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What The Hell Hero / Webcomics

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  • In SwordCat Princess, James balks at Kathryn threatening Julia with an iron spike, and then Amapola and Ribwort of the Avalonian Guard each call her out on it directly, the latter contrasting the threat with Kathryn's history of honorable service as Artemis.
  • 8-Bit Theater is the perfect example of this. The main heroes are constantly called out for their atrocious behaviour, which they don't even try to hide. They are thieves, mass murderers, and mob bosses, among many other things.
  • As evidenced by this strip from Darths & Droids.
  • The titular character of Dominic Deegan has been called out repeatedly due to his habit of using his ability to see the past and future as an excuse for an Omniscient Morality License. Celesto Morgan also (somewhat unfairly, considering everything that was going on) call out Dominic for not trying to save his lover Amelia as hard as he tried to save Beleaguered Childhood Friend Szark Sturtz in this strip.
    • Celesto is more this trope than Dominic ever was. He never turns evil, but the civilian body count that he racks from his self-righteousness makes him WORSE. Called out by everyone, and unfortunately he never listens.
  • Inverted in Looking for Group; Richard (a card-carrying 'joyfully and creatively Chaotic Evil' character with centuries of continuous evil) get a 'what the hell antihero' reaction from hell because by killing/burning an entire village he ACCIDENTALLY did some potential good to the future of the region. This is the only part where we see Richard having a conscience (only he's guilty of doing GOOD)
    • Played straight with Cale calling out Pella for forcing the Gnomes to join Kethenecia by destroying their last line of defense. To be fair, after talking about the incident with Benny, he seems to be more disappointed with her than angry.
    • Also played straight recently, with Cale grabbing Maikos and using him as a human shield when being shot at by an archer... TWICE. In his defense, Maikos and the other people from his village have been established as undead and therefore both incapable of dying and practically immune to pain; the reason it's a What the Hell, Hero? moment is because Maikos told Cale that his people were becoming mortal again just before this event came up.
  • In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, the Doctor gets chewed out for his Technical Pacifism by the mother of one of the mooks he killed. Although she does do it while he's burying the mentor whom said mook helped murder to get at him....
    • Doc also beats himself up emotionally in private, particularly when the ninjas he killed rise from the dead with no medical explanation and no obvious purpose except to get revenge on him. His guilt in the zombie ninja incident is assuaged, however, when it's hilariously subverted at the end of the story.
    • Gordito delivers a particularly thorough one here.
      • And follows it up when it seems the Doc still hasn't learned his lesson.
  • A Sluggy Freelance Story Arc has Riff out to kill Aylee because he believes she's a threat to the world. Torg points out that, as a Mad Scientist whose inventions tend to backfire in catastrophic ways, Riff is actually more likely to wipe out the human race than any alien.
    • Torg often gives these to Aylee when she eats clients or other people, although they're more often treated as a bad habit than murder. When she, while still in a "Cannibals Anonymous" program, serves up a man for Thanksgiving Dinner and Zoe gets upset, he fires Aylee (but hires her back some time later after she reforms as a result of the program).
      • The reason why Torg treats this incident more severe than the others is that she killed the man just for a sick joke, rather than for feeding as usual. And she sought out the victim specifically for being an animal-loving philanthropist.
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    • And now the Fate Spiders are getting one from Father Time, as their attempt to undo the Great Tangle actually made it worse.
    • Bun Bun and Gwynn frequently get called out for some of their stunts. This works as well as a chocolate kettle where Bun Bun is concerned. Gwynn, however, seems contrite after most but it never seems to stick. Neither are actual villains (tho this depends on your point of view when dealing with Bun Bun. Not sure Santa would agree) but I'm not sure you could call either of them technically heroes either.
  • In Tower of God, almost everybody calls out Khun for not supporting his best friend Bam any longer when he finds out that Bam is an Irregular. Out of protest, many who were unsure about supporting him now sided with Bam because they did not want to be like Khun. Who WANTED this to happen.
  • In Jack, the titular character leads a genocidal campaign against the human race. He NEVER stops getting chewed out for it, even though he's really a nice guy who, thanks to the power of Hell, can't even remember what he did. It's played straight once Farrago reveals that Fnar's stay and eventual molestation in Hell was her fault and Jack gets angry and attacks her, although he becomes intensely regretful and begs for forgiveness a second later. They haven't forgiven him yet.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Miko Miyazaki gets so many of these that one might suspect that Rich Burlew has a serious bone to pick with characters (in RPGs or in real life) who twist the rules of law and good so far to meet their own desired ends that they appear evil to anyone else.
    • Roy , during his initiation into the Lawful Good afterlife, gets chewed out for abandoning Elan to bandits (he came around) and tolerating the obscenely evil antics of Belkar. Roy does defend himself, however, freely acknowledging that he was wrong to do the former and to his credit realized it, and that in doing the latter he has managed to prevent Belkar from doing even worse things than he currently does under Roy's guidance.
    • Redcloak believes he is giving one to O-Chul for choosing to sacrifice several innocent lives just to keep a secret. Specifically, Redcloak is threatening to push them off a tower and into the reality tear if O-Chul won't reveal the secret of the gates (which he doesn't actually know, but Redcloak refuses to believe that). Redcloak gets so indignant over how callous the paladin is about innocent lives that he seems to forget he's the one threatening them. In the end, he lets the prisoners live, certain that seeing how little O-Chul cares about them will ruin their morale, but it only strengthens them to see his resolve.
      • To put things into perspective, Redcloak had used every spell and tactic to find out the secret he thought O-Chul knew, but it all resulted in proof that O-Chul didn't know what Redcloak wanted (He really didn't). Redcloak states that this can't be logical, and so tells O-Chul that he must have some secret ability that prevents certain information from being discovered. And the entire time Redcloak is dangling the prisoners, O-Chul says he would gladly tell Redcloak what he wants to know if he knew it, but can't because he doesn't.
      • Redcloak later admits that he is now convinced O-Chul does not know anything.
    • Vaarsuvius the mage has crisped the evil noble who had been plaguing the party, just because it was more convenient than enduring another trial. To make things worse, V had no idea who the person killed was or what, if anything, he'd done to merit execution. Disintegrating Kubota was based solely on the time-consuming nature of a trial and the fact that Elan had tied him up. Elan, normally a Spoony Bard, calls V on it in a manner that shows his growth as a character.
    • Vaarsuvius has been on the receiving end of an another lecture about making a Deal with the Devil. Whilst V's stated intentions are that the Deal allowed access to further ability both to save loved ones in danger and to continue the quest to help save the world, both laudable goals, Vaarsuvius' mate challenged that it was more about V's ego, the need to solve the problem alone and V's ultimate desire to taste ultimate power — a not entirely unreasonable charge, in light of the fact that V agreed to make the deal after being presented with an alternative that might have worked. Although it would not have worked, given later information that Durkon and Elan had left the fleet a few days earlier, Vaarsuvius was far too addled to weigh the actual chances of the plan, and simply focused on how it would have required the personal humiliation of requesting the help of others.
      • Although Vaarsuvius is already technically asking for the help of others by making the deal anyways.
      • It should be mentioned that the demons also pointed out the alternative plan had next to no chance of preventing the Ancient Black Dragon from killing the children, just from binding their souls and escaping. It wasn't just a matter of ego, V was also so obsessed with not failing again that s/he was willing to do anything to succeed this time.
    • V eventually gives a WTTH to themself after they realize just what the long-term fallout of their Familicide spell against the black dragon entailed.
    • This strip subverts it beautifully, with Lawful Good Roy deciding to use Chaotic Evil Heroic Comedic Sociopath Belkar as live bait to "guide" the giant sandworm they used as an impromptu transportation method. Belkar starts off with this trope, then breaks into laughter, claims he almost managed to go through that with a straight face, and tells them to "dangle [him] away".
    • In On the Origin of PCs, Roy gives the adventure party a verbal beatdown because they complained they could have just killed the evil alignment ogres instead of helping them enjoy their rock concert and be liaisons between them and the town. Roy's actions make Dukron join him, saying it was the first time he'd seen a human use his head instead of his sword.
    • In this strip, V is giving a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Elan, who was considering to take a level in the Wizard class, causing the bard to run away crying. The next strip has Haley call out V on it and orders the wizard to apologize to Elan.
  • In Cucumber Quest, Almond tries to pull this on Cucumber in Chapter 4, saying that he needs to stop trying to talk things out with villains and that he's too idealistic. When he tries to point out that said plan was actually working before she interfered, she angrily demands if he thinks everything is her fault. He promptly responses that yes, he views the entire situation as being her wholly her fault, explaining that if Almond didn't give one of the villains an important MacGuffin purely because she wanted to have a fun adventure, the world wouldn't need saving in the first place. Almond is unable to argue.
  • In Gunnerkrigg Court, Reynardine's reply is more surprise than accusation when he sees the photo of Antimony's parents and realizes that Annie stole it. But the effect is the same.
    • Similarly, when Annie explodes at Mort — over a misunderstanding of his intention in giving her a Blinker Stone — Kat actually says, "What the hell, Annie?"
    • Reynardine does it again when he catches Annie stealing Kat's workbook to copy her homework — again.
    • Jack Hyland ends up delivering one of these speeches to Annie in Faraway Morning, where Annie deliberately tries to hurt Jack — who had seemingly been sporting a crush on her — by rejecting him. This ploy, which fails because Jack has feelings for Zimmy, was apparently petty revenge for Jack's actions during Spring-Heeled, when he was under the control of one of Zimmy's Black Bug Room's spiders.
    You did all this just to get back at me for something I didn't have any control over? You got some strange ideas about revenge, Carver.
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, when Molly is first introduced, Bob and Jean initially send her to live with Jean's Uncle on a farm, for her own safety. This maintains the series Status Quo for a couple of story arcs. Bob eventually realizes that she's very unhappy there and invites her back home, and she has lived with Jean since then. However, Molly can still guilt trip her parents very effectively about the time they "sent her away."
  • In Angels 2200, when Whiskey reveals the final stage of her Break the Haughty plan to humiliate the newly promoted Quetz by poisoning her with laxatives, Loser responds by saying that she's gone too far. This proves to be true, as Quetz eventually finds out and has Whiskey arrested with the intention of having her court-martialed, even saying that she might have gotten off much more easily if not for the last prank.
    • In the last battle of the first part, Whiskey is called out in no uncertain terms for accidentally killing Loser.
    • Soon afterward, Bubblegum gets called out for having a Heroic BSoD and leaving combat after seeing Loser die and her blood on the cockpit window
    • Earlier on, Hammer dresses down Kid for not taking a clear shot on an enemy fighter that had a lock on Bubblegum, having frozen up at the thought of killing someone. If Quetz hadn't made a near-impossible shot to take her down, Bubblegum probably would have died. This also marks a turning point in their relationship as a case in which Hammer is required to discipline Kid, thus raising the question of whether they can be friends (or perhaps something more) as well as squad leader and subordinate.
  • Erfworld:
    • Towards the end of book 1, Parson subtly called out Maggie for indirectly causing the death of Misty. He then acknowledges that since he just defeated the enemy in a particulary horrific manner, he's not one to talk.
    • During the book 2 text updates, Jillian makes it clear that she intends to try to turn the decrypted Ansom to her side. For his part, he's disgusted by her hypocrisy and cruelty in treating every decrypted but himself as some kind of monster and executing them without reason.
    Ansom: "We are alive."
    Jillian: (relieved) "I want to believe that."
    Ansom: "I know. But understand this: we do have a will. I choose to serve her, because it is through her that I serve the Titans. So if you think you can convince me to choose otherwise, then try! By all means, try to turn me. But what I have seen so far from you is not a very fine start."
  • What's the best way to start Divide and Conquer strategy? The Crossoverlord says: Tell The Cape about The Smart Girl's Shoot the Dog moment and watch him giving her What the Hell, Hero? speech.
  • Girl Genius: Third panel: "Pretty cold, after the girl saved you." Of all the people to be called out by ... Bangladesh Dupree?!
  • In General Protection Fault, the cast is not very pleased with Fred's using his newfound control ability to possess Trent and force him to sexually harass Sharon, strip naked and run around calling himself Wiley Wombat, which caused him to get arrested.
    • When Fooker returns, Dexter complains about him tampering with his memories to replace his feelings for Sharon (who had recently broken up with Dexter, and who was rekindling her relationship with Fooker) with Megan Morrone so that Dexter could not get together with her while Fooker was working with the UGA. Fooker admits the move was selfish, but notes that Sharon wouldn't necessarily have taken Dexter back if he hadn't done it, a point Dexter reluctantly accepts.
    • Dexter later gets one for taking the Scott and Patty into "Bog Of Bloodbath", via the Mutex without Nick's permission, trapping them in there for days and almost getting fired for absenteeism. Patty is especially harsh on him for that, and is not willing to forgive him.
    • Early on, Nick and Ki, unbeknownst to each other, chat under aliases and hit it off well. This continues after Nick and Ki start dating, with Ki using the conversations to test to see whether Nick's loyal to her- Nick knows but doesn't let on. Eventually, though, Trudy catches wind of this and plants the namesake for Ki's user handle in Nick's office, leading to Ki desperately trying to retrieve it, only to find out that Nick's already discovered it. Nick's quite angry with Ki for putting on this charade, but he does eventually forgive her.
  • Ethan in Shortpacked! is known for his constant arguing with annoying or ignorant fanboys both online and in the store. Finally another guy, later know as That Guy, calls him out on it. Robin immediately begins to slash.
    • Galasso, of all people, calls him out a few strips earlier.
    • It's even more notable in that Ethan's 'fanboy mode' is often a mouthpiece for the author's own opinions on whatever idiocy the fandom is up to that week. So he's actually calling himself out.
    • Mike, the strip's resident Jerkass, loves giving these, because he knows that the only thing worse than getting called out on your bullshit, is when the guy who is right is also a huge asshole.
  • Edward the Bard from Captain SNES: The Game Masta wrote a poem about it here. He was calling out King Cecil, but it was mainly the fault of Alex, who was the one playing the game.
  • In Lucky Dawg, when evil demigod Darreon taunts 4 Horsemen of Alliance with Sadistic Choice – either one of them will sacrifice himself or he will kill a little girl, Unique just kills girl himself. Darreon was pissed that instead of heroes, they send amoral, money-motivated scumbags to fight him and he expressed it quite drastically.
  • Meighan and Alisin do it to each other in a Fans! story, in which they argue about an earlier occasion when the latter seduced the former to try and provoke a Break His Heart to Save Him situation with Rikk when she was dying (which didn't work, but caused no degree of tension following that). Meighan points out, not without merit, that Alisin has no place to hold a grudge since she was the one who did the seducing and Meighan was the one being manipulated. Alisin, equally with merit, points out that she was quite visibly in a bad place at the time and not thinking clearly, what with the whole "impending death" thing, and that Meighan should have resisted more than she did. The two eventually accept that the other has a valid point and bury the hatchet.
  • The Apple of Discord had a moment of this recently where Steve (who was in a coma from 1993 to 2008) finds out that main character Arthur was the one who accidentally put him in the coma in the first place. Then he finds out that, in trying to fix the coma situation, Art's summoning spell backfired and is slowly causing reality to collapse.
  • Far Out There had Layla do this to Ichabod upon realizing she could have been killed because he wouldn't own up to a simple mistake.
  • In Kevin & Kell, it's revealed that Rudy never sent Kevin and Kell's marriage papers as a bill banning interspecies marriage is up for voting, which would also threaten their marriage. Rudy claims he was bitter about Kevin becoming alpha male, and didn’t think there would be any consequences, and Lindesfarne notes that now all interspecies marriages are at risk, with the potential slippery slope to eventually prevent him from marrying Fiona.
  • Igor of Dork Tower combines this with No Fourth Wall in an epic rant against New Line Cinema.
  • Stein of Frankie and Stein gets a good one here after creating his Frankenstein's Monster, Frankie, from the aforementioned reanimated dead. Concerning taking a random brain and stuffing it in some poor girl's body, without even asking!
  • The Last Mystical Legend Of The Fantastic Fantasy Trigger Star's story is entirely written around this. Breadbun being an obvious case of Guilt by Association.
  • In Homestuck, Vriska is called out by both John and Tavros when she decides to prototype Jade's sprite with Becquerel, turning Jack Noir into a Physical God and breaking most of the enemies in the kid's session. This being Vriska, of course, whether or not she counts as a "Hero" is debatable.
    • The thing with Vriska is that she believes that she is a hero. Sure, she'll admit that she's also having her fun and that her plans coming to fruition will establish her as the great and powerful, and perhaps most important, misunderstood saviour of Paradox Space, but in the end, she's positive that it will work out for the greater good. For that reason, she's unafraid of being judged as a villain for doing what it needs to be done.
    • After watching someone else do awful things ostensibly for the greater good, Vriska understands why everyone hated her antics and calls herself out.
  • Artie, the genius gerbil from Narbonic prizes himself of being the resident voice of conscience and moral anchor of his group of mad and generally evil and dangerous peers. However, towards the end, his creator, Helen Narbon snaps at him in middle of a sermon and makes him realise how through subtle and well-intended manipulation and interference, he's inadvertently been the architect of the main conflict of the story, "causing more evil than all of them put together."
  • In El Goonish Shive, Ellen gives Justin a stink eye and a vicious chewing-out after he snapped at Elliot for even daring to look at things from Melissa's perspective — she makes it clear that while his grudge is understandable, snapping at his friends when they only have his best interests at heart is unacceptable
  • In Paranatural, Lucifer chews Spender out for his long chain of childish, shortsighted actions in one night. Lucifer being Lucifer, this isn't the most morally sound speech, but the fact that Spender put his students' lives in danger multiple times is very effective at breaking his usual coolness deflectors.
  • In Everyday Heroes, Summer gets chewed out by Ben Sharpley for not learning how to use or control her powers properly.
  • Zebra Girl: Sandra has a fit because Viv won't help her save Mabel from Incubus, but Viv throws it right back in her face, pointing out her concern that Sandra is no better than Incubus.
    Sandra: I thought we were friends! I told you what I was like as a demon.
    Viv: Yeah, and you told me how you treated your friends.
    Sandra: ...
  • In the Gunnerkrigg Court chapter "Red's Friend Gets a Name Too, I Guess" Red spends four pages (starting here) pointing out that in the previous chapter her friend, and several of Annie's friends, risked their lives because Annie had decided she needed to do something and made them all feel obliged to help.
  • The other senshi gave Usagi one of these speeches when she killed the Asteroid Senshi in Sailor Moon Cosmos Arc. This, along with performing that action in the first place, and other events in the comic, eventually lead to Usagi crossing the Despair Event Horizon.
  • In Templars of the Shifting Verse Augustus is often questioned by his peers for his actions and archaic moral compass.
  • In Kid Radd, Sheena calls out Bogey when he expresses callous indifference over Radd being arrested for illegally trying to re-enter a game. Bogey defends himself, though, saying that Radd needs to learn how the real world works.
  • K.A. calls out her entire team in We Are The Wyrecats for letting her be manipulated by the Big Bad, and is especially upset with Bryce, who is acting as Mission Control.
  • I Don't Want This Kind of Hero: Everyone's reaction to Dune secretly deactivating Naga's powers as a means of testing him, especially considering how badly Naga took it.
  • Sweet Home has different kinds.
    • Subverted. After Dusik fixes the elevator, which results in the security guard killing several people, Byeong-Li tries to say that it's his fault those people are dead. Dusik counters that she was one of many who were all but forcing him to fix the elevator and he had no way of knowing what was in there, so as tragic as it is he can't be blamed for it.
    • Downplayed. After a scuffle with the flying monster, Jisu quickly tells Hyun that taking the time to talk to her in a fight like that could've gotten them killed, but with more pressing matters at hand it gets glossed over.


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