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Donkey: "Whoa. Look at that. Who'd wanna live in a place like that?!"

Shrek: "That would be my home"

Donkey: "Oh and it is LOVELY. You know, you're really quite a decorator. It's amazing what you've done with such a modest budget. I like that boulder. That is a NICE boulder."

A character is lecturing another character (usually a minor character or guest star) then somehow, either by someone else telling them the truth afterwards or the one they are lecturing breaking down and sobbing out the truth the character realizes that they have been a complete Jerkass.

Can also be when a "The Reason You Suck" Speech goes too far.

Also qualifies if a normally nice character is ripping into another character, not realizing that the character they are ripping on is in the room or listening.

Could be considered a minor version of My God, What Have I Done? and Heel Realization

Basic Example: A Boss is yelling at his employee about being late, then it is revealed somehow that his entire family has been killed by a drunk driver. Cue the viewer thinking, "Yep, you're a Jerkass"

Tropes used in Jerkass Realization include:

Anime and Manga

  • Naruto When Kakashi has Sasuke tied to a tree pre-time skip and is talking about bonds, Sasuke says something along the lines of "How would you feel", then Kakashi says all his loved ones are already dead. Admittedly Sasuke's later character outshines this little moment, still was a accidental Jerkass moment.
  • School Days: Say what you will about Matoko Ito, but he gets hit with his twice in the anime. Though the second time it happens, he gets hit with a knife in the gut before he can actually make amends.

Fan Fiction

  • In Harry Potter and The Methods of Rationality, Harry hears an I Have This Friend version of the Snape-Lily-James story by Snape, and draws perfectly reasonable conclusions from what little information he is given... expressing them very bluntly and completely and utterly hurting Snape's feelings. Harry isn't insensitive by all means, but this story taught him he should know exactly what he's talking about before recklessly flapping his mouth.



 Raiden: The fate of billions will depend upon you. Heh heh heh heh! ...sorry.

    • Rare humorous Jerkass Realization.
  • Shrek Donkey says who would want to live in a place like that. That would be Shrek's home.

 Donkey: I like that boulder, that is nice boulder.

    • Another Shrek one is where Shrek mistakenly thinks Fiona is talking about him when she says "Big, stupid, ugly beast", he is very rude to her the following day. Donkey sets him straight later though.
  • Mr. Deeds When Babe is stuck in the Ice Hole and she is asking Deeds for help. Deeds doesn't beleive her and thinks she is trying to play him again, he even lectures her again, then she goes under and doesn't come back up, (till he saves her)


  • Harry Potter There are MANY in Harry Potter.
    • Probably was when Ron was craning his neck to get a look at the Longbottom's beds, then he is told of the Longbottom's Conditon.
    • When Hermione is lecturing Harry again about his connection to Voldemort and makes the mistake of saying he likes it. Harry's Death Glare pretty much shuts her up and has her bending over backwards apologizing.
    • The Magical Maintenance man the trio forced to leave was there to be with his wife when she had to go up against Umbridge and the Anti-Muggle trial, cue Jerkass Realization.
    • Slughorn is pretty much a vest wearing walking example of this trope.
      • Though his most egregious is most likely the off the cuff way he talks about Sirius's death to Harry when they first met. Though oddly subverted as he never really realized he was being a Jerkass.
    • When Hermione criticizes The Quibbler in front of Luna in very Jerkass way, then finds out Luna's the daughter of the Quibbler's Editor, though seeing as how the girl had been reading it when Hermione walked in, it was rather rude regardless.
    • In Order of the Phoenix Dudley has one when he is attacked by the dementor and is shown the sort of person he really is. This causes Dudley to cease bullying Harry (he is never shown to pick on him again after this point in the books) and try to be a better person (leaving tea outside Harry's room, telling Harry he doesn't think he's a waste of space).
    • Harry himself went through this in the fifth book. When his mental connection to Voldemort as well as Umbridge's actions at Hogwarts make him rude and short with Ron and Hermione, he realizes how moody he'd been. He tries to reel himself in, though he keeps being rather touchy throughout the book until Sirius dies.
  • The novel How To Rock Braces and Glasses by Meg Haston is basically a book-long one of these for protagonist Kacey Simon. She's the Alpha Bitch of her school, but she genuinely believes that her Brutal Honesty is helpful and beneficial to those she uses it on. After losing her popularity due to the sudden acquisition of braces and glasses, she realizes that her fellow students mostly consider her a colossal Jerkass and sets out to change this fact by being nicer.

Live Action TV

  • Stargate SG-1 (Episode: Lifeboat) Daniel Jackson has become host for about a dozen different consciousnesses and the team goes back to the planet where it happened, they find the person responsible and Sam pretty much orders him to remove the said consciousnesses from Jackson's mind, thus killing them, theorizing that they are already dead. Then she finds out she just asked the man to kill his 10-year old son. Yep, Sam's a Jerkass.
  • Scrubs Quite a fan of these moments as well.
    • After JD's father passes away, JD gets mad at Cox, Cox narrowly averts this trope by getting mad at JD but immediately feeling like a Jerkass, as he knows JD's father has died. Then Ted joins in the taunting of JD, Ted asks why are they clapping and Dr Cox says, " His dad died, dammit...." Ted then immediately stops clapping. Ted, You're a Jerkass.
    • Also is Season 8 when Elliot is shown how depressed Keith is over her treatment of him.
    • A rather odd one in where JD has just revealed to the entire waiting room that he received a DUI last night. Cue flashback to a few minutes ago with Nurse Roberts saying that a girl involved in an drunk driving accident had made it, but her mother had died.
    • Dr. Cox is really annoyed by a quite frankly VERY annoying paramedic, even the audience hates her at this point, then he finally and gloriously goes off on her, telling her to go home to her son that she doesn't shut up about. Then another paramedic give Cox a baseball card from the Ambulance they had just left. Cox then remembers that she said it was her son's favorite card and he never went anywhere without it, also how he'll always be the age his is in her picture to her. If you haven't guessed it yet Her son was killed after being hit by a car, damn...
  • NCIS When Mcgee's sister is a suspect, Gibbs asks her if she was planning on being a writer like her brother. She says "I plan on being a writer". Really, your brother just resigned for you cause they wanted to lecture him for protecting you! Yeah, a true You're a Jerk.
    • Tony does this when talking about Gibbs often, he mentions things like his divorce rate, or something about bourbon, cue the scene of Gibbs standing behind him, or walking in from nowhere.
  • Arrested Development A rare moment when a character actually realizes that they've said something terrible:

 Tobias: [to Michael] ...And second-of-ly, I know you're the big marriage expert - oh, I'm sorry, I forgot, your wife is dead!

[Michael and Lindsay stare in silence]

Tobias: I'm sorry, that was one hundred percent inappropriate and I do apologize profusely. I do apologize profusely, I'm - oh...

  • In Episode 2x04 of Glee, Rachel Berry has a self-inflicted one of these when she finally realizes that her determination to win at everything and hog all the spotlight, all the time, has made her into a genuinely loathsome individual. She then spends the rest of the episode trying to lose at something so she can consider herself a good person again. Shame it doesn't last - by Episode 2x09 she's walking into class with her mouth taped up in protest over someone else being featured at Sectionals, and when her eternal rival Quinn Fabray hands her an immensely satisfying talking-to about the selfish 'schoolgirl bubble' in which she lives her life in 2x15, all it inspires is a dreary self-justificatory whine set to music - but it was nice while it did...

Video Games

  • Final Fantasy X Tidus realizes that his suggestions for what they could do after Yuna completes her pilgrimage are rather cruel when it turns out that summoning the final Aeon will kill her.

Web Comic


 Axel: We've faced worse than this. Remember when Disneyworld was destroyed?

Marluxia: Larxene did that.

Axel: Well, what about that plane that got hijacked?

Marluxia: You hijacked that plane.

Axel: Okay, but there was that corrupt government.

Marluxia: That was, and still is Zexion.

Axel: Wow, we're assholes.


Web Original

  • The Cinema Snob In his review for The Zookeeper, Jerrid blasts Jake for not showing up, thus forcing Jerrid to watch the movie. In the recent Harry Potter movie, Jake says the reason he didn't show up was because he had a huge family emergency. The audience also probably thought Jake was dipping out so it gets the audience with a Jerkass Realization, along with Jerrid's.

Western Animation

  • Futurama: When Fry is sent to the future and can't go on his date with Leela, for years she thinks he stood her up. Then she gets the Video Card that fell out of the time machine, many years later. She then realizes she has been mad at him her entire life and it wasn't his fault.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants In the April Fools Day episode, Spongebob keeps pulling silly and (to Squidward) annoying pranks on everyonem (such as not putting ice in a customer's drink, which Spongebob thinks is hilarious), Squidward then sets up a elaborate, physically painful and rather cruel prank on Spongebob that causes the latter to leave the Krusty Krab in tears, After all the customers leave, Squidward looks around and seems the damage his "harmless" prank did to the Krusty Krab and realizes he went to far.
  • The Ren and Stimpy Show, "Stimpy's Fan Club": Ren becomes jealous of Stimpy getting all the fan mail, so when he finally gets one, he reads it to Stimpy to rub it in his face (even literally rubbing the letter in his face), all the while adding comments on how Stimpy is finished and how he is now the most loved. Then he gets to the end and realizes the letter is from Stimpy himself. Ren, you're a jerkass... and to drive the point home, he briefly turns into a person's ass.
  • The Simpsons, Nelson points at his reflection and delivers his trademark laugh. He then remarks, "Hey, that hurts. No wonder no-one came to my birthday party."
  • Fluttershy has one in the episode "Putting Your Hoof Down." In the episode she took assertiveness lesson in order to quit being a pushover, but took them too far and became a jerk ass. She comes to her realization after brutally hurting Rarity and Pinkie Pie's feelings.
    • Rainbow Dash learns it very fast in Hurricane Fluttershy, realizing that her brusque manner of coaching and motivating the other pegusi is only terrifying her friend early in the episode, and makes an effort to be much calmer and praises her when she really improves, despite the improved to level still being a bit low.
      • Played both ways, since Fluttershy first agrees to training out of guilt when a dejected Rainbow Dash submits to her refusal to take part.
    • The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well works toward this on more than one level. On one hand, Rainbow Dash is letting her fame and respect get to her head, and the whole MMDW gambit is intended to make her see how a true hero should act. On the other hand, several viewers interpret the events as RD's best friends systematically degrading and humiliating her, and at least one Fix Fic have them realize their jerkass behavior when RD earnestly thanks them for their brutal wakeup-call.
    • Done by almost the whole cast in "A Canterlot Wedding Part Two", after Twilight attempts to convince them Princess Cadence is evil, she is ignored and outright disowned by the rest of the reception. Ultimately Cadence in reality, Queen Chrysalis in disguise reveals herself and prepares to take over Equestria, even going as far as to smugly tell off the ponies for ignoring Twilight and letting her plan go through, leading a solemn Applejack to apologize.