroes are in the right. The League keeps a lot of secrets from the public for arbitrary reasons; they don't even publicly announce a team member's death to avoid "people thinking we're mortal". They are an organization of superhumans and nonhumans responsible for the safety and security of the entire Earth, but they really aren't beholden to anyone except themselves. In more than a few ways the Justice League still acts like a secret group of vigilantes, despite being an extremely powerful public institution that consistently interferes in global affairs.
    • The ambassador of the Reach is likewise presented as a villainous mouthpiece whose words are poison, but he actually never makes a single accusation regarding the League that isn't both true and describing something that's extremely illegal for very good reasons. He stands out especially for pointing out that the basic premise of the series in itself makes the League guilty of a war crime that would get pretty much any other nation occupied by the UN.
    • Superman's initial treatment of Superboy comes across like this. We are supposed to see Clark's refusal to mentor and serve as a father figure to Conner as a bad thing. However, let's look at things from Clark's POV here;
      • Firstly, no matter what your view on clones are, Clark is right when he says he is not Conner's father because he isn't.
      • Secondly, Clark is on a reporter's salary and likely can't afford to take care of a kid right now, let alone one with super powers. Other heroes have advantages that Clark doesn't like Batman's and his butler and Kid Flash actually having parents so the Flash doesn't need to raise him.
      • Thirdly, Conner is in the care of Red Tornado and Black Canary so he doesn't need Clark as a caregiver.
      • Fourthly and finally, no one seems to take into consideration that Clark might not be comfortable around a clone that was created from his DNA without his knowledge or consent. A clone who was created to kill and replace Clark.

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