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Ned Flanders: Well, I guess this is a case where we'll have to agree to disagree.Ms. Krabappel: Neither do I!
Principal Skinner: I don't agree to that.
—The Simpsons, "The PTA Disbands"
We all have different opinions and beliefs, and we all believe we are right and everyone else is wrong. However, that doesn't mean we have to be enemies. Instead, we can acknowledge that opinions may differ and let each other do our own thing.
This trope can either be invoked as a Stock Phrase or used to resolve a conflict. Sometimes, it's a good point. Other times, it's an excuse to avoid a fight without pointing out that one side's opinions are actually wrong.
For an example to count, the exact phrase "agree to disagree" doesn't have to be invoked, but it has to be something with the same (literal or underlying) meaning. That most people actually simply agree to disagree on most things most of the time does not count, the trope only comes into play when it's invoked and/or actively used to try to resolve a conflict.
Compare Both Sides Have a Point.
- In Bakuman｡, several older manga artists attempt to make a comeback in Jump. Mashiro sympathizes with their efforts, as his uncle had tried to get serialized from when his contract expired to his death, but while Takagi understands why Mashiro thinks this, he believes that people who fail in Jump should not be given a second chance. Neither convinces the other of his perspective, and they decide to drop the argument.
- Out Of Step: "We'll just have to agree or disagree about this, but thanks for coming Jenny."
- Invoked in Chameleon Street, not as a way to resolve a a conflict but simply as a way to appear less obtrusive.
- Used in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
- Eliot Ness says it in the movie The Untouchables.
- Mentioned amid the legalese spouted by the "court-appointed theatrical agent" in The Running Man (movie); Richards and the government "have agreed to disagree."
- In The Phantom Tollbooth, this is how Milo getes King Azaz and the Mathemagician to agree.
- Inverted in Charles Ardai's The Last Story: James Drake, an organic chemist, feels that schools should emphasize science more, and Roger Halsted, a math teacher, passionately agrees, but they aren't going to let a little thing like that stop them from arguing about it.
- Invoked in A Series of Unfortunate Events When the heroes are captured by Count Olaf and interrogated by the man with hooks for hands, Fiona, his sister, points out he's on the wrong side. He quickly says this, only for the narrator to point out that it's basically being used to say, "I'm wrong and you're right, but I'm not going to admit it."
- In Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince Dumbledore says this regarding whether or not Snape is a traitor.
- Invoked in the True Blood episode "Release Me".
- Interesting variant in the Red Dwarf episode "Polymorph". Angerless Rimmer constantly says things like "Good point, let's take that on board" or "Well, let's put that on the back-burner for now", but really he's completely ignoring everyone else's opinions, until the discussion concludes with everyone else ignoring his. (To be fair, everyone's opinions at this point are completely insane because they're all missing an emotion.)
- Invoked by Paradox on Community during the second season finale.
- Invoked in Phil Collins' song "That's Just the Way it Is," from But Seriously (the song, for the record, is about the Troubles):
You see the dying, you feel the pain/What have you got to say?/If we agreed that we can disagree/We could stop all of this today.
- In Max Payne 2, during a discussion about bad decisions and predestination, Vlad invokes this when Max doesn't agree with his views.
- In The Order of the Stick, Elan and Tarquin do this, with these exact words.
- In Sinfest, Slick proposes this toward Satan.
- I'm a Marvel And I'm a DC has Lex Luthor and Green Goblin agree to disagree on which version of The Hulk is better, while being attacked by The Hulk.
Lex Luthor: Can we agree to disagree?
Green Goblin: Totally.
- A Red vs. Blue PSA on the differences of the Internet and Real Life featured a variant in its showcase of arguments in Real Life vs. the internet.
- Played straight & discussed in The Simpsons episode "The PTA Disbands", with people not agreeing to agree to disagree.
Principal Skinner: I don't agree to that.
Ms. Krabappel: Neither do I!
- Played with on Cat Dog:
Cat: We can't agree on anything!
Dog: I disagree! I think we can agree.
Cat: See? We can't even agree to disagree on disagreeing!
- In Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, Sinestro and Abin Sur agree to disagree on whether or not a Green Lantern Ring works off of fate or science.
- Averted by Aumann's agreement theorem, which states that two rational people will always agree.