->''[[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor I wanted to be famous,]] [[IJustWantToBeNormal now I want to take it back.]]''
-->--'''Music/FiveIronFrenzy''', "Superpowers"

Money makes life go around, and lots of people desire to be famous (hence, the proliferation of RealityTV shows). It seems only a complete imbecile would throw away a shot at money or fame.

So, supposedly, it's refreshing when a character does give up pursuit of fame and riches for (say) family or friends, even if they disagree with their choice to snub. (Even though, in TV, we ''expect'' the ResetButton.) Or it's just because fame only brings you even bigger problems, like getting caught in a NeverLiveItDown.

Named for a line in ''WesternAnimation/RocketPower'''s "Reggie's Big (Beach) Break"… which isn't quite an example of this trope, even though the button does get pushed.

A variation is when the characters don't necessarily mind being famous so much; it's what they're famous ''for'' -- i.e. something they're embarrassed or ashamed of -- which is the problem.

Can result in AngstDissonance if not handled carefully; for perhaps unsurprising reasons, people who ''aren't'' rich and famous but would very much like to be tend to react poorly to seeing people who ''are'' rich and famous spending a lot of time whining about how much it sucks.

[[IThoughtItMeant Not to be confused with]] HypeBacklash.

----
!!Examples:

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[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/LoveHina'', episode title "The Idol Shooting for Tokyo U is a Prep School Student: Sing!" -- Naru gains sudden success as a singing idol in the wake of a talent contest but gives it up to return to Hinata House, using the threat of a trivial scandal as an excuse. Lampshaded in the X-Mas episode. Naru calls out to Keitaro for help with a reporter who recognized her.
* In ''Anime/SailorMoon'', Minako actually passes her idol singer audition at one point, but chooses to remain with her friends (and continue fighting the BigBad) rather than pursue her dream of becoming an idol singer.
* Najimi from ''Manga/DoujinWork'' decides to delay being published commercially when she finds out that she will not be allowed to make {{doujinshi}} anymore. She'd hate to give up the friendship, competition and the fun of doing what you really love, which is [[CharacterDevelopment very different from the money-grubbing attitude she had at first]].
* The entire premise of ''Anime/PerfectBlue''.
* Yang Wen-li from ''Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes'' refused to capitalise on his new-found fame as "Hero of El Facil"[[note]] where he successfully evacuated 3 million civilians from a planet that faced an Imperial invasion[[/note]] and allowed himself to lapse into (relative) obscurity. Eight years later, after he became a national hero again by successfully capturing the strategically vital Iserlohn Fortress[[note]] using only half a fleet and succeeding where his predecessors had failed with much larger forces for six times[[/note]], he again did nothing about his fame and even contemplated retiring because he hoped capturing the fortress will create favourable conditions to conclude a peace treaty and end the war.
* In ''Anime/{{Robotech}}'', Minmei feels this way towards the end of the series. A large part of it has to do with the fact that Earth just barely survived an orbital bombardment by over 4 million alien ships, people are struggling just to survive, and most importantly (to her), she never get to spend time with her {{Love Interest|s}}, Rick Hunter.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/TheParty'', this is the ultimate decision made by the French girl seeking to enter Hollywood.
* In ''Film/EDtv'', a film that deconstructed RealityTV [[UnbuiltTrope even before there was such a thing]], Ed, who becomes the world's first Reality TV star, ends up learning that it's hard to have meaningful relationships when TV cameras are following you around everywhere.
* Anna Scott from ''Film/NottingHill'' is far too aware of this.
-->"''One day my looks will go, people will discover I can't act and I'll end as some sad middle-aged woman who used to be famous for a while''".
* In ''Film/RockStar'', Chris Cole becomes the lead singer of the fictional heavy metal band Steel Dragon. At first it's a dream come true for him, but the SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll lifestyle puts a strain on his relationship with his longtime girlfriend, and eventually they break up. When his band mates refuse to let him participate in the writing process for their new album, Chris finally decides he's had enough of the rock star lifestyle. He quits the band and becomes an independent musician playing at bars and coffee houses in Seattle.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
%%% * OlderThanRadio: ''{{Faust}}''.
* The ''Literature/{{Goosebumps}}'' book ''How I Learned to Fly'' is based around this, making it seem really out-of-place in a series dedicated to supernatural horrors. This is best seen in the end, when [[spoiler: the hero pretends to lose his powers to live a happy life with his {{Love Interest|s}}, while his rival leads a miserable and empty life being famous]].
* [[Literature/HarryPotter The Boy Who Lived]] doesn't particularly enjoy being famous for killing Voldemort. He doesn't mind being praised for his Quidditch skills, however, but that's slightly different for a couple of reasons: a) He's earning ''those'' accolades by his own merits, whereas the thing with the Dark Lord happened when he was eighteen months old and was at least partly sheer dumb luck, b) it resulted in him having an exceedingly shitty childhood on account of his sole remaining blood relative being a raging bitch who took her jealousy issues with Harry's mother out on him, and c) it turns out that Voldemort was OnlyMostlyDead, and nursing a grudge. If anyone can claim to have a reason to angst about their fame, Harry can.
* ''Literature/AudreyWait'' is pretty much a novel about this trope. Audrey struggles with becoming famous for something she couldn't reasonably be considered responsible for and has to deal with the fallout.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/HanginWithMrCooper'': Raven Symone's character proves to be good at chess, but when her mom Geneva finds out that training her for world championships would be a hassle, she decides against letting her train.
* Played straight throughout the run of ''Series/{{Friends}}'' where Joey, an aspiring actor, absolutely basks in his celebrity status when he is successful.
* ''Series/{{Extras}}'' plays with this; Andy Millman spends the first series yearning to be famous, only to find it's not all he hoped for in the second series and the Christmas special. However, it's more what he's famous ''for'' that bothers him (a cheap comedy show riddled with detrimental - in his eyes - ExecutiveMeddling and broad humour he doesn't appreciate) than being famous itself, which is something he continues to yearn for. It's also noted by several people that he's more than a little bit ungrateful and hypocritical about it, since he clearly looks down on the general public whose acceptance he nevertheless pathetically craves, he'll spend hours [[{{Wangst}} whining]] about having to sell out to be famous only to turn around and eagerly sell out even more in order to keep up his public profile, and he's constantly looking down on other celebrities and sneering at them for being more famous for less reason when really, he's just jealous.
* Deconstructed by ''Series/TheColbertReport''. Stephen (in character) considers applause to be only slightly more important to his survival than oxygen, but the only reason he loves fame so much is because he's incredibly insecure; if the public don't know who he is, neither does he.
* Although overall he's quite happy being a wealthy, famous bestselling novelist, the first episode of ''Series/{{Castle}}'' makes it quite clear that Richard Castle is getting a little bored with the repetitive monotony of fame and the shallow world he's found himself in (except for the bits where he gets to sign the breasts of attractive, flirty women. He doesn't mind those bits much), which is partly why he finds the idea of solving mysteries with down-to-earth cops quite appealing.
* An episode of ''Series/BlackBooks'' has Bernard and Manny writing the worlds greatest children's book, which initially ends up being a quite good adult book and then rewritten as a somewhat average children's book. They eventually burn it while drunk due to the fact they can't handle the fame it will no doubt bring them. When they sober up, they can't remember what the book was about or why they burned it.
* In an episode of ''Series/AlienNation'', a camera crew is following the {{Human Alien|s}} Detective George Francisco and his human partner on a case. The journalists portray George as a super-detective, mostly to improve relations between Newcomers and humans, while completely ignoring his partner. While George is initially flattered by all the fame, he eventually ditches the camera crew to go solve the crime with his partner, after getting tired of the pressure.
* Explored in ''Series/CSIMiami''[='=]s episode "Cyber-lebrity" in which an average swimmer ended up becoming a web celebrity as a result of a photo of her and now she had all these cyber stalkers who updates her location wherever she is. She ended up getting threatened for her life as a result of all this. She was thankful when people stopped stalking her.
* When ''Series/{{Weinerville}}'' got a magic lamp, Dottie [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor wished to be]] [[WhatAnIdiot the most famous person in the world]]. Never even learned what she was famous for.
* [[Series/TheRedGreenShow Red Green]] talked about this, saying fame is not something to strive for, as there are a lot of people who become truly infamous; he suggests going for [[OnlyInItForTheMoney the money]].
* On the ''Series/{{Baywatch}}'' episode "Talk Show," Mitch helps to rescue Jay Leno, and becomes a celebrity as a result. He hates it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Music/JohnLennon's song "Watching the Wheels" is his apologia for dropping out of the rock star biz. "No longer riding on the merry-go-round, I just had to let it go."
* Music/LilyAllen's "The Fear" is about a girl who desperately craves fame and the materialistic lifestyle it results in, only to feel ambivalent and empty when she actually achieves it.
* Music/{{Nirvana}}'s "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter" from ''In Utero'' spells out Kurt Cobain's dismissive attitude to his fame (see below) with lines like "Love you for what I am not, did not want what I have got."
* As the page quote demonstrates, Music/FiveIronFrenzy had a couple songs about this; further, Reese Roper, the band's singer and [[FaceOfTheBand frontman]], refused to indulge in some of the more egocentric trappings of celebrity, like signing autographs (this was also because he was the only one that ''all'' the fans could even name, let alone recognize, and he felt signing autographs himself took away attention from his equally talented bandmates).
* [[Music/KanyeWest "I used to want this thing forever, y'all can have it back."]]
* "Limelight" by Music/{{Rush}} touches on this theme, with lyrics about a "gilded cage" and such.
* "Napoleon" by Music/AniDiFranco has the singer reconnecting with an old friend who wins fame and fortune and then promptly cuts ties with the old crowd in favor of their "new friends".
-->"They told you your music, could reach millions. That the choice was up to you.
-->You told me they always pay for lunch, and "They believe in what I do".
-->And I wonder, if you'll miss your old friends, once you've proven what you're worth.
-->Yeah I wonder, when you're a big star, will you miss the Earth?"
* "Under and Over it" By Five Finger Death Punch has shades of this with lyrics like
--> You can be me and I will be you.
--> You can live just like a star.
--> I'll take my sanity, you take the fame.
** The entire song is done from the perspective of someone who is fed-up with the rumors commonly associated with fame, such as [[SellOut selling out]].
* "Celebrity" by the Music/BarenakedLadies uses this trope to demonstrate the old adage, "The grass is always greener on the other side." When you're nobody, you want to be famous. When you're famous, you want to be nobody.
* Music/PinkFloyd had entire '''albums''' dedicated to this trope: ''Wish You Were Here'' and ''Music/TheWall''.
* ''Can You Rock It Like This?'' from ''Music/RunDMC'' 's album ''Music/KingOfRock'' describes the fantastic life the band has, but also talks about the lows.
* Music/{{Radiohead}}'s "Life In a Glass House" is (elliptically) about how horrible Thom Yorke found people being interested in him to be. You could probably already have guessed from the steep drop in musical accessibility and lyrical openness between all the songs on "OK Computer" and "Kid A".
* This is the point of the Music/DavidBowie song "Fame": "What you like is in the limo/What you get is no tomorrow".
* Music/TaylorSwift's "The Lucky One" does this:
--> It was a few years later, I showed up here
--> And they still tell the legend of how you disappeared
--> How you took the money and your dignity and got the hell out
--> They say you bought a bunch of land somewhere
--> Chose the rose garden over Madison Square
--> And it took some time but I understand it now
--> Cause now my name is up in lights
--> But I think you got it right
* ''Super Trouper'' by ''Music/{{ABBA}}''.
* "[[VideoGame/DeadRising Gone Guru]]" by Lifeseeker. A famous rock star gives up his [[SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll hedonistic lifestyle]] to become a hermit living in nature as a result of this trope. Ironically, his new lifestyle choice causes him to end up becoming even ''more'' rich and famous as a self-help guru (and/or possible cult leader), and he falls back into his former party animal lifestyle, even going as far as spending his entire fortune in his old age to get his head cut off and put on a robot body so he can keep partying for eternity.
* ''ReelBigFish'': The entirety of "Don't Start A Band", but verse 2 in particular.
* Airplanes is about a rap artist tired of all the posturing and politics, who wishes he could go back to the simple days where it was just about the music.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The [[Creator/{{jmtb02}} John Cooney]] flash game [[http://armorgames.com/play/3102/run-elephant-run Run Elephant Run]] tells the story of a world-famous elephant who gives it all up to go home and be with his beloved wife.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Website]]
* From {{Website/Cracked}}'s [[http://www.cracked.com/article_17061_5-things-you-think-will-make-you-happy-but-wont.html#ixzz17RaVATLZ "5 Things You Think Will Make You Happy (But Won't)"]]:
-->Experts say where you find kids who desperately want to be famous, you find a history of neglect at home. Parents were either absent completely or, at best, emotionally distant dicks. It turns out the whole surge in aspirations for fame came right along with the explosion of single parents and "broken" homes. Only half of today's children live with their original two parents.
-->You can see how this sad mechanism works in the attention-starved mind. The kid is programmed by biology to love a parent, but the parent doesn't return the love. Fame lets them turn the tables on that arrangement. When you're famous, millions love you, but you don't even know their names. It's purely one-sided. They wait for hours in the cold for your autograph, you barely glance at them on the way to your limo. You get to take their love and wipe your ass with it, the same as your parents did to you.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold''
** "Mr. Hyunh Goes Country": Hyunh becomes a famous country singer, but he announces at his Great Ol' Opry performance that his true dream is to be a chef, and absolutely precludes further performances.
** "Stinky Goes Hollywood": Stinky has been selected to do a commercial campaign for Yahoo Soda. After filming several ads, Stinky's family and friends want him to sign a $1m commercial contract, but Stinky has found out that why he was picked ([[ExactEavesdropping having overheard an executive mocking his name]]), and, presumably fearing that the commercials will be mocking his hayseed image (and other personal inferiorities), decides that his pride is more important… and ends up being mocked as [[WhatAnIdiot/WesternAnimation an idiot]] by Helga for not signing.
** "It Girl": Helga is against modeling for Johnny Stitches (guest star Michael [=McKean=]) from the start, only doing it for the money and the free stuff. Seeing everyone wearing her dress (even some ''boys'' are wearing it) pushes her over the edge, making her shove a model during another one of Stitches' shows, and then spitting in front of the press… and acting nice at Fashion Week. The last one is effective, since Helga's nastiness is much of her image.
* ''WesternAnimation/FostersHomeForImaginaryFriends'', "Sweet Stench of Success": Bloo gains fame as spokesperson for Deo deodorant, but when he notices that his producer is overworking him (and won't let him have time with his pals, natch), Bloo goes on a live variety show and chews out the producer real hard, opening with a [[SuspiciouslyAproposMusic suspiciously apropos song]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' did this multiple times.
** Probably the most notable time was in "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS5E12BartGetsFamous Bart Gets Famous]]", when Bart became the 'I-Didn't-Do-It Boy'. Bart at first loves the fame and attention it gets him, but eventually gets sick of the fact that he's treated as a one-trick pony. He goes on a talk show, having actually researched current events so he could have something to talk about, but [[Creator/ConanOBrien the host]] only wants him to say the line and nothing else. Marge tells him that even if he hates it, he at least has the ability to make people happy which makes his fame worthwhile. Bart is encouraged by this, but ironically, his fame dies out when the people lose interest in the fad.
** Parodied towards the end of "Homerpalooza", when Homer becomes famous as a carnival freak who withstands cannonballs to his stomach, but is urged to stop by [[RuleOfFunny a veternarian]] because it's damaging his body. During his final show, Homer dodges the cannonball, losing his fans.
--->'''Homer:''' I'll miss you, [[Music/SmashingPumpkins Pumpkins]], but I just can't share your bleak world view. I've got too much to live for.
--->'''Billy Corgan:''' We envy you, Homer. [[CursedWithAwesome All we have is our music, our legion of fans, our million of dollars and our youth...]]
--->(''{{Beat}}'')
--->'''Smashing Pumpkins:''' Woo-hoo!
--->'''James Iha:''' Let's all go out and buy fur coats!
--->'''Jimmy Chamberlin:''' I want a walk-in humidor.
** In an early Tree House of Horror, the Simpsons use a monkey's paw to wish for fame and fortune. Everybody knows who they are, but are [[SelfDeprecation sick of them]].
* WesternAnimation/KimPossible never hunts for celebrity, ever. Even when she's at the X-Games competition and have enough MAD SKILLZ to own the entire competition, she just hunts for the villain. Compare this with [[IJustWantToBeSpecial Ron Stoppable]] who spent the entire episode becoming a famous jock just so he could get any ladies. She's impressed when a film producer plans to make a movie about her, but it doesn't seem to have occurred to her that her adventures would make good entertainment. Though despite all her [[WakeUpGoToSchoolSaveTheWorld Saving the World experience]], Kim doesn't mind being featured on the cover of a random teen magazine for her cheerleading moves…
* By the second half of ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'', Danny himself is a known celebrity across America. One episode proved Danny takes this trope to heart when he couldn't stand the constant fans chasing/berating him. He muses that he prefers the privacy and peacefulness as Danny Fenton whenever he doesn't have to don his alter ego. [[CharacterDevelopment A huge upgrade]] from the boy who wanted popularity so badly in his earlier heydays.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' had Timmy finding out he was the subject of a reality show in Fairy World. Now that he was a star, his life became the result of ExecutiveMeddling by the show's producer, Simon, causing him to lose his mother, his friends, and nearly his godparents.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'': In "The Two Faces Of Squidward" the titular cephalopod first enjoys the attentions of everyone anxious to gaze at his new David-esque looks, but soon their excess devotion has him begging for his old face back.
* WesternAnimation/PepperAnn is not so sure about her mother doing a comedy act, but by story's end, she's warmed up to her act enough to be surprised to hear that mom's not pursuing a career in comedy.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'' has [[ThePollyanna Jimmy]] becoming famous by coining a new CatchPhrase, with [[BigEater Beezy]] becoming his manager and [[EnfantTerrible Heloise]] his bodyguard. He likes it at first, but quickly realizes he's mobbed whenever he goes outside, and he can't even go to the bathroom without attracting attention to himself.
* ''WesternAnimation/TotalDramaIsland'' plays with this trope in the TDA special, [[AvertedTrope while the rest of the contestants are desperate to regain their fame after the show ends]], [[EnsembleDarkhorse Noah]] and [[PerpetualFrowner Eva]] don't seem to care.
** Ironically, Noah's ''lack'' of fame-seeking results in gossip networks trying to find out more about him, and Eva's hostility towards the paparazzi results in a "Biggest-Eva-Freakout" competition among fansites.
* Parodied in the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode "Something You Can Do With Your Finger"; after the boys form a boy band and perform one 'concert' in the mall which is mildly well received, this trope kicks in after one little girl asks for an autograph and a security guard complements them.
* Happens to Fluttershy in the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode "Green Isn't Your Color", when she briefly becomes a famous fashion model. The ShrinkingViolet quickly grows to hate the spotlight, but keeps it up because Rarity is being so supportive. (Rarity, meanwhile, is being so supportive because she's [[GreenEyedMonster fighting back envy]] and feels ashamed about it.)
-->'''Rarity:''' [[MemeticMutation I'm the one who should be mobbed by strangers wherever I go!]]
* Parodied in ''[[WesternAnimation/GarfieldSpecials Garfield Goes Hollywood]]'' by Garfield himself. As Jon trots out the usual justifications for this trope, such as forgetting who they are and about the little people, Garfield welcomes all that in his usual snarky manner. It's still played straight with Jon though, as really, he's afraid that his pets will forget about him.
* Cherry Jam's reason for moving to Berry Bitty City in ''WesternAnimation/StrawberryShortcake's Berry Bitty Adventures''.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow''. Stimpy wins the Gritty Kitty contest, becoming a star in Hollywood. However, he misses Ren and decides to give it all away. Ren is touched that Stimpy gave away all his fame and fortune for him… before realizing Stimpy gave away all his fame and fortune.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Many celebrities state that this is TruthInTelevision and is often the cause of, or a major contributing factor in, a lot of the self-destructive behavior some exhibit.
* Music/KurtCobain probably wanted to be famous in the same way that most previous alternative rockers had been "famous" ie; well known in the music scene but not in any way mainstream. [[Music/{{Nirvana}} His band's]] huge success, way above what any other similar bands had reached, caused a lot of stress in his life, and it's believed to be a big part of why he [[DrivenToSuicide killed himself]]. Although the fact he repeatedly went on Creator/{{MTV}} to decry the mainstream undercut his point slightly.
* Cat Stevens turned away from performing at the height of his career, left it behind, and embraced Islam. He later came back for a time under a new name, Yusuf Islam.
* UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington is an interesting example of this trope. As a young man he hungered for military glory but eventually matured and settled for life as a gentleman planter. Then of course he got involved in politics, emerged from the Revolution and found it almost more than he could handle.
* Creator/DaveChappelle famously walked away from ''Series/ChappellesShow'' on Comedy Central at the height of its popularity after becoming displeased with the working environment and some of the fans. After a sabbatical in South Africa he returned to stand-up comedy but seems to have retired from anything high profile for good, and has publicly commented on his happiness living with his family on his farm in Ohio.
* Creator/JDSalinger rued his fame brought by ''Literature/TheCatcherInTheRye''. He famously hermitted himself away and refused to even be interviewed for the last thirty years of his life.
* Alan Alda said, "It isn't necessary to be rich and famous to be happy. It's only necessary to be rich."
* Music/EltonJohn is an interesting case. As reflected in an example above, he was an emotionally suppressed boy with an [[WellDoneSonGuy emotionally distant, strict father]] and a doting mother. The two parents divorced, but the effects of such a childhood scarred him for life. He was encouraged to only wear conservative clothing and be a banker, and was discouraged from pursuing a career in rock and roll. Elton was shy, overweight, gap-toothed, played the relatively unhip instrument of piano, wore glasses (he didn't need them at first, but he idolized Music/BuddyHolly and wanted to wear glasses like Buddy, to the point that it damaged his vision) and was [[AmbiguouslyGay struggling with his homosexuality]]. Because of this, when he took on the "Elton" persona, he wore increasingly [[ImpossiblyCoolClothes flamboyant clothing]] and [[MakingASpectacleOfYourself glasses]] and acted outrageously, [[FreudianExcuse partly as a riposte to what his dad wanted him to be]], and to hide his insecurities. He took [[SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll cocaine, marijuana and alcohol]] to feel a part of the scene and open up, and because it felt good to him at first; they also served as an aphrodisiac. Later, the drugs, alcohol, depression, promiscuity and bulimia caught up with him and nearly killed him. He enjoyed the celebrity, but could not cope with life away from celebrity, and often his being busy with albums and touring would, by WordOfGod, keep him from overdosing in his room alone and dying young. He cleaned up by the end of TheEighties and got his life back on track. He still, however, is very self-conscious about his looks [[WordOfGod and claims]] he hates having his picture taken and hates to make music videos, which might explain why by the beginning of TheOughties, he stopped appearing in them (or appears in a limited amount).
* [[Film/LawrenceOfArabia T. E. Lawrence]] spent several years between the wars trying to disappear.
* In one interview, Creator/DavidDuchovny and the host were discussing that actors would very much like to be athletes or rock stars, musicians would love to be athletes or actors and sportsmen would prefer to be actors or musicians. In another, he mentioned that though he enjoyed acting, it made him feel that it was not anything substantial like, say, scientists' contributions were.
* Jake Lloyd, known as Anakin Skywalker from ''[[Film/ThePhantomMenace Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace]]'', retired from acting in 2002, saying that he suffered constant bullying from his classmates.
* Music/LaurynHill, after the smash success of her 1998 solo debut, ''The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill'' (which to this day is put on many "Best Albums of the 20th Century"-type lists), walked away from the public eye. She claims that it is because she felt like she was unfairly being controlled by her record label and that she could not be herself as a celebrity. It didn't help that her actions afterwards became increasingly odd, such as denouncing the Catholic church's history of child abuse ''at a Vatican benefit concert''.
* Paul Scofield generally refused press interviews and rarely made public appearances off-stage (though he enjoyed meeting individual fans). When he received an Oscar for ''Theatre/AManForAllSeasons'' Scofield refused to accept it in-person. Nor did it change Scofield's attitude, as he turned down many of the resulting film offers he felt were too high profile.
* Creator/StephenKing has stated that he hates being famous due to his nervousness with crowds and genuine lack of understanding why people care about what he views as an uninteresting life. He even refuses to sign autographs (Though he does participate in book signings). Given that he has often had people camping outside of his house and once had a mentally unstable woman break into his home and threaten his wife, one can understand his unhappiness.
* Creator/MaraWilson was a [[FormerChildStar burgeoning child talent]] in TheNineties in movies like ''Film/MrsDoubtfire'', the 1994 remake of ''Film/MiracleOnThirtyFourthStreet'' and the title role in ''Film/{{Matilda}}'', but during the making of ''Matilda'' her mother tragically died of breast cancer. Having already decided she didn't want to do act for a living, her career slowed down with critical and commercial flops like ''Film/ASimpleWish'' and ''[[WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine Thomas And The Magic Railroad]]''. She was typecast in "cutesy" roles while hoping for more substantial opportunities, she felt awkward as she grew up, and, as she later mentioned, she came to the conclusion that "film acting (wasn't) very fun". She left show business after ''Thomas'', went to a number of colleges in her new hometown of UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity, and now works as a playwright, runs [[http://www.marawilsonwritesstuff.com a popular blog online]] and volunteers for Publicolor, a not-for-profit organization that creates imaginative and colorful paint jobs for inner-city schools.
* HowardHughes, famous aviator, business man and film director in the 1930s and 1940s became a total recluse for the next three decades of his life. In part, this was also a result of his mental problems and OCD.
* Music/CaptainBeefheart was a struggling musician for most of his productive career and despite his importance in the field of alternative music hardly sold any albums. In 1982, just when he received more critical attention and appreciation, he decided to quit the music industry altogether and lived as a recluse in his home near the Mojave Desert in California. He began a new career as a painter, but hardly gave any interviews anymore, nor did he appear in public for the last 28 years of his life.
* Music/SydBarrett recorded two albums with Music/PinkFloyd, but then started to suffer from mental and drug problems. He released two bizarre CultClassic solo albums at the start of the 1970s and after that completely disappeared out of public view up until his death in 2006.
* Film director Creator/StanleyKubrick hardly appeared in public ever since he moved to the United Kingdom in the 1960s. He seldom gave interviews and refused to talk much about his work.
* Belgian comic strip artist Pom of the comic book series ''ComicBook/PietPienterEnBertBibber'' lived as a cranky recluse for most of his life. He didn't want to be bothered by anyone, refused most interviews and even book signing sessions. He had such a CreatorBacklash about his past career that he told every visitor that he would rather die than be constantly reminded about it.
* Hollywood actress Creator/GretaGarbo is perhaps the best illustration of this trope. She became the most famous actress of the first half of the 20th century, but refused all publicity and interviews, thus making her more mysterious and glamorous as a result. At the height of her fame, in the 1940s, she quit acting altogether and appeared totally out of public view for the final 40 years of her life. She kept the press at a distance and photographing old age Garbo became something of a challenge for journalists, since hardly anyone knew what she looked like by this point.
* Hollywood legend Creator/MarlonBrando is another example of someone who refused to be part of the Hollywood star system. Despite being world famous Brando constantly rebelled against directors, producers and executives who wanted to work with him and thus reached a point that only the most brave or naïve directors wanted to collaborate with him. But Brando didn't care. In his final years he spent most of his spare time on a private island in Polynesia and hardly appeared in public anymore. His only public appearance in decades occured when his son Christian Brando was put on trial for murder.
* Famous chess player Bobby Fischer became a sensation at the start of the 1970s when he won an Olympic tournament. Immediately after he became a recluse and even disassociated himself from the United States altogether.
* After his wife died, Creator/RickMoranis retired acting in 1997 [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming to raise his kids, who were then toddlers.]] He also expressed his discontentment with Hollywood.
* Notch, the original developer behind ''VideoGame/{{Minecraft}}'', sold Mojang to Microsoft and left the company precisely because he felt he doesn't want to be a symbol "responsible for something huge that [he] don’t understand, that [he] don’t want to work on, that keeps coming back to [him]" (said "symbol" being his fame for developing Minecraft).
* Roger Hodgson of Music/{{Supertramp}} left the band, quit touring, and led a relatively low profile in TheEighties and TheNineties to raise a family and settle down. He also felt alienated by fame, the music industry, and playing more and more tightly choreographed shows to less and less intimate audiences as their fame increased with ''Breakfast In America'' in the late 1970s.
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