Unfortunate Implications/Others

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Gordon Brown will solve everything with OH GOD IT BURNS

Important Note: Just because a work has Unfortunate Implications does not mean the author was thinking of it that way. In fact, that's the point of it being unfortunate. So, please, no Justifying Edits about "what the authors really meant." The way an author handles a trope is an important factor here; handling a trope in a clumsy manner can certainly create unintentional impressions for readers. Likewise, if a work intends the offensive message (for example, a piece of Nazi propaganda about Jews), it wouldn't count. Also, for something that may not be offensive to you personally but may offend others in a different culture or time period, see Values Dissonance.

Board Games[edit | hide | hide all]

Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

  • 9 Chickweed Lane has Seth, a proudly Invisible to Gaydar male ballet dancer who recently has been almost harassing another character to come out of the Transparent Closet that everyone can see. He then falls madly in love with a hot South American woman...'s dance skills, skills that he never noticed before despite being said woman's ballet partner he then sleeps with her "skills" and a few months in advance the plot was lined up with the revelation that Seth had previously had a short but intense affair with a 65 year old Oboe-playing woman named Maxine, who was apparently not a looker, because she was such a talented musician. Apparently he is supposed to have a fetish for "art". What the author might be trying to say is that everyone is attracted to different things and it's not fair to pigeonhole people based on appearances and gut-feelings, but it's coming off as "he just needed a tango with the right leggy woman".
  • This seems to be what got Cathy such ire--Cathy and Irving's personal behaviors were read as statements on what all women and all men were like, and the two fit pretty neatly into existing stereotypes. The title character, at least, becomes much less offensive if you assume she's an Author Avatar.
  • Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert) comments on this in one of his collections. One story had various personal items mysteriously disappearing from people's cubicles. Eventually it turns out that the Security Guard and the Janitor are the culprits. However, this happens in a Sunday strip, and Adams does not do the coloring personally, it's added by an editor at his syndicate. As you might expect from its inclusion here, both of them are depicted with decidedly non-Caucasian skin tones. Adams says that somehow they pick the exact worst times to add diversity to the cast...
    • Deliberately toyed with by Adams after he got some backlash over the character of Tina, who is offended by everything. Readers complained of her being so "brittle" because she was a woman, even though she was only female because he wanted to add some more gender diversity to the cast. In response he created the joke character "Antina", who was a deliberate reversal of every female stereotype imaginable. This time Adams was accused of mocking lesbians.
    • Many of the early Dilbert cartoons take potshots at Straw Feminists and depict Dilbert as a Dogged Nice Guy who refuses to take no for an answer from women who will not date him. More recent strips, however, don't seem to have this problem.
    • On the assumption that having no recurring minority characters would itself be a problem, Adams decided to add Asok to the cast. Since Adams makes pretty much all his characters extremely flawed, he was hesitant about handling an ethnic minority for fear of being accused of racism. So he made Asok a hyper-competent, naive intern whose main flaw was being unaware of the cynical workings of his company, a flaw that would implicitly go away with time. He still got complaints for that one.

Professional Wrestling[edit | hide]

"When Cody Rhodes' parents gave him a rattle, it was attached to a snake."

Radio[edit | hide]

  • In a very loose animorphic adaptation of Balzac's (non-animorphic) short story "A Passion In The Desert", the unnamed protagonist repeatedly claims that women are like beasts, both in the narration and in the dialogue. Furthermore, when he and Mignonne (the currently human animorph he is speaking to when he says that women are like beasts) are camping in a desert and a panther approaches, the panther will allow the protagonist to pet her. The man insists that Mignonne pet her, and when she refuses saying that she's frightened, it only makes him yell at her to do it anyway. She reaches out a hand, and the panther bites her. She pulls back but the man tells her to do it again. Unfortunate Implication? Double Entendre? Both?
  • Country Radio tends to have this, due to the lack of success of African-American FEMALE country artists (namely Rissi Palmer and Miko Marks), as they might air ONLY ONE song of theirs and air it irregularly (usually once in a blue moon), or never give them any airtime at all.

Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • The earliest editions of Dungeons & Dragons Drow. First some vague "evil black elves", then Exclusively Evil matriarchy that looked vaguely African in culture and skin color. Luckily, the publishers very quickly edited that last part and instead made them look obsidian-black, not brown, and more alien to human eyes -- forlorn pale "shadowelves" lifted from The Elves of Alfheim combined with an unrelated dark elf from its cover art. Though it's still an eeeevil matriarchy that must be destroyed (not to mention that popular male Drow "beating the system"). Aside of this unfortunate combination, they're supposedly mix of classical dark elves, post-Tolkienese elves and spider cult from Arlach-Nacha of The Seven Geases. Slightly lessened by the fact that most evil patriarchies (for example, orcs, who are generally quite Tolkienian in D&D) aren't treated any better.
    • Later became severely Depending on the Writer, especially when one tries to find in-'Verse reasons:
      • War of the Spider Queen shows how well most Drow fare when a tight grip of sadistic matriarchs and Religion of Evil constantly keeping them in check is released. Though this merely replaces the old Unfortunate Implications with "I know you and so do it to you For Your Own Good!" successfully pulled by Chaotic Evil deity.
      • Elaine Cunningham not only added notes about Drow culture (one cannot just roll Villain Ball day in day out), but made this theme to bite its own tail. Norse people heard only few rumors about Drow and expected to see "dock-alfar" from Scandinavian legends, as per Historical Reference. And that's more or less what they (accidentally) got.
    • Further implications of the Drow are that any society that is sexually open is necessarily evil, and that association with spiders (those helpful arachnids that eat many a pest) makes you evil as well.
    • D&D settings where each nation is a Fantasy Counterpart Culture can be prone to this trope.
    • Kill ugly green people and take their stuff. If the players find out there is a tribe of orcs menacing a human village, the players often give not a thought to cutting the orcs down in droves, helping themselves to their loot, and claiming they were entirely in the right. Orcs are not Exclusively Evil, and even if they were, that doesn't mean they aren't in the right in this individual case or that Violence Is the Only Option.
      • And the Exclusively Evil trope itself has some serious unfortunate implications. It's omnipresent in High Fantasy and very common in Low Fantasy and Space Opera.
      • A dragon quest can be this. If the dragon isn't a menace to the area, killing it may be entirely unjustified, and its hoard is it's property. However, players with good characters won't think twice about killing an ancient, incredibly intelligent sapient being unless it's scales are shiny. Dragons are Color Coded for Your Convenience, but that's not a set in stone rule and players usually look no further before deciding it's OK to kill it.
    • Ravenloft had the Vistani, a race of magical gypsies. Though generally portrayed sympathetically, the same criticisms made of the White Wolf Old World of Darkness Gypsies (below) could be repeated here. They received some Character Development later in the product line, but still fit every Roma stereotype out of a Hammer Horror film.
  • The Orks in Shadowrun could often be described as the "The New Blacks" as many things about them seem to be specifically designed to echo blacks (and occasionally, Hispanics). They have their own culture, which is quite popular on the street and amongst the less fortunate. They probably suffer the most from the Fantastic Racism, being seen as an actual threat by the normal humans due to how fast they multiply. There's even non-orks embracing Ork culture and become "Ork-Posers". Orks are more often presented as gangsters or criminals then Dwarves or Elves. Similarly, there are fewer Orks amongst the rich and successful then there are of any other race, save the Trolls (who are big and scary and rarer then all the other metatypes to begin with, meanwhile, Orks are the second most common Metatype after humans).
    • Not to mention Shadowrun's other little gaffes, like most of North America being taken over by Magical Native Americans, most of everything else being taken over by Evil Japanese Mega Corporations, most of the non-shadowrunning population being trideo-numbed idiots who don't have a clue that UCAS elections had been rigged for forty years, etc. This is due to most Cyberpunk being written around the time of Japan's (obvious, at least) technological dominance over all other nations, with a smidgen of wapanese worship here and there. (Elves being ridiculously Asian, most specifically 90%ish acting like modernized Japanese samurai)... Yeah, they're all intentionally hammy, although Orks are really closer to what we now call 'chavs' but with better musical taste, at least in the fluff this troper's read. (this goes for their slang, too.) Shadowrun has a well built world, but unfortunately suffers from trying to link every sci-fi trope ever made into a single world.
    • This could also been seen as a case of Fantastic Racism in that even in the future, we will find a group to single out for prejudice.
  • Most of Warhammer 40,000's female combatants are heavily sexualized with fetishes out the wazoo, generally with S&M overtones. This is justified inside the heavily patriarchal (and generally effed-up) Imperium, but many of the women that we actually meet (such as Inquisitor Amberley Vail) are just as professional and dignified as anyone else.
  • The Old World of Darkness had its share of, um... interesting ethnic interpretations:
    • Vampire: The Masquerade had the Ravnos clan, a clan of Roma origin whose clan weakness was a roll to resist engaging in illegal activities. Rumor has it that the ham-fisted portrayal of Romani culture was why the writers chose to kill the clan's antediluvian (who took a good chunk of the clan with him) during the Time of Thin Blood.
    • Werewolf: The Apocalypse was a bit worse. Oirish bards with a penalty to self-control, Nordic warriors with very uncomfortable ties to the Nazis, two Magical Native American tribes... over time, some of the stupider elements (such as the tribal penalties) were removed from the system, and the tribes became a bit more developed, but in the beginning, things were awkward.
    • Probably the worst example was the now-infamous Gypsies book, which turned an entire real-world ethnic group into a minor supernatural template. Complete with a stat called "Blood Purity."
    • Assamites: Because the world really needed some Vampire Arabs to go with its Space Jews.
    • Don't forget the Science Is Bad vibe in Mage, Werewolf and Changeling.
      • The whole point of the World of Darkness setting, especially old WoD, is that there was a war between science and the supernatural and the latter lost, hard, and were forced into annoying and power-limiting things like the masquerade in order to avoid going completely extinct. The fact that Science is something that your character has blinders on about is something all the sourcebooks hint at, and Mage especially points out explicitly on several occasions that the Technocracy (the main antagonist) was actually right on basically all counts in the conflict that wiped most of your guys out. So this is more like a subverted or averted trope than an unfortunate implication.
    • And pretty much every supernatural type in the Old World of Darkness got Recycled IN ASIA counterparts, with varying degrees of Unfortunate Implications, primarily springing from the fact that Asian countries had an entirely separate cosmology from the rest of the world. There was a separate afterlife for Asian Wraiths, alternately called 'Yin World' and 'The Dark Kingdom in Jade', and Asian vampires were people who had gone to a special Asian hell that only Asian people go to, and then escaped.
    • Transylvania by Night features a vampire who haunted the Jewish district of Prague and fed on Christian children. Oh dear.
  • One of the races of the 1980s Talislanta game, the Moorg-wan, are nicknamed "Mud People" in the products. Apparently it's a case of honest ignorance on the writers' part, as the Moorg-wan really do live in mud and bear no resemblence to any human ethnic group that white supremacists denigrate by that name.
    • There was also an alchemical item called "Yellow Peril" in the game at one point. And the nation now known as Raj (which is inhabited by Exclusively Evil nihilistic death cultists) used to have a name and flavor text that would have fit a Fantasy Counterpart Qurac.
  • The eponymous card in "BANG!" has a cartoon picture of a revolver firing but considering that they are the most common cards in the game and you play them on other people the problem becomes rather obvious.
  • Many fantasy games like to base nonhuman cultures on various "exotic" human cultures, sometimes complete with words directly lifted from the source's language. This becomes especially unfortunate when it's a species that's Exclusively Evil.
  • Green Ronin's Dragon Age table top role playing game is set in the video game series. Females are treated by almost all races as the equals of males. The one race with strict gender roles (Qunari) doesn't say women's roles or men's roles are lesser, just different. However, the dwarven caste illustrations show exactly one female - the servant caste washing woman with a mop bucket and some rags. Whoops.

Theater[edit | hide]

  • The moral of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Phantom of the Opera can come across as "It doesn't matter how talented you are, or how much you desire love and acceptance -- if you are born ugly the world will forever shun and abuse you. Thus you are doomed to criminal insanity and a cold, lonely death."
    • Except for the whole part where it's made obvious that the Phantom's insanity is something to be understood and pitied...
      • Except except for the part where A) While understanding and sympathy are fine and dandy, most people with disabilities and/or mental illness don't actually like being pitied and B) what the audience thinks or is meant to think of the Phantom doesn't change anything about the fact that in the universe of the play society hates him for his outward appearance and nobody even tries to change that. Meaning the take home message of the play can come across as less "lookism is bad, let's fight it" and more "it really is too bad that this guy's life ended up this way, just as it really is too bad when people's houses are destroyed by wildfire or something, and let's just feel sorry for him and leave it at that." and C) There are disproportionately few fictional character with facial deformities who aren't criminally insane, compared to the number of real people with facial deformities who aren't criminally insane.
    • Consider the creepy paedophilic themes in the film version, due to casting younger actors than usual in the roles. Erik poses as Christine's father's ghost, starting when she arrives at the opera house at a very young age -- and continues posing as her father's ghost after attempting a romantic relationship with her. The stage version never specifically says when Christine came to the Opera and the Phantom started hanging around her (and it is generally assumed that, as in the original novel, she was a young woman by that point). The massive Electra complex overtones remain, though...As Phantom of the Opera in 15 Minutes says, "Daddy issues ahoy!"
    • In the sequel Love Never Dies, late in Act One the Phantom introduces Gustave (Christine's ten-year-old son) to the wonders of his workshop with "The Beauty Underneath". Listening to it, it's easy to interpret their relationship as very, very wrong. And the entire second act revolves around the two male leads making a wager with the heroine as the stakes...and the choice she makes suggests that Stalking Is Love after all, with her choice to go with Raoul at the end of the first show something she came to regret.
  • Seussical: the Musical, in its effort to give each character an individual musical style, trips over this trope but hard. The protagonists, needing to be straightforward and often innocent, get generic folky pop (Horton, Gertrude, Jo-Jo) or old-time vaudeville stuff (Cat in the Hat). The antagonists are a little more cartoony and therefore get more distinctive music... Latin for Mayzie the lazy bird who abandons her egg to go party, 70's funk for the threatening Wickersham Brothers (and they're literally monkeys. Whoo boy), and the sour kangaroo is specifically modeled after Aretha Franklin. Yikes.
    • Seussical also runs into trouble through the fact that many of Seuss's stories, along with their morals, are now displayed without context. For example, the army from "The Butter Battle Book" is displayed, a book Seuss wrote as his criticism of the Cold War. However, the play lacks that context, making it feel as though it's condemning every war as frivolous, when in fact, Seuss, a former political cartoonist, could be VERY pro-war depending on the issue.
  • Little Shop of Horrors does similarly, although sadly the only academic paper on Little Shop of Horrors focuses entirely on this and ignores its more important and intentional themes.
  • The Las Vegas Sun's review of Criss Angel Believe points out that in the original (subsequently retooled) story "[T]here's a continual struggle over [Criss's] usually shirtless bod between his stage assistants, Kayala, an angelic ever-receding woman in white and Crimson, a devouring, demonic black woman. (Not even going there.)"
  • The Paper Mill Playhouse production of Stephen Schwartz's musical Children of Eden cast Adam as white and Eve as black, apparently also allowing them to have children of different skintones. On the one hand, the colour-blind casting played nicely to the show's theme of unconditional love and community; on the other hand, there were possible Unfortunate Implications in that both Eve and Cain (one traditionally held responsible for mankind's expulsion from paradise, the other the first ever murderer) were portrayed by black performers. Of course, both Eve and Cain are portrayed as sympathetic protagonists compared to Father's (God) possessive behaviour and Adam and Abel's strict, unthinking adherence to the rules. Still, when a black Eve sings of her black son Cain "Was it just a defect in me, / A flaw in my nature, / And now look what I've done, / I've passed it to my son, / This wild inclination ...", and given how much the story goes on about "the blood of Cain" tainting the human race, it's hard not to feel a little uncomfortable.
    • Also a problem is the fact that God/Father basically saying he wants to get rid of the entire race of Cain, to the point where he'll destroy the ark because Yonah's aboard it. Apart from Cain himself, the only member of this race we see is Yonah, who is pretty unambiguously good as far as the show goes (She offers to drown herself if it'll save the others.) It is incredibly easy to play Father as a possessive, Omnicidal Maniac who'll kill the last, devout people on the planet because he didn't get what he wanted. Add in lyrics like "Noah had a servant girl, Yonah was her name / He treated her with kindness though she bore the mark of shame" and "Shed no tears for me... This won't be the first time I've stayed behind to face / the bitter consequences of an ancient fall from grace", and things feel a little... awkward.
  • Probably invoked another Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Jesus Christ Superstar. Judas' Motive Rant/Villain Song contains the following lines:

Listen, Jesus, don't you care for your race?
Can't you see that we must keep in our place?
We are occupied; have you forgotten how put down we are?

    • Nominally, he's talking about the Jews, but consider that Judas is traditionally played by a black actor. This was not Rice and Lloyd-Webber's intent, since Murray Head, a white actor, created the role for both the original British concept album and the subsequent stage production; it was a politically-conscious American director who deliberately cast a black actor for the imported Broadway production and began the tradition.
  • The song "Little Red Hat" from 110 in the Shade sounds more like it concerns a rape than an engagement.
  • Supposing one Alternate Character Interpretation of The Taming of the Shrew is right, it has some massive Unfortunate Implications anyway. (Of course, it's not a bad chance those were intentional.)
  • Concerning the song "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria" in The Sound of Music: Cute enough song, harmless on its own. Concerning the reprise of "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria" at Maria's wedding: Surely Rodgers and Hammerstein must have recognized the suggestion about what other problem of Maria's getting married might have solved, didn't they?
  • In Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods, the lyrics to "Hello, Little Girl" and "I Know Things Now" can be interpreted... in different ways.
    • "Look at that flesh, pink and plump... hello, little girl..."
    • "And he showed me things, many beautiful things, that I hadn't thought to explore!" "And he made me feel excited - well, excited and scared..."
      • TOTALLY intentional. The anatomically correct wolf costume (changed after the preview run), the pelvis-forward posture of the wolf as he approaches, the dual meaning of "carnality" - sexual predation and loss of innocence are exactly what Sondheim was aiming for.
      • At least in the 2003 revival. Local productions tend to (naturally) play this down.
  • A 2011 production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Sorceror altered the production in several ways, notably by having the titular sorceror be a woman instead of a man, and part of the Love Potion induced humor is that characters wind up with people they are not suited for, including several same-sex couples. Though that was handled pretty sensitively, at the end when everything is "fixed" the affected characters go to their "suitable" partners... who are all of the opposite sex. Considering that they already altered the production so much would it have been so hard to include one same-sex couple at the end? Because otherwise the implication is "heterosexual couples = normal, same-sex couples = an accident and meant to be laughed at." Given the notoriously liberal area that the production was performed in this was most likely an oversight, but a hell of an unfortunate one.
  • A 2011 Pantomime production of Cinderella had a scene where a group of characters were lost in the woods and were singing to themselves because they were scared. As they sang a ghost came behind them (and the audience would scream "there's a ghost behind you") and slowly the group would be kidnapped one-by-one by the ghost. The ghost itself looked exactly like a KKK member and it was around this point that the lack of non-white characters became an awkward decision.

Toys[edit | hide]

  • LEGO's Bionicle has a few issues with gender. Initially, the entire cast was going to be male, which would have put it at a definite Level 1 on the Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality, and it was only decided at the last minute that the Water tribe would be all-female, while the other five tribes would be all-male. Besides the obvious gender imbalance, (arguably justified due to the line being aimed at young boys) this presented the problem of all the tribes having associated Personality Powers based on their elements- meaning that virtually all the females were calm, gentle people who acted as the voice of reason, while the male characters were able to be far more diverse and interesting. As the series progressed, steps were taken correct this: the stereotypes were subverted/defied, and more female characters and elements were introduced into side-stories. However, the subtext was still there. When Greg Farshtey was asked about the in-universe reason for the imbalance, his answer was usually along the lines of " They don't have biological reproductive systems, so there is no need for there to be an even gender ratio" (paraphrased). However, when you consider that new Matoran of each tribe are created on the basis of which ones are needed for specific jobs to sustain the robotic Matoran Universe, this implies that men are considerably more useful to the universe than women.
    • There is a reason for this, though. The Matoran's creators, the Great Beings, are constantly written to seem bad, and sexism is just one of their faults.
      • What about the people whom the Great Beings didn't create, the Agori/Glatorian? Only TWO females are ever seen, apparently because sexism is just as rampant on Bara/Spherus/whatever Magna and women are still seen as much less useful. Yeah, this one can't have the buck passed up to the Great Beings. Additionally, if there is no functional difference between male and female Matoran/other Mata Nui species, why are women less useful? Do female Matoran etc exist just so the Great Beings can be misogynistic dicks to them?
    • Arguably a much more prevalent concern with BIONICLE, and indeed with many of LEGO's themes, is the tendency to border on xenophobia - all the good guys are handsome, clean humans (or, in the case of BIONICLE/Hero Factory, noble and heroic-looking humanoids), whereas every enemy is of varying degrees of being, well, not handsome, clean, heroic or normal-looking. In particular, every space theme since Rock Raiders has featured every hero as human and every "bad guy" as aliens of varying levels of twisted otherness:
      • Rock Raiders: The creatures living on Planet U, like Rock Monsters and Slimy Slugs. Granted, it was their planet, and the Rock Raiders were taking their food source, and they only hurt them when necessary (except when it wasn't).
      • LEGO Mars Mission: Humans fight over aliens for who gets to mine the Energy Crystals. The entire justification for invading the homes of aliens, capturing them and ransacking the planet seems to be that the humans want their shit. Of course, the aliens in this theme are also invading Mars, but that doesn't justify anything. Family Unfriendly Aesops ahoy.
      • LEGO Power Miners: Slightly Justified, as the rock monsters (which also aren't native) shake violently when they eat the crystals and could very well shake apart the planet unless stopped. There is even a line in one of the comics saying with the crystals gathered, the rock monsters will have to return to their natural food sources, so its all good. At least it is an improvement over Mars Mission.
      • LEGO Space Police 3: Arguably the worst, with the heroes all being clean-looking people and the villains all creepy aliens.
      • Hero Factory: All the heroes are humanoid, while a lot of the villain are more animalistic, hunched over, or walk on all fours. Some are in fact animals, but not all of these are true villains -- in the Jungle Planet arc, they were merely enslaved by the Big Bad.

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Meta example: Female Gaze and Male Gaze both require the viewer to assume the female/male in question is heterosexual.
  • Darwin's Soldiers has the Vulpine, a Fantasy Counterpart Culture version of modern Native Americans all mashed together into an amalgam. They live in horrific conditions, alcoholism and severe poverty are rampant. Furthermore, most of the Vulpine are described as sex-crazed, "barely civilized savages" by Aydin. To top off this mess, Aydin (one of the two Vulpine main characters) is a speciesist who hates snakes and has no compunctions about attacking his allies if he feels that Aimee is in danger. Thankfully, this is somewhat cushioned by the fact that Aimee is a fairly sympathetic and rounded character.
  • This Listverse entry that purports to highlight the ten most "intellectual" rappers plays the Mighty Whitey trope incredibly straight.
  • On TV Tropes, someone on Accentuate the Negative pointed out that Negative reviews are much more likely to be read (and responded to) than a positive review. Someone then added a response to that on the main page saying people were more interested in reading a negative review than "unjust praises". The phrase actually became a common use on that page, after being made a link to "Unfortunate Implications."
  • A sorta meta example, a lot of the examples under Unfortunate Implications could themselves be considered unfortunate implications. For example, assuming an exceptionally greedy character to be a Jewish stereotype, when in fact the greed is the only behavior/trait said character has that could be called 'Jewish'. This is basically showing the inherent racism in the OP's post.

Other[edit | hide]

  • Shoop Da Whoop.
  • This news broadcast. Not the news itself but the way it is presented, and how every person they interviewed happened to be black, tying into a racist stereotype. Not to mention all the unfortunate implications in a number of the YouTube comments alone. Also, the "Related Videos".
  • In the comic strip 'Baldo', which takes place probably in southern California, the only Caucasian character is a racist counselor that believes that everybody who isn't Caucasian is a gang member.
  • The continuing difficulty some USA news outlets have in accepting that California-born figure-skater Michelle Kwan is an American:
  • In magazines where they make a list of attractive men (like People and their Sexiest Men Alive issue.) They use the fact that he's happily married and a doting father as a selling point. Since most of the Sexiest Men Alive are happily married, it makes it appear that women only want a man if he's in love with someone else. So women only want married men, then?
  • A sports team (of younger men) called the Cougars is occasionally liked by women over 30.
  • While promoting her TV show "All American Girl", Margaret Cho appeared on a morning talk show for a local station. At the end of the interview segment, the host, in a Critical Research Failure, asked Cho to tell the people at home "in [her] native language" that they were changing over to an ABC affiliate. As Cho was born and raised in California, she simply looked at the camera and curtly said in plain English, "They're changing over to an ABC affiliate."
  • In a bit of meta-Scunthorpe Problem, words that are both used innocuously and in an offensive way like "gay" and "Jew" have been subjected to online filters. This has the ironic effect of censoring(and outraging) the very people the filters were intended to protect.
  • In Genki: An Introduction to Japanese one practice sentence says "My friend went to China and didn't come back".
    • Similarly, there is a Russian coursebook that loves using sentences about Siberia. "Where is she?" "She is in Siberia." "We are going to Siberia in a week's time." It's hard not to interpret that as a bit of morbid Textbook Humor on the writer's part, since to anyone who's familiar with Russian history, Siberia is instantly associated with one thing.
  • On one news website one of the tags (for an article indexing articles on financial bailouts in the US, strangely enough), one of the user contributed tags is "This is what happens when you give money to 'the sons of Ham'". It's arguably made worse (or funnier) by the fact the site's owner was the author of several controversial newsletters in the 1980's regarding black crime.
  • In the Epcot World Showcase in Disney World, all of the eleven countries are in the northern hemisphere.[1] The closest they get to the equator is Mexico or Morrocco. Sub-Saharan Africa isn't represented at all because the only nation that would sponsor it was South Africa, at the time deep in apartheid and an obvious potential PR disaster. On the other hand... The Animal Kingdom Park is pretty much EPCOT - Africa.
    • On the subject of Disney, what about the Small World ride? It shows a lot of stereotypes, even if it was considered Fair for Its Day when it was built.
  • This overlaps considerably with Values Dissonance, but New Zealand has All Blacks, its national rugby team, and All Whites, its national association football team.[2] Wikipedia used to have an article at "List of All Blacks", since moved, that was the target of controversy more than once.
    • Other teams have since continued the theme, leading to occasional hilarity. The basketballers are the Tall Blacks, the wheelchair rugby are the Wheel Blacks, and so on. This was fine until the badminton team got involved and named themselves after the little thing that gets hit over the net: The Black Cocks.
  • In the old Gundam.com message board you can always tell which side the Broken Base the person was on because the people who liked UC Gundam and hated AU Gundam would always end their post by saying "SIEG ZEON!" which brings to mind the Nazis. This is because the Zeon Leaders use "SIEG ZEON!" in the English dub of the original series, but the dubbers apparently saw the implication and changed it, so by 08th MS Team and 0080:War in the Pocket, Zeon Leaders started shouting "ZEKE, ZEON!" instead. Eventually, such as in recent video game adaptations, Zeon Leaders simply shout "HAIL ZEON!", presumably to stop all this confusion.
  • John McCain's (in)famously blunderous quote:

McCain: Obama's not an Arab. He is a good man.

  • Typographical example: Anytime the Neuland or Lithos typefaces are used in reference to African or other foreign cultures, which are virtually their only appearances since the turn of the century. The use of those two is done to evoke a "primitive" or "uncultured" feel, regardless of the true situation. More info on the topic.
  • The New York Times' gift guide for "People of Color". Which is bad enough in itself, but most of those gifts would be perfectly acceptable and like by anyone. However they seem to have been chosen because they were created by "famous people of color."
  • The New Musical Express once produced a pack of cards with rock musicians' pictures. A reader pointed out that it was a bit hypocritical of the NME to criticize Morrisey for alleged racist remarks while having a pack of cards with Bob Marley as 'The King of Spades'
  • Water cannons and fire hoses are tried-and-true methods of breaking up a riot or civil disturbance. It's safe, effective, and the ammo's cheap. The police forces of most countries rely on water power to this day. But not the USA. Water power was extensively used to quell African-American demonstrations during the Civil Rights era of the '60s, and has been connected with racist police forces oppressing peaceful demonstrations ever since. American law enforcement avoids these now.
    • On a similar note, the recent protests in the UK over the increase of school tuition fees provoked a lot of discussion about how Police should handle such demonstrations in the (then) future. Though the protests were overwhelmingly peaceful, it was suggested that the police might/should (depending on the source) bring in water cannons to "quell further unrest". It was pointed out that the only times water cannons have been used within the UK was in Northern Ireland during The Troubles. The UI being that either students demonstrating (for the most part) peacefully in London were as bad as decades of violent civil unrest, or that Northern Ireland was of such little consequence to the government that it took decades of violent civil unrest before even water cannons were thought necessary.
    • A good deal of modern protestors have a habit of recording an entire incident, but only posting the police's reaction to their and making it out as oppressive. Which means that they don't think what they actually did is relevant to how the cops respond. Which means they think they don't have any responsibility for their actions. Which can be rather darkly ironic when the protestors in question are demanding others take responsibility for problems, but won't take any responsibility for their own.
  • Racial profiling. Yes, statistically, people of Arab and Black descent are more likely to be Muslims. However, the innocent Muslims (y'know, the majority), as well as non-Muslim Blacks and Jews, are quite rightly irritated at being associated with one of the most negative events in modern history just because of their skin color. On the ordinary street crime level, a disproportionate number of crimes are committed by Blacks and Latinos, because said groups are more likely to be economically disenfranchised, which leads to higher crime rates, which leads to a negative image of said groups in the eyes of law enforcement, which means they don't trust the cops, which leads to a negative image in the eyes of law enforcement...
    • Going off of the Muslim bit, many American people imagine Muslims as being a group limited solely to the Middle East. Thus, they freak out at the thought of any living in the United States, despite the fact that Christianity and Judaism also originated in the Middle East and have spread pretty darned global. (This is, of course, an old trend in Western culture; as Larry Gonick once joked--as regards the Spanish Inquisition--"No weird Middle Eastern religions here--only Christianity!")
    • Speaking of Islam, doesn't it also seemed to be a bit of an Unfortunate Implications that whenever people made a bigoted statement against Islam, they are called 'racists' or 'racism?' As if implying that Islam is a race, something you are born into, when Muslim people comes from a variety of ethnic backgrounds and cultures.
  • There's a comforter set called the Othello. Did the designers of that not know what happens in that play?! For those that don't know the climax involves Othello smothering his wife to death in their bed. What Did You Expect When You Named It?
    • There's also a set of bedroom furniture aimed a little girls. The name of the set? Lolita.
  • The 2010 New Labour manifesto (see page picture) looked awfully like Brown's plan was to take somewhat extreme steps.
  • In Network TV land, CBS sent a memo to fire A.J. Cook from the hit crime show Criminal Minds for supposed "creative" (aka "financial") reasons. To add further insult, Paget Brewster (aka Emily Prentiss) will have her role reduced and a new actress will be cast to replace JJ. These decisions have been seen as having sexist undertones by an enraged fanbase and through angry blogs, calls and complaints to CBS, an online petition, and even a mailing campaign. This was accompanied by an increase in Charlie Sheen's wages for his then-on-hiatus show Two and A Half Men (which he was fired from) to 2K per episode per week. And just to add insult to injury, Sheen is a known spousal abuser who was fired for drug abuse and making derogatory comments about the production staff, making the apparent gender Double Standard even more obvious.
  • Slash Fics are contested for objectifying male homosexuality.
    • And here's another one. Who told you that all characters in Slash fics are homosexuals?
    • Ho Yay often assumes that nearly any affection two men have for each other is homoerotic. Les Yay often assumes that two women who are close to each other have some kind of romantic interest. (Since Most Fanfic Writers Are Girls, the former is a lot more prevalent.)
    • Foe Yay assumes that if two characters dislike each other, they must be attracted to each other.
    • Slash and Femslash fic is also often plagued by heteronormative gender roles, even when written by LGBT individuals. Regardless of actual characterisation or personality, you'll often see characters falling into really exaggerated Seme/Uke or Butch Lesbian/Girly Girl dynamics and archetypes, which brings out a range of unfortunate implications, especially since a character's "butchness" or "femininity" is often linked to entirely aesthetic things like race, hair colour, height, sexual dominance, or how sympathetic/attractive the author wants to portray them. Yeah, there's an awful lot of offensiveness and bad messages associated with gender and gender roles in far too many F/F and M/M fics.
  • The blog Sociological Images points out unfortunate implications in other media.
  • The Mighty Whitey trope is itself Unfortunate because it implies that white people are automatically better at things non-white cultures can do, even if the non-white people have been training their whole life. Problem is, reaction to this trope often this carries the Implication that white people cannot/should not beat non-whites at anything from the non-white culture, ever. There are things white people should be good at, things non-whites should be good at, and there's no overlap.
  • Some gay porn provides some strangely fascinating examples of this. It's terribly easy to find some where women are all Jerkasses, Yaoi Fangirls, both, or not actually a woman. Some choose to top it off by cheerfully basking in certain tropes. If examples are wanted, try pretty much anything by an individual, presumably a homosexual male, who posts under the alias of 'Beautiful Creamer.' (Warning: NOT SAFE FOR WORK. Also, contains certain tropes...)
  • An English language race convention creates unfortunate implications. This troper was tutoring an ESL student from Korea, and she (the students) was talking about an American who moved to Seoul to open a language school. This troper asked if he was Korean, as in asking if he had immigrated and became a citizen. She responded that no, he was white (turns out is now a Korean). The implication here is that white people can never be accepted as Korean, but will always be just a white person living in Korea.
    • The same thing occurs in Japan as well. There are plenty of naturalized Japanese who still get clumped together as "gaijin". The idea remains that race = nationality.
  • This was taken from the IMDB trivia entry for the movie Conviction: Screenwriter Pamela Gray says she doesn't believe the awards or critics, she knows if her projects are well received by listening in the theater ladies' room after a showing, as if only the opinions of the ladies matter.
  • The BCE/CE dating system is an example of both Unfortunate Implications and Political Correctness Gone Mad as it is meant to be a calendar system that is more sensitive to non-Christians. BCE is Before Common Era and CE is Common Era, but the dates themselves are identical to the BC/AD system based on when Christ was born. So if it's not based on Christianity, then what happened at 1CE that made it the "Common Era"? Common to whom? Is there ANY event whose significance would be universally recognized enough to actually be called the Common Era? By changing the names but not the dates, they moved from a calendar that makes no secret about being based upon an event that Westerners find important to implying that the birth of Christ was objective turning point for all humanity. This is an example of tryign to avert one UI while falling straight into another.
  • The Five-Token Band trope. Usually, the white guy is The Hero, and the Asian is either The Smart Guy or, if The Big Guy, a Genius Bruiser who gets the "bruiser" part from knowing kung fu. The black guy might be The Lancer (though if it's in a non-Western setting, The Lancer will provide that hint of indigeneity) or may play the role on the The Big Guy/The Smart Guy dichotomy not occupied by the Asian. If there is an American Indian, he'll be (for Trope Namer reasons) the Sixth Ranger, or sometimes Sixth Ranger Traitor.
  • Caribou Coffee, which went through a stylistic revamping semi-recently, had a form on their websites inviting people to submit answers to the question "What do you stay awake for?" Some of the "best" answers were printed on the new cups. One of the ones that made it? "Making sure the monsters stay in the closet."
  • A LOT of character types have unfortunate implications if you think about them too hard. The most glaring one this troper can think of at the moment is the Tsundere character, particularly type A. Fandoms generally tend to love Type A Tsunderes, especially if they're female, but the more extreme examples tend to show behavior that's disturbingly similar to the aggressor in abusive relationships. Of course, this is usually when they stop Tsunderes and start becoming Jerk Sues.
  • Because of the impossibility of accurately representing the surface of a sphere on a rectangular map, the Mercator projection unavoidably distorts the relative sizes of continental landmasses. Unfortunately, this happens to result in a situation where most maps of the world depict North America, Russia and Europe (the parts of the world populated predominantly by white people) as being vastly larger than they really are, with Africa, South America, India and South Asia looking smallish and insignificant in comparison, just because they happen to be situated along the equator. Ironically, the original intent of the map was to depict the more equatorial situated locations more accurately because they were more valuable.
  • For awhile on Accentuate the Negative page, someone pointed out that you're more likely to see negative reviews than positive reviews, and negative reviews gain more views. Someone then pointed out that people were more interested in reading criticisms rather than "unjust praises". There's a good reason that when this is mentioned on the Accentuate the Negative page, it links to Unfortunate Implications.
  • When the News Of The World was axed, one editor said he had "worked there for 18 months, it was a wonderful paper and they had gotten rid of all the Black people". This was because the media baron Conrad Black (who is in fact Caucasian) once owned it, but clearly That Came Out Wrong.
  • A TA sought advice from Reddit after they and their professor found definitive proof six students were plagiarizing. All six students were Black. In fact, they were the only Black kids in the class. Due to Canadian politics, they were worried they'd be accused of discrimination. Responders suggested the papers be evaluated by a third party, with names removed. Ironically, several people suggested the post was from a race-baiting troll, under the assumption that no one in such a situation could ever be worried about looking racist when they're not.
  • Many times, when an autistic person writes an autobiography, the back cover blurb will say something about it being a special insight into "the world of autism for the rest of us", assuming that every prospective buyer of the book and potential reader of the blurb, and by extension every person who reads books in general, is non-autistic.
    • Alternately, autistic people are assumed not to read those books because they already know what having autism is like. Which carries other Unfortunate Implications, namely that if someone has autism that must be the only interesting thing about them and that autism manifests in exactly the same way in anyone that has it, or at least close enough that people with autism wouldn't learn anything by reading about each other.
  • The Fan Dumb for Survivor has a tendency to trash the winner of the most recent season as the "Worst winner ever". While this may appear to be simple Hate The New like is common for any Fan Dumb, but several seasons later, people still often state that a certain winner was a "Poor winner" or "robbed" a much more deserving winner. This happens with a much greater frequency to women who win (Unless they're either Parvati, Tina, Kim, and sometimes Sandra) than it does to men.
    • This attitude also spreads to Survivor themed works. A survivor webcomic has Fan Dumb who constantly berate female players for doing things that they praise male fans for doing. Hypocritical Fandom, anyone?
    • Survivor Sucks had a topic posted that was a petition to ban Leif (who is a dwarf) from competing on basis of being a "midget", and that other contestants with disabilities (Deafness, missing limbs, etc) shouldn't have been allowed either. Is there anything saying they can't compete?
    • It's no secret that Cook Islands had some Unfortunate Implications with dividing the tribes by race, and complaints that the casts were "too white". Yet Fiji featured a final five of only one white person, one asian man, and three blacks. (One of them being Ambiguously Brown) And there were complains that they weren't white enough.
  • Elementary schools in Gwinnett County, Georgia apparently asked kids some rather offensive math word problems. The questions include such gems as "Each tree has 56 oranges. If 8 slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave pick?", "If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in one week?" and yet another asks how much cotton Fredrick picks in a day. The school district claims it's to teach kids history, but if so, it's very poorly handled.
  • The Bratz doll lines Biography page has exactly one character who has any ambition aside from looking glamorous RIGHT THIS MINUTE, said character is also the only boy on the page.
  • The rather controversial My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic fanfic The Conversion Bureau has the rather unfortunate message of "if a new race arrives on the scene; it is acceptable, no good, to force the natives to convert to the newcomer's race and adapt to their customs and rules. In the process, the natives' history, culture and identity is completely erased. And the natives must convert or be killed." Basically, the story seems to advocate genocide/forced assimilation.
  • The Avatar: The Last Airbender fanfic How I Became Yours has quite a bit of misogynist subtext. To make matters worse a woman wrote it.
  • In the Lyrical Nanoha fanfic, Behind The Smile, it's suggested that Hayate's Skinship Grope tendencies were a way of warding off male attention in middle school, because she been sexually abused in the past. Disregarding the fact that she had been feeling up her knights since she was nine, before she would have to keep up appearances, this bears an uncomfortable resemblance to the idea that homosexuals are only attracted to the same gender because they were sexually abused.
  • It's fairly common to see members of a fandom referring to a Wholesome Crossdresser or transgender character as a "trap." The unfortunate implications are twofold--one, that trans-women aren't "REAL WOMEN", and two, that their sole purpose in life is to trick innocent young (cisgender) men. And of course, the reaction to discovering their trans*ness is always disgust and horror, and in extreme cases murder. People can still get a lesser sentence or get away with murdering a trans person if they claim "trans panic" as a defense.
  • Next time you check out at the grocery store, take a look at the covers of sex advice magazines marketed to women like Cosmopolitan. Nearly all the blurbs talk about the magazines' contents in the context of "pleasing" or "serving" the men, rather than the women who would be reading the publications.
  • Another example of Fan Dumb...in Big Brother US', after Shelly Moore decided to vote out Jeff Shroeder, people started to make Hate-sites about her, calling her employers asking for her termination, and wished bad things on her daughter such as being taken away, kidnap, rape, or murder. This daughter in question was eight years old.
  • Rule 34 is often seen as this.
  1. About 90% of countries and the human population are north of the equator, however.
  2. They have a range of other colors, as well.