Bad Mood As an Excuse

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Man, his little friend just won't leave him alone.

Let's say Bob is really cranky for some reason or another. Maybe someone's ruining his life and eating all his steak and it's really getting to him. If he just grumbled and steamed about it, we would be able to just conclude that Bob is in a bad mood. However, Bob has just done something nasty to someone else. Maybe he's yelled at his best friend Alice, or else he's smacked Charlie in the face. In extreme cases, he killed Kenny. Whatever Bob has done, his bad mood was a factor in it and he uses it as an excuse for his actions.

Also often connected with a Bad Boss or Troubled Abuser, whose first instinct towards a bad mood is usually to lash it out on someone below them. Almost always linked to either Disproportionate Retribution or Misplaced Retribution (or both).

No real life examples, please; we'd be here all day.

Examples of Bad Mood As an Excuse include:


  • The series of misunderstandings issued towards Dave in Anger Management are revealed to have all been an act, except for the Air Marshall that tazered him on the airplane, who was just in a bad mood from his seating choice.
  • In the Quentin Tarantino film Pulp Fiction, Vincent Vega was having a bad day after his botched job. He was at a bar when Butch Coolidge walks in, Vincent took the opportunity to insult the boxer.

Newspaper Comics

Calvin: Boy, I'm in a bad mood today! Everyone had better steer clear of me! I hate everybody! As far as I'm concerned, everyone on the planet can just drop dead. People are scum. (Beat) WELL-L-L-L? Doesn't anyone want to cheer me up?

Professional Wrestling

  • Played with in a WWE arc, where Vince Mac Mahon becomes obsessively critical of Smackdown manager Theodore Long. Later on he claims he wanted to apologize since this was largely due to becoming frustrated by his own professional problems...until he decided he hated Long anyway so continued getting on his back.
  • Used in excess with heel characters. Whenever they are having a losing streak, a plan has failed, or they're just feeling a little under the weather, expect them to administer a nasty verbal or physical onslaught on some other wrestler, starting a long time feud. It isn't rare for some heels to suddenly insist on completely destroying the lives of another simply because they were at the same place that their snit fit was provoked and thus vaguely connected to their misery. After all Evil Is Petty.

Web Animation

  • The Lebrons episode "Misunderstood" has Kid in this mood because nobody understands him at all after he lost his basketball game. His attitude is especially directed at his friends Condor, Erik and Li. Word of God says this is based on LeBron James' attitude after he missed his game.

Web Comics

  • Something*Positive: At one point Mike's girlfriend treats him him like dirt during a period of wild Mood Swings (semi-justified in that she's pregnant, but other characters call her out on it).

Western Animation

  • Family Guy often makes use of this. On example is Brian ranting at a crying baby in a restaurant. When confronted about this he claims he was irritated because his meal was undercooked.
  • While Roger of American Dad is always finding reasons to lash out on people, he takes it to a juvenile extreme in "One Little Word" when after being ignored in favor of Bullock's son, he reverts to a child persona and begins throwing destructive tantrums around the house, usually directed at Steve.
    • Used again in "Pulling Double Booty" where Hayley apparently goes into terrifying Unstoppable Rages every time she is rejected by a boy, violently taking it out on anyone around her, provoked or not.

Stan: The autopsy revealed the hamster was pregnant.

  • The Powerpuff Girls nemesis Mojo Jojo once made a destructive rampage in Townsville out of annoyance he couldn't find a ship in a bottle he wanted in a store.

Blossom: Oh please.
Mojo Jojo: *defensive* It's a hobby of mine!

  • In an episode of Futurama Farnsworth and Hermes are beaten mercilessly by a slime alien after their sons break one of the windows in his house in their paper round. Later on he comes to their hospital to apologize, explaining he was frustrated by some problems at work.
  • Taken to extreme in Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy where Ed gains a rather uncharacteristic bad mood, becoming aloof, violent and outright intimidating to everyone, even his usually overbearing sister. This is stopped when Johnny pulls off his shoe, revealing a pebble inside. Ed immediately becomes blissful again to the complete disbelief of Edd and Eddy.