Broken Pedestal
Never meet your heroes.

"It's like going to heaven and finding God smoking crack!"
Riley Freeman, The Boondocks

There are people who we idolize, and who change us forever. These mentors and idols teach us to use our full potential and do great things, and we love them for this. We will be forever loving of them; without them, we would be nothing.

And if you're a TV character, chances are high that they may or may not be the scum of the earth, or at least have come to be by the time you meet them again—especially if the audience has just heard about them for the first time. If you're in law enforcement, you can count not only on being forced to learn of their darkest secrets, but also on being the one who has to arrest them. Expect them to have abandoned their ideals, switched sides, or been Evil All Along.

The hero is likely to recite one of the mentor's or idol's old quotes to show how far they have fallen or highlight their hypocrisy.

Most of the time, this disillusionment is the result of the idols taking great pains to hide their dark secrets, but sometimes, those who worship them also had an overly idealized image of them. Expect them to ask of their idol, "Was It All a Lie?"

When the mentor or idol is actually worthy of the admiration, but is flawed enough to make them unlikeable, that's Warts and All.

Related to Beleaguered Childhood Friend and Big Bad Friend. Compare Fallen Hero and Historical Hero Upgrade. Also compare Defiled Forever and My Girl Is Not a Slut. Contrast with Evil Mentor, who was Obviously Evil from the beginning. Not to be confused with Broken Base. Also contrast Rebuilt Pedestal, when a formerly Broken Pedestal is forgiven or exonerated. Contrast with Blind Obedience, where this usually isn't the case.


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  • Angel Sanctuary has several occuring during the story.
    • Setsuna gets an early one with Kira-sempai when he learns that Kira is actually not a normal human, but a ghost that has been following Alexiel's incarnations for a long time now. Includes the Was It All a Lie? question and Kira bluntly affirms it.
    • Setsuna 'The Messiah' Mudo is an idol and, well, the messiah prophecized to appear and clean up the mess that heaven is. Zaphikel actually asks Setsuna to play the appropriate messiah role for his people, to motivate them. Setsuna starts this, but then reveals his true nature: he's nothing but 'this cute little boy who doesn't care about heaven or fixing anything, he just wants to save the earth and get back the girl he loves'. As inspirational as those words initially were, the pedestal is quickly broken when the rebels see that Setsuna really acts nothing like the messiah and a lot of people have senselessly given their life to protect him. They do call him out on how nobody would even help him, if Zaphikel hadn't ordered them to.
      • Fortunately, after a Heroic B.S.O.D. that the above deaths have given him, Setsuna promises to actually become a better person and not just get a big head by being called the messiah. He even meets a kid later that admits that his honest words really did inspire him.
    • What Zaphikel thought would happen, if Raziel learned the truth behind Zaphikel, that Zaphikel used to be a horrible person who enjoyed killing, was betrayed by the government and later decided to become the leader of the rebels in heaven, given how honest and earnest Raziel was about being a help and thinking heaven was fine. Subverted, Raziel says he's honored that Zaphikel told him and retains his pedestal for Zaphikel.
      • Zaphikel loses his pedestal for the entirety of heaven, particularly the higher ups like Sevothtarte, after he begins to like an angel in the lower layers of heaven, where a lot of unregistered, forbidden children live. Thinking that he really was bettering heaven, Raziel asked for supplies from the higher ups, which ended up to be all laced with bombs, killing the children and the angel Raziel liked. His pedestal broke, realizing how messed up heaven is and blaming himself for the events.
      • Raziel loses his pedestal for Setsuna as the messiah, too. He thought Setsuna would be a wonderful messiah, but then realized that he's a headstrong boy, who is ignoring his more rationaly-thinking friends, and is disgusted when he hears that Setsuna is in love with his twin-sister Sara. The kicker really came when Setsuna returns from the failed messiah mission in heaven and Raziel learns that Zaphikel has been captured and will soon be executed by the government because of Setsuna's actions. He explodes at Setsuna and yelling 'You want to be our messiah!? Who could you possibly save?!', leading into Setsuna's aforementioned Heroic B.S.O.D..
  • Reiner Braun from Attack on Titan is admired and highly respected by others, as well as being the Team Dad to his comrades. Eren in particular looks up to him, as the person who taught him the value of honor and duty. Then, it's revealed that he's the Armored Titan that destroyed the inner gate of Wall Maria and doomed roughly 20% of the human population to a horrible death.
    • The military itself could be considered this to many young soldiers, due to the massive corruption and We Have Reserves attitude. The Military Police in particular, a prestigious group of soldiers that only the top 10 graduates in any class can even get into, are a far cry from the protectors of the kingdom the more naive new recruits might have thought.
  • Season 1 of Baki the Grappler has Baki looking up to his absent father and constantly training and fighting to follow in his footsteps...and then when he finally appears, it turns out he hospitalizes Hanayama, kills the Yasha ape and presents its severed head to Baki, beats and humiliates Gaiya, mercilessly beats on Baki when the fight finally occurs even when he's knocked unconscious, kills Emi when she finally comes around to protect her son, then beats up all of Baki's friends before leaving Japan. He didn't just break the pedestal, he pulverized it.
  • Guts has the misfortune of having gone through two of these in Berserk, both of whom betrayed him in unforgivable fashion. The first was his adoptive father Gambino, who first taught him how to fight as a wee little boy, but who had him raped by one of his men and eventually got drunk and tried to murder him, both acts of which were done out of hatred for him born from blaming him for the death of his lover Sys, itself born from the superstitious belief that a child taken from a corpse is bad luck. The other was Griffith, who refined Guts' fighting skills and made him an able battle commander, but who was also a Manipulative Bastard who became obsessed with him over time, which would lead to him falling apart when Guts left the Hawks, growing to hate him during his year of torture, and finally hitting his Despair Event Horizon upon learning Guts was in a relationship with Casca, his Number Two, and were discussing the possibility of leaving him behind, which would set off the events of the Eclipse in which Griffith betrayed and sacrificed everyone he'd led to the Godhand to become their fifth member, Femto — and then went on to personally betray Guts further with what he did to Casca right in front of him.
  • Kanata of Betrayal Knows My Name is Yuki's childhood friend who grew up with him in the orphanage. Yuki considers him to be like an older brother figure and looks up to him. However, as it turns out, Kanata is actually the Big Bad Reiga who tried to kill Yuki's friends numerous times.
  • Captain Sosuke Aizen to everyone in Bleach, especially to his lieutenant, Momo Hinamori.
    • With Tousen with both his long-time friend Komamura and his vice captain Hisagi. The two are especially shocked to learn that he was motivated by the desire for revenge for his friend's death since he saw that revenge as justice and saw a peaceful life with her dead and her murderer unpunished by the Central 46 as evil.
    • In the anime-only Zanpakuto Unknown Tales arc, Koga for Muramasa, who betrays him after being freed from his seal.
    • Soifon regarded Yoruichi this way after her defection though, truthfully, it had more to do with abandoning her than breaking the law. What's worse, Yoruichi never offers her an explanation for it. Emotionally spent and, having lost the will to fight, Soi Fon submitted to her former master, in the end. According the Official Bootleg, they've since reconciled their differences and their bond is as strong as ever.
  • Its implied in episode 20 of Code Geass R2, and confirmed in the subsequent episode, that Empress Marianne is Lelouch's broken pedestal, by virtue of being complicit in her husband's Assimilation Plot and abandoning Lelouch and Nunnally for years, among other things. She's certainly quite the Magnificent Bitch and Lady Macbeth, instead of the borderline Purity Sue that Lulu thought she was.
  • A Cruel God Reigns: Greg for Ian. Ian near idol worshiped his father, and you feel really bad for the poor guy when he finds out that his father was beating and raping his step-brother. Especially considering this revelation leads to Ian's massive My God, What Have I Done? moment.
  • Machiya from DEAD Tube is betrayed by the whole Film Research Club, which hits him hard but the Club’s President betrayal hurt him the most, Oushima was his beloved Senpai, Machiya admired and harbored romantic feelings for her; when she revealed to be part of DEAD Tube, also being a completely different person personality-wise and had sex orgies behind his back knowing full well he liked her, Machiya quickly doomed Oushima to her death.
  • Matsuda in Death Note is very fond of Light. After he finds out Light is Kira, and hears him personally denigrate his own father, who Matsuda also looked up to, Matsuda loses any and all respect he had for him, gets very angry, and gets very close to killing him, shooting him several times.
  • Detective Conan loves to apply this trope to murderers and victims.
    • The best example comes when Conan Edogawa, during the "3K's of Osaka" storyline, realizes that his idol, the famous European soccer player Ray Curtis, is the murderer of the week. Not only that, but the rumors about his heroin addiction were, in fact, true.
    • Ran goes through this twice. First, the karate champion she idolizes is Taking the Heat for his girlfriend, the true murderer. Second, she not only finds out that her favorite school teacher also was the killer of the week, but has to actually reveal the truth, making said episode a massive Tear Jerker.
    • Another instance involves a woman who worked at a pastry shop and was kind to Ayumi...who had lured her downstairs neighbor under her window and dropped a flower pot on her head. Ayumi didn't want to believe she could have done it, and was broken-hearted when it turned out she did.
    • It happened again when the Detective Boys investigated a case of "self-defense" by a man Mitsuhiko idolized and discovered it was actually premeditated murder.
    • And then there's a subversion... Shiratori is genuinely saddened when he meets a girl who seemed to be his "girl of destiny" and it turns out she's a Woman Scorned who has just killed her boyfriend after he screwed her over and tried to use him to strengthen her alibi... but soon he finds out she isn't the girl he's been pining for. And he later finds out who she *actually* is.
    • It's played straight twice for Kogoro, too. First, one of his True Companions turns out to have killed another person from their friend circle. Later, a young lady whom he tutored in the past kills her older sister.
  • In Dragon Ball Z, when Vegeta and Bulma's future son Trunks goes back in time to warn Goku about the androids who devastated his timeline and murdered all of the Z-Fighters, he's very eager to meet his father who died when he was a baby. Later, when he finally gets a chance to meet Vegeta and fight by his side, he realizes that his father is actually a vicious Blood Knight who didn't really care that much about Bulma or his infant son and would have let them die in a plane crash had Trunks not rescued them. And that's before Vegeta makes it clear that he's perfectly willing to let Cell ascend to his perfect form to have a stronger opponent, regardless of the risk that Cell would destroy the world if he got too powerful. This is what actually pushed Trunks into blasting his father and nearly killing him. Thankfully, in part due to Trunks's influence, Vegeta eventually becomes a nicer person and a better father.
  • Eureka Seven:
    • Renton learns not too long into the series that his idol Holland is not quite what he imagined him to be. Holland beating Renton repeatedly and essentially using him as a physical outlet for his frustrations may have had something to do with that... Their relationship gets a lot better though, after Holland gets a heavy dose of Character Development.
    • Charles and Ray Beams also become one for Renton when he learns that they are planning to kill Eureka and have a grudge against the Gekkostate, including Holland.
  • Fairy Tail
    • Hades, also known as Precht Gaebolg, is this to Makarov. He was one of the founding members of Fairy Tail, the second master of the guild and a friend of Makarov's father. As such, Makarov looks up to him, and is dismayed to find out that since leaving the guild, he's founded the Dark Guild Grimoire Heart and is trying to resurrect Zeref.
    • Gajeel was this to Rogue, who idolized Gajeel as one of Phantom Lord's best mages, but was dismayed when, after Phantom Lord was disbanded, Gajeel joined Phantom Lord's Arch-Enemy Fairy Tail. Gajeel, however, points out that there was nothing admirable about the way he was back then.
    • The Agria sisters are a strange example in which the one on the pedestal is the one who realizes how far she's fallen. Yukino deeply loves her older sister Sorano(also known as Angel of the Oracion Seis), but when they finally meet again, Sorano denies being Yukino's sister, because while Yukino is a decent person, Sorano has committed many terrible crimes since they were separated, and doesn't feel a though she deserves to be around Yukino until she's atoned.
  • In Fruits Basket, when Arisa Uotani was in junior high, she deeply admired the "Red Butterfly", a legendary gang leader. When she learned that she lived nearby, Arisa was eager to find her. When she finally did, she discovered that the tough Red Butterfly, Kyouko Honda had turned into a Doting Parent. She wasn't happy, but she eventually warmed up to her, especially after Kyouko helped her quit her gang, who weren't about to let her leave.
  • May Chang from Fullmetal Alchemist, imagines Edward Elric to be a tall, handsome, princely figure, and spends half of her time daydreaming about him. When she actually meets him and finds that Ed's a short snarker with a bad temper, she just about flips her lid, accusing Ed of toying with her heart.
  • Zaied from Full Metal Panic! is a mild version of this. Not that Sousuke really worshipped him or felt so eternally grateful to him...but Zaied was a respected memory to Sousuke of an honorable, dead comrade of the past. Needless to say, any feeling of goodwill on Sousuke's part completely vanishes when he realizes that Zaied decided to team up with Gauron and kill a bunch of his current comrades. Let's face it - Zaied's alliance with Gauron was enough to piss Sousuke off to the point where he thinks absolutely nothing of killing Zaied, and is afterwards never shown to ever think about the guy again.
  • In Genesis Climber MOSPEADA (a.k.a. Robotech's Invid Invasion saga), Stig ("Scott") Bernard's mentor and hero, Major Johnathan ("Colonel Johnathan Wolff") has sold out to the Inbit, running a free town of would-be rebels while leading the most serious ones into certain death. He does experience Redemption Through Death by the end of the episode.
    • The Robotech example gets subverted in Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles. There we see Marcus Rush, Marlene's little brother who wants to avenge their (presumed for Scott) deaths. When he meets Scott, he is overjoyed and regards him with high respect...until he finds out about Ariel, at which point he goes berserk. The subversion is that Ariel IS a friend, even if she is Invid.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: One of Batou's idols was a former boxer and a silver-medalist in the Paralympics. He had the skill to easily take the gold, but he threw the fight. It's not like his life had been devastated by that decision he made, as he still lived a comfortable life. Batou find out that he's actually a very decent man, someone actually worthy of looking up to. However, he had lost his way and started spying on the country just to earn a little extra cash. Batou didn't take this revelation very lightly...
  • Poor Sugi of Girl Friends, in her Day in the Limelight chapter, had a most awkward reunion with her idolized former elementary school teacher and first crush when the latter molested her while she was commuting on a train, completely shattering her rose-tinted memories of him. Tamamin had a good laugh at her expense when she told her abut it.
  • In Girls und Panzer, Miho has this with her older sister Maho for a brief time. In the prequel manga Little Army, Miho is upset to learn that Maho once fired on an enemy flag tank (whose being disabled is an Instant-Win Condition) that was going to save one of her team's tanks that fell off a cliff, especially when she not only admits to it, but coldly brushes Miho off. After Miho summons the nerve to ask her mother whether this was necessary, her sister goes up to her, apologizes for her aloof behavior and tells Miho to find her own way of tankery; the last scene of the chapter also indicates that Maho is trying as hard as she is to be a good Nishizumi heiress so that Miho can live the way she wishes. The incident, however, did cause Miho to question the Nishizumi style's philosophy of winning regardless of the cost, and inspired her to seek out her own way of tankery.
  • A humorous example in Gundam Build Fighters. Ricardo Fellini is usually regarded as not just an excellent world-level builder and fighter, but as a suave lady killer as well. Which just sets up Sei and Mao for a big Disappointed in You reaction when they see him derailing a so far successful pickup with a drunken nerdy rant about the new 08th MS Team animated short.
    Sei and Mao in unison: So disillusioned...
  • Subverted in Hamtaro. Laura finds out that her favorite pop singer, Glitter, is a sharp-tongued Yandere who tried to steal her crush Travis, but at the end of the episode, she writes in her diary saying that she feels sorry for her.
  • Iona attempts this on Hime towards Megumi and Yuuko in Happiness Charge Pretty Cure by revealing Hime's Dark Secret: opening the Axia Box and releasing the Phantom Empire. It doesn't work. This was more geared towards Megumi more than Yuuko, though, as it was through Hime that Megumi became a Cure.
  • There are few examples of this in Hell Girl. One example is during Season 3, when a teenage girl, who was mostly ignored by her classmates, suddenly becomes popular after it is discovered that she was able to get all of her letters read on air during a popular late night radio that is catered to teenage girls. Later in the episode, she along with another fangirl, find out that the whole show is scripted and written by a"creative producer" and that the disc jockey the girl became infatuated with was just reading lines that the creative producer written. The teenage girl sends the other fangirl to hell so the secret can be kept from everyone else.
  • In Jin, Saki is heartbroken when she learns that kabuki actor she admires doesn't care that a woman he's made pregnant is heavily sick and he won't give money to heal her. Later subverted, as he does end up paying a debt Jin made to afford a medicine for her. Not that he cares.
  • This happens to Nanami from Kamisama Kiss when she finds out the Idol Singer she has a crush on, Kurama, is something of Jerkass, and later, isn't really human.
  • Azusa to Yui in K-On! is a mild example because her worship doesn't turn to hate like every other case here, but it still fits: she's inspired to join the Light Music Club after their performance in the high school entrance ceremony, admiring especially the frontwoman (whose little sister is a friend of hers). As it turns out, she knows more about musical theory than Yui (who really doesn't know one iota of it) and is absolutely appalled to see that she spends 90% of her time in the club slacking off rather than actually, you know, rehearsing or training. In the end, it's Azu-nyan who snaps at Yui when she screws up horribly at their school festival performance. And all of this in one manga volume.
  • In The Mutineer arc of the second Legend of Galactic Heroes Gaiden series, First Officer Lieutenant Bertram was idolised by the crew of the destroyer Hameln II for being the role model of common-born soldiers. However, when crisis struck the destroyer, he was revealed to be selfish person willing to throw the Hameln II into certain doom just to preserve his name as an "honourable Imperial officer". The crew members were so disappointed with him upon that revelation that they decided to join the Chief Navigator Reinhard von Lohengramm (then Müsel) and start a mutiny to wrest back control of the ship. Eventually however, Bertram had a Heel Realization and redeemed himself with a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's has the Lieze sisters and Gil Graham for Chrono, though they were less evil and more of the Well-Intentioned Extremist types. Naturally, he's the one who figured out their scheme and arrested them.
    • Graham could very well be one for Hayate, too, but we don't know if she knows the truth about him. Granted too, he still did a lot that was respectable, accepted he was in error and got off with just resigning his TSAB post.
    • After being rescued, by the titular character in the first episode of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, Subaru had admired Nanoha almost to the point of worship and was genuinely happy that she has been given the opportunity to work with her idol. When Nanoha shot down her partner and friend mercilessly during training as punishment for insubordination and afterwards removed said partner from combat readiness during an operation she was visibly upset. The trope gets subverted after she learns why Nanoha acted the way she did: she was looking out for her trainees' well being by planning their training regimens step by step to avoid the necessity of Training from Hell, something that Subaru's partner constantly subjects herself into as Nanoha herself suffered almost career ending injuries when she was younger because of overtraining. After this, Subaru's admiration for Nanoha returned and possibly intensified even more.
  • In Märchen Awakens Romance, Galian is this to Nanashi. The former leader of the thief guild Luberia erases Nanashi's memories of him and joins the Chess Pieces.
  • Master Asia is Domon's broken pedestal in Mobile Fighter G Gundam. He eventually turns out to be a Well-Intentioned Extremist who dies seeing the error of his ways—but at the same time, his death from this is ensured that it won't be in vain.
  • Gilbert Durandal in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny. Just...everything about him qualifies. As ZAFT's Glorious Leader and an apparent moderate he was idolised by his own followers and much of the world. And then we find out that he's a Well-Intentioned Extremist who aims to make the world a better place by imposing a genetic determinist utopia. In the end, much of his fleet switches sides after this gets outed. His last real follower, Rey Za Burrel, is the one who does him in after Kira gives him a Breaking Speech.
    • In a milder example, Ace Pilot Athrun Zala is one to the younger crew of the Minerva. They were expecting The Ace that the news told them about. They got a Shell-Shocked Veteran with No Social Skills and an inability to see anything but shades of grey.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Astray has a lesser version, Kisato Yamabuki is shown to be a major fan of George Glenn, the first Coordinator. When the GG Unit, a device containing the algorithms of the man's brain, is hooked up to a hologram on the ReH.O.M.E., Kisato's shocked to find out that Glenn is laid-back and scatterbrained and not the larger-than-life pioneer that she envisioned him to be. Later on Glenn tells Kisato that legends rarely match up with reality and he's just an ordinary man like anyone else, and thus convinces her to give him a second chance.
  • At the start of Monster, Tenma greatly looks up to his boss and seems to view him as a father figure. Said boss exploits his surgical skills for media publicity, plays political games that get one of Tenma's patients killed, and screws Tenma's career over for daring to defy him.
    • Nine years later, Tenma still tells his patients about that young boy he's so proud to have saved. Yeah...
    • Another case happens to Jan Suk, who admires a police who is actually corrupt.
  • Rio Kurotori for Biko, and to a lesser degree, Muhyo and Yoichi in Muhyo and Roji, although Biko seems to forgive her after she defects from Ark.
  • At the start of My Hero Academia, Deku suffers this when not only he finds out about All Might's weak form, but All Might himself tells him to grow up, that being Quirkless means he'll never be a Hero. Fortunately, this soon changes after Deku attempts to save his classmate Bakugo even without a Quirk, ultimately giving All Might a Heroic Second Wind which he later thanks Deku for, deciding that his selfless act makes him the right person he needed to inherit his Quirk and become a hero after all.
  • Played for Laughs (like just about every other trope) in My Monster Secret, where Shirou realizes that Akari (his other personality Shiho's teacher) is the legendary delinquent known as "Akari of the Hundred Visits" and asks Asahi to introduce him. Unfortunately, Principal Akane and later Akari herself reveal that all the "legends" about her were just about her going nuts when she got rejected by guys. Subverted when Shirou says that he admires Akari all the more for having the courage to get back up after being rejected; Akari mistakes this for a Love Confession, but when Shiro denies it and says she's too old for him, Akari Megaton Punches him into the nearest wall.
  • Naruto:
    • It's revealed that Itachi's massacre of the Uchiha clan happened with the approval of Konoha's elders, the end result of the village's fear and suspicion of the Uchiha clan ever since Madara's one-man rebellion when he was denied the position of 1st Hokage. However, this is somewhat mitigated by the fact that the Uchihas really were planning a coup. It's also worth noting that while the Third Hokage knew the truth behind the massacre, he did try to prevent it from happening.
    • An interesting example is Naruto toward the Fourth Hokage. In the first chapter Naruto admits to having a deep respect for the Fourth due to his actions and abilities. He never shows any change in attitude towards the man until actually meeting him, at which point Naruto promptly punches him while yelling about how tough his life was thanks to the sealing. However, this might have compounded by the fact the Fourth literally just dropped the bombshell about being his dad.
    • In the second Shippuden movie Shinnou turns out to be one for Amaru. Amaru is quite shocked, but separates the person who taught her medicine and served as an inspiration to save lives and the person who is the Big Bad.
    • In the Six-Tails arc, Utakata has one in his master, whom he killed as he tried to extract the Six-Tailed Beast. It's played with as Utakata hears that his master did it for his own good, but Utakata refuses to believe it until it's finally subverted when Utakata realizes, with Naruto's help, that his master wanted to help him. In the same arc, there's also Shiranami for Hotaru.
    • Chapter 599. The look on Kakashi's face once he realizes just who Tobi is is heart wrenching, especially considering that Obito was remembered as a hero of Konoha and was the one who inspired Kakashi to consider bonds with comrades most important. The fact that Kakashi spent years trying to live up to Obito's loyalty and kindhearted nature, to the point of emulating his personality and mannerisms as a memorial to him, just makes it worse and drives the knife in even deeper than it already was.
    • This occurs to Hanabi in two anime episodes about her. She deeply admired her older sister Hinata as a toddler but when she was able to beat her despite being several years younger than her that's when she became confused. After years of their relationship being rocky she begins rebuilding the pedestal after noticing her sister really isn't as weak as she seems and is shown to have a good relationship with her when Hinata is an adult.
  • In No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular! we have Kii-chan, who looks up to Tomoko as a Cool Big Sis character. But when she finds out that Tomoko, to appear like an experienced high schooler, lied about having a boyfriend and being popular, and even cheating at a card game with kids to impress her, she lost a lot of respect for her. And now has taken to treating her like a pitiful puppy.
  • One Piece:
    • Dr. Hogback for Tony Tony Chopper, as Chopper realizes that he was doing research on zombies, and enabling Moria to create an army of beings that should not naturally be alive. Hogback also admits that he was in medicine for the money and he doesn't particularly care what Chopper thinks of him (although he does point out that he plans to kill Chopper and reanimate his corpse with a shadow so that he can serve the doctor he admired).
    • Vice Admiral Vergo for the marines of G-5, who admired him for taking command of marines who couldn't fit in anywhere else, until it turned out that he was working as The Mole for Donquixote Doflamingo and was responsible for the children being kidnapped.
    • Caesar Clown for Brownbeard, who pretty much worships the ground he walks on after he saved him and his crew, only to find out that he doesn't return the respect in the slightest and only treats them as expendable forces.
  • Pokémon:
    • Charmander. Completely oblivious to the fact that his Jerkass of a trainer abandoned him because he was weak, waited for the day for that trainer to return, even through a fierce storm (which would be fatal to Charmander, had it not been for Ash and friends).
      • Similarly, Shamus for Tepig. After the pedestal is crushed and he suffers a brief Heroic B.S.O.D., Tepig evolves into Pignite in a Heroic Resolve.
    • A major plot point in Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew is that Lucario believed that the Knight of Aura that he looked up to, Sir Aaron, abandoned Cameron Palace in its time of need. It was not helped by the fact that, the last time Lucario saw him, Sir Aaron sealed Lucario inside of a staff seemingly for no reason at all. However, Lucario would later learn that Sir Aaron in fact did save the kingdom by sacrificing himself, and he sealed Lucario because he didn't want the Pokémon to follow him and do the same thing.
  • In Ratman, the Hero Organization fits this at first, since some of its members like Ankaiser are jerks who care more for fame and fortune than about actually helping people. As the series progresses, they ultimately prove to be well intentioned and decent, if not perfect, people. The real Broken Pedestal is Shiningman who Shuuto long idolized as the perfect hero but turned out to be anything but.
  • The mysterious prince that inspires Utena so much in Revolutionary Girl Utena is...not so princely.
  • Chibi-Usa in the 90s Sailor Moon anime experienced this. Finding out that the great warrior Sailor Moon was actually the clumsy and crybaby Usagi Tsukino really incensed her to the point where, once she found out that she did have the Silver Crystal she was looking for, she stupidly and impulsively sole it and the brooch it was in and decided to go back home with it, one-sidedly deeming Usagi unworthy of having it or the title of Sailor Moon. This really bit Chibi-Usa in the ass one Rubeus showed up and kidnapped the Senshi because Chibi-Usa, by taking the Crystal away, got Usagi needlessly Brought Down to Normal; naturally, Usagi is pissed off and Chibi-Usa is emotionally crushed.
  • In Saint Beast, Lucifer was a mentor to Judas and Luca who were crestfallen when he was banished to hell for defying Zeus. Zeus is also subject to this considering that as a god he has no shortage of angels who worship and idolize him. Being as horrible as he is, there are also many who become disillusioned with him, such as Lucifer, Gabriel, and the protagonists.
  • The eponymous character of Saki looked up to her older sister Teru when they were younger, but their parents separated, and Teru stopped speaking with her. Saki held out hope in being able to reconnect with Teru through mahjong, but that was severely shaken when she learned that Teru had stopped considering her a sister.
  • Another pedestal is smashed in its gaiden series Saki Achiga-hen. Arata really idolized Akado Harue and was greatly disappointed when the latter stopped playing mahjong after a crushing defeat in a very important match (cross-checking with Saki reveals that she lost to Sukoya). Arata decided not to join the club Harue was teaching at because she didn't want to see Harue playing with kids, but playing as a pro. However, the pedestal is quickly rebuilt (and the parties involved make amends) when Harue become the coach to team Achiga, and Arata joins it after learning that Harue's resolve has been renewed.
  • An indirect example: In the Sakura Wars TV series, Kohran idolizes the inventor of the kohbu armor, whom she knows only by reputation and from the notes and plans he left behind. When she discovers that he switched sides long ago and now leads the demonic forces against which she and the other Hanagumi fight, she undergoes a crisis of faith.
  • In Shakugan no Shana, Eita Tanaka greatly admired Margery Daw for her strength and coolness, doing everything he could to assist her in battle. One day, Margery, in a fit of Unstoppable Rage, blew up Eita's girlfriend Ogata with a stray energy blast without even noticing. Although Margery quickly brought Ogata back to life and Ogata has no memory of this, Eita was traumatized for life. He broke off ties with Margery and said he never wants to see her again. However, he did care about Margery enough to help her when she later went into a coma.
  • Shattered Angels has Ayanokouji Kazuya, the presumed deceased older brother of the main lead, Ayanokouji Kyoushirou. Kazuya was originally portrayed as Kyoushirou's, unsurpassable better: the handsome, intelligent, diligent scientist who sacrificed himself in an attempt to prevent a lab accident involving the release of the Absolute Angels from destroying the world. Toward the end of the series, Kyoshiro and Kuu find out that Kazuya engineered the accident with the intent on wiping out all life on the planet so that he could be alone in his utopia with his beloved, the most powerful of the Absolute Angels. Also, he survived the first explosion and is more than willing to try it again.
  • Zelgadis from Slayers looked up to his guardian and great-grandfather Rezo, a powerful spellcaster, as the epitome of good, nobility and selflessness. He even allows himself to be turned into a monstrous chimera (part human, part golem, part demon) in order to be stronger and more able to further Rezo's cause. Understandably, Zel is quite bitter when he finds out that everything Rezo was doing, up to and including his experiment on Zelgadis, was intended only to find a cure for his blindness. What Rezo failed to realize is that his blindness is a seal. By opening his eyes a fragment of Ruby-Eyed Shabranigdo awoke, destroyed his body, and nearly destroyed the world.
  • Sara Werec of Str.A.In.: Strategic Armored Infantry learns that her beloved brother has gone insane, defected and killed her friends. (Pithy statement: "Only you can do what you've decided to do. If you feel that way, there's nothing you can't do.")
  • In Tenchi Muyo!, Tenchi suffers this towards his mother. For years, Tenchi believed his mother, Kiyone, was this sweet and kind-hearted woman. Then, years after her death, he finally gets Noboyuki and Katsuhito to tell him what happened to her. They tell this tale of all the adventurous things she did, getting wilder and fantastical... then, they can't go through with it anymore and tell Tenchi the truth - what they just told him was from a script, a script she willed them to say, that Kiyone was a massive practical joker and that she died in her sleep beside Tenchi at the age of 487. What's worse, he's come to realize that those memories of the kind-hearted woman? Were that of Rea, Noboyuki's secretary/possible second girlfriend while he was still married. Tenchi is clearly pissed off at these revelations.
  • In Tiger & Bunny, Kotetsu's been inspired since childhood by Sternbild's first superhero, Mr. Legend, to dedicate his life to saving others. Guess who fell into alcoholism and domestic abuse after losing his powers and career? Kotetsu is told about arrests being setup and the loss of power. Only the audience see the worst of it through a flashback revealing that the ex-greatest hero in Stern Bild was killed in self-defence by his son, Yuri Petrov aka Lunatic.
  • Yoki for Shio in Waq Waq, as he turns out to be working for the villains. He's actually a bit of a Well-Intentioned Extremist Fake Defector, but his plan to kill an innocent red-blooded girl to permanently end the tyranny of the red-blooded "kami" is quite disturbing to Shio.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Joey Wheeler idolizes the movie star and kung-fu master Jean-Claude Magnum—until he actually meets the man. His behavior towards Mai makes Joey like him less and less. The final nail in the coffin is when Mai finds herself in real danger and Magnum has no idea what to do, forcing Joey to save the day.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, Crow idolizes the Legendary D-Wheeler, the first person to escape from Satellite, until he finds out that he is really Rex Godwin, the tyrant fostering the poverty and discrimination in Satellite.
  • In Zatch Bell!, when under Zofis's control, it seems like Koko is this for Sherry.

    Comic Books 
  • The Chief (Niles Caulder) of the Doom Patrol. Turns out that, believing that greatness comes from overcoming tragedy, he engineered the accidents that gave the original Doom Patrol their powers. He eventually tried to take his plan global before he was finally stopped. He's supposedly reformed since then, but let's hope the Patrol is smart enough to keep an eye on him. Half of them are just as nuts as he is, at least one fell in with a better crew, and all of them follow the Manipulative Bastard even though they know full well he's a Manipulative Bastard. At least other, non-Doom Patrol superheroes are always visibly put out of sorts when Caulder's around.
  • In The DCU, Deadshot who takes a contract to kill his mentor David Cain from Lex Luthor, and is disgusted by how much Cain, his former idol, has fallen apart.
  • Space Usagi: Usagi's mentor, who happens to be his slain lord's brother and the current lord's uncle, is actually the one who hired the ninjas that killed his lord in the first place. He's also kidnapped his nephew to mind probe the location of the royal treasury. In a separate story, the person who killed Usagi's own father was someone that both of them respected and admired. Both stories lead to an inevitable showdown.
  • Subverted in Preacher: Jesse Custer's father figure (past the age of 5) who taught him how to fight, shoot, and grow up was Jody, the Corrupt Hick who ruined his life and killed his father. But he knew this the entire time, and eventually paid him back for it by choking him to death with his bare hands instead of using the "Word of God". His last words to Jessie before his murder at Jesse's hands "Proud o' you boy".
  • Sinestro was once considered to be the greatest Green Lantern to have ever existed and was a mentor to Hal Jordan. But eventually, it came out that Sinestro was a tyrant on his homeworld and was exiled, becoming an enemy to the Corps (especially Hal). This trope is invoked a lot when they go head to head.
  • Antos Wyrick is probably going to become this for Jarael in Knights of the Old Republic. While Jarael believed in him as a great man, he's actually a murderous psychopath who views his students only as ways to advance his own agenda.
  • Xavier is Cyclops' broken pedestal in X-Men. Since learning of Xavier's various misuses of his telepathic powers to rewrite Scott's memories and cover up old shame, Cyclops has had great difficulty dealing with Xavier's betrayal. It eventually culminated with Cyclops financially seizing control of the Xavier Institute and kicking Professor Xavier out of his own home.
  • In Ms. Tree, Dan Green worshipped his older brother Victor who went MIA during The Vietnam War. Dan ultimately undertook a mission to Vietnam attempting to locate his brother's body, only to discover that Victor was still alive and living as a crimelord.
  • Lex Luthor, especially in modern continuity, has gone through two major cycles of this: first as a Corrupt Corporate Executive and second as President Evil. In the former case, Lex was a hero to the city who employed half of Metropolis. He kept his criminal activities hidden until clone degeneration affected his second body, triggering a rampage. The second time, Lex rose to even greater heights as the rebuilder of Metropolis and Gotham (in the public's eyes), who won the presidency as the darkhorse third party candidate and helped save the world from Imperiex, only to go crazy from Kryptonite injections as he prepared to use all his resources and goodwill to take down Superman once and for all.
  • In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl, Supergirl befriended Lex Luthor shortly after arriving on Earth. She regarded him as a good friend and a surrogate father and mentor, and she thought that he was a very, very good man who loved helping people. Then she discovered that he was a bigoted, selfish, egomaniac, uncaring, murderous, manipulative bastard.
  • Eddie Bloomberg aka Kid Devil idolized Blue Devil and wanted to be a hero just like him. When he made the Deal with the Devil that turned him into the superpowered Kid Devil, said Devil Neron stated that Eddie's soul would belong to him if his trust in Blue Devil was ever broken. After the deal was made, Neron told Eddie that Blue Devil had made a deal with Neron for movie stardom that accidentally (on Blue Devil's part) claimed the life of Eddie's aunt Marla. When Eddie confronted Blue Devil about it and Blue Devil confirmed it, Eddie resigned himself to becoming Neron's slave because he would never trust Blue Devil again.
  • Infinite Crisis: Superboy-Prime gave up his home, family and friends to save the Multiverse during the Crisis. He then was imprisoned in a pocket dimension to make sure he survived the reconstruction of creation. How is he repaid? He has to watch his heroes get corrupted for years. How does he react? Not well.
  • Spider-Man:
  • In the crossover Spider-Man and Batman: Disordered Minds, we learn that Carnage is a massive fanboy towards The Joker. However, that all goes down the pot when Carnage grows tired of Joker's theatrics and the Joker just absolutely hates Carnage's idea of randomly murdering people without any form of comedy.
  • Despite utterly loathing the Black Panther, Erik Killmonger actually idolized The Avengers as a young man. During the brief period where he became the new Black Panther after defeating T'Challa, he petitioned to gain membership in the group, and even teamed up with them during a battle involving Deadpool. The battle in question caused him to lose his respect for the Avengers, as he felt the fact that they abide by rules imposed on them by the government made them a pack of spineless cowards.
  • Fidel Castro became this for Rius, after the latter became disappointed with the state of things in Cuba after half a century of revolution.
  • Batman:
    • In Death of the Family, the Batfamily is unhappy with Batman for keeping at least one secret from them. In fact, Joker could be counting on this trope to sabotage his enemies. That was his motive, to figuratively cause the death of the Bat-family by breaking their trust in each other.
    • This is how Batman finally defeats Deacon Blackfire in Batman: The Cult - he realizes Blackfire wants to die at Batman's hands so he can become a martyr, thus Batman attacks him to show his followers that he isn't immortal, but just a man. His drugged and broken followers are so enraged by the weakness that they finish the job.
  • In Star Wars Legacy, Imperial Knight Antares Draco looked up to his master Eshkar Niin as a wise teacher and still values the lessons he taught, but his faith in his master was shattered when Niin deserted the Order and murdered the Empress for seemingly no reason, forcing Draco to kill his renegade master in a duel to the death. Draco is understandably shaken when he later learns that Niin not only survived their duel, but has since become a Sith Inquisitor under the name Darth Havok.

    Comic Strips 
  • In an early Bloom County strip, Milo searches for Betty Crocker, of all people, someone he believes represents America as it should be: pure, unspoiled, and decent. Sadly, when he finds the now-elderly founder of the company, she's the same as any other CEO, and is Only in It for the Money. (Even worse, she knows nothing about actual cooking.) Still, Milo takes small comfort at the end:
    Milo: Y'know, I came looking for the real America in Betty Crocker... and know what? I think I found her. Farewell.
    [beat panel as Betty thinks about it]
    Betty: Overhyped but basically a good broad!
    Milo: Bingo.

    Fan Works 
  • Pokemon Pals: First Ash finds out Professor Oak is skilled at helping people fake their deaths. He then finds out the professor was just about to euthanize Pikachu when he showed up. Finally, he discovers the whole reason that Professor Oak helped him on his way to leave Pallet Town was so he could seduce Ash's mother.
  • Parodied in My Little Pony: The Mentally Advanced Series: Starlight Glimmer's Start of Darkness was when her cute childhood friend, whom she was convinced was going to be hot when he was older, moved away. She finds out from Twilight that he was at best a "7 out of 10" and that was before he contracted herpes. She's very disappointed and loses all interest in him and continuing to be evil.
  • This trope is given an interesting dimension in the Pony POV Series. Ace flyer Spitfire has a breakdown over how her team, the Wonderbolts, are useless when they actually try to help out and be heroes (a deconstruction of their poor track record in the FiM series itself). This is then reconstructed when Dash refuses to accept Spitfire's claims of being a Broken Pedestal, pointing out how they still inspire others to be heroes.
  • In the Tamers Forever Series, this happens to Takeru in the eyes of the Tamers once they find out he plans to allow Takato to die in order to prevent Daemon from acquiring the power of God.
  • Hobbes initially idolized Socrates in Calvin and Hobbes: The Series, but after suffering a Humiliation Conga at his hands (in an uncharacteristic fit of rage), he loses all his respect and finds him as annoying as the rest of the cast.
  • Advice and Trust: Maya idolizes Ritsuko to the point of having a crush on her. However Ritsuko sees herself as an idiot who makes awful things in order to try to seduce an asshole who does not care about her, and she is afraid that she will become this to Maya if her assistant realizes how she really is. In chapter 8 Ritsuko thinks she is not who Maya thinks she is.
  • Ghosts of Evangelion: Kensuke was a military otaku who worshipped the army and the Fourth Division… until they hit Tokyo-3 and slaughtered everybody in NERV.
  • Higher Learning: Maya idolizes Ritsuko. After Maya learns about the Rei clones in the basement Ritsuko asks her: “You still think that I am wonderful?”. Maya was disappointed, but even so she still looked up to Ritsuko.
  • Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton:
    • Kaji to Asuka when she finds out that he was willing to let himself get murdered after discovering the secrets of Project Eva and he never ever thought about Misato and Asuka's reaction to his death. After she calls him out on it he apologises for disappointing her.
    • Asuka finding out that she's very close to becoming one to Hamilton (without him even knowing it) is one of the factors in her decision to become a heroine without looking for glory.
  • In Red Witch's Tangled Web series for Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, the entire team has one of these about Commander Walsh and Dr. Negata when they find out the full extent of what went on at Wolf Den, including vivisection of the Artificial Humans and forced deathmatches (with visiting Senators encouraged to gamble on the results).
  • In Faith and Doubt, Twilight suffers one towards Celestia thanks to the end of A Canterlot Wedding, Part 1. However, as Celestia points out, Twilight had been losing faith in her for some time, citing several examples from the series. It turns into a What the Hell, Hero? moment when Twilight reveals it was when Celestia proved willing to put her in danger to save her hateful, Omnicidal Maniac of a sister.
  • Summer Days And Evening Flames: Sergeant Shared Justice, or "Sherry," was the closest thing to a mother figure Iron Bulwark had in his early days after joining the guard. When Iron learns that Sherry was responsible for the a gang war that got dozens of officers under his command murdered, he's beyond appalled.
  • In White Devil of the Moon, this turns out to be the the Sailor Senshi's thoughts on Princess Serenity: they had thought of her as a martyr-like figure, representing the values of Love and Justice. Then her reincarnation, Nanoha Takamachi, comes along and reveals that their princess was a lazy and incompetent child who shirked her responsibilities to keep going to the Earth who ultimately killed herself when her beloved died, possibly dooming those who did survive the Dark Kingdom's attack. Interestingly, while Luna does see it as that, she also sees it as a chance for a better queen to rise up once Nanoha takes up her responsibilities.
  • Many Harry Potter fics do this for Hermione towards authority figures but Harry Potter and the Three Rules does this far sooner than most. After saving her from the troll by slitting its throat, Harry's given two months detention, docked 50 points, and told he'll be expelled if he's caught with a knife again. Made even worse by Snape punishing him further for having his potions knife on him almost immediately after potions class.
  • Hivefled; Gamzee is at first overjoyed to discover his own ancestor, the Grand Highblood, is taking him as a personal apprentice. That doesn't last long.
  • In Story of the Century, the pedestal Light has been on becomes broken when it's found out that he really is Kira and had been all along. It's also implied that the task force loses a lot of trust and respect for L too, given everything he did throughout the investigation. L ends up Dying Alone by the end, mostly by choice.
    Erin: Forget trust and respect, I don't even know how they stand you after what you've done to them.
    • In the sequel, this is what triggers Mello's Face–Heel Turn. It can be inferred that Near has undergone a similar reaction since he found out about L's death around the same time, but he takes on his title anyway and so far hasn't shown signs of being explicitly evil. Dickish and creepy, though? Definitely.
  • In Child of the Storm, Harry briefly has this towards his Asgardian family when he finds out about human sacrifices to them. The pedestal is rebuilt, however, when he finds out that this was a large part of why Thor and Loki stopped visiting Earth in the first place.
  • In Diaries of a Madman, Celestia and particularly Luna's reputations take a severe hit over the course of the story, as various events and scandals catch up with them. It is suggested that Luna is trying to drag her sister down with her as well.
  • Subverted in the MLP fanfic Falling Backwards, after Rainbow Dash's brain damage leaves her mentally a child, it looks like Scootaloo will have this. But, after her brief shock, she accepts the situation for what it is and that it was great while it lasted.
  • In The Masks We Wear, Prince Zuko learns that General Iroh and the Order of the White Lotus want him to 'redeem' the Fire Nation by helping the Avatar overthrow his father and become a puppet Fire Lord in all but name. It does not end well.
  • System Restore: Hinata struggles with this after it comes out that Komaeda, whom he considered an easygoing and helpful friend, was secretly planning to murder somebody at Togami's party. This is made worse by how he isn't able to get any closure, due to how Komaeda ended up being the first victim, meaning he never got a chance to explain himself.
    • The second chapter has a double-whammy of this. Togami's hit hard when he realizes that Pekoyama, whom he saw as one of his most dependable allies, let Kuzuryuu play Twilight Syndrome and set into motion the second murder, and Koizumi is also upset to hear that Pekoyama, whom she regarded as a friend, tried to convince Kuzuryuu to kill her. Before Togami can properly recover from that, everyone gets blindsided by the second murderer's identity, especially Souda and Tanaka, who had feelings for her.
  • In Eroninja, this also occurs between Kushina and Minato. After she and Naruto are accidentally sent to the past, Kushina admitted to herself that she could accept Minato's refusal to attempt to Set Right What Once Went Wrong after realizing Naruto was right and they couldn't predict what, if any, affect it'd have on the future. What she couldn't forgive though, was that Minato erased his own knowledge that eventually his wife would die and he'd make their son into a jinchuuriki. In her mind, it showed Minato was willing to make horrible sacrifices but but did so in a way he wouldn't have to live with himself for making them.
    • Much later, Naruto admits that while Minato was a great Hokage, he was a terrible husband and father, having chosen the village over his family. This later causes Naruto to decline Tsunade's offer of the job as he would someday have to choose between his village and his family.
    • Yugito is crushed to hear the Raikage claim that she and the Nibi are interchangeable. It devastates her further when she recalls that years earlier she'd bragged to Naruto how Kumo treated their jinchuuriki far better than the other villages. In the end, Kumo still saw them as jinchuuriki first and people second.
    • Hinata is described by Tsume as "looking like she just got sucker-punched and is trying to figure out why" when she learns that not only is Hanabi being trained specifically to defeat her, but she never needed to prove herself against her sister. As the first born of the Clan Head, in order to become the true heir all she'd have to do is declare her intention to do so.
    • After learning Suzume set her up as bait for someone she thought was a serial rapist who brainwashed his victims, Moegi is furious with her former sensei for encouraging her feelings for Naruto.
  • In Mega Man Reawakened, Robert admired Wily and his work until he turned evil.
  • In For His Own Sake, Naru's career advisor believes that she's hard-working and dedicated enough to become a fantastic teacher and contribute a lot to society. Needless to say, she's stunned when Naru randomly assaults a man for teasing his wife — and outright refuses to apologize, blaming the victim even after learning the full situation.
  • In Perfection Is Overrated, Ishigami becomes one to his student, Akira when she learns about his plan to manipulate Yukariko into helping him gain control of the Hime Star, which would likely involve defeating her and killing Takumi in the process. Her reaction is understated, but it's implied that she's more upset about it than she lets on.
  • In the Saki fanfic, Yumi, Maiko Miura Yumi's senpai and old girlfriend turned out to be this, after moving on to university and dumping Yumi for someone else without even telling her.
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness:
    • Moka and Kokoa both respected Akua and Kahlua until they discover that the two had been working for Fairy Tale. When the two have switched sides and are being punished by their father in the opening of Act IV, Moka and Kokoa have No Sympathy, with Moka remarking in disgust that she can't believe she and Kokoa actually used to respect them. However, they rebuild that pedestal as the series progresses.
    • During Act III, Tsukune and co. trust and respect Hokuto until chapters 41 and 42, where he reveals that he personally orchestrated Kuyou's attack on Yokai Academy to serve as a distraction while he stole an Artifact of Doom from the secured levels. Ruby in particular is completely disgusted with herself for ever having trusted him.
    • Dark always lived his life in honor of Arial, who granted him his freedom before she died, while Mizore often gave thanks to Arial at night as well. Come Act VI, when Arial comes Back from the Dead, they discover that she had become infatuated with Dark, nearly killing Mizore in a jealous rage. Dark himself suffers a major Heroic B.S.O.D. which, several chapters later, results in a massive Freak Out!, believing that everything he had fought for in Arial's name was meaningless. Mizore sums it up quite nicely in Act VI chapter 17:
    Mizore: Damn it, I've had enough of this girl. She's not the angel my Dark spoke of. She's not the angel I gave my thanks to at night. She's a fucking nightmare!!
    • Come Act VI chapter 27, however, Arial realizes and accepts that she is Dark's guardian angel/mother figure and nothing more, and they reconcile. In the case of herself and Mizore, however, things are still quite frosty, no pun intended.
  • Escape From The Hokage's Hat: Jiraiya to the Third Hokage. As when Jiraiya goes over both Konoha's and ROOT's history, he finds that the Third left Danzo and the council unchecked and made a few questionable choices that ultimately made things worse for Konoha.
  • Shatterheart: Clone!Syaoran has always looked up to Kurogane as a mentor and father-figure and hoped that Kurogane would do the same for his son, Tsubasa/Real!Syaoran. Clone! Syaoran is rather horrified when he finds out that Kurogane has a romantic relationship with Real!Syaoran. Clone!Syaoran doesn't like it but he grows to accept it.
  • Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness:
    • Harry is... confusing, when viewed through Neville's eyes. While Neville and the D.A. had spent the whole year planning, drilling, accepting the likelihood of their wholesale slaughter against the Death Eaters, they've also been relying on each other for friendship, love and support. Harry, on the other hand, has experienced isolation, panic and dread with barely any respite, so when he finally stumbles back into Hogwarts, he has all the disconnect and PTSD you'd expect. But from the D.A.'s perspective, Harry has none of the spark of revolution or excitement they'd expected. It's strongly implied that Neville's summoning of the entire D.A. and allies from the wizarding world for the final battle is less a function of his gee-whiz enthusiasm (as presented in the official canon) and more a tactic to keep the D.A. from imploding out of disappointment.
    • Also, a different pedestal breaks in Seamus and Neville's horrified reactions when they find out that Dumbledore's "plan" was a lot more of Gambit Roulette than Batman Gambit:
      "Din't you know ol' Dumbledore din't tell them anythin'? They were out there, tryin' not ta get killed, wanderin' around for better part o' a year on a little breadcrumb scavenger hunt, no bleedin' idea o' what they were doin', or what they'd do when they were done."
      'There has to be a reason, Seamus.' He fought to keep his voice calm, reasonable, but he could hear the tremble of fury and newly-awakened pain at the edges. 'I'm sure he had a reason.'
  • In the Firehooves Cycle, we have three major examples:
    • When Celestia finally managed to destroy Discord through a Heroic Sacrifice, most ponies in Equestria started to view the Princesses as frauds who weren't immortal deities after all.
    • During the destruction of the Crystal Empire, Cadence left along with the nobility and with a mortally Shining Armour on tow. This caused the other Crystal Ponies that were left behind to renounce their hospitality and loyalty towards Cadence and turn themselves into nomadic Snow Ponies.
    • In Applejack Through the Ages, Luna's depression-induced hostile behaviour when Applejack and Kimono told her off for mismanagement of the kingdom had cost her all of their faith for Luna. This also made Applejack renounce her loyalty to her.
  • In Rainbow Factory, Scootaloo has a strong response to learning that Rainbow Dash is the Mare in Charge of the facility.
  • In Vapors the Third Hokage becomes this twice for different reasons.
    • First is when, after his retirement, he informs Tsunade of the truth about Itachi, Danzo, and the Uchiha massacre. She is disgusted and horrified, as are the people she then informs of this, and the 'bodyguard' she gives him has orders to prevent him from discussing this with anyone else until she figures out how to manage the information.
    • Second is when she goes to ask him about who raised the Uzumaki twins when they were children. It turns out that the man she'd viewed as the invincible God of Shinobi all her life is clinically depressed and suffering memory lapses so bad that he believes Tsunade is asking about "little Kushina" who he thinks he recently started teaching sealing to.
  • In The Fifth Act Cloud Strife is looked up to even with the First Classes as the strongest and most skilled among them. He falls off it when they find out that he was essentially planning a murder-suicide. This ends up for the best, they put him on suicide watch and finally get his past barriers to truly befriend him.
  • TRON: Endgame Scenario: The pedestal didn't get broken as much as eroded to nothing, but Jet and Yori are not able to forgive Kevin Flynn for abandoning the Programs to Clu's "mercy" after the coup doubly so because of what happened to Tron. Jet in particular simmers with rage about it, as he views building The Grid in the first place a horrible breach of ethics that makes his godfather no better than Thorne and F-Con's Datawraiths.
  • In the Facing the Future Series, much like with Vlad Plasmius, Jack goes through this with the Guys In White when they kidnap Danielle.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide:
    • Subverted. Shinji's faith in Misato takes a serious hit after she asks him to pilot Unit-01 again despite promising him that he would never have to return to active duty, and as a result he freezes her out for several days on end. But he eventually forgives Misato after Asuka –- who had her own issues with Misato — tells him that he was being completely unfair.
    • Played straight when Maya found out that Ritsuko, whom she idolized, was working with Kluge and betraying her principles voluntarily. The reveal all but crushed her spirit.
  • In The Stalking Zuko Series, Toph admires June, the bounty hunter, when they first met for being a badass, but gradually becomes disillusioned when she finds out that June is Only in It for the Money. However, this is tempered when Toph realizes that she'd held June to a standard she couldn't possibly meet, and when June, realizing the Gaang wasn't kidding about the fate of the world hanging in the balance, goes into overdrive to find Aang. This parallels Katara's disillusionment with Aang, as in this fic, she placed him on a pedestal for being the Avatar, only to be disappointed in him when he (supposedly) ran away before the Grand Finale, and when he didn't kill Ozai.
  • Due to the events with the Kurama clan, Kurenai's genin in Black Flames Dance in the Wind: Rise of Naruto are at best indifferent to her. A large part of it is because, unlike most fanfictions that portray Kurenai as a Team Mom, here she's only training them to advance her own career. After Kurenai abandons her team to attempt to deal with Yakumo, Naruto threatens to kill her if she ever comes near Hinata again after the girl shows up on his doorstep in tears.
  • Naruto loses all respect in the Third Hokage in Plucking the Strings Redux after the man refuses to believe Naruto could reverse engineer Suna puppet techniques on his own. After spending hours convincing the Hokage, Naruto's furious when Sarutobi "has the gall to tell him he's proud of him".
  • In Her Inner Demons, Human Twilight explains that she held Abacus Cinch, of all people, in high regard because she was one of the few people in Crystal Prep who actually gave her any kind of respect and reward for her hard work. Cinch's threat to have her application denied if she didn't compete in the Friendship Games note  was a knife into Human Twilight's heart, and it added to her growing desire for revenge.
  • On Ask The New Hope's Peak, Sora's idealised projection of her adopted older sister, Monaca, is shattered after meeting the Monaca from fifteen years in the past, and having her detail her actions in Absolute Despair Girls
  • Tonks loses all faith in the DMLE in For Love of Magic when she learns that not only is raping muggle women fairly common, but the Aurors don't do anything about it beyond wiping their memory of the event. They'll arrest anyone they catch in the act of raping a muggle but they won't actually try to catch them for it.
  • In When Harry met Wednesday, besides Harry losing faith in Dumbledore, most of the Order of the Phoenix does as well because his habit of withholding information costs several of them severely. Of the three Order members who help Dumbledore attempt to retrieve one of Voldemort's horcruxes, only Tonks survives. Things actually reach the point that not only does Tonks quit and encourage everyone else to as well, but Moody demands Dumbledore disband the Order of the Phoenix before he gets everyone killed.
  • In How I Learned to Love the Wild Horse, Ranma always believed that his father didn't use the Umi-Sen Ken to steal beyond pickpocketing because it was too horrible even for him. He eventually learns that the technique doesn't work on cameras and thus his father never used it because he'd have to rob several lower income places rather than one mansion or museum and be set for life. Ranma actually admits he didn't think his opinion of his father could sink any lower, but learning that he didn't steal because he was too lazy is a new low.
  • In the core story of the Triptych Continuum, Rarity is a devout believer in the divinity of Princesses Celestia and Luna. Therefor, when she learns that the sisters are actually ordinary ponies who were transformed into Alicorns during the Discordian Era, she is forced to confront the fact that her faith is based on a lie. What's even worse for her is the revelation that the sisters didn't beat Discord alone, as conventional wisdom holds, but were actually part of their own "Bearers of Harmony" sextet, who have been completely forgotten by ponydom.

    Films — Animation 
  • Hoodwinked: Red Puckett is hurt when Granny's secret extreme sports life is revealed.
  • In Treasure Planet, Jim's trust in Silver is broken when he finds out that he is a pirate and the mastermind behind the ship's mutiny. Silver makes up for it in the end, though.
  • Mr. Incredible, Bob Parr, is this for Syndrome in The Incredibles. As a child, Buddy Pine starts out as Mr. Incredible's self-proclaimed biggest fan, and spends the entire opening sequence of the film trying to persuade the superhero into letting him become his sidekick, "IncrediBoy". However, he repeatedly gets on Bob's nerves until he coldly tells him, "I Work Alone." Soon after, Buddy's attempts to prove himself cost Bob his chance of apprehending one of his archenemies, and he turns the boy over to the police to take him home. This act disillusions Buddy from not just Bob, but all superheroes in general, leading him to take his frustrations out on all supers as the villainous Syndrome.
  • In Up, on arriving in Venezuela, Carl Frederickson meets his childhood hero, the explorer Charles Muntz, who has spent his life trying to capture a rare bird that lives on the plateau near Paradise Falls...and has become dangerously obsessed with his quest, to the point of killing people he even thinks are trying to get the bird back to civilization before him, and threatening Carl and Russell.
  • Planes: Skipper when Dusty learned he exaggerated his accomplishments.
  • In Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Flint becomes disillusioned to Chester V when the latter intends to make the harmless foodimals into food bars.
  • Monsters, Inc.: Waternoose becomes this to Sulley when the latter finds out the former's plans of kidnapping children to solve the energy crisis.
  • Home on the Range: Rico is this for Buck after it's revealed that he's been Alameda Slim's lackey all along.
  • Big Hero 6: Hiro idolized Professor Callaghan to the point of giving up underground robot fights to study under him at Tadashi's college. Unfortunately, Callaghan stole Hiro's microbots project for personal reasons and started a fire to cover his tracks, which resulted in Tadashi's death when he tried to save Callaghan. When confronted about this, Callaghan tells Hiro right in his face that it was Tadashi's own fault for dying. In the resulting violent (though understandable) fit of Heroic B.S.O.D. Hiro orders Baymax to destroy Callaghan. Callaghan only narrowly survives because Hiro's friends intervene.
  • In Home, Oh idolizes Captain Smek, even though the guy's an egomaniac and a complete moron and looks down on Oh for not being successfully socialized and believing in things like friendship and individuality. Tip's influence gradually helps Oh figure that Captain Smek doesn't need to be listened to.
  • In Mune: Guardian of the Moon, Glim is a huge Fangirl of all things Guardian and is quite impressed by Sohone, the new Guardian of the Sun, at first. When she finds out that he's a Jerk Jock Casanova Wannabe, she cools on him quickly.
  • In Coco, Miguel idolizes Ernesto de la Cruz, a famous singer and actor who inspired Miguel's dreams of becoming a musician, despite the rest of his family hating music after Miguel's great-great grandfather walked out on the family to pursue his dreams of stardom. Then Miguel learns Ernesto murdered his partner, Miguel's great-great grandfather Héctor, when he wanted to leave showbiz to go home to his family. Not only was de la Cruz responsible for generations of anguish and a major rift between Miguel and his family, he then proceeded to steal the credit for Héctor's songs and use them to pave his way to stardom.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • As everyone knows, in Star Wars Luke Skywalker grows up wondering what happened to his father Anakin, but his foster parents only tell him vaguely that he had been a pilot of a civilian ship and died during the Clone Wars. Obi-Wan Kenobi meets Luke and tells him that Anakin was once his apprentice and one of the most noble and powerful Jedi he had ever known and that he was also skilled as a fighter pilot. Anakin was a war hero who was the very best at what he did, he could fight on sea, air, or land, even in space, and was known as the hero with no fear-his father was someone to be admired. Luke wonders aloud how such a great hero could have died and Obi-Wan tells him that his father was betrayed and killed by the Empire's dark enforcer Darth Vader during the Clone Wars and this causes Luke to hate Vader, even more so when Vader eventually kills Obi-Wan too. However, Vader eventually reveals the truth to Luke—he is Luke's father, once named Anakin Skywalker, and the Empire's ruthless enforcer of terror and fear Galaxy-wide. Needless to say, he doesn't take this very well.
    • Speaking of Luke; in The Force Awakens, the big plot of the movie was hunting down the missing Luke Skywalker, who was their last hope in fighting the First Order. After so much adventure and searching, we finally get to the scene where Rey meets Luke at the very end of the movie, her handing him Anakin's old lightsaber. The start of The Last Jedi? Starts with Luke taking and casually tossing away the lightsaber over his shoulder. We learn that Luke has become a very bitter old man and he'd rather be left alone.
  • In Star Trek, Zefram Cochrane is revered as a visionary, the man who invented warp drive and ushered humanity into the stars. In person, he's an alcoholic and depressed man whose only motivation is his own self-benefit. As he puts it: "You wanna know what my vision is? Dollar signs. Money. I didn't build this ship to usher in a new era for humanity. You think I wanna go to the stars? I don't even like to fly! I take trains!" Unlike most examples of this trope, the crew doesn't actually seem that disappointed, or at the very least they hide it well. Ultimately, first contact turns Cochrane into the man that the crew remembers.
    • Cochrane himself seems to become aware later on that he becomes a Broken Pedestal, and that the reasons he really did it will be lost to history.
    Cochrane: This other guy you keep mentioning, this historical figure? I never met him. I can't imagine I ever will.
    Riker: Someone once said, "Don't try to be a great man; just be a man, and let history make its own judgments."
    Cochrane: That's rhetorical nonsense. Who said that?
    Riker: [grinning] You did, ten years from now.
  • Dr. Paul Ruth of Scanners. Turns out he's responsible for the entire Bizarre Baby Boom, he unethically tested ephemerol on his pregnant wife, and severed all connections with his two sons, the older one ending up committed to a mental hospital at one point until he later became a psychopathic terrorist leader, while his younger son was sent out into the world as a drifter and monitored regularly until he might find some use for him.
  • Nicholas Angel relates such a story about his uncle in Hot Fuzz.
    Nicholas Angel: I don't remember a time when I didn't want to be a police officer... apart from the summer of 1979 when I wanted to be Kermit the Frog. It all started with my Uncle Derek. He was a Sergeant in the Met. He bought me a police pedal car when I was five. I rode around in it every second I was awake - arresting kids twice my size for littering and spitting. I got beaten up a lot when I was young, but it didn't stop me. I wanted to be like Uncle Derek.
    Danny Butterman: He sounds like a good bloke.
    Nicholas Angel: Actually, he was arrested for selling drugs to students.
    Danny Butterman: What a cunt...
    Nicholas Angel: Probably bought the pedal car with the proceeds. Needless to say, I never went near it again. I just let it rust. But I never lost the profound sense of right and wrong I felt at the wheel of that pedal car. I had to prove to myself that the law could be proper and righteous and for the good of humankind. It was from that moment that I was destined to be a police officer.
  • Baines (who is a composite of several historical characters, but none actually ended up the way he gets portrayed) in Malcolm X helps Malcolm to turn his life around, but is later shown to have motives much less pure than Malcolm's.
  • In The Rocketeer, Jenny Blake greatly admires film star Neville Sinclair until she finds out he's a creep and a Nazi spy.
  • In Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Optimus reunites with his mentor Sentinel Prime, who was believed to have been lost in Cybertron's final battles. Optimus, with all due respect, offers Sentinel back the Matrix of Leadership, but Sentinel declines, saying that Optimus knows more about the human world than he does. It's later revealed that Sentinel has sided with Megatron, compromising the beliefs he taught Optimus in order to ensure the survival of the Cybertronian race. Optimus, after recovering from his shock, battles Sentinel, eventually executing him with (the now dead) Megatron's fusion shotgun.
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction: By this time, the humans Optimus and the Autobots fought so hard to protect have turned on them, with a CIA faction actively working with their alleged Creators to hunt them down. And then Optimus learns about their role in Ratchet's death.
  • Sean to Mark in The Social Network. Mark admires Sean's power and ideas but his faith wavered when he finds out about Sean's arrest for partying and doing drugs with under-aged interns.
  • In the 1980 John Ritter movie Hero at Large, Steve Nichols becomes a national hero for foiling a robbery while dressed as Captain Avenger. But when a reporter announces that the last robbery he foiled was staged, specifically to make him look like a hero, the crowd turns on him.
  • Senior narcotics officer Alonzo Harris to rookie cop Jake Hoyt in Training Day.
  • In The Innkeepers, Claire is a huge fan of former sitcom star Leanne, and is incredibly disappointed when Leanne makes her feel like a loser for not doing anything with her life. They warm up to each other, though.
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy:
    • Batman Begins, Henri Ducard turns out to be the real Ra's Al Ghul and an elitist Knight Templar who doesn't mind destroying cities because they are corrupt.
    • The Dark Knight Rises:
      • John Blake is an idealistic young cop, whom Commisioner Gordon quickly promotes to Detective, seeing something of himself in Blake. Blake looks up both to Gordon (for being an honest cop who cleaned up the department) and Batman (whose identity he figures out pretty quickly). However, he ends up being disappointed in both: at Batman for his Refusal of the Call, and at Gordon after finding out that Gordon lied about Harvey Dent.
      • Harvey Dent become this to the entire population when Bane exposes his rampage eight years ago. With the White Knight's reputation in the gutter, it doesn't take long for the population to start, in Joker's own words, "losing their minds" as they simply give up on everything and start to riot when Bane encourages them to do so.
  • In The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Robert Ford just wanted to be like his idol Jesse, but Jesse turns out to be a murderous and depressed bully who looks down on him. Part of his reason for killing Jesse is disappointment.
  • In Iron Man 2, Whiplash sets out to invoke this trope among the public regarding Iron Man.
  • Randy Robinson in The Wrestler is this to his daughter, Stephanie. After disappointing her by missing out on his promise to have dinner with her, is abandoned by her for the final time with no chance of forgiveness, which leads to his final journey to self-destruction.
  • In Eraser, John Kruger is a US Marshal working for Witness Protection and is the best at what he does, learning everything he knows from his mentor Robert De Guerin, who turns out to be one of the key figures behind the conspiracy to sell top-secret magnetic weapons to The Mafiya.
  • The World's End: A mutual example between Gary, and then the gang to him, especially Andy. Gary has the good old days so ingrained in his head that when he meets Andy, Steve, Oliver, Peter and Sam years later, he feels like he's talking to strangers. Whereas they are concerned that he's been doing nothing with his life and making self-destructive choices that have hindered any growth in him as a person. Gary ends up disappointed that his friends and the girl he fancied at school have changed and they're disappointed that he hasn't.
  • In Cloud Atlas, Zachry and his people worship a goddess called Sonmi. It comes as a shock to him to learn that Sonmi in fact was a human being.
  • In Trick or Treat, Eddie, the protagonist was a fanboy of the film's Big Bad, Sammi Curr, who gradually shows his true colors over the film. When Eddie tries to break off contact with him, we get this gem.
    You got to be loyal to your heroes...they can turn on you.
  • In A Pure Formality, the inspector is a huge fan of the French author Onoff. His admiration comes to an end when he meets the author, accused of murder, in person in his office.
  • Happens in Snowpiercer, when the hero learns that his elderly mentor actually was The Mole.
  • Spider-Man 3: Spider-Man is believed to be this courtesy of a fake photo submitted by Eddie Brock that resembles Spider-Man robbing the bank. He becomes a Rebuilt Pedestal after Peter exposes the scam and gets Eddie fired.
  • "It is me, your grandfather!" "I buried my grandfather." Ichiro and Mariko, respectively, later on in The Wolverine. Right before she stabs him in the throat. Also, Yukio's look right before the latter did it suggests that she felt disappointed realizing what kind of a person the man who saved her life is.
  • The Great White Hype:
    • Mitchell Kane, after his Face–Heel Turn, to his documentary team. They idolised him and he sold out.
    • Terry. That poor kid in the wheelchair.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), April started the film admiring Eric Sacks for publicly opposing the actions of the Foot Clan, until it was revealed that not only is he a member of the Foot Clan, he is the Shredder's right-hand-man. That pedestal was completely obliterated by the end of the film when it was revealed Sacks killed April's father after the later discovered the true purpose of Project Renaissance and tried to stop the former.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Shredder teams up with Krang to Take Over the World. Just before the climax, Krang reveals he had been using Shredder all along, and he promptly turns his back on Shredder and freezes him.
  • Mystery Date: Tom idolized his older brother, Craig, but soon learns that Craig is hiding his real life...
  • The first half of Kein Pardon is all about this: Peter has been a huge fan of entertainer Heinz Wäscher for some twenty years, then discovers what a jerk he is behind the scenes. Despite this (and the generally silly tone of the movie), the moment when Wäscher gets fired (okay, when he finally realizes it) is a Tear Jerker.
  • Terminator Genisys Done twice to Kyle Reese. The reveal that John Connor was overtaken by Skynet and became its most deadly enforcer, T-3000, is this to him after he goes to the year 2017 to stop Skynet from going online under the name Project Genisys. And this is after Kyle learned that the alternate timeline changed everything in the 1980s, so that Sarah Connor is already a battle harden soldier and not a Damsel in Distress before he shows up, and the original T-800 and T-1000 are trying to kill him so he doesn't remember that he needs to stop Skynet in 2017.
  • Hits has the Internet rally around a common citizen who rails against his city government in an effort to simply fix the pothole outside of his house. When he finally gets his triumphant moment in a live-streamed town hall, he digresses into a racist and antisemitic tirade that horrifies all of his erstwhile supporters.
  • This is the crux of The Reveal in Corvette Summer — the one who orchestrated the theft of the protagonist's prized custom Corvette Stingray was his auto shop teacher, who oversaw the car's restoration and is strongly implied to be a Parental Substitute to the protagonist. The teacher's explanation is ... inadequate, to say the least (money problems are understandable, betraying your star pupil to solve them, not so much). The car is recovered, but the pedestal isn't rebuilt.
  • In Anchorman Wake Up Ron Burgundy, the counterpart film to Anchorman, Ron visits his mentor Jess Moondragon for advice. Moondragon recommends that Ron walk around naked in the desert. When a disappointed Ron says that isn't very helpful, Moondragon admits that he never understood why Ron looks up to him.
  • Silence: Rodrigues doesn't want to believe that his mentor Fr. Ferreira apostasized, and is horrified to find out it's true. This helps lead him to apostasize himself.

  • In Agatha Christie's The Hollow it is revealed to be the motive of the murderess who used to idolize her husband and then caught him cheating.
  • Animorphs
    • For Jake, at least:
      Jake: It's all your fault! I used to see you as a hero, Elfangor. A leader. But the truth is you just couldn't see another way out! You sentenced us to hardship and pain and suffering. We were just kids! You made us question every value we had ever learned! You had no right to heap that weight on us, huge and impossible. You used us!
    • Andalites in general for all of the kids. They start out viewing the war as a holding action until the Andalites get there to save them. It slowly becomes clear that a) this will take a while, and b) the Andalites aren't above shady tactics and won't necessarily have Earth's best interests at heart.
  • The main character is this for a whole lot of people in The Death of the Vazir Mukhtar, as he seems to have made a complete Face–Heel Turn from writing an incisive social satire to seemingly becoming one of the characters he has satirised. He realizes this too, though it's technically all rather more complex than that.
  • In Kai Meyer's Die Seiten der Welt, the heroine Furia finds a true soulmate in a young boy Severin who lives two hundred years earlier, as they are able to communicate with the help of a magical book. Then she finds out that it was him in the adulthood who caused her family's downfall and exile. Plus a war between fractions of book mages. Moreover, Furia's father was murdered and the girl and her brother barely escaped only because of the plotting of Severin's spurned lover – the latter was insanely jealous since Severin has never truly gotten over Furia. When the girl finally meets her former crush in person (elderly and broken), she is, to put it mildly, not enthusiastic.
  • The Divine Comedy
    • As a poet, the protagonist worshipped the great author of The Aeneid, Virgil. The idolization mellows into light respect come Canto 9, where Virgil walks straight into a dead end, implies their situation is hopeless, and "reassures" the protagonist by explaining how he once helped an evil sorceress raise a ghost from the darkest pit of the Inferno.
    • Dante considered the man who taught him poetry, Brunetto Latini, a second father. Once he sees Latini burning in Hell and grieves that great poet, Dante is well prepared to find truer fathers throughout his quest to God.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Ebenezar McCoy took Harry in after he used magic to kill his evil mentor, and taught Harry all about how magic comes from human life, and how using it to kill perverts its very purpose. Which makes it all very ironic when McCoy turns out to be the Blackstaff, the one member of the White Council allowed to use magic to kill. In fact, the very reason Harry was paired with McCoy was so that someone could take him out if it happened again. It's downplayed from a normal example in that he's not terribly happy about it, and dislikes the role. Harry still doesn't take it very well.
    • In Ghost Story, Harry's suicide has left Chicago's supernatural community in ruins, as he wasn't there to protect it against the Fomor's incursions. Molly is exceedingly bitter about this, and makes a speech to the effect of; "If you snapped under pressure, what hope is there for me!?"
    • As a result of the above and his actions in Cold Days, Butters also has this towards Harry in Skin Game, and presents, from his point of view, fairly compelling evidence that Harry's Sliding Down The Slippery Slope, which Harry himself inwardly acknowledges makes perfect sense from his point of view (which lacks some context). After all, Harry is now working for Mab as the Winter Knight, being much more secretive and living on an island which is an archetypal Eldritch Location and tends to Mind Rape anyone on it who isn't him (in the latter case, Harry didn't actually know that it was still doing this to other people and considers what it must have been like for those without his psychic defence training and Molly, who didn't have that training and also happens to be a powerful Sensitive). During the book, he steadily has the pedestal rebuilt until, appropriately, Butters becomes the new wielder of Fidelacchius, the Sword of Faith, now a holy lightsabre.
  • The Amazing Indestructo in The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy series is the most popular superhero in Superopolis, the leader of the League of Ultimate Goodness, and admired by the title character. The main characters later discover that The Amazing Indestructo is a cowardly, egotistical Jerkass who doesn't particularly care about his teammates on the LUG - he deliberately chose people with weak powers to make himself look better, and kicked out the original, more competent membership. He also isn't above making merchandising deals with supervillains to benefit himself. Ordinary Boy loses all respect for him immediately. His own team abandons him later in the series when they realize this, too.
  • A gradual thing in Fall of Damnos, but the longer Praxor - a supporter, if not believer in Cato Sicarius - spends with his idol, the more he sees that Sicarius is not The Good Captain, but a Glory Hound.
  • Jason Black to Hayleigh Griffin in Fat. Hayleigh is harbouring a massive crush on Jason, based on tv interviews, his music and magazines for teenage girls. Jeremy arranges for them to meet while she's in the hospital. Unfortunately, Jason is coked up to the eyeballs the entire time and hasn't washed in at least a week. This freaks Hayleigh out somewhat, but is actually the turning point for her, as getting over her crush on Jason is what triggers her recovery.
  • In The Fault in Our Stars, both Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace love and are obsessed with the book An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houten. Augustus uses his one wish to take Hazel to meet Van Houten in Amsterdam. Unfortunately he turns out to be a total cynical Jerkass, not the wise and poetic writer they'd imagined him to be when they read the book. This is because he lost his daughter to cancer, and it is implied that Hazel painfully reminds him so much of his beloved daughter.
  • In The Giver, Jonas's parents are this to Jonas. It's especially so for the father after Jonas saw a recording of the former "releasing" a twin baby. In the sequels Jonas does not even refer to them as his parents anymore, instead calling them "the people who raised him."
  • Go Set a Watchman, the first draft to To Kill a Mockingbird, has been mistaken for a sequel by millions of readers — partly because it takes place years after TKAM so Scout is an adult returning to Maycomb.note  This initial draft reveals Atticus Finch — who was famously portrayed in TKAM as a kind, compassionate, racially-colorblind soul — was originally written as insanely bigoted against black people all along, even attending a KKK meeting. The now-grown Scout doesn't take it well.
  • Harry Potter
    • Harry's father James. In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, when Harry gets a glimpse into the past via Snape's memories, he sees his father as a young man and finds out that he used to be a Jerk Jock that bullied Snape. Sirius and Lupin do concede James was an idiot but say that James he grew out of it — which, considering that James died in a Heroic Sacrifice trying to save Lily and Harry from Voldemort, is true as well.
    • It happens again in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when Harry learns that the recently-killed Albus Dumbledore once consorted with Wizard Hitler. A conversation with Dumbledore's spirit in Fluffy Cloud Heaven gives the old man the chance to admit that he was once on the road to becoming a villain until his sister's death snapped him out of it.
    • The aforementioned Wizard Hitler, Gellert Grindelwald, was this to Dumbledore himself. They met when they were teenagers, and Dumbledore, having never interacted someone on the same intellectual and magical level as him, was entranced by Grindelwald, who was all those things on top of being handsome and charismatic. He was so besotted with Grindelwald that he ignored some glaring red flags, such as the fact that Grindelwald had been expelled by Academy of Evil Durmstrang for experiments in The Dark Arts that even they found disgusting. It took Grindelwald attacking Dumbledore's younger brother Aberforth and the aforementioned death of his sister for Dumbledore to see Grindelwald for who he truly was.
  • In Hero Worship, Marvin idolizes The Core and his goal in life is to be able to use his powers to help them defend the city. After he meets Eliza, and she starts to introduce him to what they're actually like, the pedestal starts to crack. They're not bad people, but they're cynical and deal with the stress of the job with hedonism and drugs, and they've been forced to fund themselves by seizing drugs from the criminals and reselling them themselves.
  • Subverted in The High King, the final book of The Chronicles of Prydain, when Taran is horrified by Prince King Gwydion inviting him to share in the treasures of Annuvin. Luckily, a tiny Glamour Failure is enough to make Taran quickly realize that it's not really Gwydion but Arawn Death-Lord in disguise.
  • The Incredible Worlds Of Wally Mc Doogle: In the twelfth book, My Life as a Bigfoot Breath Mint, Wally goes to California and meets his Uncle Max, a famous stuntman. At first, Max seems like the cool guy everyone (including Wally) thinks he is. As the book goes on, though, it becomes clear that Max is just a shallow, selfish scumbag who only lives and cares for himself (and is a target of loan sharks), to the point that he leaves Wally to drown in a flooded stadium just to save his own skin, and then tells the media that he saved Wally when it was actually Wally's dad who risked his life to save Wally. Needless to say, Wally isn't happy when this happens.
  • Joe Pickett: In Open Season, Joe's former mentor turns out to be in bed with a Corrupt Corporate Executive and conspires to wipe a population of an endangered species. This escalates to murder, and he even attempts to kill Joe's wife Marybeth.
  • In John Brunner's Galactic Consumer Reports No. 1: Inexpensive Time Machines, the titular devices have restrictions on what eras one can travel. As the report states, it's not a matter of messing up with history - there is a Time Police from the 11th millennium which handles this far better than any built-in safeguards can. It's a matter of avoiding a this, so a Jew, for example, can set his machine to avoid accidentally seeing what really happened on Mount Sinai.
  • A Mage's Power: Eric idolized Dengel ever since he read the ancient mage's book, "The Spirit and It's Power". After he becomes a Heroic Host for Dengel, he exclaims that he keeps that book on his bed side table. Then he pulls a Grand Theft Me and Eric realizes that he's a treacherous and power hungry opportunist.
  • The Mark of Athena
    • Minor, but present in , of the Heroes of Olympus series. Hazel, who looked up to Jason as a fair and capable leader, is enraged when he votes against rescuing her kidnapped brother Nico because he thought his behavior suspicious. Everything is soon settled.
    • Later, Jason and Piper encounter Hercules, who seems a decent guy at first, but soon turns out to be a world-class jerk. Piper calls him out on it. Hercules' pedestal has in fact been crumbling since The Titan's Curse when Percy realized that Hercules was the one who betrayed Zoe Nightshade and ruined her life.
  • In Martin The Warrior: Felldoh was a slave all his life, Brome completely innocent towards the evil in the world looked up to Felldoh as an older brother and a badass. Yet as the story goes on, Felldoh becomes darker and obsessed with killing in his quest for revenge against the slavers. To the point where Brome didn't even know who he was anymore, he hated what Felldoh became to the point where he vowed to be as un-Felldoh-ish as possible by becoming a complete pacifist.
  • The dad in The Night of the Hunter, who is hanged for robbing a bank around the beginning. And Uncle Bertie, who for all his talk of being there to help, is uselessly drunk the moment something bad happens. And Harry Powell, although we learn he's a Serial Killer before his fans do. And, if you look carefully, you can see that Rachel Cooper is too proud of her parenting skills to realize that her foster-children are in dire need of attention lest they go crazy.
  • Pegasus in Flight has a minor example, but still depressing: while they're searching for Tirla, Carmen starts to build up an idea of her as a strong, smart and talented runaway, but who is also an innocent who needs their help. When they meet, Tirla's callousness about the horrible situation the kids she rescued are in makes Carmen quite dismayed.
  • In Protector of the Small, King Jonathan breaks his pedestal for Keladry when he accedes to Lord Wyldon's demand that she be admitted as a probationary page, despite the fact that there was no such provision attached to the law allowing girls to train for knighthood when it was signed ten years ago.note  It gets worse when she learns that he stopped his daughter from becoming a page, making Keladry one of the few female Tortallan characters who never loves King Jon. (Later she comes to understand the political necessity of such decisions, but that doesn't mean she likes it.)
  • Occurs to Gideon Ravenor between him and his mentor/father figure, Gregor Eisenhorn. Both Inquisitors start out their respective series as staunchly Puritanical in their outlook and through adversity both are required to perform increasingly Radical acts in order to win the day. In his own trilogy Eisenhorn willingly goes far, far further into heresy than Ravenor is ever forced to, and significant parts of Ravenor's trilogy—plus the continuing Bequin Trilogy by author Dan Abnett - deals with the younger Inquisitor atoning for his own actions while trying to rationalise and then eventually condemn his mentor for his.
  • In The Secret History, Julian Morrow's students look upon him as a divinity. By the end of the book, however, Richard sees his characteristic warmth and kindness as a mask for his essential lack of concern for his students or insight into their lives.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: While nothing decisive is explicitly revealed, it is hinted in the last two books that the much-revered Baudelaire parents were involved in the murder of Olaf's parents.
  • In Seven Days in May, Colonel Martin "Jiggs" Casey is a Marine who finds out that his CO, General James Scott, is heading a conspiracy to initiate a Military Coup and overthrow the President. In The Film of the Book, Casey also gets a nice Shut Up, Hannibal! moment when General Scott demands "Are you familiar with who Judas was?" when his part of the conspiracy is unmasked:
    "Yes, I know who Judas was. He was a man I worked for and admired until he disgraced the four stars on his uniform."
  • Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: Played as straight as an arrow with Henry "Hank" Jellicoe, owner of Global Securities. In Game Over, the Vigilantes and the Big Five, particularly Charles Martin, look up to Hank and think he's the best there is. Cross Roads ends up having them lose their respect for the guy, and Charles was just upset that his friend could possibly pull a Face–Heel Turn. Deja Vu goes further and makes it clear that Hank was Evil All Along, and that it's only now that the disguise has worn thin, and nobody can deny it any longer.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Daenerys Targaryen suffers this when she learns from Barristan Selmy that the stories of her father being "the Mad King" weren't just lies.
    • In a similar vein, Cersei Lannister's view of her father Tywin was broken when she found a dead prostitute in his bed. She had always believed her father was above sleeping with prostitutes, and desperately grasps at alternative explanations to explain why this woman was in her father's bed.
    • Jon Snow has few himself:
      • He heard wonders about Robert Baratheon from his father Ned Stark, but is somewhat disappointed when he sees he's now an Adipose Rex.
      • After years of aspiring to join The Order of Night's Watch to become a first ranger like his uncle (as the Night's Watch is seen as a noble calling in the North), the Watch itself comes as a considerable disappointment to Jon. It takes him quite a while to adapt.
      • A bit with his father too. Although he loves Ned, thinks highly of him and defends him when someone puts his honor in doubt, sometimes he can not help but feel a "little evil voice" that whispers to him that his father did actually father a bastard out of wedlock. His refusal to reveal anything about his mother doesn't help either. Also, after aspiring to join the Night's Watch but seeing what it is actually like, Jon is disappointed - partially because of his feeling that he believes his father allowed him to join and thinks he must have known what the Night's Watch is like, though it is seen as a noble calling in the North. note 
    • Sansa is shocked to hear criticism of Baelor the Blessed from her husband Tyrion Lannister.
  • In the early Sweep books, Morgan looks up to Selene Belltower after she discovers she's a witch, admiring her power, her reputation, even the way she makes her own essential oils (for spell ingredients). Then Morgan discovers what Selene really wants from her...
  • Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note series:
    • Aya's first impression with Wakatake, Kuroki and Uesugi falls into this. Aya, like all other schoolgirl, admires them as members of Soccer Team KZ, and would want to be friends with them. But one day after school, Wakatake crashing his bike on Aya, with Uesugi and Kuroki stopping by. First, Wakatake calls Aya a "moving mailbox." And then Kuroki greets Aya as if he is picking her up. This followed by Uesugi coldly commented Kuroki for "hitting on a girl again." Understandably, it's hardly a very good first impression for her. Although her opinions on the boys were rebuilt after spending more time with them.
      Aya: My admiration for KZ had just crumbled spectacularly.
    • In The Youkai Computer Knows, Nanaki's computer mentor pretty much made Nanaki's computer system her botnet. Nanaki was extreme distressed at this development.
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: After spending all the novel swimming in Stockholm Syndrome for Captain Nemo, Aronnax has seen him crossing the Moral Event Horizon by a terrible Kick the Dog moment. And yet...
    I returned to the saloon, fearing and yet hoping to see Captain Nemo, wishing and yet not wishing to see him. What could I have said to him? Could I hide the involuntary horror with which he inspired me? No. It was better that I should not meet him face to face; better to forget him. And yet—
  • In Uprooted, Agnieszka is thrilled to hear that Prince Marek is visiting the Dragon's tower. He's a well-known hero who not only battles the malevolent creatures of the Wood without fear, but has a reputation for treating peasants fairly, and she hopes he'll help her escape. When he arrives, one of the first things he does is attempt to rape her because he thinks he's spooking the Dragon. (She uses magic to get away and then beats him nearly to death with a metal tray.) It becomes clear from that point on that Marek is quite a nasty individual, and some of his monster-slaying tales are exaggerated to boot.
  • Lissa Dragomir from Vampire Academy idolizes her loving brother Andre following his death. She learns after his death that he was a casanova who mistreated non-royal Moroi girls. She is thoroughly disappointed and crushed at the revelation, and finds it hard to accept that side of her brother. She also always believed that her father Eric was a good guy, so she's very upset to learn that he cheated on her mother once.
  • Vorkosigan Saga:
    • Miles Vorkosigan and Elena Bothari learning about Sergeant Bothari's mental instability and the atrocities he committed while working for Admiral Vorrutyer in The Warrior's Apprentice.
    • Emperor Gregor's depression and self-destructive behavior in The Vor Game when he first learns that his father Prince Serg wasn't the hero Barrayaran history makes him out to be, but rather whose death in a botched invasion was the best thing that could have happened to Barrayar.
    • The series also features a major inversion. Mark had been made to believe in his parents'note  alleged tyranny. (His father is undeservedly known far and wide as "The Butcher of Komarr.") Then he meets Aral and Cordelia and they're kind, loving, genuinely good people rather than what he's been led to expect. Because he'd built so much of his identity on opposing their supposed evil, the shattering effect on his worldview is just as severe as if the trope had been played straight.
  • Happens often in Warrior Cats, especially where Tigerstar is concerned.
    • In the first book, Into the Wild, the main character Fireheart puts Tigerclaw/Tigerstar on a pedestal. Then he finds out that Tigerclaw is a team-killing psycho, and they become arch enemies.
    • In the Tigerstar and Sasha manga Spin-Off, Sasha is in love with Tigerstar until she finds out about his evil actions.
    • In the Omen of the Stars arc, all of the Dark Forest apprentices except Breezepelt and Redwillow eventually have this when they realize how evil the Dark Forest is.
    • Jagged Peak from Dawn Of The Clans used to look up to Clear Sky, his older brother, until the latter kicks him out of the forest for having an unhealed broken leg. The pedestal crumbles to dust when Clear Sky starts bullying him in front of Gray Wing, causing Gray Wing to defend their brother and Jagged Peak to call him out on his behavior.
  • The Way of Kings (first book of The Stormlight Archive): Kaladin respects Highmarshal Amaram as the only "true" lighteyes, a noble general like the stories, who has done everything in his power to give Kaladin and his brother a fair chance. Then Amaram murders Kaladin's squad and brands Kaladin a slave in order to steal the Shardblade Kaladin had just won, and Amaram becomes Kaladin's symbol of everything wrong with the world. He literally dreams of murdering him on multiple occasions.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Jack Bauer, on 24 has seen this happen with two of his mentors; Christopher Henderson, who brought him into CTU, first turns out to be embezzling assets seized by the government and later becomes the point-man for a conspiracy that kills an ex-president and several of his best friends.
    • James Hellar, the Secretary of Defence, is probably the show's first Benevolent Boss and someone that Jack admits he "looked up to like a father". The pedestal gets broken over the course of three seasons as Hellar fails to live up to Jack's high standards: he obtains evidence against the President Evil but tries to use it for political leverage, he leaves Jack to rot in a Chinese prison for two years, and generally treats him like a mindless disposable resource. His remarks on Jack being "a curse" to everyone around him are particularly harsh, if more than a little true. There's the minor complication of Jack being in a relationship with Hellar's daughter...
    • No one on 24 can ever manage to retain their original loyalties throughout a season. Including Bauer himself.
  • In a 30 Rock episode, Liz met her idol, a 1970s-era female comedy writer, discovering that she is now a lonely failure and that there's a reason she could only find work in the '70s.
  • Arliss used this several times, most notably when Arliss helps a retired ballplayer accused of beating his second wife. His first wife says that the two were together but then confesses to Arliss that she's covering for her husband. When Arliss asks why, she responds "why do you think we got divorced in the first place?" and she'd rather the world think her husband a cheater than a wife-beater. Arliss is rocked to discover his idol is this way and, while not calling him out on it, does drop him as a client.
  • Subverted in the Babylon 5 episode "Atonement". Delenn is afraid that her pedestal will be broken when Lennier finds out her darkest secret. However, Lennier accepts her Warts and All.
  • In Arrow, Oliver Queen always believed that his father and mother had worked to better Starling City. After his father's yacht went down, he admitted to Oliver that he was responsible for much of the corruption, greed and crime plaguing their city.
  • Bones:
    • Brennan's old professor, whom she had and currently was dating, was an expert witness for the opposing side of the case she was working on. To specify, he's not doing it in service of the truth, which Brennan would respect him for, but because he's being paid to do it. Then he implies, on the stand, that she's not an objective researcher even though he and the scientific community recognize Brennan as the best and most objective in her field. He is also outright lying, since he had previously called Brennan's case irrefutable, meaning everything he said about other possibilities was wrong and he knew it. In the end she dumps him via a What the Hell, Hero? moment.
      Brennan: This one isn't about winning a pasta dinner or showing up your former student. It's about putting two people away who murdered a 19-year-old girl.
      Michael [the professor]: Tempe, you can't personalize the work.
      Brennan: Do you remember in Central America standing in a mass grave being guarded by soldiers? We knew that they were probably the same soldiers who had killed the people we were digging up. I was just a student. I was scared. I turned to you and I asked, "What do we do?"
      Michael: That was a different place and a radically different context.
      Brennan: You said, "We tell the truth. We do not flinch." You flinched, Michael.
    • Also Brennan's brother, who left her shortly after their parents were forced to flee their past. They reconcile later.
  • One episode of Boomtown has the officers trying to defuse a hostage situation at a sporting goods store. Ray gets excited when he finds out the manager was the star of a television series he used to enjoy and volunteers to go in undercover. The pedestal starts to crumble when he sees how washed up the former star is and completely breaks when he fails to recognize his own Catch Phrase. The broken pedestal is further pulverized when Ray discovers the former star was collaborating with the criminals.
  • Walter White from Breaking Bad has progressively become this more and more for his protege and partner-in-crime, Jesse, over the course of his slide into evil, as Jesse becomes more and more troubled and guilt-ridden over his actions and what Walter orders him to do. It seems to reach a head after Walt's rationalization over a child's murder and seeing through his manipulations. But it has finally culminated in him figuring out that Walter had Brock poisoned.
    • Mike from both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul was this to his son, Matt. Matt was a cop, just like his father, and saw him as a hero and inspiration. When he found himself faced with the opportunity to take a cut from some drug bust money, he called up his father, looking for advice. However, Matt found out that his father was not the beacon of goodness he thought he was, but, in Mike's own words, "down in the gutter with the rest of them." Although Mike had a very good reason. He knew that in a precinct full of Dirty Cops, not being down in the gutter with the rest of them meant you were almost certainly going to be killed, just in case you were thinking of ratting on everyone. Hearing this from his father broke Matt, but ultimately convinced him to take the money. Unfortunately his hesitation was reason enough for two of his fellow cops to kill him anyway.
  • This happens a lot on Brooklyn Nine-Nine:
    • Peralta is initially thrilled to meet his idol, reporter Jimmy Brogan, who wrote a true crime novel about 1970s New York cops that inspired Peralta to become a cop. He gradually becomes disillusioned with Brogan's hard-edged 'old school' ways until he eventually punches Brogan after Brogan uses a homophobic slur about Captain Holt.
    • Holt is thrilled to have a case involving a classical musician he admires. Naturally, it turns out the musician staged the whole thing as an attempt at insurance fraud.
      Holt: I finally understand the old adage that you should never meet your heroes. This is like when I found out that Robert Frost was from...California.
    • Terry goes through something similar while working with an author he loves. He's innocent, but the experience is still disappointing.
      Scully: Never meet your heroes. Marie Callender was a real bitch.
    • Jake and Rosa are excited about working with legendary tough cop Melanie Hawkins...then they find out she's corrupt and running a gang of bank robbers. And that's before she has them framed for her crimes.
    • Amy loves filling out forms and sees it as a "perfect system." Then, when having to get a permit, she discovers how bloated and ridiculous the entire thing is. She meets a woman who she gushes about being a "legend" in the filing world with a great system. Not only is she now a Crazy Cat Lady but it turns out her "system" was a combination of sloth, incompetence and dyslexia.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Buffy has moments like this with Giles, although she usually eventually gets over them. Until Season 7, when Giles conspires with Robin Wood to kill Spike behind her back; Buffy tells Giles point-blank that he's taught her everything she needs to know and shuts the door in his face.
      Buffy: Yep. I thought you were a grownup. Now, it turns out that you're a person.
      Giles: Most grownups are.
    • Wishverse Buffy was built up to be the one to save the world. Not only is she personally not nice, she fails.
    • Dawn hero-worships Spike throughout Seasons 5 and 6 and looks up to him as a surrogate big brother, but finding out from Xander in "Grave" that Spike tried to rape Buffy completely shatters that. When they next interact in Season 7, Dawn outright threatens to set him on fire if he hurts Buffy without batting an eye. Nonetheless, upon the reveal that Spike regained his soul, they eventually begin to rebuild their friendship, with Dawn readily defending Spike when Andrew asked by Buffy was so desperate to save him from the First.
  • Burn Notice has Tom Card to Michael, who turns out to have been responsible for the whole Michael's woes.
  • CSI has one of these for almost every member of the team:
    • Sara's best friend, a prosecuting attorney, is confined to a wheelchair — ostensibly shot by an unknown man who killed her husband. When Sara reopens the investigation, she learns that there was no intruder — her friend was the one who shot her husband. (Sara doesn't quite use the stock dialogue, but does point out the hypocrisy the attorney has been demonstrating in her demands for justice.)
    • Catherine discovered that the cop who inspired her to become a CSI rather than a stripper had planted evidence in a homicide investigation. (Pithy statement: "Good evidence doesn't need help.") She points out that he threw away his integrity, which is the thing that he himself taught her that you can never give up.
    • Warrick's mentor lost it after the murder of his daughter and assaulted the suspect, who turned out to be innocent. (Pithy statement: "An eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind.")
    • Oddly enough, the trope was subverted in this show as well. The episode revolved around the murder of a psychic; one of Brass's buddies, on the verge of retirement, showed up saying that he had been consulting the psychic regarding a cold case he has been pursuing, and that his suspect murdered the psychic to stop her from providing the location of the body. The suspicion is raised that the old cop is trying to frame his suspect, but he turns out to be completely legit.
    • CSI NY gets in on the action as well, although they play around with it a little. Flack's mentor and friend is found to have tampered with a crime scene in order to protect his son, who was present when the murder took place. The mentor is arrested, but Mac is the one driving the investigation; Flack is pissed to have to go after a friend and remains bitter about the incident for some time.
    • Also from New York, Stella discovers that the Greek professor she looked up to since she was a little girl was part of an antique smuggling ring.
  • Various NBC Saturday morning sitcoms like California Dreams would have the plot of a character meeting their singing idol and showing off songs only to have the idol steal them as his own and put down the character for how the music business really is.
  • Castle has quite a few of these:
    • The training officer who taught Beckett everything she knew betrayed her for a chance to find a treasure, though she did chase his killer to Los Angeles. Just two episodes after this, Captain Montgomery, who was her mentor as a detective turns out to be involved in her mother's death.
    • Castle's old school friend who inspired him to be a writer.
    • While having a brief relationship, Castle also looked up a lot to Sophia Turner, a CIA agent who inspired one of his characters. You can thus imagine his reaction when it's revealed that not only is Sophia working with a terrorist group trying to start World War III, but she's actually a KGB mole who infiltrated the CIA only to be left on her own when the USSR collapsed and has never been loyal to America.
    • "The Final Frontier": The cast of Nebula 9 (a Star Trek clone), specifically Captain Max Rennard and Lieutenant Chloe, for Beckett. She used to love the show (which only lasted 12 episodes) despite the cheesy premise, over-the-top acting, and awful-looking aliens and cosplayed as Lieutenant Chloe. Then, while investigating a murder at a 'con, Beckett meets the actors playing them. Rennard's actor is a pompous Jerkass and a washed-out actor who can't get a decent role and seems to think he really is Captain Rennard. Besides acting the "Nebula 9 Experience" to ridiculous extent, he tries to pick up any woman in the vicinity. Chloe's actress is a bitch who hates being type-casted because of the show and turns out to be the killer, trying to prevent the revival. Despite this, Beckett resolves not to let her affect her memories of the show. After all, her idols were the characters, not the actors playing them.
  • Chuck:
    • Casey's mentor comes back and is a Fulcrum agent.
    • Also, Chuck's old college girlfriend turned out to not only be a spy, but also a Fulcrum agent. In all honesty it seems like everyone in any way connected to Chuck is involved with Fulcrum in some way...
    • Not exactly. Nowhere in the episode is it stated that Ty Bennett was working for Fulcrum, and he is instead set up as having instead been working independently and forming his own mercenary/terrorist organization. It's revealed in a later episode in which Casey is reunited with his former commanding officer—another Broken Pedestal who is now working for the Ring—that Bennett was actually working directly with or for him.
    • Daniel Shaw makes for one huge Broken Pedestal. Set up as Chuck's mentor in using the Intersect, and a great spy and everything Chuck was aspiring to become once accepting his destiny as a hero (YMMV how well this was played). Then he gets manipulated, broken, and turned by the Ring to become one of the most dangerous villains in the entire series. Only Quinn in the fifth season came close to hurting the team as deeply and personally as Shaw did.
  • In the Korean Series The City Hunter, Kim Jong Shik, Young Joo's father, turns out to have been part of a group who engineered the deaths of 20 special forces soldiers in order to further his political career, as well as hid a drunk driving vehicular homicide. Young Joo, an idealistic detective, doesn't take it well.
  • One episode of The Commish features Scali's friend who is working in Drugs' Department - an upright man who also spends his free time training children to refuse drugs. When he is murdered, Scali swears to bring whoever did it to justice. Turns out the murderers were the friend's kids, whom he had beaten regularly for the slightest mishap. He beat his wife too. Ouch.
  • Community:
    • In the episode "Mixology Certification", Troy experiences one towards Jeff and Britta. Troy has spent all night listening to their advice on growing up, only to learn they've also spent all night bickering over the same bar, believing that this bar was actually two different places:
      Troy: I just spent the last two years thinking you guys knew more than me about life, and I just found out that you guys are just as dumb as me.
      Britta: ...Duh-doy.
      Jeff: Yeah, duh-doy.
    • Inverted, again with Troy, in "Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking". Troy asks Pierce for a picture of Levar Burton. Burton shows up in person, much to Troy's shock... because he was worried about disappointing Burton.
  • Dexter:
    • Dexter has gone through a lot of these. He idolizes his foster father Harry, adhering rigidly to the "Code of Harry" when he kills, only targeting criminals who've escaped justice, and never taking risks of being caught. Then, in Season 1, he finds out Harry knew Dexter's biological father was alive and kept the info from him, and destroyed the file on Dexter's Harmful to Minors moment. If that's not enough, in Season 2, Dexter decides to abandon the Code — or at least shift it to suit his means — when he finds out that Harry likely killed himself because he couldn't stand what he'd made Dexter into. He also had an intimate relationship with Dexter's birth mother, which was directly responsible for her murder.
    • In season 6, Dexter meets the man who inspired him to be a serial killer — the Tooth Fairy, a man who ripped the teeth out of his victims, and once dumped a fresh body on a District Attorneys lawn and still managed to elude capture. He's become an abusive, drunk old pervert waiting to die in a retirement home. Granted, it's not like we'd expect much more from a serial killer, but the impact it has on Dexter certainly shows elements of Broken Pedestal. Also, he apparently only dumped the body cause he was drunk and lazy — he got away by pure stupid luck.
  • Doctor Who:
    • A minor version appears in the episode "The Shakespeare Code". The Doctor and Martha Jones attend the premiere performance of Love's Labours Lost and Shakespeare himself appears on the stage at the end. The Doctor is initially thrilled at the prospect of meeting the greatest writer in the English language — until he acts boorishly in front of the audience. Somewhat amused, Martha quips to the Doctor, "You should never meet your heroes." It gets even worse when he starts (quite unsuccessfully) hitting on her.
    • Played with in terms of Rose's affection for her dad, Pete. Since he died when she was a baby, he was built up by Jackie as being the perfect father- so when she travels back in time to his death, only to find that her parents were having marital problems, Pete was failing as a businessman and liked flirting with other women, she was upset. However, in the end, he proved to still be a good man; incredibly devoted to his wife and daughter, and willing to sacrifice his life to save others.
    • The Doctor breaks his own pedestal in regards to Amy Pond, by telling her how he truly views himself; not as a hero, but a vain mad man who's willing to put the people he loves in danger.
    • Matthew Waterhouse makes no big secret about the fact that his first day working with his hero Tom Baker was quite unpleasant.
    • The Doctor to Jack, and in turn Jack to Torchwood, both when the admirer finds out that the Doctor/Jack isn't the omniscient hero they thought he was.
    • The Doctor goes through this when he meets Omega, one of the first Time Lords who apparently died giving the Time Lords the power source of time travel. Omega survived and is trying to drain away the Time Lord's power, driven mad by millennia of isolation.
    • The Doctor suffers it again in "The Five Doctors", in which Borusa, his old Academy tutor, who he never exactly liked but deeply respected and who was a major influence on his life, turns out to have gone mad with power and become the story's Big Bad.
    • At the end of audio drama "Zagreus" the Doctor says this has happened with all his Time Lord heroes, Omega, Borusa, Morbius and Rassilon.
    • In "Kill the Moon", the Twelfth Doctor inadvertently breaks the pedestal Clara has put him on by abandoning her on the moon and forcing her to make a world-changing decision, after which she gives the Doctor a The Reason You Suck speech and terminates her relationship with him. In the following episode, "Mummy on the Orient Express," Clara agrees to go on one last trip with the Doctor as a last hurrah, during which the pedestal is rebuilt.
  • ER did an arc about Drs. Benton and Carter being taken under the wing of the illustrious Dr. Vucelich, the only doctor at County General to have never lost a patient. This is because he's a slimy cheat who drops every patient he knows is going to die from his care ahead of time.
  • Alex goes through this on Family Ties when he discovers that his Uncle Ned, who he idolized, is an alcoholic. And then he hit Alex.
  • A strange inversion occurs in Farscape. Scorpius, the Big Bad who puts a lot of value on patience and planning, makes a big deal about the intelligence and cunning of John Crichton, his archnemesis, and sees him as a Worthy Opponent. Imagine the sheer disappointment when circumstances force Scorpius to become part of Crichton's crew, and he realises that all of Crichton's victories come from Indy Ploys so frelling insane that he makes Indiana Jones look like The Chessmaster.
    • Played a bit straighter in other situations, usually involving the Peacekeepers:
      • Captain Durka was a legendary figure among the Peacekeepers, and his ship, Zelbenion, was rightly feared throughout the Uncharted Territories. Then it's eventually learned that Durka was actually a coward and probably psychotic as well, faking his own death and surrendering to the Nebari when they attacked his ship.
      • A later episode has Sub-Officer Dacon, a legendary Peacekeeper officer who sacrificed his life to safely end an assault on a monastery filled with nothing but women and children. When the crew gets accidentally sent back in time to this event, turns out Dacon is just a cook. He is a decent person though, and it turns out his commanding officer was the real hero of legend, so there's that.
  • The Flash (2014):
    • When we first meet Harrison Wells, he is a well-loved public figure and the most eminent scientist of his generation. After his particle accelerator explodes, he becomes a pariah to most of the city. Caitlin, Cisco and Barry still look up to him as a hero and a mentor, but cracks start to appear in his pedestal even to them when Hartley Rathaway returns seeking revenge on Wells for ruining his career after he discovered the particle accelerator was intended to fail. Dr Wells manages to retain their faith in him by finally owning up to his mistakes, but then the plot happens and Barry starts to suspect that he is actually the Reverse Flash. Cisco and Caitlin are reluctant to believe him, but Wells' actions after his identity is revealed cause even his two closest friends to turn on him.
    • Jay Garrick, the Flash of Earth 2, became good friends with Team Flash, even starting a romance with Caitlin, while they try to defeat Zoom. When it appears he is killed by Zoom, Barry constructs a small monument to Jay, with his helmet in a glass case, vowing to honor him. Unfortunately, when they start noticing certain clues about Zoom, they have Cisco use his powers to confirm what they're figuring out... Jay is Zoom. It would later be revealed his real name is Hunter Zolomon, a serial killer who kidnapped the real Jay Garrick from another Earth and stole his identity, and has been making Barry get faster to steal his speed. In a literal sense of this trope, when Barry gets suspicious, he shatters the glass container on the pedestal Jay's helmet was resting on.
  • Played with on Frasier; after discovering that his mentor and Roz are having a relationship, Frasier believes he's experiencing this (and it's not helped by the fact that he saw his mentor wearing nothing but Roz's robe) but he comes to realize that it's actually jealousy that Roz has become attracted to someone very similar to him whilst having never demonstrated any kind of attraction towards him.
    Roz: Frasier, did you ever stop to think there may be something special about not being picked?
    Frasier: Roz, that didn't work when I was cut from pee-wee football, it's not gonna work now.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Jon's discovery that the Night's Watch is an Army of Thieves and Whores rather than the ancient and noble order he believed them to be. He is even more disappointed to learn the Lord Commander turns a blind eye to Craster's depravity because he's too valuable an asset.
    • Sansa idolizes Cersei ("I'll be a queen just like you!") until the events of "Baelor" and "Fire and Blood".
    • Daenerys always assumed (as her brother believed) that the rumours about her father's madness were just Malicious Slander until Barristan explains they are true.
    • Olly clearly idolizes Jon but is definitely not pleased to learn Jon really means to ally with the wildlings since his entire village was slaughtered by them.
    • Bran is disappointed when his visions of the past reveal that his father Ned stood no chance against Arthur Dayne in their duel and Ned only won because Howland Reed stabbed Dayne in the back. Ned had earlier told him that he had defeated Dayne in single combat. He is even more stunned to learn that his father lied to everyone about Jon Snow's parentage in order to protect Jon — who is actually Ned's nephew and the son of Ned's sister Lyanna.
    • Robb breaking his marriage vows ended up causing him to become this to his men in the third season.
    • Stannis is this to Davos, especially after he learnt that he agreed with Melisandre to sacrifice Shireen.
    • After training under the Maesters of Oldtown for a while, Sam Tarly gets fed up and leaves when they don't take his warnings about the White Walkers and the Army of the Dead seriously and reveal they have no interest in using their knowledge to improve society, only in maintaining the status quo.
  • Gilmore Girls: Rory Gilmore's worst nightmare is meeting CNN's Christiana Amanpour and finding out she's stupid.
  • On The Good Fight Maia Rindell is rocked when her father is arrested for running a massive Ponzi scheme. At first thinking he might be innocent, Maia realizes he is guilty and stole the life savings of thousands of people (including Maia's godmother, Diane) which leads to Maia's own life ruined. Worse, Maia discovers that not only did her mother know about what her father was doing but has been sleeping with Maia's uncle.
  • In Growing Pains, Ben is devastated to find out that his favorite rock singer (Brad Pitt in an early role), who he believed to be a nice guy devoted to his wife, is actually an ill-tempered serial cheater.
  • On Heroes, Hiro grew up being told of the legendary samurai warrior Takezo Kensei and his incredible battles against evil. When he actually travels back to the past and meets him, however, he discovers that the great Takezo Kensei is actually a Dirty Coward Con Man (who's not even Japanese). And then he gets back to the present day and it gets worse: Kensei, who is still alive in the 21st century, is the season's Big Bad. However, the trope is ultimately subverted when it's revealed that the legend of Takezo Kensei was actually based on Hiro all along.
  • In Hyperdrive, Henderson idolises the show-in-show Captain Helix, and finally gets to meet the actor only to find out that he's an alien spy who's hypnotised Henderson into stealing Britain's new superweapon.
  • Kamen Rider Gaim has a self-inflicted version of this: Micchy starts off the series viewing Kouta as the big brother he never had. Unfortunately, then they get caught in Triang Relations: both Kouta and Micchy like their teammate Mai, but she obviously likes Kouta. As a result, Micchy starts gradually changing his view of Kouta, viewing him as a naive idiot whose idealism only causes trouble. This leads to Micchy pulling a full Face–Heel Turn, to the point where it looks like he's going to become the show's Big Bad. However, Kouta never stops viewing Micchy as his friend even after he finds out, and his Heroic Sacrifice to save Micchy from a life-draining Lockseed is what starts Micchy's path to redemption. It's ultimately subverted, as at the end of the series they're even stronger friends than they were at the start, and Micchy follows the example Kouta set with his determination to protect all his friends, even supposed "lost causes" like himself.
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent:
    • Goren doesn't find it especially hard to believe that his FBI profiler mentor might also be the Serial Killer who kidnapped his partner. The twist reveals the killer is actually the profiler's daughter, who washed out of the FBI and wants to disprove her father's theory that women can't be Serial Killers (let's just say he couldn't leave the shop talk at work and she liked to use his recordings of people being tortured as a test for prospective high school boyfriends before getting intimate with them) in a desperate bid to get his attention. Needless to say, it worked.
    • Then, in a later episode, said mentor helps Goren's archnemesis kill his younger brother, and then kills her himself, in order to become closer to Goren. Goren doesn't understand it either.
  • Legends of Tomorrow: Professor Martin Stein meets his idol Albert Einstein via time travel... and is dismayed to find he is an obnoxious Dirty Old Man, plus he stole many of his ideas from his ex-wife. Stein ends up punching him out (to save his life).
  • Life On Mars: Gene's never-before-mentioned mentor turns up. The inevitable ensues.
  • In a sketch on Little Britain, Sebastian (in love with his boss, the Prime Minister) is asked to destroy some secret papers which reveal that the Prime Minister reneged on a disarmament pact. Sebastian obeys, but sadly whispers "I thought you were perfect ..."
  • The episode "Fallen Idol" of M*A*S*H. Hawkeye has to leave the O.R., due to a hangover. This breaks the pedestal Radar (and, according to Radar, many others as well) has put Hawkeye on. Hawkeye, on the other hand, does not want to have the stress of being someone's idol. (Just in this episode; normally, Hawkeye would not mind).
  • Sally Draper on Mad Men idealizes father Don over her mother Betty. This changes catastrophically when she breaks into the apartment of a young man she has a crush on and finds Don having sex with the boy's mother.
  • From Merlin, Arthur is a huge "Well Done, Son!" Guy who's basically spent his entire life having it hammered into him that whatever he does, his father Uther does it better. After about three years of ruling as king, he gets a chance to contact Uther from the otheworld, who immediately reams him out on all the "stupid" decisions he's made to bring equality to the land. Arthur's heartbroken, and accidentally lets Uther's spirit free, who proceeds to wreck the Round Table, attack Percival with an ax, and tries to set Guinevere on fire. Arthur's in denial for a lot of this, but he finally breaks and realizes just how terrible a man his father was.
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers had this happen in the episode "Rita's Pita." One of Tommy's karate students, Danny, looks up to Tommy. That is until Rita plants a monster inside Tommy's stomach that makes him crave nothing but junk food. Danny is pretty upset about this, especially since Tommy just gave him a big speech about the importance of healthy eating. When Tommy gets the monster out of him, he apologizes to Danny for the way he acted and Danny's respect for his teacher returns.
  • Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: Georges Sanderson to Jack, in the second-to-last episode of the second season.
  • In an episode of the 80s Mission: Impossible revival, Russell Acker — one of the founders of the Impossible Missions Force and creator of the latex mixture used for the IMF trademark masks — has started killing women and built a frame by getting caught on tape while wearing a Jim Phelps mask.
  • Monk: Though not quite a mentor, a child actress from Monk's childhood favorite TV show the only TV show he ever watched and the only thing that made him happy as a child ("'The Cooper Clan' was my other family. Heck, the Coopers were my family, my family was my other family") wrote a tell-all memoir about her very sordid life and the lives of her costars. There wasn't enough Brain Bleach to help Monk after reading it. Not only that, the child star herself is later revealed to be a murderer.
  • A Cool Teacher arrives in My So-Called Life who challenges and inspires the students, but after a few days he's carted off by the cops for some skeletons in his closet.
  • Subversion: Former Special agent Mike Franks, NCIS, mentor of Agent Gibbs. Something of a jackass, but a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, though a very small heart of gold and a HUGE jerk. Some of Gibbs's more notable mannerisms came from him, but the main difference is he retired, Gibbs didn't (not permanently, anyway).
  • In Nip/Tuck, Sean's old teacher, Dr. Grayson, shows up as a pathetic alcoholic performing underground surgery on transsexuals in a filthy apartment.
  • Hook three times in Once Upon a Time season 5. First with Emma, who turns him into a Dark One against his will and tries enslaving him with Excalibur, pushing his Berserk Button. Then in the mid season finale. Young Killian Jones is rocked to find out his father had abandoned his sons and sold them into servitude. Especially when earlier on in the episode, he told his father "I want to be just like you".Then later with Liam, who as it turns out was more flawed and less noble than Killian had thought he was.
  • Shawn and Gus from Psych see a bounty hunter (played by Hercules) bringing in a thug in the prologue of "Bounty Hunters" (season 2 episode 9), and immediately decide he's the coolest thing on the planet. Then he turns his head and winks at them, taking a level in awesome, and the Hero Worship begins in earnest. Years later (i.e. later that same episode) they meet him again and it turns out he's a complete douche, the "wink" was just a tic, and he even tries to kill Shawn and Gus near the end of the episode.
  • In season 3, episode 8 of BBC's Robin Hood series, Robin's mentor appears, having agreed to help Prince John fake out the people of Nottingham with a lifelike wax dummy of King Richard, pretending that he's died. His reason for treason falls to Never Remove a Blood Knight From The Battlefield. He is taken off active duty because Richard believes he's gotten too old, but is given the prestigious position of guarding the crown jewels. Despite his age, he nearly bests Robin when they fight, but is unprepared for the guerrilla tactics Robin has developed in his absence.
  • Scrubs does this a lot, usually JD reversing one of Dr Cox's pieces of wisdom back on him. Though Cox was a dick from day one.
    • Subverted, however, in the episode My Fallen Idol, where JD convinces himself that he's furious and disgusted with Cox for being a hypocrite about the advice he gave JD in the previous episode "My Lunch" after accidentally killing three patients, and then coming in to work stinking drunk the next day. However, JD gradually realizes that he actually doesn't care about what Cox did at all, and in fact admires the fact that even after years as a doctor, a patient's death could still affect Cox that deeply — he was just terrified over the idea of his tough, unshakable mentor being so badly shaken, and was using the things he did as an excuse to avoid him.
  • Happens retroactively in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Pegasus". The eponymous starship was Riker's first post-Academy assignment. The ship's former captain (now an admiral) was conducting illegal cloaking-device experiments until the crew mutinied. Riker defended his captain, and helped cover up the truth later. When said admiral comes back to retrieve said device, Riker admits that, given a second chance, he would have joined the mutineers instead (a claim he gets to fulfill in spirit later on).
    Riker: I wasn't a hero, and neither were you! What you did was wrong, and I was wrong to support you, but I was too young and too stupid to realize it! You were the captain; I was the ensign. I was just following orders.
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, we get Admiral Leyton, whom Sisko admired... until he tries to usurp power and declare martial law.
    • Then we learn that Odo had not always placed justice first and 3 innocent Bajorans were executed as a result.
    • And Admiral Ross works with section 31!
    • And in "Valiant", Nog meets Red Squad, the elite Cadet group from Starfleet (whom he adored) and they are stubborn, hubris-filled and intolerant, and get themselves killed, with Nog, Jake and some girl barely escaping.
    • Sisko gets to play the role himself once, to the audience. The entire episode uses a Framing Device of a log over the past week or so. During this week, he lied, broke laws, and was an accessory to murder in his quest to bring the Romulans into the Dominion War on the side of the Federation.
    • An in-universe example, Kor (one of the Original Klingons) joins Worf and General Martok on a raid in Dominion space. He is able to captivate the crew with tales of fighting the Federation. However, during the battle with the Dominion, when command falls to Kor, he believes he is fighting the Federation with his long-deceased friend Kang. This nearly destroys the ship.
    • In a Peter David-written novel, Kira and Ro work together to stop a plague hitting Bajor and Kira seeks an old trusted member of the resistance. She's stunned when the man first demands payment in gold for his help and then when Ro reveals the guy is into smuggling and even child slavery. At first, Kira thinks the guy had to be broken somehow by the war. However, meeting other former fighters into criminal behavior, Kira is forced to acknowledge that these people were never as high moral as she thought, they were always corrupt and fighting the Cardassians were all they had in common.
    • Kai Opaka, a wise spiritual leader of Bajor until her death, once provided the Cardassians with the location of a Bajoran resistance cell so they could destroy it. She did this because she believed it was the best option -had she not given up the rebels, the Cardassians would have obliterated the entire area, killing thousands of others- but Kira is still shocked and disgusted to learn that such a beloved figure had aided the regime that enslaved their people. When details of this secret threatened to become public knowledge, Vedek Bareil decided to take the blame rather than allow Opaka's reputation and legacy to be tarnished, even though doing so utterly destroyed his own chances of becoming Kai and meant Vedek Winn was free to take the position for herself.
  • In Star Trek: Enterprise, T'Pol meets her hero, Ambassador V'Lar, who has just been accused of criminal misconduct. The pedestal collapses as V'Lar admits that "there is no defense" against the charges. Then it turns out that the charges were fabricated to draw attention from her mission to bring down a criminal syndicate, and she's a hero again.
    • One episode later, Archer finds himself on the pedestal when an alien named Zobral asks for his help in fighting a war, having heard how Archer defeated an entire army to save thousands of oppressed Suliban. He's disappointed to learn how exaggerated the stories are (Archer and his crew defeated a small Tandarin Redshirt Army to free 89 Suliban), and Archer tells him that even if the stories were accurate, that's not why he's out in space.
  • On Star Trek: Voyager Janeway talks of how she was inspired to join Starfleet by the stories she'd been told of her ancestor, Shannon O'Donnell. Janeway speaks with pride on how Shannon single-handedly created a special Millennium Gate Tower against massive opposition and became a star at NASA. But going over some old Earth records, Janeway discovers the truth: Shannon was never an astronaut, she was only a consultant on the project and there was no opposition to it. Chakotay points out that Janeway shouldn't be upset with Shannon as the woman had no idea she would have to live up to Janeway's expectations. Janeway tries to brush it off by saying her big concern is how to break it to her aunt that the great family legend is false.
  • In the Supergirl episode "Medusa", Kara discovers her father Zor-El is responsible for creating a bioweapon capable of killing any non-Kryptonians.
  • Supernatural - God himself. Castiel, a steadily descending angel spends most of season five looking for his father for guidance on how to prevent the apocalypse, only to discover that God just doesn't give a damn about any of them anymore, has effectively left them alone to get on with it, and doesn't care whether the apocalypse happens or not. This does not have a good effect on Castiel.
    • Castiel later becomes this to the Winchesters and the angels who follow him in the Angelic Civil War after it becomes clear that he has become a ends-justify-the-means Well-Intentioned Extremist and is making deals with demons.
    • Metatron invokes this when he positions Castiel to become a leader again during the Second Angelic Civil War, only to then frame Castiel as the mastermind behind a series of suicide bombings. The undecided angels respected Castiel for stopping the Apocalypse and thus flocked to him until Metatron's scheme showed them Castiel's flaws. Disillusioned, Castiel's followers switch their allegiance to Metatron. Castiel then turns it right back on Metatron by showing Metatron's most loyal followers what a Manipulative Bastard Metatron really is.
    • It comes up majorly in season 11 when God who's been living as writer Chuck is shown to have been in hiding for so long. Metatron lets him have it over how he's been praying to him all this time and God just dismisses it as nothing really changing. A big bit is Metatron talking of how happy he was when God chose him to be his Scribe only to learn that he was chosen simply because he was the closest angel.
  • The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien:
    Conan: Tell us about this scene. This is a fight scene?
    Dean the Foley artist: Yes. This is between two principal characters, Chris Meloni and James Brolin. Chris Meloni just found out that James Brolin, who is his mentor, actually killed someone.
    Conan: They always do. Mentors always disappoint, just as you've disappointed me today.
  • Top Gear:
    • Variant: when James May and Richard Hammond get to drive their childhood dream vehicles (a Lambourgini Countach and a Vincent Black Shadow motorbike, respectively), they find that the real things are harder to drive and less comfortable than they had imagined.
      May: And [the Countach] looked so good on the poster. In fact, I wish it had stayed there. I'm absolutely gutted. But you know it's not the car's fault; it's mine. I've broken the Golden Rule: You never, ever meet your childhood heroes. ...Stick with the memories. They're just better.
    • Mentioned again — but blatantly averted — by Hammond in another episode in which he gets the chance to drive two more of his dream cars.note  He giddily enjoys every moment behind the wheel of both.
      Hammond: So often it is, "Don't drive your heroes." Not this time!
  • Making History 2017: History teacher Chris is heartbroken to actually meet some of his idols and heroes and find out that they're kind of jackasses and not the larger-than-life figures he expected. Reaches its breaking point when his hero John Hancock tricks him into urine.
  • Victorious has Ryder Daniels, who has a reputation of taking girls under his wing...only to use them for class projects to help him get a good grade and then ditch them without any prior notice.
  • In Wire in the Blood, an old colleague of Tony Hill's returns and proceeds to attempt, apparently out of pure bitterness over his failures in life, to turn Tony and DI Fielding against each other.
  • White Collar: Neal when he realizes that nothing matters to his dad more than himself. He makes it clear he's not above hurting his son to avoid even the chance of getting caught and Neal looks absolutely shattered.
  • Murder in the First: Police captain Ernie Knubbins, whom Terry had respected and looked up to, is revealed to be the "head man" of the corrupt police group called the Union.
  • Horatio Hornblower:
    • In "The Examination For Lieutenant / The Fire Ships", Horatio is a wide-eyed admirer of Living Legend Captain "Dreadnought" Foster, whose nickname says it all, and thinks that the Indefatigable could stand to follow his fighting example. Then, after he ends up commanding a supply ship that is also under quarantine, Foster insists on taking provisions from it before the period is up. Hornblower realizes that Foster is just a Fearless Fool who disregards the lives of everyone around him as well as his own.
    • Captain Sawyer in the second series. Horatio notes bitterly that he and Archie got totally drunk in celebration when they learned they would be serving under him and have learned painfully that despite his past heroism, Sawyer is now The Paranoiac verging on insanity. Lieutenant Bush similarly arrives full of admiration for Sawyer, but over the course of the episode sees the destructive effect his behavior has on the ship.
  • Riverdale:
    • Cheryl Blossom loved her twin brother Jason and clearly thought the best of him. When Veronica is "slut-shamed" by a football player, she discovers other girls at the school were and they share how the players kept a book "keeping score" of their conquests. Cheryl rejects the idea as Jason would have told her given how they shared everything. She joins Betty and Veronica to discover that not only does the book exist but Jason's name is all over it with several conquests, including Betty's sister, Polly, who suffered a breakdown after their encounter. Cheryl (who had long thought Polly a crazy ex-girlfriend) is rocked to realize her brother wasn't this saintly man and apologizes to Betty for what he did and what she's thought of Polly.
    • Veronica Lodge had believed her father was being set up on charges of corruption and imprisoned falsely. She also accepted her mother as a moral compass helping her get through it. Veronica soon discovers that her father is not only guilty but, from his prison cell, is still running his plan to devalue the real estate of Riverdale so he can "tear it down and start over." Worse, her mother not only knew of her father's corruption but is helping him in his scheme.
  • Time After Time: Wells feels this for the future rather than a person. He had expected a utopia where war, hunger and other ills had been overcome, but instead discovers those things are still very much around in 2017, to the point of him almost crying while he watches the news. Ironically as this series is related to The Time Machine, that was one of his novels where the future isn't depicted as a utopia.
  • On Veep Selina Meyer talks warmly of her father, a great businessman who built the family fortune, bought her a horse as a kid and always brought her snowglobes for family vacations. To her, he was a much better parent than her cold mother who sold the horse off. But during a visit home, Selina finds out the truth: Her father had been cheating with his secretary for years and in fact, died during sex with her. He was the one who sold the horse to pay off debts as he was a horrible businessman and her mother had converted the barn into his private place to be with his mistress so not to be caught in a hotel. Every "business trip" was just him off with the secretary and she was the one who bought Selina the snowglobes. Selina is so upset that she ends up destroying the office her dad had and realizing how she ended up marrying a guy just as slimy as her father.
  • Voyagers!: "Bully and Billy" has Jeff encountering Billy the Kid, who he thinks is not honestly such a bad person. He changes his mind after seeing how mean and dishonorable he could be.

  • The Who's Quadrophenia brings us the Ace Face, a mod whom Jimmy, the album's protagonist, idolized during the Mod days. When he meets him later, he finds that he's sold out and is now a bell boy. The whole album is about Jimmy being let down by his idols.
  • Subject of the short TISM track "I'm A Genius":
    Heroes seem so from a far
    But if you meet 'em you'll think twice.
    Genius is different from the rest of us...
    Most of us are nice!
  • Robbie Williams' song "Strong", from his album I've Been Expecting You, was an attempt by Williams at invoking this trope and breaking the pedestal that some of his more Loony Fans had put him on, by painting his lifestyle as being less glamorous than they were imagining:
    My breath smells of a thousand fags
    And when I'm drunk I dance like my dad
    I've started to dress a bit like him
    And early morning, when I wake up
    I look like Kiss but without the make-up...
  • Mentioned in Daniel Amos's "The Incredible Shrinking Man" (from Vox Humana):
    The clergy dresses you in tights and cape
    And so the pressure's on to make no mistake
    In truth, there is no way that you won't break
    You're gonna fall
    You're much too small
  • The trope is interestingly deconstructed in Imelda May's "Human", in which the singer insists on being loved for her true self instead of being idealised:
    So come adore me, but know I'm gonna fall
    Off of this pedestal that I hope you've put me on
    And as God's above me, I swear I'll try to be
    All that you ever want and I'll be the best of me
    I wanna be your human...

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Chuck Palumbo and Billy Gunn wrestled as an ambiguously gay duo Tag Team that eventually revealed they were planning to get married and hired their stylist Rico Constantino as their wedding planner. At the last minute they revealed they were in fact heterosexual, would not be getting married and that Palumbo wouldn't be Gunn's type even if he was gay. This outraged Rico, who formed Three Minute Warning with Jamal and Rosey in revenge, and the long running Christopher Street Connection exoticos Mace Mendoza and Buff E(whose own marriage failed for different reasons).
  • Silas Young said he had as much respect for Davey Richards as he did for Samoa Joe, CM Punk and the three Ring of Honor founding fathers until he saw Richards compete in a dance off against the Hoopla Hotties on the unauthorized A Night Of Hoopla, confirming to Silas that he really was the last real man.
  • Noemi Bosques gave SHINE wrestling some much welcome publicity when the and coming boxer went to their 19th show to see Niya and La Rosa Negra. However, she quickly became disappointed by Niya's behavior and defaulted to just La Rosa Negra's corner in future visits.
  • Roman Reigns was taken in by two veteran wrestlers as part of The Shield, the some kind of insane Dean Ambrose and the calculated risk taker Seth Rollins. Many familiar with Rollin's work prior to being put underneath Vince McMahon's thumb know he had a tendency to sell out but it was initially the Big Bad Wannabe Ambrose that Reigns had the most problems getting along with. Then Rollins sold them both out to The Authority, just as he and Ambrose were starting to get along.
  • AJ Styles was The Heart of TNA, having been there since the beginning, giving his all and more to the company, getting the respect of everyone and not being an embarrassment like other wrestlers. They repeatedly paid him back and others like him by sticking them in midcard hell, forever jobbing to Over-The-Hill wrestlers and WWE rejects, and when his contract was up, they offered him a contract that would have cut 40% of his salary. He turned it down and went to NJPW and ROH and made himself the biggest name in Professional Wrestling to have never signed with WWE. Meanwhile, TNA went into a complete nosedive, being cancelled twice in two years, having most of their signature talent be signed by their biggest competitor, the aforementioned WWE, and more-or-less becoming a sinking ship. Fast forward to late 2015. TNA desperately needs publicity and a big star to help turn things around when they debut on their new channel. They contact AJ, break the bank with an offer for him, discuss storyline, merchandise, the whole enchilada. But AJ, no doubt jaded from his time with them and wishing to do what's best for his family, turned them down a few days later and went to — where else? — WWE. In this scenario, TNA has no one else to blame but themselves. If that weren't enough, TNA would then nuke the bridge into oblivion and destroy any chance of him coming back post-WWE by posting this statement on their website two days before his debut in WWE, trying to throw him under the bus and paint him as some treacherous backstabber in hopes of getting sympathy from the fans. The IWC, knowing full well how terribly AJ and other workers were treated by TNA, proceeded to put the company on blast and bash on them for trying to ruin his prosperity.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • While some Chaos Space Marines abandoned the Imperium for power, For the Evulz or simply because of spending too much time around Chaos energies, others defected (and continue to do so) because of disillusionment with the Imperium or the God-Emperor. "Death to the False Emperor!" is a common Battle Cry among Chaos warbands. Among the Traitor Primarchs, Horus turned against the Emperor after becoming convinced by prophetic visions that the Emperor would lead humanity to ruin, and Lorgar worshipped the Emperor like a god until he was given a brutal, humiliating Break the Believer session that shattered his faith and led him to turn to the Chaos Gods.
      • Horus' successor as leader of his legion, Abaddon the Despoiler, is similarly disillusioned with his own Primarch, angry that he led the Traitor Legions to defeat during the Siege of Terra and failed to kill the Emperor. He renamed his legion from the Sons of Horus to the Black Legion to symbolically wipe his and their hands of Horus' very name, and after discovering Fabius Bile creating a clone of Horus, he personally destroyed said clone without hesitation or remorse, while throwing in another disavowal as he did so.
      Abaddon: [to Clone Horus] I am not your son.
    • Commander Farsight was a loyal servant of the Tau Empire before he learned that the ruling caste were actively suppressing knowledge of Chaos from the general populace and engaging in other Utopia Justifies the Means-type behaviour. Unlike the Chaos Marines, however, he didn't fight their rule, believing that the alternative (a return to the pointless and destructive civil war among his people that had ended with the Ethereal's arrival long ago) was worse, and chose self-imposed exile instead.
      • Farsight himself became one to the soldier caste of the Tau because of his defection — to his successor, Commander Shadowsun, in particular. Her first act upon receiving his position was to go to a statue of Farsight and blow it up in front of her soldiers, to demonstrate that a new regime was now in play.
    • Roboute Guilliman's faith in the Emperor was broken after he met him face to face again in Dark Imperium and realized that the Emperor never saw him or the other Primarchs as anything but tools. He now fights for the Emperor's ideals and the Imperium, and not for the Emperor.

  • The Phantom of the Opera: 'Farewell my fallen idol and false friend/We had such hopes but now those hopes lie shattered... Angel of Music, you deceived me/I gave you my mind blindly.' Erik goes from being a Stalker with a Crush into a full-blown wack job when he, in a convoluted Wife Husbandry plan kidnaps Christine and threatens to kill her fiance unless she agrees to marry him (Erik, that is).
  • Subverted with the protagonists' relationship in Wicked, as Elphaba and Glinda, who sing about how "People come into our lives, for a reason," genuinely feel that they have been changed for the better for knowing the other, even though Elphaba has turned her back on society, and Glinda has sold out to the love of the citizens of Oz.
    • Wicked also contains a straight example in the Wizard, beloved by all of Oz and idolized by Elphaba and Glinda, who turns out to be a con man and the Big Bad. Though the revelation takes longer for Glinda to process, she eventually accomplishes more with the knowledge than Elphaba.
  • Arthur Miller's All My Sons revolves around this trope after The Reveal.
  • Death of a Salesman: Biff, the elder of the two Loman sons, is the high school football star and pretty nearly guaranteed a full scholarship to the University of Virginia...until his Broken Pedestal moment. He gets into a scrape at school and goes to find his father, the eponymous traveling salesman, with the hope that his father can get him out of it. The result is that he discovers his father is a serial philanderer. He's so disillusioned by the fall of his idol that he ends up dropping out and throwing away his very promising future.
  • The Nerd by Larry Shue revolves around the title character ruining the professional and romantic life of the man he saved in Vietnam, to the latter's increasing exasperation. Subverted in that the Nerd is an actor who was hired by a friend of said man to make him realize his priorities.
  • In That Championship Season, four of the five players of the 1952 Pennsylvania State High School Basketball Championship winning team of Fillmore High are still relying heavily on their coach, whom most of them view as a father figure, for life advice twenty years later. However, near the end of the play, one of the players reveals that Coach's philosophy emphasising winning above all else led to the incident which caused the fifth team member to turn his back on the others, and it is becoming apparent to all of them that Coach's advice revolves entirely around pep talk platitudes which may rally a team to victory in a basketball game but leave them completely unequipped to deal with the trials and tribulations of adult life, and that he is a bigoted, bullying fraud.
  • To an extent Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. Upon first meeting, Hamilton gushes about Burr and wanting to follow in his footsteps. By the end of the show, the two are feuding and Hamilton dies at Burr's hand.

    Video Games 
  • You can see this in Lloyd's reaction to Kratos betraying them in Tales of Symphonia.
  • Assassin's Creed:
    • Assassin's Creed I: Your mentor Al Mualim turns out to have been sending you on missions the entire time to distract you from his plot to use a mythical object to mind control all of the assassins, his allies.
    • In Assassin's Creed III, Connor eventually learns that George Washington and not Charles Lee was behind the razing of his village Kanatahséton and thus the death of his mother — and just ordered a new attack on it, to exterminate his people and salt the earth. Although Connor isn't fooled by how thick Haytham lays on the disdain, Connor's relationship with Washington never really recovers even after he prevents the attack by killing off Washington's messengers.
    • In Assassin's Creed: Unity, Arno had considered Napoleon a friend in the main campaign, falling for Napoleon's charm. In the Dead Kings DLC, he becomes even more bitter upon overhearing Napoleon's conceited speeches and witnessing how ruthless he really is.
  • Sanchez of Suikoden is an excellent example. A part of your army since the very beginning, it eventually turns out he was a spy working for the enemy the entire time, and when the Empire is close to losing he gets desperate and fatally injures your army's chief strategist. The icing on the cake and what makes the situation relevant is that your faction ultimately decides that the newly-formed government could not withstand the scandal of one of its founding members turning out to be a traitor the entire time, and he lives out the rest of his life peacefully under a secret house arrest. Publicly speaking, his image as a hero is never tarnished.
    • A subtle hint is provided since the castle is founded: if you took the time to look at the massive tablet that has the 108 stars and people's names, you'll notice he's not on the list. You'll also notice he is the only one living in the castle who's not on the list.
  • Tales of the Abyss has this happening at least twice.
    • Van Grants for Luke, Tear and Guy, Legretta for Tear, possibly Ingobert for his daughter Natalia; the two ultimately reconcile after the truth comes to light, but Guy suggests that they can't necessarily go back to the way they were before.
      • Interestingly enough, Legretta, in a final letter read after her death, mentions feeling concerned that her student Tear saw her as an ideal, and hopes that Tear will follow her own path, a rare case in which the character on the broken pedestal attempts to dispel the admirer's notions.
    • Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World has Richter Abend. Poor, poor, Emil.
  • Palaxius in Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny.
  • You can actually point out that Aribeth in Neverwinter Nights has done this to your player as part of convincing her to come back from the dark side.
  • Played to the hilt in Jade Empire, where Master Li, The Glorious Strategist, takes over the Jade Empire by torturing and siphoning the power of the newly-corrupted Water Dragon for his own, after using you to remove the previous ruler...upon whose success he immediately kills you. You get better.
    • Also, The Emperor for his daughter, Sun Lian/Silk Fox. Even the revelation that Master Li is the Big Bad and the root cause of the plan to usurp the Water Dragon's power does not absolve him in his daughter's eyes. In several endings of the game she deliberately steps up to be the Emperor he wasn't
    • Master Li is not only the Broken Pedestal for the Player Character but also for Dawn Star, especially when she finds out he's her father who doesn't give a shit.
  • Happened in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia. Turns out Barlowe is a Dracula worshipper and uses the organization and Shanoa as a tool to revive Dracula. Depending on how the game is played, Shanoa may end up following him blindly (and dying in vain), or wises up and performs a Rage Against the Mentor.
  • Frimelda Lotice in Final Fantasy Tactics A2 had this happen to her. She was revered as a powerful Blademaster, and fought alongside her friend Luc Sudarc in many battles. She, however, didn't know that Luc was hugely jealous of her, as he just wanted to surpass her but couldn't no matter how much he trained. So, he poisoned her, sentencing her to wander Ivalice as a pink zombie...until Luso and the gang rescue her. They return her to human form with the help of a special potion, and to return the favor, she joins Luso's clan. And she's cute, to boot.
    • She starts off as a Paladin with Dual Wield already mastered AND she has two swords equipped from the get go, along with great stats.
  • Arc the Lad 3. The main character becomes a Hunter because one saved his life when he was young. He later finds that Hunter working for the Big Bad.
  • Played with in Persona 3. Yukari Takeba's father became her main source of hope and believed he was innocent after a traumatic event left her father dead as well as hundreds of other scientists. Said event not only ostracized her family courtesy of the public backlash, but also subsequently strained her relationship with her mother after she abandoned Yukari for other men, being unable to cope with her husband's death. Growing up lonely but willful, Yukari's belief in her father being falsely accused for the accident that claimed his life was the reason she transferred to Gekkoukan Highschool, two years prior before joining S.E.E.S. Couple that with her receiving a letter from her father addressed for her to receive ten years later, was the catalyst for her Persona Io's awakening. Yukari's belief gets severely tested in "The Journey" and for a time after a certain event, was forced to admit that her father was guilty of mass murder, she stays with S.E.E.S. to atone for her father's mistakes. Eventually it's revealed that he only did what he had to do, being one of the few scientists left with their sanity intact he delayed the coming of the end of the world, with that revelation combined with his message of immense love for Yukari, the scene becomes both Crowning Moment Of Heart Warming and Rebuilt Pedestal rolled into one, being the moment Yukari awakens her ultimate Persona Isis with a renewed will to fight.
  • Played with in Persona 4. After a major character is seemingly Killed Off for Real, the protagonist's surrogate father figure, a by-the-book and thoroughly incorruptible policeman, runs off apparently to kill the man thought responsible; this is part of a Batman Gambit on the part of the writers to induce the player to kill the suspect when given the opportunity, which is a one-way ticket to the Bad Ending. Later on, after having some time to chill out (like the player characters) he was able to see that the evidence surrounding him just didn't fit and wanted to just get some more info from him.
  • In Persona 5, Yusuke Kitagawa was raised by the famed artist Ichiryusai Madarame, who has been plagarizing him and other apprentices for years. After learning that Madarame let Yusuke's mother die in order to take credit for her work as well as to take Yusuke, he loses all sense of admiration for the man. His personal Confidant storyline deals heavily with his feelings regarding his former mentor. He eventually comes to peace with him after a former colleague of Madarame stated that when Yusuke fell ill as a child, Madarame was desperate to save him, indicating at least some sense of affection (albeit pragmatic).
  • Played for Laughs with Fourth-Wall Observer Raiho in Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army. Raiho was originally a Jack Frost who profoundly admired Raidou and wished to become Raidou the Fifteenth, fusing himself with a Bancho uniform to create Raiho. The funny part? Raiho defines Small Name, Big Ego, and promptly forgets his fanboying of Raidou, realizing he's so much cooler now.
  • True Crime: New York City had Terry Higgins, a cop who helped Marcus from slipping off the slope; he is presumably dead early on. It was revealed he was The Mole and was quite corrupt despite how Marcus saw him. Marcus will either kill him immediately if his ethics are less than questionable or attempt to arrest him but Terry dying.
  • Metal Gear:
    • The reveal that the leader of the anti-terrorist black ops unit FOXHOUND was also the leader of the international terrorist organization Outer Heaven caused Snake to intentionally ban his use on Big Boss' CQC techniques, among other things.
    • Subverted in Metal Gear Solid 3, in which we are initially led to believed that Naked Snake's mentor, The Boss, had defected to the Soviet Union. It turns out that the defection was a ruse to gain Volgin's trust and acquired the Philosophers' Legacy, but after Volgin framed The Boss for the destruction of Sokolov's Research Facility, alerting her presence to Khrushchev, the U.S. sent Snake to kill her and cover up her involvement. This essentially shifts the target of his broken pedestal moment from his mentor to his government. Increases even further in later games when it is revealed that the U.S. government fully intended to have Snake kill off The Boss from the very beginning regardless.
    • Double-Subverted in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Snake doesn't lose his respect of The Boss, but it turns out she betrayed him and her entire squad, and even herself, for the greater good: By pursuing world peace, she effectively deemed every soldier she trained and everyone who fought alongside her to be disposable in her ideal world order, decommissioned for retirement and their skills and dreams marked as a hindrance. Snake really doesn't like it when people are considered disposable. As a result, he goes from passive soldier to the infamous military commander that we all know him for.
    • Played completely and tragically straight in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. In the post-credits scene of the True Ending, Ocelot tells Kaz of Big Boss's true plan: leaving everyone he ever knew behind so he could conduct his own war against Cipher, building the true "Outer Heaven" without his old comrades, and having the current Diamond Dogs acting as their decoy, complete with creating an exact body double of Big Boss (who is the character you play as throughout the whole game). After losing his comrades, his limbs, and even his dream, Kaz finally gets his revenge on those who wronged him, only to find out that he feels completely hollow and that his best friend is an impostor, the real Big Boss having abandoned him without a goodbye. Having truly lost everything, Kaz furiously swears that Big Boss will pay for his betrayal, and that he will be more than happy to train the phantom and both his sons to oppose him.
  • In the Fire Emblem series, this applies to (in Path of Radiance) Most of the Begnion senators, and (in Radiant Dawn) The god that most of the populace worshiped. There are also invers: Micaiah dismisses Sothe's constant praise of Ike as exaggerated at best, while Soren describes Micaiah, not without reason, as the figurehead of a zealous fanatic movement. When they all team up in the finale, they see that all the praise really is warranted.
  • Disgaea 3 has Super Hero Aurum, beloved by humans (and some demons) and idolized by Almaz. By the end of the game, you discover that he has gone out of his way to make Mao into the most horrible villain imaginable, trying to manipulate him into attacking the human world, simply out of boredom from having no "worthy" opponents. And when this fails thanks to the Power of Friendship, even the demons of the party call him out for his blatantly villainous actions, with Mao declaring cowardly Almaz a far more superior hero than Aurum.
  • A minor example in Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten; "Angel of Avarice" Vulcanus is more than a little put out when she realizes that the Archangel she admires is none other than the flaky otaku Flonne, who used the money Vulcanus collected to build a giant robot.
  • Captian Qwark in Ratchet & Clank. The eponymous duo start out the series looking up to Captain Qwark, until they discover he's in league with Chairman Drek's plans. It only gets worse by the time of Up Your Arsenal, when they discover that Qwark had faked his own death and flat-out bailed on the rest of the galaxy to save himself rather than help beat Dr. Nefarious ( although to his credit, he does perform a Heel–Face Turn later). Boy, does Ratchet get pissed:
    Ratchet: You're pathetic, Qwark! I can't believe I once looked up to you!
  • Tomb Raider (2013): Lara used to admire James Whitman, but by the time of the game has seen him for the narcissistic Slave to PR and Know-Nothing Know-It-All he really is. When she discovers a note to his soon-to-be ex-wife, in which he tries to convince her to wait until after the Yamatai expedition to divorce him largely because he wants to avoid negative publicity, she explicitly remarks she's disgusted with herself for ever having looked up to him.
  • In Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Republic hero Carth Onasi was scarred when his mentor and idol, Saul Karath, turned out to be working for the Sith. He retains a deep mistrust of all Jedi, and the revelation that the player character is the amnesiac Darth Revan, former commander of the Sith rebellion doesn't help matters.
    • Mission's quest involves finding out her brother deliberately left her behind when he left Taris.
  • A morality-swapped variant occurs the second game, The Sith Lords. Visas Maar's master, Darth Nihilus, is constantly portrayed as a vortex of death, more a force of nature than a human being, whom Visas is obviously terrified of (she didn't exactly become his apprentice by choice). Until you defeat him, at which point you can let Visas take his mask off. When you ask her what she saw when she took the mask, she'll calmly reply "A man, nothing more."
    • Atris has this attitude towards a female Exile, having idolised her prior to the Mandalorian Wars.
  • A Sith Warrior in Star Wars: The Old Republic invokes this trope when recruiting Jaesa. Jaesa is a gifted, but inexperienced Padawan who can "see" the true nature of others. Her master and Darth Baras (your handler) have a long-running feud. When confronting the old Jedi, you can force Jaesa to "see" her master has been hopelessly warped by his grudge, causing her to abandon him, and serve you instead. It is up to you if you want to keep her inclinations to the Light Side, or Break the Cutie by twisting her into a very psychotic verion of The Dark Side, however.
  • In The World Ends with You, Neku is a total CAT fanboy. Later on, he discovers that Mr. Hanekoma, a guy who's been real helpful to him, is the elusive CAT, and starts fanboying even harder. Then, in the final week, Neku discovers a lot of clues that suggest that CAT is the Composer, and goes through a textbook case of denial, then losing faith in CAT as they approach the Composer's chamber. Only, as Kitaniji tells him, Hanekoma is not the Composer. The very end of the game, plus the Secret Reports, however, tell you that he's still not someone to trust, albeit better intentioned than Kitaniji or Joshua.
  • In Viewtiful Joe, Captain Blue turns out to be one for Joe, after he reveals himself as the Big Bad.
    • However, After Blue has a Heel–Face Turn it seems Joe regains respect for him again.
  • Grandia II takes this trope to the extreme, making the player think that the Church of Granas has a plan to stop the resurrection of Valmar and the arrival of the Day of Darkness. As it turns out, Granas is actually dead, the Church knew this all along, and the Pope actually wants to resurrect Valmar to become the new God. In addition to that, Granas and Valmar weren't actually gods, but really powerful scientists. The Divine Sword is actually a sword-shaped spacecraft, and Valmar's legion of darkness is actually a robot army.
    • Averted with Granas himself though. Whatever his nature his ideals were genuine and the only thing he was guilty of was coddling his followers far too much, stagnating independant human development (why bother innovating if your god can conjure starships out of thin air?). In the end, he died sacrificing himself to save his people.
      • The cutscene where Ryudo gets the Granasaber implies that not only is he Not Quite Dead, but that he's actually Skye, Ryudo's eagle partner.
  • In Baldur's Gate II, Jaheira has this in regards to the Harpers during her personal quest. First, Galvarey, the regional Harper leader in Athkatla turns out to be an opportunistic Smug Snake who wants to use charname in his bid for power. Jaheira is understandably dismayed by this, especially since the other Harpers, who are unaware of Galvarey's intent, consider the incident an act of treason on her part and a murder on your part. Once that is cleared up, she discovers that Dermin, her old mentor, was actually in on Galvarey's plot, and is just as much of a Smug Snake as he was. Needless to say, the whole affair shook Jaheira to her core.
  • In Guild Wars Nightfall, Varesh Osha is seen by many as an ideal ruler of her nation. Turns out she's a batshit insane worshipper of the resident Eldritch Abomination.
  • In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky, Wigglytuff's beginnings as an explorer are revealed. As a child, he met Armaldo in a deep forest. Armaldo told the then-Igglybuff that he was a retired explorer, and they went on lots of missions and found lots of treasure. Igglybuff idolised Armaldo and everything was going perfectly well...until Armaldo got arrested. He was a wanted criminal, not an explorer. Igglybuff almost had a mental breakdown and refused to believe that Armaldo was bad, even as he was being led away in custody. Whether they met again after Armaldo got out of prison is unknown.
    • And subverted. Armaldo really did care for Igglybuff and was curious to see how far he'd go as an explorer. Armaldo comforted Igglybuff and told him to continue exploring for him. And he promised to explore with him again once he did his time.
    • This occurs again with your partner and Dusknoir. When it is revealed Dusknoir is from the future and is only here to kill you, your partner, and Grovyle, he/she can hardly believe it until they hear it straight from Dusknoir. It doesn't help that the person you thought was a villain (Grovyle) is actually a hero and that you directly contributed to Grovyle's capture.
  • Present in Pokémon Black and White with N finding out that he's nothing but a brainwashed child soldier and that his father Ghestis is intent on banning Pokemon use so Team Plasma can "liberate" them all and use their power to conquer Unova.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Jacob Taylor's father, Ronald, vanished 10 years ago. When they receive a message and go to the unhabited planet to save them, turns out that after his ship crashed and the captain died, Ronald forced the lower crew members to eat the planet's toxic food, which caused their minds to degrade, while they tried to fix a beacon to call for aid. Female crew members were assigned to officers, like pets. A year later, the beacon was ready, but Ronald figured the report would look bad and wanted to stay. He then had the other officers killed. Gradually the degraded males started to rebel, becoming "hunters" as even in a decayed state they knew things weren't right. Ronald held out for ten years, until his supplies ran low and he called for aid. Needless to say, Jacob was utterly disgusted and would've killed his old man, if not for the fact he "wasn't worth pulling the trigger". If your Shepard is a renegade, you can suggest Jacob to give his father a weapon with one bullet. If you pick the neutral option, he will get killed by his own men.
    • And then there is Rael'Zorah, Tali's father and a part of the Admiralty Board. Her father is found dead on the ship and Tali was accused of treason. When she find out what happened, it turns out Rael'Zorah was willingly endangering his own crew's lives to create a measure to control the Geth much to her horror.
    • A few people, most prominently Ashley/Kaidan (even more hardhitting if they were your love interest in Mass Effect), consider Shepard to be one since s/he's working with Cerberus, a terrorist organization in Mass Effect 2. An often overlooked factor in this is that they were unaware of the Lazarus Project, so they were under the impression that Shepard had been Faking the Dead to join Cerberus, a conclusion that the Illusive Man encouraged with strategic information leaks.
    • This is also brought up in a news story:
    Newscaster: Emotions at Shepard's alleged survival are mixed. While some are overjoyed to see her/him return, others believe her/his false death was a betrayal.
    • This is how Captain Anderson describes his meeting with Saren. As a potential recruit into the SPECTR Es, Anderson was sent on a mission while supervised by the most successful, well-known and feared Spectre of them all, Saren Arturius.... Who turned out to be a brutal Blood Knight whose ulterior motives used massive amounts of overkill that ultimately ended in the death dozens of civilians in the completion of his mission before finally laying the blame on Anderson when political backlash followed.
    • Even before that, in the first game, you can make Shepard into one for Conrad Verner.
    • Through the first and second games, the Protheans have been regarded as a race of very advanced and powerful, but benign Benevolent Precursors. Then in the third game, we meet Javik, the last Prothean warrior, and find out that the Protheans were actually a highly imperialistic society who conquered anyone they encountered and integrated them into their empire as "subservient races." Liara in particular is quite disappointed, once implies that they were monsters, and comes to consider her earlier writings on them as foolishly naive.
      Liara: You're a Prothean! You were supposed to have all the answers!
      • Given more time, she changes her stance a little, no longer feeling betrayed and able to think of them more objectively.
    • Liara gets another one when she finds out her own government has maintained their technological superiority by hiding a Prothean Beacon from the rest of the galaxy, in defiance of Citadel laws.
    • Cerberus becomes one for Miranda at the end of 2 and in 3. Shepard themselves can invoke this in their conversations with The Illusive Man in 3, pointing out that not only has he turned his back on Shepard, but on everything Cerberus was supposed to stand for.
    • Mordin Solus's student Maelon is so disgusted by his mentor's role in trying to maintain the genophage that he ends up resorting to extreme and barbaric means to cure it. This in turn, ends up infuriating Mordin when he finds out.
    Maelon: I was your student! I looked up to you!
    Mordin: Unacceptable experiments. Unacceptable goals. No choice. Have to kill you.
  • Cloud got hit by this in Final Fantasy VII. As a teenager, he dreamed of joining the elite SOLDIER unit like his idol, the great warrior Sephiroth. When Cloud finally gets to go on a mission with Sephiroth, finding out that Sephiroth wasn't as noble as Cloud thought he was is the least of our hero's disappointments.
  • Infamous: Cole's girlfriend Trish breaks up with him when the Voice of Survival's Malicious Slander leads her to believe that Cole deliberately set off the Ray Sphere explosion that claimed her sister's life. Depending on whether or not the player does Good or Evil Karma, she'll either reconcile with Cole or die cursing his name.
  • Veronica's mentor Elijah in Fallout: New Vegas, you are told about how he wants to know more about the outside world and how the Brotherhood Of Steel should be working to help the others. Then you find out about what he has done over the events of Dead Money where he used you to do his dirty bidding along with 3 others.
    • One resident of Megaton in Fallout 3 put the Enclave on a pedestal based entirely on their radio propaganda. When they actually show up, they rapidly break their own pedestal. Kidnapping said fan was probably the least evil thing they did in the game.
  • In the Dragon Age: Origins DLC "Soldier's Peak", Sophia Dryden becomes this (posthumously) to her descendant Levi Dryden. While her goal of opposing a tyrant was admirable, she still resorted to Blood Magic and demon summoning when the chips were down and suffered the consequences.
  • First Enchanter Orsino in Dragon Age II can become this to Bethany if she joins the Circle. If Hawke takes the side of the templars during the endgame battle sequence, they can get Orsino to admit that he protected the serial killer responsible for turning their mother into a Frankenstein bride. In the mage endgame, Orsino only mentions Quentin offhandedly and we don't see how either Hawke sibling reacts.
    • The "Legacy" DLC turns Malcolm Hawke into one with The Reveal that he was a Blood Mage. Probably the most sympathetic example of this trope ever since he did it to seal away a powerful evil, was forced to do it with a threat to his lover, and he made sure his mage child(ren) knew of the dangers associated with it. Malcolm was ashamed of his past and hoped his family would never learn of it. His children still don't take the news very well but understand why he did it.
    • The Grey Wardens can become this to Carver if he joined them, after learning that Warden-Commander Larius gave the order to blackmail Malcolm Hawke into performing Blood Magic, because they threatened to kill Leandra if he refused. Particularly as Leandra was pregnant with his older sibling at the time.
  • Blackwall in Dragon Age: Inquisition becomes deeply disappointed in his fellow Grey Wardens over their reaction to the fake Calling and their manipulation by the Elder One. And most of the party feel this way towards Blackwall himself, after The Reveal that he's not the real Blackwall but a fugitive murderer who'd assumed the real Blackwall's identity.
  • In Corpse Party Ayumi greatly respects Naho Saenoki, an occult expert despite just being in high school. She is disheartened when Naho reveals that she died in Tenjin Elementary and in Chapter 5 laments that they could have been friends. Shortly after that, however, she finds out that the instructions for the Sachiko charm (which is what trapped them in Tenjin Elementary in the first place) that she found on Naho's blog were faulty...And Naho knew this. Ayumi calls her out on it. Naho doesn't really care and insults "occult freaks"...until Ayumi reveals that after Naho succumbed to The Darkening, she killed her beloved mentor, Kou Kibiki. She doesn't take this revelation well.
  • Subverted in Vandal Hearts 2 were the resident messiah figure, St. Nirvath, is revealed to have been a mass murderer and glory seeker, causing a crisis of faith in one of the characters. It turns out that while Nirvath is guilty of wiping out a large portion of humanity, he did so in order to save the remainder from a devastating disease and was convinced that history would remember him as a criminal and not as a saviour no matter how necessary his actions were.
  • In Wild AR Ms 5, Dean worships and tries to emulate the famous golem hunter Nightburn. When it turns out he's The Quisling for the Veruni, his pedestal shatters.
  • Red of Solatorobo gets a Fangirl in the Duel Ship fights. When she finds out that Red is ordered around by his 13-year-old younger sister, she declares him extremely uncool. When she tries to beat Red in a battle later to find closure, he ends up on a Rebuilt Pedestal and she declares her fangirlish love for him again. This does not please her newly acquired male fanbase.
  • Dr. Eggman looked up to his grandfather, Professor Gerald Robotnik. However, after Professor Gerald tried to exterminate humanity in Sonic Adventure 2, narrowly averted by teaming up with Sonic, Eggman doesn't think of him nearly as highly anymore.
    • Then in Shadow the Hedgehog, it's revealed that Gerald Robotnik struck a deal with the Black Arms alien race (who at this point have invaded the earth and revealed their intention to enslave humans for food) that in exchange for their help in his research (which led to the eponymous character's creation), the Black Arms could have the planet. Eggman upon discovering this is nothing short of aghast. However, it is later revealed in the game's Final Story that Gerald regretted his decision and originally developed the Eclipse Cannon to destroy the Black Comet —the Black Arms' home planet— and intended for Shadow to carry that task out in order to save their world.
  • In Injustice: Gods Among Us, Regime Captain Marvel, still a kid here, looked up to Regime Superman, even going along with his ideas of a better world. However, after witnessing Superman murdering Lex Luthor, learning people now hate him and finding out that he plans to wipe out Metropolis and Gotham City before marching over to the brighter universe and taking it over, Captain Marvel calls it quits. Sadly, Regime Superman kills him before he can bail. However, it does inspire another to do so: Regime Flash.
  • La Noire has Cole Phelps, a hero from World War II and a cop who has solved tons of tough cases while sticking within the boundaries of his duties. He goes from patrolman all the way to Vice and the entire department is singing praises for him. However, Phelps is caught having an affair — with a German, no less — and those same people start hating his guts while Phelps himself gets demoted to Arson.
  • In Diablo, part of the reason why Farnham became The Alcoholic is the sense of betrayal he felt after Archbishop Lazarus betrayed him and the others to demons.
  • Mage Gauntlet has Whitebeard. The ritual to repair the Dark Realm seal requires sending a mage through the portal permanently, which is the ultimate fate of most of his apprentices. He only gave Lexi the gauntlet to make her an acceptable sacrifice. Furthermore, Hurgoth is merely a gatekeeper for much stronger creatures, and Whitebeard has been using his fame as an excuse for every kind of forbidden magical research in existence, ultimately getting one other mage turned into a lich, possibly getting another consumed by a slime hivemind, and creating an entire army of walking body horror.
  • In Robopon, Prince Tail's father had a shady past with Dr. Zero, and won the Legend 1 title by nearly killing the doctor after Zero defeated him. Tail has a Heroic B.S.O.D. when Zero tells him the truth.
  • In Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory II, Uni's respect for Noire goes down the Memory card when she sees that her happy place is where she is an idol/voice actress with no responsibilities of ruling her country
  • Halo 5: Guardians's "All Hail" trailer, with the Master Chief lying wounded in a ruined landscape at the base of an impossibly larger-than-life statue of himself, while Locke accuses him of betrayal. In the actual game, Locke never loses his respect towards Chief.
    Locke: "All hail the conquering hero. Let us remember him as our protector and not the one who gave us... this... Let us remember him as you [the statue] and not as you [the real Master Chief]. All hail the conquering hero... But now, I must save us from you."
  • Minecraft: Story Mode: The Order of the Stone can be this when it's revealed they faked defeating the Ender Dragon. As with most of Jesse's reactions you can react however you want to and be as angry as the options allow. You also have the choice of whether or not to reveal their secret to the world.
  • In Transformers: Devastation, it's revealed that Optimus and all other Autobots looked up to Nova Prime as an idealistic figure...until he became corrupted and Shockwave spilled the beans that it was he who wanted Earth to be terraformed into a new Cybertron.
  • Mortal Kombat: In both timelines, Raiden started out with great faith in the Elder Gods, only to lose it due to their inaction. He even calls them out several times for their slackness in maintaining the stability of the realms.
  • In Batman: The Telltale Series, Bruce Wayne suffers one when he learns that his father, Thomas Wayne, was actually a corrupt man who used his power and influence to essentially rule Gotham along with Hamilton Hill and Carmine Falcone. And Alfred knew about this the entire time. You can also choose not to forgive Alfred for this, but will make sure he Never Live It Down.
  • In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Terra, who has been overly-conscious and quite a bit afraid by the darkness in his own heart, had quite a bit of respect for Master Xehanort, who assumed a guiding role in regards to channeling the darkness towards something good. Sadly, his respect for the old master turned entirely into rage and hatred when Xehanort manipulated him into fighting his father-figure Eraqus, murdering said father figure, and revealing himself to have been screwing with everyone Terra knows for the sake of his evil plan. In fact, part of Xehanort's plan was to purposely set up this trope to maximize Terra's hatred and send his darkness into overdrive, giving the old man the chance to take that younger body for himself.

    Visual Novels 
  • From the Ace Attorney series:
    • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, prosecutor Miles Edgeworth discovers that the man who raised him after his father's death (and taught him everything he knows about law and prosecution) is his father's killer. And also a ruthless perfectionist who'd do anything to win, but he already knew that.
    • In another example for Edgeworth, he finds out that Ernest Amano, who financed his studies, and whom he respected enough that he would deliver the ransom money to his son's kidnappers as a personal favor, obstructs justice by buying the haunted house in Gatewater Land so that his son won't be exposed as a murderer, and is also affiliated with the smuggling ring. The closest he gets to a pithy statement is saying in the ending that he owes him a debt of gratitude, but he must pay his debt to society.
    • Kristoph Gavin, the mentor of Apollo in the fourth game ends being the murderer in the first case and the Big Bad of the game. Apollo is also livid to find out that Phoenix, a former ace lawyer whom he treated with the utmost respect, gave him a fake clue to make Kristoph confess to the murder of Shadi Smith, to the point of punching him. He only comes to work for him because with Kristoph's arrest, he's out of a job.
    • Damon Gant was the well respected chief of police. It turns out that he murdered an innocent man in order to frame a serial killer and years later killed a cop who was trying to find out the truth and let someone else take the blame for it.
    • Ema also has this reaction when her sister admits to forging evidence, although it later turns out that she was blackmailed into doing so by Gant, who had arranged evidence to make it seem as though Ema accidentally killed Neil Marshall.
    • Morgan Fey for Mia and Maya, who both loved their aunt and are upset to find out that she would try to frame Maya for murder out of jealousy, so that her daughter Pearl could become Master.
    • The killer was planning to invoke this trope in the second case of Dual Destinies. The reason why Florent L'Belle didn't kill Mayor Tenma as part of the plan to frame him for murdering Alderman Kyubi was so that once Mayor Tenma was convicted and exposed as the true identity of the Amazing Nine-Tails (the hero that everyone who opposed the merger rallied around), the Amazing Nine-Tails' popularity would plummet once people realized he was also a murderer.
    • In Investigations 2, Blaise Debeste becomes this for his son Sebastian after it's revealed that he's the killer in case 4 and that he never really cared for Sebastian in the first place.
  • In Dangan Ronpa, Mondo Oowada is this for Kiyotaka Ishimaru. At first, he refuses to believe that Oowada was the murderer of Chihiro Fujisaki in the second case, but then he is forced to confront with the truth and the poor guy suffers a Heroic B.S.O.D.. What makes the whole thing more painful is that Oowada was the first real friend that he ever had, since he was never able to make friends due to his focus on studying and working on school morals.
    • This trope also turns out to be a large part of the mastermind's plan. The first killing game between the student council was revealed to the world, causing people to shocked that humanity's best and brightest turned into murderers, under Hope's Peak Academy's watch. The effect of this trope was so strong that it outright caused global anarchy. During the main story of the videogame, the mastermind is trying to invoke this trope again by holding a live broadcast of the current class's killing game.
    • Ironically, Kyoko ends up exploiting this trope to force the mastermind to stop cheating, since if the mastermind frames the survivors for murder rather than actually pushing them to do it, she'll fail to get her point across to the audience.
  • During Hatoful Boyfriend, Sakuya only seems to have any respect for his father and Doctor Iwamine Shuu, the latter of whom developed a medicine that saved the former. He's extremely defensive about criticism to either. Sakuya has been raised to think of his father as "pure", of the utmost value and to be obeyed unthinkingly. Through his route he can come to disobey, but it's in BBL that things really change. He insists privately that "I must not disrespect him (Shuu)... because that is what father told me." but is unable to ignore mounting evidence. Eventually he despises Shuu just like everybirdie else.
  • In Code:Realize, Arsene Lupin's mentor betrays the values and morals he'd taught him, instead turning to selfish crime.
    • Another example is Jimmy Aleister, who personally mentored Van Helsing in the latter's entire career to the point where both lost their families for their service. In a very ugly turn of events, he is revealed to be an irredeemably twisted criminal mastermind who killed his own family and Van Helsing's all with his own hands, purely for the sake of trying to traumatize and corrupt his student.
  • In Sunrider Mask of Arcadius, Veniczar Fontana idolized the revolutionary Arcadius for opposing the tyranny of the New Empire and joined his cause, quickly climbing through PACT’s ranks to become Arcadius’s right-hand man. But over the course of the game, Arcadius’s increasingly megalomaniacal actions and willingness to throw away the lives of his mennote  cause Fontana to become disillusioned with him, as they fly in the face of PACT’s principles. By the end of the game, Fontana is so disgusted that he stages a coup and puts a bullet in Arcadius’s head, not that it inconveniences them much. Surprisingly, this is actually Averted: Fontana knows that “Arcadius” is really a successor to the original Arcadius (who died several years earlier), and he’s disgusted with her for dragging the man’s good name through the mud.

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • s Agent Washington in regards to the Director of Project Freelancer. When first introduced, Washington is highly against the Director and is actively working to bring him down after seeing the horrors the Director inflicted on the Alpha AI. Season 9 then shows a younger Washington, who is highly devoted to the Director and claims the man has given him everything.
    • The same goes for Agent Carolina.
    • Another example: Caboose after Epsilon-Church's Freak Out! at the Blood Gulch Crew. All he ever wanted was to be Church's best friend. Seeing that Church only saw him as a problem he had to deal with daily really broke the poor kid.
  • Played for laughs in If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device when Karamazov meets with Torquemanda Coteaz, who's clearly his idol. Karamazov is disgusted when he finds out that Coteaz's secret tactic of victory is using barrels full of Jokaero.

    Web Comics 
  • Sluggy Freelance has an example of this when Torg finds out that Riff is working for Hereti-Corp, although as Riff mentally notes shortly afterward, he had no idea how they were using the information he was sending them. Torg ultimately forgives him by the end of the arc, noting the contrast between how he treated him with how he believed Cloney was actually Aylee.
  • In Kevin & Kell, Rudy is shocked to find out that his biological father had an affair that resulted in Rudy's nemesis Vin Vulpen being born; Kell suspected this but didn't know for certain. Lindesfarne, after learning that Professor Antlerhead falsified his research on stem cells, notes that the only authority figures who have never let her down are her father and stepmother.
  • Minmax in Goblins discovering his idol's tendencies (and the result). Go Minmax.
    Minmax: He was being a dink.
  • Happens in Juathuur...sort of. actually, Arvval stands by his principles from beginning to end. But when Faevv strays from her path, his bigotry becomes apparent and they don't really get along anymore.
  • Popsicleman idolizes Golden Age Popsicleman...until, by the use of 50,000 Placeb-O's box tops, he gets an opportunity to meet him. It turns out the predecessor is chauvinistic and always on the lookout for foreign spies, as well as having a hefty sense of entitlement.
  • Any convinces the rest of the M9 Girls in their eponymous comic to take an internship at the Professor's lab. She quickly develops a fascination with the Professor, which takes a hard hit when Any develops the ability to read emotions and more of his real intentions are revealed.
  • Reynder, a.k.a. Oosterhuis in Panthera turns out to be the Big Bad of the first story arc. Truer words were never said, Tigris.
  • In Starslip, Holiday enters her crush object Vanderbeam's mind to try and free him from an alien Lotus-Eater Machine. There, she discovers his long-harbored obession with the long-dead Jovia and the lengths Vanderbeem is willing to go to to get her back (i.e. throw his support behind a former criminal to gain technology that might enable him to save her, knowing the criminal wants the tech to try and regain his former power). When Vanderbeam refuses to see reason, reaffirming his willingness to do whatever it took to save Jovia, Holiday simply, and sadly says "You have no idea how much of my respect you've lost. For good." Ironically, this is enough to snap Vanderbeam out of it.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court:
    • Antimony Carver learns in Chapter 31 that Surma, her mother, acted as the Court's Honey Trap to lure Reynardine into the court. When she tries to confirm this unpleasant truth ("So my mother...tricked Reynardine into thinking she loved him?"), Kat's mother tries to justify with the threat Reynardine posed if he were allowed to roam free.
    • Katerina Donlan is rather upset upon learning what the founders of the Court, where she has grown up all her life, did to Jeanne and her lover. It sure doesn't help that Diego, Kat's robot-building genius hero, came up with the horrifying plan, and did so purely out of spite and jealousy.
  • Bittersweet Candy Bowl has Alejandro, Paulo's original "coolness teacher," which was really just Paulo being messed with by the older kid.
  • In Pacificators, Daryl Smithson joined Platoon 113 because two of her idols (Cinna Grossul and Muneca Powell) were on the team, but on the very first day she met them, she discovered that they do not like each other, and can barely work together. She calls them out on this after she broke up a fight between them.
  • In Slightly Damned the reader is lead to believe that Sakido genuinely cares for her little brother Buwaro. While it may be that way now, it turns out she is acting as The Atoner for maiming and abandoning him 15 years ago. Her final line, recorded in a journal, really hammers home how tortured she was on that choice.
    "If you are reading this and I'm no longer around, then I've gotten what I deserved."
  • Following the media smear campaign and everything else in Sonic the Comic – Online!, Sonic has become this to the remaining Freedom Fighters and Mobius. Let's just say that, when you know the Sonicverse as a whole, it's pretty jarring to see even Amy hating Sonic; Tails is literally the only being on Mobius who still believes in him.
  • In a guest comic for Manly Guys Doing Manly Things, Jared Kowalski gushes over new arrival Chuck Norris and asks him to sign his fish... and then realizes that Norris is afraid of it (it's actually a Gyarados).
  • In El Goonish Shive, when Tedd first learns about Gerald he thinks he sounds like a Bully Hunter and ignores Nanase's attempt to dissuade him from holding that view. Later when he actually meets him he sees what Nanase was talking about and stands up to him when he antagonizes Nanase.
  • The Order of the Stick has a few.
    • In the beginning of the story, Elan positively adores Vaarsuvius, to the point where Elan dresses as a wizard to try to be like him/her. However, after Therkla, a ninja who had a crush on Elan, dies, Elan is extremely upset and Vaarsuvius simply is unconcerned about it, caring more about the danger to the world for the quest they are on. V also disintegrates Kubota without knowing what Kubota did, and accuses Elan of cheating on Haley with Therkla when he expresses sympathy for Therkla's unrequited love for him. V's cruelty causes Elan to abandon him.
    • Miko Miyazaki had a very troubled life, being orphaned at an early age and raised in a monastery. She found comfort in serving the Twelve Gods and Lord Shojo, serving him even when he became old and senile. Hinjo, Shojo's nephew, serves his uncle, the only family he has left, just as faithfully. When Shojo is revealed to have lied to them about his senility, the Gates, and working with Belkar Bitterleaf and Roy, just having found out an army of hobgoblins is on the way, Miko and Hinjo are both crushed. Hinjo reacts lawfully, by wanting to try Shojo after dealing with the hobgoblins. Miko takes a different approach, and cuts Shojo in half.
    • When Elan first meets his long-lost father Tarquin, each of them promptly goes onto the other's pedestal due to their extreme charisma and love of storytelling, and because Elan always wanted a father (Tarquin being absent from his childhood to conquer the Western Continent and raise Nale), and because Tarquin believed that Elan was the Protagonist of his story and would be the great hero to vanquish him when he is nearing the end of a very successful life. However, Tarquin's pedestal is broken when Elan realizes that the giant flames in the hills spelling out his name are actually escaped slaves nailed to the ground and lit on fire, and it's only further broken when Tarquin kills Nale and tries to kill Roy, Belkar, Durkon, and Elan's father figure Julio Scoundrél, as well as snapping Haley's arm without a second thought and trying to crash the airship Elan was on. Likewise, when Tarquin realizes that his son is not the hero of his story like Tarquin thought he was, he is very disappointed and goes to insane lengths to attempt to try to make him the hero of the story (by taking the above spoilered actions).
  • In Homestuck, Meenah Peixes was raised to become a caretaker for her people, which she saw as glorified slavery. When she learns her Alternate Universe counterpart, the Condesce, became a violent and wealthy warlord, she's thrilled. Then she learns that Condy killed and enslaved most of the alternate versions of Meenah's friends, even using Mituna Captor/The Psiioniic as a living battery for her battleship. Also, now she's an actual slave to Lord English.
  • Spacetrawler: Rickshaw Boans, founder of Interplanet Amity, is a huge inspiration to Krep. When Rickshaw returns from parts unknown, he's even more zealous than he used to be, while Krep has undergone Character Development and is no longer so gung-ho about Rickshaw's "shoot first, ask questions later, and take no prisoners" approach.
  • When Kevin Kolton in Evil Plan joins the superhero team The Company he discovers their business model is less of a peacekeeping force and more of an entertainment company. By the end of this chapter he rationalizes super villains escaping prison rather than being killed or stripped of abilities is more a matter of profit than justice.

    Web Original 
  • In the Halo ARG HUNT the TRUTH, a number of people feel this way towards the Master Chief after footage surfaces of him seemingly attacking an interspecies peace conference. The pedestal is rebuilt when it's revealed that he was actually trying to save the delegates from human-supremacist terrorists.
  • KateModern has Rupert van Helding, whose teachings are admired by so many in the Hymn of One. It's a shame he's such a hypocrite.
  • The Union Series has a Captain Evan McNeil, poster boy for much of the Colonial military. While made out to be a cheerful, war-is-an-adventure type paragon of soldiering, the hard reality recruits are confronted by is that he is truly a tired, run down man, aged beyond his years, who's spent most of his adult life being flung from one incredibly bloody conflict to the next, with only the sincere desire that someone will get lucky and put a bullet through his head to end his misery.
  • Xandra from the Neopets story The Faerie's Ruin was a powerful witch who was taken to Faerieland to study. Initially, like the rest of Neopia, she believed that the Faeries were Big Goods, but the Faeries repeatedly refused to intervene in cases where she felt they should have. Feeling betrayed and deceived, she set out to break the pedestal for everyone else. She fucking crashed Faerieland into Neopia!
  • In We Are Our Avatars, Catherine Grayson looked up to Yumiko because the latter was the type of person the former desired to be and befriended her until she took a part of Alduin's soul. Even though Catherine stole Tomes and resurrected the dead, she was horrified by the actions, calling Yumiko out in a What the Hell, Hero? speech.
  • In Worm, The Triumvirate becomes this for the superheroes of the Protectorate when they find out what they've done in the name of saving the world.
  • Sort of semi-subverted for Fantöm in the Noob franchise, as he turns out to have been Locked Out of the Loop. He still gets a hard time from some of the characters for not noticing that things were much easier for him than they should be, which meant someone was pulling strings to give him an unfair advantage) on his own.
  • At the beginning of Silver Quill's review of the Bravestarr episode "Fallen Idol," he is looking at all of the news footage centered around the Bill Cosby rape case, then talks about how Cosby was someone he looked up to when he was a kid and is pretty upset about hearing about this.
  • In the Amazon series Betas, Zuckerberg-esque entrepreneur Zack Casper is one. Protagonist Trey wants to be like Zack, whose chatroom was a haven for young Trey after the divorce of his parents, but he later discover that Zack frequently guts Silicon Valley startups out of greed, and has no interesting in changing the world for the better.
  • In Son of the Mask, The Nostalgia Critic is saddened to learn that cuddly Big Good Santa Christ has become a bit of a sadist. Mostly to him.
  • Occasionally used comedically in Jon Era Game Grumps, since Jon was a long-time fan of Egoraptor's before they got to know each other in person.
    Jon: To think... To think I used to worship you...

    Western Animation 
  • In the DuckTales episode "Where No Duck Has Gone Before", Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Doofus idol worship Major Courage, hero of the TV show "Courage of the Cosmos." The boys go on the show and are blind to the fact that their hero is just a vain, egotistical actor, and pay no attention to Launchpad and Scrooge's statements to the effect that his derring-do isn't real. When they realize that they have really been launched into outer space and real aliens have captured them, Courage panics, and the boys see what a coward he really is ("real heroes just do their jobs!").
    Courage: What happened? What's going on?
    Huey: We're going home!
    Dewey: No thanks to you!
    Louie: Yeah!
    ' You've been saved by a real hero — Launchpad McQuack!
  • In Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures, Race Bannon's old mentor (and boss) is revealed to have been working for Dr. Zin.
  • Bravestarr had this as the Central Theme of the aptly-titled episode "Fallen Idol". Bravestarr's mentor and idol Jingles Morgan turns out to be wanted for murder, which devastates Bravestarr. Throughout the episode, Bravestarr often tells Jingles "You were my hero..." in a mournful tone of voice. Upon Jingle's arrest, he attempts to understand why his idol attempted to kill him (you see, it was a test of his ruthlessness to join Tex Hex's gang), only for Morgan to show how far he has fallen from the beloved Jerk with a Heart of Gold Bravestarr remembers by saying "I never asked to be your 'hero'". After he's taken away, Bravestarr tells his deputy (who looks up to him) that "If anyone ever, ever lets you down, just... remember them for what they did right, and not what they did wrong."
  • The Kingdom Chums special "The Original Top Ten" is about the 10 commandments. In the "Thou shalt not worship false idols" segment, the dumber of the kids finds himself among crumbling statues of sports and rock-and-roll idols, although exactly why these kinds of idols aren't good (other than "not being God") isn't explored or has been lost to memory.
  • Batman: The Animated Series does this to some extent in the episode, "Beware the Gray Ghost". The eponymous character (voiced by Adam West) was the hero of an in-universe TV show that Bruce Wayne loved as a child, and an inspiration to the latter's own vigilantism. The actor, although not mean, is a bitter old man who has suffered from longterm unemployment, and briefly grows to hate his old role. Batman is quite disappointed when this Reality Ensues, but once it turns out that rediscovering the past is vital to solving a crime, the actor fortunately rediscovers his passion, aids Batman on his quest, and the episode ends on a very high note.
  • Men in Black: The Animated Series: Kay's mentor Alpha betrays him and the MIB after merging with some alien technology that allows him to combine with anything.
  • The Venture Bros.:
    • Brock Samson's mentor Colonel Hunter Gathers is thought to have gone rogue and Brock is sent on a mission to hunt him down and kill him. Brock is disgusted to find that his mentor, who insisted on never killing women or children, apparently killed the woman he'd slept with the night before (she turns out not to be dead, but Brock doesn't know that). In the end, we see that his mentor ran off to get a perfectly innocent sex change, and the morals he passed down to Brock invalidated the now-female mentor as a target. Though as it turns out in season 4, he really did go rogue... but he wanted to do things his own way rather than following OSI's strict policies. And with the Season 4 finale, it appears that Colonel Gathers is the new commander of OSI, letting him come full circle.
    • Season 3 showed flashbacks where Dr. Jonas Venture Sr. was either a complete Jerkass or just too naive to realize the damage he was inflicting on his son due to his womanizing and seeming disregard for human life.
  • The Boondocks: "The Story of Gangstalicious" is all about this, as Riley finds out quickly that his idol isn't exactly what he made himself out to be. Amongst other things...
  • Hey Arnold!:
    • The eponymous character tracked down his favorite author only to find that she'd become mean and surly because of years of writer's block. His insistence that she was still his favorite author, despite how terribly she treated him before and during the interview for his school report, is the catalyst for her future change of heart and eventual return to writing.
    • Eugene turned bad when he found out the actor from his favorite TV show wasn't anything like the character he plays. The same episode also subverts it when the actor saves Eugene and Arnold from falling to their deaths, at great personal risk. As a result, it becomes a case of Warts and All, since Eugene realizes that for all his flaws, the actor is still a fundamentally good person.
    • Then there was the time Phoebe found out her favorite singer, Ronnie Matthews, was a lip-synching hack.
    • "Monkeyman!" features Sid losing his faith and admiration for the episode's titular character when he gets mugged right outside a building where Monkeyman was attending a party and his cries for help go unheard.
  • The Simpsons:
    • There's an episode where Lisa learns that Springfield's founder Jebediah Springfield, contrary to his rugged frontier hero image, was actually a bloodthirsty pirate who once attempted to kill George Washington. Though initially dedicated to revealing the truth to the town, she changes her mind since she didn't want to take away the inspiring (fake) image people had of Springfield.
    • Another episode has Lisa learning about her ancestor Eliza Simpson, who was part of The Underground Railroad and helped a black slave reach freedom. Lisa becomes crushed when she later learns that Eliza was a coward who did not stand up to Burns's ancestor when he came to reclaim his slave.
    • Subverted by Bart and Krusty the Clown, star of his favorite TV show. Although Krusty has repeatedly shown that he's a terrible role model, and has been an Ungrateful Bastard despite all the times Bart has helped him, Bart nonetheless remains devoted to his hero.
  • Family Guy does this with Stewie's love of fictional kids show Jolly Farm. He goes to London only to find out Jolly Farm isn't real, Pengrove Pig is a pervert in a suit and Mother Maggie hates children and speaks with a Cockney accent.
  • In Ed, Edd n Eddy, Eddy's brother was respected by most of the other kids (except for Kevin and Rolf, who fear him because they, or at least Rolf, are old enough to remember what he's really like), but when he finally shows up in The Movie, they lose that respect when he beats up his own brother, For the Evulz, and Double D, just for calling him out.
  • Daria has Tommy Sherman in the episode "The Misery Chick," who disappoints and disgusts everyone who meets him, even Kevin Thompson who idolizes him. As soon as he's killed in an accident, Kevin forgets all about his problems with Tommy's character.
  • Gargoyles: At first, Derek Maza/Talon admired Xanatos greatly. He's the richest man in the world and he gave him a high paying job. When Derek was mutated, Xanatos became his only hope for a cure. All this was shattered when he realized Xanatos used him for his own nefarious schemes and was the one responsible for his transformation in the first place.
    Talon: I don't believe it. Goliath wasn't Sevarius' partner - it was you all along! I trusted you! You turned me into a monster and I defended you!
  • In Book 2 of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Zuko is suddenly exposed to the horrors of what his beloved Fire Nation is actually doing to the world. He shoves it aside for a while, though, and helps Azula defeat Aang so he can return to the Fire Nation, where he's welcomed back by their father, Fire Lord Ozai and almost goes completely back to his old self, until Azula and Ozai plot to incinerate the entire Earth Kingdom, and he can no longer deny he's on the wrong side of the war.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • The Equalists, specifically the Lieutenant, to Amon. Amon preached equality and removed the Bending of people to achieve it. Amon was revealed to be a Waterbender, and that shook the support from his cause. When the lieutenant finds out, he smashes his equalist mask, and attacks Amon, calling him a traitor, and screaming that they all had trusted him.
    • In the Book 2 premiere, Korra hasn't had a good opinion of her father Tonraq since she learned he was one of the people behind the compound (Tenzin had a hand in that too) along with his exile from the Northern Water Tribe, and the fact he is treating her like a child. But later on, Korra swears off loyalty to Unalaq once it's revealed he not only fixed her father's trial to send Tonraq to prison and also to appear "merciful", but also caused Tonraq to be banished so that he could become chief of the Northern Water Tribe. After that, she reconciles with him and Tenzin.
    • In Book 4, the final season, this would be the reason for Kuvira's Face–Heel Turn. She look up to Suyin, the leader of Zaofu and a woman who took her in when she was a homeless child and raised her like a mother, until Suyin refused to help the Earth Kingdom during its time of need. Kuvira lost all respect for Suyin and would go on to become the very thing Suyin feared, a tyrant, using Zaofu's advance technology and resources to conquer the world.
  • Motorcity: Mike did not take it well finding out that Kane, who was his adoptive father, was evil.
  • The Justice League Unlimited episode "Clash" revolves around the entire Justice League (and in particular, Superman) becoming this to Captain Marvel, culminating in him giving them an epic mix of What the Hell, Hero? and "The Reason You Suck" Speech by the end as he becomes disenchanted with the team and leaves them.
  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! has four cases of this, only one of which was never rebuilt — that one being Master Zan towards Antauri.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: When Ahsoka was framed for multiple murders, terrorism and sedition, the Jedi Council abandoned her and made no effort to conduct their own investigation, and the Senate Court were more than happy to sentence her to death. Anakin and Padmé were the only ones to support her in all what she went through, and even after it's discovered that she was innocent, and she was offered back to the Jedi Council with a promotion, the damage was already done. Her faith in the Council was shattered and she leaves them completely.
  • It gets worse in Star Wars Rebels. The knowledge that Anakin Skywalker is now a Sith Lord fueled by rage and hatred utterly devastates her.
  • In the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Brave New Metropolis", the authors specifically wrote Jimmy Olsen as having this relationship to Superman after he goes Knight Templar following Lois Lane's death.
  • Sofia the First: Princess Amber used to have a crush on Prince Hugo until she saw him cheating during a failed attempt to keep Sofia from entering Royal Prep's Derby Racing Team.
  • Transformers Prime has this between Megatron and Orion Pax in the beginning of season 2. Millennia ago, they were both heroic until Orion Pax's becoming Optimus Prime caused Megatronus' jealousy to lead him to becoming the villainous Megatron. When Optimus loses his memory, Megatron quickly resumes the master-pupil relationship for as long as he can until Orion starts figuring out that Megatronus isn't quite as noble as he remembers.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door:
    • Cree was formerly Numbuh Five's mentor, her Cool Big Sis (literally and figuratively) and one of the best operatives of all time. As you might expect, then, the fact that she turned traitor made her one of the worst examples of this trope, becoming the Cain to Numbuh Five's Abel in the process. To make it worse, if Operation: M.A.U.R.I.C.E. is any indication, Cree seems more than willing to reconcile with her sister, but only on her terms; she seemed overjoyed when Abby briefly seemed to be willing to join her. Fortunately, Abby's other idol convinced her otherwise.
    • A strange example would have to be Chad Dickson, f.k.a. Numbuh 274 and Soopreme Leader of the KND. Both his debut and his final appearance had shown him to be downright idolized by his subordinates (he had trading cards, for God's sake), making his betrayal downright heartbreaking in hindsight. Numbuh 1 deftly points this out in their final confrontation, having been one of the ones most affected by this betrayal as Chad was both a mentor and a dear friend to him, only for his former comrade to shout that he doesn't care. While Chad being a teen spy like Maurice has somewhat redeemed him, Nigel's forlorn expression at the end of the episode expresses how that doesn't detract from his legitimate negative qualities or what happened between them.
  • In Rocket Power, Otto learns that his favorite skateboarding action hero movie star is coming to town to film another one of his movies but is stunned to learn that the kid is a huge Jerkass who doesn't know how to skateboard, has all his stunts done by a (female) double, and rudely rejects Otto's request for an autograph.
  • Danny Phantom:
    • Danielle, Valerie, and Jack lose admiration, loyalty and respect for Vlad once they see his true colors by the end of the series.
    • Maddie had viewed Vlad as a strange but trustworthy friend since their college years, but she changes her opinion after Vlad confesses that he always loved her and blames Jack for causing the portal accident (and "stealing" Maddie from him).
  • Teen Titans: In "Troq," the Titans all think that the alien superhero Val-Yor is cool... until they discover that he is prejudiced against Tamaraneans and that "Troq", the apparent nickname he gave Starfire, is actually a Fantastic Slur.
  • Adventure Time: Finn finds out his dad is trapped in the Citadel and is excited to meet him, even giving him the benefit of the doubt for abandoning him as a baby. But upon meeting his dad, Martin, he behaves like a Jerkass and doesn't even give Finn a real explanation for abandoning him in the forest. Then after Finn heals his injured leg, Martin proceeds to abandon Finn again for a group of escaped criminals. During said escape causes Finn's arm to get ripped off. Can you blame Finn for wanting revenge afterwards?
  • In one episode of Sabrina: The Animated Series, Harvey discovers that his favorite action star isn't as tough in real life as he is in his movies. He doesn't do his own stunts, he enjoys cooking and he's scared of spiders. In the end though, the star saves Harvey, who was trapped inside a building that was about to collapse and earns back his respect.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In "I'm Your Biggest Fanatic", SpongeBob gets to spend the day with his idol, jellyfish enthusiast Kevin C. Cucumber, and is even offered the chance to join his group. However, Kevin is actually a Jerkass who only wants to humiliate SpongeBob (but has a hard time doing it). He eventually plays a trick on SpongeBob, leaving him feeling hurt and embarrassed when Kevin reveals that he thinks of him as nothing but a loser. Kevin gets his Laser-Guided Karma at the end when SpongeBob proves to be the better jellyfisher.
    • In a later episode, SpongeBob meets another of his heroes, Kenny the Cat, who has the ability to hold his breath underwater for hours. SpongeBob is devastated when he discovers that Kenny has been using an oxygen tank for breathing.
    • Mr. Krabs suffers this in "Selling Out" after he meets Howard Blandy, head of the Blandy Franchising Company and an extremely rich man. Blandy purchases the Krusty Krab and turns it into a generic franchise restaurant. Krabs doesn't seem to mind the changes until he discovers Blandy is now mass-producing Krabby Patties from piles of grey goop, at which point he goes utterly berserk.
      Mr. Krabs: I used to kiss the ground you walked on, Blandy, but after seeing this... I wouldn't even spit in yer direction!
  • Littlest Pet Shop (2012):
    • In the episode "Lights, Camera, Mongoose" the pets meet Shahrukh, the famous movie star mongoose, who they all admire, only to discover that he is a lazy jerk who expects everyone to do everything for him, even blinking for him.
    • Subverted in the episode "Lotsa Luck", where Pepper meets her comedy idol, an orangutan named Old Bananas. At first, it looks like that he is a miserable old grump who doesn't laugh at any of Pepper's jokes. But then it turns out that the whole thing was just an act to help Pepper get ready for the big leagues.
  • In Avengers, Assemble!, Spider-Man suffers this towards Captain America when the latter quits and forms his own team after Ultron made fools of everyone.
  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic:
    • In the season five episode "Rarity Investigates!", Rainbow Dash meets her idol Wind Rider, a famous Wonderbolt who holds the record in the Mustang Marathon. However, when Rainbow Dash is framed for the crime of getting rid of Spitfire so she can take her place in the Wonderbolts show, and will be kicked off the Wonderbolts reserves if she doesn't prove her innocence, Rarity takes matters into her own hands and her own investigation reveals that Wind Rider was behind it all. He sent Spitfire away with a fake note that her mother was sick and framed Rainbow Dash by cutting off some of her hair and planting it. Why? Because he was afraid Rainbow Dash would break his flight record, and with her out of the way, his record would be totally secure. If lying and screwing around with Spitfire's personal life in order to sabotage Rainbow Dash's future for such a petty and selfish reason wasn't bad enough, Wind Rider is also revealed to be an extremely narcissistic Smug Super who self-admits he isn't above playing dirty to get ahead, even if it means screwing over his teammates. Needless to say, Wind Rider's pedestal crumbled pretty quickly, and he was swiftly booted off the Wonderbolts team.
    • Rainbow Dash has had this happen to her twice with the Wonderbolts, mostly with their leader, Spitfire, only for it to be subverted both times. The first time was in the episode "Wonderbolts Academy", where Spitfire makes Lighting Dust a lead pony and not Rainbow Dash, who is mostly upset about it because she thinks she deserves it. But then she gets upset about it when Lighting Dust starts to become reckless with her duties, even going as far as to creating a tornado to clear all of the clouds in the skies, which almost kills all of Rainbow's friends, and not showing any remorse for what she did. Rainbow almost quits the academy, thinking that only reckless ponies get in, but Spitfire stops her and tells her that Wonderbolts push themselves in the right direction. She then strips Lightning Dust of her leadership and gives it to Rainbow.
    • The second time was in the episode "Rainbow Falls". During the tryouts for the Equestria Games, Soarin' injures his wing and Spitfire, along with another Wonderbolt member, Fleet Foot, convince Rainbow Dash to take his place until he's recovered. Later on, Spitfire and Fleet Foot tell Rainbow that Soarin's wing won't be healed in time for the tryouts and they ask her to be part of their team permanently. But then Rainbow Dash discovers that Soarin's wing is fully healed and that Spitfire and Fleet Foot lied to her just so they could get a better flyer. Rainbow refuses their offer, stating that they may be a winning team, but they're not the kind of team she wants to be a part of. Spitfire and Fleet Foot soon discover the errors of their ways and apologize to Soarin' and let him back on the team.
    • Rainbow Dash is hit with this in turn with "Parental Glideance". With her parents constantly following her and cheering her on, Rainbow Dash is driven up the wall by it, embarrassed to no end. When they keep doing so when she enters the Wonderbolts locker room, she finally blows up on them... in front of Scootaloo, who was with Dash's parents at the time. The filly, upset to see her idol chew out her own parents, throws down her scrapbook she was creating about her and storms out. This makes Rainbow realize that she took it too far, and sets up a private Wonderbolts show as an apology gift for her parents, earning Scootaloo's respect back in the process.
  • Steven Universe:
  • Animaniacs has Chicken Boo where his disguise fails, exposing him as a giant chicken and everyone turns against him.
  • Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo: Shaggy, Scrappy, and Scooby are all horrified when they believe their favorite comic book character has come to life and is acting like a villain. Of course, it's just a hoax perpetuated by an assistant to the creator of that character. The assistant wanted to create his own comic book character because he no longer wanted to be an unknown assistant.
    Scrappy: That's my hero... so why is he acting like a meanie?
  • Regular Show
    • In the episode "150 Piece Kit", Mordecai and Rigby are madly admiring the band Hair to the Throne that was arranged to come play their music and drum solo in their park (as opposed to Benson, who isn't taking too kindly to their visit). Then the band tricks Mordecai and Rigby into driving them to Benson's recently set up percussion kit to destroy it, which makes both of them lose all respect for the band.
      [Benson arrives and sees Hair to the Throne destroying his kit]
      Rigby: Stop!
      Mordecai: You guys are supposed to be cool!
      Oggy: We are cool. That's why we destroyed that loser's drum kit.
      Gunner and Bass Player: Ooh!
      Mordecai: No way. I don't care how good your first album was. You're just a bunch of jerks.
    • Near the end of the episode, however, after Benson successfully performs his drum solo, the band members realize how awful they were towards Benson and apologize, and beg him to come back to their band.
      Oggy: Benson, we're sorry, mate. It was pretty uncool of us to throw you out of the band and lie about you. We know that now. You're the heart and soul of the band, Benson. Please, come back.
  • In one episode of Brickleberry Steve gets to meet his childhood icon, a Smokey the Bear expy named Flammey the Bear, who turns out to be a drug addicted asshole who has sex with Ethel on Steve's bed and gives Steve a mean spirited autograph.
  • Played for Laughs in an episode of Totally Spies!: In "The Wedding Crashers", Clover is so stoked to see Prince Charlie at the royal wedding. But upon witnessing that he's actually a cowardly Prince Charmless, she immediately crosses his type off her dream boy wish list.

Alternative Title(s): Never Meet Your Heroes