Created By: Tzintzuntzan on May 12, 2008
Nuked

Backlashed Away

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Trope
As always with my YKTKW, it needs a better title.

The polar opposite of Vindicated by History, and a variant on Seinfeld Is Unfunny. This is something -- an individual character, an individual song or book or game, an entire genre -- that was very, very popular in its day. But at some point, it got too popular. It was talked about on every radio station, on every TV network, on every chat room. It was overexposed until people got bored with it, and it got so much publicity that there was plenty of time to notice each flaw and dissect it under the microscope. Soon, small problems were regarded as unavoidable flaws. The final tell-tale sign is when hate comes not just for the thing itself, but for its fans. They become the subject of nasty, highly-specific stereotypes, and gushing about how you like it on-line is considered trolling.

Ten years later, almost nobody will admit that they ever liked it. It may get revived decades later as Guilty Pleasures or as kitsch, but never popular on its own merits again.

Sometimes caused by people saying that It's Popular, Now It Sucks, but not always. It's particularly common with things that never had a cult following to begin with -- they went from nowhere to everything, and then back to nowhere, very suddenly. Distinct from Hype Backlash in that the consensus is usually with the backlashers.

Examples:

  • Many, many many novelty songs and one-hit-wonders. Even though people expect them to be fads and fade out, there's still an amazing jump between "cute, fun fluff" and "anyone who sings this gets a punch in the nose." A good example is "Achy Breaky Heart."
  • Similarly, many manufactured bands (from the Monkees to the Spice Girls) go through this. Critics hated them even at their peak, but there were hordes of people willing to appear on TV at their concerts, and now will deny ever being there.
  • I don't know much about Professional Wrestling, but I suspect (from this wiki) that individual wrestlers, especially Darker and Edgier ones, often go through this.
  • A variant: Ally Mcbeal never went from all-popular to all-hated (having both admirers and haters at its peak). Instead, it went from The Extremely Important Show That Expressed The State of The American Woman Today(tm)to a half-forgotten joke. Everybody, love it or hate it, used to think it was a cultural milestone. Time Magazine regarded it as an important(bad)moment in the history of US feminism, and New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd went through a period where every single column of hers (no exaggeration)mentioned it. A decade later, it's a footnote. It's telling that Hayden Panettiere's time on the show is barely mentioned, not even as an Old Shame.
  • In comic books, the work of Rob Liefeld. For a while the hottest artist in the entire world, with hordes of imitators, and established creators like Alan Moore teaming up with him. Ten years later, he's the subject of hate sites, a lot of comic book fans claim he can't draw and never could, and he's blamed for practically every problem 1990s comic books had.
  • Wolverine might be an example, given that his Wolverine Publicity has created a lot of haters. However, the character still has a lot of fans, so Wolverine might just be straight Hype Backlash.
  • Any two-hundred-plus-episode Anime (especially shonen) is likely to get this. Being too big a fan of Dragon Ball Z or Inuyasha (especially if you don't know much other anime)makes other anime fans back away slowly, and Naruto may be going through the same process.
  • Many a Dead Horse Genre suffers from this, as "Disco rocks" turns to "Disco sucks!" However, not all of them do -- some of them were cult genres all along.
  • Drizzt Do'Urden was the hottest thing in Dungeons and Dragons, before the Wolverine Publicity and all the bad Fan Fic. Now, say "I love Drizzt books" on-line and many RPG players will think you're saying "I am a 13-year-old boy who has never read anything else in his life."
  • Similarly, going to a World of Darkness game and introducing your character with "he has a trenchcoat and a katana..." is now the ultimate Dead Horse Trope.
Community Feedback Replies: 27
  • May 12, 2008
    Wyvernil
    Yeah, this is related to Dead Horse Trope, as noted in the "Disco sucks" article.

    This seems to happen when a work spawns so many second-rate imitators, either official or fan-made, that it reflects negatively on the original product.
  • May 12, 2008
    CTrombley
    No, Achy Breaky Heart was always hated. A better example is Disco Duck.
  • May 12, 2008
    UnknownTroper
    Rob Liefeld was already unpopular by the time Alan Moore started working with him. It should be noticed that, as people who hate him often spout, his fame had less to do with any percieved talent and more to do with the belief that comic books would bw worth thousands of dollars per unit in a few decades.
  • May 12, 2008
    DieHard
    Sadly, I can see this happening to Death Note with all the attention it's been getting lately. Not that I have any problem with the series (I think it's a fine series that just wears out its welcome around the halfway mark), but it definitely has the properties that could turn it into a Dragon Ball style running joke in a decade.

    Anyway, besides the Grandfather Clause of James Bond, you never see any modern superspy fiction that doesn't also mercilessly mock itself in the process.
  • May 12, 2008
    RossN
    Traditional Westerns.

    Actually Westerns period never quite reached the level of this trope , but they certainly had a huge fall in popularity from their heyday.
  • May 12, 2008
    Narvi
  • May 12, 2008
    Circeus
  • May 13, 2008
    SchrodingersDuck
    No-one takes the Pokemon series seriously at all nowadays, even though at in its heyday there were over 200 million players.
  • May 13, 2008
    Bisected8
    Technically the games the whole franchise were based on still tend to get good reviews.
  • May 13, 2008
    UnknownTroper
  • May 13, 2008
    Circeus
    WIN
  • May 13, 2008
    UnknownTroper
    Tzintzuntzan: I like Deader Than Disco, and will launch once I get past the dang technical problems...
  • May 13, 2008
    The Adversary
    Pokemon is still huge. The games, that is.
  • May 13, 2008
    Donomni
    Admitting you like the games will prompt simple discussion with most people, like most things. Admitting you like anything else Pokemon related, well...

    You know how people treat Lepers, right?
  • May 13, 2008
    CTrombley
    ^^ With easily acquired antibacterial drugs?

    A couple of the examples from Hype Backlash are more this than that. I actually like Flash In A Pan better than Deader Than Disco, to avoid confusion with Dead Horse Genre.
  • May 13, 2008
    UnknownTroper
    Final Fantasy 8 is pretty much there now and 7 might get there someday.

    >> 7 has allready gotten so popular people are starting to hate it for it's fanbase.
  • May 13, 2008
    Solandra
    Flash In A Pan is simple and to the point, though it breaks the "Hype --" naming theme. As for examples, errr...I can't think of any more. ^^;
  • May 14, 2008
    Doug S. Machina
    "Flash in the pan" describes something that was succesful for a month or two before vanishing, which is different.
  • May 14, 2008
    UnknownTroper
    These are the works that essentially Jumped Off The Hype Dive?

    [/cheesy]

    - Noaqiyeum
  • May 14, 2008
    RabidCookie
    How About Came Full Circle?
  • May 14, 2008
    UnknownTroper
  • May 14, 2008
    HeartBurnKid
    The OP is right about this happening in Professional Wrestling. In fact, John Cena could just be the poster boy (though there really is no consensus in the fandom on him at all at this point, whether with the Cena fans or the backlashers).
  • May 14, 2008
    UnknownTroper
    Yeah, it's Its Popular Now It Sucks, only written realistically and not as a troll rant.

    Also, correction. Dragon Ball Z has already wandered into "fondly remembered" territory. And Naruto is not "getting there". Naruto has long been the current prime example. (If we're about talking the west, that is. Japan loves Dragon Ball and doesn't really care that much about recent series.)
  • May 15, 2008
    UnknownTroper
    Tzintzuntzan: As mentioned above, I think this is distinct from Its Popular Now It Sucks. That trope is about the old, cult-status fanbase turning against something because it's popular. This is about something that may never have had cult status at all, like novelty songs.

    Also, Its Popular Now It Sucks often has the fans crying out that it was better in the old days before it sold out; this has little to do with that. While I assume there are hard-core disco fans saying it was great before it got popular, most of the backlash against disco was from people who went from fans to denying it was ever good to begin with.
  • May 15, 2008
    FalconPain
    Trope Co, if the recent YKTTW is any indication.

    We should note that most of the early Trope Co entries were almost immediately honored on the Made Of Win page, some more than once.
  • May 15, 2008
    Solandra
  • May 16, 2008
    RobertBingham
    Michael Jackson, who used to be the epitome of 80's cool, but now is pretty much considered freaky as hell and nightmare inducing, and not just because of the child molestation thing.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=7sh65yvt&trope=DeaderThanDisco