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%%This is not a complaining platform. Please only add examples of specific reviews or works where this reaction is actually played out InUniverse, not works about which you personally felt this way.
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->''"You need characters that you care about, and you need emotional investment. And then the action and special effects and the slime and the aliens and the coolness is the icing on the cake. But you need 'a cake' to put icing on it. You can't just eat the frosting, or else, uh, it's too sugary and it's bad for you, and you get the diabetes."''
-->-- ''[[WebVideo/HalfInTheBag Half in the Bag]]'', ''Franchise/AlienVsPredator'' rifftrack

"'''I don't care what happens to these people.'''"

A phrase coined by Dorothy Jones Heydt in a science-fiction based Website/{{Usenet}} group in 1991 to describe an AudienceReaction to a work of fiction where the characters are either so universally bland and unengaging or so unlikable and unsympathetic that the reader simply loses interest in their fate and, by extension, the work as a whole. This can happen with or without the presence of [[BadWritingIndex more objective shortcomings]], but the most interesting examples tend to be those where this is a critic's main complaint, single-handedly dragging an otherwise well-made story down to where it's unenjoyable.

Note that "not caring about" a character is not the same as "[[TheScrappy not liking]]" them -- some character archetypes, such as the UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist, are driven by the notion that watching horrible things happen to people that deserve them can be entertaining. In other words, even if you ''hate'' the character, you still ''care'' about what happens to them (because you want to see them get their comeuppance) so you'll still follow the story. This trope comes into play when even that fails to arouse sufficient interest. In other words, apathy.

Many {{Horror}}/monster/{{Disaster Movie}}s try to avoid this by DevelopingDoomedCharacters, only to make the audience hate the characters ''more'' for getting in the way of [[JustHereForGodzilla the slaughter they came there to see]].

Also often stated with [[BoldInflation added emphasis]] as "I don't ''care'' '''what''' happens to these people".

See also DarknessInducedAudienceApathy, where an excessively dark setting renders the protagonist's struggle so futile that the audience can't bring themselves to get invested in it even if the characters have some shred of likability.

Not to be confused with SevenDirtyWords.

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!! InUniverse or Cited Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* [[WebOriginal/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]] cites this as one of the reasons he dislikes the works created or inspired by Creator/RobLiefeld. None of the grizzled [[NinetiesAntiHero nineties antiheroes]] are anything more than props that fire massive guns and spew one-liners. He doesn't know who hardly any of the characters are, what they like or dislike, what their hobbies are, or whether or not they like [[Music/JimmyBuffett Pina Coladas]]. And they only seem capable of displaying one emotion: pissed off. They're all so interchangeable that Linkara makes a running joke of referring to individual early Image comics as any of the other, similar early Image comics by "mistake".
* [[http://mightygodking.com/2011/08/31/so-flashpoint/ One reviewer about]] ''{{Comicbook/Flashpoint}}'': It's hard to care about the events of an alternate universe that wouldn't exist or matter anyway after a few months. It's harder still when the overwhelming majority of the characters are so hideously unlikeable that you get the impression the world would be better off destroyed. Add in the fact that the only character from "our" DCU is Barry Allen, widely regarded as a CreatorsPet, and you have a comic that winds up mostly being a lot of empty, unpleasant noise.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* [[Creator/BobChipman Moviebob]]:
** On ''The Escapist'', they make this observation of the movie ''Film/{{Monsters|2010}}'', noting that both leads are unsympathetic and {{Flat Character}}s.
** Their opinion of the human characters in ''Film/TransformersRevengeOfTheFallen''.
** For ''Film/LesMiserables2012'' as well, despite praising Creator/AnneHathaway's performance.
* [[http://chromagic.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/review-battleship.html This review]] of ''Film/{{Battleship}}'' outright invokes this trope, nearly word for word.
* Peter Bradshaw expresses [[http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/sep/06/lawless-review this view]] of ''{{Film/Lawless}}'' calling it "an empty exercise in macho-sentimental violence", describing the supposed heroes of the film as flat heroes and the villain as "a pantomime baddie".
* Creator/RogerEbert:
** George Romero's ''Film/DayOfTheDead1985'' received [[http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19850830/REVIEWS/508300302/1023 one and a half stars]] in part because much of the movie consists of "unpleasant, violent, insane" or ridiculously noble characters shouting at each other. And while he doesn't utter the eight words out right, he does say that in Romero's [[Film/NightOfTheLivingDead1968 previous]] [[Film/DawnOfTheDead1978 movies]] "we cared about the characters."
** Ebert sums this trope up in a review for another movie: "''Film/TheAdventuresOfFordFairlane'' [[http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-adventures-of-ford-fairlane-1990 is a movie about a hero I didn't like, chasing villains I didn't hate, in a plot I didn't understand]]."
** In [[http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-usual-suspects-1995 his negative review]] for ''Film/TheUsualSuspects'', Ebert notes that "[[KudzuPlot To the degree that I do understand]], I don't care."
** For ''Film/ErinBrockovich'' he said, "lacks focus and energy, the character development is facile and thin."
* ''WebVideo/ToddInTheShadows'': Todd [[http://blip.tv/todds-pop-song-reviews/cinemadonna-bloodhounds-of-broadway-7043713 had such an opinion of]] ''Bloodhounds of Broadway'', summing it up in one word: "POINTLESS". His reason is that it's a compilation movie without any unifying story; the only common thread between the multiple plotlines is that the characters all eat at the same restaurant, and the film switches from story to story so abruptly that there's no reason to get invested in any of them.
* ''WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic'':
** For ''Film/TheLastAirbender'', they note that the movie is nothing but exposition and gives the audience no reason to care about the characters themselves:
---> '''I DON'T FUCKING CARE!''' And you know why? Because I never once heard anyone in this movie say "I 'feel' this" or "I 'like' this" or "I 'wonder' this". There are no emotions being addressed. Traditional storytelling is setting up a character, sending them on their journey, and learning more about them through their journey. The Last Airbender is just chess piece storytelling: Character goes here, character goes there, character says this, pawn to king four.
** For ''Film/JupiterAscending'':
---> Yes, a lot of epics have big talks and complicated storylines, but the story of King Arthur works because we see our flaws and strengths in the character. Star Wars works because we like these people and want to see them get through alive. Thus, weíre with them when theyíre thrown in these complex and dangerous worlds. Here, you donít care about anybody, so you donít care about the backstories or the made-up worlds. It attempts instead to sound big instead of feel big. It tries too hard in lesser areas and not hard enough in the ones that really matter. If there is one thing thatís epic in this film, itís what an epic disaster it gave us in the end. It really is the Valhalla of botched epic stories.
* Creator/ChrisStuckmann stated in [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wo5NETEV0S0 his review of]] ''[[Film/{{FantasticFour|2015}} Fant4stic]]'' that the film's poor world-building prevented him from caring about Earth as Doctor Doom began to destroy it, noting that a DownerEnding would have been more interesting than the actual outcome. Uninteresting characters and [[TrailersAlwaysSpoil a lack of spoiler-warning-worthy events]] hardly helped.
* The ''WebVideo/ScreenJunkies'' crew ''severely'' criticized ''Film/IndependenceDayResurgence'' for its lack of compelling characters and interaction. They found it hard to care whether or not the Earth is blown up, unlike the first movie. Heck, some even wish the aliens [[RootingForTheEmpire had succeeded]] if only for the studio to not churn out any more lackluster sequels.
* Creator/BradJones, in his ''WebVideo/MidnightScreenings'' review of ''Film/JasonBourne'', argued that much of the ''[[Film/TheBourneSeries Bourne]]'' series falls flat for him as he finds the main character to be an absolute bore, simply existing to get into fight scenes and lacking the charisma of comparable characters from ''Franchise/JamesBond'' or ''Film/MissionImpossible'', and pursued by government agencies that are equally uninteresting. He gave some praise to ''Film/TheBourneLegacy'' for shifting the focus to the more compelling character of Aaron Cross.
* ''WebVideo/{{Phelous}}'' reviews horror films, spewing a lot of hate at the ''Film/{{Hostel}}'' movies especially for this flaw.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The premise of ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' is that the characters are forced to watch bad movies. The films are usually so bad that Joel/Mike and the bots have zero engagement in the plot or characters, which allows the riffs to become bitingly funny. But once in a while this would be averted and they'd find themselves swept into the movie despite its shortcomings. ''[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S05E07IAccuseMyParents I Accuse My Parents]]'' and ''[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S05E09TheGirlInLoversLane The Girl in Lovers Lane]]'' are memorable examples of this.
* Alan Sepinwall gave a [[http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching/fall-tv-reviews-mom-hostages-the-blacklist nearly word-for-word recitation]] of the trope name while reviewing ''Series/{{Hostages}}''.
* [[http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/11/06/ryan-murphy-s-american-horror-story-is-the-craziest-show-on-tv.html Too nasty to be likable]] but not unlikable enough that you enjoyed seeing ''Series/AmericanHorrorStoryMurderHouse'' characters get killed off.
* [[http://www.hitfix.com/monkeys-as-critics/sons-of-anarchy-season-six-finale-recap-a-mothers-work At least one critic]] hit this with the season six finale of ''Series/SonsOfAnarchy'', due to it being a standout example of IdiotPlot.
* ''WebVideo/CinemaSins''' 130th sin about ''Film/{{Lucy}}''.
-->''"This movie should be f*cking OVER. Lucy wins and becomes air. I don't f*cking care what happens, except that what's actually happening is ludicrous.''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Dorothy Heydt:
** [[TropeNamer coined the words]] when reading [[http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.sf.written/msg/c67003d462c72a07?dmode=source Volume Two of]] ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime''
** [[http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.sf.written/msg/c0c86ef8c3d067df?dmode=source Reviewed]] a ''[[Literature/TheFionavarTapestry Fionavar Tapestry]]'' book by reusing her words.
* Creator/MarkTwain's essay ''[[Literature/FenimoreCoopersLiteraryOffences The Literary Offenses of Fenimore Cooper]]'':
--> 10. They require that the author shall make the reader feel a deep interest in the personages of his tale and in their fate; and that he shall make the reader love the good people in the tale and hate the bad ones. But the reader of the "Deerslayer" tale dislikes the good people in it, is indifferent to the others, and wishes they would all get drowned together.
* Slacktivist's page-by-page review of ''Literature/LeftBehind'' often notes how the main characters are far less likable than the villain - who, of course, is the Antichrist. "[[http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2009/09/04/tf-no-heroes/ No Heroes]]" is part of their review:
-->''These are books without heroes because they are set in a world without heroism ó without the possibility of heroism. A world of inexorable prophecies and inevitable doom.''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* ''Theatre/TheMusicalOfMusicalsTheMusical'' registers this complaint about the works of Creator/StephenSondheim ("Unlikable people with lives that are hollow / It's all food for thought, but a bit hard to swallow...")
* Shows up InUniverse in the play ''Theatre/{{Seminar}}'', where Leonard, a once respected novelist turned editor gives a series of writing seminars to four aspiring writers. Leonard is infamous for his BrutalHonesty and coarseness, and he repeatedly tears down what he feels are lifeless, bloodless stories from his students. When one of them protests that he hasn't spent enough time getting to know the narrator of her story, he delivers a scathing takedown that works equally well for the writer as well as her narrator.
-->I know who your narrator is. She's an over-educated, completely inexperienced, sexually inadequate girl who has rich parents who give her everything. She's got nothing to say so she sits around and thinks of Creator/JaneAusten all day. I don't give a '''''shit''''' about her.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''WebVideo/{{Retsupurae}}''
** LetsPlay/{{Diabetus}} declares a variation in the ''VideoGame/DarkSeed II'' wrongpurae, about the protagonist, Mike Dawson, who is suspected of murder.
--->'''LetsPlay/{{slowbeef}}:''' To be honest, do you think he did it?\\
'''Diabetus:''' I would think no.\\
'''slowbeef:''' Who do you think did?\\
'''Diabetus:''' Well the problem is I don't really care. It's like an episode of ''Franchise/ScoobyDoo'', I don't really care who ''did'' it, [[{{Metaphorgotten}} I just want to see the thrilling chase.]]
** They declare the same thing when they tackle Creator/ZapDramatic's ''Ambition'' series of flash games - they hate pretty much ''every character in the series'', save for DesignatedVillain Duke Crabtree.
* ''WebVideo/JesseCox'': At times he has stated that he doesn't really care for any of the characters in the ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' games, but it wasn't until ''VideoGame/LightningReturnsFinalFantasyXIII'' came out that he finally couldn't stand it anymore.
* ''Machinima/FreemansMind'': Ross Scott had this problem in his AprilFoolsDay [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4LaR1C6Xds review]] video in ''WebVideo/RosssGameDungeon'', saying that that nobody is really ''reacting'' to or treating any sense of urgency to the horrors around them, which fails to invest him in the characters, which in turn fails to invest him in the game itself. It was bad enough that he couldn't bring himself to finish the game, a first for the series.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comic]]
* Max-Vader, veteran of the the Project A.F.T.E.R. forum and sometimes co-host of ''Podcast/TheOtherSide'' has this as one of his main reasons why he hates ''Webcomic/SugarBits'' by Creator/{{Bleedman}}.
-->''"I could forgive a bad story or clichéd writing if only the characters were likable and interesting. You see, in order to give a shit about the story, we need someone we can relate to ó a protagonist with human character traits. A good example would be [[Franchise/StarWars Luke Skywalker]]. In the beginning we get to know him, learn about his hopes and dreams, and start to care about him. I can't stress this enough: Be sloppy with your writing when it comes to your protagonist, and you can kiss the slightest hope for quality storytelling goodbye. Bleedman doesn't give a shit. [[{{Wangst}} Emotional baggage]], [[DarkAndTroubledPast "tragic" pasts]] or JerkAss behavior do not make a likable, deep or interesting character."''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''Blog/JohnKStuff'': Creator/JohnKricfalusi reviews Creator/BobClampett's b&w cartoons with animator Milt Gray, [[http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/2008/06/milt-grey-on-clampetts-black-and-white.html focusing on Porky Pig]]. He claimed the titular character to ''WesternAnimation/PorkyPig'' was basically a [[FlatCharacter boring prop character]] in the hands of Creator/TexAvery and Creator/FrankTashlin, and that Bob best understood how to make the character truly likable and sympathetic.
-->"Porky, in both Avery and Tashlin's cartoons is just this animated thing that shit happens to. You don't care about him at all. He's merely the focus of the story. In Clampett's cartoons the characters cause the story and what happens always seems spontaneous and immediate - and as a result, unpredictable. It is happening now, unplanned by a tyrannical director who merely needs characters to plug into his plot and gag structure. Clampett's unique talent is to make it appear that you are watching something in real time; animation that is shot live. He was also handicapped in this by having been forced to star Porky in every single cartoon. He did the best Porky, but Porky is basically a straight man, so Clampett had to create tons of other characters who could carry more comedy. There are some cartoons that star Porky only in name, because he got tired of ONLY directing Porky cartoons and wanted to try something different. But my point is, that only in his cartoons at the time did any of the characters seem like they were causing the action, rather than the writer and director causing the action and just plopping any old characters into the storyline."
* ''Webvideo/TheMysteriousMrEnter'':
** Mr Enter has noted that as of the "Little Yellow Book", he doesn't care about any of the main characters of ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' at all due to how Squidward's (the last character he had any care towards) actions in the end made him out to be remorseless.
** In ''[[WesternAnimation/MrPicklesGoodBoy Mr. Pickles]]'', he notes that with its first episode, he already doesn't care about any of the characters shown because they focus more on ones who won't be seen again, rather than showcasing the titular Mr. Pickles or any other main cast member.
** He outright invokes the trope when reviewing ''WesternAnimation/DaBoomCrew''; citing that the leads were all some variation of a stereotypical FlatCharacter and he didn't care about their journey because next to no identity was established for them, not to mention the ClicheStorm the story was, and the incomprehensible dialogue made them totally unsympathetic and unrelatable.
** He expresses a similar sentiment towards ''Legends Of Chamberlain Heights'' for many of the same reasons, albeit to a greater extent; to the degree that he found the series ''worse'' than the above-mentioned ''Mr. Pickles'' on the grounds that every character was an unsympathetic and unlikable imbecile.
[[/folder]]

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