[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tom_delay_mugshot_420.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:250:Nothing gets in the way of a politician's smile before a camera. [[note]]The above is a Photoshop of Tom Delay's actual mugshot, altered to make clearer it's a mugshot ([[TechnologyMarchesOn the placard went out of style in the 90s, since mugshots are now stored digitally and the name, date, and so on are now stored in the image's metadata]])[[/note]]]]
->''"But remember, me not Veggie Monster. Me still Cookie Monster. Just for record. Me got reputation to think of."''
-->-- '''Cookie Monster''', ''Series/SesameStreet''

Most {{Villains}} and {{Heroes}} catch onto their roles quickly -- one wants to TakeOverTheWorld, one wants to save it; one wants to KillAllHumans, one wants to protect them. But for all their differences, once they choose a side, they have the same problem: they're a slave to Public Relations.

To both {{Heroes}} and {{Villains}}, reputation is ''everything''. Actions don't determine your rep; rep controls your actions. If their reputation is ever at stake, they must act according to their role to reinforce their image.

Heroes always have to maintain a '''Good''' reputation. They have to SaveTheVillain, can never ShootTheDog, must [[ThinkNothingOfIt modestly declaim their own greatness]], and above all, ThouShaltNotKill. It's the reason they stick around to help an UntrustingCommunity rather than leaving when they're obviously not wanted and why it hurts when you can't please everyone. On the flipside, once wronged a hero is [[KarmicProtection perfectly justified]] in getting some amount of comeuppance, since it's only "fair".

Some villains also want a '''Good''' reputation. If they're not a KnightTemplar who completely believes they are good, they'll be a VillainWithGoodPublicity and ''pretend'' to do good. They'll secretly pour all their investments into a KillSat to cause TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt, but they'll do it all under the radar (or [[GovernmentConspiracy control the radar]]) or tell people that [[NewEraSpeech it'll change the future]]. This good rep gives them a token KarmicProtection against a hero just barging into their homes to arrest them, as well. Some of them will even expend the effort on BreadAndCircuses to actually ''do'' good.

Nowadays, though, a great majority of villains are going for a ZeroPercentApprovalRating. EvilIsCool and GoodIsBoring, and the NobleDemon and CardCarryingVillain will do everything in their power to earn their '''Bad''' reputation and cover up their HiddenHeartOfGold. A hero could {{Blackmail}} them for life just by taking a snapshot of them being LickedByTheDog. Conversely, the villain will hit a hero where it hurts and complicate their life by [[ClearMyName orchestrating a frame up.]]

This public relations mindset doesn't do much for the old "BeYourself, do the right thing, and don't care about what others think about you" [[StockAesops Aesop]]. It even gives the BigBad some extra leverage. A DiabolicalMastermind doesn't have to [[WhyDontYaJustShootHim shoot that meddling hero]] to get revenge for foiling that armored car robbery, [[FlawExploitation just give some incriminating shots]] of him trespassing to save someone falling from a burning building to the local paper. And if that [[TheCape Cape]] is a real pain in your neck, if you frame them for a crime, you can count on them not trying to break out of prison since they're bound to follow all the rules. It's dangerous being a Slave To PR. They should have become an AntiHero.

Nothing solidifies the Hero[=/=]AntiHero line better than this trope. Anti Heroes [[IDidWhatIHadToDo do what they have to do]], not what looks right. They do their own thing, whatever serves their purpose, and couldn't care less about what their reputation is. The town hails them as a hero for killing that drug dealer? They don't care. The cops are crying for their head on a pole for starting that street rumble? They don't care. They've been locked in jail while there are serious criminals out there waiting to be taken down? They'll break out. In fact, they'll often clash with the DesignatedHero over this difference.

Mind you, Anti Heroes ''do'' prefer a fearsome, rebellious reputation, but that has more to do with appearing brave and tough than good/evil.

See LawfulStupidChaoticStupid for when this is taken to its extreme. Compare ContractualPurity. Contrast WhatYouAreInTheDark.

Real life actors and movie industry workers are slaves to this, too. It's SellingTheShow.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'': In two simultaneous SwordOverHead scenes in the same building, Hell Kaiser and Edo admit that even though they would like to show their enemies mercy, as self-appointed [[AntiHero Anti Heroes]], they can't, and deliver the fatal blows.
* [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] late in the second season of ''Anime/CodeGeass''. [[spoiler:Lelouch is actively trying to make his publicity worse, not because he wants to be bad, [[ZeroApprovalGambit but because he needs to look bad]] [[GenghisGambit for his plan]]]].
* Natsu Tanimoto from ''Manga/KenichiTheMightiestDisciple'', a male BitchInSheepsClothing who tries ''very'' hard to maintain his image as the school's [[TheAce Ace]].
* Being about a group of people in a city of corporate superheroism, none of the heroes in ''Anime/TigerAndBunny'' can escape the insistence of their sponsors and director on the importance of creating a spectacle and raising ratings. Karina is expected to be the 'sexy' MsFanservice to the detriment of her esteem and crime-fighting ability, Kotetsu is openly mocked for being an idealistic DestructiveSaviour, and Ivan's ShrinkingViolet personality doesn't go well with the theatrics of [=HeroTV=]. Barnaby comes across as very media-friendly, although the reasons why turn out to be suspect.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:ComicBooks]]
* Explored by Samaritan in ''ComicBook/AstroCity'', where he ''forces'' himself to make public appearances and accept awards so that the public, and possibly himself, do not think he's aloof and uncaring, thus complicating his efforts. He's also painfully aware that he could very well use the time and his SuperSpeed to save lives.
* Subverted by Gail Simone in ''SecretSix'', where the team decide that being "villains for hire" doesn't mean they can't take more "heroic" jobs if the money's right. This is [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] as being an unusual decision in TheDCU.
* In the world of comic book ''MadameMirage'', the technology that allowed people to become superheroes and supervillains was outlawed, as were the superheroes and supervillains themselves. Dutifully, the heroes all turned themselves in - and, in gratitude, were arrested and thrown in prison. The supervillains, of course, merely opened up legit {{front organisation}}s and carried on being evil.
* Another comic book example: In ''Comicbook/{{Miracleman}}'' #14, innocent young Johnny Bates, in order to stop the other boys at his group home from raping him, reluctantly says the word that transforms him into the mad Kid Miracleman. Having dispatched all of his assailants, Kid Miracleman is about to spare the life of the one nurse who had been kind to him. He then says, "I'm sorry. They'd say I was going soft, wouldn't they?", and [[{{Squick}} punches off the top half of her head]].
* In the comic book ''Superstar: As Seen on TV'', due to the nature of the title character's powers, the more popular he is, the stronger his powers are. As a result, even though he hates the whole celebrity game, he continues to play it because it's the only way for him to stay an effective superhero.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Film}}]]
* This ends up kick-starting the plot of ''Film/MysteryMen''. With his world lacking a CardboardPrison and all his villains either locked-up, executed or reformed, Captain Amazing has fallen out of favor with the public and his sponsors, driving him to release his arch-enemy from prison to have a supervillain fight for the publicity.
* The main reason why Emperor Commodus doesn't simply have Maximus killed in the film ''Film/{{Gladiator}}''. Because the Romans love Maximus, his gladitorial prowess, and his willingness to defy the Emperor, Commodus can't do anything overt without risking the loss of the popular support of the people.
* ''Film/{{Stardust}}'': Captain Shakespeare works hard to maintain his reputation as a terribly fearsome pirate. When his CampGay secret finally comes out, his crew tells him they knew it all along.
** It should be noted that his fearsome act was more for his crew's benefit then his actual reputation. He wanted to be a high-class villain, showing mercy to Tristan while still doing a pirate's work, but his crew were more stereotypical and so maintained a rough-and-tumble attitude outside his quarters. His own name was for pure personal enjoyment of hearing his crew cheer "Shakespeare! Shakespeare!", knowing they had no idea as to the writer the name alluded too, but enjoyed the passion that they put behind it.
* In ''Film/SchindlersList'', there's a scene where in order to tone down his sadistic cruelty, Schindler tries to sell Goeth on an {{ubermensch}} kind of idea that showing mercy is something the strong can do. As a result, Goeth spares a slave who had made a mistake. Then, he looks in the mirror and realizes he can't live with himself if he's not a murderous psychopath, and he goes back and kills the slave.
* In ''Film/ThePrincessBride'', the Dread Pirate Roberts is a carefully-maintained persona of wealth and cruelty, secretly played by a succession of men.
* PlayedWith in ''Film/{{Hancock}}''. The eponymous superhero has a "devil-may-care" attitude when it comes to being a superhero, and often causes as much (if not more) damage than what he fixes while trying to help the citizens of Los Angeles, which has led to his terrible reputation. It takes an ordinary citizen (a PR executive who wants to help after Hancock saved his life) and an intensive "12-step program" (which includes admitting his past mistakes, voluntarily going to jail and adopting a new catchphrase) for Hancock to realize he can keep his good reputation if he plays by the rules and remains mindful of the environment he lives in.
* In ''Mercenary Fighters'', an African nation wants to modernize by building a dam, but numerous local villages would be flooded out as a result. When the protagonist questions why they don't simply go ahead with their plan, the answer is "We can't! The press!" Instead, the government goes with the [[BlatantLies much more PR friendly route]] of ''[[WhatAnIdiot hiring mercenaries to massacre said villages]]'' before proceeding.
** Just to further confound things, they outright ''mow down'' a British journalist in the process. So much for "the press" being an issue.
* Dean Gladstone from ''[[Film/{{Neighbors2014}} Neighbors]]'' has an extremely high regard for "good headlines".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Literature}}]]
* Taken as standard behaviour in Terry Pratchett's Literature/{{Discworld}} series; where Whitemailing-"Threatening to reveal a mobsters anonymous donations to charity", is listed as an Anti-crime alongside "Proffering with embarrassment" and "Breaking and redecorating."
** Come to that, just about every other thing in the Literature/{{Discworld}} seems to be affected by this trope in some way or another - people's expectations and beliefs frequently affect, at the very least, the aspects of supernatural entities not affected by the morphic field attributed to [[AnthropomorphicPersonification being human-shaped]] — a mistake on the part of a very inept sculptor resulted in the Ephebian Goddess of Wisdom carrying around a penguin instead of an owl; an entire separate timespace exists so the Hogfather can deliver all his presents in a single night; and Death's domain has a black-on-black, skull-and-bones motif because, quite frankly, it's expected.
* Commissar Literature/CiaphasCain quite literally [[AccidentalHero blundered]] his way into becoming a [[FakeUltimateHero Hero of the Imperium]], a reputation that [[DirtyCoward he could do well enough without]] when it ends up [[ReassignmentBackfire getting him into trouble]] (as it almost inevitably always does). However, as running away at the first opportunity would disgrace him in the eyes of his followers and cost him the benefits of said reputation (as well as possibly his life), he is often forced to act against his own self-preservation instincts in order to keep up appearances.
** However, the possibility that Cain simply doesn't give himself enough credit is also left open.
* It's possible that this is the ''only'' thing restraining [[OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest Randle P. McMurphy]]. He's perfectly willing to [[ConMan fleece you of your money]], but he wants you to like him while he does it. Being put into a BedlamHouse was one of the worst things that could have happened to him, since the respect the other inmates have for him is directly related to how much he rebels against the Head Nurse, and he'd rather be their hero than escape the brutal punishments that result from defiance.
* A very powerful recurrent theme in ''Literature/TheHungerGames.'' Katniss quickly becomes aware, before the Games begin, that if she makes herself into a memorable, likable persona, she'll be more likely to earn sponsors. The love story that she builds between herself and Peeta makes the ratings of the Games soar. This theme only gets stronger as the books go on: the fabricated [[spoiler: engagement, marriage, and expected child]] between her and Peeta is a dominating theme of ''Catching Fire,'' and it culminates in ''Mockingjay'' when [[spoiler: it is strongly implied that the rebels ''bomb a town square full of children'', in a hovercraft labeled as the Capitol, [[CaptainObvious in order to convince everyone in the nation that the Capitol is evil]] ]]. P.R. is possibly ''the'' most powerful weapon in ''The Hunger Games.''
* [[Theatre/{{Othello}} Good name in man and woman is the immediate jewel of their souls. Who steals my purse steals trash. 'Tis something, nothing, 'twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands. But he who filches from me my good name steals that which not enriches him, and makes me poor indeed.]]
* Gilderoy Lockhart of ''Literature/{{Harry Potter}}''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:LiveActionTV]]
* In ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', resident BadBoss Adelei Niska is ''obsessed'' with maintaining image and reputation, to a point where he tortures and kills anyone who fails to do a job for him, including his own wife's nephew.
** [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation Alternatively,]] he's just a bastard.
** On the other hand, Zoe was confident she could walk in and out of his lair with a large pile of cash without being robbed and murdered, based on Niska's need to uphold his albeit twisted code.
* Played for several laughs in ''Series/MarriedWithChildren'', most obvious in the "Reverend Al" episode, where Marcy single handedly crushes Al's "Church of NO MA'AM" by showing the congregation pictures of Al and Peggy at her birthday, eating in a restaurant, watching a performance of ''Cats'' (with all the proceeds going to the Chicago ballet) and disappearing into a motel, all the while being [[AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther lovey-dovey]] with each other.
-->'''Marcy''': There you have it. Your leader. On a date! With his wife! Deeply in love!
-->'''Disgusted church visitor''': Reverend Al! Tell us you were with a hooker! Or at least a guy dressed like one.
-->'''Al''': I have sinned! I have consorted with my wife!
* In an episode of ''Series/HannahMontana'', Hannah appears multiple times on a morning TalkShow (a paper-thin parody of LiveWithRegisAndKathieLee) to be interviewed, and her every answer to a question leads to her fanbase slavishly imitating her, much to her embarrassment and annoyance. This leads Hannah to finally explain to the kids on the talk show that they [[BeYourself don't have to do anything or not do anything Hannah does just because she does or doesn't do it]].
* In ''Series/BabylonFive'' the Minbari are so much this that one can stop a civil war with ritual suicide.
* ''Series/ThePalace'' explored the relationship between modern royalty, the media, and the public in every episode of its short run.
* In ''Series/{{Scandal}}'' President Fitzgerald Grant is a Republican president with a rather liberal agenda which makes him disliked by plenty of people in both parties. The only way he can accomplish his goals is to maintain high public approval which means that his various sins and indiscretions have to be swept under the carpet. His public image of a devoted husband and family man requires him to hide the fact that he is in love with Olivia and he started to despise his wife.
* In Series/TheWire (as, arguably, in RealLife) the Baltimore Police Department are slaves to crime statistics, arrest rates and public opinion of their efficiency and the political power games involved in maintaining their image makes it near-impossible to do any meaningful investigation. Ineffectual investigation methods, charging major criminals with minor crimes, relegating prodigious detectives to meaningless posts, ignoring connections between drug dealers and politicians are all used to maintain the illusion of effectiveness. Similarly, the Drug Kingpins themselves are shown to be equally hamstrung by their need to be feared by competitors.
* [[BigBad Dick Roman]] in ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' is one. Having taken the identity of a CEO, Roman's one policy to his monster underlings is to stay off the news. Unfortunately, this backfires when Dean walks right up to him in public, [[BatmanGambit knowing that Roman will be unable to do anything.]]
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': A very common trope for this show. The protagonists work for the Department of the Navy and although they are primarily concerned with the proper functioning of the military justice system, the overall PR and public opinion ramifications are never far away from their minds or actions. The news media, congressional people or other groups often play up various incidents. PR considerations are often hinted at by superiors (usually the SECNAV) and are often talked about behind closed doors (to avoid the appearance of unlawful command influence).
** The PilotMovie features an exchange between the CNO, Admiral Drake, and the JAG, Rear Admiral Brovo, where it's made clear that the mere appearance of things (the ongoing Seahawk murder investigation and an upcoming Navy strike mission) are more important to consider than the actual facts.
* Exploiting this trope is how the titular character of USA Network's ''Rush'' makes his living as a doctor. His clients are primarily celebrities who for various PR reasons cannot go to the hospital and Dr. Rush makes house calls and is extremely discreet. A movie producer does not want the tabloids to know that he broke his penis while having sex so he is offers Rush $40,000 to treat him. A star baseball player likes to beat up his girlfriends so Rush is called in to treat their injuries. When Rush finally has enough at the end of the pilot and beats the {{Jerkass}} baseball player with a bat, the victim claims to have fallen down the stairs rather than let the cops and the public know what really happened.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:TabletopGames]]
* Gaming fans of ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' and ''StarWars'' refer to this as [[LawfulStupidChaoticStupid "Lawful Stupid" and "Chaotic Stupid"]] when one's alignment rules ''force'' them to do something obviously detrimental. This often depends on one's interpretation of the various behavior codes.
** The {{Sourcebook}} ''Book of Exalted Deeds'', based around the Good alignments, devotes sections of its first chapter to ''avoiding'' the Lawful Stupid trap. The first lesson: when the villagers tell you "A dragon is attacking us!" it does not ding your alignment to ask, "How big and does it have friends?"
*** However, the book also establishes that performing an evil act to save a lot of innocent lives is still ultimately a victory for evil, and that a hero may end up in a situation where they can't avoid doing an evil act. But since good and evil are actual forces in [=DnD=], this makes sense. And the book stresses that the forces of good are forgiving, though heroes must pay a price to make up for what they did.
* Paladins (the character class) in the TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons [[TabletopGames tabletop roleplaying game]] ''must'' be Lawful Good and follow their chivalric codex of tirelessly slaying evil, upholding good, protecting the innocents... lest they fall from grace and lose all their abilities. Some dungeon masters take this to vindictive extremes, punishing the character (and by proxy the player) for even the slightest transgression. (The worst variety of [=DMs=] deliberately engineer no-win situations where the Paladin is practically ''forced'' to break their code.)
** [[YouCantFightFate Sometimes not even a transgression.]] You can fall for evil deeds performed ''inadvertently'' (this can technically include furthering a villain's EvilPlan), evil deeds performed while being mind controlled and evil deeds performed by ''other members of the party'', though most non-vindictive [=DMs=] will allow for a little leeway in this regard. And paladins ''do'' options for atoning for whatever evil deeds caused them to fall, thus regaining their powers.
** Conversely, blackguards must be evil.
*** Blackguards and Paladins have it easy compared to the variant Paladin of Slaughter, who must be ChaoticEvil. You must disrespect all authority figures that haven't proven their physical superiority to you, refuse help to those in need and sow destruction and death at all opportunities. All opportunities. It seems quite likely that if this paladin is ever given the watch for the night, someone will die. Horribly.
*** The Paladin of Slaughter is also forbidden to associate with anyone who's not of Evil alignment, and forbidden to have henchmen, followers, and cohorts of ''any'' alignment other than Chaotic Evil. That's right, the ''Chaotic Evil'' paladin variant has the strictest rules about about who they can work with. Somebody seems to have forgotten what "chaotic" means.
*** And don't even begin to think about what it means to be a Paladin of Freedom. ChaoticGood. You must disrespect authority and sow ''freedom'' at all opportunities. Good luck figuring out what that actually means. This is especially difficult to understand given that an earlier book had contained the Holy Liberator, who was very similar in nature to the Paladin of Freedom except that the code of conduct was basically "Help people and fight evil, and beyond that it's silly to try to give a strict code to a chaotic class."
** 4th Edition changed this, so now there is a single Paladin class who can be any alignment, but the alignment must be the same as the god the Paladin dedicates himself to. They retain their powers no matter what[[note]]How long it'll be before that get changed is anyone's guess, given that the idea of a fallen paladin was in the past central to the class.[[/note]], but if a Paladin strays too far from his god's tenets, his compatriots will hunt him down and drag him back to be judged by that god's followers.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' plays around with this trope a lot, on all sides of the equation. The main protagonists, the Solar Exalted along with the Lunar Exalted, are both hailed as "Anathema" by two thousand years of propaganda, which is one of the main obstacles in their work to save Creation. Of course, once they grow powerful enough they can simply ''make'' people love them anyway. That goes for pretty much everything in the setting except mortals, actually.
** The most infamous example would be the First Age Solar Desus, who personally invented a Charm that made everyone see him in the best light. Whatever he did, it was Good, and if it wasn't Good, it was ''for'' the ''Greater Good'', and he's an even bigger hero for taking up that burden. It says a lot that general consensus is that he was one of the ''lesser'' monsters amongst the First Age Solars.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''FateOfTheWorld'' the player is this. All the time. Some policies will improve your standing with a region, others will hurt it. Neglect a region too badly and your standing will suffer. Get a ZeroPercentApprovalRating, and you will be kicked out of the region for a couple of decades, which by the time they do let you back in will probably have more problems than before you got the boot. ''[[SarcasmMode Wonderful.]]''
* ''VideoGame/{{Iji}}'' has a unique take on this with the Komato: the council does what the general population wants, and the general population wants genocide. However, much of the council members are [[PunchClockVillain Punch Clock Villains]], including [[spoiler: the leader of the fleet in charge of finishing the job]], and ''really'' don't want to do it. In other words, the leaders want to be good, but they also need to maintain an arguably evil reputation.
* In ''VisualNovel/HatofulBoyfriend'' the reputation of the noble Le Bel family is neither heroic nor villainous, though like a good noble Sakuya would argue that it transcends heroism. It's basically all about ostentatious presentation, general nobility, and high, expensive quality. In ''Holiday Star'', Yuuya and several other characters are able to manipulate him by bringing this up. Hiyoko gets him to try a kind of cafeteria food just by talking about its supposed aristocratic appeal.
* Teru of ''TokimekiMemorial Girl's Side 2'' practically has a SplitPersonality due to this trope. He's very curt and snappy to the heroine, but if she reminds him that ''other people'' are watching, he immediately [[SugarAndIcePersonality switches from Ice to Sugar]] so fast it'll make your head spin.
* ''Franchise/RatchetAndClank'': Captain Qwark was initially a VillainWithGoodPublicity who only cared about getting fame and recognition. As of the third game, he's more moral, but still enjoys his publicity.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Webcomics}}]]
* Khrima in ''Webcomic/{{Adventurers}}'' wants to be seen as an evil supervillain because EvilIsCool. [[http://www.adventurers-comic.com/d/0089.html He is hypocritical about his devotion to evilness, though.]]
* In ''Webcomic/FriendlyHostility'', Colin's job as a model is going to cause trouble for him when he becomes a dictator. Apparently, it's hard to consider someone a fearsome tyrant when there are photos of them smiling and playing volleyball being distributed by the resistance.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WebOriginal]]
* In the ''GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'', this is the open reason why the White Legion, the official hero team of the Ku Klux Klan, does what it does: to generate some good PR for the Klan. And these guys aren't villains in hero's clothing, either. If it weren't for their vile opinions on racial supremacy and the place non-Whites should have in society, they’d be true-blue, noble heroes. They don’t even hesitate to help non-Whites, as they see such actions as “setting a good example for lesser peoples”. Nevertheless, they are '''''not''''' looked on too favorably by anyone but racists and neo-nazi white supremacists, even when they do good deeds like rescuing over 300 flood victims during the worst of the New Orleans/Hurricane Katrina debacle.
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', the PRT (which is in charge of the Wards and the Protectorate -- the youth and adult government superhero teams) has the Image department, which cares about this and nothing else. [[http://parahumans.wordpress.com/2013/05/25/drone-23-1/ Chapter 23.1]] introduces Glenn Chambers, head of Image.
-->'''Hoyden:''' All Glenn cares about is the image, the PR. Up to you to figure out how to hold yourself like a 'lady' while you're dealing with street thugs with guns.
** [[spoiler:In more than one way, as it turns out: Glenn has HiddenDepths, knowing just how insane Tagg, the GeneralRipper Director of the PRT is, and he really wants to help Taylor get rid of him and finally clean the PRT's corrupt command structure...and to do that, she needs the PR behind her, something [[HorrifyingHero she]] [[AntiHero has]] [[VillainProtagonist trouble]] [[NightmareFuelStationAttendant with]].]][[/folder]]

[[folder:WesternAnimation]]
* Shego of ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', a FallenHero, is very much a CardCarryingVillain. In one episode, Kim threatened to expose her heroic past in order to coerce her into an EnemyMine, and Drakken infuriated her by suggesting that she was too "soft" to betray her brothers.
** In another episode, Shego was [[MirrorMoralityMachine temporarily turned good]]. After wistfully looking at [[PhotoBoothMontage pictures of her and Kim]] from their brief friendship, she heard Drakken coming and [[BurnBabyBurn destroys the pictures]] before he can see them.
* The ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' and ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' clash over this issue in the episode when the American government won't believe someone hijacked their KillSat. Green Lantern at first suggests they let them think what they want to think and continue doing their job ("We're not here to be liked."), but Wonder Woman convinces them they need the people to have faith in them and turn themselves in until their [[ClearMyName names have been legally cleared]]. They ask Batman, the original AntiHero, to join them, but he unhesitatingly rejects such a plan and instead works to find the real culprit. As it turns out, it appears that having both options working in tandem was the best thing to do; the League gained credibility that they were being responsible, while Batman, who had a reputation as a loose-cannon anyway, was able to convince Amanda Waller of the truth.
** A lot of the Cadmus arc was about this. To begin with, one of the reasons Cadmus exists in the first place is because of the negative PR superheroes gained when, firstly, ''Comicbook/{{Superman}}'' was [[BrainwashedAndCrazy brainwashed]] by [[BigBad Darkseid]], and secondly when [[spoiler: Justice Leaguer Hawkgirl was revealed to be TheMole for an alien invasion]]. Later on, after discovering Lex Luthor is behind the GovernmentConspiracy, the Question attempts to kill Luthor, knowing his public image as a "crackpot" will keep the League from being seen as part of the murder.
* Aang of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' allows himself to be thrown into prison when an UntrustingCommunity accuses his past life of murder. Katara tries to reason that he can't sit in jail while he has a world to save, and Sokka points out there's a whole nation of Firebenders who hate him, so what's one little town? But Aang believes he can't do his job as the Avatar with people thinking he's a murderer and has Katara and Sokka spend the episode [[ClearMyName clearing his name]]. It looks like he would have been perfectly willing to accept their death sentence if they hadn't come under attack, putting PR even above the very ''duty'' that makes him TheChosenOne.
** Naturally, Prince Zuko would have the [[InvertedTrope exact opposite experience]] in his [[ADayInTheLimelight Day In The Limelight]]. Like the classic Western AntiHero, he saves a child and a town from a gang of tyrannical "protectors," with their cheers and support, until he reveals he's a Firebender, not to mention the heir to the Fire Nation throne. The townspeople watch him leave with scowls and pitchforks and not the least bit of gratitude, and he doesn't say a single word in his defense.
** The importance of PR or "honor" to Aang is brought up again in the season 3 episode "The Awakening" when [[spoiler:the world believing that he's dead and has failed in his mission AGAIN]] causes an onset of [[FanNickname Aangst]].
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'': Mojo Jojo threatens to drop TheProfessor into a LavaPit unless Blossom vows to serve him (and KneelBeforeZod).
-->'''Blossom''': How do you know I won't lie?
-->'''Mojo Jojo''': Because you're Blossom.
-->'''Blossom''': Shoot.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan'''s L. Thompson Lincoln, aka [[EvilAlbino Tombstone]], aka The Big Man (maybe), is the crime lord of New York, but had a charitable public image to maintain. To the point where when he and the other two potential criminal rulers of the city had a meeting and a quick agreement to stop fighting just long enough to kill Spidey, [[spoiler: he turned against them and saved the wall-crawler]] because he couldn't be seen consorting with those two. [[spoiler:Of course, the moment they were out of sight...]]
* ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'', tired of his AntiHero persona, became a [[KnightInShiningArmor nice, public hero.]] [[EvilCounterpart Negaduck]], sick of Darkwing's newfound fame, realized Darkwing couldn't effectively fight crime like this and went on a rampage. Darkwing finally gives it up and [[LetsGetDangerous reverts to his unpopular, but badass self.]]
* It turns out [[PhysicalGoddess Princess Celestia]] from ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' absolutely ''hates'' having to attend the boring Grand Galloping Gala year after year, but she does since her subjects expect their ruler to attend.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:RealLife]]
* Politics, Dating, Sports.... Even in the real life, a good reputation is really important. However, we don't want examples, partly [[RuleofCautiousEditingJudgment it would only be asking for trouble]] and partly because we don't want this section to be larger than the rest of the wiki.
* Pretty much why [[TurnTheOtherCheek Nonviolent Resistance]] and protests works today in the modern era thanks to press being widely available where its most important for governments and other organizations to protect their image and reputation.
* This is actually what the concept of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor honor]] used to mean, and what it still means in many cultures.
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