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-> ''"The worst tragedy for a poet is to be admired through being misunderstood."''
--> -- '''Jean Cocteau'''

The writer has a vision. They've created a character who represents everything they loathe, and has placed him in [[CrapsackWorld a setting that satirizes everything they hate about modern society]]. Bring on the MoralGuardians and {{Media Watchdog}}s; they're prepared for controversy!

Only... it [[GoneHorriblyWrong doesn't quite work like that]]. Instead of seeing a loathsome, hateful figure, the audience sees a [[TheWoobie Woobie]] who only is the way he is because of his [[WellDoneSonGuy daddy issues]], and feel sorry for him instead of hating him... or even [[DracoInLeatherPants find him cute]]. They take the author's painstaking [[PoesLaw satire at face value]]. The CrapsackWorld the writer has created is somewhere they think is pretty awesome. They have, in the writer's view, missed the point: ignoring the subtext that the writer had thought was obvious in favor of the ''text'' -- and they really like the text. The majority of time the readers realize what the writer intended, but simply disagree. After all, just because the writer loathes certain traits doesn't mean the reader will do so.

The work and its creator have acquired a Misaimed Fandom. It's around this point that the writer learns exactly how different he is from his fans... and, often, [[ArtistDisillusionment actively begins to hate them]].

There are many paths leading to a Misaimed Fandom, but many of them originate from the 'DeathOfTheAuthor' theory; the idea that the audience can interpret a work however they like, regardless of what the author says. No matter how many times WordOfGod states their case, there's always going to be a large portion of the readers who will have their own very different perspective. And they're always going to be able to [[EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory find something in the text]] to help [[EpilepticTrees their case]], whether the author intended it to be there or not.

Of course, while fans are entitled to their own interpretation, that does not mean they are always right. The writer's original intention might not be the only valid interpretation, but it probably shouldn't be dismissed out of hand either; they're the ones actually putting their thoughts down and getting them published, after all. But this doesn't mean that fans have to worship at the writer's feet. Works have to stand by themselves and there is a limit to what authorial intent can change. Ultimately: when words and images clearly depict A, no WordOfGod can make it B.

On the same note, though, and most importantly, if words and images [[OpinionMyopia clearly]] depict A and WordOfGod confirms A, the fans who swear up and down it was B make up the misaimed FanDumb.

Sometimes Misaimed Fandom is a matter of ValuesDissonance or CultureClash: where a writer doesn't recognise (or actively disagrees with) social changes they may perceive Misaimed Fandom about their work as villains and heroes switch places in the popular mind, or the failure to recognize that people of different cultures, political points of view, or backgrounds will see the story and characters in a different way than the writer intended.

In some cases, the reader may genuinely be seeing something that isn't there, or might not be looking hard enough; if the text isn't read correctly then the interpretation that follows is naturally going to be flawed. The reader might miss some of the more subtle meanings or interpretations. Alternatively, they might read the text too closely, and [[EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory find symbolism and meaning that the author never intended]] -- especially if the symbolism in question is something quite obscure, that the author may not necessarily be aware of. And, of course, they may just be missing the point.

Often, however, the fans know full well that their interpretation of the text isn't that of the author, and may acknowledge what the author was trying to do, but [[{{Applicability}} choose their own interpretation anyway]]. They may be aware that the author is satirizing them and their views, but they're good sports and can [[InsultBackfire appreciate]] a well-done jab in the ribs, especially if it's [[AffectionateParody not without affection]] or they think it's ActuallyPrettyFunny. Thus an unlikely fandom is not necessarily Misaimed.

And sometimes the Misaimed Fandom simply comes from the fact that the author's not that good a writer. If a message is poorly communicated to begin with, then of course there's going to be problems when interpreting it. Some authors go for subtlety [[SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped when they really should have been a bit more obvious]], or try to set up a StrawmanPolitical only to make the strawman's arguments [[StrawmanHasAPoint more logical and valid than their hero's]]. In these cases, the fandom is misaimed because the author's botched the sights on the rifle. This is especially common in parody, where an author may simply not be literate enough in the culture or media they're mocking and just produce [[IndecisiveParody a mediocre example of what they're trying to parody]] when they think they're exaggerating it to the point of ridiculousness.

Other times, the Misaimed Fandom starts out as the target audience, but becomes misaimed when the creators decide to take a series in a different direction. The original fandom often [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks doesn't like this one bit]].

And oh yeah, the inverse happens too. Sometimes people dislike something for playing clichés and tropes straight, when it's actually ''parodying'' or ''deconstructing'' them. See StealthParody.

Do not confuse this with an AlternativeCharacterInterpretation. A Misaimed Fandom fails to understand the author's intention for a character, no matter how {{Anvilicious}} it may have been; an AlternativeCharacterInterpretation understands the intended or default interpretation, but deliberately subverts it. Another related trope is RootingForTheEmpire, when you root for the villain without [[DracoInLeatherPants misinterpreting them as a intended good guy]].

This trope comes in many forms, which are listed below (and it's a looong list), as well as tropes that can be compared, connected and contrasted to:

[[folder:Related Tropes]]
* AccentuateTheNegative
* BileFascination
* BlueAndOrangeMorality
* BrokenBase
* CharacterDerailment (unless it's [[WordOfGod intentional]])
* DesignatedMonkey
* DesignatedVillain
* DieForOurShip: Basically when fans insist upon a certain pairing, no matter how idiotic or nonsensical it really is, and hate a particular character for "being in the way".
* DoNotDoThisCoolThing: Also see EvilIsCool and DracoInLeatherPants.
* DontTryThisAtHome
* DorkAge
* DracoInLeatherPants: A character has obvious moral failings that are handwaved if not outright overlooked by fans.
* EnemyMine
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Can intersect with FanDumb.
* EpilepticTrees
* EvilIsCool
* EvilIsSexy
* FairForItsDay
* FanDisillusionment
* FanDumb: A subtrope of the Misaimed Fandom.
* FansPreferTheNewHer: A character's makeover or change in appearance is hated in-universe but fans think it's preferable to how they were before.
* FauxSymbolism
* FinaglesLaw
* GreyAndGrayMorality: A work can try to be neutral in the conflict it presents, and acknowledge that BothSidesHaveAPoint. That won't stop fans from simplifying things and acting like one side is pure good while the other is pure evil.
* HateDumb
* InternetBackdraft
* IsntItIronic: Compare for more musical examples, anyway.
* JerkassDissonance: The reason why the words "badass" and "jerkass" sometimes appear nigh interchangeable, even on this very wiki.
* LowestCommonDenominator
* TheManIsStickingItToTheMan
* MexicansLoveSpeedyGonzales
* NostalgiaFilter
* NotSoDifferent
* NoTrueScotsman
* OpinionMyopia
* PeripheryDemographic
* PoesLaw: Parodies are by nature extreme, but when the subject of a parody is itself extreme, it can be hard to tell the difference, leading some to actively agree with the parody.
* RonTheDeathEater: A character isn't evil, but is treated as such by fans.
* RootingForTheEmpire
* DarthWiki/RuinedFOREVER
* TheScrappy: Sometimes justified, but [[SturgeonsLaw most of the time]] it's just because of [[HateDumb Bandwagon Haters]]. Also see CreatorsPet.
* SeriousBusiness
* SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids
* StrawmanHasAPoint
* StealthParody: When the fans don't realize it's a parody/satire.
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks
* ThreeChordsAndTheTruth
* UnfortunateImplications
* UnintentionallySympathetic
* VocalMinority
* WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids: What the show's creators think is suitable for kids [[ValuesDissonance may not be]]. Happens all the time in the field of {{Anime}}. Not that this or WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids are restricted to animation.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids: When the show's creators ''didn't'' intend for the work to be seen by kids, but [[AnimationAgeGhetto the assumptions of the medium/genre claim otherwise]].
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotPolitical
* WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway

* MisaimedFandom/{{Advertising}}
* MisaimedFandom/AnimatedFilms
* MisaimedFandom/AnimeAndManga
* MisaimedFandom/ComicBooks
* MisaimedFandom/ComedianCharacters
* MisaimedFandom/{{Film}}
* MisaimedFandom/{{Literature}}
* MisaimedFandom/LiveActionTV
* MisaimedFandom/{{Music}}
* MisaimedFandom/MythAndReligion
* MisaimedFandom/NewspaperComics
* MisaimedFandom/ProfessionalWrestling
* MisaimedFandom/TabletopGames
* MisaimedFandom/{{Theatre}}
* MisaimedFandom/VideoGames
* MisaimedFandom/WebMedia
* MisaimedFandom/WesternAnimation
* MisaimedFandom/{{Other}}