This study examines the American court show Judge Judy. Drawing on both conversation analysis and critical discourse analysis, this paper aims to show how ideological assumptions about how to be a “good citizen” manifest themselves at a turn-by-turn level in the interactions on Judge Judy and how they contribute to the co-construction of a new version of events. The microanalyses reveal how Sheindlin's strategic use of “common-sense reasoning” sets up a context and characterization of the opposing litigants. Sheindlin reframes complex issues as simple black-and-white stories. These new stories have a plain narrative line without the contingencies of everyday life and with clearly moral and immoral characters allowing her to pass a judgment that only seems fair.