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"You're not wrong, Walter. You're just an asshole."
The Dude, The Big Leboski (1998)
He's Right

At least he's right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Examples of Jerkass Has a Point include:


Anime and Manga

  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Whenever she's not just putting him down, Asuka can sometimes make a valid point to Shinji about his issues e.g. his tendency to apologise just to avoid being scolded. She also isn't exactly wrong when she calls Rei a 'wind-up doll', as Rei does whatever she's told and would kill herself if Gendo asked her to (which she admits, without any hesitation whatsoever).
  • In Accel World, during the climax of the first volume, Haru learns that his childhood friend, Taku, is actually Cyan Pile, the Burst Linker who's hunting his mentor Kuroyukihime for the point bounty on her, and that he also put a backdoor program in their mutual friend (as well as his girlfriend) Chiyu's Neurolinker to spy on her. Taku reveals that he's dating Chiyu so that she doesn't spend her life looking after Haru, and Haru, despite finding his point difficult to accept, admits that it's not entirely without basis.
  • Amagi Brilliant Park: Seiya Kanye may be a Narcissist who constantly brags about how awesome he is, but he makes a valid point when he tells Isuzu that her methods to get him to help her (threatening him with her gun, taking up his free time etc.) cross more than a few lines and don't give him much of an incentive to say 'Yes'. Isuzu even realises this, and actually apologises for going as far as she did, but did so because she doesn't know the appropriate way of asking for someone's help.
  • Unsurprisingly, this happens frequently in Attack on Titan:
    • Levi's Brutal Honesty, despite often making him appear like a jerk, is usually proven right. During Eren's trial, he openly criticises the merchants for being greedy pigs, but he is absolutely correct since they care more about their safety and business than caring about starving refugees, especially since one merchant deliberately blocked off an escape route with his goods and flat-out told Mikasa to her face that she and the rest of the Survey Corps solely exist to die so people like him can live. He also harshly ordered Eren to figure out a way to transform into a Titan because if he didn't, then any chance of reclaiming Wall Maria was gone, and there would be a high possibility that Eren would be handed over to the Military Police Brigade who would then execute him.
    • When he was 9 years old, Eren killed 2 of the men who kidnapped Mikasa, and justified it to his father, Grisha, by saying they were "beasts that happened to look human." This is a clear case of Troubling Unchildlike Behavior, but the men he killed could hardly be called anything but, as they killed Mikasa's father and mother (in her case, one of the gang objected, but only because she would've fetched a good price on the slave market) and planned to sell the child Mikasa as a sex slave. It should be noted that Grisha didn't argue with his point, and was instead angry at Eren for thoughtlessly risking his life.
    • At the memorial for their fallen comrades after the Shanganshina operation, Floch dishes out a "Reason You Suck" Speech to Eren and Mikasa, chewing them out for letting their emotions cloud their judgement and telling Armin that Erwin should have been saved over him. This angers Eren enough that he needs to be restrained, but Armin finds himself unable to argue with Floch, and states that he has to work very hard to prove that he really was the right person to be saved. At the time, however, this can be seen as a deconstruction, as even if Floch does have a point, it doesn't change the fact that he picked the worst possible time and place to make it, and is directing it towards the wrong people entirely, as even if Eren and Mikasa did plead for Armin's revival, the decision was ultimately left to Levi. What's more is that Erwin willingly gave his life so that Armin could live on and the decision ultimately came down to not who was more skilled or experienced, but who was less broken, something Floch should have been aware of. So, ultimately, all Floch is really doing is lashing out at his comrades for something that was out of their control just because he thinks he knows better. It also serves as Foreshadowing for the kind of person Floch proves himself to be after the Time Skip i.e. an all-around despicable individual who serves as a symbol as to why Eldians are so feared.
    • Galliard snidely tells Reiner if he was the one to inherit the Armored Titan instead of the latter, their mission to the Paradis island would have been more successful and even asked the latter if they had accomplished anything at all or if they needed to be saved all the time. While this was a horrible thing to say to someone who is suffering from PTSD, it was hard to deny that Reiner did have to be constantly saved by others, such as Marcel pushing Reiner away from being eaten by Ymir, Bertolt transforming over Reiner and Eren so they could capture Eren, Ymir saving him and Bertolt from Titans, Zeke and Pieck rescuing him in the battle of Shiganshima. Reiner  says, in almost as many words, that Galliard is completely right. Though it's debatable whether Galliard would have done any better if he was sent instead.
  • He's Dedicated to Roses: The leader of the Girl Posse give I-Da one of these after breaking her glasses. Subverted in that that wasn't what she had intended.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena: The resident Jerkass Butt Monkeys Saionji and Nanami start making good points and recognising how they all are being manipulated towards the end of the series, but by then no-one listens to them.
  • Weiss Kreuz: Reiji Takatori is the Big Bad of the TV series, and by accounts a Complete Monster who antagonizes Weiss and their boss Persia aka his brother Shuiichi. However, in a certain confrontation, he brings up a pretty valid point in regards to their subordinates (which in Reiji's case, are his own sons Hirofumi and Masafumi), summed up as this: "You tell ME I use my sons to my advantage?! Look at the way you treat your four subordinates, you hypocrite! Specially the little guy whom you thought he was my kid... and who happens to be YOUR illegitimate son!" And then he kills Persia.
  • In Naruto, Orochimaru was the one who gave Tsunade the idea of starting a unit of medical ninjas to minimize battlefield casualties, though that was way before he turned to full-blown villainy. He was a recognized hero of Konoha, pegged to be the next Hokage and genuinely her friend at the time.
    • Sasuke gets this from time to time in Part 1. When Sakura complains about Naruto and says that he is a Bratty Half-Pint because he has no parents (which definitely strikes a nerve for Sasuke), Sasuke tells Sakura that she has no idea what Naruto went through, and after he leaves, she decides to start being nicer to Naruto. Shortly before the Chunin Exam, he tells her that she's as annoying as Naruto is and in terms of skill, even weaker than he is, and during the Forest of Death, when Naruto and Sasuke are incapacitated, Sakura realizes that despite thinking herself superior to Naruto, she can't do anything when it counts, and goes through Character Development as a result.
    • The Fourth Raikage is often depicted as arrogant, stubborn and somewhat hypocritical. When Naruto's pleas for him not to kill Sasuke are dismissed as weakness, Naruto agrees to the extent that he has to either save or kill Sasuke himself.
  • Medaka Box: Right after being defeated, Kumagawa makes an point about Medaka's decision to make Kumagawa her Vice-President remarking that she's ignoring Zenkichi's feelings. Personal feelings aside, Kumagawa was nonetheless a dangerous minus who blinded Zenkichi, so distrust of Kumagawa was still partially justified.
    • Naze calls out the rest of the student council for their bystander attitude after Medaka beats Zenkichi into a bloody pulp.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Solf J. Kimblee. Jerkass has many points. Played especially straight in Ch. 60 where he lectures Mustang and Hawkeye about the nature of killing, free will, and military duty in the midst of war. Kimblee's words affect them so much, they decide to lose the self-pity, accept responsibility for their acts, and atone by putting into motion a long-term plan to change the leadership of the country from below.
  • In One Piece, after Kaku is revealed as a Cipher Pol 9 spy, Zoro asks him if the fact that he is not a real shipwright means that his assessment that the Going Merry was unable to reach the next island was incorrect, but Kaku says that he was telling the truth back then. Later on, when he goes to the place where Franky and Usopp are going to the ship, he chides Usopp for keeping Merry around, before dumping it into the stormy ocean. Kaku is correct, and the Merry falls apart after saving the Straw Hats from Enies Lobby.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh, Joey Wheeler's deck gets stolen by a kid, but quickly gets it back. Later, he faces Weevil Underwood in a duel, but finds that his deck has been sabotaged, putting him at a disadvantage. Joey and his friends realize that Weevil hired the kid to sabotage the deck and angrily condemn Weevil for cheating. Weevil confirms this, but retorts that it is Joey's fault for being so stupid and naive as to not inspect his deck after getting it back.
  • Oberstein of Legend of Galactic Heroes is a magnificent example of this trope. There is practically no one in the show who likes the guy, and yet he always makes arguments that, although devoid of concepts such as honor and often morals, are simply correct and most effective when looked at logically. Even Reinhard states that he has not once liked Oberstein as a person, but followed his advice the most because "that man makes arguments that are so right, they leave no room for debate".
  • Bleach:
    • Grimmjow has several good points during the course of the Arrancar arcs. For instance, he points out what's wrong with letting Ichigo survive at the start of the arc, argues why it was better to kill Ichigo and being 95% right, and even asks why Ichigo just won't leave Las Noches despite having accomplished the goal. Ironically enough, each of these have a very irony-filled end; Ichigo ends up killing several of the Espadas by himself, the 95% was because Aizen didn't tell anyone his plans for Ichigo, which also backfires, and that, because Ichigo didn't leave when he had the chance, Orihime is kidnapped AGAIN and that leads into the Curb Stomp Battle Ichigo recieves from Ulquiorra.
    • In the pilot, Orihime's father, who turns out to be obsessed with staying with his daughter forever to the point at which he killed her himself, tells her that she shouldn't confess her feelings to him, because as he is alive and she is not, she will only cause him pain. However, once he's dealt with, Rukia appears to come back with Orihime, as she was denied re-entry, setting up a Sequel Hook in which Ichigo and Orihime could get together.
    • Mayuri Kurotsuchi, of all people, gets to play this role recently. In the Final Arc, Yamamoto is making preparations for war agains the Vandereich. While discussing it, Mayuri straightforwardly tells him that for not having eliminated the dude who'd later become the Vandereich when he should've done so, he's the one who blame for the whole mess in the first place. And he's right.
  • In Bakuman。, Nanamine, who has a morally dubious plan to rise to the top of Jump, had once sent the main characters as fan mail, but stopped when they started writing Tanto, saying they weren't suited to gag manga. This is a bit of an odd case, in that it takes a while for Nanamine to be revealed as a Jerkass, and this opinion was shared by the majority of the characters. He also says that like him, the main characters took risks and defied their editors at times to get what they wanted.
  • In Death Note, Near's response to Light Yagami's Motive Rant was to tell him that "you're nothing more than a crazy mass murderer."
  • Kaze no Stigma: Make no mistake, Kazuma Yagami is a rude, selfish, arrogant man who constantly makes harsh comments about everybody, but the things he says tend to be true far more often than not. An example is when Juugo had figured out the Fuga clan's plan of retribution against the Kannagi family. While Ayano believes their rebellion is completely unjustified, as in her eyes all they've ever done is help the Fugas, Kazuma points out that the Kannagi family has looked down on them for centuries simply for practising a brand of magic they view as inferior, comparing it to his own situation. He even goes so far as to say he doesn't blame the Fugas for what they're doing, and that he instead blames the Kannagi family for pushing them to the point of wanting revenge. And, as Juugo acknowledges, he is absolutely right.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • In the Saiyan Saga, Yajirobe invokes this after the fight against Vegeta, calling out Chi-Chi for focusing entirely on Gohan, who was merely unconscious, while ignoring Goku, who didn't have a single unbroken bone in his body.
    • Vegeta killing Burter and Recoome in cold blood after Goku defeated them. Goku states that Vegeta was being cruel, but Vegeta then retorts that their deaths were deserved, especially since Gohan and Krillin were on the verge of death, and that they had killed countless people under Frieza's orders. While Goku states that having a little compassion isn't a disadvantage, sparing the Ginyu Force would have caused far more harm than good. This is further emphasized later on when Goku spares their even more sadistic leader Frieza's life at least twice - which only prompts Frieza to try to stab Goku in the back both times; though, to be fair, Goku only spared Frieza the first time out of Cruel Mercy instead, not compassion.
    • After saving the heart virus-stricken Goku from being killed by Android 19, Vegeta proceeds to chew him out for it, reminding Goku that he was warned about the heart virus and should have known that fighting in his condition, let alone going Super Saiyan, would have only made it worse.
    • Vegeta gets another one after beating Android 19 so thoroughly that 19 flips out and tries to make a break for it, to which Dr. Gero/Android 20 shouts at Vegeta that it's enough. As Vegeta rightfully points out in response, Gero and 19 had clearly come all this way to destroy him and the other Z Fighters, and it's only "enough" because they're losing.
    • Although Vegeta was too harsh with Gohan about him getting weaker in the Buu saga and how his fight with Dabura was a "disgrace," he made a good point: Gohan was struggling against a foe that, seven years ago, he wouldn't have had such a problem with, and it was in their best interest to beat these foes as quickly and efficiently as possible. In fact, Vegeta's arrogance notwithstanding, it's highly probable that he could have defeated Dabura with relative ease had he been the one to fight instead.
    • Vegeta gets another one in the climax of the Buu Saga when he calls out Goku for leaving his children to die while Kid Buu blows up the Earth, and choosing to rescue Mr. Satan and Dende instead. While he's doing so, Goku just sits there and has absolutely nothing to say in his own defense.
    • During the Saiyan Saga, when Gohan wants to learn martial arts from his father instead of Piccolo, Piccolo states that Goku is too soft-hearted to be an effective teacher. These concerns prove to be justified in the Cell saga when they go into the Hyperbolic Time Chamber and Goku initially holds back for fear of hurting Gohan accidentally.
  • Cross Ange:
    • Jill may be a ruthless Control Freak who views everyone, including herself, as a tool, but she also makes a point to Ange that even she can't deny during their duel; the degree to which she was betrayed by her former kingdom, and how much the Normas have been kicked around. And considering Ange generally fights by herself, consistently refuses to follow orders and has outright attempted to desert Arzenal multiple times (and succeeded twice), you can't exactly blame Jill for calling her "historically unreliable".
    • Ange herself has her moments; when Salia attempts to call her out on her I Work Alone mentality in "Salia's Gloom", Ange points out that Hilda, Rosalie and Chris have repeatedly tried to sabotage her and Salia hasn't done a thing to stop them, a point Salia ultimately takes to heart by the end of the episode. And when Hilda attempts to get Ange to take her with her during her escape in "Bikini Escape", Ange gives her a long list of very good reasons as to why she can't trust her, only giving in when Hilda reveals that she just wants to return to her mother.
  • Guilty Crown: In episode 6, Shu gets into yet another disagreement with Gai in regards to the latter's The Needs of the Many way of doing things, and asks his subordinates if they're happy following him to their deaths. However, Kenji (hardly a shining example of good people skills himself) intervenes, saying that Shu is the one who sounds like the asshole, not Gai, and that he should try reading between the lines. Dangerous criminal or not, Kenji is calling out Shu for the exact same thing that Hare called him out for at the very start of the series. Notably, this is the episode where Shu decides his loyalty.
  • Tenjho Tenge: Souichiro may be a Jerkass delinquent introduced as trying to take over a school he just transferred to, but he has every right to be annoyed at Aya for forcing herself on him and acting like his wife, especially since, according to Maya, she's following an old family tradition that's been outdated for decades.

Comic Books

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


Fanfic

Film- Animated

  • The Tigger Movie: Rabbit is far from the nicest bunny you'll ever meet, but when he sees Pooh and co. covered in Tigger-esque garments, he gives them a massive What the Hell, Hero? for fooling around, when they should be barring their windows and gathering firewood. Harsh as he may have been, the group get his point; they've spent so much time trying to help Tigger that they've made no preparations for winter.
  • Toy Story: Mr. Potato Head, who's never really respected Woody for whatever reason, brings up a good point about getting rid of fellow toys you fear will dethrone you as your owner's favourite toy, as you might as well get rid of every other toy in the room as well.

Mr. Potato Head: What if Andy starts playing with me more, Woody, huh? You gonna knock me out of the window, too?

    • Mr. Potato Head is quick to point out Woody can't relate to the other toy's fears of being replaced due to being Andy's favourite. As smug as he is about it, he was proved correct when Woody himself got usurped and he became incredibly insecure.
    • Woody himself in regards to his resentment of Buzz- while it's largely a case of Driven by Envy, he has every right to be annoyed at Buzz's delusions of grandeur (e.g. his belief that he's the real Buzz Lightyear as opposed to an action figure), especially considering it results in him being The Load for a good portion of the movie, and Woody is constantly, to no avail, trying to inform Buzz that he's a toy.

Film- Live-Action

  • The Avengers: Captain America, tired of Stark's egomania, tries to insult his manliness by accusing him of being nothing without his Iron Man armour. Stark effortlessly swats the insult down:

Cap: Big man in a suit of armor. Take that away, what are you.
Stark: A genius billionaire playboy philanthropist.

      • What really makes it this trope, however, is that it's followed by Natasha - not the biggest Tony Stark fan given their interaction in Iron Man 2 - nodding in acknowledgement of the point.
      • There's also Cap's question to Tony where he asks if he would lie on barbed wire to let others get across safely. Tony's response? Cut the wire.
      • He gets a third one in when Steve says that Tony had better stop pretending to be a hero. "You're a laboratory experiment, Rogers. Everything special about you came out of a bottle". Harsh but true, compared to Tony and Banner's intelligence-derived powers and Black Widow and Hawkeye being trained, Cap's power was handed to him for being a Nice Guy.

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

  • In It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Mrs. Marcus is the one who suggests simply splitting the $350,000 that's been buried under the big "W", but if anyone had listened to her, we wouldn't have a movie.
  • Se7en: Detective David Mills may be an immature, Hot-Blooded Cowboy Cop but he isn't wrong when he points out that Somerset's cynical attitude is little better than the apathetic attitude he claims to be against. He also shoots down the killer's claims that his actions will change the world, saying (probably correctly) the killer will end up "a T-shirt, a Movie of the Week, at best," and that he has delusions of grandeur.
    • The killer himself makes a valid point about how sin is taken for granted by society and very little is done to prevent or even reduce it, something Sommerset would agree with. The problem is that his way of dealing with it is so alien and horrific that it completely eliminates any sympathy the audience may have had for him.
  • Walter Sobchak in The Big Lebowski. He turns out to be completely right that Bunny Lebowski's kidnapping was fakeddespite causing so many problems for the Dude throughout the film. As quoted above, the Dude even states that he's not wrong- he's just an asshole.
  • Dirty Harry: Harry Callahan defends himself early in the movie from killing a guy by claiming he was a rapist. When asked how could he know that he replies "When a naked man is chasing a woman through an alley with a butcher knife and a hard-on, I figure he isn't out collecting for The Red Cross". Mayor admits he has a point.
  • Leia in Star Wars A New Hope was Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like but she was critiquing more about Luke and Han's lack of planning and foresight to their plan. After all, it's not much of a rescue if everyone either gets recaptured or killed in the attempt.
    • Given the situation, the only logical choice would have been no rescue at all, as Han wanted. They were already in enemy territory with escape being a long shot and they didn't find out she was there until they were already hip deep in trouble.
  • The Empire Strikes Back: Han is called out by Leia and Luke for taking his payout and bailing on the Resistance. He explains, however, that bounty hunters are constantly and actively hunting him because of his debt, and he's as good as dead if he doesn't pay back Jabba The Hutt. General Rieekan agrees and dismisses him on good terms:

Literature

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

 Tyrion: Lord Baelish, buy our brave Ser Alliser a hundred spades to take back to the Wall with him.

Alliser: Spades?

Tyrion: If you bury your dead, they won't come walking.

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


Live Action TV

  • Supernatural: The Trickster/Gabriel was a big one. Sure, his method was cruel (a time loop within which Dean died every day, and Sam couldn't save him), but he did have a point: Sam had to accept that Dean was going to die, and that sacrificing themselves for each other isn't a good idea. Not that it stopped them...
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • Sheldon is annoying, but he did spend years telling Penny to pay attention to her "check engine" light in her car before it broke down on the road in Season 7.
    • In another episode, Penny gives Howard a blistering Reason You Suck Speech when he yet again sexually harasses her. She does go too far, but her grievance about him constantly making disgusting comments when she's clearly not interested - and has outright said that - is perfectly valid.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Episode one of season two of had Buffy, traumatized by her near-death experience at the hands of The Master, acting mean and uncommunicative to her friends. She wound up getting a tongue-lashing from Cordelia.
    • Cordelia fills this role constantly in Buffy and Angel: "Tact is just not saying true stuff. I'll pass". When she joined Angel, the role on Buffy was taken over by Anya, an ex-demon who hasn't learnt which thoughts should be verbalized, and occasionally by Spike who often didn't have time for social skills.
    • Frequently -- but extremely reluctantly -- with Spike and to a lesser extent with Andrew, though it overlaps with Dumbass Has a Point.
    • In season 3, the Mayor (while anything but Jerkassy, was definitely a vicious villain) provided frank and accurate advice on why Buffy and Angel's relationship was doomed to fail. While he was trying to kill the both of them. Nice guy.
  • Degrassi: "Whisper to a Scream" is a great example. Ellie, a Goth Zen Survivor, is the only character all season who has been able to stand up to Paige [the Alpha Bitch]. The episode starts with Ellie fighting Paige's latest scheme...then, due to trouble at home, Ellie begins cutting herself. Paige finds out and tries to help her get counseling.
    • There was also a much less serious episode where Emma has her first period, and Paige tries to convince her that it's great because "You'll get boobs now" And "Boobs aren't that bad... they're really great actually."
    • From our other Alpha Bitch, Holly J, we get a few moments where she gives 'advice.' The first is after Mia finds out Sav likes Anya ("We need men, not boys."), after her Fallen Princess she gives advice to Spinner and Jane in season 8. Season 9 she has a wonderful scene with shades of the Paige Emma discussion telling Clare that having a impure thoughts isn't bad... so long as it doesn't lead to kissing the neck of Holly J's boyfriend.
    • Mrs. Torres, oh wow. She's mad at Snake because her son was shrinkwrapped to a pole. Then she's mad at Snake because her other son who she still isn't quite used to not being her daughter was the victim of a hate crime in school. By this time she's probably wondering what kind of school he's running. Then Vegas Night happens...
    • Another example involving Paige happened in the episode "I Want Candy". Ashley would not get out of bed to go to school after Craig cheats on her with Manny (several months after it's already happened). In an effort to try and cheer her up, Paige and Spinner skip school and take her out on the town. Of course, Ashley does nothing but whine the entire time. Finally, Paige gives Ashley a What the Hell, Hero? speech, tellng her that while what Craig did to her was wrong, he was not the issue. The real problem was Ashley because she wouldn't move on with her life.
    • Bianca's gotten her fair share in, pointing out that while she did steal Drew from Alli, it wasn't as bad as Alli kissing Clare's ex-boyfriend/current step-brother. Since Alli is Clare's best friend she should know better, Bianca has no such loyalty to break. Later on she sets Jake straight that no matter what Clare says, she's not going to be able to separate the sex from the romance she has building in her head, and if he sleeps with her he's royally messing her up. Bianca didn't choose the nicest ways to go about sharing these lessons, but she was right in both counts.
  • Odo being saved by advice from Quark in an episode of Star Trek Deep Space Nine.
  • Late into Lizzie McGuire, the Will They or Won't They? between Lizzie and Gordo was getting unbelievably tedious so Lizzie finally got a Sorkin Relationship Moment...from Kate.
  • Mad Men: Joan Holloway gets to hand out a lot of this. So does Bobbie Barrett.
  • In The Wire, William Rawls is a complete asshole that openly hates protagonist Jimmy McNulty. But, when McNulty's partner is shot, Rawls makes it a point to tell Jimmy that the shooting wasn't his fault.
  • Glee is full of this and most of the Jerkass characters get one or more scenes where they get to tell one of the 'good' characters the plain truth and force them to address their problems.
    • Sue Sylvester tells Will that he shouldn't use demeaning hairography in the glee club's set list. Later, Will thanks her and as required willingly shows her the set list which she promptly leaks to the competing schools.
    • Quinn tells Rachel that Finn does not have the same dreams for the future as Rachel and as such she should stop pursuing him since they will just end up miserable. This makes Rachel realize that she has been too self-absorbed and has not really considered what Finn wants out of life and a relationship.
  • Scrubs: Dr. Bob Kelso is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold on the best of days and a straight-up Jerkass most days, but being the Chief of Medicine, he'll inevitably make a point now and then that's harsh but true. An good example is in the season 1 episode "My Occurrence", when he calls out JD for withholding crucial information about Ben Sullivan's health, simply because he feels sorry for him.
  • Gossip Girl: Both Chuck and Blair often fill this role, telling the blunt and terrifying truth.
  • From The Walking Dead, there's Daryl. He may be a caustic redneck, but he is usually the only one of the group to recognize the gravity of their situations.
  • In the second season of Community, a recurring plot arc was Pierce Hawthorne's increasingly Jerkass behaviour towards his friends, which eventually reached a point where they were debating whether to throw him out of the group or not. However, while Pierce was shown to be unreasonable and cruel with many of his actions, he was also shown to make the entirely valid point that one of the main reasons that he was acting out in this fashion was that his supposed friends weren't actually that much nicer or better towards him in many ways, often deliberately excluding, mocking or ignoring him. While Pierce is the group's Acceptable Target in that he's a racist, sexist jackass, his friends were forced to concede that in several ways he had a point. However, the trope is played with in that Pierce is also forced to concede the point that it's in many ways his own fault he's excluded in the first place.
  • Torchwood: In the season 1 finale "End of Days", Jack chews out Owen for messing with the Rift, thus going against the first thing he learned when he joined the team. Owen, however, retorts that if he hadn't opened the Rift, Jack and Toshiko would still be stuck in the 1940s, something the far nicer Gwen also points out.
  • In the season 1 finale of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Oenomaus angrily calls out Ashur for his cowardice, dishonorable tactics, arranging Barca's murder, ruining Crixus and Naevia's relationship, and other slights. Ashur retorts that ever since he arrived in the ludus, everyone gave him a hard time: repeatedly calling him a wimp and a coward even though he won a few matches, and making fun of him when Crixus crippled his leg, so why shouldn't he try to ruin their lives?

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

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


Theatre


Video Games

  • In Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney Justice For All's second case, it's strongly implied that Dr. Grey is right and that Mimi Miney was, in fact, at fault for the malpractice incident that killed fourteen patients, as Phoenix says near the end of the trial.
  • Mass Effect series:
    • The turian councilor Sparatus is generally the meanest of the three council members (which is saying something, considering how infamously out of touch the Council tends to be) but he is also the only council member who thinks it plausible that Matriarch Benezia would be willing to murder her own daughter. And he turns out to be right - because of indoctrination, she is. Also when you consider that turians are taught to value discipline and self-responsibility and their government is based on hierarchical meritocracy, it makes sense why he's irritated by Shepard's maverick attitude and insubordinate nature to authority.
    • Miranda Lawson spends the first act of the second game as an arrogant Ice Queen, but when she dismisses the scientists of Project Lazarus as expendable, Jacob, usually the Nice Guy, takes her side, saying that they knew what they were signing up for and, without Shepard, the past two years of labour will have been for nothing. Her calling Jack a mistake during their 'disagreement' is also well-placed, as Jack is a Psychopathic Womanchild who's guilty of every crime imaginable and plans on going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge once the Collectors are dealt with. She's also in general a highly unpleasant person, especially to Miranda, having dismissed her as a 'Cerberus bitch' before she even opened her mouth.
    • The sequel also has an instance with Quarian Admiral Zaal'Koris, who is entirely distrustful of both Tali and her father trying to get the family exiled. However, he's also the only member of the Admiralty board who opposes going to war with the geth and sees them another sentient species with the quarians also largely to blame for what has happened.  If you speak to him during the trial, he will explain his position in detail and tell Tali that he has no personal vendetta against her or her father: he is just doing what he thinks needs to be done for the good of the quarian people. Tali responds with "I do not agree, but I understand." He takes a level in kindness in the third game, and is even integral in bringing a peaceful solution to the quarian/geth conflict.
    • Also in the second game, while Kaidan/Ashley was harsh in chewing Shepard out for working with Cerberus, their warning that the Illusive Man is using the Reaper threat and Shepard's gratitude to manipulate him/her turns out to be very accurate. Among other things, Miranda had to be explicitly forbidden from putting a control chip in Shepard's brain, the post-mission summary for Archangel's recruitment explicitly notes that Archangel's unexpected identity as Garrus Vakarian could be very useful for making Shepard comfortable, the post-mission summary for Tali's loyalty mission cites how much intel Cerberus was able to gain on quarian internal politics from it, and the summary of the mission to gain the Reaper IFF mentions how much Cerberus was able to learn about the husk creation process because of the data Shepard recovered. When trying to convince Shepard  to preserve the Collector Base, the Illusive Man resorts to directly reminding Shepard of everything Cerberus has done for him/her. In the third game, the player finds a video of the Illusive Man explicitly laying out his plan to make Shepard invested in Cerberus's goals the old fashioned way (something Kaidan/Ashley is the only squad member not to be surprised by), and the data on the husk creation process resurfaces in one of the most horrifying sequences in the trilogy.
    • If you sacrificed the Council in the first game, in the third, the new council reminds you of this while refusing to divert resources from protecting their own homeworlds to help Earth. It's fairly presumptuous to expect them to help you after you betrayed their predecessors, possibly in order to allow humanity to take control of the Council.
      • Regardless of what Council it is, however, Udina ends up being the Only Sane Man by saying that they need to stand together. Shepard even notes that while he/she hasn't always agreed with Udina, he's nevertheless right in this case; in fact, it's precisely because of the Asari's initial refusal to cooperate that Thessia gets taken by storm, when logically they should have had all the warning in the world.
  • In Pokémon Black and White, Ghetsis says, 'A Pokemon, even if it's revered as a deity, is still just a Pokemon!' After all the legendary Pokemon being called 'gods', it's kind of nice to see someone who isn't falling for it. Even if he redefines 'bastard'.
  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves: In chapter 11, Chloe calls out Nate for attempting to save the injured Jeff, saying that he's as good as dead already and if they don't keep moving, Lazarevic will catch up to them. Callous as she may have been about the whole thing, that's exactly what happens, and the first thing Lazarevic does afterwards is shoot Jeff dead, making the entire chapter pointless.
  • In Katawa Shoujo, when Hisao suggests that Jigoro Hakamichi could visit his daughter Shizune, Jigoro counters by, among other things, asking when the last time Hisao has called his parents. Hisao concedes that he has not made much of an effort to keep in touch with them, although he hates Jigoro enough to be tempted to punch him in the face.
  • Dangan Ronpa series:
    • Byakuya Togami often plays this role in the first game. He spends most of his time distancing himself from the group, believing himself to be one of the smartest and most capable people alive, and, therefore, above everyone else present. And while he doesn't have to be such a jerk about it... he's got a point, given how many incredible things he's accomplished without even being out of high school. Also, whenever something sad or horrible happens, you can count on him to coldly lay out the facts or state the status quo.
      • Played for Laughs in chapter 5, when he says the current discussion is completely idiotic. Considering they're discussing whether the corpse they found is Kyoko when she's standing right in front of them, "idiotic" doesn't even begin to describe it.
    • Hiyoko Saionji, a bully who enjoys squashing ants for fun, sometimes plays a role similar to the first game's Byakuya in the sequel. After the first murder, she points out that everyone has to get their acts together and find the killer, or everyone besides the killer will die. After the second trial ends, in which it is revealed that Fuyuhiko didn't kill Hiyoko's best friend, Mahiru, but was responsible for her death, she coldly blames him for everything that happened. Fuyuhiko agrees, then attempts Seppuku as a way for atoning for his crime.
      • Also from the second game, Monokuma, of all people, gets a moment of this in chapter 5; Chiaki is more or less going out of her way to rule out Nagito's death as a suicide, as she (and Sonia) can't believe one of the group could kill someone in such a horrible fashion.[1] Monokuma, however, points out that it's more that they don't want to believe it, and for all their faith in each other, they've been betrayed multiple times so there's no reason for them to believe that this time is any different. Nobody is able to give him a decent rebuttal, and Kazuichi even says that he agrees with him.
  • Tales of the Abyss:
    • Luke might be an entitled jerk to everyone, inviting plenty of teasing and mockery, but he makes a very good point as to why picking on his lack of general world knowledge is over the line. For what it's worth, the rest of the party stop picking on him over that, and from then on only criticise him or insult him over things that have greater consequences, or can't be excused on his circumstances (for example, his arrogant behaviour as Ambassador).

Luke: I didn't have time for any of that! I had other things to learn. Like my parents' faces!

    • Shortly before entering Akzeriuth, the party is at Deo Pass after a detour to the Zao Ruins to rescue Fon Master Ion. Luke, naturally, complains that they wasted time rescuing Ion from the ruins when he wasn't in any danger. The party immediately reprimands him for saying that, but Luke was right! The God Generals had taken him, certainly, but they had no motive, incentive or any desire to harm him. In fact, they would have still needed him to open more doors with a Daath seal on them. Ion was in no danger. Luke was right, the party and player could've been saved this entire ordeal and gotten to Akzeriuth sooner.
    • Jade Curtiss is often harsh and blunt in his statements, but he always has a good point to make when he speaks up towards people's actions or attitudes not helping the situation. He's just not nice about it. Towards the end of the game, the party has learned to trust his advice, even if they acknowledge his complete lack of people skills. When Natalia  nearly gets the entire party killed towards the end of the game due to having a Heroic BSOD after Asch's death, resulting in them getting caught in a trap, Jade smacks her in the face and reprimands Natalia. Even though Natalia thinks Jade went too far, she concedes the point.
  • Tales of Xillia: Gilland states that his actions were merely things he had to do, in order to save Elympios and doing everything to survive, which included using spyrix, something that kills spirits. When Milla tells him that it's their own fault for using the dangerous technique of spyrix, Gilland backfires that he, and the others, shouldn't be blamed for something that was started 2.000 years ago and that "it wasn't us!" who decided to use spyrix to begin with. Milla is left speechless after that last outburst.

Web Comics

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

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

 CG: IF I RECALL, IT WASN'T THAT LONG AGO FROM EITHER OF OUR PERSPECTIVES THAT YOU WERE RIPPING ON ME AND MY SMUG WINDBAG FUTURE SELF FOR ARGUING WITH EACH OTHER

GG: oh come on...

GG: this is NOTHING like that!

CG: HOW IS THIS NOT LIKE THAT

GG: because she's...

GG: well

GG: she's ACTUALLY INSANE

CG: OH I SEE, AND ALL THOSE IDIOT PAST AND FUTURE KARKATS WEREN'T???


Web Original

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


Western Animation

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

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

  • Eric in Dungeons and Dragons was set up as The Complainer Is Always Wrong, but if you're listening carefully, he's the only one in the party perfectly willing to call out Dungeonmaster over those dirty tricks and half-truths that get the party in trouble, and the only one to tell Hank that Honor Before Reason may be a bad idea.
  • Teen Titans: Beast Boy, while being affected with the Jerkass Ball in "The Beast Within", brings up the point that he's often disrespected, especially by Raven.
    • When Starfire and Raven switch bodies, Starfire, fed up with Raven's snarking at her for her inability to fly with Raven's powers, calls her out on her constant negativity. Raven then fires back by saying that unlike Starfire, she doesn't have the luxury of being emotionally open, and that Starfire knows nothing about her. Starfire concedes Raven's point, asking Raven to help her understand, and the two emerge from the incident as closer friends.
    • Raven also takes the longest to fully trust Terra, but her points that Terra must learn to control her highly dangerous powers and trust needs to be earned is fairly sound. Raven's distrust is also well-founded, as Terra is The Mole for Slade.
    • Raven gets a third moment in "Betrothed"; Robin is really displeased with Starfire's Bureaucratically Arranged Marriage to Glgrdsklechhh, knowing full well she'll be very unhappy. Raven, however, says that Starfire may not need to like him and they, as outsiders, are hardly ones to question the Tamaranean cultureOf course, this point is rendered moot when it's revealed that the whole thing was a scheme cooked up by Blackfire to get rid of Starfire.
    • Even Gizmo gets a moment in "Crash"; when Beast Boy objects to Gizmo setting an emergency bomb in Cyborg's brain in the event that they can't get rid of the Endzone virus, saying that he won't let Gizmo hurt his friend, Gizmo snidely retorts "Yeah, that's your job, isn't it?", referring to the fact that Beast Boy was the one who infected Cyborg with the virus in the first place.
  • Family Guy: While Carter Pewterschmidt personifies the Evil Old Folks and Rich Bastard tropes, his loathing for his son-in-law Peter Griffin is amply justified. Peter is not only a Fat Idiot, he's a full-blown Psychopathic Manchild who's repeatedly shown to be a danger to himself and everyone around him, responsible for multiple serious injuries, fatalities and millions of dollars in property damage. He's also not a good father to his kids, especially not Meg, something she's all too happy to chew him out for in "Seashore Seashell Party".
    • In "Jerome is the New Black", Quagmire gives Brian a minute-and-a-half long "Reason You Suck" Speech that calls him out for, among other things, constantly hitting on the married Lois, being a Spoiled Brat who has everything handed to him and never gives anything back, believing religion is for idiots, never seeing his son and being boring. While Quagmire is guilty of some of those things as well, every point he makes is nonetheless completely valid, to the point that Brian has absolutely nothing to say in his defence.
  • Futurama: In the episode "Bend-Her", after Bender has a sex change, the female crewmates accuse of him of being a bad representation of their gender and dating a celebrity robot just for the sake of indulgence. When "she" questions whether they've really never done the same thing, they can barely muster up a denial.
  • On SpongeBob SquarePants, after the Flying Dutchman (the Bikini Bottom version of Satan) is ready to drag Mr. Krabs to Davy Jones' Locker for being greedy, Spongebob sticks up for his boss, wagering his own soul that Krabs is really generous. The Dutchman then offers Krabs a handful of pocket change in exchange for Spongebob's soul, which Krabs accepts without hesitation. Krabs gloats over the money, while the Dutchman departs with the sponge, causing Squidward to go ballistic. Normally Spongebob's sworn enemy, Squidward yells to Krabs, "I can't believe I'm saying this but how could you sell Spongebob for 62 cents?" Eventually Squidward's abuse makes Krabs see the light and he regrets his greedy ways.
  • The entire Cadmus story arc in Justice League centered on Cadmus' attempts to thwart the worst-case scenario of the league taking over the world like their Justice Lord counterparts. Amanda Waller points out that the League has a Kill Sat, they have made some questionable decisions in the past, and there has been at least one reality they know of where the League overthrew the government (albeit to keep Luthor from wiping out all life on Earth out of sheer spite). Normal people don't have a way to defend themselves against a group of super powerful beings if it ever came down to it. In "Question Authority", Green Arrow lampshades the whole thing by saying that if the League ever decided to cross the line and become the Lords, there's nothing that the rest of the world could do to stop it. Green Arrow and the league's more grounded heroes were meant in part to keep the heavy hitters honest but they only served as the overall conscience against them Jumping Off the Slippery Slope, not an actual Restraining Bolt if they were to truly abandon their principles and attack the government.
  • South Park: Eric Cartman gets this quite a few times throughout the series, when his twisted worldview is occasionally proven true. Usually Played for Laughs like most everything else in the series.
  • In the "The Cutie Pox" episode of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, Diamond Tiara probably only calls Apple Bloom out on her cutie marks which were cause by Cutie Pox being fake in order to take her down a peg when a second one appears, since she hates anypony taking the spotlight away from her. Still, she's 100% right, and even the teacher Cheerilee shares her skepticism.
    • Fluttershy gets one herself in putting your hoof down when she talks about how Pinkie Pie and Rarity want "Pushover Fluttershy" back. Yeah, she was being mean about it, but it's been shown plenty of times before and since in which her friends will take advantage of her kindness.
  • Red Arrow is a suspicious jerk towards Artemis in Young Justice. Although Artemis probably isn't The Mole, Roy's lack of trust in her unfortunately does have some merit, since she is keeping secrets about her past from the team. Reaches a head in "Insecurity" when Roy's mistrust pushes Artemis to endanger the mission by trying to lead the rest of the team away from the targets just to have a chance to prove herself. This backfires immensely when the mission goes south and her deception is exposed.
  • Benson from Regular Show seems to embody this trope. While he is hard on Mordecai and Rigby, his anger often comes from their slacker attitudes and desire to be cool, which tend to screw things up or prolong the time it takes to complete menial tasks.


Real Life

Notes

  1. He, in no particular order, was tied by his legs and left arm, had his mouth sealed via duct tape, was stabbed in his right hand by a knife and got impaled on a metal spear.
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