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"Just because Hitler speaks German doesn't mean that the language is corrupt."
Danny, The Chosen

A logical fallacy that assumes that anything done or liked by a bad person must be bad itself.

The premise seems to be that bad people must have a way to tell if something is evil. Either that, or bad people are repulsed by anything that isn't at least as evil as they are. Whatever the reason, bad people magically will only associate with things that are bad. Therefore people claim a thing is bad because bad people associate with it.

This is a concept called The Association Fallacy, which often overlaps with Godwin's Law, due to how often Hitler is used for this (also known as Reductio ad Hitlerum).

After all, Hitler has gained the reputation for being the very embodiment of darkest evil, who oozed "pure liquid malevolence" right out of his pores. So, he supposedly would only do/like/own things that are as evil as him. Things like wearing clothes, eating, taking a walk, and breathing. Hitler did those things, but that doesn't make them bad. Hitler is not a reason things are bad.

We don't think mass murder is bad because Hitler, Stalin, or other bad people did them. We think those people are bad because they committed mass murder. In other words, this trope is backwards. A thing being bad stands on its own as bad. It would be like...

 Bob: I want to commit genocide.

Alice: The Nazis committed genocide.

Bob: Really? What was I thinking? I can't believe I was going to do something the Nazis did.

This is also one of the reasons why we are often loath to admit that a person who we generally always disagree with may actually be right for once. Someone intimidated by this "argument" may invoke No True Scotsman as a "rebuttal".

Compare Abomination Accusation Attack, the Chewbacca Defense and Godwin's Law. Sub-Trope of So Was X and Anti-Advice. Compare also to Real Men Hate Sugar, in which people come to hate something normally considered pleasant due to cultural/gender expectations of what is considered "mature." Usually occurs when people take Not So Different to absurd levels.

Please note that this page is for examples where X is claimed to be bad due to being done, eaten, read, watched or whatever by demonstrably bad people. It's not for cases where the meaning is more "Look, just because he/she/it does/eats/reads/watches X, doesn't mean he/she/it is a good person.". It's the difference between the fallacious argument "Hitler ate sugar, therefore sugar is bad" and the valid argument "Even Hitler ate sugar. Eating sugar does not automatically make you nice".

Opposite of What Would X Do?.

Examples of Hitler Ate Sugar include:


Anime & Manga

 Officer Jenny: You know who else claimed he wasn't a Nazi? Hitler!


Comicbooks

 Nite Owl II on how he couldn't believe Adrian was the Big Bad: He's a pacifist, a vegetarian...

Rorschach: Hitler was vegetarian.

  • In Batman: Fortunate Son. it is retconned that Bruce's parents told him to stop listening to rock and roll on the night that they were killed. Therefore, he comes to the conclusion that rock and roll is evil! Or something like that.


Film

  • Inverted in the comedy To Be or Not to Be with a running joke. The hero is undercover and talking and joking with a Nazi, Colonel Erndhardt. Erndhardt will mock a feature of his sidekick Schultz (e.g. fastidiousness, vegetarianism, etc.), leading the hero to accuse him of insulting Hitler who had all of these traits.
  • In Office Space, Peter's "you know, the Nazis had 'pieces of flair' they made the Jews wear." However, the employers in Office Space in fact do utilize totalitarian structures and strategies to keep their workers in line. In this particular example, the flair pieces are part of a Double Bind structure. This doesn't make Peter's argument any less fallible though, and he takes it back to proceed with even more verbal tripping over himself.
  • Used in Clerks in a scene where a 'Chewley's' gum representative is trying to stir up anti-cigarette sentiment in order to sell gum as a substitute. He tells the protagonist that shopkeepers who sell cigarettes are equal to Nazis because clerks like him are only following orders, and so did the Nazis. This is ironic as the Nazis hated smoking. Granted it's a flawed argument considering he obviously has no choice in what he sells, but his customers are stirred into pelting him with cigarettes anyway.
  • Used in Alfred Hitchcock's Rope in the argument between David's father and Brandon on the subject of whether "superior" people should have the right to kill inferior ones.
  • In The King Of Comedy

 Rupert Pupkin: I made a mistake.

Jerry Langford: So did Hitler.

  • Inverted in Downfall, where the first scene shows Hitler being kind and forgiving to a flustered job applicant. The director was obviously trying to make the point that no one can be evil 24-7, but the usual suspects went nuts, claiming the film was trying to whitewash Hitler. They also failed to notice that Hitler was being kind because the secretary came from a region of Germany he was fond of, demonstrating how he had little interest in people's actual competence compared to their racial purity or national heritage.
  • This is the reasoning behind the title of Bowling for Columbine. Moore points out that media watchdogs and social commentary pundits were alarmingly quick to point towards all sorts of societal influences that supposedly caused Harris and Klebold's rampage, including video games, bullying, violent movies, and the like. He then questions if they might as well blame the sport of bowling for what happened, as both killers were attending school classes in bowling and even played a game the morning before the shooting.


Literature

  • Project Itoh, writer of some of the Metal Gear Solid novels, played this trope straight in his sci-fi novel Harmony, where a professor connects the book's healthcare-obsessed false Utopia with the Nazis because the Nazis starting looking into ways to cure cancer, being socialists, and being politically correct. Those last two are kind of eye-rollers, but the cancer thing gets especially weird seeing as the author was dying of cancer while writing the book. Wonder what that means.
    • Itoh probably learned a lot about cancer during his illness, then he needed an explanation for that in-universe professor and wrote what came first to his mind.
  • The foreword to Harry Potter parody Barry Trotter and the Shameless Parody inverts this while playing it for laughs. It includes a message from the publisher describing the work as 'satanic', and a message from Satan who thinks the book is utterly terrible and refuses to take the blame for it. A message from the church follows, stating that anything so reviled by Satan must be the ultimate work of good and encouraging the public to buy it en masse.
  • Warrior Cats uses a variant with Tigerstar, the series equivalent of Hitler. All apprentices must serve the elders. When apprentice Tawnypaw is slighty late bringing moss to the elder Smallear, Smallear says, "Tigerstar didn't want to serve the elders either when he was an apprentice! You're going to turn out just like him!"
  • Played straight to show a villain's stupidity in a Dresden Files novel. Dresden points out to a murderess that one of the women she had killed had children. She countered that Hitler had kids. Dresden replied: "No, he had dogs".
  • In Death series: Origin In Death reveals that the Icoves and their partner Wilson essentially espoused eugenics. Naturally the opposition played this trope. It stopped them from doing things publicly. Privately, they engaged in cloning, genetic manipulation, and a lot of ugly stuff!
  • In I, Jedi, a novel overlapping with the Jedi Academy Trilogy, Corran Horn uses his ability to absorb energy and channel it into telekinetic feats to save the life of another student. Luke cautions him against using his power that way in future, because Vader used that technique (the Cloud City scene where Han tries to shoot him). Corran basically accepts this argument, despite the fact that no reason is given why the technique should be regarded as morally problematic, aside from the fact that Vader used it.
    • That said, Corran does exactly that later in the novel, again to save the lives of others (and himself in the process). It does cause a problem for him, but that has less to do with any inherent "evilness" of the act and more to do with the fact that the sheer effort had left him completely drained of the Force...and with no clothes, as they had all burned away.


Live-Action TV

 You know who else didn't answer medical questions? Hitler.

    • Another time was when a mention was made to Glenn Beck connecting the word "empathy" which was what Barack Obama said America needed more of (or something like that) to Hitler. As Lewis Black said, he'd just connected one of the most positive words in the English language to Hitler and that Glenn Beck had "Nazi Tourettes."

  "Oh, can I play? Let's see. Mother Teresa: Mother Teresa had a mustache, Hitler had a mustache. Mother Teresa is Hitler!"

    • And in what may be his final Glenn Beck riff, on 4/7/2011, Jon Stewart managed to link the announced cancellation of Glenn Beck's show on Fox News to the apocalypse predicted by the Mayans in 2012. "Do we want to live in an America where what we watch is determined by a shadowy mix-and-match collective of so-called 'Nielsen Families'? You know who else had a family that anyone could join? Charles Manson."
    • Jon brought the author of "Liberal Fascism" (Jonah Goldberg) onto his show and asked him to explain why organic foods are fascist. The author's response? Hitler made his troops eat organic foods (which aren't even "liberal" in the traditional sense, either. Goldberg apparently got "left-wing" confused with "alternative lifestyle").
  • Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report often uses this as a means of argumentation, for example thinking that it's not OK to be a vegetarian because Hitler was one or celebrate Mother's Day because Joseph Stalin had a mother.
    • On the other hand, Colbert did defend Michael Jordan for his recent sporting of a toothbrush mustache in Hanes underwear commercials. This could be because Jordan is black (and, therefore, couldn't possibly be Aryan and thus has, if you will, N Mustache Privileges), although the reason Colbert explicitly gave is that Jordan has a soul patch as well. (Colbert pointed out that if Hitler had had a soul patch too, he'd have looked less like, well, Hitler and more like a beatnik.)
  • Parodied in John Safran's Music Jamboree, where it explained, in depth, why Dr Seuss books and Cristina Aguilera CDs are bad, because their publishers are owned by a company that "used slave labour" during the Nazi era. (Based on that logic, Ebenezer Scrooge is an evil man because he once hated Christmas.)
  • John Safran vs God, the titular presenter (who is Jewish) mentions an anecdote from his youth. He was a big fan of the Beastie Boys and to emulate them, got a big Volkswagen logo pendant. This led to his mother ranting about how he was showing support for a product of Nazi Germany.
  • The Young Ones but ever so slightly inverted:

 Rick: Vyvyan, stop being so sexist! They're called breasts and everybody has them.

Vyvyan: Well I don't!

Rick: Yes, and nor did Adolf Hitler.

  • Saturday Night Live had a parody commercial for a sneaker company where they showed members of the Heaven's Gate suicide cult wearing Nike sneakers, with the implication that if a suicide cult wears them they must be evil.
  • From Dexter:
    • On Dexter's advice about Cody's school assignment:

 Rita's mom: Dexter does drugs. He is wrong.

    • On Agent Lundy's walking style:

 Masuka: That's exactly how Hitler walked.

  • Inverted on Mad Men. Bert Cooper argues that Roger should stop smoking because it's a sign of weakness, claiming that when Hitler met with Chamberlain in Munich, he made sure it was in an old non-smoking building so that after a few hours Chamberlain would have agreed to anything to get out of there. Roger replies, "All I can get from that story is that Hitler didn't smoke, and I do."
  • An episode of MASH sees Hawkeye yelling at a soldier whose deep guilt over a lack of bravery on the battlefield has given him psychological paralysis, on the theory that if the soldier doesn't overcome his guilt now, he never will. When Trapper asks afterward if it was rough, Hawkeye says, "Did you know Hitler and I have the same answering service?"
  • Craig Ferguson uses a variant of this a lot in his Late Late Show monologues. "You know who else doesn't like _____ ? Al-Qaeda!"
  • Inverted on an episode of Late Night With Conan O'Brian several years back, where a skit mentioned news that US tobacco companies were being required by law to start making anti-tobacco ads. One of the "ads" shown on the show involved Himmler walking up to Hitler and offering him a cigar, to which Hitler responded with a quick "Nein!" The ad ended with the tagline: "Be Like Hitler: Don't Smoke!"
  • Cam and Mitchell on Modern Family point out that Hitler had straight parents when they believe people assume the worst from them for being gay parents.
  • In an episode of Mad About You, Paul insists in using Nazi comparisons when having arguments with Jamie (mostly about the mayor, for whom she worked), to the point where she claims he would be unable to have a discussion if the Nazis didn't exist.
  • A Running Gag in the pilot of Freaks and Geeks is Harold Weir constantly knocking down his children's proposals or scolding their behavior with the argument "[Celebrity Name] did that, and you know what happened? They DIED!"
  • Glenn Beck had a fairly famous rant in March 2010 about how anyone who talked about social or economic justice, especially a church, was secretly a CommuNazi since Nazis and Communists both talked about those things.
  • Keith Olbermann compared the bipartisan compromise on Bush's tax cuts to appeasement policies toward Nazis.
  • On So Random, in one skit, in a school presidential debate, Layla points out that she looks good in hats, and Mark responds "You know who else said they looked good in hats? Atilla the Hun".
  • QI discussed the trope at one point, along with Godwin's Law. Stephen Fry is of the opinion that anybody who uses this trope immediately loses whatever argument they were having.

 Hitler was massively opposed to fox hunting; he thought it was cruel. And so, he banned it. But for someone to say "Oh well, then, fox hunting must be good!" is just ludicrous.


Music

  • Because the music of Richard Wagner was so commonly used by the Nazis in their propaganda, fans of Wagner can expect to hear this from the ill-informed when they announce their admiration for Der Ring Des Nibelungen. Granted, the situation is more complicated than usual since Wagner himself was anti-Semitic and pushed for a united Germany. Yet, he still died before Hitler was even born. And his only work of music which references his anti-Semitism at all is Parsifal, which the Nazis actually banned for being too pacifistic (since Wagner wanted Jews to convert to Christianity - he was not in favor of genocide). Despite all this, though, if people know one thing about Wagner and his music, it's that he was a "Nazi composer."


Newspaper Comics

  • In a Dilbert strip, Ratbert wins every debate on the Internet by using the argument: "How would you like it if Hitler killed you?" In one of his text books, Scott Adams pointed out you can win any argument by comparing something to Hitler. This works so well, he explains, because Hitler was a surprisingly versatile guy; he did everything from invasions to building autobahns.


Radio

  • There's a That Mitchell and Webb Sound sketch about this sort of thing. There's a debate about killing pizza-flyer delivery guys and one of them reduces all the other's responses to comparisons with Hitler, and the other constantly compares his opponent to Stalin. Which culminates in the exchange:

 "You know, you're a bit like Stalin..."

"You are Hitler".


Stand-up Comedy

  • The entire premise behind Richard Herring's "Hitler Moustache" show is that he is reclaiming the toothbrush moustache. He points out that Charlie Chaplin had it first, but it's become evil by association with Hitler.
  • Lampshaded in a tongue-in-cheek fashion in Bill Bailey's stand-up: asking the audience for famous vegetarians, someone yells out "Hitler!", with Bailey replying: "You're absolutely right, Hitler was a vegetarian. It's very unseemly to think so, but there he was. Just goes to show: vegetarianism - not always a good thing. Can in some extreme cases lead to genocide."
  • Comedian Andy Kindler says he uses this trope to break up the "Astrological love-fest" between people with the same Zodiac sign (ie. "Hitler was a Sagittarius"). And even if it isn't true, no one's going to call you out on it. Hitler was a Taurus.
    • Damnit, TV Tropes! Stop making me think I'm a reincarnation of Hitler!


Web Animation

  • In the comedic flash parody The Matrix Has You, Neo gives a lecture on car safety, specifically to buckle up, and points out that both Agent Smith and Hitler don't wear seat belts.

 Neo: Why, Agent Smith never buckles up. [a mustache appears over Smith's face] And neither did Hitler. You don't want to be like Hitler... do you?


Webcomics

 Pintsize: You know who else knew Latin? The NAZIS.

Hannelore: Well you know who knew more Latin than the Nazis? Indiana Jones.

  • Not actually involving Hitler but in one Elf Only Inn strip, Goku wants to fight Woot because the latter ate Goku's head Woot uses a similar argument to convince Goku that he doesn't have a mouth.

 Woot: I have no mouth. That's just Republican propaganda. You're not republican, are you?

Goku: Oh? Of course not. Sorry.

  "You know who also associated things with Adolf Hitler? ADOLF HITLER!"

 #1: Hey, what do you think of my new haircut?

#2: You know who else had hair? Hitler!


Web Original

  • Used in EPICMEALTIME:
    • "If you're getting tired of all this bacon there's something wrong with your brain! You know who else didn't like too much bacon? Hitler. You don't want to be Hitler, do you? No. He's got stupid hair.
  • Use and inverted in That Guy With The Glasses' 2-year anniversary special, Kickassia. When Linkara expresses doubts about the invasion, The Nostalgia Critic says (paraphrased): "That's quitter talk. You know who else was a quitter? The Nazis! Are you a Nazi, Linkara? ARE YOU?!" Then he proceeds to deliver a Rousing Speech...about the Nazis. The whole thing ends with this exchange:

 Critic: Now, do you want to be a Nazi?

Team TGWTG: (discontented grumbling)

Critic: Or do you want to be A NAZI?!

Team TGWTG: YEAH!!

  • Lampshaded and parodied in the D&D PHB PSAs by Creative Juices 7 in D&Debate #6 (PSA #39), when Mialee discovers that she's being sued for his mistreatment of Displacer Beasts:

 Lilith: Do you know who else made sweaters out of an oppressed species?

Mialee: (pause) ... no?

Lilith: Hitler.

Mialee: Um, I ... yeah, um, Hitler did a lot of bad stuff, but I'm pretty sure you're thinking of Mr. Burns from 'The Simpsons'.

Lilith: (angry glare)

Mialee: Uh, no offense.

 Barty Crouch Sr./Candyman: Good day, it's me the candyman. From now on I am going to come to your school with my food trolley every morning and sell candy. No stupid cheese rolls like in your cafeteria. No, just sweets, sugar... lots of sugar.

Pupils: Whaaat?

Ron: Sugar is evil!

Girl: Sugar makes hyperactive!

The Wesley twins: Hitler ate sugar!

 You know who else was a genocidal maniac? Hitler!


Video Games

  • Postal 2 includes a group of protesters whose slogan is "save a tree, burn a book". One of their placards reads: "Hitler wrote a book".


Western Animation

  • Trope name comes from Daria, episode "Pinch Sitter", with this little exchange from two kids repeating stuff their parents told them about eating sweets.

 Tricia: Sugar is bad.

Tad: Sugar rots your teeth.

Tricia: Sugar makes you hyper.

Tad: Hitler ate sugar.

 Cartman: You guys, guess what? After I'm on television, I'm gonna be totally famous.

Wendy: [as she passes by] Hitler was famous, too.

  • King of the Hill:
    • Luann finally moves out, but her new roommates are stereotypical college students who invoke Godwin's Law whenever anyone attempts to assert any sort of authority over them. For example, when she asks them not to smoke in the house:

 Girl Hipster: You know who else was anti-smoking? HITLER!

    • This didn't pan out when the male made the same accusation against Grandpa Cotton, a grizzled World War II veteran:

 Cotton: Who are you callin' a nazzy?! * HEADBUTT*

 "Like nuts do ya? You know who else likes nuts? THE RED SQUIRREL!"

"Your friend there has a big fluffy tail. You know who else has a tail? THE RED SQUIRREL!!"

"Read any good books lately? Read? Red? THE RED SQUIRREL!!!"

  • Family Guy: Dialogue from a PSA made to make weed illegal again in Quahog

 Peter: All right, Carter, I've finished cutting together our anti-pot video. Take a look. ( a live-action Adolf Hitler is shown with a cartoon marijuana joint)

Adolf Hitler: (in Peter's voice) Hey, I've got a great idea! Let's kill 6 million Jews!

German People: (in Carter's voice) Hooray! Yeah! Yeah, I'm on board! How did you come up with that?

Adolf Hitler: (in Peter's voice) I got the idea from...from...while...from while I was smoking pot. Anyone else who likes pot, reach for my joint.

German People: (in Carter's voice) Oh, there it is. Give us some of that!

Adolf Hitler: (in Peter's voice) Ha ha ha! Perhaps later. Now let's go to France and steal all their Objects D'arte!

German Soldiers: (in Carter's voice) Yeah, alright! Let's go to France!


Real Life

  • This trope was pointed out as early as 1944, when George Orwell wrote in What is Fascism? that "It will be seen that, as used, the word 'Fascism' is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print." Orwell names a long list of often opposing groups accused of fascism. It would seem that, according to Orwell, almost any group at the time had been accused of fascism by linking it to some policy in Fascist Italy or National Socialist Germany.
    • Bill O'Reilly used "fascism" exactly as Orwell described in an interview with Richard Dawkins, when he described Dawkins's refusal to accept the validity of intelligent design "fascist". Dawkins had a Flat What moment at that.
  • Hitler's often held up as an example of the inevitable moral bankruptcy of atheism...and as an example of the inherently intolerant and oppressive nature of Christianity. This is actually sort of understandable, since both his public and private statements about religion are so contradictory that it's just about impossible to figure out what he believed. (The general scholarly consensus is that although he didn't mind using the Jews' supposed complicity in the Crucifixion to justify his antisemitism to others, his personal attitude toward Christianity was actually extremely contemptuous. He wasn't a strong atheist or anything, but it is now known that he intended to do away with Christianity.)
    • This was actually true of the man in general; speaking and politics were his only real skills, and he had an incredible knack for saying the exact thing that would get him his way. It's not even totally certain if Hitler himself was actually an anti-Semite, or if he just fashioned himself as one because Germany was pretty anti-Semitic in general at the time and it was a good way to get in with the voters, as it were.
      • This controversy was not helped by the fact that the original edition of Hitler's Table Talk was full of mistranslations and downright crimes of omission - for instance, phrases such as "the common good" are translated as "Christianity."
  • A strange variant of this trope occurred in Jaslo, Poland in July 2009. An oak tree became the target of a political movement to get it felled once it was found out that Hitler planted it in celebration of his 53rd birthday. Though really, that isn't saying all trees are bad... just the specific Hitler Tree.
  • Anti-smoking policies are often denounced as Nazi-ist, as the Nazis banned things. Adolf Hitler did indeed disapprove of smoking, and hoped that in his lifetime every cigarette package in Europe would be labeled with a warning message (an idea that has since then become widespread). He also never drank alcohol, citing its effects on the poor families in Austria. Yet, cigarette corporations have also been accused of fascism on at least one occasion, for profiting on the ills of others (which doesn't really make sense, since fascists tend to distrust private corporations).
  • For people who don't like porn, they point out that noted psychos (including, guess who) were sexual deviants. And people who are pro-porn and pro-sex point out how "oppressive" (read: ~evil~) regimes are anti-those-things. (E.g. The Nazis banned contraception/abortion and sent the gays to concentration camps)
    • As for 'pro-sex' folks discussing oppression, regimes that send gays to concentration camps or execute them ARE indeed comparable to the Nazis, unlike regimes that ban smoking in public buildings. That's not any more of an exaggeration than suggesting people who want to kill Jews are comparable to the Nazis.
    • Some homophobic groups in America (including Pat Robertson) have used Ernst Roehm, a gay supporter of Hitler, to try to link homosexuality with Nazism. They overlook the fact that Hitler had him murdered.
  • Speaking of evil sexual deviants, the trope got averted with Ted Bundy. He had a VW Bug. The other 21,529,463 VW Bug owners couldn't care less. The fact that the Bug idea had been supported by Hitler himself all along also meant zero to them.
  • Played with by Criminal Profiler John Douglas, who once stated that in the 70s and 80s when Douglas was an FBI profiler that the VW bug had been the car of choice for serial killers, as well as low-pay grade Federal employees, strongly implying he himself had owned a bug in the same period.
  • A similar argument is made in Reality Bites.
  • In an attempt to discredit Charles Darwin and evolution, evangelical minister Ray Comfort and actor Kirk Cameron added a special 150th anniversary "introduction" to On the Origin of Species that pointed out "Adolf Hitler's undeniable connection with the theory", among other things. That's what happens when you let things fall into the public domain, we suppose. You can see it here.
  • This hilarious/disturbing tirade against Kindles and digital books, in which the author essentially argues that the Kindle and Google Books are comparable with the Holocaust. Because the Nazis didn't like and burnt books, and the Kindle and Google Books replace books. Bonus points for the following statement, posted once commenters started calling him out:
  • Bill Buford in Heat recounts a Tuscan butcher's defense of getting meat from Spain rather than selling local chianina beef: "I don't believe in the purity of races. You, evidently, believe in purity of races. So did Hitler."
  • Euthanasia (giving people to right to choose to die if they have a terminal disease) has been condemned as evil because the Nazis used "euthanasia" as a euphemism for "killing people against their will."
  • You know who else wanted to follow his dreams and ambitions? HITLER!
    • Of course, Hitler's original dream was to become a painter. After being declined a place at an art college, he gave up and decided to settle for becoming the leader of Germany. Therefore, you could make the case that not following your dreams and ambitions will also make you like Hitler.
  • This trope was a major problem for the left nationalist movement in Canada during the 1960's. During that time period, Canadians everywhere suffered a major national identity crisis whose finer points are too lengthy to explain in this example (most prominently, there were fears that trade exports with the United States were "contaminating" the country with American lifestyle choices in exchange for a stronger economy), left nationalists reacted by shunning anything and everything American. The debate broke wide open when prominent left nationalist Robin Mathews wrote in the essay "Draft Dodgers and U.S. Imperialism" that American war resisters escaping the Vietnam draft should be refused entry into Canada because, despite holding similar views to many Canadians at the time, they still carried the "stench" of American evil with them. For many people in the left nationalist, acknowledging that Mathews took things too far would mean recognizing that America had redeeming qualities, and thus the movement's absolutist views of anti-Americanism fell apart.
  • It's a commonly used argument that there's nothing wrong with meat-eating or even that vegetarianism is immoral because Hitler was a vegetarian, same with being nice to animals, and abortions (although Hitler forced abortions on "undesirable" races and banned it for Aryan women, so he wasn't really either pro-life or pro-choice).
    • Not just vegetarianism. Hitler was apparently a big whole grain fan, and being appalled by the popularity of refined breads, proposed... (wait for it) "The Final Solution" to white bread.
  • Every political party ever has done this countless times. Nothing more needs to be said. Any politician in any position of prominence has been declared identical to Hitler by detractors, even when the politicians being called identical to him are as different as night and day.
  • In fact, many of the men who actually defeated fascism, like Eisenhower and Patton, would be accused of fascism at some point.
  • This one is often used as well:

 Person One: I believe X.

Person Two: Why?! What are you, a Dirty Communist?!

Person One: Oh yeah, well you know who else hated communists? HITLER!

  • Osama bin Laden supported the fight against climate change. Cue Right-wing America asking 'What is the difference between bin Laden and Al Gore?'
  • Rush Limbaugh has established himself as being a supporter of free speech in video games, and a number of individuals have expressed shame at agreeing with him.
  • Franco's memory suffers greatly from his association with Hitler, one of the most evil men in history (though the relationship was pretty one-sided, with Germany giving the assistance, and Spain receiving it). This is justified in almost all aspects in that Franco was also a brutal fascistauthoritarian dictator who was ruthless to his enemies; the few exceptions are important. Hitler's is the most infamous person in history because of his holocaust and starting a World War. On the other hand, Franco let some targets of anti-Semitic persecution into Spain, and Spanish officials abroad in Nazi-controlled territories did this as well, though without his authorization. And Spain remained neutral in WWII and did not start their own world wars. So the notoriety that extends from Hitler's evil taints Franco, even though he didn't actually support some of the worst of Hitler's evils. The fact that his life isn't as well known is partly to blame for this, as is the fact that most famous figures are seen as simply good or evil, not people with a different view of what constitutes moral behavior.
    • Franco is also an inversion. During the Cold War, many (including the US) were willing to overlook the part he played in the Axis, not to mention the Basque, Atheist, Leftist, Anarchist, and LGBT people that suffered under his regime, simply because he happened to oppose communism.
  • As cited here, the Guardian recently produced an example that's pushing it even for this trope:

 Although the fringe event was carefully stage-managed – terse political lines trotted out and limited time for questions – there was one unfortunate mistake. The basement room in which delegates gathered to hear the controversial Tory allies was in Manchester’s Midland Hotel, a building Hitler is said to have liked so much that he would have made it his northern residence if he had invaded.

  • Despite being somewhat common at one time, the name Adolph isn't used any longer and no one supports the thin-mustache look due to association with Hitler. What makes this especially tragic is that "Adolph" was a common Jewish name!
    • Other words and names discredited by Nazism include "eugenics," "Aryan," "blitzkrieg" (sometimes), and otherwise innocuous phrases like "triumph of the will."
      • This bit David Lynch in the arse once, as he finally fell off the deep end and joined a cult that practices transcendental meditation, took it to Germany and was seen supporting a spokesman who uttered the sentence "Invincible Germany", which was a Nazi catchphrase. Lynch didn't realize it at first, what with not understanding German, and made a public apology later when someone explained the issue.
    • The swastika itself fell victim. It was originally a Hindu sun symbol, but will forevermore be associated with Nazis.
    • The Roman salute also fell victim. It has been used by many groups throughout history, including the United States for the Pledge of Allegiance. Like the swastika, it will forever be associated with Nazis.
  • According to this article, people who hate 3D movies can now call upon this trope.
  • There's actually a converse trope that could be called "Sugar Jumped Into Hitler's Mouth." This is when a vile person or organization you really hate because you keep getting compared to it starts acting like you in order to gain more respectability for themselves. During the Civil Rights Movement, for example, the White Citizens' Councils were humiliated by comparisons to the Ku Klux Klan, and actually pressured local businesses to deny service to Klansmen in order to create a clear contrast between the two factions. But, as anyone who's seen Mississippi Burning could tell you, Klansmen themselves were savvy enough to appear in public without their robes and hoods and to tone down their rhetoric - thus appearing indistinguishable from White Citizens' Council members. So ironically, these two groups might have actually helped advance civil rights by discrediting each other.
    • Another way of inverting or subverting this trope is to present Hitler eating sugar as a Pet the Dog moment, to ask whether or not Hitler was "really that bad?" "Nazi Germany was the first government to campaign against smoking," and similar kinds of observations are presented in the hope that we'll see the Third Reich in a different light, as if Hitler being a vegetarian (which he wasn't, this is a myth) or an animal lover somehow makes Auschwitz less horrible than it actually was.
  • Patriotism/Nationalism. Germans in Nazi Germany were patriotic/nationalistic, therefore patriotism and nationalism are evil. Or so some people say.
    • Especially strange regarding patriotism considering that Hitler was insulted by anyone thinking he was a patriot - patriots believe in the culture and traditions of their nation, while nationalists believe in race, blood, volk, etc. Hitler hated Weimar-era German culture, and wanted to destroy it, so he saw calling him a patriot tantamount to calling him a supporter of the Weimar regime (i.e. pretty much everything he hated)
  • This Youtube channel, filled with videos of political commentary unabashedly referring to the right with terms like "reich," "big lie," and "Nazi," interspersed with videos explaining that, no, it isn't hyperbole, he really believes that the GOP is a Nazi organization based on vague similarities and tenuous connections (such as Prescott Bush and the National Prayer Breakfast).
  • The Daily Mail have used Charles Manson's belief in climate change to ridicule the idea. Seriously
  • Uniforms. Any sharp-looking uniform, especially if it's black or brown, is automatically assumed by your average man on the street to be Nazi or at least fascist. Because Hugo Boss designed Nazi uniforms, therefore all similar uniforms (or even not-even-remotely-similar uniforms, if the color scheme is right) must be Nazi uniforms.
  • Wisconsin unions carried signs that compared Governor Scott Walker to Adolph Hitler during the argument over his bill curtailing collective bargaining there.
    • Also, they compared him to Muammar al-Qaddafi.
  • Following the Wisconsin public unions' lead, Christopher Shelton compared New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to Adolph Hitler for his reforms to public unions and collective bargaining.
  • The swastika is a notable literal example of this trope. While it's still used in its Buddhist context in Asia, displaying a swastika anywhere in North America or Europe, except to neo-Nazis, is a sure way to get angry mobs after you.
  • There's a tendency to invert this when it comes to Hitler's war-time nemesis (well, one of them) Winston Churchill; just as anything Hitler says or does tends to become an example of how terrible that thing is, there are those (particularly within politics) who will fall over themselves to produce a Churchill quote which supports the position they happen to be taking at the time merely by virtue of Churchill's role in defeating the Nazis. This can tend to ignore the fact that not only does helping to defeat the Nazis not make you correct in every single situation, but that Churchill himself both held some very questionable viewpoints (such as, among others, his positions on eugenics and British imperialism in India) and, outside of his wartime role, has often been considered to be an average Prime Minister at best.
  • Like Churchill, Galileo is an inversion of this trope. In arguments over a scientific issues, there will inevitably be someone who uses Galileo's mistreatment as an explanation for why their pet theory goes unaccepted by mainstream scientists. By stating that "Galileo's astronomical observations weren't mainstream either", the crank suggests that the scientific hegemony likes to suppress alternative (superior) claims for fun and profit.
  • The idea that if you're a socialist (or at all left-leaning), you support Stalin and North Korea. Conversely, if you're a conservative, then you're obviously a closet Nazi.
    • Americans in particular seem to have great difficulty in distinguishing other kinds of socialism from Marxism.
  • The (slightly left-wing) Labour party of the UK tried this kind of argument on the (slightly right-wing) Conservative party by showing a series of billboards featuring the Conservative party leader photoshopped into "Gene Hunt", the sexist, homophobic main character of Life On Mars and Ashes to Ashes. Which might have been a good idea if Gene Hunt wasn't the most popular tv character in the country at the time.
  • Philosopher Martin Heidegger was a Nazi supporter, making quite a few scholars apprehensive about his work.
  • Some people boycott Disney merchandise and films because of Walt Disney's purported anti-Semitism during his lifetime.
    • Others boycott Ford because of Henry Ford's actual anti-Semitism.
  • Modern and postmodern architects have played this trope for all it's worth. The Nazis generally preferred traditional and monumental buildings over the blocky stuff, which they thought decadent--ergo, anyone who prefers pre-Bauhaus styles is a crypto-Nazi. Even today, this is an accurate, non-hyperbolic description of many respected architectural critics' stances.
  • In April of 2012, Representative Allen West said that members of the Congressional Progressive Caucaus were members of the Communist Party, because the Communist Party praised some of their policies. Politifact called this "Guilt by Association on steroids."
  • Dan Savage once pointed out an inversion of this trope. He had advised someone to beware of entering a relationship with a much older man, and a woman married to a much older man sent him a Strongly Worded Letter about how wonderful her own husband was. His response; "My boyfriend is tall, blond, in his thirties, and he's not a cannibal. Going by your logic, we'd have to conclude that Jeffrey Dahmer, who was tall, blond, and in his thirties, wasn't a cannibal either."
  • Barack Obama (who had already been compared to Hitler on a regular basis for just about everything) unveiled a new campaign slogan in April 2012. What was this slogan? "Forward". Seems like a perfectly innocent adverb but many pundits would like to differ.
  • The Heartland Institute, which is a right-leaning political organization that attacks global warming, put up a billboard featuring pictures of assorted bad guys (most notably the Unabomber) next to the words "I believe in global warming, do you?", which is this trope played as straight as they come. (You believe in global warming? Then you are just like these horrible people!!!). Naturally that did not go over very well even among the organization's supporters.

Rest easy, Hitler never browsed TV Tropes.

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