Humiliation Conga / Real Life

  • This was done to a real-life scammer looking for a Powerbook.
    • Jerking scammers' chains is a subtrope in itself, called "scambaiting." It has an entire internet subculture revolving around it. Here's a summary of what one group is doing.
  • After a woman he'd taken drugs and spent the night with revealed herself to be a prostitute, selling her story to the tabloids, Angus Deayton — the very snarky host of satirical British panel show Have I Got News for You — was put through one of these by team captains and series regulars Ian Hislop and Paul Merton. Hislop brought in copies of the tabloid that the story had broken in and liberally quoted from it. Merton went one better and came in wearing a t-shirt with the front page of the tabloid printed on it. By the next series, after more and more guests on the show began to bring up the scandal, Deayton's positon became untenable and he was forced to leave.
    • Averted slightly in that he took it all so graciously well, by the end of the show, the audience were more sympathetic than laughing.
    • Even further averted in that it later showed that more than two thirds of viewers supported him continuing as presenter in a poll....on the BBC site itself.
  • Voltaire once wrote a paper making fun of a French noble, so the noble once called him out of the house for a private meeting at night. The noble's guards started beating him while the noble watched. When he went back to his house and told everyone what happened, his guests all mocked him. When he challenged the noble to a duel to the death, he was thrown in prison.
  • People often forget that between the 14th and the end of the 17th century, Poland (then an empire with Lithuania) was pretty badass considering they won in conflicts with Prussia, Sweden, Russia, Ottomans etc. Then the 18th century rolled around and Poland has earned a reputation of being the country that everyone invades when the country exists at all. This latter stereotype is pretty much the only thing anybody remembers.
  • This was done to Germany after World War I: They were forced to accept the very humiliating Treaty of Versailles. And look how that turned out. It's worth mentioning however that this was still preferable to those the Austrians and Ottomans had to accept (the Treaties of Saint-Germain and Trianon and the Treaties of Sèvres and Lausanne respectively), which completely abolished and dissected their former empires, and some historians argue that it actually resulted in Germany being in a stronger strategic position than before the war.note  Germany's own aims towards its enemies during the war was also much harsher than anything imposed on them by Versailles, as evidenced by the kind of peace they imposed upon the Russians at Brest-Litovsk. The Versailles Treaty that eventually resulted was essentially a compromise between French revanchism (get back Alsace-Lorraine and remove Germany as a Great Power), British pragmatism (impose hard peace terms but otherwise maintain the balance of power), and American idealism (Wilson's Fourteen Points and the principle of self-determination).
    • Not so much for the Turks and the Treaty of Lausanne. The Turks were already close to throwing the "Young Turks" who had been ruling the Ottoman Empire out on their butts when WWI happened. Led by Mustafa Kemal, the man now known as Ataturk, they revolted against the Treaty of Sèvres, fought a war against the Greeks AND a civil war against the Young Turks, took control of the country, and negotiated the Treaty of Lausanne to reverse many of the losses in the Treaty of Sèvres—taking back 3/4ths of Anatolia as well as Istanbul—and establish Turkey as the successor state to the Ottoman Empire.
    • The Germans themselves inflicted a humiliation conga on Russia with the Treaty Of Brest-Litovsk.
  • Many years later, a different set of Germans (the soccer team) got a literal Humiliation Conga after losing the European Championship of 2008 to Spain.
  • The Spanish themselves in 1898. What started as a messy little insurrection in Cuba got much, much worse after the U.S. battleship Maine mysteriously blew up. This led to an astonishingly quick curbstomping by the United States - a country that hadn't been involved in the conflict in the first place, and that hadn't fought a full-scale war in over a generation and whose armed forces were seemingly woefully unprepared for any kind of mobilization. But there's more: as a result of the loss, Spain lost its entire overseas empire (well, except for two very small colonies in Morocco and Equatorial Guinea) at a time in history when overseas colonies were the most visible measure of a European country's might.
    • This was actually a culmination of an even longer conga that had begun centuries earlier. Starting with the defeat of its "Invincible Armada" by the English in 1588, the Spanish Empire gradually declined from the supreme imperial power of Europe to a virtual nonentity that most other countries either ignored or exploited. Its army, formerly regarded as an undefeatable juggernaut, would be gradually worn down over the course of the Thirty Years War. Unable to reassert control over revolting Dutch provinces, with its reputation for invincibility repeatedly shattered by the Dutch, Swedish, and French, it was a shadow of its former self by the end of the 17th century.
  • Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII. Pope St. Gregory VII. The Walk to Canossa. Inverted when the emperor returned to the country. His enemies had the support of the Pope but ultimately lost the civil war. Henry then invaded Rome and changed the Pope.
  • Denmark in the year 1814. In January, Sweden, with the support of Hanoverian troops, and the political support of everybody else, invaded Jutland and had them handing over Norway at gunpoint. Later that same spring, Sweden gradually understood that Norway was less than interested in joining them in a union or actually becoming a Swedish province. Then, Sweden mustered embassies from the greater powers: Russia, Prussia, Austria and a reluctant British Empire. They went to Denmark and harassed the Danish government for weeks because Norway didn't comply. In the middle of May, the Danish government felt humiliated to a point where the Danish prime minister almost begged for a Swedish invasion just to end their misery.
  • China went through this for a good chunk of the 19th and 20th centuries, going from one of the world's most eminent empires to a collection of fragmented provinces in less than a hundred years. After losing the First Opium War, China (under the Qing Dynasty) would be pressured by European powers (and later, the United States and Japan) into giving up territory, the right to impose tariffs, and legal jurisdiction over foreigners. This led to the outbreak of several bloody insurrections, the most serious of which was the Taiping Rebellion, which led to a low estimate of twenty million deaths, and the devastation of China's most prosperous regions. Despite attempts to modernize its forces, subsequent conflicts with Europeans were just as ridiculously one-sided, incurring enormous reparations that crippled its already-battered economy. It would be further humiliated when Imperial Japan, a former tributary that had successfully modernized itself along Western lines, utterly crushed the Qing in the First Sino-Japanese War, extracting yet more concessions and reparations, along with dominion over Korea. After supporting the failed Boxer Rebellion, the Qing Dynasty would be ended in 1911 by the Xinhai Revolution, which intended to turn China into a modern republic. However, the revolution failed when Yuan Shikai, one of its most significant backers, reneged on his support, attempting to establish his own dynasty. Unpopular decisions (including crowning himself "Emperor") not only forced Yuan's retirement, but also led to the fragmentation of China into at least two rival governments in the north and south, with several other regions ruled by warlords. The southern government (known as the Guomindang or Nationalist Government) would only be partially successful in reasserting control over the country in the 1920's and 1930's; it then fought the Japanese in the Second Sino-Japanese War, which led to the second highest number of civilian deaths sustained by any belligerent in that period.
    • After the war, the Nationalists would be subjected to further humiliation in the Chinese Civil War, which saw them utterly defeated by the Chinese Communist Party and largely confined to the island of Formosa, now Taiwan. In the 1970's, they were stripped of recognition as the legal representative of China by the UN, not only losing their seat on the Security Council, but also diplomatic recognition as a country in their own right. Meanwhile, Big Red China got their permanent Security Council seat.
    • Pu Yi, the last crowned emperor of China, was this trope, minus the villainous bit triggering it. The time he spent as a glorified puppet under constant threat of death was the high point of his life; it went down when Mao Zedong seized the country and made him a gardener in the royal gardens, toiling in the gardens he used to own.
  • In the space of about two weeks in late October/early November 2009 Scientology had to deal with being sued for fraud in France, the bizarre suicide of one of their members (who somehow managed to hang and electrocute himself), the defection of Academy Award-winning director Paul Haggis (complete with scathing letter: "How can you say disconnection isn't real when that's what you made my wife do one year ago?"), and the third big expose from The St. Petersburg Times. At least one anon gleefully proclaimed it Scientology's "Hell Week(s)".
  • Tiger Woods. If he hadn't crashed into that tree, no one would (probably) know about his mistress 3 7 10 19 affairs and his wife and big sponsors wouldn't have left him and his momma wouldn't be so disappointed in him. Naturally, the millions of dollars, millions of fans, and untarnished golfing skills are no small consolation. Still, for a sports figure known for controlling the minutiae of his public image, it was a hell of a way to spend Thanksgiving. Arguably, he has yet to fully recover, both in terms of public image and golfing performance.
  • Bernie Madoff (pronounced Made-off), the perpetrator of the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, is undergoing one of these. Not only was he caught, but all of his possessions are being sold to the people he scammed, he was thrown in prison for 150 years, David Letterman has made a Running Gag of a countdown clock until his sentence ends, and his daughter-in-law is changing her name so that she can't be associated with him.
    • And it looks like he got the crap beaten out of him in prison by a con who may have been an angry investor.
      • And his son committed suicide, apparently out of not being able to deal with the shame that the incident brought his family.
  • This laptop thief - A unnamed thief stole the laptop of a university student called Mark Bao. Unfortunately for him, Bao was able to use automated backing-up software to see what programs and websites the thief was using. Since these included Facebook, he was able to report the thief to the police and get him arrested - but he didn't stop there. He found a video the thief had made of himself doing exceptionally bad dancing and uploaded it onto Youtube. It's now received over 2 million views.
  • John Howard, one of the longest-serving Australian Prime Ministers, not only lost the 2007 election in a landslide, but he lost his own seat as well, only the second PM ever to lose both in the same election in Australian history.
    • And just recently someone threw a shoe at him.
    • Other Prime Ministers who have lost their own seats during a dramatic defeat include Stanley Bruce (Australia, 1929), Arthur Balfour (UK, 1906note ), Arthur Meighen (Canada, 1921) and Kim Campbell (Canada, 1993).
      • Speaking of whom, Kim Campbell has the distinction of being both Canada's first female prime minister and one of its shortest serving ones as well. She didn't even last one year before her party's defeat in the November elections effectively threw her out of politics altogether.
      • The PCP defeat in the 1993 Canadian general elections (Kim Campbell's party) is an epic episode for this trope: it went from the majority party in the Parliament to having just TWO seats after the election. Not long afterwards, the PCs merged with the Canadian Alliance (whose decision to break away from the P Cs to create their own party helped bring about their defeat), forming what is now the Conservative Party of Canada.
  • One of the hardest falls from grace in MMA appears to be one Chael Sonnen — who in the span of mere months went from UFC middleweight challenger, and "hero" to the champion's Hatedom and candidate for Oregon state representative, to dropping his candidacy due to a real estate legal matter, becoming known as a choke artist (tapping to a triangle armbar with two minutes to go), suspended for failing a drug test (due to elevated testosterone levels), using "late puberty due to defective testicles" as an excuse at his suspension appeal hearing, being directly contradicted by the Nevada State Athletic Commission's athletic director (who stated that he'd never approved Sonnen's "testosterone replacement therapy"), and most recently that "real estate legal matter" turning out to be money laundering related mortgage fraud, for which he pled guilty at the beginning of 2011.
  • 2011 playoffs for Vancouver, a Curbstomp match on home ice followed by a riot which tarnishes their reputation on ice and the city? Nothing more humiliating than that. The worst part? This isn't the first time Vancouver has followed a Stanley Cup loss with a riot, so they didn't learn from their last Conga, though the game 7 loss in 1994 was in New York, not Vancouver.
    • The fact it was a curbstomp battle at home ice was extremely embarassing, if someone had found a Canuck, they would have made an example of them and some "advice" on improvement or just leave altogether.
    • The entire Vancouver 2011 playoff run was made of this trope. After leading 3 games to none to archnemesis Chicago, they gave up 16 goals in the next 3 games, and barely avoided losing to Chicago in the playoffs for the third year in a row and being the 4th team to lose a series after a 3-0 lead. The series against the Preds and Sharks went fairly smoothly, but things went downhill in the Finals. Coming in with home ice advantage and being favored, they barely squeaked out 3 wins at home; in the 3 games in Boston, Roberto Luongo was infamously awful in net, giving up 15 goals in 3 games, despite their backup Cory Schneider playing more then well enough to win. The 4-0 loss at home was nothing compared to their Game 3 disaster; after holding the Bruins in a scoreless tie for one period, they gave up a goal 11 seconds into the second period in what was ultimately an 8-1 loss.
    • Now downgraded to a Trauma Conga Line with not one but two ex-Canucks deaths.
  • In the Great Patriotic War, the Soviet Union thoroughly beat Nazi Germany in Operation Bagration, but the other Allies were initially skeptical of the Soviet success. So the Soviets implemented Operation Grand Waltz, a literal Humiliation Conga in which they took thousands of captured enemy officers and soldiers and forced them to march down the streets of Moscow. The officers wore their dress uniforms with all their medals, while the soldiers were not allowed to shave. At the tail of the parade was a row of trucks spraying water on the streets to "wash off the trace of Fascism." This Romanesque triumphal parade of captured enemies showed the Allies just how good the Soviets were, and demoralized the Nazis.
  • Former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The rebel forces tracked him to his home town of Sirte where he had gone to make a defiant last stand. After his forces were defeated, the rebels found him hiding in a sewer. They savagely beat him, tore the shirt off his back, dragged him half-naked and half-conscious across the ground, sodomized him with a knife, and threw him in the back of a truck before driving into the centre of the village. There, he was subjected to further public humiliation and either shot (rumor has it, with his own pistol) or left to die.
  • Oracle vs. Google over Java In Android. Oracle went into the court-room paying off PR reps to tout a 6-billion dollar payout from Google, and also trying to claim that Application Programming Interfaces were capable of being copyrighted. Things didn't really go Oracle's way from the start, with several of their patents getting thrown out as invalid by the patent office; another patent invalidated after the trial started; and the "Oracle Expert Damages Report" getting thrown out not once, but twice, and a third damage report accepted provided Oracle paid Google's legal expenses. As the Trial Ended, the Humiliation Conga started. Not only did Oracle lose on all points of the trial other than statutory damages over 9 lines of code that were never actually shipped in Android... The Judge also called an "Expert Witness" on Oracle's behalf out and opened the door for possible perjury charges. So, lost case, no money, no reward, no confirmation that APIs cannot be copyrighted. Complete and total Epic Fail... And then... oh yes... it got worse for Oracle. Oracle now has to pay Google's legal fees... which... is more money than $300,000 Oracle might gain on Statutory damages... if Oracle could actually prove damages. However, there won't be a damages phase to the trial, so Oracle won't be getting any money.
  • Poor Tom Cruise didn't have a good summer in 2012: His movie Rock of Ages flopped (after the huge success of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol); his wife divorced him and sought sole custody of their daughter; one of his former directors was nice enough to pre-screen a movie he made that may or may not be a thinly-disguised take on his religion's founder and his second-in-command/ current leader (Tom was not pleased), and he turned fifty.
  • Nickelodeon seems to be going through one up to eleven lately. First, Nielsen says they're losing a lot of viewers to Disney. Around the same time, a group of parents protest Nick Jr's removal of Moose A. Moose, switching to other channels and making Nick lose more viewers. Later, DirecTV takes off Nick along with Viacom's other channels (which are also doing bad) due to a dispute, resulting in a 33% loss in viewers. Then, Nick Jr. adds an adult block called NickMom, leading to further parents complaining. They're also getting flack for apparently copying other parent's blogs. Oh, and don't even get us started on Nick Studio 10. This isn't really Nick's best year.
  • Paramount is going through one as now. Since 2016, the company's movies have been critically and commercially bombing on regular basis. In 2016, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows and the Ben-Hur remake bombed, causing Paramount to lose $450 million and leading to the resignation of then-CEO Brad Grey. 2017 wasn't any better with Monster Trucks, Ghost in the Shell, and Baywatch all failing to meet box office expectationsnote . Even its reliable money-making Transformers has been sputtering with Transformers: The Last Knight estimated to earn only $625 million worldwide when previous entries earned well above 700 million worldwide (the high budget cost of $217 million was extra salt in the wound). Needless to say, the company has been going through a rough patch lately.
  • NBC is going through one as well. The network, which already endured one humiliation conga back in The '70s thanks to a combination of Pink Lady and Jeff, Supertrain, the '80-'81 season of Saturday Night Live and a boycott of the 1980 Olympics by the US team (leaving Americans with no one to root for and no reason to watch), had recovered during The '80s and The '90s, but ever since the end of such famous hits as Friends and ER, their ratings have slipped and they have made come colossally bad decisions:
    • Faced with falling ratings and rising costs, they made the (utterly stupid in hindsight) decision to make The Jay Leno Show, a show that people actively cheered to fail (since they were afraid that if it was successful, it might encourage other networks to cut back on programming for reality shows.) It did, and Leno was pushed back to his former timeslot, enraging fans of Conan O'Brien in the process.
    • Their bungling of their 2010 and 2012 Olympic coverage, deciding to air major events on a tape delay to air in prime time in an era when Twitter and online news gives results immediately (the Vancouver games in '10 were especially infuriating since they placed a 3-hour delay on the West Coast despite the event being in their time zone). This has added even more criticism on the network.
      • The Olympic coverage issue may be a case of Mis-blamed, though, especially when they're taking place in far other time zones like in 2012. What many never realize is that Olympic coverage is very expensive to produce, so NBC must maximize its revenue potential, and bottom line is advertisers will always pay top dollar for prime time coverage because that's when people mostly tune in. So unless the majority of America proves it absolutely will drop everything and watch live coverage of the track and field events at 2 PM Eastern Time (because like it or not, no Olympic committee will schedule its biggest events at 2 AM local time so the Eaglelanders can watch it live in prime time), NBC has no choice but to air tape delay events or take a ginormous bath in their production. This, however, still leaves NBC in a case of "damned if they do, damned if they don't." Bad press or lack of revenue, the network is taking yet another hit alongside their many other problems.
    • Their daytime programming, one of the few guaranteed victories they had, has disappeared. No matter what their rivals did, Today was pretty much guaranteed to be the number one show in the mornings. However, thanks to the backstage politics that resulted in Ann Curry getting unceremoniously dumped, they lost the #1 position to Good Morning America.
    • Their scripted series are also falling apart. They're slowly losing their few hits, with The Office and 30 Rock both ending; and one of their few reliable standbys, The Voice, is returning with two judges replaced (Christina Aguilera and Cee-Lo Green are taking a season off, to be replaced with Shakira and Usher). Backstage issues forced a retool of Community; and Christina Applegate's announcement she's leaving Up All Night (which is also being reformatted into a more traditional 3-camera show) is seen as deserting a sinking ship. The network put a lot of hope into Smash, however the expensive-to-produce show (the pilot alone cost over $7.5 million) slowly imploded, and they recently endured one of the worst ratings disasters in television history with Do No Harm.
    • While ratings for NBC's news programs had mostly recovered by 2017, the sole exception was Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly. The hire of Kelly drew criticism before the show's debut, largely over her background with Fox News. But things erupted when she interviewed Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones, drawing condemnation from families of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting, which Jones infamously claimed was a False Flag Operation. The interview had to be hastily re-edited to include responses from the families. Sunday Night was met with negative reviews, routinely got clobbered in the ratings (losing even to repeats of 60 Minutes), and seemed to attract only older audiences - which was Kelly's average audience at Fox, but not the TV industry's target demographic. It was soon announced that Sunday Night would go on hiatus and return after the 2018 Winter Olympics.
  • 2014 Michigan Football was this trope in spades. After a promising blowout over Appalachian State in the season opener, they proceed to get shutout by Notre Dame (in the last game of the rivalry), lose Rutgers and Maryland who were in their first year in the Big Ten, and get crushed by rival Michigan State. Needing to beat archrival Ohio State to reach a bowl game, they start the game promisingly but end up with a humiliating defeat. They finished 5-7, all while watching Ohio State go 14-1 and capture the first FBS Playoff Championship and Michigan State finish 11-2 and fifth in the rankings.
  • Poor Lance Armstrong. After constantly trying to fight the allegations of steroid use, he finally gave up. In short order, he lost all of his Tour de France titles, his sponsorships with various companies, his cancer-survivor charity program, LiveStrong and he is being sued up the yahoo by many people for his lying, and the episode where he guest starred in Arthur was banned because PBS refuses to support him any longer.
  • This seems to be the new "spanking" for parents with disobedient/troublesome children. A lot of news stories recently have been about parents giving their children signs that tell anyone that reads them their crimes (stealing, being disrespectful, etc.) and forcing them to stand on the side of the road in full view of traffic.
  • This happened to German pop duo Milli Vanilli after their manager confessed that they didn't do their own singing and they were lip syncing. Not only were they stripped of their Grammy Award, but they were also slapped with numerous lawsuits, and they became the butt of jokes of stand-up comedians everywhere. They wouldn't make news again until 1998 when Rob Pilatus was found dead of a suspected drug and alcohol overdose.
  • Elizabeth Holmes was a rising star - a woman who dropped out of college to found a biotech firm that could analyze blood with a pinprick, becoming a billionaire at the age of 30. She graced the covers of Fortune, Forbes and even Time. She loved to wear black turtleneck sweaters as a Shout-Out to her mentor Steve Jobs. She was valued at $4.5 billion. Then it all came crashing down:
    1. The FDA looked into the 2012 US Defense Department tests of her company's devices. Their findings? Containers for blood collection were "not validated under actual or simulated use conditions" and "were not reviewed and not approved by designated individual(s) prior to issuance"
    2. Theranos, the company she founded, had the effectiveness of their devices questioned by The Wall Street Journal in October 2015. They reported that Theranos used other companies' machines to test blood and that the machines Theranos made might give inaccurate results.
    3. In 2016, the Arizona Department of Health gave the company such a bad review that Walgreens and Capital Blue Cross severed ties with Theranos' Arizona lab. The lab closed the following year, with the company refunding $4.65 million for false advertising in the state.
    4. Employee Tyler Shultz became a whistleblower, exposing defects with Theranos' machines to the Journal and the State of New York.
    5. Per The Other Wiki: "Other reported ongoing actions include civil and criminal investigations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California, an unspecified FBI investigation, and two class action fraud lawsuits." and "Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services banned Holmes from owning, operating, or directing a diagnostic lab for a period of two years."
    6. Due to issues with the company's finances, Forbes revised Holmes's net worth: "From $4.5 Billion to Nothing". Not Riches to Rags, as she still has assets outside of Theranos, but it's still quite a fall from grace.
  • This was on full display in the Quebec provincial election of 2014. Extremely confident of securing a majority, Parti québécois leader Pauline Marois called an election a mere 19 months into her first term as Premier — the shortest term in provincial history. A few days later, she brought in media mogul Pierre-Karl Peladeau to run in Saint-Jerome (he won the riding) — and with his little fist pump and make-Quebec-a-country proclamation, the Disaster Dominoes began:
    1. Liberal leader Philippe Couillard’s side scored 70 seats, including his own (Roberval, previously a PQ bastion), making him the first newcomer in nearly a century to become Premier.
    2. Many of the star candidates also failed to win their seats, leaving the PQ with 30. Marois was among the losers, to Liberal opponent Caroline Simard.
    3. The PQ did not run a candidate in La Piniere, where Fatima Houda-Pepin decided to run as an independent. They were banking on her returning as a Liberal ghost to haunt Couillard in the new government. The Liberal opponent won.
    4. Couillard’s predecessor Jean Charest ran and lost the 2012 election in the Sherbrooke seat; it went back to the Liberals.
    5. Two other parties, in serious danger of extinction mere weeks ago, actually increased their riding count. Each claimed one former PQ seat on the island of Montreal.
    6. At some 25 percent, the PQ recorded their lowest vote share since 1970. Before Marois had the chance to announce her resignation, three other candidates were already jockeying for the party reins.
    7. The Charbonneau Commission, which suspended operations for the duration of the campaign, returned the very next morning. The issue: electoral palm-greasing. It became the only element Marois (and most party leaders between 1997 and the time of the election) have averted.
  • Robin (son of Alan) Thicke, best known for the Unfortunate Implications-laden summer hit "Blurred Lines" (one of the top songs of 2013). Despite the massive popularity of the song, he drew a lot of criticism for its chauvinistic, date-rapey lyrics. After that, Disaster Dominoes set in with these events:
    • He was criticized along with Miley Cyrus for the infamous performance at 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.
    • His wife Paula Patton divorced him.
    • He recorded a new album Paula in a bid to win back her affection which many saw as creepier than "Lines" and a classic example of Not Helping Your Case.
    • There was an extremely awkward performance at the BET Awards.
    • A Twitter Q&A went horribly wrong as users hijacked it to accuse Thicke of misogyny.
    • The sales of Paula were underwhelming stateside, with 27,000 copies sold barely propelling it into the top 10. But sales worldwide were absurdly worse, with 530 copies sold in Britain and less than 54 copies in Australia. A far cry from his previous album, also entitled Blurred Lines which topped the charts in various countries.
    • He was forced to admit in a court deposition that he hadn't even written "Blurred Lines" since he was high on Vicodin at the time (and apparently for much of that summer in general, which possibly explains several of the other points on this list) and instead almost all of it was written by Pharrell Williamsnote . Worse, he only had to do this because he filed a lawsuit in an effort to protect "Blurred Lines" against claims of being a rip-off of "Got To Get It Up" by Marvin Gaye, which many interpreted as a Suspiciously Specific Denial, and then in response the family of Gaye counter-sued him and won (at least for the first round), making it a classic Hoist by His Own Petard scenario.
  • Brazil hosted the 2014 FIFA World Cup with great hopes, as it's the biggest winner (five titles) playing at home with a good team. The knockout stages were a Serial Escalation of suffering:
    • Round of 16: after 120 minutes of tough play against usual punching bag Chile, including a last-second Chilean kick that hit the goalpost, victory on the penalty shootouts.
    • Quarterfinals: despite defeating Colombia, which had been an Ensemble Darkhorse that far, lost both captain Thiago Silva for yellow card accumulation, and striker Neymar with a broken vertebra caused by a flying knee on the back.
    • Semifinal: The two absences lead Germany to destroy Brazil 7-1. With the first 5 goals in a space of 18 minutes - the second making Miroslav Klose surpass a Brazilian, Ronaldo, as the World Cup's top scorer ever, and the fifth leading the Germans to surpass Brazil as the team with the most goals in World Cup history. It also marked Brazil's first defeat at home since 1975, as well as their worst defeat ever, and the worst loss by a host, a semifinalist, and a former world champion.
    • The other semifinal: Arch-Enemy Argentina, whose supporters even spent the whole tournament singing a diss chant on the Brazilians, wins on penalties to reach the final.
    • Third place match: the Netherlands beat Brazil 3-0. More negative records ensue (worst Brazilian defense, most goals against by a host, and worst defense in a 32 team tournament).
    • Then the final gave the Brazilians some rest, as Germany beat Argentina.
  • Harmony Gold, distributor of Macross products under the name Robotech in the West, basically keeps finding ways to get humiliated in the court of public opinion. They made considerable money in 80s with the release of Robotech and a handful of spinoffs, but since then have fallen on ugly times of their own making due to their tendency towards excessive litigation.
    • Their reluctance to release new products since 2006 means that they have effectively fallen off the radar of the anime community, resulting in a rapidly diminishing fanbase to court or new fans to bring in.
    • Their aggressive litigousness has also come back to bite them. They tried to take other companies to court over the use of designs based on the various Transforming Mecha of Macross, attempting to sue over intellectual property rights to the images in the West...whereupon Japanese courts revealed that all they actually got was distribution rights. Since Hasbro, FASA, and Piranha Games aren't displaying Macross products, but their own items based on the original designs which they had purchased legally, this means that Harmony Gold managed to invalidate the grounds of its own previous lawsuits. Studio Nue has the power to sue over intellectual property, but have shown no such inclination to do so.
    • Due to negative fanbase reaction to Harmony Gold's legal actions against other popular giant robot franchises like The Transformers and BattleTech, these fanbases tend to shun Harmony Gold products. In the case of the titanic and profitable Transformers fanbase, which otherwise loves robots that transform, this is a painfully large lost market.
    • As a result of all this, profits for Harmony Gold's products have fallen below even that of the BattleTech line, which has since eclipsed the Robotech franchise in public consciousness and profitability, and public opinion of Harmony Gold is extremely poor even among fans of Robotech.
    • Harmony Gold attempted to sue Tatsunoko, the company that granted them the distribution rights to Macross, showing that they were willing to bite even the hand that fed them. This case was promptly shut down in Japanese courts, due in no small part to Tatsunoko pointing out the limits of the rights granted and Harmony Gold not actually having anything to present that would've given them full control over the intellectual property.
    • Harmony Gold recently lost a case against the upcoming Battletech video game and got themselves dismissed with prejudice. They certainly didn't help their case with their an attempt to try and find a Japanese lawyer who would be willing to claim they were given the image rights by Tatsunoko and submitting that as cause, a move that more than a few folks noted could be seen as comically illegal. note  As a result they had to sign binding statements admitting the dismissal, which were quickly shared publicly.
    • As a result of this whole mess, there is also a not-unreasonable suspicion that after their bad behavior towards Tatusnoko (see above) that they will lose the rights to Macross distribution in the West after their contract expires in 2021, costing them one of their anime distribution staples.
  • Scott Brown was thought to be an up-and-coming GOP star after his surprise win in 2010 of Senator Edward Kennedy's former seat, an upset in a traditionally Democratic stronghold, but as time went on it looked like this was a fluke more than anything when in Washington he was thought to be too conservative by Democrats (especially by those in his home state who began to regret voting for him almost immediately) and too liberal by Republicans and drew the ire of Tea Party activists who saw him as a traitor to the conservative cause for breaking rank with them on several issues. He lost his seat only two years laternote  to Elizabeth Warren, and then in 2014 tried his luck at another Senate seat in Massachusetts' northern neighbor New Hampshire, only to lose again to incumbent Jeanne Shaheen, who barely had to do anything as he made it clear he knew very little about the state he wanted to represent with a series of embarrassing gaffes, which alienated residents of the state who saw his campaign as a blatant attempt to use them as a backdoor to get back into the Senate after losing Mass. In addition, this was a year when the GOP won basically every other swing seat to retake the Senate majority, making Brown's defeat even more of an outlier. The end result made him the first man in history to lose two Senate races in a row to a woman, and after this the once rising star's future in politics is extremely uncertain. He then went on to serve as an on-air commentator for Fox News and ended up being named in a suit alleging sexual harassment that has left his future with the channel in doubt after a similar suit ousted CEO Roger Ailes.
  • On February 2, 2015, the Washington Post published a story announcing that Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock had redecorated his Capitol Hill office to resemble the Red Room from Downton Abbey. It quickly went memetic, but also set off a chain of Disaster Dominoes that later led the Post to declare that Schock had had "the worst week in Congress":
    • Several pundits accused Schock of hypocrisy, pointing out that he had voted to cut government funding for PBS, which broadcasts Downton Abbey in the United States.
    • A watchdog group asked the House Ethics Committee to investigate whether he had accepted the design work as a gift, which would have been against Congressional rules. Schock then claimed that he was going to pay the designer, but hadn't received an invoice yet.
    • Think Progress reported that his press secretary had made several Facebook posts comparing black people to "zoo animals". Said press secretary then resigned.
    • And then it came out that a month before the 2012 election, Schock had sold his house to a GOP donor for a massively inflated value, possibly to skirt campaign finance regulations.
    • Politico then revealed that he'd billed the federal government and his campaign for reimbursement for 170,000 miles he'd put on his personal car between January 2010 and July 2014. But when he sold that car, the odometer only read 80,000 — meaning he'd been "reimbursed" for double the actual miles he'd driven.
    • To top it off, Schock resigned from his position on March 17th.
  • 2015 saw Washington's NBA and NHL teams reaching the conference semifinals... and both falling in heartbreaking ways. The Capitals built up a 3-1 lead on Arch-Enemy New York Rangers. The Wizards managed to get 1-0 and 2-1 leads on the Atlanta Hawks, who had the Eastern Conference's top record. And then...
    • May 8: Rangers beat the Capitals on overtime in New York, forcing game 6.
    • May 10-11: Rangers and Hawks beat the DC teams at their stadium, the Verizon Center.
    • May 13: Both Washington teams on the road. The Hawks score a basket with 2 seconds left to beat the Wizards by one point. Ten minutes later, the Caps' game 7 ends with the Rangers scoring on overtime.
    • May 15: The Hawks eliminate the Wizards on the Verizon Center, with Paul Pierce's game tying, series saving, last second three point shot waved off because he didn't get it off before the buzzer.
  • 2014 saw Iggy Azalea sitting on top of the world with her smash hit "Fancy" with Charli XCX. Then things started falling apart very quickly.
    • Following up "Fancy" with the awful "Black Widow" ft. Rita Ora, which ended up on many "Worst Song of 2014" lists.
    • Being accused of misappropriating black culture i.e. a 'white chick pretending to be black'.
    • Continuing with the accusations of cultural appropriation, a video circulated on the Internet of her on stage performing a barely intelligible freestyle, later revealed to be lyrics stolen from a Kendrick Lamar song.
    • Her "Great Escape" tour was canceled when she couldn't secure an opening act. note 
    • Cancelling a gig at the Pittsburgh Pride Festival after her history of offensive and homophobic tweets was discovered.
    • Having a petition launched to strip her of a Billboard Music Award.
    • "Pretty Girls" with Britney Spears bombed, peaking at No. 29. Azalea blamed it Spears and a lack of promotion, leading to the two into some epic shade-throwing.
    • Her song "Team" bombing, hitting #42 and falling right off the charts.
  • David Russell Williams was a well-respected Colonel in the Royal Canadian Air Force, considered by his men and superiors to be an exemplary officer. That, however, was before he was investigated for and confessed to multiple burglaries, kidnappings, rapes, and murders over a relatively brief period of no more than three years. After his conviction, the RCAF shredded his commission scroll(which denoted that he was a ranking officer), confiscated and burned his uniform, and cut all his decorations(medals) into pieces. When it was found that a booklet published in 2012 contained a picture with him in the background, all 4,000 copies were recalled and destroyed.
  • Martin Shkreli, the pharmaceutical CEO who attracted worldwide criticism and scorn for hiking up the price of a decades-old drug called Daraprim, which is used to treat toxoplasmosis and mainly given to AIDS patients or others with a weakened immune system, by a whopping 5000%. After rapidly gaining the moniker of the Most Hated Man In America, the Conga set in, showing that this man is, essentially, the real life equivalent of a cartoon supervillain - no matter how many horrible things he does, he always ends up losing in humiliating fashion.
    • He initially responded to the waves of criticism by stating he only wished he'd jacked it up higher. He then backpedaled and cut the price by 50%, but the damage had already been done and that still left the price 2500% higher than before the price hike.
    • Everyone up to and including doctors, The World Health Organization, Congress, and several Presidential candidates (including Bernie Sanders and eventual nominees Hillary Rodham Clinton and Donald Trump) criticized the move, making him possibly the only thing everyone could agree on in the 2016 Presidential Campaign.
    • His attempt to donate $2,700 to Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders in exchange for a meeting blew up in his face when Sanders turned around and donated the money to a Washington health clinic instead and denied Shkreli his sought after meeting.
    • A compounding pharmacy called Imprimis Pharmaceuticals announced that they would be making a new combination medicine that includes the active ingredient in Darapim — and sell it for $1 a pill. They attracted worldwide praise for this move.
    • As further damage control Shkreli then turned to social media and started live streaming his life — which, according the few who bothered to watch it, ranged from skull-numbingly boring to only confirming the criticisms of him being a Manchild.
    • Then, on December 17th Shkreli was arrested by the FBI as part of an investigation into allegedly running a previous biotech firm like a Ponzi scheme and running a hedge fund into the ground. Said firm had previously sued him for $65 million and ousted him. Though unrelated to the drug price hike, this was seen as karma by many many commentators.
    • A day later Turing Pharmaceuticals announced Shkreli had been replaced by a new CEO.
    • Shkreli later picked up an interest in rap music, specifically in ensuring certain albums are released only to him. He picked up Wu-Tang Clan's Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, of which only one copy was sold. After it was revealed that he was the anonymous "private collector" who brought it, he was shortly thereafter put on blast by Ghostface Killah, arrested for security fraud, and hit with a $4.625 million tax lien. And it gets better. After attempting to purchase exclusive rights to Kanye West's Life of Pablo, he was scammed online for over fifteen million dollars.
    • And now Shkreli could be facing even more charges.
    • Shkreli is also having trouble finding jurors who don't already hate him, and even the few people who don't know him think he looks like a snake — in other words, people can't seem to stand his face.
    • And as of August 5, 2017, he's been convicted on three of his fraud charges.
    • On March 9, 2018, he was sentenced to 7 years in prison. Shkreli was visibly crying in court as his verdict was being read. Needless to say, not many people showed sympathy to him.
  • Similar to Martin Shkreli, Mylan N.V. and its CEO Heather Bresch have come under heavy fire after jacking up their prices of their EpiPen auto-injector by 500% over several years after undertaking an aggressive advertising campaign (disguised as a PSA about the dangers of anaphylaxis) and lobbying for a bill to have it stocked in school nurses offices nationwide. It was also discovered that they had actively obstructed competing devices and generics from being approved to assure their monopoly on the market and have made many of the schools that purchased their EpiPens sign an agreement to not purchase any rival products. This has led to the company being lambasted in the media and by lawmakers and resulted in anti-trust and financial investigations being opened against them, along with two lawsuits filed in Ohio and Michigan respectively. Celebrity spokeswoman Sarah Jessica Parker also ended her business relationship with Mylan in disgust at their pricing and blasted them on social media, which in turn caused parents and other food allergy advocates who had once felt supported by Mylan in raising awareness to say they now felt used. It seems drug price hikes are the new way to have your reputation ruined.
  • Poor Aston Villa. Ever since the latter tenure of Randy Lerner's ownership (one year after reknowned manager Martin O'Neill left), they've been on a downward spiral:
    • 2011-2012: Key players Ashley Young and Stewart Downing were bought by bigger teams (Man United and Liverpool, respectively). After Gerard Houllier left, the board hired the highly-unpopular Alex McLeish, who was hated due to formerly managing fierce rivals Birmingham City. After Villa finished in 16th place, McLeish was then fired.
    • 2012-2013: Even after hiring Paul Lambert, Villa remained rooted at the bottom third of the table (nevertheless, they still stayed up). Lerner announces that the club was operating at a £53.9 million loss. The only bright spots were the renaissance of off-form forward Gabby Agbonlahor and the emergence of star striker Christian Benteke.
    • 2013-2014: Villa still struggled in the league despite great play by Benteke and rising star Fabian Delph, and it was put up for sale by Lerner on May 2014 (there were no buyers, though).
    • 2014-2015: Goal-starved Aston Villa only scored 12 times in 25 games, in part due to Andi Weimann's struggles. This prompted the club to replace Lambert with Tim Sherwood, who (barely) kept the club in the top-tier.
    • 2015-2016: The season started off badly, with stars Benteke and Delph leaving the club. This is then followed by a six-game losing streak, which prompts Lerner to replace Sherwood with Remi Garde. Garde's inexperience, the disappointing performances of transfer flops such as Scott Sinclair and Joleon Lescott, and the poor form of mainstays Agbonlahor and Brad Guzan lead to Villa staying at the bottom of the Prem. The shit-show of a season ended with Villa getting relegated from the top flight for the first time in the Premier League era.
    • 2016-2017: With Villa stuck in the Football League Championship, Lerner finally sells the club to Chinese businessman Tony Xia, who brings an air of optimism to the club by hiring Roberto Di Matteo as manager, letting go of deadwood players Lescott and Sinclair, and signing fresh talent such as Tommy Elphick, Mile Jedinak, and Ross McCormack. Said optimism fades when Villa continues to struggle in the second tier, which leads to Di Matteo resigning, star player Jordan Ayew moving to Swansea, and Xia signing Steve Bruce (another former Birmingham City manager, though he left that club nearly a decade beforehand, meaning that fans generally weren't as bothered as they were by McLeish, who came directly from City to Villa). Despite their best efforts, Villa still remain mired in the Championship's midtable, a far-cry from their glory during the O'Neill era.
  • 2017 was not a good year for UK Prime Minister Theresa May. Halfway into the ruling Conservative Party's majority tenure, she called a general election in an effort to solidify the UK's position in Brexit negotiations, following projections that the party was set to win its largest number of seats since before the Second World War. May ended up losing so many seats that her party lost its majority. With all other major parties disavowing cooperation with her Conservatives, she was forced into an informal agreement with the Democratic Unionists, an openly racist conservative party based in Northern Ireland that was recently involved in some dodgy fiscal scandals. Then there was her speech at the Conservative Party's conference on October 4th, 2017:
    • Firstly, she struggled to get through the speech due to a sore throat, which at one point she had to pause so that her chancellor, Philip Hammond could give her a throat lozenge.
    • Then her speech was interrupted when comedian Lee Nelson, who had somehow gotten admitted by posing as a member of the press, managed to get up on stage with her and hand her a parody Form P45 (the UK equivalent of a pink slip) which he claimed was from leadership rival Boris Johnson.
    • Then, the letters making up the slogan behind her — "Building a Country that Works for Everyone" — slowly began to fall off as her speech drew to a close, leaving it as "Bui Ding A C Ntry Tha Orks Or Ryon."
    • Once her speech actually finished, Johnson, despite having told off Nelson during his interruption and later disavowing any knowledge of his stunt, initially refused to applaud May, and had to be forced to do so by home secretary Amber Rudd.
    • Naturally, the following day's newspapers raked her over the coals for this disaster; probably the most positive headline was that of the Daily Mail, and even then they had to resort to misquoting one of their own columnists to try and put a good spin on the situation.note  And the real kicker? Most of the traditionally Conservative-supporting press said that even without said disasters, the speech would have been generic and essentially just a watered-down version of the rival Labour Party's policies.