WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic

A pair of characters are compared and contrasted against each other, where one character demonstrates the proper, moral, or effective way to do things, while the other… is a complete failure.

As the Trope Maker is Goofus and Gallant, the characters, if they are named set up in an Imagine Spot or something similar, will have rhyming, alliterative or Theme Naming

When the characters are related, compare Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling and Youngest Child Wins. In humor, compare Boke and Tsukkomi Routine. Also compare Good Angel, Bad Angel.

Examples of Right Way, Wrong Way Pair include:


  • A fairly omnipresent trope where Brand X contrasts itself against Brand Y.
    • Apple uses this in the "I'm a Mac / I'm a PC" commercials.
    • Various cell phone companies will use this and models of their clients to show why each is superior.
  • An anti-drunk driving radio PSA has two girls telling stories of going home from a bar. They're basically the same girl, Sliding Doors style: one drives home and the other takes a cab.

 Girl 1: A squirrel ran across the road.

Girl 2: A squirrel ran across the road.

Girl 1: I swerved.

Girl 2: The cab swerved.

Girl 1: I hit a guy.

Girl 2: The cabbie just missed a guy.

Girl 1: I wish I'd taken a cab home.

Girl 2: Thank God I took a cab home.



  • Mad Magazine's "Melvin and Jenkins". Jenkins, a nerdy-looking chap, is polite and intelligent and always tries to do his best; Melvin, on the other hand, is a gangasta wannabe hoodlum who delights in petty mischief.

 Captain America always takes the time to separate his recyclables from his perishable waste.

Deadpool sleeps in his refuse.



  • Goofus and Gallant: the Trope Maker.
  • The Bible's book of Proverbs' first 29 chapters carry the thread of contrasting the wise man and The Fool.
  • Doofus and Darling: Manners for the Modern Man, a humour book demonstrating the right and wrong ways to navigate various social situations.
  • Richard Scarry's Pig Will and Ping Wont.

Live Action TV

  • In The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest, there was a parody of Goofus and Gallant with two criminals one who did things the wrong way (Doofus) and one who did things the right way (Valiant).
  • All That had sketches of “Life With Peter & Flem”.
  • A strange 50's-style fantasy sequence in That 70s Show had "Doofus and Diligent" (Kelso and Eric, respectively) working at a fast food restaurant. The segment was an Imagine Spot by Jackie’s dad, using minimal character exaggeration, to show why Eric got the job and Kelso didn’t. Jackie's dad intentionally (and rightly) framed her boyfriend Kelso as "Doofus". Eric, with the threat of his dad's foot up his ass, was of course "Diligent".
  • The original Mickey Mouse Club had a series of shorts hosted by Jiminy Cricket about safety. Each episode ended with a contest between "You" and "a common, ordinary fool". "You" follows all safety precautions and wins, while the fool got nothing but Amusing Injuries.
  • In Home Improvement, Tim Taylor, on his Tool Time show, is considered to do this deliberately. He has gotten a few rewards for what they consider deliberately doing the wrong thing in contrast to his assistant Al, and showing what happens. Subverted on the Show Within a Show as they're both talented, but Tim is really just accident prone.

Web Original

  • The website The Art Of Manliness has an adult variation of Goofus and Gallant (called Dim and Dash) in order to display proper male etiquette.
  • The Randomverse's original videos used the same mechanic as the “I’m A Mac / I’m A PC” commercials, as “I’m A Marvel / I’m A DC to show the right (later Marvel films, Batman) and wrong (earlier Marvel films, everything else DC) way to make a film series around similar concepts. As ItsJustSomeRandomGuy is a fan of both companies, the jabs were fairly lighthearted. Except for the stupidity that was the kryptonite mountain.
  • A parody of this is done in the flash "Yes and No" about driving habits, the red car being the "wrong" one and the green car being the "right" one. Unlike most examples, the "right" option involves bad things and inconveniences happening to ther person.

Western Animation

  • The Private Snafu shorts were made for this. Snafu did it wrong, then went back and did it right.
  • Animaniacs had shorts of "Good Idea, Bad Idea", although one character demonstrates both ideas. Good Ideas are usually simple, practical, unimportant everyday things, while Bad Ideas are hilariously useless or dangerous to the user.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.