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While a good movie or show is fun, there's just nothing like the visceral pleasure of taking apart a bad one. And sometimes hating something popular is what defines a crowd, especially if, despite its popularity, it's actually pretty bad. Not terrible, not pitiful, just boringly bad.

Of course, in order to hate it to its fullest potential, you need to watch it and find out why it's so terrible.

Snark Bait refers to any popular work that evokes a desire to watch specifically to mock and join other people mocking. It's often a generic Hollywood blockbuster, or best-selling book. It's usually so formulaic you can see the TV Tropes Wiki Words on it, or so poorly fact-checked that 640k could pick it apart.

Either way, everyone is going to be complaining about it, and you wouldn't want to be left out of slagging off all those idiots who gave up their money and time for such junk. Or the derision of stupidity with the passwords halfway and the predictability of the ending. So, of course, you need to buy it yourself. That'll show 'em!

As a Troper, good Snark Bait can lead to seeing how far off you can see the Treacherous Advisor, which characters are secretly related, or playing Trope Bingo or a trope Drinking Game with them. On the plus side, seeing a trope done badly can help you see what it is, and appreciate when it's done well.

It often displays some of the following tropes:

Does not relate to the monster that can be utlized to bite your opponents or self. Compare Periphery Hatedom.

Examples of Snark Bait include:


Advertising

  • National Organization for Marriage's "Gathering Storm" ad has gathered quite a bit of this. Just try searching for it on YouTube. Almost every result is a parody of some kind. This is not unexpected of course, given that it's melodramatic enough to be a Stealth Parody to begin with.
  • An Italian spot with Manuela Arcuri promoting a book entitled Il labirinto femminile inspired countless Youtube parodies due to its amateurish direction, poor acting, creepy Soundtrack Dissonance and the overall bad quality of the book itself. It even contains a word ("strategismo") that doesn't exist in Italian. Here it is.
    • It Got Worse. The most recent version of that spot featured Karima El Marthoug, a.k.a. Ruby, the girl (under age at the time) Prime Minister Berlusconi has been accused of having had mercenary sex with. During the spot, she gets undressed by a guy with a Phantom of the Opera mask. Oh, and the direction is still amateurish, the (rest of the) acting is still poor, the soundtrack is still creepy and the book is still bad, thanks for asking.
    • Not to mention the one starring Lele Mora, the TV agent with Fascist sympathies involved in the Corona scandal.
  • "America's Navy: A Global Force for Good". Whether you disagree or just think it's Narmfully Hammy, it's hard to deny this slogan's Snark Bait quotient.
  • Many ads, posters, and articles from the 1940's and 50's weren't considered Snark Bait in their own time, but contain Values Dissonance that people enjoy laughing at decades later. Adding naughty captions to prim-and-perfect media of the period is also popular.
  • Rick Perry's "Strong" ad has launched a meme based on making fun of it.
  • Political ads in general are prone to this, since they seldom have the slightest hint of subtlety. Attack ads in particular have a tendency to be so melodramatic in their negativity that it leads to Narm.
  • The "Head On" commercials. How can you not make fun of a commercial that consists of nothing but "Head On: Apply directly to the forehead" repeated over and over?


Anime and Manga

  • Yu-Gi-Oh! is excellent Snark Bait, as evidenced by its abridged series.
  • The School Days anime. The nature of the OVAs imply that the creators have either gleefully embraced this, or had planned it all along.
  • Apocalypse Zero, MD Geist, Genocyber (to a certain degree), the Fist of the North Star movie, Cybernetics Guardian, Cyber City Oedo 808... old anime in general has this going on.
  • Code Geass had a "trainwreck" following, especially during the run of its second season but also during the later stages of the first. Most of those people only watched it to see the show top its own over-the-top-ness, to pick apart the increasingly bizarre plot, and to laugh at the Narm.
  • Guilty Crown seems to be, surprisingly enough, developing a proportionally greater "trainwreck" following than Code Geass despite not being quite as popular overall, as a result of the show having dull or unsympathetic characters, similarly bad twists, an obsession with rape or even more bizarre fetishes and perhaps equal or greater Narm fodder. There's not even a Broken Base this time around.
  • Bleach is considered to have Jumped the Shark and has become Snark Bait even among the fandom. Kubo is considered a Troll so much that "Tite Kubo trolled my fandom" has sadly become a meme among bleach fans.
    • Pretty much the same thing can be said about Naruto.
    • And the shipping fandoms for both of the above. The Ship-to-Ship Combat and the fans involved have become pure jokes to those not involved.
  • In XxxHolic Watanuki is an in-universe example due to his Keet behavior.
  • Kämpfer can be considered as this due to the fact that no matter how much dense Natsuru is to the point it's already irritating, viewers still couldn't stop watching the show week after week.
  • After Gundam Build Fighters Try, many Gundam fans began to mock the recent Build series (with an exception of the first show) as a soulless cash grab for the franchise.

Comic Books


Fan Fic


Film


Literature

  • Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle is one of the biggest examples, primarily due to accusations of being unoriginal.
    • With all the crap Paolini gets, you have to feel a little sorry for the guy when you learn he started writing the series when he was only sixteen years old. It probably started out as some sort of fan-fiction-y amalgam of all his favorite fantasy series.
  • The Sword of Truth series is a particularly big magnet.
  • It seems that a Vocal Minority of Stephenie Meyer's "fanbase" only read Twilight for this reason. Or for the So Bad It's Good factor. Or both.
  • John Ringo's Paladin of Shadows series, although it seems to be something of a Stealth Parody. Proven by the fact that he links to most of these reviews and will usually write letters not only supporting many of their accusations, but pointing out inconsistencies and logical failures they missed. Such as the main character would have died about 6 pages into the first book. He called it his Dark Fic. People liked it so he published it and made a shit load of money. Here is a review, which gave us the "Oh John Ringo No" meme.
  • The Eye of Argon is possibly the worst fantasy short story ever written ever. Terrible in the extreme, only readable with the help of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew heckling it... yet somehow, impossible not to read (at least once). In places, it has become tradition to stage competitions of how much people could read with a straight face and expressive voice. Three quarters of a page is considered doing extremely well.
  • The Da Vinci Code. It looks like a less-than-shiny book assembled from moldy pieces of cryptohistory is not going to be less of a target if advertised as a daring innovative idea and (whispering) maybe even really relevant theory.
  • Tyra Banks is writing a fantasy novel about models. No, really.
    • The book trilogy in question is titled Modelland, and ends up practically snarking itself. For example SM-ize is an actual word. Really.
  • As far as Mark Twain was concerned, the entire body of Fenimore Cooper's work, and especially Deerslayer. This resulted in "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offences," a hilarious Take That and early example of what we call Books on Trope.
  • According to many Warcraft fans, The Cycle of Hatred.
  • Though not remotely popular, the Maradonia Saga has become famous for being made of 100% pure fail. It's not just derivative, it literally plagiarizes from The Bible, has Random words Capitalized for no Reason, random italics, and 'quotes' where none should 'be'. Impishidea.com has sporkings and a drinking game, though it would be better to avoid the game if you don't want to die of alcohol poisoning and/or acute liver failure. The enormous ego of the author is the subject of as much, if not more, snark than the books themselves. SwankiVY sums the whole thing up nicely.


Live Action TV


Music

 Tell us, is it you who are here

For our good cheer?

Or are we here for the glory

For the story

For the gory satisfaction of telling you how absolutely awful you really are?

 Lest one carp, Hilton has been quick to point out that singing is a vocation for which she is eminently skilled. "I know music," she reassured the Sunday Times children's section. "I hear it every single day." [...] While this obviously gives Hilton a massive advantage over those who have never heard any music and thus believe it to be a variety of cheese, there remains the nagging suspicion that this might not represent sufficient qualification for a career as a singer, in much the same way as knowing what a child is does not fully equip you for a career as a consultant paediatrician.


Mythology and Religion

  • The Church of Happyology has its own trope about specific examples for that particular Cu... ool religion, whose real name we cannot print because doing so in this page would constitute slander.


Newspaper Comics


Other

  • Armond White's movie reviews, as can be found on The New York Press Website and Rotten Tomatoes, constantly bring vitriol upon those who read them. Seriously, just look at the individual moviepages at Rotten Tomatoes - his will, almost without fail, rack up the most comments. He's gained a reputation for being a completely predictable contrarian, and many suspect he's only looking to gain controversy and thus gain attention for himself (Roger Ebert even called him a Troll). Ironically, his reviews have actually become arguably the most reliable prediction of how good or bad a movie is; if he slams it, it's a good movie, and if he kisses up to it, it's a bad movie.
    • Remember that Roger Ebert initially defended White, pointing out that not only is there nothing wrong with challenging consensus position, but White even agrees with the Tomatometer 50% of the time which he considered to be ideal. The biggest problem most people have with White is that the reasons he gives often go above and beyond Epic Fail - to the point that people question whether or not he actually saw the movies he reviewed. For example, he complained about the length of Rapunzel's hair in Tangled and comments that her hair never becomes a problem for her, which is flat out wrong (in the opening song, for example, she laments the length of time she has to spend brushing it).
  • Microsoft's Zune player gets thisall the time.
  • Modern art as a whole, particularly due to True Art Is Incomprehensible.


Tabletop Games


Video Games

  • This trope most likely accounts for the entirety of Philips CD-i systems that were purchased at any time during the past ten years.
  • Resident Evil 1, the script moreso than the actual gameplay. "You were almost a Jill Sandwich" anyone? What about a gun that's "good against living things"? or "master of unlocking". Don't forget "Wow! What a mansion!", especially with the Fridge Brilliance of Wesker's role later in the game.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2006. Video commentaries of this game are for this reason and this reason only.
  • Big Rigs Over the Road Racing, which gained infamy when gamers discovered just how hilarious broken it is.
  • Runescape gets this from a lot of people who view it as a poor man's World of Warcraft or Ever Quest.
  • The luck system for the Love Live! School Idol Festival mobile game is frequently mocked by a few players who were desperate for an Ultra Rare (UR) card.
  • The pre-release of the Love Live! School Idol Festival ALL STARS game became a punching bag for fans when it comes to delays, mostly due to the game's lack of proper full release date during an interview in the special panel for Tokyo Game Show 2018. The creation of the game's official Twitter page in August 2019 and the reveal of the game's release date (Sep 30, 2019) made the fans (ironically) doubt whether the official staff is going to troll the fans by revealing that the game's being delayed even further or its possible cancelation after it hits the said release date. Fortunately, This finally died down after the game is officially out on September 26, 2019...until the announcement of the Global Version (again, without a proper release date) bought the delay jokes back, although to a very minor extent.

Webcomics


Western Animation

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