"In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read."
Most of us love a good grumble. It's cathartic to complain for a bit and get things off our chests. Problem is, "polite society" has a low tolerance level for this kind of thing, and someone who verbalizes their real thoughts on a lousy situation is likely to be frowned upon and labeled a whiner/grouch/Emo Teen relatively quickly. For example, the "correct" answer to the question "How are you?" is either "Fine, thank you," or "Pretty good. And you?" (or, if we're being formal, "How are you?") Even if your house exploded in a freak accident that morning and you were flattened by a runaway horse and then fired for coming into work covered in hoofprints.
So when people come across a situation where resentment can be voiced, it's not all that surprising when they take full advantage of it. Whether it's online, in print, or among close friends and family, there's always a sense of relief when you're able to voice that irksome thing that's been bugging you for the past week.
However, sometimes this can be taken to an extreme. We can get so carried away with the freedom of voicing the things that annoy us that we completely forget to even mention the things that we actively enjoy. It's not that we're setting out to be a Jerkass or as negative as possible — it's just that we take the good things in life so much for granted that we don't see fit to talk about them... and come across as a pessimist as a result.
As society becomes more and more cynical (although, in face-to-face interaction, general grouching is still pretty unacceptable, which is why grouching is different.) this meta-trope is becoming common across the board, manifesting itself in a number of different ways:
Harmony Is Boring: Conflict is the driving force of most plots. Therefore, stories tend to focus on the unpleasant parts of life, be it divorce, murder, or the Apocalypse(s). Stories about how nice life is and how good it is to be alive are usually reserved for children — and generally pretty young children at that. Not that life-affirming morals are in short supply, it's just that they tend to be reached after three hundred pages of hardship and heartbreak, at which point the reader/viewer is not particularly inclined to believe them.
Negative Nellie: An online personality found on message boards. Complains constantly about the flaws in a show or book, achieved record time for plot-hole spotting and just will not let that episode that everyone pretends never happened be forgotten. Yet strangely enough, these are rarely the members who terrorize the newbies, or the board's resident Rottweiler. They leave that to the resident hothead. Actually, they're pretty friendly, usually long-standing members whose grumbling is met with amused tolerance by everyone else. Their temper is reserved for their least favourite parts of their favourite show.
Snark Media: The media's outright manifestation of this trope, particularly prevalent in the U.K. From Grumpy Old Men to "The Top 100 Songs We Love To Hate" to acerbic commentaries by Jerkass celebrities, there's a modern trend for publicizing and poking fun at everything irritating in the world, taking advantage of all the dark humour and guilty pleasure that can be derived from snarling at that song/show/person that just drives everyone nuts. Sometimes counteracted by more upbeat equivalents ("The Nation's Favourite Drama/Comedy/Songs/etc."), but not only is the negative version more common, it's usually more popular as well.
Annoyed Webmaster.com: The website version of Snark Media, although it's usually cheerfully open about its cynicism and self-deprecating to boot. Will make fun of the things it likes, never mind the bad stuff.
Often, if an audience, broadcaster or forum member is challenged about their complaints (e.g. "Do you even like this show?") they'll be genuinely surprised. Of course they like it! Why would they bother commenting at all on it if they didn't? It's just that grousing about Development Hell, Creator Breakdown or Fanon Discontinuity is much more fun than counting your blessings — after all, you'd only be preaching to the choir... but then, sometimes you're doing that anyway.
One thing that has contributed to this personality are how people view negative characters in general. A Deadpan Snarker is more likely to be considered a fan favorite than a Pollyanna.
Some people also point this out for the creator to improve, however, it's far more common for someone to actually be posting destructivecriticism than actually trying to be constructive. Given that long-winded essays that are pointing out what the creator(s) of a work did right are mixed in with flat out stupidity and destructive criticism, it's very easy for the constructive people to be blocked out.
Often done by The Cynic or Caustic Critic. See also Sturgeon's Law, Reviewer Stock Phrases, Let's Mock the Monsters, Unpleasable Fanbase, and He Panned It, Now He Sucks, a fan reaction when the Accentuate the Negative reviewer pans a show his fans like.
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Anime and Manga, for immature weeaboos who can't admit they like comic books for children (redundant) and merchandise blasted through that piece of silicon sitting in their mother's basement.
The Pokémon anime and movies get a lot of this reaction along with Hype Backlash. We know everyone considers the anime to be bad...but have we ever heard why?
It doesn't help that he actually looks younger in the new season than when he started.
The voice-acting of the Pokémon episodes from Season 9 onwards is constantly panned by fans of the old episodes and is definitely the absolute biggest complaint about the anime now. Fans hated the new voice-acting six years ago and they still hate it now.
4kids Entertainment. Al Kahn and his executives bring it on themselves, but many anime fans unreasonably pan every writer, voice actor and worker in the entire company as being evil satanic monsters for doing dubs on anime and nothing the company does can ever be in the least bit right.
Comic Books, for lonely manchildren who haven't learned to grow up, but have money to waste on stories about men in bondage gear beating each other and are aimed at children
The series 52 was recognized by numerous reviewers as a series that exemplified the competent and positive portrayal of gay and lesbian characters in fiction and one of the co-authors was Greg Rucka, who earned a Gaylactic Spectrum award for his previous work on Gotham Central that served as a partial prequel to this series. However, numerous bloggers and internet reviewers heavily criticized the changing bust-size of Renee Montoya and Kate Kane between Weeks Seven and Eleven. They stated that this exemplified the comics industry policy of including gay and lesbian characters and stories solely for the titillation of readers.
There are some truly wonderful comics in DC's New 52 relaunch. But the one everyone heard about was issue one of "Red Hood and the Outlaws". And even that was only because of some poorly thought out changes in the character of Starfire - changes that occupy maybe three pages out of the entire issue.
When the art for the tenth issue was released, there was even more complaining. Even though it has Starfire in a position of power (Commanding a spaceship) and fully clothed , HER BOOBS WERE TOO BIG!
In general, the New 52 relaunch seems to have produced a whole load of critics who, for whatever reason and regardless of any genuine quality or merit, are determined to see nothing but the worst in everything it's produced.
Similar to New 52, Marvel NOW has produced some wonderful new books, and even some of the worst are still mostly So Okay, It's Average. Still, Doc Ock killed Spider-Man and stole his life, while Cyclops, while possessed by a corrupted Phoenix Force, killed Charles Xavier and is now trying to redeem himself by doing whatever's unnecessary to protect mutants, so many refuse to pick up any title until the whole thing is retconned out.
Avengers Arena has had this from the day it was announced, people calling it gorn and disgustingly violent. This was before anyone read a page.
Joe Quesada later commented that some people were so negative of his and Bill Jemas run in charge of Marvel Comics that even if they had given away free milk and cookies with every comic, they would've been accused of trying to kill readers with dairy allergy.
Literature, or rather, meaningless words on meaningless paper read by meaningless people, all fit for the toilet.
The books Is It Just Me, Or Is Everything Shit? (Volumes I and II!) exemplify the trend in the British media for complaining about anything and everything.
The writer of It Is Just You, Everything's Not Shit bravely attempted to counteract these books, listing all that the author believed was nice in the world. Rather worryingly, it's a much shorter book.
There's Crap Towns and Crap Towns II — someone on the radio pointed out that they had to release Crap Towns II because so many people complained that their town wasn't included in the first volume.
H. G. Wells, in his late 19th century work of science-fiction, The War of the Worlds, had the all-destroying alien tripods land in London at least partly with the intention of having them reduce his home districts of London, Woking and Bromley, to smouldering corpse-heavy rubble. Wells utterly despised Bromley for its parochial mentality and its lower-middle-class smug smallmindedness. He also wanted to get even for long, soul-destroying thirteen hour days spent in a miserable Mac-job working for a tiny-minded bully. Although today's Woking, London, boasts a statue of an alien tripod on the main street, to commemorate Well's vision...
In a similar vein are Crap Cars and Crap Holidays.
When humor columnist Dave Barry issued his "bad song survey," the idea of which was to ask his readers to vote for the worst song of all time, he received a greater amount of reader mail than ever before (the winner, incidentally, was "MacArthur Park"). The result of this was his writing and publishing of a book entitled Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs, which consists entirely of him bashing songs he and his readers hate.
Realising that reviews tearing a film apart are more entertaining to read than those full of praise, Roger Ebert published a book of them called I Hated, Hated,HatedThis Movie. The title was from his review of North. There are two sequels, Your Movie Sucks, titled after the closing line from his review of Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo and "A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length", titled from his review of Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen. (But in fairness, he also has a book of essays called The Great Movies that praises his favorite classics, and Your Movie Sucks was a direct response to Snark Bait from Deuce Bigalow star Rob Schneider, who he later reconciled with.)
H.L. Mencken. The man hated everything about America, his columns bemoaning all the evils that plagued the United States in the 1920s and '30s and tearing apart every politician he could get his hands on. Particularly notable is the fact that he predicted and answered the probable question:
Question: If you find so much worthy of ridicule in America, then why do you live here? Answer: Why do men go to zoos?
Dorothy Parker did this a lot as part of her "Constant Reader" persona. How hardass was she? She excoriated Winnie the Pooh. Famous quote: "And it is that word 'hummy,' my darlings, that marks the first place in The House at Pooh Corner at which Tonstant Weader fwowed up."
The first line of Anna Karenina is 'Happy families are all alike, but unhappy families are each unhappy in their own way.' You just can't squeeze 700+ pages out of happy families.
There exists a book complied by an Englishman called The Book of Heroic Failures. It openly celebrated colossal feats of incompetence (though never those that lead to real pain, harm or danger strangely enough.)
Another little known book, The Gripes of Wrath, is filled entirely with cuttings and samples of speeches, reports, speeches and articles that highlight all kinds of negative features of the world such as stupidity, lack of common sense, obstructive bureaucrats, falling standards, sexism, racism etc etc etc.
Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale The Snow Queen has an in-universe example of Accentuating The Negative: The devil has created a magic mirror which shattered into billions of shards. If a human gets a shard in their eye or heart, they will never be able to see anything except the bad in any thing they look at.
Averted spectacularly in Matt Ridley's Rational Optimist.
Live Action TV - for those plebians who like their escapism overpriced, underwritten, and spoon-fed to them in-between bouts of soulless commercialism.
Most fans enjoy Mystery Science Theatre 3000 for its idealistic and fun atmosphere, despite the central tenet being one of mocking, sometimes quite brutally, bad movies. The fact that it is of such quality means that it rarely goes from "funny-mean" to just "mean", though it became more common to do so in later seasons.
Stephen Fry put Room 101 itself into Room 101 in one of his appearances on the show, citing his reasoning that there was no need to have entire shows and books dedicated to everything "vile" in the world and asking "Why can't we have Room Fluffy?" A brief section followed with Fry reporting on his favourite things in life — such as libraries.
Stephen Fry now hosts QI, a show dedicated to "quite interesting" facts (or sometimes factoids) which could be described as a kind of intellectual Room Fluffy. The team behind QI now also make a radio show named The Museum of Curiosity, into which people are literally able to put a selection of their favourite things.
Survivor. Stephanie Lagrossa had played twice already. One time her tribe lost just about every challenge and she was the only one left in her team. The second time, she was in the final two. Guess what James Clement (and anyone else afraid of a "Repeat") conveniently didn't mention?
Grumpy Old Men and its forerunner Grumpy Old Women takes full advantage of the assumed tetchiness of the middle-aged-U.K.-male to elaborate on why the modern world is an awful one. Mind you, it keeps its tongue firmly in its cheek as it does so.
MTV Brazil had a show on this, Piores Clipes do Mundo (The Worst Videos In The World). Particularly the segment "Pérola Videoclíptica" ("Music Video Gem"), which had the host pointing out what's ridiculous in each shot of the video.
Titus is all about this. He even says that if his life became too perfect, he'd probably shoot himself.
The Doctor: I bet I get some very interesting readings from my screwdriver when I get it back from the shark in your bedroom. Young Kazran: There's a shark in my bedroom!?! The Doctor: Oh fine, focus on that!"
The new madeover incarnation of Doctor Who attracts snark from a significant minority of older people who fondly remember the original 1960's and 1970's series. To them, the New Who is too glossy, soul-less, over-produced, evidently made for the bloody Americans, it was at its best in the Patrick Troughton/Tom Baker/Peter Davison years, why can't we have it back as it was before, yes we KNOW the aliens were risible and the sets wobbled, but it was so bloody good, especially when Douglas Adams wrote the scripts, why didn't they leave well alone, etc., etc.
Which actually demonstrates a subversion of this trope. Douglas Adams story-edited one season of Doctor Who, and it's considered to be one of the worst seasons of the series. However it contained City Of Death, which is considered to be one of the best episodes of either incarnation of the series. Yet people tend to have a cheery view of the time Douglas Adams spent on Doctor Who.
In The X-Files episode "One Breath", Melissa Scully calls Mulder out for doing this while trying to convince him to go to the hospital to see Dana, who is dying:
Melissa Scully: I don't have to be psychic to see that you're in a very dark place. Much darker than where my sister is.
Willingly walking deeper into darkness cannot help her at all. Only the light...
Mulder: [disgustedly] Oh, enough! - with the harmonic convergence crap, okay, you're not saying anything to me.
Melissa Scully: [angrily] Why don't you just drop your cynicism and your paranoia and your defeat. You know, just because it's positive and good, doesn't mean it's silly or trite. Why is it so much easier for you to run around trying to get even than just expressing to her how you feel? I expect more from you. Dana expects more. Even if it doesn’t bring her back, at least she’ll know. And so will you.
On Top Chef, the judges will often blatantly insult food they don't like, saying stuff like "this tastes like cat food", or "you must have cut your vegetables with an ax". Mind you, this is usually stuff that the average person probably would enjoy.
New Media, made by jobless, basement-dwelling nerds whining in front of a camera like idiots, or idiots whining about other idiots, or weird and perverted sites
4chan. Encyclopedia Dramatica. Something Awful. They all share about 60% of the same userbase, and violently hate each other - though there's times where they'll stop hating each other to hate on something else. It's a "fun" situation.
Something Awful has interforum rivalry where everything coming from the all purpose forum GBS is hated by the subforums, and everything else is hated by PYF, but the one thing SA loves to hate especially is FYAD (Something Awful's /b/, except even more random, elitist, and vitriolic), where it's not uncommon to have the disparate arguers of a thread team up to wail on the FYAD-er... and, oftentimes, vice versa. 4chan has the same issue. Something Awful has its own negativity brigade in the form of the Something Awful Sycophant Squad, dedicated to mocking the mods and goons. It's a negativity loop!
Encyclopedia Dramatica. Every subculture, TV show, film, and genre of music is somehow deemed "retarded," "shitty," or their favorite insult of all, "gay." Other than schadenfreude, these gentlemen don't enjoy anything. However, if you're looking for details on an internet meme, you'll find it there. Essentially a Wiki maintained by the residents of 4Chan, particularly /b/. It's generally seen as satirical rather than completely genuine hate though.
Almost all of the articles targeting a race, a subculture or a group are written by people who are members of said group (for example, the articles on Jews, blacks or autists).
ED's rival, Uncyclopedia, is more like a parody version of Wikipedia, and the humor is more often flat-out nonsense than insulting. (There is a guidance page titled "How To Be Funny And Not Just Stupid", but the advice isn't always followed.) Unfortunately, this isn't the case with the Portuguese version, which, besides some actual parodic articles and articles on fads, follows the ED formula of bashing anything in sight and lots of NSFW images. It's worth noting that ED holds a special contempt for Uncyclopedia, considering Wikipedia founder Jimbo Wales's expression of approval to be the worst possible indictment against Uncyclopedia.
The Angry Video Game Nerd is all about this. He usually reviews games that are legitimately bad, and the AVGN is stated to be a character. The major exception to this is his first two videos, which were a parody of Accentuate the Negative, made before he knew he would be famous for this stuff.
Even when he reviews games he actually likes, like Batman: Return of the Joker for the NES, he still posts a video of all the worst parts of the game, and how much he hates those parts, then afterwards, casually mentions how it's actually a pretty fun game, just with a flaw or two.
The Comics Curmudgeon, as expected with a name like that. Posts daily to rip on the newspaper funnies. Notable in that as rough as it is on comics as a whole, it has managed to establish good relationships with the creators of many of these comics, especially Bob Weber Jr. of Slylock Fox and the late Al Scaduto of They'll Do It Every Time. Also notable in that it occasionally does praise elements of the comics that it normally mocks. Occasionally.
The LiveJournal community Stupid Free Drama. While many members are individually fact a very polite and supportive bunch, the group as a whole hates everything but recipes.
Whilst the website 'Cook'd and Bomb'd' is ostensibly a fansite devoted to British comedy (and the works of Chris Morris especially), a quick search of its forums would seem to indicate that its members spend more time fixating on the comedies that they hate as opposed to the ones they enjoy. They even held a mock awards show, the Tumbleweeds, to 'honour' the worst achievements in British comedy over the years in question.
The Nostalgia Critic hates pretty much everything he reviews. Like the Angry Video Game Nerd, however, the Nostalgia Critic is simply a character and the movies and shows he reviews are genuinely bad. On the flip side of the coin, he's made tributes to Double Dare and Drew Struzan, and his Top 11 lists are generally positive. His overly grouchy attitude is lampshaded during many of the reviews, but the most prominent example would be when he broke down in tears over failing to find it in his bitter angry heart to rip on Follow That Bird.
Not to mention, even though he really trashes and bashes movies, some of them he actually does legitimately like despite their flaws and cliches (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Cool Runnings), and in some of his videos, mentions there are some things they did right at the end of the review. note He's stated that some movies have a lot of good intentions, loves to point out nice animation or well done shots, finds the "stuff" in Water World to work because it makes the world seem more plausible, and ha been known to outright praise good use of music.
Unfortunately, his satirical reviews have fallen foul of Reviews Are The Gospel i.e. some fans take his reviews as definitive law.
Noah Antwiler, aka "Spoony One", is the star of The Spoony Experiment, which is basically Angry Video Game Nerd if he were more sarcastic and Fan Hatery and less cartoony and tongue-in-cheek. He does at least take everything in fun, and has a overlap in fandom with the Nerd.
Unfortunately for Noah this has backfired, as he tends to get viewed as a Troll even when he's offering an honest (if negative) opinion. When he went on Twitter to say he didn't like The Cabin in the Woods, Joss Whedon fans jumped on him, assuming he was specifically trying to screw with them.
Noah himself has remarked that his reputation as a Fan Hater comes from people doing this to him, taking statements like "I didn't care for this" and interpreting it as "This sucks and so does anything who likes it". He's outright admitted that he can't enjoy things like Final Fantasy IX and Captain America: The First Avenger as much as he'd like because of his personal hang-ups, and said that he tried to give Kristen Stewart a fair chance but she just annoys the hell out of him and he doesn't think she's that good an actress.
The Nostalgia Chick actually has this as a character flaw. Both Nella and Elisa provide the squee, while she can give good points but can't admit to actually liking something without much difficulty. She's getting a bit better though.
Out of character, Lindsay Ellis says in her "Guilty Pleasures" video that "I get comments saying 'Lindsay, do you like anything? At all?'" and replies that of course she does, but negative reviews are demonstrably more popular on That Guy with the Glasses, so it's good business for her to be negative.
JesuOtaku, similar to Spoony, often takes controversial opinions (believing the eponymous character of The Legend of Korra is a Designated Hero and a "cunt" comparable to Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequels, declaring RWBY on the level of Nick Jr., celebrating Young Justice's cancellation, and general vitriol directed at fanbases she dislikes) and runs with them. Unlike Spoony, she has a genuine dislike of what she makes fun of.
Linkara trashes comic books, but Lewis Lovhaug has pointed out that this is the entire point of his show, and has asked fans not to send or recommend good comics. Though he will praise good elements, and on occasion subverts his own Catch Phrase "This comic sucks!" (usually with something like "This comic is...just okay" or "not THAT bad").
This is EGM game reviewer Seanbaby's preferred method of reviewing, since he specifically seeks out bad games, mixed with Testosterone Poisoning and exaggerated metaphors. When one review of his was devoted solely to mocking the box art of a popular game, people sent in letters demanding that he actually review the game itself. Seanbaby's response was "My review is done: the box isn't very good. If I knew how to review a game based on gameplay mechanics or whatever, me and my Gamecube wouldn't be forced to watch puppets shit every month."
Videogame Recaps appears fully aware of this trope, to the point that they have a disclaimer reassuring readers that they do like the games they review, it's just that they also enjoy applying copious amounts of sarcasm to them as well.
Yahtzee has also pointed out many times that just because he blasts every game he reviews with both barrels, he doesn't exactly hate it (unless he hates a game so much that he tears it a new one). Yahtzee has also gone out of his way to say that just because he doesn't like something doesn't mean that it is a bad game and that people should be able to form their own opinions, and that he only points out things he didn't like or found bad in his review - anything he didn't mention shouldn't count against the game.
Your Webcomic is Bad and You Should Feel Bad. While it did contain constructive criticism, the site absolutely hated the comics it reviewed and also bragged about hating the entire concept of a webcomic; it was not affectionate or fannish in the least. Was it horrible or hilarious? You decide!
Cracked.com's articles consist mainly (but, of course, not completely) of movie bashings, doomsday scenarios and explanations of "Why Good Thing X is actually a very Bad Thing". Ironically the other half is exactly the opposite of this, gushing stories about how awesome the world is.
The operators of www.anti-shurtugal.com, an anti-fansite for Inheritance Cycle, founded the site because they discovered that they couldn't say anything critical about the books on the fansites without getting flamed, banned, and/or threatened. So they founded their own site explicitly to point out every single flaw with the books. They eventually added Twilight to the list of literature they hate. The website is now curiously defunct.
Over the years, Scans Daily has become somewhat infamous for this kind of behavior. So much so that the guy who wrote this article attributes Scans Daily as a major cause of the 2008 spike in comics Hatedom. This varies by post—many comics are praised beyond all reason, and others have a balanced reception. But if your favorite happens to fall into the "negative" reception zone, it's going to hurt.
The Factual Opinion where Tucker Stone] rains the venom down on mainstream comics. To be fair to ol' Tuck though, most of his critiques are well conceived, and when he likes something, or even just an element of something (often the art) he will straight up admit it. Also, his wife, Nina seems to enjoy everything she reviews.
The animation news siteCartoon Brew tends to do this a lot, especially with anything Disney or Dreamworks. This borders on Fan Dumb territory with the article bashing Tangled for using a parody of the double rainbow, conveniently forgetting the time Adventure Time parodied the same exact video in an ad.
The Screamsheet has a lot of this trope, especially if the site owner gets talking about David Lynch, Highlander, or bad comics in general. He has apparently made more of an attempt to give credit where it is due and focus on the positive aspects of the things he discusses, but still does plenty of ranting and raving.
The abridged movie scripts on The Editing Room condense movie scripts into a few minutes' worth of sarcasm, nitpicking, and ripping apart cliches and bad artistic designs. As in many of the above examples, this is done purely for humor's sake and the site's author provides a separate star rating indicating what he actually thought of a movie - which tends to be pretty harsh.
Jim Adam wrote a 160-page essay on how the Harry Potter books fail to live up to their promise. Though there are a few good points, most of it is complaining about Harry not being a God Mode Stu.
The Cartoon Hero's older reviews are this, but his reviewing style has drastically changed since — he even regrets claiming Batfink was a bad show, when in truth he never did hate it even when he reviewed it; he now calls it So Bad, It's Good.
This is the main draw of Das Sporking. The sporkers pick apart fanfiction, published literature, and even Jack Chick tracts, going into detail about what's done wrong with them. Although if something is done right, that will be pointed out as well.
The Music Video Show is where one reviewer watches one music video once a week and points out various flaws in them. Since the fourth episode, he decides whether or not he would watch it again.
The Cinema Snob does this sometimes seriously, sometimes sarcastically, as the character is basically Brad Jones spoofing snooty film buffs.
The spinoff Midnight Screenings does this far more often if they don't like a film, and if they can be funny about it.
'News'papers. The things they think 'newsworthy' these days... expensive toilet paper, the lot of them.
Almost every single article in the British newspaperThe Daily Mail, popularly known, among other nicknames, as "The Daily Hate". This may or may not be a 1984 reference.
Most of Charlie Brooker's "Screen Burn" columns - and everything he does, such as programs like Screenwipe - is all about tearing into the crass stupidity and manipulation of much of television. The rest is bemoaning other things, or praising something that deserves it.
Other, for things that too few people know about, and fewer still like, for them to have their own categories.
The laws of thermodynamics, which can be summarized as "You can't win", "You can't break even", and "You can't quit."
The Roman historian Tacitus utterly refused to write anything good about the Emperor Nero, and made a point of assuring us that any good thing Nero did was for the wrong reasons.
Robert Crumb. Not just his comics; he's reportedly like that in real life. Read the R. Crumb Handbook, more specifically, the section titled "The Litany of Hate". The documentary film Crumb pretty much cements his reputation as a lifelong misanthrope.
John "K" Kricfalusi, creator of Ren and Stimpy, pretty much hates almost any cartoon airing today that isn't his.
An entire school of philosophy, Pessimism, insists that we live in the worst of all possible worlds. Arthur Schopenhauer is a good exemplar: he argued that the world is a kind of penal colony, in which misery and suffering greatly outweighs happiness.
News in general. Most of the time about half, if not more, of the stories presented is often a Tear Jerker or generally ridiculous. The saying that "No News...is Good News" pretty much sums it up.
Customer feedback. Customers are more likely to send in complaints than they are compliments. If you go to any corporate meeting...they'll mention far more complaints than compliments they got.
"A satisfied customer will tell one person. A dissatisfied customer will tell ten."
On online review sites, very few companies average more than three stars because a lot more people go to tell the internet about bad experiences than good ones. It's generally (but not always) averted when it comes to individual products on a retailer such as Amazon, though.
Aging. People constantly complain about the problems that come with aging (health complications, cultural expectations and stereotypes, etc.), but very few mention the positive aspects of getting older (increased maturity, increased wisdom, improved social skills, higher personal status, etc.).
Any perfectionist will not see the finished work afterwards because it will make them notice the flaws that still went through, as noted by this interview with Metroid Prime designer Mark Mancini.
Politics, or should I say, 'Sub-human Beings in Suits Controlled by the Idiocy of the Human Race and Soul-sucking corporations lying to us all, and why humanity should be nuked off the face of the Earth'. See 'Theatre'.
Politics in general tend to have a lot of negativity. Of course, trying to fix the negativity is what politics are all about.
Most Real Life leaders. For example, it seems to have become traditional for some part of the American (or even non American) population to declare every new president The Worst President Ever, regardless of whatever he does.
Many politicians and political parties try to demean their opponent and accentuate their flaws in every way possible to make themselves look good and their opponents look bad. This tends to give voters the view that they are voting for "the lesser of two evils" rather than "the better of the two". Attack Ads are one such example. American tropers, expect 2012 ads to be all about the Stimulus package.
Government in general. In all this midst of "Oh my god, Socialism!" or "oh my god, Fascism and Plutocracy!", nobody seems to realize exactly how lucky we are just to have standards for food safety and water cleanliness amongst other things that are frequently taken for granted and don't even exist in other countries, or are actually a recent phenomenon. (Believe me; Europeans would have LOVED to have access to clean or even bottled water in the 17th century.) Not to mention, laws and acts passed that actually prevented animals from going extinct, even those passed by people like Franklin Delano Roosevelt. (With help by people like Ding Darling for pointing it out, and Roosevelt's uncle who was another large wildlife buff).
Nations in general, but the United States of America deserves special mention. In the international (or sometimes even a domestic) person's eyes, anything bad they do or anything they do that goes horribly wrong is often chastised and ridiculed and can lead to Americans being Acceptable Targets, Internet Backdraft, and Cultural Cringe. Yet everything good they have done is looked on as an afterthought.
Businesses and Corporations. You see more emphasis on everything bad that they do or are involved with (Greed, Outsourcing, Monopolies, Labour violations, Bailouts, Bad Products, etc.) rather than anything good that comes out of them, such as the products and services you use and enjoy for granted.
Labour Unions. It's amazing how many people want to just disband them when they've often been the one of the only things keeping you from having to accept sweatshop conditions and wages to compete with the outsourced jobs.
Patents. Strange how they must all be removed; when originally it's meant so that writers and inventors would actually market their inventions in capitalistic societies.
Along the same lines, copyright. Some legitimate complaints can be be made about companies trying to extend century-old copyrights or claim ownership of artists on their roster, but some supporters of piracy claim they do so because the ability for someone to own something they created is immoral in and of itself (rather than that they just don't want to spend $20 on a CD when they can steal it for free).
Megaprojects. The article onThe Other Wiki on this heavily emphasizes the negatives towards these projects. Although some of the criticism is valid, it seems everyone seems to forget why they are made in the first place. In many online discussions about them, any negative comments about them are brought to the forefront while speaking anything positive about the project is highly subjected to Opinion Myopia and Internet Backdraft...regardless of how valid both arguments are.
Professional 'Wrestling' - see 'Theatre', and now toss in 'Lowest Common Denominator' and 'Ho Yay'. Of course, all the proper fighting contests are illegal now... 'sigh'.
WrestleCrap's slogan is, "The worst in wrestling is here!" and boy, do they live up to it. The tone varies by subject, from light-hearted jabbing to completely hateful ranting, but, with the exception of the Rewriting The Book section, it's always negative. Despite their negativity (or perhaps because of the good humor they show about it most of the time), they've managed to gain quite the following in the wrestling industry, and even managed to get an audio interview with one of their most common targets, Vince Russo.
The so-called YouTube"shooters" (intentionally put in quotes, because they're not in the wrestling business), like Bill & Doug (aka RVDTito4Life) and Kent Jones, who love to praise TNA and bash anything that's not TNA, like WWE or ROH.
And then there is the reaction from older British people who utterly loathe the American version of wrestling, which they see as over-produced, over-contrived, over-glitzy, over-glamorous, and unfortunately over here to the point of having displaced the native version from British TV screens. Like the American Army in WW2, American Wrestling is overmonied, oversexed, and over here, the grey squirrel imported from the USA and in the eyes of many, just as verminous. Older Brits look at the latest overmuscled American wunderkind shooting off at the lip, and speculate that arrogant bloody Yank wouldn't last five minutes in the ring with a real wrestler like Kendo Nagasaki or Mick McManus. Their grandchildren, WWF devotees, then say "who, Grandad?", and the oldie will sigh and say "I know it's before your time, lad, but we used to have real wrestling on TV on a Saturday afternoon on World of Sport. And I'm telling you, they were 'real'' wrestlers..." and so on. Even though World of Sport belongs to the 1970's and the sort of cheap 'n' cheerful British wrestling circuit it showcased is virtually dead now, older fans still look back and sigh for the good old days.
Religion - or should I say, 'Religion'. I mean, the things that pass for them these days... not that the older ones are much better. Classic excuse for killing people and nicking their stuff, at any rate.
Religion (or pretty much any religious view for that matter) in general. You see more emphasis on the bad religious people and why religion is bad more than the good things about religion and why it is there in the first place.
Recent pedophilia-and-coverup scandals have given the Catholic church a very bad rap, with Catholic priests these days seem to be constantly portrayed as having a fondness for the altar boys. One of the most tragic aspects of the whole scandal (apart from the actual child molesting, of course) is that so many good people—people who would have been sickened to know what was happening in the institution—poured a lifetime of good and honorable work into an institution which, through the grotesque acts of a few and those who covered up for them, has been reduced to a sick joke.
Atheism is the lack of belief in a deity or deities and many atheists are happy to go along with this. Then you get those who go further and believe that not only every single fault that can be found with religion be brought into the light for all to see, every bad bad thing someone who follows religion does must be the fault of his religion. Those atheists seek to Accentuate the Negative in a big way. It's not enough to point out logical flaws, anything positive to say about religion is ignored in favor of condemning it for everything from the setbacks made to science to being responsible for the Nazis.
Speaking of atheism, one of the favorite tactics of the religious is to demonize atheists as "lacking morals" because they do not believe in God. This is the least objectionable comment levied against the atheists of the world, who get accused of actually being satan worshipers, child molesters, communists, mass murderers, and lovers of pedophilia and bestiality by "good Christian folk" who say these things because they "want to bring the atheists back to God".
Yahoo Answers is a good place to go to to hear this opinion being expressed - and refuted - with some heat and passion.
Not to mention stereotyping atheists as fedora-wearing, sexist, overweight teenage neckbeards who are just trying to be "edgy."
Even agnosticism, the total lack of belief or disbelief, is often demonized. "Refusing to pick a side" is probably the nicest accusation.
Sports, those things with the... y'know, the alcohol and the gangs and the mostly-naked girls and the sweaty muscle-bundles with the steroids who beat on their girlfriends. Those things.
In Sports, it has been said that the best referees and refereeing are the ones you never know about. This is because any ref that makes a bad call, especially if it changes the outcome of a game; will often be ridiculed in the media and by fans. For instance, you probably would have never heard of Jim Joyce if it wasn't for Armando Galarraga's near-perfect game
Sports fandom in general is as much about following your team as it is about hating everyone else. Online sports forums are basically havens of trolling where fans attack one another, each other's cities (that they've never visited), despising individual players (that they've never met) on an essentially personal level, and griping endlessly about uniform design. Seriously, look at any thread about proposed or actual uniform changes, and the number of times the words "hideous" or "puke" come up is simply unrealistic for the topic in question.
Theater. That thing you can't afford to go to. And if you do, you're paying too much for watching annoying people pretend to talk about annoying problems. Art, indeed.
The Clouds contains his ideas about Socrates. The accusations in there were so offensive to ancient Athenians, and so widely believed both before and after the play was shown, that the state executed the guy for being anti-democratic and corrupting the youth.
Better yet, there's The Knights. Possibly one of the most vicious pieces of political satire ever written, and despite being almost two and a half millennia old, surprisingly relevant.
TV Tropes Wiki. The most egregious thing ruining your life right now.
Heck for that matter, Hate Dumb was given a free pass moreso than Fan Dumb. Not only was Fan Dumb around much much longer, but Hate Dumb was made a "Subjective" trope with warnings not to put it on the main page way before Fan Dumb was. This was pointed out on the Double Standard page.
TV Tropes Reviews. This has caused there to be more negative reviews than positive on some examples. Even perfectly good things will have, sometimes 2-4 times more negative reviews than positive. Some of it isHate Dumb. It seems almost like those with negative opinions will be more likely to post a review.
It was even pointed out that negative reviews get more attention than positive ones; and this wiki was no exception. In fact, the response to that observation is where the term, "Unjust praises" came around.
TV Tropes Recap pages seems to suffer strongly from this - which is odd, because unless you really like the show, why are you bothering to write the Recap? And unless you really like the show, why are you bothering to read it?
Headscratchers. It was even changed from "It Just Bugs Me" to "Headscratchers" because people were using it to complain, and even complaining when questions they asked got decisively answered/explained.
This is perhaps why Sturgeon's Law tends to be mentioned and potholed often at times.
This also affects the Useful Notes and more factual entries. Which is especially true for those concerning more contemporary events and trends, which tend to skewer towards negative biases.
Video Games, the number one reason kids are fatter, more violent and have shorter attention spans than ever.
Downloadable Content. It's the modern Expansion Pack and it is well received for those that want to get some more content to their favorite game(s). But you wouldn't know that with all the Internet Backdraft on it, with quite a few claiming them; regardless of the actual content, as "overpriced cash cows hidden on the disc waiting to be unlocked".
In an in-universe and comedic example, Francis from Left 4 Dead, who will proclaim "I hate (blank)!" several times throughout the game. The list of things he actually likes includes vests, steam, Jimmy Gibbs Jr.'s stock car, Depeche Mode, and Rochelle from the second game. The list of things he hates is...considerably larger.
Very common to do on the official forums for any game. Most notable examples:
Game developers and publishers. If they make a poorly received game, they must make five more good games before people forget about it...and even then they're lucky if they do.
Electronic Arts gets this the worst amongst other companies. They have a lot of terrible things...but a couple things they actually funded and saw great interest in are completely forgotten and they go un-credited for. For example, did you know some of Origin's later games (like Ultima Online) were only possible with their financial support? Or that when a couple studios who co-developed a game pitched an idea to them, they suggested making it a sequel to another well-received game, and the result was a Sacred Cow? What game was that, you might ask? System Shock 2.
Silicon Knights get this to a smaller scale, though they still exemplify this trope beautifully. Essentially, after they took years to make a game that ended up as, not bad, not cap, just So Okay, It's Average. Then, their next game project X-Men: Destiny was announced, and about three quarters of any discussion was over-exaggerations about the game was instead about how SK are incompetent idiots who take too long to make crap games and that Too Human was shit and therefore so will Destiny be, while the remaining quarter was split between actual talk about the game, and people having to point out SK have made decent, if few, games in the past, and that Too Human wasn't that bad. The game itself ended up being released on time, to mediocre reviews, though official forums seemed to think it was decent, if short and not very groundbreaking.
Web Comics, or 'comics' written by people who don't have what it takes to be in the proper comics industry, for people who are too weird and/or too poor to read real comic books. Not that "comic books" qualify as actual writing.
Featured as a plot point Friendly Hostility. Collin's best friend, Fox, is also his boyfriend...which means that when Fox screws up, or the relationship hits a rocky patch, misanthropic Collin doesn't really have anyone he can talk to about it. When he befriends Arath, he takes full advantage of the opportunity to unload some of his grudges and doubts about the relationship. Unfortunately, Collin takes much of his usually good love affair for granted, and therefore doesn't really mention the nice things about his boyfriend. Result? Arath begins to believe that Collin's boyfriend is a useless jerk who mistreats his partner.
Oancitizen discusses this trope during his review of Melancholia, talking about how you're apparently not allowed to enjoy anything on the internet and must always be cynical and snark about everything.