Jerkass Has a Point

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"You're so nice. You're not Good, you're not Bad, you're just Nice.
I'm not Good. I'm not Nice. I'm just Right. I'm the Witch!"

The Witch, Into the Woods, "The Last Midnight"

He's not good. He's not nice. He's a Jerkass. What he just said is not what the main characters wanted to hear. And yet, he's right..

The jerkass in question can be anything from your ISO Standard Jerkass or Anti-Hero all the way up to any flavor of Villain (though the chance is inversely proportional to the distance they go down the "slippery slope"). Whoever he or she is, they're seriously deficient in the morals department, at least from the point of view of the perspective characters. Then they have a moment where they say something undeniably true - the good guys don't have to like what he's saying, but they can't deny he's right without deluding themselves. Perhaps even the protagonist is caught on a moral stumbling block, and the antagonist is all too glad to point out their hypocrisy.

The other main reason a character is likely to say "I don't believe I'm saying this, but I agree with him."

It's worth noting that the Alpha Bitch and the Jerk Jock, two of the main distributors of this trope, have a tendency toward bluntness. While our hero's friends may be hesitant to insult him, these characters don't really care what he thinks and are willing to say exactly what he's doing wrong, without sugarcoating their "What the Hell, Hero?".

A rare outcome of the claim "We are Not So Different". A response of "Shut UP, Hannibal" would be out of place, and is likely to get shot down if it appears. See also Not Himself and What the Hell, Hero? for situations likely to inspire this. See Don't Shoot the Message for what happens when this occurs in Real Life. Sister Trope to Dumbass Has a Point and Wisdom from the Gutter.

Contrast Straw Man Has a Point, when a character who is often unpleasant makes a point that readers are meant to see as wrong and characters dismiss, but which is supported at least in part by evidence.

Examples of Jerkass Has a Point include:

Anime and Manga

  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Whenever she's not just putting him down, Asuka can sometimes make a valid point to Shinji about his issues.
    • Asuka is generally correct on any topic not related to her personal issues... which makes sense, as she is supposed to be highly intelligent. She's just a complete fool in anything touching upon her own psychological damage, which makes her a typical Evangelion cast member.
  • He's Dedicated to Roses: The leader of the Girl Posse give I-Da one of these after breaking her glasses. Subverted in that that wasn't what she had intended.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena: The resident Jerkass Butt Monkeys Saionji and Nanami start making good points and recognising how they all are being manipulated towards the end of the series, but by then no-one listens to them.
  • Weiss Kreuz: Reiji Takatori is the Big Bad of the TV series, and by accounts a Complete Monster who antagonizes Weiss and their boss Persia aka his brother Shuiichi. However, in a certain confrontation, he brings up a pretty valid point in regards to their subordinates (which in Reiji's case, are his own sons Hirofumi and Masafumi), summed up as this: "You tell ME I use my sons to my advantage?! Look at the way you treat your four subordinates, you hypocrite! Specially the little guy whom you thought he was my kid... and who happens to be YOUR illegitimate son!" And then he kills Persia.
  • In Naruto, Orochimaru was the one who gave Tsunade the idea of starting a unit of medical ninjas to minimize battlefield casualties, though that was way before he turned to full-blown villainy. He was a recognized hero of Konoha, pegged to be the next Hokage and genuinely her friend at the time.
    • Sasuke gets this from time to time in Part 1. When Sakura complains about Naruto and says that he is a Bratty Half-Pint because he has no parents (which definitely strikes a nerve for Sasuke), Sasuke tells Sakura that she has no idea what Naruto went through, and after he leaves, she decides to start being nicer to Naruto. Shortly before the Chunin Exam, he tells her that she's as annoying as Naruto is and in terms of skill, even weaker than he is, and during the Forest of Death, when Naruto and Sasuke are incapacitated, Sakura realizes that despite thinking herself superior to Naruto, she can't do anything when it counts, and goes through Character Development as a result.
    • The Fourth Raikage is often depicted as arrogant, stubborn and somewhat hypocritical. When Naruto's pleas for him not to kill Sasuke are dismissed as weakness, Naruto agrees to the extent that he has to either save or kill Sasuke himself.
  • Medaka Box: Right after being defeated, Kumagawa makes an point about Medaka's decision to make Kumagawa her Vice-President remarking that she's ignoring Zenkichi's feelings. Personal feelings aside, Kumagawa was nonetheless a dangerous minus who blinded Zenkichi, so distrust of Kumagawa was still partially justified.
    • Naze calls out the rest of the student council for their bystander attitude after Medaka beats Zenkichi into a bloody pulp.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Solf J. Kimblee. Jerkass has many points. Played especially straight in Ch. 60 where he lectures Mustang and Hawkeye about the nature of killing, free will, and military duty in the midst of war. Kimblee's words affect them so much, they decide to lose the self-pity, accept responsibility for their acts, and atone by putting into motion a long-term plan to change the leadership of the country from below.
  • In One Piece, after Kaku is revealed as a Cipher Pol 9 spy, Zoro asks him if the fact that he is not a real shipwright means that his assessment that the Going Merry was unable to reach the next island was incorrect, but Kaku says that he was telling the truth back then. Later on, when he goes to the place where Franky and Usopp are going to the ship, he chides Usopp for keeping Merry around, before dumping it into the stormy ocean. Kaku is correct, and the Merry falls apart after saving the Straw Hats from Enies Lobby.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh, Joey Wheeler's deck gets stolen by a kid, but quickly gets it back. Later, he faces Weevil Underwood in a duel, but finds that his deck has been sabotaged, putting him at a disadvantage. Joey and his friends realize that Weevil hired the kid to sabotage the deck and angrily condemn Weevil for cheating. Weevil confirms this, but retorts that it is Joey's fault for being so stupid and naive as to not inspect his deck after getting it back. Indeed, while Weevil ultimately loses (mostly due to his own overconfidence and incompetence) his point is doubly driven home in Joey's next duel against Mako Tsunami, where he finds he forgot to get rid of the card Weevil planted in it.
  • Oberstein of Legend of Galactic Heroes is a magnificent example of this trope. There is practically no one in the show who likes the guy, and yet he always makes arguments that, although devoid of concepts such as honor and often morals, are simply correct and most effective when looked at logically. Even Reinhard states that he has not once liked Oberstein as a person, but followed his advice the most because "that man makes arguments that are so right, they leave no room for debate".
  • Bleach:
    • Grimmjow has several good points during the course of the Arrancar arcs. For instance, he points out what's wrong with letting Ichigo survive at the start of the arc, argues why it was better to kill Ichigo and being 95% right, and even asks why Ichigo just won't leave Las Noches despite having accomplished the goal. Ironically enough, each of these have a very irony-filled end; Ichigo ends up killing several of the Espadas by himself, the 95% was because Aizen didn't tell anyone his plans for Ichigo, which also backfires, and that, because Ichigo didn't leave when he had the chance, Orihime is kidnapped AGAIN and that leads into the Curb Stomp Battle Ichigo recieves from Ulquiorra.
    • In the pilot, Orihime's father, who turns out to be obsessed with staying with his daughter forever to the point at which he killed her himself, tells her that she shouldn't confess her feelings to him, because as he is alive and she is not, she will only cause him pain. However, once he's dealt with, Rukia appears to come back with Orihime, as she was denied re-entry, setting up a Sequel Hook in which Ichigo and Orihime could get together.
    • Mayuri Kurotsuchi, of all people, gets to play this role recently. In the Final Arc, Yamamoto is making preparations for war agains the Vandereich. While discussing it, Mayuri straightforwardly tells him that for not having eliminated the dude who'd later become the Vandereich when he should've done so, he's the one who blame for the whole mess in the first place. And he's right.
  • In Bakuman。, Nanamine, who has a morally dubious plan to rise to the top of Jump, had once sent the main characters as fan mail, but stopped when they started writing Tanto, saying they weren't suited to gag manga. This is a bit of an odd case, in that it takes a while for Nanamine to be revealed as a Jerkass, and this opinion was shared by the majority of the characters. He also says that like him, the main characters took risks and defied their editors at times to get what they wanted.
  • In Death Note, Near's response to Light Yagami's Motive Rant was to tell him that "you're nothing more than a crazy mass murderer."


Comics

  • In volume 4 of Empowered, the protagonist is overjoyed to be running for the Caped Justice Awards, until Sistah Spooky informs her that the award is a setup used to publicly humiliate the receiver and that she should watch out. Given that Sistah Spooky has been nothing but antagonistic from day one (not to mention breaking her own pedestal, since Empowered was a big fan of hers until they met), she assumes Sistah is just raining on her parade. She's not.
  • In both the graphic novel Watchmen and film adaptation of the selfsame, Ozymandias is moved to set his plan into action after The Comedian mocks (Captain Metropolis in the novel, Ozymandias himself in the film) for trying to form a Super Team and points out that with the Cold War inching mankind closer to nuclear annihilation with each passing moment ideals like "right" and "wrong" were outdated.
    • The Comedian also condemns Dr. Manhattan for his noninterference. The Comedian shoots a pregnant Vietnamese woman over Manhattan's objections, and is then chastised for it. While this is obviously a heinous crime, he correctly points out that Manhattan could have prevented it with his godlike powers, by teleporting her away or changing the bullets into something harmless, but chose not to. As it turns out, this passive observation eventually leads to the deaths of thousands.


Fan Works


Film

  • Used in-universe in Gremlins 2 with this exchange:

Clamp: That thing that was in here a minute ago, that's dangerous! This guy's from the art department.
Forster: Well, ask him how he knows so much about these "green things".
Clamp: That's a good question Bill – how do you know so much about them?


Literature

  • Vidia from the Disney Fairies series does this on occasion.
  • A variation of this occurs in The House of Night series, which leads to friendship between The Hero and The Alpha Bitch, who eventually becomes the The Sixth Ranger and a major supporting character.
  • In Darkest Powers, Tori Enright, while not necessarily evil, is a self-proclaimed bitch who once made it her priority to make Chloe's life hell. While her first time attempting to give Chloe advice ends up in the two of them almost getting carved up by a trio of street thugs, when it seems that Chloe is having trouble with Simon and Derek and gets subsequently very depressed about it, Tori's pep talk ends up helping Chloe to realize just what's wrong with herself. Which in turn leads to her accepting the fact that the one she's liked all along is actually Derek and allows her to return to a mostly normal state.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, there's a scene in the second book where Alliser Thorne, an abrasive and arrogant training instructor with the Night's Watch, comes to King's Landing to present evidence that the dead are walking and warn everyone that an invasion by the Others is imminent. Every time we've seen Thorne before, he's been portrayed in a negative light, so most readers cheer when Breakout Character Tyrion makes a fool out of him in front of the royal court:

Tyrion: Lord Baelish, buy our brave Ser Alliser a hundred spades to take back to the Wall with him.
Alliser: Spades?
Tyrion: If you bury your dead, they won't come walking.

    • It doesn't change the fact that Alliser was telling the truth: The dead are walking, the Others are coming, and the kings and lords of Westeros are too busy fighting each other to do anything about it.
      • This is also a major bit of Nice Job Breaking It, Hero for Tyrion; knowing what a Jerkass Thorne is, Tyrion refused to see him when he arrived, and kept him waiting for so long that the severed, yet still moving, wight hand Thorne had brought with him had rotted down to the bones. Had Tyrion seen him earlier, he would have been presented with indisputable proof that Thorne was telling the truth, and the course of the whole series might have been dramatically changed.
  • In Harry Potter, Malfoy believes Hagrid's Blast-ended Skrewts are abominations of nature. The Skrewts are jet-propelled scorpion-leeches that eventually grow to be 10-feet long and are apparently illegal hybrids of Manticores and fire-crabs meaning they shouldn't even exist in the first place. While Hermoine defends the Skrewts in Hagrid's class out of loyalty to Hagrid, she privately agrees with Malfoy that the Skrewts are horrible monsters.


Live Action TV

  • Supernatural: The Trickster/Gabriel was a big one. Sure, his method was cruel (a time loop within which Dean died every day, and Sam couldn't save him), but he did have a point: Sam had to accept that Dean was going to die, and that sacrificing themselves for each other isn't a good idea. Not that it stopped them...
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Episode one of season two of had Buffy, traumatized by her near-death experience at the hands of The Master, acting mean and uncommunicative to her friends. She wound up getting a tongue-lashing from Cordelia.
    • Cordelia fills this role constantly in Buffy and Angel: "Tact is just not saying true stuff. I'll pass". When she joined Angel, the role on Buffy was taken over by Anya, an ex-demon who hasn't learnt which thoughts should be verbalized, and occasionally by Spike who often didn't have time for social skills.
    • Frequently—but extremely reluctantly—with Spike and to a lesser extent with Andrew, though it overlaps with Dumbass Has a Point.
    • In season 3, the Mayor (while anything but Jerkassy, was definitely a vicious villain) provided frank and accurate advice on why Buffy and Angel's relationship was doomed to fail. While he was trying to kill the both of them. Nice guy.
  • Possibly a meta-example; in an episode of WKRP in Cincinnati, the station was targeted by a group of evangelical Moral Guardians whose methods bordered on censorship. Among the ridiculous claims they made was that John Lennon's hit single "Imagine" was glorifying communism. Thing is, this is not a ridiculous statement, as that is exactly the message Lennon intended when he wrote it.
  • Degrassi: "Whisper to a Scream" is a great example. Ellie, a Goth Zen Survivor, is the only character all season who has been able to stand up to Paige [the Alpha Bitch]. The episode starts with Ellie fighting Paige's latest scheme...then, due to trouble at home, Ellie begins cutting herself. Paige finds out and tries to help her get counseling.
    • There was also a much less serious episode where Emma has her first period, and Paige tries to convince her that it's great because "You'll get boobs now" And "Boobs aren't that bad... they're really great actually."
    • From our other Alpha Bitch, Holly J, we get a few moments where she gives 'advice.' The first is after Mia finds out Sav likes Anya ("We need men, not boys."), after her Fallen Princess she gives advice to Spinner and Jane in season 8. Season 9 she has a wonderful scene with shades of the Paige Emma discussion telling Clare that having a impure thoughts isn't bad... so long as it doesn't lead to kissing the neck of Holly J's boyfriend.
    • Mrs. Torres, oh wow. She's mad at Snake because her son was shrinkwrapped to a pole. Then she's mad at Snake because her other son who she still isn't quite used to not being her daughter was the victim of a hate crime in school. By this time she's probably wondering what kind of school he's running. Then Vegas Night happens...
    • Another example involving Paige happened in the episode "I Want Candy". Ashley would not get out of bed to go to school after Craig cheats on her with Manny (several months after it's already happened). In an effort to try and cheer her up, Paige and Spinner skip school and take her out on the town. Of course, Ashley does nothing but whine the entire time. Finally, Paige gives Ashley a What the Hell, Hero? speech, tellng her that while what Craig did to her was wrong, he was not the issue. The real problem was Ashley because she wouldn't move on with her life.
    • Bianca's gotten her fair share in, pointing out that while she did steal Drew from Alli, it wasn't as bad as Alli kissing Clare's ex-boyfriend/current step-brother. Since Alli is Clare's best friend she should know better, Bianca has no such loyalty to break. Later on she sets Jake straight that no matter what Clare says, she's not going to be able to separate the sex from the romance she has building in her head, and if he sleeps with her he's royally messing her up. Bianca didn't choose the nicest ways to go about sharing these lessons, but she was right in both counts.
  • Odo being saved by advice from Quark in an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
  • Late into Lizzie McGuire, the Will They or Won't They? between Lizzie and Gordo was getting unbelievably tedious so Lizzie finally got a Sorkin Relationship Moment...from Kate.
  • Mad Men: Joan Holloway gets to hand out a lot of this. So does Bobbie Barrett.
  • In The Wire, William Rawls is a complete asshole that openly hates protagonist Jimmy McNulty. But, when McNulty's partner is shot, Rawls makes it a point to tell Jimmy that the shooting wasn't his fault.
  • Glee is full of this and most of the Jerkass characters get one or more scenes where they get to tell one of the 'good' characters the plain truth and force them to address their problems.
    • Sue Sylvester tells Will that he shouldn't use demeaning hairography in the glee club's set list. Later, Will thanks her and as required willingly shows her the set list which she promptly leaks to the competing schools.
    • Quinn tells Rachel that Finn does not have the same dreams for the future as Rachel and as such she should stop pursuing him since they will just end up miserable. This makes Rachel realize that she has been too self-absorbed and has not really considered what Finn wants out of life and a relationship.
  • Scrubs: A teen is admitted to the hospital and Dr. Cox is assigned to treat her. When he learns that she willingly stopped taking the medicine she needs to survive he lays into her. The plot treats him as the bad guy, because even if she is an idiot, that's because she's a teenager, and a treating doctor should know better than that
  • Gossip Girl: Both Chuck and Blair often fill this role, telling the blunt and terrifying truth.
  • From The Walking Dead, there's Daryl. He may be a caustic redneck, but he is usually the only one of the group to recognize the gravity of their situations.
  • In the second season of Community, a recurring plot arc was Pierce Hawthorne's increasingly Jerkass behaviour towards his friends, which eventually reached a point where they were debating whether to throw him out of the group or not. However, while Pierce was shown to be unreasonable and cruel with many of his actions, he was also shown to make the entirely valid point that one of the main reasons that he was acting out in this fashion was that his supposed friends weren't actually that much nicer or better towards him in many ways, often deliberately excluding, mocking or ignoring him. While Pierce is the group's Acceptable Target in that he's a racist, sexist jackass, his friends were forced to concede that in several ways he had a point. However, the trope is played with in that Pierce is also forced to concede the point that it's in many ways his own fault he's excluded in the first place.
  • In the season 1 finale of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Oenomaus angrily calls out Ashur for his cowardice, dishonorable tactics, arranging Barca's murder, ruining Crixus and Naevia's relationship, and other slights. Ashur retorts that ever since he arrived in the ludus, everyone gave him a hard time: repeatedly calling him a wimp and a coward even though he won a few matches, and making fun of him when Crixus crippled his leg, so why shouldn't he try to ruin their lives?

Ashur: My fucking treachery? When did YOU stand forth for Ashur? When did ANY OF YOU GREET ME SHORT OF MOCKERY, AND SCORN?!?!! FUCKING CUNTS!!!

  • Annie's father in the Masters of Horror episode "Cigarette Burns". Kirby treats him like an unreasonable jerkass, but Kirby did get his daughter killed by indulging her drug habit, abysmally failed to get her on the right track despite agreeing with him to do so, is still massively in debt to him, and just evades him whenever the topic of repaying the loan comes up. It's only when he resolves to kill Kirby that he crosses the line into outright villainy.


Theatre


Video Games

  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Justice For All's second case, it's strongly implied that Dr. Grey is right and that Mimi Miney was, in fact, at fault for the malpractice incident that killed fourteen patients, as Phoenix says near the end of the trial.
  • In Mass Effect, the turian councilor is the only council member who thinks it plausible that Matriarch Benezia would be willing to murder her own daughter. He's right - because of indoctrination, she is.
    • The sequel also has an instance with Quarian Admiral Zaal'Koris, who is entirely distrustful of both Tali and her father trying to get the family exiled. However he's also the only member of the Admiralty board who opposes going to war with the geth and sees them another sentient species with the quarians also largely to blame for what has happened.
  • In Pokémon Black and White, Ghetsis says, 'A Pokemon, even if it's revered as a deity, is still just a Pokemon!' After all the legendary Pokemon being called 'gods', it's kind of nice to see someone who isn't falling for it. Even if he redefines 'bastard'.
  • In Katawa Shoujo, when Hisao suggests that Jigoro Hakamichi could visit his daughter Shizune, Jigoro counters by, among other things, asking when the last time Hisao has called his parents. Hisao concedes that he has not made much of an effort to keep in touch with them, although he hates Jigoro enough to be tempted to punch him in the face.


Web Comics

Molly: Now lets sit back, just us bitches and figure out how to fix this, 'cause being a bitch is kind of my thing, and two bitches is one bitch too many.

  • Several instances in The Order of the Stick where Belkar says something useful. Xykon delivers some foreshadowing to Miko in this strip, by way of paraphrasing Yoda: "fear leads to anger, anger leads to suffering, and suffering leads to the Dark Side." Minus the fear, that's just what happens to Miko later on.
  • Girl Genius got pretty unpleasant Zulenna who habitually advocated Baron's dubious actions including imprisonment of "Othar Tryggvassen, Gentleman Adventurer". Agatha and other students ignored this. The guy turned to be more or less as much heroic as he pretended to be... and dangerous nutcase as a bonus. Zulenna generally has a point any time she is not posturing.
  • This is a trait of Mike from the Walkyverse. He seemingly exists solely to make others miserable, but on a few occasions he has done so by pointing out when they are being hypocrites or making bad decisions. Who cares if it causes Character Development in the long term, as long as it makes them suffer in the short term he seems fine with it.
  • Drowtales: As part of the Grey and Gray Morality, this pops up quite a bit. The Kyorl'solenurn, for instance, are surprisingly justified in their extremism against the tainted, especially after recent revelations like the fact that most tainted have been given intentionally faulty demonic seeds that will kill them within 50 years. Quain'tana also has some of this, since while a terribly abusive parent and all around not very nice person she does make good points, especially when it comes to the Sharen, who the readers know are not what they seem at all. This also applies to her interactions with her daughter Mel, who has twice tried to claim submission to her mother, but Quain doesn't buy it, and we the audience know that she's actually right to not trust Mel since she was put up to it by the character who's effectively the Big Bad of the series.
  • Homestuck: Karkat has a problem: he is constantly bickering with past and future versions of himself. He's berated for this by nearly everyone, including Jade. But when Jade has to deal with a incessantly whiny version of herself for reasons that would take hours to explain, Karkat pulls this one on her.

CG: IF I RECALL, IT WASN'T THAT LONG AGO FROM EITHER OF OUR PERSPECTIVES THAT YOU WERE RIPPING ON ME AND MY SMUG WINDBAG FUTURE SELF FOR ARGUING WITH EACH OTHER
GG: oh come on...
GG: this is NOTHING like that!
CG: HOW IS THIS NOT LIKE THAT
GG: because she's...
GG: well
GG: she's ACTUALLY INSANE
CG: OH I SEE, AND ALL THOSE IDIOT PAST AND FUTURE KARKATS WEREN'T???


Web Original

  • Global Guardians PBEM Universe: Achilles, leader of the titular superhero team, goes to his father for advice on his personal life all the time. His father, by the way, is Lord Doom, one of the setting's world-conquering master villains. This is a slightly inverted example, though, because usually Achilles is the blunt antagonistic one (for a hero), and Lord Doom is generally urbane and polite (for a villain).
  • In The Onion's articles by Jean Teasdale, "Hubby Rick" is an interesting intersection of Jerkass and Closer to Earth. He spends most of his time at the bar, mainly because Jean's Cloudcuckoolander It's All About Me behavior frustrates him; one article has her squirreling away money to "invest" (read: buy Betty Boop collectibles), and when Rick finds out he chews her out because they could use that money to pay their bills.


Western Animation

  • In one episode of The Spectacular Spider-Man, Peter, under the influence of the black spidey-suit, acts uncharacteristically abrasive to his friends. A speech from Flash Thompson causes Peter to realize what a jerk he's been and cast off the symbiote.

Peter: OK, if Flash Thompson is making sense, something must be seriously wrong.

  • Eric in Dungeons and Dragons was set up as The Complainer Is Always Wrong, but if you're listening carefully, he's the only one in the party perfectly willing to call out Dungeonmaster over those dirty tricks and half-truths that get the party in trouble, and the only one to tell Hank that Honor Before Reason may be a bad idea.
  • On SpongeBob SquarePants, after the Flying Dutchman (the Bikini Bottom version of Satan) is ready to drag Mr. Krabs to Davy Jones' Locker for being greedy, Spongebob sticks up for his boss, wagering his own soul that Krabs is really generous. The Dutchman then offers Krabs a handful of pocket change in exchange for Spongebob's soul, which Krabs accepts without hesitation. Krabs gloats over the money, while the Dutchman departs with the sponge, causing Squidward to go ballistic. Normally Spongebob's sworn enemy, Squidward yells to Krabs, "I can't believe I'm saying this but how could you sell Spongebob for 62 cents?" Eventually Squidward's abuse makes Krabs see the light and he regrets his greedy ways.
  • The entire Cadmus story arc in Justice League centered on Cadmus' attempts to thwart the worst-case scenario of the league taking over the world like their Justice Lord counterparts. Amanda Waller points out that the League has a Kill Sat, they have made some questionable decisions in the past, and there has been at least one reality they know of where the League overthrew the government (albeit to keep Luthor from wiping out all life on Earth out of sheer spite). Normal people don't have a way to defend themselves against a group of super powerful beings if it ever came down to it. In "Question Authority", Green Arrow lampshades the whole thing by saying that if the League ever decided to cross the line and become the Lords, there's nothing that the rest of the world could do to stop it. Green Arrow and the league's more grounded heroes were meant in part to keep the heavy hitters honest but they only served as the overall conscience against them Jumping Off the Slippery Slope, not an actual Restraining Bolt if they were to truly abandon their principles and attack the government.
  • South Park: Eric Cartman gets this quite a few times throughout the series, when his twisted worldview is occasionally proven true. Usually Played for Laughs like most everything else in the series.
  • In the "The Cutie Pox" episode of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, Diamond Tiara probably only calls Apple Bloom out on her cutie marks which were cause by Cutie Pox being fake in order to take her down a peg when a second one appears, since she hates anypony taking the spotlight away from her. Still, she's 100% right, and even the teacher Cheerilee shares her skepticism.
  • Red Arrow is a suspicious jerk towards Artemis in Young Justice. Although Artemis probably isn't The Mole, Roy's lack of trust in her unfortunately does have some merit, since she is keeping secrets about her past from the team. Reaches a head in "Insecurity" when Roy's mistrust pushes Artemis to endanger the mission by trying to lead the rest of the team away from the targets just to have a chance to prove herself. This backfires immensely when the mission goes south and her deception is exposed.
  • Benson from Regular Show seems to embody this trope. While he is hard on Mordecai and Rigby, his anger often comes from their slacker attitudes and desire to be cool, which tend to screw things up or prolong the time it takes to complete menial tasks.
  • In one episode of Rick and Morty, Rick clearly does not want to go to Bird-Person and Tammy's wedding, despite being close friends with the groom. (Well, as much as Rick can be friends with anyone.) Rick just doesn't like weddings, claiming they're "funerals with cake". Nonetheless, he and his family attend, and it turns out it would have been better had they stayed away, as Tammy herself (who is secretly an agent of the Federation) is using it as a sting operation to arrest them.
  • Iago is the Token Evil Teammate among the protagonists of Aladdin, not to mention the rudest and most annoying. However, in one episode he opposed vehemently helping or trusting Caliph Kapok, simply because he was known to be a wizard. (Agrabah's experiences with wizards were unpleasant to say the least.) While such a suspicion at first seemed like unfair stereotyping, Iago had a valid point here, because Kapok was as evil as any other wizard they'd known.
  • Sebastian from The Little Mermaid; when he sang "Under the Sea" in an attempt to persuade Ariel to stay put, his true motive was to prevent him from getting in trouble, and a lot of bad things could have been avoided had he just kept his trap shut. Still, you can't deny that, being a crab, he was once of the few undersea denizens who could walk on land, and had seen enough of the human world to make a comparison. Plus, his statement that "the human world is a mess" is something quite a few viewers can agree with.

Real Life