Hypocrisy Nod

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

"By the way, I'm aware of the irony of appearing on TV in order to decry it, so don't bother pointing that out."

Sideshow Bob, The Simpsons

So, you want to criticize something, and you could be viewed as hypocritical for doing so, since some of the criticism would apply to you, as well. How do you avoid being called a hypocrite? Quite simply, by saying, or implicitly noting, the hypocrisy of what you're saying.

This works on the same principle as a Lampshade Hanging; it dismisses a problem by bringing it to the fore briefly. Pointing it out yourself keeps your opponents from using the hypocrisy as a flaw in your argument. Whether it works or not depends on exactly how hypocritical you're being.

It should be noted that, in logic and debate at least, hypocrisy isn't a factor in whether a person is right or wrong. The "Ad Hominem Tu Quoque" fallacy (also known as the "Appeal to Hypocrisy") is a logical error; just because a person is being a hypocrite about something doesn't of necessity make them wrong about it.

See also Self-Deprecation, Biting the Hand Humor, Hypocritical Humor, Start X to Stop X.

Not to be confused with At Least I Admit It.

Examples of Hypocrisy Nod include:

Anime and Manga

  • In Code Geass R2 when Lelouch is confronted by Suzaku about his methods, Lelouch simply brushes him off stating that he doesn't have time to debate which of them is the bigger hypocrite.
  • The Boys Love light novel and anime Ai no Kusabi has second in command of Tanagura, Raoul telling Iason, the top ruling Blondie, he's a hypocrite for enforcing laws yet breaking a few laws himself for his Pet. Iason doesn't deny it as a means to shrug off and end the conversation.


  • Fahrenheit 451: The movie version played this straight by having an announcer read the opening credits instead of putting them on-screen. In a very stylish moment, at the end when Montag is among the Book People, words appear on the screen for the first time to say The End.
  • Coraline has the Other Mother telling Coraline that she loves her...even though the Beldam had already gone through three children before her and had drained the life out of them. Coraline, who was in danger of having the Other Mother sew buttons into her eyes, remarks that the witch has an unusual way of expressing her love.
  • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, in an effort to prevent centaurs from harming her, Dolores Umbridge demands the title character tell them she means them no harm. Harry Potter, knowing Dolores is a racist towards sentient magical creatures (and having previously been made by her to write "I must not tell lies" in his own blood), refuses and apologizes to her, saying that he was told not to be a liar.

Live-Action TV

  • On the "Lawns" episode of Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, Penn says that chemicals should not be used on plants. They intersperse this with a clip from an earlier episode on organic food where Penn said that chemicals should be used on plants. However, Penn points out that food is a necessity, and lawns aren't.
  • Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!. Tim and Eric recruited David Liebe Hart, a down-on-his-luck California public access TV icon, and they make fun of the acts he takes seriously by putting them in the context of a show on Adult Swim. Later on, during the fake Distant Finale, another actor impersonates David Liebe Hart and makes fun of this very practice.
  • On Good Eats, Alton will note when the advice he's giving contradicts something that he's said in a previous episode, and explain the reasons for the change. The most notable example is his "stuffing is evil" stance; he originally decried stuffing as being a horrible cooking method, and since has multiply clarified his views to mean specifically that stuffing turkeys is a bad idea, while it works quite well with some other foods. And then he did an entire episode devoted to finding a non-evil method of stuffing turkeys.
  • On Star Trek: Enterprise, John Paxton is an extremist who seeks to drive all alien influence from Earth. His idol is a man from Earth's post-WW3 period who arranged for the mass execution of people who were supposedly genetically-damaged by radiation from the recent war. Paxton himself is suffering from a genetic condition which can only be treated by freely-shared alien medical knowledge, meaning his idol would have had him put to death. He admits that he fails to live up to his own standards.


  • During the introduction to Tom Lehrer's "National Brotherhood Week," he stated "I'm sure we all agree that we ought to love one another and I know there are people in the world that do not love their fellow human beings and I hate people like that."

Recorded and Stand Up Comedy

  • George Carlin once prefaced a routine called "Advertising Lullaby" by noting that he was attacking advertising while, at the time, being on television in commercials for collect call service 10-10-220. He told the audience that "you're just gonna have to figure that shit out on your own."
    • He later explained in an interview with The AV Club that that was the quickest way for him to get rid of an IRS debt.

Video Games

  • Fate/stay night, Heaven's Feel: Played for drama (and technically after the fact). After berating Shirou the entire route and the two before it for being too soft to kill, Tohsaka realizes she is too as she can't bring herself to stab Sakura and is nearly killed instead. 'I guess I can't get mad at Shirou anymore.'
  • Yuri Lowell in Tales of Vesperia openly admits his vigilante actions are quite hypocritical when he's called out on them (and continues his vigilantism anyways since the law isn't effective).
  • In Knights of the Old Republic II, the Big Bad despises The Force and those who are reliant on it. However, all the Big Bad's attacks are Force-reliant, and she's too frail to fight with anything but the Force. If the player calls her out on this, she'll attempt to explain her behavior. However, she'll also admit the player makes a very good point, and it's possible that the explanation she just gave is just an excuse.
  • Saints Row: The Third seems to be an elaborate parody of the commercialised glorification of "gangsta life" in modern culture. The Saints, originally a street gang led by the player character with increasingly omnicidal tendencies, have become an established brand name complete with clothing stores, an energy drink, a movie about their life, and random fangirls asking for your autograph or snapping pictures of you after you turn a busy intersection into a pile of corpses and burning car wrecks. Even the Saints themselves realise they sold out. Of course, the game itself is a commercialised glorification of gangsta life and provides you with weaponry specifically intended to express your own omnicidal tendencies. This duality seems to be intentional.

Web Original

14) Just because you don't know what to do with a character is no reason to kill the character...
15) ... unless it's Karate Kid.

    • And again:

21) Here's a horrifying thought, retell "Watchmen" using the Charlton characters. The horrifying part is, I'd bet money that something along those lines has already been floated past the powers that be at DC.
22) Okay... It was me. I'm a whore. Sue me.

Web Comics

  • VG Cats
    • This strip pokes fun at non-Japanese Animesque works which overuse anime tropes. Works such as VG Cats itself being the implication.
    • A character, angered by the delayed release of a Super Smash Bros. game, declares people who miss deadlines should be shot. The strip itself often misses its update deadline: as a nod the characters stare nervously at the Fourth Wall. The strip came out after a long time with no updates.
  • In This Backward Compatible strip we discover the terrible consequences of the average Resident Evil fan putting the official shirt over his head to reveal the zombie image printed on the inside: zombies with man-boobs. The artist states he is aware he shouldn't wear one like this either.
  • This pictures for sad children strip rants at gadget buffs for supporting the wasteful use of resources. The Alt Text reveals the strip was written on a trendy gadget.

Western Animation

  • Rarity from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic loves to be dramatic, and even has her own couch just for fainting on. One time Twilight Sparkle was overreacting due to Sanity Slippage, and when Rarity called her a drama queen, the other ponies glared at her. Rarity quickly corrected with "Relatively speaking". Then again, this is Rarity, so she may have merely been saying "Ah, but she has so much more to learn" in her own way.
    • During "Ponyville Confidential", she tells off her sister Sweetie Belle for snooping through her possessions, pointing out that Sweetie Belle didn't like it when Rarity went through her stuff just a bit earlier. (Admittedly she could afford it, since she only browsed a newspaper that poked out of Sweetie Bell's bag, while Sweetie Bell took content from Rarity's diary and published it in that same public newspaper.)
  • The Simpsons: Sideshow Bob's quote from the top of the page.
  • An episode of Brandy and Mr. Whiskers has Whiskers obsessed with a portable video game. At the end, he states that he's learned his lesson, that there's better things to do then spend hours after hours staring at a flickering screen. Brandy pauses, looks at the screen, and nervously asks if the moral also applies to television. Whiskers, realizing the Broken Aesop, immediately says one can never watch too much television. A cartoon remote then turns them off.
  • Justice League Unlimited: General Wade Eiling uses a Nazi Super Soldier serum to turn into a Hulk Expy in order to defeat Superman as a show of America's strength. Instead he runs into seven human Leaguers with various trick weapons and completely wipes the floor with them, all the while ranting about how superpowered beings are dangerous. He's eventually called on being the only one present with actual superpowers, and acknowledges that he's become the very thing he seeks to destroy. He then retreats and is never heard from again.

Real Life

  • This is the whole idea behind the the phrase, "Do as I say, not as I do."
  • It's something of the general idea of parenting, since parents try to convince their children to not make the same stupid decisions they made.