[[quoteright:286:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Demonization.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:286:'[[TakeThat I am the Pope.]]']]
-> ''"That's the problem with being the devil, [[HypocriticalHumor everybody demonizes you]]."''
-->-- '''{{Satan}}''', ''Radio/OldHarrysGame''

TVTropes is the devil. It teaches our children [[FetishFuel it's okay to be aroused by filth]]. It wants to make [[TVTropesWillRuinYourLife everyone in the world fat and lazy]], [[TVTropesWillRuinYourVocabulary pollutes the English language even more than Internet speak]] and unlike those [[TheAggressiveDrugDealer evil drug dealers]], they will actually admit they want to ruin your life![[note]]No wait, [[DarthWiki/TVTropesRuinedYourLife they already did]]![[/note]] Self-identity is discouraged among the members of this cult, to the point where personal pronouns and references to oneself are [[Administrivia/ConversationInTheMainPage actively]] discouraged. [[WeAllLiveInAmerica It's]] [[{{Eagleland}} anti-American]].

Of course none of that is true, or completely true, but that's how Demonization works. It's about twisting facts, or making them up, to make something look worse. Sometimes it can actually go as far claiming something is satanic, but usually it's more down to earth. Either way, these claims are made either without proof, or counter to actual evidence.

After all, [[ComplainingAboutShowsYouDontWatch why let facts get in the way]] of [[{{Complaining}} complaining about things you don't like]]?

No, you want people to hate this thing. So you will do whatever you can to make this thing seem truly evil. It kills people (based on one or two deaths, that were quickly proven unrelated)! It ruined a nation (was coincidentally a fad in a country just before a coup d'etat)! God told you it's the sign of the devil (but somehow didn't tell anyone else, if it was that important)! Someone (who's name escapes me) even told me that it EatsBabies and [[KickTheDog puppies]] someone [[ThinkOfTheChildren Think of The Children!!!]] If it is a race, a nation, or another group of people, they are AlwaysChaoticEvil!

[[TheWarOnStraw Strawman arguments]] can be a form of demonization at times (and vice-versa), but the two terms differ; strawman arguments involve making a weaker (or absurdly stronger) statement of the opponents views in order to demolish them, while demonization usually ignores those positions outright in favor of a totally invented narrative.

A SuperTrope to AttackOfThePoliticalAd, NicknamingTheEnemy, RonTheDeathEater, EverybodyHatesHades, HistoricalVillainUpgrade, and AdaptationalVillainy.

Compare with AccentuateTheNegative (amplifying negatives instead of just [[AssPull pulling them from nowhere]]), EveryoneIsSatanInHell (when the [[RuleOfSymbolism symbolism]] of a work is interpreted to be demonic), CharacterDerailment (a writer suddenly has a character act demonic for no good reason), GodwinsLaw (comparing persons or ideas you don't like to Hitler and/or Nazism, which carry the same connotation of absolute evil), RonTheDeathEater (demonizing a character in fan fiction), DigitalPiracyIsEvil, AbominationAccusationAttack.

Contrast with RoseTintedNarrative, DracoInLeatherPants, and HistoricalHeroUpgrade.

Since one person's Demonization may seem like another person's "fair and frank criticism," we should probably just say "no RealLife examples please."

----
!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* Hitler gets a cameo in the ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'' movie. He never speaks [[spoiler:well, almost]], but the camera constantly pans to his eyes, which have a mad, manic glare that gives the impression that he's constantly about to snap and kill everybody around him. There is a slight chance of double standard here, given what the primary ''Fullmetal Alchemist'' universe is like.
** While it's very doubtful he could ever try to kill anyone in a hand-to-hand way in RealLife, it's not like he never did shriek or roll on the floor and ''bite a carpet''; he was dosed up on all kinds of stimulants and psychoactive "vitamin" regiments by his CrazyNaziScientist doctors...
** Those happened in his later days, however, when his sanity was seriously slipping. His appearance in ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'' is before he gained power, when he was just a leader of a small extremist party, and was a lot more charismatic and still had at least a good semblance of sanity despite of his hard-lined politics.
** Hitler really did act like that when making speeches, at least on some occasions. Yes, he was charismatic, but his message was one of furious anger at the state Germany had fallen into; manic energy and passion were part of his performance. He didn't look like he was about to kill everyone around him, he looked like he was on the verge of storming out and leading his "army" of followers to overthrow the "corrupt" Weimar democracy and restore Germany's honour. Its nothing to do with his sanity slippage later on in the war (and make no mistake- he was '''not''' a sane man even in these early days) and everything to do with the nature of the speeches he made.
* Invoked in ''CodeGeass'' with a character getting himself basically nicknamed "Lelouch the Demon".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The ComicBook/ChickTracts are infamous for this, often literally tying anything Chick doesn't like (for example, ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' or Rock 'n Roll) to Satan.
* ''ComicBook/CerebusTheAardvark'' does this to the ''entire female gender'' for the last third or so of its run (very arguably earlier).
* Elf/human relations in ''ComicBook/ElfQuest'' are traditionally prone to this as the humans tend to try to fit the elves into their own pre-existing belief systems as supernatural beings. Which means that elf tribes who aren't lucky enough to hit it off ''very'' well with their human neighbors right away tend to get quickly labeled 'tricksters' and 'evil spirits'.
** Admittedly, the Wolfriders have a tendency to make this reputation for themselves in their early history, when harassing humans was something they did for fun.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fanfiction]]
* PRT propaganda would have you believe [[FanFic/WeaverNine Weaver's Society]] has a habit of forcing innocents into its service. Nothing could be further from the truth, especially since this is an extremely sore point for Taylor herself. Several assertions seem to follow this trend, and while it is unequivocally true the the Society has a lot of shady dealings and dubious methods, they are nothing approaching the bloodthirsty baby-eaters the PRT portrays them as
* Sometimes someone resorts to Demonization in an admirable attempt-gone-horribly-wrong to fix ''someone else's'' Demonization, as a case of [[HeWhoFightsMonsters He Or She Who Fights Monsters]]. For example, the fanfic author known as Creator/CoriFalls was motivated to write most of her works in response to her frustration that Team Rocket kept getting demonized, in her view. Unfortunately, she chose to attempt to fix this demonization by demonizing ''Ash Ketchum'' instead, and she demonized everyone who stood against Team Rocket in any way, which somewhat detracted from the quality of her fanfiction and thwarted her attempt to lionize Team Rocket.
** As another example of "Demonization as a response to Demonization", someone wrote a fanfic called "Hogwarts Exposed", in which Hogwarts cheerfully embraced the practice of nudism, meaning everyone going around naked all the time. The fic was written as a response to the fact that most people demonize nudists as a pack of sexual perverts or irresponsible hedonists. But there were two problems to the author's attempt to fix this demonization: one, the fic demonizes ''everyone who hates nudism'' instead. And two, the fic portrays several of the nudists as sexual perverts only without actually criticizing their behavior, thus ironically destroying the point of defending nudism in the first place! An added layer of fail is added by the fact that nudism ''isn't'' routinely demonised in the [[UsefulNotes/{{Britain}} country]] in which Hogwarts Exposed is [[WeAllLiveInAmerica theoretically]] set, as most people don't really give it much thought at all.
* In [[FanFic/EquestriaAHistoryRevealed Equestria: A History Revealed]], [[LemonyNarrator the narrator]] seems to go out of her way to demonize Celestia every time she gets, even when in subtext, it is made clear that Celestia is one of the few good guys in the fic.
** This has more to do with her personal bias though, as she seems to have a great aversion to speaking anything good about Celestia, going to the extent to insert [[PlayedForLaughs her own personal poetry rather than be forced to quote a source that praised the princess.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Morgan le Fay was a victim of this, since the publication of works which were often OlderThanPrint or OlderThanSteam, like those postdating Chretien de Troyes's ones, all because, to sit well with his audience, a healer had to be A) a man B) a nun. She was only made ''ambiguous'' and ultimately good as of La Morte d'Arthur, but later works show the woman who saved her brother by sending him to Avalon as a vengeful VainSorceress. Something which was partly kept up until some modern works like Marion Zimmer Bradley's modern novel ''TheMistsOfAvalon''.
* ''SwordOfTruth'' does this simultaneously to communism and theism by having the main villains of the series be an evil [[TheEmpire empire]] set out to conquer all of the world and force their fundamentalist religion and bureaucratic soviet economy upon it.
%% Please, no nattering about how "impossible" or "possible" theocratic communism is.
* ''Literature/ParadiseLost'' does this the most literal way possible, identifying the gods from the other religions of the ancient Levant as higher ranks of Satan.
* The Literature/InDeath series: Defense attorneys tend be subjected to this. Then again, the story is told from the perspective of a cop who arrests criminals and then has to testify against them, so....
* ''Discworld/MonstrousRegiment'': Protagonist Polly's country, Borogravia, dubs the leader of the Ankh-Morpork forces "Vimes the Butcher". When she meets Vimes, he tells her that Borogravian propaganda is [[InsultBackfire laughably amateurish]].
* There are various webpages on the Internet (such as [[http://www.shoshone.k12.id.us/nutcracker/story.html this one]]) hosting a piece which claims that ''Literature/TheNutcracker'' was originally a dark and gruesome tale completely unfit for children. While it ''was'' dark and gruesome by some peoples' standards, many of the "facts" listed to support the claim - such as that Marie's family doesn't love her, that Marie is depicted as lying in a pool of her own blood after injuring herself, and that her parents lock her into her room to punish her - are completely untrue.
* From Piers Anthony's ''Literature/{{Xanth}}'' series, we have the demonization of Magician Trent in the very first book, who lost the election to become King to the current ruler, the Storm King. As the loser of the political contest, Trent was demonized as an evil monster who transformed men into fish and let them suffocate on dry land (actually it turns out he turned them to fish ''in water'', but they then unknowingly hopped up on dry land and then suffocated). Trent actually discusses the trope when Bink calls him on his perceived crimes; if the ''Storm King'' had lost the election, he would be portrayed as a doddering senile old fool who carelessly called up storms that went wild and killed people. All of this would normally be a huge spoiler, but in a rare triumph over this trope Trent becomes ''King'' Trent at the end of the book, and he's a major character in most of the books thereafter.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* An episode of ''Series/ForeverKnight'' had a flashback in which Hitler was portrayed as a man so full of evil that it made him [[EvenEvilHasStandards too evil to turn into a vampire]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* "Phantoms Of Death" by Music/{{Helloween}}.
* Music/TheyMightBeGiants' "Youth Culture Killed My Dog" parodies this. "____ killed my dog" in general has become a common way to make fun of demonization.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Reality TV]]
* The "villains" in all versions of ''BigBrother'' are often demonized.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* This also happens in-game in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' as one of the Thoughts of the Day demonstrates:
--> A logical argument must be dismissed with absolute conviction.
** And Lord Karamazov gives us this memorable line:
--> A plea of innocence in my court is guilty of wasting my time! Guilty!
** The Imperial Guardsman's Uplifting Primer has several examples of this intended to prove mankind's superiority over all alien races. Unfortunately, the information given is so woefully inaccurate (Ork teeth can easily be pulled out, Tau can only see you if you move, Eldar tech is outdated, and other ObviouslyEvil traits that are the complete opposite of what they're facing..) one suspects it was written by a Chaos cultist.
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' was subjected to this in the 80's and early 90's from Christian groups (most notably Creator/JackChick and Patricia Pulling, the founder of [[FunWithAcronyms Bothered About Dungeons & Dragons]]) believing the game encouraged witchcraft, satanism, suicide, and all sorts of other horrible things. It got to the point where TSR (the game's publisher at the time) removed demons, devils, and other monsters from the line (mostly by renaming them into tanar'ri and baatezu), stopped to call shamans "wicca" and funding studies to counter the claims.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}'' [[spoiler: Raz's dad, Augustus Aquato]] is said to hate psychics, among other things, his image in [[spoiler: Oleander and Raz's head, merged together]], shows this quite a bit. [[spoiler: "Man do I hate Psychics, and seeing my son happy!"]] The real version is, of course, ''nothing'' like that; in fact, he is horrified when he sees the mental image, saying, [[spoiler: "Is that really how I look in your mind?" and "[[ComicallyMissingThePoint I have a lot more hair than that!]]"]]
* A well-popularized example: Back in the late nineties, there was some backlash against ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' by varying [[MoralGuardians fundamentalist groups]], who claimed that the games (and related series) promoted violence and occult imagery. Notably, the ''Vatican'' publicly defended ''Pokémon'' from these detractors. More specifically, the Vatican defended ''Pokémon'' on the issue of evolution, of all things.
** ''Pokémon'', among tons of other "new media", are still treated this way by many fundamentalists.
** PETA's [[http://features.peta.org/pokemon-black-and-white-parody/ flash game]] takes this to a whole new level, especially as the organization has been sorta quiet for the last 15 years on the franchise.
* Done in-game to RatchetAndClank in ''RatchetDeadlocked'', although the audience isn't falling for it. This demonization reaches ImplausibleDeniability when kids clearly cheering for Ratchet are dubbed over on the show.
* ''ShinMegamiTenseiI'' had this happen quite literally to several gods, turning them into demons; namely, Ahura Mazda (turned into Asura) and Ishtar (turned into Astaroth), by [[GodIsEvil the Great Will]].
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', the sequel to Dragon Age: Origins, both explores this trope as part of the plot and unfortunately uses the trope in a meta sense. The plot of Dragon Age II revolves around the conflict between the Templars and Mages in Kirkwall, and the defensibility, or lack thereof, of a system known as the Circle, in which mages (who in the game's setting can potentially be possessed by demons or use "blood magic" to control other people's minds and bodies) are taken away from their families as small children and made to live their whole lives in the Circle, with Templars to watch over them 24/7, ostensibly to teach them how to control their magic and themselves so they aren't a danger to themselves and other people. Unfortunately, because the nature of the system assumes taking away people's human rights due to what they ''might'' do, most people who grew up with American ideals will naturally side with the mages, because giving the Templars that much power over other men is going to lead to Templars demonizing mages. And that is in fact exactly what happens: mages are feared and hated, and Templars treat ''all'' mages as though they ''must'' eventually snap and turn into demons and slaughter everyone. So, to give the player a reason to root for the Templars, the ''Dragon Age II'' developers went far out of their way to make the Templars look justified. The mages' primary advocate, Anders, is portrayed as someone who demonizes ''the Templars'' and is irrational and unreasonable due to being possessed by the spirit of Justice. Almost every mage the player meets is an insane blood mage, the First Enchanter turns out to [[spoiler: be aiding and abetting a serial killer because his use of magic would reflect badly on mages if revealed]], the Templars are given an advocate in Fenris the elf that never learns his lesson or is ever proven wrong and shifts the "burden of proof" onto the innocent rather than the guilty, and the other sympathetic mage character, Merrill, [[spoiler: accidentally makes a deal with a Pride Demon that results in the death of her Dalish clan's Keeper]]. So even as Dragon Age II tries to present both sides as having a point, since Dragon Age Origins players demonized the Templars while they were playing since the system is inherently open to abuse, the fact that the developers had to go this far out of their way to make the Templars have a point means that ''the mages'' were demonized, causing most players to side with the Templars since it looked like the Mages were all a bunch of lunatics and it looked like Anders had no good reason to complain or to object.
** As if to balance this, the developers did see fit to include a few Templars who do abuse their power and authority: Sers Alric, Mettin, and ultimately [[spoiler:Meredith]].
*** It would be far more accurate to say that the game crafted a conflict based on both sides having extreme "bad apples" in them to show the player that what the detractors of each side fear so much is real albeit not nearly as ubiquitous as those who demonize the opposition claim. There are more than enough instances where the Templars show their oppressive, prejudiced behavior. The game runs mostly on GrayAndGrayMorality where the only options are to pick your poison.
* In-universe, the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' series is ''full'' of this. Humans are demonized as bullies who always use force to get their own way, asari are demonized as either whores or weaklings in combat or arrogant snobs who can only solve problems by talking about them, salarians are demonized as arrogant intellectuals and weaklings in combat and always solving problems by creating more and ruthless pragmatists with no concern for ethics or high ideals, turians are demonized as spiky monsters who constantly have sticks up their asses and always resolve problems by shooting them, quarians are demonized as beggars and thieves, krogan are demonized as mindless barbarians, hanar are demonized as weak pacifists who can't be taken seriously, vorcha are demonized as sewer rats who don't crap on the floor quite as often as varren, volus are demonized as greedy misers who can't do anything about problems but complain, elcor are demonized as boring, and [[spoiler: the geth are demonized as omnicidal maniacs]]. And, depending on which sides the player takes during various conflicts, the player is free to join in on the demonization.
* ''VideoGame/VampireTheMasqueradeBloodlines'' contains many examples of this, although it's played much more low-key than usual examples of this trope, since the demonizations aren't brought up too often. But when they are, the Camarilla are a bunch of tyrannical snobs and elitist pricks who simply want to enslave all vampires according to their whims! The Anarchs are a bunch of children who hate responsibility and would love an excuse to go on a rampage! The Nosferatu are a bunch of ugly monsters! The Toreadors are a bunch of superficial snobs who love only beauty and have no other values at all! The Malkavians are all a bunch of insane whackjobs! The Ventrue are all snobs who sneer down their noses at everyone else! The Tremeres are secretive and untrustworthy and probably wish to enslave everyone! The Brujah are all shiftless and thuggish and the Gangrel are all mindless animals!
* Because he abolished slavery, UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln in ''Videogame/BioShockInfinite'' has been demonized in Columbian propaganda (complete with horns) and John Wilkes Booth is depicted as a saint for assassinating him.
* [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in [[Videogame/LegacyOfKain Soul Reaver 2]] by Raziel. Raziel encounters a stained glass mural depicting Janos Audron and describes Janos' history, ending with:
--->'''Raziel:''' I wondered, could Janos Audron truly have been as monstrous as depicted here, or was this merely artistic license by the Sarafan, who sought to lionize themselves by demonizing their darkest enemy?
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Originals]]
* The ''Website/CollegeHumor'' video "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-_JhRJ0tWA If The Other Party Wins]]" uses this (as a spoof, of course, since it's a humor website) against both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party of the United States during the 2008 elections, from the other Party's perspective:
** If Obama wins (according to Republicans), [[MexicoCalledTheyWantTexasBack Mexico will take back the Southwestern US states]], New England will become New Canada, and weed will be grown everywhere. Also, American flags will be burned, students are rewarded for no achievements, terrorists and illegal immigrants will run rampant, medical care requires filling out a thousand forms, and the family unit will break down into pansexual group marriages between pot-smoking hippies.
** If [=McCain=] wins (according to Democrats), the coastline will be submerged by global warming, [[MegaCorp Wall-Mart gets its own country]], and the southern border is covered by an electric fence. Also, homosexuals are sent to jail, students are indoctrinated with patriotic jingoism, there is no money in the school budget to provide ink for test papers, [[ChildSoldier students get drafted to fight in overseas wars]], some students are pregnant, people are refused medical care because they're not covered, students fight each other with assault rifles in recess, the food is contaminated by oil spills, and [[BigBrotherIsWatching people are monitored permanently]].
* WebVideo/ToddInTheShadows does this in a tongue-in-cheek way to Peter Cetera, claiming that he's a war criminal, that he caused the stock market crash, and that he killed Todd's dog.
* [[WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw]] relishes in doing this to the United States and Americans in general. If he so much as ''thinks'' Americans have anything to do with a game, he will spend a considerable amount of time demonizing them. This was aptly demonstrated in his ''VideoGame/{{Killzone}} 3'' review, which included a lot of bile levied at Americans despite ''Killzone's'' creators being Dutch. Yahtzee attempted to dismiss people calling him on this by claiming that Americans were the game's target audience.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''CaptainPlanet'' had Hitler's [[DeathGlare very gaze]] be as bad as pollution on Captain Planet. A big problem with the series was that the villains were into polluting for no good reason, which implied that anyone who polluted was just a plain villain instead of someone making a mistake--even a big one.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' often makes fun of far-left concepts, but sometimes goes too far by portraying some environmentalists as AxeCrazy. Not just eco-terrorists--''all'' environmentalists. Or the episode "Canada On Strike", which implied people were starving to death during the 2008 [[TVStrikes Writers Strike]]. In fact, ''South Park'' is open to demonizing and attacking everyone.
** WesternAnimation/SouthParkBiggerLongerAndUncut almost ''literally'' demonizes MoralGuardians as actually raising Hell over small things, as well as paralleling them with Nazi Germany. Heck, some may say that this show is the TropeCodifier for how they are portrayed in modern media.
* In ''DrawnTogether'', virtually every character with conservative viewpoints are often portrayed as ignorant, racist, homophobic, overzealous religious nutjobs, or otherwise just plain heartless or hypocritical. Clara often exhibited such traits, especially in later episodes, and even antagonized some of the main characters due to her remarkably intolerant political and religious views. On the other hand, while other main characters certainly had unlikeable aspects to their personality, they're not nearly as close-minded (aside from the occasional joke about Xandir's sexuality) and Foxxy (one of the more liberal characters on the show) is often depicted as the voice of reason.
* Similar to the above example is ''FamilyGuy''. Conservatives, Christians, pro-lifers, and in general, people who don't agree with the writers' political views get this treatment, which unfortunately, affected the show's quality.
* [[ExaggeratedTrope Exaggerated]] in the ''[[TheSimpsons Simpsons]]'' episode "Sideshow Bob Roberts", which depicts the Springfield Republican Party as zealots who hold meetings (prefaced by a round of OminousLatinChanting) in an ominous castle straight out of a HammerHorror film, and who at one point confuse a water cooler with their mayoral candidate.
** Later they take a pot shot at the Democrats who are portrayed as a bunch of liberal stereotypes who are so ineffectual and poor that they have to hold their meetings in a random smoothie shop over lunch.
* Deconstructed InUniverse in ''WesternAnimation/MyLifeAsATeenageRobot'': Evil Queen Vexus of Cluster Prime has lied to her own robot people about Earth's defender, RobotGirl [=XJ9=], presenting her like an AlwaysChaoticEvil, [[BeautyEqualsGoodness horrible monster]] robot that wants to destroy her own kind in various propaganda videos. When [=XJ9=] accidentally goes to Cluster Prime, all the robots see her for the cute, normal, [[TheHero heroic robot who wants to help and protect others]] that she is. This is Queen Vexus' downfall.
* The ''CodenameKidsNextDoor'' episode "Operation: B.U.L.L.I.E.S." depicts bullies as giant dinosaur-like creatures with names like Spitballosaurus and Wedgiesaurus Rex.
** And in general, since the show operates from a RuleOfFunny premise of "kids vs. adults", obviously "adults in general" are also demonized. They're either completely useless, or demonic monsters of some kind, or they're crazy whack-jobs, or they do things to make kids suffer for the sheer kicks of it.
* Megatron in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'' does this for [[spoiler: an amnesic Optimus/Orion]], saying that Ratchet was the BigBad and that the reason the Autobots call them "Decepticons" was as a form of Autobot propaganda.
* Similar to the ''Teenage Robot'' example above, ''HortonHearsAWho'' has the Sour Kangaroo tell everyone that Horton's sayings about the speck will lead to anarchy and gets everyone to cage him and destroy the speck. When Horton's words turn out to be true and the speck is saved, the Kangaroo gets shunned and hated.
* Aku ''tries'' to attack SamuraiJack this way, by gathering children and telling them fairy tales where he's the hero and Jack is the bad guy. It doesn't work, but it made for some of the best moments on the show.
[[/folder]]
----