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.
2012, particularly the U.S. election season, was a truly epic one for Donald Trump. Fresh out of a nasty real estate war in Scotland, he tried to support the Romney campaign, only to be shunned at every turn; he was even uninvited from the Republican convention (after promising a "big surprise" at the event, quickly reduced to a less-than-inspiring video of Trump bellowing "you're fired" at an Obama impersonator). His abortive attempt to unseat Barack Obama with a "bombshell" of an October surprise (supposedly a five million dollar donation to charity if Obama would release his college record) was universally sneered at (as the nation, in the midst of dealing with the effects of Hurricane Sandy, wondered why Trump couldn't just donate the money, without the pseudo-blackmail). His public response to the overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was also not looked kindly upon by anyone. (He basically said "big deal", saying the United States should have gotten petroleum exporting deals out of it.) Then, on election night, as soon as major networks called the race for Obama, he threw a (since then partially-deleted) Twitter tantrum, denouncing the election as a "sham" and a "travesty," and calling for an honest-to-God "march on Washington." His major complaint? Prematurely complaining that Obama had secured the electoral college while being behind in the popular vote. Of course, shortly after he posted his rant, the polls closed on the West Coast, giving Obama a decisive popular majority to go with the college. Even the usually sober anchorman Brian Williams ridiculed him for this on national television.
To end the year on a high note, his Scottish farmer nemesis was declared Glenfiddich's "Scotsman of the Year." Trump responded by publicly calling the award "an insult to the Scottish people," accusing the distillers of trying to sabotage him, and calling for a Glenfiddich boycott. One can only assume that the whisky's sales soared. (To add insult to insult, it turns out they did.)
2011 wasn't much better for The Donald, with a White House Correspondents' Dinner he really has to wish he hadn't been invited to. The traditional comedy routine by the president included Obama using Trump as fodder for a great many of his jokes. Most notably, he brought up about Trump's decision on who to fire on The Apprentice and said "These are the kinds of decisions that keep me up at night." It was soon revealed that Obama had that very same day sent Navy SEALs on a covert mission into Pakistan to assassinate Osama bin Laden. By the way, a news bulletin about this pre-empted an episode of Celebrity Apprentice.
While The Donald's 2016 presidential campaign managed to make him the presumptive Republican nominee, everything quickly went to shit afterwards:
After the Orlando nightclub massacre, Trump took a lot of fire for offering himself unseemly congratulations for his prescience about terrorism, claiming to have been "right" to propose his controversial plan to ban Muslims from entering the US, even though the shooter was an American-born citizen. Not only that, but he went beyond blaming Barack Obama for lack of will or wisdom in fighting terrorism, and darkly implied presidential sympathy for the enemy. This turned many people against him.
Trump's statements and extreme positions on issues turned much of the Republican party against him, including people who'd previously supported him. Every day began to see a new story about Trump being criticized by Republican leaders or about Republicans distancing themselves from him. And that included the people who had endorsed him. The chair of Trump’s leadership committee in the House of Representatives even begged reporters to stop making him defend Trump.
It was reported that Trump had a skeletal campaign staff of about 30 people, compared to Hillary Clinton's Democratic POTUS campaign which had several hundred people on staff.
It was shown that he had run no campaign ads in battleground states.
His campaign was reported to be broke, since it appeared that Trump was trying to duplicate what he did in the primaries and run a low-budget campaign based on having rallies and doing TV interviews.
Ted Cruz, Trump's rival in the Republican primaries, experienced embarrassing setbacks in Indiana that killed his presidency campaign. After Trump gained a huge lead in the New York primary, Cruz bet everything on Indiana in hopes of denying Trump the nomination. However, everything fell apart in a series of epic failures.
Cruz started by cutting a deal with John Kasich, the distant third-place candidate, with Kasich focusing only on Oregon and leaving Indiana just to Cruz. This deal backfired since it only promoted the notion that Republicans were conspiring against Trump and people who wouldn't have voted for Trump did so in protest.
To reinvigorate his image, Cruz announced ex-HP CEO Carly Fiorina as his running mate. Naturally this became sign of desperation and a target of mockery for pundits and commentators since only party nominees have running mates. Fiorina's record as a poor businesswoman and inability to win over undecided voters made her seem like a poor choice.
Cruz outbursts at his critics and Trump only made him come off as too temperamental to serve as president whether it's calling Trump a lying bully for claiming that Cruz's father was involved in the JFK assassination or suggesting that the child heckler who yelled "You Suck" at him should be spanked.
Cruz's colleagues refused to provide endorsements and funding with many calling him a "miserable son of a bitch" and "a lying scumbag"
Many joke that Cruz is somehow jinxed since the people around him keep getting physically hurt. During a rally, Fiorina fell off a stage while the oblivious Cruz kept greeting people and not helping her up. In his concession speech after losing Indiana, he accidentally elbows his own wife while trying to hug his father.
As if things couldn't get any more embarrassing, a woman who looks like Cruz agreed to be filmed in a porn scene, further turning Cruz into a source of mockery on the internet.
Speaking of people with grudges against the President, this Trope can apply to "Birther Queen" Orly Taitz's entire career. Her dozens of challenges to his eligibility have done nothing but cause one judge to fine her $20,000 and several threats of contempt charges. (The fact that she tends to accuse judges of treason doesn't help.) One judge compared her to Don Quixote, and said that "the Court is not willing to go tilting at windmills with her." While another asked straight out, "Why do you keep filing these lawsuits when they keep getting rejected?" The one time she was granted a hearing, the judge ruled against her, despite neither the defendant nor his legal team even showing up. (The Drudge Retort described the hearing as, "Empty Table 1, Orly Taitz 0".) Her attempt to run for Senator of California was a dismal failure (she came in fifth in the Republican primary), her lawsuit to challenge the results was denied, and her attempt to run for California Attorney General in 2014 was even worse; she came in sixth in the blanket primary. Conservative Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly has called Taitz a "nut", and when Lawrence O'Donnell invited Taitz on MSNBC so that she could address Obama's long form birth certificate, O'Donnell kicked her off the show, stating: "Look, she's crazy. I invited a crazy person on this show to see if the crazy person...could say something responsive, something human, to the document that was released today...and she wants to play with all of her other kid's toys."
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 verysnarky 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.
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 before WWI Imperial Germany was the single-strongest continental power, but was kept in check due to the alliance system among the European powers and the powerful Russian and Austro-Hungarian Empires on its eastern periphery, which prevented any significant expansion beyond the 1871 borders. When Central and Eastern Europe got broken up into individually weak states these were very vulnerable to renewed German and Russian domination 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: after the defeat of its "Invincible Armada" by the English in 1588, the Spanish Empire had gradually declined from the supreme imperial power of the world to a virtual nonentity that most other countries either ignored or exploited.
Denmark in the year 1814. In January, Sweden, with the support of hannoverian 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 harrassed 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.
Pu Yi, the last emperor of China's life was this trope, minus the villainous bit triggering it. The high points of his life were where he was a glorified puppet under constant threat of death; it went down further 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. Petersberg 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 1019 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 minutia of his public image, it was a hell of a way to spend Thanksgiving.
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 recieved 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.
Other Prime Ministers who have lost their own seats during a dramatic defeat include Stanley Bruce (Australia, 1929), Arthur Balfour (UK, 1906note ]He technically resigned right before the election.), 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, 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 Hatedomand 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.
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.
Recent real life example: 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.
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.
NBC is going through one as well. The network, which already endured one humiliation conga back in the late 70s thanks to a combination of Pink Lady and Jeff,Supertrain, the '80-'81 season of Saturday Night Live and a boycott of the '80 Olympics by the US team (leaving Americans with no one to root for and no reason to watch.) They recovered during the 80's and 90's, 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 places 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've 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, 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 have 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) has slowly imploded, and they recently endured one of the worst ratings disasters in television history with Do No Harm. Many are wondering if we're actually going to see NBC fall apart in front of our eyes.
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.
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:
Liberal leader Philippe Couillard’s side scored 70 seats, including his own (Roberval, previously a PQ bastion), making him the first incumbent in nearly a century to become Premier.
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.
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.
Couillard’s predecessor Jean Charest ran and lost the 2012 election in the Sherbrooke seat; it went back to the Liberals.
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.
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.
The Charbonneau Commission, which suspended operations for the duration of the campaign, returned the very next morning. The issue: electoral palm-greasing. It is so far 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.
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 Who did get some flack once this was revealed, but nowhere near as much as Thicke, especially since part of the deposition was Thicke admitting that once the song got big he basically stole half the credit from Williams, and Williams least still had a career worth mentioning once it was all over. 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.
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).
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.
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.
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 Kennedy had died in the middle of his term so Brown was only initially serving the remainder 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 asa 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. The only thing he's done of note since then is shilling a weight loss product on his Facebook.
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 recieved 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 has 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 Charlie 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.
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 some say it was really because of low ticket sales
David Russell Williams was a well-respected Colonel in the Royal Candian 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:
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, several Presidential candidates (including Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and, of all people, Donald Drumpf, who called him a "spoiled brat") 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 Man Child.
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.