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To some people, there is only one thing worse than anything they consider horrible -- people liking it.
The thing is that to these people, art is Serious Business, and they treat their enjoyment of art the way some people take to competitive gaming. If you like anything not up to their standards, they will either mock you, mock that thing in front of your face, or just go on a diatribe about why you shouldn't like that thing. They also seem to stereotype fans, to make matters worse, such as (anybody whom likes comic books are obese losers; anyone who likes anime is some annoying, anti-American, over-obsessive wannabe Japan-fetishizing freak; people who like cartoons are manchildren; anyone who likes metal/punk is a wannabe tough guy; people who like rap are wangsters; etc.). Fan Haters tend to refer to the targets of their hatred as the "Lowest Common Denominator" or "unwashed masses".
As a work becomes more popular, the probability of such a group appearing approaches one. Today's media landscape seems to encourage this somewhat, because In a World where executives and producers seem to believe in Quality by Popular Vote, and because Ratings are so important in determining what keeps getting made and what gets canceled, it's easy for fans of one thing that might be on the verge of getting canned to resent the people who are making another work so popular (and thus keeping it on the air), as they blame those fans for their own favorite work's misfortune.
But others seem to just want to rail against fans simply because they think it makes them superior. This group is comparable to Moral Guardians, only it's their own subjective tastes they are trying to guard. They really love to make up fake stories about how fans are Complaining About People Not Liking the Show. These kinds of people are a big reason for some people's mentality of He Panned It, Now He Sucks: Fan Haters are always waiting for an opportunity to pounce, and even a single negative critical opinion of something is usually enough to "justify" their "this thing is bad and you should feel bad for liking it" rants. It also contributes to Complaining About People Not Liking the Show: because there are quite a few Fan Haters out there, some fans mistake an honest criticism of a work for Fan Hating and get very defensive.
It is a very odd phenomenon, because after all, different people enjoy different things. And maybe they just enjoy it for one reason or another, not because of their sexual orientation, not because of their intelligence, not because they're old or inexperienced, they just happen to like it. But chances are if you like something that's subject to fan haters, expect one of those comments to be thrown at you. It's incredibly rare (at least, on the internet) to see someone who actually acknowledges that maybe you like different things not because you're mentally ill or homosexual or "haven't seen a 'true' something".
Contrast the inverse, Complaining About People Not Liking the Show, where fans of a show will lambaste you for not liking it. This activity has also been known to spawn Fan Haters, though in that case, the hate starts with the fans and spreads to the work. Also, when a fan likes the show, but is a Fan Hater toward a certain character on the show, it's a specific type of Fan Dumb known as The Hate Monger.
Be warned some may pretend to be fan haters, but are in fact Trolls, which some find to be worse, depending on who you are.
Websites featuring lots of Fan Hating (and Hatedom):
- 4chan, varying by board.
- The Agony Booth
- The Encyclopedia Dramatica
- Something Awful
- The Best Page in The Universe
- Television Without Pity
- Game FAQs
- Outskirts Battledome"
- "Urban Dictionary" was forcibly turned into both an encyclopedia of stereotypes and a fan hating site.
Common forms of this trope:
- Adaptation Decay, in that they hate anyone who likes an adaptation that isn't the original version.
- Animation Age Ghetto, in that they hate anyone older than 12 who watches anything animated.
- Broken Base, in that the dissenters will hate the loyalists for not giving up on a particular series.
- Comedy Ghetto
- Dead Horse Genre
- Deader Than Disco
- Fandom Rivalry - In which one fandom hates another fandom, and vice-versa
- Fan Dumb
- Hate Dumb
- Hype Aversion
- Hype Backlash - In which they hate a work simply because of the attention it has received or is receiving. A subset hates things that are critically-acclaimed.
- Internet Backdraft
- It's Popular, Now It Sucks - In which a work is hated for having mass appeal, selling out and abandoning the "true fans".
- It's the Same, Now It Sucks - in which they hate you merely because you like something that they see as the same as something else.
- Misaimed Fandom - In which they hate you for liking something the "wrong way".
- Public Medium Ignorance
- Sci Fi Ghetto
- Serious Business - The MST3K Mantra most certainly does not apply.
- "Stop Having Fun!" Guys - In which you get hate for playing a game the "wrong way."
- All the True Art pages
- And especially Guilty Pleasures, because they'll try to make you feel guilty for it.
Anime & Manga
- Love Lucky has an in-universe example with Erika, the female lead singer of the rock band "M.I.T.", who is a self-professed hater of "normal people". This apparently arose from the way she was treated by the band's fans after she replaced the previous lead.
- Dragonball Z has an in-universe case of this. In one of the episodes during the Buu arc before the World Martial Arts Tournament begins, Krillin comments on how he's unsure of who is more annoying: Mr. Satan or his fans.
- My Immortal is basically set in a world with this as its hat. There are but three sorts of people in My Immortal-land; "goffs", "posers" and "preps". Being a "goff", which entails wearing black clothes from Hot Topic and listening to the emo bands the author likes, is the One True Path and everyone else sucks for existing. "Preps" are the unwashed masses who shop at Abercrombie & Fitch and worship Britney Spears. "Posers" are "preps" who try to be "goffic" but listen to the "wrong" music and are thus evil.
- Rock fans vs. disco fans in Detroit Rock City.
- This one is based in reality. During the late 1970s there was a very real rivalry between rock fans and disco fans. The rivalry came to a head on July 12, 1979 (sometimes referred to as "the night disco died") during a baseball promotion called Disco Demolition Night, which resulted in thousands of rock fans storming the field at Chicago's Comiskey Park to express their hatred of disco. The event made news worldwide and less than a year later disco was effectively dead in the United States and Canada (although it would remain popular in Europe for another few years). See also: Deader Than Disco
- Even Roger Ebert did this once, saying: "Those who think "Transformers" (Revenge of the Fallen) is a great or even a good film are, may I tactfully suggest, not sufficiently evolved. Film by film, I hope they climb a personal ladder into the realm of better films, until their standards improve. Those people contain multitudes. They deserve films that refresh the parts others do not reach. They don't need to spend a lifetime with the water only up to their toes."
- There's a line in American Psycho where Patrick mentions that no one should feel sympathy for the woman he's forcing into getting an abortion due to the fact that her favorite movie is Pretty in Pink and "she thinks Sting is cool."
- Rob Fleming from High Fidelity (Rob Gordon in The Movie) questions how one can be friends with people whose favorite band are Simple Minds. One of the reasons why he dislikes Ian is because of that weird ethno music he listens to. And Barry chases a potential customer out of Rob's record store because he wanted to acquire I Just Called To Say I Love You, a song from Stevie Wonder's 80s pop period.
- If you like Final Fantasy or any JRPGs, then there is a 100% chance you will be hated by Adam and Morgan of X-Play. Also consider yourself hated if you like anime--which they in particular love to trash, most of their Fullmetal Alchemist and Dragonball Z game reviews are trashing the people who will flame them.
- Adam and Morgan (less and less as of late, as we might get two reviews in a week now) flame them because, as they've stated repeatedly, they get hate mail every time they review a JRPG or anime-licensed game, regardless of the actual score they give.
- In Friends, it's mentioned that Chandler once broke up with a girl because she didn't hate Yanni.
- Some random Fox affiliate (not Fox News) does not like Bronies, stating they're a bunch of manchildren who quit their jobs to watch the show.
- In Big Brother's 11th American Season, four previous players were invited as "guests" to give their insight on the current game being played. Danielle stated that she wanted Natalie to win, and held up her hand to silence the audience, who begun to boo.
- Players have taken potshots at the fans of other players (or even previous seasons) but these have never made the feeds. There was also controversy in Season 13 where Jeff had gone off on a rant, not only insulting the premise of Harry Potter but also taking a few potshots at the fans.
- The lyrics to Sloan's "Coax Me" include the line, "it's not the band I hate: it's their fans".
- In "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Close But No Cigar", about a guy who breaks up with women over minor flaws, he breaks up with the second woman because she likes Joe Dirt.
- The Krunch radio station from the Saints Row series is a hard rock and metal station that will frequently air this between songs:
"Do you like pop music? Go fuck yourself! 106.66, Krunch!"
- The bug of Bug has a Grinch persona that is a fan hater.
- As part of it's increasing meta-ness, Act 6 of Homestuck introduces undyingUmbrage, who is basically a personification of the comic's fan haters. This includes the people who complain about their friends talking about Homestuck and trying to get them interested in it.
- See this article from The Onion: "Man Who Enjoys Thing Informed He Is Wrong"
- The Spoony One made a series of videos talking about his hatred for Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy X, and Final Fantasy X 2. This has caused Noah Antwiler (who plays Spoony) to take some real backlash, with him having to point out that Spoony is a character and not everything "he" says is Noah's real opinion. He did have to backtrack on a few jokes, such as in the FFX review where he calls upon all sane people to murder fans of the game.
- Random DCE was known for this, especially in his early years. While he softened up in recent years, he still thinks [liking anime is beneath him.
- Yahtzee is prone to doing this and he doesn't just hate one kind of gamer - he's hated on people who like Eastern RPGs, Western RPGs, Silent Hill fans (even he admits to doing so himself - he said his Silent Hill Origins review was mostly him crying) people who like Halo, people who played Psychonauts, people who didn't play Psychonauts, console gamers, PC gamers, fans of point and click adventure games, people who own a Wii, fans of MMORPGs, Korean gamers, fans of sprite comics, fans of Control Alt Delete, fans of The Sims, Retro gamers, Indie gamers, people who hate retro, people who hate indies, Joss Whedon, anyone who likes Joss Whedon, etc. In general, it's safe to assume that Yahtzee hates everyone, and the sensitive souls who take it to heart aren't in for a good time. Unfortunately, people on The Escapist have somehow taken this mindset seriously and adopted it, and will sadly probably never ever enjoy a video game again.
- The Distressed Watcher made nine videos complaining about the Star Wars prequels; he often called the fans stupid.
- Black Pawn Movement is made up of a group of fans and anti-fans of the series Twilight, dealing with the most obnoxious fans on Youtube. Since the Twilight hype has died down, they have been switching to music, such as Lady Gaga, Insane Clown Posse, and Justin Bieber.
- What the Fuck Is Wrong With You: Nash has quite the beef with Bronies.
- The Nostalgia Critic mostly averts this, due to his actor's fear of Reviews Are the Gospel, but he tongue-in-cheekly calls anyone who likes the Jim Carrey Grinch an idiot.
- The punchline to said video was the Critic being baffled that the viewers didn't take his review as The Gospel.
- In the Plinkett Reviews of the Star Wars Prequels he says that if you thought the prequels were "betterer" or were less "boringer" than the original then you're wrong.
- In Beavis and Butthead, they were watching a Bon Jovi video. Beavis didn't think it was that bad, and Butthead kept smacking him for not thinking it sucked. Finally Beavis got fed up and kicked Butthead in the nuts.
- In an episode of South Park, the boys play Lord of the Rings and stumble across another group of boys playing Harry Potter. Cartman scoffs, "Fags!"